Friday, September 16, 2005
"Someone said...'We should go down in a pasture near Bush's ranch and thousands of people would come and you ought to call it T-rdstock'--so let's call it T-rdstock."
Um, your words, honey, not mine...
"We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now."
We're what? Waging a nuclear war in Iraq? Are you out of your ever-lovin' mind? Where are the pictures of this nuclear war? Because I, for one, would dearly love to see them. I wonder why Katie Couric and Chris Matthews and Algore and Michael Moore and Hillary Clinton aren't screaming about this at the top of their lungs? Don't they care that we're apparently nuking little Iraqi babies "right now?"
"I'm just so honored that the universe chose me to be the spark that has set off a raging inferno."
Okay, a) the universe doesn't give a flying snot about you, and has not, in fact, chosen you for anything; b) there has been no "raging inferno" started by you or any of the other t-rds from T-rdstock; and finally, c) what on earth do you think your son would be saying right now?
And not to leave out what I heard just this morning on Laura Ingraham's show, these two choice Sheehan nuggets of wisdom:
Bush should "excuse hisself from power." Yes, you read that correctly. He should excuse hisself.
And never fear! Cindy Sheehan has an opinion about New Orleans, too! We "should pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans."
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The language of the culture of death
"Hypocrisy of Language" Seen as a Threat to Life
Says Catholic Journalist Pier Giorgio Liverani
ROME, SEPT. 15, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The twisting of words and their meanings is a key weapon in the arsenal of the purveyors of the culture of death, warns a veteran journalist.
Pier Giorgio Liverani, who for more than half a century was a journalist for the main Italian Catholic newspapers, says that the current attitude that it is up to the individual to construct his own ethic goes hand in hand with "hypocrisy of language" -- the immediate effect of which is a risk posed to human life.
A past editor of the newspaper Avvenire and a former member of the episcopate's Commission for Social Communications, Liverani is now co-editor of Sí alla vita (Yes to Life), a monthly publication of the Italian Pro-Life Movement.
The journalist has witnessed the cultural changes that have given origin to a new conception of man detached from his Creator. He laments those changes and explores the risks they entail, in his latest book, "La Società Multicaotica con il Dizionario dell'Antilingua" (The Multi-Chaotic Society with the Anti-Language Dictionary), published in Italy by Ares.
"At present the confusion of languages, symbolized by 'anti-language,' is an indicator of a very serious moral crisis," Liverani told ZENIT.
To each his own
"For an important part of our culture, there is no longer any absolute truth," he said. "Everything is relative, each one can devise his own ethic, and the hypocrisy of language covers everything shamefully. …
"Postmodern man, who has decreed the 'death of God,' has set himself up as judge of good and evil with the consequence that the primary good, life, is no longer always such."
As a result, the journalist contended, we "have fallen into radical liberal individualism for which only my life is of worth; that of the other has only a functional value in relation to mine." Examples of this, he said, are "mass contraception, divorce […], legalized and nationalized abortion, and artificial insemination."
The "multi-chaotic society" has prompted Liverani to update his "Anti-Language Dictionary," a sort of lexicon of "words said so as not to say what one is afraid to say." First published in 1993, it became an analytical tool for pro-lifers and pro-family activists.
"Without words or with identical words but with a different meaning, we will no longer be able to express certain concepts," Liverani warned. "If I did away with the word 'mother,' I myself and others would be hindered from thinking and expressing the relative concept."
So, "if instead of saying 'man in the embryonic state' I use 'product of conception,' I would no longer give the concept man at the beginning of his life the value it has; rather, I would express a trivial idea valid also for animals and I would feel free to dispose of that 'product' in the same way as any other product of a process," he said. "If I like it and it is useful to me, I keep it, if not, I throw it away."
"In the abortion law, instead of the word [abortion], 'interruption of pregnancy' is used, especially because this expression with medical overtones does not elicit feelings or emotions," the journalist added. "While abortion refers to something that affects the conceived child directly, the 'interruption of the pregnancy' indicates the modification of a condition of the mother."
He added: "These are two pale examples of a language that is growing and that has been consolidated in the media, in politics, in medicine and has already transformed people's culture."
