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

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

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

Friday, January 06, 2006

See if you can guess why I posted this.

Police solve 21-year-old attempted grave robbing crime

MARSHVILLE -- Thursday, Union County Sheriff’s deputies put to rest, so to speak, a 21-year-old crime. On March 24, 1984 the crypt containing the remains of Mr. C. Bruce Stegall was pried open, the casket removed and someone attempted to get the skeletal remains out. (Thanks to WCNC for the heads up.)

The sublime humor of Get Fuzzy.

Scattisi prego per ingrandire, bambini.

Back from Christmas break and better than ever! It's the Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest!

Here are Nicole Konkal,

Maria Kotula (Bonus Redhead Points!),

Terri Bennett (Ditto!),

and Sonja Gantt, the babes of WCNC in Charlotte, NC.

Memo To All Website Designers: Photos of babes cannot be too big nor too clear.

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day.

"For no reason other than this: They taste good."

Emeril Lagasse and the Food Network give you the chance to kill two animals with one dish by preparing this yummy recipe. Fyodor is proud to present

Lobster-Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Bearnaise Sauce

2 rock lobster tails
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped
1/2 cup chopped shallots
3 tablespoons minced celery
2 teaspoons minced garlic
4 ounces baby chanterelle mushrooms, stems trimmed and sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced green onions
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 center-cut beef tenderloin, about 3 1/2 pounds, trimmed and butterflied Steamed fresh asparagus, as accompaniment
Bearnaise Sauce, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Set up a large steamer. Place the lobster tails in the steamer and steam until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Remove the lobster tails from the steamer. Cut along the underside of the shell and remove the tail meat whole. Set aside

In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, until crisp and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain off all but 2 teaspoons of fat from the pan. Add the shallots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and a pinch each of salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green onions and stir. Add the wine, increase the heat, and cook until it has nearly all evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and stir. Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked pancetta, and let cool.

Spread the butterflied beef, cut side up, flat on a surface. Spread the pancetta-vegetable mixture in a line across the meat, about 2 inches from the top, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the sides. Lay the lobster tails on top of the mixture, going across the beef. Pull the top flap over the lobster tails and roll the meat over the stuffing, jellyroll fashion, and tuck in the ends. Tie with kitchen twine every 2 inches.

Place in a large heavy roasting pan, rub on all sides with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place over medium-high heat and sear the meat on all sides, about 6 minutes. Place in the oven and roast to desired temperature, 30 to 35 minutes for medium-rare.

Transfer to a cutting board. Tent and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove the kitchen twine and slice thickly. Place on a platter, surround with the asparagus, and drizzle with the Bearnaise Sauce. Serve immediately.

Bearnaise Sauce:
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
4 sprigs fresh tarragon
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup dry vermouth
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (2 sticks) melted unsalted butter or clarified butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

In a small saucepan, combine the shallots, tarragon, white wine, and vermouth. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from the heat, strain, and cool.

In the top of a double boiler, or in a metal bowl fitted over a pot of barely simmering water, whisk the egg yolks and reduced wine until ribbons start to form. Whisking constantly, drizzle in the melted butter a bit at a time until all the butter is added and the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat. Whisk in the lemon juice, chopped tarragon, salt, and pepper. Adjust the seasoning, to taste. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve. To serve, place in a decorative bowl with a small sauce ladle.

Bill Gates lays down with commies and wakes covered in fascism.

From AP and Yahoo! (Who, ironically, have their own fascist tendencies.) comes this tale of one of the sorry things that befall many after they make it big.

Microsoft Corp. has shut down the Internet journal of a Chinese blogger that discussed politically sensitive issues, including a recent strike at a Beijing newspaper.

The action came amid criticism by free-speech activists of foreign technology companies that help the communist government enforce censorship or silence dissent in order to be allowed into China's market.
Microsoft's Web log-hosting service shut down the blog at the Chinese government's request, said Brooke Richardson, group product manager with Microsoft's MSN online division at company headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Although Beijing has supported Internet use for education and business, it fiercely polices content. Filters block objectionable foreign Web sites and regulations ban subversive and pornographic content and require service providers to enforce censorship rules.

"When we operate in markets around the world, we have to ensure that our service complies with global laws as well as local laws and norms," Richardson said.

You see, kiddies, totalitarianism is a Chinese norm. Those poor benighted rice-eaters are used to being slaves, so it's ok. So saith our moral and intellectual superiors.

Richardson said the blog was shut down Dec. 30 or Dec. 31 for violating Microsoft's code of conduct, which states that users must be in compliance with local laws in the country in which the user is based.

When Denmark legalizes child sodomy, Microsoft can make a few bucks off of that.

The blog, written under the pen name An Ti by Zhao Jing, who works for the Beijing bureau of The New York Times as a research assistant, touched on sensitive topics such as China's relations with Taiwan. Last week, he used the blog to crusade on behalf of a Beijing newspaper.

Reporters at the Beijing News, a daily known for its aggressive reporting, staged an informal one-day strike after their chief editor was removed from his post. The editor's removal and the strike attracted comments on Chinese online bulletin boards, which censors then erased.

Online bulletin boards and Web logs have given millions of Chinese an opportunity to express opinions in a public setting in a system where all media are government-controlled.

But service providers are required to monitor Web logs and bulletin boards, erase banned content and report offenders.

Foreign companies have adopted Chinese standards, saying they must obey local laws.

Instant translation: We're impotent pussies who would rather help enslave billions than make slightly less money.

Microsoft's Web log service bars use of terms such as "democracy" and "human rights." On the China-based portal of search engine Google, a search for material the Dalai Lama, Taiwan and other sensitive topics returns a message saying "site cannot be found."

