dimanche, février 05, 2006

They said it on Sunday

Popular television presenter Ray Calleja, who is known for his wit, provided some comic relief while people anxiously waited to learn the result. – The Sunday Times

As much as Labour cannot afford to lose a third general election on the trot, it cannot risk winning but move into the grim reality of government carrying a self-imposed heavy burden. If a party creates misplaced expectations in Opposition, it could find it has sown the wind, only to reap the whirlwind in government. – Lino Spiteri

Labour's action plan is also very clear on low-cost airlines. We cannot afford not to have them operate here. Before deciding to travel people also take note of the cost to reach their destination so if getting to Malta remains more expensive than going to other destinations, travellers will simply go to other destinations. – Evarist Bartolo

I wonder how many devout Christians arguing the freedom of speech card would react if Jesus Christ was depicted as an oppressive warmonger in a newspaper in an Islamic state. I am sure they would regard that as highly blasphemous and provocative. – Pamela Hansen

"If liberal values are to be properly defended it is essential to know what free speech entails. It entails the freedom to be provocative - to say things that cause offence, to insult the opinions of others, to impart information others may wish to suppress, to voice views others may hate. It also entails the duty to be tolerant of those who voice such views, however one personally disagrees with them. Those charged with conducting the debate on such burning issues as the threat of terrorism, the future of Europe, or maintaining the standards of a free and responsible press must learn to apply to their tasks the principles that have been won by the efforts of their predecessors, including that of free speech." – Robert Hargreaves (quoted by Roamer)

I am uneasy with liberal values that are all on the side of free speech and the "duty" of others "to be tolerant of those who voice such views". I am uneasy that liberal secularism is a god that must be worshipped, that this adoration apparently enjoins us not to have false gods and the values of secularism only must we serve. All else is vanity. There must be obligations that follow from free speech, that it should not, for one, cause what last Friday's Daily Telegraph leader chose correctly to describe as "gratuitous offence"? The same leader also upheld the "right to offend within the law" a right that remained "crucial to our free speech". The line drawn could not be finer. - Roamer

Our inability to see ourselves through the eyes of others is really quite profound. We think that by putting Christ on our coins we look like Christians. But we don’t. In the eyes of the democratic world, we look like bigots. My attitude towards a State that puts Christ on its coins is no different than that towards another State that might choose to decorate its money with quotes from the Koran or the name of Mohammed. Religious symbols have no place on the coinage of a country. Or has God suddenly become Caesar, and Caesar, God? – Daphne Caruana Galizia

It was announced last week that, following a competition for the choice of the images, The Baptism of Christ topped the poll with almost 3,500 votes of the 17,000 votes cast. This will make it, if it is implemented, the very first religious image to appear on euro coins. Not even the Vatican, which issues euro coins by special arrangement with the EU, has put in any religious image. From 2002 till last year, the coins showed the image of the late Pope, then a special series was issued with ‘sede vacante’ inscribed upon it. It is expected that a new coin with the image of Benedict XVI will be issued shortly. - Independent

Writing in another section of the press, the Leader of the Opposition, Dr Alfred Sant, raised an important national issue, which, like Mount Everest, is there. – JG Vassallo

According to publicly available minutes of the House, the following never turned up for Sitting 344 on Tuesday 24 January: Prime Minister Gonzi, Minister Louis Galea, Minister Francis Zammit Dimech, Minister Censu Galea, Minister George Pullicino, Minister Jesmond Mugliett, Minister Dolores Cristina, Parliamentary Secretary Tonio Fenech, Parliamentary Secretary Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Parliamentary Secretary Helen d’Amato, Parliamentary Secretary Frans Agius, MPs David Agius, Robert Arrigo, Stefan Buontempo, Chris Cardona, Justyne Caruana, Joseph Cassar, Karl Chircop, Marie Louise Coleiro, Helena Dalli, Mario de Marco, Michael Farrugia, Mario Galea, Michael Gonzi, Gavin Gulia, Silvio Parnis, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, Joseph M Sammut and Adrian Vassallo. – Absenteeism in the House (Independent)

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