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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, May 13, 2011

America's third-favorite foot fetishist smacks down the America Last AP.



Published on DickMorris.com on May 11, 2011

The Associated Press has released a survey, taken on May 5-9, 2011 to measure public approval of Obama after the killing of Osama bin Laden. The poll purports to show that the president's job approval has soared to 60 percent. Don't you believe it.

The AP sample contains twice as many Democrats as Republicans (35% Democrat vs. 18% Republican). While party identification is, itself, a variable to be determined by polling, the normal sample usually contains an approximately equal number of Democrats and Republicans. Lately, Republicans have actually been slightly in the plurality in most statistically valid samples.

This AP poll -- with its 2:1 Democratic edge -- is utter hogwash.

Even by the standards of AP's previous polls, this sample doesn't stand up. It is vastly more Democratic than any of the organization's recent polls:


Democrat Republican
October, 2010 32% 25%
November, 2010 29% 24%
January, 2011 28% 25%
March, 2011 29% 20%
May, 2011 35% 18%
Of course, all of these AP polls reflect a decided pro-Democrat bias compared to most national survey findings. The Associated Press needs to search its soul -- and consult with its polling company -- to determine if this bias can be corrected.

Most polls, such as that by Rasmussenreports.com, suggest that Obama has, indeed, gotten a single digit bounce from the bin Laden killing. Rasmussen has his approval now at 48% after it had languished in the low 40s for some months.

In the long term, this bounce won't mean anything. The effects of unemployment and inflation will soon reassert themselves and voters will lower their ratings of Obama. Over the next few months we may expect a steady, slow downward movement as the economic troubles drag him lower.

But the bin Laden killing has one important impact on our national debate: Terrorism is no longer a weak spot for Obama. Despite his rules against harsh interrogation and the limitations he has placed on intelligence gathering, unless we are hit again by a major terror attack, Obama will always have the shooting of bin Laden to point to as a defense against attacks on this issue.

That's too bad. It is clear that waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques had a key role in providing the information that led intelligence operatives to Obama's conduit with the outside world. Following this man led them to bin Laden's lair. Blocked from using these techniques in the future, American intelligence officials will not be able to duplicate this intelligence coup as long as Obama's rules are in effect. Who knows what mayhem we will not be able to discover -- or prevent -- as a result?




Diasters also happen at home.

Please Respond by May 27, 2011

More than 300 tornadoes, accompanied by deadly storms and flooding, have ripped through the Southern United States.

As you read this, Catholic Charities USA and its member agencies are providing life-saving efforts throughout the region.

Volunteers and staff on the scene are reporting massive and widespread devastation. Thousands of families and individuals are displaced or without power and basic necessities.

Funds are needed to provide food, clothing, shelter, and other critical supplies immediately.

Your generous support of Catholic Charities USA has helped victims of past disasters. Can you please help again today, with a gift of $50, $100, $250 or even more?

Your donations will help save lives, rebuild homes and restore desperately needed hope. Catholic Charities is there for the long-haul, assisting individuals and communities to recover and rebuild their lives.

Please make a gift right away.

In this crisis, your gift could literally be the one that saves a life. Thank you for caring ... and thank you for helping!


Rev. Larry Snyder


P.S. See your gifts at work! Visit our website for the latest disaster updates and how Catholic Charities is responding. But first, help make sure Catholic Charities can reach every person who needs us. Send your most generous gift today.

(If you have been personally affected by this disaster and are in need of assistance please contact your local Catholic Charities agency)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fearful Leader lies about our southern border.

The Commie-In-Chief even takes credit for decreasing the number of illegals invading from the south. The truth is, even Mexicans won't come here while we're in the throes of Benito's half-assed "recovery".

From CBS:

Obama mocks GOP, jokes they want border moat

(AP) Delving anew into an explosive issue, President Barack Obama stood near the border with Mexico on Tuesday and declared it more secure than ever, trying to build pressure on Republicans to take on a comprehensive immigration overhaul -- and eagerly working to show vital Hispanic voters that he is not the one standing in the way.

Countering Republican calls to focus on border security before moving to a comprehensive overhaul, Obama said their demands have been more than met by his administration but "they'll never be satisfied."

