Jesus wasn't born refugee

Which is a fancier cover?
On the Christmas Eve this year, the telly had an ecumenical service where the Big Teapot Cover of one of our churches spoke nicely about how Jesus "was born to a poor refugee family".

Actually Jesus was not born to a poor family of refugees. According to Bible, he was born to family of Joseph, an entrepreneurial or self-employed constructor, who was forced by the tax-collecting Roman Empire to travel to Bethlehem, "city of David", because that happened to be the assigned place where his records would be taken to the census administered by the governor Quirinius [1].

The tax collector did not care whether it was reasonable that Joseph and his bride Mary, who was pregnant, had to travel to the site of census, at a time when the accommodation capacity in the place was absolutely fully booked. The tax collector just cared about getting everyone in their books so that they could squeeze every penny that belonged to the Emperor.

So Jesus was born to an entrepreneur family harassed by tax collection, not a refugee family.

Then, after Bethlehem, Jesus's family actually became persecuted for personal reasons. The client king Herod received information from the three Magi which he misinterpreted to mean that he was about to be challenged by a Messiah, and therefore decided to take preventive action. He had male infants of Bethlehem region murdered in order to get rid of the potential leader of this insurgency [2]. Joseph, on the other hand, had been warned of this in a divine dream, and his family sought asylum in Egypt for a couple of years. When Herod had died, they moved to Nazareth [3]. However, they were not particularly poor - Joseph was a constructor known in his home town, a man of means who took care of his family. He was able to travel to Jerusalem to visit the temple [4], etc. Later the family would e.g. visit an affluent wedding where hundreds of litres of wine would be served. [5]

It is fashionable to talk about refugees. It's not fashionable to talk about the oppressive effects of taxation and how the state collects information about people and their financials.

[1] Luke 2:4
[2] Matthew 2:16-18
[3] Matthew 2:13-14,19-20
[4] Luke 2:41
[5] John 2:1-10

(The historical timeline does not quite match the Biblical references. According to sources, Herod died in 4 BC, and Quirinius became the governor only at 6 AD; for the description in Gospel of Luke to be accurate, these events should be the other way round.)


Dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy... from nearly 150%

The Guardian is well known for a progressive attitude that makes rather funny "news". This time:

Uruguay makes dramatic shift to nearly 95% electricity from clean energy

This is presented as "progress". Well, yes, it is sort of dramatic. Looking at IEA statistics, Uruguay made a dramatic shift from 144 % clean energy to near 80 % clean energy. In just 23 years.

According to IEA, in 1990, Uruguay produced 7009 GWh in hydroelectric and 59 GWh in biofuels, and exported 2589 GWh.

In 2013 - year of latest IEA statistics - it produced 8206 GWh in hydroelectric, 1082 GWh in biofuels, 144 GWh in wind, and had dramatically ramped up production based on oil, to 2229 GWh.

Thus, in 1990 Uruguay's renewable electricity production was 144 % of its domestic consumption. 23 years of progress in renewable energy has changed the ratio to 80 % (so if the jump were to 95% in one year from 2013 to 2014, that would be remarkable, but unfortunately it is too remarkable to be believable).

Well, we knew it: for The Guardian, it's more important to be activist and to change the world, than to report the world as it actually is, and tell the truth. The purpose apparently is to encourage subsidies and guaranteed fixed prices for producers - and international investors - at taxpayer expense. Media keeps misleading its readers for profit, and unfortunately this is just one small example.