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How bizarre!
by Thanos Kalamidas
2008-12-11 09:00:22
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Online …jerk

bizzare_onlinLocked in a visitation dispute with his former girlfriend over their young daughter, J.P. Weichel wanted to vent, court records say. Weichel, 40, allegedly posted comments about the woman on the Craigslist "rants and raves" forum, accusing her of child abuse and welfare fraud and making crude comments about her sex life. The woman said the postings were defamatory. But unlike the majority of libel cases, which are tried in civil court, local authorities have taken the unusual step of charging Weichel with a crime.

Colorado is one of a dwindling number of states with a criminal law against libel. The statute dates to the 19th century and is rarely used. But Larimer County Dist. Atty. Larry Abrahamson said Colorado's statute applied precisely to what Weichel was accused of doing. "This is what the Legislature of the state of Colorado has determined is criminal," Abrahamson said. "We're obligated to enforce the laws in the state of Colorado."

Weichel could not be reached for comment, and his lawyer, Michael Liggett, has a policy of not speaking with reporters, an assistant in his law office said. But several lawyers said the case should be handled in civil court. Bringing the government into the dispute, they said, is a troubling infringement on free speech. "Being a jerk isn't necessarily grounds for felony prosecution," said Mark Silverstein, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

He should stay offline!


bizzare_legoOsama Lego

A RANGE of Lego-style fighting figures — including an al-Qaeda terrorist — has been slammed by religious leaders. The masked follower of 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden comes with a rocket launcher, assault rifle and grenades. Mohammed Shaffiq, of Muslim organization The Ramadan Foundation, branded the toy “absolutely disgusting”. He said: “It is glorifying terrorism — the makers should be ashamed.

Extremist ... with array of weapons, “We should be coming together to unite against terrorism, but how is that possible when children are playing with toys like this?”

Are they going to make the Twin Towers as well?


Two camels found

bizzare_camels_400Juárez city police are trying to find out how two camels ended up abandoned on a city street early Wednesday. The pair of adult camels was found in a parking space at the corner of Costa Rica and Municipio Libre. Police said the animals were seized and turned over to the Mexican federal agency (Profepa), which can find a home for them.

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Emanuel Paparella2008-12-11 15:03:56
There is nexus between the first and the second item of news: there are many "jerks" (a kind word in this case)in our brave new world unable to distinguish freedom of expression and free speech from slander and defamation. Sometimes they operate on line and appoint themselves grand judge and executioners in charge of political correctness.

Sand2008-12-11 17:13:59
And sometimes they try all sorts of idiotic ways to mislead people to believe fictional versions of history.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-11 19:42:43
That too, indeed!

AP2008-12-12 02:33:52
Still about jerks (and slavery):
"Cervantes and Velazquez, without abandoning the basic democratic human values inherent in philosophers like Menippus and Aesop, abhorred the notion, found in classical mythology and Christianity, of intermingling the human with the divine. (...)
The obscure cynic Menippus, known as "the classical forerunner of Cervantes", had satirized systematic philosophers and had expressed utter contempt for such conventional social values as beauty, social status, lofty notions of propriety, and wealth, especially if it was spent on art such as sculpture instead of on food for the poor. To him, the most noble, virtuous life was living according to nature, the necessary and sufficient way to find happiness. (...)
The fabulist Aesop had had influence on Medieval Spanish literature and on that of Cervantes (who was a slave for several years, in the north of Africa). He was another Greek non systematic philosopher whose homely fables brought philosophy back to earth, to everyday living, that is, away from esoteric ideas such as theology and metaphysics. He spoke up on behalf of the "ugly' and of the "deformed", demanding they be given the humane respect denied them. Another thing he did was to insist upon the separation of the human from the divine. It is important to mention here that both Menippus and Aesop were former slaves because one of Velazquez' most unforgettable portraits is that of Juan de Pareja, his mulatto slave whom he had taught to paint. In it, he endowed Juan, whom he freed, with a majestic presence, adorning him with a fancy lace collar, a luxurious form of adornment forbidden by the sumptuary laws of the time, especially to someone of his social category."

