Archive for March, 2008

Musing #28

March 20th, 2008

Sometimes in order to be a friend, you have to be a punchbag.

It’s a fine line…

March 20th, 2008

With apologies to Jessica Hagy. I hope she hasn’t covered this one already.

Gang rips off English tourist’s finger

March 19th, 2008

I just cannot understand the mentality behind this.

Gang rips off English tourist’s finger

Dear God…

March 18th, 2008

People tell me You are infinite, that You are all things.

Is that true?

I mean, are You really all things?

If so, does that mean You are Satan as well as being You?

That’s assuming there is a Satan.

Just asking.

Musing #27

March 16th, 2008

What delivers baby storks?

30 Years Old

March 13th, 2008

Happy Birthday, Space Invaders!

Musing #26

March 12th, 2008

It’s not up to me to get your message.

It’s up to you to get your message across.

Seven new mortal sins

March 11th, 2008

It seems the Vatican has announced seven new mortal sins. That means seven sins for which you will be sent to hell for all eternity. Here they are, as reported by the BBC:

Environmental pollution
So if I fart, I go to hell?

Genetic manipulation
That’s all you pedigree rose breeders out there set for eternal damnation, not to mention Father Gregor Mendel.

Accumulating excessive wealth
Excessive by whose standards? Does that mean Bill Gates is damned even though he has given billions to good causes? What if you’re a member of an organisation that accumulates excessive wealth, like, I don’t know… a large religious organisation?

Inflicting poverty
Well, that’s most non Third World countries screwed in one fell swoop.

Drug trafficking and consumption
Like, wine, for example. Bit of an oversight on the Vatican’s part, I feel.

Morally debatable experiments
If they are debatable, how can they be punishable by an eternity in hell?

Violation of fundamental rights of human nature
Is it a fundamental human right not to spend an eternity in hell as punishment for God-given human faults?

Jessica Hagy has it Indexed.

Tele-overtime

March 11th, 2008

I telecommute.

On the face of it, it’s brilliant.

My office is beside my bedroom. I don’t have to wait for buses or trains or sit in traffic as I try to get to work.

I can take breaks as and when I want and, commitments notwithstanding, I can take a day off whenever I want.

You’d think the main problem would be not getting much work done because I can skive off at any time, but the opposite is true.

Not being in an office, I lack the normal cues to take a break.

I don’t have to walk to the other side of the office to ask someone a question. I simply ping them on IM or call them, so I get fewer breaks from sitting.

No one comes up to me to chat about the weather, which can be distracting but is just as often a chance to get a mental break.

No one asks if I’m ready to go to lunch, with the result that I often don’t and when I do, it’s usually just 15 to 30 minutes.

I don’t see the office emptying at around 5.30, with the result that I’m usually still at my desk at 7.30 or later.

And although I can take those breaks whenever I want, it’s more often the case that I think of something work-related in the evening or at the weekend and just pop in to the office to fire off an e-mail or make an adjustment to some document or other.

I think a new paradiggum is needed (yes, that is how I choose to pronounce it).

On the plus side, I do get to work with my cat sitting on my lap.

People in glass houses… Part III

March 8th, 2008

Wychwood has responded to People in glass houses… Part II, saying that Israel does not oppress Palestinians but that it simply defends itself against terrorist attacks.

That Palestinian terrorists attack Israel is in no doubt. That Palestinian terrorists kill innocent
Israeli civilians is in no doubt. That Israel has a security problem is in no doubt.

But most Israelis don’t seem willing to ask why. Perhaps they just can’t bear to look into that particular mirror .

Is it appalling that Hamas and Hezbollah should fire rockets into Israel or send gunmen to mow down students? Absolutely.

Is it just as appalling that Israel should respond by bombing civilian populations? Absolutely.

“I repeat my condemnation of the rocket attacks by Palestinian militants against Israeli civilian targets, as well as of the Israel Defence Forces’ disproportionate use of force.”
Louise Arbour, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

How many dead Israeli children will it take to make Hamas and Hezbollah happy?

How many dead Palestinian children will it take to make Israel feel safe? Can it pile those innocent bodies up and make a new security wall?

Wychwood, I know you are an intelligent and caring person, so here are some intellectual challenges for you…

Giving land back to its ancestral owners
How would you feel if the Australian government decided to compensate Australian Aboriginals for previous abuses and land theft, by handing your area over to them as a new Aboriginal State, kicking you out of your home, making you live in poverty, forcing you to queue for hours on end just to get to work and having you constantly at the mercy of Aboriginal troops? How would you feel if Aboriginals bulldozed your home and forced you to live in a shack for which they wouldn’t even give you planning permission? How would you feel if you had a farm and the Aboriginals built a wall between your farm house and your farm land and then built homes for Aboriginals on your farm land?

Don’t dismiss this comparison out of hand. It is an accurate one. Really look at it and ask how you would feel, because your arguments must hold true in both situations.

Israel does not oppress Palestinians
If you really believe this, then you will not be afraid, as an intellectual exercise, to explore the possibility that Israel is an oppressive state. If you are afraid to explore even the possibility, then it seems to me that your belief is not heart-felt, however fervent it may be.

Forget that Israel is involved for a few moments. Read the following and imagine that Switzerland is the state in question. Then ask yourself again whether this is not oppression.

Gaza conditions ‘at 40-year low’

What is the West Bank barrier?

West Bank settlements ‘expanding’

End ‘Illegal Occupation’

West Bank building ‘bias’ condemned

Palestine’s economy ‘impossible to fix’

The views of some Jews and Israelis:

Peace Now

Jews for Justice for Palestinians

Some people from both sides who also feel mutual “rock throwing” has to stop:

June 26, 2006 World Peace Forum Webcast

Despite his grief, a Palestinian calls for peace

Combatants for Peace

And…

The United Nations potted history of the “Palestinian Problem”

By the way, the rock throwing image in my original post was an analogy for violence in general, rather than a specific reference to actual rocks.

Final thought
When peace came to Northern Ireland recently, neither side wanted to be seen to have lost. Indeed, many wanted to be seen to have won. A few years down the road and that doesn’t seem to be such an issue any more. Why? Because both sides finally realise that by stopping the violence, everyone wins.

“I don’t think that the present agreement has to do with the personalities of the leaders. I think it’s to do with the fact that this is the only way we can go. And if we don’t go this way others will take it out of our hands and they’ll go whatever way they want.”
Rev. Ian Paisley on peace in Northern Ireland

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