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SEX IS DEATH [Part 95: Sexual perversion - the sin that keeps on taking and taking and taking...ad nauseam...ad infinitum]

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 ...

"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

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ack! Emergency Weekend Post!

My words have mysteriously flipped and flopped their way from the center back to the left, kiddies. Now I know how Hitlery Schicklgruber (N-NY) must feel on the campaign trail.

Friday, August 11, 2006

WOW!!!

Blogger seems to have fixed itself. My idiot words no longer hug the left margin!

Pearls Before Swine: Customer service, 21st century style.







The eternal struggle: Females, males, and their food.


Pearls Before Swine has its moments. I may have to add it to the regular rotation...

Not just another...Kathy Ireland (Part Seven)

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:










Gustavo Arcos, Requiescat in pace.

HAVANA - Gustavo Arcos Bergnes, a comrade of Fidel Castro in the early days of the revolution but later imprisoned for criticizing the regime, died of a heart attack here, opposition activists told AFP. He was 79.

Arcos was "a symbol of the opposition, the dean of the opposition," said another opposition figure, Marta Beatriz Roque, who got the information from Arcos's wife.

Arcos was a law student when he participated in the July 26, 1953 assault on the Moncada military base in Santiago de Cuba, the incident that sparked the Cuban revolution.

"He fought against (dictator Fulgencio) Batista and now he was fighting the tyranny of Fidel Castro," Roque said.

After the revolution triumphed in 1959, Arcos became ambassador to Belgium, but became increasingly critical of the regime and resigned in 1964. He returned to Cuba and was imprisoned from 1966 to 1969, and again from 1982 to 1988.

In a 2003 interview with AFP, Arcos said he had no regrets.

"I followed the ideals that guided us in those times, which were to eliminate the Batista regime and re-establish democracy."

Arcos's wife Teresita Rodriguez said recently that in the last weeks her husband had weakened considerably.

He founded the Cuban Pro-Human Rights Committee along with his brother Sebastian and two other dissidents, Ricardo Boffil and Elizardo Sanchez, in 1988.

Arcos, the eldest of Cuba's dissidents, entered the hospital on July 18, suffering from pneumonia and a urinary infection.

"He had pneumonia and died from respiratory failure," Roque said.

"He was in the hospital and he never went home, because his condition was very bad," said Roque. (Thanks to AFP for this obituary.)

James Van Allen, Requiescat in pace.

The world has lost a gentleman and a real scientist...

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Physicist James A. Van Allen, a leader in space exploration who discovered the radiation belts surrounding the Earth that now bear his name, died Wednesday. He was 91.

The University of Iowa, where he taught for years, announced the death in a statement on its Web site.

In a career that stretched over more than a half-century, Van Allen designed scientific instruments for dozens of research flights, first with small rockets and balloons, and eventually with space probes that traveled to distant planets and beyond.

Van Allen gained global attention in the late 1950s when instruments he designed and placed aboard the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I, discovered the bands of intense radiation that surround the earth, now known as the Van Allen Belts.

The bands spawned a whole new field of research known as magnetospheric physics, an area of study that now involves more than 1,000 investigators in more than 20 countries.

The discovery also propelled the United States in its space exploration race with the Soviet Union and prompted Time magazine to put Van Allen on the cover of its May 4, 1959, issue.

"He was one of the most important people in the entire area of space science," said Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan.

"What he did for our understanding was really a crucial step into bringing humanity into space," he said. "What he's done has shown that space is an immensely interesting place."

The folksy, pipe-smoking scientist, called "Van" by friends, retired from full-time teaching in 1985. But he continued to write, oversee research, counsel students and monitor data gathered by satellites. He worked in a large, cluttered corner office on the seventh floor of the physics and astronomy building that bears his name.

"Jim Van Allen was a good friend of our family. His loss saddens Christie and me," Gov. Tom Vilsack said. "His passing is a sad day for science in America and the world.

Though he was an early advocate of a concerted national space program, Van Allen was a strong critic of most manned space projects, once dismissing the U.S. proposal for a manned space station "speculative and ... poorly founded."

