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These are answers that Choux has provided in Christianity

Question/Answer
CeeBee2 asked on 11/14/09 - Information about IQGuru

Some of you knew or knew of IQGuru, one of the charter members of Answerway. He passed away on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, 2009. He had gotten pneumonia the previous year and had never shaken it, and meanwhile was slowly getting lost in the fog of Alzheimer's. I have been in phone contact with his wife who has been dealing with her own set of physical problems. She asked me to let his Internet friends/acquaintances know about his death. If you wish more details, please let me know.

Choux answered on 12/25/09:

I'm surprised at your news about IQguy. I never thought he was fighting Alzheimers.

He had a long and interesting life, and death is the natural conclusion, not to be feared, but welcomed, in my opinion.

Sincerely,

Choux

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/21/06 - Do you believe this? Jonathan Davies of Cardiff,

one of the codiscoverers of Virgo H121 say that it is a dark galaxy.
That’s right, it gives off no light even though it contains matter 100 million times the matter in our sun, Sol.
Only a radio telescope can see it’s faint emissions.
It is said to be made up of swirling hydrogen gas, and get this, most of it is “dark matter" that can not be detected by any current instrument.
No one knows what dark matter is. They just claim that it exists because galaxies could not perform in the manner they do without most of the mass being some undetectable stuff being present therein that has been called “dark matter”.
They say that mathematics shows “dark matter” to be there in abundance. Also said it that mathematics indicated that most of the galaxies in the universe are dark galaxies.
If asked to prove that those are there the answer comes, Mathematics indicted their presence, other than that one must take in on (get this now) faith.
There is a picture of the non visible dark galaxy in along with the story of it and OTHER COSMIC MYSTERIES of the universe in Volume 26, Number 12 of Discover Magazine.
Do you believe the above?
Do you think I should quit reading about such far fetched mysterious stuff in magazine that shows pictures of the mystery that cannot be seen and “dark matter” that cannot be detected but only theorized?
Peace and kindness,
Fred

Choux answered on 01/22/06:

It is really interesting to read about scientific research especially in the fields of astronomy and physics...where most of the **fascinating facts** are beings collected and **various theories** are postulated. (Research on the human mind(consciousness) comes in a close second)!!

Fred, you seem to be a guy who can only deal with the world in absolutes, you are definitely not comfortable with thinking and uncertainty.

Therefore, everything you read you must twist to fit into your own rigid view of the world, your set of rules.

In exploring as in thinking deeply, there are no rules.

Exploring and thinking are not for you.

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Question/Answer
Tex78 asked on 01/21/06 - Suggestions for Less Stress

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won't fit into your time schedule or that will
compromise your mental health.
5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too
many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over
time; don't lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find
out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can't do
anything about a situation, leave it to God.
12. Live within your budget; don't use credit cards for ordinary
purchases.
13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key
buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an
enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.
16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.
20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of
life.
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems
in the bud. Don't wait until it's time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.

25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.

26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a
good "Thank you Jesus."
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself.

30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they
can).
31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36 Every night before bed, think of one thing you're grateful for that
you've never been grateful for before. GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS
AROUND FOR YOU. "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

Choux answered on 01/22/06:

Too many "helpful hints"!!! Bah!!

Only one hint is needed:: Don't put **pressure on yourself** to do do anything....NOTHING!!

BE YOURSELF

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/22/06 - To smack or not to smack - that is the question!




Total smacking ban demand

Jan 22 2006



Britain's four child commissioners have called for a total ban on the smacking of children in the UK.

In a joint statement, the commissioners for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales said there was "no room for compromise" on the issue.

An amendment to the Children Bill outlawing the "hitting" of youngsters was rejected in the House of Commons in November 2004.

The Bill instead allowed mild smacking, while barring any physical punishment which caused visible bruising.

But the commissioners criticised the attempt to define "acceptable" smacking and said that the UK was still falling foul of European human rights standards.


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The statement said: "Children have the same right as adults to respect for their human dignity and physical integrity and to equal protection under the law, in the home and everywhere else.

"There is no room for compromise, for attempting to define 'acceptable' smacking."

It added: "We call upon Government to allow further debate and free votes in the relevant parliamentary assemblies to introduce legislation that will ban the defence of reasonable chastisement throughout the UK."

Peter Clarke, children's commissioner for Wales, said a free Parliamentary vote was needed because it was an "issue of conscience".

Mr Clarke said: "(The 2004 vote) was not a free vote and we would like a free vote because we think it is an issue of conscience. We think that a free vote would be different. We want to remove the law of reasonable chastisement so that the common law of assault applies to children as it does to adults."

===

My personal view is that smacking is a result of parental failure to cope with and teach the child in other ways.

Nanny 911 has demonstrated that physical violence towards children, even in the smallest degree, is not only unnecessary also counter-productive.

===

Agree?



Choux answered on 01/22/06:

Yes. No violence against children!!

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/20/06 - Do you believe the following???......................

How many Christians here believe that they should do as Pope John Paul II suggested? That is to “Be not afraid” to engage in “evangelic radicalism” !!!
In other words for us to be not afraid to stand up for Christ Jesus and spread the good news of his teaching by word and deed and of His salvation.

Choux answered on 01/21/06:

America is an overwhelmingly Christian country.

I guess there are sizeable numbers of non-Christians in Africa and Asia; not to mention Islamic countries.

Fred, why don't you take a flight to Cairo? You can start there.

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Question/Answer
paraclete asked on 01/21/06 - Hi



Ni Hao ma Hi gang just dropping in from China. Much snow and ice here, travel is almost impossible but it's got tp get better soon, we are three days into the main trip and have missed one destination already

Choux answered on 01/21/06:

Enjoy yourself! You're on a trip of a lifetime.

Regards,

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/20/06 - Can you prove that you are alive?





Chilly welcome for Indian 'ghost'
By Faisal Mohammad Ali
BBC News, Bhopal

Raju Raghuvanshi's house in Mandla,
Madhya Pradesh
Relatives say they were surprised to see Mr Raghuvanshi
An Indian man is being refused entry to his house - because his family say he is a spirit come back to haunt them.

Raju Raghuvanshi was greeted with cries of "ghost" and neighbours locking doors when he returned from a short spell in jail to his village in Madhya Pradesh.

He had fallen ill in prison and was taken to hospital. Relatives heard he had died and performed his last rites.

Now, unable to convince them he is alive and well, he is staying nearby and has asked the police for help.


I have now to prove that I am alive - but I will have them punished
Raju Raghuvanshi

Mr Raghuvanshi told the BBC his cousins had denied him entry to his house in the village of Katra, in Mandla district about 300km (200 miles) from state capital Bhopal, despite his protests.

They even dismissed his pleas that he could not be a spirit because his feet were properly attached to his body and not turned backwards, a characteristic which locals ascribe to ghosts.

The 45-year-old said his cousins insisted they had performed his last rites as required and so he should not come back to haunt them.

Exaggerated rumour

Mr Raghuvanshi, who is unmarried with no living parents or brothers, has had to move to the nearby village of Bamni while he struggles to convince his cousins to let him come home.

Map showing Mandla district in India's Madhya Pradesh state

"I have now to prove that I am alive," he said. "But I will have them punished."

Mr Raghuvanshi has turned to the police for help has now filed a case for defamation against his family.

His lawyer, Maonhar Soni, said the refusal of relatives to accept that his client is alive could also be because of Mr Raghuvanshi's property and the few acres of land that he owns.

The rumour that he had died and been cremated started when he fell ill and was transferred from prison to a hospital in another town for treatment, police chief NV Vayangankar said.

Ganeshi, the wife one of Mr Raghuvanshi's cousins, said that when they heard of his death they had informed the village elders, who had told them to carry out the rituals immediately.

"Later on he turned up and we were surprised to see him," she said.

Rural India remains deeply traditional and many believe that a dead man's spirit will not rest until the last rites are performed.

In this case, the last rites have happened and it is not clear what proof the villagers need to accept that Mr Raghuvanshi is alive.

===

If you know how to prove that you are alive, how would you advise this gentleman to prove that he is alive?

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

That reminds me of an old man of Italian-American heritage who was a customer at the bank. He and his wife were upset by the loss of some of their income.

The Social Security Administration had cancelled his monthly check because, as it turned out, he was dead.

Months passed, yet he remained classified deceased. All his complaints to the contrary fell on dead ears.

Pun intended. :)

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/20/06 - The "ear" of God


Hello Christians:

A noted evangelical summed up his views of pre-war sermons by the church, and wrote about them in the NY Times. This is what he thinks they said: "Our president is a real brother in Christ, and because he has discerned that God's will is for our nation to be at war against Iraq, we shall gloriously comply."

Do you agree with his summation? Did you agree with the viewpoint? Do you agree with the viewpoint now?

Yes bucker, I know you do.

In a similar vein, and I might as well ask it here, I saw a report on the news last night about a woman who had sex with some well known evangelical, Bishop Paulk, for 14 years, all the while believing that, because he had the "ear" of God, it was God telling her to screw him. She didn’t look like a slut.

Does God SPEAK to anyone? Who? Bucker?

excon

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

Isn't it "funny" that when "someone claims that God speaks to them", from Pat Robertson to those on the Board, Fred, for example, that God doesn't ***correct their erroneous thinking and deeds***!!!

"Funny" how all their prejudices are reinforced by their "God's voice".


If God was speaking to anyone here on planet earth, God would be taking action to improve them and telling them to do good!

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 01/20/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... if some people don't believe in God, who do those people think was the first human being on Earth.

HANK

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

Hank, you are going to have to check out some books from the library...anthropology...and read all about how human beings evolved.....how brain capacity got gradually larger and larger.

It is interesting, some species of "humans" wiped out others.

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Question/Answer
curious98 asked on 01/20/06 - continuation of my yesterday's post for ATON2

To me it seems that such a extraordinary collection of remarkable “brains” have been wasting their time working on the Scriptures and on the figure of Jesus, when both the Scriptures and Jesus –according to some masters in History of “recognized” authority on the subject, to which you certainly belong- have declared that they are just a complete set of fake “legends”.

Consequently, not being able to place myself –as I have already pointed out before- at the level of someone as bright as you undoubtedly are- I prefer to humbly withdraw the subject and stick to my own beliefs (which so far, have been the beliefs of billions of people), even if they are fake, while dropping this debate like a “hot potato”, lest you might convince me to become a another “freethinker”…

You are very right in your conclusions. When someone suffers of a surfeit of knowledge and has so much self-indulgence and arrogance to consider what others may say as irrelevant for HE IS THE ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS THE TRUTH, the best thing is to let it go and wish him good luck in his future debates.

It is rather sad to see how a person who, otherwise, seems to have a fair degree of knowledge on certain matters, feels he can impress his opponents by throwing names and references at them to let them see how much he knows. This person is probably ignorant of the fact that, when you do not know anything about your counterpart, bragging and boastful speech is a twofold risk. That of becoming ridiculous in his self-sufficiency and that others –as in my case- may decide they have better things to do.

To contemptuously propose me whether “WOULD YOU PREFER I USE THE ANALECTS OF CONFUCIUS TO DISPUTE THE ERRORS OF THE BIBLE”, as if he would be the only person in the world who has heard of the Analects, is not only an instance of utterly pedantic behavior but also of neglecting the fact that it would be hard to use Confucius discussions with reference to the nature of Jesus, bearing in mind that the Analects ORIGINATE APPROXIMATELY in the 3rd century BC.

Last but not least he insists to prove me that Jesus’ existence is a fake, and says: WHEN PAUL CONTRADICTS JESUS WORDS ON DIVORCE...THAT IS A PROBLEM...EITHER JESUS WAS RIGHT, OR PAUL WAS RIGHT...NOT BOTH.
THAT IS NOT SIMPLY A MATTER OF DIFFERENT OPINIONS, THAT IS A CONTRADICTION”

But he does not realize that the CONTRADICTION is actually saying that either Jesus was right or Paul was right!

How on earth could Jesus be right IF JESUS IS A FAKE?. Fakes cannot be right or wrong, can they? They are simply fakes…

And when he affirms that “ONE EVANGELISTS WRITES THAT JESUS DELIVERED THE BEATITUDES, SITTING ON HILL TOP, AND OTHER EVANGELISTS STATES HE DELIVERED THEM STANDING ON FLAT GROUND...THAT IS A CONTRADICTION” I would tell him that I have been in that hill and, on top of the hill (as happens on top of many hills) the ground is flat, as a friend has also pointed out to me. So the DRAMATIC contradiction of the Evangelists is whether Jesus was standing or sitting... Goodness gracious! How have we been able to live up with contradictions as such?

But he keeps talking about Jesus and exhibiting such IMPORTANT CONTRADICTIONS that the rock upon which the Church was built crumbles to pieces, as we can all bear witness of it…

Which is rather extraordinary, for somebody who claims that the whole story is nothing but a legend…

Why is he bringing all the time the name of Jesus if he never existed?

