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What they call confidence, I call hubris. What they call happiness, I call slavery. How about you?

Recently, I have been confronted by folks accusing Your Humble Narrator of being "too negative". These words have come at me from...

"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, March 31, 2006

None dare call him racist.

Torii Hunter of the Minnesota Twins on baseball's investigation of Barry Bonds:

"They can say what they want, but there's no way they would launch an investigation if Barry Bonds was not about to break Babe Ruth's record," Hunter said.

You see, in Mr. Holt's world, (and Mr. Bond's as well) Babe Ruth holds the record for white home runs.

Saddamy.

The HR department over at Big Sodomy doesn't have to put an ad in The Village Voice after all, thanks to coalition forces...

I love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning.

Hostage in the Closet
It turns out that Jim Loney, a Canadian who was one of the three Christian Peacemaker Teams hostages freed last week by coalition troops in Iraq, is gay and has a relationship with a "fellow Christian activist" named Dan Hunt. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but how come we didn't find this out until after he was sprung? Because, according to Toronto's Globe and Mail, his CPT colleagues feared that "his Iraqi kidnappers would harm him if they knew he was involved in a long-standing relationship with another man."

As Canadian columnist Charles Adler notes, this undermines any claim that the CPT folks are naive idealists:

It's clear from here that Jim Loney is only selectively naive. He could not afford to talk about his partner while in captivity and didn't.

Homosexuality in Saddam Hussein's Iraq was punishable by death. Amnesty International says the current status of gay and lesbian rights is unclear. But here are few things that are crystal clear.

1) Jim Loney only feels free to speak his mind about his sexual
orientation in a country with a government that protects gay rights.

2) Christian Peacemakers claim to have gone to Iraq to prevent the coalition forces from carrying out their mission.

3) Had the the Peacemakers succeeded in keeping Saddam Hussein in power, a homosexual in Iraq would have zero hope for having an openly gay life. We know from Loney's statement made here in Canada that even he knows that the threat to gays wasn't coming from Western Imperialism.

(Thanks to Best of the Web Today for the heads up.)

From The Delusional Political Twaddle Department:

From Best of the Web Today:

You Probably Think This Item Is About You
Harry Pelosi and Nancy Reid "are stepping up their effort to cut into the public perception that Republicans are stronger on national security," reports the Associated Press from Washington:

"We need a new direction on national security, and leaders with policies that are tough and smart. That is what Democrats offer," . . . Reid, D-Nev., said in remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday. . . .

Pelosi, D-Calif., said Democrats were providing a fresh strategy--"one that is strong and smart, which understands the challenges America faces in a post 9/11 world, and one that demonstrates that Democrats are the party of real
national security."


But according to the AP, there isn't much substance behind these boasts:

The Democratic statement lacks specific details of a plan to capture [Osama] bin Laden, the al-Qaida chief who has evaded U.S. forces in the more than four years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But Democrats suggest they will double the number of special forces and add more spies to increase the chances of finding al-Qaida's elusive leader.

Democrats also do not set a deadline for when all of the 132,000 American troops now in Iraq should be withdrawn.

They say: "We will ensure 2006 is a year of significant transition to full Iraqi sovereignty, with the Iraqis assuming primary responsibility for security and governing their country and with the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces."


It's hard to argue with these positions: Everyone would like to see Osama bin Laden captured and the U.S. military presence in Iraq reduced, but because these goals depend on as-yet-unknown contingencies, no one can responsibly promise to achieve them by a date certain. The Democratic position on these matters is essentially indistinguishable from the Republican one.

What's telling about the Reid and Pelosi statements, though, is their sheer vanity. They boast about being "tough," "smart" and "strong." When someone tells you how tough, smart and strong he is, do you think, (1) Wow, he's really tough, smart and strong! or (2) If he's so tough, smart and strong, why does he have to keep telling me? Generally speaking, people who brag about their fine qualities come across as somewhat pathetic.

The exception is when the boast is obviously true. When Muhammad Ali said "I am the greatest," it was charming because it was true. By contrast, if President Bush started going around telling everyone how smart he was, it would be embarrassing. Smart he may be, but he doesn't have bragging rights on this particular point. (He might be able to get away with boasting of his toughness, though.)

By bragging about how smart and strong they are, Reid and Pelosi only underscore that their actions show them to be insipid and weak. Their plan for "national security" looks more like an expression of personal insecurity.

Hugh Hefner, CEO of Big Masturbation, is worried about his legacy. (Does that remind you of another great American?)

Golly. If Hef had only known he'd be featured in OpinionJournal, he'd have pretended to be an illegal alien.

The Playboy Legacy
by Matthew Scully
As his 80th birthday approaches, Hugh Hefner is proud of his achievements. He shouldn't be.

Before I forget, could somebody explain to me exactly how masturbation is manly? I understand the economic reasons for Hefner marketing it that way and I understand the self-esteem issues that motivate its practioners to over-compensate by pretending it is ultra-manly. But I want to hear somebody justify this sissy mortal sin as the way a real man behaves.

I'm not going to hold my breath, kiddies. There will not be any takers on this one.

Hugh Hefner turns 80 next Sunday, and The Mansion is once again the place to be. "A major pajama party" is planned, as he told Maclean's, along with other observances equal to the dignity of the occasion. But this milestone also has "Hef" in a reflective mood, wondering how he will be remembered and trying to sum up "the major message in my life."

I would like to take this opportunity to add Mr. Hefner's name to the list of those whose immediate death would most benefit mankind, joining Fidel Castro at the top.

The founder of Playboy, says a Reuters profile, has become "utterly obsessed with his own legacy" and lately has "filled some 1,500 leather-bound scrapbooks about his life and history to date." From the first issue of Playboy to appear on Chicago newsstands in 1953 right up to the latest clippings on his current reality show, "The Girls Next Door," no trace of Mr. Hefner's storied adventures will be lost to posterity.

Lest we forget that there was actually a "Playboy Philosophy" to go with the pictures, Mr. Hefner has also reissued, online, all 250,000 (!!!!! - F.G.)words (I am sure each and every one of which lives up to the glorious standards of 20th century philosophy! - F.G.) of his early-1960s disquisition on the good life and the evils of sexual inhibition. Still endlessly indulged by reporters, he has slipped into his best bathrobe for another round of clubby interviews in which to showcase his three salaried "girlfriends" and to reminisce about the original Playboy "dream."

Instant translation: Salaried girlfriends are whores who sell themselves to guys rich and popular enough to prevent the antique media from referring to their whores as whores.

Always a "dreamer" and "romantic at heart," in Hef's telling of the story, he dared to challenge the repressive attitudes of his day and left America a freer, happier place. He is guilty only of living out "every man's dream," and if anyone thinks otherwise it must be envy. "I consider myself the luckiest cat on the planet," he often says--a sort of graying libertine's version of the Lou Gehrig line. Hef is also devoted these days to various charitable causes and, he eagerly notes, was recently voted American Charity Events Man of the Year.

Masturbation is romantic? Masturbation is the stuff dreams are made of? If I ran a charity, I would not touch any of his slimy money.

Looking to the day when Shangri-La falls silent and dust returns to dust, he has even made arrangements for a final resting place, with that exquisite Hefner touch. It turns out that there is a tomb in Los Angeles's Westwood Memorial Park directly adjacent to that of Marilyn Monroe--the first "girl next door" to appear nude in Playboy--and no one had yet claimed it. "When I found the vault next door to Marilyn was available," he explained to the Daily Telegraph, "it seemed natural." So there, next-door to Marilyn, his permanently pajamaed remains will lie, and all who come to remember her can cast a glance at his name, too.

