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Empire building. Empire maintenance. (19/12/21 07:03:28) Reply
    For those who grew up and went to school in a bible belt (we had more repetitions of inner Mediterranean history and geography than our own), finding the Wikipedia article about the Neo-Assyrian empire was a welcome gift.

    "The Neo-Assyrian Empire was a warlike society with an expansionist ideology and, as a result of their constant expansion, they acquired a diverse and multi-ethnic empire. One Assyrian identity did not happen until, ironically, Ashurnasirpal II began deporting people from the empire. The majority of the displaced peoples were settled in the urban heart of the empire bringing with them what would become the common language: Aramaic, the first unifying factor.[26] The spreading of Aramaic is known as the Aramaization period and soon the new language would become the common language as well as the imperial language. As the people settled in the new land, they became exposed to Assyrian cultural ideas such as "royal ideologies, religious ideas and mythologies..." and it "was incessantly propagated to all segments of the population through imperial art, emperor cult, religious festivals, and the cults of Aššur, Ištar, Nabû, Sîn and other Assyrian gods."[26] This was a process known as "Assyrianization."[26] The process of Assyrianization was a gradual process that occurred through generations of intermarriages, military participation, and daily interaction with Assyrian people (those who were not descended from the deportees generations earlier).[26] Through the generations of cultural and linguistic exchange there came to be a homogenous Assyrian identity."

    Pondering the present-day geopolitics in that light will be an interesting exercise. The Russian, the English, the Turkish, the USian, the Chinese - all empires in different stages of buildup, maintenance or decay.

    Ontop of all the personal aspirations,corruption and posturing comes the effectofclimate changes and pandemics - whose economic and political impacts it would be unwise to ignore.

Europe? (19/12/21 08:37:21) Reply
    It is my understanding that EU/EEA is not an empire. There is a deep split, and it seems to me that some of it is temporarily hidden by substantial transfers of money from the nonbelievers to the believers. In my experience and terminology religion as it is declared, is very much about preserving power structures. It is still relevant to highlight the fact that the original sin in Judaism and Christianity was the seeking of knowledge.

    Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have passed some 20 000 000 000 km into space and have seen interesting sights on their way. How can that be irrelevant and compatible with the orthodox beliefs?

    So - to have a stable EU when the money runs out, there is a need for a massive improvement of education in science and technology: Not on the avantgarde, but on the prosaic level. Mechanics, optics, electricity, biology, chemistry. The real stuff.

    "The Iron Curtain that once divided Europe may be long gone, but the continent today is split by stark differences in public attitudes toward religion, minorities and social issues such as gay marriage and legal abortion. Compared with Western Europeans, fewer Central and Eastern Europeans would welcome Muslims or Jews into their families or neighborhoods, extend the right of marriage to gay or lesbian couples or broaden the definition of national identity to include people born outside their country.

    These differences emerge from a series of surveys conducted by Pew Research Center between 2015 and 2017 among nearly 56,000 adults (ages 18 and older) in 34 Western, Central and Eastern European countries, and they continue to divide the continent more than a decade after the European Union began to expand well beyond its Western European roots to include, among others, the Central European countries of Poland and Hungary, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania."



Empire restoration? (23/12/21 17:41:56) Reply
    One huge country -the remains of a post-WWII empire -seems set on restoring that empire. We owe our brothers and sisters in Eastern Europe to let that effort fail.

Re: Empire restoration? (10/07/22 20:42:44) Reply
    In the absence of clear evidence, political and historical analysts will need to resort to indirect evidence. For historical reasons this method is designated


    "In popular culture, the term is sometimes used to mean any attempt to understand a secretive organization or process ...... by interpreting indirect clues."


    "Aage Storm Borchgrevink (born 1969) is a Norwegian human rights activist, writer and literary critic. He works at the Norwegian Helsinki Committee, where he focuses on the human rights situation in Russia, Chechnya and Georgia."

    By using such metods on Putin, he infers that Putin's father was a KGB agent too. One piece of evidence was the fact that he was allowed to study (law) with only mediocre marks from school. My comment is: Then perhaps he sees himself as come bearer of continuity. Borchgrewink see striking similarities in the thinking of Putin and Anders Breivik. (I have previously suggested that those two could share Breivik's suite in a Norwegian prison. That's the type of torture I think both of them deserve).

    Before 24th February Russia was an advanced kleptocracy, says Borchgrewink. After the Ukraine invasion it is evident that the empire building ambitions are alive.

It is still relevant to highlight the fact that the original sin in Judaism and Christianity was the seeking of knowledge.  (13/01/22 17:34:23) Reply
    i disagree.

    imvho, the original sin is disobedience.

    something that USA preachers love to thump a lot.

    i dont know how well you know the old testament and what verison/translation youve been hammered/indoctrinated/thumped with but the disobedience theme is a recurring one throughout the whole "Tanakh".
    even in the apocrypha btw.


    the main difference between the christian credo and the Jewish one is simple

    christianity: embrace jesus and believe in it. he is the only way to redemption.

    judaism: do what god told you to do. believing or loving "him" is not strictly required.

    since there is no entry in wikipedia in any other language except hebrew, here is the translator link since i am short on time right now.


    roughly, "we will do and hear". there is intrinsically absolute acceptance and obedience even without belief or explanation.

    yep ;)


    all this is also linked to your other post about men...

