Taking a quick look into the “Twelver” variety of Islam, it’s a bit more complicated than I’d thought.

The general news flow makes it sound like Shia are the Twelvers and Twelvers are the Shia. While there is some truth in that (to about the 80% level), it misses some important large lumps that help explain some of the actions / activities in the political sphere.

This ties in with Syria.

The news on Syria keeps talking about the Alawite Minority that is in power. This makes it sound like they are Yet Another Sect and unique. Turns out they are ‘more like Shia than not’. This matters.

I’m going to cite the Wiki pages. Partly because it looks pretty ‘clean’ and there are no copyright issues. Partly because it is subject to “political pressure to re-write”. That makes it unlikely that any particular group has ‘told a lot of lies’ about the various sects, since that sect would most likely be vocal in having it scrubbed. Basically, to the extent that the PC Pressure that warps some topics (like “global warming”) is applied, it will lead to a more benign description.


Largely located on the coastal area and mountains. The rest being more Sunni.

Alawi / Shia in Syria

Alawi / Shia in Syria

Original Image

Our first stop will be the wiki on Alawi Islam:

The Alawis, also known as Alawites, Nusayris and Ansaris (‘Alawīyyah (Arabic: علوية‎), Nuṣayrī (Arabic: نصيريون‎), and al-Anṣāriyyah) are a prominent mystical religious group centred in Syria who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam

So that “minority” suppressing the majority in Syria are part of the “Shia Islam” group, and they are Twelvers. Generally, the Twelvers want to accelerate the coming of the end of days and the return of the Twelfth Imam. The word “Imam” itself “has issues” in that it means different things to the different Muslim groups. While generally it means ‘religious leader’ and can be one of many leaders at modest levels, to the Shia, it’s more exalted.

In the Shi’a context, imam has a meaning more central to belief, referring to leaders of the community. Twelver and Ismaili Shi’a believe that these imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life. They also believe that all the imams chosen are free from committing any sin, infallibility which is called ismah. These leaders must be followed since they are appointed by God.

And even inside of the Shia, the Twelvers have an even more extreme view. Chosen by God and infallible. (Hey, sounds like a Pope!) AND that “all humanity” and “all aspects of life” means you and your life.

Further down in that page there are some interesting insights to the present Syrian problems:

In 1970, then an Air Force General, Hafez al-Assad, an Alawite, took power and instigated a “Correctionist Movement” in the Ba’ath Party. The coup of 1970 ended the political instability having lasted since the arrival of independence. Robert D. Kaplan has compared Hafez al-Assad’s coming to power to “an untouchable becoming maharajah in India or a Jew becoming tsar in Russia—an unprecedented development shocking to the Sunni majority population which had monopolized power for so many centuries.” In 1971, al-Assad declared himself president of Syria, a position the constitution at the time allowed only for Sunni Muslims to hold.

So ideas like having a Sunni Muslim force from Saudi Arabia as ‘peace keepers’ will be a bit hard to sell to the Aliwites…

Alawis are self-described Shia Muslims, and have been called Shia by other sources including the influential Lebanese Shia cleric Musa al-Sadr of Lebanon. The Alawis get their beliefs from the Prophets of Islam, from the Quran, and from the books of the Imams from the Ahlulbayt such as the Nahj al-Balagha by Ali ibn Abu Talib. At least one source has compared them to Baha’is, Babis, Bektashis, Ahmadis, and “similar groups that have arisen within the Muslim community”. However, the prominent Sunni Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Mohammad Amin al-Husayni issued a fatwah recognizing them as part of the Muslim community in the interest of Arab nationalism. Sunni scholars such as Ibn Kathir, on the other hand, have categorized Alawis as pagans in their religious works and documents

Pegans, eh? That’s gonna be a problem…

I also note where we’re getting more “confusion by jargon and division” in a list of even more Muslim sects. Including Baha’is. I’ve seen one of their facilities, but never connected them to Islam. Maybe I’ll look into that one some day. (They seem to try to integrate all the various “Prophets” of several religions).

But the general point here? There’s “issues” between the sects; big issues. Syrians are not going to just suddenly all think they are friends and sing kumbaya. Anyone stepping into that mess from the outside is just looking to be over their head. Piss off the Sunni, or piss of the Shia (and various other sects) or piss off all of them by demanding that they all play nice with each other (or that they “tolerate” everyone, even non-Muslims).

Frankly, looks to me like something to just ‘wall off’ and hand over to the collected Muslim World to sort out.

Shia and Twelvers Generally

Oddly, there is both a “Twelver” and a “Twelver (Shia)” page:

Looking at the top couple of pages, they look identical to me (no, I’ve not looked at all of it. Just a sample at the top).

Twelver or Imami Shīa Islam (Arabic: اثنا عشرية‎, Athnā‘ashariyyah or Ithnā‘ashariyyah; Persian: شیعه دوازده‌امامی‎, pronounced [ʃiːʔe-je dævɒːzdæh emɒːmiː]) is the largest branch of Shī‘ī (Shi’a) Islam. Adherents of Twelver Shī‘ism are commonly referred to as Twelvers, which is derived from their belief in twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imāms and their belief that the Mahdi will be none other than the returned Twelfth Imam that disappeared and is believed by Twelvers to be in occultation. Approximately 85% of Shī‘a are Twelvers, and the term Shi’a Muslim as commonly used in English usually refers to Twelver Shī‘a Muslims only.

Twelvers share many tenets of Shī‘ism with related sects, such as the belief in Imāms, but the Ismā‘īlī and Zaydī Shī‘ī sects each believe in a different number of Imāms and for the most part, a different path of succession regarding the Imāmate. They also differ in the role and overall definition of an Imām.

The Twelver faith is a majority in countries like Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Bahrain, and forms a plurality in Lebanon. Alevis in Turkey and Albania and Alawis of Syria also regard themselves as Twelvers, but hold significantly different beliefs from mainstream Twelver Shias. The Twelver faith also forms a large minority in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia. Smaller minorities of Twelver also exist in Oman, Yemen, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Indonesia, Malaysia and in many other countries of the world, including Europe and the Americas.