Then he speaks about Major Heresies, BUT he does not mention any and qualify the ones I give him, as minor controversies. Perhaps he could just mention a few so I could tell him that he is right!!

My support of the Qumran as the “inspired” word of God may put me at odd with some Christian brothers. But I doubt it.

My counterpart may find it difficult to understand it because he probably belongs to the group of bigots or fundamentalist “freethinkers” who respect nothing that smells of religion, no matter what.

Unfortunately, it is true there also are many Christians who profess a total bigotry for anything not Christian, or rather anti their Christian denomination.

I, instead, am proud to admit that I belong (right or wrong) to the group of the anti-bigots who practice the tolerance in every aspect of his life. And for me, the Qumran, as the Talmud, the Analects of Confucius, Haokah, who laughs when he is sad, and cries when he is happy and/or the Gita of the Hindus, deserve every consideration and respect. For if nothing else, they are texts or divinities that many consider as sacred and, consequently, they are entitled to respect.

But I am wasting again my time, for I do not expect you to understand my attitude.

Finally, let me add a few words to your last statement re. your library.

Congratulations on your library 2500. They need at least some 150 yards of shelves.

My own library is composed by some 10000 books (of which I have donated several very valuable collections to the Ramon Llull University of Barcelona, a Branch of the Central University). In reciprocity, and with their thanks, they gave me a special pass for me and my family that allow us free life access to their library (750.000 volumes approx.), whether in person or through the Net. Also, thanks to my personal relationship with the Abbot of the Monastery of Montserrat (2nd most important in the world of the Benedictine order) I have the privilege –rather extraordinary if you allow me to say so- to borrow any books I wish out of their 300.000 volumes, many of which, “incunabulum” (those I can only consult at the Monastery). The rest of my collection is spread amongst my 4 sons (who have large houses) and my new small apartment of some 217 sqmts. Still, I probably have some 1.200 or 1.300 left with me. (those I cherished most).

I forgot to tell you that thanks to the collaboration of my company with the Generalitat of Catalonia my family and I enjoy some special privileges, amongst which, to consult the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya, with more than 3 million books and documents.

I did not want to explain that little of my own story [for it is nobody’s business] but I was getting sick and tired of your constant conceit and pomposity.

And, throughout the 50+ years I have spent working; traveling to 146 countries, doing business, first for others, then on my own, with thousands of customers and friends in these 146 countries, and creating a company that allows my 4 sons and their families to live in grand style, I have learnt not only about other’s beliefs, as you claim you do, but also to respect those beliefs –which you obviously don’t, no matter what you say- and, most than all, I have learnt that I’m no better man than the rest of Mankind.

Having gone around the world 7 or 8 times, who cares, I never counted the mileage; having perhaps a better living than most and having tried to help others whenever I could, does not make me more special than those who have not been as lucky as I have been.

And having read extensively hundreds or thousands of books has made me clearly understand that I’m neither more intelligent nor better than the majority of people. In fact, I’m convinced I happen to be worse than this majority.

So there we can see the “little” difference between you and I.

Faithfully yours
Claude

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

Christianity in all its forms is religion, and religion is all about Faith/Belief. It is about accepting and valuing that which cannot be proved...such as the existence of "God(s)", the Supernatural, and all manner of things that go with these beliefs. Many people get great comfort from their Faith. However, many people feel that they can commit evil in the name of their faith because "God" is on their side.

There is no one truth in the world; there are many truths!! Truth is fact; truth is in knowledge...it is the truth that the force of gravity assures that we all don't go flying off into space!! We are living on a spinning planet in a large solar system!! That is another truth.When you talk about spiritual truth, there are many "spiritual truths"!

If one such as yourself, Claude, believes in the tenets of Christianity, you must concede that your *belief* is what you choose, what *makes you happy*.....it is not a fact that God exists, nothing Supernatural is a fact.

I am happy that you are happy and such a charming gentleman.

Mary Sue

I do enjoy good debates, too. :)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/20/06 - What do you find true and what faults about this?

Full Text of bin Laden Tape
By The Associated PressThu Jan 19, 5:00 PM ET

The following is the full text of a new audiotape from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. Parts of the tape were aired on Al-Jazeera television, which published the entire version on its Web site. The text was translated from the Arabic by The Associated Press.

Bin Laden appears to be addressing the American people:

My message to you is about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how to end them. I did not intend to speak to you about this because this issue has already been decided. Only metal breaks metal, and our situation, thank God, is only getting better and better, while your situation is the opposite of that.

But I plan to speak about the repeated errors your President Bush has committed in comments on the results of your polls that show an overwhelming majority of you want the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. But he (Bush) has opposed this wish and said that withdrawing troops sends the wrong message to opponents, that it is better to fight them (bin Laden's followers) on their land than their fighting us (Americans) on our land.

I can reply to these errors by saying that war in Iraq is raging with no let-up, and operations in Afghanistan are escalating in our favor, thank God, and Pentagon figures show the number of your dead and wounded is increasing not to mention the massive material losses, the destruction of the soldiers' morale there and the rise in cases of suicide among them. So you can imagine the state of psychological breakdown that afflicts a soldier as he gathers the remains of his colleagues after they stepped on land mines that tore them apart. After this situation the soldier is caught between two hard options. He either refuses to leave his military camp on patrols and is therefore dogged by ruthless punishments enacted by the Vietnam Butcher (U.S. army) or he gets destroyed by the mines. This puts him under psychological pressure, fear and humiliation while his nation is ignorant of that (what is going on). The soldier has no solution except to commit suicide. That is a strong message to you, written by his soul, blood and pain, to save what can be saved from this hell. The solution is in your hands if you care about them (the soldiers).

The news of our brother mujahideen (holy warriors) is different from what the Pentagon publishes. They (the news of mujahideen) and what the media report is the truth of what is happening on the ground. And what deepens the doubt over the White House's information is the fact that it targets the media reporting the truth from the ground. And it has appeared lately, supported by documents, that the butcher of freedom in the world (Bush) had decided to bomb the headquarters of the Al-Jazeera in Qatar after bombing its offices in Kabul and Baghdad.

On another issue, jihad (holy war) is ongoing, thank God, despite all the oppressive measures adopted by the U.S Army and its agents (which is) to a point where there is no difference between this criminality and Saddam's criminality, as it has reached the degree of raping women and taking them as hostages instead of their husbands.

As for torturing men, they have used burning chemical acids and drills on their joints. And when they give up on (interrogating) them, they sometimes use the drills on their heads until they die. Read, if you will, the reports of the horrors in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo prisons.

And I say that, despite all the barbaric methods, they have not broken the fierceness of the resistance. The mujahideen, thank God, are increasing in number and strength — so much so that reports point to the ultimate failure and defeat of the unlucky quartet of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. Declaring this defeat is just a matter of time, depending partly on how much the American people know of the size of this tragedy. The sensible people realize that Bush does not have a plan to make his alleged victory in Iraq come true.

And if you compare the small number of dead on the day that Bush announced the end of major operations in that fake, ridiculous show aboard the aircraft carrier with the tenfold number of dead and wounded who were killed in the smaller operations, you would know the truth of what I say. This is that Bush and his administration do not have the will or the ability to get out of Iraq for their own private, suspect reasons.

And so to return to the issue, I say that results of polls please those who are sensible, and Bush's opposition to them is a mistake. The reality shows that the war against America and its allies has not been limited to Iraq as he (Bush) claims. Iraq has become a point of attraction and restorer of (our) energies. At the same time, the mujahideen (holy warriors), with God's grace, have managed repeatedly to penetrate all security measures adopted by the unjust allied countries. The proof of that is the explosions you have seen in the capitals of the European nations who are in this aggressive coalition. The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your homes the minute they are through (with preparations), with God's permission.

Based on what has been said, this shows the errors of Bush's statement — the one that slipped from him — which is at the heart of polls calling for withdrawing the troops. It is better that we (Americans) don't fight Muslims on their lands and that they don't fight us on ours.

We don't mind offering you a long-term truce on fair conditions that we adhere to. We are a nation that God has forbidden to lie and cheat. So both sides can enjoy security and stability under this truce so we can build Iraq and Afghanistan, which have been destroyed in this war. There is no shame in this solution, which prevents the wasting of billions of dollars that have gone to those with influence and merchants of war in America who have supported Bush's election campaign with billions of dollars — which lets us understand the insistence by Bush and his gang to carry on with war.

If you (Americans) are sincere in your desire for peace and security, we have answered you. And if Bush decides to carry on with his lies and oppression, then it would be useful for you to read the book "Rogue State," which states in its introduction: "If I were president, I would stop the attacks on the United States: First I would give an apology to all the widows and orphans and those who were tortured. Then I would announce that American interference in the nations of the world has ended once and for all."

Finally, I say that war will go either in our favor or yours. If it is the former, it means your loss and your shame forever, and it is headed in this course. If it is the latter, read history! We are people who do not stand for injustice and we will seek revenge all our lives. The nights and days will not pass without us taking vengeance like on Sept. 11, God permitting. Your minds will be troubled and your lives embittered. As for us, we have nothing to lose. A swimmer in the ocean does not fear the rain. You have occupied our lands, offended our honor and dignity and let out our blood and stolen our money and destroyed our houses and played with our security and we will give you the same treatment.

You have tried to prevent us from leading a dignified life, but you will not be able to prevent us from a dignified death. Failing to carry out jihad, which is called for in our religion, is a sin. The best death to us is under the shadows of swords. Don't let your strength and modern arms fool you. They win a few battles but lose the war. Patience and steadfastness are much better. We were patient in fighting the Soviet Union with simple weapons for 10 years and we bled their economy and now they are nothing.

In that there is a lesson for you.

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

Death to all terrorists.

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Question/Answer
Laura asked on 01/20/06 - News report about Google

I heard on the news last night that the government wants googles records relating to users inquiries for porn sites.

I completely understand why porn sites need to be cracked down upon but... Has anyone ever typed something into google only to be inundated by pop up after pop up of porn sites? I have on two occasions.

Once I was looking up a medication that was mentioned in a movie. The med was supposedly called ultradorm and was supposed to be a natural sleeping aid. I clicked on a site that simply said ultradorm and I don't know why but all I got was a ton of porn pop ups.

Another time (this was really dumb on my part)my daughter wanted to know what an uncircumsized penis looked like :-).. Sooo anyway it took shutting down the computer to get rid of all the pop ups after clicking on a site that seemed like a medical one relating to the male anatomy!!!

Does that mean that people like me who do dumb things like that are going to be investigated by the government??? LOL

Choux answered on 01/20/06:

Yeah, sure, Laura!! LOL!!

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Question/Answer
Erewhon asked on 01/19/06 - Noah's Window ...



"And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made"

Was this window single or double-glazed?

:)


Choux answered on 01/19/06:

It was a pretend window on a pretend boat. :)

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Question/Answer
Tex78 asked on 01/19/06 - What conclusions do you come to, about this?

When I thought about it, I came to this conclusion. People all over the world are the same. Now, when I say that, let me explain. I am referring to the basic principles of all humans. Some will take everything you have, and not feel any guilt. While others will give you everything they have, and not feel any grief.

Some people are ugly, in looks, which they cannot help. Others are ugly in actions, which they could help if they wanted to. But here again, it could depend on how they have been treated that makes them hate, and mistreat others.

We here in America, know so little about the people, say in Iraq, that we just go by what we hear on the news, or what others tell us, which may or may not be true..

That is why I thought about this, and came to the conclusion, that they are just like us. Some are crabby, some are gabby, some are hateful, while others are loveable. Some are crippled in body, while others are crippled in mind.

If we could just see and compare them to, say Russia, then we could see that we know as little about one as we do about the other.

Having said that, let me say that we do not know the people in California, if we live in New York.
Or the people in Florida, if we live in North Dakota.

We hear what they are like, either by someone who doesn’t like them, or by someone who likes them. Either way, we can get a false opinion of them all.

So, I have decided to get to know people, before I make a judgement, not about them, but about their actions. The reason I say that, is because was are not to judge anyone..

So, if we have decided that all people in a certain country are evil, maybe we should stop and think about it. While we may be right about some, we would not be right about all. Common sense tells us that. For you see, if we think that all are bad, and find out that some are good, then we have made a mistake.

We know now that all are not bad, and all are not good. But we just do not know which ones. So, the best way to handle this is “HOW?”

I would say that we hold back our pre-judgments, until we know for sure. In the mean time, trust God to give us wisdom, and understanding of other countries, other states, other people, and all situations, to stay out of making opinions. In Jesus’ name. M.L.

Choux answered on 01/19/06:

Buck, admirable ideas...remember, *you* are speaking for yourself, so *you* hold back your pre-judgements, until you know for sure. In the meantime, the *only way* to get knowledge and facts about people from other countries is to read about these countries, the people....talk to them on the Internet.

