— The Times of London (@thetimes) August 27, 2017
Category Archives: government
Poland’s leading Catholic bishop has spoken out in favour of an almost complete ban on shops opening on Sunday, amid growing public controversy over the proposal.
“Free Sundays are what all Catholics, non-Catholics and non-believers need,” Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki told Polish Radio ahead of a meeting of the Bishops Conference on Friday, which is expected to support the ban.
The idea was put forward last year by the powerful Solidarity trade union, backed by a million-strong petition, and has been batted back and forth in a parliamentary subcommittee ever since.
The clerics are careful to base their argument on quality of life rather than religious grounds. “Families don’t just need financial support, they need time for themselves,” said the Archbishop of Katowice, Wiktor Skworc.
He appealed to the government to “show some compassion for women in the form of those who have to work in supermarkets on Sundays”, and accused it of showing “contempt” for Solidarity and the bishops by delaying consideration of the ban. He also warned local MPs and senators that he expected them to vote “in line with the views of their voters,” the Wirtualna Polska website reports.
The government and retail groups have suggested compromises like shutting shop every other Sunday, or only after lunch, and the rival OPZZ union confederation proposes higher wages for Sunday working, but Solidarity chief Piotr Duda is holding out for “Four free Sundays a month, full stop, end of story”, Dziennik daily reports.
I remember when Ontario ended its ban on Sunday shopping in 1990 or so, in the time leading up to it, the opposition to the overturning of the Lord’s Day Act which banned most stores from being open on Sunday came from both the Tories and the New Democrats, both Right and Left, against the Liberals.
The Right reflected the traditionalist sentiment that Sunday is the Lord’s Day, and ought to be a day of rest as commanded in God’s Word.
The Left, which still in those days actually cared about the workers, argued that workers needed a set day off.
They were both correct, and it was nice to see common cause from both left and right against the Liberals.
Alas, they lost.
But it was inspiring.
As are the bishops aligning themselves with Solidarity, the labour union that opposed communism. They represented workers against a regime that ostensibly ruled in the name of the workers.
Nice to see left and right together on this, over there. I wish them all the best, and will pray for them.
Some interesting arguments and observations in an essay about nuclear weapons, NORKs, and the Soviets:
Kim Jong-un’s recalcitrance and unpredictability would seem to make an ICBM-armed North Korea the stuff of apocalyptic nightmares. But before engaging in a gloomy calculation of ballistic trajectories, we should also consider the historical legacies of the world’s most powerful missiles. After all, we have survived for six decades now with the unpleasant sense of wondering if someone out there, intentionally or by mistake, was about to push the figurative button and reduce our lifespans to half an hour or less.
Indeed, it may well be that Kim’s new ICBM portends an era not of chaos and apocalypse, but stability and peace. The possession of nuclear missiles have historically had two overarching effects upon states. First, they provide a kind of existential sense of security, because states understand that no other nation is likely to launch an attack, particularly in a war of conquest, when the response could be even one nuclear retaliation on a city. The costs aren’t worth it.
Second, ICBMs tend to make states wary of going to war at all, at least with other nuclear states and their close allies. Now that it has a nuclear missile, the North Korean regime faces the fact that a war that brings in the United States could become a nuclear war, an event that would mean the violent and immediate end of the Kim dynasty and its grim regime. Without a nuclear weapon, North Korea could fight the United States or another major power, much as Vietnam or Afghanistan did, for years. The stakes now have become infinitely greater.
These two factors—the security of deterrence, and the existential danger that looms if it fails—make nuclear states very interested in stability. Thus, the ICBM, in the greatest irony of all history, has so far been a force for peace. Indeed, the late international relations theorist Kenneth Waltz once suggested that it should receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Here was the Soviet Union, a nation formally bent upon the violent overthrow of world order and the defeat of American imperialism, now deploying a rocket that could destroy U.S. cities in a matter of hours. In the aftermath of Sputnik, Sen. Henry Jackson called for a “week of national shame and danger.”
But other Americans, including President Dwight Eisenhower, understood that the Soviets saw their new rockets as defensive weapons designed to deter a possible American attack. Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev grasped this almost immediately. “We estimate, that the [two] blocs presently possess such means of destruction as to make war unthinkable, if not impossible,” Khrushchev announced in his famous “Peaceful Coexistence” speech of February 1956. It was either a peaceful Cold War “or the most destructive war in history,” Khrushchev said. “There is no third way.” Wasn’t war still possible? Khrushchev believed that nuclear weapons ruled that out. “The danger of a military conflict is absent,” he explained in July of that year.
