Watching the star Sirius in early January

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 – Kansas City, USA

I saw the constellation Orion in the southeastern sky, just above the tree line, at 6:30 PM Central Standard Time. This was about one hour and twenty minutes after local sunset.

Sirius would correspondingly have been in the east-northeast, still below the horizon.

The sky here was too cloudy tonight to see much other than the brightest stars.

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What Is Reality?

Reprise of The X-Files

“Can we talk about the nature of reality?” Agent Fox Mulder asks. “Do you believe that thoughts have mass? That ideas such as faith and forgiveness have weight much the same way [that] this desk (knocks on desk) has weight, or any material, really? … [These are] legitimate question[s].”

Reprise of The X- Files, Episode 10.5, first aired Feb 15, 2016 (begins at minute 11)

Streaming from hulu.com

Mulder’s fellow agent, a rational materialist, answers that when she stands on a scale and thinks about ice cream, she doesn’t gain weight.

Mulder then asks about whether words have weight – “the weight to move people to go kill other people.” “Words themselves are not lethal” [Only] “people kill people.” But “words can incite people to kill people.”

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Note:

The United States Will Not Be Moving Its Embassy to Jerusalem

President Donald Trump declared on December 6, 2017, that the U.S. Department of State should begin a process of moving the United States embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s capital.

Some call President Trump’s declaration a governmental decision. Regardless of how anyone parses his statement, President Trump has submitted waivers of the 1995 U.S. law that mandates moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. This law, passed by Congress in 1995, is the “Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Implementation Act of 1995” (Public Law No: 104-45 *). During a waiver period, the State Department doesn’t have to present a progress report to Congress. Every six months since 1995 or so, Presidents have signed this waiver, thereby keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv. Waivers are based on protecting the national security interests of the United States.

President Trump’s declaration coincides with a belated report to Congress. (The report was due on December 4th. No one is sweating the forty-eight hours.)

For the near future (roughly two years), the U.S. State Department doesn’t anticipate any practical changes.

Essentially, President Trump’s statement is political posturing and even pandering. The U.S. has already conducted official business in Jerusalem in “de facto recognition of its status as the capital of Israel.”

Congress allocates funds to the State Department’s account “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad.” From these funds, the State Department already built a new campus for its Consulate General of Jerusalem – an independent mission – which opened in 2009. The State Department has no intention even to look for land for a new embassy yet alone engage architects, engineers, or begin any other steps for construction.

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* See a PDF version of this act as printed by the Public Law No: 104-45.

The Congressional bill became Public Law No: 104-45 without being signed by President Bill Clinton and without being returned to Congress.

A Long Dry Spell

A dry pen for about a year.

I haven’t run out of ideas. I have several posts in draft form. But, I’ve been a perfectionist, and these drafts are not what I deem perfect.

I have ink on hand, just not in a pen.

I’ve been exhausted by a full time job, though. That stint is behind me.

If I were a baby, this past year would be called “a failure to thrive” except in a financial way.

I am now back from a trip to Phoenix where I haven’t visited since 2006. It seems that I am on the mend, so to speak, ready to thrive.

At the Culmination of Yom HaKippurim – the Day of Atonement

The sun is setting.  The congregation’s spirits have revived.  Some of us feel like angels, who neither eat nor drink.

Forgiveness shines out.

 

The leader of the congregation proclaims —

· Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One!

The congregation itself proclaims even louder —

· Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One!

The leader of the congregation proclaims —

◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!
◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!
◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!

The congregation responds —

◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!
◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!
◦ Blessed is the name of the glory of His Kingdom forever and ever!

The leader of the congregation proclaims —

  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!

The congregation responds —

  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!
  • The L-rd is The G-d!

The leader of the congregation proclaims —

◦ May His Great Name be exalted and hallowed . . .

In the world that He created according to His will. /

And may He establish His kingship /

And bring forth His redemption /

And hasten the arrival of His Messiah . . .

In your lives and in your days . . .

[Exalted and hallowed] higher than all blessings and songs /

Praises and consolations /

That angels utter . . .

The leader of the congregation sounds the shofar with a great blast after the congregation has broken out in singing and dancing.

Victoriously all proclaim —

• Next year in Jerusalem!

◦ May all our prayers and our beggings be accepted before our Father Who is in Heaven . . .

He Who makes the peace in His heavens /

May He make peace among us . . .

Watching the star Sirius in early October

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – Kansas City, USA

At 6:15 AM Daylight Time, I saw Sirius about two hand breadths above the horizon, just a bit east of due south. This was about one hour and ten minutes before local sunrise.

The constellation Orion was correspondingly just a bit west of due south.

Compare this with my earliest sighting this year on August 21st. Then, Sirius rose only a short time before sunrise.

More importantly, Sirius was then roughly 20 degrees ahead of the sun. Today, Sirius was about 80 degrees ahead of the sun.