When the Going Gets Tough, God Says Shoplift

Nothing says Merry Christmas like a nativity sermon extolling the virtues of pilfering over prostitution.  Which is exactly the sermon Father Jones of St. Lawrence church in York gave.  Appalled by the treatment of the poor and dejected by polite British society, Father Jones advised his congregation that “It is far better for people desperate during the recession to shoplift than turn to ‘prostitution, mugging or burglary’, he said.” Because as Father Jones explains “‘My advice does not contradict the Bible’s eighth commandment because God’s love for the poor and despised outweighs the property rights of the rich.'” Fair warning, prostitutes, muggers, and burglars aren’t covered, unless of course they shoplift, and then they come under the “God loves the poor more than the rich (GLPMR)” clause.  But only for the shoplifting, let’s be clear, God is still angry about the whoring, mugging, and burglarizing.

Now before everyone gets too excited, Father Jones does have some guidelines for God endorsed stealing.

“‘I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices.

‘I would ask them not to take any more than they need, for any longer than they need.”

Ok, just so  we’re all clear, you can steal from Haldanes, but not from me.  And, you can only take what you need, nothing more.  It also follows that you can no longer bother me on the street for money either, because now you can go steal your own stuff.  I am not stealing for you.  I’m not the poor person here.

Yes,  I can see the poor and downtrodden really rallying behind these guidelines.  I envision the Old Woman who lived in a shoe and Tiny Tim walking merrily down the  Super Walmart soup aisle taking just what they need and not a farthing more.  Don’t forget the can opener. (Everyone always forgets the can opener)

Seriously though, how did England get so bad that even the clergy are advocating crime as a reasonable solution?  The good Father has an answer for that.

“‘I offer the advice with a heavy heart and wish society would recognise that bureaucratic ineptitude and systematic delay has created an invitation and incentive to crime for people struggling to cope.’

He added that he felt society had failed the needy, and said it was far better they shoplift than turn to more degrading or violent options such as prostitution, mugging or burglary.”

Which brings me to my second point and that is this, the government should not try to legislate nice, kind or compassionate.  They should govern and get out-of-the-way for society to be nice, kind and compassionate.  The unintended consequence of  government mandated compassion is a society apathetic about compassion.  Father Jone’s shock at how society has failed the poor is a direct result of the policies and practices of the Socialist government, that same society, has charged with fixing the problem.
Richard M. Ebeling in his review of  Robert Whelan’s, The Corrosion of Charity, puts it this way,

“As the government began to create the welfare state, many of the private charities found it increasingly impossible to compete with the ‘free’ services supplied by the state. And, at the same time, many people now paying higher taxes to finance government welfare programs came to believe they had paid their ‘fair share’ through taxation, so private giving was either not needed or no longer affordable.”

Now let’s look at the solution.  There are so many things wrong with the solution it makes the problem seem fun and cute.  First, the premise that God loves poor people more than the rule of law is preposterous.  God has a tremendous respect for the rule of law.  Jesus addressed this when He was challenged by the Pharisees on the issue of paying taxes to Caesar.  “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” (Matt 22:15-22)  There was no caveat to this statement excluding the poor.  We are all to obey the laws.  But that only answers part of it.  The second part  is  faith.  And that does not fit neatly into any government proposal.  Either God is who He says He is, the God of everything in the Heavens and on the Earth , or He is so weak and incompetent that His flock has to resort to stealing in order to care for themselves.  Or He doesn’t exist and the point is moot.  If anything, Father Jone’s sermon is an appalling indictment of how impotent God must be, that shoplifting is preferable to faith.  Gee, I want to come back next Sunday for more of that good news.
I’d mention Jonathan Swift’s modest proposal for the problem of the poor, but I really don’t want to be credited with that sermon.

Afghan Women Get Police Training

Afghani women now have an opportunity to serve on the force.  The new Afghan National Police Women’s Police Corps Training Center opened December 5.  Its end goal of 650 women (yes, the U.S. has given Afghanistan freedom and quotas) is expected to be reached in two years.  The U.S. training officers have been very positive about the experience and stated that there are no challenges to Afghani women being cops.  But that might just be an overstatement according to me.  As I have determined there some very definite challenges for these women and so I’ve come up some ideas for classes that might help….

How to apprehend a male suspect while being beaten by your husband for trying to touch a man.

How to run while wearing an entire bed set.

How to aim a gun looking through the cloth equivalent of  a screen door.

How to get another job because you can’t legally arrest a man and there are no female criminals in your country.

How to get your husband to drive you around on patrol.

Those are few, there are more of course.  In general though, I completely support this effort.  I support anything that empowers a once brutally suppressed female population out of bondage.  My only hope is that if enough women learn how to use a weapon, they might be brave enough to use them against their oppressors.  Yes, I did just advocate violence.

