Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rio's Theatro Municipal

This magnificent building has recently been given a complete make over. The restoration is a beautiful success. You can take a guided tour of the restored facility Tuesday through Saturday at several times during the day.  More info here.

Romeo and Juliet, the ballet, is coming to the theater in October.  Good seats are too expensive for our blood, but I understand there is one day a week? month? when tickets are just R$1. Can anybody tell me when that is?  I have been mining their website, but I cant find it...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Alabama Judge Gives Criminals Choice: Jail Or Church?

An Alabama judge is giving non-violent, misdemeanor offenders a choice, go to jail or go to Church.  

From NBC Miami:

A small-town judge in Alabama is giving non-violent offenders a choice at sentencing: go to jail or go to church.
Under a program dubbed "Operation Restore Our Community," the city judge in Bay Minette lets misdemeanor offenders serve time and pay a fine or go to church every Sunday for a year, according to WKRG.com.
If offenders choose church, they can pick the place of worship as long as they check in weekly with the pastor and police. After a year of Sundays in the pew, the offender's case will be dismissed.
Bay Minette Police Chief Mike Rowland says the program could change the lives of people heading down the wrong path. So far, 56 churches are participating. Rowland said the program is Constitutional because offenders get to choose between jail and church.
I think this is a good idea. I do think this is Constitutional since the criminals have a choice of a number of churches that they can attend or they can decide to go to jail. Plus, if you don't want to do the time then don't do the crime. Hopefully the criminals who choose to attend a church will take advantage of the opportunity to develop a relationship with God and to change their lives for the better. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

President Netanyahu at The U.N.: "The Truth Is..., I Cannot Make Peace Alone..."

Thanks to Atlas Shrugs here is the entire text of Benjamin Netanyahu's speech:

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has extended its hand in peace from the moment it was established 63 years ago. On behalf of Israel and the Jewish people, I extend that hand again today. I extend it to the people of Egypt and Jordan, with renewed friendship for neighbors with whom we have made peace. I extend it to the people of Turkey, with respect and good will. I extend it to the people of Libya and Tunisia, with admiration for those trying to build a democratic future. I extend it to the other peoples of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, with whom we want to forge a new beginning. I extend it to the people of Syria, Lebanon and Iran, with awe at the courage of those fighting brutal repression.
But most especially, I extend my hand to the Palestinian people, with whom we seek a just and lasting peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, in Israel our hope for peace never wanes. Our scientists, doctors, innovators, apply their genius to improve the world of tomorrow. Our artists, our writers, enrich the heritage of humanity. Now, I know that this is not exactly the image of Israel that is often portrayed in this hall. After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people torestore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather — shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.
Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.
You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.
You couldn’t make this thing up.
So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.
And yet even here in the General Assembly, the truth can sometimes break through. In 1984 when I was appointed Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, I visited the great rabbi of Lubavich. He said to me — and ladies and gentlemen, I don’t want any of you to be offended because from personal experience of serving here, I know there are many honorable men and women, many capable and decent people serving their nations here. But here’s what the rebbe said to me. He said to me, you’ll be serving in a house of many lies. And then he said, remember that even in the darkest place, the light of a single candle can beseen far and wide.
Today I hope that the light of truth will shine, if only for a few minutes, in a hall that for too long has been a place of darkness for my country. So as Israel’s prime minister, I didn’t come here to win applause. I came here to speak the truth. The truth is — the truth is that Israel wants peace. The truth is that I want peace. The truth is that in the Middle East at all times, but especially during these turbulent days, peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through U.N.resolutions, but only through direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. The truth is that Israel wants peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen.
Ladies and gentlemen, when I first came here 27 years ago, the world was divided between East and West. Since then the Cold War ended, great civilizations have risen from centuries of slumber, hundreds of millions have been lifted out of poverty, countless more are poised to follow, and the remarkable thing is that so far this monumental historic shift has largely occurred peacefully. Yet a malignancy is now growing between East and West that threatens the peace of all. It seeks not to liberate, but to enslave, not to build, but to destroy.
That malignancy is militant Islam. It cloaks itself in the mantle of a great faith, yet it murders Jews, Christians and Muslims alike with unforgiving impartiality. On September 11th it killed thousands of Americans, and it left the twin towers in smoldering ruins. Last night I laid a wreath on the 9/11 memorial. It was deeply moving. But as I was going there, one thing echoed in my mind: the outrageous words of the president of Iran on this podium yesterday. He implied that 9/11 was an American conspiracy. Some of you left this hall. All of you should have.
Since 9/11, militant Islamists slaughtered countless other innocents — in London and Madrid, in Baghdad and Mumbai, in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, in every part of Israel. I believe that the greatest danger facing our world is that this fanaticism will arm itself with nuclear weapons. And this is precisely what Iran is trying to do.
Can you imagine that man who ranted here yesterday — can you imagine him armed with nuclear weapons? The international community must stop Iran before it’s too late. If Iran is not stopped, we will all face the specter of nuclear terrorism, and the Arab Spring could soon become an Iranian winter. That would be a tragedy. Millions of Arabs have taken to the streets to replace tyranny with liberty, and no one would benefit more than Israel if those committed to freedom and peace would prevail.
This is my fervent hope. But as the prime minister of Israel, I cannot risk the future of the Jewish state on wishful thinking. Leaders must see reality as it is, not as it ought to be. We must do our best to shape the future, but we cannot wish away the dangers of the present.
And the world around Israel is definitely becoming more dangerous. Militant Islam has already taken over Lebanon and Gaza. It’s determined to tear apart the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. It’s poisoned many Arab minds against Jews and Israel, against America and the West. It opposes not the policies of Israel but the existence of Israel.
Now, some argue that the spread of militant Islam, especially in these turbulent times — if you want to slow it down, they argue, Israel must hurry to make concessions, to make territorial compromises. And this theory sounds simple. Basically it goes like this: Leave the territory, and peace will be advanced. The moderates will be strengthened, the radicals will be kept at bay. And don’t worry about the pesky details of how Israel will actually defend itself; international troops will do the job.
These people say to me constantly: Just make a sweeping offer, and everything will work out. You know, there’s only one problem with that theory. We’ve tried it and it hasn’t worked. In 2000 Israel made a sweeping peace offer that met virtually all of the Palestinian demands. Arafat rejected it. The Palestinians then launched a terror attack that claimed a thousand Israeli lives.
Prime Minister Olmert afterwards made an even more sweeping offer, in 2008. President Abbas didn’t even respond to it.
But Israel did more than just make sweeping offers. We actually left territory. We withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and from every square inch of Gaza in 2005. That didn’t calm the Islamic storm, the militant Islamic storm that threatens us. It only brought the storm closer and make it stronger.
Hezbollah and Hamas fired thousands of rockets against our cities from the very territories we vacated. See, when Israel left Lebanon and Gaza, the moderates didn’t defeat the radicals, the moderates were devoured by the radicals. And I regret to say that international troops like UNIFIL in Lebanon and UBAM (ph) in Gaza didn’t stop the radicals from attacking Israel.
We left Gaza hoping for peace.
We didn’t freeze the settlements in Gaza, we uprooted them. We did exactly what the theory says: Get out, go back to the 1967 borders, dismantle the settlements.
And I don’t think people remember how far we went to achieve this. We uprooted thousands of people from their homes. We pulled children out of — out of their schools and their kindergartens. We bulldozed synagogues. We even — we even moved loved ones from their graves. And then, having done all that, we gave the keys of Gaza to President Abbas.
Now the theory says it should all work out, and President Abbas and the Palestinian Authority now could build a peaceful state in Gaza. You can remember that the entire world applauded. They applauded our withdrawal as an act of great statesmanship. It was a bold act of peace.
But ladies and gentlemen, we didn’t get peace. We got war. We got Iran, which through its proxy Hamas promptly kicked out the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority collapsed in a day — in one day.
President Abbas just said on this podium that the Palestinians are armed only with their hopes and dreams. Yeah, hopes, dreams and 10,000 missiles and Grad rockets supplied by Iran, not to mention the river of lethal weapons now flowing into Gaza from the Sinai, from Libya, and from elsewhere.
Thousands of missiles have already rained down on our cities. So you might understand that, given all this, Israelis rightly ask: What’s to prevent this from happening again in the West Bank? See, most of our major cities in the south of the country are within a few dozen kilometers from Gaza. But in the center of the country, opposite the West Bank, our cities are a few hundred meters or at most a few kilometers away from the edge of the West Bank.
So I want to ask you. Would any of you — would any of you bring danger so close to your cities, to your families? Would you act so recklessly with the lives of your citizens? Israel is prepared to have a Palestinian state in the West Bank, but we’re not prepared to have another Gaza there. And that’s why we need to have real security arrangements, which the Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with us.
Israelis remember the bitter lessons of Gaza. Many of Israel’s critics ignore them. They irresponsibly advise Israel to go down this same perilous path again. Your read what these people say and it’s as if nothing happened — just repeating the same advice, the same formulas as though none of this happened.
And these critics continue to press Israel to make far-reaching concessions without first assuring Israel’s security. They praise those who unwittingly feed the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam as bold statesmen. They cast as enemies of peace those of us who insist that we must first erect a sturdy barrier to keep the crocodile out, or at the very least jam an iron bar between its gaping jaws.
So in the face of the labels and the libels, Israel must heed better advice. Better a bad press than a good eulogy, and better still would be a fair press whose sense of history extends beyond breakfast, and which recognizes Israel’s legitimate security concerns.
I believe that in serious peace negotiations, these needs and concerns can be properly addressed, but they will not be addressed without negotiations. And the needs are many, because Israel is such a tiny country. Without Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, Israel is all of 9 miles wide.
