Saturday, December 20, 2014

It's us versus them? Ah, but there is a third way

The two minute hate on Facebook today is some pristine white upper middle class female college basket ball players dissing cops by a slogan on their uniforms. Yes, cop hating is the new "in" movement among the elite. Seems like this happened before, in the 1970's...

Sorry, but when I see the upper class elite students who never faced a disaster worse than a broken iphone or a bad hair day dissing working class cops who keep them safe I get angry. These elite students, like their parents in the 1960's, find it easy to ridicule cops, since few of them know anyone outside their set, such as people who are so gauche to join the police force (or fire department, or be a construction worker, or join the US Army out of patriotism).

And one doubts that any of them had ever worked the weekend inside inner city emergency rooms that resemble the hospitals of Baghdad due to the inner city gang wars.

So now a lot of us see the press join the bandwagon and guess who is the "enemy"? Yup. The hard working whites and immigrants who are most at risk in these artificially staged riots.

 Play by the rules Percy? You're soooo screwed, as Annabeth would say.

Or maybe I should say: Mr Patel 

A convenience store clerk, often a Patel or someone of Indian-origin, is killed in a robbery every few months somewhere in America. In fact, according to the Center for Problem-oriented Policing, convenience store employees in the US suffer from high rates of workplace homicide, second only to taxicab drivers, where too large numbers of Indian-origin people are employed

This article in the NYTimes magazine is a better background to the problems involved
over the past 20 years, violent crime in New York City has fallen by 80 percent, twice the rate of decline of the nation as a whole. According to the New York police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one way the department has driven crime down is by stopping and questioning (and sometimes frisking) large numbers of people in high-crime areas, thus deterring people from carrying weapons. In 2012, the New York Police Department conducted almost as many stops of black youths as there are black youths in the city, recovering 729 guns in the process.
Nearly 60 percent of white New Yorkers approve of the tactic. Less than a quarter of black New Yorkers share that opinion. Many perceive it as racial profiling, an interpretation bolstered by recent police testimony in a lawsuit filed against the city over the practice
So if racial profiling stops black murders, wouldn't a better way to stop community hostility be by calming things down and getting local folks involved in stopping those who terrorize good people?

If you read the entire article, that's what is being done in Watts, LA.

 Many police officers were skeptical, perhaps because so many gang-intervention workers were themselves ex-gang members. Some hadn’t really left the gangs. But during his time at Harbor division, Gannon saw firsthand how gang interventionists could shut gang feuds down. ...
The first meeting was a grievance session. The second meeting, the same. At the third, Gannon finally spoke up. “We’ve had eight homicides in two weeks, four on the L.A. side, four in the city of Inglewood,” he said. “I just had a double murder the day before yesterday. I need help in stopping that. I have to stop that feud. Can you help me with this particular problem?”
Discussion ensued. The gang-intervention workers said there were people with whom they might talk. “That day it stopped,” Gannon says. “Not slowed down; it stopped.”
Read the whole thing. A similar program was promoted when we lived in Boston, and lowered crime rates there too.

Maybe the President will bring it up and publicize it with his newly formed "task force" on policing problems.

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Related item: How do you stop terrorists?

Maybe by talking about Islam. says the UKTelegraph.

We are petrified of speaking obvious truths. When a lord recently dared to invite Muslim leaders to address the violence in the Koran, he was condemned.This groupthink has to stop....Here is what we can’t ignore any longer: religious reform is essential if Islam is to overcome what the great Muslim scholar Bassam Tibi calls its "predicament with modernity".Until we admit that Islam has such a predicament, admit that the Islamists exploit that predicament to radicalise, and admit that when they do they can point to canonical sources (even if it is also true that moderates can point to other sources, and more of them) then we are not going to win.
The article discusses the need to re emphasize the Islam of peace, using their own religion to stop the hateful strain spread by Saudi money that morphed into much of today's terrorist creed.

