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Георгиевская ленточка

Egor Kholmogorov: Nicholas II - Tsar of normalcy, competence and humanity

Nicholas II and Family
© Colorized by Olga.
Nicholas II & family, 1914.
Translator's Foreword (Fluctuarius Argenteus)

As the perfect companion piece to his takedown of Stalin, here's Egor Kholmogorov's appraisal of Nicholas II, styled an "anti-Stalin", written during his recent trip to Crimea, which provoked another round of teeth-gnashing among Neo-Stalinists and Sovietophiles. It should also be norws that a recent poll shows that Nicholas II has overtaken Stalin as the most positively-regarded Russian historical figure of the 20th century.

AK's Foreword
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Nicholas II: The Tsar of Normalcy

Original: Николай II становится для нас анти-Сталиным

"Here's where Nicholas II would go to visit his uncle. Yulia, get over here, grab a photo of him at this very place, I'll take a picture of you...", says a middle-aged man to his young daughter, two meters away from the spot where I am writing this article.
Nicholas II in Kharaks Crimea.

Nicholas II in Kharaks, Crimea.
I found the above photo just three weeks ago, when all the social media feeds were overflowing with the Emperor's portraits on his birthday. I've never seen so many photos and such warm comments before.

The political "exchange rate" of Nicholas II in our historical memory is on the way up. Previously, monarchism used to be retrospective and slightly abstract: sure, we respect the Russian historical statehood in general, Orthodoxy, Autocracy, Nationality and all that stuff, and, given that this particular Tsar turned out to be the last one and died as a martyr, we'll respect him as well while taking note of his multiple foibles.

But these days I sense more and more of a markedly personal sympathy for the Emperor and his family among the people, going hand in hand with a more level-headed appraisal of his reign, gradually freed from Communist and Liberal propaganda clichés.

Comment: Further reading:


Better Earth

Australian tribes' 10,000 year old tales of ancient sea rise are accurate

Australia ancient
© Patrick Nunn / Nicholas Reid
Map of Australia showing the 21 coastal locations from which Aboriginal stories about coastal inundation are described in the Australian Geographer paper; also shown is the extent of the continental shelf that was exposed during the low sea-level stage of the Last Glacial Maximum, about 20,000 years ago. Image credit:
Melbourne, the southernmost state capital of the Australian mainland, was established by Europeans a couple hundred years ago at the juncture of a great river and a wind-whipped bay. Port Phillip Bay sprawls over 750 square miles, providing feeding grounds for whales and sheltering coastlines for brine-scented beach towns. But it's an exceptionally shallow waterway, less than 30 feet in most places. It's so shallow that 10,000 years ago, when ice sheets and glaciers held far more of the planet's water than is the case today, most of the bay floor was high and dry and grazed upon by kangaroos.

To most of us, the rush of the oceans that followed the last ice age seems like a prehistoric epoch. But the historic occasion was dutifully recorded - coast to coast - by the original inhabitants of the land Down Under.

Without using written languages, Australian tribes passed memories of life before, and during, post-glacial shoreline inundations through hundreds of generations as high-fidelity oral history. Some tribes can still point to islands that no longer exist - and provide their original names.

Comment: All around the world there are actually a great many myths which record the deluge which led to the rise in sea levels:


Book

The chronicles of Nearchus: Fatal first contact between ancient Greece and the tribes of the Indus river

Alexander the Great Mosaic
© Public Domain
1893 Reconstruction of the Alexander Mosaic.
Colonialism hasn't changed much.

More than 2000 years ago, when Alexander the Great conquered the Persia, he sent an ancient explorer named Nearchus to sail down the Indus River and map the lands ahead. It was a voyage filled with some strange and unnerving echoes of the explorers of the world to come.

Like the men who first journeyed into the heart of the Congo, Nearchus sailed down a great river, discovering new tribes the Greek world never knew existed. And just like the explorers of the Congo, he called them "savages" and he killed them all.

Nearchus's Journey Down the Indus River

Nearchus was an admiral in Alexander the Great's army . He helped lead the Greek fleet into battle with Persia and helped them advanced through their lines. And when Persia had fallen on their feet, Alexander the Great sent him to travel down the Indus River and write down everything he saw.

