The Mongols Are Coming

I do like my history……empires come and go…..Romans, Alexander, Persians, Mongols……etc.

I like to make the case that most people miss….take the Mongols….most of us know the negative history around these people….

Let’s start with a look at the Mongol that started it all….Temujin the Ruler of the World……

1. “Genghis” wasn’t his real name.

The man who would become the “Great Khan” of the Mongols was born along the banks of the Onon River sometime around 1162 and originally named Temujin, which means “of iron” or “blacksmith.” He didn’t get the honorific name “Genghis Kahn” until 1206, when he was proclaimed leader of the Mongols at a tribal meeting known as a “kurultai.” While “Khan” is a traditional title meaning “leader” or “ruler,” historians are still unsure of the origins of “Genghis.” It may have may have meant “ocean” or “just,” but in context it is usually translated as “supreme ruler” or “universal ruler.”

https://www.history.com/news/10-things-you-may-not-know-about-genghis-khan

Like I have written we know the horrible tactics used by the Mongols from genocide to amputations….but believe it or not there is positive aspects of their rule…..

The Mongolian Empire has a well-deserved reputation for its brutality (it did, after all, kill 40 million in the 12th century, enough people to alter planetary climate conditions). But it’s positive legacies are nearly as profound, if less well known.

The first aspect is art. While the Mongols didn’t produce much literature or fine art during the Mongol Empire, they appreciated and cultivated the arts of the sedentary peoples around them. The Mongol Khans became great patrons of the arts, supporting artists and artisans of all kinds. While not artists themselves in the traditional Mongolian culture, once peace was established in the Empire, all the Khans and sub-khans protected and patronized the arts. Under Genghis Khan, textile workers, architects, stone carvers and jewelers were relocated from the Middle East and Central Asia to Mongolia to create the magnificent works of art desired by the Mongols.

Positive Legacies of the Mongolian Empire: International Trade, Religious Tolerance, Career Opportunities, and Horse Milk

What got me thinking about the Mongols was something that I read about modern day Mongolia and its place in the world….

In the telling of anthropologist Jack Weatherford, Chinggis Khaan was more than an unprecedented and fearsome military leader: He was a nation-builder who embraced the rule of law, protected religious freedom, promoted international trade, and established new diplomatic relations among the great population centers of Asia and Europe. The Mongolian empire connected a formerly disjointed world by creating a “single intercontinental system of communication, commerce, technology and politics.” Due to Chinngis Khaan, the “globe was shaken” and a new order commenced, the historian Edward Gibbon observed.

Today, Mongolia’s reach may be less grand; but while the country faces significant challenges both domestically and regionally, Mongolia remains poised to shape the modern world. Indeed, with the United States as its partner, Mongolia can overcome its obstacles and contribute to building a “free and open” Indo-Pacific.

https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/can-mongolia-shape-the-modern-world-once-again/

The modern country of Mongolia, represents only part of the Mongols’ historical homeland; today, more ethnic Mongolians live in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the People’s Republic of China than in Mongolia. Since the country’s peaceful democratic revolution in 1990, the ex-communist Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party (MPRP) – which took the name Mongolian People’s Party (MPP) in 2010 – has competed for political power with the Democratic Party (DP) and several other smaller parties, including a new party formed by former President ENKHBAYAR, which confusingly adopted for itself the MPRP name. In the country’s most recent parliamentary elections in June 2016, Mongolians handed the MPP overwhelming control of Parliament, largely pushing out the DP, which had overseen a sharp decline in Mongolia’s economy during its control of Parliament in the preceding years. Mongolians elected a DP member, Khaltmaa BATTULGA, as president in 2017.

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Psi Phi Society–Summer Session 2019

First, I would like to wish my French followers and readers a Happy Bastille Day…..”Liberté, egalité, Fraternité”

Weakened but still potent, Barry inundated the Gulf Coast but appeared unlikely to deluge New Orleans as it continued its slow advance. Still, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Saturday urged residents across south Louisiana to stay “vigilant,” warning that Barry could still cause disastrous flooding across a wide stretch of the Gulf Coast overnight. “This storm still has a long way to go before it leaves this state,” Edwards said. “Don’t let your guard down.” New Orleans had braced for heavy rains Saturday, reports the AP, but instead had intermittent bands of showers and occasional sunshine. Though Barry will continue to dump rain throughout the weekend, forecasters downgraded rainfall estimates for the city through Sunday to between 2 to 4 inches. Forecasters had earlier said New Orleans could get up to 20 inches of rain, raising concerns that water pumps strengthened after Hurricane Katrina would be overwhelmed.

