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Top 5 International Muslim Marriage Sites With Guaranteed Service

2020.08.05 10:14 Taslima0321 Top 5 International Muslim Marriage Sites With Guaranteed Service

Are you about to get married soon? In that case, you are undoubtedly searching for a suitable groom or bride right now. Getting married at the right moment to the right person at the right age is very important. So, you can’t be careless about choosing the person with whom you will tie the knot. Also, marriage is irreversible, and you can’t just make a thoughtless approach towards marriage to repent for the rest of your life. Therefore, searching for a soulmate over the marriage sites is very important.
There was a time when the parents use to find suitable life partners for their children through friends or relatives. But now online matchmaking sites have taken over them as they provide not only a variety of brides and grooms but also numerous options like age, height, caste, location, income, profession, education, and so on. The online matrimonial sites are becoming very popular as they have made the “searching” term easier and quicker. Online marriage sites are highly affordable and safe. Additionally, you can take expert advice by counseling with the marriage experts if you need them.
To help you find your perfect groom or bride, we have listed the most successful and reliable five international Muslim marriage sites in this article. These marriage sites specialize in Muslim matchmaking and not just a matrimonial service but understand the importance of choosing the perfect life partner for marriage.

What are the Best International Marriage Sites for Muslims?

For modern Muslim men and women, the internet has provided a unique way to incorporate traditional Islamic beliefs into contemporary forms of socializing through online matrimony sites. All the sites listed here focus especially on finding a Muslim match. They have a vast database which suits your preferences and assist you in choosing your soul mate. These marriage sites are great because you know that both singles and divorcees are looking for a serious Muslim match. Let’s dive into the deep!

Muslima

Muslima is one of the leading and reliable marriage sites to find a Muslim life partner. If you are looking for the best marriage site for a Muslim bride or groom, Muslima can be ideal for trying out. This online matrimony site has helped thousands of Muslim singles find their perfect soul mate. Unlike the other marriage sites, Muslima can offer you a membership database of 7.5 million (to date) members with the guarantee of introducing you to single and divorcee Muslim women as well as men across the globe. The reason behind the immense popularity of Muslima is the numerous success stories. According to the website, it has over 750 success stories to date.
Their website is comparatively simple in its design and functionality. That means it is effortless to learn how to navigate the website and use all of its features. The marriage site offers necessary facilities for the non-paid members and innumerable advantages for the paid users. Having a free membership, you can contact and receive messages from paying members, and you can tailor which email notification you receive from the site. For instance, you will get an email notification if someone expresses interest for you. Undoubtedly, Muslima is the largest site that specializes in international Muslim matrimonial. You must give it a try!

Pure Matrimony

Pure Matrimony is another popular Muslim marriage site that aims to offer a Halal online matrimonial platform for the pious Muslims who are about to begin a marital life holding the faith and the Islamic tradition. The site aims to provide matrimonial services worldwide and show that Muslims are not divided by caste, color, and nations. Like Muslima, Pure Matrimony is also an excellent platform for the singles looking for marriage and long-term relationships to connect and meet. The features of their website are not too complicated, and the surprising fact is that it comes with 12 different languages to browse with. That means a man with the lest technical knowledge can use the website, too.
The marriage site promises 100% privacy to the users. With the free membership, a user can access his/her photo, get sophisticated pure matching, advanced advance search options, create and favorite searches, and view others’ profiles. If you have a premium membership, then you can message of contact profiles, answer to the member’s questions, request & see personal photos, receive answers, and the other members can stalk you. Registering for the website is the most straightforward task one can do. The online matrimony site has an app available for both android and ios. So, you can use the site anytime, from anywhere.

Taslima Marriage Media

Taslima Marriage Media is one of the most successful marriage sites since 2011. Currently, the online matrimony agency is providing matchmaking services worldwide. Thousands of happy marriages happened and continue to occur through the agency. The online matrimonial site has been continuously innovating to provide a superior matchmaking experience to the registered members.
Taslima Marriage Media has created a global matrimonial web portal aimed at fulfilling the needs of Muslims worldwide. Their online portal is designed for those who are serious about marriage and looking for suitable grooms or brides. Their highly dedicated team is committed to providing all Matrimony related solutions to prospective brides and grooms.
In the online matchmaking site, you can create your profile for free. The portal allows the members to search, communicate, interact, and and eventually choose the proper person. By preventing free searches by non-registered members, they are further securing our members’ privacy and ensuring that only people interested in marriage contact the members.
Regarding the billing, Users can purchase the Basic package at $40, browse the portal for 45 Days and see the contact details of other users. Also they can send 50 total proposals whom they like. The standard package comes at $65. The users can browse the portal for 90 Days, see the contact details of other users, and send 70 total proposals.
The classic package starts at $100. Users can browse the portal for 180 Days, see the contact details of other users. Also, they can send 90 total proposals. A premium package can be purchased at $135. The users can browse the portal for one year and see the contact details of other users. They can send 110 total proposals whom they like.

Nikah.com

Founded in 1998, Nikah.com provides matrimonial and online dating services explicitly tailored to Muslims’ particular needs worldwide. The marriage site has attracted more than 2 Million users worldwide since after the foundation. We consider Nikah.com as the pioneer of exclusive Muslim matrimony service. Although the Islamic matrimonial website attracts Muslim singles globally, Nikah.com emphasizes that it is not for those who are seeking an un-Islamic relationship. The marriage website offers the users an in-depth compatibility test and a unique categorized matching system. You can create a profile completely free of charge to see what Nikah.com has for you.
The site is very popular with Muslim men and women who are in their mid-twenties and above. People looking for a second chance at love can also find exciting singles or someone like themselves. As we have gone through the user’s review on the site, Nikah.com is excellent from the time of initial contact to the ceremony. And they have very informative, professional and pleasant representatives.

IslamicMarriage

Like the other online matrimonial sites, IslamicMarriage aims to bring single Muslim men and women together for friendship and potentially marriage. Their online matchmaking portal is definitely up to today’s standards with plenty of filtering tools that everyone will like. The user interface is clean and efficient to navigate without complicated features. On the portal, users can match with people from other places if they prefer to while giving them the compatibility to look for other singles or divorcees who live nearby. Most of the members at IslamicMarriage are from the United States. Other places with a significant membership include the United Kingdom, Germany, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Nigeria, Canada, and others.
The marriage site offers different language choices to browse. It provides complete security to the users as it employs several security features to filter out bots and other unwanted users from penetrating their system. Signing up to IslamicMarriage is entirely free, and registration can be done within minutes. The online matchmaking site does not require email verification to activate your profile. IslamicMarriage offers non-paid users the ability to view other members’ profiles, browse photos, upload 20 pictures to your profile, chat & receive messages, and use their dedicated live chat support function.
It comes with three premium membership plans for the users. Prices of these packages start from $22 and end at $32.99 per month. You can upgrade or cancel your subscription anytime.
If you are looking for an online matrimonial site that can lead you to serious relationships and eventually marriage, IslamicMarriage will be the best choice.

In Closing

We strongly advise you to check the terms, features, and pricing before enrolling in any online matchmaking portal. However, browsing a little time over these online matrimony sites once after registering, these trustworthy sites will make you realize that your perfect life partner is just a click away! If you are thinking about joining any of these sites, but you still aren’t sure, we are here to help. Our online matrimonial portal has a lot to offer if you are serious about a lifetime relationship. Ready to start meeting people who dream the same things you do? Visit our full site to begin your journey now!
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2020.01.18 08:34 planetpike75 [Event] Turkey Ascendant: Our Path to Power

November 12th, 2024
Ankara, Turkey

Our Work Is Not Yet Finished: A Speech by the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

"When I returned to this office ten years ago, I returned to a nation of untapped potential. In the ten years between now and then, it has been my privilege to see this country reach for greater heights and take its place as a world leader. We have defended ourselves against our enemies; we have extended a hand of friendship across the world; we have built a strong economy on a foundation of hard work and sincerity; we now stand at the apex of the Muslim world, leading our brothers in faith on our journey to bring about the peace of Allah on Earth.
"It has been no small feat. There are those who told us that we could not do it, and those who have done and are still doing everything in their power to stop us. And where are they now? While they stand grounded holding empty chains, we soar ever higher. In the face of sometimes nigh-impossible odds, we stand defiant toward those who doubt us. Their first mistake was to underestimate the will of the Turkish people, which has carried to glory us for centuries. We are a nation chosen by Allah to bring forth a new dawn of prosperity and progress for his people. A dawn that we were never meant to usher in alone.
"In recent years, we have made a tremendous effort to unite the worldwide Muslim community under the banner of the Cooperation Council. Our brotherly embrace reaches across the world, from Malaysia to Guyana and from Albania to the Congo. To all ends of the Earth, we seek to promote solidarity with our brothers in faith. While there are those, even among our own faith, who would challenge us, we will not falter in this ambition. Those of true faith know that our cause is just and that our resolve is strong; with divine right on our side, we will continue to fight on behalf of this vision, one that we share with Muslims all over the world.
"It is because of this vision that I stand before you today, and that I am honored to lead our Republic into this glorious future ahead of us. Gone are the days of the past when we were little but a plaything in the eyes of the West and an asset in the eyes of the East. No, today we stand as a power in our own right! With the authority invested in me by the people of Turkey and in the everlasting trust of our steadfast allies, I declare a new dawn for the Turkish people!
"And who are the Turkish people? We, the people of the Republic of Turkey, are the Turkish people! I say to everyone in this country: hate is not our path forward. There was a time when I myself fell into that forsaken trap of ethnic nationalism, but as I traveled the world and see what all of Allah's people can do with one common purpose and one unity in Islam, I cast off those chains of hate. Look around! In eastern Turkey, our Chechen friends embrace us as friends. In our military, volunteers in the Muslim Corps from Azerbaijan, the Congo, Malaysia, and China serve with the same honor and distinction as all of our brave Turkish soldiers. Allow me to tell a story: I had the privilege to meet with a number of officials and workers from one of our projects to build seawalls in the Maldives. During my conversation with one of their ministers, I was approached by a lone construction worker. He reached out to shake my hand and told me, 'President Erdogan, my father always told me to never trust a Turk. But I want to let you know that I and my countrymen trust you.' In that moment, I realized that the work we do around the world matters more than anything.
"And this work is not yet finished! No, it is far from finished! It is never finished! Until all of Allah's people join hands under the same sun and share in this divine joy, our work is not yet finished! Until our brothers in Syria are free from the tyranny of the al-Assad regime, our work is not yet finished! Until the world can sleep in peace knowing that terrorism is no more, our work is not yet finished! Until the independence and fair treatment of all Muslim nations is assured, our work is not yet finished! And until our work is finished, we will press on with a diligence the likes of which the world has never seen! I am Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and I pledge this to Turkey, to Islam, and to the world: this is our new dawn, our golden age. I pray that you will walk forward with us. Allah bless you all. Thank you."

The Ministry of Ethnic Affairs: One Country, Many Nations

With the slow death of nationalism and the advent of pan-Islamic thought throughout Turkey, it became apparent that the state would need to create an apparatus for managing the various ethnic affairs in the country and prove the sincerity of its effort to put ethnic nationalism in the grave. To this end, the Erdogan administration has ordered the creation of the Ministry of Ethnic affairs and appointed Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, former Minister of Labour, Social Services, and Family as its head. As Minister of Labour, Selçuk made a name for herself as a champion of more liberally-minded policies that sought to give Chechen refugee and immigrant families the square deal they so desperately deserved. A rising star in Turkish politics, it only made sense that the woman responsible for the vast successes of the program to integrate Chechens into Turkish society be placed in charge of the Ministry to manage all ethnic affairs.
The Ministry of Ethnic Affairs has been given an initial yearly budget of $2 billion dollars and a wide range of freedom to structure itself as Minister Selçuk sees fit. The principle action following the creation of the Ministry was the creation of the Ethnic Affairs Board, a small council which consists of members of each of Turkey's various ethnic groups as follows:
Ethnicity Number of Representatives
Turkish 4
Kurdish 3
Circassian 2
Azeri 2
Chechen 2
Bosnian 1
Albanian 1
Georgian 1
Arab 1
Greek 1
Iranian 1
While ethnic Turks were given the greatest number of representatives on the Board, they have actually received the smallest proportional representation due to the fact that the Board cannot pass any kind of binding resolution and that the majority of the offices in the government are already held by ethnic Turks, a fact that the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs and Selçuk have stated it is their goal to change. The Board will be maintained in a government complex in central Ankara, and representatives will be appointed by the Ministry and confirmed in the Turkish Parliament.
The first action of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs was to release a statement intended to negate some of the harsh anti-Kurdish rhetoric employed by the Erdogan administration and the Justice and Development Party in the past. While many Kurds were hesitant to accept this note, an apology that tried its hardest to avoid the word "apology," and others simply dismissed it outright, a number of ethnic Kurds have expressed their appreciation for the gesture. The rise of a new political organization, the Kurdish Republican Party, has led efforts in recruiting Kurds to become more active in the Turkish social and political spheres under the mantra that active participation in a more accepting government is the only way to achieve true solidarity in Turkey. The organization's politics, much like its more radical cousins, are relatively left-wing, but the organization is careful to maintain a public image that it is more concerned with facing the social divide between Kurds and Turks than pursuing a political agenda. This has not prevented the National Intelligence Organization from keeping a close eye on the Party, however, and it is being constantly monitored for any signs of radicalism.
The second action of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs was to crack down on the Chechen National Congress, which it has labeled "dangerous, radical, and in active opposition of peace for the Chechen people." While the integration of Chechen refugees into Turkey has gone much better than expected due to the smart policies of Minister Selçuk, there remain fears among the government and general public that this is merely the calm before the storm. Various projects to improve the lives of the Turkish Chechens, including aid for finding jobs and housing and the integration of many into the Turkish Land and Air Forces, have proven effective for now. However, many Chechens still believe that despite its kindness toward them, Turkey is not their homeland, and they will remain unsatisfied until they can have a homeland for their people. Until that fated day comes, all Turkey can do is ensure that their time here is productive and comfortable. Fortunately for us, they are a hardworking people, and many of their ethnic Turkish neighbors take pity on their plight and are generally appreciative of their contributions to their communities.
The third action of the Ministry of Ethnic Affairs was to appease the Arab people of Turkey in the wake of greatly-soured relations with the Arab Republics of Egypt and Syria. While the Arabs of Turkey have little love for the tyrants al-Assad and el-Sisi, it is understandable that conflict with one's ancestral home can naturally lead to fears that one might not be welcome in their current home. Therefore, Selçuk herself has released a joint press statement with the rest of the executive branch that the Arabs of Turkey are valuable citizens of the Republic, and that conflict with Arab nations does not in any way indicate anti-Arab sentiment by the government. The Ministry, in conjunction with the NIO, is keeping a close eye on all known Arab solidarity movements in Turkey to ensure that Egyptian and Syrian lies do not worm their way into the hearts of Turkish Arabs.

Turkey 2030: The Economics of Everything

In the past year, the Turkish Ministry of Economy laid out a number of transformative plans that aimed to break the grip of the crony capitalist construction sector on the Turkish economy, begin the construction of a new high-speed rail line from Konya to Mersin, and launch substantial subsidy programs in eastern Turkey for steel, iron, and textile manufacturers to ensure that the region would be equipped to handle the influx of labor from Chechen refugees. The success of these programs has inspired the Ministry to draft its most ambitious plan yet, the creatively-named "Turkey 2030." Turkey 2030 focuses on three core reforms to modernize the Turkish economy and transform it from a middling regional industrial sector to a dominant force in the global market: emphasis on renewable energy, introduction of high-tech manufacturing, and improvements to agriculture.
A Renewed Effort for Renewables
As the world's climate begins to change, Turkey perhaps stands to lose the most of any nation. The largest city, Istanbul, sits upon a strait and is threatened by rising sea levels in the Mediterranean; the dry climate of central Anatolia is at great risk of desertification; much of the nation is at great risk for earthquakes, which will only become more common with time. Unfortunately, the government has done little to remedy this in years past and in many cases has made the situation worse by increasing its reliance on coal and approving the construction of a nuclear power plant in a high-risk area. However, our first action toward a climate-oriented policy must be the signing of the Paris Climate Accords, a document we have failed to ratify for five years now as the only G20 nation not to do so. Two of our strongest allies, Malaysia and Indonesia, are currently meeting their target emission levels as mandated by the Accords, and we believe that cooperation with them will serve us well in our own effort to do so.
As much as it pains us, we must let go of the idea that lignite coal power plants can serve the electricity needs of the future. Production of energy from lignite is horrifically inefficient and extremely environmentally-unfriendly; any further efforts to develop coal-fired power plants in Turkey must be put to a stop and we must do everything in our power to wean ourselves off of coal, which accounts for 37% of our current electricity generation. Furthermore, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources will order the shutdown of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant Project. While this will no doubt upset the energy tycoons who helped fund it as well as Russia due to our agreement with Rosatom to construct the plant, we will offer the currently-in-waiting Igneada Nuclear Power Plant Project and a plot of land in Tekirdag Province for collaboration with Rosatom in the construction of two plants at lower risk, dedicating an initial budget of $20 billion to the construction of each. Furthermore, we will increase our current commitment from $11 billion to $18 billion in our ongoing effort to reduce emissions, which will hopefully reduce our current emission projections by approximately 25%. Finally, we will commit ourselves to increasing our share of energy produced by wind power plants, investing $15 billion over a period of five years, increasing our share of wind power production from 6.78% to approximately 11% according to the following timetable:
Source 2018 Share of Electricity Generation 2030 Projected Share of Electricity Generation
Coal 37% 31%
Natural Gas 30% 30%
Hydroelectric 20% 21%
Wind 7% 11%
Geothermal 3% 3%
Solar 3% 3%
Nuclear 0% 1%
Other <1% <1%
We Have the Technology
Turkey stands at a crossroads not only in regard to our future, but quite literally, geographically speaking. As the mountainous bridge between Europe and Asia, we are situated in an advantageous position that allows us to serve as a center for industry between two titans. As our industrial output accounts for approximately 30% of our GDP, it is time to introduce new industry 4.0 technology into our nation that will form the foundation of a second Turkish industrial revolution, cementing our place in the global market. While certain domestic industries, such as aviation, military production, the automotive industry, and cheap consumer electronics have historically led the way in adapting to an ever-changing global economy, we must reorient ourselves to the businesses of the future. This is not to discard our current strength, but to focus on weaker points to strengthen our economy on all sides.
We have been investing anywhere between $2 billion and $3 billion per year to assist in the introduction of industry 4.0 technologies in Turkish manufacturing. This has paid off as there has been a notable shift in production from low-tech to medium-to-high-tech manufacturing in the country, but we have been sorely lacking in capabilities of data analytics and automation that European nations currently enjoy. Previous investments in STEM education have proven successful in mending this; we must double down on our efforts by offering grants for up to $400,000, double our current limit of $200,000, to businesses that foray into the vast unknown that is "big data" and automation. International experts estimate that full adoption of industry 4.0 technologies will yield an increase in productivity anywhere between 4 and 7 percent; we challenge these numbers and claim that upon full adoption of i4.0, we will experience a 10 percent increase compared to current productivity.
Grow Big, But Don't Grow at Home
As of 2009, the Turkish agricultural sector accounted for almost 30% of national employment. While modernization and industrial efforts have managed to significantly reduce this number in the past decade and a half, we would like to continue consolidating our agricultural industry by breaking the ever-common trend of subsistence farming. It is unacceptable that this is still an integral part of our economy; we must work to ensure that all Turks have access to food without having to provide it for themselves. Subsistence farming removes people from the workforce as they must dedicate considerable time and energy to a completely unproductive economic activity, greatly lowering our industrial and service capabilities. We will offer subsidies for farms larger than 1,000 acres to ensure that they are able to sell their goods at a lower coast and incentivize farms to centralize. When subsistence farming is eliminated, we should see a massive increase in productivity as more workers will be available to work more hours.

"Denizmiz": Our Sea

The Turkish military has faced a trial by fire and so far, appears to hold strong even through the flames of conflict in Syria. As we prove our strength on a global stage and take an ever-present role in the Muslim Defense Community as the Muslim world's premier military power, the Turkish Armed Forces must be prepared to go above and beyond the call of duty, as it is their brave sacrifice that enables our great nation to succeed. The Chiefs of Staff will be implementing a series of reforms and introduction of new elements to the Armed Forces to ensure that we are always ready to defend our position as a leader in the Muslim world.
Turkish Land Forces
As the second-largest army in NATO and one of the most powerful armies in the Middle East, the Turkish Land Forces carry with them a reputation for excellence won through victories across the world in Cyprus, in Syria, and many other places. While we have all faith in our elite forces, we recognize that there is always room for improvement, both in equipment and in training. Our defense budget has tended to increase in recent years, and with the improvement of our GICRA credit rating to a B, we are able to spend more on special projects to improve the Land Forces. Chief among these is the National Infantry Rifle Project, which began in 2015 with the goal of replacing our current arsenal of G3 and HK33 assault rifles with the Turkish-made MPT-76, a higher-quality firearm and symbol of Turkish military independence from the West. The Modern National Machine Gun Project, which was completed in 2015, has yielded good results with the introduction of the MKEK/Kalekalıp machine gun. The Otokar Arma APC was announced as the winner of the Next Gen APC project in 2016, and its slow introduction will be rapidly accelerated to provide top-quality assets for our motorized infantry. In conjunction with the Otokar Altay MBT, which is currently seeing its first combat in Syria, we are able to demonstrate the power of the Turkish arms industry to create a formidable mechanized force capable of going toe-to-toe with anyone who would oppose us.
However, a good army is more than just its equipment, it is equally dependent on the strength and resolve of its men. With the advent of the MDC and Turkey's participation in bi-yearly wargames and yearly strategy discussions with military leaders from nations all over the world, including Pakistan, Malaysia, Algeria, Azerbaijan, and others, we have developed the plan for the Turkish Infantry Reformation Project, a five-year plan with an initial budget of $5 billion which aims to greatly improve the training regimen of the Turkish Land Forces and promote better unit cohesion as we introduce more Muslim Corps units and diversify our armed forces. We also plan to increase the size of the Turkish Land Forces, from its current size of 280,000 personnel to 320,000 personnel; we will offer incentives for current reservists to enlist as full-time soldiers to accomplish this.
Turkish Naval Forces
As we have greatly expanded the power of the Turkish Land and Air Forces in recent years, we cannot neglect the importance of our Naval Forces. With our removal from the United States' F-35 fighter program, our work to develop the TCG Anadolu amphibious combat ship as an aircraft carrier has been rendered largely useless; while it will serve as an effective command ship and helicopter carrier, it lacks the prestige that a formal aircraft carrier capable of delivering planes brings to our navy. Since we are already producing our own fifth-generation multirole fighters, which many predict will be more capable than the esteemed Sukhoi Su-57 due to its ability to carry Western armaments and superior stealth capabilities, it only makes sense that a flagship Turkish aircraft carrier be made to deliver these planes to the battlefield. We therefore formally announce the inception of the Sultan-class aircraft carrier program. Operating on an initial budget of $14 billion at an expected unit cost of $5 billion, the Sultan will serve as a symbol of Turkish naval might and allow us to better project our power throughout the Mediterranean. While its specifics are yet to be specified, the Naval Forces have indicated that it will be capable of carrying and launching the TAI TF-1 Stallion via a CATOBAR system and weigh approximately 40,000 tonnes. While we unfortunately cannot guarantee that the ship will be completed by 2030 and estimate a completion date closer to 2032, we will be ready to dedicate more funds as necessary to ensure it is completed as soon as possible. Furthermore, we propose the formation of a consortium to design this carrier between Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Indonesia. The carrier will be built in the Turkish shipyards at Mersin as Turkey expects to be the largest contributor, but we believe that we have much to gain by jointly strengthening our naval capacities as leaders of the Muslim Defense Community.
Furthermore, we will expand our naval capabilities by procuring more vessels for the Turkish Naval Forces, including Bayraktar-class amphibious warfare ships, Tuzla-class patrol boats, and two new Barbaros-class frigates. In centuries past, our predecessors ruled the Mediterranean, and it is time that Turkey asserts her dominance once more over denizmiz: our sea.
Turkish Air Force
The Turkish Air Force has received great priority in recent years due to the anticipation of the TAI TF-1 Stallion program's anticipated release in 2028. A number of nations have agreed to cooperate in the program, such as Malaysia, Pakistan, and Tunisia. The modernization of the Turkish Air Force hinges on the introduction of the Stallion, and we will refrain from further efforts until this is complete to allow us to focus on improving our combat capabilities on land and at sea.

The Islamic Space Agency: The Moon and Star to the Moon and Stars

The Muslim Cooperation Council has done much for our international image, but more importantly, it has done even more to bring the international community of Islam together to serve a common purpose of helping our brothers in need. Continuing with our theme of reaching to greater heights, Turkey would like to propose the formation of the ultimate symbol of Muslim progress in the modern world: the Islamic Space Agency. While most MCC nations are quite lacking in space technology on their own, a combination of our efforts should be able to bring in the funding and expertise needed to create a competent space agency that will represent Muslim unity on our quest to explore the divine heavens. Currently, we plan on inviting only the Senior Members of the Council to cooperate in this project so that we may draft a plan and work out an organizational structure without having to worry about bothering nations with weaker economies. Ultimately, we recognize that we are a privileged nation among our brothers, and that with this privilege comes a duty to lead. In 2018, the Turkish Space Agency was founded but has since made little progress due to a meager budget of only $400 million. We will increase this budget to $1 billion starting in 2025 and seek to combine our efforts with our allies; we will also reach out to Roscosmos to request their assistance in getting this program off the ground and into the stars.

The Straight and Narrow Path: A Roadmap for the Future

With these policies, Turkey has created what we believe to be a beneficial roadmap for the future of our nation, one that guides us toward strength, stability, and international brotherhood. This is the dawn of a new age for Turkey; while many will be surprised by what seems to be a sudden shift in Turkish politics, those who truly understand this country know that this is a movement long in the making. As pan-Islamic thought spreads throughout the nation due to the great work of people such as Minister of Ethnic Affairs Zehra Zümrüt Selçuk, punk-rocker imam Ahmet Muhsin, charity worker and philosopher Erenay Ekren, and more, a new sense of solidarity has developed in Turkey. The identity of Islam has surpassed that of Turkish nationalism as Turks turn their eyes to the outside world. While many confuse Turkey's aggressive turn in foreign policy for neo-Ottoman imperialism, many now believe that pan-Islamic solidarity is to blame for these events. Ultimately, no one can truly predict Turkey's future plans for the Middle East. How will the intervention in Syria proceed with the added involvement of Egypt and Arab states? Does a Turkish occupation of Rojava have an end date? An occupation of Syria? How far will Turkey go to integrate the Muslim Cooperation Council? These are pressing questions faced by the Middle East; they do not have easy answers and the correct answer may not be the most pleasant. Whatever its course of action, Turkey seems convinced that its cause is just and that its methods are righteous.
Now a leader in the Muslim world, only time will tell how President Erdogan and the Republic of Turkey handle this great burden of responsibility. Turkey has the potential to be both ally and adversary, savior and scourge. Let the world pray that in all cases it should be wise enough to always choose the former.
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2020.01.14 23:39 CuteBananaMuffin Atlantis [DOUBLE POST / BIG]

Atlantis [DOUBLE POST / BIG]
Disclaimer : I don't claim to know anything , it's just a post for discussion , ideas ,theories and opinions . The following paragraphs are copy-paste with the intent to discuss the subject and nothing else.
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Part 1 by
David Hatcher Childress
Atlantis Rising Issue 9
from AtlantisRising Website

When it comes to questions regarding the actual physical location of the fabled lost civilization of Atlantis, the answers usually depend on with whom you are speaking. Everyone seems to have a favorite candidate for which a convincing case can be made. Whether in Antarctica or the Aegean, the Bahamas or the North Atlantic, intriguing clues are to be found everywhere, and sorting it all out can be confusing.
In his Lost Cities series, real-life Indiana Jones, David Hatcher Childress has written prolifically about ancient civilizations, and his life-long quest for their remains in some of the most remote and dangerous places of the world. Lately he has become something of a regular on national television with appearances on Fox-TV’s Sighting & Encounters, Discovery, and A&E, as well as the NBC specials Atlantis and The Mysterious Origins of Man. In his latest book, Lost Cities of Atlantis, Ancient Europe & the Mediterranean, Childress’ search for obscure evidence has turned up a vast array of fascinating material previously unavailable from any single source. So we asked him to bring some order to the subject and compile us a Top 10 List of possible locations for Atlantis. He agreed. Of the sites listed below some are covered in his book and some are not.

1. AZORES Plato quoting Egyptian Priests through his uncle Solon says that Atlantis was beyond the Pillars of Hercules fought a war with the ancient Mediterraneans, and sank in 9,400 B.C. Atlantis was a land of great seafarers, many elephants and a large plain with a gigantic harbor city of concentric circles. Because Atlantis was said to be a large island in the true ocean that surrounds the continents, it was thought to be in the mid-Atlantic. Atlantis was said to have colonized much of the world and fought a war with Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. The sinking of Atlantis left only a few scattered islands, it is believed, islands such as the Azores. 2. SAHARA The Sahara Desert, usually the Tassili and Ahaggar Mountains in southern Algeria, Tunisia or both, has been proposed as the actual site for Atlantis. When the French colonized North Africa they soon discovered a lost world existed in southern Algeria and that the ancient harbor of Carthage was an exact miniature of the capital of Atlantis as described by the Egyptian priests, novels such as Atlantide (1923) were popular in France, promoting the idea of Atlantis in the Sahara. The Sahara however, did not vanish beneath the ocean, but rather dried up and became a sandy seabed. Does Atlantis lie beneath the drifting sands and strange stone formations of the Sahara Desert? 3. MALTA Malta has huge ancient structures that are now dated as 9000 years old or older and are said by orthodox archaeologists to be the oldest stone ruins in the world. Malta is now a small rocky island that once had elephants and shows evidence of having been destroyed in a huge cataclysmic wave. Joseph Ellul and others have proposed that Malta was part of a great civilization of the past, possibly Atlantis. Malta was probably connected to other parts of the Mediterranean when a huge wave from the Atlantic filled the Mediterranean, causing the Biblical Flood. Was Malta Atlantis? The island is far too small to have been Atlantis, but it shows that the Mediterranean was a very different place 12,000 years ago. 4. BIMINI With the discovery in 1968 of what appeared to be a huge polygonal stone road in the shallow water off Bimini, Atlantis was thought to have been found in the Caribbean. A lost pyramid underwater staircases, fallen pillars, all seemed sunken ruins indeed. Atlantis could have spread over a large portion of the Atlantic, from the Azores to the Bahamas and possibly even Florida. Recently, Indiana archaeologist Jackson Judge has suggested that Portsmouth, Ohio was the site of Atlantis. 5. SOUTH AMERICA Because of the gigantic ruins in Peru and Bolivia and the evidence that Tiahuanaco was destroyed in a cataclysm. South America has been proposed as the site of Atlantis by number of early writers, including the British colonel Percy Fawcett, who vanished in the jungles of Brazil in 1925 while searching for a lost city of Atlantis. South America does have huge ruins and is across the Atlantic, but it seems to have risen from sea level, rather than sinking into the ocean. 6. ANTARCTICA When Charles Hapgood resurrected the Pin Ri’is map, a map copied from older maps by a Turkish admiral and which showed Antarctica as an ice-free continent, the concept of Atlantis in the frozen polar wasteland was born. Since Atlantis may have been destroyed in a pole shift, Antarctica was probably at a more temperate climate 10,000 years ago, and may hold megalithic ruins such as South America. Antarctica seems a long way away from the Mediterranean with which it fought a war. Also Atlantis supposedly sank beneath the ocean in a day and night. Antarctica rather accumulated ice for thousands of years. Does Atlantis lie beneath the Antarctic ice? 7. CANARYS While no ancient ruins have ever been discovered in the Azores, the mountain tops of the mid-Atlantic ridge, ancient ruins have been discovered in the Canary islands off the coast of Morocco. The native Guanche people of the Canaries had no knowledge of boats when first discovered by Spanish explorers, circular stone ruins have been found on the islands, leading some to propose that the Canaries are a remnant of ancient Atlantis. 8. NORTH SEA The shallow areas of the North Sea off Holland, Germany, England and Scandinavia have been proposed as the site of a sunken civilization that may have been Atlantis. The Oera Linda Book discovered in Holland in the 1700’s spoke of a sunken land off the Frisian islands of Holland. Jugen Spanuth, a German Pastor, took photos of underwater ruins off northern Germany in the early 1950s. Recently, researcher Paul Dunbavin has proposed that the citadel of Atlantis was located underwater between Wales and Ireland, this area being the "Plain of Atlantis" as described by Plato. Major Dutch cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam are 40 feet or more below sea level even as you read this. They may well be the sunken cities of near future. 9. MIDDLE EAST The Middle East and Arabia has some of the largest and most baffling stone ruins in the world. The largest stone blocks in the world are to found at Baalbek in Lebanon. They weigh an amazing 2,000 tons each and are worthy of Atlantean architecture. Similarly, it is said that the Temple Wall in Jerusalem also has a foundation of gigantic stones, similar to Baalbek. Recent authors such as Stan Deyo have suggested that Saudi Arabia, with its strange ruins in the central desserts, is the site of ancient Atlantis. Port cities can be found in the interior of Arabia, and while it is clear that Arabia and the Middle East have many lost civilizations to be discovered, this is obviously not a sunken area at all. The Biblical Flood did sweep over the Middle East at some time in prehistory. Did it destroy Atlantis, or did Atlantis cause the catastrophe? 10. THERA & CRETE According to the tourist literature in Greece, the explosion of the Aegean island of Thera destroyed Crete and at the same time, Atlantis. While Plato is quite explicit in his time frame and location for Atlantis (9,400 B.C. and in the Atlantic), Greek archaeologists seem certain that Atlantis can be found only a few hundred miles from Athens. Thousands of tourists come to Thera every year and drink the local Atlantis wine while they discuss Atlantis. For them, Atlantis will never be found anywhere else.


Part 2 by Arjun Walia January 19, 2016 from Collective-Evolution Website


Illustration
Advanced ancient civilizations are a big topic of interest among researchers, historians, archaeologists, and scientists.
Every single year we are gifted with a mysterious find that has us questioning the origins of the human race and imagining the cultures which roamed the earth before us. We have found much evidence to suggest that there may have been civilizations in existence before us which were intellectually, and even technologically superior.
That being said, this theory is still thought to be quite fantastical; despite all of the evidence which has been brought to light in recent years to support this notion, it is still largely ignored by the mainstream.
If you are interested in looking at some of this evidence, a great place to start is with author Graham Hancock, in his book titled The Magicians of The Gods.

Atlantis

If you start talking about the lost, ancient city of Atlantis, most people will probably think that you're living in 'la la' land.
Many people are unaware that this city has been seriously studied for hundreds of years.
For example, we can see that it was a subject of significant importance for researchers at the Smithsonian Institution, as emphasized by their Annual Report of the Board of Regents of The Smithsonian Institution for the year ending June 30th, 1915.
In the report, author M. Pierre Termeir, a member of the Academy of Sciences and Director of Service of the Geologic Chart of France, gives a lecture regarding the Atlantean civilization.

He makes a compelling case for further study of this lost city:
After a long period of disdainful indifference, observe how in the last few years science is returning to the study of Atlantis.
How many naturalists, geologists, zoologists, or botanists are asking one another today whether Plato has not transmitted to us, with slight amplification, a page from the actual history of mankind.
No affirmation is yet permissible; but it seems more and more evident that a vast region, continental or made up of great islands, has collapsed west of the Pillars of Hercules, otherwise called the Straight of Gibraltar, and that its collapse occurred in the not far distant past.
In any event, the question of Atlantis is placed anew before men of science; and since I do not believe that it can ever be solved without the aid of oceanography, I have thought it natural to discuss it here, in this temple of maritime science, and to call to such a problem, long scorned but now being revived, the attention of oceanographers, as well as the attention of those who, though immersed in the tumult of cities, lend an ear to the distant murmur of the sea.

You can read this full report here, starting on page 219.
In his lecture, M. Termeir goes on to present zoologic, geographic, and geologic data to support the existence of the lost Atlantean civilization. Not only that, archaeological discoveries on the ocean floor have also raised some questions
Not only that, archaeological discoveries on the ocean floor within the past decades have also raised some questions…

Plato's Description of Atlantis

Plato, the ancient Greek philosopher, provides a description of Atlantis in his dialogue Critias), which was never completed.
The following is a summary of his depiction, these are a few of many points I am taking from Manly P. Halls, The Secret Teachings of All Ages
Atlantis was inhabited by 'earth-born' and 'primitive' human beings. One of them was wooed by the god Poseidon, who interbred with the human beings, and they eventually bore five children. This interbreeding between gods and humans is a common theme in many historical texts found throughout the world.The land was divided into concentric zones of land and water. Two zones of land and three zones of water surrounded the central island, which had warm springs of water and cold springs of water.Atlantis became an established country, with a wise government and an industry that sprung them to advanced technological heights - beyond even what we have reached today.Atlantis had limitless resources, wild animals, and precious metals, and was heavily populated.Atlantis was full of large and beautiful palaces, temples, docks, and a network of various bridges and canals that united different sections of the kingdom.White, black and red stones were used in the construction of public buildings. "They circumscribed each of the land zones with a wall, the outer wall being covered with brass, the middle with tin, and the inner, which encompassed the citadel, with orichalc.
The citadel, on the central island, contained the palaces, temples, and other public buildings. In its center, surrounded by a wall of gold, was a sanctuary dedicated to Cleito and Poseidon." Atlantis had a number of gardens, full of hot and cold springs. There were countless temples, public baths, and exercise facilities for both man and animal.The part of Atlantis,"facing the sea was described as lofty and precipitous, but about the central city was a plain sheltered by mountains renowned for their size, number, and beauty.
The plain yielded two crops each year, in the winter being watered by rains and in the summer by immense irrigation canals, which were also used for transportation.
The plain was divided into sections and in time of war each section supplied its quota of fighting men and chariots." Atlantis was massive, ruled by multiple kings who all had control over their land. Their relationships with the other kings were governed by an original code of ethics that was engraved by the first ten kings. "The chief laws of the Atlantean kings were that they should not take up arms against each other and that they should come to the assistance of any of their number who was attacked."

