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It is going to get worse and it may never get better, kiddies. Just watch for the reaction to come... GOP Rep. Steve Scalise shot at co...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Fyodor's vacation begins!

No blogging until June 6 (D-Day!) or thereabout. Visit the D-Day Museum too.

From The My Idiot Italian Cousins Department:

Fallaci trial tied to 'insulting' Islam

Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci, who has made waves by denouncing Islam in her books, is to face trial for purportedly insulting the Muslim faith in her latest work, a court in Northern Italy ruled yesterday. A judge refused a request by prosecutors to throw out the case, brought by the president of the Muslim Union of Italy, Adel Smith, and ordered magistrates to proceed in the matter, Agence France-Presse reported.

The magistrates have until tomorrow to formally charge Miss Fallaci, the author of "The Rage and the Pride," a post-September 11 polemic over the dangers of Islamic extremism, with "insulting religion."

The accusations stem from her last book called "La Forza della Ragione," ("The Force of Reason"). Mr. Smith says the book -- not yet available in English -- contains "words that are without doubt offensive toward Islam."

Miss Fallaci, who is known for her provocative style of writing, got into trouble two weeks after the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, when she published the strongly pro-American and anti-Islam book "The Rage and the Pride."

Miss Fallaci, 74, who lives in New York, writes in her latest book that Europe is turning into "an Islamic province, an Islamic colony" and that "to believe that a good Islam and a bad Islam exist goes against all reason."
The attorney for the Muslim Union, Ugo Fanuzzi, said Miss Fallaci would have to answer first to the charge of insulting a religious faith, but he did not exclude that she could face charges of inciting hatred of religions.
(Thanks to WND)

Unfortunately, Cicero is not around to defend her.

From The Pansy Party Capitulation Of The Day Department:

From the AP via Wood TV 8 (Sigmund Freud, call your office*):

In a retreat, House Republicans decided Wednesday to drop a provision in next year's defense spending bill that would have limited the role of women in combat zones.

Under pressure from the Pentagon and lawmakers of both parties, Representative Duncan Hunter of California, the Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee, planned to offer an amendment allowing the services to open or close any jobs to women 60 days after notifying Congress of their plans. The House was debating the defense measure on Wednesday.

Hunter's amendment would replace a provision that would have required the Pentagon to get congressional approval to open additional jobs in combat zones to women. It also would have enacted into law a 1994 Pentagon policy that bans female troops from working in units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct combat on the ground.
(Thanks to WND)

I know there must be a couple dozen of these every day, but finding and posting them would be too depressing.

*Yes, it would actually be funny if it was Cigar TV 8, but I work with what I have and hope for the best.

The wrong religion + defective will = evil

PONCHATOULA, La. -- Ohio authorities who arrested a suspect in an alleged Louisiana cult that had sex with children and animals searched a storage unit on Friday, where they found mattresses, videos and nine garbage bags full of costumes.

Authorities said Nicole Bernard, wanted on a charge of aggravated rape, waived extradition Tuesday and likely will return to Louisiana within 10 days.

The investigation began in March, when two children were interviewed by a child advocacy center in Ohio about possible molestation at Hosanna Church in Ponchatoula, La. Within the week, Bernard called authorities in Louisiana and said she had fled the state in fear for her child.

According to an attachment requesting to search the storage facility rented by Bernard, former Hosanna pastor Louis Lamonica walked into the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office May 16 and confessed that he started a Satanic pedophile ring within the church in 1999. The attachment said Lamonica implicated himself and six other adults in ritual rape sessions involving animals and about 15 children.

Bernard is one of nine people arrested so far. Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's spokeswoman Laura Covington said a dozen or more people could be involved.

Crime scene experts from the FBI, along with police and sheriff's deputies, dug behind the now-closed church with a backhoe. She said they haven't received any tips about anything at the church, but they're checking just to make sure.

Bernard's ex-husband, Austin Aaron Bernard, faces a charge of making a girl under the age of 13 perform a sex act.

Seven of the eight people arrested, including the church's pastor and a former sheriff's deputy, remain jailed without bond. One suspect, Lois Ann Mowbray, 54, of Ponchatoula, was released on $150,000 bond. Mowbray was arrested for obstruction of justice and failure to report a felony.

Definition of "totalitarian middle"

The totalitarian middle (see end of previous post here) consists of those who want to make others obey them but do not have the cajones to go out and personally kill them if they disobey.

They prefer "bourgeois legalism" (votes, laws, judges' rulings, et cetera) as their cover and law enforcement and military organs as their preferred instruments of repression.

(As opposed to the totatalitarian left and totalitarian right, who obviously have no problems getting their hands dirty.)

Taranto on Sowell on 7 Dwarfs is just plain wrong.

BY JAMES TARANTO
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:17 a.m. EDT

Dems United?

Much of the conservative commentary about Monday's filibuster deal has been along the lines of this Thomas Sowell column:

The Senate Democrats hung tough and the Republicans wimped out. The Republicans had the votes but they didn't have the guts.
That is the bottom line on the compromise agreement that will allow votes to proceed on judicial nominees without a filibuster, except in "extraordinary" cases. In other words, the Democrats will filibuster only when they feel like filibustering, since they will define what "extraordinary" means to them.


This seems a rather obvious misreading of what happened, doesn't it? True, seven Republicans broke from their party in agreeing to abjure the "nuclear option," but seven Democrats also broke from theirs to allow votes on at least three nominees whom fellow Dems had spent years smearing as "extremist" and "out of the mainstream." And since the Senate has fewer Democrats than Republicans, the Democrats are actually the more divided party: 15.6% of Dems joined the compromise, vs. just 12.7% of Republicans.

No.

Sowell's is the correct reading of events. The R's failed because they failed to enforce party discipline on what may very well be the most important constitutional question any of us will see in our lifetimes.
It proves the senate's R's are politicians first and responsible Americans second (at best).

Taranto reads like a wimp here. And uncharacteristically so.

AGAIN, politics is a cutthroat and dirty business. Lives and souls are at stake. Too many people have sacrificed too much to try to preserve a remnant of reality and convince voters it is worth their thoughtful consideration.

This deal of the 7 Dwarfs is nothing less than a capitulation to the forces of ignorance and death and a serious blow to the rule of law. (BTW, Mr. Taranto, The Culture of Death is not just a clever phrase to us. It may be cute in your column when you use it to make fun of the Totalitarian Middle, but there is nothing fun about it in the real world.)

Here's the promised Malkin column - "Educational Smut for Kids"

See "Kids get their Clinton on!"

Here's a rich irony: I'm writing today about a new children's book, but I can't describe the plot in a family newspaper without warning you first that it is entirely inappropriate for children.

The book is Rainbow Party by juvenile fiction author Paul Ruditis. The publisher is Simon Pulse, a kiddie lit division of the esteemed Simon & Schuster. The cover of the book features the title spelled out in fun, Crayola-bright font. Beneath the title is an illustrated array of lipsticks in bold colors.

The main characters in the book are high school sophomores -- supposedly typical 15- and 16-year-olds with names such as "Gin" and "Sandy." The book opens with these two girls shopping for lipstick at the mall in advance of a special party. The girls banter as they hunt for lipsticks in every color of the rainbow:

"Okay, we've got red, orange, and purple," Gin said. "Now we just need yellow, green, and blue."
"Don't forget indigo," Sandy said as she scanned the row of lipstick tubes.
"What are you talking about?"
"Indigo," Sandy repeated as if that explained everything.
"You know. ROY G. BIV. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet."
"That's seven lipsticks. Only six girls are coming. We don't need it."

What kind of party do you imagine they might be organizing? Perhaps a makeover party? With moms and daughters sharing their best beauty secrets and bonding in the process?

Alas, no. No parents are invited to this get-together. A "rainbow party," you see, is a gathering of boys and girls for the purpose of engaging in group oral sex. Each girl wears a different colored lipstick and leaves a mark on each boy. At night's end, the boys proudly sport their own cosmetically sealed rainbow you-know-where -- bringing a whole new meaning to the concept of "party favors."

