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Monday, February 08, 2016

Christianity In The Middle East


Saint Sebastian, Martyr, painted by Guiliano Bugiardini





Prisoner of Abu Ghraib, presented by my country and paid for in part by my tax dollars

--

Myth




Myth is a form of Story.

The ancient Greeks used myths to add information to the random world about them: they sensed things and their past learning and cognitions helped them process that which was new; they added the new to the structure of the old; and the stories of myths helped them structure the world physically, dynamically, religiously, and morally, for these myths were their pre-existing structures of consciousness - the scaffolds they used to carry the new marble images to the parthenon of their awareness.

There are narratives that entertain, there are narratives that inform, there are stories that amuse and stories that establish facts; there are stories with political points and there are stories about ethical issues.

There are many kinds of narrative or story; they are not all the same.

Myth is Story that is used to aid in understanding Life.

--

The Man WIth The Golden Keyboard: 1 The Hecatomb

The Sacrifice of Polyxena by the Achaeans to Ensure Fair Winds to Sail back to Hellas



A great many people - scads of them, actually - tell me at those inopportune and scarce times when they happen (1) to bump into me, and (2) engage me in conversation, and (3) talk about my ideas,  have told me that they never know when I am serious.
I understand that. I do not understand why they think seriousness is so important, but I do understand why they never know whether I am serious or flippant, because the whole thing about having a functionality - like an ability to play the piano or write a bunch of sentences - is to be able to be serious about being playful.
Like, you know, to be able to mozart the sounds and the furies into a jelly-roll-morton presentation belted out in a bessie-smith gravel voice, and to paint it with turner and constable tones, def gainsborough!

OK.


(1)
I believe that my generation, the Boomers, are the inspiration for the modern day Zombie cinema-consciousness.

After years and years of whining about Social Security and safety nets and an equal number of years of doing the absolute minimum to amend such problems as do exist, our country will knowingly or unknowingly institute policies designed to kill off the Boomers.

The malaise that is afflicting the stock markets and economy, the phenomenon of dismally low interest rates has destroyed any chance of a good life for savers and those on fixed incomes. This situation will not change any time soon.
In fact, it will probably not change for 20 years or more.

Nature is making plans: wealth is being concentrated within a small percentage of the population, those who have the best chance of survival. The rest of society will be winnowed brutally,a dn the chaff will be blown by the winds of history.
There are numerous interludes in history that are similar: enormous suffering and vast dislocations, but after a time, things get back to a status of not-too-bad and the tears of those who wept exist only in those photos taken by progressive, socially-conscious photographers.
The Boomers faces will be all Appalachian mothers and coal miners glances and Dust Bowl kids running for shelter.............




There are so many of us Boomers... a horde preying on the welfare of the younger wage earners.
And the metaphor is apt, for the Days of Growth and Roses are gone.
The blood-suckers will be put out on an ice-floe, or they will be sequestered and budgeted into their heavenly rewards.
And when the time is right and the population has righted itself, there will be growth again up from the depths, and we shall forget the bad times past, just like the Leave It To Beaver years forgot the Depression.

When I saw the film Fahrenheit 451, I intuited immediately that I and a lot of my generation would end their days in exile, reciting old knowledge, memorizing books, far from the urban ovens of the coming Hecatomb - that extensive loss of life sacrificed.

And we shall see again that the only way this society communes with the Powers is through the willful sacrifice of conscious beings, whether bulls and oxen or human beings. Consciousness is like the strings of a lyre and it is music to the ears of bloody gods.


--


The Future Of Cellulose




A robo-Tradescantia-Zebrina drawing water from the Dead Sea.
It appears to be on the west bank...


--

Cosmetics News!


The Cosmetic News



While in Carson's yesterday, I had a chance to look at the new Sylvia Plath ™ line of cosmetics they have just launched along with intense media coverage.








--

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Portfolio Theory Is Dead



I was talking with my banker Friday. Among the items of converse, I mentioned that I thought that there was a disconnect between the real economy and the stock market; equities were no longer valued properly according to expected returns and future values, etc.

