Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Fantasy: Hand Over Bush!

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush if fantasy's your forté.

If fantasy's not your forté, then drink before you think!

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Monday, February 27, 2017

Old Wisdom, Level 102

Dogs bark, but the caravan rolls on over them.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Old Wisdom, Level 101

Barking Mad

A barking dog never bites while it's still barking.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Robert W. Perry on the Phenomenon of Trump

President Trump

Robert W. Perry, writing for the the American Conservative, offers a mostly positive assessment of our new president in "The Meaning of Trump" (February 21, 2017; hat tip to Bill Vallicella), but Perry also recognizes some of Trump's limitations in the face of "a governing challenge that he may or may not be capable of meeting," for he "manifests some traits of personality and temperament that could impede his chances for success":
One is . . . [Trump's] tendency to advocate often contradictory policies that seem to reflect a disjointed and incoherent worldview . . . .

Second, Trump seems to lack a facility for getting below the surface of things . . . .

And, third, . . . Trump [does not clearly] possess . . . the political temperament to deal effectively with the kind of politics that inevitably emerge when the country struggles to move from an established era to a new and often frightening new day.
These echo three concerns that I've had about Trump - his contradictions, his superficiality, and his intemperate character. Perhaps he can overcome these three. The need for a coherent policy can force him to iron out his contradictions; learning on the job can deepen his understanding beyond the superficial; and controlling his tendency toward intemperate remarks can result from the experience that such remarks are counterproductive for a president.

The stakes are high. Consider, for example, free speech.

The hard left threatens extreme violence against free speech and calls this "antifascism" (with the aim of a multicultural totalitarianism). Islamism threatens extreme violence against free speech and calls this "jihad" (with the aim of a totalitarian sharia-ruled global state) The ultranationalist right - if it is anything like the ethnic nationalism of the twentieth century - will threaten extreme violence against free speech and call this "the will of the folk" (with the aim of an ever-expanding ethnically pure totalitarian nation). As for the EU, it threatens lawsuits against free speech and calls this "rule of law" (with the aim of a totally regulated transnational multiculturalist society ruled over by a superstate, a sort of soft totalitarianism).

What's a classical liberal to do? Other than defend free speech, of course . . .


Friday, February 24, 2017

Translation: Machines versus Humans

Esther Chung and Kim Jee-hee report that "Machines [are] no match for humans in translations" (JungAng Daily, February 22, 2017):
Human translators proved their superiority in the first translation competition with artificial intelligence programs here [in Seoul] on Tuesday. Their translations were significantly better in terms of quality and accuracy.
Whew! After chess masters losing to Deep Blue and baduk (go) players losing to AlphaGo, some feared the next to fall would be human translators, but that was not to be, so my wife and I are assured secure freelance work for some time yet in translating from Korean to English.

Machine translation will get better and better, of course, but that may be a long, slow process, especially for literary translations.

Till then, we translators can use machines for a first approximation . . .


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Michael J. Totten and Claire Berlinski discuss Trump and Foreign Policy

Trump Making a Point

In "The Closing of the Conservative Mind," posted among Michael J. Totten's Dispatches for World Affairs (February 20, 2017), he and Claire Berlinski talk about Trump. Some of the talk is overreaction, but their basic concern about Trump's ignorance of foreign policy is precisely the concern that has also occupied my mind:
Michael J. Totten: I want to start with a quote from retired general and former CIA director David Petraeus:
"Americans should not take the current international order for granted. It did not will itself into existence. We created it. Likewise, it is not naturally self-sustaining. We have sustained it. If we stop doing so, it will fray and, eventually, collapse."
That is an excellent rebuttal to the Obama administration's limp foreign policy of managed American decline overseas, and we heard a version of Petraeus' critique from conservatives for eight years during the previous president's term. But Petraeus said that two weeks ago while chastising the Trump administration. Donald Trump doing worse than doubling-down on Obamaism rather than reversing it as John McCain or Mitt Romney would have done. He seems to be willing to set the entire American-made international order on fire, as if everything from 1945 onward is suddenly on the table, not just NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership but even Japan's demilitarization and NATO. He is consistently friendlier to Vladimir Putin's Russia than he is to Europe. The Republican Party would have a stress-induced heart attack if a Democratic president were doing these things, wouldn't it?

Claire Berlinski: Yeah, on Twitter David Frum wrote:
"It's as if a hostile foreign power has seized the US government and is by remote control steering it toward the maximum possible catastrophe."
Which it really is. I mean, what more would you do?

