Thursday, September 21, 2023

Following on from yesterday's article about the sexual revolution...


... here are two items of interest.  Both deal with sensitive issues, and may be offensive to some readers, so I suggest you don't read further if you want to avoid such difficulties.  Also, if you haven't yet read yesterday's article, I suggest you do so before continuing.

First, here's a TEDx talk by Gail Dines titled "Growing Up in a Pornified Culture".  It shows very clearly the sort of society in which our young ladies are growing up - and it's terrifying to anyone of a more traditional morality.  If you're a parent, you should watch the whole thing.

Next, an article that appeared this morning at The Free Press titled "The Woman Who Stood Up to the Porn Industry—and Won".  Here's an excerpt.

Not only has Schlegel curbed the billion-dollar online porn industry for the first time in history, forcing websites to protect kids in Louisiana and pull out of at least three U.S. states, she has offered a legislative blueprint for others across the country.

“I am truly humbled to see that we began a movement that has swept the country and began a long overdue conversation about how we can protect kids from hardcore pornography,” she says. 

Schlegel’s crusade started back in December 2021. She had listened to The Howard Stern Show and 21-year-old pop sensation Billie Eilish talking about online porn. Eilish told Stern that she began watching “abusive” images at the age of 11, and that this had warped her sense of how to behave during sex and what women’s bodies look like.

“No vagina looks like this,” Eilish told Stern. “I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.”

Schlegel was struck by Eilish’s openness, that she was “just a young girl being vulnerable enough to share those details with the world.”

The singer’s story also chimed with Schlegel’s professional experience both as a sex addiction therapist and a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children in the foster care system. She knew the issues facing young clients raised on unlimited free online porn—the decoupling of intimacy from sex; the inability to get aroused without porn playing in the background; a warped idea of what your partner actually wants. 

“If you’ve never had your first kiss but you’ve seen hardcore pornography, it’s going to mold the way you view sexuality,” Schlegel said. “You’re not dealing with a fully formed adult brain that's like, ‘Oh, so I shouldn’t strangle my partner?’ ” 

If Schlegel understood the damage pornography causes, she also knew how easy it is for children to access it. And she realized that now she was a state legislator, she was uniquely positioned to do something about it. 

There's more at the link.  Recommended reading.

Both of these resources help to explain why modern relationships are so sexualized, and how they exclude so many traditional aspects of femininity and the marital bond that we discussed yesterday.  I hope they help make sense of the mess so many of our relationships are in.


Perhaps the most over-the-top fight sequence I've ever seen


It's from the Indian movie "Baahubali 2: The Conclusion", which has an incredibly convoluted plot that I won't attempt to describe here.  You can read more about it at the link.

One doesn't necessarily have to understand the movie to marvel at this extended fight scene.  Suffice it to say that sacred cows on fire aren't the least of its special effects!  Watch it in full-screen mode to get the most out of it.

Spectacular, wasn't it?  Unbelievable, too, of course - but then, that's the way with most Bollywood productions of this sort.


Pretty much


Found on MeWe.  Click the image for a larger view.

That gets it said.

I suggest posting that picture in the teachers' lounge of every kindergarten and elementary school in the country.  Next to it, I'd like to see reward posters offering a bounty on those "teachers" who insist on corrupting our youth in that way.

Works for me . . . how about you?


Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Rust in peace???


I'm reminded of the meeting between Josey Wales and Ten Bears in the movie "The Outlaw Josey Wales".  The Comanche chief told Wales, "There is iron in your words of death".  It looks like a cartel boss in Ecuador went one step further when he took the iron, and his death, to the grave.  The New York Post reports:

A murdered Ecuadorian cartel boss known as “El Fatal” was buried with hundreds of pistols, shotguns and rifles in his coffin so he could be “armed to the teeth in the afterlife.”

Now-viral images show Sevillano in an open casket as people rush to fill it with high-caliber weapons — reportedly so that he would be “armed to the teeth in the afterlife and could defend himself.”

There's more at the link.

I suppose there's a risk that a rival cartel, short of weapons, will dig up "El Fatal" and relieve him of his afterlife arsenal.  That will provoke retaliation, of course, and counter-retaliation, and . . .

If his grave remains undisturbed, with all that metal buried in his casket, it'll definitely be a case of "rust in peace"!


