The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Oh for g-d's sake

I just looked at my Chrome browser history. Apparently every time I have opened Google, since 15 January, a background process has done a search on "Ivanka Trump". This is not by my consent nor even knowledge. The various adblocks and virus protections here have done nothing about it.

Anyway: annoying. Also, worrying. I may be an obsessive with my share of other Issues but stalking people is not among my sins, much less people with a Social Security detail.

posted by Zimri on 19:40 | link | 0 comments

Meanwhile, in Syria

Since our President, and his various "conservative" supporters, and the mainstream Democrats aren't bothering with Syrian Twitter - that much is now up to us "alt righters".

I gather that Assad had made a deal with some rebel groups - not ISIS - to swap civilian populations. Assad was trying to pull Shiite families out of Kafaria and Fouaa. Get this: the rebels lied.

One witness at AlRashedeen is saying the rebels waved a bag of crisps at the starving refugee children. When they got enough children close ... boom. Death toll is now at 118; 224, injured. I expect the former horrible statistic to rise.

Maytham (having thankfully changed his profile again) tweets:

Dear in #EU and #France in particular,
This is what awaits you if you continue supporting terrorism.
Today it is us, tomorrow it is you!

Horrible things do happen in war. But this attack wasn't against a police checkpoint where civilians happened to be standing around, bad as that is. This attack was against the civilians directly.

Back here in America, I notice that Trump's base has become very, very divided. In particular I hear calls to get Ivanka Trump out of the White House. For all her influence in her father's White House, which now includes emboldening Qaeda in Syria, she is still getting no love from the Left. I submit that Ivanka has done harm to Brand Trump on the Right, and that she's not bringing anything to the table from the Left. If Donald won't consider the damage she has done internationally, I hope he at least considers that she is now a political liability.

posted by Zimri on 19:28 | link | 0 comments

"The Police betrayed us."

A Venezuelan exile group in DC has written to Fox News, on the long coup by which the Chavistas have entirely centralised power and wealth to themselves, and reduced their nation to serfdom. The main tactic was to take over the judiciary. As a result, Venezuela is now a country where the law is simply a racket.

Some Trump supporters attempted to hold a rally in Berkeley, as is their Constitutional right, especially given that Trump was legally elected (whatever you think of his policies). The cops arrested some of them for, I don't know what, "disturbing the peace" or whatever Erdoganish buzzword. The cops did not arrest thugs who wore masks, Klan-like, to carry out their dirty deeds. All this of course rallied the anti-Trumpers there, of which Berkeley has many, to redouble their physical assaults.

The Left's disregard for law enforcement is well known. What happens when the Right decides it agrees?

posted by Zimri on 17:16 | link | 0 comments

Friday, April 14, 2017

Disinformation: information that supports the other guy

Leftists like George Stephanopoulos want the media to censor politicians who won't accept reality. Reality, in the minds of Leftists, is whatever Leftists have decided upon in advance. Whatever nagging little facts are out there that don't support him, they don't count, they're not part of the reality. Stephanopoulos, in short, is a creature of the Matrix. President Trump's circle unfortunately has attracted such vermin as well.

Elsewhere the increasingly unreadable Stephen Green at Instapundit approvingly links, as "Occam's Razor", that Analysts identify #SyriaHoax as Russian-fueled propaganda - still the title on the URL, but in the article now titled Behind #SyriaHoax and the Russian propaganda onslaught.

Over the past week, on break from blogging, I noticed a lot of pro-and-con over Trump's decision to fire some rockets at a Syrian airfield. For background: the Syrians (and Russians) were using that field to bomb outposts of Syrian rebels. The rebels are led by the Qa'ida, those lovely folks who'd contributed so much to New York's skyline a decade-and-half back. (ISIS is a splinter of them.) One nest of such has lodged itself in the city Idlib; the Syrians and/or Russians recently offloaded some ordnance there, with the usual Syrian and Russian disdain for whoever else might be standing around ground-zero. The rebels swiftly put out a statement that sarin gas was in the warhead. One such rebel, Shajul Islam, has a... history.

Meanwhile if you read loyalist Syrian twitter directed at Anglos, you find much gratitude to Assad's government for protecting Christianity in its cradle-province. The Arab orthodox agree: they say that in Syria (and Lebanon) the Christians do not consider themselves "minorities". In Assad's rump state, which has basically left ISIS and the Kurds for other nations, that might even be true.