Summer is in full swing and time for the Psi Phi (ΨΦ) Society get together for food, fun and debate…..(meeting must go on even thru a storm, LOL)

The society members get together four times a year at the eatery of a friend and have a good meal then we pick a subject from a stainless steel bed pan give everyone 30-45 minutes to prepare their take on the subject.

This session is the heritage site in Turkey of Gobekli Tepe…..this is a fairly new discovery of an ancient structure that has many debate what its purpose was…..

Archaeologically categorised as a site of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A Period (c. 9600–7300 BC) Göbeklitepe is a series of mainly circular and oval-shaped structures set on the top of a hill. Excavations began in 1995 by Prof. Klaus Schmidt with the help of the German Archeological Institute. There is archelological proof that these installations were not used for domestic use, but predominantly for ritual or religous purposes. Subsequently it became apparent that Gobeklitepe consists of not only one, but many of such stone age temples. Furthermore, both excavations and geo magnetic results revealed that there are at least 20 installations, which in archeological terms can be called a temple. Based on what has been unearthed so far, the pattern principle seems to be that there are two huge monumental pillars in the center of each installation, surrounded by enclosures and walls, featuring more pillars in those set-ups.

http://gobeklitepe.info/

I disagree that it was nothing more than a religious site…..why?  First the location in Turkey……

The site is in an area that has many rivers and large streams…..why does this matter?  Civilization was made possible by the nearness of a waterway.  I feel this was more than just a lonely religious ceremonial site.

The possibility that inhabitants of this region could be the forefathers of the Sumerians…..https://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-the-ancient-sumerians

The people moved down the Tigris and branched out……..

Another ancient city has been found in Iraq…older than Sumer…..

A team of French archaeologists has located the remains of a lost ancient city in Iraqi Kurdistan.

Over the course of six excavations between 2012 and 2018, researchers uncovered the ancient city at Kunara, near the Zagros mountains. Previously, experts had been prevented from exploring the site, near the modern city of Sulaymaniyah, by Saddam Hussein’s regime and conflicts in the region.

https://www.foxnews.com/science/mysterious-4000-year-old-lost-city-discovered

This is not some scholarly endeavor on my part just some thought and a little knowledge.

The Droughts in the Middle East do have their benefits…..The little known Mittani civilization has new legs in academia…..

A team of German and Kurdish archaeologists have discovered a 3,400-year-old palace that belonged to the mysterious Mittani Empire, the University of Tübingen announced on Thursday.

The discovery was only made possible by a drought that significantly reduced water levels in the Mosul Dam reservoir.

“The find is one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the region in recent decades and illustrates the success of the Kurdish-German cooperation,” said Hasan Ahmed Qasim, a Kurdish archaeologist of the Duhok Directorate of Antiquites who worked on the site.

https://www.dw.com/en/iraqs-drought-unveils-3400-year-old-palace-of-mysterious-empire/a-49384876

Plus there has been an announcement about those Biblical bad boys the Philistines…..

The ancient Philistines, the Biblical villains whose origins have puzzled scholars for decades, came to the Middle East from southern Europe more than 3,000 years ago, new DNA testing has shown.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-archaeology-philistines-idUSKCN1TY2JP

If anyone would like to add their thoughts please feel free to do so.

The evening ended and we were full and content……these types of get together are always a joy….good friends and good food and a couple of great goblets of wine…..

Barry is on land now and we are getting some rain…after almost a month without it and temps of over 100 this is a bit of a respite….hopefully everyone in Louisiana was prepared .  We were.

Random Thoughts For A Saturday

I spend a lot of time reading so I come across articles that make me made, or amaze me or those that make me laugh out loud and since I do not have a subject for today I will give some random thoughts…..

Remember the days when you were smoking weed and when it was really exceptional quality you would say…”this is some good shit”!  Sure you do!

That statement may be more literal than you think……

Cannabis resin sold on the streets of Madrid is contaminated with dangerous levels of faecal matter, a study says.

Traces of E.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were found by analysts who examined 90 samples bought in and around the Spanish capital.

The samples of hashish were wrapped up in plastic “acorns” were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country.

Some 40% of these also had the aroma of faeces, the study’s lead author said.

Buying, selling and importing cannabis is against the law in Spain, as is using it in public – although it is technically legal to grow it for personal use, provided it is not publicly visible, and to consume it in private.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47811251

We Americans pride ourselves on our successful revolution for independence from England…..we have our “heroes” but we know very little about our revolting days……we know the general George Washington but can you name another?  How about General Pulaski?

