Bend Me, Shape Me…..

I begin my Sunday with some thoughts on exercise…..

Just a thought about those Yoga Nazis.

People who think that their exercise routine should be the routine for everyone.  Those people that give stink face to anything (meat) cooked on a grill.

I read an article about some school districts that are banning yoga from the campuses….

Is it because those pants are too revealing?  Is it because people are being tied in knots and injuries abound? Why would Yoga be banned?

In certain parts of the United States, it’s getting more and more likely that rather than a game of dodgeball in gym class or a round of Heads-up, Seven-up as a break between lessons, students will instead find themselves doing downward-facing dog. The internet is saturated with yoga-based lesson plans, teacher-training courses, and “mindful” music playlists designed for schools, while programs for certified yoga instructors who want to bring their practice onto campus have also gained popularity.

While up-to-date data on the prevalence of school-based yoga is hard to come by, a 2015 survey led by the New York University psychologist Bethany Butzer identified three dozen programs in the United States that reach 940 schools and more than 5,400 instructors. School-based yoga programs, Butzer and her co-authors concluded, are “acceptable and feasible to implement.” The researchers also predicted that such programs would grow in popularity.

https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/09/why-schools-are-banning-yoga/570904/

Interesting that religion is the reason….not some physical thing….or some wardrobe malfunction……but rather religious competition…..

But then again it is a different age…..

Whatcha think?

Me?  I’ll stick with my walking and my cheeseburger…..

I hope you have a ducky day…I shall….chuq

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Sunday–16Sep18

Several years ago there was a show on SyFy about the coming end of days….I believe the show was called “Dig”….the location was modern day Israel……there seems to be something about the birth of a red calf….it is magical and telling.

Well life does imitate art…..

An Israeli Jewish fundamentalist group that received donations from the country’s defence minister has said that an end of times prophecy ushering Armageddon has been fulfilled following the birth of a “flawless” red heifer.

The Temple Institute, which promotes the construction of a third temple on the ruins of Al-Aqsa Mosque, has announced the birth of the first red calf in Israel for 2,000 year. They believe that a biblical prophecy predicting the end of days has come true. The temple institute in Jerusalem announced the calf’s birth, saying it would undergo extensive examinations to determine if it is red all over.

The Jewish fundamentalist group believes that if the female baby calf is found to be “blemish free” and completely red, the institute will declare that the calf will bring the promise of reinstating biblical purity to the world.

Not to worry there have been countless predictions of the “End of Days” and we are still here….so this one is just FYI

Go now and enjoy your day….chuq

How About Some News From China

I do not write much on the China situation for I do not dwell in the Asia for much time.  But I would like to rectify that oversight on my part.

These are the biggest stories that I found while researching on the world wide web…….

Something Christians need to know….

China’s government is ratcheting up a crackdown on Christian congregations, destroying crosses, burning Bibles, shutting churches, and ordering followers to sign papers renouncing their faith, according to pastors and a group that monitors religion in China. The campaign corresponds with a drive to “Sinicize” religion by demanding loyalty to the atheist Communist Party. Bob Fu of the US-based group China Aid said that the recent closure of churches in Henan province and a prominent house church in Beijing is a “significant escalation” and that the “international community should be alarmed and outraged for this blatant violation of freedom of religion and belief.” Under President Xi Jinping, believers are seeing freedoms shrink dramatically even amid a religious revival. Activists say Xi is waging the most severe suppression of Christianity since religious freedom was written into the constitution in 1982.

Fu also provided video of piles of burning Bibles and forms stating that the signatories had renounced their Christian faith. He said that marked the first time since Mao’s radical 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution that Christians had been compelled to make such declarations, under pain of expulsion from school and loss of welfare benefits. Chinese law requires believers to worship only in congregations registered with the authorities, but many millions belong to so-called underground or house churches. In Beijing, the Zion church was shut on Sunday by around 60 government workers, said Ezra Jin Mingri, the church’s pastor. Zion is known as the largest house church in Beijing, with six branches. The officials declared the gatherings illegal and sealed off church properties, Jin said. “Churches will continue to develop. Blocking the sites will only intensify conflicts,” Jin told the AP.

There is more religious news coming out of China……

President Trump has been quick to go after China on trade issues, but the New York Times reports his administration is poised to penalize Beijing on a human rights issue for perhaps the first time. The administration is considering sanctions in response to China’s crackdown on minority Muslims, specifically ethnic Uighurs, in the name of national security.

The AP reports an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained in interment camps in Xinjiang province for indoctrination by the officially atheist government, and their plight is a cause of growing international concern. Human Rights Watch, for example, declared in a report over the weekend “that the human rights violations in Xinjiang today are of a scope and scale not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution.”

Dear Leader going to put Muslims first (for a change)…..fascinating.

The US seems to be always have “war games” with this country or that….and now the 2 main opponents to US foreign policy have teamed up…….

