The Queen defends the Church of England from Secular Attacks

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

The U.S. Constitution prevented the new federal government from interfering with a state’s religious policy.  It did not create a wall between church and state.  It created a wall between the federal government and the states.  And on the states’ side of that wall they could do anything they wanted religiously.  Establish a state religion.  Or keep the established religion they had.  If the Catholics wanted to gather in Maryland and establish a Catholic state church they had that right.  And if there were Calvinists looking for a state to live in they could choose to settle in Calvinist Massachusetts.  With John Adams and his family.  If Quakers arrived in the New World they could move on to Pennsylvania where the Quakers were settling.  The Baptists could head to Virginia.

America was settled by religious people escaping religious persecution in Great Britain.  Which was Protestant.  And anti-Catholic.  They also didn’t care too much for the Protestant Calvinists.  Who they derisively called Puritans.  Yes, those Puritans who sailed on the Mayflower.  The people John Adams called neighbor.  Only a century earlier civil war tore England apart.  Resulting from a long and contentious history.  Pitting Catholics against Protestants.  Which the Protestants won.  But it left bitter resentment throughout the country.  Which is why a lot of people left the country.  For a new start.  And the freedom to worship in peace.  Free from harassment.

So both the UK and the USA have deep roots in Christianity.  And despite all of the blood spilled in the name of religion, that same religion helped to make the UK and the USA the great nations they became.  Based on Judeo-Christian values.  Where the governments and the people were deeply religious.  And even the non-practicing Christians and borderline atheists were steeped in these Judeo-Christian values.  Benjamin Franklin.  George Washington.  And Thomas Jefferson.  Who may have been an atheist but thought Jesus Christ was the greatest philosopher of all time.  Even made his own New Testament by cutting out the God parts.  It was these Judeo-Christian values that made great men.  It’s what made the Founding Fathers different from other men.  And how they were able to create a country that favored the people.  Not the ruling class.  Which they would most certainly have been part of.  But these were selfless men.  They did not do things for personal gain.  Something unheard of in those days when it came to governing a nation.  But they did.  Because of their religion.  And their British customs and traditions.  So it’s sad to see these attacks on Christianity in the USA.  Even more sad to see them in the UK (see Queen stands up for Christianity: ‘Church of England is misunderstood and under-appreciated’ by Rebecca English posted 2/16/2012 on the Daily Mail).

And she emphasised that while the Church, of which she is head, was ‘woven into the fabric of this country’ it also had a ‘duty’ to protect freedom of worship for other faiths in order to build ‘a better society’…

It is particularly timely given last week’s landmark legal ruling banning the saying of prayers at council meetings.

Christians and politicians reacted with dismay after a judge overturned centuries of custom by stopping a council in Devon putting prayers on the formal agenda.

On the same day, two Christian guesthouse owners failed in an attempt to overturn a £3,600 fine imposed for refusing – because it was against their religious beliefs – to allow a gay couple to occupy a double room.

These and other developments, including recent cases of public sector workers being banned from displaying Christian symbols at work, have sparked a debate over whether the country is becoming too secularised and what effect this will have on society…

‘Faith plays a key role in the identity of millions of people, providing not only a system of belief but also a sense of belonging. It can act as a spur for social action. Indeed, religious groups have a proud track record of helping those in the greatest need.’

The Church of England is such a big part of the history of the United Kingdom.  It was critical during the Enlightenment.  For it questioned Catholic dogma.  And a Pope that was only recently selling indulgences to finance some nice Renaissance art.  So there’s no question that politics was creeping into the Catholic Church.  Which is what Henry VIII did not want.  A distant central power interfering with state affairs.  Well, that, and a divorce.  So Henry VIII created his own church.  Lost some of the Catholic dogma.  Some of the politics.  But kept the Judeo-Christian values.  And Britain became great.

Agricultural advances, representative government, economic theory, technological advances – these all flourished in England.  Why?  Critical thinking.  The rule of law.  And Judeo-Christian values.  The customs and traditions that are woven into the fabric of the United Kingdom.  And they should all remain woven in the fabric.  Because customs and traditions define who a people are.  And it’s absurd to think that you can remove customs and traditions just because they are Judeo-Christian.  When we are bending over backwards to accommodate every custom and tradition that isn’t Judeo-Christian in our multicultural world.

So I say to the Queen and Defender of the Faith you go, girl.

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We can’t Stop Man-Made Global Warming no matter what we Spend to Stop It

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

Climate is very complex.  Like subatomic physics.  And although we’re still questioning past theories on subatomic physics a lot of people have accepted that we’ve learned all we need to learn about climate.  And we know beyond any possible doubt that man is causing catastrophic global warming.   No doubt bringing a smile to a theoretical physicist’s face.  Who has no such arrogance in his or her field of study.