AP2008-12-12 02:46:36
Velazquez painted both Menippus and Aesop. Of course, also his masterpiece was subversive in a subtle and majestic way. "In two known paintings, he extended this unusual still life arrangement to incorporate religious scenes placed in the background. In both, the kitchen workers, objects of the spiritual lesson contained therein, show indifference by keeping their backs to the didactic scenes of "Jesus with Martha and Mary" and "Tavern Scene with Christ at Emmaus". The young girls - one a mulatto - seem to be saying "So? What's that got to do with me and my work?""

“Don’t let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth - don’t let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.” Aesop

“It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.” Aesop

“If you allow men to use you for your own purposes, they will use you for theirs.” Aesop

AP2008-12-12 02:55:18
"In Velazquez' study of physical perspective lies his philosophical, or if you will, social perspective which is consonant with that found in Cervantes' Don Quixote. It is a perspective which, to a significant degree, prefigures the French Revolution"
" It is evident that, very early, the artist Velazquez became a resolute democratic humanist, a resolution strengthened when he entered the service of the profligate, dissolute King Felipe IV where he lived, worked and painted for the rest of his life. There he observed first hand the decadent lives of the supposed superior "noble" classes which he could not help but compare and contrast with the great suffering of the Spanish people that he saw everywhere. With superbly subtle discretion he demonstrated obliquely, in almost all of his thematic works, a great sympathy for the masses and/or an antipathy for the ordered world of the classically orientated Catholic aristocracy which still has currency in Spain."
The spanish society at the time: a pyramid, "Hierarchies within hierarchies, seemingly ad infinitum. Consider the pecking order in the military, in the Roman Catholic Church, and in the European royal families where the rule of primogeniture - giving primacy to the first born male - is still rigidly observed.
In his art, Velazquez, following Cervantes' lead, very discreetly turned his back on this social value system, painting one thematic variation after another on his democratic view until the crescendo is reached in "Las Meninas" in which he included himself just like Cervantes did in both parts of Don Quixote."

AP2008-12-12 03:24:31
The perspective of the viewer/audience is, in Las Meninas, the one of the King and Queen (background mirror reflection), so the whole social pyramid and the socially accepted scale of values get inverted with a subtle, intelligent finger snap.
"Velazquez knew the worth of an artist relative to an aristocrat in any scale of values - as do we.
You might ask how did he get away with it? Because of the oppressive power of the Church, he had to veil his intentions with the utmost discretion as Cervantes did through the use of metaphor."
"there is a story that it was King Felipe, an artist himself, who painted the red cross of the Order of Santiago seen on Velazquez' chest, a few years after the artist's death. One does have to wonder, however, whether a monumental work depicting the expulsion of the Moors and Jews from Spain was lost or deliberately ...destroyed. As for the nobility, well, they were so vacuous, so caught up in their vanities that sumptuary laws had to be passed to control their extravagances which, of course, means that they were too self-preoccupied to care, let alone to figure out, what Velazquez was doing right under their noses. Velazquez did not have noble status, symbolized by the red cross, until almost the end of his life. So why would they make much of him and his work? After all, he was just a painter."

AP2008-12-12 03:33:39
I believe Mr. P. would prefer if people still had to veil their opinions with the utmost discretion, like... the jerks Velazquez and Cervantes had to do.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-12 09:07:54
Point proven. It all begins with the inability to distinguish free speech and slander and aspersion. All those erudite quotes (from whom?, we are not priviliged to be told)simply to end with a personal tirade by Ms. P. against somebody she disagrees ideologically with and hardly knows personally. As previously mentioned the type is well described in Dostoyevsky's The Possessed and we have seen the cultural damage it has done to the 20th century, so proud of its technological advances but so destitute of ethics and humanity. So, the point is not so much that Torquemada burned 1000 people and the Nazis burned 11 million (albeit keeping the record straight in that regard remains important) but that the fanatical mind-set which does not stop at slander and personal prejudice and argumenti at hominem against people and institutions is the same and it ends in censorship when political power is acquired. Catilina used the same reprehensible personal tactics against Cicero and Cicero exclaimed: o tempora, o mores.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-12 14:19:38
Those who know that Torquemada is not the whole story of the Catholic Church are more than willing to acknowledge that he represents a sad and reprehensible chapter of that church. Those who are out simply to grind and axe and cast aspersion and present half truths will insist that Torquemada is normal not the exception in the Catholic Church. We have seen that exemplified time and again in this forum (in their mouth the very term Catholic Church is an insult)and it remains intellectually scurrillous, sorry to say.

