Archive for February 2011

The Fall of Persia

February 16, 2011

The replacement of the Sassanid regime by the Arab Caliphate armies.

Read and weep for the dead, for our situation is not so different from theirs.

Although hugely successful at first glance, Khosrau II’s campaign had in fact overextended the Persian army and overtaxed the people. The Byzantine emperor Heraclius (610E41) drew on all his diminished and devastated empire’s remaining resources, reorganised his armies and mounted a remarkable counter-offensive. Between 622 and 627 he campaigned against the Persians in Anatolia and the Caucasus, winning a string of victories against Persian forces under Khosrau, Shahrbaraz, Shahin and Shahraplakan, sacking the great Zoroastrian temple at Ganzak and securing assistance from the Khazars and Western Turkic Khaganate. In 626 Constantinople was besieged by Slavic and Avar forces which were supported by a Persian army under Shahrbaraz on the far side of the Bosphorus, but attempts to ferry the Persians across were blocked by the Byzantine fleet and the siege ended in failure. In 627-8 Heraclius mounted a winter invasion of Mesopotamia and, despite the departure of his Khazar allies, defeated a Persian army commanded by Rhahzadh in the Battle of Nineveh. He then marched down the Tigris, devastating the country and sacking Khosrau’s palace of Dastagerd. He was prevented from attacking Ctesiphon by the destruction of the bridges on the Nahrawan Canal and conducted further raids before withdrawing up the Diyala into north-western Iran.

The impact of Heraclius’s victories, the devastation of the richest territories of the Sassanid Empire and the humiliating destruction of high-profile targets such as Ganzak and Dastagerd fatally undermined Khosrau’s prestige and his support among the Persian aristocracy, and early in 628 he was overthrown and murdered by his son Kavadh II (628), who immediately brought an end to the war, agreeing to withdraw from all occupied territories. In 629 AD Heraclius restored the True Cross to Jerusalem in a majestic ceremony. Kavadh died within months and chaos and civil war followed. Over a period of four years and five successive kings, including two daughters of Khosrau II and spahbod Shahrbaraz, the Sassanid Empire weakened considerably. The power of the central authority passed into the hands of the generals. It would take several years for a strong king to emerge from a series of coups, and the Sassanids never had time to recover fully.

In the spring of 632, a grandson of Khosrau I who had lived in hiding, Yazdegerd III, ascended the throne. The same year, the first raiders from the Arab tribes, newly united by Islam, arrived in Persian territory. Years of warfare had exhausted both the Byzantines and the Persians. The Sassanids were further weakened by economic decline, heavy taxation, religious unrest, rigid social stratification, the increasing power of the provincial landholders, and a rapid turnover of rulers. These factors facilitated the Islamic conquest of Persia.

The Sassanids never mounted a truly effective resistance to the pressure applied by the initial Arab armies. Yazdegerd was a boy at the mercy of his advisers and incapable of uniting a vast country crumbling into small feudal kingdoms, despite the fact that the Byzantines, under similar pressure from the newly expansive Arabs, no longer threatened. The first encounter between Sassanids and Muslim Arabs was in the Battle of the Bridge in 634 which resulted in a Sassanid victory, however the Arab threat did not stop there and reappeared shortly from the disciplined armies of Khalid ibn Walid, once one of Muhammad’s chosen companions-in-arms and leader of the Arab army. Under the Caliph `Umar ibn al-Khattab, a Muslim army defeated a larger Persian force lead by general Rostam Farrokhzad at the plains of al-Qadisiyyah in 637 and besieged Ctesiphon. Ctesiphon fell after a prolonged siege. Yazdgerd fled eastward from Ctesiphon, leaving behind him most of the Empire’s vast treasury. The Arabs captured Ctesiphon shortly afterward, leaving the Sassanid government strapped for funds and acquiring a powerful financial resource for their own use. A number of Sassanid governors attempted to combine their forces to throw back the invaders, but the effort was crippled by the lack of a strong central authority, and the governors were defeated at the Battle of Nihawand; the empire, with its military command structure non-existent, its non-noble troop levies decimated, its financial resources effectively destroyed, and the Asawaran (Azatan) knightly caste destroyed piecemeal, was now utterly helpless in the face of the invaders.

