Friday, April 24, 2015

Odds and ends 4/24/2015

This is my last post for awhile. My wife and I are leaving for Chile. We’ll be out of country for 10 days.


San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor panders to the identity cult:

Mayor Ivy Taylor, who voted against the Gay and Lesbian Non Discrimination Ordinance when she was a member of City Council, has done a 180 on recent comments she made in a mayoral debate that the NDO was a “waste of time,” News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Taylor said in a statement that she has “come to a new understanding” on the issue.

“It was never my intent to insult or demean you, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion my words have caused,” the Mayor said.

The comments come as Taylor is surging among evangelical voters, especially on the North Side. The three north side council districts are expected to dictate the outcome of next month’s mayoral race, because there is no traditional “North Side Conservative” in the race.

Taylor called the three members of her “LGBT Advisory Committee” “role models for every resident of San Antonio.”

“I criticized the elected officials involved in promoting the NDO regarding their lack of focus on implementation,” Taylor said. “My advisory committee alerted me that grassroots activists and community organizers involved in passage of the ordinance thought I was referring to them. I was not. I appreciate the efforts and involvement of engaged citizens no matter what the cause.”

No matter the cause? Give me a break.


Europe says “Yes we can!” to negative interest rates. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Tumbling interest rates in Europe have put some banks in an inconceivable position: owing money on loans to borrowers.

At least one Spanish bank, Bankinter SA, the country’s seventh-largest lender by market value, has been paying some customers interest on mortgages by deducting that amount from the principal the borrower owes.

The problem is just one of many challenges caused by interest rates falling below zero, known as a negative interest rate. All over Europe, banks are being compelled to rebuild computer programs, update legal documents and redo spreadsheets to account for negative rates.

Banks set interest rates on many loans as a small percentage above or below a benchmark such as Euribor. As rates have declined, sometimes to below zero, some banks have faced the paradox of paying interest to those who have borrowed money from them.

I can’t imagine why some people in Ukraine would want to remove themselves from this lunacy.


“It’s hard to figure on assimilating that many immigrants when the folks in charge of assimilation don’t really believe in—or even much like—the country they’re supposed to be helping immigrants assimilate to.” –Glenn Reynolds

I know that tune.


Pot has perils, writes Marjorie Haun:

This is the shameful position that amending our state constitution to make recreational marijuana a “right” has put Coloradans in. Recreational marijuana is a social evil. There is nothing good that comes from it. Getting stoned does nothing to enhance human functioning, but is proven to do great damage to the human body, adolescent brains, family ties, memory and motivation.

There is nothing virtuous or good about legalized recreational pot. It is both a cause and symptom of progressive moral and social decay. Do those who tout tax dollars from pot realize that the cost to this and future generations will far outweigh any perceived fiscal benefits? Do they realize that the children caught up in the pot culture today will be the broken souls of tomorrow? Is it worth it folks, to welcome and embrace a known evil into Colorado, opening the door to addiction, crime, and broken relationships with a wink and a nod and a bill from the state Department of Revenue?


Fred Reed comments on an episode of “legitimate rape,” if the hysterics are to be believed, at Ron Unz’s site:

At Vassar some ditzbunny got blitzed, got laid, and a year later decided that she had been sexually assaulted. I guess she didn’t notice it at the time. You have to be alert to know when you have been raped. It can happen when you are distracted, maybe working on your laundry list, and you don’t find out about it for a while.

Congruent with the national fantasy that college girls don’t know about sex or the effects of beer, a conventionally imbecilic judge found the guy guilty. No surprise here. (“What part of “yes” don’t you understand, your honor?”)

But check out the astonishing email she wrote to the offender:

“I’m really sorry I led you on last night I should have known better then [sic] to let my self [sic] drink yet, I really don’t want this to effect [sic] our team dynamic or friendship. I don’t think any less of you at all I had a wonderful time last night I’m just too close to my previous relationship to be in one right now.”

Doesn’t sound very raped to me, but what do I know? I love her grammar. The child is semiliterate. I couldn’t have gotten away with such stuff in the sixth grade. Vassar?

Who can say with a straight face this is progress?


At the Canada Free Press Cliff Kincaid summarizes the transgender madness:

The headline over the story is, “LGBT Friendly: White House Unveils First Gender-Neutral Bathroom.” But it’s not a joke. It wasn’t a story from the comedy site The Onion. Instead, this was from NBC News.

