Featured Post

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, November 11, 2005

Marriage lowers the male sex drive.

And all over the world, wives are saying...(Insert punchline here.)

From News.com.au:

BAD luck, dad. Scientists have found testosterone levels are lower in husbands and fathers than in bachelors.Carefree single men have the most testosterone - the male sex hormone which governs aggression and sexual appetite - while married men have less and those with the responsibility of children have the least.

A US study shows single men have twice as much as fathers of a similar age.

Experts believe the fluctuations could be nature's way of encouraging men in relationships to settle down.

Psychologists say it's sensible from an evolutionary point of view. Testosterone prompts males to seek out females and to mate.

"Republican Main Street Partnership"

Want a list of left-fascist Repansycan elected officials to target for defeat? This list is a great place to start. (Memo To Curt Weldon: Get your name off this list before its too late.)

Republican Main Street Partnership
Congressional Members
109th Congress

Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island
Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine
Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia
Sen. John McCain, Arizona
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska
Sen. Gordon Smith, Oregon
Sen. Olympia Snowe, Maine
Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania
Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska

Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire
Rep. Judy Biggert, Illinois
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, New York
Rep. Mary Bono, California
Rep. Jeb Bradley, New Hampshire
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida
Rep. Ken Calvert, California
Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia
Rep. Michael Castle, Delaware
Rep. Thomas Davis, III, Virginia
Rep. Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania
Rep. David Dreier, California
Rep. Vernon Ehlers, Michigan
Rep. Mark Foley, Florida
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey
Rep. Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland
Rep. Paul Gillmor, Ohio
Rep. Kay Granger, Texas
Rep. David Hobson, Ohio
Rep. Nancy Johnson, Connecticut
Rep. Timothy Johnson, Illinois
Rep. Sue Kelly, New York
Rep. John R. Kuhl, New York
Rep. Mark Kirk, Illinois
Rep. Jim Kolbe, Arizona
Rep. Ray LaHood, Illinois
Rep. Steven LaTourette, Ohio
Rep. Jim Leach, Iowa
Rep. Jerry Lewis, California
Rep. Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey
Rep. Jim McCrery, Louisiana
Rep. Tom Osborne, Nebraska
Rep. Thomas Petri, Wisconsin
Rep. Todd Platts, Pennsylvania
Rep. Jon Porter, Nevada
Rep. Deborah Pryce, Ohio
Rep. Jim Ramstad, Minnesota
Rep. Ralph Regula, Ohio
Rep. Joe Schwarz, Michigan
Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut
Rep. Robert Simmons, Connecticut
Rep. Michael Turner, Ohio
Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan
Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon
Rep. James Walsh, New York
Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania
Rep. Jerry Weller, Illinois

Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Maryland
Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaii
Gov. George Pataki, New York
Gov. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California
(Thanks to Michelle Malkin for the heads up.)

Malkin names Repansycan names. (And they're on Geoge Soros' payroll!)

Michelle's been on a roll of late. It's a beautiful thing.

By Michelle Malkin · November 10, 2005 10:41 AM

Reader reaction to the GOP cave-in on ANWR has been overwhelming. I'm reprinting just a small sample of letters that came in this morning from conservatives fed-up with Republican "leadership."

Update 1120am EST. I'll keep adding letters throughout the day.

Update 1145am EST. Many of you are asking for the list of the anti-drilling Republicans. The group who succeeded in pressuring the GOP to cave in calls itself the "Republican Main Street Partnership." They're holding a press conference at 130pm EST in Washington, D.C. to bray about their "victory." Here's some more info:

Main Street Leaders who helped broker the deal to eliminate ANWR from budget cuts: Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH), Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Jim Walsh (R-NY), Rep. Joe Schwarz (R-MI), RMSP Executive Director Sarah Chamberlain Resnick

Here's the complete list of "Main Street" members in Congress.

1pm EST. Guess who is funding the "Main Street" moderates? George Soros and friends. (Hat tip: David Martosko)

Is Machine Gun Sammy soft on the fascist hate crime known as the Roe v. Wade decision?

The LA Times obviously hopes Bush found himself a Kennedy Catholic instead of a Scalia or Thomas Catholic.

Some antiabortion groups are starting to wonder whether Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. is as strong an ally of their cause as opponents have depicted him.

Although he has been wholeheartedly embraced by most major conservative groups, those whose sole mission (Ooooh! People who dare to believe something different than the Times! - F. G.) is to restrict and prohibit abortion have reservations about the latest Supreme Court nominee as they learn more about his record on the divisive issue.

"I don't know what his personal views are, but I know that he has ruled on pro-life cases four times and he has ruled against pro-life positions three times. And the fourth was a split decision," said Richard Collier, president of the Legal Center for the Defense of Life, based in Morristown, N.J.

"If you look at the paper trail, it is all negative."

Another group from New Jersey — Alito's home state and the jurisdiction where many of his rulings as an appeals court judge have had a direct effect — is also concerned.

"There's a big question mark about what he would do" on the Supreme Court, said Marie Tasy, executive director of New Jersey Right to Life.

"We certainly hope that Judge Alito is all the things that our opponents claim he is, but we don't know that yet."

Remember, Big Babykilling attacked Miers at the beginning, then became strangely silent.

A leading antiabortion group, the National Right to Life Committee, has not taken a formal position on Alito's nomination, but the organization's website suggests that the group considers his record on abortion to be mixed at best.

"In examining his record, there are four principal abortion-related cases," the group's website states. "Judge Alito voted in favor of the pro-life side once and against it three times."

Americans United for Life, a national organization of antiabortion attorneys, believes his record is ambiguous.

Alito's rulings "give no clear indication one way or another," said Clarke D. Forsythe, director of the group's Project in Law and Bioethics.

"They reflect his status as a Circuit Court judge applying precedent, and to me they give no indication of how he would vote" on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling on abortion.

In short, Forsythe said, abortion foes are of two minds on Alito: "Many have hope and many are withholding judgment.

"Major social conservative groups such as the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America have endorsed Alito without reservation.

But the chief counsel of Concerned Women for America, Jan M. LaRue, said the group considered more than just abortion in backing him, particularly Alito's rulings in support of religious liberties.

LaRue said that in cases where Alito ruled against positions that some considered antiabortion, he was not expressing his own views but simply applying existing precedents, including Roe.

"The opinions I've read show a Circuit Court judge who recognizes what all the lower-court judges recognize, which is that they can't overrule the Supreme Court," LaRue said.

The bottom line? Roe is bad law. Any judge dedicated to the rule of law will vote to overturn it. "Precedent" built on bad law is not precedent and must be ignored.

The pathetic whimpers of Ol' King Goober II echo down the long hallway of irrelevance.

He should be thankful he's not locked in a prison cell with guys who like cottage cheese thighs. But that would be too much to ask of an arch-megalomaniac.

Former president Bill Clinton called Congress' impeachment of him an "egregious" abuse of the Constitution and challenged those who say history will judge him poorly because of his White House tryst with Monica Lewinsky.

Speaking at an academic conference examining his presidency here Thursday, Clinton challenged historian Douglas Brinkley's comments in a newspaper interview that Clinton would be deemed a great president were it not for his impeachment.

"I completely disagree with that," Clinton said in his speech at Hofstra University. "You can agree with that statement, but only if you think impeachment was justified. Otherwise, it was an egregious abuse of the Constitution and law and history of our country."

Clinton was acquitted by the Senate of perjury and obstruction of justice at his 1999 impeachment trial, which he argued was not about what he called his "misconduct."

"Now if you want to hold it against me that I did something wrong, that's a fair deal," he said. "If you do that, then you have a whole lot of other questions, which is how many other presidents do you have to downgrade and what are you going to do with all those Republican congressmen, you know, that had problems?"