On his first trip to the U.S.-Mexico border since becoming president, Obama boasted of increasing border patrol agents, nearing completion of a border fence, and screening more cargo.

Actually, the fence is all of 5% complete. Go ahead, I dare you to look it up.

"We have gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement," Obama said. "But even though we've answered these concerns, I gotta say I suspect there are still going to be some who are trying to move the goal posts on us one more time."

"Maybe they'll need a moat," Obama said mockingly to laughter from the crowd. "Maybe they'll want alligators in the moat."

Emperor Haile Unlikely can't tell the truth about Osama bin Goatrape.

Unarmed, and not hiding behind a woman

The story changes: OSAMA Bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot…
- Andrew Bolt - May 03 01:49pm

US drops story of prolonged firefight in bin Laden's lair, in latest twist to a changing tale
WASHINGTON - The Americans who raided Osama bin Laden's lair met far less resistance than the Obama administration described in the aftermath. The commandos encountered gunshots from only one man, whom they quickly killed, before sweeping the house and shooting others, who were unarmed, a senior defence official said in the latest account.
- The Canadian Press via Yahoo! Canada News - May 05 05:15pm

Why Can't the Obama Administration Get Its Story Straight About Bin Laden's Death?
COMMENTARY | One aspect of the aftermath of the execution of Osama bin Laden has been the curious inability of the Obama administration to get its story straight. The account of the last moments of the terrorist chieftain keeps changing.
ContributorNetwork via Yahoo! News - May 04 10:52am

White House story of bin Laden's death keeps changing
The White House account of the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden has been changing almost daily since the last shot was fired, and the administration's claim that it was a capture-or-kill mission has come into question as new details emerge. Administration officials repeatedly described the operation as a "continuous ...
- Washington Examiner - May 05 05:11pm

VIDEO: Changing story of Bin Laden's death
The White House has corrected the version of events about the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
- BBC News - May 04 08:20am

Changing Story? Bin Laden Unarmed, White House Says
Osama bin Laden was unarmed but was resisting at the time he was killed by a SEALs raiding party, the White House said today.
- ABC News - May 03 01:33pm

Assad the Obama-like reformer strikes again! And again! And again!

Syrian security forces kill 18, rights group says

A Syrian human rights group says security forces have killed 18 people, including an 8-year-old boy.
- AP via Yahoo! News

Enter The Goat Rapists: The Final Solution

Mohammedan-Christian violence flares in Egypt

Sectarian violence intensified in Egypt, spurring pleas from Coptic Christians for international protection. At least 12 people were killed and hundreds wounded in clashes outside a church, state TV reported.

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

Gaming The Game: The Story Behind the NBA Betting Scandal and the Gambler Who Made It Happen

by Sean Patrick Griffin

In June 2007, the FBI informed the NBA that one of its referees, Tim Donaghy, was the subject of a probe into illegal gambling. Within months, the public knew the broad outlines of a scheme involving Donaghy betting on games he officiated with a co-conspirator, longtime Donaghy acquaintance and professional gambler Jimmy "Baba" Battista. They were joined in the scandal by mutual childhood friend Tommy Martino. By November 2008, each man had pleaded guilty to charges relating to the conspiracy, and was in federal prison. The story was over. Or so it seemed to be.

Researched with dozens of interviews, court documents, betting records, referee statistics, and unique access to witness statements and confidential law enforcement files, Gaming the Game looks inside the FBI's investigation and beyond to provide the definitive account of the scandal. Jimmy Battista's remarkable decades-long bookmaking and betting career is examined; including, and especially, his role as architect of the widely publicized scandal. Battista, who unlike his co-conspirators never spoke with federal authorities, reveals for the first time intricate details of the scheme--most of which only he knows.