She was a whore, too. But even whores deserve better than Hefner. Her ten or more abortions? That's another story...

One might have thought that the woman, in life, had enough trouble with users and operators. But of course Hef, an exploiter to the end, doesn't see himself that way, and what's clear from all his legacy projects is that he wants to be remembered as anything other than what he is. We're to think of him as Hugh Hefner, social philosopher and cultural revolutionary. Hugh Hefner, entrepreneur and Charity Events Man of the Year. Hugh Hefner, friend of Marilyn. Hugh Hefner, luckiest cat on the planet. Anything, please, but the truth about Hugh Hefner, pornographer.

Bingo!

He is certainly right to believe that he has left his mark in the world. Richard Corliss in Time magazine is overstating it a bit when he writes that "porn doesn't affront contemporary community standards. It is a contemporary community standard." But he is close enough, and we have Hugh Marston Hefner, more than anyone else, to thank for the great plenitude of porn we take for granted today.

Nope, Corliss got it right. Just ask James "Dr. Masturbation" Dobson how this filth has eaten away at mighty Puritan America. Only the Catholics stand against it, and we have been weakened.

There was a dark and joyless time in America when one could actually go about daily life without ever encountering pornographic images. A child could grow up scarcely knowing that "adult entertainment" existed, much less acquainted with its many varieties. Hotel stays, in that prudish, stuffy era, had to be endured without pay-as-you-go porn, in-room and On Command. American males could not avail themselves of hundreds of millions of obscene films every year--as they do now, courtesy of even respectable corporations like Time Warner and Comcast--or take in the show at "gentlemen's clubs" when porn is not enough.

It was Mr. Hefner who put the real money in porn, a business hard to go poor in under any circumstances (except for the unfortunates given starring roles) and today a $57 billion-a-year global industry. He brought it into the central stream of culture, so that now even upscale bookstores stock Penthouse or similar offerings without a second thought. He gave porn that "classy" feel and its phony creed of "artistic" expression and protected "speech" by which far livelier fare than Playboy would soon ease into popular culture.

The First Amendment was raped and sodomized long ago.

Playboy Enterprises itself, years ago, dropped the pretense of refinement and delicacy, following the money into hard-core cable. Soft-core, hard-core, these were all along just degrees of exploitation and self-debasement and for the procurers a purely legal and commercial calculation.

He is not the worst of America's celebrity pornographers, though being the first is no great distinction either, and but for Hef a few standards of public decency might actually have held awhile. Without his pioneering vision, we might, in our own time, rise every morning to face a world without "Girls Gone Wild" or Sex.com, without cable or Internet porn for all hours and all ages. Whatever the problems of those repressed, Puritanical types that Mr. Hefner is still using as strawmen, they did somehow manage to fill their days without such things, and we could use a little more of their self-restraint and modesty.

The establishment protestants did not hold out for a minute. They were Big Masturbation's first and most loyal customers. They still are. However, only the spinelessness of Catholics and the tremendous leveling forces of democracy ensured evil's victory.

Pornography, Hef still assures us, is an antidote to social and personal troubles rather than an obvious source of them, and his own softer brand of the stuff is in any case so innocuous as to have no harmful social consequences whatever. (Yeah, pervert. That's why the world is such a better place now than when you started. Jerking off is obviously the answer to everything. - F.G.) It is not license, he tells us in a typical bit of pretentious blather, but repression that "twists the nature of sexuality. What causes all the sickness, the perversion, the rape, is a repressive society--a society that can't be open in a loving and positive way." Likewise, Playboy and all it brought were "not just for the guys. The major beneficiaries were women."

This is where one would be forced to declare the "man" deranged, if he had not been spouting the same bilgewater for decades. His values are exactly opposite of what a decent man's should be. Like Nietzsche, do the opposite of everything he does and says and you'll be fine.

Enough to say that police investigators, in the sex-crimes units that have expanded roughly in proportion to mass-market "adult material," rarely conclude that the rapist or child predator lacked for pornographic inspiration before committing the crime. As to those "major beneficiaries" of porn, you won't find too many women these days who think that the world is better because of Playboy or the smug, selfish ethic it has always purveyed. For good reason has the Playboy Foundation long been a benefactor to NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood: The Playboy Philosophy has always been for the ladies, too, all right--just so long as they remember what they're good for, don't get too sentimental and feel grateful when the playboy in their own life offers to pay for the abortion.

The strange thing is they all still get away with calling themselves the compassionate friends of women. How sick is that?

One hesitates to speak harshly of an old man, who somewhere along the way must have done a few worthwhile things. But as to the public legacy of Hugh Hefner, he should have no illusions. All of us have our share of faults and sins to account for. But the lowest of vices and "strangest secret of hell," as G.K. Chesterton called it, is the desire to pervert others, to coax and corrupt them and drag them down with you. And any man who at the age of 80 has that to answer for is by no stretch the luckiest cat on the planet.

Amen to that, Brother Scully.

May God have mercy on your soul, Mr. Hefner. You're going to need it in spades. And soon.

Mr. Scully is the author of "Dominion" and a former deputy director of speechwriting for President George W. Bush.

The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal smokes crack right before your eyes.

The number of words before they use "illegal" is telling.

From OpinionJournal:

As Congress battles over immigration, the consequences are likely to be far greater than the details of border walls or green cards. The most important political outcome may turn out to be the message that Republicans send about the kind of the party they are and hope to be.

Politics are what got us into this mess in the first place, morons.

To wit, do Republicans want to continue in the Reagan tradition of American optimism and faith in assimilation that sends a message of inclusiveness to all races? Or will they take another one of their historical detours into a cramped, exclusionary policy that tells millions of new immigrants, and especially Hispanics, that they belong somewhere else?

What is optimistic about refusing to have borders in any meaningful sense of the word? I suggest reading a lot of history. And soon.

Admittedly that paints with a broad brush, but politics is often about broad symbolism, and this is roughly the Republican choice presented by President Bush's approach on the one hand, and that of Tom Tancredo and his platoon of talk-show hosts and Tory columnists on the other.

Let us quickly say that not every American concerned about immigration is part of the latter group. The breadth of new immigration, legal and illegal, in recent years has literally changed the face of America. Our own view is that this has been mostly for the better--in revitalized inner cities, a younger workforce to fuel a dynamic economy, and in general helping America avoid the senescent future of other industrial nations.

There is nothing dynamic about 12 million lawbreakers who are not assimilating because they are "protected" from the forces of Americanization by Leviathan's socialist agenda.

Remember the good old days, kiddies, when the WSJ stood for freedom and free markets? It is now little more than a shill for creeping slavery.

James Taranto, call your office.

The Theology of the Body: 75. Continence for the Sake of the Kingdom Meant to Have Spiritual Fulfillment

In his General Audience of 24 March 1982, the Holy Father continued his talks on celibacy/virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. It is a charismatic sign that in heaven people will no longer marry, because God will be everything to everyone. Departure from the Old Testament tradition of marriage and procreation was effected especially by the example of Christ himself.



Continence for the Sake of the Kingdom Meant to Have Spiritual Fulfillment

For the first time this year the Wednesday general audience was in held in St Peter's Square. As is now customary, the Holy Father drove through the crowd in an open landrover car before taking his seat on the raised platform. The following is the text of his discourse.