Ha! Problems! His problem is he's a sociopath.

Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins, after all...

Click to enlarge.

Ah...the mysteries of the East...

Click to enlarge.

Is it leadership, or just regular crazy?

By the end he bypassed leadership and evolved into a politician.

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 any 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 11/13

Arizona (+3.5) at Detroit
The Crummy Game of the Week. They both stink. I'll pick Arizona.
FINAL: Lions 29 Cardinals 21 - Fyodor loses!

Baltimore (+6) at Jacksonville
The Brian Billick era draws to a close.I can only hope the Raiders hire him. Pick Jacksonville.
FINAL: Jaguars 30 Ravens 3 - Fyodor wins! (Matt Stover needs to find a new team.)

Houston (+17.5) at Indianapolis
Gingerly take the Texans and all those points.
FINAL: Colts 31 Texans 17 - Fyodor wins!

Kansas City (+2.5) at Buffalo
Another iffy game. I'll take the Chiefs.
FINAL: Bills 14 Chiefs 3 - Fyodor loses! (Huh?)

Vikings (+9) at NY Giants
Eli could use a big game, and wonder of wonders,here come the lowly Vikes. Take the Giants.
FINAL: Vikings 24 Giants 21 - Fyodor loses! (Eli? Hello?)

New England (-3) at Miami
I can't pick the Dolphins. Take the Patriots to cover.
FINAL: Patriots 23 Dolphins 16 - Fyodor wins!

San Francisco (+13) at Chicago
The Bears can't score 13 points. Take the 49ers to cover.
FINAL: Bears 17 49ers 9 - Fyodor wins! (Hooray mediocrity!)

Denver (-3) at Oakland
Broncos are better, but 3 better than the Raiders in Oakland? Yep. Take Denver.
FINAL: Broncos 31 Raiders 17 - Fyodor wins!

NY Jets (+9) at Carolina
Take the Panthers.
FINAL: Panthers 30 Jets 3 - Fyodor wins! (Reggie Bush, call your office.)

Green Bay (+9) at Atlanta
Packers keep it close, but lose, as usual. Take Green Bay and the points.
FINAL: Packers 33 Falcons 25 - Fyodor wins! (Memo To Mr. Vick: This is exactly why.)

St. Louis (+ 6.5) at Seattle
Seattle is improved but inconsistent. I'll take them to cover, but I wouldn't bet on it.
FINAL: Seahawks 31 Rams 16 - Fyodor wins!

Washington (-1) at Tampa Bay
The Crummy Game of the Week. Only gambling can make a man watch this one. (There's a hint, kiddies.) Take the Redskins and hold your nose.
FINAL: Bucs 36 Redskins 35 - Fyodor loses! (What's with all this scoring? Nice call, Coach Chucky.)

Cleveland (+8) at Pittsburgh
I just can't pick the Charlie Batch-led Steelers to cover. Take the Browns and the points.
FINAL: Steelers 34 Browns 21 - Fyodor loses! (1. Congratulations to Mr. Hines Ward, the Steelers new all-time reception leader. Mr. Ward is a gentleman off the field and a warrior on it. 2. A meaningless gambling loss. 3. Memo To Coach Cowher: Please start Randle-El at QB next week.)

Monday 11/14

Dallas (+3) at Philadelphia
The Eagles are done. Owens is gone, McNabb should be recovering from surgery, they have no running game, and the defense has been disappointing. Take the Cowboys.
FINAL: Cowboys 21 Eagles 20 - Fyodor wins!

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 any 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 11/12

Northwestern (+19) at Ohio State
This number is way too big. Take Northwestern to cover.
FINAL: Ohio State 48 Northwestern 7 - Fyodor loses! (Wildcats turn back into a pumpkin.)

Maryland (+3) at North Carolina
I'll take UNC at home.
FINAL: Maryland 33 UNC 30 - Fyodor loses! (Ack!)

Florida State (-1.5) at Clemson
"They" are beggin' me to take FSU. And so I shall.
FINAL: Clemson 35 FSU 14 - Fyodor loses! (Wow.)

Florida (-4) at South Carolina
Florida has not impressed me. I'll bet Spurrier gets the Gamecocks fired up enough to cover the 4.
FINAL: South Carolina 30 Florida 22 - Fyodor wins! (Too bad I can't stand Coach Superior.)

Navy (+23.5) at Notre Dame
A huge number, plus Navy always plays them tough, plus ND can't seem to play all out for an entire game. Take the Midshipmen and the points.
FINAL: Notre Dame 42 Navy 21 - Fyodor wins!

Memphis (+18) at Tennessee
The Tigers aren't very good, but neither are the Vols. Take Memphis and the points.
FINAL: Tennessee 20 Memphis 16 - Fyodor wins!

Georgia Tech (+3.5) at Virginia
I'll take Tech in a mild upset.
FINAL: Virginia 27 Georgia Tech 17 - Fyodor loses! (Oh, never mind.)

Kansas (+33.5) at Texas
One more big Longhorn win. Pick Texas.
FINAL: Texas 66 Kansas 14 - Fyodor wins!

Iowa (+2.5) at Wisconsin
The Badgers at home saying farewell to Barry Alvarez? They'll cover.
FINAL: Iowa 20 Wisconsin 10 - Fyodor loses! (A fitting end to the Alvarez era.)

LSU (-3) at Alabama
'Bama can't score, but they have a great defense. Gotta go with the home team 6 to 3.
FINAL: LSU 16 Alabama 13 - PUSH! (Scary. I picked Alabama and predicted the push. Or maybe just stupid.)

USC (-19) at California
Cal is done. Trojans by four touchdowns.
FINAL: USC 35 California 10 - Fyodor wins!

Miami (-17) at Wake Forest
The 'Canes have remembered they're good. Pick Miami.
FINAL: Miami 47 Wake Forest 17 - Fyodor wins!

Colorado (-2.5) at Iowa State
I don't like the Buffs on the road, but they are the better team. Take Colorado.
FINAL: Iowa State 30 Colorado 16 - Fyodor loses! (I should know better than to pick Colorado. Next time, somebody stop me.)

Arizona State (+3.5) at UCLA
I'd stay away from this one. The Bruins could be devastated or really angry. Take UCLA if you must.
FINAL: UCLA 45 ASU 35 - Fyodor wins! (I guess they were angry enough.)

Auburn (+3) at Georgia
My Hunch of the Week. Pick Auburn.
FINAL: Auburn 31 Georgia 30 - Fyodor wins! (Hooray hunches!)

Steve Courson, Requiescat in pace.

Steelers greats Steve Courson and Mike "Iron Mike" Webster on the bench in 1983. Webster died Sept. 24, 2002, at the age of 50. [Eric Felack/Tribune-Review News Service file]

Former Steelers defensive end L.C. Greenwood used to look down from his locker and marvel at the massive kid from Gettysburg in camouflage fatigues. Then, he'd blurt out his usual comment.

"I think Steve Courson's in the room, but we can't see him," Greenwood said Thursday, releasing a soft chuckle.

Greenwood reminisced about his former teammate, an offensive lineman with the Steelers from 1978-83, after learning of Courson's death.

Courson, 50, was killed yesterday afternoon when a dead tree he was clearing from his property in Fayette County fell on him. State police said Courson, of Henry Clay Township, near Farmington, was using a chain saw to cut down the tree when it struck him and his dog.

The dog, which police think Courson may have been trying to save, was taken to a veterinarian.

Is that really necessary? I mean, who really cares about the dog? I certainly hope Mr. Courson wasn't killed because he was trying to save his dog. You can always buy another dog, after all.

Police said the tree, which they described as 44 feet tall with a circumference of 5 feet, was dead but still standing. Courson had been working alone, and his body was discovered by a neighbor shortly before 1 p.m.

