Macron Addresses the Nation, Says Nothing

Amidst rioting which continues to spread across France, and has become much more a sign of general dissatisfaction than a specific protest over fuel taxes, French President Emmanuel Macron made a nationwide televised address today.  Here is a version with English translation from France 24 English.

He spoke for thirteen minutes, which I can summarise as “blah, blah, blah”.

He’s going to raise the minimum wage (that’s sure to help!), encourage employers to pay year-end bonuses which will not be taxed, make overtime tax free, and—wait for it—ask large enterprises and and the wealthy to “contribute”.  And he wants to “discuss” immigration and identity.

I’m sure the gliets jaunes will be immediately mollified and go home to watch football.

Hey, it worked for Louis XVI.

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Apple’s Tim Cook on Deplatforming

Listen to the NPCs in the audience clap like trained seals as the message of censorship is delivered.  “Because it’s the right thing to do. … our values drive our curation decisions.”

Continue reading “Apple’s Tim Cook on Deplatforming”

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Islamist Egypt

At a Christmas party last night,* I met an Egyptian woman. That is, she was born in Egypt but had emigrated to the US forty years ago as a youth. She returns to Cairo frequently to visit family. Over the years she has been struck by the cultural changes: the increasing Islamification of Egypt. More women are wearing traditional Islamic dress and observing strict religious behavior. Cairo is no longer a safe city for a woman alone. She attributed these changes to the 1979 Iranian revolution, spreading Islamism throughout the region.

The pictures of graduating class at Cairo University from 1959 through 2004 tell a similar tale:

As you can see, the female graduates in 1959 and 1978 had bare arms, wore short sleeved blouses, dresses, or pants, and were both bare-faced and bare-headed. By 1995, we see a smattering of headscarves—and by 2004 we see a plurality of female university graduates in serious hijab: Tight, and draping the shoulders.

While this fits in with my image of Iran or Saudi Arabia, it’s not what comes to mind for Egypt. Presumably, it applies to all of north Africa, from Egypt to Morocco.  It’s worse than I thought.


*Yes, I know it’s weeks from Christmas.

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Say it Ain’t So!

Ted Cruz with soybeardTed Cruz appears to be growing a soybeard!  In my original post, asking for examples, I wrote “Please, no cheerleaders with soybeards, even if they’re from Texas.”  I didn’t think to mention Senators.

 


Continue reading “Say it Ain’t So!”

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A Time of Choosing

We all are afflicted by that Chinese curse ‘may you live in interesting times’.
Both political parties are finding their models of the last several decades are blowing up in their faces.

The Democrats got ahead of the game, franchised out to a donor class of wealthy globalists in tech, communications, entertainment and finance and became the party of the aggrieved with a boost of massive immigration of low skill dependency class members. The immigration thing is working fine for them, but the aggrieved collection is eating itself.

The GOP thought they had corporate America until they woke up one day and found the Dems took it away.
They thought they had the entrepreneurial class, the middle management class and the southern blue collars, but then they went along with enriching the Democrats globalists by hollowing out the American manufacturing economy which supported their base.

We now stand at either a surrender to the unbalanced trade, open border and complete the replacement of blue collars with illegals and destruction of white collars with lack of growth in domestic jobs of the globalists or we place our hope in the last peaceful means of defeating them.

It means we need the GOP to get serious about building a real base of voters and stop chasing the past.

Counting on the GOP to save us should give us all pause.

If the GOP lost the suburbs of blue cities they will not get them back. People who voted against the economic interest of the country are either too stupid to convince or so insulated from the effects of a globalist destruction that they do not care.

Replacing those votes lie in people who do live paycheck to paycheck of every color and hue. Working people with families. It means getting black and Hispanic and blue collar white candidates selected and canvassing districts next year. It means replacing vulnerable incumbents with people who can win the district. It means flipping vulnerable blue districts with the right candidate.