I am commenting above on your last paragraph in which you say, "...*we* hold back our pre-judgements, until *we* know for sure...."

My compliments to you buck...expanding your horizons and having a willing spirit to learn something valuable. :)

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/19/06 - Bible Q&A






Q. Why was Moses the most wicked man?
A. He broke all 10 Commandments at once.


Q. What animal could Noah not trust?
A. The cheetah.


Q. What kind of lights did Noah use on the ark?
A. Flood lights.

Choux answered on 01/19/06:

REV, reconsider getting a young boyfriend!! Then, you can put away your joke book!!!

:):):)

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Question/Answer
sissypants asked on 01/18/06 - sexual fantasy

ok then from anyones stand point, How do You feel about sexual fantasy? Is it a sin or isn't it? And what makes it so?

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

Sis, I have referred to a scientific test a few times here on the Board about how often human beings have a "sexual thought"...I wish someone could look this up for me to get the full results of the tests.

Anyway, average young healthy male people have a sexual thought every seven minutes. Females only slightly less frequently.

Human beings are programmed by genetics to have an overpowering desire to have sexual relations, thus procreate the species; how else could a woman be persuaded to have children over and over(oh, yeah, oppression)...

But, anyway, human beings can't control what ideas cross their minds; thoughts come and go. Like Jay Leno is giving his monologue, I wonder if guys with big chins have big __?

I think violent fantasies are very dangerous, but sexual fantasies.....they add spice to life.

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 01/18/06 - veering off the subject (somewhat)

With all these teens having these whosyurdaddy babies,
the county I live in now makes the alledged dad sign a child support form when they do the birth certificate. If the alledged dad signs this paper he has to pay child support for the child, even if later it is proven he is not the dad. I do not think this should be legal (or binding). I do not think this is right because the guy is caught up in the moment excited to be a dad and most vulnerable, the last thing he is doing is questioning it. Also if they were to question it I think it would cause trust problems in the relationship.
I think the hospitals should make DNA tests mandatory
so they do not have to put the guy in this situation. The hospitals would say that would go against the woman's confidentiality.
What would you think could or should be done?

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

I think all girls upon reaching puberty should be given permanent birth control which would be discontinued when she is 25 years old. Females in America are very immature well into their 20's and unsuitable to parent a child and make even the simplest decisions!!

Fifty is the new Thirty now.

That means Twenty is the new Newborn.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/18/06 - WHO IS IN THE RIGHT HERE???




State-Sponsored Medical Terrorism: Texas Authorities Arrest Parents, Kidnap Their Teenage Daughter, and Force Her through Chemotherapy against Her Will

http://www.newstarget.com/016387.html



Months after a Texas teenager was diagnosed with cancer, state authorities have finally decided to let her return home to her family after a long legal battle in which Texas officials – not the girl's parents – attempted to determine the course of treatment for her disease.

Thirteen-year-old Katie Wernecke was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease, a cancer of the lymph nodes, in January 2005. The teenager underwent chemotherapy after being taken to the emergency room with what her parents had suspected was pneumonia, and doctors recommended she also receive radiation treatments. However, Katie's parents, Michelle and Edward Wernecke, refused the treatments for fear it could cause complications such as an increased risk of breast cancer, learning problems or stunted physical growth. That's when Texas authorities intervened, making private matters public in a way that many feel violated parental rights as well as principles of health freedom.

In what amounted to an attempt to force the Werneckes to submit their daughter to radiation treatments, officials with Texas' Child Protective Services took Katie away from her parents in June, after receiving a tip that Katie and her mother were hiding out at a family ranch in order to avoid the radiation that doctors claimed she needed to survive. Authorities promptly took Katie into custody and arrested her mother on charges of interfering with child custody.

Although Michelle Wernecke was released on $50,000 bond shortly after her arrest, she returned home to find her family in shambles. The state had – in effect – kidnapped her daughter, placed her three sons in a foster home and labeled her and her husband neglectful parents, even though they were only trying to protect their daughter from conventional medicine's harsh cancer treatments. Thus began a long and difficult struggle for the family that received national attention and raised significant questions about medical freedom and parental rights.

On a June 9 episode of NBC's Today show, Michele Wernecke said of her daughter: "I think they should treat her for what her body calls for and not for standard protocol. Nobody will look at that. Not every cancer is the same. Nobody understands that. Her body is not standard, and her cancer is not standard." A videotaped statement, recorded by Katie's parents, shows the girl saying, "I don't need radiation treatment. And nobody asked me what I wanted. It's my body."

On Oct. 21, Texas District Judge Jack Hunter ruled that the Werneckes would be allowed, as they had hoped, to take Katie to Kansas for a consultation with a physician on alternative intravenous vitamin C treatments. However, the judge also ruled that, before her parents could pursue the alternative treatment, Katie must first receive five days of traditional chemotherapy at the University of Texas' M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. This once again thwarted her parents' efforts to protect their daughter from treatments they fear will result in side effects that are more harmful than her actual disease.

Throughout the Werneckes' battle with CPS and the Texas legal system, the family has maintained a blog dedicated to their daughter and her condition at http://prayforkatie.blogspot.com. There, they post news articles, charity information, letters and prayers from people concerned for Katie and disturbed by the drastic actions taken by Texas officials to keep her out of her parents' care.

An Oct. 23 post on the site reads, "Katie has been left all alone in M.D. Anderson undergoing this fourth round of chemotherapy. CPS has not allowed the parents to be present in the hospital during this treatment. I don't have the right words and enough words to express how awful I feel about that. It is unbelievably cruel and just sickening that Katie would have to suffer through that ordeal all alone with no parent beside her. That is emotional abuse and child abuse on the part of CPS."

Although the Werneckes have stuck to their beliefs about what they feel is best for their daughter's health, they have been continuously met by the threats and scare tactics used by CPS. As a result, their daughter has not only suffered through treatment she does not want – and arguably does not need – but she has done so without her parents comfort and support.

On Oct. 31, Judge Hunter finally ruled that Katie should be returned to her family, saying, "CPS and the Werneckes are never, ever going to agree," according to the New York Times. Katie will be allowed to go home after a round of chemotherapy in Houston, but what course her treatment will take after that is unknown. However, her father said at Monday's hearing that the family "wanted to try other treatments for Katie before considering radiation as a last resort," the New York Times reported.

The good news is, Katie will be able to return to her family and receive their love and support, but the decision seems long overdue. The Werneckes' situation over the past months is a prime example of how modern medicine has gotten out of control in this country. It seems we now live in a terrifying world where medical professionals are able to enlist the help of government agencies in order to force people into medical treatments that can actually pose significant health dangers. It is a climate in which diagnosis and medical treatment may be accompanied by threats and legal action for those who dare to select an alternative path of healing for themselves or their loved ones. It is an atmosphere in which parents can actually lose their sick children to the system of modern conventional medicine.

A disease like cancer is traumatic enough; it does not need to be complicated with the stresses of custody battles and legal threats. What a child really needs when suffering through something as daunting as cancer is her parents. The Werneckes may have been fighting to block the treatment of their daughter with conventional cancer treatments that can cause severe health problems, but Texas authorities, in the past months, were playing a much more dangerous game by fighting to remove Katie from the love and support of her parents, which is some of the best medicine

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

It is very difficult to stop bad parents from killing or horribly injuring their children...no matter what.

Should the states stop trying to save the children??

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Question/Answer
deardra asked on 01/18/06 - rules about sex

Does christianity have rules against masterbation? If so what is the penalty? Is there a reward for not masterbating? I heard it is healthy to do but if you are christian you might go to hell if you do it.

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

Sexuality(what turns an individual on) is laid down in childhood for the most part when children are living life under their parents care.

For example, a boy may walk into the bathroom and see his mother or sister nude bending over to test the temperature of the water as she readies herself for a bath. Because he was stimulated in childhood in this scenario by an ample butt, he may find himself sexually stimulated in adulthood by women with large rear ends but lost the mental connection to the youthful incident.

We really must accept people's sexuality for this reason...trying to punish people for who they are and how they were formed in childhood is very cruel!

Time to de mystify human sexuality in America.

MODERATION IN ALL THINGS IS THE KEY TO GOODNESS AND HAPPINESS AND HARMONY AND PEACE.

EXTREMES LEAD TO SOCIETAL PROBLEMS

:):):)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/17/06 - A Yoga Master said this. What do you think about it?

"The simple prayer of St. Francis of Assisi provides for us a mold in which to cast our own life's conduct and character. It provides a blueprint upon which to pattern our living in our thoughts, speech and actions within our day to day relationships with our fellow beings and with all life around us. Therefore, the prayer of St. Francis is a precious document for us, an indispensable, invaluable frame of reference by which to judge our own lives, and referring to which we can do the necessary to bring about the needed alterations and modifications for the upliftment and purification of our own daily life."
- Sri Swami Chidananda

The Prayer of Saint Francis
"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, harmony;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light, and
Where there is sorrow, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved
as to love; for it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

That is a lovely prayer.

TOTALLY POSITIVE TOTALY PROMOTING PEACE AND HARMONY

So many men are self-serving and arrogant creatures, and this prayer shows men the way to happiness and peace, a blueprint to be civilized. You would never hear a Muslim man praying this kind of prayer. But, as you say, you would hear it prayed by Hindu and Buddhist folks from India.

This is unintentionally a tribute to most women who practice these virtues on a daily basis in real life. They don't just talk about them.

:)

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Question/Answer
arcura asked on 01/18/06 - Groups Sue to Stop Domestic Spying Program.........

Groups Sue to Stop Domestic Spying Program

By LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press WriterTue Jan 17, 6:57 PM ET

Two lawsuits were filed Tuesday in federal court that seek to end President Bush's electronic eavesdropping program, saying it is illegal and exceeds his constitutional powers.

The lawsuits — one filed in New York by the Center for Constitutional Rights and the other in Detroit by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups — say the program bypasses safeguards in a 1978 law requiring court approval of electronic monitoring.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is suing Bush, the head of the National Security Agency and the heads of the other major security agencies.

The organization, which represents hundreds of men held as enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, must now audit old communications to determine whether "anything was disclosed that might undermine our representation of our clients," said Bill Goodman, the center's director.

The Detroit lawsuit, which names the National Security Agency and its director, said the program has impaired plaintiffs' ability to gather information from sources abroad as they try to locate witnesses, represent clients, do research or engage in advocacy.

It was filed by the ACLU, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Greenpeace and individuals on behalf of journalists, scholars, attorneys and national nonprofit organizations that communicate with people in the Middle East, Asia and elsewhere.

A spokesman for the Justice Department disputed the lawsuits' assertions.

"We believe these cases are without merit and plan to vigorously defend against the charges," Brian Roehrkasse said.

A message left with the National Security Agency was not immediately returned.

Bush maintains the program is legal under a congressional resolution passed after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It authorizes eavesdropping on international phone calls and e-mails of people deemed terror risks.

The New York lawsuit noted that federal law already lets the president order warrantless surveillance during the first 15 days of a war and allows courts to authorize surveillance of agents of foreign powers or terrorist groups.

The 1978 law requiring court approval was established after public fury erupted over surveillance of individuals, including Martin Luther King Jr.

"I'm personally outraged that my confidential communication with my clients may have been listened to by the U.S. government," said Rachel Meeropol, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights.

Attorneys have long relied on privacy to gather facts to ensure fair trials, lawyer Josh Dratel said in a statement supporting the ACLU case. He has represented people accused of terrorism-related crimes.

"That comfort level no longer exists, and it has sent a chill through the legal community," he said.

The program will further isolate U.S. social scientists, journalists and researchers from those who report on political developments or human rights abuses, said Larry Diamond, a Stanford University professor and plaintiff in the ACLU lawsuit.

"One reason why the United States is held in such low esteem ... today is because we are seen as hypocritical," he said. "We vow to promote individual freedom as the central purpose of foreign policy, and then we violate individual freedom with this secret warrantless surveillance."

___

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

George Bush is going to be Impeached for his disasterous Presidency.

He has used 911 as an excuse, a cover for terrible leadership of America. Terrible leadership. America our country is most important; he is the president of a country, not the Furher of an expanding empire based on the evil expansion of the military and industry in cahoots to gobble up vast quantities of American tax money. Tax money that his "friends" (rich people) don't have to contribute to, but reap most of the benefit from!!

Lack of leadership in education. Just pitch a slogan, and forget about it!!

Lack of leadership in keeping a large nd healthy middle class....the basis of a stable democracy.

Lack of leadership in proper healthcare for American citizens.

Lying in order to wage war on Iraq. Lack of a plan after winning the war. Lack of understanding those Islamic cultures.

Letters of Impeachment.....after the fall elections when the Democrats gain many political offices!!!!!!!!

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Question/Answer
deardra asked on 01/18/06 - rules about sex

Does christianity have rules against masterbation? If so what is the penalty? Is there a reward for not masterbating? I heard it is healthy to do but if you are christian you might go to hell if you do it.

