Nicola Sturgeon was booed in the first Scottish leaders’ debate when she refused to rule out a second independence referendum.
The First Minister said the general election was not about separation when she was challenged on Alex Salmond’s claim after Scotland voted No that it was a “once in a generation” event.
But the audience reacted with boos and groans when she refused to rule out including another vote on breaking up Britain in her party’s manifesto for the 2016 Holyrood election.
This is arguably one of the more bizarre stories I have read. Ever.
A small Jewish ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel has found itself in the spotlight after digitally removing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo of this week’s Paris march.
World leaders had linked arms to march in Paris against terrorism after Islamic extremists killed 17 people. At the march, Merkel stood in the front row between the French president, François Hollande, and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.
But readers of the Hamevaser newspaper’s Monday edition didn’t know, as she had been digitally removed, leaving Abbas standing next to Hollande. Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.
And why? Why? because of XX-phobia. Seriously. They also took-out the EU foreign affairs supremo and the Mayor of Paris.
Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown, due to modesty concerns. In Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox vandals frequently deface buses and billboards with advertising deemed to be immodest.
Now if Chancellor Merkel had been strutting her stuff in a sling-shot bikini and heels and nowt else then OK but this is the original photo…
Now I’m no fashionista but that is a modestly dressed woman. And she is also the German Chancellor so she ought to be there. God knows what Abbas was doing there but France and Germany are best buddies these days (thanks for small mercis – I mean we don’t want to go through all of that yet again).
Binyamin Lipkin, editor of Hamevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.
“The eight-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”
He also said he did not want to tarnish the memories of the people killed in the attacks.
“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.
I am lost. There is no way anyone could take that image as sexually provocative (I assume that was this loon’s point). I mean it ain’t Miley Cyrus. And in terms of the “family paper” schtick don’t families tend to have female members? Call me old-fashioned but I female relatives. I don’t think that unusual. And what the flying hellskis is the desecration stuff about? These people weren’t martyrs. They were just unlucky by and large. Could have been me, could have been you. This site has republished the Motoons of Doom. And in what way Chancellor Merkel takes away from the loss is beyond me. Also one of the dead was a female French cop. If anyone was a martyr she was dying in the line and all.
But this is only sort of about sexism. I mean it is but there is more. The massacre was about freedom of the press and an Israeli paper chooses to Photoshop inconvenient truths like the sex of the German Chancellor out. OK, fine print what you want but don’t doctor photos and then go on about martyrs for press freedom.
Or is it just plain sexism and they object to a female heading a major nation? Is it that simple? Get over it. We did with Maggie when I was a little kid.
What century are these folk in? I mean really? Moshe Dayan fought for this?
PS. And as someone from a culturally Christian background the idea that an image of a woman is a desecration is just weird.
I’m sure we’ve all heard about the bogus statistics touted by Radical Feminists about 1-in-5 college students being raped and thought “That’s bullshit”, but as good rationalists, who prefer to make their arguments based upon evidence, didn’t have up-to-date data on which to reject the Rad Fem narrative.
Well – the US Department of Justice have recently published updated data and even with the distortions of modern rape reporting basically says “That’s bullshit”.
A new report on sexual assault released today by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) officially puts to bed the bogus statistic that one in five women on college campuses are victims of sexual assault. In fact, non-students are 25 percent more likely to be victims of sexual assault than students, according to the data. And the real number of assault victims is several orders of magnitude lower than one-in-five.
The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.
Actual rape is a terrible crime which I condemn utterly, but the divisive way that Rad Fem’s are using rape to push their false narrative of rape culture is quite literally tearing Western society apart, to such an extent that even when actual rapes occur and a woman’s life is destroyed, a growing portion of the male population is increasingly suspicious, due to the “Cry Wolf” problem.
College reactions to criticism and political interference from the Obama Whitehouse are only exacerbating matters, specifically when you have “targets for dealing with on campus rape” and it is already in reality as rare as hens teeth, you inevitably end up creating a McCarthyist environment in which all males are treated with suspicion and College Kangaroo Courts hold inquiries which would put Stalin to shame.
If this continues, then we will see US Colleges, which are already overwhelmingly female, become virtual deserts of male presence, some of which is exacerbated by the ever increasing costs of a US university education and the fact that there are far more programs and scholarships available to women and especially minority women than there are men.
Is this how the US finally goes into decline, because of a false narrative proposed by people like Anita Sarkeesian and supported by the Obama Whitehouse? Will the 2020′s return segregation to the US in the form of mandated male and female colleges?
I certainly hope not.
Mrs. Clinton spoke at Georgetown University about what she called “smart power,” which entails “using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security, leaving no one on the sidelines, showing respect, even for one’s enemies, trying to understand and insofar as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view, helping to define the problems, determine the solutions.”
But former Lt. Col. Oliver North dismissed the comments as “irrational.”
“I can’t think of a presidential candidate who would have said those kinds of things,” he told Fox News. “If you’re going to run for president of the United States, you cannot talk that way about the people who intend to kill us. Who are dying to kill us. … This is capitulation.”
I am not actually surprised by her stance. Don’t get me wrong, she is a shrewd and intelligent woman, but one who often fails to see “the big picture” in policy making (that was always Bill’s strong point) and who has been caught out exaggerating her own successes as well as trying to hide her obvious failures (she’s sorry that she “misspoke” about Bosnia and about “only governments create jobs” during the mid-terms).
So where does the latest comment on how she would deal with her enemies by “empathising” with them leave her? Given that the current enemy of freedom and democracy seems to be radical Islam and ISIS, I struggle to find any empathy for people who believe that I should be murdered because of my sexual preference or that beheading people who are of a different religion, a different sect or even simply not as radical a Muslim as they like is acceptable.
These are not matters of empathy or compromise, this is not the basis for US/Soviet-style détente. ISIS and other forms of radical Islam are the absolute antithesis of everything that Hillary Clinton claims to represent, be it freedom and equality for women or respect for the rights of the individual. These are matters of principle and I would argue that this is why Hillary has failed in the past and will continue to do so.
RAB of this place has described Hillary as “the once and future Queen“, but I strongly suspect that any chance she had of gaining the Whitehouse slipped away in 2008, indeed when you look at Hillary’s actual performance, going back to the HillaryCare plan of the 1990′s, it is clear that too often she compromises when she should have stuck to principles.
I understand very well that the nature of Washington, given the delicate balance between Republicans and Democrats, is that all achievements tend to be matters of compromise, but what works for a legislature of Washington insiders looks from the outside like corrupt, pork-barrel politics.
Hillary may be still be in the lead for the Democratic nomination in 2016, but I doubt she will win the Whitehouse, because she is simply too old, tainted, compromised and out-of-touch – even her latest PR campaign is just appalling in its schmaltzy and patronising attempt to get those who aren’t followers of her agenda to back her, namely the vast swathes of middle America.
I have long known that Mr Max Keiser is a propagandist who works for Mr Putin’s “Russia Today” attacking the West. However, vile as he is, I have accepted that Mr Keiser is sometimes effective at his job – an effective propagandist. I think this is no longer true….
Russell Brand (yes the long haired moron) described as a “real revolutionary – someone who will lead the revolution” by Mr Keiser today on his show. And without the slightest hint of sarcasm or irony.
Followed by an interview with a lady who wants everyone (the entire adult population) paid to take part in politics – “like Ancient Athens” (blissfully unaware that the payment of citizens just for turning up to the Assembly marked the start of the DECLINE of Athens).
The subsidy of the rich is wrong – but the correct response is not to subsidise everyone (in the hope that Klingons, or some such, will pick up the bill).
And “revolution” is not going to solve anything.
Time for Mr Putin to hire new propagandists – his old ones have gone stale.
There is an industry which concerns itself with helping to create these when Mother Nature isn’t quite doing her job. But it needs to be regulated, you know. It really does. Even Mr. Wesley J. Smith, of whom more below, says so, though he otherwise disagrees with Ms. Cristina Richie, whose views are our topic today. (The gentleman’s remark rather sounds as though he approves of “regulation,” and disapproves of its lack, on principle.)
Anyway, it turns out that Carbon Legacies, even when naturally occurring, are not an unmitigated good. Indeed, one might question whether they are a Good Thing at all, even as others are delighted with theirs, or with the prospects of acquiring such.
Here is the abstract of an article from the Journal of Medical Ethics by Cristina Richie, Theology Department, Boston College, which argues that since every human “emits carbon” into the environment,
Evaluating the ethics of offering reproductive services against its overall harm to the environment makes unregulated ARTs unjustified….
“ART” stands for “Assisted Reproductive Technology.” It includes such things as fertilization in vitro and artificial insemination, as well as methods of having babies where the child might be born with AIDS, surrogate pregnancy, and more.
(WikiFootia has a good overview.)
From Ms. Richie’s article:
A carbon footprint is the aggregate of resource use and carbon emissions over a person’s life. A carbon legacy occurs when a person chooses to procreate. All people have carbon footprints; only people with biological children have carbon legacies.
(I have had some non-biological “children,” but only in a figurative sense, such as patterns of words set down on paper or sent into cyberspace. But it seems to me that actual non-biological children are probably rather rare.)
Now ask me what I think. C’mon, you know you want to! *g* Well, lest the multitude of Kounting Kitties hereabouts get to yowling from the suspense….
Views in which “the environment” is seen as of higher moral value than human beings as such — whether conceived in delight or after a fight, or both, or neither — are perverse in the strongest and most serious sense of the word. (Compact OED, Print Ed., 1971, = 1933 OED plus addenda, gives various definitions, several of which boil down to “turning away from right to wrong.”) To me, the word has a connotation of DELIGHT in turning from right to wrong, and a deliberate inversion of right and wrong, so that the evil is embraced as good and the good, as evil.
All I can say is, I place a very high value on my own personal Carbon Legacy, who in early middle age continues to provide joy, light, and warmth to my life. Besides, this person grows houseplants and, in summer, tomatoes and peppers, so I figure that offsets the inevitable “emission of carbon.” (Whatever does Ms. Richie think that means? There’s a huge variety of carbon-containing molecules that are “emitted” by a huge variety of sources, most of them “natural.”) Personally I think that once we’ve gotten fluorine out of the way by banning it (per a suggestion by some doofus over here), we should simply ban carbon. That would solve everything. At least from the human point of view, which would no longer exist.
. . .
I will let Mr. Wesley J. Smith, of LifeNews.com, have the last word. He has a piece on this entitled “Population Controllers Call Babies ‘Carbon Legacies,’ a Threat to the Environment.” Per Mr. Smith:
And Jesus said, ‘Suffer the little carbon legacies to come onto me’….
The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet.
Not a Sam Harris fan, as I dislike and mistrust militant atheists just as much as other militantly religious or anti-religious folk. Particularly when they seem to believe it’s they themselves to whom the phrase “from God’s mouth to your ear” applies.
But this piece by Mr. Harris is an op-ed that by me deserves great praise, particularly as it probably offends most of his natural audience. (Of course, I don’t agree with every word, nor every implication.) And I know why he put in all those parentheticals: It’s to try and cut off at the pass the obvious accusations with which we’re all too familiar.
Audio at source, from which the following are excerpts. The whole is a fair bit longer, and of course better integrated.
July 27, 2014
AUDIO TRANSCRIPT [Note: This is a verbatim transcript of a spoken podcast. However, I have added notes like this one to clarify controversial points.—SH]
The question I’ve now received in many forms goes something like this: Why is it that you never criticize Israel? Why is it that you never criticize Judaism? Why is it that you always take the side of the Israelis over that of the Palestinians?
I have criticized both Israel and Judaism. … I’ve kept some sense of proportion. There are something like 15 million Jews on earth at this moment; there are a hundred times as many Muslims. I’ve debated rabbis who, when I have assumed that they believe in a God that can hear our prayers, they stop me mid-sentence and say, “Why would you think that I believe in a God who can hear prayers?” So there are rabbis—conservative rabbis—who believe in a God so elastic as to exclude every concrete claim about Him—and therefore, nearly every concrete demand upon human behavior. And there are millions of Jews, literally millions among the few million who exist, for whom Judaism is very important, and yet they are atheists. They don’t believe in God at all. This is actually a position you can hold in Judaism, but it’s a total non sequitur in Islam or Christianity.
I certainly don’t support any Jewish claims to real estate based on the Bible. [Note: Read this paragraph again.]
Though I just said that I don’t think Israel should exist as a Jewish state, the justification for such a state is rather easy to find. We need look no further than the fact that the rest of the world has shown itself eager to murder the Jews at almost every opportunity. So, if there were going to be a state organized around protecting members of a single religion, it certainly should be a Jewish state.
[Note: It is worth observing, however, that Israel isn’t “Jewish” in the sense that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are “Muslim.” As my friend Jerry Coyne points out, Israel is actually less religious than the U.S., and it guarantees freedom of religion to its citizens. Israel is not a theocracy, and one could easily argue that its Jewish identity is more cultural than religious. ....]
More civilians have been killed in Gaza in the last few weeks than militants. That’s not a surprise because Gaza is one of the most densely populated places on Earth. Occupying it, fighting wars in it, is guaranteed to get woman and children and other noncombatants killed. ….
Whatever terrible things the Israelis have done, it is also true to say that they have used more restraint in their fighting against the Palestinians than we—the Americans, or Western Europeans—have used in any of our wars. They have endured more worldwide public scrutiny than any other society has ever had to while defending itself against aggressors. The Israelis simply are held to a different standard. And the condemnation leveled at them by the rest of the world is completely out of proportion to what they have actually done. [Note: I was not saying that because they are more careful than we have been at our most careless, the Israelis are above criticism. War crimes are war crimes.]
It is clear that Israel is losing the PR war and has been for years now. One of the most galling things for outside observers about the current war in Gaza is the disproportionate loss of life on the Palestinian side. This doesn’t make a lot of moral sense. Israel built bomb shelters to protect its citizens. The Palestinians built tunnels through which they could carry out terror attacks and kidnap Israelis. Should Israel be blamed for successfully protecting its population in a defensive war? I don’t think so.
there is an obvious, undeniable, and hugely consequential moral difference between Israel and her enemies. The Israelis are surrounded by people who have explicitly genocidal intentions towards them. The charter of Hamas is explicitly genocidal. … [Note: Yes, I know that not every Palestinian supports Hamas, but enough do to have brought them to power. Hamas is not a fringe group.]
The discourse in the Muslim world about Jews is utterly shocking. Not only is there Holocaust denial—there’s Holocaust denial that then asserts that we will do it for real if given the chance. The only thing more obnoxious than denying the Holocaust is to say that it should have happened; it didn’t happen, but if we get the chance, we will accomplish it. There are children’s shows that teach five-year-olds about the glories of martyrdom and about the necessity of killing Jews.
And this gets to the heart of the moral difference between Israel and her enemies. And this is something I discussed in The End of Faith. To see this moral difference, you have to ask what each side would do if they had the power to do it.
The truth is that everything you need to know about the moral imbalance between Israel and her enemies can be understood on the topic of human shields. Who uses human shields? Well, Hamas certainly does.
Consider the moral difference between using human shields and being deterred by them. That is the difference we’re talking about. The Israelis and other Western powers are deterred, however imperfectly, by the Muslim use of human shields in these conflicts, as we should be. It is morally abhorrent to kill noncombatants if you can avoid it. It’s certainly abhorrent to shoot through the bodies of children to get at your adversary. But take a moment to reflect on how contemptible this behavior is. And understand how cynical it is. The Muslims are acting on the assumption—the knowledge, in fact—that the infidels with whom they fight, the very people whom their religion does nothing but vilify, will be deterred by their use of Muslim human shields.
There are reports that Israeli soldiers have occasionally put Palestinian civilians in front of them as they’ve advanced into dangerous areas. That’s not the use of human shields we’re talking about. It’s egregious behavior. No doubt it constitutes a war crime. But Imagine the Israelis holding up their own women and children as human shields. Of course, that would be ridiculous. The Palestinians are trying to kill everyone. Killing women and children is part of the plan. Reversing the roles here produces a grotesque Monty Python skit.
If you’re going to talk about the conflict in the Middle East, you have to acknowledge this difference. I don’t think there’s any ethical disparity to be found anywhere that is more shocking or consequential than this.
The truth is, we are all living in Israel. It’s just that some of us haven’t realized it yet.
There is one statement in here that I’ll bet will surprise everybody except maybe Mr. Cats, who may have already seen the video. It’s about Nixon, and it surprised me.
For those whose computers are either deaf or mute, the video is accompanied by a transcript at FrontPage Mag.
Sad to see the OED is just as full of propaganda as the Usual Suspects, including the above. And it don’ spik-a da Englees so good no more, neither. See the dreadfully ungrammatical sentences that once-revered “dictionary” now uses. The OUP should be ashamed of itself, it should. I quit using Oxford sometime last year (I do have the Compact OED print edition, 1971, but it’s a bit of a chore since there’s not room for it at my workstation, a.k.a. the kitchen table; also, the print is reeeelly teensy). Nowadays I use Webster’s from 1828 or 1913, the earlier preferably, but sometimes both. Merriam-Webster is less than stellar, and Webster’s College has been a joke since college.
