The Dragon is Slain: A Blog Consisting of the Following Initiatives
I. Tragger: an information-sharing initiative
incorporating a multidimensional approach to the reporting and analysis of events, movements, trends, etc. within one, or among any, of the following countries: Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan, Greece, and/or Germany. Thus, the acronym ‘Tragger,’ pronounced like the German word ‘träger’ – ‘carrier,’ indicates that the intention of this initiative is to be a carrier of those happenings involving these countries that are worthy of note. The German word can also mean ‘bearer’; therefore, the acronym wields a double-edged sword of responsibility: 1) to carry only news-worthy information in order not to waste the reader’s time; and 2) to bear sole responsibility for any subsequent analysis, in order not to lead the reader astray. The material will be drawn from publicly available sources to include, but not limited to, news reports, websites, and various social media fora.
II. Kavkazkiy Vsadnik Translations
KVT is a translations project with a view to translating articles, short stories, and, over a longer time span, books of interest to me. The translations may, in some cases, be accompanied by explanatory or interpretive commentary, intended to guide the reader toward understanding my rationale behind the translation. The reader, of course, may disagree; but, if (s)he is led to investigate further, then my goal of broadening the reader’s intellectual horizons will have been achieved.
III. The Only Guide for Faith and Practice: Writings based on my study of the Bible
My study of the Bible has been a combination both of systematically going through an individual book as well as getting lost on rabbit trails that have taken me threading my way gingerly through the brambles of Biblical Greek and Hebrew on topics that have either piqued my interest or which I felt must be addressed for a deeper and clearer understanding of the Scriptures. I invite you, along with me, to delve deeply into God’s Word in order to mine the riches to be found there that will strengthen and confirm the faith to which we have been called, by personally grappling–just as Jacob did with Christ in an Old Testament epiphany–with the Scriptures, even to the point of wrestling with the Holy Spirit, who authored them as He guided the writers’ hearts, minds, and pens.
Please see the entire mission statement, of which the above is an edited, truncated version at the Faith and Practice page.
To God be the glory!
IV. Christian Endurance Cycling
The jersey pictured represents an initiative that I pray will attract similarly-minded cyclists with whom to share a love of endurance cycling and who also desire to use this type of physical exertion as a metaphor for presenting their bodies to God as a living sacrifice, thereby bringing glory to God in their body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.
V. Who am I?
Labhrais T. O’Coileain is the cryptonym and the alter-ego of an independent researcher-analyst with a special interest in both the internal dealings of, and the bi-, tri-, and multilateral relations between, three of the heavy hitters presently on the international political scene, Germany, Russia, and Turkey. The countries of Azerbaijan and Greece (and by extension, Cyprus), are included since they draw their importance by virtue of their relationships to the Big Three within the larger scope of the Big Three’s overlapping spheres of influence. Of course, Cyprus carries a specific weight all its own owing to its schizophrenic dual nature, with the Republic of Cyprus (ROC) looking to Greece for its security, while the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has Turkey from which to draw its succor.
Another reason behind focusing on this narrow spectrum of globally significant countries is that I have a certain proficiency in the languages used natively by their indigenous populations as well as having an appreciation for their cultures.
Just to clarify for purposes of transparency, my Ph.D. aspirations in Russian Language and Literature, then by extension, in Russian and East European Studies, fell short of the mark. I completed the coursework, but circumstances prevented sitting for the comprehensive examination, which, of course, means that there was no dissertation to defend. There are those who have the distinction of claiming an ‘ABD’ (All But Dissertation); however, in my case, I fill in the missing letter of the initial quadrumvirate of the alphabet by claiming an ‘ABCD’ (All But Comps and Dissertation!) As the case may be, hopefully, my work will stand on its own, despite there not being a degree, on the basis of which to claim any expertise or on which to rest any laurels that may have accrued by having the degree in hand.
Lastly, as can be seen above under IV. Christian Endurance Cycling, I am an avid cyclist whose primary pursuit is for my Christian faith to inform not only my intellectual aspirations but my physical pursuits as well, with the ultimate goal of bringing glory to God in my body. There is not much to report on this front except to acknowledge that, although I have enjoyed riding a bicycle since the late-50s when I received a 3-speed green and white Schwinn for Christmas, it has only been within the last decade that I have gone in for cycling ‘whole hog.’ In this regard, I am grateful that I have a brother who also has been a cycling enthusiast with whom I have enjoyed several long and challenging rides. I am truly thankful to have had him by my side as an encourager and companion.