Friday, January 30, 2009
Now- why would Canadians like Obama? Do they enjoy being out of work?
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Second Vatican Council opened in 1962 and closed in 1965. It "liberalised" some things without changing the core values of the Church. Some issues at point were the use of the vernacular instead of Latin in some parts of the liturgy (form of the Mass), a more active role for the laity (people who attend Mass) within the Mass which meant that the priest now faced the people and there were more responses, and Nostra Aetate (Our Time)- a document that stated Christians shared a common spiritual seed-ground with the Jews and that the Jews were no more to blame than Christians are for Jesus' death.
Many traditionalist Catholics have great problems with the Second Vatican council. They blame it for the extremely lax attitudes in the Church now. It is true that liberation theology has watered down things to the point where some churches might as well be the United church. The strumming of guitars, the eye-sore architecture of modern church buildings, the clamour of middle-aged former nuns to be priests in some completely unrecognisable blunder of a "Mass", the "Catholic = nice" theology schools teach instead of lives of the saints, the absurdity of "inclusive language" in the liturgy- all of these dishearten Catholics who long for the days when being Catholic meant something. Consider Catholicism a plate of thick, juicy Alberta steak with PEI garlic-smashed potatoes, a small side of broccoli florets (have to eat your folic acid!), washed down with a good micro-brewery beer (any Canadian beer will do as the Jesuits opened the first brewery in the country) and followed by a nice slice of key lime pie. Now, take away the steak, half of the potatoes, the beer and the key lime pie. What are you left with? The broccoli and the parsley. Nobody eats the parsley. Once you've taken away all the spiritually and culturally distinctive aspects of the Church, there isn't much left.
Now enter Richard Williamson, himself a convert to Catholicism. He was ordained a priest by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, an ultratraditionalist with some rather stringent views on the Second Vatican Council (among other things). It was when Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated Williamson and three others as bishops did the Pope excommunicate them. To be excommunicated means to be cut off from the Church. The excommunicated individual (while still a Christian as nothing can undo baptism) cannot receive Communion or any of the Sacraments. He certainly cannot say Mass. Because Williamson participated in this consecration without the Pope's permission, he was punished. The Pope has the authority given to him by Jesus as he is the successor of Saint Peter. Because Williamson was consecrated against orders, he is not technically a bishop (he is called that, however). Furthermore, his re-introduction means that he can now receive Communion, not exactly assume a position of great standing (see an explanation here).
The ties between the Church and the Jews have been tenuous (see here). Pope Benedict XVI's views have been made clear here. The dialogue has been put at a stand-still due to Williamson's re-introduction. While it is understandable that the rabbinate would be hurt, to sever ties over what is fundamentally an internal and unrelated matter would be premature and counter-productive. Williamson was excommunicated because he disobeyed the Pope, not for his obnoxious and erroneous views (I'm not going to brush up the Holocaust here because there are thousands of reputable sources to prove that it's not only a fact of history but a deplorable chapter in the book of humanity). Many Catholics hold rather strange views but that is not a reason to excommunicate them. Furthermore, the re-inclusion of Williamson is an internal matter decided on by the Pope. However wrong it may seem to some, if they examine the history and the reasons behind it they will understand. For the media or the rabbinate to demand anything is intrusive and insulting. The Church has survived as long as it has because it hasn't "followed the leader". None of this matters, anyway, as the Church is a constant whipping boy for anything. The Church could re-excommunicate Williamson and it would still be seen as weak or noxious. Whatever.
The dialogue must continue. Williamson certainly doesn't represent the Church or Catholics with his insane views.
What else can be said?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I remember calling the "Chosen One" - or Obama, as he is usually known- an appeaser. I was called a lot of names for that (didn't understand why). I was right, though. It's good that the new president lets those who hate the country he leads feel they can talk to him whenever they hate the West for no good reason.
Two more reasons why Obama's decision to close Guantanamo Bay are disastrous ones.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Just as he promised, Obama lifted the ban for funding foreign abortions. The economy is not too in the red to fund eugenic procedures in Third-World countries, nor is it left wanting for nanny-state bailouts, drug and medical procedure discernment or freeing terrorists from the stone coop the last president put them in.
None of this matters, of course. The rock star president, as he is dubbed by a few wags, is cocooned by an adoring and apparently shameless mass of fools, press members and world leaders who need this particular useful idiot. Nothing is more important than Obama walking, Michelle’s upholstered designer’s dresses and the utterly ludicrous notion that the election of this “black” president will not only magically erase all wrongs but nothing at all will go wrong. Where do these notions come from? Is it a naivety willful or willing? How can an entire nation completely forget that this guy has no scruples or talent other than aggrandizing himself? Remember the speeches (lackluster in the opinions of some), the Lincoln train-ride, The Audacity of
Bullcrap Hope dedicated to the black Muslim father who walked out on him and his affluent caviar-communist white mother? How can no one see right through that?