The world is warming.  The climate ‘scientists’ say by 2 degrees Celsius each year.  Which if this was true since the time Al Gore started warning us some 10-15 years ago, global temperatures should have risen 20-30 degrees Celsius.  Now I’m no climate ‘scientist’ but if the planet had warmed some 20-30 degrees Celsius this past decade or so I doubt Europe would be suffering one of the worst winters on record.  But this is only rational thought and deduction.  Which have no place in climate ‘science’.  But even if we could understand what was going on with the climate there’s nothing we can do about it (see Slash emissions, fly by zeppelin posted 2/13/2012 on The Economist).

THE ECONOMIST has long accepted the scientific consensus that the world is warming and that this warming is being caused by carbon-dioxide emissions from human activity…

Some scientists and activists believe that a concentration of over 350 parts-per-million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could lead to feedback loops (the release of methane from Arctic permafrost, for example) that could make warming almost impossible to stop. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change believes the right number is 450 ppm. Achieving that target, as David Roberts of the environmental news website Grist explained last year, is a “gobsmackingly gargantuan challenge…”

Mr Roberts goes on to highlight a series of remarkable charts and graphs from Saul Griffith, an inventor. Mr Griffith estimates that, in order to meet the 450 ppm target, the world will have to build 100 square metres of photovoltaic solar cells (with 15% efficiency and good siting, naturally) every second for the next 25 years. Also, one 100m diameter wind turbine every five minutes and one 3-gigawatt nuclear plant every week. The list goes on. You can see why The Economist is pessimistic about avoiding 2°C of warming.

The solution to save the world from man-made global warming is as ridiculous as the concept of man-made global warming itself.  If no amount of investment can stop what’s happening then why spend anything?  We’re doomed anyway.  We might as well go out enjoying life.  Instead of living lives of subsistence only to succumb to global warming anyway.  And the best part is if the climate ‘scientists’ are wrong we live happily ever after.  If they’re right we die horrible deaths either way.  So the rational and deductive choice is clear.  Live life.  And not fear the specter of man-made global warming. 

Now only if the climate ‘scientist’ believed in rational thought and deduction.

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The Eurozone Debt Crisis gets Ugly as the Greeks call their German Benefactors Nazis

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

Germany is the strongest nation in the Eurozone.  While they retain their triple-A credit rating other countries face credit rating downgrades.  Or warnings about future downgrades.  Which puts the Germans in the Euro driver seat.  Because they’re shouldering the biggest share of this Eurozone financial burden.  One would almost say they are doing the other Eurozone members a favor.  But the Greeks sure don’t feel this way (see Greeks brand Germans ‘Nazis’ for driving through painful cuts and ‘taking control of their economy’ posted 2/15/2012 on the Daily Mail).

Greek anger with the way they believe Germany has taken over their economy is boiling over on the country’s streets.

In recent days, protesters have burned German flags and defaced the Bank of Greece’s headquarters to make it look like the Bank of Berlin.

German chancellor Angela Merkel has also been depicted in Nazi uniform on the front page of right-wing newspaper Democracy above a headline alluding to Auschwitz.

Granted, Hitler did conquer Greece.  And he did so ruthlessly.  But not because he wanted to.  Mussolini attacked Greece.  And was humiliated.  This blunder threatened Barbarossa.  The Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union.  Hitler had to save Mussolini to keep the British (in and around the Mediterranean) off their southern flank.  While preparing the Greek invasion Yugoslavia threw a wrench into the plans with a military coup.  Shut down his free passage through Yugoslavia.  Threw Hitler in a rage.  So he was going to teach them a lesson.  And did.  He ruthlessly attacked Yugoslavia.  And kept his army rolling all the way through Greece.  But to do this he had to delay Barbarossa by about a month.  Which stalled his armies in the god-awful Russian winter at the gates of Moscow.  The same god-awful winter that destroyed Napoleon’s Grande Armée.  And sent the Nazis in retreat.  For the very first time.  Had it not been for the Greece ‘problem’ Hitler may have conquered the Soviet Union.  And won World War II.  So Hitler had little love for Greece.  Which may have made the Greece occupation a cruel one.

High levels of government spending in Greece to support a very comfortable and growing public sector created large deficits.  They had to finance these growing deficits with growing government debt.  Soon their debt grew so large they could no longer sell new debt to retire old debt.  Because few believed that they would be able to repay this new debt.  Which brought them to this crisis where they needed help from others to finance their debt.  Because they could no longer take care of themselves.

So there’s a bit of difference between the current debt crisis and 1941 Greece.  In 1941 the Greeks were victims of Nazi oppression.  In the current debt crisis Greece’s troubles are self-inflicted.  So comparing Merkel’s Germany to Nazi Germany is a bit unfair to say the least.  And unjust. 

The Eurozone was an ill-conceived plan to begin with.  A currency unity with no political unity?  What did they expect?  No nation wants to take orders from another nation.  Any who tries may be called, well, a Nazi.  And this is why the Eurozone was ill-conceived.  Because no nation wants to take orders from another nation.  They just want to keep on doing their own thing.  Like the Greeks did.  And now Greece’s problem is everyone’s problem in the Eurozone.  Because of that common currency.

