The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Friday, August 04, 2017

Standard Average European

I was roaming around Youtube one night and stumbled upon a NativLang documentary about "Standard Average European". (Cue Chris Farley here: S.A.E.! S.A.E.!.) Its script linked to Kortmann's PDF from 2001. Apparently Kortmann is famous. The things I've missed since leaving the college life . . .

At base, this thesis argues for a number of shared traits amongst the European languages today, which were not in the projected Indo-European base, nor even (much) in Latin and ancient Greek. These traits render European languages "exotic" compared to other languages. They cluster in France and the High Germany; they don't include Nedderduuts nor English so much, and Insular Celtic here behaves like an outlier on par with Tocharian.

It's been noted that the core region is basically Charlemagne's empire. This does allow for its weakness in the British Isles and the east Slavs. But this doesn't account for SAE in Greece, Albania, Romania, and Iberia.

What might account for SAE! SAE! in the Latin-influenced lands is the late Roman army. When I was "translating" Leo the Grammarian a few years ago (really, mapping its Greek to some earlier Theophanes translations) I ran across words like "caballero". This is, of course, not Greek. It is also poor Latin; any Roman with self-respect would speak of "equestrians". The cavalier is however found all over Spain, France, and Norman-occupied England. It is the same in Romanian, I would say from very early times because the Albanians have borne witness in kalë / kalorës. So here was a term from the Roman-employed auxiliaries that found its way all over the Mediterranean as far as the Byzantine East.

Some element in Vulgar Latin, and I would narrow this to Military Late Latin, affixed itself to the common tongue of the Empire and further distorted the non-Latin languages with which it came into contact. As for whence this element originally came, I know not. Old Germannic?

UPDATE 12/15 - Additional, non-military influence on Carolingian European.

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

Are the Ahmadis Muslims?

The question of the Ahmadiya is a common one around Islamic circles, and around non-Islamic circles as well. The sect claims to be Islamic; many Muslims deny this, and several Islamic countries have accordingly banned it as a heresy.

I've been directed to the latest issue of Mizan. In it, this article discusses Islamic disputes over the prophet Jesus. In that, it turns out that the Ahmadiya has sects of its own. I did not know this!

The founder of the Ahmadiya seems much like the Bab in Iran, or Elijah Muhammad here: a reformer of Islam who had made some striking doctrinal declarations including near-prophetic claims of himself. One large difference is that the Bahai movement, descending from the Bab, has taken on a life of its own, and doesn't pretend to be an Islam anymore (although they remain both Muhammadans and Qur'anic fundamentalists). In Ahmadism, Mawlana Muhammad Ali from Lahore pulled his part of the community back to orthodoxy - I've read his commentaries, all the way back in 2003, and they were entirely unremarkable. This is more like what Elijah's son Waleed did for the Black Muslims. I take it that the Kadiyanilik reactionaries represent the same embarrassment to most Ahmadis as Louis Farrakhan does to normative Afro-American Islam.

Waleed eventually succeeded in presenting his flock to the worldwide Umma as Muslims, though. Mawlana Ali never lived to see the day for his own people.

I think what kept Mawlana Ali from the Promised Land - and, by the way, from the Hajj - is that he persisted on hailing Ahmad as the Messiah (masîh). Oh sure, he finessed some terms; he claimed that messiah meant renewer of religion or some such rot. The problem is, masîh doesn't mean any such thing. Messiah has meant the Divinely anointed king. Islam is intimately familiar with the messianic principle: he's the caliph. The Dome of the Rock, designed by the first self-proclaimed caliph, who was no fool by the way, was quite aware of the (lack of) nuance here. And Mawlana Ali didn't claim Ahmad as the caliph; he recognised the Ottoman Sultan as the caliph. Which means Mawlana Ali was - by contrast with 'Abd al-Malik - incoherent. Ever since the 1920s at least, observant Muslims have had no tolerance for incoherence. Honestly I don't blame them.

The best way to describe Ahmadis is as Muslims who are doing it wrong. Small wonder individual Ahmadis are often featured on JihadWatch failing to appease any side.

posted by Zimri on 17:18 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Let's look into Awan

I am late to the Awan party, as I usually am when it comes to politics. Last I looked, the Awan family was in the employ of the Democratic Party, in which capacity the family had access to a lot of DNC research - and, the boundaries between the Democrats and the administrative state being as porous as they are, confidential US research.

Mrs Awan fled to Pakistan. Later, Mr Awan followed her shipped money thataway and tried to follow her, but got nabbed. The head of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, kept sending cash and - in the latest news - wanted to send more, before being reined in.

The story hasn't entered the news much, but Right blogs are looking into it, and Asking Questions. Such as - what was Awan providing for all that extra(?) money DWS sent him? I can sort-of see why the rest of the country doesn't care much since, on the face of it, it looks like a political party got bilked and/or blackmailed, but left the rest unscathed.

Except for the bit about the party in question being the effective party of the whole Acela Corridor and the wannabe rulers of the whole planet. Except for the party (like the Republicans) owning an extensive database of volunteers and of "potential Democratic voters", which means every voter in range of a booth last year. Hell, since I didn't vote in 2012, I was probably on it for 2016. This leaves aside the Clinton penchant for misusing Federal property.

It is time the rest of the country did care. If we had a useful media, it could think of some questions to ask. Such as, on how much of this data has ended up in a nuclear Islamic republic.

HOLY CRAP 15:40 MST: McCarthy at NRO

Awan and his family cabal of fraudsters had access for years to the e-mails and other electronic files of members of the House’s Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. It turns out they were accessing members’ computers without their knowledge, transferring files to remote servers, and stealing computer equipment — including hard drives that Awan & Co. smashed to bits of bytes before making tracks.

posted by Zimri on 14:40 | link | 0 comments

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