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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 19, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 110. Truth and Freedom the Foundation of True Love

In his General Audience of 30 May 1984, the Holy Father continued his analysis of the Song of Songs for further examination of the sacramental sign of marriage. It is expressed in the "language of the body," which begins in the heart. It reflects the familiarity of friendship, but also the mystery of a woman's interior inviolability, which is freely given to the man.


Truth and Freedom the Foundation of True Love

At the general audience in St Peter's Square, on Wednesday morning 30 May, Pope John Paul II continued his analysis of the Song of Songs as part of his catechesis on human love in the divine plan. Following is a translation of the Holy Father's address.


1. We resume our analysis of the Song of Songs with the purpose of understanding in a more adequate and exhaustive way the sacramental sign of marriage. This is manifested by the language of the body, a singular language of love originating in the heart.

At a certain point, expressing a particular experience of values that shines upon everything that relates to the person he loves, the groom says:

"You have ravished my heart, my sister, my bride;you have ravished my heart with one glance of your eyes,with one bead of your necklace.How sweet are your caresses, my sister, my bride..." (Sg 4:9-10).

From these words emerges what is of essential importance for the theology of the body—and in this case for the theology of the sacramental sign of marriage—to know who the female "you" is for the male "I" and vice versa.

The groom in the Song of Songs exclaims: "You are all-beautiful, my beloved" (Sg 4:7) and calls her "my sister, my bride" (Sg 4:9). He does not call her by her name, but he uses expressions that say more.

Under a certain aspect, compared with the name "beloved," the name "sister" that is used for the bride seems to be more eloquent and rooted in the sum total of the Song, which illustrates how love reveals the other person.

Openness toward others

2. The term "beloved" indicates what is always essential for love, which puts the second "I" beside one's own "I." Friendship—love of friendship (amor amicitiae)—signifies in the Song a particular approach felt and experienced as an interiorly unifying power. The fact that in this approach that female "I" is revealed for her groom as "sister"—and that precisely as both sister and bride—has a special eloquence. The expression "sister" speaks of the union in mankind and at the same time of her difference and feminine originality. This is not only with regard to sex, but to the very way of "being person," which means both "being subject" and "being in relationship." The term "sister" seems to express, in a more simple way, the subjectivity of the female "I" in personal relationship with the man, that is, in the openness of him toward others, who are understood and perceived as brothers. The sister in a certain sense helps man to identify himself and conceive of himself in this way, constituting for him a kind of challenge in this direction.

3. The groom in the Song accepts the challenge and seeks the common past, as though he and his woman were descended from the same family circle, as though from infancy they were united by memories of a common home. So they mutually feel as close as brother and sister who owe their existence to the same mother. From this a specific sense of common belonging follows. The fact that they feel like brother and sister allows them to live their mutual closeness in security and to manifest it, finding support in that, and not fearing the unfair judgment of other men.

Through the name "sister," the groom's words tend to reproduce, I would say, the history of the femininity of the person loved. They see her still in the time of girlhood and they embrace her entire "I," soul and body, with a disinterested tenderness. Hence there arises that peace which the bride speaks of. This is the peace of the body, which in appearance resembles sleep ("Do not arouse, do not stir up love before its own time"). This is above all the peace of the encounter in mankind as the image of God—and the encounter by means of a reciprocal and disinterested gift. ("So am I in your eyes, like one who has found peace", Sg 8:10.)

Awareness of mutual belonging

4. In relation to the preceding plot, which could be called a "fraternal" plot, another plot emerges in the loving duet of the Song of Songs, another substratum of the content. We can examine it by starting from certain sayings that seem to have a key significance in the poem. This plot never emerges explicitly, but through the whole composition, and is expressly manifested only in a few passages. So the groom says:

"You are an enclosed garden, my sister, my bride,an enclosed garden, a fountain sealed" (Sg 4:12).

The metaphors just read, an "enclosed garden, a fountain sealed," reveal the presence of another vision of the same female "I," master of her own mystery. We can say that both metaphors express the personal dignity of the woman who as a spiritual subject is in possession and can decide not only on the metaphysical depth, but also on the essential truth and authenticity of the gift of herself, inclined to that union which Genesis speaks of.

The language of metaphors—poetic language—seems to be in this sphere especially appropriate and precise. The "sister bride" is for the man the master of her own mystery as a "garden enclosed" and a "fountain sealed." The language of the body reread in truth keeps pace with the discovery of the interior inviolability of the person. At the same time, this discovery expresses the authentic depth of the mutual belonging of the spouses who are aware of belonging to each other, of being destined for each other: "My lover belongs to me and I to him" (Sg 2:16; cf. 6:3).

5. This awareness of mutual belonging resounds especially on the lips of the bride. In a certain sense, with these words she responds to the groom's words with which he acknowledged her as the master of her own mystery. When the bride says, "My lover belongs to me," she means at the same time, "It is he to whom I entrust myself." Therefore she says, "and I to him" (Sg 2:16). The words "to me" and "to him" affirm here the whole depth of that entrustment, which corresponds to the interior truth of the person.

It likewise corresponds to the nuptial significance of femininity in relation to the male "I," that is, to the language of the body reread in the truth of personal dignity.

The groom states this truth with the metaphors of the "garden enclosed" and the "fountain sealed." The bride answers him with the words of the gift, that is, the entrustment of herself. As master of her own choice she says, "I belong to my lover." The Song of Songs subtly reveals the interior truth of this response. The freedom of the gift is the response to the deep awareness of the gift expressed by the groom's words. Through this truth and freedom that love is built up, which we must affirm is authentic love.

Police say elderly women befriended homeless, cashed in on insurance policies.

From KLAS:

Police in California believe two elderly women befriended two homeless men, and then cashed in on the men's insurance polices after deadly crashes.

Investigators think the women themselves may have committed the hit-and-run accidents six years apart that left the men dead.

Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt have been ordered held without bail after being indicted on mail fraud charges. They haven't been charged in the men's deaths.

Police say the women paid the men to stay in apartments for as long as two years -- in exchange for getting the men to sign off on more than a dozen life insurance policies naming the women as beneficiaries.

Former US Senator Bob "At least I got to bone Bianca Jagger" ought to be heading to the hoosegow any day now.

Kurdish Media (!) brings us this story because none of Torricelli's friends in the antique media will.

Ex-senator linked to oil-for-food claims

The US Senate is looking into allegations that a former US senator urged Baghdad to give a US company lucrative contracts under the much-criticised United Nations oil-for-food programme.

This is the first time that a leading US lawmaker has been linked to the controversial UN programme, whose shortcomings have been an important element of the Bush administration’s critique of the UN.

The investigation involves one of the most vivid figures in US east coast politics, former senator Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat who was forced to pull out of the 2002 election after being “severely admonished” by the Senate ethics committee for accepting expensive gifts from David Chang, a campaign contributor. Mr Chang, a Korean-American businessman, was found guilty in 2002 of conspiring to violate federal campaign laws and was jailed for 15 months.

