Post by timothylane on Sept 27, 2020 16:45:17 GMT -8
That sounds reasonable. Matyszak says that the Romans called the Judaeans that, and the Judaeans called the Romans that. So it's certainly a word that one side got from the other. Of course, in Hebrew "listim" would be the plural of "list" (in Arabic, the plural would be "listin").
Charles Krauthammer called “the unipolar moment.” America’s stature as the only superpower encouraged narcissism, a preoccupation with self, and an associated neglect of the influence that others have over the future course of events. Americans began to define the world only in relation to their own aspirations and desires
After the dissolution of the U.S.S.R., I tried to explain to people that, at that moment, the U.S.A. was the most powerful nation which had ever existed. It had more power, in absolute and relative terms, than any other nation in history, but more importantly, it had the means to project and exercise this power virtually anywhere on the globe within minutes, hours and a few days. (at the outside.) This was unique.
My concern was what the unique status would mean for the U.S.A. and how it might effect the country.
Last Edit: Sept 27, 2020 16:47:00 GMT -8 by kungfuzu
Post by artraveler on Sept 27, 2020 17:34:11 GMT -8
A complaint I have heard about Americans from our friends and those not so friendly is that Americans have a tendency to view the world through American glasses. I suspect Mr. Kung has experienced this also.
Mier Dagan was a proponent of this view and ran Mossad in such a way, that what McMaster describes as American narcissism and Israeli self-interest did not clash. For the most part, Bibi has also followed this course.
The Obama years were consumed with cultural narcissism from the top to dogcatcher. Of course narcissism is followed closely by hubris and the antagonist of both is nemesis. I think we can view President Trump as a Nemesistic figure that is a large part of why the left hates him so much.
Don't forget there is a non-scheduled spontaneous riot at 2100, bring your balaclava and shield.
Post by timothylane on Sept 27, 2020 18:46:10 GMT -8
I found another amusing comment by Matyszak, in this case discussing sieges. He notes that besieged cities would often use slingers against the besiegers. They often used lead pellets instead of pebbles, and frequently marked them with obscene comments against their enemies. I already knew about that from other reading, but he mentions a case where a couple of traitors wrote secret information on their pellets, and sent them out to the Romans (no doubt making sure not to hit anyone). "This is one of the very few instances on record of genuinely friendly fire."
A complaint I have heard about Americans from our friends and those not so friendly is that Americans have a tendency to view the world through American glasses. I suspect Mr. Kung has experienced this also.
Indeed I have. For decades.
I think a country's rulers should look out for the interests of their country, but sometimes those in power have so little knowledge of the world that they have little ability to judge what is truly in the interest of their country. There is also the case where many of a country's rulers and elites are less than loyal and are bought off by other nations. This happens throughout history, probably more than most realize.
I generally agree with Trump's foreign policy as he is trying to correct decades of misrule by our foreign policy experts. It was quite proper for the USA to form NATO in the late 1940s and to bear the lion's share of the costs. We calculated that the "over-weighted" costs which the USA bore were to our long-term interest.
Once the U.S.S.R. collapsed the out-sized costs borne by the USA were no longer reasonable and were, in my opinion, left in place to the advantage of the military-industrial-intelligence-foreign-policy cabal which have been running the country for some decades. I should also probably include the financial and tech industries.
The same can be said for the endless wars which we have had over the last thirty-odd years. The same cabal has been milking the USA and the world for the payment of these wars.
The fact that Trump is holding other NATO members to account and pulling even a small number of soldiers out of Germany drive this cabal crazy. If one thinks of how much money NATO members have saved by not paying for their defense, and using these funds to "socialize" their population, you will get some idea as to the insidious nature of things.
By far the greatest foreign policy treason which has taken place over the last forty years is the way the USA has supported the growth of the PRC. This became outrageous once the Clinton Administration allowed the PRC to join the WTO and screw us. Remember, the Clintons OK'D the export of missile-guidance technology to China.
