Russell Means on "Paradigm Shift"

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Mythology' started by Pathless, May 5, 2009.

  1. Dream

    Dream New Member

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    Perhaps open source is one possible solution to the whole deal, starting with open source manufacturing. Redistribute much of the manufacturing capability to small-scale local (or home) automated manufacturing systems. With a good Open Source setup, people can donate their designs to a common public pool - say AutoCAD files or somesuch. Then, automated systems can make goods locally as needed. Instead of centralized bulk production, local production. By leveraging personal computing for 3D imaging and number crunching, open source local (or even home) manufacturing may be the best candidate to stimulate economies and restore the merchant class.

    Open source automated manufacturing is off to a good start, is continually growing and may be ripe to generate new marketing models as well as revive old ones. Let us enable people to once again manufacture their own goods from raw materials! Engineers can get on board by helping design the mechatronics and systems. Legal support is also appreciated! Businesses can get on board, too! Lots of money to be made and smiles to be had.

    OpenCores
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_design
    Building and Open Source CNC Milling Machine
     
  2. Avi

    Avi Interfaith Forums

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    Juan, that was a great post !! It really made me think.

    I have been talking to one of my friends about this very notion. Maybe our disasterous economy will make some people think about change who ordinary would not have thought about it at all ??
     
  3. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    No. What gave you the impression that I did?

    That makes at least two of us. ;)

    I can appreciate that. I also take strong exception to many things that I feel that "the system" is trying to cram down my throat, as you've probably gathered. Our situations are a bit different, perhaps, causing us to perceive things from different angles, but we probably have a few things in common as well. Since you've shared a little about yourself, here's a little about me: I was born into middle-class affluence, taught to (or somehow learned that I was supposed to) work hard and mechanically for forty hours a week or more for a salary and benefits, and I was given a college education. College was disappointing and not a good fit for me, as I felt that the whole affair was very disorienting and even overwhelming: pressure to choose a major which would then define me for the rest of my life, pressure to decide on a career which would define me, pressure to fit myself as a cog into the system, which is always being streamlined and which is alien, mechanical, and inhuman. It's rhythms perplex, stress, and sicken me--literally, it makes me sick. PM if you'd like more details. ;) I've had various jobs in the years since college, but I've never made over 25k a year, nor do I have a desire to earn much money. Last year, my and my wife's combined income was less than 30k.

    I agree, and I think RM would agree, that the human necessities of "family, love, life" are important and grossly neglected in our culture. If you've watched and listened to the video in the OP, you'll recall that he talked about the economic crisis as being an opporunity for the powers-that-be to change course considerably.

    The problem is systemic, and the roots are deep, which is why I've presented myself as a "radical" at many times in these forums. I want an even break, too, for everyone; yet the injustices inherent in the global system of economics as practiced guarantee impoverishment and ill-health for most. The way out of that is not going to be a massive initiative on the part of individuals to work their way to the top; such individualistic thinking keeps us all divided and works to perpetuate inequality. Advertising and industry drive consumerism and individualism, and in turn, individualism and consumerism feed industry and advertsing, yet none of it is satisfying: none of it provides those life-affirming connections that we are after: family, love, and the propagation, promotion, and nurturance of life in all of its forms.

    I'm not calling for a socialist or anarchist revolution; nor am I advocating for people to become primatives and sleep on dirt floors. What I want is for people to see the economics of exploitation for what they are, and to be aware of and open to other, more wholesome, healthy, and satisfying modes of being. I am pointing to the economic imperialism and, yes, the racism and ethnocentrism which we are all indoctrinated into early on in our lives, and which is ongoing through education, models of work and play, advertising, consumerism, and competitive individualism. Such indoctrination programs and divides us, starting at birth.

    There's no reason for all of this fierce competition that capitalism promotes as normal or "human nature". We could all act like human beings and not greedy sub-humans. The idea that the extinction of cultures and murderous competition for resources is any way related to evolution and survival is completely fallacious. The same competition and exploitation of land that any form of imperial aggression have promoted as natural, healthy, and even the will of God, are exactly what have led to the crises of global proportions.

