Although it remains unclear exactly what buggery has to do with ethical reporting, Professional Homosexual Dan Savage was there to unravel the mystery to a group of Seattle teens on April 13 at the National High School Journalism Convention. When he started ripping into the Bible”€”calling it “€œbullshit”€ and accusing it of not only being wrong about homosexuality, but also about slavery, masturbation, virginity, and, yes, shellfish”€”small clusters of students stood up and began leaving. Their exodus was largely quiet. They did not try to shout him down or sprinkle him with holy water.

Savage called the retreating clusters of offended and presumedly Christian students “€œpansy asses.”€ Looking so empowered that one would think he needs to carry extra battery chargers whenever he travels more than 25 miles, Savage gloated that he was “€œbeating up the Bible,”€ then apologized if anyone’s feelings were hurt. “€œBut I have a right to defend myself,”€ the defiant little banty rooster asserted.

But nobody attacked you, ya douche. You were attacking them, and they quietly left.

Although what constitutes “€œbullying”€ is in the eye of whoever thinks they”€™re being bullied, Dan Savage”€”it’s his real name, a coincidence as glorious as if he”€™d been born “€œPercy Fierce”€ or “€œLance Fabulous”€”€”has left quite a fecal slime trail of either bullying his ideological opponents or, if you don”€™t want to use that word, being a generally aggressive and hateful dickhead toward them.

What’s the currently acceptable term for a gay male blogger? A blaggot? A glogger? A blomo? Whatever it is, Dan Savage is probably the most prominent one in the blogosphere. He was the one who created Rick Santorum’s frothy, feces-flecked “€œGoogle problem.”€ He also claimed that while sick with the flu, he once licked almost everything he could find in Iowa Republican Gary Bauer’s office, including doorknobs, keyboards, staplers, phones, and clean coffee cups. (He later claimed he had made up the entire incident, and he’s also been caught repeatedly lying about his age, so he may suffer from a low T-cell count”€”with “€œT”€ standing for “€œtruth.”€)

“€œHow would he feel if someone sent him an aborted baby? Or a severed vulva? Not too good, I’ll bet.”€

He’s also displayed tremendous tolerance for diversity of opinion. “I wish the Republicans were all fucking dead,”€ he once told Bill Maher while cameras were rolling. He once said he wished a Pennsylvania politician would get “€œdragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”€ He invited Herman Cain to orally pleasure him to prove, as Cain had asserted, that homosexuality is a choice. (Cain chose not to orally pleasure him.)

When Mississippi TV reporter Kandiss Crone did a story on a local adult store that led to the store owner’s arrest, Savage suggested that his readers send Crone their used sex toys. How would he feel if someone sent him an aborted baby? Or a severed vulva? Not too good, I”€™ll bet.

Despite all his taunting of Bible-thumpers, they seem to mostly write him off as a creepy sodomite and stay as far as possible from Dan and his bodily fluids.

It’s his comrades amid the “€œgay community”€ and sundry other pissy progressive sectarians who appear to bear a larger-than-life hatred for him”€”not all of them, but enough to make it really, really funny to me. I thought they were all “€œon the same page”€ about the fact that those evil, repressed right-wingers were goose-stepping toward them to snatch away their butt plugs and shut down their all-night fisting parties. I thought they had to stick together and remember Stonewall as if it was the Alamo. I thought they had to keep the rainbow intact.

Apparently not!

For me, one of the most enjoyable parts of observing leftist identity politics is its tendency to fracture…then splinter…then atomize…then, each week, suddenly discover a new subatomic level of identity. It’s a boiling, swirling alphabet soup of micro-identity where at any given moment the LGBTTIQQ2SAs at the gay bar might all suddenly accuse one another of not understanding one another, leading to heartbreak and bloodshed.

His fellow homos and similarly minded sex freaks accuse Dan Savage of transphobia, biphobia, and pozphobia (the irrational fear of someone with the ability to infect you with a deadly virus).

If you were drawing up plans on how to run a private members”€™ club, a larger society, or even a country, military life provides some good ground rules.


