9

With Malice Towards All

The good people of Madison, Wisconsin are now presumably safe from dead Confederates:

The mean-spiritedness of the American Left is a stark feature of our public life. In recent weeks, it has been a daily staple of newspaper headlines. But the Left’s mean-spiritedness manifests itself every day, in ways large and small. At The American Conservative, Rod Dreher offers a sad example from (where else?) Madison, Wisconsin:

In Madison, Wisconsin, the city council has voted overwhelmingly to remove a cemetery marker noting the names of about 140 Confederates, most of whom died in a prisoner of war camp in the town.

Liberals began by protesting statues in the South that honor Confederate soldiers. But of course it didn’t end there. This isn’t a monument celebrating the Confederate cause, it is a grave marker in a Northern cemetery. Where 140 Confederate soldiers are, I take it, buried.

These are Americans who died as prisoners of war. “They die off like rotten sheep,” said a Union soldier who worked at the camp, where conditions were bad. The “monument” is a tombstone large enough to feature the names of each of the dead. This is not a statue of a Confederate war hero. It is simply a grave marker noting the names of POWs who died far from home.

What is the point? Do today’s residents of Madison need to assure the rest of us that Wisconsin was on the side of the Union in the Civil War? I would have thought the Iron Brigade made that clear. It seems to be an expression of pure viciousness.

There is no longer equality before God of the fallen, not in Madison, Wisconsin. The city council spits on these dead men, who passed away not in combat, but in Union custody.

Go here to Powerline to read the rest.  These jackals turn the words of Lincoln on their head:

 

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

When you try to gain political capital by waging war on men dead for over 150 years, you are a ghoul.  Yet these same individuals, doubtless, proclaim themselves champions of tolerance.  Champions?  They prove by their actions that they spit on the concept of tolerance.

11

Kipling Wouldn’t Have Been Surprised

 

During five literary generations every enlightened person has despised him, and at the end of that time nine-tenths of those enlightened persons are forgotten and Kipling is in some sense still there.

George Orwell, on Kipling

 

 

 

As faithful readers of this blog know, I have a great fondness for the poetry of Rudyard Kipling.  I do not think he would have been surprised by this current controversy:

 

A jingo imperialist” as George Orwell called him, or “the most complete man of genius” that Henry James held up as an ideal, how does one solve a conundrum like Rudyard Kipling? Over eight decades after his death, Kipling’s literary reputation continues to see-saw. The latest in this debate has seen Britain’s first Nobel Laureate’s 20th century ode to stoicism, If, being scrubbed off the walls of Manchester University’s recently renovated Students’ Union, as a protest against his endorsement of the British Empire.

This negation of Kipling’s literary legacy as a by-product of his political views can, however, only be seen as cultural grandstanding. Admittedly, a lot of the criticism for the India-born author is directly linked to the propagandist views that he espoused in works such as his now (infamous) poem, The White Man’s Burden (1899), but to read contemporary meaning into products of a bygone era is mere moral posturing that is shorn both of context and substance. If Kipling was a champion of imperialism, he was also one of the most versatile writers of his time, whose mastery over forms such as the short story and the novel remain undisputed, and who wrote for adults and children with equal proficiency. His stories for children, be it The Jungle Book (1894) or Kim (1901), brim with a fabulist’s temerity for adventure and satire, and continue to enthrall generations of youngsters.

Go here to read the rest.  Kipling, who had a keen understanding of the folly of Man, saw all this coming:

 

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

2

Commissar Inquisitors

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the Catholic Left is ever watchful for the slightest whiff of heresy against Leftism:

In a way reminiscent of those old Hollywood stereotypes about the Catholic Church, it looks like a bunch of priests have been caught.  The reaction immediate.  The retaliation swift.  Caught doing what you may ask.  Molesting children?  Engaging in child porn?  Teaching false doctrine?

No!  They attended a Trump rally and responded positively, even when Trump said things that his critics were appalled by.  Alas, but the cameras caught them, and keen New Prolife Catholics were fast to jump on their error.  Calls to alert their bishop were made, and it looks like the Bishop himself got involved.

Ah, I can remember when Internet Catholics were disgusted by the idea that people would call someone’s bishop over something like politics, when a priest would suggest an ardently pro-abortion politician might be publicly chastened, or that the Church should even have an opinion on the behavior of its flock. We’re all sinners after all.

I remember Catholics laughing along with Obama, or Hillary, no matter what they advocated and it was all OK.  I remember them blowing beer out their noses over liberal late night comedians, even if they advocated intrinsic evil, mortal sin that cried out to heaven for vengeance, or even toyed with blasphemy. If you want to know what the modern Left values – and that includes the Catholic Left – you need only go back ten or twenty years and see what they condemned.  There is an ever increasing likelihood that the two are one and the same.

Not that this Catholic Left Inquisition is new.  I posted some time ago about a prominent Catholic blogger letting slip the dogs of war and calling on her readers to swoop in and derail the career of a judge who dared disagree with her.  The issue?  That would be the shooting of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo.  So there is precedent.  It looks like calling down the wrath of Holy Mother Church on those who dare digress from the priorities and narratives of the Political Left is becoming quite the thing.  And it looks like ol’Holy Mother Church might be more willing to comply than it was back in the day; back when it did its best Rodney Dangerfield tug-at-the-collar impersonation when asked to punish people over advocating abortion or gay sex.

The Left is in full Inquisition mode, scouring the countryside every day, seeking out those who have fallen from the purer faith of the political Left and the superiority of the latest ethics.  You will be careful if you’re Catholic.  If you are a priest.   You can never be good enough.  And all notions of tolerance and diversity and respect for other opinions are out the window.  You’ve been warned.

Go here to comment.  Catholic Leftists often seem to ape the worst aspects of some of the human adherents of Catholicism down through the ages, suspicion, intolerance and self-rightousness, while simultaneously jettisoning much of the substance of the Faith.  Getting carried away in the cause of Christ is one thing;  getting carried away in the cause of the latest Leftist folly rolling down the pike is quite another.  One of the more frightening aspects of Leftism is how something unthinkable one year among most Leftists, can become mandatory by virtually all Leftists the  next.  Thus the ever popular sport of heresy hunting among Leftists, as they seek to punish those who hold opinions they held themselves the day before yesterday.

 

But practicing homosexuals (nota bene: I have nothing but respect for those with same sex attraction who choose to live chastely) and other enemies of people of faith are eagerly pushing to make it a crime to so much as think that homosexuality is an immoral perversion. That’s what gay “marriage” is really about: creating a legal basis to punish thoughtcrime as “hate speech.”

Mark Shea July 13, 2011

 

My own highly tentative notion is that something like what Mother Teresa proposed with Hindus and Muslims is the way forward, because it appears to be what Jesus did with the Centurion and the Samaritan Woman: meet them where they are according to what they were capable of doing and not expect instantaneous impossibilities. Tell the gay person trying to live according to his or her obligations to others to do the best they can and try to help them do it. This seems to me to be in accord with the Church’s historic habit of gradualism in helping people’s moral progression. Jesus didn’t tell the centurion, “Get out of my sight, slaveowner!” He commended him for the progress in grace he had made. He didn’t tell the Samaritan woman to depart from him. He met her where she was and helped her take a step toward faith in him. At no point, does he order her to go home and break it off with her fifth husband.

I suspect something similar is where the Church will wind up with gay unions. Gay people, like everybody else, will come to the Church for spiritual help sooner or later because the Holy Spirit cannot be denied and gay humans, like all humans, hunger for God. And when they do, real shepherds are not going to slap their faces and send them away any more than Jesus slapped the centurion for daring to approach him while still owning other human beings. Shepherds are going to meet them where they are in all the complexity of their lives.

This will offend Puritans, whose first and last impulse is always to drive the impure away from Fortress Katolicus. But it seems to me that the Church is pretty much bound to take this route. It will not mean sacramentalizing gay unions. Rather, it will mean finding some way to help gay people take steps toward Jesus (who is the only one who can untangle the human heart) where they are.