"Body Count": the sexual revolution and the decay in meaningful relationships


I recently read an article in The Atlantic titled "Nobody Should Care About a Woman’s ‘Body Count’".  The original is paywalled, but a non-paywalled version may be found here.  I'm not going to excerpt it here, but I recommend reading it for yourself if the subject interests you.  Basically, the author is arguing that it doesn't matter how many sexual partners a woman has had, and it shouldn't affect her as far as desirability is concerned.

I'd argue that it does, indeed, matter:  and that it also matters as far as men are concerned.  Admittedly, my viewpoint is conditioned by my Christian faith and having many years' experience as a pastor in dealing with relationships, good and bad.  I will add that it wasn't always that way.  In my younger days, I had relationships that I now regret, that were more "what can I get out of it?" rather than "what can I put into it?".  I fear many of us can say the same.  I wish we could have greater wisdom when we were young . . . it would avoid a lot of the damage we do to ourselves, and others, in those "salad days, when we were green in judgment".  Unfortunately, life's not like that.

The huge damage inflicted on meaningful relationships by the "hookup culture" is that it's taken what is (or should be) the most important bonding experience a couple can share, and turned it into a cheap commodity, a voyeur's pornographic fulfilment, a search for new toys to give a more "profound" physical experience.  For centuries - indeed, millennia - the sexual relationship was considered the physical expression of an existing spiritual and societal bond or "contract".  Whether in a romantic relationship or an arranged one, the contract of marriage was supposed to precede the act of marriage (i.e. sex).  Admittedly, this was often honored more in the breach than in the observance, but the theory nevertheless held sway, and governed human society for a very, very long time, no matter what culture or nationality or religion was involved.  The sexual revolution stood that theory on its head.  Sex was no longer a means of expressing that pre-existing bond.  Instead, it became divorced from the bond, becoming no more than a casual encounter that might, or might not, lead to something more intimate in the mental and spiritual sense.

I think the general acceptance of that divorce, and the "commoditization" of sex, have caused immense damage to human relationships.  It's long been said that a woman can't give herself sexually to a man without inevitably committing a part of her personality, her very being, in the exchange.  I know modern psychologists and anthropologists decry this, but in my pastoral experience, I'd say there's a lot of truth in that old saw.  I think women do, inevitably, commit a lot more of themselves when things get physical than men do.  After all, the woman is letting someone else enter her.  She's involved in an act that, absent external chemical or other intervention, is supposed to open the way to new life growing within her.  In other words, the creative aspect of sex is something intrinsic to her reaction and response.  It can't be otherwise, because only she can bear a child.  Men can participate in the initial act, but they don't face the prospect of carrying another living human being inside them for nine months.  Inevitably, for them, sex is more physical, less mental and spiritual, less bound-up in creation and more in recreation.

I've been struck by the number of women who've expressed regret to me about having had too many casual sexual encounters in their younger days.  It's far from infrequent.  They speak of having "wasted intimacy on those who didn't deserve it", or "gone along to get along", or submitted to the "if it feels good, do it" zeitgeist.  Now, in later life, they wish they hadn't, and feel that the intimacy they've achieved with a long-term partner just isn't the same as if they'd been less experienced and more committed.  They've seldom linked that to the creative aspect of sex from a woman's perspective, but I think that relationship can be demonstrated - at least to my satisfaction.  Others may differ, of course.

Even men, if they're honest, will agree that there's a vast difference between "having sex" and "making love".  The former can be impartial, almost agnostic, a mere exchange of bodily fluids, sometimes a commercial transaction rather than a human interaction.  The latter is a giving of self combined with a receiving of the gift of self from another, an exchange, a sharing, a duality.  I had a conversation once with a woman who was far more sexually "liberated" than I was.  She challenged me to describe how making love to my wife was any different from making love to any woman.  I thought for a moment, then answered that I wouldn't be "making love" with someone I didn't actually love.  The physical act of sex, under those conditions, would not be "love-making" at all.  On the other hand, making love with the woman I love was like coming home.  I belonged there.  When she welcomed me into her body, she welcomed me into her soul as well, and renewed her presence in mine at the same time.  The other woman thought for a long, long moment in silence, and then said, with tears in her eyes, "I've never known anything like that... but now I wish I did."

