Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Super - fast track to sainthood


This time it looks like they are tearing up the rule book.

On the second anniversary of his death, 61 percent of Poles want John Paul II to be canonized without going through the usual first step of beatification.

Last year, Pope Benedict dispensed with the customary five-year waiting period before the process can begin.

But this fast track saintification really got up steam under John Paul II. He created more saints in a shorter period than any other pontiff. He began waving of the five year time rule, when he kick started the canonization of (the highly controversial figure of) Mother Theresa.

But still: to become a saint is still tricky, but not as tricky as it used to be.

The Vatican still has to have ‘proof of miracles’.

The favourite seems to be finding people ‘cured’ of an illness that doctors cannot explain.

For instance, Fox news (well, why not?) reported that JP II was responsible for the miracle cure of French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre, who had Parkinson’s disease, just like the Pope himself.

Her cure came on the night of June 2, 2005, exactly two months after the pontiff's death, she said. In her room after evening prayers, she said an inner voice urged her to take up her pen and write. She did, and was surpassed to see that her handwriting — which had grown illegible because of her illness — was clear. She said she then went to bed, and woke early the next morning feeling "completely transformed."

"I was no longer the same inside. It is difficult for me to explain to you in words ... It was too strong, too big. A mystery."

The process (since 1983 the rules are like this) requires a potential saint to go through various phases. A person becomes a "Servant of God", then a “Venerable” then “Martyr”; and then after miracles are ‘proved’ they become “Blessed”. To get from Blessed to Saint requires another miracle.
Of course, using the criteria ‘cure that medical science cannot explain’ is ...well...unscientific. Just because science cannot explain something today does not mean it cannot tomorrow. Some pretty daft reasons for creating saints must have been given in the past.

But that’s not the point. This is religion, not reason.

So why is Pope Benedict – and John Paul II before him – so keen to speed up the canonization process? Is it because they know that we live in a world of diminished attention time spans? Is this a canonization process for the ‘want it now’, impatient, tabloid, instant gratification 21st century, when everything has to happen NOW!

Isn’t this just the dumbing down of canonization – the inflation of saints?

90 comments:

Aaron Fowles said...

It has always been my belief that European Catholicism was in fact more like Papism. Especially in Poland, of course. Jesus is an abstract principle but the Pope is tangible and thus easier to worship. Now that he's dead they want more than a dead deity.

sonia said...

Give it up, Beatroot. You should put up a blogpoll asking 'Should the pope be canonized' ? (You don't have to specify which one, there is only one real pope in Poland). You will then know exactly what percentage of your readers comes from Poland...

beatroot said...

Sonia: I know exactly how many come from POland – it’s called Statcounter.

My point is this: miracles are a daft way to judge if someone is a saint or not. There should be more ‘objective’ criteria, like ‘contributions to the church/humanity…that kind of thing.

They could have a points system for good deeds! Obviously, JP II’s role in fighting of communism in Poland gets him lots of points.

What’s the Vatican’s phone number, anyone?

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm Polish and ... relax Betroot... I'm not offended and I don't think you'll go to hell for what you're writing about.
What we can see on Polish TV ( another 'good-mourning' day yesterday) is a distorted image. Lots of so called catholics want a normal life without another hero.And it's getting worse and worse.Monuments and street names are nothing. Kids in my school (I'm a teacher) have to learn His biography to get a better mark (and religious education grades might soon count or add up to the average on your school report!). Smacks of bad old Stalin. I mean the idea - not THE IDEAL. And sainthood? Isn't it ridiculous to pray for it to God - if it's another pope who decides - or to make it faster...There are also - believe it or not ... tremble to say it- critics of the very idea of Him being ... you know...Some evil people say that he must have known of many cases of pedophlia and hardcore mafia stuff and he did nothing. Blasphemy, I know but still..

Anonymous said...

Do you think we could phone about pedophilia and mafia as well?
Ah, by the way. If you watch the Polish POPE on Polish TV for 5 or 7 hours and you start feeling sick and ... as a result- your health deteriorates in a way...ehm - does it count as a counter-charge in the case? Any points lost?

Brad Zimmerman said...

Sonia,

Just because one does or doesn't live in Poland doesn't necessarily make them Catholic.

...But most people claim (key word) that they are Catholic, in spite of the fact that they don't go to church and use the ten commandments for TP.

JP2: good riddance. There, I said it. He may have helped Poland claw it's way out of the pit that was communism but only because he was one of millions doing the clawing. In the same light that he is revered for ending communism he should be damned for his stances on abortion and use of condoms. Whether or not he knew of all the filth going on in various churchs is debatable but his public comments and dealings with abortion and condoms are as clear as an unmuddied lake.

varus said...

And what would he have wanted. - He asked people to bury him in a simple cask in a was similar to that of a porpers grave. - What did he get? From day one, the Vatican contradicted his wishes. They interned him in stone (nice). There is no question as to if he will become a saint, simply when.

Michael Farris said...

"the inflation of saints?"

hmm sounds more like deflation to me.

Damo said...

Dorothy Day, founder of the Catholic Worker Movement, put it best methinks when she commented:

"when I die, don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed that easily."

Soon after her death in 1980 she was elevated as servant of God. A place I hope she will stay, as she reall was a great servant to the poor. The relationship between Catholic radicals like Day and the church was controversially put by her as:

"The church is whore, but she's my mother"

The frenzied cries of Santo Subito (święty natychmiast, canonize immediately) is very accurately analysed by you BR. The 'want it yesterday' culture almost wanted him canonised before he even died.

I'm interested in finding out what exactly you mean regards your comments on Mother Teresa.

The God of the Gaps viewpoint is a very dodgy one upon which to base one's faith.
The more science advances and explains events previously referred to as miracles, unknowable (Darwinism being a good example)the less reason people of faith will have to believe in what 19th century anti-God of the Gaps evangelical lecturer Henry Drummond referred to as the "occasional wonder-worker".

Saintly Lutherans like Confessing church founder, Nazi-resister Dietrich Bonhoeffer were antagonistic towards this outlook on God. That aside, Pope John Paul II's canonisation is as inevitable as is my eyes suffering from spending too much time on the computer and writing comments on this blog;) A sign that I like it BR.

An incredibly complex character, Karol Wojtyla, in the view of Christian liberals and radicals, he should be less condemned (or not condemned at all) for his stance on abortion, than his inconsistency in a 'life-ethic' that maintains the just-war theory despite the sophisticated levels of non-discriminatory modern weaponry.