In the end, the kids in the book abandon plans for the event and news of an epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases rocks their school. But the front cover and book marketing emphasize titillation over education, overpowe

Sowell - Wimps "R" Us

From Human Events Online, Thomas Sowell lets the Seven Dwarfs and the rest of the Pansy Party have it with both barrels.

The Senate Democrats hung tough and the Republicans wimped out. The Republicans had the votes but they didn't have the guts.

That is the bottom line on the compromise agreement that will allow votes to proceed on judicial nominees without a filibuster, except in "extraordinary" cases. In other words, the Democrats will filibuster only when they feel like filibustering, since they will define what "extraordinary" means to them.

Although the Republicans have more votes in the Senate, and also have Vice-President Cheney to cast the deciding vote in case of a tie, the Democrats stuck together. None of them went around wringing their hands in the media about how hard it would be for them to support their party if it came to a vote.

Unity often beats disunity, even when the side that is unified is smaller.

Exactly. Will often trumps numbers.

Just like the Bolsheviks:

At the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Labour Party in London in 1903, there was a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, two of SDLP's leaders. Lenin argued for a small party of professional revolutionaries with a large fringe of non-party sympathizers and supporters. Martov disagreed believing it was better to have a large party of activists.

(Thanks to Spartacus Educational, my favorite commie website. Visiting their site is like reading Nietzsche. Each is almost always spouting the exact opposite of the truth. No, that is not quite fair to the Spartacus folks. Let me say they present a rather selective version of the truth. But Nietzsche just saw everything backwards. )

BTW, are you wondering what happened to Citizen Martov? He was one of the lucky few who got to die in exile of natural (apparently) causes.

Baby killing uber alles...

...or, House Votes to Reverse Ban on Funding for Stem Cell Research

The House of Representatives voted today to ease restrictions on federal financing for embryonic stem cell research, thus setting up a showdown with President Bush, who has vowed to veto the measure because he says it would promote destruction of life.

The 238-to-194 vote in favor, far short of the 290 needed to override a presidential veto, sends the issue to the Senate, where an identical measure is pending. Stem cell research has considerable support in the Senate as well. Its chief sponsor is Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, who heads the Senate subcommittee that controls federal financing for medical research.

Senator Brain Damage strikes again! You'd think an observant Jew who has come as close to death as Specter has would at least have a modicum of respect for...huh? What's that you say, voices in my head? Oh. He isn't? Well...Never mind then.

Fifty House Republicans broke with President Bush to vote with 187 Democrats and the chamber's sole independent, Bernard Sanders of Vermont, in favor of the bill. Fourteen Democrats joined 180 Republicans in voting against it. The House's action, and the likelihood of approval in the Senate as well, sets the stage for the first veto to be cast by President Bush, who reiterated his opposition this afternoon to the current legislation.

It should not be too hard to find those fifty R bastards. (Here they are. Remember, those who voted Yea are the baby killers.) Time for some party discipline.

(If you detect a whiff of partisanship here, congratulations. I no longer expect any good to come from the
Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion. I am just glad they aren't going house to house with shotguns, looking for us. Yet.)

Kids get their Clinton on!

A battle could be brewing in the book stacks over a new novel about teens and oral sex.

Gee, you think so?

The editor of Rainbow Party hopes the book about teens and oral sex will 'scare' young readers.

I'll bet $20 his marketing department told him different.

Rainbow Party (Simon & Schuster, $8.99) is about a group of teens who plan an oral-sex party at which each of the girls wears a different color of lipstick.

Rainbow of colors on your Clinton. Get it, hopelessly unhip Mom & Dad?

Ruditis says the book was never meant to sensationalize sex parties. "We just wanted to present an issue kids are dealing with," he says.

Of course not. I believe your motives are pure. Just stay the hell away from our kids.

Bethany Buck, Ruditis' editor at Simon & Schuster, came up with the idea for the book and says she hopes it will "scare" young readers.

Like, Boo!, dude.

Suzanne Kelly, a buyer for the Chester County Book and Music Co. in West Chester, Pa., which will stock a limited number of Rainbow, agrees. She says the book's message that oral sex "really is sex" and that teens can contract STDs through such sexual practices far outweigh the controversial story line.

WTF? If this is an important message, shouldn't all stores be stocked floor to ceiling with this vital tome? I detect a whiff of...

"I can't imagine anyone reading this book and saying, 'Hey, what a great idea. Let's send out invitations,' " Ruditis says.


Gillian Engburg, an editor at the American Library Association's Booklist magazine, says her publication will not review Rainbow. But the reason, she says, has nothing to do with the subject matter. "We just didn't feel the book had enough literary merit to justify purchase."

(Thanks to Laura Ingraham for the heads up on this literary blight. Coming soon to a blog near you: A Michelle Malkin column on this.)

Talk about jitters! We'll give you jitters, you cowardly thugs.

1,000 U.S. Troops Launch Offensive in Iraq

HADITHA, Iraq - About 1,000 U.S. Marines, sailors and soldiers encircled this Euphrates River city in the troubled Anbar province before dawn on Wednesday, launching the second major anti-insurgent operation in this vast western region in less than a month.

Bless and protect them, O Lord.

"Right now there's a larger threat than should be in Haditha and we're here to tell them that they're not welcome," said Lt. Col. Lionel Urquhart, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, which is part of the operation.


A small reconnaissance unit of Iraqi soldiers was participating in the attack on the northwestern city, Urquhart said, but the offensive reflected the continued need for U.S. operations to clear out insurgents from Sunni-dominated areas of the country.


Haditha has no functioning police force, and U.S. military officials acknowledged their presence has been light in the city but said Iraqi troops were expected to arrive soon.


The assault, called Operation New Market, focused on this city of about 90,000 people, where the U.S. military says insurgents have been using increasingly sophisticated tactics.

U.S. Base Closures Cause Jitters Abroad

Yeah, now.

While the United States works out its biggest set of domestic military base closures in decades, countries from Germany to South Korea are bracing for a major restructuring as well, with new hosts being courted and as many as 70,000 U.S. troops expected to head home over the next decade.

It's about time.

Lt. Gen. Charles Campbell, chief of staff for U.S. Forces Korea, said last month the American military would lay off up to 1,000 Korean workers, about 10 percent of the total, and cut contracts for services by up to 20 percent over the next two years.

Some 1,000 workers and their supporters protested outside Yongsan base, in central Seoul, earlier this month and the Korean Employers Union said it will hold a larger rally on June 3 if the United States does not repeal its plan for layoffs. (Thanks Yahoo! News)

Yankee go home! What? You're actually leaving? And you're taking money and jobs and security too? No! Wait! How can the imperialist warmonger CuriousGeorge BushMonkey do this to us, America's faithful allies?

Saint of the Day

Today we honor St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, St.Bede the Venerable, and St. Gregory VII. While the lives of all the saints are remarkable, these three are especially so and vividly demonstrate how God works through us to accomplish His goals. One could do worse today than following the links above. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 36:1, 4-5, 10-17
Today's Gospel reading is Mark 10:32-45


Everyday links: The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, Pray for us.



Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

From The Doy!, Double Doy! Department:

Child Population Dwindles in San Francisco

BTW, the sky is blue.

It's a small world...

Thanks to Best of the Web Today

Don't Quote Me. In Fact, Don't Quote Anybody.

Last month our friend Bob Tyrrell wrote a column in which he scolded us for the "treacherous quoting of innocent liberals":

Perhaps the foremost villain on the "extreme right" known for discrediting people by quoting them is OpinionJournal.com's James Taranto. Just the other day, he indulged in arrant character assassination against one of those brave souls now opposing the nomination of John Bolton as our United Nations ambassador. Lynne Finney, a former employee of the federal government, has written an affecting letter to Sen. Barbara Boxer notifying her of enormities committed by Bolton against her person in "late 1982 or early 1983." Allegedly Bolton "screamed that I was fired," Finney writes. She has since become a "motivational speaker," and Taranto has published contents of her website, merely to reveal her as a fool.