"Offers a fascinating look into the Donaghy scandal...intriguing" - Philadelphia Daily News

"(Griffin) straddles the line between academic and storyteller, cop and journalist...[Gaming the Game} will blow your mind" - Philadelphia Magazine

"An exhaustively researched book threatening to overturn some uncomfortable assumptions about the NBA's referee scandal...[Gaming the Game] delivers the intrigue you'd expect from a true crime thriller" - ESPN.com's True Hoop

"[This] important new book...offers a full picture of how the world of big-time sports gambling operates" - The Painted Area (an official ESPN.com NBA blog)

"A book you can bet is worth reading...fascinating...a complete effort" - Delaware County (PA) Daily Times

"If you've ever wondered what the REAL story was behind Tim Donaghy and the NBA betting scandal, this is a must read...if you're interested in sports betting, you won't be able to put [Gaming the Game] down - Bettors World

"Compelling [and] many leveled...the research behind Gaming the Game is impressive...Griffin's knowledge of the crime scene in and around Philadelphia illuminates Gaming the Game...He's a fluid, crisp writer and an A-1 historian of crime [who] combines an eye for detail with the ability to convey broad social themes." - Blogger News Network

*Huh? Look here.

Liz Taylor, Michael Jackson, and Marlon Brando get into a rental car...

You can't make up stuff like this. [But if you did, please keep your mouth shut because this story is just too cool.]

From The Atlantic Wire via Yahoo! News

The Bizarre Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Liz Taylor Road Trip

The death of Osama bin Laden has brought about a rash where-were-you-on-9/11 reminiscences, none as compelling as Sam Kashner's Vanity Fair account of how Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor found a way out of Manhattan after the twin towers fell.

Jackson was in town for two concerts on the 7th and 10th, and had invited old friends Brando and Taylor as his guests. On the morning of the eleventh, writes Kashner, Jackson got "a call from friends in Saudi Arabia who warned that America was under attack." Depending on which version of the story you believe, the three stars then "planned their escape, afraid that they would be the next target," and drove out of town, even though fans kept mobbing their car looking for autographs. The trio eventually drove as far as Ohio, with "Brando allegedly annoyed his traveling companions by insisting on stopping at nearly every KFC and Burger King they passed along the highway."

Taylor's associates insist the actress never went along on the road trip, and that she stayed behind in New York, "where she went to a church to pray, and she went to an armory where people were who couldn’t get home or who’d stayed behind to look for the missing." When the airports reopened, she went home to Los Angeles.

We're OK with either version, since they both involve Michael Jackson and Marlon Brando driving halfway across the country in a (presumably) rented car.

Thank goodness Gates, Buffett, Okhrana, et al. are doing all they can to stop the darkies from procreating.

U.N. Forecasts 10.1 Billion People by Century’s End

Demographers called the report a reminder that the population explosion, which helped define global politics in the 20th century, is far from solved in the 21st.
- The Old Gray Whore

Seas Could Rise Up to 1.6 meters by 2100
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) - Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland's ice could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6 meters by 2100, an international report showed on Tuesday. [More]
- Scientific American

It beats the everloving crap out of starting the Ford Foundation.

From the Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! Finance:

Family inherits fortune generations later

Want to avoid raising spoiled kids?

Consider the Wellington Burt School of Wealthy Parenting.

Wellington R. Burt was a rich timber baron from Saginaw, Mich. He died in 1919 with a multimillion-dollar fortune -- one of America's largest at the time.

© The Saginaw News/AP
Wellington R. Burt

Yet rather than risk messing up his kids lives with a huge inheritance, he created an unusual will.

He stated that his fortune would be distributed to the family -- but only 21 years after his grandchildren's death.

His children and grandchildren weren't entirely deprived. Burt gave his "favorite son" $30,000 a year but the rest of his children got allowances roughly equal to those he gave his cook and chauffeur, according to the Saginaw News.

"I'm pretty sure he didn't like his family back then," said Christina Cameron, an heir and a great-great-great grandchild of Burt's.

That's a rather narrow-minded perspective. I'm guessing ol' Burt loved his progeny and acted responsibly.

Now that it's 21 years since the death of the last grandchild, the fortune is finally being turned over to Cameron and 11 others, including three great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren and another great-great-great grandchild. The fortune is valued at more than $100 million. (She'll get a little more than $2.6 million, since those further up the family tree get more under a master agreement).

Saginaw County Chief Probate Judge Patrick McGraw said the estate is "one of the most complicated research projects" he's faced in his 12-year career in Saginaw.

Of course, skipping a generation is not unusual among rich parents who want to send a message to their kids (but somehow not their grandkids). Generation-skipping trusts and other estate-planning structures have been around for ages.

