Nor had I until this article.
I have a friend now living in Serbia and one or two shots she put on my computer a couple of years back show the type of place Eastern Europe can be. Personally speaking, Switzerland is fabulous, Spain can be fun but the Eastern nations are both exotic and still relatively unknown to the bulk of western populations.
I’d imagine holidays or extended stays in these places could be wonderful experiences.
There is absolutely no truth to the rumour that the young lady above was unimpressed by Ronald’s whispered offer and as for the pic below, he was quoted as saying, “I’m just an attractive kind of guy, kids love me and I love kids. It’s all platonic.”
Why not invite Ronald for your kids’ party today?
So David Cameron is to replace resigning MPs with women, irrespective of merit. Funny, I always thought that the policy, at least on paper, was to replace the retiree with the best candidate, the most meritorious, the most able.
I quite like that last one. Did your child have a good education? The best – it was a McEducation.
This is the sort of thing it’s very difficult to comment on:
Pope Benedict XVI has created a new church structure for Anglicans who want to join the Catholic Church, responding to the disillusionment of some Anglicans over the ordination of women and the election of openly gay bishops.
The new provision will allow Anglicans to join the Catholic Church while maintaining their Anglican identity and many of their liturgical traditions, Cardinal William Levada, the Vatican’s chief doctrinal official, told a news conference.
The major criticism of the Catholics, by the Orthodox, is that the Bishop of Rome, one of five at the time of the Schism, overstepped his authority. The Anglicans, other protestants and non-Christians say there’s no need for an intermediary like the Pope or priests.
So on what grounds could there be a rapprochement now? It seems very wonky terminology which says, as Levada said:
“Those Anglicans who have approached the Holy See have made clear their desire for full, visible unity in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church. At the same time, they have told us of the importance of their Anglican traditions of spirituality and worship for their faith journey.”
Interfaith fellowship is good in the sense of tolerance of other people who hold a different view but not good in terms of tolerance of the tenets of the other faith. For example, how does one deal with a completely intolerant religion such as Islam? I’ll never forget that dialogue when I was sent an Islamic prayer and saw that it was remarkably similar in form to the Christian one.
When I pointed that out, I was told and I quote, “I’m not interested in your prayers.”
The Catholic move is a clever one but really has only one purpose – to bring straying Anglicans back into the fold. In the distinct minority, Anglicans are in no position to push their own tenets of faith, guideless and rudderless as they are.
Could the Anglican Church have gone any other way, once the chips were down? When the secular method of appointment was given its precedent by Cranmer, there were basically non-Christians in charge of the shop. Naturally they were going to be susceptible, as all secular society with no firm roots is, to the lure of false messages of relativism and equivalence in everything from sexuality to charity.
The Anglican Church is now an empty shell in which the vandals have donned the robes and are parading about their modernistic interpretation of life. When increasing numbers wanted a Rock to patiently yet firmly hold its place, they got vaccillating fields of grass which sway in any new breeze which comes along.
Andrew Scott put it neatly, over a picture of a former glorious and living church:
I don’t do church, being a chap of no faith whatever, but if I did I would want to do the one that I pass on one of my most regular walks from home. But it isn’t a church any more, due to people like me not doing church, I suppose. We also have a rather famous one with a tower that was built more than 800 years ago, but it isn’t a church any more either.
Like the Orthodox Church in Russia which let everyone down under pressure from the State and is tied up in mumbo-jumbo and grandiose buildings even today, the Anglican Church let down the people when it was most needed – now.
It doesn’t need to be modern – it needs to be Christian. What other people and other faiths think of that is their business but to compromise the principles for PC inclusion is not what anyone could respect.
Look, it’s like a parent whom the child knows can always be talked and twisted round – anything serious the parent actually says from then on, any homilies on the way to act, are largely irrelevant as they are all negotiable. One act of hysteria from the child, one pang of love by the parent and the parent collapses. Really great lesson for the kid.
For Christianity to hold its head up again, under duress, mocked by the godless, in physical danger and vilified by those with no firmness in their souls, assaulted by false, throat-slitters, it needs to hold firm to the line. Not in the particularly virulent way of the American Christian Right but quietly and without wavering.
Then it will still have the majority hating it but at least it will be respected.
Nice summation, by Spengler, of the situation in the northern Middle-East and Sub-Continent:
The region is full of geopolitical mines. To name some of them:
# India can’t let the fundamentalist side of the Pakistani military take power without responding.
# Iran can’t let Pakistan’s Sunnis crush the 20% Shi’ite minority.
# Israel can’t allow for the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons.
# Saudi Arabia can’t let Iran dominate Iraq.
# Turkey can’t let Iraq’s Kurds form an independent state.
# China can’t let Turkey agitate among the 100 million Muslim ethnic Turks within its borders.
Pakistan increasingly the focus
The world’s attention will shift from the shadow-play of interests between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, to the Pakistan-Indian theater. Pakistan is the natural center of militant Islam. Unlike Iran, whose fertility has declined from six children per female during the 1960s to only 1.5 today, Pakistan has a large population of 173 million, and unlike most of its neighbors, it is young and growing. It is also under-educated, with a literacy rate of barely 50%, and poor, with most of the population living on less than a dollar a day.
