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It seems Pope Francis needs to brush up on his Tertullian!

It has been reported (in The ChristLast Media, I must note) that the current Pope does not like the phrase "lead us not into temptation...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, September 22, 2006

Coolest Story of the Day.

The City of Our Lady of the Angels Times: A Can-Do Painter's Creation
This Iowa graffiti artist is no Michelangelo, yet folks look up to him as he replicates the Sistine Chapel ceiling in the medium he knows best.

WATERLOO, Iowa — Lying on industrial scaffolding, his legs dangling 12 feet above the ground, graffiti artist Paco Rosic reaches for a can of leather brown paint. With a quick, rattling shake, he squeezes the nozzle and adds subtle highlights to the hand of God reaching for Adam.

Paco is using 12-ounce cans of spray paint to fulfill his lifelong obsession: to re-create one of the world's greatest artistic works — Michelangelo's fresco on the Sistine Chapel ceiling — in his own street style.

Paco and his family have spent their life savings, and his parents have taken a second mortgage on their home, to buy a dilapidated building in this sleepy Midwestern downtown, about two hours northeast of Des Moines.

They paid $67,000 in January for the two-story, 1870s brick building that once housed an antiques store. The shop's ceiling wasn't curved, so the family hired workers to tear it down and create a plaster one that, at its highest point, is gently arched 14 feet above the floor. Paco ended up with 2,511 square feet of blank space.

He has spent the last four months reproducing a nearly half-scale replica of the fresco illustrating the birth of man and early Christian history, including nine scenes from the Book of Genesis and seven Old Testament prophets.

When he started, he carried a sketch of the Sistine Chapel ceiling onto the scaffolding. Now, it sits at home; he has memorized the painting.

Michelangelo, who was commissioned to paint the chapel in 1505, finished in 1512. Paco is almost done.

His reproduction is smaller, more vibrantly colored and has far fewer details: The eyes and cheekbones of the figures are made with broad lines of paint instead of tiny, delicate brushstrokes. Some of Paco's Ignudi, or the naked males painted in the corners of the creation scenes, are surrounded by garlands of oak leaves — just like Michelangelo's. The emerald-green garlands, like the folds in the prophets' robes and the gentle sway of Noah's beard blowing in the breeze, were painted freehand.

Paco said he left out thousands of tiny acorns clustered around the figures because "it's too small of a detail. It would look like a big blob."

So far, he has drained more than 2,000 cans of spray paint, regularly wiping out the stock of every Wal-Mart, craft store and hardware shop in a 10-mile radius. With each can costing about $4.50, Paco estimates that he has spent $9,000 on paint supplies alone.

He still needs more.

"My friends thought I was crazy," said Paco, 27, a Bosnian immigrant. "So did my family. But this has been something I've wanted to do since I was a child."

An agnostic raised by a Catholic mother and Muslim father, Paco said his focus is more on reverence to art than God. But after a local newspaper wrote about the project a couple months ago, it captured the attention of art aficionados and the faithful alike.

Recent visitors, said Paco, have included elderly women from Des Moines, art teachers from Minneapolis and a staffer from the New Melleray Abbey, a Cistercian monastery in Peosta, Iowa. Most ignored a handwritten sign on the front door: "Please do not disturb the artist while painting, unless you have an appointment or you are the media."

"This is unbelievable," said Kathy Snider, a visitor from Davenport. "I'm a Catholic, so of course I've seen pictures of the Sistine Chapel. This is probably the closest I'm ever going to get to see the real thing."

Religious groups around the world have e-mailed Paco, asking about his inspiration. Art instructors have pestered him for private tours. And thousands of people have flocked to his website (paco-rosic.com/sistine.html), where he has posted snapshots of the work in progress.

Paco's fascination with the Sistine Chapel began at age 6, when his mother, Anna, began sharing her passion for art. In the family home outside of Sarajevo, Anna, Paco and his older brother, Alen, would study books filled with the works of Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

But it was Michelangelo Buonarroti who captured Paco's imagination."He always was drawing" and asking questions about the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's work, said Anna, 45. The Rosics fled the violence in Bosnia in 1992 and settled in Germany. There, Paco was exposed to hip-hop music and graffiti art. He began painting murals at nightclubs and tagging railroad cars.

In 1997 the Rosics arrived in Iowa, where they had relatives. Anna and Jacky, Paco's father, landed jobs at a Hy-Vee grocery store. Alen studied photography at Hawkeye Community College here. Local businesses, including a sushi restaurant and a Web-hosting firm, hired Paco to paint edgy street murals and design company logos.

He kept telling us that he was going to paint the Sistine Chapel," said Jacky, 51. "I didn't believe him. Over time, he convinced me he was serious."

Jacky and Anna started looking for a building with a ceiling large enough to accommodate Paco. They also wanted enough space to open a cafe and jazz club to help pay for the building. Paco joined the search.

They found the spot late last year next to what was once Grandpa Harry's Antiques and Collectibles in downtown Waterloo, population 66,400. The Community National Bank here loaned Paco and his family the money to buy the building, and pay for construction costs and the paint. Family friend Gary Kelley, an illustrator from Cedar Falls known for his murals with Barnes & Noble, served as a mentor.

"He has a passion and a focus that most artists his age don't have," Kelley said. "I knew that once everyone saw his progress, people would be intrigued."

The cafe and jazz club — due to open in November — will join the revival of a downtown which declined in the 1980s, when scores of family farmers were driven into bankruptcy and the largest employer, Deere & Co., made deep job cuts. Investors now are turning empty buildings into airy artist lofts and chic restaurants. But even in a place hungry for innovation, some considered Paco's idea crazy.

The artist didn't care. He traveled to Rome this spring and spent four days in the Sistine Chapel sketching details. Back home, he practiced painting each biblical panel: Paco hung the frames from wooden rafters in his garage and learned to work lying down.

"I'd step outside to smoke a cigarette late at night, and I'd see this guy come out of his garage with a gas mask on," said former neighbor Terrance Bush. "I didn't know whether to ask what he was doing, or to call the police. Then, I saw the paintings and loved them."

Even critics have offered ideas for improving history.

"We had a city inspector come in and spend a long time looking at the ceiling," said Alen, 29. "He said: 'I like it. That man next to God? He's naked. Don't you think the people need more clothes?' I looked at Paco, and we tried not to laugh."

