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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, September 30, 2005

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day.

For your halftime snacking pleasure, it's

Crockpot Cajun Buffalo Wings

3 pounds Chicken Wings

1 Bottle Kraft Spicy BBQ**

1 1/2 teaspoons Red Cayenne Pepper

1/4 teaspoon Salt

2 teaspoons Black Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Garlic flakes -- minced

1 teaspoon Onion flakes -- minced

3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

2 tablespoons Green Dragon or Jalapeno Sauce

1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce

1 tablespoon Cajun Spice

**Kraft BBq or K.C. Style sauce.

***Cajun Spice or Capt. Link's Cajun seasoning

In a Crockpot; add chicken BBQ Sauce, and all spices. Stir and heat on low for 4 hours. To serve, I suggest you prepare a Cajun rice recipe, and after the Buffalo Wings are cooked, prepare the rice, pour the rice into a container or casserole dish, spread out evenly.

From the Twin Cities...

...come the babes of KSTP.

Angela Davis, Kristin Stinar, and Vineeta Sawkar. (Left to right)

The triumphant return of the Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest!

The babes of WTTG in Washington, DC are Shawn Yancy, Laura Evans, and Melanie Alnwick (Below, left).

Microsoft at middle age.

"Microsoft has become what it used to mock," says Gabe Newell, a developer on the first three versions of Windows. At late-night rounds of poker with "Bill and Steve" in the mid-1980s, he says, "We laughed at IBM. They had all this process for monitoring productivity, and yet we know they had spectacularly bad productivity. That's Microsoft now."

From the October 3, 2005 issue of Forbes magazine

YES! Stupid left-fascist lies will NOT be a part of WTC memorial!

Sometimes the good guys do win:

We are very pleased to announce that Governor Pataki has announced the removal of the International Freedom Center (IFC) from Ground Zero. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/28/AR2005092801849.html for details.

Every since June 8, 2005 when Debra Bulingame's op-ed, The Great Ground Zero Heist, appeared in the Wall Street Journal, we have fought together for the preservation of the dignity of Ground Zero. With your help, we have achieved a major victory toward that goal. We will continue to monitor the plans for Ground Zero to ensure that a fitting and proper memorial is built; one that is respectful of the victims murdered that day, their families, the first responders, and the American people.

A press release on the removal of the IFC from the 15 family member groups is expected in the next 24 hours and we will post it @ http://www.takebackthememorial.org/ as soon as it becomes available.

Thank you again for your support, prayers, and dedication. We simply could not have done this without you.

Robert D. ShurbetFounder/Web Master

Heehee! Check out the Totalitarian Times editorial as posted at TakeBackTheMemorial.org:

NY Times Editorialists in Mourning
September 30th, 2005

This is rich.

At the root of that vitriolic protest was one question: “Why here?” Why imagine creating an institution that would celebrate freedom and foster discussion of its meaning, and the meaning of 9/11, within the memorial quadrant of ground zero? Wouldn’t that dishonor the dead? We have never thought so. We believe that the site is sacred to more than death. It is sacred to life and to the principles - as well as the people - attacked there on Sept. 11, 2001. We believe that this country can be made stronger only by free speech. We believe that the power of that site should be used to consider what happened that day and to see what lessons we can derive from it, not only to mourn the dead.

Translation: We believe ground zero should be a place where activists are free to explore why 9/11 was America’s fault.

Freedom will survive the demise of the IFC. Freedom of speech will survive the demise of the IFC. These noble ideals are bigger than one museum and the sheer arrogance of the NY Times editorialists that somehow these ideals are diminished because their “blame America” pavilion won’t be built is simply astounding.

Fear of freedom of speech? Maybe the editorial staff at the NY Times should take a good look at the terms of their new building lease.
Glass house. Stones. You get the idea.

Hooray reality!

Fyodor's Pro Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.
Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

2) I am just a fan. I won't even keep track of these picks week to week if it gets too embarrassing.

3) There is no such thing as "inside information". Especially in the pros.

4) If those idiot touts on tv and in the paper were that good, they wouldn't go public with their genius. They'd sit at Harrah's sports book from open to close and then go out and buy $2,000 an hour hookers who dress like high school girls.

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

That being said, here are my NFL picks for this week.

Sunday 10/2

San Diego (+5) at New England
Pats are banged up big time, but I'll take them this week over SD.
FINAL: Chargers 41 Pats 17 - Fyodor loses! (Pats are really hurting.)

Seattle (+1.5) at Washington
I hate to pick Seattle, but this juggernaut that is the 2-0 'Skins must be stopped! Take Seattle and the points.
FINAL: 'Skins 20 Seahawks 17 - Fyodor loses! (Can no one stop this madness?)

St. Louis (+3) at NY Giants
I don't know why, but I'll take the Rams. Instant translation: Stay away from this one!
FINAL: GIANTS 44 Rams 24 - Fyodor loses! (Eli Manning. Who knew?)

Buffalo (+1) at (sort of) New Orleans
Bills QB is a big disappointment so far. Take the Saints.
FINAL: Saints 19 Bills 7 - Fyodor wins! (Buffalo is regressing.)

Denver (+4) at Jacksonville
I like Jacksonville at home, but Denver is hot. Take the Broncos and the points.
FINAL: Broncos 20 Jaguars 17 - Fyodor wins!

Detroit (+6.5) at Tampa Bay
Lions aren't as good as advertised. Take Tampa.
FINAL: Bucs 17 Lions 13 - Fyodor loses! (Where's the O, Chucky?)

Houston (+9.5) at Cincinnati
Fyodor's Playof the Week! Bengals will cover by 21 +!!!!
FINAL: Bengals 16 Texans 10 - Fyodor loses! (Ugh!)

Indianapolis (-7) at Tennessee
Manning will return to form one of these Sundays. Take the Colts.
FINAL: Colts 31 Titans 10 - Fyodor wins! (Peyton's back?)

NY Jets (+7) at Baltimore
How bad must the oddsmakers believe the Ravens are? Brooks Bollinger is leading the Jets and gets only 7 at Baltimore! Take the Ravens if you must play this one.
FINAL: Ravens 13 Jets 3 - Fyodor wins! (Candidate for Crappy Game of the Year.)

Dallas (+3) at Oakland
The two teams Fyodor hates the most! Take Dallas and the points.
FINAL: Raiders 19 Cowboys 13 - Fyodor loses! (What was I thinking?)

Minnesota (+6) at Atlanta
Vikings will improve, but not enough to win. Take Minnesota and the points.
FINAL: Falcons 30 Vikings 10 - Fyodor loses! (Never pick the Vikings again!)

Philadelphia (+1.5) at Kansas City
Groin or no groin, McNabb leads the Eagles to an easy road win.
FINAL: Eagles 37 Chiefs 31 - Fyodor wins!

San Francisco (+2) vs. Arizona at Mexico City (???)
I guess the NFL figured they could find at least 100,000 football fans in a city of 18 million futbol fans. Pick the 49ers.
FINAL: Cardinals 31 49ers 14 - Fyodor loses! (WTF?)

Monday 10/3

Green Bay (+7.5) at Carolina
Packers cover last week was an aberration. Panthers by 10.
FINAL: Panthers 32 Packers 29 - Fyodor loses! (Prevent defense, anyone? That's why they call it gambling.)

Fyodor's College Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.
Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

2) I am just a fan. I won't even keep track of these picks week to week if it gets too embarrassing.

3) There is no such thing as "inside information". Especially in the pros.

4) If those idiot touts on tv and in the paper were that good, they wouldn't go public with their genius. They'd sit at Harrah's sports book from open to close and then go out and buy $2,000 an hour hookers who dress like high school girls.

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.That being said, here are my college picks for this week.

Saturday 10/1

Michigan (+6) at Michigan State
Spartans remove monkey from back. Take MSU at home to cover.
FINAL: Michigan 34 Michigan State 31 - Fyodor loses! (Ack!)