    Russell Means offers an alternative view of our own history, some constructive criticism, and some heartfelt opinions, as well as a bit of advice rooted in Lakota culture as he understands it. Why it is so threatening, I cannot understand.
     
  4. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    I don't find Russell's point of view threatening at all.
    I think though that it is a bit of a romantic point of view, kind of like "the good ol' days" mentality.
    Those days are gone.
    This age we are going through is changing as well, as does everything on this world.

    We need to evolve, not regress.
    We need to have an end of patriarchal rule, but we need to evolve towards a more balanced method of ruling ourselves and working together which shows no partiality for any race, gender, etc.
    It would be just as wrong for us to return to matriarchal rule as it would be to stick with patriarchal rule.
    The old boys club is not a very good ruling institution, but an old girls club would be no better.
     
  5. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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  6. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    A large part of my objection to the deconstruction of his message by focusing on his use of the offensive term "matriarchy" has to do with the fact that the Lakota, as well as any other group of American Indians, have, throughout the process and reification of American history since colonization, been stripped of their own languages and cultures. By the same fell strokes that have brought death and stagnation to their long-held cultural traditions, the roots of their languages, their sense of place and meaning, and their means of well-being, the remnants of these diverse groups of people have been forcibly herded onto impoverished bits of land called reservations and have had the English language stuck into their mouths and minds through violence and repression.

    I will have to watch the clip again sometime. As I've stated previously, I realize that RM is inflammatory, and although I appreciate many of the things he has to say, I don't agree with everything.

    I understand the argument presented by Dauer about the use of language, but I don't agree with it.

    You are conjecturing what my response would be to a hypothetical situation in order to project your own response in this situation onto me in this similar hypothetical situation that you have presented. This is pretty close to putting words into my mouth. Why choose the Islamic leader to represent the anti-female views, by the way? Why not Christian? Why not Corporate American? Why not Martian? What's the value in the name of a chosen Demon, after all? :rolleyes:

    I do.

    My response depends not on the manipulation of logic detached from a moral stance, although I will use logic, as well as emotional rhetoric, in service to a moral stance. Does this make me any different from a fundamentalist? Yes. How so? Because I am arguing not for the suppression of essential human rights and diversity in an effort to impose hegemony, but for the empowerment of all of us who make up the dispossessed and margnialized bits that consitute the majority of the world. I am not perpetuating establishment dogma, and there can be no comparison of the act of advocating "anti-establishment" positions, which are varied and multiple, to actively promoting the encrusted hegemony that rules the world through manipulation of emotions and opinion, and which uses acrobatic feats of logic to pervert "truth".

    Just to be clear: I am not accusing anyone here of "actively promoting the encrusted hegemony that rules the world through manipulation of emotions and opinion", but I will be so bold as to suggest here that y'all double check your sources in order to be sure that your arguments and thinking have not been subtly influenced and shaped by this same crusty hegemony.
     
  7. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    I am. twas clear as day.
    Probably the only time there was a matriarchy in the sense you guys were formulating it was at the very dawn of human life when it was still unknown how a female could have a baby emerge from her, until they put two and two together by watching other animals copulating and its consequences LOL
     
  8. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Because that is the "natural" conclusion of a "no-impact" socio-cultural model. This ties in with a later comment / thought, so I will pick it up there.**

    We all have our own unique perspectives, I think this highlights how we value things. I was denied a college education at the traditional age, it was the era of the Bakke case and social promotion. I came to college as a non-traditional student in my '40's and savored every moment. I have worked a number of different jobs or careers before injury and disability limited me to a desk, and my already well established diverse interests carried me through an otherwise white bread degree with flying colors. I saw and see my sheep skin as a means to an end, not the end in itself, although to this point it has failed miserably to live up to the hype. The hype I hear Obama, H. Clinton and others extoll, how the earning power of those with a college degree is manifold times that of those without a college degree. Funny, I'm still in the exact same desk jockey position I was in before I even started my degree, despite having completed a 4 year degree in 3 years and graduating Summa *** Laude. In other words, I have yet to see a tangible return on my 24 thousand dollar student loan investment. So yeah, I'm just a little bitter on the whole "higher education" propaganda. And the ADA civil rights legislation isn't worth much either, disabled people are actively discriminated against on a routine basis. Nevermind the complications of reverse discrimination.

