Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday's Thoughts: Pope Francis, Corbyn's Labour Woes, and Some Other Stuff

By Kit

It is a double-post today. First, a few words on the Pope's speech and then an op-ed column-length post on the latest woes for the new UK Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. And after that, some random stuff on Japan and the Trump.

Thoughts on Pope Francis

Papal infallibility is a funny thing. In theory, other than canonization of saints, it applies only to those statements that deal with the faith and morals of the whole church. The result is that it has a rather narrow application, just how narrow is up for debate. Some cast a fairly wide, though still narrower than often believed, net, others very narrow. Some have argued that only six statements by Pope’s in the past few hundred years are grounded in infallibility.

In practice, however, it’s application is a tad muddier. You see, it is often applied only to those statements where the Pope and the person speaking are in agreement, and the Pope whose infallibility is being referenced need not even be alive for it to matter. And a later or earlier Pope’s statement may contradict him. All that matters is the Pope whose opinion is being referenced is in agreement with the person speaking on this particular subject.

Thus, our current situation.

As a Protestant, what the Pope says has little sway on my opinion but what he says can have an impact on what a lot of other people think about economics or immigration. Or, rather, what they think he is saying about economics or immigration.

Therefore it behooves American conservatives to (respectfully, mind you) both point out where he is wrong and correct him, articulating just why he is wrong while acknowledging where he is right, or at the very least has a point, and give the conservative movement’s response to that issue, be it concerns about income inequality or the environment. American conservatism has answers for each of those concerns or issues.

We live in a country where, as Thomas Sowell has repeatedly stated, most of the people in the bottom twenty percent will end up in the top twenty percent at some point in their lives. That is the miracle of the Free Market system. The least we could do is argue for it. Passionately and respectfully.

There is a lot to like in his speech, though there are, naturally, many points of disagreement, such as the death penalty. But instead of shirking from the debate, shrieking in shrill tones about the “Marxist Pope!” we should be using it as a starting point for stating where we differ and why we differ and, when we find places of even some agreement, using it to find common ground. This speech can serve as a basis for many arguments on behalf of American Conservatism.

And, who knows? Maybe the Pontifex will hear us.

Corbyn's New New Labour Woes

Since hard-left Jeremy Corbyn became head of the Labour Party, riding a wave of very vocal support from the Russell Brand Red Twitter Youth, he has done exactly what Tony Blair and and the rest of the New Labour folks predicted he would do; make the Labour Party look like a bunch of crazed commies who make the raving Caledonian lunatic George “I miss the USSR” Galloway look remarkably sane and lucid. (Ok, maybe not lucid)

In the past week or two we have had at least two, no three, controversies flare up over his election as Labour leader, most involving his Shadow appointments. Now, before we go on, a “Shadow” appointment is an appointment in Parliamentary governments made by the leading opposition party. They sort-of serve as spokesmen and women for the opposition party on various issues. A “Shadow Home Office Secretary” will serve to present the Party’s positions on Home Office-related policies in opposition to the governing party’s policies.

First, there was John McDonnell, picked as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer (equivalent to their Secretary of the Treasury, sort of). It turns out, in 2003 the man called for the IRA terrorists to received honors. Really.

At a meeting to commemorate Bobby Sands, the IRA terrorist who died during a hunger strike, he said, “It's about time we started honouring those people involved in the armed struggle. It was the bombs and bullets and sacrifice made by the likes of Bobby Sands that brought Britain to the negotiating table.

Now, considering it was Irish Republican terrorists who spent 30 years bombing or shooting Britons and Northern Irish Protestants, ultimately killing 2,139 people, 1,771 of them killed by IRA, including a few Tory MPs, this did not go over well, especially once it was brought up by MP Nigel Dodds during the Prime Minister’s Questions (which you can see here: LINK) and McDonnell was forced issue an apology, which was more of an “I’m sorry if you were offended” apology than the more appropriate “I’m sorry for being a terrorist-loving twit” apology.