Senator Norm Coleman, the Republican chairman of the US Senate permanent sub-committee on investigations, said: “We take these allegations seriously and will continue to investigate in a bipartisan manner allegations of wrongdoing under the oil-for-food programme. We have investigated the illicit conduct of politicians in Russia, France, and the UK. We have a similar interest in preserving the institutional integrity of the US Senate, so we take these allegations regarding former Senator Torricelli seriously and will continue our investigation into them and will refer our findings to the appropriate agencies.” The British, French and Russian politicians investigated by the subcommittee deny the allegations.

The allegations are based on Iraqi documents, including diplomatic cables, retrieved after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s former president. The Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, have obtained copies of some of the Iraqi diplomatic cables. A source also described the contents of some of the other Iraqi documents.

The Iraqi documents also involve a former Republican congressman, James Courter, who allegedly met with Iraqi officials on behalf of Bright and Bright, Mr Chang’s trading and lobbying company.

According to the documents, Mr Torricelli, nicknamed “the Torch” for his incendiary political style, had a series of meetings in the late 1990s, when he was a congressman, with Nizar Hamdoun, then the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. During these meetings, Mr Torricelli allegedly urged the Iraqi authorities to help Mr Chang and Bright and Bright get oil-for-food contracts on good terms.

The first meeting between Mr Torricelli and Mr Hamdoun took place on March 10 1996, when, according to an Iraqi document that has been described to the FT, Mr Torricelli reportedly suggested that he was willing to play an active role in improving US-Iraq communications.

The two talked about Resolution 986, which was going to set the rules of the oil-for-food programme. Mr Torricelli said a number of US companies would be interested in doing business with Baghdad, and specifically mentioned Mr Chang.

According to the same Iraqi document, Mr Torricelli met Mr Hamdoun again two days later. At that meeting, Mr Torricelli said that since their previous conversation he had spoken with Edward Gnehm, the deputy US representative to the UN, who was leading negotiations with Iraq about the oil-for-food programme.

On June 22, according to the same document, Mr Torricelli allegedly met Mr Hamdoun again. Mr Torricelli told him he had heard that the Iraqis might not give US companies any contracts and advised him that this would be a mistake. Mr Torricelli told Mr Hamdoun that he expected to win a US Senate seat in the November election (as he later did), and said that Bright and Bright was important to him and his election campaign and that he hoped that the company would receive contracts from Iraq.

According to the Iraqi document, Bright and Bright initially asked for 60 per cent of Iraq’s oil contracts and a discount of $1.50 a barrel. Then on June 11 1996, a Bright and Bright executive wrote to Mr Hamdoun asking for government contracts worth as much as $300m in the first 90 days of the oil-for-food programme. In return, he said Bright and Bright would continue to support the normalisation of relations between the US and Iraq.

In mid-November 1996, according to the Iraqi document, Mr Hamdoun met with Mr Courter, then a former New Jersey Republican congressman, who is described in the Iraqi documents as the president of Bright and Bright. A Dun and Bradstreet entry for Bright and Bright lists Mr Courter as one of its principals. Mr Courter refused to comment. However, a spokesman for the company Mr Courter now runs said he was not an officer of Bright and Bright, but that “he was their [Bright and Bright’s] attorney and was representing them in a legal capacity”.

According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter reportedly outlined a possible deal to Mr Hamdoun: if Iraq committed itself to stop all delaying tactics against UN inspections, use peaceful means to deal with the Kurdish people, not seek weapons of mass destruction, join the convention against chemical weapons, steer clear of any neighbouring country’s territory and reject terrorism, Bright and Bright would help Baghdad in its efforts to lift UN sanctions.

In return, the Iraqi authorities were to promise to write a letter of intent giving preference to Bright and Bright in the fields of oil, industry, transportation and communications. According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter told Mr Hamdoun that he had discussed the proposal with US government officials in Washington and had their approval.

Contacted by telephone, Mr Torricelli, who now runs his own business consulting firm and remains a powerful figure in New Jersey politics and a prominent Democratic party fundraiser, admitted meeting Mr Hamdoun “many times”, “probably both” in Washington and New York “and in Baghdad”. He first denied mentioning Mr Chang or Bright and Bright during his conversations with Mr Hamdoun. When told about the Iraqi documents that suggested there had been discussions, he said he did not remember mentioning them.

Mr Torricelli said he was not concerned about being contradicted by Iraqi diplomatic cables: “Iraqi cables can state almost anything. They have absolutely no credibility.” He said Mr Hamdoun was “very well known and respected in the US government” and that, “unlike most Iraqi officials, he had some credibility”.

Mr Gnehm, the US diplomat, also confirmed meeting Mr Torricelli and discussing Iraq. Mr Gnehm, who has left the State Department and is a professor at George Washington University, said Mr Torricelli came to the meeting with a “Korean” businessman whose name he did not recall. “I remember being surprised that there was someone else there, and I didn’t know then why he was present. As an American diplomat I would be responsive to a congressman and to an American businessman, even a foreign businessman who had plants in the United States, but somebody like him? I didn’t have any sense of why he was there. I figured that he and Torricelli had some sort of friendship or relationship.”

On the subject of that meeting, Mr Gnehm said: “I think the general discussion was on how one goes about getting contracts in the oil-for-food programme. Certainly, one of Torricelli’s approaches to me over this period of time was an effort to try to get business for some of the companies in his district.”

An April 15 1996 cable from Mr Hamdoun to Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s deputy prime minister at the time, if authentic, appears to corroborate these allegations. According to the cable, which has been obtained by the FT, the Iraqi mission to the UN had received a letter from the “American company that had been mentioned to us by Congressman Torricelli”. In the letter the US company allegedly indicated its desire to send a delegation to Baghdad to negotiate possible commercial deals. The cable ends with a recommendation to sign an agreement with the company. A subsequent cable from Mr Hamdoun suggests that the “US company” being discussed is Bright and Bright.

During these talks, in August 1996, the Iraqi army seized the Kurdish city of Erbil. The Clinton administration responded by ordering air raids against Iraq. Engaged in a bitter Senate race, Mr Torricelli, together with all New Jersey lawmakers from both parties, backed the move. Ultimately, no concrete deals came of the discussions between Baghdad and Bright and Bright.

Mr Hamdoun died in July 2003. Mr Chang could not be contacted for comment, despite repeated efforts to reach him. (Thanks to the foodThe US Senate is looking into allegations that a former US senator urged Baghdad to give a US company lucrative contracts under the much-criticised United Nations oil-for-food programme.

This is the first time that a leading US lawmaker has been linked to the controversial UN programme, whose shortcomings have been an important element of the Bush administration’s critique of the UN.

The investigation involves one of the most vivid figures in US east coast politics, former senator Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat who was forced to pull out of the 2002 election after being “severely admonished” by the Senate ethics committee for accepting expensive gifts from David Chang, a campaign contributor. Mr Chang, a Korean-American businessman, was found guilty in 2002 of conspiring to violate federal campaign laws and was jailed for 15 months.

Senator Norm Coleman, the Republican chairman of the US Senate permanent sub-committee on investigations, said: “We take these allegations seriously and will continue to investigate in a bipartisan manner allegations of wrongdoing under the oil-for-food programme. We have investigated the illicit conduct of politicians in Russia, France, and the UK. We have a similar interest in preserving the institutional integrity of the US Senate, so we take these allegations regarding former Senator Torricelli seriously and will continue our investigation into them and will refer our findings to the appropriate agencies.” The British, French and Russian politicians investigated by the subcommittee deny the allegations.

