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His Glory Days are Over

By Paul Street

Though Obama is getting consistently good at disappointing, breaking promises, and worse, he's fans are just as bad as ever. Here's a typical rant pulled from the story, "Whatever one thinks of Obama's policy on any specific issue, he is clearly a reform president committed to improvement of peoples' lives and the renewal and reconstruction of America... Progressives should focus less on the limits of the Obama agenda and more on the possibilities that his presidency opens up".
Since his inauguration, Obama as president has governed as predicted - well to the corporate, imperial, and racially neutral center-right. Heralded by Advertising Age for giving "tainted brand America" an "instant overhaul" (as open, progressive, egalitarian, and democratic) Obama has if anything out-done my "cynical" expectations od the largely media-created "Obama phenomenon."
Look at the extent he betrayed his many progressive supporters (some deluded and some not) and his more progressive-sounding campaign promises.
Washington under Democratic rule and the Obama administration (since January 20, 2009) provides potent evidence for left-liberal political scientist Sheldon Wolin's take last year ( before the election) on the chances for progressive change under the United States "corporate-managed democracy" and "one-and-a-half party system."
As Wolin predicted with haunting prescience in his chilling book Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism:
"Should Democrats somehow be elected, corporate sponsors [will] make it politically impossible for the new officeholders to alter significantly the direction of society." In the United States' election-focused political culture, Wolin elaborated:
The parties set out to mobilize the citizen-as-voter, to define political obligation as fulfilled by the casting of a vote. Afterwards, post-election politics of lobbying, repaying donors, and promoting corporate interests - the real players - takes over The effect is to demobilize the citizenry, to teach them not to be involved or to ponder matters that are either settled or beyond their efficacy....
The timidity of a Democratic Party mesmerized by centrist precepts points to the crucial fact that, for the poor, minorities, the working-class, anti-corporatists, pro-environmentalists, and anti-imperialists, there is no opposition party working actively on their behalf.
It's all been deeply enabled by a dominant national corporate media and propaganda system, of course, with disastrous consequences abroad as well at home. Just ask the survivors of the many hundreds of innocent Pakistani civilians who have been killed by Obama's drastically escalated "secret" Predator drone war, for example.
By the New Yorker writer Jane Mayer's account, Barack Obama had embraced and deployed the controversial killer drone program with remarkable zest.
"During his first nine and a half months in office," Mayer noted, "he has authorized as many CIA aerial attacks in Pakistan as George W. Bush did in his final three years in office [emphasis added]....
"So far this year, various estimates suggest, the CIA attacks have killed between three hundred and twenty-six and five hundred and thirty-eight people. Critics say that many of the victims have been innocent bystanders."
The first two CIA Predator assaults of the Obama administration occurred on the morning of January 23, 2009 - the president's third day in office.
The second strike ordered by the "peace" president on that day mistakenly targeted the residence of a pro-government tribal leader, killing his entire family, including three children.
"In keeping with U.S. policy, "there was no official acknowledgement of either strike." Thanks to the CIA/Xe Services/White House program's official secrecy, Mayer added, ""there is no viable system of accountability in place, despite the fact that the agency has killed many civilians inside a politically fragile, nuclear-armed country with which the U.S. is not at war."
Obama's predictable (and predicted) betrayals of his more leftish campaign rhetoric and imagery have met only minimal and half-hearted opposition from what's left of a U.S. left.
Unjust wars and occupations, mega-bankers' bailouts and other regressive policies that were seen as intolerable under the nominal rule of a boorish moron from Texas (George W. Bush) have become acceptable for many "progressives" when carried out by an eloquent and urbane black Democrat from Chicago (Barack Obama).
A recent pathetic example - one of many - comes from the so-called liberal-left journal The Nation, whose bourgeois editor Katrina Vanden Huevel proclaims the following in an editorial titled "Obama, One Year On:"
"Whatever one thinks of Obama's policy on any specific issue, he is clearly a reform president committed to improvement of peoples' lives and the renewal and reconstruction of America... Progressives should focus less on the limits of the Obama agenda and more on the possibilities that his presidency opens up".
Ms. Vanden Heuvel announces here that she has fallen prey to what Chris Hedges, author of the recent book Empire of Illusion, calls "Brand Obama." As Hedges wrote last May:
Barack Obama is a brand. And the Obama brand is designed to make us feel good about our government while corporate overlords loot the Treasury.Our elected officials continue to have their palms greased by armies of corporate lobbyists, our corporate media diverts us with gossip and trivia and our imperial wars expand in the Middle East. Brand Obama is about being happy consumers. We are entertained.
We feel hopeful. We like our president. We believe he is like us. But like all branded products spun out from the manipulative world of corporate advertising, we are being duped into doing and supporting a lot of things that are not in our interest.
... The Obama campaign was named Advertising Age's marketer of the year for 2008 and edged out runners-up Apple and Take it from the professionals. Brand Obama is a marketer's dream.
President Obama does one thing and Brand Obama gets you to believe another. This is the essence of successful advertising. You buy or do what the advertiser wants because of how they can make you feel [or because of crass and calculating motivations related to funding and perceived access to power at the upper ranks of the liberal Establishment.
In the absence of meaningful anger and protest on the left, the dodgy Republican right wing and its still-potent "noise machine" is absurdly left to soak up and express much of the legitimate "populist rage" that ordinary Americans quite naturally feel over Washington's continuing captivity to concentrated wealth, corporate-direction, and the military-industrial complex in the Age of Obama. Resentment abhors a vacuum. This great left failure is, in part, a great, "expectation-managing" accomplishment of the fake-progressive Obama phenomenon and presidency. Obama was seen as a desirable candidate by the establishment partly because of his promise to encourage that failure.
This left malfunction was foreseen. After noting that Obama was "backed by the biggest Wall Street firms," the prolific left commentator and author-filmmaker John Pilger wrote the following at the end of May 2008:
What is Obama's attraction to big business? Precisely the same as Robert Kennedy's [in 1968]. By offering a ‘new,' young and apparently progressive face of Democratic Party - with the bonus of being a member of the black elite - he can blunt and divert real opposition. That was Colin Powell's role as Bush's secretary of state. An Obama victory will bring intense pressure on the US antiwar and social justice movements to accept a Democratic administration for all its faults. If that happens, domestic resistance to rapacious America will fall silent.
For my part, I wrote as much about "the Obama phenomenon" as I did before the election because I was concerned about Obama's special capacity to co-opt and stand down the antiwar movement and progressive forces (already in a terrible weakened state) more broadly.
Obama had always struck me as an especially seductive corporate militarist in fake-progressive "rebel's clothing" and thus as a distinctive threat to popular-democratic force.
I was certain that he would prove to be an especially potent pacifier for the peace and justice activists and progressive citizens.
Given the fact Obama had no meaningful ideological or policy differences with his fellow centrist corporate Democrat Hillary Clinton and that he actually ran slightly to her right on domestic policy, in fact, I would later come to see the former First Lady as the "lesser evil" in her epic nomination battle with Obama.
A Hillary Clinton presidency, I reasoned, would do every bit as much (however limited) policy "good" as a president Obama but would not possess the same capacity as Obama to shut down progressive politics and protest.
And, intimately related to that pacification role, to deceptively "re-brand' and re-legitimize American capitalism, racism, secxism, eco-cidalism, and imperialism at home and abroad. ,/blockquote>

Hatred of Women, as a Clinical Disorder

Curing the hatred of women  

By Poregbal, Poran

The best therapy could be in form of having these men sitting besides women who have been beaten, tortured, and slashed due to women hatred disease. With use of forces these men should not be allowed to talk, but only watch women talking about how they are able to claim their rights.

Sadly there is an illness in our world that has gone unnoticed or maybe unrecognized. This illness has all the characteristics for clinical disorders, obviously with various symptoms.
This disorder is terminating, worse than any cancer we have seen, and more dangerous than any flue. This illness has been around forever yet despite all the research and technology in the world we still have no real treatment or cure for it.
I would like to call it this very ill-fated and killing disorder called: Women hatred. Taliban is only one sample of individuals where the symptoms of women hatred are evident and self explanatory.  Your anxiety just increases when you watch scenes of how women are being treated by Taliban and all other groups alike Taliban.  Women hatred exists in many places in the world, more and less.
This illness will be found in places where lack of knowledge about human body and human race are real factors. This illness when uncured will cause infection and damages the other organs of this body. We can be sure that the disease of women hatred develops typically in the darkness of illiteracy, poverty, war, and segregation rules.
This illness is mostly among men who are scared of women and what women present. This disorder causes paranoia, fear, and rage. Women hatred is a devastating clinical disorder that kills millions of women each year around the world; however the issue is mostly mixed up with religion and culture. What we miss is that women hatred has its own culture, the culture of hate and rage.
There are many treatment options for this illness and I am sure human organizations in the world are doing best they can to eliminate this sometimes epidemic illness.
However the best treatment options for these men who are badly ill and who will victimize women is not jail. This illness can be cured when you forcefully put these men in schools and show them videos about human body. The best prison for these men who are victimizing women would be places where you show them how women give birth, how female physical body grows, and how females are strong entities who will not accept this way of treatment.
The best therapy could be in form of having these men sitting besides women who have been beaten, tortured, and slashed due to women hatred disease. With use of forces these men should not be allowed to talk, but only watch women talking about how they are able to claim their rights. Taliban is only one group of men among many others who do not know where they come from. They should be reminded how they occupied their mother's womb and how they entered this world where they are spreading this disease. Iranian women, Afghan women, and many other women in the world know how these men are ill, badly ill. This illness needs a real cure.
My main interest is mental health and healthy relationship. I write mostly about how to explore mental health as a main source of having peace within our families and our communities.
I would like to promote peace, happiness, multicultural counseling and a healthy language in our daily life. I believe that we have to expand our understanding of mental health by viewing the cultural values into our ways of dealing with the world.
I like to emphasize on helping our youth as well as our next generations to integrate within whatever cultures they live in.


