Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Firing an SM-3 Missile

Evening Standard: Young people are 'bemused, angry and blaming older generations for Brexit', new report finds

Evening Standard: Young people are 'bemused, angry and blaming older generations for Brexit', new report finds

Young people are bemused, angry and resentful at the decision to leave the EU - which they largely blame on older generations, according to a new report.

The analysis by academics at the London School of Economics for the All Party Parliamentary Group on a Better Brexit for Young People said there was "deep concern" about the "negative impact" of last year's referendum vote.

The report based on the findings of 40 focus groups and a survey of more than 3,200 young people and adults found young people were concerned about the loss of opportunity as well as the impact on Britain's image as a tolerant, multicultural society.

"A significant majority express bemusement, anger, and resentment at the choice to leave the EU, which was made - in their view - primarily by older generations," the report said.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Catholic Herald| English bishop: you cannot be Catholic and support abortion

Catholic Herald| English bishop: you cannot be Catholic and support abortion

Catholics cannot claim to be true to their faith if they do not support Church teaching on abortion, a bishop has said.

Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster said abortion was a “foundational issue”, quoting Pope Francis who said: “We are called to defend and safeguard human life, especially in the mother’s womb, in infancy, old age and physical or mental disability.”

“Sadly,” Bishop Campbell added, “The price of admission into mainstream British life has meant that we somehow keep the Catholic brand name and tribal loyalty, but are content to live a mix of nostalgia and generic good will and ‘keep our heads down’ in the public sphere.”

True Catholics, on the other hand, have a duty to “sanctify and humanize” the country, and lead to towards Church teaching.

The Feast of Saint Luke

ALMIGHTY God, who didst inspire thy servant Saint Luke the Physician, to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of thy Son; Manifest in thy Church the like power and love, to the healing of our bodies and our souls; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Luke, pray for us, that we would always proclaim the blessedness of the Virgin Mary.

Guardian: 'No-deal' Brexit likely to hit low-income families hardest

Guardian: 'No-deal' Brexit likely to hit low-income families hardest

The report, titled Switching Lanes, said there would significant price rises on a range of household goods if ministers stuck to their fallback plan of resorting to World Trade Organisation tariffs on EU goods in the event of a no-deal outcome.

Imposing tariffs on EU goods after Brexit would lead to an 8% increase in dairy products, a 6% rise in meat and a 5.5% jump in the cost of motor vehicles, the report found. It was published after farmers and the food industry dismissed as “tripe” a claim by the transport secretary, Chris Grayling, that the UK could become self-sufficient in food after Brexit.

The prime minister said on her first day in Downing Street that it was her mission to create an economy that “worked for everyone” including those who were “just about managing”. But the Resolution Foundation and Sussex University study said that hard-pressed families were most at risk from a no-deal outcome because they spend more of their budgets on food, clothing and household goods.

Inflation has already sent food prices crazy. This evening I bought some basic groceries, with nothing fancy and no fresh fruit or vegetables; it all came to over £10. I don't know how poor families are managing to survive with this and Lord have mercy on them if it gets worse under a 'no-deal' Brexit.

Investing in 5G

Evening Standard: Brexit hardliners put living standards at risk

Evening Standard: Brexit hardliners put living standards at risk

Editorial, by You Know Who

"Also in the Brexiteer firing line — just as with Marxists — are the imperialist foreign powers for meddling in the revolution. In this case it’s the whole EU, which stands accused of not immediately conceding to all of Britain’s demands and which — for a supposedly useless organisation on the verge of collapse — seems remarkably united and disciplined in the negotiations.

Finally, like all good Marxists, the hardline Brexiteers reserve their greatest venom for their own.

The former director of Vote Leave this week accused fellow leading Brexiteer David Davis of “grotesque uselessness” and says “the shambles now unfolding is a direct consequence of [the] historic blunder” of exiting from the EU prematurely — rather than what some might regard as the historic blunder of exiting at all.

Watching the revolution consuming its own children might be amusing for the rest of us, were it not for that other feature these hardline Brexiteers share with Marxists: the willingness to put at risk the living standards of millions of people in pursuit of their ideological cause."

Independent: Amber Rudd says a no deal Brexit would be 'unthinkable'

Independent: Amber Rudd says a no deal Brexit would be 'unthinkable'

Amber Rudd has exposed a Cabinet level rift after claiming it would be “unthinkable” for the Brexit negotiations to end without a deal – appearing to dismiss Theresa May's view that “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

Appearing in front of the influential Home Affairs Select Committee, the Home Secretary told MPs she believed it would be “highly unlikely” that Britain would crash out of the bloc but said her department was preparing contingency plans.

Asked by the senior Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who chairs the committee, whether Britain would be “as safe and secure” after Brexit with no deal in place, the Home Secretary replied: “I think it is unthinkable that there would be no deal.

“It is so much in their interests as well as ours – in their communities, families, tourists’ interests to have something in place. We will make sure there is something between them and us to maintain our security.“

Another One

Monday, 16 October 2017

The Feast of Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Almighty ever-living God, who adorn the sacred body of your Church with the confessions of holy Martyrs, grant, we pray, that, just as the glorious passion of Saint Ignatius of Antioch, which we celebrate today, brought him eternal splendor, so it may be for us unending protection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Ignatius of Antioch, pray for us that we may have true faith in the reality of Christ's presence in the Blessed Sacrament.

