Jailed for throwing an egg

A bloke who threw an egg at ‘Baroness’ Warsi and called her ‘Cameron’s bitch’ has been banged up for 6 weeks. As the Daily Mail reports :

A Muslim convert who pelted a Tory peer with eggs was jailed for six weeks yesterday.

Gavin Reid, 23, targeted Baroness Warsi as Islamic extremists shouted abuse at her, including ‘Cameron’s bitch’, in a ‘planned and deliberate’ confrontation.

At least three eggs were hurled at the high-profile champion of Muslim women’s rights, one of which broke on her face, soiling her hair and jacket.

Protester who hurled an egg at Muslim Tory minister Baroness Warsi is found guilty | Mail Online

I have to say that this seems a bit much for what is often accepted as a legitimate means of protest. I can’t seem to remember anyone previously jailed for this type of protest in the past, and there’s been plenty of historical precedent for egging politicians. Take the odious Nick Griffin of the BNP, he was egged a few months ago but I don’t remember any police or court action involved.

Was it because he is a muslim or that Warsi is a muslim? Makes you wonder.

And should it be ‘jailed’ or ‘gaoled’?


Blogcatalog Widget Removed

I posted earlier about the Blogcatalog latest visitors widget which was only showing after a page refresh. Others confirmed that fact as well. So I posted on Blogcatalog’s forums and received no joy, or even a reply.

Now it seems the widget is not showing at all. So until Blogcatalog can get their act together then it’s been removed.

Oh, and they’re annoying me with messages in my inbox about ‘Expose Yourself!’ I think it’s one of their schemes but I ask you! Tsk, tsk.

UN declares clean water a fundamental human right

Image via Wikipedia

Sounds good, and I expect you were surprised that access to clean water wasn’t already a fundamental human right.

The UN has declared that access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right.

About 1.5m children under five die each year from water and sanitation-related diseases.

The resolution was passed with 122 nations in favour, none against and 41 abstentions.

But is there more to it than meets the eye? It’s one thing desiring access to clean water, it’s another thing ensuring it and making it possible.

So how could it be done? Well why not transfer a nations right to another organisation that would make this happen? What about the World Bank, or the IMF? Hold on, haven’t those unelected organisations already been involved in liberating the water supply system of a number of countries ( cue Bolivian riots ) ? Hmm.

Utopian dream or back-door neoliberalism? We shall see.

BBC News – UN declares clean water a ‘fundamental human right’

Greek Lorry Drivers Stand Up To The EU And IMF

Seems those Greek workers are getting uppity again. This time it’s the lorry drivers looking to spoil the party.

Apparently they’re upset with their industry and livelihoods being ‘liberalised’ on the orders of the EU and the IMF. Seems the shameful Greek government are using a law normally reserved for times of war or natural disasters to requisition their vehicles.

Greek police have fired tear gas to disperse hundreds of lorry drivers protesting in Athens.

The drivers are refusing to obey an emergency government order for them to end a crippling strike.

The strike, now in its fourth day, has paralysed Greece, depriving petrol stations of fuel and prompting tourists to cancel holidays.

Bottles were hurled outside the transport ministry as drivers tried to climb the gates and get inside.

Here’s to the Greek workers, standing up for their rights where their own government has caved in like a squashed apple pie crust.


The Right To Work Past 65

Take a fact, spin it through 180° and you get a Daily Mail headline.

Since the banks trousered all our money to shore up their little gambling system the pension of the people has been under scrutiny. After all it’s a big pot and would keep a bus full of bankers in the style they’ve become accustomed to. So sally forth the ConDem overlords to tell us that the chances are we’ll not be able to draw our pension at 65. (Really they’re hoping we’ll die before drawing it). From the wings comes the Daily Mail to spin it as the government giving us the right to work past 65 years of age.

Well that’s ok then, you can’t have too many rights, can you?

Laugh? I nearly cried.

Workers will no longer be forced to retire at 65 from next year under radical Government proposals to be unveiled today.

Ministers want to end the idea that people are ‘past it’ once they hit the existing retirement age.

From next October, it will be illegal for firms to get rid of staff when they reach 65, allowing millions who are facing retirement to stay on, the Daily Mail has learned.

Employees will not be forced to work beyond 65, but will have the option to do so and could even stay on into their 70s or 80s.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1298508/Now-right-work-past-65-Firms-banned-forcing-employees-retire.html#ixzz0v4QDS4fT

Give and be blessed, receive and bless

Isaac Blessing Jacob, painting by Govert Flinc...Image via Wikipedia

We know full well that our obedience counts as a blessing, especially in the realm of giving. But it’s also true that our obedience in receiving can lead to a blessing. Sometimes our pride can get in the way when people seek to bless us by their giving but we should always be obedient in such matters.

Let me illustrate this and more by way of an example from my pastor. He was on a mission trip to Uganda and was visiting a number of churches. As things go he would often have a lot of people wanting to speak to him at the end of the services. In one instance he was confronted by an old man who insisted that he give my pastor his blanket, a somewhat well worn blanket which in reality would be no use for my pastor. So my pastor tried not to receive the blanket, thinking it would be of more use to the man but he was pulled up by the local pastor. He told my pastor that God is telling him to give what little he has and by not receiving you are taking away opportunity to be obedient to God. So my pastor gratefully received the blanket.

Further on in the mission trip he came across an old man who had nothing, literally nothing. Then my pastor remembered the blanket which he’d tried not to receive. And with that blanket he could bring a blessing to the man who had nothing.