Texas (-14.5) at Missouri
A big number for the Longhorns to hit on the road, but Missouri stinks. Take Texas.
FINAL: Texas 51 Missouri 20 - Fyodor wins! (Vince Young is good.)

Illinois (+17.5) at Iowa
This is a strong candidate for Crappy Game of the Week. Iowa stinks less. Take Iowa.
FINAL: Iowa 35 Illinois 7 - Fyodor wins! (Illinois is bad!)

Florida Atlantic (+38.5) at Louisville
Could it be a trap? Cardinals should be seething after last week and FLU (?) doesn't have much. Take Louisville to cover the huge number.
FINAL: Louisville 61 FLU 10 - Fyodor wins!

Virginia Tech (-10) at West Virginia
Tech is a great team. WVU is a good team with a tremendous home field advantage. Going against recent history, I'll take Tech to win by 14 or more.
FINAL: Virginia Tech 34 West Virginia 17 - Fyodor wins!

Connecticut (-10.5) at Army
I'm an old softie and Army looked good last week. Take Army and the points.
FINAL: Uconn 47 Army 13 - Fyodor loses! (Soft in the head is more like it.)

Baylor (+22.5) at Texas A&M
Bad news, Bears. Aggies cover.
FINAL: A&M 16 (!) Baylor 13 - Fyodor loses! (In OT, no less. That'swhy they call it gambling.)

Ball State (+38.5) at Boston College
Keep on ridin' the Ball State train wreck. BC covers big.
FINAL: Boston College 38 Ball State 0 - Fyodor loses! (Stinkin' hook! That's really why they call it gambling.)

UNLV (+18) at Wyoming
The Cowboys have been good to me. I'll pick them again this week.
FINAL: Wyoming 42 UNLV 17 - Fyodor wins! (Hooray Cowboys!)

Florida (-3.5) at Alabama
Is 'Bama for real? Yes, but the Gators cover. (Fact: This is the first time these teams have met as unbeatens since 1964.)
FINAL: Albama 31 Florida 3 - Fyodor loses! (Alabama seems to be back.)

Minnesota (-2.5) at Penn State
Gophers cover easily on the road.
FINAL: PSU 44 Minnesota 14 - Fyodor loses! (Penn State's best game in at least 3 years. If they play this well against Ohio State, they have a chance.)

Iowa State (+3.5) at Nebraska
Just to rub Nebraska's face in it, take the Cyclones and the points.
FINAL: Nebraska 27 Iowa State 20 - Fyodor loses! (Nebraska ia NOT back. But they seem to have discovered the forward pass.)

USC (-16.5) at Arizona State
It looks like a big number, but sadly, ASU is overrated. Take the Trojans.
FINAL: USC 38 ASU 28 - Fyodor loses! (Ppfffffttttttt!)

Utah State (-2) at Idaho
Idiot Harris Poll Game of the Week. Take the Aggies to beat the Vandals by at least 7.
FINAL: Idaho 27 Utah State 13 - Fyodor loses! (Vandals justify their ranking!)

Kansas State (+6.5) at Oklahoma
I am sorely tempted to pick KSU. I'll not listen to the voices in my head this time and take the Sooners to cover.
FINAL: Sooners 43 Wildcats 21 - Fyodor wins! (See what happens when you resist temptation, kiddies?)

Kansas (+18.5) at Texas Tech
This Tech can score. That's all I've got. Take the Red Raiders.
FINAL: TTU 30 KU 17 - Fyodor loses! (That's why they call it gambling.)

Notre Dame (+3) at Purdue
Call me an idiot, but I don't think Purdue will take this rivalry game as seriously this year when they're Big Eleven contenders. Pick the Fighting Irish.
FINAL: ND 49 Purdue 28 - Fyodor wins! (Sadly, USC will demolish the Irish in 2 weeks. Or will they?)

South Florida (+21) at Miami
USF is flying high after last week, but they played Louisville. Miami covers.
FINAL: Miami 27 South Florida 7 - Fyodor loses! (Where's the O, Coach?)

Washington (+21.5) at UCLA
Pick against Ty's guys again. Bruins win big.
FINAL: UCLA 21 Washington 17 - Fyodor loses! (Ack!)

Alexis Bledel is really cute, but isn't balancing her with the hideous Madeleine "Rwanda? What's Rwanda?" Halfbright for PC reasons a bit much?

ABOVE: The bedazzling Bledel.

ABOVE: Madeleine Halfbright as Mr. Whipple, her greatest role.

From USA Today:

Prime time now has a fictional female president in ABC's Commander in Chief, so why not a real female secretary of State?

Madeleine Albright, who served in the Clinton administration, will play herself in the Oct. 25 episode of WB's Gilmore Girls. She is scheduled to shoot her scene today.

Gilmore Girls executive producer Amy Sherman-Palladino and her writers were describing an upcoming character as "someone like Madeleine Albright," never thinking the former Cabinet secretary would have the time or the interest in doing the show.

Surprise! She did.

I'm not surprised. She's needed work ever since Charmin dropped the Mr. Whipple campaign.

"Apparently, she even knew of the show," says Sherman-Palladino, who wouldn't reveal details about Albright's guest appearance to avoid spoiling the surprise — other than to say it revolves around Rory's (Alexis Bledel) 21st birthday. "We wanted it to be somebody Rory would idolize," she says.

I never watch the show so I didn't realize Miss Bledel plays a mentally challenged girl. In light of this, Halfbright is perfect for a cameo.

In a season of big goings-on — mom Lorelai's (Lauren Graham) engagement to Luke (Scott Patterson) and a Lorelai-Rory rift — Sherman-Palladino says it's a bonus to get another big non-Hollywood guest. The series, now in its sixth season, has attracted author Norman Mailer and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., in previous seasons. Who else would she like to get?

"Christiane Amanpour" of CNN, she says. "I've had her on my list for years."

Wes Pruden knows a Repansycan when he smells one.

From the wise Wesley Pruden, editor-in-chief of The Washington Times comes this appraisal of the current state of politics in DC and beyond.

The Republicans are acting like Republicans again, and the Democrats scent the familiar odor of fear.

Hurricane Katrina scattered Republicans like chaff in the wind, and they haven't stopped looking for a big rock to crawl under or a leafy hedge to hide behind. When Michael Brown showed up in Washington this week to answer questions about his failures as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Republicans on a House select committee on hurricane relief pushed Democrats out of the way to get in the first licks.

Rep. Christopher Shays, the dark, dour Connecticut yankee often mistaken for the undertaker at the sickbed, couldn't wait to lead the piling on. Piling on the hapless Mike Brown, everybody's favorite New Orleans scapegoat, is not exactly an exercise in courage, so this makes him small enough for a congressman to challenge. The Democrats on the committee, cheerfully honoring the first rule of politics, that you never interfere when your enemy is destroying himself, merely smiled and let Mr. Shays do the hack work.


In one testy exchange, the congressman told Mr. Brown he was feeble, clueless, shocking and "beyond belief." Another Republican congressman told him: "I don't see how you can sleep at night."

The next day Gov. Kathleen Blanco arrived in town with a begging bowl the size of Baton Rouge to ask the Senate Finance Committee for federal billions to rebuild Louisiana. She estimated that a third of the state's economy had been wiped out by Katrina and her wicked little sister Rita.

Mrs. Blanco, a Democrat who dawdled and dithered as Katrina made landfall and the White House begged her to make the necessary requests for federal assistance as set out in the law, didn't want to deal with any of the questions and rebukes that Mike Brown had endured the day before.

"Today," she told the senators, "I came really to talk about job creation." She asked the senators to please not ask any questions about her dire misfeasance and dreadful malfeasance. No rebuke, please, even implied, for her dilly and dally while New Orleans drowned.