I want to put it for you in perspective, because you’re all in the city. That’s about two-thirds the length of Manhattan. It’s the distance between Battery Park and Columbia University. And don’t forget that the people who live in Brooklyn and New Jersey are considerably nicer than some of Israel’s neighbors.
So how do you — how do you protect such a tiny country, surrounded by people sworn to its destruction and armed to the teeth by Iran? Obviously you can’t defend it from within that narrow space alone. Israel needs greater strategic depth, and that’s exactly why Security Council Resolution 242 didn’t require Israel to leave all the territories it captured in the Six-Day War. It talked about withdrawal from territories, to secure and defensible boundaries. And to defend itself, Israel must therefore maintain a long-term Israeli military presence in critical strategic areas in the West Bank.
I explained this to President Abbas. He answered that if a Palestinian state was to be a sovereign country, it could never accept such arrangements. Why not? America has had troops in Japan, Germany and South Korea for more than a half a century. Britain has had an airspace in Cyprus or rather an air base in Cyprus. France has forces in three independent African nations. None of these states claim that they’re not sovereign countries.
And there are many other vital security issues that also must be addressed. Take the issue of airspace. Again, Israel’s small dimensions create huge security problems. America can be crossed by jet airplane in six hours. To fly across Israel, it takes three minutes. So is Israel’s tiny airspace to be chopped in half and given to a Palestinian state not at peace with Israel?
Our major international airport is a few kilometers away from the West Bank. Without peace, will our planes become targets for antiaircraft missiles placed in the adjacent Palestinian state? And how will we stop the smuggling into the West Bank? It’s not merely the West Bank, it’s the West Bank mountains. It just dominates the coastal plain where most of Israel’s population sits below. How could we prevent the smuggling into these mountains of those missiles that could be fired on our cities?
I bring up these problems because they’re not theoretical problems. They’re very real. And for Israelis, they’re life-and- death matters. All these potential cracks in Israel’s security have to be sealed in a peace agreement before a Palestinian state is declared, not afterwards, because if you leave it afterwards, they won’t be sealed. And these problems will explode in our face and explode the peace.
The Palestinians should first make peace with Israel and then get their state. But I also want to tell you this. After such a peace agreement is signed, Israel will not be the last country to welcome a Palestinian state as a new member of the United Nations. We will be the first.
And there’s one more thing. Hamas has been violating international law by holding our soldier Gilad Shalit captive for five years.
They haven’t given even one Red Cross visit. He’s held in a dungeon, in darkness, against all international norms. Gilad Shalit is the son of Aviva and Noam Shalit. He is the grandson of Zvi Shalit, who escaped the Holocaust by coming to the — in the 1930s as a boy to the land of Israel. Gilad Shalit is the son of every Israeli family. Every nation represented here should demand his immediate release. If you want to — if you want to pass a resolution about the Middle East today, that’s the resolution you should pass.
Ladies and gentlemen, last year in Israel in Bar-Ilan University, this year in the Knesset and in the U.S. Congress, I laid out my vision for peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state. Yes, the Jewish state. After all, this is the body that recognized the Jewish state 64 years ago. Now, don’t you think it’s about time that Palestinians did the same?
The Jewish state of Israel will always protect the rights of all its minorities, including the more than 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. I wish I could say the same thing about a future Palestinian state, for as Palestinian officials made clear the other day — in fact, I think they made it right here in New York — they said the Palestinian state won’t allow any Jews in it. They’ll be Jew-free — Judenrein. That’s ethnic cleansing. There are laws today in Ramallah that make the selling of land to Jews punishable by death. That’s racism. And you know which laws this evokes.
Israel has no intention whatsoever to change the democratic character of our state. We just don’t want the Palestinians to try to change the Jewish character of our state. (Applause.) We want to give up — we want them to give up the fantasy of flooding Israel with millions of Palestinians.
President Abbas just stood here, and he said that the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the settlements. Well, that’s odd. Our conflict has been raging for — was raging for nearly half a century before there was a single Israeli settlement in the West Bank. So if what President Abbas is saying was true, then the — I guess that the settlements he’s talking about are Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jaffa, Be’er Sheva. Maybe that’s what he meant the other day when he said that Israel has been occupying Palestinian land for 63 years. He didn’t say from 1967; he said from 1948. I hope somebody will bother to ask him this question because it illustrates a simple truth: The core of the conflict is not the settlements. The settlements are a result of the conflict. (Applause.)
The settlements have to be — it’s an issue that has to be addressed and resolved in the course of negotiations. But the core of the conflict has always been and unfortunately remains the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize a Jewish state in any border.
I think it’s time that the Palestinian leadership recognizes what every serious international leader has recognized, from Lord Balfour and Lloyd George in 1917, to President Truman in 1948, to President Obama just two days ago right here: Israel is the Jewish state.
President Abbas, stop walking around this issue. Recognize the Jewish state, and make peace with us. In such a genuine peace, Israel is prepared to make painful compromises. We believe that the Palestinians should be neither the citizens of Israel nor its subjects. They should live in a free state of their own. But they should be ready, like us, for compromise. And we will know that they’re ready for compromise and for peace when they start taking Israel’s security requirements seriously and when they stop denying our historical connection to our ancient homeland.
I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. That’s like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why we’re called “Jews”? Because we come from Judea.
In my office in Jerusalem, there’s a — there’s an ancient seal. It’s a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, there’s a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. That’s my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin — Binyamin — the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Sumeria 4,000 years ago, and there’s been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since.
And for those Jews who were exiled from our land, they never stopped dreaming of coming back: Jews in Spain, on the eve of their expulsion; Jews in the Ukraine, fleeing the pogroms; Jews fighting the Warsaw Ghetto, as the Nazis were circling around it. They never stopped praying, they never stopped yearning. They whispered: Next year in Jerusalem. Next year in the promised land.
As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.
Ladies and gentlemen, I continue to hope that President Abbas will be my partner in peace. I’ve worked hard to advance that peace. The day I came into office, I called for direct negotiations without preconditions. President Abbas didn’t respond. I outlined a vision of peace of two states for two peoples. He still didn’t respond. I removed hundreds of roadblocks and checkpoints, to ease freedom of movement in the Palestinian areas; this facilitated a fantastic growth in the Palestinian economy. But again — no response. I took the unprecedented step of freezing new buildings in the settlements for 10 months. No prime minister did that before, ever. Once again — you applaud, but there was no response. No response.
In the last few weeks, American officials have put forward ideas to restart peace talks. There were things in those ideas about borders that I didn’t like. There were things there about the Jewish state that I’m sure the Palestinians didn’t like.
But with all my reservations, I was willing to move forward on these American ideas.
President Abbas, why don’t you join me? We have to stop negotiating about the negotiations. Let’s just get on with it. Let’s negotiate peace.
I spent years defending Israel on the battlefield. I spent decades defending Israel in the court of public opinion. President Abbas, you’ve dedicated your life to advancing the Palestinian cause. Must this conflict continue for generations, or will we enable our children and our grandchildren to speak in years ahead of how we found a way to end it? That’s what we should aim for, and that’s what I believe we can achieve.
In two and a half years, we met in Jerusalem only once, even though my door has always been open to you. If you wish, I’ll come to Ramallah. Actually, I have a better suggestion. We’ve both just flown thousands of miles to New York. Now we’re in the same city. We’re in the same building. So let’s meet here today in the United Nations. Who’s there to stop us? What is there to stop us? If we genuinely want peace, what is there to stop us from meeting today and beginning peace negotiations?
And I suggest we talk openly and honestly. Let’s listen to one another. Let’s do as we say in the Middle East: Let’s talk “doogli” (ph). That means straightforward. I’ll tell you my needs and concerns. You’ll tell me yours. And with God’s help, we’ll find the common ground of peace.
There’s an old Arab saying that you cannot applaud with one hand. Well, the same is true of peace. I cannot make peace alone. I cannot make peace without you. President Abbas, I extend my hand — the hand of Israel — in peace. I hope that you will grasp that hand. We are both the sons of Abraham. My people call him Avraham. Your people call him Ibrahim. We share the same patriarch. We dwell in the same land. Our destinies are intertwined. Let us realize the vision of Isaiah — (speaks in Hebrew) — “The people who walk in darkness will see a great light.” Let that light be the light of peace.

