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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 20, 2006

HOLY CRAP! Paleolibertarians (heehee!) have corrupted the Cato Institute!

Here's the latest from Professor Rummel on the war against The Democratic Peace with an assist from his sidekick, ProForma:

More of CATO's Anti-Democratic Peace Prejudice

They have become so predictable. Consider this bio: Dr. Leon Hadar is a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, where he analyzes international politics and economics with a special focus on the Middle East and East Asia. A former United Nations bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post.

Now, what do you think Hadar's take will be on the democratic peace? With the key words CATO and UN bureau chief, you're right. He'll be totally negative. And so he is in his recent article, "The Myth of Democratic Peace."

What is it with these CATO libertarians? It's not incompetence, not when there has to be a conscious avoidance of studies with which they disagree. It has to be a visceral prejudice. Well, my colleague Pro Forma lets rip on them, and he's right. He says:

I think what really annoys me about these bozos are four things:

First, they rely on no actual social science (neither empirical nor theoretical) to make their points -- the paleolibertarian case against the democratic peace is almost entirely rhetorical.

Second, they completely ignore the vast DP literature. It's not that they say it is flawed and cite any examples...they just don't even deal with it. The DP literature is incredibly rich in all sorts of empirical research, and abounds with theoretical explanations at many levels. Yet, they refuse to engage any of this. It's like studying world geography, and despite Columbus and Magellan and Drake and modern cartography and trips into space and satellite photography, they are still using maps without the Americas, but instead a big vast emptiness between Europe and Asia. You can't do science this way!


Third, they seem to dismiss any possibility of democratic peace by arguing that democracy has many definitions, so nobody really knows what it is.... yet they are quick to assert that this thing that no one can define is actually very non-peaceful. This not only is bad science, it denies the possibility of science.


Fourth, the implications -- both philosophical and policy -- of the anti-DP rhetoric by the paleolibertarians is profoundly disturbing for anyone who loves freedom and values liberty. Let's think about this.

If democracy is so bad, then non-democracy should be pretty good. In fact, Leon Hadar concludes his article with a proposal to inquire if non-democracies are actually more peaceful than democracies (note to Hadar: it's been done; they aren't). If peace is a human value, and a good thing (since it favors life and well-being, and democracies were found to be actually less peaceful than non-democracies, we would not want democracy, and should work to establish and spread non-democracy.

Yet, I cannot think of any realistic non-democratic form of government that anyone would rather live under. The core difference between democracy and non-democracy is that you can change democratic governments with ballots (peaceful), while you can only change non-democratic governments with bullets (non-peaceful). This is philosophically very confusing: we want a peaceful government, so, according to the paleos, we want a non-democratic government so we'll have peace. But we can only change this non-democratic government with non-peaceful means.

Does this mean we are doomed to renew and alter our government only with bloody means, and that the great experiment the American founders engaged in is a failure? If so, then all this writing about universal aspirations for democracy is false. And Fukuyama was wrong when he argued that over the past few thousand years, in the "marketplace" of history, democracy has been desired by people more than any other form of government.

Awwwww...Not Fukuyama again.

If all this is wrong, then what form of government should we desire, and work and fight to put into place? On this, the paleos are strangely silent. Which is VERY worrisome. Since you cannot rely on government protecting rights and minimizing its incursions on liberty by either hoping the government will behave, or by putting power in the hands of a benign dictator who promises to keep government small, just how do the paleos think freedom will be protected? Thinking about this -- and of the impossibility in history of establishing an anarchy-country, I'm beginning to think that the paleos, for now only on a theoretical level, are really enemies of freedom, and anti-liberty in their core.

Bonus Edition of the Find The Hottest TV News Babes Contest!

As I've always said, "If you are suffering from a dearth of hot babes, go to Miami". The babes of WSVN are: Christine Cruz (above left), Elita Loresca (above right-oh my!),

Nicole Linsalata (above left), Diana Diaz (above right),

Natalie Solis (above left), and Shireen (!) Sandoval (above right).

The Find The Hottest TV News Babe Contest continues apace.

Today's Hot TV News Babes are from WHDH in Boston.
Frances Rivera (left) and Wendy Nix.

Lauren Przybyl (Consonants, baby.)

Linda Ergas

I must admit that today it is mostly about the names. Like Caterina Bandini (Russo-Italian!) on the left and Chikage (Japanese for "thousands of vistas") Windler on the right.

Animal Flesh Recipe of the Day.

Researcher: Early Man Was Hunted by Birds

It's payback time, kiddies. Thanks to the Food Network and Emeril Lagasse, we can avenge our ancestors and enjoy a tasty meal. (Frankly, those ancient birds couldn't have been very tough, or we wouldn't be here.)

Roast Pheasant with Whisky-Cumberland Sauce
Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings

1/4 cup Scotch whisky
2 oranges, cut into 1/8ths
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) pheasants
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, halved

Whisky-Cumberland Sauce:
1 cup Scotch whisky
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 cup red currant jelly
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne

Serving suggestion: Wild rice

For the pheasant:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a bowl, toss the oranges with 3 tablespoons of the whisky. Rub the pheasants with the remaining 1 tablespoon of whisky and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stuff each pheasant with the oranges and 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and close the cavities with skewers. Wrap the breast of each pheasant with the bacon and set in a roasting pan. Roast the pheasants until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees F., about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.

For the Whisky Cumberland Sauce:
In a medium saucepan, combine the whisky, orange juice, and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 50 percent in volume to about 3/4 cup. Add the currant jelly, salt, and cayenne, and stir well.
Cook until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a decorative bowl. Cool slightly before serving.

Remove the bacon from the pheasant breasts, if desired, and cut each bird in half. Discard the oranges and thyme in the cavity. Serve hot with Whisky-Cumberland Sauce and wild rice.

And since you've got the whiskey out, why not prepare some Drunken Shrimp? Ha! take that, you puritans!

Oh no! We're running out of metal!

From LiveScience.com and Yahoo!:

If all nations were to use the same services enjoyed in developed nations, even the full extraction of metals from the Earth's crust and extensive recycling may not be enough to meet metal demands in the future, according to a new study.

The solution is obvious: Export Western socialists to the rest of the world to wreck their economies.

BTW, kiddies, be careful if you visit LiveScience.com. Your brains will be assaulted by flapdoodle like this: Human Ears Evolved from Ancient Fish Gills.

B.B. King Plans One More World Tour

Get your tickets now, kiddies. You'll always regret it if you don't see Mr. King live.

While other 80-year-olds might dust off their rockers, blues dynamo B.B. King will be rocking and rolling when he launches what he says will be his final world tour later this year.

