The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Monday, May 30, 2016

Snoop Dogg says don't watch Roots

Interesting take from Calvin Broadus:

I ain't watching that shit, and I advise you motherf-—ers as real n— like myself; f— them television shows. Let's create our own shit based on today, how we live and how we inspire people today. Black is what's real. F— that old shit.

I never did make time for the original (by Alex Haley), but I've heard it's full of ... well, you heard the man. I've also heard the new series goes back and fixes its errors. Although I remain unamused at Van Peebles' namechecking of "black lives matter".

I'll wait for the alt-right sites' review.

posted by Zimri on 13:40 | link | 0 comments

A universe without sura 29

In Barbados summer of 2009 I picked up Brad Thor's The Last Patriot, and that December recommended it as "important". The title plays the American protagonist against "the last prophet".

All fiction takes place in an alternate universe. In The Last Patriot's universe, God had revealed a peaceful sura to the Prophet, after "Gabriel" had revealed the warlike suras. Thus the putative sura of this book had abrogated the warlike suras. But the Arab warlords after their Prophet's death (as Paul Casanova suspected) suppressed this sura and suppressed all hadiths mentioning it. But as you know and as I know (which btw makes my task possible) nothing gets suppressed without hints to the coverup.

Thor wants Muhammad to be a man of peace and perhaps even to be a small-p prophet of sorts, like Catherine of Siena. Yep, Thor is one of those conservatives. Thor's problem (as noted December 2009) is that early-Islamic scholarship keeps putting swords in the Muslims' hands. But maybe Qur'anic scholarship might remove the sword from the Prophet's hand...?

Contrafactuals on history should be as close to reality as possible. On that principle, Thor should have known that the Qur'an's canon is very much an open question in scholarship; flags were thrown against suras 2, 24, 33, and 48 some years before Thor started this book of his. A "last sura" would, necessarily, precede several works already in the canon. How would we argue for this new sura's authenticity, without cleaning up the canon we already have, first? Take sura 9. This quotes sura 19; which (I think) puts it after the Dome of the Rock as well (680s AD). Any sura that claimed to abrogate sura 9, must postdate and make reference to this. Since sura 9 is a fraud, any sura postdating it would have to be a fraud too.

Sura 29 would be another one of those works dependent on sura 19 (actually on sura 21, which depends on sura 19). In 2010 when I finally posted "Against Jihad" I suspected sura 29 lived beyond sura 57 as well; in fact, rejecting that sura, thus anti-jihadic. Immediately I drew a parallel with The Last Patriot's anti-jihadic "lost" sura. I was going to draw up a post at that time, but I didn't want to do this lightly - I still figured its heart was in the right place. Now I find that sura 29 postdates sura 16, and in the meantime I have acquired a disillusion with Thor's principles. So let's do this:

In The Last Patriot's dimension one of these anti-sura-9 suras was in antiquity recognised as the (very) postMuhammadan text it is, so never entered the canon. (Let us pretend that this is not sura 29 itself but something like it.) Upon the book's conclusion, that sura is discovered, say, with scraps of sura 28 immediately before it. The inevitable sequel of The Last Patriot is where the Muslims prove this pseudosura as fraudulent, to which the Orientalists must agree. This puts disgrace against the moderates ... like Brad Thor.

posted by Zimri on 08:59 | link | 0 comments

Upload #134 - peace to you

Suyuti reminded me of stuff I'd read, a decade back, on sura 16: that 'Umar quoted v. 90 in his sermons in lieu of cursing the 'Alids. I'd forgotten this when posting "Plots against the Qurra'". 'Umar quoted sura 39 as well: "Interceding with God". I done fixt both.

In the meantime I've found a 16>29 link, so - "Against Jihad". The 39 > 16 > 29 chain is looking a lot like it belongs to the same general faction, which was not sura 21's faction.

Also added an actual isnad to Q. 38:26 use in "The Book of Nathan" - also, thanks to Suyuti. That sura 69-based joke I banged my head against this weekend is now in "Blasting the Sultan". Suyuti mentioned a para-prophet Dhu'l-Thudayya: "Civilising the Last Prophet".


posted by Zimri on 08:43 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Jokes, and learned essays upon them

(... Return to Zork? Anyone?)

So sura 69 is in a rajaz / saj' form of semipoetry. Each line rhymes, sort of. Q. 69:27 canonically reads yâ'laytahâ kânati al-qâdiyatu; it is supposed to wrap up a sinner's lament on the last day, from v. 25 yâ'laytanî lam ûta kitâbiyah. To force the pericope into rhyme, that last consonant in v. 27 - a ta' marbuta - has to be pronounced like v. 25's "-h", which in common Arabic indeed it would be since it's at the end of a sentence. Ghali and Pickthall translate v. 25 o that this were the end.

