Friday, February 28, 2014

The Anglosphere

A look to the left side wall of the Tavern will see a sign saying that we here are Anglophile. We are Proud of our English Heritage which has been exported around the world and taken root in America, Canada, Australia - where the Tavern is - and New Zealand.

Many other countries, especially in the Commonwealth, owe much of their modern development to England.

Our language, English, is Universal, thanks recently to the internet but largely because of  the millions of people around the world introduced to it by several hundred years of adventurers, traders, law-makers, Institution builders, engineers, civil servants and, of course, our warriors who have been largely effective in spreading the benefits of the most benign Empire in History.

But the Anglosphere was not built on language alone, itself a mongrel mixture of many other languages, but on the Legal Principles that arose to underpin the greatest expansion of Freedom that the world had seen.

But for how much longer will that Freedom last?

It is under severe attack from inside and out. The cultural Marxist mindset that has taken hold of our universities and media has wrought havoc on the legal system that was so hard won.

One of the greatest of modern English speakers on the subject of the Anglosphere  came by to enunciate the past and the present for us. And for those who simply have never studied the subject.

He was speaking in the US Room to a large appreciative crowd. And as usual his brilliant mind shone on with little reference to notes.

Our erudite speaker, who hails from Peru argues that the ideas and institutions we consider
essential to maintaining and preserving our freedoms
-- individual rights, private property, the rule of law, and the institutions of representative government --
are the legacy of a very specific tradition that was born in England; and which Americans, along with other former British colonies, inherited.

Along the way of his talk, he lays a few old myths about the American Revolution to rest, too.

So, Ladies and Gentlemen, here is

Daniel Hannan.

I will pour plentiful liquid refreshment.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

The War on Women

Updated: See near end.
The problems in the Ukraine had a small 'time-out' respite during the Olympic Games - which this year did not revolve around nude girls at the Curling competition - see below - but reignited straight after the closing ceremony.

The President closed down too, perhaps the first time such an 'elite' politician had a firework and dance display as he fled. But not President Obama who continues his 'war on women' rhetoric almost without stopping to take a breath. He is not fleeing anywhere.

The talk in the bars are often centred on this 'war on women' bizzo. Obama has a long reach. But the 'sides' in this war are more difficult to discern than in the Ukraine.

The rhetoric seems to come from over the hills away on the left side of the Tavern. Voices there shout that the Taverners are nasty and brutish where women are concerned. It makes some women cautious to come in and have a quiet drink, which is a pity. We are most welcoming to nice ladies.

Indeed, many here suspect that those who are making war on women are those very voices. Often female voices.

Matt Barber certainly thinks so. He came in for a chat and brought a few chaotic words for us to listen to, shouted by one of the vociferous lefties. A woman to boot.

Sex-Obsessed Lefty Horrified by ‘Toxic Purity Culture’


Hey, gals, want to avoid being raped?  
Put away that Lady Smith 38. No need for pepper spray. Self-defense classes? Not necessary. The solution is simple. The best defense against rape is to just cast away your “deeply troubling” Christianity and become a secularist slut. 
So goes the advice of one  
Katie McDonough, assistant editor 
fertile fount of millennial wisdom and – well – and whatever else. 
In an article published at Salon Feb. 20 titled, “The right’s warped ‘purity’ culture: 4 ways evangelical views of sex took over America,” Ms. McDonough provides an unvarnished glimpse into the profligate mind of the postmodern “progressive.”  
(Yes, you read that right. Purity is warped and biblical sexual morality has taken over America.) 
In what amounts to little more than an anti-Christian hit piece on Patrick Henry College – or “God’s Harvard” as the evidently prone-position-prone journo pejoratively pokes – Ms. McDonough says that it’s time for American women to reject all those biblically imposed “gender complementarian” norms and do away with our “toxic purity culture” once and for all.  
(Because, just look around. That dang ol’ toxic purity is everywhere. What America really needs is more debauchery.) 
Some who are sexually obsessive can be usefully employed.
But most become womyn's magazine assistant editors.

It gets better. 
Christianity causes rape, McDonough asserts, warning us that we suffer a “convergence of rape culture (whatever that is) and evangelical culture.” 
Get that?  
In this woman’s “progressive” mind, when the lady says, “I’m saving myself for marriage,” the bad guy hears, “Come and get it!”  
Still, Ms. McDonough does have this much right: It can’t be rape if you’re giving it away like peanuts on the plane. 
She goes on: “While it may be tempting to draw a red line around Christian fundamentalist views on gender and sexuality to distinguish them from supposedly evolved ‘secular’ culture, there is considerable, uncomfortable overlap between the two.”  
(The cognitive dissonance: It hurts!) 
So, if I’m understanding her right – and, admittedly, Ms. McDonough’s screed is borderline coherent – what she’s essentially claiming is that, when it comes to sex, both secular America and Christian America are really just one big ball of puritanical prudery. 
Enough to make a stone Angel weep.