To nearly everyone's astonishment, the Republicans on the panel -- Charles Grassley of Iowa, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Trent Lott of Mississippi, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Craig Thomas of Wyoming, Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, Bill Frist of Tennessee, Gordon Smith of Oregon, Jim Bunning of Kentucky and Michael Crapo of Idaho -- meekly submitted, as if the lady were standing over them in thigh-high snakeskin boots and a horsehide whip.

How sad is it that the last Republican with brass was Joe McCarthy? (Who, BTW, was absolutely correct. If anything, he underestimated the commie infiltration of America.)

If all that were not enough, on the third day of this particularly bad hair week the district attorney of Travis County, Texas, who indicts politicians he doesn't like simply for sport, hauled Rep. Tom DeLay, the leader of the Republican majority in the House, into the dock for unspecified crimes against Texas election law. Like the infamous conspiracy junkie Jim Garrison, the former district attorney in New Orleans, Ronnie Earle can't make charges stick. But a D.A. who wields a grand jury like a desperado with a .357 magnum can make life miserable for any ham sandwich in his way. Ronnie Earle doesn't care whether the indictment ever gets to a courtroom. He has accomplished already what he set out to do, to harass Tom DeLay and frighten Republicans.

Exactly. The Duke of Earle knows the cowardly effeminacy of his enemies.

This should send Democratic stock soaring, but for the fact that the only thing either party has going for it is the other party. If you're tired of Tom DeLay, Nancy Pelosi is nobody's idea of a hottie for a snuggle at the prom. If craven Republicans in the Senate make you gag, Harry Reid might make you retch.


Some of the Democrats sent Stan Greenberg, one of their most reliable pollsters, out to sample sentiment the other day and he came back with bad news. "Feelings about Democrats are at a [54-month] low," he told them. Slightly fewer than half of the voters polled say they expect to vote Democratic next year. That's about what the figure was in 2004. John Zogby, an independent pollster, says the Democrats are in trouble because they have no credible national leaders.


Al From, the director of the Democratic Leadership Council, which speaks for what's left of the party of FDR, Harry Truman and JFK, says the Democrats have a chance to pick up seats next year but "you can only get so far attacking the other guy, no matter how bad he is." Nobody has much to hang hope on.

This guy will soon fade from view or he'll be muzzled. Or both. This is how you know our totalitarians are totalitarians of the middle. Real socialists would send him to a re-education camp, if he was lucky.

Those folks on the Gulf Coast are our neighbors. You know what to do.

First, last, and always, PRAY. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the repose of the souls of those who were killed. Pray for the families and friends. Pray for the relief workers, the cops, the firemen, the troops, and the technicians. Pray for the volunteers.

It is time to step up once again, kiddies. "Do unto others", "I was naked and you clothed me", et cetera.

As time passes, the memory of these disasters will fade for those of us fortunate enough to live outside the devastated areas, but recovery and restoration will take years.

Please, whatever you do, don't become a cynic. (I know, I know. But I just play one on the computer.) Of course there will be more horror stories like the abuse of the debit cards and that $250-odd billion federal package will produce insane amounts of corruption, but our fellow Americans will be suffering from Katrina for a long time.

True charity, (News Flash!: Taxes ARE NOT charity.) like the money you donate to Catholic Charities will help the truly needy and will not foster dependency.

Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to Catholic Charities agencies’ emergency and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Mail Checks To:
Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

Call:(800) 919-9338

Contribute Now Online

09/23/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Creates Parish Partnership Project 09/22/2005 — Florida Catholic Charities Continue to Offer Disaster Relief to Diocese of Biloxi
09/15/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Testifies before Congress on the Critical Housing Needs of Hurricane Katrina Victims
09/14/2005 — Catholic Diocese of Alexandria Welcomes Special Evacuees
More news...

FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief

Agencies Impacted:
Catholic Charities of Miami
Catholic Charities of New Orleans
Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge
Catholic Social Services of Houma-Thibodaux
Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi, MS
Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS
Catholic Social Services of Mobile, AL

How you can help:
Unfortunately, Catholic Charities USA is unable to accept contributions of food, clothing, blankets and other relief supplies. Monetary donations will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's and Rita's victims. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

About the Disaster Response Office
Catholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church's social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.

And, as always, give generously to the special collections for hurricance disaster relief in your local parish.

The fascinating example of piety that is the life of St. Jerome.

I would like to offer a few samples of what it means to be Catholic from the great saint.

You could spend your time in less fruitful ways than studying the writings of
St. Jerome.

Jerome added to these trials the study of Hebrew, a discipline which he hoped would help him in winning a victory over himself. "When my soul was on fire with wicked thoughts," he wrote in 411, "as a last resort, I became a pupil to a monk who had been a Jew, in order to learn the Hebrew alphabet. From the judicious precepts of Quintilian, the rich and fluent eloquence of Cicero, the graver style of Fronto, and the smoothness of Pliny, I turned to this language of hissing and broken-winded words. What labor it cost me, what difficulties I went through, how often I despaired and abandoned it and began again to learn, both I, who felt the burden, and they who lived with me, can bear witness. I thank our Lord that I now gather such sweet fruit from the bitter sowing of those studies." He continued to read the pagan classics for pleasure until a vivid dream turned him from them, at least for a time. In a letter he describes how, during an illness, he dreamed he was standing before the tribunal of Christ. "Thou a Christian?" said the judge skeptically. "Thou art a Ciceronian. Where thy treasure is, there thy heart is also."

When Pope Damasus died in 384, he was succeeded by Siricius, who was less friendly to Jerome. While serving Damasus, Jerome had impressed all by his personal holiness, learning, and integrity. But he had also managed to get himself widely disliked by pagans and evil-doers whom he had condemned, and also by people of taste and tolerance, many of them Christians, who were offended by his biting sarcasm and a certain ruthlessness in attack. An example of his style is the harsh diatribe against the artifices of worldly women, who "paint their cheeks with rouge and their eyelids with antimony, whose plastered faces, too white for human beings, look like idols; and if in a moment of forgetfulness they shed a tear it makes a furrow where it rolls down the painted cheek; women to whom years do not bring the gravity of age, who load their heads with other people's hair, enamel a lost youth upon the wrinkles of age, and affect a maidenly timidity in the midst of a troop of grand children." In a letter to Eustochium he writes with scorn of certain members of the Roman clergy. "All their anxiety is about their clothes.... You would take them for bridegrooms rather than for clerics; all they think about is knowing the names and houses and doings of rich ladies."

With what remained of Jerome's own patrimony and with financial help from Paula, a monastery for men was built near the basilica of the Nativity at Bethlehem, and also houses for three communities of women. Paula became head of one of these, and after her death was succeeded by her daughter Eustochium. Jerome himself lived and worked in a large cave near the Saviour's birthplace. He opened a free school there and also a hospice for pilgrims, "so that," as Paula said, "should Mary and Joseph visit Bethlehem again, they would have a place to stay." Now at last Jerome began to enjoy some years of peaceful activity. He gives us a wonderful description of this fruitful, harmonious, Palestinian life, and its attraction for all manner of men. "Illustrious Gauls congregate here, and no sooner has the Briton, so remote from our world, arrived at religion than he leaves his early-setting sun to seek a land which he knows only by reputation and from the Scriptures. Then the Armenians, the Persians, the peoples of India and Ethiopia, of Egypt, and of Pontus, Cappadocia, Syria, and Mesopotamia!... They come in throngs and set us examples of every virtue. The languages differ but the religion is the same; as many different choirs chant the psalms as there are nations.... Here bread and herbs, planted with our own hands, and milk, all country fare, furnish us plain and healthy food. In summer the trees give us shade. In autumn the air is cool and the falling leaves restful. In spring our psalmody is sweeter for the singing of the birds. We have plenty of wood when winter snow and cold are upon us. Let Rome keep its crowds, let its arenas run with blood, its circuses go mad, its theaters wallow in sensuality...."

