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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

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Coulter: Joe McCarthy was right.

From Human Events Online:

The most cosseted, self-indulgent, worthless people in the universe are worried their suffering has been downgraded.

For 50 years Hollywood drama queens have churned out plays, movies, TV shows, books, poems, allegories, museum exhibits, personal testimonials, dioramas, interpretive dances, wood carvings, cave paintings, needlepoint wall hangings and scatological limericks about their victimization at the hands of a brute named Joe McCarthy.

Schoolchildren who will learn nothing about George Washington, Thomas Edison or Paul Revere are forced to read chapter and verse about the black night of fascism (BNOF) under McCarthy. But half a century of myth-making later, one little book comes out and gives the contrary view—and Hollywood thinks it’s Treblinka.

George Clooney, writer and director of the rebuttal, claims he was driven to make the movie Good Night, and Good Luck because “a book came out about how great McCarthy was.”

Q: Ann Coulter’s Treason?

GC: Yes.

Liberals haven’t been so alarmed by a book since Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Still, I was shocked. I did not know that George Clooney could read. So, apparently, we must revisit the BNOF under McCarthy one more time. (Ethical dilemma: Would you write a book to set the record straight on Joseph McCarthy knowing that it might give rise to yet another lame George Clooney movie? )

Clooney said of his small contribution to the “McCarthyism” industry: “I realized that we had to be incredibly careful with the facts, because if we got any of them wrong, they could say it’s all horse****. So I had to double-source every scene.”

I don’t intend to see his movie because—except for the McCarthy parts—it sounds like a snoozefest. (Half the reviewers so far have said “good night” to Clooney, and the other half have said “good luck.” ) And despite all those “double-sources,” in addition to getting the big facts wrong (about America and about the Soviet Union), Clooney got all the little facts wrong, too. I guess he borrowed some of Al Franken’s “fact-checkers.”

As even liberal reviewers have noted, it was hardly an act of bravery for Edward R. Murrow to attack McCarthy. The New York Times was attacking McCarthy, The New York Post was attacking McCarthy and The Washington Post was attacking McCarthy. Every known news outlet was attacking McCarthy. McCarthy was in a pitched battle for his life, his career and the fate of the nation. Murrow merely jumped on the liberal bandwagon—and rather late in the game. (You want bravery? Try sitting all the way through Solaris. )

I gather the movie’s two examples of McCarthy’s perfidy are the cases of Annie Lee Moss and Milo Radulovich. As described in detail on Pages 62-64 of Treason, Moss was a proved Communist Party member—who happened to be working in the Code Room of the Pentagon. It was an act of sheer madness, like, say, putting a member of al Qaeda at the Pentagon today or putting Pat Leahy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Oh wait ...

Moss put on a big Amos ‘n’ Andy show for a Senate committee, delighting racist liberals who happily proclaimed Moss too simpleminded to be a Communist. Only thanks to McCarthy, who ignored the barrage of calumnies from liberals, Moss was moved to a less sensitive position at the Pentagon.

As for Milo Radulovich, he had absolutely nothing to do with McCarthy. McCarthy never mentioned his name. So maybe liberals have finally found the one liberal in the ’50s who was not on the payroll of the Soviet Union. I don’t know and I don’t care.

Amusingly, Clooney said in an interview that Alger Hiss was “probably” a Communist spy. By now, I believe even the Nation magazine has been forced to admit Hiss was more than that. But, Clooney says, the point is McCarthy “was wrong about 99% of them.”

If McCarthy was “wrong about 99% of them,” when are we going to get a movie about one of the 99%? I might go see that movie.

Clooney reverts to the standard Hollywood talking point, saying: “More important than that, [McCarthy] was wrong every time he denied people their civil liberties.”

Ah, yes, the old civil liberties canard. Apparently, the only period worse than the BNOF under McCarthy is the current BNOF under President Bush. This was followed by the usual number of specific examples of civil liberties that had been denied: zero.

Liberals churn out hysterical slander daily, but insist on acting like they are the ones under attack. Come to think of it, the current BNOF is a lot like the original BNOF under McCarthy.

The only people being tortured are those of us forced to endure the egos of Hollywood fantasists who profess left-wing views to prove they are deep thinkers.

The war in Iraq was lost yesterday.

BBC:US Senate seeks Iraq exit reports

Washington Post Analysis:Tide Turning in GOP Senators' War View
Bipartisan Amendment Is Rebuff to Bush

USA Today:American attitudes on Iraq similar to those in Vietnam

The "bi-partisan" consensus has turned against the war, just as it did in Vietnam. Look for Bush to pull out all troops from Iraq before the 2008 election, regardless of the situation there.

May God bless and protect the Iraqis. They're gonna need it.

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

11/16/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year Helen Brown Determined to Help New Orleans Recover
11/08/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Provides More than $36 Million to Assist with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Recovery Efforts; Passes $100 Million Mark in Donations
11/02/2005 — Catholic Charities USA Addresses Congress’ Bipartisan Working Group on Disaster Recovery and Response
10/20/2005 — Grace Amid the Devastation
More news...

Poor and Vulnerable at Heart of Catholic Charities' Hurricane Recovery and Advocacy Efforts

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.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Gertrude, whose life, I think, is more typical of the Saints than one filled with battles against heresy, performing miracles, et cetera. Thus it is easier for us to understand her journey to salvation. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
2 Machabees 7:1, 20-31.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 19:11-28.

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.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We breathlessly await the Poopyhead Platform.

The 'Poopyhead' Democrats

The New York Observer reports from the cutting edge of political fashion:
Down on the Lower East Side, Stephanie Dolgoff likes to dress her twin 2-year-old daughters in T-shirts bearing flippant slogans like "President Poopyhead" and "Bush Is a Tush." During the family's regular perambulations around their neighborhood, the incongruous sight of the tots in their special shirts often inspires hearty guffaws or approving nods from the few remaining political radicals that live there.

"I don't want to make them out to be like walking posters," said Ms. Dolgoff, 38, the health director at Self magazine, defending the fashion choices she makes on her kids' behalf. "Really, it's just funny. The old folks in the neighborhood think it's funny. They agree Bush is a sh--head . . . and I tell them not to curse in front of my children."

