||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Is this Sparta?
Huge, huge news from Laconia. A major palace archive was found here; from the 1300s BC. The dating plants this to, I think, Suppiluliuma I in Hatti and the fall of the Mitanni empire. It is over a century before the Sea Peoples: the fall of the other cities and of the Bronze Age generally.
This is a pretty darn big deal. Certainly a bigger deal than that Pelopidou Street archive in
(I had to google for that livescience report. I'd learnt about the palace a few days back from Saraceni's blog. Her link was to... a press release, that looked a lot like the reports from two years ago. Saraceni's blog is good for aggregating press-releases but please do not use it as a source for actual, you know, news.)
Further thought: This palace might not even have been called "Sparta". For one thing, the Iliad assumes that Sparta's king Menelaus ruled contemporary with the dawn of the Sea Peoples, just prior to Mycenae's fall. His Sparta was not burned down and abandoned several generations before.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Dr Muhammad needs an editor
On to the nitpicks. I don't care who you are, but Wesley Muhammad's article needed editing.
Page 6 in relating from Johnson glosses "king" to "shaykh". That's impatient of Dr Muhammad. He should tell the story as given, first, and *then* bring out the glosses.
Also Dr Muhammad can dismiss facts out of hand before considering their implications. Take, in p. 13, "Kisra". "Kisra" happens to be how Arabs related "Khusru". Usually Arabs used "Kisra" in cliched tales about how the Iranians lost their mighty empire to Islam. That this name is here found in west Africa implies that Arab Muslims, or Arabised Muslims, had come there and told fairly detailed stories.
Dr Muhammad also seems unaware of some relevant facts, like that the Hausa are Chadic and so related to the Semitic Arabs (and to the Copts and Berbers).
Overall I think I might have figured out what's going on with this article. Wesley Muhammad's very name implies the "Nation of Islam", or at least the (Sunni) Afro-Islamic movement as now led by Elijah Muhammad's orthodox son. Also relevant, I have the misfortune to have read other works about African history by Africans, like The Ideology of Racism; I do not necessarily dismiss Afrocentric histories, but the less said of the "Afrocentric" movement, the better. I approach this article as something of a hostile witness. I do, however, promise that - by acknowledging my sad history with this up front - that I have done what I could not to submit to my bias. I wonder to what extent Dr Muhammad has done the same, given how his book tries to elevate Africans to equals of Muslims.
All that said, I cannot rule him out entirely. It may be that the Hausa and Oyo were, in fact, Muslims ejected from the Umma on account of nonorthodoxy. There were Khawarij all over North Africa. Some became "nativist prophets"; the Barghawatas are a case in point in the far west. I could easily envision a similar movement amongst the Chadians in the then-far south. Their leaders could well have been Arab heretic adventurers on the down-low. I find it an irony that some of these facts which Dr Muhammad has dismissed or left unnoted could well help that part of his thesis.
Today I ran across Wesley Muhammad, "The Black Arabian Origins of the Yorùbá". We are promised this will be part of a book, Aḷḷāh and Olódùmarè: Islām and Ifá as Sibling Rivals. This 34-page essay was good until a detour starting pages 19-24.
In its first part Dr Muhammad argues that, in the first decades AH, some Arabians became Muslims and then apostasised. These skipped out of Arabia and entered the Sahara. On the other side of that desert they encountered and influenced the northern Yoruba - the Ọyọ, distinct from other modern "Yoruba" - and the Borgu, and the Hausa. Dr Muhammad argues each case in turn, from oral-tradition passed first to British explorers and ethnographers of the nineteenth century, and then to Christian Nigerian patriots of the early twentieth like Samuel Johnson. The Ọyọ, Borgu, and Hausa, he notes, are Muslim today but were not Muslim then, or were only just becoming Muslim then. Dr Muhammad argues instead that these peoples were para-Muslim, survivors of the Arabian religions which Muhammad supplanted. They would have been para-Muslim for thirteen centuries.
