May 27, 2015

Miscellany 14

A lovely new stamp for Flannery O'Connor  whose Habit of Being is the greatest collection of letters I have ever read.

“All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.”


How the Little Free Library project launched a global trend.  Tiny Libraries

Tiny libraries in converted phone booths, purpose-built kiosks, experimental art installations, quirky handmade boxes—and even one refrigerator—are springing up on street corners around the world at a rapid rate. These miniature lending libraries lead the communal book revolution, bringing reading material to the masses at a level that far exceeds their size.

Fashion Inspired By Nature: Russian Artist Compares Famous Dresses And Landscapes


Travel advice Russians are given before traveling to the U.S.>

7.When invited on a picnic  - ""As a rule, the invitation will be only on a weekend, and you don’t have to prepare for something extravagant. Everything is the same as ours, only with far less booze. Bring something sporty—ball, badminton, Americans are certainly fervent fans of these things.” "
17. Don't call people ugly. "At the table is better to avoid talking about politics and religion, as the United States is a country of Puritan values. In the straight-line American culture there is a taboo forbidding calling out the physical defects of another person. This is probably due to the constant desire of Americans to always be in great shape and look young."

What's on the other side of the ocean?

 The-Other-Side-Of-The-Ocean Click to enlarge.  It's Spain and Japan where I am.

Cows on the Beach in South Africa

Nguni cattle take daily walks untended to the beach in the sweltering afternoons. The locals believe the cows like the salty water because it helps keep away the parasites; plus, they seem to like cooling their heels. But all that beef on the beach isn’t a new phenomenon: apparently, shipwrecked sailors first talked about these cow-dotted beaches back in the 16th century.

This video is eerie and mesmerizing.  Watch Art of Ancient Greek Vases Come to Life with 21st Century Animation

Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:00 AM | Permalink

May 25, 2015

"Honor sacrifice by tending to the tree of liberty"

 Eagle Gravestone
photo by Frank Glick at Ft Snelling National Cemetery

"The blood of our warriors — spilled for liberty — has granted us a nation greater than we deserve."

David French on Memorial Day  "Be thankful for the world we have — and remember those who helped us create and defend it."

It’s one thing to read in the history books of barely trained militia staring down British regulars from the top of Breed’s Hill, or of the horrible slaughter on Burnside’s Bridge at Antietam, or to watch movie depictions of Omaha Beach or even combat footage from Fallujah. It’s another thing entirely to stand in silent attention as a friend — a brother you’d just talked to hours before — is loaded onto a Blackhawk helicopter to begin his “hero flight” home.
To say that we can’t repay our debt to these warriors is not to say that we shouldn’t be good stewards of the fruits of their sacrifice. Indeed, the knowledge that all of our lives and opportunities are to some degree blood-bought should sanctify them for even our most secular citizens. Honor sacrifice by tending to the tree of liberty, by building something in your own turn that is worth defending.

Read more at:
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:17 PM | Permalink

May 20, 2015

The 0.3% Consensus

10 Startling Charts That Completely Debunk the Global Warming Scam

 Globalwarming Consensus Chart

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:48 PM | Permalink

Cancer charity fraud

Government says four cancer charities are shams:

In a rare joint action with attorneys general for each of the 50 states, the Federal Trade Commission says four cancer charities run by extended members of the same family conned donors out of $187 million from 2008 through 2012 and spent almost nothing to help actual cancer patients….

the charities spent about 97% of donations they received either on private fundraisers or on themselves. Only 3%, she says, went to help actual cancer patients…..

[D]onated funds were used to pay for vehicles, personal consumer goods, college tuition, gym memberships, Jet Ski outings, dating website subscriptions, luxury cruises, and tickets to concerts and professional sporting events," the complaint says….

The Cancer Fund of America
The Breast Cancer Society
The Children's Cancer Fund of America
Cancer Support Services.

Shame on them all.  Don't give money unless you check first with Charity Navigator

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:01 PM | Permalink

May 19, 2015

Untranslatable Words

From DeMilked 14 Untranslatable Words Explained With Cute Illustrations

Marija Tiurina,  a London-based artist,  has collected, explained, and illustrated 14 non-English words we could certainly use.