Sand2008-12-12 15:34:37
It is most gratifying that Torquemada is finally acknowledged as a monstrously vicious stupid Catholic son of a bitch. To believe he arose to power uniquely out of Catholic persecution of Jews over a period of centuries is the next hurdle which must be overcome.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-12 17:06:46
Point confirmed, if we needed a confirmation! Somehow the enormity of what the Nazis did only sixty years ago get overlooked or blamed on Torquemada. Indeed, the mind-set seems to be quite similar even if it parades as being on the left...Dostoyevsky had it on target in "The Possessed."

Sand2008-12-12 17:26:55
Looks like you tripped up on the hurdle. All those centuries when the Catholics forced the Jews to live in poverty and fear of pogroms make no impression at all on the stony contempt you have for fact. Pity.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-12 21:52:09
Talking of stumbling bloxks. The sjeer stony contempt that you seem to harbor for the irreducible facts of the Nazis' genocide of 6 million Jews is astonishing indeed. You need to learn, at least in your old age, that respect the truth requires that the whole truth be acknowledged wherever it is found, and not merely what you like to cherry pick for your biased and prejudicial ideology and agenda: to defame and slander the Catholic Church. I am afraid that disrespect for truth makes both the religious and the anti-religion fanatic a bigot of sort.

Sand2008-12-13 03:05:12
Your obviously psychotically intense focus on the Nazis is a despicable ploy to take attention away from the centuries long culture of the Catholic Church to punish the entire Jewish culture as "Christ killers" which is a fully documented historical fact. I never have tried to minimize the effects of the holocaust but merely demonstrated that the anti-Semitic Nazi actions had deep roots in the forcing of the Jews to live in ghettos for hundreds of years as standard Catholic Church policy. To deny this is open propaganda and totally disgusting.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-13 07:18:40
Christianity no more instigated the Holocaust than does the Church teach that the Jews crucified Christ. In 1937 Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pius XII) wrote Pope Pius XI's encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge (With Burning Concern). It was then smuggled into Germany, secretly distributed, and read at Mass on Palm Sunday, March 14, 1937. It condemned racism of any sort: "This God, this sovereign master, has issued commandments whose value is independent of time and space, country and race. As God's sun shines on every human face so his law knows neither privilege nor exception. … the Gospel of Jesus Christ admits no substitutes or arbitrary alternatives such as certain leaders pretend to draw from the so-called myth of blood and race." The encyclical made obvious references to Hitler as a "prophet of nothingness" and a "superficial mind." Nazis confiscated all available copies of the encyclical, arrested printers who made copies and seized their presses. Hitler himself reacted to the encyclical by announcing his intention to destroy the Church. The Nazi press claimed that Pius XI, who authorized it, "was half-Jewish," and Cardinal Pacelli, who authored it, "was all-Jewish."

One will never hear those facts from religion bashers out to link Hitler to Catholicism.

Sand2008-12-13 08:46:21
Your insane insistence that the Jews were not persecuted by the Catholics centuries before Hitler is way beyond moronic. It slips into the Orwellian evil of trying to change history. That persecution is very, very well documented and formed the firm foundation for Hitlers program of attempted Jewish extermination. Stop trying to change history!!

