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Fri, 25 Jun 2021
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Secret History


Extreme weather - such as drought and floods - signals looming wars, warns medieval Korean manuscript

© CC0
Amid increasing concerns voiced by some scientists that climate change is fraught with dangerous implications for the Earth's natural ecosystem and the world economy, there may be other links to altering weather conditions that are no less threatening, claims a new study.

When extreme weather conditions manifest themselves in the form of droughts or excessive rainfall, it may be a sign of impending wars, claims new research.

As a team of scientists led by Santa Fe Institute External Professor Rajiv Sethi (Barnard College, Columbia University) and Tackseung Jun of Kyung Hee University in South Korea discovered the link as they pored over the oldest surviving document recording Korean history - the Samguk Sagi, or History of the Three Kingdoms.

Comment: Not only that, the apparent coupling today of society's psycho-social demise with the increase in extreme weather fluctuation suggests that wars and other destructive human behaviours cause (or at least positively correlate with) 'climate change'.

People 2

Sexual division of labor in Europe evident at advent of farming

farming agriculture
© L.P. Repiso
Neolithic agriculturalists.
A new investigation of stone tools buried in graves provides evidence supporting the existence of a division of different types of labor between people of male and female biological sex at the start of the Neolithic. Alba Masclans of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on April 14, 2021.

Previous research has suggested that a sexual division of labor existed in Europe during the transition to the Neolithic period, when farming practices spread across the continent. However, many questions remain as to how different tasks became culturally associated with women, men, and perhaps other genders at this time.

Comment: Notably the article only speculates on 'other genders', because, as the skeletons will likely attest, there are only 2: Sex differences in immune responses to viral infection

Comment: It's likely that as long as there have been humans, divided by biology into males and females, certain jobs have been gender specific. And there's a reason that these farm related gendered roles didn't change much over thousands of years, and that's because, usually, when your survival depends on it, the job goes to the most capable:


Gagarin's history-making flight, 60 years on: How a bizarre Russian dream to resurrect the dead led to a Cold War victory in space

© Sputnik / RIA Novosti
Pilots German Titov (centre left) and Yuri Gagarin (centre 2nd left) with the cosmonaut training group study the space equipment.
"Poekhali," or "Let's go." With those words, Soviet pilot Yuri Gagarin blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan 60 years ago today. His historic flight stunned the world and turned the smiling Russian into a superstar.

Gagarin's rocket, Vostok 1, carried him into orbit, after which he circled the Earth for 108 minutes before returning to the ground. With this, Gagarin became the first human to successfully travel into space.

The Soviet space program had strange origins. In the dying years of the old Russian empire, an eccentric librarian in Moscow dreamt up the idea that humanity's "common task" was to resurrect the dead. Humanity would have to scour the universe to find the dust into which our ancestors had dissolved, and then colonize other planets to provide room for their newly revived bodies.

Comment: See also:

Red Flag


Editors' note: The following is an edited version of remarks delivered at The New Criterion's inaugural Circle Lecture on September 25, 2019.
Lenin was more severe.
— Vyacheslav Molotov, the only senior official to work for both Lenin and Stalin, when asked to compare them.
Lenin "in general" loved people but . . . his love looked far ahead, through the mists of hatred.
— Maxim Gorky
When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism.
— Lenin
Beyond Doctrine

An old Soviet joke poses the question: What was the most important world-historical event of the year 1875? Answer: Lenin was five years old.

The point of the joke, of course, is that the Soviets virtually deified Lenin. Criticism of him was routinely referred to as "blasphemy," while icon corners in homes and institutions were replaced by "Lenin corners." Lenin museums sprung up everywhere, and institutions of every kind took his name. In addition to Leningrad, there were cities named Leninsk (in Kazakhstan), Leninogorsk (in Tatarstan), Leninaul (in Dagestan), Leninakan (in Armenia), Leninkend, Leninavan, and at least four different Leninabads. On a visit to the Caucasus I remember being surprised at seeing Mayakovsky's famous verses about Lenin inscribed on a mountaintop: "Lenin lived! Lenin lives! Lenin will live!" The famous mausoleum where his body is preserved served as the regime's most sacred shrine.

