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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"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

Friday, July 22, 2005

From The Violation Of The Natural Law Department:

Surprise! More sodomy hitting the fan from the Boston Globe:

Governor Mitt Romney's administration is advising hospitals to cross out the word father on birth certificates for the children of same-sex couples and instead write the phrase ''second parent," angering gay and lesbian advocates and city and town clerks who warn that the altered documents could be legally questionable.

Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney's spokesman, said yesterday that the Department of Public Health, which the governor oversees, has been has been advising hospitals to alter the documents since last year, when the first children were born to same-sex married couples were born.

Fehrnstrom insisted that the practice is legal. But city and town clerks, who register and store birth records, argue that the cross-outs on the birth certificates could make them open to challenges by passport agents, foreign governments, and other officials. They have repeatedly asked Romney to create a new birth certificate for the children of same-sex parents that would include gender-neutral nomenclature.

Will somebody please help Sandra Day O'Connor with the definition of "retirement"?

Sandy, baby. You're retired. You're supposed to disappear now so we don't have to listen to your babbling even though we have to live with the consequences of your stupid rulings.

Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said Thursday she was saddened by attacks on an independent federal judiciary and on deteriorating relations with Congress.

Her comments came as Congress prepared for confirmation hearings on federal appeals court Judge John G. Roberts, who President Bush nominated Tuesday to replace her.

"There are concerns with some in Congress with judges painted as activists," O'Connor told lawyers and judges at a 9th U.S. Circuit conference. "There is inevitably going to be a lot of time spent with the nominees."

O'Connor, who was confirmed by a 99-0 Senate vote in 1981, said television coverage of the Senate Judiciary Committee has likely escalated conflicts.

O'Connor also defended her opinions in states' rights cases and praised President Reagan for making her the first woman on the Supreme Court and "opening doors for women." She said she was privileged to serve for 24 years on the Supreme Court.

It was the first public appearance by O'Connor since she announced her retirement July 1.

She said she is looking forward to golfing and fishing in retirement and taking a break from the demands of her high-pressure job.

On Wednesday, O'Connor said in an interview that Roberts was an excellent choice and praised him as well qualified, but said she was disappointed in a sense that the nominee isn't a woman.

Washington Post: First, this broad has the audacity to actually believe that Catholicism stuff and then...

...she dares to dress herself and her adopted kids like cast members of Ozzie and Harriet. These Nazis must not be allowed to protect the undifferentiated tissue masses in our wombs! And don't for a moment think we didn't notice that word "adopted". How dare this Republican elitist and his Stepford Wife dare make us feel inadequate as women by loving unwanted little brats who should have been chopped up and thrown in the trash years ago?

If you think I am joking...

An Image A Little Too Carefully Coordinated

By Robin Givhan

Friday, July 22, 2005; Page C02

It has been a long time since so much syrupy nostalgia has been in evidence at the White House. But Tuesday night, when President Bush announced his choice for the next associate justice of the Supreme Court, it was hard not to marvel at the 1950s-style tableau vivant that was John Roberts and his family.

There they were -- John, Jane, Josie and Jack -- standing with the president and before the entire country. The nominee was in a sober suit with the expected white shirt and red tie. His wife and children stood before the cameras, groomed and glossy in pastel hues -- like a trio of Easter eggs, a handful of Jelly Bellies, three little Necco wafers. There was tow-headed Jack -- having freed himself from the controlling grip of his mother -- enjoying a moment in the spotlight dressed in a seersucker suit with short pants and saddle shoes. His sister, Josie, was half-hidden behind her mother's skirt. Her blond pageboy glistened. And she was wearing a yellow dress with a crisp white collar, lace-trimmed anklets and black patent-leather Mary Janes.

(Who among us did a double take? Two cute blond children with a boyish-looking father getting ready to take the lectern -- Jack Edwards? Emma Claire? Is that you? Are all little boys now named Jack?)

The wife wore a strawberry-pink tweed suit with taupe pumps and pearls, which alone would not have been particularly remarkable, but alongside the nostalgic costuming of the children, the overall effect was of self-consciously crafted perfection. The children, of course, are innocents. They are dressed by their parents. And through their clothes choices, the parents have created the kind of honeyed faultlessness that jams mailboxes every December when personalized Christmas cards arrive bringing greetings "to you and yours" from the Blake family or the Joneses. Everyone looks freshly scrubbed and adorable, just like they have stepped from a Currier & Ives landscape.

In a time when most children are dressed in Gap Kids and retailers of similar price-point and modernity, the parents put young master Jack in an ensemble that calls to mind John F. "John-John" Kennedy Jr.
Separate the child from the clothes, which do not acknowledge trends, popular culture or the passing of time. They are not classic; they are old-fashioned. These clothes are Old World, old money and a cut above the light-up/shoe-buying hoi polloi.

Wait. I thought the Roberts were from the Repressive '50s. Now it's Victorian London? I know it is too much to expect consistency from a moron (much less a moron drunk on a hateful ideology).

The clothes also reflect a bit of the aesthetic havoc that often occurs when people visit the White House. (What should I wear? How do I look? Take my picture!) The usual advice is to dress appropriately. In this case, an addendum would have been helpful: Please select all attire from the commonly accepted styles of this century. (And someone should have given notice to the flip-flop-wearing women of Northwestern University's lacrosse team, who visited the White House on July 12 for a meet-and-greet with the president: proper footwear required. Flip-flops, modeled after shoes meant to be worn into a public shower or on the beach, have no business anywhere in the vicinity of the president and his place of residence.)

Dressing appropriately is a somewhat selfless act. It's not about catering to personal comfort. One can't give in fully to private aesthetic preferences. Instead, one asks what would make other people feel respected? What would mark the occasion as noteworthy? What signifies that the moment is bigger than the individual?

But the Roberts family went too far. (Emphasis mine.) In announcing John Roberts as his Supreme Court nominee, the president inextricably linked the individual -- and his family -- to the sweep of tradition. In their attire, there was nothing too informal; there was nothing immodest. There was only the feeling that, in the desire to be appropriate and respectful of history, the children had been costumed in it.
(Thanks to CNSNews.com for the heads up.)

I still do not know if john Roberts will be a good Supreme Court justice, but he seems to have all the right enemies.

The Left is not just a set of political beliefs.

It is so much more. As the Leninist-Leninists are increasingly marginalized by the electorate (Assuming we continue to have free elections and assuming we can do something about the reelection rate of incumbents. Whatever happened to term limits anyway? How many of those Contract With America Repansycans actually served only two terms? The most important part of their "contract" just happens to be the one they can't deliver! AAAGGGHHH! DIGRESSION ALERT! DIGRESSION ALERT! MUST...FOCUS...ON...CURRENT...POST...) those among them with the stomach for political murder (both the one-at-a-time and the mass variety) will begin to act out their dark paranoid fantasies.

Golly, Fyodor, how do I know if I'm a target of the Forces of Progress?

Luckily for us, dear reader, most totalitarians are egomaniacs who can't shut up. They also tend to put their evil flapdoodle to paper. (Ok, ok. Microsoft Word then. Speaking of which, why does Bill Gates want to stop the differentially skinned from procreating?)
Michelle Malkin found one such savant who made a list of the types of bourgeois folks he wants to eliminate.

In March 2003, I reported on a manifesto disseminated across the Internet by infamous eco-radical Craig Rosebraugh -- former spokesman for the violent Earth Liberation Front -- who called on fellow leftists to take "direct actions" against American military establishments, urban centers, corporations, government buildings and media outlets. His instructions included:

1) Attack the financial centers of the country. Using covert or black block techniques . . . physically shut down financial centers which regulate and assist the functioning of U.S. economy. This can be done in a variety of ways from massive property destruction, to online sabotage, to physical occupation of buildings.

2) Large scale urban rioting. With massive unrest and even state of emergencies declared in major cities across the country, the U.S. government will be forced to send U.S. troops into the domestic arena thereby taking resources and political focus away from the war.

3) Attack the media centers of the country. . . . Using any means necessary, shut down the national networks of NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, etc. . . .

Hmmmm. Naw, just kiddin'.

4) Spread the battle to the individuals responsible for the war and destruction of life -- the very heads of government and U.S. corporations. No longer should these people be able to hide behind their occupations, living their lives in peace while they simultaneously slaughter countless people. Hit them in their personal lives, visit their homes, and make them feel personally responsible for committing massive atrocities.

