Don’t Environmentalists Have Respect for Native American Achievements?

You certainly think they would, since they are leftists.  Apparently Greenpeace doesn’t, because they set up one of their messages next to one of the more famous Nazca drawings in Peru, and it looks like the footprints and tire tracks they left getting to the site have damaged the monument.  If you want to discredit the cause you’re supporting, here’s how to do it!

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And here is the article:

This Greenpeace Stunt May Hare Irreparably Damaged Peru’s Nazca Site

For me, this struck home because three years ago, I wrote about the Nazca civilization, for Chapter 1 of my Latin American history project.  Of course I wanted to put in a picture showing an example of the Nazca lines, so I went to my books and scanned a picture of the very same formation, the “hummingbird geoglyph”:

Considering that the lines are more than a thousand years old, I didn’t think the picture would go out of date this quickly!

Israeli Spies Falsifying History to Show Jews Built Pyramids

 

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israeli-spies-falsifying-Egyptian-history-to-show-Jews-built-pyramids-374940

 

Well, well, well.  A few times in the past I have reported here about the crazy crackpot ideas that have come out of the Islamic world, especially Egypt.  See my messages from June 13, 2007 and April 30, 2012 for a few examples.  Now the article I just linked to shows us that the Moslem Brotherhood may no longer be in power, but Egypt is still producing more than its share of anti-Semites and conspiracy theories.  This one comes from the same guy who tried to sue Israel for inflicting the Ten Plagues on Egypt, without saying a word about the enslavement of Israelites that started the whole affair.

With the latest claim I would point out, for a start, that the theory suggesting that Pharaoh Sheshonq I = Shishak is not a recent Israeli invention.  Some European reading hieroglyphics at the temple of Karnak, nearly two hundred years ago, came up with that idea.  Perhaps Mr. Gamal would prefer David Rohl’s theory, that Shishak is none other than Ramses the Great?  And as for the treasures found in the tombs of the pharaohs at Tanis, I can make a case that they were stolen from earlier pharaohs like Amenhotep III, not from the Israelites.

D-Day Plus 70

You’ve probably heard that today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the key World War II battle that marked the beginning of the liberation of France, and the beginning of the end of the Third Reich.  For me it’s hard to believe that many years have gone by; for today’s school kids, World War II is further into the past than the Spanish-American War is for me.  Here are two articles to commemorate this day:

 

A tribute to the soldiers who fought on that fateful day.

 

A heartwarming story about a British D-Day veteran who sneaked out of his nursing home and went over to France so he could take part in what may be his last D-Day ceremony.

Goodbye Mozilla

Well, the queer mafia, the Gaystapo, have struck again.  This time they went after Brandon Eich, the inventor of Javascript.  What was his crime?  Six years ago, he gave $1,000 to the campaign for Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative supporting traditional marriage.  Just a few days after Eich became CEO of the Mozilla corporation, word of this got out, and he was forced to resign.  Click on the link below if you’re not familiar with the story.

http://erlc.com/article/why-can-mozilla-have-corporate-convictions-but-not-hobby-lobby

Gosh, before this controversy came up, I never paid attention to the sexual preference of the inventor of a software package.  Or that of the CEO of a high-tech company.

Judging by how many cities and states have legalized gay marriage recently, a lot of people must have changed their minds on the issue since 2008.  Have the Gaystapo considered that Eich might have changed his views in the past six years?  One politician who did was a certain Illinois senator who now happens to be president of the United States.  Another is Hillary Clinton; she said this in 2000:

“Marriage has a historic, religious and moral context that goes back to the beginning of time. And I think a marriage has always been between a man and a woman.”

Source:  http://www.ijreview.com/2014/04/127143-strange-bedfellows-hillary-clinton-ousted-mozilla-ceo/

If today’s Democrats are reminded of the above quote, how long will it take for them to expel her from the Democratic Party?

