Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.
The ancient Egyptians were renowned for their worship of animals, and one of these was the baboon. In ancient Egyptian mythology, baboons are best known for their association with Thoth, the god of wisdom. In addition to their role in mythology, baboons also had a place in the society of ancient Egypt. They are commonly known to have been kept as pets, and mummified remains of these creatures have been discovered by archaeologists. In addition, baboons (or monkeys) have also been shown in Egyptian art to be participating in various human activities, including dancing and playing musical instruments, picking fruit, making wine and beer, and even catching criminals. …
As sacred animals, baboons were kept in temples, and cared for by their priests. Nevertheless, they were also kept as pets by those who could afford them, though for largely ritualistic purposes. Still, such pets were not always treated well by their owners. In Hierakonpolis, for instance, archaeologists have discovered a cemetery with the remains of various animals, including baboons, that were once kept as pets. The bones of the baboons suggest that they had been beaten repeatedly whilst they were alive. This cemetery is about 5000 years old, and dates to the end of the Pre-Dynastic period / the beginning of the Early Dynastic period. Therefore, it has been suggested that at this point of time, the ancient Egyptians were only beginning to learn how to keep animals as pets, and the beatings were meant to keep the baboons in line. As the Egyptians became better handlers, fewer beatings were administered to their pets, as seen in the remains of baboons from later periods.
In some works of ancient Egyptian art, baboons (or monkeys) are shown engaging in human activities. Some of these, like harvesting fruits from tall trees, could be plausible. In some parts of the world, monkeys are known to be trained to harvest fruits. In a tomb from the 12th Dynasty, baboons are even shown to be competing with humans for the collection of fruit. Other baboon jobs, such as helping with alcohol production or rigging boats, seem a little more fantastical. Nevertheless, given that baboons were considered to be intelligent animals, it would not then be too surprising if the ancient Egyptians imagined baboons could do such activities.
Christopher Caldwell, in Claremont Review, discusses today’s divided America.
In the days leading up to the inauguration of Donald Trump, the streets in one wealthy corner of northwest Washington, D.C., were draped with flags almost from one end to the other. They recalled Monet’s painting of the Rue Montorgueil that hangs in the Musée d’Orsay, or the oils that the American impressionist Childe Hassam painted of street parades towards the end of World War I. These, however, were not national flags but the rainbow-striped banners of the gay rights movement. They were directed, in embitterment rather than celebration, at an audience of one: Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the vice president-elect. Pence had done two things to offend the flag-wavers. As Indiana governor in the days after gay marriage became law in 2015, he had signed a bill defending freedom of religion. Worse, after November 8 he had rented a house on nearby Tennyson Street for the presidential transition. Now up and down his street the yard signs jostled, some reading “I Stand With Planned Parenthood,” others “This Neighborhood Respects Women.” Particularly popular was a peacock-blue sign reading “Hate Has No Home Here” and “El odio no tiene hogar aquí,” which must be Spanish for “Stay out of our neighborhood, Hoosier.”
Regrettable though it may be that political passions would lead a whole neighborhood to act inhospitably, it is only human. It was a bitter contest, after all. Trump’s win was a shock. What is more worrisome is the estrangement of ruling-class neighborhoods like this one from the part of the country that voted for Trump, their near-unanimous incomprehension of, and contempt for, the democracy movement that just said “Enough!” to the politics of recent decades. In an election that Democrats lost at virtually every level, the capital city gave Hillary Clinton 93% of its votes, and Trump 4%. All the country’s grand, modern, and cultured places followed suit. Pence’s neighbors seemed to assume he did not realize there was any such thing as homosexuality or abortion or the Spanish language. Merely alerting him that such things existed might therefore be a satisfying way to wound him. And why not wound him? It was impossible that Trump and Pence could be legitimate occupants of the White House because it was impossible to believe that 60 million people would vote for such boobs.
A robust enthusiasm for American democracy is unlikely to survive where such sentiments prevail.
A must read.
The video, first aired by a Japan’s Fuji TV, was shot by security cameras inside Kuala Lumpur airport.
It shows a woman coming up behind a man, believed to be Kim, putting her arms over him and apparently pulling something across his face.
Kim, the estranged half-brother of North Korea’s supreme leader Kim Jong Un, is then seen talking with airport security personnel, before attending an airport medical clinic.
He was taken from the airport by ambulance after the incident on Feb. 13, but died on the way to hospital.
Malaysian police believe that he was poisoned, and South Korea has said it believes the killing was carried out by North Korean agents.
The killing has set off a diplomatic spat between Malaysia and North Korea. Pyongyang’s ambassador has said it will refuse to accept the results of a Malaysian police investigation into Kim’s death, accusing authorities of “colluding with outside forces” — a veiled reference to rival South Korea.