Explorer 1, which weighed just 31 pounds, was launched Jan. 31, 1958, during an emotional time just after the Sputnik launches by the Soviet Union created new Cold War fears. The instruments that Van Allen developed for the mission were tiny Geiger counters to measure radiation.

Near the 35th anniversary of the launch, Van Allen recalled in an Associated Press interview how scientists waited tensely for confirmation the satellite was in orbit.

When the signal finally came, "it was exhilarating. ... That was the big break, knowing it had made it around the earth, that it was actually in orbit."

The success of the flight created nationwide celebration. Equally exciting for the scientists was the discovery of the radiation belts, a discovery that happened slowly over the next weeks and months as they pieced together data coming from the satellite.

"We had discovered a whole new phenomenon which had not been known or predicted before," Van Allen said. "We were really on top of the world, professionally speaking." Later in 1958, another scientist proposed naming the belts for Van Allen.

His later projects included the Pioneer 10 and 11 flights, which studied the radiation belts of Jupiter in 1973 and 1974 and the radiation belts of Saturn in 1979.

Van Allen continued to monitor data from the Pioneer 10 spacecraft for decades as it became the most remote manmade object, billions of miles away.

Closer to Earth, satellites had revolutionized communications, military surveillance and environmental monitoring. Asked in 1993 whether he envisioned the era of satellite communications, he said: "I guess the honest answer is not really, but I'm not astonished. That sort of thing was kicking around."

In 1987, President Reagan presented Van Allen with the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor for scientific achievement.

Two years later, Van Allen received the Crafoord Prize, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm each year since 1982 for scientific research in areas not recognized by the Nobel Prizes.

Besides the discovery of the Van Allen belts, the academy cited him for providing the first instruments carried near another planet, those taken on the 1962 Venus mission by Mariner 2, and for his work training other space researchers.

"I love to work and I love this subject," he said in 1993. As for quitting, he said, "not as long as I'm able I won't."

Van Allen was born Sept. 7, 1914, in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. As an undergraduate at Iowa Wesleyan College, he helped prepare research instruments for the Byrd Antarctic Expedition. He got his master's and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

After serving in the Naval Reserve during World War II, he was a researcher at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., supervising tests of captured German V-2 rockets and developing similar rockets to probe the upper atmosphere.

One of the highlights of this early research was the 1953 discovery of electrons believed to be the driving force behind the northern and southern lights.

Through his career, he continued to advocate unmanned satellites, once telling a panel that manned space programs have been beset by cost overruns but unmanned rockets "have delivered on their promises and have gone far beyond them."

In testimony before a House subcommittee in 1985, Van Allen said that President Reagan's endorsement of a $20 billion manned space station project was "so speculative and so poorly founded that no one of lesser stature would have dared mention it to an informed audience."

In 2004, he spoke out again, arguing against Bush administration plans for a space station on the moon and a manned mission to Mars.

"I'm one of the most durable and fervent advocates of space exploration, but my take is that we could do it robotically at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results," he said.

Van Allen was named to the National Academy of Sciences in 1959. He also was a consultant to the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment,
NASA and the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences.
(Thanks to AP for this obituary.)

Worst Way to Die of the Day.

The Journal Times: Pleasant Prairie man banging on window killed when glass breaks in Sauk County
MERRIMAC, WI - A 32-year-old man banging on a window to get people's attention died when the glass shattered and cut a major artery in his arm, the Sauk County Sheriff's Department said.

Sick Story of the Day.

WBZ.com: Police: Woman gave daughter to boyfriend for sex

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. - A woman who feared she would lose her boyfriend while she recuperated from surgery arranged for her 15-year-old daughter to have sex with him, authorities said.

Police said the three signed an agreement specifying the sexual services the girl would perform and the compensation she would receive, including clothing and body piercings. The 37-year-old man and the girl had sex about 20 times over two months, police said.

``It's incredible that any parent would be involved in such a blatant case of abuse against her own daughter,'' prosecutor Tony Tague told The Muskegon Chronicle for a story published Thursday.

Authorities investigated after the girl talked to another adult, said police Detective Calvin Mahan.

The woman was freed on $25,000 bond after being arraigned on three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The boyfriend, Michael J. Fitzgibbon, was being held without bail. He was arraigned last week on six counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

It was unclear Thursday whether Fitzgibbon had an attorney.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

To day is the Feast of St. Clare, foundress of the "Poor Clares". Pray for us, all you angels and saints.


