The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The First Amendment protects the rude

So sayeth Volokh. Until, well, it doesn't. Here follow some of the slogans which the court took into consideration:

[Chavez] wore a t-shirt with the message, “Fear God” on the front and “Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus” on the back. Fisher wore a t-shirt with the message, “Trust Jesus” on the front and “Fear God and Give Him Glory” on the back, and he carried a banner that said on one side, “Only Jesus Christ Can Save You From Sin and Hell,” and on the other side it said, “Jesus Is the Judge, Therefore, Repent, Be Converted That Your Sins May Be Blotted Out.” Other messages conveyed on t-shirts, signs, or banners displayed by the [other Bible Believers] included, among others, “Fear God,” “Trust Jesus, Repent and Believe in Jesus,” “Prepare to Meet Thy God – Amos 4:12,” “Obey God, Repent,” “Turn or Burn,” “Jesus Is the Way, the Truth and the Life. All Others Are Thieves and Robbers,” and “Islam Is A Religion of Blood and Murder.”

One could easily imagine an evangelical mission unto the Arab population. There could have been trilingual messages in Syriac and Coptic as well as Arabic. Near Eastern Christianity after all boasts a history, a much more venerable history than we Brits can boast. Given that the first-named demonstrator was a Chavez even he might have gone to them as "Ibn al-Hafiz al-Andalusi". But really they needed more Syrians and Copts. Much many more.

I don't think that this anti-Islamic demonstration convinced anybody of anything. What we had there was an exercise in trollery. They wanted their day in court. Well - they got it.

Other models exist. The Chinese understand that "demonstrations" are threats of mob-violence. If you're for 'em, you're for anarchy. Especially if the message just amounts to ape-hooting.

If saying all this puts me on the side of evil, then... well, watch me not care. Wouldn't be the first time these past eleven years.


posted by Zimri on 20:10 | link | 0 comments

Sociopaths and the second gate

Michael Ende's book Die unendliche Geschichte is a meta-fantasy: like Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth or, heavens, Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. For instance, the Swamp(s) of Sadness is clearly a depression analogy. Much that is in the book, therefore, has to do with human character. Maybe all of it; I last read this in translation and many years back. I wish here to discuss one detail that has nagged at me for decades. I just never got around to it here, yet.

So: hero Atreyu is on a quest to save Fantas[t]i[c]a, and must consult the Southern Oracle. The Oracle happens to be a sphinx, or at least a sphinx-spirit; and such requires a test. This test is in three parts, via gates. (I could not resist the pun; apologies.) The first gate tests the petitioner's own self-regard. If he doesn't really think himself worthy, he dies. The second gate then throws this back upon the petitioner. The petitioner is shown his true self, which - if he is evil - he had never ever seen before. (The first gate has already screened out the bad guys who both know and feel their shame.) By going through it, the petitioner would effectively be saying that he didn't mind his other "true" self. The third gate, lastly, screens those who want to meet the Oracle. Anyone who passes all three tests, then, is a disinterested seeker of whatever. Apparently.

[I never much liked the third gate. The Movie agreed and omitted the thing. But I did miss Ygramul the Many, earlier on.]

When I was younger - as in, a day younger - I'd also had a problem with Door Number Two, the mirror. Even as a ten-year-old I wondered if the mirror was just being a jerk. A petitioner who had done good works because he was afraid of evil might be shown an evil image because, hey, G-d has his own standards. I also wondered how many petitioners would see the image, and then shrug and march right through.

Against that I had one revelation today: The villains who turned back screaming could then, on their way out, be frozen / shot by that first gate. These might even welcome their death. As for those who gritted their teeth and marched through the second one - these, too, if they then felt a glimmer of self-doubt, might not be allowed back out. So yes. The mirror in that Mittelzugang was terrible. Literally.

One problem. The Oracle still fails to screen the sociopaths.


posted by Zimri on 17:40 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Saudis are doomed

92% of [presumed Sunni] Arabians under the Saudis accept that the ISIS caliph is a Muslim. (h/t R Spencer again.)