There’s some interesting clues in there. So in Syria, a Shia like minority has been lording it over a Sunni majority, while in nearby Iraq, a Sunni minority had been lording it over a Shia majority. Now we, the USA, have made Iraq more of a “majority rule” place (with lots of edge cases). That puts a swath of Shia believers from Iran, through Iraq, to Syria.

This matters as the USA just asked Iraq to stop Iran from flying arms over Iraq to Syria. They said no.

So the Syrian Minority is not some isolated strange kind of Islam as an isolate; it is a variation on the dominant Shia Twelver form covering from Iran through Iraq.

As we in the USA are seen as “in bed” with The House of Saud (as in supporting them and supporting the Sunni minority lording it over the Shia majority in Bahrain); we’re going to be in the dog house with the Shia in general. (In addition to the general “Get Whitey Infidel” attitude in all of “the Muslim World”.)

I think this matters.

The schism between these two groups has existed since Mohammed died and a power struggle happened. It isn’t going away any time soon.

Twelvers believe that the descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatimah and his son-in-law ‘Alī are the best source of knowledge about the Qur’an and Islam, the most trusted carriers and protectors of Muḥammad’s Sunnah (traditions) and the most worthy of emulation.

In particular, Twelvers recognize the succession of ‘Alī, Muḥammad’s cousin, son-in-law and the first man to accept Islam (second only to Muḥammad’s wife Khadījah), the male head of the Ahl al-Bayt or “people of the [Prophet’s] house” and the father of Muḥammad’s only bloodline) as opposed to that of the caliphate recognized by Sunni Muslims. Twelvers also believe that ‘Alī was appointed successor by Muḥammad’s direct order on many occasions, and that he is therefore the rightful leader of the Muslim faith.

Although ‘Alī is widely accepted by Muslims in general to be the fourth successor to the Caliphate after Uthman, for the Shī‘ah, however, he is the first divinely sanctioned “Imām,” or divinely appointed spiritual leader after the Prophet Muḥammad. The seminal event in Shī‘ah history is the martyrdom in 680 CE of ‘Alī’s son Husayn, who led an uprising against the, illegitimate to them, caliph. For the Shī‘ah, Husayn came to symbolize resistance to tyranny.

Regardless of the dispute about the Caliphate, Twelvers recognize the religious authority of the Twelve Imams, also called Khalīfah Ilāhi.

So Caliph vs Descendents. And now with a very long divergence in the “traditions” making up the Sunnah and Hadith. So their “guidance” for what’s accepted will be quite different. Also note in passing we again have the emphasis on “emulating” and general hero worship aspect; the ‘personality cult’ nature embedded structurally.

Now, add in that the “Twelve Imams” are held to be infallible and appointed by God, you have what can be seen as a blaspheme by Sunni.

The Ja’farī derive their Sharia, or religious law, from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. The difference between Sunni and Shīʻa Sharia results from a Shīʻa belief that Muhammad assigned ʻAlī to be the first ruler and the leader after him (the Khalifa or steward). Moreover, according to Shīʻa, an Imam or a Caliph can not be democratically elected and has to be nominated by God. Sunnis believe that their Caliphs were popular and had greater vote so they were made caliphs. This difference resulted in the Shīʻa:

* Following hadith from Muħammad and his descendants the 12 Imāms.[7]
* Not accepting the “examples”, verdicts, and ahādīth of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman ibn Affan (who are considered by Sunnīs to be the first three Caliphs).
* Attributing the concept of the masūm “infallibility” to the Twelve Imāms or The Fourteen Infallibles (including Muhammad and his daughter Fatimah) and accepting the examples and verdicts of this special group.

That gives those 12 folks, or the 14, very large authority in ‘setting the rules’ for the Shia. More subroutine calls for “updates” and more opportunity for things not in the Koran to determine what is “right”. No wonder I can’t find any justification in the Koran for many of the offensive behaviours of Muslims. (Yes, offensive. Many things, like demanding my freedom of speech be removed and my right to live in peace NOT being a Muslim be removed. Those are offensive.)

And About The West?

There are several beliefs of the Shia / Twelvers that are of interest, but I’m going to focus in on just a couple. But first we need to learn one of the ‘code words’:

Ahl al-Bayt (Arabic: أهل البيت‎) is an Arabic phrase literally meaning People of the House, or family of the House. The phrase “ahl al-bayt” was used in Arabia before the advent of Islam to refer to one’s clan, and would be adopted by the ruling family of a tribe. Within the Islamic tradition, the term refers to the family of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The Ahl al-Bayt are particularly important to Shia Muslims because Shias generally derive their hadiths from the Ahl-al-Bayt and their close associates.

So, generally, The Clan; but more specifically, that Clan which can trace history back to Mohammad’s tent…

In Shia Islam, the Ahl al-Bayt are central to Islam and interpreters of the Quran and sunnah. Shias believe they are successors of Muhammad and consist of Muhammad, Fatimah, Ali, Hasan and Husayn (known collectively as the Ahl al-Kisa, “people of the mantle”) and the imams. There are differing opinions on the scope and importance of Ahl al-Bayt.

In Sunni Islam, Muhammad’s household includes his wives, his daughter, Fatimah, his cousin and son-in-law, Ali and their two children, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali. Other Sunni include all Muhammad’s descendants and sometimes the descendants of his paternal uncle, ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib, the founders of the Abbasid Caliphate. In Sunni and Shia thought, every Muslim has the obligation to love the Ahl al-Bayt.

So the Sunni have a bigger Clan, but it’s still The Clan…

now back at that Twelver Belief topic:

Nubuwwah (Prophethood): God has appointed perfect and infallible prophets and messengers to teach mankind the religion (that is, a perfect system of how to live in “peace” (“submission to God”)).

Imāmah (Leadership): God has appointed specific leaders to lead and guide mankind — a prophet appoints a custodian of the religion before his demise.

Qiyāmah (The Day of Judgment): God will raise mankind for Judgment – the Day of Resurrection

So we have the infallible prophets teaching us that “submission” is the perfect system.
NO alternatives.

God directly appointed their guys to be in charge.
For ALL mankind.