This pretty well captures the intellectual spirit of the Democratic Party circa 2005. Here's party chairman Howard Dean, talking with Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" Sunday:

Russert: What is the Democratic position on Iraq? Should we withdraw troops now? What do the Democrats stand for?

Dean: Tim, first of all, we don't control the House, the Senate or the White House. We have plenty of time to show Americans what our agenda is and we will long before the '06 elections.

Russert: But there's no Democratic plan on Social Security. There's no Democratic plan on the deficit problem. There's no specifics. They say, "Well, we want a strong Social Security. We want to reduce the deficit. We want health care for everyone," but there's no plan how to pay for it.

Dean: Right now it's not our job to give out specifics.

Really, who needs specifics? After all, other than in 2002, 2003 and 2004, Democrats have done very well running on a platform of "Bush is a poopyhead." Why just last week they held onto the governorships of New Jersey and Virginia! You can't argue with that kind of success.
(Thanks to Best of the Web Today for the heads up.)

Insane Middle East Headline of the Day.

Iran: Israel behind Jordan terror attack
Tehran blames Jews in spite of al-Qaida's boasting --WND


Our craven erstwhile allies rejoice at the return of their normal level of street violence.

Now I can make those EuroDisney reservations.

Back to Normal

"France's worst rioting since the 1960s seems to be nearing an end," the Associated Press reports from Paris:

Youths set fire to 374 parked vehicles before dawn Sunday, compared to 502 the previous night, police said. A week ago, 1,400 cars were incinerated in a single night.

If the downward trend continues, "things could return to normal very quickly," National Police Chief Michel Gaudin said, noting that French youths burn about 100 cars on an average Saturday night.

Burning cars is part of normal French Saturday night fun? Goodness, what a primitive culture. Another AP dispatch describes a "sit-in" near the Eiffel Tower:

"Stop the Violence," read one banner draped on the Wall of Peace near the Eiffel Tower. Some of the 200 demonstrators--a small turnout in protest-friendly France--waved white flags.

No blood for cheese!

HR in the EU.

Still Crazy After All These Years?

London's Sunday Telegraph reports European Union regulations make it so hard to fire someone that "the European Commission has been accused of trying to have troublesome staff declared mentally ill in order to provide an excuse for giving them the sack":

Among those who claims to have been a victim of the new tactic is Jose Sequeira, 58, a Portuguese official who is now taking the commission to court over what he says was a deliberate attempt to sack him using psychiatric tests.

Mr Sequeira, who worked in the commission's ministry for development, says he was astonished to read personnel reports which said his behaviour "sowed doubt regarding the state of his mental health."

He was put on permanent sick leave after tests found he suffered "verbal hyper-productivity" and a "lack of conceptual content" in his speech.

It sounds as though they're saying he talks too much and doesn't have anything worthwhile to say. Sort of like Jimmy Carter--although, thank goodness, we Americans were able to fire him without a psychiatrist's certification.

The brilliance of John Edwards dazzles my eyes and brain.

John Edwards, who apparently represented a Southern state for a single term in the Senate, also voted for the war and has now flip-flopped. Why anyone should care, we're not sure, but the Washington Post published an op-ed by him yesterday:

George Bush won't accept responsibility for his mistakes. Along with Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, he has made horrible mistakes at almost every step: failed diplomacy; not going in with enough troops; not giving our forces the equipment they need; not having a plan for peace. . . .

We also need to show Iraq and the world that we will not stay there forever. We've reached the point where the large number of our troops in Iraq hurts, not helps, our goals.

Someone should introduce this Edwards guy to John Kerry*, who, as we noted last month, also thinks the number of troops in Iraq is simultaneously too large and too small.

Our wacky Japanese friends give the world musical toilet seats.

And that's just the beginning!

Earlier this month, Toto Corp., Japan's leading toilet maker, released onto the market the Apricot N5A, the world's first toilet seat to come equipped with a built-in audio system that pipes lullabies and lyrics into the latrine.
One of Toto's developers explains why the company decided to make the melodious toilet seat.

"We conducted a survey in 2002 where we asked people to tell us what they wanted from a toilet," the developer tells Shukan Bunshun. "The most common response was a heated water cleaning system, which was closely followed by the desire for audio-visual functions."

The Apricot N5A is made up of the toilet seat and a separate remote control, which contains buttons for functions such as bidet and bottom dryer to the regular pause and play buttons normally found on audio equipment. Slip an SD card into the remote control and it allows the user to pipe stereo sound into the loo.

But that's not all the high-tech hyping for the Apricot N5A, which the weekly says makes ordinary toilets look like something out of the Stone Age. As well as being a tuneful toilet seat, the Apricot N5A also contains functions that automatically warm the seat at the same time each day, a lid that closes mechanically and a flush whose size is robotically determined depending on whether it is dealing with a number one or two.

Kuo Ue, a self-professed toilet professor and managing director of the Japan Toilet Association, has little doubt about what has made high tech toilets such a mesmerizing fascination for the Japanese.

"Japanese are a people who have placed great importance on hygiene since the olden days and really focused their attention on the toilet. There's even a saying that if you want to be beautiful, you should first clean your toilet," Ue tells Shukan Bunshun. "There's a tendency for toilet talk to be taboo in the West, so they haven't progressed."

Ue says the sky is the limit when it comes to future developments in Japanese toilet culture.

"Some of the things I can think of are toilets that take blood pressure or use human waste to analyze somebody's state of health. There's all sorts of practical research underway. Maybe there could even be a day when toilets collect methane gas and use it to create electricity or power cars," the toilet association's managing director tells Shukan Bunshun. "I'd guess that in the future, toilets will be like they were in the ecology minded city of Edo (Tokyo's predecessor) over 100 years ago -- fully recycling."
(Thanks to Mainichi Daily News for the heads up.)

Totalitarian Pennsylvania Update.

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- If lawmakers repeal the unpopular pay raise they approved in July, a 1995 law will kick in and provide both them and judges with a cost-of-living increase this year.

And they'll get the cost-of-living increase whether or not they pay back the extra money they reaped over the past four months.

The 1995 law introduced an annual cost-of-living adjustment that was billed as an end to the practice of giving themselves an occasional pay raise.

Legislation that would repeal the pay raise is poised for a Senate vote Wednesday.

The cost-of-living increase will take effect on Dec. 1, and is based on the inflation of consumer goods in the Philadelphia area through the end of October.

That figure has not been released by the federal government yet, but one economist estimates it will be above four percent.

See How House Members Voted On The Pay Raise
See How Senate Members Voted On The Pay Raise

It Takes a Village to Staff a Gestapo Unit Update.

Larry Flynt Speaks His Mind (Such as it is)

Two loathsome libertines recently opined about Hillary’s potential 2008 presidential bid. Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt is angry at Sen. Clinton for turning her back on him.

On Aug. 25, 2005, the famed pornographer donated $1,000 to Hillary, according to the third quarter filing by the former First Lady’s Senate campaign. But it was recently revealed that less than a month later, Hillary returned the check.

“It’s unbelievable,” Flynt told Newsday. “But I’m used to this kind of hypocrisy.” Flynt is apparently hurt enough to rethink his political affiliation: “I’ve been a lifelong Democrat,” cried Flynt, “but I guess I’m going to have to find a third party or maybe some Republicans.”

Meanwhile, Bill Clinton told an Israeli television station that his wife would make a better U.S. President in some ways than he did. The former President said that Hillary would enter the White House with far more experience and perspective than he had when he was elected President in 1992. (Thanks to Human Events Online for the heads up.)

Shut up and vote, Pennsylvania!

(CNSNews.com) Some voters in Whitehall Township, Penn., were offended that the Lehigh Valley County election board had them vote at a local mosque on Nov. 8. The county uses 58 religious establishments for voting, but this was the first year that residents in the 12th District voted at the Islamic Center of Lehigh Valley.

"Anytime you have people objecting to a voting place merely because it's an Islamic house of worship, I think that is a symptom of anti-Muslim prejudice," Ibrahim Hooper of the Washington, D.C. based Council on American-Islamic Relations, told Cybercast News Service.

"It's something that religious and political leaders, not only in Pennsylvania, but nationwide, need to address," he added.

You too, buddy. Shut up.

Betty Hillwig, the chief clerk of the county's election board, said the Islamic Center of Lehigh Valley was generous to offer its space for voting booths, and that the center would continue to be used in future elections.

"About a half dozen people called and said they weren't happy about it, but we were really lucky to be able to use the space," said Hillwig.

"They just didn't like the fact that it was in a mosque, because they didn't want to have to visit a Muslim house of worship," said Hooper.

The Morning Call, which reports Lehigh Valley local news, indicated that one-third of the voters at the mosque expressed concerns about voting there.

"It's a political thing, not a religious one. If the mosque is a radical one, then I've got a real problem with it, and chances are it is. The people of that community would know what's in their neighborhood," (I wouldn't bet on that Danny Boy. You better shut up too. - F.G.) said Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, a think tank promoting American interests in the Middle East and a critic of radical Islam.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Albert the Great, one of the most learned of all the Saints. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is 2 Machabees 6: 18-31.
Today's Gospel reading
Luke 19:1-10.

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.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Oh, and one more thing on the Ludwig/Borden double homicide...

...if any man mentions Romeo and Juliet in the same breath, I will beat him to within an inch of his life.

Another Emergency Steelers Update.

The Steelers won a football game Sunday night at Heinz Field, but lost another quarterback in the process.

Charlie Batch, who was replacing the injured Ben Roethlisberger for the second consecutive game, left with a fractured bone in his right pinkie finger late in the first half, giving way to third-teamer Tommy Maddox. Batch did not return for the Steelers' eventual 34-21 victory against the Cleveland Browns.

His status for next week was not immediately known, though coach Bill Cowher said it would likely be "a couple weeks" before Batch would return. The injury was described as a fractured metacarpal bone to the pinkie in his throwing hand.

Batch sustained the injury when his hand smashed into the helmet of a Cleveland Browns defender on a 15-yard completion to Hines Ward. The play gave Ward the Steelers all-time receptions record at 538, surpassing Hall of Famer John Stallworth.

Batch left the game after scoring on a 1-yard run with six seconds remaining before halftime. He said he could no longer bear the pain of taking snaps.

Batch finished 13 of 19 for 150 yards with a passer rating of 92.0.
"When you're going bone on helmet, you're not normally going to win," said Batch, who was then asked about his status for next week. "It all depends on the pain tolerance. We won't know that until we see if the swelling goes down the next couple of days."

Roethlisberger, who had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus Nov. 3, could potentially be back next Sunday at Baltimore after missing the past two games. Hours after Roethlisberger's surgery, Cowher said it was "very conceivable" that Roethlisberger would be ready for the Ravens game.

Roethlisberger intensified his rehabilitation last week, saying he was ahead of schedule in strengthening the knee. Asked if he'd play next week moments after last night's game, Roethlisberger was cautiously optimistic.
"I don't know yet, we got a little urgency now, so we'll see," he said.
(Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for the heads up.)

For those of you who thought I was kidding about Grace Kelly...

And, in a related story, The Party Of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion cruises for its fourth "B".

Lawmakers move to lower penalty for bestiality

More than two and a half years ago, the nation laughed as pro-family crusader Rick Santorum predicted the consequences of legalized gay marriage: If man-on-man marriage was sanctified, man-on-child and man-on-dog unions might not be far behind.

Those who jeered Santorum were silenced last Tuesday. Man-on-dog isn’t legal just yet, but if the Massachusetts State Legislature has its way, it might be soon. On November 1, cheerleading for bestiality was just one of a string of stunning pieces of legislation that converged on the legislature’s judiciary committee in a bizarre, post-Halloween orgy. The imminent collapse of the state cannot be far behind.

Sponsored by Senators Cynthia Creem and Robert O’Leary, and Representatives Michael Festa and David Linsky, the bestiality measure was buried in a packaged assault on morality, disguised as “An Act Relative to Archaic Crimes.” The bill would strike down several sections of the current penal code criminalizing adultery, fornication and the advertisement of abortion. It also repeals what appears to be a sodomy statute forbidding “abominable and detestable crime against nature, either with mankind or with a beast.”

Archaic, indeed.

The new law would continue to forbid “a sexual act on an animal,” but reduce possible penalties for committing such a crime, making it decidedly less illegal. Whereas the old law punished doggie-diddling and the like with hard time (a maximum sentence of 20 years) in state prison, the new measure would give activist judges the option of slapping perps with a mere two and a half years in plush local jails, or even letting zoophiliacs walk with a $5,000 fine.

