Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

Your ABC

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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GLITCH @ Hello Cruel World

TechProb stopping new entries displaying - transferring unseen ones to here

Will add odd new ones here until fixed

Hope this isn't "subtle" way to move people over to NewBlog

The bombing of the Rainbow Warrior

Rainbow Warrior Bombing - On the night of 10 July 1985

About the book Romance of Three Kingdoms:

Moss Roberts (Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel): The English translation of ROTK by Moss Roberts is the best translation I have ever seen. It is more enjoyable than the original Chinese text, I truly agree. Here is the one reason: Professor Roberts provides us 250 extra pages of notes, which come from various sources, from both history and traditions.

C.H. Brewitt-Taylor (Romance of Three Kingdoms): The English translation of ROTK by Brewitt-Taylor is very old. Therefore, it uses the Yale name system (names like Tsao Tsao, Liu Pei, and Sun Chuan), which is less popular today. A disadvantage of this translation is that it does not provide background information like Roberts' version. This translation is like a pure novel, from page 1 to ending page---no maps, no notes. But one important thing is that the translation of Brewitt-Taylor is very beautiful in literature style. The language in this version is fluid and suitable to ROTK, perhaps partly due to its old English. Here are some of its covers (be careful, the books are sold separately in 2 volumes)

About this web site: publishes the full translation of ROTK by C.H. Brewitt-Taylor on the web free for all internet readers. We incorporate the literature style of Brewitt-Taylor, and at the same time we use the modern Pinyin name system. Moreover, we have corrected the many mistakes the paper book has. And the best thing of all, we include many notes, backgrounds, as well as maps with more details than in any ROTK book.

From The Independent (a UK newspaper)
Refugees are 'escaping persecution, not poverty'
By Nigel Morris Home Affairs Correspondent
25 April 2003

'States of Conflict: Causes and patterns of forced migration to the EU and policy responses', published by the IPPR on May 13, 2003.

The IPPR (The Institute for Public Policy Research, a Blairite think-tank) says EU governments have concentrated on restrictive measures to deter applicants, rather than tackling the factors that drive people to leave their homes and seek asylum. "Unfortunately governments tend to have a rather short-term policy horizon and are not willing to pursue the desirable long-term aid, investment and trade policies."

As an example, it points to the increase in British arms sales to Israel, Pakistan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia in 2001, despite "the high levels of conflict and human rights violations in these regions".

No reference for this (below) - must check
[I think it's from a column by Alan Ramsay from the Sydney Morning Herald]

Janet Albrechtsen is a social conservative. She also wants to be a classical liberal. If circles could be square there'd be no problem with this, but in the real world the principles of social conservatism and those of economic liberalism can't be reconciled. Not so on Planet Janet...

John Quiggin, the bearded economist from Queensland, homed in on this quote from Janet's most recent column:

"Union ideology chafes at the suggestion of healthy inequality. It champions a collectively dumb group-think vision that reflects an unease over the natural layering that emerges from disparities in talent."

This is Janet in conservative mode - the key word here is 'natural.' Equality of opportunity used to be one of the cornerstones of progressive thinking. Interventionist reformers wanted to tear down the barriers of class and nepotism and establish a meritocracy. In practice this meant an expansion of government - greater investments in schooling for working class children and recruitment to public service based on merit rather than social connections.

However, for conservatives the established social order is a 'natural' order. It's the way things are meant to be. So when governments meddle in the business of nepotism and cronyism, when they pass laws which prevent employers from refusing to hire and promote women, jews, gays, or Catholics, then they are upsetting what's natural and good. Social conservatism is a lot like radical environmentalism - except it's the existing social environment which is natural and must be protected (women at home with the kids etc).

Like radical greens, social conservatives often feel the need to add a layer of myth to their descriptions of society. Just as the more sentimental eco-thinkers can't bear to think of cute, grinning dolphins as senseless killers or gang rapists many conservatives baulk at the idea that markets and traditional institutions don't produce a social hierarchy which is morally justified by effort and innate talent.

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