There’s an apocalyptic End Days coming (and we know they would like to hurry it along).
I guess they read Revelations…

Khums (“Fifth” of one’s savings) – tax

Jihād (Struggle) – struggling to please God. The greater, internal Jihad is the struggle against the evil within one’s soul in every aspect of life, called jihād akbār. The lesser, or external, jihad is the struggle against the evil of one’s environment in every aspect of life, called jihād asghār. This is not to be mistaken with the common modern misconception that this means “Holy War”. Writing the truth (jihād bil qalam “struggle of the pen”) and speaking truth in front of an oppressor are also forms of jihād.
Tawalla – loving the Ahl al-Bayt and their followers

Tabarra – dissociating oneself from the enemies of the Ahlu l-Bayt

Wow! 20% Tithe to “The Church Of Rage”… That’s one heck of a lot of oil money and all.

I wonder what the Imams will do in their perfect wisdom to assure we are all in “submission”? Oh, and now we know what “The Religion of Peace” means.

how to live in “peace” (“submission to God”)

So their view of “peace” is we all just have to submit and become nice Muslims…

Now we come back to that phrase we learned for The Clan: Ahlu l-Bayt

We must LOVE it. And if we don’t, well, Shia are to “dissociate” from us.

So what are the odds that we, The Great Satan, can have any influence or acceptance what so ever? Remember, this is the straight “word of God”, that they have to shun folks who are not in love with The Clan. (That’s in addition to the Koranic admonition for all Muslims to not take Infidels to be friends.)

Since we refuse to “submit”, we are the cause of non-peace. Any violence they do is just because WE are anti-peace (submission). Since we refuse to love The Clan, we are to be shunned. And so what’s the biggie that results? Look at the longest line in that set. Jihad.

IMHO, in this particular line, the Wiki is clearly being too PC. The folks in the streets burning flags and consulates, raping the Ambassador to Egypt, murdering the Ambassador to Libya, killing any Infidel they can; that’s not exactly a ‘struggle of the pen’…

But we do get a clue that anything written or said is likely to be done in furtherance of peace (submission)…

“jihad is the struggle against the evil of one’s environment in every aspect of life, called jihād asghār”

So if WE are the “evil in one’s environment” (as we are the Great Satan and as we are not loving The Clan, and as we are not in favor of peace-through-submission; we must be evil…) So, IMHO, every march of Rage Boy in the street is just a “soft Jihad” while the folks with guns are doing “hard Jihad” and even the folks asking for us to give up freedom of speech and all are demanding we “love The Clan” and “submit”. There can be no ‘middle ground’ in this. Their position is direct from God and “perfect”.

We also find (in that link defining The Clan) that the personality cult of Mohammed now extends to his kids:

Sharia (Islamic law) prohibits the administration of sadaqah (charity) or zakat (tax) to Muhammad’s kin (including the Banu Hashim), as Muhammad forbade this income for himself and his family. The explanation given by jurists is that these alms are considered the defilements of the people, who offer them to purify themselves from sin, hence it would be unbecoming of the kin to handle or use them. Instead, they are accorded part of the spoils of war. Muslims in their daily prayers invoke blessings upon them by saying: “O God, bless Muhammad and his family.” In many Muslim communities, high social status is attributed to people claiming to be blood-descendants of Muhammad’s household, and are labelled sayyids or sharifs.

Hmmmm…. “spoils of war”… Wonder why they are so warlike…
But I’m sure they would never actually want to USE The Bomb /sarcoff>
unless it was to further “peace”…

And “Some {fill in the blank} are more equal than others” applies to The Clan.

Humor, Justice, or Irony?

There’s a list of the 12 Imams in the Twelver link. It lists how they reached their end, too.
I find a couple of odd patterns in it. See if you find the same ones:

1. Ali ibn Abu Talib. Assassinated by Abd-al-Rahman ibn Muljim, a Kharijite in Kufa, who slashed him with a poisoned sword while in the morning prayer

2. Hasan ibn Ali. According to Shia sources, He was poisoned by his wife in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the orders of the Caliph Muawiyah.

3. Husayn ibn Ali. Martyred and then beheaded at the Battle of Karbala.

4. Ali ibn al-Hussein. According to most Shia scholars, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph al-Walid I in Medina, Saudi Arabia.

5. al-Baqir al-Ulum. According to some Shia scholars, he was poisoned by Ibrahim ibn Walid ibn ‘Abdallah in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the order of Caliph Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik.

6. Ja’far ibn Muhammad. According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Medina, Saudi Arabia on the order of Caliph Al-Mansur.

7. Musa ibn Ja’far. Imprisoned and poisoned in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Harun al-Rashid.

8. Ali ibn Musa. According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Mashhad, Iran on the order of Caliph Al-Ma’mun.

9. Muhammad ibn Ali. Poisoned by his wife, Al-Ma’mun’s daughter, in Baghdad, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu’tasim.

10. Ali ibn Muhammad. According to Shia sources, he was poisoned in Samarra, Iraq on the order of Caliph Al-Mu’tazz.

11. Hassan ibn Ali. According to Shia, he was poisoned on the order of Caliph Al-Mu’tamid in Samarra, Iraq.

12. Muhammad ibn al-Hassan. According to Shia doctrine, he has been living in The Occultation since 872, and will continue as long as God wills it.

Personally, I’d suspect that the 12th had a similar end to the other 11… but maybe that’s just me…

So couple of patterns I see here, and I think “it matters”.

First off, a fondness of poisoning. Keep that in mind when dealing with folks who don’t want you around… I’d also suggest generalising it to such things as “economic poisoning” and “political poisoning” and… Also remember your Art Of War: Accept nothing your opponent offers to you.

Second, we have the 12 Imams, most holy of the holy men of Shia. Substantially poisoned by or at the direction of the Caliphs. Somehow I don’t think they’re going to ‘get over it’…

We also have “no love lost” between these folks and several of their wives…
Wonder why that might be?

Finally, that “poison sword” is a nice trick. Have to remember that one. Castor Bean seeds are sold in garden stores and you can grow your own Castor Oil source in an emergency. ALL parts of the plant are toxic – ricin – and a single bean can kill a child. Not much eats the leaves, though. Some have very pretty red foliage. I have no idea how to get the ricin out, but it probably isn’t too hard. As the oil isn’t very toxic, I’d expect a water extraction to work. So a little on the blade of the sword would make a ‘nice touch’… just be sure not to nick yourself putting it back in the scabbard…

In Conclusion

I have no issue with folks wanting to follow their own path in life, believe whatever religion they like, and do whatever crazy thing suits their soul; except when they want to push their beliefs and lifestyle on others. Especially if by force.

