Shane Deichman Reviews “Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity”

My blogfriend (and wedding reception guest!) Shane Deichman was kind enough to join Stephen Pampinella in reviewing my monograph, Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity: The 4GW Against Rome, and the COIN to Save It. From Shane’s review:

Wizards of Oz: Review: tdaxp’s Revolutionary Strategies
Dan has done a remarkable job applying contemporary theories of warfare and network science to the early Christian / late Roman era. The most notable strength in Revolutionary Strategies is his inventive correlation of the defensive strategies employed by Caiaphas (the chief antagonist of Jesus’s ministries) to those of Diocletian (the late-3rd century Roman emperor who ordered the most severe persecution of the Christian faithful). Accompanying this analysis is a very cogent application of the theories of Boyd (Penetrate – Isolate – Subvert – Reorient – Reharmonize, or PISRR), with modern examples like Vichy France that match the dynamics in the early Christian church.

Most significantly, Dan’s book opens several new fronts on the debate over the nature of insurgency – and counterinsurgency. For instance, is the ex post facto presumption of “co-option” by the splinter Jewish sect that has become the Christian church practical? Or, rather, was the Christian faith “culturally appropriated” by the Roman empire upon Emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the early 4th century? While Dan asserts the former through the hypernetworking of the Apostle Paul, I believe this is a topic worthy of broader study. For instance, was Paul (née Saul of Tarsus, a Pharisee) savvy enough to realize that his peers in Jewish leadership were attracting the ire of Rome? Did Paul’s ministries throughout the Mediterranean seek to increase the rift between Jerusalem and the splinter sect of Christian faithful? And were the Gospels written in a manner to give Rome (and particularly Pilate) a “pass” in the crucifixion of Jesus? (Note that three of the four Gospels were published immediately prior to the First Jewish-Roman War and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D.)

Relatedly, Mark Shea (the prominent Catholic podcaster whose show I subscribe to) discusses two of my posts. His post, “A Guy with a Blog Wants to Annex Mexico” begins by discussing the Manifest Destiny of the American Nation, but neatly ties it into my discussion of multiple inventions and multiple evolutions. Thanks Mark!

(Mark previously showed some interest in “Jesusism-Paulism, the web series that became Revolutionary Strategies in Early Christianity.)

John McCain’s Obamanian Nothingness

March Schulman of American Future links to a distressing and idiotic speech by John McCain. It is so bad that as can be seen by my initial comment, I was sure it was sarcastic:

I am well aware I cannot make any of these changes alone. The powers of the presidency are rightly checked by the other branches of government, and I will not attempt to acquire powers our founders saw fit to grant Congress. I will exercise my veto if I believe legislation passed by Congress is not in the nation’s best interests, but I will not subvert the purpose of legislation I have signed by making statements that indicate I will enforce only the parts of it I like. I will respect the responsibilities the Constitution and the American people have granted Congress, and will, as I often have in the past, work with anyone of either party to get things done for our country.

..

We cannot again leave our problems for another unluckier generation of Americans to fix after they have become even harder to solve. I’m not interested in partisanship that serves no other purpose than to gain a temporary advantage over our opponents. This mindless, paralyzing rancor must come to an end. We belong to different parties, not different countries. We are rivals for the same power. But we are also compatriots. We are fellow Americans, and that shared distinction means more to me than any other association. I intend to prove myself worthy of the office; of our country; and of your respect. I won’t judge myself by how many elections I’ve won. I won’t spend one hour of my presidency worrying more about my re-election than keeping my promises to the American people. There is a time to campaign, and a time to govern. If I’m elected President, the era of the permanent campaign will end. The era of problem solving will begin. I promise you, from the day I am sworn into office until the last hour of my presidency, I will work with anyone, of either party, to make this country safe, prosperous and proud. And I won’t care who gets the credit.

The only thing as weird as John McCain’s kindergarten political philosophy is that Marc Schulman appears to buy it:

This, my friends, is change I can believe in from a man I believe in. I have long favored Senator McCain; now I’m sure he has my vote.

*sigh*

If there is anything salvageable in McCain’s adoption of Obamianian nothingness is the promise for ultra-cool House of Commons style President’s Questions.

Here here!

Catholicgauze in Spy Training

For a comparison, my stress has come from writing papers in the proper academicese:

Geographic Travels with Catholicgauze!: Snake Eatergauze: Days 1-3 and Iraq News
Day 2
Mission: Drive around the hills and mountains spotting “hostile” followers

Some were good. Some were bad. But if there is one thing that can defeat a well planned stragegy it is incompetence. The last quater of the 90 minute journey we managed to lose all our tails because we got lost. Another team had fun messing with some of the less experienced tails but forcing them into “Do Not Enters” and following the followers. The organizers of the training did not appreciate th

Congrats Catholicgauze!