The pastor said he’s responded to the complaints by lowering the volume and moved the bells from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m., but he says they’re not going to turn off the bells completely.
Centuries ago, I *suppose* there might have been a purpose in religious places instituting loud blaring “calls to prayer.” But we have these things now called “alarm clocks” and “phones” and such. So the use of such systems *now* smacks less of reminding people what time it is, and more of “lookit me, lookit me.” I wonder if the primary handbook of Da Church has anything to say on the subject. Hmmm…
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
The US territory – hopefully soon to be the sovereign nation – of Puerto Rico is still a major mess from last years hurricanes. Many theories have been given about why that might be, ranging from”well, it *is* an island, after all, cut off from truck and train resupply” to “they had lots of income but squandered it not on good infrastructure but on turning themselves into a pretty effective copy of your standard corrupt Latin American banana republic.”
But no. We’ve found the real source of the trouble.
Whenever there is a culture or a nation that fails because it is poorly conceived or constructed, you can bet that someone there will blame the Jews for it. I’m just shocked that I don’t see more War of Southern Aggression apologists blaming the utter failure of the South on some mysterious Jewish cabal.
Oddly enough, it seems that more than 20% of the non-Swedish residents of Sweden who are getting all those neato bennies are in fact unemployed, and thus not contributing to the tax base. One of my favorite lines:
A 2016 report claimed that the one-year cost of the migrant crisis for the Swedish taxpayer could amount to as much as 600 billion Swedish Kronor (£48.3 billion), enough to pay for the national armed forces for the next 14 years.
It’s a story about something that was done to a human, a young Swedish female-type person. It was the sort of thing that if it was done to a cat, a lot of readers of this blog would want to grab their Louisville Sluggers and go to town on the perpetrator. But this was done not to a cat, but to a girl.
One wonders if the pendulum is going to start swinging that other way anytime soon. The history of Europe suggests that a bloodbath is in the offing.
Why do I say “It’s good that our enemies are evil?” It would be disconcerting if we looked at the Nazis or the Commies or the Jihadis or whatever and said “hmm, they seem like the good guys here.” So, it’s best that when we compare them to us, they come off badly.
And now that we have accepted that they are the bad guys, one thing you *don’t* want out of your enemy is competence. And fortunately, the jihadis seem to have incompetence in spades.
This winner, this god among men, tried to use a suicide bomb to kill a bunch of innocent folks… and the bomb didn’t even kill *him.* And it’s not like bomb building is all that hard. We’ve lately had cases of mass shootings by verifiably crazy people; all they needed was a gun, which are not that hard to obtain in gun-free zones like New York. The internet is loaded with instructions on how to make pipe bombs, pressure cooker bombs, twitchy high explosives. Trucks are all over the place, available for the buying, renting or stealing, to be used in running down pedestrians. Molotov cocktails require little more than a bottle, a rag, a flammable fluid and a lighter… and yet this Surt-worshipping CHUD couldn’t even blow *himself* straight to Nastrond.
To which I say… three cheers for the generations of inbreeding which has made these genetic defectives so incompetent at even the most basic of terror tactics.
The headline is more than a little misleading. “Mad Mike” here isn’t a rocket scientist; in fact, this actual-Flat-Earther states quite clearly that he doesn’t believe in science. Still, he spent a whole lot of money building himself a “skycycle”- like rocket vehicle with which to lob himself into the air.
If you have time to kill and want to chuckle sadly, take a look at this winners Facebook page. He’s not just any Flat Earther, he’s one of those belligerent ones. He thinks that somehow lobbing himself a short distance into the sky will “prove” the Flat Earth delusion to be true… where somehow decades of high altitude balloons, sounding rockets, orbital flights and missions to the moon and beyond somehow all seemed to miss it.
And if there was any lasting doubt that the news media is just not very good, here’s a collection of headlines that will make aerospace engineers – including former rocket engineers like myself – want to pull their hair out:
Not only is there a whole lot of copying off each other – rather than, you know, actual journalismizing – there’s the repeated mis-use of the word “scientist.” Even disregarding the fact that he doesn’t believe in science, there’s the basic fact that he’s not actually *doing* any science.
The BBC website has an autoplay video covering a recent “Flat Earth Society” convention in North Carolina. It certainly seems to have been better attended than it should have been. But the perpetual question about flat-Earthers is: how many of them are actual believer, how many of them are there as a lark, how many of them are outright pretending to believe? Flat Earth is such a patently ludicrous notion that it seems like it would be reasonable to suggest that most people who claim to buy into it really don’t. But then you look at the vast spectrum of stupid that humans glom onto with a passion and… yeah, I suppose there really can be that many people who actually think the Earth is a flat disk.
