Saturday, October 29, 2005

Catholic Smackdown on the Christian Fundies?

It's not every day you'll see me championing an opinion from within the Roman Catholic church, but credit where credit is due, eh? This is from Cox News service:
Leaders of the Roman Catholic Church have published a teaching document that insists to worshippers that the Bible falls short in historical accuracy.

"We should not expect to find in Scripture full scientific accuracy or complete historical precision," the Catholic bishops of England, Wales, and Scotland say in the recently released "The Gift of Scripture."

...The bishops pointed out that in general, biblical material often went through long periods of oral tradition before reaching written form.

Even in Revelations, the final book in the New Testament, the bishops assert that many passages related to the end of the world are symbolic in nature and should not be interpreted literally.

"We should not expect to discover in this book details about the end of the world, about how many will be saved, and about when the end will come," the bishops say.

..."The underlying message is accurate, but people have to realize the writing is in human form and that it had to be in human form so that God can communicate his word to us," he said.

"There are different ways of presenting truth, and not everything should be taken as scientific," he said.

Lord almighty! Sounds like a pointed challenge to the creeping popularity of so-called "Intelligent Design" as some sort of science.

- 30 -

Did someone say "wiped off the map"?

Well, at least it looks like the Iranian Foreign Ministry is trying to soften the blow after their President's call for Isreal's er, non-existence.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is committed to its U.N. charter commitments. It has never used force against a second country or threatened the use of force," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday...

While not specifically refuting the president, the Foreign Ministry said Tehran had no intention of launching an assault on the Jewish state and would back whatever course the Palestinians chose to resolve the Middle East conflict.

Perhaps it was determined that President Ahmadinejad’s original remarks were ill-considered, given how forcefully they undermine the Iranian position on their nuclear ambitions - that they are only for peaceful purposes. After all, it seems to defy logic that raising the tension in the region - so incredibly volatile right now - could work in Iran’s favour.

We have to wonder what Iran is after, and where they’re going with this super-heated rhetoric and subsequent step back. Does this point to divisions within the government between hawks and doves? Are there some who see this as a chance to make a big move, geo-politically? Blair’s alarm is not entirely out of place. But he’s in a difficult position because he has blown his country’s moral capital with the Iraqi fiasco, and he’s got an historical stake in Israel - an ally the UK cannot abandon.

How else is the rest of the world supposed to take this, but seriously? May cooler heads prevail on all sides.

- 30 -

Update [Oct. 30, 4:00 p.m.]: Peter Beaumont from the Observer provides some excellent analysis on the matter. Check it out.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Original Song #7

My first-cousin, Sandra Langworth, would've been 42 today. She and her three younger sisters all died in a house fire a couple of days after Xmas, 1971. I was two and a half at the time. I grew up wondering what their lives might've been like if they'd had a chance to experience growing up themselves. Sandra, this is your song.


Sandra knows
What it’s like to be too tall
The girls all want you to fall
The boys never seem to call

Sandra sees
Better than you or me
She’s got a gift for make believe
And a dozen unrealized dreams

Daddy’s playing with the radio knob
Curses at the forecast of an early frost
Mummy’s cleaning up the kitchen herself
Guess it’s up to me to put the young ones to bed

Sandra sees
Mummy never gets any meat
Now Sandra always leaves half her piece
Even when she’s still hungry

Sandra dreams
Of going places she won't know
Like the coast of Mexico
Where the snakes all tickle her toes

And Daddy’s rolling more cigarettes
Smokes four in the time it takes him just to roll the rest
Mummy’s feeding all the calves herself
Guess it’s up to me to help milk the cows again

Sandra’s mad
She didn’t want to be this tall
It doesn’t mean she can keep her head
Above it all

Sandra reads
Any damn thing she can
If it’s a tragedy that’s fine
But when it’s sad she don’t cry
She won’t cry

- 30 -

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Original Song #6


Walking at a nerve-bit pace
Hands in pockets; hard-tack face
Moving with purpose
But no destination in mind

Do you believe
There’s nothing in which to believe
Go to bed with no idea
What to do should you wake up

You were born with two good ears
Born with two good eyes
Born scanning the delivery room
For someplace you could hide

Saw you sitting there at the bar
Drinking fast and smoking hard
In the only element
That you’ve ever called your own

Just another damning indictment
Should’ve seen it coming
Go to bed with no idea
What to do should you wake up

Should I die before I wake
I pray the lord my soul to
Not take down

You were born with two good ears
Born with two good eyes
Born scanning the delivery room
For someplace you could hide

Stickman sitting on a branch
Scared to let the world see you

- 30 -

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Twelve Days of Fitzmas

Over at Daily Kos, they're getting downright loopy with excitement at the prospect of indictments coming down this week in the Department of Justice investigation into the leaking of CIA spook Valerie Plame's once classified identity.

Even the usually-staid Billmon is getting all a-tremble at all the excitement.

Those cheeky bloggers! Now they're calling it "Fitzmas" (after lead prosecuter Patrick Fitzgerald). This diary by georgia 10 is a must-read salve for all scandal junkies finding themselves at nerves' end.

And as with so many good things, it has inspired me to write a little song:

Twelve Days of Fitzmas

On the twelfth day of Fitzmas, my blogroll gave to me...

