“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis I: White smoke from Sistine Chapel heralds shock decision to elect first Latin American, first Jesuit and first Francis to lead world’s Catholics. Does it matter to Catholics or anyone else?

Expect Changes from Pope Francis

TORONTO -- So that's that.
The smoke has cleared -- literally and figuratively -- and a new Pope will wear the mantle Vicar of Christ.
The work of 115 mortals in the Sistine Chapel anointed a man who is expected to exercise a divine link to God, but what temporal challenges lie ahead?
More importantly, what brave new world will his Roman Catholic flock of 1.2 billion be expected to help create with a fresh man at the helm?
Expect change, change and yet more change from Argentine Jorge Mario Bergoglio, who has taken the name Pope Francis.
In the 21st century, the age of the encyclical is dead. Twitter has replaced it as a means of mass communication.
Relentless change like that means the world is being buffeted by a seemingly endless cycle of corruption, economic crises, social unrest and sex scandal at the very highest level.
The Catholic Church is not above any of those charges. That was acknowledged before the start of the conclave that chose the 76-year-old Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
The dean of the College of Cardinals celebrated the papacy as a unique driver of unity among Catholics and of evangelization and charitable service to the world, before seeking guidance in "a troubled and troubling time."
Christ "has established his apostles and among them Peter, who takes the lead, as the visible foundation of the unity of the church," Cardinal Angelo Sodano said Tuesday in his homily at St. Peter's Basilica.
To take that lead, this 266th successor to St. Peter must first face the sex scandals that are defining his church.
The behaviour and integrity of clergy has fallen in the public estimation as sex disgraces have rocked the church from Italy to the U.S., Canada, Ireland, England, Scotland, Australia and most points in between.
The rotten core at the heart of that abuse crisis must be excised.
The future of the church turns on its ability to govern itself. Nobody can trust an organization that fails to fulfil that simple task.
Then there is a dwindling of the faithful.
The Catholic Church is hemorrhaging overall numbers, even as followers increase in South America and Africa. Gains in these two areas cannot balance the bleeding of worshippers from what was once called the Old World.
As recently as 1910, nearly two-thirds of all Catholics resided in Europe. Today that number has dropped to only 24%.
To address that task problem, the immediate job of Pope Francis will be to make his church relevant without abandoning its doctrinal core.
Two steps on that long journey require addressing Rome's stance on homosexuality and abortion. Both topics are fiercely controversial for followers.
Today, about one in 10 American Catholics born into the religion has left it, according to a 2009 Pew Research Centre poll.
Pew reports that more than half of them cite unhappiness with the church's stance on those two topics alone. About 70% say they simply drifted away.
Another problem is the Vatican itself. A secret report by three cardinals in the wake of the Vatileaks stolen documents scandal is waiting in the Papal in-tray.
Church insiders say it holds allegations of a blackmail plot aimed at a circle of gay priests in the Holy City.
Depending on the contents, still seen only by Pope Benedict and now Francis, his successor, it could open the way for a revamp of senior Vatican officials.
Before his shock departure, Pope Benedict spoke of the church facing a world of "rapid changes" whose faith has been "shaken."
Whatever its current difficulties, the Roman Catholic Church has proven to be fiercely resilient in its 2,000 years of existence.
It will need all that staying power and then some to still be relevant for the next 2,000 years to come.
Or even 20 years at that.

Then there is this:


  1. We have all heard the ironic expression:
    “Is the Pope Catholic?” The question is: Are Catholics catholic and what does that mean?

    The problem in my mind is the entire question and the tension between relevance and institution. A similar dilemma exists over our own US Constitution. The concept of a “Living Constitution” gives way to no Constitution. Everything is relevant to the moment. Should there be an absolutism in human society and this life?

    If something is a basic truth in January, then it must also be true in July otherwise it was never true. Right or wrong? Truth should not have an expiration date. Neither should right and wrong be interchangeable or subject to an opinion poll.

    We have twittered our way into Wonderland where there is controversy and evolutionary thought over basic fundamentals such as the sanctity and value of human values, ethical behavior and the rights and duties of a human being to self and our others.

    To whom or to what do we owe allegiance? Do we have free choice? People fight and die in the millions over an argument as to which dead man, deemed to have been holy, was the real deal.

    If life and any sin exists, none can be worse than the killing of another, yet in the same breath some honor their god as well as the great killers in history. So called holy men sanctify and justify killing and many claim that the killing of an unborn is proper.

