Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yet another scintillating update

(The Last Supper by a painter called Leonardo of the Town of Vinci, Italy)

What am I doing spending time commenting on the public birthing drama involving a former Catholic now known as Placenta Man, and a former Catholic, but still winsome, Katie? I have no idea. I don't normally follow the comings and goings of diminutive actors who can't act, but I shall press on to the bitter end of this story, .... which I fully intend to be this posting.

It seems that former Catholic Katie had a silent birthing experience in conformity with the doctrinal precepts of the Church of Scientology to which the happy couple now belong. Thanks to The Online Sun, an impeccable media source for gossip about the dumb and famous (hat tip to Neale News), a silent birth is required by adherents of the church so that noise does not cause harm to the newborn later in life.
Cruise also ordered medical staff to stay silent, meaning the delivery nurses had to make hand signals to tell Katie when to push. The bizarre order was because Scientologists believe noise when a baby enters the world causes it suffering in later life.

There you have it. Never let it be said that this blogger does not print every silly piece of gossip that's fit to post. There is more. In my view, once you drop your standards on your blog and head down the path of tacky celebrity drivel you must see it through.

The Online Sun article states that Scientology is a, "wacky religion." This value judgment, along with the already cited use of the word "bizarre," so boldly put online, puts paid to the false rumours circulating that the mainstream media have no cojones when it comes to criticizing religious beliefs .... an ugly rumour which gained currency recently because of a misunderstanding over their refusal to publish certain political cartoons that suggested a certain religion of peace and tolerance was violent and intolerant.

Those of us in the know understand that the reluctance of the main stream media big guys to publish the cartoons was motivated by their sensitivity to the sensitivities of that peaceful religion and not at all because of the pucker factor engendered by the world wide riots, burnings, and murders that continue to this day.

Even peaceful and tolerant folks have their limits and portraying images of that peaceful and tolerant religion's founder with a bomb in his turban was naughty indeed and fully deserving of a severe rebuke. Accordingly, the priest murdered in Turkey, the churches burned in Nigeria and those Coptic Christian worshippers stabbed to death in three churches in Alexandra Egypt last weekend by peaceful and tolerant protesters were the unfortunate result of the clear provocation by Norwegian political cartoonists. There are limits.

But here, with The Online Sun article we have a leading online news source, bigger even than this humble blog whose readership is in the tens, daring to print criticism of a religion. This is daring stuff. How many Scientologists who, being born to ordinary Catholic parents with all the attendant moaning, groaning, grunting, screaming and yelling "Push! Push!" are now walking among us later in life as damaged ex-papist Scientologists? It hardly bears thinking about.

It is a given, and I do not deny it, that in our multicultural utopia undamaged Scientologists are at least as peaceful and tolerant as that other religion of peace and tolerance that is so worked up over the insult inherent in cartoon bombs in cartoon turbans and cartoon Piglets and china piggy banks. It would be offensive to Scientologists to suggest otherwise and I don't want to make any Scientologist feel unsafe in this place by suggesting others are unsafe because of them. Are you still with me? This northern utopia has rules and making someone feel unsafe in your space is a grave violation of the prime directive. I completely support safe places and huggable feelings. That is why I am never critical of anyone on my blog.

But still, I worry about the damaged Catholic apostates, who are now Scientology converts, who have yet to undergo sufficient auditing by Scientology clerics to erase the damaging effects of noisy Catholic deliveries. Are these people under control? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Mind you, if Placenta Man and Katie read the article from The Online Sun and take to the streets burning coffee houses and Birkenstock sandal factories and killing journalists from CNN, I will not blame Scientology, which as I have already stated is as peaceful and tolerant as that other religion mentioned above. I will blame the Vatican.

The Da Vinci decoder ring I got in my cereal box this morning has set me straight about who is really responsible for all the religious violence we see in the streets. Who knew? Dan Brown, that's who. Now that it has been revealed, I'll hold Opus Dei responsible if Scientology riots rocks the globe. It's that Catholic birthing noise plot. With my decoder ring I was able to discern that the third figure from the left on Leonardo's Last Supper is not an apostle, but a Roman pediatrician by the name of Umbilicus. He was an early Vatican plotter with evil Simon Peter the first Catholic pope. Once you understand the code you can see that Umbilicus is a pediatrician from the way he is holding his hands up to catch a baby.