The allegations are based on Iraqi documents, including diplomatic cables, retrieved after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s former president. The Financial Times and Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian business daily, have obtained copies of some of the Iraqi diplomatic cables. A source also described the contents of some of the other Iraqi documents.

The Iraqi documents also involve a former Republican congressman, James Courter, who allegedly met with Iraqi officials on behalf of Bright and Bright, Mr Chang’s trading and lobbying company.

According to the documents, Mr Torricelli, nicknamed “the Torch” for his incendiary political style, had a series of meetings in the late 1990s, when he was a congressman, with Nizar Hamdoun, then the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations. During these meetings, Mr Torricelli allegedly urged the Iraqi authorities to help Mr Chang and Bright and Bright get oil-for-food contracts on good terms.

The first meeting between Mr Torricelli and Mr Hamdoun took place on March 10 1996, when, according to an Iraqi document that has been described to the FT, Mr Torricelli reportedly suggested that he was willing to play an active role in improving US-Iraq communications.

The two talked about Resolution 986, which was going to set the rules of the oil-for-food programme. Mr Torricelli said a number of US companies would be interested in doing business with Baghdad, and specifically mentioned Mr Chang.

According to the same Iraqi document, Mr Torricelli met Mr Hamdoun again two days later. At that meeting, Mr Torricelli said that since their previous conversation he had spoken with Edward Gnehm, the deputy US representative to the UN, who was leading negotiations with Iraq about the oil-for-food programme.

On June 22, according to the same document, Mr Torricelli allegedly met Mr Hamdoun again. Mr Torricelli told him he had heard that the Iraqis might not give US companies any contracts and advised him that this would be a mistake. Mr Torricelli told Mr Hamdoun that he expected to win a US Senate seat in the November election (as he later did), and said that Bright and Bright was important to him and his election campaign and that he hoped that the company would receive contracts from Iraq.

According to the Iraqi document, Bright and Bright initially asked for 60 per cent of Iraq’s oil contracts and a discount of $1.50 a barrel. Then on June 11 1996, a Bright and Bright executive wrote to Mr Hamdoun asking for government contracts worth as much as $300m in the first 90 days of the oil-for-food programme. In return, he said Bright and Bright would continue to support the normalisation of relations between the US and Iraq.

In mid-November 1996, according to the Iraqi document, Mr Hamdoun met with Mr Courter, then a former New Jersey Republican congressman, who is described in the Iraqi documents as the president of Bright and Bright. A Dun and Bradstreet entry for Bright and Bright lists Mr Courter as one of its principals. Mr Courter refused to comment. However, a spokesman for the company Mr Courter now runs said he was not an officer of Bright and Bright, but that “he was their [Bright and Bright’s] attorney and was representing them in a legal capacity”.

According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter reportedly outlined a possible deal to Mr Hamdoun: if Iraq committed itself to stop all delaying tactics against UN inspections, use peaceful means to deal with the Kurdish people, not seek weapons of mass destruction, join the convention against chemical weapons, steer clear of any neighbouring country’s territory and reject terrorism, Bright and Bright would help Baghdad in its efforts to lift UN sanctions.

In return, the Iraqi authorities were to promise to write a letter of intent giving preference to Bright and Bright in the fields of oil, industry, transportation and communications. According to the Iraqi document, Mr Courter told Mr Hamdoun that he had discussed the proposal with US government officials in Washington and had their approval.

Contacted by telephone, Mr Torricelli, who now runs his own business consulting firm and remains a powerful figure in New Jersey politics and a prominent Democratic party fundraiser, admitted meeting Mr Hamdoun “many times”, “probably both” in Washington and New York “and in Baghdad”. He first denied mentioning Mr Chang or Bright and Bright during his conversations with Mr Hamdoun. When told about the Iraqi documents that suggested there had been discussions, he said he did not remember mentioning them.

Mr Torricelli said he was not concerned about being contradicted by Iraqi diplomatic cables: “Iraqi cables can state almost anything. They have absolutely no credibility.” He said Mr Hamdoun was “very well known and respected in the US government” and that, “unlike most Iraqi officials, he had some credibility”.

Mr Gnehm, the US diplomat, also confirmed meeting Mr Torricelli and discussing Iraq. Mr Gnehm, who has left the State Department and is a professor at George Washington University, said Mr Torricelli came to the meeting with a “Korean” businessman whose name he did not recall. “I remember being surprised that there was someone else there, and I didn’t know then why he was present. As an American diplomat I would be responsive to a congressman and to an American businessman, even a foreign businessman who had plants in the United States, but somebody like him? I didn’t have any sense of why he was there. I figured that he and Torricelli had some sort of friendship or relationship.”

On the subject of that meeting, Mr Gnehm said: “I think the general discussion was on how one goes about getting contracts in the oil-for-food programme?.?.?.?Certainly, one of Torricelli’s approaches to me over this period of time was an effort to try to get business for some of the companies in his district.”

An April 15 1996 cable from Mr Hamdoun to Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s deputy prime minister at the time, if authentic, appears to corroborate these allegations. According to the cable, which has been obtained by the FT, the Iraqi mission to the UN had received a letter from the “American company that had been mentioned to us by Congressman Torricelli”. In the letter the US company allegedly indicated its desire to send a delegation to Baghdad to negotiate possible commercial deals. The cable ends with a recommendation to sign an agreement with the company. A subsequent cable from Mr Hamdoun suggests that the “US company” being discussed is Bright and Bright.

During these talks, in August 1996, the Iraqi army seized the Kurdish city of Erbil. The Clinton administration responded by ordering air raids against Iraq. Engaged in a bitter Senate race, Mr Torricelli, together with all New Jersey lawmakers from both parties, backed the move. Ultimately, no concrete deals came of the discussions between Baghdad and Bright and Bright.

Mr Hamdoun died in July 2003. Mr Chang could not be contacted for comment, despite repeated efforts to reach him. (Thanks to the conservatives' favorite serial adulterer for the heads up.)

None dare call it treason.

UPI: Senate votes Social Security for illegals
Illegal aliens could collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment if a U.S. Senate bill passed Thursday becomes law.

Speaking of which...

EXCLUSIVE: TEEN HAVEN MYSPACE A PLATFORM FOR PORNSTAR PROMOTION...

...or, Rupert Murdoch, call your office again.

...or, Now we know why Murdoch is still licking Hitlery's boots.

Hollywood Wiretap's Tom Tapp reports:

The biggest porn stars in the world are using NewsCorp's MySpace.com to promote themseleves, often to kids.

Much like enterprising bands that used MySpace to market themselves, dozens of the biggest XXX starlets are now using the site for the same reason. These include Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick and Nikki Benz. Even porn industry trade publication Adult Video News has a page. Many, like Patrick's, have links to the stars' official sites offering explicit imagery, videos and sex toys. All are wildly popular with the kids who are MySpace's mainstay.

For example, The average MySpace user has 68 friends. Jameson has 406,571. Patrick has 56,688.