1. We continue our reflections on celibacy and virginity for the kingdom of heaven. Continence for the kingdom of heaven is certainly linked to the revelation of the fact that in the kingdom of heaven people "will no longer marry" (Mt 22:30). It is a charismatic sign. The human being, male and female, who, in the earthly situation where people usually marry (Lk 20:34), freely chooses continence for the kingdom of heaven, indicates that in that kingdom, which is the other world of the resurrection, people will no longer marry (Mk 12:25), because God will be "everything to everyone" (1 Cor 15:28).

Such a human being, man and woman, indicates the eschatological virginity of the risen man. In him there will be revealed, I would say, the absolute and eternal nuptial meaning of the glorified body in union with God himself through the "face to face" vision of him, and glorified also through the union of a perfect intersubjectivity. This will unite all who participate in the other world, men and women, in the mystery of the communion of saints.

Earthly continence for the kingdom of heaven is undoubtedly a sign that indicates this truth and this reality. It is a sign that the body, whose end is not the grave, is directed to glorification. Already by this very fact, continence for the kingdom of heaven is a witness among men that anticipates the future resurrection. However, this charismatic sign of the other world expresses the force and the most authentic dynamics of the mystery of the redemption of the body. Christ has inscribed this mystery in man's earthly history and it has been deeply rooted by him in this history. So, then, continence for the kingdom of heaven bears, above all, the imprint of the likeness to Christ. In the work of redemption, he himself made this choice for the kingdom of heaven.

The virginal mystery

2. Indeed, Christ's whole life, right from the beginning, was a discreet but clear distancing of himself from that which in the Old Testament had so profoundly determined the meaning of the body. Christ—as if against the expectations of the whole Old Testament tradition—was born of Mary, who, at the moment of the annunciation, clearly says of herself: "How can this be, since I know not man" (Lk 1:34), and thereby professes her virginity. Though he is born of her like every other man, as a son of his mother, even though his coming into the world is accompanied by the presence of a man who is Mary's spouse and, in the eyes of the law and of men, her husband, nonetheless Mary's maternity is virginal. The virginal mystery of Joseph corresponds to this virginal maternity of Mary. Following the voice from on high, Joseph does not hesitate to "take Mary...for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1:20).

Even though Jesus Christ's virginal conception and birth were hidden from men, even though in the eyes of his contemporaries of Nazareth he was regarded as "the carpenter's son" (Mt 13:55) (ut putabatur filius Joseph: Lk 3:23), the reality and essential truth of his conception and birth was in itself far removed from what in the Old Testament tradition was exclusively in favor of marriage, and which rendered continence incomprehensible and out of favor. Therefore, how could continence for the kingdom of heaven be understood, if the expected Messiah was to be David's descendant, and as was held, was to be a son of the royal stock according to the flesh? Only Mary and Joseph, who had lived the mystery of his conception and birth, became the first witnesses of a fruitfulness different from that of the flesh, that is, of a fruitfulness of the Spirit: "That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1:20).

Gradually revealed

3. The story of Jesus' birth is certainly in line with that "continence for the kingdom of heaven" of which Christ will speak one day to his disciples. However, this event remained hidden to the men of that time and also to the disciples. Only gradually would it be revealed to the eyes of the Church on the basis of the witness and texts of the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The marriage of Mary and Joseph (in which the Church honors Joseph as Mary's spouse, and Mary as his spouse), conceals within itself, at the same time, the mystery of the perfect communion of the persons, of the man and the woman in the conjugal pact, and also the mystery of that singular continence for the kingdom of heaven. This continence served, in the history of salvation, the most perfect fruitfulness of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, in a certain sense it was the absolute fullness of that spiritual fruitfulness, since precisely in the Nazareth conditions of the pact of Mary and Joseph in marriage and in continence, the gift of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word was realized. The Son of God, consubstantial with the Father, was conceived and born as man from the Virgin Mary.

The grace of the hypostatic union is connected precisely with this—I would say—absolute fullness of supernatural fruitfulness, fruitfulness in the Holy Spirit, participated by a human creature, Mary, in the order of continence for the kingdom of heaven. Mary's divine maternity is also, in a certain sense, a superabundant revelation of that fruitfulness in the Holy Spirit to which man submits his spirit, when he freely chooses continence in the body, namely, continence for the kingdom of heaven.

Example of Jesus

4. This image had to be gradually revealed to the Church's awareness in the ever new generations of confessors of Christ. This happened when—together with the infancy Gospel—there was consolidated in them the certainty of the divine maternity of the Virgin, who had conceived by the Holy Spirit. Even though only indirectly—yet essentially and fundamentally—this certainly should help one to understand, on the one hand, the sanctity of marriage, and on the other, the disinterestedness in view of the kingdom of heaven, of which Christ had spoken to his disciples. Nonetheless, when he spoke to them about it for the first time (as attested by the evangelist Matthew in chapter 19:10-12), that great mystery of his conception and birth was completely unknown to them. It was hidden from them as it was from all the hearers and interlocutors of Jesus of Nazareth.

When Christ spoke of those who "had made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19:12), the disciples could understand it only on the basis of his personal example. Such a continence must have impressed itself on their consciousness as a particular trait of likeness to Christ, who had himself remained celibate "for the kingdom of heaven." In the tradition of the old covenant, marriage and procreative fruitfulness in the body were a religiously privileged condition. The departure from this tradition had to be effected especially on the basis of the example of Christ himself. Only little by little did it come to be realized that "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" attaches a particular meaning to that spiritual and supernatural fruitfulness of man which comes from the Holy Spirit (Spirit of God), and that fruitfulness, in a specific sense and in determined cases, is served precisely by continence for the kingdom of heaven.

More or less all these elements of Gospel awareness (that is, of an exact consciousness of the new covenant in Christ) concerning continence are found in Paul. We shall seek to show that at a suitable time.

To sum up, we can say that the principal theme of today's reflection has been the relationship between continence for the kingdom of heaven, proclaimed by Christ, and the supernatural fruitfulness of the human spirit which comes from the Holy Spirit.

I get mail...

Responding to my post on the uncooperative and unrepentant 74 year old ex-cop who molests little boys


Annie said...

I do not understand how you only get house arrest when you have stolen the childhood of a ten year old boy.


That is what I would call Problem 1a of the story. The solution? Tougher mandatory sentences for child-sex offenders. But NOT the death penalty, as South Carolina is considering. (The ultimate penalty must be reserved for the ultimate crimes and it would encourage the perverts to kill the second child under 11 they rape. If you're gonna get the chair for rape, you might as well get the chair for killing the only witness to that rape. Perverts aren't necessarily stupid.)

Problem 1b is the counseling and therapy he was "sentenced" to complete. Even if they are trying to teach this wretch his sexual desire are wrong and he must not act on them, (a big if nowadays, kiddies) there is no evidence it works. I am certain nobody is counseling him about his impending trip to Hell if he does not repent. The solution? Chemical castration, physical castration, lock him up forever in solitary confinement. Or maybe tattoo "Child Rapist" on his forehead and throw him into the general prison population. Even ordinary bad guys don't like child molesters.

Problem 1c is how many times did this guy use his job as a cop to get at little boys and did anyone notice if he did? I doubt he adopted pedophilia as something to pass the time after his retirement.

If you do not understand what I was getting at in that last post, contrast it with this one.

Phil Mushnick, of the New York Post, is a real live sports journalist. That means he is a journalist who covers sports. Just watch as he rips ESPN to shreds for lying down with Barry Bonds and waking up bald with shrunken testicles.

Monday was to have been the first of a two-day seminar for approximately 125 frontline ESPN producers, reporters, anchors and analysts, gathered in a hotel near Hartford.

But day one became something else, something weird and potentially wonderful. Day one saw the closest thing to a palace revolt ever conducted against ESPN.