In fairness, I suppose she could actually believe this.  
It’s all relative with the relativist.  
For the “anything goes” type, Miley Cyrus may well be indistinguishable from the Virgin Mary.  
When you’re colorblind, everything looks kinda gray. 
She continues: “Evangelical Christianity makes visible – through purity pledges and doctrine assigning women the role of man’s ‘helpmate’ – the norms and expectations about female virginity and subservience that so often remain hidden in the secular world.”  
(Ooh. Loves me some man-hate.) 
So, get it?  
Purity and virginity bad.  
Impurity and promiscuity good.  
I’ll give Ms. McDonough this: She calls it like she sees it. 

Katie McDonough is, of course, a Woman-Hating Feminist

She goes on to make the same tired “war on women” claim we’ve heard so much of lately, warning the would-be chaste that biblical sexual morality is really “only about reproduction and male entitlement.” 
She then mocks columnist Susan Patton as “a joke” for “arguing in mainstream publications that women who have sex outside of marriage are setting themselves up for disaster and heartbreak.”  
(Yeah, and?)  
This is in response to Patton’s observation in a recent Wall Street Journal column that, “The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won’t buy the cow if the milk is free.” To which, with indignation, McDonough sneers: “This is purity culture passed off as ‘common-sense’ wisdom, which was published in a ‘serious’ and secular paper. In 2014.”  
(So now “secular” is synonymous with slutty?)
'Nuff said.

McDonough’s advice? Girls, give away that milk now, ya hear! (To which the frisky-frat-boy “bro-choice” choir sings: “Amen!” Hey, “pro-choice” gals, you do know that most “pro-choice” guys only support your so-called “abortion rights” so that you’ll put out, right?) 
Secular-”progressives” like McDonough have been working to deconstruct traditional sexual morality for generations. And today – more than at any point in history – they’re having success in spades. Despite her wincey whines to the contrary, Ms. McDonough knows this to be true. 
And so do you. 
The goal is to impose – under penalty of law – the left’s own moral relativist, sexual anarchist worldview. 
Hence, we see a flood of unelected liberal judges, for instance, arbitrarily ramming counterfeit “gay marriage” down the throats of millions of Americans, complete with the threat that Christians either join the delusion – and pretend that sin-centered “same-sex marriage” is real and right – or suffer the consequences. 

Another example is Obamacare’s despotic HHS abortion mandate that unconstitutionally requires Christian organizations to cast aside millennia-old church doctrine and get with the postmodern, pro-abort program. 
The list goes on. 
All of which makes McDonough’s central declaration her most ludicrous: “[O]ne point remains clear,” she proclaims. “Conservatives want to enshrine religiously defined norms about sexuality into law.” 
No, Ms. McDonough. The only people “enshrining sexuality” into law are “progressive” social engineers like Barack Obama, Justice Anthony Kennedy and the rest of you godless lefties – hell-bent on taking the screws to America. 
Now THAT is “rape culture.”

 Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war.

(Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber.

Well, he needed a pint or three after that analysis. He sweated out a LOT of clarity there and needed it topped up.


Just the other day in Canada, one of the most astute lady journalists published her assessment of the 'rape culture', seeing it as a Delusion of Feminists.

Barbara Kay: Rape culture and the delusions of the feminist mind
Barbara Kay | February 28
Barbara writes about 'delusion' and puts forward the statistics which demonstrate just how far from reality feminists get.

If Mackay were living today, he would doubtless add “rape culture” to his long list of popular delusions. On campus after campus, with virtually no statistical evidence to support their claims, feminists have promoted the idea that a woman runs a far higher risk of being sexually assaulted on a North American university campus (one in four or five, depending on the source) than a lifelong smoker has of getting cancer (one in 11 for men, one in 15 for women). 
At University of Pittsburgh, with 14,800 female students, four sexual assaults were reported.
 The fact is that “rape culture” is a form of popular mania like so many others before it.  
It does not exist.  
Or if it does, nobody has yet brought forward evidence of it. What we have seen is ideology attached to a great deal of personal narrative regarding unwanted or regretted sex.  
Some of those narratives have been compelling, but unsupported by evidence. Some have been compelling and found to be false allegations. Many of the narratives are based in recollection hazed over by alcoholic smog. And most of them would not stand up for two minutes in a criminal court of law. 
Many observers have become more, not less skeptical with the mounting hysteria. One such observer has done something useful to validate our skepticism. Chad Hermann, a writer and management communication professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business,  has published an article in assessing both the claims and the actual statistical evidence for rape culture, in which he illuminates some glaring contradictions. 
Hermann set the typical projected figure of 20-25% of women as victims of forced sex against the reported sexual assault offenses over three years at Pittsburgh’s three largest residential universities: the University of Pittsburgh (UP), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Duquesne University (DU). In 2009: At UP, with 14,800 female students, four sexual assaults were reported. At CMU, with about 3,900 female students, six sexual assaults were reported (a three-year high). At DU, with 5,700 females, three were reported.
But wait: We “know” (we don’t really) that 90% of rapes go unreported! Okay,.....
Packed with logical deduction backed by facts rather than the rabid factoids of feminists, she demolishes the 'rape culture' cant. Of course you have to read it. Feminists won't.