But when the Christian faith was threatened Jerome could not be silent. While at Rome in the time of Pope Damasus, he had composed a book on the perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary against one Helvidius, who had maintained that Mary had not remained always a virgin but had had other children by St. Joseph, after the birth of Christ. This and similar ideas were now again put forward by a certain Jovinian, who had been a monk. Paula's son-in-law, Pammachius, sent some of this heretical writing to Jerome, and he, in 393, wrote two books against Jovinian. In the first he described the excellence of virginity. The books were written in Jerome's vehement style and there were expressions in them which seemed lacking in respect for honorable matrimony. Pammachius informed Jerome of the offense which he and many others at Rome had taken at them. Thereupon Jerome composed his , sometimes called his third book against Jovinian, in which he showed by quoting from his own earlier works that he regarded marriage as a good and honorable state and did not condemn even a second or a third marriage.

A few years later he turned his attention to one Vigilantius, a Gallic priest, who was denouncing both celibacy and the veneration of saints' relics, calling those who revered them idolaters and worshipers of ashes. In defending celibacy Jerome said that a monk should purchase security by flying from temptations and dangers when he distrusted his own strength. As to the veneration of relics, he declared: "We do not worship the relics of the martyrs, but honor them in our worship of Him whose martyrs they are. We honor the servants in order that the respect paid to them may be reflected back to the Lord." Honoring them, he said, was not idolatry because no Christian had ever adored the martyrs as gods; on the other hand, they pray for us. "If the Apostles and martyrs, while still living on earth, could pray for other men, how much more may they do it after their victories? Have they less power now that they are with Jesus Christ?" He told Paula, after the death of her daughter Blesilla, "She now prays to the Lord for you, and obtains for me the pardon of my sins." Jerome was never moderate whether in virtue or against evil. Though swift to anger, he was also swift to feel remorse and was even more severe on his own failings than on those of others.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Jerome, one of the greatest and most learned of the Fathers of The Church and patron of librarians. Pray for us, St. Jerome and all you saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Jerome is
2 Timothy 3:14-17.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew 13:47-52.

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

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


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, September 29, 2005

I get mail from another hot blogger babe.

After being overwhelmed by the brilliance that is Your Humble Servant,

Kel Kel said...

I think I've fallen off the face of blogger planet, but having come back and read some of your posts I have a few short comments to make:

1. The whole thing about not cooing at babies. This truely scares me that someone this ignorant is working in a neo-natal unit. If she actually went to school, she should have learned about this thing called "parentese". It's practically another language that parents have with their children. In fact, infants respond positively to higher pitched sounds. We're not talking "down" to them, we're trying to talk WITH them.

2. Instant pregnancies. I don't understand how calling the doctor to make an appointment, driving to the doctor's office, WAITING at the doctor's office, getting insiminated, and then driving back home is faster than just having sex. This is mind boggling to me.

3. Thanks so much for your comment back to me. It made my day. Oh, and I read your profile and you're absolutely correct: It's SEX, not GENDER. "Sex" is determined anatomically. I.E. whether you have a penis or vagina to be blunt. "Gender" is a state of mind. I.E. You're a man trapped in a woman's body kinda thing. But the more that I think about it, if you consider the type of people who probably blog, it might be more appropriate to use "gender" as a catagorization.

1) Re: British "Adult baby" fetishists: Are We Next?

There really is no way to overestimate the ignorance and downright depraved arrogance of the busybody left. They screw with people's lives simply because they can. That's how they get their jollies.

2) Re: From The I Told You They Don't Like It As Much As We Do Department

My guess it is one more result of the socialist attempt to drive a wedge between man and woman.

3) Re: My Blogger profile

Actually, this is what I mean:


Pronunciation: 'jen-d&r

Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English gendre, from Middle French genre, gendre, from Latin gener-, genus birth, race, kind, gender -- more at KIN

a: a subclass within a grammatical class (as noun, pronoun, adjective, or verb) of a language that is partly arbitrary but also partly based on distinguishable characteristics (as shape, social rank, manner of existence, or sex) and that determines agreement with and selection of other words or grammatical forms
b: membership of a word or a grammatical form in such a subclass
c: an inflectional form showing membership in such a subclass

Remember high school French class, kiddies? The gender of the noun and the gender of the article?

The word "gender" is in the process of being hijacked, kidnapped, raped, and disfigured by the endarkened forces who administered the same treatment to the perfectly wonderful word "gay".

He who controls the language controls the culture, baby.

Mr. Scott Adams comes too close to Fyodor's life for comfort.

Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge. Click to enlarge.

Book (and Movie) of the Day.

Disney's Evil Empire has a blind-squirrel-with-a-broken-watch moment and brings forth a winner.

The book: The Greatest Game Ever Played : Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet, and the Birth of Modern Golf -- by Mark Frost

The movie: The Greatest Game Ever Played (Screenplay by Mark Frost)

Based on the true story of the 1913 US Open, where 20-year-old caddy Francis Ouimet defeated reigning champion Harry Vardon.

I don't know why it is rated PG, but I am sure your kids see much worse each night on MSNBC.

Idiotic Harris college football poll update...

...or, I've got an Idaho Vandals hat too. Wouldn't it be cool to vote them into the Top 25?

From Kurt Kragthorpe of the Salt Lake Tribune comes the latest on the scheme destined to destroy the BCS. (Yippee!)

Having taken over a team that won only 10 games the past three seasons, Utah State coach Brent Guy will soon discover that overconfidence is not a major issue for the Aggies.

Just in case that's a factor in this week's preparation for Idaho, however, Guy is warning his players that the winless Vandals are "a very hungry team."

They're also nationally ranked, strengthening Guy's case for taking them seriously.

Idaho is not in anybody's Top 25, exactly, but the Vandals are listed in the "others receiving votes" category of the inaugural Harris Interactive Poll, now accounting for one-third of the Bowl Championship Series standings.

When the poll was added to the formula this past summer, a Harris executive said the 114 voters would add "independence" to the BCS process.

Boy, did they ever. Someone did, anyway, giving Idaho a 21st-place vote worth five points in the poll, good for a tie for 43rd place.

"Oh, my goodness," said Glen Tuckett.

If you know Tuckett, you know that's about as strong of a verbal reaction as he will ever have.

The former Brigham Young athletic director is on the panel, a role he's enjoying as a longtime football follower. So here's Tuckett, agonizing that he may have listed Michigan State a little too high and somewhat sheepish about ranking Vanderbilt No. 25, and then he finds out somebody voted 0-4 Idaho even higher.

At least Vandy is 4-0, for goodness sake.

Tuckett and Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson each theorized that the voter's ranking of "Iowa" was mistakenly recorded as "Idaho" - poll members can phone in their ballots - but a Harris official confirmed that Idaho really was cited.

Was it a joke? Or was somebody watching the Vandals a little more closely than the rest of us?

Here's what a little research reveals about them, material Guy is free to use in his pregame speech Saturday in Moscow:

+ Idaho just may be the best 0-4 team in Division I-A football, better than Florida Atlantic, New Mexico State or Temple.

+ The Vandals truly deserved to score in last week's 24-0 home loss to Hawaii, gaining 153 total yards and once driving all the way to the Hawaii 38.

+ Those black-and-gold uniforms, resembling the New Orleans Saints' look, are sweet. And the script "Vandals" on the helmets? Inspiring.

Thompson is not amused by any of this, knowing that Texas Christian (No. 35) is the only Mountain West team ahead of Idaho in the poll and that the rankings will determine his league's access to BCS games, this year and in the future.

"You tell me if 114 people are paying attention," Thompson said. "Maybe the Mountain West has got to do a better job of getting our message out . . . It's extremely important that we are recognized. I do not respect the opinion of a person who would vote a team with zero wins in the top 25."