I believe that the ruling caste of the USA has always been reasonably corrupt, but the corruption was mainly focused on soaking Americans. Since the end of WWII, I believe the caste has become unbelievably corrupt. There are a number of reasons for this. 1) WWII made government enormous and as all government is corrupt to some degree, enormous government can be expected to be enormously corrupt. 2) The oil-shocks turned the power structure of the world on its head. Piss-ant countries which were of little consequence suddenly had cash being thrown at them in amounts that they had never dreamed of. Some of the rulers of those countries (Saudi Arabia) figured out how to use this money to buy American politicians. 3) China learned the same thing.
Here is another of those corrupt cabalists who I was writing about. His resume' is not untypical of the lackeys of the globalist cabal. Get a legal degree, spend a few years in practice, go into government and soak it for all it's worth over the next few decades. Once you see you will rise no further in government, "retire" to the private sector to use and abuse your government connects to enrich yourself and, oftentimes, your family. Go into government poor come out rich.
Oh here are some. The Atlantic Council, whose board Ridge sits on. From Wikipedia.
In September 2014, Eric Lipton reported in The New York Times that since 2008, the US organization had received donations from more than twenty-five foreign governments. Lipton reports that a major donor Bahaa Hariri complained to the Council about the founding head of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East calling the overthrow of Mohammed Morsi in Egypt a military coup. Four months later, the founding head resigned from her position.
In 2014, The Atlantic Council produced a report promoting the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) -- a proposed trade-accommodation agreement between the European Union and the U.S. -- with the financial backing of FedEx, who were simultaneously lobbying Congress directly to decrease transatlantic tariffs.
In 2015 and 2016, the three largest donors, giving over $1 million USD each, were US millionaire Adrienne Arsht (executive vice chair), Lebanese billionaire Bahaa Hariri (estranged brother of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri), and the United Arab Emirates. The Ukrainian oligarch run Burisma Holdings donated $100,000 per year for three years to the Atlantic Council starting in 2016. The full list of financial sponsors includes many military, financial, and corporate concerns.
The leading donors in 2018 were Facebook and the British government. A report by the Center for International Policy's Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative of the top 50 think tanks on the University of Pennsylvania's Global Go-To Think Tanks rating index found that during the period 2014-2018 the Atlantic Council received the fourth-highest amount of funding from outside the United States compared to other think tanks, with a total of more than US$12 million from donors that included eighteen European nations, the European Union itself, NATO, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Last Edit: Sept 27, 2020 19:49:02 GMT -8 by kungfuzu
Post by timothylane on Sept 27, 2020 19:57:39 GMT -8
One thing to remember is that leftist culture warriors seek to impose their libertinist amorality on the whole world, including many countries (especially in Africa and the Muslim world) which are very hostile to such avant garde notions.
I don’t expect to finish this books so I’ll say a few words about it so far.
Generally speaking, Chernow adopts the bland tone of the modern biographical writer. There’s no analysis, no judgment. It’s all plain vanilla. However, the material he has to work with early-on is somewhat extraordinary. John D. Rockefeller’s father was a bum, a rogue, a dirtbag, and an apparently likable snake-oil salesman.
Immediately the thought occurs that I want to read more about this guy who regularly abandoned his family, had more than one wife, and took part in adventures unknown than the bland John D. Rockefeller himself.
But I’m sure it will get more interesting as Rockefeller reaches age and becomes a bit of a rogue himself, although a more buttoned-down and tight-lipped one apparently. But clearly he got a lot of the entrepreneurial spirit from his father although it was the Avery side of the family that at the time had the money are were respectable.
It’s interesting to read that this Titan could arise from suck a cluster**** of family dysfunction and chaos.
But it hasn’t been dull so far. In fact, Chernow actually dared to step out of the “objective” box of today’s typical biographer and provide some interesting analysis/opinion now and again.
The author writes: “Where Rockefeller differed most from his fellow moguls was that he wanted to be both rich and virtuous…”.
There’s a lot more to go in this book. But the author has spent a fair enough time telling us, in so many words, how rotten the man was because of his business practices. So far he’s guilty of little more than applying the principle of “cooperative” capitalism. So far, the man doesn’t appear rotten at all. But we’re assured that he is.
