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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011





  2. Happy Secular New Year...

    I haven't left work yet...

    I bet i'll make it to midnight, but no major plans...

    Except how to take over the world in 2012.

  3. ah jeez I ought to take her out for a drink, poor thing. We always have smokes together. But what to do with her kid? He looks too young to stay alone. Where's Bubba?

    Happy New Year.

    I have some cause to look forward and hope for a good year, and I hope you all do too.


  4. Catch ya on the flip side.

    Peace out

  5. An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves. Bill Vaughan

  6. By the way, Happy Kwanzaa -

    The Obamas' Kwanzaa Message
    Henry Percy
    The President and First Lady have issued their Kwanzaa message:

    Michelle and I extend our warmest thoughts and wishes to all those who are celebrating Kwanzaa this holiday season. Today [Dec. 26] is the first of a joyful seven-day celebration of African American culture and heritage.

    The seven principles of Kwanzaa -- unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith -- are some of the very values that make us Americans.

    As families across America and around the world light the Kinara today in the spirit of umoja, or unity, our family sends our well wishes and blessings for a happy and healthy new year.

    As most readers here know, Kwanzaa was invented out of whole cloth in 1966 by Ron N. Everett, AKA Ron Karenga, founder of United Slaves, which fought with the Black Panthers over control of the African Studies Department at UCLA. One of Mr. Karenga's achievements was torturing two women who were members of his cult and living in his house:

    The victims said they were living at Karenga's home when Karenga accused them of trying to kill him by placing crystals in his food and water and in various areas of his house. When they denied it, allegedly they were beaten with an electrical cord and a hot soldering iron was put in Miss Davis' mouth and against her face.

    For that session Karenga spent four years in prison, after which he found a berth in the Department of Africana Studies, California State University, Long Beach, where he still holds forth, a committed Marxist. According to Karenga, "The sevenfold path of blackness is think black, talk black, act black, create black, buy black, vote black, and live black." What an inspiring figure to found a quasi-religious holiday. (For more on the specious holiday, see Ann Coulter's article here.)

    But to return to the Obamas' Kwanzaa message. "The seven principles of Kwanzaa ... are some of the very values that make us Americans." If Mr. Obama had said "some of the seven principles ..." it would not be so offensive, but here he is accepting all seven principles without demurral. "Collective work and responsibility"? "Cooperative economics"? And the Left wonders why so many of us suspect - merely suspect - that our president is a Marxist.

    Special Happy New Year to you, Melody.

    Don't fall for that Kwanzaa crap.

  7. And a Pleroma on the Rocks for all.

  8. Happy New Year and best wishes to one and all.

  9. 9 degrees and falling.

    That blue sky today?

    Had the look of cold.

    Clear night, no cloud cover to keep the heat in, all escaping to space.


    Condoward tomorrow.

  10. New Year's post at Balloon Juice:

    "I’ve also grown concerned that this is what getting old is all about. You spend the rest of your life discovering new pains, rehabilitating or replacing body parts and things on you house and car, burying friends and family, and building grievances until you say fuck it all and just die."

    To which someone responded:

    "What if you say fuck it all and don't die? Because I have close personal experience with that one. Then you just get up and go to work."

    I found this hilarious. Hilarious enough to be laughing over and over again.

    What if you say fuck it all and don't die?

    Lately I've been recalling a scene from a late-80's movie about three sisters from an old southern family, one of whom (an endearingly melodramatic Sissy Spacek) is seeing IIRC the break up of her marriage. She is intent on taking her own life - and not particularly good at it.

    The scene that keeps coming to mind has her walking glumly down the stairs, rope around her neck, dragging a chandelier about three feet behind.

    Defeated again.

    I love that scene. I love that character.

    My husband didn't think my dark musings on the coming year - on the order of "Please, God, not another one!" - were funny.

    He's hopeful.

    I could have I suppose gotten into the nature and origin of hope, which was released from Pandora's Box.

    I just didn't think of it.

  11. I told my son I need to develop a rueful laugh.

    But come to think of it I've already got one.

    I just need to perfect it.

  12. forget the laugh, develop a rueful life.

