Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Hilaire Belloc!

Well as I promised in a previous post, I managed to make a post today dedicated to the 135th anniversary of the birth of the great Catholic writer and political thinker Hilaire Belloc. Sadly due to numerous issues that have unexpectedly come up in recent times, I will not be able to devote as much as I had hoped. A very good introduction to the man and his work was written by Brother Anthony Brown for the Angelus titled "Hilaire Belloc: The Man, His Time, and Ours". Another good article is Frederick D. Wilhelmsen's "Hilaire Belloc: Defender of the Faith".

Hilaire Belloc's devotion to the Catholic faith simply cannot be understated. As he stated in "A Letter to Dean Inge":
"One thing in this world is different from all other things. It has a personality and a force. It is recognized and (when recognized) most violently loved or hated. It is the Catholic Church. Within that household the human spirit has roof and hearth. Outside it, is the night."

Belloc did not see Catholicism simply as a matter of individual belief, but the spiritual building block of culture. In many of his historical writings, he praised the Church for its immeasurable role in preserving the rich Classical heritage of Greece and Rome beyond the age of antiquity and well into the Middle Ages and further. The Catholic faith inspired the creation of much of the greatest art the world has ever known. Under the influence of the Church, a more just economic system governed people, a system that needed to be recovered in the face of the double threats of Capitalism and Socialism. It was the Catholic faith that built Europe and gave its people their identity, and only by returning to the faith could Europe revive its glory.

Sadly Belloc has received less attention nowadays then his compatriot G.K. Chesterton. This probably has to do with the differences in their temperaments. Chesterton was far more jolly and humorous while Belloc was not. Their styles of debate were just as different. As Brother Anthony Brown explains:
"One of the differences between Belloc and Chesterton in defending the Faith was that Chesterton did a lot of fencing, but Belloc drew real swords and real blood. Before engaging in battle, he would clearly state his objective, plan his campaign and examine his weapons. He would note what good there was in his opponent and then clearly state the evil he was about to attack and then attack it. 'Without wounding and killing,' he said, in criticism of Chesterton, 'there is no battle.'"

Belloc was clearly more hostile and harsh than Chesterton, and that certainly helps explain why he's not as revered. Chesterton's writings are also on average more easy to understand, while Belloc's require far more depth in thought to fully understand.

Defending the faith and the truths inherent in them was a full-time effort on the part of Belloc. He exhausted himself completely in protecting the Church from any and every foe. As Whilelmsen concluded: "He wielded a mighty sword...But the sword of Hilaire Belloc was buried with him. I gravely doubt whether we shall see his like again."

So three cheers for Hilaire Belloc! May your efforts never be forgotten!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

I must be a prophet or something!

As you may remembered in my previous post, I predicted that the terrorist attacks in London would be used as a pretext for building up new security measures to fight terrorism. Well today Tony Blair urged the European Union to do just that! As Reuters reported today, Blair believes the EU should "overcome civil liberties concerns and agree to new anti-terrorism measures such as the compulsory storage of phone and Internet usage records." I must be a prophet or something! *Note: I'm being sarcastic, I do not believe I am a prophet, indeed this happens like clockwork every time.

The good news is there's some opposition to the plan. Oddly enough it comes from Kathalijne Buitenweg, whose a member of the Dutch Green party (so yes Europe's only hope for now seems to come from dope-smoking hippies, jolly good!). As she stated, "the right to privacy is not a holy right. Of course you can infringe privacy, but there needs to be good reason for it." Yes, which is why(at least in the American context) there are regulations on how and when police are given the power to infringe on privacy. For example, police need to obtain a warrant and tell a judge why they need to do this and what information they're trying to obtain. It helps make sure that the police don't cross the line. Many of these new security measures want to make it easier for police to bend the rules, which usually does not help in preventing terrorist attacks anyways.

Even worse is that Tony Blair and the British government refuses to address the very thing that made these attacks possible, the large number of Islamic immigrants flooding into Britain! Blair has threatened to deport extreme Islamic preachers, but insists that Islam is not the problem. In a previous post, I argued that the multi-culturalist agenda that the so many in the establishment are addicted to simply does not work. You cannot possibly expect European Christians and Arab Muslims to coexist in the same society, considering that the two faiths and cultures have been at each other's throats for so many centuries. One has to be incredibly naive to believe that they can coexist without any significant conflict.

Let's pray that common sense prevails in the EU on this issue. So far, it's been lacking.

Monday, July 11, 2005

London Bombings and National Security

I wish to make some comments concerning the recent bombings in London. My prayers and sympathies are with the victims of this tragedy. Sadly, these attacks may only just be the beginning.

It probably would not take much to understand who would've done this and why they would want to do this. As it's well known, the British are actively involved with the war in Iraq, and Tony Blair has been a staunch defender of this war. All this despite the fact that a majority of the British public opposed military action. It's not at all improbable that the attacks (if conducted by Islamists, which authorities claim are responsible) were somehow connected to this fact. Sadly, these attacks maybe used as a pretext for attacking Iran or even possibly Syria, who knows! Attacking more countries will not help solve the problem.

I'm not really into conspiracy theories, but Roy P. Moore of the Distributist Review has done a very interesting commentary on this incident and how some of the pieces of this puzzle just don't fit. I suggest everybody read it.

One interesting point that Moore makes is how much video surveillance there is in London that it's extremely odd that the authorities would not have been able to pick up on this. Well it's actually quite easy. Much has been written about the many flaws concerning surveillance technology. Biggest flaw is the human watching the television screens. London is a very huge city with a large population. You'd need a pretty well sized force of people to continually watch those screens at every moment, but that simply is not possible in many ways.

In order to combat the terrorist campaigns of the Irish Republican Army, the British government has done much to step up its surveillance capabilities to spy on its own citizens. It's even possible to be arrested and held for several days without being officially charged with a crime. This was all done in the name of combating terrorism. Sound familiar? Well after the 9/11 attacks, Congress seized on the fear those attacks caused to pass the Patriot Act. This was done to increase police powers in dealing with terrorist cases.

Yet even the evasive powers of the British government(which go way beyond what even the Patriot Act allows) did not manage to stop this attack. The Patriot Act would not have been needed to prevent 9/11. In fact all what was needed was for police to enforce the laws they already had on the books!

The lesson here people is that governments often will try to use tragedies like these to push for more evasive powers and stricter regulations. Just like how the government used several of the school shootings to push for greater gun control (all of which would've done nothing to prevent the shootings), or even the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan to push forwards the Brady Bill. Yet in almost every case, all these new laws did was give the government more power than it really needs or should even have.

I strongly urge the British people, while grieving for those slained, to resist any attempts made by their government to further restrict their freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. I also strongly urge people here in America to resist any attempts made by the Bush administration to use this incident to renew or even expand the Patriot Act. Protect your freedom!