Cafuné – the act of tenderly running fingers through someone’s hair  (Brazilian, Portuguese)

Palegg – anything and everything that you can put on a slice of bread (Norwegian)

Gufra – the amount of water that can be held in a hand (Arabic)

Baku-Shan – a beautiful girl – as long as she is being viewed from behind (Japanese)

Schlimazl – a chronically unlucky person  (Yiddish)

Duende – the mysterious power that a work of art has to deeply move a person (Spanish)

Age-Otori – to look worse after a haircut (Japanese)

Kyoikumama – a mother who relentlessly pushes her children toward academic achievement (Japanese)

L’appel Duvide – instinctive urge to jump from high places (French)

Luftmensch – refers to someone who is a bit of a dreamer, and literally means “air person”  (German)

Tretar – is a second refill, or “threefill” (Swedish)

Torchlusspanik – the fear of diminishing opportunities as one ages (German)

Schadenfreude – feeling of pleasure derived by seeing another’s misfortune (German)

Tingo - the act of taking objects one desires from the house of a friend by gradually borrowing all of them (Pascuense)

You'll will want to see them all.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:02 PM | Permalink

Amazing story

Two women, both adopted, both dropped out of high school, one from New Jersey, one from Florida and Iowa, both move to NYC and both decide in their thirties to go back to college to study writing find out on the first day of class that they were sisters.

2 Women Moved to Write Stories Uncover a Surprisingly Personal One

 Sisters Discover
Katy Olson, left, and Lizzie Valverde, who were adopted by different families more than 30 years ago,
in the Columbia classroom where they met.
Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:00 AM | Permalink

May 15, 2015

"Health, safety and security…have replaced faith, hope and charity as virtues"

Theodore Dalrymple on The Cure for Hypochondria

There is no doubt that hypochondriacs are boring; you fear to ask them how they are in case they should tell you.  But one cannot help but suspect that their excessive concern with the state of their health is a defense against something worse, an existential fear that life has no meaning beyond itself, and that therefore the achievement of health, the avoidance of illness, is the highest goal possible.

Certainly, our obsession with health, safety and security (which have replaced faith, hope and charity as virtues) is not proportional, except possibly inversely, to risk or threat.  The hypochondriac is not assuaged by statistics that show that his generation is the healthiest that has ever lived, or that death does not lurk in every food and every product and every situation.  In the absence of a transcendent purpose in life, staving off death becomes all-important.  Hypochondriasis, then, is in part a religious or philosophical problem.

….it is far more important for people to be able to lose themselves that to find themselves.  The ability to distance themselves from their own twinges and morbid thoughts is precisely what hypochondriacs lack. 

To observe, but also to observe yourself observing: that is the trick.  Once, when being mildly beaten by a Balkan policeman with a truncheon, I managed to think about how I was going to describe it, and I found thinking about it a considerable relief.  There comes a point, of course, when such detachment is impossible: but by definition, almost, hypochondriacs have not yet reached that point. 
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:35 PM | Permalink

Miscellany 13

The Uyuni Salt Flats:  Where Land is Indistinguishable from Sky.  Video at the link

 Uyuni Salt Flats

The most incredible treehouses in the world

It's Just Like Hogwarts! What makes Gothic architecture so magical?

 Christ Church Hall Oxford
Christ Church Hall at Oxford

Colorblind People See A Rainbow For The First Time With These Special Glasses

The Spy Among Us  A transcript of Steve Kroft's piece on 60 Minutes.  Jack Barsky held a job at some of the top corporations in the U.S. and lived a seemingly normal life -- all while spying for the Soviet Union.  So how did he quit the KGB without getting killed?

Barsky said: "There's three things I tell people that the Russians were afraid of. AIDS, Jewish people and Ronald Reagan." 

He wrote them a letter saying he had AIDS and the only place he could get treatment was in the U.S. And then the FBI moved next door.

The Curious Case of $2 Bills in Ecuador

They are in such demand that there is a black market where you can buy and sell them for double or triple their face value depending on the bill’s condition. Everyone wants them. Some stores have them on display underneath glass and discretely operate exchanges.

“They bring us good luck. If you keep a $2 bill with you it will bring more money,”

How to Drink Like a Saint  With moderation, gratitude, memory, merriment and ritual.

 Drinking Monk  Eduard Grutzner

Spiders fall from the sky in Australia leaving what enthusiasts call 'Angel Hair'

 Spiders Leave Angelhair

“What happens is that during a particular time of the year, particularly in May and August, young spiders in the Outback somewhere throw these threads of spiderwebs up in the air and use them as a parachute to detach themselves from the ground and move in large colonies through the sky,” Mr Basterfield explained.

“They fly through the sky and then we see these falls of spider webs that look almost as if it’s snowing.