If you don’t think it is possible in a democracy for the majority of the population to be terrorized by a minority, look how arrogant the homosexual community has become.  Forty years ago, homosexuals were a bullied group, but now they’re the bullies to the rest of us.  Don’t believe the ten percent figure given by the Kinsey Report; judging by how often we meet homosexuals in real life, they’re probably just two percent of the population, three percent at the most.  And yet they insist on forcing their lifestyle into parts of the culture that have nothing to do with sex, like St. Patrick’s Day parades.  Moreover, the mainstream media seems to have a need to publish a “gay interest” story every week, like we’d forget this group existed if they didn’t.  Well, how about some stories about even less visible groups?  I haven’t read an interesting story about the Eskimos lately, nor one about the Amish.

I will quote from another blog I recently read to show how twisted the other side’s behavior has become.  Quote:

Don’t you people read? Haven’t you learned anything from history? ‘Advancements’ earned through tyranny never endure. You can only win a debate by suffocating your opposition for so long. Your strategy is doomed for failure, because it has always failed.

In the name of ‘fighting for the freedom to love,’ you’ve utilized hate. For the sake of ‘tolerance,’ you’ve wielded bigotry. In order to push ‘diversity,’ you’ve been dogmatic.

You are everything you accuse your opponents of being, and you stand for all the evil things that you claim they champion.

http://theaquilareport.com/hey-gay-rights-fascists-in-spite-of-your-mozilla-victory-you-will-still-lose/

Unquote:  To that I would add that they call themselves “gay,” which used to mean happy, when we see them acting like soreheads far more often.

Because there are a lot more of us than there are of them, it’s time we show the corporations that pander to the gay crowd that they can’t have their business and ours, too, if they’re going to engage in witch hunts.  An easy way to start is to boycott Mozilla.  Sure, Mozilla had something great going with Netscape in the 1990s, and with Firefox when they launched it ten years ago, but the Internet now has so many alternatives that we don’t need them anymore.  I removed Mozilla Firefox from my computer on Friday. Didn’t need it anyway, when any webpage I want to view is accessible through Chrome or Opera. Then on Saturday I uninstalled Mozilla Sunbird and Thunderbird.  My computer is now Mozilla-free.

Have you ever noticed that the big social issues we talked about used to be civil rights, but nowadays (e.g., gay rights, abortion, forcing others to pay for birth control), the issues seem to be more about civil wrongs?

The Holy Grail Has Been Found . . . Again

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Back in the 1970s, before he became an archaeologist, my favorite author, David Rohl, had a progressive rock band with his college buddies. Called Mandalaband, they stayed together long enough to produce two albums. Then after publishing his fourth book, "The Lords of Avaris," David revived the band, and they have made two more albums since then. The most recent album, "A.D.: Sangreal," came out in 2011, and has 15 songs about how the Holy Grail got to Spain. Is this the same grail? If so, this is not really news.  After all, long-time readers will remember the time some two and a half years ago, when I bought and reviewed the album.  I guess this is a filler story, now that interest over the missing Malaysian airliner is now fading.

Holy Grail Allegedly Found in Northern Spain

What’s Good About Florida

I have shared with you the weird things about Florida, my former home state, on pages like this one.  And the funny stuff never seems to stop coming.  The latest I’ve seen are the signs on a veterinarian’s office in Eau Gallie, a suburb of Melbourne on the Space Coast:

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Still, there are reasons why Florida is about to overtake New York as the state with the third highest population.  While I’ve never been a fan of The Huffington Post, I enjoyed this article that lists 23 of Florida’s good points:

23 Reasons Florida Is Quite Possibly the Best State in America.

Would you believe it, the author even listed the offbeat news stories as an asset, for their entertainment value.  I can think of a few other reasons that weren’t in the article, but I guess it is too much to expect a liberal publication to praise low taxes.

A Second Opinion on Spring

I told everyone yesterday that Leive & I are glad that spring has arrived.  The rest of our community is glad, too.  Here’s the proof in our local newspaper, The Lexington Herald-Leader:

Spring Has Arrived In Kentucky, and None Too Soon

But’s that’s not all we have on our minds in March.  The big news is that the University of Kentucky is playing its first game in the NCAA tournament tonight, against Kansas State.  Didn’t we beat them to win the championship in 2012?  Anyway, that game will be starting about the time I post this message.