Russia launched a massive military exercise on Tuesday, its biggest since the Cold War, reports the BBC. That alone would be enough to make headlines, but another twist has cinched it: China is taking part in the war games as well—the first time Russia has invited any country beyond its former Soviet satellites, notes the Wall Street Journal. The bulk of the troops taking part in the five-day drills in eastern Russia near the Chinese border are Russian: 300,000 vs. about 3,200 from China. Mongolia also sent a small contingent. The stories note that the joint military exercise is taking place as both nations’ relations with NATO in general and the US in particular have soured of late.

“The exercise is an opportunity to prepare for a range of large-scale war and crisis scenarios,” an analyst at the think tank Rand Corp. tells the Journal. “The focus is on the Pacific theater for contingencies, in North Korea, for example. But the capabilities tested could apply to a conflict with the West.” This is China’s largest such exercise outside its own borders, reports the AP. The first day coincided with a visit to Russia by Chinese President Xi Jinping. “We’re obviously aware of it, we’re watching it closely,” said Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman. “We’re aware of Russia’s right to sovereignty and to exercise in order to ensure their readiness.”

These are stories that the American news outlets will not offer up to its listeners…..so chuq has made it his duty to give this type of info to my readers.

Closing Thought–23Aug18

Before I start with the meat of this post……they say that blondes make up about 8% of the population and it looks like most of them work for FOX News…….so a comment made by an anchor on FOX makes perfect sense…..

Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt asserted on Thursday that America is “great” because it “defeated communist Japan.”

“We want to know what you think,” Earhardt said. “We defeated communist Japan, radical Islamists. We ask our men and our women to go overseas to fight for our country and sacrifice so much for this great country so that we can be the land of the free, the land of the brave.”

(FOX News)

Have you ever read an article that made you say to yourself….”No Sh*t”!…after reading?

Well the other day I found one that was a big No Sh*t for me…..

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a “defining moment in the annals of Zionism and the annals of the state of Israel” when the Knesset enacted earlier this month a basic law (having constitutional status in Israel) making the right of national self-determination “unique to the Jewish people” and not applicable to all citizens. The law further enshrined religiously based discrimination, including a clause that points to priority for Jewish-only communities by declaring “the development of Jewish settlement as a national value” and promising “to encourage and promote its establishment and consolidation.”

The law has been a subject of much controversy in Israel. It passed the Knesset by the narrow margin of sixty-two to fifty-five. Opponents argue that it constitutes a step away from democracy. But this was one more item on the agenda of the ruling right-wing coalition that, given the rightward move in Israeli politics in recent years, the coalition was able to push through.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/israel-not-liberal-democracy-28392

Again….No Sh*t!

Activist such as myself have been saying this for decades and few were listening……now the world is starting to see what I and others having been harping…Israel has NEVER been this shining democracy of the Middle East.

Of course Israel does not subscribe to these rights…….

Another Ancient Mystery

Today must be mysteries day……

Another mystery may have been solved…..this time it is a religious artifact….the Shroud of Turin…..do you know what it is?

Supposedly it is the shroud that the body of Christ was wrapped in after death and before the resurrection……there have been many theories over the years about is it really or is it not?

The Shroud of Turin is supposedly the burial cloth that was wrapped around Jesus after his crucifixion; bloodstains on the linen shroud, which are said to have been transferred to it during the three days Jesus was in the tomb, form the image of a crucified man. But a new study reported in the Journal of Forensic Sciences finds the bloodstain image was likely faked. Researchers looking at the blood spatter found that the stains appeared to come from someone standing up, rather than someone who was flat on the fabric, Science Alert reports. As the researchers put it, the stains are “totally unrealistic” when compared to what they should look like. The shroud, which is held in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Italy, is considered an icon, as opposed to a genuine religious relic, by the Vatican; Fox News notes “the church has never weighed in on its authenticity.”

“This is the kind of forensic work done all the time in police investigations,” the forensic scientist who conducted the analysis tells BuzzFeed News. “Even a crucified or hanging person should leave a distinct blood pattern on the cloth, which would be fascinating information to have.” The study found inconsistent staining, with researchers concluding multiple poses were used to create the bloodstains—a standing model was likely used to imprint patterns on the cloth at various angles for various body parts. Another bloodstain pattern expert notes that more research could be done to see whether cleaning a body or preparing it for burial might account for the inconsistent staining, though he notes that the stains do appear to have come from flowing blood, meaning a heart that was beating at the time the stains were made. (See previous stories in the real-or-fake debate here.)

This probably will not stop the debate because if you want to believe it is what it is then nothing will change your mind….science is never the friend.

Keep in mind that all sorts of “relics” have been found in the last few decades in the Holy Land  most have been proven to be fakes….but to people that must have hard proof of the religion will grasp at anything that promises to explain everything.

It usually doesn’t explain anything.

My final post of the day….be well, be safe…..chuq

Will Secularism Return?

When I was working in the Middle East, 1979-1984, I found that many of the countries that I visited were secular…..that is the people were not bound by any religious beliefs or attitudes…..countries like Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, etc…..since I left the Middle East Sectarianism has taken control of the people’s lives……countries that now a days we would consider as governed by religion.

I guess that war will make a lot of people turn to religion for help understanding many things and government would be no exception.

I recently read an article that covers this thinking and what is happening in the Middle East…..

When one thinks of conflict in the Middle East, religious factors are probably among the first that come to mind. But, nowadays, competing strategic interests and imperial ambitions play a much larger role than religious or sectarian cleavages in defining regional politics. This is potentially a positive development.

Consider the struggle for regional influence between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Despite having long been viewed as a result of the Sunni-Shia divide, the competition is really between two opposing political systems: Iran’s revolutionary regime, bent on changing the regional balance of power, versus Saudi Arabia’s conservative monarchy, which seeks to uphold the old regional order.

In this context, Iran’s support of the Arab Spring uprisings makes sense. In an Arab-dominated Middle East, non-Arab Iran is the natural enemy; but in a Muslim Middle East, the Islamic Republic of Iran is a potential hegemon. So Iran was quick to back free elections, predicting that voters would bring Islamists to power.

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-political-decline-of-religion-in-the-middle-east/

I have noticed that social media is help in the spread of more non-religious considerations especially in what may become the new Iraq……

Rayyan Hadidi was 18 years old when he lost his faith. It was July 2006, and he was on his way to school when he stumbled upon a cheering crowd that had gathered near a local mosque. The group, made up mostly of mosque leaders and worshippers, had encircled two men accused of volunteering with the Iraqi police force, which many saw as a puppet of the American occupiers. Al-Qaeda gunmen brandished their arms, preparing to execute the men, as the crowd shouted, “Allahu akbar.” Hadidi stared at the two men, flinching when he made eye contact with one of them just before they were both shot.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/07/iraq-secular-sectarian-election-mosul/564452/

For me that is good news…for like I said before I remember a secular Middle East of my youth….I realize that this will not make a difference to those hateful individuals that wants to blame all problems on a religion.

Part of the rise of extremist Islam came from the sands of Arabia for these Arabs follow an extreme form of Islam known as Wahhabism…..since the King decided to put his son in charge there has been some movement to marginalize the religion……

To cement his power, Prince Mohammed has in the past year marginalized establishment religious scholars, detained critics and neutralized members of the elite by arresting relatives, prominent businessmen, and officials and stripping them of much of their assets.

In doing so, Prince Mohammed has subjugated the kingdom’s ultra-conservative religious leaders through a combination of intimidation, coercion and exploitation of religious dogma particular to a Saudi strain of ultra-conservatism that stipulates that Muslims should obey their ruler even if he is unjust. Islam “dictates that we should obey and hear the ruler,” Prince Mohammed said.

https://lobelog.com/whither-wahhabism/

Are the Saudis leading the way?  Not in my book…they are just given the illusion of change……some minor reforms but the religion thing will remain.

And why is the MSM ignoring all the protests in Iraq since the election?

Although popular unrest is nothing unusual in Iraq, one key factor that has emerged is that all Iraqis have the same concerns, irrespective of their ethno-sectarian background. This fact could be a reason why the mainstream media have attempted to sidestep the protests and failed to give the demonstrations the attention they deserve because they prove that Iraqis are sick and tired of the sectarian nightmare that Iran exported to their country.

http://www.iraqdailyjournal.com/story-z17501228

Closing Thought–20Jun18

These days with the children thing and the quotes saying that the Bible made them do it….I thought I would look at the Founders and their religious convictions….

I get tickled because so-called conservs say that we must keep Jesus in the Constitution…well actually he was not named God was but Jesus was left out for some reason.

The reason basically many of the Founders were “Deists” and not Christians……but why not take a look at 5 of the Founding Fathers that probably could not get elected these days because of their religious beliefs……

To hear the Religious Right tell it, men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were 18th-century versions of Jerry Falwell in powdered wigs and stockings. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Unlike many of today’s candidates, the founders didn’t find it necessary to constantly wear religion on their sleeves. They considered faith a private affair. Contrast them to former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (who says he wouldn’t vote for an atheist for president because non-believers lack the proper moral grounding to guide the American ship of state), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (who hosted a prayer rally and issued an infamous ad accusing President Barack Obama of waging a “war on religion”) and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum (whose uber-Catholicism leads him to oppose not just abortion but birth control).

https://www.alternet.org/here-are-5-founding-fathers-whose-skepticism-about-christianity-would-make-them-unelectable-today

Did you know that Jefferson put together his own version of the New Testament?

Jefferson’s goal was to clarify the teachings of Jesus which he believed provided “the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.”

But do yourself a favor and read for yourself…..

http://thejeffersonbible.com/

Time for my posting day to come to an end…..be well….chuq