Oh, and in 2010 he joked if he could go back in time he would “assassinate Thatcher”, which the IRA tried to do in 1984. Classy. (He “apologized” for that one, too)

Second, despite having a majority-woman cabinet, none of those women held senior leadership posts, prompting an uproar from the Feminist wing of the Labour Party. Women were appointed but all to junior posts like “Shadow Secretary of State for Farming” (for an idea how that particular appointment has gone, see below) or some similar post that no federal government with a population of 50 million or more with a country that is more than capable of federalism should have. As one feminist tweeted, “It doesn't count as a majority women shadow cabinet if you just make up clearly more junior positions for the women.”

But, really, they shouldn’t be too surprised, as one departing Labour Party member said, this is a man who has been best buddies with the kind of Islamist preachers who have deep, thoughtful, and intellectual discussions on under what circumstances a man may beat his wife. And it wasn’t like this was unknown, there were numerous stories in the papers about his connections with radical Islamists, but these hard-core Feminists never seem to care about domestic abuse or sexual slavery when carried out in the Muslim world. After all, those men are probably just reacting logically to white patriarchal imperial aggression, or something.

Third, one of his female appointees, this Kerry McCarthy, a self-proclaimed “militant vegan”, as shadow environment and agriculture minister, (a choice The Guardian a week ago called “a good move”) stated she wants a massive, widespread public service campaign depicting the dangers of and the “evils” caused by meat-eating similar to the public service campaign done a decade or so earlier against smoking.

She, like McDonnell, has a history of nutty. 3 years ago, for instance, she took to twitter to call a fellow passenger wearing a somewhat risqué t-shirt on a train a “lager drinking oaf” who “should’ve been killed before he could breed.” Oh, and she had earlier been named the Labour Party’s “twitter tsar” before she apparently got canned for releasing some election results too early (which is illegal in the UK).

What a charming group of folks Mr. Corbyn has surrounded himself with! May they bring us many more joys in the years to come. Anyway, here is a good song for Mr. Corbyn, one that I think he will appreciate: LINK


Rich Lowry joked on Fox News that Carly Fiorina cut off Trump’s balls. Trump, who has said far worse, took offense, and went to twitter about it, proclaiming that he should be fired and fined by the FCC.
First, the FCC has no jurisdiction over Cable news.
Second, Trump has said far worse.
Third, trying to sue the Club for Growth for running ads and demanding Lowry and Fox News be fined by the FCC has a whiff of Putinism to it; using the powers of the state against political enemies.

A study was done at Fukushima on possible illnesses caused by the leaked radiation. Apparently, the stress caused by the evacuation in fear of the radiation was more dangerous than the radiation itself. Far more dangerous. There were 1,600 deaths stress-related deaths caused that have been connected to the evacuation while “Even among Fukushima workers, the number of additional cancer cases in coming years is expected to be so low as to be undetectable, a blip impossible to discern against the statistical background noise.”
Proving once again that, unless the reactor was built by the Soviet Union, nuclear power is pretty safe.
(Source: New York Times)

On Japan, the Japanese Diet, their parliament, passed a law re-interpreting the Japanese post-war constitution’s (that we wrote) provision renouncing war “as the policy of the nation” (that we put in) to allow for defense of allies (which we have been asking them too do for years).
If South Korea is upset by this, I would remind them that while Japan did many terrible things, most infamously the forced sexual enslavement of the “Comfort Women”, that today it is in China-sponsored North Korea that the use of Comfort Women still occurs, among many other depravities inflicted by that Kim-lead cult regime.



Unknown said...

Kit......As a Catholic, I look at the Pope as the head of the Church here on Earth. Not as "next to God" as a good friend and I argued just the other day. Pope's these days have nowhere near the power they did hundreds of years ago. Imagine being the leader of almost all the continent of Europe!

So, while Catholicism might be on the wane, he is still a very influential figure that can sway opinion among many. Hence, the comments regarding his political and environmental musings. It's not that big of a deal and serves to show his cloistered life these days...similar to some actor (I'm looking at you Gere) pontificating about the NYC homeless under DeBlasio.

Stick to acting, to religion and let the rest of us who are directly affected by leftists policies work it out amongst ourselves. We don't need someone who will NEVER be affected by those policies give us their opinion on it.

And that's all the Pope was doing. Giving us his opinion. Keep it to Church matters Francis.


Critch said...