The Downfall of Atlantis

These are the essential points Plato makes about Atlantis.
He described it as a great and powerful empire, almost magical, and said that this was the same empire which attacked the Hellenic states.
He attributes the power and glory they tasted after this venture to their eventual demise, writing that the love for these ego-driven desires that soon developed among Atlantean kings "lured" them from "the pathway of wisdom and virtue."
"Filled with false ambition, the rulers of Atlantis determined to conquer the gods into his holy habitation and addressed them. Here Plato's narrative comes to an abrupt end, for the Critias was never finished."
Plato also tackles the subject of Atlantis in his Timaeus), writing of a story told by Solon - who himself is said to have heard the story in Egypt, passed on to him by a priest via hieroglyphic inscriptions in a temple in Sais - in which a violent cataclysm sank the continent.
Thus, the Island of Atlantis completely disappeared. (source)
"A technologically sophisticated but morally bankrupt evil empire - Atlantis - attempts world domination by force. he only thing standing it its way is a relatively small group of spiritually pure, morally principled and incorruptible people - the ancient Athenians.
Overcoming overwhelming odds…the Athenians are able to defeat their far more powerful adversary simply through the force of their spirit. Sound familiar?
Plato's Atlantean dialogues are essentially an ancient greek version of 'Star Wars'." Ken Feder, professor of archaeology, "Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology."

The Egyptian connection is also interesting to bring up here because Crantor, another ancient Greek philosopher, asserted that the Egyptian priests declared the story of Atlantis to be written upon pillars which were still preserved circa 300 B.C.
Manly P Hall has noted that, before this cataclysm, a portion of the population left and did not succumb to the egoistic tendencies which apparently led to downfall of Atlantis.
Was the philosophic, religious, and scientific knowledge of Atlantis passed on? There are many similarities between the reported teachings of Atlantis and those of other cultures, such as the Mayas of Central America.

According to Manly P. Hall, from the Atlanteans,
"the world received not only the heritage of arts and crafts, philosophies, and sciences, ethics and religions, but also the heritage of hate, strife, and perversion.
The Atlanteans instigated the first war; and it has been said that all subsequent wars were fought in a fruitless effort to justify the first one and right the wrong which it caused."
"Before Atlantis sank, its spiritually illuminated Initiates, who realized that their land was doomed because it had departed from the Path of Light, withdrew from the ill fated continent.
Carrying with them the sacred and secret doctrine, these Atlanteans established themselves in Egypt, where they became its first divine rulers.
Nearly all the great cosmologic myths forming the foundation of the various sacred books of the world are based upon the Atlantean Mystery Rituals." (source)

One of the most interesting parts of this story, to me, is the fact that this place is often remembered as a place of glory, light, and abundance, which it was.

But they were not immune to the dangers of avarice, either, as H.P. Blavatsky makes clear:
"Under the evil insinuations of their demon, Thevatat, the Atlantis race became a nation of wicked magicians.
In consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family.
The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis, which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood." (source - Part II)

A very interesting Video/narrative by Manly P. Hall it's worth listening.

Thank you for reading :)
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2019.11.07 18:32 WhiteFrankBlack Morocco to Mauritania (trip report)

This route gets talked about a lot but I've never seen a play-by-play description of it. I thought this might be helpful to anyone thinking about it.
This is the second time I've hitched to Mauritania; the first time 4 years ago was very messy and frustrating. I had to cheat a bit with buses, and spent two full days standing by the road with no success.
This time my luck was much better. It was fantastic, actually. Don't expect this level of success if you attempt this.
Day 1: I began in Tiznit in southern Morocco where I'd been staying with friends for 3 weeks. I didn't plan on hitching to Guelmim, but I got a late start as I had to pick up a lot of camping gear I'd stashed at different people's houses. Then I ran down to the market to buy road snacks; dates, peanuts, olives and a stack of m'semmen pancakes. It was about 1pm when I was all ready, so when I arrived at the staging area for southbound taxis, the only option was to either wait for 6 more travelers to come along to share the taxi, or pay for all 7 seats myself. No thank you. Luckily it was also a good place to stand to hitch a lift, and I only had to wait about 15 minutes before a nice family stopped for me.
The man driving spoke French and we had a nice chat during the 1.5 hour drive. I entertained them by speaking a few words of the local Berber dialect; that was the last time I'd be able to use this party trick, as we were leaving the mountains of the Souss region where Berber is spoken, and entering the Sahara where most people speak Hassaniya, a beautiful dialect of Arabic.
Unfortunately they dropped me off on the wrong side of Guelmim so I had to walk across the whole city in blistering heat, and it was about 4pm when I stuck my thumb out. I'd had very bad luck in this exact spot the last time. Not this time! Before an hour had gone by, a truck hauling vegetables stopped. I think this guy expected payment, but I made him very happy by gifting him a compass instead. I'm not sure why but Africans love compasses; I always take a whole bag of cheap ones to distribute as gifts.
Tan-Tan is a cool city; it's the first large settlement where Hassaniya culture dominates. The Hassaniya language fills your ears -- did I mention it's beautiful? Women walk around regally in uniformly patterned robes; this iconic style is found everywhere between here and Timbuktou. Welcome to the Sahara.
Note on the "cigarette scam" I used to think this was a joke but apparently people do fall for it. Hustlers in Guelmin and Tan-Tan try to sell tourists huge amounts of cigarettes, promising they can be sold at a profit further south. The one time they tried to hustle me they said "People in Tan-Tan are nomads; they don't use money. All trade is done with tobacco." Hard to believe people fall for this but the rumor persists. I know it's bullshit because I once shared a hotel room with a cigarette smuggler who made his business smuggling cigs FROM Mauritania TO Morocco.
It was getting dark so I quickly photocopied some fiches (documents with my passport and visa info) to hand out to police checkpoints, and paid 5 dirham for a taxi to the coast so I could camp near the beach.
There are plenty of affordable hotels in Tan-Tan's beach town, and I can't necessarily recommend camping there, as I definitely didn't feel comfortable hiking out of the town into the dark sand dunes, as it was so obvious what I was up to. Also stray dogs abound and I'm terrified of rabies. These dogs cussed me out all night and sometimes got uncomfortably close. I'm ashamed to say it but I responded in the human language all African dogs understand best -- that of throwing stones.
Day 2: I woke at dawn and got an early start. I had to walk down the highway a bit as a lot of local people were trying to hitchhike. After about an hour, two men and a teenage boy in an old VW Golf stopped for me. I forgot their names, but they were very talkative, though they spoke very bad French. They were Sahrawis, the native people of the Western Sahara, who see the Moroccan presence in their homeland as an illegal occupation. They were aware of how scenic this stretch of highway is, and damn proud of it, ordering me to take photos whenever we passed something interesting. After about 2 hours driving through beautiful desert coastline we turned east in the middle of fucking nowhere, driving across rocky sand until we reached a tiny cinderblock hut with a bunch of fishing equipment piled around it. "This is my family home!" the driver exclaimed proudly. Some relative of his lived there, the father of the teenager in the car. They said they could take me to Laayoune later, but it was siesta time, and I knew that meant we'd be here for many hours.
There was a nomad tent set up behind the shack; we reclined on cushions in true Sahrawi style. I was offered the traditional bowl of sweet milk, a requirement when there are guests in the house. Someone brought me a guitar, but as it had Saharan tuning I could only pick at it. I napped a bit, and when I woke we had lunch of stewed chicken. The man who lived there was a fisherman; he showed me eye-popping photos of his method of rappelling down the sea cliffs to throw nets or lines into the ocean. The size of the fish he caught was incredible. In mid-afternoon the two guys and I piled back into the car.
Hours later they surprised me by turning off the highway to the town of Tarifa, made mildly famous by Antoine de St Exupery. "We're just visiting another family home," they said. This one was the complete opposite of the shack: a lavish townhome in the town center. Only it was completely unfurnished. We found half a dozen guys sat on the floor of the living room eating grilled chicken and passing around a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label. I can't describe how alien this scene felt to me after spending a month in Morocco.
They were thrilled to have company and immediately put a leg of chicken in my one hand and a shot of whisky in the other. A weird combination at 4pm in the Sahara but okay. A couple of the guys here had worked as waiters in Russia where they learned a bit of English. That explained where they picked up the habit of drinking, and the money to pay for nice whisky. They all ranted against the Moroccan regime as they ate.
They begged me to spend the night and get drunk with them, and someone might be going to Laayoune the next day they said. But a bird in the hand is worth six drunk Arabs' future travel plans, so I said farewell and got back in the Golf to finish this portion of the journey. In Laayoune we passed a tearful farewell; I begged my friends to take some gas money but they refused.
Whoever thinks the Western Sahara is a dangerous war zone is an idiot. Laayoune is a beautiful, modern city. To cement its control of the region, the Moroccan government pumps massive amounts of money into Laayoune and Dakhla. As a result, they might be the nicest of modern "Moroccan" cities.
As I definitely couldn't afford a Laayoune hotel, getting to the beach was the best option. I started hitching immediately as it was getting dark. My phone rang; it was the friend I'd left in Tiznit just over a day before. "How's it going?" he asked. "Fantastic!" I shouted above the traffic. It was absolutely surreal the difference in scenery, culture, climate from what I was immersed in less than two days before. I had traveled 350 miles in that time.
I took another taxi to the beach town, which looks exactly like a Californian neighborhood of beach bungalows. I had a bath in the sea just as the sun set, then snuck off into open space. That night it was puppies who raided my camp and cussed me out. Adorable.
Day 3: I woke at dawn having slept about 2 hours total thanks to the puppies. Unfortunately it was too early to take a taxi back to the main highway, 5 miles away. There was hardly any traffic so I hitched as I walked. I walked about 4 of the 5 miles before someone stopped (isn't that how it always works). He was a nice guy and put me in a good mood.
He dropped me at a busy gas station on the main drag. I had dates and UHT milk for breakfast while I thumbed. Two cool looking dudes walked out of the gas station cafe and gave me an amused look. We started a comical back-and-forth conversation. In the end I simply asked if they could drive me to Dakhla. This is a LONG way which I think is why they didn't offer, but they were happy to take me.
Kamal and Driss were their names; they were Moroccans from the Mediterranean coast. After a bizarre hitchhiking experience almost a decade ago, I had actually passed through their little redneck town, which they thought was hilarious. They were tourists just like me, driving a rental car. Driss smoked weed literally non-stop for the whole journey. He said he'd already paid $50 in bribes to police on that journey; I had no reason to doubt him. As I was trying to burn through all my Moroccan cell data, I offered to be the bluetooth DJ. I played Tinariwen and Tamikrest which is the perfect soundtrack for that landscape.
It's worth noting that the stretch between Laayoune and Dakhla is absolutely boring with nothing to see. If you plan on traveling any stretch by night, do it for this one.
The coast is beautiful though; we stopped a few times to drive up to the precarious sea cliffs and take millions of photos. Kamal had been a fisherman in this region some years back; we stopped at his old shantytown and his friends gave us a bunch of fish. I was having fun at this point.
I said this stretch is boring but the Dakhla peninsula itself is heart-breakingly beautiful. I've never seen a stretch of coastline like it. It's one of the kite-surfing capitals of the world, so it's quite lively with westerners in camper vans and bespoke surf hotels. Dakhla itself is a beautiful city.
This is where I fucked up. I should have had the guys drop me on the highway; if I couldn't get a ride before dark I could have camped in the desert. But I'd decided to cheat and get an overnight bus to the Mauritanian border. Alas, upon reaching the transport office I found the website I'd been looking at was out of date, and the overnight service was no longer running! I had to fork out way too much money for a horrible hotel.
A shared taxi operator promised me that there'd be plenty of people traveling to the frontier if I came to the taxi stand at 6 the next morning... god willing.
Day 4: I went to the taxi stand at the appointed hour...it was another 2 hours before I saw another human being. And another hour before I saw the taxi guy who shuffled in, rubbing his eyes. "They'll be here by lunchtime... god willing. I was fuming mad. 12 hours wasted. That was mostly my fault but it felt better to blame it on the taxi guy.
I half-ran to the police checkpoint at the northern edge of the city. I quickly got a lift but he only took me a couple miles to the surf hotel where he worked. He dropped me in one of the most beautiful coastal vistas on planet earth, which soothed my temper somewhat. After 30 minutes waiting I got another ride which took me back onto the main highway and another hour or so. I was left in the middle of nowhere, a place called Imlili, which means 'white dunes' in a dead Berber language which was spoken here before the Hassaniya Arabs came. This might be the most boring region on earth, but it's been inhabited for many millenia. The ancient Berber placenames tell what each place meant to the inhabitants. Cave paintings depicting hippos, crocodiles, and giraffes can still be found in this region, from when the Sahara was wet savanna covered in lakes and rivers.
Traffic south of Dakhla is very sparse and is mostly trucks. I had to wear my sand goggles because sand was whipping across the asphalt and stinging my exposed skin. After a couple hours a big truck stopped. I had to climb a ladder to get into the cab. The driver was a dark-skinned Berber form Algeria. There was another hitchhiker napping in the bed in the rear of the cab. The driver asked us for $5 each, a great deal considering the ridiculous distance we covered. He brought out a bag of grapes to share with us. We cruised down the highway at the edge of the world blasting funky Berber folk music and spitting grape seeds out of the windows.
Morocco only maintains the Saharan highway to impress millionaire businessmen driving to Dakhla, which means that this stretch of the road is not maintained at all. Sand dunes drifting on the road reduce it to one lane in many places, which is terrifying. It's crumbling like a cookie on both edges, and crumbles more every time you have to veer off to avoid oncoming traffic.
The trucker left us in Bir Gandouz, a mere 60 miles from the border. As usual, we handed our documents over at the police checkpoint. Normally police in north Africa are extremely helpful if you're hitchhiking. It's their ass on the line if you get into trouble after all. I want to say they're all nice guys, because that's been my experience, but the fact is if you have brown skin, they're all corrupt scumbags. For some reason one of the cops at this particular checkpoint decided to give me shit. He was furious I had risked my life by riding with a trucker. "No you can't hitchhike here, sit by that tree and we'll find a ride for you." They held onto my passport for a weirdly long time looking through my passport, trying to find something wrong with it. Finally the irritable one came storming up to me like he was gonna arrest me on the spot. "You've been in Morocco a month?!" "Yeah," I said, "My visa is good for 90 days..." Wordlessly he handed over my passport. I think he just wanted to flex his authority, and was mad that he couldn't find an way to do so. In my opinion it's this kind of petty corruption and arrogance which is holding Africa back far more than corruption at the higher levels. But that was the only time an African cop has been anything but polite to me.
The cops were taking their time finding me a ride. The attendants at a nearby gas station offered me a coffee, and whenever someone pulled up for fuel they'd try to convince them to pick me up. The two guys in one truck flat-out refused to take me in their cab...until the policeman marched over. "Take this Nasrani (Nazarene, i.e. Christian) to the frontier," he told them. That wasn't a request. Grudgingly, they budged over to make space.
They were my last ride on this trip. They were funny guys and we had fun. This last stretch of desert is really beautiful. When they asked me if I had any whisky in my bag I made the mistake of telling the truth. With much cajolery and wheedling they begged me for it. It was with tears in my eyes that I handed over the bottle which was meant to tide me over through alcohol-free Mauritania, but that got me out of paying them.
The Mauritanian border closes around 6pm (I think) so it's likely you'll end up sleeping there. There are two service stations both with hotels. I asked to be dropped off at the one further from the border. I killed time at the cafe there until it was dark enough to sneak off the road to stealth camp. NB if you try this don't go too far off the road as there still may be mines in the area. There are two rocky outcrops opposite the gas station where there are lots of places to hide.
Day 5: As I didn't have a tent, I woke up at dawn with an inch of sand over me and everything I owned. I had to wait a couple hours for the border to open. I wasn't first in line so it took about half an hour to get the exit stamp from the Moroccans. I'd intended to walk across the belt of no-man's-land but a taxi driver convinced me to go with him; I ended up paying him $22 to take me to Nouadhibou, which is a lot, but he helped me with the visa on arrival process which was another rat's nest of official corruption and ineptitude. In the end it cost me only time, while all brown people had to pay bribes. But if you happen to pass through Rabat prior to making this journey, I recommend getting the visa there.
That's the end of this chapter. Total number of lifts: 9, total money spent: $6. I did hitchhike a bit in Mauritania but only as necessary due to lack of transport. I hope this story is helpful or inspiring.
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2019.10.18 21:18 NeolithicTriscuit Deadskin Diary

Deadskin
May 16
This is my last night in the city. I don't plan on missing it.
I'm writing this journal because I was told by a professional it might be a "positive coping mechanism." When I asked what I should write about, she said "feelings, fears, what you had for breakfast." I don't plan on missing her either, but I paid too much for that advice not to take it.
I first got my hair cut when I was one. It was so long the barber refused to believe I was a boy. They had to hold me down. I screamed, cried, and wound up with a chunk out of my left ear. We still have a picture of me in that hospital cradle with thick gauze layered around my head. The accident happened halfway through the haircut, so only half my head was shorn. Mom had to cut the other half herself while I slept under the stupor of a children's antihistamine.
They carried on like that, cutting my hair in my sleep, until I turned eight and it was resolved I would sit in the barber's chair whether I had to be strapped down. I screamed again, had to be held back from kicking. No lollipop or stuffed animal could distract me. I have hated every moment of every haircut I've gotten since then. I hate the tickle of that spray bottle they use. I hate the way barbers tilt your head like they own it. But most of all I hate the snip and crunch of the blades, the acute sensation of my head growing lighter as pieces of it are surgically removed. No matter how much I learn about human physiology, I will never shake the feeling that my hair knows it is being cut. That it is sending fear impulses telling my brain to defend it the same way it would defend any live part of my body.
Sometimes I dream my hair is made of half-dead nerves, dried-out but still pliable. They recoil at the touch of scissors, send unimaginable currents of pain streaming down through my skull and into my spine. I don't know why I always wake up yelling for it to stop, since it's always me who's doing the cutting.
I guess it comes from that afternoon when I knew I'd become a doctor. When I was nine, my family took me to a medical museum where I saw a human nervous system on display. The only item of its kind, it was removed from a cadaver by two medical students in 1925, a painstaking process that took over 1,500 hours. It looked like a dried-out jellyfish with a million black wispy tentacles and a human spine. The idea that I contained such a monster, that it was not only inhabiting my body but an integral part of it, gave me a nosebleed. I knew then that my life would be an exercise in helping others forget about the details beneath their skin.
And isn't that what doctors are really for? To handle the details of others' bodies so they can go on thinking they are whole people instead of a jumbled mess of bone and tissue constantly oozing and disintegrating? We pay doctors for the same reason we pay auto mechanics; we want to move through life without worrying about the logistics of our motion.
May 18
Now I'm officially out of the city but I don't feel any less tired of being surrounded by people. Snotty, wrinkly people. I don't suppose the people on this island will be any better, but at least they'll be interesting.
I'm writing on the ferry so it's difficult to write straight. Two full hours to Peaudorag Island. This isn't even as big as the ferry I used to take to Provincetown. That one had seats, an overpriced bar, two or three bathrooms. This is basically a fishing boat with a roof. Everything smells like it's been pickling in a vat of brine with fish. Especially the people.
I'm trying to focus on the horizon like they tell you to but this boat rocks back and forth so much that I still keep getting sick. At least I got most of it over the railing. These boots are rubber anyway.
My nails are getting long. I'll have to cut them when I get set up on the island. I hope they have liquor, because I can't cut them sober. I need to be just drunk enough that I can't feel it anymore, but not so far gone that I'll hurt myself.
At least I'd know if I did. Some people aren't so lucky, to hear the stories that brought me here.
Can't write more. Too sick.
May 19
The ferry doesn't even come all the way to shore. It's not like there's no place to dock, but it is pretty rocky in the waters around the island. The whole thing is surrounded by cliffs, grey cliffs with stripes of red where their earthly metals have oxidized. We were met a quarter mile out by a fleet of motorized skiffs. There were six other passengers on the ferry. All of them seemed to know the people picking them up. They all got off before I was called over by the man with the only empty boat. I realized then that this wasn't a service provided by the ferry company. He’d been sent for me. The ferry wouldn't even go to the island; people had to arrange their own pickup. I guess it makes sense when only locals are going out there and everyone has a boat or knows someone who does.
The man sent to pick me up was a real sea dog, straight out of one of those fishing shows. He was wearing a T-shirt faded beyond recognition. I could tell it had once advertised a sports team, but I couldn’t make out which team or even the sport. When he first opened his mouth, I thought he was speaking another language. Did no one tell me they spoke some incomprehensible dialect out here? After politely listening and nodding for a while, I realized his speech had the cadence of English. It just sounded like he was talking through a mouth full of peanut butter. I thought he might be just a little slow, but then I got a glimpse inside his mouth. He had less than half a tongue.
I thought they'd be harder to find, but the islanders sent one out to meet me. I guess someone tipped them off that I was coming with an ulterior motive. Usually they bite off their tongues when they're babies, sometimes their lips too. This fellow had faint scarring around his mouth that suggested he'd been a biter. His leathery arms were marked up and down with scars and scabs. He was missing both his pinkie fingers. Being a fisherman is dangerous enough, imagine doing it with your body's warning system permanently shut off.
We landed at a dock leading to a beach below a cliff lined with peeling houses. There is one paved road. It has no name. Along the road there is a volunteer fire station, a boat mechanic shop, and a store called Lucky's that sells everything. Gas, food, medicine, knives. My chauffeur brought me there, where I was greeted by Lucky himself. He is an old man with a big gut and a long white ponytail. He covers his bald spot with a fisherman's cap. He's got one leg and limps with a crude prosthetic. I think he's one of them too, though it seems like everyone here is missing something. I guess rural places like this remind us what life was like before doctors or safety regulations. I saw my chauffeur, who Lucky calls Numbnuts, smoking a cigarette while he gassed up his outboard motor. People here seem less worried about making it to death in one piece.
I can understand Lucky's speech with a little effort. He has his whole tongue, but he's definitely got a few chunks taken out of his lip. I bought some groceries, mostly canned food, some chips, coffee, a bottle of cheap vodka. Numbnuts drove me to the cabin the Rural Health Foundation built to house doctors. It dates to the ‘80s, and you can tell from the decor and mold. The walls are covered in kitschy seaside memorabilia, like a beach house. I can't imagine vacationing here. Even in May it's so misty I can barely see the ocean from my window, and my cabin is right by the cliff. I can walk to town in ten minutes, but Lucky said to call Numbnuts whenever I need a lift and he'll drive me wherever.
Before it got dark, I managed to take a walk through the meager woods that lie beyond town. I'd seen another beach on Google Maps but when I went out there it was fenced off with NO TRESPASSING signs. The fence was high and opaque, so I couldn't even see if there really was a beach on the other side.
Something else I noticed- there's no church. I walked the length of the road, saw most of the buildings, and not one of them is a church. During my summers in med school I worked in a lot of rural clinics. I've lived in Algeria, Alaska, and remote West Virginia, in towns with far fewer people than Peaudorag. They always have a church, or a mosque, or something. How can you live this far on the edge without someone telling you there's a greater plan every week?
There's not even a cemetery.
June 2
Well, I guess Dr. Mindy would be disappointed, since I haven't been keeping up this journal, but I've been busy. There wasn't much settling in before people found out I was here and started asking Numbnuts to drive me around so I could tend to their ailments. The clinic space I was given turned out to be a garage out back of Lucky's full of rusty boat fragments. After yelling at my RHF logistician on the phone for a while, I decided there was nothing wrong with running a house-call practice. How better to earn their trust?
The details of what I've been doing aren't interesting. I'm basically just treating cuts and sprains and the occasional stomach bug. Some of the children have pinkeye, some of the fishermen have carpal tunnel, most of the elders are broken in every way imaginable. What's interesting is what they tell me while I'm treating them, and after, when they invite me to the dining room for pickled fish and coffee. Pickled fish is the main source of protein and nutrients around here. I haven't seen anything resembling produce in two weeks.
They've been more forthcoming than I thought, most of them at least. Lucky introduced me to his son Levi, who also has the condition. Neither of them has any idea what pain feels like and Lucky can't even tell the difference between hot and cold. He said he once scalded his face boiling a lobster because he didn't know to pull back when opening the pot. He says every man in his family has had it. I met Levi's wife Grace, who says she can take more pain than most people but still knows what it feels like. I hope for her sake that she's telling the truth, because she's about nine months pregnant and I don't have the resources to administer an epidural out here. I guess I'm a real country doctor now, on call for late night deliveries and chainsaw mishaps.
There are at least two other pregnant women on the island right now, so I'm making a note to figure out how high their pain tolerances are, so I know if I need to have more drugs sent out. Everything comes on the ferry, including all of Lucky's stock. He told me he just sells first aid kits but can order other medical supplies if I need. I get the impression Lucky and a lot of the other old timers don't see much use in doctors. Still, he's been perfectly nice to me. I think he likes having fresh blood on the island. After I met Levi and checked on Grace's unborn baby, Lucky invited me out to the porch and treated me to some of his homemade moonshine. The liquor made him talkative, so I asked a few more questions. I got some more info about his experiences living as what the islanders call “a deadskin." He told me some gory anecdotes about uncles and grandfathers who lived and died without ever knowing physical pain.
I asked him about the beach on the other side of the island. He told me it's some sort of federally protected migratory bird area. No one is allowed there.
Eventually I got up the courage to ask him about the church thing. He said people on the island are "too old-fashioned for that." I took that to mean that they believe spiritual education still has to happen in the home, which makes me feel even more like I'm practicing in some quaint pastoral village.
I couldn't figure out how to ask about the missing cemetery, though.
June 12
I've given up on holding myself to the standard of daily writing, so I'm just going to update this journal every time I feel like there's something worth sharing. I feel a lot better to be away from the city, but I'm still having that hair dream. Even Lucky’s hooch can’t save me from that demon. Oh well.
I've completed the first significant milestone of my research. I managed to get a medical questionnaire distributed to all the households on the island, so I now have a breakdown of just how pervasive congenital analgesia is on Peaudorag. The results don't sound fascinating unless you're me or someone like me, but I'm including them here anyway because the only people I can imagine reading this journal are me in the future and, less likely, some medical biographer posthumously documenting my groundbreaking work.
Peaudorag Island
Population: 892 Residents with some form of congenital analgesia: 214 (24%) Residents with total or near-total analgesia: 45 (5%) Residents with total analgesia and at least some insensitivity to temperature: 9 (1%)
Those numbers are crazy interesting. The only other case study I have to compare Peaudorag to is Vittangi, a village in northern Sweden with a similar population. Relatively speaking, Peaudorag has about the same percentage of people with absolutely no sense of pain as Vittangi has with any incidence of the condition, roughly 5% in both cases. That means that almost five times as many people have the condition here than in Vittangi. Of course, that word "in some form" runs the gamut from people like Grace who might take an extra second to recoil from touching a hot pan to people like Lucky who probably didn't notice he lost his leg until he looked down. Still, it's a huge number comparatively.
The question isn't what's causing the congenital analgesia; the question is what's magnifying it to this degree. My working theory is that there's some environmental influence. The air is pretty clean, and the water seems fine, but people eat a lot of fish out here. The way the American and Canadian governments treat this corner of the Atlantic as an industrial waste bin, who knows what's been accumulating and biomagnifying in their Sunday dinner? Some of my colleagues back at RHF think it's due to the shallow gene pool, but I got the impression from Lucky that people always make sure they're not too closely related before marrying. He took a bit of offense to the question too. Probably tired of everyone from the city thinking he's an inbred hick.
I'm hoping to further interview those I've turned up with the condition, but I'm worried they'll start to think I'm here more to study them than to help. We'll see.
Something else happened that I can't explain. I was behind Grace and Levi in line at Lucky’s and I saw that Levi's right pinkie finger was tied off, almost like a tourniquet. It wasn't injured, but it was turning a dangerous shade of purple. They walked out before I could ask, but I told Lucky he should talk to his son about it. A few more days and that finger could die. He said he'd talk to Levi, but I can't stop thinking about it. Even if he couldn't feel it, he must have been able to see it. Besides, it was knotted tightly and deliberately with what looked like fishing wire. Nothing about it squared with my understanding of reality, but I suppose that's true of a lot of my time on this island. They're an odd folk, but I'm growing to feel at home here.
June 15
These people are fucked.
June 16
Okay. I've recovered from yesterday. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn't write down what happened. I'm not queasy about blood, otherwise how would I have gotten into this line of work, but I am queasy about self-mutilation. (see: those fucking hair dreams I keep having no matter how far I get away from barbers.)
Yesterday, which was a Tuesday, not that it matters much out here, Grace called me and asked if I could come over, said it was an emergency. She said she'd already sent Numbnuts over and could I please come soon. I grabbed my bag and waited outside. Numbnuts picked me up on his ATV and we drove down the road to Grace and Levi's, which is right next to the trailer where Lucky lives. Lucky was at the store, but Levi was home and yelling when I showed up. I could hear him through the thin walls of their house. When he saw I was there, he quieted down and they came out to meet me together.
At first it looked like a domestic violence scene from a cop show, right down to the piles of junk in the yard. Grace was crying. Levi was scowling. But I didn't see any marks on her, no black eyes or bruises. When I asked if everything was okay, Levi said yes. Grace said no. I froze in that moment because I realized I didn't know who to call even if she was being abused. The cops? There were no police on this island, just a volunteer fire department, and Levi was a member. Who else? The Coast Guard? Did they handle domestic disputes? Could I call police from the mainland and have them take the ferry?
I had no plan to deal with the situation, which is why it was a relief when I saw the bloody cloth around Levi's hand. I’ve seen this situation a million times in rural clinics. Rural man hurts himself doing something manly. Brushes it off, maybe slaps on a bandage. Refuses to go to the doctor despite his wife's concerns. He ain't no pussy. Then it festers, gets infected, won't stop bleeding, whatever. His wife insists he should go to the doctor, but he can't give in now. I've seen men put themselves on the brink of death rather than let their wife be right. I know what to do in these scenarios. I told Grace to go inside and rest for the baby's sake, then pulled Levi aside and gave him the speech I always do. Once their women aren't watching, most men give in a little easier. He showed me the hand. Like I suspected, it was the pinkie, but it wasn't putrefying. It was gone. A blunt stump that smelled infected.
One of the things they teach you about emergencies is that you should only ever ask how the accident happened, not why. In the moment, when seconds could matter, there's no time for why. That's a matter for later, for people to work out on their own, or in front of a judge. Your job is triage and treatment. Still, I had to swallow the why while I cleaned and cauterized the stump. I realized I would have to remove some of the skin, so I gave him one of my strongest painkillers. He swallowed it dutifully, not even asking what it was for. Only after it was down his throat did I realize how stupid I'd been. I'd wasted painkillers, the good stuff, which was rare and had to be specially ordered, on someone who didn’t feel pain. At least they sedated him so I could work in peace. Once it was bandaged up safely, he was nearly passed out, so I left him to rest on the couch.
Before I left, I went to check on Grace, who was sitting outside with Numbnuts sharing a bag of chips. He was listening to her complain about Levi and his stubbornness, responding with noises that sounded sympathetic. I told her Levi was going to be fine. I almost left it at that, let Numbnuts drive me off without asking questions. But I had to ask how it happened.
Grace got quiet when I asked, and looked at Numbnuts apprehensively, but he nodded, in a gesture that said, you can tell him.
Apparently, there's a big fishing trip coming up. Half the island is going out deep sea fishing tomorrow, for almost a month. It's an important time of year for them. Grace said it's a tradition for one of the island's fisherman, usually a deadskin, to tie off a pinkie with fishing line the week before the trip and then cut it off when it dies. It's a blessing of some kind. A pagan ritual. No one knows where it comes from. After she told me, Numbnuts held up his hands and I understood why he was missing both pinkies.
I've calmed down since yesterday. My job isn't to stop people from hurting themselves, it's to fix them up when they do. Maybe they think it works, and that's all that matters. I doubt any of the men out here are circumcised, but I was, and in the name of a religion that means nothing to me now. Who's to say that's any less barbaric? At least they're doing it voluntarily. Still, I told Grace to ask if they'd let me do it next time, so at least it's a surgical removal and no more infections happen. She said Lucky would never allow that. It has to be done by the deadskin himself. I asked if they'd at least let me supervise and clean the wound. She said she'd get back to me.
Numbnuts and I had to help Grace back into the house and onto her bed. She's going to pop any day now. I suspect that will be the next exciting thing to happen to me. For my own sake, I hope it is.
June 18
I was right. The baby showed up late at night, in the middle of a storm. Grace went into labor not two hours after Levi left for his fishing trip. I couldn't fathom leaving knowing you'd have a son or daughter when you came back, but no one on the island seemed to judge him for it. Lucky showed up, as did Grace's parents Isaac and Evelyn. It was a long labor, but she didn't seem to be in truly unbearable pain until the last hour, when the storm picked up and the rain started drumming on the roof. The power went out the second I pulled it out of her, so we had to cut the umbilical cord by candlelight. That's why it took us an extra minute to notice the caul.
It's a rare occurrence, maybe one in 80,000, but you're briefed on how to deal with it when they teach you how to deliver babies. Usually it's harmless, just a residual piece of the amniotic sac stuck to the baby's face and shoulders. The islanders got very excited when they saw it. I've heard it's considered good luck in a lot of cultures. Whatever pagan rituals these people are still following must believe that, because they were hooting and hollering over it like an Christian who found the Virgin Mary in his French toast. They insisted it be removed in one piece, though I warned them there was an elevated risk of pulling off some of the baby's skin. Somehow, this didn't bother them. I pulled it off slowly, but it still took a few chunks out of the baby's face. I couldn't tell if it was bleeding or not, because it was covered in blood and the other fluids of birth. It was crying less than normal babies and didn't cry any more when I ripped off some of its newly grown flesh. Grace thinks it might be a deadskin, especially because it's a boy. I explained to her that we don't think analgesia is passed down on the Y chromosome, but she was too blissed out and exhausted to listen.
I managed to get the weight and other important details while they fawned over the baby. Then I spent the night on hold with RHF to get the paperwork for a birth certificate. Eventually mother and baby fell asleep and we gave them their space. Isaac and Evelyn slept on the foldout couch and Lucky invited me outside for a celebratory drink. Sure enough, the moonshine got him talking again and he told me that the caul will mean a lot to the islanders when they hear about it. He said that islanders believe deadskins born with a caul can hear the voices of the ancestors.
On the topic of ancestors, I asked about why there wasn't a cemetery. Lucky looked at me a long minute and admitted that he'd lied before because he didn't think I could be trusted, but the way I treated Levi's finger and the caul made him feel like I wouldn’t judge their ways. He told me that, though the beach is an important stopover for migratory birds, that's not why the fence is up there. The fence is up there to protect the ancestors, who live down on the beach. When someone on Peaudorag Island dies, they are cut up into pieces and thrown down onto the beach, where the scavenger birds pick at them and their bones weather in the elements. Maybe I was loopy from adrenalin and moonshine, but I told him I saw nothing wrong with that. I even mentioned that it sounded a lot like a sky burial, which is a sacred ceremony still practiced by Buddhists in places like Tibet and Mongolia. He liked that. It must have made him feel like his people weren’t so odd after all.
I still believe what I said. After helping pay for my grandmother's funeral, I don't blame these fisherfolk for wanting to let their loved ones enter the food chain rather than just rot underground. We're all food for something in the end, so better it be endangered birds than worms and weevils. Still, I'm worried about the way the elders looked at that baby. There was something in their eyes, a rabid, unyielding faith that I've only seen in the loyal flocks who line the audiences of televangelists. I didn’t trust it.
June 20
Everyone on the island has been visiting the baby. They've been singing old songs on the lawn and frying haddock over greasy charcoal grills. Some of them seem to think the sunny weather is because of the baby. I got enough time alone to check on Grace's convalescence and perform some routine tests. I had to do the normal screenings for sight, hearing, et cetera, but I could tell there was only one sense she was worried about. A few pinpricks and a lighter confirmed what we suspected: the baby can't feel. No pain, no heat, no cold. Nothing. Just like his grandfather. If I thought they were excited before, I didn't know what to do after.
I've heard of this phenomenon in deaf communities, where it can be a letdown if a hearing child is born to deaf parents. Some celebrate passing the disability to their children, because they've turned it from a defect to a mark of identity. I guess it's that way here. Plus, the whole ancestor worship thing, which I've decided not to ask more about. My focus now is watching over this baby, documenting its development while I ensure it doesn't end up like Numbnuts. I've already given Grace some literature for parents of children with analgesia, and she's promised to watch carefully once the baby's nails harden and its teeth show up.
July 3
Levi and the others returned from their fishing trip with a serious bounty. Most of it they brought to the mainland and sold, but there's no shortage of tuna back on the island. I've been given more filets than I know what to do with.
The baby is coming along fine. They named him Ezra. Levi's reaction when he learned he had a son was beautiful. I've never seen such a gruff, curt individual transform into a starry-eyed dad so quickly. Ezra cried when Levi picked him up, which was odd because he doesn't cry much. I'm sure they will bond eventually, as long as Levi doesn't leave again.
August 28
It's been almost two months, and I've been busy trying to carry on my study of the islanders while keeping track of baby Ezra's every move. I've been accomplishing more of the latter. I feel like I'm learning more watching a baby deadskin than I could from a whole island full of grown ones.
They've calmed down a bit about the whole caul thing, which is giving Grace and the baby a well-deserved break from visits. I'm still not sure I trust Isaac and Evelyn, though. I'm even beginning to worry about Lucky. They keep watching the baby, especially when Levi is around. I heard them talking about how Ezra always cries when Levi picks him up. It's true that he's been a little slow to welcome his father, but I don't think it means anything. Babies cry about everything. Whether or not he can feel pain, he can still feel gas. I don’t like the way the elders talk about it, like it's some shameful secret. It's the closest I've come to feeling like they're being hamstrung by their own superstitions.
August 29
There's a storm brewing, so I've been exiled. Lucky came to my door early this morning and said he's worried my cabin might not make it through the storm because of how close it is to the cliff. He said these could be the highest winds in twenty years and that any other structure built that close to the cliff has been reinforced. When I asked why I couldn't stay with another islander family for a day or two, he said that he was afraid it would be hard on their hospitality to ask for something like that. I've slept on more than a few couches on late-night calls since I've been here, so that seemed odd, but I have to trust Lucky. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
I'm writing this from a dingy little motel on the mainland, where Numbnuts brought me in his fishing boat. My shoes are still soaked through because the first wave of the storm hit us on the way from the island. We were still within sight of the island when the first raindrops hit, but too far to turn back with the tide churning the way it did. As I took my last glance of the island before hunkering down belowdecks, I saw something on the island. I can't say what it was through all the mist and rain, but it looked like a crowd of people gathered on the edge of the cliffs, right near the bird beach. It could have been a flock of birds, but they weren’t moving like birds. They were moving like an angry mob.
Numbnuts turned the boat around as soon as my feet were on the dock, even though it was still spitting rain. He seemed to be in a big rush to get back.
It feels like they didn't want me there for a reason. Maybe they were afraid of me getting hurt out there, afraid they'd lose their relationship with RHF and have to go scrambling for another foundation to send doctors out like sacrificial lambs to be fattened with fish and liquor. I couldn't say. I just know I'm having a harder time rationalizing these people's behavior than I used to.
September 3
It's been raining for as long as I can remember. I have barely left my room.
You'd think being stuck in a motel for four straight days of stormy weather would make you write more, but I haven't been able to do anything but watch TV and stare at the walls. I've been living off the vending machine in the motel lobby, when I can manage to eat. Maybe it's the cumulative influence of all that pickled fish, or the fact that I got myself through that first night of storm with a flask of Lucky's moonshine. Maybe I'm just suffering a multi-day hangover. Regardless, I feel like shit.
Other fun news: the ferry, along with almost every other boat in the harbor, got destroyed in the storm, so I'm just waiting for someone to come pick me up. I can see the harbor from my window. I spend a few hours every day looking for a boat from the island, but there's been nothing yet. None of my calls to Lucky's ancient cell phone have gone through, and I don't have any of the other islanders' numbers saved. So here I wait, stomach gurgling and head aching, hoping I haven't been forgotten.
September 4
Today I found a book of local history next to the bible in the dresser. It has no section on Peaudorag, but the island is mentioned in the gazetteer, which has place name origins for every settlement on this part of the coast. I copied it below:
Peaudorag Island: Though pronounced by locals as "poe-door-rag," this isolated island likely derives its name from French settlers. It is believed to come from the phrase "peau de l'orage" or "skin of the storm," possibly an old sailing term for the short bursts of rain that sometimes come before large thunderstorms. 19th century sources write the name as "Peaudeorage," which changed to Peaudorag on later maps.
Skin of the storm. I've heard that expression before. From Lucky. He said some of the old-timers called people like him stormskins instead of deadskins. It used to be thought bad luck to bring a deadskin out in a boat, because they were thought to attract storms. Lucky said some still objected to Levi and other deadskins coming along, but that he thought it was a load of superstitious bullshit. It's good to know that even people who claim to be channeling the voices of their ancestors have the ability to cast off superstition. Still, now I want to ask if anyone knows whether the island's name came from the condition or the other way around. Hopefully someone will show up soon to bring me back.
September 6
I'm back on the island. I'm writing this because I want there to be a record of what I saw here in case something happens to me. I don't know if I'm safe. I get the impression they don't know either. They're waiting on their little oracle to burp up an answer.
My cabin was fine. I'm there now. The doors are locked.
Numbnuts came to get me yesterday because the storm seemed to have cleared. Everyone thought so, but everyone was wrong. It hit us hard, in the deepest part of the channel. It was all at once. One wave and we were in the water. I didn't see Numbnuts swim out from under the capsized boat. I felt around for him, but it was too cold and dark to find anything. I haven't seen him since I got back on the island, so he must have drowned.
I only survived because I found a life vest floating next to the flipped boat. I swam all night in the direction of what I thought was shore, but eventually I lost consciousness. Somehow, I got far enough in that the tides pulled me the rest of the way to the island. Only I didn't land at the dock, or at the bottom of any of the cliffs. I landed on the bone beach.
At first it didn't look any different. Just a beach with a few stray birds picking at the sand. It was only when I rolled over and saw the unmistakable eye socket of a skull sticking out of the sand that I really grasped it. It's one thing to hear about a beach covered in bones but being there is something I'll never forget. Especially not after what I saw next.
There's a cave on that beach, nothing more than a little crack in the rocks, but big enough that you could get inside for shelter. I was walking towards it, trying not to step on the bones, when I saw that someone was standing right at the entrance. I waved to the person ,but they didn't wave back. I was nervous to approach, since I knew I wasn't supposed to be there, but I walked towards the figure anyway. I was ten feet away before I realized it wasn't a person.
I have to burrow into the most detached medical part of my brain to describe what I saw, because it's the only way I can remember without vomiting again.
It was like a scarecrow whose torso was made of a pickle barrel. That was the only part of it that wasn't flesh. The arms were human, severed roughly at the shoulder. The legs were human, too, cut off at the thighs and crudely attached to the barrel to mimic a standing position. These appendages weren't just rotting; they were dark, the color of a blackberry. At first, I thought they had just putrefied while hanging there in the cave, but then I saw the thick marks of tightly bound rope on the shoulders and thighs and noted the level of decomposition. They had been tied off, allowed to die, and then severed. Just like Levi’s pinkie. From the way the legs were cut, angled and ragged, it looked like the legs had been cut off by their owner.
But who could stand that kind of pain without passing out? I wondered for a moment, before remembering the people I was dealing with.
Then I looked at the head. It's funny how when you study physiology long enough you can imagine what someone's face would look like without the skin. Once you can parse facial features down to bone structure and musculature, there's really nothing to it. I'd never mentally removed the skin from Levi's face, but I still knew in a moment it was his head stuck there on top of the barrel. I knew before I even noticed the caul draped over his skull, that rubbery membrane serving as poor surrogate for his lost face.
I vomited more than my stomach could contain and found myself dry heaving on the floor next to the horrible figure. It was then I realized the stringy black and brown stuff on the floor wasn't seaweed. It was hair. A blanket of human hair, so thick you could barely see the ground beneath. Even after the horror I'd witnessed, nothing made me want to walk back into the ocean than the sight of all that hair spread across the ground.
It was only a few hours before Lucky came by in his motorboat and gave me a lift back to the island. His ponytail was gone, along with his beard. He spoke more frankly than I'd ever seen him do while sober. I guess he figured if I'd seen the beach there was nothing left to hide.
Lucky explained that they'd done what they'd done because it was willed by the ancestors, who were using baby Ezra to communicate which of the islanders should be sacrificed. Then he told me I shouldn't worry about Levi, because he had given himself willingly to the ceremony and felt no pain. He said it wasn't Levi's fault he'd been chosen, just like it wasn't my fault I'd washed up on the beach. Both were just things that happened. It was for the ancestors, to decide what happened to me, just like Levi.
And that's how he left me. Alone in the cabin, awaiting the judgment of a baby.
September 9
I still haven't left. I suspect they know I'm here, because where else would I be? I can’t even hide. These people know every corner and inlet of their island. Grace came by yesterday with the baby. She was wearing a hat, but I could tell she was shaved bald, just like Lucky. She knocked and waited for ten minutes. I pretended not to be home. She knew I was there. Even the baby knew I was there.
I'm sure the ferry service will resume soon. It usually comes around the middle of the month, so I just need to last another week without letting that baby come near me.
I'm running low on moonshine, and I'm out of vodka. I've been taking painkillers to help me sleep, to help me forget. I just need to come out the other side of this week intact, and the ferry will be by to take me away from here forever. I've tried calling RHF but phone service to the mainland hasn't worked since the storm. The second I get back there, I'm pulling whatever strings I have to and getting Peaudorag taken out of RHF's service area. All service areas for all doctors, if I can. I might even try to get deliveries cancelled, though I don't know how I'd do that.
This island is a wart on the sole of civilization. It needs to be cut off, scraped raw and burned with acid. They won't feel it anyway, these freaks I once wished to learn from. They've had feelings bred out of them.
I've stopped having the dream about my hair. It's a new dream now. In this dream I'm sitting on a tarp out behind the tall fence by the cliff above the bird beach. The villagers are surrounding me, Lucky and Evelyn and Isaac and Grace and baby Ezra and all the rest of them. I even see Numbnuts and Levi in the crowd, as alive as anyone else. They're all hairless, and so am I. They're chanting something, but I can't understand it. Their tongues are all cleft and shredded.
In the dream I've got a hangnail, a long nasty one on my thumb. Instead of cutting it off, I start pulling at it, pulling in the wrong direction. The skin peels off my thumb in a spiral. I keep pulling, and the skin unravels off each of the rest of my fingers like a bandage. Then I'm peeling it off my hand, my arm, my shoulder, everything coming off in one irregular piece, and the crowd starts chanting louder. I still don't know what they're saying, but as I tear the skin from my thighs, I see baby Ezra pointing at me.
Unlike the hair dream, I can't feel pain in this dream. I don't feel pain when I pull off my eyelids. I don't feel pain when I peel my face from my skull. I don't even feel the cold wind on the exposed meat of my body when I stand at the edge of the cliff, staring down at the beach of bones.
They have taken away my pain, and that's what scares me the most.
submitted by NeolithicTriscuit to nosleep [link] [comments]


