Thursday, May 25, 2006

Not that it's any great surprise, but still...

You know that moderate, peace-loving group that was overwhelmingly elected by the moderate, peace-loving Palestinians? Hamas, yes, that's them. Well, it seems they think they've found a way to get over the "wall", the security fence which Israel was forced to build to prevent them from coming to Israel and murdering innocent people. Only took them five years to think of it:

Hamas looking to fly planes into buildings

(I suppose it's the American media that transliterates Hamas in that way, but since the English seem to cope with "loch" why don't you call them "Chamas"?)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Sombre statistics

At work today we were asked to donate money to the British Red Cross, as part of a dress-down day fundraising activity. I have a problem with supporting the Red Cross, since the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) refuses to accept the Israeli emergency response service, Magen David Adom (MDA), because it uses a red star of David as its symbol. This is despite the fact that emergency services in Arab countries are allowed to be members of the ICRC despite using a red crescent instead of the cross.

Anyway, I decided to donate money to MDA instead. They could surely use it more than the British Red Cross anyway: I found the following statistics on terror attacks in Israel. They make chilling reading.

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Rodney Dangerfields of religion

The poor old Catholic Church. It just can't get no respect. Publish a few cartoons portraying Muhammed, and the world goes into an uproar. Newspapers are banned, editors are fired, the media fall over themselves to "protect Muslim sensitivities" (and their own backs. Or chests. Remember Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh?).

But make a film that denies the basic premise of Christianity, and accuses the Catholic Church of engaging in a millenia-long coverup of the true nature of the central divinity, and editorials excoriating Sony Pictures for its "insensitivity" towards Catholics and their beliefs are pretty thin on the ground. Couldn't be because the threats of violence were also missing, could it?

Lacking any disturbingly violent followers, the Catholic Church is having to exercise its censorship envy in the courts, where, one imagines, the brave judges will have no problem upholding freedom of speech against the law-abiding. You see, having rules about freedom of speech that you're only prepared to uphold if no-one behaves threateningly are kind of like laws against guns: the people who are the problem don't care about the rules and the laws, so you end up with a warm fuzzy feeling of having the right intentions, without anything resembling a good result. Which is what seems to be important these days.