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

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

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

Friday, March 18, 2011

I get mail...

...about my scintillating post entitled

The anti-christs attacked the Church for keeping homosexuals out of the priesthood, and now attack her when the homos rape little boys.

Catchy, no?

Some sick, twisted pervert got all hate-speechy on my in box.

G Williamson said...

You absolute idiots. It's got nothing to do with homosexuals and everything to do with sick, twisted perverts. Ps if you had a brain you would realise the bible is a very long story book full of crap.

So I replied:

Pray tell, good sir, exactly what kind of sick, twisted pervert puts his penis in a young boy?

Why, a HOMOSEXUAL one!

Stop trying to defend the indefensible. You'll sleep better.

What sort of perversion holds Citizen "Williamson" in thrall? It's impossible to tell from here, kiddies, but I'll bet you $20 it's a doozy. You see, he figures if he helps to advance the political buggery agenda, those perverts will help legitimize his favorite mortal sin.

Ahh...that's the smell of democracy ripening in the sun.

If all the science you know comes from TV [or public schools], you're a dumbass.

Yet again, Ann Coulter cuts through the nonsense and lets the chattering classes have right in the kisser.

A Glowing Report on Radiation
by Ann Coulter

With the terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami that have devastated Japan, the only good news is that anyone exposed to excess radiation from the nuclear power plants is now probably much less likely to get cancer.

This only seems counterintuitive because of media hysteria for the past 20 years trying to convince Americans that radiation at any dose is bad. There is, however, burgeoning evidence that excess radiation operates as a sort of cancer vaccine.

As The New York Times science section reported in 2001, an increasing number of scientists believe that at some level -- much higher than the minimums set by the U.S. government -- radiation is good for you. "They theorize," the Times said, that "these doses protect against cancer by activating cells' natural defense mechanisms."

Among the studies mentioned by the Times was one in Canada finding that tuberculosis patients subjected to multiple chest X-rays had much lower rates of breast cancer than the general population.

And there are lots more!

A $10 million Department of Energy study from 1991 examined 10 years of epidemiological research by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health on 700,000 shipyard workers, some of whom had been exposed to 10 times more radiation than the others from their work on the ships' nuclear reactors. The workers exposed to excess radiation had a 24 percent lower death rate and a 25 percent lower cancer mortality than the non-irradiated workers.

Isn't that just incredible? I mean, that the Department of Energy spent $10 million doing something useful? Amazing, right?

In 1983, a series of apartment buildings in Taiwan were accidentally constructed with massive amounts of cobalt 60, a radioactive substance. After 16 years, the buildings' 10,000 occupants developed only five cases of cancer. The cancer rate for the same age group in the general Taiwanese population over that time period predicted 170 cancers.

The people in those buildings had been exposed to radiation nearly five times the maximum "safe" level according to the U.S. government. But they ended up with a cancer rate 96 percent lower than the general population.

Bernard L. Cohen, a physics professor at the University of Pittsburgh, compared radon exposure and lung cancer rates in 1,729 counties covering 90 percent of the U.S. population. His study in the 1990s found far fewer cases of lung cancer in those counties with the highest amounts of radon -- a correlation that could not be explained by smoking rates.

Tom Bethell, author of the "Politically Incorrect Guide to Science," has been writing for years about the beneficial effects of some radiation, or "hormesis." A few years ago, he reported on a group of scientists who concluded their conference on hormesis at the University of Massachusetts by repairing to a spa in Boulder, Mont., specifically in order to expose themselves to excess radiation.

At the Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine in Boulder, people pay $5 to descend 85 feet into an old mining pit to be irradiated with more than 400 times the EPA-recommended level of radon. In the summer, 50 people a day visit the mine hoping for relief from chronic pain and autoimmune disorders.

Amazingly, even the Soviet-engineered disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 can be directly blamed for the deaths of no more than the 31 people inside the plant who died in the explosion. Although news reports generally claimed a few thousand people died as a result of Chernobyl -- far fewer than the tens of thousands initially predicted -- that hasn't been confirmed by studies.

Indeed, after endless investigations, including by the United Nations, Manhattan Project veteran Theodore Rockwell summarized the reports to Bethell in 2002, saying, "They have not yet reported any deaths outside of the 30 who died in the plant."

Even the thyroid cancers in people who lived near the reactor were attributed to low iodine in the Russian diet -- and consequently had no effect on the cancer rate.

Meanwhile, the animals around the Chernobyl reactor, who were not evacuated, are "thriving," according to scientists quoted in the April 28, 2002 Sunday Times (UK).

Dr. Dade W. Moeller, a radiation expert and professor emeritus at Harvard, told the Times that it's been hard to find excess cancers even from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, particularly because one-third of the population will get cancer anyway. There were about 90,000 survivors of the atomic bombs in 1945 and, more than 50 years later, half of them were still alive. (Other scientists say there were 700 excess cancer deaths among the 90,000.)

Although it is hardly a settled scientific fact that excess radiation is a health benefit, there's certainly evidence that it decreases the risk of some cancers -- and there are plenty of scientists willing to say so. But Jenny McCarthy's vaccine theories get more press than Harvard physics professors' studies on the potential benefits of radiation. (And they say conservatives are anti-science!)

