United Nonsense

SG with H.E. Mr. Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia                        Photo Credit: unwatch.org

Women in Saudi Arabia are required by law to have male legal guardians to make decisions for them on issues like healthcare, marriage and travel.  Women also aren’t allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia, must obtain permission  from their husbands to open a bank account and are forced to live under strict dress codes designed to “not show off their beauty.”  In other words, Saudia Arabia oppresses their women.

Last week, Saudi Arabia was elected to the United Nations Women’s Commission whose principle mission is to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment around the world.

Can someone remind me again, why the UN holds any sort of credibility?

A quote from Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch sums it up best, “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist the town fire chief.”

 

 

 

Posted in Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

A Hero For Our Times

“Blisteringly sexy, she killed Nazis with her bare hands and had a 5 million-franc bounty on her head”

The above quote is from a DailyMail.com article describing Nancy Wake, whose larger than life exploits as a member of the French Resistance during World War II  earned her France’s highest order of merit, the Legion d’Honneur and the well deserved designation of heroine to the French people and her allies around the world.

Ms. Wake died in 2011, but I thought in honor of France’s historic election today, a post celebrating her life was appropriate. For a depressingly accurate analyses of the dismal candidates of that election, please review x Praetorius’s excellent post on it here.

 Back to Ms. Wake. Although she was born in New Zealand and brought up in Australia, Nancy Wake embodied the spirit of the tough as nails French women that made up part of the resistance against Germany.  She reminds me too of my late  grandmother, also a tough as nails type woman who hid downed American pilots from the Nazis while raising her  young family in Southern France.

Known as the “White Mouse” to the Gestapo due to her ability to wriggle out of the numerous traps they set for her, Ms. Wake was widely praised for her bravery in helping thousands escape Nazi occupied France.

An excerpt from the same article:

“And so aggressive was she that, after being parachuted into France as a Special  Operations Executive agent, she disposed of a German guard with her bare hands and liked nothing better than bowling along in the front seat of a fast car through the countryside, a Sten gun on her lap and a cigar between her teeth, in search of Germans to kill.”

Yet as fierce as Nancy Wake was, she was equally known for her strong streak of femininity, which provides a fascinating contrast.

Another excerpt:

“So feminine was she that when escaping from pursuers on one notable occasion, she dressed in a smart frock, silk stockings, high-heeled shoes and a camel-hair coat, arguing that she didn’t want to look like a hunted woman.

In that same outfit, she jumped from a  moving train into a vineyard to avoid capture at a Nazi checkpoint.”

What’s not to admire about a woman fleeing Nazis while wearing stockings and high heels?

I think about people like Nancy Wake and my grandmother and wonder, does France have what it takes to produce people of such grit and character?  Or have they succumbed entirely to the weakness of the “safety net” mentality, where things like a 40 hour workweek and employees checking email on their off hours are considered hardships that must be banned by the government?

For that matter does America?

We’ll find out soon I guess.

One final quote about the remarkable Nancy Wake from a fellow resistance fighter.

“The most  feminine woman I know, until the fighting starts. And then she is like five men.”

Rest in peace brave lady, you deserve it.

Nancy Wake                               Nancy Wake during WWII; Photo Credit: abc.net.au

For more information on the fascinating Nancy Wake go here  and here.  Also check out the movie inspired by her life called Charlotte Gray starring Cate Blanchett in the lead role.

 

 

Posted in Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

Apathy is Not an Option

It is so easy to get lost in busyness, where constantly playing catch up is the norm and you frequently ask yourself, “what the heck happened today?” while collapsing in to bed.  For an organizationally challenged person like myself, it’s almost a lifestyle.  Then there’s the nonsense factor that saturates our culture; where up is down and down is up and saying the “wrong” thing can bring instant condemnation or worse.  Suddenly, sticking your head in the sand while calling it a day looks awfully appealing.

I can play like an ostrich probably better than most and frankly I’ve been doing it often lately  Our 24/7, non stop crisis, must respond now, news cycle has left me exhausted, with little incentive to participate in anything other than the daily grind that makes life work and the extracurricular activities that make it fun.  Why throw the proverbial candy bar in to the pool when things are humming along fine?

Because real life involves innocent people getting hurt and it’s too easy to avoid their stories while living in Ostrich World and staying comfortable is priority number one, that’s why.  A recent story in the news jarred me out of my stupor long enough to ponder this and how numb I’ve become to hearing about rotten people doing rotten things to innocent people.

Apparently, Michigan Doctor Jumana Nagarwala has allegedly been mutilating the genitals of young girls brought in by parents who would rather their daughters go through a grotesque procedure on the most private of body parts that will cause them pain and shame the rest of their lives, than risk the possibility they might one day enjoy having sex.

