songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-09-12 02:37 pm

A Poem:

The wind howls over the field,
wailing, crying, hailing,
the wind howls and in it one hears
 the future's echoes do yield
to the past's ailing
before the new years.

Shadows rise in the night,
echoes, phantoms, bellows,
darkness's gloom speaks true,
but scatters it does before a candlelight,
fear becomes anew mellow,
and spectres friends in the light.

The wind howls over the field,
saying, pleading, wailing,
the wind howls and in it one hears,
the future's voice does shield
the past's ailing
and the present's new fears.
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-09-10 08:23 am

Another Poe poem, Dream Within a Dream:

          Take this kiss upon the brow!
          And, in parting from you now,
          Thus much let me avow-
          You are not wrong, who deem
          That my days have been a dream;
          Yet if hope has flown away
          In a night, or in a day,
          In a vision, or in none,
          Is it therefore the less gone?
          All that we see or seem
          Is but a dream within a dream.

          I stand amid the roar
          Of a surf-tormented shore,
          And I hold within my hand
          Grains of the golden sand-
          How few! yet how they creep
          Through my fingers to the deep,
          While I weep- while I weep!
          O God! can I not grasp
          Them with a tighter clasp?
          O God! can I not save
          One from the pitiless wave?
          Is all that we see or seem
          But a dream within a dream?
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-09-09 08:48 pm

Elljayland Hilarity:

Currently in round II of a set of discussions with a certain person on LJ who has a track record of distorting other people's words and also with some strongly a-historical arguments. In this case this person wants to argue that Baby Boomers made the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s happen. I can simply and effectively debunk this with a simple matter of chronology: assuming the Boomers start in 1945/6 (which is the timeframe my father was born in, incidentally), then for them to be active in the Little Rock and Montgomery era would mean a mass white Children's Crusade happened out of thin air and was covered up. The claim that the Freedom Riders and likeminded groups were the start of that movement is an obnoxious part of white progressive rhetoric that never made sense to me even when I was actually in high school. As someone working on a Master's in history, if I'm going to be lectured by some person who's in the Boomer generation about how the 1960s movements happened out of a vacuum and that 1955 was led by children, I do not have any respect for said person's credibility.

It's about as bad as seeing David Neiwert and Sara Robinson argue against fascism on the one hand and then dedicate an entire post to explaining how Woodrow Wilson, a dogmatic, authoritarian asshole at home was not in actual fact a dogmatic, racist, authoritarian asshole of the very sort that site claims to condemn on a regular basis. Under L does not like being treated as a kid by someone who lived through a movement who doesn't understand the iron logic of chronology.
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-08-07 01:45 pm

Sigh, once again Palestinian extremists seem hellbent on the most moronic possible moves:

And as of now Egypt's reverted to an indefinite closure of the border with the Gaza Strip and there were even joint IDF-Egyptian military patrols after this. I think that may actually be a first in terms of official collaboration: Israel working with an Islamist-ruled Arab state to crack down on terrorists. Depending on how you see it this is either very, very good or the prelude to things getting even worse than they already are. So far there is no direct proof that Hamas was behind this one, though my personal opinion is that it's Islamic Jihad which may qualify for Biggest Dumbasses in the region at this point.

As of now the whole Israeli-Egyptian border issue just got very interesting indeed:

http://news.yahoo.com/islamists-kill-15-egyptians-israel-strikes-attackers-003156951.html

Israel, at least according to the Jerusalem Post, is also considering an enhanced Egyptian presence in the Sinai as justfiable. That may also be a first, especially when we remember just which party is controlling Egypt and authorizing both the crackdowns and the closing of the border. It seems the Muslim Brotherhood doesn't like Hamas and Islamic Jihad very much, though both in their usual Baghdad Bob fashion give Israel's government rather more credit than it deserves at this point:

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=280330

This should be interesting........
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-06-27 04:02 pm

Islamist in Egypt picks female Christian Vice-President:

The leader of the Muslim Brotherhood government that won the Egyptian election has picked a Christian woman as his Vice-President:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/mursi-picks-woman-copt-as-vicepresidents-20120627-212wd.html

Needless to say this isn't the Mk. I iteration of the Muslim Brotherhood, and it will piss off the Salafists as surely as the Sun will rise in the morning and water will be wet. Both of which are good things.

songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-06-09 12:21 pm

From the Department of AH.com memes in other places:

In response to a gunwank  (Ow, that sounds like it'd be painful and probably lethal) thread on LJ: 

I see. So they're made to fire bullets to kill things, but the bullets don't kill things. The idea that a bullet is lethal is nothing but a conspiracy invented by elves in nuclear reactors peeling potatoes with backup plans?

