What the poppy really means

Why do modern architects hate humanity? The question echoes around one my favourite corners of the internet, Reactionary Architecture Twitter. Powered by a loathing of the modernist and post-modernist built environment, it’s weirdly popular, signalling an about-turn towards traditional aesthetics, which has even seen Britain’s reactionary-in-chief, Prince Charles, enjoying… 1,592 more words

What the poppy really means

Real Socialists, Fake Socialists and the Virginia Governor’s Race

Earlier today I posted a link to a free Soviet textbook entitled Systems of Linear Equations. It was published in the late 1980’s and is one of a series of Soviet textbooks I’ve highlighted on my websites.

Why, you ask, do I pass along Soviet textbooks? There are two reasons. The first is that I have a long-term commitment to free and low-cost textbooks for students. The second is that the Soviet Union had one of the greatest mathematical and technical academic and institute establishments the planet has ever known, it’s putting things into hardware where it broke down.

Linear algebra has become a favourite subject of mine but late in life; I didn’t take a formal course in it until my PhD pursuits. Because of my specific major, I didn’t have to take linear algebra as an undergraduate back in the Dinosaur Age, although the aerospace engineers, for example, certainly did.

The kicker with this little book is in the description, as follows:

The book is intended for a wide circle of readers, including pupils of senior classes of secondary schools, who are interested in mathematics.

Translation: including high school.

That’s interesting because the Loudoun County School Board, at the instance of the Virginia Department of Education, has proposed to “to eliminate its accelerated math programs below 11th grade, citing “equity” as one of the catalysts for its changes to the mathematics curriculum.” This is the same Loudoun County School Board which allowed two women to be raped in the bathroom without consequence until called out. This is also the same school board that has inspired Virginia gubernatorial candidate and Clintonista Terry McAuliffe to call for the removal of parental involvement in curriculum decisions.

“Equity” is a socialist concept that basically states that everyone should end up with the same result in life. But the real socialists in the Soviet Union knew better than to fudge on scientific education, thus the linear algebra in high school. Today we’re faced with another set of real socialists (I know, they’ve fudged on that in ways that the Soviets wouldn’t bring themselves to do) who also have a massive scientific and educational establishment that launches hypersonic vehicles which no one thought they could.

The socialists we have in this country are and have been for the last fifty years are, to use Marxist terminology, utopian. They have grand dreams for a country where no one really has to do much of anything to succeed as long as they allow their leaders to slouch through their funded bureaucratic positions (like Pete Buttigieg is doing with his paternity leave while the supply chain breaks down.) But their country will fail.

I’m glad that McAuliffe is in a tight space in the race, one which the Loudoun County School Board and his own inept statements have made possible. He deserves to lose. But I think that time is running out too fast on a country which has pushed real achievement, especially in the sciences, into the background.

That Pesky Johnson Amendment Strikes Again

This time for the Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris’ video for African-American churches:

Democratic leaders have pulled out the stops to try to help Terry McAuliffe in his struggling campaign for governor in Virginia. Figures from Barack Obama to Stacey Abrams have stumped for McAuliffe who is in a tight race with businessman Glenn Youngkin. The key for McAuliffe is black voters, and to spur turnout Vice President Kamala Harris has taped an endorsement of McAuliffe that is reportedly being played at hundreds of African American churches around the state. The problem is the “Johnson Amendment” makes such political pitches in churches a violation of federal law.

I was (and am) unenthusiastic about repealing the Johnson Amendment, as was the hue and cry from many white evangelicals during the Trump years:

I think that political activity needs to be the province of the laity.  And I’ve heard Christian politicians show a stronger grasp on what the Gospel is all about than ministers about political issues.  To put our ministers in the “driver’s seat” of political activity is to cede yet another function of the laity, reducing the latter to passive consumers of the church’s product.  And we have enough of that unBiblical kind of thing going on as it is.

As I said at the start, freedom is something that needs to be used wisely.  If you get it, be careful: you may end up losing it all if you blow it.

Although I am aware of the role that African-American churches have played in the civil rights movement, if things like this make political activity in churches de facto or de jure acceptable, it may have this effect for everyone:

The danger of the right is the same as Harry Reid’s doing away with the super-majority filibuster for nominees: if the political wind reverses, you’ve given yourself the shaft. In both cases the reality of the Gospel is obscured by our desires of the moment.

How France conquered Europe

There are decades when nothing happens, and weeks when decades happen, as a quote dubiously attributed to Lenin states. Last week was one of those weeks. As it began, I argued that the most significant short term effect of the Aukus agreement would not be in the distant Pacific, but rather here on our home continent,…

How France conquered Europe

East Germany’s bitter lessons for Cuba

“Homeland or Death — We Shall Overcome!” Cuba’s state motto still reflects the country’s combative self-image. Over sixty years have passed since Fidel Castro marched his revolutionary forces into Havana — now, it seems, many Cubans are tired of the permanent struggle they are asked to undertake in the name of socialism. It is likely…

East Germany’s bitter lessons for Cuba

Welcome to fully automated luxury gnosticism

Is in-person human contact now a luxury good? You might be forgiven for this impression, at least in elite coastal America, after seeing the photos from New York’s $30,000-a-ticket Met Gala last week. In one already-notorious image Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic representative for New York City, sports a gown that trailed multiple banners bearing the…

Welcome to fully automated luxury gnosticism

Missing the Signs: The Religious Motivations of the 9/11 Attackers

America is reeling from President Biden’s chaotic abandonment of American citizens, our Afghan allies, and religious minorities in Afghanistan. Twenty years ago this very week, America was also reeling when two jetliners smashed into the World Trade Center, a third slammed into the Pentagon, and a fourth crashed in Pennsylvania as its valiant passengers overpowered their Islamist captors.

Read it all: Missing the Signs: The Religious Motivations of the 9/11 Attackers

After 9/11, the Ministry Remains

Today of course is the twentieth anniversary of the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centres and the Pentagon. I’ve done this before but I’m going to post again the slide show/video I made for the Church of God Chaplains Commission about that event and the ministry response the church made, presented at the Church of God General Assembly the following year.

The video is divided into two parts. The first is a photo montage of the attacks; they’re still hard to watch. The second is a “roll call” of those in the church who ministered during and after the attacks, including some from Afghanistan.

In preparing this under the direction of the then Executive Director of the Commission, Dr. Robert Crick, it wasn’t our intention to produce a patriotic presentation but to focus on the Christian ministry that took place. Given recent events in Afghanistan, the wisdom of that choice has been underscored. What we do in ministry has eternal results that transcend the successes and failures of temporal nations and causes.

And so Jesus, also, to purify the People by his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore let us go out to him ‘outside the camp,’ bearing the same reproaches as he; for here we have no permanent city, but are looking for the City that is to be.

Hebrews 13:12-14 TCNT