You wouldn”€™t want everyone in a perfect society, so not everyone can join. You”€™d want people who agreed with your principles. For this you need volunteers. You need people who want to be part of your society. Nobody is drafted; volunteers always prove better members. Anyone willing to live and die by the society’s code is valued. This code includes “€œselfless commitment.”€

So long as you speak English, the Army does not discriminate; it simply picks the best people for its society. The British Army allows foreigners from Fiji, Nepal, South Africa, and the Commonwealth to join its ranks.

Ex-soldiers are treated well. Most former soldiers still visit their former camps and are encouraged to take part in events. The military pays pensions to its soldiers from the day they leave if they have served a full twenty-two-year term. So a soldier joining at eighteen can leave at the age of forty with a full pension.

“€œEverything from nations to private clubs should follow these rules. It works for the military.”€


Certain medical problems will prevent your entry. Some (but not all) criminal behavior will also exclude you. Like any good society, the military understands that people make mistakes, so they offer some people a fresh start.

There are cases when the Army will get rid of people from its society. There are many reasons including using drugs which is obviously not conducive to a career where firearms are routinely used. If the military can punish or rehabilitate for minor crimes it will do so but there are some things it cannot tolerate. Working against the society in any subversive manner will see you kicked out. Taking Top Secret files home and guns off the battlefield are also big no-nos. Engaging in any behavior that erodes the values of the military will also see you out in the cold and in prison if need be.

The military used to have a system where it gave you an honorable or dishonorable discharge. If potential employers would ask why it was not honorable, you could make something up. The military changed that a few years ago; they now state the exact reason you were expelled. If it was drugs, it will say that on your record. This will prevent you from getting back in the military or any other similar society.

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor has become the first African head of state to be convicted of a crime by an international court and the first national leader anywhere since Admiral Karl Dönitz at Nuremburg. Presiding Judge Richard Lussick, reading a unanimous finding, found Taylor “€œcriminally responsible”€ for aiding and abetting the perpetrators and therefore “€œguilty of 11 charges including terror, murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.”€

Taylor’s conviction is due to his support for Foday Sankoh‘s rebels of the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) in neighboring Sierra Leone, who murdered tens of thousands and displaced, mutilated, raped, and robbed hundreds of thousands between 1991 and 2002. Sankoh’s mob will be long remembered for their practice of lopping off limbs. Victims were often asked if they wanted “€œshort sleeves”€ (arms off) or “€œlong sleeves”€ (hands off) before being chopped.

The tribunal has concluded this “€œrevolutionary”€ force was heavily dependent on President Taylor for military, logistical, and political support which was generously supplied in return for diamonds. One of these diamonds was presented to supermodel Naomi Campbell following a dinner in 1997 with President Nelson Mandela in South Africa.

“€œThe real tragedy is that much of this bloodshed need not have happened.”€

Al Venter (author of Gunship Ace, which covers the Sierra Leone Civil War) says he recalls seeing two pregnant women having their bellies butchered, their fetuses removed and boiled before they were forced to eat the remains. Rather than use rope the RUF would string human entrails across roads at roadblocks.

My friend Bob MacKenzie, a former Rhodesian SAS officer, was captured by the RUF after he had run to the aid of a comrade who turned out to be dead. A nun who survived says she watched the rebels hang MacKenzie from a tree and bayonet him for hours before strips were cut from his body and eaten. The rebel leader was then given the honor of consuming his liver.

The real tragedy is that much of this bloodshed need not have happened. In March 1995, with Sankoh at the height of his powers, less than 200 South African mercenaries operating under the direction of private military company Executive Outcomes arrived with little bang but plenty of balls and brawn. They smashed the RUF bully boys, sending them scuttling into the countryside. Suddenly confronted by real soldiers up for a fight, the RUF fled in confusion. The South Africans soon secured control of most of the diamond fields that were feuling the violence, and relative calm rapidly returned to the capital city of Freetown and much of Sierra Leone.

In John Guare’s play Six Degrees of Separation, a young black con man traduces his way into a white, rich, liberal family’s midst by posing as Sidney Poitier’s son, who had just happened to lose his wallet. The guilt-ridden rich folk put him up”€”with predictable results. The family is almost torn apart as the con man brings in a gay lover and steals them blind. The Broadway show was a success, as was the movie, which featured Donald Sutherland and Stockard Channing as the rich liberal couple and Will Smith as the con man.