Trying to reach a far corner to finish a column, Paco stands on the scaffolding. With his legs apart, his spine bowed nearly horizontal, he aims a can of almond at the ceiling. With a few quick strokes, the outer edge of a column appears.

A faint, brownish haze floats around his slender, 5-foot-9 frame. He grabs a can of white. Carefully, methodically, he uses the white to lighten the brown, and create the illusion of depth around the curve of the column.

A black mask with a filter protects Paco. Though the temperature in the room hovers in the 50s, sweat trickles down the side of his face.

The interruptions are constant. His cellphone rings. It's the fifth stranger to call this hour with questions.Three college students from the University of Northern Iowa huddle beneath the scaffolding and bombard Paco with questions.

Which prophet is Daniel? Which is Ezekiel? Why aren't Adam's and God's hands closer together?

When two more visitors show up, Paco calls it a day.

He caps his cans of watermelon (for God's robe) and Woven Tapestry (for the snake's tail in the Garden of Eden). Peeling off his mask, he climbs down the yellow metal scaffolding and steps gingerly over dozens of empty cans littered across the floor. Paco smiles and offers to give the visitors a tour.

The male plot against females continues apace.

The City of Our Lady of the Angels Times: Astronaut Collapses at Ceremony

An astronaut from the space shuttle Atlantis collapsed twice today during a welcome home ceremony, a wobbly return that officials attributed to the adjustment from 12 days at zero gravity.

Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper left the hangar at Ellington Field through a side door but was not taken to a hospital, officials said.

Piper, fifth of the six astronauts to speak, appeared to be confused before her legs buckled during her address. NASA officials and crew members braced her and lowered her to the ground. She stood up again, and the crowd applauded.

"Boy, if that's not a little embarrassing," she said.

She said "boy". Must be a dude in drag who infiltrated NASA simply to embarrass the distaff side.

No, no, no! Senator War Hero won! (Heehee.)

First, here's the twelve year old girl who serves as the editorial board of The Old Gray Whore. She obviously has her panties in a bunch because the goat rapists will still be made to listen to Rock 'N' Roll while sitting in an air conditioned room.

A Bad Bargain

Here is a way to measure how seriously President Bush was willing to compromise on the military tribunals bill: Less than an hour after an agreement was announced yesterday with three leading Republican senators, the White House was already laying a path to wiggle out of its one real concession.

About the only thing that Senators John Warner, John McCain and Lindsey Graham had to show for their defiance was Mr. Bush’s agreement to drop his insistence on allowing prosecutors of suspected terrorists to introduce classified evidence kept secret from the defendant. The White House agreed to abide by the rules of courts-martial, which bar secret evidence. (Although the administration’s supporters continually claim this means giving classified information to terrorists, the rules actually provide for reviewing, editing and summarizing classified material. Evidence that cannot be safely declassified cannot be introduced.)

This is a critical point. As Senator Graham keeps noting, the United States would never stand for any other country’s convicting an American citizen with undisclosed, secret evidence. So it seemed like a significant concession — until Stephen Hadley, the national security adviser, briefed reporters yesterday evening. He said that while the White House wants to honor this deal, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Duncan Hunter, still wants to permit secret evidence and should certainly have his say. To accept this spin requires believing that Mr. Hunter, who railroaded Mr. Bush’s original bill through his committee, is going to take any action not blessed by the White House.

On other issues, the three rebel senators achieved only modest improvements on the White House’s original positions. They wanted to bar evidence obtained through coercion. Now, they have agreed to allow it if a judge finds it reliable (which coerced evidence hardly can be) and relevant to guilt or innocence. The way coercion is measured in the bill, even those protections would not apply to the prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.

The deal does next to nothing to stop the president from reinterpreting the Geneva Conventions. While the White House agreed to a list of “grave breaches” of the conventions that could be prosecuted as war crimes, it stipulated that the president could decide on his own what actions might be a lesser breach of the Geneva Conventions and what interrogation techniques he considered permissible. It’s not clear how much the public will ultimately learn about those decisions. They will be contained in an executive order that is supposed to be made public, but Mr. Hadley reiterated that specific interrogation techniques will remain secret.

Even before the compromises began to emerge, the overall bill prepared by the three senators had fatal flaws. It allows the president to declare any foreigner, anywhere, an “illegal enemy combatant” using a dangerously broad definition, and detain him without any trial. It not only fails to deal with the fact that many of the Guantánamo detainees are not terrorists and will never be charged, but it also chokes off any judicial review.

The Democrats have largely stood silent and allowed the trio of Republicans to do the lifting. It’s time for them to either try to fix this bill or delay it until after the election. The American people expect their leaders to clean up this mess without endangering U.S. troops, eviscerating American standards of justice, or further harming the nation’s severely damaged reputation.

The best part of this kerfuffle, kiddies? The Democrasses, who counted on Senator War Hero and his "maverick" buddies to do their dirty work, got screwed. And we are all safer because of it.

The eleven year old girl who writes editorials for Washington's other newspaper stomps her feet and refuses to eat her spinach (sorry):

The Abuse Can Continue
Senators won't authorize torture, but they won't prevent it, either.


THE GOOD NEWS about the agreement reached yesterday between the Bush administration and Republican senators on the detention, interrogation and trial of accused terrorists is that Congress will not -- as President Bush had demanded -- pass legislation that formally reinterprets U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions. Nor will the Senate explicitly endorse the administration's use of interrogation techniques that most of the world regards as cruel and inhumane, if not as outright torture. Trials of accused terrorists will be fairer than the commission system outlawed in June by the Supreme Court.

The bad news is that Mr. Bush, as he made clear yesterday, intends to continue using the CIA to secretly detain and abuse certain terrorist suspects. He will do so by issuing his own interpretation of the Geneva Conventions in an executive order and by relying on questionable Justice Department opinions that authorize such practices as exposing prisoners to hypothermia and prolonged sleep deprivation. Under the compromise agreed to yesterday, Congress would recognize his authority to take these steps and prevent prisoners from appealing them to U.S. courts. The bill would also immunize CIA personnel from prosecution for all but the most serious abuses and protect those who in the past violated U.S. law against war crimes.

In short, it's hard to credit the statement by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) yesterday that "there's no doubt that the integrity and letter and spirit of the Geneva Conventions have been preserved." In effect, the agreement means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress's tacit assent. If they do, America's standing in the world will continue to suffer, as will the fight against terrorism.