In the Atlantic.  The Wedding Sting When a police department  lured all the drug dealers to one big party.

By 9:00 p.m. the party was in full swing, but behind the scenes was pure tension: Sweaty hands gripped weapons. Synchronized watches were checked. The band knew it was time to give the signal and began to play the song: “I Fought The Law (and the Law Won).”

Williams reached into her garter and felt for her revolver. Shooter jumped onto the stage, and grabbed the mic.

“Let’s have some fun,” he shouted. “Everybody here that’s a cop, stand up!”

A dozen undercover officers rose to their feet as uniformed detectives burst through the door.

“Okay!” Shooter yelled. “All the rest of you motherf***** put your hands on the table, because you’re under arrest! This is a bust!”
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:40 PM | Permalink

How to Build a Human

A Visual Guide to How Babies Are Made 

it was a real revelation to come across this amazing, animated infographic from designer and science-person Eleanor Lutz, who lays out the minute steps of human embryo and fetus development in a single, spiral-shaped GIF.  Lutz, who works in design, but studied molecular biology, incorporated an impressive 396 sketches into the piece.

I don't have enough room to do justice to the amazing infographic, so go to the link.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:43 PM | Permalink

Smart kid

This is the first time I heard this story.  Kidnapper releases 10-year-old who wouldn't stop singing a gospel song

A gospel song saved a 10-year-old Atlanta boy from his kidnapper. Willie Myrick said he was in his front yard and bent down to pick up money when somebody grabbed him and threw him in a car.

“He told me he didn’t want to hear a word from me,” Myrick said. That’s when Myrick began to sing a gospel song called “Every Praise is to  Our God.” The kidnapper started cursing and repeatedly told Myrick to shut up, but he wouldn’t. He sang the song for about three hours until the kidnapper let him out of the car.

The little boy ran to a nearby home and asked the resident to call his guardian.  Myrick, who was reportedly born to atheist parents, was raised by his godmother Codetta Bateman. She often took him to church where he learned about God and developed a passion for the Bible.

When asked who his best-friend is, he said, "I always think that God is with me everywhere I go."

Willie's story has since made headlines around the world and has led to an appearance on Arsenio Hall and radio interviews across the country. He even had the chance to perform "Every Praise" with Grammy award-winning artist Hezekiah Walker, who wrote the song.

Here they both are - Hezekiah Walker and Willie Myrick  starting at 3:40 at the video link

 Willie Myrick+Hezekia Walker

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:37 PM | Permalink

May 14, 2015

"First, there is indifference. Second, there is emotional anger. Third, there is force".

When Relativism Goes Mainstream  This non-philosophy is now the mainstream, default setting in our society. ...

There is no such thing as rational debate. In the absence of objective truth, there can be no debate, for a debate is dependent on the assumption that there is something to debate. A debate can only take place if there is such a thing as truth to be debated, and without that basic assumption, one person’s opinion on a matter must be as valid as the next person’s
I posed a question to three of the students: “Jane, if you have an opinion, and Jerry, you have an opinion, and Jade, you have an opinion, and your opinions differ, and the only thing you agree on is that there is no such thing as truth, and the three of you completely disagree… who will prevail?”

Jane shrugged. Jade said, “Whoever is the loudest.” Jerry said, “Whoever is the strongest.” All three correctly assessed the situation. In the face of relativism the response of the society in general reflects the three answers. First, there is indifference. Second, there is emotional anger. Third, there is force. Co-incidentally, the conversation took place the same evening that the city of Baltimore was erupting into absurd and horrifying violence, and that urban violence is a reflection of the inner state of mind and heart of a society without objective truth. In Baltimore that evening those who were indifferent stood by in horror as the loudest prevailed, soon to be outgunned by those who were strongest…..

….By “objective truth” we mean a cohesive and integrated system of thought which makes sense of every aspect of reality. This cohesive system of thought even makes room for that which is unpredictable and inexplicable by allowing for certain uncertainties. Finally, this “objective truth” is not only a statement of truth propositions and a cohesive system of analysis and integration, but it is also a model for life, a code of behavior, a chart for relationships, and a blueprint for community co-existence. In other words, for this truth to be true it must wear working clothes. It does so not only to prove its practicality, but also to prove its durability. The truth must work and keep working. It must be alive and active and real….

