Misremembering the European Refugees

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Click image for video link

I am not in any way having a go at the sentiments expressed in this video, but there were a few unfortunate mistakes made. The video is referring to the The Middle East Relief And Refugee Administration, which the British created in 1942.

At the start of World War II, Syria and Lebanon were colonial possessions of France, which came under the control of Nazi collaborating Vichy France in 1940. Western Europe fell so quickly to the Germans in 1940 that there was no time for any significant movement of refugees to Syria. In 1941 British Empire forces, including Australian troops, invaded Syria and Lebanon. This was to prevent German forces from making use of Syria, as they were already attempting to invade British Egypt from Italian Libya.

The Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 and the Balkans in 1941 had resulted in thousands of refugees, who the British evacuated through Greece to their territories of Cyprus, Egypt, and Palestine. In 1942, the British dispersed these Jewish, Polish, Greek, and Yugoslav refugees to temporary camps in Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. Some Poles were even sent to Iran, which the British Empire and the Soviets had jointly invaded in 1941 to overthrow the pro-Nazi Reza Shah. Virtually all these refugees, except many Jews, returned to Europe after the war.

This video characterizes the temporary settlement of these refugees as a choice made by the local Arabs out of the goodness of their hearts; when in reality, they had no say, as the British were in charge of these lands. It’s the British Empire who should be credited with taking in the refugees and funding their camps. The video also implies that the Arabs welcomed the refugees into their communities, when in fact they were kept in their own separate camps. Also, the overwhelming majority of the non-Jewish refugees did not intend to settle in the Middle East permanently, unlike the case today with many of the Syrian refugees, who desire to settle permanently in Europe.

The theme of this video is that Europe owes the Arabs some sort of debt; which is just a misreading of history. Many now seem to have forgotten, in Europe’s time of need, the British Empire took in their tired, poor, and hungry.

These facts aside, we should still be helping Syrian refugees.

MicMedia
https://www.facebook.com/MicMedia/videos/1268577323165055/

The Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age

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Click image for MWP Project link

UPDATE: February 29, 2016 Climate reconstructions of the ‘Medieval Warm Period’ 800-1200 AD – Google Maps

It is fine to discuss the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age, in recorded history and the scientific record, and to ask whether these climatic variations existed. The answer is almost certainly ‘Yes’. Furthermore, to ask whether these were global phenomena, or not. The answer is likewise ‘Yes’, which is supported by hundreds of studies. It is in fact the more detailed (i.e. quantitative) question ‘how much’ that is currently being studied in scientific papers.

“8. There have been many periods during our recent history that a warmer climate was prevalent long before the industrial revolution:

Even in the 1990 IPCC report a chart appeared that showed the medieval warm period as having had warmer temperatures than those currently being experienced. But it is hard to convince people about global warming with that information, so five years later a new graph was presented, now known as the famous hockey stick graph, which did away with the medieval warm period. Yet the evidence is overwhelming at so many levels that warmer periods existed on Earth during the medieval warm period as well as during Roman Times and other time periods during the last 10,000 years. There is plenty of evidence found in the Dutch archives that shows that over the centuries, parts of the Netherlands disappeared beneath the water during these warm periods, only to appear again when the climate turned colder. The famous Belgian city of Brugge, once known as “Venice of the North,” was a sea port during the warm period that set Europe free from the dark ages (when temperatures were much colder), but when temperatures began to drop with the onset of the little ice age, the ocean receded and now Brugge is ten miles away from the coastline. Consequently, during the medieval warm period the Vikings settled in Iceland and Greenland and even along the coast of Canada, where they enjoyed the warmer temperatures, until the climate turned cold again, after which they perished from Greenland and Iceland became ice-locked again during the bitter cold winters. The camps promoting global warming have been systematically erasing mention of these events in order to bolster the notion that today’s climate is unusual compared to our recent history.