For now, the administration says it is not holding anyone in secret CIA facilities. The detention of those being held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay clearly conforms with international law. If suspects are routed into the CIA program in the future, the administration has pledged to consult with Congress about the interrogation techniques that will be permitted. In theory, Congress could override Mr. Bush's regulations governing treatment if it judges that they are being used to authorize unacceptable practices.

But the senators who have fought to rein in the administration's excesses -- led by Sens. McCain, Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.) -- failed to break Mr. Bush's commitment to "alternative" methods that virtually every senior officer of the U.S. military regards as unreliable, counterproductive and dangerous for Americans who may be captured by hostile governments.

Mr. Bush wanted Congress to formally approve these practices and to declare them consistent with the Geneva Conventions. It will not. But it will not stop him either, if the legislation is passed in the form agreed on yesterday. Mr. Bush will go down in history for his embrace of torture and bear responsibility for the enormous damage that has caused.

Pay no attention to Froomkin's (I think he's the third Munchkin from the left when the house falls on Hitlery Schicklgruber.) tirade Bush Gets His Way. Senator War Hero, et al, won fair and square and protected the goat rapists trying to kill us because it's the right thing to do.

I hope Richard Armitage will soon put down his crack pipe.

Everybody's favorite unindicted leaker must also stop watching gangster movies.

AP: Bush 'taken aback' by Musharraf comment

President Bush said Friday he was "taken aback" by a purported U.S. threat to bomb Pakistan back to the Stone Age if it did not cooperate in the fight against terrorism after the Sept. 11 attacks.

He praised Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf for being one of the first foreign leaders to come out after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to stand with the U.S. to "help root out an enemy."

At a joint White House news conference, Musharraf said a peace treaty between his government and tribes along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is not meant to support the Taliban.

He said news reports had mischaracterized the deals. "The deal is not at all with the Taliban. This deal is against the Taliban. This deal is with the tribal elders," Musharraf said.

Said Bush: "I believe him."

He said that Musharraf had looked him in the eye and vowed that "the tribal deal is intended to reject the Talibanization of the people and that there won't be a Taliban and there won't be al-Aqaida (in Pakistan)."

In an interview to air Sunday on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes" program, Musharraf said that after the attacks, Richard Armitage, then deputy secretary of state, told Pakistan's intelligence director that the United States would bomb his country if it didn't help fight terrorists.

He said that Armitage had told him, "Be prepared to go back to the Stone Age."


Armitage has disputed the language attributed to him but did not deny the message was a strong one.

Asked about the report, Bush said, "The first I heard of this is when I read it in the newspaper. I guess I was taken aback by the harshness of the words."

For his part, Musharraf declined to comment and cited a contract agreement with a publisher on an upcoming book. However, he told CBS the Stone Age warning "was a very rude remark."

Pimpin' ol' Noam.

Roto-Reuters: Hugo Chavez nod turns Chomsky book into bestseller
Move over Oprah -- Venezuela's Hugo Chavez is calling the literary shots this week.

Right Wing Smile of the Day.

From Laura Ingraham comes a great gift for your kiddies, kiddies.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

"I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people,...

...and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too."

Here is a novel idea, kiddies. Let us pray to Our Lady of Fatima and ask for her help in converting the mohammedans as we ask her to aid the conversion of Russia. (You are still praying for the conversion of Russia, aren't you kiddies? It wasn't just communism afflicting that great land. There is still the "Orthodox" schism with which we must deal.)

If you think Pope Benedict's recent address pissed off the goat rapists ("non-moderate mohammedans" to you sissies out there), check out the following gem from Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (circa 1950):

Mary and the Moslems

Moslemism is the only great post-Christian religion of the world. Because it had its origin in the seventh century under Mohammed, it was possible to unite within it some elements of Christianity and of Judaism.

Moslemism takes the doctrine of the unity of God, His Majesty and His Creative Power, and uses it as a basis for the repudiation of Christ, the Son of God. Misunderstanding the notion of the Trinity, Mohammed made Christ a prophet only.

The Catholic Church throughout Northern Africa was virtually destroyed by Moslem power and at the present time (circa 1950), the Moslems are beginning to rise again. If Moslemism is a heresy, as Hilaire Belloc believes it to be, it is the only heresy that has never declined, either in numbers, or in the devotion of its followers.

The missionary effort of the Church toward this group has been, at least on the surface, a failure, for the Moslems are so far almost unconvertible. The reason is that for a follower of Mohammed to become a Christian is much like a Christian becoming a Jew. The Moslems believe that they have the final and definitive revelation of God to the world and that Christ was only a prophet announcing Mohammed, the last of God's real prophets.

Today (1950), the hatred of the Moslem countries against the West is becoming hatred against Christianity itself. Although the statesmen have not yet taken it into account, there is still grave danger that the temporal power of Islam may return and, with it, the menace that it may shake off a West which has ceased to be Christian, and affirm itself as a great anti-Christian world Power.

It is our firm belief that the fears some entertain concerning the Moslems are not to be realized, but that Moslemism, instead, will eventually be converted to Christianity, and in a way that even some of our missionaries never suspect.

It is our belief that this will happen not through the direct teaching of Christianity, but through a summoning of the Moslems to a veneration of the Mother of God.

This is the line of argument:

The Koran, which is the bible of the Moslems, has many passages concerning the Blessed Virgin. First, the Koran believes in her Immaculate Conception and in her Virgin Birth. The third chapter of the Koran places the history of Mary's family in a genealogy that goes back through Abraham, Noah, and Adam. When one compares the Koran's description of the birth of Mary with the apocryphal Gospel of the birth of Mary, one is tempted to believe that Mohammed very much depended upon the latter.

Both books describe the old age and the definite sterility of Anne, the mother of Mary. When, however, Anne conceives, the mother of Mary is made to say in the Koran: "O Lord, I vow and I consecrate to you what is already within me. Accept it from me." When Mary is born, her mother, Anne, says: "And I consecrate her with all of her posterity under thy protection, O Lord, against Satan!"

The Koran has also verses on the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity. Angels are pictured as accompanying the Blessed Mother and saying, "O Mary, God has chosen you and purified you, and elected you above all the women of the earth."

In the nineteenth chapter of the Koran, there are forty-one verses on Jesus and Mary. There is such a strong defense of the virginity of Mary here that the Koran, in the fourth book, attributes the condemnation of the Jews to their monstrous calumny against the Virgin Mary.

