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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, May 05, 2006

Zarqawi can't even shoot blanks.

News.com.au: Zarqawi blooper lights up blogs

THE US military has said that it was hot on the heels of al Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, after discovering documents and an unedited video of him in a rural hideout near Baghdad. The video has been circulated online, and is set to become something of a hit.

The video, of a clearly challenged Abu Musab al-Zarqawi trying to fire a gun, has been mocked by US military sources and has provided some much-needed light relief to bloggers around the web. You can watch this film here.

Also part of the same package is another video, again a series of 'outtakes' from an al-Qaeda shoot involving Zarqawi, that shows the man responsible for a wave of insurgency attacks in Iraq wearing what seem to be a US brand of trainers.

US military spokesman Major-General Rick Lynch has made much of the video find. "What he didn't show you were the clips that I showed you," said the General to a press briefing.

"Wearing New Balance sneakers with his uniform, surrounded by supposedly competent subordinates who grab the hot barrel of a just-fired machine gun, ... a warrior leader, Zarqawi, who doesn't understand how to operate his weapons system. "It makes you wonder."

Heehee!

The Great Cartoon War of '06 moves closer to Bloggerdom.

Spiegel Online English: Online Magazine Hints at Attacks on Papers that Ran Muhammad Caricatures
The publication of cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad caused outrage and violence across the Muslim world several months ago. Now a militant Muslim group with a presence in Germany and other European nations has published a list of newspapers that reprinted the cartoons, urging Muslims to take action against Western journalists.

The Theology of the Body: 100. Indissolubility of Sacrament of Marriage in Mystery of the Redemption of the Body

In his General Audience of 27 October 1982, the Holy Father continued his catechesis on marriage in light of Ephesians 5. Man and woman becoming one flesh in marriage, as signifying the relationship between Christ and His Church, is a sign of the redemption of the body at the end of time.


Indissolubility of Sacrament of Marriage in Mystery of the Redemption of the Body

Thousands of the faithful were present in St Peter's Square for the general audience on 27 October during which the Holy Father continued his catechesis on marriage in light of the Letter to the Ephesians.


1. The text of the Letter to the Ephesians (5:21-33) speaks of the sacraments of the Church—and in particular of Baptism and the Eucharist—but only in an indirect and, in a certain sense, allusive manner, developing the analogy of marriage in reference to Christ and the Church. So we read at first that Christ who "loved the Church and gave himself up for her" (5:25), did so "that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word" (5:26). Doubtlessly this treats of the sacrament of Baptism, which by Christ's institution was from the beginning conferred on those who were converted. The words quoted show very graphically in what way Baptism draws its essential significance and its sacramental power from that spousal love of the Redeemer, by means of which the sacramentality of the Church itself is constituted above all (sacramentum magnum). The same can also be said perhaps of the Eucharist. This would seem to be indicated by the following words about nourishing one's own body, which indeed every man nourishes and cherishes "as Christ does the Church, because we are members of his body" (5:29-30). In fact Christ nourishes the Church with his body precisely in the Eucharist.

2. One sees, however, that neither in the first nor second case can we speak of a well-developed sacramental theology. One cannot speak about it even when treating of the sacrament of marriage as one of the sacraments of the Church. Expressing the spousal relationship of Christ to the Church, the Letter to the Ephesians lets it be understood that on the basis of this relationship the Church itself is the "great sacrament." It is the new sign of the covenant and of grace, which draws its roots from the depths of the sacrament of redemption, just as from the depths of the sacrament of creation marriage has emerged, a primordial sign of the covenant and of grace. The author of the Letter to the Ephesians proclaims that that primordial sacrament is realized in a new way in the sacrament of Christ and of the Church. For this reason also, in the same classic text of the Letter to the Ephesians 5:21-33, the Apostle urges spouses to be "subject to one another out of reverence for Christ" (5:21) and model their conjugal life by basing it on the sacrament instituted at the beginning by the Creator. This sacrament found its definitive greatness and holiness in the spousal covenant of grace between Christ and the Church.

3. Even though the Letter to the Ephesians does not speak directly and immediately of marriage as one of the sacraments of the Church, the sacramentality of marriage is especially confirmed and closely examined in it. In the great sacrament of Christ and of the Church, Christian spouses are called upon to model their life and their vocation on the sacramental foundation.

4. After the analysis of the classical text of Ephesians 5:21-33, addressed to Christian spouses, Paul announces to them the great mystery (sacramentum magnum) of the spousal love of Christ and of the Church. After the analysis of this text, it is opportune to return to those significant words of the Gospel which we have analyzed previously, seeing in them the key statements for the theology of the body. Christ spoke these words, one might say, from the divine depth of the redemption of the body (cf. Rom 8:23). All these words have a fundamental significance for man inasmuch as he is a body—inasmuch as he is male or female. They have a significance for marriage in which man and woman unite so that the two become "one flesh," according to the expression of Genesis (2:24). However, at the same time, Christ's words also indicate the vocation to continence "for the sake of the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 19:12).

5. In each of these ways the redemption of the body is a great expectation of those who possess "the first fruits of the spirit" (Rom 8:23). Not only that, it is also a permanent source of hope that creation will be "set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom 8:21). Spoken from the divine depth of the mystery of redemption and of the redemption of the body, Christ's words bear within them the leaven of this hope. They open to it a perspective both in the eschatological dimension and also in the dimension of daily life. In fact, the words addressed to his immediate hearers are simultaneously addressed to historical man of various times and places. That man indeed who possesses "the first fruits of the spirit...groans...waiting for the redemption...of the body" (Rom 8:23). There is also concentrated in him the "cosmic" hope of the whole of creation, which in him, in man, "waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God" (Rom 8:19).

6. Christ speaks with the Pharisees, who ask him: "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" (Mt 19:3) They question him in this way precisely because the law attributed to Moses permitted the so-called "bill of divorce" (Dt 24:1). Christ's reply was as follows: "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one'? So they are no longer two but one. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder" (Mt 19:2-6). They then went on to speak about the "bill of divorce" and Christ said to them: "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: Whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery" (Mt 19:8-9). "He who marries a woman divorced from her husband, commits adultery" (Lk 16:18).

7. The horizon of the redemption of the body is opened up with these words, which constitute the reply to a concrete question of a juridical-moral nature. It is opened up especially by the fact that Christ took his stand on the plane of that primordial sacrament which his questioners inherited in a singular manner, given that they also inherited the revelation of the mystery of creation, contained in the first chapters of the Book of Genesis.

These words contain at the same time a universal reply addressed to historical man of all times and places, since they are decisive for marriage and for its indissolubility. In fact they refer to that which man is, male and female, such as he has become in an irreversible way by the fact of having been created in the image and likeness of God. Man does not cease to be such even after original sin, even though this has deprived him of original innocence and justice. In replying to the query of the Pharisees, Christ referred to the "beginning." He seemed in this way to stress especially the fact that he was speaking from the depth of the mystery of redemption, and of the redemption of the body. In fact, Redemption signifies, as it were, a "new creation." It signifies the assuming of all that is created: to express in creation the fullness of justice, of equity and of sanctity designated by God, and to express that fullness especially in man, created as male and female in the image of God.

In the perspective of Christ's words to the Pharisees on that which marriage was from the beginning, we reread also the classic text of the Letter to the Ephesians (5:21-33) as a testimony of the sacramentality of marriage based on the great mystery of Christ and of the Church.

