They Call It Democracy

Before Wednesday’s election, the island of Sark in the English Channel was the last feudal outpost in the world. Power was held by chief tenants, who were by right members of the Chief Pleas, the legislative body on the island. The head of the government is the Seigneur who holds the whole island as a fief from the Queen. There is a judge known as the Seneschal.

Everything was going happily along until the owners of The Daily Telegraph, Dave and Fred Barclay, bought a number of businesses on the island, including hotels, restaurants, and shops. They became the employers of about one-sixth of the island’s population. Then they insisted on government reform. They didn’t like the feudal system and wanted to install democracy.

So under threat of personally destroying the Sark economy, they forced elections to be held. There would be a 28-member Chief Pleas elected by the island’s residents. They tried to get rid of the Seigneur and Seneschal. They filed a lawsuit in the High Court in London alleging that these offices were in contravention of European human rights legislation, but the judge ruled against them. But at least there would be an elected legislative body for the population of 600.

About one in eight residents of Sark stood in the election. When it was all said and done last night, only five pro-reform Conseillers were elected. In other words, most of the people want to keep things pretty much as they are.

So after causing the end of a happy fiefdom that has existed without any trouble since the Middle Ages, the Barclay brothers are now shutting down their Sark operations in retaliation against the democratic vote.  As their lawyer told the BBC:

“Today, via their agents in Sark, they [the Barclay brothers] have authorised and decided to close down their ongoing operations in Sark as a result of an election last night of a majority of the new assembly which is called Chief Pleas who are standing on very much an anti-Barclay platform”.

He added: “It was clear the Barclays were clear on their commitment to the island with support – they got no support at all.

“Sark doesn’t appear to want or appreciate the Barclays’ investment and so it doesn’t have it.”

That’s right. “We are going to take our ball – and your jobs – and go home. We wanted democracy so you could vote the way we told you to vote out of a sense of obligation because of our goodness to you.”

Sir David and Sir Frederick are bastards. Bullies and bastards.

Family Failure

Gareth Gilmore has turned being scum into a family business. He and his son Liam Gilmore and his brother-in-law Craig Marsden decided to rob a post office in Somerset. They travelled down from Manchester to Taunton and stole £2,200.

They could have had £58,000 except that stupidity also appears to be a family trait. They insisted that postmaster open the safe. They didn’t believe him when it told them it was a fridge. There wasn’t any money inside. It was, after all, a fridge.

It was easy for the cops to spot Liam Gilmore. He was running through people’s gardens. The older men parked their stolen car outside the house where they were hiding.

The 2½ years at taxpayer expense each of them will serve (out of their five-year sentences) is part of the cost of doing business, but perhaps when they get out they ought to find jobs a little more suited to their limited abilities.

Honest Hate

At least he’s honest. Anjem Choudary has been telling Muslims they shouldn’t be celebrating Christmas. “How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring? The very concept of Christmas contradicts and conflicts with the foundation of Islam.”

He sees that all this bunkum about worshipping the same God is as offensive to Islam as it is to Christianity. Either Jesus is the Son of God, the incarnation of Allah, or He is not. To say that the Babe in the manger is the Most Holy One is direct contradiction to the very essence of Islam.

So I don’t see why it is such big news that he is saying this. He’s just being a good Muslim.

Why didn’t it make bigger news when Choudary, who is the chairman of the Society of Muslim Lawyers, praised the Mumbai attacks? Nobody seemed to notice when he called for the assassination of the Pope.  It is almost forgotten that he organised the demonstrations over the Muhammad cartoons, which included incitement to murder.

And why it is only mentioned in passing that his family is not supported by his legal work and he apparently isn’t well paid as Principal Lecturer at the London School of Shari’ah.  Perhaps he doesn’t have time for that with all of his preaching since he has to fill in for his mentor Omar Bakri Mohammed, who has been exiled from the UK. I’m just guessing that’s why they receive  £25,000 a year in state benefits.

It’s like, sure he is bigging up the deaths of 163 people in the name of Islam, but now he hates Christmas, too? Good grief. Why not actually expose that we are supporting the work of a domestic terrorist who doesn’t just hate Christmas. He hates us.

The Divorced Patriarch

How am I the last to find out that Patriarch Alexei was divorced?

I was reading his obituary in The Daily Telegraph and it says at the very end: “He married, in 1950, Vera Alekseeva, the daughter of a priest from Tallinn, but the marriage was dissolved within a year.” But somehow I missed this in the Wikipedia article about him and various other sources.

