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Archive for September, 2015

King Abdullah II of Jordan at the UN

Monday, September 28th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — and the thought of Rabia of Basra ]

SPEC abdullah ii and rabia

In a variant on these words, which I’ve quoted here from Asra Nomani‘s Milestones for a Spiritual Jihad, Rabia also wrote this poem, translated here by Charles Upton:

O my Lord,

if I worship you
from fear of hell, burn me in hell.

If I worship you
from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.

But if I worship you
for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.

Trump as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother

Monday, September 28th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — on finger-based decision theory ]

Surely this is the answer to Decision Theory and Human Behavior — don’t we all do it this way?

Two from the Guardian

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — on life at the Mad Hatter’s place these days ]

A DoubleQuote:

Student accused

Sylvanian banned

There’s plenty more irony where those two came from..



  • Guardian, Student accused of being a terrorist for reading book on terrorism
  • Guardian, Artwork showing Sylvanian Families terrorised by Isis banned
  • And with a special tip of the hat to John Horgan, whose book Terrorism Studies: A Reader Mohammed Umar Farooq was reading.

    On awakening

    Sunday, September 27th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — a congruence of poems ]

    SPEC awakening

    With a hat-tip to PR Beckman — and still thinking of Martin Luther King‘s dream, which the Pope mentioned yesterday.


    A poem of mine, from the long, long ago:

    how can a man
    sleep, with his dream
    awake beside him?

    Drinking water, holy water

    Saturday, September 26th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — an archetypal theme, somewhat incongruous in Congress and the Washington Post ]

    reminds me of:

    But then again, I’ve written about “Saliva and the sacred” before now [1, 2], and quoted this description of Saint Columban from Sean Kelly and Rosemary RogersSaints Preserve Us!: Everything You Need to Know About Every Saint You’ll Ever Need:

    He was known to everyone, and cut a distinctive figure — he shaved the front of his shoulder-length hair into a half-tonsure, squirrels nested in his cowl, and he wandered around brandishing his staff and downing oak trees with his fist While in France, Columban and his monks followed the Irish tradition, often criticized by many as being too severe: a monk who cut his finger badly while reaping had the wound cleaned by Our Saint’s saliva and was ordered back to work.


    Whether he knew it or not, Congressman Brady was following in an ancient and hallowed tradition — very strange to the contemporary western mind, maybe, but with precedents from religious traditions around the world.

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