You see, not everyone at ESPN always willingly lines up to drink the latest, stronger blend of Disney Kool-Aid. There are ESPNers, from everywhere within the company, who are mortified by what ESPN has become. But, short of quitting, there's not much they can do about it.

Monday, however, when the topic turned to ESPN's new project with Barry Bonds, the hired help let their bosses know that they're still, minimally, broadcast journalists, with credentials to match.

If they were, they would quit, Phil. ESPN is fine if you just watch the games (and nothing else) they broadcast. (Oh, yeah. And turn off the sound most of the time.) ESPN may employ journalists, but it is not a news organization. The "E" stands for entertainment, after all.

And then they lined up to let their bosses know they simply can't quietly suffer the fact that ESPN continues to jump into bed with news figures, let alone with Bonds, currently the nation's foremost representative of sports villainy.

Next, after ESPN execs heard, "Please don't do this," from one staffer after another, the surprise guest speaker was introduced - Mike Wallace, of CBS' "60 Minutes" fame.

And Wallace joined in. After learning about the Bonds deal, Wallace told the assembled that the ESPN execs in the room - the folks who invited him - were about to embark on an unholy alliance that guarantees only ridicule and regret, in exchange.

Wallace, 88, first explained his presence by reading aloud from the invite that promised him $15,000 for the gig, then trashed ESPN management for the deal it had made with Bonds.

(Wallace, however, admitted that the two segments devoted to Tiger Woods on "60 Minutes" the previous day was a tank job, with Woods and Co. dictating the ground rules for what correspondent Ed Bradley could and could not ask.)

Physician, heal thyself.

Or at least say at the beginning of the interview "Tiger said he would not answer questions dealing with X." Not all journalists are good journalists, kiddies.

In ESPN's recent string of appalling decisions, the Bonds deal is the worst. Even in a TV world where good-faith news and sports broadcasting are regularly abandoned in favor of anything-it-takes entertainment and corporate shilling, this is the kind of decision by which a network always will be measured and remembered.

This is the kind of decision that leaves a stain.

ESPN has selected the ultimate 2006 sports bad guy - a bad guy in every way and a bad guy long before he was even suspected of juicing - and placed him on its payroll.

Sad but true.

Starting next week and relying on the thin rationalization the project is an ESPN Original Entertainment endeavor, ESPN will weekly slide into the sack with Bonds in exchange for exclusive access as he pursues baseball's hallowed home-run record, a record Bonds is now commonly known to be gaining on as a matter of ill-gotten gain.

ESPN is not only paying $4.5 million to a documentary unit to produce Bonds' diary, it will allow Bonds and his minions editorial control. It's mind-blowing.

As Monday's meeting turned to ESPN's alliance with Bonds, a trickle of stand-up-and-be-counted dissent became a flood. John Skipper, newly named Executive VP of Content, was described as "stunned" by the thumbs-down response to the project.

According to witnesses, Skipper then made some hopeful noises that, given such strong opposition from within, perhaps the Bonds project should be killed. After all, ESPN's execs had made it clear that the Bonds deal would lose money. And if it's about buying access and surrendering control, good grief, why take such a double dive for Barry Bonds?

It can't always only be about ratings, can it? Sometimes, a network's good name - what's left of it, anyway - and the good names of your employees should count at least as much as ratings, no?

By day one's end, there was genuine hope that ESPN management would come to its better senses, that ESPN would not pay to be compromised by Bonds, that ESPN would pull the plug on the Bonds project.

But Tuesday, during the second day of the seminar, Skipper announced that while he respects the thoughts of his top producers, on-air personnel and even other ESPN execs, ESPN would proceed - it would remain in bed with Bonds. Thus, what should have been out of the question is a done deal.

ESPN's bosses could have done the right thing and come out smelling like heroes. They could have said, "You know what? You're right - this doesn't pass even a minimum-standard smell test. Besides, if you folks feel this strongly about the integrity of our network, nothing else matters. The Bonds deal is dead."

But they didn't.

Did you notice all the differences in the two posts, kiddies?

It's a Wonderful Life Story (by Steve Rushin)

Mr. Rushin, of Sports Illustrated, is quickly becoming one of my favorite sportswriters because he seems to recognize there is a difference between our appreciation for the abilities of elite pro athletes and our love for sport itself. I enjoy his stories about that love.

Steve Randall is a small man making small money in small towns, a 5'6" high school basketball coach who climbed a short professional ladder from Turtle Lake to Montfort to Oshkosh, Wis. He drives a banana-yellow Caprice Classic that cost $200 used, a car so mortifying that his three daughters put a for sale sign in the window whenever it's parked in the driveway.

Lance Randall, Steve's only son, is a bigger man whose bigger plans draw him to bigger cities. At 25 he becomes the head coach at Webster University, whose streak of 13 losing seasons is broken his first season. Then he coaches the Birmingham Bullets in England, grounding himself in the professional game. Homesick after 9/11, Lance returns to the States as a D-I assistant at Saint Louis University, an ambitious young coach on the rise.

In October 2004, 53-year-old Steve is poised for his 16th season at Oshkosh West High. During a routine angioplasty, doctors nick one of his arteries. A week later, while watching a Cardinals-Dodgers playoff game on TV, Steve tells his wife, Cindy, that he doesn't feel well. He lies down on the couch and dies.

Lance, by now 33, and the father of a one-year-old girl, drives to Oshkosh for the wake and is struck dumb: A line extends for three blocks outside the funeral home, which stays open three extra hours to accommodate the mourners. "When 3,000 people show up at a high school phys-ed teacher's wake," he says, "you suddenly see the effect a simple man has had on so many people."

The Oshkosh Northwestern receives hundreds of tributes to Coach Randall, from around the country and overseas. At the funeral players speak of his indelible impact on their lives. "That's when I had the epiphany," says Lance. "I had to do this."

What Lance had to do was leave Saint Louis, walk away from his $56,000 salary, move his family in with his mother and accept a $4,000 part-time coaching stipend to take over his father's team at Oshkosh West, which already had a locker labeled randall.

It means finding a full-time job that allows him to leave at 3 p.m. "I don't want to make the team practice at seven because the coach is doing double shifts at the Quik-Mart," says Lance, who signs on as a fund-raiser for the Experimental Aircraft Association.

His first season is a fairy tale. Oshkosh West is ranked No. 1 in the state for the first time and takes an unbeaten record into the playoffs. "There was a fairy-tale ending to be written," says Lance. "But a lot of kids -- not just ours -- dream of winning state." West is upset in the sectional semis and sees two of its best players graduate. There is no happily ever after.

This season the Wildcats' starting point guard is lost to suspension in December, but they are unbeaten. Over Christmas, West renames its home floor the Steven L. Randall Court and is touched by a strange magic. In early January senior Andy Polka -- the quintessential Wisconsin name -- makes a 75-foot heave at the buzzer to keep the Wildcats unbeaten. A teammate jumps up and down so hard in celebration that his shorts fall down, a spectacle spot-shadowed on SportsCenter.

West continues to win, skating through sectionals, making it to Madison for the state tournament, where a metropolitan power from Milwaukee or Madison always wins. But that hardly matters. The Wildcats get to stay in Steve Randall's favorite Madison hotel, the InnTowner, where he and Lance holed up every year as state tourney spectators. And Oshkosh brings the tournament's biggest party of fans, bigger even than Madison's own Memorial High, West's powerhouse opponent for the state championship.

With two minutes to go, Polka dunks to give West a 12-point lead. The crowd chants "STE-ven RAN-dall," reducing his widow to tears.

