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The top 10 hottest places to have sex in 2018

Of course, you can always do it in the bed but it’s not going to be as fun as having sex on a desolate beach, in a hammock, a yurt or a tree house. Our list of crazy places to have sex in 2018 includes all the hottest destinations like the Burning Man, Hawaii, and a music festival on a cruise ship. Where are you going to have sex this year? Take your pick!

  1. Treehouse

Have you ever lived in a real tree house? The one your dad built when you were five years old doesn’t count. On Airbnb, you can find the stunning tree houses in California, Colorado, or near the beaches of South Carolina.

  1. Groove Cruise

A music festival on a cruise ship is an amazing experience by itself, but having sex in a middle of nowhere while listening to world-famous DJs is even better!

  1. Burning Men

Burning Man is famous for their unique atmosphere, anarchy, drugs, weird costumes, and happy hippies who were waiting for this festival the whole year. Three things you’re almost guaranteed to see at Burning Man: a first-timer who has no idea what’s going on, crowds of men “cock shirting” (wearing a t-shirt only), and a couple having sex in plain view.

  1. Near the Bioluminescent Bay

Experience the magic of Mosquito Bay in Puerto Rico, one out of three with bioluminescent bays of the island.

  1. Hawaii

Stunning tropical islands have been a hideout for off-the-grid hippies and artists since the ‘60s. Hawaiian islands are still the popular honeymoon destination.

  1. Yurt

On Airbnb, you can rent yurts in the United States from $20 per night. From a Malibu yurt retreat on the organic farm to the Mongolian yurt near Lake Tahoe, the options are limitless.

  1. Firefly Music Festival

Another great place for music lovers, Firefly is a 3-day music festival in the forest. It’s well known for amazing lineups, drugs, and world-famous stars who want to go wild but remain incognito.

  1. Near the waterfall

There are plenty of stunning waterfalls in America like Havasu Falls, Yosemite Falls, Nevada Fall, and more. Having sex near some misty waterway full of wild plants, cliffs and jungle peaks is something you will never forget.

  1. On a beach

Let’s be honest – for many people, having sex on a beach is more about crossing an item off of your bucket list than having an incredible sexual experience. While there are a lot of risks associated with beach sex, the empty beach us still one of the most romantic places out there.

  1. In the desert in Utah

The remote canyons in Utah and Arizona are incredibly romantic. Today, they become more accessible thanks to Airbnb and the unique accommodations of Amangiri. This luxury 600-acre getaway offers private rooms with a patio, fire pit, and glass walls so you can enjoy endless views of the empty desert.

 

 

Escort Do’s and Don’ts

Most people know to behave at the restaurants and shops. Tipping a server or being nice to a salesperson is usually a no-brainer, but not everyone knows how to behave when hiring an escort. What can you ask for and what is completely inappropriate? Where is the fine line that separates a loyal customer from a rude asshole? If you are not sure how to treat an escort girl, this useful guide is here to help!

For this article, we asked top female escorts, Dutch prostitutes, and strippers to tell us what men should and shouldn’t do when they are enjoying their services. We also included the profiles of those hot girls who helped to create this guide at the bottom of this page, so you can check them out later!

DO:

  1. Be respectful

Being respectful both on the phone and in emails can do wonders because all escort girls love polite clients. A nice email that includes more than a few details also goes a long way. In addition to introducing yourself, try to include more information about yourself like your age, height, or occupation. And, of course, be polite as you would be with other strangers.

  1. Mention your special request beforehand

All girls are different but a lot of them can agree to try something new with you, be it a sexy outfit, costume, or some unusual settings. However, you need to discuss it with them beforehand and be understanding if the girl is not ready.

  1. Learn more about the girl and read her bio carefully

Before you see the girl, make sure you know her boundaries and respect them. The fact that she is an escort doesn’t mean that she can do anything you want. Often, the girls include all restrictions and rules in their bios online so read it carefully! Asking for a service she has never advertised providing is rude and inappropriate. It also forces a girl go into “protective” mode. And you don’t want to be that guy, right?

