Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Evil Is Not A Make-Believe Concept

Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were idealists. They had quit their 9-5 jobs to become bicycling nomads. Had some interesting adventures.. Cycled all over the world. Jay wrote of their adventures and the experiences they had with the people the met and at one point he wrote the following:
“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Mr. Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.
“I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own … By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

On a mountain road in Tajikistan on the 29th of July they learned how wrong they were. Both of them, along with another pair of cyclists from Europe, met men who believe in an ideology that teaches them to kill anyone who doesn't share their beliefs.  They were run off the road and then knifed to death by followers of ISIS.

Evil is not a make-believe concept. Some ideas and belief systems are evil. 

UPDATE 21 August 2018 21:27 [Borepatch]: For more on why this philosophy make progressives vulnerable to this, and how it relates to gun control, you might want to read this.

Canada retires Lee-Enfield after more than a century of service

That has to be a record.  Man, I love my No.4.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone

Today is Robert Plant's 70th birthday.  This song won a Grammy in 2008 and the album won five Grammys in 2009, including album of the year.  It's been a long way from Led Zeppelin.


This weekend was full of chores around Castle Borepatch.  On Saturday we hung a storage shelf from the garage ceiling and reorganized the garage.  It's nice to have all the room and to have everything in its place, but then we followed up yesterday with gardening - digging big holes and planting things.  That wouldn't have been so bad except for all the rocks and construction debris in the ground that had to be dug out and removed.


Sunday, August 19, 2018

Craig Chaquico - Sacred Ground

This is a bit of an unusual choice for Sunday composer.  Craig Chaquico is a guitarist and member of the band Jefferson Starship.  While this music isn't exactly classical, but it is nice music for a Sunday morning.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Tom Jones - It'll Be Me

One of the things I love about Country music is that it's been around so long that you find some really unexpected things when you look around.  Like a boy from coal country in Wales  who became a huge heart throb star in the 1960s and then took a detour into Country music with his 1982 album Country.

Tom Jones is known for his earlier hits like It's Not Unusual.  In a sense, his version of Jerry Lee Lewis' It'll Be Me inherits much of this.  I particularly like his fringe jacket in the video here.  But this sounds unmistakably Country.  Maybe that shouldn't be a real surprise for a boy from coal country - even if it was from a land a thousand leagues away.

It'll Be Me (Songwriter: Jack Clement)
Well, if you hear somebody knocking on your door
If you see something crawling across the floor
Baby, it'll be me and I'll be looking for you 
If you see a head a-peeping from a crawdad hole
If you see somebody climbing up a telephone pole
Baby, it'll be me and I'll be looking for you 
I'm gonna look on the mountain and in the deep blue sea
Gonna search all the forests and look and look in every tree
Well, if you feel something heavy on your fishing hook
If you see a funny face in your comic book
Baby, it'll be me and I'll be looking for you

If you hear a thought calling out in the night
If you see somebody hanging from a lamp post bright
Baby, it'll be me and I'll be looking for you 
Well if you see somebody looking in all the cars
If you see a rocket ship on its way to Mars
Baby, it'll be me and I'll be looking for you

Friday, August 17, 2018

Ike Quebec - Blue and Sentimental

Born on this day in 1918.

Google's location tracking risks a huge fine

Google, which was just fined $5B by the EU for how it abuses privacy is now risking a much larger fine - 2% or 4% of revenue - due to how it, well, abuses privacy:
Privacy campaigners say Google's obsessive collection of location markers violates Europe's privacy laws - potentially exposing the Californian giant to punitive fines. 
Several privacy watchers agree that as it stands, users are misled, and can't give informed consent. That exposes the company to financial penalty under GDPR rules: which could be 2 per cent or 4 per cent of turnover. 
"Burying its stalking settings, while distracting users with a deliberately crippled 'Location history' button, isn't just deceitful - it's unlawful," campaigner Phil Booth opined. "Without proper consent or legitimate purpose, Google is breaching the GDPR rights of every EU citizen it has been tracking.
We'll see if the EU wants to make sure that there are teeth in the GDPR privacy regulation.

So just what's in the report on the Pennsylvania priests?

The Czar of Muscovy reads through it for us.  Wow.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Don't ever change, Main Stream Media

The scandal isn't just in the Catholic Church - it's also in the Media

Peter describes the Catholic Church's situation in Pennsylvania, cutting through the fog of words to the heart of the crimes:
The reality of that abuse in the hearts and minds and souls of the victims is simply indescribable.  I invite all of you to try to put yourselves in the shoes of a child as he or she (in the context of the Catholic crisis, usually he) is stripped naked, fondled, abused, raped . . . and then told, by the perpetrators - those he's been taught by his parents are spiritual authorities - that it's his fault, or that he mustn't talk about it, or that God will be angry if he doesn't allow future abuses.  That reality is so ghastly, in the mind of a child, as to defy description. [Peter's emphasis]
There is a reason that this is a crime.

