Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Return of Public Vulgarity

The Return of Public Vulgarity: It may appear that this disintegration is counteracted by the growth of political correctness, which prescribes exactly what cannot be said; however, a closer look immediately makes it clear how the "politically correct" regulation participates in the same process of the disintegration of the ethical substance. To prove this point, it suffices to recall the deadlock of political correctness: The need for PC rules arises when unwritten mores are no longer able to regulate effectively everyday interactions—instead of spontaneous customs followed in a nonreflexive way, we get explicit rules, such as when “torture” becomes an “enhanced interrogation technique.”

The crucial point is that torture—brutal violence practiced by the state—was made publicly acceptable at the very moment when public language was rendered politically correct in order to protect victims from symbolic violence. These two phenomena are two sides of the same coin.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

‘We Think the Price Is Worth It’ — FAIR

‘We Think the Price Is Worth It’ — FAIR:

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.

—60 Minutes (5/12/96)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria

A Comedy of Terrors: When in Doubt, Bomb Syria:

Sanders’ policy on Syria is na�ve to the point of doltishness. But Hillary’s Syrian war plan—shared by most of her Republican rivals—borders on the pathological. Having not missed a minute of sleep haunted by the corpses of Libya, Mrs. Clinton is now stumping for the dismantling of Syria, using the carefully cultivated domestic anxiety over ISIS as the pretext. The cornerstone of Hillary’s rogue scheme is the imposition of a no fly zone over that embattled country.

Sounds like a relatively benign plan, right? But wait. ISIS doesn’t have an air force. They don’t even a have drone. Russia, of course, is flying daily sorties in Syrian air space, at the invitation of the Syrian government, such as it is, and some kind of confrontation would be inevitable. Still, Hillary doesn’t flinch. She has zealously vowed to shoot down any Russian plane that violated her unilateral ban.

Friday, February 12, 2016

SUNDAY TIMES - From SONA to Zika: 10 things that happened this week you should know about

SUNDAY TIMES - From SONA to Zika: 10 things that happened this week you should know about: The State of the Nation Address may be focused on political topics but with every important event come important fashion moments. From Thuli Madonsela's canary yellow gown to the long gold dress of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's wife, Noma, designer Gert-Johan Coetzee dominated the red carpet. Here are our best and worst looks from the night.

SONA 2016 fail | News24:
Watching this #SONA2016 has been the biggest joke, thus far nothing has
come of it, all it's been is a fashion show and a debate on the rules
of the house!

We the people are slave to this joke of a house they call parliament!

For heaven sakes dear lord please help this country and its people cause
we are getting nothing from the people who are meant to better the

Far From Narnia - The New Yorker

Far From Narnia - The New Yorker:

Although he likes Lewis’s criticism and quotes it surprisingly often, he considers the fantasy series “morally loathsome.” In a 1998 essay for the Guardian, entitled “The Dark Side of Narnia,” he condemned “the misogyny, the racism, the sado-masochistic relish for violence that permeates the whole cycle.” He reviled Lewis for depicting the character Susan Pevensie’s sexual coming of age—suggested by her interest in “nylons and lipstick and invitations”—as grounds for exclusion from paradise. In Pullman’s view, the “Chronicles,” which end with the rest of the family’s ascension to a neo-Platonic version of Narnia after they die in a railway accident, teach that “death is better than life; boys are better than girls . . . and so on. There is no shortage of such nauseating drivel in Narnia, if you can face it.”

Don’t go changing: The gaping silence

Don’t go changing � The gaping silence:

To be virtuous, in other words, is to do good not because it’s good but because it’s right: to judge your actions by criteria entirely different from the question of whether other people benefit or suffer from them.

It’s this abstract, disciplined calculus of virtue which is threatened by the onset of nylons and lipstick and invitations. For Lewis, growing up – becoming a sexual being, not to put too fine a point on it – was a fall from grace, not because adulthood meant living in sin but because it meant living in the world. The world we know, Lewis believed, is only a poor shadow of a real world we can only know through the imagination.

The Ramshackle Vampire: Sorry, Ladies, C.S. Lewis Finds You Tedious and Icky

The Ramshackle Vampire: Sorry, Ladies, C.S. Lewis Finds You Tedious and Icky:

An episode in the final book that Lewis's readers call “the problem of Susan” thus becomes multiply alarming: it brings sexuality (teenage romance) into the series and then condemns it, and the women who express it. In The Last Battle (1956), Susan Pevensie was denied re-admission into Narnia – and thus allegorically into Heaven – because she dared develop an interest in “makeup” and “boys,” neither of which left her time for Narnia or Aslan. Several authors have subsequently addressed Lewis's callous dismissal of Susan in their own stories. Ana Mardoll last month drew her followers' attention to a recent and curiously moving addition to this Susan Pevensie subgenre, “Elegant and Fine” by T. Kingfisher (alias Ursula Vernon).

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Politics: Madeleine Albright: There's a special place in Hell for women who don't support Hillary | Best of Cain

Politics: Madeleine Albright: There's a special place in Hell for women who don't support Hillary | Best of Cain:

Would it be taking this whole thing way too seriously if I bothered to correct the horrendous theology? I think so. It's not so much that the threat of eternal damnation is alluded to here. That's just Madeleine Albright being a presumptuous blowhard. But I do think she's trying to do something serious when she basically tells every woman in America they have no business not supporting Hillary for president:

There's Also a 'Special Place in Hell' for Madeleine Albright

There's Also a 'Special Place in Hell' for Madeleine Albright:

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is making headlines today after her appearance at a Hillary Clinton rally. Standing beside a laughing Clinton, she said “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”

What isn’t making headlines is the irony of someone who was responsible for the deaths of 2,000 civilians, including 88 children, pretending to have any moral judgement whatsoever.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Apartheid-era murder of sleeping teenagers returns to haunt De Klerk | World news | The Guardian

Apartheid-era murder of sleeping teenagers returns to haunt De Klerk | World news | The Guardian:

Mr de Klerk has not denied ordering the 1993 raid, in which the five boys were killed, on what was described as a Pan Africanist Congress safe house used to plan "terrorist attacks".

After the attack, the military said the dead were men who were armed and shooting but photographs of the scene showed the boys still in their beds, riddled with bullets and no guns in sight. Mr de Klerk later described the killings as a tragic mistake.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

londinoupolis: The Holy Abbess and Wonder-worker Saint Brigid of Kildare, Ireland

londinoupolis: The Holy Abbess and Wonder-worker Saint Brigid of Kildare, Ireland:

According to tradition, Saint Brigid (Brigit, Bridget) was born at Fochart (or Fothairt), near Dundalk of County Louth in Ulster, of a noble Irish family, which had been converted by Saint Patrick. A wonderful striving for virtue was seen in her from her earliest years. Being uncommonly beautiful, she had many suitors and her father tried to marry her to the King of Ulster. At the age of sixteen, she implored Our Lord Jesus Christ, whom alone she desired as her spouse, to make her unattractive, so that no longer would anyone want to marry her. Her prayer was heard; she lost an eye, and was allowed to enter a monastery. However, on the very day that she took the veil, she was miraculously healed and recovered her original loveliness, which was now set off by spiritual beauty.