As with most conspiracy theories, I doubt that most true believing Flat Earthers could be logicked or evidenced out of their belief. And the harder you try, the harder they’ll dig in their heels. It provides them a sense of wonder coupled with a sense of “I’m one of the *special* people because I know *The* *Truth.*” Such a feeling cannot be reliably countered with “No, you’re not.”
NPR today ran an hour of interviews on the subject of “the West,” in the context of the clash of civilization between The West and, well, the non-West. The first interview was with Victor Davis Hanson who did a good job of defining just what is “The West.” The concept of The West is much like that of the United States… neither are based strictly on a geographic region, nor of a particular ethnicity or religion. Instead, *anyone,* no matter where born or raised or how indoctrinated, can become a Westerner by accepting the basic precepts of Westernism. Thus places like Japan and South Korea can be reasonable described as “Western.”
It is fashionable to trash the civilization that created Columbus as destructive and pathological, but those who do so often have never experienced the alternative first-hand or at length, and assume that their own prosperity, security, and protected freedoms are birthrights rather than fragilities that exist largely only in the West and Westernized Asia or emanate only from the Western anomalies of self-criticism, secular rationalism, unfettered inquiry, free expression, constitutional government, free-market economics, private property and religious tolerance.
Hanson ended that piece with this important observation:
In some strange reductionist and iconic way, the symbolic world of the Aztecs is romanticized — and left far behind; the world of Columbus is still demonized but constantly sought out.
This being NPR, though, this first good interview that defends the worth, value and importance of The West and argues for the preservation of it is followed by a series of interviews that smear the West and Westerners and those who support The West as being Nazis, rapists and Islamophobes. Because Of Course.
The final piece is about the history of contact between Elizabethan England and the Ottoman Empire. It’s interesting, but there’s one particularly telling bit. A British history professor, who has written a book on the topic, is asked by the interviewer to tell of the “wonderful stories” of Englishmen who “freely and openly converted to Islam.” And what’s the story we get? An English merchant named Samson Rolly (sic?) was kidnapped by Turkish pirates circa 1570, forcibly converted to Islam, *castrated,* and somehow winds up being the chief eunuch and treasurer of Algiers. Around ten years later an English ambassador asks Samson (now with a new name) if he wants to go home, and the guy decides to stay where he is. This “wonderful” story, which the professor chuckles his way through and calls “funny,” is the story of someone kidnapped, mutilated, brainwashed and deep within the throes of Stockholm Syndrome. And yet, it’s those who want to defend the West from exactly this sort of thing that are the bad guys in the bulk of the piece… and in a whole lot of modern culture.
Well, the first bit with Hanson is certainly worth a listen. If the embedded player doesn’t show up below, you can download the audio file HERE.
It certainly makes sense that a President would want the CoS to lose its tax exempt status, but I have doubts that a President can actually *do* anything about it. That sort of thing is up to the IRS,and as the article suggests, a President making a stink about a particular case could sorta poison the well. This is, of course, exactly the sort of thing Trump likes to do, though, such as chiming in on Twitter about criminal cases yet to come before the court, thus promptly giving the defense attorneys a perfect chance to make a case that the jury has been tampered with.
Since yesterdays Cultural Enrichment Event in New York, I’ve heard more than a few politicians on the right argue that the driver should be dealt with not as a criminal, but as an enemy combatant. from a certain point of view this kinda makes sense… the guy is not a US citizen and he was pledged to a foreign political entity and an alien ideology. But the thing is, though… if he’s an enemy combatant,that makes him a prisoner of war. And there are two problems I have with that:
1: There is dignity and honor in being a POW. This feller has neither.
2: POWs go home.
There are two preferable outcomes for the driver after a proper trial: execution or life in a deep dark hole. Can’t execute a POW. The upside, though, is that POWs go home when the war’s over… but this war? I can’t see how it will *ever* be over. Who’s the leader on the Surt Worshipping Cultist side? Who has the power and authority to surrender or draw up an armistice? And even if someone did, does anyone honestly think that the attacks would stop, the radical would de-radicalize, the jihadists would convert to quiet Lutheranism, Mecca would become a world famous tourist attraction known for its welcoming acceptance of all creeds? No, this war is never going to end, so the POWs would remain POWs forever… or until some weak-willed administration decided to trade them away.
Treat the guy like what he is: a criminal. A good, honest trial followed by a life sentence in general population.