Today's reading for the Feast of St. Clare is Nahum 2:1, 3; 3:1-3, 6-7.
Today's Responsorial is
Deuteronomy 32:35-36, 39, 41.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew 16:24-28.


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.


Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from Christ's side, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; Within Thy wounds hide me; Suffer me not to be separated from Thee; From the malicious enemy defend me; In the hour of my death call me; And bid me come unto Thee; That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels Forever and ever. Amen.


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.


Prayer For Vocations

Send forth your Spirit, Lord, into the hearts of your faithful people, that we may be conscious of our vocation to holiness and sevice to others. Grant that many of us may dedicate ourselves to You through the priesthood and the religious life.We pray especially for the needs of our own parish and diocese. Grant that we may always have sufficient good and holy priests, and dedicated Sisters to serve our commumities.We pray, too, for religious orders; that generous men may join them to become zealous missionaries in preaching the Gospel in word and action, especially to the poor and abandoned.We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

This one is for those who wish to teach your sons how to become men.

What lesson would your son learn from this story? What about you?

Sports Illustrated: Rick Reilly: You Make The Call

This actually happened. Your job is to decide whether it should have.

In a nine- and 10-year-old PONY league championship game in Bountiful, Utah, the Yankees lead the Red Sox by one run. The Sox are up in the bottom of the last inning, two outs, a runner on third. At the plate is the Sox' best hitter, a kid named Jordan. On deck is the Sox' worst hitter, a kid named Romney. He's a scrawny cancer survivor who has to take human growth hormone and has a shunt in his brain.

So, you're the coach: Do you intentionally walk the star hitter so you can face the kid who can barely swing?

Wait! Before you answer.... This is a league where everybody gets to bat, there's a four-runs-per-inning max, and no stealing until the ball crosses the plate. On the other hand, the stands are packed and it is the title game.
So ... do you pitch to the star or do you lay it all on the kid who's been through hell already?

Yanks coach Bob Farley decided to walk the star.

Parents booed. The umpire, Mike Wright, thought to himself, Low-ball move. In the stands, Romney's eight-year-old sister cried. "They're picking on Romney!" she said. Romney struck out. The Yanks celebrated. The Sox moaned. The two coaching staffs nearly brawled.

And Romney? He sobbed himself to sleep that night.

"It made me sick," says Romney's dad, Marlo Oaks. "It's going after the weakest chick in the flock."

Farley and his assistant coach, Shaun Farr, who recommended the walk, say they didn't know Romney was a cancer survivor. "And even if I had," insists Farr, "I'd have done the same thing. It's just good baseball strategy."
Romney's mom, Elaine, thinks Farr knew. "Romney's cancer was in the paper when he met with President Bush," she says. That was thanks to the Make-A-Wish people. "And [Farr] coached Romney in basketball. I tell all his coaches about his condition."

She has to. Because of his radiation treatments, Romney's body may not produce enough of a stress-responding hormone if he is seriously injured, so he has to quickly get a cortisone shot or it could be life-threatening. That's why he wears a helmet even in centerfield. Farr didn't notice?

The sports editor for the local Davis Clipper, Ben De Voe, ripped the Yankees' decision. "Hopefully these coaches enjoy the trophy on their mantle," De Voe wrote, "right next to their dunce caps."

Well, that turned Bountiful into Rancorful. The town was split -- with some people calling for De Voe's firing and describing Farr and Farley as "great men," while others called the coaches "pathetic human beings." They "should be tarred and feathered," one man wrote to De Voe. Blogs and letters pages howled. A state house candidate called it "shameful."

What the Yankees' coaches did was within the rules. But is it right to put winning over compassion? For that matter, does a kid who yearns to be treated like everybody else want compassion?

"What about the boy who is dyslexic -- should he get special treatment?" Blaine and Kris Smith wrote to the Clipper. "The boy who wears glasses -- should he never be struck out? ... NO! They should all play by the rules of the game."

The Yankees' coaches insisted that the Sox coach would've done the same thing. "Not only wouldn't I have," says Sox coach Keith Gulbransen, "I didn't. When their best hitter came up, I pitched to him. I especially wouldn't have done it to Romney."