He agreed.

So, by agreeing with my observation, good or poor, the implication is that there is an extremely good chance that classical portfolio theory is invalid at the present time, in as much as the risk associated with stock owning is risk far in excess of what one might expect of the normal business cycle.
Portfolio Theory was not formulated under the hypothesis of the present disconnect between stock markets and asset valuation.

My banker has not thought that far.

--

Пряники

Пряники 
Pryaniki: Russian gingerbread or spice cookies.
Mix the sugar, eggs, soda, cinnamon, honey...
cardamom, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, anise...



Pinkhus Karlinskii, Supervisor of Chernigov Floodgate




pic:  Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
Library of Congress

--

Big Thumbs Up, Gun Dudes !


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/6/benjamin-tiller-11-found-guilty-killing-8-year-old/
An 11-year-old Tennessee boy will spend the rest of his childhood in jail after a judge found him guilty of murdering an 8-year-old girl during an argument over the girl’s puppy.

Benjamin Tiller was found guilty Monday of first degree murder for the October death of McKayla Dyer.

Police said the boy used his father’s shotgun to kill his neighbor after the girl refused to let him play with her new puppy, a local ABC affiliate reported...

I read this story first in ParisMatch, which account ends with
L’arme appartenait au père du petit garçon. Elle avait été acquise de façon légale.
The weapon belonged to the father of the young boy. It had been legally acquired.

 McKayla Dyer, 8 years old; an acceptable statistic in our society


http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/feb/4/maryland-gun-control-law-infringes-second-amendmen/
A federal appeals court challenged the legality of Maryland’s assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban on Thursday, saying the law infringes on the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, in a 2-1 ruling, ordered the original district judge to use stricter constitutional standards in reconsidering an earlier decision that upheld the ban.

“In our view, Maryland law implicates the core protection of the Second Amendment,” Chief Judge William B. Traxler Jr. wrote in the majority opinion. He added that the law “significantly burdens the exercise of the right to arm oneself at home.”

SEE ALSO: D.C. gun law casts pall over Md. resident five years after plea deal

Maryland’s ban was enacted in 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It prohibits the sale or ownership of 45 types of military-style rifles, and of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Proponents of the law, including Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, said most mass violence incidents have involved military-style weaponry and high-capacity magazines, and such weapons are not necessary for self-defense...

I believe that were I a judge, I would interpret the Right to Bear Arms to extend to atomic weapons and beyond. Then a foolish society would find its peril quickly, instead of letting itself die slowly.

--

The Hegelian Phenomenology of "Hail, Caesar!"

Josh Brolin as Eddie Mannix in Hail, Caesar



I saw the Coen Brothers film Hail, Caesar! Friday evening. It is about the studio production of a film called Hail, Caesar!: A Tale of the Christ. Since then, I have read 6 reviews of it: the New Yorker's, the New York Times, the LA Times, and three more sundry reviews. They all seem to say nice job, well done, and spend a lot of time recounting the story. Some take a tentative stab at some heavy interpretative stuff. There was some gab about riffs on previous cinema, as if riffs were somehow profound. Maybe they are.

It seems to come down to the fact that everyone thinks that the Coen Brothers are criticizing the studio system.
Since there is no more studio system, this seems like an unlikely horse to flog with such an array of talent. Perhaps there is something else in this film.

I don't do recounting of story. If you have not seen the film, you will be totally at sea for what I am writing. Go see the film first. Or refer to:
 http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2016/02/05/hail-caesar-review-all-of-your-favorite-movies-in-one
and
http://forward.com/culture/film-tv/332921/coen-bros-make-fun-of-religion-politics-and-hollywood-in-hail-caesar/
and
http://www.avclub.com/video/where-does-hail-caesar-rank-coen-canon-231799


Eddie Mannix is a fixer; when the foibles and weaknesses of mankind show up in the stars of the screen and threaten the fairytale universe the studio has spent millions creating, it is up to Eddie Mannix to straighten things out and get everything back on the right track.