Did you see that CNN piece about what happened at a Mar-a-Lago dinner party after they got news of the North Korean missile launch? "Trump and [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe's evening meal quickly morphed into a strategy session, the decision-making on full view to fellow diners, who described it in detail to CNN."

You're there, I'm not — I can't tell if people are slowly beginning to realize just what an insane catastrophe we've got ourselves into, as in, we could all die from this kind of incompetence and from his species of mental illness — or are the people who voted for him still mostly stuck in cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias, minimizing reports like that as, yeah, overwrought, pearl-clutchers' Lügenpresse?
Doesn't sound good . . . but mental illness? Is this a case of Berlinski suffering from 'Trump Derangement Syndrome'? I suppose she's referring to his narcissism, but I don't think he's insane. Anyway, if you can get past the exaggeration about Trump's mental and emotional state, you'll find that Berlinski and Totten make some important points about Trump's limitations. What matters now is whether Trump gets good advice on foreign policy and is willing to listen to it. Read more here.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

En-Uk Sequoya Hwang: Sketch of Admiral Yi

En-Uk Sequoya Hwang

En-Uk offers this sketch of Korean national hero Admiral Yi, famous for using 13 Korean warships to defeat 133 Japanese warships, destroying or impairing 31 of them without losing any of his own in the Battle of Myeongnyang (October 26, 1597).


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

John Wells: The Beer Man of Arkansas

Mr. 'Elton John' Wells

For several years (yes, years!), I had been unable to contact the Arkansas "Beer Man," Mr. John Wells. I received his e-circulars weekly and therefore knew all about the craft beer scene back in Arkansas. But if I tried to write him, a message came right back 'explaining' that my email was considered spam. Not much I could do about that glitch in the system, except keep trying to send an email once in a while. Last week, that finally worked, and from my email, John presented me in a "feature article":
I . . . got an email recently from our long-lost international correspondent, Dr. Jeff of Korea, this past week. First time in a while that I've heard from him . . . great to know he's still out there and kickin'. Jeff was one of the early subscribers, and lives vicariously through our great beer tales from the West. See more in the . . . feature article [below].
. . . .

Dr. Jeff in the Land of the East

What follows is an email from our good friend Dr. Jeff, a longtime subscriber and contributing author to the newsletter. Hadn't heard from him in a while, turns out there was a glitch that, thank goodness, isn't there any more. How great to know we'll be hearing from the doctor again. Here's the latest on the craft beer scene in South Korea.
Yes, I'm still in Korea. I've tried to contact you previously to report on the changing beer situation here in Seoul, but my emails were rejected as spam. I'm glad finally to have gotten through.

The good news is that good beer has finally come to Korea. Many imports and a growing local craft beer scene.

The bad news is that I have to watch my alcohol consumption. Why? Same reason. Many imports and a growing local craft beer scene.

The doctor advises me to drink moderately, and I can, but I also discovered on my own that a moderate beer or two daily isn't a good idea in my case (I must be aging!), so I've cut back on drinking and let the doctor's advice do what it's supposed to do, namely, prevent me from having a good time.

I do get together with other folk who like good beer - a group of us, including the Canadian ambassador, get together once a month or so to drink beer and talk politics. We have noticed that the Korean peninsula produces more tension than can be consumed locally. The man up north seems to like things that way . . .

I read your beer circular every week, so you needn't tell me how good the Arkansas craft beer scene is.

By the way, I don't know if you ever saw the finished literary product, but if not, here's the link to my Bottomless Bottle of Beer tall tale:

Amazon Books

I've included you in my acknowledgements - due to the "no nick" [Nonic, a beer glass style] pint glasses and the Belgian tulip [likewise] - so let all your beer friends know that you've been acknowledged in a book that will save Western Civilization.
Great to hear from you Dr. Jeff . . . keep them cards and letters coming.
I will do so, and thanks, John, for featuring me so prominently!

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Glen David Gold: Carter Beats The Devil

I recently read the above book, first published in 2001 but unnoticed by me as my attention was on a different diabolical scheme. The story is loosely based on the career of the magician Charles Joseph Carter (1874–1936) and is a "historical mystery thriller," as Wikipedia too helpfully points out (since I could have figured that out myself).