2019.10.18 18:37 NeolithicTriscuit Deadskin

May 16
This is my last night in the city. I don't plan on missing it.
I'm writing this journal because I was told by a professional it might be a "positive coping mechanism." When I asked what I should write about, she said "feelings, fears, what you had for breakfast." I don't plan on missing her either, but I paid too much for that advice not to take it.
I first got my hair cut when I was one. It was so long the barber refused to believe I was a boy. They had to hold me down. I screamed, cried, and wound up with a chunk out of my left ear. We still have a picture of me in that hospital cradle with thick gauze layered around my head. The accident happened halfway through the haircut, so only half my head was shorn. Mom had to cut the other half herself while I slept under the stupor of a children's antihistamine.
They carried on like that, cutting my hair in my sleep, until I turned eight and it was resolved I would sit in the barber's chair whether I had to be strapped down. I screamed again, had to be held back from kicking. No lollipop or stuffed animal could distract me. I have hated every moment of every haircut I've gotten since then. I hate the tickle of that spray bottle they use. I hate the way barbers tilt your head like they own it. But most of all I hate the snip and crunch of the blades, the acute sensation of my head growing lighter as pieces of it are surgically removed. No matter how much I learn about human physiology, I will never shake the feeling that my hair knows it is being cut. That it is sending fear impulses telling my brain to defend it the same way it would defend any live part of my body.
Sometimes I dream my hair is made of half-dead nerves, dried-out but still pliable. They recoil at the touch of scissors, send unimaginable currents of pain streaming down through my skull and into my spine. I don't know why I always wake up yelling for it to stop, since it's always me who's doing the cutting.
I guess it comes from that afternoon when I knew I'd become a doctor. When I was nine, my family took me to a medical museum where I saw a human nervous system on display. The only item of its kind, it was removed from a cadaver by two medical students in 1925, a painstaking process that took over 1,500 hours. It looked like a dried-out jellyfish with a million black wispy tentacles and a human spine. The idea that I contained such a monster, that it was not only inhabiting my body but an integral part of it, gave me a nosebleed. I knew then that my life would be an exercise in helping others forget about the details beneath their skin.
And isn't that what doctors are really for? To handle the details of others' bodies so they can go on thinking they are whole people instead of a jumbled mess of bone and tissue constantly oozing and disintegrating? We pay doctors for the same reason we pay auto mechanics; we want to move through life without worrying about the logistics of our motion.
May 18
Now I'm officially out of the city but I don't feel any less tired of being surrounded by people. Snotty, wrinkly people. I don't suppose the people on this island will be any better, but at least they'll be interesting.
I'm writing on the ferry so it's difficult to write straight. Two full hours to Peaudorag Island. This isn't even as big as the ferry I used to take to Provincetown. That one had seats, an overpriced bar, two or three bathrooms. This is basically a fishing boat with a roof. Everything smells like it's been pickling in a vat of brine with fish. Especially the people.
I'm trying to focus on the horizon like they tell you to but this boat rocks back and forth so much that I still keep getting sick. At least I got most of it over the railing. These boots are rubber anyway.
My nails are getting long. I'll have to cut them when I get set up on the island. I hope they have liquor, because I can't cut them sober. I need to be just drunk enough that I can't feel it anymore, but not so far gone that I'll hurt myself.
At least I'd know if I did. Some people aren't so lucky, to hear the stories that brought me here.
Can't write more. Too sick.
May 19
The ferry doesn't even come all the way to shore. It's not like there's no place to dock, but it is pretty rocky in the waters around the island. The whole thing is surrounded by cliffs, grey cliffs with stripes of red where their earthly metals have oxidized. We were met a quarter mile out by a fleet of motorized skiffs. There were six other passengers on the ferry. All of them seemed to know the people picking them up. They all got off before I was called over by the man with the only empty boat. I realized then that this wasn't a service provided by the ferry company. He’d been sent for me. The ferry wouldn't even go to the island; people had to arrange their own pickup. I guess it makes sense when only locals are going out there and everyone has a boat or knows someone who does.
The man sent to pick me up was a real sea dog, straight out of one of those fishing shows. He was wearing a T-shirt faded beyond recognition. I could tell it had once advertised a sports team, but I couldn’t make out which team or even the sport. When he first opened his mouth, I thought he was speaking another language. Did no one tell me they spoke some incomprehensible dialect out here? After politely listening and nodding for a while, I realized his speech had the cadence of English. It just sounded like he was talking through a mouth full of peanut butter. I thought he might be just a little slow, but then I got a glimpse inside his mouth. He had less than half a tongue.
I thought they'd be harder to find, but the islanders sent one out to meet me. I guess someone tipped them off that I was coming with an ulterior motive. Usually they bite off their tongues when they're babies, sometimes their lips too. This fellow had faint scarring around his mouth that suggested he'd been a biter. His leathery arms were marked up and down with scars and scabs. He was missing both his pinkie fingers. Being a fisherman is dangerous enough, imagine doing it with your body's warning system permanently shut off.
We landed at a dock leading to a beach below a cliff lined with peeling houses. There is one paved road. It has no name. Along the road there is a volunteer fire station, a boat mechanic shop, and a store called Lucky's that sells everything. Gas, food, medicine, knives. My chauffeur brought me there, where I was greeted by Lucky himself. He is an old man with a big gut and a long white ponytail. He covers his bald spot with a fisherman's cap. He's got one leg and limps with a crude prosthetic. I think he's one of them too, though it seems like everyone here is missing something. I guess rural places like this remind us what life was like before doctors or safety regulations. I saw my chauffeur, who Lucky calls Numbnuts, smoking a cigarette while he gassed up his outboard motor. People here seem less worried about making it to death in one piece.
I can understand Lucky's speech with a little effort. He has his whole tongue, but he's definitely got a few chunks taken out of his lip. I bought some groceries, mostly canned food, some chips, coffee, a bottle of cheap vodka. Numbnuts drove me to the cabin the Rural Health Foundation built to house doctors. It dates to the ‘80s, and you can tell from the decor and mold. The walls are covered in kitschy seaside memorabilia, like a beach house. I can't imagine vacationing here. Even in May it's so misty I can barely see the ocean from my window, and my cabin is right by the cliff. I can walk to town in ten minutes, but Lucky said to call Numbnuts whenever I need a lift and he'll drive me wherever.
Before it got dark, I managed to take a walk through the meager woods that lie beyond town. I'd seen another beach on Google Maps but when I went out there it was fenced off with NO TRESPASSING signs. The fence was high and opaque, so I couldn't even see if there really was a beach on the other side.
Something else I noticed- there's no church. I walked the length of the road, saw most of the buildings, and not one of them is a church. During my summers in med school I worked in a lot of rural clinics. I've lived in Algeria, Alaska, and remote West Virginia, in towns with far fewer people than Peaudorag. They always have a church, or a mosque, or something. How can you live this far on the edge without someone telling you there's a greater plan every week?
There's not even a cemetery.
June 2
Well, I guess Dr. Mindy would be disappointed, since I haven't been keeping up this journal, but I've been busy. There wasn't much settling in before people found out I was here and started asking Numbnuts to drive me around so I could tend to their ailments. The clinic space I was given turned out to be a garage out back of Lucky's full of rusty boat fragments. After yelling at my RHF logistician on the phone for a while, I decided there was nothing wrong with running a house-call practice. How better to earn their trust?
The details of what I've been doing aren't interesting. I'm basically just treating cuts and sprains and the occasional stomach bug. Some of the children have pinkeye, some of the fishermen have carpal tunnel, most of the elders are broken in every way imaginable. What's interesting is what they tell me while I'm treating them, and after, when they invite me to the dining room for pickled fish and coffee. Pickled fish is the main source of protein and nutrients around here. I haven't seen anything resembling produce in two weeks.
They've been more forthcoming than I thought, most of them at least. Lucky introduced me to his son Levi, who also has the condition. Neither of them has any idea what pain feels like and Lucky can't even tell the difference between hot and cold. He said he once scalded his face boiling a lobster because he didn't know to pull back when opening the pot. He says every man in his family has had it. I met Levi's wife Grace, who says she can take more pain than most people but still knows what it feels like. I hope for her sake that she's telling the truth, because she's about nine months pregnant and I don't have the resources to administer an epidural out here. I guess I'm a real country doctor now, on call for late night deliveries and chainsaw mishaps.
There are at least two other pregnant women on the island right now, so I'm making a note to figure out how high their pain tolerances are, so I know if I need to have more drugs sent out. Everything comes on the ferry, including all of Lucky's stock. He told me he just sells first aid kits but can order other medical supplies if I need. I get the impression Lucky and a lot of the other old timers don't see much use in doctors. Still, he's been perfectly nice to me. I think he likes having fresh blood on the island. After I met Levi and checked on Grace's unborn baby, Lucky invited me out to the porch and treated me to some of his homemade moonshine. The liquor made him talkative, so I asked a few more questions. I got some more info about his experiences living as what the islanders call “a deadskin." He told me some gory anecdotes about uncles and grandfathers who lived and died without ever knowing physical pain.
I asked him about the beach on the other side of the island. He told me it's some sort of federally protected migratory bird area. No one is allowed there.
Eventually I got up the courage to ask him about the church thing. He said people on the island are "too old-fashioned for that." I took that to mean that they believe spiritual education still has to happen in the home, which makes me feel even more like I'm practicing in some quaint pastoral village.
I couldn't figure out how to ask about the missing cemetery, though.
June 12
I've given up on holding myself to the standard of daily writing, so I'm just going to update this journal every time I feel like there's something worth sharing. I feel a lot better to be away from the city, but I'm still having that hair dream. Even Lucky’s hooch can’t save me from that demon. Oh well.
I've completed the first significant milestone of my research. I managed to get a medical questionnaire distributed to all the households on the island, so I now have a breakdown of just how pervasive congenital analgesia is on Peaudorag. The results don't sound fascinating unless you're me or someone like me, but I'm including them here anyway because the only people I can imagine reading this journal are me in the future and, less likely, some medical biographer posthumously documenting my groundbreaking work.
Peaudorag Island
Population: 892 Residents with some form of congenital analgesia: 214 (24%) Residents with total or near-total analgesia: 45 (5%) Residents with total analgesia and at least some insensitivity to temperature: 9 (1%)
Those numbers are crazy interesting. The only other case study I have to compare Peaudorag to is Vittangi, a village in northern Sweden with a similar population. Relatively speaking, Peaudorag has about the same percentage of people with absolutely no sense of pain as Vittangi has with any incidence of the condition, roughly 5% in both cases. That means that almost five times as many people have the condition here than in Vittangi. Of course, that word "in some form" runs the gamut from people like Grace who might take an extra second to recoil from touching a hot pan to people like Lucky who probably didn't notice he lost his leg until he looked down. Still, it's a huge number comparatively.
The question isn't what's causing the congenital analgesia; the question is what's magnifying it to this degree. My working theory is that there's some environmental influence. The air is pretty clean, and the water seems fine, but people eat a lot of fish out here. The way the American and Canadian governments treat this corner of the Atlantic as an industrial waste bin, who knows what's been accumulating and biomagnifying in their Sunday dinner? Some of my colleagues back at RHF think it's due to the shallow gene pool, but I got the impression from Lucky that people always make sure they're not too closely related before marrying. He took a bit of offense to the question too. Probably tired of everyone from the city thinking he's an inbred hick.
I'm hoping to further interview those I've turned up with the condition, but I'm worried they'll start to think I'm here more to study them than to help. We'll see.
Something else happened that I can't explain. I was behind Grace and Levi in line at Lucky’s and I saw that Levi's right pinkie finger was tied off, almost like a tourniquet. It wasn't injured, but it was turning a dangerous shade of purple. They walked out before I could ask, but I told Lucky he should talk to his son about it. A few more days and that finger could die. He said he'd talk to Levi, but I can't stop thinking about it. Even if he couldn't feel it, he must have been able to see it. Besides, it was knotted tightly and deliberately with what looked like fishing wire. Nothing about it squared with my understanding of reality, but I suppose that's true of a lot of my time on this island. They're an odd folk, but I'm growing to feel at home here.
June 15
These people are fucked.
June 16
Okay. I've recovered from yesterday. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn't write down what happened. I'm not queasy about blood, otherwise how would I have gotten into this line of work, but I am queasy about self-mutilation. (see: those fucking hair dreams I keep having no matter how far I get away from barbers.)
Yesterday, which was a Tuesday, not that it matters much out here, Grace called me and asked if I could come over, said it was an emergency. She said she'd already sent Numbnuts over and could I please come soon. I grabbed my bag and waited outside. Numbnuts picked me up on his ATV and we drove down the road to Grace and Levi's, which is right next to the trailer where Lucky lives. Lucky was at the store, but Levi was home and yelling when I showed up. I could hear him through the thin walls of their house. When he saw I was there, he quieted down and they came out to meet me together.
At first it looked like a domestic violence scene from a cop show, right down to the piles of junk in the yard. Grace was crying. Levi was scowling. But I didn't see any marks on her, no black eyes or bruises. When I asked if everything was okay, Levi said yes. Grace said no. I froze in that moment because I realized I didn't know who to call even if she was being abused. The cops? There were no police on this island, just a volunteer fire department, and Levi was a member. Who else? The Coast Guard? Did they handle domestic disputes? Could I call police from the mainland and have them take the ferry?
I had no plan to deal with the situation, which is why it was a relief when I saw the bloody cloth around Levi's hand. I’ve seen this situation a million times in rural clinics. Rural man hurts himself doing something manly. Brushes it off, maybe slaps on a bandage. Refuses to go to the doctor despite his wife's concerns. He ain't no pussy. Then it festers, gets infected, won't stop bleeding, whatever. His wife insists he should go to the doctor, but he can't give in now. I've seen men put themselves on the brink of death rather than let their wife be right. I know what to do in these scenarios. I told Grace to go inside and rest for the baby's sake, then pulled Levi aside and gave him the speech I always do. Once their women aren't watching, most men give in a little easier. He showed me the hand. Like I suspected, it was the pinkie, but it wasn't putrefying. It was gone. A blunt stump that smelled infected.
One of the things they teach you about emergencies is that you should only ever ask how the accident happened, not why. In the moment, when seconds could matter, there's no time for why. That's a matter for later, for people to work out on their own, or in front of a judge. Your job is triage and treatment. Still, I had to swallow the why while I cleaned and cauterized the stump. I realized I would have to remove some of the skin, so I gave him one of my strongest painkillers. He swallowed it dutifully, not even asking what it was for. Only after it was down his throat did I realize how stupid I'd been. I'd wasted painkillers, the good stuff, which was rare and had to be specially ordered, on someone who didn’t feel pain. At least they sedated him so I could work in peace. Once it was bandaged up safely, he was nearly passed out, so I left him to rest on the couch.
Before I left, I went to check on Grace, who was sitting outside with Numbnuts sharing a bag of chips. He was listening to her complain about Levi and his stubbornness, responding with noises that sounded sympathetic. I told her Levi was going to be fine. I almost left it at that, let Numbnuts drive me off without asking questions. But I had to ask how it happened.
Grace got quiet when I asked, and looked at Numbnuts apprehensively, but he nodded, in a gesture that said, you can tell him.
Apparently, there's a big fishing trip coming up. Half the island is going out deep sea fishing tomorrow, for almost a month. It's an important time of year for them. Grace said it's a tradition for one of the island's fisherman, usually a deadskin, to tie off a pinkie with fishing line the week before the trip and then cut it off when it dies. It's a blessing of some kind. A pagan ritual. No one knows where it comes from. After she told me, Numbnuts held up his hands and I understood why he was missing both pinkies.
I've calmed down since yesterday. My job isn't to stop people from hurting themselves, it's to fix them up when they do. Maybe they think it works, and that's all that matters. I doubt any of the men out here are circumcised, but I was, and in the name of a religion that means nothing to me now. Who's to say that's any less barbaric? At least they're doing it voluntarily. Still, I told Grace to ask if they'd let me do it next time, so at least it's a surgical removal and no more infections happen. She said Lucky would never allow that. It has to be done by the deadskin himself. I asked if they'd at least let me supervise and clean the wound. She said she'd get back to me.
Numbnuts and I had to help Grace back into the house and onto her bed. She's going to pop any day now. I suspect that will be the next exciting thing to happen to me. For my own sake, I hope it is.
June 18
I was right. The baby showed up late at night, in the middle of a storm. Grace went into labor not two hours after Levi left for his fishing trip. I couldn't fathom leaving knowing you'd have a son or daughter when you came back, but no one on the island seemed to judge him for it. Lucky showed up, as did Grace's parents Isaac and Evelyn. It was a long labor, but she didn't seem to be in truly unbearable pain until the last hour, when the storm picked up and the rain started drumming on the roof. The power went out the second I pulled it out of her, so we had to cut the umbilical cord by candlelight. That's why it took us an extra minute to notice the caul.
It's a rare occurrence, maybe one in 80,000, but you're briefed on how to deal with it when they teach you how to deliver babies. Usually it's harmless, just a residual piece of the amniotic sac stuck to the baby's face and shoulders. The islanders got very excited when they saw it. I've heard it's considered good luck in a lot of cultures. Whatever pagan rituals these people are still following must believe that, because they were hooting and hollering over it like an Christian who found the Virgin Mary in his French toast. They insisted it be removed in one piece, though I warned them there was an elevated risk of pulling off some of the baby's skin. Somehow, this didn't bother them. I pulled it off slowly, but it still took a few chunks out of the baby's face. I couldn't tell if it was bleeding or not, because it was covered in blood and the other fluids of birth. It was crying less than normal babies and didn't cry any more when I ripped off some of its newly grown flesh. Grace thinks it might be a deadskin, especially because it's a boy. I explained to her that we don't think analgesia is passed down on the Y chromosome, but she was too blissed out and exhausted to listen.
I managed to get the weight and other important details while they fawned over the baby. Then I spent the night on hold with RHF to get the paperwork for a birth certificate. Eventually mother and baby fell asleep and we gave them their space. Isaac and Evelyn slept on the foldout couch and Lucky invited me outside for a celebratory drink. Sure enough, the moonshine got him talking again and he told me that the caul will mean a lot to the islanders when they hear about it. He said that islanders believe deadskins born with a caul can hear the voices of the ancestors.
On the topic of ancestors, I asked about why there wasn't a cemetery. Lucky looked at me a long minute and admitted that he'd lied before because he didn't think I could be trusted, but the way I treated Levi's finger and the caul made him feel like I wouldn’t judge their ways. He told me that, though the beach is an important stopover for migratory birds, that's not why the fence is up there. The fence is up there to protect the ancestors, who live down on the beach. When someone on Peaudorag Island dies, they are cut up into pieces and thrown down onto the beach, where the scavenger birds pick at them and their bones weather in the elements. Maybe I was loopy from adrenalin and moonshine, but I told him I saw nothing wrong with that. I even mentioned that it sounded a lot like a sky burial, which is a sacred ceremony still practiced by Buddhists in places like Tibet and Mongolia. He liked that. It must have made him feel like his people weren’t so odd after all.
I still believe what I said. After helping pay for my grandmother's funeral, I don't blame these fisherfolk for wanting to let their loved ones enter the food chain rather than just rot underground. We're all food for something in the end, so better it be endangered birds than worms and weevils. Still, I'm worried about the way the elders looked at that baby. There was something in their eyes, a rabid, unyielding faith that I've only seen in the loyal flocks who line the audiences of televangelists. I didn’t trust it.
June 20
Everyone on the island has been visiting the baby. They've been singing old songs on the lawn and frying haddock over greasy charcoal grills. Some of them seem to think the sunny weather is because of the baby. I got enough time alone to check on Grace's convalescence and perform some routine tests. I had to do the normal screenings for sight, hearing, et cetera, but I could tell there was only one sense she was worried about. A few pinpricks and a lighter confirmed what we suspected: the baby can't feel. No pain, no heat, no cold. Nothing. Just like his grandfather. If I thought they were excited before, I didn't know what to do after.
I've heard of this phenomenon in deaf communities, where it can be a letdown if a hearing child is born to deaf parents. Some celebrate passing the disability to their children, because they've turned it from a defect to a mark of identity. I guess it's that way here. Plus, the whole ancestor worship thing, which I've decided not to ask more about. My focus now is watching over this baby, documenting its development while I ensure it doesn't end up like Numbnuts. I've already given Grace some literature for parents of children with analgesia, and she's promised to watch carefully once the baby's nails harden and its teeth show up.
July 3
Levi and the others returned from their fishing trip with a serious bounty. Most of it they brought to the mainland and sold, but there's no shortage of tuna back on the island. I've been given more filets than I know what to do with.
The baby is coming along fine. They named him Ezra. Levi's reaction when he learned he had a son was beautiful. I've never seen such a gruff, curt individual transform into a starry-eyed dad so quickly. Ezra cried when Levi picked him up, which was odd because he doesn't cry much. I'm sure they will bond eventually, as long as Levi doesn't leave again.
August 28
It's been almost two months, and I've been busy trying to carry on my study of the islanders while keeping track of baby Ezra's every move. I've been accomplishing more of the latter. I feel like I'm learning more watching a baby deadskin than I could from a whole island full of grown ones.
They've calmed down a bit about the whole caul thing, which is giving Grace and the baby a well-deserved break from visits. I'm still not sure I trust Isaac and Evelyn, though. I'm even beginning to worry about Lucky. They keep watching the baby, especially when Levi is around. I heard them talking about how Ezra always cries when Levi picks him up. It's true that he's been a little slow to welcome his father, but I don't think it means anything. Babies cry about everything. Whether or not he can feel pain, he can still feel gas. I don’t like the way the elders talk about it, like it's some shameful secret. It's the closest I've come to feeling like they're being hamstrung by their own superstitions.
August 29
There's a storm brewing, so I've been exiled. Lucky came to my door early this morning and said he's worried my cabin might not make it through the storm because of how close it is to the cliff. He said these could be the highest winds in twenty years and that any other structure built that close to the cliff has been reinforced. When I asked why I couldn't stay with another islander family for a day or two, he said that he was afraid it would be hard on their hospitality to ask for something like that. I've slept on more than a few couches on late-night calls since I've been here, so that seemed odd, but I have to trust Lucky. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
I'm writing this from a dingy little motel on the mainland, where Numbnuts brought me in his fishing boat. My shoes are still soaked through because the first wave of the storm hit us on the way from the island. We were still within sight of the island when the first raindrops hit, but too far to turn back with the tide churning the way it did. As I took my last glance of the island before hunkering down belowdecks, I saw something on the island. I can't say what it was through all the mist and rain, but it looked like a crowd of people gathered on the edge of the cliffs, right near the bird beach. It could have been a flock of birds, but they weren’t moving like birds. They were moving like an angry mob.
Numbnuts turned the boat around as soon as my feet were on the dock, even though it was still spitting rain. He seemed to be in a big rush to get back.
It feels like they didn't want me there for a reason. Maybe they were afraid of me getting hurt out there, afraid they'd lose their relationship with RHF and have to go scrambling for another foundation to send doctors out like sacrificial lambs to be fattened with fish and liquor. I couldn't say. I just know I'm having a harder time rationalizing these people's behavior than I used to.
September 3
It's been raining for as long as I can remember. I have barely left my room.
You'd think being stuck in a motel for four straight days of stormy weather would make you write more, but I haven't been able to do anything but watch TV and stare at the walls. I've been living off the vending machine in the motel lobby, when I can manage to eat. Maybe it's the cumulative influence of all that pickled fish, or the fact that I got myself through that first night of storm with a flask of Lucky's moonshine. Maybe I'm just suffering a multi-day hangover. Regardless, I feel like shit.
Other fun news: the ferry, along with almost every other boat in the harbor, got destroyed in the storm, so I'm just waiting for someone to come pick me up. I can see the harbor from my window. I spend a few hours every day looking for a boat from the island, but there's been nothing yet. None of my calls to Lucky's ancient cell phone have gone through, and I don't have any of the other islanders' numbers saved. So here I wait, stomach gurgling and head aching, hoping I haven't been forgotten.
September 4
Today I found a book of local history next to the bible in the dresser. It has no section on Peaudorag, but the island is mentioned in the gazetteer, which has place name origins for every settlement on this part of the coast. I copied it below:
Peaudorag Island: Though pronounced by locals as "poe-door-rag," this isolated island likely derives its name from French settlers. It is believed to come from the phrase "peau de l'orage" or "skin of the storm," possibly an old sailing term for the short bursts of rain that sometimes come before large thunderstorms. 19th century sources write the name as "Peaudeorage," which changed to Peaudorag on later maps.
Skin of the storm. I've heard that expression before. From Lucky. He said some of the old-timers called people like him stormskins instead of deadskins. It used to be thought bad luck to bring a deadskin out in a boat, because they were thought to attract storms. Lucky said some still objected to Levi and other deadskins coming along, but that he thought it was a load of superstitious bullshit. It's good to know that even people who claim to be channeling the voices of their ancestors have the ability to cast off superstition. Still, now I want to ask if anyone knows whether the island's name came from the condition or the other way around. Hopefully someone will show up soon to bring me back.
September 6
I'm back on the island. I'm writing this because I want there to be a record of what I saw here in case something happens to me. I don't know if I'm safe. I get the impression they don't know either. They're waiting on their little oracle to burp up an answer.
My cabin was fine. I'm there now. The doors are locked.
Numbnuts came to get me yesterday because the storm seemed to have cleared. Everyone thought so, but everyone was wrong. It hit us hard, in the deepest part of the channel. It was all at once. One wave and we were in the water. I didn't see Numbnuts swim out from under the capsized boat. I felt around for him, but it was too cold and dark to find anything. I haven't seen him since I got back on the island, so he must have drowned.
I only survived because I found a life vest floating next to the flipped boat. I swam all night in the direction of what I thought was shore, but eventually I lost consciousness. Somehow, I got far enough in that the tides pulled me the rest of the way to the island. Only I didn't land at the dock, or at the bottom of any of the cliffs. I landed on the bone beach.
At first it didn't look any different. Just a beach with a few stray birds picking at the sand. It was only when I rolled over and saw the unmistakable eye socket of a skull sticking out of the sand that I really grasped it. It's one thing to hear about a beach covered in bones but being there is something I'll never forget. Especially not after what I saw next.
There's a cave on that beach, nothing more than a little crack in the rocks, but big enough that you could get inside for shelter. I was walking towards it, trying not to step on the bones, when I saw that someone was standing right at the entrance. I waved to the person ,but they didn't wave back. I was nervous to approach, since I knew I wasn't supposed to be there, but I walked towards the figure anyway. I was ten feet away before I realized it wasn't a person.
I have to burrow into the most detached medical part of my brain to describe what I saw, because it's the only way I can remember without vomiting again.
It was like a scarecrow whose torso was made of a pickle barrel. That was the only part of it that wasn't flesh. The arms were human, severed roughly at the shoulder. The legs were human, too, cut off at the thighs and crudely attached to the barrel to mimic a standing position. These appendages weren't just rotting; they were dark, the color of a blackberry. At first, I thought they had just putrefied while hanging there in the cave, but then I saw the thick marks of tightly bound rope on the shoulders and thighs and noted the level of decomposition. They had been tied off, allowed to die, and then severed. Just like Levi’s pinkie. From the way the legs were cut, angled and ragged, it looked like the legs had been cut off by their owner.
But who could stand that kind of pain without passing out? I wondered for a moment, before remembering the people I was dealing with.
Then I looked at the head. It's funny how when you study physiology long enough you can imagine what someone's face would look like without the skin. Once you can parse facial features down to bone structure and musculature, there's really nothing to it. I'd never mentally removed the skin from Levi's face, but I still knew in a moment it was his head stuck there on top of the barrel. I knew before I even noticed the caul draped over his skull, that rubbery membrane serving as poor surrogate for his lost face.
I vomited more than my stomach could contain and found myself dry heaving on the floor next to the horrible figure. It was then I realized the stringy black and brown stuff on the floor wasn't seaweed. It was hair. A blanket of human hair, so thick you could barely see the ground beneath. Even after the horror I'd witnessed, nothing made me want to walk back into the ocean than the sight of all that hair spread across the ground.
It was only a few hours before Lucky came by in his motorboat and gave me a lift back to the island. His ponytail was gone, along with his beard. He spoke more frankly than I'd ever seen him do while sober. I guess he figured if I'd seen the beach there was nothing left to hide.
Lucky explained that they'd done what they'd done because it was willed by the ancestors, who were using baby Ezra to communicate which of the islanders should be sacrificed. Then he told me I shouldn't worry about Levi, because he had given himself willingly to the ceremony and felt no pain. He said it wasn't Levi's fault he'd been chosen, just like it wasn't my fault I'd washed up on the beach. Both were just things that happened. It was for the ancestors, to decide what happened to me, just like Levi.
And that's how he left me. Alone in the cabin, awaiting the judgment of a baby.
September 9
I still haven't left. I suspect they know I'm here, because where else would I be? I can’t even hide. These people know every corner and inlet of their island. Grace came by yesterday with the baby. She was wearing a hat, but I could tell she was shaved bald, just like Lucky. She knocked and waited for ten minutes. I pretended not to be home. She knew I was there. Even the baby knew I was there.
I'm sure the ferry service will resume soon. It usually comes around the middle of the month, so I just need to last another week without letting that baby come near me.
I'm running low on moonshine, and I'm out of vodka. I've been taking painkillers to help me sleep, to help me forget. I just need to come out the other side of this week intact, and the ferry will be by to take me away from here forever. I've tried calling RHF but phone service to the mainland hasn't worked since the storm. The second I get back there, I'm pulling whatever strings I have to and getting Peaudorag taken out of RHF's service area. All service areas for all doctors, if I can. I might even try to get deliveries cancelled, though I don't know how I'd do that.
This island is a wart on the sole of civilization. It needs to be cut off, scraped raw and burned with acid. They won't feel it anyway, these freaks I once wished to learn from. They've had feelings bred out of them.
I've stopped having the dream about my hair. It's a new dream now. In this dream I'm sitting on a tarp out behind the tall fence by the cliff above the bird beach. The villagers are surrounding me, Lucky and Evelyn and Isaac and Grace and baby Ezra and all the rest of them. I even see Numbnuts and Levi in the crowd, as alive as anyone else. They're all hairless, and so am I. They're chanting something, but I can't understand it. Their tongues are all cleft and shredded.
In the dream I've got a hangnail, a long nasty one on my thumb. Instead of cutting it off, I start pulling at it, pulling in the wrong direction. The skin peels off my thumb in a spiral. I keep pulling, and the skin unravels off each of the rest of my fingers like a bandage. Then I'm peeling it off my hand, my arm, my shoulder, everything coming off in one irregular piece, and the crowd starts chanting louder. I still don't know what they're saying, but as I tear the skin from my thighs, I see baby Ezra pointing at me.
Unlike the hair dream, I can't feel pain in this dream. I don't feel pain when I pull off my eyelids. I don't feel pain when I peel my face from my skull. I don't even feel the cold wind on the exposed meat of my body when I stand at the edge of the cliff, staring down at the beach of bones.
They have taken away my pain, and that's what scares me the most.
submitted by NeolithicTriscuit to creepypasta [link] [comments]


