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Today's Stichomancy for Osama bin Laden

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Iliad by Homer:

both from their chariot and stripped the armour from their bodies. Then he gave their horses to his comrades to take them back to the ships.

When Aeneas saw him thus making havoc among the ranks, he went through the fight amid the rain of spears to see if he could find Pandarus. When he had found the brave son of Lycaon he said, "Pandarus, where is now your bow, your winged arrows, and your renown as an archer, in respect of which no man here can rival you nor is there any in Lycia that can beat you? Lift then your hands to Jove and send an arrow at this fellow who is going so masterfully about, and has done such deadly work among the


The Iliad
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy:

and turning away hurriedly he entered the shed.

It was already dark, and Pierre could not make out whether the expression of Prince Andrew's face was angry or tender.

For some time he stood in silence considering whether he should follow him or go away. "No, he does not want it!" Pierre concluded. "And I know that this is our last meeting!" He sighed deeply and rode back to Gorki.

On re-entering the shed Prince Andrew lay down on a rug, but he could not sleep.

He closed his eyes. One picture succeeded another in his imagination. On one of them he dwelt long and joyfully. He vividly


War and Peace
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum:

that I am here, you make the image of a lioness, the Queen of all beasts. Then, indeed, your children will be happy--and safe at the same time!"

Claus thought this was a good suggestion. So he got a piece of wood and sharpened his knife, while Shiegra crouched upon the hearth at his feet. With much care he carved the head in the likeness of the lioness, even to the two fierce teeth that curved over her lower lip and the deep, frowning lines above her wide-open eyes.

When it was finished he said:

"You have a terrible look, Shiegra."

"Then the image is like me," she answered; "for I am indeed terrible


The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Polity of Athenians and Lacedaemonians by Xenophon:

a good stroke of business. And for my part I am free to confess to these gainsayers that a good many things may be done at Athens by dint of money; and I will add, that a good many more still might be done, if the money flowed still more freely and from more pockets. One thing, however, I know full well, that as to transacting with every one of these applicants all he wants, the state could not do it, not even if all the gold and silver in the world were the inducement offered.

Here are some of the cases which have to be decided on. Some one fails to fit out a ship: judgement must be given. Another puts up a building on a piece of public land: again judgement must be given. Or, to take