I’m sorry but this butts up hard against my fantasy world of puppies and rainbows and does not make me feel comfortable at all.  That it’s been hardly reported moves me right in to angry and then straight on to enraged when I read something like this:

“According to the complaint against Nagarwala, members of a particular religious and cultural community are known to use the procedure — which some see as a way to curb sexuality in girls. The complaint did not identify the community but said Nagarwala was a part of it.”

A particular religious or cultural community?  Really? Gosh, I wonder just which community they’re talking about! No, actually I wonder at the stupidity of the Washington Post news editor that let that description stand on its own.

Thankfully the authorities are taking this seriously and Dr. Nagawala faces a litany of charges that could put her in jail the rest of her life.  The parents should be dealt with harshly too, but I’ve not heard any reporting on their status.  I wonder why?

Female Genital mutilation (FGM) is a barbaric practice designed not only to repress women sexually, but to torture them psychologically as a constant reminder that they are not in control of their own bodies, that they are in fact nothing but property for others to manage.  And it’s not just something that happens elsewhere, it’s on the rise here in the U.S. too via immigrants  from Africa and the Middle East for whom the practice is deeply embedded culturally.

According to a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study on FGM, in 2013 there were an estimated 507,000 women and girls in the U.S. who had undergone or were at risk of being subjected to FGM; more than double the numbers reported in 2000 and a near tripling since 1990.  The vague terms “had undergone or were at risk” are used because it’s extremely difficult to get victims to speak up about it and anyone pressing for more information risks being called racist.

This type of evil thrives under cover of political correctness and plays on societal fears of being labeled intolerant.  Keep it on your radar folks , as those numbers above are bound to explode.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , | 36 Comments

The Burial Cloth of Christ-Fact or Fiction?

What better time to ponder the burial cloth of Jesus than the day before Easter?

Freedom Through Empowerment

As the evening hours approach on this day before Easter, I happened on this fascinating article on the shroud of Turin, which is thought by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus. Will this ever be definitively proved?  No, and neither will a 100% slam dunk piece of evidence proving God’s existence ever surface, for what a mockery that would make of the amazing gift of choice He gives us.  The ability to live life as one pleases is a necessary factor for us humans to reach our highest potential and a God that forces our belief of Him through paint by the numbers evidence would greatly dishonor this.

Regardless, it’s a very interesting piece that touches on the more technical aspects of the Shroud, like the “distance information”  that enables it to be read as a 3D map.  It plainly shows a beaten, crucified Middle Eastern man with…

View original post 129 more words

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Some Things I will Never Understand

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

In a world where it’s considered normal for people to push their dogs around in strollers, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by much, but I still find myself still shocked at times at the weirdness that abounds.

Take conspiracy theorists, particularly the folks who are dead set positive that an elite, evil cabal drawn from the highest levels of politics and business  is orchestrating events from behind the scenes and are responsible for every heinous act that ever happened; from World Wars to The Depression, to  JFK’s murder to 9/11, and race wars and more.  We the sheeple are kept compliant through brain washing via vaccines, water fluoridation and pesticides, all brought to you by a puppet mainstream media whose primary purpose is to keep us in the dark.

Seriously, these people exist.  And with a straight face during what is otherwise a perfectly normal dinner, they will tell you that George W Bush colluded with the Jews in bringing down the Twin Towers and hey, could you please pass the mashed potatoes?

I still haven’t quite figured out what the end game is for these all-controlling, elite Dr. Evils.  I mean, can’t people like the Rockefellers and Rothschilds, (public enemy #1 and #2 for conspiracy theorists) pretty much do and say what they want anyway? After world dominion takes place, then what?

No one seems to know other than it will involve globalism, shape shifting alien reptilians and lots of Free Masons. I sure hope I’m allowed to stick around so I can see what all the hubbub was about. I’ll be sure to blog about it if so.

While it’s tempting to dismiss this group as the Tin Hat Crowd being a few tools short of a toolbox, it would be a mistake to do so.  Some very intelligent and otherwise normal people earnestly believe this stuff.  I can’t for the life of me understand how they get sucked in to it, but it happens more frequently than you might think.  Some interesting perspective on this can be found here.

Yes indeed, the world is a strange place and getting stranger by the minute. Maybe I should just get a dog.  And a stroller.

 

 

 

Posted in Random Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Let’s Talk About The Shack

Because barely a word has been written on it right?  Kidding of course.

After seeing the movie The Shack today my first thought was to blog about it. My second thought, was to immediately shut down that first thought.  Surely, I am the least likely qualified person out there to write a post dissecting a popular film’s  spiritual message and whether or not it stays true to Christian doctrine.  A theology expert I am not and I would certainly be made a fool by anyone choosing to debate me on it.

