Apologies, Gentle Reader. It’s a grab-bag day. If I delay clearing my “Future Columns” folder any longer, it might just give birth.
“Church” and “radical” don’t go together…but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen:
Pope Francis’ lead-up to the Synod on Synodality is entering the “continental” phase. And this moment raises some serious questions, in particular: Will the “synodal” Church be a politicized, bureaucratized Church? As Catholics tread the synodal pathway to an uncertain future, worrisome signs suggest that could very well happen.
The most obvious case in point is of course the German Synodal Path. While the German project is best known for airing views on things like sexual morality and married priests, the vision of a Church functioning on liberal democratic lines through a network of synodal structures and processes could be even more radical in the long run. The Vatican found that prospect alarming enough to warrant a “declaration” a few months ago emphasizing that the Germans can’t “compel bishops and the faithful to assume new modes of governance.”
Like it or not, a church must be a conservative institution, focused on conserving and promulgating a body of doctrine. The technical term for a “church” that decides its teachings by plebiscite is “mob.”
I am both against drug abuse and opposed to the so-called War on Drugs. There’s no contradiction. Indeed, I feel that the former position compels the latter, but that’s an argument for another time. Today it appears that an important head of state agrees with me:
“It is time for a new international convention that accepts that the war on drugs has failed.”
The speaker was Gustavo Petro, currently the president of Colombia.
Does anyone out there still disbelieve in the ascendancy of the Death Cults?
A Canadian military veteran seeking counseling for post-traumatic stress disorder was offered a rather disturbing answer by an employee of Canada’s Veterans Affairs administration — medically assisted suicide.
As reported by Canada’s Global News, the veteran received the advice of a medically assisted death unprompted after seeking out treatment for a traumatic brain injury.
Veterans Affairs Canada confirmed that the incident occurred between the veteran and an employee “where medical assistance in dying was discussed inappropriately.”
The agency added that it “deeply regrets what transpired” and that “appropriate administrative action will be taken,” although no further details were offered.
“No further details,” eh? What would you bet that the “appropriate administrative action” will consist of a sotto voce chat with the VA employee about not being quite so blatant in the future?
See also this excellent video.
Economists know few things with absolute assurance, but one thing we do know is that subsidizing something makes it more expensive:
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to announce Wednesday at the White House that he will cancel $10,000 in federal student loans per borrower making $125,000 a year or less.
He is also expected to extend the federal student loan payment pause for several more months, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
Medicare and Medicaid have made medicine less affordable. Subsidies for electric cars immediately caused their manufacturers to jack up their prices. And “higher education” has been outpacing inflation ever since governments got into the business of making student loans. This is just another brick in the wall.
Young Americans: Consider a trade school, or an apprenticeship.
Have you wondered why the “public” schools are getting ever more life-threatening?
In the article “Art Class, White Feelings, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” an assistant professor at Appalachian State University recently argued that enforcing behavioral standards in public high schools is rooted in racism and unfairly affects Black students. Dr Albert Stabler writes that the desire to punish students for violating school rules, especially when the police are involved, is the result of “the overvaluation of White feelings.”
The article, in The Journal of Social Theory in Art Education, which you can poke at here, contains many wonders, generally of a kind only the woke can conjure into being. Dr Stabler confessed his innate wrongness – “I am a white teacher” – before disdaining the “white feelings” of fellow educators who objected to being punched and humiliated with increasing frequency and with something close to impunity.
Your Curmudgeon reports; you decide.
I was driving with a friend through a major university campus. He was working in an office responsible for managing the resources of the university. And I happened to say, “You know, I’ve been wondering. I know there are complex moral questions like what to do if there are five guys in a lifeboat but only room for four, but I’ve started to suspect that most of our moral issues from day to day are fairly straightforward applications of the Ten Commandments that only seem complicated because we convince ourselves that in this instance it would be better to steal or lie or whatever.”
“Lying,” my friend exploded. “If we could only get people to stop lying. In my office, we can’t even figure out what we have because everyone is always lying, so we can’t make any reliable judgments about what we need.”
For example, he explained, that since they knew every department always overstated their budget by 20 percent, his office simply cut every budget by that amount, presuming that they had lied. Some departments began to catch on to this and had started to overstate their budgets by 25 percent. As a consequence, his office began cutting every budget by 25 percent.
After a while, this game of cat-and-mouse becomes so complex no one knows anymore what target they are supposed to be shooting at or whether they have any real arrows left in their quiver.
The deliberate inflation of budgetary needs was a constant problem at each of my larger employers. Management’s response was exactly as described above. Yet management knew that because of the unending torrent of lies, it was losing control of the company. Is further comment required?
The system of affluence and influence has been created to self-sustain regardless of party affiliation. The Senate is one club with one ideological perspective. Within that club rule #1 dominates: none of the members will ever expose another member. So, when there is corrupt activity within the Senate no-one from within the institution will expose another. This is the code of Omerta within the upper chamber. This is the way of the “my good friend” Senate and how it operates.
Penetration of that order is why The Last Refuge is on my check-it-frequently list.
