Saturday, June 30, 2012

Transform the world you say?

My comment on this excellent post.

Social Justice work supports a person's spiritual growth and transformation.

But thinking one can “save the world” or “transform the world” or even that one knows for darn sure they “stand on Love’s side” (which seems the UU way of saying God’s side) is a kind of hubris and egotism that I firmly believe impairs a person's spiritual growth.

 No way to grow Churches. No way to transform oneself. It is a slippery path towards isolation and self absorption.

  PS A self absorption that comes with the realization the world goes on changing in ways you don't foresee or probably much like. 


An insight gained from watching the left implode in the 70s.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Golshifteh Farahani Syngue sabour (The Patience Stone)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Jersey Boys The governor and the Boss—a tale of politics, rock and roll, and unrequited love

A little no class of Springsteen here to snub a fan over politics. Jeffery Goldberg in The Atlantic on NJ’s Chris Christie and Springsteen.  (A fellow I heard at Grinnell College long ago when he was a nobody starting out. My buddies Dan Meltzer and Carlton Smith invited him to Grinnell.)

Despite heroic efforts by Christie, Springsteen, who is still a New Jersey resident, will not talk to him. They’ve met twice—once on an airplane in 1999, and then at the 2010 ceremony inducting Danny DeVito into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, where they exchanged only formal pleasantries. (Christie does say that Springsteen was very kind to his children.) At concerts, even concerts in club-size venues—the Stone Pony, in Asbury Park, most recently—Springsteen won’t acknowledge the governor. When Christie leaves a Springsteen concert in a large arena, his state troopers move him to his motorcade through loading docks. He walks within feet of the stage, and of the dressing rooms. He’s never been invited to say hello. On occasion, he’ll make a public plea to Springsteen, as he did earlier this spring, when Christie asked him to play at a new casino in Atlantic City. “He says he’s for the revitalization of the Jersey Shore, so this seems obvious,” Christie told me. I asked him if he’s received a response to his request. “No, we got nothing back from them,” he said unhappily, “not even a ‘Fuck you.’”

Though he doesn’t like the cold shoulder, Christie takes comfort in something that, I imagine, leaves his idol unhappy and confused: the people who grew up with Springsteen in Freehold, the people who first came to listen to Springsteen, the people whose lives Springsteen explores in his songs—they voted for Christie. Sixty-three percent of white voters with only high-school diplomas went for Christie in his 2009 race against the incumbent Democrat, Jon Corzine.

Magazine - Jersey Boys - The Atlantic

Front-line Flora: Remarkable story of the only Western woman to enlist to fight in First World War

A review of A Fine Brother: The Life of Captain Flora Sandes by Louise Miller is published by Alma Books, £25.

Sandes fought for the Serbs twice: once in WW1 and again in WW2.  Quite a story.  Will add to my Shelfari list.

Front-line Flora: Remarkable story of the only Western woman to enlist to fight in First World War | Mail Online

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Conservative UUs call for inclusivity : uuworld.org : General Assembly

UU World on the Conservative Workshop at GA.  Nice to see it attracted a large crowd.
The workshop attracted a larger than anticipated audience, with some attendees standing or sitting on the floor along the walls and in the back of the small room at the Phoenix Convention Center.
The Rev. Nancy McDonald-Ladd, of the Bull Run UUs in Manassas, Va., earned a hearty round of applause from the crowd when she asked, “If the litmus test for ‘people like me’ becomes political affiliation, are we not mirroring the exact political partisanship and brokenness present in the world outside our doors, and are we not called—as faithful, courageous people—to something higher than mirroring the worst of the world around us?”
Conservative UUs call for inclusivity : uuworld.org : General Assembly

Update: A link to some of my posts and responses used for the presentation.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cherokee women to Elizabeth Warren: Stop ducking us!


Fars News Agency: Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint War games in Middle-East

Iran, Russia, and China letting the world know to back off Iran while Assad completes the cleansing.

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian, Russian, Chinese and Syrian armies are due to stage joint amphibious exercises along the Syrian costs in coming weeks, informed sources revealed on Monday.

According to informed sources, 90,000 forces from the four countries will take part in the land and sea wargames due to be held in Syria.

Ground, air and sea forces as well as air defense and missile units of the four countries will take part in the exercises.

Sources also said that Egypt has acceded to grant passage to 12 Chinese warships to sail through the Suez Canal, adding that the military convoy is due to dock at the Syrian harbors in the next two weeks.