But Burt's will takes kid-skipping to a new, almost punitive level. Who knows, maybe his kids and grand-kids were better off for the lack of inheritance, or maybe the money would have allowed them to lead fuller, happier lives. We'll never know. It would be interesting to compare the lives of his new heirs with those who were shut out.

It's time to cut ALL funding to the hopelessly corrupt public library system.

If you think college faculties are havens for commie parasites, just try talking to your friendly neighborhood librarian, who couldn't even get good enough grades to become a public school teacher,

From the Pocono Record:

Kids free to watch online porn at New York libraries

Kids do not have to hide dirty magazines under their mattresses anymore -- they can just go to the public library to watch online porn, the New York Post reported Monday.

Children aged 13 and older can easily access hard core porn in New York City's public libraries by simply claiming to be of age on the software and clicking off the filters that block XXX-rated content.

And library patrons say it happens all the time. "You'll see three or four kids, 13 or 14 years old, and they're all gathered around a computer giggling," said a regular at Brooklyn's central library at Grand Army Plaza.

Even kids who do not want to surf for smut can be exposed to it because they can wind up sitting next to porn gazers.

"A lot of the times, I see people watching pornography and stuff like that. The man right next to me today was watching naked women," Julio Sosa, 14, said at the Jerome Branch in The Bronx.

Library officials defend their policy of allowing easy access to porn as a free speech issue and say just five percent of web traffic on public library computers was to porn sites.

"Our staff carefully monitors use of computers in adult areas. It is long-standing library policy -- here and across the nation -- to abide by the First Amendment," said New York Public Library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise.

But Sosa said kids watch it anyway. "She [a librarian] comes over and tells them to stop watching it, but once she leaves, they just go right back to watching it," he said.

City library collections never included pre-internet porn, in books, magazines or movies, and some religious leaders and politicians said the standard should be the same for online porn.

"There's a big difference between exercising your 'freedom of speech' at home and exercising it in a public place such as a library, where you're surrounded by other people -- including children," said Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro, who is threatening to cut taxpayer funding of libraries.

Dr. David Sencer, Requiescat In Pace.

Official known for '76 swine flu fiasco has died - Fox 23 Maine

ATLANTA (AP) - Federal health officials say Dr. David Sencer has died. He's a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention whose tenure was tainted by controversy over a swine flu vaccine campaign in 1976.

Sencer died in an Atlanta hospital Monday. He was 86.

He was director of the CDC from 1966 through 1977 and served as New York City's health commissioner during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.

Sencer left the CDC after an ill-fated campaign to vaccinate Americans against swine flu. The epidemic he warned about never materialized, and the campaign was suspended after dozens of reports of a paralyzing condition linked to the vaccine. He also helped launch a successful effort to rid the world of smallpox.

Mr. Newton Gingrich is not fit to be President.

I am happy ol' Newt found his way home to Rome, though a cynic might claim he only converted to keep his third "wife" (a "devout" Catholic) happy. [BTW, how devout can a woman who commits adultery with a married man be? Of course, that was his second "wife", which may not really count. Newt's first wife was one of his high school teachers. He was nineteen and she was twenty-six...Ow, my head is starting to hurt...but you get my point...]

Putting his profoundly icky personal life aside for the moment, Newt's a professional politician and we have had enough of them to last several lifetimes. [See Benito Insane Okhrana.]

Herman Cain for President!

Newt should spend the rest of his days praying, going to confession, going to mass, reading St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Francis De Sales, St. Anselm, et cetera, and doing penance for his sins while staying away from earthly power - which he has admitted contributed to his marital infidelities.

Newt Gingrich Is Poised to Enter the 2012 Race. Can the Professor Connect?

Now he wants to be President, with plans to announce his candidacy on Wednesday via Facebook and Twitter. But it is not yet clear if his professorial approach to politics will spark any excitement
- Time Magazine

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

America's Perfect Teen is from Wales: Anysha Panesar

From the pages of The King Abdullah Gazette:

Anysha and her family were on vacation in Florida last year when she decided to enter the America's Perfect Teen Pageant and won.

You gotta love the whole nation of immigrants thing...we even get the hottest tourists.












SEX IS DEATH. (Why no man loves you)

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 with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions

It seems choosing to be among the professionally nulliparous makes you unattractive to males of the species.

Any real Catholic gentleman could have told you that...oh, fifty years ago.