Unfortunately, it looks to me like that is exactly what is at the cultural core of this collection of folks.

High motivations? “Spoils of war” as significant income source seems ‘an issue’. Rather like ‘approved theft by force’ in my book. Among the core beliefs is that “peace” is theirs to deliver to the rest of us, and that they have the perfect guidance for all mankind. Hard to believe they just want to leave us alone. More likely they just want us to live in ‘peace through submission’.

There also isn’t a whole lot of “chivalry” in evidence here. Poisoning? Recruiting the wives to do it? So much for “honor among thieves. (or ‘war spoilers’)”

So while I generally find the Sunni beliefs a bit more “rational” than the Shia, neither of them seems above a bit of skulduggery. Especially when directed at folks they think of as Infidels.

OK, those are personal doubts. On a larger scale, I can not see any way to reconcile the core beliefs of these folks with the core beliefs of The West. Just not possible. Unless a new Imam comes along to offer an “update”, things must stay as they are; and the only possible Imam is The Twelfth returning. And that is to be in an apocalyptic one.

Maybe I’ve missed something. Maybe there’s some other more authoritative source that can resolve some of what I see as immutable conflicts. Unfortunately, as the Koran says it’s OK for a Muslim to lie to an Infidel, we Infidels can’t just take the word of Muslims on that. It has to be judged by deeds and non-Muslim sources.

What I see in the “deeds” is in conformance with the guidance of the Koran, the Sunnah, and the Hadith.

“Peace” be upon you…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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35 Responses to Twelvers

  1. EM – Damn that’s complex! I’ll need to read it a few times to understand it properly. Basically they’ll fight us in preference, and when we’ve gone they’ll fight each other till only one sect remains. I’ll do some thinking and take another bite later.

  2. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: Now that you have almost became an islamist: twelve divinely ordained leaders, known as the Twelve Imāms you would recognize that this is almost literally true if appropriately understood: “The Twelve Imäms”……It happens that, as Spain was governed by Islam during not less than ELEVEN CENTURIES (1,100 years) such a word “Imam” became the modern word IMÁN, meaning a permanent MAGNET in spanish; BTW: The Khabba, the sacred stone revered at the Mecca, a Magnetite stone, a meteorite made of Fe3O4 crystal…..
    It happens that this Khabba is guarded by two armed with swords men, one at each side of it.
    The following words may perhaps sound utterly apostate for some, but it happens that according to the Electric Universe theorists, our Solar system works as a self induction electric motor, having several armature-like around, along the “solar system magnetopause”…What astrologists call the twelve houses of the zodiac.
    So, the occidental science, well, at least the occidental non-official science, is about to rediscover a principle of the functioning of the solar system, of course well known thousands of years ago before “Al Baby” and “Hollywood science” appeared:
    The twelve ADITYAS are:
    Amsha, Mitra, Aryaman, Bhaga, Saitur, Shakra, Indra, Tvastr, Pusan and Vivasvat, each one having its own character and influence.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.: I have no issue with folks wanting to follow their own path in life, believe whatever religion they like, and do whatever crazy thing suits their soul; except when they want to push their beliefs and lifestyle on others. Especially if by force.
    What if it is the other way around, if the worst of the “occidental culture”, that of McDonalds´, Al Baby´s Global Warming creed, UN´s “sustainability”, and “democracy” , abortion, and a collection of niceties “a la Wall Street”, is being pushed by force. It´s just a question, we just don´t know, …..but it looks like that.

  4. Jean Croton says:

    The fundamental core of Islam is a militant, violent and expansionist. It relies on terror as the means to infiltrate and then control subjugated people’s. It is a complete integration of political, religious and military thought and practice.

    Very much like the Nazi SS.

  5. Pascvaks says:

    We all live in our own bubble, within a big bubble with other bubbles, within a bigger bubble still with other big bubbles, etc., etc.. We may share genes that make us all one family in a technical sense, but that amounts to zilch as all the bubbles have their own culture, and we all have a different history. The worst thing about religion I guess is the idea that there is only one God, and each religion claims to have the one and only, and every other religion is peopled with unbelievers, infidels, pagans, idolitors, or worse; and for some stupid, worthless, insane reason “they” are not human like “we” are and “we” have the right to “convert” them by every means our pathetic little minds have at their disposal –or kill them. One thing’s for damn sure, none of them or us have the true God (if there really is only one) in our corner and any group that claims that it does is absolutely crazy (IMHO, FWIW, $.02). GOD SHOW YOURSELF, JUST ONCE, FOR ALL TO SEE!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!! NO MORE PROPHETS, NO MORE SAVIORS, NO MORE BURNING BUSHES!!! SHOW YOURSELF BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!! NOW!!!!!

    PS: We’re doomed.

  6. Jerry says:

    Hmmm. so I can deem The Occultation to be just like Snow White. Why ?, just because it is a chain to yank and some folks just bring out my mean streak. Folks that want to kill me for example. Maybe someone can make a utube and have Barney Frank kiss Number 12 (who now looks like Joe Namath with the pantyhose) and wake him up. Oh my, so many little Satans, so many ideas, so few muslims. :)

  7. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon Derricutt:

    Sometimes life is not so simple… but I think you pretty much got it…


    I thought it was more like 750 years?

    “In the 8th century, nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered (711–718) by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa.”

    “In 1469, the crowns of the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon were united by the marriage of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon. 1478 commenced the completion of the conquest of the Canary Islands and in 1492, the combined forces of Castile and Aragon captured the Emirate of Granada, ending the last remnant of a 781-year presence of Islamic rule in Iberia. ”

    Though I suppose you can add a 100 or so for the ‘onset’ period…

    Per the “occidentals” pushing by force: I find that just as vile.