[UPDATE 7:15 PM: I'd earlier wondered if the statistic excluded the Shi`ites along the Gulf. But then I read this quote from the article: This survey will target a specific segment in a particular time period, ranging between one and two months. It will be supervised by an academic to meet the required conditions. Based on this, I suspect the Shi`a wasn't consulted. But still,] I can't see pro-Saud academics and the Sauds themselves agreeing in their own demise. Amongst the average Sunni Arab, the Caliphate has got to be taking support close to unanimous down there.

All the caliph has to do is to neutralise the Assads in Syria. He has already forced the Kurds to rethink it all, and Iraq has collapsed on its own and this before we even bring up the Mosul Dam.

Baghdadi, then, is about done with the Fertile Crescent. He won't be able to do much in Turkey or Iran. But Arabia is, literally, just waiting for him.


posted by Zimri on 18:50 | link | 0 comments

Weird nut posts something on Weird Nut Daily

OBAMA ADMIN REFUSES TO ADMIT HAMAS IS ISIS, says the Atlas Shrugs proprietor. We are all supposed to be outraged. h/t, I guess, to Robert Spencer. Well... Hamas and ISIS really aren't the same.

Let's concede that, within Islam, there can be crossover between sects. To invert a term from the once-Monothelete, now-Catholic Marûnûtâ: Hamas is at this point western-rite Shi`ism. They are in tight alliance with the Hizbullah and with Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood at large is following Hamas's lead. Elsewhere, the Ibadis in Oman have already thrown in with Iran and the Sunnis are split: all over what to do with the caliphate. Even al-Qaeda are afraid of ISIS. Worldwide, the Muslim ulama' are coming around to the same notion: Baghdadi may be Muslim, but he is not their Muslim.

There are several reasons to oppose Hamas, among which I simply take for granted the need to support Israel. But if we are going to support Israel, we need to do it right. Making silly analogies isn't doing it right. Any propagandum has failed if it is debunked.


posted by Zimri on 18:03 | link | 0 comments

Monday, August 25, 2014

Filioque

The so-called "Nicene" creed:

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.

Catholics and their Prot offspring do the "and the Son". Orthodox communions don't.

I wonder if what we have here, is a (clumsy) attempt by the West to carve out a separate space for the Church. They would say of the East - Of course God's command comes from the one God. Of course hierarchy is good. But... the restriction of the Spirit to the Father chains up Christ and leads to Arianism. Incidentally it also encourages subordinational thought generally on Earth.

Which brings us to Islam. The Western Church had seen a lot of Islam as of the mid-1000s. They were contesting Spain and Sicily, they worried about the molestation of pilgrims in Palestine and they were soon to embark upon the Crusade. The West, by splitting the Spirit between Father and Son, allowed for dual sources of inspiration: a holy Empire and a holy Church.

If that was filioque's intent, I don't think the analogy translated well. On its own terms it's never made sense. The Byzantines didn't like it either; it resulted in the 1054 schism.

I could just be missing something.


posted by Zimri on 21:55 | link | 0 comments

Âshtinâmeh

I have just now via email (thanks, "Maxim") been alerted to the Âshtinâmeh.

I know of several other sulh-pacts in this general format. If you flip through the translation of Baladhuri’s Futuh al-Buldan you’ll see some examples: treaties with Yemeni notables, mainly. Several more are footnoted in Robinson's book Empire and Elites. And I won't dismiss these pacts out of hand. The so-called Constitution of Madina is usually thought to be a compilation of pacts with Hijazi Arabs and Jews from the Prophet’s time. There also survives a Pact of Umar; although this one is more likely a codification of later practice (Milka Levy-Rubin, Non-Muslims in the Early Islamic Empire).

The Âshtinâmeh for its own part quotes from sura 29. I happen to think that sura 29 belongs to the Marwânî era. This makes me suspect the Âshtinâmeh, too, as late (or at least as interpolated). Worse, the repetitive disavowals of poll-tax make me suspect special-pleading - a Christian origin. And where is this document in the Arabic sources? Where is it in Baladhuri? Where in Ibn Asakir and the historians in Egypt?

I would, myself, pin this forgery upon the monks living under the early `Abbasids. First, the very term âshti-nâmeh is Persian. Mainly, that sect's takeover was about when Palestinian communities worried about the “new deal” they’d be getting. Milka Levy-Rubin has also penned a translation of the Samaritan chronicle; this shows how rough the Syrians had it. Ditto the Christian chronicle at Zuqnin. Further south at Sinai, the `Abbasids were getting further from their Iraqi / Khurasani base and too close to Egypt’s vast population. More generous terms could be negotiated there. They still had to be negotiated.