How badly has Massachusetts’ moral compass suffered since dudes started honeymooning with dudes? Not one legislator, nor a single member of the God-fearing public, appeared before the judiciary committee to denounce the proposed changes. But then again, who has time to worry about bestiality when teenagers are shoplifting and buying NyQuil? (Thanks to Paul McMorrow of Boston's WeeklyDig for the heads up.)

Memo To Boys Thinking Of Becoming Men:

This is NOT what you do if you're "in love".

Here's a phrase you won't hear in connection to this story, kiddies (or anywhere else in our benighted society): disordered sexual desire. Pay no attention to the insanity defense. These kids (and yours) have been taught their genitals (Oops! I meant "passions", of course.) must be obeyed.

Yep. Even sweet little home-schooled, 14-year-old-playing-17-year-old-on-her-blog, soccer playing, Black Eyed Peas loving, small town living, Christian cuties named Kara Beth. (Not to mention the 18 year old eligible- to-vote-and-join-the-Marines men who love them.

Police Capture Teen Wanted After Girlfriend's Parents Slain

I guess this means Geraldo will be in town for the foreseeable future.

Oh, yeah. Greta too.

Indiana State Police said they have captured 18-year-old murder suspect David Ludwig.

He is wanted in a Lancaster County, Pa., double homicide and abduction of the homicide victims' 14-year-old daughter.

He was apprehended about 20 miles west of Indianapolis near the small community of Bellville, along U.S. 40.

Television helicopter images show a red Volkswagen Jetta against a tree. A man in a gray shirt was sitting on the ground near the car.

State Police 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said David Ludwig, 18, was apprehended about 12:30 p.m. EST after a car he was driving crashed in Hendricks County about 20 miles west of Indianapolis following a pursuit by State Police.

"He's in custody and we have the girl," Bursten said.

Bursten said Ludwig was found with the missing girl, 14-year-old, Kara Beth Borden, and she was unharmed.

Ludwig is accused of killing his girlfriend's parents.

Authorities said an Amber Alert for Ludwig and 14-year-old Kara Beth Borden covered the entire eastern United States.

Borden's parents, Michael and Cathryn Borden, both 50, were found shot to death Sunday morning.

Police said Ludwig killed the parents after they argued with their daughter about her curfew. The girl was missing, but investigators don't know if Ludwig abducted her or if she wa is a willing partner.

Police issued an arrest warrant for Ludwig on two counts of criminal homicide, one count of reckless endangerment and one count of kidnapping.

Police said the two missing teens were spotted in Pennsylvania earlier Monday, Lancaster, Pa., TV station WGAL reported.

Lititz Police Chief William Seace said they were both spotted in the Lockhaven Lamar area. Seace said Borden appeared to be crying and that she had changed her appearance. He said she was now wearing her hair in a ponytail.

Seace said Ludwig had also changed his appearance, cutting his hair to about an inch long. Seace said Ludwig had been positively identified.
Borden's 9-year-old brother, David, fled to the home of neighbors, who called 911.

The Bordens home-schooled their children and knew Ludwig through a home-schooling network.

Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania coroner said the girl’s parents each died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

Kara Beth Borden's younger sister has told investigators her parents were shot after they argued with Ludwig and their daughter about Kara Beth's curfew.

Here 's some more:

The story circulating among neighbors Sunday was that 14-year-old Kara Borden had told her parents she was going to a sleepover party Saturday night. But when she was dropped off Sunday morning by 18-year-old David Ludwig, her parents awoke and Ludwig was summoned back to the house.

The neighbors heard that when Ludwig arrived to talk, Michael Borden told him to leave outside weapons he had with him.

Where did they sleep, Deadwood?

(Just an aside, kiddies. If an armed man brought my 14 year old daughter home from a "sleepover" - assuming I had been clueless enough to let her go in the first place - I'd have shot him dead as soon as I was sure my girl was safe and taken my chances with a jury of my peers in good ol' rock solid red Lancaster County.

Then (WTF??? I think "things" went wrong long before the shooting started, Skippy. This is the kind of nonsense you get when you give a word processing program to just any old fool off the street. I could tell you some horror stories about this newspaper. - F.G.) things went terribly wrong. Shooting ensued. Nine-year-old David Borden tried to escape from a side window of the home, neighbors heard, before running past his father's body in the foyer and out the front door to the neighbor's house across the street, where a boy his age lives.

The boy's father already had left for church, but his mother let David inside and called 911.

Their 15-year-old daughter, Katelyn, also ran to a neighbor's house. Police believe Kara left with the shooter. (Two of the Bordens' five children are grown and live out of state.)

Later, neighbors said, police retrieved the Bordens' dog from the house and took it to the children, who were with friends of the family.

Of course there are web sites involved:

Kara's Web Sites: Xanga MySpace
David's Web Site: MySpace

My favorite quote from Kara Beth's MySpace profile? "Books are gay."

That pretty much sums it up, eh, kiddies? (You'll have to take the word of Your Humble Servant on that one. It has been removed as has the 14 going on 17 lie. But hey, it's just the internet, after all. BTW, I'm 6'6".)

Tom and Kim Mannon would learn Sunday that the shooter was a boy who was a lifeguard at Lititz Rec Center along with their 16-year-old daughter, Stephanie. They had substituted for one another and been friendly until Ludwig left the job this summer to work at Circuit City, Stephanie said.

"He was dedicated to saving people's lives. I mean, that was his job; then this happened," Stephanie said. "I never would have expected this ever. I knew they both kind of liked each other, but I knew both their parents didn't allow them to date each other."

Stephanie said Kara and Ludwig met through a homeschoolers group.

Getting your kids out of the government schools is necessary, but not sufficient.

"He was a Christian and pretty strong about that," she said.

Guess again, princess. Exactly what number is that Thou Shalt Not Kill one? Perhaps Monterey Chapel (Cool name for a church, dude!) is too new to have gotten that far down the list yet.

Ludwig has an outgoing personality and is into music, Stephanie said. Some neighbors said Ludwig often wore black and had a "goth" look.

Several neighbors said the Bordens were committed to their church, Monterey Chapel, near Leola, where Michael Borden was an elder.