One 18-year-old high school girl from Kentucky who calls herself "Pornstar" writes today on Jameson's page:

"...you have no f------ (Nice. - F.G.) clue how much i want to be a pornstar when i graduate..ive only got 4 more days!! then i begin trying to start my career as a pornstar."


All of this poses myriad problems for MySpace and corporate overlord NewsCorp, which paid $580 million for the site recently. One quarter of the site's 75 million users are ages 13-17. Obviously parents, already concerned about the site's alleged pedophiles, won't be happy with this newest twist.

Among the other questions is how advertisers will react. While it's pulling $156 million in ad revenue yearly, MySpace has struggled to attract name brand revenue. Its porn star problems are a case in point why. Weight Watchers was featured at the top of Patrick's page. T Mobile was prominent on Jameson's. Neither probably wants to be associated with XXX content.

T-Mobile might be worried about competition for its own porn-on-your-phone service.

And then there's the problem of sorting such content from among the millions of pages on MySpace. The Wall Street Journal reports today on Photobucket, one company actively developing new methods of filtering for MySpace. But that's only so effective.

Writes The Journal's Julia Angwin:

...even though the basic elements of these Web businesses are computerized, no one has worked out an effective technology fix for the porn problem. Some scanning software has a hard time distinguishing between pictures of nudes and apple pie, and certainly can't make the subtle judgment calls required of
Photobucket's human censors. Naked breasts partly obscured with tape? OK! X-ray-like images of sexual acts? Delete!

SEX IS DEATH. (Raunch culture)

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

From Arizona State University's online newspaper, the WebDevil, comes further evidence that women have lost their minds and the battle against male sexual mores.

Let us start with an attempt at being clever going horribly wrong:

Feminism: Show Us Where the Babies Feed
"Girls Gone Wild" feminism claims to empower women through sex -- but at what cost?
by Lisa Przystup

Not a good start, Lisa, but I know what you are trying to say.

I remember the event clearly. It was a weekend night at some awful bar that caters to dewy-eyed ASU students, eager to live out their MTV fantasies. The dance floor (and I use the term "dance" loosely) was packed, girls were wasted and guys were either a) watching or b) standing in as a human stripper pole as some stumbly gyrating girl went to town.

I was doing my best, awkward version of the robot, when a sweaty girl whose body was pouring out of what she was wearing, came up behind me and started dancing very, very close. She leaned toward my ear and whispered in an excited slur, "C'mon! Look, look, they're watching us!" I turned my head and saw a group of guys staring stupidly at us as if they had just discovered their dad's collection of Playboys.

Ok, let me honest. As a guy, I admit seeing that sort of thing gets me me all hot and bothered. But, as a gentleman, I must say the magic wears off very quickly, girls. Usually it takes about two minutes of conversation with a lovely young thing to make me lose interest (Admittedly, I bore easily.) and I'll nod off after three.

This was one of my first experiences with what has now been coined, "raunch culture" or "f--- me feminism." (I am not a prude, but I decide what appears here and what doesn't. Besides, it does not take a ton of brain power to figure it out. - F.G.) Both these terms refer to the current mainstreaming of pornography -- a backlash to the anti-porn feminism of the 1970s. According to Saucebox.com, a feminist blog, f--- me feminism is a "school of thought that suggests women are empowered by reclaiming and controlling our own sexual objectification." Basically, it's women objectifying themselves and passing it off as a legitimate contribution to the women's movement. Early feminists burned bras; we stuff ours with oversized synthetic mammaries.

What do you mean "synthetic"? Hey, wait a doggone minute there...

My dance partner unwittingly tapped into this movement that encourages women to participate in "Girls Gone Wild" antics, and to exist in a world in which the hottest accessory a woman can have is another woman.

Yeah, right. Like two women could ever be less trouble than one.

With the rise and proliferation of this new kind of feminist movement comes an influx of books exploring this phenomenon.



I now turn my 'male gaze'*upon the incredibly hot (for a chick who writes feminist tracts) Ariel Levy. (left)







In Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture the author asks, "How is resurrecting every stereotype of female sexuality that feminism endeavored to banish good for women? Why is laboring to look like Pamela Anderson empowering? How is imitating a stripper or a porn star going to render us sexually liberated?"

Smoking hot (I'm a sucker for soft-focus and black and white) Ariel has a point. The only good thing about old time feminism was its opposition to pornography (Big Masturbation) and, by extension, the "objectivization" of women. Without it, today's feminists are merely what their enemies always claimed they were - totalitarian thugs only interested in political power at any cost.

There are many women who respond to this question with the argument that what Levy and other feminists criticize as the problem is in fact the solution. On the Web site, The F-word, Contemporary UK Feminism, an article written from a stripper's perspective says, "The pleasure we derive from displaying our bodies 'for' men may have its roots in male domination, but the more we show that we like it too, the more that power dynamic is challenged and the fewer rights men can assume over our bodies."

"Show?" Read that last sentence carefully. It displays contradictory elements at best, and is utterly meaningless at worst.

Nope. I take that back. At worst, words like that will lead women to destruction.


Kate Zinke, co-director of ASU's production of "The Moronic Vaginalogues", takes the middle ground.

"It's about choice. Things like stripping can be both empowering and exploitive. It's all about how much control you have," Zinke says.

Instant Translation: If you are a rich and powerful woman, you will hurt slightly less.

She adds that it is unproductive to play the blame game and place the responsibility solely on women, or even on men.

"We put the responsibility on women when we should be looking at the misogynistic society that doesn't allow women to freely choose what they want to do without judgment," Zinke says.

Huh? Men and women can't be blamed, but society can? Which society, that of the squirrels?

Valerie Flaherty, a teaching assistant in the women and gender (The proper word here is "sex". - F.G.) studies program, says a danger of "raunch culture" is the tendency of women to subscribing to it without realizing the full implication of their actions.

"I think that some women flaunt their sexuality as a way to feel empowered or feel like they are in control. It is easier to not feel devalued when a woman says, 'This man can't hurt me because, I only want him for sex,'" she says.

I cannot even begin to imagine the stupidity necessary to think that way. The best I can do is guess.

"Raunch culture" might mean a woman descends to the depraved level of much of male sexuality and then pretends it was really her idea in the first place. She must also stifle her conscience and lie to herself and others, insisting it is all fun, normal, liberating, et cetera. Most importantly, the idea that anything she likes to do might be sinful must be shouted down and ignored at the same time. This in turn will result in depression, self-loathing, madness, and even self-destruction - the natural consequences of not heeding one's conscience.

In her book, Levy agrees saying, "Women have come so far, I learned, we no longer needed to worry about objectification or misogyny.

Ariel, sweetie, isn't it reasonable then to doubt those from whom you learned this nonsense, and everything they taught?

"Women often forget that the society we live in still fosters the "male gaze,"* in which women are the objects, says Flaherty.

She says she's afraid some women justify "having people look at my half-naked pictures on MySpace" because they want to show people these images. "This can feel empowering to a woman, initially," she says. "However, women are still living up to standards created by another person, usually a man."

In other words, the male gaze does not see the empowering decision process of a woman that has chosen to pose nude or strip; he is still only seeing the product of that decision.

