The Adoration of the Vocations in New York City

In honor of Bill of Dawn’s Early Light‘s post on GodBlogCon 2005, scenes from God in the Streets of NYC (hat-tip to a leader in the Catholic Bible Study group at UNL):

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On November 24, 2004, Pope John Paul II blessed six monstrances, representing each of the six continents, which are being used to promote a worldwide Adoration for Vocations campaign during the Year of the Eucharist and sponsored by www.vocation.com and Adoration for Vocations, Serra International and the Holy See’s Congregation for Catholic Education’s Pontifical Office for Vocations.

One of the six monstrances blessed by Pope John Paul II was presented to the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on January 2, 2005 on behalf of vocation.com and the Legion of Christ. The USCCB and the USA Council of Serra International are sending this monstrance throughout North America for dioceses to use in promoting Adoration for Vocations during this year of the Eucharist.

During the week of April 1-8, 2005, the monstrance traveled to the Archdiocese of New York, where a grand parish-to-parish Eucharistic procession was held through the streets and boroughs of New York City. The 33 hour breathtaking Eucharistic procession, led by many priests of the Archdiocese and a police escort, is captured on the video God in the Streets.

Terrorist with Gun (and Bunny)

You have enjoyed reading about Dan Abu Td’axp al-Iksperiyenciyya’s many adventures, from his enrollment in jihad academy to his capture of the NationMaster spider-queen.

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A Feared Freedom Fighter

But did you know he is labeled a terrorist by google?

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A Terrorist With A Gun?

The fault of course belongs to Brendan of I Hate Linux, who engaged in takfir by delclaring tdaxp a terrorist:

Notice his ineptitude? Not only can he not properly hold an AK-47, but he also takes a stuffed rabbit as a hostage! This friends is why we will crush him and his fellow Mujahideen, as well as other Islamic fundamentalist terrorists… they just don’t know how to win!

… true, true, while the feared freedom fighter did once accidentally kidnap Sheik Bunny

a terrorist with a bunny?
A Terrorist With A Bunny?

He is no more a terrorist with a rabit than he is a terrorist with a gun!

terrorist with bunny rabbit?
An Embarrassing Misunderstanding…

To paraphrase the late Yasser Arafat, as sampled by Muslmgauze

We create a new people.
Instead of being bloggers we to be fighters.
This is very important.
We were bloggers. Harmless.
We became now fighters. Freedom fighters.
The next stage, you will see…

Is Activa Holdings the NationMaster of Canada?

Ontario mom faces $2M libel suit for website about problems in neighbourhood,” by Mike Oliveira, CP, 13 November 2005, http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Canada/2005/11/13/1305275-cp.html (from Slashdot).

I recently had a run-in with the unethical company known as NationMaster, so I was interested in this case:

Louisette Lanteigne of Waterloo, Ont., said she grew sick of what she saw during construction in her new subdivision and what appeared to be questionable building practices and labour-code violations.

She said she was constantly keeping her kids and their friends out of trouble, as they would keep running into hazards around their neighbourhood. She petitioned city council and got help but new problems would appear as quickly as the old ones got fixed, she said.

She launched her website in April to document her complaints and as a means for the province’s Environment and Labour ministries to view the evidence she collected. She made about a dozen postings with photos and stories of sightings around her area.

Her efforts led to letters and kudos from various government officials for reporting alleged violations. Then-environment minister Leona Dombrowsky wrote her to say, “Your advocacy on behalf of your neighbourhood is commendable and I encourage you to contact the ministry . . .to report any further incidents.”

Environment Ministry spokesman John Steele said work by people like Lanteigne is of great value because there aren’t enough ministry workers available to spot every infraction.

“Obviously we can’t have staff everywhere all the time, so we depend on the public out there as surrogate eyes and ears for the ministry,” Steele said. “They’re an important part of the ministry’s work.”

But not everyone was happy with her reports.

On Sept. 16, Lanteigne received news that she was being sued for libel by developer Activa Holdings Inc., one of the largest developers in the region.

The statement of claim said “the malicious, high-handed and arrogant conduct of the Defendant warrants an award of punitive or exemplary damages to ensure that the Defendant is appropriately punished for her conduct and deterred from such conduct in the future.”

The company sought $2 million and an order to have the allegedly libellous material taken offline.

Remind you of anyone? , perhaps?

It definitely sounds like Activa Holdings is the NationMaster of Canada!

If there’s anything good about the news, it will popularize

The legislation is typically called anti-SLAPP, an acronym for Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation.

The laws reduce the risk of fighting lawsuits because if the plaintiff loses, they are responsible for all the legal fees. In Lanteigne’s case, she will have to pay her lawyer regardless of the outcome.

