Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Bari Weiss Resigns from the New York Times

Dear A.G.,

It is with sadness that I write to tell you that I am resigning from The New York Times.

I joined the paper with gratitude and optimism three years ago. I was hired with the goal of bringing in voices that would not otherwise appear in your pages: first-time writers, centrists, conservatives and others who would not naturally think of The Times as their home. The reason for this effort was clear: The paper’s failure to anticipate the outcome of the 2016 election meant that it didn’t have a firm grasp of the country it covers. Dean Baquet and others have admitted as much on various occasions. The priority in Opinion was to help redress that critical shortcoming.

I was honored to be part of that effort, led by James Bennet. I am proud of my work as a writer and as an editor. Among those I helped bring to our pages: the Venezuelan dissident Wuilly Arteaga; the Iranian chess champion Dorsa Derakhshani; and the Hong Kong Christian democrat Derek Lam. Also: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Masih Alinejad, Zaina Arafat, Elna Baker, Rachael Denhollander, Matti Friedman, Nick Gillespie, Heather Heying, Randall Kennedy, Julius Krein, Monica Lewinsky, Glenn Loury, Jesse Singal, Ali Soufan, Chloe Valdary, Thomas Chatterton Williams, Wesley Yang, and many others.

But the lessons that ought to have followed the election—lessons about the importance of understanding other Americans, the necessity of resisting tribalism, and the centrality of the free exchange of ideas to a democratic society—have not been learned. Instead, a new consensus has emerged in the press, but perhaps especially at this paper: that truth isn’t a process of collective discovery, but an orthodoxy already known to an enlightened few whose job is to inform everyone else.

Twitter is not on the masthead of The New York Times. But Twitter has become its ultimate editor. As the ethics and mores of that platform have become those of the paper, the paper itself has increasingly become a kind of performance space. Stories are chosen and told in a way to satisfy the narrowest of audiences, rather than to allow a curious public to read about the world and then draw their own conclusions. I was always taught that journalists were charged with writing the first rough draft of history. Now, history itself is one more ephemeral thing molded to fit the needs of a predetermined narrative.

My own forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views. They have called me a Nazi and a racist; I have learned to brush off comments about how I’m “writing about the Jews again.” Several colleagues perceived to be friendly with me were badgered by coworkers. My work and my character are openly demeaned on company-wide Slack channels where masthead editors regularly weigh in. There, some coworkers insist I need to be rooted out if this company is to be a truly “inclusive” one, while others post ax emojis next to my name. Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action. They never are.

There are terms for all of this: unlawful discrimination, hostile work environment, and constructive discharge. I’m no legal expert. But I know that this is wrong.

Read the rest here.

This is well worth reading in its entirety.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Priest Photographed Giving Last Rites at Traffic Crash

A picture of a lone priest walking along Highway 81 piqued the interest of thousands of Catholics this week.

Drenched with so much rain, the image appears as a Norman Rockwell work of art; the black of his cassock, heavy with water, could be streaks of oil paint. The priest, now identified as Father John Killackey, was stuck in a line of cars along the highway after six vehicles were involved in a crash on Interstate 81 South in East Hanover Township in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on July 8, 2020.

Traffic apparently had come to a stop due to heavy rain. One car, not noticing the stand-still traffic, ran into the stream of cars and the driver was seriously injured. Father Killackey went to work, walking between the cars and semi-trucks, offering help to those suffering. Father Killackey was able to administer last rites to one person, just before the driver died.

We now have learned quite a bit about Father Killackey. A native of Wayne, N.J., he just celebrated his first-year anniversary of entering the priesthood. Serving as assistant priest at the Mater Dei Community in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he is a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter.

Read the rest here.

Vote for the Tomato Can



Friday, July 10, 2020

Anglican Clergy in the Late Georgian Era

For a somewhat satirical look at the clergy of the Church of England in the late 18th / early 19th centuries go here.

For the record

It's been widely reported, but in case you missed it...
ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a decree Friday ordering Hagia Sophia to be opened for Muslim prayers, an action likely to provoke international furor around a World Heritage Site cherished by Christians and Muslims alike for its religious significance, stunning structure and as a symbol of conquest.
 
The presidential decree came minutes after a Turkish court announced that it had revoked Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum, which for the last 80 years had made it a monument of relative harmony and a symbol of the secularism that was part of the foundation of the modern Turkish state.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day

Yep, it's that day again. July 1... when each and every year until 2035, the NY Mets drop another $1.19 million into Bobby Bonilla's bank account. The man is proof that not every professional athlete manages their money like an 18 year old who just won the lottery.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Abortion

Is the great moral issue of the age in the way that slavery was in the 19th century. And Roe v Wade is the worst Supreme Court decision since Dredd Scott. Further the two decisions are remarkably similar. Both stripped an entire class of people of their status as human beings and any rights to which human beings are entitled. These sub-humans were thereby reduced to the status of property that their owners could dispose of in whatever manner they please.

