Sunday, May 24, 2015

Yes there are good guys

Archbishop Romero has been beatified.

Blow Gabriel Blow

DavidReneke's spaceblog has an article about people hearing loud trumpets in the sky, and then explores both the cultural interpretations of this and the possible scientific explanations for this.

I'm sure that there is a scientific explanation for this (just like there is a scientific explanation for the January 1938 "Fatima" solar flare/aurora borealis ).Doesn't mean it isn't God trying to wake us up, but to paraphrase the tart tongued Jesus: if they don't bother to listen to the law and the prophets, why should they pay attention to solar phenomena?

Most of the reports about this are on "Coast to Coast" or other similar sites (here is one in the UKMail), right next to reports of BigFoot, UFO's, and the NWO conspiracies. All of these are explained better by Jung than science. But one can find ancient equivalents in tales, legends, and history. (Alien abductions=kidnapped by elves; UFOs=angels/gods in the sky; BigFoot=Grendel, Atlantis=Thera, and Psalm 46 and several other psalms describes earthquakes/volcanic eruptions or tidal waves that did occur in ancient times and were probably still remembered).

so what about the trumpets?

Have people heard such sounds in the past? If so, has it been associated with solar flares or earthquakes or volcanic activity etc. in the past?

Most of the images in the Apocalypse were remembrances of tsunamis/famines/wars/earthquakes/volcanic eruptions etc. So undoubtedly Gabriel's horn has been heard in the past too, if we search the literature. And if such things happened in the past, it might hint what is the real cause of this phenomenon.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Factoid of the day

the Chinese history podcast this week is about the Nushu script, written only by women.
no it was not for grocery lists, but for poetry.

and it writes syllables (similar to hieroglyphics or cuneiform writing).

More at Wikipedia.

Wikipedia on various Chinese scripts.


short note:
there is also a History of China podcast, which right now is discussing ancient Chinese history. I get it on my soundcloud app but there is also an itunes link.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Family news

the mayor behind the political hit that killed our nephew, a bystander, has died of complications of diabetes and his body is now in state in his home down the street.

The bad news? He never admitted his crime...
Hmm...wonder if he went to confession...and presumably he will have a huge Catholic funeral, and no one will blink twice...

Our laundress says his family paid 500thousand pesos for his coffin alone... that is 10thousand dollars.

funerals here are expensive, but that is a bit over the top.

Joy has us in a burial insurance policy that cut the cost of Lolo's coffin (the relatives were upset that it was too "cheap").

I didn't chose the plot, but the cemetery plot was 300thousand pesos and the "house"/gazebo another 300 thousand pesos, both of which I paid for because his savings were empty when I asked for the money. Luckily, I got a backpayment for my personal pension a couple months ago that covered it. Lolo didn't want a house over his grave, but since the plot is between two houses, not in the open area where he wanted to be buried, (where there were no plots) we have to cover the gravesite.

Lolo wanted to be buried with his mom and cousins, but after Rosa and Chairman Leo being buried in the plot, it was getting crowded. The new plot will hold six people, and of course we can always double up higher if too many die.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bill Murray sighting of the day


Family news

They were fixing the electric lines yesterday, so we had a brownout much of the day. I have a small generator for our room (I bought it two years ago to run the Aircon and TV to keep Lolo comfortable when he was weak and spending most of his time in bed). The big generator, and my older small generator went to the farm and are being used there.

The current went back on in the evening, but at 3 am it went off again and stayed off until 10 am. There was no way to send someone to get gasoline for the generator, so we did without....but it was very hot last evening, since the rains haven't arrived yet, so by 8 am I was sick and nauseated from  the heat. And the Aircon only helps a bit:The Airconditioner is sluggish: Probably due for a cleaning and refill.

I tend to get kidney infections when I get dehydrated..I had one when Lolo was so sick but took antibiotics and it improved, but I think that I have to go back on antibiotics...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Family news

Joy went to Manila for business. I believe Ruby has one of her religion vacation classes and is staying here.