I guess good radiation stories are not as exciting as news anchors warning of mutant humans and scary nuclear power plants -- news anchors who, by the way, have injected small amounts of poison into their foreheads to stave off wrinkles. Which is to say: The general theory that small amounts of toxins can be healthy is widely accepted --except in the case of radiation.

Every day Americans pop multivitamins containing trace amount of zinc, magnesium, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, boron -- all poisons.

They get flu shots. They'll drink copious amounts of coffee to ingest a poison: caffeine. (Back in the '70s, Professor Cohen offered to eat as much plutonium as Ralph Nader would eat caffeine -- an offer Nader never accepted.)

But in the case of radiation, the media have Americans convinced that the minutest amount is always deadly.

Although reporters love to issue sensationalized reports about the danger from Japan's nuclear reactors, remember that, so far, thousands have died only because of Mother Nature. And the survivors may outlive all of us over here in hermetically sealed, radiation-free America.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Put down the Tweetpipe! Part 3

Profound ignorance and instant access to the Worldwide InterWeb is a deadly combination, kiddies.

From TheSideWalker.com:

ATL Sports radio types, 680 canned Chad Scott today

680/The Fan’s Chadd Scott said he was fired for Tweets about Delta Air Lines

4:27 pm March 15, 2011, by Rodney Ho

Chadd Scott, who does sports updates for 680/The Fan, said he was fired today for negative Tweets about Delta Air Lines, a major sponsor at the station.

This must happen hundreds of times every day.

The Fan president David Dickey confirmed that Scott has been let go but declined to say why. “He’s a good guy and we wish him well,” he said.

I’ve also checked with Delta Air Lines and am awaiting a response.

Scott, who has worked at 790/The Zone, Colin Cowherd and Michael Savage, complained about a Delta delay Monday in St. Louis on his Twitter page and the fact they didn’t have enough de-icing fluid. Today, he was let go from the Fan, where he does sports updates for the station’s afternoon shows. Here’s a sample Tweet from yesterday: “the bean counter who saved delta a few bucks in st. lou hoping he wouldn’t need more de-icing fluid this year screwed a lot of people today”

He apparently deleted this particular tweet after the fact but someone did save. This is the one that probably got him in trouble because he referenced Buck Belue’s endorsement deal with Delta:

“hey @buckbelue8 ur boys at #delta have botched my travel – & thousands of others – miserably today. may want 2 rethink that endorsement.”
Here are some of Scott’s Tweets today:

I value honesty, openness & your follow-ship. I want 2 inform u I was fired from my radio job Monday for tweets critical of Delta Airlines.

Delta leaned on my station threatening to pull advertising after I tweeted travel difficulties in AM.

While pressure from mutli-billion $ company got me canned, at least I added @deltassist as a Twitter follower. #winning

Hee-hee. Chuckles Sheen reference.

I don’t blame radio station, huge company threatened to pull advertising $$$. I was easy sacrifice.

To prove I can take as good as I give, I’d like 2 applaud myself 4 being fired on an “off day.” #rare Almost Costanza-ish

The message 4 media: companies r monitoring social media, they have 0 sense of humor & will use power 2 silence critics no matter how small

So if you are a radio station looking for someone w/ 10 yrs network & major market experience, or need some yard work done, I’m available.

Google "fired because of Twitter". Go ahead, I dare you.

An actual feel-good story from the NBA.

From Yahoo! Sports:

Players chip in to save coach’s life after Clippers decline medical coverage

Seven years ago, former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Kim Hughes was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and the ensuing aftermath will change the way you feel about several NBA types significantly.

Up until Tuesday afternoon, the only functional knowledge I had of former Los Angeles Clippers head coach Kim Hughes was that he was, in fact, a former Los Angeles Clippers head coach, and that he once touched his elbows on the rim in a lay-up line at a high school tournament in Illinois, which really impressed my father.

Beyond that, nothing. Until Tuesday afternoon, when Howard Beck brought this column to Trey Kerby's attention, and he brought it to our attention. And now we're passing the feel-good savings on to you, in the form of an anecdote that reveals that NBA players Corey Maggette(notes), Marko Jaric(notes), Chris Kaman(notes) and Elton Brand(notes) all chipped in to pay for expensive life-saving surgery for Hughes, after the Clippers organization (read: Donald Sterling, noted worst person in the world) declined to cover the costs.

Declined to cover the cost of a surgery that would save their employee's life. While playing rent-free in an often sold-out arena in America's second-biggest television market. Unyieldingly evil.

Gary Woelfel has the original story:

"Those guys saved my life," Hughes said. "They paid the whole medical bill. It was like $70,000 or more. It wasn't cheap.

"It showed you what classy people they are. They didn't want me talking about it; they didn't want the recognition because they simply felt it was the right thing to do."

Hughes said he will be forever grateful to Brand, Jaric, Kaman and Maggette. In fact, Hughes said every time he runs into any of them, he thanks them from the bottom of his heart.

Maggette said that was indeed the case, laughing how he has repeatedly told Hughes over the years it wasn't necessary.

"Kim thanks me every time he sees me; he does that every single time," Maggette said smiling. "I've said to him, 'Kim, come on. You don't have to do that. You're good.'

No, you're good, Corey Maggette. You're pretty fantastically good. And so are you, Marko Jaric, Elton Brand, and Chris Kaman.

And Donald Sterling? You remain a terrible, terrible person.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

America's third favorite plastic surgery victim begs to be jihaded into what he thinks is nothingness.

From The Daily Caller:

Maher calls the koran a "hate-filled holy book”

On Friday, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison appeared on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Maher told Ellison, who is a Muslim, that the Quran was a “hate-filled holy book” that inspired terrorism.

Ellison gave an emotional, tear-filled testimony Thursday to a House committee hearing on the radicalization of American Muslims. The hearing, chaired by New York Republican Rep. Peter King, has been labeled by opponents as a witch hunt targeting Muslims.

Maher started his conversation on religion with Ellison by discussing the congressman’s conversion from Catholicism to Islam. “You converted as a young man. I didn’t even know you went to prison,” Maher jokingly said.

Ellison explained that when he attended college he was “interested in social justice, social change” and became attracted to the religion.

Maher then proceeded to discuss the threat posed by the radicalization of American Muslims.

“I do agree that there are other groups that pose a terroristic threat to this country,” Maher said, “I would say that the threat from radicalized Muslims is a unique and greater threat. It is the greatest threat.”

The host listed several reasons for why he believed radicalized Muslims presented the greatest threat. “We are dealing with a culture that is in its medieval era,” was one reason, another was that “[Islam] comes from a hate-filled holy book, the Quran, which is taken very literally by its people.”

“They are trying to get nuclear weapons,” Maher continued. “I don’t think Tim McVeigh would ever have tried to get a nuclear weapon because I think right-wing nuts, they think they love this country and they are not trying to destroy this country, they want to get it away from the people they see as hijacking it. That’s different than Muslim extremists who want to destroy it.”

Maher also listed “a culture of suicide bombing, which is hard to deter.”

Ellison responded that he believed Maher was “lumping together things that shouldn’t be lumped together” and “casting a very wide net and therefore coming to the wrong conclusions.”

Maher maintained his position that the Quran inspired radicalism, but also clarified, “No one is disputing that the vast vast giant majority of Muslims are not the problem. We’re talking about a very small percentage. It just takes one. That’s what we’re talking about when we’re talking about terrorism.”

Maher stated, “obviously there is something going on, that they’re getting from the Quran.”

Ellison suggested that “books are complex” and hold various meanings and interpretations. Maher responded, “I don’t buy it,” then mockingly said that he must have seen “a lot of bad translations.”

A new era for the Buffalo Sabres.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

While trying to make a living in the risky gas and oil drilling business long ago, Terry Pegula promised that if he had two nickels to his name he would buy the Buffalo Sabres.

Many nickels and one kept promise later, Pegula offered another vow: He will do whatever it takes to help the Sabres win their first Stanley Cup.

Pegula, whose several Pittsburgh connections include a family dog named Sidney (as in the Penguins' Crosby), bought the Sabres last month for $189 million in one of the quickest NHL sales ever.

The league instantly and eagerly embraced Pegula, a longtime Sabres fan and former season ticket holder, for his hockey passion, commitment to the franchise and business savvy, not to mention his bank account.

While hardly chump change, the bill for the Sabres barely scratched the $3 billion Pegula earned from selling his Warrendale drilling company last year. That vaulted him to a tie for 110th on Forbes magazine's 2010 list of the wealthiest Americans.

"A dream come true for us," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said, describing the deal to reporters. "This is a great day for hockey in Buffalo."

Sabres fans feel the same way, staging a lovefest with Pegula since his introduction Feb. 22. He had them at hello when, in his first public utterance, he proclaimed, "Starting today, the Buffalo Sabres' reason for existence will be to win a Stanley Cup."

He talked about sparing no expense in upgrading and expanding scouting, player development and pretty much everything else. "We're cutting the chains off," he said, adding that if he was in it for the money, "I'd drill another gas well."

Already, the locker room is getting a new carpet.

Even Pegula's wife, Kim, is involved in a multitude of tasks, such as reaching out to players' families and team employees and making them feel appreciated.

"Terry is really kind of the visionary, the big-idea guy," said longtime friend and former Penn State hockey coach Joe Battista, who is overseeing a massive hockey project Pegula is helping to finance. "Kim makes everything happen."

Pegula said his wife "looks at the human side of what we do."

Pegula has five children but now has a new family. Recently, the Pegulas hosted a get-together attended by everyone in the organization — coaches, players, wives, janitors. Nothing like that had happened before.

"People were in utter shock," said Pegula confidante Cliff Benson, who started Pittsburgh's Hockey in the Hood youth program and plans to help Pegula expand a similar venture, Hasek’s Heroes, in Buffalo.

During his introductory address, Pegula pointed to Sabres legend Gilbert Perreault and said, "You're my hero." This from a 59-year-old billionaire.

Earlier, Pegula spoke to the current players and choked up with tears. "His intentions are good, and he's a really good guy," winger Jason Pominville said afterward.

Fans starving for a Stanley Cup mobbed Pegula at his first game in what amounted to a hero's welcome. During a trip to New York, he and some friends wandered into a bar hosting a Sabres fan gathering. The place was jammed. Pegula got a standing ovation.

Pegula, who falls into the low-key category among owners, said he never expected this reaction.

He said he told a friend recently, "Nothing against any of the other teams or fans in the league, but if you think the Penguins have good hockey fans, wait till you see the people here. They take it to another level."

Last September, Pegula, who lives in Boca Raton, Fla., donated $88 million to his alma mater, Penn State, for a new ice arena that will help elevate hockey from a club sport to NCAA Division I. It was about then that talks with the Sabres became serious, although Pegula first raised the idea about a year ago.

In just a few months he has raised the hopes of a city that could use a little optimism.

Buffalo is a hockey hotbed. But the Sabres, whose name and "cash strapped" often went together, have gone Cup-less since entering the league in 1970. The last big league title came in 1965 when the Bills won the American Football League championship. Unlike Pittsburgh, Buffalo's economy and sports identity remain wobbly.

"Think about Pittsburgh with no Super Bowls and no Stanley Cups," said Benson, a Latrobe native and retired accountant who numbered the Penguins among his clients for several years. "Try to visualize what winning a Stanley Cup would mean to Buffalo. The psyche of the city would be so impacted by that. There isn't any town that would benefit more from winning the Cup. This is the hockey heartbeat. Buffalo."

Pegula worked his way up from below the ground. He was born in Carbondale, near Scranton, into a coal mining family. He said his grandfather worked in the mines and died of black lung disease and his dad — a miner, truck driver and mechanic — got "black lung benefits." Pegula said he himself drove a water truck in the mines to tamp down the coal dust.

He went to Penn State Worthington Scranton for two years, graduated from the State College campus and entered the drilling industry. In 1983, he borrowed $7,500 from family and friends and founded East Resources in Warrendale. After accumulating holdings in the Marcellus shale, he sold most of the company last year to Dutch Royal Shell for $4.7 billion. Pegula still owns several drilling assets, plus a sports agency in California and Black River Entertainment, a music label in Nashville.

One of his firms has a suite at Consol Energy Center. Pegula said he "may be there" when the Sabres, fighting for a playoff berth, play the Penguins on Tuesday. Among his links to Pittsburgh, Pegula added former Penguins executives Ken Sawyer (senior advisor) and Ted Black (president) to his brain trust.

Then there's the matter of the dog, an Australian Shepherd he bought for his kids who almost was named something else.

"We were looking for a name, and it was all Penn State centered," Pegula said. "Nittany. Everything was Nittany. I came up with the name Sidney. I said, 'You guys like Sidney Crosby, right?' "

But the Sabres have been a distant first in Pegula's heart dating to when he first moved to upstate New York during the 1970s. He went to games when he lived close by and stayed attached when he didn't. While living in Wexford, he would park on an overpass above I-79 in Portersville where he could pick up the Sabres' radio signal.

"Now I'm part of the business," he said. "The fan part has long eroded as far as being on the periphery."

He is as inside as it gets now, but Pegula said he plans to run the Sabres like his other businesses. "I have three rules," he said. "Love what you're doing, work hard, and treat people the way you want to be treated."

"I love the guy," Ted Black said. "There are no pretenses about him. He's just a wonderful, wonderful human being who happened to do extraordinary things with his business. I love hockey, and I love what we're gonna do, but if Terry Pegula ever went back to drilling gas wells, I'd think seriously about going with him."

Richard Martin, Requiescat In Pace.

Once upon a time, when your humble narrator was a little kiddie, he could only watch hockey on a Buffalo station, so he naturally became a Sabres fan. Many a cold winter's night was spent admiring the skill of Mr. Martin and his French Connection linemates.

The Sabres have a new owner and new hope. [See the next post.] When the Sabres win the Cup someday, I'll hoist a cold one in memory of Rick Martin.


Sabres hero Martin dies after heart attack while driving - St. Catharines Standard

BUFFALO — His voice cracking, Mike Robitaille stood and talked about his former teammate, Richard Martin.

It couldn't have been easy. Martin, who seemed so full of life, had died earlier Sunday after having a heart attack while driving his car near his home in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence. He was 59.

And Robitaille, Rob Ray, Larry Playfair, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff and owner Terry Pegula tried to make some sense of the death. Often, deaths make no sense. And this was Richard Martin, who skated alongside Gilbert Perreault and Rene Robert on the French Connection line — one of the best lines in NHL history.

Martin was an icon in Buffalo. And suddenly, he was gone. Ruff was emotional before standing behind the bench — with Martin's No. 7 hanging in the rafters of HSBC Arena.

"We lost a heckuva guy (Sunday)," said Ruff, a former teammate. "He was somebody I have been in the community with for 30 years.

"He was a teammate. He was somebody I worked with, somebody I played golf with. He was a great person. Anybody you talk to would say the same thing. We lost a real good person and it's a tough one to take."

The fans were in shock during a moment of silence before the puck was dropped against the Senators. Martin was a legend — a man who made an impact in Buffalo the way Jim Kelly did with the Bills.

Not only was Martin a star — scoring more than a point a game, with 701 points (twice netting 52 goals) in his NHL career, he was highly regarded, a man who settled in Buffalo and always was willing to lend a hand.

"Whatever he could do for the community, he would. At various times, he was involved with many charities," said Playfair. "This is such a shocker. I got call from his linemate (Robert) and, 'Wow!' It caught me off guard."

According to those who knew him, Martin had the ability to light up a room. He loved to talk and tell stories.

"He certainly made a lot of us laugh," said Robitaille, who played three seasons with Martin. "What are we doing being so emotional when what he stood for was having fun and making people laugh? We should have the biggest party in the world for (Martin). If he was (here), he'd have it for himself."

Robitaille will never forget Martin's knack for scoring and his tremendous shot.

"I found out how good he was playing against him. All I can remember was when he hit the blue line, he was going to find a way to put it in the net, one way or another. You couldn't control him," said Robitaille.

"Scoring meant everything to him. He just lived and died sticking the puck in the net. His eyes lit up when he had those opportunities. You don't see that out of every hockey player. When you see it, you sure notice it."

Ruff met Martin as a 19-year-old rookie.

"I was awestruck. For a young kid that came out of Western Canada, watched Hockey Night in Canada, and knew the French Connection, I felt out of place at training camp. The best comparison would be a peewee going to a midget team. I felt like I shouldn't be here, but they were tremendous players and even better people."

Pegula will never forget the night Perreault, Martin and Robert welcomed him to Buffalo.

"We had plans to get the French Connection involved and Rico was going to be part of that," said Pegula. "Now, we've got an empty chair."

And some empty hearts. Martin meant that much to others.

What the @#$!@!&#!! is up with Bill O'Reilly?

Has anyone else noticed that the blowhard who fancies himself the last real journalist has built a time machine and magically transported the entire universe to the year "211"? I've heard him refer to the next presidential election coming in the year "212" and at one point last week he referred to something he said happened in "2-9". Not "2 oh 9", just "2-9".

The next time he brags about his time as a school teacher, try not to throw anything through your tv screen.

The war against your eyes [and brains] continues apace.

This little gem from my post What do Renoir and Dos Passos have in common? still applies:

"Well, good luck kiddies. I have to get back to hoarding incandescent light bulbs. Those compact fluorescent thingees are a left-fascist plot to ruin our eyes [along with movies, TVs, and the internet] so we won't be able to read books with the truth in them."

Is the following a pile of condescending crap aimed at people concerned about our increasingly totalitarian government or is it reason to hope intelligent thought might yet be possible in the cesspool of the America Last media? You tell me.

The Old Gray Mare -
Law on Light Bulb Efficiency Angers Conservatives

WASHINGTON — American protests against the encroachment of government have been spurred by many causes — tea, of course, and guns, frequently. The latest catalyst: light bulbs.

A 2007 bill, passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed into law by George W. Bush, will make the familiar incandescent bulb subject to strict efficiency standards next year.

The effect will be to make current 100-watt bulbs obsolete — and that has sent conservative lawmakers, libertarians, some environmental activists and owners of Easy-Bake Ovens into a frenzy of activity to get the law repealed or, at least, to stockpile the bulbs before they disappear from store shelves.

“I do care about my carbon footprint, not to mention my light bill,” said Dana Carpender, a cookbook author in Bloomington, Ind. “But unless something dramatic happens to bring down the cost of alternatives, I will be stashing away a pile of incandescents.”

The law does not outlaw incandescent bulbs or dictate that consumers must use the spiral-shaped compact fluorescent lights that have become increasingly popular in recent years. Rather, it sets standards for the amount of light emitted per watt of power used. Current 100-watt bulbs must become 25 percent more efficient, and makers are designing new bulbs.

To Representative Joe Barton, the Texas Republican who has sponsored a bill to reverse the new guidelines, that nevertheless means Congress is dictating what types of light Americans can use in their homes.

“From the health insurance you’re allowed to have, to the car you can drive, to the light bulbs you can buy, Washington is making too many decisions that are better left to you and your family,” Mr. Barton said when he introduced his bill in January.

Opponents of the regulations say the fluorescent bulbs are too expensive, flicker annoyingly and are health hazards because they contain mercury.

While they are not unanimous on the issue, some environmental activists counter that by saying the mercury in a single fluorescent bulb is less than what some power plants throw into the atmosphere while generating the electricity it takes to light one incandescent bulb.

Makers of appliances and light bulbs, meanwhile, support the federal standards because they do not want to have to make scores of products to meet individual state regulations.

But to many Americans, the 100-watt bulb has become a cause célèbre.

Tea Party campaigners have adopted it; Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who introduced a bill to repeal the light bulb law in 2008 and again this year, talked about the issue in her response to the president’s State of the Union message in January. And this week, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said not only did he resent the light bulb standards but he also blamed the government for poorly working toilets in his house because of the regulations on how much water they should use.

The light bulb regulations already have affected the American economy. Last fall, General Electric closed its last major United States plant producing the old-style incandescent bulbs, in Winchester, Va.

Nearly all compact fluorescent bulbs are made in Asia, although some United States manufacturers are retooling former factories to make other energy-efficient bulbs.

Several companies in the United States are working on light-emitting diode, or LED, bulbs, and on energy-efficient halogen incandescent bulbs, which use a halogen element enclosed in a traditional glass bulb.

The Energy Department says the energy savings are significant. Kathleen Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency at the department, told a Senate committee this week that by meeting the new lighting standards, consumers could save nearly $6 billion in 2015.

A household that upgrades 15 current incandescent bulbs could save about $50 a year, Ms. Hogan said, even after accounting for the higher cost of the fluorescent bulbs, which average above $1 each, versus about 35 cents for incandescent.

Halogen incandescent bulbs now cost about $1.50 each, and LED bulbs, which have only begun to be introduced, can cost $20 or more each, though they can last 10 years or more. Three-way bulbs, appliance bulbs and a few other specialty products are excluded from the new standards.

All of which serves to convince some people that the government should not dictate light bulb standards.

Amy Ridenour, president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative group, said she already had about 100 old-style incandescent light bulbs stored in her basement in Laurel, Md., and she hoped to have several hundred by the time the new standards go into effect on Jan. 1.

Ms. Ridenour said that she opposed the government interference, but that her hoarding was primarily driven by concerns about the mercury in the compact fluorescent bulbs. Her middle child, a 10-year-old son, is autistic, Ms. Ridenour said. “He’s knocked over quite a few lamps,” she said, and broken plenty of light bulbs in the process.

The Environmental Protection Agency issues detailed instructions on how to clean up a broken fluorescent bulb because of the potential for spilling mercury. Each bulb contains about four milligrams of mercury, compared with 500 milligrams in old-style glass thermometers.

Nevertheless, the E.P.A. recommends recycling used fluorescent bulbs rather than disposing of them in household garbage.

Unknown, so far, is the economic impact of the retooling of the Easy-Bake Oven, the source of an unimaginable number of forced smiles summoned by parents after tasting a child’s cookies and cakes. The oven, a member of the National Toy Hall of Fame, uses a 100-watt bulb as its heat source, so Hasbro must give it a makeover. This fall, it will introduce the new Easy-Bake Ultimate Oven, which will use a different, so far undisclosed, heating element.

Joe Morello, Requiescat In Pace.

Heaven's rhythm section just got a bit hipper and cooler.

From the Arts Journal:

Joe Morello, 1928-2011
Joe Morello, the drummer best known for his long tenure with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, died this morning at his home in New Jersey. Morello joined Brubeck in 1956, remained with the group until it disbanded in 1967 and later played with it in reunions. He joined

Brubeck after three years in Marian McPartland’s trio. Earlier in the 1950s he worked with Gil Melle, Johnny Smith and, briefly, with Stan Kenton. His eyesight, always troublesome, began to fail in the later Brubeck years and by 1976 was gone. He continued to teach. It was not unusual for students from far-flung parts of the world to come to him for lessons.

When Brubeck offered him the drum chair after Joe Dodge left the quartet, Morello accepted on the condition that he be featured as a soloist. His solos became an attraction that, combined with Brubeck’s and alto saxophonist Paul Desmond’s established fame, helped make the quartet one of the best-known groups in jazz. That came about despite strong objection from Desmond, who had recommended Morello for the job. Desmond’s preference in drum accompaniment was for discreet time-keeping. At first, that is what Morello provided in rhythm partnership with bassist Norman Bates. “So, it went fine,” Morello told me in 2003,” then we went into the Blue Note for a week.”

From Take Five: The Public and Private Lives of Paul Desmond, here are excerpts from the longer account of what happened.

That night at the club, Brubeck urged Morello to use sticks and assigned him a solo. Morello said that the solo got “a little standing ovation.” Desmond left the stand for the dressing room. “At the end of the drum solo, he just took off,” Morello said. When Brubeck got there at the end of the set, Desmond wheeled on him and presented an ultimatum: “Morello goes or I go.” Brubeck said, “Well, he’s not going.”

“Joe could do things I’d never heard anybody else do,” Brubeck said. “I wanted to feature him. Paul objected. He wanted a guy who played time and was unobtrusive. I discovered that Joe’s time concept was like mine, and I wanted to move in that direction. Paul said I had to get another drummer, I told him I wouldn’t. I didn’t know whether Paul and Norman would show up the next night. They came to a record session at Columbia in Chicago during the day, but they wouldn’t play. So Joe and I played for three hours. And they told me they were going to leave the group. And I said, ‘well, there’ll be a void on the stand tonight because Joe’s not leaving.’

“So, I went to the job and, boy, was I relieved to see Paul and Norman. But I wasn’t going to be bluffed out of Joe. It was not discussed again. That was the end of it.

What Brubeck described as an “armistice” went into effect, holding Desmond and Morello at arm’s length and continuing after Eugene Wright replaced Bates.

Brubeck was able to make the center hold through all the internecine battles over tempos, volume, and drum fills during Desmond’s solos. Despite their powerful disagreements about how Morello’s skills should be deployed, Brubeck was able to take advantage of the respect Morello and Desmond had for one another’s abilities. The respect was ultimately to grow into genuine affection, but that was at the end of a rough road.

“For a while it was uncomfortable with Paul,” Morello told me. “But as time went on, it worked out. We became very close and used to hang out together. The last four or five years we hung out quite a lot, actually.”

Morello’s skill with unorthodox time signatures allowed Brubeck to undertake the explorations in rhythm that he had long wanted to initiate. They led to the 1959 Time Out album and the group’s enduring hit “Take Five,” written by Desmond, which featured a Morello solo in 5/4 time. The piece became a concert feature for Morello, one that audiences demanded for the rest of the life of the quartet.

Joe Morello would have been 83 in July.

(Added on 3/14): On his JazzWax blog, Marc Myers includes another excerpt from the Desmond biography and a video of Joe demonstrating and explaining his basic brush technique.

The Catholic Restoration continues apace...

...with the help of technology.

From Lancasteronline:

Bishop to lead religious formation classes

The Most Rev. Joseph P.
McFadden, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, wants to help seniors at Lancaster Catholic High School move smoothly into adulthood.

"Their parents and their schools have been preparing them and supporting them thus far in their lives," the bishop said in a recent audio clip.

"Now is when the rubber will meet the road for these young people. As they go forth into the world they will be challenged to live their faith."

On six Wednesdays in Lent, beginning Wednesday, McFadden will lead religious formation classes for LCHS's 168 seniors and seniors at six other schools in the diocese.

The 40-minute classes will be broadcast from the Cardinal Keeler Center, Harrisburg, over the diocese's new Wide Area Network that interconnects most Catholic schools in the 15 counties in the diocese.

Students will interact with the bishop and each other on a high-speed fiber optic computer network.

Wednesday's classes will be just the second time WAN has been used at the school.

Course topics will be prayer, friendship, sexuality, vocation, contemporary moral issues — including the death penalty, stem-cell research and gay marriage — and living in a secular world.

"I want to spend time with them and talk with them on these topics that are so important," McFadden said.

"It's important for them to connect with a Catholic church, to find people who share the same values, to continue to grow in faith — to treat people with charity but understand that sometimes people are going to be critical.

"The world we live in doesn't embrace Catholic beliefs."

McFadden, 63, is a former high school teacher and chairman-elect of the education committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Thomas S. Fertal, LCHS principal, said the bishop "has a huge grasp of educational progress.

"He has a fondness in his heart for the role of educator."

The principal said the seniors —about 90 percent of whom will go on to some form of higher education, 15 percent to 20 percent of them to Catholic colleges — are excited to have the bishop as their teacher.

"In the Catholic world, there's something special about the bishop. As bishop, he's the master instructor. He elevates the discussion."

He said the topics the bishop will address fit into the curriculum that all high schools in the diocese follow.

"They are the kind of things our senior class gets into. They're very timely."

McFadden, a Philadelphia native, was installed as bishop in Harrisburg in August. Before that, he served six years as auxiliary bishop in Philadelphia.

Fertal, former interim principal, was appointed principal of the school, on Juliette Avenue in Manheim Township, in April. Previously, he was director of spiritual life at the high school.

He said the school, which has experienced some financial difficulties in recent years, is holding its own.

"It's not an easy time, but enrollment is steady, our annual fund is on track to meet its goal. As for giving — we'll see."

The Catholic Restoration continues apace...

...one convent at a time.

From the Albany Times Union:

Vatican review of women's religious orders nears end

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) -- Major work has been completed on a Vatican-ordered investigation of Roman Catholic sisters in the United States.

Mother Mary Clare Millea, who is leading the review for the Vatican, announced Tuesday that the onsite visits of American women's religious orders have been finished.

The review began in 2008 and was "intended as a constructive assessment and an expression of genuine concern for the quality of the life" of roughly 59,000 U.S. Catholic sisters, according to a Vatican working paper sent early in the inquiry to leaders of 341 religious congregations.

However, some sisters and religious order leaders interpreted the investigation as a prelude to a dressing-down amid claims from critics that many sisters are unfaithful to the church.

The Vatican working paper for the review asks communities of sisters to describe how they respond to members who dissent publicly or privately from church teaching and about the doctrine the women teach. Additional questions cover financial management and efforts to recruit new members. The numbers of U.S. religious sisters has dropped dramatically in the last few decades.

The Vatican office that ordered the inquiry -- called an apostolic visitation -- is the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

Millea, of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, will be writing summaries of the findings that she will send to the Vatican by the end of this year. It's unclear whether the results will ever be made public.

Put down the Tweetpipe! Part 2

Profound ignorance and instant access to the Worldwide InterWeb is a deadly combination, kiddies.

Pondexter apologizes for Twitter post about earthquake and tsunami in Japan

- The Canadian Press via Yahoo! Canada News

New York Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter apologized for Twitter postings over the weekend about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Pondexter tweeted on Saturday: "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes."

She later tweeted: "u just never knw! They did pearl harbour so u can't expect anything less."

Pondexter posted an apology Monday:

"I wanna apologize to anyone I may hurt or offended during this tragic time," the tweet said. "I didn't realize that my words could be interpreted in the manner which they were. People that knw me would tell u 1st hand I'm a very spiritual person and believe that everything, even disasters happen 4 a reason and that God will shouldn't be questioned but this is a very sensitive subject at a very tragic time and I shouldn't even have given a reason for the choice of words I used.

"The least thing I wanted was to hurt or offend anyone so again I truly apologize. If you've lost respect for me that's totally fine but please don't let me or my words lose the respect of u the WNBA and what it stands for.

"I'm very strong woman evn strong enough 2 admit an apologize when I'm wrong. Twitter is a voice and wth tht I wanna apologize again."

The WNBA declined to comment on Pondexter's tweets, but the Liberty released a statement later Monday.

"We have spoken to Cappie and the content of that conversation will remain internal. She made a mistake and quickly apologized for that mistake. We will have no further comment."

Put down theTweetpipe! Part 1

Profound ignorance and instant access to the Worldwide InterWeb is a deadly combination, kiddies.

From Digital Trends via Yahoo! News:

Gilbert Gottfried fired as Aflac duck voice after Japan tsunami tweets

Gilbert Gottfriend will no longer be annoying you as the voice of the Aflac duck after the comedian published a series of insensitive jokes on his Twitter feed mocking the ongoing disasters in Japan, the Associated Press reports.

The tweets have since been taken down. But they included such gems as:

“”I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘There’ll be another one floating by any minute now.’”


"Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. They beach comes to them."

(For those of you who’d like to get a larger dose of Gottfried’s “tasteless” humor, Buzzfeed has compiled a list of the “top 10 worst Gilbert Gottfried tsunami jokes.”)

In a statement released on Monday, Aflac said that Gottfried's jokes in no way represent the sentiments of the insurance company.

“There is no play for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times,” Alfac’s chief marketing officer Michael Zuna said.

While controversial humor by celebrities with corporate affiliations never seems to go over well in times of tragedy, Gottfried’s jokes seem to have hit a particular nerve with his former employer, which does 70 to 75 percent of its business in Japan.

With all the damaged caused by the earthquakes and tsunamis that continue to cause widespread disaster across the island country, the insurance company has taken a particularly hard hit. Its stock prices have fallen 11 percent this week, making it the worst stock on the S&P 500, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Needless to say, news of Gottfried’s firing ranks extremely low in importance compared to the rest of the news coming out of Japan today.

The country is still struggling to gain control of areas demolished by the record-breaking 9.0-magnitude earthquake and the resulting tsunami that hit Japan this weekend. Nuclear power plants have begun to have complete meltdowns, and officials are working furiously to contain the harmful spread of radiation that is the result of multiple explosions at the nuclear facilities. Millions of people have been displaced from their homes. Food and water have become scarce. And the discovery of people killed by the disasters has become an increasingly common occurrence.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Headline Of The Day!

Finally: The David Lynch/Duran Duran Collaboration You’ve Been Hoping For

The Maysles Brothers and the Rolling Stones. Martin Scorsese and the Band. Jonathan Demme and Talking Heads. Davis Guggenheim and Justin Bieber. Some of cinema’s most important collaborations have served as pop music milestones as well, a collision of sound, light, vision and performance better known as the concert film. And finally — finally — we can add David Lynch and Duran Duran to their ranks. Wait, what?

That’s the word just in to ML HQ from American Express Unstaged, a concert series whose second season commences March 23 with a performance by ’80s heroes Duran Duran — live in L.A., and streamed to your computer through the sublime, surreal eye of the genius who brought you Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart and Mulholland Drive. Because, you know, obviously:

“I am very excited about this opportunity to experiment with the band, Duran Duran, at the Mayan Theater on March 23rd,” said filmmaker David Lynch. “The idea is to try and create on the fly, layers of images permeating Duran Duran on the stage. A world of experimentation and hopefully some happy accidents.”

Speaking from a rehearsal studio in London where they are preparing for the ‘Unstaged’ show, lead singer Simon Le Bon said: “We are all beyond delighted that David Lynch has agreed to direct this show for us. It’s a dream come true quite frankly. We are all such fans of his work and think he has a creative vision like no other. In talking to him about what he is planning, we all believe this live-streamed performance is going to look nothing like anyone has ever seen before. We can’t wait.”

Who can? The livestream begins March 23 at 7 p.m. PT / 10 p.m. ET, you can find it here on YouTube. Developing…

If you watched the news today you'd think the story was the imminent return of Godzilla.

CRS Ready to Respond to Devastation in Japan

Catholic Relief Service personnel throughout the Pacific are standing ready to assist those affected by the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan early Friday morning.

"We know from 2004 the devastating impact that these tsunamis can have," said Sean Callahan, CRS' executive vice president for overseas operations. "As with all such disasters, CRS will help people recover from the emergency and stand with them as they recover in the months and years to come."

Japanese earthquake and tsunami

A massive 8.9 magnitude quake hit northeast Japan on Friday, causing many injuries, fires and a ten-metre (33-ft) tsunami along parts of the country's coastline. Photo by REUTERS/KYODO Courtesy www.AlertNet.org

Caritas Japan is beginning to assess the needs in that country where the tsunami has caused extensive damage. CRS has programs in the Philippines and Indonesia and works with Caritas Oceania that is active in numerous islands in the Pacific that might be affected. Central American countries where CRS works could also be in danger.

"We will reach out to our Caritas partners to help them in any way we can," Callahan said.

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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