Meanwhile, Malaysia has recalled its ambassador from Pyongyang for consultations, and summoned the North Korean ambassador in the country to explain the allegations.
Donald Trump, Fake News, Islamic Immigration, Mainstream Media, Media Bias, Mendacious Reportage, Sweden
So at Donald Trump’s rally yesterday in Florida, Trump said anent Muslim immigration:
“You look at what’s happening. We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?”
Trump is obviously alluding to extraordinary and absolutely appalling outbreaks of violent crimes and sexual assaults perpetrated by Third World immigrants and refugees accepted into European countries. But those clever journalists on the left play pretend that Trump has to be referring, not to robberies, rapes, and criminal assaults, but (mistakenly, out of his stupidity, confusion, and general inferiority) to some non-existent, entirely fabricated by Trump case of a mass terrorist attack. And they gleefully get to point out that such a mass terrorist attack has not (so far) occurred in Sweden, and therefore: Gotcha! Ho! ho! ho!
How stupid do they think Americans are?
Trump was obviously referring, not to a single terrorist attack, but to the unfortunate state of Swedish public safety with respect to crimes by Muslims against Swedes.
For example: Muslim Statistics — 5 Nov 2016:
Sweden’s Muslim problem: Half a million women sex attacked in a year
This now puts Sweden in the top position for sex crimes in the world.
Put this into perspective to see how horrific these figures truly are: The total Swedish population is only 9.6 million people. In 2009 a US report stated that there are 450,000 to 500,000 Muslims in Sweden, around 5% of the total population. Out of the 500,000 Muslim migrants in Sweden, half or less are men. In other words, there is roughly an equivalent to two sex attacks to every Muslim male in Sweden. These sex attacks are not committed by the natives.
or this example (Daily Wire 16 Jan 2017):
Scores of Swedes took the streets of Malmo, a southern city in Sweden, on Monday to protest an epidemic of violence that has taken the lives of far too many young people. The last victim was 16-year-old Ahmed Obaid. He was killed last Thursday after an unidentified gunman unleashed a salvo of bullets.
“Our kids should sleep well, play at play parks, feel safe,” Housam Abbas, the victim’s cousin, said, according to the Local.
Malmo, this once quiet city, is now overrun with violence. The culture of fear is so palpable that parents are no longer comfortable sending their children out to play.
“You have to look over your shoulder when you go out at night now. I don’t let my little brother go out at night any more,” said one high school student at Monday’s protest in front of city hall. “I hope that the politicians actually view this as a serious problem and start to solve this in Malmö.”
Trump is obviously right, and the MSM is full of weaselly liars cooking up fake news.
V Amphibious Corps Shoulder Patch
February 19, 1945, the Marine Corps landed on Iwo Jima. The battle went on for five weeks and cost 6,821 Americans killed, 19,271 wounded.
My father’s commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Graves B. Erskine, commander of the 3rd Marine Division, said: “Victory was never in doubt. What was in doubt was whether there would be any of us left to dedicate our cemetery at the end.”
My father, William G. Zincavage, later in 1945, a farewell to the service photo taken just before his discharge in December.
Conservative Treehouse has great news.
The career political operatives who reign within the State Department openly view themselves as a distinctly separate state governing authority, with no attachment to the policies or objectives of the United States presidency or any mere elected official therein.
For years this group has considered themselves “the untouchables”.
They live a life of high financed indulgence including: massive expense accounts, chartered airline travel, swanky cocktail parties, expense chauffeurs to take their kids to private school, seasonally designed home decor – appointed by only the very best interior designers, personal security to keep the commoners away, tickets to the best venues and reserved seating at elite DC restaurants.
With first rights to the budget expenditures, the 7th floor group finds no indulgence too extravagant for their intellectual elitism. They demand nothing but the finest because they are the most worthy of the DC professionally privileged – who are more equal than others; and after all, their jobs require them to host and visit like-minded diplomats, and celebrities with exclusive tastes from around the world.
Today, this elite crew collectively choked on their crust-less triangle sandwiches:
WASHINGTON DC – […] Much of seventh-floor staff, who work for the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources and the Counselor offices, were told today that their services were no longer needed.
[…] Two sources also told CBS News that Ambassador Kristie Kenney, the Counselor of the State Department and one of the last remaining senior officials, was informed that she will be let go. She is a career foreign service officer who had served as an ambassador under Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Her staff was told that Secretary Tillerson does not intend to fill the counselor’s position anytime soon.
[…] “It is irresponsible to let qualified, nonpartisan, experienced people go before you have any idea of their replacement. You can’t do foreign policy by sitting in the White House, just out of your back pocket,” explains Tom Countryman, Former Assistant Secretary for Non-Proliferation who was let go earlier this month.