Khrushchev was so certain that his new weaponry would protect the USSR and make war insane that in December 1959 he opted to unilaterally reduce the size of the Soviet conventional army. The military brass were not amused but Khrushchev believed that in a nuclear age conventional weapons were little more than “old junk, scrap metal, which hangs like pounds of weight on the necks of the people, distracting millions of working hands from creative labour.” Khrushchev argued that large armies were simply redundant, for “how can any country or group of countries in Europe invade us when we can literally wipe these countries off the face of the earth with our atomic and hydrogen weapons and by delivery of our missiles to any point on the globe?”
Khrushchev grasped something that no-one else has wanted to admit: conventional armies are now entirely obsolete, if everyone has nukes.
And THAT, of course, is why the Imperial American regime does NOT want Iran or the NORKs getting nukes. Not because they’re actually afraid of some madman deploying them. But because they can’t bully any nation that has them.
Iraq never actually had WMDs, and the American deep state permanent regime knew it; if they had, America would never have actually gone to war against them. Iran must not have them, either, hence America’s threatening rhetoric towards it.
America hasn’t gone to war against the NORKs, precisely because they have long feared the Kim dynasty either having nukes or having the capacity to develop them. And now we know our fears are true.
If every country on the planet got nukes, we could abolish all the world’s armies.
Think of it: if everyone has nukes, conventional armies become completely obsolete for war between states, because they could never be deployed, without the threat of a nuclear retaliation.
Remember, BTW, that in feudal times of yore, centuries back, there were no standing armies; they were called up as occasion demanded (i.e. as rulers wanted them). Modern-day permanent militaries are a relatively recent development, civilization-wise. And now they’ve been superseded. If everyone had nukes, we could officially abolish armed forces, and just have a force of technicians to drop nukes, chemical weapons and biological weapons, and for internal functions where the army might be used within countries to establish order if there were an uprising, etc., states could simply beef up their police, SWAT teams, etc., for internal matters.
MAD has worked so far; if nukes are a sword of Damocles, I think we’ve learned to forget about that sword hanging over us. Life goes on; our enemies mostly aren’t as batshit crazy as we fear they might be, generally. They want to live, too, generally, after all, notwithstanding some suicide bombers; certainly, the leadership likes living, in most cases.
(I’ve long wished Canada had nukes; then we could have a more independent foreign and trade policy, and not be so closely tied to America. That’s a side benefit of actually being able to defend yourself and not needing to rely on a superpower ally…)
Nukes are not ideal, but their existence hasn’t been as problematic as we’ve feared, thus far.
Of course, we must put our trust not in princes or technology, ultimately, but rather in the Lord.
This wasn’t what the Donald campaigned on… But Bannon’s gone; so Javanka gets their way… Sad!
the “Never Trump” brigade is staffed largely by women. I contend therein that the rise of Donald Trump and the reassertion of patriarchy it expresses is seen (quite rightly) by Megyn Kelly, Sarah Rumpf, Amanda Carpenter, Michelle Fields, Dana Loesch, S.E. Cupp, Ana Navarro, et al., as a threat to their current pundit supremacy. And then Kat Timpf announced to the world from her perch at Fox News that Trump’s August 15 press conference would have precipitated a flood of hot tears, but she was compelled to control herself because “I have too much eye makeup on to start crying right now.” I am not, as the kids like to say, making this up.
Tristin Hopper had a great article recently in the National Post on why public art is so consistently awful.
It boils down to basically two things:
(a) The ‘art’ has to stand up to outdoor conditions, which greatly affects the kinds of materials that can be used, and
(b) Cities have budgets for art, which naturally bureaucrats ‘have’ to spend so they’ll keep the cashflow coming next budget, and of course said bureaucrats are unelected and unaccountable to the public, and so spend money as they please on whatever they please, as long as the money gets spent that’s all that ultimately matters to them.
IMO, the solution is simple; governments should get out of bankrolling public art, and instead should only erect monuments and statues to great individuals, war dead, etc., and leave the arts to the private sector, who at least won’t be wasting taxpayers’ money on crap; just their own…
Some might suggest getting public input, but frankly, given the divisions in today’s society, esp. in light of prog / SJW activists decrying anything not created by, say, transgendered black Muslim wheelchair-bound lesbians, all that will do is result in prog hijacking of such hearings, and more social conflict. No, we can’t have nice things any more, because progs. So leave it to the marketplace, instead; again, at least taxpayer dollars won’t be bankrolling agitprop and waste.