Tyrrell's most notorious ex-employee is David Brock, who now runs an outfit called MediaMatters.org. Yesterday MediaMatters put out an item attacking us for--you guessed it--accurately quoting Howard Dean. It seems Brock is taking his lead from Tyrrell--except that Tyrrell wrote tongue in cheek, whereas the MM guys seem to be completely serious.

Meanwhile, HealthDay News brings this intriguing item from the frontiers of science: "Some brain-damaged people can't comprehend sarcasm, and Israeli researchers think it's because a specific brain region has gone dark."

BTW, here's more on that sarcasm thing from New Scientist.

Gene Roddenberry spins in whatever conveyance they used to bury him.

Wormhole wanderers face a deadly dilemma

Again, "What you don't know can hurt you a whole lot".


Would-be wormhole travellers may have to choose between danger and unpredictability for their journeys through space-time, a new study suggests. The research may spell doom for time machines, but it suggests the universe will survive to a ripe old age instead of being ripped apart by a particularly repulsive form of dark energy.

As fans of science fiction know, wormholes provide short-cuts through space and time, sucking in objects at one end and spitting them out at the other. The distance from one point to the other would be much shorter than conventional travel across the universe.

A useful analogy in helping to visualise the wormhole phenomenon is to imagine a sheet of paper - which represents the universe - which is then folded neatly in half. Next, near the edge furthest from the fold, a pin is pushed through the paper. This creates a “wormhole” connecting two distant points in the universe.

But for this trick to work in space-time, the hypothetical tunnels are suggested to be coated with an unknown form of matter. This "exotic" matter exerts negative pressure - if a balloon were being filled with the stuff, it would deflate.

Now, physicists Roman Buniy and Stephen Hsu at the University of Oregon in Eugene, US, have studied the properties of such matter in two theoretical wormhole types. The first type mainly obeys the laws of classical physics and does not fluctuate in time, while the second follows quantum mechanical rules and therefore carries with it inherent uncertainties.

These uncertainties mean someone is not guaranteed to come out at a given location in space or time after every use of the quantum wormhole. "The danger is the endpoint of the wormhole which, if it is fluctuating around unpredictably, might be in a wall or under the Pacific Ocean," Hsu says. "Alternatively, you might exit a year before or after you thought you would."

From The Science Is Cool Department:

Light gun fires photons one by one

The first photon gun capable of firing single particles of light over optical fibres was unveiled on Tuesday. The breakthrough may remove one of the final obstacles keeping perfectly secure messages from being sent over standard telephone fibres.

Encryption techniques change each character in a message in a way that can be reversed by a receiver who possesses the relevant key. But sending the key to the receiver is just as troublesome as sending the message as it too can be intercepted - a problem known as key distribution.

Twenty years ago, North American physicists Giles Brassard and Charles Bennett outlined a way to send a key without anyone being able to eavesdrop. Their idea rests on the notion that a message sent using quantum particles -such as photons - is so fragile that measuring the photons changes their properties. So anybody listening in to a transmission would destroy it - which the sender and receiver would easily notice.

But so-called quantum encryption works only if the key is sent using individual photons, rather than the pulses of many photons that are used for communication today. But sending single photons is tricky.
(Thanks New Scientist)

I think this means I'll finally feel safe shopping on-line.

More on soldierettes

From George Neumayr of The American Spectator comes the latest in distaff force projection.

Over the objections of George Bush's military, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Cal.) passed an amendment to a defense authorization bill on Wednesday that would prevent the Army from placing female soldiers in "direct ground combat" units. Bush's military has been forming the beginnings of a coed front line, placing women in these forward support units, which is a violation of the law. Unable in private to persuade Pentagon officials to observe their own stated prohibition (which they cannot change without congressional approval), Hunter had to resort to legislation to codify it, reports the Washington Times.

The San Diego congressman deserves kudos for resisting the military's accelerating political correctness. Since George Bush hasn't shown any real interest in this problem (he passively said in January that "as far as I'm concerned," "no women in combat," which makes it sound as if the matter is out of his hands even though he is the commander-in-chief of the military), and Donald Rumsfeld doesn't appear to care either (his spokesman told the Washington Times that women in forward support companies "is not an issue he has delved into a lot"), Hunter's legislation is critical.

One would think that George Bush might feel alarm, or even a little embarrassment, at the sight of his Army officials this week joining forces with Democratic feminists like Loretta Sanchez (D-Cal.) to oppose Hunter's legislation. His Army's condemnation of it sounded like something Hillary Clinton could have crafted. "The proposed amendment will cause confusion in the ranks and will send the wrong signal to the brave young men and women fighting the global war on terrorism," wrote General Richard A. Cody, the Army vice chief of staff, in "a letter of protest for use by Rep. Ike Skelton, Missouri Democrat," reports the Washington Times.

One of Bush's improbable legacies may end up being a military more feminized than Bill Clinton's. As of this spring, 17,000 female soldiers had been dispatched to Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them serving in de facto combat roles, thanks to his military's fudging of the line between combat and noncombat positions. Could the ban on women in combat be abolished altogether under a Republican president? Yes, and if it does, it will be one more irony of American history showing that momentous cultural transformations often take place under "conservative" presidents who lull their constituents into a sense of complacency.

It is hard to imagine conservatives sitting on their hands if Bill Clinton's military had begun embedding women in combat brigade units. Or if Clinton, as Bush's military did recently, began handing out "combat" awards to women in technically noncombat roles. Bush's Pentagon is giving female soldiers in jobs like truck driving "Combat Action Badges," a sign that it has fully accepted, and celebrates, the concept of women in combat.

Pope Benedict XVI's wrong-headed personnel decision

The appointment of an unremarkable American archbishop from the Catholic wasteland of California (a confrere of Roger Mahony no less) with light scholarly credentials to the most important post in Rome, Ratzinger's old job as prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. San Francisco's William Levada came from nowhere to get that post. Leftist Jesuit chaplains of the Democratic Party groaned, naturally.

But who is Levada, and why should they be upset?Press reports that he is an old friend of Benedict's or that he is a clone of the new Pope are as usual imprecise. Friend? He did work for Ratzinger 24 years ago, as a secretary, for less than two years. Comrades in arms? Certainly Levada is a company man, yes. But he gave the game away at a press conference after his appointment when he said that he would be more like God's "cocker-spaniel" than his "rottweiler," the nickname the press gave Ratzinger in that post.

Indeed, it is impossible to imagine Ratzinger as archbishop of Munich compromising on the question of giving benefits to homosexual couples under diocesan employ. Levada as archbishop of San Francisco cut a deal with Willie Brown on that issue. He weakly cast his capitulation to the city as an endorsement not of homosexuality but of wider health-care coverage. Nor is it thinkable that Benedict would have allowed the rector of his seminary in Munich to write scandalously about homosexuality. Levada's rector, whom he had inherited from his disastrous predecessor John Quinn, did.

"Some homosexual persons," wrote Gerald Coleman, "have shown that it is possible to enter into long-term, committed and loving relationships, named by certain segments of our society as domestic partnership...I see no moral reason why civil law could not in some fashion recognize these faithful and loving unions with clear and specified benefits."Benedict XVI has already mapped out what he predicted would be a short pontificate. He has done so with his many books (Ignatius Press has them all in English, and they're not dull), with several new addresses, and, not least, with personnel choices like the old team and William Levada.

Joseph Ratzinger is a man of many parts, a powerful mind with an astonishing memory and an ability, say friends, to listen to a group for an hour, then synthesize their points in whatever language they happen to be speaking. He is probably the most-credentialed pope in 1,500 years, with a far better resume than his predecessor at the time of his election in 1978. So it may come as a surprise that, as the Levada choice has illustrated, the best description of Benedict from the political lexicon is a rather standard moderate, by which is meant that he is more than capable of factoring Church politics into his decisions.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN HIS pontificate will be like the presidency of Richard Nixon, full of half-measures, bobbing and weaving. But it is how to explain the Levada choice, which has baffled some who expected a tougher man. My theory: during the conclave, Cardinal Ruini of Rome, said to have been the kingmaker, suggested to the crucially important American cardinals that the time had come for one of their own to be in one of Rome's top two dicasteries. Naturally, Ruini would go on, the new Holy Father had to decide the details and it would be wrong, very wrong, for him to even mention this to his man during the conclave.