Countryman worries that the White House is displaying an intent not rely on the State Department for foreign policy in that no one will be in place to challenge the edicts drawn up in the Oval Office.
Read the whole thing.
One of the most mysterious and celebrated treasures from Anglo-Saxon England, the Alfred Jewel is believed to be more than 1,000 years old. It was discovered in 1693 in a field at North Petherton, Somerset.
Made of enamel and quartz, this remarkable jewel was made in the reign of Alfred the Great with an inscription “AELFRED MEC HEHT GEWYRCAN” which means “Alfred ordered me made.” It is an unusual example of Anglo-Saxon jewelry because it begs all kinds of questions about where the materials came from.
The two-and-a-half-inch long jewel made of filigreed gold has an image of a man, which many historians believe is a picture of Christ. Shaped like a teardrop, it was once believed that this jewel was a pendant worn around the neck. However, this would mean that the image of Christ would be permanently hung upside-down.
Another theory is that it might have been the centerpiece of a royal crown but the setting seemed inappropriate for that purpose. According to Webster, the back of the jewel is a flat gold plate which is engraved with either a plant motif or an image of the Tree of Life.
Over the years, many suggestions have been made about the function of this jewel. The most common is that it was a pointer to use for reading manuscripts. It is assumed that it may have been Alfred’s gift to the abbey, which he founded at Athelney in 878 after his defeat of the Vikings.
A description of the jewel was first published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1698. Colonel Nathaniel Palmer bequeathed the jewel to Oxford University and it was on display in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. In 2015, after 297 years away, the Alfred jewel was put on display for one month at the Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle.
Mathew Continetti discusses the struggle between an elected American administration and the entrenched federal bureaucracy.
By any historical and constitutional standard, “the people” elected Donald Trump and endorsed his program of nation-state populist reform. Yet over the last few weeks America has been in the throes of an unprecedented revolt. Not of the people against the government—that happened last year—but of the government against the people. What this says about the state of American democracy, and what it portends for the future, is incredibly disturbing.
There is, of course, the case of Michael Flynn. He made a lot of enemies inside the government during his career, suffice it to say. And when he exposed himself as vulnerable those enemies pounced. But consider the means: anonymous and possibly illegal leaks of private conversations. Yes, the conversation in question was with a foreign national. And no one doubts we spy on ambassadors. But we aren’t supposed to spy on Americans without probable cause. And we most certainly are not supposed to disclose the results of our spying in the pages of the Washington Post because it suits a partisan or personal agenda.
Here was a case of current and former national security officials using their position, their sources, and their methods to crush a political enemy. And no one but supporters of the president seems to be disturbed. Why? Because we are meant to believe that the mysterious, elusive, nefarious, and to date unproven connection between Donald Trump and the Kremlin is more important than the norms of intelligence and the decisions of the voters.
But why should we believe that? And who elected these officials to make this judgment for us?
Nor is Flynn the only example of nameless bureaucrats working to undermine and ultimately overturn the results of last year’s election. According to the New York Times, civil servants at the EPA are lobbying Congress to reject Donald Trump’s nominee to run the agency. Is it because Scott Pruitt lacks qualifications? No. Is it because he is ethically compromised? Sorry. The reason for the opposition is that Pruitt is a critic of the way the EPA was run during the presidency of Barack Obama. He has a policy difference with the men and women who are soon to be his employees. Up until, oh, this month, the normal course of action was for civil servants to follow the direction of the political appointees who serve as proxies for the elected president.
How quaint. These days an architect of the overreaching and antidemocratic Waters of the U.S. regulation worries that her work will be overturned so she undertakes extraordinary means to defeat her potential boss. But a change in policy is a risk of democratic politics. Nowhere does it say in the Constitution that the decisions of government employees are to be unquestioned and preserved forever. Yet that is precisely the implication of this unprecedented protest. “I can’t think of any other time when people in the bureaucracy have done this,” a professor of government tells the paper. That sentence does not leave me feeling reassured. …
The last few weeks have confirmed that there are two systems of government in the United States. The first is the system of government outlined in the U.S. Constitution—its checks, its balances, its dispersion of power, its protection of individual rights. Donald Trump was elected to serve four years as the chief executive of this system. Whether you like it or not.
The second system is comprised of those elements not expressly addressed by the Founders. This is the permanent government, the so-called administrative state of bureaucracies, agencies, quasi-public organizations, and regulatory bodies and commissions, of rule-writers and the byzantine network of administrative law courts. This is the government of unelected judges with lifetime appointments who, far from comprising the “least dangerous branch,” now presume to think they know more about America’s national security interests than the man elected as commander in chief.
For some time, especially during Democratic presidencies, the second system of government was able to live with the first one. But that time has ended. The two systems are now in competition. And the contest is all the more vicious and frightening because more than offices are at stake. This fight is not about policy. It is about wealth, status, the privileges of an exclusive class.