The tragedy is that the more we devalue sex, the more we make it merely another physical transaction instead of something soul-deep, the less it can be a pathway to that level of intimacy.  I've worked with couples where one or both partners had previously had literally hundreds of sexual encounters with others before they married.  Almost universally, I found that their own physical relationship lacked any aspect or feeling of union, of becoming one spiritually and mentally as well as physically.  It was effectively no more than mutual masturbation, because they had reduced sex to that level before they met each other.  They no longer were able to give themselves in the act of marriage, because it was no longer the act of marriage at all.  It was just another thing, something to do to pass the time or feel good before tackling other, more important things.  Other couples who'd had dozens, rather than hundreds, of prior sexual relationships experienced something of the same difficulty, although to a lesser extent than those who'd "burned out" their sexuality by going to extremes.  As a rule of thumb, I found that couples who'd had few romantic and (particularly) physical relationships before marriage found their marital bond (including the physical) much more meaningful and fulfilling than others who'd been more "experienced" ("jaded" or "burned-out" might be better terms).

Notice that I haven't brought God or religion into this at all.  These appear to be human actions and reactions regardless of faith.  When a couple has religious beliefs as well, the latter appear to reinforce and strengthen and elevate their bond to a whole new level, and I'm profoundly grateful to have been able to help some of them achieve that.  However, even in the absence of faith, the basic make-up of the human psyche appears to be consistent.  Abuse intimacy, and one can no longer experience it to its fullest extent.  At its worst, one may no longer be able to experience it at all.  The number of sexual partners one has had - whether one is male or female - is therefore, in my experience, a significant indicator of the likelihood - or otherwise - of potential or actual problems in a subsequent permanent relationship.

I know my views will be controversial, particularly to those with a more liberated perspective.  Therefore, I invite readers to contribute their thoughts in Comments.  I think we might all benefit from a wider discussion of this issue.


Azerbaijan vs Armenia: Here we go again - with a nasty twist in the tail


Looks like hostilities have erupted once again between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the former the aggressor (this time) and the latter the defender.  However, there are a number of factors that make this rather more threatening than earlier conflicts.

  • Russia had been the "peacekeeper" between the two states, basically stopping Azerbaijan from taking more disputed territory from Armenia after the former's battlefield successes.  That was before the Ukraine war.  Now, Russian forces are bogged down in Ukraine, and there are probably none to spare to keep the peace elsewhere.  Azerbaijan is probably going to take full advantage of that.
  • Iran has long regarded Azerbaijan with suspicion.  The Azeris are the biggest single non-Persian ethnic group in Iran, and Iran wants their loyalties firmly oriented towards Teheran.  If Azerbaijan grows big enough and gets successful enough to stoke the fires of ethnic loyalties, it threatens Iranian internal unity.  Furthermore, Azerbaijan's ties to Israel infuriate Iran, which has vowed to exterminate the Jewish state.  Recent military exercises by Iranian forces near the border with Azerbaijan have raised tensions.  What if Iran decides that it's time to stop Azerbaijan before it grows any more powerful or successful?
  • Armenia is majority Christian;  Azerbaijan is majority Muslim.  Will this new outbreak of fighting contribute to religious instability in the region?
  • Russia has been working on strengthening ties with Iran, and has been considered pro-Armenia by that country.  What if its focus on those nations forces its hand, making it do something to "keep the peace" by reining in Azerbaijan?  What will that mean for its ongoing war with Ukraine?  Could Ukraine take advantage of the distraction?
  • If all the above happen, there are several other ethnic tensions in the area of the former Soviet Union that could flare up, all taking advantage of the distraction to pursue their own interests.  Russia fought a brief war with Georgia in 2008, which Georgia lost.  The Muslim fundamentalist separatists in several former Soviet republics (particularly Chechnya, Dagestan and nearby areas) have been successfully suppressed by Russian military and security forces, sometimes very bloodily.  Would any or all of these nations and areas take advantage of a flare-up between Armenia and Azerbaijan to pursue their own interests - to Russia's disadvantage?
The geopolitical implications are potentially very serious.  Peter Zeihan explains.

As if we needed another hot spot in that part of the world . . .


Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Bear heaven?


Alaskan wildlife reminds me very much of African wildlife - they do as they please, and don't give a damn if you don't like it!

A mama black bear and her cub had their fill of sweets Tuesday morning when they climbed into a van delivering Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and devoured several boxes of the freshly baked treats.

