Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sundry Thoughts on New Years Day

The New Year has arrived. The Christmas attacks on Christians are still in full swing. Houses have been torched in Egypt. Coptic leaders in that country have pleaded with the Egyptian army to take some measures to protect their coreligionists and have again taken steps to avoid Christmas services in churches.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that a Muslim student's house was attacked by a mob because a picture of Mohammed was posted on his facebook page. We are not told if the picture was one of an insulting nature and the student claims that others posted the photo on his page. None of this matters of course to the crowds chanting "God is great" as they dutifully caused extensive damage to the residence, or to the authorities, who detained he student. We are not told if the detention was done in order to protect the student or if he is likely to be charged for any offense.

I can hear the choruses of the Left from their platforms of moral relativism as they seek to minimize our sense of outrage. They will no doubt hearken back to mob attacks on Jews, especially those of the Middles ages - yeah, those attacks that occurred hundreds of years ago and for which we too feel terrible. Muslim mobs are doing this right now and people are being hurt in ways that we can barely imagine, yet those who will cite pogroms as proof of the inherent wrongfulness of Western culture say nothing about what we are seeing today.

Our society seems to have abandoned, among other things, our willingness or ability to think. Feminists cry murder at any attempt by a Western male to exercise any degree of moral leadership in his family yet remain mute when a Muslim father commits atrocities against his daughters for such wild behavior as wearing nail polish. These men get free passes for this and for ruling their families with a maliciously applied iron hand, but woe to a Western man (who would feel repulsed by such behavior) who distances himself in any way from a family member who blatantly and repeatedly engages in actions that would cause deep embarrassment to him or other members of his family. That man is supposed to ignore any and all bad behavior no matter how much it may hurt his feeling and his sense of dignity. People, upon being made aware of the fact that, say John has not spoken to his son since his second arrest for Disorderly Conduct, express feigned shock and say "But that's his son" (hypothetical example) Moms too are expected to hold their tongues if their sons and daughters shamelessly advertise their dissolute comings and goings no matter how much it may eat away at them.

We pretend to be unaware of the aspects of our culture that provided firm bedrock for society to grow, prosper, and improve. Boys were expected to act like young men by the time they were in their teens. They were not supposed to spend their time trying to figure out how to persuade young girls to engage in intimate acts. Girls were expected to protect their emotional health and sense of dignity by avoiding social contact with boys who were clearly not looking out for their best interests. Parents regularly did more than just dropping off their kids at Sunday school. They took them to church or at least worked to impart a sense of ethics in their children. People viewed getting into legal trouble as something to be avoided; most did not want to hurt their standing in the community.

Education was recognized for is importance. Many families sacrificed to ensure that their children could be better educated and therefore have better opportunities than their parents. An education was a means to an end, not the end itself. Nothing that could be learned in school was considered to be capable of displacing the importance of a strong work ethic. Few believed that college itself could make someone wise or allow one to understand the world better than those who were actually working as a part of it. Older people who may have had a third grade education were nonetheless still regarded as having wisdom, common sense, and life experience from which the youth could learn much. Education was known to be a valuable asset, not something that was the primary means to develop a society.

I once had a discussion with a relative through marriage that I think illustrates the topsy-turvy way in which we view education today. He had spent quite a bit of time in college and was clearly strongly influenced by the Leftist slant provided in most colleges of our time.

It was absolutely precious how he assumed the airs of one who knows and understands how things are and began to explain how the key, main part, foundation of progress of society is education. The manner in which he spoke of this was indicative of someone who clearly viewed what can be gleaned in college to be the be-all-end-all of what a person needs to help society progress. Absent was any mention of the cultural factors that provide the base for a society's strengths. Noticeably missing also was any understanding that, aside from specialty courses such as mathematics, sciences, engineering, chemistry, etc., what passes for "education" in the current state of American colleges is hardly that. A better and more accurate label would be “re-education" along a Marxist mode.

In American academia the history of Western culture twisted, its faults are grossly exaggerated, and its attributes are either glossed over or denied outright. The outrageous activity of the Confederacy after Lincoln’s election is ignored. Here the Left, ever desperate to make Western societies look bad, is forced to take the side of the slave-owning south. Like they do with violent Islamists today, the North gets the blame for the Confederacy's violent actions that were committed prior to Lincoln taking any steps towards offensive action. "The War of Northern Aggression", the old label that Great-Grandmothers in the south would use to shift blame away from the southern states, is applied word-for-word in colleges today. Completely ignored is the tremendous emphasis that Confederate leaders would apply to slavery. Alexander Stephens, the Vice-President of the Confederate states, who was hardly alone in his sentiments, referred to slavery as the “Cornerstone of the Confederacy” yet the war is still is still pictured as an issue of ‘states rights” and the North gets the blame. Lincoln, having had to refuse to interfere with slavery in current slave states to even have the slightest chance to prevent that institution in new states, is assailed and his credibility as a person who knew slavery to be an evil is attacked.

To have any validity, an opinion must not only be based on knowledge of an event but must also clearly consist of a reasonably honest appraisal of the facts. If these conditions are not present, then the best label one could apply to such an assertion is that of a position. All too often, what we face today are not opinions but positions.

As one last thought on a position masquerading as an opinion, I reprinted a quote from a Leftist professor from Sweden as she commented on the shocking amount of rapes committed on ethnic Swedish females by Muslim immigrants. The following portion is taken from a post of mine from December 17, 2011:

The response is from Unni Wikan, a Social Anthropology professor at the University of Oslo.

"Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor's conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and adapt themselves to it."

Credit to Michael Winter of USA Today Feb. 15, 2011
I can only say that this has to be the most filthy remark that I have ever heard in my life, and it came from Leftist feminist (Yes, Unni Wikan is a woman)

I have noted in previous posts that the close of the 20th century saw the end of much of the stigma attached to being dishonest about one's opinion. A similar remark made in the period prior to this would have resulted in a response such as "Sir or Ma'am, that is clearly not true." The speaker would then be known from that point on as a person utterly lacking in credibility.Today we somehow are supposed to feel obligated to give one the benefit of the doubt and accept that a person believes what he/she says no matter how patently false, impossible. or purely filthy it is. An apologist with such a mindset would state. "Well, it's her opinion."

Well, no it's not - Unni Wikan is spewing garbage and she knows it.

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