Interestingly, Jozef Ratzinger ousted the Legionnaires of Christ headman soon after he came into power. Pope John Paul II had consistently refused to deal with the controversial leader of one of the most influential Latin American church congregations, despite the fact that he had been long been accused of sexually abousing seminarians.

I wonder whether the panzer pope is contemplating whether he himself will still be pope in 5 years - he's 80 years old now. And that, I suspect, is the reason why the process is being sped up - not merely to satisfy the masses, but for Pope Benedict XVI to elevate his own dear friend to the communion of saints as soon as is possible.

How about we take bets on where the next miracle will pop out of? My guess is it'll be close to home!

beatroot said...

By 'inflation of saint's I meant tyhe more you have of them, the les they are worth...like money, innit?

Michael Farris said...

Yeah, i was going to clarify, deflation of sainthood = saint inflation

And it does seem pretty much like a naked popularity contest (and overkill) for a pope to be named a saint.

Damo said...

To add, at times, can certainly be to subtract.

Bar a few popular saints from ages ago, the vast majority not from the 20th century remain largely unknown. With the growing population of Catholics in the developing world, the drive for new saints that the populus will worship is also growing.

'Tis the law of supply and demand.

Padre Pio, Jose Escriva and Edith Stein are 20th century saints that have a large following. The universality of the church is obvious in these examples: the former was a controversial mystic accused of sexual shenanigans with countless women in the course of his ministry; the middle guy is the founder of the influential and controversial Opus Dei movement; whereas the latter lady died at the hands of Nazis in Oswieciem.

Pio's beatification process started only a year after his death in '68, though he wasn't declared a saint until recently.

Redwine said...

Found this one, www.god.pl

Won't be very enlightening though....it's 18+

The www.vatican.pl is under construction.

When to canonize the Borgias? Now that would be fun, and worth blogging.

geez said...

damo, can you supply the source for "the church is a whore" statement? I am very familiar with Dorothy Day, even met her once, and can't imagine that as something she would have said, as she was quite orthodox in her Catholicism.

I'm not at all in the mood to defend or be an apologist for the Church today, being of late much impacted by parish and school closings and other hierarchical administrative flim-flams.

I really don't understand, however, why non-Catholics should give a shit about who is declared a saint. I don't much give a shit, either. And I'm not very big on contemporary "miracles". In fact, I think the miracle upon which Christianity is based is quite enough.

And, damo, I think JP2 was pretty consistent in his position on the problem with modern warfare which you touch upon. Could you please detail what you think his inconsistencies were? Perhaps you are ascribing George Weigel's inane conception of the Church's just war teaching to JP2?

Ba'al-zebub said...

Brad, were you married by a witch and/or satanist? And do you really believe in Elysion?

See you soon.

opamp said...

Well, first of all it should be remembered that the Pope has the authority to declare anyone saint ex officio and without any proceedings. In this case however, it has been apparently decided to follow a normal procedure, albeit sped up (well, it rather looks more like eliminating bureaucratic obstacles while following the process, then bypassing the process).

There should be more ‘objective’ criteria, like ‘contributions to the church/humanity…that kind of thing.

Uh. There is. This is prerequisite and verified during the proceedings.

The reason why this is not enough, is that it is impossible to verify directly if the candidate, after he/she died went to Heaven. (Imagine for example a candidate, who maintains a spotless posture while secretely engaging in amoral acts, which earned him/her a place in Hell). This however needs to be known, because a saint is a figure of worship and thus, must be in communion with God in Heaven.

So, an indirect proof of the candidate's salvation, in the form of a miracle (i.e., direct divine intervention), obtained by proxy of the candidate afer death, is required.

Also, not any miracle will do here, it must be demonstrably linked to the candidate (i.e. the miraculously cured person prayed to the candidate before the miracle happened).

jannovak57 said...

We’re debating religion?

Let JPII have his sainthood after all there is precedence, in Ireland they gave a guy sainthood just because he was good at pest control.

List of JPII miracles:

Surviving WWII without a scratch by keeping his head down for years at a stretch while the other young people died fighting in the resistance.

Providing the Vatican with a much needed media star.

Successfully surviving a KGB organized assassination attempt.

Recovering from blindness, after going to the US he missed noticing that there wasn’t any alter boys with anal retention but recovered full vision on his return to the Vatican.

Furthermore he’s one of our own and therefore we should support his elevation to sainthood. It’s a leg up on the Germans as Bene can’t be saint because of that business with the anti-aircraft gun.

We can’t hold this condom business against him as most of the problems with this were in Africa where they didn’t don’t want to use them anyway.

Someone complained about Mother Teresa?

Anonymous said... “I don't think you'll go to hell for what you're writing about.”

Don’t give beatroot a false sense of security; you’re not in the position to guarantee that!

One last comment on religion, in the Middle East if the Jews and Muslims behaved more like Christians than they wouldn’t be in such a mess.

Mr K said...

Well, boys and girls, if the Vatican’s procedure for declaring someone saint worries you then I envy you your problems.

opamp said...

Surviving WWII without a scratch by keeping his head down for years at a stretch while the other young people died fighting in the resistance.

And thank God for that.

For several generations a role model for young Poles was an anonymous hero who participated in a senseless (as in, doomed to fail) resistance against Russians/Germans/communists and ended up in a grave (or, in Siberia). Continued following of this model would threaten the existance of the nation (see the Warsaw Rising, for example).

Wojtyla broke this cycle, by providing a new role model. Religion aside, he was a man of success by any possible measure. A son of an officer, he became a leader of an organization that has over 1 billion members. You can't get higher than that, really.

So he showed the Polish people that impossible is attainable. And that was the miracle.

beatroot said...

Opamp
it rather looks more like eliminating bureaucratic obstacles while following the process, then bypassing the process).

Are you suggesting that this whole thing is a cost cutting, cutting red tape efficiency drive?

Then tell Pope Benny we need him over here in Poland – fast!!!!!!!!

You say that there is an ‘objective criteria’. Opamp – get real. This is about FAITH. An ‘objective miracle’ is an oxymoron.

This is something that comes under something quite different from objectivity….it comes from another part of the brain.

Mr K
Who said I was worried? Just trying to help you Catholics seem relevant to the 21st century.

:-)

geez said...

Somehow I think Catholicism is still a bit more relevant for the 21st century than Beatrootism.