Porn Ruins Teenager's Concept of Sex

There's no stash of Hustler to be hidden these days. You can "clear history," delete all trace, in one click. At each adolescent fingertip is an inexhaustible stream of high-def images and Flash porn videos - some 400 million porno pages in all.
...Travis and Cody, typical 21-year-old college students in Florida [] tell me there's one criterion at the top of their list when it comes to picking a fuck buddy.

"Pubic hair is disgusting," Travis says. "Girls should keep their vaginas porn-star trim."

Like most guys of my generation—I'm on the downslide to 40—I have fond memories of my first experience with pornography. I was 14 years old and my best friend had just discovered his father's secret stash.

We gathered in his basement and delicately turned the pages as if they might disintegrate. I asked him if I could borrow a few mags "just for the night," which in hindsight was a pretty bold request. I was, after all, essentially announcing my intention to masturbate.

Slipping past my parents with the stack of old Hustlers stuffed inside my jacket, I somehow made it to my bedroom and, not believing my good fortune, stayed up all night relishing the spoils.

To the modern 14-year-old, the scenario would be laughably quaint: There's no stash to be hidden these days. You can "clear history," along with any residual shame, in one click.

At each adolescent fingertip is an inexhaustible stream of high-def images and Flash video—some 400 million pornographic Web pages in all. The sheer breadth is staggering:

If you watched porn 24 hours a day, for example, it would take you several years just to get caught up on the 13,588 professional titles released in the United States in 2005 alone.

Plenty more is out there in bulk on the digital shelf, no credit card required: bestiality, piss-drinking, throat-fucking, bukake gang bangs, triple anal penetrations—all exhaustively cross-referenced. Any day now, some poor kid may actually go blind masturbating.

The awkward truth, according to one study, is that 90 percent of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online.

Considering the standard climax to even the most vanilla hard-core scene today, that means there is an entire generation of young people who think sex ends with a money shot to the face.

It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the age divide falls, but it's safe to say that the first purebred guinea pig to have grown up never knowing a world without fisting on demand is probably around 22 years old.

By the time they're in high school, America's porn-fed youth have already amassed an encyclopedic knowledge of smut.

Seth Rogen, cowriter of Superbad—which features a now-classic scene of teenage boys graphically discussing hard-core sites—recently told me that one of his favorite pastimes is trolling porn message boards. "It's hilarious how much these kids know," Rogen says.

"There'll be arguments like 'This is classified as gonzo, but I would say it's more of a feature-BDSM. Also, they say this clip is taken from Handjobs #8, but this scene was actually first featured in Killer Grips #7.'"

Rogen might as well have been talking about brothers Travis and Cody, typical 21-year-old college students in Florida who tell me there's one criterion at the top of their list when it comes to picking a fuck buddy.

"Pubic hair is disgusting," Travis says. "Girls should keep their vaginas porn-star trim." Cody describes his first real-life ejaculate-to-the-face finale like this:

"It was the happiest moment of my young life. There is just something about blowing a load in a chick's face that makes you feel like a man."

For most men over 30, facials aren't something you actually do. They're like car chases or hurling someone through a plate-glass window—the difference between cinema and life.

But the ubiquity of porn has blurred the line. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, the number of heterosexuals having anal sex nationwide has almost doubled since 1992.

But boys have always been perverts. Since a facial requires a female to receive it, the real story might be the apparent surge in the number of willing participants.

In Immersion: Porn, a documentary by New York photographer Robbie Cooper, 22-year-old Lindsay sees the act as empowering to women. "Even if she has eight dicks on her face, she's still the queen of those eight dicks," she says. "I definitely like come on the face."

Former State Department staffer Mary Eberstadt, writing in Policy Review, compares the prevailing attitudes about porn to the general consensus on tobacco in the 1960s.

"[Porn] is widely seen as cool, especially among younger people, and this coveted social status further reduces the already low incentive for making a public issue of it."

Of course, porn doesn't cause cancer, though it may cause homemade sex tapes and hot cam-on-cam IM action (playing in a locked suburban bedroom near you).

And it almost certainly causes cell-phone-picture taking: According to a 2008 survey, one in five teenagers have sent an explicit photo of themselves to someone else or posted one online.

The sea change is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the burgeoning crop of young actresses flocking to the industry.

Joanna Angel of, a veteran porn actress at 28, describes doing a three-way recently with a 19-year-old girl new to the business.

"It was her first scene ever, so I was like, 'Don't worry—just follow my lead,'" she recalls.

"But then the scene started, and the way she was giving a blow job and the things she was saying and the way she was moaning—I was like, 'What the fuck?'

"When I was 19, I was not giving blow jobs that were nearly that exciting. The girls these days just seem to come to the set porn-ready."

In fact, "porn-readiness" is now a source of pride. While on tour promoting her memoir, Jenna Jameson was reportedly stunned that 13-year-old girls kept telling her she was their role model.

In a survey of 1,000 British girls between the ages of 15 and 19, roughly 25 percent said they aspired to become professional lap dancers.

"Dirty Angel," 22, who writes a blog called Tastes Like Kisses and started surfing porn in her early teens, says, "It was watching [adult star] Heather Brooke that gave me the mind-blowing skills I have now when it comes to giving a blow job."

To those of us who came of age in the eighties and nineties—the dinosaurs once naïvely content with even the most terrible, chafing teen hand job—it feels a bit like looking down from an attic window onto the Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love.

Let the young have their Twitter and their Jonas Brothers—we have no interest. But this kind of hurts.

Of course, we're not all missing out on the fun. The Brett Ratners, the Silvio Berlusconis, the thirtysomething divorcés of the world—they will carry the mantle for us and hopefully report back. At least those in good cardiovascular health.

What Would be an Absurd Number for The US Debt?

Maybe we should just sell the US to China (soon to become the next largest English speaking country anyway) already.

By Bill Van Auken 

Bernanke’s frank assessment of the “jobless recovery” [mass unemployment] will be used as a bludgeon to extract wage cuts and increased productivity from workers, From America’s ruling class point of view, that's not the problem but the solution.

Combined with the fiscal austerity and budget cutting policies being championed by Obama, this assault on living standards and basic rights is aimed at making American workers pay for the crisis created by capitalism.

At the end of his visit to China on Wednesday, Obama warned that the US economy faces the threat of a “double-dip recession” unless the government carries out fiscal austerity measures designed to slash the mounting public debt.

Obama’s remarks came just a day after the Treasury Department announced that the US public debt had passed the $12 trillion mark, a record high.

The debt has soared from $10 trillion in September 2008, at the outset of the world the financial meltdown.

The unprecedented rise reflects above all the massive deficit spending that the government has used to bail out Wall Street and to assume responsibility for the bad debts of major banks and finance houses.

“Our first job was to get the economy to recover. And we’re seeing that,” Obama told Fox News in an interview conducted in Beijing.

He continued, “I think it is important, though, to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.”

In reporting the remarks, the Financial Times noted pointedly that their timing, coming at the end of his three-day trip visit to China, raised the question of whether “his Chinese counterparts delivered stern warnings to Obama about the consequences of continuing high US budget deficit spending.”

China, which holds nearly $800 billion in US Treasury bonds, is the US economy’s biggest creditor. As the Financial Times noted, “some presented his [Obama’s] state visit to China as that of a debtor visiting his banker.”

In a separate interview with NBC News, Obama defended his policy when asked whether he should have acted sooner on jobs, asserting that his administration’s policies had been designed “to make sure we didn’t slip into a Great Depression.”

Obama went on to qualify his boast about economic recovery, acknowledging that “people are really hurting right now” because of the unemployment crisis.

The only proposals that he raised for spurring employment growth, however, were providing corporations with a tax incentive to hire new workers and boosting US exports, which he cited as “an example of something we could do without spending money.”

The administration continues to rule out any direct job creation measures by the government itself.

Top officials in the Obama administration also stressed deficit reduction in a conference of CEOs held by the Wall Street Journal this week.

White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said that a plan for slashing federal deficits will be “a key component” of Obama’s annual State of the Union address in January.