2019.10.18 18:33 NeolithicTriscuit Deadskin (A)

By I.V. Dorset
May 16
This is my last night in the city. I don't plan on missing it.
I'm writing this journal because I was told by a professional it might be a "positive coping mechanism." When I asked what I should write about, she said "feelings, fears, what you had for breakfast." I don't plan on missing her either, but I paid too much for that advice not to take it.
I first got my hair cut when I was one. It was so long the barber refused to believe I was a boy. They had to hold me down. I screamed, cried, and wound up with a chunk out of my left ear. We still have a picture of me in that hospital cradle with thick gauze layered around my head. The accident happened halfway through the haircut, so only half my head was shorn. Mom had to cut the other half herself while I slept under the stupor of a children's antihistamine.
They carried on like that, cutting my hair in my sleep, until I turned eight and it was resolved I would sit in the barber's chair whether I had to be strapped down. I screamed again, had to be held back from kicking. No lollipop or stuffed animal could distract me. I have hated every moment of every haircut I've gotten since then. I hate the tickle of that spray bottle they use. I hate the way barbers tilt your head like they own it. But most of all I hate the snip and crunch of the blades, the acute sensation of my head growing lighter as pieces of it are surgically removed. No matter how much I learn about human physiology, I will never shake the feeling that my hair knows it is being cut. That it is sending fear impulses telling my brain to defend it the same way it would defend any live part of my body.
Sometimes I dream my hair is made of half-dead nerves, dried-out but still pliable. They recoil at the touch of scissors, send unimaginable currents of pain streaming down through my skull and into my spine. I don't know why I always wake up yelling for it to stop, since it's always me who's doing the cutting.
I guess it comes from that afternoon when I knew I'd become a doctor. When I was nine, my family took me to a medical museum where I saw a human nervous system on display. The only item of its kind, it was removed from a cadaver by two medical students in 1925, a painstaking process that took over 1,500 hours. It looked like a dried-out jellyfish with a million black wispy tentacles and a human spine. The idea that I contained such a monster, that it was not only inhabiting my body but an integral part of it, gave me a nosebleed. I knew then that my life would be an exercise in helping others forget about the details beneath their skin.
And isn't that what doctors are really for? To handle the details of others' bodies so they can go on thinking they are whole people instead of a jumbled mess of bone and tissue constantly oozing and disintegrating? We pay doctors for the same reason we pay auto mechanics; we want to move through life without worrying about the logistics of our motion.
May 18
Now I'm officially out of the city but I don't feel any less tired of being surrounded by people. Snotty, wrinkly people. I don't suppose the people on this island will be any better, but at least they'll be interesting.
I'm writing on the ferry so it's difficult to write straight. Two full hours to Peaudorag Island. This isn't even as big as the ferry I used to take to Provincetown. That one had seats, an overpriced bar, two or three bathrooms. This is basically a fishing boat with a roof. Everything smells like it's been pickling in a vat of brine with fish. Especially the people.
I'm trying to focus on the horizon like they tell you to but this boat rocks back and forth so much that I still keep getting sick. At least I got most of it over the railing. These boots are rubber anyway.
My nails are getting long. I'll have to cut them when I get set up on the island. I hope they have liquor, because I can't cut them sober. I need to be just drunk enough that I can't feel it anymore, but not so far gone that I'll hurt myself.
At least I'd know if I did. Some people aren't so lucky, to hear the stories that brought me here.
Can't write more. Too sick.
May 19
The ferry doesn't even come all the way to shore. It's not like there's no place to dock, but it is pretty rocky in the waters around the island. The whole thing is surrounded by cliffs, grey cliffs with stripes of red where their earthly metals have oxidized. We were met a quarter mile out by a fleet of motorized skiffs. There were six other passengers on the ferry. All of them seemed to know the people picking them up. They all got off before I was called over by the man with the only empty boat. I realized then that this wasn't a service provided by the ferry company. He’d been sent for me. The ferry wouldn't even go to the island; people had to arrange their own pickup. I guess it makes sense when only locals are going out there and everyone has a boat or knows someone who does.
The man sent to pick me up was a real sea dog, straight out of one of those fishing shows. He was wearing a T-shirt faded beyond recognition. I could tell it had once advertised a sports team, but I couldn’t make out which team or even the sport. When he first opened his mouth, I thought he was speaking another language. Did no one tell me they spoke some incomprehensible dialect out here? After politely listening and nodding for a while, I realized his speech had the cadence of English. It just sounded like he was talking through a mouth full of peanut butter. I thought he might be just a little slow, but then I got a glimpse inside his mouth. He had less than half a tongue.
I thought they'd be harder to find, but the islanders sent one out to meet me. I guess someone tipped them off that I was coming with an ulterior motive. Usually they bite off their tongues when they're babies, sometimes their lips too. This fellow had faint scarring around his mouth that suggested he'd been a biter. His leathery arms were marked up and down with scars and scabs. He was missing both his pinkie fingers. Being a fisherman is dangerous enough, imagine doing it with your body's warning system permanently shut off.
We landed at a dock leading to a beach below a cliff lined with peeling houses. There is one paved road. It has no name. Along the road there is a volunteer fire station, a boat mechanic shop, and a store called Lucky's that sells everything. Gas, food, medicine, knives. My chauffeur brought me there, where I was greeted by Lucky himself. He is an old man with a big gut and a long white ponytail. He covers his bald spot with a fisherman's cap. He's got one leg and limps with a crude prosthetic. I think he's one of them too, though it seems like everyone here is missing something. I guess rural places like this remind us what life was like before doctors or safety regulations. I saw my chauffeur, who Lucky calls Numbnuts, smoking a cigarette while he gassed up his outboard motor. People here seem less worried about making it to death in one piece.
I can understand Lucky's speech with a little effort. He has his whole tongue, but he's definitely got a few chunks taken out of his lip. I bought some groceries, mostly canned food, some chips, coffee, a bottle of cheap vodka. Numbnuts drove me to the cabin the Rural Health Foundation built to house doctors. It dates to the ‘80s, and you can tell from the decor and mold. The walls are covered in kitschy seaside memorabilia, like a beach house. I can't imagine vacationing here. Even in May it's so misty I can barely see the ocean from my window, and my cabin is right by the cliff. I can walk to town in ten minutes, but Lucky said to call Numbnuts whenever I need a lift and he'll drive me wherever.
Before it got dark, I managed to take a walk through the meager woods that lie beyond town. I'd seen another beach on Google Maps but when I went out there it was fenced off with NO TRESPASSING signs. The fence was high and opaque, so I couldn't even see if there really was a beach on the other side.
Something else I noticed- there's no church. I walked the length of the road, saw most of the buildings, and not one of them is a church. During my summers in med school I worked in a lot of rural clinics. I've lived in Algeria, Alaska, and remote West Virginia, in towns with far fewer people than Peaudorag. They always have a church, or a mosque, or something. How can you live this far on the edge without someone telling you there's a greater plan every week?
There's not even a cemetery.
June 2
Well, I guess Dr. Mindy would be disappointed, since I haven't been keeping up this journal, but I've been busy. There wasn't much settling in before people found out I was here and started asking Numbnuts to drive me around so I could tend to their ailments. The clinic space I was given turned out to be a garage out back of Lucky's full of rusty boat fragments. After yelling at my RHF logistician on the phone for a while, I decided there was nothing wrong with running a house-call practice. How better to earn their trust?
The details of what I've been doing aren't interesting. I'm basically just treating cuts and sprains and the occasional stomach bug. Some of the children have pinkeye, some of the fishermen have carpal tunnel, most of the elders are broken in every way imaginable. What's interesting is what they tell me while I'm treating them, and after, when they invite me to the dining room for pickled fish and coffee. Pickled fish is the main source of protein and nutrients around here. I haven't seen anything resembling produce in two weeks.
They've been more forthcoming than I thought, most of them at least. Lucky introduced me to his son Levi, who also has the condition. Neither of them has any idea what pain feels like and Lucky can't even tell the difference between hot and cold. He said he once scalded his face boiling a lobster because he didn't know to pull back when opening the pot. He says every man in his family has had it. I met Levi's wife Grace, who says she can take more pain than most people but still knows what it feels like. I hope for her sake that she's telling the truth, because she's about nine months pregnant and I don't have the resources to administer an epidural out here. I guess I'm a real country doctor now, on call for late night deliveries and chainsaw mishaps.
There are at least two other pregnant women on the island right now, so I'm making a note to figure out how high their pain tolerances are, so I know if I need to have more drugs sent out. Everything comes on the ferry, including all of Lucky's stock. He told me he just sells first aid kits but can order other medical supplies if I need. I get the impression Lucky and a lot of the other old timers don't see much use in doctors. Still, he's been perfectly nice to me. I think he likes having fresh blood on the island. After I met Levi and checked on Grace's unborn baby, Lucky invited me out to the porch and treated me to some of his homemade moonshine. The liquor made him talkative, so I asked a few more questions. I got some more info about his experiences living as what the islanders call “a deadskin." He told me some gory anecdotes about uncles and grandfathers who lived and died without ever knowing physical pain.
I asked him about the beach on the other side of the island. He told me it's some sort of federally protected migratory bird area. No one is allowed there.
Eventually I got up the courage to ask him about the church thing. He said people on the island are "too old-fashioned for that." I took that to mean that they believe spiritual education still has to happen in the home, which makes me feel even more like I'm practicing in some quaint pastoral village.
I couldn't figure out how to ask about the missing cemetery, though.
June 12
I've given up on holding myself to the standard of daily writing, so I'm just going to update this journal every time I feel like there's something worth sharing. I feel a lot better to be away from the city, but I'm still having that hair dream. Even Lucky’s hooch can’t save me from that demon. Oh well.
I've completed the first significant milestone of my research. I managed to get a medical questionnaire distributed to all the households on the island, so I now have a breakdown of just how pervasive congenital analgesia is on Peaudorag. The results don't sound fascinating unless you're me or someone like me, but I'm including them here anyway because the only people I can imagine reading this journal are me in the future and, less likely, some medical biographer posthumously documenting my groundbreaking work.
Peaudorag Island
Population: 892 Residents with some form of congenital analgesia: 214 (24%) Residents with total or near-total analgesia: 45 (5%) Residents with total analgesia and at least some insensitivity to temperature: 9 (1%)
Those numbers are crazy interesting. The only other case study I have to compare Peaudorag to is Vittangi, a village in northern Sweden with a similar population. Relatively speaking, Peaudorag has about the same percentage of people with absolutely no sense of pain as Vittangi has with any incidence of the condition, roughly 5% in both cases. That means that almost five times as many people have the condition here than in Vittangi. Of course, that word "in some form" runs the gamut from people like Grace who might take an extra second to recoil from touching a hot pan to people like Lucky who probably didn't notice he lost his leg until he looked down. Still, it's a huge number comparatively.
The question isn't what's causing the congenital analgesia; the question is what's magnifying it to this degree. My working theory is that there's some environmental influence. The air is pretty clean, and the water seems fine, but people eat a lot of fish out here. The way the American and Canadian governments treat this corner of the Atlantic as an industrial waste bin, who knows what's been accumulating and biomagnifying in their Sunday dinner? Some of my colleagues back at RHF think it's due to the shallow gene pool, but I got the impression from Lucky that people always make sure they're not too closely related before marrying. He took a bit of offense to the question too. Probably tired of everyone from the city thinking he's an inbred hick.
I'm hoping to further interview those I've turned up with the condition, but I'm worried they'll start to think I'm here more to study them than to help. We'll see.
Something else happened that I can't explain. I was behind Grace and Levi in line at Lucky’s and I saw that Levi's right pinkie finger was tied off, almost like a tourniquet. It wasn't injured, but it was turning a dangerous shade of purple. They walked out before I could ask, but I told Lucky he should talk to his son about it. A few more days and that finger could die. He said he'd talk to Levi, but I can't stop thinking about it. Even if he couldn't feel it, he must have been able to see it. Besides, it was knotted tightly and deliberately with what looked like fishing wire. Nothing about it squared with my understanding of reality, but I suppose that's true of a lot of my time on this island. They're an odd folk, but I'm growing to feel at home here.
June 15
These people are fucked.
June 16
Okay. I've recovered from yesterday. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn't write down what happened. I'm not queasy about blood, otherwise how would I have gotten into this line of work, but I am queasy about self-mutilation. (see: those fucking hair dreams I keep having no matter how far I get away from barbers.)
Yesterday, which was a Tuesday, not that it matters much out here, Grace called me and asked if I could come over, said it was an emergency. She said she'd already sent Numbnuts over and could I please come soon. I grabbed my bag and waited outside. Numbnuts picked me up on his ATV and we drove down the road to Grace and Levi's, which is right next to the trailer where Lucky lives. Lucky was at the store, but Levi was home and yelling when I showed up. I could hear him through the thin walls of their house. When he saw I was there, he quieted down and they came out to meet me together.
At first it looked like a domestic violence scene from a cop show, right down to the piles of junk in the yard. Grace was crying. Levi was scowling. But I didn't see any marks on her, no black eyes or bruises. When I asked if everything was okay, Levi said yes. Grace said no. I froze in that moment because I realized I didn't know who to call even if she was being abused. The cops? There were no police on this island, just a volunteer fire department, and Levi was a member. Who else? The Coast Guard? Did they handle domestic disputes? Could I call police from the mainland and have them take the ferry?
I had no plan to deal with the situation, which is why it was a relief when I saw the bloody cloth around Levi's hand. I’ve seen this situation a million times in rural clinics. Rural man hurts himself doing something manly. Brushes it off, maybe slaps on a bandage. Refuses to go to the doctor despite his wife's concerns. He ain't no pussy. Then it festers, gets infected, won't stop bleeding, whatever. His wife insists he should go to the doctor, but he can't give in now. I've seen men put themselves on the brink of death rather than let their wife be right. I know what to do in these scenarios. I told Grace to go inside and rest for the baby's sake, then pulled Levi aside and gave him the speech I always do. Once their women aren't watching, most men give in a little easier. He showed me the hand. Like I suspected, it was the pinkie, but it wasn't putrefying. It was gone. A blunt stump that smelled infected.
One of the things they teach you about emergencies is that you should only ever ask how the accident happened, not why. In the moment, when seconds could matter, there's no time for why. That's a matter for later, for people to work out on their own, or in front of a judge. Your job is triage and treatment. Still, I had to swallow the why while I cleaned and cauterized the stump. I realized I would have to remove some of the skin, so I gave him one of my strongest painkillers. He swallowed it dutifully, not even asking what it was for. Only after it was down his throat did I realize how stupid I'd been. I'd wasted painkillers, the good stuff, which was rare and had to be specially ordered, on someone who didn’t feel pain. At least they sedated him so I could work in peace. Once it was bandaged up safely, he was nearly passed out, so I left him to rest on the couch.
Before I left, I went to check on Grace, who was sitting outside with Numbnuts sharing a bag of chips. He was listening to her complain about Levi and his stubbornness, responding with noises that sounded sympathetic. I told her Levi was going to be fine. I almost left it at that, let Numbnuts drive me off without asking questions. But I had to ask how it happened.
Grace got quiet when I asked, and looked at Numbnuts apprehensively, but he nodded, in a gesture that said, you can tell him.
Apparently, there's a big fishing trip coming up. Half the island is going out deep sea fishing tomorrow, for almost a month. It's an important time of year for them. Grace said it's a tradition for one of the island's fisherman, usually a deadskin, to tie off a pinkie with fishing line the week before the trip and then cut it off when it dies. It's a blessing of some kind. A pagan ritual. No one knows where it comes from. After she told me, Numbnuts held up his hands and I understood why he was missing both pinkies.
I've calmed down since yesterday. My job isn't to stop people from hurting themselves, it's to fix them up when they do. Maybe they think it works, and that's all that matters. I doubt any of the men out here are circumcised, but I was, and in the name of a religion that means nothing to me now. Who's to say that's any less barbaric? At least they're doing it voluntarily. Still, I told Grace to ask if they'd let me do it next time, so at least it's a surgical removal and no more infections happen. She said Lucky would never allow that. It has to be done by the deadskin himself. I asked if they'd at least let me supervise and clean the wound. She said she'd get back to me.
Numbnuts and I had to help Grace back into the house and onto her bed. She's going to pop any day now. I suspect that will be the next exciting thing to happen to me. For my own sake, I hope it is.
June 18
I was right. The baby showed up late at night, in the middle of a storm. Grace went into labor not two hours after Levi left for his fishing trip. I couldn't fathom leaving knowing you'd have a son or daughter when you came back, but no one on the island seemed to judge him for it. Lucky showed up, as did Grace's parents Isaac and Evelyn. It was a long labor, but she didn't seem to be in truly unbearable pain until the last hour, when the storm picked up and the rain started drumming on the roof. The power went out the second I pulled it out of her, so we had to cut the umbilical cord by candlelight. That's why it took us an extra minute to notice the caul.
It's a rare occurrence, maybe one in 80,000, but you're briefed on how to deal with it when they teach you how to deliver babies. Usually it's harmless, just a residual piece of the amniotic sac stuck to the baby's face and shoulders. The islanders got very excited when they saw it. I've heard it's considered good luck in a lot of cultures. Whatever pagan rituals these people are still following must believe that, because they were hooting and hollering over it like an Christian who found the Virgin Mary in his French toast. They insisted it be removed in one piece, though I warned them there was an elevated risk of pulling off some of the baby's skin. Somehow, this didn't bother them. I pulled it off slowly, but it still took a few chunks out of the baby's face. I couldn't tell if it was bleeding or not, because it was covered in blood and the other fluids of birth. It was crying less than normal babies and didn't cry any more when I ripped off some of its newly grown flesh. Grace thinks it might be a deadskin, especially because it's a boy. I explained to her that we don't think analgesia is passed down on the Y chromosome, but she was too blissed out and exhausted to listen.
I managed to get the weight and other important details while they fawned over the baby. Then I spent the night on hold with RHF to get the paperwork for a birth certificate. Eventually mother and baby fell asleep and we gave them their space. Isaac and Evelyn slept on the foldout couch and Lucky invited me outside for a celebratory drink. Sure enough, the moonshine got him talking again and he told me that the caul will mean a lot to the islanders when they hear about it. He said that islanders believe deadskins born with a caul can hear the voices of the ancestors.
On the topic of ancestors, I asked about why there wasn't a cemetery. Lucky looked at me a long minute and admitted that he'd lied before because he didn't think I could be trusted, but the way I treated Levi's finger and the caul made him feel like I wouldn’t judge their ways. He told me that, though the beach is an important stopover for migratory birds, that's not why the fence is up there. The fence is up there to protect the ancestors, who live down on the beach. When someone on Peaudorag Island dies, they are cut up into pieces and thrown down onto the beach, where the scavenger birds pick at them and their bones weather in the elements. Maybe I was loopy from adrenalin and moonshine, but I told him I saw nothing wrong with that. I even mentioned that it sounded a lot like a sky burial, which is a sacred ceremony still practiced by Buddhists in places like Tibet and Mongolia. He liked that. It must have made him feel like his people weren’t so odd after all.
I still believe what I said. After helping pay for my grandmother's funeral, I don't blame these fisherfolk for wanting to let their loved ones enter the food chain rather than just rot underground. We're all food for something in the end, so better it be endangered birds than worms and weevils. Still, I'm worried about the way the elders looked at that baby. There was something in their eyes, a rabid, unyielding faith that I've only seen in the loyal flocks who line the audiences of televangelists. I didn’t trust it.
June 20
Everyone on the island has been visiting the baby. They've been singing old songs on the lawn and frying haddock over greasy charcoal grills. Some of them seem to think the sunny weather is because of the baby. I got enough time alone to check on Grace's convalescence and perform some routine tests. I had to do the normal screenings for sight, hearing, et cetera, but I could tell there was only one sense she was worried about. A few pinpricks and a lighter confirmed what we suspected: the baby can't feel. No pain, no heat, no cold. Nothing. Just like his grandfather. If I thought they were excited before, I didn't know what to do after.
I've heard of this phenomenon in deaf communities, where it can be a letdown if a hearing child is born to deaf parents. Some celebrate passing the disability to their children, because they've turned it from a defect to a mark of identity. I guess it's that way here. Plus, the whole ancestor worship thing, which I've decided not to ask more about. My focus now is watching over this baby, documenting its development while I ensure it doesn't end up like Numbnuts. I've already given Grace some literature for parents of children with analgesia, and she's promised to watch carefully once the baby's nails harden and its teeth show up.
July 3
Levi and the others returned from their fishing trip with a serious bounty. Most of it they brought to the mainland and sold, but there's no shortage of tuna back on the island. I've been given more filets than I know what to do with.
The baby is coming along fine. They named him Ezra. Levi's reaction when he learned he had a son was beautiful. I've never seen such a gruff, curt individual transform into a starry-eyed dad so quickly. Ezra cried when Levi picked him up, which was odd because he doesn't cry much. I'm sure they will bond eventually, as long as Levi doesn't leave again.
August 28
It's been almost two months, and I've been busy trying to carry on my study of the islanders while keeping track of baby Ezra's every move. I've been accomplishing more of the latter. I feel like I'm learning more watching a baby deadskin than I could from a whole island full of grown ones.
They've calmed down a bit about the whole caul thing, which is giving Grace and the baby a well-deserved break from visits. I'm still not sure I trust Isaac and Evelyn, though. I'm even beginning to worry about Lucky. They keep watching the baby, especially when Levi is around. I heard them talking about how Ezra always cries when Levi picks him up. It's true that he's been a little slow to welcome his father, but I don't think it means anything. Babies cry about everything. Whether or not he can feel pain, he can still feel gas. I don’t like the way the elders talk about it, like it's some shameful secret. It's the closest I've come to feeling like they're being hamstrung by their own superstitions.
August 29
There's a storm brewing, so I've been exiled. Lucky came to my door early this morning and said he's worried my cabin might not make it through the storm because of how close it is to the cliff. He said these could be the highest winds in twenty years and that any other structure built that close to the cliff has been reinforced. When I asked why I couldn't stay with another islander family for a day or two, he said that he was afraid it would be hard on their hospitality to ask for something like that. I've slept on more than a few couches on late-night calls since I've been here, so that seemed odd, but I have to trust Lucky. He hasn’t steered me wrong yet.
I'm writing this from a dingy little motel on the mainland, where Numbnuts brought me in his fishing boat. My shoes are still soaked through because the first wave of the storm hit us on the way from the island. We were still within sight of the island when the first raindrops hit, but too far to turn back with the tide churning the way it did. As I took my last glance of the island before hunkering down belowdecks, I saw something on the island. I can't say what it was through all the mist and rain, but it looked like a crowd of people gathered on the edge of the cliffs, right near the bird beach. It could have been a flock of birds, but they weren’t moving like birds. They were moving like an angry mob.
Numbnuts turned the boat around as soon as my feet were on the dock, even though it was still spitting rain. He seemed to be in a big rush to get back.
It feels like they didn't want me there for a reason. Maybe they were afraid of me getting hurt out there, afraid they'd lose their relationship with RHF and have to go scrambling for another foundation to send doctors out like sacrificial lambs to be fattened with fish and liquor. I couldn't say. I just know I'm having a harder time rationalizing these people's behavior than I used to.
September 3
It's been raining for as long as I can remember. I have barely left my room.
You'd think being stuck in a motel for four straight days of stormy weather would make you write more, but I haven't been able to do anything but watch TV and stare at the walls. I've been living off the vending machine in the motel lobby, when I can manage to eat. Maybe it's the cumulative influence of all that pickled fish, or the fact that I got myself through that first night of storm with a flask of Lucky's moonshine. Maybe I'm just suffering a multi-day hangover. Regardless, I feel like shit.
Other fun news: the ferry, along with almost every other boat in the harbor, got destroyed in the storm, so I'm just waiting for someone to come pick me up. I can see the harbor from my window. I spend a few hours every day looking for a boat from the island, but there's been nothing yet. None of my calls to Lucky's ancient cell phone have gone through, and I don't have any of the other islanders' numbers saved. So here I wait, stomach gurgling and head aching, hoping I haven't been forgotten.
September 4
Today I found a book of local history next to the bible in the dresser. It has no section on Peaudorag, but the island is mentioned in the gazetteer, which has place name origins for every settlement on this part of the coast. I copied it below:
Peaudorag Island: Though pronounced by locals as "poe-door-rag," this isolated island likely derives its name from French settlers. It is believed to come from the phrase "peau de l'orage" or "skin of the storm," possibly an old sailing term for the short bursts of rain that sometimes come before large thunderstorms. 19th century sources write the name as "Peaudeorage," which changed to Peaudorag on later maps.
Skin of the storm. I've heard that expression before. From Lucky. He said some of the old-timers called people like him stormskins instead of deadskins. It used to be thought bad luck to bring a deadskin out in a boat, because they were thought to attract storms. Lucky said some still objected to Levi and other deadskins coming along, but that he thought it was a load of superstitious bullshit. It's good to know that even people who claim to be channeling the voices of their ancestors have the ability to cast off superstition. Still, now I want to ask if anyone knows whether the island's name came from the condition or the other way around. Hopefully someone will show up soon to bring me back.
September 6
I'm back on the island. I'm writing this because I want there to be a record of what I saw here in case something happens to me. I don't know if I'm safe. I get the impression they don't know either. They're waiting on their little oracle to burp up an answer.
My cabin was fine. I'm there now. The doors are locked.
Numbnuts came to get me yesterday because the storm seemed to have cleared. Everyone thought so, but everyone was wrong. It hit us hard, in the deepest part of the channel. It was all at once. One wave and we were in the water. I didn't see Numbnuts swim out from under the capsized boat. I felt around for him, but it was too cold and dark to find anything. I haven't seen him since I got back on the island, so he must have drowned.
I only survived because I found a life vest floating next to the flipped boat. I swam all night in the direction of what I thought was shore, but eventually I lost consciousness. Somehow, I got far enough in that the tides pulled me the rest of the way to the island. Only I didn't land at the dock, or at the bottom of any of the cliffs. I landed on the bone beach.
At first it didn't look any different. Just a beach with a few stray birds picking at the sand. It was only when I rolled over and saw the unmistakable eye socket of a skull sticking out of the sand that I really grasped it. It's one thing to hear about a beach covered in bones but being there is something I'll never forget. Especially not after what I saw next.
There's a cave on that beach, nothing more than a little crack in the rocks, but big enough that you could get inside for shelter. I was walking towards it, trying not to step on the bones, when I saw that someone was standing right at the entrance. I waved to the person ,but they didn't wave back. I was nervous to approach, since I knew I wasn't supposed to be there, but I walked towards the figure anyway. I was ten feet away before I realized it wasn't a person.
I have to burrow into the most detached medical part of my brain to describe what I saw, because it's the only way I can remember without vomiting again.
It was like a scarecrow whose torso was made of a pickle barrel. That was the only part of it that wasn't flesh. The arms were human, severed roughly at the shoulder. The legs were human, too, cut off at the thighs and crudely attached to the barrel to mimic a standing position. These appendages weren't just rotting; they were dark, the color of a blackberry. At first, I thought they had just putrefied while hanging there in the cave, but then I saw the thick marks of tightly bound rope on the shoulders and thighs and noted the level of decomposition. They had been tied off, allowed to die, and then severed. Just like Levi’s pinkie. From the way the legs were cut, angled and ragged, it looked like the legs had been cut off by their owner.
But who could stand that kind of pain without passing out? I wondered for a moment, before remembering the people I was dealing with.
Then I looked at the head. It's funny how when you study physiology long enough you can imagine what someone's face would look like without the skin. Once you can parse facial features down to bone structure and musculature, there's really nothing to it. I'd never mentally removed the skin from Levi's face, but I still knew in a moment it was his head stuck there on top of the barrel. I knew before I even noticed the caul draped over his skull, that rubbery membrane serving as poor surrogate for his lost face.
I vomited more than my stomach could contain and found myself dry heaving on the floor next to the horrible figure. It was then I realized the stringy black and brown stuff on the floor wasn't seaweed. It was hair. A blanket of human hair, so thick you could barely see the ground beneath. Even after the horror I'd witnessed, nothing made me want to walk back into the ocean than the sight of all that hair spread across the ground.
It was only a few hours before Lucky came by in his motorboat and gave me a lift back to the island. His ponytail was gone, along with his beard. He spoke more frankly than I'd ever seen him do while sober. I guess he figured if I'd seen the beach there was nothing left to hide.
Lucky explained that they'd done what they'd done because it was willed by the ancestors, who were using baby Ezra to communicate which of the islanders should be sacrificed. Then he told me I shouldn't worry about Levi, because he had given himself willingly to the ceremony and felt no pain. He said it wasn't Levi's fault he'd been chosen, just like it wasn't my fault I'd washed up on the beach. Both were just things that happened. It was for the ancestors, to decide what happened to me, just like Levi.
And that's how he left me. Alone in the cabin, awaiting the judgment of a baby.
September 9
I still haven't left. I suspect they know I'm here, because where else would I be? I can’t even hide. These people know every corner and inlet of their island. Grace came by yesterday with the baby. She was wearing a hat, but I could tell she was shaved bald, just like Lucky. She knocked and waited for ten minutes. I pretended not to be home. She knew I was there. Even the baby knew I was there.
I'm sure the ferry service will resume soon. It usually comes around the middle of the month, so I just need to last another week without letting that baby come near me.
I'm running low on moonshine, and I'm out of vodka. I've been taking painkillers to help me sleep, to help me forget. I just need to come out the other side of this week intact, and the ferry will be by to take me away from here forever. I've tried calling RHF but phone service to the mainland hasn't worked since the storm. The second I get back there, I'm pulling whatever strings I have to and getting Peaudorag taken out of RHF's service area. All service areas for all doctors, if I can. I might even try to get deliveries cancelled, though I don't know how I'd do that.
This island is a wart on the sole of civilization. It needs to be cut off, scraped raw and burned with acid. They won't feel it anyway, these freaks I once wished to learn from. They've had feelings bred out of them.
I've stopped having the dream about my hair. It's a new dream now. In this dream I'm sitting on a tarp out behind the tall fence by the cliff above the bird beach. The villagers are surrounding me, Lucky and Evelyn and Isaac and Grace and baby Ezra and all the rest of them. I even see Numbnuts and Levi in the crowd, as alive as anyone else. They're all hairless, and so am I. They're chanting something, but I can't understand it. Their tongues are all cleft and shredded.
In the dream I've got a hangnail, a long nasty one on my thumb. Instead of cutting it off, I start pulling at it, pulling in the wrong direction. The skin peels off my thumb in a spiral. I keep pulling, and the skin unravels off each of the rest of my fingers like a bandage. Then I'm peeling it off my hand, my arm, my shoulder, everything coming off in one irregular piece, and the crowd starts chanting louder. I still don't know what they're saying, but as I tear the skin from my thighs, I see baby Ezra pointing at me.
Unlike the hair dream, I can't feel pain in this dream. I don't feel pain when I pull off my eyelids. I don't feel pain when I peel my face from my skull. I don't even feel the cold wind on the exposed meat of my body when I stand at the edge of the cliff, staring down at the beach of bones.
They have taken away my pain, and that's what scares me the most.
submitted by NeolithicTriscuit to creepypod [link] [comments]


2019.09.20 05:13 Pickup_your_nuts Today in History 20/09














































































submitted by Pickup_your_nuts to ConservativeKiwi [link] [comments]


2019.03.14 17:33 thisIsDayX 2019-03-14 - Daily News Priorities

Here are your daily Top 5 news from all over the world:

Germany

Source: https://www.tagesschau.de/ @ 2019-03-14 17:00:21 UTC+1

Denmark

Source: https://www.dr.dk/nyheder @ 2019-03-14 17:00:24 UTC+1

USA

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/ @ 2019-03-14 17:00:25 UTC+1

Russia

Source: https://russian.rt.com/ @ 2019-03-14 17:00:27 UTC+1

Qatar

Source: https://www.aljazeera.net/ @ 2019-03-14 17:00:29 UTC+1
Headlines were machine-translated using translated.com services.
For more, visit /newspriorities today.
submitted by thisIsDayX to newsprioritiestoday [link] [comments]


2018.10.08 09:25 subreddit_stats Subreddit Stats: football top posts from 2012-06-14 to 2018-10-07 21:55 PDT

Period: 2306.15 days
Submissions Comments
Total 999 14885
Rate (per day) 0.43 6.45
Unique Redditors 576 6128
Combined Score 82917 66145