The team buses back to Oshkosh that night, escorted by police and fire trucks, past congratulatory bedsheets. They are met at West End Pizza by a spontaneous pep rally for the new state champions.

"I've been blessed beyond imagination," says Lance. "If I took over at Duke or won an NBA championship, it couldn't surpass what I've been a part of at Oshkosh West."

Turns out, the small time is the big time. "They say 'Don't sweat the small stuff,'" Lance says. "But my dad has shown me, even in death, that the small stuff is what's important." Steve Randall so loved his players (and vice versa) that he cried at every postseason banquet. I tell him his dad reminds me of George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life.

"You're the first person outside the family to mention that movie," says Lance. "It's my favorite. My parents gave it to me when I was little. I cry just taking it out of the box." The son inhales deeply and says, "You're exactly right: My dad was the richest man in town."

Here is another Steve Rushin story.

Scriptural Snippets.

The next time Pat Robertson or anyone else blames some affliction on the sufferer's sins, remember John 9:1-3:


9:1. And Jesus passing by, saw a man who was blind from his birth.
Et praeteriens vidit hominem caecum a nativitate

9:2. And his disciples asked him: Rabbi, who hath sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?
Et interrogaverunt eum discipuli sui rabbi quis peccavit hic aut parentes eius ut caecus nasceretur

9:3. Jesus answered: Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
Respondit Iesus neque hic peccavit neque parentes eius sed ut manifestetur opera Dei in illo

Let me get this straight...they are the victims AND the criminals?

AP and WLNE: Third teenage girl charged in child pornography case

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. - A teenage girl has been charged with conspiracy in a child pornography case involving two other teenagers.

The 16-year-old from Lincoln was arrested and charged with conspiracy.

She's accused of taking explicit photos of two friends -- 19-year-old Elizabeth Muller of North Smithfield and a 16-year-old girl from Lincoln whose name hasn't been released. The photos were later posted on their MySpace Web sites.

The name of the third girl, who was charged Wednesday, also has not been released.

The other two teens were arrested earlier this week and charged with child pornography.

I'll bet you $20 MySpace gets shut down within two years, although it isn't too smart to bet against Rupert Murdoch.

Check out some current stories dealing with MySpace:

News Corp. has grand plans for MySpace
Reuters - While News Corp.'s recently acquired online community destination MySpace.com is thriving in its current form, the media giant already is devising plans to make the site even stickier and more profitable, possibly by acquiring so-called "Web 2.0" properties, enabling transactions between members and adding subscription offers.

Murdoch Will Earn A Payday From MySpace
Forbes - The market has yet to appreciate the full potential of News Corp.'s demographic gold mine in MySpace.

Popular MySpace.com has its share of predators
Tahoe Daily Tribune - Cristina Soresca began using MySpace.com last year when the Web site exploded in popularity. The South Tahoe High School senior communicated through the site with friends in Santa Cruz and Southern California.


Rape victim identifies suspect on MySpace teenage website
Daily Telegraph - Detectives investigating a brutal rape and robbery case used profiles posted on the teen website MySpace to identify the suspects.

W-B man charged with rape of woman he met online
Times Leader - A city man was charged Thursday with raping a 20-year-old Scranton woman he met through the Myspace.com Internet site.

MySpace used to track down rape and robbery suspects
CNN.com


INQUIRY INTO OFFICERS' MYSPACE SITES: Six face disciplinary action
Lexington Herald-Leader - Six Lexington police officers were administratively charged yesterday after an internal investigation into comments and photos they posted on the popular Web site MySpace.com.

Finding some perspective on MySpace
Northwest Herald - With all of the furor and hype going on about MySpace, I think it is time to take a step back and give parents (and teens) a little perspective of what's going on here.

MySpace acts to calm teen safety fears
Financial Times - MySpace.com, the fast-growing community website hugely popular with American teens, has removed 200,000 “objectionable” profiles from its site as it steps up efforts to calm fears about the safety of the network for young users.

MySpace Mania
WebProNews - My Edelman colleague Marilynn Mobley sent over some staggering statistics about MySpace.

Ahhhhhhhh...marketing.


The Tale of An Unrepentant Homosexual Pedophile.

From the Lancaster, PA Ignorancer-Urinal:

Former Middletown Borough police officer Richard Aston couldn't resist a parting shot at a Lancaster County Court judge Tuesday after being sentenced for repeatedly violating his probation.

Judge James P. Cullen had sentenced Aston, 74, of 145 Lancaster Estates, Rapho Township, to 1 to 3 years in jail for failing to register as a sex offender and for being unwilling to cooperate with sex-offender counselors. Aston was convicted in 2004 of molesting a then-10-year-old boy.

Tuesday, as sheriff's deputies were handcuffing him, Aston turned to the judge.

"You just made Sheaffer very happy," he said, referring to his probation officer, Merrill Sheaffer.

"You mean Mr. Sheaffer," Cullen said.

"Never gonna happen," Aston said as he was led from the courtroom.

Aston faced a maximum of 7 years in prison for failing to comply with Megan's Law, which requires sex offenders to add their names to a national registry.

During the sentencing hearing, Aston's attorney, Douglas Conrad, said his client had trouble passing the court-ordered polygraph test, which is administered to determine if a parolee is lying about having contact with children.

"Your client has problems with more than that," Cullen said. "He is abusive with staff and his counselors. He has simply done whatever he felt like doing whenever he felt like doing it."

Conrad said he was at a loss to find a program that would suit Aston.

"He was going to his appointments," Conrad said. "He attended the sex-offender counseling. I don't know why he stopped going."

Cullen answered that question.

"He does the absolute minimum, or he does nothing at all," the judge said. "He is the only defendant I know who was back in court the same day he was paroled (for harassing probation and parole personnel). I had the (sex-offender program) director in my chambers literally within minutes of his release."

Aston was sentenced in December 2004 to 4 months' house arrest and 5 years' probation after a jury found him guilty of two counts of indecent assault, two counts of corruption of minors and one count of indecent exposure.

Cullen at that time said he had a "strong temptation" to incarcerate Aston simply because of the defendant's "arrogance."

When Cullen told Aston he was required to register as a sex offender with Pennsylvania state police for 10 years, Aston scoffed.

"I won't last that long," he said.

In February 2005, Aston was arrested for failing to register. At a parole violation hearing, personnel with Lancaster County's probation and parole department testified Aston was belligerent and noncompliant "from day one" and used profanity profusely during his contact with his probation officers.

Molly Simmons, an intake specialist with Treatment Triad, a sex-offender counseling program, said when Aston appeared for his sex-offender evaluation he handed her a card that stated he would only answer yes or no to questions and would not comment further.

Aston eventually cooperated but continued to give counselors and probation personnel a hard time, she said.

Aston, the divorced father of four grown children, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy after eight years of service. He retired from the Middletown Borough Police Department after 24 years and became a correctional officer at Lancaster County Prison, a job he no longer holds.

Today is the fifth Friday of Lent, a Day of Abstinence.

Abstinence
The law of abstinence requires a Catholic 14 years of age until death to abstain from eating meat on Fridays in honor of the Passion of Jesus on Good Friday. Meat is considered to be the flesh and organs of mammals and fowl. Also forbidden are soups or gravies made from them. Salt and freshwater species of fish, amphibians, reptiles and shellfish are permitted, as are animal derived products such as margarine and gelatin which do not have any meat taste.