    IF someone wants to voluntarily go into a Macdonalds or buy a Lady Gaga DVD; I’m fine with that. IFF we are doing via force, either by military force or by “foreign aid” buying their government, I am fully against that. Many times I’ve said we ought to bring our military home, and stop ALL foreign bribery aid. I got “push back” that abandoning our military presence in the Middle East would just end up with the Muslim Brotherhood in charge in Egypt and chaos in nearby countries. Looks to me like we could have saved a few $Billion per year and many many lives and reached the same place we are now…

    If folks CHOOSE to emulate “western culture” or “America”, that is there choice. IF we force them to, that is evil. Pretty simple, IMHO.


    I find the same feelings. Too many “My way ONLY” not enough “Hey, that’s cool. I’ll show you mine if you’ll your me yours…”

    Yes, doom. “But not, I think, today”…


    One of my core bits of philosophy is very simple, but rarely seen in practice:

    “Only you are responsible for your emotional state. Saying I made you angry, or fearful, or sad, or ‘made you cry’ is wrong. YOU made your emotional state.”

    The corollary to it is “No one ought to take action based on the emotional display of an ‘offended’ party.”

    Why? Because “THEY” own that emotional state. First off, it leaves you open to emotional blackmail (widely seen being practiced by Muslims today on TV). Second, it leaves you open to penalty based on what other do.

    So things like “hate crimes” are simply stupid. When is there ever a “love crime”? Can’t have one without the other. A “hate crime” is based on emotional state. That’s volatile and irrational. IF you want to make assault illegal, make it illegal, but it isn’t any LESS of an assault if I don’t like the cloths someone wears (gang colors) or their skin color (“get whitey”) or their language group (“Hey Gringo!”) nor is it any greater.

    Similarly: Having an “apology tour” because someone has an emotional state is plain idiotic. Tell them they own their emotional state, get over it, and move on. IFF you have done something tangible wrong (like blowing up 24 guys), go ahead and apologize for that; it is real.

    Having “guilt by proxy” for something someone ELSE did is even more stupid. The USA ought to say NOTHING about the “film”, but ought to be saying “We have freedom of speech. Get over it. You are welcome to indulge in ‘counter speech’.” To the extent you are harmed (Ambassador assaulted) that crime is not mitigated by emotional state and ought to be fully prosecuted.

    There’s more conclusions that come from that base point, but I think you can see where it goes…

    Oh, and as you pointed out: Once you start using “emotional blackmail”, then a nice bit of social aikido can turn that against you. Anyone see the benefits of the “rage provoker of the day” being trotted out? Looks to me like Israel could get mileage out of it. I can see using it as a “false flag” proxy; get somewhere like Libya to burn our embassy (and act of war, BTW) and then we have justification to “send in the Marines”. Nice to have “casus belli” on tap anytime you want it with just a bit of a youtube clip…

    Hell, keep ’em rioting in the streets long enough, there won’t be any economy left there and the ROW will see them as being irrational idiots on a rampage and vote to nuke them all…

    It is just a very stupid road to go down, or accept from others. Maintain your emotional center, and your emotional ownership, and repudiate emotional blackmail. It is a much better path. Rational too…

  8. You have my head spinning so I will try to simplify things with the risk that the baby will be thrown out with the bath water.

    A couple of centuries ago when the Muslims felt strong they had no problem talking to representatives of the US government thus:
    “In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring “concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury”, the ambassador replied:
    “It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. [19]”

    The US appeased these Muslims by coughing up $1 million a year in “tribute” until our navy was strong enough to deliver a sharp lesson.

    Fast forward 227 years, Muslim extremists are educated in madrassas that deliver the same old message based on “Al Coran” or whatever you care to call it. Militarily these folks living in north Africa are weak but that does not matter when US leaders are bent on appeasement.

    Message to Hillary Clinton and Barack Hussien Obama; appeasing Muslim extremists did not work for Thomas Jefferson two hundred years ago and it won’t work now. You can’t reason with them. The only thing they respect is strength and if you can’t bring yourself to stand tall, step aside and let someone else handle foreign policy.

    This is not party politics; it is about character and bold leadership. We need John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan rather than Jimmy Carter or Neville Chamberlain.

  9. Petrossa says:

    It must be said that the map shown is somewhat deceitful. Most of Syria is empty desert. So If you show color white for non Alawite and green for Alawite that falsely gives the impression the entire rest is filled to the brim with Shia. It’s just white because it’s mostly empty.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Looks to me like you pretty much got it straight…


    It’s a bit convoluted, you might want to read it again. The Alawites are Shia. It’s the small area of a small minority that is the Alawite/Shia. The rest of the population is very majority Sunni.

    Islam in Syria comprises 87% of the total population. Sunnis make up 94% of the total, mostly of Arab, Kurdish and Turkish ethnicities. Shia’s make up the remaining 6%: Alawites are the predominant Shia group, followed by Twelvers and Ismailis.

    So that large “empty” area may be all desert, but it isn’t misleading. 94% Sunni, and they are outside the small Alawite / Shia band (somewhere in the rest).

    How the 6% dominate the 94% is being worked out / demonstrated on the nightly news today…

    BTW: shows a big river in the middle of it…

    shows an awful lot of wheat, barley, etc. being grown in all the rest… Looks like a mighty PRODUCTIVE desert…

  11. Petrossa says:

    i stand corrected.

  12. E.M.Smith says:


    No big. It took me most of the day to get it straight (and I’m still not sure about some bits…). Just trying to keep straight all the strange names took a double espresso! ;-)

  13. Petrossa says:

    It’s a mess anyway, what with all the different segments/tribes who have different views depending on their region across the whole region. I hardly think they themselves can keep track, at any rate fighting each other seems to be a big thing.
    One wonders if this is some adaptation to population pressure regulation, this behavior seems to be more frequent low resources area’s. Be it africa or the peninsula.

    War as a means of population control.

  14. Pascvaks says:

    I said it in passing a while back, but more and more that passing comment seems to be more significant –if only to me;-)– The VC/NVA Tet Offensive and the Arab Riots, for some reason I’m thinking that we’re going to be seeing more and more of this slow-mo Tet in the Middle East and Europe, and elsewhere. Think maybe the 12th Iman is back? How about Iran as Conductor/Orchaster Leader? I guess they are all using this opportunity to make an impression on their god and will kill each other later. (Also has a ring of Japan in the late thirties, and Pearl Harbor) Sometimes people just don’t know how dangerous their stupid ideas of Conquest are and the hell they are calling down upon themselves. Arab Riots and TET – are they trying to scare us into negotiating or provoke us into slaughtering them? I have a feeling the N Vietnamese were much smarter than the Jihadists.