  1. Take a shower

Of course, all girls prefer clean, well-groomed men, so try to prepare for this as you would for any other date. Many escorts also recommend trimming and shaving a day before the appointment, since the last thing you want (safety wise) is an open cut before sex with any new partner, not just an escort.

DON’T:

  • Use too much cologne, aftershave, or deodorant.
  • Barter (woman’s rates are often non-negotiable).
  • Bring drinks, food, or flowers unless you discussed it with a girl before an appointment.
  • Ask a girl how many clients she has seen that day or how long she has been doing it. More often than not, this isn’t really a good topic for a friendly conversation. While some girls are eager to talk about their start in the escort industry, many are not. Let her bring it up only if she wants to.
  • Ask personal questions about her real life, boyfriends, etc.
  • Try to have sex with her without a condom.
  • Stay longer than you were supposed to.  What you book is what you get, unless you are ready to pay extra.

 

How to choose the right escort and escort agency

More than 20% of all American men paid for sex at least once. And it’s probably a low estimate considering that this topic is still a taboo in our society. With that in mind, we decided to talk openly about escorts and answer all the questions you might have. What’s the difference between prostitutes and escorts? How to choose the right escort agency? Is it hard to find the perfect girl online? Keep reading to learn more!

All escorts are rated online

When it comes to finding an escort online, a lot of men simply don’t know where to start. The sheer volume of sex services advertised on the Internet can be confusing, but the truth is, all big agencies are already compared and ranked. Numerous websites offer user reviews and ratings regarding the services of certain escorts and agencies, so just do your homework and choose the right one for your needs.

Different countries offer different escort services

Before you hire an escort, it’s highly recommended to learn more about the local regulations and rules. In Canada, for example, prostitution is legal but street prostitution is discouraged. In Amsterdam, escorts are tax-paying professionals.  In other countries, like the US, prostitution is illegal, so you have to be extra careful while looking for an escort online.

Escorts are not prostitutes

Even though they basically offer the same services, escorts are popular among wealthy, respectable men who are looking not only for sex but also for great companionship. Many of them often enlist escorts for actual escorting services, such as for dinner and drinks. That’s why the majority of escorts are attractive, smart, and personable women without drug or alcohol problems.

All girls are different

Escort agencies protect the privacy of their models, but they still have a catalog where you can choose the perfect girl. On their website, you can see at least partial pictures of the girls and the descriptions that include everything from their favorite food to the level of education. The more details you can see on her page, the easier the choice will be. So take your time and don’t make a final choice based on the looks only. It’s also important to have something in common with the lady that accompanies you.

Special requests

If you have special requests or particular needs, there are some agencies that will go to great lengths to make it happen. Some escort agencies offer all-inclusive packages that include a hotel, car, or even a private jet. Others specialize in offering services that are more physical. For some men, hiring an escort is the only way to get what they want or try something new. Whether you dream about having sex with a strong dominating woman,  a virgin, or an international model, the right escort agency can make your dreams come true. Just don’t forget to mention that you have special requests and discuss all the details beforehand.

 

Top escorts reveal what women really want in bed

Unless you and your partners are all about open sexual communication, it might be incredibly hard to figure out each other desires, fantasies, wills and won’ts, as well as many shades of maybes. And while guys are pretty straightforward, girls can be very complicated.

More than 30% of women have trouble reaching orgasm and half of all women are too shy to tell what turns them on. Do you want to know what she really wants in bed? These top male and female escorts share their secrets and reveal how to make her happy every time.

  1. Start slowly

Unlike guys, girls need some time before getting down to business. Male escorts know that women want spend time with them before heading to the bedroom so they try to include “boyfriend experience” as well. It might be anything like watching TV or cooking dinner together. Some of top escorts even admit that they don’t always have sex with their clients.

  1. Go down

More than 75 percent of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone, so you have to play with her clit. And give her some time – female orgasms only get better with age. Ask any experienced female escort and she will admit that with age her sex life only improved —specifically the quality and frequency of orgasms.

