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

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love ...

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

Friday, November 09, 2007

Peace of the Day.

Sunday November 11, 2007 is Armistice Day. It commemorates the peace to end all war.


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Pray for Father David Ajemian.

NY Post: CONAN PRIEST HOOD

Ahhh... The Post's headline writers are the most clever of all.

The priest accused of stalking Conan O'Brien was kind and caring, nothing like the obsessed man who allegedly told the late-night talk show host he was "tracking him through space and time," his seminary mentor said.

Obviously, priests can have problems like the rest of us...but Conan freakin' O'Brien?


The Rev. David Ajemian, a priest in the Archdiocese of Boston, was arrested last week while trying to enter a taping of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" in New York City despite being warned to stay away by NBC security personnel. He was arraigned on charges including stalking and aggravated harassment and ordered held for psychiatric evaluation.

Ajemian, 46, was scheduled to appear in court Friday for an update on the case, said Jennifer Kushner, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan prosecutor's office.

His attorney, Eric Seiff, said Ajemian was being held at a New York jail, but declined to comment except to say "it will be worked out in court."

Ajemian, who allegedly began writing O'Brien in September 2006, has been placed on leave by the Boston Archdiocese and can't minister publicly. He was removed in June from his last posting, at St. Patrick Parish in Stoneham, after two years at the parish.

A spokesman at the archdiocese did not respond to questions about whether the move was related to the stalking allegations.

But on July 2, Ajemian wrote security officials at NBC questioning "why you chose to raise this matter with my superiors after I left you a clear message by phone several weeks ago that I would cease all contact with the show," according to court papers.

In the same letter, he called himself "a stalker of a very different order than the kind you are used to dealing with" and dared them to "tell Conan about your surveillance of me."

In a previous letter, Ajemian expressed frustration to O'Brien that he had been denied a spot in his audience after he'd flown to New York "in the dimming hope that you might finally acknowledge me."

"Is this the way you treat your most dangerous fans???" he wrote. "You owe me big time pal."

He also told O'Brien he knew where he lived and wrote, "Remember (mobster) Frank Costello once dodged a bullet in your building and so can you."

Ajemian's seminary mentor, the Rev. John Mark Hannon said Thursday he believes Ajemian can still be a good priest if he receives proper psychiatric help.

"He was a good seminarian. He was kind and generous and affable and concerned how people were," said Hannon, who mentored Ajemian before he graduated from St. John's Seminary in 2001.

"He's very likable," Hannon added, "it's just he's stupid, apparently."

Wow. And you folks accuse me of being less than charitable...

Ajemian, the son of former Time magazine journalist Robert Ajemian, attended Harvard University at the same time O'Brien did. Ajemian graduated from Harvard in 1983, while O'Brien graduated in 1985.

It was unclear if the two crossed paths there. O'Brien's roommate at Harvard, the Rev. Paul O'Brien, a priest in Lawrence who is not related to Conan O'Brien, declined comment.

NBC said Conan O'Brien would not comment on Ajemian.

After graduating from Harvard, Ajemian took a roundabout route to the priesthood. Among his jobs was work in 1990 as a legal assistant at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and he also worked as a teacher.

The Rev. Hannon, pastor at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Hanson, said Ajemian never spoke to him about O'Brien and never gave any indication anything unusual was happening in his life.
He's not a dangerous person, Hannon said.

"I still consider him a friend," he said.

Fyodor's Blog of the Day.

Black Aces - Bringing The NHL Perspective From Deep In The Heart Of Canada's Capital City.

I had not heard much about the new sweaters, but I did not assume everything was fine...

Most Predictable Situation: Players Hate The New Uniforms

The new sweaters repel the sweat right into the player's gloves and skates. Now Reebok is secretly trying to fix them and offering the older materials to players who request it. What a boondoggle.

Honourable Mentions: Vancouver Can't Score, Dustin Penner Isn't Performing, Phoenix Still Blows Big Time.

I'm guessing he means the Coyotes, not the City of Phoenix. Phoenix is a nice place to visit.

Once in a great while, ESPN gets it right.

A case in point is Triumph And Tragedy: The Ray Mancini Story airing on ESPN Classic Tuesday November 13, 2007 at 8:00 PM Eastern.

That day is the 25th anniversary of the WBA lightweight title fight between Ray Mancini and Korea's Deuk-Koo Kim. During that fight, Ray Mancini knocked out Kim who died 4 days later. Overwhelmed by grief, Kim's mother committed suicide 11 weeks later. Mancini was devastated and, until now, has not talked about the fight and Kim’s death in a tv interview..

Ray Mancini is a half-Irish, half-Italian working class Catholic kid from Youngstown, Ohio. His dad, Lenny [the original "Boom-Boom" Mancini] missed his shot at a world lightweight title in February 1942 because he was otherwise occupied: Uncle Sam drafted him to fight in World War II. Ray became a fighter to get a title for his dad.

Boxing is a brutal, beautiful, savage, glorious, dirty, sweet, crooked and yes, sometimes deadly game. But the men who participate in it know this.

Someday, the emasculation of mankind will be complete and boxing will be no more. Before that happens, the question we should be asking is this: How will men expend their aggression then?

Totalitarian Pennsylvania is a national joke.

Steve "Side-Saddle" Reed, Mayor For Life of Pennsylvania's capital, gets smacked by reality about as hard as he's beaten the city's budget over the years.

And he wonders why everyone has fled to the suburbs...

The Sentinel: Harrisburg mayor’s dream of the old West is readied for auction in Texas

The mayor of one of Pennsylvania’s most debt-laden cities spent millions of dollars in public money on everything from covered wagons to copper marshal’s badges for a museum about cowboys, Indians and the Wild West.

He did so even though the city is on the other side of the country from the prairies, mining towns and honky tonks of the old West and without telling city council members, who learned about it from a newspaper reporter.

Sound bizarre?

It’s true, and the other cowboy boot is poised to drop Saturday, when bidding starts on hundreds of items at a Dallas hotel — a step that council members forced to try to address a shortfall in the city budget.

The stakes are high for Harrisburg, a city of 47,000 that is best known as Pennsylvania’s capital, 95 miles west of Philadelphia and 1,400 miles east of Deadwood, S.D.

With the city deep in debt, council members will be watching closely to see how much can be reclaimed from the roughly $6.5 million that Mayor Stephen R. Reed said he spent on guns and other old West collectibles.

“If we get less, then it’s just a big mistake and it’s unfortunate for the people of Harrisburg,” said Councilman Dan Miller.

I guess we should be thankful ol' Bareback Reed did not blow the $6.5 million on statues of himself like Stalin did.

When Reed became Harrisburg’s mayor in 1982, his dream was to transform the decaying, shrinking city into a cultural destination, a “city of light” on the Susquehanna River.

Distopia, anyone?

Under Reed’s leadership, hotels and restaurants have sprouted in downtown and the number of businesses on the city’s tax rolls has more than quadrupled. A minor-league baseball team now plays on a park that rose from a trash dump on an island in the Susquehanna.

In 2001, Reed opened the National Civil War Museum on an abandoned reservoir overlooking the Capitol — even though none of the war’s major battles played out in the city. His dream of building the National Museum of the Old West next to it stalled.

“I still think it’s a good idea,” he told reporters at an unrelated public event Tuesday. But, “we need the money right now.”

The man is a certifiable lunatic. Or just an average politician.

Steve, the city had the money. You wasted the money. You are a thief and a liar.

Bad
divine right monarch! Bad!

Reed did not return repeated messages The Associated Press left with an aide, but has defended his spending as perfectly legal. The auction will include items from six collections, and is being touted as the largest Western-related collection ever auctioned.

“This is your unique opportunity to share in this history,” Reed wrote in a letter printed in an auction catalog. “This is an auction like no other.”

To buy the items, Reed tapped an account at the Harrisburg Authority, where his expenditures were approved by officials he had appointed. The authority, which now includes council appointees, oversees parts of the city’s infrastructure and raises money by collecting fees on bond issues it brokers for government agencies.

At least one Harrisburg Authority official contends that some of the money Reed spent should have been off limits for the museums, and questions whether the mayor, in a shopping frenzy, unwittingly paid bloated prices for items that could be fakes.

Reed shelled out close to $30 million on old West, Civil War and other collectibles over 15 years — he even bought an Egyptian mummy — while the city was sliding deeper into debt, said the official, Eric Papenfuse, a council appointee who is the authority’s treasurer.

Certifiable.

City employees are only beginning to catalog what Reed actually bought. Many items, including a 12-gun schooner that was part of Gen. Benedict Arnold’s fleet during the Revolutionary War, are still stuffed into warehouses and storage rooms at city facilities, Papenfuse said.

Steverino heard Arnold had something to do with West Point and, being a brainless statist, naturally thought the schooner was perfect for his Wild West Extravaganza.

“The spending is staggering,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”

About 800 of the thousands of old West items from Harrisburg are scheduled to be auctioned by Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries over two days beginning Saturday. Another two-day auction is scheduled in April and some items will be sold on eBay.

For sale are covered wagons, marshal’s badges, boots, chaps, saddles, “Wanted” posters, letters, photographs, maps, furniture, pottery, decor, artwork, pistols, rifles, knives and more. One item expected to fetch tens of thousands of dollars is a bright red Wells Fargo & Co. stage coach, still in working condition.

Claims about the size of the auction raised eyebrows among dealers. One said he believes the items should bring in more than Reed paid, claiming that a weak dollar is drawing many buyers, including Europeans, into collectibles.

Way to squander your country's heritage, you pinhead. Some decadent foreign potentate is going to use that stage coach as a place to deflower the new members of his harem.

[BTW, Hitler had a thing for cowboy stories, too. I guess men who are less than men like to fantasize about being real men. I wonder if the Mayor For Life parades around his house dressed as Patton?]

“The Western market today has gone extremely wild,” said Don Cappa, a Deer Lodge, Mont., collector and appraiser.

William W. Savage Jr., a professor of western American history at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., laughed out loud when a reporter described the plans for the museum in Pennsylvania.

It is not so funny if you have to live in the middle of the tyranny, Bill.

The Keystone State is known more for its Civil and Revolutionary War history — say, Gettysburg or Valley Forge — than Wild Bill Hickok or the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

If anything, Pennsylvania was something of a launching pad for explorers, being the birthplace of the Conestoga Wagon and the Pennsylvania Rifle, Savage said.

“I wouldn’t say it was the Wild West, but it certainly figures into frontier expansion,” he said.

Miller, the councilman, said that the way Reed pursued the idea was embarrassing. There was no public discussion, no professional to draw up a plan and no curator to create a collection.

“A responsible city would not have gone about it in this way,” he said.

That, kiddies, is the bottom line. The rule of men rather than the rule of law leads invariably to tyranny. Sure, it is only petty tyranny today, but remember that Stalin got his start robbing little banks in the middle of nowhere.

Sport is dying.

Sports Illustrated: Louisville sues Duke over cancelled games

The University of Louisville has filed a lawsuit against Duke University claiming breach of contract after the Blue Devils opted out of the final three games of a four-game football series.

The lawsuit, filed in Franklin Circuit Court, is asking for $450,000 in damages, or $150,000 for each of the three games.

The two schools were to meet four times between 2002 and 2009. Louisville beat the Blue Devils 40-3 in Sept. 2002, but Duke opted out of the final three games, to be played this season and in 2008 and 2009.

Duke, according to the suit, asked the Cardinals to find a replacement opponent and promised to pay Louisville only if the school could not find one after a "good faith" effort.

Louisville claims it could not find an opponent of similar stature [What? Is Brown all booked up? - F.G.] to fill the schedule and received "little, if any, help from either Duke or the ACC" in finding a replacement.

Louisville still has one open date on its 2008 schedule and two open dates in 2009.

The university added Murray State and Utah to the 2007 schedule after Duke and Vanderbilt backed out of games with the Cardinals, said spokesman Kenny Klein.

The Cardinals have contacted every member of the Football Bowl Subdivision to find a replacement, according to the lawsuit, but has been unable to find a school willing to play two games at Louisville in exchange for one return game.

A call to Duke University by the Associated Press wasn't immediately returned on Thursday.

Happy 275th Birthday to the Redemptorists!

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The Congregatio Sanctissimi Redemptoris [C.Ss.R. or Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer], a society of missionary priests, was founded by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, 9 Nov., 1732, at Scala, near Amalfi, Italy, for the purpose of labouring among the neglected country people in the neighbourhood of Naples.

The Redemptorists are essentially and by their specific vocation a missionary society. According to their rule they are "to strive to imitate the virtues and examples of Jesus Christ, Our Redeemer, consecrating themselves especially to the preaching of the word of God to the poor". They take the simple vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and by the vows of poverty they are bound to refuse all ecclesiastical dignities outside of the congregation. To these vows they add the vow and oath of perseverance to live in the congregation until death. Their labours consist principally in missions, retreats, and similar exercises. In order to render these labours most effective, all their sermons and instructions should be solid, simple, and persuasive. On all their missions they are obliged to preach a sermon on prayer and one on the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In order to secure the salutary effects of their missions, they should, after four or five months, return to the places where they have given missions, and preach another, shorter course of sermons. On missions proper the rule obliges them to hear all the confessions themselves. Wherever the Redemptorists have parishes they labour in the same spirit, both in the pulpit and in the confessional. One of the great means of preserving truly religious fervour among all classes of the faithful is the Archconfraternity of the Holy Family, which they establish in all their parishes. They are also most solicitous in providing well-equipped parochial schools, and they take special care of growing youth.


Visit the Redemptorists here.

Visit the Redemptorists in North America
here.


The Redemptorists do God's vital work all over the world every day, preaching His Word and saving souls. Please pray that more good men will answer God's call to join the Redemptorists and encourage your sons to think seriously about the priesthood.


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Pray for us, Our Mother Of Perpetual Help.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is th Feast of The Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome. Today is also the Feast of Saint Orestes, a martyr of Cappadocia who was put to death by torture under co-Emperor Diocletian. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.


Today's first reading is Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 45:3-4, 6-7, 9-10.
Today's second reading is
1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17.
Today's Gospel reading is
John 2:13-22.


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.


Prayer to Saint Benedict

Sanctissime Confessor Domini, monachorum Pater et dux,
Benedicte, intercede pro nostra omniumque salute.

V. Domine Deus virtutum converte nos.

R. Et ostende faciem tuam et salvi erimus.


Oremus.


Excita, Domine, in Ecclesia tua Spiritum cui beatus Pater noster Benedictus Abbas servivit: ut eodem nos repleti, studeamus amare quod amavit, et opere exercere quod docuit.

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, perseverantem in tua voluntate famulatum: ut in
Diebus nostris et merito et numero populus tibi serviens augeatur. Per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amen.


For those whose Latin is a bit rusty:

O most holy Confessor of the Lord, Benedict, father and guide of monks, intercede for our salvation and that of everyone.

V. Lord, God of armies, convert us.

R. Show us Thy Face and we shall be saved.


Let us pray.

Awaken, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit that our blessed Father Saint Benedict
obeyed, so that, filled with the same Spirit we may strive to love what he loved and practice what he taught.

Grant us the grace to persevere in the service of Thy will, so that our days may
see the people of Thy servants grow in merit and number. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Wow. Things in Pakistan are much, much worse than anyone knew.

AP: Lawyers emerging as Pakistan's political conscience

Mary Anne Doe, Requiescat in pace.

I know Almighty God will have mercy on poor little Mary Anne's soul. Let us pray that her mother and father may seek His mercy through conversion, repentence, and confession.

Though the newborn baby's body was found in a dumpster behind the Lancaster YMCA, she is not being tossed away by the local community.

She now has a name, Mary Anne.

And her short life will be honored at a funeral to be held at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 501 E. Orange St.

"The most vulnerable and fragile human life is filled with dignity and deserves to be rejoiced in," said the Rev. Daniel Mitzel of St. Anthony Church.

Baby Mary Anne's funeral was planned by local people who stepped forward after her body was discovered Sept. 24.

The child's body, inside a tote bag from a state land title association, was found in a dumpster in the 500 block of Market Street. An autopsy showed the child was female and police are waiting the results of further tests.

Dolores Yecker, a lifetime member of St. Anthony and a member of its social justice ministry committee, was touched by the abandoned baby.

She talked with Mitzel, and the church decided to hold the funeral and donate a burial site at its cemetery off Ranck Avenue."When I read about this baby, there was just something about it that I felt so sorry for," she said today.

Yecker named the baby, giving her the first name of the mother of Jesus and the middle name of the mother of Mary. Yecker's own grandmother also had that name.

Blessed Mother, pray for us.

Saint Anne, pray for us.

Mitzel will be joined at the service by the Rev. Stephen Verkouw of Grace Lutheran Church, a North Queen Street church about a block from where the baby's body was found.

Also, the Rev. Kevin Brown of Ray's Temple Community Church of God in Christ and of the Downtown Ministerium will participate. A police chaplain also is expected to participate in the funeral, which will include a graveside service.

Chip Snyder of Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home has volunteered his services and a small white casket for the burial.

Snyder expects local florists will donate flowers. Also, a fund is being established to collect money for a headstone that likely will cost between $500 and $1,000.

In addition to celebrating the life of Baby Mary Anne at the funeral, Mitzel said he will note the challenge to respond to the needs of others in the community.

He hopes the community will embrace the service and that challenge.

"All people of faith are invited, all people of faith and prayer and good will," Mitzel said.

Donations for Baby Mary Anne's headstone may be sent to:

Charles F. Snyder Funeral Home
414 E. King St.
Lancaster, PA 17602

Any funds beyond the cost of the headstone will be donated to a local crisis pregnancy center.

Meanwhile, back in the other Georgia...

The Washington Times: President declares state of emergency

U.S.-allied President Mikhail Saakashvili declared a state of emergency yesterday in the capital of Georgia, where six days of demonstrations have fueled a worsening crisis.

Mr. Saakashvili has blamed Russia for fomenting the unrest in the former Soviet nation. His prime minister, Zurab Nogaideli, said in a televised statement that there had been an effort to overthrow the pro-Western government.

Putin's a dumbass. The age of czars and Party Chairmen is over.

“An attempt to conduct a coup was made, and we had to react to that,” Mr. Nogaideli said.
The emergency declaration “will temporarily ban demonstrations and protests and calls in the media for violence and the ouster of the government by force,” Mr. Nogaideli said.

He said the presidential decree would be submitted to parliament for approval in the next two days as required by the constitution.

Riot police earlier used tear gas and water cannons to break up demonstrations before bursting into the offices of a pro-opposition television station that went off the air moments later.