And as long as I’m b**chin’ anyway, Word 97 included “Encarta” as its dictionary. “Encarta” was not written for anybody reading beyond first-grade level.
I wasn’t able to copy the images in The Blaze’s article, q.v., nor at the linked sites, but I hunted up the OED’s definition of “bigotry,” and it’s (currently) just as the original image shows. I’ve set it off from the text between dashed lines.
Jun. 13, 2014 4:00pm Jason Howerton
Google the word “bigotry” and the definition provided links the term to “right-wing” ideology. The Daily Caller’s Betsy Rothstein was the first to point out the “shocking way” Google uses the word in a sentence.
Definition of bigotry in English:
Bigoted attitudes; intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself: the report reveals racism and right-wing bigotry
However, before you rage against Google, it should be noted that the definition apparently comes directly from the Oxford Dictionary.
Mediaite’s Andrew Kirell points out there are other sentence examples from Oxford:
“There is nothing amusing about snobbery, racism, bigotry, misogyny and xenophobia,” “Intolerance and racial bigotry is a destructive force that can create tensions in local communities,” and “Empty churches may well be empty because of the image that we are presenting narrowness and bigotry and prejudice.”
Interestingly, Google also provides a graph showing the steady decline of the usage of the word “bigotry.”
[The graph is presented here, at the source.]
This could be due to the increased use of words like “racism” and “homophobia,” both of which have seen dramatic spikes based, according to Google.
This is USS Zumwalt…
Just launched at a cost of umpty billions. Now I know aeroplanes and bugger all about ships but does that not look rather similar to a US Civil War ironclad to you? Like this…
The Zumwalt class is designed to have the radar sig of a fishing smack. I guess you might get much the same from the CSS Albermarle not, obviously, that it was an issue at the time. It is possible (and the USN has been ickling on about railguns for some time and a planning sea trials in 2016 which is when the Zumwalt is due to enter service. So clearly looks may deceive and it might look the same but be bigger on the inside so to speak.)
So… It’s kinda odd but for completely different reasons the naval architects have gone back to the future. Either that or the Confederacy had some unknown naval genius beavering away and designing a low radar-return ship almost a century before radar.
But, and this is a biggy for me. Now it might sound nit-picking but how the heck is that a destroyer? It displaces 15,000 tons, it is 610ft long. That is a cruiser at least. Surely. Is this some bizarre ruse to get the funding past Congress? Because the Zumwalt class is essentially designed as a 1-1 replacement for the Iowa class battleships.
That is a broadside from an Iowa class (Actually BB61 USS Iowa). Those are 16″ guns. Who needs railguns when you can hurl a shell the mass of a VW for a couple of dozen miles. I’d be much more impressed by railguns on the Zumwalt if it was nuclear powered and therefore had practically unlimited electricity. Hell’s teeth I’d be going for a fully nuclear navy! No need for oilers and fill ‘er up every 25 years! You’d buy a car that did that. Especially if it had a railgun. It has to be noted though that we won the Cold War partly (thank you Ronnie!) with recommissioned Iowa class battleships and the off-key caterwauling of skanty-clad songstresses. I dunno which scared the Kremlin most. But they are very big guns indeed and Cher is wearing very little indeed. That was the ’80s and that is how we won. Hard and soft pressure. Ronnie and MTV – an unstoppable alliance.
I mean can you imagine how dull communism must have been?
Yeah, and inevitably here’s the video…
Yeah, I liked the ’80s. We seemed to be going somewhere and that dear reader is a guilty pleasure from the era. But that’s one hell of a ship whatever you think of Cher.
And if we had another Ronnie then Vlad would be hiding under a table in the Kremlin with stained trews. And if we could take out Comrade Kim and the Ayatollahs and dear old Bob and… I can dream. But that video speaks to me of serious belief in our moral, social, military and economic might. We believed it then. That is why I liked the ’80s.
PS. The Iowa class were designed to be Panamax. They had 18″ wiggle room so never again complain about parking in TESCO.