The most terrifying aspect to this truth is that the indifferent will cry out for the domination of the superman. Most dictatorships are welcomed for what they offer. In the lack of objective truth and objective morality what the strongman says is true and what the strongman does is good. Suddenly out of the quicksand of relativism salvation comes. A light shines in the darkness. If the dictator cannot bring meaning out of the mindlessness, at least he can bring order out of the chaos. If he cannot bring beauty out of the beastliness, at least he can promise security in the midst of terror. If he cannot bring morality out of the morass at least he can impose law on the lawless.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:00 PM | Permalink

May 9, 2015

Miscellany 12

The unbelievable backstory of the 18-year-old classified ad that refuses to die

 Time Travel Ad

What matters most to people in every country of the world in one fantastic infographic

In Madrid,  Julien de Casabianca is bringing Forgotten Classical Paintings Taken from Museums to the Streets

 De Casablance Classical Paintings Street

10 Interesting Facts About the Placebo Effect  It can still work even if you know you're taking a placebo

Bigger than 87 average-sized IMAX screens, Hoover Dam Turned into an Enormous Projection Screen

Mad Men endgame theory: Don Draper is D.B. Cooper


What Westeros would look like in Google Maps

Beautiful art made from old keys and coins by self-taught Australian artist Michael Moerkerk.


10 Amazingly Enjoyable Things About Having Kids
Is having kids 'all joy and no fun'? Totally wrong. If you're not having fun, you're not paying attention.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:11 AM | Permalink

May 8, 2015

Iran is running out of water

Daniel Pipes writes that not just Iran but the entire Middle East Runs out of Water

A ranking Iranian political figure, Issa Kalantari, recently warned that past mistakes leave Iran with water supplies so insufficient that up to 70 percent, or 55 million out of 78 million Iranians, would be forced to abandon their native country for parts unknown.

Many facts buttress Kalantari's apocalyptic prediction: Once lauded in poetry, Lake Urmia, the Middle East's largest lake, has lost 95 percent of its water since 1996, going from 31 billion cubic meters to 1.5 billion. What the Seine is to Paris, the Zayanderud was to Isfahan – except the latter went bone-dry in 2010. Over two-thirds of Iran's cities and towns are "on the verge of a water crisis" that could result in drinking water shortages; already, thousands of villages depend on water tankers. Unprecedented dust storms disrupt economic activity and damage health.

Except Israel

the sole exception to this regional tale of woe. It too, as recently as the 1990s, suffered water shortages; but now, thanks to a combination of conservation, recycling, innovative agricultural techniques, and high-tech desalination, the country is awash in H2O (Israel's Water Authority: "We have all the water we need"). I find particularly striking that Israel can desalinate about 17 liters of water for one U.S. penny; and that it recycles about five times more water than does second-ranked Spain.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:44 PM | Permalink

Making chocolate even better

Scientists develop chocolate that is so packed with antioxidants it claims to make you look younger in just THREE WEEKS

After 10 years of extensive research and medical trials, scientists at Cambridge Chocolate Technology have developed what they call the 'world’s first functional dark chocolate' that claims to promote healthy, smooth and luminous skin.

A daily portion of Esthechoc (7.5 grams, which has 38 calories) promises to increases the level of antioxidants in the skin, improving its microcirculation, raising its oxygen level and preventing aging.
Esthechoc contains 70 per cent cocoa and combines two antioxidants that contain strong anti-aging properties: cocoa flavanols and astaxanthin carotenoid.

Dr. Ivan Petyaev, who helped develop the chocolate, tested it out on 3,000 women aged between 50 and 60, who added the chocolate to their daily diet for three weeks. After this period, tests showed that biomarkers and metabolic parameters of their skin were brought back to a level typical of people aged between 20 and 30. Dr. Ivan Petyaev said: 'A daily dose helps the skin to regain its firmness, radiance and luminosity, and when regularly used, it protects skin against the aging process.'

A pack of the chocolate, which contains 21 portions, costs £35.

It's expensive and so far available only at Harrods in London


Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:58 PM | Permalink

May 5, 2015

"A lively exchange of one idea"

College Encourages Lively Exchange Of Idea  Students, Faculty Invited To Freely Express Single Viewpoint

BOSTON—Saying that such a dialogue was essential to the college’s academic mission, Trescott University president Kevin Abrams confirmed Monday that the school encourages a lively exchange of one idea. “As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that it’s inevitable that certain contentious topics will come up from time to time, and when they do, we want to create an atmosphere where both students and faculty feel comfortable voicing a single homogeneous opinion,” ….