  1. Let her be in control

Of course, every girl dreams about a confident experienced man who can take charge in a bedroom. But variety is a spice of life, right? If you are not afraid to get a little kinky, let her be in control. You’ll be surprised how switching roles in a bedroom can improve sex life for both of you!

  1. Role-play and toys

First of all, make sure she’s down with it before you start pulling her hair or spanking her, but as long as its consensual, most girls simply love it. Believe us, whatever you can do to make your sex life a little bit edgier will definitely level up the experience. Both male and female escorts agree that after the incredible popularity of movies like “50 Shades of Grey” more and more women want to feel dirty in a bedroom.

Speaking about toys, shopping in a sex shop together can be a good start. To get her going, ask her about her fantasies or favorite porn videos/categories. Watching some edgy porn video or a movie together will help you both to get into the mood.

  1. Be more vocal

Girls just love hearing their partner moan when they do something that feels extra good. Vocalizing your reaction will make a girl feel extra special and confident, but it’s also a great way to let you partner know whether or not you like what she is doing.

  1. Kiss her

Kissing is very, very intimate. A lot of female escorts can do anything – literally anything – except kissing with their clients. It’s a closeness that is personal, passionate, and it’s not for everyone. So if you want to let her know that she is special, kiss her deeply and slowly to elevate the whole experience.

Your life may soon be sacrificed by the collective

by Bob Livingston

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Most groups organize themselves around some kind of common ideals, some code or tradition.

In America, we have ideals like “representative republic,” “freedom” and “individuality,” upon which our nation was built.

For 100 years or more, Americans have been victimized by a state-sponsored socialist, altruistic, collectivist social and educational system. It has produced a popular mentality of diminishing the individual and independent thinker to a collectivist mind (mentality) which can be esoterically swayed, directed and channeled against his own best interest. The virtue and sanctity of the individual person and ego is no more, and anathema to the state.

What does it all mean? It means that a state of mind is developed and nurtured that freely gives oneself and one’s production to the state. Each individual, in order to be a good citizen of the state, must contribute most of his means and be grateful for the services the state returns — whether they are necessary or useful or not.

The elites who rule this collective use very elaborate propaganda and controlled chaos to advance their agenda. These psychopaths continue to steal our liberty (and wealth!) to this day.

The mindset that drives the ruling elites has been around for thousands of years. The actions of the ruling elites are evident throughout history, and their methods and results can be studied.

Unfortunately, there are few people today who study and understand history (that is to say, history that has not been whitewashed by the elites). That’s why the elites are able to continue their ways.

Their first order of business is to use their own words to help individuals identify with their version of these ideals; ideals designed to garner for themselves more wealth and power.

The wide use of the word “democracy” is proof that people can no longer tell freedom from a gallon of milk. The word “democracy” neutralizes and disarms the mind to the reality of authoritarianism and the danger to personal freedom.

Hitler called his Nazi (national socialism) Germany “a great democracy,” and he successfully melded the German citizens into a single-minded collective. Today we have “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

With these phrases like democracy, and other words I call “code words,” (see here and here) the elites who become the masters over the collective can get individuals to commit acts they wouldn’t normally commit. The individuals get the benefit of attributing those acts to the collective, thereby avoiding individual blame and responsibility.

Individuals are happy to relinquish this responsibility for themselves in order to seem altruistic. They might even feel patriotic.  What they don’t realize is that they are making a terrifying trade-off. Once an individual sacrifices himself to the collective, the collective can then sacrifice the individual to further its own ends.

The elites want to disarm Americans. Is it a coincidence we see mass shootings? No! These people are being sacrificed to further the aims of the collective, which is to demand disarmament.

If you look at national statistics on murder, we’re the safest we’ve ever been. But it doesn’t feel like it because the media show you “the video,” which is powerful propaganda. “Seeing is believing” is another code phrase. But in truth, you should believe half of what you see and less of what you hear. A full 90 percent of all you see, read and hear is controlled by six giant transnational corporations.

