Wednesday, August 05, 2015

stories behind the headlines

Father Z and the Catholic blogs see a conspiracy of German money behind the "shadow synod" who tried unsuccessfully to hijack the previous synod on marriage and the family and are regrouping for another takeover try.

so is the Pope going to be a patsy for the culture wars? and if so, which side?

theAnchoress even had to remind someone on a diocesan (!) tv show that the Pope was not an American politician.

but a lot of what the Pope talks about is about third world problems, not the ideology of the west.  And as a Jesuit, he will take the good from both sides and try to prune away the bad parts...

Ethical capitalism has made the world rich, but when it morphs into encouraging rich people to buy too much stuff while destroying the environment and underpaying factory workers, or allowing crony capitalism/corruption (president Godlman sachs?), it is a moral issue. Even JPII noted this as a problem.

Of course, the Pope doesn't push socialism per se, since socialism is also prone to a greedy elite manipulating the poor and destroying the environment in order to stay in power. (as what is going on in China).

why should you, as a secular, care about what the Pope says about such problems? Well, the church is a major player in the power plays of the world, for better or for worse, so knowing what is going on is important for understanding.


related item:

what is the Christian right doing nowadays? Focus on the Family's Truth project training now available for download.

so why do some thoughtful people call the series "indoctrination"? Because it is teaching only one side of an argument.

Fair enough... but remember ordinary folks have a life and the background noise in the media presents only the other side of the argument 24/7...

and no, as a Catholic, I don't agree with their philosophical worldview (we Catholics usually cite natural law rather than Biblical quotes to support our arguments about social problems) but if you work with Evangelicals, you need to know how they view the world and today's problems.


Move over, Luke Skywalker: it's not exactly a lightsaber, but for $1000 you too can buy a laser cutter reports StrategyPage.

 In 2013 a company (supported by U.S. Air Force research funds) came up with a workable solution. It was the very portable TEC (Thermal Erosive Cutting) Torch. Basically it’s a handheld cutting torch using expendable cartridges that used a mixture of thermite and other chemicals to burn through most anything. 


TeaAtTrianon links to an article on Katherine Howard. 
Henry VIII's number four wife.

Although she is traditionally portrayed as a flightly bimbo who deserved to die for cheating on Henry VIII, her actual actions portray a woman who risked his anger by helping others, including being nice to his third ex-wife Anne of Cleves, and to poor elderly Margaret Pole, who she sent warm clothing in prison. And like Anne of  Bolyne, her crime was that she might have been too powerful to those trying to manipulate Henry's policies.


why the kerfuffle about a dead elderly lion? Maybe it's because no one wants to notice a couple of million dead Africans. Well, why notice: They aren't exporting terror, and if China takes over all their mineral wealth, well, who cares?

StrategyPage report on the latest developments in Central Africa and also the tribal civil war in South Sudan, backstory is who gets the oil money, and not mentioned: it is partly a religious war proxy from Sudan.


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