5) Make it known publicly that this movement DOES NOT support U.S. troops as long as they are serving an unjust and horrifying political regime. Create an atmosphere lacking of support to assist U.S. troops at home and abroad in losing their morale and will to fight . . .

6) Actively target U.S. military establishments within the United States . . . use any means necessary to slow down the functioning of the murdering body.

And here is a bonus Recent Unknown History lesson:

In April 2003, I reported on a mob of "peace" activists from an outfit called Direct Action to Stop the War that coordinated a seditious blockade of an Oakland port in shipping military supplies. The antiwar mob's primary target at the Port of Oakland was American President Lines, a longtime carrier of military cargo. For Operation Iraqi Freedom, the carrier made nine of its vessels available to the Defense Department in order to move ammunition and sustainment cargo to support U.S. military forces.

The anti-war obstructionists weren't simply exercising their "free speech." They blocked trucks, employees, entryways and streets in order to stop the shipment of things like bullets, rations, lubricants, medical supplies, repair parts and chemical defense equipment to our troops. They also targeted Stevedoring Services of America, which handled some 3 million tons of humanitarian aid.

A Faith-Based Alternative To Tuition?

Business Week tells this tale of how to afford a real education for your girls and boys in Kansas. I'll bet you $20 the IRS comes down hard on them.

Are Catholic churches in Kansas helping parents of more than 10,300 students evade taxes? A Wichita accountant fears they are, through a "stewardship" program that substitutes church tithing for parochial school tuition. Catholics in the Diocese of Wichita's 38 schools pay no tuition so long as they are "active stewards" in their church. That can include tithing of up to 8% of gross income. Non-Catholics pay up to $7,000 tuition, and get no deduction. "They issue receipts for me to cheat the IRS," says CPA Thai Mai, who complained to the agency. "I get one. Everybody gets one."

Church officials insist that Thai is off base. Bob Voboril, superintendent of schools for the diocese, says tithes can be deductible so long as they are not tied directly to nondeductible expenses such as tuition. He says the diocese "scrupulously" abides by IRS guidelines. Churches issue receipts claiming services to donors are "intangible religious benefits."

The IRS won't comment, citing privacy. For now, the idea is largely limited to Kansas Catholics. But others are studying it. Tithing could become a popular education option -- and a costly one for the feds.

In a just world, people who send their kids to real schools in order to avoid the government kind would not have to pay to support those sheep factories that are designed to produce young adults who toe the establisment's line.

Guess what kind of world this is.

Life imitates art.

Last month I toss in a reference to "(I Ain't Gonna Eat No) Government Cheese" by The Rainmakers and then this appears. Coincidence? You decide.

A Cheesy Way To Lure Voters

In Philadelphia they're calling it "The Cheese Caper." A Deputy City Commissioner asked the District Attorney's office to investigate who passed out flyers on primary election day -- May 17 -- promising free cheese to voters for particular candidates. The flyers are topped by a handwritten scrawl, "Come Out + Vote," adding below, "For Who Ever." In type, they say "Free Cheese." The flyers list two candidates, both Democrats, running in an area dominated by the 300-plus-unit Hill Creek housing project. "This guy comes to the polls, votes, and asks us for his free cheese," says Eileen Kleindienst, a Republican judge of elections. Geraldine Hacker, the Republican official who sent Kleindienst's complaint to the DA, thought the food might be from a government nutrition program.

The woman who wrote the flyers, Hill Creek tenant council President Gerri Robinson, doesn't think she did anything wrong. "The people around here, you can't get them to come out and do nothing unless you're giving them something," she says. Besides, she adds, the flyers worked: The two cases of cottage cheese were gone by day's end.
(Thanks to Business Week and Drudge for the heads up.)

More sports related stuff only Fyodor finds interesting.

From the San Luis Obispo Tribune (Holy cow! Via AP and Yahoo!News.) comes news from the FBI on the end of Operation Bullpen.

The FBI has spent five years tracking down baseball bats, balls, jerseys and other memorabilia with phony signatures of famous athletes. Now, the agency is giving the collectibles to charity - minus the fake autographs.

"We've obliterated the forged signatures," said Jan Caldwell, an FBI spokeswoman. "They've been marked out in various ways."

Authorities will donate "a warehouse full" of goodies to San Diego-area charities Thursday, said Caldwell, who didn't have a precise inventory. Pro football Hall of Famer Lance Alworth and representatives of Major League Baseball and Internet auctioneer EBay Inc., all of whom assisted in the investigation, will participate.

It marks the end of Operation Bullpen, which produced dozens of convictions and shut down several counterfeit trading card rings, according to the FBI. One ring made thousands of fake trading cards of former baseball slugger Mark McGwire, former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and others, which were later sold at collector shows.

The donations include bats, mitts, balls and other items that were treated to remove the fake signatures, Caldwell said.

The phony trading cards are not part of the giveaway.

The Mission of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was founded by Blessed Junipero Serra in 1772. It was named in honor of St. Louis of Toulouse.

Even when it is not obviously about The Faith, it really is.

From The Sports Desk: T.O. & The Messiah - Eerie Similarities?

I'm sorry, but I just had to post this. It is a symptom of our modern disease. (Drew Rosenhaus gets a pass from me, though he is culpable too.)

That "J" on Owens' "WWJD" bracelet is not for Jerry. It's for Jesus.
That's not a major surprise. The fact that T.O. sees himself and J.C. as peers? That was a major surprise.

But that's the message in Owens' comments in The Philadelphia Inquirer on Sunday. Asked about his contract problem with the Eagles, Owens didn't invoke the name of Curt Flood or even NFL free-agency pioneer Reggie White.

He went right over their heads. Waaaay over.

"At the end of the day," Owens told the Miami Herald's Jason Cole, "I don't have to worry about what people think of me, whether they hate me or not. People hated on Jesus. They threw stones at him and tried to kill him, so how can I complain or worry about what people think?"

While there is no mention in the King James version of the Bible of people who "hated on Jesus," you get the point. There's a direct correlation between the man the New Testament says died for the sins of all mankind and T.O., who wants a new contract from the Eagles.

At first it seems absurd. But mull it over for a little while, reflect on the story of Jesus a bit, and there is more common ground than you think.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Owens' Eagles career began at training camp in Bethlehem, Pa.

Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves and fishes. Owens wants more bread and thinks there was something fishy about his original deal.

Jesus walked on water. Owens reminds people of Ricky Watters.

Jesus rose from the dead after just three days. Owens came back from a broken ankle in just five weeks to play in the Super Bowl.

Jesus made wine from water. Owens made whine from a $49 million contract.

So you see, they are more alike than it first appears. And it makes perfect sense for Owens to compare reaction to his holdout to the persecution of Jesus.

Well, in T.O.'s mind, at least.

(Can we rewind back to this "hated on" thing? This is a really common, really despicable conceit, that you either adore and worship everything an athlete does or you're somehow "a hater." Criticizing Owens' course of action over the last few months is reasonable and fair and has nothing to do with hatred, OK? This self-serving use of the word by athletes is an insult to everyone who has been the victim of actual hatred. End of sermon.)
(Thanks to Phil Sheridan and the Monterey County Herald.)

The bottom line is this: A contract is a contract. Unless you have enough leverage to get out of it.

Laugh from the past: Hitlery tried to join the Marines.

NewsMax.com reminded me of this howler from the Naughty Nineties:

Hillary Clinton: I Tried to Join the Marines

USA Today's report on Sen. Hillary Clinton's newfound appeal as a possible commander in chief omitted a key part of her resume that proves she's long been a hawk on military and defense issues: her attempt to join the Marines 30 years ago.

Or at least that's what she claimed.

Seated beside her husband, the former first lady recounted her military experience during a 1994 TV interview.

"Gee, now it was probably 19 years ago - in 1975," Mrs. Clinton recalled. "I decided that I was very interested in having some experience in serving in some capacity in the military."

Dictator comes to mind. She'd look hot in one of those Mussolini outfits.

"Because we all love the military so much," Mr. Clinton interjected helpfully.

You just have to laugh at crap like this. Because the old cliche is true: "Clintons. Can't live with 'em. Can't shoot 'em."

