Behind The Woodshed Blogcaster – September 27, 2015.

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At the Situationally Aware Action Oriented Intelligence Center

Of Evolutionary Engagement

Open you a canThe Victory Against You in the Silent War is Your Silence

Devil In The Details

Signs and Wonders

  • Super Blood Moon eclipse tonight!
    There is a total eclipse of the moon on the night of September 27-28, 2015. It happens to be the closest supermoon of 2015. It’s the Northern Hemisphere’s Harvest Moon, or full moon nearest the September equinox. It’s the Southern Hemisphere’s first full moon of spring. This September full moon is also called a Blood Moon, because it presents the fourth and final eclipse of a lunar tetrad: four straight total eclipses of the moon, spaced at six lunar months (full moons) apart. Phew!

A Couple Lips Now

  • Mars, Earth, and the Sun all aligned last night, a rare ‘opposition of the planets’ that only happens once every 778 days.

    But what made this event so remarkable is that it occured precisely a week before everyone on earth will see the first of FOUR dark red ‘blood moons’, an extraordinary event some Christians believe represents the End of Days and the second coming of Christ.

    The King James Bible predicts: “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD comes,” [Joel 2:31].

    And, according to NASA, a highly unusual ‘Tetrad’ – four successive total ‘blood-red’ lunar eclipses each followed by six full moons – will, indeed, start next Tuesday and finish on September 28 2015.

    The incredible alignment has only happened a handful of times in the last two thousand years but, remarkably, on each of the last three occasions it has coincided with a globally significant religious event.

    While NASA has confirmed the astrological validity behind some of the claims, not everyone is convinced the Tetrad means anything at all, let alone the End of Days.

Professor Gary Shogren, a former pastor who studied the New Testament at Aberdeen University, said: “You’ll never go broke predicting the apocalypse.

“An eclipse on Passover night seems wildly improbable, but we should remember that lunar eclipses only happen on full moons and that Passover by definition always takes place on a full moon. Sukkoth (The Feast of Tabernacles) also by definition coincides with a full moon.

“I thought in 2011 we all said we weren’t going to fall for this again, when Harold Camping twice missed the date of the Second Coming?

“It really is no different this time.”


Big Data Adulteration

  • Twitter Accused of Eavesdropping on Users 
    Twitter “surreptitiously eavesdrops” on its users by intercepting, reading and altering their private messages without their knowledge, according to a federal class action seeking potentially massive damages against the popular social network.
    Twitter is best known for its short, public, 140-character messages called “tweets,” but the company also operates a private “Direct Messages” service in which users can talk privately.
    The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Federal Court by Texas resident Wilford Raney, focuses on such direct messages that contain links to outside articles.
    Although the direct messages are supposed to be private, as soon as a user sends a direct message Twitter “intercepts, reads, and, at times, even alters the message,” the suit says.
  • Watch out, iDevice owners!Siri has opened the pod bay door to let snoopers in.Barely a week after the release of iOS 9, a hacker has found a way for snoops to access your contacts and photos and send messages without your passcode.The bug affects iOS 9 and iOS 9.0.1 on iPhones, iPads and iPods.The security flaw allows a malcontent with physical access to your iDevice to use Siri to bypass Apple’s Lock screen – even if you have set up Touch ID with your fingerprint.→ Touch ID doesn’t help here. When you set up Touch ID, iOS requires you to have a passcode too, and you can always tell the Touch ID login process that you want skip trying your fingerprint and use your passcode instead. From that point, you can use this hack.We’re not going to explain exactly how you can get around the lock screen, because Apple hasn’t fixed the bug yet – we’re sure you can see it demonstrated elsewhere if you really need to know.In general terms, the bug allows you to bypass the lock screen by entering an incorrect passcode several times and then asking Siri to open the clock app.

Who’s Asking?

  • Obama, Putin Will Meet About Syria

    As Russia ramps up its military involvement in Syria’s civil war and defies international agreements in Ukraine, Russian president Vladimir Putin will meet with US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, which starts next week on Sept. 28.