On the Fridays outside of Lent the U.S. bishops conference obtained the permission of the Holy See for Catholics in the US to substitute a penitential, or even a charitable, practice of their own choosing. They must do some penitential/charitable practice on these Fridays. For most people the easiest practice to consistently fulfill will be the traditional one, to abstain from meat on all Fridays of the year. During Lent abstinence from meat on Fridays is obligatory in the United States as elsewhere.

Those who are excused from fast or abstinence
Besides those outside the age limits, those of unsound mind, the sick, the frail, pregnant or nursing women according to need for meat or nourishment, manual laborers according to need, guests at a meal who cannot excuse themselves without giving great offense or causing enmity and other situations of moral or physical impossibility to observe the penitential discipline.

Aside from these minimum penitential requirements Catholics are encouraged to impose some personal penance on themselves at other times. It could be modeled after abstinence and fasting. A person could, for example, multiply the number of days they abstain. Some people give up meat entirely for religious motives (as opposed to those who give it up for health or other motives). Some religious orders, as a penance, never eat meat. Similarly, one could multiply the number of days that one fasted. The early Church had a practice of a Wednesday and Saturday fast. This fast could be the same as the Church's law (one main meal and two smaller ones) or stricter, even bread and water. Such freely chosen fasting could also consist in giving up something one enjoys - candy, soft drinks, smoking, that cocktail before supper, and so on. This is left to the individual.

One final consideration. Before all else we are obliged to perform the duties of our state in life. Any deprivation that would seriously hinder us in carrying out our work, as students, employees or parents would be contrary to the will of God.---- Colin B. Donovan, STL

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Renovatus, a convert from the Arianist heresy, he became a monk, abbot, and later Bishop of Merida, Spain. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Wisdom 2: 1, 12-22.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 34:17-18, 19-20, 21, 23.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 7:1-2, 10, 25-30.


[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.


Memorare

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.)


Prayer To Saint Michael The Archangel

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, March 30, 2006

NFL rules changes.

From the owners' meeting in Orlando, here are the changes in the rules for next year:

* Allowing down-by-contact calls to be reviewed by replay to determine if the ball came out before the ballcarrier was down, and who recovered it. In the past, those plays were not reviewable when officials ruled the whistle had ended the play.

* Prohibiting pass rushers from hitting a passer in the knee or below unless they are blocked into him. The officiating department showed low hits that caused serious injuries to Cincinnati's Palmer, the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger and Tampa Bay's Brian Griese, although, in all cases, those would not draw penalties because the rushers were blocked in such a way that they could not avoid the hits.

* Toughening the horse-collar rule enacted last season. It now bans tacklers from taking down ballcarriers from the rear by tugging inside their jerseys. Last year's rule required that the tackler's hand get inside the runner's shoulder pads. Only two horse-collars were called in 2005, and the officiating department said one was an incorrect call.

* Prohibiting defensive players from lining up directly over center on field-goal and extra-point attempts to avoid injuries to long snappers.

The teams rejected a proposal aimed at cutting down illegal procedure penalties by eliminating such calls on players flanked outside the line of scrimmage who flinch without the defense reacting. A flinch will remain a 5-yard penalty.

The meetings adjourned with little action on finding a successor to commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who announced his retirement a week ago.

Tagliabue, who said he still thinks the next commissioner will be in place by his target date of July, will appoint a committee next week of six to eight owners. It, in turn, will hire a search firm that will interview all 32 owners on what they want in a new commissioner. (Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for the heads up.)

Super Bowl XL Champion Steelers Update.

Gibbs warns of Super Bowl 'turmoil'
Joe Gibbs, the coach of the Washington Redskins, warns of what he calls the "turmoil" that accompanies a reigning Super Bowl champion.


Still Sore
Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren offered no apologies Wednesday for his comments about officiating, which he made in February at a post-Super Bowl rally in Seattle.

"Do I wish I hadn't said it? Absolutely not," Holmgren said at the NFL's annual meetings. "Fans, I said it. When I said it, they laughed and clapped. It was at a pep rally."

In the wake of the Seahawks' 21-10 loss to the Steelers in Super Bowl XL, Holmgren was perturbed with a number of calls that did not go his team's way, prompting him to say: "We knew it was going to be tough going up against the Pittsburgh Steelers. I didn't know we were going to have to play the guys in the striped shirts, as well."

Hell Freezes Over; Slow Eddie Rendell Does NOT Throw Tax Money at a Problem

There may be hope for us yet, Penguin fans. But do not hold your breath.

Swann backs Pens' plan

Months ago, no public official would talk about a new arena for Pittsburgh.
Wednesday, Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and Republican challenger Lynn Swann could not say enough. But their solutions are vastly different.
Rendell's "Pittsburgh Arena Now" plan for building an arena does not call for any tax dollars, relying instead on slot machine money and a contribution from the Penguins to pay down bonds worth $292 million.

The governor presented the plan to lawmakers last night, and plans to make public the details at a Downtown press conference this morning.

The slots money to pay the debt would include annual payments from whoever gets the license for a casino in Pittsburgh, as well as money from a development fund set up in the gambling law.

"There's a lot of wiggle room in the bill for economic development projects that are not specific," said Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato, who has been working on the details with Rendell and Mayor Bob O'Connor.

Swann yesterday endorsed a plan by the Penguins and the team's gambling partner, Isle of Capri Casinos, which has agreed to pay $290 million for an arena if it wins the license for a slots parlor in Pittsburgh.

Rendell has said his plan is an alternative, should Isle of Capri not win the license.

One key question is whether the other casino bidders -- Harrah's Station Square Casino and Majestic Star Casino, which would locate on the North Shore -- will respond to Rendell's plan by offering money for an arena. They have not promised any yet.

It would cost at least $19 million a year to pay the debt for a $290 million bond issue, based on a 30-year repayment and interest rate just below 5 percent. Isle of Capri projected payments of $20 million to $30 million a year on a 15-year bond.

The state will collect 5 percent of revenues from casinos for a statewide development fund, but the money for Allegheny County was earmarked for specific projects.

Onorato said slots money still could help build an arena. "But it all depends on how much money gets generated from the gaming," he said.
(Thanks to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review for the heads up.)

Gratuitous Kristanna Loken Photos of the Day.


Terminator 3 was her big break, but it didn't do her justice.


Most recently she appeared in Dark Kingdom, a forgettable piece of time-wasting foolishness from the Sci-Fi Channel. I fear she has been typecast as a female who beats up males. And that is just wrong.



Kristanna appears to be all legs and eyes...




...and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


Of course, I do not mean to dismiss the rest of her as irrelevant...






...because that would be just plain crazy.



Fyodor's 2006 Final Four Picks.

I have no idea why anyone would care who I like in the upcoming games, but that never stopped me.


Saturday 4/1 at Indianapolis, IN


George Mason vs. Florida
There is absolutely no way the Patriots' run continues. Therefore, I am going to pick them.
FINAL: Florida 73 George Mason 58 - Fyodor loses! (Like you thought I knew what Iwas doing...)



LSU vs. UCLA
Neither team can shoot the ball. You can tell this is so by all the cries of "Great defense!" you've heard from the CBS clowns calling their games all tourney long. I shall pick LSU to stink up the gym to a lesser extent.
FINAL: UCLA 59 LSU 45 - Fyodor loses! (...Ditto...)



THE 2006 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

Monday 4/3 at Indianapolis, IN


George Mason vs. LSU
Why not? The George Mason University Patriots will cut down the nets!



Ha! Here is the real championship matchup:

Florida vs. UCLA
I obviously have no clue. I'll pick the Bruins.
FINAL: Florida 73 UCLA 57 - Fyodor loses! (The worst Final Four since 1990.)