Were this arrangement to have taken hold in the imaginations of the American cardinals, they could well imagine that Ruini would also deliver the Italian vote. Not being a dumb man, Cardinal Ratzinger would have caught wind of these thoughts without ever speaking to Ruini and without ever feeling bound in conscience to implement any such plan. And as long as none of those involved in the recent conclave felt bound or pressured, such arrangements are human and perfectly proper.
(Thanks to The American Spectator)

Human embryos "more primitive than mosquitos"

Noted American intellectual Michael Kinsley spews hatred towards who he once was. (I propose the sobriquet "self hating fetus" for such folks.)

For columnist Michael Kinsley human embryos are at once valuable and valueless. Their parts contain a possible cure for his Parkinson's disease, yet they are "biologically more primitive than a mosquito," he wrote last Sunday in the Los Angeles Times. Kinsley is very enamored with this mosquito-embryo comparison. He's used it before in previous columns to drive home the point that disposing of human embryos should generate even less thought than swatting a mosquito. For good measure in this column Kinsley also calls human embryos "tiny clumps of cells" lest we fail to grasp how silly it is to consider them worthy of respect.

Historians of ideas should clip Kinsley's columns on this subject as a straightforward example of the American elite's rancid and heedless moral philosophy circa 2000. They reveal that as the age of cloning advances, the elite, demanding longevity at all moral costs, consoles itself with the thought that the class of lab humans they hope to form are "more primitive" than insects. The human embryo is the one endangered species they won't protect and will use as their utopian science's slave.

What inspired Kinsley's most recent column was the news that South Korean scientists had cloned human embryos as spare parts for science. Kinsley regards this as a wonderful development. But he is upset with those like Leon Kass, chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, who in the wake of the news were mulling "morality and all that." The usually skeptical Kinsley has boundless confidence in these South Korean scientists and rebuked ethicists like Kass for challenging these all-knowing men with time-wasting questions.

But if Kinsley won't question science, he will question God. "I have no trouble feeling that the government should value my life more than the lives of these clumps," he wrote. "God may disagree. But the government reports to me and to other adult Americans, not to God."

"Morality and all that" must be swept aside so that one group of human beings can exploit a class of weaker human beings, mere "clumps." It doesn't occur to Kinsley that the very diseased people he thinks this embryo-destroying research will cure are the ones least likely to survive in the dehumanized, self-centered ethos he's advocating to justify it. He throws down the gauntlet and says in his subhead, "Mr. Bush, don't I matter more than tiny clumps of cells?" One day, probably not very long from now, society will say, "No, Mr. Kinsley, you don't. We don't think disabled adults are valuable." And at that point, what principle will protect him? He belittles bioethicists for marshalling arguments against therapeutic cloning that "are concerned with the nature of humanity and stuff." It is those arguments that protect the weak and vulnerable from the designs of a dehumanized scientific culture. (Thanks to The American Spectator)



Speaking truth to Anglicans.

April 26: Anglicanism

I am afraid that I raised some Anglican hackles when, in my "Diary from Rome," written around the funeral of John Paul the Great and the election of Benedict, I mentioned the "tawdry" wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. I wrote, "It appears the monarchy will survive as a national embarrassment, along with a national church that continues, almost 500 years later, to cater to the unbridled royal appetites to which it owes it existence."

I admit that is harsh and apologize for the offense given, which, to judge from the protests, was considerable. But surely we can agree that, whatever the faults of Rome in the alienation of the Church in England, Henry VIII's appetites were unbridled and were a necessary cause in bringing into existence the Church of England. And I hope we can agree that, if all the reports are correct, Charles' adulterous relationship carried on for years with his mistress, now Duchess of Cornwall, is another instance of unbridled royal appetites.

Bullseye!

Samples from various blogs on the topic of GOP self-immolation

1) Michelle Malkin

2) Lance in Iraq

3) Captain's Quarters

4) Grassroots PA

5) Galley Slaves

6) Carol Platt Liebau

7) Catholic Light

8) Hugh Hewitt

9) Professor Bainbridge

10) The Anchoress

11) ScrappleFace

12) and Yours Truly



I'll believe it when I see it.

KERRY SIGNS SF-180 FORM
By Michelle Malkin ·

During an interview yesterday with Boston Globe editorial writers and columnists, John Kerry said he signed Form SF 180. The form will be sent to the U.S. Navy within the next few days.
Globe columnist Joan Vennochi writes:
During an interview yesterday with Globe editorial writers and columnists, the former Democratic presidential nominee was asked if had signed Form SF 180, authorizing the Department of Defense to grant access to all his military records.
''I have signed it," Kerry said. Then, he added that his staff was ''still going through it" and ''very, very shortly, you will have a chance to see it."
The devil is usually in the details. With Kerry, it's also in the dodges and digressions. After the interview, Kerry's communications director, David Wade, was asked to clarify when Kerry signed SF 180 and when public access would be granted. Kerry drifted over to join the conversation, immediately raising the confusion level. He did not answer the question of when he signed the form or when the entire record will be made public.
Several e-mails later, Wade conveyed the following information: On Friday, May 20, Kerry obtained a copy of Form 180 and signed it. ''The next step is to send it to the Navy, which will happen in the next few days. The Navy will then send out the records," e-mailed Wade. Kerry first said he would sign Form 180 when pressed by Tim Russert during a Jan. 30 appearance on ''Meet the Press."
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin)

The Religion of Peace strikes again, and again, and again

The unspeakable horror of "converting" Egyptian Christian girls from FrontPage Magazine.com.

NMA was originally from Cairo and went to college in the city where my family lived. I was in my first year of college at the time, and this was my first case of proselytizing.
She was very pretty. She had a few Muslim girl friends who told me that she was an easy catch. They arranged for me to meet her and I practiced pretending that I was madly in love, staring at her with desire and faking a quivering voice.
When NMA and I first started talking, I asked her some questions about the Christian faith. I realized I had to change my tactics if I was going to trap her. I started to convince her that I loved her and I worked on her until she fell for me. Her girl friends were aware of what was happening and helped me by talking to her about my love for her. I told her that we could marry and keep our different faiths, as Islam allows Muslims to marry the people of the book because they believe in God. I had my way with her and she became pregnant.
I secretly went to church with her a few times and I even bought Christian books, icons and the fellowship bread to convince her that I was an admirer of Christianity. I told her that I would have gladly converted to Christianity, but could not do it because I would be killed. I then told her that I loved her and could not live without her and if she converted to Islam, she would not be killed, as she was carrying our baby--the fruit of our love.
She was scared and did not know what to do. At that time, I asked her not to sever her relation with the church, to act as she normally would and as a camouflage go to church on Thursday for confession, on Friday for communion and again on Sunday for Mass. She followed my instructions and one day, as per my instructions, she arrived with her suitcase and gold jewelry, and we spent the night at my home in Gameat El Dewal El Arabia Street. On Saturday morning, she had an appointment with the person in charge at El Azhar. I arranged for her escape to the city where she attended college and where I lived until she finished her studies. I then had her name changed to Fatima El Zahra Mohamed Ali El Mahdi.
The efforts of her family and of other Christians to take her back were in vain. I made sure she was the one who adamantly refused to go back after my colleagues and I brainwashed her. My efforts were successful as she became completely convinced that she was now worshipping the true God of Islam.
After five weeks of achieving this victory for Islam and receiving my financial reward, I decided that I did not want to keep this faithless whore as my wife. She was cheap to me and was merely an object for sensual pleasure. How could I have a son with her who has in him the blood of those Christian infidels? I reasoned. I ordered her to have an abortion and I used my legitimate right to beat her. I also obliged her to work for her food. I told her she had to serve her Muslim masters who put a roof over her head and she had to be grateful that I married her and saved her from her shame.
I started to think about repeating the same game again with other women, so that I could serve my life, my religion and my after-life. I believed by doing this I would serve my religion by making the infidels embrace Islam; I would serve my life by getting financial rewards; and I would serve my after life by having many acres written in my name in heaven. I would also have a house cleaner for free. She would work for her food and when I wanted to use her for pleasure, she would be my odalisque.
I enjoyed hurting, beating and humiliating Fatima (NMA). I was positive she did not truly convert to Islam and that she has only surrendering to her female instincts. All this made me more inclined to take revenge on her. Fatima stayed with me for three years, seven months and twelve days until one Sunday in 1998 when I converted to Christianity. I was an atheist and avoided everyone, before becoming a Christian. But as I continued my research, I believe Jesus Christ showed himself to me.
I told my wife about my change of faith. She did not believe me at first. During those three years seven months and twelve days that Fatima stayed with me, I made eight girls convert to Islam. After I became a Christian, I sought to restore each of the nine women who converted because of me as well as those whom my father had converted. I am now praying for the rest of them and I keep getting good news about the coming back of one girl after the other.

