Dark Age Watch

What is a dark age?

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Bring back Victorian values, says key Tory (Inevitably futile aspiration for) internal recohesion. Not only should society bring back Victorian values, Britain's Conservatives urge, but citizens should also be encouraged to use force, including violence where appropriate, against persons who are found in the act of committing crimes. The dismal prospects of bringing back long lost social values has been well discussed on this site, and steps taken by the politicians of declining societies to do so often seem to only exacerbate the problem. As to citizens being encouraged to use force: Ascendant states generally seek to monopolize the use of force in their efforts to deter crime and maintain the public peace. An open appeal to the public by a government, or in this case a shadow government, for private persons to use force against rampant criminality is tantamount to an admission of governmental failure to provide the most basic service by which it legitimizes itself: the maintenance of public safety. So what's next for Britain? A law requiring each head of household to keep and maintain a working firearm, as certain jurisdictions have done in the American West?

Mugabe feted as nation fails: "ZIMBABWE has the highest inflation and lowest life expectancy in the world, not to mention the highest percentage of orphans. So desperate is the shortage of food that President Robert Mugabe’s own guards have been spotted shooting squirrels in Harare’s Botanical Gardens." African dark age Mugabe may one day be remembered as a great African hero. He certainly seems to be banking on the effectiveness of the phoenix principle.

Join the British Army and become a martyr, say Muslims "A GOVERNMENT-BACKED Islamic organisation is teaching young Muslims that dying while fighting for the British armed forces is an act of martyrdom." Barbarian invasion possibly. Will the western armed forces eventually be taken over by the barbarians, as the Roman army was?

Saturday, December 09, 2006
'Code of silence' frustrates prosecutors: "...the case highlighted just how much difficulty prosecutors in Philadelphia continue to face in building murder cases in a city that has recorded 375 homicides this year, putting it on a course to top last year's mark of 380, which had been the highest in eight years. In many cases, witnesses are either refusing to come forward or recanting when they do provide evidence, authorities say. Prosecutors blame that trend for scores of homicides going unsolved each year." Internal discohesion-disintegration coupling

Russian regime is accused of intimidating British interests: "The Russian authorities yesterday stood accused of orchestrating a campaign of intimidation against British interests in Moscow, where the ambassador has been harassed and the BBC Russian Service mysteriously taken off air." International discohesion Mistrust and suspicion.

day of clashes in Somalia "The fighting took place in villages about 80km (50 miles) south-west of the government base in Baidoa...The clashes come just days after the UN approved plans to send peacekeepers to Somalia - a move the Islamists reject." African dark age And for a reminder of how this relates to hegemonic failure: 1992: American marines land in Somalia

Lebanon official: Riots could escalate "The comments of Gen. Michel Suleiman showed that the military was concerned that the political crisis between the pro-Western, Sunni Muslim prime minister and the pro-Syrian, Shi'ite Muslim-led opposition was approaching dangerous levels." Internal discohesion is still an issue in Lebanon after a bloody civil war from 1975-1990.

Turkish police detain 10 suspected al Qaida members "Police seized bomb-making material, including what the agency called a "CD bomb," - a minuscule explosive device placed on a CD which would have exploded if inserted into a computer and operated. It was the first time police in Turkey had seized such a device, the report said." Internal integration, for the time being

Chinese to climb ranks of world’s richest "China’s population is so large and its economy growing so quickly that the Chinese are set to take over second place in the league table of the world’s wealthy people in the next decade." Internal organisation Growing economic power translates into increased military capabilities. These news therefore imply international disintegration in the long run. See also: About 3.41 million cars were sold in between January and November, an increase of 40 percent year-on-year

Congress approves India nuclear bill "The U.S. Congress early on Saturday took a major step towards permitting the sale of American-made nuclear reactors and fuel to India by giving final approval to a White House-backed bill." International organisation (pro-innovation) but also disintegration ("arming the barbarians")