A statement released by Steelers President Art Rooney II read: "We are saddened to learn of the sudden and untimely death of Steve Courson. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family and friends during this extremely difficult time.

"Steve was an integral member of our last two Super Bowl Championship teams, and returned to the Pittsburgh area after he retired from football."

Courson's former linemate, broadcaster Tunch Ilkin, was at Steelers practice on the South Side when he learned of the tragedy.

Courson became the ninth Steeler teammate of Ilkin's to suffer an untimely death, joining offensive linemen Mike Webster, Dan Turk, Tyrone McGriff, Justin Strzelczyk and Terry Long; linebacker David Little, quarterback David Woodley and defensive lineman Steve Furness.

May God have mercy on all their souls.

"I don't even know what to say -- it's hard," Ilkin said. "I guess it really shows the brevity of life. And our lives are like a puff of smoke."

Courson, who was traded to Tampa Bay after the 1983 season and retired two years later, seemed to squeeze every bit of life out of that puff, which included: legendary feats of strength on and off the field; playing on two Super Bowl teams; telling Sports Illustrated in a controversial and candid interview in 1985 that he had used steroids; writing a book about his steroid use titled, "False Glory," in 1991; suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy; waiting for a heart transplant, then getting himself off the transplant list by losing weight and living a healthier life.

He'd been working as a wellness, health and fitness consultant in recent years. Courson also spoke an estimated 100 times a year to youngsters about healthy alternatives to steroids, while also making an impact on the NFL's steroid policies.

Amen to that, Brother.

Ilkin had seen the many sides of Courson -- some good and some not so good.

"Steve almost died (in 1988)," Ilkin said. "He was lying in the hospital, and I was thinking he doesn't look good. But through diet and exercise he came back to health and was doing great. Matter of fact, at this stage of life, he looked fantastic.

"He got real trim. He was into the whole corporate health kick. He wanted to impact others."

During his days with the Steelers, Courson not only was known for his ability to bench press 500 pounds and dead lift 800, but also for his love of history, notably World War II and the Civil War.

"I remember going to his house in the middle of the afternoon, and he was watching reruns of 'The World at War,' " Ilkin said. "He was like a walking encyclopedia of the major battles."

Hence, the camouflage fatigues.

"Oh, yeah, he also had a camouflaged car," Greenwood said. "Steve was an interesting guy, no question. He was one of the original body builder-looking players. He was, as they say today, 'ripped' with muscle. And, he was a great guy."

Courson was an undersized defensive lineman in college at South Carolina when he began using steroids.

Courson, who for a time was an assistant coach at Trinity High School in Washington, Pa., filed a federal lawsuit in 1997 against the National Football League retirement board, claiming the pension board unfairly denied him full disability benefits.

He said that abuse of alcohol and anabolic steroids was rampant among professional football players and that both damaged his heart, putting him on a transplant list for a time. The lawsuit was dismissed by several federal courts.

Courson testified in 1989 as an expert witness in U.S. Senate judiciary hearings investigating steroid use in the NFL. He testified again in April at a House of Representatives hearing on the same subject.

But most of his time was spent warning young people about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

"I never thought that I would live to see the age of 50," Courson said last month in a talk to students at the Kittanning Area Middle School in Armstrong County.

"It was easy giving up drugs and alcohol because I knew if I didn't, I was going to die. Life is a lot better when you live it with a clear head."

Courson told the students his fame as a football player was meaningless unless he used it for good.

"Football is insignificant in comparison to what is important in life. There is no better feeling than teaching someone and helping someone better live their lives."

Amen to all that, Brother. May God have mercy on your soul.

The Repansycans can't get out of their own way...

...In fact, some of them are actively trying to trip up the rest.

Tax, spending cuts run into trouble in US Congress

The day when people of good will abandon the Republican Party to its fate is rapidly approaching, kiddies,

Just days after Republican election setbacks, two of the party's chief priorities -- reducing domestic spending and cutting taxes -- stalled in Congress on Thursday.

After a futile day of trying to coax enough wavering Republicans to support a $50 billion spending-cut bill, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives canceled a vote on the measure that is opposed by all House Democrats.

"We had not quite gotten there yet," House acting Majority Leader Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, told reporters as he announced Thursday's debate was being canceled on a bill that would have cut spending for some programs for the poor.

Blunt said leading Republicans would meet in coming days with "a handful of people with concerns" and "I think we'll have the votes next week" to pass the spending cuts.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the leading Democrat in the House, said, "It was a bill that was anti-family, anti-taxpayer, and anti-American."

Across Capitol Hill, a tax-cut bill that includes an extension of low taxes for some of the wealthiest Americans and is high on President George W. Bush's agenda, also hit a bump.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa came up short of votes for legislation that would have extended lower tax rates for dividends and capital gains beyond their 2008 expiration.

Grassley had to postpone a committee vote on the bill after he was unable to win the backing of fellow Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who questioned the bill's priorities.

Snowe said the tax bill should focus more narrowly on provisions, such as alternative minimum tax relief, that are about to expire. Snowe is concerned about huge budget deficits and said economic priorities had changed since Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma devastated the Gulf Coast region.

The budget bill ran into trouble in the House even though leaders late on Wednesday thought they had secured enough support from moderate Republicans, who objected to a proposal to open up Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling. (Thanks to Roto-Reuters for the heads up.)

From The Science Catches Up To Revelation Department:

Archaeologists digging at the purported biblical home of Goliath have unearthed a shard of pottery bearing an inscription of the Philistine's name, a find they claimed lends historical credence to the Bible's tale of David's battle with the giant.

While the discovery is not definitive evidence of Goliath's existence, it does support the Bible's depiction of life at the time the battle was supposed to have occurred, said Dr. Aren Maeir, a professor at Bar-Ilan University and director of the excavation.

"What this means is that at the time there were people there named Goliath," he said. "It shows us that David and Goliath's story reflects the cultural reality of the time." In the story, David slew Goliath with a slingshot.

Some scholars assert the story of David slaying the giant Goliath is a myth written down hundreds of years later. Maeir said finding the scraps lends historical credence to the biblical story.

The shard dates back to around 950 B.C., within 70 years of when biblical chronology asserts David squared off against Goliath, making it the oldest Philistine inscription ever found, the archaeologists said.

Scientists made the discovery at Tel es-Safi, a dig site in southern
Israel thought to be to be the location of the Philistine city of Gath.

Peace of the Day: Armistice Day.

Today is also Armistice Day. It commemorates the peace to end all war.

Today is Veterans Day...

Happy Veterans Day!

There are over 23 million US armed forces veterans alive today. Find one, shake his hand, and thank him for everything.

BTW, Happy belated birthday to the US Marine Corps, established November 10, 1775.

Hey...wait a minute...Isn't it about time John Bolton destroyed the UN?

The story of St. Martin of Tours.

From Catholic Online:

When Sulpicius Severus first met Martin of Tours he was stunned. Not only did the bishop offer him hospitality at his residence -- a monk's cell in the wilderness instead of a palace -- but Martin washed Sulpicius' hands before dinner and his feet in the evening. But Sulpicius was just the kind of person Martin showed the greatest honor to -- a humble man without any rank or privilege. People of nobility and position were turned away from his abbey by chalk cliffs, out of fear of the temptation to pride. From that visit, Sulpicius became Martin's disciple, friend, and biographer. Little is known of many of the saints who died in the early years of Christianity but thanks to Sulpicius, who wrote his first biography of Martin before the saint died and who talked to most of the people involved in his life, we have a priceless record of Martin's life.