Diminishment of American influence
Without America to mediate, scold and restrain, each of the small powers in the region has no choice but to test its strength against the others. That is why the major players in the region resemble a troupe of manic Morris dancers in a minefield.
The most significant change in Washington
The difference between this administration and every other administration I have observed is that there appears to be no staff work, no departmental effort, no National Security Council – nothing but President Barack Obama. Obama’s penchant for policy czars has become the source of continuing controversy, with his opponents at Fox News and elsewhere complaining he has bypassed cabinet departments (whose senior staff require senate confirmation) in favor of 29 “policy czars” who report directly to him.
The most dramatic response to Washington’s abdication of power may be Israel’s. The Jewish state’s window of opportunity to strike at what it claims is an Iranian nuclear weapons program will close before long, either because the Iranian program will grow past the point at which air strikes can stop it, or because Iran will acquire S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia sophisticated enough to prevent an Israeli attack.
The reason for Obama’s peculiar mode of governance, though, may have less to do with his apparent narcissism than with his objectives. It is a credible hypothesis that this president holds views that he cannot easily share, even with his own staff. As he told the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, he truly wants a world without superpowers: “In an era when our destiny is shared, power is no longer a zero-sum game. No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation. No world order that elevates one nation or group of people over another will succeed.”
Party politics a joke
Obama is a globalist. His proposed abdication of American powers in December, in Copenhagen, is a sign of things to come. The Kenyan non-Pres whose backers did the makeover, to fool the Americans, as the European chapter did the makeover on Blair, to fool the Brits, has an agenda, and the agenda is precisely what it has been for a long time, as it was on March 23rd, 2005 and one which makes a mockery of party politics.
In this, conservative is pitted against Conservative, left-liberal is pitted against global Socialist and everyone has an opinion or else couldn’t care less, perhaps too worried by personal survival to have a macro-opinion.
A doctor attacks the root cause of the illness, rather than the symptoms, although a palliative may be initially administered. Any political pundit worth his salt cannot just “half-read” the situation; he needs go down strange by-ways to discover what is making things tick as they are.
To say things like “there is no Them” or to say all is well, as dear Andrew does, on the grounds that there has always been conflict which we’ve come out of, begs the question and dodges the issue – namely, that we have an opportunity now, through increased pressure originating from the internet to start the ball rolling on awakening people who have computers at least .
The remaining populace is a thornier issue.
A quick glance over the state of the west in every western nation shows an emboldened and yet curiously inept and corrupt executive, sub-standard adults coming out of schools due to the pernicious indoctrination of do-gooder political naivety and a globalist rather than patriotic focus, doing drugs to keep them in line and at the same time, much given to violence on a scale not seen before, largely due to eroded self-discipline.
Words like hard work, self-discipline, responsibility, nation-focused patriotism, values embodied in the Christian heritage, the heritage itself now largely unknown by school leavers – all these are the new citizens which the globalists are producing. This new citizen is incapable of thinking for himself although he believes he is doing so.
Yesterday, at the pool, an old chap of 70 was talking with me and he mentioned he’d been a cook in the army but when he tried to return to work a few years back, was told he was no longer qualified – read “incapable of doing the job”.
He was forced to pay out for an NVQ course in cookery. He says that at his first lesson, they were shown how to make a cup of tea. “Turn on the tap with your right hand, holding the kettle in the left.”
I said, “A bit like the instructions on a toothpaste tube – first take the tube in one hand, remove cap, squeeze?”
The words he was searching for might have been “no discretion allowed any more – reach for the regulations”. I commented that he looked in fine fettle for 70 and that he’d still be doing it at 80.
“I don’t want to live to 80 if it’s going to be in this madness.”
To return to the issue, Kashmir is of enormous strategic significance to all major players in the region and China is right in there in an attempt to have access from it’s own heart through to the Mediterranean, something it’s not far from achieving, especially with the infrastructure being put in place in its west, roughly along the western Karakoram Highway.
Land access to the area which this post is covering seems to be a major priority for the Chinese. You need to be a bible reader to appreciate the full significance of this, in the context of the major global plays of the moment. Best to stay quiet on this because the connection, the proof, is tenuous and yet it is not inconsistent with the scenario as it’s unfolding.
End times? To your humble correspondent, there seem to have been many end-times in the past centuries, each perhaps, had they gone wrong, having eschatological implications. An example is why Hitler turned back on the coast of France, why Napoleon fell into the trap. Always it trips up somewhere, an error is made, namely the omnipotence of the dictator and the flawlessness of the plan turning out not to be so.
This error will always be made by those who place Man at the centre. So who knows whether we are in those times or we’re not? Certainly, that’s no reason to sit back and await the inevitable. We need to get off our butts and be insistent to our “leaders” that we’re awake to their machinations and that their time is near an end. They can then go underground again and prepare for the next disaster.
This time round though does seem to me to be more thorough than the last time. Maybe it’s the teacher in my blood but a look at the emerging young adult of today, with his stunted sense of values, with misdirected and myopic vision, with the teaching of sound values blocked by the PC socialists in charge of the curriculum, along with the sheer destructive power of the gaming, clubbing and media channels to the young is not something which has existed in western society ever before.
This is the greatest worry of all – what sort of monsters we’ve produced in Gen Y and Z, perfect globalist fodder and rich material for Huxley and Orwell to write about.