Gibson film angers Mayan groups "Mel Gibson's film about the Mayan civilisation has come under fire from indigenous members of the culture...Traci Ardren, an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Miami, criticised the film in a review for the Archaeological Institute of America's journal. "Gibson replays, in glorious big-budget Technicolor, an offensive and racist notion that Maya people were brutal to one another long before the arrival of Europeans and thus they deserved, in fact, needed, rescue," she wrote in Archaeology." Intern(ation)al discohesion

Friday, December 08, 2006
Turkey offers to trade with Cyprus "However, the plan was immediately rejected by Cyprus and Greece because it would mean the acceptance of trade from Turkish northern Cyprus. The third aspect would be the completion by the end of next year of wide-ranging talks on the future of the Mediterranean island at the United Nations." (Abortive) international cohesion-organisation coupling

Heavy fighting erupts in Somalia "Fierce fighting erupted on Friday between forces loyal to Somalia's weak Ethiopian-backed government and powerful Islamists south of the government's seat of Baidoa, the two sides said." African dark age

Conform to our society, says PM "In a speech at Downing Street, the prime minister said that tolerance was "what makes Britain" and warned "we must be ready to defend this attitude".
The threat came not from "generalised extremism" but "a new and virulent form of ideology associated with a minority of our Muslim community". The Muslim Association of Britain said Mr Blair's speech was "alarming"." Internal discohesion resulting from a call for cohesion.

New president faces a deeply divided Mexico "The consequences of low growth are on display all over Mexico. In Chalco, the sprawling grey suburb of Mexico City, residents complain of little or no running water in their homes. Outside, groups of unemployed young men with cheap trainers and baseball hats worn high on their heads hang around on street corners kicking the dust. In the countryside, poverty, which affects about half the population of 106m, is usually worse. In the small towns and villages dotted among the mountains of Oaxaca in Mexico’s impoverished south, fathers with frayed collars and callused hands say they cannot afford to keep their children in school. Mothers despair of the sparse medical facilities." Internal disorganistion (in the hegemon's backyard)

Drug addiction rising in Afghan children "The first nationwide survey on drug use, conducted last year by the Ministry of Counter Narcotics and U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, found nearly 1 million addicts in this nation of about 30 million people, including 60,000 children under age 15." Internal disintegration

2 Officers Die in Shootout "Two policemen were killed when gunmen in a building near Al-Ruwais Prison opened fire on a guard post at around 4 p.m. in Jeddah’s Al-Sharafiah neighborhood yesterday, according to the Ministry of Interior..The security forces carried out the largest operation on Oct. 26 when they arrested 44 militants after simultaneous raids in Riyadh, Eastern Province, Qasim and Hail." Internal (dis)integration

'Muslim only' pool outrage "A COUNCIL has sparked fury by virtually shutting a swimming pool on Sunday afternoons for “Muslim-only” sessions. All women are banned — and non-Muslim men may swim IF they follow the strict Islamic dress code of swim shorts that hide the navel and extend below the knee." Internal discohesion

Congress open to passing bill on immigration "Congress will approve an immigration bill that will grant citizenship rights to most of the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens in the U.S. after Democrats take control next month, predict both sides on Capitol Hill." Barbarian invasion

The Taliban Gets Closer to Kabul "The security situation has already "visibly deteriorated" in two districts located just 10 kilometers from Kabul's city limits -- to the point that Afghan security forces don't even dare to patrol the streets at night. The report warned that Taliban fighters could use the district as "gateways" to Kabul and also as place where they could stage future attacks." Intern(ation)al disintegration ahead?

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Somalia on edge as Islamists warn of wider conflict after UN vote "Somalia's powerful Islamists has warned that a UN Security Council decision to deploy peacekeepers will multiply "the number of graves" in the country as it threatened to step up a conflict against the weak Somali government." African dark age

Turkey 'will open up to Cyprus' "The EU is studying an offer by Turkey to open one port and one airport to traffic from Cyprus, Finland says. The European Commission said the move, if confirmed, was "an important step" towards breaking the deadlock over Turkey's EU membership application." International cohesion ahead?