The best part of the book was a few pages ago when Chernow waxed poetic about Adam Smith’s concept of the evening-out (winnowing-out) process of a free market compared to what big businesses truly wants: even predictability.
A good case can be made that Rockefeller smoothed-out a chaotic and often destructively-competitive oil/refinery market. This was before antitrust laws, so cooperating with railroads and other producers was not illegal. And hindsight probably shows that, although many little guys were squashed like bugs in the micro, in the macro perspective, these big, monopolistic cartels launched America’s industrial might.
Rockefeller himself was a strange mix of mogul and sincere church-goer. And one of the oddest things (not uncommon amongst the rich, I guess) is that he could spend millions in his business life but pinched pennies in his personal life.
To his credit, he was against ostentatious displays of wealth. He was a humble Baptist through-and-through. One of the interesting stories of home life is how he calculated an average monthly cost of gas usage for the home. He then allowed one of his daughters to be in charge of managing the gas in the house. Any savings in the bill she would get to keep. So she managed the house very well by being vigilant in turning off unused lights.
This is good that he didn’t spoil his children. But it’s also an interest contrast because this is the kind of guy who had wealth that made it practical to light his cigars with ten-dollar bills.
Post by timothylane on Nov 30, 2020 18:59:27 GMT -8
I'm nearly done reading Ann Rule's probably final true crime book, Practice to Deceive. It involves a most peculiar murder that occurred on Boxing Day, 2003 on Whidbey Island near Seattle.
The outcome is clear in some ways; the murderer was convicted and the woman who incited him to kill a man he had probably never met was as well. But there is much that is unsatisfactory about it, and Rule makes that quite clear. It's also interesting that the woman was born Peggy Sue Stackhouse -- and Rule'd maiden name is also Stackhouse, though she doesn't know of any link between their families.
Russel Douglas had a troublesome marriage to his wife Brenna, and they were considering divorce. But tey were also discussing reconciliation that Christmas. It no doubt helped that he was good with his children, though Brenna would trash him to the investigating officers after his body was found a day after his murder, and had probably told her friend (and landlady) Peggy Sue Thomas that he abused his children (which he didn't, by all indications, despite his disputes with Brenna). Peggy Sue probably told her then boyfriend, Jim Huden, who had been badly abused as a child and was happy to punish another abuser. (This is the best indication of the motive.)
Huden had recently picked up a gun, so he was equipped for murder. Obviously, the sensible thing to do was to dispose of it afterward when he left Whidbey, traversing Puget Sound. But it was worth a lot of money, so it ended up in the hands of a friend, who eventually turned it over to the police -- who linked it to the murder, pretty much sealing Huden's fate.
That is, they sealed it once they got hold of him. Realizing what was happening, Huden took advantage of a hurricane to go to Mexico and start a new life there. Eventually the police got his wife to tell where he was (she was facing a long term in the slammer for drug charges if she didn't squeal). The trial faced all the usual delays, made even worse by the fact that Whidbey Island has small police and prosecutorial staffs. It would be 2012 before first Huden and then Thomas went to court.
An interesting aspect of the trial is that in his first closing argument, the prosecutor pointed out, "Facts are stubborn things." Indeed they are, and those facts got Huden convicted of first-degree murder. Did the prosecutor get this quote from its original source (John Adams), or had he encountered Brad Nelson's site (assuming it had been set up by then)? Probably the former, but who knows?
I will add that Rule, as usual, goes back into the history of the people (and their families) involved in the case. Peggy Sue's family had a horrible tragedy in its background (but before her birth) when it was victimized by a monstrous neighboring boy who should already have been in jail. He was after that, and as of the writing of the story was still there and unlikely to leave. (They did parole him once, and it took a couple of weeks for him to get back to his old trick, violent rape. At least this time the victim lived.)
As usual with Rule, this is quite an interesting book.