AP: Chinese bishops may escape Vatican censure


Vatican officials cited church law that called for automatic excommunication in condemning China for appointing bishops without papal consent, but legal experts said Friday that the appointees may be spared formal censure because they may have been pressured.

The Vatican said Thursday that the consecration of two bishops this week in China carried with them the automatic penalty of excommunication for the two men as well as the bishops who ordained them because
Pope Benedict XVI hadn't approved the appointments.

While Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls didn't use the word "excommunication" in his statement Thursday, he cited Article 1382 of the Code of Canon Law, which says both the newly ordained bishop and the bishop who consecrates him without papal consent incur a "latae sententiae excommunication" — automatic excommunication.

However, canon law experts said that in order for the excommunication to have actual effect, it must be formally declared by the pope, and that that requires a process that could take into account several factors.

"This one is an automatic penalty, but in order for it to have effect in the external forum, it must be declared," said the Rev. James Conn, a professor of canon law at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University.

"That doesn't mean it isn't binding in conscience on the person if he incurs it automatically ... (but) there needs to be a procedure before a penalty is declared," he said.

Attempts to reach Navarro-Valls on Friday were unsuccessful.

However, a Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to interpret church law, said Thursday that while church law provides for automatic excommunication, the fact that the prelates may have been pressured was important.

Yeah, let's ask the guy incapable of interpreting Canon Law to interpret Canon Law for us. Genius!

"There are two levels: The objective level, which says the law is automatic, and a subjective level, which only God knows. That is a matter between them and God," said the official.

Conn noted that Article 1323 in Canon Law sets out exceptions to when church penalties can be imposed, such as when someone "acted under the compulsion of grave fear, even if only relative, or by reason of necessity or grave inconvenience."

"If the act was not a free act, then it's less imputable, less punishable," Conn said.

True enough.

In his statement, Navarro-Valls said Chinese bishops and priests had been subject to "strong pressures and to threats" to take part in the ordinations by "external entities to the church" — an apparent reference to the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, the church's official name in China.

"Various prelates have given a refusal to similar pressures, while others were not able to do anything but submit with great interior suffering," the statement continued.

I think a refusal is much to be preferred.

Conn said at this point, only the bishops in question know whether they acted out of fear.

"If the individual himself knows that he did not act out of grave fear, he is burdened in conscience to carry out the excommunication," he said.

Conn likened the situation to that of a woman who obtains an abortion. The act of getting an abortion carries with it the same automatic excommunication. But since there is rarely a formal declaration of an excommunication for an abortion, the woman is burdened with the penalty in her conscience, he said.

Official ties between the Holy See and Beijing were severed after communists took control of China in 1949. While Benedict has reached out to Beijing in hopes of restoring ties, the ordinations this week set back the efforts.

In China, a senior official in the state-backed Catholic church said Friday that religious conflicts can only be addressed after the Vatican establishes diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, a state-backed agency that oversees administration of the Catholic church, called on the Vatican to change its policies toward China.

"Once the relationship between the Chinese government and the Vatican improves, the church issues can be resolved," Liu said in a telephone interview.

Liu's comments were the first official response since the Vatican lashed out against the Chinese church's ordination of the bishops.

Whatever happened to...

...Helen Slater, star of Supergirl (1984), The Legend of Billie Jean (1985), Ruthless People (1986), and The Secret of My Succe$s (1987)?



Usually, women with short hair leave me cold, but there was something about Helen in The Legend of Billie Jean.


Helen is still getting it done (above). Visit her website here.

From IMDb:


Helen Slater was born Helen Schlacter to Gerald and Chrin Schlacter in Massapequa, Long Island, New York. Appearing in many shows as a child, she attended the New York High School of Performing Arts, graduating in 1982. Having made her acting debut in the after-school special Amy and the Angel (1982) (TV), co-starring with James Earl Jones and Matthew Modine - the only film in which she appeared as a brunette - Helen took her career very seriously. Within months of her graduation, she attended auditions for the upcoming spin-off of the famous Superman (1978) franchise, Supergirl (1984). It was to be shot in England at Pinewood Studios, where the first "Superman" movies were filmed. Slater even spoke to Christopher Reeve about playing a superhero to assure herself she could do it. After being the first to present herself for audition, she was cast as the lead in the film and her career took off.

Although "Supergirl" received mixed reviews, most critics were impressed with Helen's abilities. In fact, the critics' consensus was that she did a better job at keeping a secret identity (a mousy schoolgirl) than Reeve did as Clark Kent. In her next film she was cast as a modern-day Joan of Arc in The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) with Yeardley Smith and Peter Coyote. The film, though not particularly successful, has managed to attract a somewhat cult following. She next appeared in one of her best-received roles, that of the female half of the bumbling husband-and-wife team that kidnaps Bette Midler in the comic blockbuster Ruthless People (1986), and scored again in the hit The Secret of My Succe$s (1987). Both roles helped to cement her status as an actress of note. Next, she and friend Melanie Mayron starred in the feminist comedy Sticky Fingers (1988), a critical but not financial success. It was in this film and her next, Happy Together (1989/I), that she was able to prove that she could do comedy as well as drama. She went on to do more feature films such as City Slickers (1991), A House in the Hills (1993) and Lassie (1994), before making regular appearances on television.

Her regional stage credits include appearances in such plays as "Grease" and "Shakespeare and Friends". On Broadway she starred in "Responsible Parties" and "Almost Romance." She also attended classes at both NYU and UCLA, trying to broaden her acting abilities. On television, she has appeared in "Caroline in the City" (1995), as well as many others. She also became a spokeswoman for Preference by L'Oreal in both TV and print ads. She is an accomplished pianist and now has an album out called "One of These Days." She co-founded the New York theater group The Naked Angels with Gina Gershon. In 1990 she married award-winning editor Robert Watzke and they have a daughter, born in 1995. She stepped out of the limelight for a couple of years, appearing mainly in the occasional TV show, but came back strong in 2003, showing moviegoers and TV audiences how great an entertainer she really is.

Spouse: Robert Watzke (1990 - present) 1 child

Gave birth to a 7lb 10oz baby girl, Hannah Nika, on August 28, 1995.

Attended and graduated from the famous New York High School of Performing Arts.

Performed some of her own stunts in Supergirl (1984).

Enjoys singing and playing the piano

Co-founded the New York based Theater group, The Naked Angels with Gina Gershon.

To add to her pianist accomplishments, she is also a classically trained singer. She released her first album, titled "One of these Days", in 2003.

Was the first girl of all to audition for Supergirl (1984). The producers thought she was the strongest of all the actresses auditioning, and after months of callbacks and screen tests, she was cast.

Her real hair color is Brown. After dyeing it once for Supergirl (1984), she kept it blonde for her future roles until she became a spokeswoman for Preferance by L'oreal. She can be seen with her natural hair in her first feature, Amy and the Angel (1982) (TV).

Actor Barry Friedman was one of her acting coaches at the New York High School for Performing Arts.

Gained over twenty pounds for the role in Supergirl (1984).

Wrote a musical called "Ugly Duckling." Though a take on the original story, it is written for adults and centers around human characters, and she is trying to get it published.

Was a member of the Actor's Movement Studio

Released 2nd albumn titled "Crossword". Another self-penned collection of music recorded live in a studio. This time, music is more jazz inspired, rather than folk like her debut. Slater had written songs for her "Crossword" album before her first album was released. After recording "Crossword", Slater was prepared to compose another collection for album #3 [January 2005]

Ranked # 70 on VH1's "100 Greatest Teen Stars".