It means shutting down immigration if it takes a declaration of martial law to do it.

So now our fate is in the hands of the GOP and the ability of Donald J Trump to overturn the rule by judiciary.

The alternative is not pretty.

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On Political Correctness

Anthony Malcolm Daniels, writing under the nom de plume Theodore Dalrymple, is a retired physician with a varied career in medicine and several dozen books and countless articles to his credit. His single most significant insight is captured by this rather extensive quote from an interview he did in 2005 upon the publication of his book, Our Culture, What’s Left of It.

Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.

Dalrymple has proven to be remarkably prescient as the Left has increasingly insisted that everyone loudly and frequently deny the plain facts of biology and human nature. It is no longer sufficient to assent to the Progressives’ lies; one must endorse them enthusiastically or be accused of an ever-growing litany of –ists and –phobics. Many of the lies are so obvious that no one believes them – not even their promulgators. One must conclude that the purpose is as Dalrymple claims: to humiliate and to create a society individuals who are easy to control.


I tagged this as TOTD to mean thought of the decade. It may be the thought of this age.

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Why I am grateful for the Reformation and Martin Luther

We have just had a big thread about the Catholic Church and it has brought something into focus for me. I do not believe the modern world would have happened without the Reformation. The Catholic Church supported Monarchy, centralized control, and a few men accumulating power.

As conservatives we talk about Scottish and French Enlightenments. Well, one was in a Catholic country and one was not. We know how they turned out. Northern Europe, with its Protestant Work Ethic has long been less corrupt in function that Southern, Catholic, Europe. Capitalism as we understand it was born in Northern Europe, with the Dutch, and later spread to England. Would a Catholic England have taken it up?

Further, it was primarily Protestants who settled America at first. The idea of religious tolerance was born from the friction of different Protestant faiths. Granted, it was also born of that fact there was a Church of England, but the marriage of Church and State is something that Church inherited from the Catholic Church, and America continued the Protestant move away from it. I do not believe that any such thing would have happened in a Catholic dominated America. Indeed, since the Catholic Church supported the Divine Right of Kings, it is hard to imagine that America ditching Kings at all. Maybe, even, not to rebel, since no matter how bad the King, rebelling is in violation of God’s law. Then again, the Catholic French did rebel against their King, so maybe those Americans would have too. One hopes with better results. In England, of course, there was a civil war over that Right. Would that have happened if the nation was still Catholic?

The Reformation also put pressure on the Catholic Church to reform. They don’t engage in people buying their way into Heaven anymore (I know buying out of Purgatory, but since you exit into Heaven, it is still buying your way into Heaven). 1517 Luther posted Thesis. 1567 They were banned. Certainly, in matters of temporal corruption around Monarchy it is much better.

It is clear to me that the world in which we live, the one with America as the Shining City on the Hill would not exist without the Reformation. I do not think that capitalism would have flourished, and with it, all the innovations. We would not have gone to the Moon, or have instant communications around the Earth. Progress would have been slowed, weighted down by an organization more concerned with maintaining its temporal power than with saving souls, as indulgences indicated. Thesis 82:

Why does not the pope liberate everyone from purgatory for the sake of love (a most holy thing) and because of the supreme necessity of their souls? This would be morally the best of all reasons. Meanwhile he redeems innumerable souls for money, a most perishable thing, with which to build St. Peter’s church, a very minor purpose.

I Praise God, and I mean that honestly, that 500 years ago, God inspired Martin Luther to take a stand against the corruption of the Catholic Church, and it allowed the great flourishing of Christianity in the world. Without the Protestant Reformation, there would have been no Adam Smith, no capitalism, No Scottish Enlightenment, no British Empire, and no United States of America.

Thank God, for Martin Luther and his great and grand courage to stand up for what was right against a corrupt regime intent on its own glorification, rather than the glorification of God.