King will begin an international "Farewell Tour" in March, part of a domestic tour that starts Feb. 16 in Chicago, King's publicist, Jerry Digney, said in a news release Wednesday.

King said he will continue to make U.S. concert appearances after the tour.
"I hardly remember I'm 80 unless I have to run up a hill or stairs," the singer and guitarist said . "As long as people buy my records and come to my concerts, I don't see anything else I'd like to do."

King has toured every year for 60 years, Digney said Thursday.
The musician celebrated his 80th birthday in September and released an album, "B.B. King & Friends — 80,"...

A $10 million B.B. King museum is slated to open later this year in the Grammy winner's native Mississippi.

"I think the clock is ticking, yes," King said. "In fact, I know it is. Frank Sinatra sang about the September of (his) years. I think I'm in the November of my years."

From The More Money Than Brains Department:

Look kiddies! It's the Scrolling LED belt buckles from HIPHOP CAPITAL!

This can do the following:
- Store up to 6 messages
- Store 256 characters per message
- Scrolls left to right
- Scrolls up and down
- Blink

This item measures 5.5 inches(13.75 cm) in length and is 2 inches(5 cm) high. This is the perfect accessory for any day out. Get yours today as they are selling fast.

The mind boggles at the possibilities. For instance, what kid wouldn't want a belt buckle scrolling "It was the best of times. It was the worst of times."?

Irrelevant Old Commie of the Day.

Sunday Mail: Cronkite's kiss of death for war
Former CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, whose 1968 statement that the Vietnam War was unwinnable influenced public opinion, said he'd say the same thing now about Iraq.


Who in the world is Dave Marash...

...and why should anyone care if he's now taking blood money from the non-union Arab equivalent of Joseph Goebbels?

Newsday.com: Marash moves to Al-Jazeera news
Dave Marash, the veteran "Nightline" correspondent who left the program late last year, has landed at Al-Jazeera International, the new English-language news channel that will be spun off from Al-Jazeera later this spring.

The only other time I heard of Dave Marash was about thirty years ago when he wrote "I have seen the future of rock and roll, and it is Bruce Springsteen."

You've come a long way, baby.

I think one of those little brain eating creatures from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan has burrowed into Al Gore's head.

Ha! Just kidding. That would actually be a sign of mental progress from the inventer of the internet, recipient of labor union lullabies, and the real winner of the 2000 election.

Anyway, with his usual sense of timing, America's third favorite raving madman trotted out his political minstrel show on MLK Jr. Day:

As we begin this new year, the executive branch of our government has been caught eavesdropping on huge numbers of American citizens and has brazenly declared that it has the unilateral right to continue without regard to the established law enacted by Congress precisely to prevent such abuses. It is imperative that respect for the rule of law be restored in our country.

Except, of course, when you and your fascist buddies (or your dad and his fascist buddies) are in power. Right, Al?


And that is why many of us have come here to Constitution Hall to sound an alarm and call upon our fellow citizens to put aside partisan differences insofar as it is possible to do so and join with us in demanding that our Constitution be defended and preserved.

It is appropriate that we make this appeal on the day our nation has set aside to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who challenged America to breathe new life into our oldest values by extending its promise to all of our people.

And on this particular Martin Luther King Day it is especially important to recall for that for the last several years of his life Dr. King was illegally wiretapped, one of hundreds of thousands of Americans whose private communications were intercepted by the U.S. government during that period.

GORE: The FBI privately labeled King the -- and I quote -- "the most dangerous and effective negro leader in the country" and vowed to -- again, I quote -- "take him off his pedestal."

That would be the Democrass government of President LBJ, the sainted RFK at Justice ordering the FBI wiretaps, and the Democrass controlled Congress that conveniently failed in its oversite duties.

The government even attempted to destroy his marriage and tried to blackmail him into committing suicide. This campaign continued until Dr. King's murder.

The discovery that the FBI conducted this long-running and extensive campaign of secret electronic surveillance designed to infiltrate the inner workings of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and to learn the most intimate details of Dr. King's life was instrumental in helping to convince Congress to enact restrictions on wiretapping.

If you have a strong stomach or if you are a masochist, the whole transcript may be found here courtesy of Washington's other newspaper.

The Theology of the Body: 5. Meaning of Man's Original Solitude

In his General Audience on 10 October 1979, the Holy Father examined man's solitude, not as male, distinct from female, but in his nature as distinct from other living things, his difference in superiority, revealed to him in his self-consciousness.

On 10 October at the General Audience in St Peter's Square, the Pope continued his series of talks on the creation of man.

Meaning of Man's Original Solitude

1. In the last reflection of the present cycle we reached an introductory conclusion, taken from the words of Genesis on the creation of man as male and female. We reached these words, that is, the "beginning," to which the Lord Jesus referred in his talk on the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Mt 19:3-9; Mk 10:1-12.) But the conclusion at which we arrived does not yet end the series of our analyses. We must reread the narrations of the first and second chapters of Genesis in a wider context, which will allow us to establish a series of meanings of the ancient text to which Christ referred. Therefore, today we will reflect on the meaning of man's original solitude.

Solitude of "man" as such

2. The starting point of this reflection is provided for us directly by the following words of Genesis: "It is not good that man [male] should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him" (Gn 2:18). God-Yahweh speaks these words. They belong to the second account of the creation of man, and so they come from the Yahwist tradition. As we have already recalled, it is significant that, as regards the Yahwist text, the account of the creation of the man is a separate passage (Gn 2:7). It precedes the account of the creation of the first woman (Gn 2:21-22). It is also significant that the first man ('adam), created from "dust from the ground," is defined as a "male" ('is) only after the creation of the first woman. So when God-Yahweh speaks the words about solitude, it is in reference to the solitude of "man" as such, and not just to that of the male.(1)

However, it is difficult to go very far in drawing conclusions merely on the basis of this fact. Nevertheless, the complete context of that solitude of which Genesis 2:18 speaks can convince us that it is a question here of the solitude of "man" (male and female) and not just of the solitude of man the male, caused by the lack of woman. Therefore, on the basis of the whole context, it seems that this solitude has two meanings: one derived from man's very nature, that is, from his humanity, and the other derived from the male-female relationship. The first meaning is evident in the account of Genesis 2, and the second is evident, in a certain way, on the basis of the first meaning. A detailed analysis of the description seems to confirm this.

