Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Zell Miller stumping for Santorum!

This just in from CNN:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat who supported President Bush in 2004, will head a new group of Democrats supporting Pennsylvania GOP Sen. Rick Santorum's reelection bid.

"I am not involved in any other race in the country," Miller said during a radio interview Monday, according to a news release from Santorum's campaign. "I am only doing this for Rick Santorum. I believe in Rick Santorum's leadership that much."

Santorum is trailing in publichttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif polls to his Democratic challenger Bob Casey, Jr.

Miller alienated his Senate Democratic colleagues two years ago when he endorsed Bush and campaigned for him in his successful reelection bid against Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts. And in a fiery speech at the 2004 Republican National Convention, Miller criticized Kerry's military strategy.

"This is the man who wants to be the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces," Miller said. "U.S. forces armed with what? Spitballs?"

(Hat Tip to PoliPundit)

I've been saying a Novena (to St. Jude) for Rick, leading up to election day. I voted for him in 1994 when I was still a Pennsylvania resident. Can't vote for him now, since I'm a Californian, but I can certainly pray for him.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

End of Ramadan Warnings...

Could be real... or it could be just rhetoric, but here's a recent warning regarding possible new strikes against the West (both here and abroad):

"The new al-Qaida field commander in Afghanistan is calling for Muslims to leave the U.S. – particularly Washington and New York – in anticipation of a major terror attack to rival Sept. 11, according to an interview by a Pakistani journalist..."

Read the full story here.

Another story comes a month later, reiterating the warnings:

"Another Pakistani journalist is reporting receiving another threat – this one from a senior Taliban leader – warning all Muslims to leave the U.S. in anticipation of a major terrorist attack before the end of Ramadan.

The head of the Islamabad-based al-Quds Center reported receiving an audio message from Mullah Masoom Afghani urging U.S. Muslims to get out of the country "because Allah's punishment would fall on America in the month of Ramadan."

Muslims are observing Ramadan this year Sept. 24 to Oct. 23..."

Read the full story here.

Another Foiled Plot...

"A British Muslim terrorist mastermind faces life in jail after he admitted plotting a radioactive 'dirty bomb' attack in the UK and a string of devastating atrocities in the USA..."

Read more here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

November 7th Election... in just 50 words

The reason why we all should be voting for U.S. Senators and Representatives with an (R) next to their name come this November 7th... in just 50 words:

Ted Kennedy
John Kerry
Hillary Clinton
Harry Reid
Patrick Leahy
Barbara Boxer
Patty Murray
Russ Feingold
Chuck Schumer
Richard Durbin
Christopher Dodd
Joe Biden
Barbara Mikulski
Paul Sarbanes
Frank Lautenberg
Nancy Pelosi
John Conyers
Charles Rangel
Barney Frank
Dennis Kucinich
Jim McDermott
John Murtha
Henry Waxman
Maxine Waters
Howard Dean

(do you really want these people in power???.... 'nough said)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

An extremely quick series of reviews of seven films now out on DVD...

(1) The Pink Panther (with Steve Martin and Kevin Kline) --- has a few laugh-out-loud moments, but the flick falls flat too often. It's hard to live up to Peter Sellers classics, even if you're Steve Martin. The opening animation is the best part of the movie. I'd love for someone to put all of the opening credit animations from all of the Pink Panther films back-to-back for a nice 30-minute short! This one gets only 2 wine bottles out of 5.

(2) The Unfinished Life (with Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman and Jennifer Lopez) --- a nice drama, though a bit slow-paced. I get really tired, though, of Redford and Freeman playing the same exact characters they always play in every friggin' movie. And JLo can't act her way out of a paper bag. It's a decent family drama (with an ending that doesn't quite cover all the bases). This one gets a modest 3 wine bottles out of 5.

(3) The Inside Man (with Denzel Washington, Clive Owen and Jodie Foster) --- a decent thriller that keeps you guessing. It's a popcorn movie that's really not meant to be over-thought, 'cause you figure out the end of the film by listening to Owen's character at the very beginning of the film. It's a surprising turn for director Spike Lee, and for that I'll give this film 3 wine bottles out of 5. But you're average police department would have everyone behind bars without any problems. So, enjoy the popcorn.