PPS. This has been edited by moi. This fecking Toshiba is at the very end of the tether.
The War of the Community Organizers. Mr. Greenfield explains that both of them need their enemies, in order to ensure their power.
Obama and Putin: Two Totalitarians, One Game
March 27, 2014 by Daniel Greenfield
[ ... ]
Every time a battle is won and an election ends, a new source of social conflict is dug up and deployed for war.
As a domestic radical, divisiveness is his natural weapon. Obama plays on fragmented identities, assembling coalitions to wage war against some phantom white heteronormative patriarchy consisting of a middle class barely able to pay its bills.
[ ... ]
[Obama's coalition] needs an enemy to give it meaning. Without a common enemy it will tear itself apart and die.
The same is true of the anti-American coalition that Putin has cobbled together out of Marxist dictators in Latin America, Shiite fanatics in Iran, a North Korean prep school grad who starves his people to build nukes and radical American leftists convinced that every war is a CIA conspiracy. Like allying the NAACP, AFL-CIO and GLAAD; it’s an odd conclave, but as long as everyone focuses on a common foe, they can all be herded in the right direction.
Obama is an adequate national community organizer, but Putin is a global community organizer.
It’s not just that Obama is weak and inept, but he’s using a rulebook that Moscow is entirely familiar with because its men helped write it. The KGB vets running the show understand Obama intimately because they understood his mentors. The tactics that Obama and his people imagine are clever and innovative are minor examples of the tactics that the USSR was using abroad before he was even born.
Obama isn’t isolating Putin. Putin is isolating Obama. He’s doing it in the same way that Obama did it to Republicans.
Anti-Americanism has nothing to with America. Anti-Americanism creates a phantom enemy.
[ ... ]
Obama needs a Republican enemy to keep his people in line. Putin needs an American enemy to keep his people in line. If Obama understood this, he would also understand that Putin is as likely to work with him to defuse the conflict, as Obama would with John Boehner.
Putin and Obama are both deeply corrupt men whose former popularity has waned and are badly in need of distractions.
[ ... ]
Obama thinks globally and acts locally. Putin thinks locally and acts globally.
Putin is determined to score points from the post-American transition. Reducing American power and influence worldwide was a move that the foreign policy left believed would defuse tensions. Instead it has turned into a gold rush for every petty tyrant and terrorist eager to count coup by humiliating the United States.
Obama wanted a peaceful post-American transition. Instead he’s getting worldwide chaos and war.
Putin seeks out a conflict with the United States for the same reason that Obama seeks one out with Republicans….
I’ve recently got back from Amsterdam. Now I suppose it is moderately unusual to collapse into giggles in the Rijksmuseum’s section on Dutch 12th-17th Century art but I managed it. This is a detail from the picture that made me laugh…
That is a detail from The Egg Dance by Pieter Aertsen.
What made me laugh though was the caption next to it…
At right, in this brothel, a young man does an egg dance to the music of a bagpiper. While dancing, he had to roll an egg within a chalk circle – without it breaking – and to cover it with a wooden bowl. This ‘pointless’ amusement, along with the dissolute behaviour of the other figures, served as a moral warning against debauchery.
Emphasis mine. I just loved the phrase “This ‘pointless’ amusement”. Sums up life really. Less, seriously though, this was painted in 1552 and I guess you had to make your own amusement back then. The Rijksmuseum does also boast a large collection of impedimenta for drinking games. An inventive (if drunken) lot those renaissance Dutch.
In fact it stuck in my mind so much that upon my return I googled (I think the term is so ubiquitous as to have lost the capital like “hoover” has) the picture. I found this.
Now one of the first things I wondered was why the Rijksmuseum was so sure it was a brothel. To me (and my wife) it just looked like a fairly chaotic party in a home…
At the back of the room an old man is playing the bagpipes. Because of its shape, the instrument often symbolised the male genitalia. In the window is a jug containing a leek, a vegetable of the onion family. A sixteenth-century viewer would immediately have realised that the scene was a room in a brothel. Onions were supposed to be a stimulant. All around lie onion flowers, leek leaves and mussels, which were supposed to have the same quality. It was also thought to be true of eggs, the theme of the painting.
