Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Italy. Show all posts

Monday, April 12, 2010

IT'S TRUE! Onion not making that s*** up!

Until now, I always thought The Onion was just making stuff up.

You know what I'm talking about -- for instance, the "fake" advice columns like "Ask a Bee" and "Ask a Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child."

You'll note that I put "fake" in quotation marks. That's because I don't think The Onion is making that stuff up -- at least not all of it. The was brought home by an Italian Catholic website,
Pontifex, which apparently has run a real-life version of "Ask a Faulknerian Idiot Man-Child Bishop."

AND THE retired bishop then went on at length about how the recent media scrutiny of the Vatican is all a big conspiracy put together by the Christ-killers. From London, The Times reports :
A retired Italian bishop has provoked fury by reportedly suggesting that “Zionists” are behind the current storm of accusations over clerical sex abuse shaking the Vatican and the Catholic Church.

Monsignor Giacomo Babini, the Bishop Emeritus of Grossetto, was quoted by the Italian Roman Catholic website Pontifex as saying he believed a “Zionist attack” was behind the criticism of the Pope, given that it was “powerful and refined” in nature.

Bishop Babini denied he had made any anti-Semitic remarks. He was backed by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), which issued a declaration by Bishop Babini in which he said: “Statements I have never made about our Jewish brothers have been attributed to me.”

However, Bruno Volpe, who interviewed Monsignor Babini for Pontifex, confirmed that the bishop had made the statement, which was reported widely in the Italian press today. Pontifex threatened to release the audio tape of the interview as proof.

Monsignor Babini’s reported comments follow a series of statements from senior Vatican cardinals blaming a “concerted campaign” by “powerful lobbies” for accusations that Pope Benedict XVI was involved in covering up cases of clerical abuse both as Archbishop of Munich from 1977 to 1982 and subsequently as head of doctrine at the Vatican.

None has explicitly blamed Jews or any other group. However Bishop Babini, 81, said Jews “do not want the Church, they are its natural enemies”. He added: “Deep down, historically speaking, the Jews are deicides [God killers].”

He was quoted as saying that Hitler was “not just mad” but had exploited German anger over the excesses of German Jews who in the 1930s had throttled the German economy.

Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee said Monsignor Babini was using “slanderous stereotypes, which sadly evoke the worst Christian and Nazi propaganda prior to World War Two”.
YOU KNOW, by the time the Vatican gets through asking Catholics -- at least on this issue -- to believe several unbelievable things before breakfast, and by the time various Catholic clerics and laymen get through saying patently crazy things in defense of the church, you have to wonder how many people will be scandalized right out of believing in God.

And scandalized right into believing
The Onion.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Nobody ever listens to Cassandra

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If somebody had warned the citizens of ancient Pompeii that Vesuvius was about to blow its top, they probably would have accused him of fear mongering.

Whole towns and cities just northeast of Rome lie in ruins today, victims of a powerful earthquake. Scores are dead. They needn't have died, because they had been warned.

An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L'Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.

The first tremors in the region were felt in mid-January and continued at regular intervals, creating mounting alarm in the medieval city, about 100 km (60 miles) east of Rome.

Vans with loudspeakers had driven around the town a month ago telling locals to evacuate their houses after seismologist Gioacchino Giuliani predicted a large quake was on the way, prompting the mayor's anger.

Giuliani, who based his forecast on concentrations of radon gas around seismically active areas, was reported to police for "spreading alarm" and was forced to remove his findings from the Internet.

Italy's Civil Protection agency held a meeting of the Major Risks Committee, grouping scientists charged with assessing such risks, in L'Aquila on March 31 to reassure the townspeople.

"The tremors being felt by the population are part of a typical sequence ... (which is) absolutely normal in a seismic area like the one around L'Aquila," the civil protection agency said in a statement on the eve of that meeting.

"It is useful to underline that it is not in any way possible to predict an earthquake," it said, adding that the agency saw no reason for alarm but was nonetheless effecting "continuous monitoring and attention."

EVEN TODAY, an Italian science-o-crat still was blowing off the tragically obvious: "As far as I know nobody predicted this earthquake with precision. It is not possible to predict earthquakes."

Except that someone just did. The man who, as it turns out, was

That dynamic worked out well for Troy, too.

But don't go picking on the Italians. They're just as human as the rest of us -- a motley lot who never want to hear the bleedin' obvious when the obvious involves bad tidings.

After all, who'd a thunk that, someday, a major hurricane would hit New Orleans, swamp the whole place and kill more than a thousand?

Uhhhhh. . . .

HISTORY TELLS US no one much cared to hear what the New Orleans Times-Picayune (and all its scientific sources) predicted, either. Faced with the sure knowledge more than 100,000 poor people would be completely unable to flee an oncoming hurricane, the city's best response was to settle on telling them they were on their own.

But something happened before the official notification to that effect. Her name was Katrina.

The weird thing is that Katrina missed New Orleans, landing only a swiping blow. And look what still happened.

Of course, lots of people still try to stick their heads in the sand about climate change and the rising oceans. And all they get is a snootful of salt water. Every time.

Hey! Big spender! Nothin' like rich Uncle Sam throwin' the big money around to help whole cities that have been wiped out.

From Agence France-Presse:

The United States said Monday it would donate 50,000 dollars in emergency aid to Italy after a powerful earthquake killed at least 100 people.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the earthquake. Our embassy in Rome will provide 50,000 (dollars) in emergency relief funding," State Department spokesman Robert Wood told reporters.
Remind me not to bother trick or treating at the Obamas' house.