(4) The Lost City (with Andy Garcia, Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray) --- Garcia is the director and producer of this pet project set in Cuba in 1959 (just as the revolution was about to hit the island nation). The film is beautifully shot, with absolutely wonderful music throughout. The film is a little long (approx. 2-1/2 hours), but it's a glorious film that peels back the nearly 50-year facade of Castro's communist state. The documentary in the extras on the DVD is worth watching afterwards, as well. This Casablanca-esque film is worth a good 4 wine bottles out of 5.

(5) Mother Theresa (with Olivia Hussey) --- a wonderful film about the life and missionary work of Mother Theresa, portrayed incredibly by Olivia Hussey (of "Romeo & Juliet" fame). There are a couple points towards the end of the film that feels rushed, and it causes some confusion in the storyline. But, overall, it's a decent film about an extraordinary woman of profound spirituality. It's on par with the ABC mini-series on Pope John Paul II with portrayals by Cary Ewes and Jon Voight). Actually, both films mentioned here get 4 wine bottles out of 5.

(6) Three Buriels of Melquiades Estrada (with Tommy Lee Jones as lead actor and director, and Barry Pepper) --- The most convoluted, condescending, stupid, ill-written, poorly acted waste of 2+ hours of film in quite a few years. Set in modern day southwestern United States, where everyone is crude and immoral (except for the illegals coming across the border, of course). The film doesn't even make sense (such as when Jones' character takes a very long, roundabout way to cross the border into Mexico when he was originally only a couple minutes away from the border with plenty of lead-time to do so). Or when Pepper's character (whom Jones has been dragging across into Mexico) is completely passed out, then suddenly is wide awake when it's time to cross the river, then once they cross the river he's passed out again. Or when - in that same scene - the authorities have them cornered (with a helicopter, too) - yet suddenly they're able to cross the border unscathed in silence. Or when Pepper's character is bit by a poisonous snake and is hiding in a cave dying from his wound, but is suddenly found with ease and is later "cured" by poking a hot knife on the bite wound. Or the fact that the ONLY person throughout the entire film to be able to smell the decaying corpse of Melquiades Estrada (aside from Pepper's character) is a blind man in the outback. No one - and I mean NO ONE - else smells the corpse. This film is so bad (with a blatant pro-illegal immigration agenda, despite its surreal ending) that I rate it with one-half of one glass of “corked” (spoiled) wine. I’d have rather sipped from a glass of vinegar. In a word... bad. Jennifer Lopez’ “Gigli” bad.... Mariah Carey’s “Glitter” bad. Stupid and bad!!! But what do you expect from Al Gore's college roommate?

(7) Three Times (foreign film out of Taiwan, with subtitles) --- three wonderful stories about various aspects of love (requited and unrequited), set in three different eras in Taiwan: a pool hall in 1966; a brothel in 1911, and a contemporary setting in 2005. This film moves very, very slowly. But it's enticing with its call for patience from the viewer while showing a lack of urgency from its characters in a trio of vignettes. If you like Kirosawa's "Dreams", then you'll like this film. I give it 3-1/2 wine bottles out of five.

A more comprehensive reading list on the B16 kerfluffle at Regensburg...

First... read the entire speech by Pope Benedict XVI on September 12 at Regensburg University to get it in its proper context.

Next thing to read are excellent commentaries at First Things by Robert Louis Wilken, then by Ryan T. Anderson, and two by FR. Richard John Neuhaus (here and here).

Then read this great commentary by Fr. Joseph Fessio (Provost of Ave Maria University and founder of Ignatius Press - which publishes all of Pope Benedict's books in English). And follow it up with another great commentary by Sandro Magister in Rome.

Then read this follow-up speech by Pope Benedict upon meeting the Muslim leaders on September 25.

Next is a brief history lesson on the crusades here (by Jimmy Akin) and here (by Thomas Madden). Plus further information about Islam and violence here.

And, finally, there is this intriguing summation about the intercession of the Virgin Mary here.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Plaintiff in Doe v. Bolton case says ACLU attorney pushed her to have abortion...

Something you do not get the chance to read about in the news:
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to reconsider next week its landmark 1973 Doe vs. Bolton abortion decision, in response to a lawsuit brought by the case's original plaintiff, who claims she was pressured by ACLU attorneys to opt for abortion and that the case was based on fraud.