The Harris Poll includes about twice as many voters as the AP Top 25 or the USA Today coaches poll, offering some protection from a maverick member. But there were other outrageous results. Among other teams receiving votes were Illinois, coming off a 61-14 loss to Michigan State; Arizona, whose only win was over Division I-AA Northern Arizona; and Bowling Green, a 48-20 loser to Boise State.

The funny thing is, the Harris board - consisting of former college players, coaches and administrators and some current media members - was supposed to have more credibility, not less, because its first rankings were issued after the fourth week of the season, avoiding the guesswork of preseason polls.

Nice try. And there's no pinpointing the Vandal supporter, because only the final ballots submitted Dec. 4 will be made public.

Yet amid all of the controversy, this weekend's trip to Idaho is shaping up nicely for Utah State. The winless Vandals could become the highest-ranked team the Aggies have beaten in a long, long time.

You want sports? I give you Onion Sports!

ESPN Courts Female Viewers With World's Emotionally Strongest Man Competition

Heehee! Obviously the Right-wing Smile of the Day.

Sports broadcasting giant ESPN, whose programming has long been a staple among male television viewers of all ages, made its first foray into women's sports programming with the introduction of the World's Emotionally Strongest Man Competition Monday.

The hour-long weekly show, which will run opposite ABC's Monday Night Football, features an international cast of powerfully caring, emotionally resilient, deeply sensitive men pushing themselves and each other to the limit with astounding feats of inner strength in domestic settings around the country.

During the show's premiere, a two-hour special titled "Manhattan Blowout," competitors put their bodies, minds, and spirits to the test in events ranging from the brutal grind of "Enduring Quietly As She Takes Her Hard Day At Work Out On You," to the agility-straining "Throwing A Last-Minute Surprise Party For A Despised Mother-In-Law," to the ultimate combination of strength and finesse, "Helping Her Over The Death Of The Cat That Always Hated You."

Terrell Owens Pre-Emptively Disparages Next Contract

Eagles wideout Terrell Owens, who recently returned to his team after a training-camp holdout on the second year of his seven-year, $49 million contract, took time Monday to verbally blast the amount, duration, and bonuses of whatever contract he signs next.

"It's going to be a damn travesty," said the 31-year-old All-Pro, speaking to reporters months or even years before the hypothetical contract is drawn up. "A travesty. I'm one of the best receivers in this league—hell, after the incredible, record-breaking season I'm sure I'll have had when I sign this next contract, I might be the best ever. But I wouldn't go so far as to call this next contract the best ever. It's going to be an insult on the part of whichever team I eventually sign with, and they'll know it. I demand they give me what I really deserve."

"I know I'm a top player in this game," Owens added. "But my next contract simply won't reflect that."

Owens, who caught 77 passes for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2004, also played in the Super Bowl despite breaking his right leg during the regular season. In his comments to the press, the receiver noted that his performance in 2005 and beyond would be even more impressive.

"This next season or seasons, I'll play through pain, injury, personal tragedy, media persecution, and one or more quarterbacks who won't be able to get the ball to me when our team or teams need it. And you know I'll do it all while putting up so many receptions for so many yards and so many touchdowns that, if I told anyone right now, you'd think I was being arrogant," said Owens, who seemed visibly hurt at the thought of what was to come. "It's not bragging if it's going to be true. And the NFL still insists on fining T.O. for his celebrations, despite the fact that T.O.'s jerseys—for whatever team I'm going to be playing on—will still be setting sales records and making money for the league. After all this, anyone will be able to see that the contract they're going to offer me just won't be enough."

Steelers update.

Cowher shrugs off clock mistake

Two days after the NFL apologized for a game-clock gaffe, in which 52 seconds were inadvertently added to the Steelers-Patriots contest due to an error by the officials, coach Bill Cowher weighed in on the matter.

Starkey: Backup plan
If a major injury was going to strike somewhere in the Steelers' starting lineup, this was not the worst spot.

Not by a long shot.

It's terrible for Clark Haggans that he's out for at least a month, but it would be far worse for the Steelers if Hines Ward, James Farrior, Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu or Marvel Smith went down.

Linebacker Clark Haggans was the star of the Steelers' defense Sunday, but he wasn't celebrating after the Patriots won, 23-20.

"It just sucks," Haggans said with disgust. "Any loss -- if you have a crappy game, a big game, if you don't win the game, that's what we're out there for. When you lose a game, there's nothing good to really talk about."

Haggans' 12 tackles Sunday doubled his total of six from the previous two games. He also had a sack (his third) and two forced fumbles (three for the season).

Passing game sputters
Hines Ward caught two touchdown passes to give him four in three games and matching his entire output from last season. But there was little else from the Steelers' passing game Sunday as the Patriots poured in on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to sack him four times and force him into many bad throws. He was 12 of 28.

"Their scheme," Ward explained. "They blitzed. They blitzed tons. Overall, we've got to pick up the blitz. Players quarterback, wideouts, we've got to see the blitz, react to it [and] execute the play.

"We had some letdowns here and there. That's why we've got to learn from it, take this off week, get everybody healthy and let's get ready to go 13 straight."

Quick outs
The Steelers-Patriots game was CBS' second-highest rated national game for the first three weeks of the season since the network began broadcasting AFC games in 1998. The game had an overnight rating of 14.0 and a 36 share. ... The Steelers did not issue any injury updates for any of their players yesterday, including Roethlisberger, who left the game with a left shoulder injury but returned and did not miss a snap.

Totalitarian Pennsylvania update.

Remember how the Keystone State's legislature granted themselves an illegal pay raise, kiddies?

It looks like the
Repansycan leadership, along with greedy Democrasses and the bought judges are determined to make a mockery of the Commonwealth's constitution.

It's time for lawmakers who voted against pay raises to demand that their leaders repeal the salary grab following a death stroke dealt to two repeal-related bills by House Speaker John Perzel, a former top Republican staffer says.

Bill Williams, former communications director for House Republicans, said legislative opponents of the 16 to 54 percent pay hike need to “stand up and publicly challenge leadership."

Perzel's spokeswoman Beth Williams confirmed Wednesday that the speaker assigned the two bills to the leadership-controlled Rules Committee, which serves as a graveyard for legislation House leaders want to kill.

Perzel did so on Tuesday, just a day after approximately 1,500 angry taxpayers at the state Capitol demanded repeal of the pay hike, according to the General Assembly's Web site. Petitions with 129,000 signatures demanding repeal were presented to Perzel, Gov. Ed Rendell and Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, on Monday.

One bill (H.B. 1945) would repeal the raises that were approved without debate or public comment in the early morning hours of July 7. The other bill (H.B. 1956) would repeal a provision that allows lawmakers to take the raises this term, as about half of the legislators are doing. (Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for the heads up.)

Bill Belichick, coaching genius or dangerous looney?

From Pittsburgh's Other Newspaper comes this WTF? moment from the Patriots' head man.

Even though New England coach Bill Belichick chased off Steelers trainer John Norwig from attending to one of his injured players Sunday, it did not prevent the Patriots from later asking the Steelers for crutches and some medication for the player.

Norwig, the Steelers' trainer since 1992, rushed onto the field with Pittsburgh EMS division chief Ron Romano when it was evident that Patriots tackle Matt Light was seriously injured in the second quarter Sunday at Heinz Field. That is normal procedure for the home team in such a situation because Romano would be the first to call for an ambulance if needed.

But when Belichick saw Norwig approach Light, who lay on the grass field, he came out to shoo him away. Belichick told Norwig to "get away from my [expletive] player" according to several sources. A surprised Norwig left and later could be seen talking and laughing about the incident with several Steelers doctors on the sideline.

Romano said he often has gone onto the field when a player looks seriously hurt. He said he got there after Belichick spoke with Norwig and did not hear the conversation.

"We're there to help the teams and assist in any way we can," Romano said. "I have an ambulance in place to take a player off right away."