    I'm not sure I would say "neglected," I am thinking that our priorities are out of whack. We still value family, love and life, and other things that are truly important, but in the mix somehow is things like money and the "keep up with the Joneses" mentality, things that are either less important or non existent in other cultures.

    Well, yes, but...this "problem" is inherent when speaking of cultures. It's about like blaming the wind for being invisible.

    On some level I agree with you, and yet as a Business major I feel compelled to disagree. Like I said earlier, I believe we still have these family values, they just tend to get re-ordered and some ersatz "values" get thrown into the mix. When asked, I doubt many people would say they would buy recreational drugs instead of dote on their child (for example), but in practice there are those few people that do manage to confuse the order of priority, as evidenced by the occasional misguided parent who manages to get sentenced for child neglect.

    I do find myself lately wondering if my continued participation in all of this rat race BS is really worth the effort. My frustration with my college experience is symptomatic of what I am pointing to. But the alternative is to be on some type of public relief (specifically, SSDI aka "disability," been there, done that and worked my way back off). As meager and bleak as things might appear to me now in my fitful moments of depression, resources were a lot more scarce before. Having to rely on this aid agency for this and that charitable agency for that and hoping and praying that resources were available for some other minor catastrophy. I realize these things are there for those people who are truly in need, and I have also seen how it becomes a way of life for some people to scam the system. People who are already going through the indignities of poverty are deliberately put through further indignities as the system makes it difficult in order to discourage those who are outside the remit of the system's charter. Thresholds are purposely impossible (I think you will find that less than 25K a year for two adults is inside the upper limits of what is classed as "poverty," yet most of the thresholds for any form of financial assistance are significantly lower still). Which means there is a wide gray area in which people fall through the cracks routinely, and a working-poor chasm across which it is darn near impossible to cross.

    Yet the "American Dream" is dangled out there like some carrot at the end of a stick. It's hard to look around and see others enjoying the "good life" and not want a piece of it too. I'm not talking about the impossibly fantastic fairy tale dreams of movie star mansions; I'm talking about a decent sized, reasonably constructed house in a decent neighborhood with a decent school and a reasonalbe expectation to participate in those events and opportunities that make this culture worthwhile. And it *is* worthwhile, guaging by all the immigration of foreign nationals with a work ethic that allows them to create small businesses that allow them a healthy taste of the American Dream. What's wrong with this picture?

    It seems like unless one is willing to bite off a good sized piece of entrepreneurial risk, the typical American is denied the American Dream not by fate or decree so much as the tendency to risk aversion and complacency. Ever the caveats, I am of course speaking in general by my observations.

    ** From where I sit the exploitation, etc is merely a matter of degree and method.

    OK, so the history of free market economics and capitalism are spelled out and sealed as to the devil that it is, let's say for the sake of discussion.