Here's a real news flash, ladies. We will only care about something other than your looks when you force us to do so. If you are chaste and make it clear you will stay that way and you insist we behave similarly, then you will attract a man who is smart enough and decent enough to settle down with one woman for life. This method also has the added advantage of scaring off the not inconsiderable number of men who are only interested in having sex with you (NO!) now (NO!) while you are still young (NO!) and pretty (NO!). In case you haven't figured it out girls, these are the guys who will dump you before you hit thirty and then go after your little sister.

I know this is not very flattering to my sex. But sometimes the truth hurts. What we need from women is tough love. Do not put up with our nonsense, no matter how much you love us (or how much we love you). Walk away and don't look back. Ever. Just say a little prayer for us and hope we become gentlemen before we meet women without morals and spines.

I can hear the whining from the distaff side all the way over here in my little idiot's corner of Bloggerdom:

"Why do we have to be responsible for making men behaving decently?"

"The pressure is too great."

"We just want to have fun like men do, that's all."

Sorry, girls, but that is reality. You can beat your head against reality if you like, but I feel obligated to tell you the track record of such efforts does not look good.


"A man doesn't care if a woman is showing her body on MySpace because she wants to and it feels liberating to her," says Flaherty. "All the man cares about is that he is fulfilling his needs, so really, what type of liberation is that?"

Remember this, kiddies. Most rebellions do not end in liberation. Most end in the death of the rebels.

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.
Part 26: SEX IS DEATH. (Literally) is
here.
Part 27: SEX IS DEATH. (Can't get me no satisfaction) is
here.
Part 28: SEX IS DEATH. (Wrestle with mania) is
here.

Part 29: SEX IS DEATH. (Press one for death/Presione uno para la muerte) is here.

But there's no room for pizza!


Honestly, most men are only one good woman away from living like this.















Fox News: Tenant leaves behind 70,000 beer cans

It seems one Ogden, Utah, man was a little more than a casual fan of the occasional cold one after work.

Last year, Century 21 property manager Ryan Froerer — acting on a tip from a real estate agent — went out to check on a townhouse, but when he got therem he realized he’d missed the party.

KSL-TV reports that Froerer was greeted by a barrage of beer cans — tens of thousands of them — piled high on the floor of the otherwise abandoned abode.

"As we approached the door, there were beer boxes, all the way up to the ceiling,” Froerer said. "It's just unbelievable that a human being could live like that."

But "live like that" someone had, and for quite some time.

Froerer snapped a few pictures of the boozy metallic mountain and e-mailed them to friends, but soon they were circulating among beer fans everywhere.

Luckily for Froerer, once the townhouse was de-brewskified, it was clean enough to lease out again.

The estimated 70,000 cans (that amounts to 24 beers a day for the beer dude's eight-year stay) were recycled for $800.

A case a day? Of Coors Light? That guy has a problem.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Theophilus of Corte, a Franciscan reformer who urged his fellows to return to following the Rule of St. Francis faithfully. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Acts 15:22-31.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 57:8-9, 10,12.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 15:12-17.


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 18, 2006

The Theology of the Body: 109. Return to the Subject of Human Love in the Divine Plan

In his General Audience of 23 May 1984, the Holy Father (after a hiatus devoted to reflections on the Holy Year) resumed his treatment of the topic of human love in the divine plan. He began an analysis of the Song of Songs, situating it within the tradition of marital love reaching back to Genesis. It is the sign of the covenant made by God with man in the beginning.


Return to the Subject of Human Love in the Divine Plan

On Wednesday, 23 May, at the general audience held in St Peter's Square, Pope John Paul II resumed his treatment of the topic of human love in the divine plan, a topic that had been set aside in favour of a series of reflections on the Holy Year. Following is a translation of the Holy Father's address.


1. During the Holy Year I postponed the treatment of the theme of human love in the divine plan. I would now like to conclude that topic with some considerations especially about the teaching of Humanae Vitae, premising some reflections on the Song of Songs and the Book of Tobit. It seems to me that what I intend to explain in the coming weeks constitutes the crowning of what I have illustrated.

The theme of marital love which unites man and woman in a certain sense connects this part of the Bible with the whole tradition of the "great analogy." Through the writings of the prophets, this flows into the New Testament and especially into Ephesians (cf. Eph 5:21-33). I interrupted the explanation of this at the beginning of the Holy Year.

The Song of Songs has become the object of many exegetical studies, commentaries and hypotheses. With regard to its content, apparently "profane," the positions have varied. On the one hand its reading has often been discouraged, and on the other it has been the source from which the greatest mystical writers have drawn. The verses of the Song of Songs have been inserted into the Church's liturgy.(1)

In fact, although the analysis of the text of this book obliges us to situate its content outside the sphere of the great prophetic analogy, it is not possible to detach it from the reality of the original sacrament. It is not possible to reread it except along the lines of what is written in the first chapters of Genesis, as a testimony of the beginning—that beginning which Christ referred to in his decisive conversation with the Pharisees (cf. Mt 19:4).(2) The Song of Songs is certainly found in the wake of that sacrament in which, through the language of the body, the visible sign of man and woman's participation in the covenant of grace and love offered by God to man is constituted. The Song of Songs demonstrates the richness of this language, whose first expression is already found in Genesis 2:23-25.

Atmosphere of the Song of Songs

2. Indeed, the first verses of the Song lead us immediately into the atmosphere of the whole poem, in which the groom and the bride seem to move in the circle traced by the irradiation of love. The words, movements and gestures of the spouses correspond to the interior movement of their hearts. It is possible to understand the language of the body only through the prism of this movement. In that language there comes to pass that discovery which the first man gave expression in front of her who had been created as "a helper like himself" (cf. Gen 2:20, 23). As the biblical text reports, she had been taken from one of his ribs ("rib" seems to also indicate the heart).

This discovery—already analyzed on the basis of Genesis 2—in the Song of Songs is invested with all the richness of the language of human love. What was expressed in the second chapter of Genesis (vv. 23-25) in just a few simple and essential words, is developed here in a full dialogue, or rather in a duet, in which the groom's words are interwoven with the bride's and they complement each other. On seeing the woman created by God, man's first words express wonder and admiration, even more, the sense of fascination (cf. Gn 2:23). And a similar fascination—which is wonder and admiration—runs in fuller form through the verses of the Song of Songs. It runs in a peaceful and homogeneous wave from the beginning to the end of the poem.

Mutual admiration

3. Even a summary analysis of the text of the Song of Songs allows the language of the body to be heard expressing itself in that mutual fascination. The point of departure as well as the point of arrival for this fascination—mutual wonder and admiration—are in fact the bride's femininity and the groom's masculinity, in the direct experience of their visibility. The words of love uttered by both of them are therefore concentrated on the body, not only because in itself it constitutes the source of the mutual fascination. But it is also, and above all, because on the body there lingers directly and immediately that attraction toward the other person, toward the other "I"—female or male—which in the interior impulse of the heart generates love.

In addition, love unleashes a special experience of the beautiful, which focuses on what is visible, but at the same time involves the entire person. The experience of beauty gives rise to satisfaction, which is mutual.

