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Showing posts from March 3, 2013

Protesting Government action.

So we move into “daylight savings time” tonight (here in the USA). Damn and blast!   I cannot for the life of me understand this.  
We substitute light mornings for dark mornings, and light evenings for even lighter evenings.
As a morning person I protest!
Bah and bleah.

Senator Rand Paul (R Kentucky) was right.

The very thought that the executive branch of government (in my case the President of the U.S.A.) could order the death of a citizen without the due process of law should send shivers down our backs. In the American scene this  question became moot in the U.S. Senate confirmation of Mr. Brennan to be the director of the C.I.A. The Justice Department had equivocated on this issue, therefore Senator Rand Paul (R) (a libertarian) filibustered the issue until he could get a clear answer from the American Attorney General. (See below for the story as reported on the internet). I am not usually in favour of the Libertarian views. I think that they are as romantic and un-realistic as those of we wild-eyed Liberals. (Liberals and Libertarians have an unproven faith in the perfectibility of human nature). But in this case I think that Rand Paul was right, and his filibuster was necessary. It teased out a definitive answer from Atty. General Eric Holder. For there is no doubt that the Executive Branc…

Adelaide the Imperious and a late night

Oh my gracious me, it’s 9:42 p.m. and I still have not gone to bed, ‘tis a late night for me!
Our Condo. Association rules state that cats must be kept inside.  My dear junior cat (Adelaide the Imperious) longs to go out. 
I “accidentally” left the back door open this morning, and to my utter surprise (lol) Adelaide got out.
Then I set out for an appointment with my Doctor  (nothing wrong  - simple a review of my recent bloods tests – which revealed that all the readings: good cholesterol, bad cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose  etc etc etc [the list goes on... there were about 20 tests in all] revealed that everything is boringly normal).
Then a quick visit to Trader Joe’s - (great Belgian cookies, French cheese and Spanish cheese).
Back home -  Adelaide had left a gift  at my front door -  a dead mouse.  
She was waiting at the back door – all proud happy to see me.
Makes me kinda happy that I allowed Adelaide to get in a bit of hunting!
Dinner tonight at the home of  good St. Boniface fr…

My dog and Queen Elizabeth II

My lovely dog Penne had a touch of Queen Elizabeth II illness yesterday.
Unlike Her Majesty, Penne was not rushed into a hospital, nor did her gastro-enteritis make world news headlines.
And I had to clean up the mess.

Being single in Vietnam - another viewpoint

On the other hand....   when I arrived in Sa Pa just before day break, the Hotel in which I had a day room was dark, and locked tight. It was the “Cat Cat Hotel”, named for a nearby “ethnic village”.
I was all for going across the street to get a cup of coffee but my trustworthy guide (Sinh) insisted on calling the night clerk.
He soon arrived to open up the Hotel – all smiles, and explaining that he’d been at a party the evening before as was a bit “hungover”.
I never got to know his name, so I nick-named him “Mr. Friendly”. He was/is a Vietnamese of Chinese background. His English was flawless. His personality was filled with bubbly bonhomie.
After my sleep and shower he and I chatted. He told me that he was very happy because he was going to his home village for the Tet holiday.
I asked about his family. He told me that he had an older brother.
Then he added “I am happy that I have an older brother because it’s his responsibility to take care of my parents, not mine.   As for me, I don’t…

Being "dissed" at the airport in Hanoi?

The young man at the Vietnam Airlines check in at Ha Noi’s airport was “all business”. 
He did not smile.
I was checking in for a flight to Da Nang (which in the event was delayed for two hours).


He asked “who is travelling with you?”  I responded that I was alone.
“But what about your wife and family?” was his next question.
I countered by saying that I am not married and that I have no children.
He looked me in the face and said “I do not like that”.
I felt disrespected until today.
Part of my post Vietnam reading is “Vietnam Now” by David Lamb (Public Affairs, NY 2002).
Lamb was a war correspondent during the Vietnam War.  Thirty years later he returned to Vietnam to “cover the peace”. 
On a long rail trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City he chatted with a young Vietnamese man  named Tinh who asked him “How many children do you have?”
Lamb said “none” and the young man said “then you are not married, you must be lonely”.
David Lamb replied that he was indeed married but that he and his wife did…

Helicopters and Donkeys

Image
I have looked at the photo’s of ex-Pope Benedict leaving the Vatican to fly to Castel Gandalfo by helicopter. 
It’s but a 15 mile journey  by road (indeed in 1974 I took a ‘bus from Rome to Castel Gandolfo for a public audience with Pope Paul VI).
Why the helicopter?
At first blush it reminded me of failure.  I saw Richard Nixon leaving the White House by helicopter. I was reminded of the fall of the Saigon regime in Vietnam (1975) and the frenetic evacuations by helicopter.
At second blush it made me think that even Pope Benedict had to leave office in a dramatic and powerful way. Why should I think otherwise?   The Papacy is by its very nature rooted in theories of authority and power.  A former Pope could not possibly leave Rome on the back of a donkey.  That would be too much like Jesus of Nazareth!

The Pope aside, many of we clerics assert that we have power and authority to rule over congregations.
“’Snot true”: the authority of the ordained is to serve.
When I insisted on “authority” …