Mannix is not just a fixer; he is The Fixer.
He is not The Fixer in the sense of Bernard Malamud, but in the sense of a possible character of Isaac Bashevis Singer who would have rode into the town of Goray after the upheaval caused by Sabbatai Tsevi, the phoney Messiah, and returned that world to normality.
He is a Fixer with a capital "F" and a m'shikh (messiah) with a small "m".

Is this far-fetched? I don't think so. When we meet Mannix, he is going to Confession, like any good Catholic circa-1951 (we know the year because we see some rushes from a film in production with the Roman numerals displayed). It has been 24 hours since his last confession. When we take leave of Mannix at the end of the film, he is going to Confession again, and 27 hours on his watch have passed.
He tells the priest this, who tells Mannix maybe this is too much confession.
Mannix even keeps the Holy on schedule. It's 27 hours, God; no more, no less. Take a memo.

The film looks at the extremes of Communism and Capitalism, as personified by the Communist writers' cell and Capitol Picture Studio. When George Clooney's character Baird Whitlock returns from being kidnapped by a Communist writers' club (!), he tells Mannix that the Commies have all the answers to history and economics and the future in a book they call "capital with a 'K' ", referring to Marx's Das Kapital.



The extremes are ridiculous.
Extreme capitalism is personified in the head-hunter from Lockheed, who says that Mannix's work is foolishness and Lockheed does the real work of the world, as he takes out a photo of the H-Bomb exploding at Bikini Atoll. He wants Mannix for Lockheed.
The real work of the world is death?
This is 1951, and by the time Mannix's children are grown up, the USA will be dropping the products of capitalism - bombs, Agent Orange, etc. - on Vietnamese whether Communist or not.

And the Communists are ridiculous.
As the antithesis of Capitalists, they cannot even keep their ill-gotten gains, the $100,000 dollar ransom for George Clooney's character, Baird Whitlock, whom they had abducted. They are poseurs of History and not its agents.


Organized religion?
In the scene where Mannix runs the Christian and religious issues of the film Hail, Caesar!: A Tale of the Christ by a priest, a rabbi, an Orthodox priest, and a Protestant minister is precious in its depiction of the inane discord between the four representatives of organized religion and the befuddlement of Mannix, who sits between the four men, a middleman who finds it hard to understand those whom he must deal with.
This is the strangeness of the one middleman - morally obsessive - between the clueless and religious, whose morality seems to resemble sound bites more than scripture.

Here we see that Eddie Mannix is akin to a Hegelian synthesis that comes into being in the field of the antagonism of the Thesis and the Antithesis, which in this movie are the extremes; he exists as something between and more than Capitalism and Communism, more than Art and the Workaday world, more than Holy Religion and Dismal Indifference.

In the end, Mannix's true devotion is to his job of allowing the world of the studio to continue in existence. Mannix is like one of those inherently devote souls without whose prayers and labors the world would cease to exist.
He does not have exquisite control. We see him talking to his wife on the telephone, and they are discussing a seeming problem their son is having playing baseball. Mannix says he will call the coach of the team and try to fix the situation.
Soon after, in the only scene at home, Mannix is eating a late, warmed-up dinner before returning to his office, and his wife tells him that their son played another baseball game, and that he was still at short-stop position, and everything went very well.
Mannix mentions he forgot to call the coach. Things worked out. Mannix didn't helicopter into the baseball diamond and talk to the coach. Things worked out, as they were allowed to.
(Since we only see a little over a day of Mannix's life, we really do not know his family life very well, although we may assume what we see is typical. One of the reasons brought forward to join Lockheed is time with the family; imagine that: family time and H-bombs.)

With Mannix, things will work out, no matter how wretched the human material he has to work with. Mannix will allow the flotsam and jetsam of the universe which is the world according to the Studio to be the very best it can be, for they are all a part of a communal effort to create a film which hopefully will reap benefits for everyone involved, the capitalists, the laborers, and the consumers.

