The Conversion

This story is one I heard at the University of Kansas. It was in a Medieval History class I was enrolled in (being as I was bound and determined to be a History teacher). This class was taught by the best history professor I have ever had, and I’m sorry to say, I don’t recall his name after all these years.

He would start out every class with a Medieval Joke or a story. And as best as I can, I will attempt retell one of my favorites.

There were a couple of merchants who were friends, one a Catholic the other a Jew, and they were in constant discussions as to the superior nature of each their chosen religion. At the time around the 13th century Catholicism was on the rise and there was a consistent stream of conversions and the Jewish merchant was always amazed. The two friends were each attempting to convert the other and neither succeeding. On one occasion the Jewish man who was intending a trip to Rome for business, told his Catholic friend in a bit of an amusing way that if what he found in Rome could convince him of the superior Catholic church, he would convert. Upon hearing this the Catholic man was fraught with fear as the Rome of that period was as corrupt as could be, with Bishops, Cardinals and Priests selling dispensation, granting favors and indulgences. While themselves participating it drunken debauchery and whoring. A generally poor example of the nature of the Catholic church. But knowing this the Catholic merchant did not illustrate this for his friend, hoping that such things might not be observed during his trip. So the Jewish merchant made his trip, and upon his return came to his friend and confessed that he would convert to the Catholic Religion. And his friend was perplexed, and ask what had been the determining factor. His friend then went on to describe the worst fears of what he had heard of Rome. The Catholic man was shocked at what he heard, and ask his friend that in the face of such corruption's, how could he want to convert to such a church. And the Jewish man said, it was because of such chaos that he determined that for a religion to grow as it had, then it must be the one true religion as nothing else could explain the rise of this religion. And the Jewish man converted to Catholicism.

Now this is interesting as it has a universal applicability to politics and religion in that with all the political corruption’s of democratic governments they continue to grow. Even in the face of fumbling presidencies corrupt politicians and bungled opportunities, when democracy has a chance, it will succeed even in the face of such chaos. Errors are corrected, politicians are convicted, presidents impeached, and bungled opportunities are recovered.

They are not without pain and require much work by honest men. And as it’s been said before;

Democracy is the the worst form of government, except for all the other’s

The Boxer can’t knit

I mentioned in a previous post that if Sinn Fein was to enter politics that it would be like a boxer entering a knitting contest. Well due to the riots it surely looks like the boxer can’t knit.

By allowing the scumbag thugs of the more violent factions of Sinn Fein to riot, destroy property assault Garda, reporters and anyone else who happened to be in the wrong place. They have shown that they are not motivated to extend the same liberties that allow them to speak, to others of the opposing voice. Demonstrating that their most potent arguments are those of the common bully.

And while the Unionist are laughing it up, their motivations are clear also, confrontation and incitement. Celebrating the victims of the IRA, while not honoring the victims of Unionist violence is equally one sided.

No one is honoring the Flag of the Irish Republic. And even I, as a ‘blow-in’ Irishman, know what they stand for. And anyone who crosses that white line between the the Green and Orange deservers to be instructed in the definition of Peace.

Far Right Wingnuts pull out hair!

This article is probably making the far right pull their hair out.
Bush, Congress clash over ports sale
Lawmakers want to halt UAE takeover; Bush threatens veto

Now who is it that is trying to protect the U..S. from attacks originating from the sea ports? The United Arab Emirates you say. Very interesting, isn’t that where some of the 9/11 bombers call home? Ok, if Bush said it’s Ok.

Now what is the Presidents role in Commercial governance?

An Update: The President of the United States supports Islamic World Domination. Very Interesting George Bush is a closet Muslim

Sinn Fein, Hamas and George Washington

Someone ask me what I thought about Sinn Fein being elected as part of the government of the Republic of Ireland. And I flipped off an answer

If the people vote Sinn Fein into government, that is their will. If Sinn Fein are voted in on a platform that they will not fulfill. Then they are no different than any other politician that they replaced, untrustworthy, and they too, should, and will be replaced.

And then I hear that many people in Ireland fear terrible things will happen if Sinn Fein, “the Murdering IRA Thugs”, win more seats in the government.

And sure, I know that there are concerns there, but what would you say to George Washington. To the the British, he was a “Murdering rebel Traitor” but he became President of the United States. Some Americans wanted to make him King, but he declined. It seemed to work out fine for them, being a good man that he was.

I’ll quote you something normally attributed to Ben Franklin

Revolution is always illegal in the third person, such as ‘Their’ Revolution
it’s only legal in the first person, as Our revolution

So if Sinn Fein are, in their own minds, Revolutionary Patriots, then what would make them different from George Washington. The fact that they do not hold office yet, or that what they stand for is not what you stand for?

And if that’s the only difference, being that their platform distinguishes them from any other party, it only makes them politicians, like any other. And you wouldn’t be voting for something you don’t believe in as no amount of thuggery will get the average Irishman to change his mind, only kindly persuasion. (or maybe the parish priest)

Do you think maybe, that Hamas may believe they are patriots for their own people too?

It is really only a matter of perspective.

It’s much like a boxer entering a knitting contest, he wins only if he can knit.

Democracy is philosophically complex

When ever I hear some one proclaiming that they are striving to bring ‘Democracy to the world’ I shutter, and then mark it down as some one else who does not know what they are talking about. The following is an example of why I know they don’t know what they advocate when they say such things.

U.S. and Israelis Are Said to Talk of Hamas Ouster

The professed supporter of Democracy usually means that they support democracy so long as they win, or that the winners believe the same things as, and fall into line with, the speakers own agenda. The U.S. and Israeli politicians believed that the winners in the Palestinian election would be clones of themselves. And that is just not going to happen in a true Democracy.