Of course, Benito and his squeeze ended up hanging upside down from a lamppost. (It may take us some time, but we Italians usually get it right eventually.)

Hillary resumed: "So I walked into our local recruiting office, and I think it was just my bad luck that the person who happened to be there on duty could not have been older than 21. He was in perfect physical shape."

She remembered telling the recruiter, "I wanted to explore - I didn't know whether I thought active duty would be a good idea, reserve, you know, maybe National Guard, something along those lines."

But Hillary's bid to become a leatherneck soon came unraveled.

"This young man looked at me and he said, 'How old are you?'" she recalled.

"I said, 'Well, 27' ... I had these really thick glasses on.

"He said, 'How bad's your eyesight?'

"I said, 'It's pretty bad.'

"And he said, 'How bad?'

"So I told him.

"He said, 'That's pretty bad.'

"And he finally said to me, he said: 'You're too old. You can't see. And you're a woman.' And then he went on ... this man, young man, was a Marine.

"He said, 'But maybe the dogs [Army] would take you.'"

"This is not a very encouraging conversation," Mrs. Clinton recalled thinking. "So maybe I'll look for another way to serve my country."

Yeah. Try destroying it. That'll help.

The original transcript of Hillary's "I-tried-to-join-the-Marines" interview has vanished from the LexisNexis archives, but excerpts from a rebroadcast on Rush Limbaugh's old TV show are still available.

St. Mary Magdalene

Here is the true story of this wonderful saint from Catholic Online:

She is called "the Penitent". St. Mary was given the name 'Magdalen' because, though a Jewish girl, she lived in a Gentile town called Magdale, in northern Galilee, and her culture and manners were those of a Gentile.

St. Luke records that she was a notorious sinner, and had seven devils removed from her. She was present at Our Lords' Crucifixion, and with Joanna and Mary, the mother of James and Salome, at Jesus' empty tomb.

Fourteen years after Our Lord's death, St. Mary was put in a boat by the Jews without sails or oars - along with Sts. Lazarus and Martha, St. Maximin (who baptized her), St. Sidonius ("the man born blind"), her maid Sera, and the body of St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin. They were sent drifting out to sea and landed on the shores of Southern France, where St. Mary spent the rest of her life as a contemplative in a cave known as Sainte-Baume. She was given the Holy Eucharist daily by angels as her only food, and died when she was 72. St. Mary was transported miraculously, just before she died, to the chapel of St. Maximin, where she received the last sacraments.

More about this saint:

Mary Magdalen was well known as a sinner when she first saw Our Lord. She was very beautiful and very proud, but after she met Jesus, she felt great sorrow for her evil life. When Jesus went to supper at the home of a rich man named Simon, Mary came to weep at His feet. Then with her long beautiful hair, she wiped His feet dry and anointed them with expensive perfume. Some people were surprised that Jesus let such a sinner touch Him, but Our Lord could see into Mary's heart, and He said: "Many sins are forgiven her, because she has loved very much." Then to Mary He said kindly, "Your faith has made you safe; go in peace."

From then on, with the other holy women, Mary humbly served Jesus and His Apostles. When Our Lord was crucified, she was there at the foot of His cross, unafraid for herself, and thinking only of His sufferings. No wonder Jesus said of her: "She has loved much." After Jesus' body had been placed in the tomb, Mary went to anoint it with spices early Easter Sunday morning. Not finding the Sacred Body, she began to weep, and seeing someone whom she thought was the gardener, she asked him if he knew where the Body of her beloved Master had been taken. But then the person spoke in a voice she knew so well: "Mary!" It was Jesus, risen from the dead! He had chosen to show Himself first to Mary Magdalen, the repentent sinner.

Please do not help to perpetuate or spread the hateful and evil slanders against St. Mary Magdalene for the sake of the next generation of believers who will need all the examples of holy life we can give them.

Saint of the day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene, a great sinner who became a great saint. For some reason it is fashionable among the forces of the antichrist to slander her these days. (Ok, we all know the reason.I was just being politic.) St. Mary Magdalene, pray for the conversion of all souls.

Today's reading is Exodus 20:1-17.
Today's Gospel reading is John 20:1-2, 11-18.

Everyday links:
The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful;O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

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.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

A Catholic Chaplain in Afghanistan.

Thanks to BLACKFIVE for this one. (Father Mode's own pages are here.)

Spirtual Warfare 2005

Tom C. sent an email to bring attention to a blog by a Navy Chaplain in Afghanistan. Chaplain (Lieutenant) Daniel Mode has responsibility for the needs of Catholic (and other) military members in Southern Afghanistan.

Fr. Daniel Mode, Navy Reserve chaplain, has a powerful, powerful story to tell of his personal involvement in that tragedy over in Afghanistan where he is currently serving.

The links to Father Mode's blog posts concerning the SEALs:

Fourth of July I
...In the next 10 hours I would quickly learn the full and powerful story of courage, incredible loss, and one heroic sailor daringly rescued. I would enter into world I had only heard about but never knew--Special operations. I would open my heart and my very soul seeking God's grace and His energy to embrace the spiritual challenge that lay before me...

Fourth of July II
I woke up in a mental fog. I met up with the a representative from the Navy SEALs in the morning. I was thinking we would begin to discuss the memorial for those who had died, instead I was taken without an invitation to another location. In just an hour, I would learn the full account and the fate of the other four Seals who were still on the ground. I was given a 24/7 beeper, a Land Rover SUV, a security badge and whisked into a briefing. At this initial meeting, I was given the additional task of being the lead chaplain on the Repatriation team that would bring back one of the true heroes of this war. The acronyms were flying and most of the details of the brief went right over my head--I was in a fog. I kept thinking, "how did I get here?"...

Fourth of July III
And then there was one. It has been a very long and powerful two weeks. As I reflect over these days, I can't help but come to the same conclusion: this has truly been the most spiritually profound experience of my 13 years as a priest and my 7 as a Navy Chaplain.
So much to witness--the pain of so much loss, yes; but also the incredible will to hope.
The "one" was the last Navy SEAL that had died during the fire fight of June 28th, whose body was finally recovered on Sunday, July 10th, and whose Ramp Ceremony was held on July 12th...

Bless and protect Your servant, O Lord.

Scenes from Iraq.

From Second Shift Reflections come Pictures the Media will not print from Iraq

Thanks to Mustang 23 at Assumption of Command for the link.

Since I've parked my cursor at Mustang 23's, I'll pass along a new Milblog link he mentions.

Beast 7

Gordon, aka Beast 7, has started up his own Milblog recently. Fittingly it is called Beast7's How it Ought to Be. The suffix 7 is the typical designator for the NCOIC. Like a Command Sergeant Major or a First Sergeant. And wouldn't you know it, Gordon is a retied First Sergeant. Its amazing how things like that work out.I visited his new site today and found a real good post that goes along with the theme of late here on my site:

The treatment of Iraqi children:Pure Evil :

For at least the last sixty years, one of the great traditions and unofficial goodwill measures employed by U.S. forces worldwide is that of GI’s handing out candy to the children that inevitably congregate anywhere soldiers pause. There’s more than one reason that M&M’s, Charms and other candies have been part of every combat ration since the much maligned K- and D-rat of WWII. Kids and Joes are uniquely able to see past the differences of their respective parents and leaders that bring about conflict, and generally, smiles are the universal uniform in these encounters. Our generation’s Axis of Evil took advantage of that phenomena to reach new levels of depravity Thursday.It is a great post, go take a look. As a matter of fact just go visit his site and welcome him to the world of Milblogs.

That is an Order! :)

What Arabs lack.

Tarek Heggy, writing at theOneRepublic, provokes thought on what makes them different from me.

I have written many books and articles over the last ten years about the defects in the Arab mind-set, all of which are cultural defects stemming from three main sources. The first is the repressive climate that prevails throughout Arab societies, the second a backward educational system that lags far behind modern educational systems and the third a mass-media apparatus operated by those responsible for the climate of political repression to serve their interests. The following are the most obvious defects from which the contemporary Arab mind-set suffers:

1. A lack of intellectual hospitality;

2. It is steeped in a culture that encourages conformity and discourages diversity;

3. Limited tolerance for the Other;

To put it mildly. My guess is Citizen Heggy is a scholar, and therefore polite.

