Sunday, October 29, 2006

Dude, where is my God?

So, after all this millennia of patriarchal oppression and one-sidedness we finally have a feminist version of the Bible. It is called: “The Bible in Fair Language” and it should hit the market this fall. A team of 42 women and 10 men toild over this translation for quite some years, but it is finally here.
The guideline for this version is “justice”. “Justice is the main topic of the Bible,” according to theologian Claudia Janssen. “And we're trying to do justice to the topic in our translation. Justice has different aspects: We wanted to do justice to the text and the language about the sexes. Social justice is also an important topic, as well as justice in the Judeo-Christian dialogue.”
Now, I don’t know how you feel about this, but everytime I hear about justice I shiver. In former times “justice” was about accepting your own place in the feudal hierarchy and if that was not forthcoming, then violence was needed to make that happen. In later days “justice” is about making everyone equal, and if that is not forthcoming, then violence is needed to make that happen. This two ways of achieving “justice” through political means (i. e. coercion) is what political conservatism and political left are about. In this case we have an example of gender equality justice, achieved by doing violence to the text. Well, affirmative action and other leftist agression policies do need an ideological boost from time to time, don’t they?
“We are very much used to speaking about God in the masculine,” Frank Crüsemann reminds us “In the new translation, however, the feminine aspect prevails, which I find to be good and exciting.” How does that square with the the intention “to do justice to the text” (Janssen) is something of the field of doublethink. Unless, of course, by doing justice to the text you mean to put the text on the procustean bed of your own social(ist) agenda.
But you should not make much of this event: “Every translator knows that their translation has a limited shelf-life, that the theological decisions in the background are temporary and that the language also changes over time” assures us Janssen. And I believe her. This translation is as lasting and consistent as the ideology behind it.

Deutsche Welle story at:,2144,2023998,00.html
Diversity hits the ladies’ room

The Italian Parliament’s ladies’ room, to be more precise. Here is the story:
Italian MP Elisabetta Gardini, of Berlusconi’s party, had the unpleasant surprise of finding a man in the ladies’ restroom the other day. She reacted as, I suppose, every old fashioned woman would. She told him to hit the road. Ok, why is this news? Well, the “man” in question is non other than Vladimir Luxuria (foto), a transgenderd communist MP. Poor Luxuria was dismayed and shocked of such reactionary…uhm, reaction. He (I’m saying he, because he still has his manliness intact, avoiding to this date the surgeon’s revision of Mother Nature’s mistake) had an answer for the occasion: “I go to the bathroom of the sex that I feel to belong to.” (Io vado nei bagni del sesso del quale mi sento.)
If I am not mistaken, this basically means that as long as you feel like something, you are entitled to everything that goes with it. To give you an example: if you are a yuppie city dweller from Frisco and you want to get some subsidies for not breeding sheep (or what is that you’re subsidized not to breed or grow, as a farmer, these days) it is enough to feel like being a farmer and really not growing sheep to claim government subsidies. Damn, I like this diversity thing!
Fausto Bertinotti, the head of Rifondazione Communista (Luxuria’s party) and of the House, is on top of the situation, as any real man should: “Mi dispiace che se ne debba discutere. Io penso che basterebbe fare ricorso ad una dote che non dovrebbe mancare, almeno in Parlamento, quella del rispetto della persona. Basterebbe della tolleranza”. In plain English: “I am sorry that we have to discuss this. I think it would be enough to resort to a trait that should not be missing at least in Parliament: respect of the person. Some tolerance would be enough.” Presumably like that of some good old comrades like Ceausescu, Mao or Stalin (I always enjoy communists pontificating about tolerance and respect for the person. This gives an entirely new dimension to the concept of hypocrisy).
But the real reason why I was eager to share all this with the world is to bring the good news to young men all over the globe: no more peeping, no more sneaking around the ladies’ room. Henceforth you just put on a skirt and some make up, and if those Neanderthal, heterosexual, individualist, privacy-freak, insensitive and uncaring women will invite you out, you just have to feel like being a woman. And that will entitle you to remain. Good luck!

