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

Monday, July 30, 2007

Not from The Onion...

NATO's answer to civilian death toll: smaller bombs

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer says the alliance will use smaller bombs in its campaign against Islamist Taliban rebels in Afghanistan to try to limit rising civilian casualties....

as well as waiting for favourable days of the week to conduct its campaigns...

"We realise that, if we cannot neutralise our enemy today without harming civilians, our enemy will give us the opportunity tomorrow," he told the business daily.

"If that means going after a Taliban not on Wednesday but on Thursday, we will get him then."

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Halton, thou should'st be comboxing at this hour

Me china plate John H over at Conf. Ev. has closed his comments boxes for fear someone will
leak Harry Potter spoilers. (No, JB, NOT that "Hawkeye dies after the
Norkoms sign the armistice".)

In order that his parade be well and truly peed on, I hereby announce
the whole world that not only does Harry die at the end of "Deathly
Hallows", but he finds out that Malfoy is his sister, that Hermione
is really a man, that The Preacher really is Dumbledore, and that the
planet Earth he found has a giant, crumbling Statue of Liberty.

I'd say JK really wrapped it up well.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Abrahamic Monotheism Religions of the Book Ecumenicism Award...

... for last year, went to Irene Khan, of Bangladesh, world secretary-general of Amnesty International:

'The Khan girls went to a private convent school run by Irish nuns. "You know, middle-class Muslims would send their daughters to convents because they trusted the nuns to bring the girls up with proper moral values. But you would get middle-class Hindus and middle-class Christians too; it was more of a mix than you get in a state school. So you earned English and you learned about tolerance and diversity".'

- Stephanie Bunbury, "Faith, hope and Amnesty," Sydney Morning Herald (14 October 2006), "Good Weekend," p 41.

But that's been topped by this year's entrant, one Ms Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan:

"It would be so nice to have the luxury just to laze. So nice to not have to always get up and get dressed for some occasion. Always having to move from here to there, where everything is scheduled and even having lunch with my kids on their Easter break has to be slotted in. Maybe one day..."

--  Ginny Dougary, "Destiny's child," Sydney Morning Herald (7 July 2007), "Good Weekend", p 21.

Easter break? In Muslim Pakistan?... To commemorate the day when "they slew [H]im not, nor did they crucify [H]im"?!

"Come in, brother, and we'll 'rap' about your 'hassles'" (Rev Lovejoy)

Mr Rudd went on to clarify that he considered drugs "a bad trip, man" and that he had always considered that it was "not groovy" to "get high" because then he might "drop out" from the Australian National University and end up as a "beatnik" or "hippie" of some kind.

"Dope was 'never my scene' - Rudd"

The Australian (Wednesday 11 July 2007),20867,22054782-1702,00.html

LABOR MP Peter Garrett smoked it when he was in his 20s and former US president Bill Clinton said he "did not inhale", but for Labor leader Kevin Rudd marijuana has never been part of his scene.

Former Midnight Oil frontman Peter Garrett came under the spotlight this week after Silverchair singer Daniel Johns said he had smoked joints with the MP and U2 rocker Bono. Johns later retracted the comment, saying it was a joke and Mr Garrett released a statement admitting he smoked marijuana when he was in his 20s.

When asked today if he had ever smoked marijuana, Mr Rudd said it has never been part of his scene.

"Never, never, never, not a part of my scene,'' Mr Rudd said.

"I've always had a very tough line on this stuff, really, really hard line.

"I'm in John Howard's camp on this one, we have a unity ticket.''

UPDATE: "Yeah, it was that Johns I meant - sorry Danny boyah", Bono clarified.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

What Prots miss out on by not having a Magisterium

Now, normally when anyone named Miller starts writing about Vatican pronouncements on Catholic Social Teaching, I reach for my revolver and pop a few rounds of Guilfussian Priest Chasers through my monitor screen, like Elvis with his TV set. This particular posting, however, is amusing and worth reading (and savouring) in full.