From Fox News:

Study: Taking 'The Pill' Affects Women’s Attractiveness to Men

New studies suggest that when women use hormonal contraceptives, such as birth control pills, it disrupts chemical signals, affecting their attractiveness to men and women's own preferences for romantic partners, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The type of man a woman is drawn to is known to change during her monthly cycle -- when a woman is fertile, for instance, she might look for a man with more masculine features.

Taking the pill or another type of hormonal contraceptive upends this natural dynamic, making less-masculine men seem more attractive, according to a small but growing body of evidence.

So...Big Contraception is the bane of the homosexuals' existence...

The findings have led researchers to wonder about the implications for partner choice, relationship quality and even the health of the children produced by these partnerships.

Evolutionary psychologists and biologists have long been interested in factors that lead to people's choice of mates.

One influential study in the 1990s, dubbed the tee-shirt study, asked women about their attraction to members of the opposite sex by smelling the men's tee-shirts. The findings showed that humans, like many other animals, transmit and recognize information pertinent to sexual attraction through chemical odors known as pheromones.

The study also showed that women seemed to prefer the scents of men whose immune systems were most different from the women's own immune system genes known as MHC. The family of genes permit a person's body to recognize which bacteria are foreign invaders and to provide protection from those bugs. Evolutionarily, scientists believe, children should be healthier if their parents' MHC genes vary, because the offspring will be protected from more pathogens.

More than 92 million prescriptions for hormonal contraceptives, including pills, patches and injections, were filled last year in the U.S., according to data-tracker IMS Health.

Researchers say their aim is not to scare or stop women from taking hormonal contraceptives.

Of course not! That would make too much sense on so many levels.

"We just want to know what we're doing" by taking the pill, says Alexandra Alvergne, a researcher in biological anthropology at University College London.

Brilliant! Let's pollute the gene pool for fifty years and then kinda sorta maybe begin to wonder if it might be dangerous.

"If there is a risk it affects our romantic life and the health status of our children, we want to know," she added.

You can't screw with the Natural Law without consequences, kiddies.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Yvette Vickers, Requiescat In Pace.

Former Playboy playmate's family shocked her mummified body went undiscovered for nearly a year - Los Angeles Times

A cautionary tale for Kendra Wilkinson, et al....

Relatives of Yvette Vickers, an early Playboy playmate and B-movie actress who was found dead last week at her Benedict Canyon home, told The Times they were saddened by her passing and the manner in which she died.

But they also said Vickers, born Yvette Vedder, had for the most part withdrawn from her extended family, a situation exacerbated by the fact that most of her relatives lived in other parts of the country, many of them in Kansas City, Mo.

A neighbor discovered the body of Vickers, 82, in an upstairs room of her Westwanda Drive home on April 27. Its mummified state suggests she could have been dead for close to a year, police said.

Robert Vedder, the 72-year-old first cousin of Vickers, said in a phone interview that one of his lasting memories was visiting her at her Westwanda home in 1958.

He recalled Vickers, who starred in such cult films as “Attack of the 50-Foot Woman” and “Attack of the Giant Leeches,” as "outgoing and bubbly." At the same time, she kept the family at a distance, which became more pronounced in later years.

"Her lifestyle was such that she was not active in family affairs," Robert Vedder said. "She chose her lifestyle and nobody interfered with that."

At the same time, he said, "It's hard to believe she met death in this fashion."

Huh? If you push your family away, chances are they won't notice you've croaked.

Even so, he and other family members expressed pride in her legacy. Chris Vedder, a first cousin who corresponded once with Vickers via MySpace, said he had admiration for her.

"I always wanted to meet her and would brag about her when I was a kid," said Chris Vedder, an actor who works in radio in Kansas City. "I'm a huge fan and proud to say I was related to her. She was the only other family in media I know of."

I guess it's not too surprising she stayed away from these idiots.

Chris Vedder said he believed Vickers would be touched and amazed by the outpouring of attention following her death, despite the manner in which she died.

"She definitely had one last hurrah," he said.

Apparently, this is the new definition of a good death: Die utterly and pathetically alone so your corpse will be "mummified" before it is discovered and then you'll make the papers one last time.

Yvette wasn't a celebrity, kiddies. She was a poor sad woman who was used up and spit out by a society who only pretended to care about her when she was pretty.