[MV] Davichi - Don't Say Goodbye (안녕이라고 말하지마)

Davichi - Don't Say Goodbye (안녕이라고 말하지마)

DL MV: Davichi - Don't Say Goodbye (안녕이라고 말하지마)

Making new friends in Brazil

Brazilians are rightfully known for being wonderfully open and endearing people who smile and chat with you after just a moments introduction.

The checkout lady at the grocery store knows your name and always has nice things to say. People in line at the bank will talk to you about just about anything. The person sitting next to you on the bus or ferry is always open for a brief conversation.

This was certainly NOT my experience in San Francisco back in the USA. Luiz once squatted low and said hello to a small child at a bus stop while waiting for the bus and the child's mother yanked the child away and said sternly to Luiz, “Don’t talk to my child!”

Worlds apart.

The flip side seems to be the rather insular social groups here. It’s pretty hard to break into new social circles, unless you have found a friend in common. A good friend in common.

Lucky for us we have returned to Luiz’s home town where he had a gazillion childhood friends, all of whom welcome him back and have embraced me as one of their own. But branching out from there has proven pretty challenging.

Luiz’s time in his tourism classes in Rio has provided a great opportunity for him to meet new people. He’s so charming that it seems everyone loves him and we now get invitations to parties and events with his fellow students. I think we are breaking out of the old group a bit.

My success has come largely through blogger friends and teachers and students I have met in the English world.

But it has not been easy. I am grateful for the base of friends we have from Luiz’s past. But I also aspire to broader horizons.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Obamacare's Sterilization and Contraceptive Insurance Mandate May Force Catholic Charities Free Clinic To Close Doors

A few years back Catholic Charities in Pittsburgh opened a free medical clinic which serves the uninsured in the area. Unfortunately due to Obamacare the clinic may be forced to close. The HHS has issued a mandate which requires all new insurance plans to cover contraceptives and sterilization, which runs counter to Church teachings. The Church will not compromise it's beliefs just to meet some federal mandate which violates both the separation of Church and State and the Church's beliefs. This is so sad because if this mandate goes into effect and forces Catholic Charities medical clinic to close this will not only affect Catholics but will hurt the whole Pittsburgh community. Unfortunately I doubt that this will be the only clinic to close because of this mandate.

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh has responded to this insurance mandate with this:

Health and Human Services must think Catholics and other religious groups are fools.

That’s all you can think when you read HHS’s recent announcement that it may exempt the church from having to pay for contraceptive services, counseling to use them and sterilizations under the new health reform in certain circumstances. As planned now, HHS would limit the right of the church not to pay for such services in limited instances, such as when the employees involved are teaching religion and in cases where the people served are primarily Catholic.

HHS’s reg conveniently ignores the underlying principle of Catholic charitable actions: we help people because we are Catholic, not because our clients are. There’s no need to show your baptismal certificate in the hospital emergency room, the parish food pantry, or the diocesan drug rehab program. Or any place else the church offers help, either.

