Friday, December 21, 2012

Stuff around the web, plus rants

ch'abej chik, Y'all...

The Good News: Well, the sun has come up and I'm still here.

The bad news: all those "new agers" including the new age nuns who were planning to evolve to a higher power today are still here too.


If you like words, you might want to check out a new feature on First Things by Andrew Esolen: Word of the day.
Today's word is the last name "Waters" (as in John Waters).
You’d expect that somebody named Waters used to live beside some waters, just as somebody named Rivers used to live beside a river. It ain’t so. Just pronounce the name Walters as if you were from Phiwadewphia: Waowters. The dark English “l” was swawwowed up in the fowwowing consonant: cf. “walk,” “calm.” So the name Waters is a variant of Walters, as Wat was the old diminutive for Walter...The name originally denoted the ruler of an army: cf. English “wield,” German “Gewalt,” German “Heer,” army. The underlying idea is the same as in the Greek name Polemarchus: war-ruler, army-ruler.
Hmmm...John Waters as an Army General. Now, that's a thought...

First Things often discusses religion in the public square, and today it notes how Christianity is partly behind Asia's economic prosperity, how a recent State Department memo on the state of the world ignores religion in their paper, and why they are wrong to do so:
...The report identifies an expansion of the middle class around the world as an important trend to watch. But the report misses the fact that the new middle-class strivers in places like China increasing identify with Christianity, which they see as the religion that has allowed the West, and especially America, to triumph. Apart from a quick reference to the fact that increased urbanization may help Christian (and Muslim) activists to “bolster religious cohesion,” the report doesn’t address this phenomenon.

Francis Fukuyama's book Trust noted this years ago.

When folks move from the villages (folk religion) they need a more intellectual and logical rule oriented religion. In Asia, two versions of this are Confucian ethics and Evangelical Protestantism. Even in the Philippines, the elite families often have Chinese ancestry, but the growing middle class tends to be Protestant. The other advantage of Protestantism (according to Fukuyama) is that it gives alternative lines of trust: If you need something in traditional society, you only trust your kin, so you go to the family or the rich guy your family has connections with. Now they go to a fellow church member, and know they won't be cheated.

This is also why some Muslims see Sharia law as a way to stop corruption and societal chaos.

Gun Control? They'll just hide the guns, like they do here.

 (No, we don't have a gun: Chano follows the rules. But until his stroke, Lolo had a submachine gun in his closet, and a handgun to carry, just in case. Now we have a machete and George, the killer lab).

Yet the real problem of child murder in the USA is rarely discussed, because those dying are minority children in the inner cities, and most of those shooting/shot are gang members. But no one wants to talk about ways of disarming gang members...(and no, most of these are not drug related killing)

As for the argument back and forth on gun control vs psychiatric treatment of the crazy:

HELLO. If you have a teenager who is getting violent or unstable, either put on gun locks that they can't remove, hide/get rid of the guns, or at least take out their firing pins.

(Been there, done that, sigh).

The headlines on the terrible murder allow folks to ignore the real crisis: the debt: via Instapundit:
ANN ALTHOUSE: “So I would honor the professionalism of the press corps in dragging our attention back to the fatiguing and sad occupation of attending to the federal budget.”
Freakonomics points to The Onion on what should be done. (put down coffee first then go to the link).

Related item:

Today both the AMA and the AAFP emails are bemoaning that the mandatory Medicare cut backs are still scheduled to kick in on Jan 1

Without congressional intervention, physicians face a 26.5 percent reduction in the Medicare physician payment rate on Jan. 1 as a result of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula. The Budget Control Act's sequestration provision calls for an additional 2 percent cut on Jan. 2 unless Congress and the White House can reach an agreement to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.

Uh, guys: you helped the President to devise the Obamacare bill over the objections of your members, and looked the other way when it was decided to fund Obamacare with Medicare cuts, so stop crying.

As for me: I am not on Medicare because it won't pay for health care here in the Philippines

Heirs of Durin links to an excellent article on Thorin as flawed hero.

Question: Am I the only one who thinks if LOTR resonated with those willing to defend western culture,

But what about the Hobbit? I wonder if Durin's anger and hatred in his quest to recover his lost homeland might resonate with the Palestinians?

Related item:

As Jonathan Tobin at Commentary reported, not only did the (Israeli) embassy (in Ireland) post a picture of Mary and Jesus and write that if these two Jews tried to walk around in Bethlehem today they'd be lynched, they posted a Latma video from two years ago where we attacked the anti-Israel propaganda that passes for Middle East coverage in the execrable Irish media.
Yes: like the hate expressed against the churches holding funerals for the victims of the CT massacre,  politically correct hatred is ignored or condoned...


And the disease of the week: Mexican beer dermatitis.

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