  15. w.w.wygart says:

    O.T. and FYI, as an editor on Wikipedia I can tell you that the fact that there seem to be two competing Wiki pages for ‘Twelver’ could be an indication of a serious problem with those pages, and might be a violation of Wikipedia policy. In Wikispeak the existence of separate but competing pages on the same subject is referred to as content forking.

    There are acceptable reasons for forking, but usually this sort of thing results from a Point of View battle between camps of editors that have not been resolved by the more correct procedures, and some editor has just gone off and started a page of his own. One or both pages could be unreliable and have a serious Point of View issue.

    On first glance the two pages should be merged or one page deleted. I’m pretty heavily engaged at the moment but I’ll look into it and see if these pages need to be flagged for merging or deletion. The polite thing to do is to try and contact the editors involved first, before flagging it, on that pages or his/her talk page, but sometimes that can be complicated depending on how many editors are involved. Or any of you who may know more about the topic than me can make those suggestions yourselves.


  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    The problem is not Religion but any means, ours or theirs, our neighbors or those guys out there; we are all human beings and we should respect ourselves and our beliefs and principles, but, there are some among us who want to “optimize” their revenues way much more than what it would be either reasonable or simply logical: Why a human being, a family or a small group of men would want to own not enough to live a good life for himself, his family, or even his descendants, but from that to wish to own the whole world?… say the least, it is just crazy, and that´s the core of the problem we are all facing in the world, and in order for them to achieve such a maddening goal, they have tried to impose on everybody stupid things like “global warming”-Cap&Trade, now transformed in “climate change”-“sustainability”, being implemented through the UN´s “Agenda 21” .(which, btw, nobody reads because it is too long-on purpose-).
    We should restore the equilibrium of reason, sanity and ethics, of the traditional values of EACH and every particular culture, not to try neither breaking the national frontiers nor the peculiar and particular customs of everyone.
    The force which drives those exaggerated ambitions for power and money it is FEAR, and those suffering this kind of illness should be stopped, regulated or sent to an asylum.

  17. Petrossa says:

    That’s not uniquely human adolfo, that’s common amongst all living species. All that our brains added to it is to do it on a grander, more efficient scale.

  18. adolfogiurfa says:

    It´s hard you know. Just imagine a turkish who drinks the famous turkish coffee, to be forced to accept such a diluted beverage as a “starbucks´coffee”….there would be enough reason to start a war?

  19. Petrossa says:

    Nobody ever needed a reason to start a war, that always came as explanation afterwards. It’s the blind instinctive expansion urge of every species that makes wars happen.
    (turkish coffee is very bad for the arteries, chockful of cholesterol :) )

  20. Pascvaks says:

    Historically people think that cutting off the head of a snake (so to speak) kills the snake — the problem is that people aren’t snakes, they’re more like Army Ants; cut off the head of 10Million Army Ants and you still have 9,999,999. Now if you could put them in a box… hummmmm…;-)

  21. Power Grab says:

    EM, I appreciate your taking the time and making the effort to survey the literature of these folks. I could not do it. Even after reading what you have said, I feel the need for a happy pill, or something like that. No, I don’t do drugs. I’ll probably just self-medicate with some happy music instead.

    There are usually lots of these folks around my town. I noticed, however, that when I went to the grocery store earlier this week, I saw none of them. And last night (Friday), I did not see any walking to the mosque as usual.

    In fact, as I drove to a dinner party, I saw my first drone, hovering above the street I was driving on. Its position was ideal for keeping tabs on the mosque.

    You may erase this if you wish. I may have said too much.

  22. tckev says:

    As with virtually any religion the Golden Rule is an element of their beliefs.

    “From the hadith, the collected oral and written accounts of Muhammad and his teachings during his lifetime-

    A Bedouin came to the prophet, grabbed the stirrup of his camel and said: “O the messenger of God! Teach me something to go to heaven with it. ”
    Prophet said: “As you would have people do to you, do to them; and what you dislike to be done to you, don’t do to them. Now let the stirrup go! ”
    [This maxim is enough for you; go and act in accordance with it!]
    —Kitab al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 146 ”

    IMO if this, and other common aspects, of many religions were emphasized more the world might become a better place.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    The Koran and related (Hadith, etc.) are just full of “spoils of war” and “off with his head” moments. Hard to have a ‘straight line to Paradise via war for Islam’ dangled in front of you and then have no war to collect the ticket…


    I think we can draw some “clue” from the recent “large protests” in Libya that “spontaneously” attached the headquarters of two revolutionary groups; doing so in support of the USA and protesting the killing of our Ambassador… right after congress started to debate ‘cutting off aid’ to them…

    Personally, I think it’s more “Mutt and Jeff” than anything else. We ought to take our (Chneese loaned) money; pack up or soldiers, and go home. Let them know that anyone hurts any American, a nice fat bomb drops on their head, “suggest” they stay on their side of the line, and let them kill each other off for a while…

    Yes, we’ve got Iran and chief “pot stirrer” for the Shia side; but I think we’ve also got the House of Saud as indirect pot stirrer for the Sunni side and the Muslim Brotherhood as a free lance pot stirrer for all sides… Why get into the middle of that mess? Let the French and Germans handle it. They’ve always wanted North Africa anyway. For that matter, tell Italy they can have Libya again and let THEM pump the oil to pay off their debts. Just not my problem on this side of the pond.


    I think the first thing to do is to download and ‘diff’ them. Visual inspection of the first few screens is identical. Heck, they might be two views of the same page. I didn’t check all the way to the end of divergence, but didn’t notice anything glaring either. Frankly, it looked to me like someone was just putting the same stuff under two ‘likely keys’…


    While I appreciate the sentiment toward the Agenda 21 folks and the Globalist / Socialist cabal, it’s pretty clear that the Shia / Twelvers / Alawite / Sunni / Moslem Brotherhood group are not out to kill us for monetary reasons. They are driven by religious zeal and the guidance of their Clerics, writings, and traditions. (At least, that’s the conclusion I reach from what I’ve looked up about them, including reading the Koran.)