Earlier in the game, Patriots safety Rodney Harrison also went down with what the Boston Globe reported as a torn right ACL. Steelers coach Bill Cowher walked onto the field to check on Harrison, which he has done occasionally when an opposing player is seriously injured. Belichick did not try to chase away Cowher.

Yesterday, the Steelers declined comment on the incident through a spokesman and the Patriots also had no comment. The topic did not come up at Belichick's news conference yesterday.

Sources told the Post-Gazette that the requested crutches and the pain medication were provided by the Steelers to the Patriots for Light, whom they said had a broken leg.

"We were later on asked to come to the room and provide treatment for the player, which we did," Romano said.

Jude Wanniski, Requiescat in pace.

Bob Novak tells of the passing of one of the most influential men you don't know.

Jude Wanniski might have been called the most important journalist of his time, except that the former reporter and editorial writer was never really a journalist. He was an advocate who changed the world. He fathered supply-side economics, which became the doctrine of the Republican Party and enabled it to be the nation's ruling party most of the last half-century.

When Wanniski died of a heart attack Monday, he was at the low point of his political influence. The doors of the mighty that opened for him in the '70s and '80s long had been closed. In an introduction to the 1998 edition of his book The Way the World Works, I wrote that our friendship had endured for 20 years because I did not make the mistake of others in trying to change his mind. Alas, I was turned away by his recent accusations of neoconservative war-mongering conspiracy and saw little of him the last two years. Jude was easy to love and hard to get along with.

Wanniski was a genius, the smartest man I ever met. While he made his living as an economic consultant, his real profession was changing the way the world worked. He had taught himself economics as he learned card counting while a young reporter in Las Vegas. He saw the world in intricate detail but also with a panoramic view from above. He knew the Reagan tax cuts would generate economic growth. He was certain a return to the gold standard would have sustained non-inflationary growth.

Jude was in search of a politician to become the perfect instrument of his policies, and the closest he ever came was Jack Kemp. Wanniski's real choice for president in 1980 was Kemp, but he settled for Ronald Reagan. Supply-side principles that Wanniski enunciated in Wall Street Journal editorials were embodied in the Kemp-Roth tax cut bill, which became Reagan's tax cuts. At the 1980 and 1984 Republican national conventions, Kemp presided over strategy meetings that were orchestrated by Wanniski.
Wanniski talked about being a teenage Democrat ringing doorbells for Adlai Stevenson before he became a Republican, but he never was much of a Republican. He always was looking for a Democratic supply-sider, preaching to Jerry Brown, Mario Cuomo, Bill Bradley, Charlie Rangel and Bill Clinton. He even had hope for John Kerry, whom he endorsed in 2004 because of his opposition to the Iraq war.

The presidential candidate who was the worst fit for Wanniski was Bob Dole in the 1996 campaign, based on a misunderstanding. Dole thought he was taking on an economic adviser to make him more acceptable to the supply-siders. He found in Wanniski a polymath who wanted to set policies on everything, and Dole was not buying that. It was Wanniski who fired Dole, not the other way around.

The professional campaign consultants wanted no part of Wanniski. He talked Steve Forbes into running for president in 1996 and then was barred from the premises. When Kemp became Dole's running mate that year, Wanniski was kept out. It is hard to imagine a freethinking Wanniski in the buttoned-down regime of George W. Bush.

St. Jude is the patron of lost causes, and Jude Wanniski lived up to his name. He saw qualities others missed in Richard Nixon, Ngo Dinh Diem, Roberto D'Aubuisson, Saddam Hussein, Augusto Pinochet, Fidel Castro and Raul Cedras. He tried hard to prove that Ferdinand Marcos really won the 1986 Philippine election after trying to steal it. He antagonized clients with his warm embrace of Louis Farrakhan.

The tragedy of Jude Wanniski was that all of his colleagues and friends ended up alienated or at least estranged from him: Arthur Laffer, Robert Mundell, Lawrence Hunter, even Jack Kemp. They were the losers. So was I. It was not Jude's anti-war views (which I largely shared), but the ferocity of his attacks on the Bush administration that kept me away.

I missed hearing his brilliant and cogent theories and his overriding optimism. He appeared on the national scene with a political-economic strategy that convinced Americans they need not be content with double-digit interest rates, double-digit inflation and high unemployment. That is a powerful legacy.

Rangel contra "Bill O'Connor".

Since I'm nothing but a bourgeois honky, I never "get" the hip and cool references of America's professional racialists like Congressthing Charlie Rangel of New York.

Check out the
audio from one of Chuckles myriad rants at The Political Teen.

I really want to understand the poor and oppressed like Rangel, but look what happens when you search for "Bill O'Connor" .

There are just too many. Any of the cool kids out there in Bloggerville care to help?

I did not know that.

The US juvenile cancer cure rate is 78%.

You can thank the large, obscene-profit-making drug companies and the many rich doctors out there worried about who's going to sue them next.

I'm not a lawyer, but I did actually read the Delay indictment...

...or, This is what you get when you criminalize free speech.

The indictment may be viewed here.

You should know that Ronnie Earle blew through five Grand Juries before he found one he could persuade to indict DeLay.

Also, Earle has commented profusely and publicly on the case. That is more than enough to get him removed from office and disbarred.

Don Adams, Requiescat in pace.

First Gilligan, and now Agent 86. (BTW, "86" was bartender code for a guy who'd had a few too many.)

Even KAOS must be in mourning.

(And don't forget Tennessee Tuxedo and Inspector Gadget!)

Don Adams, the wry-voiced comedian who starred as the fumbling secret agent Maxwell Smart in the 1960s TV spoof of James Bond movies, "Get Smart," has died. He was 82.

Adams died of a lung infection late Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, his friend and former agent Bruce Tufeld said Monday, adding that the actor broke his hip a year ago and had been in ill health since.

As the inept Agent 86 of the super-secret federal agency CONTROL, Adams captured TV viewers with his antics in combatting the evil agents of KAOS. When his explanations failed to convince the villains or his boss, he tried another tack:

"Would you believe ... ?"

It became a national catchphrase.

Smart was also prone to spilling things on the desk or person of his boss -- the Chief (actor Edward Platt). Smart's apologetic "Sorry about that, chief" also entered the American lexicon.

The spy gadgets, which aped those of the Bond movies, were a popular feature, especially the pre-cellphone telephone in a shoe.

Smart's beautiful partner, Agent 99, played by Barbara Feldon, was as brainy as he was dense, and a plot romance led to marriage and the birth of twins later in the series.

"He had this prodigious energy, so as an actor working with him it was like being plugged into an electric current," Feldon said from New York. "He would start and a scene would just take off and you were there for the ride. It was great fun acting with him."

Adams was very intelligent, she said, a quality that suited the satiric show that had comedy geniuses Mel Brooks and Buck Henry behind it.

"He wrote poetry, he had an interest in history ... He had that other side to him that does not come through Maxwell Smart," she said. "Don in person was anything but bumbling."

Adams had an "amazing memory" that allowed him to take an unusual approach to filming, Feldon said.

Instead of learning his lines ahead of time he would have a script assistant read his part to him just once or twice. He invariably got it right but that didn't stop people from placing bets on it, she recounted.

Adams, who had been under contract to NBC, was lukewarm about doing a spy spoof. When he learned that Brooks and Henry had written the pilot script, he accepted immediately. "Get Smart" debuted on NBC in September 1965 and scored No. 12 among the season's most-watched series and No. 22 in its second season.

"Get Smart" twice won the Emmy for best comedy series with three Emmys for Adams as comedy actor.

CBS picked up the show but the ratings fell off as the jokes seemed repetitive, and it was canceled after four seasons. The show lived on in syndication and a cartoon series. In 1995 the Fox network revived the series with Smart as chief and 99 as a congresswoman. It lasted seven episodes.