Upon hearing the defeat in Nihawand, Yazdgerd along with most of Persian nobilities fled further inland to the eastern province of Khorasan. He was assassinated by a miller in Merv in late 651 while the rest of the nobles settled in central Asia where they contributed greatly in spreading Persian culture and language in those regions and the establishment of the first native Iranian Islamic dynasty, the Samanid dynasty, which sought to revive and resuscitate Sassanid traditions and culture after the invasion of Islam.

The abrupt fall of Sassanid Empire was completed in a period of five years, and most of its territory was absorbed into the Islamic caliphate; however, many Iranian cities resisted and fought against the invaders several times. Cities such as Rayy, Isfahan and Hamadan were exterminated thrice by Islamic caliphates in order to suppress revolts. The local population either willingly accepted Islam, stayed as dhimmi subjects of the Muslim state and paid a poll tax ( jizya), or were forced to convert by the invading armies. The latter measure is usually disputed in its use though as most conversion took place primarily in the Abbasids caliphate. Invaders destroyed the Academy of Gundishapur and its library, burning piles of books. Most Sassanid records and literary works were destroyed. A few that escaped this fate were later translated into Arabic and later to Modern Persian. During the Islamic invasion many Iranian cities were destroyed or deserted, palaces and bridges were ruined and many magnificent imperial Persian gardens were burned to the ground. Persian poets such as Ferdowsi lamented the downfall of the Sassanids in their work:

Ibn Walid also took part in the conquering of Egypt, including Alexandria. The fact that there are different dates for when the Library of Alexandria burned, and one of them is during Walid’s march through Egypt, I would say the Arabs burned the Library of Alexandria given their historical behavior in the rest of their military conquests. Coincidentally, the Persian libraries were lost too. Perhaps too many coincidences happening at once.

The Guy Flick: Part 1

February 13, 2011

[Plot description of a story. Contains spoilers the more you read ahead. If you want a hint as to where this comes from, Air on the G String should be enough of a clue.)

Money. He is obsessed with money. Everything is about money with him. If it has profit in store, he’s interested. If it doesn’t, he ignores it. If a woman can get him more money, he’ll butter her up. If a woman has no money, he isn’t interested. He’ll even hurt his loyal friends because the Boss says the “business” needs that family’s land. So he’ll make them sell the land that’s been in the family since ages past, that they lived on, grew up on, and continue to grow apple trees on. When the son is kidnapped by someone and a ransom demand made, our protagonist even sees and tries to use that in order to make the family go into debt so that their land, used as collateral, could be seized and sold by the bank to the developers.

Who is this person you might wonder? Well, he’s the protagonist of our story. The hero. Hero?! You’re probably thinking, “that’s not a hero, that’s a damn villain”, aren’tcha? But know this well, he is the hero of our story, as amazing as that might seem. And I mean a real hero, not the PC term sometimes used to justify weak pathetic trash.

How do you think that came about in the story? Well, it’s a total spoiler if I told you, nor would you truly understand. So I’ll tell it indirectly.

Our protagonist here grew up under interesting circumstances. His father lost the family fortune through debt. His mother forced to take care of him alone, while they were hounded by the mafia’s debt collectors throughout the country. Mistreated, poor, destitute, and hounded by problems they had not the power to solve, this was the childhood of our nameless protagonist. Perhaps you might think that this is why he considers and values money as the end all, be all to all things. To the point where he insists that he settle accounts for a cup of coffee, when invited to a cafe by a friend. Does he hate the idea of debt and being poor because debt destroyed his family and made his mother poor? That’s an interesting question, is it not.