Russian atomic submarines and warships, aircraft carriers and mine-clearing destroyers as well as Iranian battleships and submarines will also arrive in Syria at around the same date.

Syria plans to test its coast-to-sea and air defense missiles in the wargames.

A sum of 400 warplanes and 1,000 tanks will also be used in the exercises.

A Syrian official, who asked to remain anonymous, had informed two weeks ago that the drills would be conducted in Syria soon.

Unofficial sources also said the four countries are now busy with taking swift preparatory measures for these biggest-ever wargames in the Middle-East.

Sham Life reported that the maneuvers will be stage in less than one month from now, that is early June.

Fars News Agency :: Iran, Russia, China, Syria to Stage Biggest Joint Wargames in Middle-East

Women under Siege: Syria and the use of rape as a weapon of war | Sima Barmania

I’m betting nary a word on Syria at General Assembly this week.  Not our concern so to speak.

The announcement over the weekend to suspend the activities of UN observers in Syria represents a stark indication of the chaos unfolding within the country, as well as the “escalating violence”.

Furthermore, over the course of the Syrian crisis there has also been horrendous reports of gender based violence.

Last week the organisation Human Rights Watch reported that Syrian government forces have been using sexual violence to facilitate torture of both men and women detainees.  In addition, the organisation has also heard testimonies from civilians who have also suffered violence of a sexual nature in their own homes.

Women under Siege: Syria and the use of rape as a weapon of war | Sima Barmania | Independent Editor's choice Blogs

Taking Back the American Dream

It might be the message has gotten a bit old.  Dana Milbank on this years sparsely attended Taking Back the American Dream conference.

But this time around — the annual Take Back the American Dream Conference was moved up to June this election year — the Occupy encampments are gone, and participants in the conference were pondering what went wrong. Or, as activist Van Jones put it to them, what has become of “the voice that is missing.”

Jones, an Obama administration official who resigned under pressure because of his far-left positions, is a fixture at the annual gatherings and a fiery orator. But this version of his yearly pep talk was laced with disappointment. “I’m watching that movement that inspired the world . . . that stunned the world, in the moment of maximum peril now sit down,” he lamented at the opening session, where half of the 500 seats were filled.

Dana Milbank: The left, feeling left out - The Washington Post

Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria - Telegraph

Brits show spine.

A Russian ship believed to be carrying helicopters and missiles for Syria has been effectively stopped in its tracks off the coast of Scotland after its insurance was cancelled at the behest of the British government.

Britain stops Russian ship carrying attack helicopters for Syria - Telegraph

Illinois Khilafah Conference Blames Capitalism

The conference was held way in the far south ‘burbs so I didn’t make it, but Rebel Pundit got down there.  Sadly, he was the only American reporter.  Below an interview with Dr. Mohammed Malkawi.

To my surprise, I found myself being the only American reporter at the conference along with two other foreign reporters. We were not allowed to use any video or audio equipment while the conference was being held. However, afterwards Dr. Mohammed Malkawi aka Abu Talha took questions from us and consented to audio recording of the interview.

Khilafah Conference 2012 Chicago Interview with Dr. Mohammed Malkawi:

Exclusive: Illinois Khilafah Conference Blames Capitalism

Saturday, June 16, 2012

White House: Military is fighting terrorism in Somalia and Yemen – CNN

From Libya, to DOMA, Immigrants, and now this below, the Pres is using Executive Power when he should be making the case to Congress and the American People.  He’s going to lose it all because the issue will be abuse of Executive Powers and not the matters at hand.
For the first time, the Obama administration has publicly stated that U.S. military forces are engaged in direct action against suspected terrorists in Yemen and Somalia.
In a letter to Congress on Friday, President Barack Obama informed lawmakers of U.S. military actions in the two nations that have seen significant terrorist activity and civil unrest.
On Somalia, the president stated, "In a limited number of cases, the U.S. military has taken direct action in Somalia against members of al Qaeda, including those who are also members of al-Shabaab, who are engaged in efforts to carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and our interests."
Obama noted that U.S. forces have been working with Yemen to dismantle al Qaeda's powerful affiliate there.
White House: Military is fighting terrorism in Somalia and Yemen – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs

Want to Thank Someone for Obama's Immigration Move? Thank Marco Rubio - The Atlantic