"O most beautiful among women..." (Sg 1:8), the groom says, and the bride's words echo back to him: "I am dark—but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem" (Sg 1:5). The words of the spellbound man are repeated continually. They return in all five stanzas of the poem, and they are echoed in similar expressions of the bride's.

Use of metaphors

4. It is a question here of metaphors that may surprise us today. Many of them were borrowed from the life of shepherds; others seem to indicate the royal status of the groom.(3) The analysis of that poetic language is left to the experts. The very fact of adopting the metaphor shows how much, in our case, the language of the body seeks support and corroboration in the whole visible world. This is without doubt a language that is reread at one and the same time with the heart and with the eyes of the groom, in the act of special concentration on the whole female "I" of the bride. This "I" speaks to him through every feminine trait, giving rise to that state of mind that can be defined as fascination, enchantment. This female "I" is expressed almost without words. Nevertheless, the language of the body, expressed wordlessly, finds a rich echo in the groom's words, in his speaking that is full of poetic transport and metaphors, which attest to the experience of beauty, a love of satisfaction. If the metaphors in the Song seek an analogy for this beauty in the various things of the visible world (in this world which is the groom's "own world"), at the same time they seem to indicate the insufficiency of each of these things in particular. "You are all-beautiful, my beloved, and there is no blemish in you" (Sg 4:7):—with this saying, the groom ends his song, leaving all the metaphors, in order to address himself to that sole one through which the language of the body seems to express what is more proper to femininity and the whole of the person.

We will continue the analysis of the Song of Songs at the next general audience.

NOTES

1) "The Song is therefore to be taken simply for what it manifestly is: a song of human love." This sentence of J. Winandy, O.S.B., expresses the conviction of growing numbers of exegetes (J. Winandy, Le Cantique des Cantiques, Poém d'amour mué en écrit de Sagesse [Maredsouse: 1960], p. 26).

M. Dubarle adds: "Catholic exegesis, which sometimes refers to the obvious meaning of biblical texts for passages of great dogmatic importance, should not lightly abandon it when it comes to Songs." Referring to the phrase of G. Gerleman, Dubarle continues: "Songs celebrates the love of man and woman without adding any mythological element, but considering it simply on its own level and in its specific nature. There is implicitly, without didactic insistence, the equivalent of the Yahwist faith (since sexual powers had not been placed under the patronage of foreign divinities and had not been attributed to Yahweh himself who appeared as transcending this sphere.) The poem was therefore in tacit harmony with the fundamental convictions of the faith of Israel.

The same open, objective, not expressly religious attitude with regard to physical beauty and sensual love is found in some collections of Yahwist documents. These various similarities show that the small book is not so isolated in the sum total of biblical literature as is sometimes stated (A. M. Dubarle, "Le Cantique des Cantiques dans l'exégèse récente," Aux grands carrefours de la Révélation et de l'exégèse de l'Ancien Testament, Recherches Bibliques VIII [Louvain: 1967], pp. 149, 151).

2) This evidently does not exclude the possibility of speaking of a sensus plenior in the Song of Songs.

See, for example: "Lovers in the ecstasy of love seem to occupy and fill the whole book, as the only protagonists.... Therefore, Paul, in reading the words of Genesis, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cling to his wife, and the two shall be made into one' (Eph 5:31), does not deny the real and immediate meaning of the words that refer to human marriage. However, to this first meaning he adds another deeper one with an indirect reference: 'I mean that it refers to Christ and the Church,' confessing that 'this is a great foreshadowing' (Eph 5:32)....

Some readers of the Song of Songs rush to read immediately in its words a disembodied love. They have forgotten the lovers, or have petrified them in fictions, in an intellectual key.... They have multiplied the minute allegorical relations in every sentence, word or image.... This is not the right way. Anyone who does not believe in the human love of the spouses, who must seek forgiveness for the body, does not have the right to be elevated.... With the affirmation of human love instead, it is possible to discover in it the revelation of God. (L. Alonso-Schökel, "Cantico dei Cantici—Introduzione," La Biblia, Parola di Dio scritti per noi. Official text of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Vol. II [Torino: Marietti, 1980], pp. 425-427).

3) To explain the inclusion of a love song in the biblical canon, Jewish exegetes already in the first centuries after Christ saw in the Song of Songs an allegory of Yahweh's love for Israel, or an allegory of the history of the Chosen People, in which this love is manifested, and in the Middle Ages the allegory of divine Wisdom and of man who is in search of it.

Since the early Fathers, Christian exegesis extended such an idea to Christ and the Church (cf. Hippolytus and Origen), or to the individual soul of the Christian (cf. St. Gregory of Nyssa) or to Mary (cf. St. Ambrose) and also to her Immaculate Conception (cf. Richard of St. Victor). St. Bernard saw in the Song of Songs a dialogue of the Word of God with the soul, and this led to St. John of the Cross' concept about mystical marriage.

The only exception in this long tradition was Theodore of Mopsuestia, in the fourth century, who saw in the Song of Songs a poem that celebrated Solomon's human love for Pharaoh's daughter.

Luther, instead, referred the allegory to Solomon and his kingdom. In recent centuries new hypotheses have appeared. Some, for example, consider the Song of Songs as a drama of a bride's fidelity to a shepherd, despite all the temptations, or as a collection of songs used during the popular wedding rites or mythical rituals which reflected the Adonis-Tammuz worship. Finally, there is seen in the Song of Songs the description of a dream, recalling ancient ideas about the significance of dreams and also psychoanalysis.

In the 20th century there has been a return to the more ancient allegorical traditions (cf. Bea), seeing again in the Song of Songs the history of Israel (cf. Jouon, Ricciotte), and a developed midrash (as Robert calls it in his commentary, which constitutes a "summary" of the interpretation of Songs).

Nevertheless, at the same time the book has begun to be read in its most evident significance as a poem exalting natural human love (cf. Rowley, Young, Laurin).

Karl Barth was the first to have demonstrated in what way this significance is linked with the biblical context of chapter two of Genesis. Dubarle begins with the premise that a faithful and happy human love reveals to man the attributes of divine love, and Van den Oudenrijn sees in the Song of Songs the antitype of that typical sense that appears in Eph 5:23. Excluding every allegorical and metaphorical explanation, Murphy stresses that human love, created and blessed by God, can be the theme of an inspired biblical book.

D. Lys notes that the content of the Song of Songs is at the same time sensual and sacred. When one prescinds from the second characteristic, the Song comes to be treated as a purely lay erotic composition, and when the first is ignored, one falls into allegorism. Only by putting these two aspects together is it possible to read the book in the right way.

Alongside the works of the above-mentioned authors, and especially with regard to an outline of the history of the exegesis of the Song of Songs, see H. H. Rowley, "The Interpretation of the Song of Songs," The Servant of the Lord and Other Essays on the Old Testament (London: Lutterworth, 1952), pp. 191-233; A. M. Dubarle, Le Cantique des Cantiques dans l'exégèse de l'Ancien Testament, Recherches Bibliques VIII (Louvain: Desclée de Brouwer, 1967), pp. 139-151; D. Lys, Le plus beau chant de la création—Commentaire de Cantique des Cantiques. Lectio divina 51. (Paris: Du Cerf, 1968), pp. 31-35; M. H. Pope, "Song of Songs," Anchor Bible (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977), pp. 113-234.