    I believe in the absolute privilege of being alive. The temporary experience of knowing that there is existence at all. That is good enough and an extreme privilege at that. A temporary soldier in an army of one is good enough to protect those that are meaningful to me. Leave everyone else alone and I return the favor.

    I wish the new Pope well in his unenviable assignment of defining an absolute truth for so many.

    1. War is about power and might of COUPLE of assholes who don`t care if they kill thousands (or millions) of people. Shocking revelation?

    2. God's representative on earth? Where in the BIble does it say anything like that? Please show me where it says that?

    3. .

      "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it. 19 "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." 20 Matthew 16: 18-20

      Though why you care I don't know. The important thing is that 1.2 billion Catholics believe it or, at least, profess to believe it.


    4. .

      Should there be an absolutism in human society and this life?

      There are certain basic moral absolutes, IMO. 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.' As you pointed out, the most basic of all is the right to life. Is there any who can justity taking a life to save a soul as in the Inquisition? Can any justify the sacrificing of a human life other than in self-defense? What god demands human sacrifice? What god or man is so thin skinned that satire or an insult justifies taking the offending persons life? What innocent's life is so meaningless and lacking in potential that his death can be written off as collateral damage? What is the ingredient that makes one neocon politician's life worth more than that of some five year old in Pakistan?

      The fact that the gift of life is given in no way justifies purposely or negligently taking it away. IMO.


  2. As luck would have it, the first headline that catches my attention after leaving the blog was this:
    ’Change Royal succession law for children of a lesbian Queen’

    The laws on Royal succession should be changed to deal with the children of a lesbian Queen in a gay marriage who conceives using donor sperm, the House of Lords has heard.

    Good Luck Pope Francis

  3. There is no boundary to insanity is there?

  4. White smoke and pealing bells in St. Peter’s Square got the attention of Salinas Catholics on Thursday and the introduction about an hour later of Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., as Pope Francis I gave way to their unrestrained joy and pride.


    Lucero Castellanos likes the change a non-European can bring to the church.

    1. I look forward to a pope who takes a strong stance on economic issues and clearly states that supply-side economics is contrary to Christian values. I don't expect him to be socially progressive, I don't really expect this of any pope. But an intelligent pope will understand that social issues are best left to politicians, that ultimately they are rather infinitesimal in the grand scheme of things and place them on the back-burner. Our greatest challenge is economical and needs to be addressed in a way that favors the poor, working, and middle classes of the world.

  5. I am all for the Catholic Church to examine the internal evil in the church and bring to justice the criminal element within the institution. I also would like to see the US do the same and bring to justice those that took and continue to take this country into illegal wars and prosecute the corruption within the elites with the same vigor as they go after dealers in marijuana. The Iraq War would be a good place to start. We have plenty to account for.

  6. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned Wednesday that arming Syrian rebels would breach international law, after Western powers dropped growing hints about giving military aid.

    Speaking in London after talks with his British counterpart William Hague, Lavrov also reiterated that it was for Syrians to decide the future of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Lavrov's comments came a day after Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain would consider ignoring a European Union arms ban and supplying weapons to Syrian rebels if necessary.

    "Arming the opposition is in breach of international law," Lavrov said at a joint press conference with Hague, British Defence Minister Philip Hammond and Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

    "International law does not allow, does not permit supplies of arms to non-governmental actors and in our point of view it is a violation of international law."

    Lavrov rejected any chance of Russia urging Assad to step aside.

    "I believe the destiny of Bashar al-Assad should be decided by the Syrians themselves," he said.

  7. "If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary."

  8. US legislators have expressed outrage over the military justice system's failure to deal effectively with rape and sexual assault crimes, saying a system that had about 19,000 cases a year but only brought 240 to trial was not working.

    Legislators also challenged military legal experts who told a Senate hearing on Wednesday that commanding generals should have the final say over verdicts by military juries, including the ability to throw out convictions and sentences, because it helped them to maintain order and discipline.

    "I don't know how you can say that having 19,000 sexual assaults and rapes a year is discipline and order," Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who chaired the Senate panel, said. "It is the exact opposite of discipline and order."

    The day-long hearing on sexual assault in the military followed a spate of high-profile incidents that have highlighted the issue, including a scandal at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas in which 59 recruits were assaulted by drill instructors.