Born in 315 or 316 in Pannonia, a Roman province that includes modern Hungary, Martin came into a world in transition. Christians were no longer persecuted by the Roman empire but Christianity was still not accepted by all. Martin's father, an Roman army officer who had risen through the ranks, remained faithful to the old religion and suspicious of this new sect, as did Martin's mother. Therefore it was Martin's own spiritual yearning and hunger that led him to secretly knock on the door of the local Christian church and beg to be made a catechumen -- when he was ten years old. In contemplative prayer, he found the time to be alone with God that he ached for. In the discussion of the mysteries, he found the truth he hoped for.

He was still an unbaptized catechumen when he was forced to join the army at 15. The Roman army apparently had a law that required sons of veterans to serve in the military. Still, Martin found this so far removed from his desire to be a Christian monk that he had to be held in chains before taking the military oath. Once the oath was administered he felt bound to obey. He was assigned to a ceremonial cavalry unit that protected the emperor and rarely saw combat. Like his father, he became an officer and eventually was assigned to garrison duty in Gaul (present-day France).
Even in the military Martin attempted to live the life of a monk. Though he was entitled to a servant because he was an officer, he insisted on switching roles with his servant, cleaning the servant's boots instead of the other way around!

It was on this garrison duty at Amiens that the event took place that has been portrayed in art throughout the ages. On a bitterly cold winter day, the young tribune Martin rode through the gates, probably dressed in the regalia of his unit -- gleaming, flexible armor, ridged helmet, and a beautiful white cloak whose upper section was lined with lambswool. As he approached the gates he saw a beggar, with clothes so ragged that he was practically naked. The beggar must have been shaking and blue from the cold but no one reached out to help him. Martin, overcome with compassion, took off his mantle. In one quick stroke he slashed the lovely mantle in two with his sword, handed half to the freezing man and wrapped the remainder on his own shoulders. Many in the crowd thought this was so ridiculous a sight that they laughed and jeered but some realized that they were seeing Christian goodness. That night Martin dreamed that he saw Jesus wearing the half mantle he had given the beggar. Jesus said to the angels and saints that surrounded him, "See! this is the mantle that Martin, yet a catechumen, gave me." When he woke, it was the "yet a catechumen" that spurred Martin on and he went immediately to be baptized. He was eighteen years old.

We don't know much about the two years that followed but his baptism must have fed his growing desire to make a total commitment to Christ, a commitment that was in conflict with his military role. This conflict came to a crisis when the nomad Franks and Allemanni invaded the empire.
It was the practice at the time to give money to soldiers before battle, in order to infuse the soldiers with a greater love of their country and desire to fight. When Julian lined up the soldiers in Gaul to give them their bounty, Martin refused to accept the money -- and to fight -- saying, "Put me in the front of the army, without weapons or armor; but I will not draw sword again. I am become the soldier of Christ." There seems to be no evidence that Martin had been in combat before so perhaps he never had to reconcile his Christian beliefs with war. In any case, it does seem an unfortunate time to make such a decision. Julian, furious at what he saw as cowardice, told Martin he would grant him his wish and put him right in the middle of battle the next day. Until that happened, he had Martin imprisoned. However, against all predictions and all explanation, the nomads sent word that they wanted to negotiate for peace and the battle was postponed. Martin was released from his prison and from the army.
Searching for direction in his new life, Martin wound up in Poitiers, seeking the guidance and example of Saint Hilary. Hilary wished to make this promising young man a priest but Martin, out of humility, refused even to be ordained a deacon. He finally agreed to be ordained an exorcist (someone who performed rituals for those who were sick or possessed) when Hilary told him his refusal meant that he thought he was too good for such a lowly job.

On a trip over the Alps to visit his parents, he was attacked by robbers who not only wanted to steal what he owned but threatened to take his life. Calm and unperturbed, Martin spoke to the robbers about God. One was so impressed he converted and became a law-abiding citizen who told his own story to Sulpicius years later.

But Martin was to find even more trouble in his own home town. Though his mother converted, his father stubbornly refused. When Martin began to denounce publicly the Arian heretics that were then in power throughout the empire -- even within the Church -- Martin was whipped and driven out of his own hometown!

He could not escape trouble by leaving. When he discovered that Hilary had been exiled from Poitiers as well for the same reason, Martin went to an island near Milan to live as a hermit. The Arians soon discovered that Hilary was even more trouble in exile, because of the writing he did, and let him come back. When Hilary returned to Poitiers, Martin was there to meet him and renew their old friendship. In order to fulfill Martin's call to solitude, Hilary gave Martin a wilderness retreat. As disciples came to Martin for direction, he founded a monastery for them called Ligug‚. It was there he performed the first of many miracles. When a catechumen died before baptism, Martin laid himself over the body and after several hours the man came back to life. Sulpicius also had talked to this man who was baptized immediately but lived many years after that. Martin remained in this monastery near his teacher and friend until after Hilary died.

This was still the era when bishops were chosen by the people and when the bishop of Tours died, the people decided they wanted an example of holiness as their new bishop. After that their choice was simple -- Martin. But as well as they knew his holiness, they also knew he would never agree to be a bishop so they conceived a trick. A citizen of Tours came to Martin and begged him to come visit his sick wife. When the kindhearted Martin got to Tours crowds of people came out of hiding and surrounded him. Unable to escape, he was swept into the city. The people may have been enthusiastic about their choice but the bishops there to consecrate the new bishop declared they were repelled by this dirty, ragged, disheveled choice. The people's reply was that they didn't choose Martin for his haircut, which could be fixed by any barber, but for his holiness and poverty, that only charity and grace could bring. Overwhelmed by the will of the crowds the bishops had no choice but to consecrate Martin.

Instead of living in a palace, Martin made his first home as bishop in a cell attached to a church in hopes of being able to maintain his lifestyle as a monk. But at that time bishops were more than spiritual pastors. With the Empire's administration disintegrating under outside invasion and internal conflict, often the only authority in a town like Tours was the bishop. People came to Martin constantly with questions and concerns that involved all the affairs of the area.

To regain some of his solitude Martin fled outside the city to live in a cabin made of branches. There he attracted as many as eighty disciples who wanted to follow him and founded the monastery of Marmoutiers. He kept in touch with Tours through priest representatives who reported to him and carried out his instructions and duties with the people.

It may seem from this that Martin did not get involved with what was going on but Martin was deeply committed to his responsibilities.
One of those responsibilities was, he felt, the missionary conversion of those who still held to various non-Christian beliefs. In those early days of Christianity such old beliefs survived in abundance. He did not attempt to convert these people from a high pulpit or from far away. His method was to travel from house to house and speak to people about God. Then he would organize the converts into a community under the direction of a priest of monk. In order to let them know of his continued love and to keep them following the faith, he would then visit these new communities regularly.

Of course he ran into resistance. In one rather ridiculous scene, locals decided to get back at him by dressing up as the gods. So in the middle of the night, he was visited by a waggish talkative Mercury, a doltish Jupiter, and an enthusiastically naked Venus, as well as various "wood spirits." Needless to say, he was unconvinced by this show.

In one town, when he tried to convince the locals to cut down a pine tree they venerated, they agreed -- but only if Martin would sit where the tree was going to fall! Martin seated himself directly under the path of the leaning tree and the townspeople began to cut from the other side. However, just as the tree began to topple, Martin made the sign of the cross and the tree fell in the opposite direction -- slowly enough to miss the fleeing townspeople. Martin won many converts that day.

Martin tore down many non-Christian temples and always built a Christian church in their place to make a point about true worship and give people a genuine replacement for their false idols. In once case when a huge tower was not torn down under his orders, a bolt of lightning came to destroy it after his prayers.

