Monday, August 30, 2010

A Tense World

I’m going to preface this post with a bit of whining.  It is annoying that I’ve had multiple grim postings on this blog and I’d rather be writing about more positive things.  It is time for me to do another review just to break the monotony, so my next post will be a long delayed review on a Smallville episode from last season.

On to the dark and dreary…

A Latter-day Saints bishop in Fresno was murdered yesterday after services by a stranger asking to see anyone in charge at the Visalia 2nd Ward.  My prayers go out to his family and congregation.  With all the Mormon bashing ramping up because of Prop 8 and Glenn Beck’s growing popularity, I wouldn’t be surprised if this doesn’t get classified as a hate crime.  But it could easily be a suicide by police situation given the gloomy economic times.

Speaking of Glenn Beck, I’m not a fan of his.  But I thought his “Restoring Honor” rally was a very good thing and am glad it wasn’t a political rally like the left made it out to be.  It was an old fashioned revival and correctly made the point that the people of America need to get their act together if anything good is to be done.  We certainly can’t rely on governments to be moral authorities.  Predictably, the political left have savaged the event and tried to paint it as racist.  They completely missed the point and that is very sad indeed.

Meanwhile, the West continues to be clueless as to how the Middle East actually operates.  While all cultures have difficulty understanding each other, the governments of the West perpetually assume that everyone else wants the same things we do.  Foolish is a word that barely begins to describe that assumption. Watching the jockeying in the Middle East with Iran and Turkey making a bid for dominant influence in the area is fascinating and underscores the fractured divisions weakening the Arab states.  With little Arab unity they are unable to resist their rivals influence.  Syria’s falling into Tehran's sphere of influence would have been unthinkable decades ago.  This interview of Jonathan Spyer by Michael Totten illustrates some of the problems with America and Europe’s view of the Middle East.  It is lengthy and worth every minute spent reading it.

Ever wondered what the United States looked like during the lead up to the Civil War?  A panorama of Cincinnati, Ohio’s waterfront has been scanned in from daguerreotype photos made in 1848 and put out for the public to see.  That type of photographic process is an amazing thing in itself and the detail that can be pulled from the old plates is incredible.  It makes me wonder what modern lenses combined with the old technology could do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

It Has to Stop Raining Eventually

It has been quite some time since I last posted and that mostly has to do with my health being in a very bad down cycle. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome tends to run in cycles and this has been the worst one since I first succumbed to the illness over twenty years ago.  This was surprising because I’d thought I’d gotten good at handling the illness and had established a new bottom floor in the cycles.

But much like the large amounts of rain we’ve gotten this summer, it hasn’t shown any sign of letting up.  Locally, we are on a pace to break the seasonal rain totals set in 2007 when flooding devastated the area.  At least the last couple of days have been sunny, if humid, and the forecast only has a chance of rain tomorrow night.

Due to wearing myself out doing things on two days this past week, I ended up not getting out to church again.   I look forward to Sunday more than any other day of the week and this is aggravating.  Oh well, at least it looks like I’ll be getting out with the missionaries again later this week.

This downturn in my health has been so extended that I had to ask to be released from my calling as Ward Mission Leader.  I still insist it is the best calling a man can have as a Latter-day Saint and didn’t want to give it up.  But the Holy Ghost made it clear it needed to be thus and so at the end of June I was released.  Still a ward missionary though and that’s a relief.

So I keep hoping my health and other circumstances will improve.  My intentions are to post here more often and will probably do more movie reviews just to keep me motivated.

And at some point post about the cat who walked in the cat door and won’t leave.