I'd give it five stars, for the twists in the tale repeatedly surprised me through the literary equivalent of a magician's misdirection. Wondering if any other readers had noticed this (and hoping none had so that I could write an article on it), I Google-searched and found that hundreds had preceded me . . .

So much for me thinking I'm peculiarly insightful. But I won't give away any plot spoilers since I wouldn't want any, either . . . so you'll likely be utterly astonished when hordes of extraterrestrial aliens invade the earth through an intergalactic wormhole and the Devil steps forth as champion of all mankind! I'd certainly be astonished at such a twist in the plot unless somebody were to let the cat out of the bag as a plot spoiler!

Oops . . . sorry about that.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Proverbial Warning: Be Not a Greater Fool


A fool and his money are soon parted;
so make sure you get the better parted.
- Anonymous


Saturday, February 18, 2017

Daniel Pinkston Puts On His Thinking Cap

Kent, Mark, Eric, and I went out out drinking yesterday evening and were joined by Daniel A. Pinkston, a Northeast Asian regional expert who once worked with the International Crisis Group but now teaches international relations at Troy University. Here he is below, a tough hombre, pre-beer:

Next comes his beer and his transformation:

At the sight of the tiger smoking, Daniel found himself caught felinely up in the colorful, imaginative new world of the cat:

That is, the new world of the 'Pussyhat' Cat, bringing you a kinder, gentler hombre:

Now, if that don't trump all! More another time, perhaps . . .

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Another En-Uk Artwork: Portrait of My Brother-In-Law

Artwork by En-Uk Sequaya Hwang

En-Uk is feeling rather aesthetic these days - and so am I! See how aesthetically I've spelled "aesthetic"? Yes, none of that ugly "esthetic" for me! I'm an aesthete, not an esthete!

Well . . . anyway.

I don't know what En-Uk wants to do with his life. He has more talents than I do - all I can do is write - but his very multi-talented self makes the choice of choosing harder.

I quickly learned at university that I was outstanding only in writing - essays, stories, even poems - but I also had a strong sense of curiosity about everything and tried to follow that up by pursuing graduate degrees in history, in which I could (in principle) learn about everything, but I've finally come around to doing what I do best.

As for my advice to En-Uk, I want to say, take your time, enjoy your youth, see the world - a bit like I did - but the world is now a less forgiving place than when I was young, and I'm often reminded that one has to choose early if one wants to find success.

So, I guess that is what I have to tell him.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bad Proverb No. 86

Drying Fish

Ignorant about corruption control? Get smart!
A fish always rots from the head down, so hang 'em tail high!
Otherwise, corruption leads to chaos . . .


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Son's Eye View

My younger son, En-Uk, forced me to sit as his model for 10 or 15 minutes so that he could sketch my head and neck, which is somewhat impressive, I guess, but also makes me look a little bit decapitated.

He didn't intend that, of course. I think. Believe. Hope . . .

He also didn't intend for me to have a 'double' chin, to which he called my attention, apologizing for the mistake, so I told him not to worry since he drew me better-looking than I actually am, though that's not setting the bar very high.

I learned something, too. I don't like sitting still as an artist's model for even as little as 5 minutes.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

On what's wrong with the world


Just so you know:
A place for everything and everything out of place.
Well, maybe not everything out of place. . . some things do work.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Abu Al-Qassem Al-Suri: Former ISIS Emir in Charge of Weapon Depots Speaks his Mind

Memri TV informs us (Clip No. 5884) that the "Former ISIS Emir in Charge of Weapon Depots" says that "Corruption, Military Defeats, and Al-Baghdadi's Disappearance Have Demoralized Members" of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), which is good news to those of us who keep up with the news about Islamism. Here are more details:
In an interview broadcast in installments on AlaanTV, Abu Al-Qassem Al-Suri, the ISIS Emir in charge of weapon depots in Syria and Iraq who defected from the organization, talked about Al-Baghdadi's disappearance from the scene, the consequent uncertainty about the leadership, and the demoralization felt among ISIS members, commanders, and emirs. Everybody in ISIS knows that the organization is "on its way to perdition," he said. "There are no victories, no conquests. Nothing but defeat, defeat, and more defeat."
That sounds good . . . but the next doesn't:
On the issue of chemical weapons, Al-Suri said that ISIS had obtained "considerable quantities" of sarin, chlorine, and mustard gas from Tel Afar and was carrying out experiments in the Mosul University labs to develop chemical weapons.
Ugh. Not good. But the next point is again good news:
Talking about the drop in oil revenues, he said that this had led ISIS to raise the zakkat and that it imposed taxes on trucks carrying supplies and forced wealthy traders to cover the costs of battles.
Good. Overtaxing the populace is an excellent way to lose support!
In another installment, he said that the burning alive of Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh had been a "mistake" that ISIS regrets, a "major turning-point" that "changed the way many people viewed the Caliphate."
The reason for the loss of support was that there are some hadith that tell Muslims not to kill with fire, for that is Allah's prerogative, namely, to burn unbelievers in the fires of Hell. Al-Suri's final remark is a bit puzzling:
"The [Islamic] State is nothing but a racist militia," Al-Suri said.
Racist? So all that talk about the brotherhood of all Muslims didn't pan out? Were the foreign fighters mistreated? Anyone know?


