Friday, December 28, 2012

The Vatican wants to vacuum you dry. And other news

Here is some news I thought interesting.

Not a speck of dust! Sistine Chapel visitors to be vacuumed
"In a bid to protect one of Italy’s greatest historical sites that featured frescos by Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli the authorities of the Vatican are installing a hi-end vacuum cleaning system in the Sistine Chapel to clean visitors. ­The special equipment will be installed next year at the entrance to the Sistine Chapel, the hall that hosts the cardinals’ conclave when they elect the new Pope, Italian Corriere della Sera newspaper reports. The measure is being taken to preserve the 500-year-old Renaissance masterpiece from the dust, dirt, hair and fibers brought in by visitors. It is one of the most visited attractions inside Italy with four million tourists coming to the Chapel every year."

“The vacuum cleaner will guarantee that all visitors will be clean of dust and other fibers and it will also take away excessive moisture such as sweat,” the director of the Vatican Museum Antonio Paolucci said. “It would involve a system along the final 100 meters before entering the Sistine Chapel which would suck up dust and other debris from people's shoes,” he explained. “At the same time side vents would also draw in dust from clothes and also excessive humidity and dampness from people, in other words sweat, to keep them cool because all these factors combined can damage the frescoes. They are the biggest enemies of artworks,” Paolucci said."

"At the last major cleaning at the Sistine Chapel "several kilos" of dust, hair and man-made fibers were removed from the priceless frescos."

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EWWW! is all I can say. I have traveled to Italy numerous times. I saw the fresco degradation first hand. I was surprised to learn how delicate frescoes are, and how breath, humidity, fibers, and dirt stirred up from thousands of feet tramping through take a toll on the art. When I was there the first time, the Last Supper in Milan was covered by scaffolding, obscuring the great work by Da Vinci, because it was being cleaned. It had darkened almost totally.

Another time, I went to Rome and visited Vatican City. Though I was not saved yet, I was still sensitive to the influence of the demonic and the divine. God had put that into me and thus, I could 'feel' things. Yeah, I know, weird. Though we went to the Vatican itself and I skittishly enjoyed St. Peter's Square for its architectural beauty and history, when my husband asked if I wanted to go inside, I refused. I desperately wanted to see the great art, but an external spirit wouldn't let me enter that most deeply demonic place. I got the willies and I turned away.

Eesh, between TSA patting me down and the Vatican Guard vacuuming me dry, I don't think I'll be traveling for a while. Unless it's to COME UP HERE!
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The LORD has regard for both the rich and the poor. "The rich and poor meet together: the LORD is the maker of them all." (Proverbs 22:2). The rich and poor alike are appointed so, (1 Samuel 2:7).

However, sometimes poverty comes because of sloth on the part of the person, or drunkenness, (Proverbs 20:13, Proverbs 28:19). In any case, the bible says to work when we can (2 Thessalonians 3:10) and if your circumstances do require you to be on the dole, don't languish there (1 Timothy 5:5-6).

It appears that in reading this next article that there may be many who are languishing there. I am sure that there are many hard-working people who need to receive government welfare, but loiterers on the dole were an issue in Jesus' day and they are an issue in our day. People don't change.

Takers exceeds workers in 11 states
"In 11 different U.S. states, the number of government dependents exceeds the number of private sector workers. This list of states includes some of the biggest states in the country: California, New York, Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Kentucky, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico and Hawaii. ... In California, there are 139 "takers" for every 100 private sector workers. If you can believe it, entitlements accounted for 62 percent of all federal spending in fiscal year 2012."

This is not sustainable, of course. Which is the point. At a time in the future, a future growing closer each day, God will dismantle the world's economy to make way for the antichrist's infrastructure. The mark of the beast will follow.

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Speaking of future dystopian societies, movie director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznik say that the ‘US has become an Orwellian state’.

An Owellian state is defined by Wikipedia as "the situation, idea, or societal condition that George Orwell identified as being destructive to the welfare of a free and open society. It connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past, including the "unperson" — a person whose past existence is expunged from the public record and memory, practiced by modern repressive governments. Often, this includes the circumstances depicted in his novels, particularly Nineteen Eighty-Four."

Huh. If that's the definition of Orwellian state, without even reading the news article any further, I can wholeheartedly agree with Stone and Kuznik. But here's the first sentence, and it's a loaded one:

"Americans are living in an Orwellian state argue Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone and historian Peter Kuznick, as they sit down with RT to discuss US foreign policy and the Obama administration’s disregard for the rule of law."

LOL, I told you it was a loaded sentence. Now here's the next one:

­"Both argue that Obama is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and that people have forgiven him a lot because of the “nightmare of the Bush presidency that preceded him.” "

Interesting turn of phrase, 'wolf in sheep's clothing', that. Continuing in the article,

"It is an Orwellian state. It might not be oppressive on the surface, but there is no place to hide. Some part of you is going to end up in the database somewhere,” Stone said. According to Kuznick, American citizens live in a fish tank where their government intercepts more than 1.7 billion messages a day. “That is email, telephone calls, other forms of communication.” "

I was just thinking about this the other day, the fact that there is no place to hide. When my husband and I loaded up on our yacht and took off for live-aboard, blue water cruising, we were expecting freedom, invisibility from government scrutiny and interference, a vagabond devil-may-care kind of living. What we got was far from it. It was a rude awakening for both of us. Far from dropping out of government clutches, we dropped right into them.