9. Glaciers have been melting for more than 150 years

The notion of melting glaciers as prove positive that global warming is real has no real scientific basis. Glaciers have been melting for over 150 years. It is no secret that glaciers advanced to unprecedented levels in recent human history during the period known as the Little Ice Age. Many villages in the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps saw their homes threatened and fields destroyed by these large ice masses. Pleas went out to local bishops and even the Pope in Rome to come and pray in front of these glaciers in the hope of stopping their unrelenting advance. Around 1850, the climate returned to more “normal” temperatures and the glaciers began to recede. But then between 1940 and 1980, as the temperatures declined again, most of the glaciers halted their retreat and began to expand again, until warmer weather at the end of the last century caused them to continue the retreat they started 150 years earlier. Furthermore, we now know that many of the glaciers around the world did not exist 4000 to 6000 years ago. As a case in point, there is a glacier to the far north of Greenland above the large ice sheet covering most of the island called the Hans Tausen Glacier. It is 50 miles long ,30 miles wide and up to 1000 feet thick. A Scandinavian research team bored ice cores all the way to the bottom and discovered that 4000 years ago this glacier did not exist. It was so warm 4000 years ago that many of the glaciers around the world didn’t exist but have returned because of the onset of colder weather. Today’s temperatures are much lower than those that were predominant during the Holocene era as substantiated by studying the many cores that were dug from Greenland’s ice sheet.”

The Most Comprehensive Assault On ‘Global Warming’ Ever
http://www.dailywire.com/news/2071/most-comprehensive-assault-global-warming-ever-mike-van-biezen

Medieval Warm Period Project
http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php

Time For Full-Scale War To Destroy Islamic State

Challenger2-Speeding

France should invoke Article 5 of the NATO treaty – An attack on one, is an attack on all. Every NATO member must contribute to a combined NATO force in Turkey, to launch a full-scale attack on Islamic State in Syria. No more limited airstrikes – there needs to be a ground force marching on Raqqa.

“The near-simultaneous attacks in Paris that killed nearly 130 people were an “act of war” organised by the Islamic State (IS) militant group, says France’s President Francois Hollande.

He said the attacks, carried out by eight gunmen and suicide bombers, were “organised and planned from outside”.

The targets included bars, restaurants, a concert and a high-profile football match. IS claimed the attacks.

Mr Hollande has declared three days of national mourning.

He has raised the security threat level to its highest point and imposed a nationwide state of emergency.

This is the deadliest peacetime attack in France and the worst in Europe since the 2004 Madrid bombings. At least 180 people were wounded, 80 of whom are in a critical condition.”

Paris attacks: Hollande blames Islamic State for ‘act of war’
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34820016

Modern Myths About Easter

Inanna & Sargon Conquer

Inanna (centre), often identified with Ishtar

The conspiratorial mind finds connections everywhere and generally doesn’t believe in coincidence. Easter and Ishtar sound similar? So they must be related. Inanna was stripped, judged, and executed? There must be a connection to Jesus’ death.

No professional academics of either Indo-European religion or Ancient Mesopotamian religion believe there is any connection between the Germanic and the Sumerian gods and goddesses.

Only someone who doesn’t like to think too deeply about things would believe Jesus’ crucifixion is related to Inanna’s journey through the Underworld. Is being stripped and led through gates before being executed some sort of unique characteristic suggesting a link between Jesus and Inanna? It was common in the region at the time for a condemned man to be beaten, stripped, and led out of the gates of a city or town to be executed. Most of what Jesus went through was also shared by the two criminals crucified with him, as well as countless people executed throughout history. The unique elements to Jesus’ treatment was that he was given a crown of thorns and a sign mocking him as a false king. So how can you apply the Inanna myth to the crucifixion? She was on a journey through the Underworld. A piece of clothing or jewelry was given up by her at each gate to reduce her powers, until she was completely naked. Can this be compared to being stripped and beaten as a condemned man? Inanna was hated by the goddess of the Underworld, and was judged, killed, and hung on a hook. Jesus died for the sins of mankind by being nailed up and left to die. Compare these to many famous executions in history. The common theme is condemnation and death, but nothing else really. This article claims that the Inanna myth involves her resurrection after death just like Jesus, but the myth actually says she was allowed to emerge for a time and then return to the Underworld in an endless cycle which was the Sumerian explanation for the seasons. A very different concept from resurrection with eternal life.

