Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End

Earth's Orbit

The end of the year is of course a very arbitrary thing after all circles have no beginning and no end. They are so to speak infinite in length. No matter how long you travel around a circle you will never come to its end or in fact it’s beginning. It is are like the huge dragon worm of Norse mythology that circles the world biting its own tail although in this case there is no head or tail just a continuous circle.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Noel
Nativity Scene
Perhaps one of the most evocative of modern Christmas Carols is Chris de Burgh’s A Spaceman Came Travelling, from his strongly Religiously flavored album Spanish Train.

So for this time of year let this lovely piece fill your mind, while we wait another year for a touch of the divine.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Down the Memory Hole
An Unknown French Victory of the Hundred Years War

du Guesclin
The Hundred Years war between England and France is not just interesting in and of itself but also of interest in how it is portrayed in modern day historical consciousness. In England for example we get detailed treatment of the battles of Sluys, Crecy, Poitiers, Agincourt and Verneuil.1

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Fall of Rome
A Note on Britain

Late Roman British Villa

The Fall of Rome is considered one of the great mysteries of history. In fact Edward Gibbon wrote one of the great masterpieces of historical literature in his The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.1 In it Edward Gibbon says remarkably little about "big causes" of the decline and instead gives, in very great detail, a narrative of events regarding the fall.2

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Rosenberg's Guilt

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
In a previous posting1 I discussed the Rosenberg case. In that case Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were found guilty of espionage and both were eventually executed.

What was especially interesting about the case was the refusal of so many for so long to accept that the Rosenberg's were guilty. As of late 2011 it appears that virtually everyone has accepted that Julius Rosenberg engaged in spying and his wife Ethel was well aware of her husband's activities.2 

At the time it was quite clear that the Rosenberg's were likely quite guilty. It was also clear that they could be quite useful as propaganda weapons. Both of the Rosenberg's were Communists and in that time period it meant that they were Stalinists.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Danse Macabre
The Russian – German War 1941 – 1945, Part 2
Why?

Operation Barbarossa
June 22 1941-December 5 1941
In a previous posting1 I discussed certain aspects of the Russian German War of 1941-1945. here I will discuss a few more aspects. of this war.

Friday, December 02, 2011

This is your Brain on Star Trek

Cast of S.T.T.N.G.

The following is several numbered, humorous, lists regarding Star Trek. I found them on my computer and I think I've been carrying them around in my data files for over ten years. I'm not sure if they are still available on the web. So I'm putting them up here. They are in some cases a bit dated but still funny.

Enjoy.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Hollywood
and
Canada

Movie Poster

One of the "joys" of being a Canadian is taking pleasure in how ignorant Americans are of Canada and of course at the same time being annoyed at the ignorance.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Brontes:
An Appreciation Part A
Emily Bronte

Emily Bronte from a painting by
Branwell Bronte

SPOILERS AHEAD

It is rare when genius occurs in the same family and rarer still when it is the same type of genius. One of the most outstanding examples of the occurrence of similar genius in the same family is the Bronte sisters.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Another Napoleonic Fiasco
Napoleon and Russia
A Brief Note on Supply and Size

The French Invasion of and Retreat from Russia in 1812

In a previous posting I discussed the fiasco of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt which ended with the French being trapped in Egypt and then expelled, with the loss of a bit over ½ of the expeditionary force.1 It is now approaching the 200 year anniversary of Napoleons invasion of Russia so here I will briefly discuss some myths associated with another Napoleonic fiasco, the invasion of Russia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Politics and the
Warrior Queen


Carving of Bajlaj Chan K'awiil
King of Dos Pilas

One of the most surprising discoveries associated with the decipherment of Mayan Hieroglyphs has been the discovery of a whole previously unknown world of dynastic politics and intrigue. Perhaps the most convoluted involves the dynastic politics of the site of Dos Pilas.1

Sometime in the second quarter of the 7th century (625-650 C.E.) a man called Bajlaj Chan K’awiil become lord of the site of Dos Pilas. Now Dos Pilas is a small site, but the dynastic history which it participated in was not that of a minor site but that of a major power in the Mayan world.2

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Battle of Grand Coteau
A Note

Red River Cart

The Battle of Grand Coteau (Big Knife) was a small engagement between a Metis hunting party and a Sioux war band that occurred on July 14th and 15th of 1851.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

The Emergence of Civilization
Part I 

Great Bath at Mohenjodaro
Indus Civilization c. 2300 B.C.E.

