Monday, December 30, 2013
2013 was a zombie of a year.
Hits and misses from First Things. This blog, you may recall, used to be a running commentary on that magazine, until it sank in that I didn't have the intellectual horsepower to keep up on a regular basis. But I still read it from time to time.
Yes, man-made climate change is really happening.
Iceland highway project delayed by elves.
I thought Prince Charles was an arabophile. But here he is drawing attention to the slow pulverization of the ancient Christian church in the Middle East. Good for him!
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Martin Bashir emitted his vileness while on the air on MSNBC, acting in his capacity as an employee and representative of MSNBC. A reasonable viewer could conclude, at least at first, that he was not saying anything that MSNBC did not approve of. Else why let him say such things on the show?
Phil Robertson, OTOH, gave his private opinion, off the show, when asked for his private opinion. See the difference? He was speaking for himself. Now, the Lavender Mafia in the entertainment industry is not to be crossed lightly, so of course A&E sprinted for the tall grass when GLAAD went on the offensive. But the premise of the Two Minute Hate against Duck Dynasty is that one can no longer have a non-liberal private opinion. Presumptuous arrogance like that is as vile as Bashir's comments, and are no part of an America I care to live in.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I would like to thank all the Jews out there for putting up with our awkward half-assed attempts to make you feel included this time of year— David, Nog Scientist (@Vodstok) December 25, 2013
Come from the land of ice and snow, Where my elves make toys, And I say "Ho Ho Ho!" -Santa Zeppelin Claus— WhirledRecord (@WhirledRecord) December 24, 2013
I had this great idea about mittens for feet, but then I realized that’s just socks.— Yule Plait (@BadAstronomer) December 25, 2013
You've Incurred the Wrath of Cthulhu, Charlie Brown.— JRehling (@JRehling) December 25, 2013
Tonight we commemorate the miraculous victory of the Maccabees over the forces of General Tso.— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) December 25, 2013
If you're an atheist, this agnostic says merry Christmas and shut the fuck up, please, if you want to say anything but "you too"— David, Nog Scientist (@Vodstok) December 25, 2013
It's pronounced Christmas jift, actually.— Luke O'Neil (@lukeoneil47) December 24, 2013
If Christmas caroling is OK, there should be a night when Black Sabbath fans can go door-to-door singing Iron Man and Crazy Train.— WhirledRecord (@WhirledRecord) December 25, 2013
"Hey, myrrh isn't cheap! I'd just expect a little more appreciation from people living in a stable."— Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) December 25, 2013
Friday, December 20, 2013
In the 30s, serious intellectuals traveled to the Soviet Union to hail it as the future of humanity. In the 60s and 70s, writers, actors & other assorted glitterati went to Cuba to be schmoozed by El Jefe. And now North Korea has hauled in...a retired basketball player with a penchant for shock publicity. The quality of useful idiots is on a definite downward trajectory.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
As for Francis, I wonder if his outlook is colored by his Latin American heritage. Unlike anglo-protestant North America, Central and South America were founded by a thin scum of sleazed-out nobility, lording it over a vast sweated underclass, with not much in between. With a more populous, more enterprising and more resourceful middle class, the North out-prospered the South, even though the southern continent was superior in natural resources. The desperate circumstances of Latin America's poor through so much of their history has impressed itself on anyone with a living conscience. Perhaps it's only natural for the Argentinian Francis to project their plight onto the world at large.
It might be remembered that pontiffs expressing care for the poor and laboring classes is not new. Even Pope John Paul The Great in June of 1989 came in for a rough ride from National Review--surely a Catholic-friendly venue--for seeming to equate the rougher edges of capitalism with socialism. It apparently wasn't noticed that his talk of respecting the rights and welfare of workers were even tougher on the communist societies from which he came.