It is apparent that the liberal media will treat anything “gay” coming out of this administration as somehow legitimate or even compassionate. Nothing will be described as weird or strange, out of fear of offending some new sexual minority. This time, the “transgendered” are supposed to benefit. It’s yet another effort to confuse sexual roles and undermine traditional values.

NBC reported, “For the first time in history, the White House has designated a gender-neutral restroom for visitors and staffers—the latest in a series of steps the administration has taken to protect the rights of members of the LGBT community.”

At the risk of sounding politically incorrect, isn’t there an obligation on the part of NBC News to at least consider giving some space or attention to an opposing view? By the way, despite liberal use of the term, it’s not clear what “transgendered” actually means. Does it mean people who dress like the opposite sex? People who have sex-change operations? Or what about people who have mental disorders and simply think they’re the wrong sex?

Instead, the NBC News story merely notes that there’s legislation in “Republican-dominated” legislatures in Florida and Kentucky to keep the “transgendered” out of bathrooms for men and women. What these bills actually do is keep men out of women’s bathrooms, and vice versa. These bills are designed to secure the privacy and safety of all individuals using a single-sex public facility for which the facility is designated. That is, for men and women. This is common sense. But it doesn’t make sense in Obama’s America.

This is indeed madness, pretending there’s no difference between right and wrong. But it’s liberals’ religion, and it’s reached epidemic proportions.

Breitbart reports on the fall of the Girl Scouts:

The Girl Scouts are concerned about falling membership and a declining number of adult volunteers, so a Girl Scout staffer in Salt Lake City cooked up the idea to start a troop headquartered in the area’s “gay pride center.”

The idea is to attract “transgender” youth and children living with an LGBT parent.

Shari Solomon-Kleba told the Associated Press, “Girl Scouts is all about empowering girls to become leaders who make the world a better place. Why not at the Pride Center?”

The troop had its first meeting Monday with five girls. No transgender youth have joined yet but hopes are high.

Girl Scout spokesman Josh Ackley told the AP there are no prohibitions on LGBT leaders in the Girl Scouts USA. Breitbart News profiled Ackley last year as a “homopunk” rocker who makes music videos showing violence against women. Ackley said boys who identify as girls are accepted in the Girl Scouts nationally.

It is unclear that going further into sexual extremes will help Girl Scout enrollment. Girl Scout membership has declined over the years, critics argue, because of the leftward tilt of the national office. When the Girl Scouts took “God” out of the pledge, for instance, a new Christian-based group called American Heritage Girls was founded.


Paul Gottfried wrote a good article on fascism in the American Conservative. Excerpt:

The general view of fascism as retrograde seems correct, and so are comparisons between fascist rule and Latin authoritarian regimes. One is drawn to this conclusion even after reading all the literature—some of it very persuasive—that argues fascism was revolutionary as well as nationalist and authoritarian. The only way one avoids coming to the conclusion that the Italian fascist regime did not look particularly revolutionary is by distinguishing fascism as a movement from fascism as the interwar Italian government. The first is intellectually exciting but the second seems to have been a pretentiously labeled patronage system. It was tied to a class system and a political culture that became obsolete in the course of the last century.

Mussolini went hopelessly astray in his making of allies in the late 1930s, and by 1943 he became a German puppet. But his earlier rule had been a comic opera affair, hidden behind the ornamental hierarchy of offices that Mussolini had constructed under the supposedly supreme authority of the “State.” Actually, the Duce ruled with his legions of advisors, while trying to get along with all classes. The attribution to his administration of totalitarian qualities has been much exaggerated. And so was the mistaken judgment made by, among others, FDR and Churchill that Mussolini ran his country efficiently. He managed the Depression by paying off industry to keep the working class employed and the Italian government did so with increasingly devalued money.

Fascism depended on an almost classical Marxist division of classes, with the workers on one side and the owners of productive forces on the other, the lower middle class hovering in between while usually, as Marx predicted, joining the party of order out of a sense of respectability. Marxist analyses of fascism continue to throw light on generic fascism because the revolutionary left and the fascists faced the same social climate. Significantly, this climate and the stratification on which it rested have vanished since the 1930s, even if our media and political propagandists refuse to notice.


Matt Walsh boldly questions Obama’s faith:

Now I don’t mean to turn this into a homily, but it is interesting to note that Jesus said “by their fruits you will know them.” So far all this talk about how we shouldn’t “judge” others, it seems that Christ is specifically telling us to make judgments about a person based on what they do. How else could we come to know a man by his actions? The insinuation here is that sometimes a person might say one thing but do another, and Jesus wants us to look at what they do and make judgments accordingly. That doesn’t mean we’re omnipotent; it just means we shouldn’t go around like blind idiots (my word, not His) believing everything everyone says, no matter how they actually conduct themselves.