The collective also demands that the only way you can maintain your individuality is to always align with the goals of the collective. Seems like a paradox, doesn’t it? This is where the code words come in. The collective gets you to believe you are exercising your individuality by choosing what you believe. In fact, what you think and believe are carefully and subtly chosen for you by the propaganda you see everywhere around you.

Now you see that advertising is not all around you in order to get you to “buy things.” The people are pacified with propaganda, bread and circuses. The collective wants the desire for freedom and liberty to be replaced by the desire for material goods and leisure. The people don’t know, and they don’t know that they don’t know. They are fed pabulum in their churches and schools, and they never ask questions.

My purpose in publishing Personal Liberty Digest® and The Bob Livingston Letter is to raise awareness so you can use the rules of individual behavior within groups to your own advantage. When you can see things for what they are, you will be only one in millions who can do so. You will have successfully broken through the barriers of conventional wisdom.

You will soon see that the system and its controlled masses are hostile toward reality. They want no discomfort of thought. They are at peace with regimentation although they are not aware of it. The system is pabulum for lazy people. The first wake-up call is to come to know that there is a system.

Once you have risen above the system, you will realize that your rights do not come from any piece of paper, even one so great as the Constitution. These rights are natural to us. We are born with them. Even if you don’t believe these rights come from God, as I believe they do, you must begin to realize that the Constitution merely acknowledges these rights and binds the criminals in government with chains to prevent them from infringing upon those rights.

The Constitution exists to restrain the elites from trying to take your rights away and submitting them to the collective. Most Americans have forgotten — or ignored — that. Instead, they have pledged fealty to the false god of democracy, whether they realize it or not. Democracy equals socialism equals communism equals fascism. They are all totalitarian and anathema to life and liberty and property.

The sooner you remember, the sooner you can save your liberty. And that could save your life.

 

 

Source: personalliberty

Everybody Turn Out for a Day of Peace and Solidarity in New York

by DavidSwanson

What happens when there are endless wars accompanied by militarized policing, spreading racism, erosion of civil rights, and concentration of wealth, but the only news is election news, and none of the candidates wants to talk about shrinking the world’s largest military?

We happen. That’s what. We turn out for a Day of Solidarity and Peace in New York City on Sunday, March 13th. We start by signing up at http://peaceandsolidarity.org and inviting all of our friends to do so. If we can’t come, we invite all of our friends anywhere near New York to sign up and be there. We sit down and think of every person we remember hearing ask “But what can we do?” and we tell them: You can do this.We stopped the war mongers who wanted to rip up the agreement with Iran last year, and the political progress in Iran reflects the wisdom of diplomacy as an alternative to yet more war. We stopped a massive bombing campaign of Syria in 2013. Our brothers and sisters just this month stopped the construction of a U.S. military base in Okinawa.

But U.S. weapons and bases are spreading across the globe, ships are sailing provocatively toward China, drones are murdering in numerous nations with a new base just opened in Cameroon. The U.S. military is assisting Saudi Arabia in bombing Yemeni families with U.S. weapons. The U.S. war in Afghanistan is being accepted as permanent. And the U.S. wars in Iraq and Libya left behind such hell that the U.S. government is hoping to use more war to “fix” it — and to add another overthrow in Syria.

Why will no candidate (in the two-party system) propose a serious reduction in military spending and war making, foreswear the use of killer drones, commit to making reparations to the nations recently attacked, or agree to join the International Criminal Court and to sign onto the many treaties limiting warfare on which the United States is a holdout? Because not enough of us have turned out and made noise, and brought new people into the movement.

Will you join us in New York City on March 13th to say “Money for Jobs and People’s Needs, not War! Rebuild Flint! Rebuild our Cities! End the wars! Defend the Black Lives Matter movement! Aid the world, stop bombing it!”

Peace Poets, Raymond Nat Turner, Lynne Stewart, Ramsey Clark, and other speakers will be there.

Will your organization help spread the word? Please let us know and get listed as part of this effort by emailing UNACpeace [at] gmail.com. Can you help in other ways? Have ideas for how to make this stronger? Please write to that same address.