At least a lot more people obviously consider themselves Catholic than Beatrootian.

But given the administrative idiocies of the guys who wear the silly pointed hats and silky robes, this may change as the century wears on.

As to the saint thing, there are objective criteria, BR, and then the miracle stuff which is considered to validate the authenticity of the objective stuff.

Also, before I forget in reference to dano's comments... from things I've read it seems like it could have very much been P. Benny himself, when he was very much the doctrinal power behind JP2 as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who kept letting Escriva slide. I glad P. Benny finally put the ruler to Escriva's hand -- but too little, too late, I'd say.

opamp said...

Are you suggesting that this whole thing is a cost cutting, cutting red tape efficiency drive?

Sort of. The candidature has strong, um, political support, so they are cutting the red tape for it.

An ‘objective miracle’ is an oxymoron.

Well, you misunderstood me. You complain that they ignore objective criteria and look for miracles. I explain, that they have already investigated the "objective" criteria and this candidature fullfills them. (It is so obvious that it largely went unreported, nevertheless it has been done, about a year or so ago. And yes, it did go very fast since they had both all the needed documentation and, um, political will to push it).

So what is left is verifying, let's call them the supernatural criteria. Now, this gets reported in the media, because it is by definition something unusual (miracles make good newspaper stories, right?).

beatroot said...

But Geehsa, have you not noticed a backward slide that is going on in the Vatican at the moment? Like I pointed out in the post about ‘tree huggers are the anti-Christ’, Benny is choosing some pretty reactionary people to express the official line.

I think that is a strategic mistake (from an outsiders point of view). In Africa the Church is trying to adapt to African conditions. In south America it’s the same. Customised religion is the best way to adapt to local conditions. As a business would.

But the Vatican has not got the hang of Europe yet (it’s better at this in the US). The catholic church in Europe has to modernize…and it is doing the opposite. Watch those congregations continue to plummet!

opamp said...

To clarify (I now see the problem with my original statement):

BR:

There should be more ‘objective’ criteria, like ‘contributions to the church/humanity…that kind of thing.

Me: These have already been verified positively. What is left to verify are the supernatural criteria (miracles). The procedure requires both to be verified.

Verification of the "objective" criteria had a very interesting form in the old (pre-1983) procedure. It resembled a court trial, with the proponent arguing for the sainthood presenting documents/witnesses/etc. demonstrating the virtues of the candidat, and another official (aptly named advocatus diaboli) arguing against, and a special commision judging.

(And now you can read my text about why they want miracles).

beatroot said...

Opamp
I explain, that they have already investigated the "objective" criteria and this candidature fullfills them. (

I think you misunderstand me. How can you have an ‘objective criteria’ for a miracle?

What the French nun is saying is that because the symptoms of Parkinston’s went away exactly two months after JP died was because of JP II!

Under any definition of ‘objective’ that is not….objective.

Miracles are about the belief in miracles. And the belief in miracles is not objective. It’s about faith.

Redwine said...

"has to modernize…and it is doing the opposite" - as if you didn't notice that the opposite is going on, when it comes to ideologies. A sad fact.

beatroot said...

- as if you didn't notice that the opposite is going on, when it comes to ideologies. A sad fact.

But you know, that I do think exactly that. It’s all about the failure of secular movements…socialism, modernism, that kind of stuff. So people are left grasping at absolutes, like religion, or ‘environmentalism’, and how it ‘used to be’…

opamp said...

Benny is choosing some pretty reactionary people to express the official line.

That is pretty natural because he is reactionary. (Benedict's biography is interesting in this regard. He was originally very liberal, but did a 180 degree turn after seeing the outcome of the '68 revolution. And he still remains on friends terms with Hans Kung...)

I think that [hardening the line instead of modernizing] is a strategic mistake

Benedict has an interesting line of reasoning that goes basically like this: the trend to modernize everything post-1968 resulted in Western Europe largely rejecting its heritage and identity and becoming culturally confused and seriously weakened a result. He views that as a mistake which the Church should not repeat.

In a more extreme extrapolation of this doctrine, he is not willing to compromise the doctrinal/ideological integrity of the Church for short term gains in one theater. This makes some sense, since some even go as far as saying that this theater is already lost anyway.

Customised religion is the best way to adapt to local conditions. As a business would.

Duh. Christianity is already largely customized compared to other religions.
The risk of customizing too much is this: at which point a customized local version will become an independent religion?

Brad Zimmerman said...

Ba'al-zebub,

I'm married to one.

Due to the somewhat behind-the-times laws here in Poland, we had to be married by a civil servant. So, with two witnesses, that's what we did.

A few days later we had a friend act as "priestess" and we got officially married in front of our friends and family. At that point we started wearing our rings and saying husband/wife to each other.

As for elysion: Nope. When we're dead, we take a literal dirt nap and that's the end of it.

As a little side note, "Ba'al-zebub" if you were trying to be cute and imply that I will be going to "Hell" because I obviously don't believe in "God" then you should quit your missionary work now because all you're doing is pissing people off with silly talk like that.

opamp said...

How can you have an ‘objective criteria’ for a miracle?

You can't (using your definition of 'objective', anyway. I am not going to argue over words).

Miracles are not "objective" criteria. Let's call them "supernatural".

"Objective" criteria are biography, writings and stuff. And these have been already verified positively (not much news in this, eh?).

The problem is that the procedure requires both fulfilling the "objective" criteria and miracles. So they are now at miracles...

beatroot said...

Opamp
"Objective" criteria are biography, writings and stuff. And these have been already verified positively (not much news in this, eh?).

Well, if that is ‘objective criteria’ – since when has a ‘biography’ been ‘objective’? Although generally you say some interesting things about this.

the trend to modernize everything post-1968 resulted in Western Europe largely rejecting its heritage and identity and becoming culturally confused and seriously weakened a result.

I completely agree with that, although for different reasons. I don’t regret loosing a ‘European’ (meaning ‘Christianity, Latin’) identity…we have lost a grip on (we never had it, really) a human identity Something that unites me, you, her, him, wherever….

And that’s because of ‘multi-culturalism’…the doctrine that emphasizes DIFFERENCE instead of unity.

Amen

opamp said...

since when has a ‘biography’ been ‘objective’

In the same sense that your "contributions to the church/humanity" are "objective". (And of course, the contributions are also looked into). Generally I meant something along the lines of "documented stuff not based on faith", which you claim was missing (it is not, merely underreported as uninteresting).

