This first item brings to mind a scripture where Jesus is giving the pharasees and scribes a serious amount of 'what for'
Matthew 23:24, "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel."
What he's talking about here is how the leadership in that society made a big deal out of the less important things and had no trouble looking the other way when it came to much weightier matters. In the same way governments around the world, Including the American government, have been ignoring flat out genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan.
People have had a lot of things to say about John Paul and things that he did and stood for, yet in the end it is almost all nothing more than talk. It sounds good and makes the speakers look good but it is nothing but empty words becuase none of those finely crafted words have thus far resulted in anything being done to stop the genocide.
Can the people of the world be cold enough to do nothing while a whole people is brutally exterminated? Apparently so.
Have we learned nothing from the horrors perpetrated by the likes of Ghengis Khan, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and even Saddam Hussein? Apparently not.
The Pope and Hypocrisy
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: April 6, 2005
President Bush and other world leaders are honoring John Paul II in a way that completely misunderstands his message. We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur.
The message of the pope's ministry was about standing up to evil, not about holding grand funerals.
"Throughout the West, John Paul's witness reminded us of our obligation to build a culture of life in which the strong protect the weak," Mr. Bush said. Well, what about that reminder? What kind of a "culture of life" is it that allows us to shrug as Sudanese soldiers heave children onto bonfires?
I have read this story a dozen times over and I still cannot wrap my mind around what it is describing. That such a display can exist and be considered anything less than the worst imaginable form of obcenity is beyond me completely.
Human cadavers (wait, Don't use a polite word to make it sound nicer, call 'em what they are: Dead Human Bodies!) as an "Art Form" What will we have next? Virtual re-creations of concentration camps complete with "Oven-Cams"
I'll put it this way... If this doesn't make you sick then there is something wrong.
April 6, 2005
Some Thoughts on Seeing the Polymerized Remains of Human Cadavers
By VERLYN KLINKENBORG
Most museums aren't open at 3 a.m. But at 3 a.m. on the final Saturday of a recent exhibition, crowds were still moving through the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where the show, "Body Worlds 2," had been on display since July 2. It had already been held over, and it was kept open for 62 hours, nonstop, before closing in the early hours of March 28. Security videotapes show that about 3 a.m. on that Saturday, when no one was nearby, two young women reached into a plexiglass case and stole a preserved 13-week-old fetus - one of a sequence of fetuses in the reproduction section of the exhibition. No one knows whether it was a prank or a protest.
I came through the exhibition a day and a half later, in its final hours. A pickpocket might have prospered in the crowds that filled the galleries, but no one could have stolen anything from the display cases without being watched by a hundred pairs of living eyes. Southern California has been enthralled by this exhibition, which now makes its way to Cleveland. Its companion, "Body Worlds," is being shown in Chicago. The exhibitions are the creation of Dr. Gunther von Hagens, a German who developed "plastination," a means of removing fluids and fats from bodies and replacing them with polymers. Some body parts on display - a coal miner's lung, a metastasized liver - look essentially like plastic models. But what drew more than 900,000 visitors to the California Science Center were dissected corpses posed in lifelike attitudes: skateboarding, ski-jumping, dancing, roping.
Along with the Homeland Security Act, The Patriot Act is allowing people in power to strip away the rights of the average citizen. All in the name of protecting us from terrorism we are allowing the freedoms that the Bill of Rights was intended to guarantee us to be stripped away and flushed. Sadly both laws are still with us. Now the Justice dept is right there with the White House in pushing for it to be extended instead of allowing it to expire.
Justice Dept. Defends Patriot Act Before Senate Hearings
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
The Justice Department defended the law passed after the Sept. 11 attacks and released new data showing increased use of a controversial type of search warrant.
But critics of the law, the USA Patriot Act, strongly urged Congress to give it careful scrutiny before extending the government's powers to track terrorism suspects. Several critical provisions in the law are set to expire at the end of the year, and on Tuesday the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold the first in a series of Congressional hearings on the question of whether to extend the law.
In advance of the hearing, Justice Department officials sought to strengthen support for the law in the face of criticism from some conservatives and many liberals who say it gives the government too much power to track suspects and use wiretaps.
While Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, FBI Director Robert Mueller, President Bush and others are pushing and urging lawmakers to extend the patriot act the rest of us would do well to let our senators and congressional representatives know that the American people would like to see the Patriot Act (and the Homeland Security Act as well for that matter) Expire completely or be repealed outright. There must be better ways to protect ourselves Without surrendering the freedoms that so many REAL Patriots have died to give us.
Officials Urge Renewal of Patriot Act
Apr 5, 10:42 PM (ET)
By MARK SHERMAN
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration has used the Patriot Act's powers to listen to cell phone conversations and examine business records 84 times in 3 1/2 years, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Tuesday as Congress began considering whether to renew those powers and other sections of the anti-terror law.
Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller urged lawmakers to make permanent all 15 expiring provisions of the law, some of which have aroused civil liberties concerns. Mueller also asked lawmakers to expand the bureau's ability to obtain records in terrorism cases without first asking a judge or grand jury.
Another sign of trouble is when government secrecy is extended to the point that the ability of Congress to do one of it's jobs, overseeing the CIA, is limited because the White House and CIA officials have decided that something needs to be given such a high security classification that most members of House and Senate Intelligence Committees can't get the information needed to do their jobs.
Why should the detention of high-level terrorist suspects require high levels of secrecy that keep most of our own government out of the loop? Something is clearly not right.
White House Has Tightly Restricted Oversight of C.I.A. Detentions
By DOUGLAS JEHL
Published: April 6, 2005
WASHINGTON, April 5 - The White House is maintaining extraordinary restrictions on information about the detention of high-level terror suspects, permitting only a small number of members of Congress to be briefed on how and where the prisoners are being held and interrogated, senior government officials say.
Some Democratic members of Congress say the restrictions are impeding effective oversight of the secret program, which is run by the Central Intelligence Agency and is believed to involve the detention of about three dozen senior Qaeda leaders at secret sites around the world.
By law, the White House is required to notify the House and Senate Intelligence Committees of all intelligence-gathering activities. But the White House has taken the stance that the secret detention program is too sensitive to be described to any members other than the top Republican and Democrat on each panel.
First London, later the world. First it's a high tech speed trap, next it's part of a government system able to keep track of and follow nearly anyone. It seems innocent enough now, but who's to say that it is going to stay that way? What happens when somebody combines RFID (excuse me, the new terminology is "contactless chips" since Homeland Security is trying to shy away from the bad rap RFID is earning.) and a nationwide, perhaps worldwide computer network?
This is LONDON
07/04/05 - London news section
Speed cameras can 'talk' to track you down
By David Williams Motoring Editor, Evening Standard
A new "intelligent" speed trap is set to catch thousands of drivers in London.
Groups of cameras will track cars over a wide area - such as a housing estate - instead of "flashing" them at just one spot.
Designers say it will be impossible for drivers to outwit them by slamming on their brakes as the cameras record each car's number plate and "talk" to each other via radio-wave technology.
Computers then calculate how fast the vehicle was travelling between each point. If a driver is found to have been speeding they will be fined #60.