It is my hope that one day angry mobs of a more enlightened generation will vandalize and tear down the monuments to such abhorrent people as Harry Blackmun, Gloria Steinem, and John Roberts among many others.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Entities that apparently don't need my money (and one that does)

I subscribe to a number of news outlets and had planned on adding the Wall Street Journal to that list today. Unfortunately they don't appear to need my money. When I tried to subscribe I was told I needed to create an account. No problem. That's pretty standard and I filled out the name- email- chosen password and clicked "continue." It then went to a screen informing me that my email did not match any known accounts. It had a link to create an account which I clicked on and went through the entire process again... with the same result. I played around on their website for a while trying repeatedly to create the required account without any success. After about twenty minutes of this my patience was exhausted and I clicked on their customer service link with the intent of messaging them that their website was denying them a paying subscriber. But, as I am sure you have already guessed... you have to have an account to message their customer service department.

In the unlikely event that anybody from the WSJ reads this post, I would like you to know that I just donated the $130 I was going to spend on your twelve month basic digital subscription to the Salvation Army. And honestly, I feel pretty good about that.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

UK: Numerous VIPs to Have Police Bodyguards Disarmed


Large numbers of VIPs including politicians, diplomats and junior members of the Royal Family are to have their close protection officers disarmed, with their pistols replaced with the taser and baton carried by most British beat cops. Scotland Yard has approved the plan, code named Option 5, as a cost cutting measure. The Queen, Prince of Wales and Prince William are expected to retain armed protection. Presumably, so will the Prime Minister.

Details.

I really don't think this is a good idea. If someone is important enough to rate police protection, their cpo needs to be armed. In a really serious event an unarmed bodyguard will be useless... at best. In the event of a determined attack there is a good chance they will simply be killed. I understand that security is expensive. The amount of money spent guarding people on this side of the pond is astronomical. And there are likely a lot of people who just don't need that. Fine. Quietly drop the protection. But security is not something you do by half measures. Lives are involved, and not just those of the protectees. Do it right, or don't do it at all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Priest Bars BLM Members from Communion

The language is a bit strident, but he is right. That organization supports things that are fundamentally incompatible with Christianity.

Details.
HT: Dr. Tighe

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Alabama

A poll released today  by FM3 Research shows Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden in the heart of Dixie by a comfortable 14%. Of course no one who has spent more than fifteen minutes, give or take, on this planet would think that Joe Biden has any chance of carrying the state. Alabama is as conservative and reliably Republican as California is liberal and Democratic.

And therein lies what may be a warning sign. In 2016 Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 63% to 35%. That's a margin of 28%. Which is about what one would expect in what is effectively a one party state. But somewhere along the line, Trump's support among Alabama voters has eroded, severely.

Nor is this an isolated case. Georgia and Texas are generally safe states for the GOP but polls have been consistently showing both to be very close. (Texas has not gone Democratic in a presidential election since 1976.)

In those cases population demographics may also be at play. Texas has seen a rise in Hispanics and an influx of migrants fleeing left wing states, especially California. It is deeply ironic that so many who are fleeing the train-wrecks of the left coast are nonetheless clinging to their liberal beliefs. In the case of Georgia there has also been some incoming migration, chiefly among Afro-Americans who now perceive parts of the South to be more hospitable to blacks than many of the Northern states to which their ancestors fled during the era of Jim Crow.

However, none of this is true of Alabama. Trump's sharp decline in the polls cannot be laid at the feet of changing demographics or other similar causes. The plain fact is that somewhere around one in five people who voted for the president four years ago are not, as of the moment, planning on doing so again this year.

Of course the election is still far enough off that much could change. At least some of the polling data was collected before the current wave of left-wing mob violence reached its current level, so I am taking these numbers with a grain of salt. But with Trump trailing by wide margins in many of the traditional swing states that he carried narrowly in 2016, a statistically significant loss of support in a state so firmly Republican that it generally doesn't rate many polls in presidential election years, is worth taking notice of.

Protesters Attack Presbyterian Worshipers After Mistaking Them For Statues

LAKE FOREST, IL—A gang of social justice warriors, roaming the streets in search of more monuments to topple, fell upon a group of Presbyterians holding an outdoor church service on Sunday and attacked them. The protestors apparently mistook the worshippers for a group of statues.

Read the rest here.

HT: Brian

Monday, June 22, 2020

The anti-statue movement has taken a turn into absurdity

The United States’ frenzy of statuary iconoclasm has taken a turn into the theater of the absurd. Knocking down or defacing statues of national founders or heroes not only displays ignorance of history but also assaults the principles of Western civilization that allow for racial progress to continue.

Destroying statues is often a part of revolutionary movements. Patriots tore down a statue of King George III as the American Revolution gained steam, and those seeking freedom from communism’s vile yoke pulled down the monuments to their oppressors, Lenin and Stalin. It’s no surprise, therefore, that the protests over the killing of George Floyd have targeted edifices honoring the heroes of the Confederacy. As the Confederacy’s vice president, Alexander Stephens, said in his “cornerstone speech,” the Confederacy rested on “the great truth, that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery — subordination to the superior race — is his natural and normal condition.” Monuments to this revolting sentiment have no place in a United States that is dedicated to the opposite principle — that all men are created equal.