What has she been doing lately?

(April 2006) Appearing at Collector Mania convention, coming back into the limelight.


"The New Adventures of Old Christine" - Teach Your Children Well (2006) TV Episode .... Liz

Jane Doe: The Harder They Fall (2006) (TV) .... Stella Andre

"Grey's Anatomy" - Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2005) TV Episode .... Nadia Shelton

Seeing Other People (2004) .... Penelope

"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" ... - Families (2004) TV Episode .... Susan Coyle

"Boston Public" - Chapter Seventy-Four (2003) TV Episode .... Mrs. McNeal

Another genius Kennedy keeps the family tradition alive.

America's most famous ostensibly (Well, not exactly ostensibly. It means "to all outward appearances" and the Kennedys haven't even pretended for at least three generations.) Catholic family once again helps to prove that stupidity and mendacity are indeed hereditary.

From CBS News:

Kennedy: I wasn't drinking

Seriously, I wasn't. Pills are more my speed.


It wasn't alcohol, said Rep. Patrick Kennedy, in the first of two statements issued to explain an accident in which he crashed his car into a security barricade near the U.S. Capitol.

He's lucky he didn't hit a fountain.

"I consumed no alcohol prior to the incident," said Kennedy, commenting on reports that he appeared to be staggering when he emerged from his green Mustang convertible at about 2:45 a.m. Thursday – insisting that he was late for a vote in the House.

That probably depends on your definition of the word "prior".

That statement left many reporters with further questions about the incident and the way it was handled by police. Late Thursday night, the 38-year-old Rhode Island Democrat – son of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy – decided to release more details.

Patrick Kennedy says several hours before the accident, he had taken two prescription drugs prescribed by the attending physician of the U.S. Congress: Phenergan, to treat gastroenteritis, and Ambien, a sleeping pill.

Ahhh...Little Pat must have been watching the news recently. Ambien is becoming an excuse for allsorts of mischief.

"Following the last series of votes on Wednesday evening, I returned to my home on Capitol Hill and took the prescribed amount of Phenergan and Ambien," said Kennedy. "Some time around 2:45 a.m., I drove the few blocks to the Capitol Complex believing I needed to vote. Apparently, I was disoriented from the medication."

Wow. Even when loopy on drugs, these clowns are still motivated by the totalitarian imperative.

"Must...pass...tax...hike...and...stop...wind farm..."

"At no time before the incident did I consume any alcohol," said Kennedy, going on to address questions about why he was not asked to take a sobriety test. "At the time of the accident, I was instructed to park my car and was driven home by the United States Capitol Police. At no time did I ask for any special consideration, I simply complied with what the officers asked me to do."

After sixty-odd years of Kennedys, the cops know how to not get fired. There are "How To Deal With Unruly Kennedys" classes at police academies from Boston to Palm Beach.

"I have the utmost respect for the United States Capitol Police and the job they do to keep Members of Congress and the Capitol Complex safe," he continued. "I have contacted the Chief of Capitol Police and offered to meet with police representatives at their earliest convenience as I intend to cooperate fully with any investigation they choose to undertake."

Kennedy says he now knows that Phenergan can cause drowsiness and sedation.

Ambien, a widely-prescribed sleep medication, has been blamed by many individuals for incidents involving driving, eating, cooking and other actions that happened when the patients were supposed to be asleep – actions they later said they could not remember.

If only Ambien had been available when his dad, Senator Murder, was young...

Authorities investigating some of those incidents have said that blood tests prove the individuals involved did not follow instructions on how to take the drug – including dosage amounts and the need to set aside enough time for a full night's sleep after taking the drug...

Due to time constraints, we now move to further action...

The report that Kennedy appeared to be intoxicated at the time of the crash came from Louis P. Cannon, president of the Washington chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, who wasn't there but says officers at the scene were instructed by an official "above the rank of patrolman" to take Kennedy home.

The fix is in...

A letter written by Capitol Police officer Greg Baird to Acting Chief Christopher McGaffin said Kennedy appeared to be staggering when he left the vehicle after the crash about 3 a.m. The letter was first reported by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper.

Capitol Police, who are investigating the incident, were at first circumspect and said nothing about Kennedy, stating only that they were investigating an early morning traffic violation.

Baird wrote McGaffin that two sergeants who responded to the accident conferred with the watch commander and were ordered to leave the scene.

...Wait for it...

He said that after the officers left, Capitol Police officials gave Kennedy a ride home.

Cannon says police, depending on the cirumstances do sometime take people to their homes but he believes "because of who he is, courtesies were extended... It it had been you or me, we would have left in handcuffs."

...Q.E.D.*

Kennedy spent time at a drug rehabilitation clinic before he went to Providence College. He has been open about mental health issues, including being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has served in Congress since 1994, and was the youngest member of his family – the best-known of America's political dynasties – to win elective office, beginning his legislative career at age 21 in the Rhode Island Assembly.

* Quod erat demonstrandum: That which was to be demonstrated.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

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

Today's reading is
Acts 9:1-20.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 117:1, 2.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 6:52-59.


[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.


Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank You today for the gift of my life, and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters. I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the resurrection of Your Son. I am ready to do my part to end abortion. Today I commit myself never to be silent, never to be passive, and never to be forgetful of the unborn. I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement, and never stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected and our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice, not just for some, but for all. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 99. Marriage an Integral Part of New Sacramental Economy

In his General Audience of 20 October 1982, the Holy Father continued his commentary on Ephesians 5, to give further insights into his Theology of the Body. Marriage is so fundamental to the order of redemption established by Christ that "all the sacraments of the new covenant find their prototype in marriage as the primordial sacrament."


Marriage an Integral Part of New Sacramental Economy

On Wednesday morning, 20 October, the Holy Father, in the customary general audience in St Peter's Square, continued his commentary on a passage from the Letter to the Ephesians.


1. Last Wednesday we spoke of the integral heritage of the covenant with God, and of the grace originally united to the divine work of creation. Marriage was also a part of this integral heritage—as can be deduced from the Letter to the Ephesians 5:21-33—marriage, that is, as a primordial sacrament instituted from the beginning and linked with the sacrament of creation in its globality. The sacramentality of marriage is not merely a model and figure of the sacrament of the Church (of Christ and of the Church). It also constitutes an essential part of the new heritage, that of the sacrament of redemption, with which the Church is endowed in Christ.

Here it is necessary yet again to refer to Christ's words in Matthew 19:3-9 (cf. also Mk 10:5-9). In replying to the question of the Pharisees concerning marriage, Christ refers only and exclusively to its original institution on the part of the Creator at the beginning. Reflecting on the significance of this reply in the light of the Letter to the Ephesians, and in particular of Ephesians 5:21-33, we end up with a relationship—in a certain sense twofold—of marriage with the whole sacramental order which, in the new covenant, emerges from the same sacrament of redemption.