SEX IS DEATH. (Literally)

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


The UK's Telegraph brings us the story of the wholesale slaughter of female humans that has somehow escaped the notice of left-fascists, "feminists", the more-compassionate-than-thou crowd, and other alleged friends of the distaff side.

Doctor offered deals to abort unwanted girls


A doctor and his assistant have each been jailed for two years in India for using ultrasound scans for sex-selective abortions.

I always wondered what the ghouls among us meant by "choice".

Dr Anil Sabsani, a radiologist, and his assistant, who was not named, were trapped in the northern state of Haryana after the authorities were told that his clinic was offering illegal sex-determination tests.

Dr Sabsani told a pregnant woman sent in undercover that he would reveal the sex of her child for an additional fee of 1,500 rupees (£20).

When dealing with Big Babykilling (or its non-union Indian equivalent) always follow the money.

After the woman paid the money, Dr Sabsani was caught on a hidden video camera confirming that the unborn child was female, saying: "But that can be taken care of."

Coming soon to a baby-toir near you. (Ha! Just kidding. It's happening right here, right now.)

Doctors and social activists welcomed the convictions, the first in India, as a breakthrough in the fight against the practice that accounts for the death of up to 500,000 female foetuses every year.

The death of a foetus. The death of a foetus. The death of a foetus. The death of a foetus.

Forget the intellectual dishonesty of that phrase (and the ordinary, everyday dishonesty of it as well) for a moment and notice how you get used to it if you say it often enough. Rebellion as mesmerism.

Passing judgment, the court in Palwal said: "Because of the illegal acts of people such as Dr Sabsani, the sex ratio is declining day by day."

Indian census figures show that male-female sex ratios have been declining steadily from 945 females per 1,000 males in 1991 to 927 per thousand in 2001.

It seems The World's Biggest Democracy hasn't outgrown that whole "girls are a burden" thingee.

In some parts of Haryana and the Punjab, where the killing of female foetuses is especially rife, the ratio is as low as 800 girls per 1,000 boys, leading to a chronic shortage of brides and other social ills.

Female infanticide has been widespread for centuries, particularly in northern India, where girls were considered a financial liability because they were unable to do manual labour and required an expensive dowry.

In modern times, infanticide has been largely replaced by foeticide because of the availability of legalised abortion and affordable ultrasound clinics.

How did we get from female infanticide to "foeticide" in under two paragraphs? I smell anti-female sex hate!

Studies have shown that female foeticide is most prevalent among affluent, urban and educated populations which have the easiest access to such technology.

But aren't we constantly being told babykilling is the last resort of the poor?

If this story is not outraging you, kiddies, just ask yourself how much uglier and impoverished this ol' world would be if Aishwarya Rai had been a victim of "foeticide"?

A report in The Lancet in January estimated that 10 million female foetuses had been aborted in India in the past 20 years.

May God have mercy on all their souls.

The potential impact of ultrasound machines on sex ratios was dramatically illustrated by figures obtained by a European Commission technical adviser on a recent visit to the mountainous state of Uttaranchal.
Birth records at a clinic in the village of Jahkoli showed that 38 females and 44 males had been born in the year 2004-5, about average for India as a whole.

However, in 2005-6, after an ultrasound machine was installed in the nearby town of Rudraprayag, the birth register in Jahkoli showed 61 deliveries, of which only 14, or 22 per cent, were girls.

Since approximately half of all kids are girls, you have about a 53% chance of being murdered in Rudraprayag if you are girl who has been mistaken for a foetus. Does the Rudraprayag Chamber of Commerce know about this?

Dr Vinay Agarwal, the president of the Indian Medical Association, described Dr Sabsani's conviction as "historic".

He said: "The medical profession is doing all it can to address this social evil. People should be proud to have a girl child."

Amen to that, Brother, but aren't the babykillers members of the same profession?

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.
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
here.
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1) is
here.
Part 16: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2) is
here.
Part 17: SEX IS DEATH. (Fear of the boomers) is
here.
Part 18: SEX IS DEATH. (The battle continues apace) is
here.
Part 19: SEX IS DEATH. (Hot for teacher) is
here.
Part 20: SEX IS DEATH. (Kids do the darndest things) is
here.
Part 21: SEX IS DEATH. (Defects) is
here.
Part 22: SEX IS DEATH. (Privates' privacy) is
here.
Part 23: SEX IS DEATH. (National Condom Week) is
here.
Part 24: SEX IS DEATH. (Wegenics) is
here.

Part 25: SEX IS DEATH. (White wedding) is here.

Right Wing Smile of the Day.

Democrats pledge to 'eliminate' bin Laden
Claim they'll double number of special forces, add more spies --Associated Press

Gracious me! Are they really running from Goober II's legacy of letting the goat-rapists run free as Gaia intended? The memory of the greatest Democrass ruler since Goober I is being sullied by small minds now leading The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion. For shame!

Democrasses! You should be proud of your heritage of theft, cowardice, and treason! Embrace it, and immediately declare Osama bin Moderate will be appointed Secretary of HHS on the first day of Queen Hitlery's reign.

American Weenies Update.

Everyone should go into their local Borders and Waldenbooks and ask for the latest issue of Free Inquiry. Repeatedly.

AP: Free Inquiry contains cartoons of prophet Muhammad that sparked riots
Borders, Waldenbooks won't carry magazine

Borders and Waldenbooks stores will not stock the April-May issue of Free Inquiry magazine because it contains cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked deadly protests among Muslims in several countries.

"For us, the safety and security of our customers and employees is a top priority, and we believe that carrying this issue could challenge that priority," Borders Group Inc. spokeswoman Beth Bingham said Wednesday...

Here's the other side:

The magazine, published by the Council for Secular Humanism (Obviously not my kind of group, but they are right on this one. - F.G.) in suburban Amherst, includes four of the drawings that originally appeared in a Danish newspaper in September, including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban with a lit fuse.

Islamic tradition bars depiction of Muhammad to prevent idol worship, which is strictly prohibited.

"What is at stake is the precious right of freedom of expression," said Paul Kurtz, editor-in-chief of Free Inquiry. "Cartoons often provide an important form of political satire ... To refuse to distribute a publication because of fear of vigilante violence is to undermine freedom of press _ so vital for our democracy." (Thanks to WND for the heads up.)

From The My Idiot Criminal Calabrian Cousins Department:

Here's a new word for you, kiddies: Nrangheta.

Mafia built submarine to run drugs
ANSA: 'They were going to use the sub to elude radar controls'

Mafia drug traffickers were building a submarine to bring cocaine from Colombia to Italy, Italy's anti-Mafia chief said Monday.

Speaking after on his return from the South American country, national anti-Mafia prosecutor Piero Grasso said the Calabrian mafia, known as the 'Nrangheta, was dealing in such huge amounts of drugs that it could afford to have such an expensive mode of transport built .

He said they had chosen a submarine in order to beat coastal radar systems which detect incoming ships. "The 'Ndrangheta brings in 400 kilos of cocaine a year," Grasso said in an interview on Italian TV .

"The submarine, which was under construction in Colombia, has been impounded" .

"They were going to use the sub to elude radar controls" .

Grasso said cocaine costs just 3 dollars a gramme in Colombia and had a street value of 50-100 euros per gramme in Italy, depending on the quality .

He said Italian and Colombian police were trying to stop the trade in every way, including destroying crops, but efforts needed to be made to stem demand .

"We have to ask ourselves why demand keeps on rising" .

Action was needed, he said, to stop people turning to cocaine to make themselves more efficient and productive .