For those not initiated into the joke: this is from an AH.com troll named ElevenEleven who claimed that nuclear reactors worked from Jews peeling potatoes in nuclear reactors, with meltdowns being a backup plan in case the reactors failed. It's about the same level of idiocy, that's for sure. I replaced "Jew" with "Elf" to make it funnier.

As for my view of the kind of sense that the whole argument in discussion makes, well:

(For non-sighted, this is Godzilla and Gamera dancing with a hat and cane):



^It makes just as much or as little sense as this picture.

songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-06-07 07:43 pm

Begun the first not-sci-fi Omniverse Universe at least in story format:

I might note that the Omniverse is a generic catch-all term referring to a broad number of series. My timelines on AH.com are the Hard Sci-Fi element (well, aside from the Godzillaverse which is also published there). I wish to emphasize, however, that for all that the universe of the Up With the Star timeline and others is generic alternate history in terms of science fiction, that these universes still occur in the broader Omniverse where Pandaemonium and the Universal Empire wage their contest for Cosmic Evil and Cosmic Good. The Cosmic entities just have bigger issues on their hand than a timeline where one guy becoming Vice-President leads to another guy surviving to be the missing link with a particular empire derailing history as we knew it.

I should emphasize that while in the Up With the Star universe and its fellow alternate histories none of the sword and sorcery/urban fantasy and space opera elements show up, they're still reflecting the same cosmology. The difference is just that one set of universes is very strongly veiled from the cosmic horrors that lurk through the Omniverse, the others either are their playgrounds/cat's paws or so exposed to them that they turn into sci-fi universes by mere contact.

songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-06-07 06:12 am

And a happy birthday to:

[personal profile] king_bishop_of_hataria . May yours be a happy and prosperous one. ^.^

-Vishori-

songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2012-04-04 09:25 pm

I have finished reading:

http://www.amazon.com/Mughal-Empire-Cambridge-History-India/dp/0521566037

http://www.amazon.com/The-Mughal-Throne-Indias-Emperors/dp/0753817586

These two books chronicle the history of the great Gunpowder Empire founded by the sons of Timur, specifically his descendant Babur. Babur invaded what is now Northern India and would build the foundations of the Mughal/Mogul system at the Battle of Panipat, a battle that ultimately proved decisive in beginning the process of installing the latest, apogee, and culmination of the Indo-Muslim imperial dynasties. However when Babur died his son Humayun was nearly overthrown by the rising power of Sher Khan, whose Suri Empire died without issue due to his short-lived son not even living to a ripe old age.

His grandson, Akbar, would be the one that fully built the Mughal system as a syncretism of Hindu and Islamic influence, backing this up by a continued string of military victories. Each Mughal faced a crisis of their reign, but it would be under Akbar that the empire found a great weakness. The power of the Mughals might become unshakeable in a sense due to careful establishment of a religious taboo, but this came at the price of alienating the influential Muslim elite, which might well lead an unscrupulous future heir to back this.

Jahangir's reign was the golden age of the Mughals, it was his sons that saw the destabilizing pattern emerge. Aurangzeb conquers but does so by appealing to the ulema, and becomes the most reactionary and zealous of all Muslim rulers of the Mughal state, in the process tying his regime right back to the Ulema, creating a further problem in fostering a Hindu cultural-military revival under the Marathas, a Deccan state where the continual wars and fighting between the Great Mughals and the Marathas helped pave the way for the start of the establishment of the Nawabates, where individual provinces became in practical reality self-governing, and furthering additionally the ultimate path to the Battle of Plassey and from there the Raj.

The Mughals represent IMHO the apogee of a particular cultural pattern, the growth of an imperial Indo-Muslim civilization based on the more intellectual-autocratic tradition of Perso-Islam, but this creates a problem for them they never overcome of basing power on the might of their legions, while trying to balance rule of a Muslim dynasty over a predominantly Hindu subject mass. The attempts to integrate Hindu nobles such as Rajputs worked only partially at an ultimately unsustainable cost, and the Mughal Empire's disintegration in this regard was indeed furthered by the British, but in practice they simply deepened already-existing problems to a degree Mughal Emperors never had chances to find ways around them.

songsofemelnuvi: A silhouette dancing (dancing & music)
2012-02-11 02:18 pm

In the Omniverse Tales:

The next chapters of The Bloodworm are coming up next week. A warning for anyone that sees Vampires and thinks Twilight or True Blood.....the Omniverse versions of mythological monsters are the mythological ones. This is a straightforward urban fantasy tale of a necromancer putting a hit on someone that thinks he can stiff her for "street cred" and the necromancer's sister and her sister's boyfriend wind up having to put a halt to it before the vampire gets too far into what it's doing. The existence of independent vampires as villains is rather uncommon but when they do exist they are very powerful and very dangerous.