In a presidential debate in December a moderator asked one of the candidates: “Could you order air strikes that would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands? Could you wage war as a commander-in-chief? . . . You are OK with the deaths of thousands of innocent children and civilians?”

The candidate mumbled something in response instead of shouting Hell No, as any decent person was obliged to do and as we will do on the Day of Peace and Solidarity. How are your lungs? Ready to make some noise?

 

 

Source: Washingtonsblog

The candidates we deserve

by Ben Crystal

All right, kids. Before we go a step further down the rabbit hole, I just have to ask: Are we really doing this?

With 330 million Americans wandering about our vast fruited plain, at least 1 million or 2 million of whom might not be a complete presidential catastrophe, are we really going to choose between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton for the position of Leader of the Free(ish) World?

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not necessarily averse to the idea. After all, eight years of President Barack Obama has me pretty well inured to the idea that the Oval Office could double for the main stage at the “Ha Ha Hut.” The Prince of Grant Park, propelled by unshakable belief in the teaching of such worthies as Bill Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and Karl Marx, has bumbled from scandal to scandal like an amateur Benny Hill. In fact, the only aspects of his tenure that have been less ridiculous than his ham-fisted attempts at dictatorin’ have been his marble-mouthed excuses therefore.

So maybe it’s appropriate that the two people vying for the title are likely to be:

  1. A loud-mouthed billionaire who has been bankrupt nearly as often as he’s been a Democrat; and campaigns – and lives – as if his entire existence is a reality TV show starring himself.
  2. A possibly-brain-damaged sociopath who has turned being married to an alleged rapist into an enormous amount of power and influence which she has neither earned nor shown any aptitude for handling in a positive manner.

At least Donald Trump’s ascendancy is entertaining. Say what you want about the man’s variable politics, apparent ignorance of serious governmental matters and dalliances with both the Clintons and the anti-life abortion movement, he is the living embodiment of Joseph de Maistre’s prescient axiom. An America that allows the constitutional excesses of the Obama administration, the fiscal excesses of the Bush administration and the everything excesses of the Clinton administration deserves the personal excesses of a guy who once hawked bottled water with his own picture on the label.

Under any other circumstances, Trump might be viewed as a brilliant buffoon; a fame-seeking savant who has erected a gaudy glass tower of a life (with his own name in lights, of course) through force of shameless will. As a presidential candidate, he’s a retort to the open warfare Obama and the political elite have waged on the rest us. They built a wall around Obama, deflecting every criticism of his disgraces with coded racial invective and outright dishonesty. In their zeal, they also built a candidate who is seemingly immune to their tactics.

Trump has lived at the center of a tabloid tornado for nearly 40 years. Stand or fall, succeed or fail, Trump has done it all by the credo that all publicity is good publicity. He hosted the Clintons at one of his weddings. He played a part in a long-running WWE storyline. He was even a Democrat. He’s about to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States. And he doesn’t care how you feel about that.

So what if a President Trump makes the rest of the world treat us like we’re their weird cousin? The rest of the world is already looking at us funny. Our Nobel Prize-winning president has spent seven years accusing law-abiding Americans being racist religious wacko terrorists, while sending their hard-earned money to actual racist religious wacko terrorists. That created a world in which we’re literally paying people to hate us. At least Trump won’t pretend to care what the rest of the world thinks when he tells them to get bent.

However, that could create a world in which America ends up more isolated than Kim Jong Un at NBA tryouts. And this is where I get hung up on Trump. While I like the idea of a president who is unapologetically brash, I’m not wild about the idea of a president who is unapologetically boorish. It’s a line Trump tends to see only in the rear view mirror. We need a thoroughbred. Trump often appears to be only the south end of the horse.

Of course, the only alternative the two major parties are offering is a woman who veers between being foggier than a retired bare-knuckles prizefighter and being meaner than the guy wearing the hockey mask in a teenage slasher flick.