He was an explorer thousands of years before the Age of Exploration - one of the forgotten early men who ventured out into uncharted territories and came home with incredible stories of exotic animals and civilizations the likes of which the world had never seen.

Read the rest of the article here.

Black Magic

Sacrificial victims accompanied their mistress in the afterlife in ancient Mesopotamia

Ram in a Thicket Mesopotamia idol statue
© Jack1956/ CC BY SA 3.0
‘Ram in a Thicket’ found in PG 1237.
During Sir Charles Leonard Woolley's excavation of Ur from 1922 to 1934, any burial without a tomb chamber was given the name 'death pit' (known also as 'grave pits'). Arguably the most impressive death pit excavated by Woolley and his team was PG 1237, which Woolley dubbed as 'The Great Death Pit', due to the number of bodies that were found in it. These bodies were arranged neatly in rows and were richly dressed. It is commonly believed that these individuals were sacrificial victims who accompanied their master / mistress in the afterlife. It is unclear, however, if they had done so voluntarily.

PG 1237 - The Most Famous Pit of Death at Ur

During Woolley's archaeological excavations at Ur, a total of six burials were assigned as 'death pits'. Generally speaking, these were tombs and sunken courtyards connected to the surface by a shaft. These 'death pits' were thought to have been built around or adjacent to the tomb of a primary individual. This hypothesis, however, has been challenged in recent times. In any case, the 'death pits' discovered by Woolley and his team were filled with the remains of retainers belonging to an important individual.

The most impressive of Woolley's 'death pits' is PG 1237, which was named by Woolley as the 'Great Death Pit'. In this 'death pit', Woolley and his team identified a total of 74 individuals, six of whom were male and the rest female. The bodies of the six men were found near the entrance of the 'death pit' and were equipped with a helmet and weapons.

Read the rest of the article here.

Pistol

Who killed Tupac? New Netflix doc claims it finally has the answer

Keefe D Tupac murder

Keefe D (pictured), who made the bombshell confession during a taped conversation under immunity, was riding in the car with Anderson on the night Tupac was killed
He is considered one of the greatest rappers in hip hop history, but Tupac Shakur's career came to a tragic end when he was murdered in a drive-by shooting in 1996.

Despite the myriad of conspiracy theories and attempts to solve the case of his murder, the identity of the gunman that took Tupac's life has remained a mystery for 22 years.

But the truth may have just been revealed in an interview with Tupac murder suspect Duane Keith Davis - also known as 'Keefe D'.

While filming the 10-part Netflix docuseries 'Unsolved, the Tupac and Biggie Murders', Keefe D revealed it was his nephew that pulled the trigger.

Keefe D, who made the bombshell confession during a taped conversation under immunity, said he was in the car when Orlando 'Baby Lane' Anderson opened fire.

Heart - Black

No saints: Anglo-Americans and their allies killed more innocents during WWII than Stalin

4 million to Stalin's 2 million. The only reason we think of them as moral is because the Nazis were even far worse
Anglo American destruction during WWII

There was unfortunately nothing particularly moral about the allies. The German-Japanese Axis merely made them look good by comparison
According to the best available study on the subject Germany lost 5.3 million military men to World War II. Of these, 340,000 were lost in Western Europe, 150,00 in Italy, 16,000 in Africa and up to 225,000 on the seas and in the air over Germany. Additionally the Germans lost 1,230,000 dead in the final battles in Germany of 1945, of which Overmans estimates about one third or 410,000 were inflicted by the Western Allies. Taken together the Germans lost just under 1.2 million military men to the Western Allies, chiefly the Anglo-Americans.[1]

Meanwhile in the course of the war between 360,000 to 460,000 German civilians died in the Anglo-American strategic bombing campaign against German cities and towns. For every three German soldiers the Anglo-Americans also killed one German civilian (or sometimes a forced foreign laborer or an allied prisoner of war). Nor is this the complete tally of Anglo-American bombing in WWII Europe. An estimated 60,000 civilians were killed in the bombing raids over France and just as many in Italy. 20,000 more were killed in allied bombing raids in the Low Countries.