  13. 01-01-11 is just another day in paradise. Have a nice day.

  14. I've thought about being dead and imagining being back just to see and touch and feel and smell this - oh so often so and awful - thing called life.

    I have.

  15. I'd go with the fuck it and don't die.

  16. I'd go with the fuck it and don't die.


    That's quite sensible.

    I however being older can't help but think sometimes - sometimes - of the higher octave, the electron slipping to a more energetic shell, eyes becoming pearls, bones coral, changes rich and strange, two steps forward, one step back....the winding staircase....

    But really one should stay faithful to the old momma earth as long as it's tolerable. She's the one gave us our immediate birth.

  17. Enjoy life.

    And that I did last night.

  18. Now that hat amounts to something.

    You could fly fish in that - the primal test of a good hat.

    The old theologians used to say - God is to be enjoyed, not understood.

    Same with life I'd say.

    -6 degress - a good day to move.

    I'm going to get the name and phone number of Miss Riverside California before I leave. I might be able to help her out. After all I know the apartment market.

  19. Although, I said I wasn't going to be out driving I never said anything about indoors. For the life of me I can't figure why my lower back and legs are killing me. I've come to the conclusion it is because I drove my grand-daughter's motorized mustang around the house for a half hour.

    I wasn't allowed to take it outside.

  20. I see that outgoing Governor Patterson is all in a tither about public pensions being underfunded.

    What a shock and a pity!

    Let's be fair: Sweep all the assets into the social security lock box and put the AFSCME retirees in the social security program.

  21. I hope you didn't hit anyone.

  22. Problem solved. We are all equally unfunded.

  23. Most likely, they're already in the Social Security system.

  24. Fueled? Ethanol?

    More like loaded..With alcohol.

    I think I hit three people…in the shins.

  25. The problems of the public employees of New York and their pensions, are not mine to worry about.

    Let the people of New York deal with it, as the wish.

  26. Why should people, working and struggling with their own retirement be forced to pay for underfunded public and private pension programs?

    Bankruptcy and cramdowns solve the problem.

  27. Happy New Year, EBers!

    I'm cooking a 7 ib. Prime rib roast for my visiting Mom and others today. There will be mimosas and football over load!

    I hope you all have a prosperous and adventure filled year!

  28. I think it's going to be a couch day, although, NOT hungover.

  29. Don't worry. They will become your problem just like the UAW underfunded pensions became your problem.

  30. All the unions love to nationalize their problems and localize their benefits.

  31. It's so cold that yonder morning moon can't work up to anything better than a shivery silver slight thin C in the sky. Very pretty.

  32. I agree. NY got themselves into a bind, now, let them get themselves out. Same w/California et al.

  33. "People", nah, New Yorkers.

    The people of New York voted for the elected representatives, who made the deal with public employees.

    If they wish to renege, they can.

    It is, after all, only a law.
    One that can be changed at any time.
    Just as Social Security can be.

    Make those past contract obligations null and void, with the signing of a new law, one that outlaws those pension benefits.

    Contracts for illegal activities are not enforceable. The people of New York can change the game, whenever they desire to.

  34. Hey Gag,

    What time should I come over?

  35. Sounds like you done well, Melody.

    You could put a few Royal Coachmen in the band of that nice hat - you'd be all ready to go.

  36. The states with the biggest problems are blue states. Now, what is their Modus operandi for problem solving?

    Hint: Is is not pulling themselves up with their own bootstraps.

    You will pay.

  37. I'm betting I've got the lowest temperature of anyone at the EB.

  38. The problems of the UAW are not mine, if I do not want them to be.

    I can take the Ayn Rand course and opt out, if I want to.

    Voting with my own actions and feet, as it were.

    We have created a huge underground economy, it flourishes, even today.

    No FICA or income taxes need to be paid.

    Incorporate in Panama, bank in Belize. If one wants to maintain a corporate identity.

    Few to none of the millions of illegal immigrants in the US go that far, in their lives "under the radar".

  39. The news is saying the best stock performer last year was Catepillar Tractor.

    Here in Idaho we have come in a little low on our budget. Our solution: cutbacks in state spending. Balance that budget.