Mark Shea, February 8, 2018

 

 

18

Red Fascists Riot Tonight in Berkeley

It is beyond hilarious that the left calls their opponents Nazis.  A typical example of the left using violence to shut up a political adversary is occurring tonight at Berkeley:

Protesters with armed with bricks and fireworks mounted an assault on the building hosting a speech by polarizing Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos Wednesday night, forcing the event’s cancellation.

Yiannopoulos was making the last stop of a tour aimed at defying what he calls an epidemic of political correctness on college campuses.

With masked activists joining the already large group of protesters gathered in the area between Sather Gate and the north end of Telegraph Avenue as night fell, campus police were holding their positions near the entrance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Union building hosting the event.

Protesters began throwing bricks, lit fireworks and rocks at the building. Some used police barriers as battering rams to attack the doors of the venue, breaching at least one of the doors and entering the venue on the first floor.

In addition to fireworks being thrown up onto the second-floor balcony, fires were lit outside the venue, including one that engulfed a gas-powered portable floodlight.

At about 6:18 p.m., UC campus police announced that the event had been canceled. Officers ordered the crowd to disperse, calling it an unlawful assembly.

Police then announced that they would lock down the entire campus, though authorities initially remained stationed near the student union building and did not move to force the protesters to disperse.

Protesters began throwing bricks, lit fireworks and rocks at the building. Some used police barriers as battering rams to attack the doors of the venue, breaching at least one of the doors and entering the venue on the first floor.

In addition to fireworks being thrown up onto the second-floor balcony, fires were lit outside the venue, including one that engulfed a gas-powered portable floodlight.

At about 6:18 p.m., UC campus police announced that the event had been canceled. Officers ordered the crowd to disperse, calling it an unlawful assembly.

Police then announced that they would lock down the entire campus, though authorities initially remained stationed near the student union building and did not move to force the protesters to disperse. Continue Reading

3

Science Fiction and Tolerance

Nothing is so unworthy of a civilised nation as allowing itself to be governed without opposition by an irresponsible clique that has yielded to base instinct.

From a White Rose resistance pamphlet (1942)

 

 

I am happy that Dale Price is back to blogging on a fairly regular basis since it gives me a renewed opportunity to steal borrow blogging ideas from him.  He turns his attention at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings to the insane purge going on within science fiction fandom of anyone who has political beliefs that do not coincide with the politically correct bromides du jour:

Orwellian group-think comes to real-world science fiction writing.

 
A little recondite, but instructive: the Hugo Awards and SFWA are the latest (if minor) institutions to have succumbed to the left’s jackbooted tolerance enforcers. The issues have risen to the attention of USA Today, so it’s newsworthy instead of merely nerdworthy.
Larry “Monster Hunter” Correia explains part of the problem (the Hugos) in a link within the USA Today column.
Finally, Sarah Hoyt (not exactly a charter member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy herself) and John C. Wright both lower the boom. Continue Reading
8

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Recently I followed the twitter feed of the National Institute of Marriage (NOM), an organization that is fighting efforts to permit gay marriage.  There is another twitterer with the blog handle Ifollowhate, and he (or she, or maybe they) follows every person who follows the NOM account, and promptly tweets to said person, “why do you follow a hate group?”  I thought little of it and didn’t bother to respond, so I just blocked this account.  Then I thought about this.  There is a person (again, maybe more than one person is attached to the account) who spends their entire day parked on twitter, seeing who follows another twitter user, ready to pounce on any individual who dares follow this group.  (NOTE: Not exactly – see comments.  This is an automated program, though the Ifollowhate twitter account does followup with other twitter users.)

What a sad existence.  Imagine if your entire life was spent devoted to nothing more than harassing people you disagree with politically, accusing them of being (or following) a hate group.  Yet the mentality that drives such a person (or group) is more and more common.

In Los Angeles, the City Council passed a resolution that condemns certain types of speech on the radio. Continue Reading