Can’t get away from events in the Middle East. Poor beleaguered President Obama has announced that he is sending hundreds of military advisers to bolster the spirit and skills of the Iraqi army. Who remembers the dispatch of military advisers to Vietnam? That led to a fifteen year war from which the US retired greatly discomforted. Those who do not learn from history, etc., etc.!

The recent little flurry of polemics stops right here as Pat and I are off to the West Coast to meet our friends from Sawtell, NSW, the Soroczynskis, and to pilot them round Western Canada to show them the sights. Who knows, we may see some bears!

Back in August. Enjoy the summer, all of you who live in North America and UK.

The latest effusion: Holy War

David Amies


High jinks in the Middle East with the US huffing and puffing on the sidelines wondering what to do next. A bunch of Sunni thugs is moving in on Baghdad while the newly constituted Iraqi army hightails it out of the way as fast as it can. Are the Iranians and the US going to find themsleves on the same side?

Go to The US’ newest best friend!

David Amies

June 13th 2014

More unpardonable behaviour by the Roman Catholic Church and its officials has come to light during the past few days. In Ireland, over 800 skeletons of babies and young children have been found in a disused septic tank. It seems that bodies of dead youngsters were dumped by the Bon Secours (Good Relief!) sisters in charge of a home for so called fallen women in Tuam, County Galway between 1925 and 1961. Apparently, the children as well as the women were made to atone for the mother's sins  through hard labour and starvation at such homes operated  by Good Mother Church. It looks as if the dead children died of neglect and starvation while in the hands of the good sisters.

The Royal commission in New South Wales set up to enquire about paedophilia among some priests in the diocese of Newcastle-Maitland heard that Pope Pius IX commanded absolute secrecy, on pain of excommunication, on all matters that concerned reports of child abuse by priests and other church officials. He decided that paedophilia was not a crime but an obsession that could be adequately handled by canon law and that there was no need to report such activities to the civil authorities. Indeed, such reporting was strcitly and absolutely forbidden. None of his successors have seen fit to revisit this bit of nastiness. It seems, therefore that the heirarchy of the Church does not really understand the harm that the molestation of young children by those in power can cause. 

The Vatican likes secrecy and goes to considerable lengths to ensure that matters that might reflect poorly upon its reputation never come to light. Another Italian organisation has the same take on concealing the truth at all costs. It calls it omertà and is employed with devastating effect by the Sicilian Mafia. Mafiosi who betray their comrades are fitted up with concrete boots and sent swimming. The Church just threatens its people with excommunication. The Mafia makes no secret of its criminal nature. The Church, on the other hand enjoins love, mercy and morality. Does the word hypocrisy come to mind?

David Amies

June 8th 2014

Latest polemic: Misogyny