Book 2

Life And Fate: Coming to a country near you?

vassily grossman
Vasily Grossman was a war correspondent in the Soviet Union during World War II. After the war he became a novelist, and Life and Fate, about life in the Soviet Union during the Battle of Stalingrad, is considered his masterpiece. Written in 1960, the novel was suppressed by the KBG and not published until after a manuscript was smuggled to the West in the 70's.

Comment: Soviets were the original snowflakes. They couldn't even take a joke, let alone a novel they didn't like.

Last night I finished watching the 12-part TV series adopted from Life and Fate (Amazon Prime; Russian with English subtitles). As you might expect, life in Soviet Union under Stalin was a dystopian nightmare where political persecution was so commonplace that various slang terms developed around it. For example, one character warns another "Don't you know you could get a 'tenner' [ten years in the gulag] for telling that joke?"

Comment: "Who built the White Sea Canal?" - "The left bank was built by those who told the jokes, and the right bank by those who listened."

It is easy enough to imagine how fortunate we are not to live in such a time and place. But as I watched the show, it dawned on me that such optimism may not be entirely warranted. There are disturbing parallels between life under Stalin and life under "progressive" ideology today, and maybe we are in the incipient stages of a revolution that will push us every closer to Uncle Joe's way of doing things.

Two examples will suffice to demonstrate my point. Cancel culture is Soviet-style denunciation writ small. Nuclear physicist Viktor Shtrum is the main character in the series. Viktor protests when his superiors fire a secretary in his office because she is Jewish. Despite his brilliant scientific work, his colleagues denounce him as an enemy of the state, and put him on the road to losing his livelihood, exactly like a victim of cancel culture today.


Before becoming a terrorist leader, ISIS chief was a prison informer in Iraq for US

Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abd Al-Rahman al-Mawla
© Twitter
Amir Muhammad Sa’id Abd Al-Rahman al-Mawla
AKA: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi
In confidential interrogation reports, Iraqi detainee M060108-01 is depicted as a model prisoner, "cooperative" with his American captors, and unusually chatty. At times he seemed to go out of his way to be helpful, especially when offered a chance to inform on rivals within his organization, then known as the Islamic State of Iraq.

Over several days of questioning in 2008, the detainee provided precise directions on how to find the secret headquarters for the insurgent group's media wing, down to the color of the front door and the times of days when the office would be occupied. When asked about the group's No. 2 leader — a Moroccan-born Swede named Abu Qaswarah — he drew maps of the man's compound and gave up the name of Qaswarah's personal courier.

Weeks after those revelations, U.S. soldiers killed Qaswarah in a raid in the Iraqi city of Mosul. Meanwhile, the detainee, U.S. officials say, would go on to become famous under a different name: Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi — the current leader of the Islamic State.

U.S. officials opened a rare window into the terrorist chief's early background as a militant with the release this week of dozens of formerly classified interrogation reports from his months in an American detention camp in Iraq. Whereas the Defense Department previously released a handful of documents that cast the future Islamic State leader as an informant, the newly released records are an intimate portrait of a prolific — at times eager — prison snitch who offered U.S. forces scores of priceless details that helped them battle the terrorist organization he now heads. The Islamic State grew out of an organization that was once called al-Qaida in Iraq.

Comment: See also: Dead or alive? Washington ups bounty to $10M on Daesh leader Mawla


Egyptian archaeologists reveals details of 'lost golden city of Luxor'

lost city luxor nile egypt
© AP Photo/Mohamed Elshahed
People stand in a 3,000-year-old lost city in Luxor province, Egypt, Saturday, April 10, 2021. The newly unearthed city is located between the temple of King Rameses III and the colossi of Amenhotep III on the west bank of the Nile in Luxor. The city continued to be used by Amenhotep III's grandson Tutankhamun, and then his successor King Ay.
The 3,400-year-old royal city was built by Amenhotep III, abandoned by his heretic son, Akhenaten, and contains stunningly preserved remains.

Three thousand four hundred years ago, a contentious ancient Egyptian king abandoned his name, his religion, and his capital in Thebes (modern Luxor). Archaeologists know what happened next: The pharaoh Akhenaten built the short-lived city of Akhetaten, where he ruled alongside his wife, Nefertiti and worshipped the sun. After his death, his young son Tutankhamun became ruler of Egypt — and turned his back on his father's controversial legacy.