4. Limited tolerance for criticism and the virtual absence of self- criticism;

5. The adoption of stands not on the basis of their coherence, validity or intrinsic value but on the basis of tribal or religious affiliations;

6. Deep feelings of inequality with others in terms of results and achievements makes for a sense of inadequacy that is sublimated into an exaggerated and unfounded pride;

7. A tendency to indulge in excessive self-praise and to glorify past achievements as a way of escaping our dismal reality;

8. The prevalence of what I call the big-talk culture‚ in which overblown rhetoric is used to compensate for the appalling lack of concrete achievements;

# 7 and #8 go hand in hand.

9. A lack of objectivity and the growth of individualism;

No Catholicism, if I may be so bold.

10. An unhealthy nostalgia for and escape into the past;

11. An aversion to the notion of compromise, which is deemed to be a form of capitulation and defeat;

12. Lack of respect for women;

13. A tendency to unquestioningly accept stereotypes at face value;

14. Setting great store by the conspiracy theory and believing that the Arabs are always the victims of heinous plots hatched against them by their enemies;

15. An ill-defined sense of national identity: is it Arab, Muslim, Asian, African or Mediterranean?

16. The spread of the personality cult phenomenon in Arab societies, where the relationship with the ruler is based not on mutual respect and accountability but on the excessive adulation, not to say deification, of the ruler;

17. The prevalence of an insular culture that knows next to nothing about the outside world and the real balance of power by which it is governed, let alone the science or culture of others;

18. A lack of appreciation for the value of the bond that links the human species together, which is their common humanity. For most people in the region, the only bonds that count are either tribal, sectarian or nationalistic, although humanity is the most exalted common denominator of all;

19. The spread of a mentality of fanaticism due to a number of factors, the most important being the tribalism that dominates the Arab mind-set to varying degrees;

20. Finally, the Arab mind-set is not overly concerned with the notion of freedom for the simple reason that the Arabs have enjoyed only limited doses of political rights and civil liberties.

How about property rights, religious freedom, freedom of association, representative government, et cetera. In a word, how about all those things we free men cherish and value beyond even our own lives...

Ha! I knew I couldn't type that with a straight face. It seems the Arabs want the same things our betters have taken from us after lulling us to sleep with promises of porn and easy divorce and no responsibility for our actions and 72 virgins and...Rats! Now I'm getting all sleepy and confused. Somebody get me some condoms and a second automobile.

Q & A from old Babylon.

Free Iraqi answers questions from readers of his blog.

Carla said:

I love your blog, Ali. I wonder, how much are you still troubled by corruption and bribes. Can you get things done without the old system still with its tentacles holding on??

Thanks for your kind words. This question was asked by another reader by mail. I think corruption is a huge problem all over Iraq. One example is what a colleague of mine who works in Ammara told me lately. His hospital is getting renewed by a company that works with the British army. After my friend and his colleagues became tired of waiting for the rebuilding to finish, as it's taken three months till now, they went to the hospital director and asked him how long it was going to take before they can go back to real work instead of sitting their in the ruins doing almost nothing. The director told them that it's going to take a long time because the hospital is going to be renewed and after it's done it would be leveled with the ground to be build again! They told him that he must be kidding and he said he wasn't. They asked him why would he approve of something like that and he said it wasn't his call and that it's the city council that decided that. The city council of that small town (it's called "Ali Al Garbi") is controlled by Sadirists by the way.

It appears that the city council made a contract with the British army to renew the hospital then they made another contract with another party to totally re-build the hospital! It's a perfect way to hide whatever theft they're doing in the renewal process since it's going to be leveled down! It's crazy but that's how it is and my friends feel helpless, as to whom they can complain when these people control everything!? The press isn't strong enough to produce any effect yet.

I want to stress though that the corruption is not new in Iraq at all. It was even much worse before the war, but people just couldn't talk about it. I think the reports that said Iraq has the most corrupt government in the world are very inaccurate. Iraq has probably the most corrupt elected government. In the neighboring dictatorship as well as in Saddam's times it's totally different.

*Everything* is owned by the dictator and his thugs and that's worse than any corruption alone yet there was a huge corruption in government offices at Saddam's times. It was just uncovered because of the fear and because Iraq was a totally closed state. Now everyone in the world can know at least some of what's happening down here and that's the only difference and corruption is still less than what it was.

Since the war I never found myself forced to bribe anyone. I had to wait for 7 months to get my salary but no one forced me to pay anything and I was determined not to do so even if it was going to solve the problem fast. In the end I got paid and it was very frustrating but it felt good that got something solved without bribing anyone. Before the war, I like everyone else, we had to bribe someone to get any problem solved when it comes to the government-related problems. I mean you could *never* get anything working without that. Now it's much better although it's still bad compared to other democratic countries. I never had to bribe anyone in any checkpoint since the war, and that was also a problem before the war. Most of those checkpoints (before the war) were places where security guards, policemen or military intelligence use to rob people for very silly reasons. They didn't have a problem with finding an excuse and people had to pay or face a horrible fate.

thunder6: On morale.

Not that I stayed in a Holiday Inn Express last night or anything, but I think this guy can write.

The Rebound

The most valuable armor a soldier can own isn’t government issue. It isn’t crafted in a metallurgical lab, or spun out of some advanced composite. It isn’t a tangible quantity; it can’t be measured or gauged. And it certainly can’t be bought… regardless of how much money you have. The armor I am speaking of is the arcane psychological plating that shields your psyche from the condensed misery of a warzone. It is something that hovers far below consciousness, silently intervening when the murderous environment attempts to leave its loathsome imprint on your being. It doesn’t help keep you alive, but what it does protect is as dear as life itself.

A few weeks back my armor took a hit… and it was pierced. The wound was bloodless, but that didn’t mean it was painless. One of the key lessons you learn as a soldier is discipline, and that discipline kept me focused on the mission at hand. But for a few days I inwardly recoiled and set about my day to day tasks with the rigid formality you might expect from an automaton. It was ironic that just as the sun flared in the sky like a supernova I felt like everything seemed a little dimmer.

There wasn’t any one thing that healed my secret wound and repaired my weathered armor, it was a combination of things. Or to be more specific it was a combination of people. The biggest single contributor was my loving wife, who has ever been my touchstone. Just hearing her voice over the crackling long distance line reminded me of the world I left behind. Of lazy afternoons that begrudgingly gave way to mild evenings. Of wonderful dinners spent around our dining table, and late breakfasts on our patio. In short, of all the little things that I slowly realized were the biggest things.

And then there were the soldiers. If you ask anyone in the Infantry why they stay in the military you will get the same answer time and again. To be with the Soldiers. One of the biggest lies you will ever hear is that Soldiers on the line are people who lack the ability to hold down another job, and lack the skills to survive in the “real” world. I’m not sure who started that particular falsehood, but I’d bet my paycheck it wasn’t someone who had spent time in the Infantry. Just being with the troops in “Killer” Company was a humbling experience that snapped the world back into its proper focus.

And then there were the letters from back home. One came with news that SGT Ferguson, who chances of survival were once considered remote, was back in California and well on his way down the long road to recovery. Another came full of comedy DVDs that had me laughing until my sides ached. And still another came from a 10 year old who asked if she could send her own stuffed animals here to Iraq for the destitute children around our FOB. In the face of so much support, and in the company of so many everyday hero’s it is hardly surprising I found myself renewed. This mission can be difficult, but it must be done. And I plan on doing my part… the best way that I can.

Medical advance because of combat trauma.

Lance in Iraq has the following on a temporary lung.

AMEDD looking for FDA approval on lung device

From the SAS:

Spurred by American military doctors’ success with an experimental artificial lung on soldiers wounded in Iraq, officials at the top levels of the Army’s medical command are now investigating U.S. use of the new device, Army officials said this week.

Three American troops have survived severe lung trauma caused by bomb blasts with the help of the machine — called an interventional lung assist, or ILA — said Marie Shaw, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center spokeswoman. Following those reports, Army administrators as high as the branch’s surgeon general’s office have turned their attention to the device, said Cynthia Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Army Medical Department, or AMEDD...

Roughly the size and shape of several CD cases stacked together, the device keeps people alive by performing the work of the lungs when they are too damaged to function properly.