And March is Pothole Month in Kentucky!  So expect sober folks to be driving a bit more erratically than usual, to avoid these new developments in the roads.  In that sense we are like the Michigan drivers in the cartoon below:

AZ-MI

The Conquest of Siberia

During the past couple of days I did a bit of an update to my Russian history papers; maybe I did it because the Crimea crisis has Russia in the news this month.  So I expanded the paragraphs about how Russia occupied and settled Siberia in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  Now it is a whole new section to the Medieval Russia page.

 

The Conquest of Siberia

The late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were hard times for the Russian people, but after the Time of Troubles ended, the nation itself prospered. The most spectacular gain made during this period was Siberia; when the Cossacks conquered the Mongol Khanate of Sibir in 1581, they removed the last barrier keeping Russians out of this region. The tribes they met in Siberia were too primitive and too few in numbers to resist, so Russia practiced what gamers call the “4Xs,” expanding, exploring, exploiting, and exterminating in the “wild wild East,” much like how the United States tamed the “wild wild West” in the nineteenth century.

Siberia’s ethnic groups in the seventeenth century.

Today Siberia is known as a place for exiles and those who really want to “get away from it all,” but to subdue this land armed Cossacks led the way. East of the Urals the main landmarks/obstacles are very large, northward-flowing rivers like the Ob, Yenisei, and Lena. Every time the Cossacks encountered one of these rivers, they sent a detachment to its mouth, so expansion was northward as well as eastward. It took them forty years to subdue the land between the Urals and the Yenisei. In doing so they advanced 1,250 miles, or 28 percent of the way to the Pacific; they covered the remaining 3,100 miles much quicker, in just thirty years.

Siberia is famous for being huge, cold, and mostly covered with forests, meaning it has more furry animals than anyplace else. The Russians were already familiar with fur trapping and trading, having done it in the forests of European Russia for as long as they could remember, so a Russian seeking his fortune in Siberia naturally turned to furs. Bears, wolves, foxes, tigers, squirrels–you name them, Siberia has them. Even extinct mammoths were fair game; in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as much as half of the world’s ivory came from mammoth tusks picked up in Siberia.

The first thing the Cossacks did when they entered a new area was put the natives to work collecting furs for them. If a tribe did not deliver the specified number of pelts for that year, severe punishment followed. They could justify their behavior because no other civilized nation was active in Siberia, stating that “The inhabitants of those lands do not belong to anybody …[therefore] …they should belong to the Russian sovereign.” Unfortunately the quotas for pelts were always set high–usually higher that what the natives could obtain. Nowadays the typical hunter is enough of a conservationist that he will practice hunting at a sustainable level, making sure there is enough game left over for next year; that is why we have game laws. The Cossacks were too greedy to think ahead like that, and thus were more like poachers than hunters. Consequently they would make a big haul during their first year in a new area, and then the yields would fall off, no matter how cooperative the natives were or how bad the Cossacks terrorized them. To stay in the fur trade, the Cossacks would have to move on; it was the lure of getting rich quick in a virgin wilderness that kept them going, and helps explain why they moved faster as time went on.

In 1630 the Russians founded Ilimsk on the Ilim River, a tributary of the Angara, which in turn is a tributary of the Yenisei. This village became the departure point for the final phase of Russian expansion. One year later a cossack named Peter Beketov followed a trail from there, the Ilmin portage, east to the Lena River. At the Lena he built an ostrog (fort) in 1632; this became Yakutsk, one of the most important cities in eastern Siberia today. Another Cossack, Ivan Moskvitin, led a scouting party that departed Yakutsk in 1639 and reached the Sea of Okhotsk, making him the first Russian to gaze on the Pacific. He returned to Yakutsk two years later, with a report about the tribes living on the coast and the mouth of a great river not too far to the south–the Amur.