But you agreeing with Benedict -- now, that is something...

Harry said...

beatroot said...
So people are left grasping at absolutes, like religion, or ‘environmentalism’, and how it ‘used to be’…


You really do seem to have a terrible grasp of what environmentalism actually means. It is the absense of an absolute which marks out environmentalism. Environmentalists tend to believe that the what is in the best economic interest of man is not necessarily always the right thing to do.

beatroot said...

Environmentalists tend to believe that what is in the best economic interest of man is not necessarily always the right thing to do.

:-)

Can you not see the contradiction of what you have just said?

How can the ‘best economic interests of man’ not be in the ‘right thing to do’….?

What you are really saying is: economic growth is not in the best interest of humans.

The only people who are going to really suffer from ‘climate change’ etc are people in less developed countries who don’t have the resources to adapt to the changes that are coming. Being against societies economically developing is condemning them to poverty and the whim of ‘nature’.

The ‘left’ we have today is so pathetically conservative that they are as bad as the conservative right.

geez said...

Let me see if I got this right... Only on the Beatroot...

Brad Zimmerman (no relation to Bob I don't suppose?), a satanist's husband (ru a satanist too Brad?) is criticizing B-bub on the B-root for pissing people off.

Isn't that B-bub's job?

One might think writing a post concluding "good riddance" to JP2 might piss some people off who read a blog about Poland. Not me for I find it amusing. And hey, think and write what you will.

I don't get the logic though. If, as Brad states, JP2 was leading Catholics astray, shouldn't Satanists have been reveling in his papacy, rather than celebrating his passing?

Seems that Screwtape is hard at work.

And Poland is backwards because it doesn't officially recognize Satanistic marriages while it does recognize civil unions?

geez said...

Being against societies economically developing is condemning them to poverty and the whim of ‘nature’.

I dunno, mister br, the stuff I've been reading lately about GM foods seems to indicate that such "economic development" may well do more harm than good to poorer countries, making them dependent upon seed that they can't afford -- or want. Regardless of whether or not that seed is a good thing or not healthwise.

Brad Zimmerman said...

geez: blah blah blah! Lets attack the non-Catholic who thinks Poles are fine on their own (horror)! Get 'im, boys!

And yes, I am a Satanist! Anton and me go ALL the way back! We threw the Prince of Darkness when he got kicked out of Heaven! Weeee crazy Satanists!

So I am gonna wait around now for the mob; ring the doorbell if I fall asleep before you all get here.

Brad Zimmerman said...

the Prince of Darkness ^a party when...

I got all worked up and forgot to type everything. It's my crazy, unwired Satanist brain.

geezer said...

What are you talking about Brad?

I never thought Satanists could be so thin-skinned.

Listen to some Ozzy and chill.

I won't tease you anymore.

Damo said...

Geez,

I trust my comments regarding Dorothy Day re. the church is a whore, but she's my mother.

One of my sources is somebody who has lived in the CW motherhouse for 14 years. I have also been best friends, lived and worked with with an Aussie who has been prominent in the CW for 25 years - he also attributed this to Day.

I've had extensive contact with a wide range of U.S. and British CW'ers for the past 4 years, many of whom I have heard coining this phrase as hers.

I'm interested in finding out the exact when and where and in what context though so I'll get back to you on it as I soon as I look through my CW archives.

Re. Escriva: I agree with your viewpoint.

Re. warfare & the papacy:
I'm most certainly not getting Weigel the crackpot mixed up with PJPII.

There was a pivotal moment in the early 90's when the influential Jesuit monthly Civiltà Cattolica editorial called for the abolishing of the just war theory in the face of modern warfare.
Many pacifists felt that this would have a serious impact on the Vatican, and maybe in time it will.

You're right to point out that Pope John Paul II was consistent in his condemnation of wars during his tenure. From what I remember, he never justified any war under his tenure as reaching the just war criteria.
He was consistently against the 1st Gulf war through to the most recent debacle in Iraq. Ratzinger has followed his line closely (maybe it was Ratzinger's theological line and John Paul's philosophical pitch working hand in hand all along).

What I wrote earlier was "he should be less condemned (or not condemned at all) for his stance on abortion, than his inconsistency in a 'life-ethic' that maintains the just-war theory despite the sophisticated levels of non-discriminatory modern weaponry."

I believe there was a missed opportunity under his reign not to debunk the just war theory in an age of 1st strike nuclear weaponry and arms proliferation. The church has always had an absolutist ethic on abortion but since Augustine has had a clearly relativist ethic on war. Maybe this relativist ethic will be scaled back further by Benedict.

I helped found and run a CW in Dublin for a number of years during a Ploughshares trial so if you're in Poland I'd be interested in meeting up. See Dublin Catholic Worker for more details.

Did ye all here Kaczyinski stated that PJPII would quite possibly be named a saint within his own tenure (2010)? He's obviously got better sources than us.

Damo said...

I'm obviously not a tech head. Them links I gave ain't good. What am I doing wrong?

Geez, they are:

www.peaceontrial.com

www.geocities.com/dublincatholicworker

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

Damo
Just copy and pase the url....we can do the same...no tricky links required here, mate...

Geeeesh
Only on the beatroot...

Brad Zimmerman (no relation to Bob I don't suppose?), a satanist's husband (ru a satanist too Brad?) is criticizing B-bub on the B-root for pissing people off.

Isn't that B-bub's job?


Well, indeed.

I do think it is a bit rich to suggest that JP II ‘leads catholics astray’. Catholics, like the rest of us, have free will and can make their own choices, and defend themselves against all manner of things – including the beatroot’s new found Satanist faction!

Personally I got nothing against Jp II. He was a very impressive person in many ways and I miss the guy – especially when he was younger. His speeches, in Poland, were often quite funny. He liked being the centre of attention. He was a good pope in the sense he inspired people, like popes didn’t before him and won’t again, probably.

Only on the beatroot will you find the beatroot, a humanist, defending a catholic against Satanists!!!!!!!!!


But Geeesha
There is no reputable study that has proved that GM is BAD for our health. There has been one study (in the UK) - ONE - that suggests it might be bad for the occasional butterfly (diversity etc), but that is just about it. But that was one study and one study does make science not. Anti-GM is about as dumb as Satanism.

Neo-ludditeism, Geeesha...

varus said...

Beatroot said" There is no reputable study that has proved that GM is BAD for our health. There has been one study (in the UK) - ONE - that suggests it might be bad for the occasional butterfly (diversity etc), but that is just about it. But that was one study and one study does make science not. Anti-GM is about as dumb as Satanism."

