Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?



Sunday, November 12, 2006
Remedial lessons for Cambridge's 'dumbed down' French students "Cambridge University has been forced to introduce remedial lessons for students studying French because school-leavers now have such a poor grasp of the language. They blame the dumbing down of exams and the collapse of language teaching in schools." Internal disorganisation The dons are just being provocative, surely. School exam results show dramatic increases in achievement across all subjects.


Archbishop: Ministers' PC Christmas cards 'erode Christianity' "Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu said the "illiberal atheists" were aiding the "systematic erosion" of Christianity in public life. He hit at policies such as saying "Winterval" for Christmas and changing "happy Christmas" to "season's greetings" on Government cards." Internal discohesion Declining societies abnadon their existing civic religion, and take up a more radical, more subversive one instead.


Islamists infiltrate four universities "ISLAMIC extremists have infiltrated at least four British universities to radicalise Muslim students, says a “troubleshooting” imam who sends teams to campuses to tackle indoctrination." Internal discohesion


Saturday, November 11, 2006
More National Guard units may get second tours in Iraq "The nation's citizen soldiers, already strained by long tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, could be tapped again under new plans being developed by the Pentagon. National Guard combat brigades that have already served in Iraq may be called for a second tour, likely breaking the 24-month deployment limit initially set by the Pentagon, the Guard's top general said." Imperial overstretch?


MSM Silence on “Wild West” in the Paris Subway "This incident, which had people fleeing the subway in panic, and the police closed off the station to arrest the youth is not unprecedented. Last spring, just before the riots — in the daytime — passengers were jumped and relieved of their goods...Thus the French slowly but surely let some of the Metro stops and lines become “lost territories,” taken over by gangs whose information network is excellent, and the losers don’t even know it’s happening." Internal disintegration



Clashes erupt in DR Congo capital African dark age


Netherlands moves toward total ban on Muslim veils: "The Netherlands may become the first European country to ban Muslim face veils after its government pledged yesterday to outlaw the wearing in public spaces of the niqab, or veil, and the burka, or full-length cloak covering the head." Internal re-cohesion? They banned drugs, but that didn't end the phenomenon.


Friday, November 10, 2006
National Health Service close to financial meltdown "More than 200 trusts, 40 per cent of the total, have overspent six months into the financial year, with a gross forecast deficit of £1.18bn, almost £300m more than three months ago. More than 20,000 nursing posts have been frozen or cut, wards have been closed and services have been withdrawn, but it has not been enough to curb overspending." Internal disorganisation Alarmist, no doubt. Nevertheless, at the time of Singapore's independence, Lee Kuan Yew responded to calls for NHS-style free healthcare by saying that such a system could only appeal to those who were "soft in the heart, and soft in the head".


National Health Service close to financial meltdown "More than 200 trusts, 40 per cent of the total, have overspent six months into the financial year, with a gross forecast deficit of £1.18bn, almost £300m more than three months ago. More than 20,000 nursing posts have been frozen or cut, wards have been closed and services have been withdrawn, but it has not been enough to curb overspending." Internal disorganisation Alarmist, no doubt. Nevertheless, at the time of Singapore's independence, Lee Kuan Yew responded to calls for NHS-style free healthcare by saying that such a system could only appeal to those who were "soft in the heart, and soft in the head".


Discovery creeps to launch pad: "Space shuttle Discovery was moved to the launch pad Thursday to await a launch that could be as early as December 6 -- an effort to avoid potential New Year's Eve computer glitches.
The worry is that shuttle computers aren't designed to make the change from the 365th day of the old year to the first day of the new year while in flight. NASA has never had a shuttle in space December 31 or January 1." Innovation creeps on, with glitches


Purported Iraq al Qaeda tape to?U.S.: Jihad not over - CNN.com "A purported audio recording by the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq vows to step up the group's fight against the United States, saying, "We haven't had enough of your blood yet."...Calling President Bush a "lame duck" the speaker tells Bush not to "run away as your lame defense secretary ran away," referring to Donald Rumsfeld, who resigned Wednesday." International disintegration? The hegemon's change of direction gives succour to its enemies (as the incumbent regime predicted).


Sri Lankan MP killed in Colombo "A pro-Tamil Tiger politician, Nadarajah Raviraj, has died in hospital after being shot by unidentified gunmen in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo." Internal disintegration It is hard to remember now, but after the tsunami everyone was saying that the warring parties had come to their sense about what was really important, and peace was going to come.


Blair backs MI5 terrorism warning "He said the dangers were "very real" and he spoke of "poisonous propaganda" warping the minds of young people. MI5's boss has said she knows of 30 terror plots threatening the UK and revealed that her staff had 1,600 individuals under surveillance." Internal disintegration? (If one were to take the MI5 assessment at face value. Some of these plots have turned out to be fantasies, however.)