The van was parked on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson when it happened. As a delivery driver was making a regular stop at an Express store on base, he briefly left the van door open to deliver doughnuts to the store. That’s when the mother bear and her cub snuck inside.

“You could hear them breaking open the packages,” said Shelly Deano, manager of the JBER store. “We were trying to beat on the van but they just kept eating all the doughnuts. They ate 20 packages of the doughnut holes and I believe six packages of the three-pack chocolate doughnuts.”

Deano called base security, which eventually got the bears to leave the van by blasting loud sirens. She said they ambled off into the nearby woods.

There's more at the link, including a video report with pictures of the bears chowing down.

Momma bear and cub on a sugar high . . . no wonder the locals didn't want to get too close!  I bet they'll be chasing after every Krispy Kreme delivery truck they see from now on.


The illegal alien invasion is destroying our country - deliberately


It's becoming more and more clear that the mass illegal migration across our southern border is being deliberately engineered to destroy the United States as we know it.  You won't hear a word about that from most politicians or the mainstream media, but the reality of what we're facing is undeniable.

Many observers have figured it out.  Blogger HMS Defiant warns:

Some people have elected to ignore all of the downstream consequences of letting millions of impoverished ignorant no-skill people into the country to bolster the democratic party's vote farming schemes. What are the problems you ask.

1. The swell the ranks of unemployed/unemployable and foster greater crime and drug use and add to the homeless issue created by the left.

2. They will soon overwhelm all of our public infrastructure and make waiting times for hospitals, doctors, nurses, and classrooms overwhelming and even more outrageous.

3. They almost certainly won't have any form of insurance. That's going to hurt every hospital in the country and they are also going to start driving just as soon as they can steal or buy a cheap car and when they hit you, and they will, you will find out what it means and in the mean time your insurance rates are going to rise dramatically.

4. Every single public benefit that was ever created to benefit Americans will be diluted to the point of meaninglesness as it is forced to deal with the every increasing numbers of poor and ignorant border crossers.

If you are not interested in local politics you better get interested because those people are the ones that are going to twist every single good thing you like about where you live to the purpose of feeding, educating and housing the illegals over and before feeding, housing and educating the people who were born here.

There's more at the link.

T. L. Davis has been warning of this for a long time.  In his latest post on SubStack, "Engineering the Wreckage", he writes:

The drain of illegals, especially with their $2,200 a month for each parent and child, making the take $4,400 for a family of four when reconstructed makes the budget unworkable. Just that alone, but the economy is being engineered toward wreckage in so many other ways ... nothing is as expensive as social benefits, especially when they go to those who have contributed nothing.

Now, the push is to get these illegals working. Ha! They didn’t come here to work. That was in the past, when they were promised nothing, then they knew they had to work, but now, all they have to do is exist and the federal government, under Joe Biden or any other Democrat and most Republicans, will pay them whatever they want…until they don’t.

For me, that’s the end game for this invasion. The Biden regime knows that all it has to do to unleash hell on the American people is to stop paying all of these illegals. This is probably part of the plan to interfere 2024 election, delaying it, they will say, but they have no intention of going forward with any future elections. All they need is a constant crisis that they’re able to manufacture at will ... The flood of immigration is designed to wreck the welfare system and force people into confrontation with each other.

Again, more at the link.

The flood of illegals is getting worse, not better.  We're now seeing coordinated cartel operations to swamp what little border security we have left.

Drug cartels are sieging the border by deliberately sending thousands of migrants a day to hand themselves over to Border Patrol officers in different US border towns, sources revealed to The Post.

The tactic is meant to tie up already overworked border agents so Mexico’s cartels can carry on their drug and human smuggling operations undisturbed in less populated areas, law enforcement officials explained.

. . .

“The way it’s being orchestrated through the cartels, I believe it’s meant to overwhelm the system. The [places] that are being impacted the most are border communities,” former El Paso City Councilmember Claudia Rodriquez told The Post.

. . .

Across the entire southwest border, as many 9,400 migrants have crossed into the US in a single 24-hour period. That almost matches the record-setting week in May just before the government changed the rules for migrants crossing into the US, which saw over 10,000 people flood into the country per day.

More at the link.