Peggy Sue Thomas ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge, which resulted in a sentence of 4 years in prison, the most the judge could give her. So she's probably out now. Her defense team was worried that the jury might dislike her enough to convict her and give her a long sentence. The prosecution was worried that the evidence against her was weak because a key witness was sick and unavailable. Jim Huden received to inculpate her in any way, and some others didn't want to testify, so they had a shortage of evidence.
Rule sees her, in essence, as a sociopath. Everyone she meets matters only for what they can do for her. Its unlikely this has changed. But she's a very pleasant person when she wants to be, and has probably landed on her feet.
Post by Brad Nelson on Dec 1, 2020 13:53:19 GMT -8
Facts are no longer stubborn things. They are blurry things difficult to pinpoint in the cacophony of misinformation and baloney. I like the connection to Whidbey Island. I haven't been there in like forever. But I have been there. If Stackhouse had confined her actions to the streets of Seattle, she would have just been written off as a patriot fighting for Black Lives Matter.
I noticed the front cover of the book is one of Dali's Cruxifictions. Many years ago, I saw one in the National Gallery in D.C. His and Matthias Gruenewald's Cruxifiction are the most powerful I have ever seen.
Last Edit: Dec 3, 2020 22:59:43 GMT -8 by kungfuzu
Nor does Holland attribute Christianity to any supernatural power. Holland presents a Christianity that is stitched together of pre-existing parts, including Roman emperor worship, Greek philosophy, Zoroastrian concepts of good and evil and European Paganism. In Holland's view, it is Christianity's innovative use of those pre-existing parts that changed the world.
I totally understand the approach of, “Christianity is a useful smorgasbord of ideas but it’s not really true.”
The first review for the book I saw on Amazon titled his review, “The Secular Case for Christianity.” This is the general trend these days. It’s not really true but Christianity can be a vehicle for worldly material concerns — which, after all, is all there really is. This book could be the charter for the current Church of England or various “progressive” Christian churches. It’s not really true but we can bring material comfort to people because, after all, the moral aspect of Christianity (rooted in a loving, but judging, God) is simply not really true. It’s most important that we “accept” people, not impose moral duties.
But I wonder if the author deals with the very likely reality that *if* there was the God of the Bible (New and Old Testament) and *if* there was a real, actual, moral underpinning to the universe, and *if* people believed this then, and only then, does the idea of “morality that transcended tribal boundaries” get implemented. If we look at the easy acceptance of abortion and a number of ills by “progressive” Christians, we might see this is so.
From what I’ve read of the review, it seems the author skewers a number of secular conceits. That’s good. But I just wonder if ultimately his entire point of view doesn’t fall under what Dennis Prager calls “cut-flower ethics.” If you cut off the ethics in the Bible from their source, they may survive for a while. But without the nourishment of being rooted in the Divine, those ethics will wither and die.
I think what we see today is many people trying to drive a secular Christianity through the eye of the needle. I’m sure this book makes some great points. But, ultimately, if written by an atheist, I guess I can understand why it’s 624 pages long. He couldn’t get to the above simple point.
Anyway, that’s my take without having actually read the book.
One of America's most insightful public intellectuals has finally caught up with my forecast made almost 50 years ago. I continue to warn people that what is happening in not about communism. It is about wealth and power being accumulated as it generally has been throughout history. The huge American middle-class with its expansive liberty is an anomaly in history. We are going back to government controlling the means of production combined with totalitarian rule. Fascism is modern-day feudalism.
Post by timothylane on Dec 12, 2020 12:57:34 GMT -8
T. H. White, in his various Arthurian works, had Arthur visiting an ant colony. (It was originally put in The Book of Merlyn, but when the first 4 were combined into The Once and Future King, it was moved into The Sword in the Stone.) It was portrayed as a totalitarian state, albeit more akin to the Nazis who were the immediate threat at the time. The entrance had a sign saying (in ant language), "Everything not forbidden is compulsory."
timothylane: I think it's clear KFZ had a happy birthday, or at least a happy meal (but not a Happy Meal). I hope so, anyway. No doubt it helps that he isn't stuck in a nursing home for the rest of his life.
