The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Alice, it's for you. Wonderland's calling.

Reading the morning newspaper or listening to the news in the evening, I sometimes think I've fallen down the rabbit hole and joined Alice in Wonderland. Here are just a few examples of some of the strangeness I've culled from news reports...

UN brings cholera to Haiti. There's something about internationalist bureaucrats that causes them to leave chaos in their wake. In this instance, although they are purportedly in Haiti to help, it seems the United Nations peacekeepers either from Bangladesh or Nepal are apparently responsible for introducing the cholera epidemic that has left over 1,000 Haitians dead. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, genetic analysis of the strain of cholera currently causing so many deaths in Haiti indicates it originated in South Asia. (You can read the results of the study here: Origins of Haitian Cholera.) Don't get me wrong. I'm not against providing aid to people suffering from devastating natural disasters. Far form it. I simply think we shouldn't send incompetent and corrupt organizations like the United Nations to do the job.

Planned Parenthood "Christmas" Card. This primary provider of abortions has sent out a "Christmas" card that calls for "Choice on Earth" and wishes recipients a "happy and healthy holiday season." It makes one wonder how healthy it will be for the thousands of unborn human beings Planned Parenthood will murder over the next few weeks.

Junk Science and Moon Goddesses. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change was recently held in Cancun, Mexico. Attended by a large number of surprisingly apathetic delegates from 192 countries, the convention yielded the usual crazy predictions that the world is doomed and universal destruction is right around the corner unless we revert to stone-age technology and return to the caves our ancient ancestors deserted.

The tenor of the convention was set right from the beginning when the Convention's Executive Secretary, Christiana Figueres, kicked off the proceedings by praying to the Mayan goddess Ixchel (depicted at left) whom she described as "the goddess of reason, creativity and weaving." In her prayer to Ixchel, Figueres said, "May she inspire you -- because today, you are gathered in Cancun to weave together the elements of a solid response to climate change, using both reason and creativity as your tools...Excellencies, the goddess Ixchel would probably tell you that a tapestry is the result of the skilful [sic] interlacing of many threads.  I am convinced that twenty years from now, we will admire the policy tapestry that you have woven together and think back fondly to Cancun and the inspiration of Ixchel."

Makes you just want to run away from home and join the Mayan priesthood, doesn't it? Of course, the Mayans and the Aztecs weren't particularly "green" in their day, but could more properly be labeled "red" since their one area of expertise was human sacrifice. The Aztecs, for example, sacrificed upwards of 80,000 people in one four-day period. They remind me a bit of one of my environmentalist friends who once told me over a third glass of wine, "What the world needs is a major war or a devastating plague, so we can get rid of most of the people. We're the ones who are killing the earth." He would have fit right in with the Ixchel worshipers.

I suspect that Figueres' prayer, along with the Climate-gate fiasco, just might cause some people to question whether real "science" is behind the claims of human-caused global warming.

Experts Surprised by Higher Unemployment Figures. Speaking of experts, a few weeks ago when the latest figures on unemployment were released, we were told the unemployment rate had increased from 9.6% to 9.8%. We were also informed that this took the experts completely by surprise. The experts, we are told, were expecting a decrease rather than an increase in the rate. It seems to me that the designated experts are being taken by surprise more and more frequently these days, and not just on unemployment rates, but on a whole range of political, economic and social issues. My question is, why do we keep calling them "experts" when they obviously don't have a clue?

It calls to mind William F. Buckley's famous comment: "I'd rather entrust the government of the United States to the first 400 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than to the faculty of Harvard University."

Department of Defense Fastest Computer: PlayStation. If you are concerned about the size of the federal budget and the growing deficit, here's one to make you weep.The Air Force has constructed the Defense Department's fastest supercomputer by linking together 1,760 PlayStation 3 gaming systems. It's capable of performing 500 trillion (that's 500,000,000,000,000) floating point mathematical operations per second. For those of you who are technically challenged, that's a very fast computer. The Air Force, of course, couldn't call their system "PlayStation Group" and so they named it "Condor Cluster." The total cost was $2 million, a pretty reasonable cost for something so capable and certainly far less than it would have cost had the Air Force used their usual procurement process. Makes you wonder what else the government could buy off the shelf at BestBuy.

Ah, well, enough of these secular musings...

Pray that God's will be done in our world.

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