3. The problem of solitude is manifested only in the context of the second account of the creation of man. The first account ignores this problem. There man is created in one act as male and female. "God created man in his own image...male and female he created them" (Gn 1:27). As we have already mentioned, the second account speaks first of the creation of the man and only afterward of the creation of the woman from the "rib" of the male. This account concentrates our attention on the fact that "man is alone." This appears as a fundamental anthropological problem, prior, in a certain sense, to the one raised by the fact that this man is male and female. This problem is prior not so much in the chronological sense, as in the existential sense. It is prior "by its very nature." The problem of man's solitude from the point of view of the theology of the body will also be revealed as such, if we succeed in making a thorough analysis of the second account of creation in Genesis 2.

A specific test

4. The affirmation of God-Yahweh, "It is not good that man should be alone," appears not only in the immediate context of the decision to create woman, "I will make him a helper fit for him," but also in the wider context of reasons and circumstances, which explain more deeply the meaning of man's original solitude. The Yahwist text connects the creation of man first and foremost with the need to "till the ground" (Gn 2:5). That would correspond, in the first account, with the vocation to subdue and have dominion over the earth (cf. Gn 1:28). Then, the second account of creation speaks of man being put in the "garden in Eden," and in this way introduces us to the state of his original happiness. Up to this moment man is the object of the creative action of God-Yahweh, who at the same time, as legislator, establishes the conditions of the first covenant with man.

Man's subjectivity is already emphasized through this. It finds a further expression when the Lord God "formed out of the ground every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to man to see what he would call them" (Gn 2:19). In this way, therefore, the first meaning of man's original solitude is defined on the basis of a specific test or examination which man undergoes before God (and in a certain way also before himself). By means of this test, man becomes aware of his own superiority, that is, that he cannot be considered on the same footing as any other species of living beings on the earth.

As the text says, "Whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name" (Gn 2:19). "The man gave names to all cattle, and to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for the man [male] there was not found a helper fit for him" (Gn 2:20).

Creation of woman

5. All this part of the text is unquestionably a preparation for the account of the creation of woman. However, it possesses a deep meaning even apart from this creation. Right from the first moment of his existence, created man finds himself before God as if in search of his own entity. It could be said he is in search of the definition of himself. A contemporary person would say he is in search of his own "identity." The fact that man "is alone" in the midst of the visible world and, in particular, among living beings, has a negative significance in this search, since it expresses what he "is not." Nevertheless, the fact of not being able to identify himself essentially with the visible world of other living beings (animalia) has, at the same time, a positive aspect for this primary search. Even if this fact is not yet a complete definition, it constitutes one of its elements. If we accept the Aristotelian tradition in logic and in anthropology, it would be necessary to define this element as the "proximate genus" (genus proximum) (2)

6. The Yahwist text enables us, however, to discover also further elements in that admirable passage. Man finds himself alone before God mainly to express, through a first self-definition, his own self-knowledge, as the original and fundamental manifestation of mankind. Self-knowledge develops at the same rate as knowledge of the world, of all the visible creatures, of all the living beings to which man has given a name to affirm his own dissimilarity with regard to them. In this way, consciousness reveals man as the one who possesses a cognitive faculty as regards the visible world. With this knowledge which, in a certain way, brings him out of his own being, man at the same time reveals himself to himself in all the peculiarity of his being. He is not only essentially and subjectively alone. Solitude also signifies man's subjectivity, which is constituted through self-knowledge. Man is alone because he is "different" from the visible world, from the world of living beings. Analyzing the text of Genesis we are, in a way, witnesses of how man "distinguishes himself" before God-Yahweh from the whole world of living beings (animalia) with his first act of self-consciousness, and of how he reveals himself to himself. At the same time he asserts himself as a "person" in the visible world. Sketched so incisively in Genesis 2:19-20, that process is a search for a definition of himself. Linking up with the Aristotelian tradition, it leads to indicating the proximate genus. Chapter 2 of Genesis expresses this with the words: "The man gave names...." There corresponds to this the specific differentia which is, according to Aristotle's definition, nôus, zoón noetikón. This process also leads to the first delineation of the human being as a human person with the specific subjectivity that characterizes him.


1) The Hebrew text constantly calls the first man ha-'adam, while the term 'is ("male") is introduced only when contrasted with 'issa ("female"). So "man" was solitary without reference to sex.However, in the translation into some European languages it is difficult to express this concept of Genesis, because "man" and "male" are usually defined with one word: homo, uomo, homme, man.

2) "An essential (quidditive) definition is a statement which explains the essence or nature of things. It will be essential when we can define a thing by its proximate genus and specific differentia.The proximate genus includes within its comprehension all the essential elements of the genera above it and, therefore, includes all the beings that are cognate or similar in nature to the thing that is being defined. The specific differentia, on the other hand, brings in the distinctive element which separates this thing from all others of a similar nature, by showing in what manner it is different from all others, with which it might be erroneously identified.

Man is defined as a 'rational animal.' 'Animal' is his proximate genus; 'rational' is his specific differentia. The proximate genus 'animal' includes within its comprehension all the essential elements of the genera above it, because an animal is a 'sentient, living, material substance....'" The specific differentia 'rational' is the one distinctive essential element which distinguishes 'man' from every other 'animal.' It therefore makes him a species of his own and separates him from every other 'animal' and every other genus above animal, including plants, inanimate bodies and substance.

Furthermore, since the specific differentia is the distinctive element in the essence of man, it includes all the characteristic 'properties' which lie in the nature of man as man, namely, power of speech, morality, etc., realities which are absent in all other beings in this physical world.

(C. N. Bittle, The Science of Correct Thinking, Logic [Milwaukee: 1947], pp. 73-74.)

The Theology of the Body: 4. Boundary Between Original Innocence and Redemption

In his General Audience on 26 September 1979, the Holy Father considered a continuity between man's state of original innocence and the state of original sin, which left him open to the grace of redemption.


Despite the bad weather and a slight drizzle of rain more than 20,000 people attended the General Audience in St Peter's Square on 26 September. The following is the text of the Pope's address.

Boundary Between Original Innocence and Redemption

1. Answering the question on the unity and indissolubility of marriage, Christ referred to what was written about marriage in Genesis. In our two preceding reflections we analyzed both the so-called Elohist text (Gn 1) and the Yahwist one (Gn 2). Today we wish to draw some conclusions from these analyses.

When Christ referred to the "beginning," he asked his questioners to go beyond, in a certain sense, the boundary which in Genesis passes between the state of original innocence and that of sinfulness, which started with the original fall.

Symbolically this boundary can be linked with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which in the Yahwist text delimits two diametrically opposed situations: the situation of original innocence and that of original sin. These situations have a specific dimension in man, in his inner self, in his knowledge, conscience, choice and decision. All this is in relation to God the Creator who, in the Yahwist text (Gn 2 and 3), is at the same time the God of the covenant, of the most ancient covenant of the Creator with his creature—man.