    In another case at Aviano Air Base in Italy where Lieutenant Colonel James Wilkerson had his sexual assault conviction overturned by a top commander who threw out his one-year prison sentence and dismissal from the Air Force and returned him to duty.

    Survivors told the panel of senators that the US military justice system is broken and rife with instances of impunity for sexual crimes.

    1. Exactly the same military and rape problem stuff in the Austalian Defence Force down here. Been in the news a lot.

    2. Well sheeeeit, what do you expect when you put wimmin in the military? They shouldn't be there at all and if they weren't we wouldn't be having this problem. Next problem to come?? The gay attacking our boys!!

  9. And to the Catholic bashers, before you begin consider these:

    The Statistics of Teacher sexual abuse to Students

    The best estimate is that 15% of students will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff during their school career.

    Though, when the American Association of University Women Foundation surveyed more than 1,600 students in eighth through 11th grade, 25 percent of the girls and 10 percent of the boys who said they had been harassed or abused said the harasser was a school employee.

    The number of K-12 public and private school students in 1996 who have been or will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff is nearly 7 million of 51,331,000.

    Between 1% and 5% of teachers sexually abuse or harass students.

    At least a quarter of all school districts in the United States have dealt with a case of staff sexual abuse in the past ten years.

    Most cases of sexual abuse of students by teachers are never reported.

    In nearly half of the cases, suspects were accused of abusing more than one student.

    Only two cases were cases of false accusations; less than 1 percent of the cases studied.

    No type of school was immune to abuse: public or private, religious or secular, rich or poor, urban or rural.

    Responses to Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Students by Staff

    38.7% of the teachers resigned, left the district, or retired
    17.5% were spoken to informally
    15% were terminated or not re-hired
    11.3% received a formal verbal or written reprimand
    8.1% were suspended and then resumed teaching
    7.5% were cases where the superintendent determined that the teacher hadn’t meant to sexually abuse
    Of the nearly 54% of abusers who resigned, weren’t rehired, retired, or were terminated, superintendents reported that 16% were teaching in other schools and that they didn’t know what had happened to the other 84%. All but 1% of these teachers retained their teaching license.


    1. How true are these statistics? I poked about the site and couldn't find any support infor for their stated statistics. They seem a little suspect.

      For example, as cited above:

      "The number of K-12 public and private school students in 1996 who have been or will be sexually abused by a member of the school staff is nearly 7 million of 51,331,000."


      "At least a quarter of all school districts in the United States have dealt with a case of staff sexual abuse in the past ten years."

      I'm trying to wrap my head around the stated fact that 14% of students get sexually assaulted by a school staff member yet only 1/4 of all school districts dealt with A CASE of staff sex abuse in the last 10 years. You would think, at a 14% rate of abuse that they'd be dealing with a whole lot more cases...

      ...then again, these stats were published on the intertubes so they must be true...

    2. .

      How true are these statistics?

      If you are really interested, check it out.

      The site references a survey by the American Association of University Women Foundation. I think they put out at least one survey on this subject around the turn of the century, 2000 or 2002. Check it out. Shouldn't be too hard. You might also check out the research, studies, and books put out by Charol Shakeshift who did work for the Department of Education. I think her book on sexual abuse by educators came out around 2004. Both of these studies are referenced often.

      There are plenty of articles by other sources that reference these two surveys, WaPo, the Daily Mail, CBS, and as I recall, blogs like HuffPo and the Daily Beast.


    3. The point is this: sexual crimes are not an occupational accoutrement as much as an occupational opportunity. The sexual crimes are seduction, molestation and rape. Homosexual men with young adolescents is more seduction. Cops, teachers, priest, soldiers, doctors, uncles and daddy are all on the list. Make the correlation that best suits your prejudice of choice.

    4. Quirk, I looked through the site to see if I could find references to the sources for their statistics - I couldn't find anything on the site. Can you?

      Deuce, sure, access to victims is a component of sexual crime but the unique feature of the priests is the institutional sexuality of the occupation (i.e. celibacy is required and the role is for males only) and those two requirements may be a factor in the prevalence of a desire for young boys amongst the priesthood.

    5. .

      I also couldn't find the details on the site. However, as I mentioned, at least part of what they are citing is from an American Association of University Women Foundation study or survey. You can easily look it up if you are really interested. The same applies to the other source I gave you who is even more frequently cited.

      Deuce, sure, access to victims is a component of sexual crime but the unique feature of the priests is the institutional sexuality of the occupation (i.e. celibacy is required and the role is for males only) and those two requirements may be a factor in the prevalence of a desire for young boys amongst the priesthood.