Scorpion's Fury 17

The Feast of Saint Hedwig

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the revered intercession of Saint Hedwig may bring us heavenly aid, just as her wonderful life is an example of humility for all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

St. Hedwig, pray for us, that we may be abundant in doing works of mercy.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Catholic Herald: The Pope’s remarks on capital punishment need to be clarified

Catholic Herald: No Pope can overturn the Church's teaching that the death penalty is legitimate. So Francis's comments were puzzling

by Edward Feser

"On October 11, Pope Francis addressed an audience gathered to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The press has been reporting that the Pope called for a change to the Church’s traditional teaching on capital punishment. Some of his remarks do indeed seem to imply that. However, other remarks in the same address point in the opposite direction. Taken as a whole, the Pope’s remarks make his position on capital punishment very unclear.

To provide context, it is necessary briefly to review the Church’s traditional teaching on capital punishment. Consider first that the Church teaches that Scripture is divinely inspired and cannot teach error on matters of faith and morals. Yet there are a great many passages in Scripture that teach the legitimacy of capital punishment. For example, Genesis 9:6 states: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.” Romans 13:4 teaches that the state “does not bear the sword in vain [but] is the servant of God to execute his wrath on the wrongdoer.” Many other passages could be cited. The Fathers of the Church understood such passages to be sanctioning capital punishment, and the Church has for two thousand years consistently followed this interpretation. The Church also teaches (for example, at the First Vatican Council) that Catholics are obliged to interpret Scripture consistent with the way the Fathers understood it, and consistent with the Church’s traditional interpretation. Taken together, these teachings logically entail that the legitimacy of capital punishment is regarded by the Church as a divinely revealed doctrine."

I don't like the death penalty and I am glad that it was abolished in the UK, but I cannot see that it is the great moral evil that Pope Francis seems to make it out to be.

Eastern Ukraine Situation Report 15th October

Guardian: MPs move to block Theresa May from signing ‘no deal’ Brexit

Guardian: MPs move to block Theresa May from signing ‘no deal’ Brexit

A powerful cross-party group of MPs is drawing up plans that would make it impossible for Theresa May to allow Britain to crash out of the EU without a deal in 2019. The move comes amid new warnings that a “cliff-edge” Brexit would be catastrophic for the economy.

One critical aim of the group – which includes the former Tory chancellor Kenneth Clarke and several Conservative ex-ministers, together with prominent Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat and Green MPs – is to give parliament the ability to veto, or prevent by other legal means, a “bad deal” or “no deal” outcome.

Concern over Brexit policy reached new heights this weekend after the prime minister told the House of Commons that her government was spending £250m on preparations for a possible “no deal” result because negotiations with Brussels had stalled.

Several hundred amendments to the EU withdrawal bill include one tabled by the former cabinet minister Dominic Grieve and signed by nine other Tory MPs, together with members of all the other main parties, saying any final deal must be approved by an entirely separate act of parliament.

Death Metal Music, by Natalie J. Purcell

Natalie J. Purcell, Death Metal Music, 2003 McFarland and Co.

I have been enthusiastic about death metal since I was a teenager, and it is probably my favorite style of music. This book provides an ethnographic study of death metal fans, as well as reflection on the controversial place of death metal within society.

Through interviews with fans, Purcell builds up a very informative picture of why people love death metal and what such people are like. Her findings suggest that in general, they are healthy, well-adjusted and law-abiding people. This stands in contrast to researchers who have argued that metal music can lead to depression, suicide and violent behaviour. Purcell acknowledges that many death metal fans are prone to depression, but she suggests this is because such people are drawn to death metal music, rather than the music inducing such emotions.

Purcell spends a lot of time discussing the issue of gory lyrics in death metal. While she acknowledges in an earlier chapter that the lyrics of death metal bands are quite diverse, the heavy emphasis on this aspect of the scene perhaps gives the misleading impression that this is a dominant characteristic of the music. I listen to a wide range of death metal bands from brutal death metal to melodic death metal, none of which have gory lyrics (or is it just that I can't understand them because of all the growling and grunting anyway?). I personally find the gore stuff distasteful and would avoid bands like that. For instance, I would never buy a Cannibal Corpse album. I appreciate that they are respected within the scene, but I just find their songs about mutilation and sexualised violence appalling. Nevertheless, such lyrical content is the most widely known aspect of the genre and so this is why she gives it such an emphasis. Many politicians such as Joe Lieberman and Dick Cheney have attacked death metal and called for censorship of its lyrical content. Purcell argues that such leaders use content such as music, films and video games as a scapegoat to avoid looking at the real causes of violence in society, such as mental health problems and racism.

Our author argues that the gory lyrics of death metal are not to be taken literally and offer an artistic way of looking at the harsh realities of life. I appreciate that listening to the music of Cannibal Corpse is unlikely to lead a person to commit acts of murder, rape and torture, but I can't help thinking that it is in some way unhealthy to be overly exposed to graphic descriptions of such acts. As a conservative Christian I believe that modesty and shame have a role to play in society in building up our moral conscience. There should be things that we are ashamed to look at. Even if looking or reading about those things does not lead us to do them, they may cause us to become desensitized to their immorality and this cannot be healthy.

I find myself in general agreeing with Purcell's positive evaluation of death metal, while disagreeing with her willingness to absolve death metal artists of responsibility for their content.