not of this world

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Filed under: — Not of this World @

nothing less than
the absence
pursuant hunger


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Friday, July 28, 2006

eye candy (rated g)

Filed under: — Not of this World @

so i’ve hammered pretty hard against pornography, but maybe it’s not all so bad

hat tip to dear abotel infruntome

: )

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

judicial restraint!

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even though i believe society’s embrace of contraceptive sex (with no fault divorce no help either) has mortally wounded the case to preserve marriage as being exclusively between a man and a woman, this Washington state supreme court decision is still encouraging.

[for the majority, Judge Madsen] added that the judges should not dictate public policy. The law banning gay marriages may yet change, she said, but not “because five members of this court have dictated it.”

“We see no reason, however,” Justice Madsen added, “why the legislature or the people acting through the initiative process would be foreclosed from enacting a the right to marry to gay and lesbian couples in Washington.”

on a related note, it appears Massachusetts’ poster same sex marriage is on the rocks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

the birth pangs of conclave

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i found the following very interesting. despite its relative length, i trust you will too:

Conclaves were created for pragmatic reasons by hardheaded secular rulers in a century – the thirteenth – when Europe was dominated by the papacy. Then, the security of every throne on the continent depended on its relationship with the Roman pope. His policies, his wishes and preferences, his likes and dislikes, his vendettas and quarrels, even the interests of his family and the particular dynasties he favored – all these could unseat a king or queen, an emperor or empress, a prince or princess of the blood. Consequently, when the Chair of St. Peter fell vacant – and some interregnums lasted for years – the stability of Europe – its political institutions, its international trade, the very peace of the entire area – was threatened. To survive, the Europe of 750 years ago needed a pope. Yet in Rome at this time, following the death of Innocent III in 1216, the cardinals were so at loggerheads with each other that they could not find agreement on anything – except that they alone held the power to appoint the next pope. In this turbulent mood they met in Perugia to elect Innocent’s successor. They were still bitterly feuding when the local authorities locked the doors on their meeting place. The result was gratifying: the cardinals, frightened by this unexpected imprisonment, quickly chose Honorius III as pope. If not exactly a proper conclave, it had prepared the way.

Honorius was followed by Gregory IX in 1227. And it was he, with his ineffectual ways, his foolish alliances and his military and political posturing, who led the Church and Europe to the collision point only a formal conclave would eventually solve. Having antagonized England, Spain and France, Gregory next tangled with Frederick II, emperor of all Germany. It was a fatal mistake. Frederick’s armies steamrolled down through Italy almost to the gates of Rome. The sight of their vast encampment stretching out over the hills undoubtedly contributed to Gregory’s demise. With a strangled moan – he may have been asking for God’s forgiveness – Gregory fell to the ground and died of a massive heart attack. Perhaps his age also had something to do with his dying: Gregory was nearly one hundred years old.

His death on August 22, 1241 caused a new and increasingly squalid divisions within the College of Cardinals. They could not agree on whom to elect as the man most likely to appease the wrath of Frederick. At this time Rome was governed by one of the Orsinis, the most powerful lay family behind the papacy. Orsini recognized that his own future was at stake: if a pope was not quickly produced to open a dialogue with Frederick, Rome, like the rest of Italy, would fall under hated foreign domination. Orsini set about ending the friction among the cardinals in typical fashion. He had each one bound hand and foot and publicly flogged. Afterward, the brutalized cardinals were thrown into the Septizodium, a massive three-tiered structure which had already stood on the Appian Way for over a thousand years. Orsini ordered its door locked and the windows blocked in. Sentries were posted around the building and on its roof with orders to kill anybody attempting to enter or leave. The ten cardinals found themselves incarcerated in appalling conditions: their bedding was filthy and food barely edible; their lavatory buckets were not to be emptied until after they had produced a pontiff. When one cardinal seemed to be dying he was quickly placed by the others in a crude coffin and its lid was lowered. Inside, the suffocating cardinal could hear the changing of the mass for the already dead. The roof sentries, forbidden to leave their posts, used the gutters as latrines. Whenever the violent Roman summer thunderstorms struck, the roof drains became clogged with the sentries’ refuse: the overspill of excrement and urine poured down on the hapless cardinals. Nevertheless they needed over two months to agree that a Milanese cardinal – he looked not unlike Paul – should be their new pope. He took the name Celestine IV, but died two weeks later without having been consecrated. Frederick finally stepped in. He demanded a replacement pope – fast. The cardinals hesitated. Once more Frederick set about convincing them: he began systematically to destroy their personal property, a military juggernaut which moved from one estate to another. The cardinals eventually saw the wisdom of meeting again to produce a pope. Frederick’s sword, serving as conclave key, created Innocent IV.