This has actually been done in trying to deprogram former terrorists, including a program in an American military run Iraqi prison where one of our relatives worked. Pushed in the right way, this could lead to the much needed Islamic reformation.

Though each story was unique, it became clear to me that "deradicalisation" was the difficult process of casting off an acquired Political Islamist conception of Islam, a politicised piety of breast-beating and resentments, and embracing in its place some version of the Islamic concept and practice of "sakinah".Sakinah means tranquillity, or peaceable (co)habitation, and is drawn from the Quran: "He who sent down tranquillity (sakinah) into the hearts of the believers, so that their faith may grow stronger" (48:4). The term is associated with stillness, contentment, and mercy, and with the notion that Muslims should be a just and moderate "middle community". In Sufism the word carries the sense of internal illumination, or "seeing the light".
Will it work? Yes, for many.

But it took Europe awhile to settle down their religious wars, and the real danger is a major Sunni/Shiite nuclear war before things settle down.

On the other hand, even the Germans/Picts/Scots/Irish/and Vikings settled down a bit after they became Christians.

Headsup for parachuting Beavers

GERONIMO!

Geronimo the Beaver let the scientists figure out how to parachute beavers into the Idaho backcountry 66 years ago.

With Geronimo’s help, Fish and Game learned that the best launch height was between 500 and 800 feet because it allowed the chute to open properly and still maintain some accuracy in placement of the bewildered beavers in the selected meadow.
In 1948, Fish and Game dropped 76 beavers in the backcountry. There was only one fatality, a beaver that “jumped or fell” from his box at about 75 feet.
fromModernMechanixblog:





headsup DaveBarry


When your food stares back at you

Stargazy pie via Answers.com
More about the history of the pie here:

The history of Stargazy Pie would make a great action movie. It is said to have been created in Mousehole, Cornwall (pronounced mow-zul) in honour of a brave fisherman called Tom Bawcock. Legend has it that Tom sailed out into a violent stormy sea to fish when the village was facing starvation. He returned with seven types of fish which were made into a pie and shared among the townsfolk, thus saving them from famine - hurrah! To this day his heroic deeds are celebrated every 23rd December in the town.

there are several recipes on the internet. Here is one from Food network,
that uses ordinary ingredients like onions and fish.

or a gourmet ingredient version from the BBC.

Headsup Answers.com via DaveBarry

Here, fishheads are left on the fish when they are fried or boiled: Lolo and others suck the heads dry of their goodness, but I just give mine to the cats or dogs.
Photo: Kitoi's ancestralKitchen
who has the entire receipe for fish head soup recipe HERE.

heh. Chowstalker says is now "in" as Paleo food.




Peter and the wolf

Brian Sibley discusses Peter and the Wolf, and it's links to Disney.

The journey from score to screen had begun in 1938: Prokofiev was touring the USA and, having seen and been captivated by Disney's recently released debut feature length cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, went to visit "le papa de Mickey Mouse". It is likely that the use of music inSnow White (and in the earlier 'Silly Symphony' cartoons) suggested to Prokofiev that Peter and the Wolf might be a suitable subject for Disney's animated treatment.


Allan Sherman and the Boston Pops did this "updated" version of the story, which is now out of date, yet is not, since Sherman was using the commisars as a way to criticize the Hollywood money makers who reject anything original, something that continues to this day.





Black holes in space, and in society

I haven't seen the film, but Space.com has two articles on the science behind "Interstellar".
LINK KipThorn and black holes

LINK a sci fi film with plenty of "ifs"

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The black hole in society is the inability for the elites to see what they don't know they don't know, and who censor those who think differently. It goes way beyond charges of homophobia against believers,  to the very meaning of life itself.

