Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday Post

Some things to mull over.

Blazing Cat Fur has done a phenomenal job on what has been snarkily called the "mosqueteria". One of his latest posts gives one great pause, a pause so great that one questions why sending one's children to public schools at all:

The TDSB has embraced Peggy McIntosh's marxist screed on "White Privilege" in it's entirety as outlined in this document: Getting Ready for March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (United Nations)

As I stated previously, parents should sue the TDSB for hate speech. This is child abuse.

Perhaps those mighty brain-trusts at the TDSB would like to explain what it profits a community into either transforming students into the very thugs they fear or brow-beating students with such scurrilous nonsense that they daren't lift their heads again. This manifesto was never about the elimination of bigotry or the advancement of critical thought but of cowing future generations into their warped way of thinking.

Vaguely related: David Mamet's piece in the National Post. Well worth a read:

They were and are the children of privilege -in some, the privilege is inherited, and the cost of college meaningless, in some the cost is huge, and families suffer; but in all cases the privilege taught, learned, and imbibed, in a "liberal arts education" is the privilege to indict. These children have, in the main, never worked, learned to obey, command, construct, amend or complete -to actually contribute to the society. They have learned to be shrill, and that their indictment, on the economy, on sex, on race, on the environment, though based on no experience other than hearsay, must trump any discourse, let alone opposition.

How he has inadvertently summed up the TDSB manifesto. It is as though the bizarre, perverse and violent culture of Soviet show trials have entered this country and, not stopping at the ill-titled human right commissions, have permeated all other arenas of human life and made existence unbearable. As I said before, nothing was ever about the elimination of bigotry but making others cow down to one's evil will.

Obama visits the Dalai Lama and that upsets China (naturally):

China accused the United States on Saturday of "grossly" interfering in its internal affairs and damaging relations after President Barack Obama met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama at the White House.

Obama met the Nobel Prize laureate for some 45 minutes, praising him for embracing non-violence while reiterating that the United States did not support independence for Tibet.

China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist who supports the use of violence to set up an independent Tibet, said Obama's meeting had had a "baneful" impact.

"Such an act has grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, hurt the feelings of Chinese people and damaged the Sino-American relations," Xinhua quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu as saying in a written statement.

"We demand the U.S. side to seriously consider China's stance, immediately adopt measures to wipe out the baneful impact, stop interfering in China's internal affairs and cease to connive and support anti-China separatist forces that seek 'Tibet independence'," Ma said in the statement.

I know he's trolling for something but I still don't think he should let China dictate anything to him, as he has done before.


John Bolton has a pretty good track record for predicting North Korean nuclear tests. He’s predicting another one soon, and I suppose it’s about time for one. Along with this, Bolton criticizes President Obama for his public silence on North Korea. But as we learned from George W. Bush, strident rhetoric is no substitute for a not-half-bad policy.

(hat tip)

Somewhat related:

President Obama is demanding a big long-term budget deal. He won’t sign anything less, he warns, asking, “If not now, when?”

How about last December, when he ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations? How about February, when he presented a budget that increases debt by $10 trillion over the next decade? How about April, when he sought a debt-ceiling increase with zero debt reduction attached?

All of a sudden he’s a born-again budget balancer prepared to bravely take on his own party by making deep cuts in entitlements. Really? Name one. He’s been saying forever that he’s prepared to discuss, engage, converse about entitlement cuts. But never once has he publicly proposed a single structural change to any entitlement.

Hasn’t the White House leaked that he’s prepared to raise the Medicare age or change the cost-of-living calculation?

Anonymous talk is cheap. Leaks are designed to manipulate. Offers are floated and disappear.

Say it, Mr. President. Give us one single structural change in entitlements. In public.

As part of the pose as the forward-looking grown-up rising above all the others who play politics, Obama insists upon a long-term deal. And what is Obama’s definition of long-term? Surprise: An agreement that gets him past Nov. 6, 2012.

Oh, for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary:

North Korea officials blamed traditional musk deer gland medicine used after a lightening strike for five positive tests for steroids at the Women’s World Cup, the biggest soccer doping scandal at a major tournament in 17 years.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter said Saturday after two players were caught during the tournament this month, the world soccer governing body took the unprecedented step of testing the rest of the North Korean squad and found three more positive results.

“This is a shock,” Blatter said at a news conference. “We are confronted with a very, very bad case of doping and it hurts.”

A North Korean delegation told Blatter and the head of FIFA’s medical committee on Saturday that the steroids were accidentally taken with traditional Chinese medicines based on the deer glands.

“The North Korean officials said they didn’t use it to improve performance. They said they had a serious lightning accident with several players injured and they gave it as therapy,” said Michel D’Hooghe, chief of FIFA’s medical committee. “It is not systemic, because not all of the players took it. We would have found it with the others too.”

The case will be taken up by FIFA’s disciplinary committee. Players face a ban of up to two years.

