Monday, 24 November 2008

Coalitional signalling

There at the top, on the edge of the castle moat we found a group of Druzes, young men and boys, standing in a circle and singing a terrible song. They were all armed and most of them carried bare swords. "Oh Lord our God, upon them! upon them!" I too joined the circle with my guide. "Let the child leave his mother's side. Let the young man mount and be gone." Over and over again they repeated a single phrase. Then half a dozen or so stepped into the circle, each shaking his club or his drawn sword in the face of those standing round. "Are you a good man? are you a true man? are you valiant?" they shouted. "Ha! ha!" came the answer, and the swords glistened and quivered in the moonlight. Then several came up to me and saluted me. "Upon thee be peace" they said "the English and the Druze are one." I said: "Praise be to God! we too are a fighting race." And if you had listened to that song you would know that the finest thing in the world is to go out and kill your enemy.

Gertrude Bell, Letters

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Tibetans Stay With Conciliatory Approach to China


* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions in a note to your wall.

For me: "Very probably the occupational, ethnic, and other subgroups that combined to form Sumerian (and other subsequent) cities and civilizations danced together among themselves on appropriate occasions" (a classic evolutionary Just So Story from Keeping Together In Time by William H. McNeill.)

Saturday, 15 November 2008

A million?

UK's 'secure' child protection database will be open to one million

ContactPoint is now scheduled to launch in January. It will store and share data including every child's name, home address and school, and information about their legal guardians...

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Nothing new under the sun, part II

At one point in the proceedings, Bishop Turner rose to the podium and thundered a diatribe against legalized U.S. racism, prompting the Constitution to report "He Prefers Hell To United States; Calls American Flag Dirty and Contemptible Rag." ... Turner wrote to the Constitution a letter accusing them of misquotation but reiterating, "there was more color babble in the United States than in hell itself."
-- Mark Bauerlein, Negrophobia: A Race Riot in Atlanta 1906