You can read it all at:

So, do we say that Katie is making 'war on women'? I doubt we can go that far, anymore than we can sheet home blame to G.I. Joe for his efforts in WW2.  Her attitude to differing opinions by what some might see as a solid majority of (equally unthinking) women is hardly accepting of 'diversity' nor tolerant.

But as a contributor to the gender war - which really is aimed against men, though you won't hear President Obama or anyone else say so), she joins many as a useful idiot, spouting thoughts as scanty as the sort of thongs some women wear these days.

At the very least she is pouring petrol of the flames already lit by a hundred years of other even more vicious women. and exploitative men. 

Katie needs to pull up her 'Big Girl' full cut panties and take us all back to a more sober 50's.

And about those nude girls, curling..... To catch up with the latest there you will have to go to ... 

Here is a small taster.
And now have a cool drink of Grace.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Perfection of 'Couples'

Comments in the Tavern about the Olympics moved toward a small discussion about men and women acting in Unison. That discussion has continued.

It helps us when concrete examples of couples acting together, with a plan and a direction, are presented to us, as in Ice Dancing. And it can lead to more conceptual understanding.

The Southern Gal dropped in with her friend Henry. Henry had a lot to say that was spot on.  You might recall that Southern Gal spoke at length about the Feminine Woman some time ago. Henry has a view too. He started talking about women, as chaps do in bars, but soon included men.

The Virtues of the Feminine 
Men need to distinguish between women who are feminine and those who are inverted.  
A feminine woman is receptive to men. She exudes cheerfulness and inviting warmth. A man can make a friendly remark and be well received.  

An inverted woman, on the other hand, is fearful and defiant in the presence of men. She has been taught that man is a competitor, or worse, a predator.  
These women are out of touch with their nature and you can tell.
Woman's essential nature is to be an incubator of love. Her natural role is to create an environment in which living beings thrive. Her destiny is to love a man, and through him her children. Her reward is their love and happiness.  
Sexual intercourse and childbirth are manifestations of a spiritual relationship.  

A man must first plant his spirit in a woman's heart and find a warm reception. That spirit takes root and love grows into a sapling, and then a towering oak. Finally, a child is the expression of this unseen reality.  
What are the elements of this male-female dynamic? The male must present a woman with a spirit that she can embrace.  
Men generally use money or power to appeal to women. However, a man is much more than a provider or doer. He is an agent of God.  
Every man has a divine mission and purpose on earth. This mission imbues him with a confident masculinity, which appeals to a woman's higher instincts.  

Do women lose their identity in this process? Yes. Partly.  
Psychiatrist Marie Robinson calls this their "essential altruism."  
Women were designed to find identity and self-fulfillment in their husband and family. This is positive. Ultimately, women do not get satisfaction in worldly achievement. They find fulfillment from giving and receiving love. They are creatures of love, God's creatures. 
 The essence of womanhood is the maternal. A woman nurtures and makes things grow. She gives her husband and children unconditional love. Similarly, the essence of manhood is the paternal. A husband gives direction, purpose and security to his wife and family.  
Everything leading up to marriage is preparation for these complementary roles.  
Marriage is a mystical union.  
Man and woman become one. The sword in its sheath; the record in its sleeve. This union in love is the wholeness we all seek. It is a prerequisite for happiness and personal development.  
Otherwise, we are stalled, i.e. obsessed with sex.  
In order for union to take place, a woman must identify her self-interest with her husband's.  
She becomes part of him.  
He becomes part of her.  
Their happiness is one. Members of couples who remain "independent" are in competition with each other. They cannot know true intimacy. They cannot know true love.  
Powerful forces in the world use the mass media to create social trends. These forces are promoting sexual inversion in order to sabotage the nuclear family and destabilize society.  

They dupe women into denying their femininity and usurping the masculine role. As a result, millions of women are inverted and are missing the boat with men. Rather than creating loving environments, they are aggressive and self-seeking.  
They need someone to create a loving environment for them. Hence the power struggle that makes "equal" relationships a constant trial.
In practical terms, what does this mean for men?  
1) "A man makes the house, the woman makes the home." A man must get his personal and professional act together.  
2) He must love the woman who loves him. Otherwise he should leave her alone.  
3) Men should not waste too much time on inverted women, i.e. feminists. (A friend said marrying a feminist is like a Jew marrying an Anti-Semite.)  
A strong man might help a feminist rediscover her femininity. (See the movie The Bostonians, for an example.) But you're dealing with milk that has curdled. Better to find a woman who is naturally feminine and naturally receptive.  
This requires many contacts; the Internet is perfect for this. Don't waste time trying to make a shoe fit just because you're starved for love.   
Your soul takes root in someone else's being. That's your home. That's where you belong.  
- See more at:

Food for thought. And all that from what is termed a  'Men's Rights Activist'.  You can see why the Feminists hate MRAs.

