Sunday, July 28, 2013

bits of news

-- In Ireland, a once unremittingly Roman Catholic country, it is now possible to get married without the blessing of the church. Score one for the Humanists: Godless weddings -- Amen.
The Irish parliament legalized secular wedding services last December, after a 10-year campaign by the Humanist Association. The law went into effect on January 1. Similar options are also allowed in Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland and some U.S. states.
--  The bell began ringing in 1939, but only of late has anyone bothered to notice it was embossed with glowing words for Adolf Hitler... a sour note of sorts.
The Wolfpassing bell pays homage to Hitler for his 1938 annexation of Austria, a move supported back then by the vast majority of the nation's citizens. It describes Hitler as "the unifier and Fuehrer of all Germans" and says he freed the "Ostmark" - Nazi jargon for Austria - "from the yoke of suppression by foreign elements and brought it home into the Great-German Reich."
I wonder if the bell sounds any different today from what it did in, say, 1958.

-- In  Aldergrove, British Columbia, a photographer reports on the damn-near impossible task of taking pictures of the participants in the Canadian Open Fast Draw Championships.

-- Elsewhere, there are reams of stories about slaughter and skulduggery and other general unkindness. I guess I am turning into a politician's wet dream -- someone so overrun with information that s/he simply, in one sense, gives up ... a surrender the politician then illogically imagines is a mark of respect for and trust in the political policies that win approval. "If they didn't say I was wrong, I must be right."

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