      Institutional sexuality?

      Do you even understand the meaning of the word sexuality? If not, here is the definition.

      [sek-shoo-al-i-tee or, esp. British, seks-yoo-] Show IPA

      sexual character; possession of the structural and functional traits of sex.
      recognition of or emphasis upon sexual matters.
      involvement in sexual activity.
      an organism's preparedness for engaging in sexual activity.

      If you do understand the meaning, then my comments of yesterday with regard to your thinking are again in evidence. The same blather you spout above is what we see speculated about often in other blogs and publications.

      ...institutional sexuality...celibacy...males only...MAY be a factor (emphasis mine).

      May be? In fact it is not. The evidence that is out there indicates no correlation between celibacy or, for that matter, even homosexuality and child abuse.

      I have no problem with the criticism of the Catholic Church when it comes to the issue of the child abuse or in the way it was initially handled. They deserve what bitch slapping they get both individually and as an institution. I despise the rationalizing used by Cardinal Dolan in charging other callings have even higher rates of child abuse. Coming from him, it seems like an excuse for something of which there can be no excuse. The fact that the Church in some areas was pretty much bankrupted by this scandal troubles me not at all.

      However, what I do take issue with is a news industry that treats the sex abuse in the Church as a Dan Brown novel. Because the workings of the Church hierarchy are secretive, the Church opposes many of stances the MSM supports, and it has big pockets, the MSM has been milking this story since 2002, ignoring the fact that that was when 50 years of abuse was all lumped together and starting to be reported, ignoring context, and hypocritically ignoring the same abuse in both the general public and in other occupations. Are they actually interested in child abuse or just a sensational story?

      Last night, I watched several channels report on the new Pope. On every one of them, when it came to challenges for the new pope, the first thing mentioned was the sex scandal. They reported it in isolation and provided no context. The story sells.

      And you? What is your interest? You constantly bring up the sex abuse in the Church never mentioning the same abuse in other contexts? You spout silly speculation with regard to celibacy and sex abuse? Are you actually interested in the broader issue of child sex abuse or are you merely pursuing an agenda with regard to the Church?

      This is some of the info I recall from what I have read (all related to the US).

      The incidence of child abusers in the general population is around 4% (although it might be much higher because of non-reporting). Most of it is restricted to friends and relatives.

      The incidence of child abuse among Catholic clergy appears to be around 4%, and the abuse by Catholic clergy pretty much tracks that of other clerics, ministers, rabbis, etc. This is documented not only in the few studies that are out there but also by insurance companies. In 1980, these companies started selling coverage for sex-abuse claims and as you can imagine they track it quite closely since it involves money not speculation.



    6. .

      What studies exist show that child abuse requires proximity to the child. The studies indicate abuse is even higher in some groups such as foster care, the boy scouts, and yes, educators.

      The number I see quoted most often for educators is around 10%.

      Given the severity of the problem, very few studies have been conducted. The Department of Education has started running them as part of the No Child Left Behind program. The Catholic Church hired a university (forget the name) to run a study on themselves after the scandal exploded in 2002. The American Association of University Women Foundation has run studies. Most other groups don't seem to want to know, thus contributing to the under-reporting problem. The info is often not offered voluntarily or is even restricted from be reported due to union contract.

      What I would suggest to you is that rather than buying into the speculation and junk science offered up by the bloggers or the sensationalism pushed by the MSM you should take the time to investigate the subject yourself. The info is out there and it’s not hard to find.

      That is if you are actually interested in the subject of child sexual abuse.


  10. Francis is said not to go along with the Gay Mafia's redefinition of reality.

    Non-Catholic Catholics can suck cock.

    ...or fall in love w/(another)fat lesbian.

    And until they stop, the Catholic Church in the USA is doomed.

  11. ...says more young Catholics have interest in the priesthood.
    Probly want to escape the madness of today's popular culture.

  12. Stoudemire excels on and off the court


    These two monsters have better moves than small white guys of the past.

  13. China is building one of the world's largest drone fleets aimed at expanding its military reach in the Pacific and swarming U.S. Navy carriers in the unlikely event of a war, according to a new report.

    The Chinese military — known as the People's Liberation Army (PLA) — envisions its drone swarms scouting out battlefields, guiding missile strikes and overwhelming opponents through sheer numbers. China's military-industrial complex has created a wide array of homegrown drones to accomplish those goals over the past decade, according to the report released by the Project 2049 Institute on March 11.