The question is why are journalists throwing up these poorly researched and half-baked attempts to undermine Christian beliefs every holiday?

Extract from: Exposing Easter’s hairy tales: Are the myths myths?
By: Jamie Seidel

“EASTER = EOSTRE + ISHTAR?

What’s in a name? An awful lot, it seems. You’ll probably find what you’re looking for.

When it comes to the origins of “Easter”, you’re bound to stumble over the following two names.

Ishtar. She’s the Babylonian goddess of sex and fertility. Sounds like “Easter?” Her original name was Inanna.

Then there’s Eostre: She’s supposed to be an Anglo Saxon goddess of dawn and spring. Whether known as Ostare, Ostara, Ostern, Eostra, Eostre, Eostur, Eastra, Eastur, Austron and Ausos — all are said to be European derivatives of an ancient word for spring: Eastre.

One and the same? It depends on who you ask.

Christian scholar The Venerable Bede, writing in his book De Ratione Temporum about 725AD, declared that Easter was named after Eostre — the mother goddess of the Saxons. It’s the only historical reference we have to this goddess. Did she even exist?

“Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated “Paschal month”, and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance.”

That’s it. That’s all we know about Eostre. There are no artefacts associated with her. Or any other legends.

Whether it be Jesus or Ishtar, Horus or Eostre, they have one thing in common: Association with the death of the sun in autumn, and its rebirth in spring.

Many scholars argue that the oldest known Easter story is the Sumerian legend “The Descent of Inanna”. It’s a story found etched on cuneiform clay tablets dating back to 2100BC.

The tale goes something like this:
When Inanna husband, Damuzi dies she is stricken by grief and follows his spirit to the underworld. She passes through seven gates and is stripped naked in the process. She is judged. She is executed. Her body is then hung as a warning to others.

After Inanna’s death, the earth loses its fertility. Extinction seems imminent. Then, three days later, after a plea from one of her household, other gods intervene — resurrecting Damuzi and Inanna. The couple are granted the power to bring life-giving light to the earth for six months of each year. After that six months, Damuzi must return to the underworld — and Inanna must rescue him again.

It’s just one of many resurrection myths predating Christianity. It’s just the best preserved.”

Easter myths debunked: Exposing the tall tales | Perth Now

The Correct True Origins Of Easter
https://simonjmeath.wordpress.com/2013/03/29/the-correct-true-origins-of-easter/

The Historicity Of Jesus

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No matter what creed you follow or do not, you cannot deny the fact Jesus existed. The modern concept that Jesus did not exist can be applied to many historical figures from the period, who sometimes have only one source. The article 5 reasons to suspect that Jesus never existed is very misleading. The contemporary historian Josephus mentions Jesus. And this article itself is full of errors, such as Paul’s attitude to Peter and James.

Here is a refutation of the 5 reasons given in the article (a copy is posted below):
1. The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus twice mentions Jesus in his Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century. Also the prominent Roman historian Tacitus (a pagan), writing at the beginning of the second century, mentions Jesus, though incorrectly as “Christus”.

The lack of birth or death records, or even trial transcripts is simple – these methods of documenting everyday life did not exist until modern times! And any Roman bureaucratic records from the time would have been scant (without cheap paper and the printing press, writing was expensive) and unlikely to survive – there are many lost or incomplete books from Greek and Roman times. In most cases a manuscript only survived nearly 2,000 years through constant reproduction by scribes.

