You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Exclusive Brethren

Interesting SBS documentary last night on the Exclusive Brethren sect and their involvement (very furtively) in Tasmanian and New Zealand elections, especially opposing the Greens.

Now, I myself (rejecting the dogma that "humanity is the disease, voting Green is the cure") usually put the Brown Shirts last on my ballot paper, but even so I think the XBs' methods -- basically, anonymous shit-sheeting -- are contrary not only to basic decency but also to their own big black-leather-bound King James Bible (Words of Christ in Red).

When Jesus said, "Let your yes be yes, and your no be no, and any more than that comes from the evil one", not only was [H]e limiting the voting membership of the Conclave to a maximum of 120 cardinals, with those aged 75 or older being ineligible to vote (but not ineligible to be elected), and requiring a two-thirds majority of votes until at least the tenth ballot, but [H]e was also warning against using deception. One can argue over whether this is subject to the normal Biblical exception of necessity to avoid a greater evil (Rachab and the spies, the midwives and Pharaoh, Samuel and Saul, etc), but the Brethren can hardly claim their lives are in danger if they put their names to their leaflets.

Two points in particular intrigue me:

(a) XBs don't vote themselves, but they want to influence how other people vote?

(b) XBs apparently refuse to own (inter alia) computers or fax machines, rejecting these as intrin. ... ah, as inherently evil. Yet apparently they are happy to *rent* fax machines, and hire website designers to run their websites?

What on earth gives here?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pro Bono privato

You say... you want... diamonds and rings of gold? Well effin' eff orff, tahxmahn, thay're all stashed in the Netherlands, t'be shure.

See Timothy Noah's "Bono, Tax Avoider: The hypocrisy of U2", Slate Magazine (Tuesday 31 October 2006).

And note that in Latin, "U2" is "tu quoque".

UPDATE: Ni Marx, ni Jesus (apologies to Jean-Francois Revel).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Bummer of a week...

... not only for Rove, but also for Rove.

UPDATE: K. Beazley is particularly distraught.