President Obama could have reached out to Senator Rubio and pushed this plan as a bi partisan solution.  Instead the Prez has managed to turn immigration into a question of abuse of Executive Powers.  I’m guessing Obama looses this fight, and I’m guessing kids of immigrants here in violation of US law will lose out too.
Progressives who think Obama’s smart here need to consider this kind of arbitrary power Obama’s used from Libya to DOMA and now here, in the hands of President Romney.
The administration's announcement that it would suspend the deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were born abroad and came to the United States without authorization as kids has immigration advocates showering hosannas on President Obama. There is another politician, though, who deserves quite a bit of credit for the administration's move: Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio.  
Two months ago, Rubio floated a watered down version of the so-called DREAM Act -- and the administration this morning essentially made it the law of the land (at least temporarily).
The original bill would have put immigrants on a path to citizenship if they arrived in America as minors and were pursuing higher education or had joined the military. Under Rubio's plan, immigrants who were pursuing higher education wouldn't get a green card, but could apply for two-year work visas, which could be renewed in perpetuity. The senator also would have offered citizenship to immigrants who served in the military.
President Obama isn't in a position to bestow citizenship on thousands without approval from the U.S. Congress -- and despite repeated tries, the DREAM Act has never made it past the Senate. Otherwise, though, what Rubio proposed was basically what the Department of Homeland Security announced as official policy Friday.
Politics - Alexandra Starr - Want to Thank Someone for Obama's Immigration Move? Thank Marco Rubio - The Atlantic

Friday, June 15, 2012

Climate Change or Tectonic Shifts?

Cause and effect not always an easy thing to see.

Climate Change or Tectonic Shifts? A Language's Lone Survivor - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Hizb Al-Tahrir America, Set To Hold June 17 Conference In Illinois, Advocates Jihad, Says Iran And Saudi Arabia Are 'Modern Non-Expansionist Nation States' And Have Thus Abandoned 'The Definitive [Islamic] Obligation Of Jihad' As Stipulated In The Koran

 

The organizers have invited me to attend (I asked) but I’ve yet to hear the new location.  Stay tuned.  Hopefully I’ll have some video and interviews.

Hizb Al-Tahrir America, Set To Hold June 17 Conference In Illinois, Advocates Jihad, Says Iran And Saudi Arabia Are 'Modern Non-Expansionist Nation States' And Have Thus Abandoned 'The Definitive [Islamic] Obligation Of Jihad' As Stipulated In The Koran

Shooting shows how far we have to go

Arlene Jones on a first hand view of the carnage that’s become routine in Chicago.

Last week Wednesday, I got to see up close and personal the carnage going on in this city. I was visiting friends near Roosevelt and Sacramento when the sound of gunfire erupted. POW, POW, pow, pow, pow, bang, bang-bang, bang, bang rang out.

My friend hit the floor while I remained transfixed on her couch, unable to move. When she finally looked out the door after about a minute, less than 300 feet away a young man lay on the grass. He had been shot multiple times. As I ran toward him, I realized I didn't have my cellphone.

But the young lady next to me, whom I didn't know, had her phone. And guess what she was doing? Telling a friend about the shooting. I had to actually tell her to call the police! The shooting took place less than four blocks away from the 11th District (Harrison Street) police station.

Shooting shows how far we have to go

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Morality, Charity, and a Lesson from Estonia « Juicy Ecumenism

I’ve rarely heard or read a UU weighing options in  terms of their larger moral imperatives.  It’s usually a cut-and-dried, good versus awfully bad thing.  You’re on the side of love, or your not, and if not, you’ve gotta be a hateful phobe of some sort. 

From Juicy Ecumenism on Estonia,

The question the two sides disagree over is, where does the larger moral imperative lie: with the next generation, or with the current poor?  The liberal solution to both the current economic downturn, and the problem of poverty in general, is increased government involvement and spending to “stimulate the economy.”  Given the near complete lack of success of the 2008 stimulus package, one hardly needs to wonder why conservatives aren’t exactly on board with a Stimulus 2.0.  The alternative those on the Right offer is an extensive plan of government spending and program cuts that would place the U.S. on the path to putting our nearly $16 trillion debt and suffering economy in the rear-view mirror.

Morality, Charity, and a Lesson from Estonia « Juicy Ecumenism

Missing My Megachurch

Libby Anne on her old Megachurch and contemplating a new UU one.  Check the comments for some interesting responses on UU Churches.