Oh yes, one more thing while we are writing of doctors. Katie it seems had an epidural in a hospital. We know Placenta Man is strongly opposed to prescription drugs. Evil they are. And he spent thousands renovating the mansion in readiness for the silent birth. But he must have realized that Katie only recently got out of that Vatican cult thing. While she is familiar with the Virgin Birth she is new to the idea of the silent birth, so theological flexibility was needed for now. And epidurals do help with that pain thing which often frustrates the silent birth thing.

I've seen epidurals work in the delivery room. One minute her face is contorted with agony and the next thing you know she is singing arias, tossing back single malt scotch and channel surfing the soaps. I wouldn't lie about this. I turned over all my notes and recordings from my delivery room Lamaze coaching experience to a direct descendent of Jesus and Mary Magdalene who would confirm it to The Online Sun were it not for his damnable involvement in those secret Vatican noisy birthing intrigues. So that won't happen. After all, former Vice President Al Gore is a man of great discretion.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Placenta Gourmet

(The actor as a young dork)

Tom Cruise strikes me as being a cocky, arrogant dork but the Great Himself has surpassed himself this time. According to the Daily Mail he is planning on eating the placenta that is expelled after Katie gives birth to their baby. I'm not making that up. I'm mad, not nuts. Tom Cruise, on the other hand, is nuts.

The actor, 43, said: 'I thought that would be good. Very nutritious.'

Now I have been present at the birth of both of my sons and I cut their umbilical cords and I know the drill. I am a fully trained coach in the time-honoured Lamaze tradition. My job was to yell "Stroke! Stroke!" as Lady Mad lay there contracting. .... No, that's not it. I yelled "breathe! breathe!" or something. Stroke was what I yelled when I was coxswain for a short time of my university's freshman rowing eight back in 1972. (It get harder and harder to keep this straight I tell you).

Now any Lamaze-trained breathing coach guy knows a few things about the child bearing process. For instance, the Lamaze training manual says that when one's wife/partner/darling/ love/mistress/strangerwithwhomonehappenstobehavingachild says she needs gas, one is supposed to talk her through the next few sets of contractions smothering her with encouraging phrases like, "You go girl!" and "Do the next set for the Gipper!"

Real guys know better. We know at that moment when she demands gas with that crazed glassy eyed stare that can melt steel and power a nuclear powered aircraft carrier, that the drill is to dump the Lamaze training manual in the wastebasket while muttering, "Yes dear. Right away my love" .... and then run like hell down the hallway hollering "Gas! Gas! For the love of God get gas in room 201 now!" That's what real men do.

What we do not do, what we would never consider in our most drunken state at a rowing team hazing, is consider the nourishing aspects of baby placentas. It does not enter a sane man's brain. And if it did enter our admittedly thick skulls, as extraordinary a hypothetical stretch as this is, no real man would talk about it on television to a national reporter in terms of being a feasible snack. Not now. Not ever.

Yup. Tom Cruise is an cocky, arrogant, dorky stupido.

And what's this about silent birthings? Sheesh ............ Nuts I tell you ......


Katie and the Culinary Dork are happy parents of a bouncing baby girl. Apparently, the placenta was not consumed by the Great Himself, nutritious though it may have been. It is rumoured that the only haute cuisine chef willing to undertake the cooking, wanted to boil it and serve it in buns with ketchup, and lord knows you lose most of the vitamins that way .... and the suger in the ketchup ..... Everyone knows placenta is best when broiled on a BBQ with the liberal use of a white wine basting. Can't blame Tom for taking a pass at the last moment.

No report on whether the birth was a silent affair, entirely respectful of the mother, mind you.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Priest arrested and expelled from Saudi Arabia

April 10, 2006

Riyadh (AsiaNews) - (Hat tip to the Curt Jester) A Catholic Indian priest was yesterday forced to leave Saudi Arabia. He was discovered by the religious police as he organized a prayer meeting in the lead-up to Easter. Arrested on 5 April, he remained in police custody for four days and on Saturday 8th April he left for India. The practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Meetings held privately in people's homes, among friends, are also banned.