“It is foremost on his mind and the mind of his economic team,” he told the assembled corporate executives.

Speaking at the same conference, White House budget director Peter Orszag stressed that the administration’s so-called health care reform will add nothing to the deficit.

He acknowledged that the current deficit, which reached $1.4 trillion in the fiscal year that ended in September―roughly 10 percent of gross domestic product―is unsustainable.

Orszag said that the administration would present a plan for slashing it to 3 percent of GDP, but declined to spell out what measures would be taken.

Meanwhile, the administration will be compelled to ask Congress to once again raise the federal debt limit beyond the $12.1 trillion ceiling that it established earlier this year in order to stave off a government shutdown.

That the US debt is unsustainable is beyond question. According to the Treasury Department, Washington was compelled to pay $383 billion over the course of the last fiscal year just in interest on the public debt.

Given that total revenues from individual federal income taxes amount to $904 billion, 40 cents out of every dollar paid by US taxpayers is going to service the debt.

Meanwhile, the tensions with China are indicative of global concerns over record US deficits and Federal Reserve lending rates of near zero that are driving central banks internationally to shift their holdings from the US dollar to other currencies such as the euro and the yen, as well as to gold.

The rise in US debt and the fall of the dollar are both symptomatic of the protracted decline of American capitalism and its shift from being the world’s manufacturing leader to the center of global financial parasitism and speculation.

The Obama administration’s focus on fiscal austerity is not designed to avoid a “double-dip recession”; in terms of the real economy, slashing government funding will make one all the more likely.

Rather, it is aimed at placing the full burden of the economic crisis on the backs of working people.

That this process is already well advanced was made clear in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s unusually frank assessment of the “jobless recovery” presented in a speech to the Economic Club of New York earlier this week.

“Since December 2007, the US economy has lost, on net, about 8 million private-sector jobs, and the unemployment rate has risen from less than 5 percent to more than 10 percent,” Bernanke told his audience of business and financial executives.

“Both the decline in jobs and the increase in the unemployment rate have been more severe than in any other recession since World War II.”

According to the government’s more comprehensive figure, encompassing involuntary part-time workers and so-called “discouraged” workers, the real unemployment rate has topped 17.5 percent, a depression level.

Bernanke also noted that the number of part-time workers who cannot find full-time jobs has doubled since the onset of the crisis, while the average workweek has fallen to 33 hours, the lowest level since the Great Depression.

“With the job market so weak, businesses have been able to find or retain all the workers they need with minimal wage increases, or even with wage cuts,” the Fed chairman continued.

“Indeed, standard measures of wages show significant slowing in wage gains over the past year. Together with the reduction in hours worked, slower wage growth has led to stagnation in labor income.”

Bernanke pointed to the sharp growth in productivity―a 5.5 percent annual rate so far this year―attributing it to employers carrying out layoffs and then “asking their remaining workers to provide extra effort.”

He concluded, “The best thing we can say about the labor market right now is that it may be getting worse more slowly.”

The truth of even this limited claim was called into question by the release of subsequent figures showing US housing starts falling to their lowest level in six months―a 30.7 percent decline since October of last year―and a fall in factory production in October, the first such decline since June.

One sector of the economy is booming, however. New York State’s comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli, released a report on Tuesday.

It stated that profits on Wall Street will set a new record in 2009, with its four largest investment firms―Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase―having already earned $22.5 billion in the first nine months of the year.

As the New York Times pointed out, “Fueling the gains were extraordinary profits from the firms’ own securities trading accounts as they borrowed at near-zero interest rates and put the money to work in the securities markets.”

The report also predicted that bonuses paid at six of the top bankholding companies―Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo―are likely to top their 2007 record of $162 billion.

Given that Wall Street will have eliminated 35,000 jobs by the end of this year, this means substantially richer year-end paydays for the top executives and traders.

This is the reality of the Obama administration’s policy. Massive bailouts and cheap credit policies are fueling a new financial bubble and even greater fortunes on Wall Street, while the working class is facing mass unemployment, growing impoverishment and increased exploitation.

The promises of fiscal discipline and austerity amount to the kind of structural adjustment program that Washington, through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, previously imposed upon indebted countries from Latin America to the former Soviet bloc. Now, similar measures are being prepared against working people in the US.

The proposed health care “reform,” designed to cut costs and ultimately the life expectancy of American workers, is only the first phase of a planned destruction of the limited social gains won by working people in the US since the 1930s.

The conditions described by Bernanke―mass unemployment being used as a bludgeon to extract wage cuts and increased productivity from workers―is, from the standpoint of America’s ruling oligarchy, not the problem but the solution.

Combined with the fiscal austerity and budget cutting policies being championed by Obama, this assault on living standards and basic rights is aimed at making American workers pay for the crisis created by capitalism.

The Story of 9/11

It isn't right at all that Americans should have to die for shit that they didn't even know their government was doing. And yet considering just what our own government has been up to perhaps that is what makes our own mixture of innocents and ignorance so infuriating.


"I think that we’re going to shine a light on something that a lot of people don’t want to look at” is how American Civil Liberties Union attorney Denney LeBoeuf put it, according to The New York Times on Saturday.

No problem, says Attorney General Eric Holder, who claims to have “great confidence” that other evidence – apart from what may have been gleaned from the 183 times Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded, for example – will suffice to convict him.

Maybe so, But what the Fawning Corporate Media (or FCM) have so far neglected is the likelihood that the testimony will be so public that they will have to break their studied silence about why Sheikh Mohammed and his associates say they orchestrated the attacks of 9/11.

For reasons that are painfully obvious, the FCM have done their best to ignore or bury the role that Israel’s repression of the Palestinians has played in motivating the 9/11 attacks and other anti-Western terrorism.

It is not like there is no evidence on this key issue. Rather, it appears that the Israel-Palestine connection is pretty much kept off limits for discussion.

Yet, as Sheikh Mohammed and the other alleged 9/11 conspirators go to trial, the FCM's tacit but tight embargo will be under great strain.

Eyes will have to be averted from the sensitive Israeli-Palestinian motive even more than from torture, which most Americans know about (and, God help us, are willing to explain away).

The Bromides

To refresh our memories, let’s recall the bromides we were fed by the likes of President George W. Bush about why the terrorists attacked on 9/11.

Rather than mentioning long-held grievances expressed by many Arabs – such as Western intrusion into their region, Washington’s propping up of autocrats who enrich themselves in deals with multinational oil companies, and Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territory – Bush told the American people that “the terrorists hate our freedoms.”

Former Vice President Dick Cheney reprised that feel-good theme in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute on May 21. Cheney said the terrorists hate “all the things that make us a force for good in the world — for liberty, for human rights, for the rational, peaceful resolution of differences.”

Some observers might have found those qualities strange for Cheney to cite given his role in violating constitutional rights, torturing captives and spreading falsehoods to justify an aggressive war against Iraq.

But Cheney also slipped up in the speech, presumably because he had lost his best speechwriters upon leaving office. He inadvertently acknowledged the Israeli albatross hanging around the neck of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

“They [terrorists] have never lacked for grievances against the United States. Our belief in freedom of speech and religion … our belief in equal rights for women … our support for Israel… — these are the true sources of resentment,” Cheney said.

Yet “our support for Israel” is hardly ever included in these formulations, but Cheney at least got that part right.

Rarely in the FCM – and not even often on the Web – does one find Sheikh Mohammed’s explanation for what motivated him to “mastermind” 9/11. Apparently, few pundits have made it as far as page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report.

The drafters were at work on the report when they learned that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been captured.

They knew that he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina A&T in Greensboro in 1986, before going to Afghanistan to fight the Russian occupier.

And it seems their first assumption was that he suffered some major indignity at the hands of Americans in Greensboro. Thus the strange wording of one major finding on page 147 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

“By his own account, KSM’s animus toward the United States stemmed not from his experience there as a student, but rather from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

Moreover, the footnote section reveals that KSM was not the only “mastermind” terrorist motivated by “U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel,” although in the footnote the Commission dances around a specific reference to Israel, leaving it to the reader to infer that point from the context. Note the missing words in the footnote on page 488:

“On KSM’s rationale for attacking the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003 (in this regard, KSM’s statements echo those of Yousef, who delivered an extensive polemic against U.S. foreign policy at his January 1998 sentencing),” the footnote said.

Was Yousef, who happens to be Mohammed's nephew, perhaps upset about U.S. foreign policy favoring NATO expansion, or maybe toward Guam? Obviously, the unstated inference in the footnote was about Israel.

The First Attack

The family connection between Yousef and Mohammed was not incidental, either. “Yousef’s instant notoriety as the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing inspired KSM to become involved in planning attacks against the United States,” the 9/11 Commission Report noted on page 147.

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on Feb. 26, 1993, when a car bomb was detonated below Tower One. The 1,500-pound urea nitrate-hydrogen gas-enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower, bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.

It failed to accomplish that, but the bombing did kill six people and injured 1,042.