The emergence of Civilization is without a doubt one of the great mysteries of human history. We know far too little about the process by which civilization emerged and then spread. However let us first go through a few definitions.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

On the lighter Side
Winter

Winter In Toronto
Mid Ninteenth Century

The ghastly and rather interminable Canadian Winter is set to arrive here in Toronto shortly and so here are some thoughts about the arrival of our own Via Dolorosa here in the Great White North.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Diffusionistic Fantasies IIc
Thor Heyerdahl, Part Three

Sacred Sun stone (Intihuatani)
Machu Picchu Peru

In two previous postings I went through Thor Heyerdahl’s listing of reasons to believe that there was significant cultural diffusion between the Old and New World before Columbus. Here I will go through the last 14 items in Thor Heyerdahl’s list and then wrap up with a few conclusions.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Age of Justinian Part III
Samizdat Under Justinian
A Note

Map of Byzantine Empire under Justinian I

In two previous postings I discussed the reign of Justinian I1 Here I will discuss a rather interesting feature of the intellectual culture of the time period. The existence of an alternative dissenting intellectual culture / opposition to the official culture promulgated by the Imperial state and glorifying Justinian.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Danse Macabre
The Russian – German War 1941 – 1945, Part 1
A Few Notes

German Soldier on the Eastern Front

The Russian – German War 1941 – 1945 was without doubt the greatest single war in history. It does, sadly, remain very poorly known to Americans and Western Europeans in general. What follows are just a few basic statistics and facts about the war so has to give a general idea of the nature of the war.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust
Thoughts on the fall of Gaddafi

Gaddafi in better days

One of the common historical tropes of the last two centuries or so has been the rise and fall of the dictator. We recently have been given a veritable feast of falling and fallen dictators with the ongoing Arab Spring. Bloody and chaotic though it has been it has removed many of the world’s longest lasting dictators.1

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anonymous Idiocy

Anonymous Movie Poster

I do not review movies I’ve never seen. However in the case of Anonymous1 I have a few things to say about the plot and premise.

The following is a slightly reworked version of several postings I made in comments at the site Skeptical Humanities.2 What follows is a bit of a rant also.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Endings in Nazi Germany

Reichstag, Berlin 1945

After the Second World War, there emerged in Germany, especially among former officers in the German Armed Forces, a lying memoir literature that sought to excuse, justify and basically explain why they were loyal to the regime to the end.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Playing with Numbers

Battle Scene During War of Triple Alliance

In a previous posting I talked about the War of the Triple Alliance / The Paraguayan War 1864-1870. Here I will discuss a revisionist attempt to downplay the demographic disaster for Paraguay that resulted from the war.1

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Elizabeth I and the Armada

Elizabeth I
The Armada Portrait

In a previous posting I discussed the myths regarding the alleged incompetence and lack of experience of the commander of the Armada, The Duke of Medina Sidonia, and showed what a simple perusal of Spanish records and archives would have shown, that the Duke was a supremely competent administrator and his handling of the Armada was if not brilliant was over all competent.1

Here I will tackle another historical myth, that of the parsimony and “incompetence” of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) in her handling of the war with Spain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Number Games

One of the most fascinating aspects of mathematics is that of unexpected results. For example there is the way things multiply with astounding speed once you start.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Sometimes Lessing is less:
Doris Lessing and the Afghans

Doris Lessing

One of more annoying features of modern life is the writer who becomes involved in a worthwhile cause and then uses it has a platform to pontificate about stuff they know little about. A classic example is Doris Lessing. Now Doris Lessing is a very well known writer who in 2007 won the Nobel Prize for literature. Unfortunately Doris Lessing aside from writing well written books has also shown a less than sterling intellectual sense about certain matters.1

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Going Backwards

Book Cover

 SPOILERS AHEAD
You’ve been Warned!!

In the last generation, in North America, the graphic novel as come of age. In Europe graphic novels have long been a mainstay of publishing and the adult market for “comics” has always been huge. And of course in Japan we have the omnipresence of manga. The graphic novel has led itself quite well to both Science Fiction and quirky ideas. An example of this is the graphic novel The Man Who Grew Young.1

Friday, September 16, 2011

Caste
And
Class in the South

Movie Poster

SPOILERS AHEAD
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!