However, do you think that excuses the harm he does to people who love him? Do you think it’s okay for him to try to run a girl’s family off their farm just because the mafia boss that adopted him, commanded that it would be profitable to re-develop that land? Do you think it’s okay for him to use his (foster) sister’s ice figure skating fame to make more money, while ignoring her otherwise?

Our protagonist here has a debt to pay. His father’s debts. His father is imprisoned for murder. Murdering the guy who put him into debt, that is. That’s why our protagonist has a different foster fother and isn’t with his mother. His mother is at a clinic for the insane. His current foster father is the mafia boss his biological father owed the enormous cash to. About 500,000 US dollars. With an enormous interest rate which doubles it every year or so.

So far, our protagonist has made a million or so dollars. He’s a millionaire, and he goes to high school. Not nearly enough to pay off the debt, however. This is the “main character” of our story, as you can see. A person that seeks money, is controlled by money, lives in fear of debt and his foster father’s mafia status, and cares about nothing else but money. High school is just a cover. To prevent other people from realizing that he’s the right hand of a front company for the mafia.

End of Part 1

Tea Party and Montesquieu

February 13, 2011

An interesting article on the Tea Party and Montesquieu

Second, Madison contended, because the state and local governments are close to the people—in sight and in mind, within reach and control—they and not the federal government are the natural instruments of civic agency. If, however, they were made to be dependent on and subject to the national government, they would cease to serve this function, and the sheer size of the country would stand in the way of concerted popular political action. It would prevent the exercise of “that control” on the national legislature “which is essential to a faithful discharge of its trust, [since] neither the voice nor the sense of ten or twenty millions of people, spread through so many latitudes as are comprehended within the United States, could ever be combined or called into effect, if deprived of those local organs, through which both can now be conveyed.” In such circumstances, Madison warned prophetically, “the impossibility of acting together, might be succeeded by the inefficacy of partial expressions of the public mind, and this at length, by a universal silence and insensibility.” It was the absence of effective popular checks that would leave the national government to a “self directed course.”

Madison, Jefferson, and their heirs in the Jacksonian period were arguably wrong about the political consequences implicit in the program proposed by Hamilton in the 1790s and revived by Henry Clay in the late 1820s. Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans implemented a policy indistinguishable from Hamilton’s program and Clay’s American System, and that policy did not have the consequences that Madison, his associates, and their heirs feared. But the prospect that Madison imagined is, in fact, the prospect the world’s most venerable democratic republic now faces.

Over almost a century, under the influence of the Progressives and their heirs—the proponents of the New Deal, the Great Society, and Barack Obama’s New Foundation we have experienced a gradual consolidation of power in the federal government. Legislative responsibilities have been transferred to administrative agencies lodged within the executive—such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and the vast array of bodies established under the recent health-care reform—and these have been delegated in an ever increasing number of spheres the authority to issue rules and regulations that have the force of law.

Fairy Tail 59

February 10, 2011

They are doing quite the job with this franchise.

It’s got everything I’m looking for. Humor, action, drama, and emotional conclusions.

The manga had that power and the anime is direct translation of it.

The artistic design is very unique, like Pandora Hearts. It’s not traditional Japanese fantasy using spirits or kami. It’s not a Magic Girl themed anime, like those which were popular decades ago.

I particularly love how the character backgrounds intersect with the primary story arcs and plot line. Makes things much more interesting and far less predictable. Like Naruto and Bleach, the plot is extensive and complex. Requiring increasingly large amounts of setup time to come to a grand finale on any one arc or plot point.

Fairy Tail, I would judge, beats both Naruto and Bleach in terms of sheer episodic fun and plot twists. While Naruto and Bleach early on had some quite emotional scenes, they usually only happened at the end of particular arcs. Fairy Tail’s emotional impact happens almost every episode. Which adds great bang for the entertainment half hour.