Motive? Ramzi Yousef spelled out his motive in a letter to The New York Times after the bombing:

"We declare our responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned building. This action was done in response for the American political, economical, and military support to Israel, the state of terrorism, and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region."

Yousef was captured in Pakistan in 1995, imprisoned in New York City, and held there until his trial. On Nov. 12, 1997, he was convicted of “seditious conspiracy” and was sentenced the following January to life without parole. He is held at the high-security Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

Regarding the touchy Israel connection, the 9/11 Commission stepped up to the plate in the “Recommendations” section of its final report, which was issued on July 22, 2004, but then bunted:

“America’s policy choices have consequences. Right or wrong, it is simply a fact that American policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and American actions in Iraq are dominant staples of popular commentary across the Arab and Muslim world. … Neither Israel nor the new Iraq will be safer if worldwide Islamist terrorism grows stronger.”

A more convincing swing at this issue was taken in an unclassified study published by the Pentagon-appointed U.S. Defense Science Board on Sept. 23, 2004, just two months later. The board stated:

“Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights.

Also, the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States.

“Thus, when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.”

The report directly contradicted what Bush had been saying about “why they hate us,” letting the elephant out of the bag and into the room, so to speak.

But, you say, you didn’t hear much about that report either, despite 24-hour cable “news” networks and the “change-everything” importance of 9/11 in justifying U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq?

Creative Editing

If you’ve read down this far, you will not be surprised that the FCM ignored the Defense Science Board findings for two months.

On Nov. 24, 2004, The New York Times, erstwhile “newspaper of record,” finally published a story on the report — but only after some highly instructive surgery.

Thom Shanker of the Times quoted the paragraph beginning with "Muslims do not 'hate our freedom'" (see above), but he or his editors deliberately cut out the following sentence about what Muslims do object to, i.e., "what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights" and support for tyrannical regimes.

The Times did include the sentence that immediately followed the omitted one. In other words, it was not simply a matter of shortening the paragraph. Rather, the offending middle sentence fell victim to the “delete” key.

Similarly creative editing showed through the Times' reporting in late October 2004 on a videotaped speech by Osama bin Laden.

Almost six paragraphs of the story made it onto page one, but the Times saw to it that the key point bin Laden made at the beginning of his speech was relegated to paragraphs 23 to 25 at the very bottom of page nine.

Buried there was bin Laden's assertion that the idea for 9/11 first germinated after "we witnessed the oppression and tyranny of the American-Israeli coalition against our people in Palestine and Lebanon."

There is other evidence regarding the Israeli-Palestinian motive behind 9/11.

Though Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was not allowed to talk to the attorneys in the 2006 trial of 9/11 co-conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, the judge did allow into the official record a statement by Mohammed on the “Purpose of the 9/11 Attacks,” which was drawn from “numerous written summaries of Sheikh Mohammed’s oral statements in response to extensive questioning.”

The following statement from Sheikh Mohammed appears on page 11 of Defense Trial Exhibit 941 from “United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Criminal No. 01-455-A”:

“Sheikh Mohammed said that the purpose of the attack on the Twin Towers was to ‘wake the American people up.’

Sheikh Mohammed said that if the target would have been strictly military or government, the American people would not focus on the atrocities that America is committing by supporting Israel against the Palestinian people.

And America’s self-serving foreign policy that corrupts Arab governments and leads to further exploitation of the Arab/Muslim peoples.”

Some recent articles about Mohammed’s upcoming trial also have mentioned the Israel-Palestine motive behind 9/11, though usually in passing and deep inside the stories.

For instance, Sunday’s New York Times carries a front-page article giving a “portrait of 9/11 ‘Jackal,’” Mohammed.

But one has to read deep into the jump on page 26 to learn that the original plan for the 9/11 attacks envisioned Mohammed flying on one of 10 planes that were to be hijacked and that “he would be on the one plane not to crash, and after the plane landed would emerge and deliver a speech condemning American policy on Israel.”

Revisionist View

Yet, the Fawning Corporate Media won’t stop performing its creative editing – or creative composition – to obscure this motive.

Never mind what the 9/11 Commission Report said about Mohammed not being driven by resentments from his college days in North Carolina, the Washington Post offered a revisionist view on that point on Aug. 30:

“KSM’s limited and negative experience in the United States — which included a brief jail stay because of unpaid bills — almost certainly helped propel him on his path to becoming a terrorist,” according to an intelligence summary, the Post reported.

“He stated that his contact with Americans, while minimal, confirmed his view that the United States was a debauched and racist country.”

A telling revision perhaps extracted from one of Mohammed’s 183 waterboarding sessions – and certainly politically more convenient in that it obscured Mohammed’s other explanation implicating “U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.”

But let’s look for a moment at the “debauched and racist” part. Could Mohammed be speaking some truth here – and not just about his college days of the 1980s?

Would the Washington Post’s editors be so supportive of the “war on terror” if captives from a more favored ethnic or religious group were stripped naked before members of the opposite sex, put in diapers, immobilized with shackles in stress positions for long periods, denied sleep and made to soil themselves?

In my view, racism comes very much into play here. If Mohammed and other detainees looked more like us, would it be so easy to demonize and waterboard them?

Unguarded Moments

At rare moments, however, hard truths about the 9/11 motivations slip out – although not in high-profile presidential speeches nor in Washington Post op-eds.

For instance, at a public hearing in June 2004, 9/11 Commissioner Lee Hamilton asked a panel of government experts, “What motivated them [the hijackers] to do it?”

The CIA analyst in the group is seen in some panic, directing his eyes toward the other panelists in the all-too-obvious hope that someone else will answer the politically loaded question. FBI Supervisory Special Agent James Fitzgerald rose to the occasion, saying:

“I believe they feel a sense of outrage against the United States. They identify with the Palestinian problem; they identify with people who oppose oppressive regimes, and I believe they tend to focus their anger on the United States.”

For Hamilton and his colleagues that proved to be a politically incorrect answer. Ergo, you will not find that testimony in the 9/11 Commission Report.

And notably absent from the report’s recommendations is any suggestion as to how one might address the question of Israeli treatment of Palestinians and U.S. support for it.

In their book Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission, Chairmen Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton are unusually candid in admitting that this issue was so sensitive and contentious that they chose the course of least resistance.

Despite the findings of the Commission staff – and FBI Agent Fitzgerald – that the hijackers were not motivated by religious ideology, many of the Commissioners much preferred attributing the attacks to Islam than to U.S. policy toward Israel.

Kean and Hamilton explain that those commissioners were dead set against identifying Israel as a major factor motivating the terrorists, because someone might get the idea that Washington should reassess its policy.

But it’s a legitimate and urgent question: Would a more determined commitment by the U.S. government to secure an independent state for the Palestinians and to alleviate their suffering undercut the appeal of al-Qaeda and other extremist groups to young people in the Muslim world?

Or put differently, why should ardent supporters of Israel in the U.S. Congress behave in such a way as to make the Muslim world view the United States as disinterested in the plight of the Palestinians and thus increase the danger of future attacks against the United States, as well as against Israel?

The Goldstone Report

The rest of the world and most Americans opposed the Israeli strikes on Gaza last December and January that resulted in the killing of 1,400 Palestinians, with 13 Israelis also killed. And there was wide criticism of the silence not only of the Bush/Cheney administration, but also of President-elect Barack Obama.

The UN-authorized investigation by the widely respected South African jurist, Richard Goldstone, himself a Jew, pointed to war crimes by both Israel and Hamas, although the inquiry’s harshest criticism landed on Israel for the staggering civilian death toll.

This finding led Israel’s Likud government to activate its powerful U.S. lobby, which pressed the House of Representatives to denounce the Goldstone report, which the House did on a 344-36 vote.

In a wondrous display of pot-and-kettle, House members branded the Goldstone report “irredeemably biased.” Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called the report “unbalanced and unfair and inaccurate.”

These so-called “friends of Israel” either don’t know or don’t care that this sort of resolution only makes matters worse regarding American attempts to defuse the explosive anger building across the Middle East. It is a gift to al-Qaeda.

This U.S. pandering to the Likud Lobby – and the implicit suggestion that the lives of 1,400 Palestinians don’t much matter – also is bad for the people of Israel.

Indeed, it may prove suicidal, by delaying the geopolitical imperative for Israel to make peace with its Arab neighbors and thus avert some future catastrophe.

Closer to home, by further identifying itself with – and justifying – Israeli repression of the Palestinians, the United States helps breed more Khalid Sheikh Mohammeds and Ramzi Yousefs, more young terrorists determined to make Washington and the American people pay a price.

It requires no logical leap to conclude that Likud-friendly lawmakers — the Steny Hoyers, the Howard Bermans, the Ileana Ros-Lehtinens of this world — could scarcely think up a better way to raise the threat level from terrorists who feed on festering sores like the calamity in Gaza.

Oprah Make us, 'Dumb and Dumber'

Oprah allows the shopaholics and consumer whores to feel like they're solving real world issues, simply by buying things (which they most likely couldn't stop doing even if they wanted to). I'll admit, personally I don't always get how a lot of charities function, or how buying stuff somehow fixes stuff. an afterthought, I still remember all the jokes about the Play Station 3 being able to cure cancer (and smoke a salmon, which someone actually did btw).