Top Submitters' Top Submissions

  1. 5168 points, 80 submissions: Commandant1
    1. Tottenham Hotspur have nine players in the World Cup semifinals, more than any other club (313 points, 27 comments)
    2. World Cup final: France 4-2 Croatia. France are World Cup Champions! (227 points, 115 comments)
    3. Son Heung-Min and South Korea advance to Asian Games final with 3-1 win over Vietnam (125 points, 14 comments)
    4. Joe Hart joins Burnley after 12 years as a Manchester City player (123 points, 14 comments)
    5. Hugo Lloris “more than twice the legal limit” after drink driving arrest (92 points, 17 comments)
    6. FIFA Officials Arrested Amid Corruption Scandal; Could Face U.S Extradition (87 points, 21 comments)
    7. Tottenham star Son Heung-min could play his way out of military service (87 points, 29 comments)
    8. Keisuke Honda to coach Cambodia national team while playing in A-League (85 points, 5 comments)
    9. Crystal Palace Ladies: Wilfried Zaha makes 'substantial financial contribution' to club (84 points, 3 comments)
    10. Usain Bolt to join Dortmund training on Friday (84 points, 10 comments)
  2. 2969 points, 49 submissions: SubbyDoo
    1. Bojan Krkic: ‘I had anxiety attacks but no one wants to talk about that. Football’s not interested’ (100 points, 6 comments)
    2. Sepp Batter says Qatar cheated to host World Cup News The Sunday Times (99 points, 16 comments)
    3. Watford unveil this season's away kit, by sending the away shirt to every fan who attended all 19 away games last season. (99 points, 5 comments)
    4. Chelsea will attempt to withhold part of the £9m owed to Antonio Conte in severance pay on the grounds that his text message to Diego Costa telling him he was not wanted cost the club millions in lost transfer revenue (96 points, 11 comments)
    5. Sony Pulls FIFA World Cup Sponsorship (93 points, 18 comments)
    6. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has now scored on his Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Champions League debut (92 points, 6 comments)
    7. Italian refs' new rule: "If on the pitch a referee hears a player using a racist term, that player is quite simply sent off" (81 points, 14 comments)
    8. Eriksen Does It Again (76 points, 5 comments)
    9. One of the world's oldest known footballs, found in the rafters of a bedroom in Stirling Castle and dating from around the time of Mary Queen of Scots in the 16th century (76 points, 4 comments)
    10. Russia's entire 2014 World Cup squad face FIFA doping investigation (73 points, 4 comments)
  3. 2879 points, 5 submissions: chocolat_ice_cream
    1. Football commentators (LOUD) (1207 points, 43 comments)
    2. Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football. (865 points, 33 comments)
    3. Japanese fans collecting the garbage after the game today. Winning inside and out of the field. (613 points, 24 comments)
    4. Million dollar baby (127 points, 12 comments)
    5. From Russia with love - Football is nothing without supporters (67 points, 15 comments)
  4. 1953 points, 34 submissions: StaleMilkNothingTher
    1. Messi splitting apart defences with one touch (94 points, 22 comments)
    2. The Zenit St Petersburg photo we'd all been waiting for, even if we didn't know it. (77 points, 3 comments)
    3. Série B is terribly underrated. Everything about this clip is fantastic. (76 points, 2 comments)
    4. Andy Carroll to be turned into very expensive glue (75 points, 0 comments)
    5. A Spanish youth coach is sacked after his team wins 25-0 (67 points, 8 comments)
    6. Michael Cox on Twitter: "Players missing the biggest game of their lives for two minor offences over five games is absolutely crazy" (65 points, 13 comments)
    7. A Liverpool fan is asked about why he doesn't want to pay £77 for a ticket (64 points, 10 comments)
    8. This guy's started the betting season strongly (64 points, 0 comments)
    9. Everton’s Steven Naismith buys Christmas dinner for hundreds of Glasgow’s homeless (63 points, 4 comments)
    10. Leicester City fans were celebrating long after the game. The announcer said: "thanks for your attendance but kindly leave". They responded: "we shall not be moved" (62 points, 6 comments)
  5. 1583 points, 15 submissions: OriginalJoker11
    1. While everyone is talking about Salah, Messi and Ronaldo, let's not forget that Ciro Immobile has scored 39 goals for Lazio this season, same as Salah and Messi (186 points, 10 comments)
    2. truly amazing story. Artyom Dzyuba was thrown out of Zenit by Roberto Mancini and went on loan to Arsenal Tula. Arsenal had to pay $160,000 in order for him to play vs Zenit today. Dzyuba paid half - $80,000 - himself and scored the late equalizer in a 3-3 draw. Payback time! (185 points, 5 comments)
    3. Heung Min-Son been named Best Footballer in Asia for the 3rd time. (129 points, 7 comments)
    4. Mo Salah is the first Premier League player to score 40+ goals in all competitions since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007-08. King. (128 points, 8 comments)
    5. Since the start of the 2015-16 season, no player has more assists for Sunderland in league games than Adam Johnson (5), who has been in prison now for over two years.. (123 points, 6 comments)
    6. Man City keeper Ederson: 'I want to score before the end of the season' (118 points, 27 comments)
    7. Mohamed Salah has scored 31 Premier League goals this season – the joint-most by a player in a 38-game PL campaign (also Alan Shearer 95-96, Cristiano Ronaldo 07-08, Luis Suarez 13-14). Elite. (118 points, 12 comments)
    8. Wenger: “If God exists & one day I go up there and he will ask: ‘What have you done in your life?’. The only answer I will have is: ‘I tried to win football games.’ He will say: ‘Is that all?’ And the answer I will have is: ‘It’s not as easy as it looks.’” (103 points, 4 comments)
    9. Schalke 2-0 Dortmund - Naldo 82'(incredible goal) (102 points, 12 comments)
    10. Di Francesco:"Against Barca, we played as a team, we didn't focus on [Lionel] Messi and, by playing in this way, we can achieve great things. "We can't win this game by only stopping one player, we need to focus as a team. Liverpool is not only Salah, Liverpool has a number of good players. " (96 points, 3 comments)
  6. 1132 points, 10 submissions: Rockithammer
    1. UEFA allows additional extra-time sub in Champions League (206 points, 11 comments)
    2. World cup 2022 dates - 21 november to december 18 (185 points, 92 comments)
    3. Best Fifa Football Awards 2018: Luka Modric beats Cristiano Ronaldo and Mo Salah to be named men's player of the year (130 points, 41 comments)
    4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic's low-key MLS debut: a wondergoal then the winner for LA Galaxy (117 points, 9 comments)
    5. Roma 3 Barcelona 0: Edin Dzeko inspires Champions League away goals upset (110 points, 33 comments)
    6. Stuttgart Player Literally Throws Ball In His Own Net (88 points, 10 comments)
    7. Arsenal have confirmed the appointment of Unai Emery as their new head coach, replacing Arsene Wenger at the Emirates. (84 points, 8 comments)
    8. Steven Gerrard appointed as new Rangers manager: 'It was a no-brainer' (84 points, 4 comments)
    9. Kylian Mbappe nets four goals in the space of 13 minutes as hosts run riot to go eight points clear (68 points, 12 comments)
    10. Atletico Madrid beats Marseille 3-0 and wins Europa League (60 points, 23 comments)
  7. 1031 points, 16 submissions: RedArmyNic
    1. Leicester City are the first English club ever to win their first two matches in the Champions League (120 points, 4 comments)
    2. Chapecoense player wakes up from coma, doesn't remember plane crash (94 points, 1 comment)
    3. Athletic Bilbao fans celebrating their women's team becoming champions of Spain. (87 points, 19 comments)
    4. Russian 2nd division club Baltika Kaliningrad travels 10,300 km for a 0-0 draw in league match (84 points, 10 comments)
    5. Real Madrid are the only club to score more hat tricks in the Champions League than Lionel Messi (7). (75 points, 6 comments)
    6. After a six-year ban due to riots, fans in Egypt return to watch matches (65 points, 0 comments)
    7. Zlatan to United is confirmed (65 points, 9 comments)
    8. Mark Clattenburg got these tattoos to remind him of the big year he's had. (62 points, 10 comments)
    9. Carlos Tevez is set to become the richest soccer player on earth (56 points, 11 comments)
    10. Lionel Messi Said To Be Retiring From Argentina National Team (50 points, 19 comments)
  8. 1025 points, 16 submissions: CryptoandFOREX
    1. Eden Hazard to be offered £300k a week to stay at Chelsea! (121 points, 25 comments)
    2. Jose Mourinho reportedly set to lose Manchester United job and Zinedine Zidane favourite to replace him (119 points, 24 comments)
    3. Messi makes LaLiga history with Barcelona's 6000th goal! (90 points, 4 comments)
    4. Mohamed Salah filmed using mobile phone while driving with footage of Liverpool star handed over to police (68 points, 61 comments)
    5. Ryan Mason: “I have 14 metal plates in my skull. And I was a lucky boy” (65 points, 3 comments)
    6. Spain hit Croatia for six in Nations League opener (64 points, 15 comments)
    7. Luke Shaw in 'fairly comfortable' condition after horror collision, says Gareth Southgate (63 points, 0 comments)
    8. Hugo Lloris: Tottenham goalkeeper charged with drink-driving!! (59 points, 9 comments)
    9. Germany to host Euro 2024! (56 points, 0 comments)
    10. FIFA World Rankings: France sit top and England move up six after World Cup (53 points, 16 comments)
  9. 861 points, 14 submissions: todevils
    1. All jerseys ever worn by Ronaldinho in his career (136 points, 10 comments)
    2. Ibrahimovic drops Nike to launch his own brand (83 points, 12 comments)
    3. Liverpool vs Ludogorets unwatchable for those that are Colourblind (69 points, 18 comments)
    4. Mario Balotelli confirms he is leaving Milan to join Liverpool (69 points, 8 comments)
    5. Cameroonian player dies in Algeria after being hit by object from crowd (62 points, 4 comments)
    6. FIFA member believes 2022 World Cup will be moved from Qatar (59 points, 12 comments)
    7. Feynoord has a throw-in go straight into goal (58 points, 21 comments)
    8. Marco Reus signs new Borussia Dortmund deal (57 points, 5 comments)
    9. Cristiano Ronaldo recently became the official shirt sponsor for Portuguese 2nd division team União da Madeira (53 points, 11 comments)
    10. Shakhtar Donetsk says its club headquarters has been occupied by "armed men" (46 points, 7 comments)
  10. 833 points, 6 submissions: Hyv_Angel
    1. Commentator: “Sokratis Papastathopoulos passes to Konstantinos Mavropanos. He looks for Stephan Lichtsteiner... He’s found Henrikh Mkhitaryan making a run. He passes to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang... And that's fulltime.” (300 points, 16 comments)
    2. I feel Portugal and Spain were really given a run for their money by Iran and Morocco. This was by far the most competitive group so far. Here is a look back at Portugal's game and how Iran punched above their weight to give the Portuguese a real scare. (229 points, 25 comments)
    3. World Cup Matches that Shook the World in the 21st Century. Today also happens to be the day when van Persie scored that stupendous header vs Spain. (137 points, 15 comments)
    4. Rojo: “My goal? Messi told everyone that it was either life or death. It would’ve gone badly. We could’ve conceded but Leo was stubborn. He told me to run forward. Even Masche. He told everyone to attack no matter what. He truly read the game & risks. He’s a leader. The best.” (65 points, 3 comments)
    5. #LUFC are delighted to announce the appointment of Argentine Marcelo Bielsa in the role of head coach (56 points, 5 comments)
    6. Football while fasting: life in the Ramadan Midnight League (46 points, 7 comments)
  11. 818 points, 1 submission: Nempowa
    1. England try to score while Croatia were celebrating (818 points, 95 comments)
  12. 700 points, 1 submission: Falland
    1. Batshuayi hits the target! (700 points, 23 comments)
  13. 688 points, 12 submissions: JoeAllan
    1. Amazon 'very likely' to bid for Premier League streaming rights (112 points, 12 comments)
    2. Manchester United won fewest points per £1m spent on wages (80 points, 2 comments)
    3. The FA Approves Retroactive Diving Bans (67 points, 17 comments)
    4. Check out this Altidore goal in the USA vs Germany game!!!! (66 points, 6 comments)
    5. Premier League scores in the US as NBC coverage finds growing audience (53 points, 8 comments)
    6. The best player from every Premier League club this season --- agree? (47 points, 17 comments)
    7. Villarreal sit top of La Liga for the first time in their history (47 points, 0 comments)
    8. SPAIN V RUSSIA MATCH THREAD (46 points, 83 comments)
    9. Arsenal season-ticket holders’ disgust at £132 Bayern Munich tickets (45 points, 7 comments)
    10. The REAL victims in Qatar WC debacle: the slave workers -- short documentary (45 points, 1 comment)
  14. 686 points, 3 submissions: deckymch
    1. Footage of the French half time team talk during the World Cup final (English subtitles) (487 points, 61 comments)
    2. Monaco sign Russian World Cup star Golovin (106 points, 10 comments)
    3. Son extends Tottenham contract (93 points, 9 comments)
  15. 574 points, 11 submissions: Icanhazcomment
    1. Messi goal vs AC Milan [gif] (71 points, 5 comments)
    2. Drogba great finish vs Madrid [Gif] (63 points, 6 comments)
    3. Hulk fakes himself [Gif] (61 points, 2 comments)
    4. Modric's lovely goal against United [gif] (60 points, 12 comments)
    5. David Luiz's 35 yarder [gif] (55 points, 5 comments)
    6. Hazard stunner vs Stoke City [Gif] (49 points, 4 comments)
    7. Eboue hammers it in against Madrid [Gif] (48 points, 3 comments)
    8. Alaba goal vs Juventus (43 points, 12 comments)
    9. Eden Hazard goal vs United [Gif] (42 points, 6 comments)
    10. Fantastic link up by AC Milan for Muntari's goal [Gif] (41 points, 4 comments)
  16. 520 points, 1 submission: ancestorprotector
    1. Oh what a finish by Bale (520 points, 49 comments)
  17. 490 points, 9 submissions: provenquality
    1. Man City have spent £327m since 2011 to make two changes to their first XI (78 points, 14 comments)
    2. How a curmudgeonly old reporter exposed the FIFA scandal that toppled Sepp Blatter (73 points, 1 comment)
    3. Sepp Blatter admits it was a mistake to host 2022 World Cup in Qatar (56 points, 26 comments)
    4. Mourinho (on Guardiola): "If you enjoy what you’re doing, you don’t lose your hair" (50 points, 8 comments)
    5. Winter in Qatar is Still in Qatar (49 points, 0 comments)
    6. Leo Messi to face trial over €4.1m tax fraud (48 points, 5 comments)
    7. Austrian players say referee was ‘too scared’ to send off Zlatan Ibrahimovic (46 points, 8 comments)
    8. Manchester United appoint Louis van Gaal as manager (46 points, 6 comments)
    9. Daily Mail's England team of the future from 2007... Where are they now? (44 points, 14 comments)
  18. 456 points, 3 submissions: randommanunitedfan
    1. 5 year old Luka Modric is collecting his herd of goats before his family was forced to flee the area and become refugees. (200 points, 36 comments)
    2. Love how the France Chants Kante's name. (169 points, 5 comments)
    3. The 20th goal that Everton scored today. Guess the keeper had enough (87 points, 17 comments)
  19. 445 points, 4 submissions: ammar430
    1. Neymar earned £200,000 to say sorry for behaviour at the World Cup – and he didn’t even write the apology (172 points, 33 comments)
    2. Luka Modric price tag set at staggering £670m as Real Madrid warn Inter Milan off transfer (162 points, 25 comments)
    3. Florentino is willing to pay 300m euros to bring Neymar to Real Madrid (67 points, 22 comments)
    4. Vinícius Júnior: ‘If God wants, Neymar and I will play together at Real Madrid" (44 points, 5 comments)
  20. 439 points, 1 submission: JakFrizz
    1. 5 girls no cup (439 points, 13 comments)
  21. 407 points, 1 submission: LeftyLuke-87
    1. Bend it like Beckham (407 points, 38 comments)
  22. 406 points, 7 submissions: Curiousme14
    1. The FA Council has rejected Hull City’s application to change their playing name to Hull Tigers (84 points, 7 comments)
    2. Qatar paid $1.7 million for Asian votes (67 points, 7 comments)
    3. Argentina Donate Their Runner-Up World Cup Prize Money to Argentinian Hospital (61 points, 1 comment)
    4. Barcelona offer Luis Suarez £40million deal - but only if striker agrees to 'bite clause' (60 points, 11 comments)
    5. Vanishing Spray Is More Revolutionary Than Goal-Line Technology (48 points, 13 comments)
    6. Leicester have been promoted back to the Premier League after a 10 year hiatus. (45 points, 4 comments)
    7. Gianluigi Buffon to play for three more years for Juventus (41 points, 2 comments)

Top Commenters

  1. lorcanmartinvilla86 (354 points, 23 comments)
  2. Salvad00r (264 points, 11 comments)
  3. Sphincterzilla (252 points, 26 comments)
  4. Chive (249 points, 93 comments)
  5. Dukmiester (248 points, 32 comments)
  6. MagicallyAdept (241 points, 23 comments)
  7. TheConceptOfFear (226 points, 4 comments)
  8. transformdbz (225 points, 9 comments)
  9. IntellegentIdiot (219 points, 39 comments)
  10. gullymangulliver (215 points, 2 comments)
  11. SwissJAmes (207 points, 57 comments)
  12. killernanorobots (205 points, 20 comments)
  13. Cisyt (197 points, 31 comments)
  14. pumkinhat (195 points, 23 comments)
  15. zorfog (192 points, 16 comments)
  16. SuperSonic4 (191 points, 30 comments)
  17. Brickie78 (180 points, 27 comments)
  18. Art_Vandelay_7 (179 points, 31 comments)
  19. bostero2 (178 points, 8 comments)
  20. stevenlondono (178 points, 6 comments)
  21. Stranger_Cake (177 points, 13 comments)
  22. xXGreco (175 points, 18 comments)
  23. alpseagle (174 points, 16 comments)
  24. chandler25 (169 points, 32 comments)
  25. resastrive (169 points, 3 comments)
  26. FrankLampard88 (168 points, 11 comments)
  27. rijmij99 (165 points, 47 comments)
  28. Jesus_will_return (164 points, 2 comments)
  29. Rockithammer (162 points, 13 comments)
  30. Waterbarron (161 points, 18 comments)
  31. MttsNmstr (159 points, 6 comments)
  32. AskNotAks (156 points, 4 comments)
  33. Sodass (154 points, 5 comments)
  34. Wildebeast1 (153 points, 48 comments)
  35. LittlePanda82 (146 points, 1 comment)
  36. Commandant1 (144 points, 49 comments)
  37. darthrasco420 (142 points, 1 comment)
  38. firasq16 (137 points, 2 comments)
  39. Subertt (136 points, 3 comments)
  40. Skuffinho (135 points, 15 comments)
  41. DMVboi (134 points, 4 comments)
  42. BonoboUK (133 points, 18 comments)
  43. cotch85 (132 points, 17 comments)
  44. MostWantedBandit (132 points, 4 comments)
  45. MelandrusApostle (131 points, 1 comment)
  46. Fushboire (130 points, 6 comments)
  47. Mattboyd2991 (130 points, 6 comments)
  48. im_probablyjoking (129 points, 10 comments)
  49. panicandrum (127 points, 1 comment)
  50. AFCADaan9 (126 points, 28 comments)
  51. jumacl (126 points, 9 comments)
  52. occupythekitchen (125 points, 19 comments)
  53. johnsonjohnson28 (123 points, 6 comments)
  54. SubbyDoo (119 points, 29 comments)
  55. Englishnotgentleman (119 points, 7 comments)
  56. robizzle89 (116 points, 9 comments)
  57. MrFlibblesVeryCross (114 points, 6 comments)
  58. Michael_Pitt (114 points, 4 comments)
  59. umiupbeat (111 points, 21 comments)
  60. letskillrobots (109 points, 6 comments)
  61. S-BRO (108 points, 4 comments)
  62. BetweenTheCheeks (107 points, 30 comments)
  63. prof_hobart (107 points, 9 comments)
  64. tronoz (106 points, 3 comments)
  65. yourfriendkyle (104 points, 14 comments)
  66. therefai (104 points, 10 comments)
  67. Nempowa (104 points, 2 comments)
  68. galient5 (103 points, 28 comments)
  69. H-habilis (99 points, 4 comments)
  70. 10241988 (97 points, 15 comments)
  71. Masterkid1230 (97 points, 15 comments)
  72. CatoPriscus (97 points, 6 comments)
  73. LitCorn33 (96 points, 5 comments)
  74. LiarsEverywhere (95 points, 16 comments)
  75. Afuckingdrowner (95 points, 15 comments)
  76. kaam00s (95 points, 9 comments)
  77. steadydeath (95 points, 1 comment)
  78. House- (94 points, 3 comments)
  79. tomd317 (93 points, 7 comments)
  80. xanfranreddit (93 points, 1 comment)
  81. brain4breakfast (91 points, 21 comments)
  82. EViL-D (91 points, 3 comments)
  83. JoeAllan (90 points, 26 comments)
  84. boykimjong (90 points, 7 comments)
  85. carlcon (90 points, 4 comments)
  86. AdamyBoy (90 points, 1 comment)
  87. thunderpriest (89 points, 13 comments)
  88. jamadelo (89 points, 8 comments)
  89. Auntfanny (89 points, 7 comments)
  90. FZTR (89 points, 7 comments)
  91. PumpkinTom (89 points, 1 comment)
  92. digitalfoe (88 points, 4 comments)
  93. Heathen_Inferos (88 points, 3 comments)
  94. ken_new (87 points, 7 comments)
  95. OrangeJuiceAlibi (87 points, 3 comments)
  96. offender1992 (86 points, 8 comments)
  97. Lazarus5687 (86 points, 4 comments)
  98. StabbingHobo (86 points, 1 comment)
  99. EfeceoP (85 points, 4 comments)
  100. Matux903 (84 points, 2 comments)

Top Submissions

  1. Football commentators (LOUD) by chocolat_ice_cream (1207 points, 43 comments)
  2. Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football. by chocolat_ice_cream (865 points, 33 comments)
  3. England try to score while Croatia were celebrating by Nempowa (818 points, 95 comments)
  4. Batshuayi hits the target! by Falland (700 points, 23 comments)
  5. Japanese fans collecting the garbage after the game today. Winning inside and out of the field. by chocolat_ice_cream (613 points, 24 comments)
  6. Oh what a finish by Bale by ancestorprotector (520 points, 49 comments)
  7. Footage of the French half time team talk during the World Cup final (English subtitles) by deckymch (487 points, 61 comments)
  8. 5 girls no cup by JakFrizz (439 points, 13 comments)
  9. Bend it like Beckham by LeftyLuke-87 (407 points, 38 comments)
  10. I'm an American falling in love with football by Waterbarron (381 points, 125 comments)

Top Comments

  1. 220 points: lorcanmartinvilla86's comment in Neymar earned £200,000 to say sorry for behaviour at the World Cup – and he didn’t even write the apology
  2. 206 points: gullymangulliver's comment in England fans celebrating in the street after the Tunisia game
  3. 200 points: transformdbz's comment in Germany goalless against South Korea, eliminated in group stages for the first time in history
  4. 184 points: Salvad00r's comment in England try to score while Croatia were celebrating
  5. 155 points: Jesus_will_return's comment in Denmark against Iran. Iranian player heard a whistle from the public, he thought that it was the end end of the fist half, and caught the ball with his hands, conceding a penalty. Denmark coach ordered his player to miss the penalty. True football.
  6. 146 points: AskNotAks's comment in Why do you use this sub instead of /soccer?
  7. 146 points: LittlePanda82's comment in Commentator: “Sokratis Papastathopoulos passes to Konstantinos Mavropanos. He looks for Stephan Lichtsteiner... He’s found Henrikh Mkhitaryan making a run. He passes to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang... And that's fulltime.”
  8. 143 points: TheConceptOfFear's comment in I'm an American falling in love with football
  9. 142 points: darthrasco420's comment in England fans celebrating in the street after the Tunisia game
  10. 141 points: Sodass's comment in Who do you think should host the 2022 World Cup instead of Qatar?
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2018.09.29 14:13 Oblique9043 The HUGE Significance of 11/14 or 11/5

After my last post about Regulus and bringing up the Nov 14th date spoken about in the Trackdown - End of the World Episode again, I started doing some more digging. It's important you read that post before you can understand this one. You can find it here.

The name of the asteroid that occulted the star Regulus for 14 seconds on March 20, 2014 was called 163 Erigone.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/163_Erigone
163 Erigone is an asteroid from the asteroid belt and the namesake of the Erigone family of asteroids that share similar orbital elements and properties. It was discovered by French astronomer Henri Joseph Perrotin on April 26, 1876, and named after one of the two Erigones in Greek mythology.
Erigone is a relatively large and dark asteroid with an estimated size of 73 km. Based upon its spectrum, it is classified as a C-type asteroid, which indicates that it probably has a carbonaceous composition.
2014 occultation of Regulus
In the early morning hours of March 20, 2014, Erigone occulted the first-magnitude star Regulus as first predicted by A. Vitagliano in 2004. This would have been a rare case of an occultation of a very bright star visible from a highly populated area, since the shadow path moved across New York state and Ontario, including all five boroughs of New York City. Observers in the shadow path would have seen the star wink out for as long as 14 seconds.
However, heavy clouds and rain blocked the view for most if not all people on the shadow path. The website of the International Occultation Timing Association does not list any successful observations at all.
Two single chord Asteroid Occultation events have been observed, in 2013 and 2014

The fact that no one actually witnessed it is REALLY interesting and must play some sort of dynamic to all of this.

The name Erigone seems to refer to 2 different Greek goddesses

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erigone_(daughter_of_Icarius))
Icarius was cordial towards Dionysus, who gave his shepherds wine. They became intoxicated and killed Icarius, thinking he had poisoned them. His daughter, Erigone, and her dog, Maera, found his body. Erigone hanged herself over her father's grave. Dionysus was angry and punished Athens by making all of the city's maidens commit suicide in the same way. Erigone was placed in the stars as the constellation Virgo.
According to Ovid, Dionysus "deceived Erigone with false grapes", that is, assumed the shape of a grape cluster to approach and seduce her.

Dionysus was the god of winemaking. He was responsible for the growth of the vines.

John 15
"I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful."

Sounds like this one is associated with an Antichrist like Figure pretending to be Jesus since wine represents his blood.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erigone_(daughter_of_Aegisthus))
Erigone would have been slain by Orestes along with her brother Aletes if not for the intervention of Artemis, who rescued her and made her a priestess in Attica. In some stories, she hangs herself after the child is born, though this may be a confusion with Erigone, daughter of Icarius. Also, after Hermione died, she is said to have married Orestes and gave birth to Penthilus. Or it is said she sued Orestes to murder of her parents.

Orestes murdered his own mother then went crazy. Satan/Yahweh have other gods related to them where they are rejected by their mothers or don't have one, which is why they are narcissists who hate women and why we he kicks Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden (Mother Nature) and curses women to be subservient to men (read more about this idea here). Revelation speaks of the Red Dragon trying to kill a newborn baby and the woman who birthed him. She then goes somewhere in the wilderness, where God held a place for her until its time. God in this story apparently, is Artemis or Diana. She's not dead, she's just hiding until Orestes (humanity) attones for what he did. This stuff correlates to so much more, I might have to make another post just about this.

I came across this date (11/14) towards the beginning of my journey and I never went back looking into it because it felt like a dead end besides a couple of VERY key significances. Nov 14th is both the day the "Great Comet" is discovered in 1680 and the day that Einstein presented his Quantum Theory of Light in 1908. Looking at this list now, I see WAY more correlations with this to the point it's getting ridiculous. And it seems this date is a sort of pendulum point in time because we have instances of people winning their freedoms, overtaking governments and rulers being killed and we have instances of enslavement, attacks and new kings getting crowned. I wonder which way Earth is going to go in this timeline. Also important to note 11/14 = 1 + 4 = 5 = 11/5 = 1 + 1 + 5 = 7

"Remember, Remember the 5th of November"

Transitions and Abuses of Power


1380 King Charles VI of France crowned at age 12
1698 Spanish king Carlos appoints grandson prince Jozef Ferdinand as heir
1863 Nathan Bedford Forrest is assigned to command of West Tennessee
1881 Charles J. Guiteau put on trial for the assassination of US President Garfield
1881 Leon Gambetta forms French government
1907 The Third Duma (Parliament) meets in Russia; following Tsar Nicholas II's limiting of the franchise, a conservative majority holds sway and suppresses the radical elements
1908 Liberal candidate Jose Miguel Gomez wins national elections for president in Cuba
1915 Tomáš Masaryk demands independence for Czechoslovakia
1918 Republic of Czechoslovakia created with Tomáš Masaryk as its 1st president
1919 Red Army captures Omsk, Siberia
1920 The Russian Bolshevik army occupies Sebastopol, ending anti-communist attempts to regain the government of Russia
1921 The Communist Party of Spain is founded
1922 German Reichs Chancellor Joseph Wirth's term ends
1935 FDR proclaims Philippine Islands a free commonwealth
1935 Nazis deprive German Jews of their citizenship
1942 Last Vichy-French troops in Algeria surrender
1945 Java: Sutan Sjahrir appointed as forming government
1952 Greek General Alexander Papagos wins elections
1954 Egyptian President Naguib resigns, state of emergency declared
1956 Hungarian revolt put down by Soviet invasion
1957 The Apalachin Meeting outside Binghamton, New York is raided by law enforcement, and many high level Mafia figures are arrested
1965 US government sends 90,000 soldiers to Vietnam
1966 Muhammad Ali TKOs Cleveland Williams in 3 for heavyweight title
1971 Enthronment of Pope Shenouda III as Pope of Alexandria
1980 Guinee-Bissau Premier Vieira fires President Luis Cabral
1984 Zamboanga City mayor Cesar Climaco, a prominent critic of the government of Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, is assassinated in his home city.
2001 War in Afghanistan: Afghan Northern Alliance fighters takeover the capital Kabul
2017 Armed forces drive through streets of Harare, Zimbabwe a day after military says its prepared to step in after removal of vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa

1959 "Girls against the Boys" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 16 performances

This seems to imply we'll be at union with both the masculine and the feminine. But all of these events seem to be polar opposites so who knows. It almost seems like women are going to take over and we're trading places. Like Dumuzid and Inanna. If this is the coming of the True Antichrist, then it won't be good and balance will not be achieved through them.

Disasters and Attacks


1775 -15] Floods ravage Dutch coast provinces
1927 World's largest gas tank in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, explodes; 28 die
1938 Dutch DC3 crashes at Schiphol, 6 die
1939 Oil refinery fire kills 500 & destroys Lagunillas, Venezuela
1940 During WW II, German planes destroy most of Coventry, England
1941 British aircraft carrier Ark Royal sank in Mediterranean, having been torpedoed by a German submarine the day before
1941 Governr-General Wouters of Dutch Antilles refuses Jews refuge
1942 -Nov 15th) Japanese/US sea battle at Savo-Island in Guadalcanal
1946 Dutch Dakota flight to Schiphol crashes, kills 11
1959 Kilauea's most spectacular eruption (in Hawaii)
1960 2 passenger trains collided at high-speed killing 110 (Czech)
1960 Riot due to school integration in New Orleans
1970 Marshall U football team wiped out in DC-9 air crash at Kenova, West Virginia, killing 75
1980 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1985 Volcano Nevado del Ruiz Colombia erupts, 1000s killed
1990 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll
1990 Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1990 Philippines hit by typhoon, 110 die
2016 7.8 earthquake cuts off town of Kaikoura, New Zealand, raising sea bed by 4m, and killing 2 people


Currency Issues


1931 Ottawa Mint Act is proclaimed in Britain
2002 Argentina defaults on an $805 million World Bank payment.
2008 Italy plunges into recession, its first since the start of 2005, after GDP contracts a steeper-than-expected 0.5% in the third quarter
2008 Hong Kong becomes the second Asian economy to tip into recession, its exports hit by weakening global demand
2008 Eurozone officially slips into recession for the first time since its creation in 1999, pushed down by recessions in Germany and Italy
2008 Elizabeth Warren is appointed to chair a Congressional Oversight Panel for the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act
2009 The National Statistical Service of Greece states that the country has been in recession since the beginning of the year
2012 A series of protests against austerity measures occur across Europe including Spain, Portugal, and Greece


TV Shows/Movies/Plays/Books


1851 "Moby-Dick" by Herman Melville first published by Harper and Brothers in the US
1883 "Treasure Island" by Robert Louis Stevenson is first published as a book by Cassell & Co.
1894 Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Golden Pince-Nez" (BG)
1905 David Belasco's "Girl of Golden West" premieres in NYC
1908 Oscar Strauss' musical "Der tapfere Soldat" premieres in Vienna
1945 H Lindsay and R Crouse's "State of the Union" premieres in NYC

"The play's events... allude to Wendell Willkie, the utility company head who became the surprise Republican candidate for president in 1940. 'This is a play about a businessman who is a dark-horse candidate.'

1952 First regular UK singles chart published by the New Musical Express
1960 Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind" reaches #1

I said Georgia, GeorgiaA song of you (a song of you)Comes as sweet and clearAs moonlight through the pine

1964 "Fade Out-Fade In" closes at Mark Hellinger NYC after 199 performances
The show spoofs some of the great film stars of the era, such as Shirley Temple and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Governor is based on MGM honcho Louis B. Mayer, known for his roving eye for pretty starlets and deep-seated nepotism.

1964 "Folies Bergere" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 191 performances
1964 "Oliver!" closes at Imperial Theater NYC after 774 performances
A workhouse in Dunstable, England is visited by the wealthy governors who fund it. While a sumptuous banquet is held for them, the barefoot orphan boys who work there are being served their daily gruel. They dream of enjoying the same "Food, Glorious Food" as their masters. While eating, some boys draw straws to see who will ask for more to eat, and the job falls to a boy named Oliver Twist. He goes up to Bumble and Widow Corney, who run the workhouse and serve the gruel, and asks for more. Enraged, Bumble takes Oliver to the governors to see what to do with him ("Oliver!"). A decision is made to have Oliver sold into service. Bumble parades Oliver through the snow, trying to sell him to the highest bidder ("Boy for Sale"). Oliver is sold to an undertaker named Mr. Sowerberry, who intends to use him as a mourner for children's funeral
1965 "Baker Street" closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 313 performances
1965 George Abbott Theater (Adelphi, 54 St) at 152 W 54th NYC, demolished
1968 U.S. premiere of film version of Morris L. West's best seller "The Shoes of the Fisherman"
1973 "Good Evening" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 438 performances
1976 "Network", directed by Sidney Lumet, starring Faye Dunaway, Peter Finch and William Holden, premieres in Los Angeles and New York City (Finch - Academy Awards Best Actor 1977)

This one warrants reading the entire plot as it fits too perfectly. Even ending with the assassination of the main character.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_(1976_film))
Network is a 1976 American satirical film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings
1981 "Raise!" 11th studio album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released (Billboard Album of the Year 1982) Event of interestEvent of Interest
1987 "La Cage aux Folles" closes at Palace Theater NYC after 1761 performances

La cage aux folles literally means "the cage of mad women". However, folles is also a slang term for effeminate homosexuals (queens).

1991 Michael Jackson's "Black or White" video premieres on FOX TV
1993 "Kentucky Cycle" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 34 performances
1993 "Twilight of the Golds" closes at Booth Theater NYC after 29 performances
1993 Puerto Rico votes against becoming the 51st US state
1996 "Chicago" opens at Richard Rodgers Theater NYC
1997 Disney's "Lion King" sets Broadway record of $2,700,000 daily sale
2000 Geddy Lee releases his first solo album, “My Favourite Headache”
2002 Film "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" is released, based on the second book by J. K. Rowling
2006 "Casino Royale", 21st James Bond film premieres in London, starring Daniel Craig for the 1st time and Eva Green, premieres in London
2012 "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2", based on the book by Stephenie Meyer, directed by Bill Condon, starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, is released
As ridiculous as this sounds, this might be the most relevant of all. I can't fit it all here, so just go here and read about the plot.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Twilight_Saga:_Breaking_Dawn_%E2%80%93_Part_2#Plot

Her daughters name literally means "born again". Someone gets told they don't live in the world they think they do. Her child get persecuted and they gather "witnesses" to testify for her. The 2 witnesses in Revelation? The correlations here are crazy. Especially with the idea I've heard that everything man exalts, God hates and vice versa. So Pagan and witches seem to be implying something here.

2016 "Moana" animated Disney film directed by Ron Clements and John Musker with voices by Auli'i Cravalho and Dwayne Johnson premieres in Los Angeles
On the Polynesian island of Motunui, the inhabitants worship the goddess Te Fiti, who brought life to the ocean, using a pounamu stone as her heart and the source of her power. Maui, the shapeshifting demigod and master of sailing, steals the heart to give humanity the power of creation. However, Te Fiti disintegrates, and Maui is attacked by Te Kā, a volcanic demon, losing both his magical giant fishhook and the heart to the depths.
A millennium later, Moana, daughter of Motunui's chief Tui, is chosen by the ocean to return the heart to Te Fiti. However, Tui arrives and takes Moana away, causing her to lose the heart.

Space & Exploration Related


1524 Francisco Pizarro begins his 1st great expedition, near Colombia
1792 Captain George Vancouver is first Englishman to enter San Francisco Bay

Something to do with Pope Francis? Either Jesuit takeover of America or destruction of the Catholic church would be my guess.

1910 1st airplane flight from deck of a ship, Norfolk, Virginia

Another first involving flying vehicles

1922 BBC begins daily radio broadcasts from the 2LO transmitter at Marconi House

Implying contact

1923 Kentaro Suzuki completes his ascent of Mount Iizuna.

1969 Apollo 12 (Conrad/Gordon/Bean) launched for 2nd manned Moon landing

We just announced we're sending people back to the moon

1981 2nd Space Shuttle Mission-Columbia 2-returns to Earth

The 2nd space shuttle, Lady Liberty, RETURNS to Earth

1983 First cruise missile placed at Greenham Common, England

Those missiles were guided by light

1984 Astronauts aboard "Discovery" pluck a 2nd satellite from orbit

More references to a 2nd moon or "satellite". With "Discovery" plucking one from orbit.

1984 NASA launches NATO-3D

Implying this 3D world was "launched" or created?

1994 Space shuttle STS-66 (Atlantis 13), lands

Atlantis? 13 is the mother again.

2012 CFBDSIR 2149-0403 is discovered, the closest rogue planet to earth (100 light-years away)

This is a giant indicator.


Scandals


1550 Pope Julius III proclaims new seat on Council of Trente

Apparently he was fucking his "adopted nephew" which was a big scandal for the Catholic Church

1943 J Postma, C Schalker, D Goulooze arrested for leading illegal CPN

CPN scams involve social security numbers and escaping bad credit.

1991 American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103

Russia downed a flight and I don't think anyone has indicted them yet

1986 SEC imposes a record $100 million penalty against Ivan Boesky

Fined for insider stock trading, the highest fine ever at the time for a single person.

2002 The United States House of Representatives votes not to create an independent commission to investigate the September 11 attacks

Now this is VERY interesting. Trump has repeatedly said he would expose 9/11 and I've had this theory for a while that he would use this information to end the investigation and take complete power.

1976 War criminal Pieter Menten captured 1 day after fleeing

He was a Nazi. A Dutch writer was involved in his capture. I'm noticing a lot of references to the Dutch. Apparently they were very complicit in atrocities of Nazi Germany and they had the highest percentage of Jewish deaths in Western Europe, 75% of them died. A lot of Nazi's actually hid out in these areas to avoid capture. The Little Baron Trump books say he changed his name to a Dutch name. Trump himself lied and said his father was Swedish. I think it's pretty obvious what this means.


Miscellaneous


1666 Samuel Pepys reports on 1st blood transfusion (between dogs)

Almost seems like an illusion to genetic manipulation. The Greeks called the city where they worshiped the Egyptian god of the Underworld Anubis, the "city of the dog". Jesus referred to a Canaanite woman as a dog once. Trump also called Omarosa a "dog". Keeping with my theory that almost 100% of the negative things Trump says about a person are projection, which means he's really talking about himself, this is very interesting. Especially with his love for Black and Gold color schemes on his "Towers" which is very Egyptian. Ramses II also had red hair. Which means he was an Edomite. Ramses II is mentioned specifically on Cleopatra's Needle, one of which is a mile away from the black inverted obelisk that is Trump Tower. Ramses II sounds an AWFUL lot like Trump. Loved to build monuments to himself and over exaggerated his accomplishments. He is very revered though and thought of as a great Pharaoh, according to what was written about him at least.

1675 Pope Clemens X declares Gorcumse martyrs divine

They were 19 Catholics who were killed for being Catholics

1832 First streetcar (horse-drawn) (John Mason) debuts in NYC; fare 12 cents rode on 4th Avenue between Prince and 14th Sts

The Mars Rover was literally just driven around NYC


1896 Power plant at Niagara Falls begins operation

Implying a new power or power source is coming?

1967 The Congress of Colombia in commemoration of the 150 years of the death of Policarpa Salavarrieta, declares this day as "Day of the Colombian Woman"

Columbia was originally a name for the goddess of America, which is essentially Lady Liberty. If the Messiah really is coming, this is implying it's a woman.

1969 2nd Vietnam Moratorium Day in US

This was a sit in to protest the Vietnam war

1972 Dow Jones closes above 1,000 for 1st time (1003.16)

This seems to be a good thing

1973 Canada begins production of Olympic coins

The Olympics was the celebration of the Triumph over the first gods, the Titans. Although its just a sham to fool the people into thinking they are free now when the old gods just changed shape into new ones. Like the Phoenix being reborn.

1975 Spain, Morocco and Mauretania sign accord about Spanish Sahara

Spain gave up land due to pressure from the UN

1976 "Don't Step on My Olive Branch" closes at Playhouse NYC after 16 performances

This is a play about Israel. Olive branches represent peace

1977 Egyptian President Anwar Sadat repeats willingness to visit Israel to Walter Cronkite

Interesting. Egypt is a metaphor in the Bible for a place of struggle as well as being a real place.

1981 Old Dutch Windmill in Golden Gate Park repaired and working again

Apparently this is just one of 2 different ones. The other one called Murphy which is on the west side of the GOLDEN GATE Park.

1982 Polish Solidarity chairman Lech Wałęsa freed

Just gonna have to read about this one for yourselves, it's very relevant.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lech_Wa%C5%82%C4%99sa

1990 Michael Heseltine contests Margaret Thatcher's leadership of the British Conservative Party

A challenge to the conservative party

1991 Cambodian Prince Norodom Sihanouk returns to Phnom Penh after thirteen years of exile

13 is associated with the mother principal of the soul. She's been in exile, represented by getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

2001 OPEC announces that it intends to cut its crude oil output quotas by 1.5 million barrels per day effective, but only if non-OPEC producers cut their output by 500,000 barrels per day as well

Oil shortage coming?

2007 the last direct-current distribution by Con Edison was shut down.

Is this indicating the power will be cut off or is it a metaphor for humanity itself?

Children's Day is celebrated on the 14th of November in India as a tribute to Jawaharlal Nehru, who was born on November 14, 1889. Jawaharlal Nehru, who was fondly called Chacha Nehru or simply Chachaji, was known for his love for children. On this day, chocolates and gifts are often distributed among children, while schools organize different events such as debates, and music and dance performances. It is also a common practice to distribute gifts like clothes, toys and books to orphan children on this day.
submitted by Oblique9043 to TheGreatDeception [link] [comments]


2017.03.04 15:56 casualGadabout My Overanalysis of Khonjin House

Khonjin House, Episode One

The introduction to Khonjin's and Gino's personalities. Nothing major happens, but Spag is fired, which leads to something important later on. Spag is never re-hired but acts as if he was.

Khonjin House, Episode Two

Khonjin hosts the gameshow "Guess the Answer You Fucking Idiot," which proves insignificant, but shows Gino's hatred for Khonjin. Gino says "It's in the contract," in reaction to Khonjin freaking out that the prize is full legal authority to burn down his house and kill his family, which shows their relationship well. Dumbass is introduced, who is supposedly a gimmick character.

Khonjin House, Episode Three

Dumbass tries to sell Mormons to Khonjin, showing a minor character, Curtis Seinfeld, to him. He is only seen again in the Court episode and a few others. The cat Khonjin found is the garbage is introduced to his father, according to Dumbass. Khonjin laughs his ass off, showing somewhat of awareness of the fourth wall, acting as if that was their best take.