  40. The "Blue States", Duece pay more to the Federals than they receive back. It is the Red States that are the net recipients, in most cases.

    AZ and ID are prime examples of Federal welfare to Red State. New York is a net payer, not receiver.

    Same with California.
    The Liberals have been paying, the Conservative collecting, for decades now.

    Suckers that they are.

  41. Happy New Year, all.

    Enjoy it. It's the only one ya got.

  42. Alaska, home of the Tea Party's biggest voice, the largest collector, per capita.

    It's a grand deception.

    One that should warm your heart.

  43. I may not have internet at the condo - lucky for you folks for awhile.

    Happy New Year to you, Robust Rufus.

  44. That deep "Red" state of Texas, even after all the welfaref from the "Blue" States is $20 Billion in the hole.

    After accounting for State Income Taxes, and all the rest, citizens of Mass still make about 35% more than their fellows down in Texas. And, while Tx is debating dropping Medicaid for the poor, Massachusetts has the best healthcare in the world for Everybody.

  45. She is Miss Rucker, of the husky voice, and she likes her coffee straight. I've gotten to like her.

  46. For the life of me I can't figure why my lower back and legs are killing me.

    Maybe you had an injury accident, like crashing into the Christmas tree but just can't recall it.

    Maybe they had to extract you with the jaws of life.

    And you can't recall that either.

  47. I'd bet Ameros to doughnuts, rufus, that the underground economy, in Texas, dwarfs the same, in Massachusetts.

    Just a hunch.

  48. Israel's newly discovered Leviathan gas field is a big fish. More power to 'em.

    In fact, power for a 100 years, article says.

  49. More than likely, right, Rat. The fact is, I'm glad there is a Texas, a Mississippi, and an Alaska. And, even, 'choke,' a Utah; but we wouldn't be where we are without New York, California, and Mass.

    50 little cauldrons, just a'bubblin' away. Or, 57, if you use O'bammy math.

  50. Socialist Israel will kill the project, bob, before it even gets off the ground.

    A state-appointed committee headed by an economist at Hebrew University, Eytan Sheshinski, is planning to recommend substantially increased profit taxes ...

    Gideon Tadmor, the chief executive of Delek Energy and Avner Oil Exploration, partners in this venture with Noble, said the taxes could make the project prohibitively expensive. “The gas may stay in the ground because we will not succeed in obtaining from banks around the world the tens of billions of shekels for developing the reservoir,” he said in an interview.

    I guess that Mr Tadmor does not believe in a conspiracy of Jewish bankers controlling the whirled economy, same as me.

  51. Those seven Mexican border States, rufus, may as well include them in America, too.

    GM certainly does.
    Prefers building cars there, rather than Michigan.

    There is reason for it.

  52. The fact is, unchecked, the Liberals will get you out into Deep Water real fast. Of course, undiluted conservatism will never get you out of the "quicksand."

    The job of the "conservatives" is to act as a "check" on the Libs, not to impede their progress, entirely.

  53. Did you know that Napoleon's jesture of his hand in his coat was a free mason symbol? That's what the history channel just said.

    All about the illuminati and such.

    Not all masons are illuminati but all illuminati are masons, I think they just said.

    They must be trying to take over the world or something.

    My wife thinks the world might be a better place if they did, reasoning things aren't going so well now.

    Not sure if I agree.

    With any of it.

    I'm going to breakfast.

  54. Neither political or economic, unless UNION falls under one of those.

  55. Maybe at a "later" date, Rat. I think we're going to have our hands full for awhile.

    Have I mentioned we're heading dead into a global gasoline shortage by Summer?

  56. rue·ful
       /ˈrufəl/ Show Spelled[roo-fuhl] Show IPA
    causing sorrow or pity; pitiable; deplorable: a rueful plight.
    feeling, showing, or expressing sorrow or pity; mournful; doleful: the rueful look on her face.

    Had to look it up.

  57. Reality is the word of the day, gag.

    Unions are certainly part of that.

    But reality is not limited to Unions

    ... signed by Ronald Reagan in 1983. It implemented the principles defined in the 1972 Declaration.

    The Agreement called for the establishment of a precisely defined border region ostensibly for the purpose of working cooperatively with Mexico to clean up the environment in the region. It called for the establishment of six working groups to cooperate in the areas of (1) water, (2) air, (3) hazardous and solid waste, (4) pollution prevention, (5) contingency planning and emergency response, and (6) cooperative enforcement and compliance.

    It's important to understand that Number 6 is the harmonization of laws between the U.S. and Mexico. This was pre-planning for the disintegration of the border and the establishment of the North American Union.
    Additional responsibilities of the national coordinators may be agreed to in an annex to this Agreement. In the case of the United States of America the national coordinator shall be the Environmental Protection Agency, and in the case of Mexico it shall be the Secretaria de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecologia, through the Subsecretaria de Ecologia.

    Which for those in the know dovetails neatly with the EPA claiming jurisdiction to the "Carbon Emissions" emanating, from Texas.

    Another step in the process, little discussed.

  58. Of course, that will just be a shortage of $3.00 gasoline. We'll probably have plenty of $3.50, and $4.00 gasoline. :)

  59. The Federals are still moving towrds "Unification" rufus, TODAY.

    That is the crux of the EPA v Texas, in regards the permitting of new Carbon Emission applications.

    Beyond the Commerce Clause, we have "Treaty" obligations to fulfill.

    The process toward "Unification" has not stopped, nor even slowed.

  60. "I'd go with the fuck it and don't die."

    Let's face it. Life has its problems; its complications; its trials and its horrors.

    At moments - or perhaps even decent stretches - we say, "Fuck it all."

    But Life isn't listening and we return to it.

    With all its problems; its complications; its trials and its horrors.

    Because that's who we are.

  61. It is still little discussed, though.

  62. The I-35 expansion project moves steadily forward.

    Open Borders and Traffic Expansion

    Just a snippet from the links available:

    Oct 2, 2010 ...
    Texas Department of Transportation officials and Belton city officials break the ground of the Interstate 35 expansion at the former Stanley ...

  63. I'd say that given that "La Paz Agreement" is a Treaty, Texas stands little chance of prevailing, in front of the Supremes.

  64. Well, that's pretty low on my radar, Rat. I'm pretty sure I'll be "dead, and forgotten" before that comes to a boil.

    However, this energy (oil) crisis is "Here, and Now." It's going to affect me "This" Year.

  65. True enough, rufus, but there it is, regardless of your own priorities.

  66. A little bit of inner peace to go with that and, really, that's all she wrote.

  67. Maguiladoros means low wages and very good productivity. The polar opposite to a union worker. The bloated unions are what drove GM and others south of the border, not Reagan.

  68. "Fuck it all."

    Some of us mean this in an entirely different way, of course.

    Were it all about fucking, life'd be piece of cake.

  69. It is a system and process, gag.
    A complete symphony, not soloists.

    Implemented in a series of incremental steps.

    To which Mr Reagan certainly contributed, along with the Congress, the management of the "Big Three" and the UAW.

    Or GM would have shifted production to Kentucky or other non-Union locales in the US, not Mexico.

    They'd have "gained", there too.
    Just as Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan have

    But for the political and economics of the "Deal".

  70. The thing is, those Union Workers could afford to "buy a car." And, their Wives bought cars. And, they bought cars for their kids, and sent them to College.

    Then, they started manufacturing in Mexico.

    Then, they went Bankrupt.

  71. GM was not driven to Mexico.

    That idea is mistaken.

    There were many other options open to them in the US, as Hyundai, Toyota and Nissan, Mercedes, too, have exemplified.

  72. That Mexico was made more attractive, to GM, than the other options, not a Union thing, but a Federal one.

    Driven by Federal tax consequences, more than anything else.
    Social engineering by the Federals, with consequences that were not "unforeseen".
    Not at all.

  73. That Mr Reagan and others may have been attempting to "break" the political clout of the UAW, while improving US relations with Mexico, not outside the realm of possibilities, is it?

  74. Happy New Year there, Trish.

  75. 'Socialist Israel' will figure out a way to get that gas, I'm sure of that.

  76. You forget one step, rufus.

    Then the "Big Three" lost substantial market share to foreign imports, especially from Japan.

