Archive for December 22, 2009

How big is this story?

Posted: December 22, 2009 by datechguy in local stuff, opinion/news
Tags: , ,

I don’t know but I have a sneaking suspicion that what is not said in this story is even more significant than what is:

Mayor Lisa Wong directed the city solicitor to hire a consultant to investigate a wide-ranging array of issues inside the police department, according to a letter dated Sept. 14, 2009.

what kind of issues?

Included in the list is “the use or misuse of internal disciplinary personnel files,” as well as the “thoroughness and effectiveness of, internal affairs investigations of the conduct of police officers.”

She also said the investigation should focus on “to what extent officers, especially higher ranking officers, have by action or inaction interfered with or otherwise impeded the effective management and administration of the department by the Chief of Police,” and “whether the conduct of any officer violated the Police Department Rules and Regulations, the Police Manual, and/or the General Orders of Policies and Procedures of the Fitchburg Police Department.”

I’ve talked about the problems our city has with gangs and drugs. Is there more than meets the eye? We will find out.

…concerning this story:

Last July, as you may remember, Christians in the Indian state of Orissa were subjected to severe persecution. A 22 year old nun was burnt to death, an orphanage in Khuntpali village was burnt down by a mob, another nun was gang raped in Kandhamal, mobs attacked churches, torched vehicles, and destroyed the houses of Christians. Fr Thomas Chellen, director of the pastoral centre that was destroyed with a bomb, had a narrow escape after a Hindu mob nearly set him on fire. All together, more than 500 Christians were murdered, and thousands of others were injured.

In an extraordinary development, a herd of elephants has travelled some 300Km to attack villages that were the worst persecutors of the Christians, leaving Christian homes untouched. See: Elephants attack in Orissa exactly one year after persecutions

Details are here:

The American Papist asks some interesting questions:

1. Who authorized posting this story as “news”?
2. Is it really a Christian sentiment to hope that our persecutors are being savaged by wild animals?
3. Is there any corroborating evidence to confirm that, as claimed, Elephants are rampaging villages?

These are all legit questions both concerning the event itself and the point about not having schadenfreude over the troubles of our foes, but he also says something that I found odd.

This is a terribly strange story.

Let’s take the idea that this is happening as started as given, why is this a strange story?

Biblically, in both the old and new testament there are precedents for this type of thing.

In more recent times two particular stories come to mind the first involves the order founded by St. Katherine Drexel during the rise of the Klan in the 20’s:

(1922) The Klu Klux Klan in Beaumont, Texas threaten to tar and feather the white pastor at one of Drexel’s schools and bomb his church. The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament began to pray, and days later a tornado destroyed the Klan’s headquarters, killing two members, including the “wizard.” They never bother the nuns or the pastor again.

If you want something with fewer casualties but the same “coincidental” effect we need go no further back then a few months ago…to August 21st. To Wit:

The inverted Cross atop Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis dangled from the steeple on Wednesday following a rare downtown twister as the ELCA Churchwide Assembly was in legislative session across the street at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

let me remind you of the details:

Consideration of the proposed Social Statement on Human Sexuality document was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, August 19, at 2:oo p.m.

According to the website of the Central Lutheran Church located across the street from the conference center, where the assembly was in session, the tornado passed through downtown Minneapolis near CLC at, you guessed it, approximately 2:00 p.m…

One blogger posted this quote:

“We trust that the weather is not a commentary on our work,” said the Rev. Steven Loy, who was helping oversee the convention.

That Blogger? The American Papist.

We are Christians, we believe in Miracles. As I’ve said before concerning Holy Communion:

as for transubstantiation the physics are identical to the physics of parting the Red Sea, Of Jonah and the Whale, the Feeding of the 5,000 and Peter’s healing of the cripple. Miracle of God. There is a long history of that kind of thing.

As a person who has been an eyewitness to at least one Miracle in person I’ve never understood why believing Christians have no problem believing all those other miracles but not Transubstantiation.

A Catholic should not find anything like this strange an an atheist really has to wonder about the odds. I think a firm belief in mathematical theory and probability really can really complement the Holy Spirit when it comes to convincing the doubtful.

As for what should happen assuming this report is correct? The Christians should take advantage of God’s grace offered and aid their now suffering persecutors, thus being living examples of God’s mercy and combined with the Chrism of the Holy Spirit produce conversions of both belief and action.

Something like this is also a source of temptation, first of “Spiritual Pride” and self righteousness, and secondary in terms of celebration. Both are deadly sins and are hard to resist, particularly if you have been the victim of the initial persecutions. Remember these words from Screwtape #6

The great thing is to direct the malice to his immediate neighbours whom he meets every day and to thrust his benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know. The malice thus becomes wholly real and the benevolence largely imaginary…

…All sorts of virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the intellect or even, in some measure, loved and admired, will not keep a man from our Father’s house: indeed they may make him more amusing when he gets there

It’s important to remember this when tempted. The presence of an enemy will not make hell any more bearable.

Update: GirdyorLions links, thanks

You know I’ve yet to hear a single person make one of the most obvious points about this healthcare bill.

We all know that the bill front loads the taxes in the bill to help pay for the costs of the bill over ten years. We have a democratic congress that has increased the deficit with record speed sending money like drunken sailors (and a republican one before it that spent money like buzzed sailors, only looking better by comparison). In this bill we see giveaway after giveaway to pay off particular members and states.

Given these facts riddle me this:

Can somebody explain to me how they are going to prevent congress from spending that “extra money” over the next two years, especially with an election where large chunks of the majority are in trouble?

The fact is by the time the provisions of that bill kick in the front loaded tax money is going to be spent 10 times over before a single person is covered.

Elections have consequences, always remember we did this to ourselves.

Update: Fisherville mike links, thanks.

One good idea among the payoffs

Posted: December 22, 2009 by datechguy in opinion/news
Tags: ,

I was looking at Michelle Malkin’s list of payoffs in the Senate Healthcare bill. It’s a list that doesn’t inspire confidence, however there is one gem hidden in the manure. Who knew it would be from the socialist in the place?

The $10 billion, added at Sanders’ request, would also ensure there would be medical professionals to provide primary care by expanding the National Health Service Corps by an additional 20,000 slots. Doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals who agree to work in areas where there are limited medical services get help paying off their school loans.

This is exactly what I was talking about in my post about containing healthcare costs.

Does it make this bill worthwhile? Of course not. But of all the things there are to hit over this bill, this one piece isn’t an issue for me.