In fact, the journalist pointed out that in the "culture of death," words such as "son," "child," "mother" and "father" are targets.
"Anti-words distort the meaning of things, reality and human relations," Liverani said. "If I destroy family relations, which are, above all, relations of free self-giving -- that is, of love -- I can make of life and of others whatever I like: It is the basic principle of radical individualism and its utilitarian ethic."
What's in a name?
Part of the answer to these problems, Liverani contended, is to simply contemplate the names of things.
"The Bible," he said, "recounts that in the beginning, things did not yet have a name, and that God, in fact, wanted man to 'give a name' to things, so that he would know their essence and would place himself, in respect of them, in a relationship of truth.
"Language is God's invention, anti-language is something demonic."
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
LONDON (AFP) - A British newspaper said that a Chinese cosmetics company was using skin harvested from the corpses of executed convicts to develop beauty products for sale in Europe.
Agents for the firm, which could not be named for legal reasons, have told would-be customers that skin taken from prisoners after they have been shot is being used to develop collagen for lip and wrinkle treatments, the Guardian newspaper said following an undercover investigation.
"The agents say some of the company's products have been exported to the UK, and that the use of skin from condemned convicts is 'traditional' and nothing to 'make such a big fuss about'," the daily alleged.
But surely a Democrat wouldn't do that!
Read the entire story at this link.
By JAKE TAPPER, ABCNews.com
(Sept. 14) - Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a local congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings -- even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.
On Friday, Sept. 2 -- five days after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast -- Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans and is a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, was allowed through the military blockades set up around the city to reach the Superdome, where thousands of evacuees had been taken.
Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. A 5-ton military truck and a half dozen military police were dispatched.
Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News that during the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.
Jefferson defended the expedition, saying he set out to see how residents were coping at the Superdome and in his neighborhood. He also insisted that he did not ask the National Guard to transport him.
"I did not seek the use of military assets to help me get around my city," Jefferson told ABC News. "There was shooting going on. There was sniping going on. They thought I should be escorted by some military guards, both to the convention center the Superdome and uptown."
The water reached to the third step of Jefferson's house, a military source familiar with the incident told ABC News, and the vehicle pulled up onto Jefferson's front lawn so he wouldn't have to walk in the water. Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour.
Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.
Two weeks later, the vehicle's tire tracks were still visible on the lawn.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Things you don't think of
New Orleans has always had a thriving tourist demand for all things voodoo, all things mysterious and unfamiliar. There are companies in New Orleans that cater specifically to tourists, companies that offer such things as ghost tours and homemade gris-gris kits. I wrote to one such company, and received the following response, posted here in its entirety just to show the incredible spirit of the city that is New Orleans...
Dear Clients and Friends,
I am sorry this is a bulk e-mail but there is no other way. So many of you have written. I want to thank you for your thoughts and prayers. You all made a real difference. We have been blessed. The village of Lacombe was very close to where the eye of the storm passed, directly north east from N.O. There has been much much damage. An estimate of probably over 1 million trees down in St Tammany Parish! The infrastructure is gone. But our house / temple has been miraculously spared. Though I have eight trees uprooted and broken all around the house, there was not even a cracked window pane!! Behind the house, there was a big tree that seemed to have been plucked out of the ground but the Legba/Ogun shed was untouched. Not one item out of place. Around the front and side, the maple tree was split down the middle of the trunk but St Francis and Our Lady of Guadelupe were untouched, our Lady still sitting in the wedge of branches in the sweet olive tree. Amazing!!
The Spirits and Deities kept the house intact for us and we are really really grateful.I came back home 4 hours after the storm had passed and it was very difficult even getting through. Since I have had no electricity (no water - our water is well water), no internet or phone lines. I am just now able to use a friend's computer service about 5 miles away. But we are safe and sound and my family is safe and sound. We are truly blessed. Of course we are terribly wounded at the loss of New Orleans, our beloved city and our many friends scattered away from us. We will work together to bring this area back to its feet as will everyone in the country and abroad.