Most experts agree the 'Ndrangheta, which specialises in drug smuggling from South America, is now more powerful and more dangerous than Cosa Nostra, the Sicilian mafia .

The Calabrian mob is believed to generate an annual turnover of some 35 billion euros, more than Calabria's entire legal economy .

The Italian government launched an unprecedented campaign against the 'Ndrangheta in the wake of the October 16 murder of top local politician Francesco Fortugno .

It bolstered police and prosecution forces in Calabria and appointed a top police officer to lead the murder hunt and try to wrest swathes of the region from the mafia's grip .

The operation led to a series of successes and finally, last week, the arrest of Fortugno's killers .

Police are now using turncoat testimony to try to find out who ordered the murder .

Meanwhile the drive to re-establish full state rule continues .

Since 1995, 30 town councils have been dissolved because they were deemed to be controlled by the 'Ndrangheta. Last year, dozens of local administrators received threats . (Thanks to WND for the heads up.)

The Theology of the Body: 74. The Vocation to Continence in This Earthly Life

In his General Audience of 17 March 1982, the Holy Father continued his talks on celibacy/virginity for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. This new ideal, though a departure from the Old Testament tradition of marriage, shed light on the theology of the body.


The Vocation to Continence in This Earthly Life

During the general audience on 17 March, Pope John Paul II continued his reflection on the subject of virginity or celibacy for the kingdom of heaven.


1. We continue the reflection on virginity or celibacy for the kingdom of heaven—a theme that is important also for a complete theology of the body.

In the immediate context of the words on continence for the kingdom of heaven, Christ made a very significant comparison. This confirms us still more in the conviction that he wished to root the vocation to such continence deep in the reality of the earthly life, thereby gaining an entrance into the mentality of his hearers. He listed three categories of eunuchs.

This term concerns the physical defects which render procreation in marriage impossible. These defects explain the first two categories, when Jesus spoke of both congenital defects: "eunuchs who have been so from birth" (Mt 19:11), and of acquired defects caused by human intervention: "There are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men" (Mt 19:12). In both cases it is a state of compulsion, and therefore not voluntary. If Christ in his comparison then spoke of those "who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19:12), as of a third category, undoubtedly he made this distinction to indicate still further its voluntary and supernatural character. It is voluntary, because those pertaining to this category "have made themselves eunuchs," and it is supernatural, because they have done so "for the kingdom of heaven."

2. The distinction is very clear and very forceful. Nevertheless, the comparison also is strong and eloquent. Christ spoke to men to whom the tradition of the old covenant had not handed down the ideal of celibacy or of virginity. Marriage was so common that only physical impotence could constitute an exception. The reply given to the disciples in Matthew (15:10-12) is at the same time directed, in a certain sense, at the whole tradition of the Old Testament. This is confirmed by a single example taken from the Book of Judges. We refer to this here not merely because of the event that took place, but also because of the significant words that accompanied it. "Let it be granted to me...to bewail my virginity" (Jgs 11:37) the daughter of Jephthah said to her father after learning from him that she was destined to be sacrificed in fulfillment of a vow made to the Lord. (The biblical text explains how such a situation came about.) "Go," the text continues, "and he let her go.... She went with her companions and bewailed her virginity on the mountains. At the end of two months she returned to her father who did with her according to his vow which he had made. She had never known a man" (Jgs 11:38-39).

3. In the Old Testament tradition, as far as we know, there is no place for this significance of the body, which Christ, in speaking of continence for the kingdom of God, wished to present and reveal to his own disciples. Among the personages known to us as spiritual condottieri of the people of the old covenant, there is not one who would have proclaimed such continence by word or example.(1) At that time, marriage was not only a common state, but still more, in that tradition it had acquired a consecrated significance because of the promise the Lord made to Abraham: "Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations.... I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come forth from you. And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you" (Gn 17:4, 6-7). Hence in the Old Testament tradition, marriage, as a source of fruitfulness and of procreation in regard to descendants, was a religiously privileged state: and privileged by revelation itself. Against the background of this tradition, according to which the Messiah should be the "son of David" (Mt 20:30), it was difficult to understand the ideal of continence. Marriage had everything going in its favor, not only reasons of human nature, but also those of the kingdom of God.(2)

4. In this environment Christ's words determine a decisive turning point. When he spoke to his disciples for the first time about continence for the kingdom of heaven, one clearly realizes that as children of the Old Law tradition, they must have associated celibacy and virginity with the situation of individuals, especially of the male sex, who because of defects of a physical nature cannot marry ("the eunuchs"). For that reason he referred directly to them. This reference has a multiple background, both historical and psychological, as well as ethical and religious. With this reference Jesus—in a certain sense—touches all these backgrounds, as if he wished to say: I know that what I am going to say to you now will cause great difficulty in your conscience, in your way of understanding the significance of the body. In fact, I shall speak to you of continence. Undoubtedly, you will associate this with the state of physical deficiency, whether congenital or brought about by human cause. But I wish to tell you that continence can also be voluntary and chosen by man for the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew, in chapter 19, does not record any immediate reaction of the disciples to these words. We find it later only in the writings of the apostles, especially in Paul (3). This confirms that these words were impressed in the conscience of the first generation of Christ's disciples and they repeatedly bore fruit in a manifold way in the generations of his confessors in the Church (and perhaps also outside it). So, from the viewpoint of theology—that is, of the revelation of the significance of the body, completely new in respect to the Old Testament tradition—these words mark a turning point. Their analysis shows how precise and substantial they are, notwithstanding their conciseness. (We will observe it still better when we analyze the Pauline text of the First Letter to the Corinthians, chapter 7.) Christ spoke of continence "for" the kingdom of heaven. In this way he wished to emphasize that this state, consciously chosen by man in this temporal life, in which people usually "marry or are given in marriage," has a singular supernatural finality. Continence, even if consciously chosen or personally decided upon, but without that finality, does not come within the scope of the above-mentioned statement of Christ. Speaking of those who have consciously chosen celibacy or virginity for the kingdom of heaven (that is, "They have made themselves eunuchs"), Christ pointed out—at least in an indirect way—that this choice during the earthly life is joined to renunciation and also to a determined spiritual effort.

6. The same supernatural finality—for the kingdom of heaven—admits of a series of more detailed interpretations which Christ did not enumerate in this passage. However, it can be said that by means of the lapidary formula which he used, he indicated indirectly all that is said on the subject in revelation, in the Bible and in Tradition; all that has become the spiritual riches of the Church's experience in which celibacy and virginity for the kingdom of heaven have borne fruit in a manifold way in the various generations of the Lord's disciples and followers.

NOTES

1) It is true that Jeremiah, by explicit command of the Lord, had to observe celibacy (cf. Jer 16:1-2). But this was a "prophetic sign," which symbolized the future abandonment and destruction of the country and of the people.

2) It is true, as we know from sources outside the Bible, that in the period between the two Testaments, celibacy was maintained in the circles of Judaism by some members of the sect of the Essenes (cf. Josephus Flavius, Bell. Jud., II 8, 2:120-121; Philo Al., Hypothel, 11, 14). But this happened on the margin of official Judaism and probably did not continue beyond the beginning of the second century.

In the Qumran community celibacy did not oblige everyone, but some members observed it until death, transferring to the sphere of life during peacetime, the prescription of Dt 23:10-14 on the ritual purity which was of obligation during the holy war. According to the beliefs of the Qumran community, this war lasted always "between the children of light and the children of darkness"; so celibacy was for them the expression of their being ready for the battle (cf. 1 QM 7, 5-7).

3. Cf. 1 Cor 7:25-40; see also Apoc 14:4

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

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