Quote from “The Saracen Blade” by Frank Yerby

“..the stags, racing ahead of the packs, terrified by the thrashing staves of the villeins, reminded Pietro of something…. The boars and stags and hares and netted birds hadn’t a chance. There was no skill to their taking – only overpowering force. He had that feeling again that he had had before: that life was neither good nor pleasant nor worth the living. You started out in blood and stench with the echoes of your mother’s dying screams inside of you somewhere so that unrecognized, unremembered, they were there a part of you; then afterwards you were the hunted, always the hunted, running with that tiredness inside of you that was part of death itself, the knowing always in the end that the running was no good because you’d be pulled down – by the big ones, the strong ones, the ones whose world would crash about their heads if they permitted you, the small the wily, the different, to go on living. Or they worried you to death in small and ugly ways: by telling you what seat you might take at a table, by the epithets with which they addressed you, by forbidding you to wear fur or bear a sword or take to wife a girl of different station. Small ways and ugly, but they killed something inside of you – your pride of manhood perhaps your belief in yourself until you became the beast-thing that they were and lit candles and rang bells and ran weeping and howling to prosterate yourself before the unknown and unknowable because you had to have something to cling to against the onrushing dark..

..Somebody had to turn on the pack. Somebody had finally to do it right and skillfully, until this world where everybody alive was somebody else’s man was replaced by one where a man could be his own man – unless he chose to be God’s…”

Frank Yerby, The Saracen Blade, Dial Press: New York, 1952

Islam, and Bridal Dowries – an Auster commentator has it wrong.

At Lawrence Auster’s blog, in his thread Reflections on the Roissyite Revolution a particular commentator, Tim W., made a statement that ill befits anyone of intellect. Typical of many (not all) social conservatives, he seems reflexively critical of Islam, in an amorphous way, without seeming to have a clear understanding of what it is, exactly, about normative Islam that he objects to.

Which is odd. Hang out with enough extreme left wingers and one of their usual complaints about Islam and Muslims is that they are right wing Religiously fundamentalist social conservatives. Ever since Sept. 11th the usual mantra of the Right has been that the Left favors Islamists. Anyone who has spent any time around progressives and socialists know that, frankly, the majority hate many aspects about Islam. In particular feminists. And like many conservatives, many Liberals and Socialists often have not the slightest clue about Islam apart from some stereotypes and gross simplifications.

It seems that you just cannot please everyone, or indeed anyone. This is ok, frankly one should have better things to do that please others.

In any case, to set one record straight, Tim W. remarks: “In the Muslim world, in Africa, and elsewhere, the husband buys the bride. He gives the girl’s father twelve goats or eight cows or something similar to purchase his mate.”

This is actually so wrong it is ludicrous.

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How They Trace Phone Calls

I wrote this almost a decade ago, on usenet alt.phreaking. I just stumbled across it again, and decided to revise it heavily. It can use further improvements. For one, the advance in Phone Switch technology since the late 90’s includes the massive increase in VOIP (voice over IP) switching, and the forward march in traditional UNIX based Electronic Switching Systems. And two, increase in general knowledge of telephony.

In any case, for the paranoid, and technically interested out there, if your curiosity was piqued by movies like 7 days of the Condor, or Clear and Present Danger, here you go. Enjoy.

Disclaimer, this is based on what little knowledge I have of telephony technology, it is a very broad topic and can be approached in various ways. More knowledgeable readers are welcome to post corrections to my assertions.

Consider this to be a work of creative science fiction, or detective thriller fiction a la “The Pelican Brief.” I do not advocate committing any activities described herein.

A reader may need to communicate something that is legal but unpopular, that reader should realize the degree to which her activities can be monitored, and creatively think of ways to legally communicate safely.

What she communicates may be important for the whole of society. Or it may be for her physical safety, to prevent blackmail, to prevent a crime, to prevent others being endangered.

What she wishes to communicate may involve the crimes of others, crimes that endanger her community, her municipality, her state, or her nation. The media, journalists, and law enforcement authorities may not be aware of such crimes and her anonymous tip-offs may save lives and communities. They could be ecological crimes, or even matters of conspiracy and terrorism. Her opponents could have deep pockets and resources.

She may, therefore, in a work of fiction, say a thriller, find herself in a bind needing to communicate by voice securely…

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Note to wise youth.

Even for the most charming, on attaining to maturity it takes far more than a Baby pout and Bedroom eyes to get your way through life.

Society expects more, like actually bringing something to the table.

So cultivate that something more, cultivate some substance and gravitas, and doors may open a bit wider for you.

There you go, a bit of my vast wisdom for the day. Take it, and run with it.


Quote on a Healthy vs. Radical Islam

This phrase if contemplated with understanding and some awareness of history, may open doors of understanding to certain readers.

“Islam is the religion of nature.
Islam, the religion of nature, confirms the Divinely ordained nature of the unity and harmony of the created world, not just the entities but their inter-relatedness.

The air is poisoned. Its temperature rising to end the balance of nature.
The sea is poisoned. This week we were told that in 50 years the oceans will be voided of all fish.
The earth is poisoned. Polluted, toxic and barren.

…Islam is neither culture nor civilisation, these are its healthy by-products…. on radical Islam well as far as I am concerned, “radical Islam” or ” Islamic terrorist” is a contradiction in terms.

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