And there's a point: to benefit all involved.
There are inequities, as the writers demonstrate, but Mannix inhabits a world devoid of politics. Politics is the Art of those who Compel and Persuade and Enforce for imaginary ideologies and forces of History and the true words of God... and that is not the world of the studio.
The world of the studio is the real jimmy-rigged world of souls.
A Sullivan's Travels of detail after detail.

He can cajole. After roughing up an almost-Communist Baird Whitlock, he tells him to get back to the set, and he tells him to be the greatest star he can be.
He can threaten. He explains exactly why a gossip columnist should not run a story embarassing to Whitlock and the studio, since the source was a Communist agent, and if that bit of information got back to the media - and there is no doubt Mannix would see to it that it did so - the gossip columnist would at best look like a Commie stooge.


Finally, the title itself is thought provoking.
The most common use of "Hail, Caesar!" that comes to mind is

Ave, Caesar! Morituri Te Salutant!

Hail, Caesar! They who are about to die salute you!

If you do a search, that will be the first response, as recorded by Suetonius in De Vita Caesarum, wherein Suetonius has the emperor Claudius respond

Aut non...

Or not...

They who are about to die... or not...
I think the Coen Brothers are using the studio system to portray a Practical Kingdom of the world where we may at least live and work together. They are not criticizing the old studio system; that has been done and they could add nothing to that futile exercise.
But our future, that is not yet done, and they are despairing of the idiot extremes.

--



Baby Names: Marie Pacifique?




Everyone is still working on baby names as February 15th approaches.
This will be our first grandchild. I have called her Zoe, which seems appropriate, as Zoe means "life".

I have been preoccupied. My mind turns only on the potential futures. Terrifically we are immersed in out thoughts, and we ignore the puppet shows of presidential candidates.
(We suspicion they will all implement policies which shall "ice-floe" the elderly anyway, won't they?)

The weather forecast for our drive to Maryland has improved since February 3rd, at which time the GFS models forecast either 1.5 inches rain or 15 inches snow in Maryland. The snow would have been spread out over a number of days, making it more manageable than the previous 31 inches of snow spread out over 36 hours two weeks past, which pretty much was it for the eastern seaboard below the Mason-Dixon line. Schools were out for a week, and municipalities were asking for volunteers to help shovel out bus stops which were piled high with snow.

Back then we all were thinking snow, snow, snow, ... and pregnant ladies traveling to hospitals along roadways covered by 31 inches of snow...
We all were so focused that I think we may be able to handle 15 to 20 inches with aplomb.
It occupied a good portion of the mind. My mother said that she expected to look out the window and sees snow everywhere. She did not see any, because we live up north of Maryland, where there is no snow really, and today the temperature is supposed to reach 48 degrees Fahrenheit, and my seasonal allergies are continuously in some vast legislative tumult about the scope of their powers: the sinuses claim outrage that the bronchial passages are overextending their grasp, while the chthonic powers afflict me with an unexpected satyriasis, and the tinnitus of autumnal hay fevers flows into winter and laughs a metallic chuckle.

I looked for snow every day, also, and there was none. I informed the powers that be that I would accept the 31 inches and shovel out the drives of all the infirm and elderly within a 2 mile radius if they would transfer the powder up our way and keep it away from our daughter.
Until we moved in 2003 I used to shovel out our house, our immediate neighbor's house, and the house of the old lady across the street. I don't think we ever got 31 inches snow, however. We would not have had places to store it.

I hope the baby's name is Mary-something-something. Mary is a fine name. It is powerful and focused. One never goes wrong with a patroness such as Holy Mary.
My wife had an aunt by marriage whose name was Marie Pacifique, whom all the Irish relatives called Aunt Pacifica.
I was thinking along the lines of Mary Pacifica until it dawned on me that all the kids at elementary school would be goofing around, saying

Mary Pacifica! Mare Pacifica!

making a joking pun on the Latin for "Pacific Ocean" :  mare pacifica ,
and what is worse than hazing in Latin? (In my imagination, I already have the child going to a rather snooty school.)

The kids always used to make fun of one of She-who-must-be-obeyed's paternal nephews by changing his name from

Meyer Hans Joachim

into a teasing chant of

Meyer Hansy Waffles!