To finetune it all Dr Muhammad notes that the legendary (and anonymous) leader of this new sect was remembered as a black man. He supplements that in p. 19 with a quote, from Muhammad Bello, Infāq al-mayṣūr in 1812 :
The inhabitants of this province (Yarba), it is supposed, originated from the remnant of the children of Canaan, who were of the tribe of Nimrod. The cause of their establishment in the West of Africa was, as it is stated, in consequence of their being driven by Yar-rooba, son of Kahtan, out of Arabia to the Western Coast between Egypt and Abyssinia. From that spot they advanced into the interior of Africa, till they reach Yarba where they fixed their residence.
Dr Muhammad assumes - going back to that founder - that he could not have been a Kwa-speaking West-African. He observes south-Semitic Arabians who are more like Ethiopians, and always darker than the Qurashi and Najdi northern Arabians whom we see in OPEC meetings today. Dr Muhammad concludes that the seed population must have been east African, from the substrate population of Arabia.
I think that last part is a distraction from the important, first part. Which means I have to deal with that part first.
Among the affected peoples is the Hausa, which is Chadic. This is, I believe, important for tracing the steps of the para-Muslims. The Semitic peoples have traditionally taken over the coasts and then wandered up the caravan-routes. Along East Africa, their first non-Semites would have been the Somalis and Afar. As for the West: Delta-Egypt first, Berbers next, Lake Chad third. (The Copts and Nubians, until the 'Abbasid era, might have converted to Semitic religions but they did not permit folk-movements through their territory, until well into the Middle Ages.)
Dr Muhammad at p. 23 relates how Goldenberg has shown how the Biblical character Canaan son of Ham has been associated with racial slavery of blacks. (I would add that this "curse of Ham" is implied already in Arculf's account delivered to Adomnan in the 690s AD, remarking upon the cabins at Jericho c. 665.) Those trading in human chattel - in this time, Jews and low-caste Arabians - would share that sacred "datum" with their partners. When the Semites were dealing with people like nomadic Semites, particularly Berbers, the Semites could treat their immediate partners as near-Semites. The latter now had motive to direct their slave-raids against the "less pure", if I may.
I also suspect that Dr Muhammad has downplayed the Muslim sultanates to the north of Hausa-stan. Timbuktu, in particular, would have exerted a powerful force of prestige. It's not too much to label it the Tuareg Baghdad.
Given those facts, I see no need to assume that Canaan even meant Canaan; much less, as Dr Muhammad cites from Salibi 2007, that the real Canaan was in a "black" part of Arabia. It is enough that Arabs and Jews had tarred "'abid" with the blood of Canaan. It is no stretch to suggest that they might have disparaged the 'abids' land, as well - wherever an 'abd was found - as (the new) "Canaan".
To sum up: the evidence is very late, and poorly-constrained, and subject to corruption from the ambient sectarian-milieu. I appreciate the footnotes, though. It's a good start.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Lives that matter
Americans have been offered a chance, before a pollster, to deny that human life matters outside their race.
The results are consistent across races. About 30% of each are on the same level: they're not just fine with other races getting themselves killed, but prepared to share this sentiment with a total stranger.
Blacks scored a little higher on the 'asabiya scale, but not significantly higher. As far as #blacklivesmatter goes, that is now revealed as the hashtag of the 30% most-racist (as an ideology); as Instapundit notes. It does not command wide support, any more than white-nationalism commands support among whites.
My problem with this is that it commands plenty enough support, to a level that hints it comes from deep human nature. So let's assume that the races are equal. Do you want to live near a group of whom you know that 30% of them will not save you?
If you say yes, you're a liar or suicidal. Sane people won't do this. It is cruel of this government to force racial integration; and where directed against whites, sadistic.
The Hugo Nonaward Ceremony
If you're interested in science-fiction and you were hoping for the best short-story this year... according to the Convention, there wasn't one.
The Social Justice Warriors claim victory because all they care about is boots in peoples' faces. The Rabid Puppies also sort-of claim such, from their own perspective; because they proved that Social Justice has taken over the genre, by tricking them into nuking the awards.
