Tuesday, December 10, 2013

And then you have this

Nelson Mandela was a historic figure, no less.  But even in his "greatness", there are some acts in his life that diminish his stature in my eyes, even as I mentioned somewhere else that he was released from prison the day I turned 22 (which of course is trivial and does not add to anything, heh).

I will not link to anything since these are readily available in the web:  he had many women in his life, did not renounce violence (contributory to many deaths and a little too friendly with dictators), and signed South Africa's abortion law that is one of the worst this world has seen (without restrictions that even allowed non-doctors to perform), among others.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Damn, global warming and climate change

Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) was man-made.  No, not due to HAARP.  Man-made global warming and climate change, that is. 

Damn, this global warming / climate change has been with us for so long, and we have not learned.  (Show me some tears now).

Yes, friends, these typhoons caused by man have been with us, by this account, as early as 1897.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bad for global warming fear mongers

Two recent write-ups in anticipation of the next UN IPCC report speak of the greater cause of skepticism in anthropogenic global warming.  There are many more out there.  The IPCC report comes out September 27.  Save the date.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

We continue to call them out

They may try to hide the truth by spinning it according to their hard-core beliefs, but we are not to be fooled.  Yet again, the warming that they say and that their models say is happening (in catastrophic levels, mind you) is simply way off.

But the report “fails to mention [2012] was one of the coolest of the decade, and thus confirms the cooling trend,” according to an analysis by climate blogger Pierre Gosselin.

“To no one’s surprise, the report gives the reader the impression that warming is galloping ahead out of control,” writes Gosselin. “But their data shows just the opposite.”

Although the NOAA report noted that in 2012, “the Arctic continues to warm” with “sea ice reaching record lows,” it also stated that the Antarctica sea ice “reached a record high of 7.51 million square miles” on Sept. 26, 2012.

And the latest figures for this year show that there’s been a slowdown of melting in the Arctic this summer as well, with temperatures at the North Pole well below normal for this time of year. Meteorologist Joe Bastardi calls it “the coldest ever recorded.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Control or a waste of money

It is not surprising, of course, that if one has lots of money that isn't really his (taxpayers') but has to spend it, "creativity" takes the better of him.  CIA spending money to try to control climate, in "aid" of finding how climate can affect national security?  That's like spending money on how to delay sunrise because doing so might actually be good for national security.  Then again, we've heard stories about NASA trying to prove the big bang theory.

According to US website 'Mother Jones' the CIA is helping fund a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) that will investigate whether humans could use geoengineering - which is defined as deliberate and large-scale intervention in the Earth's climatic system - to stop climate change.

Or from another news outlet ...

A 2008 study by the National Intelligence Council concluded that climate change posted a serious threat to national security.

“Climate change and climate-change policies could affect … domestic stability in a number of key states, the opening of new sea lanes and access to raw materials, and the global economy more broadly -- with significant geopolitical consequences,” it said.

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Lumen Fidei

Pope Francis's first encyclical will be out on Friday:  Lumen Fidei.  Some days ago, it was mentioned that this will be a "lavoro da quattro mani", a work done by four hands:  started by Pope Benedict XVI, and finished by Pope Francis.
Vatican City, 1 July 2013 (VIS) - Pope Francis' first encyclical, entitled “Lumen Fidei”, will be published on Friday 5 July. The document, described as “not very extensive” by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., will be presented at a Press Conference by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Profit's not a bad word for non-profits

Planning for, and gaining profit, to take care of non-profit's overhead is not a bad thing.  Here's Kjerstin Erickson.
Overhead, it turns out, could have made all the difference. With the appropriate investments in efficiency-building infrastructure, administration, and development, FORGE would undoubtedly be alive today. Rather than starving a painful death, we’d be growing and thriving – a force for good in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have lost everything.

If you’d asked me ten years ago to name the dirtiest word in the nonprofit language, I would have undoubtedly told you: OVERHEAD. If you asked me today, I’d give you the same answer. In the intervening decade, however, the tables have turned. Overhead is not dirty because it represents inefficiency, waste, and greed; it is dirty because of the powerful myth it has promulgated. That myth – the one that equates “low” overhead with high performance and “high” overhead with greed and irresponsibility – leads to a very dangerous and unsustainable outcome. I bought into it, or at least didn’t push back on it hard enough. It pains me every day to think of what I lost, and how I could have done it differently.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Trouble in paradise

For the "great" New York Times to say this, is telling. Power corrupts truly, and if one is already corrupt, then one can only get worse.

The administration has now lost all credibility. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it. That is one reason we have long argued that the Patriot Act, enacted in the heat of fear after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by members of Congress who mostly had not even read it, was reckless in its assignment of unnecessary and overbroad surveillance powers ...

Essentially, the administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing, the government is allowed to know whom Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.
This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance — with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power — fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy. ...

That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions. ...