Vasili Poyarkov led the expedition that followed up on this (1643-47). First getting lost in the east Siberian forest, they eventually found the Amur and followed it to the sea. They alienated the tribes along the Amur, the same way the Cossacks did elsewhere, by demanding furs from the natives and inflicting murderous reprisals when they failed to comply. This time, however, the tribes could call on another tribe that was strong enough to fight back–the Manchus. The Amur was the northern frontier of Manchuria, the Manchu homeland and their emperor’s favorite hunting ground; the natives on the Amur were vassals of theirs, so pleas from them could not be ignored. In the mid-1640s the Manchus were busy conquering China, but the next time a Cossack expedition came to the Amur, that of Erofei Pavlovich Khabarov (1649-50), there was a force of 800 to 1,000 Manchu soldiers waiting for them. Although the Russians won the first battle, the Manchus are considered the real winners in this confrontation. The Manchu presence restricted Russian movement; the Manchus soon had the resources of all China to draw upon, and their supply lines were far shorter than those of the Russians. After 1650 the Cossack forts set up along the Amur were attacked by the Manchus and Chinese, until both empires sent diplomats to negotiate a solution. The result was the Treaty of Nerchinsk in 1689, which moved the Sino-Russian border several hundred miles north of the Amur, giving the Manchus control over all lands drained by that river, not to mention a very large buffer zone. It definitely was not a border of Russia’s choosing.

The most remarkable Cossack expedition of all has to be that of Semyon Dezhnev. Between 1644 and 1649 Dezhnev followed the Kolyma River to the Arctic, sailed along Siberia’s north coast until he got to the Chukchi peninsula, and rounded it to enter the Bering Sea, going as far as the Anadyr River. By doing this, Dezhnev proved there is no land bridge connecting Asia to North America. Unfortunately, this epic journey made no difference to Russia or the world community. Dezhnev’s report was filed away in the archives of Yakutsk and forgotten, so Peter the Great ended up hiring a Danish navigator, Vitus Bering, to rediscover the Bering Sea 80 years later. In addition, being semi-literate at best, Dezhnev wasn’t much of a navigator; he doesn’t seem to have known how far east he went. In the seventeenth century, most people with an interest in geography believed a waterway existed between Asia and North America; Spain called it the Strait of Anián, and others called it the Northwest Passage. However, until Bering repeated Dezhnev’s achievement, maps were published showing the end of Asia near the same longitude as the island of Sakhalin, meaning people believed you could get to the Arctic by sailing north of Japan.

Speaking of Sakhalin and Japan, another European nation, the Netherlands, was exploring the waters around them at this time. After opening up trade with the nations of the Far East, the Dutch East India Company sent a few explorers to look for the rich “Gold and Silver Islands” that supposedly existed northeast of Japan (they didn’t, in case you’re wondering). The most important of these expeditions involved two ships, the Breskens and the Castricum, which entered the north Pacific in 1643. Separated by a storm, the Breskens was blown to Yamada, Japan; because of Japan’s isolationist policy, the crew was detained, interrogated and sent to Deshima, the Dutch trading post which was the only place in the country where foreigners were permitted. The Castricum continued to the Kurile Islands, sailed between two of them (Iturup and Urup), and mapped the northeast coast of Hokkaido and the east coast of Sakhalin. However, the Castricum’s captain, Maarten Gerritsz Vries, drew some faulty conclusions about the local geography. First, he thought Hokkaido was joined to Sakhalin and both were joined to the mainland, making them a large peninsula like Korea or Kamchatka. That may have been true during the ice age, but it certainly isn’t now. Second, he imagined North America had another long peninsula, and Urup was the tip of it. In truth Alaska has a long peninsula like that, but it ends 2,200 miles northeast of where Vries put it.

Siberia 1689

Russian expansion into Siberia, 1598-1689. Source: An Atlas of Russian History, by Allen F. Chew.

Looks Like We’ll Get the Ark After All

It has been touch and go for the past couple of months, due to a lack of funding, but now construction on The Ark Experience, a Noah’s Ark theme park, is about to begin in northern Kentucky.  You can thank last month’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham for bringing back interest in the park.  See also my message from December 5, 2010, where I first announced the project here.

Noah’s Ark Set to be Erected in Kentucky