Rapist asylum seeker due damages "A failed asylum seeker convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl is to be awarded damages after a judge ruled he was unlawfully detained in prison." Internal disintegration/discohesion or something like that? At any rate, we are reminded that our civilization has something of a death wish. (The article has of course been constructed and worded in such a way as to make us angry.)

Richest tenth own 85% of world's assets "In terms of wealth distribution the US was among the most unequal, whereas Japan had one of the lowest levels of inequality. Britain ranked with Russia, Indonesia and Pakistan in wealth inequality." Internal disorganisation It is difficult to assess such statistics, especially as there is little indication of what the trend is. However, a large gap between rich and poor is the classic sign of an unhealthy economy.

Somali car ban 'to stop bombers' "Somalia's weak Baidoa-based transitional government is to ban cars travelling from Islamist-held Mogadishu after two recent car bombings." Internal disintegration-disorganisation coupling (To be fair, they say it will not affect trade as other vehicles may still travel. Nonetheless, it is hard not to see this as another slip downwards in the African dark age.)

Under siege — but can nuclear treaty survive?: "Blix is right that the central bargain underpinning the NPT, between the “haves” and the “have-nots” is coming unstuck. But the reasons are much broader than the recalcitrance of the five nuclear powers. Their promise under the treaty to help countries to get nuclear power, if they forgo weapons, has become less valuable, now that the skills are much more easily acquired, as Libya, Iran, North Korea and Iraq in 1991 have shown. At the same time, the attractions of having nuclear weapons may have grown, for many countries, either as a strategic calculation, or as an expression of national pride." International disintegration Proliferation - levelling the playing field.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Saudis and Iran prepare to do battle over corpse of Iraq "The gulf's two military powers, Sunni-Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, are lining up behind their warring religious brethren in Iraq in a potentially explosive showdown, as expectations grow in both countries that America is preparing a pull-out of its troops." International disintegration Hegemonic failure.

Pope hailed for praying toward Mecca like Muslims "Pope Benedict wound up a fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise from the local press for visiting Istanbul's Blue Mosque and praying toward Mecca "like Muslims"." Internal discohesion-international cohesion coupling

Pope hailed for praying toward Mecca like Muslims "Pope Benedict wound up a fence-mending visit to Turkey on Friday amid praise from the local press for visiting Istanbul's Blue Mosque and praying toward Mecca "like Muslims"." Internal discohesion-international cohesion coupling

England planning overhaul urged "The study also says that England's planning system must be made both quicker and more simple, and the appeals process needs speeding up. Environment groups have already voiced their opposition to the report. They fear it will lead to more construction on green belt land, and projects like airport extensions, motorways and new power stations being pushed through against local objections." Pro-internal organisation If local objections had been taken into consideration, Rome would never have been built.

A veiled Muslim woman will deliver this year's alternative Christmas speech on Channel 4 "Khadija, a Zimbabwean-born British citizen who has been wearing the full veil - or niqab - for 10 years, has been given the slot." Internal discohesion See also, Christmas decorations have been banned by almost three out of four UK employers, for fear of offending staff from other faiths, a survey says.

US plans permanent base on Moon "US space agency Nasa has said it plans to start work on a permanently-occupied base on the Moon after astronauts begin flying back there in 2020. " Internal organisation (innovation) Let's remember though that they have not succeeded in building the space station to the level originally envisaged.

Monday, December 04, 2006
The soaring cost of copper thefts "Thefts of copper are costing UK firms millions of pounds. The soaring copper price this year has seen a doubling of related thefts on the railways, causing severe delays for passengers. Other industries are being targeted too." Internal disorganisation-disintegration coupling

Hegemonic failure in Baghdad: "'We need leaders,' said an engineer friend, 'people who can lead us out of this situation.' There's little sign of that. Almost every morning this week I've been woken by gunfire or an explosion in the city. I lie in bed listening - trying to gauge how close it is, waiting to see if it will develop. Often it does. I hear a burst of return fire, with a different sound. Then a gun-battle starts. From every direction now, it feels like darkness is closing in. " Intern(ation)al disintegration