The priest, Fr George Joshua, belongs to the Malankara rite of Kerala (India). His visit to Catholic Indians in the Saudi Kingdom was planned with his bishop's permission.

On 5 April, Fr George had just celebrated mass in a private house when seven religious policemen (muttawa) broke into the house together with two ordinary policemen. The police arrested the priest and another person.

The Saudi religious police are well known for their ruthlessness; they often torture believers of other religions who are arrested.

AsiaNews sources said there were around 400,000 Indian Catholics in Saudi Arabia who were denied pastoral care. Catholic foreigners in the country number at least one million: none of them can participate in mass while they are in Saudi Arabia. Catechism for their children - nearly 100,000 - is banned.

Often, for feasts like Easter and Christmas, Catholics plan holidays in the Emirates, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, where at least for once, they are free to attend mass.

From the mouth of a scamp

So Master Brendan age 7, smelled something on his way down the stairs to the recreation room at Castle Mad.

"Eeeuuuuwwww, what's that," he said. "Something smells. Is Mum baking something again?"

Fortunately for him Lady Mad, who does not often bake, thought that comment hilarious. Young Brendan lives to fight his brother another day.

I hasten to add that the brownies are delicious.

Friday, April 07, 2006

They just can't leave Holy Week be

"Altarpiece of the Lamentation"
CLEVE, Joos van
(b. 1485, Antwerpen, d. 1540, Antwerpen)

Holy Week is upon us and so it is the time for editors of the mainstream media to seek out a good story that undermines traditional orthodox Christianity. In some years we get updates on the Jesus Seminar showing yet again how little of the Gospel stories are scientifically accurate and how much the biblical gospel writers embellished the truth. (a little projection here folks?)

In other years they publish stories about stories, like Dan Brown's bestseller the Da Vinci Code, which purports to be a thriller based upon Church history. Jesus did not die on the cross, married Mary Magdalen, had a passel of kids, and by the way the Vatican has been murdering and covering up the real story for two bloody millennia. Thank God that the truth is finally revealed.

This year we have the gospel of Judas to entertain the flock. I suppose it will supplant the Da Vinci Code stories, to a point. In case you haven't heard, the gospel of Judas (apparently authentic) is an ancient gospel discovered in the 1970s and recently translated. National Geographic has a story on it. My quotes below are from the New York Times.

I read the gospel yesterday. In my view, the language, the theology, and the spirit of the text is not compatible with the four gospels of the Bible. For instance, Judas is viewed in this text as liberating Jesus from his flesh in order to allow his (Jesus')true (divine) spirit to emerge. We Catholics and Orthodox Christians have insisted from the beginning that Christ was true God and true man. No wonder Irenaeus, the bishop of Lyons, condemned this gospel in 180 AD.

I find Professor Karen King's comments in the New York Times article interesting.

"You can see how early Christians could say, if Jesus' death was all part of God's plan, then Judas's betrayal was part of God's plan," said Ms. King, the author of several books on the Gospel of Mary. "So what does that make Judas? Is he the betrayer, or the facilitator of salvation, the guy who makes the crucifixion possible?"

Here you can see the nexus between liberal Christian theology and contemporary secular liberal death cultists, i.e., if everything is part of God's plan, and God does nothing evil, then evil does not exist.

The Church says something quite different. We are all responsible for the crucifixion, not through our virtue, but because of our sin. The good is with God, not with Judas, or with us.

"Elaine Pagels, a professor of religion at Princeton who specializes in studies of the Gnostics, said in a statement, "These discoveries are exploding the myth of a monolithic religion, and demonstrating how diverse - and fascinating - the early Christian movement really was."

Myth of a monolithic religion??? This is rubbish of the first order. Anyone who has taken an introductory course in the history of the Church will know ancient Christianity was rent by multiple and continual struggles between orthodoxy and heterodoxy. The great councils of the Church were called to address these struggles and settle doctrinal disputes.

I think she puts forward a spurious monolithic myth in order to undermine Catholic assertions of doctrinal continuity. Of course there were different views in the days of the early Church. There was also a magisterial authority (the Apostles and their successors the bishops) to sort it out and the Judas gospel got sorted out the door.

Judas as the hero, the "facilitator of salvation." What a monstrous concept. By this inverted logic Hitler should be seen as the admired facilitator of modern German democracy.