He got married on Tuesday, deaconed on Friday, and priested on Sunday, all in the same week.

Now I used to know a man who was an Orthodox priest (though admittedly not a Russian), whose wife ran off with someone else and divorced him and he was defrocked as a result. I understood this to be the more normative response to the divorce of clergy. Yet not only did this not prevent Alexei from continuing as a priest, but it was also not a bar to the episcopate and further elevation within that.

How does this work, exactly?

Freedom From Religion and the Politics of Abortion

The Christmas wars are here. It appears that this year, the atheists are out in more militant strength than usual. There is a new missionary spirit to atheism. Not content with just not believing, more and more atheists want you to not believe, too.

On of the groups that has come to the forefront this year is the Freedom from Religion Foundation. This is mostly because they put an anti-religion sign next to the Nativity scene at the Legislative Building in Washington State. The sign, which concludes with, “Religion is but a myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds” made the news because it was stolen almost as soon as it was put up. (The same sign has been used in the Wisconsin State Capitol for years.)

The public face of the FFRF is Dan Barker, who used to be involved in various aspects of Christian ministry, including stints as a pastor and fulltime touring musician. He now goes around debating Christians and writing “freethought” music.

Dan is the co-president of the FFRF with his uber-feminist wife Annie Laurie Gaylor. The FFRF was founded by Annie and her mother Anne Nicol Gaylor.  They aren’t as effective as spokespeople because they didn’t covert from anything, but come from a heritage of anti-religion. Anne’s father regarded religious belief as embarrassing.

Anne made her name as an abortion advocate. She was editorialising in favour of it as early as 1967 in the newspaper she owned with her husband. By 1970 she had founded ZPG (Zero Population Growth) Abortion Referral Service. According to the FFRF website, between 1970 and 1975, she made more than than 20,000 referrals. This was despite the fact that abortion was illegal in Wisconsin prior to Roe v. Wade. In fact, it was illegal in every state surrounding Wisconsin. It was only legal in New York, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii. So unless she was referring women to facilities in those states, she was referring women for illegal abortions. She wrote a book called Abortion is a Blessing.

I don’t find it particularly surprising that “freedom from religion” is tied so closely to abortion.  After all, it is religious morality that is the basis for saying abortion is wrong. It is religious morality that says there are certain boundaries for expressing sexuality and abortion is often the solution to dealing with the consequences of operating outside of those boundaries. What better way to support abortion than to attack the moral basis that opposes it.

Its just a bit ironic that it is the philosophy and politics of abortion that comes to the forefront at the Feast of the Nativity.

Giving It All Away

In the course of recent research on my book, I came across political history of which I was entirely unaware. I was looking at information about Cordell Hull, Secretary of State under FDR and known as the Father of the United Nations. I’m sure you’ve heard of the United Nations, that rather useless organisation headquartered on American soil, with 20% of its budget funded by US taxpayers, opposed to most everything the US does or collectively believes. Yeah, that’s the one.

The only relevance of my book to Hull is that one of the characters may have once owned a house later owned by Hull’s father and I was just trying to suss that out. Both of them lived in an area now under Dale Hollow Lake. I get easily sidetracked when I’m doing research.

What I didn’t know was that Hull – in addition to giving away as much US sovereignty as possible – also authored the original Federal Income Tax law of 1913 and the Inheritance Tax law of 1916 when he was a member of the US House of Representatives. He had the audacity to argue that an income tax would restrain Government spending because Congress would realise that it was spending money directly taxed from the American people.

I can’t find what excuse he gave for the inheritance tax. I’m guessing he figured he’d pulled off taxing the living, so why not tax the dead. After all, Democrats vote when they’re dead, so why shouldn’t Republicans pay taxes at the same time?

Yes, that’s right, this man gave away both your country and your money. Cordell Hull influenced Al Gore. He must be Barack Obama’s hero.

Giving the Gift of Death

Give the gift of death for Christmas! Do you know someone who needs a little extra cash to get that abortion? Buy them a Planned Parenthood gift voucher.

First alerted to this by Mere Comments, I found a more comprehensive story on Indianapolis Star website. I checked the PP of Indiana website (link intentionally not provided, but easy to Google) and sure enough they can be purchased in increments of $25, $50, $75 or $100.

The website does not indicate how much as abortion costs. You would think that would be a FAQ worth answering. Perhaps they don’t want the casual website viewer to know how cheap life (or death) really is. However, you can probably ring for that information before you buy your vouchers.