Martin was also dedicated to freeing of prisoners, so much so that when authorities, even the emperors, heard he was coming, they refused to see him because they knew he would request mercy for someone and they would be unable to refuse. Martin was so dedicated that few escaped his entreaties. One who didn't was a general named Avitianus who arrived at Tours with ranks of prisoners he intended to torture and execute the next day. As soon as Martin heard of this cruel plan, he left his monastery for the city. Although he arrived there after midnight, he went straight to the house where Avitianus was staying and threw himself on the threshold crying out in a loud voice. Sulpicius tells us that it was an angel who awakened Avitianus to tell him Martin was outside. The servants, certain Avitianus was dreaming, reassured him there was no one out there (without looking themselves). But after the angel woke him up the second time, Avitianus went outside himself and told Martin, "Don't even say a word. I know what your request is. Every prisoner shall be spared." Remarkably enough Sulpicius had this story from Avitianus himself, who loved to tell it.

Martin was human and made mistakes. In spite of what we may think of people in earlier times, many were skeptical of his visions of demons, believing them to come from too much fasting. He also announced eight years before he died that the Antichrist had been born. But his visions, whatever the source, are still instructive.

At one point the devil appeared to him dressed in magnificent robes, encrusted with gold and gems, and announced he was Jesus and that Martin was to adore him. Martin immediately saw the mistake the devil had made (and had to make) and asked, "Where are the marks of the nails? Where the piercing of the spear? Where the crown of thorns? When I see the marks of the Passion I shall adore my Lord." Jesus would not come in riches but with the signs of his suffering and poverty.

Martin's compassion was as well-known as his miracles. In just one case out of many a father came to him griefstricken that his daughter had never spoken. Martin healed her by asking her to say her father's name -- which she did.

However it was this compassion and mercy that led to what he considered his greatest mistake. Bishops from Spain including a bishop named Ithacius had gone to the emperor soliciting his help in destroying a new heresy taught by a man named Priscillian. Martin agreed completely that Priscillian was teaching heresy (among other things, he rejected marriage, and said that the world was created by the devil) and that he should be excommunicated. But he was horrified that Ithacius had appealed to a secular authority for help and even more upset that Ithacius was demanding the execution of Priscillian and his followers. Martin hurried to intervene with emperor Maximus, as did Ambrose of Milan. Martin stated his case that this was a church matter and that secular authority had no power to intervene and that excommunication of the heretics was punishment enough. He left believing he had won the argument and saved the heretics but after he left Ithacius began his manipulation again and Priscillian and the other prisoners were tortured and executed. This was the first time a death sentence had been given for heresy -- a horrible precedent.

Martin's mistake was yet to come. He hurried back in order to forestall a massacre of the Priscillianists. Once there he absolutely refused communion with the bishops who had murdered the people. This was a strong statement that rejected the persecuting bishops as part of the communion of the Church.

Unfortunately, the emperor Maximus knew the key to Martin's heart. He had prisoners that supported the former emperor Gratian in captivity and knew Martin wanted mercy for them. Maximus said that he would free these prisoners if Martin would share communion with Ithacius. Martin agreed to do so, but afterwards was so overcome with shame and guilt for giving in to such evil that he never went to any more assemblies of bishops.

On his way home, still weighed down with a feeling that he had sinned by communicating with Ithacius, he had a vision of angel who told him that although he was right to regret what he did, he was wrong to brood over his faults. "You saw no other way out," the angel said. "Take courage again: recover your ordinary firmness; otherwise you will be imperilling not your glory but your salvation." This advice we all should remember if we dwell too much on our mistakes.

Martin died when he was over 80 years old on November 8. Historians disagree on the year and place it anywhere from 395 to 402. His feast is November 11, the day he was buried, at his request, in the Cemetery of the Poor.

Saint of the Day and Daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Martin of Tours, a reluctant Roman army officer, a great friend of the poor, and one of the early Saints of whom we know quite a lot. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Isaias 61:1-3.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew 25:31-40.

Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTNNational 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, November 10, 2005

One last mind-boggling Perfidious Albion post.

Nursery children must stay inside to protect neighbour's rights

A nursery has been forced to keep youngsters indoors after a council threatened it with legal action following a complaint about the noise its children made.

Children will only be allowed outside for two half-hour periods, the Wendy house must be carpeted to reduce noise, and games such as What's the Time, Mr Wolf? can no longer be played outdoors.

If the pre-school nursery fails to comply, council enforcement officers plan to serve a noise abatement order.

For 50 years children have gathered at the Memorial Hall in Locks Heath, Hants. But the future of the Jigsaw Nursery is in doubt after a nearby resident, Jim Habens, objected to the noise coming from a new outside play area built with donations from parents.

Mr Habens, 60, who runs a bed and breakfast from his bungalow, said: "I have complained because I have human rights as well as anyone else."
His wife Barbara said: "We are very pleased with the way the council has dealt with this."

Sally Pratt, the co-supervisor at the nursery, which opens four days a week and caters for 70 children aged between two and five, said the reduction in facilities caused by the threat of enforcement could lead to it receiving a poor Ofsted report.

She said: "We have had ongoing problems with the gentleman in the bungalow for some time, saying the children are being a nuisance. The chairman of the hall and myself went to see him in the summer and we complied with everything he asked for.

"But within a couple of weeks we received a letter telling us the environmental health had been called in."

Children playing is an "environmental health" issue? I guess we should be thankful the council hasn't ordered retroactive abortions. Yet.

Her colleague Amanda Adams said: "Mr Habens has plagued us with complaints about the children, but it is just them laughing."

She said that learning through play was an important part of a child's development.

To prevent an order being served the nursery has had to agree to additional restrictions. It must keep children inside, except for the two 30-minute playtimes. If an order is imposed, failure to comply can lead to fines of up to £20,000.

Mrs Pratt said: "All the parents are up in arms about it. I don't see how anyone could have a problem with little children laughing and playing outside."

Julie Diggens, the chairman of Jigsaw, said: "It is very upsetting. We are putting all the effort and the hard work into fund-raising to make this a fantastic garden for them, full of different areas, and they will not get the use out of it. It is like having the children kept in a prison."

Karen Spicer, whose son Owen, three, attends the nursery, said: "I think it is really sad. When I was looking around for pre-schools it was a real bonus for Jigsaw to have the garden. It was at the top of my list."

The garden features a Wendy house, climbing frames, a sand pit and several large toys.

Well, that certainly is a terrifying list of impositions upon the neighbors.

Catherine Carter, 32, a nursery school committee member, said: "It's not like this is a new thing - there's been something like this here since the 1950s."

Nicky Baker of The Pre-School Learning Alliance, the national charity supporting nursery schools, said the organisation was sympathetic to the problems faced by Jigsaw.

"It has done everything it can to keep the noise down and help with this problem. I've never heard of anything like this before."

However, she said the restrictions could have a big impact on the nursery. "In future Ofsted is only going to be granting permission to groups that can provide outside play," she said.

A council spokesman said it had a duty to investigate. "We think 30 minutes a session is a way forward. It is all about management."

Noise level tests were carried out by an inspector in September. Heather Cusack, the principal environmental health officer for pollution for Fareham borough council, said: "At this stage nothing formal has been done.

Why don't they connect decibel meters to electric dog collars and put them on the kiddies? When they make too much noise, ZZZZAP!

"But if people don't react to what we are saying there is a likelihood that an order will be served."

Brian Bayford, the borough councillor with responsibility for environmental issues, said: "It is unfortunate when it's just one neighbour. But if anyone is causing a noise nuisance, and it is unacceptable or above a certain limit, this is the process.

"Laws get made and it is the responsibility of the council to take action on that."

Saith the fascist.

The British crackup continues apace.

The one country in the general vicinity of Europe with even a smidgen of sense flushes that smidgen down the loo.

Should I call it "The destruction of the family continues apace"?

Under the Childcare Bill, childminders would teach the curriculum to children "from birth" - with some worrying that it might be too prescriptive.

The National Confederation of Parent Teacher Associations called the proposals "bizarre".