I recently saw the film The Help, based on a book by Kathryn Stockett.1 The movie was directed by Tate Taylor and stars Viola Davis as Aibileen and Emma Stone as Eugenia and Octavia Jackson as Minny in the main roles.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering
9/11

Ground Zero

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks in New York City and in Washington D.C. that killed c. 3,000 people.1 This event has had and will continue to have a large and significant effect on life, politics and culture in our world. Here I will simply talk about my own recollections about and thoughts concerning 9/11.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Ender
Meets Hamlet

Book Cover

This is one of those WTF!1 discoveries that make life interesting and annoying at the same time. In this case the WTF moment was brought to us by Orson Scott Card (1951- ),2 Science Fiction and Fantasy writer.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

The Mulla

Nasrudin teaching


In the Muslim world there as been since early on movements of philosophical mysticism. Most of them are grouped under the name of Sufism, which means “woolly minded”.1 Sufism is not a religious belief system but a movement although various Muslim religious sects have arisen out of it.2

The influences on Sufism are Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and most notably Buddhism. However the influence of ancient Middle Eastern and Eastern traditions of wisdom should not be overlooked.3

One of the techniques of Sufistic contemplation is that of contemplating the “meaning” of various stories, sayings and jokes. That aside from having a surface meaning the stories etc., has layers of deeper more profound, mystical meaning.4

Thus we get to the Mulla mentioned in the title. The Mulla’s name is Nasrudin and no he is not a real person. He is a device to teach and to entertain. He is in the stories, jokes etc., the everyman, and he is commonplace, stunningly stupid and amazingly wise depending on the story. He is in other words as unreal as the Kilroy in the saying “Kilroy was here”.5

So now we get to the real point of this posting some of the stories. However before I go into the stories I must mention that some of the stories I am using come from a collection put together by Idries Shah. Idries Shah, (1924-1996) was a controversial character to put it mildly for all sorts of reasons. However in this case it is because his translations of material were often slipshod and his account of Sufism is not to be trusted. So it is with trepidation that I use Idries Shah’s collection of Nasrudin tales.6

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Longest Count

Stela One, Coba, Yucatan, Mexico

In a previous posting I discussed the Mayan calendar and of course the Mayan long count.1 Since the supposed ending of the world in 2012 was supposedly predicted by the Maya perhaps exactly what the Mayan long count was about should be examined. Now in the Mayan long count dates were given by giving the number of days that had passed since August 11, 3114 B.C.E., (B.C.).2 This was the so called long count which is usually transcribed into 5 numbers as in 13.0.0.0.0. The number given is in fact the beginning of the Mayan long count.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

“Christian” Imperial Charity

Portia disguised as young Lawyer

Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice is as per usual as a play an excellent play. However it’s excellence as a play and of course Shakespeare’s well deserved status as a truly great playwright has to a large extent muted the response to the fact that the play has some truly ugly features to it.

It of course is commonly recognized that the play is anti-Judaic.1 It is also recognized that the play’s depiction of Shylock is a collection of stereotypes and clichés by in large. That these clichés and stereotypes and anti-Judaic myths, were later transmitted into racial anti-Semitism is also recognized. But then the “buts” come rolling in. We are treated to arguments that Shylock is a rounded character that he is given good speeches; that the play is about the triumph of love and charity, that it is fairy tale, that Shylock is a fantasy villain, a hobgoblin, and a wicked uncle that we are not to take any of this seriously in the slightest. That Shylock is such an obnoxious individual, and he is, that his being Jewish is incidental.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Self Abuse Insanity
And Mark Twain

Mark Twain

In the 19th century Doctors all over the Western World were bravely fighting a mighty scourge that threatened to destroy society, the family and finally all civilization. They bravely fought this mighty “scourge” despite the insidious way it infected the purest of minds, leading them down the road to degradation, decadence and depravity, (The three Ds). In their never ending battle to fight this evil the Doctor’s never for one moment slacked their vigilance and gave the enemy any respite.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Stupid Grammar Tricks

No Caption Needed

This short little note about grammar is not about the basic rules of language that regulate how language is structured so that what we say makes sense. It isn’t about Noam Chomsky’s idea about transformative grammar and so forth. It is not about the basic, apparently hardwired rules that make “The cat sat on the mat”, different from “The mat sat on the cat”. Those are actual grammar rules governing exactly how people express themselves in speech and language.

