Sunday, January 12, 2014

Alert--Fareed Zacharia's GPS re: "sectarian violence" & Smithsonian update

I'm posting this in haste, during the first airing on CNN, because the panel discussion both hits the nail on the head and makes the same mistake that journalists have made when reporting on problems in Ireland as Catholic vs. Protestant when reporting on Shiite vs Sunni strife.  The latter case is just as political--not as religious--as the former case.  In the former case it was more a matter of indigenous minority resenting the asserted rule of the minority, and so it is with the various Middle East problems where it's better to look at what's going on not so much as Shiite vs Sunni but Shiite minority rule over a Sunni majority and vice-versa.

It's still  important to know the history of why there is a difference at all, but it's also important to know that this historical difference was resolved throughout the centuries of the existence of the Califate Empire (Saracen Empire), because this is also the area in which Wahab and Salafist Islamist radicals fail miserably.  Nonetheless, what we're looking at also is Iran (Persians) flexing its Shiite muscle by proxy in areas where Sunnis (various Semitic) should at least have a say in government as a minority representation (or vice-versa in other areas), so much of this is just as ethnic/tribal  as it is factionally political.

Make a point to tune in to CNN to catch Fareed Zacharia GPS on the repeat broadcast.  If you wait about a week, it will be available online.

Mid-October UPDATE, Smithsonian Channel edition:
Recently aired on The Smithsonian Channel was a rather incomplete view of the first Islamic Empire's influence on Europe of the Dark ages, but it's the most accurate account of the matter published by any major media entity to date, and it includes the citation of specific Islamic scientists of the time.  What's missing in its account of the Ottomans, which renders the Smithsonian's account inaccurate on that score, is the attribution of the Ottoman foundation as entirely Seljuk when the fact of the matter is that the Seljuks were losing until the Uyghurs showed up and that the name of the empire was in fact in honor of a Uyghur, not a Seljuk.  There are other things that the Smithsonian overlooked, but I'll not catalog each of those at this time.

Monday Miniupdate: Since I gave instructions on how to save pages in my previous post, my traffic dropped off considerably.  Them's the breaks, so to speak.  Well, as long as there are search engines, some of the stuff on this blog is going to get traffic from crawlers, all the same.  Betcha traffic goes back up again around Finals.

I will say this again:

Word to the wise about the NY Times and other newspaper entities online that provide teaser articles for free for a limited time: if you have a Microsoft system and you're using a desktop type computer, right-click on the article, click on Save page as...  and either take the default file-name or change it to one of your liking, then click Save. This will also  work for any page on this blog that you might want to save and refer to for your own notes offline--it will save as an HTML document and the links will still work if you click on the saved page if get back online again. Even the images save properly. Save it to a thumb drive and you can take it to the library with you (or take it from the library computer to where ever--whatever--it's yours to keep).  It will be saved as an HTML page and a folder by the same name as the page name you saved as, and you'll need both the page and the folder.

One caution about saving a page of this blog for your own personal note-taking: I'm infamous for editing and revising stuff, even many months later.  While this is a handy tactic to preserve pages that might disappear tomorrow though you still want the info, you'll miss updates and stuff I've determined that I could have said better, rephrased, or explained more.  And of course I like the high traffic statistics I get; however, I do realize that some folks just don't want their presence tracked by the stat counter, too. Everybody's welcome here, take what you want, I do not care. Why not? Because...

 ...and I am not one of them.

Back at the ole power plant, it was called a GSI. As in, Give a Shit Index. Mine always was too high, they said. Good ole days.

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