But that surley is the point. I am not agaist the idea of GM, but has there been enough research into the long term effect. As you said, no. GM products are already well established in our shops, and to be honest no one knows their possible effect. We can either limit their sale until more research has been done, or the consumer has to make their own choice (my favoured option). However, US companies are lobbying the EU to remove the law which specifies that all food with GM ingredients must be labelled as such> This removes the ability of consumer choice and thus we are left with only the first option. This move by US producer creates mistrust amongst consumers as they rightly wonder what the producers have to hide if GM is ok.

beatroot said...

GM products are already well established in our shops, and to be honest no one knows their possible effect.

So, if we don;t know the possible longterm effects' what you are saying is 'don't do it'...


If that was the attitude to everything we would still be living in the dark ages. The 'precautionary principle' is the general mindset in the EU etc these days, and in that way the EU is acting like the old catholic church.

If there is no evidence that something is harmful then it isn't harmful until we find proof that it is. And if something isn;t harmful then now is the time to do it.

varus said...

Beatroot,

As i said i am not agaist them (GM), i also take your point about progress. However, will long term progress be affected by waiting twenty or thirty years for a real study of the long term affects of GM products upon an organism and the general food-chain?

Blind progress is not always progress as i am sure any one affected by Thalidomide will tell you.

beatroot said...

Point taken about Thalidomide...but that happened because they did not follow proper testing proceedures. If they had then it would not have happened.

DDT and malaria. Some Green from the US started a panic about that so they banned it, without any scientific basis for doing so. And now, thirty years later we know that it isn't dangerous.

Consequence - million have died unecessarily from over cautious, unscientific attitudes....

steppx said...

from geez"I dunno, mister br, the stuff I've been reading lately about GM foods seems to indicate that such "economic development" may well do more harm than good to poorer countries, making them dependent upon seed that they can't afford -- or want. Regardless of whether or not that seed is a good thing or not healthwise.

11:50 PM

this is the anti GM argument....an its valid. Farmers in Mali have to go to monsanto for seed. The seeds are sterile....so monsanto can make more money....(and look, Im not a scientist or biologist...so this is all from stuff Ive read...so, you know, take it as just that). But since people have done just fine in farming matters for centuries...I dont know why agri corporate business is going to make life better. Corporations dont help anywhere else. But beet.....I know you support GM....and I know your a smart guy. And in principle it maybe seems like progress....but unless farmers are freed from the economic servitude of buying from Monsanto, or whoever, then there seems a problem and something less than progress.
Progress is tricky, as concepts go. Western man has linked progress with mass organization and control and uber planning....and this goes for the left and the right. One might argue the enlightenemt, while needed as a corrective, has bred Hiroshima and the total war all the time rule of advanced capital we have today.
As for what the enlightenment corrected: it was the dogma of a reactionary and obscurantist church....and thats alive in this entire beatificaton process....if the former Ustashe chaplain is beatified...and the founder of Opus Dei, then dorothy day should feel fortunate she isnt going to be canonized. *Miracles*...???? I mean geeeeez, its just superstition.....period.

geez said...

Damo:

Came across this on the net:

The statement, “She’s a Whore, but she’s my Mother", has historically been attributed to Cicero, Augustine and Dorothy Day.

<><>
I'm still having problems accepting it was ever used by D-Day. Again, please share the wwwww. Thanks.

geez said...

Damo: And now I see this on the net:

Martin Luther once said: “Yes, the church is a whore, but she's still my mother.”

beatroot said...

I'm still having problems accepting it was ever used by D-Day. Again, please share the wwwww. Thanks.

Perhaps it was Doris Day?

geez said...

Yea, it was a big hit for her in 1955. Went to #14 on the charts. Good beat but hard to dance to.

europejczyk said...

'damo' remembered us of the political implications of JPII's sainthood:
"Did ye all here Kaczyinski stated that PJPII would quite possibly be named a saint within his own tenure (2010)? He's obviously got better sources than us."

Maybe the Twins already took this into their calculations for re-election. When the Vatican eventually will announce the final canonization of JPII, this act undoubtedly will boost national and religious feelings among the Poles. If the canonization even will coincide with the 2009/2010 election campaign, it will be helpful in gathering votes for those political parties that dwell on national-religious attitudes of the electorate, such as PiS and LPR.

In Poland, since long a national myth has been built up around JPII. Its deep-rootedness paradigmatically shows the protest expressed by a high-ranking state official, the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to the Federal Republic of Germany, against some remarks, explicitly declared as "satire," on alleged wonders ascribed to JPII. They were recently published by the German daily "Die Welt" in its online edition (not in the print edition). In Poland, the news triggered a new wave of fiercely anti-German comments on the Web.

It shows once more that Polish national myths are not only, as a rule, unknown, but also not taken seriously outside Poland and the archipelago of "Polonia." The Polish Government's usual reactions on satire - see e.g. the "Kartoffel" article in Germany or the "Zbigniew" caricature in the U.S. - are part of a program of creating a positive image of Poland outside the country, a program for which a whole department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible. I wonder, if the measures taken by the MFA really will reach this aim. Maybe they rather backfire?

beatroot said...

That's good. JP II is Poland’s main basset. They clung to him when he was alive and they are clinging still. Especially the politicians. Even the ex-communists come out with pious remarks sometimes. They all hope some of Him will rub off on them.

And you are right about the ‘feel good’ effect JP II gives. If Warsaw could just the Vatican just before the election that would be great.

And it would be a tempting thing for the Vatican to do. Better the devil you know (who likes you) than the devil who isn’t so sure …

beatroot said...

That's good. JP II is Poland’s main basset.

I meant 'asset', of course...:-)

steppx said...

I liked "basset"....and was working on the implications.....thinking, geez, beat is really *deep*.....:)

Mr K said...

“In Poland, the news triggered a new wave of fiercely anti-German comments on the Web.”

Are you surprised? Tasteless humor often generates negative reactions. Remember what fallowed the Danish cartoons?

“…Polish national myths are not only, as a rule, unknown, but also not taken seriously outside Poland and the archipelago of "Polonia."”