Just about that time, twenty years or so ago, I was writing for a New York city weekly, as well as for London’s Spectator and Sunday Times, the latter requiring close to 2,000 words per week, an unheard-of load for someone who was also pursuing a busy social life in the Big Bagel. Four thousand words per week made Taki a very dull boy late at night. So I advertised for a researcher”€”the first and last time I ever did this.

No sooner had the ad appeared in The New York Observer, the liberal Bagel weekly in which I contributed a regular column, than a terribly polite voice over the telephone volunteered his services. I invited him to my house for lunch the next day. As it happened, my father-in-law, Prince Schoenburg, was also coming. The prince was a white, guilt-ridden liberal straight out of central casting. This was because his family had once upon a time ruled over the land of Bohemia, now known as the Czech Republic. To my surprise, the researcher turned out to be a young black male of an incredibly gay mien. He had half an ear missing, an injury I recognized from my martial-arts background to have been inflicted by violent means.

“€œThe trouble is that it was NR, not some lefty rag, that got rid of a wonderful and courageous man.”€

Oh, I almost forgot”€”the Guare play and movie were based on a true story, with names having been changed by the playwright to protect the well-meaning fools that had fallen for the con man. Except for that of Sidney Poitier, whose name the trickster had exploited in real life. Once the lunch began I noticed that my prospective researcher drank wine even faster than yours truly, becoming thoroughly sloshed in no time. He also regaled my kind father-in-law with tales about tea plantations in Brazil that his family owned, although he couldn”€™t place them on the map, nor did he seem to be aware that Brazil exports coffee. The prince listened patiently and politely while the man blabbed on until finally he passed out on the sofa next to the dining room.

By this time the penny had dropped, and after letting him sleep it off, I then ordered him out of the house telling him I knew who he was and that I was no West Side rich liberal fool. He tried to ring me afterwards, but after I threatened him with both violence and the police, he begged off for good. I later read that the poor guy had died of AIDS. His real name escapes me.

But then the movie came out and I wrote about my experience with the con man in The New York Observer. The female editor at the time was a ghastly left-winger who had already made my life miserable at Esquire magazine, where I used to be a regular columnist. She didn”€™t like the story, especially as I emphasized the black con man as opposed to the white liberal prince. She told me to tone it down, and I refused on the basis that every word I had written was based on fact. The story ran but not many of the paper’s readers were impressed by it. As far as they”€™re concerned, black is good and white is bad and facts can go to hell.

People often compare video gamers to crackheads, but that’s unfair. Crackheads are way more motivated to get out of the house. While gamers cozy up on the couch to battle orcs and inhale their own farts, crackheads dart through shadowy housing projects, use their wits to find the next $20 rock, and occasionally fight for their lives. Pit a chronic gamer against a drug addict in a cage fight, and I’d throw my last hundred dollars on the dopehead.

If it was a shootout, though, I might bet on the nerd.

During Anders Breivik’s ongoing trial, prosecutors submitted the fact that the Norwegian mass murderer continuously played World of Warcraft at his mom’s house for a full year. The killer has shown little emotion in the courtroom thus far, but according to Reuters: “€œBreivik broke into a smile when the image of his online character was displayed.”€

Breivik rationalized his compulsive gaming as a training program to attack multiculturalists:

I feel that this period was needed in order to completely “detach myself from “the game”, my “former shallow consumerist lifestyle ” in order to ensure full focus on the matters at hand.

Columbine murderer Eric Harris had a similar love affair with first-person shooter games”€”rather than a steady girlfriend”€”and wrote in his journal:

I must not be sidetracked by my feelings of sympathy, mercy…so I will force myself to believe that everyone is just another monster from Doom….

A handful of violent video game-players have gone on to become rampage killers, but for now these are isolated incidents.

“€œPerhaps the most dangerous aspect of violent video games is that constantly playing them will make you a pussy.”€

A more likely scenario is the atrophied couch potato who flexes his ego in the real world like he’s playing Call of Duty, then gets his teeth kicked in. Perhaps the most dangerous aspect of violent video games is that constantly playing them will make you a pussy. Compulsive gamers don’t experience enough real sex and violence to become grown men.

