* Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

Tehran rally shakes fist at America and outreach

Something struck me in the TV footage of this 11/04/13 demonstration, perhaps given the fact that it’s a challenge for me to buy coffee at McDonald’s.

This was not spontaneous. There was some big money behind it. Someone paid for the big effigies/pictures of Obama; for the American flags that got burned; for the signs, including a mural that read “Down with America” in English. Someone organized the presence of the tens of thousands; someone called them out, saying be at this place at this time.

Who?

What does this say about demonstrations we see in this country?

Previous pertinent post: Will the real Malala please stand up?

talk show host, on air talent, talk radio, the homeless blogger

* Will the real Malala please stand up?

Malala, survivor of Taliban, resented in Pakistan hometown

Malala Yousafzai’s friends wounded in Taliban attack continue education

Malala Yousafzai: Why the global hero is scorned in Pakistan

The media have been bringing us contradictory reports of how Malala is viewed in her homeland.

Conspiracies do occur.  In my previous work as a legal secretary, I was privy to secret campaigns to manipulate public opinion in various ways.  That often comes to mind when I see a flurry of media coverage on any given subject.  In recent years, for example, there was an explosion of coverage of the creation of vaccines for new, terrifying strains of the flu — that may not have proved so terrifying after all, but for the media hype itself — that impressed me as very likely a campaign to raise public esteem for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Here we have two competing constituencies that, for whatever reason, are competing for U.S. public opinion concerning this woman.

on air talent, radio talk show, talk show host, the homeless blogger

* Prayer is work, too.

(Reblogged 12/02/13.)

Saint Benedict ran a monastery.  He ran into the problem that many monks wanted to spend all their time praying and studying, and not do any of the dirty manual labor — housekeeping, tending livestock, working in the fields — needed to keep the place going. So he adopted and enforced the motto, Laborare est orare — “Work is prayer.”

In excess, religious study can become a drain on society’s resources.  Many Haredi, or “ultra-orthodox,” men in Israel want to spend all their time in religious study instead of earning any money.  (Article.)  Meanwhile, a majority of them live on welfare, with eight to fifteen children.  This places a burden on the remainder of society that that economy can no longer bear.

What about me?
Continue reading

News roundup 08/10/13 – Tawana Brawley, Tavon White, more

Links within this post to headlines:
Tawana Brawley
Tavon White pleads guilty
Mercury and autism


Tawana Brawley hoax: Why she’s paying $627 a month
Trials of Tawana

I had not known about the defamation case.

Gang leader Tavon White pleads guilty in jail scheme

Study Sees No Link Between Mercury Exposure, Autistic Behavior

The search continues for an environmental scapegoat, for what to me appears to be a strictly genetic disease.

News roundup 07/27/13 – Serial killers, Biggest problem with workforce, A new Bosnia?

Links within this post, to the headlines:
The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force
New serial killer in Cleveland
Troubling official statements in Burma violence
Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa
T. Rowe Price raises downtown safety concerns
Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey


The Single Biggest Problem With America’s Labor Force

Underemployment

Bodies of Three Women Found Wrapped in Garbage Bags in Fetal Position in Cleveland Neighborhood

I had never heard of Anthony Sowell before.  I have to wonder whether the ethnicity of his victims plays any role in his relative obscurity as compared to, say, Ted Bundy.

Radical monk unhurt in bomb blast

Troubling quotations:
He is the chief proponent of a movement known as 969, which reformist President Thein Sein’s office has described as a “symbol of peace”.
* * *
Reuters investigations in two of the hotspots of unrest – Rakhine state and the central city of Meikhtila – have revealed the violence was on both occasions fanned by monks who led Buddhist mobs.
* * *
The president’s office, which says it wants to foster peace, tolerance and unity in ethnically diverse Myanmar, has described Wirathu as “a son of Lord Buddha”.

Previous post: “Sitra Achra, the Flipside

Report Finds Gradual Fall in Female Genital Cutting in Africa

Those who don’t know what the term means can consult this Wikipedia article.  In many nations it’s a routine practice to take a razor and shave off a girl’s clitoris, normally in early childhood.  As a result, when she becomes a woman, she will have no access to sexual gratification.  All sexual intercourse, then, is for her in effect no different from rape; all sexual gratification in relationships is the sole privilege of her male “partners.”

The report finds a generation gap in attitudes and practice:  younger women in some places are less likely to have been victims of this procedure, and also less likely to approve of it.  Yet the quotation unsettles me: “We need to create conditions so they can act on their beliefs.”  As reprehensible as the practice is, I am not sure Western folk have the right to impose Western values on anyone.

T. Rowe Price raises safety concerns as it weighs headquarters options

But Elspeth Reeve seems to me to want us to believe there is no crime in America.

Rae Dawn Chong Blasts Oprah Winfrey In A Recent Radio Interview

I never heard of Rae Dawn Chong before, and am no particular fan of Oprah Winfrey.  But for Ms. Chong to spew this language in any public forum about anyone degrades her mightily in my esteem.

I never encountered the term “field N—–” before.  Now I grasp that it is the counter-partner to the term “house Negro,” which Mohamad at the shelter used to use to dismiss the President.  The “house N—–” was a slave suitable to work in the master’s house, given her or his propensity to seemly rather than unseemly manners and conduct.  The “field N—–” would be kept in the fields, given his or her opposite propensities.

No slave has toiled on a plantation in this country since 1865, and it offends me to hear such terms used to disparage anyone.  The N-word itself simply perpetuates the slave mentality, and diminishes everyone who uses and hears it.  IMO no one has any right to use it.

Animal souls

Dog buries puppy in Iraq: Why is this video so popular?

Koko Responds to a Sad Movie – YouTube

There has been comment on the dog video, to the effect that it may have been burying not a friend, but rather a meal.  This possibility cannot be dismissed.

All the same, I firmly believe that critters have souls.  They won’t necessarily be like ours.  Their minds aren’t like ours.  But I am convinced they do have free will — again, probably not quite the same as ours.

Years ago, when I was living in Patterson Park, someone in the neighborhood owned this big, huge, very hairy, jet black dog whom they’d named “Bear.”  I often saw the owner taking Bear for a walk in the park.  From time to time I see auras, and I almost never failed to see, around this dog, a brilliant white aura extending three to six inches from its fur, in all directions.  Whatever it may mean for a dog to be a saint, this was a saint among dogs.