2. Marriage as a primordial sacrament constitutes, on the one hand, the figure (the likeness, the analogy), according to which there is constructed the basic main structure of the new economy of salvation and of the sacramental order. This order draws its origin from the spousal gracing which the Church received from Christ, together with all the benefits of redemption (one could say, using the opening words of the Letter to the Ephesians, "with every spiritual blessing"—1:3). In this way marriage, as a primordial sacrament, is assumed and inserted into the integral structure of the new sacramental economy, arising from redemption in the form, I would say, of a "prototype." It is assumed and inserted as it were from its very bases. In conversation with the Pharisees, Christ himself first of all reconfirmed its existence (Mt 19:3-9). Reflecting deeply on this dimension, one would have to conclude that in a certain sense all the sacraments of the new covenant find their prototype in marriage as the primordial sacrament. This seems to be indicated in the classic passage quoted from the Letter to the Ephesians, as we shall say again soon.

3. However, the relationship of marriage with the whole sacramental order, deriving from the endowment of the Church with the benefits of the redemption, is not limited merely to the dimension of model. In his conversation with the Pharisees (cf. Mt 19), Christ confirms the existence of marriage instituted from the beginning by the Creator. Not only that, he declares it also an integral part of the new sacramental economy, of the new order of salvific signs which derives its origin from the sacrament of redemption, just as the original economy emerged from the sacrament of creation. In fact, Christ limited himself to the unique sacrament which was marriage instituted in the state of innocence and of original justice of man, created male and female "in the image and likeness of God."

4. The new sacramental economy which is constituted on the basis of the sacrament of redemption, deriving from the spousal gracing of the Church on the part of Christ, differs from the original economy. Indeed, it is directed not to the man of justice and original innocence, but to the man burdened with the heritage of original sin and with the state of sinfulness (status naturae lapsae). It is directed to the man of the threefold concupiscence, according to the classic words of 1 John 2:16, to the man in whom "the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh" (Gal 5:17), according to the Pauline theology (and anthropology), to which we have devoted much space in our previous reflections.

5. These considerations, following upon a deeper analysis of the significance of Christ's statement in the Sermon on the Mount concerning the lustful look as adultery of the heart, prepare for an understanding of marriage as an integral part of the new sacramental order. This order has its origin in the sacrament of redemption, that is to say, in that great mystery which, as the mystery of Christ and of the Church, determines the sacramentality of the Church itself. These considerations also prepare for an understanding of marriage as a sacrament of the new covenant, whose salvific work is organically linked with the ensemble of that ethos which was defined in the previous analyses as the ethos of redemption. The Letter to the Ephesians expresses the same truth in its own way. It speaks of marriage as a great sacrament in a wide parenetic context, that is, in the context of exhortations of a moral nature. It concerns precisely the ethos which should characterize the life of Christians, that is, of people aware of the election which is realized in Christ and in the Church.

6. Against this vast background of reflections which emerge from reading the Letter to the Ephesians (especially 5:21-33), one can and should eventually touch again the problem of the sacraments of the Church. The text cited from the Letter to the Ephesians speaks of it in an indirect and, I would say, secondary way, though sufficient to bring this problem within the scope of our considerations. However, it is fitting to clarify here, at least briefly, the sense in which we use the term "sacrament," which is significant for our considerations.

7. Until now we have used the term "sacrament" (in conformity with the whole of biblical-patristic tradition)(1) in a sense wider than that proper to traditional and contemporary theological terminology. By the word "sacrament" this terminology means the signs instituted by Christ and administered by the Church, which signify and confer divine grace on the person who receives the relative sacrament. In this sense each of the seven sacraments of the Church is characterized by a determinate liturgical action, made up of words (the form) and the specific sacramental "matter"—according to the widespread hylomorphic theory deriving from Thomas Aquinas and the whole scholastic tradition.

8. In relationship to this rather restricted meaning, we have used in our considerations a wider and perhaps also more ancient and fundamental meaning of the term "sacrament." (2) The Letter to the Ephesians, especially 5:21-33, seems in a particular way to authorize us to do so. Here sacrament signifies the very mystery of God, which is hidden from eternity; however, not in an eternal concealment, but above all, in its very revelation and actuation (furthermore, in its revelation through its actuation). In this sense we spoke also of the sacrament of creation and of the sacrament of redemption. On the basis of the sacrament of creation, one must understand the original sacramentality of marriage (the primordial sacrament). Following upon this, on the basis of the sacrament of redemption one can understand the sacramentality of the Church, or rather the sacramentality of the union of Christ with the Church. The author of the Letter to the Ephesians presents this under the simile of marriage, of the conjugal union of husband and wife. A careful analysis of the text shows that in this case, it is not merely a comparison in a metaphorical sense, but of a real renewal (or of a "re-creation," that is, of a new creation) of that which constituted the salvific content (in a certain sense, the "salvific substance") of the primordial sacrament. This observation has an essential significance both for the clarification of the sacramentality of the Church (the very significant words of the first chapter of Lumen Gentium refer to this), and also for the understanding of the sacramentality of marriage, understood precisely as one of the sacraments of the Church.

NOTES

1) Cf. Leo XIII, Acta, Vol. II, 1881, p. 22.

2) In this regard, cf. discourse at the general audience of September 8, 1982, note 1 (English edition, 13 September, p.2, 1982, p. 2).

What does ignorant leftism, (like there's any other kind!) hatred of women, lack of talent, and rebellion against God get you?


(Hint: It ain't $95.2 million, kiddies.)

Picasso portrait goes for $95.2 million
Painting of artist's mistress 2nd highest auction price tag in history --Associated Press

Awww...poor Germans.

German dilemma: Can Hungadunga attend World Cup?
Obliged to admit head of participating nation, but Holocaust denial is crime --London Times

Bad judge, good judge.

Judge orders San Diego cross removed
Gives city 90 days in case brought by ACLU-backed atheist --WND


Scalia warns of judicial aristocracy
Says judges deciding moral issues that should be left with the people --St. Louis Post-Dispatch

When you lay down with commies, you wake up excommunicated.

May God have mercy on their souls. They are going to need it.

My Way News: Vatican Excommunicates 4 Chinese Bishops

The Vatican on Thursday excommunicated two bishops ordained by China's state-controlled church without the pope's consent, escalating tensions as the two sides explore preliminary moves toward improving ties.

The Vatican also excommunicated the two bishops who ordained them. Church law requires excommunication for any such ordination without Vatican consent.

In a statement reacting to this week's ordinations, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls cited Article 1382 of the Catholic Church's canon law. That article states that "both the bishop who, without a pontifical mandate, consecrates a person a bishop, and the one who receives the consecration from him, incur a 'latae sententiae excommunication,'" which means they are automatically excommunicated.

Earlier, Navarro-Valls said Pope Benedict XVI was deeply saddened at the news of the ordinations.

"It is a great wound to the unity of the church," Navarro-Valls said in a statement.

The rebellion against reality continues apace.

Bill to ban 'mom, dad' from texts advances
California law would remove sex-specific terms from books, mandate pro-homosexual lessons --WND

BTW...Get your kids out of the government schools!

The Sitzkrieg phase of The Great Cartoon War of '06 seems to be winding down.



A dozen young terrorists have departed Afghanistan, bound first for Iran and then Europe, where their mission will be to hunt down the Danish cartoonists responsible for drawing anti-Muhammad sketches, according to a report in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.



The report was passed on by Hamid Mir, the Pakistani journalist who has interviewed al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri and who just visited the no-man's land along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.



While there, he was told by Taliban sources in south Waziristan that 12 young men – nine Afghans and three Pakistanis – are on their way to Europe to kill the Danish cartoonists. While some carry Afghan passports and others carry Iranian passports, all will travel through Iran on their way to Europe, he reports.



I can't wait until Señor Spielbergo makes a movie about them!