The acid tongued Spengler notes the degeneration of gender studies into Monty Python territory. It's a confusing article, but he does quote Chesterton about how elites who are insisting they should be obeyed ignore the lessons of the past:

When we abhor tradition, we become ridiculous, because we lack the qualifications to replace what generation upon generation of our ancestors built on a belief in revelation and centuries of trial and error. G.K. Chesterton said it well: “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”

and he then posits what happens to a society that fragments in this way.
  Even worse, as I argued some years ago in an essay entitled “Why you won’t find the meaning of life”:
....If self-invention is the path to the meaning of life, it makes the messy job of bearing and raising children a superfluous burden, for we can raise our children by no other means than to teach them contempt for us, both by instruction, and by the example of set in showing contempt to our own parents.
That is why humanity has found no other way to perpetuate itself than by the continuity of tradition. A life that is worthwhile is one that is worthwhile in all its phases, from youth to old age. Of what use are the elderly? In a viable culture they are the transmitters of the accumulated wisdom of the generations. We will take the trouble to have children of our own only when we anticipate that they will respect us in our declining years, not merely because they tolerate us, but because we will have something yet to offer to the young. 

If you think he is overstating the case remember the physician behind Obamacare says he wants to die at 75, presumably because he might become a physical burden to society, hinting to the idea that the elderly and handicapped are useless eaters who need to be eliminated, not wise elders who need to be respected and cared for.

Yet NPR celebrates the fact that even in China, Confucian values are fading in the face of "economics" (?) and their "duty" to socialist work.
Huang admits he's struggling to reconcile his obligations to his mother versus those to society.
"I come here every day, but I have to take time out from work for it," he says. "When I come here to sit by her bedside and look after her every day that means that I haven't contributed to society in any other way, right?"

and they even found happy little old ladies to say it's okay to neglect their parents so they can make money.

Yet they don't notice it is religion that takes up the slack for these abandoned elderly: Buddhists in their story, Christians in this one.

It is easy to see how the universalistic ethic of Christianity might lead some believers to care for other people's parents.  But would a Confucian feel a similar obligation to care for others?  I think the answer to that could be "yes," since Confucius tells us to care for elders more generally.  So, I guess the question is whether China now is sufficiently "Confucian" to encourage and promote the care of elders?
The communist Chinese gov'ts on and off support for Confucian ethics is a long story, and many would say their forced replacement of tradition with superficial marxism is one reason for the explosion of Christian house churches in urban areas there today, with people searching for a higher meaning of life than making a government work quota.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Philippine madonna


I believe this is by Joey Valasco.

It's Christmas, and all the happy photos of the Nativity scene ignore that Mary lived in a small third world town.

And if you think giving birth in a stable is bad, check this out. LINK

and remember the refugees, the homeless living under the bypasses, and those homeless because of the latest typhoon....

tits and ash

Photo:Wikipedia

This Adorable Bird Is Apparently a Vicious Brain-Eating Zombie in Disguise


The Great tit might seem like just a cute little bird, but don’t let its appearance fool you for. In reality, it is one of the most vicious creatures in the world. Also known as ‘The Zombie tit’, this chirping ball of feathers is a killing machine with an insatiable hunger for brains.
Scientists generally agree that modern birds are direct descendants of fierce dinosaurs like the T-Rex and Velociraptor. Of course, most of them are so small and their feathers so pretty that it’s hard for people to actually associate them with the monstrous creatures depicted in films like Jurassic Park. However, their predatory instincts have definitely passed the test of time, and this holds true for the tiny Great tit, as well. So what’s so scary about this seemingly harmless bird? Well, just that it is known to routinely seek out other birds and bats, crush their heads and feast on their brains!
more info at wikipedia
via DaveBarry 


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Why is Roman concrete so durable?

Volcanic ash, of course.

and what is even better, it's "green":

 “If we can find ways to incorporate a substantial volumetric component of volcanic rock in the production of specialty concretes, we could greatly reduce the carbon emissions associated with their production and also improve their durability and mechanical resistance over time,” explained Marie Jackson of the University of California, Berkeley. 

