Cavalier Zee

~ Noor El Ab ~


في حلكة الليل ألتمس الأمان
حين ألقى لروحي ملاذ
خلف الريح العاتية
يرسل للقلب سلام

In the darkness of night,
I look for safety
When I find a shelter for my soul
Behind the strong wind
It sends peace to the heart

Artists: Oliver Shanti and Amal Murkus

Harun Al-Rashid Receiving A Delegation Of Charlemagne In Baghdad

Harun al-Rashid (Arabic: هارون الرشيد‎}; Hārūn ar-Rashīd) (17 March 763 or February 766 — 24 March 809) was the fifth Abbasid Caliph.
His surnametranslates to “the Just”, “the Upright”, or “the Rightly-Guided”. Al-Rashid ruled from 786 to 809, during the peak of the Islamic Golden Age.
His time was marked by scientific, cultural, and religious prosperity. Islamic art and musicalso flourished significantly during his reign. He established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma (“House of Wisdom”) in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, and during his rule Baghdad began to flourish as a center of knowledge, culture and trade.
Charlemagne (/ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn/; 2 April 742/747/748 – 28 January 814),also known as Charles the Great (German: Karl der Große; Latin: Carolus or Karolus Magnus) or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of Italy from 774, and from 800 the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.
The oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, Charlemagne became king in 768 following the death of his father. He was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman’s sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Charlemagne continued his father’s policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain.
He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.
Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned “emperor” by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter’s Basilica.
Called the “Father of Europe” (pater Europae), Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural and intellectual activity within the Catholic Church. Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne’s empire.
Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for just over thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in what is today Germany. His son Louis the Pious succeeded him.

Artist: Julius KöckertDate: 1864Medium: Oil on CanvasLocation: Maximilianeum Foundation, Munich, GermanyInfo via: WikipediaInfo provided by: CZ

Harun Al-Rashid Receiving A Delegation Of Charlemagne In Baghdad

Harun al-Rashid (Arabic: هارون الرشيد‎}; Hārūn ar-Rashīd) (17 March 763 or February 766 — 24 March 809) was the fifth Abbasid Caliph.

His surnametranslates to “the Just”, “the Upright”, or “the Rightly-Guided”. Al-Rashid ruled from 786 to 809, during the peak of the Islamic Golden Age.

His time was marked by scientific, cultural, and religious prosperity. Islamic art and musicalso flourished significantly during his reign. He established the legendary library Bayt al-Hikma (“House of Wisdom”) in Baghdad in modern-day Iraq, and during his rule Baghdad began to flourish as a center of knowledge, culture and trade.

Charlemagne (/ˈʃɑrlɨmeɪn/; 2 April 742/747/748 – 28 January 814),also known as Charles the Great (German: Karl der Große; Latin: Carolus or Karolus Magnus) or Charles I, was the King of the Franks from 768, the King of Italy from 774, and from 800 the first emperor in western Europe since the collapse of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state he founded is called the Carolingian Empire.

The oldest son of Pepin the Short and Bertrada of Laon, Charlemagne became king in 768 following the death of his father. He was initially co-ruler with his brother Carloman I. Carloman’s sudden death in 771 under unexplained circumstances left Charlemagne as the undisputed ruler of the Frankish Kingdom. Charlemagne continued his father’s policy towards the papacy and became its protector, removing the Lombards from power in northern Italy, and leading an incursion into Muslim Spain.

He also campaigned against the peoples to his east, Christianizing them upon penalty of death, at times leading to events such as the Massacre of Verden.

Charlemagne reached the height of his power in 800 when he was crowned “emperor” by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day at Old St. Peter’s Basilica.

Called the “Father of Europe” (pater Europae), Charlemagne united most of Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. His rule spurred the Carolingian Renaissance, a period of cultural and intellectual activity within the Catholic Church. Both the French and German monarchies considered their kingdoms to be descendants of Charlemagne’s empire.