Iran Plays Spy Card

In order to parody this topic in good conscience I must preface with this,  I really hope these guys don’t die.  Now then, the Iranian government has been holding three UC Berkeley hippies hostage since like July.  Initially it was because they were hiking in northern Iraq and accidentally crossed into Iran.  But now, Iran has decided they are spies and therefore must be tried and put to death.  A couple thoughts…

1) These are NOT spies…

This is a spy…

Everyone knows that UC Berkeley hippy students don’t do anything that actually helps the U.S.  If anything they were probably trying to give the Iranian government their graduate thesis work on how to turn dirt into renewable energy and got themselves arrested in the process.

2) There is a chance, albeit slim, that these guys might actually walk away from this experience thinking “Hey, the U.S. doesn’t suck as much as I thought.”  The more likely scenario is that they will see Iran as a victim, the U.S. as the enemy and voluntarily cut their own heads off.

3)  This is Northern Iraq…..

This is where Julie Andrew sang “The Sound of Music,”

Where would you want to hike?  I want to hike where the hills play music.  But that’s because I love America and am not a hippy.

In conclusion, Iran knows these guys aren’t spies.  So why are they throwing down trumped-up espionage charges?  Because they’re evil.  This should serve as a warning to other sympathetic hippies (although I doubt it will) who think that all those countries that hate us do so because the U.S. deserves it, your head is as good as any other, and if you go traipsing around their country with your head, you might just lose it.  A bit of advice, leave your head back home, since you’re obviously not using it.

L’Oreal to help with Polar Bears

Grizzly bears have started to move into Polar bear territory.  It’s speculated this is due to global warming.  The warmer temperatures allow the grizzlies to go farther north than ever before.  Scientists and ecologists and some other people, in an effort to help the polar bear population blend with their new inhabitants are getting aid from an unusual source.  L’Oreal has offered to provide, free of charge, fur color treatments to all Polar bears selected for bear “breed” reassignment.  The cosmetic giant’s  extremely generous offer came after its Vice President of  Public Relations  read something about grizzlies and polar bears on a blog.   L’Oreal, which has always thought of itself as a champion for the environment on faces and heads, sees the proposal as a natural extension of what it has already been doing for millions of women around the world.   They have even done computer imaging mock ups of some of the possible color transformations:

Before

After using L’Oreal’s Superior Preference Light Brown Amber

After using Feria’s Multi-Faceted Shimmering Color Black Leather

After using L’Oreal Coleur Experte French Eclair (an all over color with a harmonizing highlight color)

Notice the subtle highlighting around the nose and eyes.  Adds a really nice dimensionality to the bears already strong features.  “Softens the ferocity”  is what L’Oreals polar bear adaptivity consultants like to say.

But scientists and ecologists aren’t the only ones thrilled about the new project.  Al Gore, former Vice President, failed presidential candidate and winner of the once impressive Nobel Peace Prize, has also given his resounding approval as well.  At a recent Sierra Club dinner he had this to say about it,

” I invented the internet.”

L’Oreal is of course thrilled to have the recognition and support of the world’s greatest environmental champion.   “This is truly a monumental day for L’Oreal and polar bears everywhere,”  the companies spokesperson said upon hearing Al Gore’s comment.

There is no news on how soon the program can be implemented, but sources close to the polar bear scientists are saying just as soon as the Oscars are over L’Oreal will be sending adaptive stylists to northern Canada to start the selection and transformation process.  Celebrities have already begun asking for photo ops with the newly transformed bears.

DOD Keeps Santa Alive for Canada

Between the Russians scurrying to claim the north pole  and a crappy health care system the Department of Defense (DOD) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)  have once again decided against telling Canada Santa doesn’t exist.   NORAD is the U.S-Canadian organization “charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America, and since 1959 NORAD has been “tracking” Santa’s flight from the north pole to the home’s of children everywhere.  Which it will continue to do this year as well according to official DOD reports.  When asked why Canada, a partner in NORAD, had not yet been informed that Santa’s a big fat phony, the DOD issued this statement:

“It never came up.”

A spokesperson for the department did say that it was always the intention of the DOD and NORAD to tell Canada of Santa’s non-existence, but they just couldn’t bring themselves to do it.  “You just have to be there to understand.  Every year we tell ourselves, ‘OK, this year at the Christmas party, we’re all agreed we’re gonna tell them,’  and then we see the excitement and joy in their eyes and it’s all over man.  We just push it off till next year.”

When questioned why it was that Canada hasn’t figured out on their own that Santa doesn’t exist, one DOD official had this to say, “We filter their cable and internet access as well as scrub their print media.  It’s a rather large undertaking which is why the DOD has an entire devision dedicated to preserving the innocence of Canada.”

With budget cuts reaching unprecedented levels (I just made that part up, but I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong) the DOD can’t say whether or not they will keep the ruse up for another year, but they are fairly confident in their powers of subterfuge, should they decide to, as was remarked by one official, “Hey they’re still Curling aren’t they?”