The big losers tonight, the people wiping off bootprints off their faces tonight, were the Sad Puppies: the people who used to enjoy the genre.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
New York Times and knockout game fun
Andre Young's decades-ago pounding on Lee Barnes was a punchline in
This is, I think, because we've all grown to learn what concussions do to people in the long term. Thus, Barnes:
The apology likely cost him some sales. He was selling to thugs at first and then he was selling to "wiggers". Neither of these demographics are much interested in making nice with - well, with anyone.
But I do respect Young for making right with Barnes and with G-d. Knockouts aren't a game.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Say there was a nation that proposed to ride the wave and force a Jubilee every seven years. All debts are off after that span. Next span; start over...
Such a nation would end up like a software-development team running a civilisational "sprint cycle". Any big projects would have to be planned around the time of the Jubilee and started on its first year afterward. The society would have a realistic(ish) view of where it planned to be in seven years, and it would also have a bias toward organising itself. And there would be unity: everyone would be in on the seven-year plan.
Obviously it didn't work for the USSR. It might work better for a more homogeneous and industrious society with a more predictable climate.
The problem is, dear boy, events.
First, I won't rule out that human economics naturally follow a seven-year cycle, roughly. Think of it as El-Ninho. We might not entirely understand the cycle but we can observe it. At the time the Bible was being compiled the nations of Israel had lived amongst the Phoenicians and Babylonians long enough that they could observe it all too.
The specific Elûl 29 thing might be because superstitious Jews get jittery around that date. The financial occupations are disproportionately Jewish. Jews on Wall Street (and in London) might start selling, or at least not buying, around that time. Others follow their cue. When they get a sniffle, financial markets get the pneumonia.
Note: I do not call it a deliberate plan. In fact, if I'm right, it would be a very counterproductive thing for Jews to do; because it's predictable. Gentiles could use this against them.
Note also: I don't recommend that Gentiles play into that game. Secular Jews are smart enough to see this too. Those are the Jews who despise real (kosher) Jews as much as they despise flyover-country rubes. They'll get a big laugh at attempts to distort the market on this Orthodox day. We all have enough problems without the parental-issues goofballs getting even more power over us than they have already.
Best to hunker down in advance. Elûl 27 might be too late, nu?
Sunday, August 16, 2015
I'd left open how, exactly, M33c got from Szechuan to Khazaria. To that, here's a - well, let's call it a guest-post by a western M33c relative (I didn't ask permission to repost), in email. I've taken the liberty of some slight corrections, links, and obfuscations:
The whole of Ibn Khordadbeh is in French, wherein the relevant page is page 512. That "Les Radanites" excerpt may be read about, in English, in James Jacobs. So, in addition to my request to sample the Bolyu, I'll have to add the Kermanis.
These "Radhan" have been linked to the Radan in Beth Aramaye, also pronounced "Radhan" in Syriac. That Rādhān was famed as the estate of Ibn Mas'ud near al-Kufa - so Michael Lecker, "Wa-bi-Rādhān mā bi-Rādhān...: The landed property of Abdallāh ibn Masūd", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 78.1 (February 2015), 53-66. In concert with that, readers of my books (which I wrote before Lecker wrote this) will recall Rad(h)an as the first recruiting-ground of al-Khirrit the heretic, also, in Iraq. Lecker has cited Moshe Gil at p. 55 from a 1974 article, that the two Rādānayn're related; I haven't read this, but I have read Gil's scholarship in 1992 and, well... not so great. (Lecker, too, had to correct Gil 1974 on another point in p. 56.) My initial thought is that those 'round about Rād(h)ān in al-Kufa in the 600s were Christian(ish); the Radhanites of the Silk Road were Jews. So they should not be associated with one another.
Now, on to the rest of it...