Folks, it's as plain as the nose on my face that this is nothing less than a deliberately engineered crisis, one designed to consolidate the position of the powers that be and enable them to use the emergency they're generating as an excuse and a lever to hold onto power.  It's a blatant implementation of the Cloward-Piven strategy from the 1960's:

Cloward and Piven ... stated that many Americans who were eligible for welfare were not receiving benefits, and that a welfare enrollment drive would strain local budgets, precipitating a crisis at the state and local levels that would be a wake-up call for the federal government, particularly the Democratic Party. There would also be side consequences of this strategy, according to Cloward and Piven. These would include: easing the plight of the poor in the short-term (through their participation in the welfare system); shoring up support for the national Democratic Party – then splintered by pluralistic interests (through its cultivation of poor and minority constituencies by implementing a national "solution" to poverty); and relieving local governments of the financially and politically onerous burdens of public welfare (through a national "solution" to poverty).

Cloward and Piven's article is focused on forcing the Democratic Party, which in 1966 controlled the presidency and both houses of the United States Congress, to take federal action to help the poor. They stated that full enrollment of those eligible for welfare "would produce bureaucratic disruption in welfare agencies and fiscal disruption in local and state governments" that would: "...deepen existing divisions among elements in the big-city Democratic coalition: the remaining white middle class, the working-class ethnic groups and the growing minority poor. To avoid a further weakening of that historic coalition, a national Democratic administration would be constrained to advance a federal solution to poverty that would override local welfare failures, local class and racial conflicts and local revenue dilemmas."

. . .

Michael Reisch and Janice Andrews wrote that Cloward and Piven "proposed to create a crisis in the current welfare system – by exploiting the gap between welfare law and practice – that would ultimately bring about its collapse..."

More at the link.

That describes precisely the effect that the illegal alien invasion is already having.  We're being overwhelmed by those who will become willing puppets of the system.  Some have already speculated that if popular resistance increases, illegal aliens will be co-opted into law enforcement and paramilitary units to maintain "law and order" by suppressing opposition.  If one looks at what's happened in the countries many of these people have come from (for example, Venezuela and its "colectivos", or Haiti and its criminal gangs that effectively run the country, or armed cartel terrorism in Mexico - the same cartels who are driving the illegal alien invasion of the USA), that's not a far-fetched speculation at all.  There's no reason to think the same might not happen here.

If things blow up, as I fear they will, the big cities are going to be Ground Zero.  That's where most of the illegal aliens are concentrated, and where they receive most of their support from overly generous social programs.  If you live in a city with a heavy concentration of illegal aliens, you should be well advanced with your plans and preparations for how to deal with such an event.  It's far from unlikely.  Even out here in the sticks (relatively speaking), we're keeping our eyes open and preparing for trouble.  You should be, too.  We've discussed at length in these pages some of the preparations you should be making.  Actually doing it is up to you.


Get woke, go manatee???


I had to laugh at this headline at the Babylon Bee.

It stems from a controversy over Dove's hiring of a Black Lives Matter activist as a self-proclaimed "Dove ambassador" helping to promote "fat liberation".

Beauty giant Dove is facing a Bud Light-style boycott for partnering with controversial Black Lives Matter activist Zyanha Bryant, who was previously accused of getting a white student expelled over “misheard” comments.

. . .

It is just the latest backlash against controversial partnerships by big companies, most notably Bud Light, which has suffered a huge financial hit after teaming up with transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney.

Bryant, a student activist at the University of Virginia, had accused [Morgan] Bettinger of referring to BLM protesters as “good speed bumps” in the summer of 2020 — only to later admit she likely “misheard” her.

She campaigned to get the white student suspended from campus, and Bettinger’s record shows she faced disciplinary actions for her comments, which she fears may hinder her ability to get into law school.

Greg Price, the communications director for the State Freedom Caucus Network, said the decision to ignore that controversy and pick Bryant as an ambassador “is what actual privilege in America looks like.”

“BLM activist completely ruined the life of an innocent white girl with a false accusation of racism and gets a brand deal with Dove while Morgan Bettinger was kicked out of school and now needs medication in order to sleep.”

There's more at the link.

In a brilliant parody report, the Babylon Bee responded:

"This is the new depiction of Dove beauty," said Unilever marketing executive Marsha Rainwater. "Who wants to look at majestic, graceful doves and thin, statuesque women when you can buy products with fat manatees that have morbidly obese spokesmodels endorsing them? Our thoughts exactly."