Chano is busy at the farm. They should be done the harvest but have to dry and pack it.

And yesterday, PhilRice came with seedling of a new hybrid they want us to try. Our farm workers and our subcontracted farmers will attend classes by them on how to plant and grow it in field experiment.

Me? I am in a bad mood as usual. No maid (they all quit, and the maid who used to come in for day work was fired for some reason) so I am stuck answering the door bell, an average of five times in three hours until Dita gets back from the Palenke at 10 am and can answer the door.

Yesterday we not only had the afternoon teenage religion class from Ruby's church but a meeting of pastors in the morning, all singing praise to the Lord. They are good people but happy happy praise the Lord is not what one wants when one is in mourning.


So I went to the cemetary to check on Lolo's grave (the roof is up but the floor is only partly done...they are working on someone else's grave and since they got most of the money from us, well, there is no hurry to fix the last details. I left flowers and candles and said a prayer, as is the custom. Hell, Lolo even left flowers and candles on our dog's grave, to my amusement...

After going to the cemetary, we went to the Mall (to send money to one of my teachers, an African nun, whose niece died of HIV related complications at age 19. She was on chemo, but died of an infection, was a case of neonatal HIV from her parents, back in those days they didn't know about HIV and didn't have chemo that stops the transmission of the virus).


Factoids below the fold

SudAmericano 1 NorteAmericano 0


because they all look alike?

This Gun rights meme going around the internet is nice, but one small problem:

That isn't Tubman, But Stagecoach Mary Fields, the gun toting, hard drinking mail carrier of  Cascade Montana.


Professor Mary Beard visits Algeria to view the Roman ruins and notices some changes: More Hijabs and fewer children per woman (2) than in the past.


coming to a theatre near you: First came Mr Bean, then came Paddington Bear, and now:

Shaun the Sheep, the Movie.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Good news stories below the fold

South Sudan is a mess, but there is an unreported story in this: when roads turn to mud and there is nothing to plant, the UN and NGO's are actually helping via an airlift.

 Relief agencies are now supplying farmers with seeds and the agencies are having to ship the seeds by air. The seeds are usually distributed in “crop kits” which contain several different plant seeds. One common crop kit contains maize, sorghum and cowpea.

How Pakistan's fight against terror benefits from "realistic" training.

Most of the long report on that area is bad, but it notes  the various reasons  behind why Pakistan aren't sending troops into Yemen...(they are busy fighting their own war on terror, and bedsides the Gulf money is funding the mosques and schools that are recruiting many terrorists that attack their Shiite minority is mentioned, as is their ties with Iran.)
then there is this:

Eight months after Pakistani police arrested ten men involved in the attack on Malala Yousufzai in 2012 a court convicted all ten and sentenced them to life in prison
and Pakistan is going out of it's way to protect Chinese in that country with military help (one of the back stories on the 2005 Red Mosque attack was that the mosque had attacked some female Chinese prostitutes health workers, and China pressured them to retaliate).

Most of these Chinese will be involved with the $28 billion worth of infrastructure (roads, railroads and power stations) China is building. Thus Pakistan is organizing a special protection force of 12,000 men

The Iraqi president visited Iran, and this included talks about the two countries cooperation in ecological preservation.
We have provided technical and training assistance on environmental issues to Iraqi brothers before and we decided to continue. While it is well understood that peace and security are the prerequisite for any improvement of environmental conditions, both Presidents stressed that  Iran will continue to play an instrumental role in confronting terror and insecurity in Iraq along with the Iraqi people. 

Dr. E has photos. She is wearing a green scarf with her chador...a symbol she supported the reform president there.

she gets around...even the Freepers were happy with her when she shut down the feral dog killing program (to root out rabies) that was being done with excessive cruely and caught on video...

and TehranLive reports that the propaganda billboard were replaced (temporarily) with classic art work (for 10 days) in Tehran.
In a project which the city’s mayor hopes will encourage people to visit museums, the billboard ads have been replaced with artworks by renowned local and foreign artists. For 10 days, images by the likes of Pablo Picasso, RenĂ© Magritte and Henri Matisse are turning the capital into a giant urban art gallery. 

heh. Picasso anyone?


