Blogsplaining myself

Sometimes I look back over old posts and catch things that need explaining.

Last night, I saw a post about feminism, in which I said I was not a femin-ist but a human-ist.

That might confuse readers who note that my other posts are generally written from a Christian perspective, to which “humanism” is opposed.

Humanism refers to the Enlightenment philosophy of human reason as the arbiter of all things.

I am not that kind of humanist.

However,  in that post, I was differentiating myself from feminists. I wanted to be clear that I was concerned for women as human-beings…not as some special gender elevated above men. That was the sense in which I used the word human-ist in the post.

There and elsewhere, a casual reader might get confused by the conflicting view-points  published on this blog.

They’re easily explained.

I publish anything that strikes me as containing an important insight, even if it contradicts my own world-view.

It’s my way of keeping myself honest and not succumbing to ideology.

The second point I wanted to make is that I am not an anti-Semite in the traditional sense, despite my tendency to rummage through white nationalist/so-called anti-Semitic sites.

I consider global government a very bad idea and I see its roots going back to the rabbinical dream of world conquest under a Messiah-King.

Deciphering that project requires plain-speaking…but I am not motivated by hatred for Judaism itself, either Torah-based or Talmudic, although certainly there are things in the latter I dislike intensely.

As to Christianity itself, I used to be a rather liberal and unorthodox Christian, as you can see from earlier writing on the web.

These days, I have moved much closer to a conservative position. That’s a result of extensive research over the last few years.

And personal experience.

I now hold an orthodox faith, but I still differ from orthodox believers in one thing – I do not believe that Christ’s salvation is conferred only on those who profess Christian doctrine. I believe it is conferred on all, regardless of confession. It depends only on what is in the heart.

If a person strives to embody truth and love as Christ practiced it, they are “believers” in the sense Christ meant.

They worship Christ, only without naming him.

There are many practicing “Christians” who are actually idolaters, because their belief is superstitious and a profession of the lips.

There are many practicing “pagans” who are actually Christians, because their belief is in the true god, regardless of what name they’ve chosen to give him.

Christ will draw them to him, one way or other.

This is not an idle conclusion. It’s one I’ve reached after many years of back-and-forth, study, observation, and interaction with people of all faiths.

 

 

 

 

 

Libertarian Republic On Steve Bannon’s Art Of The “New Deal”

Libertarian Republic gets it right:

Taking Bannon at his own word, and in the context of 1930s, it sounds a lot like the rhetoric coming from Germany pre-World War II. His rhetoric matches the anger, scapegoating, and emotional ploys spoken in the early days of Adolf Hitler‘s rise.

While this may seem pejorative, or hyperbolic, let us look at how the Mises Institute, an Austrian Economic think tank, explains 1930 Germany’s economic situation.

In the 1930s, Hitler was widely viewed as just another protectionist central planner who recognized the supposed failure of the free market and the need for nationally guided economic development. Proto-Keynesian socialist economist Joan Robinson wrote that “Hitler found a cure against unemployment before Keynes was finished explaining it.”

What were those economic policies? He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public-works programs like autobahns, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The Nazi interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of socialism in one country.

Now compare that to how Bannon and Trump have described their plans and vision for having won the White House.

  1. 1 Trillion Dollar Infrastructure matches the huge public works programs
  2. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia,”  along with Trumps promises to coerce business back into the US, matches protection of industry from foreign competition,
  3. “With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything,” added to Trumps call to continue borrowing, matches expanding credit and the continuance of large deficits
  4. “Rebuild everything. Shipyards, iron works, get them all jacked up,” matches the instituted jobs programs
  5. Trumps possible control of capital through protectionist trade.
  6. The comment by Bannon about being in power for the next “50 years” sounds awfully similar to the how Nazi’s described the Third Reich. “It is our will that this state shall endure for a thousand years. We are happy to know that the future is ours entirely!” – Triumph of Will (1935)

This not to say that Bannon or Trump should be compared to Nazis or that they have come close to committing the acts against humanity that occurred in that period of history. Rather it is a simple question which compares the rhetoric being used by the two administrations in their rise to power. After all, this perspective is a simple look back at history, so as to learn from it and utilize it to spot potential issues in the future. If we willfully ignore details, even if just as a safety measure, then we leave ourselves at risk of missing what could’ve been right under our nose. Famed philosopher George Santayana once said, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

The Sandy Foundation Of Tamil Politics

From Scroll.in, a fascinating look into the sand mafia that rules Tamil Nadu (and many other Indian states) and its impact on politics and the environment there:

However, people in villages see this money [Lila: from the sale of sand from dried up river beds] circulating. A part of it, they say, goes to local party workers. A farmer from a village near Karur claimed that “about Rs 1,000 from each unit is shared amongst the local party workers: Rs 25 to the person in the village, Rs 150 to the taluka head, Rs 350 to the district members, and so on.” This is echoed by both researchers and politicians like K Kaliyan of the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Abhijit Sen, a former member of the erstwhile Planning Commission, said India’s political parties “maintain their party cadres predominantly through the construction sector”. In Punjab, people close to the ruling Akali Dal control both sand mining and stone crushing. In West Bengal, syndicates control urban infrastructure projects. Another part of this money, said the researcher, goes into fighting elections. Be it for campaigning or for paying voters in cash.

