Saturday, December 20, 2014

Fah who for-aze! Dah who dor-aze!

Here are a couple of old ones that bring back memories of childhood Christmas for many of us.  




Friday, December 19, 2014

CUBA


So, what do you think about Cuba?

Aside from the fact that Obama did it?

50 years of embargo has certainly been ineffective in accomplishing our goals.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

North Korean Censorship

Is Alive and Well in the United States

Sony cancels theatrical release of "The Interview" for Christmas.  Seth Rogen and James Franco star in the picture that centers on a hapless television host who is recruited to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. This is after the bulk of the country’s 10 largest theater chains — a group that includes AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Carmike and Southern Theatres — announced they would delay showing the picture or would drop it altogether.
Variety 

American intelligence officials have concluded that the North Korean government was “centrally involved” in the recent attacks on Sony Pictures’s computers.  “This is of a different nature than past attacks,” one senior official said. A cyberattack that began by wiping out data on corporate computers — something that had previously been seen in attacks in South Korea and Saudi Arabia, but not the United States — has turned “into a threat to the safety of Americans” if the movie was shown.  NY TIMES

For God's Sake

Have we become a nation of ball-less wonders?  Seriously, remember September 11th, 2001?  I say to Kim Jong Un, remember August 6th, 1945.  You and your nation are a blight upon humanity.  What's with the emblem anyway?  A pictorial representation of things you wish you had? Like food and electricity? Ah, the wonders of Marxism-Leninism in action.

Urbanization Project

And really, am I the only one to see the resemblance?



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wir sind das Volk!

PUSHBACK

15,000 gather in Dresden the other day, last week it was 10,000, the week before 6,000, early on it was a few hundred.  PEGIDA or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident (Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes) is just one of the signs of of pushback from Europeans fed up with their government's liberal immigration policies.  From the NPD and AfD in Germany, to UKIP in the United Kingdom, to the National Front in France, the far-right is rising in Europe.

In Germany, rather than address their citizens concerns, the government dismisses them out of hand as neo-nazis, pin-striped Nazis, dangerous, unmistakably right-wing extremists, and a disgrace.  It is the government's attitude that is dangerous and a disgrace placing concern for foreign asylum seekers ahead of concern for their own citizens.  It is this indifference that enables the far-right and is the best recruitment tool that they could hope for. 

The 2013 revision of the UN Trends in International Migrant Stock lists Germany as having 11.9% of the population as immigrants, France 10.8%, the UK as 8.9%, the US as 12.8%.  When 1 in 10 people are immigrants is it any wonder that the natives are restless?  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NUFF SAID?


THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH
AND MOHAMMED IS HIS PROPHET

According to news reports, this is the flag that Man Haron Monis had his hostages holding up in the window of the Lindt Cafe.  The flag and the statement on it (the Shahada) find widespread use through the Islamic World.

Saudi Arabia
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Caucasus (Chechnya) Emirate
And the list goes on: Hamas, Al-Shabaab, Al-Nusra, The Islamic State (ISIS)

But when you get right down to it, the Shahada is in direct contradiction to western values.  Contrast the Shahada with the Nicene Creed

WE BELIEVE

Or the Apostle's Creed

I BELIEVE

What did Man Haron Monis believe?

 "Those atheists, people of the book (Christians and Jews), where will they end up? In Surfers Paradise? On the Gold Coast? Where will they end up? In hell and not part-time, for eternity.  They are the worst in God's creation."
SBS Australia


So, why do we let these medieval asshats in our countries again? 

SBS Australia  

And why don't we deport them when they act like asshats?

Monday, December 15, 2014

GLCM

BGM-109G Gryphon

It's pronounced "Glickem"

The State Department has declared Russia to be in violation of the INF (Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces) Agreement and one option on the table is the return of US Nuclear Ground Launched Cruise Missiles to Europe.  At their peak, the US had 464 GLCMs and 108 Pershing II Missiles forward deployed in Europe.  The INF treaty was a historic down-ratcheting of the nuclear standoff, the complete elimination of intermediate range ballistic missiles on both sides.


I'll give Putin this... he's certainly got a great big brass set of them.

At the center of the issue is the 9K720 Iskander, NATO Codename SS-26 Stone and its R-500 cruise missile.

Photo: A.Savin
And you thought the Cold War was over.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

3rd Sunday of Advent: Gaudete Sunday


It gets its name from the introit of this Sunday's service:

Gaudete in Domino semper: iterum dico, gaudete.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice.

Originally the period before Christmas was a fast of forty days similar to the Easter Lent, in fact starting on day after the feast of St. Martin it was referred to as St Martin's Lent.  As the Easter Lent had Laetare Sunday a break from the normal Lenten rigours, Gaudete Sunday was a break from the rigours of the pre-Christmas fast.

And just because I like Latin and Mediaeval Baebes...


Saturday, December 13, 2014

J.R.R Zeppelin

Or should that be Led Tolkien?  With the upcoming release of The Battle of Five Armies the final movie in the Peter Jackson Hobbit trilogy on the 17th (12 December in the UK). We pause to take a look at the influence of J.R.R Tolkien on popular music.



Some believe that the song is the story of the Battle of Pelennor Fields, the battle for Minas Tirith.  The Queen of Light is Eowyn, who bids Aragorn goodbye and then turns to join the Rohan army. The Prince of Peace is Aragorn, as he embraces the gloom of the Paths of the Dead.  The Dark Lord is a reference to either the Witch King of Angmar or Sauron himself. The horses thunder would be the Rider's of Rhohan, and waiting for the eastern glow would be the arrival of Gandalf and the Rider's attacking at sunrise from the east, turning the tide of battle.  "The drums will shake the castle wall, the ring wraiths ride in black" is probably the most direct reference to the Lord of the Rings and the Nazgul.  "The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back" may be a reference to the rune carved sword wielded by Merry and the death of the Witch King.

There has been other conjecture that many of Led Zeppelin's songs were influenced by J.R.R Tolkien.  Ramble On has been suggested to represent the Hobbits journey, especially with the reference to the deepest depths of Mordor and to Gollum and the evil one. 




Over the Hills and Far Away has also been suggested as have Misty Mountain Hop and Stairway to Heaven, although the band has denied any Stairway to Heaven connection.  It should be noted also that among all this conjecture Robert Plant named his dog "Strider".

Metalstorm

  
This one "Rivendell" by Rush is the no-brainer of the bunch, directly referencing the house of Elrond.