More importantly, the crippling effect of excessive gaming is laid bare in the countless stories of “€œgamer widows“€ who watch their lovers slip away into prefab digital fantasies. Of all the tragic reasons that relationships fail”€”alcoholism; incompatible sex organs; differences in taste or temperament; incessant infidelity; porn addiction”€”the #1 lamest reason for a broken relationship is when a man can’t tear himself away from World of Warcraft long enough to give his lady a kiss, let alone an orgasm.

A computer programmer recently told me that he’s witnessed three marriages collapse under the pressure of “massively multiplayer online role-playing games“€ (or MMORPGs) such as EverQuest, Skyrim, or the unstoppable World of Warcraft, which boasts over 10 million subscribers. Out of the three newly single gaming buddies who chose goblins over girls, only one showed any remorse. The other two were relieved to log endless game hours without “€œwife aggro.”€ Your loss, ladies.

There are always those lucky geeks who manage to physically connect to their cyber-soulmates and crank out a few babies. But I have to wonder if they’ll actually reproduce at replacement levels, considering the cases of game-nerd infanticide that surface in the news:

April 2012″€”Seoul, S. Korea. A young woman gave birth in a 24-hour Internet café’s bathroom. With the father long gone, she proceeded to stuff her newborn into a trash bag, toss it into a street-side can, and step back inside to play her online game into the night. Two days later, a cleaning crew found the tiny corpse.

The first friend I made at Lawrenceville School was Reuben Batista, eldest son of the Cuban strongman. Being foreigners gave us something in common, the rest of the school being mostly WASPS with a smattering of Catholics. By the time I met Reuben in 1949 his father Fulgencio had been in power either directly or indirectly for nearly two decades. Havana was a paradise if one was rich and liked easy women, rum drinks, flashy nightclubs, and casinos. The disparity in wealth was shocking even back then, yet there was a sweetness of life, one that was lost in January 1959.

I visited Cuba a couple of times before Castro and found the people among the nicest in the area. Batista was always referred to as a dictator, which he was, but it was the most benevolent of regimes. In my young and limited experience, I never got the impression that the people were afraid to voice their opinions. I had some good friends such as the Garrido brothers, both Wimbledon players who were poor but comfortable and who had shown me around when I was in Havana.

“It’s all so phony it makes me want to puke.”

There are certain things that are now set in stone—for example, Batista bad, Castro good. The fact that people voted against Castro by leaving the island in the millions with only the clothes on their backs does not matter. The executions, the torture, the jailing of homosexuals, the totalitarian regime does not matter to the press nor to the academy. Castro was a man of the left; hence he was, is, and will always be good. Fifty-three years later the song is still the same. Castro and his brother are still the darlings of professors and media types. Castro sure knew which noises to make and how to stay popular with the intellectuals the world over.

It was the late 1950s, and there was a Grand Prix for sports cars in Havana. The Dominican strongman, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, ex-father-in-law of Rubi’s, was a Castro enemy. My friend Porfirio Rubirosa was then the Dominican Republic’s ambassador to Cuba and had a hand grenade thrown into his garden early in the morning of the race. Rubirosa’s young French wife Odile claimed afterward that she and Rubi had been making love, otherwise they would have been killed in the garden. The great Argentine, five-time world champion Juan Manuel Fangio, was also set to race but had been kidnapped by Castro’s men that morning. Nevertheless the race went on. Rubi spun out early. Fangio’s kidnapping made headlines around the world. Then, just after the race, Fangio suddenly appeared, fresh and unscathed. He said his kidnappers had been kind—even friendly.

I watched a Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate bring an evangelical crowd to their feet three years ago by announcing that “€œOwning a gun is a human right.”€ I mumbled to myself: “€œSo is protection from body odor.”€

It’s not that I”€™m against people owning guns, but there are multiple reasons to defend such practices without invoking phantom “€œrights.”€ It is possible to defend broad gun ownership on practical grounds as something that reduces the likelihood that the carrier will be hurt in a violent assault. I could easily construct a defense of gun ownership without once mentioning the concoction of “€œhuman rights.”€

Human rights is an invention of loudmouthed journalists, political theorists looking for trips to the UN, and celebrities who are pushing pet causes.

Times change, and so does the catalogue of human rights designed to justify the prevalent political and cultural attitudes. It is impossible to separate the idea of human rights from the political agendas of those wielding this rhetorical weapon.