I sometimes think about trying the local Unitarian Universalist church in an effort to find some of what I miss. What bothers me about the UU church, though, is its insistence on replicating church-like rituals and practices, such as the church service and the existence of pastors. What I really want is the fellowship, community, and resources without the church-like trappings.

I sometimes wonder if it could be possible for Humanists to form community centers where they have “meetings” rather than church services and “directors” rather than pastors. They could offer classes, groups, and programs for children. They could give members ways to plug in to service opportunities and offer retreats and camps. They could be organic and creative, making use of the talents of their members.

As much as I like the idea, I do wonder if a Humanist community center would be problematic in that it would separate atheists and agnostics from the rest of the community – a problem megachurches face as well. The best solution, for me at least at this point, seems to be to seek out groups I can be a part of (the Le Leche League?), find opportunities for my daughter (soccer with the parks and recreational services?), and find service opportunities to be involved in (serving as a CASA volunteer perhaps?) – all within the local community.

Missing My Megachurch

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ignores gang violence

A press release from the ILGOP on the staggering violence in Chicago.

Going after Catholic Charities seems awfully lame when we have thugs taking over the streets, murdering citizens on their porches, slaughtering young Chicago men, and the AG wants to tackle those hateful homophobes at Catholic Charities?

This is the weird bizarre world of Chicago liberals and the only part that makes sense is maybe the AG swayed by the votes gangs deliver?

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady today called on Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to finally engage in combating the surge in Illinois gang violence.

"Under Attorney General Madigan, we have seen an explosion in gang violence, including murders of innocent bystanders and Lisa Madigan has done nothing to combat it,” said Brady. "In New York, the state's top law officer leads the charge in major anti gang operations, most recently indicting 52 for gang and drug activity.”

There has been over 30 homicides in the City of Chicago since the end of the NATO Summit on May 21st.

“Here in Illinois, Lisa Madigan is content issuing edicts about the perils of buying a used car,” Brady added. “She has abdicated her role as the State’s Chief Law enforcement officer. As Attorney General, she has the tools to fight gang violence but unfortunately, she has chosen not to use them.”

Illinois Republican Party

Daughter: Iranian rights activist Abdolfattah Soltani sentenced to 13 years in prison | Persian Icons

Real moral courage like that shown below seldom makes US news.

A prominent Iranian human rights lawyer has been sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Tehran revolutionary court, his daughter said Tuesday.

Maede Soltani, who lives in Germany, said her family was officially notified Monday of last week’s ruling, which came during the appeals process.

Her father, Abdolfattah Soltani, co-founded a human rights group with Iranian Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi. He was arrested last year.

A court in March initially sentenced the 58-year-old to 18 years in prison on various charges, including co-founding the Center for Human Rights Defenders, spreading anti-government propaganda and endangering national security.

“My father was told that his sentence would be reduced (further) if he would apologize and speak out against Ms. Ebadi in an open letter or an interview,” Maede Soltani said. “He declined.”

Amnesty International maintains Soltani is a “non-violent political prisoner who is being jailed only for his legitimate activities” as a human rights lawyer

.

Daughter: Iranian rights activist Abdolfattah Soltani sentenced to 13 years in prison | Persian Icons

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Asma al-Assad no longer en vogue, Anna Wintour says – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Wintour slow to pick up on barbarism.

A statement from Anna Wintour appeared Monday on Vogue.com.

"In 2010, we set up an interview with the Syrian leader's wife, Asma al-Assad, a Western-educated former banker and a woman with a reputation as a force for reform in the Middle East. Like many at that time, we were hopeful that the Assad regime would be open to a more progressive society. Subsequent to our interview, as the terrible events of the past year and a half unfolded in Syria, it became clear that its priorities and values were completely at odds with those of Vogue. The escalating atrocities in Syria are unconscionable, and we deplore the actions of the Assad regime in the strongest possible terms."

The profile of Asma al-Assad appeared in the print March 2011 version. Vogue apparently removed the story from its website later.