With its new regulation, HHS seeks to force church institutions to buy contraceptives, including drugs that can disrupt an existing pregnancy, through insurance they offer their own employees. This is part of HHS’s anticipated list of preventive services for women that private insurance programs must provide under the new health reform law.

The exemption is limited, to say the least. The pastor in the Catholic parish doesn’t have to buy the Pill for his employees, but the religious order that runs a Catholic hospital has to foot the bill for surgical sterilizations. And diocesan Catholic Charities agencies have to use money that would be better spent on feeding the poor to underwrite services that violate church teachings.
Whatever you think of artificial birth control, HHS’s command that everyone, including churches, must pay for it exalts ideology over conscience and common sense.

Perhaps HHS is unduly influenced by lobbyists. No surprise there. Certainly a major lobbyist is Planned Parenthood, the nation’s chief proponent of contraceptive services. Contraceptive services make a lot of money for Planned Parenthood clinics, which (again no surprise) provide the “services” HHS has mandated.

HHS and Planned Parenthood are narrow in focus. Respect for religious rights isn’t likely a key concern for them. However, it ought to be a key concern for President Obama, who last year promised to respect religious rights as he garnered support from the church community to pass the health care reform act. To assuage concerns, President Obama went so far as to issue an executive order promising that the health care reform act would not fund abortion or force people and institutions to violate their consciences. HHS is on its way to violating that promise. For the sake of basic integrity – the President’s keeping his word and for the protection of the right to religious freedom – President Obama needs to speak up now.

This insurance mandate violates our religious rights which are guaranteed in the Constitution. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I have been sick on and off for the past month with my symptoms getting worse. I thought I was on the mend after my second set of antibiotics but unfortunately it looks like I was wrong.  It is probably due to my endometriosis or something related to it. Sorry I haven't been to your blogs recently.  Hopefully I will feel better and be able to visit soon.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tucker Carlson PWNS Greta Van Susteren; Greta Is Dumberer

Tucker Carlson's site The Daily Caller reported the vile, disgusting smut that Mike Tyson said about Sarah Palin.  There are clearly quotations and denotations that show Mike Tyson is the purveyor of such filth. NOT Tucker Carlson and NOT Jeff Poor who was the editor of the article.  Greta is suggesting that the MSM as a whole should ignore these smut-filled comments which were directed at Sarah Palin by Mike Tyson. Somehow I doubt that if this piece of journalism was about Michelle Obama or Hillary Clinton she would want this silenced.  Neither Tucker or Jeff endorsed this type of speech.  They are exposing the vulgar remarks which were made by Mike Tyson.  Greta is sooo dumb.  How can she not recognize this article as a piece of journalism?  Did she even read the story? The Daily Caller is spot on to expose this noxious garbage. .

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dancing With The Stars and The Natural Law

Leticia of My Daily Trek recently posted on Chastity-Chaz Bono, a transgender individual, who will be a contestant on "Dancing With The Stars". I don't usually watch "Dancing With The Stars" but Leticia emphasized that she was concerned that children who watch this show may be negatively influenced by seeing a transgender individual dancing with her/his partner while being portrayed as being "normal". Being either a pre-teen or a teenager with all the peer pressure can be very confusing as it is and when you throw into the mix seeing a transgender individual being portrayed as "normal" this may confuse them sexually even more. Dr. Keith Ablow reccommends to parents that their kids avoid watching the shows of Dancing With The Stars which have Chastity-Chaz Bono as a contestant on the show. I agree with him. A commenter on Leticia's article didn't know what natural law is and requested an explanation as to what natural law is so I said that I would do a post.

The natural law is a moral and legal theory. In its current form it dates back to St. Thomas Aquinas but its roots are in ancient Greece. Here are two definitions of natural law:

From The Free Dictionary - A law or body of laws that derives from nature and is believed to be binding upon human actions apart from or in conjunction with laws established by human authority.

From Wkipedia - A body of unchanging moral principles regarded as a basis for all human conduct.

We must begin with a certain premise that natural things, especially living things, are not mere random physical processes. The behavior of living matter is not random. Biological activity at every level is purposeful. Cells, organs, systems, and organisms all act for a purpose. Everything has a job. The heart pumps blood throughout our bodies, flowers grow from seeds, and babies develop from crawling to standing to walking. These are all acting towards an end rather than behaving randomly.

When antibodies kill viruses and bacteria they are doing their job, (fulfilling what is a good end. its proper end ) Because antibodies are fulfilling its natural job duties it achieves a good end which is consistent with the natural law. We can inherently know what end goes with this or that and what doesn't. Biological phenomena manifest teleological behavior, meaning everything that happens in living things happens for a purpose. Living matter grows, develops, and heals, i.e., it acts purposefully in accordance with its nature. Living organisms are like artifacts: they are made for a purpose. A book's proper use is to be read. That is in accordance with natural law. But if a person would burn a book that would not be in accordance with the natural law.

Rational beings can participate in their acting toward their natural end, or freely choose not to do that. That is the essence of moral choice.

God created human beings to procreate naturally. It is only possible for a man and woman to procreate naturally. God is omniscient and creates each man and woman in his own image and likeness so therefore it is impossible for God to make a mistake with regards to an individual's gender. When an infertile couple has trouble procreating that is because an impediment causes an interruption in the natural process. The fact that it is impossible for a homosexual couple to procreate naturally is natural or in accordance with the natural law. It is impossible for homosexuals and transgender individuals to achieve that good end.