“Typically with David-Goliath-type situations where a citizen is faced with large legal costs and aggressive litigious companies, it takes a lot of courage to persevere,” said Rick Smith, executive director for advocacy organization Environmental Defence Canada.

Because this seems to be so widespread, I am modifying NationMaster Watch to include more anti-SLAPP resources.

Blueprint for Divisiveness

Note: This is part of a series of reviews for Blueprint for Action. The introduction and table of contents are also available.

Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating,” by Thomas Barnett, 20 October 2005, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153128/102-4292267-8637755?v=glance [author blog]

I am glad to see…,” by Jeff, tdaxp, 13 November 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/11/12/barnett-wrong-on-international-criminal-court-independence-f.html#c349284.

A comment by Jeff of Caerdroia provides a perfect segue for the second part of my Blueprint for Action multi-review

Commenting on Tom Barnett’s questionable words on the International Criminal Court, Jeff wrote:

I am glad to see Dr. Barnett in PNM (I haven’t read the new one yet) trying to find a positive liberal approach to the world. I disagree with him in certain aspects (his excessive optimism regarding China, and failure to see evidence that weighs against his brilliant insight of drawing a circle around the places where the US has intervened and looking for commonalities between the included and excluded parts, and so forth), but I am glad to see the attempt being made. If a muscular Left is to return in the US, this kind of effort is vital.

Indeed, Dr. Barnett doesn’t hide being a liberal hawk. While Dr. Barnett’s quixotic KerryismRumsfeldism is a perfect defensible position (well, maybe), Dr. Barnett seems to have trouble decided whether he wants Blueprint for Action to be grand-strategy or liberal-strategy.

Take an excerpt from the best writing in the entire work: a commanding speech stretching from page 178 (“No one gets off free in this conflict…”) to 180 (“…and are willing to defend what they’ve earned.”).

Smack-dab in the middle of it, on page 179:

What I find so hilarious in this is the assumption of the Old Core types that their rejection of these ideas represents their death kneel, when nothing’s further from the truth.

Here’s a good example why: While Old Core Europe and Japan are more than a little bit tempted by Osama bin Laden’s offer of civilizational apartheid, both the United States and the New Core pillars understand what a false promise this truly is. America instinctively rejects the offer because., as citizens of the world’s free multinational economic and political union, we simply can’t accept the nation of a world thus divided. As a society blended from all civilizations, the very notion of such separatism is simply repulsive to our citizenry. For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain — the Civil War, the suffragist movement, organized labor, civil rights, gay rights, and so on.

I read the section to each of my classes the week I read it, and got very good conversations out of it. While I had to change some phrases to match our text and their prior knowledge (“the Core” became “The Global North” or “the rich countries,” “the Gap” because “the Global South” or “the poor countries,” “the New Core” become “the new rising countries,” etc) I was very happy with the passage.

With the exception of the last half of the last quoted sentence.

Ultimately, I replaced it with:

For if such cultural apartheid really made sense, most of American history would have unfolded in vain — the Civil War, democracy, civil rights, and so on.”

Keeping Dr. Barnett’s original list, especially “gay rights,” would have distracted the issue away from his vision of “shrinking the Gap” and “ending war as we know it” to divisive and petty domestic concerns.

I have used concepts from Barnett in my classes this semester, and the student reaction has been extremely positive. One student reacted by approaching tears, asking “Why weren’t we just told this earlier? It make so much sense.” (I remember a similar response from a CSPAN caller once.) The materialism of student reaction surprised me (most students instinctively latched on to economy growth as the reason to defend globalization), showing that they already had the “New Core” mindset Dr. Barnett predicts for America.

can be a wonderful writer, and his work overlaps well with our discussions of sovereignty, international organizations, and political economy.

I decided not to allow conversation like that to be hijacked by Dr. Barnett’s tone-deafness.

Worse, it is not just Nebraska undergraduates who will be reading . The people we most need to reach — New Core citizens in pivotal states — are the ones he is most likely to alienate.

One of my friends was an several-times-promoted officer in the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. He fits the stereotype of the modern Iranian: blaspheming, shaven, pork-eating, beer-drinking, dancing, etc. He was delighted when a friend still in Iran gave him this satiric picture of the “beloved” (heavy sarcasm) President Ahmednajad:

Ahmadinejad Shunned by the world
Political Speech from Iran

And his views on homosexualism would make Jerry Falwell blanch.

My purpose in this post is not to advocate capital punishment for sodomy. Indeed, as someone who referred to the weird, oddly-worded, and shellfish-strewn, wreckages in Leviticus” I oppose sodomy laws and “virtue” laws generally.

But the way to shrink the Gap is not to ruin your best work with domestic politics and is not to alienate the very progressive forces in New Core countries that globalization depends on.

The Barnett of Blueprint for Action is not the Barnett I first saw on CSPAN.

He still can spark a conversation, though.