More on the discussions at Castelgandolfo
Some more detail is coming out about recent discussions by and with the Pope on the possibility of reform within Islam. This article has links to other articles discussing the debate the Pope's comments have kicked up. In sum the earlier brief note on this blog that the Pope seems to believe reform of Islam is not impossible, but nonetheless likely to be exceedingly difficult, (in other words, "don't hold your breath") would seem to hold. Interestingly this later Chiesa report indicates that if reform is to come it is likely to be from areas such as Turkey, Indonesia or from Western Muslims. The labelling of 'so called' Western countries is also interesting, ...is this a tacit acknowledgement that parts of Europe are no longer in the West? Eurabia? Key excerpt:
"The Holy Father is well-informed enough to know that there have existed and that there exist today, probably increasingly, other interpretations of the Qur'anic evidence with regard to a theology of revelation. These considered Muslim views and approaches do not (yet?), it would seem, inform the thinking and approach of a sizable Islamic movement or organisation - and we do not know what future problems lie ahead in this regard - but it does exist and is vividly discussed in many places, both in academia and beyond.
"An open debate on these matters does not yet seem to be possible within the Arab world but Turkish and Indonesian society grant relatively more room for airing and discussing such ideas, and the so-called Western countries offer even more space".
There are even big genetic racial differences in earwax! "It is not a subject scientists generally wax about. But a seven-page scientific paper published today is solely devoted to the genetics of earwax. Human earwax comes in two varieties -- wet and dry. According to the journal Nature Genetics, dry earwax is seen in up to 95 per cent of East Asians, but no more than 3 per cent of Europeans and Africans. The reason for the difference is a gene called ABCC11 which controls earwax-altering molecules. A 39-strong international team did the research. The role of earwax was unclear, said the scientists. "Insect trapping, self-cleaning and prevention of dryness of the external auditory canal are its plausible functions," they wrote. Armpit (axillary) odour was associated with wet-type earwax, raising the possibility that earwax might be involved in sexual attraction."
Crooked British cops: "Undercover detectives altered a surveillance log to avoid blame for the death of Jean Charles de Menezes in a bungled counter-terrorist operation, according to police watchdogs. The disclosure, in a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, puts fresh pressure on Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and his officers over the shooting.... Police sources say that the report, which is being studied by the Crown Prosecution Service, shows that a Special Branch logbook describing Mr de Menezes's last movements had been altered to hide that he had wrongly been identified as a suspect.... The IPCC team is said to have been alerted by a whistle-blower. A scientific technique for checking changes in documents showed the change that had been made. [All they are good at these days is political correctness]
Jeff Jacoby on the Hamas election win: "Western reactions to the outcome of the Palestinian election last week mostly came in two varieties: highly negative and decidedly undecided.... I think the sweeping Hamas victory is by far the best result that could have been hoped for. I say that not because Hamas is anything other than a blood-drenched terrorist group responsible for killing or maiming thousands of innocent victims, but because its lopsided win is an unambiguous reality check into the nature of Palestinian society. And if there is one thing that the West badly needs, it is more realism and less delusion about the Palestinians".
World Bank 'toadying to the corrupt': Sir Edward Clay, the outspoken former British envoy to Kenya, let rip at the World Bank yesterday for lending $120 million to President Kibaki's Government when it was embroiled in a massive corruption scandal. In a letter to Paul Wolfowitz, the President of the World Bank, Sir Edward accused the organisation of "toadying to a thoroughly corrupt administration" and said that last week's loan made a mockery of efforts to stamp out high-level looting.
William F. Buckley, Jr. on Bolivian President Morales: "Morales shapes his complaint in language similar to that which has been used by the father of the movement against socialism, Milton Friedman -- the language of free trade. Whose problem is it that many Americans use cocaine? And that they desire it intensely enough to give it a street price sufficient to support Bolivian producers at every level -- the agricultural workers, the refiners, and the exporters? The point is in part cynical, because Morales knows perfectly well that human weakness will always produce a demand for toxic substances, if they provide intense pleasures en route to devastation. But he is shrewd enough to pick up on the point of free trade -- even though it is a part of the neoliberalism he has otherwise denounced. What right does the United States government have to convert its concern for weak-minded Americans into a veto power on Bolivian agriculture?"
Interesting stories here and here about how capitalist Boeing has outsmarted the socialist European Airbus. One cost item not mentioned in Las Vegas Sun article is the various costs in deicing the A380 on the tarmac during snow and ice conditions in winter time. Although this is not a problem in warmer climes it is routine in the higher latitudes each winter and it is costly in time, materials, manpower and delays.
The horny-headed one has a great post on deceptive Leftist "statistics" about poverty. The poor are actually getting richer and the rich are getting poorer.
A little birdie tells me that the obnoxious Brian Leiter is feeling the heat of Keith Burgess-Jackson's Anti-Leiter blog. Keith seems to be feeling his oats so Leiter might be in for a long haul.
For more postings, see EDUCATION WATCH, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE. Mirror sites here, here, here, here and here. On Social Security see Dick McDonald and for purely Australian news see Australian Politics (mirrored here).
Practically all policies advocated by the Left create poverty. Leftists get the government to waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so load the burden of providing most useful goods and services onto fewer and fewer people. So fewer useful goods and services are produced to go around. That is no accident. The Left love the poor. The Left need the poor so that they can feel good by patronizing and "helping" them. So they do their best to create as many poor people as possible.
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialistisch)
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