The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, October 19, 2014

It's happening

Throne of Glass is back in process. It's at 128 pages of main text. If it's still printable it'll be available for purchase tomorrow.

UPDATE 10/20/2014 1 AM: Oh yeah. Before it's actually purchasable on Amazon, here's the CreateSpace link.

House of War reached 127 pages only in its "2.1" version, May 2013 - which is the version which got reviewed. I don't feel so bad, now, that Throne of Glass has taken me 19 months (March 2013 - October 2014). That's almost as much time as the first one really took (January 2012 - May 2013). Really what I should be regretting is that I'd rushed out those too-early version-one's of that first one.

Some may worry that this new book isn't quite done either. To answer that concern, my experience with the first one had taught me to take more care with the manuscripts. So I don't anticipate such a scramble to fix bugs this time 'round.

I'll certainly consider what further reviewers think of, well, all of it. Also, I have in mind one further project: I've dribbled out so many miscellaneous essays on my site that it's becoming worth my while to do a followup to The Arabs and Their Qur'an. It would be after that, that I'd consider going through all of these books to correct whatever errors linger there, and by the way to update the cross-referencing links. But there shouldn't be any face-palm moments like, oh, attributing sura 37 to the rebels or reading "Yemen" into Q. 28:44-46. The first edition is complete enough.


posted by Zimri on 13:39 | link | 0 comments

Friday, October 17, 2014

Yeah, this was weird

The main difference between neocons (as I was, back then) and general Bush loyalists: we were 1980s-era liberals who took our liberalism seriously. Among what we'd counted as "liberal" was opposition to Saddam Hussein, especially after he'd gassed all those Kurds. When Bush Senior reconquered Kuwait, we applauded; when he didn't go on to liberate the rest of Iraq, we voted for Clinton or Perot. (I wasn't a citizen then, so I didn't vote, but I supported Perot. By that point I'd become more an O'Rourke libertarian with a touch of nativism.)

So when Bush Junior showed up, he offered that possibility of getting that Iraq thing dealt with. Iraq after all had those WMDs; Saddam had used them on those Kurds I've just mentioned. So it was clear that something would be found. In fact one worry of the time was that if the Americans had been as weak as Saddam's brownnoses had told him we were, and we'd stalemated outside some cities, those old stockpiles would have been used on us. That didn't happen very much (I'm getting to that), and I'm glad of that; but those stockpiles were found.

But nothing was said. At least - the administration and its Left opposition agreed it wouldn't be said. Sure, out in the blogs stuff was said (Ace, for one); and even I'd said stuff along those lines, at least in comments. But it wasn't said by Bush.

So now, well... it's getting brought up again. The GOP knew what we bloggers knew what we read in the papers. But the GOP let the bloggers handle it all. The GOP wouldn't argue its own message. (Another hat-tip to Ace.) And this told the voters that the GOP didn't believe in that message.

One reason I'm not so gung-ho on getting Republicans elected this time 'round is that I remember how the GOP left us bloggers hanging so many other times 'round.


posted by Zimri on 20:25 | link | 0 comments

ThreeJays on Gardner

Deadspin recently has given to us anti-Gardnerians a lesson on how not to take down a candidate. If anything they've now given to all of us frightened of a politicised media (including me) reason to go against Udall - who supports a veto on non-media free-speech.

Still, there's this, from the comments, by one ThreeJays:

I think my politics are mixed, but it's hard to argue that endorsing creationism in the face of demonstrable science, defiantly calling oneself pro-life while supporting the death penalty and wars that kill innocents, and denying that climate change exists; then saying it does and humans contribute, then backtracking and saying, "I'm not a scientist...", and again putting climate change into issue (even though 97% of scientists agree on the issue), is anything but honest or consistent.

We are sorely tempted to call out ThreeJays, the person, as a slimy and disgusting liar. If his politics were "mixed", he'd know that being pro-life does not entail being merciful to - for instance - murderers, especially murderers who are likely to repeat their crimes.