But the children's charity I Can said there was clear evidence youngsters' communication needs were not being met.

Parents' associations spokeswoman Margaret Morrissey said: "We are now in danger of taking away children's childhood when they leave the maternity ward.

"From the minute you are born and your parents go back to work, as the government has encouraged them to do, you are going to be ruled by the Department for Education.

"It is absolute madness."

The proposals for the first three years of children's development give statutory force to existing guidelines, Birth to Three Matters, published two years ago.

Those would in future cover all providers of early years care, including childminders.

They highlight four "aspects" of early learning: that children should be strong, in the sense of self-assured; healthy; skilful communicators who listen and respond; and "competent learners" - imaginative and creative.

Get your kids out of preschool!

A new study on the effects of preschool on children, which finds attendance harms kids' emotional and social development, is being used by a homeschool organization to help encourage parents to educate their children at home.

The study, conducted at UC Berkeley, found that while youngsters gained cognitive abilities via the preschool experience, behavioral problems also increased – especially among kids from wealthy families.

"The biggest eye-opener is that the suppression of social and emotional development, stemming from long hours in preschool, is felt most strongly by children from better-off families," said UC Berkeley sociologist and study co-author Bruce Fuller.

On average, the report finds that the earlier a child enters a preschool center, the slower his or her pace of social development, while cognitive skills in pre-reading and math are stronger when children first enter a preschool program between the ages of 2 and 3.
(Thanks to WND for the heads up.)

Idiot left-enablers in the business community screw the little guy.

From OpinionJournal comes the story of every socialist's favorite capitalist, the useful idiot.

Tax-Me-More Corporatists

Conservatives suffered two excruciating defeats at the polls this month --both of which can be attributable to botching the tax issue thanks to pro-tax business interests. In both of these instances -- in Colorado and Virginia -- the business lobbyists teamed with liberal interest groups to defeat conservative candidates and ballot initiatives. This raises the question: Is the Republican coalition crumbling?

In Colorado, taxpayer groups lost the bid to save the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), which for the past ten years has restrained state budget and tax growth to the rate of inflation and population growth. But when popular Republican Governor Bill Owens joined hands with business groups, bond traders, road builders, and developers to push for the neutering of TABOR, the liberal pro-spending factions had just enough support to win with 52% of the vote, thus gutting TABOR. As Jon Caldera, head of the pro-TABOR campaign, put it: "When two-thirds of the business money is funding the pro-tax position, we're in big trouble." He also notes that almost every business group, including the powerful Chambers of Commerce, joined the pro-tax and spend liberal coalitions.

The same fissures emerged in Virginia, explaining how this red state elected another Democrat, Tim Kaine, to the governor's mansion on Tuesday. For the past 3 years, the high tech business community has linked hands with developers and liberal Democrats to push sales tax hikes, gas tax hikes, and more state spending on roads and schools -- even though a report by the Virginia Policy Institute shows that this state has more than doubled expenditures on transportation and education over the past decade.

Republican Jerry Kilgore lost the governor's race in large part because pro-tax business coalitions pressured him into an ambiguous position on taxes. As we mentioned on these pages a week ago, Mr. Kilgore never took a "no tax" pledge, and seemed insensitive to the stampeding cost of property taxes in many counties. His Democratic opponent Mr. Kaine ran as an anti-tax "friend of the taxpayer" even though he had just two years earlier supported the largest tax hike in Virginia history. As Peter Ferrara, head of Virginia Free Enterprise Fund, groused the day after the election: "The business groups who fund these state campaigns prevented Kilgore from running as a tax cutting conservative, and now they are stuck with an anti-business Democrat."

This trendy impulse in the business community of supporting pro-tax candidates appears to be spreading throughout the country. In Michigan, for example, industry groups are splintering from Republicans in the legislature in order to seek special tax breaks and corporate welfare handouts.

In the end, the Chamber of Commerce folks and the Fortune 500 lobbyists don't seem to understand that, when they help elect pro-tax Democrats, they also elect a slate of anti-free trade, pro-regulation and class warfare candidates. These newly elected politicians are like scorpions: They will sting the very business groups who helped carry them into the winner's circle at their earliest convenience. Conservatives can hardly be blamed if they refuse to rescue the corporatist turncoats from this fate.
-- Stephen Moore

Website of the Day: Perverted-Justice.com

The folks at Perverted-Justice.com pretend to be underage girls and boys on the internet, chat with perverts, and then expose them with the help of local tv reporters or Dateline.

Call it entrapment if you want, but at the very least it helps make parents aware of the dangers their kids face.

Also, reading the transcripts of the chats on their website reminded me of what St. Augustine said in his
Confessions. He did not include details of his many sins of the flesh that might inflame the passions of his readers.
My guess is there are a lot of perverts enjoying the site as well, looking for seduction tips as well as passion-inflaming material.

See the "global warming" pseudo-science swallowed whole.

Fox News CEO Warms to Climate Change After Heat From Left

(CNSNews.com) - A Fox News Channel documentary on "global warming," set to air Sunday night, provides only the liberal take on the controversial issue and was approved after environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reportedly "dragged" Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes to a lecture by former Vice President Al Gore, "kicking and screaming." Full Story

Why would anyone listen to America's third most famous foot fetishist?

Bush, GOP Must Take on Global Warming, Analyst Says

(CNSNews.com) - For Republicans to regain the upper hand before next year's mid-term elections, President Bush needs to embrace a new agenda that includes "straight talk" to the American people about global warming, according to political analyst Dick Morris. A conservative analyst responded that Morris is wrong about climate change. Full Story

And if you absolutely, positively, need some doomsday talk, at least make it doomsday talk with some empirical history behind it:

Commentary: It's Getting Colder, Not Warmer

(CNSNews.com) - While the environmentalists have flooded the classrooms and media of America with endless nonsense about global warming, the fact is that the movement of the earth around the sun, galactic timetables, and ways in which the earth and our solar system function are well known to scientists who study these things and, frankly, none if it bodes well for the human race and other critters.

That is the conclusion of Robert W. Felix, the author of "Not by Fire, But by Ice: The Next Ice Age Now." Piling scientific fact upon fact, Felix notes that, "We're beginning to realize that earth is a violent and dangerous place to live. We're beginning to realize that mass extinctions have been the rule, rather than the exception for the 3.5 billion years that life has existed on earth.

"There's environmental propaganda and then there is hard, cold science -- no pun intended. Here's what Felix writes:

"Then, about 11,500 years ago, the ice age ended. And it ended fast. As the world grew warmer, tropical animals moved back into Europe, and the barren tundra filled with trees once again...It was a global sweep of death-mass extinction-destroying not only the mammoth, but some 75% of all of America's larger mammals. But why only the big ones? And why so fast?"
Read the commentary

Pity poor Walter E.Williams, a brilliant man trying to save his country by teaching the most basic common sense to morons.

For the millionth time, Dr. Williams battles the fascist political concept of "windfall profits". (BTW, I paid $2.10 a gallon this morning.)

In the wake of high gasoline prices and high oil company profits, House Speaker Dennis Hastert demands that oil companies explain why they are making so much money and what they plan to do to bring down the cost of gasoline. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., has introduced a 50 percent windfall profit tax on every barrel of oil selling for more than $40. Let's talk about profits.

First, there's normal profit, which is defined as the minimum amount necessary to keep entrepreneurial resources in their current usage in the long run. Normal profits reflect the opportunity cost of using funds to finance an operation, and they must be equal to, or greater than, the returns available elsewhere in the economy. Normal profits are indeed a cost of business -- the payment to equity owners.

Windfall or supernormal profits are any profits in excess of normal profit and are above and beyond that necessary to keep entrepreneurial resources in their current usage. However, windfall profits are a vital component to a smoothly operating economy. Windfall profits serve as a signal that there are unmet human wants. Let's look at it with a simple example.