May God have mercy on the souls of Mr. and Mrs. Borden, young Mr. Ludwig, and Kara Beth.

To me, the most interesting part of the online newspaper article excerpted above is the comment section at the bottom. Notice how the great minds of Amish Country try to turn it into a left versus right thingee.

Obviously, it is a true belief versus a false belief thingee. And I've been saying that for longer than I care to remember.

That's what I'm talking about, Judge Alito!

I guess his mom is right. Judge Alito is one of those crazy anti-murder fanatics.

I am more inclined to support his nomination now.

From The Washington Times:

Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., President Bush's Supreme Court nominee, wrote that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion" in a 1985 document obtained by The Washington Times.

"I personally believe very strongly" in this legal position, Mr. Alito wrote on his application to become deputy assistant to Attorney General Edwin I. Meese III.

The document, which is likely to inflame liberals who oppose Judge Alito's nomination to the Supreme Court, is among many that the White House will release today from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

In direct, unambiguous language, the young career lawyer who served as assistant to Solicitor General Rex E. Lee, demonstrated his conservative bona fides as he sought to become a political appointee in the Reagan administration.

"I am and always have been a conservative," he wrote in an attachment to the noncareer appointment form that he sent to the Presidential Personnel Office. "I am a lifelong registered Republican

But his statements against abortion and affirmative action might cause him headaches from Democrats and liberals as he prepares for confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, scheduled for January.

"It has been an honor and source of personal satisfaction for me to serve in the office of the Solicitor General during President Reagan's administration and to help to advance legal positions in which I personally believe very strongly," he wrote.

"I am particularly proud of my contributions in recent cases in which the government has argued in the Supreme Court that racial and ethnic quotas should not be allowed and that the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion."

A leading Republican involved in the nomination process insisted that this does not prove Judge Alito, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, will overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that made abortion a constitutional right.

"No, it proves no such thing," said the Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "In fact, if you look at some of the quotes of his former law clerks, they don't believe that he'll overturn Roe v. Wade

Well, of course the R's have to say that.

Judge Alito sided with abortion proponents in three of four rulings during his 15 years as a judge on the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia, usually based on existing law and technical legal issues rather than the right to abortion itself.

"The issue is not Judge Alito's political views during the Reagan administration 20 years ago," the Republican official said. "It's his 15 years of jurisprudence, which can be evaluated in hundreds of opinions. And in none of those opinions is it evident what his political philosophy is.

And that.

Exactly who is lying about Iraq? You'd be surprised. (I wouldn't. And you wouldn't be either if you had been paying attention.)

Norman Podhoretz (at OpinionJournal) runs conventional wisdom through with the sword of reality, exposing the lies of our moral and intellectual superiors.

Please pay extra special attention to the words of your friendly neighborhood totalitarian quoted below.

Among the many distortions, misrepresentations and outright falsifications that have emerged from the debate over Iraq, one in particular stands out above all others. This is the charge that George W. Bush misled us into an immoral or unnecessary war in Iraq by telling a series of lies that have now been definitively exposed.

What makes this charge so special is the amazing success it has enjoyed in getting itself established as a self-evident truth even though it has been refuted and discredited over and over again by evidence and argument alike. In this it resembles nothing so much as those animated cartoon characters who, after being flattened, blown up or pushed over a cliff, always spring back to life with their bodies perfectly intact. Perhaps, like those cartoon characters, this allegation simply cannot be killed off, no matter what.

Nevertheless, I want to take one more shot at exposing it for the lie that it itself really is. Although doing so will require going over ground that I and many others have covered before, I hope that revisiting this well-trodden terrain may also serve to refresh memories that have grown dim, to clarify thoughts that have grown confused, and to revive outrage that has grown commensurately dulled.

The main "lie" that George W. Bush is accused of telling us is that Saddam Hussein possessed an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, or WMD as they have invariably come to be called. From this followed the subsidiary "lie" that Iraq under Saddam's regime posed a two-edged mortal threat. On the one hand, we were informed, there was a distinct (or even "imminent") possibility that Saddam himself would use these weapons against us or our allies; and on the other hand, there was the still more dangerous possibility that he would supply them to terrorists like those who had already attacked us on 9/11 and to whom he was linked.

This entire scenario of purported deceit was given a new lease on life by the indictment in late October of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, then chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Mr. Libby stands accused of making false statements to the FBI and of committing perjury in testifying before a grand jury that had been convened to find out who in the Bush administration had "outed" Valerie Plame, a CIA agent married to the retired ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV. The supposed purpose of leaking this classified information to the press was to retaliate against Mr. Wilson for having "debunked" (in his words) "the lies that led to war."

Now, as it happens, Mr. Libby was not charged with having outed Ms. Plame but only with having lied about when and from whom he first learned that she worked for the CIA. Moreover, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor who brought the indictment against him, made a point of emphasizing that "this indictment is not about the war":

This indictment is not about the propriety of the war. And people who believe fervently in the war effort, people who oppose it, people who have mixed feelings about it should not look to this indictment for any resolution of how they feel or any vindication of how they feel.

This is simply an indictment that says, in a national-security investigation about the compromise of a CIA officer's identity that may have taken place in the context of a very heated debate over the war, whether some person--a person, Mr. Libby--lied or not.

No matter. Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, spoke for a host of other opponents of the war in insisting:

This case is bigger than the leak of classified information. It is about how the Bush White House manufactured and manipulated intelligence in order to bolster its case for the war in Iraq and to discredit anyone who dared to challenge the president.

Yet even stipulating--which I do only for the sake of argument--that no weapons of mass destruction existed in Iraq in the period leading up to the invasion, it defies all reason to think that Mr. Bush was lying when he asserted that they did. To lie means to say something one knows to be false. But it is as close to certainty as we can get that Mr. Bush believed in the truth of what he was saying about WMD in Iraq.

How indeed could it have been otherwise? George Tenet, his own CIA director, assured him that the case was "a slam dunk." This phrase would later become notorious, but in using it, Mr. Tenet had the backing of all 15 agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. In the National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, one of the conclusions offered with "high confidence" was that "Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions."
The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel and--yes--France all agreed with this judgment. And even Hans Blix--who headed the U.N. team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he get rid of the weapons of mass destruction he was known to have had in the past--lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:

The discovery of a number of 122-mm chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km [105 miles] southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions. . . . They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery of a few rockets does not resolve but rather points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.