Story from Corriere della Sera:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Defending women from being raped - Muslim style

In case you did not know, if a woman doesn’t stay at home or doesn’t wear the Islamic veil she is to blame for being raped. "The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred." Says Sheik Taj Aldin al-Hilali, the Mufti of Australia. So, in order to not tempt the brave and righteous mosque frequenting men of this world, women are grounded. His Sheikness came with a timely reminder that you don’t necessarily have to be a leftist hypocrite in order to be self-righteous thug. Yes, yes. I’m afraid it is so, my friends, as much as the example of the noamchomskies, michaelmoores, alfrankens of this world is trying to convince us to the contrary.
I liked particularly the part in which His Muftiness informed the public later on the he was defending the honor of women by his remarks. Well, how about just abstaining to rape the women you think they “deserve it”? How about that as “defending the honor of women”? How about taking responsibility for our actions and not watching over those of other all the time? Can’t have that, of course. That is the way of the decadent, individualistic West. We are to unite in a common effort to put women back in their rooms, homes and burkas where only their father, brothers or husband can rape them. That way justice will be done, and we can all be proud of a job well done in the service of morality.
With this kind of high moral standards and moral superiority is it a surprise that Europe is witnessing a "gang rape epidemic"? But since this is the work of young Muslim immigrants the press keeps its mouth shut.
Have a nice day.
P.S. Yes, that is one of the danish cartoons.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Technorati Profile
Concerned Vampires’ Fellowship for equality and non-discrimination
(Open letter to the European Commission)

I have just received this open letter for publication from a group of fellow vampires, who, out of pure civic duty, wish to call the attention on a burning problem:

We, the members of the Concerned Vampires’ Fellowship for equality and non-discrimination (CVFEND) are delighted to hear that the European Commission has designated 2007 as 'European Year of Equal Opportunities for All' as part of a concerted effort to promote equality and non-discrimination in the EU.
We raise our voices to give our support to European Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Vladimír Špidla, who said: "Europe must work towards real equality in practice. The European Year of Equal Opportunities for All and the framework strategy will provide a new drive towards ensuring the full application of EU anti-discrimination legislation, which has encountered too many obstacles and delays. Fundamental rights, non-discrimination and equal opportunities will remain key priorities for the European Commission."
It is our conviction too that only by concentrating power in the hands of the enlightened bureaucrats of the central government of the European Union will our continent know finally of a new Golden Age of tolerance, peace and understanding.
Filled by this spirit we would like to point out, however, a grave problem that has come to our attention recently. There is a growing tendency to use in official documents of the E. U. the discriminatory and intolerant expression: “chairperson” or “spokesperson”. This is, of course highly discriminative towards many animals as well as plants and non-living beings. Furthermore, we would like to point out to Brussels and Strasbourg that even expressions like chairentity or spokesentity, though much less discriminative, make an unjust difference between the being and not-being, in the unfair advantage of the first. In order to avoid completely such discriminations we suggest that the best thing, for the officials and decision makers up there would be to… just shut up.

Sincerely yours,

Monday, October 23, 2006

Libertarian-Democrat? Why not? Why should only republicans screw libertarian hopes after the elections?
Republicans are convinced that war is the way to peace. Democrats are convinced that Welfare is the way to welfare. So why shouldn’t libertarians be just as stupid and think that voting is the way to liberation?
When you spent as much time on this Earth as I, you need something to keep you from dying of boredom. Since the advent of democracy it seems that I have found just what I was looking for: politics. You know, back in the old days, with kings and all, it was quite boring. There was one autocrat or other doing the same things all over again without much buzz. But now you have the spectacle of democracy in action to which nothing comes even close. “Panem et circens” – “Bread and Circus”, was the crowd’s request in ancient Rome. They did not live to see modern day politics. So forget my passion about the subject, even if the U. S. is not my country. Also, I happen to have a selfish interest in the issue.
It is quite clear that the recent brouhaha over the libertarians as swing voters that could deliver the house and the senate to the Democrats has nothing to do with the worth of the Donkey. It is simply a revolt against the GOP and nothing more. Let’s recapitulate: you have a party that taxes the shit out of you to go around the globe and pick a fight with anyone over seas, and there is a party that taxes the shit out of you to finance its social engineering programs at home. And you vote for one in order to escape the other. How do politicians manage to do this with libertarians? How comes that after a disastrous Republican legacy libertarian voices put their mouth where the(ir) ass is and call for supporting the democrats. But that is the problem of American libertarians.
Having said that, I would like to rally to those voices myself. Out of selfish interest, of course. As a non-American I find it more convenient to see a Democrat administration in the future and a democratic takeover of the legislature now. Instead of seeing interventions by the American government all over the globe, I prefer it to concentrate more on terrorize its own subjects then the rest of the world. Better them then us.
You may think that I am oversimplifying things and this may be true. To take in consideration only the foreign policy of the GOP and the internal policies of the Donkey is unfair to both. The GOP is not only about “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show we mean business.” as the National Review put it. With the rise of the influence of the religious right in the party it seems that the self-righteous P.C. liberals of the left may have found their mach in trampling the civil liberties of Americans. In the same time, the clintonite legacy on foreign policy has a place for solutions like bombing other countries into freedom and democracy. But in order to make a point you have to simplify a bit, you see, and I think that by and large that’s how things are currently on the U. S. political scene.
So if you are an American libertarian thinking of voting the Donkey, by all means do that. I would be very thankful.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Convenient spins for an inconvenient truth?
(a vampire approves)