Whether it’s a discussion of a national political issue or a concern here on campus, an open forum in which one argument is uniformly reinforced is crucial for maintaining the exceptional learning environment we have cultivated here.”

Where else is there such trenchant cultural comment. but the Onion?

Posted by Jill Fallon at 7:26 PM | Permalink

May 4, 2015

Practical tips of the week

How to shell a boiled egg in seconds using a glass of water

From The Art of Manliness. How to Roll Up Your Sleeves

How to Make Sticky or Stubborn Wooden Drawers Slide More Smoothly

Do you care about your personal data? provides instructions to remove your account or public profile on most popular websites

Scientists put those old wives' cleaning tips to the test.   Some of what they found:

1. Vodka is better than white wine for soaking up red wine stains because more alcohol.

2. Plain old vinegar is still the best for cleaning windows because "the main reason for streaks on windows is the calcium carbonate — or limescale — in rain. Vinegar is a diluted form of acetic acid and acid reacts with limescale to convert it into two things: CO2 gas, which escapes into the atmosphere, and water, which can be wiped away."

3. Forget polishing silver with ketchup.

4. Spuds can take away rust.  Cut a potato in half, rub it over rust and watch it disappear.  It works because "potatoes contain oxalic acid, which reacts with the iron in the rust to make a compound called ferric oxalate. This dissolves in water and can be wiped off. Declan says: ‘The aim here is turning the insoluble oxide in the rust into soluble salts which can be removed. The potato is good because the oxalate traps the iron ions as if in a cage and makes the structure more soluble so they can be washed away."

For exotic travelers, Point It


More for travelers. How an elastic band can save your wallet…  A professional pickpocket gives tips on How to avoid being targeted abroad.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:46 AM | Permalink

May 2, 2015

"For the sexual revolutionaries, it’s the state against the church"

Wednesday, David French wrote

Those who may not be familiar with the law surrounding tax exemptions may not be aware of the true implications of the solicitor general’s statement yesterday that “it’s going to be an issue” whether religious organizations can maintain their tax exemption if they maintain their opposition to gay marriage. Essentially, the solicitor general is alleging that it’s an open question whether such an organization can even be considered “charitable” any longer. An attack on the tax exemption would drop any pretense of neutrality and explicitly turn the state against the church. In other words, our government would behave less like a product of the American Revolution and more like a product of the French Revolution.

French breaks it down in  American Jacobins: Sexual Revolutionaries Prepare the Battlespace for a De-Christianized America

In yesterday’s oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges (better known as the “gay-marriage case”), the solicitor general of the United States committed a classic “Kinsley gaffe”: He accidentally told the truth.
Thus, to be clear, the solicitor general said it was “going to be an issue” whether a religious college that upholds orthodox Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality could even be considered “charitable.” That a solicitor general could even raise the question represents a sea change in American political culture, potentially placing the government in a state of overt declared hostility against the most basic elements of orthodox faith.
[O]ne of the great accomplishments of the American Revolution was the creation of a state that allowed people of all faiths, of no faith, and of radically divergent views of liberty to carve out a place in a new nation, sustain their own thriving communities of shared purpose, and live largely free of concern that the state would move to suppress or silence your faith and viewpoint.
But the Jacobin advances the revolution by any means — and through any reasoning — necessary. To the Jacobin, you are either a revolutionary or an enemy, and no lesser light than the federal government’s chief constitutional advocate has now raised the specter of a legal regime far worse than “separation of church and state.” For the sexual revolutionaries, it’s the state against the church.

The Putative Democrat Presidential Candidate

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday said “deep-seated … religious beliefs” have to be changed before the world’s women will get full access to abortion.

“Far too many women are still denied critical access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth. All the laws we’ve passed don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper. Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed,” Clinton said

Christians must be “made” to change their deeply held beliefs, will “have to be changed.” Who, exactly, will be imposing the making and the changing?

The Javerts of the SJWs

A crowdfunding campaign that had raised more than $109,000 for the Christian-owned bakery Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon was removed Saturday after complaints from gay-rights advocates.
So, there we have it: the Social Justice Warriors, not content to have driven this bakery out of business, are now trying to prevent people from giving the bakers money to pay their monumental fine. It is not enough for the SJWs that the Klein family business was destroyed. And it is not enough that the Kleins are now struggling to feed their five children, and facing a $135,000 fine that will probably drive them to bankruptcy.

