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Archive for December 13th, 2008

Ten of the world’s best treks

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 13, 2008

Simien Mountains, Ethiopia




One of the major highland regions in Africa and one of its most beautiful. It includes Ethiopia’s highest point, Ras Daschen (15,160ft/4,620m), the fourth highest peak on the continent. It is also home to the friendly and tough Amhara people, and rare and diverse flora and fauna.



High Atlas Mountains, Morocco


Centered on Jebel Toubkal (13,665ft/ 4,165m), North Africa’s highest mountain, the rugged wilderness of the High Atlas are also home to the colorful and hospitable Berber people.



GR20, Corsica


One of the most scenic and challenging treks in Europe. The trail traverses the high mountains of the island’s interior, crossing mountain ridges, chasms and granite slopes, and is home to shepherds who still follow a centuries-old lifestyle.



Tour du Mont Blanc, Alps


This 100-mile/161km epic circumnavigates Mont Blanc, crossing between France, Switzerland and Italy and takes in 12 cols, including the Fen�tre d’Arpette (8,743ft/ 2,665m)



Southern Tuscan Trail, Italy


A trek through one of Europe’s best preserved Renaissance landscapes surrounded by world-renowned vineyards, medieval hill towns and the magnificent abbeys of Sant’Antimo and Monte Oliveto Maggiore with Sienna, Europe’s best-preserved medieval city.



Julian Alps, Slovenia


Triglav National Park, with its glacial lakes and rivers, hidden gorges, snow-capped mountains, alpine plateaux and lush valleys, is centered around Slovenia’s highest peak, Mt Triglav (9,395ft/ 2,864m). It also includes Mount Krn, the scene of fierce fighting during the First World War, described by Ernest Hemingway in A Farewell to Arms.



Snowman Trek, Bhutan


This trek, through the remote region of Lunana in Bhutan, crosses high Himalayan passes with mountain landscapes that include Gangkhar Puensum, the highest unclimbed peak in the world.



Overland track, Tasmania



This track is considered one of the finest bushwalks in Australia. The 40-mile route across a World Heritage area follows well-graded paths through a sub-alpine wilderness of peaks, forests, alpine heathland, glacial lakes and waterfalls.


Paine Circuit, Chile



One of the world’s great trekking challenges, this 60-mile circuit of the Paine Massif in Torres Del Paine National Park passes through one of the world’s most dramatic mountain regions, famous for its pink granite towers, iridescent blue lakes and surreally sculpted glaciers.


Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru



This sparsely populated region of the Andes, amid ice-clad summits that rise above glaciers, rolling grassland, lakes and valleys, is the location of Joe Simpson’s epic true-life tale of survival, Touching the Void. The massif forms a constant back-drop to a 20-day trip to the region with Andean Trails


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The Human Race Is Composed Of Two Groups

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 13, 2008



Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie


In his book, Sinisterism, Bruce Walker argues against the traditional Left-Right distinction, in support of his theory that the behavior of power-intensive regimes such as Nazism and Stalinism is best explained by a shared hostility toward Christianity and Judaism.


It’s a very interesting book, with many outstanding ideas and realistic observations. It gives clear Information on the corruption of society when it loses its ties to its moral foundation in the Judeo-Christian tradition.


Bruce Walker’s book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie, is presented as a proposal for “a way of looking at what we call political ideology,” rejecting words such as “revolutionary” and “reactionary” or “Left” and “Right.” This is not a new approach to political theory, having been addressed by Ayn Rand, and in the 1970’s Robert Ringer attacked the American left and right as “demopublicans,” although he did so without the religious connection Walker introduces.


Walker begins with a general thesis that, “The human race is composed of two groups of people: in one group are those who seek power, by fair means or (preferably) foul, and in the other group are the rest of us, normal and decent people who wish to live our lives without owning other people’s bodies, minds, works and souls.” In this, he groups all power hungry people together, in much the same manner as Objectivists and Libertarians do. After attacking the “left-right” dichotomy as meaningless, he attempts to project much of modern political conflict as a war against Jews and Christians because their faith is based on certain ethical and moral principles which interfere with the power hunger which characterizes authoritarian systems, and social trends that lead to them. These social trends and power-oriented systems he calls Sinisterism, defined as a religion of no God, at war with true faith.


Much of what Walker is addressing is stated in the phrase, “Secular Religion of the Lie,” which forms part of his title. Where this seems directed is the simple fact that in order to obtain and then maintain power, rulers need to use deception. This is illustrated first by reference to George Orwell’s 1984, with its famous government motto including “Freedom is Slavery.” His point is simply that by changing the meaning people attach to words or concepts you change their thinking and their view of the world. Do it effectively enough and you have control of the population. An unfortunately brief discussion of how this was used in the USSR follows, and there is, at this point, little address to how it has been used in the United States along with the decline in educational standards and moral relativism. Both of these topics deserve greater exposition in the 21st century context.


Instead, Walker takes us into the world of the 20th century power cults of Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin, with particular emphasis on Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy. In this he shows how much of the historical record has been muddied by educators and historians who ignore works penned during the 1930’s which show that what many of us have been led to believe about these regimes is not true. Nazis are not Fascists, and Nazi Germany was not always Stalin’s deadly enemy. The German-Soviet non-aggression pact then falls neatly into place and the power hunger of the political systems, which were so similar under their different surfaces, becomes obvious.


After discussing these topics in great detail, Walker next begins an examination of the Judeo-Christian relationship throughout history, beginning with Rome and taking it through the Middle Ages and finally to Europe during WWII. As a realist, he asserts that Jews and Christians are no different than other people, able to do right and wrong, to make mistakes and correct themselves. He suggests that on balance, there has been more good than bad, which is in all probability correct. Particularly important is his treatment of the position of the Catholic Church during the Middle Ages, which differed from that of political opportunists and mob leaders. He also discusses briefly the myth of toleration in Moorish Spain, the role of Christians in scientific developments, and their contributions to the rise of the modern scientific method.


Even more important is the section containing Walker’s discussion of how the decline in Christian faith and rise of immorality during the late 19th and early 20th centuries allowed Nazism to rise to power. He takes great care to detail how the Nazis persecuted Christians as well as Jews, because at its core Nazism was a secular religion, worshiping man, instead of God. Walker also illustrates the close connection between Nazism, Islam, and to a certain extent, militant Hinduism. This discussion leads to an examination of issues of good and evil in society, and why psychology is the wrong approach for examining the behavior of people such as Hitler. While this again bogs down in some historical examinations, it later moves on to the relationship between power and abuse, which is at the heart of the matter. This culminates in a discussion of why power-intensive regimes dislike Judeo-Christian Religion, and the means by which they propagate the myths of hatred for their own purposes.

Walker concludes with coverage of the Judeo-Christian relationship in America, some important facts concerning the Puritans, and the relationships between several founding fathers and Judaism and Christianity.


Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie
ISBN: 1598002694
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: 01/2006
320 pgs., pbk.

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