Compact and transportable, the ILA is used by inserting a pair of heavy-gauge needles into the major blood vessels in a patient’s legs, allowing his heartbeat to push blood through a complicated membrane that filters carbon dioxide out of the blood and infuses cells with oxygen. The blood is then circulated back into the body through the other leg.

Old Babylon Update.

Iraq the Model has the following on Saddam's latest pre-trial hearing. Note his refusal to accept reality.

Another trial update.

Half an hour ago, Al-Arabiya TV broadcasted a clip from the latest hearing session of the Iraqi special tribunal and this time the session dealt with another charge against Saddam; this time he was officially charged with forcing the "Faily" Kurds (the Shea't Kurds) out of the country and confiscating all their belongings.
The story is dated to 1980 after a Faily Kurd tried to assassinate Tariq Aziz and Saddam took revenge by forcing thousands of families to leave Iraq and confiscating their belongings and homes.

The families were abandoned near the Iranian borders and they had to walk through minefields and that was the way many of them lost their lives or got injured.
Moreover, thousands were thrown in Saddam's jails and till now, the fate of many of them is still unknown.
After they came back to Iraq they faced big problems with tracking their siblings who were put in jail and more problems in getting their homes and lands back as Saddam distributed them among his followers and by time these properties were sold from one owner to another and it's extremely difficult to ask the end owners who paid for these properties to give them back.

Back to the session, Saddam looked quite tired and his hair was longer than usual.
He started talking by accusing the tribunal of being "illegitimate because the government isn't legitimate" but the judge replied calmly saying "the current government was elected by the people".
Saddam didn't like this reply and mumbled some obscure words like "you're a man of law and you know this whether you're Iraqi or not…".
The judge continued reading Saddam his rights of remaining silent and appointing a lawyer and here Saddam complained again claiming that he didn't meet his lawyer except during sessions but not before that.

I recall that when I was a kid, I had a friend named Amjad and we used to play soccer together in the street in our old neighborhood but one day Amjad stopped showing up and I missed my friend who was the only son for his parents.
I asked about him but I didn't understand the answer when I was told that Amjad and his parents were "moved".
"Where to?" was my question, "to Iran" my father answered.

I don't know what happened to Amjad and his family after that but today, I'm sure they feel happy.
Another trial update.

Half an hour ago, Al-Arabiya TV broadcasted a clip from the latest hearing session of the Iraqi special tribunal and this time the session dealt with another charge against Saddam; this time he was officially charged with forcing the "Faily" Kurds (the Shea't Kurds) out of the country and confiscating all their belongings.
The story is dated to 1980 after a Faily Kurd tried to assassinate Tariq Aziz and Saddam took revenge by forcing thousands of families to leave Iraq and confiscating their belongings and homes.

The families were abandoned near the Iranian borders and they had to walk through minefields and that was the way many of them lost their lives or got injured.
Moreover, thousands were thrown in Saddam's jails and till now, the fate of many of them is still unknown.
After they came back to Iraq they faced big problems with tracking their siblings who were put in jail and more problems in getting their homes and lands back as Saddam distributed them among his followers and by time these properties were sold from one owner to another and it's extremely difficult to ask the end owners who paid for these properties to give them back.

Back to the session, Saddam looked quite tired and his hair was longer than usual.
He started talking by accusing the tribunal of being "illegitimate because the government isn't legitimate" but the judge replied calmly saying "the current government was elected by the people".
Saddam didn't like this reply and mumbled some obscure words like "you're a man of law and you know this whether you're Iraqi or not…".
The judge continued reading Saddam his rights of remaining silent and appointing a lawyer and here Saddam complained again claiming that he didn't meet his lawyer except during sessions but not before that.

I recall that when I was a kid, I had a friend named Amjad and we used to play soccer together in the street in our old neighborhood but one day Amjad stopped showing up and I missed my friend who was the only son for his parents.
I asked about him but I didn't understand the answer when I was told that Amjad and his parents were "moved".
"Where to?" was my question, "to Iran" my father answered.

I don't know what happened to Amjad and his family after that but today, I'm sure they feel happy.

Headline of the Day.

From National Review Online:

Are teenage girls the key to Saudi Arabia’s future?

I hope not.

But then again, I am a cultural imperialist who knows not a single teenage Saudi girl.

I received an interesting e-mail from Michael Baumgartner, a young businessman who works in Dubai. He was sharing an incident he witnessed in a hotel in Saudi Arabia. Nowadays, he says, one can observe daily the constant tug of war between "the driving forces of Western modernity and the restrictive forces of a hardened ancient cultural tradition." One example: It was only recently that the government lifted a ban on picture mobile phones. Originally, they had been banned because of an outcry over the circulation of photos of women. At the same time, the government has made a recent multi-billion dollar investment in an advanced telecom network designed to deliver next-generation 3G mobile video services via phone.

But the incident Michael wanted to tell me about happened in a Riyadh hotel lobby. He was sipping coffee (For some reason, NRO has chosen to put an ad here. - F.G.) when he heard what he described as a universally recognizable sound: the shrieks and giggles of a group of excited teenage girls. Just such a group of black-robed young women rushed into the lobby where men were sitting, which surprised him. That's because the sexes remain so segregated in Saudi Arabia. Men and women can only be together if they are related. Michael says he has never even ridden in a car with a Saudi woman and has to order at a segregated male-only counter at the local McDonald's.

Still, these girls rushed over and mobbed a young man, shouting and giggling the whole time. They took photos with him and begged for autographs and he obliged, to their delight. He behaved just like a rock star — because he was a rock star. His name is Hisham Abdul Rahman, the recently crowned winner of Star Academy 2 (think Arabian Idol). Star Academy, which broadcasts via satellite from Lebanon, is widely popular in Saudi Arabia. It's decried by traditionalists because male and female contestants compete as they do on American Idol. And as on The Apprentice, the contestants live together in the same house and are filmed 24 hours a day. Definitely hot stuff in the Arab world. In Saudi Arabia the state telecom operators block the phone numbers displayed on the show so that Saudi viewers cannot vote on the contestants. But that doesn't stop them from watching, and it doesn't stop young girls from falling in love.

Needless to say, the clamor in the lobby was noticed by nearby agents of the "Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice," who quickly rushed to the scene determined to stop the "immoral acts" taking place. They told Hisham to beat it. He refused — hey, he was a star, already learning the international rules of being a celebrity, which include being above the law. But the Moutawa, the religious police, are used to being obeyed.

They grabbed Hisham to pull him away but the girls fought back. They grabbed Hisham, too, and there was a literal tug of war between the old and the new. Back and forth it went — but finally the Moutawa won, possibly to Hisham's relief, and he was carted off with his clothes in tatters. Can't you just imagine the joy of the lucky girls who went away with a cuff or a button to cherish?

Hisham was packed off with a one-way air ticket out of Riyadh and back to his hometown of Jeddah, which is generally thought to be less restrictive than the capital.

More on Roberts from Ann Coulter and a reply from Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review.

Apparently, Roberts decided early on that he wanted to be on the Supreme Court and that the way to do that was not to express a personal opinion on anything to anybody ever.

It’s as if he is from some space alien sleeper cell. Maybe the space aliens are trying to help us, but I wish we knew that.

If the Senate were in Democratic hands, Roberts would be perfect. But why on earth would Bush waste a nomination on a person who is a complete blank slate when we have a majority in the Senate?!

We also have a majority in the House, state legislatures, state governorships, and have won five of the last seven presidential elections—seven of the last ten!

We're the Harlem Globetrotters now—why do we have to play the Washington Generals every week?

Exactly. The Repansycans cannot or will not fight.

Conservatism is sweeping the nation, we have a fully functioning alternative media, we’re ticked off and ready to avenge Robert Bork . . . and Bush nominates a Rorschach blot.

Even as they are losing voters, Democrats don’t hesitate to nominate reliable left-wing lunatics like Ruth Bader Ginsberg to lifetime sinecures on the High Court. And the vast majority of Americans loathe her views.

As I’ve said before, if a majority of Americans agreed with liberals on abortion, gay marriage, pornography, criminals’ rights, and property rights, liberals wouldn’t need the Supreme Court to give them everything they want through invented “constitutional” rights invisible to everyone but People For the American Way. It’s always good to remind voters that Democrats are the party of abortion, sodomy, and atheism and nothing presents an opportunity to do so like a Supreme Court nomination.