I note the same sort of liberal Christians who look approvingly upon this obviously Gnostic (It is not Christian) text mock the Catholic Marian doctrines. A diversity of views is good apparently, unless it threatens to embrace the rosary. Did I say rosary? How embarrassing. Good thing this blog isn't a dinner party. Everyone would be aghast then.

Me? If I'm looking for a facilitator of my salvation, I'll avoid Mr. Iscariot and the latter day Gnostics and stick with the Mother of God. She's much better connected to that Jesus fellow. Christ may not be a facilitator, but he is a merciful judge and Saviour and his mother has a much better record than Judas Iscariot. Despite the lyrics of the M.A.S.H. theme song, suicide is not necessarily painless.

Before you judge my scribbling as complete gibberish, read the Gospel of John and then the gospel of Judas. The gospel that is truly gibberish becomes quite apparent. But modern Gnostics are no doubt partying. Just remember the salient point. However interesting the manuscript, and it is that, Gnostics are Gnostics and Christians they ain't.

Dominus vobiscum.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The fly in the fishing

(very sensitive photo of a fly fisherMAN intended to avoid unpleasant riots, church ransackings, car burnings and murders of priests. One cannot be too sensitive these days.)

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a policy wonk for an unnamed provincial government. As a matter of personal survival, ..... er, policy ...... I stay away from that very fertile ground of blogging madness. It is not for lack of courage, I assure you, but my children must eat.

Not to fear. Other governments supply me with an endless fodder for JtM. From the United Kingdom (courtesy of Political Correctness Watch), we read the following:

It is Britain's most popular participation sport and crosses the class divide. The four million people who enjoy a quiet afternoon on the river bank are, according to the Government, too white, too male and too middle-aged. The Environment Agency, which protects waterways, has decided to spread the message about coarse and fly fishing to ethnic minorities and women. The agency's 10-year campaign will use money from the 19 million pounds raised each year by the sale of fishing licences, and a leaflet has already been produced covering "10 things you should know about angling". These include: "Angling does not discriminate against gender, race, age or athletic ability", and the "Government is interested in angling in the context of social inclusion in deprived urban areas.?
It is hard to top that story for monumental policy wackiness. I can visualize my counterparts in the UK writing the briefing materials for Cabinet and coming up with those (bolded) communications messages. I can surmise it happened after a four beer lunch (something this PW would never ever do, as he is much too responsible and loyal to Her Majesty's unknown government here in the Dominion).

Perhaps I am wrong. Perhaps it was a British Cabinet minister who drank the beer and came up with the line (hiccup) in the presence of his astonished ministry staff during a pre-Cabinet meeting briefing. Perhaps the policy wonks merely scribbled the "communications messaging" down in order to capture it in all its pristine weirdness and replicate it in their Cabinet submission. Policy wonks are good scribblers and can be a tad slavish in their devotion to ministerial utterances, even when uttered by the drunk or the insane.

At least British wonks are. I couldn't possibly comment on a certain unknown wonk in an unknown government, though it is said that he only scribbles the sane utterances of his betters. He believes that the first principle of philosophy is that something cannot be and not be at the same time. Which is one reason why he may never rise to command others; a situation which is no doubt a small mercy to others. But I digress.

In the Swansea pilot scheme, Muslim women and children are taken by coach to a lake and learn to fish for trout. The project is run by Nica Prichard, 68, the international president of the Ladies Flyfishing Association. She said: "A couple of hours out in the countryside and you come back a new woman. If you could just see their faces when we're teaching them, you'd know we're really on to something."

Women's faces? If you can see their faces, Bin Laden and the mullahs must be really pissed. What kind of Muslim woman goes fly fishing without her Burkha? Are there no mullahs worth a damn in Swansea? Are they all scouring Afghanistan looking for Abdul Rahman to cut off his head because he converted to Catholicism? Before you accuse me of bigotry here, please note that it is mullahs that are demanding Mr. Rahman's head be severed from his body, not me. I think Catholic bodies should be left connected to their respective Catholic brain stems, but as a strict professional matter, I admit to a conflict of interest on the issue.

