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shrike3's Journal
shrike3's Journal
January 24, 2024

"Looking for my brother's ghost."

Lovely story about grief, loss and the way we feel connected with loved ones even after they're gone.

What our pediatrician called “night terrors,” our 2-year-old son Kian called “the scary lady who I see at night.” He slept just ten feet down the hall in our Brooklyn apartment. The close proximity didn’t keep me from checking the Nest Cam constantly. I would stare at the blurry black-and-white image on the screen, his little belly rising and falling as he slept.

One night, I heard a rustling and grabbed the monitor. Kian was sitting up, staring at the foot of the bed, seemingly in full conversation. His toddler rambling became more and more anxious, and then he lifted his arm — not unlike in a scary movie — pointed with his index finger, and began to scream.

Kian’s father sided with the pediatrician. But I recognized the look on my son’s face. I had seen it before on my little brother Neal.

January 15, 2024

Nicaragua expels Catholic Bishop Alvarez, priests amid crackdown

PLEASE note where you are. Non-Catholics are welcome to comment so long as they follow our rules.


Nicaragua said it expelled 19 clergymen to the Vatican on Sunday, including Catholic Bishop Rolando Alvarez, a prominent critic of President Daniel Ortega.

Bishop Isidoro Mora, 15 priests and two seminarians who were detained in Nicaragua were also expelled.


Alvarez, the bishop of Matagalpa, forcefully criticized the government's deadly response to mass protests in 2018, and was convicted of treason and sentenced to a 26-year prison term earlier this year.


Mora was arrested in December for saying at a mass that he was praying for Alvarez, sources said.

More info, for those who aren't familiar with this situation:

The Catholic Church has been targeted by the Ortega government since 2018, when a wave of nationwide protests rocked the country. The church took a leading role in trying to mediate a political solution to the crisis, which took the lives of more than 300 people, most of them killed by Nicaragua’s security services. Angered by the church’s role, Ortega accused it of being part of a plot to topple his government. (Ortega tinkered with the country's retirement, which led to protests, which led to the more than 300 deaths. It's my understanding that government forces shot into the crowd.)

The outspoken Álvarez, bishop of the city of Matagalpa, had been in prison for almost a year after receiving a 26-year sentence for treason. The prelate previously refused to go into exile with 222 other political prisoners who were stripped of their Nicaraguan citizenship and expelled to the U.S. Mora, the bishop of Siuna, was detained in December after he asked for prayers for Álvarez at a mass.


In October, Ortega’s government released and expelled 12 priests. Since 2018, more than 200 Catholic clergy have been forced into exile or refused re-entry to Nicaragua, according to Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan academic now living in Miami who keeps a tally of government actions taken against the church.

Twelve religious orders including the Jesuits, to which the pope belongs, and Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, have been kicked out of Nicaragua, Molina said. The Ortega government has also confiscated Catholic universities such as the Jesuit-run Central American University, which the government said was a center for terrorism.

I can remember when Jimmy Carter was mentoring Ortega, who'd had just lost a campaign for office. Carter told him that in a democracy you have winners and losers and that in order for democracy to work, losers must lose gracefully. How far both countries have fallen.

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