Here's Yvette when she was young, pretty, and worth exploiting:





The movie for which she was best known:


Golly, that old-timey porn seems so tame today...it couldn't possibly cause any harm...


Ah, the Botophucket picture Nazis strike again. I agree they have the right to censor stuff I store there, but this is a serious post. [Besides, the fact they tried to censor the false prophet cartoons out of existence tells me they are quite a bit more dangerous to our freedom that a little bit of 50 year old T&A.]


Anyway, here it is again...


Ol' Huge Heffner sure had an eye for talent, eh boys? I'm guessing his spot in Hell is going to be a bit nastier than average. Not close to Osama bin Laden territory, but nasty nonetheless.

Claude Stanley Choules, Requiescat In Pace.

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Claude Stanley Choules, the last known combat veteran of World War I, died on Thursday in a nursing home in Western Australia. He was 110.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Daphne Edinger, 84.

Mr. Choules was defiant of the tolls of time, a centenarian who swam in the sea, twirled across dance floors and published his first book at well past 100. He also became a pacifist, refusing to march in parades commemorating wars like the one that made him famous.

Mr. Choules (rhymes with jewels) was born March 3, 1901, in the small British town of Pershore, Worcestershire, one of seven children.

World War I was raging when Mr. Choules began training with the British Royal Navy, just one month after he turned 14. In 1917 he joined the battleship H.M.S. Revenge, from which he watched the 1918 surrender of the German High Seas Fleet, the main battle fleet of the German Navy during the war.

“There was no sign of fight left in the Germans as they came out of the mist at about 10 a.m.,” Mr. Choules wrote in his autobiography, “The Last of the Last,” published last year. The German flag, he recalled, was hauled down at sunset.

“So ended the most momentous day in the annals of naval warfare,” he wrote. “A fleet of ships surrendered without firing a shot.”

Mr. Choules and another Briton, Florence Green, became the war’s last known surviving service members after the death of Frank Buckles, an American, in February, according to the Order of the First World War, a United States-based group that tracks veterans. Ms. Green, who turned 110 in February, was a waitress in the Women’s Royal Air Force.

Mr. Choules’s wife of 76 years, the former Ethel Wildgoose, died in 2003 at 98. He is survived by his three children, Daphne, Anne and Adrian.

Mr. Choules eventually settled in Australia and served in the Navy there until he retired in 1956.

During World War II, he was the acting torpedo officer in Fremantle, Western Australia, and chief demolition officer for the western side of the Australian continent. Mr. Choules disposed of the first mine to wash ashore in Australia during the war.

Despite the fame his military service (and longevity) brought him, Mr. Choules became a pacifist later in life, refusing to glorify war.

In his 80s, he took a creative writing course at the urging of his children and decided to record his memoirs for his family. The memoirs formed the basis of his autobiography.

Even after he turned 100, he remained healthy and active, and continued to dance until a few years ago. He liked to start each day with a bowl of porridge and occasionally indulged in his favorite treats: mango juice and chocolate.

Thanks to the AP (via The Old Gray Whore) for this obituary.

Severino Ballesteros, Requiescat In Pace.

Seve Ballesteros, an enigmatic star

by Thomas Boswell (of Washington's other newspaper)

Once at the U.S. Open, I watched Seve Ballesteros practice bunker shots for 20 minutes, sometimes stepping on the ball to simulate a buried lie, or throwing it down hard to create a fried-egg lie. The result was a group of nearly perfect shots engulfing the hole, as tight a pattern of excellence as any pro could achieve from a steep-faced trap.

However, the method was just slightly different: Ballesteros only used a 3-iron in the trap, a club that, it was universally assumed, was utterly impossible to use for such a purpose. Perhaps no other player in the world could have gotten even one ball over the head-high lip of the trap and onto any part of the green.

Seve, cocking the club at a ridiculous angle at address, somehow turned the flattish blade with no “bounce” into a precision instrument. The whole show was designed to mock the limitations of talent and imagination of the dozens of other pros who pretended to be practicing, too, but barely hit a shot because they wanted to peek at Ballesteros.

