Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sunday Smorgasbord

     Today, having sworn off NFL football, I’m going to make a one-day mega-push to complete this BLEEP!ing novel and get it to my editor. Pray for me. And enjoy a brief roundup of marginally interesting stuff from marginally interesting people in marginally interesting places you might have once heard about from your kids’ “Global Studies” classes.

     The Catalans want out of Spain, but Spain won’t let them vote on it:

     Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont said Saturday he and his supporters would not "give up" their rights, speaking on the eve of an independence vote that Madrid has banned and is trying hard to block.

     By Saturday, the interior ministry said it had sealed most of the 2,315 polling stations in the wealthy northeastern Spanish region in an effort to prevent Sunday's referendum.

     There’s only one reason to prevent such a balloting: fear of what it would reveal. But there’s more to the matter than just a nervous national government trying to prevent a referendum.

     What does secession mean, functionally? The late Joseph Sobran held that it means freedom. He had a good case: if you can’t walk away from some arrangement that’s displeased you, how free are you, really? Secessionist movements arise from dissatisfaction with the ruling power. In the usual case, that’s because the ruling power has somehow oppressed the folks that want to secede.

     There are exceptions, of course. The Confederate States seceded from the Union because of the election of Abraham Lincoln as president. Lincoln was both an advocate of high protective tariffs – one of the influences that kept the North politically dominant – and a passionate opponent of slavery. There’s a lot of irony there: the tariffs that effectively rendered foreign manufactured goods unaffordable by Southern planters were a part of what made slavery economically viable for them. All the same, it’s difficult to characterize the secession-minded Southern states as “seeking freedom” when one of their major reasons for seceding was the preservation of the institution of involuntary human bondage.

     That having been said, look at the secessionist movements among the Catalans and the Kurds. Why do they want to secede from Spain, Iraq, and Turkey? And why do the “mother countries” want to stop them?

     You’d almost think Pope Francis is trying to destroy the Catholic Church in America:

     The Pope and his bishops in the United States are very disappointed in the refugee limit President Trump has set. The Pope is pushing Catholics to accept the concept of endless immigration no matter who the immigrants are and what they believe.

     “We are disturbed and deeply disappointed by the proposed presidential determination number of 45,000,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas. The bishop is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration.

     Pope Francis is disappointed as well and will launch a public relations immigration week for Catholics from October 7 – 13. It’s propaganda and he is prompting Catholics to push for more refugees, most of whom are Muslims. The Islamists are the ones who cause concern. Even if they are not terrorists, how many follow the political doctrine of sharia law?...

     The US Conference of Catholic Bishops insists that Trump admit 75,000 refugees to the US beginning October 1.

     The Church started to turn in the wrong direction when Pope Paul VI demanded that Catholics embrace “a preferential option for the poor.” That almost immediately morphed into demands for a greatly expanded political welfare state. Now we have a pontiff, whether out of ignorance or malice, demanding that the most charitable country in the world commit suicide by migrant – and the Conference of Catholic Bishops in America is going along with it. Have these people never heard the fable of the goose that laid golden eggs?

     There are exactly two routes to wealth: you can earn it, or you can be given it. The former leads to success for oneself and greater well-being for others; the latter leads to the steady decay of society. So of course, Leftist “educators” must disparage and demonize the path of work:

     A Pennsylvania State University-Brandywine professor criticized her students’ belief in “meritocracy” and “hard work” in an academic article published Thursday.

     Angela Putman, who teaches public speaking at Penn State-Brandywine, designed a comprehensive three-day seminar on “white privilege” for her students, then interviewed 12 attendees on their belief in meritocracy and equal opportunity.

     To her dismay, Putman discovered that these “whiteness ideologies” were widely endorsed by students, many of whom agreed that “if I work hard, I can be successful” and that “everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve success.”

     Dismissing meritocracy as a mere social construct, Putman argues that students “are socialized to believe that we got to where we are… because of our own individual efforts,” especially in classroom settings.

     “Thus, whiteness ideologies may be reproduced through a general acceptance and unchallenging of norms, as well as through everyday discourse from a wide variety of racial positionalities,” she adds.