As an expression and symbol of the covenant with God broken in man's heart, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil delimits and contrasts two diametrically opposed situations and states: that of original innocence and that of original sin, and at the same time man's hereditary sinfulness which derives from it. However, Christ's words, which refer to the "beginning," enable us to find in man an essential continuity and a link between these two different states or dimensions of the human being.

The state of sin is part of "historical man," both the one whom we read about in Matthew 19, that is, Christ's questioner at that time, and also of any other potential or actual questioner of all times of history, and therefore, naturally, also of modern man. That state, however—the "historical" state—plunges its roots, in every man without exception, in his own theological "prehistory," which is the state of original innocence.

Fundamental innocence

2. It is not a question here of mere dialectic. The laws of knowing correspond to those of being. It is impossible to understand the state of historical sinfulness without referring or appealing (and Christ appealed to it) to the state of original (in a certain sense, "prehistoric") and fundamental innocence. Therefore, right from the beginning, the arising of sinfulness as a state, a dimension of human existence, is in relation to this real innocence of man as his original and fundamental state, as a dimension of his being created in the image of God.

It happens in this way not only for the first man, male and female, as dramatis personae and leading characters of the events described in the Yahwist text of chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis, but also for the whole historical course of human existence. Historical man is therefore, so to speak, rooted in his revealed theological prehistory: and so every point of his historical sinfulness is explained (both for the soul and for the body) with reference to original innocence. It can be said that this reference is a "co-inheritance" of sin, and precisely of original sin. If this sin signifies, in every historical man, a state of lost grace, then it also contains a reference to that grace, which was precisely the grace of original innocence.

St Paul's reference

3. When Christ, according to chapter 19 of Matthew, makes reference to the "beginning," by this expression he did not indicate merely the state of original innocence as the lost horizon of human existence in history. To the words which he uttered with his own lips, we have the right to attribute at the same time the whole eloquence of the mystery of redemption. Already in the Yahwist texts of Genesis 2 and 3, we are witnesses of when man, male and female, after breaking the original covenant with the Creator, received the first promise of redemption in the words of the so-called Proto-gospel in Genesis 3:15(1) and began to live in the theological perspective of the redemption.

In the same way, therefore, historical man—both Christ's questioner at that time, of whom Matthew 19 speaks, and modern man—participates in this perspective. He participates not only in the history of human sinfulness, as a hereditary and at the same time personal and unique subject of this history; he also participates in the history of salvation, here, too, as its subject and co-creator. He is, therefore, not only closed, because of his sinfulness, with regard to original innocence—but is at the same time open to the mystery of redemption, which was accomplished in Christ and through Christ.

Theological perspective

Paul, the author of the Letter to the Romans, expresses this perspective of redemption in which historical man lives, when he writes: "We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for...the redemption of our bodies" (Rom 8:23). We cannot lose sight of this perspective as we follow the words of Christ who, in his talk on the indissolubility of marriage, appealed to the "beginning."

If that beginning indicated only the creation of man as male and female, if—as we have already mentioned—it brought the questioners only over the boundary of man's state of sin to original innocence, and did not open at the same time the perspective of a "redemption of the body," Christ's answer would not at all be adequately understood. Precisely this perspective of the redemption of the body guarantees the continuity and unity between the hereditary state of man's sin and his original innocence, although this innocence was, historically, lost by him irremediably. It is clear, too, that Christ had every right to answer the question posed by the doctors of the law and of the covenant (as we read in Matthew 19 and in Mark 10), in the perspective of the redemption on which the covenant itself rests.

Method of analyses

4. In the context of the theology of corporeal man, substantially outlined in this way, we can think of the method of further analyses about the revelation of the "beginning," in which it is essential to refer to the first chapters of Genesis. We must at once turn our attention to a factor which is especially important for theological interpretation, because it consists in the relationship between revelation and experience.

In the interpretation of the revelation about man, and especially about the body, we must, for understandable reasons, refer to experience, since corporeal man is perceived by us mainly by experience. In the light of the above mentioned fundamental considerations, we have every right to the conviction that this "historical" experience of ours must, in a certain way, stop at the threshold of man's original innocence, since it is inadequate in relation to it. However, in the light of the same introductory considerations, we must arrive at the conviction that our human experience is, in this case, to some extent a legitimate means for the theological interpretation. In a certain sense, it is an indispensable point of reference, which we must keep in mind for interpreting the beginning. A more detailed analysis of the text will enable us to have a clearer view of it.

Subsequent analyses

5. It seems that the words of Romans 8:23, just quoted, render in the best way the direction of our researches centered on the revelation of that "beginning" which Christ referred to in his talk on the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Mt 19 and Mk 10). All the subsequent analyses that will be made on the basis of the first chapters of Genesis will almost necessarily reflect the truth of Paul's words: "We who have the first fruit of the Spirit groan inwardly as we wait for...the redemption of our bodies." If we put ourselves in this position—so deeply in agreement with experience(2)—the "beginning" must speak to us with the great richness of light that comes from revelation, to which above all theology wishes to be accountable. The continuation of the analyses will explain to us why and in what sense this must be a theology of the body.

1) Already the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the Septuagint, which goes back to about the 2nd century B.C., interprets Genesis 3:15 in the Messianic sense, applying the masculine pronoun autos in reference to the Greek neuter noun sperma (semen in the Vulgate). The Judaic tradition continues this interpretation.

Christian exegesis, beginning with St. Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. III, 23, 7), sees this text as "proto-gospel," which announces the victory won by Jesus Christ over Satan. In the last few centuries scripture scholars have interpreted this pericope differently, and some of them challenge the Messianic interpretation in recent times. However, there has been a return to it under a rather different aspect. The Yahwist author unites prehistory with the history of Israel, which reaches its peak in the Messianic dynasty of David, which will fulfill the promises of Genesis 3:15 (cf. 2 Sam 7:12).

The New Testament illustrated the fulfillment of the promise in the same Messianic perspective: Jesus is the Messiah, descendant of David (cf. Rom 1:3; 2 Tim 2:8), born of woman (cf. Gal 4:4), a new Adam-David (cf. 1 Cor 15), who must reign "until he has put all his enemies under his feet" (1 Cor 15:25). Finally Revelation 12:1-10 presents the final fulfillment of the prophecy of Genesis 3:15. While not being a clear and direct announcement of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, it leads to him, however, through the royal and Messianic tradition that unites the Old and the New Testament.