    "The PLA now fields one of the world's most expansive UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] fleets," said Ian Easton and L.C. Russell Hsiao, researchers at the Project 2049 Institute and authors of the new report.

    U.S. military forces still operate the largest drone fleet, with at least 679 drones in 2012, according to data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies reported by the Guardian. But the new Project 2049 Institute report estimates that China had 280 military drones as of mid-2011 — a number that has likely grown since then.

  14. Our drones are like U-2's and Blackbirds:
    Lone Wolves.

    Leave it to the Chi-Coms to come up w/drone swarms.
    Leathal Chaos.

  15. All's well, Rufus Krugman Obama.

    Just keep saying it.

    That will make it so:


  16. Hey, Quirk:

    Obamacare as written DID cover contact lenses, Q-Tips, and all.

    Max Bachus, in an ass-saving manuver, added an ammendment to exempt such from being labeled


    More taxes/punishment from Rufie Krugman Obama and Company.

    All's well that sells well on the uneven playing field of today's America.

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  18. Not bad, Gag. Although, I could use an hcg injection right about now.

  19. Those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing are said to be cynics. Americans can be forgiven for being a bit cynical, though, when it comes to prices.


    A change to the inflation-measuring process 30 years ago by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Uncle Sam's arbiter of prices, is starting to raise eyebrows again.

    1. Tony Villar's Los Angeles:

      Illegal Selling Flowers

      The Aftermath

      (Part of Rufus Krugman Obama's Amerika, complete w/50 million subjects on Foodstamps, and record numbers of illegal kiddies getting fed by their neighbors at school)

      ...Actually legal anchor babies.

  20. Drive-Bys Shocked to Learn Pope Francis is Catholic

    RUSH: New pope. I am not Catholic. But I have endeavored, I have dug deep, I have attempted to find out from sources that I trust as much as I can, that I can understand, that I could then relay to you about this new pope. He's the first pope from the Americas. I realize some of you from Rio Linda say, "What a minute. Argentina? That's South America." He's the first one. And he didn't want to be pope. But there's some incredible things about this man. He is a classic Catholic theologian. There appears not to be one shred of moral relevance. In fact, I'll play the sound bites for you in just a minute.

    The media, select members, they're out there. I watched some of it this morning, and it's kind of funny to watch. They're wringing their hands, "How can the church attract young people when it is opposed to contraception? Doesn't the church need to modernize? Doesn't the pope, don't these cardinals realize what they've gotta do if they want to attract young people to the church? If they want to spread their message they can't have this position that's anti-gay marriage and anti-contraception." And they treat the church as a political institution.

    And of course there's politics clearly in the Curia throughout the Vatican, but in terms of church teaching, it's not a political institution. It's religious. I heard people, in fact, media people, "Is this new hope, is he a liberal? Is he a conservative?" He's a Catholic! It's no more complicated than that. Catholicism is what it is. You don't have to believe it. You don't have to follow it. But it's not up to them to modernize to you. It's not up to any religion, although some do this, 'cause they want the money. They want the membership. But the Catholic Church doesn't do it.

  21. I believe those that have become the most Politically Correct have lost the most followers.

  22. So we’ve got a new pope. His name is Francis.

    It took the college of cardinals, what, 15 minutes before agreeing on a new leader for the Catholic Church, the largest multinational conglomerate since Howard Johnson's went into Chapter 11?

    Despite serious theological and fashion conflicts that make the problems between East Coast and West Coast rappers look almost trivial in comparison, the cardinals were quickly blowing more white smoke than a studio session featuring Snoop, Wiz Khalifa, and Kottonmouth Kings.

    Compare that to the U.S. government, which hasn't passed an actual budget in years. That's supposed to change over the coming weeks, as a new budget season gets underway, just in time for spring.

    The House Republicans' budget was written by P90 X enthusiast Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He promised a budget as lean as his turtlicious 12-pack, but Ryan's plan actually grows federal spending by a whopping 42 percent over the next decade.

    The Senate Democrats - who hadn't written a budget in four years - delivered a plan that raises a trillion dollars in taxes and spends even more than the Republicans want to.

    President Obama was supposed to submit his spending plan weeks ago but missed his deadline because he’d gotten too wrapped up in the planning of this year’s Easter Egg Roll - he wanted to make sure that the kill list for that event is 100 percent accurate.