But then there was caliph al-Walid, whose Arabic was not much better than, well, mine. Suyuti, tr. Major Jarrett, History of the Caliphs (1881), 228:

Abu A'krinah ad Dhabí says that al Walíd read from the pulpit, "O
that death had made an end of me."* (Kur. LXIX), and below the pulpit
stood Omar-b-A'bdi'l Azíz and Sulaymán-b-Abdi'l Malik, and Sulayman
exclaimed, "by Allah, I would it had." Walíd was despotic and tyrannous.

*Misplacing the vowel-points again. "Yá laytu há" for "Yá layta há".

I looked into this and I couldn't see how al-Walid's "mistake" changes anything. Among modern translators Yusuf Ali, for one, sides with Jarrett's translation of al-Walid almost to the letter. And when I turn to what Jarrett did elsewhere, there are a number of mistakes in the typesetting (this edition is rife with these): most glaring, a storyteller by name of "Abu A'krinah" does not actually, um, exist.

So I went to Islamport for the primary. I found that, and thence I had my anchor to run further searches; found out that the storyteller was Abu 'Ikrimah, for a start. First, 'Abd al-Malik b. Husayn b. Abd al-Malik al-Isami (d 1111/1699), Samt al-nujum al-awali fi anba al-awail wa-al-tawali, quotes Ibn al-Anbari... who, we know from the Itqan, was one of Suyuti's sources. Anbari includes some key material, making clear that the vowel wasn't the problem. The problem was that al-Walid had added the consonant "T". (Although Anbari credits 'Umar with the snark.) Mukhtasar Tarikh Dimashq agrees that the "T" was the problem. (And he goes back to crediting Sulayman. Sulayman perhaps struck Suyuti as the more likely to express his disdain.)

With the "T", the listener would expect another word to follow. The two hecklers, in the Mukhtasar and in Ibn al-Anbari, supplied that word: "'alay-", that is "upon al-Walid".

It took me almost 24 hours to get out of the Jerk Store. Wonder how long it took the caliph.

posted by Zimri on 12:16 | link | 0 comments

How to get on a blacklist

Fat chick seduces a drunk dude, gets college-indicted for rape. And then the real problems start...

I was sympathetic at first, given I'm not all that pretty myself. The university was asinine to start a Process against her, just for being stupid; clearly it was all political. And her male "victim" could have stepped up and said, look, not to air any dirty laundry here, but the Process is uncalled-for.

But then I read that this little gremlin filed a counter complaint. Good luck trying to get the guy to white-knight now. And since the counter complaint was obvious crap, all that did was prove she's a liar.

This is, quite literally, the bed she has made.

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

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Don't bother perverting "Frozen"

There's a campaign to make the "Frozen" princess into a Sappho. That subversion might even work if the writers hadn't already twisted the story.

posted by Zimri on 11:01 | link | 0 comments

Friday, May 27, 2016

Upload #133 - what came before

I needed to confirm that one 22/34 link I floated last year - and flipped two weeks ago. I've found one such additional datum: a four-way pileup between suras 22, 34, 35, and 67. I propose the chain 67>22>34, although this is still not perfect: "What Waits Beside These Roads". I am much more confident in the link 22>35 - to the point it's almost redundant, for what we already know of sura 35. But I've tossed that link into "Islamic Ethics" anyway.

Also updated is some more geological (circumstantial!) evidence for Muslims' knowledge of the mid-720s Thera eruption, which I've been claiming was the "smoke of cold" apocalypse. That's in "When The Smoke Clears".


posted by Zimri on 17:03 | link | 0 comments

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Busted names in news

I just now got bored and sifted through a waste bin of essays I was going to post, but didn't get around to. I ran across one from Valentine's Day 2005. I think it's worth fixing up in light of recent events - specifically, the launch of wesearchr.

CNN a decade back used to boast the most trusted name in news. Hugh Hewitt - then still relevant, before the 2008 election - snarked that CNN had become the most busted. This was because of the Eason Jordan scandal, itself then sarcastically dubbed "Eason's Fables".

Basically this Eason chappie, whom no-one remembers today, had been accusing the US of deliberately targeting journalists in war zones such as Iraq. And then Eason claimed he didn't mean it that way, but he still wouldn't ask for the tape to be released so that his readers could figure that out for ourselves. After much anger on the 'web, but none in the MainStreamMedia, Eason finally backed down and... quit. He still didn't want us to see the tape. I assume he still doesn't, in 2016. Captain's Quarters has more. (Link still active!)

