Halo Halo & Tiny tips

Halo Halo

The Sun, 28 January, had American Christians seeking both to propagate creationism and coin a few dollars – more than a few as two million visitors a year at fifty quid a throw for adults were expected to visit a creationist museum in Kentucky which features a five-hundred-foot-plus model of an Ark based upon the ‘Noah and the flood’ fairy tale. A hundred million dollars to build allegedly. Sure they could have got some cheaper wood from somewhere. It doesn’t say whether that figure is inflation-adjusted from the time of the event which supposedly took place a few thousand years ago. In the real world it’s generally agreed that dinosaurs became extinct sixty- five million years ago. Inside there are models of dinosaurs because dinosaurs and humans apparently existed side by side.

If you can believe that someone in the sky was responsible for making the Universe and everything in it then you can believe any old twaddle.

Another American group of similar ilk aims to ‘open people to the gospel by revealing God in science’. ‘Do Extinctions in the Fossil Record Undermine Creation?’ (Reasons to Believe, 31 January). Guess what their ‘scientific’ conclusion is. They conclude, ‘It means that mass extinctions and mass originations were part of a divinely orchestrated natural history.’ It’s a heads I win, tails you lose sort of thing. Can’t argue with the ‘science’!

There’s a painting in a church in the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia, of Lenin being cast down into ‘hell’. A futile gesture but given its history under the Soviets it’s probably the equivalent of a traditional British ‘up yours’. Whatever makes you happy. Have the Georgians consigned Stalin to the same ‘fate’ or are they still proud of one of their own?

James Joyce’s 1916 novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, contains a sermon, delivered by a Catholic priest, on the subject of hellfire and damnation. It’s a powerful piece of writing and may have come from Joyce’s own experiences within the Catholic church. Is hellfire still a tool to keep the sheep under control? Perfectly normal to have depictions of the savage Roman method of execution, crucifixion, looming over them?

‘You couldn’t make it up’ news that a man in Iowa, USA, is facing criminal charges for beheading a statue. Where was it? In a Satanic Temple. Apparently, Satanism is designated an ‘official religion’ which makes the vandalism a ‘hate crime’.

‘Liberation Tarot seeks to serve as a tool for those inspired towards revolution in the face of the able-centered, capitalist, hetero-cis-normative, white-supremacist patriarchy. Tarot helps us rewrite the vocabulary of power, and with it, to strengthen our muscles of radical, revolutionary, and abolitionist dreaming. The deck eschews conventional tarot cards. Figures in the deck have bodies of all shapes and sizes, colors, genders, ages, and abilities—together, elaborating a vision of collective liberation and co-resistance.’ Whatever. Bargain at fifty dollars. Sarcasm redundant…


Tiny tips
World’s 5 Richest Men Have Added $14M to Their Wealth Every Hour Since 2020 (tinyurl.com/bdh2vxyt).Green capitalism is a con. Only Marxism can save the planet (tinyurl.com/mpdpwp54).

A member of the Chinese Communist Party is the second-largest foreign owner of US land, according to the Daily Caller. Billionaire Chen Tianqiao, founder, chairman and CEO of Shanda Group, owns around 200,000 acres of land in Oregon (tinyurl.com/2mztxehy).

…the Deng drive produced a de facto capitalist economy presided by a bureaucratic bourgeoisie: ‘As has been true of the histories of all capitalist economies, the power of the state was very much involved in establishing China’s labor market. Indeed, in China a highly repressive state apparatus played a particularly direct and coercive role in the commodification of labor, a process that has proceeded with a rapidity and on a scale that is historically unprecedented’ (tinyurl.com/yc44v6sw).

Since gaining power five years ago, the civil-military-religious alliance headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has waged two major wars against its citizens (tinyurl.com/43tkkrej).

Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, spoke… to extol the “outstanding” performance of the Israeli military in Gaza (tinyurl.com/yss442ke).

Some of the riches that these countries and companies seek include rare-earth metals and the isotope helium-3, which, while rare on Earth, is abundant on the moon and can theoretically be used to power nuclear fusion reactors (tinyurl.com/3j84pnu5).

It can be argued that Lenin only followed a pattern set by the Tsars, whose ruthlessness and autocratic rule had defined and despoiled Russia for centuries. Yet sitting in his seat at the British Museum, Lenin had fancied he could fashion a better, more peaceful, more equal Russia – only for the reality of exercising power in that vast country and his determination to force a reluctant population into line, whatever the cost, to turn him into a tsar in all but name and every bit as terrible as his predecessors (tinyurl.com/52b2sf7f).

Life expectancy for a Russian man is only 65. Mr Putin’s regime is trying to turn getting killed into an economically rational choice (tinyurl.com/49hfwte2).

In Pretoria… President Cyril Ramaphosa was seen warmly shaking the blood-soaked hand of Hemedti, a one-time leader of the Janjaweed, which holds the dubious distinction of carrying out the first genocide of the 21st century in Darfur (tinyurl.com/bdf87ucw).

Homeless rise sees young person become destitute every four minutes, research finds (tinyurl.com/nusjjuw3).

The specific piece of equipment, a plug door that broke off a Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft during Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 from Portland on Friday night, in fact illustrates many of the broader trends in the airline industry today: the desire to cram more passengers into finite space, the standardization of production across outsourced subcontractors, and the lack of oversight from federal regulators into these increasingly dangerous schemes (tinyurl.com/bhsjrwd2).

As MAGA devotion to Donald Trump grows within the evangelical community, once politically powerful religious leaders are losing sway over followers who have convinced themselves that Trump is the new savior (tinyurl.com/2p8xesnz).

Next article: Material World – The problem of plastics ➤

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