Nope, the progressive stance is now to grind those people to dust, in the name of social justice.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:43 PM | Permalink

We are not protected against the 'electromagnetic-pulse barbarians of the 21st century'

The Threat to Melt the Electric Grid  An electromagnetic-pulse attack from North Korea or another U.S. enemy would cause staggering devastation.

The Pentagon was wise to move Norad communications back into Cheyenne Mountain and to take measures elsewhere to survive an EMP attack. But how are the American people to survive? In the event of a yearlong nationwide blackout, tens of millions of Americans would perish from starvation and societal chaos, according to members of the Congressional EMP Commission, which published its last unclassified report in 2008.
Yet President Obama has not acted on the EMP Commission’s draft executive order to protect national infrastructure that is essential to provide for the common defense. Hardening the national electric grid would cost a few billion dollars, a trivial amount compared with the loss of electricity and lives following an EMP attack.

Congress also has failed to act on the plans of its own EMP commission to protect the electric grid and other civilian infrastructure that depends on a viable electric grid—such as communications, transportation, banking—that are essential to the economy. In recent years, the GRID Act, the Shield Act, and the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act have gained bipartisan and even unanimous support in the House, yet they died in the Senate.
When ancient Rome could no longer protect its empire from barbarians, cities tried to protect themselves by building walls. Now Washington, unable or unwilling to protect its people, is making it necessary for states to build their own defenses against the electromagnetic-pulse barbarians of the 21st century.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:29 PM | Permalink

May 1, 2015

Religious roots of common words

From Many Of Our Words And Phrases Are Rooted In Religion  by Richard Lederer

Carnival The Latin word parts, carne, "meat, flesh," and vale, "farewell," indicate that the earliest carnivals were seasons of feasting and merrymaking, "a farewell to meat," just before Lent.

Bonfire:  Originally the bone fires that consumed the bodies of saints whom were burned during the English Reformation.

Enthusiastic: From the Greek enthusiasmos, "a god within."  The word first meant "filled with God," as did giddy, from Anglo Saxon gydig, "god-held man."

Excruciating: The Latin word for "cross," crux, is embedded in the words crux, crucial and excruciating, which has broadened from denoting the agony of the crucifixion to any kind of torturous pain.

Fan:  A clipping of fanatic, "inspired by the temple."  The opposite, profane, describes a person who is irreverent and sacrilegious, from the Latin pro, "outside," and fanum, "the temple."

Good-bye:  Our traditional farewell turns out to be a shortening of the sentence "God be with you."
Posted by Jill Fallon at 3:18 PM | Permalink

Iraqi Catholic Nun Denied Entry into U.S. She wants to speak of plight of Christians persecuted by ISIS

 Sister Diana Momeka  Sister Diana Momeka

With Malice Toward Nun writes Nina Shea in National Review

Sister Diana wants to tell Americans about ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but the State Department won’t let her in.  Why is the United States barring a persecuted Iraqi Catholic nun — an internationally respected and leading representative of the Nineveh Christians who have been killed and deported by ISIS — from coming to Washington to testify about this catastrophe?

Earlier this week, we learned that every member of an Iraqi delegation of minority groups, including representatives of the Yazidi and Turkmen Shia religious communities, has been granted visas to come for official meetings in Washington — save one. The single delegate whose visitor visa was denied happens to be the group’s only Christian from Iraq.

Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena was informed on Tuesday by the U.S. consulate in Erbil that her non-immigrant-visa application has been rejected. The reason given in the denial letter, a copy of which I have obtained, is: You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.

She told me in a phone conversation that, to her face, consular officer Christopher Patch told her she was denied because she is an “IDP” or Internally Displaced Person.  “That really hurt,” she said. Essentially, the State Department was calling her a deceiver.

The State Department officials made the determination that the Catholic nun could be falsely asserting that she intends to visit Washington when secretly she could be intending to stay. That would constitute illegal immigration, and that, of course, is strictly forbidden. Once here, she could also be at risk for claiming political asylum, and the U.S. seems determined to deny ISIS’s Christian victims that status.

Elizabeth Scalia Does Obama Admin haves issues with Catholic Nuns?

It is wholly unlikely that Sister Diana wants to come to America for sanctuary. Her community, the Dominican Sisters of Saint Catherine of Siena have had a presence in Iraq since the 13th Century. They have been on the frontlines amid the horror of ISIS’ advances and they have sent out communiques to let the world know what is happening. I doubt very much that this nun, who is dedicated to her mission, is seeking to escape.

