Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Climate change means no kids
new report by international humanitarian organization DARA finds that climate change could kill up to 5 million people in the next 10 years—and most of them are children under the age of 5 in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. This predicted increase in mortality isn't due to Hollywood-style tsunamis or apocalyptic winters. Instead, the killers are much more ordinary: malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition.
Uh, none of these disease deaths are from "climate change". All of them are due to poverty, and can be cured or treated with local governments cleaning up the environment and providing clean water, protein supplements and WHO Rehydration fluid.
Of course, one way to help the planet—and the families most impacted by the planet's health—is to bear fewer kids in the first place. As Julia Whitty wrote in "The Last Taboo," overpopulation is a huge climate change driver that's rarely discussed—until this week. During the UN-sponsored climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, media mogul Ted Turner suggested such radical ideas as one-child policies and monetary rewards for not reproducing. Turner was quickly shut down by former Irish president Mary Robinson, who said, "If we do it the wrong way, we can divide the world...A lot of people in the climate world could communicate this very badly."
Translation: Yes, we agree, but we have to push this agenda stealthily, or people might be upset.
Indeed, if you read the entire article, you will see that depopulation of poor people is indeed on their agenda.
China cracks down on Christians
While the left in Europe is busy dissing the US in the Wikileaks story, one wonders why they are ignoring potentially more dangerous stories out of china, about it's crackdown on human rights.
Story number one: JohnAllen at NCR:
ROME -- New government pressures on the Catholic church in China, including the election of an illicitly ordained bishop as the new president of a government-controlled bishops’ conference, threaten to “turn the clock back to the times of Mao Zedong,” according to an influential Vatican China-watcher....Since the Communist rise to power in China in 1949, government policy had been to try to promote an “autonomous” Catholic church in the country, controlled not by Rome but a government-sponsored “Patriotic Association.” That policy led to a stark division between an “official” church in China which cooperated with the government, and a “catacombs” church which spurned Communist influence.
In recent years, the Vatican has worked toward rapprochement, encouraging bishops and clergy to come out into the open, while also pressing the government to respect the freedom of the church. That policy was expressed in a May 2007 “Letter to Chinese Catholics” from Pope Benedict XVI, which supported ending the division between an official and an underground church, while defining the government-controlled Patriotic Association and bishops’ conference as illegitimate.
In China, the letter was widely seen as as a signal of détente with the government...
The new president of the Patriotic Association, Bishop Johan Fang Xinyao of Linyi, was ordained with papal approval, but is also seen as a figure willing to cooperate with the government authorities.
According to Cervellera, the presence of so many illicitly ordained bishops at the top of the country’s official Catholic agencies “raises the fear that from here on, it will be impossible to ordain pastors for China who are in communion with the Holy See.”
In effect, Cervellera said, it seems to be deliberate policy of the Chinese government “to want to create chaos in the church,” while also “extending the control of the Community Party over the entire official church.”...
The church has been through all of this before, in Medieval Europe.
But it bodes ill for those faithful catholics who saw the church compromise with the devil, and now is having the devil pull the rug from under them.
So how many people does this affect? From Wikipedia:
* In 2006 it was stated that there were 4 million members of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and an estimated 12 million members of the underground Roman Catholic Church in China as of 2006. Kiven Choy stated, in a Chinese weekly newspaper in Hong Kong, that the correct number of Protestants in China should be at around 20 million, while Time Magazine reported 65 million in 2006.
Story number two: The independent house churches in China are being closed:
In a troubling setback, Chinese authorities last week launched a crackdown directed at Christians who belong to China’s huge network of unregistered house churches, calling a “cult” one of the fastest-growing populations of Christians in the world.
According to a news release from ChinaAid, the powerful Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party launched “Operation Deterrence” on Dec. 1.
ChinaAid said according to the Politburo’s top-secret instructions, the crackdown on the largest component of the mainland Chinese church is to continue through March 2011.
“CCP Central Committee for Comprehensive Management of Social order,” the foot soldiers of China’s security apparatus, have been told to collect information about house churches throughout the country and turn these reports in to their superiors. A long “blacklist” of church leaders and influential believers has also reportedly been drawn up.
So how many people does this affect?