Georgia"s Imedi television station describes itself as independent but is seen as a key opposition mouthpiece by authorities. It has carried statements by opposition leaders and broadcast footage of police breaking up protests yesterday.

More than 100 people were hospitalized after police drove opposition demonstrators from two protests in the capital, Tbilisi. Police used nightsticks on some protesters and rubber bullets at one demonstration.

Whither Pakistan?

The Washington Times: Pakistan's moves may aid militants

President Pervez Musharraf's declaration of emergency rule has so alienated Pakistan's moderate middle class that many analysts fear he has created a power vacuum that will allow militant Islamists to flourish.

Pakistani police continued arresting opponents yesterday, adding to thousands of lawyers, human rights activists and campaigners for "civil society" who have been jailed since Gen. Musharraf suspended the constitution on Saturday.

Almost unnoticed in the domestic and international furor after the move was a prisoner exchange reported Sunday, in which 25 extremists were swapped for nearly 200 soldiers captured months ago in the tribal region of Waziristan.

"If indeed the reason for his virtual martial law was to fight extremism and terrorism, then he is not likely to rid Pakistan of it," said Naseem Zehra, a popular commentator and newspaper columnist.

Ayaz Amir, a political analyst, said Gen. Musharraf had a "good vision" but emergency rule highlights his government's biggest weakness.

"It is accountable to no one. There are no checks and balances," he said in a telephone interview from Washington.

"To face the challenge of extremism and terrorism, you've got to have the support of moderate and secular forces who have always opposed the Taliban. Now they are disaffected," Mr. Amir said. "This is no way to run a country."

'Conservative' and 'Republican' are not REPEAT NOT synonymous.

The Washington Times: Christian right scatters support in GOP

Christian conservative leaders, unable to coalesce around a single candidate, instead are spreading their blessings among several Republican presidential hopefuls — and drying up talk of a third-party "Christian values" ticket.

Alan Keyes for President!

The Rev. Donald Wildmon, who founded the American Family Association in Tupelo, Miss., and whose evangelical Christian message reaches several million radio listeners and Internet subscribers, will throw his support to Mike Huckabee today, a Republican close to the Huckabee campaign told The Washington Times.

Alan Keyes for President!

That support will come a day after the Rev. Pat Robertson shocked fellow evangelicals by endorsing Rudolph W. Giuliani, the only pro-choice Republican running.

Alan Keyes for President!

Merrill Matthews, an evangelical Christian and health care policy analyst at the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, said Mr. Robertson's endorsement can mean one of two things: "Either abortion is no longer the defining issue for evangelicals that it used to be or the fear of a Hillary Clinton presidency is so great that at least some evangelicals will compromise on a three-decades-old non-compromisable principle to beat her."

Alan Keyes for President!

The doling out of endorsements began Monday when Paul M. Weyrich, who holds a regular Wednesday meeting of conservative leaders in Washington, gave the nod to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who ended his run for the Republican nomination last month, yesterday embraced Sen. John McCain of Arizona. James Dobson, whose Focus on the Family reaches millions of followers through radio and newsletter subscriptions, is expected to reveal his choice this week.

Alan Keyes for President!

Some evangelical insiders predict that Mr. Dobson will back Mr. Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and an ordained Southern Baptist minister.

Alan Keyes for President!

The Robertson endorsement is considered a clear signal that the evangelical broadcaster thinks that the former New York mayor will emerge as the Republican nominee next year and is the candidate most capable of defeating Mrs. Clinton in the fall.

Alan Keyes for President!

"The theme of the endorsements of both Giuliani and McCain seem to be less about conservative beliefs and more about who can beat Hillary," said Jessica Echard, executive director of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum. "For Republicans to use that criterion is to hand over the primary process to the Democratic Party, rather than to the grass roots."

Alan Keyes for President!

"Eagle Forum is in no hurry to endorse a candidate," Miss Echard said. "We are still one year from the general election."

Alan Keyes for President!

But some Republicans professed to see value in Christian right leaders ending up all over the map.

Alan Keyes for President!

"This really indicates a maturing of the social conservative leaders in one sense: that they don't all fit into a phone booth and that they don't all fit into a mold," Republican elections lawyer Cleta Mitchell said. "The absence of a lock-step devotion to the same candidate makes social conservative leaders important to whichever candidate is endorsed. That is a good thing, not a bad thing."

Alan Keyes for President!

Mr. Matthews said the endorsements show that the Christian right has a pragmatic side and is not as rigid an ideological movement as it is portrayed.

Alan Keyes for President!

Mr. Robertson has a history of endorsing the ultimate winner of the Republican presidential nomination fight, including Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000.

Alan Keyes for President!

Mr. Robertson's influence is not widespread as it once was. His "700 Club" reaches millions of viewers five days a week, but he is no longer associated with the Christian Coalition, which he founded after his failed Republican presidential nomination run in 1988.

Alan Keyes for President!

Many evangelical leaders across the country e-mailed each other expressing their shock over the surprise move by Mr. Robertson, who has built a reputation as a protector of the unborn.

Alan Keyes for President!

The practical effect of Mr. Robertson, still a major figure on the evangelical right, has less to do with how many followers he can turn out next November and more to do with the stamp of approval he puts on pro-life voters tapping the screen for a pro-choice candidate.

Alan Keyes for President!

"Many evangelicals have been saying quietly that given the choice between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, they would vote for Rudy," Mr. Matthews said. "Pat Robertson's endorsement frees them up to say so publicly."

Alan Keyes for President!

Senator Token Update.

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Ol' What'shisreligion babbles mindlessly about something or other as his hopes of being Hitlery's veep quickly fade.

The Washington Times: Obama confronts generational rifts

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama attacked his chief rival as out of step with the times and too locked in 1960s social and cultural battles to deal with new challenges that require a different and perhaps younger perspective.

Yeah, like he's any less a socialist. Heck, I know three year olds with collectivist tendencies.

As a matter of fact, having a mind like a three year old comes in handy on the fascist left.

"I think there is no doubt that we represent the kind of change that Senator Clinton can't deliver on, and part of it is generational," Mr. Obama told Fox News yesterday about the difference between himself and Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York. "I mean, Senator Clinton and others, they've been fighting some of the same fights since the '60s, and it makes it very difficult for them to bring the country together to get things done."

Mr. Obama began his presidential campaign with the message that a new generation of Americans needs to assume leadership and continue the progress made by the baby boomers who fought for civil rights.

For the first six months of the campaign, that message helped carry Mr. Obama to record fundraising numbers far ahead of Mrs. Clinton's. The senator from New York did not catch up until the summer.

Last month, Mr. Obama said he would begin to challenge Mrs. Clinton directly. [WATERBOARD HER! WATERBOARD HER! - F.G.] He and other Democratic candidates peppered her during a debate last week with tough questions about immigration and Iran.

Mr. Obama, Illinois Democrat, kicked off several days of campaigning in Iowa yesterday with a speech in Bettendorf. He touted his proposals introduced earlier this year to expand health care coverage, eliminate the income tax for retirees making less than $50,000 per year and cut taxes up to $1,000 for families.

He also proposed ways to make college more affordable.

"I'll create a new and fully refundable tax credit worth $4,000 for tuition and fees every year, which will cover two-thirds of the tuition at the average public college or university," Mr. Obama said. He pledged to "simplify the financial aid application process so that we don't have a million students who aren't applying for aid because it's too difficult."

...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

He said he would eliminate the current application for student aid and instead rely on parents' tax data to determine eligibility. He proposed a new Community College Partnership Program to determine the skills and technical education needed to help local industry, create degrees for emerging fields and reward schools that graduate more students.

Mr. Obama's higher-education proposal contrasts with that of former Sen. John Edwards, the North Carolina Democrat who also is seeking the presidential nomination.

Mr. Edwards has called for a plan to fully cover tuition and book costs for more than 2 million students in their first year of public college. He said he would reform the financial aid system by eliminating bank subsidies on student loans and allowing students to apply directly to the Department of Education. He estimates his plan would free up almost $6 billion a year to make higher education more affordable.

The Washington Times: Edwards, Obama unite against Hillary

"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" may be the new campaign motto for the two Democratic presidential hopefuls simultaneously working to topple Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

From The Evans-Novak Political Report for November 7, 2007

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The following is merely a sample of the latest ENPR.


Outlook


The transformation of congressional procedure into a knife fight as the session nears an end was typified by the maneuvers of Democratic leaders this week. They attempted to fold the controversial Labor/Health and Human Services (replete with earmarks) and Education appropriations bills into the non-controversial Military Construction bill (including Veterans benefits). The outcome is unclear.


In the midst of maneuvers over appropriations, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) rose Tuesday to offer a privileged motion for the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Democratic leaders don't want this divisive debate, but Republicans do and prevented the Kucinich resolution from being tabled. The motion was finally referred to committee, preventing a bitterly divisive battle among Democrats.


Democrats are showing a little "buyer's remorse" about Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) as their presidential candidate even before they have "bought" her. Her waffling on New York Democratic Gov. Eliot Spitzer's bid to give driver's licenses to illegal aliens led some Democrats to describe her as somebody interested only in power. But she looks to be headed for the nomination.


Republicans are in a presidential quandary after the performance of former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday (see below). There is no party favorite, and Republican insiders are still waiting for somebody to step forward.





President 2008


Republicans:


Former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) may have seriously wounded himself with his handling of the abortion issue on Sunday's "Meet the Press." Thompson unequivocally stated he opposed a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution, which is a plank in the Republican platform. Without prompting, he then attacked the idea of "criminalizing" abortion and locking up mothers who procure abortions -- images that are used as scare tactics by the pro-choice lobby. Throughout the long discussion of the topic, Thompson was incoherent at best and thoroughly objectionable to his party's pro-life base at worst. He backed away from his firm opposition to the platform, but he never quite set himself right on the whole issue.


While abortion might not have the weight this election that it has in the past, the pro-life base is still one Thompson cannot afford to upset. Many conservative activists who put the abortion issue near the top of their priorities would be ready to embrace Thompson as their nominee. His "Meet the Press" performance will, at the very least, make it very difficult for pro-life activists to campaign for Thompson.


This leaves the GOP field without a real anti-abortion leader since the withdrawal of Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.). Some pro-lifers trust the conversion of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), but many doubt it. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has a 100 percent pro-life record, but he has never been a leader on the issue, though he did pick up a Brownback endorsement this week. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), a doctor, has also consistently voted against abortion, but to date, he hasn't made it much of an issue. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) has assuaged the fears of some pro-life voters, but he will never win over the hard-core abortion foes who go to church parking lots on the Sunday before Election Day campaigning for Republicans in many races. The most pro-life candidate remaining may be former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), possibly the least broadly conservative candidate in the field.


Rep. Ron Paul set fundraising records on Monday, pulling in $4.2 million in online donations in one day. This is the largest single day of online fundraising in political history, and the largest single day of donations for any Republican candidate ever. The donations, averaging a little more than $100 each, reflect the unmatched enthusiasm of Paul's supporters, who range from anti-war activists to libertarians to fed-up Republicans.


Interestingly, it was volunteer supporters with no affiliations to Paul's campaign who organized the fundraiser. For all the talk of candidates' using the Internet in 2008, Paul's campaign is the only one that is really doing it -- and he is doing it mostly by stepping back and letting his enthusiastic backers form their own networks of support.


Raising this sort of money could increase Paul's support. First, it suggests that he is a legitimate candidate and not the Dennis Kucinich of the GOP. This might make some potential supporters less wary about "throwing away their vote." Also, going into the early states, he will have a huge cash-on-hand advantage over everyone but Romney and McCain.



I would vote for Ron Paul before I would vote for Mayor McTerror.

Children of the '80s, rejoice!

Because Pylon is back and they are playing in Philadelphia Saturday night at the World Cafe Live!

In December of 1987, R.E.M. was chosen by Rolling Stone as “America’s Best
Rock And Roll Band,” an honor that was quickly dismissed by drummer Bill Berry.
“We're not the best rock’n’roll band in America." Pylon, he declared, was much
more deserving of the honor than his group. Yet, at the time, Pylon had been
broken up for four years.

But such is the legacy of Pylon. Word of mouth and a relatively small but
vital cache of music, often traded by hard-core fans and collectors, has kept
the story of the fiercely independent and highly influential band alive for
three decades.

The quartet was born in 1979 in the humid college town of Athens, Georgia. It’s hard to believe now, but back then there was no real music scene in the now-legendary city. The B-52’s had made their mark and quickly moved to the greener pastures of New York. Cover bands and redneck frat parties served the college community, leaving the more artistically inclined outsiders with plenty of free time to create their own little world. Pylon was born of this necessity and deftly rose to the occasion -- on their own terms.

University of Georgia art students Randy Bewley(guitar) and Michael Lachowski (bass) teamed with drummer Curtis Crowe to fill out their repetitive “electronic experimentation” project, grinding out lock-step mechanical art rock that treaded danceable beats with the precision of a well-oiled machine. Two weeks after the addition of vocalist Vanessa Briscoe, the novice band debuted at a downtown party in March of ’79. Just a few shows and a few months later, they were opening for Gang of Four in NYC and Philadelphia.

Oh, man...Gang of Four! Commie dance music from the UK...

The “art-oriented, New Wave dance-party circuit” as Lachowski once referred to their clique, soon responded with a wave of new bands -- including an enigmatic garage band called R.E.M. Athens became a hotspot for music as The B's became the IT band of the New York scene, riding high on “Rock Lobster," and spreading the word about Pylon and the burgeoning Athens scene to anyone who’d listen.

Pylon's first single, "Cool" / “Dub” was released on Atlanta’s DB Recs label in early 1980, earning a slew of excited press that immediately heralded Pylon as a major underground act. The band’s jagged rhythms, scratchy guitar and insistent bass lines were the perfect foil for Vanessa’s whisper-to-a-shriek vocals and the band’s live shows were sweaty dance parties. Their debut LP Gyrate, was released in November of ’80 amid a heady time for the band. A string of sold-out club shows across the US was highlighted by an opening slot for The B-52's in New York's Central Park.

Glowing reviews came flooding in, including attention from Rolling Stone, Trouser Press and seemingly every other magazine on the planet. “Gyrate is a very good record that, in its humor, drive and purposeful innocence, sums up everything that’s best about the new American rock bands,” wrote Tom Carson in Rolling Stone. “[Pylon] bears scant relation to anything,” cooed a writer in NME. Pylon garnered a virtual torrent of positive reviews, all praising the band’s minimalistic approach, charming naiveté, artful use of space, persistent beat and quirky yet concise lyrics.

After Gyrate, the band soldiered on, releasing the stylistically adventurous Chomp while continuing to tour the US and UK to uniformly glowing reviews for their performances. The band remained an independent enterprise and when the project became more of a job than an exploration of art, they called it day with no one to answer to but themselves.

Many bands would be happy to relive those glory days, but damned if Pylon didn’t have another trick up their sleeve. In ’90 they reunited, released Chain and opened a string of well-received shows for R.E.M. before calling it quits once again the next year with a massive garage sale in their hometown the day after their final show. This time, they said, they were gone for good.

Or were they?

In the summer of 2004, fans and critics were shocked and pleasantly surprised to hear the rumors that Pylon had been secretly rehearsing at a practice space in Athens. Suddenly, on a balmy August day, word spread through Athens about a “secret” Pylon show, later that night. Naturally by showtime, the place was packed with old friends and fans who’d certainly heard of the band, but were too young to experience the real thing in person.

Pylon blazed through a set of their best-known material with Crowe bashing away on a set of drums borrowed from -- drumroll, please… yep, you guessed it -- old pal and long-time supporter Bill Berry. The band rocked with wild, wide-eyed and loose-limbed abandon, occasionally stealing glances at each other as if to assure themselves it was indeed happening after so many years of silence. For an all-too-brief brief moment, it was just like a hot summer night in Athens, circa 1981.

That brings us to today. After a string of successful gigs in Athens and Atlanta, Pylon is ready to create another era of their musical history. The very same line-up that ignited the Athens scene of the so-called Golden Age (and the only Athens band of any era to feature the original personnel) still has that spark and charisma that audiences and writers fell in love with the first time around. And the best news of all is that the outfit hasn’t altered their sound to pander to “modern” tastes, nor have they lost one ounce of their original style, humor and unrelenting art-school beat.

No one but Pylon sounds like Pylon. With an exciting live show and a newly re-mastered version of Gyrate, Pylon is back in action for their legion of old fans and a whole new generation of music lovers.

This is Pylon.


It starts at 11:30 PM, which is way past my bed time, but I have been waiting for this chance for twenty-five years.

This is why we invented naps, kiddies.

I mostly picked this story because of the name of the newspaper.

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus [!!!]: Notorious Boston jail makes transformation into luxury hotel

The elegant iron-railing balconies were once catwalks where guards stood watch over the inmates to make sure they didn't try to break out. If you look closely, you can still see the outline of the holes from the iron bars on the windows.

At the newly opened Liberty Hotel, it's hard to escape what this building once was: a decrepit jail where Boston locked up its most notorious prisoners.

But that's just the point.

After a five-year, $150 million renovation, the old Charles Street jail is now a luxury hotel for guests who can afford to pay anywhere from $319 a night for the lowest-priced room to $5,500 for the presidential suite. The hotel, at the foot of Boston's stately Beacon Hill neighborhood, opened in September.

Architects took pains to preserve many features of the 156-year-old stone building and its history.

The old sally port, where guards once brought prisoners from paddy wagons to their cells, is being converted into the entrance to a new restaurant, Scampo, which is Italian for "escape."

Clever.

In another restaurant, named Clink, diners can look through original bars from cell doors and windows as they order smoked lobster bisque or citrus poached prawns from waiters and waitresses wearing shirts with prison numbers. The hotel bar, Alibi, is built in the jail's former drunk tank.

Instead of con men, counterfeiters and cat burglars, the guests now include Mick Jagger, Annette Bening, Meg Ryan and Eva Mendes.

The old clientele included Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, who served time for fraud in 1904 after he took a civil service exam for a friend; Frank Abagnale Jr., a 1960s con artist played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie "Catch Me If You Can;" a group of thieves who pulled off the Great Brinks Robbery in Boston in 1950; and a German U-boat captain who was captured in 1945 and killed himself with shards from his sunglasses.

Boston also has a luxury hotel called Jurys in the former Boston police headquarters building in fashionable Back Bay. The hotel bar is called Cuffs.

The transformation of the Charles Street Jail is stunning to some of those who spent time in the notorious lockup.

"It's a magnificent place," said Bill Baird, an activist locked up for 37 days in 1967 for breaking a Massachusetts law prohibiting the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people. His arrest led to a landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people.

May God have mercy on his soul.

"How you could take something that was so horrible and turn it into something of tremendous beauty, I don't know," said Baird, who visited the new hotel in October, on the 40th anniversary of his conviction.

How quaint. Does anyone remember when the law of the land actually agreed with The Natural Law?

Nope, me neither.


When the jail opened in 1851, it was hailed as an international model for prison architecture. Built in the shape of a cross, the granite jail had a 90-foot-high central rotunda and four wings of cells. Large arched windows provided lots of natural light and good ventilation. Each of the 220 cells housed just one inmate.

But over the years, the jail fell into disrepair and became filthy, overcrowded and prone to riots.

Joseph Salvati, who spent 10 months in the jail in 1967 and 1968 after he was charged in a gangland slaying, said everything was covered with pigeon droppings.

"They had a crew every morning that would come down with hot water hoses and brushes to scrape it off the floor and seats," he said. "You had to rush down for breakfast to get a seat that was clean."

Salvati, who was exonerated after spending 30 years in various prisons, said he gets a kick out of seeing the jail turned into a luxury hotel. It is now "very classy-looking," he said.

In the 1970s, the inmates sued over the squalid conditions. After spending a night at the jail to see things for himself, a federal judge in 1973 ordered the place closed. But it took until 1990 for a new jail to be built and the last inmates to be moved.

The property was bought by Massachusetts General Hospital, next door, which invited proposals for preserving the building's historical character.

Cambridge developer Richard Friedman said the architects tried to retain some original elements while not reminding people too much of its dark past.

"How do you transform that into a joyous place where people have fun and a good time?" Friedman said. "We tried to use a sense of humor."

Charlene Swauger of Albuquerque, N.M., who stayed at the hotel in October, said the designers preserved elements of the old jail without crossing the line into bad taste.

"I thought it was very clever. I didn't discover any ghosts or anything," she said.

Eighteen of the hotel's 298 rooms are built in the original jail. Those rooms feature the original brick walls of the jail but also have high-definition TVs. The remaining rooms are in a new 16-story tower.

Max Stern, the chief lawyer for the inmates whose lawsuit led to the jail's closing, said some aspects of the project — such as calling the restaurant Clink — are too lighthearted.

"I thought they could have been a little more objective about what it really was like," he said.

He has a point, kiddies, albeit a small one.

Sport is dying.

TennisX: Germans Say Tommy Haas Was Poisoned During Davis Cup Against Russians

The German Davis Cup team is alleging that Tommy Haas was poisoned prior to their Davis Cup semifinal match against Russia.

The International Tennis Federation is investigating the allegation, as Haas was forced to sit out the final day of play with what he thought was a stomach virus. On that day Russia won the final two singles matches to advance to the final against the U.S.

"We take this very seriously," ITF spokeswoman Barbara Travers told the AP. "The investigation starts today."

German Davis Cup teammate Alexander Waske said he was told by a Russian who manages numerous athletes that it was poisoning.

"He said as an aside, that it was bitter that Tommy Haas was poisoned," said Waske, who told the unnamed man it was just a virus. "Thereupon he said, no, they poisoned him."

Haas will reportedly have additional blood tests run to detect a poisoning.

"I'm shocked that something like that appears possible," Haas said. "When I think of how bad I felt, I can imagine it. I've been feeling weak for weeks...I was the only one ever to order dessert or a Latte macchiato after dinner [during the Davis Cup weekend]. If all this is true, since no one else got sick, that must have been when it happened."

It is more bad news for Russia, with Nikolay Davydenko under investigation for match-fixing, and the Russian mafia reportedly deep into internet tennis betting and match fixing.

Happy 40th Birthday to Courtney Thorne-Smith!

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:

I know you boys will not understand this now, but trust me...she is better than two twenty year olds.



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The Slave China regime continues its relentless war against the free world through other means.

Guardian Unlimited: Illegal drug GHB found in China-made children's toy

Did this kind of thing ever happen with stuff imported from Japan?

Toys made in China were being seized and tested in Hong Kong today after scientists in Australia found that similar toys contained a chemical that converts into an illegal drug when ingested, officials said.

At least five children in the United States and Australia have been hospitalised after swallowing the toy beads, which are used for arts and crafts projects. They can be arranged into designs and fused when sprayed with water.

Australian scientists say a chemical coating on the beads, when ingested, metabolises into gamma hydroxy butyrate, better known as GHB, or liquid ecstasy, which has become notorious in its use as a date rape drug and is also popular on the dance club scene.

When eaten, the compound - made from common and easily available ingredients - can induce euphoria, hallucinations and drowsiness in low doses, and in higher doses can cause seizures, unconsciousness, coma and death.

The toys were sent to a laboratory in Hong Kong for tests, a customs official said, requesting anonymity in line with policy.

If the tests come back positive for the drug, suppliers of the toy in Hong Kong could face jail terms of one year and fines of HK$100,000 (£6,100), she said.

The toys are designed and distributed by Moose Enterprise and are called Bindeez in Australia, where they were named toy of the year at an industry function earlier this year, while in the United States they are known as Aqua Dots.

Retailer Toys "R" Us said in a statement it has pulled the toy beads from its stores in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, after officials in Australia ordered them off the shelves on Tuesday.

An employee at Moose Enterprise's Hong Kong office said the production of the toy was outsourced to a mainland Chinese factory, but she was unaware of its name or where exactly it was located.

"Our Hong Kong office is only responsible for operations such as logistics and shipping arrangements, we don't have any firsthand information," the employee told Associated Press, requesting anonymity because she is not authorised to speak to the media.

Moose Enterprise earlier said Bindeez and Aqua Dots were made at the same factory in Shenzhen, in China's southern Guangdong province. The company said the product is distributed to 40 countries.

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

The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944
by Rick Atkinson


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Read an excerpt
Read reviews
View historical photos from the book
View original historical documents
View a video of Rick discussing the book
Listen to Rick discussing the book
Listen to Rick read from the audiobook


In the second volume of his epic trilogy about the liberation of Europe in World War II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the harrowing story of the campaigns in Sicily and Italy
In An Army at Dawn -- winner of the Pulitzer Prize -- Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome.

The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their military advisers engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, one of the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American officers and soldiers became increasingly determined and proficient. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.

Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank. With The Day of Battle, Atkinson has once again given us the definitive account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

Read reviews

*Huh? Look here.

And their parents are paying good money for it.

WorldNetDaily: University vetoes extra credit for flag-burning

The University of Maine is backtracking on a classroom teacher's suggestion that students would get extra credit for burning a flag, or a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

I, for one, am no longer shocked by this nonsense.

University spokesman Joe Carr has told the Bangor Daily News the comments that prompted complaints from several students – including one who decided to drop the class because of the suggestion – were not intended to be taken literally.

Carr confirmed to the newspaper no extra credit would be granted for carrying out the suggestions from Paul Grosswiler, an associate professor students reported made the offer to his History of Mass Communications class.

Rebekah McDade is a sophomore who was in Grosswiler's class, but decided to drop the course and take it later from another professor, because of the suggestion, which she believed was offered seriously.

"I was offended," McDade told the newspaper. "I come from a family of military men and women, and the flag and Constitution are really important symbols to me because of my family background."

Grosswiler explained that the student misunderstood the discussion.

"I don't intend for students to burn either the Constitution or the flag, and over the years hundreds of students have understood that," he wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper.

The issue originally was publicized in a news release from The Leadership Institute.

"Associated Professor Paul Grosswiler was addressing his first class on the 'History of Mass Communication' at the University's School of Journalism when a student asked how he could earn extra credit in the course," the statement said. "Grosswiler paused for a moment, then announced that he would award extra credit to students who burned the U. S. flag or the Constitution, or got themselves arrested for exhibiting free speech."

"There was the loudest silence ever for a second," said McDade. A classmate asked Grosswiler if he was serious, and he replied, "Absolutely," according to the Institute.

McDade said Grosswiler already had alleged free speech didn't exist in America because "the Republican administration has made it all but illegal."

She reported that she was concerned over what she described as Grosswiler's bias, and when his outbursts continued in the next class, she asked her adviser if she could take the class another semester with an objective professor.

McDade said she used the learning experience to start a Students for Academic Freedom group, with help from the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program.

Carr also told the newspaper there would be no disciplinary action for the professor. He said Grosswiler has been at the school since 1991 and is a "well-respected member of the faculty."

Another student confirmed to the newspaper that the offer appeared to be serious.

In a forum page on the newspaper's website, Patrick, of Orono, Maine, said he took the same class in 2006 "and I was personally appalled by the comments made by this professor."

And Don, from Knoxville, Tenn., said the comments might have been fine if they had been balanced.

"If this prof's motives were really pure he would have given students the options of also burning a copy of the Communist Manifeseto by Karl Marx or reciting Reagan's speech in support of the nomination of Barry Goldwater or burning a picture of Hillary Clinton in the middle of campus. Now THAT would be fair and balanced."

A commentary at RightWingNews' website said liberalism in academia is not new, and this is just another example.

"Leftists seek sanctuary in the ivory tower of higher education where they can feel free to impose their liberal moonbattery on hapless college students. The less control they have over the country, the tighter their grip over academia becomes. And nothing runs more rampant on college campuses than anti-Americanism."

"Perhaps the most telling quote from Professor Grosswiler was this one: 'If they don't tolerate thought that they hate, they don't believe in the First Amendment,'" the editorial said.

"So not tolerating a professor asking students to burn the United States flag is equal to not believing in free speech? Your tax dollars at work, folks."

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of Saint Pope Deusdedit. Pope from 615-618, also called Adeodatus I. He was the son of a subdeacon, Stephen, born in Rome. Consecrated pope on October 19, 615, he became known for his care of the poor. An earthquake hit Rome in August 618, and he worked tirelessly during the disaster. He was the first pope to use bullae on documents. It is possible that he was originally a Benedictine. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.


Today's reading is Romans 14:7-12.
Today's Responsorial Psalm is
Psalms 26:1, 4, 13-14.
Today's Gospel reading is
Luke 15:1-10.


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.


Prayer to Saint Benedict

Sanctissime Confessor Domini, monachorum Pater et dux,
Benedicte, intercede pro nostra omniumque salute.

V. Domine Deus virtutum converte nos.

R. Et ostende faciem tuam et salvi erimus.


Oremus.


Excita, Domine, in Ecclesia tua Spiritum cui beatus Pater noster Benedictus Abbas servivit: ut eodem nos repleti, studeamus amare quod amavit, et opere exercere quod docuit.

Da nobis, quaesumus, Domine, perseverantem in tua voluntate famulatum: ut in
Diebus nostris et merito et numero populus tibi serviens augeatur. Per Christum Dominum Nostrum. Amen.


For those whose Latin is a bit rusty:

O most holy Confessor of the Lord, Benedict, father and guide of monks, intercede for our salvation and that of everyone.

V. Lord, God of armies, convert us.

R. Show us Thy Face and we shall be saved.


Let us pray.

Awaken, O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit that our blessed Father Saint Benedict
obeyed, so that, filled with the same Spirit we may strive to love what he loved and practice what he taught.

Grant us the grace to persevere in the service of Thy will, so that our days may
see the people of Thy servants grow in merit and number. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Sport is dying.

I'll make a deal with the Grand Poobahs of the game that has been dead decades: You kill the DH and I'll back replay.

AP: Baseball GMs recommend instant replay

Baseball could soon have a new position: replay judge. General managers recommended for the first time Tuesday that instant replay be used to help umpires on boundary calls — whether potential home runs are fair or foul, whether balls go over fences or hit the tops and bounce back, and whether fans interfere with possible homers.

Steelers Update.

From ESPN:

Football Today
The Steelers rolled over the Ravens Monday night. How does Pittsburgh stack up in Jeremy Green's power rankings?

Schlereth: Steelers can compete with anyone


From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Steelers' Harrison shows his capabilities
To say linebacker James Harrison was a little disruptive in the Steelers' recent win over the Ravens is to say that it was a little damp before kickoff.

Big Ben says he's OK after hip contusion in Sunday's game

Steelers point/counterpoint: Performance this season

Steelers' Big Ben could have mammoth season

Steelers Q&A: Scott Brown answers your questions

Starkey: Reeling Ravens left bitter

Tomlin's Take: Quotes from the press conference

Steelers' Aaron Smith may return

Steelers may not be up to Pats' level, but they're surging

About Me

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

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