No what I’m going to talk about are what are called prescriptive language rules. These are rules created, supposedly to avoid, vague, and incoherent ways of expressing yourself by avoiding certain uses of speech.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Holocaust Denial
Some General Comments

"Work Makes Free"
Gate from Auschwitz

The following series of comments are not an analysis of the arguments made for Holocaust Denial; but just some general comments about the phenomena and nature of Holocaust Denial.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Orgasms of Death
"Hitler’s" Science Fiction

Book Cover
Spoilers Ahead!
You have been Warned!!

Of course Hitler never wrote any Science Fiction in the real world. At best he was a mildly talented painter, and it is such a piety for the world that he did not remain a painter. Hitler died far too late in 1945 after tens of millions had paid for with their lives for his existence. But what would Hitler have written if he had lived and moved to the USA and written Science Fiction?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Annoying Carelessness

Map of America On Eve of Civil War

One of the most common yet annoying habits of far too many scholars when engaged in doing a study of a particular aspect of something is to assume a cavalier attitude about the facts regarding other aspects of what they are studying as if it is of little importance.

An outstanding example of this is provided by the book Upon the Altar of the Nation,1. It is subtitled “A Moral history of the Civil War”. The Author decided to provide five maps indicating the major engagements of the years of the Civil war along with who won, who lost, indecisive battles, the total size of armies and military casualties during each year.2

Monday, July 18, 2011

Trial by Media

Caylee

It wasn’t until the case was over that I had heard about the case of Casey Anthony. When the verdict was announced much of the media and much of the public primed by that media coverage reacted with hysterical fury.

The case involved the disappearance / murder? of Caylee, Casey Anthony’s 2 year old daughter whose body was latter found in a plastic bag having been dead for some months. The fact that Casey the mother had neglected to inform the authorities etc., about Caylee’s disappearance for months, and in fact went partying etc., after the disappearance of her child does not give Casey any points towards being mother of the year. And Casey lied and lied about where Caylee was etc. Not surprisingly Casey was arrested.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saints
An Irreverent Short Note

St. Christopher Carrying the Christ Child

I was brought up a Catholic, but now I’m a lapsed or has the jargon goes a “recovering” Catholic. One of the things I most remember about my years of growing up as a Catholic is the Saints.

We Catholics seemed to have Saints for everything. From St. Christopher, the patron St. of travellers to national Saints like St. Louis and St. Joan of Arc, the patron St’s of France to St. Edward the Confessor and St. George of England. Of course it got a little sad when St. Christopher was removed from the list of Saints on the rather good grounds that he never existed.1 Such a pity I rather liked the story of him carrying the Christ child across a river. But still there are hundreds of Saints to choose from to address your messages to the ear of God.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Insipid Romanticism

Mary I Queen of Scots

Mary Queen of Scots is a favourite with the public in that if they know a ruler of Scotland they are more than likely to know that she was Queen of Scotland. One of only four reigning Queens of Scotland.1 Because of Mary I’s tragic fate, i.e., being overthrown and then imprisoned in England and then executed after more than a decade and a half of being imprisoned by order of Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary – Queen of Scots, became a figure of romance and a figure in “popular” history. The number of fictional accounts, i.e., novels, about Mary – Queen of Scots, is huge and there is even a good play about Mary’s life by Schiller.2

This romanticism has spilled over into actual historical work and as coloured perceptions of Mary and her great antagonist Elizabeth I of England.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Afternoon in Eprius

Orestes murdering Clytaemnestra

In a previous posting I posted a part of a play I was writing concerning Andromache former wife of Hector and now 15 years after the fall of Troy Queen of Eprius. In that part I gave queen Andromache a long soliloquy has a prologue to the play. In this prologue Andromache gave the story of how she became Queen of Eprius and how a crisis is threatening her kingdom in the form of a Greek attack. In the prologue Andromache mentions that Orestes and Eleckra, the Son and daughter of Agamemnon of Mycenae wish to talk with her concerning this threat. Orestes and Eleckra father Agamemnon had been murdered by Clytaemnestra mother of Orestes and Eleckra who avenged their father by killing their mother. Both of them had been driven into exile as matricides. Andromache has reluctantly decided to see them. However a unforeseen guest has arrived in the form of Chrysothemis sister of Elecra and Orestes and hated by them for refusing to help in avenging their father.

In this scene it is early afternoon and Orestes, Electra are trying to justify their act of vengeance and antipathy towards their sister to the Queen Andromache. Chrysothemis is not interested in justifying her behavior, she sees her siblings as blinded by hate and delusion and utterly oblivious to actual justice.