Asma al-Assad no longer en vogue, Anna Wintour says – This Just In - CNN.com Blogs

Remember Iranian Women

HT Nasrin Sotoudeh

With outmost respect to courageous women who put freedom first and sacrifised their lives, this site will be in two languages Persian and English and will be live on the 12th of June 2012 with the aim to draw on the struggles of Iranian women. At this juncture only identification and type of alleged convictions have been sourced. Once we have more information then we will update, for the assembled information we have used different sources which will be specified on the pages, it is without a doubt that the information is incomplete and with mistakes hence help from each and every one will be beneficial and appreciated. Please email your information via the email address provided.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Syrian Army Unable to Stop Flood of Deserters - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Kofi Annan, Susan Rice, a Clinton, and corpses all over the streets.  Rwanda again with the same players.  Via Der Spiegel,

As long as the West continues to declare every few days that it has no intention of carrying out a military intervention, says Colonel Dirri, the regime in Syria will continue to use everything at its disposal. "Its strength rests in the fact that the whole world is saying, 'We're not going to get involved,'" he says. "If this Rasmussen" -- a reference to NATO's secretary general -- "would just shut his mouth for once, that alone would do Syria a great service!"

At the very latest, after the massacres in Houla two weeks ago and in Mazraat al-Qubair last Wednesday, none of the rebels in northern Syrian still believe the UN's peace plan will be successful. Instead, their greatest hope is little more than a rumor: that at some point the US must surely draw a line, and perhaps Russia too. What will it take to reach that line? The deployment of Syria's air force to carpet-bomb the country? Or perhaps the regime resorting to its arsenal of chemical weapons?

One thing is clear: With or without a vote from the UN Security Council, the rebels want an intervention.

Syrian Army Unable to Stop Flood of Deserters - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Chicago's bloody weekend: 8 dead, 40-plus wounded - U.S. News

Chicagoans bet now on the expected numbers killed plus wounded.

Chicago's bloody weekend: 8 dead, 40-plus wounded - U.S. News

Sunday, June 10, 2012

uujeff's muse kennel and pizzatorium: Emotions

More from UU Jeff, he clearly needs a chat with a Priest or a subscription to First Things, and a few hours with Humanae Vitae  Some brief points below following this quote from UUJeff. 
I remain mystified by the so-called "pro-life" position.  Listening to their rhetoric, the only logical conclusion is that their first and foremost objective is not the preservation of life, but the control and regulation of women's reproductive organs and their lives as sexual beings.  If you truly believe that human "life" begins at conception, then wouldn't you want to eliminate all unwanted pregnancies?  Then why would you not support mandatory sex education, the widespread availability of affordable birth control, extreme penalties for sexual violence against women, and the elimination of objectifying stereotypes that portray women as merely sex objects for the gratification of men?  If you truly value all human "life" then you must certainly oppose capital punishment.  You must certainly want society to impose more controls on handguns, whose primary. purpose is shooting people.  And you must be a pacifist.  Unfortunately, I have met few "pro-life" individuals who also hold these other positions.
uujeff's muse kennel and pizzatorium: Emotions

Re: …that their first and foremost objective is not the preservation of life..  Unlike the Humanist, God is primary for Christians, not Human Life, and following God’s law, Natural Law, is our duty. (Read Humanae Vitae).  Understand it’s God at the apex and not Humanity for the Christian and you’ll understand how a Christian can be pro-life and pro-death penalty.  That’s not to say there aren’t Christians who find that an issue.  Catholics of the Progressive sort often at odds here and while UUJeff couldn’t find one, I suggest he join Consistent Life.

Re: …If you truly believe that human "life" begins at conception, then wouldn't you want to eliminate all unwanted pregnancies?
Human life begins at conception a fact;
not a belief. Innocent (i.e. the unborn) Human life whether wanted or not should not be eliminated. 

Re: If you truly value all human "life" then you must certainly oppose capital punishment. You must certainly want society to impose more controls on handguns, whose primary. purpose is shooting people. And you must be a pacifist. Unfortunately, I have met few "pro-life" individuals who also hold these other positions.

I value human life.  I also don’t surrender to the slave master, to the tyrant, to the terrorist; or to the Hitler, or Stalin.  Visit consistent life and you’ll find some pro-lifers who follow that logic, but respect for the Interdependence of Life formerly known as the Brotherhood of Man doesn’t mean one surrenders to evil.  It never has.

Rather than debate these imaginary prof-lifers, it would be nice to see a panel of UU Clergy sit down with a panel of Catholic Clergy and work through these questions rather than have poor UUJeff sitting there mystified by what fellow citizens hold deeply.

UUism is tanking.  Many of our Churches withering.  I fear it’s because way too many of our Clergy sit some where angry, mystified, spouting off about Tadpoles and Embryos; instead of ,and maybe learning from, the larger Community on important issues.