The company made headlines last week when it announced it was partnering with 400-pound Black Lives Matter activist Zyahna Bryant to portray a more inclusive stance on body image. "It helps score us some ‘woke points,'" explained Rainwater. "Plus, we had a ton of excess food left over from a company banquet that we needed to clear out, so having an enormous, insatiable beast roaming the halls is beneficial in other ways, too. It's a win-win!"

Again, more at the link.

The satirists at the Babylon Bee frequently enliven my day with their snide remarks about the fatuous stupidity that so often surrounds our society.  More power to them!

(I bet my friend and bestselling author Larry Correia is laughing too!)


Monday, September 18, 2023

Some rules for commenting on this blog


I'm getting more and more comments here that I'm having to delete, rather than publish, because of several problems.

  1. Some directly attack other commenters.  Folks, if you have a beef with someone, take it up with them on their blog, or person-to-person, but don't try to use this blog as an attack platform against them.  I won't tolerate it.  Such comments will not be published.
  2. If you disagree with an opinion expressed here (whether mine or a commenter's), feel free to express that disagreement, provided it's directed against what you disagree with rather than the person saying it.  They have as much right to their opinions as you do.  Try to trash them, and your comment will be trashed instead.
  3. If you want to tell me, or discuss, something off-topic (OT), please don't leave an OT comment on a blog post that has nothing to do with the subject.  There are an increasing number of political comments that seek to propagate a particular point of view.  I'm not prepared to see Bayou Renaissance Man turned into a political debating floor or echo chamber.  I have my views, and I'm willing to express them here, and I don't mind debate on those issues on that post, at the time I express them.  However, I won't allow random posting of unrelated matter as an OT comment on a completely different subject.  Frankly, to do so is disrespectful of me as the blog host, and my readers and commenters as well.  I won't publish such comments.
  4. I try to keep this blog family-friendly:  in other words, F-bombs and similar expletives will not normally be published here.  It's been that way since I began this blog in 2008 - yet there are still commenters who sprinkle F-bombs and similar not-niceties in their text.  Those comments will not be published.
I'm sorry I have to waste most readers' time by publishing this article, but there are some commenters who appear to be unaware of the house rules, no matter how long they've been in force.  I'll have to remind them from time to time, I guess.


Illegal aliens stoke xenophobia in Africa - and America


I was aware of a strong undercurrent of xenophobia in South Africa during my years there.  I think part of it was due to strong tribal identification in Africa - it's your tribe versus all the others, and anyone not of your tribe is an "other" by definition, regardless of whether you share a skin color, religion, or anything else.  (That's pretty universal in more primitive cultures around the world, by the way.  In an inordinate number of cases, tribes' names for themselves in their own language refer to themselves as "the people", meaning that any and all others are not "people".  For example, the Comanche tribe refer to themselves as "Nʉmʉnʉʉ" or "Nemenuh", meaning "the people".)

It seems nothing's changed in South Africa - in fact, xenophobia appears to be getting overtly political.

Operation Dudula was set-up in Soweto two years ago, the first group to formalise what had been sporadic waves of xenophobia-fuelled vigilante attacks in South Africa that date back to shortly after white-minority rule ended in 1994. It calls itself a civic movement, running on an anti-migrant platform, with the word "dudula" meaning "to force out" in Zulu.

Soweto was at the forefront of anti-apartheid resistance and home to Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first democratically elected president. Now, the township has become the home of the country's most-prominent anti-migrant group.

With one in three South Africans out of work in one of the most unequal societies in the world, foreigners in general have become an easy target.

. . .

Operation Dudula has ... now transformed itself from a local anti-migrant group into a national political party, stating its aims to contest next year's general election.

. . .

Ms Dabula says critics of Operation Dudula who maintain it is a collective of violent vigilantes are wrong.

"We don't promote violence and we don't want people to feel harassed," but adds: "We cannot be overtaken by foreign nationals and do nothing about it."

Hundreds of supporters travelled to attend its first national conference in Johannesburg in May, where members voted to register the group as a political party.

Waving South African flags, dancing and singing their way through the streets to the City Hall, it feels like a celebration.

However, the songs they are singing carry a threatening message: "Burn the foreigner. We will go to the garage, buy some petrol and burn the foreigner."

There's more at the link.

The BBC produced a one-hour documentary on "the rise of xenophobia in South Africa and the violent targeting of migrants".  It's worth watching, if the subject interests you - and it should, because the same phenomenon is increasingly visible in the USA as well.