Khonjin House, Episode Four

Khonjin's Father, or Dad, is introduced. Spag is revealed to have a girlfriend. He crashes through the wall of Gino's shop, exposing a hole into space, despite being in an alleyway. Dad somewhat verbally abuses Gino, and only came because he saw on Tumblr that Spag was dating Khonjin. This is not confirmed but is a possible relationship status for them. Gino calls Dad "Master," among other things, showing submission. This suggests that Dad is very powerful compared to Gino. Dad is also shown to over-react to "trigger words," like "retard" and "black." Dad throws Gino through the roof and Gino explodes for calling Khonjin a "retard." Dad yells at Spag and claims he was involved in 9/11, on "those planes."

Khonjin House, Episode Five

Khonjin arrives "at the edge of time itself," and meets Smack. This is not directly shown, but for a few frames after Khonjin asks, "Who are you?" the text is shown to say, "i am morgan freeman except with turquoise hair and im black." While Morgan Freeman is black, that's beside the point. Smack is not a character that is known at this point, but he is always shown with turquoise hair and black skin, therefore we can infer this voice is Smack. The voice being female may have something to do with Shelby. When Khonjin loses his eyes after tripping, the voice immediately gives his eyes back through mini-explosions, proving a small amount of power. "Home Alone: The Holiday Heist" is presented hovering above a fallen wooden pillar. Smack calls the movie "the fabric of existence itself," and warns Khonjin not to touch the "little scooty." Scooty does not have an exact definition but sounds urban. Khonjin says he won't touch it if Smack tells him Martin Luther King's real identity. Khonjin is told that MLK is really Adam Sandler, and freaks out, kicking the scooty in the progress. Church bells ring, and Smack's voice crashes like a computer program as Khonjin and the pillar float around. A Public Service Announcement is given showing an unknown character calling Pent a "queer fag gay boy." Everything past that is unimportant.

Khonjin House, Episode Six

Jaffar is introduced as a character, but the episode isn't very significant. Khonjin has been married and divorced, according to Jaffar. They divorced because Khonjin didn't pay his bills, and she was cheating on him. Khonjin planted C4 under the floorboards and blows up what is likely Fratelli's Pizza's kitchen, but it doesn't matter, as both characters and the building reappear later on.

Khonjin House, Episode Seven

Gino wins a package labeled "Pitbull," but contains a Maneki-neko referred to as a "Chiwowow cat." Khonjin enters Gino's Pizza and is threatened by Gino with a baseball bat. He somehow stole the chiwowow, but the cat threatens him as well. He is told to "do the thing," after being knocked out, and performs a concert for a full audience. Gino is told to give the chiwowow cat back by a minor female character. Gino's slight perversion or general rudeness is shown as he tells the woman she can have his balls.

Khonjin House, Episode Eight

The episode starts by panning in on two guys fucking. This episode is unimportant, but the fourth wall is acknowledged once again, as Khonjin says that the video needs to be flagged since the sex was uncensored. Dumbass, dressed as a police officer, is shown telling Khonjin that there's a problem because the men haven't heard of "Very Large Dildos." SHADOFOX2 is given the "Greatest Voice Performance 2015" award, which is a joke that seems very random to people that don't know the people that helped create Khonjin House.

Khonjin House, Episode Nine

A new character, a game-obsessed girl who isn't given a name, is introduced. She is a minor character, but the biggest minor character. Let's call her Gog for now. Khonjin clearly hates Gog, and makes game-based puns to follow in her game-obsession, and then is asked to order pizza. Of course, Khonjin complies. Spag delivers the pizza and Gog is thrown out, then both Spag and Gog explode. They don't die. Khonjin opens the box and it turns out to be a "fucking shitty ass spaghetti piece of shit." The spaghetti goes through from one side of the screen to the other and breaks the television screen. He is sucked into the TV and is now a Super Smash Brothers 4 mii brawler. This scene doesn't really matter, but he kicks some ass.

Khonjin House, Episode Ten

Khonjin is shown to randomly explode mid-sentence when talking to Gino and is dead for four days. Gino drops voicemails off for him. The first one serves no importance other than showing that he'd even bother to message Khonjin. Gino has a very different voice, which may be because he doesn't have any built up stress from talking to Khonjin anymore. The next voicemail Gino talks about watching television and how Manny Pacquiao is fighting Algeria. This shows a slight interest in boxing. On day three, Gino suggests writing a broadway play called "Tony Villante: The Musical." I have not caught the name Tony Villante in the credits, nor can I find any major person name Tony Villante. I can easily assume this is not random, but I am not sure of the reasoning. Gino says the play will include all of the important people, which is everyone except for Khonjin, according to him. On the fourth day, Gino sings an unidentified song. Either I don't know a lot of music, or it's simply ramblings in song form. It sounds something like "Oh, Lila," who may have been a significant figure in Gino's life who recently died, although he seems to laugh after singing. There is text that reads "Gino's phone combusted into a hellish inferno the likes of which no one had seen before. He died of his injuries 80 years later. To speak on behalf of the departed, we asked Khonjin for an interview. He explained to us that he was deceased, but I dropped that line on him from the pirates of the carribean movie where he's like 'you best start believing in ghost stories or I'll be pissed' to which he reluctantly agreed." A very old Khonjin is then shown at his own grave with no ghost-like properties, despite supposedly being one. Khonjin's shirt and hair have now switched colors and claims Gino gave Khonjin his "golden pepperoni" before he died, which turns out to be spaghetti. Khonjin then explodes and Gino pops in with no aging effects to steal the "golden pepperoni."

Season Wrap-up

Almost all of the cast have been introduced and their personalities have been developed well. We have Khonjin, Gino, Gay Spaghetti Chef (Spag), Ruther (Gog's real name, as Shadok123 has informed me), Curtis Seinfeld, Jaffar, Pent (He made an appearance, anyway), Smack (The voice), Dumbass, Khonjin's Cat, and Dad. Khonjin has ruined the fabric of existence itself, and we have yet to say what has come of this.

Khonjin House, Episode Eleven

Gino creates a shitty ad for Fratelli's Pizzaria. He scares off a customer asking for a refill and announces that his restaurant is built on the burial grounds of the real n-word. Gino has a new, observable menu and Spag interrupts his commercial. Spag takes a much more professional route, but Khonjin yells that Spag's a fraud when Spag says he makes the best pizza. While this was stupid of Khonjin, it's not a lie. Every pizza Spag makes is a plate of spaghetti, after all. Gino's menu falls and the episode ends.

Khonjin House, Episode Twelve

A new character, Doctor, is introduced. Khonjin has visited Doctor because his "threadworms aren't threading together" and Khonjin is about as pissed as such a character could be. Doctor gets upset that Khonjin is calling him "Doc," being that he "has more degrees than a thermometer." Doctor knocks Khonjin out with a wrench and removes his pelvis. As with these shitpost-style videos, nothing matters in the next episode.

Khonjin House, Episode Thirteen

Khonjin's 1,000 subscriber special. When talking to Gino, Khonjin reveals that he has a true form of a YouTube Celebrity, with a much cockier and douchebaggier personality. Somewhat loud music plays in the background. Gino doesn't give a fuck and calls him garbage. Khonjin then goes on to list some of his subscribers. Gino tells him to go off and be famous somewhere else, and Khonjin follows an airplane on a Goon Bird. Khonjin arrives back in Gino's Pizza and the airplane crashes into the building. Khonjin gives a "Please like and subscribe" type of outro, then it cuts to a one-off character saying that he's contractually obligated. Khonjin reveals his true form as the Baltimore Orioles' logo. Both the Goon Bird and the Baltimore Orioles' logo are minor characters.

Khonjin House, Episode Fourteen

This episode is reminiscent of a bad medieval-era anime. A ghost with Steve Jobs' head is shown as the king with a boy dressed as a knight guarding him. The boy is given a man's voice. Khonjin breaks in and is said to have died by Steve Jobs' hands before. Khonjin transforms with the power of the Pepperoni Pizza, which amps up the music and creates an overdramatic scene, but means jackshit because King Daddledingo, a new character, falls down and crushes Steve Jobs. Daddledingo is revealed to be the boy's true king.

Khonjin House, Episode Fifteen

The episode starts with "The following advertisement is an advertisement," which to me, gives off YouTube Poop vibes. These YTP vibes can be seen throughout the series, but are much more prevalent here. The advertisement starts with the line, "HAVE YOU'RE hUSBAND EVER MADE LOVE?" which is sort of an important line, as it can be scrambled to say something else as shown in Episode Fifty. In the commercial, Gino "admits" to killing his wife and children, and Gino sues Khonjin over that for deformation. Khonjin uses that line in court, which is stupid even for Khonjin. Gino calls his wife and children to the stand, then Khonjin shoots them. The jurors behind him, including Khonjin, Khonjin's Cat, Curtis Seinfeld, Dumbass, Ruther, and King Daddledingo, as well as Gino himself, freak out. The judge mysteriously disappears and Khonjin now sits in the judge's chair. The gun is now in Gino's hand and the episode ends.

Khonjin House, Episode Sixteen

Dad sets up Spag, Gino, and Khonjn to steal pepperoni from their "rival gang," which is actually Gino's own restaurant. Their main export is pepperoni pizza bread, and Dad wants that interrupted by the 69th hour, 420 days from then. Khonjin and his Dad's voice actors go into a fit of laughter at the stupidity of that joke.

Khonjin House, Episode Seventeen

Spag reveals Khonjin's Cat's name to be Millhouse. Gino breaks in, creating the same hole Dad did in Episode Four. The lights are out until Spag gets up from behind the counter. Spag says they ended up at Gino's because the map "was spaghetti," but Dad most likely did this intentionally. Spag is shocked that all of the pepperoni is gone, and Khonjin is shown to have stolen it. After some very obvious sarcasm, he shoots Gino and Spag, then returns home. The pepperoni explodes and Khonjin shoots himself, but "Khonjin survives the self inflicted attack."

Khonjin House, Episode Eighteen

The episode starts with Khonji bragging about becoming the king. It didn't happen yesterday, however, it did happen one day earlier. Khonjin retrieves a flag from atop a tree and became the king. He then looks at comments on his own videos, then freaks out. He googles himself and finds a page on SexUPals with Khonjin's real information(?) His name is Connor and apparently creates video games from what we see. The page also shows that he lives in Sacramento, but the Bandcamp site containing the OST has the tag "Pittsburgh." This could be in reference to the Pittsburgh Penguins, being that penguins are a recurring theme, Connor may have moved, both cities are fake, SHADOFOX2 lives in Pittsburgh (Whom of which created Smack, the only lengthy song in the OST), or something else. Khonjin beats up Gino because he's not in the mood for his bullshit, and met Scrollbar Johnson. He did not survive his encounter with Scrollbar Johnson.

Khonjin House, Episode Nineteen

Spag is kidnapped by a Goon Bird, with orders from Jaffar. Khonjin, with the help of Fred from Scooby-Doo, discovers that Jaffar is just Spag's Girlfriend in disguise. Nothing else noteworthy happens.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty

Khonjin sees that Gino has found "a magic." Khonjin touches the magic and it envelops the screen. The show transitions to a mix of animation styles with nothing too important happening. These different styles may be fan animations, but I'm watching the movie and I don't feel like checking right now. This season finale doesn't seem to be significant, but Spag does deliver a real pepperoni pizza.

Season Wrap-Up

Hints at future gimmicks or occurrences, like the subscriber specials and the "HAVE YOU'RE hUSBAND EVER MADE LOVE?" line, but still nothing you really need to care about happens. King Daddledingo has been introduced, as well as Goon Bird and the Baltimore Orioles' logo. Khonjin's Cat's name has been revealed to be Millhouse.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-one

The episode starts with Khonjin supposedly being attacked by a shark out of nowhere after taking a single step. This is recorded on a news channel by a minor character. This newscaster is being held hostage by a shark with a gun, then Khonjin breaks through the ceiling and claims the footage was doctored. Dumbass' head then appears on the screen and Khonjin gets the shark to hand over the gun. But before that, Khonjin says the shark nor the gun are real, which causes the shark to shoot the newscaster and the Baltimore Orioles logo appears on the screen. The shark then turns into the BioLizard and Khonjin reaches Gino's voicemail when asking for help. The BioLizard then breaks in and crushes Khonjin. (That's a lot... You never know what shit is going to come back and turn out to be important.)

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-two

Khonjin's 4,000 subscriber special, he starts off with somewhat loud music again. Gino tells him to move away again. Khonjin reads off a list of subscribers in a plane sitting next to a gun and is told that all of his subscribers in the cockpit by Tony the Tiger. The plane crashes and a baby Yoshi distracts Khonjin, who is ambushed by Sagat. Sagat "trains" Khonjin, and is wiped out by Khonjin after a joking attempt at following his lead. Khonjin returns to the restaurant with all of his subscribers as tigers. The tigers maul Gino.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-three

The episode starts with a normal golf announcer, minus the threats to his wife and grandfather, commentating on Khonjin's golf game. The course is supposedly the length of the Appalachian Mountains, and Khonjin is about to take the final shot. The commentator mentions that his grandfather was a con artist make tons of money by selling bicycles to legless children. Who fucking knows how that was done. Khonjin throws his club and it counts as the shot, then is congratulated by what I expect to be one of Daddledingo's minions or friends. This tournament was the fourth grand slam tournament in Africa, according to this penguin. Khonjin then walks up to the group and advertises his shirts that don't really exist. Spag greets Khonjin and asks for a shirt, but is informed of their nonexistence. Spag is clearly missing a shirt.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-four

Khonjin says the shirts are real now, but every time he tries to make an advertising point he realizes he forgot to help out Spag. Khonjin then goes to Gino's Pizza and gives Spag Foskar the Funny Fish. Any tension between Spag and Khonjin was broken.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-five

Khonjin hosts a class for idiots, apparently, except for Idiot Image, a one-off character. Another one-off character (This episode is full of them) coughs while Khonjin is giving his lesson, and Khonjin freaks out. Khonjin dissipates the kid into nonexistence (Ah, the first episode that can back up any theory with noticeable weight. Good. We're getting there, folks. You might have been thinking "I'm better off reading the summaries on the wiki," but no. I'm doing theory shit after all of this, and you guys can help me if you really want to). Khonjin resumes his lesson and spouts out garbage he calls English. The students are told to replicate it and don't seem to even try. Khonjin spouts more garbage and Ruther replicates the speech pattern well. Khonjin "interviews" Ruther, becoming somewhat suspicious of her "ability." Khonjin then kills Ruther and says he was an undercover cop and calls Ruther the criminal, then admits that he's a murderer after the police (rather quickly, AKA plot convenience at its finest,) arrive.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-six

Khonjin complains that he has no Christmas money, and goes to Gino to play cards. Gino is interested with the idea of poker and money, while Khonjin insults him to lure him into a trap. Khonjin absolutely sucks when playing against Gino, although this was likely purposeful to get Gino to cough out money due to his plan that is yet to be revealed. Also, he held a driver's license of a female figured, a Blue-Eyes White Dragon Yu-Gi-Oh card, a 512 GB SanDisk card, a credit card, and a birthday card at one point if you were wondering but too lazy to check. This is very likely to be unimportant. Dumbass with the Baltimore Orioles logo for a head comes in and takes the money, since he made a patent on cards with a royalty fee of $250 per playing card used. That amounts to how much Gino put down (250*50 = 12,500. Damn.) and Khonjin collects the money. Santa crashes into Khonjin's car on his way back, and Santa tells Khonjin that Christmas isn't about making money, but a shit load of money. I liked this little segment, but there's nothing that will every amount to anything from this scene. Probably.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-seven

Khonjin hears a "distressing shriek from the intersection" but disregards it, as he does not trust the streets. The woman who took the chiwowow cat back from Gino is being threatened by Dumbass, and Khonjin tells them to shut up. Khonjin goes to Gino's Pizza and is hit with a baseball bat, then goes back to the "intersection" which is much more of an alleyway. Khonjin thinks he recognizes Dumbass, and Dumbass spouts garbage, far worse than Khonjin's class.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-eight

Khonjin says he found the perfect man to assist Khonjin in his job, but he doesn't arrive this episode. Supposedly he didn't arrive because the actor couldn't do it just then. Jaffar then appears and the episode ends.

Khonjin House, Episode Twenty-nine

Khonjin dressed up as Luigi (cough Khonjin Igiul cough) orders a pizza from Gino and says he bothered to pay Gino a visit. Ruther, dressed as Mario, who apparently isn't even the right voice actor (a small tap on the fourth wall) randomly appears and ends up sharing a pizza with Khonjin. Luigi the Dog then pops up as well as Quincy (The guy who was supposed to help Khonjin out during the last episode. He didn't even show up in the right fucking building). Gino proclaims the whole family is in town so the sudden outburst of suspicion of Khonjin's presence didn't matter. He then plops the pizza on the counter and says the pizza is fresh and hot. Khonjin takes off his costume and shouts "Now it's even hotter!" and fires a gun, which is unloaded. (I kind of liked that line. I don't know if that's a bad thing, but I did). Ruther laughs, which leaves her to blame.

Khonjin House, Episode Thirty

Khonjin starts with the same line the first episode did, "It's time to order a pe-pe-pe-pepperoni pizza!" but he was cut off after the third 'pe.' Text on the screen suggests that he said Pent, which is one of the few (And I mean 3-4) times Pent was referred to as Pent. The screen is given a weird distort effect and transitions to Pent mumbling. Pent yells at Smack to come out and likely fight him. Pent harnesses energy or some shit and transitions to a form that better suits Khonjin House in terms of art style. (I will refer to Pent's universe as Supermental since Supermental's focus is Pent's universe and Khonjin's as KH.) Smack's theme plays as it fades back to Khonjin's house (The actual house) and the credits roll. Now I get some confirmation on names and shit, thank God.

Season Wrap-up

Khonjin has shown a few hints of his extreme power and reminds me of something in Episode Forty-four. Pent is officially introduced, but not shown to have power. After this season we get into the real shit. That's exciting, right guys?
Thank you very much everyone, I will be getting to Season Four as soon as I can.
submitted by casualGadabout to Khonjin [link] [comments]


2017.01.19 00:59 HailCorporateRobot Ads for 2017-01-18 (1 / 2)

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2015.10.23 02:04 Subwaypedia World War 2 Essay

World War II was the central event of the twentieth century. It involved all six major continents, all three of the great oceans on the planet, scores of countries, and billions of people. It caused 57 million deaths and unimaginable human suffering. It brought about the redrawing of national boundaries in Europe and Asia, forced the relocation of many ethnic groups, made millions of families homeless, and led to the virtual annihilation of the Jewish population of Europe. By the time it was over in 1945, Tokyo, Berlin, Hamburg, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Warsaw, Hiroshima, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Nagasaki, Osaka, Manila, Cologne, and dozens of other great cities had been obliterated. And population centers that had mostly avoided the worst of the death and destruction continued to see poverty and hunger linger for years after the surrender documents had been signed. Meanwhile, the prisoners and the wounded, making their way back to wives, sweethearts, parents, and children, often after an absence of many years, would carry the cost of the conflict with them for the rest of their lives.
A WORLD AT WAR There is no one date that can be said to mark the beginning of the greatest of global conflicts. In 1931, the Japanese army invaded Manchuria, a northern province of China. In July 1937, the Japanese moved again, this time directly against the Nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek. The atrocities that followed shocked the world. Meanwhile, in 1936, German Chancellor Adolf Hitler moved aggressively into the Rhineland, previously a demilitarized zone, and in 1938, he incorporated Czechoslovakia and Austria into the Third Reich. By this time, the Western world was fully alert to the menace of the fanatically ambitious and confident Fuhrer. Then, in the early morning hours of September 1, 1939, Hitler sent his armies into Poland. Two days later, France and Great Britain declared war on Germany. Within a matter of weeks the Soviet Union, which had recently signed a non-aggression treaty with Hitler, attacked Poland from the east. Within a month, Polish resistance collapsed, and Warsaw fell. World War II had begun.
In general, the American people did not want to have any part in a European war. They felt protected by great oceans on both sides of the North American continent. And they felt that, in World War I, American boys had fought and bled in France mostly to make fortunes for munitions makers and arms merchants. Moreover, the United States had allowed its armed forces to wither in the 1920s and 1930, so that when World War II broke out in Europe, its army of 190,000 men ranked about eighteenth in the global rankings, about on a par with Rumania and Bulgaria.
The United States might never have entered World War II if Germany, Japan, and Italy had stopped after their initial conquests. But the three Axis powers made astonishing gains in the years before the Pearl Harbor attack. After taking over Norway and neutralizing Sweden, the Nazis turned their attention to the big prize. Early in the morning of May 10, 1940, Hitler launched a blitzkrieg or lightning war against France, whose army had previously been considered the finest in the world. The revolutionary nature of the German offensive, generally credited to the brilliant strategist, Field Marshal Erich von Manstein, was to concentrate all available tanks into a few specialized and highly mobile armored divisions rather than to spread them out evenly among infantry units. These panzer formations were to smash holes in the enemy line and then break out into the rear, creating havoc on the roads and, supported by Luftwaffe dive bombers, preventing the Allies from plugging the gaps. They did this by attacking through the dense Ardennes forests in Luxembourg and southern Belgium, crossing the Meuse River long before the Allied high command had thought possible. The British and French armies actually had more and better tanks than the attackers, but new strategic and tactical concepts carried the contest. The German tank columns swept everything before them, and the French defenses soon collapsed. In fact, the almost total collapse of the proud French army in May 1940 remains one of the most incredible events in all of military history. France sued for peace in June, and Hitler’s victorious troops marched past the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
The British Expeditionary Force, which had been sent in 1939 to help defend France from the Wehrmacht, was cut off when German panzer divisions cut west toward the English Channel, effectively isolating more than 300,000 Allied troops. Fortunately for Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the Royal Navy was able to extricate his trapped soldiers from the port of Dunkirk. But at the end of June 1940, essentially all of western Europe was under the control of Berlin.
Hitler expected Great Britain, his only remaining foe, to recognize the superiority of German arms and to remove itself from active involvement in Europe. After all, he reasoned, Germany sought lebensraum or growing space in the east and had no intention of dismantling the British Empire. Why not just divide the world? Why would the Anglo-Saxons not be content with their vast holdings in Asia, on the other side of the world? When London refused to capitulate or to do the sensible thing, the Fuhrer unleashed the Luftwaffe on the English homeland, expecting that its heavy blows would bring Churchill to his senses. At about the same time, in a dramatic BBC radio address from London on June 18, 1940, General Charles de Gaulle called upon his French countrymen to resist their German conquerors. Meanwhile, Italy, not satisfied with its conquest of Ethiopia in 1935–1936, turned its attention toward Greece. And Japan expanded its military operations in China.
In 1941, however, Hitler made a colossal blunder. In fact, perhaps no event in human history can match in significance the Fuhrer’s decision to invade the Soviet Union in the early summer. He had not defeated Great Britain, and yet he was turning his armies to the east, initiating a two-front war. When his soldiers crossed the USSR frontier on June 22, the Nazis leader’s new opponent became Joseph Stalin, a dictator as ruthless and cunning as himself, and the head of both the largest country and the largest army on earth. The eastern front, which involved hundreds of combat divisions stretched over thousands of miles of windswept terrain, would turn out to be a human furnace that consumed soldiers as hungrily as steam engines consume coals. Germany essentially bled to death in Russia, as four-fifths of all Wehrmacht soldiers who perished in the war died while fighting the Red Army. For the Soviet Union, the carnage was even worse. A staggering 27 million USSR citizens died in what for them will always be “the Great Patriotic War.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt followed the news of fighting in Europe with obvious concern. He knew his countrymen did not want to be involved, and indeed he ran for an unprecedented third term in the White House with the slogan, “He kept us out of war.“ Isolationist sentiment was powerful, and no less a personage than Charles Lindbergh led an America First movement that aimed to avoid all foreign entanglements. Moreover, many ethnic Americans were not anxious to help the British. German Americans and Italian Americans, for example, while loyal to the United States, were also proud that Hitler and Mussolini had restored pride and confidence to their homelands, while Irish Americans, long hostile to the government in London, did not want to go to war to advance the interests of the hated English. On the other side of the interventionist divide, Jewish Americans were more aware of Hitler’s intense anti-Semitism and of the new regulations and laws that limited Jewish access to the professions in Germany. They also knew that when brown-shirted, Nazi thugs attacked Jewish businesses and synagogues, the Berlin government had done nothing to protect its Jewish citizens.
FDR was of course aware of these cross-currents. And he also knew that if Germany ever controlled all of Europe, its power would be colossal. So, sometimes quietly, sometimes forcefully, he moved his nation to a state of greater preparedness. On July 19, 1940, he signed into law the largest shipbuilding program in American history, one that would essentially double the size of the already impressive United States Navy. And the Army, directed by Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, began to grow to a size more appropriate to a great power. Also in 1940, the President took the momentous step of federalizing the National Guard of all the states. If the American republic was ever to be dragged into the conflict, Roosevelt wanted the nation to be ready.
JAPANESE AMBITIONS Japanese leaders felt that they were being unfairly held back by the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands, which together controlled most of the natural resources, especially oil, to the south of Japan, in places now known as Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Essentially, the Western powers said they would not send scrap iron and sell resources to the Japanese if their government did not remove its troops from China and renounce its ambitions there.
Why should the proud Japanese, with their centuries of tradition, their modern navy, and their ambitions for future glory, give up their dreams because those dreams did not fit with the wishes of white Westerners. They wanted their own empire and their own seat at the table among the great nations of the world.
So, the Tokyo government would have to seize the resources it needed, which meant certain war with the West. But in which direction would the Japanese move? Essentially, they had three options. The first was to aid Nazi Germany and to attack to the north against the Russian Far East from Japanese bases in Manchuria. Such a Japanese strike against the Soviets would have divided Soviet resources and probably resulted in a victory for Hitler over the USSR. But Japan needed oil and rubber quickly, and those resources were not easily available to the north.
A second option would have involved striking southwest against the British Empire in the Indian Ocean, taking Singapore, Malaysia, and French Indo-China and threatening to link up with German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps at the Suez Canal. This strategy had a good probability of success, but the Japanese supply lines to the Indian Ocean would have to run past the US-controlled Philippine Islands.
Thus, the Rising Sun had to take the third and militarily worst option—a direct strike against the United States—the one country with the natural resources, the population size, and the industrial capacity to crush Japan. It would require a bold and audacious attack on the United States Pacific Fleet, which President Roosevelt had recently redeployed from its home port in San Diego to its forward operating base at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands. Such an assault would require meticulous planning, intense training, absolute secrecy, and complete surprise. Fortunately for the Japanese, in Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander in chief of the Combined Fleet, they had the perfect leader. His plan was to first cripple the American fleet and then to force a gigantic naval battle somewhere in the vast Pacific. The Japanese, according to Yamamoto’s plan, would win a decisive victory, and thus force President Roosevelt to yield to Tokyo’s territorial demands in its theater of influence.
By every military measure, Japan’s early morning attack on the great fleet anchorage at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was a success. Its aircraft carriers managed to cross the Pacific Ocean without being spotted, and its torpedo and dive bombers achieved complete surprise against the sleeping American fleet. All eight American battleships were disabled or sent to the bottom, as were dozens of smaller vessels. More than a thousand sailors died on the USS Arizona alone, and they represented less than half of the Navy losses that day. By contrast, the Japanese attackers lost only a few pilots and planes, and no ships. Admiral Yamamoto had every reason to be proud. He had only two reasons for immediate concern. First, the three large American aircraft carriers attached to the Pacific Fleet were not in Pearl Harbor, but were at sea on a practice mission, and the Japanese aviators could not find them. Second, Yamamoto had not thought to order his pilots to blow up the giant oil tanks and fuel storage facilities that dotted the area around Pearl Harbor.
But those were minor issues compared to the admiral’s greatest worry. Despite his great victory, he thought the Japanese had simply awakened a sleeping giant. Yamamoto expected the Japanese army and navy to run wild for six months, but then, he feared, the United States would gather its enormous human and material resources and hurl them against the admiral’s island nation. And in the case of a protracted war against the American republic, Japan’s most famous officer realized that the cause was almost hopeless.
THE UNITED STATES GOES TO WAR The great national debate about whether the United States should get involved in World War II essentially ended when the first bombs fell on the Hawaiian Islands. Few Americans had ever been to Japan, and fewer still cared about it one way or the other. But as radios across the land sent out the news of a sneak attack on the American base at Pearl Harbor, a gigantic nation, a “sleeping giant” as Admiral Yamamoto called it, was roused to fury. The next day, a Monday, President Roosevelt spoke before a joint session of Congress. Referring to December 7 as “a day which will live in infamy,” he asked for a Declaration of War against the Empire of Japan, which was approved without debate and almost without dissent. Surprisingly, on December 10, Germany declared war on the United States even though Hitler’s treaty with Japan was a defensive arrangement that did not require him to act, because Japan had been the aggressor. The Fuhrer made many miscalculations during the war; perhaps this was his biggest mistake.
President Roosevelt was happy that the United States was in the war, and in fact, he had manipulated the Japanese into firing the first shot. But he had expected the initial Japanese attack to be against the Philippines, not on a presumably impregnable naval base in the middle of a huge ocean. He was shocked by what happened at Pearl Harbor, and was horrified by the destruction of his battleships and the devastating number of deaths on December 7. But the American nation could make up such human and material losses. And the President knew how to funnel national anger at Japan into a much more critical war against Germany. FDR understood better than his countrymen that Germany was the greater threat and that Japan could be dealt with almost at leisure. It was a sentiment shared by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. When he heard of the Pearl Harbor disaster, he actually breathed a sigh of relief, noting in his wartime diary: “So we have won after all.”
The United States had great military potential, but in December of 1941 it was still more potential than reality. Immediately, the nation launched the greatest industrial expansion in human history. Within months, new orders for munitions, uniforms, and combat vehicles absorbed the remaining unemployed workers from the Great Depression. Old factories were expanded and modernized, and giant new ones sprang up as if by magic, especially in the South and West. Outside Detroit, the Chrysler Tank Arsenal produced the tanks and armored vehicles that would become the spearheads of General George S. Patton’s Third Army.
In the skies American dominance was clear. In Washington State and in Kansas, Boeing built the great four-engine, strategic bomber fleets that destroyed entire cities. As early as 1942, American factories were already churning out 48,000 airplanes, more than Germany and Japan combined. By 1944, assembly lines in southern California, Seattle, and Long Island were producing almost 100,000 aircraft, a total greater than the combined output of Germany, Japan, and the British Empire. Statistics for trucks, jeeps, landing ships, artillery pieces, and self-propelled guns were almost as dramatic.
Perhaps the most incredible numbers were put up at sea. By 1945, the United States Navy was larger and more powerful than the navies of all other countries put together. The Bath Iron Works in Maine produced more destroyers than all of Japan, while the Kaiser shipyards in California proved able to build an entire Victory ship, from beginning to end, in a mere seventy-two hours. And the Brooklyn Navy Yard, with 71,000 employees working around the clock, seven days a week, became the busiest and most productive such enterprise anywhere.
In order the make the instruments of war, as well as uniforms, penicillin, light bulbs, and shoes, the need for manpower was great. Indeed, manpower became the wrong word. As millions of men joined the Army and as industrial production soared, women became the obvious source of labor. While many women remained at home with their children, and others worked in volunteer activities, the growth in female employment between 1942 and 1945 was staggering. At first, they took non-defense jobs as clerks, cabbies, truck drivers, waitresses, ambulance crews, streetcar conductors, and filling station attendants. Soon, however, opportunities in shipyards and aircraft factories opened up. One historian has estimated that a full one-third of aircraft industry employment in California was female.
Japanese Americans and African Americans had a harder time proving their importance and finding full citizenship. Prejudice against Asians on the West Coast had been a theme of American history for generations before World War II, but the Pearl Harbor attack meant that Japanese Americans, many of whom had been citizens of the United States since birth, were suspected of being enemy agents. In one of the more disgraceful aspects of American history, they were rounded up and sent to makeshift internment camps far from their homes and businesses. Yet not a single conviction ever resulted from an unpatriotic act by a Japanese American, and many served with courage and honor in the armed forces.
The color line has long been a defining part of the American experience, and World War II, despite being waged against two countries that celebrated racial homogeneity, did not bring immediate relief to the long-suffering black minority of the United States. In fact, blacks were not allowed in the Marine Corps and were inducted as sailors only to serve as cooks. Even in the Army, they served in segregated units under mostly white officers. Conditions were scarcely better at home. The worst incidents took place in Detroit in 1943, when Belle Isle became a site of racial warfare.
OVER THERE The tanks, artillery, ships, and trucks churned out by the arsenal of democracy would be useful only if brave men could be found to take them into harm’s way. In this respect, the United States proved to be exceptionally fruitful. After Pearl Harbor, induction centers across the nation were swamped with volunteers who were anxious to take a swing at the brash Japanese. Even so, by 1943 Washington had resorted to a draft of all able-bodied males between eighteen and forty. The Marine Corps expanded from one division to five, while the Navy put more than a thousand ships to sea. The Army was the largest of all the services, and its basic training facilities at Fort Benning, Georgia (infantry); Fort Bragg, North Carolina (airborne): Fort Sill, Oklahoma (artillery); and Fort Hood, Texas (armor), became small cities in their own right. By 1945, about sixteen million Americans had served in uniform, a figure that did not include the merchant marine, where responsibilities were as important and jobs as dangerous as those of any soldier, sailor, or airman.
As the war continued into 1942, 1943, and 1944, and as millions of newly minted soldiers and sailors joined the armed forces, separation and longing became the most common emotional experiences of the time. As long as the men were stateside, there was at least a chance of seeing a wife or a sweetheart for a stolen weekend somewhere far from home. The songs of the time—“Till We Meet Again” and “I’ll Be Seeing You, in All the Old Familiar Places,” among others—reflected the feelings of loneliness that were felt in every town and by almost every family.
Eventually, most soldiers and Marines were shipped overseas, and their last view of America was from the ports of embarkation—New York on the East Coast and San Francisco on the West. But before leaving, they typically spent a week or ten days at a final staging area—Camp Shanks and Camp Kilmer near New York City were the largest—where they received required inoculations and made out their last wills and testaments.
That last period in the United States often offered the opportunity for a few days of liberty. Because trains across the country were jammed and overloaded, there was no chance for a trip home. But the port of embarkation, especially Manhattan, was another story. There, among the bright lights, nightclubs, and stage-door canteens of the largest city in the world, they drank and laughed and at least pretended to be confident and happy.
The next step was to board a troopship. Whether they sailed on converted transatlantic liners like the Queen Elizabeth or the Queen Mary or ordinary transports, quarters were tight, pleasures were few, and danger was constant. Especially in the Atlantic Ocean, where German U-boats lurked beneath the surface, the most common way to get to Europe was in a convoy of about fifty or sixty similar ships, all protected by a screen of destroyers and maybe one cruiser. Mercifully, the Allied navies gained superiority over the Nazi submarines before most American soldiers crossed the ocean, and only 8,000 men were lost out of four million who made the journey aboard the defenseless cargo vessels.
By late 1942, the tide had turned against the Axis. In June, the United States Navy won its greatest victory ever in the Battle of Midway, in which an outnumbered American carrier force inflicted devastating losses on the then superior Japanese fleet. By September, American Marines were clawing back on Guadalcanal, and beginning an island-hopping campaign that required them to fight their way across the Pacific. The good news, however, was that after the Battle of Midway, the Japanese were no longer able to undertake offensive operations. It was just a matter of time before the Rising Sun was crushed by American air and naval superiority.
The German army was another matter. Generally regarded as the finest fighting force in the war, it had superbly trained and battle-hardened soldiers, sophisticated weapons, and brilliant tactical leaders, such as von Manstein, Rommel, and Heinz Guderian. Only an enormous sacrifice by many nations could bring it down. But it happened. In the fall of 1942, the British Eighth Army counterattacked against the Afrika Korps and soon sent Rommel scurrying home to Germany. Meanwhile, the Americans who had landed in Morocco and Algeria trapped thousands of Nazi soldiers who could not escape across the Mediterranean Sea. In 1943, a combined Anglo-American force invaded Sicily and then Italy, ultimately knocking that country out of the war. And in perhaps the most devastating battle of all time, at Stalingrad between August 1942 and February 1943, the proud German Sixth Army, conquerors of France, was systematically annihilated by a vengeful Red Army. Thereafter, Hitler’s legions were rarely able to attack. Instead, they were bludgeoned by enormous forces coordinated by the Big Three—Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin.
After the successful Allied landings in 1943 in Sicily and Italy, General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff of the United States Army and probably the most important officer on the Allied side in the war, recommended to FDR that Dwight D. Eisenhower be made Supreme Commander of the Allied crusade in Europe. Marshall had wanted the job for himself, but President Roosevelt said he would not be comfortable if his right-hand man were not nearby in Washington.
So it fell to an obscure Kansan to take charge of the greatest invasion in history. Ike had been only a lieutenant colonel when the war began in 1939. But his good judgment, hard work, and devotion to duty were recognized early on by Marshall, who quickly promoted the affable staff officer over dozens of senior generals. By the early months of 1944, Eisenhower was in charge of all American and Allied ground, sea, and air forces in Europe and busy assembling a gigantic invasion force in England. His mission was to assault the Nazi Atlantic Wall, a network of artillery, beach hazards, and pillboxes that were designed to slaughter anyone foolish enough to come out of the water.
The story of D-Day, June 6, 1944, has been told many times. Suffice it to say here that General Eisenhower did four things that will distinguish him forever. First, he made a decision on June 5 that only he could make—to go forward with the invasion despite a terrible weather forecast. By contrast, Field Marshal Rommel, the commander of the Atlantic Wall, who no doubt saw the same predictions, decided that the weather would be so awful that he could safely go back to Germany to visit his wife and son. Eisenhower took a chance that the weather would break and allow the landings to go forward. Fortunately, his hunch proved to be correct.
Second, the Supreme Commander took personal responsibility for possible failure, preparing a statement for release to the press in case the invasion force was hurled back into the sea. In such a circumstance, General Eisenhower reported that his soldiers and sailors had done everything he or anyone else could have expected, and that his withdrawal from the beachhead was his fault alone. As it happened, his message never had to be released.
Third, Eisenhower, knowing that having given the order to attack, he could do nothing more of a supervisory nature on the afternoon and evening of June 5, visited the airfields where many thousands of American paratroopers were already making final preparations to be dropped into the midnight darkness behind German lines. With parachutes on their backs, they had blackened their faces and wore heavy camouflage as they stood in groups waiting to board their aircraft. Members of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, they would be the first invaders to land anywhere in Nazi-occupied France, and Ike knew that hundreds of them, maybe more, would be killed the next day. So the commanding general walked informally among the young men, many of them only teenagers, chatting about their hometowns, working his way through the throng, recognizing the perils they would all soon be facing.
Finally, as the thousands of ships of the main invasion force pushed away from piers and began to cross the English Channel for the short voyage to Normandy, General Eisenhower read a personal message to the troops who were about to go ashore:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
THE END OF THE WAR The D-Day landings were successful, and despite bitter fighting over the coming months, the Allies used their heavy artillery, their enormous air armada, and their dozens of well-equipped infantry divisions to pulverize the once invincible German war machine. With the Red Army smashing into East Prussia from the east, the British and American heavy bombers raining destruction from the skies on German cities, and Allied armored columns crossing the Rhine River and encircling trapped Wehrmacht divisions, Adolf Hitler committed suicide in his Berlin bunker on April 30, 1945. All resistance ceased within the week. Upon accepting the surrender of Nazi officials, General Eisenhower sent to his superiors what is surely the most succinct message ever sent by a victorious commander: “The mission of this Allied force was accomplished at 0241hours, May 7th, 1945.”
JAPANESE COLLAPSE Although the warlords in Tokyo could boast of brave and devoted soldiers, of airplanes (like the vaunted ”Zero”) that were as fine as any anywhere, and of ships and sailors that were world class, Japan never had a chance against the United States. It did not have enough of anything, except courage and fanaticism, to compete with a continental nation with almost infinite resources. At Tarawa, at Iwo Jima, and at Okinawa, the Japanese fought almost to the last man. It was no use. In desperation, they created an elite force of suicide pilots, called kamakazees, who took off with only enough fuel for a one-way trip. Their mission was to crash their aircraft into the ships of the United States Navy. They died in glory, but they were too few and too late. And after President Harry S. Truman (FDR had died in April 1945) ordered atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, even the most fanatical Japanese militarist had to realize that further resistance was madness. On August 14, 1945, Truman announced over the radio that the war was over. On September 2, 1945, on the deck of the great battleship, the USS Missouri, representatives of the Japanese government signed the formal instrument of surrender. World War II had ended.
THE WAR IN RETROSPECT In many respects, the United States was the big winner in World War II. Relative to Germany, Japan, and the Soviet Union, its battle deaths were relatively few in number. Its great cities, like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, were never occupied by enemy armies or laid waste by falling bombs. Its factories and steel mills, farms and subdivisions, and stores and schools were unscathed by the conflict. Alone among major world capitals, Washington emerged from the war more confident than ever, and its airplanes, fleets, and armies, not to mention its atomic weapons, gave it military superiority over any potential opponent. By every measure, the United States led the world in 1945, and it was about to begin two generations of prosperity unmatched in history.
But no one in America who had lived as an adult through the Great Depression and the years of total mobilization and total war that followed it would claim that the experience had been easy or had been achieved without enormous sacrifice and cost. Indeed, those years of deprivation, fear, and longing would always be as central to their lives as they were to the century in which they lived.
Kenneth T. Jackson is the Jacques Barzun Professor in History and the Social Sciences and director of the Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History at Columbia University. His publications include Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (1987), Empire City: New York through the Centuries (2002), and The Encyclopedia of New York City (2nd ed., 2010).
Credit to www.gilderlehrman.org©
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2014.05.09 16:30 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I'm a Brazilian World War 2 historian. Ask me anything.