Mary, then, is for the Moslems the true Sayyida, or Lady. The only possible serious rival to her in their creed would be Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed himself. However, after the death of Fatima, Mohammed wrote: "Thou shalt be the most blessed of all the women in Paradise, after Mary." In a variant of the text, Fatima is made to say, "I surpass all the women, except Mary."

This brings us to our second point, namely, why the Blessed Mother, in this twentieth century (1950), should have revealed herself in the insignificant little village of Fatima, so that to all future generations she would be known as "Our Lady of Fatima."

Nothing ever happens out of Heaven except with a finesse of all details.

Amen to that!

I believe that the Blessed Virgin chose to be known as "Our Lady of Fatima" as a pledge and a sign of hope to the Moslem people, and as an assurance that they, who show her so much respect, will one day accept her Divine Son, too.

Evidence to support these views is found in the historical fact that the Moslems occupied Portugal for centuries. At the time when they were finally driven out, the last Moslem chief had a beautiful daughter by the name of Fatima. A Catholic boy fell in love with her, and for him she not only stayed behind when the Moslems left, but even embraced the Catholic faith. The young husband was so much in love with her that he changed the name of the town where he lived to Fatima. Thus, the very place where Our Lady appeared in 1917 bears a historical connection to Fatima, the daughter of Mohammed.

The final evidence of the relationship of Fatima to the Moslems is the enthusiastic reception that the Moslems in Africa and India and elsewhere gave to the Pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima. Moslems attended the Catholic services in honor of Our Lady; they allowed religious processions and even prayers before their mosques; and in Mozambique the Moslems, who were unconverted, began to be Christian as soon as the statue of Our Lady of Fatima was erected.

Missionaries in the future will increasingly see that their apostolate among the Moslems will be successful in the measure that they preach Our Lady of Fatima. Because the Moslems have a devotion to Mary, our missionaries should be satisfied merely to expand and to develop that devotion with the full realization that Our Blessed Lady will carry the Moslems the rest of the way to her Divine Son.

As those who lose devotion to her lose belief in the Divinity of Christ, so those who intensify devotion to her gradually acquire that belief. [1]

[1] Taken from "The World's First Love," by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, 1952, published by McGraw-Hill Book Company, NY.
(Thanks to Laura Ingraham for the heads up, even though she missed the point of Bishop Sheen's words.)

And now, a message from a moderate mohammedan.

No, seriously. Ther is at least one. His name is Farid Ghadry and he is President of the Reform Party of Syria.

You can tell he's for real because he had to flee Syria in fear. You see, kiddies, even moderation will get you smacked down in a cesspoollike Syria.

From The Washington Times:

Islam is in danger

The recent brouhaha surrounding Pope Benedict XVI comments on Islam delivered in Germany should give Muslims a pause. Not one that would conjure the recalcitrant attacks that we have seen recently but rather one that would question why such a prominent religious leader would utter these words.

What the Pope said allows me, as a Muslim, to ponder self-examination and not rush into a reaction of condemnation.

Islam, throughout its history, delivered its share of great minds to humanity during times of peace and prosperity. Scientists like Mohammad al-Khawarizmi who invented Algebra and Avicenna who contributed greatly to medicine lived in an era of "political prestige, financial power, and intellectual pursuit with Baghdad as the epicenter" as Saadia Iqbal described it in a National Geographic article. We Muslims, in another era, built our own great and peaceful civilization that ushered the prosperity wished upon any people of any race in any religion.

Of course. But...

But Islam of today differs from the Islam of yesterday. Instead of a thriving era of the Abbasids, we are experiencing a terrorist era of Wahhabism.

Wahabbism is an obscure strand of Islam with fanatical followers who remained "out of sight and out of mind" until Saudi Arabia struck it rich with oil. Hungry economies saw it fit to submit to the Wahabbis and their protectors, the al-Saud clan, rather than confront their danger. But this came with a price.

It was oil that financed 15 Saudis to attack the United States on September 11 and it is Wahhabism today that is militarizing Islam. Unlike the prosperous Abbasid era, the Wahhabi era is confrontational, fanatic, and universal because of undue influence by Saudi Arabia. That influence is justified, in the eyes of Muslims, because Saudi Arabia is the Guardian of the Two Holy Cities of Makkah and Medina.


The radicalism of Wahhabi Islam demands a concerted effort by moderate Muslims and Muslim nations alike if ever Islam is to survive to usher another era of peace and prosperity. To succeed, we must chart a strategy to wrestle control of Makkah and Medina from the hands of the 5 million extremist Najd-bred Wahhabis and trust these two Holy Cities to an International Council of Muslim Nations with the country of Jordan as the host. In other words, we need to vaticanize Islam.


I meant "Amen to that, Brother!"

Saudi Arabia's windfall profits from high demand for oil, at its present production, yield it an additional $500 million a day; excess funds are spent to spread Wahhabism worldwide in what were once moderate Muslim communities. Witness the power of Saudi Arabia, a country of 25 million people, in faraway places like Indonesia and Malaysia, two countries with hundreds of millions of Muslims, and the lack of influence of these moderate Muslim nations in the Arab world.

Every time a street demonstration erupts or an act of violence against other religions is committed, you can bet that the Saudi Wahhabis are behind it. Like Saddam used to gift $25,000 to every Palestinian family that sent its son to die needlessly by killing innocent people, the Wahhabis send money secretly to every Muslim community that erupts in violence.

These communities await a cartoon or simple words of truth to explode because they know well that following their public rant and rave, a Saudi contribution awaits them. What we are witnessing in those irrational acts is a new Muslim order controlled and managed by the Wahhabis with the intent on forcing their interpretation of Islam on Muslims and a Caliphate to crown their achievements. Where else do you think Osama bin Laden, Saudi-raised, got his ideas?

As a moderate Muslim living amongst Muslims, Christians, and Jews, I am asking myself what have we, Muslims, brought forth to today's civilizations that would appeal to other religions and prompt them to imitate us or praise us? We have but TV beheadings and barbaric killings of innocent people in the name of our great religion. Are we then surprised to hear other religious people with followers all around the world ask us, through factual history, why we are so violent?

HOLY CRAP! This guy gets it!

The words of Pope Benedict should not be examined with scorn but with scrutiny. The respect that our Islam commands in the world today is diminishing because we have come to accept Wahhabi Jihad as normal behavior; this explains President Bush's message that abandoning us to ruthless dictatorships is breeding the divide all of us should fear.

If Pope Benedict infringed upon us with his words, it is because Wahhabism has infringed and continues to infringe upon his world with brutality. Unless moderate Muslims control their destiny, Islam is in danger and its lifespan in the Arab world mirrors the lifespan of oil in Saudi Arabia.

Stay tuned for more moderate mohammedans, kiddies.

Fyodor's Pro Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.

Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

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

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

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

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

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

Sunday 9/24

Carolina (-3) at Tampa Bay
A must-win for both teams. The Panthers have better players. Pick Carolina.
FINAL: Panthers 26 Buccaneers 24 - Fyodor loses! (Please pray for Chris Simms. His spleen was ruptured sometime during the game.)

Chicago (-3) at Minnesota
This could be the best game of the week. Even though they'll be on the road, in a dome, and playing on plastic, I'll take the Bears.
FINAL: Bears 19 Vikings 16 - PUSH!

Cincinnati (+2) at Pittsburgh
I'm picking the Steelers only because they are at home. I fear their running game is going to be a problem.
FINAL: Bengals 28 Steelers 20 - Fyodor loses! (Turnovers kill, kiddies...BTW, is that a whiff of championship complacency I smell?)

Green Bay (+6.5) at Detroit
The Crummy Game of the Week! Pick the Packers and the points.
FINAL: Packers 31 Lions 24 - Fyodor wins!

Jacksonville (+7) at Indianapolis
The Jaguars are a popular pick, and Indy can't run the ball, but I'll take the Colts to cover the 7.
FINAL: Colts 21 Jaguars 14 - PUSH!

New York Jets (+5.5) at Buffalo
I'll take the Jets and the points.
FINAL: Jets 28 Buffalo 20 - Fyodor wins!

Tennessee (+10.5) at Miami
Another crummy game. At least Miami has a QB who might do something right. Still, the spread is too big. (I'm thinking 9 to 6, Dolphins.) Take the Titans and the points.
FINAL: Dolphins 13 Titans 10 - Fyodor wins!

Washington (-4) at Houston
The Redskins must win this game. Thank goodness I don't have to put any money where my keyboard is. Pick Washington.
FINAL: Redskins 31 Texans 15 - Fyodor wins!

Baltimore (-6.5) at Cleveland
The Ravens continue to demonstrate their superiority over lousy opponents. Pick Baltimore.
FINAL: Ravens 15 Browns 14 - Fyodor loses! (Stupid Ravens. Stupid Browns.)

New York Giants (+3.5) at Seattle
Despite the officials' bias against them, the Seahawks will cover.
FINAL: Seahawks 42 Giants 30 - Fyodor wins! (The Giants are overrated. Big time.)

Philadelphia (-6) at San Francisco
Even the inconsistent Eagles should be able to handle the 49ers. Pick Philly.
FINAL: Eagles 38 49ers 17 - Fyodor wins!

St. Louis (+4.5) at Arizona
I hate picking either of these teams because nobody knows if either will play hard week to week. I'll take the Cardinals to cover at home.
FINAL: Rams 16 Cardinals 14 - Fyodor loses! (What'd I say?)

Denver (+6.5) at New England
This should be easy for the Patriots. Pick New England to cover.
FINAL: Broncos 17 Patriots 7 - Fyodor loses! (Wow. Tom Brady sure could use a couple of wide receivers...)

Monday 9/25

Atlanta (-3) at New Orleans
I want to pick the Saints on their return to the Superdome, but the Falcons can really run the ball. Atlanta will win by at least 10.
FINAL: Saints 23 Falcons 3 - Fyodor loses! (Should I go with the NFL fixing it so the Saints could win in the refurbished SuperDome or the Mike Vick is overrated thingee?)

Fyodor's College Football Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.

Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

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

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

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

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

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

Saturday 9/23

Wisconsin (+13.5) at Michigan
Any letdown for the Wolverines? Not enough for the Badgers to cover. Take Michigan.
FINAL: Michigan 27 Wisconsin 13 - Fyodor wins!

North Carolina (+16.5) at Clemson
Tarheels are ok, Tigers are good. Pick Clemson to barely cover.
FINAL: Clemson 52 UNC 7 - Fyodor wins! (Barely!)

Iowa (-20.5) at Illinois
Illinois stinks out loud, but +20.5 at home? Yep. Pick Iowa.
FINAL: Iowa 24 Illinois 7 - Fyodor loses! (Drat.)

Louisville (-14) at Kansas State
Who knew Louisville had a good backup QB? Take the Cardinals to win. Big time.
FINAL: Louisville 24 Kansas State 6 - Fyodor wins!

Minnesota (-3) at Purdue
Minnesota was supposed to be good according to the pre-season "experts". I'll go with them one more time. I'll pick the road favorite Gophers to beat the Boilermakers by 10.
FINAL: Purdue 27 Minnesota 21 - Fyodor loses!

Cincinnati (+27) at Virginia Tech
For a lark, I'll take the Bearcats and the points.
FINAL: Virginia Tech 29 Cincinnati 13 - Fyodor wins!

Colorado (+27) at Georgia
Colorado is bad, but Georgia is overrated and that number looks huge. Pick Colorado and the points.
FINAL: Georgia 14 Colorado 13 - Fyodor wins! (Sweet.)

Tulsa (+4.5) at Navy
I'll take the Midshipmen to cover at home.
FINAL: Tulsa 24 Navy 23 - Fyodor loses!

Buffalo (+41) at Auburn
I would never bet on a number this big, but it looks good. Take the Tigers to cover.
FINAL: Auburn 38 Buffalo 7 - Fyodor loses!

Arizona State (+8) at California
Another road dog? Not for me. I'll pick the Bears to cover at home.
FINAL: California 49 Arizona State 21 - Fyodor wins!

Rice (+30) at Florida State
The Seminoles aren't so good this year, but I have a hard and fast rule: Never bet on a grain. Take FSU.
FINAL: FSU 55 Rice 7 - Fyodor wins!

Penn State (+16.5) at Ohio State
For sentimental reasons, I'll pick PSU to keep it under the number. But I am not confident.
FINAL: OSU 28 PSU 6 - Fyodor loses! (The Buckeyes have some holes. Morelli is not ready for prime time.)

Iowa State (+25) at Texas
Texas will cover easily.
FINAL: Texas 37 Iowa State 14 - Fyodor loses! (Longhorns came up small. Very small.)

Central Michigan (-4.5) at Eastern Michigan
CMU has looked very good this year. Pick 'em to cover.
FINAL: CMU 24 EMU 17 - Fyodor wins! (I still hate the college overtime rule.)