In particular maytham's twitter links to an image of children killed in that Syrian raid. Many corpses look like they were hit in the head. This could be the fallout from an indiscriminate bomb. That is bad, but it's not sarin. It can happen when Qaeda types gather children (and women) as human shields, which they can use as propaganda when a strike hits their men. Israel is very, very used to this tactic of "fourth generation war".

As we return to those "analysts" whose word Green is taking, I read this:

Senator Mark Warner, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating those efforts, says a close examination of the evidence so far reveals a disturbing timeline running throughout the campaign. WikiLeak's release of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's Russian-hacked emails -- just 29 minutes after The Washington Post published an explosive video showing Donald Trump making sexually explicit comments during an Access Hollywood shoot -- raised particular concerns.

"That was more than coincidence," Warner said. "It is so outrageous that a foreign nation came in and manipulated our news, hacked into personal information leaked it out on a selective basis."

According to Ciaran Martin, the head of a newly created national cybersecurity operation at Britain's GCHQ, which provided U.S. officials with the first indication that the Russians had hacked the Democratic Party, activity like this hasn't slowed down since the presidential election in November. It's actually on the rise.

The same people who have been attacking Wikileaks as "dis-" information and RUSSIAN HAQ$0R2 are now attacking the skeptics of Qaeda's claims here. And note that Wikileaks didn't leak anything untrue. That wasn't дезинформация in the old Soviet sense. This was actual information, data that the American electorate needed to know about the Washington ruling-class and its party.

Add to that Assad had no motive to unleash poison gas at this point in his war, which he is basically winning. All this suggests a new "Occam Razor": that when our masters in the West cry "disinformation!" they mean nothing but information that happens to be dis-helpful, to them.

PS, re the American missile attack: Maybe Trump is playing a longer game. And Assad and his fanclub do deserve a rocket or dozen; maytham's recent profile-pic of Kim Jong Un isn't cute, and I could definitely live without the antiSemitism from that camp as well. But Trump's pretext was damn lame. It's going to come back and bite us. I just have to hope that it was worth what's coming.

posted by Zimri on 19:38 | link | 0 comments

So much for the Gospel of the Saviour

Alan Suciu has revisited the Berlin Papyrus 22220. It is an anti-Chalcedonian "apostolic memoir", probably laundered through a fake patristic citation... like the Secret Gospel of Mark was. Inasmuch as Paul Mirecki and Charles Hedrick claimed the 22220 as a gospel, they are debunked.

This blog and Mirecki (especially) go some ways back, although I much doubt either scholar reads here. In June 2002 I wrote mine own little project on the 22220, just for giggles, and posted it on my old AT&T site now expired. I accepted Mirecki and Hedrick that the 22220 was a gospel, but I was unsatisfied with their choice(s) of genres. On 6 June I decided instead that it resembled a "visionary gospel", a genre I pretty much had to define myself, just to account for this one; I posted and announced a mini-project to that effect two days later. The "visionary gospel" genre would include any collection of long visions and secret teachings from Christ. These were - I thought - usually in the form of post-resurrection appearances: a stirling example would be the Secret Book of James.

The 22220 happened to be backdated to Jesus' life. To that, I noted that the Gospel of Luke imposes a forty-day limit on Jesus' post-resurrection life on this Earth. This limit had constrained the The Epistle of Peter to Philip. I figured that, for a setting of Sooper Sekrits, the Last Supper would do just as well; and so did the 22220's author, whatever genre you want to assign it.

Whether you agree with me that the visionary-gospel genre is a thing, and whatever the 22220 is - I was always contemptuous of that strain of literature, and I don't much like the 22220 in particular. (Not the fault of Mirecki nor of Hedrick!) As a result I did just enough "work" on the text to associate it with the genre, and to be rid of it. Bart Ehrman later on included the work in his collection of apocrypha; at the time I wished he hadn't. Meanwhile here on this blog I defended Mirecki against some personal drama, and shouted down a would-be thief of the book in question. Having said that...

I am glad that Suciu has shown what sort of work the 22220 really is. It does look like Mirecki and Hedrick should have consulted more Coptologists at the time. Lessons learnt I suppose.

posted by Zimri on 17:56 | link | 0 comments

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