Adams never had another showcase to display his comic talent.

"It was a special show that became a cult classic of sorts, and I made a lot of money for it," he remarked of "Get Smart" in a 1995 interview. "But it also hindered me career-wise because I was typed. The character was so strong, particularly because of that distinctive voice, that nobody could picture me in any other type of role."

He was born Donald James Yarmy in New York City on April 13, 1923, Tufeld said, although some sources say 1926 or '27. The actor's father was a Hungarian Jew who ran a few small restaurants in the Bronx.

In a 1959 interview Adams said he never cared about being funny as a kid: "Sometimes I wonder how I got into comedy at all. I did movie star impressions as a kid in high school. Somehow they just got out of hand."

In 1941, he dropped out of school to join the Marines. In Guadalcanal he survived the deadly blackwater fever and was returned to the States to become a drill instructor, acquiring the clipped delivery that served him well as a comedian.

After the war he worked in New York as a commercial artist by day, doing standup comedy in clubs at night, taking the surname of his first wife, Adelaide Adams. His following grew, and soon he was appearing on the Ed Sullivan and late-night TV shows. Bill Dana, who had helped him develop comedy routines, cast him as his sidekick on Dana's show. That led to the NBC contract and "Get Smart."

Adams, who married and divorced three times and had seven children, served as the voice for the popular cartoon series, "Inspector Gadget" as well as the voice of Tennessee Tuxedo. In 1980, he appeared as Maxwell Smart in a feature film, "The Nude Bomb," about a madman whose bomb destroyed people's clothing.

Tufeld said funeral arrangements were incomplete.
(Thanks to the Sioux City Journal for this obituary.)

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, three of the Archangels. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is Apocalypse 12:7-12.
Today's Gospel reading is John 1:47-51.

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

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


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, September 28, 2005

I'll laugh myself silly if the Repansycans lose control of Congress because of THIS.

From Inside Politics by Greg Pierce of The Washington Times:

"If Democrats retake the House next year, we can mark the start of the party's resurgence to a speech Nancy Pelosi delivered on Capitol Hill last week," Brendan Miniter writes at www.OpinionJournal.com.

"It was there, at a press conference called to attack Republicans over their response to Hurricane Katrina, that the House minority leader actually used the words 'waste, fraud and abuse' in talking about government spending," Mr. Miniter said.

"What Ms. Pelosi and a few other Democrats seem to be figuring out in the wake of Katrina is that Americans aren't happy with their government throwing billions of dollars around with little if any accountability. Therefore, she's laying out a legislative agenda aimed at capturing the mantle of fiscal responsibility.

"So far that agenda includes calling for an 'antifraud commission' to look into Katrina spending as well as an independent examination -- modeled after the 9/11 commission -- of the government's response to the monster storm. And, of course, her party has long attacked Republicans for deficit spending and no-bid contracts to Halliburton in Iraq. A Halliburton subsidiary is already coming under scrutiny for receiving a contract to help rebuild the Gulf Coast.

"What Ms. Pelosi is now counting on is that as Republican spending goes through the roof, obstructionism might finally pay off for Democrats.

"This may come as a shock to some on the right. It shouldn't.

Republicans have held the House for almost 12 years and have occupied the White House for all but eight of the past 25 years, yet they have failed to shut off the spending valves in Washington. It was only a matter of time before Democrats ran against wasteful Republican spending."

Gee, I guess the Clinton jug band didn't make it past customs.

Artistic ambassadors

The classic music of Paderewski and Chopin will be performed at the Library of Congress this evening with the hope that such artistic works will be resurrected as an important part of U.S. diplomacy.

"When great music is wedded to cultural exchange, it transforms and raises the human spirit and allows for artistic values to traverse cultural and political differences," explains John Robilette, a concert pianist who will perform at the 7:30 p.m. program, entitled "Great Music, America and the World: The Emotional and Political Power of the Arts as Statecraft."

With the support of President Reagan more than two decades ago, Mr. Robilette established the Artistic Ambassador Program, which sent "musical ambassadors" from the United States to 63 countries to perform, teach and interact with students and artists.

The program had "extraordinary" impact during the Cold War, with the Bangkok Post observing: "With artistic ambassadors like these, why does America need a naval presence?"

Because it is more difficult to kill bad guys with a flute.

Tonight's performance will be hosted by Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman, chairman of the Senate Arts Caucus and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who says the music exchange program is one proven way "to improve America's public diplomacy." (Thanks to Inside the Beltway/The Washington Times for the heads up.)

What will CuriousGeorge FlyingBushMonkey gonna do with this one?

Bush Near End of O'Connor Successor Search...

Trust, but verify, kiddies.

We'll get that death toll over 10,000 one way or another!

Arkansas Clinic Offers Free Abortions To Hurricane Evacuees...

A doctor has offered to perform free abortions on hurricane evacuees, saying it may be too dangerous for them to wait (Emphasis mine.) until they return home.

Despite protests from abortion opponents, Little Rock Family Planning clinic director Dr. Jerry Edwards said he has already performed six free abortions. The clinic usually charges between $525 and $600 for a first-trimester abortion.

"If we didn't provide it now, they would get it later — a late-term abortion that would give greater risk to the mother's health," Edwards told KTHV-TV in Little Rock.

NASA administrator says space shuttle and space station were mistakes.

Yep. Welcome to the real world, Mr. Griffin.

I'll bet you $20 he doesn't call for the government to get out of the space business.

The space shuttle and International Space Station — nearly the whole of the U.S. manned space program for the past three decades — were mistakes, NASA chief Michael Griffin said Tuesday.

In a meeting with USA TODAY's editorial board, Griffin said NASA lost its way in the 1970s, when the agency ended the Apollo moon missions in favor of developing the shuttle and space station, which can only orbit Earth.

“It is now commonly accepted that was not the right path,” Griffin said. “We are now trying to change the path while doing as little damage as we can.”

The shuttle has cost the lives of 14 astronauts since the first flight in 1982. Roger Pielke Jr., a space policy expert at the University of Colorado, estimates that NASA has spent about $150 billion on the program since its inception in 1971. The total cost of the space station by the time it's finished — in 2010 or later — may exceed $100 billion, though other nations will bear some of that.

Only now is the nation's space program getting back on track, Griffin said. He announced last week that NASA aims to send astronauts back to the moon in 2018 in a spacecraft that would look like the Apollo capsule.

The goal of returning Americans to the moon was laid out by President Bush in 2004, before Griffin took the top job at NASA. Bush also said the shuttle would be retired in 2010.

Griffin has made clear in previous statements that he regards the shuttle and space station as misguided. He told the Senate earlier this year that the shuttle was “deeply flawed” and that the space station was not worth “the expense, the risk and the difficulty” of flying humans to space.

But since he became NASA administrator, Griffin hasn't been so blunt about the two programs.

Asked Tuesday whether the shuttle had been a mistake, Griffin said, “My opinion is that it was. … It was a design which was extremely aggressive and just barely possible.” Asked whether the space station had been a mistake, he said, “Had the decision been mine, we would not have built the space station we're building in the orbit we're building it in.”

Joe Rothenberg, head of NASA's manned space programs from 1995 to 2001, defended the programs for providing lessons about how to operate in space. But he conceded that “in hindsight, there may have been other ways.”

Nope, didn't think so. All you suckers, send me your twenties.

Democrass apparatchik Ronnie Earle indicts Tom DeLay...

...for being a Republican!

Saith Mr. DeLay in reply:

This morning, in an act of blatant political partisanship, a rogue district attorney in Travis County, Texas named Ronnie Earle charged me with one count of criminal conspiracy, a reckless charge wholly unsupported by the facts.

This is one of the weakest, most baseless indictments in American history.

It is a sham, and Mr. Earle knows it.

It is a charge that can not hold up even under the most glancing scrutiny.