Is there something to be said for treating Romney like any other player? Could the boy learn something from that?...

Farr thinks the Sox coach is a hypocrite. He points out that all coaches put their worst fielder in rightfield and try to steal on the weakest catchers. "Isn't that strategy?" he asks. "Isn't that trying to win? Do we let the kid feel like he's a winner by having the whole league play easy on him? This isn't the Special Olympics. He's not retarded."

Me? I think what the Yanks did stinks. Strategy is fine against major leaguers, but not against a little kid with a tube in his head. Just good baseball strategy? This isn't the pros. This is: Everybody bats, one-hour games. That means it's about fun. Period.

What the Yankees' coaches did was make it about them, not the kids. It became their medal to pin on their pecs and show off at their barbecues. And if a fragile kid got stomped on the way, well, that's baseball. We see it all over the country -- the overcaffeinated coach who watches too much SportsCenter and needs to win far more than the kids, who will forget about it two Dove bars later.

By the way, the next morning, Romney woke up and decided to do something about what happened to him.

"I'm going to work on my batting," he told his dad. "Then maybe someday I'll be the one they walk."

...Obviously, there is. Romney seems to have transcended the ignorance of all the adults involved and has learned a valuable lesson that will come in handy in all sorts of situations, including battling cancer: "I'll show those sons of bitches! Let me at 'em!"

Not just another...Kathy Ireland (Part Five)

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:









Sergeant John H. Branic USMC, Requiescat in pace.

Yet another of Our Boys is welcomed home to rest.

From the Altoona Mirror:

MADERA, PA — In August 1942, a Clearfield County Marine was killed during World War II when Japanese forces attacked U.S. troops in the Solomon Islands.

Sixty-four years later, the remains of Sgt. John H. Branic — the namesake of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8822 in Madera — are coming home.

Branic will be buried today with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

“I think everybody was surprised because it was so many years past,” said Bob Wagner of Madera, past commander of the VFW on Main Street.

The Department of Defense said the U.S. Embassy in the Solomon Islands reported in 1992 the possible discovery of an American soldier’s remains.

Officials also found World War II-era ammunition at the construction site on Guadalcanal.

In 2004, an American researcher with the First Marine Division reported that a native had found a ring with Branic’s initials at the burial site.

“It’s been going on for a while,” Wagner said. “But they [the Department of Defense] kept it very low-key.”

Jim Kephart, one of Post 8822’s charter members, said Branic was the first soldier from Madera to be killed in World War II.

“He was a heck of a nice guy,” Kephart said at the VFW Tuesday night. “You might say we grew up together.

”The Madera VFW had 27 members when it opened in 1949.

A picture of a young Branic in his military uniform hangs on one wall, a tribute to the fallen Marine.

Recently, a group of women came in and saw Branic’s picture behind the bar. They asked to have it moved to where patrons could see it, Wagner said.

“He was a real handsome man, especially when he had his uniform on,” said Betty Ruffner, whose husband, Jim, was a charter member of Post 8822.

Ruffner, 88, was one of the first presidents of the ladies’ auxiliary.

She believes Branic was three years ahead of her at the former Bigler Township High School.

“My husband knew him really well,” she said.

None of Branic’s immediate family members live in Madera, residents said. Most of his high school classmates are deceased.

“We never thought we’d find these remains after all these years,” said Diane Kephart, Jim Kephart’s cousin and a longtime member of the ladies’ auxiliary.

From The Desk Of The Cousins:

Jolly good show! Keep up the good work. May God bless and protect you always...

AFP: Stiff upper lips at London Heathrow Airport as passengers sweat it out

AP: Bush says U.S. still at risk of attack

AP: Text: Bush's remarks on foiled plot

AFP: Britain says foiled 'mass murder' plot to blow up planes

The Independent: Hundreds of flights halted as UK airports hit

Deutsche Welle: Britain: Main Players in Foiled Plane Attacks Accounted For

BBC: US boosts marshals on UK flights

The Guardian: US officials suggest al-Qaida link to 'aircraft terror plot'

AP: Tight security, new rules at US airports

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence, priest and martyr:

Third-century archdeacon of Rome, distributor of alms, and "keeper of the treasures of the church" in a time when Christianity was outlawed. On 6 August 258, by decree of Emperor Valerian, Pope Saint Sixtus II and six deacons were beheaded, leaving Lawrence as the ranking Church official in Rome.