Wash it all down with some cleansing ale.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Winter Olympics - what a slap in the Face.

Much time has been spent on watching the Olympics in Sochi these past few weeks. And what a great show it has been. Lots of ups and downs.

The 'big screens' were placed around the Patio out in the sunshine so that my customers could take their drinking pleasures while watching the snow and ice and folk cavorting for Gold.

The design of the snowboard/ski assault course was excellent even though the quality of the athletes left a lot to be desired.

That goes for much of the snowboard fraternity who appear to be 'yoof' with modest skill, especially on the 'half-pipe'. Many of the competitors, who are at 'the top' of their sport could barely finish upright. It says a lot for the lesser athletes who did not make selection.

Not that the enthusiasm of the commentators was reduced at the sight. Our own Bright hope had a winning smile but frankly not much else.

Torah Bright. Charming girl. A Christian Girl.
Not that we hear much of that.

It is better to go to the Games quietly confident of performing well enough for some kudos but the current mode is to be sent off to compete carrying the hysteria of Nations represented by the hyperbolic men and women of the media paid vastly more than the competitors to bullshit the viewers.

Mind you, let us be thankful that Torah is not a lesbian or we would have heard little else about her. Can you imagine the interviews !! As it is her deep Christian faith was downplayed despite her entourage trying to bring attention to it. Indeed, in others it was mocked.

At least the cross country skiers showed mettle and the ice dancers gave us their wonderful art. And what art it was too. The standards get tougher every time and the artistry coupled with skill never fails to win approval. Mine at least.

Lovely women, many with pretty dresses that swirled as they twirled, showing the ubiquitous nether regions we see so much of in skating. But, to be fair to the costume designers they are vastly more lovely than on the TV studio dancing shows.

And the chaps even manage to look 'manly' when ice dancing; something missing entirely on the other galas. Even when the 'Do you think you can dance' mob make deliberate use of stubble as male cosmetic.

The Ice Dancing shows men and women interacting as men and women are supposed to. Complementary. In Unison. The strength and 'lead' of the men and the grace, fluidity and charm of the women, married to immense skill in a slippery world.

They compete with others and not with themselves. They show an aspect of the perfection attained when the two distinct sexes combine and perform as one.

The run-up to Sochi featured Homosexuality, of course, more than any sport. The media seemed obsessed with it. Russian attitudes could not, of course, be ignored. But the cant and clear encouragement of 'diversity' and 'tolerance' of perversity seemed not to include 'mainstream' human behaviour.

Indeed it labelled 'Normal' as 'Alternative'.

God help us all.
NBC Depicts Married 23-Year-Old Olympian as Living an ‘Alternative Lifestyle’
Just read this and weep for our future. 

David Wise is at the top of his sport. He’s always smiling among his friends and competitors, however, he’s not like the rest of the field.  
He is mature. 
Not to say the rest of the freestyle skiers of halfpipe are not mature, but Wise is mature far beyond his years. At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, Alexander, who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. 
At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. 
Well, at 23, he is an adult. He has been an adult for five years. He is old enough to have graduated from college, gotten married, started a family, become a world class skier — all kinds of adult things.  
Because he is an adult.  
He also sounds like a great guy. 
He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road. 
I’ll grant that in our day, when Christian business owners find their livelihoods threatened by Obamacare mandates and same-sex marriage proponents targeting them with lawsuits, being a Christian is a countercultural path. The culture and the media try their hand at tearing you apart, when they’re not mocking you. 
But if being a married, responsible father at 23 is an “alternative lifestyle” then we are well and truly doomed. 
Update: NBC has deep-sixed its own story.  I’m sure they’re thrilled that we captured a screenshot of the original story. 
Update: NBC aren’t the only ones who have gone after David Wise for being a married adult taking care of his family. Yahoo Sports says he is “wildy uncool.”

Need a stiff drink.?

It will keep out the cold, and a cold blast is upon us.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

State Takeover of Charity

The Tavern gives away quite a lot. The Tavern Keeper is poor, despite the size of the place and the takings over the bars. I believe in Charity and the effect it can have on a man's Soul. And his Character. But care has to be taken.

The Good Samaritan is a model of 'the Charitable Man', but lately he too has been mugged.

His clear intent to 'help' the unfortunate man left beside the road was paid-for from his own pocket. He used his own coins to pay the innkeeper to look after the man until he was better. He was concerned. It was 'Personal'.

Our 'society' in the west is possibly the most 'concerned' in all-time existence for the wellbeing of the citizens. So goes the tale in the Village down the hill. But as Mrs Thatcher said many years ago, "There is no such thing as 'society' ". 

The Village elders didn't like that one bit.  The 'Hilary's' of the world like to think that they are the ones who are charitable, but that is only so that she (they) can reach into your pocket, distribute your money and claim the kudos.

The Good Samaritan did not expect the Innkeeper to do his charity for him but one has to consider, of course, the extent of an individual's ability. And his time and availability. The Good Samaritan paid for services. He determined them. He did not force the Innkeeper, nor threaten him.

