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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Laborum Dulce Lenimen

From The Hill:
White House dismisses critics, defends Obama's golf outings during Gulf crisis

The White House is dismissing criticism that President Barack Obama shouldn’t play golf during the Gulf oil spill.

White House spokesman Bill Burton on Monday said the president deserves some time to relax, and he doesn’t “think that there’s a person in this country that doesn’t think that their president ought to have a little time to clear his mind.”
No argument there. Let's have a look at a typically arduous week for our President, as provided in painstaking detail by spokesman Burton (with emphasis added to certain verbs).
“And so after a week where the president was taking on the oil spill, an historic agreement with BP to put aside $20 billion to pay claims; after a day on Friday when he strengthened lobby and ethics rules in the White House; after going to Ohio to talk about the economy and see the progress that’s being made and some of those stimulus projects that are happening around the country — all the different issues that the president is dealing with, I think that a little time to himself on Father’s Day weekend probably does us all good as American citizens that our president is taking that time,” Burton said.
Whew! I'm exhausted simply by reading it! How one man manages to squeeze so much into one little week and also get in a round of golf is beyond my poor powers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Oil and Water

It's official, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have announced
"their intention to propose jointly in due course an amendment to the draft legislation to enable women to become bishops in the Church of England due to be debated at General Synod in July."
The tyranny of the majority:
Successive General Synod debates have produced clear majorities in favour of admitting women to the episcopate in the Church of England. At the same time, a number of motions have also shown a widespread desire to proceed in a way that will maintain the highest possible degree of communion within the Church of England between those who differ on the substantive point...
How, pray tell?
Once women become bishops, it will be possible to maintain something like the present 'mixed economy' in the Church of England only if there is provision for someone other than the diocesan bishop to provide episcopal oversight for those who are unable to accept the new situation.
Thence follows a long, opaque and muddled-headed contrivance by which the archbishops hope to maintain the "mixed economy." It will prove as brilliant a success as "mixed economies" of free markets and socialism are lately showing themselves to be in Europe and the United States.

Since the archbishops seem fond of economic metaphor, they might consider the counsel proffered by the financier Thomas Gresham (1519-1579) to the first Queen Elizabeth after she succeeded to the throne. Gresham wrote her that "good and bad coin cannot circulate together," referring to the "unexampled state of badness" of the English currency following the "Great Debasements" of (and do note the irony) Henry VIII and Edward VI. The same may be said for religious doctrine.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Putting the Toothpaste Back in the Tube

From the Mail Online:
The Archbishops of Canterbury and York are to make a dramatic intervention in the long-running row over women bishops this week by demanding that opponents of female clergy are not driven out of the Church.

Dr Rowan Williams and Dr John Sentamu are so concerned thousands of traditionalist churchgoers will quit when women become bishops that they are to risk the wrath of liberals by calling for major reforms in Church legislation.

Sources said their statement will spell out a legal formula that will give traditionalist clergy and parishes the right to reject the authority of a woman bishop.
Uh, fellas? Don't you think this new-found concern for "traditionalist" Anglicans would have been far more timely back in 1994 when you "ordained" women as priests? For once, I'm on the side of the innovators: if the liberal hierarchy in the C of E were able to contort what little dogma there is in Anglicanism to allow women priests, it's a bit disingenuous to "re-contort" it back so as not to allow women bishops. You made the mess sixteen years ago; it's way beyond fixing at this late date.

UPDATE: My blog buddy (and occasional sparring partner) ace reporter The Young Fogey (Serge) comments: "Try around 1970 when some pan-Anglican committee said there was no theological objection to it." Indeed, indeed and I have no reason to doubt it.

Have you noticed, though, whenever someone tries to pin down when things really began to go wrong for the Anglican Church, someone else can always provide a creditable earlier date; then someone else comes up with an even earlier date and on and on, straight back to the Act of Supremacy of 1534. In other words, things began to go wrong for the Anglican Church from moment of its inception; it was doomed from the start.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Detroit: the Final Chapter

Detroit's black middle-class, the last of the middle-class in that city, is finally throwing in the towel and fleeing. Once they're gone the pitiful remainder of a once great city will implode.

It should be noted the political leaders of Detroit were early and eager embracers of the vast array of social programs promulgated by Lyndon Johnson and his Democratic Congress as part of the "Great Society" legislation. Almost all those programs were monumental failures; whatever social ills they were supposed to address in almost every case got worse. Let us not forget the farcically named War on Poverty was well under way in Detroit in 1967 when the city went up in flames.

Liberals today will insist the problems of Detroit were already so entrenched nothing could save it; that by the early '60s the city was so beset by joblessness, bad schools, bad housing--the usual litany that are the putative cause of ever-rising lawlessness and urban decline--even the noble and hugely expensive Great Society initiative was unable to the reverse the city's fortunes and its wholesale abandonment by productive citizenry. Oddly enough though, despite their utter failure, most of those social programs continue to this day in one form or the other.

You think it would dawn someday on the social architects, community activists, urban planners and the like their efforts in Detroit are not just ineffective but counter-productive. That is assuming, however, they care more about the lot of the poor than propagating an ideologically bankrupt social agenda at the expense of the dwindling few who must pay for it, the middle class, the last of which are leaving the city for good.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Divine Retribution

From Popular Mechanics:
The largest oil spill the world has seen [in Kuwait, in the aftermath of the Gulf war, 1991] exacted little permanent damage on coral ecosystems and local fisheries, according to a report by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission at Unesco. The study concluded that about half the oil evaporated, one-eighth of it was recovered and another quarter washed ashore, mostly in Saudi Arabia.
Thanks to Instapundit

Full Steam Ahead!

It's good to see our President finally taking decisive action on the Gulf oil spill disaster: on Tuesday he had an emergency consultation with movie director James Cameron in hopes of finding a solution to the problem; you see, Cameron's an expert on underwater filming (now don't say "huh?").

The irony of Cameron also being the director of Titanic is too obvious to require further commentary except that the crew at The Onion must surely find it all droll.