While in prison awaiting execution Sixtus reassured Lawrence that he was not being left behind; they would be reunited in four days. Lawrence saw this time as an opportunity to disperse the material wealth of the church before the Roman authorities could lay their hands on it. On 10 August Lawrence was commanded to appear for his execution, and to bring along the treasure with which he had been entrusted by the pope. When he arrived, the archdeacon was accompanied by a multitude of Rome's crippled, blind, sick, and indigent. He announced that these were the true treasures of the Church. Martyr.

Lawrence's care for the poor, the ill, the neglected have led to his patronage of them. His work to save the material wealth of the Church, including its documents, brought librarians and those in related fields to see him as a patron, and to ask for his intercession. And his incredible strength and courage when being grilled to death led to his patronage of cooks and those who work in or supply things to the kitchen. The meteor shower that follows the passage of the Swift-Tuttle comet was known in the middle ages as the "burning tears of Saint Lawrence" because they appear at the same time as Lawrence's feast.

Born
at Huesca, Spain

Died
10 August 258; cooked to death on a gridiron; buried in the cemetery of Saint Cyriaca on the road to Tivoli; tomb was opened by Pelagius to inter the body of Saint Stephen the Martyr; his mummified head removed to the Quirinal Chapel; the gridiron believed to have been his deathbed is in San Lorenzo in Lucina; garments in Our Lady's Chapel in the Lateran Palace

Patronage
Åhus, Sweden; archives; archivists; armories; armourers; brewers; butchers; Ceylon; comedians; comediennes; comics; confectioners; cooks; cutlers; deacons; fire; glaziers; Gross Gartach, Germany; Gyõrszemere község, Hungary; laundry workers; librarians; libraries; Limbazi, Latvia; lumbago; Lund, Sweden; Naurod, Germany; Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany; paupers; Picuris Indian Pueblo; poor people; restauranteurs; Rome; city of Rotterdam, Netherlands; diocese of Rotterdam, Netherlands; schoolchildren; seminarians; Sri Lanka; stained glass workers; students; tanners; vine growers; vintners; wine makers

Pray for us, all you angels and saints.


Today's reading for the Feast of St. Lawrence is 2 Corinthians 9:6-10.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 12:24-26.


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.


Anima Christi

Soul of Christ, sanctify me; Body of Christ, save me; Blood of Christ, inebriate me; Water from Christ's side, wash me; Passion of Christ, strengthen me; O good Jesus, hear me; Within Thy wounds hide me; Suffer me not to be separated from Thee; From the malicious enemy defend me; In the hour of my death call me; And bid me come unto Thee; That I may praise Thee with Thy saints and with Thy angels Forever and ever. Amen.


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.


Prayer For Vocations

Send forth your Spirit, Lord, into the hearts of your faithful people, that we may be conscious of our vocation to holiness and sevice to others. Grant that many of us may dedicate ourselves to You through the priesthood and the religious life.We pray especially for the needs of our own parish and diocese. Grant that we may always have sufficient good and holy priests, and dedicated Sisters to serve our commumities.We pray, too, for religious orders; that generous men may join them to become zealous missionaries in preaching the Gospel in word and action, especially to the poor and abandoned.We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Redeemer. Amen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Sobran: Fantasy and Imagination

The link above will take you to Joe's current on-line column. The archive is here. Not all of his past columns are available in the archive.

An oldie but goodie from Joe Sobran on the difference between reality and everything else...

Originally published by the Universal Press Syndicate, November 29, 1994

Why has liberalism failed? I think the reason is that liberalism stands for fantasy in politics, whereas conservatism stands for imagination. In the short run, fantasy prevails; but imagination will have the last word.

We usually confuse imagination with fantasy. But this is a mistake. The two things are nearly opposites; or rather they are related to each other as youth is related to adulthood.