I was living in the People's Republic of Massachusetts in 2002 when a similar scandal broke, and I'm struck by the difference in media coverage between then and now.  16 years ago, the coverage was almost hysterical, and went on for months.  Today, it looks like this will have dropped from the headlines by the end of the week.  That's something to make you go "hmmmm".

There is a story that is not being told here.  Eric Raymond went into this way back in 2002 in The Elephant In The Bath-House:
That there is a pattern in the national media of political correctness and spin on behalf of preferred `victim’ groups isn’t news, nor is the fact that homosexuals are among those groups. But get this: Richard Berke, the Washington editor of the New York Times recently said “literally three-quarters of the people deciding what’s on the front page are not-so-closeted homosexuals”. There you have it in plain English; gays run the “newspaper of record”. Berke made these comments before a gay advocacy group — not merely admitting but outright asserting, as a matter of pride, that the Times engages in gay-friendly spin control. And it has already been well established by statistical content studies that the national media tend to follow where they’re led by the Times and a handful of other prestige newspapers, all broadly similar in editorial policy.
If you want to read more about Richard Burke, here's a place to start.  It may be that I remember much more intense news coverage then because I lived at ground zero.  The Boston Globe was all over this story, but perhaps it was considered a local story by the editorial board at the Times.  Pretty clearly, this is going on today.  But there's very likely a reason that the editorial board wants this to go away:
Gay men, or at least the sort of university-educated gay men who wind up determining what’s on the front page of the New York Times and spiking stories like the Dirkhising murder, know these facts. How surprising would it be if they interpreted most victims’ charges of abuse as a product of retrospective false consciousness, implanted in them by a homophobic and gay-oppressing culture? By suppressing the homosexual identification of most of the accused priests, gays in the media can protect their own sexual and political interests while believing — perhaps quite sincerely — that they are quietly aiding the cause of freedom.
Media bias most clearly manifests itself not in slanted reporting, but rather in what is never reported at all.  The murder of Jesse Dirkhising wasn't reported at all, while the murder of Matthew Shepard was front page news for weeks.  But Raymond dissects the politically correct spin and cuts to the heart of the matter, reaching the same conclusion that Peter does:
The trouble with this comforting lullaby is that, even if NAMBLA is right, coercion matters a lot. As Ms. Eberstadt reports, the pederastically and pedophilically abused often become broken, dysfunctional people. They show up in disproportionate numbers in drug and alcohol rehab. They have a high rate of involvement in violent crime. Worse, they end to become abusers themselves,perpetuating the damage across generations. 
It may turn out that the consequences of sympathizing with NAMBLA are almost equally ugly. If a climate of `enlightened’ tolerance for consensual pederasty and pedophilia tends to increase the rate at which boys are abused, that is a very serious consequence for which gay liberationists will not (and should not) soon be forgiven. The homosexual gatekeepers at the Times may be making themselves accessories before and after the fact to some truly hideous crimes.
And this is where we come back to the priestly-abuse scandal. Because a theme that keeps recurring in histories of the worst abusers is that they were trained in seminaries that were run by homosexual men and saturated with gay-liberationist subculture. Reading accounts of students at one notorious California seminary making a Friday-night ritual of cruising gay bars, it becomes hard not to wonder if gay culture itself has not been an important enabler of priestly abuse.
This has been known for decades.  None of this is a surprise to anyone who has remotely been paying attention, whether that "anyone" is a Bishop or on the NYT Editorial Board.  And Raymond now circled back to where Peter stands:
Now it’s time to abandon the catch-all term abuse and speak plainly the name of the crime: sexual coercion and rape.
Speaking plainly is the foundation of communication, and anyone who will not speak plainly presumably does not want to communicate.  The same words and spin are being used today as were used back in 2002.  The fog of words never allows the expression child rape because that would be a strong wind of clarity, blowing away the fog of political correctness.

Let me say again: None of this is a surprise to anyone who has remotely been paying attention, whether that "anyone" is a Bishop or on the NYT Editorial Board.

I agree 100% with Peter that the enablers in the Catholic hierarchy need to go.  But the Media that airbrushes these crimes from the newspaper is as complicit in the crimes as the Bishop who quietly reassigned a priest to a different parish.  Both did it for what they perceived as a higher purpose, and both are just one more flagstone laid on the road to some other child's personal Hell.

I encourage you to read both Peter's and Raymond's articles in full.  The institutional rot goes deep.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

On Immigration

Lawrence finds a very interesting article by Mickey Kaus on immigration.  It's worth your time.

Kaus, for those who haven't been following along at home, was one of the early bloggers (of KausFiles fame) and ran against (IIRC) Barbara Boxer in the Democratic Senatorial primary in California.  For a California Democrat, Kaus makes some excellent points.  As does Lawrence, as you'd expect.

The only thing I'd add is that without this issue, Donald Trump would not be President today.