Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Stuff around the net

The Filippine soldiers/UN Peacekeepers who fought back and then escaped the terrorists attacking their post on the Golan heights had been told by the UN to surrender.

FilAm BELMONTCLUB has the analysis which explains that the Fijian soldiers, who have a reputation for being good fighters, surrendered, and then the UN decided to make the Pinoys the next ones sacrificed under the guise that this was needed to protect those already captured.

Singha may have been told that unless he told the Filipinos to surrender, the Fijians might be compromised. But Catapang did not play along. “The escape was executed without the approval of UNDOF.” In fairness to Singha, he was caught between the New York Headquarters rock and a hard place. By asserting his sovereign override, Catapang essentially took responsibility for resisting al-Nusra. Singh is off the hook and Catapang got his men out of a jam.

The cultural difference is explained here:

The UN has a history of folding that goes back to Rwanda and Kosovo.  In the past the UN apparatchiks have relied on the faithfulness of their subordinate commanders to take a bullet for the team.  ”Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.” But Tennyson had never been to the Philippines where the word for blindly following orders is tanga...

tanga...AKA sap, sucker, crazy

the real question is not the order to sacrifice the Pinoys to save the Fijians, but who told the Fijians to surrender in the first place, and why?

Pro Islamic terror supporter in the UN, or just a simpleton? Or maybe they gave him a gift, such as all the bribes paid by Saddam Hussein to try to stop the various Gulf Wars?


When I heard about a case of a child with cancer kidnapped from a UK hospital, I assumed the parents did so because they didn't want modern therapy and wanted to try "green" treatment.

But the story is more complicated.

Mr King said in an earlier video posted that the family wanted to seek proton beam therapy for Ashya - a cancer treatment that the NHS would not provide.
It is understood they travelled to Spain, where they have a holiday home, to sell the property and release funds to pay for the treatment.


The BBC magazine has a nice story about the last Armenians in Burma, and their attempt to keep the local Armenian Orthodox church open.

includes this factoid:

In the early 17th Century, large numbers of Armenians fled the Ottoman Empire and settled in Isfahan in what's now Iran. From there, many travelled on in later years to form a commercial network which stretched from Amsterdam to Manila.
Their influence in the British Raj reached its peak in the late 19th Century, when census records suggest that about 1,300 Armenians were living principally in Calcutta, Dhaka and Rangoon.
One of these days, someone will write about all the persecutions of Christian minorities in the Ottoman empire. The two history books I have about the empire tend to ignore the subject as unimportant, and western history books see the Crimean war from the British point of view, to stop "russian" expansion,  whereas Russians saw it as their holy goal to help their fellow orthodox who were persecuted.

Professor bob is giving a series on the crimean war, but I haven't had time to listen to them yet.


related item: StrategyPage on Russia's newest moves.
So, having the Ukraine give up the Soviet A Bombs turns out to be a not so good idea?

and SP also has the story of the Chinese crackdown on religion in that country...mostly about the FalunGong, but also mentioning that they are starting to arrest Christian leaders. Christians are officially five percent of the population. NYTimes story about that last item here.

 no mention that the Chinese dissed Pope Francis on the local Catholic churches there (one state run, one under the Pope and illegal).


there were some stories a few weeks back that American kids no longer write "cursive".

Well, it's not just an American problem: BBC story on Chinese kids no longer learning to write their traditional symbolic script.

All over the country, Chinese people are forgetting how to write their own language without computerised help.
Software on smart phones and computers allows users to type in the basic sound of the word using the Latin alphabet. The correct character is chosen from a list.
The result? It's possible to recognise characters without remembering how to write them.
Well, they are only 3000 years behind the west and middle east. Once the Phonecians developed the alphabet, and the Greeks added vowels, writing no longer required scribes who studies for years to learn to read and write, and literature and keeping track of business became democratized.



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