ThreeJays would also be a lot more careful about calling people who question the received faith of Climate Change, "deniers"; or, for that matter, "dishonest". The only factor staying my hand is the possibility ThreeJays might be eating his own dogfood. It is common among Cathedral believers to hold that their axiomata are just Science - which in this case they actually are - except that the believers haven't grokked that "science" means that these statements aren't axiomatic. No statement is axiomatic in science. (Math department's down the hall, bro.) A true scientist would be reading Watt's Up With That.

Well, I'll still call ThreeJays out on one thing. ThreeJays is lying about the pro-life / capital-punishment relationship, which I'm surprised he doesn't just out and call an "Axis".

ThreeJays's personal life as a lying hack and probable astroturfer aside... he does offer points which go to Gardner's inconsistency. Some digging - okay, I just googled - turned up that Gardner has a very mixed record on Climate Change (his support of birdblenders alone has been documented on this very blog; which is a clear "tell" for a climate panderer). Gardner also supports that amendment on "personhood" (anti-abortion), to one audience; but he vacillates to the other audience. Well, which is it?

Based on Gardner's other stances, and his professions to not really being a Republican at all these days: I think I can tell you. Gardner is very happy to accept the extra turnout from the Republican base. Gardner's answer on "personhood" in general is that it is very important that Gardner be elected. Vote for him and your views on "personhood" will be very... *koff* [babble] oh look at the time.

Gardner is just as much a doubletalking weasel as is ThreeJays. But here is the difference - ThreeJays ain't in the running to be my Senator. Gardner is. So I'll give Gardner as many votes as I'd give ThreeJays.


posted by Zimri on 18:10 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gardner's protection racket

Here is the non-Udall candidate yet again: Republican Rep. Cory Gardner argued he would be more bipartisan than his opponent, Democratic Sen. Mark Udall, in a pair of ads released Wednesday as ballots began to land in mailboxes across Colorado.

In a year when the Democrats' brand is worse than it's been since Mondale failed to win, Gardner is running on the platform that the difference doesn't matter to him.

Why, then, should it matter to me?


posted by Zimri on 17:43 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Learning to youtube

My first attempt at lecturing at a videocamera: Intertextuality in the Qur’ân. Here's the summary:

This lecture explains how a study of intertextuality in the Qur'an may help us understand the Qur'an. Its core is a summary of and extrapolation from E E Elder, "Parallel Passages in the Qur'an (the Moses story)", in The Moslem World (1925). Elder had proven that sura 28 used both suras 20 and 27 for its Moses story.

It further argues that sura 28 could only have done that if its author believed that its sources were lacking. It is here shown what Elder did not know, that many early Muslims especially in al-Kûfa *did* object to suras 20 and 27. Sura 28, then, is their replacement; and it was not composed by the same person(s) as composed those earlier two.

(This is what I was trying to do earlier on this desktop. I gave up and did all the editing on the laptop instead.)

As for Throne of Glass: I got the proof-copy from the printer yesterday, and have been marking up various passages in it. Progress is being made. This video I have posted is (subtly) a teaser for that, and for the essays of The Arabs and Their Qur'an.


posted by Zimri on 18:51 | link | 0 comments

Driver woes

Since I bought the desktop for this house, an HP Pavilion with AMD Radeon HD 6450 around October 2011 ish, I've always had problems with the graphics card crapping out on me. Even the mail program would freeze up.

All the Windows Updates in the world wouldn't fix it. HP Pavilion quit keeping up to speed at the end of 2012: 8.892 is as far as they'll go with AMD. The AMD Catalyst updates got me to version 8.960 (and Catalyst 13.1); but their support pages won't handle AMD Radeon HD 6450 anymore either. I *did* manage to get at least the mail program working... last year... when I bought a controller for a new monitor.

It turns out my BIOS was from July of 2011, AMI version 7.11. HP got me to version 7.16.

For AMD, although you can't drop down into 6450 anymore, it does let you download an AMD autodetector. This got me to 14.301. I think.

Will reboot now.

UPDATE 1 PM: Well, now the whole Catalyst centre host, CCC.exe, is foxxered. And this turd of a system STILL craps out.