Violence Peddlers of the Left (verbal)

February 9, 2011

In direct reply to this topic by Danny L.

I feel that, should they ever be given the power to act out what they verbalize, they would unleash great evil on humanity.-Danny

Putting on my “violence studies” ( like, you know, gender studies) hat to address this issue.

If they had the power, say give them a gun, they would still need the correct social justifications for them to use it.

Meaning, human beings require some kind of justification to do almost anything, but violent actions have an entirely different bar in terms of how strong a justification it requires.

For them to talk about doing it, all they need is a few things.

1. Social opprobrium (people around them not shunning them or treating them like cannibals or serial killers if they say it)

2. Some kind of internal or external reward for saying it.

For them to do it, they need a strong internal justification for why using violence is right. It can’t just be “they said it was right”. They have to believe it is right. In most cases, it has to be personal. From the saying “murder in cold blood”. The hot blood must run. The more extreme the violence, the more hot blood is required.

This is literally true. The blood is going to run warmer and you’ll be able to see it under their skin, if their skin is pale and the light is good.

Now, if your question is, would they not make good storm trooper materials since their peers would praise them and they would get paid to boot? Well, the thing is, here’s the little problem the Left has set up for itself.

The Left has generically, two faces. 1. The “Hope and CHange” face that makes itself look like mainstream America. Save the Children. Don’t let people die in the streets. You know, something akin to common decency and goodness. Except you know they have nothing to do with decency or goodness. You know that, but they don’t know that.

Then there’s the second face, that does know it, and still chooses to ally themselves with the Left. 2. The SS (social security) brigade, their political/spiritual leaders (Obama/Rev Wright), and their intellectual thinkers (Chomsky, he literally does the Left’s thinking for them). The Left started from an extremely top heavy structure in the old Communist funded wings and platforms. They’ve started branching out into more “grass roots” territory lately with the union expansions and what not. But socially, they are still very “top heavy”. The bottom cannon fodder don’t do things until they are told to do things. The “quickness” of Leftist propaganda to new events is heavily based upon the uniformity with which the orders are carried out by the underclass. The speed isn’t due to their having a de-centralized authority system in working order.

So, in order to “create a justification” for a Leftist to use violence, they are basically going to have to get rid of 1. Hope and Change entirely and go for 2. Evil without Limits. The issue is, most members of the Democrat party are in 1, not 2. And they have never even SEEN 2. They don’t believe TWO exists. For them to come up with a hot blooded reason to lunch Clarence Thompson and DO IT personally, they will have to accept that they are “bad” and start to take pride in it. This, to many Leftists, is like putting a six shooter to their head and playing Russian roulette.

This is where knowledge of actual violence comes in handy. In order to do violence, you need to think of only two things.

1. How to hurt the other person.

2. How to hurt the other person really fast.

That is it. Finito. You cannot be allowed to think of anything else or else you are not going to be able to conduct violence effectively given your available (or limited) resources.

The whole mental circle of “Clarence Thompson needs to die because….” is only required to make up enough justifications so that the person can, afterwards, say “he got what was coming to him”. During the violent act, that’s not really what’s going on in their heads. This is why a lot of goons, called muscles or whatever new age term there is that applies to them, aren’t known for “thinking”. They are known for busting in skulls with their hands, not thinking. Because most people who are good at physical violence, are very limited in what they think about in order to maximize the effectiveness of violence. It just became rather convenient for the low level thugs to be stupid at the same time. Better for their job and for the people ordering them around.

Why do you think there are no treatises written on violence, like there are thesis written on wars and politics and medicine? It’s because most of the people who are good at “doing violence” aren’t busy “thinking about it” and writing down their thoughts. Even in the military war college, you do not get such an influx of personal experience when it comes to H2H violence. Firearms and JDAMs violence, yes. Air to Air combat violence in OODA, yes. H2H or social violence, no. A lot of the LEO community’s “knowledge base” is passed on sort of like from master to apprentice (Traditional martial arts in Asia), rather than written down in a form and then passed on.