Sunday, February 12, 2017

Poetry Break: Twittering Away the Time . . .

Donald Trump as a Talking Head
"Take a look at these hands.
You don't have to mention it.
No thanks. I'm a Government Man."

Here's my attempt to insult Trump and get him to tweet me an insult in turn so that I can use my subsequent notoriety as good publicity to draw attention to me and my writings:
Insultry Limerick
There once was a man called Sir Trumpet
who thought ev'ry girl was a strumpet.
He was starting to dodder,
for he took his own daughter
for a hoe in his garden, dadgummit!
I hope that's 'insultry' enough, but it sounds rather tame to be by me, at odds with my having been born to be wild!

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Our Twitter Commander

Richard Kenney, Poet

I had a wild thought just now that if I were to insult our current president of these United States and get him to tweet an insult in return, I'd gain the notoriety I need to bring publicity to myself and my writings!

What sparked that wild thought was a poem by Richard Kenney, whom I encountered today in Nicholas Kristof's NYT column, "To Reject Trump the Perverse, Poets Wage a Battle in Verse," (February 9, 2017). Kenney's a poet at the University of Washington, and here are two stanzas of his poem:
We mustn't slander our Twitter Commander,
he'll burble our bird and snatch our bander
and fire off a tweet with his hot little hand, or
maybe report us, so stay discreet—

Commander in Tweet! Commander in Tweet!
Muster the army, commission the fleet!
He's a patsy for Putin, buffoon complete—
(And that old Constitution? Hit Delete—)
Those are pretty good lines, especially with the two allusions to Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky! I wish I had time to come up with an insulting poem of my own. Borrowing lines from Kenney probably won't get Trump's attention directed towards me, but I'll bet that Kenney is getting that good old 'bad' publicity for himself.

By the way, none of this blog post should be taken as meaning that I do or do not support President Trump, the title of Kristof's column notwithstanding, but I do wish Trump would refrain from saying everything that comes into his head. Oddly enough, Obama had the same problem. Neither of them seems to recognize the virtue of silence, keeping one's own counsel, and not thinking out loud.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Love of Money: Bad Aphoristic Couplet No. 42

Golden Key
Google Images

"A golden key can open any door"
Is ever wrong about that truth, you know'r.
                             - Anonymous


Thursday, February 09, 2017

"Germany must be Islamized!"