Orestes and Eleckra see their dead father has a hero and cannot tolerate the truth about him, further they see their mother has the reason for their suffering they have and still are enduring. They see their act of revenge as justice. Their mother they see as unnatural, un-womanly and evil and thus deserving of death.

Chrysothemis sees revenge as poisonous and dangerous. She has no illusions about her father or for that matter her mother. She sees ambition as a corrupter of men's nature and sees her father as one so corrupted. Honour and nobility she sees as high ideals easily corrupted and perverted. Her mother she sees has someone corrupted by suffering and rage. Chrysothemis believes that Agamemnon's deeds against their mother Clytaemnestra and corrupted her the way ambition corrupted Agamemnon. She is also infuriated to no end by the double standard applied to Agamemnon's sexual behavior as against their mother's.

Friday, June 24, 2011

More Garden Pics

Here are some pictures of my garden that I took in June of this year.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

 The Archaeology
Of an Ending

Book Cover
THIS REVIEW
CONTAINS SPOILERS!!

Science Fiction books about Archaeology are frankly rather rare. Despite the romance of popular versions of Archaeology, the discipline is plain hard work and very unromantic. One of its chief characteristics is the sheer hard work and tedium involved in doing a dig and classifying and analysing what you find. Very little of archaeology is King Tut’s tomb, or Indiana Jones style grave robbing.

As an aside here Indiana Jones as an archaeologist is a pretty bad one. He is frankly nothing better than a grave robber and treasure hunter and not very good at it either. But of course Indiana Jones is great fun to watch for a bit a mindless popcorn fluff to while away a dull afternoon. As an introduction to archaeology he and the movies the character is stuck in are nonsense.

Since real archaeology is from most peoples perspectives a lot of drudgery and tedium it is rather hard to make it exciting and at the same time preserve some level of connection with the real thing. This brings us to the book I’m reviewing.

The book is John Brunner’s Total Eclipse.1 The book combines two interests of mine Science Fiction and Archaeology.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Big Rocks
Review of Deep Impact & Armageddon

Movie Poster

Armageddon and Deep Impact are both about BIG ROCKS hitting the Earth. The year before, (1997) we had BIG MOUNTAINS blowing up, (Volcano, Dante’s Peak), so Hollywood has another high concept fit. The laws of physics, plot probability, common sense don’t apply. teeth grinding cliches, improving on nature, and real stupid plot developments, and idiot acting, apply in abundance.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

The Battle of The Little Bighorn
A Note

Battle of the Little Bighorn

The battle of The Little Bighorn as produced an industry of books, and articles and has become a canonical / iconic event. This is sort of surprising given that the event wasn’t much more than a skirmish and in the great scheme of things not really all that important.

In fact the largely inordinate amount of attention given to this event is in itself a fascinating topic. However it seems to be one that attracts little attention. Instead the battle of The Little Bighorn has been dissected, analysed and evaluated and written about over and over again. In fact this small battle has been analysed to death. I suspect that the real reason for the fascination with the battle is not the battle itself but its context. By context I mean two factors, both closely linked; one is historical and the other is mythical.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Freud’s Slip

Freud

Psychoanalysis and Freudianism have taken many blows in the past 30 years or so. All of which have steadily worn out Freud’s welcome in scientific circles. Certainly in most Psychology departments in universities Freudianism as science is not taken seriously. In fact Freudianism seems to be taken much more seriously by literary critics as a way to analyse literature than by psychologists. All of this is ignored by Freudians who living and working in a hermetically intellectually sealed environment ignore all this while the scientific foundations of Freudianism wither away to reveal nothing.1

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Diffusionistic Fantasies
Part VI
Prescott’s Good Sense

William H. Prescott

William H. Prescott, was a noted American Historian. Today he is best known for his massive History of the Conquest of Mexico and his History of the Conquest of Peru.1 Both still in print and often published together as a single volume.

Prescott who lived 1796-1859 C.E., did not have available to him the vast corpus of resources and findings that would help a modern scholar do a book about the conquest of Mexico and Peru. He instead had to rely on the limited, and it was limited, first hand accounts, further he had to rely on the limited ethnographic and to the extent there was any archaeological data that was available concerning the indigenous civilizations of the New World. His History of the Conquest of Mexico was published in 1843 and his History of the Conquest of Peru in 1847. Although Prescott did visit various Spanish archives he never did visit either Mexico or Peru.

Further given the limited nature of researches into the indigenous civilizations there flourished a veritable industry of fantasy concerning these cultures. This makes Prescott’s achievement even more remarkable.