Like Norma McCorvey, the original "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, Sandra Cano was "Mary Doe" of 1973's other historic abortion decision. Together, "Roe" and "Doe" eliminated all state laws prohibiting abortion and legalized abortion. Cano's case in particular – because of the "health exception" for the mother it created – opened the door to abortion on demand, for virtually any reason, at any stage of pregnancy up to the moment of birth...

...Both Cano and McCorvey are attempting to overturn the two abortion cases that bear their names, each claiming their case was based on fraud...

... On June 23, 2005, Cano testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee for the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights...

..."I am Sandra Cano, the former 'Doe' of Doe v. Bolton. Doe v. Bolton is the companion case to Roe v. Wade. Using my name and life, Doe v. Bolton falsely created the health exception that led to abortion on demand and partial birth abortion. How it got there is still pretty much a mystery to me. I only sought legal assistance to get a divorce from my husband and to get my children from foster care."

Read the entire news story here.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Terrorism Timeline...


What is the common denominator with regard to the following list of events (and this is by no means a complete list)?

Sep 19, 2006 --- Military coup in Thailand by a Muslim General.

Sept 2006 --- Threats to assassinate Pope Benedict XVI.

Sep 12, 2006 --- Failed U.S. embassy attack in Damascus, Syria.

Aug 10, 2006 --- UK to USA flights (arrests made - foiled plot to involve 10 airplanes over Atlantic Ocean)

Jul/Aug '06 --- Hamas & Hezbullah (kidnapping and bombing of Israel)

Jul 31, 2006 --- Koblenz & Dortmund, Germany (two unexploded suitcase bombs on trains found)

Jul 11, 2006 --- Mumbai (Bombay), India (train bombings)

Jun 3, 2006 --- Toronto, Canada (17 arrested - foiled plot to use 3 tons of explosives in Toronto)

Mar 7, 2006 --- Varanasi, India bombing

Oct 1, 2005 --- Bali bombing (two locales)

Jul 7, 2005 --- London bombing (trains/underground)

Thru-out '05 --- repeated suicide bombings throughout Israel

Thru-out '05 --- Paris riots

Sep 9, 2004 --- Bali bombing (Australian embassy)

Sep 4, 2004 --- Beslan school hostage (Chechen)

Mar 11, 2004 --- Madrid bombing (trains)

Aug 5, 2003 --- Jakarta bombing (Marriott Hotel)

Oct 26, 2002 --- Moscow theater (Chechen)

Oct 12, 2002 --- Bali bombing (Kuta)

Thru-out '02 --- Daniel Pearl and others kidnapped and beheaded

Dec 13, 2001 --- New Delhi, India (Parliament bombing)

Oct 29, 2001 --- New Delhi, India (bombing)

Sep/Oct, ‘01 --- Anthrax letters in the U.S. Postal delivery (5 dead, 21 illnesses)

Sep 11, 2001 --- WTC/Pentagon/Western PA

Oct 12, 2000 --- USS Cole attack

Dec 31, 1999 --- The failed attempt at major terror attacks on the Millennium (thanks to a sharp Washington State border patrol officer who stopped one of the terrorists trying to drive across the border, and found explosive materials in the trunk of the car.)

1999 --- Second planned attempt to assassinate Pope John Paul II in Manila (the Pope cancelled trip due to illness)

Aug 7, 1998 --- Nairobi (bombing of US Embassies – Kenya and Tanzania)

Jun 25, 1996 --- Saudi Arabia (Kobar Towers bombing)

Jan 1995 --- Planned assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II in Manila (Ramzi Yousef injured himself before the attempt)

In 1995 --- attempted airline bombing plot over Pacific Ocean

In 1994 --- Buenos Aires Jewish Center bombing

Oct 3, 1993 --- Mogadishu, Somalia (Black Hawk Down)

Feb 26, 1993 --- NYC (the first WTC bombing)

Dec 21, 1988 --- PanAm 103 (Lockerbie, Scotland)

In 1985 --- TWA flight 847 hijacking (Athens, Greece)

Oct 7, 1985 --- Achille Lauro (cruise ship killing)

Oct 23, 1983 --- Beirut (US Marines barracks bombed)

May 13, 1981 --- Assassination attempt of Pope John Paul II by Turkish Muslim, Mehmet Ali Ağca (hired by Soviets)

1979-80 --- Iranian hostage crisis (444 days)

Sep 5, 1972 --- Munich (Olympics - Israeli hostages killed)