The document wouldn't be fit for display to the historians. This was shown to Muslim bands who had been hoping to shake the monks down.


posted by Zimri on 19:21 | link | 0 comments

Baghdadi leaves Sunnism

It is often mooted around the blogosphere that Zawahiri and al-Qaeda have kicked Baghdadi from their ranks. I've done some cursory googling; expulsion doesn't quite fit what happened.

In one document, al-Qaeda's amir Zawahiri has more been assuming that he's the leader of the Jihad, and that Baghdadi is a rogue subordinate. Baghdadi, instead, understands himself as having rejected al-Qaeda.

The Islamic extremists of al-Qaeda are Sunnis. However extreme they are, they are proud to sit within the tradition of Hanbali fiqh. To paraphrase "Berserker" @ace last night: Baghdadi is the freebase version of Islam's coca-leaf.

Anyway, now, Baghdadi has gone on to fatwa the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as apostates. He also wants to rid Mecca of the Black Stone.

Baghdadi is not willing to be a vessel of Sunnism and al-Azhar University. He sees himself as the caliph, in line from `Abd al-Malik. The Sunna doesn't bind him. The Caliph of God binds the Sunna. Sunnism rejects the very need for a caliph beyond a figurehead and so is a heresy in Baghdadi's Islam.


posted by Zimri on 18:34 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Holocaust revisionism of David Cole (Stein)

The terlit hobo's been at it again: reviewing Republican Party Animal. Scroll down to #29 in lieu of pixyware. I didn't say much there on the "Holocaust revisionism" thing; so I'll do that here.

As you know - as I've mentioned last month - I am not a fan of most people working the revisionist beat on that particular topic. I find the average commenter on the "holohoax" to be an antiSemite. The above-average poster here is an obsessive antiSemite. Since [blahblahblah]: when someone like this shows up spewing his talking-points, I tune out.

We cannot dismiss Cole as in this "denialist" camp. If we are to trust his book, he was never in this camp. The man is a freakin' Zionist for G-d's sake. He was at most guilty of corresponding with and abetting said camp (to his own stated regret, in the case of some in it). This was enough to get the JDL to declare him a Kapo and to issue a bounty on him. It was also enough to get a bunch of historians and museum-curators to dial back on their claims.

So, this is what we get from RPA's appendix: the Holocaust probably shouldn't even be thought of as "the Holocaust". The mass murders were the end-result of several situational atrocities, more the result of an absence of policy on the ground than of a deliberate decision by Hitler and his boys. Hitler was AWOL on what to do with civilian minorities, says Cole; mostly he was prosecuting a war. The next tier down, people like Goebbels and Goering, wanted slave-labour from able-bodied Jews (and others).

What I was reminded of, was Snyder's Bloodlands. Bloodlands for its part says exactly that: the Nazi invasions were brilliantly planned as far as defeating enemies was concerned, terrible for dealing with the new subjects of the newly-expanded Reich. We read a long and depressing litany of whole communities gunned down out of hand, not because of orders and not even because the local authorities disliked them personally - but just because these pathetic schlubs weren't convenient.

Now, those other missing postwar Jews - what does Cole say of them? First, many hoofed it. Still more died of disease or old age. Many of the Jews who were actually killed, were killed after the war - by Poles and so on, when they went home to reclaim their own homes. (One such sordid occasion is depicted in Spiegelman's Maus.) Others went underground as Hungarians or Poles or whatever, and failed to tell their children. In situ, the next generations failed to bear children as Jews in these tumultuous times. (Children like this guy.)

To offer up an analogy from another atrocity, think of Cromwell in Ireland. Does this make Cole a "denier" or even a minimiser of what happened? Hardly. He fucking hates Hitler. For my part I still find myself hating Uncle Addie just as much as I always did. Nazis suck; so do their apologists. None of Cole's claims change anything except maybe our degree of understanding.