And we thought nepotism and corruption occurred only in pre-united Italy:

But the bottom line is that the average reserve works like a company town, and as someone who grew up in one in northwestern Quebec, I can’t help but agree.

In my town, the copper mine was the key employer, owned the golf course, recreation centre and swimming pool, and most of the houses.

Same thing on a reserve.

But in my small town, there were all the checks and balances Canadians expect — a free press, a hearty private sector and the mishmash of volunteer organizations such as churches, Legions, Moose Halls and watchdog or advocacy groups that together raised the alarm when the powers that be stepped out of line.

Not so on reserves, which may explain why walking into a band office is akin to that scene from old Westerns, where the stranger enters the bar and everyone turns to give her the long hard stare of suspicion.

And now, some quick thoughts on a topic appropriate for Sunday:

I discovered that I had come to believe that only Rome can trace a direct line to the church's rock, St. Peter. It was to St. Peter, after all, and to his descendants, that our Lord promised that the gates of hell would not prevail. Against most churches, the gates of hell seem to me to be prevailing quite well. Only the Roman Catholic Church, the repository of teaching and traditions that date to our Lord's first disciples, "the unmoved spectator of the thousand phases and fashions that have passed over our restless world" (to use Ronald Knox's elegant phrase), has the history, the guts, the inner wherewithal, to survive a postmodern age. Rome's claim to speak with authority in matters of faith and morals is the last refuge, or so I now believe, against the all-corrosive acid of postmodernism.

What he said.

It is not simply tradition, seen by some as blind adherence in a post-modern age, but truth and an iron grip of that truth. Did Christ not ask Saint Peter to lead His Church? Did He not offer His actual Body and Blood in what is now termed the Eucharist? Have basic laws on which to live not been carved into stone? It is these theological reasons that compel one to the Faith. Any change in the matters of morals or faith would be a denial of the truth, would not make the lapsed return and would only be decried when the proverbial pendulum swung the other way.

It makes criticism of the Church so lukewarm in its light:

"This has always struck me as the difference between Roman Catholics and the rest of us Christians. The former have always believed that they possess the keys to salvation. Their dogma is inviolate. When the rest of us are struggling with issues like gay marriage and female ordination, the Catholic Church remains convinced that humankind’s social and spiritual needs have not evolved in the past 1,000 years.
I applaud the constancy of the Roman Catholic Church and I am pleased that such eminent personages as Conrad Black and Ian Hunter find solace in their conversion and their faith. But I find it wearying that they can’t seem to celebrate their own Church without an occasional casual swipe at mine. As I sit in my sometimes uncomfortable pew on Sundays, I remain convinced that God often sits there with me, helping our congregation and our Church struggle with some of the most divisive social issues of our time."

"Perhaps something like that explains Professor Ian Hunter’s religious blind spot, and his simple inability to see the impossible incongruity between what we know as fact and what the Roman Catholic Church teaches as dogma. “Human life is forever,” “marriage is indissoluble,” abortion and ordination of women are wrong” and so on. While all religions are guilty of this sort of self delusion to some degree, the Roman Catholic Church is a particularly telling example."

"Ahmed Khalil’s arguments justifying Islam’s discrimination against Muslim women during prayer time (“menstruating women are exempt from prayer, a physical and arduous exercise … women are not required to attend Friday congregational prayer to begin with, while it’s an obligation for men”) are identical to those used by Orthodox Jews to discriminate against Jewish women, and very similar to those used by Catholics to discriminate against Catholic women. It’s wonderful to see that these three great religions have something in common — too bad it is misogyny."

Is this the same Catholic Church that was/is: founded by Christ, developed the sacraments many other breakaway sects still use, has established/developed libraries, schools, hospitals, orphanages, missions, literature, art, music, philosophy, whose members are/were law-abiding citizens of countries, served in wars, paid their taxes, whose women are not segregated by gender or physical state but are educated and treated as equals? Is this the same Church?

Perhaps the letter-writers should re-examine their tracts (they should go one further and actually read their history). The last I checked Jesus DID found the Church, my parents DID encourage me to learn and never once threatened to kill me for my mode of dress or held me back, I DID study next to boys in the Catholic schools I went to and I do attend a church that doesn't demand sharia law or the banning of Christmas. Perhaps there are blind spots in the letter-writers' vision?

And now, space- the final frontier:

An unmanned NASA probe made history 117 million miles from Earth on Saturday (July 16) when it arrived at the huge asteroid Vesta, making it the first spacecraft ever to orbit an object in the solar system's asteroid belt.

The Dawn spacecraft entered orbit around Vesta after a four-year chase and will spend about a year studying the huge space rock before moving on to visit another asteroid called Ceres.

Vesta is a huge asteroid about the size of the U.S. state of Arizona, and is also the brightest asteroid in the solar system. It is located in the asteroid belt, a band of rocky objects that encircles the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

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