One must be careful with names.

--

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Automobiles Of The 2016 Blizzard

From L'Obs  (or L'Observateur):

Automobiles in Washington


and Heavy.com:

--

Snow-fies From Maryland

photos from the big storm:








--

Friday, January 22, 2016

One Thing To Remember... Tar Candies

Tar Candies Growing from the Asphalt



Information is everywhere and easily available.

Being intelligent beings, we take a great deal of pleasure in processing information, generating belief systems, and generally establishing credos of common sense and how-the-world works.

That's why the cable TV 24-hour/7-days-a-week and the Internet are like colorful, appealing, sweet jujubes made of tar and turpentine: they make us bite, we find they are not quite what they promised to be, and we have the mess stuck in our teeth forever.

Back before 2008, I was all gloom and doom. Very few others were.

Now everyone is gloom and doom, except the people like bank presidents who are interviewed on (1) cable TV, and (2) on the Internet.

Every attitude acts like tar candies, and it is a struggle to find what's really going on. Just as we should not have believed those who in 2008 said the DOW would hit 50,000 - and that right soon - so should we not hearken to those who say the sky is falling now.

Look at the herd mentality that we exhibit.
I mean, is this the species that we really want to have unlimited access to automatic weapons?


--

note:
The "tar candy" was based on the notion of "tar baby", and that concept has become murky as it has been used sometimes in what might be considered racist form over the years.

I wanted to use "tar truffles", but it was too, too, reminiscent of Tartuffe, and I would constantly be wondering why Moliere was popping into my head.... as he seems to be right now.

Peak Creative Destruction

Joseph Schumpeter



In the world today, creation is destruction and destruction is creation.
This has been brought about by philosophers and economists and scientists, and has been handed down to the rest of us.

Markets no longer act like they did in 1955; markets are active growth/destroy machines now, wherein speculation - which used to provide a chaos in the movement of money smallish in comparison to the rest of the market - now dominates the marketspace.
This is reflected in the present day, where markets giddily swayed and zoomed up and down even before corporate earnings were presented...
corporate earnings are a smaller component of market movements.

Schumpeter stated that capitalism was a process of Creative Destruction, which was used to study innovation in the economy: steam locomotive manufacturing companies are destroyed and diesel engines made by GM take over.

However, the notion was derived from Marx's critique, and Marx wrote:
... And how does the bourgeoisie get over these crises? On the one hand by enforced destruction of a mass of productive forces; on the other, by the conquest of new markets, and by the more thorough exploitation of the old ones. That is to say, by paving the way for more extensive and more destructive crises, and by diminishing the means whereby crises are prevented...

We have reached Peak Creative Destruction almost, and that is when creation and destruction merge into the Future Nausea we have created.

--

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Et... Après La Tempête

And... after the storm...

One of the victims of the Al Qa'ida North Africa attack in Burkina Faso:



Leila Alaoui, photographer



At this time, we may wish to remember that it was our government that funded Al Qa'ida when it was just a fledgling terror wannabe.
--

Tempête du Désert


... or, Desert Storm.

Twenty-five years ago on January 18, 1991.

I was reading L'Obs a couple of days ago and they remembered the day with all the pomp and circumstance that was due it, being the beginning of the design of the shape of things to come.
I remember sitting comfortably, watching TV, watching smart bombs fall down air ducts, stop, retrace their steps, take a left turn, and find a nest in the HVAC unit of the bunker of Tariq Aziz, born Mikhail Yuhanna, Iraqi foreign minister and deputy prime minister and member of the Chaldean Catholic Church.


He was not in the bunker, but if he had been, he could have been the first Christian killed in the Middle East in our ongoing wars. As it turned out, he was in jail indefinitely until June, 2015, when he escaped by cardiac infarction.



If you recall, the paths of missiles bombing Baghdad looked like a premonitory trailer for Independence Day fights against alien motherships.



It marked the beginning of that battle for hearts and minds in the Middle East that we are still engaging in today.