Why is it only the commies and their useful idiots know that ideas matter?

Last year, Web portal Yahoo! was the target of criticism when it was disclosed that the company provided information that was used to convict a Chinese reporter on charges of revealing state secrets.

WTF??? If only we had re-education camps to teach these yahoos (Ha!) what the real world is like...

Reporter Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison based on an e-mail that he had sent abroad with details of a memo read out at his newspaper about media controls.

In September, a Chinese journalist was sentenced to seven years in prison on subversion charges after writing articles that appeared on Web sites abroad that are blocked in China.

China also is in the midst of a crackdown on online smut. The police ministry said last month that it had shut down 598 Web sites with sexually explicit content and arrested 25 people.

David Wolf, a Beijing-based technology consultant, said that while Microsoft might be hurt abroad by controversy over its actions in China, Chinese Internet services routinely exercise similar censorship.

"They simply do it as a matter of course," said Wolf, managing director of Wolf Group Asia. "When you're looking around China, there is nothing that Microsoft and Yahoo have to do that is any different from what Chinese companies already are doing."

Oh, that makes it ok. Go ahead and oppress the peasants then.

Trees in temperate zones cause global warming.

Ha! A Stanford scientist gives you reason to clear cut your property and ignore Arbor Day.

Wired News:

Forget planting trees to negate your SUV's contribution to global warming -- according to Stanford University atmospheric scientist Ken Caldeira, forests in the wrong location can actually make the Earth hotter.

Plants absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, so scientists and policy makers have long assumed new forest growth helps combat global warming. At an American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco earlier this month, however, Caldeira rolled out a provocative new finding: Trees may be good at capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but their dark leaves are also very efficient at soaking up sunlight, which is later released as heat. At certain latitudes, the net effect of these two processes is warming, rather than cooling.

"Forests do store carbon, and as a result, the planet initially cools a little -- maybe tenths of degrees," Caldeira said. "But over the long term, trees' heat absorption warms things up more."


Caldeira and colleagues at California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created a computer simulation showing that if most land areas in northern latitudes were covered with forests, the planet would be six degrees warmer than it is today. Forest growth in equatorial areas, on the other hand, reduced global temperatures in the simulation because the warmer air in these regions allows more moisture to evaporate from the leaves of trees. This produces substantial cooling that cancels out the effects of heat absorption.

Thank goodness Columbus came and spread those diseases that killed the trees he didn't cut down! We wouldn't be able to have any snowball fights.

These seemingly maverick ideas have met with serious interest among some climatologists. "Planting trees definitely sequesters carbon dioxide, which tends to lower temperatures," said Eric Adams, an ecologist in Massachusetts Institute of Technology's environmental engineering department. "But the trees also do absorb light that might otherwise be reflected, which causes warming."

"It's very interesting that changing land use -- whether that means growing trees or cutting them down -- can have an effect on climate," added David Erickson, director of the Climate and Carbon Research Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "That effect is working in conjunction with the impact of greenhouse gases."

If future studies confirm Caldeira's findings, his work could have a substantial impact on environmental policy. Currently, programs like Carbonfund and the Chicago Climate Exchange support the planting of temperate forests in various regions of the United States in order to reduce global warming.

In the United Kingdom, for-profit Climate Care offers customers the chance to "cancel out" the carbon-dioxide emissions they produce by donating to a fund that supports reforestation efforts. Its Stratus package, which costs about $130, is billed as making one person "completely climate-neutral for the whole year."

Caldeira's research suggests efforts like these are off base. "Organizations should not be giving these kinds of credits," he said. "Planting forests in mid-latitudes should not be considered equivalent to using renewable resources."

Mid- latitudes? That's the good ol' USA and Europe, kiddies.

Carbonfund spokesman Craig Coulter, however, urged caution. "If scientific consensus shows that this study is valid, then of course we'd have to take that into account," he said. "But there's always been tit-for-tat among academics about different methods for calculating the impact of reducing carbon, and I'd want to see more studies along these lines before making policy changes." He also pointed out that planting trees has a variety of environmental benefits unrelated to global warming, such as restoring threatened animal habitats and preventing the erosion of topsoil.

Doy. Double doy even.

Caldeira stressed that lawmakers shouldn't advocate chopping down swaths of forest in hopes of reducing global temperatures a few degrees. He thinks investing in new sources of clean energy, like hydrogen and biofuel, is a better way to address the global-warming problem.

"Earth systems are very complicated -- you might be able to reduce warming by cutting down some trees, but that wouldn't be good for the environment overall," he said. "The less we interfere with the system, the more likely we are to have a healthy planet." (Thanks to the conservatives' favorite serial adulterer for the heads up.)

See the tortuous non-reason of the ideologue as he struggles to make the facts fit his warped view of reality!

Blog of the Day.

The Flight of the Butterfly, by a fabulous blogger babe named Madame Butterfly.

And if you think I am putting up a permanent link to her blog just because she visited mine, take a gander at this, kiddies:

St. Thomas Becket

BBC released their 2005 edition of the 10 "Worst Historical Britons" on December 27. Sadly, St. Thomas Becket was named the worst of the years spanning 1100-1200. He was aligned with such infamous villans as Jack the Ripper who may be responsible for the murder of about 200 people.

"The "greedy" Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was nominated by Professor John Hudson, of St Andrews University, as the 12th century's worst villain.

"He divided England in a way that even many churchmen who shared some of his views thought unnecessary and self-indulgent," he said."He was a founder of gesture politics."Those who share my prejudice against Becket may consider his assassination in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December, 1170, a fittingly grisly end." "

posted by Mdm. Butterfly @ 10:54 PM

May God have mercy on Professor Hudson's black, bloody soul.