    What is the alternative? Let's start with housing, an arbitrary start I agree, but we need to begin somewhere. We can't build balloon frame wood houses because we have to cut down trees for that (nevermind that the trees are farmed for that purpose, so there really isn't any "loss" of trees, per se, because any responsible lumber company will replant the land they cut, as most do). We can't use concrete to build, that requires various stone products (limestone) and large amounts of heat / energy. We can't use steel or metal products for much the same reason, plus the mining activities. We can't use glass products or plastic products or any artificial man-made products because the manufacturing processes (ab)use too many resources. What does that leave us to build houses with? Mud, or animal skins. Of course, the animal skins are the by-product of slaughter activities for food, and if you happen to be vegan, I guess the available building materials are even more limited. Can't have a wood floor, that would require consuming trees. Can't have a concrete floor, that would require mining, consuming stone products and energy. Any other fabricated flooring would require consumption of materials; impacting on environment, ecosystem and the natural order...except dirt. Dirt is the most "green," environmentally sustainable material for flooring. Dirt has served tribal "matriarchal" cultures well for many thousands of years quite well as a flooring material. I'm not sure what the aversion to it is, it is the most "natural" flooring option.

    Can't have indoor plumbing, it would consume resources. Can't have indoor electrical wiring, that would consume resources. Can't have glass windows, that would consume resources.

    Cooking would have to be done on an open fire, and even fire requires the consumption of resources. But any other method (fireplace, grill, oven, etc.) requires further consumption of resources (brick, concrete, etc.).

    Can't corral cattle...fencing requires resources. So any flesh food source will require being wild caught. Can't use metal implements...no guns, no ammo, no metal arrowheads. Stone will have to be chipped, knapped and formed into usable tools (arrowheads, knives, scrapers, etc.).

    Gee, the more I look at this and try to move away from a manufacturing economy to a "sustainable, green" economy, particularly if we wish to insert a matriarchal disposition, it looks more and more to me like we would be retreating to a prehistoric frame of mind. Might be less stressful regarding the "rat race" issues. Seems to me there would be other stressors...where is tonight's dinner coming from? what is this disease process going on that I've not experienced before? where can I take a dump without poisoning my water or my food? how will I make it through the winter without impacting my environment?

    In short, I think there is a great deal of romanticism that surrounds the issue altogether. I agree there is a tendency to extreme (people are famous for that tendency!), and I think we fool ourselves thinking nuclear power is somehow a "green" technology. There are limits, even when distancing from a tribal mentality. But moving backwards isn't going to solve the issues confronting humanity. A romaniticized idealism isn't geared to address issues of overpopulation, housing, food production, energy consumption and such in any more than a wishful manner.

    I agree there is an element of eugenics seemingly, but socio-cultural structures are commonly described in evolutionary terminology. Another one of those "reading too much into the label" things, I suspect.

    I don't find Means' position threatening. I find it misguided. Shawn said it well, I think there is a bit of romanticism for days gone by and albeit Means presents from his Lakota perspective, that does not imply any "superiority" or "advantage" exists because of being Lakota, Native American, matriarchal, "green," or whatever other label is used.

    Benefit would need to be demonstrable, and would have to address (in a peaceful manner) the issues that face a world staring at a population of 7 billion unique human beings and counting.
     
  9. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    The same could be said for the current system in place. When we hold global capitalism up to these same standards, what happens? Is there a demonstrable benefit for the majority of the world population of "7 billion unique human beings and counting" brought by global corporate capitalism, propped up by rigged market mechanisms, subsidies, and the like? Is the "free market" economy peaceful?

    I would say that the current global system is neither beneficial to most humans (to mention nothing of animals, plants, and minerals) nor is it peaceful, nor is it just. Here are just two examples:

    I promote a diversity of ideas that call into question the acceptability and viability of the dominant "culture" and economic system. To equate these questions and musings to suggesting that we all live on dirt-floor homes and have "zero impact" is an exaggeration and distortion.
     
  10. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Quite the contrary...the "current global system" precisely responds to market conditions. Those responses may not be the best possible for everything involved, particularly the environment, but indeed the economic system is built to provide for market pressures and demands. It might be argued that some of those demands are artificially created...who "needs" a new car anyway...but the essential need for transportation does indeed exist. The need for food to feed 7 billion plus exists and will not go away, regardless of what system is used. The need for shelter for 7 billion plus will not go away. The need to clothe 7 billion plus will not go away. The need for heat and cooking for 7 billion plus will not go away. The need to educate and train 7 billion people will not go away.