A daydream is fantasy, a flight from reality, a wishful and superficial series of images; just as socialism is a fantasy, a dream of a world divorced from nature. It is easy to fantasize a world in which all men are brothers and share their possessions unselfishly; it is more difficult to explain why such a world can never be. Shallow people call the pursuit of such fantasies “idealism.”

Unlike fantasy, real imagination explores reality and possibility. You can’t separate it from the intellect. It takes imagination to see the world as it is, to understand people as they are, to grasp the remote implications of ideas, to foresee the results of various courses of action, to perceive abstract relations, to find analogies, to view a single truth from many angles, to sort out the essential from the inessential.

The Iliad and King Lear tell stories with little or no basis in what we call fact; but they are works of imagination, not fantasy. They have a powerful internal logic that fantasy lacks. That is why we speak of their “imaginative truth” (not “fantastic truth”).

Fantasy is bold and passionate; imagination is more cautionary and objective. The youth who wants to rush headlong into a project may be inspired by a dream; but his father, who cautions him against it out of his own experience, may actually be more imaginative, in the sense of being more capable of imagining the real outcome. Imagination is a mode of seeing and knowing; fantasy is usually blind.

Fantasy has its place, and the youth may be right when his father is wrong. We need our dreams, provided we remember that they are, after all, only dreams. And of course there is such a thing as excessive caution. Besides, to idealize the past, as conservatives sometimes do, is only another kind of fantasy. But as a general matter experience enriches the imagination, and we disregard it at our peril.

“I dream of things as they never were, and ask, Why not?” said Bernard Shaw, a socialist. We can now see that the failure of socialism was precisely a failure of imagination, because it was a triumph of fantasy. The socialists failed to imagine everything that actually happened when their scheme was imposed on intractable reality.

It was the realists — preeminently a few prophetic men like Ludwig von Mises — who had the imagination to know in advance why socialism would fail. They were even accused of cynicism for rejecting the fantasy. In a supreme delusion, fantasy became a moral test which any sane man was bound to flunk.

You might even say that in our time fantasy has managed to keep imagination on the defensive. In democratic politics, fantasy always has a natural advantage, because everyone can fantasize but few can imagine. The fallacy is fun; the refutation is heavy lifting. The world is perpetually easier to seduce than to persuade.

Liberalism, our watered-down piecemeal version of socialism, still relies on a rhetoric of fantasy — and self-righteous fantasy at that. The liberal proposes his dream of, say, national health care; and then he reviles as “inhumane” and “lacking compassion” those who assume the burden of imagining the real consequences.

When, amid the ruins, one side says to the other, “I told you so,” that’s imagination rebuking fantasy. Using the imagination can be a hard and thankless task. And conservatives often fail in imagination when it is most needed. Sometimes they have nothing more than the stubborn intuition that the liberal fantasy is overlooking something they can’t specify. But even then they are usually right.

But fantasizing is always easy — fatally easy. The world is often short on foresight, but it never runs out of dreams. We should enjoy our dreams without being tyrannized by them.

Flightless Antarctic Bird Update.

CBS News: 4 Penguins Die In Highway Accident
A truck on its way to a zoo overturned, spilling about two dozen penguins, tropical fish and an octopus onto an east Texas highway, authorities said. The octopus and all but 4 penguins survived.

Not just another...Kathy Ireland (Part Three)

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:











OH NO! NOT ANOTHER CIRCUMCISION UPDATE!

From the One Year Ago (more or less) at TheChurchMilitant Department:

Remember the unsolicited paean to circumcision and the follow up letter I received from that Esperanto-talker?


From Drudge comes today's story:

UPDATE: Male circumcision 'lowers risk of HIV infection by 60%'...

It used to be called the unkindest cut. But now the head of the one of the world's largest Aids charities believes we are on the brink of a revolution in attitudes to circumcision.

Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, said research revealing the protective effect of circumcision against HIV was set to change parental expectations and medical practice across the world. Instead of viewing the operation as an assault on the male sex, it was increasingly being seen as a lifesaving procedure which every parent would want for their sons.

Removing the foreskin is thought to harden the glans (head) of the penis, making it less permeable to viruses. Research conducted in 2005 showed the transmission of HIV from women to men during sex was reduced by 60 per cent if the men were circumcised.