All 12 have recorded the video messages that will be aired publicly if they hit their targets.

In his most recent audio communiqué, aired on Al-Jazeera last week, Osama bin Laden called for a global Muslim boycott of American goods similar to the recent boycott of Danish products after the publication there of caricatures of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. He also said the artists who drew those offending cartoons should be handed over to him for trial and punishment.



Days before that television broadcast, Mir predicted an imminent communiqué from bin Laden to be released on the Arab television network.

Earlier this year, 12 cartoons depicting Muhammad were published in Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper. Within weeks, the cartoons became an international controversy resulting in embassies being torched, Christians being slaughtered and fatwas being issued against those responsible.



(Thanks to World Net Daily's Joseph Farah for the heads up.)



You know, kiddies, it's kind of fun here amongst the cartoons...



I have posted them several times and have not yet been struck by lightning nor has my goat been raped.



I know I have nothing to fear from the cowardly goat rapists themselves, for they are too busy killing innocent women and children (and raping them, of course) and killing pale little Danish guys armed only with pens. (Mightier than the C4, Ospama bin Cavedweller.)



I am running out of space between the cartoons, so I would just like to say the goat rapists are rebelling against the One True God and His good order...



...just as the commies, atheists, abortionists, and sodomites are. Put that in your water pipe and smoke it, Oslama bin Pig Poker.

One year ago at TheChurchMilitant.

Ha! I knew Pat Robertson didn't get it

Diversity über alles.

From Best of the Web Today:

From Bad to Diverse

Heehee.

From the Yakima Herald-Republic, here's the latest foolery (Flapdoodle! Or bilgewater. - F. G.) from Washington state:


A "diversity calendar" published by the state Department of Corrections that lists the birthdays of several controversial historical figures, including the Japanese commander who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor, has angered at
least one employee and Sen. Jim Honeyford, who called it a "personal affront to veterans."

Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, wrote Corrections Director Harold Clarke requesting an explanation for why the April and May calendars recognize Isoroku Yamamoto, (WTF??? - F.G.) Lenin, Karl Marx and Ho Chi Minh. . . .

Gary Larson, a spokesman for Corrections, said the calendars are not celebrations of individuals.

"Basically, the purpose of this calendar was meant to be an
instructional tool that just lists people who had an impact on the world and provoke thought. The intent was certainly not to be offensive to veterans or anyone else," he said. "One of the goals of diversity is that we co-exist in the world with people we disagree with."


Remember the good old days when the only thing prisoners had to worry about learning was how to make brooms and license plates?

This is going to sound harsh, but Larson was funnier when he was doing The Far Side. Anyway, the calendar also included less offensive names, such as Irving Berlin, Audrey Hepburn, Sigmund Freud, Peter the Great, Eva Peron, Booker T. Washington, Charlotte Bronte and Sheena Easton. But it contains errors, such as listing Lenin's first name as Nikolai and misspelling Joe Louis.

What's more it occurred to us that among people born in April, one of those who had the greatest "impact on the world" was Hitler (April 20). Presumably he didn't make the calendar cut or the outrage would have been even greater. Columnist Peter Callaghan of the Tacoma News Tribune proves our instinct correct:


I asked Larson if there are limits to the type of person who might be included. April also is the birth month of Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein and Oklahoma City bomber Tim McVeigh. May contains the birthdays of Cambodian despot Pol Pot and Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. Larson suggested all are
eligible.

"I don't know that we would have necessarily included or excluded anyone else," he said.


Hitler as a symbol of diversity? Or perhaps as a symbol of the emptiness of the concept.

Diversity über alles, indeed.

Opus Dei: There is no such thing as bad publicity.

The Times of London: Catholics are 'opening up' to Da Vinci Code

Opus Dei, the Roman Catholic organisation portrayed as a sinister and violent cult in The Da Vinci Code, is looking forward to becoming “the best-known group in the Catholic Church” as a result of the book.

In contrast to a Vatican statement last week condemning the 40-million bestseller, Opus Dei and the Catholic Church in England and Wales intend to capitalise on the interest created by the book to win converts.

Contrast? Don't be stupid. Both are valid responses to an attack on The Church.

The Archbishop of Westminster’s director of public affairs, Austen Ivereigh, will make a statement tomorrow setting out the Church’s position on the book and the forthcoming film. The bishops, including Cardinal Cormac Murphy- O’Connor, are intending to remain aloof from the controversy but are understood to regard the book and film as “teaching opportunities”, not heresies.

Again, the book is heretical and ahistorical. All heresies are "teaching opportunities" for The Church. My guess is the genius reporter has no idea at all what the Cardinal thinks.

Writing on Opus Dei in today’s Spectator, Mr Ivereigh — who is not a member of the organisation — says that the Catholic Church is approaching the portrayal of the Opus Dei monk Silas in The Da Vinci Code as murderous and masochistic, as an opportunity to “turn lemon into lemonade”.

Mr Ivereigh says that Opus Dei has benefited already, with some new recruits hearing about the organisation through the book.

As Opus Dei’s spokesman, Jack Valero, and his colleagues rush between television studios, “it is hard to remember that this was once the Catholic Church’s most defensive organisation, obsessed with secrecy and taking an almost perverse pride in the media’s hostility,” Mr Ivereigh said.

He continued: “Once the whipping boy of progressive Catholics, long associated with shadowy Spanish politics and Vatican intrigues, the face of Opus Dei is now Valero’s: cheery, energetic, transparent, as open as its doors.”

This approach is at odds with that of Monsignor Angelo Amato, the No 2 at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who last week called on Catholics to boycott the film and organise protests. He said that if “such lies and errors had been directed at the Koran or the Holocaust, they would have justly provoked a world uprising”.

Ack! I really must stop reading nonsense like this. My poor stomach...

Ok, one more time because I want to help save some souls. The Monsignor urged people not to see the movie because it is a scandal and might cause some to lose their faith. For those who have already lost theirs or have never had any, The Church is ready to lead them to salvation through Jesus the Christ as He instructed.

In vitro, no one can hear you scream...

An ignorant old English woman and an ignorant Italian doctor conspire to violate The Natural Law.

The Times of London: Britain's oldest mother-to-be stands up to her critics

A child psychiatrist who is pregnant aged 63 spoke of her joy at her impending motherhood as she appeared in public for the first time as Britain's oldest mother-to-be.

As if being the son of a child psychiatrist wasn't enough to screw a kid up for the rest of his life...

Wearing a dark coat to hide any discernible bump, the mother-of-two briefly raised her eyebrows in astonishment as she walked through a scrum of journalists to a waiting car. Historian Mr Farrant, bearded and in a grey blazer and green cords, stood beaming at her side.

"We're delighted with the pregnancy...," she said. "We take our responsibility very seriously and regard the best interest of the child as paramount. What we would wish now is the right to pursue our family life in private."

In an attempt to head off accusations of selfishness, the couple issued a statement earlier today saying that a great deal of love and thought had been invested in their decision to have a baby after fertility treatment abroad.

Dr Rashbrook, who has two grown-up children, will become Britain's oldest new mother when she gives birth in July. By the time her son is 16, she will be almost 80. Asked bluntly whether she was too old to have a child, she replied: "No comment."

Severino Antinori, the controversial Italian doctor who began the IVF treatment at his clinic in Rome in October, said that he was "excited and proud" at the prospect of the historic birth.

