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2006 February 23 — Why Now?
On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
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They’re Baaaack

American Robin

Once again we must endure the arrival of the Turdus migratorius [the accent is on the first syllable] or American robin as they descend in their horde to strip a local variety of tree of its purple berries which are rapidly processed and deposited on everything.

The noise and stains are reminders that only one more major cold spell lies between us and the true Spring.

Things are always brighter after their visit, because if you don’t scrub everything down almost immediately the stains from the partially digested berries are damn near impossible to get off.

February 23, 2006   Comments Off on They’re Baaaack

Culture Of Life

South Dakota has decided to be the first to see if five Catholics on the Supreme Court will let them ban abortion.

Since they are so committed to life, I’m sure that the laws banning capital punishment, in vitro fertilization, wars, peace officer guns, etc. will be passed in short order. Naturally they will be providing universal health care to all of their citizens to ensure that life is preserved.

I know this because these are honorable people who really believe in the culture of life and are not power hungry misogynists who feel that women are incapable of making decisions about their lives on their own. This must be true, because, otherwise they would not be inserting government into the very protected space of doctor-patient confidentially and trust. There is no other reason to suddenly decide that bureaucrats and lawyers know more about health care decisions than the patient and people who spent a decade learning their craft.

I expect all of this will this happen right after we read the South Dakota State University’s College of Engineering seminal report on the natural aeronautical capabilities of Duroc hogs¹.

1. No offense, Hogfather.

February 23, 2006   Comments Off on Culture Of Life

Fort Sumter Has Been Shelled

As the BBC reports today: Scores die amid Iraqi shrine fury.

President Jalal Talabani called an emergency summit of Iraq’s political leaders to discuss the violence.

Sunni Arab politicians boycotted the meeting and pulled out of coalition talks in protest at reprisal attacks.

“We are suspending our participation in negotiations on the government with the Shia Alliance,” said Tareq al-Hashimi, a top official from the Iraqi Accord Front, Iraq’s main Sunni Arab alliance.

Dozens of Sunni mosques have been targeted and several burnt to the ground since bombers blew up the golden dome of the revered al-Askari shrine in Samarra on Wednesday morning, reports say.

In a rare public rebuke, the main Sunni religious authority – the Association of Muslim Scholars – accused Iraq’s top Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, of fomenting the violence.

Ayatollah Sistani has urged Shias not to attack Sunni mosques, but a spokesman for the cleric said anger might be hard to contain.

In his translations of Middle Eastern newspapers Professor Cole uses the term “excommunicators”, that is apparently the accepted translation of takfiri. Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s group, Jama’at at-Tawhid wal-Jihad now known as Al Qaeda in Iraq, are considered “excommunicators”, takfiri, by most people.

They have found the pressure point. Takfiri hold that shrines and relics are the equivalent of idol worship, so it should be expected that other holy sites will be attacked should Shi’ia anger wane.

February 23, 2006   Comments Off on Fort Sumter Has Been Shelled