Insomnia downloads of the week

For blind pilots: no need to try to read regulations. You can just listen to the entire 2004 FAA Handbook on airplane flying

 This handbook is developed to assist student pilots learning to fly airplanes. It is also beneficial to pilots who wish to improve their flying proficiency and aeronautical knowledge, those pilots preparing for additional certificates or ratings, and flight instructors engaged in the instruction of both student and certificated pilots. It introduces the future pilot to the realm of flight and provides information and guidance in the performance of procedures and maneuvers required for pilot certification." 

the pdf of this 2004 manual can be found here

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and you poor guys who live in the US and have four feet of snow on the ground: It's not too early to plan your garden.

ABC of vegetable gardening

more:
The Family Kitchen Gardener

The Flower Garden: A Handbook of Practical Garden Lore LINK

Gardening Without Irrigation: or without much, anyway link

Thursday, December 18, 2014

It was a COMEDY?!

I haven't been paying much attention to the Sony hacks but was aware that they came from North Korea in protest of a film being made about that communist state.
Well, AICN has a review of the film HERE (about half way down the page) and Nordling writes

All the issues going with Sony right now notwithstanding, I’d even go so far to call THE INTERVIEW a brave movie.  Sure, it’s a comedy full of....jokes, and Kim Jong Un (the tremendously great Randall Park) doesn’t get treated very well, but I loved that the real hero of THE INTERVIEW is real honest-to-goodness journalism.  It’s a stark reminder that in this world of celebrity news and fluff, we have to ask the tough questions of power, even if we agree with them or now. 
The whole kerfuffle essentially was a cyberwar that Hollywood lost (actually they surrendered), including that someone cancelled the proposed Steve Carrell film about that country.

So a twofer.

One wonders why Hollywood didn't just give some hackers money to mess up North Korea, or figure out a way to steal the money those guys have stolen and stashed in Asian bank accounts in Hong Kong etc.

NK has also attacked South Korea a few times in the past, but it got little publicity in the west.

Family news

Joy and Ruby were in Manila for deliveries and a school party.
Keep Joy's sister in your prayers: the chemo hasn't worked yet. Sigh.

Lolo is tired all the time, and is wheezing (I keep the aircon on fan to filter out the dirt and pollen at night). But his appetite is okay. Keep him in your prayers.

Chano is busy partying, so keep him in your prayers.

The carpenter is almost finished refinishing the cabinets in the dining room. (the leaks last year caused the veneer to separate)(the roof leaked last year and damaged the ceiling).. The cook said the ceiling needs to be fixed next, before it falls down.  I have the money for this, and the carpenter needs money for his father in law's illness so he wants to work close to home...instead of working for better pay in Manila.




Hobbit BOTFA review

Four out of five stars.

They warned that there would be lots of fighting, but actually what is filmed is the story of various characters caught in the battle, and how it affects them. Not a mindless chase like the first movie in the goblin caves. So Bard and son kill the dragon then rejoice to find that Tauriel rescued their daughters, and later he takes over and decides how to help the refugees.

The Dwaves left in Laketown immediately go to the mountain to check if their relatives are dead or not.
The elves come with aid, and also an army to plunder the mountain, and almost start a war when Thorin gets the dragon sickness and builds walls to keep the gold.

The best "non Tolkien" scene here is Thorin, finding Bilbo looking at something then trying to hide it from him, demands to see it (suspecting correctly that he might have pinched the arkenstone). But Bilbo pulls out an acorn that he found at Beorn's house, and explains that when he gets home, he will plant a tree and watch it grow to remember his friends.  This phrase was in the trailer, but in a different place, as usual.

Dain arrives with the Iron Hill dwarves, and is a foul mouth Scotsman with the most creative vocabulary since Eddie Murphy hit Beverly Hills, albeit British, not American, obscenity. Luckily, Ruby didn't catch the meaning of the words, since she only knows American English.

And the dwarves brought pigs and rams, while the orcs brought bats, Thranduil brought an aggressive Irish War Elk, and Radagast and Beorn brought the eagles. For better or worse, Hollywood ordered a shorter movies, so most of the generic fighting seems to have been cut out, leaving only the fighting involving the main characters.