This act is the product of a coordinated, premeditated campaign of political retribution, the all-too-predictable result of a vengeful investigation led by a partisan fanatic.

Mr. Earle is abusing the power of his office to exact personal revenge for the role I played in the Texas Republican legislative campaign in 2002 and my advocacy for a new, fair and constitutional congressional map for our state in 2003. (Thanks to the LA Times for not demanding Mr.DeLay's summary execution.)

Bob Dylan is much cooler than most of his so-called fans.

I told you, I told you, I told you.

And he is infinitely cooler than any music critic who loved his stuff or hated it.

In the fall of 1964 I was living in a rented room in north London. The house was owned by a lady who had misplaced her husband somehow — I don’t recall the details. She had a son and a daughter living at home. The daughter was in her early twenties, and working. The son was about my age — I was 19 — and a student at the local art college. I didn’t know much about the art-school scene, and the little I knew I didn’t much like, so I can’t say I found the guy very simpatico. We got on all right, though; and living in the same house, we occasionally sat and talked about this or that, when neither of us had anything better to do.

One evening I went to the guy’s room to borrow something. He was sitting there listening to a record — one of the old vinyl LPs, of course. He signaled me to sit down and be quiet till the song had finished. I sat on the bed listening to the song. It was like nothing I’d ever heard before.

The voice was obviously American, which made a nice change. These were the glory years of British rock, and mostly what you heard from the radio and friends’ stereos was either the Mersey sound or its London echo (the Stones, Manfred Mann, the Who). The backing was a single acoustic guitar. That was all right, even in this age of thumping groups; I’d been hanging out at some folk clubs, and quite liked the folk sound. This wasn’t much like regular folk, though, neither the antiquarian Sir-Jasper-stole-my-precious-rose style of the English singers nor the sweet-aching prison ballads of the back-country U.S.A. This guy was talking right to you as an equal, trying, almost a little too hard, to tell you something, albeit in a sort of mangled and self-consciously “poetic” diction:

Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled talesFor the disrobed faceless forms of no position — Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts,All down in taken-for-granted situations…

Most striking of all was the voice. It wasn’t a pleasant voice in any conventional way — not at all melodious or expressive. It snagged you and stuck to you though, somehow, like Velcro (which had not, in point of fact, been invented yet). You couldn’t get away. I couldn’t get away — I clearly remember that. I asked some questions.

“Why, it’s Bobby Dylan,” said my companion, in the airy tone of someone who’d been to school with ol’ Bobby and knew his family and dated his sister. That was a thing I disliked about the art-school crowd: They were always way ahead of everyone else on trends and coolness, and made sure you knew it. There were other things I disliked too, mainly the way they popped strange little pills all the time.

As artistic first impressions go, I think that was the deepest I ever experienced. I still recall the strangeness of that voice and the things it was saying, the strangeness. It sounded like nothing else at all. Of course, I had come late to Dylan. This was his fourth LP, and in the earlier ones, which I went out and bought more or less immediately, he did sometimes sound like other people, though it took me a lot of background listening to appreciate the fact.

Dylan, in fact, had done what all great artists do. He had begun by attempting dead-on imitations of his own idols: 1950s pop singers like Johnnie Ray, country singers like Hank Williams, the black blues and gospel singers, early rockers like Gene Vincent and Little Richard (the caption to Dylan’s high school yearbook photo declared his ambition “to join Little Richard”), and of course the older line of gritty folk and protest balladeers — Cisco Houston, Woody Guthrie.

Then, somehow, from all that stuff banging around in his head for years on end, all day long for years, there emerged a sound that was his own; not a mere blend or a mixture (in the chemical sense), but a compound (in the chemical sense), a new substance with new properties, as far removed from its components as salt is from soft shiny sodium and stinking chlorine. There you have the miracle of art. The 2004 movie Ray gave a glimpse of this same process. And then, to pile miracle upon miracle, the artist pushed his style forward in unexpected, sometimes unwelcome, directions, re-inventing himself over and over, while yet somehow holding on to a core of Dylan-ness.

YES YES YES! Ex-freakin'-actly!

Well, having been thus Dylan-struck early on in life, I naturally watched the Martin Scorsese bio of Dylan, No Direction Home, on PBS the other night. The thing I most wanted to learn, the thing I always hope to learn from bios of highly creative people, is: Where does it come from? This is a futile hope, as no one really has a clue, least of all the artist himself. Socrates found that out long ago.

I went to the poets … I took them some of the most elaborate passages in their own writings, and asked what was the meaning of them — thinking that they would teach me something. … I must say that there is hardly a person present who would not have talked better about their poetry than they did themselves. That showed me in an instant that not by wisdom do poets write poetry, but by a sort of genius and inspiration; they are like diviners or soothsayers who also say many fine things, but do not understand the meaning of them. — The Apology

That is scary, but true.

Compare Dylan, saying in Scorsese’s film: “I don’t know where it comes from.” Nobody does, Bob. I suppose the sociobiologists have come up with something to explain the peculiar, bone-deep thrill you get from certain voices doing certain things. Perhaps there was some sort of group advantage, way back in the Paleolithic, to having a person who could bind the tribe together with vocal charismatics. I think I myself am more than usually susceptible to this, but I have never really understood the roots of it.

Scorsese had the good sense to play down the “protest” side of the early Dylan. That stuff was in the air, of course, and Dylan could hardly have helped but pick it up, given the crowd he was hanging out with. He got some fine numbers out of it, too. Watching the footage of him and Pete Seeger singing their songs in a field crowded with civil-rights people and black southerners, you got a flavor of the idealism and, yes, patriotism that carried the movement along. And of course, brave deeds were done and great things accomplished. It needs a constant effort, though, watching that footage now, to push away the thought of how many hopes were not fulfilled — of how, in some ways, black and white Americans are still as far apart as ever. Also, even more distressing, to see that fine idealism from 40 years on, and notice the slight aura of silliness and moral preening that flickered around it. I found myself looking at the faces of the black people in that field, and wondering what they were thinking. Scorsese, always one step ahead of you, has one of them tell us: “Who was this white kid from New York talking about walking hard roads? It was my father that walked those roads. White people don’t have hard times…”

Dylan, in any case, though he could see the injustice — anyone with eyes could see it — and felt what his peers felt, was never much interested in politics, except as a source for lyrics. Dylan was, and is, all music, all through. Watching him talking on the Scorsese film, he does not really come across as very bright. For sure he is not very articulate. Musical people rarely are, and pop musicians practically never. (I once saw an interview with Mick Jagger. I hope I get a clean run to the grave without ever having to see another one.)

The lesson to be learned here is, kiddies, to enjoy the music and the lyrics and totally ignore anything else. Especially the politics, but also the clothes and (please!) the haircuts. Take it from me, a guy who has been burned by everyone from Springsteen to R.E.M.

Not that Dylan didn’t sometimes have a way with words. A very literary person of my acquaintance, a published poet, once told me that he thought “the dog up and died” (from “Mister Bojangles”) one of the loveliest lines in the English language. I could bring forth 100 better candidates for that particular award, but I do see my friend’s point. If you write as many lyrics as Dylan, though, and have a musician’s feel for the rhythmic properties of language, you are bound to come up with good lines once in a while. Hank Williams, who was next to illiterate, wrote some very beautiful lines.

Dylan was a generation younger than Williams, and from the north-midwest, not the south. The “old, weird America” of carny freak shows, town drunks, ragged mystics, stoical beaten-down Negroes, and long dusty roads with the hope of something better at the end, was slipping away even in Dylan’s childhood. He reached out and grabbed at it as it fled, though, and ripped off a corner of its strange starry cloak, and turned it into songs, by the miracle of art. I thought Scorsese did a pretty good job on the man and his music; but really, the music is all there is — and goodness knows, it ought to be enough for anyone.
(Thanks to John Derbyshire of NRO for the heads up.)

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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