That principle was first politically enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, and it has been America’s cornerstone ever since. All reasonable people acknowledge that it has been inconsistently applied throughout our nation’s history, but that principle has been the fuel of every movement that brought further emancipation. The early suffragists explicitly appealed to it at the first women’s rights meeting, the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848. Abraham Lincoln opposed slavery under its banner, and Franklin D. Roosevelt created the New Deal by citing its promise. The greatest speech of the 1960s civil rights revolution, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, is a masterful disquisition on that immortal principle. It is America’s gift to the world.

Protesters who tear down statues to brave warriors who fought to more fully implement that principle mock and dishonor the idea that enables us to become a more perfect union. George Washington owned slaves, but he also founded a nation dedicated to the idea whose incompatibility with slavery made its eradication inevitable. Defacing or toppling his monuments dishonors the country. More than any man save Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant destroyed the Confederacy with his magisterial generalship. As president, he tried to extend the Civil War’s purpose by presiding over the Reconstruction of the South, an effort that was abandoned only after he left office. Toppling his statue — as protesters did in San Francisco, citing a slave whom Grant was gifted and later freed before the war — is ahistorically ludicrous.

There are those who say that Western civilization itself ought to be undone — that monuments to people such as these ought to be destroyed because of their participation in an endeavor that included global colonialism and racism. This fever has extended elsewhere, as statues to the English sailor Capt. James Cook, the man who brought knowledge of Australia and New Zealand to Europe, have been defaced in both countries by people who believe he paved the way for colonialism and the oppression of indigenous people. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s courage saved the world from Nazi barbarism, but his statue in London has also been vandalized for racist statements he once said.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Andy Ngo on life in the insurrectionist occupied areas of Seattle

This is turning into an open revolt against the United States which is being aided and abetted by the Governor of Washington and the city government.

Details.

Update: Two shot, one fatally in insurrectionist occupied Seattle. Cops barred by menacing mob from the scene.

Details.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Portland protesters pull down statues of Jefferson and Washington

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters who took to the streets in Portland for the 22nd consecutive night tore down a statue of George Washington that was erected in the 1920s.

The demonstrators placed a sticker on the head of the statue that read “You are on Native land" and also spray-painted the statue's pedestal.

The Portland Police Bureau said a smaller group split from several hundred peaceful protesters and threw hot dogs at police and cut a fence surrounding the Justice Center.

Another group set a fire around the Washington statue before tearing it down. No one was arrested.

Last Saturday, protesters at the University of Oregon in Eugene vandalized two statues representing white pioneers.

Sunday night, protesters tore down the statue of Thomas Jefferson from a pedestal in front of Jefferson High School in North Portland.

Read the rest here.

Agia Sophia, conversion to mosque reportedly already underway

As Turkish officials await the court hearing on the possibility of converting the world-famous Agia Sophia Museum back into a mosque, preparations for the change are reportedly already underway.

In this vein, the leader of the Saadet Partisi Islamist political party, Abdullah Sevim, called for Turkey to immediately take action and paint over the faces of the seraphim in the dome of the 6th-century Orthodox cathedral-turned-mosque-turned-museum, reports the Orthodoxia News Agency.

“There’s no need to wait for the decision of the State Council. We’ve already purchased the lime,” Sevim wrote on his Twitter page, calling everyone to join in a Muslim prayer to be held at Agia Sophia by President Erdogan.

The State Council will review the possibility of changing the status of Agia Sophia from a mosque to a museum, thus canceling the presidential decree of 1934 that turned it into a museum in the first place, on July 2.

Other preparations towards converting it back into a mosque are reportedly underway already. According to Turkish historian and writer Ahmet Anapali, more than 75,000 sq. ft. worth of carpets used in Islamic prayers have already been purchased, paid for by a private individual, reports Romfea with reference to the Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit Gazetesi.

The carpets are purple, the color of the time of Mehmet the Conqueror. According to Anapali, the information was provided to him by “the most reliable person in the country after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

“It is the desire of all of us to break the chains of Agia Sophia by opening it to Muslim prayer. This was the wish of Sultan Mehmet,” Turkish Minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül also said yesterday.

While Turkish officials have proclaimed that Agia Sophia is on their territory and they can do with it as they please, UNESCO General Director Audrey Azoulay has made it clear that the international organization is keeping a close eye on developments in Turkey.

Agia Sophia has been included as a UNESCO World Heritage site as a museum since 1985. As Azoulay explains, a change in status to the monument requires UNESCO’s permission.

Meanwhile, the United States continues to insist on preserving Agia Sophia as a multi-religious monument. The Holy Synod of the Church of Greece also earlier called for Turkey to respect the monument and preserve its present status.

Source.