This law is an attack on religious freedom. If government can force a school to go against its religious foundation, what else can it do?
Corruption, delusion, and mendacity are nothing new as determinants of both personal and collective life. They are staples of human nature. But with the spread of the print and electronic media and the immediate accessibility of information at any time and any place in the “global village,” the opportunity for mass deception has become the distinguishing factor of our time. Sophistry and subterfuge have gone mainstream. The ability of dominant elites to influence and even control the thought-world of vast populations to an historically unprecedented extent is now an integral part of contemporary life.There are, to be sure, various ancillary elements involved in the ubiquitous public hospitality to blatant fictions and professional guile, including the critical decay of education at all levels and the growing proneness to parasitical entitlements among Western electorates, accentuating the appetite for passivity and stoking what amounts to a handout mentality. A populace coddled by welfare gratuities will accept packaged ideas and doctored reports as readily as they do food stamps, tax exemptions, and government checks.As a result, intellectual laziness has never been so widespread in a pampered and ostensibly enlightened cultural realm, providing a soft target for media disinformation and political propaganda to work their injurious will.Nothing else, it would appear, can explain the reflexive acceptance among those who should know better of the three consummate trumperies disfiguring the era in which we live: the Palestinian “narrative,” the climate change shakedown, and the ascent of Barack Obama to the most powerful office in the world. Truth is now at a discount as never before and has been increasingly replaced by promiscuous and sovereign mythologies.
The Pentagon is not advocating military action, particularly while President Bashar al-Assad still clings to power, but US officials told the New York Times that the option had been presented by Israel.
Thomas Donilon, the US national security advisor, was in Israel last weekend to discuss the dramatically developing crisis, which reached a bloody turning point on Wednesday when a rebel bomb killed three of Mr Assad’s closest aides.
An Israeli incursion from the air or by land would be highly sensitive, given that it has officially been in a state of war with Syria for decades.In the past two days rumours have circulated widely in Syria that the army is preparing to use chemical weapons against rebel forces or civilians.Syria is believed to have reserves of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide, but the full details of its stockpile are unknown as it is one of eight states not to have joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Others include Israel and Egypt.
In Libya, where Gaddafi had few mourners, the consequences of civil war are already alarming. The al-Qaeda takeover of northern Mali was achieved by Gaddafi arms, stolen from unsecured stockpiles as his regime fell. Syria’s arms are more numerous, more modern, and better-maintained; Lebanon, the West Bank, Israel and Iraq are nearer. You do not even need the spectre of al-Qaeda and Islamist terror to make that a frightening prospect.With neither negotiation nor an Alawite, Russian and Iranian acceptance of defeat, there will only be war. It might be a war with a notional Sunni-led, even democratically organised, multi-sect government of the sort envisaged by the spokesmen of the Syrian National Council, but how far would their writ run?America, still the world’s policeman, is focused on its election and the economy, not on another Middle Eastern mess. Sooner or later though, the US and its European allies are going to have to decide what to do about Syria’s arms, and those who carry them. Now is not the time, but on any analysis the time is fast approaching, and it will accommodate no one’s electoral cycle.