That’s no longer good enough. Mr. Obama clearly had no intention of revealing this eavesdropping, just as he would not have acknowledged the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen, had it not been reported in the press. Even then, it took him more than a year and a half to acknowledge the killing, and he is still keeping secret the protocol by which he makes such decisions. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Manila, my Manila

Remember when Dan Brown wrote "The Da Vinci Code" and many dismissed the "falsehoods" as fruit of his imagination (or lack of it)?  Now he writes "Inferno" with "falsehoods".  He is a writer not a journalist.  Let him be.  Marie sees it as it should be.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Of uterus transplants

Rebecca Taylor writes about uterus transplant.  She posts three questions that can very well be used in consideration of the use of technology in health and artificial reproductive techniques:
Does this technology disrespect or unnecessarily endanger human life at any point from the very beginning to natural death? Does it reduce human life to a biological commodity? Does it require that a human organism be used or destroyed?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"There is a man upstairs"

So let not your heart be troubled. The sun still shines. The smiles are still there. The good graces between neighbors still exist. Bad things will always and have always happened. But love and good and right prevail even in the madness of the present age.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Human Achievement Hour!!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013
8:30 pm – 9:30 pm 
On March 23, some people will be sitting in the dark to express their "vote" for action on global climate change. Instead, you can join CEI and the thousands of people around the world who will be celebrating Human Achievement Hour (HAH). Leave your lights on to express your appreciation for the inventions and innovations that make today the best time to be alive and the recognition that future solutions require individual freedom not government coercion.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Loco parentis

Much has been said and written about the college co-ed who killed herself some days back.  As usual the blame game is in play.  While suicide is a complex issue and we, no one, can simply put a finger as to the cause or the trigger of this unfortunate and sad event, what is even more sad for me is for some people to call for the resignation of others.  

In this case, a group of teachers, staff, and students have asked for the head of the chancellor.  His resignation will not bring back the life of the student nor prevent anyone in similar circumstances in contemplating suicide.  

But I ask them, where were you when she was "crying for help"?  Surely you would have known her plight, her struggles, otherwise you were either too busy with your own stuff or never gave her a second thought.  

It is easy to blame someone else, when you who were on the ground should have noticed her condition.  You who were her teachers should have known.  You who were her classmates should have known.  Those who were serving the academic community where this young lady was should have known.  

If you say you did know, what did you do to ease her burden?  You sent her to the administration. And forgot about her. 

Surely a little dole-out, or fundraising could have helped her.  You contribute a lot more to a lot less noble advocacies, and you cannot even pitch in a little to help her pay her dues?

You donate to environmental and animal causes, and then let one of your own die like that.  You turn off your lights for an hour every time Earth Day comes around (as if that does any real good) and yet you cannot turn off your own selfish pursuits for a few minutes to help a girl in need?

(That last part was a stretch, you say?)

Monday, February 18, 2013

When green turns red

Really, green never did turn greener (except for AlG).  Early green energy  advocates Germany and Spain are making drastic cuts to in-the-red-since-they-began green energy industries in their own countries.  And to think, we are so wanting to follow their lead ...

Yet all this means is that the government will merely have to find other, more creative ways to lose money now that the alternative energy fad is virtually dead. Luckily, spending money with absolutely nothing to show for it is one thing that every government in the current insolvent global regime, has a peculiar knack for. It also means that thousands of former government workers with no real marketable skills are about to hit the streets demanding more handouts from the nanny state, and lead to yet another wave of European civil unrest just as the 'other people's money' is about to run out.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Today is the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.  It is also a special day for me, of sorts, since the Gospel passage for today's Mass also gives me the opportunity to answer the question as to where my second name is taken from:  Simeon.

My first and second names are Armand Simeon.  How did I come to be nicknamed Peter?  I really do not know how that came to be.  I remember that many years ago while I was on my second semester of sophomore year at university, I had to take a management statistics class with juniors as a condition for me to be fully accepted into the management program from three semesters of Chemistry.  They had a great time when I said that my nickname was Peter, because like me, they could not find the link.

They were in stitches, however, when my seatmate, whose real name was Agustin (he must have been from Cagayan de Oro) said he too was nicknamed ... wait for it ... wait for it ... Peter.

Anyway, one of the likely links to the nickname is Simon, who became Peter.  That is probable, true, but wanting to give Simeon his due, I still prefer to say that my nickname came about, like many other nicknames, in a complicated way.

Today's Gospel at Mass contains the words of Simeon, the only time his spoken parts are read at any Mass or Feast (although he in fact has more "speaking parts" than some of the apostles):

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have sent your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples:
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,

“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

From Butler's The Lives of Saints:

The ceremony of this day was closed by a third mystery—the meeting in the Temple of the holy persons Simeon and Anne with Jesus and His parents. Holy Simeon, on that occasion, received into his arms the object of all his desires and sighs, and praised God for being blessed with the happiness of beholding the so-much-longed-for Messias. Re foretold to Mary her martyrdom of sorrow, and that Jesus brought redemption to those who would accept of it on the terms it was offered them; but a heavy judgment on all infidels who should obstinately reject it, and on Christians, also, whose lives were a contradiction to His holy maxims and example. Mary, hearing this terrible prediction, did not answer one word, felt no agitation of mind from the present, no dread for the future; but courageously and sweetly committed all to God's holy will. Anne, also, the prophetess, who in her widowhood served God with great fervor, had the happiness to acknowledge and adore in this great mystery the Redeemer of the world. Simeon, having beheld Our Saviour, exclaimed: "Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, according to Thy word, because my eyes have seen Thy salvation."