The English schismatics have always been among the most ignorant and bloodthirsty enemies of The Church. (See Edmund Campion here.) Rebellion against God is the ultimate Death.

I get SEX IS DEATH mail...

A Catholic opera fan (Wagner? Ack!) who quotes Dostoyevsky and Chesterton (Marry me!), who sneers at Big Babykilling's monstrous agenda (Joy!), has apparently read all my SEX IS DEATH posts (Marry me!), liked them (Marry me!), and survived. (Please marry me!)

Mdm. Butterfly said...

Thanks for your excellent post. I really appreciate reading something that combats our modern, Fruedian understanding of sex.

I also enjoyed the post today on women. You may be aware of this, but Alexis de Touqueville on visiting America wrote that if he were to attribute the strength of this country to one thing it would be the superiority of its women. Today, however, the superiority American women formerly enjoyed is rapidly deteriorating, as you noted. I think our country too proportionately falls.

Thanks, once again.

Thank you, Madame.

I have ceased to be amazed by the genius Tocqueville because he does not seem to have gotten anything wrong.

As for Freud, here's a little ditty:

[Sung to the tune of When Johnny Comes Marching Home]

Sometimes Sigmund Freud's cigar was smoked by his sister-in-law,
Sometimes Sigmund Freud's cigar was smoked by his sister-in-law.
For the True Believers in Freudian Sex, this is the meaning of Oedipus Rex And it all began when Siggie made it up.

But seriously, Madame, I would like to thank you for visiting my idiot blog and the too kind words about same. May God bless you and yours and may He strengthen you in your counter-revolutionary activities.

And, as always, Keep The Faith, baby.

Lou Rawls, Requiescat in pace.

Lou Rawls, the velvet-voiced singer who started as a church choir boy and went on to sell more than 40 million albums has died at age 72. He won three Grammy Awards in a career that spanned nearly five decades and a range of genres. (Related audio: Listen to clips of Rawls' songs)

Rawls died early Friday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he was hospitalized last month for treatment of lung and brain cancer, his publicist Paul Shefrin said. His wife Nina was at his bedside when he died, Shefrin said.

The family and Shefrin said Rawls was 72, although other records indicate he was 70.

"Velvet-voiced" does not even come close. Mr Rawls was one of the all-time greats and will be sorely missed. If you're looking for a romantic mood setter, you can do a heck of a lot worse than a Lou Rawls record.

Why you should not take women's sports too seriously.

From ESPN:

Warroad High School edges Team USA women

The Warroad High School boys' team squeaked out a 2-1 victory over the U.S. Olympic women's hockey team Wednesday.

Allen McBride's goal with 3:52 remaining -- a backhander past Team USA goalie Chanda Gunn -- proved to be the game-winner.

"They were nice to put a team up against us that was spirited and you could tell by the reactions that it meant as much to those kids as it does to us," Team USA coach Ben Smith said. "Hockey is hockey. I think the people liked it. It seemed like a nice crowd and just a wonderful evening."

About 1,500 people turned out for the exhibition game, which was non-checking. (Emphasis mine.)

Kirk Olimb gave the Warriors a 1-0 lead at 13:58 of the first period when he put a shot from the high slot past Gunn.

Natalie Darwitz scored Team USA's lone goal, at 4:26 of the second period. Darwitz's shot appeared to hit the crossbar, but officials -- after 3 more minutes of play -- conferred and ruled that the shot had gone into the net.

That tied the game and set up McBride's game-winner. Warroad goalie Tyler Potts then stopped a couple of Darwitz shots in the final 25 seconds.

Warroad held a 24-23 edge in shots.

Fyodor's Pro Football Playoffs 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.

Saturday 1/7

Washington (+2.5) at Tampa Bay
I'll take Portis and Brunell over Williams and Simms, and that means the defenses will probably determine the winner. Take the Redskins to cover.
FINAL: Redskins 17 Buccaneers 10 - Fyodor wins! (Tampa needs some help on offense. And eliminate those turnovers, Chucky!)

Jacksonville (+7.5) at New England
This is a big number but I'm still tempted to take the Patriots. Playoff experience and all that. Plus everybody seems to be picking the Jaguars to cover. What the heck, I'll take New England to win big.
FINAL: Patriots 28 Jaguars 3 - Fyodor wins! (It turns out Byron Leftwich is a Caucasian-American African-American quarterback with a bad ankle.)

Sunday 1/8

Carolina (+2.5) at NY Giants
I said the Giants would not win a playoff game and I'm sticking to my guns. Carolina has not been playing well of late, but neither has New York. Take the Panthers to cover.
FINAL: Panthers 23 Giants 0 - Fyodor wins! (Giants didn't show up and Tiki Barber blames the coach. Could be, but I doubt it. Carolina is just better.)

Pittsburgh (-3) at Cincinnati
It is time for the Steelers to once again show the Bengals who's boss. Vegas opened this game at Cincy -3 last Sunday, and by Monday the line had been bet down to Pittsburgh -3. That makes me nervous because I figure almost everybody betting is a complete moron. Nonetheless, I will pick the Steelers to win and cover.
FINAL: Steelers 31 Bengals 17 - Fyodor wins! (If their defense plays like this against the Colts, the Steelers are going to be embarassed. Indy opened at - 9.5!)

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

12/14/2005 — Catholic Charities Agencies Help Hurricane Katrina Victims Celebrate the Holidays Away from Home
12/14/2005 — Catholic Charities Providing Door-to-Door Mental Health Counseling for Hurricane Katrina Victims
12/14/2005 — CCUSA Grant to Catholic Network Florida Funds Graduate Program in Long-Term Disaster Recovery Management
12/13/2005 — Catholic Charities Agencies Giving Hope For Christmas In Times Of Increasing Need

More news...

FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief

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

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

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

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

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. John de Ribera, Archbishop and Viceroy of Valencia. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
1 John 5:5-13.
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 1:7-11.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

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 St. 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, January 05, 2006

Steelers Playoff Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Polamalu looking for redemption
The last meeting between the Steelers and the Bengals almost turned on a play Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu almost made.

Big Ben counting down to start of playoffs

Johnson takes the fifth

Bengals WR disrespecting the towel

Matchup: Polamalu vs. Palmer

Steelers Notebook:

+ Only 10 Bengals players have played in the postseason, which is 31 fewer than a Steelers team that visits Cincinnati for a first-round playoff game at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The Bengals' playoff vets have combined for a total of 36 postseason games, compared to 178 for the Steelers. Of the Bengals' 10 playoff players, only five are current starters, including cornerback Tory James (11 postseason games), defensive lineman John Thornton (7), guard Bobbie Williams (4), tight end Reggie Kelly (2) and cornerback Deltha O'Neal (1).

+ Some players get nervous at the thought of playing in their first playoff game. Steelers WR Hines Ward got a little more than that in 2001.

"I almost threw up," he said. "Seriously, I was so nervous thinking about not dropping the ball and don't do this and don't do that. Luckily for us, we went out there and beat (Baltimore) pretty badly."

Asked why it had such an adverse effect, Ward said, "I never experienced it. The last time I was in the playoffs was during high school. The magnitude of the NFL you get more nervous. All these cameras and stuff sometimes you think about it. Now that we kind of had some playoff experience it is fine. I remember not making the playoffs and watching and thinking next year I want to be there and in the playoffs."

+ Since losing to the Bengals 38-31 at Heinz Field, the Steelers have won four in a row. They enter Sunday's game as a 3-point favorite - and LB Joey Porter is feeling confident.

"I like our chances," he said.

+ Bengals QB Carson Palmer, the league's second-leading passer who scorched the Steelers for 227 yards and three touchdowns in the Week 12 win, spoke as if the Steelers are the team to beat in the AFC.

"They're everybody's pick for the Super Bowl and everybody's saying they're the scariest team in the playoffs, and they definitely are. They hit a little bump in the road midway through the season and got things going lately."

+ LT Marvel Smith missed the Steelers' 38-31 loss to the Bengals in Week 12 with sprains in both ankles. The game represented the third consecutive loss for the Steelers and dropped their record to 7-5.

"That was a tough game to sit there and watch," Smith said, "but that's in the past."

Smith returned three games later in a victory at Cleveland, upping his record to 9-2 this season when he plays an entire game. The Steelers are 24-3 with Smith in the starting lineup the past two years.

"It's always good to have your offensive line out there, your starters," QB Ben Roethlisberger said. "Having Marvel at left tackle, it's your blind side and it's good to have someone out there like that, and I know I can count on him when it's time to pass block and picking up blitzes."

+ With the Bengals and Steelers splitting their regular-season series, Ward used a boxing reference for their playoff game.

"It is kind of like Muhammad Ali and (Joe) Frazier - we get a third chance to get our title back."

+ Bengals coach Marvin Lewis was asked if he was surprised his team is the underdog in this game, despite playing at home and despite winning the AFC North over the Steelers.

"No," he said.


"I have been the underdog my whole life."

+ The Steelers and Bengals enter this weekend's game healthy. Seven Bengals are on the injury list, but all are probable. Six Steelers are listed, with two questionable, including LB Andre Frazier (hamstring) and DE Travis Kirschke (back). Kirschke is the lone Steelers player to miss yesterday's practice.

Bengals notebook: Will Bengals fans keep tickets?

Bush lowers unemployment by killing workers.

With appy-polly loggies to logical thinkers everywhere.

Modus ponens, kiddies:

p implies q;

p, therefore q.

Boston Globe: Democrats asking Congress to review safety, enforcement

Democrats called yesterday for congressional hearings into mine safety and the Bush administration's enforcement of mine regulations, after the explosion and collapse in West Virginia that left 12 miners dead.

Bloomberg.com: U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Since 2000 (Update1)

The number of Americans filing first- time claims for jobless benefits fell last week to the lowest level since September 2000...

Black is Black, or, A Whiter Shade of Pale.

The Sacramento Bee:
In-Vince-ible: Young runs, passes Texas to national championship

A championship game that sputtered and coughed in the first half went into hyperdrive in the second. And when it was over there was a new title holder and new national darling: Vince Young.

At present, Mr. Young is merely a quarterback who happens to be African-American. Sooner or later, he will be faced with the most important choice "sports journalism" can conjure:

Will he be an African-American African-American quarterback, or will he sell out to whitey and become a Caucasian-American African-American quarterback?

I know you must be on pins and needles, kiddies. Stay tuned for updates.

Ariel Sharon is about to meet his maker...

...for his sake, I hope he's ready.

Reliable sources indicate to Israel Insider that PM Ariel Sharon died at 11 am. Israeli media channels still report his condition is "very grave." Director of Hadassah Hospital Shlomo Mor-Yosef officially denies "rumors" of death and says Sharon's condition is "serious but stable."

Channel 10 reports those closest to Sharon as saying he has suffered "brain damage." A likely explanation to reconcile the two reports is that Sharon has suffered brain death -- the lack of cerebral activity -- but that his heart continues beating, while he remains anesthetized and respirated.

Mor-Yosef, briefing journalists at the hospital's gate, said that "the prime minister is suffering from low intracranial pressure, and is heavily sedated. He will be respirated for at least the next 24 hours. All the parameters that we can check are as expected, following an operation of this type."