    I could see a case to be made for the “Power Elite” to be using the USA to “clean up” some folks who were not willing to play ball with them… i.e. Khadaffi, Assad, Mubaric… But many of the “strong men” of the area had been supported by the Power Elite (using our tax money) for decades; so the only way to make that fit would be a high level policy change. For the life of me I can’t figure out what one would fit that puzzle together…

    Strange you would mention coffee and war. I’m in the middle of a posting about coffee causing grand sweeping changes in history ;-)


    Maybe that’s my problem… I’m always looking for reasons and ways to stop a war…


    Ants, eh? Borax works… maybe we need to dust bomb the M.E. with Borax ;-)

    @Power Grab:

    You’re most welcome. Frankly, part of why I’m doing it is so others don’t need to. It’s uncomfortable stuff to swallow and I don’t see why everyone would need to do it if one can carry it. Me? Hey, I’m compelled by The Hungry Mind to “make all the pieces fit” and can’t stop myself anyway. So I must find out why they do what they do and are as they are. Figured I might as well right it up and let others avoid the ‘time in the trenches’…

    So now I’ve got a much better handle on why the Sunni and Shia hate each other; why the Sunni blow up Shia on their way to shrines in Iraq (some of them are burial places of the twelve imams that the Sunni poisoned…) and why so many parts of Sharia “Law” don’t show up in the Koran. They come via the “subroutine exit call” to the “customs” and Idol Worship / Personality Cult of incessant study of the minutia of the life of Mohammed. Also explains their being so touchy about him.

    May not be able to “fix it”, but at least now I can predict behaviour better and have a clue why they do / say what they do…

    BTW, I found Mozart to be an antidote… Likely Beethoven too.. Wine helps a great deal (which may be part of why the forbid it…) as does time spent gardening in the sun. All much more centering…

    Don’t know where you are that you are seeing drones… if you want the comment erased, let me know (i.e. post a comment saying take out that one and this one…)

    As we can now by our own ‘toy drones’ for about $400, expect to live in “Surveillance Nation” the rest of your life wherever you are in the world. Saw them at the Mega Mart and then on TV, being used by ‘amateur news reporters’ to report on tornado damage. Some folks complained about the inside of their houses (with some stuff still intact) being on TV…


    That’s the hope, now isn’t it? We keep hearing about that kind of ‘commonality’ with the Judeo-Christian heritage and “morderate Muslims”; yet reading their published works, it is way more heavily against those principles than endorsing them. Where they are endorsed, it is often a bit schizoid (Love thy neighbor but cut his head of if he offends Islam…) or has had the meaning bent to be ‘near evil’ (like that “Religion of Peace” where “peace” is reached through “submission”…)

    Frankly, it was the cognitive dissonance of what I was hearing (sort of a Chritianity Lite) compared with what I was seeing (‘off with their heads’ and Rage Boy Moments) that convinced me I had to go read the stuff for myself and dig into it myself. The further I’ve gotten, the further it is from “Christianity Lite” and the closer it is to Rage Boy Writ Large…

    I’ve ‘gotten along well’ and ‘worked well’ with many Muslims; but at least 1/2 of them were ‘posing’ and eventually let a peek under the facade show they were not their public face. (Got one to give a decent rant about Jews; another to say things about Gays that would curl your toes. Not hard, really. Just be conservative and engender trust for a couple of months, then say a few things “bad” about either of those two groups. The supportive feedback comes… (Yes, I too was being disingenuous and ‘posing’. I did nothing to use that information against them. I was only interested in finding out their actual beliefs, so I ‘primed the pump’ a bit.) Overall what I learned was that while many Muslims are OK folks, a lot of them are hiding gross intolerance just under the surface.

    Oddly, many of the ‘negative’ beliefs were not that far from the ones of 50 years ago when I was a kid. My Dad was nearly livid when one of my older sisters wanted to wear a dress that showed her lower calf. He relented as long as she wore heavy high socks. It wasn’t just MY dad either. Look at the movies of the ’50s. “Bobby Socks”. Dresses to below mid-calf, socks to above the hem… So in one way, they are just running 50-100 years behind us. My Dad was not keen on Jews, Blacks, and any of several other groups either. Always treated them fairly in business and was polite; but bigoted. Odd that he had a professional ethos that was stronger than his more base moments. From him I learned that we can’t always lose our worst beliefs, but we can refuse to act on them, or pass them on to others…

    So I don’t feel bad about my “little deception” in that I have never used who someone was against them. So it’s “OK” for me to find out who they are. Like a cultural anthropologist putting on body paint and feathers to mingle with a tribe… Just curios is all. I only judge folks by what they do and if it harms others.

    Unfortunately in the extreme: Islam has left a very long and very bloody trail of ‘harm to others’ behind it and the Koran endorses and promotes harming infidels…

  24. Petrossa says:

    That’s a chicken and the egg argument. Was their the desire for war that introduced the war texts into the koran or vice versa?

    To my simplistic mind, in view of the worldwide occurrence of slaughter across the millenia, it stands to reason that the koranic texts where written so as to reflect an existing desire.
    Inca’s weren’t that nice neither for example.

  25. E.M.Smith says:


    I don’t care WHY it is there so much as THAT it is there. Once it is in the texts, you get a behaviour lock up of sorts…

    Clearly any text is just an embodiment of the desires of the writer…

    I’d assert, though, that the depth and degree of violence in the Koran beats contemporary authors by a fair amount.

    In short, I’m talking more about a reenforcing / preserving violent character feedback loop and less about the philosophical origins of human violence…

  26. Petrossa says:

    Ok. Crosswired. I agree, the feedback mechanism is clear. It is more though to blame it is an ideology wrapped around a religion. Since it is all encompassing, government, law, social structures there is no exit.
    The religion itself is secondary in my view. To me it is a warrior ideology, searching the koran and other writings is very interesting i did a lot of it myself, but in the end futile as a handle to use for understanding the culture.

    The writings are so totally devoid of logic or sense one can just about interpret it any which way desired.

    Seeing the culture for what it is, a warrior culture, is to my mind the best way to come to grasp on how to handle their excursions into civilized world until they finally become so themselves.
    Unfortunately that is only the way of violence. To these cultures you have to be the most powerful and brutal to gain their respect.