Check out this comment from Photon Courier in Captain Quarters' comments (also still active!): Before there was such a thing as the blogsophere...I wonder how much important information fell into the memory hole because of MSM decisions not to cover it?

Blogs did exist between 1/1/1999 and 9/11/2001, but they didn't have any clout. Before that, there were websites like Drudge, who blew the lid off Monica (so to speak). But that ended up hurting the anti-Clinton forces far more than it hurt Clinton. Talk radio was what got Congress flipped in 1994; but the MSM learnt to call it "hate radio" a la Rwanda and by 1996 they'd neutralised it. I remember "Doonesbury" and "Funky Winkerbean" from the period, bringing the Word On High down to the comics-reading public. What used to happen then is that journalists rallied in the statists' defence; they'd attack journalists who questioned the narrative - that is, they acted as Party Men, attacking the journalists who did their job.

So to answer the Courier commenter - I bet there were a lot of things the MSM could have said about Perot and Clinton in 1991-2 but didn't. I bet that if the talk radio types had had blogs in 1995 that the MSM wouldn't have been able to slap them down so easily. We didn't have MEMRI or Little Green Footballs (again, this was 2005 - but this time I ain't linking that swamp) to warn us about the rise of Islamism; all we had were reports from the Sullivan / Kurtz-era "The New Republic" - which were good, then, but not enough (and also tainted by the frauds Shalit and Glass). Back in the 1990s it was North Korea's nuclear brinkmanship and China's buying of tech secrets that might have been worth a media look. But no, to the Leftist palace guard, everything was going great; or it would have been, if it weren't for "right wing extremists" at home like Timothy McVeigh and Newt Gingrich.

CNN is busted, was busted in 2005. They're all busted. The main difference in 2005 is that we were learning to say it in public. Sometimes that helped - it got rid of Eason. It got rid of Dan Rather before. But the CNN brand kept plodding along, like the CBS brand is plodding along. Gawker, after all its lies during #gamergate, thought they could keep plodding along.

Now the crocodiles've pissed off too many people. They pissed off Peter Thiel. They pissed off Pax Dickinson. And now there's money in it for journalists who haven't been invited to the right parties, but know their craft. Thus - belatedly - Eason and his like have become targets; not by the bullets of US's troops, but by the slings of their own lying words.

We don't need CNN anymore.

PS: and Yahoo can get bent too.

posted by Zimri on 21:37 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Daenerys as Trotsky (as opposed to the Vox that usually gets linked here) has a theory on Daenerys Targaryen "Stormborn": she's the baddie.

Daenerys has, indeed, been guilty of much death and chaos where she has trod. That these atrocities were in service of social justice does not excuse the corpses. I understand the evils of slavery as an institution; but she didn't understand the concept of capital: that when wealth is destroyed this does not help anyone, least of all the poor. Even her leftist demiurge Martin knows that.

Martin's voice of reason here is regent Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion has suggested a compromise. We'll see what comes of that when the dragon returns. But as of this point in Daenerys's arc - book and TV - it's hard to argue against the observation: as the sphere of her empathy widens, the sphere of her cruelty widens as well.

UPDATE 5/26 10:15 PM: Backdating this to the 25th. The Vox essay is from 20-22 May, and this topic is trivial. I have a non-trivial essay tonight that should stand alone.

posted by Zimri on 20:57 | link | 0 comments

Sunday, May 22, 2016

William Bennett doesn't know what he's talking about

The Barnes & Noble had William Bennett's book Tried By Fire, on Christianity's first millennium. I checked its claims against the stuff I've studied, mainly over the first century(ish) of Islam. The book didn't impress me. (A lot of these potted histories don't.)

Bennett counts al-Walid II's persecution of Metropolitan Peter of Damascus (a Confessor) as a Muslim crime against Christians, where that jack-Muslim caliph likely cared much more about Peter's broadsides against Manichaeans. He takes Luxenberg's raisins at face value because of course he does. The 'Abbasids took over from the Umayyads because the latter "died out"; never mind what al-Saffah "the bloody" did to speed up matters (bro, do you even Mas'udi?). He even thinks that Methodius of Patara wrote (predicted!) that famous apocalypse ascribed to him - were I his grader I'd have failed his essay for that, alone.

By Gell-Mann Amnesia, I have to assume Bennett doesn't know much about the rest of Christianity's history either.

posted by Zimri on 12:24 | link | 0 comments

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Meteor swarms 3.4 billion years ago

Areologists have found a tsunami on Mars. I found this from FOX - the anti-science network.