That's in no way to deny, of course, that Protestant synods are capable of generating equally bad or worse sludge - one imagines the Unitingarians producing some dreadfully earnest "Year of Listening Communique", or suchlike, which exhorts all Christians to use one less sheet of toilet paper a day, and to make sure they leave the dunny seat up. But at least the Prot versions don't end with anathemata being thundered against whomsoever should take away the least jot or tittle from the document. You can disregard these decrease without going to Hell or some intermediate version thereof.

Next: "We therefore, in the most authentic exercise of our teaching Magisterium, entrusted to the Apostle Peter by Our Lord Jesus Christ, do pronounce it objectively necessary, and the dereliction thereof to be gravely illicit, that you - shall Wear Sunscreen."

"The Ten Commandments of... What?"

By Robert T Miller

Tuesday, July 3, 2007, 6:26 AM

I present to you a document of some forty pages entitled "Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road <" prepared by a Vatican office known as the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People, which is under the supervision of Cardinal Renato Martino. "The outcome of a great endeavor entailing listening, reflection and insight," the document begins with a fascinatingly uninformative reflection on "The Phenomenon of Human Mobility":

"Moving from place to place, and transporting goods using different means, have characterised human behaviour since the beginning of history...

"The transportation of goods and people is increasing at a dizzy pace, sometimes taking place under difficult conditions and even putting life at risk...

"A modern phenomenon, full of consequences, which is part of this mobility, and the progress that derives from it, is traffic in general, and especially road traffic. Traffic has gradually increased...

"We only need to consider the many uneven roads travelled on by unsafe and overloaded means of transport, which constitute a grave danger for everyone, especially at night...

"Undoubtedly, road vehicles give us many advantages. They provide a rapid means of transport for people (getting to places of work and study, weekend outings with the family, going away on holiday, meetings with friends and relatives)... Means of transport are particularly useful when they enable sick and injured people to be rescued..."

So the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant People informs us in writing that people drive in cars in order to go to work, that there's a lot of traffic nowadays, that goods are transported from place to place over the roads, that driving is more dangerous at night than during the day, and that it's really good that sick and injured people can be transported over the roads to hospital. Try, if you can, to write down five or six sentences as fatuously banal as each of these, and you'll find it's not easy. [...]

Monday, July 02, 2007

"Article II. All legislative Powers herein Grant'd shall be Vest'd in ye House of Representatives; ye Senate being hereby dissolv'd"

"Article VI: Ye Jurisdiction, of these United States, shall not Extend unto ye Lands beyond where ye Light shall Touch."

'The voice of Darth Vader will be the voice of the Declaration of Independence. James Earl Jones, whose rich baritone gave life to the sinister villain of the Star Wars movies, will be in Philadelphia on Tuesday to help open an exhibit featuring the Magna Carta at the National Constitution Center. The Broadway and movie actor who also was behind King Mufasa in The Lion King - as well as countless Verizon commercials - will recite the Declaration of Independence at the "Magna Carta: Foundation of Freedom" exhibit one day before the Fourth of July holiday....'
-- "'Darth Vader' to read declaration speech" (Monday 2 July 2007),

'Further discussions will be held this week over compensation for trainers who will be forced off [Sydney's] Randwick Racecourse when the Papal mass takes place next year. But trainer Anthony Cummings fears the effects will last 10 years and not just the 10 weeks the course will be closed for racing. Cummings is president of the Randwick Trainers Association which met with World Youth Day (WYD) organisers last week to try to explain their plight. "A lot of people depend on Randwick for a living and it's hard to estimate the cost because we don't know where it stops," Cummings said. "The horses will have to move off Randwick to be trained elsewhere. But the thing is that once they go, they don't all return. If we lose 20 per cent of the spring carnival horses, then it will be a pretty ordinary carnival. Betting turnover will drop and it could take five to ten years to recover....'

-- "Papal visit to affect Randwick for years" (Monday 2 July 2007)