A study published last month calculated that if all men in sub-Saharan Africa were circumcised, it would prevent almost six million new cases of HIV infection and save three million lives over the next 20 years.

Dr Feachem said the finding was one of the most significant in the battle against Aids and offered real hope of slowing the spread of the virus. The issue is to be debated at the World Aids Congress, which opens in Toronto next week.

Dr Feachem said: "We know the factors that cause HIV to spread rapidly in a country - the number of concurrent sexual partners, the use of condoms, the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases and male circumcision. Other things being equal, in a circumcised population you have a low and slowly developing epidemic and in an uncircumcised population you have a high and fast developing epidemic."

He added: "Circumcision is growing strongly in popularity in South Africa and in North America. We see males seeking circumcision very commonly in South Africa. The news of its protective effect caused a substantial increase in demand for adult male circumcision.

Penguins Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Gonchar: Malkin staying in Russia

Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar expected to be Evgeni Malkin's teammate, landlord and unofficial guide to life in North America and the NHL this year.

But Gonchar doesn't believe that's going to happen anymore based on a phone call he received from Malkin a couple of days ago.

"He told me he's staying another year," Gonchar said by phone from his native Russia on Tuesday. "He said he has a reason to stay over. I don't know the reason, but he's staying now."

It's a big change from mid-July, when Gonchar said that, "One way or another (Malkin's) going to leave and play (in the NHL). That's what I understand." Gonchar had gone so far as to arrange for Malkin, 20, to fly from Russia to Pittsburgh with him and live with his family during the season.

But if Gonchar had any more details about Malkin's sudden reversal, he wasn't sharing.

"It's hard for me to make any comments," said Gonchar, who said their conversation was not in person but over the phone and that they "didn't talk much."

The Penguins said yesterday that they still had not received official word that Malkin was staying in Russia this year, despite reports on the Metallurg Magnitogorsk Web site on Monday that their MVP had re-worked his contract with the team to remain through the 2006-07 season. Agents J.P. Barry and Pat Brisson maintain that Malkin wants to play in the NHL this year.

Until there is official word, Penguins spokesman Tom McMillan said, the team won't be able to comment on the situation.

But at some point, general manager Ray Shero will have to start looking to fill Malkin's penciled-in slot at No. 2 center, if he hasn't already.

One possibility could come from within.

The Penguins drafted another highly regarded center this past June, No. 2 overall pick Jordan Staal.

But Staal, who won't turn 18 until Sept. 10, may not be ready for the NHL yet. Until he proves in training camp that he can make the leap, agent Paul Krepelka said they won't begin to discuss a contract.

"There's no intention of doing (a contract) beforehand," Krepelka said yesterday.

It's rare for an 18-year-old prospect to make an NHL team in his draft year, as Sidney Crosby did so successfully with the Penguins last season. But Jordan's brother, Eric, also a center and also drafted second overall, made the Carolina Hurricanes' roster the year he was drafted and played as an 18-year-old, getting 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 81 games in 2003-04.

"Obviously (Jordan is) going to camp with the intention of making the team, but we'll let it play out," Krepelka said. "He's got the chance to do it. But the NHL is a difficult league to play in, never mind as an 18-year-old kid. If he proves he belongs with the big boys, we'll act accordingly."

The Penguins also have prospects Erik Christensen and Maxime Talbot, who each saw time at center in the NHL last year.

If Shero turns to the free-agent market, the pickings are slim with training camps set to open in about a month.

Yanic Perreault, 35, whom the Penguins were rumored to be talking to last month, is still available, as is Trevor Linden, 36, although he's expected to return to the Vancouver Canucks. Other centers still on the market include ex-Penguins Jan Hrdina, 30, and Greg Johnson, 35, as well as Jim Dowd, 37, Boyd Devereaux, 27, Erik Rasmussen, 29, Jason Allison, 31, and Clarke Wilm, 29.

The Michael and Cathryn Borden Memorial Book of the Day.*

The Shadow Party: How George Soros, Hillary Clinton and the Sixties Radicals Seized Control of the Democratic Party
By David Horowitz and Richard Poe

A battle is raging for the future of America, and the forces of the insurgent left have masked themselves behind the mainstream façade of the Democratic Party. Now Horowitz and Poe expose these shadow warriors and their true intentions.