The ending is quite abrupt, probably again due to the studio orders. Bilbo quickly goes home afterward, not even staying for the funerals. We are left with the idea they will be happy, but no details. Unless you are a geek, you don't know what happens to them.

Lots of small items for geeks to notice and compare and contrast with the book and the appendices (Durin gets back his sword, Bard's son takes after his father, suggesting why he ended up the next leader of Dale, Bilbo fights more than in the book, but gets knocked out which saves his life so he can reconcile with Thorin). This one is Thorin's film.

Oh yes: Galadriel kicks ass...but not with a sword but like the fights in the Simarillion, with power alone.  Don't mess with the elf lady folks.

Global warming alert of the day

AGGH!! Global warming!

You probably know that Cow flatulence causes global warming.

but did you know that yak dung also contributes to mother gaia's demise? The local poor folks in Tibet burn it for fuel.


And then there is the lowly squirrel who is trying to destroy the world.

They might be fluffy faced, buck-toothed little creatures, but two species of rodent have been identified the latest culprits to be contributing to climate change.Researchers have found that the arctic ground squirrel and the beaver may be playing a far greater role in global warming than had previously been realised.It means that scientists will in the future have to alter their theories around anthropogenic climate change to take account of 'rodentopogenic' influences.
Menace: Ground squirrels live in shallow burrows around the Arctic Circle but their incessant digging mixes the normally frozen soil, introducing oxygen and leading to the release of methane gas


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2877313/Scientists-ground-squirrels-beavers-contributing-global-warming-previously-released.html#ixzz3MCOWaC7n
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


But that's not all:


Losing weight causes global warming

From Science DailyVia SenseOfEventBlog:


In their paper, published in the British Medical Journal today, the authors show that losing 10 kilograms of fat requires 29 kilograms of oxygen to be inhaled and that this metabolic process produces 28 kilograms of carbon dioxide and 11 kilograms of water.

one is reminded of the Allan Sherman song, about "why I am fat" that ends:



Hail to thee fat person, you kept us out of war 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Stuff around the web

RogerSimon discusses the Hollywood hack
the emails aren't pc...they only pretend to be pc so they can hate others. But not so PC that they might look modern day terrorism in the eye and put it in their movies.

and this factoid from one of the comments about a very  non PC comic:

While I certainly sympathize in the general Schadenfreude, I've got to wonder Mel Brooks and Cleavon Little might not have made similar jokes at one time.
5 hours ago  Like (0) Link To Comment
Few people remember it nowadays, but Mel Brooks served in the US Army during World War II, in an engineering unit that specialized in clearing landmines. I don't think much has frightened him since.
4 hours ago  Like (1) Link To Comment
You know that "French Mistake" song that he loves playing in his movies?
He does that because back in WWII, he wired up a giant propaganda sound system to blare that at the Nazis.
3 hours ago  Like (0) Link To Comment
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The Sydney "hostage" crisis turns out to be an Iranian (shiite? why the ISIL flag?) who was out on bail after molesting 50 people
and suspicion he was behind the murder of his ex wife.

His lawyer says he was a "victim" for being mistreated in jail after a previous arrest, so he did this because his feelings were hurt.

But why was he out on bail in the first place?

================
another danger to the west is the failure to notice how bioethicists are pushing the envelope. First abortion, then starving the brain damaged, now infanticide is now being "debated".

these ideas go back to the 1970's, and many of the same ethical ideas are associated with death panels medical rationing for the elderly and handicapped who don't meet their criteria for meaningful life.

and the next time someone tells you that this is needed because "modern medicine" keeps these people alive too long, tell them that Plato said the same thing (400 bc). That is nonsense, because in the past (or here in the third world) we have plenty of middle aged people who are crippled, are arthritic, have strokes, etc. Modern medicine only moves the bar of disability to an older age.