Cole was, as others have noted, ahead of his time. It may even be thanks to Cole, that Snyder was able to write Bloodlands without all the clutter from the JDL-Jewish mythology around the subject (which, to be fair to Spiegelman, we didn't get from Maus either).


posted by Zimri on 19:31 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cory Gardner hates private spaceflight

Congress has only the power to regulate. h.t. Maet.

Again: Coloradans, please do not vote for this man.


posted by Zimri on 20:09 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Why the Islamic State kills minorities

A few weeks back, Vox Day pointed out that diaspora Judaism and the Zionist nation of Israel - though not the same - have been acting in concert. This has led certain Europeans, and certain other Near Easterners living in Europe, to assume that the one is an agent for the other. As example, we might look to Jews in Sweden who fly Israeli flags in their neighbourhoods and, oh my, look at the reaction they get.

I am compromised mine own self. I am not just part-Jewish but part-Israeli, and staunchly Zionist. This is why I hadn't posted about this earlier - despite that the logic is inexorable, that Zionist Jews living abroad have dual loyalties. I admit it; it's all true, and certainly true in my case. But since it's so personal, I wouldn't have been able to post anything coherent on the topic until I'd calmed down some.

Back to Vox, and to the topic: he subsequently went into even darker territory, culminating in this epic on how come Jews have been booted out of so many countries over their history. I might have an idea about that - which follows on why Baghdadi's caliphate has behaved as brutally toward their minorities as they have.

The caliphate understands what the Young Turks understood: that minorities are okay when they know their place, but that minorities are always on the lookout to improve their own position. Where there is a foreign government on the prowl, the foreigners can easily make a separate bargain with the local minorities. Christian nations like Russia and, before them, the Byzantines have historically appealed to local Christians: back then, they reached out to Melkites and Maronites, and in the 1800s to Orthodox Armenians and Syrians. Under Clinton, the US took the side of the Bosniaks and then of the Albanians. Obama is a gnostic and a follower of Alinsky the Luciferian. Vox would probably say that Jews have set half a foot in the Islamic camp historically, as with Andalusia, and he'd be right; although these days, I think that any Jew with a firing neuron is wise to the impossibility of longterm peace with that bunch.

For an action, a reaction - if the targetted entity has any survival-interest. Against the Tsar, the Young Turks purged the Armenians. Against Clinton, Milosevic tried to purge the Kosovars. And now the caliphate is exterminating the followers of the Peacock Angel. (We've already linked about the Jews.)

So I cannot condemn V.D. for making simple observations and for extrapolating thence. There are some points we could dispute with him - and I absolutely have done, when he assumes that Gazans are a people but that the Israelis are not.

This blog on the other hand has consistently held to a proposition, that ethnic-cleansing, even genocide and - more so - political oppression all depends on whether the targets deserve it. I don't happen to think that the Yazidis or the Near Eastern Christians deserve it. (Jews aside.)

I do think that Hamas and the caliph deserve it. They're upfront about their desire to raise the black banner over the White House.

So that brings us full-circle. Do we retract and hold our own minorities (including myself) in suspicion? or do we learn from our minorities and turn this dynamic against our enemies - and support our friends in the enemy camp?


posted by Zimri on 21:11 | link | 0 comments

The Koch Brothers and Cory Gardner

Via AmRen: Koch Brothers Reach Out to Hispanics. I mean, besides the support of Cato which - in turn - supported the Bush amnesty.

Gardner's opponents in Colorado would like us to know that the Koch Bro's be supporting Gardner, too. The Kochs are thick with McConnell and Rubio as well. (And, whilst we're on topic of McConnell...)

Gardner must not win the election. It's sad to say it, but it's true.


posted by Zimri on 19:18 | link | 0 comments

Monday, August 11, 2014

Death of a Gramscian

The Birdcage: Conservatives want to stop you from having a good time and from living your life. Homosexuals are just like us.

Dead Poets Society: Authority is limiting and deadening. Rebellion is life.

Good Morning Vietnam: The Viet Cong were the good guys. The only Viets supporting the southern government were whores. (The American troops were okay though... just misguided, mostly.)

Good Will Hunting: Howard Zinn! You like them apples?

After a certain point, you start wondering if there's a pattern...

