When I was in Secondary School I was put out of RE class for questioning a Nun about the doctrine of the Catholic Church. I remanded outside the class long enough to do my own reading on the Holy See. And to this day I am still questioning. I feel pretty much the same today as I did back in that RE class.
We have all seen the abuse, hypocritical behavior, criminal acts and down right lying they have spouted out all around the world as they desperately tried to cover up the heinous crimes they committed against Children, Women and their Children. And the poor and uneducated in general. From Boston to Dublin and beyond they have left thousands of lives shattered. Thousands who could not face life due to what was done to them took their own lives, more ended up with lives of addiction or lives in prison. We all know about the hiding behind Cannon Law and the shuffling about from parish to parish of abusive priests. This was, is all dad enough, but it was all accompanied with a self righteous defense and a dose of hypocritical behavior. Apologies were few and far apart, not very heartfelt and always had some Cannon Lawyer quoting a unknown Church law which had no bearing on Civil or Criminal Law. Anything anyone got from them was hard fought and hard won.
Now we have come to the point where the Princes of the Church are about to go into Concave to choose a new Pope. The fact that before they do so they are having a meeting to discuss the many problems facing the Church tells you what kind of a state the Church is in. The fact that it is a gang of old men who have spent all their lives in the Church. And some of them have spent years and years inside the Vatican. The vows of Celibacy, the lack of living any kind of normal lives and the heightened sense of their own importance leads them to be the worse possible candidates to choose a man to lay down doctrine to millions of Catholics and indeed to moralize to the rest of us.
The case of Keith O’ Brien sums up the Church really rather nicely. It’s not so much what the former Cardinal did over 30 years ago, but what he said, how he labeled other people mainly gay people. His crime is not that he as a man had sexual desires. It is the fact that he moralised to others and vilified Gay people. I do realize that the former Cardinal chose to follow the Church’s line but that does not forgive the hypocrisy and it is this hypocrisy which is at the heart of the Church’s problems. Of course the church as a religious organisation has the right to set its beliefs. But it does not have the right to control a persons sexuality even the sexuality of the clergy. It needs to broaden it view and take into account human feelings and needs. I don’t however think they have the people, desire or courage to change its moral compass.
On last Monday Morning (depending on what part of the world you are in) one news item stunned the world, yes the world really even if your not Catholic or religious you would have to be living either under a very large rock or on San Quentins never opened Death Row cell to have missed the fact that the Pope was going to resign. This news first came to me via Twitter, having read some tweets I then decided before I open my mouth on the subject I would check the BBC to see if it was true or a hoax. While Twitter and other social media feeds provide you with news quite quickly you are always aware that what is being said on there might be someones idea of a joke. So therefore you run over to the well the professionals. This got me thinking about News in general and boy with the worlds media at the end of your laptop, ipad, smartphone you have a continuous stream of the stuff. Not to mention radio, 24 hour news channels and the afore mentioned Social Media. I listen to a huge amount of radio via the internet, i use flipboard, have an ipad stacked with books, notes, articles and to read items. I have notifications and mails coming from all sides. It has got to the point that I now need to train myself to stop wasting time on information I don’t need and filter it out. I need to train myself to inform myself about what I really need to know and treat the rest as junk. In a word I need a filter for my brain. So starting today I shall be putting in place measures where by I waste less time while online and use it for what I need not what they want me to know
After sorting out his job for the next four year President Obama now needs to sit down and write out a to do list. And to help him I got him started…
(1) Make friends with the House Majority leader Johnny Bohner, after all they both know how to win Ohio. He now does really need to cross the isle and sort out the famous Fiscal Cliff.
(2) He needs to do as he promised four years ago and sort out Americas immigration situation. He needs to deal with it early on in this new term. He owes it to those who voted for them in 08 as well as 12 particularly Hispanics.
(3) He needs to make some positive attempts in the Middle East to get Netanyahu to sit down with Abbas and draw up new boarders. No easy task I know but he needs to move on this.
(4) He needs to and this won’t be popular but in order to do a trade off with the GOP over Taxes he must fix Americas growing dependence on Welfare. 47 Million Americans on Food Stamps, Section 8 housing getting out of control and other Welfare Costs rising. He needs to regin it in, he has got to control public spending and quickly.
(5) he needs to ensue he does pull American Troops out of all the wars and within the timescale he has set out. Oh and don’t get involved in any more wars.
(7) At some time in the next year The President is going to have to decide if he is going to sign a Federal Death Warrant for one Jeffery William Paul currently sitting on Federal Death Row in Terre Haute. Will he or Won’t he?
What Next for The GOP ?
What Next for Karl Rove?
This week UCI announced that Lance Armstrong is to be, how shall I put it - Struck Off. He is no part of cycling, no part of the future of cycling and in doing so have left a seven year hole in cycling’s past. The real problem here is that UCI sat on it’s hands for too long and to be honest I think they knew what Lance was up to all along. As long as riders paid money to UCI they cared not a drop about what they were putting in fridges and bodies. Pat McQuaid the President of UCI made a lukewarm statement regarding dopping and told us all that the peleton is as clean as it can be. Not really good enough Pat. UCI are more intrested in bringing down Paul Kimmage than dealing with the issues and I for one wish they and Pat McQuaid would go for the sake of what should be a great sport.
The boys and girls of that famous talking school located in Kildare Street returned to school last week. Head boy Enda told his subjects that the silly season was over. Really? While the Chief Whip was setting up the Tuck Shop and the Minister for Health was hiding in the Chemistry Lab, the plan was to take away necessary supports and services from disabled people. The disabled Marshaled their ranks, gathered their numbers, supporters and made excellent use of the media. They were powerful, dignified, took hold of their message and made the best possible use of the media. Unlike the Government they remained on message and were not about to have their very basic rights taken away. They stood up for their rights and they won. They not only got the Government to back down, they also won many admirers in how they went about it. It’s a pity they had to set up camp outside the Dail to get their basic rights as human beings in a country that likes to call itself civilized. Who looks silly now?
So at last Lance Armstrong has been brought to book for his doping. To say as a huge cycling fan that I am pleased about this would be a lie. I just feel cheated having spent hours of my life watching Tours of France, Spain, Italy and many others. Even back as far as the days when Armstrong and his mate Flyod Landis rode doped up in the US Postal Service team. Landis admitted as much in a seven hour interview with Paul Kimmage in 2010. In that interview he Landis stated that he was consistently involved in doping while in the same US Postal Team that Armstrong lead. Armstrong and Landis are not the only two who rode doped, but Armstrongs denials over years just make it all the more despicable. The words of a true cycling legend Graeme Obree ring out in every real cycling fans ears today:
“I still feel I was robbed of part of my career. I was signed up to ride in the prologue of the Tour back in 1995, but it was made very obvious to me I would have to take drugs. I said no, no way, and I was sacked by my team. So there I was, 11 years later, sitting there waiting for the Tour cyclists to come by, and something welled up in me. I feel I was robbed by a lot of these bastards taking drugs. I also hate the way that people think anyone who has ever achieved anything on a bike must have been taking drugs. I was surprised how resentful I felt when I was in Paris. It had obviously been simmering away in there for years. That’s something new I’ll have to talk to my therapist about.”
AND by the way, I never took drugs to improve my performance at any time as has been happening in the sport for a long time. I will be willing to stick my finger into a polygraph test if anyone with big media pull wants to take issue. In other words, if you buy a signed poster now it will not be tarnished later.”
I never had a signed poster of Armstrong but for those who did the only place for it is the bin.