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

Mastubation is a sin for Catholics and Lutherans, for a couple of denominations. Other denominations, too, I think.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/18/06 - Death


Hello Christians:

Should one feel worse if a human friend dies than when an animal friend dies?

excon

Choux answered on 01/18/06:

We should always feel what we *really feel*, not pretend something that doesn't exist!

Good manners covers all situations for the comfort of all people. :)

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Question/Answer
Tex78 asked on 01/18/06 - If you are old, if you are on your way, does this describe you?


Old age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body ... the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt.
And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my
mirror, but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.



Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m., and sleep until noon . . or go to the casino


I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love... I will.


I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set.

They, too, will get old.


I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten ... and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken.

How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.


I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it.


As you get older, it is easier to be positive.
You care less about what other people think.
I don't question myself anymore.
I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old.
It has set me free.

I like the person I have become.
I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here,
I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day.

Author unknown


Choux answered on 01/18/06:

"Old age" is the time to reflect on one's entire life; one's life is only understood looking backward. Each person's life is a fascinating story when examined *in depth*. :)

When we lie on our death bed, we have the comfort of understanding our small place in the great mystery called life! We can then die in peace, for death is final.

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Question/Answer
excon asked on 01/17/06 - The Right to Die


Hello Christians:

There you have it. Wanna die? Move to Oregon. Well, it's not quite like that, although I'm sure some of you will characterize it as such.

The Supreme Court just upheld (6-3) the right of Oregon’s doctors to end the life of terminally ill patients. Who dissented? Well, duh! Scalia, Roberts and Thomas.

So, it doesn't appear that Alito is gonna change the balance on this right to life (death) issue. What do you wrongwingers think about that?

excon

Choux answered on 01/17/06:

There are quite a few diseases that offer *very terrible deaths*....why should human beings see these deaths out to the bitter end if they don't want to??? There is no good reason.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/17/06 - someone you may have encountered!




Mujibar was trying to get a job in India.

The Personnel Manager said, "Mujibar, you have passed all the tests, except one. Unless you pass it you cannot qualify for this job."

Mujibar said, "I am ready."

The manager said, "Make a sentence using the words Yellow, Pink and Green."

Mujibar thought for a few minutes and said, "Mister manager, I am ready."

The manager said, "Go ahead."

Mujibar said, "The telephone goes green, green, green, and I pink it up, and say, 'Yellow, this is Mujibar.'"

Mujibar now works as a technician at a call center for computer problems. No doubt you have spoken to him.





Choux answered on 01/17/06:

Oh, boy, rev, I really like people from India....not appreciating the joke.

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Question/Answer
sapphire630 asked on 01/17/06 - follow up on organ/soul transplant

Now a 56 beer drinkin' lumberjack from Croatia (who would never dream of house cleaning or be caught dead knitting) has insatiable urges to clean and knit since his kidney transplant from a woman. He is suing the hospital for using a woman's kidney/because of his new found pleasures. His wife says she loves this new (cleaning) side of him as long as he doesn't go looking for a man.

Choux answered on 01/17/06:

I'd like to have my brain and old face transplanted into Mariah Carrey's body.

What a bod for pleasure!


LOL!!

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Question/Answer
Itsdb asked on 01/17/06 - Who said this?

"Surely God is mad at America. He sent us hurricane after hurricane after hurricane, and it's destroyed and put stress on this country."

Pat Robertson?

Jerry Falwell?

Fred Phelps?

No. Try New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

Nagin went on to say, "Surely he doesn’t approve of us being in Iraq under false pretenses. But surely he is upset at black America also. We’re not taking care of ourselves."

"It's time for us to come together. It's time for us to rebuild New Orleans -- the one that should be a chocolate New Orleans," the mayor said. "This city will be a majority-African American city. It's the way God wants it to be. You can't have New Orleans no other way. It wouldn't be New Orleans."

Good to know right-wing theocrats aren't the only ones speaking for God isn't it?

Choux answered on 01/17/06:

We know Nagin is dumb,,,just like we know the Evangelical cult leaders are dumb, dumber, dumbest.


If one studies Physical Geography, Meterology Unit, one knows why diffferent weather conditions....hurricanes, tornados, blizzards...happen.

Everything isn't a mystery to the educated!!

:)

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 01/17/06 - Question of perverting the board!

Why is it that arcura and bucker have taken up the sneaky option of refusing to answer questions, posted by certain experts, on the public board, but hide behind the clarification option. Could they be more interested in safe sniping, than REAL responses that could be rated for content?????? Is this not a perversion of the purpose of the rating system???????

Just curious. :) :) :) :)

Choux answered on 01/17/06:

Maybe they are "protecting" their cumulative ratings of Five Stars from being decreased by not answering some *Experts* who are sure to rate their answers for what they are really worth....

I think it is Pride. :):):)

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Question/Answer
HANK1 asked on 01/17/06 - JUST WONDERING ...

... how HUMILIATION can be instilled in a person.

HANK

Choux answered on 01/17/06:

I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean how can you humiliate someone?

Or, do you mean how can the desire to humiliate people come about in a person's personality?

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Question/Answer
ATON2 asked on 01/16/06 - Eagerly awaited response to 'Curious98' answer to ATON2 on the existence of Jesus.

Claude:
I appreciate the effort you put into your attempt, but you could have saved yourself the effort. You offer nothing new but simply rehash was has already been hashed to death.

But to begin with a few technical faults:

l. You are not debating you are sermonizing. A debate deals with facts and ideas, not with opinions and insults.
2. You shoot yourself in the foot at the very beginning, by relying on the old Christian dodge of trying to use the Bible to prove the Bible..That sort of circular reasoning is never acceptable in a debate since it relies on an unproven document, at the outset. You can no more prove the existence of Jesus by the Bible, than I would succed in proving the existence of Khrisna from the Bhagavad Gita, or Osiris from the Egyptian Book of the Dead!!!!

3. You waste a great deal of time on repeating what I already know...I certainly would not have mentioned Om Seti, had I not been completely familiar with her life and work. You don't prove the existence of Jesus by trying to teach Egyptology to an Egyptologist!!! Bringing in the nonsense of a possible 'mummy's curse' doesn't do much for your argument.


Now....

You dismiss the lack of original documents...which shows, immediately, that you are NOT dealing from logic or reason. The importance of ORIGINAL documents is that they can be compared to later copies to determine WHEN, HOW, WHERE, and often WHY certain later errors, fables, myths and outright lies have been introduced in to a history or biography. Since Eusebius claimed it was permissible to LIE in order to further the Church, it is not at all unreasonable to see certain errors in the Bible as 'lies' introduced by later Christian churchmen!!!

The Gilgamesh epic is a myth, it's only value is to show how the authors of Genesis came up with the Universal Flood, and Noah's ark myth. The Code of Hammurabi is written on baked clay...IT has been preserved, whether as an original or a copy is not important. NOTHING written by ANY of the Bible writers has been preserved. If you want to waste your time trying to prove or disprove the existence of Hammurabi, be my guest, no one's future life depends on it. :) Bottom Line: NOT one single scholar has ever tried to PROVE that Gilgamesh ever existed. He is a mythical character and was never perceivd as anything else. In this debate he is just one more red herring.

You claim we can ASSUME anything we want about the ancient Jewish or Greek writings. But we are talking about PROOFS, not assumptions.

You keep trying to introduce other 'religious' leaders, as though proof of their existence or non-existence has anything to do with proving the existence of Jesus Christ!!! That is simply MORE wasted time and effort.

Again you fall into the Christian apologetic stance of defending the massacres, persecutions, inquisitions of Christianity with the old worn out axiom: "We are only doing what others religions have done". What has that got to do with proving the existence of Jesus Christ???????

Your attempt to equate the authors of the Bible, especially the New Testament, with moder authors writing biographies of historical figures, you waste more time. NONE of these are CLAIMED AS THE INERRENT, INSPIRED WORD OF GOD!!!! Sinclair Lewis can write 100 biographies of historical figures; he can write 100 books about mythical figures, including Jesus.....none would prove that Jesus existed.

The Dead Sea scrolls do NOT mention Jesus, but a Teacher of Righteousness, who some have come to see as 'Jesus'. And it is equally futile to try and rely on a reference to Jesus in the Talmud, since this is an after-the-fact writing, based on what was believed by Christians, at the time. It was not contemporary with Jesus. As to the 'Panthera rumour', this was a canard directed at Christians...a mockery of their claim that Jesus was born of a virgin.

It is rather amazing that you would still try to use the Josephus verse, since it has been refuted so many times that only one completely illiterate would have failed to see that. The verse purporting to refer to Jesus, does NOT appear in ANY editions of Josephus prior to the 4th Century, when Christianity was already established. Josephus was an ORTHODOX Jew who never converted to Christianity. There is NO WAY he would EVER have referred to Christ as 'the Messiah' or 'the TRUTH'. That fact that he claims belief in Christ has not been forsaken 'TILL THIS DAY' proves it was a LATER, CHRISTIAN forgery!!! Concensus is that the forgery was by Eusebius, himself.

I have NO idea what your little sermon on Martyrdom as oppposed to suicide is supposed to do to further proof of Jesus existence. It was never part of an argument pro or con...but merely to show the result of fanatical beliefs.

To say I 'contradict' myself by quoting from the Gospels, is just silly, Claude. The only language possible, when dealing with Christians, is a language of references to which they are familiar. Would you prefer I use the Analects of Confucius to dispute the errors of the Bible.

The multiple contradictions in the New Testament are not, as many Christians like to claim 'merely difficulties'. When there is disagreement between two writers, writing about the same thing, ONE OF THEM IS WRONG. e.g. When Paul contradicts Jesus words on Divorce...THAT IS A PROBLEM...Either Jesus was right, or Paul was right...NOT BOTH. That is not simply a matter of different opinions, that is a CONTRADICTION.
When one Evangelists writes that Jesus delivered the Beatitudes, sitting on hill top, and other Evangelists states he delivered them standing on flat ground...that is a CONTRADICTION...Important only in the fact that it shows the account would not have been written by eye witnesses...or that one of them was wrong. Was Jesus born in a stable or a house...we have BOTH accounts. Was Jesus born in Bethlehem or not...the author of JOHN either never heard of the Bethlehem birth or he did not beleive it...for he introduces that argument of others, that Jesus could not be the Messiah because the Messiah must come from Bethlehem!!!

Does it not wring any warning bells with you that, the earliest New Testament writings, those of Paul, make NO reference to the miraculous birth of his Saviour???? Or that Mark, upon which both Matthew and Luke built their gospels, makes NO mention of this miraculous birth. Or that Matthew and Luke tell almost totally different BIRTH stories??????? How is it possible that this most Central Doctrine of Christainity, the VIRGIN BIRTH OF GOD THE SON, was NOT the Central idea of the gospels?????

As to the heresies that plagued the early church, 50 is a conservative number...and it includes, as stated, MAJOR Heresies, not the minor controversies that you took such pains to elaborate on.

Your support of the Quran as the 'inspired' word of God certainly puts you at odds with 95% of your Christian brothers and sisters, who describe it as "Trash", "Garbage not worth reading", "The work of the Devil" Obviously you have spent little time reading the Quran, else you would never presume to call a book which denies the Divinity of Christ, the existence of the Trinity, the Resurrection of Jesus, the 'Inspired Word of God".....particularly when it abounds with legends of genies, demons, and afrites, and presents a 'Paradise' as close to the Arabian Nights tales, as the Christian heaven is to Tales of Mount Olympus.

My Library has grown from the 1,200 you mention, to well over 2,500...and I use them all to learn about other's beliefs, and to weed out the sincere from the sanctimonious, the truly pious from the pretenders,
the honest seekers from the hypocrites...the truly well rounded, from the pedantic proselytizers. My studies have taught me to respect the truth, to honor those who respect the truth, and do everything in my power to refute the errors that have blinded men to the truth.

It has been a "stimulating" experience :) :) :)





Choux answered on 01/16/06:

Very erudite; very impressive writting and organizational skills.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/16/06 - Reply to a recent posting by sarnian

In a recent posting regarding your charitable trips you stated "Maybe active disaster relief is not a christian activity, as they prefer to use only their wallets?"
well I resent that statement due to the fact that I personaly a few months ago was a victim of hurricane Katrina and for weeks and weeks had it not been for all the Christians who dropped everything all over this countryand came (and are still here)to our aid we would have been in worse condition than we are! At the time right after the storm many would have gone hungry if not for the christians in our midst ,so please get your facts right before you erroniously make such statements!There are still folks down here on the Miss gulf coast living in tents waiting for fema aid wich has not been forthcomming who depend on the kindness of strangers from out of state churches and christians who have dropped everything left thier homes and families to provide aid and comfort!