During the “filibuster” fracas, one lonely voice in the woods admonished Republicans: “Of your six minutes on TV, use 30 seconds to point out the Democrats are abusing the filibuster and the other 5 1/2 minutes to ask liberals to explain why they think Bush's judicial nominees are ‘extreme.’" Republicans ignored this advice, spent the next several weeks arguing about the history of the filibuster, and lost the fight.

Now we come to find out from last Sunday’s New York Times—the enemy’s own playbook!—that the Democrats actually took polls and determined that they could not defeat Bush’s conservative judicial nominees on ideological grounds. They could win majority support only if they argued turgid procedural points.

That’s why the entire nation had to be bored to death with arguments about the filibuster earlier this year.

The Democrats’ own polls showed voters are no longer fooled by claims that the Democrats are trying to block “judges who would roll back civil rights.” Borking is over.

And Bush responds by nominating a candidate who will allow Democrats to avoid fighting on their weakest ground—substance. He has given us a Supreme Court nomination that will placate no liberals and should please no conservatives.

Maybe Roberts will contravene the sordid history of “stealth nominees” and be the Scalia or Thomas Bush promised us when he was asking for our votes. Or maybe he won’t. The Supreme Court shouldn't be a game of Russian roulette. (Thanks to Human Events Online.)

Mr. Ponnuru's reply:

I think she raises some points worth pondering in her column, but ultimately I disagree with her.

She wants a justice who will vote to overturn Roe. So do I. She dislikes the stealth-nominee strategy. So do I. She thinks that it is possible that he could end up compiling a record like the one Souter has. And it is possible; those of us who defend him now may end up having reasons for regret.

But while it is possible that a nominee who openly pledged that he would vote to overturn Roe could get confirmed, it is not at all obvious. There are at least 50 senators who support Roe. A definitely-anti-Roe nominee might be able to win some votes from pro-Roe senators, but no Republican nominee is guaranteed the votes of every anti-Roe senator. (Reid and Pryor might find ways to vote with their caucus.) So it may be necessary to nominate someone who is not 100 percent certain to vote against Roe.

There aren't many possible nominees who would provide that certainty. Michael McConnell has, for example, strongly criticized Roe. But he has never, to my knowledge, said that it should be overturned; it's possible that as a justice he would consider himself obligated to re-affirm the precedent. And again, going any further would at least imperil confirmation.

But the fact that someone isn't certain to vote a particular way does not mean that we can't make inferences. The pro-choicers are, I think, correct to suggest that Roberts's participation in the Rust v. Sullivan brief raises the likelihood that he would vote to overturn Roe. It's not dispositive, but it does establish that he's not so favorable to abortion rights that he felt it necessary to resign or refuse as a matter of conscience to participate in the case. The fact that Roberts's wife is pro-life isn't dispositive, either, but obviously it raises the likelihood, too.

In the cases of O'Connor, Kennedy, and Souter, we didn't have these pro-life clues, and indeed in some cases we had some clues that went the other way--strong ones in the case of O'Connor.

So I think Roberts is likely to make the right decision on abortion, and that is among my reasons for supporting him. But the fact that none of us can be certain is one of the things that may get him confirmed. I certainly hope that pro-lifers (and conservatives generally--as I've argued before, I think that Roe is a useful albeit imperfect index for the other views we should want in a judge) don't get taken again, but I think there's a case for hopefulness.

It is ideological pride versus political pragmatism. Take your pick.

Evil genius plays politics in Florida - Urges Harris not to run.

From The Washington Times:

White House political strategist Karl Rove and the National Republican Senatorial Committee have been trying to talk Florida Rep. Katherine Harris out of running for the Senate next year, but have been unsuccessful thus far.

Mrs. Harris has had several private meetings with Mr. Rove and with NRSC officials, including Chairman Sen. Elizabeth Dole, North Carolina Republican, who have urged her to forgo the Republican Party's high-priority Senate race. Instead, they want her to run for a third House term, pointing to internal polling data that shows she cannot beat freshman Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson in 2006.

But the congresswoman, who won national attention as Florida's secretary of state during the bitter ballot recount in the 2000 presidential election, has argued in these meetings that she has proved the polls wrong throughout her political career. To prove it again this time, she has put together a cadre of heavyweight campaign advisers, including Ed Rollins who managed President Reagan's 1984 campaign.

"I know I can win this," she has told doubting party officials.

Mr. Nelson, who narrowly won his seat in 2000 with 51 percent of the vote, is one of the Democrats' most vulnerable incumbents, and Mrs. Dole and Mr. Rove, who has played a key role in the party's successful candidate recruitment, have made the senator one of their chief targets.

Polls show Mrs. Harris, who is popular with the state's conservatives, would be the clear front-runner in a party primary contest, but they also show she runs particularly poorly among independents and draws virtually no support among Democrats. A Quinnipiac University poll last month showed Mr. Nelson leading her in a head-to-head matchup 50 percent to 38 percent.

Fearing that a weak Senate candidate could endanger the Republican Party's gubernatorial contest next year, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mr. Rove and the NRSC have been urging Florida House Speaker Alan Bense to get into the race. Mr. Bense, who has been aggressively recruited by Mr. Bush back home and by Mrs. Dole and Mr. Rove at recent meetings in Washington, is said to be looking at the race but has not reached a decision.

But Mrs. Dole has a number of other pivotal races in which Republican incumbents are endangered, including Sens. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, which could produce a net gain for the Democrats in this election cycle.

Speaking of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights...

...right on cue, defending The Faith and Judge Roberts (as a Catholic mind you, not as a judge).

July 20, 2005


The lead article in today’s The American Prospect, an online magazine, says that President Bush’s selection of Judge John Roberts for a seat on the Supreme Court is evidence of his “Playing the Catholic card.” According to Adele M. Stan, Bush is “betting he’s bought himself some insulation—any opposition to Roberts, particularly because of his anti-abortion record, will likely be countered with accusations of anti-Catholicism.” She says this is a “timely pitch” to “conservative Catholic voters prior to the midterm elections”; she urges “liberal Catholics” and others to protest Roberts.

Stan goes even further on her blog, AddieStan, by saying “Rome must be smiling” at Bush’s choice. She asks that readers contact the Democratic Catholics on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Roberts.

Catholic League president William Donohue commented as follows:

“We had no idea that John G. Roberts, Jr. was a Roman Catholic until today. But when we learned of his religious affiliation, we wondered how long it would be before his religion would be dragged into the debate. We didn’t have to wait too long: The American Prospect, never friendly to Catholics, let Adele M. Stan do its bidding. Roberts, she says, was chosen purely for sinister reasons.

“Now let’s apply this logic to President Clinton’s selection of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Steven Breyer for the Supreme Court. Did he do so because he liked ‘Playing the Jewish card’? And did he do so because he wanted his critics to be seen as anti-Semites? For good measure, was Israel ‘smiling’ when Clinton chose Ginsburg and Breyer?

“The fact that Jew baiting did not accompany the nominations of Ginsburg and Breyer shows how this nation has progressed. Unfortunately, within 24 hours of Roberts’ nomination, Catholic baiting has raised its ugly head. And the fact that it is coming from a mainstream liberal source is even more disconcerting. We hope this is not the beginning of an ugly few months.”

Just wait. It is going to be a bumpy ride.

Left-fascist babykillers use nazi tactics to go after Judge Roberts through his wife.

It is obvious these totalitarians have gone far beyond distrust of the democratic process. They have declared war on the will of the people as expressed in the actions of the people's freely elected representatives.

This assault on the rule of law has been allowed to continue for too long. It is not just the looney left of the professional babykillers and pisson.orgy. The Supreme Court and other federal, state, and local courts are the front line of the battle to preserve our freedom because the anti-freedom forces know judges and courts are close to sacrosanct and impeachment and removal from office practically impossible.

Something must change. Either the quality of our judges must improve (a la Scalia and Thomas) or we must make it easier to remove the incompetent and criminal ones.

BTW, you should note the seething anti-Catholic rage throughout the article. Where is the outrage we would hear if a nominee's Jewish or Moslem wife was attacked for her religion? You might hear from William Donahue of the
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights if you pay attention to the right side of the new media, but that is about it.