And yet, even for this wretched sinner, there is hope and the possibility of salvation.
Saving humanity, one soul at a time.

Support Your Local Sniper

The insurgency in Iraq is increasing the demand for U.S. military snipers.

Brian K. Sain, a Texas-based police sniper, is spearheading a private effort to supply the key ingredients to U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Mr. Sain heads Americansnipers.org, which has raised about $400,000 from the private sector — including major corporations and wealthy Hollywood celebrities — to help supply equipment to Marine and Army snipers.

Just this week, Mr. Sain received a request from a Marine in Fallujah asking for his group to provide him with a scope and bipod for his standard-issue M-16.

"I have an M-16 A4, I will be the designated marksman IF I can get my own equipment," the Marine stated.

"We're using snipers over there in record numbers," Mr. Sain said in an interview.

The military is finding its troops are experienced in using armored convoys but lack knowledge about using snipers against insurgents, he said.

"In a war, you need people that know how to shoot," Mr. Sain said.

A common insurgent tactic is to use a roadside bomb to attack a vehicle convoy and then shoot at soldiers in vehicles. To deal with the threat, more trained snipers and marksmen are being used to provide cover during the attacks, he said. The U.S. snipers in Iraq have become so effective against the insurgents that many have bounties placed on them by the terrorists and insurgents.

I have only one question. Where the hell is my tax money going?

American chicks in combat

From The Washington Times' Inside The Ring column:

The Army is getting around the ban on mixed-sex support units embedding with combat units by pulling out female soldiers when fighting occurs. This fire-drill approach to running Forward Support Companies, known as FSCs, is one big reason why House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, California Republican, is moving to have the ban restated in the pending 2006 defense authorization bill. The committee, in an amendment passed this week, added language that would require the Army to report any changes in combat rules for women, but backed off from an amendment to ban women from FSCs. The full House also must endorse the bill, along with the Senate, for Mr. Hunter's proposal to become law.

Females in combat will first destroy the US military and then the country. Yes, it is a symptom of a larger disease, but it is also a disease in and of itself.

Head pansy Bill Frist shakes his little fist at the big boys.

From CNSNews.com:

The nuclear option is gone for the moment but not forgotten, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Tuesday morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

He obviously doesn't have the stones.

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said the nuclear option is "gone for our lifetime," and he bristled at Frist's "threat" to bring it back.

My money is on the commie moron from Nevada.

Wow, I actually think I beat Taranto to the punch on this one.

Killing Leslie Burke

During the Terri Schiavo controversy, one refrain we heard was that those who opposed starving her to death were hypocrites unless they favored "universal health care"--which is to say, government control over medicine. A story in the Times of London illustrates the hazards of this approach:
Leslie Burke, 45, who suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a degenerative brain condition, won a landmark case last May granting him the right to stop doctors withdrawing artificial nutrition or hydration (ANH) treatment until he dies naturally.

Me: Wednesday 5/18/05 at 3:24 PM
Them: Monday 5/23/05 at 2:31 PM

Come on, can't a guy bask in the glory of a very small victory?

Notice how the phrase "the triumph of politics" is a wonderful thing in Iraq...

...but a disaster here.
Ironic as all get out, isn't it?

Hey, Wait for Us!

In Iraq, "a broad gathering of Sunni sheiks, clerics and political leaders formed a political alliance on Saturday, seeking to win back the political ground they had lost to Shiites," reports the New York Times from Baghdad:
The meeting was the first wide-scale effort by Iraq's embittered and increasingly isolated Sunnis to band together politically, and was broadly attended by what organizers said was about 2,000 Sunni Arabs from Baghdad and nearby cities. The gathering was an implicit acknowledgment that it had been a mistake to turn away from the political process and allow Shiites to control the government for the first time in modern Iraqi history. . . .
In speech after speech at the meeting, at a Baghdad social club, delegates called on fellow Sunnis to cast aside doubts and throw themselves into politics to try to weigh in on the writing of a constitution, which is under way in a Shiite-controlled committee in the National Assembly. Even the Association of Muslim Scholars, a leading voice in the Sunni election boycott, signed on as one of the conference's organizers.
Remember the calls for postponement of the Iraqi elections, on the ground that Sunni Arabs would not participate and civil war would ensue? Well, we do.
(Thanks to James Taranto, Best of the Web Today, OpinionJournal.com, the Academy, my agent...)

Best of the Web today sets us straight on the flushability of the Moslem holy book.

Fake and Inaccurate

Newsweek has followed up its retracted story alleging that U.S. servicemen had flushed a Koran down the toilet at Guantanamo Bay. It turns out that there is a record of Koran-flushing, but it wasn't Americans who did it:
In three cases, detainees tried to stuff pages from their Qur'ans down their toilets, according to the Defense Department's account of what is in the guards' reports. . . . Prison commanders concluded that certain hard-core prisoners would try to agitate the other detainees by alleging disrespect for Muslim articles of faith.
And what about "abuse" of the Koran by soldiers? Well, here's what Newsweek was able to document:
In fewer than a dozen log entries from the 31,000 documents reviewed so far, said [Pentagon spokesman Lawrence] Di Rita, there is a mention of detainees' complaining that guards or interrogators mishandled their Qur'ans. In one case, a female guard allegedly knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the detainee's bed. In another alleged case, said Di Rita, detainees became upset after two MPs [military policemen], looking for contraband, felt the pouch containing a prisoner's Qur'an. While questioning a detainee, an interrogator allegedly put a Qur'an on top of a TV set, took it off when the detainee complained, then put it back on. In another alleged instance, guards somehow sprayed water on a detainee's Qur'an.
That's it. What's more, after a December 2002 incident in which "a guard inadvertently knocked a Qur'an from its pouch onto the floor," the Guantanamo commanders "issued precise rules to respect the 'cultural dignity of the Koran thereby reducing the friction over the searching of the Korans.' "
So assuming Newsweek has the story right this time--and you can bet they were extra careful--it's clear that those journalists who defended the original report as "fake but accurate" were only showing their own deep prejudice against the U.S. military.
In a defense of Newsweek just out in The New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg concludes by warning of the danger that "we'll lose sight of what we're fighting for, and, little by little, become the mirror of what we're fighting against." Isn't that precisely what's happened to the press, as it has lost sight of accuracy in the pursuit of a political agenda?

The Senate deal is not fair to the nominees who were lost in the trade.

Quin Hilyer. Hammer. Head of nail.

Conservatives examining last night's Senate deal on judicial nominees should see it as not a compromise but, as a capitulation. It does not save the stature of the Senate, but confirms its reputation as a den of mutual back-scratchers willing to throw principle out the window so their own reputations for wisdom and statesmanship can remain intact.

Yep. None dare call it business as usual. I'll bet you $20 the editors of National Review do not call for the defeat of the Seven Republican Moral Dwarfs at the polls or even sanctions against them by the GOP Senate leadership. NR might need their votes to legalize drugs.