UPDATE 11 PM: How to clean boot. That fixed at least CCC.exe.... until I got into and out of the Catalyst centre again. Not sure which crapware, exactly, blowed up da owl. Maybe all of it.


posted by Zimri on 12:32 | link | 0 comments

Friday, October 10, 2014

Upload #95: Champion

I had a couple of unwieldy parallel footnotes in "In Ranks" and "Logothete", on topic of that shi`ar preserved in Theophanes. These had been making those projects get updated a little more regularly than I like.

It turns out that there is more to it. It might be another 70s / 690s witness to the written Furqan - which its first historian, Trajan, didn't note as such. So, those two aforementioned projects are fixed, and there's a new one: "Ekdikos". It's not going into Throne of Glass on account that it's tied in best with sura 25, not so much suras 26-28. So really it should have been in The Arabs and their Qur'an. D'oh.

"Iconoclast" and "Interceding" have also taken on some tweaks.

Madrassa.


posted by Zimri on 22:11 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

In defence of Ben Affleck

Ulsterman: Miramax Studios was bought by Qatar in 2010. Miramax owns rights to most of Affleck's past/ future studio projects. By the way, this is true, with a few nitpicks. Qatar Holding is QIA; it is controlled by Qatar's amir. Qatar-as-nation is, likewise, held by said amir. Want to know another of the amir's little investments? The caliphate.

To be fair, going back to Affleck, he bravely stood against the Islamic Republic in Argo.... oh wait. That was a Shi`î Islamic regime. Which gulf-coast Sunnite Qatar hates more than it hates us infidels.


posted by Zimri on 19:15 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Miqyâs

In Egypt, before Nasser dammed the Nile at Syene, the entire economy depended upon the annual floods.

Sometimes the water got too deep; such an event is noted by Agapius for the late 40s / 660s, which event he appends to the Syrian Source's note on the flood in Edessa / Urfa. Such is also noted of the time of Bronze Age pharaoh Kamose, nowadays thought to coincide with the Thera volcano. Storms in the Nile region tend to coincide with global cooling.

Because of worries about these floods, rulers of Egypt have taken it upon themselves to measure the volume of the river. Such a "nilometer", in Arabic, is a miqyâs.

I've been wondering about a time the Egyptians faced drought. What brought this on, was Roger Pearse's recent posting of Anthony Alcock's translations. One is the Siirt Chronicle; I'm not so concerned with that. The other is Pseudo-Athanasius. To whit:

The river of Egypt will become weak and so low that people will be able to walk across it. Then God will take control of the river not to let water come upon the land for many years because of the sins of those who live in it. So many people and animals will perish from that harsh drought. And even if God is pleased to bring it upon the land for years ... and it is very little. And then transgression will increase very greatly [5 lines] and the dew and the rain not to allow them to come down on the land. For this reason too the earth will be unable to produces its fruits. A great seed will taken from the field and little will be reaped, because the lawlessness of the children has increased greatly upon the earth. God has taken away His blessing on the earth from all that grows in the fields, the vineyards, the olive trees and the rest of the fruits of the earth. There will be much death from pestilence, as the Saviour said in the Holy Gospel: Pestilence will be everywhere.

The woes go on:

The fishermen will weep that their fish have disappeared in the waters of the river. The sailors will grieve that the water of the river has declined and that they are no longer able to sail on it with ease. The craftsmen of the land will grieve that their crafts have fallen into neglect. Trade has been ruined in the whole country.

This drought was clearly the most important event of our preacher's time. All we really know of Ps-Athan is that he was writing when Damascus was the capital, or had been made the capital; and that recently the caliphate was making a big push to re-strike Byzantine gold into Islamic glyphs, to take the census, to collect tax and so on. On these grounds Robert Hoyland in Seeing Islam narrowed Ps-Athan to 75-125 / 695-745. I would narrow it further: there is a real question about whether Sulayman even had a consistent capital, and whether Hisham counts - since he'd set up camp at Rusafa. I am also surprised not to see mention of the attack on Constantinople. This gets us to 75-95 / 695-715, still not too helpful.

