Apple helps Chinese govt stay abreast of dissent

They knew they could count on Big Tech.

JIM TREACHER: Is Apple Helping the CCP Stifle Dissent?

Here’s what was in the latest iPhone update, according to Zachary M. Seward of Quartz:

Hidden in the update was a change that only applies to iPhones sold in mainland China: AirDrop can only be set to receive messages from everyone for 10 minutes, before switching off. There’s no longer a way to keep the “everyone” setting on permanently on Chinese iPhones. The change, first noticed by Chinese readers of 9to5Mac, doesn’t apply anywhere else.

In other words, Chinese iPhone users can’t do or say anything without the CCP knowing about it. Dissent can be quashed before it even starts. The Chinese people can be kept under the CCP’s thumb. And Apple is helping.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk asks, “Apple has mostly stopped advertising on Twitter. Do they hate free speech in America?”

Yes. Next question?

Why read?

a blog about the intersection of books and life, will give you a start on figuring it out, citing the memorable (?) Zagajewski.

We are catch basins, reservoirs of learning, wisdom and beauty recalled. About ecstatic reading, Zagajewski says: “[B]ooks contain not only wisdom and well-ordered information but also a kind of energy that comes close to dance and shamanist drunkenness.”

That’s a little strong. My pilot light burns at a more modest setting. I can’t dance and have never met a shaman. I liken reading at its best to an inspired, deferential conversation.

Zagajewski suggests we read broadly, haphazardly. If you’re a poet, read more than poetry, certainly beyond contemporary poetry – “a shadow of premature professionalism hovers over this practice. A shadow of shallowness.” Read beyond a phrase I hate – “your comfort zone.” This applies to all of us, not just poets: . . .

Read the rest and think, does that help?

BLITHE SPIRIT 4/3/96, Color-blind, religion-blind, politics-blind . . .

Two Cents and worth it

It’s said we can’t be a color-blind society, because there are too many skeletons in our closet. We’re religion-blind, glossing over religious differences for the sake of religious peace. Where would we be if we drove home religious differences with the same zeal with which we drive home racial differences? Call it your revolutionary thought for the day.

For example . . .

Dominus Vobiscum: The man who could not pray discussed prayer and meditation in an online essay a few years back.

“No paragon of these am I,” he wrote, “even if at 18 I left home to study them full time. After two years of novitiate, I got my SJ degree, which I relinquished many years later . . .

Even so, much of it stuck. At Mass, for instance, I often entered the zone of prayer and meditation, which made me a poor participant in the liturgy.

Doesn’t mean I think of nothing else . . . or that I am superior to the worshiper next to me who belts out songs and other responses. In fact, you could argue I’m not as good because I seem to reject the communal aspect of today’s liturgy.

But do we not exceed the limits of liturgical propriety when we proffer the handclasp of peace to other pew-sitters far and wide, even getting out of our pews to hug and chat or even extort the same from them?

. . . more more more here.

BLITHE SPIRIT A Weekly Commentary, March 20, 1996 — the schools, the schools, can’t live with ’em . . . without ’em . . .

Two Cents and worth it.

Oh happy day . . .

Allow a little chauvinism here: THE HIGH SCHOOL REFERENDUM WON, thanks to a lot of lions lying down with a lot of lambs. New board member Gerry Jacobs, whose River Forest home has also made news, obviously played a key role, brokering togetherness.

Beaucoups de kudos also to three main groups, not in order of importance: those willing to rethink opposition, those willing to repackage advocacy, and those willing to take pay cuts. It takes a whole village (in this case two of them) to pass a referendum (in this case two of them). Let’s hug one another. (Unfortunately having to avoid unfriendly glances of taxpayers with or, more likely, without kids in public schools. This is a 2022 editorial addition/comment.)

Job action, anyone?

General Motors is up for grabs because of outsourcing. The auto workers know an issue when they see one. Not so the teachers at Oak Park’s Irving School, where a commercial tutoring operation is being hired to teach reading.

Scores are down, and authorities apparently can’t or won’t count on teachers to supply what’s missing. This apparently is in line with the teachers’ contract. Is it?

In any event, were I a teacher, I’d be looking over my shoulder, wondering if Downs and Privat, the Izer twins, are coming.

When good thoughts occur to different people . . .

Seneca of old Rome asks, “Why do bad things happen frequently to good people?” But Harold Kushner, author of the 1981 best-seller When Bad Things Happen to Good People, makes no mention of that.