These questions – about money flowing from sand mining to AIADMK’s cadre and being used in elections – were listed in the questionnaires sent to Jayalalithaa, Venkataramanan and Arumugasamy. This article will be updated when they respond.

For now, Sen’s observation triggers a fresh question. If a ruling party depends on the mining of a mineral resource to maintain itself, what is the fallout?

What it all means

Some years ago, farmers from 12 villages in Ettayapuram Taluk of Tuticorin district decided to stop sand mining. Among other things, they seized earthmovers and trucks. In response, said an article by R Seenivasan, a PhD Candidate with the University of Westminster, the farmers “were slapped with criminal charges and branded as ‘extremists’ who take ‘law into their hands’. Many farmers were sent to jail for days and charged for ‘unlawful assembly, rioting, obstructing government work and officers,’ under various penal sections of the Indian penal code.”

This is a common refrain. The police similarly slapped cases on the women of Kalathur, a village on the Palar, when they protested last year against sand mining. When this reporter met V Chandrasekhar, who has been agitating against sand mining in Villupuram and Pondicherry, it was shortly after Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was beaten up in the Patiala House complex. “That happens every day here. The police is an instrument of the state. No one would dare go to the police here,” said Chandrasekhar.

This pattern, of siding with the miners and not with the locals, shows up in poor supervision of sand mining. As the PUCL study found, sand was being mined till almost a 10 metre depth in the Palar. It also shows in the state government’s support for sand mining over, say, environmental concerns.

Responding to a petition filed in the Madras High Court by the Cauvery Neervala Athara Pathukappu Sangam, a non-profit in Erode, the state government argued that sand mining doesn’t need an environment clearance since quarrying operations were carried out by the PWD scientifically.

When the court insisted on an environmental impact assessment, a lawyer in the Madurai court who fought against sand mining, told Scroll on the condition of anonymity, the state government rushed through an environmental clearance in just three months.

Scroll asked Jayalalitha, Rama Mohana Rao, Venkataramanan and Arumugasamy for their comment on the charges that the state government and the ruling party have acted in a manner which benefits sand miners and not local communities. There was no response.

The combined fallout of all this has not been pretty. As these quarries scour their way along Tamil Nadu’s rivers, the state’s water crisis is worsening. Groundwater levels, for instance, are collapsing across the state. That said, the ravages of sand mining go beyond ecological damage. The state’s villages and politics have been damaged as well.”

Infosys Foundation Chair Joins Tirumala Temple Trust

The chairman of the Infosys Foundation has joined the board of the largest and richest temple trust in India and the second-richest in the world.

From The Hindu:

The appointment of Infosys Foundation chairperson Sudha Narayana Murthy as a member of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams Trust Board is being seen as an initiative that will bolster the image of the board.

The nomination of Ms. Murthy, a prolific writer, philanthropist, and member of public health care initiatives of the Gates Foundation, meets the long-standing demand that only iconic personalities with a religious bent of mind be nominated to the board.”

The Hindu piece doesn’t tell you exactly who Mrs. Narayana Murthy is. She is the wife of the Infosys co-founder, and Infosys is one of the leading business consulting and outsourcing companies in India.

Narayana Murthy, often regarded as the father of Indian IT, figured prominently in Thomas Friedman’s “The World Is Flat” (which I have trounced on several occasions). Murthy, a Kannada Madhwa Brahmin, may be an entrepreneur but he is a self-proclaimed socialist.

He, like fellow-globalist Nandan Nilakeni, the other co-founder of Infosys,  is also an ardent promoter of the digitilization and e-surveillance of India.

Nilekani heads the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which, along with the RBI, is the driving force between the imposition of the national biometric ID card, Aadhar. His former boss, Narayan Murthy, formerly headed the National Payments Corporation (NPC), the umbrella outfit that covers all retail payment systems like merchant cards, ATMs, etc.

Nilekani is a Konkani Brahmin and second-generation Fabian Socialist:

His father worked as a general manager of Mysore and Minerva Mills and subscribed to Fabian Socialist ideals that influenced Nilekani in his early years.”

The Hindu article also doesn’t mention the significance of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD).

They oversee the work of the second richest and most visited religious center in the world, taking in some 130 million rupees a month (about 13 crore rupees or nearly 2 million dollars). The trust earned 2600 crore rupees (26 billion dollars) last year.

The trust oversees not only the Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh, but Hindu temples all over the world. Besides this, it is involved in numberless charitable works and in the propagation and preservation of Hindu and Sanskrit classics.