    What Obama did was the exact opposite. He de facto accepted their superiority with his Cairo speech by acknowledging the existence of Dar El Islam and offering peace.
    Only the loser offers peace in their world.

    With his action, devoid of cultural understanding, he unleashed the knot that held the dogs at bay. Now since the leader of the pack has put his belly up they are at each others throats.

  27. Pascvaks says:

    EM –
    Ref – “I’ve ‘gotten along well’ and ‘worked well’ with many Muslims; but at least 1/2 of them were ‘posing’ and eventually let a peek under the facade show they were not their public face…. Overall what I learned was that while many Muslims are OK folks, a lot of them are hiding gross intolerance just under the surface.”

    So true! And so true of all of us, really, in a general sense.

    Thoughts –
    We all have three faces, three levels of personality, like an onion: the inner self, the intimate self, the public self (today’s actors and politicians usually have a fourth outer layer –their smoke and mirrors public ‘image‘); . We know next to nothing about the intimate personality of most we come in contact with, over time we can, but it’s not a given; and over a long life most of us may allow perhaps only half a dozen to gain more than little glimpses of our deepest inner self. When our public self (outer layer) lets down a few walls, or allows another to be close enough to peek over, we have begun to ‘trust’. Trust is dangerous. In a way, religion is something of a public demonstration of trust, we want to trust, we need to trust, we want everyone to know how we ‘really’ feel about some key things in life; religion is one way we do this. Some of us are free to pick and choose which one we join, or to reject all of them; some of us have no choice whatsoever. Lack of choices in life complicates life, and our the three levels of personality. Being Muslim today, or Black before Obama got elected, or Native American on a Reservation, or a Kurd in Iraq, has a way of defining us at every level. People are very complicated and while most are OK, some can‘t be trusted any farther than they can be picked up and thrown; especially if you‘re not one of the ‘who they are‘ kinda people too. And really, when we add everything together, there’s not many people on this rock that are just like we are.
    Not sure why Americans tend to trust so much and assume that everyone is just like us, it’s really a very stupid attitude, and very, very dangerous. I have a feeling that ‘liberals’ (the great 47%) tend to ‘trust’ more (in their way and fashion), perhaps because they love to “IMAGINE” the perfect world without all the strife and tears, and as a result, they ignore a lot of the realities that come back and bite them (and everyone else) in the ass.

  28. adolfogiurfa says:

    However it looks that you are the problem, as you are being revised and palpated at the airports…You are the enemy, and you are being conveniently scared all the time with a lot of imaginary menaces, you are being terrorized… Have you ever ponder this possibility?

  29. Petrossa says:

    It the one and only reason i don’t fly anymore.

  30. Power Grab – It’s best to be aware that once something is on the web it’s out, and copies will exist in various odd corners to be retrieved by someone. Emails are generally more private, but can also propagate to places you may not want. This is not paranoia, but the nature of the web – it was designed to be resistant to breakdowns of individual parts and routes, so has a lot of cache storage. Google and other websearch engines will also cache anything that they see.

    It’s sad that you can’t wear a headscarf without it being taken as a political/religious sign. When I was young my mum wore a headscarf when it was windy – purely practical and cheaper than a hat which might blow off anyway.

    Interesting comments about the scary/violent “entertainment”. I hope the music helps.

  31. Pascvaks says:

    @PowerGrab – (-;Before you’re deleted –per your request– I’d like to say that it was all very interesting. FWIW, I tend to speak of some things, in this day and age, in generic third person contexts and not in first person personal. Seeing-eye dogs watch us more than anyone else you know, it’s just the way Mother Nature built and trained them inorder to keep us safe; but then I have a feeling you‘re well aware of that. Have a great day;-)

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    @PowerGrab; Thank you for your contribution to my education. But Simon is correct. Do not put anything on the web that you do not want to be public and permanent. While “surfing the web” I find quotes of my comments in the strangest places all over the world. So one must be bold or be quiet. pg

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    @Simon & P.G.Sharrow & PowerGrab:

    As I’ve not requested this site not be archived, the “wayback machine” does trawl it. That means any ‘deletion’ is in a race condition with the dredge. From what I’ve seen, it’s ‘every couple of days’ but it could be that you put something up just moments before it runs through.

    If you want something kept private, don’t post it (or even put it in an email). At most, encrypt it with public key encryption and send it…


    OTOH, being a person who can be trusted is very enlightening. Notice that even up to now and in this thread I’ve not violated the trust those those folks gave to me. No context as to who they were or when. No way to figure it out that I can tell (unless you were part of that group then and already know). I take a given trust as a very high obligation.

    So sometimes I ‘give a trust’ too, as a way to gauge… Perhaps they were just ‘giving a little trust’ to gauge me. I think I passed, and hope they appreciated that…

    So I understand them better (and accept them for who they are) and they understand me better.
    I think that’s a good thing.

  34. Pascvaks says:

    It is indeed very good.
    People are funny. Someone who has only known another for a few minutes or days can come out with some truly personal information for no apparent reason, someone who has intimately known another for many many years can suddenly (perhaps not as suddenly as we think sometimes) develope an instinctive distrust for that other in the blink of an eye and never again let them back into their intimate circle. Yes, it is indeed very good and very funny in a strange kind of way; blind trust and blind distrust, two sides of the same funny, human coin.

    PS: Ummmm… No, I won’t say it. ( What? Oh, ah, one of those old jokes about women being more instinctive or something;-)

  35. Power Grab says:

    Thanks for the kind words and warnings, gentlemen. I do understand the the web was designed to stay functional in the event of widespread destruction, so there are lots of copies of things. I also know, being a data geek, what sorts of things can be done with data if one has the access and tools and ability. If they ever start doing sweeps in the night, hauling people off to points unknown, I could very well be one of the earliest taken. Or not. I shouldn’t flatter myself! Actually, one of my strongest motivators for avoiding naming names is that I have an ex that I have to assume is something of a stalker. I would just as soon not have what I say pop up in a web search on my name. I have advised my kid on using pseudonyms and not posting pictures on the web as well. As far as I can tell, my advice is being heeded (keeps fingers crossed).

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