"The case of the English woman gave me great joy," he told Reuters, adding that the treatment was successful at the first attempt using a single embryo.

If true, that would be a miracle. Usually, the compassionate in vitro nazis kill a whole bunch of kids before they get it "right".

He said that Dr Rashbrook, who he last saw in November, was "perfect" for the treatment, because although she was 62 at the time, she had a biological age of about 45.

Huh? Her biological age is 62, lamebrain. She may be as fit as a 45 year old woman, but her body and all its biology is still 62.

I wouldn't let this dumb dago treat my hangnail, let alone due something important.

"She came here with her husband, the couple love each other, she is very slim, blonde (!!! WTF??? - F.G.) and in perfect condition, she fits all the criteria for maternity. She should live for at least 20 to 25 years - we are not giving birth to an orphan," he said.

You're not giving birth to anyone, jackass. She's giving birth to a child who's mom will be too old to mother him.

The mother-of-two's home had been besieged by reporters since news of her pregnancy was revealed in The Sun today.

In a joint statement with Mr Farrant, the couple said: "We wish to emphasise that this has not been an endeavour undertaken lightly or without courage.

Yeah, pal. You're all heroes and heroines.

"A great deal of thought has been given to planning and providing for the child’s present and future well-being, medically, socially and materially."

Whatever helps you sleep at night.

Dr Rashbrook, who has been married before, is a consultant child psychiatrist with the East Sussex Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

The couple said in their statement: "We are very happy to have given life to an already much-loved baby, and our wish now is to give him the peace and security he needs." They added that they were pleased with the pregnancy "notwithstanding its unusual and potentially controversial aspects".

Refusing to go into details of the treatment received, which is believed to have cost £50,000, the future parents insisted the child’s welfare was their top priority and called for their privacy to be respected.

Professor Antinori has become a controversial figure for his work with post-menopausal women and attempts at human cloning. The issues have divided opinion in Italy, with a poll last year rejecting a proposed relaxation in the fertility laws.

If my idiot Italian cousins had any stones at all, he'd be in jail.

Dr Rushbrook’s pregnancy has triggered a wave of criticism from some groups, which have branded her selfish.

Josephine Quintavalle, from Comment on Reproductive Ethics (Core), said: "It is extremely difficult for a child to have a mother who is as old as a grandmother would be.

"It is just that consumer society that wants absolutely everything, and never stops to think that a child is not a product. She is being selfish and sometimes greater love is saying no."

Bingo!

The campaign group Life also gave warning warned that having a baby at such a mature age was not in the best interests of the child.

Yep.

A spokesman, Matthew O’Gorman, said: "We see this just as another component in our culture where children are treated as a means to an end. Quite simply, the child is not being looked after properly - one is not genuinely having regard for the welfare of the child.

Exactly! It's a thing. We can kill it, or we can put in some old post-menopausal woman if we want. We can freeze it or throw it in the trash. We can harvest some parts from it if we think they might be useful.

"He or she is going to be without a mother or father at the most crucial moment of adolescence or when that child is growing to maturity. This is not the way to bring a child into the world."

Not to mention the fact that the poor child was conceived in a glass dish and then implanted into his mother. Trust me. That is not the way to do it.

The Japanese are different than you and me...


Visitors to the "Dream Party" festival in Tokyo line up to take photos of a woman dressed as a comic book maid posing for them Thursday, May 4, 2006. Thousands of people thronged to the one-day annual sub culture event for those who are fascinated with Japan's "manga" comic books and animation featuring sexy doe-eyed characters in mini-skirts. (AP)


About 800 carp streamers sent from across Japan flutter in the wind over Kanna River in Gunma Prefecture. Local residents began using old carp streamers 25 years ago in a bid to promote the area. The streamers will be on display until May 6. Special entertainment events will be performed on a stage set along the river from Wednesday to Friday. (Mainichi)


Yuina Yabe (C) cries as she is held by an amateur sumo wrestler while a sumo referee (L) judges during a baby-crying contest at Sensoji temple in Tokyo April 29, 2006. Seventy-four babies born in 2005 took part in the event, which is held to pray for the babies' health and growth. (Reuters)

...well, maybe not so much...

Children splash around to cool off in Asukayama public park in Tokyo's Kita-ku on May 1, 2006. (Mainichi)


Girls cheer on Friday as the outdoor heated pool at the Akasaka Prince Hotel in Tokyo's Chiyodu-ku is opened early this year. (Thanks to the Mainichi Daily News for the heads up.)

Did you ever wonder what happens when your friendly neighborhood athlete is sentenced to "community service"?

Surprise!

USA Today: Athletes lightly punished after their day in court

Moral equivalence über alles.

You'd think the story of a Florida kid getting mutilated by a bomb would get the attention of the media whores, wouldn't you? Guess again.

Daniel's Story
By Lori Lowenthal Marcus

It is a perverse human quality, but we are drawn to news stories about human tragedies. Some characteristics of such stories intensify the level of our interest: descriptions or pictures of gore or disfigurement; pictures of grieving loved ones; and some form of personal connection - no matter how indirect - to those at the center of the tragedies. The adage, "if it bleeds it leads," condenses this notion to a pithy directive.

Yet the American media has failed to cover a story containing every item on the sure-to-interest newsreaders' checklist. I invite you to ponder why that is.

An Arab Palestinian homicide bomber detonated himself at a falafel stand in Israel on April 17th, during Passover. The murderer killed nine innocent people and wounded dozens.

A broad range of news sources including USA Today, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CBS, ABC, CNN, and the Philadelphia Inquirer included personal background information about the bomber. We learned that he was an al-Quds University drop-out, and, incredibly, that he had been a social worker. In his going-away video, the murderer claimed he sought martyrdom on behalf of imprisoned Arab Palestinians.

Satisfying its compulsion to draw parallels between Israeli and Arab Palestinian suffering, at least one newspaper - the Philadelphia Inquirer - placed on page 1 of its April 18th edition a photograph of an unnamed Israeli grieving over the body of an Israeli victim. Placed directly below that is a photograph of the murderer's mother wistfully holding two photographs - in one he is holding a rifle - of her now-dead son.

Juxtaposing these photographs suggests that there are victims on both sides of the conflict in the Middle East: Arab mothers grieve for their dead sons and young Israeli men grieve for dead Israelis.

Yep. That's the Inquirer for you.

I find this moral equivalence repulsive.

But let's take one more step.

If bleeders are leaders, and some kind of personal connection with the bleeders increase consumers' interest in a news story, then there is a follow up story from the April 17th bombing that should have been all over the American media.

Daniel Wultz is a 16 year old Florida teen who accompanied his father to Israel to visit relatives during Passover. On April 17th, Daniel and his father were eating in one of the few kosher Shawarma restaurants in Tel Aviv. Daniel was almost killed by the homicide bombing. In a coma for two weeks, Daniel's spleen and one of his kidneys had to be removed. Then, this basketball-loving teenager had to have one leg amputed at the knee. It is still unknown whether the doctors will be able to save Daniel's other leg.

An American teenager, a healthy athletic boy from sunny Florida is transformed in a split second into a shattered vessel, a soul hovering between life and death. More and more parts of his body, instead of providing him with mobility and life support, turn against him, and are pared away in an effort to save his life.

Islamic Jihad claimed credit for the April 17th bombing. One of the terror group's leaders expressed sorrow that Daniel had not been killed, according to WorldNetDaily, one of the few media sources to cover the story.