So don't worry. Western progressives surely wish to forget about communism as quickly as possible and, through their control of the educational institutions, prevent coming generations from learning about its horrors at all. (Ever wonder why public middle schoolers are rightly taught about the Holocaust, but hardly anything unambiguously bad about communism is mentioned until graduate school, if even then?) But the popes were aware of communism's spiritual dangers very early on:
"Communism...is absolutely contrary to the natural law itself, and, if once adopted, would utterly destroy the rights, property, and possessions of all men, and even society itself." --Pope Pius IX, Qui Pluribus, 1846
Poland is free. The Baltic states are free. Ukraine is free, with an asterisk. Cuba will one day be free. So will China and Vietnam one day be free. With so many Catholics in the world enduring or having survived the assault of communism within living memory, no Pope is in danger of becoming a Marxist.
Let us be perfectly honest. The historical record is indisputable. Marxism means the persecution of Christians, the execution of right wing dissidents, massive slave labor camps, and grinding poverty for countless millions of terrified, muzzled human beings. -- J.R. Nyquist
The socialist state requires greater and greater degrees of force to make it function. If resources and wealth are allocated on the basis of need rather than production, people will compete to be more needy rather than more productive.
-- Linda Bowles
In every village there will arise some miscreant, to establish the most grinding tyranny by calling himself the people.
--Sir Robert Peel
We have yet to answer our right-wing critics’ claims, which are regrettably well documented, that throughout history from ancient times to the peasant wars of the sixteenth century to the Reign of Terror and beyond, social movements that have espoused radical egalitarianism and participatory democracy have begun with mass murder and ended in despotism.
A permanent possibility of selfishness arises from the mere fact of having a self, and not from any accidents of education or ill-treatment. And the weakness of all Utopias is this, that they take
the greatest difficulty of man and assume it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate account of the overcoming of the smaller ones. They first assume that no man will want more than his share, and then are very ingenious in explaining whether his share will be delivered by motor-car or balloon.
-- G. K. Chesterton
From its earliest inception, the Left cried that the world was not good enough. It held that any attempts to find happiness in the present were not only doomed, but immoral. Religion, Marx said, "is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness." He claimed that capitalism could never feed the poor. Lenin said Marxism could, and defined Communism as "socialism plus electricity".
What they forgot to add was that the world would never be good enough. That not a single Marxist state ever managed to provide either the food or electricity in adequate quantities remained beside the point. Shortages were always in the present and the present was unimportant anyway.
-- Richard Fernandez
Sunday, December 15, 2013
I read an article somewhere this past year about how this sort of thing happens, but I don't have the link to hand. I'm sure no humans were involved, though.
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
The U. S. should soften its stance towards Cuba? When will Cuba "soften" its stance towards Cuba? There should be an immediate release of all political prisoners in Cuba, restoration of basic human rights, including property rights, and post-Soviet style councils, like in Eastern Europe in the 90s, to account for the victims of Cuban communism, and bring the oppressors to book. Norteamericano proggs would be howling for this, if Castro had not couched his tyranny in anti-American leftist phraseology. Instead, he is still the darling of the doddering Sixties flotsam setting the tone for the American Left.
Castro killed more Cubans in his first three years than Hitler killed Germans in his first six. First World proggs just can't bear to part with their youthful infatuation with the old Red, is all, and they will ignore the boot stomping the faces of the Cuban people forever, if that's what it takes to preserve their collectivist illusions.
Friday, December 06, 2013
Sunday, December 01, 2013
"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary."
The tenured radicals running the universities keep the students in high anxiety about all the ravening racists & sexists & classists & nativists & speciesists & whatnot lurking around them. Some students, with a natural adolescent urge to be the center of attention, decide to take a shortcut and make the long-threatened "oppression" hurry up and happen. Needless to say, proggs do not take these hoaxes as disconfirming evidence, nor do many of them seem to feel enough of a simple human kinship with those so slandered as to apologize.
I carried on much more crankily about this phenomenon some years back, here, in the aftermath of the Duke lacrosse team case.
Update: Welcome to readers of Blazing Cat Fur, to whom thanks for the link.