Sunday, April 24, 2005

IWW 100th Anniversary

The Industrial Workers of the World, founded a hundred years ago, was one of the most militant and inspiring mass movements in US history. Born of the revolutionary currents sweeping the growing working class at the time, the IWW was nevertheless almost stamped out by the repression that descended in the years of the "Red Scare" following WWI. Ironically, the war represented the complete opposite of the Wobblie (nickname for the IWW) ideal in more than its initials!

Check out this interview with the author of a new book on the Wobblies at [Left Hook]

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Sith Pope

Sith Pope, originally uploaded by ceti.

Not to be an anti-papist, but there is only dark days ahead for the Catholic Church with the Grand Inquisitor in charge. Absolutism leads to the Dark Side...

Dealing in Absolutes

Here's where the real world and science fiction converge:

ANAKIN: If you're not with me, you're my enemy.

OBI-WAN: Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes. I will do what I must.

(ignites his lightsaber)

From the script for the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


The new pope is a disaster and I am afraid his coming will seal the fate of the church, never mind the prophecies of St. Malachy that predict he is the next to last pope before The End!

I went through his bio with the help of the BBC and this is what I got. Very scary...

Pope Ratz aka, the Enforcer, the Hammer, God's Rottweiler, Cardinal No, the Panzerkardinal, etc. You get the picture. He also incidentally held the same position as that of the Grand Inquisitor. It also says a lot about a person's reputation when they have a lot of nicknames.

BBC: One of his first campaigns was against liberation theology, which had gained ground among priests in Latin America and elsewhere as a means of involving the Church in social activism and human rights issues.

Odd as that was the last chance for the Catholic church to redeem itself!

He has described homosexuality as a "tendency" towards an "intrinsic moral evil". During the US election campaign, he called for pro-choice politicians to be denied Communion.

...including Kerry. It always amazes me that someone who has never even had a sexual relations with anyone (don't say it!) can lecture people with such moral authority on their sexuality.

At the age of 14, he joined the Hitler Youth, as was required of young Germans of the time, but was not an enthusiastic member.

What! He wasn't into the physical exercises? What do they mean by enthusiastic member?

His supporters say his experiences under the Nazi regime convinced him that the Church had to stand up for truth and freedom.

But what does HE say? Sure it's easy for supporters to defend his youth, but what effect did growing up in a very closed xenophobic society like Bavaria in the 30s have?

One incident in particular at Tuebingen, in which student protesters disrupted one of his lectures, seems to have particularly upset him.

If this is a turning point in his life, the guy is just a tad bit high strung, no?

On Monday, Ratzinger, who was the powerful dean of the College of Cardinals, used his homily at the Mass dedicated to electing the next pope to warn the faithful about tendencies that he considered dangers to the faith: sects, ideologies like Marxism, liberalism, atheism, agnosticism and relativism ? the ideology that there are no absolute truths.

Weren't all those things the Nazis hated? What's that about his youth again?

Ok, to set the record straight, he maintains hardline views on contraception, abortion, women in the church, homosexuality, same-sex marriage. He was dismissive of the sex abuse scandals as a media creation. He thinks that other Christians are deficient, and that non-Christians are definitely not worthy. He feels that Europe should look inwards and maintain its cultural traditions in the face of a multicultural society. He sees "moral relativism" as the greatest threat to Christian faith. Thinks Marxism is "tyrannical, brutal and cruel" (never mind the Spanish Inquisition). Was in charge of stamping out liberation theology. Looks forward to the Jews coming to Christ after they have fulfilled their special mission in the world. Agrees with many Muslims in their critique of the moral decadence of the West, but is opposed to Turkey joining the European Union because it belongs to another continent!

Sounds pretty intolerant and fascistic to me, but, I guess NO-body expected this kind of Spanish Inquisition!