    Which was remedied in a two step approach. Forcing the Japanese to build assembly plants in the US and moving US manufacturing outside the US, to Mexico and Canada.

    Slick is the word, for that.

  77. If "breaking" organized labors' political clout was the objective.

  78. Yeah, I know, Rat. It's a Huge, Complicated Equation.

    Not much to be done about any of it on an individual basis. Just try to get the Grandkids eddycated in the right field. If that fails, just have a drink, and forget about it.

  79. Has anyone heard from Quirk? I hope the dear boy didn't trip over one of his Bosco Awards, and hurt himself. :)

  80. This comment has been removed by the author.

  81. Fuck it. Life will always bring you trials and tribulations. What really matters is how you cope. And only you can control that.

    Having inner peace helps and of course a little piece of cake.

  82. "Fuck it. Life will always bring you trials and tribulations."

    I believe. This is what. I said.

  83. Hangs head.

    Bangs in on work table.

  84. Bangs it on work table.

    (Thank you, Mom.)

  85. Yes, you did.

    But it was worth watching you bang your head on the work table. I hope it didn't hurt much.

  86. "But it was worth watching you bang your head on the work table."

    God, if only I had.

  87. Egypt church bomb

    Ishmael’s pals ring in the new year right.

  88. Ladies, ladies, ladies, just celebrate with me that Rob left the place fairly clean and in a decent condition.

    This is no day to argue.

  89. Were I you, I'd ditch Ishmael and his pals.

  90. Creeped me out, my English teacher and his gape-toothed relish over, "Call me Ishmael."

    Also, it was very near the end of the semester and not many of us gave a shit.

  91. This comment has been removed by the author.

  92. ... the Al Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq has repeatedly threatened to attack Coptic Christians

    Egyptian leaders call for unity

    President Hosni Mubarak gave a televised speech Saturday calling the perpetrators “wicked terrorists” and insisting the attack bore the hallmarks of foreign hands.

    Official statements sought to portray the bombing as an attack on all Egypt, and called on Egyptians to come together in a unified response. Muslim leaders released statements condemning the attack.

    Never let facts get in the way of a good opportunity for propaganda, aye?

    Seems that the sectarian tension in Egypt flows directly from the diminished status of women, perceived to be practiced by Coptic Christianity.

    The use of a bomb in Saturday’s attack raises the concern that it was connected to recent threats by Al Qaeda in Iraq.

    That organization threatened to attack Coptic Christians after the wives of two priests in Egypt disappeared over the summer.

    The women had reportedly attempted to convert to Islam in order to divorce, which is prohibited by the Coptic church.

    Hard-line Muslims in Egypt claimed the church had kidnapped them and held them in a monastery to prevent them from converting.

  93. Moby-Dick was a good book. Better on the second reading, too.

  94. There is no way to square your delight with empty heads with what ought to be your happy engagement with thoughtful women.

  95. Sarah Palin has taken to assailing Michelle Obama's anti-obesity initiative on her reality show and elsewhere, while former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, the Republican Party's resident authority on obesity and a potential Palin rival, has been defending it from Palin's salvos. Two other possible GOP presidential contenders, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), have also praised Obama's efforts.

    Mrs Palin, supportive of teenage, out of wedlock pregnancy and now, teen obesity. She is a Partier, that's fer sure.

  96. Or maybe there is. Come to think of it.

    I wouldn't want to see a thoughtful person do that.

  97. bob supports sexual slavery, in "cat houses". Having told us, in the past, that is where "good" Catholics congregate.

    He, not a confessed Catholic, disparages both Catholics and women with his statements of support for illegal prostitution in "cat houses".

  98. I wouldn't want to see a thoughtful person do that.

  99. It would suck, though, to be an Egyptian. No matter the religion.

    Allowing those Coptics to abuse women in that manner, if the report is valid. Reason enough to end US subsidies, to the Egyptian government.

  100. What did she whisper in your ear, Bob?

  101. But Huckabee, who famously shed more than 100 pounds in part by cutting out processed sugar and white flour, quickly came to the first lady's defense.

    In an interview with New York radio personality Curtis Sliwa, Huckabee said, "With all due respect to my colleague and friend Sarah Palin, I think she's misunderstood what Michelle Obama is trying to do."