My third thought came several hours later and it was that my unsureness about what being a “real” Christian is all about is exactly why I should share my thoughts about The Shack.  The film  (and the book it was based on ) was not created for those who are confident in their beliefs and have things all figured out; it’s directed at people like me who believe in God but struggle in really knowing His all  encompassing love and perfect nature.

The book  came to me at a time in my life several years ago when I desperately needed divine guidance and healing and it opened a crack in my heart to the possibility that God really does exist, really does love me unconditionally and really can be trusted to act in my best interest.  This was, you might say, an unexpected gift from God given at the most perfect time.

The way the story portrayed the Trinity, God’s continual process of redemption and renewal, the presence of evil in the world and His absolute devotion to working bad in to good in a very fallen world really made sense to me in ways traditional Christian materials could not.

Was that God’s way of introducing Himself to me? I can’t say for sure of course, but I can tell you that reading The Shack put me on a path of spiritual exploration that involved doing crazy things like actually studying the Bible, checking out local churches and eventually becoming a Christian.

The movie I think does a pretty good job at following the book and is even able to exude God’s supernatural nature without falling in to parody, which often happens with films of this nature.  Its explanation on why God “allows” bad things to happen is also very well done and comforting.

There were many striking scenes, but the most potent for me was when the main character Mack is in a boat and finds himself quickly being taken over by a black sea of ink  until he finally heeds Jesus’s call to look at Him.  The importance of fixing our eyes on Jesus instead of our own sorrow and loss has never been so powerfully portrayed in my view.

Does the movie touch on themes that will upset doctrinaire Christians?  Yes, without a doubt, the most prominent probably being its universalist view of everyone getting in to heaven.  Yet even that’s not so straightforward because the movie also strongly focuses on a God who is madly in love with His people and constantly pursuing them to return the favor.

Being a Buddhist, Muslim or atheist for example does not mean God won’t meet you where you are and accept you if you’re willing to follow His ways. Salvation comes from a loving God, not from religious institutions, a notion this movie does not contradict and which Peter infers in  Acts 10:34, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”

The movie’s portrayal of God in different genders and races also did not set off any red flags for me, as it’s obvious He is showing up as characters Mack could most easily relate to and is not some sort of silly token social justice stunt.

Like I said, my point here is not to dive in to the weeds of theology. Those that have reservations about The Shack certainly have every right to speak out about why they feel Christians’ shouldn’t support it. I’d challenge them though to actually see the movie or read the book before doing so.  It’s themes are more complex than you might think and hold appeal for many spiritual seekers who feel turned off by traditional Christian avenues towards finding Christ.

We all know God’s ways are not ours and it’s impossible to discern with any certainty how and why someone finally comes to Him. The Shack offers a way for some and knee jerk reactions against it in my view are a mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Personal growth, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Well Played

Amid all the hoopla of today’s Day Without a Woman, I’d like to focus on an underreported story involving actual injustice and the rebellion of two remarkable women that speak to real empowerment.

The first is Dorsa Derakshani, an Iranian Grandmaster chess player (# 2 in her country), who wore a headband instead of the traditional headscarf (hijab) while competing at a festival in Gibraltar last January. The outraged Iranian Chess Federation booted her off the team along with her 15 year old brother who had the audacity of agreeing to play an Israeli opponent. Continue reading

Posted in Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

On Strike

On March 8th, women from around the world will stand in solidarity for fair and equal treatment by going on strike from work.  At least I think that’s the gist, but it’s hard to tell because the goals are so generalized and different depending on who you talk to. Continue reading

Posted in entitlememt mentality, fear mongering, Political, Uncategorized, Women's Empowerment | Tagged , , , , | 27 Comments

Be Like the Bee

busy-bee-meme

Posted in photography, Uncategorized | 14 Comments

The Will To Live

Does all life have value and purpose, even the not so shiny ones? I sure believe it does and so thankfully does Bill from Unshakable Hope, who writes the most inspiring and thought provoking posts from the perspective of a devout Christian and long term ALS suffer. Give it a read, it’s well worth your time.

Unshakable Hope

I almost made it through a whole year without being hospitalized or having any additional health problems. Almost. Then, with just a few days left in 2016, I caught a cold. The “commoncold” is not much more than an annoyance for otherwise healthy people, but for someone like me with weakened breathing muscles and only 30% of my lungs functioning, the common cold is much more than an annoyance.

On the morning of the last day of the year, I was having an extremely difficult time breathing even wearing my breathing mask. In addition to that, I couldn’t keep anything down. I was a mess, more than usual. Mary and I both assumed it was pneumonia again so she called 911 and within minutes we were in an ambulance en route to the hospital. ALS has brought us one adventure after another over the last 20 years.

View original post 722 more words

Posted in Personal growth, Spiritual, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments