Suck it Up!!

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One news service had this item of vital interest to report. It seems the Chinese Government has turned its attention to the vitally important topic of public spitting, the city's "most serious bad habit."

Wednesday, March 1, 2006 BEIJING - Beijing is launching a campaign to stamp out widespread public spitting in an effort to clean up its image for the 2008 Olympics.

The government has concluded that spitting is the city's "most serious bad habit," Zhang Huiguang, director of Beijing's Capital Ethics Development Office, said Wednesday.

"This year we will intensify our law enforcement efforts in this field," Zhang told a news conference. "We will require law enforcement officials to step up the frequency of fines."

The fine for public spitting is 50 yuan (US$5; euro4).

Tourists visiting Beijing often are startled at how many people spit or blow their noses onto sidewalks.

The crackdown is part of efforts to raise "ethical and cultural" standards in advance of the 2008 Summer Games, a major prestige project for the communist government.

Zhang said officials will launch an advertising campaign on radio, television, the Internet and mobile phones to "teach people the right way to spit."

"For example, you have to spit into a tissue or a bag, then place it in a dustbin to complete the process," she said.

Those without a bag handy needn't worry. Zhang said her office has organized a small army of volunteers who are already hitting Beijing's streets, handing out small "spitting bags" and wearing bright orange uniforms with the Chinese character "tan" - "mucus" - printed in yellow on the back.

She said enforcement will also be ramped up against littering - the second-worst habit her office faces - and pets fouling the streets, the No. 3 scourge.

If this is the worst they can do, it almost makes one want to move to China. Even here in "the Springs" there are people running around the streets with a lot worse habits than public spitting, that's for sure.

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Something really interesting in a post by Anthony Esolen at Mere Comments -- it is about a 20th century Italian scholar named Amerio.

The first paragraph reads:

What interests me most is that in that charnel house of a century, crammed with the hundreds of millions of people who died fighting for, or at the hands of, das Volk, or the Soviet, or the Cultural Revolution, or the malign imam of Teheran, or that whole clownish pageant of villains, charlatans, pomposities, and brutes -- people dying for a bizarre amalgam of the demonic and the banally material, a Master Race here and a gangrenous British Empire there -- Professor Amerio could yet claim, calmly, that at the heart of the misery was modern man’s misconception of the essences of the divine nature.

This ties in closely with what Fr. Boylan writes in his book, This Tremendous Lover, my Lenten reading project.

To foster the development of that union with God in the lives of the faithful is the purpose of this book. Our aim is devotional rather than didactic. We believe that the proper foundation of devotion is dogma, and that the best way to lead Catholics to live their Catholic life in its fullness is to try to make clear to them what a Catholic really is, and what the plans and the principles underying Christianity are. Believing that most of the evils of the day arise from the neglect of metaphysics in the world of thought and from the neglect of the interior life in the practice of religion, we try to show how the interior life is the logical sequence of the nature of the Christian, who, as someone has said, is composed of "a body, a soul, and the Holy Ghost."

Our liberal friends would have us believe that religion should play no part in the national life. Yet, there is good reason to disagree. True, religion can be a divisive issue. But for the better part of two centuries, this nation thrived because we shared a common understanding of the nature of the human being and the nature of government, and that understanding was based upon a shared Christian heritage. It was only when we began to turn away from that heritage that we began to see the disintegration of society that is all around us today.

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Finally, I would like to wish everyone a very blessed Ash Wednesday and Lenten season.

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This page contains a single entry by Ron Moffat published on March 1, 2006 9:12 AM.

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