No one elected a man of character or experience. They voted for a poster.
Posters don’t stay up for long.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
(Setting: there is a global meeting somewhere in Europe; a crowded room with foreign dignitaries, select news personnel and the new president who is now working his charms on some EU diplomats. A Fox news reporter tries to get the president's attention for a quick sound byte.)
Obama (to EU diplomats): I spoke to Ahmadinejad. He seems like a reasonable guy. I think he was pleased about my offer to fit his nuclear reactor with American technology.
Fox Reporter: Mr. President! Mr. President!
(Obama wearily turns to his attentions to the reporter)
Fox Reporter: Mr. President, if you please, a word. How does it feel to be the first African-American president?
Obama: (clears his throat) Well, you know, Marsha...
Fox Reporter: Jeanine.
Obama: Jeanine (sorry), I feel like the culmination of history.
Fox Reporter: (furrows brow) That doesn't make any sense.
Obama: It's as my great hero, Martin Luther King, once said: "I have a dream- a dream where Gotham City is free from corruption."
Fox Reporter: Wasn't that Batman?
Obama: (taking a swig of a drink) Maybe. I have a lot of heroes.
Fox Reporter: I see. Well- how do you feel your presidency will be viewed? Aren't you worried that political pundits will jump on your every move?
(Obama reaches for a bottle of water on a nearby table and opens the top. He pours the contents on the floor. Immediately, the entire CNN news team gets on their hands and knees and laps up the water. The Fox Reporter is stunned, staring at this agape. Obama doesn't bat an eyelid.)
Fox Reporter: O....kay.... Very well, Mr. President, enjoy the rest of the evening.
Obama: If the caterers are serving pie, I'm sure I will.
(Later on that evening, Obama is in the men's washroom, ready to relieve himself.)
Obama: Man, those martinis will go right through you! I should tell Michelle to lay off of them.
(Obama is interrupted by a camcorder-carrying fan. He tries to compose himself.)
Obama: Hey! What the hell?!
Camcorder Fan: Oh, wow! Obama is peeing excellence! (sigh) This is the best day of my life!
And that is how the next four years will go for President Obama. Not only will he prove charming and be able to get entire news agencies to ignore any deficiencies and irregularities, he'll also be afraid to go to the bathroom. His kidneys, as a result, may suffer. I've been called many things on this blog but never will it be said I don't worry about the man's kidneys!
As for the other end of the spectrum....
(A seasoned CBS news reporter sits down to interview Alaskan governor Sarah Palin)
CBS Reporter: Thank you for being with us, Governor.
Sarah Palin: Well, I'm just so darn glad to be here. Thanks for havin' me.
CBS Reporter: Governor Palin, let me be frank for a moment- do you really think you are qualified to run for the highest office of the land?
Sarah Palin: Gosh, that's a loaded question. I believe my experience as the governor of an energy-producing state and my willingness to work with others proves that I am ready for the task. If the American people have faith in me, then I'm willing to try.
CBS Reporter: (taken aback) Faith? As in religious faith? Could the American people have faith in someone who can't withstand kryptonite?
(The CBS Reporter dangles a piece of kryptonite on a chain in front of Sarah Palin, who flinches. The CBS Reporter puts it away.)
CBS Reporter: What if the Molemen attack us? What then?
(Sarah Palin incinerates the CBS Reporter with her heat vision. She rises from her seat.)
Sarah Palin: I must go. My planet needs me.
(Sarah Palin, sans cape, flies away.)
And that is how the next four years for the governor will go.
You might say: "There was no need for Sarah Palin to incinerate the reporter with her heat vision." But I ask you: wasn't it a merciful thing to do? I mean, when the CBS reporter wakes up in the morning, she's just a reporter. However, when Sarah Palin wakes up in the morning, she has the power of Krypton in her moose-wrestling arms. We should all be so lucky. And- quite frankly- she is more likely to take down General Zod than sell out the human race to slave away in zinc mines.
I think we know which side we should be on.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
None of this is surprising. North Korea has never given South Korea any reason to trust it, only to fear it. North Korea keeps its people frightened with illusions of South Korean and American invasion (as well as starved for food, medicine and information). North Korea also ratchets up the tension whenever it wants something and it may just get that from an admittedly pro-appeasement American president.
