Saturday, 31 January 2015

USA funding settlements

The Israeli government has once again announced the building of housing units for Jewish settlers in the Occupied territories. And, the US government has once again responded with a statement, that “the move was deeply concerning”.  

The White House added, “We have deep concerns about these highly contentious settlement construction announcements… They will enflame already heightened tension with the Palestinians…”

Perhaps the White House should put a stop to some of the funding, if it wants to bring about an end to this illegal settlement of the Occupied Territories:
In straight military aid alone, the US funds Israel to the tune of 3.15 billion US dollars, per year. Other forms of aid come on top.

But if the USA continues to fund Israel, it should stop protesting.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Speculating with Cheese

Yesterday on Jermyn Street:

Paxton and Whitfield and the Swiss Franc

The Shepherd and his Rabbits

Another WOW: yesterday’s statement by Pope Francis that Good Roman Catholics do not need to breed like "rabbits"!/format/jpg/quality/85/

I don’t know what they put in the Pope’s drink on his visit to the Philippines.

Years ago, a Catholic friend from Montreal told me how their priests would visit families and demand an explanation, if a year had gone by without a new pregnancy. With one Papal remark, all those Catholics who followed their priests’ teaching and expectations to have large families must feel really dumb.  

Had anyone else come out with a statement “Catholics breed like rabbits”, the uproar would have been enormous. Charlie Hebdo would party. The Pope would have demanded more respect for his faith and his flock of…  His message would have been repeated from every pulpit.

PS: and if you wondered… contraceptives are still out. Tough.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Obama's Recipe

Obama has the solution, European governments should try to better assimilate their Muslim minority populations - he said, adding, “our Muslim populations feel themselves to be Americans and there is this incredible process of immigration and assimilation that is part of our tradition.” That must be the reason why his opponents have filled the Internet with suggestions that he was actually a Muslim. The underlying implication being that had he been open about it, he would not have been elected President.

He may not be a Muslim but he is also no great student of history. Unlike the USA, European countries do not consider themselves immigration countries. Those coming to the US, go there for the “American Dream”, they want to become Americans. In principle, at least, that is the deal on offer. European countries accept foreigners seeking asylum, or in certain cases seeking jobs. They generally do not seek to become “Europeans”, let alone French or German. That makes integration a much harder task. 

Joking at the Funeral

Netanyahu at the funeral of the Paris Jews killed last week: “..we have a state of our own, … one that spreads great light like a lighthouse of morality.”

Israel a moral lighthouse ?

Forget it Francis

A week after the archbishop of Paris came out in support of freedom of the press, whatever the price, Pope Francis spoke out to contradict him.

He spoke about the recent murders in Paris. That is, he chose to speak about the murders at Charlie Hebdo and not about the killing of Jews at the Kosher supermarket.

The Pope’s response reminds one of those who explain rapes by criticising the raped woman’s short skirt: “in freedom of expression there are limits. … One cannot provoke, one cannot insult other people’s faith, one cannot make fun of faith.” This is, of course, some Huzpeh, considering the track record of his organisation in insulting and degrading Jews over many centuries.

The Pope takes advantage of the attack on the caricaturists, to lobby for a special status for his group of power holders, all religions. FORGET IT FRANCIS. No entity that has power over others – be it political, economic or religious - should be immune. This is essential to prevent abuse of their power. They should and must be scrutinised, criticised, provoked, made fun of – anything that might question the power they have over us.

To explain his thinking, the Pope added, “If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal.” WOW. So now, the Catholic Church has formally adopted “an eye for an eye” theology and abandoned Jesus’ turn-the-other-cheek preaching in the Sermon on the Mount. This is some revolution. Congratulations!