I don’t disagree with you on this, but I am afraid you focused too much on the sensitivities of the average Pole but overlooked the hypocrisy of the Western media. What are the chances that a German newspaper is going to refer to Fidel Castro “Mr. sugar cane”? Or to Muamar Kadafi… well, I am sure you can find an expression the Libyans will find questionable. Don’t tell me Die Welt doesn’t make fun of the men from Havana and Tripoli because of the lack of reasons.

I am a strong believer in equality. If you have the guts to publish cartoons about JPII then you should treat the same way some prominent Muslim cleric from London.

I think that a lot of people in Poland are upset more about the double standards of the Western media than the jokes themselves.

europejczyk said...

Quote: "If you have the guts to publish cartoons about JPII then you should treat the same way some prominent Muslim cleric from London."

mr k, that doesn't match. Even a very prominent cleric has, in Islam, by far not a position comparable to that of the Pope in Roman Catholicism. And what is more, most probably nobody in Germany will know even the name of a Muslim cleric from London. So even the sharpest satire about him will be a no-burner in a German newspaper.

Moreover, the media fuss about the canonization of JPII has evoked a lot of satirical comments all over the world. Interestingly, only that what a German newspaper writes, seems to attract the interest of Poland's ruling classes in politics and media. It smacks of another move in their game of "history politics."

Don't let us forget that JPII was a great media star - I personally attended his appearence twice, in Italy and in Poland - who know to pull out all the stops of mass communication. There is, however, always a risk for people who like to stand in the limelight (remember, e.g., the Simon Mol case): they do not only attract admirers, but also evoke controversies, particularly if they themselves are "fighters" for their ideals.

Even the stoutest Catholic should be able to accept that there are many, many people in the world for whom the popular veneration of the Pope in Poland - in his lifetime or after his death - looks very strange, to say it modestly. The idea of a human being to be a "saint" as understood by the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, is alien to Jews, Muslims, and Protestants, and "wonders" are still more suspicious to the non-religious, enlightened strata of Western societies. So please don't be surprised that there is criticism. And satire is and always has been nothing but a form of criticism.

BTW, the world's best satirists have come from Poland. Since I have moved to this country, eight years ago, I've realized, why.

Harry said...

beatroot said...
Environmentalists tend to believe that what is in the best economic interest of man is not necessarily always the right thing to do.

:-)

Can you not see the contradiction of what you have just said?

How can the ‘best economic interests of man’ not be in the ‘right thing to do’….?

What you are really saying is: economic growth is not in the best interest of humans.

Perhaps you misunderstood: the right thing to do is not necessarily the thing which is best for the economic interest of man. Look at Pandas: what do they do? Bugger all. The best economic interest of man is to shot the Pandas which are alive and eat them all. Would you support us doing that? Same with foxes. Best economic interest of man is to hunt them with hounds, creates lots of jobs for people who look after horses and dogs. Do you support fox hunting? And what about Antarctica? What does that actually do? How does it add to the wealth of man? Let’s use it as a dumping ground for radio-active waste. And the Amazon? Chop it down! Use the wood for MDF and raise beef for McDonalds on the newly-cleared ground.

Get the point yet?

YouNotSneaky! said...

Pandas (and other furry creatures) are basically entertainment for humans, hence keeping them around is in the best economic interest of man. Good point about Antarctica though. Nice to know we got that big chunk of ice to use as a garbage dump if the need ever arises (currently it's probably not cost effective).

But seriously. Arguing that things like the Amazon rain forest have some kind of 'intrinsic value' apart from the value that we as humans choose to place upon it for whatever reason is nothing more than a theological argument (not to mention that it's often an instance of the 'nature fallacy')

opamp said...

If you have the guts to publish cartoons about JPII then you should treat the same way some prominent Muslim cleric from London.

No way... The cleric's followers could come to your office and blow themselves up. JPII followers tend not to do this. And besides, criticizing Muslim minorities is unprogressive and harms integration efforts (or something like that).

So, anti-Catholicism has become the last commonly acceptable form of prejudice.

opamp said...

JP II is Poland’s main asset.

Nope. He WAS one. All politics in the country was based on this man. The man is gone, and everything went crazy.

Of course, that was unavoidable. You cannot really base political system on a dead man, even a saint one (North Korea notwithstanding). So I predict that it will sort itself out.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

Harry
Get the point yet?

Er....no.

Sneaky
Arguing that things like the Amazon rain forest have some kind of 'intrinsic value' apart from the value that we as humans choose to place upon it for whatever reason is nothing more than a theological argument (not to mention that it's often an instance of the 'nature fallacy')

Bingo!

Opamp - I don't think we can pin the blame on JP II for Poland going nuts. Politicians behaved themselves until they got in the EU - and then they went nuts...

Michael Farris said...

IMO JPII is a sacred cow, even non-catholic Poles, even people who disagree(d) with him on specific issues would rather not criticise him (and IME get prickly when you point out they don't agree with his positions).

I think the best thing for Poland would be if the next pope is from Latin America and doesn't care one way or the other about Poland.

Mr K said...

“Even a very prominent cleric has, in Islam, by far not a position comparable to that of the Pope in Roman Catholicism.”

You are right, Europejczyk. If pope Benedict made an announcement “Death to heretics” I doubt that young Catholic boys around the globe would suddenly load explosive materials in their back packs and blow themselves up on trains in Kabul and Teheran. And this is the reason why Western media may sometimes criticize Muslim cleric, but at all costs avoids any kind of satire. Let’s just say that Muslims have a different sense of humor.

“…anti-Catholicism has become the last commonly acceptable form of prejudice.”

Good point, opamp. That’s exactly what I tell my American friends whenever I hear them tell Polish or Catholic joke. I challenge them to say (in public) something equally “funny” about blacks, Jews, Moslems or homosexuals.

geez said...

There was a Pole, a Catholic, a black, a Jew, a Moslem, and a homosexual sitting at the bar...

A Canadian walked in and they all started laughing at him.

beatroot said...

Opamp
“…anti-Catholicism has become the last commonly acceptable form of prejudice.”

That simply isn’t true at all. It’s perfectly OK to have a go at the white working class – ‘chavs’, ‘rednecks’; it’s also OK to have a go at the recently wealthy working class with their SUV’s and fake tans; it’s OK to have a go at people who go into Macdonald’s…fat stupid working class; and it’s OK to have a go at ex-communist east/central Europeans…Borat.

