Thursday, August 12, 2004

LRC picks
On the right approach to war and defence: Switzerland
The first step in the defense of Americans is to pull back the American empire. The Swiss have not been invaded in 500 years. They have also not attacked. The Swiss understand patriotism: defend yourself, and leave others alone. They have done very well.

On the black legend of Spain and concomitant anti-Catholicism
The number of people who died in the Spanish inquisition was under a thousand.

On ‘those dirty Japs’ vs. the truth
It is worth noting that Japanese pilots attacked military targets at Pearl Harbor. They did not deliberately target civilians. They maintained the warrior's code in that attack, and it cost them the Battle of Midway six months later. Instead of targeting the oil depot, which would have put the Navy out of commission in the Pacific for a year or more, they attacked battleships, which were obsolete strategically.

- Gary North

The US, when fire-bombing Tokyo and nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, did not maintain the warrior's code.

On combat the Catholic way
My friend Ernst Winter, the son-in-law of Col. von Trapp, told me of a remarkable event in his father-in-law's military career. His father-in-law had been a U-boat commander in World War I. He came upon a French military ship. He surfaced, told the captain that he was going to sink the ship, and told him to tell his crew to abandon ship. He was met with explosive resistance.

He took the U-boat beneath the enemy vessel, re-surfaced on the other side, and gave the warning again. More shots. He submerged, fired his torpedoes, and sank the ship. Hundreds of French sailors drowned.

After the War, the French awarded von Trapp a medal.

- Gary North

Actually he was Captain Georg von Trapp (one of the few facts in The Sound of Music) - 'Colonel' of course is an army rank - a commoner who got his noble title of baron from Austria because of his naval service, before World War I destroyed the empire and made Austria a landlocked country. (Austria's coast was what's now Croatia - historically Dalmatia.) As the story relates, even in battle he was always a nice fellow. Actually Maria was no affectionate, fun-loving Julie Andrews - she was a perambulating bitch on wheels.

On conservative Christian-bashing
From a libertarian standpoint, I’ve written that I have a problem with terminating the lives of unborn children as it violates many libertarian (not to mention Biblical!) principles. But when it comes to matters of lifestyle, I don’t believe in using the state to "impose" my values on others. Neither do many other Christians. However, that is not enough for the rabid Christian hater. They despise the fact that certain moral standards even exist and that people could be "dumb" enough to hold them.

Not only true of the militant atheists but liberal churchgoers and liberal church workers as well. Bill Barnwell might read the Ship of Fools board, mostly such types both in the UK and the US, where my position statement on homosexuality - which my Catholic friends in person who are homosexual have read and understood - generated not only site and blog hits (which were a legit goal of mine, legit because I wasn't trying to sell something for money) but a fire-storm of juvenile ad hominem postings and dishonourable conduct from the board's moderators, changing one of my links to one of their choosing. (To be fair the head moderator reversed this later.) And wiping out the link to my statement, eliminating context. Other than that the 'shipmates'' main MO was to ignore what I actually said to explain myself and proceed to create a caricature of me - a piñata if you will - made out of their words and bash away at that.

Not the worst treatment of me online - that was identity theft, when a mad nominal Byzantine Catholic chap from Washington, DC impersonated me on two fora - but it shares second prize with

Anyway, Mr Barnwell 'gets it':

The angry secularist [and liberal Christian] assumes that every Evangelical is a Left-Behind fanatic that wants to nuke the Middle East. They assume that every conservative Catholic and Protestant wants to usher in a theocracy run by Ralph Reed. They believe that every Christian is out to get them. Run for cover!

Another major reason that these people hold the attitudes they do is that they are lovers of self. They hate the idea that man needs as "Savior" and completely resent the idea that Jesus is the path to eternal life. It annoys them that Christians believe such things and that Christians have the nerve to "witness" or share their faith with others.

IOW, 'I will not serve'.

And knowledge of one's mere existence is all it takes to piss those people off.

As The 100 Worst Hit Songs put it re: the lyrics/story line to 1977's 'Lonely Boy' by Andrew Gold ('I had a sister - my life is ruined' - yes, I remember that song), 'F*ck, even Sartre wasn't that sensitive.' At least the sensitive-songwriter genre back then - from Bread to Dan Fogelberg and suchlike - was better than Britney Spears.

Well, if you don’t like it then there is a very libertarian answer to this: Ignore them. Don’t listen to them. Go on your merry little way and enjoy life. If you don’t want to hear the televangelist on TV, turn the station. If you don’t like church, then don’t go. If you think Christians are annoying, then don’t associate with them.

As I wrote on the Ship, their forum is a video game. Click something else or turn off the computer and zap! It's as if they don't exist.

My experience 'on board' was educational though - it let me 'get into the head of' mainline Protestant churches on both sides of the herring-pond, including what usually passes as RC. (Got condescended to by the RC version of them myself 15-20 years ago - before I knew better than to waste my time with such - which seems like a whole other lifetime.) Such people are the gauntlet that ordinands and prospective ordinands, of whom I know several, have to run through - interviews, selection conferences, etc. It takes a man a lot tougher and more skilful than me. He has to be made of Teflon.

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