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/revolutionary-war-hero-casimir-pulaski-might-have-been-woman-or-n991371

The general was a woman……that ought to get the juices flowing from those misogynists on the Right.

Finally….we have heard about “black holes” for decades but we have not been able to find them….all that changed this week…..

Mankind has now something it has never seen before: an image of “the most mysterious objects in the universe”—the black hole. On Wednesday, six simultaneous press conferences were held around the globe, in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, reports Reuters. There, researchers shared the first result of the Event Horizon Telescope project, which in 2017 swiveled a network of radio telescopes worldwide to focus on the center of the galaxy Messier 87, or M87. “We now have visual evidence for a black hole,” they announced. Per a tweet from the Event Horizon ‘Scope, “The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun.”

  • More numbers: Per a press release, a black hole’s shadow is created by “the gravitational bending and capture of light by the event horizon,” the region around a black hole from which nothing, including light, can escape. “The shadow of a black hole is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object.” In this case, “the black hole’s boundary—the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name—is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across.”
  • Wild similes: NPR says trying to view it by looking into the night sky from our planet would be like trying to spot a mustard seed in Washington, DC, from Brussels. The AFP likens it to taking a picture of a pebble on the moon from Earth.
  • The observations: The telescope array known as the Event Horizon Telescope saw radio observatories on six mountains across four continents study M87 over a 10-day period in April 2017. The New York Times reports they captured so much data—5,000 trillion bytes, reports CNN—that it couldn’t be sent over the internet and instead had to be transported on disks. Due to weather, the data from Antarctica couldn’t be flown out until December 2017.
  • More on the challenges: The Washington Post reports those hard drives from the South Pole had to be defrosted upon their arrival at MIT. And then there’s this detail: Astronomers “donned oxygen tanks and climbed three-mile-high mountains to escape the interference of Earth’s atmosphere.”
  • About Einstein: A beautiful explainer from the Times: “The image offered a final, ringing affirmation of an idea so disturbing that even Einstein, from whose equations black holes emerged, was loath to accept it. If too much matter is crammed into one place, the cumulative force of gravity becomes overwhelming, and the place becomes an eternal trap, a black hole. Here, according to Einstein’s theory, matter, space, and time come to an end and vanish like a dream.”

That is my round-up for a Saturday…..more to come……have a day……

Sushi On The Plate

Let me continue this Sunday with a post about a fad…..a fad that has moved from a delicacy to an everyday fad you can find in supermarkets and stop and rob gas stations……..Sushi.

And while I am bitching about this I shall throw in a bit of history as well….

Years ago there was a Mexican Eatery on every corner…then Starbucks appeared and recently the fad is Japanese and the every popular Sushi

To me it is a plate of bait….I mean I do not eat cooked fish so raw squid is out of the damn question all together.

This trend has become extremely popular and every Japanese eatery has a Sushi Bar as a national pride thing……

The truth is that Sushi is NOT Japanese in origin…..nope it is Vietnamese……….

On the morning of 5 January 2019, gasps of amazement rippled through Tokyo’s cavernous fish market. In the first auction of the new year, Kiyoshi Kimura – the portly owner of a well-known chain of sushi restaurants – had paid a record ¥333.6 million (£2.5 million) for a 278kg bluefin tuna. Even he thought the price was exorbitant. A bluefin tuna that size would have normally cost him around ¥2.7 million (£18,700). At New Year, that could rise to around ¥40 million (£279,000). Back in 2013, he’d paid no less than ¥155.4 million (£1.09 million) for a 222kg specimen: a lot, to be sure. But still a lot less than what he’d just paid. 

It was worth paying over the odds, though. It was, by any standards, a beautiful fish – ‘so tasty and fresh’, as a beaming Mr Kimura told the world’s press. It was also a rarity. Though not as critically endangered as its southern relatives, the Pacific bluefin tuna is classified as a vulnerable species and, over the past six years, efforts have been made to limit the size of catches. Most of all, it was great advertising. By paying such a colossally high price for a tuna, Kimura was telling the world that, at his restaurants, the sushi is made from only the very best fish.

https://www.historytoday.com/archive/historians-cookbook/short-history-sushi

Funny how that worked out……

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Enjoy your day.

Women Of The Middle Ages

It is a Sunday and it is Women’s History Month….so the old professor wants to educate and possibly irritate some…..

There were 12 famous women of the Middle Ages….Joan of Arc et al…..