"Areology" is a word, and really should be A Thing as well. Lots of research is being done on the Red Planet. And it might have some relevance to our local "geology" ("gaealogy" might be better Greek) - as we'll find here.

It seems a meteor hit the Martian northern ocean (its own basin being previously carved out by another meteor) 3.4 billion years ago. This pushed 400 foot high ripples over that basin's coastline. Tsunamis.

Meanwhile here on Earth, around the same time another meteor whacked Earth. Unlike Mars, Earth has plate-tectonics so the site of the strike has moved about since then. The ruin of that meteor is currently on the continent Australia.

Wonder if they were shards from the same near-earth asteroid?

posted by Zimri on 18:49 | link | 0 comments

Smug CU professors can't see any bias here, nossir

Here's the conservative Newsweek found to explain to us why there are so few cons in academe: Jordan Boyd-Graber, just down the road. I am not here to argue with him. I'm here to decategorise him.

Jordan Boyd-Graber agrees with his left-wing peers on education, equal rights, immigration reform, how Trump is a buffoon. With Feingold (he says "McCain") on restricting campaign-finance to unions and the government, and on jailing D'Souza. With Obama (he says "Romney") on state-managed medical care (it was developed by the Heritage Foundation! - his exclamation-point). With pretty much everyone on the need for the state to drive the consensus on Global Warming, because to ask serious questions is pursuing witch hunts against climate scientists. And with the Christian-haters on John McCain's Running Mate Not To Be Named (what, saying "Sarah Palin" three times will suddenly make her materialise?).

Boyd-Graber pretends that most important to him is "intellectual consistency" against which the Repubs are "anti-science" (these are actually flipsides of the same thing). Honestly here he is just congratulating himself.

Boyd-Graber, the man of the hyphenated pretentious oh-so-feminist name, is not a conservative; he wasn't raised as one, and he's not one now. The most contrarianism he can gin up is to support genetically-modified food and nuclear power - and 'tis telling that here, he stakes out a position such that Leftists are not progressive enough. He is CU's village durak and really should quit posing as otherwise to the media.

posted by Zimri on 18:27 | link | 0 comments

What happened to male friendships, will happen to females

The actress Sophie Turner playing the girl tied to the railroad trackSansa Stark figures that Sansa needs to hook up with Margery Tyrell. h/t Yahoo (I really shouldn't click onto Yahoo).

The premise is worth pondering given how George "Rape Rape" Martin has been running this series. Margery is a schemer and she played to Joffrey's urges; I suspect she was there when her intended shot up that whore from Littlefinger's lupanar. Sansa, meanwhile, is ruined now and easy prey. "Shipping" those two would make sense in this world... if Margery and/or the other Tyrells had an angle. If you think this has a happy ending you haven't been paying attention. But let's for now pretend that Martin would play this, er, straight.

Turner is one who hasn't been paying attention, to anything. Turner is thinking let's strike a blow for SOCIAL EQUALITY JUSTICE! Turner is young, short-sighted, ignorant, and surrounded by biens-pensants. So she doesn't know any better.

Female friendships often strike Western males as overly close and physical, and definitely more emotional ("BFFs 4eva!!") But it's just agápē. Male friendships used to be like that too, which is why male philosophers had a word for it. Male agápē still survives in the Balkans and the Caucasus, or so I hear. Not so much in the tolerant virtuous West, though. The poofters ruined it for us. Now too many of us fear intimacy as That Kind of intimacy. Such men become atomised.

More public lesbianism in the West and in Western culture stands a real chance of ruining female agápē as well. That won't matter much for the beautiful people like Sophie Turner. But some dorky little girl in junior high? What's going to happen to her relationships in a (more) sexualised culture?

Probably something not too far different from what happened to the character Turner plays. Winter is coming, as they say.

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

Reading late Akkadian cuneiform

Cuneiform is a syllabary for the Sumerian language, secondarily adapted for other languages - none of which were like Sumerian in the least little bit. The commonest such secondary language was Akkadian (pdf), which is old East Semitic albeit under strong Sumerian influence. Later on other languages exerted some force on Akkadian: Aramaic pulling from the Semites, Hurrian from yet another non-Sumerian family. Cuneiform never did suit Akkadian very well. (As for Kneshian "Hittite", good luck with that.)