Theoretically the campaign against German cities was "strategic", but the raids over German-occupied territories were only "tactical". According to the architects of Combined Bomber Offensive, civilian deaths in Germany were a positive outcome of the raids. They would diminish German morale and aid the Allied cause. On the other hand any civilian deaths caused in German-occupied countries were only tangential to what the strikes were supposed to accomplish. In practice it did not make a whole world of difference. Altogether the Anglo-American bombs took the lives of roughly 550,000 civilians across German-run Europe.

Comment: And the blood lust of the Anglo-American regime continues unabated:


Heart

Stunning memento of wartime romance: Archeologists discover etched canteen carved by captive Russian solider in Poland during WWI

trench art, WWI russian solder canteen carving

Etched into a canteen found at the site of the World War I prisoner-of-war camp at Czersk is a detailed scene of a man and woman caught in a loving embrace. Experts say the carving may depict the soldier 'and his sweetheart’
Archaeologists have discovered a stunning memento of wartime romance, carved more than 100 years ago by a captive Russian soldier in Poland.

Etched into a canteen found at the site of the World War I prisoner-of-war camp in Czersk is a detailed scene of a man and woman caught in a loving embrace.

It comes in stark contrast to the gruesome first-hand accounts of life at the POW camp, where hunger, forced labor, and infectious disease were widespread.

Experts say so-called trench art like this often captured life's sentimental moments even in the midst of hardship, reflecting the 'personal stories, feelings, and fears' of soldiers during war.

Archaeology

Massive stone head unearthed beside 8.6-foot-long sarcophagus buried in Egypt 2,000 years

giant sarcophagus Alexandria
© Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Facebook
According to the archaeologists who led the dig, the black granite sarcophagus stands at 185 centimeters tall (6 feet), 265cm long (8.6 ft), and 165 cm wide (5.4 ft). It's said to be the largest ever found in Alexandria
Egyptian archaeologists have discovered what's thought to be the largest granite sarcophagus ever found in Alexandria, measuring nearly nine feet long.

The massive stone casket was buried more than 16 feet beneath the surface alongside a huge alabaster head - likely belonging to the man who owned the tomb.

Experts say the ancient coffin has remained untouched since its burial thousands of years ago during the Ptolemaic period.

According to the archaeologists who led the dig, the black granite sarcophagus stands at 185 centimeters tall (6 feet), 265cm long (8.6 ft), and 165 cm wide (5.4 ft). It's said to be the largest ever found in Alexandria

Bad Guys

The new Gilded Age: How America's wars fuel inequality at home

US military in Afghanistan
On the campaign trail in 2016, Donald Trump wasn't shy when it came to the issue of debt. As he told Norah O'Donnell of CBS This Morning at the time, "I'm the king of debt. I'm great with debt. Nobody knows debt better than me. I've made a fortune by using debt and if things don't work out I renegotiate the debt. I mean, that's a smart thing, not a stupid thing." So how perfect that he would become the president of debt, presiding (like his two predecessors) over what TomDispatch regular Stephanie Savell, co-director of the Costs of War Project at Brown University, calls America's "credit-card wars." Those conflicts, already almost 17 years in the making and still spreading, may, when the costs finally come due, lend a hand in the bankrupting of America and leave those who don't fit comfortably into the 1% bracket in a ditch somewhere in Trump country.

Chess

How Snowden helped pave the way for a Trump Presidency

snowden
© Brendan McDermid / Reuters
Five years ago this month, former CIA employee and government contractor Edward Snowden was charged with espionage after fleeing to Hong Kong with a cache of classified documents from the National Security Agency. At the time, he was either hailed as a hero or denounced as a traitor. Regardless of how you view him, history could very well end up connecting the dots between Snowden's actions and the ascendance of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.

Many intelligence officers say that Snowden is a traitor since the information he carried with him to Hong Kong -- subsequently leaked to selected journalists and then published -- could have inadvertently provided foreign intelligence services with pieces of information that would compromise the intelligence operations of Western nations, particularly those of the "Five Eyes": the U.S., Canada, Britain, Australia and New Zealand. All of these agencies share data with the NSA.