Your killing your Church here UUJeff.  Please stop. Check your anger.  Engage your mind for the good of your soul and our Churches.

uujeff's muse kennel and pizzatorium: The War on Women Comes to Michigan

A comment to UU Jeff’s post.  I commented on it but Jeff doesn’t post my comments. 

I don’t accept the pro-life position 100%.  I see a conflict between a person’s right to control their body, and an unborn person’s right to grow and be born.  But I’m appalled a UU Minister would compare Human Life to a Tadpole’s and imply the moral life of a person at our earliest stage of life would be equal to a Frog’s.  I rarely hear or read a UU Minister speak on abortion.  If this the sort of thing that blurt out, best we all don’t hear it.

you forgot to mention how you compared an unborn baby to a tad-pole...

uujeff's muse kennel and pizzatorium: The War on Women Comes to Michigan

Friday, June 08, 2012

On drones and their ability to defeat al Qaeda - Threat Matrix


Bill Roggio's take on the Drone Wars.  I have mixed feelings, but this...
Instead of carefully explaining the need for the program, Obama administration officials leak information about the program to select officials in an effort to project toughness against al Qaeda. This is why articles such as "The Kill List" emerge, which may play well to the majority of Americans who want a president to be tough on al Qaeda, but which create a public relations nightmare internationally as the US government is perceived as directing an assassination program from the White House with little regard for international law.
...is a real problem.  David Axelrod, a domestic political advisor, sits in on these Kill List meetings. He has no business there (and probably no clearance).

Entrepreneurs and Evangelists

via David Owen O'Quill's post on six things you should know before seminary.

If entrepreneurial too Romneyesque for you, consider institutional leadership instead, because for a Church (or movement) to endure it requires institutions and people with the skills to build them.

One sad legacy of the sixties is way to many of my generation have lost respect for those skills.

3. The standard financial model of one minister serving one congregation and living a middle class lifestyle has a questionable future. This has enormous ramifications given the rising costs of seminary education and student debt. The future of ministry will require a much higher level of entrepreneurial leadership and evangelistic skill.

Now, about evangelistic skills, well, the first piece of UU evangelism is no one in our just surviving institutions has the authority to boot out another for their beliefs; appalling as they may seem. The institutions lack it, and its because our heritage feared authority more than it feared wrong belief. Please, lets get back to evangelizing that!


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Amazon.com: Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy: Robert A. Sirico

An excellent book for Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committees.

The Left has seized on our economic troubles as an excuse to “blame the rich guy” and paint a picture of capitalism and the free market as selfish, greedy, and cruel. Democrats in Congress and “Occupy” protesters across the country assert that the free market is not only unforgiving, it’s morally corrupt. According to President Obama and his allies, only by allowing the government to heavily control and regulate business and by redistributing the wealth can we ensure fairness and compassion.

Exactly the opposite is true, says Father Robert A. Sirico in his thought–provoking new book, The Moral Case for a Free Economy. Father Sirico argues that a free economy actually promotes charity, selflessness, and kindness. And in The Moral Case for a Free Economy, he shows why free-market capitalism is not only the best way to ensure individual success and national prosperity but is also the surest route to a moral and socially–just society. In The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Father Sirico shows:Why we can’t have freedom without a free economy and why the best way to help the poor is to a start a business. Why charity works—but welfare doesn’t. How Father Sirico himself converted from being a leftist colleague of Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden to recognizing the merits of a free economy. In this heated presidential election year, the Left will argue that capitalism may produce winners, but it is cruel and unfair. But as Sirico proves in The Moral Case for a Free Economy, capitalism does not simply provide opportunity for material success, but it ensures a more ethical and moral society as well.

Amazon.com: Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy (9781596983250): Robert A. Sirico: Books

Future tense, X: The fourth revolution by James Piereson - The New Criterion

Future tense, X: The fourth revolution by James Piereson - The New Criterion

The concluding paragraph,

Many analysts expect President Obama to be reelected this November. Perhaps the odds favor him. After all, it is difficult to unseat an incumbent. Yet, the economy is still weak, his policies have not succeeded in turning it around, and he is not widely popular. No matter how it turns out, this year’s presidential election is likely to sharpen, rather than to resolve, political divisions in the United States. Despite all this, President Obama is unshaken in his presumption that he is a herald of a new era, a revolutionary on the models of Jefferson, Lincoln, and FDR. But is it possible that he will instead turn out to be something much different, a modern day Adams, Buchanan, or Hoover—that is, the last representative of a disintegrating order? Such a denouement is not only possible but, in view of our situation, more and more likely.
It's a revolution all right, and I'm betting Obama jones Adams, Buchanan, and Hoover.  This year, or in another four.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Three killed and 25 others wounded in city violence - Chicago Sun-Times

Chicago’s Butcher’s Bill for the weekend of 6/2-3/2012

Killed were:

— Jermaine Arnold, 26, received multiple fatal shots on the 600 block of East 89th. Arnold’s home also was on the same street. Police said the shooting might be gang-related.