On the plus side, she might not be criminally responsible for national security leaks which led directly to multiple murders. Unfortunately, that would require her being either one more bump on the head from drooling in her pudding, or as far behind the curve as a Victrola salesman in an Apple store.

She earned obscenely heavy stacks of cash from the fattest cats at Goldman Sachs and the bankster class, but somehow embarked on her latest presidential journey “dead broke.” That would require her being either greedier than George Soros, or as fiscally irresponsible as Kanye West.

After two and a half centuries of America, we’re down to a self-obsessed publicity hound who used to be a Democrat, or a self-important power hound who used to be a Republican. Neither one would be the first choice on any sane person’s presidential ballot. We’re probably not going to get the government we want. But don’t we deserve better?

 

 

Source: Personalliberty

China Communist Party Elder Speaks Out Against Censorship

Gordon G. Chang

ChinaCensorship (1)

Censorship has gone too far, contends Zhou Ruijin, 76, in an essay published in China in January and on Phoenix TV’s ifeng.com early this month. “To be frank, some leaders in the party’s propaganda department were managing the press like how they would manage a train schedule, directly intervening in the approach and procedure of news reporting,” he wrote.

Zhou, a leading liberal writer in the 1990s, attacked today’s propaganda chiefs for taking down offending websites and deleting postings, calling these actions contrary to the concept that the Communist Party govern the country according to law. Moreover, he condemned “waves of campaigns, strict clampdowns, and public shaming,” the last a reference to the parading of people making Cultural Revolution-style confessions on television.

“In a phase of social transition, it is normal that there are different views and discussions in the field of ideology, that the public air their own opinions on deepening reforms,” wrote Zhou. “They can only be guided, but not repressed.”

History, unfortunately, shows the Chinese people can, in fact, be repressed. The brutal Qin Shihuang, China’s first emperor known for burning books and burying scholars, said his dynasty would last forever. “From the second generation to the ten thousandth, my line will not end,” he boasted. It ended three years after his death.

The Chinese people can remain quiet for decades—and sometimes centuries—but then they erupt. Zhou’s prescription to avoid eruptions is to relax controls, but Xi Jinping, China’s ruler, has gone far in the other direction, first demanding obedience and now, uniformity. He has promoted “ideological purification” and brought Mao Zedong, the founder of the People’s Republic, back to the center of the country’s official discourse. In short, Xi promotes the policies that Zhou condemns.

Zhou’s critique is notable because he once served as deputy editor of People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s self-described mouthpiece, making him a leading figure in the state’s propaganda apparatus. Yet he recognizes that times have changed in China and that the 1950s-type information controls favored by Xi cannot succeed today.

As Xu Youyu, retired from the prestigious Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, notes, “No matter how hard the authorities want to suppress, they can’t just do what they want anymore because there is consensus in society on constitutional rule and the protection of free speech.”

The notion of a mass ruling organization, like the Communist Party, fulfilling its historical destiny has few adherents in China today. Although there are no reliable polls measuring political opinion in that country, it is nearly certain that by now most Chinese reject the one-party state as appropriate to their modernizing society. For now, party censorship, is tolerated, not supported and has few defenders outside the political elite.

The Chinese accept censorship only because they fear Xi Jinping’s coercion and repression. Zhou’s lone dissent is important because, at great personal risk, he is opening space that could broaden and embolden the national conversation.

Perhaps most important, Zhou shows us that the Chinese people can overcome fear. And in China, the loss of fear is the first step to progress.

 

Source:Worldaffairsjournal

Stalin’s Partisans in Ukraine

Alexander J. Motyl

Stalin

Alexander Gogun’s excellent study, Stalin’s Commandos: Ukrainian Partisan Forces on the Eastern Front, sometimes reads like an analysis of Putin’s commandos in the eastern Donbas. In both cases, the official Moscow line was and is that they’re a popular movement generated by discontent from below. In fact, Stalin’s commandos, like Putin’s, were largely creatures of the Kremlin—a point Gogun, a Russian scholar currently based at the Free University in Berlin, makes forcefully, repeatedly, and convincingly.