I don’t know what you may think about Al Gore’s recent movie, An Inconvenient Truth, but I liked it very much. Very, very much. Back in my time, some 800 years ago, it was all about the Tartars and the Saracens. If you wanted to keep your subjects in line, as a warlord, you had only to let the wondering preachers steer the populace and frighten it and they would turn to you as their savior. Dubbya’s administration is doing the same thing now and he’s doing a hell of a good job fooling people. But if you’re a liberal, you have to come up with something less hawkish but just as scary an effective. And there you have it: global warming. There is the enemy that you have to fight – under the enlightened and steadfast leadership of some politician
I come to know a few things, in the course of the centuries, about the relationship between apocalyptic prophecies and political power. Their mach is made in heaven, and Sen. Gore knows all the tricks of the game. First one: you should believe what you are trying to say, because you’ll be more convincing. Second one: you should pick a trendy fear, the coming of global warming, the ottomans, the tartars, the Vikings the Saracens and so forth, according to the spirit of that age. Third one: pick something that has a grain of truth to it, so that you have only to exaggerate in front of people already inclined to believe you. That is how you pursue a good political career.
What I like especially about this Gore fellow is the fact that he is completely honest. Even to the point of admitting to be dishonest. Just listen to the man:

Q. There's a lot of debate right now over the best way to communicate about global warming and get people motivated. Do you scare people or give them hope? What's the right mix?
A. I think the answer to that depends on where your audience's head is. In the United States of America, unfortunately we still live in a bubble of unreality. And the Category 5 denial is an enormous obstacle to any discussion of solutions. Nobody is interested in solutions if they don't think there's a problem.
Given that starting point, I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.
Over time that mix will change. As the country comes to more accept the reality of the crisis, there's going to be much more receptivity to a full-blown discussion of the solutions.
(read the interview /

Now, that is a true political leader talking! If you want to get the truth across, the best way is to lie a bit. It is as simple as that. How big that lie should be? Well, that depends on how prepared or unprepared the crowd you think it is, I guess. If they are not yet ready to face reality it is your political responsibility to push the borders of reality till they fit your propaganda. And when the crowd is prepared enough… well, then you need some “over-representation of factual presentations” to reassure them about the importance of the Cause. That’s my advice, in any case, to the gores and the dubbyas out there.
I am not disputing here the danger of global warming, mind you. I too think that it would be a tragedy if Greenland will become green once more, as it was when the Vikings colonized it. Think of that! Can you imagine the outrage of a green Greenland in an environmentally correct world? Of course not!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The great blood-sucking contest: eurocrats vs. vampires
(A vampire’s angry surprise)

I must confess, as a vampire it happened to me a few times to become too greedy and drain the blood out of a meal completely. You don’t do that usually, and in time you learn to control yourself. But to drain the blood out completely from an entire national healthcare system… well, you have to do that by legislation. This is what I’m talking about:

Charter of the fundamental rights of the European Union
Chapter I: Dignity
Article 3: Right to the integrity of the person
1. Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity
2. In the fields of medicine and biology the following must be respected in particular:
the prohibition on making the human body and its parts as such a source of financial gain

A few days ago a newspaper article caught my eye. It seems that here in Romania the hospitals are going out of blood nationwide. The number of people volunteering to donate blood has declined steadily in recent years, and now the healthcare personnel fears that the coming joining of the European Union by this country will bring an outright crisis of blood because the European regulations forbid any kind of remuneration for this service. Till now, everyone who went to give blood received a food ticket of approximately 11 dollars and two days off from the job. But giving your blood, according to European decision makers, should be a completely idealistic affair, untainted by lowly material considerations. So, there will be now more legal basis for any kind of payment, and we may be heading toward a very serious blood shortage.
Let’s get real now, people! By forbidding any kind of payment for blood, the government does nothing more then to push down the price of blood to zero. As a consequence, all those who desire to provide it, unless they are driven by idealistic motives, will stay away from the collection centers. It is as simple as that. You really don’t need a PhD in economics to figure out that much. Unless your job is to legislate. In that case even a PhD in economics doesn’t help.
Letting this issue to the free market is out of question, of course. Imagine the horror: private enterprises that purchase blood from you if you want, and are ready to pay you the market price for that. Private enterprises do not have the power to stop idealistic organizations and persons to collect blood from voluntary donors without payment – unlike political figures, that have the power to decide for you what you can and what you cannot do with what nature has given to you. In the free market you are fee either to sell your blood or to donate it freely. It’s your call. In the E. U. you can only donate it. A free market could provide for both patients and donors what they need: the patient gets the blood, while the donor may get money, or just good points for the time due in purgatory, according to his/her expectation. For many poor people, who don’t really have much to live on this source of occasional income could only be a blessing. But you cannot have that, because it is against their dignity, and the state has the obligation to oversee that everyone’s dignity, as defined by the state itself, remains intact.
I must say that I am outraged that people go along with this and accept it like sheep. As far as I am concerned people should be sheep only when we vampires want to feed. And since when does the E. U., or any other state, feel free to dispose of the bodies of it’s subjects? I thought that was in medieval times when your body belonged to your feudal lord and you were supposed to give your blood for him. No, people, your blood does not belong to your lords. It belongs to my fellow vampires and me. And I think it is time that we vampires wake up and reclaim our rights over the blood of the people, and do something about this growing competition from the E. U.
E. U. comes to Transylvania
(a vampire's perspective)

