Heat and Hajj 2076

[ by Charles Cameron — one black swan that’s almost predictable — where two timelines meet ] . God in His wisdom has decreed that all right thinking humans should circumambulate the Kaaba in Mecca if at all possible during their human lifetimes, so proclaims Islamic orthodoxy. A Guardian piece titled Extreme heatwaves could push […] Read more »

Human Sacrifice and State-Building

[by Mark Safranski / “zen“] A while back I had a longish post that argued that the mass executions practiced by ISIS drew from the long pagan tradition of ritualistic human sacrifice. Today in the news, some social scientists see evidence of human sacrifice as the catalyst for establishing and maintaining stratified, hierarchical and (usually) oppressive […] Read more »

On the horrors of apocalyptic warfare, 1: its sheer intensity

[ by Charles Cameron — first in a series of four posts on the central theme of a proposed book ] . In a previous post, I introduced my work on a book proposal concerning Coronation: The Magic and Romance of Monarchy. The second book proposal I’ve put together, which is also currently in the […] Read more »

On the horrors of apocalyptic warfare, 2: to spark a messianic fire

[ by Charles Cameron — it’s what we won’t notice that can blindside us ] . al-Malhamah al-Kubra, the great end-times battle ** To recapitulate: in my previous post I suggested that “apocalyptic, end-of-days” movements are qualitatively different by virtue of the immediacy of their divine / transcendant mandate. Richard Landes sums the matter up […] Read more »

ISIS: Paganism with an Islamic Face?

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a “zen“] “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 18:21  “They rejected the commandments of the Lord … and served Baal. They consigned their sons and daughters to the fire” – 2 […] Read more »

Apocalypse soon from Lapido, McCants from Sources & Methods

[ by Charles Cameron — my latest for LapidoMedia gives Sunni, Shia background, & importantly the shift from Zarqawi to Baghdadi — followed by a chaser from Will McCants ] . My latest from Lapido, opening paras: TO SENIOR military officers, intelligence analysts and policy-makers, blood and guts are more real than fire and brimstone. […] Read more »

A very bright future

[ by Charles Cameron — an Ahmadinejad revival, and if so a reference to note? ] . It could be no more than an artifact of translation, but there’s a phrase in this account of a possible Mahmoud Ahmadinejad comeback that catches my attention: “God willing, victory and a very bright future awaits us. However, […] Read more »

The Boston IS and Apocalyptic Conference

[ by Charles Cameron — I was (unexpectedly) almost totally deaf at the time, so the videos of the conference allowed me a second go-around, for which I’m profoundly grateful ] . Richard Landes, opening the Boston conference ** With what I hope will turn out to be the wisdom of a fool, I am […] Read more »

Intellectuals and their Romance with Political Barbarism

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Martin Heidegger, Eric Hobsbawm and Ezra Pound A  meandering post inspired by Reason Magazine and Charles Cameron. Reason.com is best known for giving a scrappy libertarian take on current events, crime, technology and pop culture, but recently, an article by Charles Paul Freund touched a deeper, darker vein of twentieth century history […] Read more »

Blog friend Cheryl Rofer on the Iranian nuke deal

[ by Charles Cameron — and Furnish pwns Sowell ] . First there’s Cheryl Rofer‘s piece on Nuclear Diner, The Iran Framework Agreement: The Good, the Bad, and TBD. Then that gets quoted by Alexander Montgomery in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage for April 6. And now Cheryl has a piece in Mother Jones titled […] Read more »