I'll say it again. Anti-Catholic hate is the only acceptable prejudice in today's America.

From the (Surprise!) LA Times (Thanks to Laura Ingraham for the heads up.)


Wife of Nominee Holds Strong Antiabortion Views
By Richard A. Serrano, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — While Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr.'s views on abortion triggered intense debate on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, there is no mistaking where his wife stands: Jane Sullivan Roberts, a lawyer, is ardently against abortion.

A Roman Catholic like her husband, Jane Roberts has been deeply involved in the antiabortion movement. She provides her name, money and professional advice to a small Washington organization — Feminists for Life of America — that offers counseling and educational programs. The group has filed legal briefs before the high court challenging the constitutionality of abortion.

A spouse's views normally are not considered relevant in weighing someone's job suitability. But abortion is likely to figure prominently in the Senate debate over John Roberts' nomination. And with his position on the issue unclear, abortion rights supporters expressed concern Wednesday that his wife's views might suggest he also embraced efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

"It's unclear how all this will affect her husband," said Jennifer Palmieri, a spokeswoman with the Center for American Progress, a liberal public policy group. "It's possible that he would have a different view than her. It's just that in the absence of information about this guy, people are looking at her and trying to read the tea leaves."

Asked to discuss her role with Feminists for Life, Jane Roberts said in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times: "Thanks for your inquiry. At this time, however, I would like to decline your invitation to talk."

Advocacy groups on both sides of the issue were reacting strongly Wednesday to President Bush's first Supreme Court nomination.

The president of the antiabortion group Operation Rescue, Troy Newman, said: "We pray that Roberts will be swiftly confirmed.

"The president of the National Organization for Women, Kim Gandy, warned that of the high court candidates considered by Bush, Roberts was one of the most extreme when it came to the question of overturning the Roe vs. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion.

Feminists for Life has sponsored a national advertising campaign aimed at ending abortion in America. One of its mission statements proclaims: "Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."

Jane Roberts was a volunteer member of Feminists for Life's board of directors from 1995 to 1999. She has provided legal assistance to the group and been recognized as a contributor who donated from $1,000 to $2,500.

The president of Feminists for Life, Serrin M. Foster, said Roberts maintained her ties by advising the group on how to draw up incorporation and not-for-profit papers.

She also has written for the group's newsletter, Foster said, including an article about adoption. Roberts and her husband have adopted two children.

"She's a brilliant attorney, and we're really proud that she lent her legal services to us to help serve the needs of women," Foster said. "She was a very good board member. She was invaluable as an attorney for us."

Foster said that she had met John Roberts, who now sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but that the judge had not been involved with Feminists for Life.

Judge Roberts' public positions on abortion and Roe vs. Wade appear to be inconsistent.

In 1990, as the principal deputy solicitor general in President George H.W. Bush's administration, Roberts wrote a legal brief for the Supreme Court in a case regarding federal funding for abortion providers. "We continue to believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be overruled," Roberts wrote.

His brief added: "The [Supreme] Court's conclusion in Roe that there is a fundamental right to an abortion … finds no support in the text, structure or history of the Constitution.

"But during the 2003 Senate confirmation hearings on his appellate court nomination, Roberts took the position that abortion rights were no longer debatable.

"Roe vs. Wade is the settled law of the land," he told lawmakers. "There's nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent."

But abortion rights groups are convinced that Roberts is opposed to abortion.

"He's absolutely anti-Roe," Gandy said. "He believes it was wrongly decided and should be reversed." Asked then why Roberts two years ago proclaimed Roe vs. Wade a "settled" issue, Gandy responded: "You have to say that. You can't get on the court without saying you will follow legal precedent. All the most extreme nominees say that. You can't even take the oath of office [unless] you say that."

Jane Roberts graduated magna cum laude from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1976. In 1984, she graduated cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

She practices and is a partner with the Washington firm of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw and Pittman, mostly concentrating on the firm's communications and global sourcing groups.

A close friend characterized her as an "extremely, extremely devout Catholic" who had enjoyed her antiabortion advocacy.

The Catholic News Service in Washington, which praised Judge Roberts and cited his government brief in 1990 challenging Roe vs. Wade, also spoke kindly of Jane Roberts.

"She has been active in Feminists for Life, and is a member of the board of governors of the John Carroll Society, a Catholic lay organization that sponsors the annual Washington archdiocesan Red Mass before the opening of the Supreme Court term," the news service said.

It also pointed out that if John Rogers were to be elevated to the Supreme Court, he would be the fourth Catholic justice on the current court, along with Clarence Thomas, Anthony M. Kennedy and Antonin Scalia.

As I typed yesterday:

It seems Judge Roberts is a Catholic.

Memo to our protestant friends: Do you see a pattern here? Scalia, Thomas, and perhaps, Roberts.

Right Thinking: It is not an accident.

Of course, we do not know what sort of Catholic Roberts is.
After all,
Senator Murder (a.k.a. Senator Divorce and Re-Marry) likes to call himself a Catholic when it suits his purposes.

But what about Justice Anthony M. Kennedy protects him from this pervasive anti-Catholic hate, you may ask. After all, he is not attacked as a holder of anti-female beliefs.

Ah, gentle reader, Justice Kennedy is an endarkened Catholic. He has broken the bonds of the medieval religion that wanted to stunt his growth as a human being and prevent him from seeing the truth and beauty of the modern orgasm...oops! modern world. Yes, modern world. That's it.

Before Jane Roberts joined the board of Feminists for Life, the organization filed amicus briefs on abortion with the Supreme Court. Records show that the group filed briefs supporting the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act, a law aimed at limiting the right to abortions, particularly for minors.

Actually, the law states minor girls need the permission of their parents or guardians before an abortion could be committed (We can use language too, kiddies!) on them - the same sort of permission that minor child would need to get her ears pierced.

Several antiabortion groups including Feminists for Life also filed a brief in support of the right of abortion protesters to picket a Virginia women's health clinic. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court said the courts did not have the authority to limit protesters' access to such clinics.

And Feminists for Life filed amicus briefs in the Supreme Court in support of laws in Ohio and Missouri that attempted to limit the rights to an abortion under Roe vs. Wade.

Times staff writers Walter F. Roche Jr. and Benjamin Weyl in Washington contributed to this report.

The F-22 Raptor is now operational.

From The Mudville Gazette:

Langley AFB Virginia, home of the First Fighter Wing, is now the home of the Air Force's first operational F22 aircraft.

The 27th Fighter Squadron -- the Air Force’s oldest continuous fighter squadron -- will be the first unit to transition to the Raptor. It is a job the squadron knows well. The squadron was the first to switch to the F-15 Eagle, the Air Force’s premier fighter since the early 1970s.

”We can go against threats that F-16 (Fighting Falcons) and F-15s wouldn’t even think about trying to attack,” said Lt. Col. James Hecker, 27th Fighter Squadron commander.

By using today’s technology and smart weapons, he said, the F/A-22 specializes in placing ordnance on coordinates. In other words, he does not have to follow the bomb to the target. The aircraft’s technology takes care of that.

Combine that with stealth, speed and a radar-absorbing paint scheme, and the Raptor will prove a tough customer for the enemy.

“In boxing, if you fought a man you couldn’t see, he’d hit you all day,” the colonel said. That is what the Raptor does.

From certain angles, this plane sort of reminds me of spaceships from old time moving picture shows. I cannot wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Obviously, I am typing about technological progress here. I am fairly certain what the future holds for the culture.

Baby Torres Update.

Courtesy of Michelle Malkin, a family offers us an example of how to live.

Encouraging news: Baby Torres, whose mom, Susan, suffered a stroke at 17 weeks pregnant and remains in a coma, has reached a milestone. AP reports:

A brain-dead pregnant woman on life support has reached the milestone in her pregnancy where doctors believe the baby could realistically survive outside the womb, giving her family renewed hope about the devastating ordeal.

Susan Torres, 26, lost consciousness from a stroke May 7 after aggressive melanoma spread to her brain. Her husband, Jason Torres, said doctors told him his wife's brain functions had stopped.

Her fetus recently passed the 24th week of development - the earliest point at which doctors felt the baby would have a reasonable chance to survive, her brother-in-law said.