Secular saint or nefarious consumerist? No matter your opinion of Oprah Winfrey, it's impossible to ignore the global uproar over her announcement that she will be winding down her daytime talk show on broadcast television.

She is moving over to her very own cable channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), in partnership with Discovery Communications. OWN will debut in January 2011 to approximately 80 million viewers on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.

Popular culture professor at Syracuse University, Robert Thompson, who grew up in Chicago where Ms. Winfrey began her career, says he has received requests for comments from around the world.

Media watchers, sociologists, and branding experts say the frenzied outpouring reveals much about the impact, legacy, and future of the media empire Winfrey has built over the past quarter century.

"I'm shocked," says Mr. Thompson, who explains that the syrupy accolades and montages playing in cities from London to Sydney are more akin to a memorial.

"This reminds me of the sort of tributes that poured out after Michael Jackson's passing. More about someone whose time is past," he notes. "Frankly, they don't bode well for the future of her projects in other areas."

But the passion of her fans also says something about her long-term commitment to them, Thompson adds. "This is an affection that was earned day by day, show by show, year by year," he says, a reign unprecedented in the daytime arena.

Over the two-and-a-half decades of her tenure in daytime TV, Winfrey came to fill a void for many of what is currently an audience of some 7 million viewers, says sociologist BJ Gallagher in an e-mail.

Calling Winfrey, "Our Lady of Perpetual Self-Empowerment," Ms. Gallagher says that for tens of millions of woman (and more than a few men, too) Oprah offers what they often can't find in mainstream churches:

"Inspiring advice on how to live the good life, compassion, encouragement, and support, spirituality that is broadly inclusive, love and forgiveness, laughter, hugs, and acceptance."

The decision to move from broadcast to cable is strictly a business move, says Elayne Rapping, professor of American Studies at SUNY, Buffalo.

She noted that during Winfrey's time on ABC affiliates nationwide, the influence of broadcast television has been severely eroded by the rise of cable and the Internet.

Her new venture with Discovery communications includes an Internet site, and she notes, "Oprah is just following audiences where they have demonstrably migrated, away from broadcast television."

When Winfrey entered the talk show game in the mid-1980s, shows such as Jenny Jones and Jerry Springer were already beginning to define the genre as a backwater of tabloid headlines.

In the early 1990s, Winfrey made the decision to take the show in more positive directions, points out Susan Mackey-Kallis, associate professor of communication at Villanova University in Pennsylvania.

It is the rise of Winfrey as a business brand that has truly driven her influence, she adds. "She often assured her viewers and later her readers that their greatest power for changing themselves and their world lay in their purchasing power.

Supporting a cause meant buying a bracelet made by indigenous people; curing cancer meant attending a charity event, etc.

This coupling of consumerism with social and political change made her the darling of advertisers whose clients were willing to pay top dollar to advertising on her show."

It is also this emphasis on consumerism that has drawn the most fire from such critics as international branding expert, Rob Frankel, who sees the talk show diva as a negative influence in the larger culture.

"Nobody has contributed more to the dumbing down of America and its increase in mediocrity than Oprah Winfrey," he says. "If she has any leadership ability, it lies in her self-gratifying sustenance via mindless consumerism."


A Private Unofficial, "study" of ANR

by Mayfieldflowerrn

This was a very difficult post for me to write, not because I have difficulty speaking of these parallel desires which I've come to recognize over months of discussion, but because I wanted very much to get the implications right, to come to all of you with good information, well-read and fully aware of the dynamics which combine to create the desire for ANR as we know it. I hope, in this humble attempt, that I've allowed the more hidden, secretive facets of ANR to be brought more completely into the open, and perhaps initiated a discussion or two which will allow us all to become more authentic, true to ourselves and to these unique, beautiful, soul-filling desires which combine to create a very precious and sacred intimacy.

(First, a disclaimer. In my writing here, unless specified otherwise, all references to an adult nursing relationship are intended to include only those monogamous, heterosexual, intimate relationships between two adults which are centered upon a man regularly suckling his woman partner, either in an extended dry-nursing scenario or by fully sharing her milk. While I realize there are other types of adult nursing relationships, I've never discussed them at length nor been drawn to them personally, thus I cannot speak with relevance as to the ways intimacy may or may not be expressed between those partners.)

As the months have passed since I created this blog dedicated to ANR, I've been intrigued by the many, many correspondences and discussions which have begun here, both with men and with women, about the reasons and ways we are drawn to this lifestyle, and how the desire first manifested itself within us. Some people are able to name the specific ways in which ANR draws them, while others are not, but regardless of that, I have found there to be a number of separate and very definite characteristics of nursing couples which seem to universally coexist alongside their need to share a breast-centric relationship.

I sometimes refer to my own longing to share my breasts as exactly that, a longing, a desire. The truth, however, is that it's not so much a simple desire as it is an enduring physical need for me, a need nearly as essential to my being as is breathing or nourishment. To take away my ability to draw my man close to my breasts and nurse him there would be akin to stripping away the very essence of my femininity, and I would die slowly inside, no longer feeling that lovemaking or intimacy held any authenticity for me.

During my marriage, my ex-husband refused to share my breasts. He likewise was incapable of desiring me as a woman after I became pregnant with our son and, when I left, I vowed that I would never again settle for less than a loving, complete relationship which wholly fulfilled me, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and physically, and wherein the commitment we both made to consecrate the act of nursing together served to anchor and define our lovemaking. Yes, there are many other ways to share intimacy, and I embrace nearly all of them, but the truth remains that the essence of my sexuality, and certainly the origins of intimacy, both foreplay and lovemaking, all begin and end at my breasts.

So what are these parallel desires which, from my conversations, seem to universally exist to one degree or another within the majority of individuals who innately are drawn to share an adult nursing relationship?

I was not at all surprised to discover that the most common theme woven into their desire is a strong, perhaps undeniable, attraction to pregnancy. For her, there may have been an incredibly sexual and sensual undercurrent to pregnancy, and she perhaps discovered newfound joy and satisfaction in her body during those months. Desire was heightened, especially in the second and third trimesters, and she reached orgasm more easily and more frequently. As for him, he may have always recognized in himself an innate gravitation to the pregnant female form, and in his past may even have collected pregnancy erotica in various forms, be that literature or photographs or even mainstream pornography. Now, in a relationship with the flesh and blood woman who carries his child, there exists for him an almost primal desire to explore her pregnant body, a seeming obsession with her changing, growing curves and ripe, full breasts and the round sphere of her belly. Watching her move and seeing her pregnant silhouette leaves him breathless, and longing, yet he soon discovers there to be an equal new tenderness in his desire and an instinctive need to protect both her and the child within.

In my work, I notice a calm centeredness about these couples, for not only do they experience pregnancy together as a bonding, intimate, freely sexual time of exploration, but the intimacy seems to extend into the weeks after their child is born, where it lingers and flourishes. He is tenderly attentive, willing not only to spend time at her breast helping to bring in her milk or relieve any early experiences of engorgement, but also to hold her close and cherish her while she quietly breastfeeds their child. From this most pure act of loving, ANR evolves spontaneously, and this foundation, the innate attraction to pregnancy, has universally been present in the large majority of my conversations about ANR, as well.

The next two themes, as difficult as they may be to approach, seem also to be heavily represented in discussions about ANR. I've thought about the why of this at length, and ultimately I feel that the anonymity offered in this space has allowed people to open up to me in conversation where otherwise they may have not, to confess secrets and attractions and desires without the risk of personal rejection or judgment.

First, among men who are drawn to nursing relationships, there seems to be a correlation, not as heavily represented as the attraction to pregnancy yet a majority just the same, between the desire to engage in the act of nursing with a lover and anal sexual intimacy in some form or another. No, I don't mean heavy bondage or kink or some fringe means of sadomasochistic experimentation. I refer instead to a healthy, nurturing sexuality between lovers, intimacy which mirrors a nursing relationship in the elements of trust and vulnerability.

For one man, it was an inexplicable desire to be spanked, to be turned over his lover's knee and paddled, then drawn tenderly to her breast and comforted afterward. For others, the attraction is in actual penetration, of him by her, in a way which allows him to explore his vulnerable side, to experience the sensation of being filled and open and to submit to her direction, her sexual whims as it were, and to relinquish control. Whereas in mainstream relationships, the risk of confessing to this desire for anal intimacy would perhaps be received with scorn and ultimately might provoke a discussion which questioned the very core of a man's inherent sexuality, in the ANR world it belongs more in an organic place of tenderness, of trust and vulnerability, not unlike his admitting that first longing to be gently nursed and comforted at her breast.

So, over time, as more and more of my discussions included hints of desire for this type of anal intimacy, and it became evident that the same type of male personality who longed for ANR also appeared to hold an unspoken desire to explore anal sexual stimulation for himself in one form or another, I became curious about the basis of it and began wandering, looking first to my own textbooks in lactation and psychology, and finally perusing the broad world of cyberspace. After hours of reading, I ultimately focused on Freud, and his psychosocial stages of child development.