The Jewish Crackup

Eric Cohen on Cloning and Judaism from National Review On-line:

With all the disagreements within modern Judaism, embryonic-stem-cell research is an area of remarkable moral and theological consensus. Judaism is pro-medicine; there are no clear grounds in Jewish law for treating human embryos as inviolable; therefore the moral duty to advance potentially life-saving research trumps any moral concerns about the exploitation and destruction of human embryos in the laboratory. On this question, Reform Jews who never feel bound by Jewish law and Orthodox Jews who always live in strict accordance with Jewish law entirely agree: Full speed ahead.

Hey! There's another reason for the Messiah to drop by.

It is in this context that the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, one of the most important Jewish organizations in America, has circulated a letter in support of the Castle-DeGette bill (H.R. 810), legislation that would provide federal funding for research using embryos created initially for reproductive purposes but left-over in fertility clinics. The letter is worth quoting at some length:

The Jewish tradition places great value upon human life and its preservation. The Torah commands us to treat and cure the ill and to defeat disease wherever possible; to do this is to be the Creator’s partner in safeguarding the created. The traditional Jewish perspective thus emphasizes that the potential to save and heal human lives is an integral part of valuing human life. Moreover, the traditional Jewish perspective does not accord an embryo outside of the womb the full status of humanhood and its attendant protections. Thus, stem cell research may be consistent with and serve these moral and noble goals; however, such research must not be pursued indiscriminately.

H.R. 810 strikes this careful balance. By insisting that publicly funded stem cell research be conducted on cells derived from embryos donated to IVF clinics and were in excess of the clinical need of the individuals seeking IVF treatment, and by requiring the prior consultation with and consent of the donors, the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act serves to value and venerate the sanctity of life and our responsibilities to our fellow man and woman.

The word "orthodox" seems to have as little meaning in Judaism as it does in Christianity.

In the end, the argument that such embryos are available for our use because they are leftover (“donated to IVF clinics”), because they are unwanted (“in excess of clinical need”), and because they are likely to die anyway is morally unconvincing. Human dignity does not depend on being wanted by others; and being doomed to death does not make human beings into things — otherwise, the terminally ill would be in danger of being turned into ready sources of organs. In the end, the moral question hinges on the moral standing of human embryos themselves — on what human embryos are and what we owe them. And it seems irresponsible for Judaism to seek the fruits of modern science without confronting the facts modern biology — which demonstrates, beyond reasonable doubt, that the embryo is a complete human organism from the moment of conception, with purposeful division and development from the very beginning, and with primordial limbs, organs, and beating heart tissue by age 40 days. To call such embryos “mere water” denies the biological and human reality that lies before us.

It also seems irresponsible to ignore the many references in Jewish literature and Jewish law that celebrate the dignity and mystery of developing life, and that describe the violation of God’s majestic creation entailed in deliberately destroying it. Even the wisest rabbi many centuries ago could not deal adequately and precisely with the moral complexity of our current biotechnology. Instead, the Jewish sages of the past can offer us moral guideposts — things to revere and things to avoid — that we must wisely apply in light of current knowledge and current circumstances. This means not only considering the act in itself — embryo destruction — but the environment in which the act will be committed, and by whom. And I think it is fair to say that most stem-cell biologists — those in the laboratories destroying embryos — don’t revere God and Torah the way most Orthodox Jews do. This, too, the wise Jewish citizen must remember.
While acting positively to save life is a great Jewish good, so is preserving a society that welcomes the weak and never kills the innocent. Even if embryos are not our ontological or moral equals — though the argument for such a position is hard to make on rational grounds — there are good Jewish reasons not to promote the destruction of nascent human life, precisely because it will corrode the sensibilities that make us good people — and good Jews. It is simply wrong to appeal to Jewish law on abortion, which privileges the life of the mother over the life of the unborn child, as a moral justification. Jewish law does so, after all, only in cases where the unborn child is a “pursuer” who threatens the mother’s life and health directly. With embryo research, by contrast, there is no direct conflict between an embryo and a patient, and we are not in the position of using particular embryos to save particular patients. Rather, we are proposing a speculative research project that requires the massive, ongoing destruction of human embryos. And this should make all Jews and all decent citizens shudder — not only for what it is, but for where it might lead. Where is the Jewish “fence around the law” when you need it?

Amen, brother Cohen. Amen to that.

Mike Castle, GOP baby killer

Well, they are just going to throw them out anyway, vomits the brain dead solon.
Hey Delaware, wake up and toss him out.


Castle-DeGette Bill - Smith Stem Cell Act at House.gov
H.R. 596 Text - H.R. 810 Text at THOMAS

Dumbass

On Human Events Online, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) demonstrates how it is possible to not get it even after being thrown under the bus.


“After enduring years of harsh, unjustified attacks, Justice Priscilla Owen, Justice Janice Rogers Brown, and Judge William Pryor will finally get an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. The signatories have also agreed not to filibuster judicial nominations in the future except under extraordinary circumstances. But Owen, Brown, and Pryor are highly qualified nominees who are firmly committed to the rule of law. They should never have been filibustered in the first place, and I expect the signatories to hold firm to their agreement not to filibuster similarly qualified nominees in the future. (Emphasis mine. Earth to Cornyn: Did you ride the short bus to school? The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion will not abide by any agreement!) Otherwise, the spirit of the deal will be broken, and signatories will be and should feel free to take action to restore the 214-year Senate tradition of majority vote.

Frist Says Compromise Falls Short on Key Principle

My, what a leader.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.) made the following statement Monday on the Senate floor.

Mr. President.I have had the opportunity to review the agreement signed by the Senator from Virginia, the Senator from Arizona, the Senator from Nebraska, and eleven other Senators--an agreement that I’ve reviewed but to which I am not a party.Let me start by reminding the Senate of my principle.A simple principle that I’ve come to this floor day after day stating. It’s really this, that I fundamentally believe that it is our constitutional responsibility to give judicial nominees the respect and the courtesy of an up or down vote on the floor of the United States Senate.

Inspiring. Truly inspiring. If he was a real man, he'd parade around the senate chamber with McCain's head on a pike.

Walter Williams would also make a wonderful benevolent dictator...

...but, alas, he also is way too cool. (One more and we could be ruled by a triumvirate. I nominate Ann Coulter to represent the cool part of the distaff side of humanity and to really tick off the totalitarians.)


How many times have we heard advertisements from law firms that specialize in elder law urging, "If you anticipate that you may have to enter a nursing home down the road, an elder care attorney may be able to help you create a plan that will both protect much of your assets and make you eligible for government benefits"? Boiled down to basics, the lawyers are suggesting that they can arrange for you to live off others should you ever require long-term care instead of having to spend the assets you've accumulated during your lifetime.

The quest to allow senior citizens to live off others doesn't stop there. If you're a senior citizen, you might be eligible for property tax reductions, subsidized prescription drugs, reduced fare on public transportation, and all manner of merchandise discounts. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against older people. In fact, some of my best friends are over 70, including Mrs. Williams. Let's do a bit of analysis of efforts to assist the elderly, but let's use our brains instead of our hearts.

Elderly does not equal poor. See how simple actually thinking can be?

The bottom line is that seniors are far richer than their mid-life counterparts who are in the workforce paying income taxes. They're being taxed to care for those who are not only less likely to be in the labor force paying income taxes but are wealthier than they. That's a particularly perverse form of income redistribution -- until we give it a little more thought to find out who's really being subsidized.

Since older people are not in the labor force, they might be income-poor. But since they've been around a long time, many have accumulated significant assets in the relatively illiquid forms of housing and financial equity. If an older person needs long-term care, he might be able to finance it through the sale of his accumulated assets. Thus, if we subsidize his needs, we really subsidize his heirs. In other words, government programs that pay for various needs of many elderly people simply allow elderly people to preserve their wealth so as to be able to bequeath to heirs.

And that leaves more money for the feds and states to grab in death taxes.
(Thanks again to Townhall.com)

Thomas Sowell, again

Professor Sowell is exactly the type of guy who should be ruling over us. I would not hesitate to vote for him for benevolent dictator.

Of course, the good professor is much too cool to get involved in the cesspool of politics. Which, ironically, is one of the main reasons we need people like him in charge. Catch-22, anyone?