It's hard to guess, because the idea behind house churches is that people worship in secret because they are prosecuted. But a Wikipedia article cites these numbers, which may or may not be accurate:
# China: 80–100 million believers in HC's
A Time Magazine article about religion in China notes:
Estimates vary, but some experts say Christians make up 5% of China's population, or 65 million believers. And thousands more are converting every day, the vast majority through unofficial "house" churches like the one that sparked the clash in Hangzhou.
To ferret out the house churches, the Chinese government will use spies and terror tactics, arresting the leaders and trying to intimidate the believers into stopping their religious practices, or at least keeping quiet.
This is what was done to the FalunGong movement...resulting in thousands jailed and some executed.
Prior to 1999, widely cited government estimates put the number of Falun Gong practitioners in China at over 70 million adherents. After the government imposed a ban on the group, it adjusted its estimates to approximately 2 million. The number of Falun Gong adherents still practicing in China today is difficult to confirm, though some sources estimate that tens of millions continue to practice privately.
Item three: The boycott of the peace prize.
China not only views the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to poet Liu Xiaobo as being anti chinese, they are boycotting the ceremony.
To make things worse, they are pressuring other countries to do so. From Daily Finance:
The Chinese government is denouncing the ceremony, while suppressing overseas media coverage of the peace prize at home. It's also blasting anyone making an issue about Liu's imprisonment as "anti-China clowns" who are interfering "in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty."
The People's Republic has called on other governments to boycott the Nobel ceremony in Oslo Friday -- and about 20 countries have agreed to stay away from the event. While dozens more nations ignored the boycott, it's a telling sign of China's growing economic clout when you look at who won't be a the ceremony today.
See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/huUqSy
To the shame of Filipinos, our country is bowing to Chinese pressure in the boycott, and to find why, follow the money:
Manila's Department of Foreign Affairs says trade between China and the Philippines increased by more than 52% during the first half of 2010, to $13.1 billion. In 2009, China reportedly became the Philippines' second-largest trading partner, after Japan.
See full article from DailyFinance: http://srph.it/huUqSy
China has been suspected of bribing the past administration to get business contracts, so figure 20 percent of that money might be going into the hands of crooked politicians. The ZTE broadband scandal brought Chinese bribery of Philippine officials into question.
But bribery is widespread here, and since the elites tend to be related to each other, the first rule is to protect family and friends, knowing you owe them favors, and they will pay back these favors by protecting you or giving you a gift.
The second line of defense for corruption is that the court system is itself corrupt.
a local Philippine law against "libel" makes such allegations dangerous, so whistleblowers risk arrest for libel, and for other reasons (usually for low level bribes they took in the past), and of course, if worse comes to worse, extrajudicial killing might result.
Anti corruption forces are trying to get a whistleblower protection act going, which will help.
Thursday, December 09, 2010
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
But in the Philippines, it was Monday December 8, a feast day of Mary, so like the US, many were at church when attacked.
Those who remember are now dying or dead; but Lolo, who was a child at the time, remembers that his family walked to their farm so that they would be safe...he carried his cousin and his mom the food. Luckily, the town was not bombed and they returned shortly later, and he remembers one Japanese soldier who befriended him and the other preteens. However, he also remembers when things got worse, and people were shot on the street outside his old home.
The feast day is a very "Catholic" one: The idea that Mary was born "without the stain of original sin". Translated this means she didn't have the inborn weakness to commit sin like the rest of fallen humanity. Protestants at this point hit the ceiling and claim Paul said "no one is without sin", but then babies and the retarded don't sin, so Paul's claim is not literally accurate.
Yet the Muslims have a parallel idea that Miryam “O Mary! Allah has chosen you and purified you and again he has chosen you above all women of all nations of the worlds” (Quran 3:42).
But the point for Catholics is that she is "full of God's grace", and that she was sinless because Jesus in the womb was God and man: and like the "ark of the covenant", only the purest and best could carry the presence of God inside herself. Get rid of Mary, and you ignore this paradox, either seeing Jesus as an ordinary man, or implying that he was mostly god, and didn't need something as messy as a human family to raise him when he was small and weak as a child.
Muslims see Mary and Jesus as prophets and holy saints: Iranian miniseries film on Saint Mary HERE.