As for when the Rad(h)anites picked up Mama M33c, 870 AD seems late. By then a lot of the Caliphal gains had been frittered away by resurgent Turkic hordes to the north and what was left was getting challenged by Tahirids along the south (the Iranian Intermezzo was about to start...). Also, in Ibn Khordadbeh's account, by then the Silk Road from Balkh now in north Afghanistan was having to scoot north through Ferghana, in order to run through Uyghur territory. That looks like the long way around Tibet; dangerously close to the Taklamakan. From that An Lushan disaster to 821 AD - I'm just finding out - the Tanggut and Tibetans were blocking the western parts of the Gansu Corridor. A couple centuries later the Tanggut would found a kingdom of their own around there, which modern Chinese are pleased to call the "Western Xia". So - Ibn Khordadbeh's ninth-century generation had to be careful around there.
So I propose that the Radhanites had moved into the trade-routes almost immediately following the Tang victories and Khazar state-formation; early 700s seems about right.
I guess he doesn't read this blog
I am ashamed to say, I voted for Tancredo in a primary once. (I should also be ashamed to admit to having read Foley in Instapundit; her pieces there are consistently boring.)
Anyway I'll remind everyone that literacy tests are evil, because they can be gamed; and I'll remind Rightists in particular that the Loewens out there can't wait to institute such, so that they can be the ones gaming them. If you don't know this then you haven't been paying attention - to them.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Maet at Ace:
This can be extended - but not by mainstream conservatives: for "unlawful criminal immigrants", read "underclass thugs". Either set of dangerous human beings, or both (as happened to me in west Houston) may or may not decide to move in next door. One set is illegal. This is a technicality.
The underclass thugs are here because they were made legal. Some are homegrown from before the Civil War; some are "refugees" - Hmong and Somalis tend to be cited most in the underclass context (disclosure: I could well be an old-school gypsy myself, passing through the Hmong homeland to boot). But even if such members of the Neo-American Community were legally citizens, they were often not allowed to become legal residents of specific regions. This was because States were considered legal states, with the right to limit who got to stay and how. Oregon kept out blacks Constitutionally, entirely, until very recently (I think it was 2002, and I should add I'm not endorsing this). Other states allowed for "restrictive covenants" (which I do support). The Western nations, Asian nations, and Islamic nations all have historically assumed and accepted that there existed people who were so different from us, that they could not be allowed to live with us - unless they had proven up front that they could be so allowed. "Disparate impact" was considered natural, given disparate origins.
One form of immigration from race B into the land of A does not differ qualitatively from another, from the perspective of A. The illegal alien is illegal by dint of the current law. Likewise, the recent legal immigrant, the H1B holder, and the drifter are all legal by dint of law; which was a different law until the 1940s-60s changes in such laws. Do they deserve these rights? All of them? The now-integrated Negro (as the term was at the time of integration) is a case in point and look how he now behaves, with very few exceptions. Amnesty is desegregation, on a global scale.
I do not believe that conservatives may have this both ways. Their praise of the "Martin Luther" Kings and their condemnation of amnesty for illegals reeks of "this far, no further". Human societies simply do not work this way; they see "this far" and go for the "further". The "illegal" part does matter but it's not enough. A lot of people have a lot of legal rights which they do not deserve. By concentrating on the "illegal" part, conservatives are showing their hand - and, I'm sorry, it's simply not a strong enough hand.
Why the Cathedral
In 2007ish that sperglord then going by the name "Mencius Moldbug" thought up the term "the Cathedral" to flag our ultracalvinist social-structure. Some have since thought along parallel lines, of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Clerisy. It turns out Moldbug was a poet and has kept dabbling in it. Moldbug must have read at least some Coleridge, Cathedral is the instantiation of Clerisy, case closed - right?
Eric Raymond, last year, floated that Moldbug was also a software-engineer, so was more likely thinking of software development models. Raymond didn't prove the case, because - as he discloses - he's too close to the subject. That's where I come in!
I think Raymond has a point. Software nerds in my generation (trolling the open-mic nights in 1997) do know some Coleridge - they at least should have backtracked the stuff Douglas Adams cited, Kublai Khan and Mariner. But how much Coleridge? Moldbug was a poet but was he ever a Romantic poet? And I think we can dispense with the notion that they would have got "Clerisy" secondhand from the "Front Page Republic" blog...
