Sunday Reading

** Tunisian president’s party quits cabinet – Political crisis deepens after secular party resigns, saying its demands for cabinet changes have not been met.
** British firm ‘avoids paying tax’ in Zambia – Report by UK charity ActionAid finds major food company has paid almost no income tax in African state since 2007.
** Pakistan’s Zardari saved by the Swiss, skips out on graft case – Switzerland refused to reopen a long-running graft case against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari as he enjoys immunity as head of state, Pakistan’s law ministry said on Sunday.
** Tens of millions bathe in Ganges at India’s Kumbh Mela – Tens of millions of Hindus plunged into the sacred waters of India’s river Ganges on Sunday, the most auspicious day of the world’s largest religious festival.
** Telesur news channel gives Cubans glimpse of world – There have been some strange sights on Cuban TV sets recently.
** US military in Afghanistan starts equipment withdrawal via Pakistan – The United States has started the withdrawal of military equipment from Afghanistan as at least 25 containers crossed the Torkham border point heading to the Pakistani port city of Karachi for shipment, local media reported on Sunday.

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    • The Old Believers story is fascinating, and something the back-to-the-land crowd needs to read. Hermitry (to invent a word) is possible but without necessary skills and preparation[*], life is likely to be extremely primitive. It took humanity tens of thousands of years to develop the social structures which in turn led to the development of skills, traditions, behavior and knowledge – and a way to pass these on to the next generation so we could collectively progress.
      That this family turned their back on that for the sake of their religious beliefs is instructive.
      Perhaps the Fundamentalists should do the same and we wouldn’t have to put up with their nonsense in the political/social arena.

      * “The Last of the Mountain Men” – Harold Peterson
      Sylvan Hart lived alone on the River Of No Return in the Idaho Rockies. But he was educated and trained in skills for wilderness survival, and equipped with the necessities.

      As a young man, dismayed by the destruction of the final frontiers, Sylvan Hart recanted civilization and marched off into this Idaho fastness armed with a few staples, an ax, a rifle and a master’s degree in engineering. [which in those days included blacksmithing. Ed.]

      …he fashioned his own clothes of deerskin. He constructed adobe-covered buildings with hand-hewn timers. He mined copper, smelted it, refined it and made utensils. He even made his own flintlock rifles, boring them on an ingenious handmade machine, to “save the bother of storebought ammunition”.

      A fun read if you can find a copy.

      • I retweeted that article January 28. What I found fascinating was that, in the end, the lone survivor – a young woman, chose to return to the woods by herself.

  • Re 1st vs 2nd:
    There may have been no comments when you and jo6pac started to comment and he happened to finish and hit ENTER a microsecond before you did. As far as a comment disappearing, I can’t say. Can one delete one’s comment? I can trash my comments but don’t know who else has that authority.

  • Editors are: adrena, SPK, Tina, Lex, Raja, Numerian, Michael Collins, Bruce Jacobs, KathyKattenburg (no longer active).
    Admins are Polizeros & myself – and the owner’s Admin maven.
    I have not touched anything, even those which aired our ‘dirty linen’ or provoked dissension in the community (although I was tempted at times).
    I’ll get off the site before I do the Iron Fist thing – that’s just not my style.
    None of the others mentioned any editorializing, but there is some evidence the owner’s Admin has been active.

    Did readr satx’s missing comment have anything offensive to other Agonistas? To the owners?
    Did she delete it perhaps?

    BTW: Did you respond to my invite to the new listserve for the editors? – sent to your email-of-record here.

    • Hi, Steeleweed, I am puzzled as to why you would make this comment about me:

      Did readr satx’s missing comment have anything offensive to other Agonistas? To the owners?

      Please let me know what post of mine would foreshadow that I am a type of person who would post anything offensive on The Agonist, leading you to ask if I posted an offensive comment?

      • I don’t think he thought any of your posts were offensive, he was just trying to track down a missing comment and thought maybe an editor might have removed it for some reason. No editor removed a post so it only leaves the option that you removed it yourself or the board ate it. No offense was intended. 🙂

        • Thanks, adrena.
          I only write Private Messages or any messages when I want to say something that’s not at all of general interest to the community. I don’t bombard anybody with private messages. Nothing sinister here (declared by me in case the comment about my possibly posting an offensive comment poisoned the well as far as my comments are concerned).
          My email is

          • I assure you, you did nothing wrong. A malfunctioning private message system caused a big communication fail. I’ve send you an email and await your reply.

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