Of course, you had to license your boat with the government, just as you do with a car. If you launch from a marina, that's documented. And traveling down the Intracoastal Waterway meant that every bridge you passed under the bridgetender took down the name of your boat and time of passage. Same with passing through a lock.

If you go "outside" the Intracoastal and make a passage in the Atlantic, the US Coast Guard could spot you and approach at any time for any reason. They can and do board your boat for any reason, no permission needed. As a matter of fact, when they board, they hold captain and any crew in the cockpit whilst they search your boat. They are armed, so you don't argue. In a car in the US the police need probable cause to enter your car or they are breaking the law if they do. Not so with a boat.

Weighing anchor in the Bahamas didn't help either. There is a heavy US Coast Guard presence with permission and welcome from the Bahamian government.

We were mariners back in the 1990s so maybe things have changed...but at the time the US was looking for drugs and human trafficking smuggling from The Bahamas and Cuba and they had a long reach. It should be noted that we were two law-abiding citizens with all proper identification and were not nor did we intend to smuggle anything. We were two young yuppies living the husband's dream to sail on the ocean on our own boat to view the sights of coastal America and live the life of minding our own business and seeing a few sunsets.

But I was thinking the other day that of a person wanted to 'drop out' of regular society for personal, law-abiding reasons like we did back in the '90s, that it would be very hard to do so lawfully today. Of course, the criminals have an easier time of it. Which was the opposite point of the Patriot Act. But now we do have that aforementioned Orwellian society of Big Brother...like this:

California gets face scanners to spy on everyone at once
"In a single second, law enforcement agents can match a suspect against millions upon millions of profiles in vast detailed databases stored on the cloud. It’s all done using facial recognition, and in Southern California it’s already occurring. Imagine the police taking a picture: any picture of a person, anywhere, and matching it on the spot in less than a second to a personalized profile, scanning millions upon millions of entries from within vast, intricate databases stored on the cloud."

This is pretty interesting. I like to think about the practicalities of the mark of the beast. Revelation 13:16-17 says

"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."

First, the part where the antichrist "causes all". All means nearly 8 billion people, though that number will have been just about halved by the time Revelation 13 rolls around, due to the rapture taking millions of Christians from the earth, and Revelation 6's plagues and wars. But still, how will the antichrist 'cause' all from Greenland to Chile, from California to Mongolia, to do this thing? My contention is that the people who are unsaved will want to and the Christians who have become saved will try to hide but that they will know they'll be hunted down. (Rev 13:10).

Secondly, how will the checkout person at the point of sale know? It will take a huge database to scan in a person's mark to determine if they are genuinely within the commerce system. The database would need to be extremely rapid, also. However, quantum chips are here so no worries. So it seems the Orwellian nightmare of Big Brother is coming along just fine and its infrastructure to handle the prophesied events is just about in place.

It has been a rapid advance just in my own lifetime. I was born in 1960 and the 60s were a free living time of hippies dropping out and no Big Brother was around to track them. The first commercial bar code was not in use until 1974. Highway scanners weren't invented, cameras on city streets, banks, and other places were not set up yet. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s it was still fairly easy to travel under the radar from place to place and TSA wasn't set up in the airports yet.

But by now, RFID, face scanners, fingerprinting at banks and other places (like schools), video surveillance, and intrusive monitoring everywhere like Oliver Stone was mentioning are part of a dystopian life. It makes me want to scream in frustration.

But I do not scream because I know the joy that is set before me. Here is the utopian life. Soon Jesus will call us up to heaven, and we will live in a place where we will know just as we are known. (1 Corinthians 13:12). There will be total government involvement in our lives. And it will be a good thing! Our place is called New Jerusalem and the church age saints, us, will live there. Jesus will be the head of the government (Isaiah 9:6). He is perfect and all He does to rule the nations will be perfect. There will be no sin in us because we will live in glorified bodies. We won't have any reason to even want to drop out! We will not worry about scrutiny or wayward governments unjustly reaching into our lives. We will be part of a glorious fellowship of saints from all ages and all nations, melded by Jesus' blood and God's perfect plan into one united body of peoples. We will be His trophies of grace and it will all occur in a place called heaven.

You can be there too, if you believe on the name of Jesus as the resurrected lamb who was slain for our sins.

"Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord..." (Acts 3:19-20a)

2 comments:

  1. Just a word of caution before you let yourself think Oliver Stone has the right idea about the world just because you agreed with him once. Here's a review of his latest 'documentary' :

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/matthew-vadum/oliver-stones-untrue-history-stalin-the-great-hero-of-wwii/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the caution. I agree. I don't agree with him wholeheartedly and nor in general. However, he had this one right. Credit where it's due...

      Delete

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