Maybe some of us might have attempted Christabel. We might also be aware that Coleridge was involved in the Romantic movement and that he did a lot of drugs. Personally, at least since 1996, I've preferred Byron. In that vein, since I did attempt some of Coleridge's other works, I couldn't argue much with Byron's assessment of his whole oeuvre:
Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
So, yeah, I haven't read much Coleridge beyond the two obvious (I didn't finish Christabel). The first time I'd heard of the Clerisy was after I'd read a lot of Moldbug, and after Obama's
(I am usually un-shy about name-dropping here - as you can see here. When I see a term I like, I mention it. If I had first heard of the Clerisy on the first week of 2012's bleak November, as is likely, then I delayed this name-drop for after the election. That will have been because I was suspecting that Romney would win. A Romney victory would have falsified the Clerisy / Moldbug theory... slightly (Reid still had the Senate). But in the end, the Clerisy needed to herald the second coming of their christ.)
I don't think I'm alone. I suspect I can hold Moldbug himself in my non-Coleridge-reading company. Maybe even Raymond as of 2012. No, 2015: there are 672 "thoughts" under ESR's 2014 comment and none mention the Clerisy.
And the Cathedral-as-software model does look a lot like our political system, as Moldbug presents it: The bigwigs do their work, and every "sprint cycle" of two, four, or six years the bigwigs claim to consult us on what to do next.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Sa'd bin Abi Waqqas cared about Madina
Sa'd, most famed for invading Iran, raised a request that he be buried such that when raised from the dead he would face the holy city. That city was, er, Madina. As in, not Mecca - which we're told is Muhammad's own choice for qibla. So say Pavlovitch and Powers.
I have posted some initial thoughts @ CEMB. I think I did pretty well there, so I'll just sum it up here.
The transmitter Bukhari, most respected in Sunni Islam, had tried to subvert this tradition. In so doing he made an implicit admission, that a focus on Madina in a "post-Meccan" era represents a problem for Islam itself. The tradition implies that Mhaggraye piety was being asked to point to Madina, for several decades into the Umayyad era. That Mecca often went unnamed in these traditions - especially Affan bin Muslim's own transmission - is even more a problem for Islam. Bukhari felt he had to deal with it and so, in characteristically brutish fashion, did so. (I always respected Muslim bin al-Hajjaj more.)
All of this suggests that Affan, who related one of the larger and better-attested composites, likely got this composition from his teacher Wuhayb (d. 156 / 772) - at latest, with that teacher, in cahoots. So even the Affan-Wuhayb "later composite", as P-and-P term it, is early. Early in the 'Abbasid reformation of Islam, anyway.
Now, we're still not pointing to Petra in this discussion. But all this does offer additional evidence that Mecca simply didn't matter much for official Islam up to, let's say, the caliphate of al-Walid I.
Bronze Age Basque
On my father's side I am R1b1b2a1a2f*. A few years ago this was being called "R-L21*". I'm guessing the * is because the test hasn't been wholly finished...
On the part of ancestor R1b1b2a1a2f, Moffat & Wilson in The Scots, A Genetic Journey wrote
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Abortion is unethical
Sahih International translation:
And when the girl buried alive is asked
This blog has wavered on the abortion issue. It started out pro-life; two years ago it went pro-Sanger. There was since then some stuff about - against - creatures like Kermit Gosnell but there, you might be able to intuit, such posts were here because I felt I had to put them here. I have never been a fan of the infanticidal practice. I have been wavering over to what degree it might be permissible.