2) Speaking here of the relationship between "experience" and "revelation," indeed of a surprising convergence between them, we wish merely to say that man in his present state of existing in the body, experiences numerous limitations, sufferings, passions, weaknesses and finally death itself, which, at the same time, refer this existence of his in the body to another and different state or dimension. When St. Paul writes of the "redemption of the body," he speaks with the language of revelation; experience, in fact, is not able to grasp this content or rather this reality. At the same time, in this content as a whole, the author of Romans 8:23 includes everything that is offered both to him and, in a certain way, to every man (independently of his relationship with revelation) through the experience of human existence, which is an existence in the body.Therefore, we have the right to speak of the relationship between experience and revelation. In fact, we have the right to raise the problem of their mutual relation, even if for many people there passes between them a line of demarcation which is a line of complete antithesis and radical antinomy. In their opinion, this line must certainly be drawn between faith and science, between theology and philosophy. In the formulation of this point of view, abstract considerations rather than man as a living subject are taken into consideration.

Dick LeBeau.

Dick LeBeau now (LEFT) and then.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Master communicator

In each of the past two seasons, Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has gathered the team around him and recited, "'Twas the Night Before Christmas."

Word for word. From memory.

"I don't know how he knows the whole thing," linebacker Larry Foote said. "It's 10 minutes long."

Most players say it is the most captivating 10 minutes they have experienced. LeBeau begins the pre-holiday ritual by discussing the author, Clement Clarke Moore, and he then tells the team what the poem (originally called "A Visit from St. Nicholas") meant to him.

"It should be recorded and put on a CD so people can buy it," cornerback Deshea Townsend said Thursday, three days before the AFC Championship game Sunday in Denver. "You should hear coach LeBeau tell this story. It is amazing. He's telling us something we've heard hundreds of times -- and he has a way of making you want to hear more."

Added safety Mike Logan, "I looked around when he was telling it this year. Not one guy blinked."

The theory goes, if LeBeau can capture the team's attention with a 501-word poem, imagine what he can do when explaining zone blitzes, fire zones and the nickel, dime and quarter packages.

He is like the E.F. Hutton of the NFL -- when he talks, everybody listens.

"I think the important thing to know about him is that you don't want to disappoint him; you don't want to let him down," nose tackle Casey Hampton said. "He's one of those people who don't make a big fuss when you make a mistake. And because he's like that, it makes you want to play for him even more."

LeBeau is the oldest member of the Steelers coaching staff at 68 -- he's five years younger than chairman Dan Rooney -- yet he has a way of getting through to players who are as much as 45 years his junior.

That's why he is every bit as effective in communicating with rookie linebacker Andre Frazier as he was in communicating with Frazier's father 25 years earlier. The elder Frazier played linebacker for LeBeau in the early 1980s, when the latter was the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.

"He might be older, but you would never know it," Frazier said. "He's like one of us."

LeBeau has transcended age, finding ways to move forward in the ever-changing NFL. He is credited with creating the zone blitz -- in which defensive linemen drop into coverage where linebackers are typically deployed -- and his weekly game plans are enough to make even the greatest quarterbacks feel dizzy.

Just ask Peyton Manning.

The Steelers made the Indianapolis Colts All-Pro look like a rookie for much of last Sunday's 21-18 Divisional playoff victory at the RCA Dome.
"He always had us in the right places," said linebacker James Farrior, who had 2 1/2 sacks. "If he tells us to be in a certain spot, we know it's going to work. His word is God."

Clearly confused, Manning threw high, threw low, threw wide and threw wildly. He was sacked a career-high five times -- due to LeBeau's blitz scheme with safety Troy Polamalu and the linebackers -- and completed just two passes for 37 yards in the pivotal first quarter, when the Steelers took a 14-0 lead.

Manning quickly discovered why LeBeau is the NFL's version of the "Master of Disguise," as he never seemed to know where the Steelers were coming from. LeBeau's finest work might be unfolding right now with the way he is utilizing Polamalu, who attacks (or fakes attacks) from all angles at any moment.

"We just try to get the best players in the best positions to succeed," said LeBeau, who's defense ranked third against the run and yielded just one 100-yard rusher this season.

Although LeBeau has been in the NFL for 47 years -- 15 as a cornerback with the Detroit Lions (62 interceptions) and 32 as a coach (including two-plus as a head coach in Cincinnati) -- a Super Bowl title has eluded him.
He's been to the big game twice with the Bengals and once with the Steelers in '95, but he has yet to claim the Lombardi Trophy.

"I'm not thinking about those things right now," LeBeau said. "My concern is the Denver Broncos."

LeBeau is scheming to stop the league's No. 2 running game, led by 1,000-yard rusher Mike Anderson and near-1,000-yard rusher Tatum Bell, along with the always dangerous Jake Plummer, who is having his best season as a pro with 18 touchdowns and just seven interceptions.

If the Steelers struggle defensively at Mile High, it won't be from a lack of preparation. And LeBeau will surely pass along one of his favorite quotes: "Sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes, the bear gets you."

"I apply that to the game of football," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "But I also apply it to life. He teaches us about reality, and we feel honored to have him as our coach."

Steelers Playoff Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

A scout's take on Steelers vs. Broncos
A breakdown of Sunday's Steelers-Broncos AFC Championship Game through the eyes of an NFL scout

Matchup of the Day: Defense
Notebook: Smith, Plummer once played on same team
Steelers dominate TV ratings
Travelin' man
If the Denver Broncos defeat the Steelers in the AFC Championship game Sunday, it won't be defensive coordinator Larry Coyer's first title on Denver turf.
Ex-Browns doing just fine in Denver
Notebook: Broncos want Big Ben to throw

Fyodor's Pro Football Picks of the Week: AFC and NFC Championship Games.

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

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

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

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

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

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

Sunday 1/22

Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Denver
Despite being on the road for the third playoff week in a row and the possible letdown after the big win in Indy last week, I MUST take the Steelers and the points. Key to the game: Casey Hampton versus the Bronco running attack.
FINAL: Steelers 34 Broncos 17 - Fyodor wins! (Another total team effort for the third road playoff game in as many weeks. The Steelers have defeated the #1, 2, and 3 seeds in the AFC and are the first #6 seed to reach the Super Bowl. I am cautiously optimistic, even though Pittsburgh opened as a 3 point favorite over Seattle.)

Carolina (+3.5) at Seattle
Carolina has been playing well. Seattle has been overlooked all year. Both teams have problems with their running games. Both have good QBs. I'll take Seattle to cover because they are at home.
FINAL: Seahawks 34 Panthers 14 - Fyodor wins! (Hey, whatever happened to The Greatest Wide Receiver Ever to play well against the Bears? Delhomme had a bad game but Carolina's defense was a bigger disappointment. On the other hand, the Panthers only beat the Giants and the Bears to get to the NFC title game.

Anyway, congrats to Coach Holmgren and the Seahawks and their fans. We'll see you in Detroit.)