Women in the Middle Ages were frequently characterized as second-class citizens by the Church and the patriarchal aristocracy. Women’s status was somewhat elevated in the High and Late Middle Ages when the cult of the Virgin Mary, combined with the romantic literature of courtly love, altered the cultural perception of women but, even so, women were still considered inferior to men owing to biblical narratives and the teachings of the Church.  

 

There were many famous women throughout these three eras but the following twelve are among the best-known:

https://www.ancient.eu/article/1350/twelve-famous-women-of-the-middle-ages/

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Enjoy your day…..the garden awaits for me and MoMo…..

Class Dismissed!

The Worst In History

Closing Thought–14Mar19

Every president is ranked by a group over 200 presidential historians…..and the newest survey is out…..

The result were posted by Sharedblue Media……..

Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by 3 million votes. But on Presidents Day, he finally won something fair and square: the title of worst president ever.

According to the “Presidential Greatness Survey” published Monday by the American Political Science Association, Trump is ranked 44th out of 44 presidents. The survey counts President Grover Cleveland’s non-consecutive administrations as a single presidency, thus sparing Trump from being ranked one spot lower.

The survey also ranked President Obama 8th overall, making him the the greatest living president, one spot ahead of Ronald Reagan.

But even among Republican respondents to the survey, Trump could only manage a ranking of 40th out of 44, edging out James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, William Henry Harrison — who died in office just one month into his first term — and Andrew Johnson.

By contrast, President Obama’s first appearance in this survey in 2014 placed him at 18th, and a group of 238 presidential historians ranked Obama 15th after his first year in office.

Trump’s first year in office has been marked by historically low approval numbers, an embarrassing trend that was continued by a five-point drop in his weekly approval rating from Gallup.

If there is any consolation for Trump, it’s that he can’t possibly drop any lower in this ranking during whatever time he has left in office.

I am sure that somewhere on the “web” there are people that will disagree and the excuse will be “fake news” or a conspiracy by those “liberal” academics….or some other equally ridiculous belief……so I say to them…”Sorry your bromance sucks as a president”……..

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Summits: Garbage In, Garbage Out

Our Beloved Supreme Leader just had a horrible and unproductive meeting (some call it a “summit”) with North Korea’s Kim…..but to listen to his rhetoric it was a success with the Dems trying to hang some criminality around his neck……but what of the so-called “summits”…….

Let’s step back to the beginning……

As far as is known, the first professional diplomatic corps appeared in the Byzantine Empire following the collapse of Rome in 476 AD. Byzantium established the world’s first department of foreign affairs, developed strict and complex diplomatic protocols, and actively sought intelligence about friend and enemy alike. Surrounded by enemies, Byzantium needed all the skill in diplomacy it could muster.

The art of diplomacy was carried to the next higher (some might say lower) plane in Italy during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The Italian city-states of the era engaged in constant intrigues against each other. During this era, diplomacy became identified with behind-the-scenes scheming, duplicity, and double-dealing. Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence, whom many consider the father of “realist” views of the international system, stressed in his book The Prince (1532) that rulers should use whatever means they had at their disposal to stay in power.

https://www.diplomaticourier.com/from-ancient-greek-diplomacy-to-modern-summitry/

Summits and summitry have their uses in a modern foreign policy…a constructive foreign policy (there’s the rub….we, the US, no longer has a constructive foreign policy)…….

It should not be regarded as an instant elixir for the assuagement of crises to dissimulate relief from the realities of inter-governmental ailment (1979, p. 186).

To begin with, this essay will discuss both on some of the possible strengths and flaws of the different types summits. It also argues on how summitry can be infused as a tool of a constructive means of diplomacy and it will also unearth some factors that could help determine the success of summits. The first part of this essay discusses on how summitry could be a tool in the engagement of public diplomacy and followed by with an insight on how timing is crucial in initiating a summit. Meanwhile, the second part of this essay details on how summitry could provide an opportunity for state leaders to administrate and show their capabilities in winning a summit.

https://www.ukessays.com/essays/politics/summitry-analysis-diplomacy-7750.ph

This is where the Trump summits go off the rail…..a summit should NOT be an elixir for a solution to whatever problem it tries to address.

And yet Trump himself billed his “summits” as a solution to North Korea’s rush to nuke weapons…..

So far nothing but a few exchanged “love” between the two leaders and the search for nukes continued…

Summits are a diplomatic tool not necessarily the end of the search of solutions to problems….something someone needs to teach to our president….maybe then he would stop embarrassing the country on the world stage.