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Amy Wax on the State of the Academy

You may recall that Amy Wax, professor at U. Penn law school, got herself in some trouble last year for stating some hate facts. She brings us up to date on her interactions with the university administration and the academy in general. She concludes with an exhortation to “de-fund the Ivies.” She and Heather Mac Donald will be coauthoring an article on that subject.

An interesting sidenote about Professor Wax: she got her MD in neuroscience and practiced medicine before going to law school. Impressive.

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A Question for the Tribe

I put the question to the Burghers Of Rat:

One area where I depart from ‘traditional conservatism’ has been the worship of state government over federal.

I have found state agencies and politicians more corrupt, less competent and in general far more power mad than the Feds.

I find the ‘local controls’ are dropping as states polarize into red and blue.

I see decay of infrastructure, overpriced and underperforming schools, pensions out of control and abuse of constitutional rights more prevalent and accelerating in a negative way.

Some states seem to work, but many are becoming diluted by their success of importing a stupider class of voters.

I am an optimistic sort, but this one drives me to despair.

I do not see a state driven renaissance, but the need for a leaner Federal government finding a way to connect direct to counties for key efforts.

I am curious if my despair is shared , or do most embrace the state as remaining a useful entity. To me, I find the states as having all the flaws of a bloated federal state without the critical mass to do anything but make things worse.

Just a Sunday night muse. Talk amongst yourselves.

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I have seen too much to ever leave the Catholic Church

This morning I was reading over at the other place, as I do from time to time. I read Brian Watt’s post, The Church’s Ongoing Gay Orgy, and the first page of the comments. The first comment was Bryan’s, and he proposed a solution to the gay-clergy crisis:

The laity should abandon the church. Stop giving money. Leave it. Only that will force it to change. It was so 500 years ago.

There are a few ways I can argue why this isn’t a good idea, and they involve using arguments that have already been used over and over, none of which are really my own. And I see that others have attempted this strategy over there.

Rather than rehashing old arguments, I’d like to share something dramatically more personal. I don’t think people here have read my book (and for a couple of you, that’s my fault since I still haven’t sent the copies I promised to send!). I mention the book because it outlines some of my experiences that led me to become Catholic.

The bottom line is that I couldn’t have seen what I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality had I recommitted myself to any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because what I saw about the distortion of those things has its roots and foundation in contraception. Everything that I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality, much of which Protestants can and do affirm, is grounded in the notion that contraception is contrary to God’s plan.

Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase, “contraceptive mentality” in 1981 with his encyclical Familiaris consortio (The fellowship of the family)

You’ve probably all heard of the Catholic phrase, “the contraceptive mentality.” Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase in 1981. I have noticed that the phrase doesn’t seem to make sense to non-Catholics, so I prayed hard for a long time about how to convey the idea in a different way. I finally settled on the following that I believe says essentially the same thing: that fertile opposite sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus. I have used this phrase online many times, and it resonates with people. They believe that they do have such a right. I like this phrase because it captures something dear to people. We all do have rights, and rights are important. The State is obliged to recognize our rights.

Here is how the phrase applies to abortion: if fertile opposite-sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus, then abortion must be legal, because it upholds that right. A right for pregnancy-free coitus positions the unborn as unwelcome invaders. Their humanity is irrelevant because they have violated the right. This is why they can be terminated.

Here is how it applies to same-sex marriage: I’m sure you recall the marriage wars at the other place. Those on offense argued repeatedly that marriage, sex, and children were not linked in a principled way. And in one sense they were correct. What I mean is that contraception is what unlinked sex and children in a apparently-principled fashion. The right to pregnancy-free coitus is so appealing that people don’t realize that it is a new right. It did not always exist.

Because of the new-found right for pregnancy-free coitus given by

Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the ancient Christian teaching on contraception in his 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae (Of human life)

contraception, children are added-back to marriage in an ad hoc, couple-by-couple manner. If sex is a presumptively sterile act, making the ad hoc approach to children the correct approach, then same-sex marriage is logically justified since same-sex couples cannot conceive their own children.