Choux answered on 01/16/06:

He is from Europe; I doubt if he is familiar with American's helping nature toward our neighbors who are in trouble. That is one of the greatest qualities of Americans. They always pitch in and help.

Whether from a flat tire on the road to a atural disaster such as a tornado or as you mentioned, a terrible hurricane.

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 01/16/06 - Favorite qualities:

Hello Everyone,

Jesus has many qualities. What was 3 of your most favirite qualities and why?

How can we express this quality in our daily life on how we treat others?

Take care,
Hope12

Choux answered on 01/16/06:

My favorite qualities expressed are:

1. Courage.

2. Positive attitude toward life.

3. Non-violent approach to solving all problems.


Why? I think that is self-evident!



Have a great day.

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/16/06 - How Do You Get To Heaven?




"If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale, and gave all my money to the church, would that get me into heaven?" I asked the children in my Sunday school class.

"NO!" the children all answered.

"If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me into heaven?"

Again the answer was, "NO!""Well, then, if I was kind to animals and gave candy to all the children and loved my wife, would that get me into heaven?" I asked them again.

Once more they all answered, "NO!"

"Well," I continued, thinking they were a good bit more theologically sophisticated than I had given them credit for, "then how can I get into heaven?"

A five-year-old boy shouted out, "You gotta be dead!"

Choux answered on 01/16/06:

Open your eyes, you're there!

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Question/Answer
hOPE12 asked on 01/16/06 - What and who do you seek your guidance from?

Hello Everyone,

Not everyone serves the Creator of the Universe, yet we all need guidance. My question is one that all can answer not just Christians.

1) What and whom do you seek guidance from?
2) Why do you seek guidance from this source?

Take care,
Hope12

Choux answered on 01/16/06:

Guidance?

The last time I sought guidance was from a social worker. She said to spend the rest of my life enjoying each day. :)

I had been wondering if I had officially crossed the line between hard working citizen and friendly companion to sick old lady who could let it all fly!!!!!!!! Wheeeeee!! :)

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Question/Answer
revdauphinee asked on 01/16/06 - if the new medicare program confuses you ,you are not alone




With tens of thousands of people unable to get medicines promised by Medicare, the Bush administration has told insurers that they must provide a 30-day supply of any drug that a beneficiary was previously taking, and it said that poor people must not be charged more than $5 for a covered drug.

The actions came after several states declared public health emergencies, and many states announced that they would step in to pay for prescriptions that should have been covered by the federal Medicare program.

Republicans have joined Democrats in asserting that the federal government botched the beginning of the prescription drug program, which started on Jan. 1. People who had signed up for coverage found that they were not on the government's list of subscribers. Insurers said they had no way to identify poor people entitled to extra help with their drug costs. Pharmacists spent hours on the telephone trying to reach insurance companies that administer the drug benefit under contract to Medicare.

Many of the problems involve low-income people entitled to both Medicare and Medicaid.

In a directive sent to all Medicare drug plans over the weekend, the Bush administration said they "must take immediate steps" to ensure that low-income beneficiaries were not charged more than $2 for a generic drug and $5 for a brand-name drug.

In addition, it said insurers must cover a 30-day emergency supply of drugs that beneficiaries were taking prior to the start of the new program.

In an interview yesterday, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said that "several hundred thousand beneficiaries who switched plans" in December may have had difficulty filling prescriptions in the last two weeks.

In California, officials estimate that 200,000 of the state's 1.1 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries had trouble getting their medications.

Despite these problems, Dr. McClellan said, Medicare is now covering one million prescriptions a day. With the latest corrective actions, he said, "all beneficiaries should be able to get their prescriptions filled."

In the past, such predictions proved to be premature. New problems appeared as old ones were solved, and some insurers were slow to carry out federal instructions.

Since the program began on Jan. 1, many low-income people have left pharmacies empty-handed after being told they would have to pay co-payments of $100, $250 or more.

About 20 states, including California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and all of New England, have announced that they will help low-income people by paying drug claims that should have been paid by the federal Medicare program.

"The new federal program is too complicated for many people to understand, and the implementation of the new program by the federal government has been awful," said Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota, a Republican. On Saturday, he signed an emergency executive order making the state a "payer of last resort" for the out-of-pocket drug costs.

The Bush administration said it was rushing to provide insurers with correct information about the extra subsidies available to low-income people enrolled in their plans.

"We sent files to all plans providing complete information on dual-eligible beneficiaries" entitled to both Medicare and Medicaid, Dr. McClellan said. "The plans now have all the information in one place."

The new drug benefit is the most significant expansion of Medicare since creation of the program in 1965.

Choux answered on 01/16/06:

I have to laugh, I got screwed by the Bush prescription plan!

But, lucky to be alive. I'm counting my blessings. :)

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Question/Answer
sarnian asked on 01/15/06 - Who's the "stupid fool" here, Lazlow?

No Lazlow, I'm NOT going to Pakistan. I WENT to Pakistan and Kashmir as part of the European RIT group after the recent earthquake there. I'm back now after my extended stay.

  • While being there I did not see any "nerdy-butt humping views" by religious retarded bigots! People were glad to have our services and resources there, whatever our personal religious views are. We went there to save lifes and organize relief operations.

  • "Sarnian, you left because I busted your balls too much and you couldnt handle it".
    No Lazlow, your childish behaviour is merely an unnecessary irritation to the board. You're simply an extreme lightweight in the category "opponents".

  • My notice to the board merely refered to the continuing squabbling and infighting here, and that since my previously announced temporal absence of the board I have changed some of my internet habits. Being part of such operations changes one's views on life.

  • "Nobody just ups and leaves to Pakistan" ....
    Some do, Lazlow. When real help is required and necessary there are some of us who do that (and I did that before, during the earthquake in northwestern Turkye some years ago).
    Religious views have nothing to do with that, though it was funny to realize that few of the RIT group had any religious interests. Maybe active disaster relief is not a christian activity, as they prefer to use only their wallets?

  • I have several times stated at this board that "freethinker" was my previous handle. That you missed that in your state of addiction and disorder does not surprise me at all.

  • Please refrain from any further sexual innuendo, Lazlow. Such imbecile and unfounded statements only indicate a major problem at your side.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    I refered here to the post : "Lots of laughs at Sarnian! You stupid fool!" by Lazlow dated 01/11/06

    QUOTE
    Oh look at me, I'm Sarnian, I'm going to Pakistan because I spend too much of my precious time at Answerway.com.
    --- You should have told us you were going to Zimbabwe you retard! We might've believed you. If you really are in Pakistan, you're probably dead now because of your dimwitted atheist "I believe in aliens, not god" nerdy-butt humping views!
    --- Face it, Sarnian, you left because I busted your balls too much and you couldnt handle it. Nobody just ups and leaves to Pakistan to further their atheist views! You're fucking stupid! Stop bothering this board because everyone knows now that you're a homo gay and you want to have sex with me you weirdo!
    UNQUOTE

    Choux answered on 01/15/06:

    Thanks so much for sharing your story of real altruism. My spirit was uplifted!

    Enjoy your life.
    Regards, Mary Sue

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  • Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/15/06 - Why the Chinese find it hard to accept the Bible ...



    ...


    Although not widely known, those who have promoted the Bible in the "Middle Kingdom" are familiar with the objections of the Chinese to the Bible on the ground that if it was a book from heaven it would be in more correct and classical language.

    Do the Chinese have a valid point?





    Choux answered on 01/15/06:

    I'll never forget I was channel surfing the year before last when I came upon Robertson (or Falwell) on a trip to China and proselitizing to a roomful of Chinese youth. (I think he was trying to get contributions for missions or something)

    The students could barely conceal their smiles as he discussed "supernatural" stuff.

    But, anyway, the New Testament is quite a mess if viewed from the standpoint of inconsistency. Some people have trouble deciphering what story line is the "Real Jesus"....(not me).

    I think they have a good point....if God wanted to communicate holy ideas and events to simple people, why would God allow confusing scripture.

    And, what are there now, ten thousand denominations...that really weakens Christianity.

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    Question/Answer
    curious98 asked on 01/15/06 - Long due answer to ATON2 on the physical existence of Jesus

    Too long to put as a follow up.

    Debating with you is always a stimulating exercise.

    I agree with you there are no original Scriptures to back the Scriptures we now have. But to a certain extent only. ALL existing original documents that can still be found in museums, libraries (btw the Iraqi war has contributed to a large extent to the destruction of a number of irreplaceable documents), etc. prove NOTHING at all either. An original paper I may write today expressing my opinion on President Bush, that may be found 3000 years from now, will be worth only its antiquity as an original paper 3000 years old, for it will express nothing but my point of view.

    The Hammurabi Code of Laws that we have all admired at the Louvre was not certainly ENGRAVED by the Prince himself, but by some scribe or scribes. We have NO EVIDENCE whatsoever that Hammuraby dictated it. In fact, its translators claim he did it only because they can read that Hammurabi had to write it to please the gods.

    But can we be certain that he could read and write? Being a king did not confer him that knowledge, did it?

    The Epic of Gilgamesh is dated long after the time that king Gilgamesh was supposed to have ruled. It fact, it seems to have been based on earlier Sumerian legends of Gilgamesh. The most complete version of the epic was preserved on eleven clay tablets in the collection of the 7th century BC Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. These clay tablets are certainly originals. But what do they prove? Certainly not that Gilgamesh existed. He had disappeared, if he ever existed, since long ago. He who engraved them did it certainly by hearsay, as you put it.
    Actually, all that has been written in History so far, is based on hearsay. Historians spend their time in museums and libraries or convents to find out manuscripts where they can trace down information they need to confirm that King X had a lover Z who gave him a bastard son Y… One good day, these historians come across a paragraph written by someone where it says that Y it was not a bastard son but a bastard daughter instead named W, and he jumps in joy at that wonderful discovery. The question is, how the heck does he know that whoever wrote that was not seriously mistaken or wanted to deceive the world out of his hate for King X…?
    When the historians of the 40th century examine the original documents re. the Iraq invasion, can you assure me they will come out with the absolute truth about it, when not even ourselves know it?
    The Old Testament, and/or the Jewish Torah for one, are a set of books, the originals of which have disappeared long ago. Does that make the translations that we enjoy now, complete fakes?
    No. We can assume what we want. We may come out –as you do- with the assumption they are fakes; but we can also equally affirm they are “bona fide” translations, can’t we?
    I once read The Gallic War, supposedly writted by Julius Caesar, and translated by a Eugene L. Burdock. To start with I wonder whether Julius C. actually wrote the epic himself or dictated it, instead. The second seems more probable. If so, how on earth do we know whether the scriba wrote what Julius was saying or exaggerated it, for the better glory of his Caesar?
    The “Summa Theologica” by St. Thomas Aquinas, which had only to be translated from classic Latin to all modern languages, offers us different versions (some rather different) depending upon the translators. And I’m speaking of the Spanish versions only.
    So why do we question the figure of Jesus and his historicity, and we do not question any of the above (and hundreds of others) books.
    We have been told that Lee Harvey Oswald was President Kennedy’s murderer. Actually, many believe it.
    But the only thing we know for sure is that Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot him dead, for we could see that on TV. For the rest, we have to believe –or not- what we were told by the Warren commission.
    Unfortunately, in Jesus’ times there were no TV cameras nor videos to shoot him while preaching. This seems to make it quite difficult for some to believe in him.
    If I use the Bible to prove the Bible, I’m just doing what many scholars do in other areas, i.e. to use the Hammurabi Code to prove the Hammurabi Code, or to use the Gilgamesh Epic to prove the Gilgamesh existence.

    Incidentally, if you can find “hard proof” evidence about Lao Tse’s master work Te Tao Ching or about the actual existence of Siddhartha Gautama, please let me know, for we shall know more than hundreds of scholars who believe both were actual personages.

    I do not agree with your opinion about the irrelevancy of Socrates. It is not irrelevant for a subject called Philosophy whether or not Socrates existed, for his lessons may not have been the cause of “tens of thousands of people being slaughtered”, as you say Christianism has been, but they have indeed influenced our modern thinking.

    On the other hand, ALL religions at one time or other have been the cause of “tens of thousands of people being massacred”, but neither the religions nor their founders are to be blamed for that, but rather those men who decided that everybody had to believe what they believed. Akhenaton (or Amenhotep IV) cannot be held responsible for trying to introduce monotheism in old Egypt and the subsequent massacres Horembed and, later on, Seti I and Ramesses II, unchained to reinstate polytheism in their country.

    Jesus (nor Christianism, in fact) cannot be held responsible for whatever consequences arisen from wars amongst those in favor and those against that religion. Very much as Muhammad cannot be held responsible for the unfortunate terrorist attack of the 9/11.

    But the mere fact that so many scholars (with better background than you and I, together) have deigned to spend loads of ink and paper to argue in favor or against Jesus, makes Him, if nothing else, the most remarkable person in History, for the great disappointment of many who do not believe in him.