The Pope holds infallibility only on matters of faith and only in accordance with the agreement of the College of Cardinals and Scripture. anything else you might here is just wishful thinking on someone's part. The Pope cannot just change doctrine. This Pope speaks from a podium that for the most part is above politics. Add that to the fact that he is essentially a parish priest who got elected Pope and you get some statements etc. that don't seem to jive with the Church; but they do. At the end of the day, far right wingers and far left wingers will be surprised to find out that he is indeed Roman Catholic. Remember, this Pope grew up in a dictatorship, Sometimes he doesn't watch his words as carefully as someone who grew up being trained for diplomacy.

Kit said...

"The Pope holds infallibility only on matters of faith and only in accordance with the agreement of the College of Cardinals and Scripture. anything else you might here is just wishful thinking on someone's part."

I agree, a point I hope I made. (And I'm Protestant!)

BevfromNYC said...

OT (kind of): Hey, I actually saw Pope Francis this morning! He was on his way to the UN to speak and came right down my street!. I was a little embarrassed after I realized that I had been jumping up and down shouting "OMG! It's the Pope!" to no one because no was standing near me except about 16 police officers...weird because I'm mostly Jewish.

Back on topic - Kit, I can't agree with you more about listening to Pope Francis. He is the leader of the Catholic Church unlike any other religious body, the CC is the only one to have a real figure head/leader. There is a Grand Rabbi, but who knows who he is and who is the Grand Imam? The only other religious leader who has as much historical clout is the Dalai Lama. I think Frances mission is to bring people back into the Church. And I agree that he has spent his entire career in South America and his ideas are born from the politics of South American political machine.

As opposed to Pope John Paul II who was political in his own right with helping to free Eastern Europe from the Soviets But his perspective was much more balanced and he was much clearer speaker. But then again, JP II didn't have the mass media parsing out every syllable either.

BevfromNYC said...

Wow, Just read that John Boehner is resigning from Congress at the end of October!

Critch said...

I am perfectly within Catholic Canon to disagree with the Pope on climate change, but not on whether we should be saying the Lord's Prayer. HIs actions and opinions outside of church matters are his. Don't get me wrong, he's still the Pope, he has "moral suasion" in that office, but no force of law outside of matters of faith. BTW, our teaching indicate that since 1862 the Pope's have only issued 3 maybe 4 decrees that state what the church believes and are considered infallible. One of the decrees, in the form of a letter is a little confusing as to whether or not the Church was taking a position on something.

Critch said...

I hear Boehner is going to join a convent.

Kit said...

I'm not the biggest fan of Boehner, I never felt he was up to the task of leading the Republican House in which he is the face of the opposition to a Democrat president.

But, I hope he enjoys retirement.

BevfromNYC said...

BTW, is it just me or has our blog page gone all wonky?

Anthony said...

Boehner looked happier than I have ever seen him when explaining his retirement. Assuming the Republicans win the presidency, the next House leader ought to have an easy time of it (for a while). Just give President Trump whatever he wants!

Kit said...

Was this Boehner's resignation speech?

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Are you sure you're Jewish? LOL! I would have been pretty excited too honestly, and I'm not Catholic either.

Yeah, our Blog seems to have gone off a little. Hmm.

AndrewPrice said...

On Boehner, ultimately, I think he was simply a roadblock for Obama. His couple attempts to actually solve problems imploded and he spent most of his time being treated like a pinata. So I can't call him a success for that. But I do think he was earnest and honest and did his best. So I think he will go down as a decent man. That means something too.

Anthony said...

Kim Davis has switched to the Republican Party. Now she can be Trump's VP! Let's face it, stranger things have happened recently.

Kim Davis has said farewell to the Democratic Party. The Kentucky county clerk at the center of a fight over religious freedom and same-sex marriage says she is now a Republican.

"She has come to the conclusion that the Democratic Party has left her," her lawyer, Mat Staver, said Saturday in a statement. "She has decided to switch her voter registration. However, the issue of religious freedom in this case is not a partisan issue. It is neither Republican nor Democrat. It is an inalienable right and what makes America the land of liberty."

Staver said Davis "has been a lifelong Democrat but has received no support from the Democratic Party or leaders."

The party switch was revealed Friday when a Reuters reporter asked whether she'd ever considered switching parties. Davis replied, "I've already done that."

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