He said he came out to counter rumors of Sharon's death. "I came out to update you and to refute the rumors flooding the country," he said, referring to rumors claiming that Sharon had already died, and that the news is being delayed for one reason or another.

"Sharon is still alive," a Sharon aide in the intensive care unit told Ynet. But Channel Ten quotes "someone very close" to the PM as saying that he had suffered "brain damage" -- to what extent was not indicated -- unconnected with the effects of the operation.

Mor-Yosef called on journalists to "cooperate in a responsible manner with the transfer of information on the prime minister's condition," adding: "As Hadassah's director, I am obligated to bring every change in the prime minister's condition to light through hospital statements."

Smacking down the "Reverend" Phelps by law...

...or, The protestant crack up continues apace.

KSAT: Lawmaker Wants To Ban Protests At Military Funerals

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Disturbed by protests at military burials by members of a church who say God is punishing American soldiers, a Nebraska lawmaker wants to limit how close such protests can be to a funeral service.

Sen. Mike Friend of Omaha has introduced a bill that would make it illegal to picket within 100 feet of any part of a funeral service.

Similar measures have been introduced in Missouri, Indiana and Oklahoma.

The Rev. Fred Phelps, of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., contends that U.S. soldiers are being killed in Iraq as God's punishment for America's acceptance of homosexuality.

Westboro's members have protested at the funerals of scores of troops killed in the war.

The left is pleased because these protestant fools seem to have progressed from the notion that AIDS is God's punishment to a more politically correct position.

The 21st Century Parents of the Year Contest is over before it started.

Denver Post: Couple get sitter for pups but not for youngsters

An unspeakable horror stalks the land.

But at least they are part of the muti-billion dollar US pet market that helps to keep our economy afloat.

A married couple who got a dog sitter for their puppies but left the man's young children home alone while they vacationed in Las Vegas were arrested Wednesday, police said.

Jacob Calero, 39, and Michelle De La Vega, 32, were taken into custody as they arrived home on a flight to Oakland. They had left town Friday to celebrate the new year, authorities said.

The couple apparently told 9-year-old Joshua to look after his 5-year-brother, Jason, who is autistic. The children spent one night alone before police found them.

The boys' maternal grandmother, Libbey Holden, said she called police because she had suspected the couple left the children at home in San Ramon, about 35 miles east of San Francisco.

Joshua said his father and stepmother got each other puppies for Christmas, which they brought to De La Vega's mother to care for before leaving town.

"I thought they loved them more than us," Joshua told The Associated Press during an interview at his maternal grandmother's apartment. The children's mother died in 2003.

Out of the mouths of babes...

That brave boy and his brother deserve better. Bless and protect them, Lord.

He added that he and his brother ate cereal for breakfast and cooked frozen dinners in the microwave.

Calero and De La Vega were being held on suspicion of two felony counts each of child endangerment. Bail was set at $200,000.

Police found the children asleep in their beds Saturday night. A gas fireplace was on, but they found nothing out of the ordinary.

"It appears that the food and the environment were set up for them to be alone," San Ramon police Sgt. Brian Kalinowski said.

How thoughtful.

Officers began calling Calero's cellphone Saturday, but he didn't call back until Tuesday.

"We get the sense that they felt no urgency for them to return home," Kalinowski said.

SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood)

The latest in a continuing series.

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions

Our Vaginas, Ourselves

Let me get some housecleaning out of the way first. This lady's [?] nom de rébellion is an example of what our moral and intellectual superiors call clever:


1. Originally, a wig; afterwards, a mop for cleaning cannon.
2. A patch of false hair, or something resembling hair, worn on a string over the female pudenda; - used by stripteasers.
3. The hair on the female pubic area.

Here's more Merkinmania from The Straight Dope:

* They used to shave off all the pubic hair as a cure for syphillis, so the well-to-do used wigs.

* Before penicillin was around to ease the lives of the promiscuous, these were used to cover up any sores prostitutes may have obtained in the line of duty.

* They used to treat the syphilitic with mercury, which caused baldness.

* The merkin is for women with no pubic hair. Some people just don't develop hair down there, and this can be embarrassing.

* In days of old a common problem was lice. One of the ways people dealt with this was to shave all the hair off their bodies, including arms, legs, and pubes. Wigs became very popular. Pubic wigs caught on slowly, starting among the kinkier set, but eventually became halfway respectable.
* A merkin is a crotch wig for both men and women and is usually worn on the outside. Have you ever seen a Scot in full regalia? That little fur "purse" in front is a merkin.

* In a country of mainly dark haired people, a prostitute may wear a blond merkin to be unusual and therefore more desirable. (Got this from a dictionary of sex.)

* One of the more recent uses is to allow exotic dancers to comply with local laws prohibiting full nudity. They wear what amounts to a flesh-colored panty with hair on the front, appearing to the patrons of the establishment to disrobe completely without actually doing so.

You'll get it after a minute or two of reading, kiddies.

These are cruel times for vaginas. Lately, as if I don't have enough to worry about, with the deadline on various unkept 2005 resolutions fast upon me, I have begun obsessing about various aspects of my genital appearance. Take my labia minora, for instance. Tucked away as those intimate folds of flesh are - hidden in the underbrush, you might say - I have never given them much thought, except as they relate to experiences of sensual pleasure. Ditto my labia majora, which dutifully served their purpose in guarding the entryway to what the Victorians would have quaintly referred to as my maidenhead. As for the much vaunted hymen (named for the Greek god of marriage), mine remained intact longer than most thanks to my slow-blooming erotic life, until such time as a boyfriend's patient late-night exertions finally parted me from it at the age of 25. Needless to say, its absence - much less the idea that I might be harboring a deep sense of nostalgia for this tiny piece of overinvested membrane, might indeed be secretly yearning to reclaim it - hasn't so much as crossed my mind in the intervening years.