Would you dispute that your mouth is for food? That to survive a person must eat? Why should your mouth and feeding yourself be considered according to natural law? A baby may put an object up to his/her mouth but it wouldn't be for his good for the baby to swallow that object. A male homosexual couple has two penises, right? Can a penis and penis come into union with one another and create a human life? If you look at this in a logical fashion it is obvious how this violates the natural law. It is not within the natural order for homosexuals and transgenders to take chemicals and mutilate their bodies to transform themselves in order to assume a sexual identity that is the polar opposite of the one with which they were created.

Cross-posted @ Catholibertarian 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

[Single] RAINBOW – A (Japanese Ver.)

RAINBOW – A (Japanese Ver.)

01 A (エー)

02 ゴシップガール (Gossip Girl)
03 A (エー) (instrumental)

[Mini Album] B1A4 (비원에이포) – It B1A4

B1A4 (비원에이포) – It B1A4

01 Beautiful Target

02 My Love

03 쮸쮸쮸 (Chu Chu Chu)

04 Wonderful Tonight

05 Foooool

06 Beautiful Target (Inst.)

[Album] JYJ – In Heaven

JYJ – In Heaven

01 Get out
02 In Heaven (Narr. 김정은)

03 낙엽 (Fallen Leaves)

04 소년의 편지 (The Boy’s Letter)


06 I.D.S (I Deal Scenario)

07 삐에로 (Pierrot)

08 You’re


DL Album: JYJ – In Heaven <-- MU
JYJ – In Heaven <-- MF

[Single] 4minute – HEART TO HEART(Japanese Ver.)

4minute – HEART TO HEART(Jap Ver.)

1. Heart To Heart (Jap Ver)
2. Heart To Heart (Kor Ver)
3. Mirror Mirror (Kor Ver) (~鏡よ、鏡よ~)
4. Heart To Heart (Instrumental)

[Repackaged Album] Super Junior - A-Cha

Super Junior - A-Cha

02. A-CHA
03. Mr. Simple
04. Oops!! (Feat. F(x))
05. 하루에 (A Day)
06. 안단테 (Andante)
07. 오페라 (Opera)
08. 라라라라 (Be My Girl)
09. Walkin’
10. 폭풍 (Storm)
11. 어느새 우린 (Good Friends)
12. 결투 (Feels Good)
13. 기억을 따라 (Memories)
14. 해바라기 (Sunflower)
15. 엉뚱한 상상 (White Christmas)
16. Y
17. My Love, My Kiss, My Heart

DL ALbum: Super Junior - A-Cha <-- MU
Super Junior - A-Cha <-- Mf

[Single] Brown Eyed Girls (브라운 아이드 걸스) – Hot Shot

Brown Eyed Girls (브라운 아이드 걸스) – Hot Shot

01 Countdown (Intro)

02 Hot Shot

Friday, September 16, 2011

I love bananas

All the varieties here are spoiling me!

In Barack Obama's Own Words: Anti-White Rhetoric - Racist?

Does Obama sound just a little obsessed with Black America or blacks?  What happened to Martin Luther King Jr's colorless America? Is this possible when the likes of Obama and Sharpton incessantly focus on race and make race *the* issue and not the content of the person's character?

Making cheese again

I’m trying to get focused again on my cheese making adventure. Really. But now I just don’t have an appetite.
Before it was too cold to try and make cheese. Then I had gastric bypass surgery – which took away my desire to eat (and in some cases my ability to eat).
But now I think I can get back at it.  I can’t eat a lot of it – but the project still has appeal.
I have the equipment – so let’s see if I can make a go of it. It’s warmer outside now.
Luiz will appreciate my success. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Paul Ryan Explains How To Fix Tax Code

I agree with Paul Ryan's ideas on how to fix our tax code. If we fix the tax code this would also help to boost our economy.

Going shopping every day

Do you want to know why I go shopping every day?  It's because if I try to store something for any length of time the bugs get to it.

Pasta, beans, flour, corn meal -- all of it. It has a rediculously short shelf life before the bugs take over - and start laying their eggs.

I need a HUGE refrigerator to keep everything safe!

If you are thinking of being an entrepreneur in Brazil -- invent a refrigerated spice rack.  Trust me.

Today I wanted to make beans - but no. Fouled by the bugs. Have to go buy another bag. And wash out the plastic container I had the never-opened, sealed bag of beans stored in. Sigh.

Oh well - at least there are sweet fresh mangoes...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Alice Hoagland, Mother of Flight 93 Hero Mark Bingham, Has Passionate Plea For Developer of Park 51 (Ground Zero Mosque)

H/T LiveLeak.com 

Qualidade de Vida

I’m sorry – can I say these words?  I am so glad I am not living in the United States of America.
Seriously - let’s look at the facts.
I earn a living by working about 15 hours a week.
I drink fresh fruit juice almost every day (name your fruit – I drink it – for cheap).
The Brazilian government is not chomping at the bit to invade another country.
Family is everything here. More than vacation or ice cream.
Health care for all citizens is mandated in the constitution.
Gay couples have the right to partner and get the subsequent benefits.
The beaches are perfect, and the people at the beaches blow you away.
OK – so taxes are high, but don’t sweat the small things.
Our housing bubble has not burst yet.
You can eat chicken hearts at almost every restaurant.
Men in Speedos look better than men in surfer shorts.
There are two huge specialty chocolate company chains competing for your loyalty.
Mango ice cream.
I have not worn laced up shoes (except sneakers) in three years.
Which Sunday is today?
Qualidade de vida, baby!

