Friday, November 25, 2005


I supppose it is a bit dastardly of me to mark Thanksgiving Day in this way but I am going to remind my American readers that the devout Protestant Pilgrim Fathers who held the first Thanksgiving were also such devout communists that it took a couple of years of starvation before they gave communism up and rediscovered private property. One account of all that is here. Communism was a killer even in those days. So much for the idea that Christianity and conservatism are necessarily associated. I offer an historical look at the relationship between Christianity and politics here -- where I also look the authoritarian element in Christianity.

We have no Thanksgiving or other harvest festival in Australia but the original white Australians also had an ambiguous relationship to private property. Most of them were convicted thieves -- including two of my ancestors.



The secular Puritans of modern-day Massachusetts: "The Puritans of Massachusetts have been dead for 300 years, but their authoritarian ghosts haunt us to this day. Consider the plight of Whole Foods Market, an international chain of natural and organic food stores, which found itself accused of planning to engage in criminal activity in its 14 Massachusetts stores this week. What high crimes and misdemeanors was the upscale grocer plotting? It was going to open its doors for business on Thanksgiving. Shocking but true: It was going to sell fruit and vegetables and milk and desserts.... In short, Whole Foods was going to make its wares available to Massachusetts customers on Thanksgiving -- just as it does for customers in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and more than two dozen other states nationwide.... The attorney general of Massachusetts looked at it and saw a crime. In a stiff letter to Whole Foods last week, Attorney General Thomas Reilly noted that under Chapter 136 of the Massachusetts legal code, "the performance of work on legal holidays is prohibited, unless permitted by a statutory exemption." If Whole Foods opened its doors on Thanksgiving, the letter warned, it could face "criminal and equitable enforcement actions to enjoin violations of the Blue Laws." Ah, yes, the blue laws -- those rules and regulations imposed by New England's 17th-century Puritan theocrats to govern moral conduct and ensure proper observance of the Sabbath."

How unsurprising: Massachusetts in deal with Venezuela: "Thousands of low-income Massachusetts residents will receive discounted home heating oil this winter under an agreement signed Tuesday with Venezuela, whose government is a political adversary of the Bush administration. A subsidiary of Venezuela's state-owned oil company will supply oil at 40 percent below market prices. It will be distributed by two nonprofit organizations, Citizens Energy Corp. and the Mass Energy Consumer Alliance. The agreement gives President Hugo Chavez's government standing as a provider of heating assistance to poor U.S. residents at a time when U.S. oil companies have been reluctant to do so and Congress has failed to expand aid in response to rising oil prices. U.S. Rep. William Delahunt, D-Mass., met with Chavez in August and helped broker the deal. He said his constituents' needs for heating assistance trump any political points the Chavez administration can score".

Hillary hypocrisy: "Without question, Hillary Clinton is using every weapon of mass deception in her arsenal to attain the Presidency. With a solid lock on the liberal vote, Clinton is now pursuing moderate voters with breath-taking zeal. Senator Clinton has been remarkably successful at distancing herself from her husband's legacy of appeasing Osama bin Laden by casting herself as one of the few Democratic Party leaders who supports the liberation of Iraq. While she may be successful at fooling a pliable public, one of the major issues that will stand in her way is her unabashed support for abortion on demand".

Leftists indifferent to evils "If you want to understand the Left, most of what you need to know can be summarized thus: The Left hates inequality, not evil. As one raised as a New York Jew (who, moreover, attended an Ivy League university) and therefore liberal -- it took me a while to recognize this fatal moral characteristic of the Left. But the moment I realized it, it became immoral not to oppose leftist values.... Thus, when President Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire," the liberal world condemned him. The Cold War, once regarded as an epochal battle between freedom and tyranny, came to be regarded by liberals as an amoral battle between "two superpowers." Likewise liberals almost universally mocked President George W. Bush when he labeled Saddam Hussein's Iraq, North Korea and Iran an "axis of evil." It takes a mind that either has little comprehension of evil or little desire to confront it to object to characterizing three of the worst regimes in modern history as "evil." How else can one explain the Left's enchantment with Fidel Castro, the totalitarian ruler of Cuba?"

California's not-so-bright future: "By 2020, California will be more crowded, its population older and its racial composition dominated by Latinos, according to a report released Tuesday. The changes will pose challenges to state lawmakers, who will have to grapple with the additional pressures on already-strained schools and health-care systems, according to the report by the California Budget Project. In just 15 years, one in seven Californians will be age 65 or older, the state will add 10 million residents, and Latinos will account for 43 percent of the population, with whites accounting for about 34 percent. The white and Latino populations are expected to become equal in 2010, when each is projected to account for 39 percent of the population, said Barbara Baran, associate director of the organization and the report's author. The report, "Planning for California's Future," examined Census data and figures from the California Department of Finance. While it doesn't offer recommendations, its intent is to warn lawmakers of the coming shifts".

Attitudes to Iraq: "The Pew Research Center and the Council on Foreign Relations just released a survey of American elites that found that 64% of military officers are confident that we will succeed in establishing a stable democracy in Iraq. The comparable figures for journalists and academics are 33% and 27%, respectively. Even more impressive than the Pew poll is the evidence of how our service members are voting with their feet. Although both the Army and the Marine Corps are having trouble attracting fresh recruits - no surprise, given the state of public opinion regarding Iraq - reenlistment rates continue to exceed expectations. Veterans are expressing their confidence in the war effort by signing up to continue fighting."

The weird one is antisemitic too: "The Anti-Defamation League has demanded an apology from Michael Jackson after a US TV network aired what was said to be a telephone answering machine message in which the pop star referred to Jews as "leeches". The message was supposedly recorded two years ago and has now surfaced in connection with a lawsuit against the pop star. "Michael Jackson has an anti-Semitic streak and hasn't learned from his past mistakes," Anti-Defamation League director Abraham Foxman said in a statement. "It seems every time he has a problem in his life, he blames it on Jews." Jackson infuriated Jewish groups in 1995 when his song They Don't Care About Us included the lyrics "Jew me, sue me, everybody do me, kick me, kike me"."

Grandpa John is a good blog. How do I know? They quote this blog quite a lot! They also seem to agree with Dick McDonald about the low casualty rate in Iraq. They need a new template, though.

For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).


Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.

The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)

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