Prescott wrote a short essay in his Appendix, Part I, called Origin of the Mexican Civilization – Analogies With the Old World.2 This essay despite more than a century and a half since it was written merits re-reading especially by those who still take hyper-diffusionism seriously.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Thing of Beauty
is a Wonder to Behold
Snow Leopards

Below are some pictures and a few paintings of an animal that is so beautiful and handsome has to be magical. I have found that just looking at these wonderful pictures of this animal restores my spirits, soothes the soul and restores my peace of mind. Just when you think the world is truly terrible place with so much ugliness it is good to know that there is this almost unearthly creature on it. In some respects contemplating this creature is better than prozac.

Perhaps some other time I will talk about this creature some more. Right now however just look at these pictures and be awed.

Monday, May 09, 2011

200

Well this is my 200th posting and I thought I would entertain my many fans(?) With some of my thoughts about why I’m doing this.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Ayn Rand
Progress
and
Justifiable Atrocity

Ayn Rand

The late Ayn Rand, (1905—1982)1 said in response to this question.2

When you consider the cultural genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of blacks, and the relocation of Japanese Americans during World War Two, how can you have such a positive view of America?
Ayn Rand replied:

I don’t care to discuss the alleged complaints American Indians have against this country.I believe, with good reason, the most unsympathetic Hollywood portrayal of Indians and what they did to the white man. They had no right to a country merely because they were born here and then acted like savages. The white man did not conquer this country. And you are a racist if you object, because it means you believe that certain men are entitled to something because of their race. You believe that if someone is born in a magnificent country and doesn’t know what to do with it, he still has a property right to it. He does not.
Since the Indians did not have the concept of property or property rights – they didn’t have a settled society, they had predominantly nomadic tribal ‘cultures’ – they didn’t have rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights that they had not conceived of and were not using. It’s wrong to attack a country that respects (or even tries to respect) individual rights. If you do, you’re an aggressor and are morally wrong. But if a ‘country’ does not protect rights – if a group of tribesmen are the slaves of their tribal chief – why should you respect the ‘rights’ that they don’t have or respect?
The same is true for a dictatorship. The citizens in it have individual rights, but the country has no rights and so anyone has the right to invade it, because rights are not recognized in that country; and no individual or country can have its cake and eat it too – that is, you can’t claim one should respect the ‘rights’ of Indians, when they had no concept of rights and no respect for rights.

But let’s suppose they were all beautifully innocent savages – which they certainly were not. What were they fighting for, in opposing the white man on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence; for their ‘right’ to keep a part of the earth untouched – to keep everybody out so they could live like animals or cavemen?

Any European who brought with him an element of civilization had the right to take over this continent, and it’s great that some of them did.

...

As a principle, one should respect the sanctity of a contract among individuals. But I oppose applying contract law to American Indians. When a group of people or a nation does not respect individual rights, it cannot claim any rights whatsoever. The Indians were savages, with ghastly tribal rules and rituals, including the famous “Indian Torture.” Such tribes have no rights. Anyone had the right to come here and take whatever they could, because they would be dealing with savages as Indians dealt with each other – that is, by force. We owe nothing to Indians, except the memory of monstrous evils done by them.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Moral Cretinism Part VII
The CPUSA, Stalin and Espionage
A Book Review

Book Cover

Ideological struggles and Academic one upmanship is as old as, well, academia and no doubt will exist as long as man exists a recent example of this is the victory dance academic one upmanship performed after the fall of Communism.

Or to give a more particular example the case of spying for the Soviet Union and the American Communist party. Case in point the book In Denial by John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr.1 In the book our heroes, (Because that is how they see themselves), pat themselves on the back and do a victory dance.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Jesus the Little Known
A Note

Icon of Jesus

Jesus of Nazareth will undoubtedly be considered by many people has one of them most influential if not most influential person who ever lived. It is sad that this extraordinary influential person is one we know very little about. In real terms.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Selective "States  Rights"

Map of the Confederacy

In the period before the Civil War it was accepted that yes the US government with the states could indeed abolish slavery by constitutional amendment. That was why so many in the South were so afraid of the rising number of Free states that would, they feared, eventually reach a number that would allow the abolition of Slavery by constitutional amendment.1

In fact the original 13th amendment recognized this fact by the fact it was even proposed, and further efforts were made to make it impossible to amend by other constitutional amendments further recognizing that the abolition of slavery by constitutional amendment was recognized pre Civil War as a perfectly legal possibility.2