    With due respect, I must have missed the diversity of ideas. What I have seen is the criticism of the current system, with no real proposal for a viable alternative other than a romantic idealism.

    So, how does your proposed solution provide for food, shelter, clothing and transportation for 7 billion people sustainably, without modern manufacturing processes, modern economic methods and modern distribution systems?
     
  11. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    What I mean to say is that I am interested in a diversity of ideas that provide alternatives to the global system. I don't think a hegemonic system of any kind is a viable answer, and I don't pretend or claim to have a magical hegemonic solution to replace the horrid "global marketplace." Yes, I am critical of that global marketplace, and I am interested in seeing a spectrum of alternative economics implemented to replace the global system: a kind of regionalism, with lesser tolls on resources, and with more just, productive, and enjoyable work for human beings.

    So because I dare criticize the viability, acceptability, and humanity of global capitalism, I must also provide an all-encompassing alternative? Dear Gawd!! I'm sorry, I'm not able to do that. No one person could; no government could. This is precisely the problem I am trying to make apparent: the hegemony of economics, indeed the hegemony of ideas, imposed worldwide is not an appropriate way to go about dealing with the situation of life on Earth. It's a form of imperialism.
     
  12. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    It may respond to market conditions, but that is not the same as providing a demonstrable benefit in a peaceful manner.

     
  13. Janz

    Janz What's Amatta U

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    I have been reading some interesting writings by Max Dashu...
    Articles by Max Dashu

    http://www.suppressedhistories.net/articles/icons.html

    Matrix* societies are not patriarchy in reverse, but an entirely different paradigm. Cultures that are both matrilineal and matrilocal correlate with indicators of female liberty and power: decision-making authority, political and spiritual leadership, economic leverage, inheritance and land rights. Egalitarian gender politics are encoded in the social fabric: matrilineages have no "fallen women," no "illegitimate" children, and matrilocal husbands, surrounded by their wives' kin, are unlikely to commit marital abuse. Certain indigenous cultures in Niger, Yunnan, Sumatra, Vietnam, Ontario, Surinam, Micronesia uphold these egalitarian principles. This international visual presentation probes the implications matrix* cultures hold for a future of gender equality. What would the world be like if female elders or women's councils had the final say on war?

    *Matrix defines egalitarian matrilineal / matrilocal societies and also implies valueplaced on life-support networks
    .

    Any thoughts?


     
  14. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    watched a recent progamme called 'feasts' on bbc4 where in kerala the lineage is matrilineal and there are less communal fighting which is quite rife elsewhere between castes; the place seems more peaceful, but of course could be due to the long history of the spice trade and many incomers staying eg christians,jews sufis so more toleration. the feast celebrates equalitarianism between all humans setting aside differences sharing meals and festivities. In any case women are given equal honour disenfranshised desptite protestations to the contrary. viva future intelligence.
     
  15. Pathless

    Pathless Fiercely Interdependent

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    Some very relevant text there. Dashu's review: A Critique of Cynthia Eller's The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory:
    Why an Invented Past Won't Give Women a Future
    , should be objectively read by those who seem to believe that "matriarchy" must be "patriarchy in reverse," as Dashu puts it.

    (emphasis added)

    Those last four words are fairly important, and underscore the simple but very salient point that seems lost on those who believe that "matriarchy" must be "patriartchy in reverse": egalitarian, pantheistic/polytheistic systems of diversity are possible. Just because patriarchy is one way, and tends to be monolithic and hierarchical, does not mean that all other systems must necessarily be that way as well. If that were so, there would certainly be no point in discussing alternatives, because there would be no alternatives. :rolleyes:

    Also consider Dashu's discussion of the problem of terminology when bringing gendered analysis to studies:

    A final introductory point is made by Dashu. She calls attention to academic biases, and thereby contextualizes the standard reaction and dismissal by the old guard and establishment types of attempts by non-traditional academics and feminists to reconceptualize/re-envision the human past:

    (emphasis added)

    She is calling attention to a little-acknowledged phenomenon: our study of history is a process, both "remedial" and "provisional". We can allow ourselves to shift perspective and consider alternatives to the progressive notion of history as a trajectory leading from somewhere--for example, Classical Greece--to the future or even to now. When we do study history with the accepted notion that civilization began with the Greeks and has led us through time to the current global system of colonized/colonial nation-states, it is going to, by default, look a certain way: it will reflect that linear and progressive consciousness which the paternalistic, technological and financial husbandry and policing of the world's population and resources is so attached to.

    On the other hand, if we can step out of that particular brand of subjectivity in order to consider other subjectivities/perspectives, or even cultivate a true objectivity (very difficult to do, of course), we can begin to appreciate the value of diversity, which, oddly enough, allows us to appreciate egalitarianism. What valuable things might linear/progressive societies (concerned with paternal lineage; concerned with hoarding goods and with an exagerrated emphasis on "security"; concerned with beginnings and endings) gain from considering the ways of egalitarian societies (which focus on nurturing life, shared bonds; supported by abundance and celebrating the fecundity of life; acknowleding the immanence, connection, and embededness of human, animal, and vegetable life within a matrix of relationships)?

    This last quote comes from Matrix Cultures
     
  16. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Ok, I had a thought, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but it seems to me this whole issue would be resolved if everyone was Jewish.

    Matrilineal, matrifocal, matricultural. Why reinvent the wheel?, when all the world really needs is for everybody to have a Jewish mother.

    Oy. :rolleyes:
     
  17. nativeastral

    nativeastral fluffy future

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    fraid the wheel [system] does need re invented and wearing a wig and adhering to 613 rules will not make utopia:)
     
  18. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    Well then, I guess we're all doomed. ;)

    What is the most common disease transmitted by Jewish Mothers?





    Guilt.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2009
  19. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    What did the waiter ask the group of dining Jewish mothers? "Is Any
    thing all right? "

    How many Jewish mothers does it take to change a light bulb?
    (Sigh) Don't bother, I'll sit in the dark, I don't want to be a nuisance
    to anybody.

    What's the difference between a Rottweiler and a Jewish Mother?
    Eventually, the Rottweiler lets go.

    Jewish view on when life begins: There's a big controversy on when life
    begins. In Jewish tradition the fetus is not considered viable until
    after it graduates from medical school.

    Jewish Jokes Humor, Jokes, Family Humor, Thoughtful Sayings, Motivational, Religious

    Yiddish Proverbs

    If they give, take: if they take, yell!

    The wheel turns round
    Talk less, do more
    When you grease palms, you ride
    A liar should have a good memory
    When you have no linen, you save the laundry bill
    Petty thieves are hanged, major ones go free
    Times is the best healer
    Too smart outsmarts itself
    No one is deaf to praise
    None so deaf as those who will not hear
    If one man calls you a donkey, ignore him. If two men call you a donkey, think about it. If three men call you a donkey, buy a saddle
    What one has, one doesn't want; what one wants one doesn't have
    Don't spit in the well, you might drink from it later
    You can't chew with someone else's teeth
    When a rogue kisses you, count your teeth
    When it falls, it falls butter side down
    Your friend has a friend, and your friend's friend has a friend; be discreet
    An insincere peace is better than a sincere war
    If grandma had wheels, she'd be a wagon
    The highest wisdom is kindness
    One fool makes many fools
    The sun will set without your help
    What is cheap, is dear
    Death is the only certainty
    The whole world is one town

    Yiddish Sayings
     
  20. juantoo3

    juantoo3 ʎʇıɹoɥʇnɐ uoıʇsǝnb

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    So, the way I figure it is that if the whole world had a Jewish Mother, everyone would suffer equally from a guilt complex, but everyone would also eat. And most likely everyone would be a doctor, lawyer or dentist, or occasional banker or diamond cutter.
     

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