Now that we have the full Ps-Athan, we know to look for the fall of the Nile in these decades. Such seems to have hit under al-Walid's last days or the building-project days of Sulayman; such from the bio of patriarch Alexander II.

Back to the miqyâs: We have one from Usama bin Zayd. It was commanded by al-Walid in Maqrizi, Khitat; Ibn Abd al-Hakam, Futuh; by his successor Sulayman in Masudi, Muruj and Suyuti, Husn. For these refs I owe Petra Sijpesteijn, Shaping a Muslim State, 20 (with a modest correction for Masudi). We also have a Syrian record of epic hailstorms over the early 90s / 710s. So - climate seems to have had a hiccup in those days.

UPDATE 10/6/2014: Alcock has an academia site. But really, for more serious dives into the material (and for scholarly citations) you should use Francisco Martinez's dissertation instead (because this has detail, where Alcock only offers a bare translation - and, to be fair, isn't pretending to anything more). Martinez's work is on scribd here: Early Christian Apocalyptic in the Early Muslim Period, free to read but downloadable only with an account.


posted by Zimri on 10:41 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Iran executes a biblical critic

Is the Book of Jonah, and by extension the Qur'anic references thereto, a symbolic tale?

The Ayatollah begs to differ.


posted by Zimri on 19:02 | link | 0 comments

Distance

Charles Clymer argues that the focus shouldn't be on Julia Pierson.

I would agree that there are plenty of people down that chain-of-command who should be punished just as hard as Pierson. However, what I didn't understand was the feminist angle - I mean, if a woman in authority screws up, she should get rapped just like if it was a man. Even the womenfolk aren't rallying around Pierson. Those Womenfolk who like Obama and (for whatever reason) Reid, and who worry about Right Wing Extremism - which does exist - have especially good reason to desire competent SS protection - which protection, Pierson has demonstrably not provided.

But then I read... Charles Clymer's website.

I am going to say the following as nicely and delicately as I can. I don't think that Clymer's focus should be on female empowerment right-or-wrong. In fact I suggest he avoid politics entirely for a few months. I think that his talents, which he does have, would be best employed in a less partisan matrix.


posted by Zimri on 18:46 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Charter schools will save our children, II

Springs Charter Schools in Temecula, California, pulled all Christian books. h/t, 8chan /pol/, the real /pol/.

As the /pol/tards are noting, it is likely that the Qur'an and Martin Luther King are still on the shelf; in fact, I would bet that CS Lewis is still on the shelf. But... we have this:

We do not purchase sectarian educational materials and do not allow sectarian materials on our state-authorized lending shelves ... We are a public school, and as such, we are barred by law from purchasing sectarian curriculum materials with state funds. We only keep on our shelves the books that we are authorized to purchase with public funds.

This means that the school is invoking State power to censor stuff it doesn't like. CS Lewis will be viewed as historically significant until he's not.

For a previous example of charter schools being wonderful liberators of our children from failing ideologically-driven public schools, go here.


posted by Zimri on 20:41 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Khurasans... whu?

Obama bombed some depots and oil-rigs recently. These were held by the caliph and by various amirs. (So they would probably count as in the teens or at least low-twenties of "sites holiest in Islam". ... okay. Sorry. Low blow. And digression.) Among the targets were ISIS, which we know about; and "the Khurasans", which we don't.

I kind of get the apocalyptic Islamic nuances of Khurasan. Black banners from the east and all that. But... what has Khurasan to do with Syria?

I should have smelled bullshit. Zerohedge calls bullshit on Khurasan.

UPDATE 9/27/2014: Andrew McCarthy - the Blind Shaykh prosecutor - agrees there is no such thing. But in all his tl;dr he doesn't tell us on what basis he derives that, besides "because blind shaykh". (I suspect Zerohedge taken without attribution, perhaps indirectly via some other evilblog he refuses to credit.)

Meh. National Review's not been useful for quite some time and, since Derb, I suspect the integrity of everyone left. By contrast, here's one who did some original reporting, post-McCarthy, and acknowledged the inspiration ... and some real sources: Cultural Jihad. (h/t Google and counterjihadreport.com.)


posted by Zimri on 19:17 | link | 0 comments

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