--
pix: L'Obs
http://actualites.nouvelobs.com/galeries-photos/monde/20160118.OBS2956/photos-il-y-a-25-ans-debutait-l-operation-tempete-du-desert.html

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Help!




I am listening to Takashi Shimura singing Gondola Na Uta and I cannot escape!
Help!

 http://fatherdaughtertalk.blogspot.com/2015/12/gondola-no-uta.html

--

Oh, Happy Day!

Montag, As He Wishes He Could Be!


I have been reading my blog.

It is such wonderful nonsense!

It is not nonsense, nor is it sense! I feel such love for you all.

--

La Déesse De La Ville


Statue at the National Seminary  Park in Silver Springs, Maryland, or wherever...!


The Goddess of the city...

I remember staring at this statue and trying to figure out what city it was the titular goddess of... !
I absolutely loved!! the National Seminary Park.
You have no idea. It is all the dreams and cauchemars of life!


la déesse de la ville,
Minerva,
tu n'as aucune idée,
aucune idée,
ce monstre plaisir!
monstre plaisir!

--

Moscow Storm





Ho-hum.
Moscow had a snow storm.

If I remember correctly, there have been some interviews and stories about people wondering and wailing about a lack of snow so far this winter in Moscow. Well, here you go! Imagine complaining about a lack of snow!

I remember so very well the winter of 2013-2014 when we experienced what was deferentially referred to as the Polar Vortex. I went downstairs to check on things, and the air was blowing in by the front door filled with ice particles that skimmered in my flashlight...

I literally... literally felt like McReady in John Carpenter's The Thing walking through an Antarctic scientific station with every window broken. I pulled out wide insulating tape and sealed the door. It remained sealed in this arbitrary and goofy manner for almost 2 months... and intercourse was conducted.... or, rather, we exited and entered the old homestead through the back door... in the garage.

Sorry about that...




--

A Good Thought

Petoskey Stones from Michigan, Ancient Corals that Transcend My Understanding



But when you come to think of it, what does not transcend my understanding? Not much.
I was wondering about some things and came across this:

http://www.islamicity.com/forum/printer_friendly_posts.asp?TID=14741

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

A Hadith of Rasul (SAW) says that,

“Whosoever knows himself knows his Lord.”
“man 'arafa nafsahu faqad 'arafa Rabbahu”

This particular Hadith is highly focused, qualified for achieving and realizing closeness to Allah (S). What is meant by the idea of “knowing oneself” to achieve a close relationship with our Creator? What are the various entities of ourselves and the requirements of knowing oneself?

On examination of the Hadith, it communicates the design, way or method of knowing oneself through the understanding of knowing Allah.
Allah makes it clear in Surah 50 Al Qaf, Verse 16 that:

“It was We Who created man, and We know what dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than his jugular vein.”

This verse illustrates and beautifully explains the position of our relationship and the closeness to our Creator which must be realized for our guidance and transformation.
To be closer then the “jugular vein” relates to the core and the nature of ourselves. Let us examine the entities within ourselves to achieve and discover this close proximity to our Creator, the Lord of the heavens and the earth.

Very interesting... although I would have to say that the English translation leaves a bit to be desired, for I would look closely at the word "faqad"  and think to translate as:

"Whoever knows himself has thoroughly known and learned to continue to know his Lord."

Whatever.

You have no... idea.... how this makes me want to dance...

like some Sufi nerd...
--

Mein Kampf





The authorities will print an annotated version of Mein Kampf, and they will speak about it, and they will be interviewed, but they will not allow such attention to be paid to Triumph des Willens.

And that interests me.

For they have control over the printed book... and may amend it to what they wish...
but they have no control over the effect of the film.

We think that we have thing under control, but that is an illusion. I am growing fearful... a bit more than is the norm.