    The news was announced by the Kremlin and confirmed by the White House, which tells Quartz that the meeting was requested by Putin. A statement from the Obama administration reads:

    Given the situations in Ukraine and Syria, despite our profound differences with Moscow, the President believes that it would be irresponsible not to test whether we can make progress through high-level engagement with the Russians. In particular, our European partners have underscored the importance of a unified message about the necessity of fully implementing the Minsk agreements. President Obama will take advantage of this meeting to discuss Ukraine, and he will be focused on ensuring Moscow lives up to the Minsk commitments. This will be the core message of this bilateral engagement.

    Earlier this week, NATO’s top official chided Russia for failing to respect the Minsk agreements, which were designed to de-escalate the conflict ahead of a political settlement. But European and Ukrainian defense officials say that the ceasefire is not being respected, and that Russia maintains heavy weapons in Ukraine and is denying access to independent monitors.

Mission Accomplished

  • Whether it was “the right time,” or a desire to end “this prolonged leadership turmoil” in the House — or both — John Boehner’s bombshell announcement Friday to resign as speaker and leave Congress at the end of October had all the markings of a self-described “regular guy with a big job.””Yep,” Boehner told reporters, describing the sequence of events leading up to his decision — which included a morning walk to Starbucks and a stop at the neighborhood diner — “I think today’s the day.”He first broke the news to his staff and then his House caucus Friday morning. Explaining the move to reporters, he simply said, “It’s the right time.”The decision by the 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his colleagues, and will soon lead to a leadership battle as well as a special election in Ohio, in already tumultuous times. It comes amid mounting friction with the conservative wing of the party — and one day after Boehner hosted a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress.

Papal Roadshow

  • Beyond these achievements, the experience of the past seventy years has made it clear that reform and adaptation to the times is always necessary in the pursuit of the ultimate goal of granting all countries, without exception, a share in, and a genuine and equitable influence on, decision-making processes. The need for greater equity is especially true in the case of those bodies with effective executive capability, such as the Security Council, the Financial Agencies and the groups or mechanisms specifically created to deal with economic crises. This will help limit every kind of abuse or usury, especially where developing countries are concerned. The International Financial Agencies are should care for the sustainable development of countries and should ensure that they are not subjected to oppressive lending systems which, far from promoting progress, subject people to mechanisms which generate greater poverty, exclusion and dependence.

    The work of the United Nations, according to the principles set forth in the Preamble and the first Articles of its founding Charter, can be seen as the development and promotion of the rule of law, based on the realization that justice is an essential condition for achieving the ideal of universal fraternity. In this context, it is helpful to recall that the limitation of power is an idea implicit in the concept of law itself. To give to each his own, to cite the classic definition of justice, means that no human individual or group can consider itself absolute, permitted to bypass the dignity and the rights of other individuals or their social groupings. The effective distribution of power (political, economic, defense-related, technological, etc.) among a plurality of subjects, and the creation of a juridical system for regulating claims and interests, are one concrete way of limiting power. Yet today’s world presents us with many false rights and – at the same time – broad sectors which are vulnerable, victims of power badly exercised: for example, the natural environment and the vast ranks of the excluded. These sectors are closely interconnected and made increasingly fragile by dominant political and economic relationships. That is why their rights must be forcefully affirmed, by working to protect the environment and by putting an end to exclusion.

  • Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Summit on Friday, the head of the Roman Catholic Church made a nod to the importance of the UN, now that technology has enabled humanity to overcome distance and frontiers and “all natural limits to the exercise of power.”“Technological power, in the hands of nationalistic or falsely universalist ideologies, is capable of perpetrating tremendous atrocities,” the Pope said, praising the achievements of the UN in containing that potential as “lights which help to dispel the darkness of the disorder caused by unrestrained ambitions and collective forms of selfishness.”