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Moody’s teaches France, Austria and the UK that Debt Matters

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

Things are not well in the Eurozone.  After a series of credit rating downgrades Moody’s warns France and Austria.  And even one country outside the Eurozone.  The UK (see Moody’s warns UK, France, Austria over AAA rating by Rodrigo Campos and Walter Brandimarte posted 2/14/2012 on Reuters).

Rating agency Moody’s warned it may cut the triple-A ratings of France, Britain and Austria…

Moody’s move was less aggressive than rival agency Standard & Poor’s, but its action puts London’s prized top credit rating in jeopardy for the first time…

Germany’s top-tier rating was described as “appropriate” by Moody’s, and it affirmed the triple-A rating on the euro zone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF)…

The precarious state of European sovereign finances was underlined on Monday, when the head if [sic]China’s sovereign wealth fund brushed aside an appeal from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to buy European government debt, saying such bonds were “difficult” for long-term investors…

A retreat from European government debt has already been boosting relatively high-yielding Australian and New Zealand debt, as cashed-up Asian sovereign wealth funds and other major bond investors look for safe havens to diversify their holdings.

The two big countries of the Eurozone are Germany and France.  If they go so does the Euro.  So far Germany retains its triple-A rating.  But France may lose theirs.  Even the UK may lose its coveted triple-A rating for the first time.  Just like the U.S. did last year.  Neither of which is in the Eurozone.

Things are not well in the world of government finance.  Even the Chinese are refusing to buy European debt.  And they’re not the only ones.  And it’s because of the debt levels.  Australia and New Zealand debt is closer to 30% of GDP.  Compared to the European Union.  Which is closer to 80%.  Simply put, debt matters.  And the more you have the less perfect your credit rating.  And the lower your credit rating the higher the interest rates you must pay to sell your government bonds.  If you can sell them.

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Moody’s follows Fitch and Standard & Poor’s and downgrades Eurozone Countries

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

Now it’s Moody’s turn to show their lack of confidence in the Eurozone (see Moody’s downgrades European countries by James O’Toole posted 2/14/2012 on CNNMoney).

Moody’s cut the credit ratings of six European countries on Monday amid continued anxiety over the continent’s debt crisis and its sluggish economy.

Italy, Malta, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain were all downgraded, while three other countries — Austria, France and the United Kingdom — had the outlook on their current Aaa ratings changed to “negative…”

The move follows similar downgrades of European nations recently by fellow rating agencies Fitch and Standard & Poor’s, and comes as investors are waiting to see whether euro-area finance ministers will approve the latest bailout for Greece this week…

Investors may be heartened by the fact that Moody’s didn’t downgrade the eurozone’s bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Fund.

Interesting.  They didn’t downgrade the European Financial Stability Fund.  But they downgraded the countries that fund it did.  Interesting because the member states guarantee the loans.  The interest costs.  And the capital raising costs of this Eurozone bailout fund.  So if the member states are greater risks one would think the thing they fund and guarantee would be a greater risk, too.

Looks like those social democracies of Europe are learning their lessons about socialism.  It’s costly.  And it bankrupts nations.  Capitalism doesn’t do this.  Only those nations that abandoned capitalism in favor of social democracy find themselves in these financial messes.  Sadly, two of the great nations of capitalism are limping down this same road.  The UK.  And the USA.  Who had their credit rating downgraded themselves only last year.  And the latest budget offered by the Obama administration forecasts a $1.3 trillion deficit.

Those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat history’s worst mistakes.  And, apparently, we are.

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Daniel Hannan speaks at CPAC urging Americans to Return to their Founding Principles

Posted by PITHOCRATES - February 18th, 2012

Week in Review

I believe it was George Bernard Shaw who said that the British and the Americans are two peoples separated by a common language.  And we are.  After all, the British sired the Americans.  It was British customs, British laws and British representative government that flowered into the United States.  Sure, we had our moments.  And a civil war (what we call the Revolutionary War).  But even the defining document of that war has some British roots.  For one of the Founding Father’s greatest inspirations was an Englishman.  John Locke.  Who believed that government ruled only at the consent of the governed.  Powerful stuff for its time.  Greatly influenced the English.  And Thomas Jefferson as he wrote the Declaration of Independence.

In time, though, America would surpass the United Kingdom.  For the UK moved away from their glorious past.  Into a socialist future.  Joining the social democracies of Europe.  Who are all standing at a great precipice.  The weight of their debt and social spending threatening to pull them over.  And Daniel Hannan, Briton and Member of the European Parliament, looks behind and sees the Americans rushing up behind them to join them in their perilous leap over the edge.  He speaks to them.  Warning them not to make the same mistakes they are making.  To go back to their Founding Principles.  Of which this Briton holds dear.  And to change their ways.  For it may be too late on his side of the Atlantic.  But it’s not too late for the Americans.

This is the gist of Daniel Hannan’s speech at CPAC.  And if you want to look into America’s future based on the road we are currently on, watch his speech (see Video: Daniel Hannan’s warning to CPAC — and America by Ed Morrissey posted 2/12/2012 on Hot Air).

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