So, not just Catholics.

europejczyk said...

mr k: I feel you demonize Islam a little bit. The overwhelming majority of Muslims is equally peaceful as the overwhelming majority of Roman Catholics. And you have fanatics also among the latter - though I didn't check every single case, I would guess that our European IRA and ETA terrorists are RC, too. And what about the "pro-lifers" who firebomb clinics where - legal - abortions are made, and who gun down the clinic personnel? RC hate rhetoric, at least, encourages them. War always begins in the heads.

Among the roughly 2,500 (!) hate speech comments about the Die Welt satire on JPII miracles at the interia.pl Web site alone you will find some hundred, where the author calls for killing Germans or even promises to do this at the next possibility or regrets that he hadn't yet done so. How many Catholics are among them, in a coutry where 98 percent of its citizens declare to adhere to Catholicism? Did they understand JPII's teachings? Please allow me to doubt.

I remember well the wave of blow-under-the-belt comments in the Polish media (especially Father Rydzyk's) two years ago when Ratzinger (a German) was elected Pope. Would you see it also as an expression of anti-Catholicism? Or doesn't all this rather look like a paraphrase on Orwell: All Popes are equal, but one is more equal?

The reactions of the Polish public and its government on the Die Welt satire reminded me of the uproar in Muslim countries when, at the turn of 2006, quite a lot of western newspapers reprinted the Prophet's cartoons, a satire first published by the Danish daily Jyllands Posten, and received as a severe laesio majestatis by Muslim believers. In Germany, the press reacted cowardly and did not dare to reprint the cartoons. With one exception: Die Welt, which reprinted them in full.

Mr K said...

“mr k: I feel you demonize Islam a little bit.”

Maybe I do, but comparing young men who in the name of Allah detonate bombs on buses in London to IRA or ETA is a stretch. Irish and Basque separatists’ ideologies have ethnic, not religious background. After all Spain and France, the usual targets of Basque violence, are both predominantly Catholic countries.

Abortion clinics? Yeah, no disagreement here and I am making this statement at the risk of being excommunicated. ) There is however a big difference between those pro-life fanatics and Muslim radicals. The former attack people who – in their minds – commit crimes by either performing or requesting abortions. The latter will travel to your country and kill you just because you are an infidel on your way to work.

The unfriendly reaction to the Die Welt humor may be bothersome, but I don’t think Poles are worse than others in that respect. I still vividly remember international reaction - on one of the Yahoo discussion groups - to the collapse of the roof during an annual racing pigeon exhibition in Southern Poland in December of 2006. I don’t think it’s available on Yahoo anymore, but I can’t forget comments like “Polacks are so stupid, they can’t even build a decent roof”, “and for entertainment they play with pigeons, morons”. And remember, we are not talking about tasteless satirical article, but the death of over 60 people. Are you going to analyze Yahoo’s users’ religious affiliations and draw conclusions?

Father Rydzyk? I don’t really know him, but contrary to what some people say I think his influence on the Polish society is greatly exaggerated. No matter how much he tries he won’t be able to dispatch a substantial number of young followers on suicide missions to kill innocent civilians. And even if he finds one mentally unstable young “martyr”, the boy’s family will to everything in their capacity to stop him. (No willing virgins in Catholic heaven))).

geez said...

mr. k wrote No matter how much he tries he won’t be able to dispatch a substantial number of young followers on suicide missions to kill innocent civilians.
<><><>
No, but those old guys and ladies with their canes, wagging fingers, and the way they berate (and beret) people seems pretty darn terroristic to me. Sort of like the attack of the zombies in Night of the Living Dead.

beatroot said...

Mr K
comparing young men who in the name of Allah detonate bombs on buses in London to IRA or ETA is a stretch. Irish and Basque separatists’ ideologies have ethnic, not religious background.

Wile it is good to see that you do not reduce the Northern Irish conflict to ‘religion’ (something that I have had to correct people on all my life) the conflict is (was?) not about ethnicity but politics.

It was about nationalist/repunlicans versus loyalist/unionists. These are (were?) political ideologies, not ethnic. In fact, many of the original fighters for home rule for Ireland were Protestant ‘English-Irish’ like Charles Parnell.

So not ethnic, political.

And the jihadists are neither representing an ethnic group nor a political ideology – they are just nihiists…

geez said...

I don't think the jihadists are anything like nihilists. The jihadists believe in something. And that something is based first and foremost upon their interpretation of Islam. You can certainly legitimately argue theirs is a very pucked fup interpretation. But, also, for the most part they do attempt to speak for Arab Muslims. And they do have a politics of resisting western control over their economies. And they want to establish sharia law as the basis of their societies.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

Since arab muslims are a minority in Islam, and since most of the suicide bombers in Europe (few as they are) have been from Pakistan, Bosnia, Chechnya, that ain't true.

These are mostly middle class kids who have been 'radicalised' in the west.

don't think the jihadists are anything like nihilists. The jihadists believe in something.

Yeah, as many of them have said:

“We love death as you love life”.

Nihilism. Don’t flatter them with anything else.

If the young British-Asians who blew them selves up ‘because of Iraq’ were doing anything ‘political’ they would try and form mass movements through political engagement, debate, etc.

They don’t. They blow themselves up.

Shame then that the authorities try and make these twats into something that they are not. “Ah, they are trying to threaten OUR way of life,” the western politicians and columnists scream.

No they are not. How can they be a threat to our way of life? They have no political program, just suicide bombings.

Nihilists.

geez said...

Pakistanis, Bosnians, Chechnyans have other issues. I wouldn't lump them together in the same vein as the Arab jihadists. The Asian angle seems even stranger.

beatroot said...

First of all, suicide is a very recent phenomenum in the Arab world and completely new to Iraq.

Suicide bombing first took off – with a bang, as it were – with the Tamils – an Asian ethnic group.

The jihadist threat – such as it is – in the UK is mainly Pakistani in origin. In fact the only idiots to do it were mainly Pakistani – and the wannabe suicide idiots were Pakistani too.

The Bali bombing, which blew up mainly Australians was done south east Asians.

Etc. So singling out Arabs is just silly. Most Muslims are from Asia, but only 1 in 5 of them are Arabs. Most suicide bombings against westerners in the west have been done by Asians in some form or other, but not Arabs.

geez said...

from an article at: http://www.tamilnation.org/ltte/00rationalfanatics.htm

"A long view of history reveals that suicide terrorism existed many years before "truck bombs" became part of the global vernacular. As early as the 11th century, the Assassins, Muslim fighters living in northern Persia, adopted suicide terrorism as a strategy to advance the cause of Islam."