excerpt from Pontiff

Friday, July 21, 2006

deterring belligerence

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an excellent core summary of the current Israeli-Hezbollah nastiness via the remedy

i have had my doubts about the proportionateness of the Israeli response but am ever more coming to see that it is an unlikeable response to an unlikeable threat which simply speaks no other language…

Thursday, July 20, 2006

right place

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Who has cupped in his hand the waters of the sea,
and marked off the heavens with a span?
Who has held in a measure the dust of the earth,
weighed the mountains in scales
and the hills in a balance?

Who has directed the spirit of the Lord,
or has instructed him as his counselor?
Whom did he consult to gain knowledge?
Who taught him the path of judgment,
or showed him the way of understanding?

the grace of true humility
to seep steady
and take deep root
that we might be made
to find favor with Thee
and so truly be able
to serve
in joy formed full


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

peace be upon Israel

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Yes, world, there is a silent Arab majority that believes that seventh-century Islam is not fit for 21st-century challenges. That women do not have to look like walking black tents. That men do not have to wear beards and robes, act like lunatics, and run around blowing themselves up in order to enjoy 72 virgins in paradise. And that secular laws, not Islamic Shariah, should rule our day-to-day lives.

And yes, we, the silent Arab majority, do not believe that writers, secular or otherwise, should be killed or banned for expressing their views. Or that the rest of our creative elite - from moviemakers to playwrights, actors, painters, sculptors, and fashion models - should be vetted by Neanderthal Muslim imams who have never read a book in their dim, miserable lives.

Nor do we believe that little men with head wraps and disheveled beards can run amok in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq making decisions on our behalf, dragging us to war whenever they please, confiscating our rights to be adults, and flogging us for not praying five times a day or even for not believing in God.

More important, we are not silent any longer.

keep reading Youssef Ibrahim’s Arab majority may not stay forever silent

and a sobering piece from Cal Thomas on the temper of the times

In chronicling the number of armed warriors who joined David at Hebron, there is this exquisite line: “All these men understood the temper of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” (1 Chronicles 12:32, New Living Translation)

For roughly 4,000 years there has been “unrest” and war in the Middle East. It possibly began when the ancient Israelites drove out the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites and Jebusites. Modern Israel is attempting to drive out Hezbollah-ites, Hamas-ites, Islamic Jihad-ites and the rest.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

unexpected unexpected show

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i heard about this surprise lauryn hill show in time to get a ticket and so waded back in to the messy santa cruz music scene for what i anticipated would be a unique if pricey treat.

as the above review notes it was definitely unique, with the two hour delay contributing both creeping annoyance and increased anticipation. the best part of the delay was that a nice old hippy couple (willow and ron) that i chatted with while waiting reacted to lauryn’s tardiness be giving me their balcony table as they pursued getting their money back in protest. and later, so many others also left early when they realized they weren’t going to be able to sing along that it left some nice boogy room for the groovier fugees covers at the end. as the review notes it was hard at times to decide if “this [was] a rehearsal of a band that needed much more work, or [if] this was an inspired genius creating new music right in front of her fans,” but she was amazing to watch anyway, offered some nice grooves amidst the oftentimes atonal cacaphony of her band, and as usually is the case at catalyst shows, the crowd provided its own entertaining, if sometimes troubling, side freakshow. from the catholic church to the republican party to fellow music fans, its often bizzare to fathom some aspects the associations you find yourself willingly a part of.

It’s always a challenge to hear a performer stray from the path that made her famous and lose the structures that were played endlessly on radio.

But it can also be one of the greatest rewards. The greatest artists take you somewhere you didn’t expect to be, and make you want to go back for more.

the fairly lame review ends on that note, and while i don’t know what she’s trying to do in this new direction she’s taking her music, or if i’d personally go back for more of much of what was showcased last night, she is lauryn hill, if anyone she’ll be able to pull off playing a bit of a hard rock when she really is a gem…

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

bumpersticker idea

Filed under: — Not of this World @

saw another one of those ‘question authority’ stickers today, and thought, how about:

question the authority
that questions authority

also, we came up with one last week that would go especially nicely on assimilatio dei’s car:

I’d rather be contemplating the Divine Essence

: )

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