BTW, did any of you kiddies notice Your Humble Servant was 9 and 1 against the spread in the playoffs?

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

1/06/2006 — Catholic Charities USA, 13 Other Major Nonprofits Reaffirm Commitment to Human Needs Aspect of Gulf Coast Recovery
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.

Wilson Pickett, Requiescat in pace.

Oh, man...

Motown was slick, but Atlantic had Wilson. Now, I'm just an idiot white boy, but even I understood why Wilson Pickett's music was called "soul".

Tonight I'll break out the whiskey and throw back a couple while listening to the most underrated singer of the last fifty years on scratchy old vinyl.

Listen to a few samples here, kiddies.

Wilson Pickett, the Alabama-born soul singer who brought a raw groove and growling energy to 1960s R & B music, with hits such as "In the Midnight Hour" and "Mustang Sally," died Thursday. He was 64.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member died at a hospital near his Reston, Va., home after suffering a heart attack, according to a statement released by his personal manager, Margo Lewis. Chris Tuthill, of the management company Talent Source, said Pickett had been suffering from health problems for the last year.

His career spanned four decades and, before slowing down in 2005, he had continued to perform, earning a Grammy nomination for the 1999 album "It's Harder Now," which also received three W.C. Handy Awards, the in-genre trophy for blues and soul recordings.

Despite his longevity as a recording artist, his career was truly defined by his raspy, forceful delivery on a run of '60s R & B hits, among them "Land of 1000 Dances," "Funky Broadway" and the telephonic "634-5789."

The singer was nicknamed "the Wicked Pickett" for his gruff power, and no recording captured that intensity more famously than the revving 1966 hit "Mustang Sally," released by Atlantic Records. That song and "In the Midnight Hour" were touchstone hits for young 1960s music fans, and they were revived memorably for a new generation by the 1991 Alan Parker film "The Commitments" and its hit soundtrack. The popular film's plot is about a scruffy collective of young Irish musicians and their ill-fated attempt to meet and perform with their hero, Pickett.

Pickett never actually appears in the film (he did show up in two less-celebrated movies, "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," in 1978, and "Blues Brothers 2000") but he tapped into the film's spirit and success by performing at the Los Angeles and New York premieres of the movie. That was a shining moment, but his own youth had been as gritty and melancholy as the hard-luck north Dublin characters in "The Commitments."

Pickett was born March 18, 1941, in Prattville, Ala., and his earliest music experience was in Baptist church choirs. His home life, as the youngest of 11 children, was less uplifting."The baddest woman in my book … my mother," the singer told author Gerri Hirshey for the book "Nowhere to Run: The Story of Soul Music." "I get scared of her now. She used to hit me with anything, skillets, stove wood … [one time I ran away and] cried for a week. Stayed in the woods, me and my little dog."

Pickett recalled that he got another beating when his preacher grandfather caught him with a copy of Louis Jordan's raucous but tame hit, "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens."

Eventually he had enough, and as a teen he went north to live with his father in Detroit. There, Pickett performed in the gospel harmony group the Violinaires in the 1950s, but by the end of the decade he was pushing into more secular sounds, as were many of his contemporaries who had brought their Southern church sounds north but were ready to move on.

In 1959, Pickett became a member of the Falcons, along with future Memphis soul notables Joe Stubbs (brother of Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops), Sir Mack Rice and Eddie Floyd. The Falcons' hit "I Found a Love" helped land Pickett a deal with Atlantic Records. There he hooked up with renowned producer Jerry Wexler.

Wexler would be a guiding hand during the 1965 sessions for Stax Records that included the memorable recording of "In the Midnight Hour," a hit that found Pickett delivering a performance that was somehow both polished and raw at the same time. Wexler, who had worked with Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and Dusty Springfield, said those Pickett sessions were easily among his most memorable moments.

"There was something about those records and Wilson's voice — those were some of the funkiest, deepest-grooving, in-the-pocket recordings I ever heard," Wexler said Thursday from his home in Florida. "The thing about Wilson was he was just a great screamer, but he did it with control. James Brown would scream and it was a scream, but Wilson could scream notes. His voice was powerful, like a buzz saw, but it wasn't ever out of his control, it was always melodic."

Wexler described Pickett as a "black panther" in those days before the term took on a political connotation. The expression spoke to the singer's glower and confidence, but those same traits may have hindered Pickett's career.

Steve Cropper, the guitarist in Booker T and the MGs, was a key sideman in the soul explosion of the 1960s, and he co-wrote "In the Midnight Hour" with Pickett. He said Thursday that the same passion that produced magic on vinyl could rub people raw in person — it was also one of the reasons that Pickett's career never earned the acclaim of singers such as Al Green and Sam Cooke or the fiery but charismatic Otis Redding.

"It's absolutely true, and I think some of that had to do with Wilson himself," Cropper said. "He could be difficult and he didn't really reach out to people. It wasn't like Otis — if you met Otis, he was your best friend on the spot. He engaged people. Wilson was more distant and sometimes he had that angry-at-the-world attitude. But if you got in a studio, he was amazing. Just amazing."

That disconnect, between ability and acclaim, was made clear in a Times review from 1982 of the singer's show at a local club. Months earlier, Brown had sold out the venue, but Pickett came to the stage to find the room half empty. Still, he raced though an intense performance that included "dramatic spoken passages, extended vocal cadenzas (usually delivered in falsetto) and dropping to bended knees … to scream," the reviewer wrote. Somehow, it all worked, thanks to Pickett's "sheer command and a singularly candid sense of humor."

Pickett is survived by two sons, Lynderrick and Michael; and two daughters, Veda and Saphan. A viewing is being arranged in Virginia next week. Pickett will be interred with his mother, Lena, in Louisville, Ky.

May God have mercy on his soul.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Fabian, pope and martyr. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Fabian is
1 Peter 5:1-4.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 21:15-17.

[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
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 19, 2006

Arch-sissy Osama Bin Yahoo peeks from his burrow long enough to predict 6 more months of heresy. (That's right, kiddies. He doesn't know Islam.)

The pan-Arab TV station al-Jazeera has broadcast an audio tape purporting to be by al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, in which the speaker says al-Qaeda is preparing new attacks on the US. (The CIA has since confirmed the voice is Bin Binkie's. - F.G.)

Here is the full text of the message as broadcast.

My message to you is about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and the way to end it.

Don't worry, Nancy, we'll end it for you.

I had not intended to speak to you about this issue, because, for us, this issue is already decided: diamonds cut diamonds.

Ahhhh...but who has more diamonds, effemdi? And who has the best diamond cutters in the world? (Heehee! I meant "daisy cutters". Death From Above!)