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David Warren's essay tries to explain the difference between sinners who manipulate to get a free pass for their sin, and true repentance.
For they are helping people to compound their sins — they are doing their bit to ice the slide to Hell for these people. That is not merciful. That is flat-out Evil.Perhaps the most contemptible — among those who happen to rise like scum in the hierarchy — said, he wouldn’t use Communion “as a weapon,” compounding this with the lie that the Church had never done so. You bet Communion is a weapon, Cardinal Wuerl: the weapon with which we fight our way to Heaven. For it is the very flesh and blood of Christ, the ultimate weapon against the Gates of Hell
Ah yes: Cardinal Wuerl, who never bothered to stop the local priests (including those from our nearby diocese) openly cruising the local gay bars, and who ordered the local schools to give a sex ed class over the objections of many parents. More rumors HERE.

yes, right no I am feeling very homophobic, but never mind the reason. 
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Related item:

eichman's not so banal evil

I always thought the banal part was that to other folks around him he seemed like an average guy, not that he was an average guy.

Of course, sociopaths manipulate the message, providing a smoke screen so you can't see they are evil.





Monday, December 15, 2014

Family news

Flat in bed with stomach flu.

Lolo's okay.

Chano took the weekend off.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Stuff around the web

I think awhile back I linked to an article about how "zero" was first used in Cambodia.

Smithsonian magazine has a long article about it  HERE.

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The UKMail has an article with lots of photos on Thorne's miniature models of rooms from all over the world.


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YUM! Eels!

Tastes during the Middle Ages varied greatly from today’s tastes. Typical of what was pleasing to the medieval palate were: lamprey, eel, peacock, swan, partridge and other assorted small songbirds. Apart from perhaps eel, none of the above items feature in today’s culinary offerings. Dairy products were often perceived as the province of the peasant class. Sausages were seldom found on the tables of the wealthy. The reason for this? Sausages were preserved. Since the wealthy had ample access to fresh meats, they saw no need in eating something that was preserved. Although household account books indicate that fruits were consumed, they do not feature prominently in the cookbooks of the time.

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Blame Global warming?

Floods in Rome and the plague in 589

Severe weather during Charlemagne's time. (800AD)

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Musical interlude of the day



Plough discusses the story of Pau Casals and includes the lyrics of the Catalan carol:

A star rose in the sky
and glory from on high
did fill the night with splendor.
Came birds with joyful voice
to carol and rejoice with
songs so sweet and tender.
The eagle then did rise,
went flying through the skies,
to tell the wondrous story,
sang: Jesus, born is he,
who comes to set us free,
he brings us joy and glory.
The sparrow with delight
said: This is Christmas night,
our happiness revealing.
The sky with praises rang,
as finch and robin sang
their songs of glad rejoicing.
The lark upon the wing
said: Now it seems like spring,
no more is winter pressing;
for now a flower is born
whose fragrance on this morn
to earth brings heaven’s blessing.
Sang magpie, thrush, and jay,
It seems the month of May
in answer to our yearning.
The trees again are green
and blossoms now are seen,
it is the spring returning!
The cuckoo sang: Come, come,
And celebrate the dawn
this glorious aurora.
The raven from his throat
then trilled a festive note
to the unexcelled SeƱora.
The partridge then confessed,
I want to build my nest
beneath that very gable
where I may see the Child
and watch whene’er he smiles
with Mary in that stable.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Craft item of the day

How to make a Philippine Christmas star can be found at Instructables.


Or you could make one from plastic bottles.


Family news

Again went shopping: a little more Christmas decorations. I would like a Parol, a Christmas star, but the price was too high so I bought a wreath and a small star...the star was made of lights, and needless to say after one day half the string went out. Oh well.

I am having the cabinets in the dining room refurbished. I paid for supplies and our handy man to do it, but he disappeared for two weeks. His step father has cancer, so he was busy with his family visiting etc.

Sad.