Mr. Blix now claims that he was only being "cautious" here, but if, as he now also adds, the Bush administration "misled itself" in interpreting the evidence before it, he at the very least lent it a helping hand.

So, once again, did the British, the French and the Germans, all of whom signed on in advance to Secretary of State Colin Powell's reading of the satellite photos he presented to the U.N. in the period leading up to the invasion. Mr. Powell himself and his chief of staff, Lawrence Wilkerson, now feel that this speech was the low point of his tenure as secretary of state. But Mr. Wilkerson (in the process of a vicious attack on the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense for getting us into Iraq) is forced to acknowledge that the Bush administration did not lack for company in interpreting the available evidence as it did:

I can't tell you why the French, the Germans, the Brits and us thought that most of the material, if not all of it, that we presented at the U.N. on 5 February 2003 was the truth. I can't. I've wrestled with it. [But] when you see a satellite photograph of all the signs of the chemical-weapons ASP--Ammunition Supply Point--with chemical weapons, and you match all those signs with your matrix on what should show a chemical ASP, and they're there, you have to conclude that it's a chemical ASP, especially when you see the next satellite photograph which shows the UN inspectors wheeling in their white vehicles with black markings on them to that same ASP, and everything is changed, everything is clean. . . . But George [Tenet] was convinced, John McLaughlin [Tenet's deputy] was convinced, that what we were presented [for Powell's UN speech] was accurate.

Going on to shoot down a widespread impression, Mr. Wilkerson informs us that even the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, known as INR, was convinced:

People say, well, INR dissented. That's a bunch of bull. INR dissented that the nuclear program was up and running. That's all INR dissented on. They were right there with the chems and the bios.

In explaining its dissent on Iraq's nuclear program, the INR had, as stated in the NIE of 2002, expressed doubt about:

Iraq's efforts to acquire aluminum tubes [which are] central to the argument that Baghdad is reconstituting its nuclear-weapons program. . . . INR is not persuaded that the tubes in question are intended for use as centrifuge rotors . . . in Iraq's nuclear-weapons program.

But, according to Wilkerson:

The French came in in the middle of my deliberations at the CIA and said, we have just spun aluminum tubes, and by God, we did it to this rpm, et cetera, et cetera, and it was all, you know, proof positive that the aluminum tubes were not for mortar casings or artillery casings, they were for centrifuges. Otherwise, why would you have such exquisite instruments?

In short, and whether or not it included the secret heart of Hans Blix, "the consensus of the intelligence community," as Mr. Wilkerson puts it, "was overwhelming" in the period leading up to the invasion of Iraq that Saddam definitely had an arsenal of chemical and biological weapons, and that he was also in all probability well on the way to rebuilding the nuclear capability that the Israelis had damaged by bombing the Osirak reactor in 1981.

Additional confirmation of this latter point comes from Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under Clinton. "In the late spring of 2002," Pollack has written:

I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did. Three people added that they believed Iraq was also operating a secret calutron plant (a facility for separating uranium isotopes).

No wonder, then, that another conclusion the NIE of 2002 reached with "high confidence" was that "Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grade fissile material." (Hard as it is to believe, let alone to reconcile with his general position, Joseph C. Wilson IV, in a speech he delivered three months after the invasion at the Education for Peace in Iraq Center, offhandedly made the following remark: "I remain of the view that we will find biological and chemical weapons and we may well find something that indicates that Saddam's regime maintained an interest in nuclear weapons.")

But the consensus on which Mr. Bush relied was not born in his own administration. In fact, it was first fully formed in the Clinton administration. Here is Bill Clinton himself, speaking in 1998:

If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

Here is his Secretary of State Madeline Albright, also speaking in 1998:

Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.

Here is Sandy Berger, Clinton's National Security Adviser, who chimed in at the same time with this flat-out assertion about Saddam:

He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.

Finally, Mr. Clinton's secretary of defense, William Cohen, was so sure Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that he remained "absolutely convinced" of it even after our failure to find them in the wake of the invasion in March 2003.

Nor did leading Democrats in Congress entertain any doubts on this score. A few months after Mr. Clinton and his people made the statements I have just quoted, a group of Democratic senators, including such liberals as Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, urged the President "to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons-of-mass-destruction programs."

Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, added her voice to the chorus:

Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons-of-mass-destruction technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.

This Democratic drumbeat continued and even intensified when Mr. Bush succeeded Mr. Clinton in 2001, and it featured many who would later pretend to have been deceived by the Bush White House. In a letter to the new president, a group of senators led by Bob Graham declared:

There is no doubt that . . . Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical, and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf war status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.

Sen. Carl Levin also reaffirmed for Mr. Bush's benefit what he had told Mr. Clinton some years earlier:

Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton agreed, speaking in October 2002:

In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical- and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members.

Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, agreed as well:

There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. . . . We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.

Even more striking were the sentiments of Bush's opponents in his two campaigns for the presidency. Thus Al Gore in September 2002:

We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.

And here is Mr. Gore again, in that same year:

Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.

Now to John Kerry, also speaking in 2002:

I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force--if necessary--to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.

Perhaps most startling of all, given the rhetoric that they would later employ against Mr. Bush after the invasion of Iraq, are statements made by Sens. Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, also in 2002:

Kennedy: "We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."

Byrd: "The last U.N. weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons."

Liberal politicians like these were seconded by the mainstream media, in whose columns a very different tune would later be sung. For example, throughout the last two years of the Clinton administration, editorials in the New York Times repeatedly insisted that "without further outside intervention, Iraq should be able to rebuild weapons and missile plants within a year [and] future military attacks may be required to diminish the arsenal again."

The Times was also skeptical of negotiations, pointing out that it was "hard to negotiate with a tyrant who has no intention of honoring his commitments and who sees nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons as his country's salvation."

So, too, the Washington Post, which greeted the inauguration of George W. Bush in January 2001 with this admonition:

Of all the booby traps left behind by the Clinton administration, none is more dangerous--or more urgent--than the situation in Iraq. Over the last year, Mr. Clinton and his team quietly avoided dealing with, or calling attention to, the almost complete unraveling of a decade's efforts to isolate the regime of Saddam Hussein and prevent it from rebuilding its weapons of mass destruction. That leaves President Bush to confront a dismaying panorama in the Persian Gulf [where] intelligence photos . . . show the reconstruction of factories long suspected of producing chemical and biological weapons.