Ah, but how blithely backward-looking - and how wrong, as it turns out - I was. I have seen the future, and it is denuded. Pubic hair is out; the ubiquity of so-called Brazilian waxes, once the domain of porn stars and movie actresses, has ensured that this mossy covering is deemed no more than an aesthetic hindrance to the unfettered male gaze. Which leaves the one part of the female body formerly not available to harsh scrutiny now glaringly on display, held up to culturally defined aesthetic standards undreamed of by the smut-obsessed author of "My Secret Life," borrowed as they are from centerfolds and online pornography. Sagging groin skin and limp labia are going the way of crooked noses and post-nursing breasts, courtesy of new cosmetic surgeries focused on this once-neglected hinterland of female beauty. As recently noted in an article in The Wall Street Journal, vaginal plastic surgery is one of the field's fastest growing sectors, and its high priest, one Dr. David Matlock of - where else? - Los Angeles, claims that he has a five-month waiting list for women eager to get that Playboy look.

But wait, there's more. The future as I see it is also - how to put this? - reforested. Hymen-reattachment surgery, once a desperate stratagem undertaken by young women from Muslim, Asian and Latin American cultures that demonized the loss of virginity before marriage, is now being hawked as a way to enjoy a second honeymoon. If it's unclear whom this procedure is meant for - aging women hoping to catch a flagging penis with the semblance of undeflowered innocence? - it's even more ontologically ungraspable how stitching a hymen back together vitiates the psychological experience of having already lost your virginity. But it is being advertised heavily in print as well as online, and one enterprising doctor who trained with Matlock says he performs about a dozen such operations a month and fields voluminous amounts of e-mail inquiries.

Forget Matlock. Try MacGyver. "What's he doing with that thing?"

BTW, isn't MacGyver a Scottish name? What do you think he could do with a merkin, a paper clip, and some ammonia?

Truth be told, I always considered myself lucky to have escaped coming of age at the height of the consciousness-raising era, when anatomical self-examination took on the aspect of a collective ritual. Those were the days when women felt obliged to convene in sisterly circles with mirrors and flashlights the better to study their bodies, themselves. Never having been one to enjoy group activities of any sort, the thought of becoming more closely acquainted with my private parts in a public setting seems potentially traumatizing rather than liberating or, God knows, celebratory.

Indeed, it has always seemed to me that one of the singular advantages of being a woman lies precisely in the "dark continent" quality of our genital cartography. If we women don't get to stalk around flaunting our virile equipment the way men do, we also don't have to deal with locker-room slights or bedroom disparagements. We carry our signs of arousal - our receptivity - on the inside, as opposed to the straightforward jack-in-the-box readability of men. And although it's true that the very structural inaccessibility of the vagina may lead to difficulties with body image (how do you go about envisioning something you can't see?), it also serves as a kind of protection against the relentless judgment - the fierce critique - of every pixel of our appearance that women, far more than men, are inclined to. Men may have begun to worry a bit more about their drooping jowls than they used to and may be the target of those abject penile-enhancement ads that pop up all over the Internet, but 90 percent of all cosmetic procedures are performed on women. So having one less visual surface to commodify - to narrow our eyes at accusingly, checking out for acceptability or desirability in terms of size, shape and firmness - leads me to offer up silent thanks for small favors of chromosomal destiny.

This whole article makes me ineffably sad. I know it seems I am having my usual irreverent way with it, but I swear I'm having a Pagliacci moment here. You know, tears of a clown and all that.

But I am out of step; I grow old and wear the bottoms of my blue jeans rolled. Perhaps it's an inescapable consequence of living in a free-market society that choice springs eternal, that nothing is ever done with, that decisions once made can be unmade, that you can return your character to the vendor and ask for improvements. We live in a time of thong underwear, of designer sorrows and of artificially enhanced gratifications. So step right up, ladies. Your labia may not be up to snuff - they may extrude too much or lack youthful plumpness - but a quick nip/tuck or strategic injection of fat from Dr. 90210 and his colleagues will take care of that. And thanks to the wonders of hymenoplasty, you can get to be a virgin - or at least like a virgin - all over again. From where I sit, life looks to be one long Madonna-esque self-invention tour, (An excellent example. Look here. - F.G.) and there's nothing to be done but to grin, tighten your Kegel muscles and bear it.

Daphne Merkin is a contributing writer for the magazine.

I'd like to think "Daphne" is a guy. Sadly, I have no doubt she is a she.

What in the world happened to women? My mom and dad, the rest of my family, The Church, my friends and neighbors, the books I read, the schools I attended, and even the governments that ruled over me (mostly) taught me women were the wise ones, the ones to be respected.

Women used to be the civilizing force. They were the ones who would keep me and my fellow boys in line once we grew up enough to appreciate the difference between the sexes. This is no longer the case.

Women are becoming more like men. There, I said it.

Our so-called culture demands it. Our betters preach it constantly. Hell, we even have women in combat. (And just you wait until that one comes home to roost, kiddies. Hoohoo!)

Frankly, I hate guys. Sure they're good for sports and boozing and brawling and repairing my transmission. Sure they make the best chefs, novelists, artists, scientists, mathematicians, cops, and firemen.

But if I wanted to spend the rest of my life with a guy, I'd be dating Barney Frank. (Actually, I'd like to think if I was a sodomite, I could do a heck of a lot better than Barney Frank. But you know what I mean.)

Look at your sons and daughters. How are you rearing them? Do you want your girls to grow up to be self-absorbed imbeciles like "Daphne Merkin"?