    No other personage, real or fictitious, has been the cause of so much historical controversy, has he/she?.

    There must be a reason for that, I would say!

    You say “Most biographies of important personages are written AFTER their death...but the only ones that can claim credibility are those written by contemporaries...”

    Granted, except that as I have already mentioned this is not true when we are speaking of people living in the old times, and this is not true either when speaking of people living NOW or just a 100 years ago. Many great biographies of great personages have been written centuries after their death by people who have investigated their lives, by means of other previous biographies. And we accept them as good and perfectly valid.

    A contemporary of our time, Richard Nixon, once wrote, “The judgment of history depends on who writes it”

    This statement only would completely destroy your assumption that ONLY biographies written by contemporaries of a given personage are to be trusted.

    I would advise you to read the “Napoleon” by Sinclair Lewis, and then, some other biography by ANY French writer. And nobody will dare dispute Mr. Lewis’ prestige as a writer. Or you can compare the Hollywood version of Troy, with Homer’s Iliada. But a few hundred years from now, who knows which version will the accepted one?

    As for historians NOT having sectarian agendas, (as you quote) perhaps you might given me some names. I feel (and I’m not the only one) that Historians cannot help reflecting their own preferences when writing about historical personages.

    In
    www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0724-03.htm

    you will find an article saying that George B. Bush has been declared the big winner at World Stupidity Award, in Montreal. Probably a rather biased article.

    And I’m pretty sure that, properly looking in Google, we might find some other article declaring him the greatest US patriot of all times.

    Now 500 years from now, whom should students believe to?

    Incidentally, in the Dead Sea Scrolls there are references to a personage by the name of Jesus.
    Also Flavius Josephus mentions Him in one of his latest writings.

    On the other hand, it is rather funny that you will not believe in the authors of the Gospels, and that you believe instead in the version that their names were attached, for convenience, late in the 2nd Century. I wonder whether you have ANY definite evidence of the latter or have you decided to believe in that because it reinforces your own ideas about Jesus…?

    By the same token hundreds or thousands that previously didn’t believed in Jesus (I know, at least, one), after having read Dan Brown’s The DaVinci’s Code, have now chosen to believe that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Simply, because this theory has more morbidness than simply denying Jesus’ existence.


    It seems to me somewhat biased and in bad faith trying to compare martyrdom (any martyrdom) with suicide, as you do.
    As you probably know, Suicide is considered by the Jews (just as much as by Christians) to be a grave sin both because it is a denial that human life is a divine gift and because it constitutes a total defiance of God's will for the individual to live the life-span allotted to him. As it is put in Ethics of the Fathers (4. 21): "Despite yourself you were fashioned, and despite yourself you were born, and despite yourself you live, and despite yourself you die, and despite yourself you will hereafter have account and reckoning before the King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He."
    Yet there are exceptional circumstances when a man is permitted to take his own life or allow it to be taken, of which martyrdom is the supreme example. The general tendency among the later authorities is to extend the idea of mitigating circumstances so that the law, recorded in the (classical law code) Shulhan Arukh (Yoreh Deah, 345), “that there are to be no rites of mourning over a suicide, is usually set aside wherever it can reasonably be assessed that the act was committed while the suicide was "of unsound mind."
    And there are many examples in the History of Judaism of suicide, whether individual or collective.
    Saul's suicide (I Samuel 31: 4-5) is defended on the grounds that he feared torture if he were captured by the Philistines and would have died in any event as a result of the torture. Similarly, Samson's suicide (Judges 16: 30), in which he destroyed himself together with his Philistine tormentors, is defended on the grounds that it constituted an act of “kiddush hashem”, "sanctification of the divine name," in the face of heathen mockery of the God of Israel.
    Josephus (Jewish War 7. 8-9) tells how the garrison of Massada committed mass suicide, although here some Halaka authorities have questioned whether the act of these heroes was justified, since the Romans might had spared their lives, albeit as slaves to the conquerors. Even the mass suicides of Jews in the Middle Ages, to which you are referring (probably, Norwich 1140 or York 1190) was not defended by all the authorities, some of whom argued that while martyrdom was demanded, it was wrong for the Jews themselves to take their own lives. (Hence, the difference between martyrdom and suicide). Ultimately the judgement of a suicide should be left to God.
    You should read the late Hasidic master, Mordecai Joseph of Izbica (d. 1854) in his commentary to the Torah, on the theme of suicide.
    In fact, in the York massacre they proceeded before the Crusaders exactly as they had in Massada before the Romans. Rabbi Yomtob of Joingny, their spiritual leader, called upon the Jews to pre-empt their certain death by the mob by killing themselves, as enshrined in Hebrew tradition. Incidentally, as all these events have been recorded and narrated by Jews, we might also advance the thought that they are either fake or grossly exaggerated. After all, we were not there to bear witness of them, were we?.

    When in 1096 Count Emico of Leiningen, on his way to join the Crusade, attacked the synagogue at Speyers and killed all the defenders, another 1.200 Jews allegedly committed suicide in Mayence to escape his attempt to forcibly convert them, or were they actually killed by Count Emico?

    I refuse to comment of the Jim Jones’ followers.

    But I would like to stress the difference between the above examples of suicide and the martyrdom of Christians in the first centuries of Christianism.

    In fact, the subtle difference in the above cases is that suicide was an attempt to escape martyrdom, which certainly is more painful and slower.

    No Christians that I have read about went to see the Roman authorities to beg for martyrdom. They were ALL caught by the soldiers right where they were hiding and either killed on the spot or sent to the Circus to entertain the populace.

    And I do not think I said they prove the existence of Jesus. But their proximity in time to Jesus’ existence makes it reasonable to assume that oral transmission and epistles from the Apostles may have been convincing enough to justify their dying for someone they had not even met and for His message.
    .

    You also point out that “to claim two thousand years of belief confirm a God or a Savior makes little or no sense...” You should add, as far as you are concerned, of course.

    It sounds a little preposterous on your side to impose your own criterion to others, as if you had the key to the absolute truth. Yours, at the very best, is another theory about the existence of Jesus, just as good or as bad as mine. I may not prove His existence to your satisfaction. But, you CANNOT PROVE EITHER His non-existence, to mine, either.

    You add that “the Egyptian gods were believed in for more than SEVEN THOUSAND YEARS...and there do still the Wisdom teachers of Ancient Egypt set those who believe in the precepts down”.

    Great!. But, according to many scholars,the O.T. is just as old, if not more. And the little difference between the Egyptian religion and Christianism, is that the former has almost completely disappeared and was seldom practiced OUTSIDE of Egypt, whereas Christianism, right now, is the religion of well over 2 billion people (it keeps on growing) and is practiced ALL OVER THE WORLD.

    Rather curious, is not it?

    Then you say “To suggest that 'eremites' like St. Anthony confirm the existence of Christ is equally spurious, Claude. The Englishwoman, Dorothy Eady, gave up a comfortable existence in England, and went to spend the rest of her life in abject poverty in Egypt to become the 'caretaker' of the Temple of the God AmunRa built by Seti I. That did nothing to prove the existence of AmunRa.

    Again, you try to counter my arguments by using examples that I do not think are valid enough.

    The example of St. Anthony of Egypt, as of many others, is an example of mysticism and I brought it up just because of its proximity to Jesus’ times.
    It may be assumed that he had found the news that reached him about Jesus’ message credible enough to devote his own life to spread it. I’m not saying it proves anything, But it seems evident he was utterly convinced that he was doing the right thing.

    The case of Miss Eady is much more mysterious, and in the opinion of many, unexplainable, and you do not seem very familiar with it. She did not give up a comfortable live in G.B., for her parents were modest people nor she did she spent her life in abject misery when in Egypt.

    When she was 3 years old, and going by the testimony of her parents, she began to say that she had lived in the time of Pharaoh Seti I (almost 3,500 years earlier), and that she wanted to go back “home”, while she would “describe in detail” the temple Seti had built. She kept saying she had been Seti’s Mistress, Bentreshyt, who had been forced to kill herself once the affair was known. Nobody could understand where a child could get that information from. On occasion of a visit –when she was 10- to the British Museum, when Dorothy spotted the enormous Egyptian Hall, she started to kiss the statues there.

    Shortly afterwards, in a local newspaper Dorothy could see what she claimed was “her true home”. It was, she said, the place she had been dreaming of since she was 3 years old. It was, of course, the Temple of Osiris, in Abydos, built by Seti I, btw. one of the most fascinating places in Egypt.
    When she was 14 years, one night she said she had seen a figure clad in a white tunic and a blue cape. She claimed it was the very Seti I.
    And as of that day, and for the next 10 years, on full moon nights Dorothy received short messages, which were written in hieroglyphic writing, which normally she could not read but could, however, UNDERSTAND all right.

    She managed to put them together in the form of a small manuscript of some 70 pages. Her confident messenger from the beyond, a certain Hor-Ra, had been dictating her fragments of her “previous life” where she was confirmed as Seti’s lover, Bentreshyt, which she had dreamt since she was a child.

    At 29 years she finally left for Egypt, where she married the Imam Abd El Megid, whom she had met shortly before in London, and had a son, whom she named Seti.

    She spent 20 years in the Memphis area working with archaeologists like Selim Hassan or Ahmed Fakhry.

    In 1952 she could finally manage to reach Abydos, where she chose to live a rather lonely life with several cats, a goose and her donkey. There, she recuperated the old and sacred rites of the Egipcians by reading and interpreting the different engravings of the temple.

    Actually, she lived as she assumed she would have been living 3000 years before, in her other life.

    In the course of her alleged meetings with Seti I, she was able to discuss with him subjects so different as the eventual existence of Atlantis or the possibility of alien life.

    In this regard, on a conversation with Seti, on the 29th of August of 1974, he told her about his extraterrestrial voyages, when he had been able to met with other alien civilizations very different to ours.

    I realize that if you have chosen to ignore the reality of Jesus, you must belong to the school of that Cartesian category of humans that believe only in what they can see or touch. So this story must sound like atonal music to you, and just be another fantasy or “legend”.

    But thanks to Omm Seti (this is how the Egyptians called Dorothy) the temple of Abydos has been totally reconstructed, and can be practically seen now in his old splendour.

    Thanks to her astral travels, where her "akh", was lectured by the very architects that built the Abydos temple, she was able to identify and patiently reconstruct the 2.000+ blocks of engraved stones that, until her arrival, had been disorderly laying spread on the floor of the temple.

    When she passed away, in 1981, the Egyptologist community, who always admired and respected this eccentric lady, decided to bury her in the best possible place any Egyptian might desire, i.e. close to her temple, thus, to be able to follow the course of the solar rays at dusk.

    Those of us that love the old Egyptian culture and have been many times in that wonderful country, very much respect Omm Seti, and not being able to understand the phenomena she experienced, have decided to file them in the huge file of mystery surrounding the Pharaohs and their civilization.

    One of these mysteries, incidentally, is that when the sarcophagus containing the mummy of princess Amen-Ra, who died in Egypt over 3,000 years ago, was sold to four Englishmen. Within weeks, all four were either dead or terribly ill. When a London museum brought the mummy, anyone who went near it died. A ghost expert warned that the Princess had left a curse on anyone who disturbed her tomb. Unafraid, an American archeologist took it on board a brand new ship, the Titanic, bound for New York. On the night of April 15th, 1912, the ship hit an iceberg and sank, drowning 1,502 people. Nobody mourned the loss of the mummy, which vanished without trace in the icy Atlantic.

    Although the night of the disaster was a clear one, the crew did not see the iceberg in time.

    Several people saw the Titanic sinking in dreams. Others cancelled their tickets on the ship at the last minute- was it just luck or could they foresee something?

    Definitely I would not compare St. Anthony with Omm Seti, no sir!

    Another commentary you make is that “to state there was initial unity in the Church is fallacious. From the very beginning there was controversy, and a jockeying for leadership...In the first two centuries, alone, there were approximately 50 MAJOR heresies...practically all of them concerning the nature, purpose, and existence of Christ”.

    Here, I think you tend mix the different levels of heresy the Church defines.

    According to the encyclopedia “pertinacious adhesion to a doctrine contradictory to a point of faith clearly defined by the Church is heresy pure and simple, heresy in the first degree. But if the doctrine in question has not been expressly "defined" or is not clearly proposed as an article of faith in the ordinary, authorized teaching of the Church, an opinion opposed to it, is styled sententia haeresi proxima, that is, an opinion approaching heresy”.

    But you can also have the doctrinal proposition, without directly contradicting a received dogma that may yet involve logical consequences at variance with a revealed truth. Such a proposition is not heretical; it is a propositio theologice erronea, that is, erroneous in theology.

    Still further on, the opposition to an article of faith may not be strictly demonstrable, but only reach a certain degree of probability. In that case the doctrine is termed sententia de haeresi suspecta, haeresim sapiens; that is, an opinion suspected, or savouring, of heresy.

    Bearing in mind these definitions it is true there were many, but not only at the beginning, but also even right now. Such were, in the Apostolic Age, the Judeo-Christians, Judeo-Gnostics, Nicolaites, Docetae, Cerinthians, Ebionites, Nazarenes, followed, in the next two centuries, by a variety of Syrian and Alexandrian Gnostics, by Ophites, Marcionites, Encratites, Montanists, Manichaeans, and others. Most of these early Eastern sects, fed on the fanciful speculations so dear to the Eastern mind, but, lacking the support of temporal power, they disappeared under the anathemas of the guardians of the depositum fidei

    Of all these sects none, that I know of, ever discussed the existence of Jesus, which is what we are debating here, so perhaps you will explain why do you bring this point number as an evidence of the NON-existence of Jesus. I think they rather prove the contrary, since they were all concerned with the nature and purpose of Jesus.

    You add “The Disciples were NOT all preaching the same kind of legend...or else it would not have been necessary for Paul to write so many epistles to counter the 'false' prophets who were 'preaching another Christ'!!!!”

    One basic difference between my approach and yours is, if you allow me to say so, a certain arrogance on your side. While I respect your point of view and limit myself to counter your opinions with as many arguments as I can get hold of, I state, whenever necessary, that this is my opinion and what I believe.

    You, on the contrary, seem to speak ALWAYS ex-cathedra assuming an infallibility of your opinions and using all kind of derogatory expressions such as “fallacious” or “spurious” to qualify some of my arguments. In fact, however, I could not care less. It is just a matter of education. It just shows how one has been raised.

    But I’m sad to see that this education of yours does not prevent you from insulting a religion which is practiced by billions of people. To say “The Disciples were NOT all preaching the same kind of “LEGEND”” shows a definite lack of respect towards something you simply ignore, no matter how much you claim you have studied or read about.

    Your “Forty year student of comparative religion...working knowledge of the world's major Scriptures. Huge library (growing almost out of hand) of more than 1,200 volumes on Religious and church history, archeology of the Bible, etc. etc.” have not contributed much to improve tolerance and respect to others’ ideas, have they?

    My own C.V. is not as “impressive” as yours, but it would never occur me to define the Al Qu’ram, the Talmud or the Book of Mormons, as books containing legends.

    Your 1200+ books on religion have not, obviously, taught you to respect other people beliefs…

    A waste of money for you, of course!

    The Disciples were ALL preaching the same MESSAGE, not legends. But there were indeed others –not amongst the Disciples, of course- that were giving different interpretations to the message spread by the Apostles.

    The funny thing, however, is that you mention the Disciples and St. Paul. Would I have to assume that you believe in the existence of these Disciples and of St. Paul?

    Whose disciples were they? If they were disciples they must have had a teacher. And how do you know St. Paul ever existed? And if he did and so did the disciples, do you mean to say that, one good day, they gathered together and instead of playing cards (they had been already invented by the Chinese) they decided to invent a personage, they would call Jesus, and develop a whole “legend” of his life as a new Messiah who would built a new religion based on the Jewish Scriptures, with the purpose of being eventually martyrs?

    The strange thing, however, (if they actually had that much imagination, which would be surprising, for they were supposed to be rather illiterate) is that people rapidly ascribed to the new religion and people listened instead of questioning them.

    You go on saying “There is no confirmation, anywhere, that early Christian writings were searched out and destroyed. You can't have it both ways Claude...first claiming it was not necessary to have written attestations, and then claim they were searched out and destroyed.

    I do not recall having told you what you say, as you say it. I do not keep copy of my posts.
    But, in the case of the Jews, for instance, there was a point in time in their history - at least six centuries after the death of Moses - when all complete copies of the Torah were destroyed by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar when they sacked Jerusalem in 586 BC. The Jews tried to restore it, by gathering together all the surviving remnants and the rabbis who had committed different parts of it to memory, to see if it was possible to reconstitute the original Torah. It was not.
    Still they put an edition together which contained as much as they could find or remember. This was the compilation which was supervised by Ezra during the exile of some of the Jews in Babylon in the 5th century BC, and which he brought to Jerusalem in 458 BC - but it is generally accepted that this compilation was in turn destroyed during the sack of Jerusalem by Antiochus Epeplianus in 161 BC.
    As for the Bible, there were many causes at work that perfectly account for the disappearance of the majority of the old copies of these Books. (a) To begin with, there was frequently, if not continual, wars going on, during which books and manuscripts were ruthlessly destroyed. I need only mention such instances as the invasions of the Danes and Normans, and of the Saracens and Northern Barbarians into Italy and Spain, burning monasteries and churches, sacking and laying waste ecclesiastical buildings. During these oft-repeated incursions and the horrible pillage that generally accompanied warfare, many most valuable libraries and thousands of MSS. and copies of the Scriptures of rare, indeed of priceless worth, must have perished. (b) Then there is the common occurrence of fire which accounts for the loss of much valuable literature – by which copies of Scripture were burned, either by accident or by design, either singly or in the general conflagration that consumed the whole monastery or library as well. (c) Another very common cause of loss was negligence, through which, both in the middle Ages and since, many invaluable books and papers have gone to destruction. Sometimes a book was borrowed from the conventual library and never returned. This became so great an evil that the proprietors of books adopted the plan of inscribing an excommunication or a curse against those who should keep or steal what had been merely lent – much in the style of the anathemas pronounced in the Decrees of the Church’s Councils.

    You also say “I find no reason for ANYONE to try to Use Muhammad or the Quran....a 7th century document, to try and prove a first century existence!!! Why would anyone in the 7th Century after Christ's purported death, be considered a credible source of proof of his existence???? P.S. The Quran was not 'dictated' to Muhammad by God, but was received by Muhammad from the Angel Gebril (Gabriel)! And if you are going to accept a single reference to a 'Chrestus' in the Talmudic writings, we would also have to believe the Ancient rabbinic claim that Jesus was the illegimate son of a Roman Soldier named Panthera and a Jewish Prostitute!!! “”

    With all due respect to such extraordinary erudition, I shall start by humbly saying, with your permission, of course, that El-Kur’an (in Arabic) means “the reading”, but it is also called “kittab Ullah” (God’s book), or “kelimet-Ullah” (God’s words), or el-tensil (from the above).

    This sacred book of the Muslims, (which I would never dare call a “legend”) it is regarded as the revelation of God. Supplemented by the so-called Hadith, or traditions, it is the foundation of Islam (you know it, of course) and the final authority in dogma and belief, in jurisprudence, worship, ethics, and in social, family, and individual conduct. It is the work of God which Muhammad received over a period of 23 years, through the Archangel Gabriel, who was just a messenger. Whether written or dictated it depends on the scholars. Some claim Muhammad could not read nor write until he received the first Surahs. Others affirm he could read and write BEFORE.
    But I think the important matter if that the Book contains the Revelation of God. How he got it seems rather irrelevant to me.
    As for Chrestus, as Suetonius spells it, is the correct Latin form of a true Greek name. Some would say that it does not refer to Jesus Christ. Benko, for example, has suggested that "Chrestus" was some kind of Jewish agitator who had no association with Christianity, perhaps a semi-Zealot reacting to plans by Caligula to put a statue of Zeus in the Jewish Temple; as for the spelling issue, he points out that Suetonius spells "Christians" correctly, so it is unlikely that he misspelled "Christus."
    As for the Talmudic texts; I will quote an Evangelical apologist (J.P. Holding) who says the following:
    "In light of the above, there is no need for us to run over each of the rabbinic citations here. The single point that may be derived from them is, again, that it provides no indication that Jesus was a mythical figure; inasmuch as it accepts Jesus' historicity, and does not doubt it, it provides positive evidence that Jesus did exist. Wilson [Wils.EvJ, 65] agrees with this assessment, saying that "From the fact that (the rabbis) concentrated on smearing (Jesus') legitimacy (rather than focusing on the issue of Jesus' existence), we may deduce that they had no grounds whatever for doubting his historical existence." And France agrees that, "Such polemic, often using 'facts' quite distinct from what Christians believed, is hardly likely to have arisen within less than a century around a non-existent figure." [Franc.EvJ, 39] Some scholars do argue that the references also have value in what else they affirm, do not deny, and provide no contradictory tradition for: That Jesus had disciples, worked miracles, and was executed on the eve of Passover. (See particularly Harv.JesC, 30-1.) Aside from that, the Talmud and other Jewish references are of marginal value."

    "It is not surprising to find the Talmud referring to Jesus, his mother and his disciples. In fact, some of the material coincides with the NT depiction of Jesus and the Jewish ruling council's assessment of his person and mission. The following statements are taken from the Soncino edition of the Babylon Talmud as cited in Robert A. Morey's pamphlet Jesus in the Mishmash and Talmud. We will also be using Josh McDowell & Bill Wilson's He Walked Among Us unless noted otherwise."

    "Before proceeding, we must point out that at one time the following Talmudic references were believed to have been lost. This is due to the fact that in the 17th century, Jewish rabbis took steps to expunge all references to Jesus. This act was motivated primarily by the Church's persecution of the Jews. Josh McDowell and Bill Wilson explain:"

    "... in light of the persecutions, the Jewish communities imposed censorship on themselves to remove references to Jesus in their writings so that they might no longer be a target of attack. Morris Goldstein, former Professor of Old and New Testament Literature at the Pacific School of Religion, relates: Thus, in 1631 the Jewish Assembly of Elders in Poland declared: ‘We enjoin you under the threat of the great ban to publish in no new edition of the Mishnah or the Gemara anything that refers to Jesus of Nazareth... If you will not diligently heed this letter, but run counter thereto and continue to publish our books in the same manner as heretofore, you might bring over us and yourselves still greater sufferings than in previous times.’"

    At first, deleted portions of words in printed Talmuds were indicated by small circles or blank spaces but, in time, these too were forbidden by the censors.

    As a result of the twofold censorship the usual volumes of Rabbinic literature contain only a distorted remnant of supposed allusions to Jesus ..." (Ibid, pp. 58-59).
    Your allusion to Panthera is a very naïve one, for such a learned person, if you do not mind my saying so, and quite well known by all of us who have read a couple of books on Jesus’ history.
    On the Soncino edition of the previously mentioned Babylonian Talmud, which you no doubt have, one can read:
    "Supposed by Tosah, to be the Mother of Jesus; cf. Shab. 104b in the earlier uncensored editions. Her description Megaddela (hairdresser) is connected by some with the name of Mary Magdalene whose name was confused with the name of Mary, the mother of Jesus." (Ibid., p. 7)”
    Some scholars also see an allusion to the virgin birth of Christ in the term, "son of Pandira." This is due to the fact that "Pandira" seems to be a play on the Greek word for virgin, “parthenos”, the very term used in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke when recording Jesus' virgin birth.
    In this respect McDowell & Wilson report:

    "... Scholars have debated at length how Jesus came to have this name (i.e., ben Pandira) attached to his. Strauss thought it was from the Greek word pentheros, meaning 'son-in-law.' Klausner and Bruce accept the position that panthera is a corruption of the Greek parthenos meaning 'virgin.' Klausner says, 'The Jews constantly heard that the Christians (the majority of whom spoke Greek from the earliest times) called Jesus by the name "Son of the Virgin"... and so, in mockery, they called him Ben ha-Pantera, i.e., "son of the leopard."
    You are no doubt familiar with the fact that the most sensational theory but least accepted by serious scholars was dramatized by the discovery of a first century tombstone at Bingerbruck, Germany. The inscription read, 'Tiberius Julius Abdes Pantera, an archer, native of Sidon, Phoenicia, who in 9 c.e. was transferred to service in Germany.'...
    This discovery fueled the fire of the theory that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary (not a prostitute as you say gratuitously) and the soldier, Panthera.
    In fact, even the father of the Church Origen (you know him, obviously) writes that his opponent, Celsus, in circa A.D. 178, said that he heard from a Jew that 'Miriam' had become pregnant by 'Pantheras,' a Roman soldier; was divorced by her husband, and bore Jesus in secret.

    If 'Pantheras' were a unique name, the theory of Mary's pregnancy by the Roman soldier might be more attractive to scholars. But Adolf Deissman, the early twentieth-century German New Testament scholar, verified, by first century inscriptions, “'with absolute certainty that Panthera was not an invention of Jewish scoffers, but a widespread name among the ancients.'...” Rabbi and Professor Morris Goldstein comments that it was as common as the names Wolf or Fox today. He comments further:

    ”It is noteworthy that Origin himself is credited with the tradition that Panther was the appellation of James (Jacob), the father of Joseph, the father of Jesus... So, too, Andrew of Crete, John of Damascus, Epiphanius the Monk, and the author of Andronicus of Constantinople's Dialogue Against the Jews, name Panther as an ancestor of Jesus...