2. Paul’s “silence” on certain details is obvious – his writings in the New Testament are letters addressed to churches. In these letters he usually discussed topical issues and disputes. Why would he rehash details of Jesus’ life, or discuss other basic shared beliefs with the faithful?

The accusation that Paul thought little of Peter and James is totally unfounded. He respected them, and sought their approval of his plan to preach to the Gentiles. There is no way that Paul would have spoken against two of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles.

3. It is a big mistake believing that just because the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written about 100 years after Christianity began, that they must simply be a product of that time. When actually they were oral traditions, passed down among the followers, which were then documented and compiled by four separate individuals. This explains why there are slight differences when describing the details of certain events. The very first Christians (at that time just a new sect of Judaism) included people who knew or witnessed Jesus, and those who were familiar with the contemporary stories. Their shared accounts were their own Gospel, with the written gospels being produced afterwards from these sources.

4. Any differences in the four gospels are obviously the product of a hundred years of mistakes and corruption made through passing the stories down by word of mouth before they were committed to writing. The Christians who assembled the Bible noticed these minor discrepancies, and to their credit they didn’t rewrite or omit anything, but kept it all, knowing what the reasons must have been, and that it didn’t really matter.

5. This is just pure conspiracy theory stuff right here. So, Peter and some friends sat down one day and said, “You know how everyone is waiting for the Messiah? How about we pretend he came, was just friends with us, was killed, and then brought back to life, and then ascended to Heaven? We’ll be horribly persecuted and face much hardship, but won’t it be fun!” Then after persecuting the Christians, Paul one day thought, “Hey, I should get in on this scam, not try to stamp it out. I’ll pretend I had a vision of Jesus, then spend years of travel, hardship, and danger pushing this silly lie for absolutely no profit whatsoever!”

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Wanderers

Cape Verde - (Mars) © Erik Wernquist

Cape Verde – (Mars) © Erik Wernquist

Sheer magic – and narrated as only Carl Sagan can – exquisitely.

“Check out this stunning short Sci-Fi film by Swedish digital artist and animator Erik Wernquist, in which he shares with us how he envisages humanity’s future when we leave Earth. Here’s a description of his work that can be found on his website:

The film is a vision of our humanity’s future expansion into the Solar System. Although admittedly speculative, the visuals in the film are all based on scientific ideas and concepts of what our future in space might be like, if it ever happens. All the locations depicted in the film are recreations of actual places in the Solar System, built from real photos and map data where possible.

Stunning Short Film “Wanderers” Brings Carl Sagan’s Words Back To Life
http://www.iflscience.com/space/awesome-short-film-about-humanitys-expansion-solar-system#

Wanderers – A Short Film By Erik Wernquist
http://www.erikwernquist.com/wanderers/

Friday The 13th – A Nightmare On Arab Street

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Recent events in Iraq look like the beginning of a long feared nightmare scenario for the Middle East – that the Syrian Civil War would become a wider Sunni versus Shia regional war, involving Syria, Iraq, Iran, and maybe even Lebanon. Iran is already involved in helping Assad’s Shia regime in Syria, so now, with their intervention in Iraq to fight a Sunni terrorist faction (ISIL, also known as ISIS) already involved in the Syrian war, it’s now time to think of a new name for this larger war.

This must be seen as a great opportunity by Iran, as they can now establish a land bridge to Syria, enabling them to bring their full military might to bear on all the Syrian rebel factions. Before, Iran’s support for Assad’s regime primarily consisted of volunteers, and small arms and ammunition flown in piecemeal. But now, full divisions of tens of thousands of well-equipped professional soldiers with tanks, armoured cars, mass artillery, and a capable air force could sweep its way through Iraq and into Syria, changing the whole balance of forces there.