Thursday, November 09, 2006
In Spain, dismay at Muslim converts holding sway "Inspired by the social harmony achieved among Jews, Muslims, and Christians under al-Andalus - as Spain's Muslim kingdom was known during the Middle Ages - today's converts oppose fundamentalism, promote women's rights, and reject violence." Internal discohesion. The future is Muslim. Western civilisation, despite its violent lashing out in recent years, is slipping away into history.


New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice: "Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery...the proposal reflects how the transgender movement has become politically potent beyond its small numbers." Internal discohesion Anything goes.


New York Plans to Make Gender Personal Choice: "Separating anatomy from what it means to be a man or a woman, New York City is moving forward with a plan to let people alter the sex on their birth certificate even if they have not had sex-change surgery...the proposal reflects how the transgender movement has become politically potent beyond its small numbers." Internal discohesion Anything goes.


Cameron wants to cut immigration "In his first major statement on the issue, Mr Cameron stressed the possible economic benefits of migration. But there must be limits to immigration levels because of the impact on public services, the environment and on "community cohesion", he said." Hoping to slow down the barbarian invasion Actual migration is increasingly less necessary. The immigrants who are already present are winning the "battle fo the cradle" so the demographic profile will continue to move in favour of the barbarians even if immigration is stopped completely.


Allen concedes, giving Senate control to Dems Pro-war or anti-war is not so much the issue as whether the US hegemon is feared and obeyed around the world. This result will change little. Only convincing success for the hegemon in its current commitments and disciplining of defiant lesser states will reverse the disintegrative trend.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Bid to overhaul Europe power grid "An overload in Germany's power network triggered outages leaving millions without electricity on Saturday night...Power failed first in Cologne, Germany, before shutting down across parts of France, Italy, Spain and Austria." Innovation failure On a deeper level, these incidents in Europe and the US, which seem to have become both more frequent and severe over the last few years, have to do with the growing contradiction between people's rising ambitions and societies' actual capabilites.


Monday, November 06, 2006
Poland proposes an EU army tied to Nato In a Financial Times interview Poland's President "...proposed the creation of 100,000-strong European Union army tied to NATO for use in global trouble spots or for European defense...." He further stated that "...the EU should remain a union of states, not a federation." To warm the hearts of wealthy western Europeans, he explained that "...even though Warsaw was a net financial beneficiary of the EU, Poland did not need to feel grateful about its membership," explaining that "...It had earned its place by participating in the victorious coalition in the second world war." Finally he "...criticized Germany over the planned German-Russian natural gas pipeline under the Baltic, which would skirt Poland...." International discohesion There also seems to be some coupling with organisation and integration issues (Polish ingratitude/western European worker insecurity/US-hegemonic versus local EU control of military forces - overall a complicated one.) First, on behalf of its ally, America, and in furtherance of Poland's own "independent" standing in Europe Poland seeks to disrupt the progress of political integration in the EU by effectively placing any EU army under effective American control via NATO. Second, it publicly shows no appreciation whatsoever to Old Europe for its economic contributions to Poland thereby alienating Old Europe's increasing economically insecure population which fears labor competition from Eastern European workers. Third it makes a preposterous claim about its contribution to victory in WWII. (Some historians argue that Poland's absolute refusal to cooperate militarily with Russia during the Munich crisis - they considered themselves one of the "Great Powers" and also wanted a small piece of the Czechoslovak pie - contributed to the West's capitulation in 1938, led to Stalin's decision to deal with Germany, and sealed Poland's own eventual destruction a year later in 1939. Finally while taking money from Old Europe, it opposes the steps Old Europe must take to secure energy for its, and Poland's, economic prosperity which is to build an expensive gas pipeline under the Baltic made necessary by Poland's own unreliability. All the ingredients for an eventual geopolitical unhappy ending.**


Wealth gap in U.S. widens "Over the past quarter-century, and especially in the last 10 years, America's very rich have grown much richer. No one else fared as well." Internal disorganisation A large gap between rich and poor is the classic sign of an unhealthy economy.


Middle East Online "Although President Bush, in his most recent press conference, provided a more somber assessment about the horrifying situation in Iraq, he still insisted that the United States can win in Iraq by remaining committed to staying the course, albeit with some tactical changes. " International integration? The author of the article disagrees, but one should not underestimate the capacity of humans, including the Bush administration, to learn from their mistakes. Rest assured that the American troops are constantly analysing insurgent tactics, and developing better responses. Nevertheless, the Iraq situation is in line with a longstanding disintegrative trend that was highlighted by Vietnam, so one cannot be optimistic.


'Arms deal' at Nepal peace talks Internal re-cohesion?