As if we needed proof the words "Christian" and "libertarian" are mutually exclusive.

James Taranto plunges into the cesspool that is the so-called thought of a certified dimbulb who fancies himself "Vox Day".

Toward a Taxonomy of the Nativist Right
"Vox Day," a pseudonymous commentator who has been playing electronic games since 1978, weighs in on the immigration debate in his WorldNetDaily column:


[President Bush] lied when he said: "Massive deportation of the people here is unrealistic--it's just not going to work."

Not only will it work, but one can easily estimate how long it would take. If it took the Germans less than four years to rid themselves of 6 million Jews, many of whom spoke German and were fully integrated into German society, it couldn't possibly take more than eight years to deport 12 million illegal
aliens, many of whom don't speak English and are not integrated into American society.


The bio at the end of the column describes "Day" as a "Christian libertarian." It seems a conservative nativist is one who celebrates America's wartime excesses, (A cheap shot at Michelle Malkin. - F.G.) whereas a libertarian nativist is one who thinks our totalitarian enemies had something to offer too.

Not surprisingly, ol' foxy Voxy has exercised his right to revise and extend his remarks. Understandable and cowardly. I can't say I am surprised. I doubt Herr Vox had an attack of conscience because his flippant use of the Shoah was pointed out to him.

I, too, believe all illegal aliens must be deported as quickly and as humanely as possible. I too would want to leave Mexico and go to the USA if I had had the misfortune to be born there. But it is impossible to confuse the words want and ought. Or as that arch-moron Mick Jagger still puts it after all these years, "You can't always get what you want."

We also need a wall along our southern border patrolled by our military with loaded weapons. People here illegally must be denied government assistance, driver's licenses, welfare, public education, and public health care assistance. In a word, they must be denied everything our taxes provide to our fellow Americans.

If you wish to encourage these criminals to continue occupying our country by giving them charity, that is your right, and no charitable institution should be prevented from meeting the basic needs of the illegals. BUT anyone who hinders the apprehension and deportation of illegal alien in any way must be prosecuted.

The law must be changed so children of criminal immigrants born here do not automatically become citizens. Since this new law could not be applied retroactively, children born here of illegal alien parents must remain citizens of the US. However, splitting up families by deporting aliens should be handled on a case by case basis. Criminal immigrants may be forced to choose between being with their children and giving them a better life here. Why? Because bad things happen to you when you break the law, that's why.

Mexico's suffering from the rule of men is no excuse for our abandoning the rule of law, kiddies. There is a very thin line between civilization and chaos. I prefer we back away from that line at a steady and measured pace starting now.

Gratuitous Tin Foil Hat Photo of the Day.

Why, if you weren't careful, you'd think Senator Brain Damage was against calling what sodomites do in the dark "marriage".

It seems they could not agree on who would do the dishes and who would clean the toilets.

Ha ha?

C'mon! Just a little laugh? May be a snicker or two?

What do you want for free, Mary Lynn Rajskub jokes?

AP: Feingold, Specter Clash Over Gay Marriage

But seriously, folks...

A Senate committee approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage Thursday, after a shouting match that ended when one Democrat strode out and the Republican chairman bid him "good riddance."

"I don't need to be lectured by you. You are no more a protector of the Constitution than am I," (Sadly, no truer words have ever been spoken by a US Senator. I like to call tidbits like this stalinian slips. You know, like when Howie Spleen got up in front of the DAR and said "We will bury you!" I doubt ol' Arlen had any idea what he said. Situation normal. - F.G.) Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., shouted after Sen. Russ Feingold declared his opposition to the amendment, his affinity for the Constitution and his intention to leave the meeting.

"If you want to leave, good riddance," Specter finished.

Heehee!

"I've enjoyed your lecture, too, Mr. Chairman," replied Feingold, D-Wis., who is considering a run for president in 2008. "See ya."

I've been thinking of calling ol' Russ "Senator Foolsgold" for months, but he's (culturally) Jewish, right? (Hmm...Come to think of it, so is Specter...) I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of being an "anti-semite" just because I can recognize a commie thug in democratic clothing when I smell one.

Amid increasing partisan tension over President Bush's judicial nominees and domestic wiretapping, (OH MY! - F.G.) the panel voted along party lines to send the constitutional amendment — which would prohibit states from recognizing same-sex marriages — to the full Senate, where it stands little chance of passing.

There's a big surprise.

Democrats complained that bringing up the amendment is a purely political move designed to appeal to the GOP's conservative base in this year of midterm elections. Under the domed ceiling of the ornate and historic President's Room off the Senate floor, senators voted 10-8 to send the measure forward.

Among Feingold's objections was Specter's decision to hold the vote in the President's Room, where access by the general public is restricted, instead of in the panel's usual home in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

Specter later said he would have been willing to hold the session in the usual room had he thought doing so would change votes.

Not all those who voted "yes" support the amendment, however. Specter said he is "totally opposed" to it, but felt it deserved a debate in the Senate.

Thank heaven for small miracles.

"Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman," reads the measure, which would require approval by two-thirds of Congress and three-fourths of the states.

"Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman," it says.

My oh my. How radical, evil, and discriminatory can you get? Those conservatives will surely rot in Hell for this one.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has scheduled a vote on the proposed amendment the week of June 5.

Call your Congressthings and Senatrixes, kiddies. Big Sodomy can have all the potatoes au gratin they want, but they can never be married.

What in the world has gotten into the Hershey Bears?

From The American Hockey League Playoffs Department:

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Hershey blasts to 9th straight win

PORTLAND, Maine - Lawrence Nycholat and Mark Wotton are extremely important players for the Hershey Bears, but the team keeps rolling in their absence.

Playing without the injured defensive duo for the second straight game, the Bears and goalie Frederic Cassivi opened the Eastern Conference finals with a 5-0 shutout victory over the Portland Pirates last night at Cumberland County Civic Center.

Team playoff records are incomplete, stopping before 1945. According to the available records, the Game 1 shutout over Portland and the Game 4 shutout of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton marks the first time since 1947 the Bears have posted consecutive playoff shutouts.

Cassivi has stopped 101 of 102 shots in the last four games and recorded three shutouts for a team that is 9-0 in the playoffs.

The Bears have allowed just one goal -- and no even-strength goals -- in the last four games.

"It's probably the game I'm most tired since the beginning [of the playoffs]," Cassivi said. "They had a lot of traffic. Whenever the puck was thrown at me, there was always one or two guys driving the net. That makes it tough. They're a hard-working team and they're going to keep doing that."

The game was closer than the score indicates. The Pirates outshot the Bears 33-26 and sustained offensive zone pressure.

They couldn't put the puck in the net, suffering their first shutout of the playoffs. Meanwhile, Hershey rode Cassivi, two goals apiece from former Pirates Brooks Laich and Tomas Fleischmann, and an 8-for-8 penalty kill to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Kris Beech also scored a power-play goal for Hershey, which had an odd night with the extra man. Hershey's power play didn't function smoothly, gave up a number of short-handed chances to Portland -- and still finished 4-for-12 for its most productive game of a postseason in which it has scored at least one power-play goal in every game.

