The most important news story this week

And it’s not good news. Scientists created a part-human, part-pig embryo.

That’s evil,and insane. God did mankind a favor at Babel.

“The LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the people had built. Then the LORD said: If now, while they are one people and all have the same language, they have started to do this, nothing they presume to do will be out of their reach. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that no one will understand the speech of another. So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. — Genesis 11, New American Bible

UPDATE 30 January 2017: Summary of chimera research.

Vicarious wisdom

General Patton said, “No sane man is unafraid in battle, but discipline produces in him a form of vicarious courage.” Similarly, the rules of a traditional society make possible a kind of vicarious wisdom among the unwise. These rules restrain the capable, so removing them lets the intelligent, the prudent, and the creative do better, at the cost of the not-so-capable doing worse, but having plenty to eat.

Politics today

“So, if I understand this right – unlikely, I admit – one set of Socialists used their nefarious yet l33t hacking chops to make sure another Socialist was defeated by an elderly New York Liberal in the primaries so that she could lose to another elderly New York Liberal running as a Republican in the general election, thereby advancing the Russian agenda, which has long been to turn the US into a Socialist country – via keeping a Socialist from winning the election. Kind of a Lao Tzu meets Machiavelli in Byzantium and starts plotting with Odysseus sort of thing.” — weather report

That’s just what they want you to think.

People differ

“In my Travels, as I walked through many Regions and Countries, it was my chance to happen into that famous Continent of universe; a very large and spacious Country it is…

“The people are not all of one complexion, nor yet of one Language, mode, or way of Religion; but differ as much as (’tis said) do the Planets themselves. Some are right, and some are wrong, even as it happeneth to be in lesser Regions.” — The Holy War, by John Bunyan, 1682

The people differ – well, sure. But “Some are right, and some are wrong?” Isn’t that hate speech?

Carols

In Gaudete the second verse

Ezechielis porta
Clausa pertransitur.
Unde lux est orta
Salus invenitur.

is a reference to Ezekiel 44:1-4. Everybody likely to listen to Christmas carols in Latin probably already knew this, but it was new to me.

I hadn’t heard Il Est Ne, Le Divin Enfant, from here, for many years.

Continuing the French theme, here’s Noël Nouvelet sung by Lorenna McKennitt.

Finally one in English: Shepherds Arise, by the Richard Huish College Folk Quire.

Four observations

  • No amount of gritty determination will get all of us into the upper half.
  • Sawing an inch off one end and nailing it onto the other does not make the board longer.
  • Some business plans are unsustainable in a democracy.
  • The funny thing about a cargo cult is, sometimes the planes come.

Presidents come and go

The powers of the presidency remain, and increase. Here’s one example of how it works – or how it fails:

“The Obama administration – perhaps anticipating a Hillary Clinton presidency – supported these changes. Now its outgoing public-diplomacy officials will have to hope that Mr. Trump …” — A big change to U.S. broadcasting is coming – and it’s one Putin might admire

This particular example is about management of the VOA, but it could be any number of other things.

It’s just barely possible that Obamacare will be repealed, though I don’t think that will really happen in practice. Maybe the Republicans will change it’s name; maybe they’ll pass a bill titled “repeal of Obamacare,” and President Trump will sign it. Maybe they’ll simply amend Obamacare to the advantage of different constituencies. Whatever they do, the powers of the federal government over doctors, nurses, and patients will remain, and grow.

Whatever powers we granted to President Obama will be used by President Trump. Whatever powers we grant to President Trump will be used by his successor. The founding fathers understood what people seem to have forgotten.

Jesus and Mary in the burning bush

In this picture, I am the sheep.

In this picture, I am the sheep.

“Why are Mary and Jesus in the burning bush?” asks one sheep. “What does all that mean? What’s happening?” “Dunno,” says the other sheep. “Don’t worry about it. We’re just sheep.”

You can read more about it at:

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (a holiday in some countries.) As far as I know, that has nothing to do with this icon.