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Third World problems...we've got them.

It is going to get worse and it may never get better, kiddies. Just watch for the reaction to come... GOP Rep. Steve Scalise shot at co...

"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, December 01, 2006

Pitt Panthers Hoops Update.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Sub-par shooting won't deter Panthers
Pitt, which entered the week ranked first in the Big East in 3-point shooting percentage, had its worst outside shooting game of the season in Wednesday's 67-53 victory over Robert Morris.

Panthers passed over for No. 1 ranking

Prisuta: Much ado about No. 2

Pitt No. 2, Howland's UCLA No. 1 in AP Top 25

Pitt contends for first No. 1 ranking

Pitt's dish network

Meanwhile, back in the Holy Land...

From Israelinsider:

High Court: No commission into botched war in Lebanon
The High Court of Justice voted on Thursday to reject petitions calling for the formation of a State- commissioned inquiry into the conduct of the political and military echelons during the second war in Lebanon. The decision against the inquiry hinged on a one-vote majority. Top members of the government, particularly Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, have been strongly resisting the formation of such an inquiry.

Memo To My Jewish Brothers and Sisters: Ignore the prods, but pray for their immortal souls. (See the next two articles.)

Review: Leave 'Left Behind' behind
New Christian-themed computer game encourages players to help nonbelievers 'see the light': the Jews are meant to pay a heavy price for "disbelief."

The End Times: what I don't believe
by Stan Goodenough
Leading evangelists claim that Christians will be partying it up in heaven with "their" Lord while His Jewish people will be going through hell on earth.

Please learn to differentiate between Catholics and protestants. It will prevent many misunderstandings.

The Betrayal of Israel is on the Table
by Howard Galganov
What's the price Condi Rice is willing to pay to get what she wants and believes America needs? Somebody in Israel better be asking the same question.


Was Lebanon another oil war?
by Joel Bainerman
A Canadian professor contends that the recent war in Lebanon had more to do with oil pipelines than with kidnapped soldiers or katyushas.

If she blows herself up is she equal?
by Margaret Weiss
In Palestinian society, women are inherently unequal to men. Claims that female suicide bombers demonstrate equality are absurd.

Sorry, Jews. You Must Die.
by Emanuel A. Winston
Somehow, not by accident, the most productive race on this planet has been categorized as evil and destined for elimination.

Strong enough to act weak?
by Ted Belman
If we restrain our army rather than drive our advantage home, we are weak and make our enemies strong.

Where Will the Israeli Left Leave Israel?
by Frimet Roth
What can the future hold for us now that our pundits and leaders have adopted the extreme Left's moral compass? What will become of us?

Use terror, lose territory
by Reuven Koret
Israel's enemies must be made to learn again the lessons of 1948, 1967, 1973, and 1982: that there is something to lose by committing acts of aggression.

DAY 100: PLUTO HELD HOSTAGE

The Pope versus The World.

Memo To Rick Warren, et al: This is how it is done.

From OpinionJournal:

Western Civ 101: Pope Benedict's seminar on fundamentals.
by Daniel Henninger

It is somehow appropriate that amid the confusions of the U.S. involvement with the sectarians of Iraq, Pope Benedict XVI, fresh from his own "engagement" with contemporary Islam at Regensburg, should come to Turkey, which has sought membership in the European Union for 20 years. The theologian Michael Novak said recently of Benedict, "His role is to represent Western civilization." I'd say Benedict is more than up to the task. What remains to discover is whether Western civilization is still up to it.

We have been in this spot before, and won.

When Stalin famously asked how many divisions the pope had, he assumed that the brute force of military power would be everywhere decisive. That belief led to a four-decade standoff between the Soviets' tank armies and NATO. Finally in the 1980s, John Paul II, the Polish pope, gave intellectual hope and heft to anticommunist dissidents. Ronald Reagan and his allies prevailed over Europe's marching pacifists and installed Pershing missile batteries in Europe. By decade's end, the long Cold War with communism was dissipating. The pope's engagement mattered.

One may assume that in some Himalayan redoubt, history's latest homicidal utopians, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, believe that coupling their ideology to Islamic suicide bombers--in New York, London or Baghdad--is more than a match for the will of a morally diminished West. Are they wrong?

Benedict XVI has written with force about a morally diminished Europe. So like his predecessor, this pope decided to engage in the greatest military and intellectual battle of our age.

We all know how a few months ago at the University of Regensburg, Benedict made himself a central player in the post-9/11 era by quoting the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus. Not much noted at the time was Benedict's second quotation from Manuel II: "God is not pleased by blood, and not acting reasonably [emphasis added] is contrary to God's nature." Benedict's lecture at Regensburg mentioned "reason" and "rationality" repeatedly. He went so far as to claim that the "rapprochement" between Biblical faith and Greek philosophical inquiry (reason) was "of decisive importance" for world history. "This convergence," said Benedict, "created Europe and remains the foundation of what can rightly be called Europe."

Very simply, he is talking about and defending what we call "the West"--both the place and the classically liberal idea, which radical Islam wants to blow up. Just as John Paul championed the jailed or hiding dissidents behind the Iron Curtain, Benedict is seeking similar protections for persecuted Christian minorities--indeed all minorities--across the Islamic world. Starting in Turkey.

Arriving in Ankara, the pope immediately raised two ideas from the wellsprings of the West. He said on his first day that a just society requires freedom of religion and on behalf of Turkey's tiny Catholic community, he raised the issue of property rights.

One might say the pope's counteroffensive--in the Islamic world and in the West--is overdue. One might also say his chances of winning are a long shot. Benedict's appeals to Europe to rediscover strength inside its religious tradition comes at a difficult moment. He admitted as much in a book-length interview 10 years ago ("Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium"). It is Islamic belief, Cardinal Ratzinger said, that "the Western countries are no longer capable of preaching a message of morality, but have only know-how to offer the world. The Christian religion has abdicated."

Militant Islam is on the march, literally, with enormous moral self-confidence. By contrast the West, as Wilfred M. McClay, an historian at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, aptly described it recently, is in "an era of post-modern moral insouciance." With others, Benedict argues that this moral insouciance is the West's greatest vulnerability. This, too, ought to be part of "homeland security."

Every nation in Europe has a birth rate below replacement, opting for material well-being over the (relative) sacrifice of raising two or more children. (Of all industrialized nations, only the U.S. birth rate exceeds replacement.) Against this trend, Benedict has thrown what he's got: the traditional Western notion of finding strength in the union of reason and religious faith.

It has become a hard sell. If the Vatican opposes abortion or stem-cell research, the West's intellectual elites deem it unfit to participate in any imaginable public forum. In the U.S., Christian evangelicals are feared by many as a threat equal to Islamic extremists, and unfit to participate in our politics. The hottest "religion" subject in the West now is atheism in the person of Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," who, Time magazine wrote this month, is "riding the crest of an atheist literary wave." Our obsessions seem to be off-subject.

I think the pope is right that the West is engaged in a decisive intellectual competition with the ideas of radical Islam. This won't end with the battle for Baghdad. Will scientific agnosticism defend the West against militant Islam? With what? In Europe, its intellectuals can barely mount an argued defense against internal threats. Externally, as in Afghanistan, they won't even fight.
Benedict XVI's evident intention is to engage the Islamic world, particularly its religious and political leaders, in an intense and long discussion of the religious, political and legal rights of their resident minorities, in other words, the Western tradition. The implications of this effort are obvious for achieving an acceptable modus vivendi with global Islam.

How many divisions does this pope have? Good question. At the moment, I'd say, not as many as the last time.

Sad, but true.

It is not the porn or the gambling.

This is the answer to the question "Why the internet?"

BLOGGERS CHALLENGE CENSORS

From Spiegel International:
"Authoritarian states like China, Iran and Egypt are having trouble dealing with the burgeoning number of critical online diaries. These blogs, which multiply by the second, expose news about incidents that many regimes would prefer to keep hushed up. In many countries, blogs are giving people their first real taste of democracy." Click here
(Thanks to Laura Ingraham for the heads up.)

It is not anti-Christmas. Or even anti-Christian. It is antichrist.

Santa Claus Deemed Too 'Religious' for School Fundraiser
(CNSNews.com) - A Christmas-themed event to raise money at a public elementary school in Warwick, N.Y., has been altered to accommodate a parent's complaints that the program would illegally spotlight a "religious" figure -- Santa Claus. Full Story

Washington's other newspaper: Church Is Denied Waiver of Noise Restriction
Fairfax County officials have issued a ringing non-endorsement of the bells at St. John Neumann's in Reston, ruling that they must toll within the limits of the county's noise ordinance or not at all.

Religion of Peace and Love and Provocation Update.

One of the latest group of mohammedan provocateurs ("Why not? At the very least we can get a splashy lawsuit or two out of it.") says his hands have recently been cleaned.

Washington Times: Imam Disputes Tie to Hamas

Omar Shahin, one of six imams removed from a flight last week, says he has traveled the country since the September 11 attacks to promote understanding of the Muslim religion, but he once worked for a group linked to terrorist financing. He insists that the terrorists who leveled the World Trade Center were not Muslims.

Mr. Shahin says he cut ties to KindHearts after the Treasury Department began investigating the group, that "true Muslims" do not murder and were not responsible for the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

"If they claim they are Muslim, they are wrong," Mr. Shahin said yesterday in a telephone interview. "Despite what religion they claim, even if they are all Arabs, to say they are Muslims is wrong, completely wrong.

"We have been asked by God and by the prophet Muhammad to respect all human life. The Koran is very clear, to save one life he saves all human life, and whoever kills one person, he kills all humankind, and that is what Islam is all about."

Mr. Shahin was a representative and fundraiser for KindHearts, which the Treasury Department says "coordinated with Hamas leaders and made contributions to Hamas-affiliated organizations," in a Feb. 19 statement after freezing the groups' assets.

KindHearts was established by Khaled Smaili, an official with the Global Relief Foundation, after the government froze the al Qaeda-affiliated foundation's assets, according to the Treasury Department.

"When they shut down, I had no clue what they were doing," Mr. Shahin said. "I made sure they are licensed as an American organization with the federal government and states, and that's all I did, I was just a fundraiser and representative.

"I stopped and have no relations with anyone, anymore, because they are under investigation."

Mr. Shahin said that KindHearts donated money, through his efforts, to the tsunami victims in Southeast Asia, to Southerners hit by Hurricane Katrina, and to the Red Cross in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Mr. Shahin lives in Phoenix and is the president of the North American Imam Federation, which serves the spiritual and tangible needs of Muslim scholars, helps them improve their relationship with the community, and encourages Muslims to observe the Islamic acts of worship.

He has a doctorate in Islamic law and is a professor at the Graduate Theological Foundation. He also received degrees in Islamic study from universities in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, and holds a diploma in Koranic recitation from the University of Jordan.

He is a native of Jordan and is a naturalized American citizen.

Religion of Peace and Love and 'Hit my cellie' Update.

From A Tangled Web blog:

KORANIC RING-TONES SILENCED...

Did you read that Muslim clerics at a leading seminary in India have asked people to refrain from using verses from the Koran as ringtones for their mobile phones, saying the practice was un-Islamic!

Koran verses "are not meant for entertainment," said Mohammed Asumin Qazmi, an official at the Dar-ul Uloom seminary in the northern Indian town of Deoband. "Anyone who persists in using these should be ostracized from society." With Koran verses or calls to prayers are popular among Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, India's largest state.

As Michelle Malkin pointedly asks, Muslim clerics vocal annoyance at the use of ringtones contrasts with their silence over those co-religionists who use cell phones to commit acts of terror.

Exactly! I would expect nothing less from Michelle.

Even though I think all phones should be set to vibrate in public, I would be less upset if I heard the 23rd Psalm (Maybe read by James Earl Jones?) in a restaurant...

An excellent example of the difference between Catholicism and the rest.

I'm going to let you figure this one out for yourselves, kiddies. If I get any particularly ignorant comments on this one, I will be sure to let them them through the Reality Gate.

Fightingnews.com: Boxing betting not a sin!
Saturday, November 18 2006
By Karl Freitag


There is nothing immoral about betting on big boxing matches like tonight's Manny Pacquiao-Erik Morales clash says prominent Catholic Bishop Deogracias Iniguez Jr., of the Caloocan diocese in the Philippines.

Bishop Iniguez told the Philippine Star "Gambling can be a legitimate form of entertainment so there's nothing wrong with betting on this fight."

The prelate also said it's not a sin if Filipino fight fans bet on Morales.

Religion of Peace and Love and the Rule of Law Update.

From the goat rapists who have generously given their own people ignorance, mutilation, fear, and third-class status for women comes the sort of "law" the civilized world abandoned several centuries ago!

Hidustan Times: Sharia law often used to settle disputes in Britain
The Islamic sharia law derived from the Koran is being used in parts of Britain as an alternative to English criminal law as migrants and citizens with roots in Islamic countries feel more bound by the traditional law.

Middle East Times: Sharia banking, ancient or modern?
Jakarta - The editorial in the July copy of the magazine published by the British Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, Up.Date, expressed concern that the increasingly widespread adoption of Sharia law in Indonesia might represent a backward step and could be perceived in its worst case as a regression toward medieval barbarianism.

ANI: Sharia gaining ground in the UK
London - The BBC Radio 4 programme titled 'Law in Action' has suggested that British Muslims are exhibiting a preference for referring their disputes to Sharia laws as an alternative to English criminal law to get justice. According to the Daily Mail, the sharia is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain because it is derived from several sources...

Fyodor's Headlinks.

Stories that have absolutely nothing in common...or do they?

Christian Science Monitor: Witchcraft, fear cast Congo children into streets

Roto-Reuters: Preteen daters more likely to become smokers - study

Religion of Peace and Love and Democracy Update.

The goat rapists have been emboldened by the weakness of the West. We continue to reap what we sow.

AP: Hezbollah, allies protest in Beirut
Beirut - Thousands of protesters from Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian opposition allies descended on downtown Beirut Friday to force the resignation of Lebanon's Western-backed prime minister, who was holed up in his office ringed by hundreds of police and combat troops.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Eligius, a metalsmith, philanthropist, emissary, priest, bishop, and missionary. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
Apocalypse 20:1-4, 11; 21:2.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 21: 29-33.


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.


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.


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."


Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.
May the Heart of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament
Be praised, adored and loved
With grateful affection at every moment
In all the tabernacles of the world
Even to the end of time. Amen.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

DAY 99: PLUTO HELD HOSTAGE

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.

Wish me luck, I'm going Costanza this week, kiddies. It cannot get much worse.

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


Thursday 11/30


Baltimore (+3) at Cincinnati
The Ravens can't keep playing this well and the Bengals really need the win. Obviously, I should pick Cincy. The Opposite? Take the Ravens and the points. (Nota bene: Even if your cable system carries the NFL Network, you might not see this game because The League charges the cable companies even more to carry the games themselves.)
FINAL: Bengals 13 Ravens 7 - Fyodor loses! (That's not a good start to the weekend...)


Sunday 12/3


Arizona (+6.5) at St. Louis
I hate NFC West matchups, the Rams are at home, and Denny Green is checking the Yellow Pages for realtors. Obviously, I should pick the Cardinals. The Opposite? I love this game! Pick St. Louis to cover at home.
FINALS: Cardinals 34 Rams 20 - Fyodor loses! (I hate the NFC West.)


Atlanta (+1) at Washington
The Falcons are on a hideous losing streak and their receivers can't catch the ball even when Vick manages to hit them with it. The Redskins are coming off a well fought game. Obviously, I should pick Washington. The Opposite? Take Atlanta, the road dog.
FINAL: Falcons 24 Redskins 14 - Fyodor wins! (Yippee!)


Detroit (+13.5) at New England
The Patriots are at home and showed some guts last week. The Lions are a joke and may be worse than the Raiders. Obviously, I should pick New England. The Opposite? Take the Lions and the points.
FINAL: Patriots 28 Lions 21 - Fyodor wins!


Indianapolis (-7.5) at Tennessee
The Titans are tough at home, and look like a team on the rise. The Colts have Peyton Manning. Obviously, I should pick the Colts. The Opposite? Take the home dog, Tennessee.
FINAL: Titans 20 Colts 17 - Fyodor wins!


Kansas City (-5) at Cleveland
Romeo may be in over his head and the Browns may be worse than the Raiders. Obviously, I should pick the Chiefs. The Opposite? Pick Cleveland and the points at home.
FINAL: Browns 31 Chiefs 28 - Fyodor wins! (The opposite, baby!)


Minnesota (+9) at Chicago
The Bears have overcome Rex Grossman before and they can do it again. The Vikings play in a dome at home and haven't impressed anyone lately. Obviously, I should pick Chicago. The Opposite? Gotta go with the road dog here. Pick Minnesota.
FINAL: Bears 23 Vikings 13 - Fyodor loses! (Uh...)


NY Jets (-1) at Green Bay
The Packers are pathetic and the guy who replaced Favre is an interception machine. Meanwhile, the Jets are fighting for their playoff lives. Obviously, I should pick the Jets. The Opposite? Pick the Pack and the point.
FINAL: Jets 38 Packers 10 - Fyodor loses! (...oh...)


San Diego (-6) at Buffalo
The Chargers are hot, hot, hot and due for a bad game. Plus, they are on the road and the weather in Buffalo could be bad. Obviously, I should pick the Bills and the points. The Opposite? Take San Diego on the road.
FINAL: Chargers 24 Buffalo 21 - Fyodor loses! (Ack!)


San Francisco (+7) at New Orleans
The 49ers are getting better, but they won't be able to handle New Orleans' explosive offense, especially on the road. Obviously, I should pick New Orleans. The Opposite? I'll go with yet another road dog, San Francisco.
FINAL: Saints 34 49ers 10 -Fyodor loses! (Stupid opposite picks!)


Jacksonville (+1) at Miami
This is a no-brainer! The Jaguars stink out loud and Joey Harrington has learned how to move the Dolphins. Obviously, I should pick Miami. The Opposite? Take Jacksonville.
FINAL: Jaguars 24 Dolphins 10 - Fyodor wins! (Hmmm...)


Houston (+3) at Oakland
The Raiders are a proud franchise with a rich history and the sheer guts necessary to overcome all the front office squabbling and backstabbing. The Texans have exceeded their win quota for the year. Obviously, I should pick Oakland. The Opposite? Take the Texans and the points.
FINAL: Texans 24 Raiders 14 - Fyodor wins!


Dallas (-3.5) at the Giants
The Giants have deen decimated by injuries and talk about a team in turmoil! The Cowboys are back and their QB might be dating Jessica Simpson. Obviously, I should pick Dallas. The Opposite? Take the Giants, with the points, at the Meadowlands.
FINAL: Cowboys 23 Giants 20 - Fyodor wins! (The hook!)


Tampa Bay (+7) at Pittsburgh
The Steelers have nothing to play for now, except higher draft picks. The Bucs stink out loud. Obviously, as a Steeler fan, I should pick Tampa so my team can get a cover corner next year. The Opposite? Take the Steelers to cover.
FINAL: Steelers 20 Buccaneers 3 - Fyodor wins! (Wait a minute...there might be something to this opposite pick thingee after all...)


Seattle (+3.5) at Denver
Matt and Shaun are back for The Greatest Team Never To Win A Superbowl and the Broncos are starting Jay Cutler at QB. Obviously, I should pick Seattle. The Opposite? Go with Denver to cover at home.
FINAL: Seahawks 23 Broncos 20 - Fyodor loses! (...Nope. What was I thinking?)

Monday 12/4


Carolina (-3) at Philadelphia
What? Only 3? Without McNabb, the Eagles can barely find their way out of the lockerroom. Obviously, I should pick Carolina. The Opposite? Take the Eagles. (Wow. This opposite thing is really scary.)
FINAL: Eagles 27 Panthers 24 - Fyodor wins! (Wow. This opposite thing is really scary.)

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.


This post concludes another spectacular season of college football picks for Your Humble Servant. Sadly, I could not find any point spreads for Slippery Rock's games this year, once again disappointing my friends in Texas. (You probably have to be a Longhorn fan to get that one, kiddies.)

I do not pick bowl games because they are all meaningless exhibitions.

DEATH TO THE BCS!

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


Thursday 11/30


MAC Championship at Ford Field, Detroit

Ohio University (+3) versus Central Michigan
The Bobcats are going to their first bowl game in eons whether they win or lose. I'll take CMU to cover one more time.
FINAL: Central Michigan 31 Ohio 10 - Fyodor wins!

Saturday 12/2


Connecticut (+27) at Louisville
Give me UConn and the points.
FINAL: Louisville 48 UConn 17 - Fyodor loses!


ACC Championship at ALLTEL Stadium, Jacksonville

Wake Forest (+2.5) versus Georgia Tech
I want to believe in Cinderella. Besides, the Yellow Jackets are not very good. I'll take Wake.
FINAL: Wake Forest 9 Georgia Tech 6 - Fyodor wins!

Army (+20.5) versus Navy
at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia
Again, this is the only game that really matters. I'll take Army and the points in this, the greatest rivalry of all.
FINAL: Navy 26 Army 14 - Fyodor wins! (Bobby Ross will make the Army program a winner.)

Stanford (+29) at California
Just for laughs, I'll take the Fightin' SATs (Heck, it's better than a color.) and the points over Cal.
FINAL: Cal 26 Stanford 17 - Fyodor wins!


Air Force (+17) at TCU
I have been screwing up Air Force games all season long. That's why I'll take the Horned Frogs (Sweet.) to cover.
FINAL: TCU 38 Air Force 14 - Fyodor wins!


USC (-13.5) "at" UCLA
The Trojans take care of business. They'll cover.
FINAL: UCLA 13 USC 9 - Fyodor loses! (Wow. Congrats to the Bruins for an inspired win. BTW, kiddies, this is why they call it gambling.)


SEC Championship at the Georgia Dome, Atlanta

Arkansas (+3) versus Florida
1) Florida has no offense. 2) I get 3 points! Take the Razorbacks.
FINAL: Florida 38 Arkansas 28 -Fyodor loses! (Did the Gators find enough O to beat Ohio State? I doubt it, but at least we don't have to suffer through an OSU-Michigan rematch. All BCS haters must now hope for huge Buckeye and Wolverine wins in their respective bowls. That should create a whole bunch more hate.)


Rutgers (+10) at West Virginia
WVU looked awful at home last week. Even though that means nothing this week, I'll take Rutgers and the points.
FINAL: WVU 41 Rutgers 39 - Fyodor wins! (I would have loved to see a Rutgers-Wake Forest Orange Bowl...)


Big 12 Championship at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City

Nebraska (+3.5) versus Oklahoma
I'll go with the Sooners on my penultimate hunch of the season.
FINAL: Oklahoma 21 Nebraska 7 - Fyodor wins!



Oregon State (+7.5) at Hawaii
I'll take the Rainbow Warriors one more time.
FINAL: Oregon State 35 Hawaii 32 - Fyodor loses! (That'swhy they call them hunches, kiddies.)

Senator Token Update.

Eek! It's that Porpoise Driven Life guy again! He is not satisfied with being able to steal millions from gullible sheep. He wants to be a Leader of Men.

Not coincidentally, so does Senator Token...

AP: Famed pastor defends invitation to Obama
Famed pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren on Wednesday defended his invitation to Sen. Barack Obama to speak at his church despite objections from some evangelicals who oppose the Democrat's support for abortion rights.

Washington's other newspaper: Church Is Urged to Disinvite Obama
Antiabortion groups are assailing one of the nation's most influential evangelicals, the Rev. Rick Warren, for inviting Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to speak at a conference on HIV/AIDS at his Southern California megachurch this weekend.

Chicago Sun-Times: Obama is going to go for it
by Lynn Sweet
Bottom line: I think Sen. Barack Obama, who is seriously considering a run for president, is going to jump into the 2008 race.

Senator Token looks to bolster his street cred...

Chicago Sun-Times: Obama meets with Ludacris
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, contemplating a run for president, met privately Wednesday with rapper Ludacris to talk about young people.

I wonder if Senator Token took Mr. Cris to task for referring to some young people as niggers and whores in his "songs"?

''We talked about empowering the youth,'' said the artist, whose real name is Chris Bridges.

Bridges was in town to launch the YouthAIDS ''Kick Me'' campaign to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during a stop at Northwestern University in the Chicago suburb of Evanston.

While I am not familiar with Citizen Bridges' entire oeuvre, I doubt any of his "songs" encourage the responsible use of one's sexual organs.

The gathering at Obama's downtown Chicago office was a meeting of two star powers: Obama, who enjoys rock star-like status on the political scene, and Ludacris, who has garnered acclaim for his music and acting.

Obama declined to comment after their meeting but walked with Bridges to the elevator as he left.

Bridges said meeting Obama, known for his warm personal style, was like meeting with a relative.

The spotlight has been on Obama, a first-term Democrat from Illinois, as he mulls a run for the White House in 2008. Obama has said he would make a decision in the coming months.

Meanwhile, he is scheduled to visit New Hampshire Dec. 10 for a Democratic Party event.

Obama, who became famous two years ago after addressing the Democratic National Convention, is no stranger to the star set.

He has graced the cover of magazines, appeared on Oprah Winfrey's talk show and is scheduled to appear Friday on ''The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,'' where he will promote his best-seller, ''The Audacity of Hope.'' Obama already has won a Grammy Award for readings from his memoir, ''Dreams From My Father.''

Bridges' latest album, ''Release Therapy,'' debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard album charts when it was released in September and his acting chops include appearing in the Oscar-winning ''Crash'' and ''Hustle & Flow.''


Ol' Barack is this close to being dubbed Prince Token.

The Pelosi/Reid Era of Sunshine and Gumdrops continues apace.

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The man who was almost dubbed Senator-elect Incest incessantly relives his days as the First Lord of the Admiralty.


Senator-elect Bulwer-Lytton, who thinks incest puts the action in the action novel, has that whole Democrass idiom thingee down pat.

Webb Offends Bush & the English Language
By George Will at Real Clear Politics

That was certainly swift. Washington has a way of quickly acculturating people, especially those who are most susceptible to derangement by the derivative dignity of office.

But Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.

Wednesday's Washington Post reported that at a White House reception for newly elected members of Congress, Webb "tried to avoid President Bush,'' refusing to pass through the reception line or have his picture taken with the president.

When Bush asked Webb, whose son is a Marine in Iraq, "How's your boy?'' Webb replied, "I'd like to get them (sic) out of Iraq.''

When the president again asked, "How's your boy?'' Webb replied, "That's between me and my boy.'' (Thanks to Laura Ingraham for the heads up.)

The list of words one cannot say or type because they are INHERENTLY evil grows ever longer.

I'm probably leaving a few out, but let's see...nigger, of course...cunt is a no-no...fag is right out, unless you are one and your boyfriend in the next restroom stall wants you to talk dirty...Christmas, unless you are in Wal-Mart (or church, but not for long)...

To be continued...

The Spanish crackup continues apace.

Roto-Reuters: Spanish school cancels Christmas

A school in traditionally Catholic Spain has cancelled Christmas celebrations so as not to offend children who are not Christians, ABC newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Hilarion Gimeno school in Zaragoza said teachers had put forward various reasons for not celebrating Christmas, but ABC said the worry was that Muslim children might be upset.

The school will not put on a nativity play or hand out presents, but pupils will be free to decorate the halls and sing carols.

"We are educators and we want our school programme to advance the personal development of our students as much as possible," the school said.

Christmas celebrations usually last for about a month in Spain, with parties starting in December and running through to January 6 for "Los Reyes", a huge fiesta to celebrate the visit of the three wise men to the new-born Jesus in Bethlehem.

Don't underestimate the athletic prowess needed to be a jockey.

Russell Baze set to become winningest jockey ever

San Mateo, Calif. – Russell Baze sipped hot chocolate from a Styrofoam cup, sat down next to a small heater and plopped the Daily Racing Form onto a wood-topped table. It was seven o'clock Tuesday morning inside a kitchen on the backside of Bay Meadows race track, and Baze was scanning the headlines.

The bold one on page 3 stared back at him. "Record within Baze's reach."

Not just any record. Baze, a 48-year-old jockey who has spent most of his career riding cheap horses at second-tier tracks, is three victories shy of becoming the winningest jockey in history.

The record could fall as early as Wednesday, when Baze is scheduled to ride in six races. And when – not if – he breaks the record of 9,530 wins, he will surpass Laffit Pincay, considered by some to be the best rider ever.

Baze looked up from the headline and grinned. "I had a heckler the other day," he said.

Now, this was news: At Bay Meadows, Baze is royalty, the benevolent king of jockeys, a local treasure. The idea of someone heckling Baze at his home track is as unthinkable as someone driving to Disneyland just to boo Mickey Mouse.

But there the guy was, Baze recalled, standing in the rain next to the paddock and shouting insults like, "You're no Laffit Pincay!"

"You better be careful," Baze said he finally warned the man. "You just might hurt my feelings."

Recalling his verbal joust, Baze flashed his toothy grin as if he were headed for the winner's circle. But he knows the heckler is not alone. The backlash is as inevitable as the record-breaking victory.

Pincay, who retired in 2003 after injuring his neck at the age of 52, plans to be here and to stay until Baze breaks the record – just like Shoemaker did for him in 1999. He said Baze deserves the record, regardless of where he has won the majority of his races.

"I would have been proud if I had done it in Iraq riding camels," Pincay said.

But Laffit Pincay is a legend. Bill Shoemaker is a legend. Russell Baze? He has never won a Triple Crown race or a Breeders' Cup race. He did race in the Kentucky Derby in 1996, finishing 14th, and finally made it back to Churchill Downs for the Derby this year, when he finished 13th.

Noting his one-spot improvement over that 10-year-period, Baze beat hecklers to the punch when he said, "At this rate, I should win it in 130 years."

Baze won them over in the Bay Area long ago, and maybe that is best explained by his routine on Tuesday morning. After finishing his hot chocolate and folding up the Racing Form, he zipped up his jacket, pulled on his riding helmet and marched into the brisk morning wind. Greeting grooms, trainers and fellow jockeys, he commenced the daily grunt work that has defined his career as much as the seemingly endless string of victories.

During the daily morning workouts, young riders and retired jockeys try to hustle up to horses to exercise for $30 a head. Now they had competition.

Baze was looking for horses, too, and to ride them for free.

"You got anything?" he said, poking his head into one trainer's office.

"Nah, not today," the trainer said.

"Well, I'll be back tomorrow," Baze said, and he headed for the next barn.

Never mind that the trainers already are fighting for Baze's services. Or that Tuesday was an "off" day at a track that holds races Wednesday through Sunday. Or that most of the regular jockeys at Bay Meadows were sleeping in, as likely were most big-name jockeys at big-name tracks across the country.

Steve Miyaki, a trainer, shook his head as Baze marched along.
"He's a blue-collar superstar," Miyaki said.

He comes from blue-collar bloodlines.

His father rode horses. So did his brothers and uncle. Even his paternal grandmother rode horses, when she was pregnant. The Baze brood rode on the back roads of racing – obscure tracks in Arizona, California, Idaho, Washington and Canada, where Russell was born because at the time his father was riding at a track in Vancouver.

Living in a mobile home, the Baze family galloped around the country from one track to the next before settling in Washington.

Russell Baze rode in his first official race in 1974 a few days before he turned 16, then the minimum age for a jockey. "I just told them I was 16," he explained. "Heck, they were just happy to have a warm body in the saddle."

The warm body was a budding star. Russell The Muscle, they called him, because Baze went to the whip hard and had the upper-body strength to steady tiring horses and drive them down the stretch.

In the early 1980s, Gary Stevens – the future Hall of Famer – joined the Bay Area circuit and attempted to unseat Baze as the leading rider. Eight months later, with Baze still the area's top jockey, Stevens moved on.

In 1988, Baze decided it was time to move on, too.

Time to head for Southern California. Time to ride at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park. Time to ride the country's best horses and against the country's best riders. His timing could not have been worse...

Bless and protect all the jocks, Lord.

The few real men and women in congress vainly try to save a few kids from hideous torture and death.

You won't see or hear about any baby-saving legislation for at least the next two years, kiddies. Let this be a lesson to you.

When you vote for The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion, babies die.

AP: House GOPs looking to force vote on abortion bill

While they still can, House Republicans are looking at scheduling a vote next week on a fetal pain abortion bill in a parting shot at incoming majority Democrats and a last bid for loyalty from the GOP's base of social conservatives.

The measure is tentatively on House GOP leaders' list of bills to be considered in a lame-duck session before Democrats assume control of Congress. It has no chance of passing the Senate during the waning days of Republican control. But, with Democrats ascending to agenda-setting roles, passage isn't the point, said one conservative leader.

"Next year, the leadership of the House will be hardcore pro-abortion loyalists," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee. "They will block votes on even modest pro-life measures like this one."

The vote would be the first on the measure, which was introduced in September and referred to a health subcommittee, where no action on it was taken. Johnson said his group wants a House vote to test support for the measure.

The bill, by Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., defines a 20-week-old fetus as a "pain-capable unborn child" — a highly controversial threshold among scientists. It also directs the Health and Human Service Department to develop a brochure stating "that there is substantial evidence that the process of being killed in an abortion will cause the unborn child pain."

Abortion providers would be required to inform the mothers that evidence exists that the procedure would cause pain to the child and offer the mothers anesthesia for the baby. The mothers would accept or reject the anesthesia by signing a form. The bill allows for an exception for certified medical emergencies.

When fetuses can feel pain — versus a reflexive drawing back from stimuli — has been the subject of heated debate.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco last year reviewed dozens of studies and medical reports and said that fetuses likely are incapable of feeling pain until around the seventh month of pregnancy, when they are about 28 weeks old.

That report hardly settled the issue for Johnson's group. The legislation would enshrine other evidence that fetuses "would experience great pain during abortions by 20 weeks," the Right to Life Committee said in a letter this week to House members.

The bill is H.R. 6099.

Make the calls, kiddies. Atone for your sins and sin no more.

Car Dealer of the Day.

Star Chrysler Jeep in Glendale, CA is collecting new toys for the children of LA County Sheriff's deputies killed in the line of duty and those deputies deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let's flood 'em with toys, kiddies.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

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Today is the Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle and brother of St. Peter. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Andrew is
Romans 10:9-18.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew is 4:18-22.


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.


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.


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."


Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be His most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be His most Precious Blood.
Blessed be Jesus in the most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.
Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints.
May the Heart of Jesus in the most Blessed Sacrament
Be praised, adored and loved
With grateful affection at every moment
In all the tabernacles of the world
Even to the end of time. Amen.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

DAY 98: PLUTO HELD HOSTAGE

Dennis Prager (A Jew!) dares to stand up to a moronic muticulturalist who just happens to be a mohammedan.

Mr. Prager takes a major league risk by telling America's first congressedan how to be moderate.

From Townhall.com:

America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on

Keith Ellison, D-Minn., the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress, has announced that he will not take his oath of office on the Bible, but on the bible of Islam, the Koran.

He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization.

Wow. Dennis, you wouldn't want to run for office, would you?

First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture.
What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book.

Forgive me, but America should not give a hoot what Keith Ellison's favorite book is. Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible. If you are incapable of taking an oath on that book, don't serve in Congress.
In your personal life, we will fight for your right to prefer any other book. We will even fight for your right to publish cartoons mocking our Bible. But, Mr. Ellison, America, not you, decides on what book its public servants take their oath.

Devotees of multiculturalism and political correctness who do not see how damaging to the fabric of American civilization it is to allow Ellison to choose his own book need only imagine a racist elected to Congress. Would they allow him to choose Hitler's "Mein Kampf," the Nazis' bible, for his oath? And if not, why not? On what grounds will those defending Ellison's right to choose his favorite book deny that same right to a racist who is elected to public office?

Of course, Ellison's defenders argue that Ellison is merely being honest; since he believes in the Koran and not in the Bible, he should be allowed, even encouraged, to put his hand on the book he believes in. But for all of American history, Jews elected to public office have taken their oath on the Bible, even though they do not believe in the New Testament, and the many secular elected officials have not believed in the Old Testament either.
Yet those secular officials did not demand to take their oaths of office on, say, the collected works of Voltaire or on a volume of New York Times editorials, writings far more significant to some liberal members of Congress than the Bible. Nor has one Mormon official demanded to put his hand on the Book of Mormon. And it is hard to imagine a scientologist being allowed to take his oath of office on a copy of "Dianetics" by L. Ron Hubbard.

So why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of Congress has ever done -- choose his own most revered book for his oath?

The answer is obvious -- Ellison is a Muslim. And whoever decides these matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is not going to offend a Muslim. In fact, many of these people argue it will be a good thing because Muslims around the world will see what an open society America is and how much Americans honor Muslims and the Koran.

This argument appeals to all those who believe that one of the greatest goals of America is to be loved by the world, and especially by Muslims because then fewer Muslims will hate us (and therefore fewer will bomb us).

But these naive people do not appreciate that America will not change the attitude of a single American-hating Muslim by allowing Ellison to substitute the Koran for the Bible. In fact, the opposite is more likely: Ellison's doing so will embolden Islamic extremists and make new ones, as Islamists, rightly or wrongly, see the first sign of the realization of their greatest goal -- the Islamicization of America.

When all elected officials take their oaths of office with their hands on the very same book, they all affirm that some unifying value system underlies American civilization. If Keith Ellison is allowed to change that, he will be doing more damage to the unity of America and to the value system that has formed this country than the terrorists of 9-11. It is hard to believe that this is the legacy most Muslim Americans want to bequeath to America. But if it is, it is not only Europe that is in trouble.

Dennis Prager is a radio show host, contributing columinst for Townhall.com, and author of 4 books including Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.

The war this time.

Andrew C. McCarthy of National Review Online makes more sense than the Bush Administration and its enemies combined.

This comes as no surprise because, unlike them, he knows what the word "war" means.

BTW, the goat rapists know its meaning as well.

Can We Talk?

This is a war of will. If we lose it, the historians will marvel at how mulishly we resisted understanding the one thing we needed to understand in order to win. The enemy.

In Iraq, we’ve tried to fight the most civilized “light footprint” war of all time. We made sure everyone knew our beef was only with Saddam Hussein, as if he were a one-man militia — no Sunni Baathists supporting him, no Arab terrorists colluding, and no Shiite jihadists hating us just on principle.

No, our war was only with the regime. No need to fight the Iraqis. They, after all, were noble. They would flock to democracy if only they had the chance. And, once they hailed us as conquering heroes, their oil wealth would pay for the whole thing … just 400 billion American dollars ago.

This may be the biggest disconnect of all time between the American people and a war government.

In the wake of 9/11, the American people did not care about democratizing the Muslim world. Or, for that matter, about the Muslim world in general. They still don’t. They want Islamic terrorists and their state sponsors crushed. As for the aftermath, they want something stable that no longer threatens our interests; they care not a wit whether Baghdad’s new government looks like Teaneck’s.

To the contrary, Bush-administration officials — notwithstanding goo-gobs of evidence that terrorists have used the freedoms of Western democracies, including our own, the better to plot mass murder — have conned themselves into believing that democracy, not decisive force, is the key to conquering this enemy.

So deeply have they gulped the Kool-Aid that, to this day, they refuse to acknowledge what is plain to see: While only a small number of the world’s billion-plus Muslims (though a far larger number than we’d like to believe) is willing to commit acts of terrorism, a substantial percentage — meaning tens of millions — supports the terrorists’ anti-West, anti-democratic agenda.

Islamic countries, moreover, are not rejecting Western democracy because they haven’t experienced it. They reject it on principle. For them, the president’s euphonious rhetoric about democratic empowerment is offensive. They believe, sincerely, that authority to rule comes not from the people but from Allah; that there is no separation of religion and politics; that free people do not have authority to legislate contrary to Islamic law; that Muslims are superior to non-Muslims, and men to women; and that violent jihad is a duty whenever Muslims deem themselves under attack … no matter how speciously.

These people are not morons. They adhere to a highly developed belief system that is centuries old, wildly successful, and for which many are willing to die. They haven’t refused to democratize because the Federalist Papers are not yet out in Arabic. They decline because their leaders have freely chosen to decline. They see us as the mortal enemy of the life they believe Allah commands. Their demurral is wrong, but it is principled, not ignorant. And we insult them by suggesting otherwise.

Democratizing such cultures — in anything we would recognize as “democracy” — is the work of generations. It is a cultural phenomenon. It is not accomplished by elections and facile constitution writing … especially, constitutions that shun Madisonian democracy for the State Department’s preferred establishment of Islam and its adhesive sharia law as the state religion.

Elections, in fact, play to the strengths of Islamic terrorists. Jihadists are confident, intimidating, and rigorously disciplined. They are thus certain to thrive in the chaos of nascent “democracies.” Consequently, it should be unsurprising to anyone with a shred of common sense that terrorist organizations are ascendant in the new governments of Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories.

So now comes James Baker’s Iraq Study Group, riding in on its bipartisan white horse to save the day. The democracy project having failed, this blue-ribbon panel’s solution is: Let’s talk.

Let’s talk with our enemies, Iran and Syria. Let’s talk with terror abettors as if they were good guys — just like us. As if they were just concerned neighbors trying to stop the bloodshed in Iraq … instead of the dons who’ve been commanding it all along.

Someone, please explain something to me: How does it follow that, because Islamic cultures reject democracy, we somehow need to talk to Iran and Syria?

What earthly logic that supports talking with these Islamic terrorists would not also support negotiating with al Qaeda — a demarche not even a Kennedy School grad would dare propose?

There’s none.

When I grew up in The Bronx, there were street gangs. You mostly stayed away from them, and, if you really had to, you fought with them. But I never remember anyone saying, “Gee, maybe if we just talk with them ...”

Nor do I remember, in two decades as a prosecutor, anyone saying, “Y’know, maybe if we just talk with these Mafia guys, we could achieve some kind of understanding ...”

Mr. McCarthy seems bright enough to know Americans lost their will to fight a couple of generations ago. He is merely afraid of the consequences of typing it.

Sitting down with evil legitimizes evil. As a practical matter, all it accomplishes is to convey weakness. This spring — after trumpeting the Bush Doctrine’s “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” slogan for five years — Secretary of State Rice pathetically sought to bribe Iran out of its nuclear program with a menu of all carrots and no sticks … and certainly no demand that the mullahs stop fomenting terror. The result? They’re still laughing at us, even as they build their bombs, harbor al Qaeda operatives, and arm the militias killing American soldiers in Iraq.

While our rhetoric blathers that we’ll never let them have a nuke, our talk begs them, pretty-please, to stop building one. And our actions all but hand them one. If all that makes you wonder who’s the superpower, what do you suppose they’re thinking?

That’s talking with an enemy that has us pretty well pegged, while we stubbornly resist even thinking about what motivates him. We wouldn’t want to question his ideology. After all, what would CAIR say?

The democracy project tells Islamists that we don’t understand them — or care to try understanding them. The “let’s talk” gambit confirms that we’re not just studiously ignorant; we’re ripe for the taking.

For our own sake, we need to respect the enemy. That means grasping that he’s implacable, that he means us only harm, and that he must be subdued, not appeased. Negotiating with such evil is always a mistake, for any accommodation with evil is, by definition, evil.

Rejecting the democracy project is about respecting the enemy. Declining to talk to the enemy is about respecting ourselves.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

The war against the One, True Church continues apace.

AFP: China to ordain Catholic bishop without Vatican approval: official
China's state-controlled Catholic Church will this week ordain a bishop without the approval of the Holy See, a religious affairs official has said, in a move likely to anger the Vatican.

NorthJersey.com: Excommunicated cleric begins N.J. propaganda tour
Parsippany - A former Roman Catholic archbishop from Africa, excommunicated for installing four married clergy as bishops, said Tuesday he will ordain more married clerics in his crusade against celibacy despite the Vatican's opposition.