The Bloodworm can be summarized as an Urban Fantasy equivalent of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blade_Runner meets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Terminator meets http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_me_to_hell.

songsofemelnuvi: A girl looking slightly frazzled with "eh heh" in big white letters (laughter mwahahahahahaha)
2012-02-10 09:30 pm

Dammit Russia:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/120203/alien-lake-vostok-russia-science-exploration-antarctica

I mean really, this is the kind of thing that sounds like bad viral marketing for some cheap sci-fi film. >.<

songsofemelnuvi: The Ouroboros, a snake eating its tail (life's mysteries)
2011-11-09 11:09 am

Well:

Revvy's got a meeting of the Chalae University Athletic Committee, where she represents Liberal Arts at 7:20 PM Central time so she'll not be in Front this evening as she has been on others. I'm reading in-body about the fighting around Leningrad during WWII, as part of my reading for our WWII class (albeit this is Crew-reading, not class-mandated reading, that's a book by Orwell). It's sounding a lot more like trench warfare with updated weaponry than what one expects from the Axis-Soviet War.
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2011-11-07 03:42 pm
songsofemelnuvi: two lesbians walking arm in arm (sex stuff)
2011-10-27 08:13 pm

Left Spectrum Community:

The TL;DR version is that I felt posting there in my personal account, as opposed to our group one, might wind up missing the point of the new idea with the community. At least with our quasi-singlet account it's easier to post singlet-style, and I'm also leery of potential wank that might come from the new members, given the way the new community's set up. I figure if anyone can make it work and lay a sufficient smackdown on idiot damn fool stupid bastards the two current moderators are those people. ^.^

Leaving this public.

-Vi-
songsofemelnuvi: A silhouette dancing (dancing & music)
2011-10-24 08:56 pm

Here for at least part of tomorrow:

Ensue ritual last-post-of-night music video: 




songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2011-07-08 08:23 am

Oh dear, seems I've a hatedom on Elljayland:

Melvin appears to really hate my guts right about now. I might note that here: 

This ridiculous scumbag continues to screech this, what he thinks is a 'gotcha' comment. There are many problems with it, all of which he ignores when they are pointed out to him. After all, Big Lies rely upon the mindless repetition of the Leftist to stick on the other sheep. Personally I think it's a great idea if the federal government stops taking in ANY money from ANY state beyond an equal share for the common defense and a very small federal government. You'll find this disingenuous scumbag likely would rebel against such an idea. In other words this is a meaningless gotcha and he knows it.

^This is in response to this:

"Yes, let's start by taking the fiscal conservatives at their word and ending all Federal money used in the states which take more from the Federal government than they pay into it. If their ideology works, those states will be paradise."

I really expected a response of more "We will bury you liberal Commie hyena-Jew-vermin and you will sell us the shovels you Untermenschen rats."

More like the response to this statement:

"The problem is that the blue states subsidize red states who demonize the people who they mooch off of. If someone's taking my money and calling me a subhuman traitorous wretch, my idea will eventually become 'root hog, or die.'"

This subhuman traitorous wretch continues to repeat this disingenuous mantra because repetition = truth to the Left.

My personal favorite is this numbered list:

1) Apparently this liar or imbecile has not heard of Paul Ryan, nor does he care that Democrats haven't done a budget (their main responsibility) in TWO YEARS. How fair minded.
Also, notice below how fellow LIBERALS mention the Ryan plan, but NOT ONE OF THEM corrected this guy. Integrity!
2) Seriously? No Republican has ever explained how tax cuts raise prosperity or fix deficits? Is this persona utterly irrational, stupid or dishonest?
3) Apparently this scumbag is unaware of the Clinton caused recession, 9/11 or two wars. You see, everything Liberals decide exists in a vacuum does.
4) Do I need to comment on the sick, unnecessary hatemongering of this vile human being?
5) Apparently this loon or liar continues their delusion, as they seem to fail to notice Obama has carried on EVERY SINGLE ONE of these "Bush" policies, but that apparently doesn't count. Astounding.

If my statements qualify for hatemongering, Mr. Udall has evidently never played in the rougher corners of the Internet.

I am also known as Comic Book Guy to his groupies. Now that I *am* offended by. I much prefer being Sideshow Bob, thank you very much.

And as I see it this is what is:



For non-sighted: An image that says "Arguing on an Internet thread. Yeah it's this kind of smart" with a snake eating its tail.
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2011-06-08 07:56 pm

We made it here:

And safe and sound. Day II tomorrow with Mere in Front. Brain is ded. Too much minivan.

-Vishori-
songsofemelnuvi: Two parents hugging a child (fam damily)
2011-04-18 12:32 pm
Entry tags:

So.........

My birthday has been awesome. I enjoy all the gifts I've gotten and Ta'eris's very much are wonderful. :-). My wife fixed an awesome set of meals today and the party was utter win. My sister and father and aunt and nieces and nephews and many, many other people (besides obviously my wife and kids) were there. I got to spend some time with my aunt, who's been a mother figure and mentor to me. As a clone I do not have a physical one, but Aunt Keshri's kind of filled that void. :-). So her being there today was completely and utterly awesome. :-). I was born in the Gregorian year 1878 and have been here 132 years now.

I am also these days blessed with a wonderful wife, blood-family, and extended family who help make it all worthwhile. :-). So....today is very much win and thank you to those who help make it so. <333333.
songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2011-03-01 10:22 am

Under L's Top 15 Greatest generals of history list:

One thing that may surprise people about this list is that none of the Civil War generals, Grant included, are on it. In fact I would not include them on a Top 20 list. The reason is that General Grant was extremely competent and able to use both common sense and what in the 20th Century counted as basic tactics, and most generals on the Union and Confederate sides weren't even able to do *that*. Putting Grant on a top 20 list for all history for doing the military version of 1 +1 = 2 just ain't right.

Now, this is a Top 15 Greatest Generals of all history, meaning the 6,000 years that have elapsed since people in Mesoamerica and Mesopotamia discovered writing.

The list is divided into three sections, Ancient (defined as Sumer/Norte Chico to the rise of the Achaemenids), Classical (defined as Classical Mayans/Hellenistic era to the rise of the Abbasids), and  Medieval/Modern (from the Abbasids to the 21st Century).

As far as *the* greatest general of the Ancient World, I'd have to go with this guy:

1) Cyrus the Great of the House of Achaemenes. Under his rule, the Persians were the first to create a pan-Mediterranean Empire. It looks a lot less impressive after him, but prior to his ascension to power the Persian Empire extended to the Indus and most of present-day Iran. After his ascension it ruled all of Anatolia (a degree of conquest not seen after him, as conquering it thereafter was slow for *everybody*), and the Middle East to the Levant. To do this, he had to conquer a previous Empire under the Babylonians that was at its *peak* (it's more impressive to beat an empire at the height of its power than it is to pick up the pieces, IMHO) and he did this to such a degree that even Herodotus, as Xenophobic as he was, admitted he was a magnificent bastard.

2) I'd also include in this Sarru-Urrukin of Agade, the guy who pretty much pioneered most of the innovations of the imperial way of waging war. Less detail on him because he became a mythical figure (inspiring the motif of the Great Man found in the bullrushes) and it's pretty much impossible to separate Sargon the Man from Sargon the Legend. The degree of that legend can be seen in his being the inspiration for Nimrod of the book of Genesis.

For the Classical World:

3) Qin Shi Huang, previously known as Zheng of Qin. Why does he count? Well, he was the first Chinese Emperor which makes him a different kind of magnificent bastard, but to get there, he had to conquer six rival, independent states. This is akin to a Napoleon or Hitler who succeeded. Zheng was one very skilled warlord, and he managed to outfox and outmaneuver the other six rivals, and in the aftermath turned a place of six independent, closely-related countries (think a Far Eastern HREGN) into a singular Empire to such a degree that even the Chinese have never gotten to like the idea of multiple countries there.

4) Alexander of Macedon, Qin's earlier Western counterpart in the 4th Century BCE. One of the only Generals to have never lost a battle he commanded. The man took down the vast Persian Empire led by Cyrus's successor Darius, and his conquests in one lifetime extended from Egypt to the Indus Valley. He was a piss-poor administrator but like Qin he was one supremely good warlord.

5) Ashoka Maurya, one of the only rulers in the Indian subcontinent to do in one lifetime what took the Mughals three and the British centuries: he unified all of the Indian subcontinent that mattered under a single leader, creating a large empire. Interestingly his precursor had converted to Jainism but that religion remained a marginal, puritanical mutation of Hinduism. Where Ashoka converted to Buddhism and was the Ur-Example of a Constantine.