You see, kiddies, the antique media is not "anti-semitic". Oh, no, not at all. All good little left-fascists know that is a bad thing to be. But they are anti a certain type of semite...

Another Arab terrorist group seeking to share credit for the bombing extolled the double treat of having almost murdered an American and a Zionist. Islamic Jihad threatened Americans and Jews everywhere, saying they are all legitimate targets.

What American could hear this story, and not become riveted, eager for updates, eager to cheer his progress, or despair any further impediments? But other than the Florida newspapers, such as the Sun Sentinel and the Miami Herald, and an AP story picked up by the Los Angeles Times (but by none of AP's other major subscribers), the rest of the mainstream American media has ignored the continuing and profoundly moving story of Daniel Wultz.

Is it because his parents, so focused on praying for their broken son, will not share his story with the media? (Amen to that. - F.G.) That is true, but there is quite a bit of information available about Daniel, information that fleshes out the cold anonymity of just a name and hometown, information that one would think would draw the interest of caring Americans. Information that is likely to interest news consumers, if only the news sources would provide it.

Daniel Wultz has been a student of the David Posnack Hebrew Day School in Plantation, Florida since elementary school. One of Daniel's passions is playing basketball; he played competitively at his local YMCA. It will be a miracle if Daniel, who has already spent the equivalent of days in surgery, will ever be able to walk, let alone play basketball. He will probably remain in hospital in Israel for at least six months.

The Wultz family synagogue, Chabad Lubavitch of Weston, Florida, distributed blue and white rubber wrist bands, imprinted with "Pray for Daniel." The synagogue also set up a fund through its website, to help assist the family with the extraordinary expenses with which it is suddenly faced.

Daniel's parents, Sheryl (Sarah) and Tuly, changed Daniel's Hebrew name to Chaim Meir Naftali. Following Jewish custom, the word for life was added to the beginning of his name in an effort to guard him from further danger.

How can it be that an American Jewish teenager whose survival of a terrorist bombing has been called a miracle is something most American media sources consider inconsequential? Why is his story not newsworthy - because Daniel Wultz is a teenager, an American, now an amputee, or because he is a Jewish Zionist? Or is it because the media thinks we are only interested in the personal lives of homicide bombers and their families? And whose fault is that?

Traveshamockery Democray Update.

Israelinsider: Hamas says blocking of funds to Palestinian government is "real holocaust"

Cutting through the fog of nonsense surrounding oil with the fine folks of Human Events Online.

Simple Steps to Cut Oil Company Profits
Merrill Matthews, Human Events
Companies would spend on exploration if they could

The Oil Crunch Is a Rich Opportunity
Mary Claire Kendall, Human Events
Necessity is the mother of invention

The Myth of 'Price Gouging'
Alex Epstein, Human Events

Satire: It's a Bird. It's a Plane. No, It's ... Little Chuckie Schumer
Thomas Humber, Human Events
Senator probes price gouging by shoe designers

New Offshore Drilling = More Oil and Fish

Humberto Fontova (Human Events Online) battles the pitch-blackness of left-fascist obscurantism on energy and the environment as well as the Repansycans who quiver when anyone challenges them in any way.

That clique of noisy, well-heeled and politically powerful south Florida voters is at it again. And as usual, Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Mel Martinez are pandering shamelessly. Never mind the national interest. This cantankerous group's archaic prejudices still prevail. Never mind simple logic. Their emotions still guide our national policy to the frustration of the rest of the nation, to the detriment of our economic well-being and to the bitter amusement of much of the world.

Never mind almost half a century of visible evidence against their moss-ridden bugaboos. Their zealotry, intransigence and apparently incurable block-headedness again prevail. This groveling by Republican politicians to a fringe group of highly emotional Florida voters is a national scandal by now. It's high time these hotheads in Florida got with the national program. They need to shed their petty obsessions with the past and start assessing the national interest soberly and in light of current developments, not stale policies enacted in the heat of hysteria almost half a century ago. Most outrageous of all, their policies hurt the very people they claim to help.

One of the first things one learns about the thuggish intellectualoid left is to ignore the words they produce and study the consequences they inflict on others.

I refer, of course, to offshore oil drilling, currently banned off Florida because of rich pressure groups. That shock and awe at the gas pump might wake up a few people. There's something called the law of supply and demand. Rant and rave all you want, bellow and whine all you want, throw as many tantrums as you want, hold as many rain dances as you want, hold as many séances with ghosts as you want, sacrifice as many virgins as you want, burn as many witches as you want -- but no amount of legislation or wishful thinking will abolish it.

Apparently, Mr. Fontova has been to a Democrass convention or two.

We need more oil and there are millions of barrels offshore, especially in the eastern Gulf of Mexico off Florida. Soon Fidel Castro himself with the help of Spanish and Chinese oil companies (who are not subject to U.S. environmental rules) will be drilling for it barely 45 miles of the Florida coast. This raises the fascinating prospect of Florida beaches fouled by the very oil we'll later use to fuel the SUVs to transport us to those beaches -- all purchased from Communists who crave to blow us up.

Only politicians could create such a prospect.

Ain't that the truth?

Actually the fouling of beaches is a long shot. The environmental dangers of oil exploration and extraction rank right up with the marvels of Cuba's healthcare as modern man's most zealously cherished fables. It's the transportation of oil that accounts for the overwhelming number of oil spills. Recall the Valdez, the Cadiz, and the Argo Merchant. These were all tanker spills.

And even these (though hyped hysterically as environmental catastrophes) always play out as minor blips, those pictures of oil soaked seagulls notwithstanding. To the horror and anguish of professional greenies, Alaska's Prince William Sound recovered completely. More birds get fried by landing on power lines and smashed to pulp against picture windows in one week than perished from three decades of oil spills.

In fact, Florida's gorgeous and tourist-packed beaches have suffered from an ugly oil spill. It happened summer of 1976 off Panama City and Destin, by far the most beautiful beaches in America. That sugar white sand and those emerald waters were fouled from a tanker spill. The current drilling ban will make another such spill more likely. The ban not only puts us at the mercy of shaky sheikdoms and Hugo Chavez for oil, it also means we'll need to keep transporting that oil stateside -- typically to refineries in Louisiana and Texas. This path takes those tankers smack in front of Florida's beaches.

Hey, that reminds me. Where exactly are all those Katie Couric follow-up trips? Why haven't we seen her crawling over lifeless beaches in a pink designer HazMat suit with tears in her eyes?

But there's another resource shortage that more drilling would solve. "Big-Fish Stocks Fall 90 Percent Since 1950," said a National Geographic headline a couple years ago. "Our demand for seafood appears to be insatiable. From giant blue marlin to mighty blue fin tuna, and from tropical groupers to Antarctic cod, industrial fishing has scoured the global ocean. There is no blue frontier left."

Then let's create a new fishing frontier, using offshore oil platforms and the explosion of marine life that always accompany their installation. It happened here in Louisiana. The observable evidence is overwhelming. The verdict is in. Of the 3,739 offshore oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico nowadays, 3,203 lie off the Louisiana coast. We love offshore oil drilling, and not just for the loot (taxes) extorted from oil companies for the privilege.

"Environmentalists" wake up in the middle of the night sweating and whimpering about offshore oil platforms only because they've never seen what's under them. This proliferation of marine life around the platforms turned on its head every "expert" opinion of its day. The original plan, mandated by federal environmental "experts" back in the late '40s, was to remove the big, ugly, polluting, environmentally hazardous contraptions as soon as they stopped producing. Fine, said the oil companies.