"... it is important to take into account what might be called "pre-suicide terrorism." Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide operations in Israel during the 1990s were preceded by a wave of knifings in the late 1980s. These attackers never planned an escape route and were often killed on the spot. The knifings did not involve any known organization and were mostly spontaneous. But they expressed a collective mood among young Palestinians of jihad (holy war) against Israel that helped create an atmosphere for the institutionalized suicide terrorism of the next decade."

><><><

Also, modern day wise.... Hezbollah's coordinated campaign of suicide bombing vs Israel in Lebanon pretty much set the stage in 1983-5 for what was to follow in other spots, no?

And the Tamil Black Tigers seem like a whole 'nother ballgame.

beatroot said...

As early as the 11th century, the Assassins, Muslim fighters living in northern Persia,

Not Arab

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide operations in Israel during the 1990s were preceded by a wave of knifings in the late 1980s...

Not jihad...that is a more old fashioned struggle caused by occupation.

Hezbollah's coordinated campaign of suicide bombing vs Israel in Lebanon pretty much set the stage in 1983-5 for what was to follow in other spots, no?

Hezbollah are funded by Iran...who are not Arab either...and He are not jihadist either. They go back to 1982 and are linked to conflict with Israel over territory.

geez said...

BR: First of all, suicide is a very recent phenomenum in the Arab world and completely new to Iraq.

11th century, the Assassins, Muslim fighters in northern Persia: Not Arab


So you are saying Iranians aren't and don't consider themselves Arabs? If that's completely true, you got me. Congrats! But suicidal violence was still long used in behalf of *Islam*, not Zoroasterism.

And Arab resistance, much of it jihadist and not infrequently suicidal, doesn't stem from occupation? I really don't understand how you can say that Hezbollah isn't a Jihadist group. Their imans never declared any jihad? And they are Arab even if they were funded by the Soviet Union or Iran or both. And it still seems to me that they still initiated the modern era of suicidal/homicidal bombing -- with the Tamil Tigers, et. al. directly taking their inspiration from them.

beatroot said...
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beatroot said...

So you are saying Iranians aren't and don't consider themselves Arabs?

If you called an Iranian (Persian) an Arab who would cut ya balls off...it's just about the worst tjing you could call him.

A bit of a give away is that Arabs usually speak Arab. Iranians speak Farsi. Turks speak Turkish...etc....

Michael Farris said...

"So you are saying Iranians aren't and don't consider themselves Arabs?"

Iran is a multi-ethnic country and there is a small Arab minority, but the large majority are Irani (sensu largo) and Modern Persian, not Arabic, is the national language. There are also Azerbaijanis (Turkic) and other groups.

So, short answer, no the overwhelming majority of Iranians do not consider themselves to be Arabs.

There are a number of different definitions of Arab. Language is certainly an important factor but there are also ethnic, political and religious considerations.
And the language has spread out to non-Arab populations as well. I've known people whose first language was Arabic but who absolutely did not consider themselves to be Arabs.

This wikipedia page (caution: wikipedia) is a nice siple introduction to the complex question of who is and isn't an Arab:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs

geez said...

Thanks. My ignance stems from a deep disdain as a child for my ancient history teachers. And coz I'm tired of middle eastern wars. Having looked it up, I found that Arabs comprise only about 3% of the population in Iran.

But I still don't think Muslim suicidal/homicidal bombers can be dismissed as nihilists, no matter their national or ethnic stripes.

And how come there can be all these historic ethnic/national differentials in the Islamic world but not in Poland?

beatroot said...

Mike
Iranians do not consider themselves as Arabs…is like saying Danish or Dutch do not consider themselves as Germans.

Though there is an Arabic minority in Iran, most don’t consider themselves as Arabs because they are not. Completely different culture.

Geesh
There used to be great differences in Poland. It was one of the original 'multi-cultural states'. At the time of the partition only about 60 percent of the population thought of themselves as 'Catholic Polish', for instance. It's only since 1945 that the mono-ethnic thing has come about. Shame and a big disadvantage to Poland.

Nihilism? Much of what they do is entirely meaningless. Excluding places like Palestine – where suicide bombing emerged in the second itafada – suicide bombing is the result of a perception of extreme powerlessness in the face of overwhelming opposition.

But Palestinian resistance is not jihad. 9/11, 7/7 these type of things are almost meaningless. It’s we in the west that impose meaning on these events.

Michael Farris said...

"Though there is an Arabic minority in Iran, most don’t consider themselves as Arabs because they are not. Completely different culture"

This is different from what I wrote ... how?

On the other front, I don't think nihilism is quite the right word to describe the motivations behind 9/11 and 7/7. I'm not sure there _is_ an exact word to describe the motivations of the culprits.

I once read (offline) an explanation of Algerian soccer riots (by a participant) as a way of showing one's support for their team no matter what.
I think something similar is going on with jihadis. The 7/7 bombers certainly had no political agenda that can be responded to or discussed, they were inarticulately, incoherently expressing support for their own (jihadi) side regardless of the consequences for themselves or anyone else (including others on 'their' side). Not exactly nihilism per se.

The Israeli/Palestinian issue is of course completely different and historically only secondarily about religion (since there's traditionally been a significant Christian minority among the Palestinians). It's your basic land/resource dispute. Both sides want _all_ the land they can get and want that more than they want 'peace', though beyond that generalization the specifics differ. Israelis mostly want a Palestinian-free peace (though they're flexible about the details and process). But most Palestinians don't want 'peace' as such, they want an overwhelming military victory over Israel (which is not gonna happen any time soon). And so it goes.

geez said...

BR: Nihilism? Much of what they do is entirely meaningless.

I just don't think that any human life or death is meaningless. The meaning may be largely a measure of stupidity and/or absurdity, but there's meaning nonetheless.

And there are still differences in Poland/Polonia to some extent as you hinted. There are certain antagonisms felt by Poles with rural origins, say around Krakow, towards all Varsovians, even Irish-Poles. The accents and language still vary by region. Gorale are still very distinctive. Then there's the Polish diaspora. Differences in the US and Canada twixt decendants of turn of the century immigrants, post-WWII immigrants, Solidarity era immigrants, and post-Solidarity era immigrants. Emigrants to the US, Canada, Austrailia, Ireland, Germany, England, etc. will all have different experiences that make them unique -- and contentious with each another. Tis just the way of the whirled.

beatroot said...

Internet dictionary of philosophy

Nihilism:
A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy.

Just about sums these guys up...