--

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The "Friendly Fire" Damage Of Michigan's Republican Administrations


 Governor Snyder of Michigan



You may have heard about the lead poisoning that stems from decisions made about the City of Flint's water supply:

http://america.aljazeera.com/watch/shows/america-tonight/articles/2015/12/21/water-flint-michigan-safe.html

http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2016/01/09/curt-guyette-discusses-the-flint-water-crisis-with-rachel-maddow

http://www.eclectablog.com/2016/01/breaking-michigan-governor-rick-snyder-finally-declares-a-state-of-emergency-in-flint-over-water-poisoning-by-state.html

The controversy continues about Republican governor Snyder's response to the lead poisoning of children.
I mean, you can't sell a house constructed before a certain time period without a certified test that there is no lead paint in it. Yet the Republican government of Michigan saw fit to deliver lead wholesale to Flint. Of course, Flint, rather like New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, is largely a poor city with a large black population.

The contempt that threads through Ideology becomes habitual and comes to the fore when circumstances permit. The pagan and heathenish Ideology of the present age will kill everyone, if given it way. Of course, the rich will be the last to die.


Forty years ago, fire-retardant PBBs were dumped into Michigan's cattle feed, and the crisis was handled by the then Republican administration in pretty much the same way: they looked the other way while meat and milk and cheese were tainted with PBBs and worked their way into the food supply and were consumed, where they were stored in fat cells and became difficult to remove from the body.
PBB is one of just six substances — along with lead and mercury — banned by the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive.

Except, of course, in mothers' milk, in which the PBB laden fats were transferred to the children.

Yesterday's Memories and other Useless Thoughts
http://ymaout.blogspot.com/2013/03/pbb-disaster-of-1970s-poisons-all-of.html
... a vet in Big Rapids was threatened by the government if he went public about the ordeal. The government realized that people have been infected with the bad meat and there wasn't much they could do about it at that point. Products were quietly pulled off store shelves leaving many wondering what was going on. Think about it. You had milk, butter, cheese, eggs, chicken, pork and beef products pulled off the shelves. Farmers who were using manure to fertilizer their crops now had traces of PBB on the vegetables. It was literally everywhere. Food from outside states were quickly shipped in while Michigan grown food was destroyed. The PBB laced manure eventually soaked into the water supply poisoning some of the farmers wells...

The children, again. Open season on children yet again. The rest of us are damage due to friendly fire, I guess. I mean, we did vote for them.


PBB Affected Cows Being Killed in Michigan
--

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Merry Christmas!




We have been out of town; out of the country, actually. And so we have had my iPhone turned off to avoid the vultures of data roaming charges, and usually do not bother to even crank up the lap-top, using only to store my reading materials.

So we were walking across Sanderling Place in Toronto, just off  The Donway, on the night of January 7. It was well after sunset, which is about 3:00 PM nowadays, it being cloudy again and threatening rain, and it was quite dark. We saw two tall dark figures coming across the walkway from the direction of Lawrence Street, the Congee Queen, and Divine Lashes, heading west along the Paperbirch Walkway.
They were dressed in black, but were wearing brightly colored stoles, that glowed in even the little light that there was available.
"What's today's date?" I asked.
"January 7, " She-who-must-be-obeyed answered.
"It's Christmas..." I said.
"... the Feast of the Epiphany..." she added.
She was thinking Western Rite, and I was suddenly back in the realm of the Eastern Rite: it was Orthodox Christmas!

So merry Christmas!
It marks the beginning of one 12 Day of Christmas while marking the end of another.
This business of multiple calendars and the extenuation of feasts by having a few days between the feasts of different rites is a rather good idea.

 Eve of Orthodox Christmas in Kazan Cathedral in Volgograd


 Palestinian Marching Band at Church of the Nativity in West Bank, Bethlehem


Procession awaiting Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos 
outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank, Bethlehem


 Saint Porphyrios Orthodox Church in Gaza City


  Greek Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul, Turkey


 Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Iraq, Dohuk Province


Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Aleppo, Syria at Holy Mother of God Church


 Christmas Eve Mass in the St. Volodymyr Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine


President El-Sisi of Egypt Greeting at Coptic Christmas eve mass led by Pope Tawadros II, the 118th Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark Cathedral


 Armenian Orthodox Christmas in Iraq, Dohuk Province


Russia's President Putin at the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God in Turginovo, Tver region, where his parents were baptized more than a century ago
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