We have to think deeply on such issues as the world is becoming more complex - and mendacious - by the day.

Two deep thinkers came into the bar and talked about it. You can tell us all what you think after hearing them out.

First an American chap, Walt Williams. He's a coloured fellow so all you PC'ers out there will have to pay attention.

Concealing Evil

Evil acts are given an aura of moral legitimacy by noble-sounding socialistic expressions, such as spreading the wealth, income redistribution, caring for the less fortunate, and the will of the majority.  
Let's have a thought experiment to consider just how much Americans sanction evil. 
Imagine there are several elderly widows in your neighborhood. They have neither the strength to mow their lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks nor the financial means to hire someone to help them.  
Here's a question that I'm almost afraid to ask: Would you support a government mandate that forces you or one of your neighbours to mow these elderly widows' lawns, clean their windows and perform other household tasks? 
Moreover, if the person so ordered failed to obey the government mandate, would you approve of some sort of sanction, such as fines, property confiscation or imprisonment?  
I'm hoping, and I believe, that most of my fellow Americans would condemn such a mandate. They'd agree that it would be a form of slavery — namely, the forcible use of one person to serve the purposes of another. 
Would there be the same condemnation if, instead of forcing you or your neighbour to actually perform weekly household tasks for the elderly widows, the government forced you or your neighbour to give one of the widows $50 of your weekly earnings? That way, she could hire someone to mow her lawn or clean her windows.  
Would such a mandate differ from one under which you are forced to actually perform the household task?  

I'd answer that there is little difference between the two mandates except the mechanism for the servitude. In either case, one person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of another. 
I'm guessing that most Americans would want to help these elderly ladies in need but they'd find anything that openly smacks of servitude or slavery deeply offensive.  
Hmmmm. Say's I. Would most really find it offensive? Or has their moral contemplation become stunted?
They might have a clearer conscience if all the neighbours were forced (taxed) to put money into a government pot. A government agency would then send the widows $50 to hire someone to mow their lawns and perform other household tasks.  

This collective mechanism makes the particular victim invisible, but it doesn't change the fact that a person is being forcibly used to serve the purposes of others. Putting the money into a government pot simply conceals an act that would otherwise be deemed morally depraved. 
This is why socialism is evil. It employs evil means, confiscation and intimidation, to accomplish what are often seen as noble goals —  
namely, helping one's fellow man.  
Helping one's fellow man in need by reaching into one's own pockets to do so is laudable and praiseworthy.  
Helping one's fellow man through coercion and reaching into another's pockets is evil and worthy of condemnation.  

Tragically, most teachings, from the church on down, support government use of one person to serve the purposes of another; the advocates cringe from calling it such and prefer to call it charity or duty. 
Some might argue that we are a democracy, in which the majority rules.  
But does a majority consensus make moral acts that would otherwise be deemed immoral?  
In other words, if the neighbours got a majority vote to force one of their number — under pain of punishment — to perform household tasks for the elderly widows, would that make it moral? 
Shall we vote on that?
The bottom line is that we've betrayed much of the moral vision of our Founding Fathers. In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 for relief of French refugees who had fled from insurrection in San Domingo to Baltimore and Philadelphia, James Madison rose on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying,  
"I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." 
Tragically, today's Americans — Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative — would hold such a position in contempt and run a politician like Madison out of town on a rail.

The argument is strong. I saw many around the tables with fingers to chin, thinking deeply. How about you?

In an age before this it was not common for individuals to be any more charitable than they are today. The exhortations to be concerned enough about other people was  Church lesson material. Indeed even the word 'Hospital' comes from the Catholic Church tradition built over two thousand years, of giving aid to the poor, the ill, and the traveller. Hospitality.

Individuals gave of their time and skills in some instances, money, (there was less of it about) to aid the poor via the Church.

You would think (hope) that the Church traditions would continue along with the lessons that underlie the whole issue of Charity. But it seems not to be wholly the case. While Caritas remains the largest charity in the world (indeed in the History of the world) ( and funded by the Collection Plates filled by ordinary parish Catholics) increasingly the Church is handing over its 'once-were-obligations' to the State which eagerly dons the mantle to gain the kudos - and the old-time bossiness.

Dominic Lawson tells us of one (of no doubt many) Churchmen who has lost the plot.

A Lefty Archbishop who's generous with YOUR money - but not his flock's 

Those in authority become weary of perpetual demands for cash from worthy causes. They include the Head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols. 
A couple of years ago my wife, a Catholic herself, went to see him with the suggestion that the Church should do more for those with learning disabilities and their families. Nichols’s immediate response was to say: ‘We’re constantly being asked for money.’ 