It shows that nothing is as simple as it seems, even the process of giving and receiving. The old man got to be obedient to God. My pastor got to be obedient to God. And in his obedience could convey that blessing to the man with nothing. We always need to be aware that Christ is at the centre, not man or ourselves. We need to have faith to trust beyond what we see or expect.

Meditiation on giving

St. Ambrose, painting by Maria Brusco; Oratory...Image via Wikipedia

I’ve blogged before about Catholic Social Teaching and now I’ve come across an excellent article from Miki Tracy from the Gilbert House Catholic Worker Community on giving and obedience which can be found on the Distributist Review.

In it Miki quotes a number of Church Fathers, bible verses, scripture and other Christians on the theme of giving to the poor. I’ve not noticed a lot of these before but they do really grab your attention when grouped together so I’m going to thieve them and post them here! They really do make an excellent base for some scriptural meditation.

“The mystery of poverty is that by sharing in it, making ourselves poor in giving to others, we increase our knowledge and belief in love.” – Dorothy Day

“As you do to the least of these My brethren, so you do it unto Me.” – Matthew 25:40

“Words express, but examples persuade.” – Pope Benedict XVI

“It is the crushed heart which is the soft heart, the tender heart. – an OCD Sister to Dorothy Day

“Christian love is not philanthropy.” – Father Stanley Jaki

“You never give to the poor what is yours; you merely return to them what belongs to them. For what you have appropriated [for yourself] was given for the common use of everybody. The land was given [by GOD] for everybody, not just the rich.” – St. Ambrose of Milan

“The bread that is in your box belongs to the hungry; the coat in your closet belongs to the naked; the shoes you do not wear belong to the barefoot; the money in your vault belongs to the destitute.” – St. Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, c. A.D. 370

“Give something, however small, to the one in need. For it is not small to the one who has nothing. Neither is it small to GOD, if we have given what we could.” – St Gregory Naziansen, Bishop of Constantinople, late fourth century

“Nothing is your own. You are a slave and what is yours belongs to the Lord. For a slave has no property that is truly his own; naked you were brought into this life.” – Asterius, Bishop of Amasea, from “The Unjust Steward” c. A.D. 400

“It is true that there is a thing crudely called charity, which means charity to the deserving poor, but charity to the deserving is not charity at all, but justice.” – G.K. Chesterton, in Heretics

“Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more. Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judging righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:6-9

“Make yourself beloved in the congregation; bow your head low to the great man. Incline your ear to the poor, and answer him peaceably and gently. Deliver him who is wronged from the hand of the wrongdoer; do not be fainthearted in judging a case. Be like a father to the orphans…you will then be like a son of the Most High, and He will love you more than does your own mother.” – Sirach 4:7-10

“You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind….[and] you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” -Matthew 22:37-40

“Stretch forth your hand to the poor, so that your blessing may be complete. Give graciously to all the living, and withhold not kindness from the dead. Do not fail those who weep, but mourn with those who mourn. Do not shrink from visiting the sick man, because of such deeds you will be loved. In all that you do, remember the end of your life, and then you will never sin.” – Sirach 7:32-36

A big thank you to Miki for showing me such inspiring scripture and life.

St Justin Martyr and the Eucharist

This video seems to be doing the rounds of a number of Catholic blogs and sites. Certainly some interesting stuff there which purports to be written in the early church history.

When I was drawn to Christ I went to the nearest Church of England church to where I lived. After all, not knowing anything about Christianity I checked a few churches out but the CofE seemed the ‘safest’. This church was actually in the neighbouring parish but because of the location of where I lived it made more sense to join with the neighbouring parish. We then had a Church Army captain planted on our estate to do outreach and after a year the parish set up a church to meet on out estate. It did quite well. But so that they could share communion they brought an ordained minister out of retirement to help with things. However, when he threw in the towel, the church plant wasn’t allowed to celebrate communion without an ordained minister. And as they didn’t have one they couldn’t share communion. In the end the church plant faded and died.

At the time I think this sort of event built up my frustration with the CofE and evnetually I left for a pentecostal church where tings of this nature were looked at less religiously, or strictly.

But the video below does get me thinking, were the parish right to restrict communion or were they wrong.

What do you think? And any comments on the video?

I should cocoa!

Cocoa beansImage via Wikipedia

As reported in the Telegraph, “Even Willy Wonka might struggle to use this much chocolate. Yesterday, somebody bought 241,000 tonnes of cocoa beans.”

An odd story you may think but it’s a fantastic example of why we need to knock this unbridled capitalism on it’s head and replace it with something that serves the people of this world.

Someone bought all of Europe’s cocoa, and we know not why and we know not who. In the real world our reaction should be along the lines of ‘why the hell should I care’. But in the make-up-the-rules-as-you-go-along world of capitalism this strange act affects everyone both directly and indirectly.

Since this resource is now controlled by one person or organisation they can, if they wish restrict supply. Even the thought of it has sent the price of cocoa to it’s highest level for 32 years. If they were to restrict supply then the price would go ballistic and whoever held that stock would make a killing. And a killing is what they are looking to make.

So we can see that this ‘price’ of cocoa isn’t related to the ‘value’ of the cocoa as a substance but the price is related to how the market reacts. Which begs the question as to why we have a system that allows this sort of activity? And the answer is because it can make a few people extremely wealthy. They can control the price, they can transfer money from the consumer to their pockets by the simple act of buying. As my mum would have said, “Money comes to money.”

In the end this sort of high finance shenanigans needs to be dismantled so that the ability to do such things no longer remains. By democratic force or by the force of the people.

How long though, how long?

Entertaining Angels

 1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. 3 Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.
4 Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we may boldly say:
      “ The LORD is my helper;
      I will not fear.
      What can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:1-6, New King James Version)