Alabama (+1.5) at Arkansas
My gut says Razorbacks but the rest of me says go with the Crimson Tide. I'll take Alabama on the road.
FINAL: Arkansas 24 Alabama 23 - Fyodor wins! (Barely!)

Marshall (-22) at Tennessee
The Thundering Herd is no Air Force. Despite my distrust of Tennessee's heart, I'll take the Vols tocover the big number.
FINAL: Tennessee 33 Marshall 7 - Fyodor wins!

Troy (+23.5) at Nebraska
Troy has played tough against the big boys this year. This is my Upset Special of the Week. Take Troy and the points.
FINAL: Nebraska 49 Troy 0 - Fyodor wins! (It made sense at the time...)

Middle Tennessee State (+28.5) at Oklahoma
I have no idea how good MTSU is. Why am I picking the Sooners? Because there is no money involved.
FINAL: Oklahoma 59 MTSU 0 - Fyodor wins!

UCLA (-3) at Washington
Washington stinks. Pick the Bruins.
FINAL: Washington 29 UCLA 19 - Fyodor loses! (Remind me to never pick the Bruins again.)

Army (+11) at Baylor
I was impressed by Army's performance last week against Texas A&M. I'll take Army and the points.
FINAL: Army 27 Baylor 20 - Fyodor wins! (DOUBLE DIGIT ROAD DOG, MY EYE!)

Kentucky (+26.5) at Florida
The Crummy Game of the Week. Take the Gators to cover the big spread.
FINAL: Florida 26 Kentucky 7 - Fyodor loses! (That's why they call it gambling.)

Boston College (-7) at North Carolina State
Boston College plays their first complete game of the year. Take the road favorite to cover here.
FINAL: NC State 17 BC 15 - Fyodor loses! (This is a very bad loss for the Eagles.)

USC (-22.5) at Arizona
Trojans cover easily.
FINAL: USC 20 Arizona 3 - Fyodor loses! (USC can't compete for the mythical title playing like this.)

Tulane (+36) at Louisiana State
Wow. 36? On a hunch I'll take Tulane.
FINAL: LSU 49 Tulane 7 - Fyodor loses! (Stupid hunch.)

Notre Dame (-3) at Michigan State
I'll give the Irish another chance. Take Notre Dame.
FINAL: Notre Dame 40 Michigan State 37 - PUSH! (Charlie needs to recruit some defensive players.)

Sick Freak of the Day.

AP: Man gets home confinement for groping

A man accused of fondling home health care nurses while posing as a mentally retarded person who needed diapers changed has been sentenced to a year on home confinement.

William Mucklow, 40, of Charleston was sentenced Tuesday by Kanawha County Magistrate Warren McGinnis after pleading guilty to two counts of battery, a magistrate clerk said. Two fraud charges were dismissed.
Mucklow was also ordered to pay court costs and to pay one victim more than $400 in restitution.

Mucklow, posing as his mother, responded to ads for home health care workers and hired two nurses, telling them a man with the mind of a 2- or 3-year-old needed care, according to criminal complaints filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court in 2004.

Police said Mucklow then posed as a mentally retarded person.

The nurses, who worked separately in February and March of 2004, said Mucklow grabbed their breasts while they cared for him.


The rhetoric is heating up. There have been reports on overnight AM radio of partisans on both sides stockpiling arms and ammunition.

KVOA: Tucson scientist says Pluto should remain a planet
Now, a Tucson scientist is launching a worldwide Pluto protest.

Chimes: Stop whining about Pluto
So, Pluto's not a "planet" anymore. Was the designation really that important? Many played the emotional card. "Don't take Pluto away from us," or something like that. Well, I promise, it's still out there. It is simply no longer considered the equal of the other eight planets.

Religion and Politics of Peace and Reality Update.

AP: Palestinian PM won't recognize Israel

GAZA CITY - Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said Friday he will not head a government that recognizes Israel, striking a potential blow to President Mahmoud Abbas' attempts to create a national unity government.

Haniyeh spoke a day after Abbas indicated at the United Nations that a coalition government of Hamas and Abbas movement would recognize the Jewish state.

"I personally will not head any government that recognizes Israel," Haniyeh said in a mosque sermon in Gaza City, laying out his group's position in coalition talks with Abbas.

However, Haniyeh said Hamas is ready to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem — areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast War — and to honor a long-term truce with Israel.

"We support establishing a Palestinian state in the land of 1967 at this stage, but in return for a cease-fire, not recognition," Haniyeh said.

11th Annual Pilgrimage for Restoration: September 27 - September 30 in Auriesville, NY

The Eleventh Annual Pilgrimage for Restoration, brought to you by the Company of St. René Goupil with the National Coalition of Clergy and Laity is less than a week away!

Whether you can join the Pilgrimage for all four days or just on Saturday, it is well worth the effort.

This year's theme is Restoring True Devotion to Mary, Mother of Divine Love.

If you can make it to Auriesville, NY from Wednesday September 27 to Saturday September 30, please come and join other concerned Catholics in pilgrimage and prayer for the sake of His Church.

Food For The Poor

Food For The Poor, Inc.

Food For The Poor (FFP) ministers to spiritually renew impoverished people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Established in 1982 as a 501(c)(3)corporation, our goals are to improve the health, economic, social and spiritual conditions of the men, women and children we serve.

Food For The Poor raises funds and provides direct relief assistance to the poor, usually by purchasing specifically requested materials and distributing them through the churches and charity organizations already operating in areas of need. In this way, the organization serves the poor with dignity and ensures the most appropriate use of donors' funds.

Since its founding in 1982, Food For The Poor (FFP), a Christian international aid organization, distributed more than $2.3 billion in food, medical, educational, building and small business supplies to 16 countries in the Caribbean and Central America. The organization maintains an average administrative overhead of 4 percent -- ensuring the poor receive 96 percent of all donations.

Food For The Poor follows the principle that education and self-help must fortify charity work so recipients learn to break the cycle of poverty. FFP supports programs to teach recipients how to raise livestock, develop small businesses and provides agricultural assistance to independent farmers.


Featured Projects

Gift Catalog
On special occasions, give friends and loved ones something that will be cherished and touch their hearts.

You can save a life
For about the price of a cup of coffee, you can feed a child for a month.

Read More
Donate Now

Haiti Housing
Your gift for housing will not only help build homes, it will provide much-needed jobs.