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What role did Brazil play in WWII? Brazil was an Allied nation. It entered the war in August, 1942, after several of its ships were sunk by U-Boats. The direct cause of the war declaration was the sinking of 5 ships, totalling 600 deaths, in 48 hours, by Kapitänleutnant Harro Schacht's U-507.
After that Brazil sent to Italy a fighter squadron that served under the 350th FG, flying P-47s, and also an Infantry Division, comprising a total amount of 25,000 troops, which formed the Brazilian Expeditionary Force.
What, in your professional opinion, were the true tipping points in both the European and Pacific theaters, and why? In Europe: Hitler's decision not to follow General von Thoma's advice to send 4 Panzer Divisions to North Africa and capture Egypt. Hitler sent just 2. With 4 Panzer Divisions, Rommel would effectively captured Egypt and the Middle East. This would put politic pressure on Churchill, forcing him out of Cabinet. Surely a peace-seeking Prime-Minister would rise, and European history would be other. That, in my opinion, was the best chance Hitler had to win.
In the Pacific: Pearl Harbor itself. There was no way Japan could beat the US. Simply sheer force and power, the way Japan could never muster. Japan could, on the other hand, seek war with Russia simultaneously with Germany. I guess that, this way, the troops for the counter-offensive in Moscow in the winter of 1941 would not be removed from Siberia, thus allowing the Germans to take the Soviet capital.
Bro you know the time travellers are reading this..??!? Yeah, that's a big risk we're taking here.
I'm not sure about the latter part. Japan's land forces were spread pretty thin in China as it was. One could even say they over-extended. I doubt they could continue an offensive in the north. If the Soviets called their bluff, they'd be at a big risk. But Imperial Japanese Navy had no match in the Soviet Navy, like against the US Navy. It would, of course, involve tons of negotiations with Germany, to reach an appropriate post-war deal worth the risk. Although, it wasn't, as I see it, a bigger risk then fighting the Americans.
What do you know about the North African campaign during WW2? And on an unrelated note what is your favourite movie? The North African campaign started when Mussolini decided to go to war against Britain in June 1940. He ordered his Libyan army commander, General Rodolfo Graziani, to invade Egypt. Graziani said he couldn't do it successfully. Mussolini insisted and Graziani did it. The British response was an armored offensive that swept the Italians out of eastern Libya. Then, Hitler decided to help and send two panzer divisions under the command of General Rommel in Feb 1941. Rommel push the brits out of Libya and into Egypt, was forced back himself, and then pushed the brits back again, this time stopping at El Alamein, in October 1942. The new british commander, General Montgomery, made a huge offensive on the exausted Axis troops, and pushed them back to Tunisia - where the americans where waiting for them from the west (Algeria). The war in North Africa ended in May 1943, with the surrendering of the Axis commander, General Giovanni Messe.
My favourite movie has to be Grosse Pointe Blank.
Cool, thanks, very interesting. May I ask you some more questions? Feel free bro.
Have you seen Downfall and das Boot? Yes, I've seen both films. Really good ones, but I like Das Boot more.
Are there interesting or funny stories that happened to the Brazilian expeditionary force during their time in Europe? There are many funny stories, that alone would worth a book. Brazilians had never seen snow before, and that caught them really by surprise. They were pretty inventive, so they put trashed newspaper and haze into their boots - this kept them from frostbite.
I've seen a mausoleum with the expeditionary force logo in Sao Bernardo do Campo - Brazil, is that common throughout Brazil? There are many monuments to the Expeditionary Force in the Major cities of Brazil, and also in smaller ones. Men from all over the country were part of the division, so, it was really a national effort.
Do Brazil's WWII veterans got recognition after the war and how were they treated by the population? Brazilian veterans were mistreated and forgotten for several decades. Fortunately, this situation has changed in the last two decades. Still there's no big recognition from the big media, but they are feeling welcomed by many young people, who sees them as heroes (I'm one of them). There's also the National Association of Expeditionary Force Veterans, which takes care of their business.
That's a book i would definitely read. Thanks a lot for your answer! There's a book called "Brazilian Expeditionary Force in WW2" by Osprey Publishing. In English with good illustrations, it's very worthy!
Why do you believe hitler decided to try take over the world? was it the art school? I don't think he was trying to "take over the world". Hitler had stated his objectives very clearly in his work: he wanted the so-called "Lebensraum", the "vital space", which was in Eastern Europe and Russia. The other actions he took were only side effects of this policy. For instance: occupying France, Holland, Norway, and so on, was part of his war strategy against France and Britain; fighting in North Africa was a helping hand to the Italians; and the worldwide submarine warfare was an effort to cut supplies to his enemies. But Hitler's mind was always in Russia.
You sure? he more wanted to spread grossdeutchland all over Eastern Europe from the attacks he made. That's my opinion. And yes, he wanted to expand to Eastern Europe. But he was allied with most countries there: Hungary, Romania, Finland, Bulgaria.
What can you tell us about the Nazi twin experiments in Brazil? Myth? Fact? What is known about what was done to those people? Myth. There is a talk about Dr. Mengele's experiements with twins in a small town in southern Brazil, but that's just crap.
What the history (from your perspective) think about Andrey Vlasov? Was the ROA an important actor in battle or was just used for propaganda? Someone remember in a good way to Vlasov? Was Chile the last country in "enter" the WWII can we say that we also won the war? Could you speak with someone important in Brasil to let Chile win the World Cup? Greetings! Vlasov was only used for propaganda reasons until late 1944, when he was put in command of the ROA. As Himmler planned, ROA should be a 10 division-strong force. But in the end, only two were formed, and only fought against the russians in April 1945. In Russia he's still considered a traitor, but there's a monument to him in Nanuet, New York.
I particularly don't know much about Chile's involvement in the war, but I guess your country only declared war nominally. You choose to say if Chile is among the victors ;)
Man, I'd love to see any other nation win this world cup. This event brought nothing but disgrace to our country. Billions spent in stadiums that won't worth nothing after, and no improvement for the people. It's a crime from our government.
Where there any axis countries and or big campaigns in South America? No Axis countries, although Argentina was very Axis-prone. Brazil also had inclinations towards Germany until 1940. No big campaigns here, except the Battle of River Plate, in 1939. It was a naval battle between German pocket battleship Graf Spee and the Royal Navy. The german vessel eventually took refuge in Montevideo, and was sunk there by her own crew a few days later. It's still there, seven meters below water.
What has been your most memorable interview and why? Has got to be with Mr. Martin Drewes. He was not just some veteran I met, he was a friend. He thought me a lot about the war, and about life in general. Great man with an unforgetable sense of humor. Passed away last year.
What was the public support like in Brazil for entering the war? Also...what is the public opinion of the situation in Ukraine? There was plenty of public support to join the war in 1942, because the reason for that was the sinking of 5 ships in two days, amounting to 600 deaths in the sea. Ukraine is a delicate matter, but I guess Crimea had to go to Russia since it was only "given" to Ukraine as a political gesture of Nikita Kruschev in the 50s.
Hello, I have a couple questions for you! It seems like many German veterans fled to South American countries after the war. Why do you think this is? Were they well received and why? It also seems like Germany could have actually won the war if Hitler wasn't such an idiot. If he hadn't of used concentration camps and anti-semitism - but then I suppose that they wouldn't be Nazis... What did the veterans you met think about the whole war? At what point did these veterans acknowledge that they had lost the war and how caught up in the propaganda was the avg German? I saw a couple videos by German veterans who say that they believed America took the secrets of the Nazi's and integrated them. Do you think modern USA has any similarities to the third Reich/Nazi Germany? 1-Brazil and Argentina had had "good relations" with Germany until mid-war (Argentina more a little), and both countries already had a large Germanic population, originated in migration in the late XIX century. It was far from the world's focus anyway. 2-Well, they also think the war was a missed opportunity. They are proud of their service, because they say they fought for their country and against communism. 3-Many Third Reich's "secrets" ended up in America. NASA's rockets are the better example. But also many aeronautic and naval designs were addapted into the US fighting machine. I can't really comment on US current politics.
Who do you think was the greatest miscast in the German goverment and who the most capable? Would you have changed the staffing of the German leadership and if so, how would you have you changed it? Maybe Erich Koch as Reichskomissar in Ukraine. The best had to Heinz Guderian - he surely deserved to be a Feldmarschall. My guess is that I would change Hitler's mind. As Stalind did, he should've let the war to his best generals, such as Guderian himself.
Do you feel like the Allies would have had as much success if Hitler hadn't spread himself so thin fighting through Russia, particularly the Battle of Stalingrad? Without Russia on the game, I don't think the Allies could regain Europe. Only using atomic bombs.
But could Russia win the war without the US? I mean in Europe, but you might comment on Japan if you feel it is relevant :) Without the US, there's no bombing campaign, no Italian campaign, and North Africa/Middle East for the Axis is a very good possibility. The more important: no supplies to the USSR. We know that the Russians did most of the fighting, but they used imported materials even in their most basic war features. America even made Russian uniforms. That besides planes, jeeps, trucks (most of the Katyushas were made from Studebaker trucks), tanks, food and more. My guess is that without the US, Russia would have a hard time putting down Nazi Germany. Maybe the war would go to a stalemate. But remember: if Hitler had the oil of Middle East and could attack through Turkey, bye bye Caucasus. You do the math ;)
How many nazis fled to South America after the war? Are the rumors of genetic experiments in brazil true a la "the boys from brazil"? I don't actually know how many, but thousands. But genetic experiments are just fairy tales.
This is kinda stupid, but what did the countries in South East Asia do and what were their roles while in the World War 2? What I only know is that Indonesia was colonized by Japanese until the bombing of Hiroshima & Nagasaki. They were pretty much all occupied by Japan, except Thailand, who allied itself with Japan. But Thailand didn't actually do much to help the war effort.
I know this isn't your exact area, but what do you think would have happened if Germany had successfully convinced Mexico to attack the US in WW1? Were there any other plots like that? It's not my expertise... I'd guess that the US would beat the Mexicans back and take even more territory southwards.
What made the Italians so detrimental to the axis war effort? I'm thinking of the taped recording of Hitler and I believe a Finnish ambassador in which Hitler mentions that the two things he didn't plan for were the weaknesses of the Italians and the amount of tanks Russia had. Italy entered the war totally disprepared for it. Marshall Badoglio even prepared a plan for war, which predicted that the country was only going to be ready for it in 1944. But Mussolini decided to go to war in June 1940 because he saw a big opportunity for enhancing his empire without much effort: France was falling apart and Britain seemed lost in move. So, he decided to declare war on them, but in a separate effort from that of Germany. As he said: "Not for Germany, nor with Germany. But only for Italy, side by side with Germany". This way, as he was not informed by Hitler of the invasion of France, Mussolini decided to invade Greece without telling the Führer. That went wrong and drew much of the German war effort.
The campaign against the Japanese in Papua New Guinea (but also associated actions such as the Bombing of Darwin) is, and was, referred to here as the 'Battle for Australia'. However I understand there is debate about exactly what Japan's intentions were - whether they planned to actually invade Australia, or whether they just sought to quarantine us to limit our ability to assist the US forces in the Pacific. Do you have any views on whether Japan sought to, or even had the capability to, invade and occupy Australia during WW2? Well, tough question to answer. I still didn't have access to good Japanese documentation, but I'd say that didn't had the capability to invade and occupy Australia at that point. New Guine was, in this sense, a way to "quarantine" Australia - at least until the military situation in southern Pacific islands was more secure. Japanese resources were scattered all over Asia back then, and Australia was a too big target to hit. Maybe on a later stage, were they could concentrate a massive invasion force, like the ones they used in China.
What was the first battle of world war II? The first battle of WWII was the Battle of Westerplatte, in Poland. The German battleship Schleswig Holstein opened fire at the Polish fortifications there at early morning on Sept 1, 1939.
What about the last one? I guess that would be the Battle of Shumshu, in the Kuril Islands, north of Japan. The soviets invaded the islands on August 17, and the last Japanese resistance ceased in August 23.
What role did the Luftwaffe play in the battle for Crete? The Luftwaffe first attacked the airfields and got air superiority over the island. Then, the Junkers Ju 52 transports dropped parachute troops to capture those airfields. Once the airfields were captured, the Junkers returned once more to land ground troops.
Do you think Greece would have been able to hold off longer if they didn't move through Albania so fast, and just defended its borders? Since the speed at which they captured cities in Albania prompted the Germans to come and help their allies. But since Greece was already in direct war against Italian forces, there was no way to win without taking them out of Albania. Holding in the border would only create a war of positions that would cost a lot of blood on both sides. Greece was helpless once the Germans attacked.
Can you discuss the role of currency and foreign exchange manipulation by the Germans in the lead up to the war? Yes, a little bit. Hitler's Germany had no reserves of gold and foreign cash. Without foreign cash, you had to make deals with gold. This way, the German foreign trade wouldn't go as far as he needed. So, the Ministry of Finance came up with some plans, including something very interesting called ASKI (Auslander Sonderkonten für Inlandzählung - Special Foreign Accounts for Home Trading), a sort of "parallel currency". With ASKI, nations (as Brazil, which much benefitted from that) could just open an account at the Reichsbank and the Reichsbank would open an account on their national banks. Then, each deposit was converted to ASKI, according to a pre-determined correspondence value, and the deal was done like that, without involving exchange of cash reserves. For example, if a Brazilian businessman wanted to buy 100 German trucks, he would go to the Bank of Brazil and deposit the amount in Brazilian money. This money was then made into ASKI credits. Then, if a German businessman wanted to buy 5,000 tons of Brazilian coffee, he'd go to the Reichsbank and deposit the amount in German money, which would be credited in ASKI in the Brazilian account. This way, both countries kept their money, and the international trade as made based on credits.
Do you know anything about Papua New Guinea? My grandpa was stationed there. Papua New Guinea was invaded by the Japanese in early 1942. They took Lae and from there they sent an expedition to take Port Moresby through a very harsh mountainous jungle (Owen Stanley Range), the famous Kokoda Trail. An Australian force was sent to meet them half way and cut their advance. This was one of the most horrible environments that a soldier can battle on: extreme heat, constant rains, mosquitos, malaria, diarrea, you name it. Australians ended up conquering the trail and saving Port Moresby, thus saving PNG from complete Japanese occupation.
Have you ever gotten a Brazilian? Several :D.
Do you believe the US bombing Japan was a war crime? No, I don't. War is ugly and ugly things happen. That's just part of it. General LeMay ordered the bombing of Japan and is considered a hero. General Löhr ordered the bombing of Belgrad and was hanged for that. What's the difference? In my opinion, neither of them is a criminal, just military men with orders to fulfill.
Hi and thank you for doing the AMA! Why were there so many civilian casualties in the allied bombing of Podgorica in 1943 and 1944? As the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica was a densily populated city. The bombing was carried out as a request from Tito, the Yugoslav partisan leader, because the Germans used the city as a major transportation hub for troops in Albania and Greece. Nevertheless, the bombing killed many more civilians (about 4,100) then harmed the German war effort.
Did many Brazilians of European heritage (German, Italian, etc) enlist in the armies of their ancestral nations during WWII? There's a history professor here in Brazil who published a book about this topic. He estimates that the number of German-Brazilians who fought for Germany are between 100 and 150. The most famous one was Hauptmann Egon Albrecht, Luftwaffe ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross.
What do you think of the Argentina bringing in Nazi's post WWII? Juan Perón had a project of power for Argentina in the context of South America, he wanted his nation as the number 1 in LA. That's why he eagerly invited several of Germany's best engineers and pilots there. The other nazis, political figures, came as Argentina also was very prone of the Third Reich.
Do you believe that Canada was instrumental in the allied campaign in Italy? Hard to answer that. The Italian campaign was a multi-national campaign, and well over 10 Allied nations fought there, including Brazil. I guess it was a collective effort, given that the bigger powers could not pull it off without the smaller powers' contribution - and the other way around.
I see, also i am a big fan of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Was it taught to the military at that point or is that a little too early in BJJ's history? I don't it has ever been taught in the military, althought Helio Gracie was already practicing BJJ in Rio in the 40's. Link to pt.wikipedia.org
Do you group Canada with the bigger powers or smaller? I'm writing an essay in my grade 10 history class on Canada's significance in Italy, and some specific information on their real contributions would be extremely helpful. In Italy, I'd group it as a smaller power. I'd put only two big powers there: US and Britain.
Thank you. two last questions: 1: have you ever been on a history channel documentary? 2: If would was considering a career in history how would one go about pursuing said career? 1-No, never. 2-If one wanted to be a historian, then one has to go to college and specialize a lot in the desired focus.
I heard that a lots of Brazilian in the south of the country have German ancestry. For example, the world's second biggest Oktoberfest is held each year in Blumenau. What role did this category of the population react to the war with Germany? Which side did they chose? The Nazi Party invested a lot in southern Brazil, but their activities were deemed illegal in 1935. Our then president, Getulio Vargas, forced a policy of nationalization upon the colonial populations here, including Italians, Germans e Japanese (we have large populations of these). When the Expeditionary Division was formed in 1943, an effort was made to draft men from these origins for the unit, including them in the national effort.
What impact did the war have on the Brazilian people? For the people living in the coast, there was the constant fear of submarines. For people living in the countryside, not a big impact, as the war did not affected food supply and other goods. Blackouts were only practiced in major coastal cities. Only families that have relatives sent to battle of lost at sea had a personal involvement with the conflict.
What do you know about Russian war crimes? That's a very big question. But I know mainly about their crimes against the countries they occupied in 1939-1940, which the most famous case is the Katyn Massacre.
Then, by the end of the war, there were the mass rapings of German women.
What kind of jobs can a history major get? i always liked history. Mainly academic ones, but you can have a good career as author. There are other consulting jobs.
When did you realize that you were interested in history? Do you make a good carrier out of it? It was early in my childhood, watching movies. I saw that I was just amazed by WW2 dogfights and fighter planes. Yes, it's a good carrier.
Do you like coxinhas? Coxinhas are the best. I grew up with those little bitches. They are delicious.
Who's your favorite Western Allies/German/Soviet WW2 general/field marshal? I'd probably go with Patton/Manstein/Zhukov, myself, although Patton is nowhere near the other two. I'd say Patton/Manteuffel/Zhukov.
Did the the Axis make any attempts to help start revolutions in Allied colonies? Not really. There was a revolution in Iraq in April 1941, but not fomented by Germany - though they did help after. Also, Hitler promised Indian revolutionary Chandras Bose some help against British domination, but that never materialized.
Bose also tried to get Japan's aide but nothing came of it. What happened with that? Bose was killed in an airplane disaster in 1945.
Were there any battles fought on the South American Continent? From what I remember, all of the Americas were allied. The only major battle was the Battle of River Plate, in 1939. From then on, only U-Boat attacks and surface navy counter-attacks on them.
Which county's role in WWII is the most interesting for you? I particularly like to study the Italian, Romanian and Brazilian involvement in the war.
Have you ever interviewed a WWII brazilian veteran who has been in Castelnuovo, Montese or Monte Castello? Senta a pua! Several of them.
As an american i am very biased on my perspectives of the war. I know that brazil was an allied nation but it wasn't a major factor in the war. How do people from a (more) nuetral perspective see the events of the war? Edit: sorry for the grammar im kind of in a rush :p. I guess you mean the events of the war regarging the US, right?
Both were being ruled by fascist dictatorships at the time that were sympathetic to the Nazis but remained neutral themselves during the war. Yes but Spain sent a voluntary Infantry Division (Blue Division) and a Fighter Group to the Eastern Front, totalling some 45,000 men.
He's just stating he's Brazilian haha. Of course! Any WW2 questions?
Funny enough I was in the sauna yesterday and some guy was talking about he fought in Vietnam. That's some tough sauna chat.
Wow, I didn't realize that Brazil was still a thing. I wrote my dissertation on how a tiny group of natives on a tiny island in the Pacific waved at a b29 as it went over. I'm thinking they had just as much significance in World War 2 as Brazil did. No, far from that. Appart from the already mentioned Brazilian Expeditionary Force sent to Italy, Brazil was the main supplier of rubber to United States, among other essential materials. Without rubber, no tires...
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2013.11.08 19:05 tabledresser [Table] IAmA: I'm Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, NPR's Africa Correspondent

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Date: 2013-11-08
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Doesn't a huge part of Africa watch movies from Nigeria? like its their hollywood but with evil parents and witchdoctors trying to keep lovers apart? You are so right -- Nollywood, some call it, though many just like to call it the Nigerian film industry. And I think it's many of the themes that strike in chord with so many viewers all over the continent. But it's not just good and evil -- although those are basic themes. What really attracts other Africans to Nigerian cinema is that they relate to it. Often, I'm told -- why do I have to watch American soapies (as the South Africans call soap operas) when I can watch Nigerian movies!? And, everywhere I go on the continent, people will say "Chineke" which means God as in "goodness, God save us" (a vital part of every film) in the Igbo language.
In all of your African Travels, which country has your favorite cuisine? And what's your favorite dish? May I be partial?! I come from Ghana and my favourite home dish is gari foto -- made by my dearest Auntie Ruth "Rubsio".
Gari is a cassava-based staple and is such a useful item to carry about when you travel. Add hot or cold water -- depending on what you're eating it with -- mix and you're away!
Don't start me on this subject!
Dishes from other countries -- do we have ten hours? Africa is an incredible continent for its varieties of foods. Thiebou dieun (rice, fish and vegetables) in Senegal. Mooi mooi and efo in Nigeria. Almost any fish dish in Cameroon. Denin fleis in South Africa.
Tilapia and Ugali in Kisumu! Nyama Choma (spelling?) too Yes to Tilapia! Thumbs down to ugali!
Nyama choma or braai vleis, grilled meat, good for the carnivores among us!
South African here...I've never heard of "denin fleis"? Vleis (pronounced fleis) in Afrikaans is meat, but I'm not sure what "denin" refers to? Whoopsie. Indeed, it's vleis, pronounced fleis -- as in flesh/meat. Audrey Brown, please help! You first introduced me to this dish and I'm still waiting for you to make it for me again, please! I believe it's a Cape Malay dish. Delicccious!
With 30 years of experience, you must have a pretty good idea of the big picture of Africa. My question is: with so many natural resources and abundant population, why can't Africa break out of the cycle of poverty and corruption? Is there anything that can be done to turn it around? Easier said than done. When everyone's after your natural resources -- those across your borders and those beyond -- then believe me, you ask yourself whether it's not better to be poor than to have an abundance of natural riches and resources. But of course, that does not excuse poor leadership and, sadly, there is an abundance of that too in Africa. But there are also many leaders who are governing their countries well, who know what the priorities are and who are making Africa tick.
The problem is that the countries that are prone to conflict are the ones that get most attention -- take DRCongo and Nigeria for example. But they are two extraordinary countries, with extraordinary people and let's hope that their natural good fortune will better benefit the people.
Is the 'peace' between Sudan and South Sudan sustainable, or will border dispute spill into the rest of the country? Do you think South Sudan has a chance, economically, to come out from the shadow of Khartoum? That's a question so many are asking. After 50 years of conflict -- the longest-running civil war in Africa -- can there be peace between the two neighbours. I was in SSudan for independence in July 2011 and I have to say it was extraordinary. But what I noticed among all SSudanese was that they were absolutely determined to be "rid" of Sudan as they put it, because they said they would never be second class citizens again. But the two have to live side by side, cheek-by-jowl. Yes, SSudan has most of the oil in its half of the newly-independent country, but they have to use pipelines running through Sudan to export that petroleum? So, there has to be cooperation, there has to be entente, otherwise the two countries will forever be at each other's throats. And many Sudanese will tell you that they are saddened that they were not able to come to an agreement with the South Sudanese so that they could remain one country -- that they feel they failed in some way. I am sure they will overcome. BTW -- SSudan has incredibly fertile land, so yes, fishingthesky, you're quite right that it must diversify its exports and agriculture is the way forward.
Two questions. Let me stick to Mali -- because my colleague Gregory Warner is based in Nairobi and covered the Westgate Mall tragedy.
What is the Malian government doing to rebuild? What goes on to pick up after the wreckage caused by the rebels? How much of that threat still exists? Yes, Mali's new govt is trying very hard, but the legacy of the past 18+ months is huge and was destructive. And the problems continue -- especially in the north. You will have heard that two French colleagues from Radio France International were abducted and killed last weekend in Kidal in the north. Now that's the region that was occupied by Malian Tuareg rebels and by jihaddis for a year, until the French military intervention. So, there is still insecurity, there are still sporadic, but deadly attacks and the north is not completely safe. Add to that the problem with soldiers in the south, in the capital, Bamako -- and remember that it was the army that staged a coup d'etat in March 2012.
Similar for Kenya, has the feelings of safety for the average people changed since the mall attack? Mali has a long way to go. We were all -- including me -- under the impression that it's 20 years of "democracy" had built a nation, but clearly that was not the case as we have seen, with Mali crumbling so dramatically. But there is hope. Malians believe in their country and want it to succeed.
What does racism look like in Africa? Also, I'm familiar with Edward Said's work, "Orientalism." Is there any similar work done concerning Africa? So, that's what "racism" looks like in Africa today -- it remains prevalent. Having said all the above, let me add that there is reverse racism in Africa too. Black Africans can also be rather uncomplimentary about their compatriots of lighter shades and vice versa.
Have you ever been been on an assignment where you feared for your life? What's the scariest situation you have been in? Sadly yes, but I don't go on assignment fearing for my life -- if you see what I mean. I head off on a reporting assignment so that I can relate what people tell me to you. That's my focus and that's my priority. But I cover conflict and war zones and have done for the past 25+ years -- from coups d'etat to, say, my first "war" -- the civil war in Liberia. But things have changed so much. In the old days, we would just go -- now we have conflict-awareness and hostile environments training. We go off with flak jackets and helmets. But I've never been a boom-boom journalist. I don't seek out trouble, though sometimes you cannot avoid it. And, always remember -- you need to live to be able to tell the tale. But, as we saw with our two French journalist colleagues over the weekend, you never know when it'll be your turn. I am quite sure that Claude Verlon and Ghislaine Dupont has no idea it was their final hour. May they rest in peace. They were simply doing their job.
Having been on the ground for so long, do you think foreign aid is actually effective? And do you have any suggestions to improve it? China is certainly certainly changing Africa. And it depends who you speak to whether you think the influence is negative or positive. China does not pontificate as the former European colonial powers and America have done in Africa. It has done its home work and knows what it wants from Africa. Africa needs to catch up and know what it requires from China. But it's not doing so as a unified force, as one zone; it's all happening bilaterally and I'm not sure that's a good thing for Africa at all.
How is foreign investment, particularly by the Chinese, changing Africa? I'm curious about whether the influence is positive of negative. I'll point you to Howard French here -- he's an Associate Professor at Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, a dear old friend, a veteran former foreign correspondent in Africa and China -- among other regions and countries -- and someone who has deeply investigated how China is changing Africa. He's coming out with a new book soon. Link to about.me com Follow him on Twitter @hofrench.
Given you've been there for almost 30 years, have you picked up few different languages / dialects? If so, which if your favourite sounding one or most enjoyable to speak. You know, I love languages and am quite good at picking them up, but my one regret is that often I don't stay in any given place or country long enough to really learn local languages well. So I have a smattering of Wolof, of Zulu, of Lingala, of Swahili, of Hausa, of Yoruba -- and I always learn how to meet and greet and thank -- but I really wish I could spend time to really understand these and other languages (Arabic for instance), because when you have a language, you often better understand the people and the culture.
I am pretty good with European languages -- French, Spanish, Italian and I get by in Portuguese. That's helpful for Africa, because so many of the countries were colonised by European powers, so a European language is often the "official" language -- but I really want to do better with the local African languages! Hey, am I waffling -- that's because I know I could have done better!
It's pretty obvious that the West has a pretty biased, monolithic image of Africa. As a teacher, it is very difficult for me (and dangerous of me) to stop myself from saying phrases like, "there are staving kids in Africa" or "imagine a poor place, like Africa." How do you see that image of Africa changing and what can we do to understand the diversity of Africa in the same way we see the diversity of Europe? By being broadminded. It's too easy to think of Africa as a "place". It is not -- it is a hugely diverse continent, with diverse peoples, languages, cultures and much more. Yes, of course there are children starving in Africa, but believe me, there are children going hungry in the US and in European countries, only that is hidden. In Africa, starving children continue to make headlines and images that would not be allowed, I believe, of Western children in newspapers or on websites are freely depicted when it comes to Africa. But there is much more to this continent. Open your mind, look for the "other Africa" as I sometimes call it and you will find much of that on NPR.
Note: I teach ESL in Korea and just being here has helped me breakdown the type of monolithic image I once had of Asia. There are links at the top of the page to a couple of these stories -- try to take the time to have a listen/read please and you will see that there is a lot more happening that you may be aware of.
If you were to predict which African city would reach property values and quality of life standards comparable with, say, London or New York in 30 years time, which would it be and why? Hey -- we're already there when it comes to property values. Look up the price of property in Lagos, Abuja or Accra.
I agree that quality of life and standard of living may not quite match Manhattan or London, but if you flip the coin, you'll find that many expatriate Africans are heading home to give their children a far better "quality" of life than they find in the West. So the brain drain has become the brain gain, with Africans deciding to back up and head home.
What was the biggest surprise you've encountered when working on a story? How quiet the Congo River is -- it is huge, expansive, all consuming, but sometimes you could barely hear a ripple!
I lived in Dakar for a couple years myself, and had many friends who were journalists. My question is: in the context of such informal networks, how do you go about finding stories to report on? And when you're reporting on government officials, do these informal networks and chains of command make the task more difficult? I always admired my friends who were patient enough to be kept waiting at the Ministry of the Interior's office for 3 hours just so they could get a 15-minute interview. Bonus, less-serious question: What's your favorite restaurant in Dakar?? Chez Adja Ba. She's my "petite soeur" my little Senegalese sister and the dishes that come out of Adja's kitchen are absolutely my number one "restaurant"!
In your experience, what is the secret to good story-telling? Listening to the person you're talking to with every ounce of concentration you've got. Usually their stories are compelling and you know you've just got to get that across to the listeners and web users.
If you were leading a tour through Africa, what place(s) would be on the 'must go' list? Or the 'must avoid' list? How long have you got for the tour?! There are 50+ nations in Africa -- and that's just south of the Sahara, so I would say make sure you touch every region. The Maghreb -- West Africa (Sahel) West Africa (Equatorial) -- East Africa and the Horn. Of course the heart of Africa -- central Africa -- and then head down south, southern Africa is different again. This continent is vast, varied and will welcome you.
Is there enough political will/political power in Sub-Saharan Africa to reign in poaching? Many large mammals are in extreme danger of disappearing forever, and I feel that only strong government intervention can stop this from happening. Conservation and anti-poaching mechanisms are growing apace, but poaching is so flipping sophisticated these days, that poaching gangs have state of the art helicopters and equipment that rangers in Africa -- take South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya as examples -- don't have. I believe there is so much more awareness now than, say, even 20 years ago. Governments are realising that the very wildlife that would attract tourists to their country is being depleted by rampant poaching. But there also has to be awareness at the other end -- those who feel that rhino horn and elephant tusks (and that's mostly in the East) and so on will enhance their manhood or lengthen their lives must realise that they are prepares contributing to the extinction of species. And those who run these rackets must be prosecuted. Full stop.
Hi! NPR is the bee's knees, and I always love tuning in. But my favourite is O'Fabulous -- which some of my dear NPR colleagues sometimes call me when I've done something they like!!!
That being said, I don't have a terribly serious question. How often do people misspell your name? Don't start me off! Ofeibea Quist-Arcton -- Miss Twist, O-phobia, you name it, I'm called it and spelled it. Obeibea is a regular. But I'm sure this is one of the most-oft misspelled and mispronounced names!!
In your opinion, what is the most beautiful place in West Africa? Well, unbiased as I am, what about my own country -- Ghana?! No, only kidding.
There are just so many extraordinary places within West Africa -- and the continent -- from the desert to the forested parts of Liberia.
Spoilt for choice -- really!
What are your thoughts on the current progress in the DRC? Do you think it'll help to have Sen. Feingold there as a special envoy? Progress -- that's a word Congo really needs. The fact that there is one less, or should that be fewer?, rebel group (and here I'm talking about recent developments with M23) is a good thing. But what about the legion others who are terrorising the population? Congo, as they say, is made up of a wealth of natural resources, this is a country where everyone -- I mean e-v-e-r-y-one should be potentially wealthy. But when you have everyone else -- from across Congo's borders and beyond -- also after its mineral resources and people prepared to go to war of these, then it's tough on the ordinary eastern Congolese. The largest UN peacekeeping force was despatched to the DRC, yet 20 odd years later, there are still problems. Everyone has to sit down and decide to put Congo first -- DRC itself, its direct neighbours, including Rwanda and Uganda and its so-called Western partners as well as the African Union. Good luck to Russ Feingold and other special envoys from the continent and beyond. DRC cannot be an intractable problem any more, there must be a solution. In the era of Mobutu, Zaire was a problem, Congo changed its name and it still has troubles. Let us all resolve to find a way to end them. We, journalists, by continuing to report.
In your opinion, what is the most hopeful thing happening in Africa right now? Conversely, what is the most disheartening? The people of Africa. Unbelievable -- resilient, welcoming and full of hope.
Do you see Africa as a "dark continent" as many news organizations and journalists do? Furthermore, what are the challenges you face in reporting on the continent? For example, I've noticed that in many media landscapes we refer to Africa as a country, not a continent. This dark continent business that goes back to Conrad's literature, Heart of Darkness etc, on Africa -- well in the 21st century, Africa is the happening continent. Be sure of that. It's a great pity when Africa is reduced to a country! It is a mighty, mighty continent. And, to be fair, there are plenty of journalists who are giving a more comprehensive pictures of Africa, warts and all -- and that includes the treasures too, of which there are plenty!
I love, love, love your work, and want you to know you have a great radio voice. My question is how did you wind up at NPR? Did you always want to be in radio, or did you just wind up working in radio? I thought I might be a diplomat and I also considered a career as an interpreter. As the children of Ghanaian expats, we were reared on the BBC World Service, so I've always had the radio in my ear, so-to-speak. But I hadn't really considered being a broadcaster, but when the opportunity came my way to join the BBC, I did. I got to listen to NPR in the 1980s and first visited, was it in 1987, when Steve Munro kindly took me round Morning Edition. I believe I sat and listened to an edition being aired live. In the 90s, when I became a foreign correspondent for the BBC, NPR would sometimes call me up for a Q&A (or a 2way as we call it in journalese). And I remember our despatches, news spots, we would SOC (standard out cue, ie OQA NPR NEWS DAKAR) out for NPR as well as BBC and CBC if we were somewhere they didn't have a reporter. And then in 2004, I joined NPR. So, it's been quite a long on-off romance, n'est-ce pas?!
How do you feel about how much work you have to do as an "Africa" correspondent instead of working with only a regional focus? How are you able to tackle the difficulties of such regional complexity--in contrast to a European correspondent who might report mostly on, say, Germany? This is one question I didn't get to -- You know, I'm so passionate about Africa and I know it's a mighty continent and I know that that we can't possibly report about everything and everyone, but it's such a privilege to be able to tackle the complexities, as you put it, of Africa. And I've often been a regional or multi-something reporter, so I'm not sure quite how it would feel covering just one country. I'm sure I'd adapt -- but imagine reporting on China. That's like a continent on it's own!
I am involved with several NGOs working in Africa, and I care deeply about the development of the region. However, not everyone shares my sentiments. What do you suggest as an explanation to westerners who don't really care about Africa, don't think what happens over there has anything to do with their lives, etc.? Keep trying -- and give them a full picture of Africa. There must be people you've met and things you have done that have really showcased the positive. Tell the nay-sayers those stories -- and stay positive. Good luck.
I've learned more about Africa from your reports than any other media. A question: Does working for NPR, as opposed to other new agencies, change how you are received at your assignments? In Africa, NPR is getting more of an audience, but people may not recognise it as readily as say the BBC or RFI (Radio France Internationale) which have FM stations in most countries, so are readily available on a radio -- I mean the old wireless. But with new technology, NPR is definitely finding new audiences and I find more and more people I meet in Africa who recognise N-P-R, either at the end of my mic(rophone) or wherever else it may be written, on my business cards etc.
In your time as a reporter, have you ever been on an assignment and felt as though being where you were was decidedly unsafe, for yourself and any other reporters? If so or if not, have you ever declined going to a particular destination based upon dangerous conditions? I responded to this in another reply. But as a PS -- I hope I have never put another journalist colleague in danger, but yes it can happen -- unwittingly. You really must have your wits about you and try to know as best you can what you are walking into. Sorrowfully, you can't always be aware of everything and disasters and tragedies may happen. If I feel unsafe, I withdraw -- where I can. I assess with those in the know, to the best of my ability, before venturing into unknown or dangerous territory. Sometimes we decide we can go, other times we decide against. I try not to take risks knowingly and don't encourage others to either, but you cannot always avoid ambushes or abduction. Remember -- a dead journalist cannot report.
What are the challenges to reporting as NPR's Africa correspondent? Covering such an enormous continent, south of the Sahara! At the moment it's down to Gregory Warner and yours truly. It's just difficult to be everywhere and cover everything. But other news organisations are reducing their personnel on the continent to one -- so we're lucky there.
What issue are you most interested in covering? My passions are art and culture -- but I'm up for everything. I enjoy covering all aspects of a country/continent.
What's a story you're burning to do, but have yet to start? Your last question is my secret -- but I'll let you know when it happens!
Africa is huge. And doesn't always have the best traveling infrastructure. How is it to travel the continent? Any specific challenges you want to share? Are you received well in certain countries and not in others? Travel can be a challenge. We spend much too much time at airports -- sometimes waiting for the plane to arrive, sometimes for it to take off! That can be frustrating and tiresome.
In response to the second part of your question -- do you mean by officials or by the general public?
The latter is usually welcoming. The authorities can be tetchy or touchy in some countries -- especially when you've got tough questions to ask. But I find most people are courteous and helpful -- even if they don't answer all the questions you'd like them to! Some are obstructive, of course, but that's the name of the game.
Right now, economic growth on the African continent seems to revolve around oil and resource wealth. What country/countries do you see moving past that and becoming areas of financial and technology wealth as well? Where should we look for the future movers and shakers of the continent? Rwanda is determined to make a statement as far as development and technology are concerned. Mozambique. Cape Verde. Gosh, there are many. Watch this space. But I predict that Nigeria will truly emerge as the continental giant that it is.
Does NPR give you latitude on the stories that you wish to cover? That is the privilege of being a foreign correspondent on NPR's International Desk. We really do get time to report on a range of subjects and stories. The constraints of 24-hr news mean that sometimes I find colleagues are bogged down trying to "feed the beast" as they call it. We choose stories, in consultation with the desk, that we hope will really enlighten you, the listener and the web browser.
Are you the only NPR correspondent for the entire continent of Africa? It's a really big place! Does it bother you that many people see Africa as one place and not a continent with different countries? I've responded to your questions in earlier answers, but for the record NPR has two full-time correspondents covering sub-Saharan Africa. Gregory Warner is based in Nairobi, Kenya. Yours truly in Dakar, Senegal. We both travel all over the continent. Leila Fadel is based in Cairo and covers Egypt, parts of the Mideast and North Africa (the Maghreb -- ie Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya etc). But other correspondents also travel to Africa -- usually on specific assignments, rather than general coverage, which is down to Gregory and me.
What is tourism like in Dakar? Can any of us just visit? Tourism is pretty well developed in Senegal. And yes, anyone can visit Senegal. Dakar is the capital. You may need a visa -- depending on which passport you hold. It's a very welcoming country.
Have you ever been to Malawi? Yet to get to Malawi, but I'm looking forward to it. Such a beautiful country.
If you had to choose a region to report on for NPR right now, aside from the whole continent of Africa, which one would it be and why? India. Iran. Fascinating ancient histories.
I love the way you say "Dakar" on the radio! Dieure dieuf! Thank you in Wolof, Senegal's lingua franca. Dakarrr!
If you are interested in traveling and experience African cinema in person, there is a Pan-African film festival in the capital of Burkina Faso every two years called FESPACO (Link to www.fespaco-bf.net. I really recommend FESPACO -- going to Ouaga(dougou) every other year for the pan-African film festival is an experience of a lifetime.
You are one of my favorite contributors on NPR, as I feel that we here in America are too focused on stories from Western Countries. I have recently started paying much more attention to African news after my sister spent a year in South Africa. Give me any part of Africa -- there is something beautiful and interesting in every single region.
So my question is, on a continent as lush, diverse, and beautiful as Africa what is your favorite place. It could be for the people, the scenery, or something less tangible than that. But especially give me the people of Africa to listen to -- they have so much to share and so much goodness, kindness, humanity and compassion that it is an honour to pass on their stories, experiences, histories, creative talents and much more.
Last updated: 2013-11-12 17:29 UTC
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2013.04.14 17:59 Scott_Ogilvie [TDIH] April 14th