I will be leaving for a few days to pick up my daughter in Tampa FL. where she evacuated with friends. For those of you who had orders in process, being shipped or just placed an order, please be patient. As soon as the electricity is returned to us, we will work on your orders just as fast as we can. We will put the same attention into your items as always. In the next few days, as soon as I return from Tampa, I will go over my order book and put all in order and try to address each one in turn and let you know just when I will be able to ship your items. I will also e-mail those who have refunds or return questions personally. Please, at this time, I only ask for a few more days patience.
Thank you again so very much for your support and prayers. May God and His Angels and the Spirits bless you always.
At your service,
Personalized Products, Services & Tours
Contractors with White House ties
During an emergency, the OEP will utilize Cox Cable to facilitate information dissemination.
That may seem like nothing, of course, to the average reader. But did you know that Nagin was a general manager and V.P. of Cox Communications, a cable communications company and subsidiary of Cox Enterprises ?
But, of course, Nagin's a Democrat, and Democrats can use any ties they want to when it comes to granting contracts to their current or former business associates. Right? Especially when it comes to actually writing it into their official plans.
But...I thought it was Bush's responsibility
From CNN: Any appearances to the contrary, Gov. Mike Easley said the state was doing its normal storm preparation."We have, unfortunately, a great deal of experience with hurricanes. I think one of the things people in North Carolina will be able to recognize is that this is the exact same pattern we always follow," he said.
So what this tells me is that there are actually states in this country where the governor is, gasp!, prepared for natural disasters. Cool. See, I was convinced, what with the brilliant Katie Couric's always-insightful blathering (and don't forget Tim Russert!), that every single problem in this country is the sole responsibility of President George W. Bush. It shocks me to find that this isn't the case. I'm stunned beyond words to find that a governor has the power to call out his or her own National Guard troops and needn't, in fact, wait for the President to hold their hand.
Monday, September 12, 2005
And if they do manage to get born...
WAKEMAN, Ohio - Sheriff's deputies found 11 children locked in cages less than 3 1/2 feet high inside a home, but a couple denied they had abused or neglected the children. A judge on Monday put the children, ages 1 to 14, in foster homes.
They were found in nine cages built into the walls of the house near this small city in northern Ohio, according to the Huron County Sheriff's Office. They had no blankets or pillows, and the cages were rigged with alarms that sounded if opened, Lt. Randy Sommers said.
The children told authorities they slept in the cages — 40 inches high and 40 inches deep — at night. Doors to some of the cages were blocked with heavy furniture.
Never mind the fact that Mayor Ray Nagin (D., of who knows where this week) and Governor Kathleen Blanco (D., La.) were supposed to be the first people responsible in case of a disaster like Katrina. Michael Brown, a good man, is now gone, so rejoice, be happy, pat yourselves on the back, send yourselves into spasms of pseudo-altruistic out-of-body experiences as you enjoy the absolute rapture of drawing first blood.
And, of course, you have the hanging of John Roberts to look forward to. That should send you libs into fits of paranoid schizophrenia as you struggle to defend the "privacy" of all Americans.
Oh, by the way, apparently Algore airlifted survivors out of New Orleans. I missed it, I guess. Too bad, that would have been fun to see. Almost as cool as Katie Couric in her chest-high waders in ankle-deep water.
Senate confirmation hearings begin
Oh, and let's not forget utter paranoia, shall we? Speaking of Feinstein, she's terrified that peoples' "privacy" will be ruined if John Roberts gets confirmed to the Supreme Court. To Feinstein, and to most Democrats, "privacy" is nothing more than code for "we want to slaughter our unborn babies in private."
The plum goes to Joe Biden. He stated today that any and all questions regarding issues and future rulings were fair game. Never mind that he himself stated years ago, during confirmation hearings for a Democratic candidate for the Supreme Court, that no-one, least of all the confirmee, should feel pressured to answer any questions whatsoever. Double-standard? Not from a Democrat, surely!
Here is the CNN transcript of John Roberts' opening statement:
(CNN) -- The following is Judge John Roberts' opening statement during his nomination hearings before the Senate judiciary committee. He spoke extemporaneously.
Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, Senator Leahy, and members of the committee.
Let me begin by thank Senators Lugar and Warner and Bayh for their warm and generous introductions. And let me reiterate my thanks to the president for nominating me.
I'm humbled by his confidence and, if confirmed, I will do everything I can to be worthy of the high trust he has placed in me.