None of this would matter if South Koreans are happy having a separated Korea. Refugees from North Korea and senior citizens who remember a united Korea still hang on to the dream of being one country and giving human rights to the voiceless masses but reunification means for most South Koreans an economic downfall and mingling with a culture divorced from their own. If this is so, then the South Koreans should pull out of the six party talks, cut off aid and bulk up their military budget. The war is still not over.
One former North Korean agent believes that a kidnapped Japanese woman may still be alive in North Korea. These claims are not uncommon. If the Iron Curtain is ever lifted in North Korea, many kidnapped Japanese citizens may be found.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Here is an example of Ricardo Montalban putting Kirk in his place. Ahhh, sweet vengeance!
And Mr. McGoohan was never a number, though he played one on TV.
In my experience, Koreans proved to be loyal and friendly co-workers. The biggest beef was the lack of communication, which improved after foreign (anyone not from Korea) teachers complained. Korean co-workers were also the most helpful, even in non-work related matters. I rate that as awesome.
In the service department, the Koreans and Japanese are the best. They actually had people in department stores present just to bow to you. I've never found Americans or Quebecois in the service department rude. I have friends who declare that the British and Russian service departments are lacking in both manners and human warmth.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
These South Korean protesters demand the removal of US troops which have been stationed there since the "end" of the Korean War (please read this). South Koreans have enjoyed a love/hate relationship with Americans. The Americans are big and brash but bring in English-speaking skills (which- believe me- the South Koreans will pay handsomely for) money and, more importantly, security. The second the Americans leave and the overwhelming exodus of South Koreans to anywhere but the Korean peninsula comes to a chaotic and cacophonic crescendo, the Chinese and Russian-backed North Koreans will steamroll over. There will be a united Korea, just not the one many envisioned.
My advice- keep the Americans there. They bring Doritos and heavy tanks.
There is also word that new president Obama- whom North Korea (whoever is running it these days) is eager to deal with- will keep North Korea as a low priority. I suppose the incoming socialist has bigger fish to fry with public dollars.
Chinese parents of children poisoned by milk products reject the government's attempt to ward off an uprising. I find it funny that people living in a totalitarian regime think they can make their government accountable. Not the ill children, though. That's horrible.
Surprise, surprise. Sixty-one ex-detainees at Guantanamo have resumed terrorist activities. I guess someone owes Mr. Bush an apology.
In yet another surprise, Israeli troops find one huge gun at a mosque. Human life isn't sacred, promises aren't sacred and houses of worship aren't sacred. How is anyone to deal with someone who would hide a rather large weapon in a place where God supposedly is? If this had been a Catholic church and the IRA was hiding weapons, CNN would be all over it and we would hear how Catholics- in all their backward and demented fervour- are ruining the world.
Upset that Pope Benedict XVI's decision to include a prayer for conversion during Easter week Masses, Italian rabbis are pulling out of a celebration of Judaism. This is a mistake. Discussion cannot continue without the necessary parties. The olive branch has been extended by the Church to the "offended" parties. It would be wrong to refuse it over what may be to an outsider a "procedural matter". Furthermore, no external or internal party should re-define or change the Mass. I can live without Tridentine Masses or Latin (not that I have a problem with either, per se) but the language and the form of the Mass should stay the same and not be altered because of some trend or discomfort rooted in political correctness. There is no hatred or hostility, only a need to keep tradition.
Just my thoughts.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
And what a week it was!
Sid Ryan, Ontario CUPE president, has apologised for what he now calls an ill-worded analogy of
Israel, relentless in its mission not to eliminated by Hamas (whose mission it is to destroy Israel and all Jewry, sells humanitarian aid to its already poor droves of would-be suicide-bombers, faux-tography enthusiasts and producers of anti-Semitic children’s programming, hides amid civilians, bombs Israeli citizens and drives out Christians), still can’t get a break from the liberal media or unsympathetic countries whose populations border on the restive (don’t worry- neither can Sarah Palin whose great misfortune is that she isn’t a Kennedy or a Biden. Yay, hope and change!).
Speaking of CNN, celebrity doctor Sanjay Gupta has been offered the plum position of Surgeon-General. See what happens when your network is in the tank with a presidential candidate? It pays to kiss up.
The parents of five year-old Phoenix Sinclair want the public to pay for their appeal. Convicted last month of first-degree murder, the parents, Samantha Kematch and Karl McKay, expected to be charged and tried for a lesser charge, like manslaughter. To illustrate the likelihood of the couple getting an appeal, it is important to understand the nature of their crime. Phoenix Sinclair was beaten, neglected, forced to eat her own vomit, made to sleep in a cold basement often without clothes, emotionally abused and shot at with a BB gun. God willing, there will never be an appeal.