We're seeing the same xenophobia develop in our own communities, and it's entirely understandable.  People who have relied on "their" government to help and support them are finding more and more that "their" supports are being diverted to the illegal aliens flooding across our southern border - and they're getting very angry about it.  Consider these headlines:

Chicago Mayor Tells Residents To Make ‘Sacrifices’ To Benefit Illegal Immigrants

Chicago residents upset resources are going toward immigrants as more Texas buses arrive

Suing. Heckling. Cursing. NYC Protests Against Migrants Escalate

Eric Adams Says Migrant Crisis Will ‘Destroy New York City’

‘You’re free’: Hundreds of illegal migrants released onto San Diego streets

El Paso among border cities seeing migrants dumped onto streets: ‘We will run out of capacity’

Video shows train filled with migrants heading toward US southern border from Mexico

I could have cited many more reports, from many more cities.  Those merely illustrate the trend.

I keep my eyes and ears open to local reactions to the immigrant crisis.  It's far from a "white problem".  Many local (i.e. North Texas) black and hispanic residents are even more resentful of the alien invasion than whites are.  I've heard a number of them go so far as to voice threats against any migrants who try to settle here and "take our jobs" or "fool with our women".  They're not mild threats, either.  People here are well aware of the "alien barrio" that's being erected near Houston, whether locals there like it or not (they weren't consulted).  That's just a few hours' drive from here.  Our locals are determined to prevent anything similar happening in this area - and public sentiment around here seems to be solidly behind them.

I wonder if the Democratic Party has shot itself in the foot, politically speaking, with its outright, outspoken support for illegal migration?  It's historically relied upon black communities - and, to a certain extent, hispanic communities - for a lot of its electoral support.  Now both those communities are feeling threatened, indeed overwhelmed, by the illegal alien problem.  Will they withdraw their support from Democrats?  If they do, will they merely stay at home instead of voting, or will they actively support another person or party?  If they can't bring themselves to vote Republican, could they become the core of a new, anti-illegal-alien party like Operation Dudula is becoming in South Africa?

Another important question is how Mexican crime cartels are likely to respond if xenophobia gains ground in America.  The cartels are currently making as much money, if not more, from getting illegal aliens through Mexico and into the USA as they are from drug dealing.  If their income from that source is threatened by anti-immigrant sentiment in the USA, can they afford to tolerate it?  Will they try to impose migrants on communities by violence?  It's not a far-fetched question, because the cartels have shown willing (in Mexico) to use violence as a tool of policy under almost any circumstances, and even to take on the government and armed forces in open violent confrontation if they think it necessary.

This is going to get more and more "interesting" (in the sense of the fabled Chinese curse), particularly as the 2024 election campaign gets under way.


Memes that made me laugh 177


Gathered around the Internet over the past week.  Click any image for a larger view.

Sunday, September 17, 2023

Sunday morning music


It's time for something completely different.  Instead of focusing on a particular composer, or piece of music, or genre, let's look at a particular musical instrument.  This half-hour documentary focuses on the pipe organ:  specifically, the organ of the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago.  The church's Web site describes the organ as follows:

The Edith G. and Edward J. Andrew Pipe Organ, built by Quimby Organ Company, is an American symphonic organ with a great deal of influence from the British organ builders T. C. Lewis and Henry Willis.

The instrument includes delicate symphonic colors, including a harp, English horn, and many lush string tones, as well as zymbelsterns (bells) and chimes. Pairing that with its warm foundation tones and expansive color, the Andrew Pipe Organ is able to play any organ literature. It is particularly well suited, however, to accompanying congregational singing and choir anthems, inspiring people and bringing them closer to God with expressions of majesty, sorrow, and joy.

Its console is the only organ in Chicago — and one of the few in all of the U.S. — to have five manuals (keyboards). These keyboards, along with the pedals, control the nine divisions of the organ. These are made up of 143 ranks and 8,343 pipes, making the Andrew Organ the largest pipe organ not only in Chicago but throughout the Midwest. The combination action has 10,000 memory levels.

There's more at the link.

It's a humdinger of an instrument.  See for yourself.

If I'm ever in Chicago, I'll have to make a point of going to Fourth Presbyterian Church to see (and, if possible, hear) it.