    He said the first lady is "stating the obvious: that we do have an obesity crisis in this country." He added: "The first lady's campaign is on target. It's not saying that you can't or should never eat a dessert."

  102. ... Santorum said Wednesday that it is "a proper role for the first lady to highlight something as important as childhood nutrition and what parents can do."

    "This is just basic good health and we as parents can sympathize with what she's doing," he added.

    Yet Santorum also said that there are legitimate concerns about the intrusiveness of government - in curbing junk food at schools, for instance.

    The opinion page of the Wall Street Journal on Monday quoted Palin's own past health-centric comments and said, "Mrs. Obama's campaign is grounded in similar sentiments." It then offered this rare shot at Palin:

    "Mrs. Palin would be more effective if she made some distinctions among the Obama policies that really are worth opposing."

  103. "bob supports sexual slavery..."

    Does he?

  104. He supports the use of illegal cat houses, which the Lutheran and Catholic Churches both equate with sexual slavery.

    He says the use of such facilities tells him who is a "good" Catholic while those that resist the call of sex for cash, must be, by comparison, considered "bad".

    The fact that prostitution is illegal, in Idaho, is telling.

  105. What the fuck, rat.

    You're nuts.

    Perhaps I didn't use my ironicon.

    For the record I do not support sexual slavery.

    Prostitution isn't going away though. Never has, never will.

    This is still the first day of the year, so I'm not arguing.

    O for the love of heaven, not on this day of all the days of the year, as Mrs Daedalus would say.

    Moby-Dick is a great book. Period.

  106. trish said...
    What did she whisper in your ear, Bob?

    The winning lottery number.

    No other girl has ever done that.

  107. I've been thinking about being on a plane.

    The plane home.

    Whichever direction.

  108. The winning lottery number.

    No other girl has ever done that.

    Sat Jan 01, 04:15:00 PM EST

    You know what?

    That's an incredibly sweet thing.

  109. bob, you make totally outlandish statements, then call me nuts when I repeat them.

    A case of projection, that seems to be evident.

  110. And I don't belive it for a moment.

    : )

  111. We're watching an old movie from the forties whose name I don't know when the cars had suicide doors and the negros were busboys and such.

    "If you are so-and-so, then I'm a banana split."

    You just don't get lines like that anymore.

    You'd like this movie, Trish.

    In his long overcoat and fancy hat he looks out over the city lights as the snow falls and he exhales smoke from his cigarette, and slowly he takes out the letter from his Lady, church bells ringing in the background.

  112. "If you're gonnaa die then I want to die too, O Johnnie, Johnnie, I love you so."

    Damn good.

  113. Barbara Stanwick and Gary Cooper in the credits, but didn't catch the name. Gary started some movement to clean things up but the big corporate guys got him, the wife says. It's over.

  114. Maybe Gary was the original libertarian, the Ron Paul of his day.

    Seems the same themes echo down our halls generation after generation.

  115. "You'd like this movie, Trish."

    No. The Marx Brothers, thanks.

  116. I watched "The Kite Runner". Intense to say the least.

  117. Live life or try and understand it?

  118. Mr. Cuomo strongly emphasized his plan to cap the growth of local property taxes, a particular concern to suburban and rural residents. That proposal is already setting off worry among local officials and some public-employee unions, who say that it will result in deep spending cuts in cities and towns. The governor described homeowners as being imprisoned by burdensome tax bills.

    “People can’t afford to pay any more taxes, period,” Mr. Cuomo said. “In the real world, taxes are going up 5, 6, 7 percent. No one’s income is going up 5, 6, 7 percent. No one’s bank account is going up 5, 6, 7 percent. No one’s home value is going up 5, 6, 7 percent.”

  119. .

    bob, you make totally outlandish statements, then call me nuts when I repeat them.

    Come on rat let's face it, you repeat nothing anyone says here without twisting and editing it in that special rat way you have.

    While I admit Bob makes totally outlandish statements, they stand as rediculous on their own. They don't need you to twist or 'enhance' them.

    bob supports sexual slavery, in "cat houses". Having told us, in the past, that is where "good" Catholics congregate.

