Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Nameless Urge

Every year on the last Sunday of July, many thousands of pilgrims climb "Croagh Patrick". They think they're climbing to pay their respects to "Saint Patrick", but they're really driven by the nameless urge that drove their pre-Christian Celtic ancestors up the same mountain to pay homage to Lugh on Lughnasa, and that drove their pre-Celtic ancestors up there to bring offerings to the shadowy figure of Crom Dubh. Some things in human nature never change, among them the need to climb to the high places of the world to be with one's gods.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vatican: ordination of women a "grave crime"

Apparently, Dino von Crazypuss (aka His Holiness The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Holy Father of the Roman Catholic Church) has issued a clarification so that everyone understands that the ordination of women is classified in the same category of "grave crime" as the rape of children by priests. The mind reels at trying to conceive of the moral and theological gymnastics they had to go through to reach THAT particular conclusion.

Voltaire was right: "Ecrassiez l'infame!"

Vatican: ordination of woman a "grave crime"

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Happy Bastille Day

‎"Une bonne fete" to French (and Francophile) people everywhere. To celebrate Bastille Day, a short scene from "Casablanca". The best scene in the movie. Possibly the best scene in any movie.

Casablanca: The Marseillaise

Friday, July 9, 2010

The rich are different: they are more ruthless

When does it start being OK to use that phrase that is such a taboo in America - "class warfare"? When does it start being OK to hate the rich? For that matter, when does it start being OK to eat the rich? (bonus points for the clever persons who get the reference...)


Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population.
More than one in seven homeowners with loans in excess of a million dollars are seriously delinquent, according to data compiled for The New York Times by the real estate analytics firm CoreLogic.
By contrast, homeowners with less lavish housing are much more likely to keep writing checks to their lender. About one in 12 mortgages below the million-dollar mark is delinquent.
Though it is hard to prove, the CoreLogic data suggest that many of the well-to-do are purposely dumping their financially draining properties, just as they would any sour investment.
"The rich are different: they are more ruthless," said Sam Khater, CoreLogic's senior economist.