Do you want your kids staring at themselves in a mirror the rest of their lives while their immortal souls shrivel and harden because you thought teaching them right from wrong would harm their self-esteem?

Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for Boys) is here.

Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff Death) is here.

Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is here.

Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) is here.

Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is here.

Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is here.

Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is here.

Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is here.

Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is here.

Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is here.

Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is here.

Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is here.

Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is here.

Fyodor receives a recorded message from Steelers' Hall of Famer Lynn Swann.

Nope. He's not offering me Super Bowl tickets.

ABC News: Lynn Swann to Run for Pa. Governor

Former Steelers star Lynn Swann, who declared his candidacy for Pennsylvania governor, says he is confident he will win the state GOP committee's endorsement.

However, if the committee endorses one of his three competitors next month, Swann said Wednesday he may contest the party's candidate in the May 16 primary.

The committee's endorsement is an anti-democratic joke. Make these men face the Republican voters in a primary election. If it's good enough for Iraq, it's good enough for the Keystone State.

"If I need a primary to win, then I would have to take a serious look at being in the primary," he said.

Swann, 53, declared his candidacy in the city where he made his name in professional football. His announcement was no surprise: Swann's political committee has been raising money for his campaign for nearly a year.

He told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday afternoon that he made up his mind to run in the fall after spending months weighing support at events around the state.

Swann, a Hall of Fame receiver and longtime TV football commentator, faces three other candidates in seeking the Republican nomination for governor his first run for political office. The winner of the May 16 primary likely would face Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, who is expected to seek a second four-year term.

If successful in his first bid for political office, Swann would become Pennsylvania's first black governor.

Fyodor breaks down the game exclusively for GoldKey Members.

Swann's advantages:
1) Name recognition.
2) He's not a professional politician. ("Not beholden to special interests", blah, blah, blah.)
3) He's a black man.

Swann's disadvantages:
1) Democrass dominance in Philly and Pittsburgh.
2) He's not a professional politician. ("Won't be able to govern effectively without a political machine", blah, blah, blah.)
3) He's a black Republican.

Opening Line: Swann is a 10 to 1 shot.

Swann kicked off his campaign with a rally Wednesday night in Pittsburgh. Former Steelers teammate Mel Blount introduced Swann, accompanied by his wife and two sons. He plans appearances in five other cities Thursday and Friday.

The Steelers won four Super Bowls during Swann's nine-year pro career with the team. He has worked for ABC Sports since his retirement from football in 1983.

Swann said he had put off a formal announcement until Wednesday to avoid conflicts with his ABC Sports duties.

If elected, Swann said he would not resume his broadcasting career even on a part-time basis. Rendell moonlights as a Philadelphia Eagles post-game analyst for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia.

"I think the people of Pennsylvania would rather have a governor who is committed to being there," Swann said.

Actually, Swannee, that's the only time I can trust Slow Eddie. When he's making an ass of himself on Comcast I know he's not in Harrisburg screwing me out of more money.

Fyodor breaks down last night's so-called National Championship* game.

ABOVE: The University of Texas' cheerleaders without their chaps.

Looking for proof that genius is inherently simple? May I submit the sweater?

The timeless look of the University of Southern California's cheerleaders (above) and USC's lovelies relaxing at the beach (below).

I was disappointed with the performance of the ladies of Troy last night. Somebody had the bright idea of ruining the most perfect cheerleader uniform ever by pasting a giant rose across the front. It might have been ABC's camera work, but USC's natural talent advantage was nowhere to be seen.

Texas, on the other hand, was in top form. Especially the ladies under the goalpost wearing the chaps. Bonus points for combining the cheerleader and cowgirl fantasies into one.

* We want a playoff!

The story of St. John Nepomucene Neumann.

5 January

Son of Philip, who was German and owned a stocking factory, and Agnes Neumann who was Czech. John was a small and quiet boy with four sisters and a brother, and was named after Saint John Nepomucene. An excellent student, John early felt drawn to religious life. Seminarian at Budweis, Bohemia in 1813, he studied astronomy and botany in addition to theological topics. Studied theology at Charles Ferdinand University at Prague in 1833.

When time came for his ordination, the bishop was sick; the date for was never reset because Bohemia had an over-abundance of priests. John decided to go to America to ask for ordination and work with emigres. He walked most of the way to France, then took ship for America.

John arrived unannounced in Manhattan in 1836. Bishop John Dubois was happy to see him as there were 36 priests for the 200,000 Catholics in New York and New Jersey. John was ordained on 28 June 1836, and sent to Buffalo. There the parish priest, Father Pax, gave him the choice of the city of Buffalo or of the rural area; John chose the more difficult country area. He stayed in a small town with an unfinished church, and when it was completed, he moved to a town with a log church. There he built himself a small log cabin, rarely lit a fire, slept little, often lived on bread and water, and walked miles to visit farm after remote farm. John's parishioners were from many lands and tongues, but John knew twelve languages, and worked with them all.

Joined the Redemptorists at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1840, taking his vows at Baltimore, Maryland in 1841, the first Redemptorist to do so in the United States. Home missionary in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Rector of Saint Philomena church in Pittsburgh in 1844. Vice-regent and superior of the Redemptorists in America in 1847. Bishop of Philadelphia in 1852.

Built fifty churches and began building a cathedral. Opened almost one hundred schools, and the number of parochial school students in his diocese grew from 500 to 9,000. Wrote newspaper articles, two catechisms, and many works in German. First American man and first American bishop to be canonized.