From birth to about eighteen months of age, infants exist in Freud's "oral" stage, where suckling and oral stimulation function as the primary pleasure mechanism. This is followed for another eighteen to twenty-four months by Freud's "anal" stage, where the young child first becomes aware of his genitals, and then toilet training is stressed heavily, often by the mother who loves and nurtures the child and to whom he is emotionally bonded. One cannot help but wonder if those men who are drawn to ANR and to parallel anal intimacy experienced a loss of some sort during these crucial overlapping developmental stages, perhaps an event as simple as forced weaning or a change in the child's primary caregiver. From this loss, his longing to return to a safe place became magnified, and the missing of the oral comforts which he had known since birth and the desire to return to the warmth of the breast and to be suckled somehow triggered an equal need to test the boundaries of Freud's anal stage. In this way, the desire for anal intimacy parallel to an adult nursing relationship is not so much regressive, but rather a need to return to that original safe maternal home and be cared for there, to be vulnerable and exposed but likewise reassured, and thus made safe.

The second difficult theme centers solely upon terminology in the ANR world, and, truth be told, this has been the most difficult of the parallel desires to write about. For a young child, the terms "Mama" and "Daddy" come to represent very specific securities. Mama is the nurturer, the comforter, the holder of all things soft and reassuring and safe. Daddy is the protector and sometimes the punisher, an external and distant yet approving (or disapproving) presence. In child psychology, it is well-documented that a child's first sexual response centers upon these familiar figures, and even in society at large we recognize that, on a subconscious level, men commit to wives who remind them of their mothers, and women marry men like their fathers. The difference in an ANR relationship is that these roles carry forward well into adult sexuality, where men ache to be drawn to "Mama's" breast and comforted and where women embrace that nurturing role, and where "Daddy," the adult man to whom they now are married and in whom they likely witness many, many traits inherent to their own fathers, protects them and keeps them safe, thus it is he they wish to please.

I have yet to have a discussion in the ANR world in which this specific topic wasn't preceded by a disclaimer, that he doesn't really desire his mother, that she never would imagine having sex with her father. In my very open mind, the disclaimer is unnecessary, for it is clear to me that it's the trait wherein the attraction lies and not the individual. For him, the longing for a nursing relationship centers upon the breasts, upon receiving from his wife the love and nurturing and comfort that men cannot ask for outright in our macho-centric society, and to receive that love in a place where he is momentarily able to set aside society's masculine conditions of control and power, dominance and responsibility. For her, psychology suggests that the desire is a bit deeper, that as a small child she couldn't understand why Daddy hugged and kissed Mama with a different, more expressive intimacy than he hugged and kissed her. She longed for that same special, unique love, "Daddy's" love, yet in a very innocent way, the only way her still-forming sexual psyche could receive it. Yes, issues like incest, rape or violence change the dynamic of this, but those don't belong in this discussion, for the desire for nurturing and safety within a nursing relationship originates in a much purer, organic, holistic place, a place of comfort and warmth and love and being protected, and it follows that adults in a nursing relationship could easily intertwine these maternal and paternal roles into their shared sexual intimacy.

This was a very difficult post for me to write, not because I have difficulty speaking of these parallel desires which I've come to recognize over months of discussion, but because I wanted very much to get the implications right, to come to all of you with good information, well-read and fully aware of the dynamics which combine to create the desire for ANR as we know it. I hope, in this humble attempt, that I've allowed the more hidden, secretive facets of ANR to be brought more completely into the open, and perhaps initiated a discussion or two which will allow us all to become more authentic, true to ourselves and to these unique, beautiful, soul-filling desires which combine to create a very precious and sacred intimacy.

ANR What? Huh?


Adult Nursing Relationship (ANR)
The suckling of milk from a female's breast on a regular basis from one or more partner(s). Successful ANRs depend on a stable and long-term relationship, as, otherwise it is very difficult to maintain a steady milk flow. Couples may begin an ANR by transferring regular suckling from a child to a sexual partner (eg. husband). Such a relationship may form as an expression of close intimacy and mutual tenderness and may even exist without sex.[1] Breastfeeding can have a strong stabilizing effect on the partnership.[1][10] The breastfeeding woman may experience orgasms or a pleasurable let-down reflex.
ANRs has also been employed in cases where a mother may desire to breastfeed her child, but has to find an alternative to inducing lactation.[11] She may have difficulty beginning lactation, so supplements the infants's suckling with that of a partner. Or there are cases where breastfeeding was interrupted for an extended period of time as a result of infant prematurity, infant absence, or mother's illness (taking prescription medication).[12] In such cases, adult nursing has often caused lactation to continue until it was possible for the child to resume breast feeding. Others may want to nurse an adopted child, so uses an ANR to stimulate breastmilk production before the adoption occurs. Though such scenarios do not have erotic motivations, erotic expression may be an additional aspect of the relationship.

Since the European Middle Ages, a multitude of subliminally erotic visionary experiences of saints have been passed on in which breastfeeding plays a major role. One prominent example is the Lactatio of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.[16] Generally speaking, this was a rather strong taboo, and it can be concluded that an adult man suckling for milk is in contradiction to well-established images of masculinity[citation needed].

There exists a very old story mostly called "Roman Charity" (or Caritas romana).[17] This story is most known from old paintings showing a young woman suckling an old man who is imprisoned.
The story comes from the Roman writer Valerius Maximus in the year 14 AD - 37 AD. In about AD 1362 the story was retold by the famous writer Giovanni Boccaccio.[18] After Boccaccio, hundreds or possibly thousands of paintings were created, which tell the story.
Primarily, the story tells of a conflict. An existing taboo (implied incest and adult breastfeeding of a woman's milk) or saving a life by breaking the taboo. In this aspect there is no erotic focus to the story.
Most interesting in context of erotic lactation is not the fact of nourishing a man from a woman's breast. More interesting is the following affair: Valerius Maximus tells two stories, not one only. There is first a long elaborated story with a woman breastfeeding her mother, which is followed by a very short story with a woman breastfeeding her father. The second father-daughter story in fact consists of one sentence only. Fifteen hundred years later Boccaccio retells the (first) mother-daughter story only and does not mention the father-daughter story. Nevertheless nearly all "caritas romana" oil paintings and drawings show the father-daughter story only. This fact changes the supposedly original background into an erotic direction and we can very clearly see the (erotic) fascination of the adult suckling situation for the artists, who created all the paintings.

Erotic lactation refers to an adult's sexual arousal from breastfeeding. Depending on the context, the terms adult suckling, adult nursing, and adult breastfeeding can refer to the practice. Practitioners sometimes refer to themselves as being in an adult nursing relationship (ANR).[1] Two persons in an exclusive relationship can be called a nursing couple, though this term is also sometimes used for a mother and her child.
"Milk fetishism" and "lactophilia" are medical, diagnostic terms for paraphilias and are used for disorders according to the precise criteria of ICD-10 and DSM-IV.[2]

Because female breasts and nipples are generally regarded as an important part of sexual activity in some cultures, it is not uncommon that couples may proceed from oral stimulation of the nipples to actual breastfeeding.[6] In lesbian partnerships, mutual breastfeeding has been regarded as a familiar expression of affection and tenderness.[7]
In its issue of March 13, 2005, the London weekly The Sunday Times gave a report of a scientific survey (composed of 1690 British men) revealing that in 25 to 33% of all couples, the male partner had suckled his wife's breasts. Regularly the men gave a genuine emotional need as their motive.[8]

What's inside Capitalism: 'Competition'

Forever Becoming

As an essential component of capitalist ideology, the idea of competition has been exaggerated and planted in the popular consciousness, its influence spreading beyond purely economic relations. To compete appears to be a natural thing to do.

In freeing man from the constraints of a rigid, stratified system, capitalism appeared to promote the idea of equality; man was free to define himself, and, importantly, to advance himself within society.

Yet, through pushing the idea of economic advancement the system also placed emphasis upon the notion of competition, setting one individual against another.

We’ve seen how the ideology of the marketplace can infiltrate numerous aspects of our life, making us conscious of what we are selling, and how well we are selling it.

This emphasis on selling inevitably promotes competitive relations, because in selling something - be it a skill, talent, idea or look - there will, more often than not, be others selling the same thing.

As an essential component of capitalist ideology, the notion of competition has suffused the popular consciousness, its influence spreading beyond purely economic relations.

To compete seems like a very natural thing to have to do, and we have Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to remind us that competition is in the natural way of things.

Yet, whilst it may be an inevitable aspect of human relations, it remains a singular aspect upon many. The emphasis that capitalism places upon this idea, and the way in which it is communicated to us can frequently be problematic.

In many instances a competitive mindset can invade relations beyond the economic, and can become a default mode of exchange where, often, it needn’t be.

When the objects of our desire are perceived as limited, it follows that to get what we want we will have to compete for it.