“€œIt is impossible to separate the idea of human rights from the political agendas of those wielding this rhetorical weapon.”€ 

Concepts of human rights usually reflect the biases of the age. These rights are also replaceable. It is naïve to think those “€œrights to life and liberty”€ in the Declaration of Independence as understood by Thomas Jefferson are the only rights around which our political lives have been made to center. Terms such as “€œliberty”€ and “€œthe pursuit of happiness”€ have now been given meanings beyond anything that Jefferson”€”or the person from whom he cribbed the passage, John Locke“€”could have intended.

“€œHuman rights”€ now encompass things such as wealth redistribution, protecting transsexuals from hostile glares, and banning all Confederate symbols”€”which a black student once complained violated her human rights when she espied a Civil War history book on my office shelf.

As a young man, I was told that the right to debate issues is a civilized society’s distinguishing mark. Open debate was often depicted in the 1950s and 1960s as a “€œhuman right.”€ Now it has been eclipsed here and in Europe by the even loftier human right of being sensitive to whatever group the government and media want us to treat with special sensitivity. 

The cult of human rights has also become an obvious successor religion to Christianity. It selectively incorporates Christian notions of universality and the sacredness of the person, but without Christian theology. Why should we think this successor religion, like its cousin multiculturalism, will have currency outside of the progressive remains of what were once Christian societies? Although African tribalists or Chinese nationalists may talk our talk, it is doubtful that our rhetorical tics will influence them very deeply.

When a child is having a temper tantrum, you have to be very careful what you say. Even a gently concerned “€œWhat’s wrong?”€ can send them on a whole new tirade. The same goes with discussing abortion. If you approach a so-called “€œfeminist”€ and calmly raise the topic they will yell, “€œI don”€™t believe for one second that you think a woman doesn”€™t have the rights to her own body!”€ Then they will cover their ears and storm out of the room. To them, there is nothing to discuss. Case closed. Period. End of discussion. Been there, done that. Discussing abortion is soooooo 90s!

So let’s tippy-toe lightly and take some baby steps toward this delicate subject and at least get these colicky infants to acknowledge one or two things about the subject that don”€™t include being raped and impregnated by your father.

Can we all agree it should be illegal to let a baby starve once it’s outside the womb? OK, now that’s settled, how far back can we go? How about two months after conception? A two-month-old fetus is about an inch tall. Can we call that a human? Even if we dropped all questions about life before this point, starting the abortion debate here would be a huge step for mankind. Coloring the News shows how alarmingly common third-trimester abortions are. Is it OK to find those offensive? Most of the people who claim they have no problem with abortion couldn’t stomach to look at the Google Image results for the word, those babies.

“€œAbortion? Why not adoption?”€

Abortion? Why not adoption?

Who are these moronic troglodytes ejaculating into women? Don”€™t they know how a penis works? Men masturbate daily and know exactly when they”€™re going to cum. Maybe after seeing a few friends sending child-support payments to a stranger for years, they would think twice about where they shoot their goo.

I come from a world where abortion is birth control. My friends always bragged about it because they saw it as empowering. However, now that I”€™m getting older and these young pseudo-feminists have become older moms, preventing a life gets a lot more serious. I”€™m reminded of a friend of my wife’s who had two abortions in her youth. She has two kids now and says she doesn”€™t want another one. I asked her what she”€™d do if she got pregnant again and she said, “€œProbably lie on the floor and cry for three days.”€ In other words, she”€™d keep it. Once you see what they do after they come out, everything changes.

Freakonomics noted that the crime rates plummeted after Roe v. Wade was passed and falsely inferred that correlation implies causation. I can smell the left’s latent classism where they don”€™t only want less people in the world, they want less of a certain kind of person. Most of the people I talk to look upon abortion as a real rain that’s “€œwashing all the scum off the streets.”€ The important thing about Freakonomics“€™ abortion/crime theory is that it is completely false. They also left out the the fact that the nation’s jail and prison population balloned about tenfold since Roe v. Wade passed. That may have correlated with a drop in crime rates.

Of all the comments I read during the brouhaha over my April 5th Taki’s Mag column, one in particular stuck in my mind. I forgot to bookmark it and can’t recall where I read it, so I’m working from memory here. The gist was:

Multiracial societies are so boring. People waste so much time talking about race. In a monoracial society, that time is freed up for talk about money, sport, sex, politics….