Because I am sick I am having trouble being diplomatic; this refusal to permit entry to Sister Diana, and the excuse given sound like pure-d bullcrap to me.

Why does this administration go out of its way to avoid noticing or mentioning what is happening to Christians in Iraq and Libya and elsewhere? Why are Catholic nuns too suspect to be allowed into the country? What is the problem, exactly?

The Administration will let anyone in across the border without checking including criminals, people traffickers and who knows how many terrorists, but not this Iraqi nun who wants to talk about the plight of displaced Christians driven out of their homes by ISIS.  I do think Obama and his administration  have ill feelings towards Christians.  Remember the action of Obama and HHS against the Little Sisters of the Poor. 

The Little Sisters of the Poor are heroic social servants: they serve the indigent poor and go begging on their behalf. They are tremendous women offering companionship, love and hospitality to people who often have no one else in their lives willing to see and affirm their dignity and worth, and they don’t ask “are you a Catholic” before they make that offer: it is for all…..

How can these religious Sisters, living in a country where the first amendment to its constitution insists upon a free expression of religion and the exercise thereof be in peril?  Because the HHS and the Obama Administration have written one of the strangest laws imaginable, a law that says if a church-related organization serves or hires people outside of its religion — in other words, if they do not discriminate against others — then they are not “religious enough” to claim the primacy of a religious conscience over a government mandate.

As for acknowledging the horrific persecution of Christians in the mid east, Matthew Archbold has the last word. 

La-la-la-la-la. We can't hear you talk about Christian persecution because we don't want to hear you talk about Christian persecution because there is no persecution of Christians because if we there were Christian persecution we would've heard about it and we haven't heard about Christian persecution…La-la-la-la.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:30 PM | Permalink

A CARD that unlocks your phone

A decent overview of the new technologies that will save us from repeatedly entering our passwords.

Forget passwords, now there's a smart CARD that automatically unlocks your phone or tablet when you're nearby

The Salt card is designed to end the tiresome task of manually unlocking a smartphone or tablet by automatically making it come to life whenever the user is nearby. The credit card-sized gadget also locks devices again as soon as a user moves out of range at a distance of 10 feet.  Salt connects to an app on a user’s Android handset or iPhone via Bluetooth and also tells them if they have strayed too far from their wallet, where the firm suggests the Salt card is stored.
The Salt card is made of durable plastic with a matte finish and is the same height and length as an ordinary credit card.  However, it's three times as thick because it has to be big enough to store the battery, which lasts for 18 months.

 Salt Card

SALT | Keyless entry for your phone.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 1:11 PM | Permalink

Palate Cleanser

Korean illustrator captures sweet everyday moments of a couple in love

 1 Puuung Couple Everyday Moments

 2 Puuung Couple Everyday Moments.Jpg

 3 Puuung Couple Everyday Moments .Jpg

Her website here.

Posted by Jill Fallon at 12:20 PM | Permalink

David Simon, creator of The Wire, blames O'Malley for Baltimore's Anguish

For a horrifying story on how a politician can corrupt an entire  police department, read David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish by Bill Keller

David Simon is Baltimore’s best-known chronicler of life on the hard streets. He worked for The Baltimore Sun city desk for a dozen years, wrote “Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets” (1991) and with former homicide detective Ed Burns co-wrote “THE CORNER: A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF AN INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOOD”1 (1997), which Simon adapted into an HBO miniseries. He is the creator, executive producer and head writer of the HBO television series “The Wire” (2002–2008).

The drug war began it, certainly, but the stake through the heart of police procedure in Baltimore was Martin O'Malley [who was major of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, governor of Maryland from 2007-2015 and an undeclared candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination]…..

He destroyed police work in some real respects. Whatever was left of it when he took over the police department, if there were two bricks together that were the suggestion of an edifice that you could have called meaningful police work, he found a way to pull them apart. …. And at a certain point, with the crime rate high and with his promises of a reduced crime rate on the line, he put no faith in real policing.

….O’Malley needed to show crime reduction stats that were not only improbable, but unsustainable without manipulation. And so there were people from City Hall who walked over Norris and made it clear to the district commanders that crime was going to fall by some astonishing rates. Eventually, Norris got fed up with the interference from City Hall and walked, and then more malleable police commissioners followed, until indeed, the crime rate fell dramatically. On paper.