Romania is scheduled to join the European Union in 2007. That seems to be a settled issue now. You may wander why is it that an eight hundred years old creature like me is interested in the subject, but, trust me, this affects us all. As you may know, Transylvania (my homeland, that is) is part of Romania, so I keep an eye, these days, not only to what happens in our capital, Bucharest, but on Brussels and Strasbourg, as well.
I must say, till now I hailed the major achievements of the modern world: greater food supply for me because humans (living ones) are in more abundance; a more varied menu, with all these traveling facilities; bigger cities, which offer more hiding places for those with… well… alternative lifestyles, like me, and much, much more. The best thing about the modern world was, till now at least, the advent of the modern bureaucratic state. You have to love it! Well, it’s true that those bloodsucking parasites don’t have the style and the pedigree of the good old vampires like myself, but we have always (till now) worked together smoothly, especially on the problem of those damn vampire hunters. Damn their kind!!!
If you think that a place like Transylvania is a vampire h(e)aven, think again! It isn’t. And there’s nothing strange about this: where you have vampires, you’ll got your vampire hunters too. The problem is that before the modern age this despicable kind roamed free over the land, hired by villages or landlords and they did their job unchecked and with an eye only on the prize. Fortunately, this was to change: just when modern technology seemed to give them an edge over us, the modern state stepped in. Of course, it did not intervene to help us, but the (living) people from my kin. The hunters were unionized, regulated, taxed – all for their benefit. They got specific regulations as to their equipment and weaponry. They got training schools and a single national licensing board that controlled who gets the permit and who doesn’t. We talk about Eastern Europe, so don’t even start me on the corruption that came along with all this. But it was all for the better: for the first time in history, the hunters left us relatively alone and those who bothered us were ill prepared. We finally got a coherent bureaucracy to pay off of our back. So, in those times it was easy life. You paid the right guy or guys and nobody bothered you. If someone bothered you, however, a board of professional hunters found some problems with his/her permit, gear, past assignments, behavior… or you name it.
Yeah… those were the days… A decent vampire could make a peaceful living.
And then it got even better. The old interwar Romanian democracy and the post war communism faded into history and the contemporary new Romanian democracy came with new opportunities for my kind and me. From the west we learned of non-discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age and all this. It didn’t take us much time to realize that this is not about individual freedom/responsibility, but about a collective identity to shelter you and to hide behind. Who would need more a hiding place than a vampire? And if this hiding place is my own identity… what could be easier? So we started to organize and to protest against the societal bias that surrounds us simply because we happen to be on the other side of life. Society owes us much for past persecutions. We managed to obtain the ban of “Dracula” and other such hate filled literature, product of our pro-living biased society, that forgets the times of old, when living and vampires lived in peace and harmony over the face of this wonderful green planet. Also we campaigned successfully among the younger generations with our long experience in being in communion with our more instinctive, more natural side. Instincts are what take you back to your Nature. They liberate you from the tyranny of reason and coherence. You have to give in to your most basic urgings and avoid all responsibility for what you do, by invoking who you feel you are. This way you’ll be authentic and original, as all the others.
So, yes, I like the modern world. Or, at least I used to like it. Till now. The same bureaucrats that helped us before seem to have gone totally crazy, since they have to implement the new EU regulations. Now that we, vampires, became well-respected members of the society they got the brilliant idea to regulate our affaires. For eight hundred years I sucked blood and I’m damn good at it. What does a lousy bureaucrat know about it?! Now they have a feeding hygiene bill for vampires, that spells you in details how much blood you may suck out of a human during one lunch and how many times you’re allowed to attack him/her. All these adjusted to the age and weight of the victims. We are prescribed regular medical consultations for receiving the “sucking permit” from some dilettante licensing board. You have strict regulation as to the teeth hygiene and so forth.
Sometimes I think about becoming libertarian and kick some bureaucrat ass. But I cannot do that anymore: I have profited already a lot from them, and I will lose what I have already gained. So I’ll shut up and go along quietly …hoping they will not remember us at the next sessions of the legislature.
I just feel like a sucker now.