Philip Pullman – ‘Leave the Libraries Alone’

From False Economy:

Here in Oxfordshire we are threatened with the closure of 20 out of our 43 public libraries. Mr Keith Mitchell, the leader of the county council, said in the Oxford Times last week that the cuts are inevitable, and invites us to suggest what we would do instead. What would we cut? Would we sacrifice care for the elderly? Or would youth services feel the axe?

I don’t think we should accept his invitation. It’s not our job to cut services. It’s his job to protect them.

Nor do I think we should respond to the fatuous idea that libraries can stay open if they’re staffed by volunteers. What patronising nonsense. Does he think the job of a librarian is so simple, so empty of content, that anyone can step up and do it for a thank-you and a cup of tea? Does he think that all a librarian does is to tidy the shelves? And who are these volunteers? Who are these people whose lives are so empty, whose time spreads out in front of them like the limitless steppes of central Asia, who have no families to look after, no jobs to do, no responsibilities of any sort, and yet are so wealthy that they can commit hours of their time every week to working for nothing? Who are these volunteers? Do you know anyone who could volunteer their time in this way? If there’s anyone who has the time and the energy to work for nothing in a good cause, they are probably already working for one of the voluntary sector day centres or running a local football team or helping out with the league of friends in a hospital. What’s going to make them stop doing that and start working in a library instead?

Pro-life ‘rock star’ priest admits to sexual indiscretion during exorcism

From Daily Mail:

A priest has admitted to a sexual indiscretion with a woman under his spiritual care during an exorcism.

Father Thomas Euteneuer made the confession after a wave of online debate about his sudden departure from his post of president of an anti-abortion group.

He abruptly departed the Human Life International in August of last year, and had maintained a silence over his reasons for stepping down ever since.

The mystery provoked a wave of speculation on the internet about why the priest, described by some as a ‘rock star’ of the pro-life movement, might have stepped down.

Genius

From The Smoking Gun:

FEBRUARY 2–Fresh from prison, an Ohio man with the word “Genius” tattooed on his forehead is facing an assault charge for allegedly striking a pregnant woman in the head with a gun.

Jerome Smith, 27, was arrested yesterday for allegedly battering Tiera Bryant Saturday at a Cincinnati residence. Bryant is eight months pregnant, according to an affidavit filed in Hamilton County Municipal Court.

[pictured], Smith is jailed in lieu of $50,000 bond. Along with his questionable “Genius” ink, Smith has “Omerta” tattooed on his throat. The Italian word’s common definition refers to the Mafia’s code of silence.