Anyway, rest in peace, Robin Williams, for the sake of Aladdin at least. We can be grateful that Good Morning Vietnam didn't go as far as Casualties of War or Full Metal Jacket went (it was more like Platoon in spirit). And we are all agreed that depression is horrible.

Perhaps, with some of these hateful movies, the poor man was misled.

UPDATE: Here are some films which can at least be mined for Right messages: Aladdin, Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire.

UPDATE 8/12: Oh, Lauren Bacall? Have fun in Hades.


posted by Zimri on 18:03 | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Motte, Bailey

I know I'm late, but here's Scott Alexander from last month. I figured I'd post it so that I can get access to the article, and to the link, for when I have need of it. (Like when I was discussing Pascal-Complete arguments a few years ago.)

The classic example will be the Christian insistence that the only reason they are persecuted is because they say "Jesus is Lord". How simple a thing! Likewise, the movie The Message wanted us to sympathise with the man who was tortured because he said "no god but Allah and Muhammad is His prophet". You might also try this link.

Thanks to Mr Alexander, one more rhetorical trick is unveiled.


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

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Unqualified Reservations is ... out

Real-life has intruded, the Moldbug has been outed, the person behind the blog is an Aspie who cannot recant what he believes . . . and so the era ends.

For junkies, we have the third unfinished post by Radish. Hey, unfinished content is content.


posted by Zimri on 21:15 | link | 0 comments

Hotels.com joins the Congress Party

So I got this in the email from one Neha Parikh (probably not this Neha Parikh):

Hopefully you've heard about a movement we recently launched- the Vacation Equality Project. It raises a glaring question: Why is the United States the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee paid vacation time for workers? In an independent poll, we found that a majority of Americans were unaware of this, and would be in favor of guaranteed paid vacation. So the Vacation Equality Project is our effort to drive awareness and change.

I understand this is a complex topic and there are multiple points of view. The freedom we have as Americans to debate ideas openly and civilly is a wonderful thing.

It's important that I share with you why I support this movement. I was convinced by studies that suggest paid vacation would lead to a healthier and more productive workforce, and by research that shows how the economy would benefit. I agree with the 83% of Americans who believe vacation brings families closer.

So please visit the Vacation Equality Project and, if you agree, sign our petition asking the White House to support the call for change.

Rent seekers gotta seek rent.

Hoteliers will be asked to grant this (state-) guaranteed paid vacation time too, of course... except that Neha Parikh won't be affected. She'll employ her cousins who won't need to ask for this time, and illegal aliens who won't dare ask.

I recommend to my dear readers that they boycott the bedbug farms known as "hotels" in this country. At least whilst these outfits're supporting self-serving regulations like this.

I did get special chuckles from that forced "Equality!" signalling though. I smell the sweet cologne of... desperation. Hoteliers know they're Chamber Of Commerce bitches, and they know they've no hope of survival absent direct Federal intervention. Ayn Rand the Prophet, once again.


posted by Zimri on 18:39 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Elrond and Celebrian

The reason Elrond does not rejoin Celebrian in the West is because Elrond lives in purgatory.

Elrond and Celebrian both know what happened when Celebrian was abducted. If it were a simple matter of Celebrian being wounded, Elrond would have followed her - to the literal End. If Celebrian had considered herself irrevocably broken, the relevant sin is Despair: she would have committed suicide. Elrond did not follow and Celebrian did not die. We have to conclude that something else happened.

Celebrian chose to preserve the life within her; Elrond could not accept this. This is why Celebrian was worthy of the Undying Lands. Elrond stayed behind in this mittel Earth.


posted by Zimri on 21:25 | link | 0 comments

The Orthodox wake up

Muslims do not differ from the Jews, says a Lebanese Orthodox bishop, in terms of treating Christians. Robert Spencer calls him on that at least as applicable to Israel.

I've never had much time for the Syriac hierarchy, nor for the Coptic hierarchy for that matter. Quite frankly the local priesthoods have done nothing - nothing - to protect or expand their flocks over the past few generations. It was always easier to rant against the Joooos hand-in-hand with their Muslim and Arab brothers to paraphrase the Copts' spiritual Pope.

Still, at least now some local Nasranis have put the lie to sura 5. At least now these Christians understand that at least The Juice aren't a shared enemy.


posted by Zimri on 19:08 | link | 0 comments

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