How were the ‘Catharists’ organized? At a time when organization was not a word in common usage by the citizens of Navarre, the people that were at one time known as Catharists were children of ORDER and no real knowledge of LAW.
Why they were ‘tracked down’ is a mystery. The hunting of them as ‘heretics’ lasted more than two hundred years. I sincerely hope they obtain understanding by the antequated and even less understood churches of today.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary to be aliterate means you are capable of reading but are uninterested in doing so; in fact you find reading to be a chore; you consider it too much like work and fail to accept it could be a pleasurable past-time.
A large number of scholars will agree that aliteracy keeps the populace uninformed and unable to adapt to new literacy standards; it also allows learned skills to stagnate due to neglect. Then again, there are those among us who feel strongly that the widespread use of electronic media is a major factor in the declining use and need of written literature. No longer is literacy considered the cornerstone of a complete education. The joy, satisfaction and value of the written word must compete with audiobooks, films, and the world of social networking with its’ desire for brief messages and a lack of standardized notation. Fast becoming the norm, aliteracy is daily responsible for the closing of hundreds of bookstores.
How stimulating is reading? Does it assist one in developing verbal skills and are those skills necessary for success? Is patience a requirement for navigating through the rough times in life and does reading aid in acquiring patience?
Doctors tells us that reading improves brain connectivity, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, fights depression and keeps one young. Teachers will assure you that being able to connect ideas and command an extensive vocabulary will open doors to success that would otherwise be closed to you. Reading how others live helps you to empathize and mature emotionally. You become more open-minded and accepting of people that society has stigmatized. It minimizes the negative perceptions of others that you are likely to form when little is known of their lives. Your worth increases when you apply the critical thinking and practical innovation you will develop and discover when you choose reading. Finally, to understand what you are reading involves a complex decoding process that includes patience. Communications expert Neil Postman wrote: “Sentences, paragraphs and pages unfold slowly in sequence and according to a logic that is far from intuitive.” Patience allows for interpretation, evaluation and reflection.
In the end it is a balanced view which wins the day. The printed page and media both have strengths and limitations. Each can be used or abused. One thing is for sure; you cannot force anyone to read nor should you try.
The official looking passenger aboard the vessel entering the harbor at Callao carried under his arm a royal document given into his care by the authority of the ‘Holy Office’. ‘The Holy Office’ I am referring to is also known as ‘The Spanish Inquisition.’
As the vessel dropped anchor and came to a stop the flag designed in the colors of Philip 11, King of Spain ceased to announce its’ ownership. For a short while, the horror and terror about to befall the local inhabitants remained in the visitor’s portfolio.
The visitor’s name is Servan de Cerezuela and the document he is about to present and enforce upon the inhabitants is a campaign of heartless domination and intimidation that has reigned throughout the so-called “Christian” lands since the 13th Century. During those dark and fearful days no-one dared to discuss, question or disagree with the Church. I shudder to think of the torture I and others would have undergone at their hands. Whether one agrees with the motives and methods of The Inquisition or not it remains a cornerstone of the original legal codes upon which modern society is founded.
The author Heinrich Heine wrote, “Where they burn books, they will burn human beings too.”
As late as 1908, this same said Inquisition operated under the title The Sacred Congregation of the Holy Roman and Universal Inquisition. Today, year 2022 it is referred to as The Congregation For The Doctrine Of Faith. The activities of this group reflect the attitudes and prejudices of tribunals that existed eight hundred years ago. Recently, there were official transcripts of interrogations conducted at Guantanamo released for public viewing. It was reported that they resembled the interrogations of the Inquisition. Even the guides and advice manuals given to the Intelligence Agencies and Police Departments were almost identical.
What remains controversial are the questions concerning the numbers who were ordered to their deaths by the Inquisition.
Water shortages occur for a number of reasons. Those reasons are:
Inadequate planning to meet demand
Inadequate pumping equipment
Water outage due to loss of power or major service disruption
According to a country’s department for Health, there should be an emergency guide in place, which insures that clean water is available for the needs of its’ population during a water shortage. Is each and every country at this moment (July 13/22) prepared for the water shortages that their populace will soon be experiencing? I cannot say for sure. But I do know that many, like myself are slowly but surely living their life with less and less dependence on water. In March, 2018, the United Nations released a dire warning along with its’ World Water Development Report: if we do not change our ways more than five billion people could suffer serious to severe water shortages in 30 years (March 2048).
Not only are there more months of drought and water shortages in more and more countries but the water that is available for drinking, cooking and cleaning is contaminated. Chemicals and other debilitating germs can still enter water that has been treated. For example:
Fertilizers and pesticides
Feeding operations eg. large industrial animal farms
Arsenic, radon, and uranium naturally occurring in rocks and soil
Inferior infrastructure eg. cracks in pipes used for water distribution systems
Germs found in tap water include norovirus, E.coli#0157, salmonella, Hepatitis A virus
Nairobi, Kenya – In 1990, over 90% of the population in urban areas of Kenya enjoyed access to clean water. The UN report for this year estimated that only 50% of Nairobi’s four and half million citizens have access to clean water. Many must resort to illegal connections to obtain water. Since 2017, Nairobi has been tied to a system of water rationing, where different areas of the city may have water on specific days of the week, and even on their days water may be available for only a few hours. Projects that included expanding local dam capacity were scheduled to be finished and working a decade ago but met with a lack of funds. According to WHO, the piped water now being dispensed as of July 2022, is undrinkable.