Jul 25, 2019 21:25:52 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: Yes, Happy Birthday, Mr. Kung. I had forgotten yours was so close to mine. What day was it?
Jul 26, 2019 9:03:45 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Thanks to all for your birthday wishes. Yes, I did have a very happy meal. Not only did I have that wonderful steak and Brunello, but my wife also served up a lobster bisque. I generally eat well, but it is very rare for me to have such a fabulous repast.
Jul 26, 2019 9:41:08 GMT -8
kungfuzu: My birth date, July 25th, is of course a very important day in history. For example, one of the world-changing things to have taken place on this date was.........(crickets chirping) oh yeah, Bleriot was the first to fly across the English Channel
Jul 26, 2019 9:43:58 GMT -8
timothylane: Well, that's more than I can think of for December 12, my birth date. Some people are luckier, and even have some appopriate event -- such as Barack Obama being born on the anniversary of the Borden murders in Fall River, MA.
Jul 26, 2019 10:28:32 GMT -8
timothylane: Lobster bisque --- I've probably had that somewhere. But I'll go for New England clam chowder first. It's my favorite soup. I'll also take shrimp over lobster (or crab), though I like them all (and plenty of mollusks as well).
Jul 26, 2019 10:30:06 GMT -8
lynda: Just in case I'm offline on December 12th, Happy Birthday Timothy! I hope you get shrimp, and clam chowder.
Jul 26, 2019 11:17:29 GMT -8
timothylane: Thank you. I've never had clam chowder here (not even that tomato-based Manhattan version, which I had once), but they have on rare occasion had some sort of shrimp (I think theoretically shrimp scampi). You take what you can get.
Jul 26, 2019 11:58:05 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Tonight at 8:00pm ET, METv is broadcasting "Forbidden Planet" during it's Saturday night "Svengoolee" segment.
Jul 27, 2019 10:17:44 GMT -8
timothylane: They also have the Star Trek episode "Errand of Mercy" (war with the Klingons over Organia) at 10 p.m. And some interesting Three Stooges pie fights at 6 p.m., including the "Sword of Damocles" sequence.
Jul 27, 2019 10:45:10 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: I've got the Blu-ray version of Forbidden Planet. It might be time to ogle Anne Francis again. I have monsters in my ID. What can I say?
Jul 27, 2019 20:19:35 GMT -8
davegs: I've been in IT for over 40 years - and have been cobbling together systems for family and friends for years. It's not quite 'steam-punk' - but can seem rather close sometimes. Now its about weeding out what's been accumulated over the years.
Jul 30, 2019 6:08:39 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: I love the idea of a steam-punk Rube-Goldbergesque computer made of just stuff sitting around. That's something you can do with a PC that you really can't do with a Mac.
Jul 30, 2019 7:51:49 GMT -8
Brad Nelson: There used to be a PC repair place down the hall from me. I got a good view of how this guy could take parts and make a PC. He made me a couple from spare parts...parts that weren't up to spec but technically still worked.
Aug 1, 2019 9:07:57 GMT -8
kungfuzu: To continue my ongoing history lesson on the low regard in which actors have been held throughout history, I just read that actors could not become citizens in the Byzantine Empire. Apparently, the word actor was used as a synonym for prostitute.
Aug 1, 2019 10:41:31 GMT -8
kungfuzu: MeTV is showing John Wayne in "Chisum" at the moment. They just had "Rio Lobo." I don't know if this is a John Wayne binge, but if it is, I'll be happy.
Nov 13, 2019 14:49:32 GMT -8
kungfuzu: Sorry, it is not MeTV, but the Movies Channel which is showing "Chisum."
Nov 13, 2019 15:05:21 GMT -8
timothylane: I was wondering. MeTV doesn't show movies, though it does show plenty of western TV shows (except on Sundays). I've seen Chisum, about the Lincoln County War. I don't know if I have the Movies Channel, or if so where it is.
Nov 16, 2019 16:45:52 GMT -8