How? There were two initiatives. First, the department began sweeping the streets of the inner city, taking bodies on ridiculous humbles, mass arrests, sending thousands of people to city jail, hundreds every night, thousands in a month. They actually had police supervisors stationed with printed forms at the city jail – forms that said, essentially, you can go home now if you sign away any liability the city has for false arrest, or you can not sign the form and spend the weekend in jail until you see a court commissioner. And tens of thousands of people signed that form.

…There’s a real skill set to good police work. But no, they were just dragging the sidewalks, hunting stats, and these inner-city neighborhoods — which were indeed drug-saturated because that's the only industry left — become just hunting grounds….The police aren’t looking to make friends, or informants, or learning how to write clean warrants or how to testify in court without perjuring themselves unnecessarily. There's no incentive to get better as investigators, as cops. There’s no reason to solve crime. In the years they were behaving this way, locking up the entire world, the clearance rate for murder dove by 30 percent.

….You can’t artificially lower the murder rate – how do you hide the bodies when it’s the state health department that controls the medical examiner’s office? But the other felony categories? Robbery, aggravated assault, rape? Christ, what they did with that stuff was jaw-dropping.So they cooked the books.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 11:59 AM | Permalink

"[T]he Sexual many times more terrible than the supposed patriarchy it supplanted"

Austin Ruse says what can not be discussed today in polite company, Your Revolution is Killing Us.

Their revolution has been murderous indeed and the body count grows ever higher. Yet still they want more, just a little bit more.  [T]he Sexual many times more terrible than the supposed patriarchy it supplanted, the one where women were forced to stay home, bake cookies and never found their G-Spot.
It is a wonder to see sexual revolutionaries, just like the communists before them, insist that all we need is just a little bit more. At least the communists thought the breaking of a few eggs might be regrettable but in the long run was beneficial to the omelet. The sexual revolutionaries deny the eggs.

The litany of broken eggs is tedious, certainly, but we must continue to recite it and in the recitation lay it all at the doorstep of the revolutionaries: more than 50 million dead babies in this country alone; almost one million deaths due to AIDS; 19 million new cases of STDs every single year in the United States; millions addicted to pornography; sex trafficking; galloping pedophilia; forty percent of children born without a father in the home. Your mother never heard of chlamydia. Now teen girls get shots to prevent it.
Jennifer Roback Morse  has a Ph.D. in economics and has taught at Yale and George Mason University. She has held fellowships at Stanford, Cornell Law School, and the University of Chicago. For years she has raised the alarm about the Sexual Revolution and its victims. She believes we can make common cause with them; the survivors and walking wounded anyway, and perhaps one day, in the hazy future, end it.

She has published a very helpful collection of her essays called The Sexual Revolution and Its Victims.

She starts by calling the revolutionaries liars……

 Robach Cover Sexualrev The cover of her book has this photograph of Marilyn Monroe whom she discusses in an interview with Aleteia, "Dr. J" and Her Amazingly Accurate Predictions of the Sexual Revolution's Fall-Out.

Why do you have an image of Marilyn Monroe on the cover?
When Art Director Todd Bingham came up with the cover for this book, I knew the concept was perfect. Who better to represent the empty promises of the Sexual Revolution than Marilyn Monroe? She remains an iconic figure of sex appeal. But there was a darker tragic side to her life.

Marilyn Monroe’s childhood included: a mentally unstable mother, a completely absent father, a disorganized childhood that included two different foster homes, probably sexual assault at the hands of adults in those homes, and an early marriage that she hoped would create stability. The “glamorous” side of her adult life included movie stardom, modeling, appearance in the first issue of “Playboy” in December 1953, three marriages, and an uncertain number of affairs. The dark side of her adult life included sexual exploitation by rich and powerful men, drug use, and her own cavalier disregard for the feelings of others. And in spite of all her fame and success, she had an unsureness of herself and her own value that included stage fright and finally, an early death. [Her biographer Norman Mailer wrote that she'd had twelve abortions before age 29.—ed.]

Her life and death is a metaphor for the Sexual Revolution. The “glamour” and the empty promises get the full attention of the media. The downsides, not so much. The sexual exploitation that led to so much of the tragedy of Marilyn Monroe’s life does not get the blame that it deserves. Neither does the brokenness of her early family life. We just keep looking at the carefully-crafted images and ignore the dark underside.

Likewise, the media still do not connect the dots between the poisonous ideology of the Sexual Revolution and the pain and grief and ultimately the loneliness that are endemic in our society. This book tries to fill that gap.
Posted by Jill Fallon at 10:19 AM | Permalink