It was only when Rosa explained she wasn’t asking for an extra collection at Mass, just that one sermon a year should be devoted to this issue, that he relaxed and asked her to prepare a report on the idea. 
So you would think Nichols might understand why the Coalition government, which is faced with a public sector net debt of over £1.2 trillion, has been pressing ahead with its plans to reform and if possible reduce the welfare bill. 
Not a bit of it: in an interview over the weekend, marking the Vatican’s announcement that he was to be made a cardinal, Nichols, while accepting the need for savings, said it was ‘a disgrace’ that the Government had ‘destroyed the basic safety net’ of the welfare state, that it was being ‘punitive’ and that food banks were ‘scandalously’ on the increase. 
The mind boggles. Here he is wishing that the State that has continued blatant discrimination against Catholics for hundreds of years, depriving them of roles in society that non-Catholics may achieve - such as Prime Minister - continue to take over the role of the Catholic Church in leading Charity!
It is right that our religious leaders stand up for the weakest; and given the popularity of the Government’s move to restrict welfare payments to any single home to no more than the income earned by the average working family, it takes courage to inveigh against it with such vigour. 
Above all, Nichols is entitled to his opinion — even if he doesn’t see that this widespread public view is exactly the same sentiment that he himself expressed on behalf of his parishioners when he thought my wife was asking them to give to the families of children with learning disabilities: times are hard for many of us and our natural generosity is not limitless. 
Ahhha. But such an opinion, entitled to be held or not, says a lot about hypocricy.
There is a further irony: the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, is himself a practising Catholic whose motive for welfare reforms is not to save the well-off from paying more tax  
but to break the iniquitous cycle of dependency that condemns families across generations to lives without possibility for self-improvement —  
something you would think the Churches would support. 
Indeed, the Chancellor has privately expressed impatience with what he sees as Duncan Smith’s ‘moral crusade’: George Osborne would have liked deeper cuts in the welfare budget, but there are vast costs associated with the switch to Duncan Smith’s grand plan of a ‘universal credit’ which would guarantee (via the taxpayer) that it always pays to enter the world of work. 
So why does the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster have such little sympathy for what his fellow Catholic is trying to do?  
For elucidation, I sought the opinion of Damian Thompson, the former editor of the Catholic Herald and still on its board of directors. 
He has no doubt that Nichols’s anathema owes more to political prejudice than to religious doctrine:  
‘Vincent Nichols is pure Merseyside Catholic — tribally old Labour. He’s a clever man, but he’s never deviated from his traditional politics. He doesn’t seem to understand the moral imperative behind welfare reform — or want to understand it. He is too polite to say that Tories are his ancestral enemies, but I bet he thinks it.’ 
One would have hoped that a Cardinal's traditional enemy was the Devil, but times have changed, it seems.
I interviewed Nichols once and was impressed by his obvious intelligence. I wrote: ‘He has the fluency any politician would envy, while his hooded eyes inevitably invoke an intensely calculating mind.’ 
The last government painfully discovered what a formidable political operator he is, when he masterminded his Church’s successful campaign against New Labour’s attempt to make faith schools keep 25 per cent of places free for those without the same religious affiliation. But I doubt he will be as successful in mobilising his flock against the Coalition’s welfare reforms. 
This is not least because Duncan Smith and his colleagues have powerful arguments on their side.  
It’s nonsense to say that there is no longer ‘a safety net’ when the state is currently spending £94 billion a year on working age benefits; and the time processing benefits claims — the most cited reason for destitution — has actually improved over the past few years. The official figures are that 92 per cent of them are processed on time; in 2009/10 it was as low as 86 per cent. 
As for foodbanks, there has been an expansion of this field of charity across the industrialised world, not just in the UK: in Germany it has been reported that 6.5 million people are using foodbanks each month.
Given that supermarkets provide more food than paying customers need, it is surely a good thing that this is being put to charitable purpose — even if many users may be relying on it because they have spent too much of their welfare payments on less essential items, such as at the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which now litter every High Street in the nation’s least affluent boroughs. 
The Trussell Trust, this country’s biggest foodbank, itself acknowledges that its recent growth is partly the result of its publicity campaigns. Also, the Coalition government has authorised JobCentres to point people in the direction of foodbanks. Labour had banned them from giving such advice, possibly out of an ideological  horror at the idea of charity supplanting the state. 
It is odd, though, that Churchmen should share this horror. But that is demonstrated by the letter a year ago from 43 of the Church of England’s bishops attacking the Government’s welfare reform programme. 
As the historian Frank Prochaska observed of the post-war period in his book Christianity And Social Services In Modern Britain:  
‘Once religious leaders began to see government intervention as a solution to the crisis of urban poverty, the effect on Christian charity was predictable . . . religious leaders failed to appreciate just how much growth of government welfare would devitalise Christian charity and, by implication, Christianity itself.’ 
This perhaps helps explain why Nichols thought his parishioners should not be expected to fork out money, personally, for the disabled.  
As for the report he asked my wife to send him, she never heard back, even though it went to his personal email. When the Catholic Herald made an inquiry about that, they were told blithely that ‘there has been an oversight’.  
Motes and beams,  Cardinal Nichols, motes and beams.

Not that everyone has lost all sense, even if the messages are unclear.

Guido popped by just minutes ago to add his oar to the rowing effort.