Praise be to God, our conditions are always improving, becoming better, while yours are the opposite.

You wouldn't think a mass murderer of innocents would be into God so much...


Oh, right. He's talking about his god.

However, what prompted me to speak are the repeated fallacies of your President Bush in his comment on the outcome of US opinion polls, which indicated that the overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of the forces from Iraq, but he objected to this desire and said that the withdrawal of troops would send the wrong message to the enemy.
Bush said: It is better to fight them on their ground than they fighting us on our ground.

Osama Bin Gallup. Osama Bin Zogby. Osama Bin Quinnipiac. Zogby Bin Gallup.

In my response to these fallacies, I say: The war in Iraq is raging and operations in Afghanistan are on the rise in our favour, praise be to God.
The Pentagon figures indicate the rise in the number of your dead and wounded, let alone the huge material losses.

Osama's doorag is a flaccid fallacy symbol. (Hey, what do you want for free?)

To go back to where I started, (Holy Freudianism, Batman! Mama Bin Laden, call your midwife. - F.G.) I say that the results of the poll satisfy sane people and that Bush's objection to them is false.

Do you really believe He Who Sleeps In Bat Guano knows what a public opinion poll is? And believes them?

And if he does, doesn't that mean we've already won?

I wonder what he thinks of the poll that showed 42% of Americans urinate in the shower? He would probably think we hate our toilets. So works the mind of a world-historical genius.

Reality testifies that the war against America and its allies has not remained confined to Iraq, as he claims.

In fact, Iraq has become a point of attraction and recruitment of qualified resources.

That's what BushMonkey's been saying, you crackpot. Keep funneling your resources into Iraq, baby. We outlasted Looney Lenin and his even more bloodthirsty progeny, remember? You're just a pimple on the backside of history, you heretic.

On the other hand, the mujahideen, praise be to God, have managed to breach all the security measures adopted by the unjust nations of the coalition time and again.

The evidence for this are the bombings you have seen in the capitals of the most important European countries of this aggressive coalition.

Oooohhhh! You frightened the Spanish! We surrender!

As for the delay in carrying out similar operations in America, this was not due to the failure to breach your security measures.

That's just whistling past the hog rendering plant, kiddies.

Operations are in preparation and you will see them on your own ground once the preparations are finished, God willing.

Pretty cheeky for a "military" leader who hasn't been able to strike his enemy in over four years. (And how many years did it take to pull off that one, O Mighty King of the Goat Rapists?)

Based on the above, we see that Bush's argument is false.

Wow. Behold the non-union Arab equivalent of Socrates!

Ok, maybe Bertrand Russell.

However, the argument that he avoided, which is the substance of the results of opinion polls on withdrawing the troops, is that it is better not to fight the Muslims on their land and for them not to fight us on our land.
We do not object to a long-term truce with you on the basis of fair conditions that we respect.

We are a nation to which God has disallowed treachery and lying. (Allah, call your office. - F. G.)
In this truce, both parties will enjoy security and stability and we will build Iraq and Afghanistan which were destroyed by the war.

Woah! Bin Pimple wants to cut a deal with The Great Pepsi? Watch as he crawls through the dust on his way to kiss our enormous Levis-encased buttocks!

Truce my eye, you coward! We want your cheap oil and we're going to make sure it keeps flowing. Even if that means propping up the decadent House of Saud with our glorious greenbacks!

Time to die, fool!

There is no defect in this solution other than preventing the flow of hundreds of billions to the influential people and war merchants in America, who supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars.

Hey, who sneaked that Howie Spleen quote in there?

Have you ever wondered how to preserve Catholicism for future generations?

May I suggest a gift to Ave Maria University in Florida? The dream is now a reality, but help is still needed.

May Mary, Seat of Wisdom, be a sure haven for all who devote their lives to the search for wisdom. May their journey into wisdom, sure and final goal of all true knowing, be freed of every hindrance by the intercession of one who, in giving birth to the truth and treasuring it in her heart, has shared it forever with the world.

John Paul II

Fides et Ratio

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Your gift to us will ensure that Ave Maria University will move from a dream to a reality. Your gift will create a setting where faith and reason may be placed in the hearts and spirits of our young so they may contemplate the truth and draw closer to God. Your gift will give you the comfort of knowing that the legacy of your faith has been extended to future generations.

In return, those responsible for the stewardship of your gift commit to creating a place of excellence, with Catholic truth as its center. Your gift will, as will all gifts, be directed toward building the next great Catholic university.

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Your gift to Ave Maria University will help provide the margin of excellence that further ensures the success of the University and its students. In fact, we believe that your gift will multiply and accomplish many great works:

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Ave Maria is more than a school, it is a community:

Information on the Town of Ave Maria, including details on registering to purchase homes, is now available here!

So, you think ol' Black Jacques Shellac has grown a spine?

LEFT: Black Jacques Shellac

Think again, kiddies. And read very carefully.

France defends right to nuclear reply to terrorism

France said on Thursday it would be ready to use nuclear weapons against any state that carried out a terrorist attack against it, reaffirming the need for its nuclear deterrent.

Deflecting criticism of France's costly nuclear arms program,
President Jacques Chirac said security came at a price and France must be able to hit back hard at a hostile state's centers of power and its "capacity to act."

He said there was no change in France's overall policy, which rules out the use of nuclear weapons in a military conflict. But his speech pointed to a change of emphasis to underline the growing threat France perceives from terrorism.

"The leaders of states who would use terrorist means against us, as well as those who would consider using in one way or another weapons of mass destruction, must understand that they would lay themselves open to a firm and adapted response on our part," Chirac said during a visit to a nuclear submarine base in northwestern France.

Ahhh..."states". So, Jacques is going to wait until Osama is the Caliph of Arabia and then drop a nuclear tipped cruise missile on him. It is nice to see France is finally ready to fight WWII.

Memo To France: No "state" sponsoring, financing, or aiding a terrorist attack is going to allow itself to be seen as the hand behind that attack. Welcome to the 21st century, mes amis, where the bad guys are getting smarter by the minute.

"This response could be a conventional one. It could also be of a different kind."

Chirac, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, said all of France's nuclear forces had been configured with the new strategy in mind and the number of nuclear warheads on French nuclear submarines had been reduced to allow targeted strikes.

Could Jacques be threatening the peace-loving mullahs of Iran? Don't bet on it.

It was the first time he had so clearly linked the threat of a nuclear response to a terrorist attack.

Chirac, 73, did not say whether France would be prepared to use pre-emptive strikes against a country it saw as a threat.

Clinton's legacy? The culture of coverup!

Clinton administration quashed fraud case against Cisneros...