All this should surely suffice to prove far beyond any even unreasonable doubt that Mr. Bush was telling what he believed to be the truth about Saddam's stockpile of WMD. It also disposes of the fallback charge that Mr. Bush lied by exaggerating or hyping the intelligence presented to him. Why on earth would he have done so when the intelligence itself was so compelling that it convinced everyone who had direct access to it, and when hardly anyone in the world believed that Saddam had, as he claimed, complied with the 16 resolutions of the Security Council demanding that he get rid of his weapons of mass destruction?

Another fallback charge is that Mr. Bush, operating mainly through Mr. Cheney, somehow forced the CIA into telling him what he wanted to hear. Yet in its report of 2004, the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, while criticizing the CIA for relying on what in hindsight looked like weak or faulty intelligence, stated that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence, or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities.

The March 2005 report of the equally bipartisan Robb-Silberman commission, which investigated intelligence failures on Iraq, reached the same conclusion, finding "no evidence of political pressure to influence the intelligence community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. . . . Analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments."

Still, even many who believed that Saddam did possess WMD, and was ruthless enough to use them, accused Mr. Bush of telling a different sort of lie by characterizing the risk as "imminent." But this, too, is false: Mr. Bush consistently rejected imminence as a justification for war. Thus, in the State of the Union address he delivered only three months after 9/11, Mr. Bush declared that he would "not wait on events while dangers gather" and that he would "not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer." Then, in a speech at West Point six months later, he reiterated the same point: "If we wait for threats to materialize, we will have waited too long." And as if that were not clear enough, he went out of his way in his State of the Union address in 2003 (that is, three months before the invasion), to bring up the word "imminent" itself precisely in order to repudiate it:

Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

What of the related charge that it was still another "lie" to suggest, as Mr. Bush and his people did, that a connection could be traced between Saddam Hussein and the al Qaeda terrorists who had attacked us on 9/11? This charge was also rejected by the Senate Intelligence Committee. Contrary to how its findings were summarized in the mainstream media, the committee's report explicitly concluded that al Qaeda did in fact have a cooperative, if informal, relationship with Iraqi agents working under Saddam. The report of the bipartisan 9/11 commission came to the same conclusion, as did a comparably independent British investigation conducted by Lord Butler, which pointed to "meetings . . . between senior Iraqi representatives and senior al-Qaeda operatives."

Which brings us to Joseph C. Wilson, IV and what to my mind wins the palm for the most disgraceful instance of all.

The story begins with the notorious 16 words inserted--after, be it noted, much vetting by the CIA and the State Department--into Bush's 2003 State of the Union address:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

This is the "lie" Mr. Wilson bragged of having "debunked" after being sent by the CIA to Niger in 2002 to check out the intelligence it had received to that effect. Mr. Wilson would later angrily deny that his wife had recommended him for this mission, and would do his best to spread the impression that choosing him had been the vice president's idea. But Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, through whom Mr. Wilson first planted this impression, was eventually forced to admit that "Cheney apparently didn't know that Wilson had been dispatched." (By the time Mr. Kristof grudgingly issued this retraction, Mr. Wilson himself, in characteristically shameless fashion, was denying that he had ever "said the vice president sent me or ordered me sent.") And as for his wife's supposed nonrole in his mission, here is what Valerie Plame Wilson wrote in a memo to her boss at the CIA:

My husband has good relations with the PM [the prime minister of Niger] and the former minister of mines . . ., both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.

More than a year after his return, with the help of Mr. Kristof, and also Walter Pincus of the Washington Post, and then through an op-ed piece in the Times under his own name, Mr. Wilson succeeded, probably beyond his wildest dreams, in setting off a political firestorm.

In response, the White House, no doubt hoping to prevent his allegation about the 16 words from becoming a proxy for the charge that (in Mr. Wilson's latest iteration of it) "lies and disinformation [were] used to justify the invasion of Iraq," eventually acknowledged that the president's statement "did not rise to the level of inclusion in the State of the Union address." As might have been expected, however, this panicky response served to make things worse rather than better. And yet it was totally unnecessary--for the maddeningly simple reason that every single one of the 16 words at issue was true.

That is, British intelligence had assured the CIA that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy enriched uranium from the African country of Niger. Furthermore--and notwithstanding the endlessly repeated assertion that this assurance has now been discredited--Britain's independent Butler commission concluded that it was "well-founded." The relevant passage is worth quoting at length:

a. It is accepted by all parties that Iraqi officials visited Niger in 1999.
b. The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger's exports, the intelligence was credible.
c. The evidence was not conclusive that Iraq actually purchased, as opposed to having sought, uranium, and the British government did not claim this.

As if that were not enough to settle the matter, Mr. Wilson himself, far from challenging the British report when he was "debriefed" on his return from Niger (although challenging it is what he now never stops doing), actually strengthened the CIA's belief in its accuracy. From the Senate Intelligence Committee report:

He [the CIA reports officer] said he judged that the most important fact in the report [by Mr. Wilson] was that Niger officials admitted that the Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999, and that the Niger prime minister believed the Iraqis were interested in purchasing uranium.

And again:

The report on [Mr. Wilson's] trip to Niger . . . did not change any analysts' assessments of the Iraq-Niger uranium deal. For most analysts, the information in the report lent more credibility to the original CIA reports on the uranium deal.

This passage goes on to note that the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research--which (as we have already seen) did not believe that Saddam Hussein was trying to develop nuclear weapons--found support in Mr. Wilson's report for its "assessment that Niger was unlikely to be willing or able to sell uranium to Iraq." But if so, this, as the Butler report quoted above points out, would not mean that Iraq had not tried to buy it--which was the only claim made by British intelligence and then by Mr. Bush in the famous 16 words.

The liar here, then, was not Mr. Bush but Mr. Wilson. And Mr. Wilson also lied when he told the Washington Post that he had unmasked as forgeries certain documents given to American intelligence (by whom it is not yet clear) that supposedly contained additional evidence of Saddam's efforts to buy uranium from Niger. The documents did indeed turn out to be forgeries; but, according to the Butler report:

The forged documents were not available to the British government at the time its assessment was made, and so the fact of the forgery does not undermine [that assessment].