If you declare verbally that you are Christian but then insist that Christ has called you to do any number of atrocious things, it is obvious that you are either lying, or you are adhering to some version of the faith that bears not even the vaguest similarity to anything that might be considered Biblical Christianity. That is an OK judgment for us to make, and more than OK, it’s essential. I am not saying that someone isn’t a Christian if they sin. I’m saying that someone isn’t a Christian if they believe that Jesus endorses, condones, or loves sin.

In the case of Obama, we could look at how he has attacked religious freedom in this country and attempted to force Christians to abandon their beliefs for the sake of his political ideology; we could look at how he has aided and abetted the persecutors of Christians overseas, resulting in the slaughter of thousands of Christian martyrs; we could look at his “evolving” position on gay marriage; we could look at how he excuses Islamic terrorism and draws moral equivalencies between Muslim killers and Christians; we could look at his pathological dishonesty, his cynical exploitation of racial tensions, and his general corruption and unwavering narcissism. But all of these things might be written off as him simply exhibiting the characteristics of a weak man, a crooked politician, an inept leader, and a fool. He could theoretically be all of those things and still a Christian.

Leave all of that aside, then. The thing above all else that really reveals his true faith (or lack thereof) is his undying passion for, support of, and belief in abortion.

...

Possibly most damning of all, in what I believe is the quintessential and, though this is saying a lot, the most despicable moment of his horrible, deadly reign, he attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser (first president to do that) where he wished for God to bless the abortionists in attendance (not bless them that they may repent, but bless them that they may continue their genocidal mission).

For me the clincher came earlier. It was the president’s qualifying his answer to Rick Warren’s question on same-sex marriage: “As a Christian I believe marriage is a sacred union between a man and a woman.” I suspected like all doctrinaire liberals he believed in marriage redefinition. His deception confirmed to me Christianity was an identity he slipped into when it was convenient. If “as a Christian” I believe X, but as something else I believe anti-X, and I default to anti-X for all intents and purposes, then to what extent am I truly a Christian?


From the final chapter of C. S. Lewis’s The Problem of Pain:

The Father eternally begets the Son and the Holy Ghost proceeds: deity introduces distinction within itself so that the union of reciprocal loves may transcend mere arithmetical unity or self identity.

But the eternal distinctness of each soul—the secret which makes of the union between each soul and God a species in itself will never abrogate the law that forbids ownership in heaven. As to its fellow-creatures, each soul, we suppose, will be eternally engaged in giving away to all the rest that which it receives. And as to God, we must remember that the soul is but a hollow which God fills. Its union with God is, almost by definition, a continual self abandonment—an opening, an unveiling, a surrender, of itself. A blessed spirit is a mould ever more and more patient of the bright metal poured into it, a body ever more completely uncovered to the meridian blaze of the spiritual sun. We need not suppose that the necessity for something analogous to self conquest will ever be ended, or that eternal life will not also be eternal dying. It is in this sense, that, as there may be pleasures in hell (God shield us from them), there may be something not all unlike pains in heaven (God grant us soon to taste them).

For in self-giving, if anywhere, we touch a rhythm not only of all creation but of all being. For the Eternal Word also gives Himself in sacrifice; and that not only on Calvary. For when He was crucified He “did that in the wild weather of His outlying provinces which He had done at home in glory and gladness.” From before the foundation of the world He surrenders begotten Deity back to begetting Deity in obedience. And as the Son glorifies the Father, so also the Father glorifies the Son. And, with submission, as becomes a layman, I think it was truly said “God loveth not Himself as Himself but as Goodness; and if there were aught better than God, He would love that and not Himself.” From the highest to the lowest, self exists to be abdicated and, by that abdication, becomes the more truly self, to be thereupon yet the more abdicated, and so forever.


Finally, an excerpt from Don Richardson’s Peace Child:

It was the ideal of using friendship to fatten one’s victims for the slaughter, of finding comfort and delight in the misery and destruction of others. ... As every philosophy, once its basic tenets have been accepted, draws it adherents irresistibly towards certain ultimate conclusions, so also the Sawi worldview had at last found what was possibly its ultimate expression in the treachery of Kani and Mahaen.

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