Twelve Frogs-a-Marching
Eleven Editors Fighting
Ten Novaks Gnashing
Nine Scooters Scooting
Eight Roves a-Ralphing
Seven Millers Fainting
Six Bushes Freaking
Five Golden Shackles
Four Singing Patsies
Three Pink Slips
Two Turncoats, and
Darth Cheney in the clink

- 30 -

Early Hallowe'en (too scary for children)

News item: Condi to visit Canada next week

This is terrible. I don't want her here. Ewwww.

Ewwwwwwww. Ick.

I can just hear Count Floyd now, howling at the thought of her entourage of blood-sucking monkeys in 3-D Smell-O-Rama. Aaa-Ooooooo...!

And there was a great shudder throughout the land.

What great providence might surface to spare us this greivous injury? Remember, the last time she was supposed to visit, Martin had recently found his backbone and told Bushco we won't be throwing our good money after their bad with their Missile Defence Shield fiasco.

As a bonus, Rice postponed her planned trip. (I will not speculate on which of the two factors was more at play in sending Martin's approval ratings up.)

Then last month, Hurricane Katrina spared us the blight of a planned visit from Vice-President Darth Cheney, for whom assessing the Alberta tar-sands became a photo-op he had to pass on in order to look like he was doing something for once.

So I'm wondering if some good fortune might fall upon us to thwart this calamity. Time is short however. Human intervention may be necessary this time. Time for us all to put on our Thinking Caps. Hmmm... What could we do to ensure Condi finds some half-baked excuse to weasel out of it this time?

I know! Let's see if Lloyd Axworthy would like to greet her off the plane.

- 30 -

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sand to Blood

"The Americans must leave Iraq and they will leave Iraq, but they can't leave Iraq and that is the equation that turns sand to blood... The reality now in Iraq is the project is finished. Most of Iraq, except Kurdistan, is in a state of anarchy."
--Robert Fisk, Middle East correspondent for the Independant, speaking at a debate this week in London.

No mincing of words there. With all the evidently fizzling hype about an eleventh-hour deal to bring the Sunni leadership onside with the constitution, you almost wouldn't know there is a war still going on. Once in a while, I wander over to sites like Baghdad Burning and Empire Notes to see other perspectives than what the Western media has to offer. I usually go away wondering if the U.S. and Britain will ever regain any moral authority in the world for this criminal endeavour.

Apart from feeling smug about my own country's fateful decision to spurn the Bush administration by not joining the coalition, I can't help but sit back and wonder where it's going from here; and whether Turkey, Iran, Syria and other neighbours will eventually be pulled into a regional war.

What could that mean for the world? If the mid-east oil spigot is turned off for any length of time due to instability, then it becomes a world-wide supply problem that could conceivably spiral into... well, let's just say, uncharted waters for the international economy.

The fact the head of the Arab League went ahead and used the term civil war in the same sentence with Iraq tells you they're as good as there now. (Just see how many hits you get on Google news using the word combination Iraq civil war.)

Iraq, the United States and the Middle East are looking over a very steep cliff. And even if Canada and most of Europe is looking the other way, we stand to lose a great deal if the others cannot somehow turn back.

- 30 -

Friday, October 07, 2005

Original Song #5

I don't usually like to post songs back-to-back, but after reading Timmy the G's post about an 11 year-old Winnipeg girl's suicide, I just feel like singing this one at the top of my lungs so I thought I'd share.


At the Metro entrance stood a tall, trim man
Tailored dark suit and an outstretched hand
Handing out papers saying: “Jesus Loves You”
His smile shone brighter than his polished shoes
I took a long, hard look in his eye
Looking for the man inside
I couldn’t find the man beyond the sheen
Like a person replaced with a dogma machine

I guess I needed somebody to remind me
I’m one of the fortunate ones
And I guess that lately I’ve been fussing and
I’ve been sulking too much
And I’ve got to remind myself
No matter how much the world seems unjust
To keep my feet planted on the Metro platform

We only see each other every once in a while
Every day without you is another trial
I don’t believe in organised religion
But every time I hear your voice I get this vision
I think about moments we shared together
I’m hoping more will come if I don’t surrender to doubt
Help me out, help me out

Am I on the mend again?
Don’t need to feel this pain
I’ve got you coursing through my veins
Stay the course now; don’t leave me feeling drained

- 30 -

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Original Song #4

Back Nine

The game of life
It’s a game of golf
I want to play but
I’ve got no balls, you’ve got your
Golf Shoes and your
Golf Shirt and your
Golf Cart and your
Other Golf Perks
Too bad you play it like it’s work

You’ve been playing for half a lifetime
Getting more frustrated over every drive
Now you're pushing thirty-five
Better luck
On your back nine

Well you get a caddie and you
Pay him ten bucks, and you
Treat him like shit, and you
Buy him two hot dogs
You curse and yell when you miss your shots
And you blame it on him
Cause that’s all that you’ve got
Is that what got you this far?

You’ve been playing for half a lifetime
Getting more frustrated over every drive
Now you're pushing forty-five
Better luck
On your back nine

- 30 -

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Dumb move by PMO

Can someone from the PMO please explain why a CBCUnlocked reporter was barred from attending a press conference held by Paul Martin last week? That stinks. I can't imagine what they were thinking. It seems to me that enlightened self-interest would dictate being congenial. If the government wants to be seen as an honest broker in its self-imposed role as a mediator between the Guild and the CBC, they should apologize and see to it that such pettiness is stopped immediately. I wonder how other Guild members are reacting to this insult to one of their own?