If the share of the black vote that goes to the Democrats ever falls to 70 percent, it may be virtually impossible for the Democrats to win the White House or Congress, because they have long ago lost the white male vote and their support among other groups is eroding. Against that background, it is possible to understand their desperate efforts to keep blacks paranoid, not only about Republicans but about American society in general.

Liberal Democrats, especially, must keep blacks fearful of racism everywhere, including in an administration whose Cabinet includes people of Chinese, Japanese, Hispanic, and Jewish ancestry, and two consecutive black Secretaries of State. Blacks must be kept believing that their only hope lies with liberals.

Not only must the present be distorted, so must the past -- and any alternative view of the future must be nipped in the bud. That is why prominent minority figures who stray from the liberal plantation must be discredited, debased and, above all, kept from becoming federal judges.
A thoughtful and highly intelligent member of the California supreme court like Justice Janice Rogers Brown must be smeared as a right-wing extremist, even though she received 76 percent of the vote in California, hardly a right-wing extremist state. But desperate politicians cannot let facts stand in their way.

Least of all can they afford to let Janice Rogers Brown become a national figure on the federal bench. The things she says and does could lead other blacks to begin to think independently -- and that in turn threatens the whole liberal house of cards. If a smear is what it takes to stop her, that is what liberal politicians and the liberal media will use.

It's "not personal" as they say when they smear someone. It doesn't matter how outstanding or upstanding Justice Brown is. She is a threat to the power that means everything to liberal politicians. The Democrats' dependence on blacks for votes means that they must keep blacks dependent on them.

Black self-reliance would be almost as bad as blacks becoming Republicans, as far as liberal Democrats are concerned. All black progress in the past must be depicted as the result of liberal government programs and all hope of future progress must be depicted as dependent on the same liberalism.
(Thanks to Townhall.com)

France, oui! EU, non! part deux

You know something's up when a French Socialist MP starts to make sense.

"I feel like a rock star," said Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a Socialist senator from Essonne, as he was hugged and kissed by fans for breaking with his party and joining the no camp. "People stop me on the streets to tell me their problems and ask for my opinion about the constitution. I tell them it is absolutely monstrous."

Amen.

Poll after poll predicts that the French will reject the constitutional treaty in a referendum on Sunday. If that happens, certainly the 25-country EU will go on as before under existing treaties and France, one of the original six founders, will remain one of its most important members.

Amen.

But rejection will have deep repercussions for both France and Europe. It will be a humiliating personal defeat for President Jacques Chirac.

Amen.

A no vote could paralyze decision-making in the EU for months, delay agreement on the Union's next seven-year budget, slow down the torturous process of admitting new members, inhibit the ability of the EU to project power as a bloc in foreign and economic policy, and make it even more difficult to impose discipline on member's spending and inflation levels.

And do not forget the freeing of the people from their idiot slavemasters.

Nations cannot be legislated out of existence. Who sees themselves as "Europeans" first? Only the addle-brained Leninist-Leninist left and the sheep created by the government schools.

This One Europe crap can't help but fail. The question is how many will be murdered in the insane attempt to make it work by force. Never say you were not warned.

NOT ANOTHER DIME FOR THE GOP

Not at any level, not even town council or recorder of deeds. Do not volunteer a minute of your time to help them.

THIS IS WAR, AND THEY MUST FEEL PAIN IF THEY ARE TO LEARN THE NECESSARY LESSON.

We have allowed this to happen. We have spent our time working and spending, while our nation has been seized by a political class which is exactly what our founding fathers feared. We are all guilty of not doing enough to prevent this.

America has been raped and pillaged, but who cares, 'cause plasma screen televisions are really cool.

May Almighty God have mercy on our souls.

Traitorous Republican pansies must be thrown out.

These enablers of the fascist left must be tossed out by the voters of their respective states:

Lincoln Chafee - Rhode Island
Susan Collins - Maine
Mike DeWine - Ohio
Lindsey Graham - South Carolina
John McCain - Arizona
Olympia Snowe - Maine
John Warner - Virginia

Of these, the most important to destroy politically is Lindsey Graham, who has always pretended to be a conservative. The others have acted true to form.

The second most important target is McCain, who is nothing more than an out and out fascist. I do not ever want to hear another word about his war record. In his public life since Vietnam, he has done nothing but subvert the Constitution and work for the ruin of this nation. This son of a bitch must not be allowed to get near the Republican party's presidential nomination.

Third is John Warner, the oldest and most foolish of the old GOP fools in the US Senate.

And finally, the leadership of the Republican Party, from Bush to Frist on down. Do not expect any punishment, sanction, or even rebuke from any Republican politician anywhere.

Personally, I think the time for conservatives to abandon the GOP is long overdue. Of course, inertia is working for the Republicans and starting a truly Conservative Party is nearly impossible. However, if this sorry episode teaches us anything, it is that Republicans are politicians first, and nothing else, including principle and honor, means anything at all to them.

Saint of the Day

Today we honor St. Gerard de Lunel. Pray for us, St. Gerard.


Today's reading is Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 35:1-12
Today's Gospel reading is Mark 10:28-31


Everyday links: The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, Pray for us.

Prayer to Saint Anthony, Martyr of Desire
Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)

Monday, May 23, 2005

When I was a boy...

Yesterday was the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. This feast always reminds me of a story from CCD class.


St. Augustine of Hippo had been thinking about the Trinity for many days, trying to explain one God in three Persons.
As he walked along a beach, consumed with these thoughts, he came upon a boy sitting at the water's edge. The boy was trying to dig a hole in the sand with his bare hands, but after he would scoop out a handful of sand, the waves would rush in and fill the hole completely.
Augustine watched for some time as the boy struggled with his task. Finally, he said "You will never be able to dig a hole there".
The boy replied "I will be able to dig a hole here before you are able to explain the Holy Trinity, Augustine.
At that, the boy disappeared.

Of course, we keep trying. See The Divine Trinity by David Brown. Not a bad try for an Anglican.

One radio show’s disturbing abortion contest.

And you thought your local Morning Zoo was a cesspool.

Word has it that Howard Stern's radio contract only has about six months left to it; so he might be relegated to cable. But there's someone to take his place. Elliott in the Morning on D.C. 101 Radio provided a jarring wake up call last Tuesday morning. In response to the reports of a new abortion study that reveals more women are having repeat abortions, Elliot hosted a call-in contest for women who'd had the most abortions. Far from exploring the tragic nature of the act, Elliot laughed and joked with his callers as he commended them for their abortions.

Unfortunately, this probably won't fall under the interests of the Federal Communications Commission since, in the FCC's terms, it's neither obscene nor indecent. But listen to the stories of the callers from a recording of a nine-minute segment of Tuesday's show. If anything, they make the case against abortion even stronger. Despite — or perhaps because of — widespread access to contraception, they demonstrate the tendency to use abortion as an expensive contraceptive. So much for safe, legal, and rare.

It gets much worse.

Caller number four was Theresa. She was calling to talk about her "son's father's mother" and her abortions. After explaining that the now deceased woman had had ten abortions, one of which she performed upon herself — Elliot volunteered to give her a posthumous award — Theresa asked, "Is there any way that I can get a t-shirt?" Theresa, there are easier ways to get a t-shirt...

Interestingly, of the eight callers during this segment, four were men. One asked, "Hey, um, does me givin' one count?" Naturally, Elliot's interest was perked: "Are you a doctor?" The caller laughed, "No, I'm a dude. Just an average Joe." As he recounted the story, it had something to do with the girlfriend of a friend. Elliot replied, "Alright. Ok. No, no. There's part of me that wants to know this story but I think, I think, it's probably a bad idea." And they all laughed — a perfect setup for the next caller who identified himself as "K-dog."

K-dog: "I got all these people beat. Between my first wife and my second wife, uh, 16 [abortions]. And I got five kids." Elliot: "Are you lying just to get on the radio?" K-dog: "Naw. Swear to God." Elliot: "Oh. But wait a minute. You. That's very funny. You didn't personally get 16 women pregnant."... K-dog: "I got two women pregnant 16 times."