Suppose there's a disaster wiping out food resources in Harrisburg, Pa., and I live in Philadelphia. Prior to the disaster, bread prices in both cities were $2 a loaf. I buy a truckload of bread, cart it to Harrisburg and sell it for $20 a loaf, earning huge windfall profits. When the word gets out that there are profits to be made, what do you think happens? If you said other people will start carting bread to Harrisburg, bakers will start working overtime to produce more bread, people who formerly used their oven to bake cakes and pies will switch to baking bread, there'll be bread conservation in Philadelphia and elsewhere and eventually bread prices will start to fall in Harrisburg and windfall profits would vanish, go to the head of the class. While some might find people earning windfall profits objectionable, the result of their actions, getting more bread to Harrisburg, is precisely what's desired.

What if politicians said, "People are profiting from the misery of others, and we're going to impose a bread windfall profits tax"? Say they legislated a 100 percent tax, taking all of the $18 of windfall profits. Would you expect to see people making all those efforts to get bread to Harrisburg?
Suppose there were huge startup costs for companies to expand their operation or onerous regulations for people to get into the bread business, would that be good news or bad news for people in Harrisburg?

What prevents a robust supply response to changes in scarcity conditions in the gasoline market? U.S. oil refining capacity is now less than it was in 1980, and since that time there's been a 25 percent increase in demand. Because of costly environmental regulations, it's been 30 years since a new refinery has been built. According to the American Petroleum Institute, over the last 10 years, it has cost the oil industry $47 billion to comply with costly and sometimes useless environmental controls. There are restrictions on exploiting the huge oil reserves in Alaska, the Gulf and the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Speaker Hastert said, "These are extraordinary times that call for extraordinary measures. We expect oil companies to do their part to help ease the pain American families are feeling from high energy prices." Instead of mouthing platitudes and beating up on oil executives, Speaker Hastert should lead the effort to reduce restrictions on drilling and refinery construction. Sen. Dorgan should review our 1970s experience with an oil windfall profits tax that reduced American production and increased our dependence on foreign sources.

Dr. Sowell knows Repansycans when he sees 'em.

Irrelevant questions

The recent announcement by Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter that confirmation hearings on Judge Samuel Alito have been postponed until January was only the latest in a series of painful examples of what happens when Senate Republicans wimp out.

Bonus! Sowell on the death of the West:

Riots in France

Our survival may in the long run be as menaced by degeneration within -- from many sources and in many ways -- as was that of the Roman Empire.

More on Big Babykilling from Joe Sobran.

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

A leading abortion advocate, Kate Michelman, says that if it had been up to Judge Samuel Alito, she might not have been allowed, many years ago, to have the baby she was carrying killed. As you may know by now, Alito once ruled in favor of a law requiring that a married woman get her husband’s consent before aborting.

For Ms. Michelman, this ruling brings both bad memories and dark forebodings. At the time of her abortion, she recalls, her husband had abandoned her, leaving her with two other children; even so, she says it was a “painful” decision.

It probably was, assuming she had a conscience. That’s what we are told, of course; it’s always a “painful” or “difficult” decision. But somehow nobody ever seems to make the wrong decision. Every woman who gets an abortion is obeying her conscience, not violating it.

We all have to make hard choices at times, because we know we may decide wrongly. But we’re expected to believe that women deciding whether to have their unborn children killed in the womb always decide rightly, no matter what they choose to do.

Notice that I use the old, crude verb kill. It’s a habit I see no reason to shake. When I go to the drug store or hardware store, I see products boasting that they “kill” germs, “kill” crabgrass, “kill” mosquitoes, “kill” rats, and so forth. Why be squeamish about what abortion does to a child?

But abortion advocates are squeamish about this. They never say that abortion “kills.” They prefer roundabout expressions like terminate a pregnancy, though a live birth also terminates a pregnancy. And they never call the child a “child”; they call it a “fetus,” as if to give the impression that modern medical science has discovered that it’s something other than what we all know it is. Actually, science seems to have found that the fetus is infinitely more complex than the blob of tissue (as in fetal tissue.) it’s more convenient to imagine. We used to say that a pregnant woman was “with child,” or “carrying a child.”

Even opponents of abortion now shrink from using the impolite term baby-killers to describe its proponents. Maybe we could spare their little feelings by saying “fetus-terminators.”

Not this opponent, Joe. The day the words "fetus-terminator" passes my lips is the day you can put a bullet in m head.

Aristotle wasn’t squeamish. He not only saw nothing wrong with abortion; he also argued that deformed infants should be killed. The ancient Greeks and Romans, like some pagans today, considered infanticide a perfectly acceptable option, though it was the father’s prerogative, not the mother’s. The usual method was exposure; the unwanted child would be left out to starve, dehydrate, freeze, or be eaten by wild animals.

In those days it was up to the father. No doctor’s skills were needed; you just abandoned the baby outdoors somewhere. We have no indication whether it was often, or ever, a difficult or painful decision. Who knows? Times have changed.

And they are changing back, too.

Today the law, supposedly more humane, allows unwanted infants to be killed, but usually in the womb, and only by qualified physicians. The big difference is that we keep hearing that the mother makes the choice only after considerable anguish. And choice is the word. The less we talk about what’s actually being chosen, the better. It’s just “choice.” Maybe not as easy as a choice of wallpaper, but choice all the same.

Be that as it may, the doctors don’t seem to suffer any pangs of conscience, or things could get complicated. When you hire a professional killer, you don’t want a Hamlet. A Macbeth is more like it — though even Macbeth has qualms at first. The act requires the steady hand of a helpful, seasoned specialist who has put his tormented soliloquies behind him.

Even Macbeth is too good for them. How about Dillinger?

Still, apologists for abortion don’t like to dwell on this. Their theme is that the only violence is committed by the fanatics who don’t want to let us kill our babies. Such people, we are told, want to “impose their views” and will stop at nothing, including bombing the clinics where the “choice” can be safely consummated with minimal disturbance of the mother’s conscience.
Compare the common wisdom regarding Eric "Christian Bomber" Rudolph versus Andrea "Victim of Postpartum Depression" Yates.

And after all, what is conscience? Isn’t it just an emotion — one of those unpleasant emotions we have to conquer by avoiding, for instance, certain rude words?

Sadly, even the idea of conscience is disappearing. What is replacing it? Relativism, materialism, nihilism...you name it. And there is worse to come, kiddies.

Paris burning: How empires end.

Pat Buchanan ruminates on the death of the West.

Like the urban riots in America in the 1960s, which the Kerner Commission blamed on "white racism," Paris' riots are being blamed on France's failure to bring Islamic immigrants into the social and economic mainstream. Solutions being offered range from voting rights for non-citizens to affirmative action in hiring the children of Third World immigrants.

To understand why this is unlikely to solve France's crisis, consider how America succeeded, and often failed, in solving her own racial crisis.
While, as late as the 1950s, black Americans were not integrated fully into our economy or society, they had been assimilated into American culture. They worshipped the same God, spoke the same language, had endured the same Depression and war, listened to the same music and radio, watched the same TV shows, laughed at the same comedians, went to the same movies, ate the same foods, read the same books, magazines and newspapers, and went to schools where, even when they were segregated, they learned the same history.

Is this the case now?

We were divided, but we were also one nation and one people. Black folks were as American as apple pie, having lived in our common land longer than almost every other ethnic group save Native Americans. And America had a history of having assimilated immigrants in the tens of millions from Europe.

But no European nation has ever assimilated a large body of immigrant peoples, let alone people of color. Moreover, the African and Islamic peoples pouring into Europe – there are 20 million there now – are, unlike black Americans, strangers in a new land, and millions wish to remain proud Algerians, Muslims, Moroccans.