Cuneiform made up for that by adding ideograms wherever it could - rebus-symbols, basically Bronze Age emojis. Let's look at this example from Nabunaid's deserta-arabia province, which author Arnulf Hausleiter has helpfully uploaded. Start with "meš (mesh)" - this is the marker for a Sumerian plural. Often that would be attached to another Sumerian word, like "lugal" or "en" for overlord ("lugal" literally means "strongman" that is, tyrant, but nuance shifts over millennia). So "enmeš" would actually mean "kings" and would be read as, I dunno, maybe "bēlān" in Akkadian. Certainly ba'lūn in old unbroken Arabic. Assyriologists (well, Babylologists in this case) write it with roman for the concept and an uppercase superscript for the marker: "enMEŠ".

The Sumerian concept is often written uppercase too, especially in languages like Hittite which mix in Akkadograms with the Sumerograms. Ideally Hittologists want to preserve lowercase roman for the, um, Hittite. Here if there were any Arabic (more likely the related Taymanitic) in this inscription I'm sure Hausleiter would have uppercased the Sumerograms.

Later in this have a sequence "šàbi eri enútiya". This means nothing in anything - if sounded out phonetically. But it can be divided up, with italic for Akkadian and roman for Sumerian: šà-bi eri en-útiya. So it's actually libbi āl bēlūtiya, "in (or, into) the city of my palace".

The fun part comes in formulae like "lugal diĝirmeš en diĝirmeš" (ĝ = ng), "strongman of the gods, lord of the gods". Every character here is Sumerian. Hausleiter assumes this still to be read as Akkadian: šar ilānī, bēl ilānī. Or did our king just totally switch to Sumerian to deliver a prayer - like a priest switching to Latin ("pax vobiscum") or even to Aramaic ("maranatha")? Hausleiter doesn't give his reasoning here, so I'll hazard an argument on his behalf.

Now, I don't know how Sumerian grammar works. I also don't know Akkadian ... as such. But the overall inscription is Semitic and here being used among North Arabians at that. I can say that these Sumerioid words "lugal diĝirmeš" are laid out - coincidentally or not - in idafa, Semitic construct-state. I'll go for "not coincidental". Whoever cooked up the "Sumerian" phrase was a native Semite; the phrase is, at best, a calque of Semitic terms translated "back" into Sumerian.

UPDATE 4:10 PM - yep, this isn't Sumerian. Sumerian would be lugal diĝirmešak.

posted by Zimri on 09:24 | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Liberals pretend they don't like prisons

Remember Ray Liotta's inadvertent comedy, No Escape? I think it was supposed to be a parable about Marcionite Christianity: the lords of the heavens are evil, the Earth is their prison; but the Messiah (Liotta) has come with power sufficient to break the prison and to bring the wrath of the true gods upon the demiurge. But hey.

One thing I remember from this movie (apart from the head devil, Marek, who was hilariously hammy) is how they ticked the boxes on early-1990s "liberal" pieties: here is a war like Vietnam in the Near East; there is a Smurf Village run for everyone's commonweal. Oh and the prisons were Big Business, as the opening screen tells us... except that we don't spend much time in the actual prison and we spend NO time with the business side of things. We spend our time in "Absolom", that private island which the jailers own. So, since the movie didn't talk about its own opening screen, let's talk about that here.

I have very little patience with so-called "liberals" who claim they hate private prisons. (I am not here talking about civil libertarians, like Radley Balko. Those guys are fine.) "Liberals" like regulations, which means they like to penalise those who transgress them, which means they're going to be detaining non-"liberals". Which means prisons.

I know what "liberals" think of people like me. Look how they treated Dinesh D'Souza. "Liberals" don't like people like him very much. They'll like me a whole lot less. So they're not going to worry much about how poorly I'm treated if (probably when) they cook up some "felony" I've committed. Look at all the lulz the "liberal" Kevin Smith chuckled about prison-rape in Mallrats and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. They're also not going to care much if the bullies running that (presumably) governmental facility are skimming a little off the top. Hey, they have to deal with racists and cons; they deserve it.

If you're a civil-libertarian, then fine. But don't, please, complain about private prison companies if you are a Hillary-voting "liberal". Spare us at least that much.

posted by Zimri on 17:44 | link | 0 comments

Monday, May 16, 2016

TSA holds Americans hostage

The socalled Transportation Security Agency didn't get the budget they wanted, so they retaliated - same security measures, fewer people to carry them out, slowwalking the process.

UPDATE 5/18 - There's a counterclaim that it's just standard bureaucratic inefficiency. I note that this Administration is - still - making it harder for aeroports to use alternative, private security. In other words, Obama likes what's going on just fine. So does Clinton. So does Sanders.

posted by Zimri on 17:12 | link | 0 comments

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