More damning yet to Mr. Wilson, the Senate Intelligence Committee discovered that he had never laid eyes on the documents in question:

[Mr. Wilson] also told committee staff that he was the source of a Washington Post article . . . which said, "among the envoy's conclusions was that the documents may have been forged because 'the dates were wrong and the names were wrong.' " Committee staff asked how the former ambassador could have come to the conclusion that the "dates were wrong and the names were wrong" when he had never seen the CIA reports and had no knowledge of what names and dates were in the reports.

To top all this off, just as Mr. Cheney had nothing to do with the choice of Mr. Wilson for the mission to Niger, neither was it true that, as Mr. Wilson "confirmed" for a credulous New Republic reporter, "the CIA circulated [his] report to the Vice President's office," thereby supposedly proving that Cheney and his staff "knew the Niger story was a flat-out lie." Yet--the mind reels--if Mr. Cheney had actually been briefed on Mr. Wilson's oral report to the CIA (which he was not), he would, like the CIA itself, have been more inclined to believe that Saddam had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger.

So much for the author of the best-selling and much-acclaimed book whose title alone--"The Politics of Truth: Inside the Lies that Led to War and Betrayed My Wife's CIA Identity"--has set a new record for chutzpah.

But there is worse. In his press conference on the indictment against Mr. Libby, Patrick Fitzgerald insisted that lying to federal investigators is a serious crime both because it is itself against the law and because, by sending them on endless wild-goose chases, it constitutes the even more serious crime of obstruction of justice. By those standards, Mr. Wilson--who has repeatedly made false statements about every aspect of his mission to Niger, including whose idea it was to send him and what he told the CIA upon his return; who was then shown up by the Senate Intelligence Committee as having lied about the forged documents; and whose mendacity has sent the whole country into a wild-goose chase after allegations that, the more they are refuted, the more they keep being repeated--is himself an excellent candidate for criminal prosecution.

And so long as we are hunting for liars in this area, let me suggest that we begin with the Democrats now proclaiming that they were duped, and that we then broaden out to all those who in their desperation to delegitimize the larger policy being tested in Iraq--the policy of making the Middle East safe for America by making it safe for democracy--have consistently used distortion, misrepresentation and selective perception to vilify as immoral a bold and noble enterprise and to brand as an ignominious defeat what is proving itself more and more every day to be a victory of American arms and a vindication of American ideals.

Religion of Peace Update...

...or, see how moslems brutalize their women.

Jordanians mull Iraqi woman's role in bombings

The televised confession of an Iraqi woman — accused of being the fourth would-be suicide attacker — set Jordanians buzzing Monday, with some expressing joy over her capture and others venting anger over her deadly plans.

Still others questioned if she was really involved in the bomb plot that killed 57 people in Wednesday’s attacks on the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels.

Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi went from rural Iraqi obscurity to global notoriety overnight after her confession was aired Sunday in a broadcast beamed not just across Jordan, but throughout the Middle East and beyond.

"I sat there watching and couldn’t understand how she could be speaking so coldly,” said Adel Fathi, 29. Three of his relatives were killed in the Radisson wedding party reception that was bombed by al-Rishawi’s husband.

“What are these people made of?” asked Fathi, who closed his women’s accessories shop early and joined millions of others who watched the confession.

The results from this weekend's football picks.

On Saturday 11/12, I was a respectable 8 and 6 plus a push picking college games.

On Sunday 11/13 and Monday 11/14, I was a satisfactory 9 and 5 picking NFL games.

A Scriptural Snippet leads Fyodor to cogitate on one of the few topics worth the time and effort, namely, women.

Yesterday's first reading was Proverbs 31: 10-13, 19-20, 30-31:

Who shall find a valiant woman? far, and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her.
The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils.
She will render him good, and not evil all the days of her life.
She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands.
She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle.
She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hands to the poor.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.

It just so happens the latest (and the last, I hope) She Who Must Be Obeyed was not with me at Mass yesterday. That was a curse and a blessing.

Why a curse? Because I was not able to squeeze her insanely soft hand in mine during this reading. Hallmark has nothing on Proverbs when it comes to expressing the words in my heart for her. (Memo To The Men: Don't worry, I haven't gone all Alan Alda (Sorry, Mr. Alda, but somewhere along the line you became a cliche.) all of a sudden. The whole Renaissance Man thingee is a mighty burden and sometimes you must make sacrifices.) She would not recognize herself in the Word above, but I do.

I'm not kidding about her hands, either. (This is the part where I cause her to blush and threaten me with violence.) She has the softest skin imaginable. It is really kind of scary and impossible (for me at least) to describe. The best I can come up with by way of analogy is warm viscous (I did not know where that word originated. I love language!) velvet. Only softer.

What makes it even better? She is wildly ticklish, as am I.

Why all the icky personal stuff? Read the passage from Proverbs again. Though she is not my wife, I hope and pray one day she will be. (Memo To Main Squeeze: That was NOT a proposal. IF and WHEN it happens, I'll let you know.)

Verse 30 got me thinking. "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."

Now, my babydoll is white hot, and should stay that way for quite some time. (I've met her mom.) But even the greatest of beauty is fleeting (except for Grace Kelly, of course.) and I have learned first hand (over and over and over again) that favour is deceitful. In a word, I have learned the most important of lessons the hard way.

I'm no lothario, but I have met my share of ladies over the years, and I want to take this opportunity to recommend (in the strongest possible terms) faithful and orthodox Catholic women.

Let us face facts, guys. We need help and plenty of it. You know it and I know it.

A real woman can work miracles with knuckleheads like us.

And why was Her absence a blessing? The newest "instrument" accompanying the "hymns" at Mass was a rain stick. (I think that's what they call it. It sounds like a couple hundred cockroaches clambering over all the microphones at the same time.) She would have had to listen to me vent my spleen (and several other organs) over this latest bit of Catholic "progress" and I don't like Her to see me that way.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence O'Toole, monk and Archbishop of Dublin. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
1 Machabees 1:10-15, 41-43, 54-57, 62-63.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 18:35-43.

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.

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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