So now all this has happened. Also, as MWR has put it: Planned Parenthood will
I now see that the inherent problem with mid/late-term abortion (I mean, besides the death, and the corruption of the Hippocratic Oath) is what is done afterward with "tissue" that is, biologically, a baby. If the procedure which extracted such tissue is done in a medical setting, the remains are now available for whoever owns them. The problem has migrated to economics: it is too tempting for the remains to be resold. Planned Parenthood is the beneficiary; they now have an interest in not stopping unplanned pregnancies - like police-unions have an interest in crime. To the point of forcible rape, as MWR again:
This might not have been as true in Sanger's day, maybe not even in Gosnell's; but here we are in 2015. And the West has lost the maturity as a political system to block such conflicts of interest, if it ever had it. We are, as a civilisation, now at the pass where we reward people for creating children whom none involved in said creation have any intention of raising; which childrens' bodies we will then hawk in the marketplace, as food.
There's a case to be made for that. But this blog shan't be making it.
BUMPED. Originally posted 30 July. Added MWR's comments and fact-checking thereof.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
This came in yesterday, from Archaeology:
MANISA, TURKEY—A Bronze Age settlement and fortress have been discovered in Turkey’s Gölmarmara Lake basin by an international team of archaeologists working with the Kaymakçi [sic] Archaeology Project. “This area is four times larger than the ancient site of Troy in Çanakkale and the largest late Bronze Age settlement that has been found in the Aegean region,” Sinan Ünlüsoy of Yaşar University told Hürriyet Daily News. The site has one of the largest of six citadels in the region that were within a day’s walk of each other. According to Ünlüsoy, this fortress may be one mentioned in texts from the Hittite Empire.
I went to the link. It, too, mentioned "the one... in texts from the Hittite Empire" ... without naming what that actually was. So I went on a google hunt. It's the Seha River Land.
There doesn't seem to be much here that justifies a press-release, Archaeology site notwithstanding. All I see here is their new measurement of the castle (rather, citadel) as four Hisarlıks. There's still no archive.
Since I first heard of it, in 2011 or so, I have been considering the Bechdel Test. The Bechdel Test is a test of literature. This test is: whether there be two characters who are both female, and these characters conduct a conversation about some topic which does not involve a male. If such a scene exists in the text, the text passes. They say the test was extant as of 1985; it took recent SJWs to raise it to Internet fame, such that I'd noticed it.
The Bechdel test was devised by a "feminist". And as a feminist test, I have to agree - it's cogent.
The work doesn't have to be written by a woman; it doesn't even have to appeal to most women. The Alien movies are the usual case in point. On the other hand, take the contemporary 80s movie The Three Amigos; plenty of women helped make it what it was, and these women often made the male "heroes" look like chumps - the senioras "had agency", as the saying goes. But that movie fails the Bechdel test.
The Alien movies are about Ripley (female) and the Alien (rapist). The Three Amigos are about three male amigos. Alien cannot have a scene that does not involve the Alien; and Cameron's sequel, further, had to dump a scene that was not about Ripley. The Three Amigos likewise cannot have a scene that does not support the amigos' character-arc. There exist narrative laws more ancient than Bechdel's. These are Aristotle's laws of poetry, instantiated by Chekhov and his rifle.
As a result, the Bechdel Test - if passed - means that the work be about one or more females.
If women want to watch movies that pass Bechdel, this is fine. If men watch the same movies - also, fine. It is even fine for men to author texts as explicitly Bechdel; Alien and Aliens stand up to this day, for good reason.
If you are writing movies for men, you don't have to occupy yourself with the priorities of the Bechdel set. And if you are female, you also don't have to boycott movies that don't pass the Bechdel test. Anymore than we men feel we have to absent ourselves from good female-centred movies like, oh, Heathers, or Devil Wears Prada or - if it comes to that - Aliens.
This is, I think, what the modern SJWs don't understand.
Ah, National Review
National Review have put up a video about how Americans need to be less thin-skinned.
Before it was a Google talking-point, it was a Protestant talking-point.
Such Christians have an argument that "God is love", and they claim Scripture to support this. I disagree inasmuch as this may be turned around, that love is God. This heresy is that of the Serpent, who insinuates that any mortal desire (hmd) might win against ha-Shem. This is Gnosticism.
I find this wanting. It is G-d who wins, or at least "Nature's god" who will win. Our petty feels will avail nothing against this.
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