Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stuff around the net

(scifi) writer Sarah Hoyt has a series of articles on Heinlein.


Also from PJMedia: the usually pessimistic Michael Ledeen notes that people power in several countries shows that there are reasons to be optimistic.

Since then, the Ukraine seems to have forced their dictator to flee (and Weird Al Yankovic has tweeted that no, he isn't president of the Ukraine). StrategyPage has the background of what's going on...Fracking to the rescue?
Ukraine got free in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed and want closer economic and political ties with Europe. To that end Ukraine began 2013 by signing a $10 billion contract with a major oil company to develop shale gas fields in Ukraine. Within a decade this could eliminate the need to import natural gas from Russia. This would free Ukraine from Russian threats to halt gas shipments if Ukraine did not do as it was told.

all of this reminds me of the problem of "realism in politics": in the days of Marcos, the "realism" types in the State Dept backed him as "the only alternative to communism" (and the liberation theology types, said a communist revolution was the only solution to the country's problems).

Then Nino was killed, and Cory ran in his place, and a million Pinoys marched to oust him, singing hymns.


Speaking of demonstrations: It was noisy from traffic, and when I checked there was a traffic jam and lots of buses detouring around our house (an alternative route to travel through town).

It seems that the Iglesia n iCristo are having a demonstration in Manila on Tuesday, and we are on one of the main roads from the north.

About three million Iglesia ni Cristo members are expected to attend the event at Quirino Grandstand in Manila. As early as 7 a.m., police have kept watch over the Luneta area, including nearby roads and hotels, as buses and jeeps carrying delegates from the provinces started arriving.

The gathering is touted as a "Bible Exposition," but observers also see it as a demonstration of the religious group's numbers and potential political clout.

. They are very active in politics, and because they tithe have huge identical churches all over the place (the only "clean" areas of our town center are the InC church and the LDS church, both down the street from us).

the Iglesia Ni Cristo are supposed to be United Church of Christ (so don't recognize Jesus as God, which means the Baptists dislike them) but are very very strict in rules, so lots of folks call them a cult. When our Iglesia driver went to ask permission from her family to marry our secretary, a strict Baptist, the father said the difference in churches didn't matter as long as he wasn't Iglesia. So he lied and said he was Catholic (which he once had been) and got permission.


The local elites love to blame global warming for all the problems here.

It's a twofer: You can ignore the bribery/corruption behind poverty, and ignore that the illegal logging/mining/dynamite fishing that destroys the reefs, causes landslides and floods, and blame the problem on "global warming".

and of course all that "reparation" from industrial countries will end up in the rich folk's pockets.


The good news: A new agreement on more US troops here, trying to scare China from stealing the West Philippine sea (and all that lovely natural gas that will be fracked in the future). And it's also good news for the lovely ladies in Subic...

Defending tyranny: Time travellers: please don’t kill Hitler...

or as Rev Sensing sardoncally notes: Because killing 50 million people is better than any alternative


Islamophobia in practice:
Some mullah declared a Fatwa against Muslims going to Mars.

or maybe not: The fatwas was some clerics in the UAE. Except they don't speak for Islam (the Egyptian mullahs are the experts who are most respected in these things, but even their fatwas are often not recognized). I mean, there are a billion Muslims, and yes, there have been Muslims astronauts.

And, of course, they don't speak for  Shiites, so that means Iranians can ignore them.

The headline itself is a form of promoting Islamophobia, sort of like quoting some unknown pastor out of context and implying he speaks for all the one and a half  billion Christians in the world. As JFK pointed out: hatred of Catholicism is often spread by quoting a cleric from another country, often from another century, and then implying he represents all Catholics or the church's official dogma. Same here.

and in this case, the headline ignores that the fatwa was because the trip was too dangerous, not because the religion is anti science.

Mark your calenders: Feb 22 is (or was) World Sword swallower's day.

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