But why did Akhenaten abandon Thebes, which had been the capital of ancient Egypt for more than 150 years? Answers may lie in the discovery of an industrial royal metropolis within Thebes that Akhenaten inherited from his father, Amenhotep III. The find, which has been dubbed the "lost golden city of Luxor" in an announcement released today, will generate as much enthusiasm, speculation, and controversy as the renegade pharaoh who left it.

Comment: Yahoo! News provided more information from Egyptian archaeologist Zahii Zawass:
"Many foreign missions searched for this city and never found it," said Hawass, a former antiquities minister. The team began excavations in September 2020, between the temples of Ramses III and Amenhotep III near Luxor, some 500 kilometres (300 miles) south of Cairo.

"Within weeks, to the team's great surprise, formations of mud bricks began to appear in all directions," the statement said.

"What they unearthed was the site of a large city in a good condition of preservation, with almost complete walls, and with rooms filled with tools of daily life."

After seven months of excavations, several neighbourhoods have been uncovered, including a bakery complete with ovens and storage pottery, as well as administrative and residential districts.

Amenhotep III inherited an empire that stretched from the Euphrates River in modern Iraq and Syria to Sudan and died around 1354 BC, ancient historians say.

He ruled for nearly four decades, a reign known for its opulence and the grandeur of its monuments, including the Colossi of Memnon -- two massive stone statues near Luxor that represent him and his wife.

"The archaeological layers have laid untouched for thousands of years, left by the ancient residents as if it were yesterday," the team's statement said.

The team said they were optimistic that further important finds would be revealed, noting they had discovered groups of tombs reached through "stairs carved into the rock", a similar construction to those found in the Valley of the Kings.

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MindMatters: Do Not Watch, Comrade! 'The Lives of Others' Is Thought Crime

lives of others
Soon after World War II, Germany was cleaved in two by the allies who won the war. 'West Germany' came under the influence of Western Europe and the US, and East Germany under the Soviet Union. The eastern section of Germany, under the political and ideological influence of Communism, came to develop one of the most notoriously oppressive secret police organizations in modern history: the Stasi.

On this week's show, we discuss Florian Henckel Von Donnersmarck's moving and expertly directed 2006 German film 'The Lives of Others' (spoiler warning!). The movie's depiction of life under Stasi control, the power dynamics at play in the Communist nation, and the lives it destroyed, among other things, all contribute to make the 'The Lives of Others' an instructive work from which to understand the destructive power of totalitarianism on a very personal level. However, the film also offers a light of hope in the face of immense bleakness.

Join us as we discuss the film, its overall plot and themes, expert characterization, historical accuracy (or lack thereof), and why it deserves a watch - or two! Just make sure the Stasi don't find out. They don't arrest people on a whim, after all.

We're also on LBRY!

Running Time: 01:07:39

Download: MP3 — 64.3 MB


Bronze Age slab found in France is 'oldest 3D map in Europe'

bronze age map
The slab is covered in patterns of engravings
A freshly unearthed Bronze-Age stone may be the oldest three-dimensional map in Europe, researchers say.

The 2m by 1.5m slab (5ft by 6.5ft), first uncovered in 1900, was found again in a cellar in a castle in France in 2014.

Archaeologists who studied patterns engraved on the 4,000-year-old stone say they believe the markings are a map of an area in western Brittany.

They say this makes the slab the oldest 3D map of a known area in Europe.

Comment: See also:

Better Earth

The harmony between Tianxia and Westphalia

© Rising Tide Foundation
I have noticed that many pro-Chinese thinkers and writers have lately made the mistake of presuming that Chinese culture and civilization stands in total opposition to the divisive/imperially minded western culture which has laid waste to much of the world over the past centuries.

This perception has expressed itself in the various assertions that China's philosophy of Tianxia (rooted in the idea of a Mandate of Heaven to justify power systems) is both superior and apart from the system of Westphalia which arose in the form of a 1648 Peace Treaty that eneded the 30 years religious wars of Europe and established the foundations of the modern nation state.


While the Principle of Tianxia is a beautiful and important concept for westerners to understand, and truly is the basis for international harmony which transcends the narrow limits of geopolitics plaguing the west, there is something dangerously false embedded in any thesis that assumes it to stand in opposition with Westphalia which needs to be exposed. The fact is that Tianxia is not only in complete harmony with the principle of Westphalia, but that the decay of western values into the Hobbesian mess of total war and economic manipulation is not due to anything within the Treaty of Westphalia but rather in spite of it.

Comment: See also: And check out SOTT radio's: