August 12th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Religion

Jim Bakker Show via Right Wing Watch

Panel of Christians with shelves stacked with food behind them. The table that they are seated at has a lot of food on it too. This is really the first time I’ve actually sat down and watched an entire one of these shows, I usually just watch the snippets that Right Wing Watch puts out. You’re going to watch the entire thing yourself, but there are a few things that should be pointed out. He encourages people to buy food from his store, and stores that are his partners. The reason for this is that apparently all of their food has an extended shelf life, which means it’s all powdered and desiccated.

I checked out their online store, and they have powdered fruit.

The reason that this is a good thing, is because, according to Jim, Churches need to stock up for when Jesus comes back to lead his army, and that people (all non-believers), will flock to churches, because that would be the only source of food. They would all have food sourced from the Jim Bakker show.

Fascinating. It’s always really interesting to see the different forms that monetized religion can take.

Klontzas Georgios - The Second Coming (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Klontzas Georgios – The Second Coming (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Society

Washington Post

Shifting demographics and the state of the American dream.

“Cultural shifts are also underway. In surveys, Millennials often say they want to own homes one day, but they are a generation that’s embraced the “sharing economy.” They don’t like to own much. They take Lyft and Uber instead of owning a car. They tell their parents and grandparents “no thanks” when they are offered the family china or trinkets. They prefer to spend their money on experiences — eating out, concerts, travel, gyms — instead of stuff.”

Philosophy

Edward Feser

Feser on the mindscape as being a realm from which all ideas come from. They precede us and will be there long after we are gone.

“The Mindscape, then, is essentially the collection of all the propositions and concepts that might possibly be grasped, entertained, affirmed, denied, etc.  The Pythagorean theorem would be an example of a denizen of the Mindscape.  When you entertain the theorem and I do not, you are accessing a part of the Mindscape that I am not, at least at that moment, accessing.  When we are both entertaining it, we are accessing the same part of the Mindscape.  But the theorem was there before either of us accessed it and will remain there long after we are gone.  The same is true of every other proposition or concept.  They are all out there waiting to be accessed, as it were.”

United States

Rewire News

Overview of what is going down in Virginia, USA. Though it’s probably over by now. Article does a good job of fleshing out how diverse the two sides are and how there are clearly ideological differences even between the both of them. I’ve read alt right articles which pan the entire “alt lite” moment for being a bunch of idiots who can’t recognize what is happening. The point is, there’s definitely more nuance here than you would think.

Media

Geographical Imaginations

Someone made a movie that can be found of multiple platforms. It’s apparently a bunch of imagery that tries to convey the kind of paranoia that should accompany the threat of nuclear warfare. It uses a lot of jarring imagery, clips of destruction and individuals commenting on nuclear warfare, to achieve this effect.

Korea

Vox

The North Korea – South Korea dynamic reminds me a lot of Pakistan – India. They both were a nation state at one point of time. There was an acrimonious split. There’s a demographic divide when it comes to opinions about the split, and a lot more. Most importantly though, the South Korean journalist in the article explains why South Koreans themselves aren’t panicking about the nuclear holocaust. It’s because they’re just used to this.

July 26th – International News Round-Up (Part I)

Religion

Christian Today

World famous Evangelical Christian Billy Graham on whether or not he considers the Anti-Christ have a presence on this earth in this day and age? He struggles to define what he means by the Anti-Christ. Though he does present two contradictory ways in which Christians can deal with this, by saying that Christians should not worry about it even if he is a great presence in this world. As a theologian, he really should be able to flesh this out more.

Antichrist form the Osogovo Monastery (Image Source: Wiki Commons)
Antichrist form the Osogovo Monastery (Image Source: Wiki Commons)

Libya

Libya Herald

The Presidential Guard Commander has said that all light, medium and heavy arms would not be allowed to enter the capital Tripoli. This is part of the larger plan for the administration in Tripoli to restore some amount of normalcy to the capital after the Libya Dawn takeover. Italy and Turkey are the only major embassies to have returned to the city. It will take a while for there for various governments to trust the administration with their envoys.

Zambia

Lusaka Times

The Community Development and Social Welfare Minister of Zambia declared that as long as girls continue to be married off early, that the country would not grow and prosper. Though she was short on the details of whether girls who were not forced into marriages early in their lives would be allowed to pursue avenues that would contribute in any way to those around them.

Argentina

The Bubble

Midterm Primary Elections are just around the corner and The Bubble spoke to Rosendo Fraga on his predictions. Around 25% of the electorate have not decided on who they want to vote for. A huge number of undecided voters.

“But we’re not seeing a clear scenario where we can say that a party is 10, five points ahead of another one. That’s a matter we have to be aware of. Doing a bit of electoral geography, we have the provincial interior that has a third of the vote, with cities such as Bahía Blanca, Azul, Tandil, where Cambiemos has the majority of the vote. They have the rural areas as well,” he added.

Buenos Aires is the prize that everybody wants. Like in most other countries, there are certain territories that are considered as statements. Another way to put this would be to call them mandate indicators. These are usually historically important places, capitals or areas where enormous amounts of the electorate are concentrated (usually urban centers). Uttar Pradesh in India is a good example of this.

“The Buenos Aires Province is arguably the big price of the elections. Whoever gets it will be perceived as the winner, even if their party doesn’t get the most votes at a national level. That’s why I asked Fraga if he believes that the government will try to spin the analysis if it loses the Province at the hands of the former president.

“They will certainly try. They will say something like “Cristina is a party in the Buenos Aires Province, maybe the City too. I label the Peronist vote in the interior as something different. This is what the Kirchnerism tried to do in 2009, when De Narváez won and in 2013, when Massa won. It couldn’t. They could try, but I think it will be hard for it to [make] work. Especially because Cristina is a candidate, and that’s something that nationalizes the election in the Province,” he said.

Finance

Institutional Investor

Goldman Sachs apparently bonds issued by Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) back in 2014. The opposition party leader wrote to the CEO accusing him of making money off the suffering of a people. Which technically isn’t wrong.

Goldman isn’t the only large corporation that has done this. BlackRock also has holdings in the country. Goldman says that they made the investment in the hope that life in the country would improve, without going into the ethical quandary of whether supplying funds to Maduro was in good faith.

Arguments are made in the article about investing in developing nations in general and how government rule cannot damn individuals in the country who aren’t beholden to their host nations way of acting, but that really doesn’t solve the Goldman problem. PDVSA is a state-owned giant with very clear links to Maduro.