Friday, September 12, 2014
More Palestinian insanity
Islam appears to rot the brain
Last week, Palestinian and Israeli boys met in southern Israel for a football match organized by Israel’s Peres Center for Peace. The Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reprinted an article from Agence France-Presse that described the match and the initiative in a positive light.
Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), however, exposed that the news of the joint sports activity with “the Zionist enemy” was not well received by the Fatah-controlled PA and Fatah party leaders.
In reaction to the friendly game, Jibril Rajoub, Deputy Secretary of Fatah’s Central Committee and head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, stated: “Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity.”
In a Facebook post, Rajoub stated that “for awhile now the Palestinian sports leadership and community – the Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, the Palestinian Olympic Committee and the Palestinian Football Association – have opposed such activities,” specifying that “normalization in sports with the Zionist occupation is a crime.” He demanded that “all individuals and institutions distance themselves from such activities, especially because their recurrence would arouse disgust and aversion towards all members of the [Palestinian] sports community.”
‘An Unpatriotic and Immoral Act’
Others called for an investigation and for the prosecution of the Palestinian organizers who agreed to the game with the Israelis. Denouncing the match as “a crime and an unpatriotic and immoral act,” Palestinian Olympic Committee member Abd Al-Salam Haniyeh demanded that Rajoub “immediately interrogate the organizers of the match, settle the account with them and prosecute them on charges of serious treason against the blood of the Martyrs [who died in the Gaza war] and violation of the decisions made by the Palestinian sports community’s leadership,” independent Palestinian news agency Sama reported earlier this month.
The National Committee against Normalization in Palestine “condemned the participation of children from the West Bank in a football match between Palestinian and Israeli children” and “called on the heads of the Palestinian sports [community] and the Palestinian leadership to discover who is behind this ‘normalization match.’”
The Committee’s secretary-general, Jihad Uweida, expressed “surprise” and “astonishment” that Palestinians would “do Israel a free service” by participating in such an event at a time when the National Committee against Normalization in Palestine “is conducting an international campaign for expelling Israeli sports from the international sports system, and after international sports organizations expressed their intention of boycotting this entity [Israel].”
‘An Individual Act, Conceived by Sick Souls’
The leadership of Fatah’s branch in Yatta, the hometown of the boys participating in the match, held “an urgent meeting to discuss the ramifications of the normalization matches” and “strongly condemned” the event. Fatah branch secretary Dr. Kamal Makhamreh said that the participation in the match “was an individual act, conceived by sick souls that agreed to be humiliated for a handful of money,” and he “urged the residents to supervise their children and distance them from these kinds of activities, which damage our cause.”
Another Fatah official, the Yatta branch spokesperson, Ma’an news agency reported that Muhammad Al-Birawi, said that Fatah “has demanded that the [Palestinian] Security Forces settle the account with these reckless people (i.e., the Palestinian organizers of the event).”
This is not the first time PA and Fatah leaders have opposed what they refer to as “normalization” with Israel in sports. In a video publicized by Palestinian Media Watch last year, Jibril Rajoub stated that he would fire any Palestinian sportsman who engages in “normalization” with Israel.
Children raised by married parents 'are better behaved'
Children raised in stable marital homes are better behaved than classmates brought up by unmarried parents, according to a major government-backed study.
An analysis of 3,000 children from the early years to the age of 16 has shown those with married parents are more confident, kind and responsible while showing lower levels of anti-social attitudes and hyperactivity.
The study, led by academics from Oxford and the University of London, said there was a “significant tendency” for poorer behaviour management among children from single-parent families and those brought up by unmarried mothers and fathers.
Researchers said it suggested married parents were able to provide a more stable domestic environment to nurture children’s social attitudes.
It also emerged that pupils from large families – three or more siblings – were worse behaved than only children.
Attending nurseries in the early years also had a positive overall impact on later GCSE results, it was revealed.
The disclosure was made in a long-term study – launched in 1997 – that tracks the impact of early education, gender, ethnicity, family background and social class on exam grades and behaviour.
In all, children who attended pre-school for more than two years before the age of five scored 51 more GCSE points than peers who missed out on nursery altogether – the equivalent of eight grade Bs rather than eight Cs.
Children spending at least a small amount of time in pre-school were also expected to earn an estimated £27,000 more in lifetime earnings than those who had no nursery experience, it emerged.
But researchers said “family influences” and financial income were the “strongest predicators of exam success” at all key stages of children’s education – from five to the age of 16.
Pupils whose parents had university degrees earned 141 total GCSE points more than students whose parents had no qualifications at all – almost three times the effect of pre-school education.
The study – part of the Effective Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education project – also found that “family factors influenced behaviour and dispositions as well as attainment”.
As well as charting exam outcomes, the study was based on a “pupil profile” carried out by teachers when children turned 16.
This covered children's “self-regulation” (traits such as confidence, taking responsibility and showing leadership) as well as “pro-social behaviour” (the ability to share, apologise, display sympathy and be kind to younger children). The survey also covered “hyperactivity” and “anti-social behaviour”.
It said parents’ socio-economic status had a major bearing on pupils’ behaviour but added: “The marital status of parents in the early years, when children were first recruited to the study, was also a significant predictor of changes in self-regulation and pro-social behaviour during secondary education.
“Single parent status also predicted increases in hyperactivity in adolescence and anti-social behaviour. Students in lone parent families showed small but statistically significant increases in both negative behaviours and decreases in both positive behaviours.
“In addition, students of parents who were living with their partner but unmarried in the early years were found to show small decreases in self-regulation and pro-social behaviour and an increase in hyperactivity.”
Academics plotted the effect of various characteristics and the effect they had on behaviour.
In terms of “self-regulation”, researchers said that being raised by unskilled parents had the biggest effect (-0.61) compared with those with professional parents.
Boys’ deviation from girls was worth -0.43, the effect of being from a single-parent household was -0.25 and being raised in a large family resulted in deviation of -0.22. Being summer-born compared with an autumn birthday also had an effect of -0.17.
Edward Melhuish, professor of human development at Birkbeck, University of London, said: “The extra support from living in a stable marital home tends to lead to a better environment over the long term for the child."
The Coalition said the findings reinforced policies designed to encourage more parents to enrol their children in some form of childcare. Currently, all three and four-year-olds can receive 15 hours a week free early education, while the entitlement is extended to the poorest two-year-olds.
Sam Gyimah, the Childcare Minister, said: “Before they have even worn their school uniform for the first time, a child’s life chances are being decided. Early education not only sets a child off on the right foot at school but, as this extensive research shows, has effects that last right into the workplace.
“No child should start school behind their peers.”
There They Go Again- The Tenured Peace Processors
The Gaza war has come to a temporary lull, and as surely as day follows night, the peace processors are busy recycling the same old prescriptives for peace between the Arabs and Israel. They will demand suicidal territorial withdrawals from Israel in exchange for "recognition of Israel's "right to exist."
Simply defined it is as follows: In order to have its right to exist acknowledged, Israel must cease to exist.
No other nation in the world is given this choice.
Before World War 11, a significant portion of the global population lived under the sovereignty of European colonial powers including Palestinian Jews. At the conclusion of the war, decolonization accelerated and from 1945 to the 1980s scores of nations in Asia and Africa acquired sovereignty.
Concomitantly, those nations joined the United Nations which had 35 member states in 1946, grew to 127 members by 1970 and at present has 193 member states. Independent studies show that only 87 nations, roughly 45 % of those member states are real democracies.
Some former colonies retained some of the infrastructure and economic institutions of their former colonizers, but most remained suspicious and hostile to European-style government, political ideas, and economic institutions.
The outcome of independence has been catastrophic in Africa. Of the 55 nations of the African Union (Morocco, a former colony of France is not a member) only a handful, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Benin, Ghana, Mauritania and Senegal have achieved any real semblance of freedom and stability according to Freedom House ratings for 2014
Unfortunately, for the millions of decent and hapless people of that continent, elected or chosen leaders who offered so much hope of "one man-one vote" rule became crooks with their hands in the national till or hands soaked in the blood of their countrymen. Famine, epidemics, tribal wars, massacres, coups and jihads against innocent civilians have plagued the continent. Millions have died and millions live in abject fear and misery. Celebrities come and go and wring their hands, get their photo ops and then move on. A racist media and an indolent and hypocritical Congressional Black Caucus ignore their plight.
In Asia, during the same period (1946- 1981) the Philippines, Israel, India and Pakistan, Burma, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) Indonesia and Malaysia( originally a federation of North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore. Singapore was expelled and is now a sovereign City State) Cambodia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates, gained their independence and are all members of the United Nations.
The vast majority of those nations are repressive at best and brutal tyrannies at worst. Among the Muslim nations, oppression of women, dissidents and harsh Sharia laws are the norm. Taiwan, a democracy, was expelled by the United Nations to accommodate The Republic of China in 1971, and their bid to join the United Nations as an independent nation was formally rejected in 2007. They remain an economically stable democracy without the "benefits" of UN membership.
Israel India and the Philippines are the only democracies in the post-colonial nations of Asia. And, in fact, it can be argued that of all nations which achieved in dependence in those decades, Israel is the most successful western type democracy- with highly advanced scientific , academic, civil rights, and cultural institutions that rival those of any in the West.
Nonetheless, assorted despots and tyrants are now a majority of the member states in the United Nations and their emissaries, joined even by those diplomats from those relatively free African nations, bash Israel with metronomic regularity, joined from stage left by a chorus of European pundits and "statesmen." The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006 and as of 2013 had more resolutions condemning Israel than any on the rest of the world combined. It is mind boggling.
Israel is the only, repeat, only member nation whose sovereignty is challenged. Even more egregious is the fact that only Israel, repeat, only Israel is asked to accept "recognition of its right to exist" as a negotiable item.
Even when supporters and friends of Israel tally up the concessions that Israel must make- territorial surrender that mounts to self- destruction- they list "recognition of its right to exist" as an Arab concession.
And the most perverse outcome of all the so-called negotiations is that even Israel's putative leaders have been brainwashed to accept those perverse terms from their enemies instead of categorically rejecting them.
That is really something to ponder.
Joel Osteen and his wife are heretics, and that’s why America loves them
Joel Osteen is only a pastor because anyone can call themselves a pastor these days, and his church is only a church because anything can call itself a church these days. I happen to be of the old fashioned school of thought that believes a pastor should be, in some ways, distinguishable from Tony Robbins or Oprah, and a church should be, in some ways, distinguishable from a basketball arena on game day. I’m not saying that all churches need to be adorned with stained glass windows and incense (although I’m a fan of both), but I am saying that maybe all churches should have, like, a cross or something somewhere, maybe. God forbid a house of worship be arranged in such a way as to make it clear that we are specifically worshipping Jesus Christ and not the smiley fellow on stage giving the vaguely spiritual pep talk.
In the clip, Mrs. Osteen implores the audience to “realize that when we obey God, we’re not doing it for God… we’re doing it for ourselves.” As her proud husband nods approvingly, Osteen continues. “Do good for your own self. Do it because God wants you to be happy. When you come to church, when you worship Him, you’re not doing it for God, really — you’re doing it for yourself, because that’s what makes God happy. Amen?”
Amen! What wonderful blasphemy! Worship God for yourself. Do good works for yourself. Take up your cross, suffer the slings and arrows of the Enemy, and die with Christ for yourself. (OK, she didn’t say that last part, but only because the Osteens have a strict “don’t talk about Jesus” preaching policy).
In more primitive times they burned heretics at the stake. Now we greet the blasphemers with applause and multi-million dollar book deals. I’m not sure if the latter response is any more enlightened than the former, but both are wrong.
This is obviously an indefensible teaching, and one that does not require more “context” to be understood. “Do good for your own self.” A definitive, complete, profoundly disordered statement. Rooted in the Idolatry of Self, it betrays a pagan attitude which positions the Self as the Ultimate Good, the Final Purpose. All things — even God Himself — must revolve around the great and powerful Me. In the Osteens’ version of things, God exists to serve us, just as we exist to serve ourselves. You act virtuously for your own sake, because it brings you happiness.
Never mind what Christ said in Matthew, when He told us to “let our light shine before others, so that they may see our good works and give glory to our Father who is in heaven.” Here, He seems to state that we act with righteousness and virtue in order to glorify God, but Mrs. Osteen thinks that Jesus is complicating the equation. Just shine your light for your own sake. Forget about God. Keep it simple, folks.
And even when you pay honor and homage to the Lord — do it because it makes you feel good. Your feelings are the end all and be all. Again, we are a far cry from what Scripture has to say on the matter, where Paul exhorts us to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our spiritual worship.” [Romans 12:1]
Become living sacrifices. Be holy and acceptable to God, your Master. One would assume that we ought to still prostrate and humble ourselves before the King, even if it doesn’t always necessarily fill us with pleasurable, fun feelings.
But we would be wrong, according to the Osteens. God is a lenient and permissive Father who would never ask such a cumbersome thing of his children. Instead, He spoils us with treats and toys, and wants only for us to always be fat and happy all the time, no matter what. If a child is unhappy, or lacks in certain Earthly pleasures — like, say, the ten million dollar mansion where the pastors Osteen currently reside — then clearly that son or daughter has failed as a Christian and a human being.
In the “Prosperity Gospel” — the theological school of thought where Osteen and his ilk concocted their perverse interpretation of Christianity — God rewards us with material wealth and temporal happiness. Those who have neither just need to believe more and pray harder.
Sorry, I’m being unfair. Osteen says that if you want to be rich you have to go beyond pure belief; you have to speak it into existence. From Your Best Life Now: “If you want success, if you want wisdom, if you want to be prosperous and healthy, you’re going to have to do more than meditate and believe; you must boldly declare words of faith and victory over yourself and your family.” God will make you prosperous if only you “declare words of victory.”
“I’m a winner! Now give me money!” Like that? Does that work? But I’m still not rich. What’s going on here?
This is an interesting perspective, to be sure, especially considering that Americans live in relative wealth and luxury even though we are far from the most Biblically faithful people on the planet. In the Middle East there are millions of Christians who believe deeply and, rather than wealth and health, they are rewarded with torture and decapitation. In Central America and Africa you will find scores of men and women who are on fire with the faith, yet toiling through a harsh and painful drudgery of an existence. What does Osteen’s philosophy say about these people? “Hey Ethiopian, maybe you wouldn’t be living in that shack and drinking stagnant water while you slowly starve to death if only you declared words of victory!”
Although these megachurch prosperity preachers might hop on their private jets and hand out books and t-shirts in some of these desolate, destitute, hellish regions of the world, it’s no wonder that their message doesn’t exactly resonate there. Only western Christians could be so soft, so silly as to eagerly buy into the empty platitudes of false teachers such as these.
Joel Osteen has no answers for those who truly suffer. He can spew inane slogans like, “if you have a big challenge today, that just means you have a big destiny!” (actual quote), but he can’t offer any real hope to the tired, the poor, the sick, the persecuted, the lonely, the dying. He gives them a friendly slap on the back and tells them to pick their chin up because it will all get better, but then he goes home to his castle and things don’t get better — not in this life, anyway. The sick get sicker, the persecuted are seized, arrested, and beaten, the tired find no rest, the poor lose even what little they had, the dying die, the suffering suffer. This is the reality for most of the people on this Earth, and the Osteen Doctrine sounds like nonsense in the face of it.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.