These newcomers worship a different God and practice a faith historically hostile to Christianity, a traditionalist faith that is rising again and recoils violently from a secular culture saturated in sex.


Severed from the civilization and cultures of their parents, these Arab and Muslim youth may hold French citizenship and carry French passports, but they are no more French than Americans who live in Paris. Searching for a community to which they can truly belong, they gravitate to mosques where the imams, many themselves immigrants, teach and preach that the West is not their true home, but a civilization alien to their values and historically hostile to their nations and Islam.

In any "war of civilizations," the soaring Muslim population is a potential Fifth Column inside Europe.

Nevertheless, their numbers must grow. For not only do they have a higher birthrate than the native-born Europeans, no European nation, save Muslim Albania, has a birthrate (2.1 births per woman) that will enable it to endure for many more generations. The West is aging, shrinking and dying.

If you don't buy the Natural Law argument against fornication, contraception, abortion, and divorce, how about this one?

Yet, to keep Europe's economy growing and taxes coming in to fund the health and pension programs of Europe's rising numbers of retired and elderly, Europe needs scores of millions of new workers. And Europe can only find them in the Third World.


Nor should Americans take comfort in France's distress. By 2050, there will be 100 million Hispanics in the United States – half of them of Mexican ancestry – heavily concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans still believe by right belongs to them.

Which is why we have to help these people remain orthodox Catholics. The moral relativism of protestantism and americanism are a grave threat to individual souls and our nation.

Colonization of the mother countries by subject peoples is the last chapter in the history of empires – and the next chapter in the history of the West, which is now coming to a close.

The bottom line? We've been living off the principal left by our forefathers since the Civil War. Interest is no longer accruing (if it ever did) and that principal is almost gone.

From The Death Of Art Department:

...and a picture is worth a thousand words.

A large-scale metal sculpture by American artist David Smith has become the most expensive work of contemporary art ever sold at auction, fetching 23.8 million dollars at Sotheby's in New York.

Five bidders competed for Smith's "Cubi XXVII" which was the starting lot at a Wednesday evening sale of 54 contemporary works that brought in 114.5 million dollars.

The 1965 sculpture was finally snapped up by Manhattan dealer Larry Gagosian at nearly twice its high estimate of 12 million dollars.

Experts attributed the record price to the fact that most of Smith's works are in museums or permanent collections and therefore make extremely rare auction appearances.

"This exceedingly rare work was the pinnacle of a four-decade career," said Tobias Meyer, Sotheby's worldwide head of contemporary art and the auctioneer for the evening.

Arctic drilling dropped from House bill; It could still return when, if Senate and House negotiate budget.

But I wouldn't hold my breath on that one, kiddies.

Now do you know why I call them Repansycans?

LEFT: Where the oil is.

House leaders late Wednesday abandoned an attempt to push through a hotly contested plan to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling, fearing it would jeopardize approval of a sweeping budget bill Thursday.

They also dropped from the budget document plans to allow states to authorize oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts — regions currently under a drilling moratorium.

The actions were a stunning setback for those who have tried for years to open a coastal strip of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, to oil development, and a victory for environmentalists, who have lobbied hard against the drilling provisions. President Bush has made drilling in the Alaska refuge his top energy priorities. (Thanks to MSNBC and Drudge for the heads up.)

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Leo the Great, Pope and Doctor of The Church, who is best known to the secular world as the pope who turned Attila away from the gates of Rome. While that is impressive, The Church remembers him fondly as the man who formulated the doctrine of the Incarnation. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is Ecclisiasticus 39:6-10.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew 16:13-19.

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, November 09, 2005

I'll bet you $20 it was McCain or someone on his staff.

If it is him, or some other senator (R or D), the truth will not see the light of day for a couple of generations.

From Drudge:


Sources tell Drudge that early this afternoon House Speaker Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Frist will announce a bicameral investigation into the leak of classified information to the WASHINGTON POST regarding the "black sites" where high value al Qaeda terrorists are being held and interrogated.

Said one Hill source: "Talk about a leak that damaged national security! How will we ever get our allies to cooperate if they fear that their people will be targeted by al Qaeda."

According to sources, the WASHINGTON POST story by Dana Priest (Wednesday November 2), revealed highly classified information that has already done significant damage to US efforts in the War on Terror.

In the interest of fairness and, well...other stuff, here's another NFL Cheerleaders Gone Wild Update.

Renee (left) and Angela.

For their sakes, I hope the witnesses are making it up.

UPDATE: Cheerleader Denies Sex in Restroom...

They should also hold out for something with more class, like Stuff or Maxim.

Penthouse Magazine Tries To Convince Fired NFL Cheerleaders To Pose Nude...
(Thanks to Drudge for the salacious links.)

Steelers Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

+Steelers coach Bill Cowher said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made "significant progress" this week.

Roethlisberger had arthroscopic knee surgery last Thursday and will miss his second consecutive game Sunday against the Browns at Heinz Field. Backup Charlie Batch will make his second straight start. Batch struggled completing 9-of-16 passes for 65 yards in last Sunday's 20-10 win over the Packers.

"I'm not going to sit here and scrutinize the play of Charlie Batch," Cowher said. "Offensively, we have to do a much more efficient job of throwing the ball."

+RB Duce Staley could get his first start of the season Sunday, with No. 1 tailback Willie Parker listed as questionable with an ankle sprain, sustained early in the third quarter against the Packers, and Jerome Bettis questionable with a quadriceps bruise that kept him out of the Packers game.

Staley ran for 76 yards on 15 carries and scored a touchdown against the Packers. It was the first time he'd run the ball since the AFC Championship in January and just the second time he had dressed this season.

"We'll see where we are health-wise and we'll go from there," Cowher said. "A lot of this will be determined how the other guys get through the week. But I think it's safe to say that, based on the information that we have, he would."

+Steelers SS Troy Polamalu is on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated, with the headline, "Crunch Time ... NFL Midseason Report." In the issue, the long-haired Polamalu is featured in an article entitled "The Mane Man." He is also featured in a report on defensive stars who are younger than 25 and making an impact in the NFL.

In addition to the Polamalu piece, SI picks the Steelers to win the AFC North before losing in the divisional playoffs.

+Cowher spoke briefly about the Terrell Owens situation in Philadelphia, where the Pro Bowl wideout was jettisoned and is not welcome back due to insubordination, among other things. He was asked if Eagles coach Andy Reid did the right thing.

"Without a doubt. I have a lot of respect for Andy Reid. He has a better understanding of that situation than I do. But I support him and what he thinks he's doing is in the best interest of that team. Looking at it from afar, absolutely."

+Cowher said he is concerned with his team's inefficiency on third downs on offense and defense. The Steelers are converting just 28.7 percent, while allowing the opposition to convert at a 44 percent clip. In the past two weeks, the Steelers are 4 of 20 on third-down conversions, including 0 of 8 last week against the Packers. Meantime, Steelers opponents are 17 of 35 on third downs the past two games.

Despite the third-down woes, Cowher made it a point to laud his team for playing airtight football.

"I don't want to lose sight of the things we are doing very, very well -- not turning the football over, not taking foolish penalties. We're doing well in the kicking game; we are running the ball, for the most part, on a pretty consistent basis. We're stopping the run defensively. I know that you want to talk about some of the things that we're not doing. But I want our players to understand some of the things that they are doing."


QB Ben Roethlisberger
Out at least 1 more week

S Mike Logan
Will miss third game

LB James Farrior
Doubtful for Browns game Sunday

RB Jerome Bettis
Could miss second in a row

RB Willie Parker
Like Bettis, listed as questionable

LB Joey Porter

LB Clark Haggans

LB James Harrison

DE Travis Kirschke

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.


Blog Archive