Please note that enormous amounts of gold, silver, and other donations flow into the temple coffers regularly:

While gold alone is estimated to add up to one tonne a year in offerings, silver, diamond and other items also flow into the temple trust’s exchequer. “In the case of property deeds, due procedure is followed by the concerned department to transfer the title,” noted an official.”

and this:

The temple trust said in April that it had deposited 1,311 kg of gold with Punjab National Bank under India’s Gold Monetisation Scheme. The deposit apparently is under a three-year short-term programme that earns the trust an annual interest of 1.75 percent.

In a statement, the temple’s investment committee expressed satisfaction at the interest rates earned from its investment so far. Further, it sought a shorter investment time frame between one to three years for depositing its yearly turnout of gold. The temple trust may negotiate with banks that would offer higher interest rates.

The trust, which seeks gold, not cash, in interest on its gold deposits, has chosen the government’s monetisation scheme’s three year short-term programme primarily for that benefit. Evincing interest to plough in more gold as deposits, it has requested the Reserve Bank of India to extend the same for other gold monetisation programmes that range from medium to long terms.”

Sudha Narayana Murthy replaces mining baron Shekhar Reddy on the board. Reddy was arrested in December 2016, for allegedly laundering money.  A widely circulated picture showed him standing in front of the Tirupati temple with current chief minister O.P Paneerselvam.

 

 

Migrants To Europe Missed By Kosher “Alt-Right”

From The Jewish News of North California:

Nearly 5,000 people have become citizens of Spain or Portugal following the passing of laws in both countries on the naturalization of descendants of Sephardic Jews.

In Portugal, where a procedure for naturalization under the law went into effect last year, 292 applicants for naturalization have been approved, Catarina Madeira, a spokeswoman for the Portuguese Justice Ministry, said on Oct. 12.

Spain has naturalized 4,538 applicants for citizenship by Sephardim since the law went into effect last year. However, only three applicants were granted citizenship based on the actual law, the ABC daily newspaper reported on Oct. 16. Others were naturalized by a royal decree and not through the nondiscretionary procedure devised for the law.

According to ABC, the Spanish government in effect blocked the nondiscretionary procedure to avoid mass immigration by an estimated 30 million non-Jewish descendants of Sephardim
eligible under the law.

In both countries, the passing of the laws of return for Sephardim was described as an attempt to atone for the state and church-led mass expulsion, dispossession, torture and forced conversion into Christianity of Jews during the Inquisition — a period that began in the 15th century and ended with the disappearance and dispersion of what used to be one of the world’s largest Jewish communities.”

What that means is that Muslims and non-Muslim refugees fleeing countries bombed and destroyed by the US, Israel and their allies, are considered persona non grata in Europe and considered an “alien invasion.”

But Sephardi-descent Jews alone and no other Sephardi group (not Christians of Sephardi background, for example) are being imported by subverting the existing law and imposing a royal decree, ostensibly to compensate said Jewish imports for grievances they suffered over 500 years ago!

First, there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest that those grievances have been exaggerated and that the alleged perpetrators of the offense – some of the inquisitors, for instance – were themselves crypto-Jewish:

The Judaizing of Spanish Catholicism under the influence of the Marranos explains in part the popularity of Erasmus, precursor of Luther, in that country. At Rome, they seriously feared the emergence of a Jewish kingdom in Spain.17

A second problem superimposed itself on the religious problem. The Marranos had purchased for cash the public offices of several Spanish cities, crushing the old-Christian people under the weight of taxes and usury. There were some popular uprisings against the Marrano power at Toledo and Cuidad Real in 1449. The Marranos regained control of these cities in 1467 and massacred a great number of old-Christians. There were other bloodbaths in Castile (1468) and in Andalusia (1473). Spain was then on the threshold of a racial and religious civil war. This war, which would have been appalling, was avoided, thanks to the Inquisition.

Note that the Jewish converts were not always Marranos. Many among them were sincerely Catholic. Think of St. Teresa of Avila who was the granddaughter of a Marrano who, moreover, had been condemned by the Inquisition.

In fact, the truly converted Jews were the biggest enemies of the Marranos. The former rabbis Salomon Halevi, become bishop of Burgos under the name of Pablo de Santa Maria, and Jehoshua Ha-Lorqui, become Brother Jerome of the Holy Faith, wrote violent works against Judaism.

The historian Henry Kamen notes that the principal anti-Judaic polemicists were themselves ex-Jews. It was they who clamored for a tribunal of the Inquisition to distinguish between the false Jewish Christian converts and the sincere new Christians. The first Spanish Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada, was himself a Jewish convert. In addition, it must be noted that many Marranos judaized simply through family tradition or by misappreciation of the Catholic faith. The Inquisition thus had to establish another distinction between the Marranos who willfully altered the integrity of the faith and those who were the victims of an insufficient catechization.”

But don’t hold your breath waiting for any so-called alt-right or libertarian site to talk about this particular state-mandated discrimination on the basis of religion and proscription of the right of movement of non-Jewish people.