Many have railed against the “war on privacy.” I’ve argued from a contrarian perspective: there are aspects of our behavior that it’s impossible, in the nature of things, to keep wholly private. However, the interior state of one’s body is not one of them:
[Israeli professor and WEF member Yuval Noah Harari] believes that people will gladly give up privacy [and freedom] for better health. One day soon, he predicts, people will have biometric sensors on their clothing and, eventually, injected sensors. These sensors will allow Facebook, the Chinese government [and other unsavory characters] to monitor our every move and bodily functions.
“Very soon people will walk around with biometric sensors on or even inside their bodies and will allow Google, or Facebook, or the Chinese government or whomever to constantly monitor what’s happening inside their body,” Harari said.
The COVID-19 “jab,” which as far as I know was the federal government’s first attempt to force a bodily intrusion on us in violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, was among other things a straw tossed to the wind…and they got away with it. Beware.
Don’t be uncritically trusting of anything you see or hear at YouTube:
YouTube recently updated their policies. I got an email about the updates but I, like many others, didn’t read it. But if you HAD read it, and if you had read the previous version, you would have noticed an interesting change. In the section regarding “Prevention Misinformation” under their “COVID-19 medical misinformation policy,” they have suddenly removed the line prohibiting “claims that masks do not play a role in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.” Essentially, YouTube USED to censor people for discussing how masks don’t work, but now that the approved Leftist narrative accepts the fact that masks don’t work, people are once again allowed to talk about how masks don’t work….
I’ll now take this opportunity to remind everyone that YouTube suspended sitting Senator and medical doctor Rand Paul for daring to post a video in which he quoted 2 peer reviewed scholarly articles that debated the efficacy of cloth masks in preventing the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.
It was never about “combating the spread of misinformation.” It was always narrative uber alles, and nothing else. [See also this article about the CDC’s reluctant admission of the superiority of natural immunity.]
When the laws contradict one another, the Omnipotent State becomes even more powerful:
Was the Federal Bureau of Investigation justified in searching Donald Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago? The judge who issued the warrant for Mar-a-Lago has signaled that he is likely to release a redacted version of the affidavit supporting it. But the warrant itself suggests the answer is likely no—the FBI had no legally valid cause for the raid.
The warrant authorized the FBI to seize “all physical documents and records constituting evidence, contraband, fruits of crime, or other items illegally possessed in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§793, 2071, or 1519” (emphasis added). These three criminal statutes all address the possession and handling of materials that contain national-security information, public records or material relevant to an investigation or other matters properly before a federal agency or the courts.
The laws cited pertain to the security of defense-relevant information. They make no exceptions for anyone. But looky here:
Those statutes are general in their text and application. But Mr. Trump’s documents are covered by a specific statute, the Presidential Records Act of 1978. It has long been the Supreme Court position, as stated in Morton v. Mancari (1974), that “where there is no clear intention otherwise, a specific statute will not be controlled or nullified by a general one, regardless of the priority of enactment.” The former president’s rights under the PRA trump any application of the laws the FBI warrant cites.
Contradictory laws enable prosecutors to go “forum-shopping:” i.e., looking for a court that will privilege the laws that favor prosecutors and law enforcers over the laws that favor their targets. The Supreme Court did indeed lay down a firm principle of interpretation, but lower courts have pretended not to recognize it – or have arrogated an unjustified latitude to make exceptions – on many occasions. This is part of the “lawfare” epidemic that’s entirely ruined the expectation of objective justice.
And the FBI is not innocent of this practice.
Ocean Grove, N.J., is one of those idyllic seaside towns on the Jersey Shore. Buildings from the turn of the 20th century dot the landscape, and it’s such an evocative place that it has earned the nickname “God’s Square Mile.”
After the town’s largest historic pier sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the [Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association] launched an extensive campaign to rebuild it. The groundbreaking took place in July, but the design of the pier has caused consternation for some in the community.
The finished pier will be in the shape of a cross. This rendering of the pier, provided with permission of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, shows what the completed construction will look like.
A cross?! Good heavens! What will the homosexuals think? That’s not hard to ferret out:
Some LGBT residents around Ocean Grove aren’t happy with the pier’s design.
Douglas Grote, a retired Presbyterian pastor who lives in the town, has sent several letters to officials at the state and local level on behalf of members of the LGBT community, calling the pier design “Christian bullying.”
Shane Martins, an attorney and Ocean Grove resident who is gay, says people are “being hurt” by the pier.
“Once this pier is built like a cross, I believe that will be the point of a no return,” he said to NJ.com. “To say (the cross-shaped pier) doesn’t represent Christian nationalism — anyone who says that isn’t being honest.”
Can you believe it? I can. Now that victim status has become the Ace of Trumps in all public controversies no matter how baldly and artificially contrived, how could it be any other way?
Do the transepts in Catholic cathedrals also constitute “Christian bullying?”
We made the mistake of excessive solicitousness toward homosexuals some time ago. This is part of the price – the current price. We the Normals are paying it for our foolishness. The ultimate price might fall on the shoulders of the homosexuals.
As the pier will stand on land owned by the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, I can’t see how anyone would have a legal leg to stand on in opposing it. But stranger things have happened. Stay tuned.
Whew! I nearly ran out of breath there. But the FUT COL folder is empty again, and I can get back to my novel. I’ll see you whenever.