Gogun details how the partisans were structured and led (from abroad), what they did (terrorism) and whom they fought (the Germans and Ukrainians), how they interacted with the local population (with abandon), what their behavior looked like (robbery, drunkenness, and rape), and how they compared with the Ukrainian nationalist insurgents, the UPA, and the Polish nationalist guerrillas, the Home Army (AK). One table (p. 160) has a wealth of information: the 11 largest units of the Soviet Ukrainian partisan movement consisted of 45,478 fighters. Just over 11 percent were killed; 2 percent were executed or deserted; 7 percent were women; 57 percent were Ukrainians, 25 percent were Russians, and only 13 percent were members of the Communist Party. Their job was not to defend the people, but to fight the Germans, regardless of the exceedingly high toll the local population paid for their actions. Both the UPA and AK, in contrast, were careful to defend the people they claimed to represent.

Unsurprisingly, Stalin’s commandos were most active in the forest and marsh regions of northern and northwestern Ukraine. That fact greatly contributed to one of the major secondary-theater wars during World War II: the bloody Ukrainian-Polish conflict in Volhynia. As Gogun’s evidence demonstrates, the presence of Soviet partisans in this volatile region populated by large numbers of indigenous Ukrainian peasants and many Poles, both indigenous and recent settlers, may have sparked the large-scale violence that engulfed both communities in mid-1943.

Ethnic relations were anything but simple in Volhynia. The Germans terrorized the Poles and Ukrainians and fought the UPA, AK, and the Soviets. Many Poles, and above all the AK, viewed Ukrainians in general and Ukrainian nationalists in particular as their sworn enemies and sympathized with the Soviets, especially after the Polish government-in-exile allied with Moscow by means of the Sikorski-Maisky Pact of July 30, 1941. Many Ukrainians, and above all Ukrainian nationalists, viewed Poles, the AK, and the Soviets as their sworn enemies and the Germans as their situational allies (in early 1941 and 1944) or their situational enemies (1941-1943). The Soviets regarded the Germans and Ukrainian nationalists as their enemies, mistrusted the Ukrainians, and viewed the Poles and the AK as situational allies.

Soviet propagandists and neo-Soviet scholars generally ascribe the UPA’s initiation of anti-Polish violence in mid-1943 to an innate proclivity to kill. The approach is racist and the evidence is unpersuasive, but more important, the story makes no sense as it excludes context. Thanks to Gogun, that context has been brought into focus. It’s highly likely that Ukrainian nationalist suspicions of Poles reached a boiling point and translated into ethnic cleansing just as Soviet partisans began expanding their influence and threatening Ukrainian positions in Volhynia in early 1943, while many Poles looked on, or appeared to look on, approvingly.

One of Gogun’s great virtues is to present this and other controversial issues objectively, without recourse to the sub rosa invective that frequently accompanies such narratives. His final chapter, a comparison of the UPA, AK, and the Soviet partisans, is especially useful, as it accomplishes what demonizers and hagiographers of these groups signally fail to do: provide a comparative analysis demonstrating that all three movements were guerrilla forces with pluses and minuses to their credit and detriment. All three could be brutal. All three resorted to extreme violence. And all three pursued wartime political agendas and none were simply crazed killers.

Gogun purposely shatters the Soviet mythology surrounding Stalin’s commandos, but he also reminds us that myth-making is inimical to good history and that good history always rests on detailed demonstrations of complexity appropriately contextualized. The high standard he sets is welcome.

 

 

Source: Worldaffairsjournal

Cities and towns across the US suffer lead poisoning rates worse than Flint

By Carlos Delgado

While the Flint water crisis has drawn international attention due to the magnitude of the disaster and the callous criminality of government officials involved, the high rates of lead poisoning in the Flint population are not unique. Countless cities and towns across the United States suffer from lead levels that are as high as what has been reported in Flint—and in many cases, far worse.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s 2014 figures, 18 Pennsylvania cities had a higher percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels than Flint. The highest rate was in the city of Allentown, where a staggering 23 percent of children tested had blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter, which is considered “elevated” by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). By contrast, the recent study done by Hurley Medical Center in Flint showed that the percentage of children with elevated blood lead levels had increased to 4 percent during the time that the city was using the Flint River as its water source, with high-risk zip codes showing rates of 6.3 percent.