1811 at Prachititz, Bohemia (Czech Republic)

5 January 1860 of a stroke at 13th and Vine Streets, Philadephia, Pennsylvania, USA

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. John Neumann, Redemptorist and Bishop of Philadelphia. John Neumann came to America because he could not be ordained in his native Bohemia because they had too many priests! Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. John Nuemann is
Isaias 52:7-10.
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 16:15-20.

[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]

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 St. 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, January 04, 2006

Gratuitous Vida Guerra Photos of the Day.

My, oh my. It's time to move next door to Vida. Bye, kiddies.

Sowell: How many people must die from Iranian nukes before we realize there's a problem?

You caught me. Those are my words, not Dr. Sowell's. But you get the idea.

When you are boating on the Niagara River, there are signs marking the point at which you must go ashore or else you will be sucked over the falls. With Iran moving toward the development of nuclear weapons, we are getting dangerously close to that fatal point of no return on the world stage.

Yet there are few signs of alarm in our public discourse, whether among politicians, the media, or the intelligentsia. There is much more discussion of whether government anti-terrorism agents should be able to look at the records of books borrowed from public libraries.

The Iranian government itself is giving us the clearest evidence of what a nuclear Iran would mean, with its fanatical hate-filled declarations about wanting to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. But send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

There's a surprise. Who cares if a few hundred thousand Jews get incinerated?

Just last year, before the American election, Osama bin Laden warned that those places that voted for the re-election of the President would become targets of terrorist retribution.

Larry King: Wyoming...Hello. Hello? Wyoming?

We could ignore him then. But neither we, nor our children, nor our children's children will ever be able to ignore him again if he gets nuclear weapons from a nuclear Iran.

We will live at his mercy -- of which he has none -- if he can wipe out New York or Chicago if we do not knuckle under to his demands, however outrageous those demands might be.

We will truly have passed the point of no return. What will future generations think of us, that we drifted on past the warning signs, preoccupied with library records and with giving foreign terrorists the same legal rights as American citizens?

We could deter the nuclear power of the Soviet Union with our own nuclear power. But you cannot deter suicidal terrorists. You can only kill them or stop them from getting what they need to kill you.


We are killing them in Iraq, though our media seem wholly uninterested in that part of the story, just as they seem uninterested in the fact that the fate of Western civilization may be at stake just across the border in Iran.

Of course they would like us to prevent Iran from going nuclear -- if it can be done nicely by diplomacy, with the approval of the U.N., and in ways that do not offend "world opinion."

It is as if we were on the Niagara River and wanted to go ashore before it was too late, but did not want to turn on the motors for fear of disturbing the neighbors with excessive noise.


But at that point, the choice is between being serious or being suicidal.

That is where we are internationally today. Many years ago, there was a book with the title "The Suicide of the West." It may have been ahead of its time.

The squeamishness, indecision, and wishful thinking of the West are its greatest dangers because the West has the power to destroy any other danger. But it does not have the will.

I doubt even the Israelis can muster the will to take out the Persian's Bomb.

Partly this is because most of our Western allies have been sheltered from the brutal realities of the international jungle for more than half a century under the American nuclear umbrella.

Yep. And we are being emasculated as well. See SEX IS DEATH.(George Gilder offers a clue) here.

As Raymond Chandler put it, "A pansy has no iron in his bones."

People insulated from dangers for generations can indulge themselves in the illusion that there are no dangers -- as much of Western Europe has. This is part of the "world opinion" that makes us hesitant to take any decisive action to prevent a nightmare scenario of nuclear weapons in the hands of hate-filled fanatics.

Do not look for Europe to support any decisive action against Iran. But look for much of their intelligentsia, and much of our own intelligentsia as well, to be alert for any opportunity to wax morally superior if we do act.

They will be able to think of all sorts of nicer alternatives to taking out Iran's nuclear development sites. They will be able to come up with all sorts of abstract arguments and moral equivalence, such as: Other countries have nuclear weapons. Why not Iran?

Debating abstract questions is much easier than confronting concrete and often brutal alternatives. The big question is whether we are serious or suicidal.

The ballots have all been counted. It's suicide in a landslide!

Thomas Sowell is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow.

British Woman Marries Dolphin, British men relieved.

From Fox News:

Sharon Tendler met Cindy 15 years ago. She said it was love at first sight. Last week she finally took the plunge and proposed. The lucky "guy" plunged right back.

In a modest (??? - F.G.) ceremony at Dolphin Reef in the southern Israeli port of Eilat, Tendler, a 41-year-old British citizen, apparently became the world's first person to "marry" a dolphin.

Dressed in a white dress, a veil and pink flowers in her hair, Tendler got down on one knee on the dock and gave Cindy a kiss. And a piece of herring.

"It's not a perverted thing. I do love this dolphin. He's the love of my life," she said yesterday, upon her return to London.Tendler, who said she imports clothes and promotes rock bands in England, has visited Israel several times a year since first meeting the dolphin.

When asked in the past if she had a boyfriend, she would always reply, "No. I'm going to end up with Cindy." On Wednesday, she made it official, sort of. While she acknowledged the "wedding" had no legal bearing she did say it reflected her deep feelings toward the bottlenosed, 35-year-old object of her affection.

Insert your favorite "blowhole" joke here.

"It's not a bad thing. It's just something that we did because I love him, but not in the way that you love a man. It's just a pure love that I have for this animal," she said.

That dolphin sure dodged a bullet. For a while it looked like he might have to have sex with a British woman. And an insane one at that.

While she still kept open the option of "marrying a human" at some stage, she said for now she was strictly a "one-dolphin woman".

I can hear Englishmen fleeing to the continent as I type.

She's hardly the jealous type, though.

"He will still play with all the other girls there," she said, of their prenuptial agreement. "I hope he has a lot of baby dolphins with the other dolphins. The more dolphins the better."

About Me

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


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