Let me also thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the members of the committee for the many courtesies you've extended to me and my family over the past eight weeks.
I'm particularly grateful that members have been so accommodating in meeting with me personally. I have found those meetings very useful in better understanding the concerns of the committee as the committee undertakes its constitutional responsibility of advice and consent.
I know that I would not be here today were it not for the sacrifices and help over the years of my family, who you met earlier today, friends, mentors, teachers and colleagues -- many of whom are here today.
Last week one of those mentors and friends, Chief Justice William Rehnquist, was laid to rest. I talked last week with the nurses who helped care for him over the past year, and I was glad to hear from them that he was not a particularly good patient.
He chafed at the limitations they tried to impose.
His dedication to duty over the past year was an inspiration to me and, I know, to many others.
I will miss him.
My personal appreciation that I owe a great debt to others reinforces my view that a certain humility should characterize the judicial role.
Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires.
Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.
The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules.
But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.
Judges have to have the humility to recognize that they operate within a system of precedent, shaped by other judges equally striving to live up to the judicial oath.
And judges have to have the modesty to be open in the decisional process to the considered views of their colleagues on the bench.
Mr. Chairman, when I worked in the Department of Justice, in the office of the solicitor general, it was my job to argue cases for the United States before the Supreme court.
I always found it very moving to stand before the justices and say, I speak for my country.
But it was after I left the department and began arguing cases against the United States that I fully appreciated the importance of the Supreme Court and our constitutional system.
Here was the United States, the most powerful entity in the world, aligned against my client.
And, yet, all I had to do was convince the court that I was right on the law and the government was wrong and all that power and might would recede in deference to the rule of law.
That is a remarkable thing.
It is what we mean when we say that we are a government of laws and not of men. It is that rule of law that protects the rights and liberties of all Americans. It is the envy of the world. Because without the rule of law, any rights are meaningless.
President Ronald Reagan used to speak of the Soviet constitution, and he noted that it purported to grant wonderful rights of all sorts to people. But those rights were empty promises, because that system did not have an independent judiciary to uphold the rule of law and enforce those rights. We do, because of the wisdom of our founders and the sacrifices of our heroes over the generations to make their vision a reality.
Mr. Chairman, I come before the committee with no agenda.
I have no platform.
Judges are not politicians who can promise to do certain things in exchange for votes.
I have no agenda, but I do have a commitment. If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind. I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented. I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability. And I will remember that it's my job to call balls and strikes and not to pitch or bat.
Senators Lugar and Bayh talked of my boyhood back home in Indiana. I think all of us retain, from the days of our youth, certain enduring images. For me those images are of the endless fields of Indiana, stretching to the horizon, punctuated only by an isolated silo or a barn. And as I grew older, those endless fields came to represent for me the limitless possibilities of our great land.
Growing up, I never imagined that I would be here, in this historic room, nominated to be the chief justice. But now that I am here, I recall those endless fields with their promise of infinite possibilities, and that memory inspires in me a very profound commitment.
If I am confirmed, I will be vigilant to protect the independence and integrity of the Supreme Court, and I will work to ensure that it upholds the rule of law and safeguards those liberties that make this land one of endless possibilities for all Americans.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Thank you, members of the committee.
I look forward to your questions.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Lest we forget...
I hear people saying we don't need this war
I say there's some things worth fighting for
What about our freedom and this piece of ground
We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down
They say we don't realize the mess we're getting in
Before you start your preaching let me ask you this my friend
Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
They took all the footage off my T.V.
Said it's too disturbing for you and me
It'll just breed anger that's what the experts say
If it was up to me I'd show it everyday
Some say this country's just out looking for a fight
After 9/11 man I'd have to say that's right
I've been there with the soldiers
Who've gone away to war
And you can bet that they remember
Just what they're fighting for
Have you forgotten all the people killed?
Some went down like heros in that Pennsylvania field
Have you forgotten about our Pentagon?
All the loved ones that we lost and those left to carry on
Don't you tell me not to worry about bin Laden
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Have you forgotten?
Darryl Worley/Wynn Varble, 2003 EMI Blackwood Music Inc./Hatley Creek Music/Warner-Tamerlane, Publishing Corp. (BMI)