OK, the bagpipes I kinda got already. That’s a bit of a classic (cf Hieronymous Bosch)…
… Or indeed this. It is amazing how, across culture, time and geography, symbolism can be both steady yet sometimes obscure like the leek. Though that might explain the perennial appeal of Sir Tom Jones (or why, as I type, the Welsh are giving the Scots a hammering at the Rugby). This evening I shall be in the peculiar situation of cheering on France). Anyway back to my point.
From the same source (I almost hit “sauce” – hmm…)…
Pieter Aertsen has given this piquant scene a moral message that appears to reflect his own moral reservations. A joker is depicted on one of the wooden boards on the table, left, and on the other a goat jumping. These are cards in a Tarot set. In the sixteenth century everyone would have understood that these symbolised drunkenness and lust. The reel above the fireplace on the right is a sign of folly: in fact ‘reeling’ is still used today to describe a person swaying or staggering from the effects of alcohol.
The Egg Dance is one of the earliest paintings of a peasant scene. The elongated form suggests it was designed to be hung above a fireplace. This kind of genre painting was popular among the burghers of the cities. The moralistic message was often an excuse to paint a piquant scene. Aertsen was also commissioned to paint large religious works for churches. However, many of these were destroyed during the Iconoclast fury.
Emphasis mine. There is something almost reassuring about the continuity of this moral hypocrisy. We see it in modern times with the Islamosphere and the idea that a normally dressed woman is a hussy. And elsewhere.
“…the American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity. She knows it lies in the face, and in expressive eyes, and thirsty lips. She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs” and she shows all this and does not hide it.”
- Sayyid Qutb (founder of the Muslim Brotherhood who are currently sexually assaulting “inappropriately hijabed” women and girls in Egypt” describing a Methodist tea-dance in Colorado in 1950.
Qutb apparently died a virgin having failed to find a woman “pure” enough for him. It would be farcical but for the Hell that has followed in his wake.
Or what about the most sanctimonious of businesses – the Co-op and it’s “Crystal Methodist”? The Co-op sells “ethical water” (whatever that might be) and it’s ordained Methodist preacher bank boss was using crystal meth, crack cocaine, ketamine and rent boys. Oh, and the bank had a “black hole” of over GBP1.5bn.
My favouritist newspaper in all the World is of course the Daily Mail which routinely in it’s “News” section includes scare stories about the sexualization of girls and women being driven into eating disorders by being “forced” by the media into looking like models and starlets right next to the “Femail” column (how cute) which is supposed to be about women’s issues (yeah, right). It includes stuff like this all the time.
So, to tie this all together… I’m not sure how but in some sense (and there are different variations but the basic tune is always the same) “elites”* of all descriptions will always find some sort of justification to indulge in the sins they would deny the plebs or… Well, something along those lines. Qutb is an outlier but there is still the same infernal moral arrogance of “I can see this for I am pure but you can’t”. It is the same as the burghers of Amsterdam all those years ago titillating themselves whilst feeling (or pretending to feel) morally superior to the lower orders.
Apparently there are things in the dungeon of the British Library that are so vile they can only be accessed in the presence of a couple of trustees of the British Library and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
I bet Prince Philip has had a gleg…
*A term in political discourse I hate because when I was a lad “elite” meant the SAS and such. And not just gits.
A most interesting, longish piece in which Daniel Greenfield discusses the place of Climate-Alarmism, and of turn-of-the-20th-century SF, in what one might call “The Project for Social Change” (cue the Usual Suspects). Follow the Kitties to Zanzibar: Read the whole thing.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
The Green Socialists of Mars
Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog — 14 Comments
We live in a strange world in which the weather is a subject of furious political debate. People have been arguing about the weather ever since the first rainstorm caught the first man without the umbrella that he did not yet know how to make, but they didn’t hold political debates over it.
For the last fifty years, the anti-weather side has been insisting that the world is headed toward a Frostean apocalypse of ice or fire. …. The end of weather was here.
[ ... ]
The original error of climate researchers was their assumption that planets were more fragile than they truly are and could be undone by a nuclear exchange or even by a few coal plants. Carl Sagan, who had done much to popularize unscientific paranoia about nuclear winter and global warming, warned that the Gulf War’s oil fires would lead to a miniature nuclear winter.
They did not.
The mingling of philosophical paranoia over a godless universe and political pacifism disguised as science shaped not only Sagan’s musings, but the entire ideology of weather apocalypses which derived from the conviction that ungoverned man was bound to destroy his environment.