Read the whole thing.
Really, it’s a 9,550-Year-Old root system. Vintage News:
The oldest living cloned Norwegian Spruce can be found in Sweden on Fulufjallet Mountain. It is at least 9,550 years old, sixteen feet tall, and is called Old Tjikko.
This tree isn’t the oldest living tree in the world, but it is the oldest living, clonal Norway Spruce. Umea University geography professor, Leif Kullman discovered this tree and gave it the name “Old Tjikko,” after his dog that had died.
During its life cycle of thousands of years, the tree grew as a stunted shrub (krummholz formation) because of the harsh environment in which it lives and the extreme weather conditions. However, during the Earth’s warming that has occurred over the last century, the tree has now begun a growth cycle of natural tree formation, and its transition to a healthy growth structure is due to global warming.
It has been recorded that during the ice age, the sea level was much lower than today, as much as 120 meters lower. So, what is now the North Sea between England and Norway was at that time barren forest land. And during this period, winds and low temperatures made the growth of “Old Tjikko” similar to that of a bonsai tree; under these harsh conditions, a large tree could not sustain the growth to get this old.
The primary reason for the survival of this tree over such an extended period is because of vegetative cloning; this means that although the part of the tree that is visible is still relatively young, it is a part of an ancient root system which dates back thousands of years.
Donald Devine, in the American Spectator, has a fine time debunking the community of fashion’s popular notion of “settled science.”
The idea that people will not accept the findings of science drives a certain class of self-described intellectuals crazy. Even those who can comprehend the Yale University Cultural Cognition Project research warning that scientific findings are screened by individuals through pre-existing cultural beliefs and are interpreted in ways to reinforce those beliefs still insist their own scientific beliefs are objective and settled.
That research finds progressives risk averse, biased toward control of their environment, while conservatives tolerate risk, partial toward greater freedom — the recognition of which does not overcome the progressive insistence that relativity explains all motion or that global warming is “settled science.” Conservative wise man Eric Voegelin traced the progressive predisposition to the positivist philosopher Auguste Comte, who invented the social sciences to replace religion with objective empirical research that would eventually allow humans to achieve perfection in this world rather than waiting for the next.
The fact that this hope has fallen a bit short over the following century has not diminished its appeal. For progressivism, it is just science, at least when it agrees with its own reductionist, materialistic predispositions by academic fields dominated by fellow progressives. While it might surprise that 43 percent of physicists believe that God or some higher spirit affected material development, it is even a majority belief among biological and chemistry scientists. On the other hand, few hold this belief in psychiatry and many other social sciences.
In fact, settled science is rather difficult to find, even the purely physical sciences. Columbia University physicist Brian Greene explained: “[G]eneral relativity and quantum mechanics cannot both be right” as currently formulated, even though they are “the two foundational pillars upon which modern physics rests.” The journal Physical Review Letters reported that a major study of the light sterile neutrino, widely expected by scientists to undermine Standard Model physics, found at a “99% certainty” level that neutrinos do not even exist.
An article in Current Biology questioned whether biologists’ long-held conception of the basic structure of the animal cell is in fact universal. Ninety-eight percent of human genome DNA had long been determined to be “junk” and only 2 percent meaningful — until the ENCODE project recently reported that in fact at least 80 percent of it was active. Scientists have known for years there are 83 distinct areas in the brain, but the journal Nature published a study last year more than doubling the number of brain regions to 180.
The one field where the science must be “settled,” of course, is global warming. Or is it “climate change,” when clearly no skeptic doubts climate changes? Why the alteration in terminology? Perhaps because, in 2007, the world’s leading experts at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported its “central forecast” for long-term warming to be 3 degrees C. Yet, since then its reports have not listed a single central estimate but did reduce its minimal expected warming down from a 1.5-degrees rise to only a 1.0-degree temperature increase.
The U.S.’s NASA-Goddard Institute did announce that 2016 was the “hottest year on record,” but while NASA had formerly warned against accepting “misleading” specific temperatures without considering the ranges of scores within the measurement margin of error, it did not repeat that warning in 2016. As the Wall Street Journal’s Holman Jenkins showed, after taking into account error margins, 2015 and 2016, two El Niño years, were actually tied for being the warmest years recorded, and 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2014 were all tied for second place, close behind.
As climatologist Judith Curry testified to Congress, IPCC models have forecast surface temperatures to increase 0.2 degrees C each 21st century decade. But during the first fifteen years, actual temperatures only increased 0.05, four times lower than predicted. And the models cannot explain why more than 40 percent of the temperature increases since 1900 took place between 1910 and 1945, which produced a mere 10 percent of the carbon emissions.
Read the whole thing.
Hat tip to John C. Meyer.