Bonus coverage from FrontPage Magazine:

The Shadow Party Defeats Lieberman
By Ben Johnson

Purging the patriots, one race at a time. More>


* Huh? look here.

The bloodbath commences...

Her parents either have to put her back in high school or turn her career over to professionals before she becomes the Anna Kournikova of golf.

Bloomberg.com: Michelle Wie Fires Caddie After Finishing 26th at British Open
Michelle Wie fired caddie Greg Johnston yesterday after tying for 26th place at the Women's British Open, the only time she's finished outside the top five in eight LPGA starts this year.

Not just another...Kathy Ireland (Part Two)

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:













From The Needless But Cool Department:


Roto-Reuters: Designer creates floating bed

A young Dutch architect has created a floating bed which hovers above the ground through magnetic force and comes with a price tag of 1.2 million euros ($1.54 million).

Janjaap Ruijssenaars took inspiration for the bed -- a sleek black platform, which took six years to develop and can double as a dining table or a plinth -- from the mysterious monolith in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 cult film "2001: A Space Odyssey."

"No matter where you live all architecture is dictated by gravity. I wondered whether you could make an object, a building or a piece of furniture where this is not the case -- where another power actually dictates the image," Ruijssenaars said.

Magnets built into the floor and into the bed itself repel each other, pushing the bed up into the air. Thin steel cables tether the bed in place.

"It is not comfortable at the moment," admits Ruijssenaars, adding it needs cushions and bedclothes before use.

Although people with piercings should have no problem sleeping on the bed, Ruijssenaars advises them against entering the magnetic field between the bed and the floor.

They could find their piercing suddenly tugged toward one of the magnets.

Uh-oh, not another white trash related tragedy...

Speaking of the brave geniuses from Michigan football..

Did you notice anything strange about this year's University of Michigan Football Media Guide?


Here's a hint: It does not mention last year's 7 and 5 season! No results, no records, no stats, no nothing!

BTW, last season was the Wolverine's worst in twenty years. Coincidence? I think not. (Thanks to Steve Czaban for the heads up.)

Roll over and go back to sleep, Coach...

Detroit Free (Sure. Just try and take one without paying. I dare you.) Press: Bo belittles Fighting Irish
Bo Schembechler probably won't be speaking at Notre Dame commencement ceremonies any time soon. The former Michigan football coach, feisty as ever...

America slowly passes away...

Ultimate Rollercoaster: It's The Farewell Season For Ohio's Erieview Park

Geneva-On-The-Lake, OH - The owners of Erieview Park announced that they will close the amusement park at the end of this season. The small amusement park in northeast Ohio has been in operation for more than 60 years.

The family that owns the park plans to redevelop the property into a new business.

Don Woodward said his grandfather started Erieview Park in 1945 as an amusement park for children with two rides. In the 1980's adult rides and waterslides were added to the park.

"It has been a good business," said Woodward.

"Shutting down the amusement park is difficult," added Woodward, but his family believes it can do better.

The family owns 700-feet of lakefront property and hasn't taken advantage of the location. Several tourist related options are being discussed that will take advantage of the lakefront property and fit in with the resort's heritage.

The park's 18 rides are to be auctioned off on October 3 by Norton Auctioneers of Michigan.

Erieview Park's collection includes a Ferris wheel, Tilt-a-Whirl, junior roller coaster and a carousel. The park's train and Fright Zone dark ride will also be sold.

Fright Zone is unique since it is the last dark ride manufactured by Alan Herschell in operation. In 1960, Herschell built three scary dark rides and Erieview Park has the only one still operating.

Herschell played a significant role in the manufacturing of rides for the amusement industry.

"It will be a unique part of the auction," said Woodward.

To say goodbye, the Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts (DAFE) are planning a farewell event on the park's final day of operation September 9. Participants will be taken on a behind the scenes tour of the Fright Zone.

A few years ago, Darkride and Funhouse Enthusiasts helped in the restoration of the Fright Zone dark ride. It may be the last opportunity for fans to take a ride, since the ride's future is uncertain.

Erieview Park is located 50 miles east of Cleveland along the lake.

Not just another...Kathy Ireland (Part One)

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:









About Me

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

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