Charlemagne died in 814, having ruled as emperor for just over thirteen years. He was laid to rest in his imperial capital of Aachen in what is today Germany. His son Louis the Pious succeeded him.

Artist: Julius Köckert
Date: 1864
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Location: Maximilianeum Foundation, Munich, Germany
Info via: Wikipedia
Info provided by: CZ

~ Frozen ~

Love is a bird, she needs to fly
Let all the hurt inside of you die
You’re frozen
When your heart’s not open

Artist: Madonna

~ Scales Of Perception ~

Reality is what we take to be true.What we take to be true is what we believe.What we believe is based upon our perceptions.What we perceive depends upon what we look for.What we look for depends upon what we think.What we think depends upon what we perceive.What we perceive determines what we believe.What we believe determines what we take to be true.What we take to be true is our reality.

By Hengki24Note: The title is mineOriginal title: Haiku HaikuQuote by: Gary ZukavQuote provided by: CZ

~ Scales Of Perception ~

Reality is what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is what we believe.
What we believe is based upon our perceptions.
What we perceive depends upon what we look for.
What we look for depends upon what we think.
What we think depends upon what we perceive.
What we perceive determines what we believe.
What we believe determines what we take to be true.
What we take to be true is our reality.

By Hengki24
Note: The title is mine
Original title: Haiku Haiku
Quote by: Gary Zukav
Quote provided by: CZ

~ Manufacturing The Terrorist Threat ~

From The 1970s To The Obama Era

Virtually absent in the media circus around ISIS is an honest discussion of how the US War on Terror, rather than halting the growth of violent Islamist groups, actually fosters fundamentalism.
… it is US actions in the Middle East that have created the conditions for the rise of a group like ISIS. 
Al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq until after the US invasion. Al Qaeda in Iraq was formed in 2004, and was the precursor organization to the current ISIS. 
It is US and various dictatorships’ support of counter-revolutionary forces opposed to the Arab Spring of 2011 that allowed reactionary groups to grow while thwarting progressive ones. 
It is the US’s destruction of Iraq and its support for the Shia government that excluded and oppressed the Sunni that allowed ISIS to take control of such large parts of that country.
In short, it is the US’s War on Terror, and the part played by various regional actors that have fostered the rise of this virulent form of fundamentalism. 
ISIS also represents a dream in terms of US propaganda. It serves to bolster the aims of the Global War on Terror and to justify a vastly expanded national security state. 
Since the Snowden revelations there has been growing concern among Americans of the gigantic surveillance apparatus of the NSA. There has been a greater skepticism of drone wars. 
The box office success of Dirty Wars and its Oscar nomination is an indication of a growing war weariness among the American public. It is this war fatigue that scuttled the intervention into Syria that was proposed last year.
What better to marshal collective anger than a horrendous group like ISIS that cold bloodedly kills Americans, that ruthlessly destroys anyone who disagrees with it, that persecutes religious minorities and is the very prototype of the evil terrorist threat? 
This threat has justified air strikes in Iraq, increased surveillance in Syria as well as a greater escalation including airstrikes by the US, and regional and international involvement in both countries over the coming weeks and years. 
In short, the very thing that causes ire among Jihadis (Osama bin Laden was particularly incensed by US troops in Saudi Arabia), and that allows them recruit, is what the US proposes to do.
People in the establishment who realize that, and who understand that the US can’t win a conventional war, are proposing instead that the US amp up JSOC (Joint Special Operations Command) the shady underground outfit of trained killers that is unaccountable even to Congress. This is the very organization that is the subject of extensive critique in Scahill’s book Dirty Wars.
Also, what better to justify the ten-fold increase in the number of people on the no-fly list in the Obama era than the threat of the “homegrown terrorist” like Douglas McCain of Minnesota who it is believed traveled to Syria to fight for ISIS? US officials have emphasized again and again that about 100 Americans are part of ISIS and therefore represent a grave threat to the homeland. 
This bolsters domestic counter-terrorism strategies from arbitrary arrests, to deportation, mass surveillance, and entrapment.
Here is an interview I did with the KPFA radio station’s nationally syndicated radio program Letters and Politics on ISIS, terrorism and the media: https://soundcloud.com/kpfa-fm-94-1-berkeley/isis-terrorism-and-the-media
Some of the themes I discuss in this interview are dealt with in more depth in my talk. I lay out how the terrorist threat was constructed in the US in the 1970s and how this threat was racialized in the 1980s and 1990s in the political sphere, as well in the news and by Hollywood. Finally, I discuss the banalization of the terrorist threat in the 2000s and the Obama era.
Back in 2001 some commentators suggested that the attacks on the twin towers be treated as a criminal act. In other words, they stated that Osama bin Laden and others in al Qaeda who were responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans should have been tried in the World Court and brought to justice. 
Yet, this is not the course of action that the US government pursued. Instead it launched a Global War on Terror that would go on indefinitely. The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, passed by Congress three days after 9/11, established the War on Terror as an open-ended, perpetual, global war.
The reason for this is strategic. In a nutshell, it provided the Bush administration and the neoconservatives with the “pearl harbor” moment that they had articulated in a report the previous year that would enable them to realize their vision of a new Middle East. It was about advancing empire; a project that the Obama administration continued in new and old ways.
But what allowed the War on Terror brand to succeed was the decades of work in the political, news media and cultural spheres that had primed the American public to accept war as the appropriate response to 9/11 (as outlined in my talk). And here we are again in 2014.
[Deepa Kumar]