Perhaps I should have noted his method, to the degree I could understand it, for posterity. But the performance was such an audacious, pretentious piece of gamesmanship — typical of Ballesteros, with no practical purpose but to annoy and intimidate the predominantly American players around him — that you didn’t think it was worthy of special note. Who knew, perhaps the next day he would do something comparable, but completely different — maybe practice hitting half-swing drivers off hardpan that would hit a tree in front of him and bounce back over his head onto the green.

The same amount of exploratory time, everyone knew, could have been used on the practice range, where Ballesteros always desperately needed to work on straightening out his titanically long but incredibly wild driver. But that was boring. And if he mastered that key element of his craft, it would only bring him equal to his foes. So, what was the point? He would practice shots he would never use simply to advertise his talent, please himself — and give me a memory that will last longer than all the shots I ever saw played by Curtis Strange, Nick Faldo and Hale Irwin combined.

The sportswriting convention holds that we observe great athletes for many years and in every available circumstance, until we have something to offer toward an understanding of them as people, as well as performers. Unless we are complete dullards, it shouldn’t be so hard. You can spend a week or month studying most journalism subjects and make a decent attempt at a profile.

I spent more than a decade with golf as one of my major responsibilities when Seve was at or near the top of the sport. Yet he was a mystery to me then and he remains so in death. I covered most of the events for which he will be remembered, including his two victories at the Masters in ’80 and ’83, as well as his win at the British Open at St. Andrews and several Ryder Cups when his leadership and elan confounded duller, less charismatic or confident American players.

But I never “got” him. His background was termed “agrarian,” though his three older brothers were all pro golfers. My grandfather was a farmer and I spent plenty of time there. That “connection” was no help. Ballesteros may have been from the farm, but he sure didn’t seem as if he longed to go back to one. He turned to sport early and never cared for education. But he was so quick in repartee that no one doubted his intelligence.

No golfer was more handsome or had a more radiant, infectious smile when he chose to unleash it, yet he often seemed annoyed or isolated. Or on a solitary lone march to some place to which nobody else was privy. I saw him in America and Europe, in airports and locker rooms. He seldom seemed happy, except when he was ecstatic or triumphant. I suspect he was the only real art-for-art’s-sake artist that I ever witnessed in golf and, to this day, it irritates me that I have little idea what made him tick.

Dislike of American hegemony in golf hardly seems enough to define a man, so that can’t be it. Nevertheless, golf is now a world game, in which the United States is just another component, largely because Ballesteros obliterated the myth of U.S. superiority. He reminded everyone that we didn’t invent the game and hadn’t fully explored or perfected it and that our time alone at the top was an historical accident that would pass with his help.

Journalists root for the story — the story, that is, that they know how to tell well. Or at least know how to dig out. Seve gave a good effort at explaining himself in English — though his explanation of a four putt, “I miss, I miss, I miss, I make” — is also an accurate reflection of how he used the language barrier to craft a whimsical, slightly shy but also sly image of himself: You see the twinkle in my eye, but you don’t entirely know what it means. Ballesteros, at least to the U.S. golf press, saw no advantage in being deeply understood. So, he wasn’t.

Last month at the Masters, when Jack Nicklaus and other past champions were asked to comment on Ballesteros’s health — which had been failing since a cancerous brain tumor was found in 2008 — they were uniformly sympathetic and warm, and some said they’d sent him messages. But, as a group, including European players, they seemed not quite up to speed, as though Ballesteros, who had not won an important individual event in nearly 20 years, was something of a mystery to them, too.

Or perhaps mystery is the wrong word. Maybe “mystique” is more to the point. Ballesteros had it, knew it, enjoyed it and, probably, cultivated it.

A man who wants to be thoroughly understood and embraced does not spend 20 minutes in a sand trap hitting the toughest bunker shots with a 3-iron — and never explain how it is done — unless, at some prickly level, he prefers to be remembered as an artist of sport who remained to the end an almost magical, magnetic and unknowable star.

Japanese Quake Update.

From AP via Yahoo! News:

Quake so strong it shifted Japan; towns now flood during tide

ISHINOMAKI, Japan – When water begins to trickle down the streets of her coastal neighborhood, Yoshiko Takahashi knows it is time to hurry home.

Twice a day, the flow steadily increases until it is knee-deep, carrying fish and debris by her front door and trapping people in their homes. Those still on the streets slosh through the sea water in rubber boots or on bicycle.