Foodbanks? Check. Benefit sanctions? Check. Like being savaged by a dead sheep? Check. On first glance you would have thought Rachel Reeves had written the letter from 27 bishops to the Mirror this morning. 

 It is worth pointing out that the letter itself does not even mention Cameron, Osborne or IDS, let alone directly criticise them, so it is hardly a case of turbulent priests. In fact, it doesn't even criticise the government all, simply arguing: 
"We call on government to do its part: acting to investigate food markets that are failing, to make sure that work pays, and to ensure that the welfare system provides a robust last line of defence against hunger." 
Which is exactly the point. Awkwardly for Labour the bishops' solution to the nation's ills are making work pay and reforming the welfare state so it provides only a safety net "last line of defence". If they keep on like that Guido for one won't be bashing the bishops...

These are difficult moral matters and do not detract from an acceptance that our specific era has seen far more 'charity' being shown to others than any time in history. But at what moral cost?

It is easy to 'outsource' one's charitable duties to others. But when one does, we are putting our charitable spirit to be disposed of by others for reasons which may have nothing to do with charity (and paying 'executives' small fortunes in salaries and perks to boot) and with 'ends' that are far from healthy for body or Soul.

It is enough to drive a person to drink.

So, clarity with your charity?


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Blind Leading the Blind

From the Tavern on the sunny upland hill slopes, we can see the villagers down below stumbling their way through the increasingly grubby streets. What was once a pretty village is now under 'Hilary Rules' where all are supposed to be needed to 'raise a child'. It is littered with rubbish and the coffins of babies.

And a bison.

The folks down there can smell the bison but can't see it.

Our civilisation is becoming a cess-pit. Our 'leaders' become more tyrannical as the state of the by-ways become increasingly clogged by stumbling souls all holding the coat-tails of the next person and completely blind to where they are and where they are being led.

But their noses are warning them that something big and dark this way comes.

'Trust me', say the politicians.

But under their driving ambition the homes of the villagers are emptied, families are dispossessed and destroyed, mayhem follows mayhem. The herd is near.

How did it get so bad?

Carson Holloway was in the bar from Mercatornet, pointing out just a few of the causes, and even offering a sort of excuse for the blind men and women leading the blind masses.

I take a rather more accusatory mode, m'self, seeing  'hands' behind the stupid, propelling them forward - and backward, and spinning them around.

Gramsci's? Possibly. Certainly one of them. The Frankfurt School? Yes, of course. Them too.

And behind them? Perhaps the Diabolic.

But let's hear Carson:

“If you like your morality,
you can keep your morality”
How could we have been so blind to the consequences of the sexual revolution?
In recent months there has been a good deal of discussion of the president’s apparent mendacity in his selling of the Affordable Care Act. “If you like your health care you can keep it,” the president repeatedly assured his fellow citizens while the law was pending before Congress.

The roll-out of the law in late 2013, however, revealed that this promise was no good, and it is difficult to believe that the president was not aware of this even as he was making it.  
Because the use of dishonesty to win support for legislation is hardly compatible with the American promise of self-government, this issue has deserved all the attention it has gotten, and indeed it deserves even more. 
Nevertheless, the sitting president’s efforts to achieve progress (as he understands it) by recourse to falsehoods should also lead us to probe more deeply and see the bigger, even more consequential falsehoods upon which liberalism has relied for the last two or three generations. 
With every step of the “progress” it has sought in recent decades, with ... 
every effort it has made to “free” us from some aspect of morality,  
...liberalism has made an Obama-like assurance that has turned out to be wrong. 
Five years ago, the president falsely told Americans, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.” For the last fifty years, liberalism as a movement of moral liberation has repeatedly assured Americans, “If you like your morality, you can keep your morality.”  
In both cases, the game is to promise a limited reform that will not seriously disturb the status quo while delivering changes that have revolutionary consequences.

The project began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when liberalism embraced the sexual revolution. In place of traditional standards of sexual morality, which held that the proper expression of human sexuality was within marriage and with a view to the generation of new life, liberals began to preach a message of sexual liberation. In matters of sex, they announced, whatever is done between “consenting adults” is none of society’s business.

The tradition had held that sexual conduct is properly governed by both  
procedural and substantive norms.
The procedural norm was provided by consent: forcible sex was condemned as the crime of rape. But consent was not the only issue, because sex was not governed only by a procedural norm.  
A substantive norm was provided by marriage and procreation.  
Thus, according to the tradition, adults might consent freely to certain forms of sex—fornication, adultery, or sodomy, for example—that would nevertheless still be wrong because of their inconsistency with the substantive purposes of human sexuality.  
The sexual revolution sought to strip sex of its substantive norms and leave only the procedural norm in place. This was the effect of slogans affirming the legitimacy of anything “consenting adults” might do. 
As this kind of thinking was put forward by a certain kind of liberal, thoughtful conservatives warned about its revolutionary consequences.  
The liberal claim—that consent is the only ethically relevant concern in relation to sex—has the potential to erode all traditional sexual morality and all legislation based upon it.  
If consent is all that is required, then fornication cannot be wrong, prostitution cannot be wrong, and homosexual intercourse cannot be wrong. 
The sexual revolution could not have succeeded to the extent that it did—that is, the public could not have embraced the liberal reduction of sexual ethics to “consent”—unless these radical consequences were ignored or denied.  
Those who warned about the ultimate consequences were disregarded.  
No decisive cultural change, no radical alteration in the nation’s way of life, was in the offing: just a little “loosening up” with regard to sex.  
Such claims have been proven wrong: with regard to sexual morality, the America of 2014 would be unrecognizable to the America of 1964.  
If the liberals of that era did not lie about the consequences of what they were doing, they were not fully honest, either. Like an unscrupulous merchant, they did not fully inform their customers of all the consequences of what they were buying. 