"The situation is pretty stable," said Justin Torres, who is serving as the family's spokesman. "Susan, we have said from the beginning, is the toughest person in that ICU room."

He said the family is "as certain within the limits of sonogram technology" that the baby is a girl. "Cecilia" was one possible name the couple had discussed, Justin Torres said.

More information about the Susan Torres Fund and the remarkable family here.

Send money if you are able, but above all, pray.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor of The Church and one of her greatest saints. (But not the greatest with the name Lawrence.) St. Lawrence of Brindisi and all you saints, pray for us.

Today's reading For the Feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi is 2 Corinthians 4:1-2, 5-7 .
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 4:1-10 .

Everyday links:
The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful;O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

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.)


St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The $2,000 an hour hooker.

For that price, she better glow in the dark.

And sing and dance.

And be funny. Not Jackie Mason funny either. $2,000 an hour funny.

Don't miss this one from New York Magazine. See how Canada's 1996 tap champion and a rich, sex-obsessed Jewish boy lived the dystopian American Dream.

The scary part? After they crash and burn, they still don't seem to get it.

Want a sample?

At the time, Jason’s top girl was Cheryl, a striking blonde ballroom dancer from Seattle who says she got into the business to buy her own horse. “I did NY Confidential’s first date,” Cheryl recalls. “I had on my little black dress and was shaking like a leaf. Jason was nervous, too. He said, ‘Just go up there and take your clothes off.’ I told him, ‘No, you’ve got to make it romantic. Special.’ ”

It was Cheryl who came up with the mantra Jason would later instruct all the NY Confidential girls to repeat, “three times,” before entering a hotel room to see a client: “This is my boyfriend of six months, the man I love, I haven’t seen him for three weeks . . . This is my boyfriend of six months, the man I love . . . ”

“That’s the essence of the true GFE, the Girlfriend Experience,” says Jason. As opposed to the traditional “no kissing on the mouth” style, the GFE offers a warmer, fuzzier time. For Jason, who says he never hired anyone who’d worked as an escort before, the GFE concept was an epiphany. “Men see escorts because they want to feel happier. Yet most walk away feeling worse than they did before. They feel dirty, full of self-hatred. Buyer’s remorse big-time. GFE is about true passion, something genuine. A facsimile of love. I told guys this was a quick vacation, an investment in the future. When they got back to their desks, they’d tear the market a new asshole, make back the money they spent at NY Confidential in an hour.

“What we’re selling is rocket fuel, rocket fuel for winners.”

Here's a bit of a clue as to what's wrong:

For Jason, the loft was an opportunity to make real his most cherished theories of existence. “To me, the higher percentage of your life you are happy, the more successful you are,” says Jason, who came upon his philosophy while reading Ayn Rand. “I was really into the ‘Who is John Galt?’ Atlas Shrugged thing. I thought I could save the world if I could bring together the truly elite people, the most beautiful women with the most perfect bodies, best faces, and intelligence, and the elite men, the captains of industry, lawyers, and senators. This would bring about the most happiness, to the best people, who most deserved to be happy.”

Or, maybe this will enlighten you sufficiently to get to Jason's astral plane:

Seventy-nine Worth Street became a well-oiled machine, with various calendars posted on the wall to keep track of appointments. The current day’s schedule was denoted on a separate chart called “the action board.” But what mattered most to Jason was “the vibe . . . the vibe of the NY Confidential brand” (there was franchising talk about a Philadelphia Confidential and a Vegas Confidential).

To describe what he was going for, Jason quotes from a favorite book, The Art of Seduction, a creepily fascinating tome of social Machiavellianism, by Robert Greene.

Discussing “seductive place and time,” Greene notes that “certain kinds of visual stimuli signal that you are not in the real world. Avoid images that have depth, which might provoke thought, or guilt . . . The more artificial, the better . . . Luxury—the sense that money has been spent or even wasted—adds to the feeling that the real world of duty and morality has been banished. Call it the brothel effect.”

Accentuated by the fog machine at 79 Worth Street, people seemed to come out of the shadows, float by, be gone again. “It was full of these familiar faces . . . like a soap-opera star, a politician you might have seen on NY1, a guy whose photo’s in the Times financial pages,” says one regular. In addition to Sinatra, music was supplied by the building’s super, a concert pianist in his native Russia, who appeared in a tuxedo to play on a rented Baldwin grand piano.

“It was like having my own clubhouse,” says Jason now, relishing the evenings he presided as esteemed host and pleasure master. He remembers discussing what he called a “crisis in Judaism” with a top official of a leading Jewish-American lobby group. Jewish women were often thought of as dowdy, Jason said. If the American Jew was ever going to rise above the prejudice of the goyishe mainstream, creativity would be needed. A start would be to get Madonna, the Kabbalist, to become the head of Hadassah. The official said he’d look into it.

Is is just me, or are all these people insane? How about disconnected from reality? This just goes to show you that life lessons are all around you. You just have to open your eyes.
(Thanks to You-Know-Who for the heads up.)

Noted Man of Science William Jefferson Blythe Clinton thinks fat South African chicks with low self esteem will go for that old "Nerds are sexy" thing

Thanks to Newsday.com via WND.

Clinton was mobbed at a youth event hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. Young volunteers and their suited sponsors crowded around Clinton to take photographs and asked for autographs.

Y'all like cigars?

"Not very far from you in the South Pole in the last 10 years, 12 chunks of ice the size of Rhode Island have broken off," Clinton told the volunteers with City Year South Africa, a youth service organization he helped inspire.
Oooooooh, Mr. President. Geography!

"If this continues for another couple of decades, part of South Africa will be under water, and we will lose 50 feet of Manhattan Island in New York."
Harlem office space available! Cheap! Everything must go!

Here's something you don't see every day...

...a Pat Buchanan movie review. (Thanks to WorldNetDaily.)

"Cinderella Man" is director Ron Howard's tribute to one of the best men ever to lace on gloves and to the character of the men and women who held families together and never lost their love of country at a time when it seemed like the country had failed them. This wonderful film is what movies can be again.

"Cinderella Man" has been mocked as "Seabiscuit with boxing gloves." Do not believe it. The casting – Russell Crowe as James Braddock, Renee Zellweger as his wife, Mae, Paul Giamatti as the loyal, savvy, witty, gutsy manager Jay Gould, and Craig Bierko as an amoral and sadistic Max Baer – and acting are superb.

The story is that of Braddock, a contender in the late 1920s before the stock market crash wiped him out and a busted right hand caused so dismal a performance in a fight he lost his license to box.

Desperate, Braddock gets work on the Hoboken docks. But as the electricity to his basement flat is cut off and his kids are sent to live with relatives, the fighter to whom family is all puts his pride aside and, a cap hooding his eyes, goes to the welfare office to stand in line with the beaten men of his time to get his $19 in relief.

Through it all, Braddock never loses his decency, never curses his fate, never despairs. He accepts the hand God has dealt him and is thankful for the blessings he has: a loving and adoring wife and kids. Jimmy and Mae do not need to talk to communicate what they think and feel as the Depression begins to defeat them. Their faces and expressions speak the words.

Seemingly down and out for good, Braddock gets his break. Though he has not fought for a year, Gould wangles him an offer of $250 to fight in Madison Square Garden the next night in place of a boxer who had to drop out of the preliminary to the Max Baer-Primo Carnera championship bout.
As Braddock walks toward the ring, a cynical reporter dictates the opening line of next day's story, "The last time Braddock was seen on his feet was when he came down the aisle." But Braddock wins with a startling KO, and the comeback begins. As money comes in, he returns to the window of the relief office and hands the same lady a roll of bills to pay back all that his family had been given.

These were the values the Jimmy Braddocks were taught. These were the values by which so many in our parents' generation lived. This was how they acted, and they did not think it heroic. When a reporter asks at a press conference about his returning the relief money, Braddock says simply: "This is a great country, a country that helps a man when he is in trouble. I thought I should return it."

Men and women like the James and Mae Braddock of this film were the products of homes, schools, churches and parishes, and Howard's depiction of the community that produced them marks this as one of the most pro-Catholic films Hollywood has produced since the 1940s Bing Crosby-Ingrid Bergman classic, "The Bells of St. Mary's."

About Me

My photo
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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