Whilst it may be the case that many things are by nature limited, it is often from the emphasis upon the necessity to compete that dysfunction can arise. Fromm describes the effects of a competitive mindset upon the individual.

“His relationship to his fellow men, with everyone a potential competitor, has become hostile and estranged; he is free – that is, he is alone, isolated, threatened from all sides.”

Advancement and Careerism

Whilst allowing the individual to flourish in formerly unthinkable ways, capitalism also unharnessed his urge for power and status.

Our gifts, the things that separate us - be it talent, beauty or intelligence – are instrumentalized, their function as occasions for celebration and communion seconded to their utility as tools of advancement.

State ideology urges its citizens to ‘be someone’, a fiction that is communicated and strengthened through stories of success.

This runs from from the everyday tale of achievement and victory featured in the pages of the local paper, through to the latest celebrity autobiography) and our worship of those who have ‘made it’ (celebrities; those who are top of their field; ‘geniuses’.

To progress economically and secure a favourable position within a free-for-all system, the individual is compelled to draw upon whatever resources allow him to achieve this.

In this sense, the gift – as long as it is valued by society – takes its place as an element of a wider tyranny; both reason, motivation, and justification for the attainment of power.

What's inside Capitalism: 'Success'

Forever Becoming

Success becomes confused with market values. Success in all domains becomes defined by the ideology of the marketplace. Only a few turned up to your party, so it wasn't a success. You only have a few friends on Facebook, so you aren't a success.

The so-called freedom offered by capitalism has exposed the individual to the elements, making him feel isolated, insignificant and powerless. Unknown machinations were now taking place around him, the earth rumbling with the new momentum of free trade.

Market Orientation

For the individual capitalism offered the potential of a new and better life. His tethers cut, he was free to rise as high as he wished - but this privilege was not his alone.

The heights were up for grabs, and in order to gain the best view he would have to ensure that he rose higher than those around him.

The road to success – to the most advantageous view – was achieved through selling; if man could sell successfully then he was able to become successful.

Instead of selling enough to get along – to maintain an age-old lifestyle – he was prompted to sell as a means to advancement. No longer tied to his place, through selling more he could break with tradition and imagine something new.

With the best views exclusive, the individual was forced to consider his product within a marketplace that was both more expansive and more competitive.

Pious concerns were replaced with economic ones; everyday discourse coloured by the language and ideology of the marketplace. This state of affairs has reached its apotheosis in recent times.

If something does not sell successfully – if not enough people want it – then it is deemed as a failure. Within this ideology, quantity becomes a key determinant of success; the more people want something, the more successful it is.

The notion of success becomes confused with market-values, and success in all domains becomes defined by the ideology of the marketplace. Only a few people turned up to your party, so it was not a success. You only have a few friends, so you are not a success.

It is testament to the pervasiveness of capitalist ideology that we even come to think of ourselves as products, to be carefully crafted to sell to the highest number.

Market ideology pervades all aspects of life, its fiction transforming us into commodities, and our relations into a series of marketplaces within which we sell ourselves: as employees, as sex objects, as lovers, as friends.

The concept of the ‘glamour model’ is an obvious example; with her blonde hair, bronzed skin and practiced repertoire of facial expressions, she is as finely-tuned to sell to a specific market as the newest model of executive saloon.

She sells herself, and in doing so promotes to the masses the ‘look’ that she is selling – she tells us, on behalf of our collective ideology, ‘this is what the market wants, and this is how you sell yourself to it” - the market, in this instance, being ‘men’ - or at least, the State’s idea of men.

“Flesh is converted into sign”, the body “etched, pummelled, pumped up, shrunk and remoulded”18 in order to sell more effectively. Not only is the specific look of the glamour model pushed, but also the very idea that women must ‘sell’ in the first place, proliferating the mentality of the system.

In her role as a tool of the State, the glamour model serves to teach a generation of girls how to kit themselves out to become successful commodities in a competitive marketplace.

Market-orientation is not restricted to glamour-model clones.

Most of us, at points, feel the pressure to sell ourselves in some way; and with technology increasing the forms through which we communicate, it is also - as a recent article on a “narcissism epidemic” among young girls suggests - proliferating the places in which one is required to self-promote.19

With all this emphasis on selling, we begin to think of the conventions of the system as innate and unavoidable.

All motives become inextricably linked with selling and individual gain, and “what are you trying to sell?” becomes the permeating dictum. Our view of humanity is bent and twisted to fit a system that often works to encourage the worst.

What's inside Capitalism: 'Individualism'

Forever Becoming

We have the illusion of individual freedom. Capitalism fears the consequences of individualism - greater self-awareness and challenging the system. Capitalism is more than happy to give us the freedom to consume but not the freedom to question.

The collapse of the static pre-capitalist system, in which every man was guaranteed a place, cast the future in shades of uncertainty. Man was free to define his destiny, and in order to safeguard it he was compelled to consider his prospects within the market.

Self-preservation became an important consideration, and careerism a defence against fear of the future. Within the capitalist system man was constantly urged to think of himself, if only to avoid coming a cropper further along the line.

Capitalism has promoted rampant self-interest, while simultaneously directing energies away from something that may have helped man to face his fear of the future: self-development.

Thus, we have the illusion of individual freedom. Capitalism as an ideology fears the consequences of individualism - greater self-awareness and challenging the system of thought that pervades our lives.

Capitalism is more than happy to give us the freedom to consume but not the freedom to question.


In ousting the individual from the bosom of society into a position of self-responsibility, capitalism marked a milestone in the psychological maturation of society.

It would perhaps be more accurate to say that capitalism provided the conditions for growth, laying the responsibility for development at the feet of the individual.

Many were simply not ready to accept this responsibility and instead of learning the new steps that were required of them, regained equilibrium through what Fromm refers to as ‘secondary bonds.’

Through these means the individual willingly annihilated himself within the whole, returning once more to a state of reliance.

We achieve self-annihilation in a variety of ways, not least through the denial of self-development. Perversely, self-development is perhaps the very thing that would allow us, following the severance of our primary bonds, a positive equilibrium once again.

But what do we mean when we talk of self-development? It involves, amongst other things, thinking about the self – about our beliefs, our ideas, our ambitions.

In thinking about these important things we are able to take responsibility for them, to make the thoughts our own, and thus counteract the assumptive ignorance of received wisdom. We are able to form a personal life-philosophy, regardless of how rudimentary it may be.

It does not mean a wrapping up within the self, or a constant state of navel gazing: self-development is not selfishness.

Rather, to think about the self is to learn to explore and understand the self – it is an affirmation of who you are.

To listen to what you need; to take time to know yourself, and to allow yourself the room to grow, is to turn out towards the world.

The Flight from Self-Development

Thinking about the self is often not a comfortable or easy thing to do, and fortunately the system provides us with a variety of ways in which we can avoid doing this.

The idea of self-development is itself denigrated through a widespread denial of the self, and through watchwords like ‘selfish’ and ‘self-indulgent’ that allow us to circumnavigate other words, like ‘self-analysis’.

We deny ourselves - our needs and development - in the interests of society; which, in the last, are the interests of the State.

A paradoxical smokescreen is put in place around this denial, with contemporary society seemingly placing more importance on the individual than at any time previously.

Ours is, we are frequently reminded, a selfish society: it is an old saw to point out that consumerism is rampant.

That we like nothing more than to spend on the latest commodities and indulge in hedonistic abandon, all the while moving further away from so called ‘traditional values’.

But what is really happening here? Is this fiction of the contemporary individual really about self-affirmation?

Perhaps what we are affirming is the pseudo-self; a safe assemblage of the self afforded to us by the system, replete with pre-ordained desires, opinions, and ambitions – that confuses its own voice with that of its maker.

Through its distractions - its motion - the system helps keep us from standing still too long, aiding us in our flight from the true self.

Work keeps us busy for a large proportion of our time, and when we aren’t busy with work we are offered a variety of activities to help maintain the momentum.

Through staying busy we are able to preserve a sense of self-identity that reflection dispels. When we are at work in the world we have a seeming solidity.

Without self-knowledge we remain unaware that our structures rest in water, and the confusion of the depths – with its promise to disorient and inspire - is kept from us.

These distractions are undoubtedly not, in most cases, crafted with this sinister purpose in mind; it is the systems into which they are birthed that are rigged for maximum manipulation.

It is the way that we are taught to consume, the compulsions that we learn unconsciously and take as givens – this is where the dysfunction lies.

Love is Certain

By Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

God for us is Trinity. And if we’re in the image of God we’re in the image of the Triune God. What does that mean for our understanding of our personhood? Let’s think first of the Trinity, and then of ourselves.
“God is love” declares St. John in his first letter, and goes on to say, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” In true love there is no exclusiveness, no jealousy. True love is open, not closed. God is love. There is no fear in love. And so God is not the love of one. God is not love in the sense of being self-love, turned in upon itself. God is not a closed unit. God is not a unit, but a union. God is love in the sense of shared love, the mutual love of three Persons in one.

Most of the time we think we know who we are. But do we, in fact, know in the full and profound sense who we are?