6) Diocletian. His persecution of the Christians has overshadowed the extent to which this particular magnificent bastard took a Roman Empire that had seen a Forever Civil War for the last century and put a stop to it. He was so successful at it that his battles are both named and he's considered one of the most influential Roman Emperors of his time, his program left intact by Constantine.

7) Count Theodosius, the last Roman Emperor to rule the entirety of the Empire. Given the time at which he took control, that in itself qualifies him for this list. Yes, he actually conquered all of it back and kept administering it as one unit.....

8) Belisarius. The single greatest general of the Medieval Roman Empire. 'Nuff said.

9) Khalid Ibn Al-Walid. The Muslim version of Alexander the Great.

Medieval to Modern:

10) Genghis Khan. Another Magnificent Bastard who never lost a battle in his entire career. The name alone is pretty significant. Has been romanticized a wee bit more than he should have been.

11) Gustavus Adolphus. He's on the list because it is he, the Swede, who re-introduced combined arms tactics to northern Europe, where at this point they were mainly an Ottoman innovation.

12) Alexander Suvorov. Another general who never lost a battle, even against Napoleon Bonaparte.

13) Napoleon. His career can be summed up in one phrase: He actually got to Moscow after a seemingly endless string of victories. However his position is here mainly because he, rightly or wrongly, became inspirational for tactics. He did, after all, lose the Napoleonic Wars.

14) Marshal Georgi Zhukov. The WWII general with the best claim to have been the "man that destroyed Nazism." His abilities were as much that Stalin trusted him and let him live even when he bungled as his actual battlefield achievements, though Khalkin Ghol, Leningrad, Moscow, and Bagration are pretty much enough to get him on this list for that alone.

15) Marshal Josip Broz/Tito. His career can also be summed up pithily thus: He came, he saw, he conquered, he flipped Stalin the bird, and he lived to die of old age.

songsofemelnuvi: Sarasvati, Hindu goddess of learning (Default)
2011-02-28 04:38 pm

The curious fate of Operation Mars:

Inspired by here: 

http://neonvincent.dreamwidth.org/1304.html

Stalingrad, the WWII version of Verdun and the Somme, is one of the most famous battles of WWII. It has attracted the most attention of any of the individual Axis-Soviet War battles because it marked the true end of German power to win the war (not to get a stalemate, note, just to win). The battle has some of those simultaneously awe-inspiring and sinister moments that mark the Axis-Soviet War taken to a key point, such as Rodimstev's group, and the terrible fighting around Mamayev Kurgan. And it ended with the success of Operation Uranus, and with the southern USSR cleared of German invaders.

Yet what is truly interesting from a historical point of view is that Uranus was the smaller of two simultaneous, planned offensives. The larger one, Mars, was to be essentially Bagration, targeting a salient near the city of Rhzev. Where Stalingrad became a smashing success, Mars was a complete and utter clusterfuck.

The whole clusterfuck is summarized here:

http://fmso.leavenworth.army.mil/documents/countrpt/countrpt.htm


The simplest explanation of Mars's failure is that at Stalingrad complete tactical and strategic surprise was achieved. While with Mars, Soviet troops were attacking head-long into built-up defensive positions with the same superiority of numbers locally that they enjoyed in most theaters of the war (in another irony after the bloodbath of 1941 across the whole front Nazi and Soviet numbers were until the final days of the war equal). This simple explanation, however, ignores that while in the end the Axis-Soviet War's history was written from self-serving personal memoirs of German generals and the Soviet history was rewritten whenever convenient, the bloodbath near Rhzev was ignored by Germans and Soviets alike. Like at Fredericksburg in the US Civil War, Rhzev showed that superiority of numbers and materiel could not on its own have won the war for the Soviet Union any more than it would have for the North.

However in the Soviet historiography, Stalingrad accumulated a just and deserved focus that vastly overshadowed this failed bloodbath, while the German needed to ignore it because it pointed out that their excuses to avoid facing the reality that the Soviets kicked their asses from Kalinin and Kaluga to Berlin were self-serving lies. Ironically Western historians have only found out about Rhzev since the Soviet archives were opened in 1991. This is one of the most fascinating examples of how history, written by the losers, can also be selectively written by the victors.

I intend to restart the Long Dark Night (my world wars series) again either tonight or tomorrow, and in that series when I get to WWII I'll be pointing out the Curious Case of Andrei Vlasov, another example of how history written by the loser was also ignored by the victor........