     Professors should teach students “how racism and whiteness function in various contexts, the powerful influence of systems and institutions, and the pervasiveness of whiteness ideologies within the United States,” she adds, recommending the use of “role-play activities” and “readings, discussions, films, and activities.”

     Sometimes, the contradictions are right there in the words of the speaker. This Putnam person is a college instructor. Therefore, she teaches, or so we would imagine. How does she determine grades? Does she hand them out according to student achievement as determined via tests and term papers, or randomly, or on the basis of race, gender, and ethnicity?

     Truly, “higher education” has become a cancer. It must be razed all the way to the ground, and its current practitioners banned from any future post in an educational institution. But I’m not telling you anything you haven’t read here before.

     That’s all for today, Gentle Reader. It’s time for Mass, and after that on to this BLEEP!ing albatross of a novel that’s been tearing my guts out for far too long. Wish me luck.


Rick C said...

" “We are disturbed and deeply disappointed by the proposed presidential determination number of 45,000,” said Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas."

How many refugees has the Pope let into the Vatican?

Pascal said...

" So of course, [scratch]Leftist [insert]Sinister “educators” must disparage and demonize the path of work:"

The number of instances on a daily basis where this substitution fits now more than ever is, sadly, escalating.

Unknown said...

Spain can't let the Catalan's go because the loss of tax revenue would almost certainly cause government hardship when imposing their ideas on the populace. It happens on a city level too, when I lived in Philadelphia the neighborhood known as the Far-Northeast had the majority as far as taxpayers in the city. When the taxes became too much for many to bear the neighborhood tried several times to form their own town to brake from Philadelphia's Democrat politics and it endless taxation. The city never allowed the citizens to vote or introduce anything that would help the session progress. Eventually the neighborhood was 'diversified' with help from the city's politicians and the tax payers who had had enough moved to the sub-burbs.

Unknown said...

Also if I may a comment on the Confederate States seceding. I firmly believe that slavery would have ended regardless of whether the Civil War was fought or not. I believe the issue was based on economics and the fact that Lincoln and Washington D.C. had become an early version of what we have today, an onerous behemoth that bullies citizens and states into bowing down and serving our Federal Overlords. For a good view on this I recommend listening to Mike Church's audio CD entitled "What Lincoln Killed".

Dystopic said...

Leftists are exceptionally skilled at taking over institutions. They have a natural grasp of politics, and an obsession with power over others. In some ways, they remind me of the sort of girl-cliques one sees in any high school around the country. Everything is about control and power.

But once they take over an institution, they invariably run it into the ground. They've already done this with higher education. And, sadly, they appear to be doing this with the Church as well. Though, I've a feeling that God will not permit it go too far.

Indeed, the Leftists may really be tempting fate on this one, attempting to profane the holy.

Reg T said...

Lincoln certainly didn't approve of slavery, but it was not a motivator for him. In an article about Lincoln, the facts presented differ enormously from what you and I were taught in school:

Of course, they all knew that in his first inaugural address Lincoln supported a constitutional amendment (the Corwin Amendment) that would have explicitly enshrined slavery permanently in the Constitution; that he wrote a public letter to Horace Greeley explaining that his sole objective in the war was "to save the union" and not to disturb slavery; and that his real "last best hope" was "colonization," or the deportation of all black people from America [to Liberia?]. This all had to be forgotten, and history rewritten. And it was. Senator James Grimes of Iowa immediately recognized that the deification of Lincoln by the Yankee clergy and the Republican Party "has made it impossible to speak the truth of Abraham Lincoln hereafter."

The Emancipation Proclamation did _not_ free slaves everywhere in the United States - only in the seceding Southern states of the Confederacy. Lincoln's concern was solely on preventing any states from leaving the Union. Emancipation was a stalking horse, a cause that he knew would make war more acceptable to many in the North (although not enough to keep Lincoln from having to force many Northerners to join the army who didn't want to fight, nor did it keep him from putting 30,000 Northerners in prison for speaking out against his actions.