The previous government in Palestine was corrupt, detached and did not help, or reflect the needs of the people they were elected to work for.

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security

And if you think this is revolutionary, try reading the rest of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights and the Constitution.

Simpleton minds, hearing simplistic rhetoric often misunderstand what democracy really means. The form of government that the U.S. (and U.K, and most of the western ‘democracies’) exercises, is not a pure democracy, but a republic, with democratic foundations, governed by Laws that prevent Majorities from overturning minority rights. Such things as Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion are protections for minorities, they prevent the rule of the mob from overcoming the rights of the minority.

The mighty Hunter?

This might explain why the Vice President enjoys torture so much Humane Society Statement

“If the Vice President and his friends wanted to sharpen their shooting skills, they could have shot skeet or clay, not resorted to the slaughter of more than 400 creatures planted right in front of them as animated targets.”

Seems the VP can’t even shoot straight even then, he shot one of the other group, and then hid the incident for 18 hours until he could report that the victim hadn’t died.

If the VP really has such a challenge shooting caged game birds, I know that he would love a barnyard full of free range chickens.

Hunting used to be a sport.

So called ‘Science President’

It looks like the so called ‘Science President’ is really helping out NASA, not only has he accepted the resignation of his ignorant press suppresser, Deutsch, but he’s helping them so much that they are having to beg for financial support from other nations, and industry just to keep programs running.

NASA seeks partners as budgets tighten

So the nation that when to the moon, can’t get even get some programs off the ground.

Ballincollig Castle

With all the rampant housing projects here in Ballincollig, we got wind of a project to build houses right up against the Moat at Ballincollig Castle. This Castle has been a neglected asset at the edge of town for ages, and now that the new bypass has exposed it to passing traffic it’s time to clean it up and make it accessible to the public. To that end we have set up a blogspace (as opposed to a regular webpage) at Ballincollig Heritage and there is an Article in the Echo as well.

There has been a plan in the works for this in the Co. Cork commissions office since 2003, but in typical fashion nothing has been done.

The New Dark Age

Over at this blog post The Cartoon War

I agree with his “cynical assumption”, I believe this has been orchestrated, and if Muslim’s are feeling increasingly beleaguered, they should get in line.

The greater mass of the general population is increasingly isolated from the functioning of their own governments. Control of events has long since been passed into a very few hands. Partly into the corporate multi-nationals and the ruling elite and partly into their religious proxies in the extremes of both the Muslim an Christian fundamentalist.

The tools are simple, fear and righteousness. Blind obedience, the only condition for membership in the crusade.

But I also believe that while the cartoons were gratuitously inflammatory, you won’t see embassies burnt when the Muslims print holocaust cartoons (which is historic, and not religious). Nor have they when other cartoons printed in Muslims papers deplicting Jews and Christians in an unflattering way have been printed.

We are entering into another dark age where religions rule the minds of the public. And we are ruled by a democratic mob.

Idolizing Cleric’s

It is allowed to Idolize Cleric’s who interpret Muhammad, but it’s not allowed to display a depiction of Muhammad?

This just rings as another religious hypocrisy, as there are no paintings, photos or drawings of Muhammad (that’s forbidden), you can only depict what you believe Muhammad looked like, just like you can depict a laughing Jesus. It’s only someone’s ‘opinion’ of what Jesus, or Muhammad looks like not the real thing.

It’s only an Idol, if you believe that it’s a true representation of what Muhammad, or Jesus, looks like. So if you are motivated to burn down buildings and attack others it’s because that you believe the depiction IS Muhammad or Jesus, and that the depiction desecrates the TRUE image of Muhammad, or Jesus. And that makes no sense at all, as no one has see either of them for thousands of years.

Perhaps that’s why they burn national flags, as if a countries soul is embodied in the fabric somehow.

Perhaps Muhammad was correct, no Icons, no imagined images of him, his cleric’s or his flags. That might make more sense.

E-mail postage, just cashing in on Spam

AOL and Yahoo have got to have some nerve, claiming that this will stop spam!
Postage Is Due for Companies Sending E-Mail

The Internet companies say that this will help them identify legitimate mail and cut down on junk e-mail, identity-theft scams and other scourges that plague users of their services. They also stand to earn millions of dollars a year from the system if it is widely adopted.

This is just a way to cash in on e-mail traffic. The spammers will work around this in a week, and will end up billing invalid accounts or valid ones incorrectly. There is nothing in an e-mail packet that can’t be spoofed. Including any ‘accounting’ that might be required.

Given the fact that e-mail has never been a ‘Guaranteed’ protocol in the TCP/IP stack. How would AOL or Yahoo indemnify e-mail? They couldn’t, so they are selling vapor. They could only ensure email delivery within their own systems, and even that would be questionable.

This is more of what the telco’s are already trying to do by having everyone pay double for what they have already paid for. Paying double for bandwidth, pay double for e-mail.

Another Rip-off scam by big business.

IBooks, MacBooks and iBook Duo Docking Stations

Now that shipments of computer laptops has exceeded shipments of computer desktops. Now is the time for Apple to trump the world and bring back the PowerBook Docking Station.

I have one of these myself, with a PowerBook Duo 250 inserted into it. This would make a great dual function system. A compact laptop, and a simple easy docking station that would add real functionality and extend the laptop into a full fledged desktop computer.

Or how about a MacPad that would have a Dock that would act as a Full laptop, and a desktop?

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