Australia: Outrageous triumph of ideology over reality and custom
Spanking costs dad his daughter
A man who smacked his five-year-old daughter with a belt after she stole money has been fined $1000 and had her removed from his custody. The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty to the aggravated assault charge in Darwin Magistrates Court yesterday. The court heard he took a black leather belt from his bedroom, folded it over and hit the girl four times on the bottom with it when she would not tell him where she got the money from. She was walking strangely to stop the $2.10 in coins making a noise in her pocket after the man picked her up from school last month.
The court heard the girl and her father had a "wonderful" relationship. The court was also told the man had two older sons who lived with him at the time, he had recently separated from his partner, and was under stress at work. The girl is now living with a foster carer interstate.
In sentencing the man, magistrate Greg Cavanagh said the assault of the girl was "outrageous". "The trust that is given to adults and to fathers to bring up and nurture their young babies is a very precious thing indeed - the most precious responsibility and trust you'll ever have," he said. "You have abused that trust and you have abused your love of her by giving her a beating."
Mr Cavanagh said that even if the man had been brought up with similar punishments, society no longer accepted it. "In this modern age, physical punishment of children is seen to be barbaric," he said. "I'll bet you she screamed and cried when you did this to her."
The man wiped away tears as Mr Cavanagh sentenced him. He was convicted and fined $1000.
A politician instructs a Cardinal on matters of faith and morals
Beware sarcasm below. The "body" referred to below is the totality of adherents to Catholicism
Chicago’s Francis Cardinal George is probably the brainiest bishop ever appointed on these shores. He ranges easily over the whole Catholic tradition, from its earliest days to the very latest developments in modern Catholic thought. In addition, he has a Ph.D. from Tulane University, where he specialized in American philosophy – figures like James, Royce, and Peirce. The good cardinal also possesses a deep understanding of American culture and has made a special point of studying the difficult questions involved in enculturation of the faith.
In short, he is a man of considerable savoir faire, and also currently serves as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He made a passing reference at a conference last week about the “extreme embarrassment” caused by the invitation of President Obama to Notre Dame. Lots of attention has been paid to that invitation, but very little to the often quite ugly reaction by Catholics themselves to Church leaders who have spoken out, as happened after the cardinal’s casual remark. That lack of attention is unfortunate because thereby hangs an important tale.
It’s no secret that about two-thirds of American Catholics are such mostly in name only. Quite apart from questions of belief, they are almost entirely non-practicing. Some who are marginally more active seem to have learned about faith and morals from what the late comic Flip Wilson used to call the Church of What’s Happening Now, rather than from the Church of Rome or even Jesus Himself.
If you think I’m exaggerating, take a brief look at Kerry Kennedy’s Being Catholic Now, a highly touted book which, in a series of interviews with American Catholics, generally gives the impression that Jesus was a postmodern American. And that the hierarchy has been trying to keep us from finding out. She, too, is being honored this spring at several Catholic universities.
This is Holy Week, a time when we commemorate our Lord’s passion and death, about which the Church has always invoked the passage from Isaiah, “many were astonished at him – his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men.” Some Catholics, not content to leave poor Jesus or His bishops in peace two millennia later, are still at the old job of disfiguring his image.
In the past few days, Cardinal George had to endure theological instruction from William M. Daley – a businessman and political operative and, yes, a member of that famous Chicago Daley clan, who, like the Kennedys of Massachusetts, have sacrificed so much to spread a better public understanding of Catholicism in our land. Writing in The Chicago Tribune late last week under the headline “Cardinal George, you’re dividing your church,” this tireless worker in the vineyard issued a public reprimand: “I believe that Cardinal George’s stand is an embarrassment to Chicago Catholics, and furthers the divide between the church, its members and the rest of America.”
Since a Chicago Daley believes such a thing, how can the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference and those bishops, who have been trained in Catholic theology and issued a considered statement about honoring culture-of-death politicians, divide the body over matters of faith and morals?
Indeed, Daley points out, in case there was any doubt, that the cardinal and American bishops, in issuing such a restriction, show a “very narrow view of what constitutes morality.” Banning pro-abortion speakers at universities is an attempt to assure that “the students at Catholic universities would hear only from other Catholics – and, even then, only from those who agree with church doctrine on every subject.” Given the closed-minded orthodoxy that reigns at Notre Dame and other Catholic institutions in America, you can appreciate Daley’s point.
And then there’s the cardinal’s greatest sin: mixing religion with politics in commenting on a speaker at a Catholic university. Daley becomes so emotional at this point that he wanders off into a rhetorical thicket from which he emerges with the salutary reminder that America is not a theocracy.
As they say, you cannot make this stuff up.
It’s no great surprise when a political partisan himself divides the body in this way. Only a very simple soul could wander into such deep waters without realizing he’s way in over his head. What is truly astounding, however, is the number of people who wrote in to agree with Daley. Such people have been catechized by the culture to tell you, as if it has been always and everywhere held beyond any dispute, that God is love and therefore accepts everything that a postmodern American progressive accepts – though He is getting really tired of bishops and other Catholics who repeat His actual teachings.
One self-promoting commentator, who shall not get further publicity here, claimed that the reaction of Cardinal George and the other bishops has “more than amply shown how out of touch the bishops are with the culture in which they live.” If so, I say: may their tribe increase.
If Catholicism is to be measured – indeed, all but defined – by our current culture, then what is the point of it, for Catholics or anyone else? If you will not be part of the body, fine. But let’s not confuse the Church with those whose Sunday morning devotion is The New York Times.
Regrettable as such divisions may be for both the Church and the nation, we belong to a Church whose founder drew boundaries and once even said: “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
It’s not something, pace William M. Daley and many others, the Church hierarchy merely made up. No, you can actually look it up.
Ending Israel's conditional legitimacy
In the chanceries of Europe, the die has apparently been cast. The time has come to launch an all-out diplomatic war against Israel. That is, the time has come to begin to unravel EU acceptance of Israel's right to exist.
Last Friday, in anticipation of the swearing in of the new Netanyahu government, EU foreign ministers met in Prague and discussed how they would stick it to the Jews. According to media reports, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided that they will freeze the process of upgrading EU relations with Israel until Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explicitly commits his government to establishing a Palestinian state and accepts that the only legitimate policy an Israeli government can have is the so-called "two-state solution."
Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, reportedly summed up the new approach saying, "There won't be any progress in relations between Israel and the European Union until the Israeli government clarifies its stance on the creation of a Palestinian state." On an operational level, the assembled ministers and diplomats decided to cancel the Israel-EU summit now scheduled for late May until Israel has bowed to Europe's demand.
Europe's decision to launch a preemptive strike against the Netanyahu government even before it was sworn into office on Tuesday came against the backdrop of its growing enthusiasm for opening formal ties with Hamas. As The Jerusalem Post reported on Thursday, Europe's diplomatic courtship of the Iranian-sponsored genocidal terror group is being spearheaded by Sweden and Switzerland. But they are far from alone.
Having authorized the opening of talks with Hizbullah, Britain, under Foreign Secretary David Miliband, has indicated support for a Hamas-dominated Hamas-Fatah "unity government" in the Palestinian Authority. France is reportedly using its involvement in the attempts to secure the release of Israeli hostage Gilad Schalit from his Hamas-controlled captors to advance its own bilateral ties to the jihadist group. At last Friday's meeting, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht reportedly also called for Europe to open ties with Hamas.
In its move to isolate Israel - and indeed to treat the only free country in the Middle East as if it is morally and politically inferior to Hamas - the EU reportedly believes that it is acting in concert with the Obama administration.
Since entering office, and increasingly in recent weeks, the Obama administration has been both directly and indirectly signaling that it will adopt a hostile stance toward Netanyahu and his government. Unnamed Democratic congressional and administration sources have been warning Israel through the media that the administration does not accept the Israeli voters' right to set a new agenda for the incoming government that rejects the Olmert-Livni government's subordination of Israel's national interests to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
The administration itself has stated through both White House and State Department spokesmen that it is completely committed to the swift establishment of a Palestinian state - regardless of Israel's position on the issue.
Other global policy-shapers have also weighed in. Former British prime minister and current Quartet Middle East mediator Tony Blair has been making daily statements warning of a breach with Israel if the Netanyahu government doesn't fall in line. On Wednesday, for instance, Blair threatened, "There is no alternative to a two-state solution, except the one-state solution. And if there is a one-state solution, there's going to be a big fight."
The Palestinians are enjoying the ride. Last Saturday, Fatah negotiator Saeb Erekat published an op-ed in The Washington Post where he portrayed Netanyahu as more radical than Hamas, and demanded that the US show that it is a true "honest broker" by treating Israel and Palestinian terrorists as moral, political and strategic equals.
Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas has also piled on, announcing that he will boycott the Netanyahu government until it falls into line.
Perhaps the most noteworthy aspect of the international hysteria over the Netanyahu government is its timing. The calls for Israel's international isolation, the decision to treat Israel as a beyond-the-pale-pariah-nation far worse than Hamas, emerged even before the Netanyahu government was sworn into office. How did this foul state of affairs come about? Why is the Middle East's only democracy being treated worse than North Korea, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Hamas and Hizbullah?
THE RESPONSIBILITY for this horrendous state of affairs belongs mainly with Netanyahu's predecessors - former prime minister Ehud Olmert and opposition leader Tzipi Livni. During their tenures in office, Olmert and Livni effectively embraced Israel's enemies' view that unlike the PLO and even Hamas, Israel has no independent right to exist. Indeed, not only did they accept that view, they turned it into the official policy of the government.
Around the time that prime minister Ariel Sharon was felled by a stroke in January 2006, Olmert and Livni began asserting that Israel's very legitimacy is dependent on the rapid establishment of a Palestinian state. For instance, in her speech at the Herzliya conference in January 2006, Livni stated outright that until and unless a Palestinian state is carved out of land currently controlled by Israel, the Jewish state cannot expect for the world to accept its right to exist. Olmert made this point explicitly in a series of media interviews in recent months.
Livni maintained her allegiance to the view that a Palestinian state is more legitimate than Israel when during coalition talks with Netanyahu she stipulated that like the EU and the PLO, she would only accept the legitimacy of the Netanyahu government, and so agree to serve in it, if it accepted the two-state paradigm.
To fully understand the significance of what Livni and Olmert have done, it is necessary to understand the source of the phrase "two-state solution."
The term was created by the PLO. When the PLO discussed the issue, the question under debate was not whether or not to build a Palestinian state, but whether or not to accept the existence of a Jewish state. That is, the debate over whether to accept a "one-state solution" or a "two-state solution" did not revolve around the establishment of a Palestinian state - which would exist no matter what. At issue was whether to accept the existence of Israel. For the Palestinians then, and for supporters of the two-state paradigm like Blair and his European and American cohorts, it is Israel's existence, not the existence of the Palestinian state, that is conditional.
Israel embarked on the road toward accepting the PLO's position when it accepted the legitimacy of the PLO with the launch of the Oslo peace process in 1993. The first time Israel explicitly and formally accepted the establishment of a Palestinian state, however, came only in 2004, with the Sharon government's qualified acceptance of the Middle East Quartet's so-called road map plan for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
That acceptance was not unconditional. As both the government's reservations and Sharon's repeated statements made clear, Israel would only accept the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state after the Palestinian Authority dismantled all terror groups operating in Palestinian society including its own Fatah terror groups. That is, for the Sharon government, it was the Palestinian state, not the Jewish state, whose legitimacy was contingent on its actions.
The innovation of the Olmert-Livni government was to discard this position. In November 2007, Olmert and Livni enthusiastically signed on to the Annapolis formula for Palestinian statehood, which itself was nothing more than a regurgitation of the PLO's position. Then-US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice extolled the Annapolis formula specifically because it removed the requirement that the Palestinians dismantle all terror groups operating in their territory before receiving statehood. That is, she applauded the fact that at Annapolis, the goal of fostering peaceful coexistence between the Palestinians and Israel was supplanted by the establishment of a Palestinian state as the aim of the so-called peace process.
By adopting the so-called the Annapolis "two-state" platform then, the Olmert-Livni government accepted the PLO's position that it is Israel, not the PLO and its sister terror groups, whose legitimacy is contingent on its behavior. It is not the PLO that needs to quit the terror business in order to be acceptable. Israel needs to accept the PLO - and for that matter Hamas - regardless of their behavior if it wishes for anyone to even consider recognizing it.
DUE TO the Olmert-Livni government's unconditional acceptance of the PLO's position, today conditional Israeli acceptance of the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state, along the lines of the Sharon government's conditional acceptance of the road map, is no longer sufficient. Now, as Europe, the US and regional actors are all making clear, Israel must accept that its own right to exist is contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state - regardless of its character or the identity of the Palestinian leadership. That is, if Israel doesn't accept the legitimacy of a Hamas or Fatah-ruled Palestinian terror state in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and Gaza, then it has no right to exist.
This reality, of course, was made clear by the outcry that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's official denunciation of the Annapolis formula on Wednesday induced. Lieberman, after all, did not say anything particularly anti-Palestinian. Indeed, he made clear that the Netanyahu government remains committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
All Lieberman said was that the Netanyahu government will not accept a Palestinian terror state. That is, all he said was that Israel's support for Palestinian statehood is contingent on Palestinian behavior. Additionally, Lieberman correctly pointed out that Israel's own international position has been harmed rather than advanced by its willingness to compromise its positions and accept those of its Palestinian adversaries.
What the outcry at Lieberman's remarks - from both Livni and her domestic supporters, and the international community - makes clear is that it will be exceedingly difficult for the Netanyahu government to walk away from the anti-Israel positions adopted by its immediate predecessor. But it also shows how urgently those positions need to be rejected.
For the past 16 years, from Israel's first acceptance of the PLO as a legitimate actor to Israel's acceptance of the PLO's position that it is the Jewish state rather than the Palestinian state whose legitimacy is conditional, Israel's international position has become ever more tenuous as prospects for peace have become ever more remote. The Netanyahu government was elected to put an end to this disastrous trend. It is heartening to see that straight out of the starting gate, it is working to accomplish this essential task.
The Bush Islamic Doctrine
We were introduced the power of political Islam on September 11, 2001. For a few people 9/11 was a declaration of war against our civilization and those people have been struggling against Islam. It is time to stop and ask: How are we doing? We are losing on every front.
A definition: Kafirs are the non-Muslims who are fighting against Islam. Dhimmis are the apologists for Islam—the media, Obama, George Bush, the professors, preachers, priests, politicians, pundits and rabbis.
Why are the kafirs losing? Because Islam is so strong? No, because we are waging war with a strategy that is destined to fail. We are losing because we using a losing strategy. George Bush planted the seeds of our strategy when he declared that 9/11 was an act of terrorists and he laid out the strategy that would lead to our cultural self-destruction. Here is the Bush Islamic doctrine:
· Islam is a religion similar to Christianity. Christians, Jews and Muslims all worship the same god.
· The problem is terrorism, not Islam, hence, “The War on Terror.”
· There are moderate Muslims and a few extremist Muslims.
· A good Muslim means that Islam is good.
· “Radicals” cause the violence.
· Islam is found in the Koran.
· The “bad stuff” in the Koran is just how it is interpreted.
· Good Muslims will reform the “terrorists.”
Not a single item is true. Each and every one is false and has no basis in Islamic doctrine. But everybody bought it. Why? For the same reason that Bush said it. It was the academic doctrine of Islam that the Ivy League taught. The media, professors, preachers, priests, politicians, pundits and rabbis had all been taught the same doctrine to interpret Islam. The Bush doctrine is not only unquestioned, but now has achieved the status of revealed truth. To deny it is to be a bigot.
So Bush did not create the doctrine, he was just a spokesman for the elites. There is a great irony in calling it the Bush doctrine, since more progressives/liberals/Leftists/Democrats believe it than do conservatives. Boxer, Reid, Pelosi and Obama are advocates of the Bush doctrine.
Let’s see how the Bush doctrine works to prevent actual learning about the truth of Islam. Take the jihad in Mumbai, India where several Jews and hundreds of Hindus were injured and murdered. The words “Islam” and “Muslims” were barely mentioned by the media. The problem was terrorism, not jihad. The dhimmis did not want to malign the moderate Muslims by bringing up the Islam angle. It was just a few radicals who had highjacked Islam who attacked the kafirs in Mumbai.
How many mindless (mindless on the part of the Christians and Jews) interfaith dialogues have we seen? Religious leaders all get on stage and go on about how they worship the same god. Not one of these so-called Christian and Jewish leaders has actually read the Koran. It is the Koran that defines Allah and if you don’t know what is in it, you don’t know anything about Allah. But not to worry. The Bush doctrine holds it to be true and that is enough. What religious leader has had the time over the last eight years to read the Koran or the life of Mohammed? They have had plenty of time, but they don’t need to do so; they are comforted by the lies of the Bush doctrine.
The Cork in the Bottle
Let’s say that you are talking to a dhimmi and you bring up some evil of Islam. What do they say?
· Christians did bad things, too.
· There is violence in the Bible, too.
· They (jihadis) are some fundamentalist/radical types. All fundamentalists are bad. Most Muslims are just like everybody else.
· The ultimate mind cork: “I know this Muslim at work. He is nice. Subtext: I can’t hear you.” (A good Muslim means that Islam is good.)
Every thrust is parried with the Bush doctrine of Islam. The Bush doctrine is the cork in the bottle. Every time we try to pour some wine of truth into a dhimmi’s head, it is corked by the Bush doctrine.
And how have we responded to the Bush Islamic doctrine? For the most part, we have bought the Bush terror model of Islam. We try to stuff everything into terror/jihad. Since no one likes terror/jihad, it can be condemned. But Islam is very clever. There are four kinds of jihad—sword, pen, tongue and money. If they skip the terror part and go straight to the soft jihad, then the kafirs talking about the terror/jihad approach to Islam are soon ignored. The media skips the terror/jihad now. There have been numerous jihadist events in America, but the FBI and the media never admit that Islam is involved. The worst was Mumbai, India. It was pure jihad, the attack on the Jews proved that, but Islam and the Muslims were never mentioned. No Islam here. Move right along. There is no man behind the curtain.
The terror approach bears a relationship to crying “Wolf!” After while, no one really worries about terror and the lack of it proves that Islam is good.
The major problem with dealing with “terror” is that it takes away from watching the real destructive force in America—Sharia law and the slow Islamification of our culture.
Education and Debate
When you are trying to educate someone about Islam, it helps to go over the Bush doctrine and point out that not a single statement in it is true. Up front, challenge their beliefs.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.