HollyOrdway has an essay on writers such as William Morris who influenced Tolkien.

For later reading.


Scientists now know why men exist: to improve the gene pool through competition.

A system where all offspring are produced without sex -- as in all-female asexual populations -- would be far more efficient at reproducing greater numbers of offspring, the scientists said. But in research published in the journal Nature on Monday, they found that sexual selection, in which males compete to be chose by females for reproduction, improves the gene pool and boosts population health, helping explain why males are important. 
heh. Men and females are different because of evolutionary advantages. And that doesn't even get into anthropology on how extended families improve survival because they provide the social support in times of trouble.

Tell that to Justice Ginsburg:
“Marriage was a relationship of a dominant male to a subordinate female,” she explained. “That ended as a result of this court’s decision in 1982 when Louisiana’s Head and Master Rule was struck down … Would that be a choice that state should [still] be allowed to have? To cling to marriage the way it once was?”
 ...this is, of course, the marxist/feminist interpretation of traditional marriage bonds as taught by the best scholars in academic feminism.

TheOtherMcCain has a running commentary on how this type of feminism that is being taught in universities today...he is controversial and anti woman because he dares to quote them. (to paraphrase his arguements: Rommel Feminists, I read your book)

I posted this on my facebook page because the haters there love to bash "uncharitable christians". working in the trenches. I recognize these things, but never mind. It's easier to see a noblesse oblige attitude toward the poor than to actually help them in a one to one situation.

AlJazerah reports on a protest in China...the article notes that despite the recent prosperity due to capitalistic reforms of the economy in China, there were 20 thousand protests last year in that country, mostly about corruption and favoritism or about pollution..

and yes, that fire that killed factory workers in Manila was also due to corruption: Grease the right palms and they will look the other way.

Someone tell Pope Francis that corruption, not capitalism, is the problem. And corruption is stealing, and there are lots of condemnations of it in the Bible (including Jesus throwing out the corrupt money lenders in the Temple, who were probably greasing palms themselves). Liberation theology just lets the socialists steal in the name of the people.

Monday, May 18, 2015

okay? okay.

A follow up to the previous rant.

a good book/film about when the church of happy slogans meets suffering is the cult classic, the Fault in our stars...

The protagonist finds truth in a book written by a grieving parent and goes on a quest to find truth only to find he is a narcissistic drunk, so involved in his own pain as to rebuff the narrator, who is herself dying of cancer. link

The quote missing from that list?

That's the thing about demands to be felt

Sorrow and joy and communion...rant

Librivox has Tolstoy's "Confessions" there for your sleep inducing listening pleasure.

If that doesn't put you to sleep, try Schopenhauer.

Tolstoy and other great writers kept faith alive during the days when religion was taboo but the old classics were still read on the sly. (there is a part in Soltzenitzen's  "Cancer ward" where the patients discuss one of Tolstoy's books for example.)

One longs for the days of the "Great books" discussions, which are now censored because they were white men, yet multiculturalism actually ignores the great books of other cultures in favor of a marxist nihilistic view of life.

 I mean, why not compare Musashi to Tolstoy? Shakespeare to the Genji? So one wonders where our children will find the great ideas still exist on the sly. Percy Jackson? LOTR? X Men?