— Jamal Lockett, 16, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest Saturday afternoon in the 7300 block of South Coles.

— Andre Brown, 33, was found dead Saturday night in the 1100 block of North Keystone. Brown lived in the 900 block of North Keeler.

Three killed and 25 others wounded in city violence - Chicago Sun-Times

RealClearReligion - Blackballing Nat Hentoff

RCR on Hentoff’s humanist conversion to pro-life,

Hentoff's liberal friends didn't appreciate his conversion: "They were saying, 'What's the big fuss about? If the parents had known she was going to come in this way, they would have had an abortion. So why don't you consider it a late abortion and go on to something else? Here were liberals, decent people, fully convinced themselves that they were for individual rights and liberties but willing to send into eternity these infants because they were imperfect, inconvenient, costly. I saw the same attitude on the part of the same kinds of people toward abortion, and I thought it was pretty horrifying."

The reaction from America's corrupt fourth estate was instant. Hentoff, a Guggenheim fellow and author of dozens of books, was a pariah. Several of his colleagues at the Village Voice, which had run his column since the 1950s, stopped talking to him. When the National Press Foundation wanted to give him a lifetime achievement award, there was a bitter debate amongst members whether Hentoff should even be honored (he was). Then they stopped running his columns. You heard his name less and less. In December 2008, the Village Voice officially let him go.

RealClearReligion - Blackballing Nat Hentoff

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Voter Intimidation in Madison, Wisconsin

Voter Intimidation in Madison, Wisconsin

Well, you can kiss the votes on these list goodbye.  What a dumb move.

Single motherhood's rise an economic disaster for women - latimes.com

Disaster is right.  I suspect the explaination of much of our growing income disparity is right here.

The single-mother revolution has been an economic catastrophe for women. Poverty remains relatively rare among married couples with children; the U.S. census puts only 8.8% of them in that category, up from 6.7% since the start of the Great Recession. But more than 40% of single-mother families are poor, up from 37% before the downturn. In the bottom quintile of earnings, most households are single people, many of them elderly. But of the two-fifths of bottom-quintile households that are families, 83% are headed by single mothers. The Brookings Institution's Isabel Sawhill calculates that virtually all the increase in child poverty in the United States since the 1970s would vanish if parents still married at 1970 rates.

Single motherhood's rise an economic disaster for women - latimes.com

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Full Ahmadinejad - Mousavi Debate [English]

I haven't watched it all. Glad to see Mousavi still with us much less debating Ahmadinejad.


The appalling truth about the UN observers in Syria « Inside Arab Spring

So much for the UN’s help,

Today a UN diplomat told me the appalling truth about the UN Observation Mission in Syria. The facts are based on direct information from observers on the ground. It is clear that, while some observers are doing a great job risking their life and even pay missions on their own expenses, most of the official UN observers are doing as good as nothing at all, as they are underpaid, too scared and too few.

The 300 UN observers are in reality with 270. They were quickly picked from several UN institutions and departments. A great lot of them do not speak English and only a few speak Arabic, which makes communication with the local people as good as impossible. As they were picked very quickly, almost none of the observers have any knowledge about Syria at all. They are not trained and have no experience whatsoever with the situation there brought in. That’s why most of them are terribly scared.

The daily allowance the observers receive is ridiculously low, being 230 dollars. One room in the safe Damascene hotel they all stay in costs 150 dollars a day. The problem is that with the other 80 dollars, they not only have to eat but pay for what they need to do their job. This is of course far from sufficient. If they want to do a mission to one of the Syrian cities, they have to pay the expenses. That is why only hundred of the 270 observers are actually doing observation missions, paying the expenses out of their own pocket. The other 170 just stay in the hotel, probably reading their newspaper, go for a swim or at best take a little walk in the neighbourhood. From these hundred active observers, only very few go to ‘far away places’ as it is too expensive.

The appalling truth about the UN observers in Syria « Inside Arab Spring