"They had more chances on the penalty kill, I think, than we had on the power play," Bears head coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Yet we scored four power-play goals. It was by no means a great effort on our part. We just got lucky with a couple of bounces and the right guys had the puck in the slot. You give Fleischmann and Laich those chances in the slot, those are two guys that are going to score."

Cassivi came up big in the initial 10 minutes of the first while the Bears shook off some rust. Laich opened the scoring 11:22 into the game with a power-play goal that marked the eighth time Hershey has scored first in nine games.

"I think it was a big goal for us," said Laich, who scored both his goals on the power play.

"We looked at their Game 1 in the last two series and they had blown the teams out. We kind of wanted to get that first one and take the crowd out of it."

Fleischmann's screened power-play goal on Jani Hurme made it 2-0 at 16:12 of the first, a lead that stood unchanged into the third. After Hurme, who wasn't sharp, surrendered third-period goals to Laich (2:19) and Fleischmann (6:11), he was replaced by Nathan Marsters.

"There was no rust in our goalie," Boudreau said. "I think we weathered the storm early. I thought we were outplayed pretty good in the first period. When you get outplayed pretty good and you get a 2-0 lead, you're pretty happy."

Defenseman Jeff State made his Hershey playoff debut, finished even, and stepped up to fight Nathan Saunders and Zenon Konopka during a third period that got chippy amid Portland's boiling frustration.

AHL playoff scoring leader Konopka was neutralized, mustering just two shots as his 24-game scoring streak ended. Boudreau said he was going to lobby the league office to hit Konopka with an instigator before fighting State with two seconds left, which would result in a Game 2 suspension if successful.

NOTES:
Former Pirate Louis Robitaille was doused with beer in the penalty box in the third. "Security did a good job," Robitaille said. "I think that's low class. I'm doing my job. They used to like me." ... Hershey had lost eight straight conference finals games. ... Portland winger Pierre Parenteau left in the third with an apparent shoulder injury. ... Cassivi stopped two short-handed breakaways by Geoff Peters. ... It may just be playoff subterfuge, but the Bears are hopeful about the chances of Nycholat and Wotton returning for Game 3. ... Game 2 is scheduled for tonight here.

One year ago at TheChurchMilitant.

Books of the Day (What you don't know about the Spanish Civil War)...

Anderson Varejao and Sideshow Bob: Separated at birth?





Congrats to the Cavaliers on their big win in Detroit last night.


Speaking of hot babes...

LEFT: A dazzling but not bedazzling photo of Emily Deschanel and her eyes.

...why are there no decent photos of Emily Deschanel (of Fox tv's Bones) on the 'net? Since Al Gore went to all that trouble for you, the least you could do is post a couple of shots of those bedazzling eyes!

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette: Zhang Ziyi

As a public service I would like to periodically offer moslem men a reason to live (as well as a reason not to kill themselves and untold numbers of innocent people). I realize your average mohammedan in the casbah has no more of a chance of meeting Zhang Ziyi than I do, (and that is a mighty slim chance) but stranger things have happened.

This fake newspaper feature of TheChurchMilitant is dedicated to that Grand Poobah of the Sandbox, our greatest Ally and Friend, the Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Rolla, (and all-around rational human being) King Abdullah of the House of Saud.








































Ahhh...Ain't life grand, kiddies?

Two years after he decided he could not remain silent any longer, Bill Cosby is still speaking the truth.

From USA Today:

Excerpts from Bill Cosby's May 17, 2004, speech at the NAACP gala commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.


On poor people:

"The lower economic and lower middle economic people are not holding their end in this deal. In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. ... I'm talking about people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was 2? Where were you when he was 12? And where were you when he was 18, and how come you don't know he had a pistol?"


On illiteracy:

"Brown v. Board of Education is no longer the white person's problem. We've got to take the neighborhood back. We've got to go in there. Just forget telling your child to go to the Peace Corps. It's right around the corner. It can't speak English. It doesn't want to speak English. I can't even talk the way these people talk. "Why you ain't where you is go, ra." ... Everybody knows how important it is to speak English except these knuckleheads. You can't land a plane with 'Why you ain't ...' You can't be a doctor with that kind of crap coming out of your mouth."


On who's to blame:

"We cannot blame white people. White people don't live over there. ... It's not what they're doing to us. It's what we are not doing. Fifty percent dropout. Look, we're raising our own ingrown immigrants. These people are fighting hard to be ignorant. ... They're angry and they have pistols and they shoot and they do stupid things."


On black women:

"Five and six different children — same woman, eight, 10 different husbands or whatever. Pretty soon you're going to have to have DNA cards so you can tell who you're making love to."


On teen sex:

"What is it with young girls getting after some girl who wants to still remain a virgin? Who are these sick black people and where did they come from? And why haven't they been parented to shut up? ...This is a sickness, ladies and gentlemen, and we are not paying attention to these children. These are children. They don't know anything. They don't have anything."


On Brown's impact:

"Basketball players — multimillionaires — can't write a paragraph. Football players — multimillionaires — can't read. Yes, multimillionaires. Well, Brown v. Board of Education, where are we today? It's there. They paved the way. What did we do with it? The white man, he's laughing — got to be laughing. Fifty percent dropout rate, rest of them in prison."


On taking responsibility:

"The church is only open on Sunday. And you can't keep asking Jesus to do things for you. You can't keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you. God was there when they won all those (court) cases. ... That's where God was, because these people were doing something. ... When you go to church, look at the stained-glass things of Jesus. Look at them. Is Jesus smiling? Not in one picture. ... So tell your friends. Let's try to do something. Let's try to make Jesus smile. Let's start parenting."



USA Today: Cosby gives a 'Call Out'

Bill Cosby had just listened as five mothers who lost their teenage sons to gun violence told their tragic stories. He looked out over the audience.

"I hope none of you ever has to get that call," he said. "Those of you with children that age need to look at the walls in their rooms, see what they're writing, see what they're listening to. If you don't want to know that your child has a gun or knows how to get a gun, and if you don't want to believe that this could happen to your child, look up here."

Just yesterday, Mr. Cosby's words would have been unremarkable. In our benighted age, however, his own people revile him as a self-hating Uncle Tom.

Some of Cosby's critics say his view is a simplistic one because it ignores institutional and societal forces, such as government neglect and racism, that have helped create the conditions in poverty-stricken neighborhoods.

One critic, University of Pennsylvania professor Michael Eric Dyson, wrote a book: Is Bill Cosby Right? (Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?).

In a National Public Radio interview after his book was published last year, Dyson said, "Cosby's overemphasis on personal responsibility, not structural features, wrongly locates the source of poor black suffering - and by implication its remedy - in the lives of the poor. When you think problems are personal, you think solutions are the same.

"If only the poor were willing to work harder, act better, get better educated, stay out of jail and parent more effectively, their problems would go away."

Cosby dismisses Dyson out of hand. "The guy who calls me elitist, who is he? A professor at the University of Pennsylvania. And how much does it cost to go there?"

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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