To get down to the point, these people in the video you see will only become violent under 2 conditions.

1. They come up with a personal justification why the use of violence is “right”, while not contradicting their whole “peace” or “hope” or “everybody else is evil but me” shtick. That takes intelligence, btw. Most dumbtards in the Democrat party can’t think that fast to delude themselves. You got to be smart, remember that, to delude yourself from any and all interaction with reality.

2. A cult orders them to do it under social rules and demands (as well as punishment if they don’t succeed or obey).

SEIU thugs fall into the Second category. While murderous, rampaging Leftists or crazies fall into the First Category. In order to fall into the first category, a Leftist has to have a personal motivation overriding their “social rules”. Given the over emphasis on “social rules” on the Left (they use SS for everything part of their philosophy. TO each according to their needs, from each according to their ability to be leeched), most members will find it particularly hard to come up with a reason for violence, especially murderous violence. This when it comes to them doing it personally, not approving the use of violence by others. Approving the use by violence is very easy. Sort of like approving a Hollywood director’s rapine campaign. So long as you didn’t do it and you don’t get slapped on the head for it, it’s okay from the Left’s point of view.

Number 2 is restricted by the US Constitution and, of course, America’s 2nd Amendment, backed up by 250 some odd million guns. Give or take a couple hundred million.

Great evil, from the LEft, happens. But not because of what you are worried about, Danny, that they would personally pick up arms and be able to defeat us. For one thing, they can’t defeat us man to man, on any fair contest or battlefield. For another thing, they got problems just picking up arms, let alone learning how to use them.

The Left reminds me of those snot nosed kids an associate of mine said kept going past the sparring rules set in the Jeet Kun Do training session he was participating in. On All 3 occasions my associate had to injure the 3 kids to get them to stop. First one, got hit in the solar plexus, never got back up, so they called in an ambulance. He didn’t come back to training for a couple of months after that. Second guy, knee injury, tore some I don’t remember what it was called ligament or something. Wasn’t seen in training for many months after that happened. He was medic vacced as well. The third guy, he received broken ribs from my associate. (probably the floating ribs or what they call the baby ribs. Lightest injury of all 3)

You see, all 3 of them were males in their early 20s or so, thought they were hot stuff cause they had like black belts in TKD or high belt colors in BJJ and thought they had “something to prove” in sparring. So they exceeded the limits that the spar set down, partially because their “skills” were lacking against my associate and they felt “embarrassed” to be performing so poorly in front of an audience against my associate (who had no belt rank at all). The peanut gallery comments about how the “black belt” sucked, of course, egged them on. So ignoring verbal warnings from my associate to stop (2/3), they were put down quickly as a result.

For those unfamiliar with sparring in TMA or MA, it’s not usually done at full power or speed. Full contact, full power, is usually only allowed when wearing armor and a full body suit. This was supposed to be a “light spar”, so they weren’t wearing vests or gloves. My associate’s background is of a Navy submariner. He went into security and was taught some CQC tricks from the SEALs. Nuclear submarines usually have very tight security vs a much more open situation on something like a carrier or destroyer. Nobody is allowed into the warhead or nuclear reactor, for example, that isn’t supposed to be there. Somebody could really blow up the sub that way if you just let anybody in that wanted to get in. Or could not employ lethal force if they tried to force their way in. Hence the CQC. No threat of blowing a hole through the submarine walls or causing a sonar echo, if you use H2H only to deal with security breaches. This “background” was unknown to the JKD trainers and trainees. Also, he had to do it “three times” cause he kept moving. His reputation didn’t follow him. So people kept trying him out whenever he moved somewhere new. Hence the THREE incidents, rather than one.

So, yes, the Left reminds me of the snot nosed punks who think they are hot stuff, but can’t bring it to the table when their cards are called. And that includes most of the people in Danny’s video.


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