~ Queen Of The Blossoms ~

Artist: Oliver Shanti

“No one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.”  Quote by: John Joseph Powell,
The Secret of Staying in Love

No one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being.” 
 
Quote by: John Joseph Powell,

The Secret of Staying in Love

~ The SpiderHunter ~
(Arachnothera Flavigaster) 
Photo by Bjorn OlesenGrand Prize WinnerLocation: Borneo

~ The SpiderHunter ~

(Arachnothera Flavigaster

Photo by Bjorn Olesen
Grand Prize Winner
Location: Borneo

~ The Men Who Stare At Goats ~

General Brown: 
 
So they started doing psy-research because they thought we were doing psy-research, when in fact we weren’t doing psy-research?
 
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: 
 
Yes sir. But now that they *are* doing psy-research, we’re gonna have to do psy-research, sir.
 
[leans forward]
 
Brigadier General Dean Hopgood: 
 
We can’t afford to have the Russian’s leading the field in the paranormal.
 
LYN CASSADY (George Clooney):
Have you heard of Optimum Trajectory before? 
(No answer) 
Your life is like a river, Bob. If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current.
Young Ghandi wants to be a stock-car racer? Not gonna happen. Little Anne Frank wants to be a High School teacher. Tough titty Anne. That’s not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions. 
Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you. Now sometimes events in life give an individual clues as to where their Destiny lies. Like those doodles you just “happened” to draw?
He unbuttons his shirt and reveals an EYE tattooed on his chest – very similar to the one Bob had drawn. Bob looks up.
LYN CASSADY continues:
This is the Ajna chakra – the third eye – the symbol of the Jedi. When I saw you’d drawn it…well, the Universe gives me a sign like that, I don’t ignore it. You’re meant to be here with me, Bob. The Jedi inside you sensed that.
Lyn Cassady: 
 
There’s a story that Wong Wifu, the great Chinese martial artist… had a fight with a guy and beat him. Then the guy gave him this light tap. Wong looked at him and the guy just nodded. That was it. He had given him the death touch. Wong died.
 
Bob Wilton: 
 
Then and there?
 
Lyn Cassady: 
 
No. About eighteen years later. That’s the thing about Dim Mak… you never know when it’s gonna take effect.


Starring: George Clooney, Jeff Bridges, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey

~ Song Of Complaint ~

Artists: Andranik Askarian and Khachatur Khachatrian