Read More
Donate Now

General Fund
Use my donation where it is most needed.

Monthly Giving Clubs

Angels Of Hope
For about a dollar a day, you can help support a child in our Angels Of Hope program.

Read More
Sponsor A Child

Angels Of The Poor
Express your ongoing concern for the most disadvantaged of Gods children.

Read More
Join Now

In Memorium / In Honor Of

Tribute Gifts
Make a financial gift in honor of a loved one.

Bethany Village
Sponsor a home for a poor family in honor of someone special.

Read More
Sponsor A Home

Donate By Mail

Print the form and mail the donation to:

Food For The Poor
550 SW 12th Avenue, Dept. 9662
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442

Those folks on the Gulf Coast are our neighbors. You know what to do.

Does everyone now see the futility of government action?

No, of course not.

After more than a year of vote-buying and blame-assignment, at least $110 billion US taxpayer dollars (We have got off light - so far. See below.) have been spent and the region is still a mess. That is no surprise to TheChurchMilitant.

People are the most important resource in the world, and not only cannot government EVER meet the needs of ANYONE, ANYWHERE, at ANYTIME its actions are ALWAYS destructive and corrupting.

For the past year I have given you an opportunity to TRULY help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have suffered from the effects of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita through Catholic Charities USA. While not perfect (What endeavor of man is?) Catholic Charities USA is infinitely better than the vile slavery offered to the poor and forgotten by our moral and intellectual superiors.

I would like to request another prayer from you, Gentle Reader, as the second year of recovery continues. Please pray to Almighty God that all men may throw off the shackles of ignorance and servitude that demean them and stifle their immortal souls.

First, last, and always, PRAY. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the repose of the souls of those who were killed. Pray for the families and friends. Pray for the relief workers, the cops, the firemen, the troops, and the technicians. Pray for the volunteers.

It is time to step up once again, kiddies. "Do unto others", "I was naked and you clothed me", et cetera.

As time passes, the memory of these disasters will fade for those of us fortunate enough to live outside the devastated areas, but recovery and restoration will take years.

Please, whatever you do, don't become a cynic. (I know, I know. But I just play one on the computer.) Of course there will be more horror stories like the abuse of the debit cards and that $250-odd billion federal package will produce insane amounts of corruption, but our fellow Americans will be suffering from Katrina for a long time.

True charity, (News Flash! Taxes ARE NOT charity.) like the money you donate to Catholic Charities will help the truly needy and will not foster dependency.

Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to Catholic Charities agencies’ emergency and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Mail Checks To:
Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

Call: (800) 919-9338

Contribute Now Online

FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief

Agencies Impacted:
Catholic Charities of Miami
Catholic Charities of New Orleans
Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge
Catholic Social Services of Houma-Thibodaux
Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi, MS
Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS
Catholic Social Services of Mobile, AL

How you can help:
Unfortunately, Catholic Charities USA is unable to accept contributions of food, clothing, blankets and other relief supplies. Monetary donations will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's and Rita's victims. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country.
Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

About the Disaster Response Office
Catholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church's social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.

And, as always, give generously to the special collections for hurricance disaster relief in your local parish.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Digna and St. Emerita, Roman martyrs who died while praying before their judges. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
1 Corinthians 15:12-20.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 17:1, 6-7, 8, 15.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 8:1-3.

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
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.

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.

Prayer Before The Crucifix

Behold, O kind and gentle Jesus, I kneel before Thee and pray that Thou would impress upon my heart the virtues of faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a firm purpose of amendment. At the same time, with sorrow I meditate on Thy five precious wounds, having in mind the words which David spoke in prophecy: "They have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones."

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Yeah, it's a conspiracy, ladies.


The Charlotte Observer: Study: Bias hinders female scientists


Roto-Reuters: Ted Turner says Power To The Women


One way to reduce such dangers in the world would be to leave women in charge, said the former husband of Jane Fonda.

Oh, Old Green Teeth. I remember now.

"Men should be barred from public office for 100 years in every part of the world. ... It would be a much kinder, gentler, more intelligently run world. The men have had millions of years where we've been running things.

We've screwed it up hopelessly. Let's give it to the women."

Gratuitous Sombrero de la Hoja de la Lata Photo of the Day.

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Hugo 'A Go-Go' Chavez Clinches Democrass Nod; Pelosi Aims for Veep With 'Balanced Ticket' Gambit

The Party of Blasphemy, (his mocking Sign of the Cross got the most laughs) Buggery, and 'Bortion today proclaimed Hugo Chavez as its 2008 presidential nominee by acclamation after he delivered the greatest speech in the history of the world. The clincher? He actually quoted Noam "Chimps Ski" Chomsky, noted self- (and other) hating Jew.

Al Goatrapezeera gleefully provides a transcript.

Meanwhile, in a risky political move, Speaker-For-Life Nancybelle Pelosi swerved radically to the right (known as "pulling a Schicklgruber" in certain high-rent districts) in an attempt to position herself as the best hope of making the Democrass ticket "look like America".

Roto-Reuters: Leading Bush critic at home calls Chavez a "thug"

One of President George W. Bush's fiercest political opponents at home took his side on Thursday, calling Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez a "thug" for his remark that Bush is like the devil.

Actually, he said ol' Georgie was the devil. Nice try, Roto-Reuters.

Meanwhile, the candidate begins wooing Blue-ball state voters, misfits, cranks, and the portadores del sombrero de la hoja de la lata:

Hamilton Spectator: Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez gets standing ovation at New York college

After a UN speech in which he called US President Bush "Satan," Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation with another anti-Bush speech at a New York college.

The South American leader spoke at Cooper Union last night before a packed audience including professors and union organizers.

I wonder if any of those union "organizers" asked ol' A Go-Go how free the unions in his country are?

Chavez proclaimed himself "a friend" of the people of the United States, but said he hopes next time, they'll choose, in his words, an "intelligent president."

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is HugeEgo Chavez, Super Genius.

He got the standing ovation for comments accusing Bush of committing genocide in Iraq.

Chavez compared the Bush administration's actions to those of the Nazis and said the U-S president should be brought before an international tribunal.

Ooooooooooooooh! A devilish nazi! That's the worst kind.