Philippine Daily Inquirer: Ramos’ latest jabs at Church over population irk bishops
Former President Fidel Ramos’ latest jabs at the Catholic Church over population policy has irked the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

Archbishop Oscar Cruz yesterday issued a highly sardonic message outlining what he said were fallacies in Ramos’ keynote address in a population management forum late last week.

Ramos, at that forum, said the government’s weak and lackluster population performance was due to its “unwarranted subservience to the Catholic Church,” which allows only natural family planning methods.

Without naming Ramos, the archbishop of Pangasinan (Lingayen-Dagupan) said “certain politicians again loudly and proudly proclaim their old-time favorite thesis: population is the culprit for the poverty of the people and the misery of the nation.”

“(Politicians) complain that there are too many mouths to feed with too little food to eat,” Cruz said. “There are too many people without work, without education, without health care. There is too much crime in the streets, too much garbage around, too much air pollution. Population is synonymous with disaster.”

“Translation: population is the enemy of the state,” said Cruz in a statement posted on his blog.

And, last but not not least, from the illegal-in-forty-nine-states marriage of Washington's other newspaper and NewSpeak magazine, comes the vapid whinge of a man dim enough to believe his own press clippings.

Fence-Mending Still Needed
by Desmond "Hoodoo" Tutu

How many times after I made an utterance I wished I had not spoken quite so quickly and wanted to bite my tongue out. Too late.

The utterance was frequently a quick sound bite and often off-the-cuff and unrehearsed. I don’t think that particular rubric applies to the Pope’s remarks. They happened in a formal lecture and were I think considered and made with deliberation.

There were times too when I did make prepared and considered statements but on reflection afterwards came to the conclusion that I could have made the same point but perhaps less stridently, in a less up-your-nose kind of way. I forgot on those occasions that you were likely to catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

It seems to me that his Holiness might have made whatever point he sought to make less provocatively and given the heightened tensions already abroad -- what with controversies over cartoons, the wearing of veils, etc. -- all, especially high profile people, require the wisdom of a Solomon not to exacerbate already fraught situations.

It seems too from the Pope’s pointed apology not for the offending quotation but for the reaction it provoked, it does seem as if we will require some fence-mending. I take my hat off to him for venturing as it were into the lion’s den by visiting Turkey.

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

George Will is the kind of weirdo who sports a woody when people buy stuff.


"There was, too, a wonderful simplicity of desire. It was the last time that people would be thrilled to own a toaster or waffle iron."

— Bill Bryson
What Thanksgiving is to gluttony, the three days after it are to consumerism — the main event. So, with Americans launching the Christmas season by storming the stores, let us recall when consumption had an exuberance remembered now only by those who experienced the 1950s.

Which brings us to the MACBMBOTD*:

Bill Bryson remembers. The author of 13 books (e.g., "A Walk in the Woods" and "A Short History of Nearly Everything"), Bryson's latest is The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid , a memoir of growing up in Des Moines in the '50s, when downtown department stores — with white-gloved operators in the elevators and pneumatic tubes carrying money and receipts to and from cashiers — served the pent-up demands of a nation making up for consumption missed during the Depression and World War II.

In 1951, when the average American ate 50 percent more than the average European, Americans, Bryson says, controlled two-thirds of the world's productive capacity, owned 80 percent of the world's electrical goods, and produced more than 40 percent of its electricity, 60 percent of its oil and 66 percent of its steel.

America's 5 percent of the world's population had more wealth than the other 95 percent, and Americans made almost all of what they consumed: 99.93 percent of new cars sold in this country in 1954 were U.S. brands.

By the end of the '50s, GM was a bigger economic entity than Belgium, and Los Angeles had more cars than did Asia — cars for a gadget-smitten people, cars with Strato-Streak engines, Strato-Flight Hydra-Matic transmissions and Torsion-Aire suspensions. The 1958 Lincoln Continental was 19 feet long.

19? How cool is that?

And before television arrived (in 1950, 40 percent of Americans had never seen a television program; by May 1953 Boston had more televisions than bathtubs) America made almost a million comic books a month.

Consider what was new or not invented then: ballpoint pens, contact lenses, credit cards, power steering, long-playing records, dishwashers, garbage disposals. And remember words now no longer heard: icebox, dime store, bobby socks, panty raid, canasta (a card game).

In 1951 a Tennessee youth was arrested on suspicion of narcotics possession. The brown powder was a new product — instant coffee.

Fifties food was, Bryson reminds us, not exotic: In Iowa, at least, folks did not eat foreign food "except French toast," or bread that was not "white and at least 65 percent air," or "spices other than salt, pepper and maple syrup," or "any cheese that was not a vivid bright yellow and shiny enough to see your reflection in."

But unlike today, when everything edible, from milk to spinach, has its moment as a menace to health, in the '50s everything was good for you. Cigarettes? Healthful. Advertisements, often featuring doctors, said smoking soothed jangled nerves and sharpened minds.

"X-rays," Bryson remembers, "were so benign that shoe stores installed special machines that used them to measure foot sizes."

In Las Vegas, downwind from some atomic weapons tests, government technicians used Geiger counters to measure fallout: "People lined up to see how radioactive they were. It was all part of the fun. What a joy it was to be indestructible." But, Bryson dryly notes, people knew without a warning label "that bleach was not a refreshing drink."

White House security precautions were so lax that on April 3, 1956, a somewhat disoriented Michigan woman detached herself from a White House tour and wandered through the building for four hours, setting small fires. When found, she was taken to the kitchen and given a cup of tea. No charges were filed.

The '50s did have worries. When a contestant on a TV game show said his wife's astrological sign was Cancer, the cigarette company sponsoring the show had the segment refilmed and her sign changed to Aries. You could get 14 years in an Indiana prison for instigating anyone under age 21 to "commit masturbation." (James Dobson, call your office. - F.G.) And to get a New York fishing license, you had to swear a loyalty oath.

Nothing has changed more for the worse since the '50s than childhood. The lives of children were, Bryson remembers, "unsupervised, unregulated and robustly" physical.

"Kids were always outdoors — I knew kids who were pushed out the door at 8 in the morning and not allowed back in until 5 unless they were on fire or actively bleeding."

But as the twig is bent, so grows the tree: These children, formed by the '50s, grew up to be Olympic-class shoppers. They are indoors this Sunday, at malls.

*Who? Look here.

About Me

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

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