From the NYT:

After the longest independent counsel investigation in history, the prosecutor in the case of former Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros is finally closing his operation with a scathing report accusing Clinton administration officials of thwarting an inquiry into whether Mr. Cisneros evaded paying income taxes.

The legal inquiry by the prosecutor, David M. Barrett, lasted more than a decade, consumed some $21 million and came to be a symbol of the flawed effort to prosecute high-level corruption through the use of independent prosecutors.

Mr. Barrett began his investigation with the narrower issue of whether Mr. Cisneros lied to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when he was being considered for the cabinet position. He ended his inquiry accusing the Clinton administration of a possible cover-up.

His report says Justice Department officials refused to grant him the broad jurisdiction he wanted; for example, Attorney General Janet Reno said he could look at only one tax year. And after Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington took a Cisneros investigation out of the hands of district-level officials in Texas, the agency deemed the evidence too weak to merit a criminal inquiry, a conclusion strongly disputed by one Texas investigator.

Former officials of the Justice Department and the I.R.S. dismissed Mr. Barrett's conclusions in appendices attached to the report, saying the findings were the product of an inquiry that was incompetently managed from the start.

After being indicted on 18 felony counts, Mr. Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to a misdemeanor charge of lying to investigators. He was later pardoned by President Bill Clinton. (Thanks to Drudge for the heads up.)

Bob Novak has more:

What was contained in 120 pages removed by the judges?

The long-awaited final report by Independent Counsel David Barrett, to be released today [Thursday], was severely censored by court order but not enough to sufficiently obscure its importance. As long forecast, it alleges serious corruption in the Clinton administration's Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The question is what was contained in 120 pages removed by the judges.

These allegations explain why Barrett finally has closed down after 10 years the last prosecution under the lapsed independent counsel statute. Its target, Henry Cisneros, long ago resigned as secretary of Housing and Urban Development in a plea bargain after admitting he lied to FBI interrogators to gain Senate confirmation. What kept Barrett in business was what he and his prosecutors contend is a Clinton administration cover-up of income tax evasion charges against Cisneros.

Not only Barrett's stubbornness but also a tip from an IRS whistle-blower in San Antonio, Texas, meant the case did not end with Cisneros's personal disgrace. But for now, the cover-up has succeeded. No tax prosecution was brought against Cisneros, and IRS conduct has not been questioned. Friends describe Barrett, a Republican lawyer from Washington, as feeling at age 68 that he has failed fully to uncover the scandal and that it is now up to Congress to get out the truth.

This probably would have been just another undiscovered scandal had the whistle not been blown by John J. Filan, chief of the IRS's Criminal Investigation Division in the South Texas District. In a March 31, 1997, memo, Filan expressed outrage that the IRS chief counsel's office in Washington on Jan. 15 had pulled a tax evasion case out of San Antonio because it required "centralized review." Told to "box up" his evidence and send it to Washington, Filan wrote: "I am not aware of any other criminal tax cases that have been pulled from experienced District Counsel attorneys."

With the case now in Washington, the IRS declined to prosecute. In a second memo on April 25, Filan said IRS Assistant Chief Counsel Barry Finkelstein's conclusions "are just plain wrong." Payments to Cisneros's former mistress and money spent for other purposes exceeded declared income, said the whistle-blower, and "clearly proves Cisneros knowingly and willingly signed and filed false and fraudulent income tax returns" for 1991, 1992 and 1993. (Thanks to Drudge for the heads up.)

Pennsylvania's totalitarians strike back.

Our moral and intellectual superiors in Harrisburg have come up with another genius tax plan. They want to increase taxes on media outlets in retaliation for the pay raise kerfuffle.

The oddly named Democrass Rep Tim Solobay left conclusive audio evidence of the motive behind this nefarious plot.

The following report by Team 4 investigator Jim Parsons first aired on Channel 4 Action News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 13, 2006.

Team 4 has a voicemail recording of Democratic State Rep. Tim Solobay, of Canonsburg, saying that state lawmakers are preparing an all-out assault on the media. Solobay hints that the first volley is a bill that would start charging sales tax on all advertising in Pennsylvania. Solobay left the voicemail message for editor Cody Knotts, who works at The Weekly Recorder, in Claysville, Washington County.

In the message, Solobay says, "But you know, for the most part, the majority of the legislative feeling about the media right now is if there's something they can do to screw them, you can imagine it may occur."
"That got my blood boiling because the Legislature thinks they're invulnerable," said Knotts.

Like many newspaper editors in Pennsylvania, Knotts wrote prolifically last year about the 16 percent pay raise that lawmakers took, and then gave back under heavy media pressure.

Then, last month, he learned of a bill in Harrisburg that would hit the media hard -- lifting the sales tax exemption on advertising, along with some other services.

Knotts said the plan would cause some businesses to stop advertising.
"We don't have a big profit margin," said Knotts. "We're sitting at around 3 or 4 percent, maybe, and it's going to cut that down to where we're losing money and then how can we stay in business."

Media executives in Pennsylvania, including those at WTAE-TV, have been lobbying lawmakers to kill the advertising tax.

Knotts called Solobay.

"So, I called Tim and said, 'You know, I think this is a mistake.' He called back with that response about what it was really about," said Knotts. "So, I don't know. The newspaper might be a business you want to get the hell out of right now, because there seems to be quite a vendetta from what I'm hearing on the senior staff and everything else."

"The legislative agenda, maybe not come this spring, but I bet you can guarantee right after November, there'll be an all-out assault on the written media," Solobay said. "Let me tell you, I'm just kind of telling you what I'm hearing."

"When the idea and the real plan behind it is, 'We're going to screw the media,' that's a problem, because their goal is to shut people up. They want to be able to give themselves 16 percent pay raises and not have a complaint from the media about it. They don't want to have anybody in the public speak up," said Knotts.

"There's no vendetta against the media that I've seen. I don't think it exists. I don't see it in any legislation," said State Sen. Jay Costa.
Costa is a sponsor of the advertising tax bill, but he says it now appears that the media's lobbying campaign has worked.

"Well, I think in light of what we're hearing from people who are very concerned about the impact of the expansion, we're looking at some other ways maybe to try to drive out property tax relief," said Costa.

Solobay is in South Carolina, but Team 4 spoke with him by phone. He acknowledges that he did leave the voice mail message on Knotts' phone, but now says he didn't really mean what he said about a vendetta in Harrisburg against the media.

Just like Charles Barkley, who said he was misquoted in his own autobiography.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Henry of Sweden, a twelfth century Englishman who was appointed Bishop of Uppsala, Sweden and was killed trying to convert the Finns. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
1 Kings 18:6-9; 19:1-7.
Today's Gospel reading is Mark 3:7-12.

[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.

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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