But now they are being covered with new veneer, and by next week the dining room should look a bit better.
Now all we have to do is arrange for someone to put tiles on the concrete floor where the outdoor kitchen is, so it is easier to keep clean.

In the meanwhile, Chano has hired some kids to weed the garden. We already hired an older lady, a friend of our cook, to do this so they are helping. Also they trimmed the loose branches of the palm trees so they don't fall on anyone. Usually someone comes and offers to take down the ripe coconuts for us in exchange for keeping half to sell as buko juice.

In other words, the place, which has not been repaired for the last year because we were pinching pennies, might actually look half decent by Christmas.

Rant of the day: Would Jesus defend himself?

Do reporters ignore the truth and slant stories to fit the narrative?

DUH.

It’s absolutely true that we don’t have a wave of outright fabrication-out-of-whole-cloth. But what we have is much worse. We have a tsunami of inaccuracy that is generally tolerated, embraced and even celebrated so long as it serves the right political and cultural goals.

The meme this year is the war on women, so you search out a story that fits the narrative, and bump into a hysterical woman who is exaggerating to get attention. Duh. Ironically, the story was debunked by the local staff of the WaPost (not the national staff). In other words, if the enterprising reporter had picked on the Univ Alabama etc. she would have gotten away with it because no one would have read the investigation in the small local papers.

Presumably the next meme will be "torture".

Duh.

If you didn't know this was going on, you live in Cloud Cuckoo land. It keeps you safe, but it's not PC to say this. Now that the threats are being ignored in the news, it is open season on the ones who bent the law to keep you safe.

Expect this report to be used to bash Republicans (without noting that President Obama doesn't allow the capture and torture of suspected terrorists: he merely kills the bad guys with drones instead). True pacifists know this, and complain.

How can you tell a true pacifist from a fake one? If they only bash the US and the west, they are fake.

War is hell, as one General said, and the dirty little secret is that often trying to make wars more humane merely leads to the next war because you didn't kill enough bad guys, so they regroup and attack again.

Threats continue even when they aren't in the news.

We are expecting the Pope to visit, meaning that Manila will shut down. It will be more of a crowd problem than the annual "Black Nazarene" procession or the frequent Iglesia NiCristo or ElShaddai rallies which attract one million plus members.

So will the terrorists strike?

So what does this have to do with torture?

Well, When JP2 visited the Philippines in the early 1990's, a hotplate blew up and caused a fire, and the local firemen and cops noted bomb making equipment. The main guy escaped, but one of his minions was caught and interrogated, and revealed two plans: One, to bomb the Pope when he traveled through the crowded Manila streets, and Two: early plans to hijack several airplanes and use them as bombs.

As a result of the "enhanced interrogation", the Pope was helicoptered to the venue to say mass, and he remained safe. The US however ignored the second "headsup" because it was obtained by torture and sounded too crazy to be true.

No, as a Christian, I don't support enhanced interrogation, but know that if I knew lives were at stake, I might do it.

 It's nice to claim one is a pacifist while living in a safe suburban enclave in the US, has never faced war or violence at first hand, so you can feel self righteous without facing the cost or seeing the casualties of your righteousness.

So go ahead and feel self righteous blocking traffic with your "die ins", but could I ask you, where are you on Friday night when the casualties of these thugs (both innocent and not so innocent) are brought into the emergency rooms?

The dirty little secret is that bad guys exist. And the latest meme by Obama's minions to destroy police morale by painting police as evil racists will lead to police being less willing to put their lives on the line protecting you, and thus more innocent people killed in the gang wars... and more ordinary Americans buying guns to defend themselves because the police will be seen as too timid and ineffective to do so.

What would Jesus do?

No, Jesus didn't have a weapon, but Peter did, a sword, presumably for safety when they traveled on the isolated parts of the Jericho road. And Peter obviously knew how to use it, taking off the ear of one who came to arrest Jesus, (who then said put it away because those arresting were authorities, not bandits).