Great minds run in the same tracks, clearly. Seneca wrote: . . . .

For the rest, go here.


Bill Barr: Trump Will Burn Down the GOP. Time for New Leadership

The Republican Party has a historic opportunity to revive the old Reagan coalition. The person standing in the way is the 45th president, writes the former attorney general.

He didn’t support his candidacy in 2016, doesn’t support it now, for reasons he gives having to do with crudity, rudeness, carelessness etc.


I also saw Trump’s strengths. I liked the clear and direct way he staked out a position and his willingness to state unpleasant truths that many were afraid to say. I appreciated that he was willing to confront head-on difficult issues—like unfair trade deals, or our allies’ paltry defense spending—that other politicians dodged. Above all, Trump had accurately diagnosed, and given voice to, the deep frustration of many middle-class and working-class Americans who were fed up with the excesses of progressive Democrats; the shameless partisanship of the mainstream media; and the smug condescension of elites who had mismanaged the country, sold them out, and appeared content to preside over the decline of America.

So he saved the country from four years of Mme. Clinton, but so what, Barr says. To which, no thanks.

Dominus Vobiscum: 19th Century Rediscoveries: The Mass as Experience Not a lecture, not even a prayer meeting.

Being moved by the Spirit

In 1840 the Benedictine monk Dom Prosper Gueranger published his Les Institutions liturgiques [“liturgical
institutions”] , described as “a wonderful demonstration of the antiquity and the beauties of the Roman liturgy,” by Didier Bonnetere his 1980 book, The Liturgical Movement: Gueranger to Beauduin to Bugnini, Roots, Radicals Results.

Neo-Gallican refers to newly revived separatist liturgies in northern Europe, especially in France. Neo because Pius VI had struck a mighty blow to the separatist movement Gallicanism (French-ism) with his condemnation of the Synod of Pistoia in 1794 at a time when “the whole of Europe . . . was floundering in an “anti-liturgical heresy.” (Bonneterre)

Gueranger was on the side of traditionalist angels, standing up for the wisdom of the ages, opposing changes meant to keep up with the times, etc.

Primarily, he wanted to bring the clergy back to the Roman rite. By the time of his death in 1875, all the French dioceses had abandoned their separatist ways. Their liturgy, wrote a fellow Benedicine in 1948, was replete with “confession, prayer and praise, rather than instruction.” He had “rediscovered the liturgy . . . discerned [its] essence” as worship that “sings to God its faith, its hope, and its charity.” . . .

Resr of it here.

Stuff (“Liberal” Yuppie) White People Like

From the archives:

The short-lived blog, Stuff White People Like (2008-2010), was fun while it lasted (if taken in small doses). I may be the last person to have found it. But, unlike white-”liberal”-yuppie persons, being au courant isn’t “where I’m at” (to use an expression that’s probably no longer au courant).

There are 136 entries. Here are my suggested additions:

  • Foreign-language films — especially if incomprehensible, even with subtitles, about angst and suffering, and without an ending (the French way).
  • Dressing casually — especially at fine restaurants. It’s a fetish — like wearing shorts regardless of the temperature.
  • Public schools — for other people’s children.
  • Public universities —très gauche, even if you attended one.
  • Cheese — as in “I found this wonderful little cheese store.”

Plus many, many more, if yr interested . . .

Deep In The Wombs of Women: The Hidden Harm of Covid Vaccines

“Where’s my cycle” is the rallying cry of a group of French women fighting for basic expectations of life: a pain-free existence, a medical system they can trust, and the ability to bear children.

On a bright October day in Paris, I attended an unusual event in a long reporting career: A rally, just a stone’s throw from Napoleon’s Tomb, at which women spoke about their periods.

Organized by a group called “Where’s my cycle,” the rally focused on intimate revelations: heavy bleeding, unprecedented pain, humiliation, and elemental physical changes. These symptoms began, not coincidentally, at the start of 2021, when women put out their arms and took, or were coerced by employers to take, covid-19 vaccinations.

The 300 women, and men, at this rally—and the 10,000 that Oú est mon cycle represents—are fighting for basic expectations of life: a pain-free existence, a medical system they can trust, and the ability to bear children.

This was not just about inconvenience or embarrassment. It was about fertility.

Among the testimonials: . . .

Read the rest here . . .