"I look out the window, and it's like our houses are in the middle of the ocean," says Takahashi, who moved in three years ago.

The March 11 earthquake that hit eastern Japan was so powerful it pulled the entire country out and down into the sea. The mostly devastated coastal communities now face regular flooding, because of their lower elevation and damage to sea walls from the massive tsunamis triggered by the quake.

In port cities such as Onagawa and Kesennuma, the tide flows in and out among crumpled homes and warehouses along now uninhabited streets.

A cluster of neighborhoods in Ishinomaki city is rare in that it escaped tsunami damage through fortuitous geography. So, many residents still live in their homes, and they now face a daily trial: The area floods at high tide, and the normally sleepy streets turn frantic as residents rush home before the water rises too high.

"I just try to get all my shopping and chores done by 3 p.m.," says Takuya Kondo, 32, who lives with his family in his childhood home.

Most houses sit above the water's reach, but travel by car becomes impossible and the sewage system swamps, rendering toilets unusable.

Scientists say the new conditions are permanent.

Japan's northern half sits on the North American tectonic plate. The Pacific plate, which is mostly undersea, normally slides under this plate, slowly nudging the country west. But in the earthquake, the fault line between the two plates ruptured, and the North American plate slid up and out along the Pacific plate.

The rising edge of plate caused the sea floor off Japan's eastern coast to bulge up — one measuring station run by Tohoku University reported an underwater rise of 16 feet (5 meters) — creating the tsunami that devastated the coast. The portion of the plate under Japan was pulled lower as it slid toward the ocean, which caused a corresponding plunge in elevation under the country.

Some areas in Ishinomaki moved southeast 17 feet (5.3 meters) and sank 4 feet (1.2 meters) lower.

"We thought this slippage would happen gradually, bit by bit. We didn't expect it to happen all at once," says Testuro Imakiire, a researcher at Japan's Geospatial Information Authority, the government body in charge of mapping and surveys.

Imakiire says the quake was powerful enough to move the entire country, the first time this has been recorded since measurements began in the late 19th century. In Tokyo, 210 miles (340 kilometers) from Ishinomaki, parts of the city moved 9 inches (24 centimeters) seaward.

The drop lower was most pronounced around Ishinomaki, the area closest to the epicenter. The effects are apparent: Manholes, supported by underground piping, jut out of streets that fell around them. Telephone poles sank even farther, leaving wires at head height.

As surrounding areas clear rubble and make plans to rebuild, residents in this section of Ishinomaki are stuck in limbo — their homes are mostly undamaged and ineligible for major insurance claims or government compensation, but twice a day the tide swamps their streets.

"We can't really complain, because other people lost so much," says Yuichiro Mogi, 43, as his daughters examine a dead blowfish floating near his curb.

The earthquake and tsunami left more than 25,000 people either dead or missing, and many more lost their homes and possessions.

Mogi noticed that the daily floods were slowly carrying away the dirt foundation of his house, and built a small embankment of sandbags to keep the water at bay. The shipping company worker moved here 10 years ago, because he got a good deal on enough land to build a home with a spacious front lawn, where he lives with his four children and wife.

Most of the residences in the area are relatively new.

"Everyone here still has housing loans they have to pay, and you can't give away this land, let alone sell it," says Seietsu Sasaki, 57, who also has to pay off loans on two cars ruined in the flooding.

Sasaki, who moved in 12 years ago with his extended family, says he hopes the government can build flood walls to protect the neighborhood. He never paid much attention to the tides in the past, but now checks the newspaper for peak times each morning.

Officials have begun work on some embankments, but with much of the city devastated, resources are tight. Major construction projects to raise the roads were completed before the tsunami, but much of that work was negated when the ground below them sank.

The constant flooding means that construction crews can only work in short bursts, and electricity and running water were restored only about two weeks ago. The area still doesn't have gas for hot water, and residents go to evacuee shelters to bathe.

"We get a lot of requests to build up these areas, but we don't really have the budget right now," says Kiyoshi Koizumi, a manager in Ishinomaki's roads and infrastructure division.

Sasaki says he hopes they work something out soon: Japan's heavy summer rains begin in about a month, and the higher tides in autumn will rise well above the floor of his house.

About Me

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


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