[ ... ]
Socialist science fiction had become a booming field in the late 19th century. Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward had envisioned time travel to a Socialist American utopia in the year 2000. It was a bad book, but a popular bestseller because it used the frame of pseudoscience to depict Socialism as both a practical model and inevitable. …
Novels such as “Politics and Life in Mars”, “Unveiling a Parallel”, “To Mars via the Moon”, “A Prophetic Romance” and “Red Star” envisioned culturally superior Martians demonstrating their advanced Socialist societies with income equality, planetary labor unions and pacifism to the human race.
In the Russian “Red Star,” the Lowellian canals are a Communist triumph over inhospitable nature anticipating the USSR and Communist China’s disastrous dam projects. The German writer of “Two Planets” envisioned the advanced Martians invading Earth to impose their superior Socialist society on human beings.
The Martians, like Global Warming, were a tool of radical social change.
[ ... SNIP]
Single Acts of Tyranny proposes to tyrannize us by destroying our fondest dream, which is that hell is the creation of the Devil which takes the form of bringing to Humanity that most desirable of conditions, happiness and joy — O hell, World PEACE, happiness and joy — by denying us everything that any human being could possibly need or want. In this case, the sense of physical sweetness that sugar brings us.
Now along comes Perfesser “Nudge” Sunstein, who says, “No such thing”: It’s all the woolly-minded Paranoid Libertarians, who broadcast to us the Sirens’ wail in the form of warnings against such things as slippery-slope arguments, plus four more dreadful paranoid ploys.
On the other hand, the Comments to the articule (what an apt typo! think I’ll leave it) seem to be running rather heavily against what they see as the Prof’s muddying of the waters.
Actually, it’s my observation that as soon as you let the meaning of words (that is, their meaning in Standard English, since there does have to be a standard for interpretation somewhere or “it’s deuces wild”) — as soon as you let the meaning of words become unmoored from their core meaning in Standard English, you are deep into the territory of the Slippery Slope and worse. Mr. Whittle did a wonderful illustration of how this works, on a Trifecta a few years back. If you have a “standard” as opposed to “basic” (but still paid) membership, I think it is, you can still watch it.
But I’m O/T there. The point is that ANY argument can, in my experience, be stretched to prove anything whatsoever, if you have just the teensiest bit of imagination. And Lefties are loaded with it, as long it informs them that their plans will work so well that they should just naturally have the final say.
Go, read — including the Comments, until you get bored: there are 288 of them so far, some meaty — and be Enlightened.
PS: Acts, no offense. That first line is my idea of humor. I do like your idea of putting 5 kg. of sugar in jail, though. Maybe it work to help me lose a little around the hips. :>)
Yes, you heard it right. For my next trick I suspect it’ll have to be kite-surfing with the Dalai Lama.
Anyway, Nick Griffin, the now bankrupt leader of the BNP is presenting cookery shows on Youtube. I suppose it’s a bit like de-snagging LANs with Hitler. Or something. “Goering, you never told me this network was installed by a Herr Cohen!!!”. I digress and must move on because I have a 9am building a tokamak with Ant & Dec.
Anyway, here is the new Nigella in all his shambolic glory.
Well, there are things to note. I can cook and a beef casserole is one of my “signature dishes”. OK, I’m not exactly Michel Roux Jr (who is a perfidious frog, obviously – despite being a UK citizen – and my Mum fancies him!) and Mr Griffin cooked this veritable feast upon an Aga which is of course Swedish and we don’t want those Scandies coming over here with their affordable, but unfathomable furniture and their raping and pillaging of Lindisfarne (Northumberland folk-rock *shudder*) and all that. I once saw a doc about a plumber of Pakistani origin who fixed Agas. He was making a mint out of deranged cougars in Surrey who thought the path to enlightenment required the boiler from the Great Eastern chugging away in their kitchen. Anyway this guy who was doing well (and fair play) branded himself as “The Aga Khan”. It amused me.
Please watch the whole thing if you can. It is long but hilarious in parts. Some of it didn’t exactly amuse me though such as Nicky wearing a “Help for Heroes” shirt. I wonder what the Gurkhas or the many other Commonwealth troops in our armed forces think of that? Or what women make of it or how anyone who isn’t a total moron takes his advice on the need to remove the foil from a stock cube? Well the last one is funny. As are some similar “Top Tips”…