Daniela Städter

In an article posted in Catholic News (Katholische Nachrichten) on November 14, 2016 by Daniela Städter, "Hidden in the Refugee Centers: Everything Christians Experience" ("Unerkannt in Flüchtlingsheimen: Was Christen alles erleben"), we learn that Muslim refugees far outnumber Christian ones, which is not surprising, but what might surprise some readers is the intention of many Muslim refugees - and their Muslim translators - to Islamize Germany. Here is the German original of a passage in the report, which is based on the experience of a thirty-nine-year-old Eritrean Christian interpreter fluent in both German and Arabic, but who kept her Christian faith a secret, followed by my rough translation in English:
Sicherheitsdienstmitarbeiter und Übersetzer sind ihren Angaben zufolge fast immer Muslime. Sie machen, sagt die 39-Jährige, auf den ersten Blick einen sehr netten Eindruck: "Sie sind zumeist hier aufgewachsen, haben oft studiert, angesehene Berufe, und sie geben sich weltoffen." Doch das ändere sich, sobald sie "unter sich" seien: "Dann zeigen sie ihr wirkliches Gesicht und sagen Sätze wie 'Deutschland muss islamisiert werden'. Sie verachten unser Land und unsere Werte." Die junge Frau ist entsetzt und will es lange nicht wahrhaben. Sie verschweigt weiterhin, dass sie Christin ist, um mehr zu erfahren. Unter anderem besucht sie den Koranunterricht verschiedener Moscheen: "Dort wird purer Hass gegen Andersgläubige gepredigt. Die Kinder bekommen es hier in Deutschland von klein auf beigebracht." Ähnlich sei es in den Flüchtlingsheimen. Sie bekommt mit, wie sich muslimische Jungs weigern, mit Christen zu spielen. Die Übersetzerin versucht zu vermitteln: "Du bist Muslim, er ist Christ. Welchen Unterschied macht das denn?" Die Fünfjährigen antworten ihr: "Mit den Christen spiele ich nicht. Meine Eltern hassen die auch." Die Übersetzerin erschrickt: "Sie sind vor dem Krieg nach Deutschland geflohen und müssten doch froh sein, dass ein christliches Land sie aufnimmt."
Now for my rough translation, which is at times more of a paraphrase based on the context supplied in the original German article:
According to a 39-year-old Christian female interpreter who keeps her Christian faith secret and works with the refugees from Syria, security coworkers and interpreters are almost all Muslim. She says that they make a very nice first impression: "Most of them grew up here, often undertook higher education, work in respected occupations, and present themselves as open-minded." But all that changes as soon as they are "among themselves": "They then show their true face and say things like 'Germany must be Islamized'. They disrespect our country and our values." The young woman was shocked and for a long time couldn't accept it as true. She continues to hide the fact that she is a Christian in order to learn more. Among other things, she visits the Qur'an courses in various mosques: "In those mosques, pure hate is preached against people of other beliefs. Here in Germany, Muslim children get taught that from an early age." It's similar in the refugee shelters. She observes that Muslim boys refuse to play with Christians. She tries to mediate: "You are Muslim, he is Christian. What difference does that make?" The five-year-olds reply: "I don't play with Christians. My parents hate them, too." The interpreter is alarmed: "They fled to Germany from the war and ought to be happy that a Christian country accepts them."
So much for gratitude. I'd heard of this problem through other channels, but I was waiting for a more official report, which this one seems to be.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Perfect is the enemy of good:

The best offence is a good defense is the best offense is a good defense is the best offence.


Tuesday, February 07, 2017

If you intend to be offensive . . .

Milo Yiannopoulos
Funny and Fearless

. . . never be defensive. Milo intends to offend. He aims to trigger in his audiences a systematic derangement of the senses, an art he has perfected by thinking and retorting more quickly than anyone you've ever seen and by never falling into a defensive posture. His performances are brilliant comedy! Whether you agree or disagree, you'll laugh out loud. Or if you don't, you'll know you should and are only stifling your laughter out of a politically '(in)correct' fear of being seen by "good-think" enforcers on the Left. Or you might think he's just not funny . . .

Click over to these videos and see for yourself what you think of Mr. Yiannopoulos. (Warning: Language and Topics Very Offensive.)


Monday, February 06, 2017

Matt Ridley on Feminism's New Puritanism and Common Cause with Islam

Linda Sarsour

The British journalist Matt Ridley, in "A New Puritanism Explains Why Some Feminists are Making Common Cause with Islam" (The Spectator, February 4, 2017), offers his view as to what's gone wrong with contemporary feminism:
The bicoastal elite [in the US] might be more effective in opposing Mr Trump if it weren't obsessed with the persecution of anybody who says the wrong thing. "While you self-involved fools were policing the language at the Kids' Choice Awards," raged the broadcaster Bill Maher last week, "a madman talked his way into the White House." This new puritanism must explain why some feminists make common cause with Islam. One of the Women's March organisers was Linda Sarsour, a defender of sharia law, which is misogynism incarnate. She said on Twitter of Brigitte Gabriel, a feminist critic of Islam, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a victim of female genital mutilation and of death threats for apostasy, "I wish I could take their vaginas away - they don't deserve to be women." So she's a pussy-grabber too. She has since deleted the tweet.
This passage is borrowed from Ridley's Diary in this week's Spectator, and he makes an interesting suggestion about a new 'puritanism,' but he provides no clear evidence that a puritanical mindset is the problem. What I see in this passage is the same old political correctness that has characterized the Left since the 1990s, at least. The Left perceives minority groups as oppressed, and because Islam is a minority in the West, it is considered oppressed and is therefore protected from criticism, any criticism being merely an expression of 'Islamophobia.' Meanwhile, Islamism continues to exert an influence on Islam, which is hardly a minority in the world!