Steelers Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

VOTE: Steelers quest needs slogan

Big Ben: 'I don’t hate anybody'

Polamalu hampered by shoulder injury

Steelers look to regroup quickly for Bengals

Cowher antics stoke rivalry

Bengals try to turn Cowher's cheer into rallying point

Notebook: Plenty of subplots for Sunday

Bengals have waited eight months for this game

Porter's pit bulls kill miniature horse

Too much motorcycle a fast track to trouble

Missing gnome at Steelers opener

Eighteen views of the dazzling Gong Li.

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:

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Frank and Ernest Meet Political Reality.

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Meanwhile, back in Central Europe...

Washington's other newspaper: Protest in Hungary Draws 15,000

BUDAPEST - Thousands of Hungarians surrounded the parliament building here for the third straight night to demand the ouster of the country's prime minister after he admitted to lying "morning, noon and night" to win reelection in April.

That sure sounds like a politician in a democracy. Don't worry, Hungary. You'll get used to it.

In what he thought was a private meeting, Ferenc Gyurcsany said in May that he had won reelection only by duping voters about how badly his party had run the country. "We have screwed up," he said. "Not a little, but a lot. No country in Europe has screwed up as much as we have. . . . It was perfectly clear that what we were saying was not true."

On Sunday, someone leaked to Radio Hungary and other media a tape recording of the socialist prime minister's confession. The immediate result: round-the-clock protests demanding Gyurcsany's removal. On Monday night, rioters temporarily took over the state television station. Over the next day or so, 150 police officers were injured.

Heck, at least he admits he's a socialist. The Hungarians are years ahead of us on that score.

World War II continues to wind to a close.

Sun Sentinel: Siblings separated by the Shoah reunited after 65 years
Hilda Shlick thought she lost nearly all her family in the Holocaust -- until her Internet-savvy grandsons located her 81-year-old brother in Canada.

"After 65 years, I have found the sister who I love," Simon Glasberg said Monday in heavily accented English, his eyes filling with tears. "I can't stop kissing her."

Using the database of Holocaust victims at Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, two of Shlick's grandchildren, Benny and David, began unearthing a mystery spanning six decades and three continents.

While improved technology in recent years has made the task of tracking Holocaust survivors easier, fewer and fewer survivors remain as each year passes.

Scanning the database, the grandsons, both in their 20s, discovered an entry erroneously stating their grandmother had perished half a century earlier. That entry led them to other surviving relatives, who eventually brought about the siblings' emotional reunion Friday.

When Glasberg, who lives near Ottawa, Canada, saw his gray-haired little sister for the first time, he recognized her immediately, he said.

"I felt I couldn't talk. I just cried," he said. "You don't understand, 65 years ..." His voice trailed off.

Shlick, 75, said she too was overwhelmed by the discovery.

"For 65 years, I lived thinking I had no family besides one sister," she said.

Since Friday's reunion, the family bond has clearly been re-established, with the two elderly siblings playfully joking and reminiscing in a hearty mixture of Russian and Yiddish. Their large families have quickly become close.

The last time the two saw each other was in 1941, when the Glasberg family of Chernowitz, Romania, was separated after the Nazis invaded.

Hilda, then 10, escaped to Uzbekistan with her older sister Bertha. The rest of the family -- parents Henia and Benzion, and brothers Simon, Mark, Karol and Eddie -- stayed in Romania, finding refuge in a basement. The fate of one sister, Pepi, remains unknown. She disappeared and is presumed to have been killed by the Nazis.

Glasberg, his brothers and parents emigrated to Canada after the war ended. Shlick and her sister moved to Estonia, where Bertha died in 1970.

In 1998, Shlick immigrated to Israel. During a family conversation this summer, her grandsons learned her maiden name was Glasberg, and they began to investigate her past.

They logged onto the Yad Vashem Web site and found a page of testimony submitted in 1999 by her brother Karol, of Montreal, who wrote about his sister Hilda, who "perished in the Shoah."

Karol died that same year, but further searches through the Web site of the Montreal Burial Society and online forums of survivors of Chernowitz, Shlick's grandsons were able to track down his son, who filled in the picture of what happened to the divided family.

Shlick's parents died in the 1980s in Montreal, living well into their 90s, as did her brother Eddie, who died in 2004.

Mark Glasberg lives in Ottawa, but was too ill to travel to Israel to meet his sister. His son Irving, however, lives in Israel, just half an hour away from his missing relatives.

The new extended family will share the Jewish New Year together this weekend, catching up on a half-century of history.

Shlick said she plans to travel to Canada soon to see her other relatives and visit the graves of the parents she lost as a child.

Yad Vashem director Avner Shalev said the story should encourage Jews from around the world to check the database for their relatives' names and to submit pages of testimony for those who have been lost.

The database contains some 3 million names of Holocaust victims and has been visited by 10 million people since it went online in 2004.

Yad Vashem spokeswoman Estee Yaari said this was only the second known case of living siblings discovering each other through the database. Last June, two sisters who had survived the Holocaust and moved separately to Israel were reunited after 61 years.

Glasberg, though thrilled to find his sister, said the reunion was bittersweet because of all the years the family was divided.

"My poor parents, they always said, 'We wish we would find all our kids'" he said. "It is such a tragedy, but now I am so happy."

May God have mercy on all souls.

But where's the 800 pound gorilla?

...or is its absence meant to symbolize ambiguity?

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BBC: Banksy's elephant provokes anger

An exhibition by headline-grabbing UK artist Banksy has been criticised for including a live painted elephant.

The animal, called Tai, was covered in pink and gold paint and placed in a mocked-up house to represent how world poverty is widely ignored.

Officials from the Los Angeles Animal Services Department told the Associated Press they would never again issue permits for such a "frivolous" purpose.

The elephant's owner said the dye was non-toxic and welfare was paramount.

Ed Boks, head of Animal Services in Los Angeles, said: "I think it sends a very wrong message that abusing animals is not only OK, it's an art form.

"We find it no longer acceptable to dye baby chicks at Easter, but it's OK to dye an elephant."

Mr Boks said he tried to withdraw permits for the elephant on grounds of public safety last Friday, but found the three-day exhibition would be over before they took effect.

"Permits will not be issued for such frivolous abuse of animals in the future," he said.

Frivolous? He's an artiste making a point about something or other, you philistine!

Tai's owner, Kari Johnson, denied that the 38-year-old Indian elephant had suffered as a result of the paint job.

She said: "Tai has done many, many movies. She's used to make-up."

The British graffiti artist's Barely Legal exhibition, which took place in a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles, finished on Sunday.

The artist was not available to discuss the California show, which focused on global poverty and injustice.

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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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