Perhaps, however, the liberals of that era did not acknowledge all the consequences of what they were doing because they themselves did not fully understand them.  
Many of the liberals of that era probably would have agreed, if pressed, that certain forms of sexual intercourse were improper whether or not they were consented to. With a residual decency that far exceeded their theoretical acuity, they probably took it for granted that certain forms of sex would remain outside the moral pale.  
For such liberals, rhetoric about “consenting adults” was probably intended to do no more than legitimize premarital sex.  
Such people were duping themselves  
as well as those upon whom they practiced such rhetoric, and therefore could not be accused of willful dishonesty.  
However... there IS the matter of dishonesty - a moral issue - in the sin of Omission.

And.... there is the matter of Intellectual Honesty / dishonesty. Another Moral issue.

Methinks Carson is letting too many folks off lightly.
In any case, it is difficult to accuse a political movement of breaking faith over the course of two generations. Today’s sexual revolutionists may be the heirs of the liberals of the late 1960s and early 1970s predecessors, but they are not, for the most part, the same people. 
But.... they have embraced the immorality, holus bolus. A point I am continually making to my younger friends in the Men's Movement.
Nevertheless, the same problem has repeated itself in more recent times, and over such a short period of time that it is hard to exonerate the left of willful duplicity 
For example, when the Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas (2003), struck down Texas’s statute prohibiting homosexual sodomy, the Court’s opinion—authored by Anthony Kennedy—went out of its way to assure the nation that the case had nothing to do with the question of same-sex marriage. 
In dissent, Justice Scalia, seeing through the Court’s “bald disclaimer” to the actual tendency of its reasoning, bluntly told the country:  
“do not believe it.”  
Events shortly proved Scalia right. The ink was hardly dry on the Court’s opinion before state courts began lifting the reasoning of Lawrence and using it to invalidate state laws that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.  
"Do you smell something?"

And in 2013’s Windsor ruling, just ten years after his Lawrence disclaimer, Justice Kennedy himself showed his inclination to use Lawrence’s reasoning to move toward creating a right to same-sex marriage.  
It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Lawrence was just one step in a larger project of sexual liberation by means of constitutional law, although Kennedy explicitly denied it at the time. 
A similar lack of candor can be seen in the argument over same-sex marriage itself. One point commonly made by opponents of same-sex marriage is that the argument for it—an argument that typically appeals to the autonomy of love, and emphasizes the right to equal recognition for all forms of love—is indistinguishable from an argument for abolishing any objective definition of marriage. 
It is a specious argument. 'Love' is not the same as 'Licence'. Licentiousness is not the same as Love.
Accordingly, same-sex marriage could not be the stopping point of sexual liberation, which would then have to go on and demand a normalization of polygamy.
The proponents of same-sex marriage typically responded to this argument by treating it as outlandish and acting as if no normal person could hold any such development in serious contemplation.  
Yet now that the Supreme Court seems to be on the verge of finding a right to same-sex marriage, some liberal activists are already beginning to argue for the legitimacy of polygamy—something the movement denied any interest in just a few years ago. 

After polygamy, what will be liberalism’s new frontier of sexual liberation? Lowering the age of consent? Abolishing laws against prostitution? Normalization of adult incest?  
No one can say. 
Oh yes they can say. But as per the recent past, the sayers will be denigrated and disregarded.
It is both troubling and galling to think that we are now at the end of a 
fifty-year fraud that has been perpetrated on us relation to some of the most important things in human life.  
But it is even more troubling to realize that we may not in fact be at the end but still in the middle of that great fraud, to realize that there are still more consequences to face, now hidden and even denied but nevertheless approaching inexorably with the unfolding of the logic of sexual liberation.  
The moral mugging is not over but still going on. 
No one can say where sexual liberation will stop, because liberalism will not be honest with the country about its ultimate ends, and may not even know those ends itself.  
This makes contemporary sexual liberalism a frightening spectacle, and Americans ought to reexamine their commitment to it.  
The unchecked progress of sexual liberalism means that we cannot say what kind of moral culture our children will inhabit as adults or, accordingly, what kind of moral culture will form our grandchildren.  
No responsible person can support such a movement. 

Agree with it all or disagree in parts, one cannot refute the tenor of the arguments.

We can surely all agree to having another few tankards of clarity, insight and foresight.