    He's already said that he's not gonna sign on to any budget that he thinks "guts" Medicare or Social Security - and doesn't restore funding for core government activities like White House tours.

    So we may well go another year without a budget, which wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Without a budget, real federal spending has basically been flat despite the best efforts of everyone involved to jack it up.

    A billion Catholics may be grateful that the College of Cardinals runs smoother than an altar boy's cheek, but in the good old USA it turns out that gridlock has worked pretty well to restrain government spending.

    Indeed, if and when American taxpayers see the white smoke signaling agreement rising over D.C., we’ll all breathe a little worse.

    For Reason TV, I'm Kennedy.

    About 2 minutes. Produced by Joshua Swain. Written by Kennedy and Nick Gillespie.

  23. A small zoo in Tennessee obtained a very rare species of gorilla.

    Within a few weeks the gorilla, a female, became very difficult to handle.

    Upon examination, the veterinarian determined the problem. The gorilla was in season. To make matters worse, there was no male gorilla available.

    Thinking about their problem, the Zoo Keeper thought of Bobby Lee Walton, a redneck part-time worker responsible for cleaning the animal cages.

    Bobby Lee, like most rednecks, had little sense but possessed ample ability to satisfy a female of any species. The Zoo Keeper thought they might have a solution. Bobby Lee was approached with a proposition.

    Would he be willing to mate with the gorilla for $500.00? Bobby Lee showed some interest, but said he would have to think the matter over carefully.

    The following day, he announced that he would accept their offer, but only under four conditions.

    1. "First", Bobby Lee said, "I ain't gonna kiss her on the lips."

    The Keeper quickly agreed to this condition.

    2."Second", he said, "You can't never tell no one about this."

    The Keeper again readily agreed to this condition.

    3."Third", Bobby Lee said, "I want all the children raised Baptist."

    Once again it was agreed.

    4. And last of all, Bobby Lee stated, "You gotta give me another week to come up with the $500.00."

  24. Terrorists boarded a flight out of London . One took a window seat and the other sat next to him in the middle seat.

    Just before take-off, a Royal Marine sat down in the aisle seat.

    After take-off the Marine kicked his shoes off, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said 'I need to get up and get a Coke.'

    'Don't get up,' said the Marine 'I'm in the aisle seat, 'I'll get it for you.'

    As soon as he left one of the Arabs picked up the Marine's shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned with the Coke, the other Arab said, 'That looks good. I'd really like one too.' Again, the Marine obligingly went to fetch it.

    While he was gone the other Arab picked up the Marine's other shoe and spat in it. When the Marine returned they all sat back and enjoyed the flight.

    As the plane was landing the Marine slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened. He leaned over and asked his Arab neighbours, 'Why does it have to be this way?'

    'How long must this go on? This fighting between our nations? This hatred? This animosity? This spitting in shoes and pissing in Cokes?'

  25. I am not fat...

    I'm just blessed with abundance.

  26. On this day in 1879, Nobel Prize-winning Albert Einstein was born.

  27. Today I swung my front door wide open and placed my Stevens 320 right in the doorway. I gave it 6 shells,

    and noticing that it had no legs, even placed it in my... wheelchair to help it get around. I then left it alone

    and went about my business. While I was gone, the mailman delivered my mail, the neighbor boy across

    the street mowed the yard, a girl walked her dog down the street, and quite a few cars stopped at the stop

    sign right in front of our house. After about an hour, I checked on the gun. It was still sitting there in the

    wheelchair, right where I had left it. It hadn't rolled itself outside. It certainly hadn't killed anyone, even with

    the numerous opportunities it had been presented to do so. In fact, it hadn't even loaded itself. Well you

    can imagine my surprise, with all the media hype about how dangerous guns are and how they kill people.

    Either the media is wrong, and it's the misuse of guns by PEOPLE that kills people, or I'm in possession

    of the laziest gun in the world. Alright, well I'm off to check on my spoons. I hear they're making people fat.

  28. The Pope of Wall Street…OOps

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A Senate subcommittee report on Thursday charged J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. with ignoring its own limits on risk taking, manipulating risk models to avoid detection and ignoring warnings from traders as the bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, intentionally withheld investment bank profit and loss data from federal regulators.