The Left likes to think that it thinks globally, but Leftists have missed the big picture . . .

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Sunday, February 05, 2017

Near Literate Scammer!

Finally, someone actually literate is trying to scam me for money:
Greetings Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
(Well, almost literate - got my name right, and that's truly unusual, but forgot to add a colon.) Salutations, yourself, Ms. Basargin!
I have instruction from my principal, a business magnate and founder of a Russian company to contact you regarding this business brief.
Your high school principal? Are you old enough to be doing this sort of thing? Your principal, anyway, sounds like a real go-getter! Not only does she run a high school, she's a magnate (thus attractive, presumably), and even the founder of a business! So . . . what is this "business brief"?
We are planning to shift investment from Russia to other countries because of the recent sanctions on Russia due to the government decision on Ukraine, Syria, MH17 Malaysia plane shoot and other matters. My principal is moving funds from his present portfolio to invest outside Russia.
These points weren't especially brief, but they do sound like good reasons for a business to get out of Russia. I gather you need my expertise in this process and will be paying me an outrageous sum of money. Make your offer!
Your partnership is required to cooperate with us to move this funds for this investment into your country. You will be of immense assistance to us in the investment and you will be rewarded on percentage share.
Hmm . . . serious grammar slippage there in "this funds" - but even worse, you're offering a mere "percentage share"?
Please indicate your interest and get back to me for more details.
Okay, here's my interest. I don't want to work at this. Just give me a few million dollars to transfer some huge sum of money through my account in the US to an account set up there for your 'principal'. That's the usual offer made in these unsolicited emails promising compensation for my serving as a middleman.
I wait your response.
Well, you can wait and wait and wait, but I think you mean "await."
Thanks, but no thanks, unless you have a better offer.
So, you're Roman? How romantic! I'm from one of the world's many Salems. That makes me a Salemite, I reckon. Anyway, I want millions, and to get those millions, I'm prepared to wait. I will employ Obama's strategic patience, an approach that has always worked so well . . .


Saturday, February 04, 2017

Straw Manners and Futile Hopes

A drowning man will clutch at a straw man argument.

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Friday, February 03, 2017

Douglas Murray on the Plight of Nigeria's Northern Christians

Douglas Murray, writing for The Spectator (February 4,2017), asks, "Who will protect Nigeria's northern Christians?"
For the outside world, what is happening to the Christians of northern Nigeria is both beyond our imagination and beneath our interest. These tribal-led villages, each with their own 'paramount ruler', were converted by missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries. But now these Christians - from the bishop down - sense that they have become unsympathetic figures, perhaps even an embarrassment, to the West. The international community pretends that this situation is a tit-for-tat problem, rather than a one-sided slaughter. Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the press fails to report or actively obscures the situation. Christians in the south of the country feel little solidarity with their co-religionists suffering from this Islamic revivalism and territorial conquest in the north. And worst of all, the plight of these people is of no interest to their own government. In fact, this ethnic and religious cleansing appears to be taking place with that government's complicity or connivance.
I don't know that Murray is right in claiming that Nigeria's southern Christians "feel little solidarity" with the northern Christians, but there may be little that the southern churches can do if the government is supporting the Muslim Fulani in 'cleansing' the north of its Christians.

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Thursday, February 02, 2017

More Whizz-Dumb Than You Can Shake A Stick At!


A big fish in the smallest room in the house divided against itself cannot stand the heat.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Judged rightly?


On Monday, I posted a query as to the correct spelling of the word "judg(e)ment, and I emailed the blogpost address to an old friend who had once corrected my spelling - I had spelled the word with an "e" between the "g" and the "m" - and my friend had taken out what she considered my superfluous "e." But she looked more deeply into my query this time and found the following:
Ok, I looked up the quote and learned it was Shylock praising Portia, thinking she was ruling in his favor in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. In the First Folio, Shakespeare spelled it iudgement, and when I checked The New Testament 1526 translated by William Tyndale that word was also spelled iudgement. My King James Bible spells it judgment. Lastly, the Oxford English Dictionary preferred spelling is judgement and the variant is judgment, and the Merriam Webster reverses the preferred and variant spellings.

Thank you for allowing me to be the judge of how I am going to spell judgement from now on!
"This is more than I expected," I told her, and I added, "Thank you," explaining that "I now have a blogworthy topic for tomorrow." And so I have . . .