I think it’s a good point. An American or a Brit might justifiably cast the occasional envious glance at Japan, Iceland, Hungary, Uruguay, or any of the other nations whose citizens can pass from one year’s end to the next without attending a diversity sensitivity training seminar, watching ethnic-leadership hucksters whining on TV about “discrimination,” or having his intellect insulted by jurisprudential preposterosities such as “disparate impact.”

The occasional envious glance is all we can afford, though. The USA has been multiracial from the start, and we have never had any choice but to make the best of it, unless you think the American Colonization Society had realistic hopes of success (I don’t). Black and white Americans are stuck with each other, like an unhappy married couple in a Strindberg play.

“€œWe Puritans prefer to think that realistic candor will ultimately deliver a better result”€”a more stable and unified society”€”than all the formulaic lying.”€

(Britain is a different case: In one of history’s greatest acts of collective folly, the Brits voluntarily opened up their unique, ancient, introverted national culture to a rabble of Third World sadists and cultists. They are now choking on their folly, and it’s hard to have much sympathy.)

How has the USA done at making the best of it? Not too badly, I’d say, at least in the past few decades. You can even make an argument that the point we’ve arrived at is, in the many-dimensional space of social possibilities, a local maximum.

To puritanical souls such as myself, though, who are constitutionally unable to see the emperor’s new clothes, the current settlement”€”if it is a settlement”€”is irksome because it rests on a pack of lies: the lie that poverty causes crime, the lie that white people’s malice causes black poverty, the lie that race is a mere “social construct” with no biological reality, and so on.

We Puritans prefer to think that realistic candor will ultimately deliver a better result”€”a more stable and unified society”€”than all the formulaic lying, especially as advances in the biological sciences uncover more and more unwelcome truths to vex our self-deceptions. This is the point of view I myself have tried to propagate, plainly with only mixed success.

My friend Mark Brennan and I were talking about class warfare. “€œIt’s cyclical,”€ Mark said as he executed a perfect uchi mata during judo practice.

“€œPerhaps over here,”€ I answered, “€œbut in Europe it’s a way of life.”€

“€œJust look at the 1890s, followed by the crash of 1907, then the Roaring Twenties before the Great Depression, and then the 80s and 90s followed by the crash of 2008,”€ Mark insisted. “€œIt’s cyclical.”€

By then I was too out of breath to counter him, literally as well as metaphorically. The only way to put the pain of extreme effort out of mind is to discuss politics while trying to throw one’s opponent. Our discussion during an extremely tiring session was about class warfare, or what Obama and the Democrats and their ass-wipers such as The New York Times and Washington Post insist are tax breaks only for billionaires who vote Republican.

“€œThe European welfare state has led our prosperous society to an advanced state of moral decay, with a trashy, vulgar culture of neither spiritual nor aesthetic value.”€

Mark is an American, and so am I. But I”€™ve lived in Europe most of my life. What Obama and his media catamites have to say about the rich or well-born I”€™ve been hearing all my life in the Old Continent, and then some. Even my old man blamed it on the class system, one that had performed swimmingly since Roman times until well past World War I. There was an upstairs and a downstairs; you”€™ve seen Downton Abbey and know the rest. People knew their places and stuck to them. Pliny the Younger had two houses, one more showy than the other, where elegant food was matched by deep thought, clever chat, and stunning scenery. It was a Platonic ideal of dining, an event where all the elements were in perfect harmony, although I”€™m not sure the servants agreed.

Listening to some European protesters nowadays, one would think that nothing has changed since Pliny’s time. A leftist Oxford professor told me it was the blithe impenitence of the upper class that drives him up the wall. He said they display a demented disregard for common decency’s humblest demands. When I suggested he get real, he called me a fascist, then asked me to buy him a drink.

As Dorothy Parker once said about horticulture, “€œYou can lead a whore to culture, but you can”€™t make her think.”€ The European welfare state has led our prosperous society to an advanced state of moral decay, with a trashy, vulgar culture of neither spiritual nor aesthetic value. Repulsive behavior has become the norm, crime rates have gone through the roof, and the less fortunate are appeased by the idea that they are only unsuccessful because they aren”€™t propped up by an army of publicly funded bureaucrats. Our British cousins and their world-renowned bad manners are leaders in this field.