One text that is very important for the Orthodox understanding of the human person is Psalm 64:6 [LXX 63:7]: “The heart is deep.” That means the human person is a profound mystery. There are depths – or if you would like, heights – within myself of which I have very little understanding.

Who am I? The answer is not at all obvious. My personhood as a human being ranges widely over space and time. And indeed it reaches out beyond space into infinity, and beyond time into eternity. Our human personhood is created, but it transcends the created order. I am called to be a “partaker of the divine nature,” as Peter said in his second letter. I am called to share, that is to say, in the uncreated energies of the living God. Our human vocation is theosis – deification, divinization. As St. Basil the Great says, “The human being is a creature that is called to become God.”

I am reminded of the story of the Fall at the beginning of Genesis, of the promise of the serpent, who says to Eve, “You shall be as God.” The irony behind that story is that this was exactly the divine intention. The humans were indeed called to divine life. But the Fall consisted in the fact that Adam and Eve grasped with self-will that which God, in His own time and way, would have conferred upon them as a gift.

The limits of our personhood are very wide-ranging indeed. We should adopt a dynamic view of what it is to be a person. We shouldn’t think that our personhood is something fixed. To be a person is to grow. To be on a journey. And this journey is a journey that has no limits, that stretches out forever, that goes on even in heaven. Some people have an idea of heaven as a place where you do nothing in particular. But surely that is deceptive. Surely heaven means that we continue to advance by God’s mercy from glory to glory. Heaven is an end without end.

St. Irenaeus remarks, “Even in the age to come God will always have new things to teach us, and we shall always have new things to learn.” Even in heaven, we shall never be in a position to say to God, “You are repeating Yourself. We have heard it all before.” On the contrary, heaven means continuing wonder and unending discovery. To quote J.R.R. Tolkien in The Fellowship of the Ring, “The Road goes ever on and on.”

Now there is a specific reason for this mysterious and indefinable character of human personhood. And this reason is given to us by St. Gregory of Nyssa, writing in the fourth century. “God,” says he, “is a mystery beyond all understanding.” We humans are formed in God’s image. The image should reproduce the characteristics of the archetype, of the original. So if God is beyond understanding, then the human person formed in God’s image is likewise beyond understanding. Precisely because God is a mystery, I too am a mystery.

Now in mentioning the image, we’ve come to the most important factor in our humanness. Who am I? As a human person, I am formed in the image of God. That is the most significant and basic fact about my personhood. We are God’s living icons. Each of us is a created expression of God’s infinite and uncreated self-expression. So this means it is impossible to understand the human person apart from God. Humans cut off from God are no longer authentically human. They are subhuman.

If we lose our sense of the divine, we lose equally our sense of the human. And that we can see very clearly from the story, for example, of Soviet communism in the 70 years which followed the revolution of 1917. Soviet communism sought to establish a society where the existence of God would be denied and the worship of God would be suppressed and eliminated. At the same time, Soviet communism showed an appalling disregard for the dignity of the human person.

Those two things go together. Whoever affirms the human also affirms God. Whoever denies God also denies the human person. The human being cannot be properly understood except with reference to the divine. The human being is not autonomous, not self-contained. I do not contain my meaning within myself. As a person in God’s image, I point always beyond myself to the divine realm.
I remember a visit in my student years in Oxford from Archimandrite Sophrony, the disciple of St. Silouan of Mt. Athos. He gave a talk on Orthodoxy, and there was a discussion afterwards. Towards the end, the chairman said, “We have time for just one more question.” Somebody got up at the back of the audience and said, “Fr. Sophrony, please tell us – what is God?”

Fr. Sophrony answered very briefly, “You tell me – what is man?” God and the human person are two mysteries that are interconnected, and neither can be understood apart from the other. “In the image of God” means there’s a vertical reference in our personhood. We can only be understood in terms of our link with the divine.

But then, let’s think of another point. “In the image of God” means in the image of the Trinity. As St. Gregory the Theologian says, “When I say God, I mean Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” That is what as Christians we mean by God. We don’t understand God as a series of abstractions. We understand God as three Persons. And that we see very clearly from the Creed. We begin in the Creed by saying, “I believe in One God.” And then we don’t continue by saying, “Who is an uncaused cause, who is primordial reality, who is the ground of being.” This is the way many modern theologians speak. But in the Creed we say, “I believe in One God … the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We continue, that is to say, in specific personal terms.

God for us is Trinity. And if we’re in the image of God we’re in the image of the Triune God. What does that mean for our understanding of our personhood? Let’s think first of the Trinity, and then of ourselves.
“God is love” declares St. John in his first letter, and goes on to say, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear.” In true love there is no exclusiveness, no jealousy. True love is open, not closed. God is love. There is no fear in love. And so God is not the love of one. God is not love in the sense of being self-love, turned in upon itself. God is not a closed unit. God is not a unit, but a union. God is love in the sense of shared love, the mutual love of three Persons in one.

When the Cappadocian Fathers in the fourth century are describing God, one of their key words is koinonia, meaning fellowship, communion, or relationship. As St. Basil says in his work on the Holy Spirit, “The union of the Godhead lies in the koinonia, the interrelationship, of the Persons.” So this then is what the doctrine of the Holy Trinity is saying: God is shared love, not self-love. God is openness, exchange, solidarity, self-giving.

Now, we are to apply all this to human persons made in the image of God. “God is love,” says St. John. And that great English prophet of the eighteenth century, William Blake, says, “Man is love.” God is love, not self-love but mutual love, and the same is true then of the human person. God is koinonia, relationship, communion.

So also is the human person in the Trinitarian image. God is openness, exchange, solidarity, self-giving. The same is true of the human person when living in a Trinitarian mode according to the divine image.
There’s a very helpful book by a British philosopher, John Macmurray, entitled Persons in Relationship, published in 1961. Macmurray insists that relationship is constitutive of personhood. He argues that there is no true person unless there are at least two persons communicating with each other. In other words, I need you in order to be myself. All this is true because God is Trinity.

From this it follows that the characteristic human word is not “I” but “we”. If we are all the time saying, “I, I, I,” then we are not realizing our true personhood. That’s expressed in the poem of Walter de la Mare, “Napoleon”:

What is the world, O soldiers?
It is I:
I, this incessant snow,
This northern sky;
Soldiers, this solitude
Through which we go
Is I.

Whether the historical Napoleon was actually like that or not, de la Mare’s point is surely valid. Self-centeredness is in the end coldness, isolation. It is a desert. It’s no coincidence that in the Lord’s Prayer, the model of prayer that God has given us, and which teaches what we are to be, the word “us” comes five times, the word “our” three times, the word “we” once. But nowhere in the Lord’s Prayer do we find the words “me” or “mine” or “I”.

In the beginning of the era of modern philosophy in the early seventeenth century, the philosopher Descartes put forward his famous dictum, “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think therefore I am.” And following that model, a great deal of discussion of human personhood since then has centered round the notion of self-awareness, self-consciousness. But the difficulty of that model is that it doesn’t bring in the element of relationship. So instead of saying “Cogito ergo sum, ought we not as Christians who believe in the Trinity say, “Amo ergo sum – I love therefore I am”? And still more, ought we not to say, “Amor ergo sum” – “I am loved therefore I am”?

One modern poem that I love particularly, by the English poet Kathleen Raine, has exactly as its title “Amo Ergo Sum.” Let me quote some words from it:

Because I love
The sun pours out its rays of living gold
Pours out its gold and silver on the sea.

Because I love
The ferns grow green, and green the grass, and green
The transparent sunlit trees.

Because I love
All night the river flows into my sleep,
Ten thousand living things are sleeping in my arms,
And sleeping wake, and flowing are at rest.

This is the key to personhood according to the Trinitarian image. Not isolated self-awareness, but relationship in mutual love. In the words of the great Romanian theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae, “In so far as I am not loved, I am unintelligible to myself.”

If, then, we think of the divine image, we should not only think of the vertical dimension of our being the image of God; we should also think of the Trinitarian implication, which means that the image has a horizontal dimension – relationship with my fellow humans. Perhaps the best definition of the human animal is “a creature capable of mutual love after the image of God the Holy Trinity.” So here is the essence of our personhood: co-inherence; dwelling in others.

What is said by Christ in His prayer to the Father at the Last Supper is surely very significant for our understanding of personhood: “That they all may be one, as you, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us” (John 17:21). Exactly. The mutual love of the three Divine Persons is seen as the model for our human personhood. This is vital for our salvation. We are here on earth to reproduce within time the love that passes in eternity between Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Metropolitan Kallistos is a bishop of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Great Britain. From 1966 until 2001, he lectured in Eastern Orthodox Studies at the University of Oxford. In 2007, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elevated Bishop Kallistos to Titular Metropolitan of Diokleia. He is a member of the advisory board of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship. His books include The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way and The Inner Kingdom. This text (first published in Again magazine) is adapted from a lecture he gave in August 1998 at the Eagle River Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies in Alaska.

Spring 2009 issue of In Communion / IC 53