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-13 12:15:24
Is that what the visiting voices have told you I said? Don't believe them. What I did say was the one ought not cherry pick and tell the whole truth. For example one ought to be intellectually honest enough to aknowledge that there are catholics and then there are catholics as there are moslems and then there are moslems and there are Jews and then there are Jews and some of those dishonor their faith. That is different from smearing the institution and the religion as a whole as it is customary nowadays among the leftist intelligentia which has substituted anti-semitism for anti-catholicism as a politically correct stance. The connection between Hitler and the Pope is also a smear as the encyclical Brennender Sorge (conveniently side-stepped)indicates.

For example, most of those bashers and sladerers who inveigh against Torquemada and the Spanish Inquisition reveal their abysmal ignorance when they make him the persequtro of Jews and Moslems when in fact the Inquisition had no jurisdiction over non Christians, only over baptized Catholics. Moreover, the Inquisition was a tribunal that judged the orthodoxy of catholics. They issued that judgment but then the punishment was in the hands of civil authorities. The conlusion is inescapable, those slanderers are operating out of ignorance or bad faith, or perhaps both.

Sand2008-12-13 15:04:52
I appreciate that you have set yourself the impossible task of separating the religious institution from its adherents but you are trying to flatten Mt. Everest with a rusty pocket knife and it's no use.

Sand2008-12-13 17:35:59
A solution has occurred to me that might, to some degree, expiate the centuries long horror that the Catholics imposed on the Jews.

In the USA the black people have been treated in almost the same way as the Jews were treated by the Catholics by being very badly beaten and killed in pogroms and chased out of the places where they were living and their possessions confiscated. The Jews were not slaves, admittedly, but their situation, to a large degree was pretty bad due to this Christian discrimination.

This latest election for president has produced, in a somewhat unique way, a strange apology for the bad behavior of the government towards blacks by electing a black leader. Admittedly the country Obama has been granted to work on has, to a good degree, been turned to trash by the ingenious stupidities of the outgoing regime so the tradition of dumping garbage on black people is not entirely violated but Obama is not so blatantly stupid as Bush so he may be able to hold things steady for a while at least.

Therefore, in like manner it might be possible for Catholics to repent a bit for their execrable behavior against Jews by becoming equally flexible. I realize Catholics are a rather petrified bunch but one must recall that the prime focus of the whole establishment was not a Christian but a Jew. Christ was, of course, a Jewish rabbi so it would not be much of a theological stretch for the Catholic Church to appoint a Jew as Pope.

The toughest problem would be to find a Jew willing to be Pope.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-13 21:37:51
Is that the latest suggestion from the visiting voices? Intriguing, given that St. Paul (another Jew) says in one of his epistles that the Church will not be perfect till the Jews claim it as their spiritual inheritance and that the root of Christianity (as well as Islam)is indeed Judaism, but still misguided; I suspect that they did not suggest it as an ecumenical solution but as another way to bash the Church… You should also unburden them of their ignorance and let them know that the Jews were defeated and evicted from their homeland after their rebellion against Rome and brought into captivity not by the Christians but by the same Romans in 70 A.D., those same Romans, by the way, who were persecuting and bashing the Christians.

Sand2008-12-13 21:42:49
So, I gather from your accusations that the brutality of the Romans is what generated the brutality of the Christian traditions mistreating the Jews. Since the Romans are now Christians that has some ring of truth to it.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-14 00:18:19
That is your twisted logic probably suggested by the visiting voices while the historical record is quite clear: the Romans persecuted CHristianity for a good three centuries as a religion akin to Judaism and in fact issuing from the Jews; a religion for slaves and poor. What is astonishing is that the masters of the then known world ended up making it their official religion. That should provided some food for thought for you and the visiting voices, aside from your succulent chocolate cakes and "Christimas cookie" celebrating nothing.

Emanuel Paparella2008-12-14 00:20:17

AP2008-12-14 02:44:31
Is it written somewhere in the Bible that atheists can't celebrate Christmas?

Mr. P., the meaning that Christmas has for you is not universal.
People with whom you have a problem, because they don't believe in burning bushes talking, can celebrate it too.

Sand2008-12-14 03:41:47
It may be dispiriting to you, Mr.P., but I have a hunch that chocolate cake and delicious cookies have a much more universal appeal than Christianity.

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