74 — According to Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots commit mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls are breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women & five children survive by hiding in a cistern, & were later released unharmed by the Romans.)
1291 — A body of Templars make a night raid on the Moslem camp at the Siege of Acre. They are all killed.
1611 — "Telescope" named at a banquet given by Federico Cesi, Duke of Acquasparta.
1629 — Christiaan Huygens, astronomer (discovered Saturn's rings) lives.
1756 — New Old World: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Pennsylvania Governor Morris' declaration of war on the Delaware Indians states
"for the scalp of every male Indian enemy, the sum of 130 pieces of eight."
1775 — US: First abolition society in the US organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1788 — US: Doctor's Riot. Five killed as a mob storms Doctors Hospital in New York, where Columbia University doctors & students were dissecting human corpses, many stolen from local graveyards.
1812 — England: Luddite Sheffield food riot — mainly women & boys — seizing potatoes & vegetables & attacking a militia arms store.
1816 — Barbados: Slave uprising breaks out on Easter Sunday night, taking advantage of the temporary freedom from work & the cover of permitted gathering for festivities.
1822 — Sir Walter Scott entertains George IV when the king visits Edinburgh. He gave Scott a precious glass goblet, which he put in his coat — & later sat down & crushed it.
1828 — First publication of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language, 22 years in preparation. It introduces "Americanisms" — 12,000 words never before in any dictionary.
1834 — France: In Lyon, where the Insurrection of the Silk Workers began the 9th of April, the army gradually begins retaking the city, attacking, for the third time, the Croix Rousse district, & massacring many workers. ("Sanglante semaine" — The "Bloody Week.")
1839 — India: Rain of fish in Calcutta.
1845 — France: Louis Genet lives, Ain. Textile worker, member of the Vienna anarchist group "Les Indignés."
1865 — US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC. Secretary of State Seward is also attacked with a Bowie knife, & severely wounded, by Lewis Paine, a co-conspirator of Booth. Lincoln dies tomorrow.
1874 — US: Josiah Warren dies, Boston, Massachusetts. Author of True Civilization & Equitable Commerce.
Warren founded several “equity” stores, based on the idea of exchanging goods for an equivalent amount of labor & the principle that cost should be the limit of price. He established three utopian colonies; the most successful (1851–c.1860) was Modern Times (now Brentwood), Long Island, N.Y.
1881 — Jean Biso (1881-1966) lives, in Bastia, Corsica. Anarcho-syndicalist, Secretary of the Syndicat des Correcteurs in Paris, participant in support groups for Sacco & Vanzetti, & the Spanish Revolution of 1936.
1889 — Historian Arnold Toynbee lives, London. Wrote on Greek history & civilization.
1892 — Australia: Radical anthropologist Gordon Childe lives, North Sydney.
1894 — US: First commercial screening of a motion picture, New York City, using Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope.
1897 — Horace McCoy lives (1897-1955). "Hard-boiled" American mystery writer & Hollywood scriptwriter.
Contributor to Black Mask along with Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, et al. His best known novel is the 1930s Depression drama They Shoot Horses, Don't They, filmed & directed by Sydney Pollack. Also wrote Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye; Corruption city.
1901 — US: Emma Goldman begins a lecture tour (April-July) with a free-speech battle in Philadelphia where she is prevented from speaking before the Shirt Makers Union. Emma & the organizations sponsoring her talks, including the Single Tax Society, defy police orders; she speaks in public here on at least two occasions.
Today Emma speaks at an event sponsored by the Social Science Club; other speakers include Voltairine de Cleyre.
1910 — US: Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader President Taft begins tradition of throwing out baseball on opening day. Probably another political curveball.
1911 — US: Emma Goldman's lecture on "Victims of Morality" is among the most well attended in Denver, Colorado (April 14-19).
1912 — US: Emma Goldman's lectures in Denver (April 14-27) positively received.
Emma's lecture topics include "Woman's Inhumanity to Man" & "The Failure of Charity."
"The Denver Post" features interviews with & articles by Emma. She extends her stay in Denver to teach a course on modern drama.
1915 — James Hutton Brew, "Pioneer of West African Journalism," dies.
1919 — Ireland: Limerick General Strike in full swing, in the face of British military occupation: workers run the city as a 'soviet', maintaining utilities & transport, issuing their own newspaper & currency, & regulating food supply (food depots established & food sold at below market prices, profiteering prevented).
1920 — Italy: Today the strike & Councilist factory occupations, begun March 15, has spread, & is now general in Piedmont; in the following days it spreads through much of northern Italy, particularly among the dockers & railroad workers. The government had to use warships to land troops at Genoa to march on Turin.
The councils began a strike combined with occupation of the factories & resumed production under their own control. By September an upsurge again engulfs most of Northern Italy: the occupation of more than 200 factories by 600,000 workers revitalized the sagging council movement. It was supported by a small Socialist section in Turin & by the anarchists in Piedmont, but the unions & the Socialist Party opposed the movement & sabotaged the strikes.
1926 — England: Emma Goldman lectures on "The Menace of Dictatorship: Bolshevist or Fascist," with British feminist Sylvia Pankhurst & William C. Owen at Essex Hall.
Emma is in London until the end of the month, for a series of six lectures on dramatists, including O'Neill, Ibsen, Susan Glaspell, & the German expressionists; she also delivers the same lectures in Yiddish as well as lecturing on Yiddish drama.
Emma continues her work for political prisoners in Russia, focusing her efforts on imprisoned women; enlists the support of influential women politicians like Lady Astor. Her old anarchist pal, Dr. Ben Reitman & his family visit her.
1930 — Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, betrayed by the Stalinist purges, commits suicide.
Of grandfatherly gentleness I'm devoid,
There's not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by — handsome,
twenty-two-year-old.
— Vladimir Mayakovsky, "Cloud in Trousers," 1915
1930 — US: Police arrest over 100 Chicano farm workers for their union activities in Imperial Valley, California. Eight will be convicted of so-called "criminal syndicalism."
By 1933, California farm laborers see a five-year wage cut from 35 cents to 14 cents an hour. In response, they support strikes led by unions such as La Union de Trabajadores del Valle Imperial. Their militancy contradicts the stereotype of Mexican passivity.
In one of the most powerful strikes, 12,000 laborers in the San Joaquin Valley fight price cuts for picked cotton. To bust the union, growers evict strikers & dump their belongings on the road. Local police, meanwhile, arrest strike leaders & picketers. But in the end the strikers win a 15-cent wage hike.
1931 — Spain: A Republic is proclaimed. Alfonso XIII crosses paths on his way out of Spain with hundreds of returning exiles, among them the anarchists Buenaventura Durruti & Francisco Ascaso.
1931 — Italy: Il IV Congresso del partito comunista d'Italia, seguendo quanto già deciso dalla CGdL nel Congrsso di Lione del 1929, invita i suoi membri a lavorare all'interno delle organizzazioni fasciste per utilizzarle ai propri fini. La cosa non sarebbe nè immaginabile nè possibile se i fini delle organizzazioni fasciste e di quelle comuniste non fossero, in molti casi, identici.
1935 — US: A windstorm moves from the Dakotas into the southern plains, lifting powdery soil into a 1,000-foot-high cloud — a blizzard of black dust & muddy rain hundreds of miles wide.
With winds of 60 miles per hour, the storm moves quickly, engulfing whole towns in total darkness by early afternoon. Motorists are stranded on highways; farmers can't find their way home; families cower in houses, watching the dust pack so thickly against windows it seems they are being entombed.
In 1935 alone, the winds took an estimated 850 million tons of topsoil. By the time the drought ends in 1940, the Dust Bowl states lost one-third of their population.
1935 — Canada: Emma Goldman speaks twice in Toronto, on "Youth in Revolt," to a branch of the Arbeiter Ring.
1936 — Innovative "voodoo" production by the WPA Federal Theater Project's Negro Theater Unit of William Shakespeare's "Macbeth" begins showing, in Harlem. On the 21st the headline: CROWD RUSHES 'MACBETH'; 3,000 Shut Out at Free Showing of WPA Negro Production appears in the NY Times.
1937 — Germany: Bruderhof, a collectivist traditional Christian peace church, raided by the Gestapo in Frankfurt.
1937 — Spain: Friends of Durruti Group," (former anarchists in the Durruti Column) issues a Manifesto opposing commemoration of the anniversary of the Republic, arguing it is merely a pretext for reinforcing bourgeois institutions & the counterrevolution.
1939 — John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath is published.
A majestic fury of unforgettable images... potatoes floating in the river with armed guards on the banks, oranges burning in the fields while the poor migrant labor looks on. Peaches rotting in the fields...
1941 — Canada: Analytical Marxist theorist Gerald Cohen (died 2009) lives, Montreal. Opposed the views of John Rawls & Robert Nozick & provided an extensive critique of the Lockean principle of self-ownership as well as the use of that principle to defend right — as opposed to left — libertarianism.
1961 — Old Tom, a cat left behind by his family when they moved 75 miles, shows up a year later.
1964 — US: American ecology writer Rachel Carson falls silent, Silver Spring, Maryland.
American proto-ecologist, author of Silent Spring.
"The beauty of the living world I was trying to save has always been uppermost in my mind — that, & anger at the senseless, brutish things that were being done..."
1964 — Beatster Jack Kerouac gives Northport library an interview, later published in the magazine Athanor.
1965 — Russia's first motel built in Moscow.
1966 — Swiss pharmaceutical firm Sandoz discontinues production of LSD. Owsley smiles.
1966 — US: 75 demonstrate against the Vietnam War outside NY Stock Exchange.
1968 — West Germany: 4,000 anti-Vietnam War student protesters battle police in West Berlin. Also the peak of demonstrations in West Berlin against Axel Springer & his publishing empire, after an assassination attempt on Rudi Dutschke ("Red Rudy").
1968 — US: (Easter Sunday) Love-in at Malibu Canyon in California.
1971 — US: $675,000,000,000,000 suit is bought against General Motors for polluting the country.
1979 — Germany: St. Petri church in Hamburg is occupied during this month by atomic energy opponents. Ten protestant pastors among them are reprimanded by the church administration. [Exact date not given.]
1981 — Gwyn Thomas, Welsh novelist/playwright, dies. His first novel was The Dark Philosophers (1946), about four unemployed Welsh miners, reminded critics of Chaucer, Rabelais, & Damon Runyon.
1983 — Gyula Illyes dies in Budapest. Poet, novelist, dramatist, & dissident — a leading literary figure in Hungary.
1986 — French philosophefeminist Simone de Beauvoir dies.
1986 — Libya: US aircraft attacks five "terrorist" locations, killing numerous civilians, in Tripoli & Benghazi, & assassinating the daughter of Beloved & Respected Comrade Leader Qaddafi.
The Reagan troika took a poll before, & found that 66% of Americans approved of killing babies.
Pretext is a terrorist act in Germany flimsily attributed to a Libyan-trained group which today remains in dispute (including possible CIA involvement).
1988 — France: Goodbye Daniel Guérin. Dies, age 84 years. One of France's best known revolutionary activists & thinkers, author of books such as Fascism & Big Business; 100 Years of Labor in the USA; Anarchism; Ni Dieu, ni Maître: anthologie du mouvement libertaire (1965).
Within France Guérin was a well-known libertarian communist, not only for his prolific writings, but also as a long standing trade union militant of the CGT; as a veteran anti-imperialist who supported the victims of French aggression in Indo-China, Algeria & the Kanaks of New Caledonia; as a fighter for gay rights (he was bisexual) in the 'Homosexual Front for Revolutionary Action.
1988 — Denmark declares its ports nuclear-free.
1992 — Serbia: Solidarity action with 83 refusing military service Stara Moravica, Vojvodina.
1994 — Iraq: Two US fighter jets shoot down two US helicopters.
1995 — US: Native American Leonard Peters & sheriff's deputy Bob Davis are killed in a shootout during a police ambush near Covelo, California. Native American Bear Lincoln is later acquitted of murder charges in the deaths in a racially charged trial.
1997 — Launch of separate two-month marches of the unemployed in nearly a dozen European countries, to converge on a European Union meeting in June.
2004 — US: Presidential election: An advertisement for John Kerry placed in a newspaper in Gulfport, Florida by a local Democratic Party club gets negative national publicity, as it suggests shooting Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
submitted by Scott_Ogilvie to Anarchism [link] [comments]


2012.08.27 16:52 tabledresser [Table] IAMA guy who has helped 3 ex-muslims escape their country while facing death threats for expressing their views. AMAA.

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2012-08-26
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Link to my post
Questions Answers
1) How much did it cost to free them? 2) What were some of their view points that were controversial? 3) What happens to their families? 4) What countries are they from and where did they end up? 1) I couldn't tell you the exact cost, as I'm not solely responsible for getting them out of their situation. I've spent a total of just under 1k which provided living expenses for 2 of the individuals until they were able to leave the country. I also provided the money for plane tickets for 2 of the individuals. The amount of money is really negligible and I consider it, by far, the best used money I've ever owned.
2) Overt atheism and being a proponent of secularizing the school system, criticizing the treatment of non-muslims by muslims in a way deemed inflammatory , and protesting against gender inequality in a way deemed too extreme for the country of origin.
3) Nothing happened to their families. They were all young and hadn't started their own, and their parents didn't advocate for this behavior, and in one case publically denounced their child and another beat their child.
4) I won't say the exact countries, but they went from North African to European countries.
Edited: for missing answer.
So I suppose you can't tell us what happened to their families? Their families were not supportive of them, and their actions. In two cases their family took action against them, either by denouncing their actions publicly, or actually physically abusing their child.
I'm not sure what you're implying would happen to their family, the government didn't take any action against them, nor the population.
I feel silly, but will you clarify the currency? The internet is international :) Yes USD, sorry.
It may take $1k to move from US to Europe but for someone in a 3rd world country, the process is a lot more complicated. For example, for a student visa you need to show that you have around $50k-100k in savings. Which visa were they on when they left? I'm not sure of the details, but I believe one got out based on a scholarship given that would cover his expenses, the other I think was able to obtain a visa for travel and then apply for asylum once in the country.
I won't call billshit. But you need to specify where in north Africa. This wouldn't happen in any of the Muslim countries I know in the north. Id expect it from Saudi or Syria for example but not Morocco, Lybia, Egypt, and especially not Tunisia Morocco and Egypt both have anti-blasphemy laws that have been used to jail people for defaming islam, tunisia also now has this problem. Once the threat of litigation is there - and charges are being filed against these people - it prevents them from seeking protection when they are faced with serious death threats from members of the population. Its not necessarily the threat of the government putting them to death, but threats from the population and an inability to get protections from their government without risking years in prison.
Will these people ever be able to return home? Would they want to? I think that these people wanted very much to change their society for the better, and would love to return home. Whether they can or not? I'm not sure.
Did any of them leave families behind? They all left their families behind.
Does your family support you? (for fear you may be arrested or killed) My family doesn't know that I do this. I'm at no risk of being arrested or killed for this in the United States.
Thanks for being such a great person. The opportunity presented itself, and the benefit to these individuals was so great, and my sacrifice was so small. I consider this the best usage of money in my life. Its like getting a gift for someone, and the gift is the ability to feel relatively safe expressing themselves, and it's on sale in the dollar store.
I don't see how that would lead anyone to the people you've helped. If people know my real name there is a potential for me to receive threats. I don't know how real this is, but I have no inclination to test. Also if people know my real name, then they could potentially figure out who I helped via facebook friends, etc. I don't want to make a choice that leads more publicity towards them without their consent. I have been waiting for one I talk with somewhat regularly to get online for that permission, but he hasn't been on. I promise when I see him I'll ask for it, and update the main body with links. Also I'll attempt to get him to do an AMA as well.
I have heard the penalty for apostasy under Sharia law is death. Is this something you have had lot save people from? (Specifically the atheists?) From what I understand, that is the majority view among scholars in Sunni Islam. This would be a good question to ask over at the exmuslim and islam subreddits. There is a variety of views on the subject amongst muslims. I suggest you take a look at this pew poll. Of the muslim majority countries polled the support of the death penalty for apostates varies among Muslims from 5 to 86%
In reality does it matter what the average Muslim thinks of apostasy? Its the governments that matter and just about all of them DO agree with death for non believers. This isn't true, the majority of muslim majority countries don't have the death penalty for apostasy written into the law, most of them have laws against defaming islam of various harshness.
Kuwait, Saudia Arabia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Syria, Iran. I mean are there that many major Muslim nations left? Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Turkey, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Iraq, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Yemen, Syria, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali Senegal, Tunisia, Guinea, Somalia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Sierra Leone, Libya, Jordan, UAE, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Chad, Lebanon, Palestine, Albania, Mauritania, Oman, Kosovo, Gambia, Bahrain, Comoros, Qatar, Djibouti, Brunei, Maldives.
I suppose they were mainly persecuted by government forces, also what were their feeling, as the obvious insiders they are/were, about the general population's concerns (or lack thereof) about free speech issues in those countries and within the muslim world as a whole ? One of these individuals had previously served jail time for his views. Generally these governments have anti-blasphemy laws that they use to prosecute these individuals. Some of these laws are one sided (it's illegal to defame islam), others are all inclusive (it's illegal to defame religion), but in the countries where the law is all inclusive, it is generally only used against people who "defame" Islam. What is considered defamation is very vague, and I think that this law is also used as a political tool against secularist.
Do you think that such individuals are rather exceptions, or are about pioneering some kind of an upcoming "rule" ? The popular view's in these countries, even among liberals, is that free speech has its limits. One of these individuals was actually denounced in their country by the liberal blogging community because they felt the line had been crossed.
As for your deeds, anyway : congratulations. I don't think that they are becoming a rule, maybe there is a slight nudge among the youth to support secularism, but I think there is no doubt that they are currently the exception.
Was there any risk that something would happen to you if they were caught? If so, how did you feel about it? The closest I've ever been to being at risk in the situation was when one of these individuals received a phone call by an individual threatening to take his life and mentioned that he knew he was being wired money from his "friends in the US". This could have been a guy who really knew that I had in fact done this, or it could have been a wild conspiracy theory (The Israeli/american ties conspiracy is quite common). These individuals have enough balls to make a Krogan look like Lance Armstrong. There is really nothing too ballsy about what I did. I was just in a situation in which I could help, and I did.
How did you get involved in this? Did you find it on the internet, did some group call you or what? I'm kinda skeptical at this point. This is how i got involved
I have sent proof to the mods, hopefully they will post something saying that I've been verified.
Are you still getting "death treats" now that you're (presumably) out of this country you're referring to? One more question: Did any of these people you helped out ever tried to return the favor in any way? I am not getting death threats. I never have. I live in the United States. Of the individuals I helped, all of them still receive death threats, but I can only confirm that one is receiving death threats from people inside his country of asylum. Most of the death threats are hollow, but its a scary situation. There were also facebook groups made calling for their government to put these people to death in some cases.
I really don't see myself as needing any favors done for me, but they are all extremely grateful for my help, and I'm sure they would do whatever they could.
Is there any specific website we can use to contribute donations? If so, what percentage of the donations actually reach the people in need? I'm not aware of a website to donate. I know that the CEMB deals with some of the same issues, but I'm not sure how they are spending money etc, their might be info on their site. I have heard from ex-muslims that this is a good group because they also criticize some of the anti-islam rightwing extremists who may be right on some issues, but not necessarily for the right reasons.
Asylum Access
ORAM
They are organizations that help with the legal proceedings that take place to verify the need for asylum to be granted. I thought I'd pass this along so you could check them out too.
May we have some proof, please? Sent to the mods. I'm sorry but anonymity is important in this case. It is possible that one of these individuals would agree to allow me to release information, but I wouldn't feel comfortable releasing detailed information about them on my own. I might be able to talk to one into doing an AMA.
I get why you are very protective about this. But I see no harm in saying which countries they came from and where they went. Give the story a little perspective. There are millions living in North African Arab countries and more millions in Europe. So they're safe anyway. You're probably right, it would probably be safe - but I don't feel it's my place to make that call. Saying North Africa is the most I'm willing to do without consent of these individuals.
How did you come across these people and their need of help? are they people you already knew or were you made aware of their plight by someone else? I'm a big proponent of freedom of expression, so I joined some petition groups on Facebook for individuals facing punishment for expressing themselves. I started reading secularist blogs, and before you know it an opportunity to help presented itself. A young adult was forced to flee his own home because of death threats (he was also beaten by his father), and helping him through it was the least I felt I could do. He is currently going through the asylum process in a European country. From there, this person's contacts in the blogging community allowed me to get in touch with the other two when they received death threats.
To me it sounds like you're helping people you met on the internet, how do make sure they are legit? makes you wonder, is "I am an ex-Muslim" the new "I am a Nigerian prince". They didn't contact me asking for help, they were members of a community that I joined advocating for free expression rights. I also verified several different things along the way - its also quite hard to fake going to jail over your views, when you can look up a news article that confirms it.
What was the process of getting these people out of their respective countries? Was it a simple as organising flights and alerting emabssies that their was an asylum seeker coming or was it more of a "great escape" scenario? In nearly all countries, the asylum seeker needs to be in the country to apply for asylum. It is much easier to fly to the country on pretense of vacation or something, and then apply for asylum then to apply from out of country. In two of the cases the individuals were able to fly out of the country (although it was difficult for one of them because their family, who they were also hiding from at the time, had their travel documents). In the third case , where getting travel documents was not at all possible, the individual applied from their country of origin. Once in the country the asylum process can take over a year, and you are restricted from working and schooling during this time. The government gives a small living stipend to the asylum seeker as the process goes on. I am not an expert on immigration laws, so I don't provide any legal information beyond what i just wrote above.
Follow up question. How directly were you involved with these people's escapes. I know you provided financial assistance, but did you ever do more then that. Like putting them up, becoming a confidant of sorts or bringing them to the places where they sought asylum? My support was limited to finances and being a friend. I would love to get more involved in the asylum process, but unfortunately I'm no expert. I think having professionals involved in this aspect of the process would be enormously helpful. I've been trying to think of ways I can expand my involvement.
Would you do the same for Muslims in Burma that are being burnt alive by Peaceful Monks? Absolutely. The reason I have helped ex-muslims is solely because my where my interests on the internet have taken me. I'm staunchly secular and am an advocate of free speech. My experiences of muslim's on the internet is the support for those things are tenuous (some do support it, I wan't to emphasize that muslims are anything but monolithic). Also, I would say that those monks are certainly not peaceful.
Why have you been vague about what these views are that these three people have been expressing? Are they gay? Atheist? Christian? The views these individuals had to go into hiding over ranged from atheism to feminism. So two of them have been atheism and feminism. What is the other one? All three are atheists, two were facing threats due to statements they made deemed insulting to Islam, the other was mainly for fighting gender discrimination in a way that wasn't culturally acceptable in the country.
Again, I don't mean to sound too in your face here or anything, but why are you speaking so vague? Are you unclear yourself of the reasons these people needed to escape their country? No, I'm very clear of the reasons, I just don't want to provide information that would be able to be linked back to the identity of the individuals, as it is not my place to decide whether or not they get additional publicity for these matter. I will contact one of these individuals to see if he is willing to do an AMA.
How difficult is it to do this kind of thing? Is there a lot of paperwork and governmental red tape you have to go through? Or do you just front the money for them? I just front them the money. I have my set of rules that I use to determine legitimacy and need, but to be honest, the amount of money this cost me is so insignificant that there is no great loss if it is a con game.
What are the rules you use to determine legitimacy? I don't advertise as a service. If I do, I'm sure I'll get tons of cases of people who don't have a legitimate risk that have no problems taking advantage of kindness. I attempt to verify statements. Is this person in the news for their actions? Do they have blogs showing a long time support to those ideals they're being threatened for? When they tell me what they need money for, I research it and check to make sure the numbers match up with the cost of living in the area. Same with flights.
If these individuals were running a con game, they would have spent years of posting blogs, and seriously risked their life for a few hundred bucks. There's always the chance someone could do that, but I think it's highly unlikely.
I think the steps i take weed out a lot of the bad, but it's always a concern. From a money position, even if I did get conned, it would just be what I make in a day or two, so its no huge loss.
Could you tell us how and about what they expressed themself about? (more in deepth) Sorry about my bad english. One was a blogger who posted was a proponent of secularized education in his country. Once his activism and atheism became known he was assaulted by the faculty of the school and forced to leave, eventually forced into hiding, and then exile in a european country. Another blogger faced threats after posting comments critical of how muslims were treating non-muslims which were deemed inflammatory. The third was the result of protesting gender discrimination in a way that wasn't seen as culturally acceptable (too extreme).
What do you think about Reddit's views on the mid-east? I was unaware that Skynet Reddit has become a sentient website capable of having views on the middle-east. I'm not sure what the Hive Mind Redditor's consensus is on the middle east.
1) what do you do in your day 2 day life? 2) are you an activist? 3) what do you do for a living? I work a 9-5 in advertising. I'm not really sure if doing this makes me an activist or not. I'm a supporter of freedom of expression and I spend a lot of time on the internet, and this is what happened.
As for my day to day life, I enjoy things like playing video games, reading books, spending time with my fiance etc - nothing to exciting.
Aside from writing a cheque or wiring money, what special actions did you take to facilitate their escape? Is this something that anyone with a decent budget could do? Do you originate from the countries from which you helped these individuals escape? Were any laws broken in the process? The main help was to offer money. I also offered my company, being holed up in fear for your life is a very stressful situation. When I wired money these individuals would always only give me the bare minimum number for what they needed to survive (I checked the numbers as a saftey precaution). I always added a bit of extra money for beer or something to make their situation a bit less dangerous. I am from the United States, and no laws were broken on my end, however these individuals were facing at least the possibility of legal action being taken against them by their government, and certainly no help from it. I think that anyone with a decent budget could do this, as I've said, I've spent just under 1k USD and was able to provide something really useful to these individuals. The main thing is that if you publicly offer a service, you will probably deal with individuals who will take advantage of you, so measures should be taken to avoid this. I do this by avoiding to offer a service publicly, among other things.
Are you in any danger yourself for helping these people out? I don't think that I am, but I would like to keep my anonymity just to be safe.
Is your username a reference to a metaphor used to explain the anthropic principle? "Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, "This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn't it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!" This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it's still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything's going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise."
Douglas Adams.
Upvote for catching the reference.
**I'm a big proponent of freedom of expression... I have stated in other answers that I would have supported individuals right to freedom of expression no matter their beliefs. My support ends when there is an active attempt to suppress another's freedoms.
Are those also your opinions? If so, then aren't you really a proponent of people who express your views? Or have you also spent resources (time, money) helping people who say things you disagree with? As an atheist I have donated my time to religious charity efforts on several occasions.
Did it occur to you that those guys might have duped you in order to get a free tickets to Europe ? Yes I obviously thought of that. In order for this to be the case they would have spent a inordinate amount of time creating years worth of blog posts, etc, and still would have been risking their lives as there were facebook groups calling for their death, and one even spent time in jail.
I hate to be that guy, but has a mod confirmed this yet? Proof was supposed to have been sent off 5 hours ago. I got a response back from the mods saying that my proof showed I know these people but not rescued. I sent more information (conversations confirming money transfers, as well as an email showing that the money was being transferred because it was not safe for a person to go out). I also explained that I never claimed to have rescued anyone, only helped while they escaped. I have provided copies of their passports, as well as proof that they are all in european countries. I've linked them to articles showing that they were receiving death threats. I'm not sure what will be required to meet the burden of proof, but I've been trying to satisfy the mods. If all else fails I'll attempt to contact one of the people I helped and have him send them a message confirming I helped, I will also suggest to one to do an AMA himself if he is willing - that way he can disclose the information at his own discretion.
How did you get into doing this? What was it that pushed you over the edge? I would say it was a more gradual shift. I was active in the support of freedom of expression on the internet, the opportunity presented itself, and I took action. It wasn't financially draining to do it, and the benefits I could help bring to an individual's life for relatively little money were enormous. I've added a section to the main post on how I got involved, check and if you have any additional questions, let me know.
Have you ever, or would you ever help a ex-muslim Christian convert escape their respective country? Yes, or an ex-christian muslim convert. I don't think anyone should have to live in fear for expressing their belief.
Which country did they go to? (or continent at least if you don't want to be specific) And how did they get a visa? Or they did they seek asylum? And if the latter did they get it? (in that case I'd really be interested in which country they went to= Europe. Two of them were able to get visa's one was apple to apply for asylum from their home country. The asylum process is long, and is still going on, but he documented all the threats against him very well, so I think he has a strong case, if he didn't have a strong case they probably wouldn't have accepted him from an out of country application. None have official acceptance in their country, but one isn't seeking it, as he was able to get a great scholarship from a university and will probably take that path to citizenship. I'm not an asylum expert though, so I generally don't give advice on it.
Without revealing too many details - obviously - was there some type of false pretext used to get them out of the country? (I mean, they didn't just go "I'm outta' here, bitches" and leave...) Also, are you part of an organized group that does this or just a loose group of people doing something very cool? One got out on the pretext of traveling, another got out by getting a good scholarship to a university, the other applied for asylum from within their own country, while in hiding.
Are you also at risk for helping them? What would be the consequences if people found out it was you? I'm not sure what the consequences are, and I don't want to find out. I don't feel I'm at risk while my identity isn't known.
Why do they express their views if they know they are gonna get death threats? How are things gonna change if they leave their country? I think that they express their views partially because they feel suffocated by having to continuously live a lie, and partially out of hope that they can convince others to help change their country for the better. If they aren't able to express their views from inside their country then I think that their ability to change their country increases when they leave.
This may come off the wrong way, but how are you sure that your money went where you think it did? Did you ever met these individuals after all was said and done? Just curious, not trying to stir up the hive. Pictures of them in Europe confirm that they did? Also every time they needed help I fact checked the costs and found that they always asked for the low end of the scale of what they needed.
So how are these people elligible for asylum then? A realistic fear of prosecution based on religious discrimination is grounds for asylum. Also the threats of non-government groups are also a basis for asylum if there is reason to believe that the group will be able to carry out the attack.
How does it feel to be a hero to these 3 individuals? Have you recieved any public recognition for it other than Reddit? I usually think of them as my heroes, I think that their actions have been far braver than mine. I generally keep this to myself. The only other person who knows is my fiance.
Just want to say that what you did was really cool and brave in a way(though i know you would not be in any danger here in the usa). You have saved their lives and i'm sure they are very grateful. Will you ever meet them? I have an open invitation to visit one of them anytime. If me and my fiance end up going to Europe for our honeymoon, I'm sure we'll stop by and have a few drinks.
You helped them, fine. but why the need to brag about it on Reddit? The idea was that maybe others would be inspired to help someone else out if the opportunity presented itself.
Having helped people in genuine need of help immigrating to a safer political climate, does it ever make you angry to see people denounce all immigrants, regardless of legality? I'm not sure of America's immigration laws, but in Britain, we offer legal immigrants quite a lot of aid, something which greatly upsets plenty of residents of the U.K. It makes me angry seeing people generalize so harshly about people they know nothing about, but I was wondering what your opinion on the subject is? I thought I answered this one earlier, but I see there is no post here, so I'll try again.
If there was an organization willing to give you sufficient support, is this a sort of thing that you'd consider doing full-time? I would love to do this type of work full time, but here are my concerns.
1) Its one thing using your own money to help someone, another thing when you're using someone else's. I would feel even more obligated to avoid the potential of a scam if I was using others money.
2) I'm not sure if there would be enough work to do. In a year and a half I have helped 3 people. A lot of times before you hear anything it's already too late to do anything, and the person is already arrested on blasphemy charges or something else.
Do you have to be rich to help / how could any one of us do the same? One of the ways that I am able to help is the difference of cost of living between our countries. For instance, a month of rent for me in the US is about a weeks worth of pay for me. In the countries I was involved with it was one or two days of work for an entire month of rent. I make slightly more than the average american, but I am by no means rich, middle class.
Do you find them or do they find you? And how? I find them. I think that if i were to put out an offer of help, a lot of scam artists would attempt to take advantage. More details were added to the main body of the post on how i got started. TLDR: I became active on freedom of expression petition sites and one thing led to another.
Why did you personally choose to do this kind deed? To be honest I don't think I could have ignored it. A blogger I met because of mutual interests essentially had to leave his home because he was receiving death threats from people who knew the neighborhood he lived in.
You say in the original post you went to take a shower and eat. What did you end up eating? I was originally going to order a pizza, it's actually my birthday today, but the place I usually get it from didn't open until 3pm, so I went to subway.
How do you feel about Islam as a religion? I'm an atheist, I don't agree with it. As far as its adherents, I like to judge them on an individual basis.
What does "ex-muslims" mean in your topic title? Formerly Muslims. In this case they all are now atheists.
Is there any way I can escape Saudi Arabia as a female? I think that their is some sort of law in Saudi Arabia that prevents women from leaving the country without permission. I'm sending you a pm though.
How old were they? The age range was between 19 and 27.
Apologies but this isn't a pertinent question to your experiences, but maybe your experiences could help answer it for me, here goes. Based on your experiences, how possible is this plan? I don't know how possible but here are my immediate worries. 2) If prostitution is not legal, you could be putting yourself at risk for going to the brothel.
Last updated: 2012-08-31 09:31 UTC
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