Now, with his five surviving children, that makes at least 21 pregnancies for K-dog, who finished the first part of the call by asking, "What's the prize? Is it a shop-vac?" When asked why he didn't use an apparently less expensive method of birth control like a condom, K-dog shrugged it off. After all, as Diane, the second host chimed in, "Insurance pays for it [abortion]."

America the beautiful.

Now, with his five surviving children, that makes at least 21 pregnancies for K-dog, who finished the first part of the call by asking, "What's the prize? Is it a shop-vac?" When asked why he didn't use an apparently less expensive method of birth control like a condom, K-dog shrugged it off. After all, as Diane, the second host chimed in, "Insurance pays for it [abortion]."

K-dog was followed by another man who had been responsible for eight abortions in ten years. He thought he'd gotten ripped-off since he'd had to pay $500 for each abortion rather than K-dog's approximate $300. Then Mrs. K-dog called in to laugh about her abortions. Turns out she also has four children who weren't aborted and her name, by the way, is Linda. She doesn't mind your knowing.

As I get older, I have more trouble with the Scholastic idea that sinners merely have a defective idea of what good is. They want to choose what is good, but are confused and believe that which is evil is good.

Yep, every day I have more trouble with that.

Website of the Day

The Mainichi Daily News is running a photo contest called Unseen Japan, featuring photos of things you might miss when visiting Japan.

Arthur Chrenkoff, the best thing out of Australia since footy...

...delivers more good news out of Iraq. (Via OpinionJournal.com)

You may remember Dhia Muhsin, a carpenter from the working-class Baghdad neighborhood of al-Dora, who became a celebrity of sorts back in March, when he stood up to insurgents who terrorized his area. In a firefight lasting half an hour Mushin and his nephews killed three of them and forced the rest to retreat.

Well, two months on, Muhsin is still ready to take on any intruders: "I expect them [the insurgents] to come back and I'm ready to face them," says the 33-year old who seems to have inspired his neighbors:

Al-Dora residents had been too scared to face down the insurgents but after seeing Muhsin's bravery, some, it seems, have decided to fight back.

"We are ready to confront any terrorist and the people in the area, after they saw what I did, have become more daring and strong," said Muhsin.

Mudher Khudher, 42, a bakery owner, said he is proud of Muhsin['s] actions and he and others have decided to follow his example, "Dhia taught us that the terrorists are cowards and they can't face all Iraqis."

Saleem Barakat, 32, a student, called Muhsin a hero and noted that their street in al-Dora has been quiet since the insurgents were killed.

Al-Dora has not been violence-free since that day in March, but Mushin's example is a very important one for the Iraqi people. Insurgents and terrorists thrive on fear and passivity. They can't win when society turns against them.

OK, Arthur's got to be third. Those long-legged girls with the great tans have to be second.

THIS is how politics is played!

The filibuster war in the U.S. Senate has opened a front in the Iowa caucuses.A powerful group of leading state Republicans and social conservatives sent a letter last week to "potential presidential candidates" telling them, in effect, that any GOP senator with presidential aspirations who doesn't support ending judicial filibusters will face consequences in the 2008 caucuses.The letter puts Senators John McCain of Arizona and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska on notice.

The document was signed by Steve Scheffler, director of the Christian Coalition of Iowa; Chuck Hurley, president of the Iowa Family Policy Center; Edward D. Failor Sr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief; and Maxine K. Sieleman, host of KWKY radio's "Update Today" program, which is popular with religious conservatives.Also signing the letter were Marlys Popma, a respected former executive director of the Iowa GOP; David M. Stanley, chairman of the Tax Education Foundation; and Kim Lehman, executive director of the Iowa Right to Life Committee.

The group thanked Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and Senators George Allen of Virginia, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania "for their courage" on the issue."On the other hand, we are concerned about the two potential candidates, Senator McCain, and from our neighboring state of Nebraska, Senator Hagel - who have so far refused to support an up or down vote," the group said. It said a filibuster against judicial nominees "is totally unacceptable . . . if individual senators oppose specific judicial nominees, then they should vote against them - not block an up-or-down vote."

See, kids, it is a contact sport. Hey, New Hampshire! New Hampshire! You listening?

Question of the Day: Can you tell the difference between Israel and Judaism?

Joe Sobran can:

(Note: The link above will take you to Joe's current on-line column. The archive is here. Not all of his past columns are available in the archive.)



The story concerns Lawrence Franklin, a Defense Department policy analyst who has now been charged with passing on highly classified info to two pro-Israel lobbyists, a foreign official (we are left to guess what country he works for), and “unidentified members of the media.” Franklin also seems to have ties to neoconservative notables like Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, and 83 classified documents were reportedly found in his West Virginia home.

The two lobbyists were (allegedly, as they say) top officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, better known as AIPAC. Ask your congressman if he’s ever heard of it. Chances are his knees will buckle and his mouth will dry up. You may take that as a Yes.

Franklin’s lawyer says his client is innocent and will fight the charges. Israeli officials say they aren’t involved in the case and have never received any secret information. AIPAC has long since denied everything, saying the investigation smacks of anti-Semitism and stuff. Don’t they all.

Sorry, kids. Treason is treason. Execute them all.

Our prestige has fallen so low that it’s surprising that the Israelis don’t dissociate themselves from America in their own interest. Both countries are widely regarded as threats to the world’s peace, but the United States has been killing far more people than Israel has. American propaganda is starting to resemble the old Soviet variety, with its Orwellian blather of “liberation” and “democracy” to cover horrifying acts of violence.

Ouch!

George Washington and Alexander Hamilton warned that republics are especially vulnerable to “foreign corruption.” No doubt that’s still true, but the United States also produces plenty of the home-grown stuff. Do you know whom your congressman had lunch with today?

Americans are forever congratulating themselves on enjoying the blessings of self-government, but nobody bothers to measure them. Before our Revolution, the historian Paul Johnson points out, the average American paid sixpence a year to the British Crown. When our own income tax was adopted less than a century ago, only the very richest paid the top rate: 7 per cent. (Another historian mentions that under the Roman Empire, income taxes might have been “as high as one per cent.”)

Israel is a small country with a big government. The United States is a big country with a humongous government. But don’t worry. It’s not just government, we’re assured; it’s self-government! We can all vote. That makes everything all right, according to the slogans of democracy that the looters employ to placate the looted.

In truth, we are all implicated in a system so vast and intricate that nobody can comprehend it; and all the world’s governments increasingly cooperate with each other. Modern war is terrifying, but modern peace is sinister.

QuickRant:
Anti-semitism is one thing, but anti-Israelism? Please. Cut off their annual $3 billion and Egypt's $2 billion, and soon we'll be talking serious money. Force them to free their people by freeing both their economies. (You probably assume Egypt is run by a kleptocratic oligarchy, but did you know Israel was founded by socialist non-observant Jews? As if Jews were too stupid to run an actual country of their own. Who's an anti-semite here?)
I do not give a damn about Arab or Israeli public opinion. I see NO difference between an Arab or Moslem terrorist targeting Americans and an American Jew or Israeli citizen committing acts of espionage against the US. Kill them all.

How can Thomas Sowell make so much sense when others make none at all?

From Townhall.com:

Maybe the non-stop denunciations of judicial nominees by Senate Democrats will seem relevant to some people but it is in fact wholly beside the point. Senators who don't like any particular judicial nominee -- or any nominee for any other federal appointment -- have a right to vote against that nominee for any reason or for no reason.

That right has never been in question during the more than two centuries since it was conferred by the Constitution of the United States. So all this unending talk about what Senate Democrats don't like about Justice Priscilla Owen of the Texas supreme court or Justice Janice Rogers Brown of the California supreme court is completely irrelevant. Senators who don't like them can vote against them.

The real issue is whether those Senators have the right to deprive all other Senators of the right to vote on these nominees. Nothing that is said for or against Justice Owen or Justice Brown has any relevance to the issue of some Senators denying other Senators the right to vote.

Those last 51 words distill the whole mess to its essence. The Leninist-Lemmingists are putting up a fight, but their hours are numbered. My greatest fear is medical science will preserve them for what will seem like eternity, a la Castro.

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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