Let me make it clear that when I use the word “right” in this sense, I am not referring to a clearly articulated legal right. I am using the word in a colloquial sense, although certain significant SCOTUS decisions allude to it. For example, see Planned Parenthood v Casey and Obergefell v Hodges.

I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, what God’s full plan is for marriage and human sexuality. I would never have understood this plan so thoroughly had I reaffirmed any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because the Catholic Church is the very last Christian body that understands the problem of contraception.

The gay-clergy and those who affirm them are wrong. They may do tremendous damage to the Church, along with the entire sexual revolution. Much damage has already been done. But for me, leaving the Church is not the answer to the destruction. The question is: who is right about the entirety of the sexual revolution, including contraception? We all think we’re on the “correct” side, but how we got there matters. I know where I stand, where I have driven my stake into the ground, and most importantly, how I got there. I can’t predict the future, but if I ever wanted to leave I don’t know where I’d go. By God’s grace I have seen so much of which I have shared a little here.

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A Long Read on Past and Future Civil Conflict

People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.” — Max Noel, FBI (ret.)

As I write this, the ’rats are in the process of stealing two senatorial elections: Florida and Arizona.  It’s the classic playbook: a close election, after which “uncounted ballots” are discovered in Democrat-heavy districts, their precise numbers undisclosed, with slaver lawyers parachuting in to make sure, as the rent-a-mobs chant, they “count every vote”.

Here is a long blog post, “Days of Rage”, dating from 2017-01-20 which I commend to your attention.  It starts out as a review of Brian Burrough’s 2015 eponymous book and then, like so many of my book reviews here, veers off into a long (in this case 13,000 word) riff on the book and what it means for us today.

For much of this young century, and especially since 2016, the U.S. has been in a Cold Civil War, and it is beginning to heat up.  People forget that in the early 1970s there were thousands of bombings by domestic revolutionaries who considered that their cause justified lethal force.

Today, the “correlation of forces” has changed.  The collectivists control the institutions and the means of communications, and they are more and more overt in exercising their power to silence the opposition.  And it is they who put the shock troops on the street.  Champions of liberty take comfort in the reality that we are armed and they are not, but they have demonstrated that they are willing to take the streets, destroy property, intimidate people, and cause injury.  We are much better behaved.

If you say, “It can’t happen here”, be aware that it did happen in the 1970s, and a converged media have suppressed the plain facts accessible by reading old newspapers or Burrough’s book (which I am reading and will review here in the fullness of time).

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A New Phase Entered

Well, here we are. Knowing the scale of the opposition, assuming it would all go smoothly was a bit of a stretch.

I am frankly amazed that the GOP was able to gain in the senate and not lose the House in a disaster class loss.

So we are in for a rocky two years of DNC-Media war while POTUS continues to keep moving.

Assuming the GOP can recruit winning candidates for the house for 2020 and get them running right now, this can work.

I also assume the “Q” phenomenon is a bit discredited with the Sessions exposure. I still wonder what all those sealed indictments are and what the hell Huber has been doing all this time, but a big reveal? Doubt it.

So the Senate got fixed and that had to happen. The gang of 8 is neutered, resigned or dead and McConnell knows he needs Trump.

I do worry that we have a population that can seriously give close margins to complete idiots like Abrams, Cortez, Sinema, Gillum and the like, but maybe I am showing my age and forget that their parents gave large margins to idiots also, like Waters, Kerry, Sanders and such.

I do believe POTUS seems to have a better grasp on the job, and is moving carefully but still boldly.

If they can just get the border wall funding in the lame duck, he is pretty much set.

It will be fun watching the Dems try and negotiate with POTUS on healthcare and infrastructure. It may be surprising.

Just remember the close out song….”You can’t always get what you want..but if try sometimes..you just might find…you get what you need…”

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