About 15 years ago some wells played out off Louisiana and the oil companies tried to comply. Their ears are still ringing from the clamor fishermen put up. Turns out those platforms are going nowhere, and by popular demand of those with a bigger stake in the marine environment than any "environmentalist."

Every "environmental" superstition against these structures was turned on its head. Marine life had EXPLODED around these huge artificial reefs. Louisiana produces on third of America's seafood In fact a study by Louisiana State University shows that 85% of Louisiana offshore fishing trips involve fishing around these structures and that there's 50 times more marine life around an oil production platform than in the surrounding Gulf bottoms. Louisiana produces one-third of America's commercial fisheries -- because of, not in spite of, these platforms.

You'll never see these real scientific facts in National Geographic. Or the Sierra Club's newsletter. Or an Al Gorehound speech. Or a UN document.

All of this and not one major oil spill in half a century -- not one. As more assurance, today's drilling technology compares to the one used only 20 years ago about like the Kitty Hawk compares to a jumbo jet. The one that gave us the Santa Barbara Oil Spill in 1969 compares to today's like a fossil.

Market forces, not meddlesome bureaucrats, account for cleaner, safer oil drilling. A deep-water drilling rig might cost $1 billion. This thing has to produce oil daily -- hourly(!) -- to recoup such a gargantuan investment. A blowout and spill would shut them down for weeks. No oil company could stay in business that way.

Exactly! The market is the answer. (Except for those too stupid or lazy or totalitarian to compete.)

In 1986 Louisiana started the Rigs to Reef program, a cooperative effort by oil companies, the feds and the state. This program literally pays the oil companies to keep the platforms in the Gulf. Now they just cut them off at the bottom and topple them over as artificial reefs; more than 60 have been toppled thus far.

Louisiana wildlife and fisheries officials were recently invited to Australia to help them with a similar program. Think about it: here's the nation with the Great Barrier Reef, the world's biggest natural reef, the world's top dive destination, asking for help from Louisiana about developing exciting dive and fishing sites by using the very structures that epitomize (in greenie eyes) environmental disaster.

Mark Ferrulo, a Florida "environmental activist" who lobbies incessantly against offshore drilling called Louisiana's coastal waters "the nation's toilet."

You see, kiddies, such activists don't really care about water and fishees. They hate the world as it is, and all their energy is spent combatting reality. They think they can create a world where they are recognized for their genius, are compensated appropriately, and get to lord it over their fellow men.

Then Florida's fishing fleet must love fishing in toilets. And her restaurants must love serving what's in them. Many of the red snapper you eat in Florida restaurants are caught around Louisiana's oil platforms. We see the Florida-registered boats tied up to them constantly. Sometimes we can barely squeeze in.

It also turns out that Louisiana's natural reefs are much healthier than the much-protected and pampered Florida reefs. The Flower Garden coral reefs lie off the Louisiana-Texas border. Unlike any of the Florida Keys reefs, they're surrounded by dozens of offshore oil platforms that have been pumping away for the past 40 years. Yet according to G.P. Schmahl, a Federal biologist who worked for decades in both places, "The Flower Gardens are much healthier, more pristine than anything in the Florida Keys. It was a surprise to me, and I think it's a surprise to most people."

"A key measure of the health of a reef is the amount of area taken up by coral," according to a report by Steve Gittings, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's science coordinator for marine sanctuaries. "Louisiana's Flower Garden boasts nearly 50 percent coral cover ... in the Florida Keys ... it can run as little as 5 percent."

The panorama under an offshore oil platform staggers the most experienced divers. I've seen divers fresh from the Cayman's Wall surface from under an oil platform too wired on adrenaline to do anything but stutter and wipe spastically at the snot that trails to their chins. I've seen an experienced scuba-babe fresh from Belize climb out from under a platform gasping and shrieking at the sights and sensations, oblivious to the sights and sensations she was providing with her bikini top near her navel.

Mr. Fontova is the author of Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant

Today is the National Day of Prayer, but...

...I know all you good little kiddies pray every day, don't you?

Anyway,
here is the NDoP website, but it does not seem to be working at the moment.

Did you know that this coming Sunday is World Day of Prayer for Vocations? I doubt we will get many protestants and hindus to sign on for that one...It's more of a Catholic thing.

However, if non-Catholics were smart (I know, I know.) they would pray very fervently for more good Catholic men to answer God's call to the priesthood. You know, just to hedge their bets.

Hmmm...Sexual assault allegations against college athletes...I wonder why the media whores haven't swarmed over Minnesota State...

Star-Tribune: 6 Mankato hockey players are focus of sex assault investigation

Police and Minnesota State, Mankato officials are investigating sexual assault allegations against six members of the university men's hockey team. Nobody has been charged, but four players were suspended for the final games of the season and homes were searched. As the investigation into exactly what happened early on a Tuesday morning in February continues, the university, students

Wasting paint in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh bridge renamed to honor environmentalist Rachel Carson

Who was the real Rachel Carson? I'm glad you asked.

The Evans -Novak Political Report for May 3, 2006

Here are a few choice excerpts of the latest report. If you crave more, there is a subscription link at the bottom of this post.

Republicans:

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman met with Republican members of Congress this week to impress upon them just how bad the opinion polls are looking for them, and warning that they face a possible catastrophe in November.

1) This warning contributed to GOP determination to pass a tax reconciliation bill that will extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts beyond their current expiration dates at the end of the decade.

A positive step, but too little and perhaps too late.

2) On Tuesday, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) were supposed to meet with President Bush in the Oval office to discuss the tax bill, which, if passed, will be one of the most important Republican accomplishments of 2006 leading into the midterm elections. But Grassley bowed out, giving the excuse that he had constituents in town from Iowa. Even in the face of disaster, Republicans seem unable to get their act together.

Grassley has always been a pinhead.

3) Despite all the media coverage given to the issues of immigration and "corruption," polls show that the issue currently concerning voters the most -- even more than immigration -- is the wasteful spending by the Congress. With its vote on Thursday in favor of the rule for the lobby reform bill, the House has taken its first step toward patching up damaged Republican credibility.

I find that hard to believe. I wish it was true.

4) Republicans will focus in their campaign on the danger of electing Democrats to a majority in Congress. Their catch-word is "dangerous," a word taken from an ill-considered appearance by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on the Senate floor next to a sign (color-coded to match her outfit) stating "Dangerously Incompetent" in large letters. The Stabenow appearance was meant to highlight the administration's incompetence.

Little Debbie does not seem to be much of a politician.


New Orleans:

Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu (D) will likely defeat incumbent Ray Nagin (D), who came in for much criticism over his handling of Hurricane Katrina, in the run-off. Nagin received 38 percent in the first round of voting, but cannot crack 50 percent without the help of a significant number of white voters who will not support him. New Orleans does not have the same ethnic makeup it once did, and Nagin cannot count on winning by moving left and seeking to appease black voters.

The irony here is that Nagin had originally run as a quasi-Republican candidate when he was first elected in 2002. In 2003, he endorsed now-Rep. Bobby Jindal (R) for governor. He is now losing the moderate voters who put him in office.

This election, interestingly, gives Landrieu a parachute out of the ailing administration of Gov. Kathleen Blanco (D), making him more viable for a future run for state-wide office. Leaning Landrieu.

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About Me

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

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