The state of Pennsylvania as a whole showed an elevated blood lead level rate of 9.37 percent in children tested.

Although only 27 states reported their 2014 blood lead level figures to the CDC, 12 of those states had higher rates than Flint. Adrian, Michigan, reported a rate of 12 percent, and 10 Detroit ZIP codes had rates over 10 percent. The city of Rochester, New York, reported a rate of 7.4 percent. In New Jersey, 11 cities and two counties reported higher blood lead level rates than Flint.

The nationwide rate of lead poisoning is even more severe than these numbers suggest. The CDC considers the 5 micrograms per deciliter level to be “elevated,” but studies have shown that levels as low as 2 micrograms per deciliter can have a significant impact on a child’s cognitive development. It is widely accepted that there is no safe level of lead exposure.

While Flint residents were exposed to toxic amounts of lead due to contaminated tap water, many cities across the US attribute high rates of lead poisoning to lead-based paint exposure. Though the deleterious effects of leaded paint on children were scientifically described as early as 1904, the major lead companies and their trade organization, the Lead Industries Association (LIA), worked for decades to thwart legislation and suppress scientific evidence that lead exposure was causing severe and irreversible damage to scores of children worldwide. Due to the LIA’s efforts, millions of home interiors were coated with a deadly neurotoxin in order to boost lead companies’ profits.

Though lead-based paint was banned for interior use in the United States in 1978, an estimated 24 million homes still contain deteriorated lead-based paint. Children can become exposed to dangerous levels of lead by inhaling paint dust or consuming leaded paint chips, which have a distinctive sweet flavor. The exposure disproportionately affects those in poverty, since the most toxic homes will be older buildings in low-income neighborhoods. Residents in these areas often have little choice in where they live, and for many people toxic homes are the only ones that are affordable.

After noting that children who were treated for lead poisoning often saw their symptoms reappear once they returned home, Alfred Jefferis Turner, one of the first doctors to describe the effects of lead on children, called the disease “a toxicity of habitation.” Today it might be more accurately termed a toxicity of poverty.

Even homes that have supposedly been cleared of lead can hold risks. The Maryland Department of the Environment recently revealed that several homes that had been certified lead-free still contained dangerous amounts of lead-based paint. Some, it turns out, had not actually been inspected at all.

As federal funding for public health programs has been gutted in the wake of the 2008 financial crash, lead abatement programs have had their budgets slashed nationwide. Funding for the CDC’s lead poisoning prevention program was decimated in 2012, from $29 million to a paltry $1.9 million. The 2016 budget restored some of that funding, to $17 million, but that is still less than 60 percent of the 2012 level.

Meanwhile, dilapidated homes continue to poison their residents year after year as old buildings with toxic paint deteriorate. In recent years, states have filed lawsuits against companies that produced lead-based paint, arguing that, by knowingly distributing toxic materials into people’s homes, the companies’ actions constituted a “public nuisance.”

In 2006, a Rhode Island jury found against Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries and Millennium Holdings, ordering the companies to pay for cleanup in thousands of homes in the state. The Rhode Island Supreme Court overturned the verdict in 2008, however, stating, “However grave the problem of lead poisoning is in Rhode Island, public nuisance law simply does not provide a remedy for this harm.” Similar cases have failed in New Jersey and Missouri, and a California case is currently on appeal.

Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that lead exposure is responsible for 143,000 deaths every year, as well as 600,000 new cases of intellectual disabilities in children. The toxicity of the environment and the inability of bourgeois governmental bodies to protect people from the deadly effects of lead and other environmental hazards is one expression of the subordination of the health and wellbeing of working people to the interests of profit.

 

 

Source: Wsws