It was in the year 2015, the same year that The National Academy of Sciences reported a list of American cities suffering from a lack of safe water, that FlintMichigan entered into a health crisis brought on by violated health standards put in place for cities serving a population of 21 million +. It was not the only city cited. Today in the year 2022, the crisis spotlight has focused on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and New Mexico where radioactive waste has leached from uranium mines into water sources; then upon Lowndes County, Alabama where sewage pipes have leaked and contaminated the drinking water which in turn aggravated an outbreak of hookworm disease; it then shone upon Denmark, South Carolina, moving on to Newark, New Jersey both areas that have fallen far below the EPA safety levels. More on U.S. in Part 3 to follow.
What is happening is not an environmental problem only.
Up to date statistics list Hawaii as the number one state for air and water quality. Following in order are: Massachusetts, North Dakota, Virginia and Florida.
Communities in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador have had to live with ‘boil water advisories’ since 1994. In Ontario, where I live, the townships of Tiny and Tay, just north of Toronto can claim the purest water on the planet. Close by in Springfield, Ontario, the water contains five times less lead than frozen Arctic glaciers. Top three countries are: Brazil, Russia, and Canada. Note: Sao Paulo in Brazil experienced a water crisis in 2015 proving that not one country is exempt from the CRISIS that is warned for us all.
Monterrey, Mexico – is an industrial area. People there are never sure when they turn on their taps if water will flow. Residents are left without water for hours at a time. More and more often, water is unavailable for days. There is a drought there now (July 2022) which is affecting 60% of the entire country and what water they drink they must buy from the companies which sell it there. Due to a lack of water, 6000 people have been registered as missing. Out of the water available for use, 0.04% is allocated for domestic use and 0.6% is allowed for services. Quoting a member of the Ciudadanos Desconocidos group “The companies here haven’t had to alter their production and have no water restrictions. Meanwhile, we have to buy from them the water we do not have access to.”
Consensus has it, if you and I have not been affected by the prevalence of drought and water shortages yet, we will be very soon. In May of this year (2022) to mark Drought Day at the 15th Conference of Parties/the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, a call went out for a total global commitment (196 countries) to make drought preparedness the top priority.
At the conclusion of COP15, a number of facts and figures, were released to help us understand why a state of emergency is being issued at this time. For example, since 2000 the number and duration of droughts worldwide increased by 29%; droughts represent 15% of total natural disasters (1998 – 2017) yet they resulted in the largest numbers of deaths; finally this year to date (2022) more than 2.3 billion people face water shortages.
So much for a few generalizations.
State of Emergency: Italy Drought conditions have worsened in the northern districts of Italy, mainly in the region of the Po Valley. The Po River is the largest water reservoir in the peninsula. To help its’ citizens affected by drought, the Italian government has delegated funds in the amount of 36.5 million euros. It has also initiated ‘extraordinary means and powers’ to help insure public safety and compensation for losses. There are other regions under duress. These include the areas known as Verona, Liguria, Lombardy, Piedmont and Trentino. People there have been subjected to water rationing with heavy fines set up for those who disregard the restrictions placed on drinking water, watering gardens, washing cars, and filling swimming pools. In the municipality of Milan the decorative fountains have been shut off in an effort to conserve water. Hotter than normal temperatures caused the collapse of a glacier in the Italian Alps which in turn caused the deaths of nine people. Water shortages are responsible for the closure of hydroelectric plants in the north of Italy, plants which provide 20% of national energy. The rule is to use water for necessities only those being hygiene and food. Finally, no rain has fallen in some villages, such as Bajardo since the fall of 2020. No water comes from the mountains any more.
State of Emergency: Somalia The rains are not falling in Somalia for the fourth year in a row. Never before have so many millions of people gone without water and food. Farmers have lost all their livestock. Families have left their homes and have made their way to cities only to end their lives as beggars. Conflicts over water and grazing land are the norm. Russia and Ukraine have blocked the import of wheat leaving millions without grain and what little they manage to find from elsewhere is sold at exorbitant prices. Even though famine is at its’ door, Somalia has received humanitarian aid for only 28% of its’ needs. The next rainfall is not expected until October 2022. Children now are suffering from severe malnutrition. In areas, such as Baidoa, Lower Juba, Gedo and Galgaduud there is no access to regular water which in turn causes inadequate sanitation besides the many deaths from dehydration. Cases of measles and Acute Watery Diarrhoea are on the rise.
Right now, July 2022, 44.3% of the United States is in drought. This continued dryness has resulted in swarms of crickets and grasshoppers. Unfortunately, while hurricanes and tornadoes receive a lot of attention, droughts are rarely covered by the media yet it is a stressor on society that is now approaching historic levels. A lack of rainfall is at the source of the increase in wildfires. Since January, 19,226 wildfires have been recorded by the National Interagency Fire Center. That number far exceeds the 10 year average and the outlook for this summer is ominous. The planet, our home Earth, has approached a critical threshold. It is obvious to many that current conditions are being exacerbated by water overuse. More and more people are being forced to rely on stored water and groundwater.
Water conservation is a priority. Each one of us must make an effort to develop sustainable measures to manage our natural resource of fresh water so that our future demands can be met responsibly. Some conservation tips include:
Try using less water while brushing teeth. No reason for running water while brushing.
Check for leaks. Largest water user inside home is the toilet.
Use low flow showerheads.
Fill dishwasher before use.
Store drinking water in refrigerator rather than letting tap run every time we want cold water.
Remember every drop counts and we can all make a difference!