    Ludicrous. Rat funny some would say. Maybe some of the rat's better work.

    Or is this the ironic rat we have here today.

    Or the 'old rat' who's memory fails him.

    I remember the incident quite well since you and I had a little discussion at the time over words used to describe the Catholic's attitude towards cat houses.


  120. ... eyewitnesses say angry Coptic Christians tried to attack a mosque across from the church after the explosion and that fights broke out, causing more casualties. Al-Arabiya TV showed a crowd of mostly young Coptic men waving their fists and shouting as police intervened.

    The local TV news channel, Nile News, reported that despite the angry reactions of many people, dozens of ordinary Egyptians rushed to area hospitals to donate blood for victims of the blast.

    The Sheikh of Egypt's venerable al-Azhar University, Ahmed Tayeb, condemned the explosion, insisting it was carried out by evil outside forces trying to damage the image of Islam.

    He says that al-Azhar expresses its deep sorrow for this odious crime which troubles everyone's conscience. No Egyptian, he insisted, could have committed such an act, which was the deed of outside forces.

    He said that such people are strangers to Islam, because attacking a church is to attack a house of worship. Such people, he added, are aiming to damage the image of Islam in the West and create sectarian strife in the streets of Arab and Islamic countries.

  121. Of course, Q.

    You spoke of redemption, as being part of the Catholic creed, when it comes to prostitution.

    That prostitution remains illegal, puts it in the criminal sphere, where exploitation of the women is rampant. That's a fact.

    At the time I found Lutheran links that denounced prostitution as exploitation and forced sexual servitude. The various Popes, I'd venture to say, have made similar statements over the years.

    Besides, it's a slow news day.

  122. bob tells us he is a champion ow "woman's rights", while he promotes their sexual servitude to Catholics across the globe, via the I-Net.

    I always have found that position to be hilariously funny.

  123. That snippet, concerning the bombing in Egypt, from Voice of America.

    Perhaps that too is a Muslim mouthpiece.

  124. The author sees a conflict at the heart of Americans’ attitudes toward money and debt. We tend to view ourselves “as reasonably prudent and sober people,” he writes, while “the choices we make at the ballot box seem to be at odds with that self-image.”

    “As a nation,” he says, “we seem to feel entitled to a national agenda and standard of living that is beyond our current income.”

    To finance these expectations, we have continued to borrow extensively from the future — think subprime mortgages, household credit card balances, the federal debt, the trade deficit and more — with turbulent and, at times, nearly disastrous results.

    With that as his starting point, Mr. Whalen sets out on a high-speed chase through specific moments in the nation’s economic and political history: the longstanding debate about a national bank in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; the issuance of paper money to finance the Union effort during the Civil War; the panic of 1893 and resulting depression; the government debt issued to finance both world wars; and the stagflation and the changing world order that began in the 1970s.

    In each of these instances, Mr. Whalen bemoans Americans’ reliance on paper money and debt financing — a reliance, he contends, that is often fostered to expand political, business and financial leaders’ power and wealth.

    Prosperity, Real or Imagined

  125. San Francisco -- It's a new year and a new dawn for the sport of sailing in San Francisco.

    The city was chosen Friday to host the next America's Cup in 2013, heralding a potential renaissance in competitive sailing and a boon of more than $1 billion to the local economy.

    This "marks the beginning of an extraordinary new chapter for our city and for the sport of sailing," said Lt. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who sought to secure the Cup as a capstone to his seven years as mayor. "We don't think there is any better showcase in the world for sailing than San Francisco Bay."

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/31/BAQ11H1QRE.DTL#ixzz19pDPzXQn

  126. Race organizers have picked a new class of boats for the contest, swift 72-foot catamarans. Some enthusiasts are gushing at the thought of the crafts ripping around Alcatraz in consistent winds, cantilevered at an angle as sailors lean off the side, with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

  127. That the America's Cup has become a "cat" race, a little unsettling.

    But then, it is going to be in San Fransisco.

  128. The computer doesn't work over at the condo. I try to suck off someone and it always comes up demanding a security code. So after today I'll be out of business for a few days.