One insteresting aside on the Librivox page about the Will to Power:

Schopenhauer squarely faces the fact that existence is fundamentally suffering, but it would be simplistic to label him (as is so often done) as nothing but a pessimist. His affirmation of Art and Love is a transforming principle, having a powerful influence on writers such as Tolstoy. In the end, he chooses the Way of Negation as the path toward peace; by denying our Will, by silencing the many outbreaks of Will in our lives, we can approach the ultimate peace of annihilation that is the theme of the great Vedic philosophy of India, to which Schopenhauer admits his profound debt.
hmm...annihilation as that the "vedic" Philosophy?
Don't ask me. But I wonder if he noticed how that part about "denying will" actually worked in reality: It translates as telling the poor and the untouchables to just suck it in and you'll find pie in the sky when you die...

which explains why so many in India and Afghanistan turned Muslim, which in it's south Asian form was Sufi, stressing the joy of being one with one's God, (as in the Gita) not the rigid rule oriented Islam that the Saudis are busy exporting. The Saudi exported version of Islam reminds me of Calvinism "converting" all those easy going papists to a rigid theocracy, while destroying all who stood in their way. What is needed in Islam is a counterreformation...
the president of Egypt is trying to do this (Cairo is a center for Islamic scholarship) but one does not know if he will succeed.


Related item: Get Religion and David Warren both comment on the touchy feely "god loves you" churches that then wonder why they don't keep their members.

GR quotes a conservativeblogger about this

This is the problem with Christianity in this country. Not just inside our church buildings, but everywhere. It often has no edge, no depth. No sense of its own ancient and epic history. There is no sacredness to it. No pain. No beauty. No reverence. Or I should say Christianity has all of those things, fundamentally and totally, but many modern Christians in every denomination have spent many years trying to blunt them or bury them under a thousand layers of icing and whipped cream and apathy.

it's not the joyful part that is the problem. It is the superficiality of it.

CanadianBloggerDavid Warren frequently post about the problem and today's lecture is about how the traditional liturgy is best when it sees the whole, and not just in a linear fashion.

“traditional” (i.e. genuine) Catholic worship, the Mass serves as a kind of moving eye, through the whole scriptural heritage, casting light into its parts through the turning seasons. ... it adds a specifically divine, extra-temporal dimension to that reading, through the use of time in a grand circuit: beginning where we end, and ending at the beginning, and unfolding from any point at all. The Lord who calls us is not confined to this arrow of time, calling us as much from past and future as from the present moment.
Ah, but is the Latin mass better for non European culture? That has yet to be proven. Maybe the real problem is lack of reverence in modern religion, and too often I am left feeling as an outsider hanging on my my fingernails in the midst of a touchy feely crowd who sing about their love for everyone else but never bother to actually get to know or to help their neighbors in a practical manner as the old fashioned Catholic/Baptist/Lutheran ladies usually did in the good old days.

so why go to church at all? To meet Jesus one to one by receiving him in communion...

One is reminded of Tolkien's reasons:

“Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. . . . There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth...
Also I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your Communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children—from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn—open-necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray for them).
"It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people.
"It could not be worse than the mess of the feeding of the Five Thousand—after which our Lord propounded the feeding that was to come.”

My main complaint on the "modern" touchy feely churches is that they ignore the sacrament, so most "modern" catholics don't even recognize Jesus is met there.

which is one of the real problems of the much needed but too superficial charismatic types of worship that are spreading around the globe: it's about making people feel good, not about meeting Jesus in the trenches of life.

of course, it's easier to just have the kids sing and do liturgical dance like my Granddaughter does every weekend at her pentecostal church...and then have the kids do "outreach" to teach Jesus to those wise old Catholic ladies in the poor villages who smile at the youngsters and then go back to placing sampagita fronds on their Mama Mary statues. The old ladies see Jesus and Mary as part of their family. Mary lost a son, so she understands you when you mourn. And Jesus? Well, you learn about Jesus via stories (aka parables) and fiestas...

 but they can't quote scripture (usually out of context) to explain this logically, so they are considered pagans who need to be "converted" to the superficial get happy pentecostal churches where there is no place for sorrow, for deep joy, or even knowing that Jesus was a man like us and liked a SanMig once in awhile.


Yes, I'm feeling nasty again.

the good news? Pedialyte cures hangovers.