Or are the mullahs in Swansea in a pub drinking beer with that unnamed British cabinet minister? Did my English confreres not advise the right honourable minister that this faces thing could be an unintended and most unfortunate outcome of the initiative? Did he ignore the advice? Lots of time they do. I bet he did here. Drink does that to a man.

Faces! On Muslim women! Yea gods and little fishes. It is a truism in government that scandals arise because insufficient policy work is done in the planning stages. That is why policy wonks are indispensable and why we need more of them and why they need to be paid more so we don't lose the ones we already have. I can produce studies by consultants to prove this contention, given a big enough project budget and time to massage the results. I can I tell you.

Another thing. As a policy wonk, I think it is obvious that the Swansea mullahs need government funded remedial training to learn how to properly treat their women. If you allow those women to participate in government teaching fly fishing in hip waders, they may next demand the right to quaff ale in the pubs in the company of tipsy mullahs and British politicians about to attend meetings of Cabinet. Next thing you know they are attending Cabinet meetings.

It happened to Anglican women in Britain and the next thing we knew Maggie Thatcher was going to war against Argentina. That will never do. Islam is a religion of peace and must be kept so. Withdraw the hip waders and reissue the burkhas. World peace depends on it.

It starts as a trickle of beer in a pub and ends in a trout stream in Swansea. In policy, as in law, the devil is in the details.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Our Existential Peril

Sobieski at the Seige of Vienna, by Juliusz Kossak

We are at an existential crossroads here in the West and, as every traveler must do at such junctures, we have choices to make. That is a fancy way of saying that what we have at stake in our choosing is no less than our cultural, political and spiritual existence as a people. Our first choice, as individuals and as a society, must be whether or not we want to continue to exist as a people rooted in Judeo-Christian economic, political and religious freedoms, accept an alien religion as our creed, or live in subservience as Dhimmis under Sharia Law.

The choice is that stark, I'm afraid, and there are no pain free answers to the question. Nor can we duck the question. Any refusal on our part to make decisions will simply mean those who are demanding our submission will determine our fate. Accordingly, we must choose, and decide well, for our time of happy indolence is over as the ground shifts beneath our feet.

The threat to us is threefold in nature. First, as we can discern from events around the globe, Islam our old relentless enemy has emerged from the defeats induced by our overwhelming military, political and economic might during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It was not always so, for during the previous thousand years Islam tended to be the victorious expansionist power and Christianity the colonized and threatened.

After centuries of conquest, forced conversion and repression, the old Orthodox Christian lands of the Mediterranean are now Muslim and the Christian remnant is lying low or fleeing from Muslim persecution. Abdul Raham, threatened with death in Afghanistan for the crime of converting to Christianity, is now living in Italy to escape the wrath of so-called moderate mullahs.

In a very real sense Mohammed's followers are again as they were in 1529 and 1683 moving on Vienna, but this time they are within the gates as well as without. Modern large-scale Muslim immigration into Europe since World War II has changed the old strategic dynamic and the change is not to the advantage of Europeans.

The second threat, more serious because it disarms us as we engage the first, is of our own making. Western society has become nihilistic, self-loathing, hedonistic, narcissistic, and utilitarian in its actions and view of human life. The acceptance and advocacy of euthanasia, abortion, and infanticide; the decline of the family; the destruction of marriage and the resulting plummeting in the birth rate may well result in the ceding of Europe to Islam before any defence can be properly mustered.

The latter point is very relevant. As in the thirteenth century, the capacity of the West to withstand the Islamic threat is today compromised by internal divisions. In 1204 invading Catholic crusader armies from Latin Europe sacked Constantinople. These crusader depredations weakened the Eastern Empire leading to the eventual defeat of Byzantium by Sultan Mehmed II (known as The Conqueror) two hundred years later. The lands of Orthodox Christianity are now Islamic lands and the great Cathedral of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, known as the Hagia Sophia, became a mosque. Repressive Muslim zealots are even now driving the tiny remnants of this once great Christian culture from the lands of their birth.

Today, many in the West reject Christianity because they see it as the enemy of personal freedom. It is not. It is the enemy of their personal licenciousness. Their growing effort to remove Christianity from the public square, in order to clear the ground for the pursuit of untrammelled hedonism is weakening this society at a time when it needs to be united. Our post-Christian latte sipping compatriots have no idea what awaits them should the Islamists triumph.

To be continued ...