Cachaça Day in Brazil

My people are on the move.  Cachaça tourism... nice. This was first published here.  Check it out.

Sep.13, 2011
Cachaça Day in Brazil

When the first sugarcane plants were introduced in Brazil by Portuguese colonizers in the early 16th century, brought from Madeira Island, the creation of a genuinely Brazilian drink would soon follow.

Yet, though the origins of cachaça date back to the Sugarcane Cycle (16th to 18th century) and manufacturing processes taking place at the oldest engenhos, or sugarcane plantations and mills; though its production is intrinsically intertwined with Brazil history and the formation of a national identity, cachaça tourism has only recently begun to take shape as a trend in Brazil travel.

The potential for development is enormous - according to IBRAC, the Brazilian Cachaça Institute (www.ibrac.net), Brazil has 40,000 cachaça producers, 99% of them micro-companies. Many of those are located in the same regions where African and Brazil-born slaves first distilled the drink at sugar mills - and developed a product which, tragically, would be used in triangular trade.

A deeper contact with Brazil's past, particularly its black history, and journeys through scenic destinations, such as Paraty, the Paraiba River Valley or the colonial towns of Minas Gerais, are some of the pluses of cachaça tourism besides the discovery of the drink's variegated flavors and textures.

Superb regional culinary is often part of the experience; some of the distilleries are on farms which also have restaurants, and most cachaçarias specialize in local dishes as well.

In view of the importance of cachaça in Brazil culture and economy - for example, in the generation of 600,000 jobs and exports to over 50 countries - IBRAC initiated a campaign to make September 13 National Cachaça Day. A bill sponsored by a Santa Catarina representative awaits voting in the Chamber of Deputies.

September 13 was chosen because on that day in 1661, an uprising put an end to a Portuguese royal decree which prohibited the production of the drink in the colony.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I'm proud of Brazil

Here is a brief news article about a national campaign to rid Brazil of deadly weaponry. It's not the first time the government has given incentives for citizens to retire their weapons - and to receive amnesty if you turn in your guns.

A couple years ago there was a federal referendum to make gun ownership illegal.  But, what do you know, the National Rifle Association from the USA swooped in and poured millions into the campaign against the initiative. The people voted it down.

But in the end - the attitude here is MILES away from the knee-jerk pro-gun attitude that seems so prevalent in the States. Still, we have a ways to go.  But it's great to see that so many people responded to the first wave of the campaign.


Brazil destroys 22,000 arms in major campaign

RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian Justice Ministry said Monday it had successfully concluded the first phase of an ambitious nationwide disarmament campaign with the collection and destruction of over 22,200 firearms.

The ministry said in a statement that the number of weapons collected between May 6 and Sept. 9 was 20 times higher than that in the first four months of the year, prior to the start of the government's disarmament campaign.

The weapons collected by the Federal Police were 10,828 revolvers and 3,734 heavy firearms, including 302 rifles, 2,562 shotguns, 716 carbines and seven machine guns.

The government attributed the success of the campaign to the policy that allowed people to turn in arms anonymously.

"The anonymity made it possible for the owners of those weapons to deliver them without fear of punishment," Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo told a press conference.

In addition to offering owners of illegal weapons anonymity, the government also paid 100 to 300 reais (60 to 180 U.S. dollars) for each weapon delivered.

The Justice Ministry has spent two million reais (1.17 million U.S. dollars) so far in order to retract weapons from the public domain.

The state of Sao Paulo, which has been known for one of the highest per-capita murder rates in the world for years, topped the list by collecting 5,349 arms, followed by 2,641 weapons in Rio Grande do Sul, 2,602 in Rio de Janeiro, 1,776 in Pernambuco and 1,572 in Minas Gerais.

Over 570,000 weapons have been collected and destroyed by the Brazilian authorities between 2004 and 2008 through a number of programs, while another 500,000 were handed over since 2008 when the government started promoting disarmament more aggressively.

Cardozo said the main goal of the campaign was to "promote a culture of peace in Brazil."

The second phase of the campaign was launched Monday, with a new series of ads featured on television, radio, the Internet, newspapers and outdoor posters. This phase will last until Dec. 31, this year.

MIni Eagle Freedom Links -- 9-13-11 -- Remembering 9/11 Edition

Allied Liberty News - BHO's Cop Killer Connections! (more than you knew!) 

Barking Spider - Identified:The UAF "Comedian" Who Thinks that Beating Up Women is Funny 

Barracuda Brigade 2012 - Ten Years Ago by Sarah Palin 

Bad Catholic - The Secret About Morality 

Black Or White Is A Choice - A Few Moments of Silence 

Catholic Moms For Santorum - Santorum On Dignity And Poverty 

Common Cents - Video: Todd Beamer - The First Hero of 9/11 

Creative Minority Report - 9/11. A Prayer

Fuzzy Logic - 9/11: Ten Years Later 

Generational Dysfunction - Bill Clinton Address To The Flight 93 Memorial 

Hack Wilson - September 11th Must See 

Laughing Conservative - Hey, Hey, EPA, How Many Jobs Did You Kill Today? 

Lisa Graas - The Dangers Of Using Terms Like "Homophobia" 

Logan's Warning - UK: IslamoPUNK Choudary and his Muslim Mob Burn US Flag on 911!~Video 

NoOneOfAnyImport - The Matrix Does Not Have Us 

Pathetically Incorrect - Why We Remember 

Proof Positive - The New York Times and Me*

QuickWit - God Bless America...

Self Evident Truths - Bill Whittle: Afterburner: The Truth Is Out There

Woman Honor Thyself - Sept 11, 2001... Forever in our Hearts 

Western Hero - Bring The GWOT Home 

TOTUS - The Arab Spring and Israel 

The Wisdom of Soloman - Tea Party Zombies Must Die - The Video Game 

That Mr. G Guy's Blog - Krugman Shames Himself 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

We Must Never Ever Forget 9/11

How could we, as a nation, ever forget 9/11? Unfortunately it seems like some have distanced themselves from the reality of those horrific attacks, and maybe even forgotten. We must never forget!! We must never forget the evil which we encountered head on on September 11, 2001. As we remember the lives that were lost ten years ago we must remain ever vigilant as we continue to encounter the threats of terrorism today.

Unfortunately political correctness has run amok for fear of offending one so called religious group and for that this group will react with vengeance and violence.  Why are we worrying about how Muslim extremists will react when we know these people are not rational beings?  If Islam, which has cloaked itself in religiosity while adhering to political extremist views, was not recognized as a religion, would it be considered acceptable or a constitutional right to have a building built on or in close proximity to Ground Zero, where that ideology murdered 3000 innocents?  People claim that before the attacks happened that this was not considered hallowed ground so it shouldn't matter what building is on or around Ground Zero but circumstances change things from not being hallowed ground to being hallowed ground.  There are still ashes and other remnants of citizens who died in those Towers on 9/11 and that makes that area on and around Ground Zero hallowed ground.

Unfortunately, some Americans have forgotten the evil nature of the 9/11 attacks and how those attacks posed a threat to all of humanity.
Or would some Americans have been duped by Muslim consultants into having a Flight 93 Memorial which is in the form of a crescent and faces Mecca?

A majority of Americans WILL NEVER FORGET the evil which occurred on September 11, 2001.  Unfortunately some have fallen sully into a pre-9/11 mentality and are not heeding the warnings of the 9/11 Commission.  The 9/11 Commission pointed out that prior to 9/11 the U.S. treated acts of terrorism as if they were merely criminal acts instead of acts of war. There are some who advocate for "rights" for terrorists which they are not granted under our Constitution. These terrorists are more than criminals, they are our enemies who threaten our way of life, our very existence. Those "rights' that those who have forgotten advocate are such things as trials in federal courts versus holding these terrorists accountable in miltary commissions.  These terrorists' acts of violence are more heinous and more of a threat to us than a typical criminal.

Muslim extremists made it abundantly clear on 9/11 that they are at war with America.  These Muslim extremists and their ilk hate freedom and liberty.  They believe in tyranny under sharia.

We must continue to remember those who acted heroically on 9/11 and the days shortly afterward. On that painful day Americans of all backgrounds and all walks of life came together as one to help and support one another amidst the chaos of tragedy. We must not let these people who lost their lives on 9/11 die in vain. We must never forget the face of evil which murdered them.  We must do our best to stop that kind of evil from entering our shores again, like it did on 9/11.


The students who were reading with President Bush when we learned that our country was under a terrorist attack are speaking out 10 years later.

Here are pictures from 9/11:

Ground Zero 
Here is the smoldering remains of the World Trade Center

Smoke rises behind investigators on September 12 as they comb the Pennsylvania field where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed.

While most able-bodied occupants of the north tower fled down stairwells to safety, firefighters such as Mike Kehoe (pictured) headed up to help the wounded.
Kehoe's Ladder 11 firehouse lost six men that day, but he survived to face a life forever changed not only by 9/11 but by the iconic image in which he unwittingly appeared.
"In some ways Mike Kehoe came to symbolize the firefighters," Chanin said.

Still from video by CNN via Getty Images
A video still shows American Airlines Flight 77 slamming into the western side of the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, at 9:37 a.m. ET on 9/11, claiming the lives of 59 persons on board.
In addition, 125 military and civilian employees at work inside the Pentagon were killed by the crash.

This picture of a piece of United Airlines Flight 93 lying in a Pennsylvania field on September 14 was introduced as evidence during the trial that linked Zacarias Moussaoui to al Qaeda and the 9/11 attacks.
Moussaoui was sentenced to life without parole in 2006.

                                                       Firefighters aiding the injured

H/T National Geographic  for pics

Other 9/11 Links 
                          Maggie's Notebook - Forever Changed: 9/11 Remembrance Full Video

Zilla of the Resistance - I Will Always Be A New Yorker 

Fuzzy Logic - Never Forget 

Conservatives On Fire - Lest We Forget_September 11, 2001

Political Realities - September 11, 2001 - Ten Years Later 

Conservative Hideout 2.0 - September 11, 2011: Tenth Anniversary Post 

The Camp Of The Saints - September 11th: Look Back in Anger 

Sentry Journal - The Day We Changed