Thursday, March 21, 2013

Backstories to today's headlines

AustinBay notes that President Obama has just decided Reagan was right: about StarWars being needed.
Chuck Hagel quietly announced that the Obama administration would deploy an additional 14 Ground Based Interceptors (GBIs) long-range anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs). GBIs are the "long arrow" in the prophetic U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) very limited ABM system.
However, elsewhere Strategypage discusses the nuance of the French Mali intervention, and notices the "blowback" may be French speaking Arabs who learned terrorism there might return to France. And they print another article noting the MSM's failure to see the malignancy of Palestinian hate speech that is the real barrier against Middle East peace.

Bookmarked for later reading:

 Spengler has an essay saying why the Russians think President Obama is crazy and why they think he is deliberately wrecking the world. more from his AsianTimes column.

TPMBarnett discusses how America really changed the world for the better.
During WWII, the US made the conscious decision to seek to remake the world in its rule-set image, and it succeeded beyond its wildest dreams in the phenomenon we now label globalization.  That process was most definitely undergirded by a US security guarantee, which we generally provided to a wonderful degree with definite lapses in execution and - almost as importantly - explanation...

But notice how the world now enjoys more wealth-creation and order and peace than ever before in history. This is no coincidence.  People will claim all sorts of meaningless variables (like the UN - a true laugher if ever there was one), but the reality remains:  the US showed up, took charge, and we got this world.
He has another column saying that the future in this includes the help of China and India.

This goes along with my observations: That the left/green/Chomsky people all fervently quote talking points about evil America,(often citing imaginary problem or exaggerating real problems without putting them in context) but they ignore that poor people are now getting richer, and it's America's fault.

Why do they see problems where I don't? Maybe because I have lived for prolonged periods in some of these places....and maybe because I'm a physician: Someone once quoted the cops see the worst side of men, the clergy expect to see the best in men, but physicians see people as they are.

The dirty little secret is that American culture (coca cola and mickey mouse) has been changing cultures for years.
When Sister Euphrasia's convent now has a cellphone and she can access us via the internet cafes, (despite Mugabe and Tony Blair's destruction of the local economy), then one can say things are improving even in Africa. ,
The press doesn't see the importance of the cellphone revolution, which is a grass roots thing put in there by big business, any more than they can see how LPG cooking stoves and cheap Chinese made generators run by local entrepreneurs do a lot more to lessen the burdens of women and help education than a lot of the more widely touted "green" projects do...

As for coca cola: our African nurses used to call it "American poison", yet everyone bought one to drink on market day...and like McDonalds, if they want to sell their product, it means developing the infrastructure...China does the same thing when the expand into these countries...

As for soft drinks: One of my medical history podcast lectures discussed how drinking tea lowered the mortality in both England and Japan, but alas I can't link because I can't remember which one did that.

In the modern world, it is not tea but cocacola...and not only could I buy it in mountain towns of South and Central America and in Africa, but the local bottling plants can be found there too, providing jobs and safe drinks for the masses.

Testing anthrax vaccine on children: what could go wrong?

Rant moved to my Xanga blog.


Dr. Livingstone is called a "missionary" rather than an explorer, but he only made one "convert" (who quickly fell away from Christianity because he reverted to polygamy).

The BBC however, notes that just because he loved four wives didn't make him love Jesus less:

The first British missionaries who arrived to work with the Zulu Ndebele tribe in what is now Zimbabwe in 1859 were staggered to find that they already had regular Christian prayers. Sechele had beaten them to it.
Sechele had decided to lead church services for his own people after Livingstone left. He taught reading, the Bible became popular, and slowly the Bakwena became Christian....
In the estimation of Neil Parsons, of the University of Botswana, Sechele "did more to propagate Christianity in nineteenth-century southern Africa than virtually any single European missionary".
Many of these indigenous churches mix African customs with Christianity...our main problem with them is that some only believe in faith healing, and so a lot of their kids died in these groups.

I moved a longer discussion of this to my bitching boinkie blog.

As for polygamy: It remains a problem in Africa. If you require the man to "give up" his wives, these wives and their children often end up in poverty. When I worked in Africa, the priests encouraged them to attend church and raise the children Catholic, because the fruits of divorce were worse than the fruits of polygamy: and we figured the grace of God would bring them home (and often they were "baptized" or received last rites on their deathbeds to square their lives with the rules).

A similar scenario is seen in the USA, where some churches "hold the rules" strictly, some, like Catholics, hold the rules but don't enforce them strictly,  and others mix Christianity with the local customs (the Episcopal church comes to mind).

Your tax dollars at work: US and UK NGO's place condom ads on Kenyan TV, but the local clergy complain because the ad implies adultery is okay if you use protection...

No, don't blame this on the Pope: The Anglican bishops and the Imans are up in arms too.

The real problem: by promoting value-free sex, it works against local morals, and by touting condoms on TV, it implies that the west thinks all Africans are incapable of self control in sexual matters. (i.e.a  racist insult).

Australia is "apologizing" for policies that made young teenagers give up their children for adoption?

Reality check: The children were a lot better off, but never mind.
The really dirty secret is that if adoption is seen as a good thing, it works against the pro abortion agenda by giving moms a loving alternative.

 Obama and Israel oppose Iran's bomb...but most Iranians see it as a good thing because of nationalism.

reality check: The real problem is that no one really thinks they will attack Israel (the Mullahs can't steal everything in sight if they attack Tel Aviv and get Tehran nuked in retaliation: they may be crazy but their not stupid).

However if they get the bomb, Saudi will too, and the possibility of another Arab/Persian war is a very big danger.

Tea at Trianon links to a WSJ article about the left wing president of Argentina's campaign to smear Pope Francis.

And Get Religion says the NYTimes is carrying the ball for them.
The New York Times has run, at last count, 10 pieces in the past six days bringing up the allegations that the new Pope assisted the old Argentine junta in the “Dirty War” period. Which is quite a lot for a story based on hearsay and supposition as opposed to evidence, no?

Sigh. Guess the NYTimes found out that Francis is a (shudder shudder) Catholic

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