Maliki in his panic and desperation has made a tragic mistake by inviting in Iranian forces. With Iranian troops in Iraq, it is unlikely they will leave. They will probably seek to dominate Iraq’s politics, and transform it into a client state. This will also badly damage efforts at reconciliation between the Shiite dominated Iraqi government and the Sunnis, who have always been suspicious of Iranian influence. Maliki was already doing a poor job at dealing with the distrustful Sunni minority by mistreating the Sahwa militia, persecuting many Sunnis, and keeping Sunni political figures out of the government. Now Sunnis, who might still have believed in national unity in the face of the threat from the old ‘al Qaida in Iraq’ (now rebranded as ISIL), will have little enthusiasm for an Iranian led Shia alliance. Already, many Sunni civilians have shown support for ISIL terrorists advancing through Iraq.

A possible sequel to this nightmare though, is even more disturbing; that if Iran either achieves a total Shia victory, or at least reduces Sunni resistance to a manageable low level guerilla conflict – Iran could achieve domination over the Middle East. The conflict could leave Iraq and Syria dependent on Iranian power, and transform them and the Hezbollah controlled territory in southern Lebanon into client states of an Iranian Shia empire. But this would just be the start of clerical Iran’s supreme wish – a border with Israel. Iran would be able to build up its considerable forces along the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon for an ultimate doomsday showdown with Israel. Iran might even have a nuclear bomb by then. A nuclear holocaust and Iranian domination of the Middle East could be the greatest disaster of the 21st century.

The first part of the nightmare will be bad enough though. The mass suffering and death in Syria, which many in the West find excuses to not care about, will become much, much worse. Don’t think the intense hatred and trauma-induced bloodthirstiness that this conflict will create won’t find its way to the West. Expect the age of Islamist terrorism to get worse.

As jihadists take aim at Baghdad, Iran steps in to help historical foe
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/06/13/as-jihadists-take-aim-at-baghdad-iran-steps-in-to-help-historical-foe/

Japanese Whaling Ban

UPDATE: November 30, 2015 Japan breaks its promises and commitments by resuming whaling in the Antarctic

The sun has finally set on Japanese whaling in the Antarctic. This ruling will not stop Japan from hunting whales in the northern Pacific, but it is a significant victory for the anti-whaling cause.

“A UN court ruling that the Japanese government must halt its whaling programme in the Antarctic has been welcomed in Australia and New Zealand.

The International Court of Justice ruled that the programme was not for scientific research as Japan claimed.

Supporters of the ban say they are “delighted”. Japan said it would comply with the judgement, but was “deeply disappointed”.

Australia brought the case to the court in 2010. Wellington supported its case.

Announcing the judgement on Monday, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said that Japan had killed around 3,600 minke whales since 2005 under its Antarctic whaling programme, known as JARPA II.

While JARPA II could broadly be characterised as “scientific research”, the scientific output from the programme was limited, and Japan had not sufficiently justified the whaling quotas it had set, the ICJ said.”

Japan whaling ban welcomed in Australia and New Zealand
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26830505

Humans have been eating kangaroos for over 40,000 years, and kangaroos are prone to over-population. Many species of whales, however, are endangered, and Japanese whaling ‘culture’ was limited to their own coastline from its beginning in the 12th century. The hunting of other species of whales in the Antarctic Ocean only began in the 20th century. Japan’s current lethal ‘research’ is absurd and their exploitation of legal loopholes is contemptible. Commercial whaling is not economically viable, and is nothing more than misplaced nationalism.

“He [Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada] just clearly enunciated the fundamental, unaltered Japanese position: whale meat is part of Japan’s cultural heritage; international law allows Japan to whale in open waters; Japan isn’t hunting threatened species; and if Australians have a cultural objection to hunting whales, most Japanese find their eating kangaroos disgusting — without encouraging vigilantes to disrupt the Skippy-killing.”