    The report was commissioned to examine a $6.2 billion credit derivatives trading loss last year at J.P. Morgan’s JPM +1.67% London investment office. The loss was partly attributed to a trader, Bruno Michel Iksil, dubbed the “London whale” for his large positions in credit derivatives. The report notes that the current status of the losses is unclear because J.P. Morgan dismantled the portfolio late last year, moving some funds to its investment banking unit.

  29. "The House Republicans' budget was written by P90 X enthusiast Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. He promised a budget as lean as his turtlicious 12-pack, but Ryan's plan actually grows federal spending by a whopping 42 percent over the next decade.

    The Senate Democrats - who hadn't written a budget in four years - delivered a plan that raises a trillion dollars in taxes and spends even more than the Republicans want to.

    RufusKrugmanObama assures us that even the Dem's non-plan is far too frugal for the good of the economy:

    Spend baby, Spend!

    Grow team Gov. Grow!

  30. "I read some things this man has said -- and don't get the wrong idea. I'm just telling you why I like this so far. I'm reading things that he's said that I have authored in the Undeniable Truths of Life. One of my Undeniable Truths of Life is that senior citizens -- I'm paraphrasing my own truth; I don't have it right in front of me -- senior citizens are among the most valuable resource we have for our young people. And, of course, young people throw the elderly away and they laugh at 'em, old-fashioned fuddy-duddies, don't know what they're talking about. To the young, every old person has Alzheimer's. To the young, every old person has Parkinson's.

    This man said that the elderly are the seat of wisdom in any society, is how he put it. He says adoption by homosexuals is a form of discrimination against children, which is why you're only gonna be hearing about the aspects of his life I just described, this common man, everyday man. This is not what they were hoping for.

    The Vatican is apparently a mess, too, the Vatican Curia -- the White House, if you will -- the administrative aspect. One of the first things that he's going to do when he really sits down and gets serious, is there's a 300-page report on all of the corruption, the back-stabbing, the basic disintegration of the administration of the Vatican, all the petty politics. There's a report done that details it all, and he's gonna be charged here with making the appropriate changes, if he deems them necessary.

    But I just found it fascinating that he was willing to stand up to an entire government in Argentina. He's cast aside. He ends up teaching high school math in small, little towns and was essentially rescued by Pope John Paul II. Let's go to some audio sound bites and illustrate some of what is out there in the Drive-By Media. We will start with a montage. We have Chris Cuomo of CNN, Shannon Bream of Fox, Erin Burnett, Juan Carlos Lopez of CNN Español, Gwen Ifill, Allen Pizzey of CBS, any number of people here. It is a report on the new pope and how he is anti-abortion, anti-contraception, anti-gay marriage. They can't believe it.

    CUOMO: Where is Pope Francis on the issues that matter most, issues about contraception, women priests?

    BREAM: Pope Francis is staunchly orthodox on the issues of abortion, contraception, and same-sex marriage.

    BURNETT: He opposed same-sex marriage in Argentina. He opposed free contraception.

    LOPEZ: He follows a conservative line. He opposes, uh, same-sex marriages. He is conservative on birth control.

    PIERS MORGAN: He is known to be, duh, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage.

    MARIA TERESA KUMAR: He has been against contraception. He's been against marriage equality.

    PIZZEY: ...a conservative and opposes abortion!

    IFILL: So this is not a pope or a papacy we were gonna see any kind of change when it comes to things like abortion or gay marriage.

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  32. I am going to put up another post on where this pope is coming from.

  33. .

    Paul v Rubio at CPAC

    The warm reception for Paul’s anti-interventionist foreign policy ideas is a stark contrast to the CPACs of years past, when neoconservatives ruled the day, like when Dick Cheney had a keynote spot just two years ago. Supporters of Ron Paul heckled the former vice president from the audience, but now one of their own is on the stage and getting only love from the crowd.

    Paul also drew contrasts with Sen. Marco Rubio, who spoke immediately before Paul. Both men are rumored to be considering a White House bid in 2016. In their speeches, both leaned heavily on the gimmicks that made them famous in recent weeks, but Rubio’s incessant jokes about drinking water during his State of the Union response felt petty and cheesy compared to the substance of Paul’s filibuster.

    And unlike Rubio, who spoke about the fundamental goodness of the GOP, Paul offered a plea for a revamp. “The Republican Party has to change,” Paul said. It especially needs to appeal to young people by expanding its conception of limited government beyond taxes and regulation to things like drug policy, technology, and civil liberties, he explained, because the “Facebook generation” is the “core of the ‘leave me alone’ coalition.”