  • . . . .  fundamentalism, whether religious or of any other kind. A delicate balance is required to combat violence perpetrated in the name of a religion, an ideology or an economic system, while also safeguarding religious freedom, intellectual freedom and individual freedoms. . . .


  • On Thursday, Pope Francis delivered his much anticipated speech before a joint Congress. In his remarks, which marks the first time the leader of the Catholic Church has spoken before a U.S. Congress, Francis urged lawmakers to focus on the “common good” of human society, specifically to protect vulnerable members of society and the environment.”You are called to defend and preserve the dignity of your fellow citizens in the tireless and demanding pursuit of the common good, for this is the chief aim of all politics,” Francis said. “A political society endures when it seeks, as a vocation, to satisfy common needs by stimulating the growth of all its members, especially those in situations of greater vulnerability or risk.”Francis also directly addressed the struggles of immigrants crossing the border and the current refugees crisis in Europe.”We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation,” he said.”Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.'”

  • Pope Francis had powerful words to share today with Congress on the issue of immigration and refugees.  As a “legal permanent resident” at a Catholic institution for the past thirteen years (I’m a Mennonite), I am still learning the language of Catholic Social Teaching.  So when I heard him use the phrase “reciprocal subsidiarity,” I had to do some more research.  Here’s what the Pope said:“Building a nation calls us to recognize that we must constantly relate to others, rejecting a mind-set of hostility in order to adopt one of reciprocal subsidiarity, in a constant effort to do our best. I am confident that we can do this.” The word “subsidiarity” is an odd one to the non-Catholic – I’ve sort of considered it a rough synonym for “federalism” in a political sense.  In essence, let those closest to an social issue address it as they know it best.  The Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace in 2006 published a Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which says the following with respect to national and local governance:Subsidiarity, understood in the positive sense as economic, institutional or juridical assistance offered to lesser social entities, entails a corresponding series of negative implications that require the State to refrain from anything that would de facto restrict the existential space of the smaller essential cells of society. Their initiative, freedom and responsibility must not be supplanted.” (Sec. 186)But by using the term “reciprocal subsidiarity,” the Pope seems to be calling on individual citizens to reach out and interact with immigrants and refugees on a personal level.  According to scholar Pierpaolo Donati, the State has four ways to relate to civil society: vertically, horizontally, laterally, and in terms of basic human dignity.   The third captures the notion of “reciprocal subsidiarity,” in which the State relates by way of a:“[L]ateral modality, generating subsidiarity among subjects of civil society, without intervention (or only a residual one) by the State, so that the basic social norm followed by actors is reciprocity (reciprocal subsidiarity) instead of (political, legal) command or monetary equivalence (for profit).[1]

  • The Mennonites are Christian groups belonging to the church communities of Anabaptist denominations named after Menno Simons (1496–1561) of Friesland (at that time, a part of the Holy Roman Empire). Through his writings, Simons articulated and formalized the teachings of earlier Swiss founders. The early teachings of the Mennonites were founded on the belief in both the mission and ministry of Jesus, which the original Anabaptist followers held to with great conviction despite persecution by the various Roman Catholic and Protestant states. Rather than fight, the majority of these followers survived by fleeing to neighboring states where ruling families were tolerant of their radical belief in believer’s baptism. Over the years, Mennonites have become known as one of the historic peace churches because of their commitment to pacifism.[2]


  • Subsidiarity

    1. (in the Roman Catholic Church) a principle of social doctrine that all social bodies exist for the sake of the individual so that what individuals are able to do, society should not take over, and what small societies can do, larger societies should not take over.

    2. (in political systems) the principle of devolving decisions to the lowest practical level
  • Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development  Preamble This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. We recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions . . .



    New York
    Tuesday, 2 October 1979

    3. Besides attaching great importance to its collaboration with the United Nations Organization, the Apostolic See has always, since the foundation of your Organization, expressed its esteem and its agreement with the historic significance of this supreme forum for the international life of humanity today. It also never ceases to support your Organization’s functions and initiatives, which are aimed at peaceful coexistence and collaboration between nations. There are many proofs of this. In the more than thirty years of the existence of the United Nations Organization, it has received much attention in papal messages and encyclicals, in documents of the Catholic episcopate, and likewise in the Second Vatican Council. Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI looked with confidence on your important institution as an eloquent and promising sign of our times. He who is now addressing you has, since the first months of his pontificate, several times expressed the same confidence and conviction as his predecessors.

    4. This confidence and conviction on the part of the Apostolic See is the result, as I have said, not of merely political reasons but of the religious and moral character of the mission of the Roman Catholic Church. As a universal community embracing faithful belonging to almost all countries and continents, nations, peoples, races, languages and cultures, the Church is deeply interested in the existence and activity of the Organization whose very name tells us that it unites and associates nations and States. It unites and associates: it does not divide and oppose. It seeks out the ways for understanding and peaceful collaboration, and endeavours with the means at its disposal and the methods in its power to exclude war, division and mutual destruction within the great family of humanity today.


The Fallible One

  • Pope’s border wall around Vatican

    While Pope Francis is in the United States effectively advocating for a borderless America, many people are amused by the irony of the giant wall surrounding his own Vatican City.

    Take the lead, Holy Father: Tear down that wall!

    During his speech before Congress, Pope Francis implored U.S. politicians to embrace migrants seeking to come into America.

    “Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War,” the pope said, according to USA Today, including “thousands of persons (who) are led to travel north in search of a better life.

    The wall in these photos is something more impressive than anything even Donald Trump could build.


  • Working class priced out, kicked out in new Portland housing boom    

    Enrique Rios, a 26-year-old Los Angeles transplant, lives with his fiancée and small dog in a 250-square-foot “micro-unit” apartment in Northwest Portland. It is the size of a college dorm room with space for a bed, a toilet and not much else. He cooks meals in a communal kitchen shared with other tenants.

    Rios pays $995 a month.

    Seattle developer Footprint Northwest LLC bought the home that was at the site on Northwest Thurman Street in 2013, replacing it with a five-story, 54-unit building.

    Call them “a-pod-ments,” or hipster hovels, there are now hundreds of these micro-units in Portland. They are part of a real estate gold rush that is transforming Portland and is propelling housing costs to levels never before seen.

    The boom raises troubling issues of economic inequality, as rent hikes have spiraled far beyond workers’ wage increases. The posh new apartment houses are prevalent on Portland’s east side, historically the gritty home to the city’s working class. Even developers share foreboding that the central city is becoming a playground for the affluent while the young and the old and the people in the service economy no longer can afford to live there.

    Critics have coined a nifty phrase for the trend — “economic apartheid.”

    Affordable housing has become a hot political issue up and down the West Coast as prices continue to escalate.


  • In housing, ‘different ways to define affordable’ As rent prices in the Portland area continue to skyrocket, many new affordable and low-income housing complexes have started popping up all over the city.But even these new, low-cost housing alternatives are still too expensive for some.Now, many are wondering what the term ‘affordable’ actually means.“There’s different ways to define affordable,” Alysa Rose, CEO of Portland Habilitation Center Northwest said. “Of course, what’s affordable to one person may not be affordable to the next.”
  • . . . and of equal opportunity permitting the full realization of human potential and contributing to shared prosperity

    Goal 17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development Finance 17.1 Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection
    17.2 Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries
    17.3 Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources
    17.4 Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress
    17.5 Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries . . .         29. We recognize the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth and sustainable development. We also recognize that international migration is a multi-dimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination, which requires coherent and comprehensive responses. We will cooperate internationally to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants regardless of migration status, of refugees and of displaced persons. Such cooperation should also strengthen the resilience of communities hosting refugees, particularly in developing countries. We underline the right of migrants to return to their country of citizenship, and recall that States must ensure that their returning nationals are duly received.


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