‘Leaders place plain speaking on the agenda’
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/leaders-place-plain-speaking-on-the-agenda/story-e6frg6zo-1225817884385

11 January, 2010
http://apps.facebook.com/journaling/view.php?item=70249

Japanese Whaling ‘Culture’
https://simonjmeath.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/japanese-whaling-culture/

Lessons Not Learnt

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Click image for amazon.com link

Putin holds all the cards now. However, this situation was only allowed to occur because of the political and moral vacuum that developed in the West since the end of the Cold War.

Michael Totten: “What he [Putin] most fears is that Ukraine might join NATO, removing yet another buffer state between himself and the West and kiboshing his plans for the Eurasian Union, a euphemism for a 21st century Russian empire. (Does anyone seriously believe Kazakhstan will be an equal partner with Moscow?)

Keeping his former Ukrainian vassal out of NATO will be easy now even if a militant anti-Russian firebrand comes to power in Kiev. The Crimean referendum—whether it was free and fair or rigged is no matter—creates a disputed territory conflict that will never be resolved in Ukraine’s favor. It will freeze and fester indefinitely. There isn’t a chance that NATO would accept a member that has a disputed territory conflict with Russia. No chance at all. Ukraine is as isolated as it could possibly be from the West without getting re-absorbed into Russia entirely.

Putin did the same thing to Georgia in 2008 when he lopped off the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and he did it for the same reason.”

What Vladimir Putin is Up To
http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blog/michael-j-totten/what-vladimir-putin

“Ronald Asmus: This war [The Russia–Georgia war of 2008] is all about the rules of the game in European security. And I think most Americans, perhaps even including people like me, thought five years ago that we had successfully all but completed a post-Cold War European security architecture that had rendered war in Europe impossible and had allowed the United States to shift its strategic focus away from Europe to new hotspots in the wider Middle East.

And the key moment in that was the [2002 NATO] Prague Summit where we completed the so-called “big bang” enlargement of NATO [to] Central and East Europe from the Baltic to the Black Sea.

I think what this war showed was that Russia no longer believes in those rules of the game, because those rules of the game were based, among other things, on the rights of countries to choose their own path and their own alliances.

And as I argued in the book, the fundamental cause of the war was not ethnicity, was not Abkhazia or South Ossetia. This was a war that was fought over Georgia’s desire to go West and Russia’s determination to stop it from going West.”

Interview: Georgia’s ‘Little War’ Raises Big Questions
http://www.rferl.org/content/Interview_Georgias_Little_War_Raises_Big_Questions/2023466.html

Every Tyranny Is Paranoid
https://simonjmeath.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/every-tyranny-is-paranoid/

What Really Cooled Mars

Mars atmosphere

BBC: A meteorite reveals clues to how Mars lost its thick, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere and became a cold, rocky desert, researchers say.

The loss of its carbon dioxide cloak is likely to have caused Mars to cool. So understanding how the CO2 was removed “could provide vital clues to how we can limit the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and so reduce climate change” said Dr Tomkinson.

This article is extremely misleading. They are trying to suggest that Mars lost its carbon dioxide atmosphere, which by implication was what was keeping Mars relatively warm.

But Mars never lost its carbon dioxide “cloak”; it just got thinner. Mars’ atmosphere still is about 95% carbon dioxide. Despite this domination of CO2, there is no greenhouse effect on Mars.

It was the thinning of the atmosphere that cooled Mars. This was most likely caused by the cooling of Mars’ core and subsequent loss of its magnetic field resulting in the solar wind eroding away most of the atmosphere.

Sure, Mars lost an amount of carbon dioxide, but its ratio in the atmosphere remained essentially the same.

Chemical processes eating up a lot of carbon dioxide means little when Mars’ atmosphere, whether thick or thin, is so abundant in CO2. The thickness of its atmosphere is more significant on its surface temperature than any amount of CO2.

The point is that many people would have walked away from the BBC’s article believing that Mars was warm because of CO2, and it then became cold because the “warm” CO2 was then removed from the atmosphere. This is of course misleading and wrong.

Meteorite may explain ‘how Mars turned to stone’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24624527