This feast is called CANDLEMAS, because the Church blesses the candles to be borne in the procession of the day.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Forgive me

for putting this letter in full in this blog, without permission, but I found it really good.  Especially on the hypocrisy in governments.  Read.

Elected Officials Are Fundamentally Dishonest

To the Editor:

This letter was forwarded to Barack Obama, John Boehner, Chris Murphy, Dick Blumenthal, Elizabeth Esty, and Harry Reid

I live in Sandy Hook, CT. My family and close friends weren't harmed on December 14. That day impacted 26 families with an indescribable, staggering pain and anguish. For most of Sandy Hook, it merely affected us with an inescapable intensity of sadness and grief.

Gun control has long been a focus of many in this country. Though I'm not knowledgeable of all the nuances of the Second Amendment, based on the Founding Fathers' circumstances, it had far more to do with enabling the citizenry to protect themselves against tyrannical government than against local psychopaths. It is about providing a balanced firepower so when King George's successor came knocking on your door, you could fight back. Government today is no less inclined to abuse its authority than it was then. Based on the absurd and ongoing power grab that is present day Washington, it's as threatening as ever.

That so many of you view the NRA with its resistance to further restrictions on firearms as intransigent lunatics has far more to do with how you conduct yourselves in office than it does with the NRA's actions.

You in public office are fundamentally dishonest people. You lead lives of deception at every turn, structuring your lives as comfortably as you can while governing with an indifference and arrogance that is absolutely maddening. When the country is reeling from financial disaster, you waste a trillion dollars on a health care bill we can't afford and you've never read. You claim it's critical because health care costs are killing this country... no they're not, you are! You are killing this country. You endorse the ongoing slaughter of millions of unborn children and whine when terrorists are water boarded. You can't lecture us right in Newtown High School about not doing enough to keep our children safe, while simultaneously slaughtering the unborn. You fabricate the intense, media laden drama of the fiscal cliff and lack the courage to do anything about truly reforming the obscene gluttony of government. You know you'll be out of office before the bill comes due… you don't care and have no integrity nor honor.

You lie whenever and wherever you need to to move forth your agenda. Were you able, you would purge the US of guns… every last gun in the country, if you could. So please forgive Wayne LaPierre and those of us who don't trust you as far as we can spit. You're a dishonest lot, motivated by a distorted worldview. If mass murder prevention were truly your goal, you would welcome armed security wherever needed. It is outrageous that we protect our money with far more firepower than we protect our children.

I have never owned a gun, nor wanted to as intensely as right now. You'll stop restricting guns when only you have them.

Brendan Duffy
4 Chestnut Knoll Drive, Sandy Hook January 8, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Hear ye! Hear ye! "Soc Commies"

Here is  the Holy Father's message for the  47th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY on May 12, 2013. 

The development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends, in looking for answers to their questions and being entertained, but also in finding intellectual stimulation and sharing knowledge and know-how. The networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, inasmuch as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Government versus natural rights?

Although the Judge is talking about the right to bear arms (2nd Amendment to the US Constitution), his last two paragraphs ring true to many of the issues we raise about government's sometimes, often times, over-reach.

Most people in government reject natural rights and personal sovereignty. Most people in government believe that the exercise of everyone’s rights is subject to the will of those in the government. Most people in government believe that they can write any law and regulate any behavior, not subject to the natural law, not subject to the sovereignty of individuals, not cognizant of history’s tyrants, but subject only to what they can get away with.

Did you empower the government to impair the freedom of us all because of the mania and terror of a few?

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Sometimes, we get some very courageous people, like Audrey Pollnow and Ben Koons, writing stuff that really matter, even if, not surprisingly, they know they will get a lot of flak from it (read the comments and see what I mean; also here).   

They wrote "Sexual Standards" in the Daily Princetonian in December:
Princeton should have sexual standards that allow people to live the good life. Recent ‘Prince’ op-eds have rightly criticized Princeton’s present sexual standard insofar as it promotes hookups as right for everybody. But we should go farther. In seeking a good sexual culture, a culture that offers the proper freedom and support, we cannot bracket the question of whether hookups are bad. Our actions forge a culture that affects our community, our relationships, our actions and even our preferences. ...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Oh those CFL's

A study that came out recently says that prolonged exposure to CFL's increases risk of skin-related disorders.  

Not really surprising since the US Environmental Protection Agency has deemed it necessary to give us multi-step instructions to clean-up a broken CFL bulb.   

Detailed clean-up procedures here.