Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Factoid of the day

I'm listening to a mp3 of a BBC program on the terra cotta warriors. (no link: I download, rip and listen to these things at my leisure, like now, waiting for Lolo to finish his shower so we can eat breakfast).

The program note that the first Chinese emperor, who probably died of mercury poisoning from drinking elixirs meant to give him eternal life, was an SOB and after he died, the peasants overthrew his getting weapons buried with the terracotta warriors.

So much for keeping the common people unarmed.

no, this has nothing to do with Christmas, except to note that a lot of written history is about praising similar powerful SOB's, and historians often ignore that they harmed normal people. Even their explanations often make one roll up the eyes at their absurd claims. Sure, Genghis Khan killed a couple million folks, but hey, by doing so he let a lot of irrigated farm land go back to nature so he's a "green" hero. Sure, the pyramids weren't built by slaves, but by out of work farmers who had nothing else to do when the Nile was in flood. Uh, maybe they would have preferred to sit home, drink beer with their friends and make love to their wives instead of pushing 2 ton blocks of stone up a pyramid? Place anecdote of your favorite dictator here: Caesar (killed a couple hundred thousand Celts and plunged Rome into a devestating civil war), Napoleon's wars killed 3.5 million, probably twice that if you include civilians. The great Shogun who united Japan also killed a couple million Koreans. And those who insist the west if the main murderer ignore the much large communist genocides, or the post colonial wars such as the present day tribal wars in central Africa, or even the million killed in the partition of India.

In the bible, Christ turned down an offer of the devil to have power over the entire world, and came, not as a prince to order people to be good, but as a prophet who instructed people to open their hearts to God.

And he came, not as a prince, but as a baby born in the stable because the regular house/inn didn't have any room for him.

THEY all were looking for a king
To slay their foes and lift them high;
Thou cam'st, a little baby thing
That made a woman cry.
                 George MacDonald

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