Thank you. (16/01/22 09:55:05) Reply
    My primary school was steeped in Bible - lots of it, but a simplified and soft version with much storytelling from both old and nwe testament, but no threats of hell. Every day the first lesson in the morning started with hymn singing and prayer, and there was prayer or hymns singing at the end of the last lesson.

    In our national history some of our heroes were disobedient, and when I was a schoolboy the labour party, with a revolutionary past (then shedded) had hegemony, so - officially - disobedience could not be treated too harshly. In families it was different, of course. Haircuts for boys were to be according to St. Paul - it was forbidden and strongly punished to try to copy the hair style of The Beatles. So - obedience surely was a thing, only, I suppose, not so outspokenly as in Jewish communities in Southern Europe or Israel.

    I grew up in a small city with a history full of conflicts and compliance and hypocrisy. The pious christians were actually some sort of revolutionaries - drivers in the power struggles against established authority, with the church as the battle ground. The area was lutheran mainland where lay people were forbidden to speak in religious contexts - and with strong connections with - say - the quakers in angloamerica. But they did practice child labour in the canning industry - even the pious christians. Money had priority.

"Things they would not teach me of in college" (Sting) (22/01/22 14:11:07) Reply
    Maybe they didn't know it then.

    "Marcion preached that the benevolent God of the Gospel who sent Jesus Christ into the world as the savior was the true Supreme Being, different and opposed to the malevolent Demiurge or creator god, identified with the Hebrew God of the Old Testament."


    There is more readworthy stuff in the article than the quotation above.

Dystheism (23/01/22 11:30:38) Reply
    Now that I have no boss any more, I am free to stray away from my home turf. So I can pick up the threads from my confused and frightened and oppressed childhood and read what others have been writing for me what I had not been capable of thinking at the time. Actually, when I was some 12 I asked the teacher what the point was of learning all those christian hymns by heart. In reply I got a minute-long rage session from the teacher. So he really had no good reason.


    To Edwards, a deity that ignores moral corruption or shows indifference to evil would be closer to the deity espoused by dystheism, that is, evil, because justice is an extension of love and moral goodness.

    Bakunin argued that, as a "jealous lover of human liberty, and deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity", the "idea of God" constitutes metaphysical oppression of the idea of human choice.[3]

    Political theorist and activist Thomas Paine similarly wrote in The Age of Reason, "Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and torturous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon, than the word of God." He added, "It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel." ... "


An old discussion from Sri Lanka (19/12/21 09:15:34) Reply

    With the ultimate victory in May 2009 over them, the government should have immediately taken steps to keep its promise of a political solution. Instead the military was further strengthen and more resources provided to the military than was providedReply during the war. Demobilization of the army was never considered. The North is now virtually under a military siege. What is happening there does not reach the media due to the grip the state has over reporting of such incidents. It wont be long before a more virulent form of militancy germinates in the North which continues to be ruled with an iron fist by this Government in the manner the LTTE was alleged to have done when Jaffna was under its control.

    Cherry-picked comment

    The utterances of the Defence Secretary, who has forgotten that he is holding an administrative position, shows that he has assumed himself to be the Defence Minister. He has usurped all the powers of the Army Commander and the Inspector General of Police who are now mere figure heads. This only shows the extent to which the government has been militarized. The manner in which this government is ruling with scant regard to democratic norms makes it imperative that it keeps the military in active duty, involving the army in every sphere of the administration, so that the Government can carry on.
    So in spite of all the valid arguments of Mr. Weliamuna, this government will use the military to keep itself in power. Democracy, the rule of law and good governance are all things of the past. What we have today is a kind of martial law. The sooner the people realize this the better it is for the country. Or will the country have to wait for years as in Egypt and Libya before the regime is thrown out lock stock and barrel ?

Sri Lanka (30/06/22 19:53:45) Reply
    How much of he collapse of Sri Lankan economy is attributable to Chinese force-lending them money?

    "Foreign loans “built highways, airports and convention halls in the jungles which didn’t give any returns” in foreign currency, said a lawmaker, Kabir Hashim. “Now we don’t have the dollars to pay them back the dollar loans.”

    Critics cite a Chinese-built port in Hambantota in the southeast as a prime example of official recklessness.

    It was built in the hometown of then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa and paid for with $1.1 billion in Chinese loans despite the plan having been rejected by an expert panel.

    Its promoters said Hambantota, on busy Indian Ocean shipping routes, would ease the burden on Sri Lanka’s main port in Colombo. But it failed to generate foreign revenue.

    Beijing bailed out the port in 2017 by having a state-owned company, China Merchants Group, buy a 99-year lease for $1.1 billion. That includes land for an industrial park. The deal gave Sri Lanka cash to repay Chinese banks but prompted accusations official bungling gave a foreign government control over part of the country.

    Chinese loans also paid for an international airport near Hambantota. Few airlines use it. The crisis reignited accusations Beijing used a “debt trap” to gain influence over the country."


they are everywhere (01/07/22 09:05:26) Reply

    about the site, for forming a critical opinion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Times_of_Israel

come again

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