    "Jesus being called by his grandfather's name would also have agreed with a statement in the Talmud permitting this practice. Whereas Christian tradition identified Jesus by his hometown, Jewish tradition, having a greater concern for genealogical identification, seems to have preferred this method of identifying Jesus. Goldstein presents more evidence to argue the case convincingly." (McDowell & Wilson, pp. 66-67)

    Hence, why or how Jesus came to be called by some as “ben or ibn Pandira” is an issue, which scholars have not come to an agreement, as yet.
    I’m sorry to disappoint you. But here, once more, the existence of the physical person of Jesus is not questioned by the Talmud, but rather implicitly accepted.

    You go on “The writers of the Gospels DID contradict each other, over and over again...and Paul contradicted even the words of Jesus, himself and made remarks that made it appear he was not familiar enough with the Old Testament!!! Even the two reports of Paul's miraculous 'conversion' on the road to Damascus contradict each other!!!!

    And you contradict yourself all the time. How can Paul contradict Jesus words (or the apostles, for what matter) if Jesus never existed? If Jesus was just their invention, then (assuming you take for granted that Paul and the Apostles did exist at all) they were plain stupid contradicting their own invention.
    But if Jesus was no fantasy I do not see why you seem to be so stunned. The contradictions you are referring to, are not really contradictions.
    (Broadly speaking, a contradiction is an incompatibility between two or more statements, ideas, or actions. One must, it seems, reject at least one of the ideas outright)

    The Gospels offer some different versions, which do not contradict each other but simply differ in some details.

    But even assuming THERE WERE any contradictions (please let me know which ones) there is ABSOLUTELY no contradiction in the Evangelists or in Paul, regarding what is the core of our debate. Did Jesus exist or not?
    It would be absolutely ridiculous if they would deny the very person whose message they were trying to spread…

    On the other hand, however, different versions of a given event are standard in the 21st century press and media. I, for instance, will sustain that your President lied to the American people in cold blood when he invaded Iraq on the assumption Saddam had WMD hidden.
    But many American will jump at my neck like “panthers” claiming that they are still hidden somewhere in the desert and that Mr. Bush acted in “heavenly” good faith.

    This is a clear contradiction right in the beginning of 2006, when we have all kind of electronic instruments to detect the truth from the lie.

    And yet we can’t. The only truth, 2000 years from now, will be there was a guy whose name was George Bush, who was president of the USA, who decided to invade Iraq, at a given time.

    All the rest will be different versions or plain contradictions.

    Last, you conclude “Possibilities do not constitute proof”.
    Agreed, but this can also be applied to those who deny the existence of Jesus. There is a possibility that He didn’t exist, at all. But this is no proof of his non-existence.

    and you add “As to the necessity for belief in the existence of Jesus.....It is the message that is important, NOT the messenger”.
    Indeed, it is the message that is important, PROVIDED we know the messenger, and his/her background and intentions behind it.
    Not to mention anymore Mr. Bush as an example (I could, of course) in this respect, I will constraint myself to my own President Mr. Zapatero. Ever since he took office, he is proclaiming a message of tolerance and love for all his citizens, including those that voted against him, which amount to almost as many as those who voted for him.
    Yet, this message if just propaganda. In actual fact, he does as he pleases without any consideration to those who do not think like him.

    Where did the message go?

    Faithfully yours
    Claude

    Choux answered on 01/15/06:

    There may or may not have been an historical Joshua(Jesus), but as you have convinced all, information(facts)from times long ago before knowledge and rationality (except a precious few men)is unreliable at best. A puzzle studied by Biblical scholars.

    What is *important* is how the message of a simple Joshua got so distorted..... plus, forged by so many hands over the centuries so that the New Testament is a hodge-podge of inconsistency. American Fundamentalists quote scripture to validate whatever they want to validate.

    There is no reason to accept as fact most of what is described in the NewTestament. Christianity is the religion Saul of Tarsus created and modified(on the go, as it were) as he went preaching a combination of Jewish Messiah and Greek Myth...The Christ....a new mythical figure.

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    Question/Answer
    Liz22 asked on 01/14/06 - Remember the Sabbath day?

    Jesus told us to keep the Sabbath day Holy that is today. Sabbatical means
    Time off, Rest put your feet up relax. It is a Holy day. The seventh day that God rested.
    One of the ten commandment was to keep this day, I still understand what we can do on this day, as simple things the Lord has taught us, to make others well and happy, to cook to clean our homes, but most to keep this day Holy, we would be childish like the ones that Jesus spoke of in his day, the ones with the stupid questions, but I can’t help wondering why we cut this Saturday off,
    So I wish all of you a Happy Saturday and a good day to Pray, and let the Lord know you are happy for what he has done in creating the earth and the heavens and most of all his Son Jesus our Savior.
    Ex 20:8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    Is the Sabbath still holy to you?
    I would appreciate any comments.
    Thank you. Joy.

    Choux answered on 01/14/06:

    I consider **every day and every moment** "Holy", that is, a great gift.....

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/14/06 - Al Gore versus Christianity - as the Big Lie goes.

    :)





    Urban Legends and Folklore
    Al Gore vs. Christianity

    Description: Email rumor
    Status: False
    Circulating since: Nov. 2000

    Analysis: See below

    Email text contributed by T. Jones, 5 Dec 2000:

    Subject: AL Gore re: Christianity

    THE NOTORIOUS QUOTE OF THE DAY

    "Refusing to accept the earth as our sacred mother, these Christians have become a dangerous threat to the survival of humanity. They are the blight on the environment and to believe in Bible prophecy is unforgivable."

    --VP Al Gore, in his book
    EARTH IN BALANCE, p.342


    Comments:

    The only justification for this quotation being described as "notorious" is that it was made up.


    The words are not Al Gore's, nor, so far as I can tell, do they express his sentiments. There's no such statement to be found in Gore's book, "Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit" (Houghton Mifflin, 1992).

    The following ungrammatical variant is also circulating:

    "For Gore and other environmentalists, the Judeo-Christain faith is the source of ecological evil, from oil spills to global warming.

    "He said, "Ignorant Christians who are afraid to open their minds to teachings first offered outside their own system of belief by refusing to accept that the earth is our sacred mother, Christians have become a dangerous threat to the survival of humanity...blights on the environment."


    Again, there's no evidence in the pages of "Earth in the Balance" or anywhere else that Al Gore actually said or wrote these words. It's pure political disinformation.

    Additional comments by Karen Eiler:

    "Since I'm never one to just "gasp and forward" without checking the facts for myself, I went to the library this morning and checked out a copy of "Earth in the Balance."

    "While I certainly could not find anything even close to the above, I did find a passage which could be twisted into something close ... maybe, if you worked hard at it. Anyway, here's what Al Gore really did say:

    For some Christians, the prophetic vision of the apocalypse is used — in my view, unforgivably — as an excuse for abdicating their responsibility to be good stewards of God's creation.

    Secretary of the Interior James Watt, who deserved his reputation as an anti-environmentalist, was once quoted as belittling concerns about environmental protection in part because it would all be destroyed by God in the apocalypse.

    Not only is this idea heretical in terms of Christian teachings, it is an appallingly self-fulfilling prophesy of doom. "

    ("Earth in the Balance," p. 263)

    From this and other passages, it's clear that Gore considers himself a Christian and defends Christianity's stance on the environment.

    Throughout his book I find examples of flawed theology and reasoning, but I agree with his overall premise that we are to be stewards of the earth and its resources.

    — Karen Eiler

    = = = = =

    The baove anti-Gore loie was probably made up by someone who just got fed up with people tellking the truth about Bush and decided to spread the misery through some invented lies.

    = = =

    You might (might) find these links usefuol iof you are trying to understand Christianity today in its different forms.

    God loves you. How to know that God loves you
    www.GodLovesTheWorld.com

    Spirituality in AmericaWhere do you stand on faith? Podcasts, polls, blogs and more
    www.newsweek.com

    Christianity in History. A Blast of Brutal Honesty From the Ridiculous to the Sublime
    www.CoffeehouseTheology.com

    Egypt and ChristianityLearn About The Egyptian Roots of Christianity
    3mpub.com/bargeman/

    Gay & Christian? YesCalling the Rainbow Nation Home A story of affirmation & acceptance
    www.GayChurch.org

    Choux answered on 01/14/06:

    I don't have my copy of Al's book anymore (downsized), but I sure know he wouldn't say any of the nonsense that these right wing liars and propagandists spread to smear decent people.

    See on the POlitics Board how the Bush Adm comspired to smear Murtha....

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    Question/Answer
    Sublimery28 asked on 01/14/06 - Physic question

    A 3.0-g bullet traveling at 350 m/s hits a tree and slows down uniformly to a stop while penetrating a distansce of 12cm into the tree's trunk. What was the force exerted on the bullet in bringing it to rest?

    Choux answered on 01/14/06:

    This is the best question we have ever had on this Board!

    I hope one of the Christianity Experts knows something about physics, but I won't hold my breath. :)

    Good Luck!

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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/14/06 - What do you want?

    If Jesus asked you :- What do you want ?
    What will your answer be ?

    Choux answered on 01/14/06:

    According to the story, Jesus is dead; he can't talk.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/14/06 - who is the better programer?


    Jesus and Satan have an argument as to who is the better computer programmer. This goes on for a few hours until they agree to hold a contest with God as the judge.

    They set themselves before their computers and begin. They type furiously for several hours, lines of code streaming up the screen.

    Seconds before the end of the competition, a bolt of lightning strikes, taking out the electricity. Moments later, the power is restored, and God announces that the contest is over. He asks Satan to show what he has come up with. Satan is visibly upset, and cries, "I have nothing! I lost it all when the power went out."

    "Very well, then," says God, "let us see if Jesus fared any better."Jesus enters a command, and the screen comes to life in vivid display, the voices of an angelic choir pour forth from the speakers. Satan is astonished.

    He stutters, "But how?! I lost everything yet Jesus' program is intact! How did he do it?"

    God chuckles, "Jesus saves."

    Choux answered on 01/14/06:

    I bet jr high kids really get a laugh out of this one!!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/13/06 - Just a simple request?

    Friends. I'm beginning a journey to central China tomorrow and I would appreciate your prayers. I have heard there might have been an earthquake somewhere near my destination, so I would appreciate an uninterrupted journey. When I get back I'll tell you what this is about but in the meantime, please keep my son and myself in your prayers please.

    This might be a sample of what I will have to put up with

    Should Someone Ask For Your Father

    By: asianjoke.com


    A man who was going away for some time enjoined his son: "If anyone asks for me, you can tell him that your father has been called away to attend to a minor matter and be sure to ask him in for a cup of tea."

    Afraid that his idiotic son might forget his instructions, he wrote them down upon a slip of paper and gave it to his son, who tucked it into his sleeve and took it out to look at every now and then.

    Three days passed without anyone coming to see his father. Thinking that he had no more use for that slip of paper, the boy committed it to the flames. On the fourth day, however, an unexpected visitor dropped in.

    "Where is your father?" asked the visitor.

    The boy immediately put his hand into his sleeve and fished around for the slip of paper. As he could not find it, he ejaculated:"No More."

    Taken aback, the visitor asked:

    "No more? When did it happen?"

    "Burnt last night."

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    Be a man. for God's sake!

    Face life without whimpering!!!!

    GO, HAVE A GOOD TIME!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/13/06 - Are your cell phone call records secure? No! No way!

    I see on the news today that anyone can buy other people’s cell phone records even if the caller has a password for his cell phone calls.
    Where is the ACLU when you need them?
    Answer: Out harassing Christianity and troubling traditional Americana.
    Peace and kindness,
    Fred.

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    It is only fair that all religions be treated the same in America....Christianity has had a priviliged position, time to be like all the other faiths.

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    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 01/13/06 - And the survey says...

    A quick survey - yes I know it has nothing to do with Christianity per se, but anyway, this is the other politics board isn't it?

    Are you for or against gun control?

    If yes, what type of gun control - as in how far would you go, ban all guns, require licenses, etc.?


    Steve

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    I am againt gun control. America is a very violent culture and various ethnic groups need to be able to protect themselves from other armed groups. Everyone has to know that the others are armed. People here have had private weapons since the founding of the nation.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/13/06 - something of a magnificient obscession I think?

    Warren to buy Saints, build Purpose-Driven Field



    NEW ORLEANS — Pastor and author Rick Warren has signed a deal to purchase the New Orleans Saints football franchise for $320 million from current owner Tom Benson, and has pledged to pour his time and energy into helping the city and team rebuild.
    "This is the start of the Saints' turnaround," a Warren spokesman said. "America is going to see what a purpose-driven team can accomplish."
    The Saints have desperately needed a home and a vision since Hurricane Katrina devastated their season. They were keenly disappointed with the NFL's response to their plight.
    But Warren took an immediate interest in the team on visits to the damaged city, and he surprised his church in November when several Saints players joined him onstage. The church prayed for the team, which won its next game. Warren took this as confirmation of his plan to buy the franchise.
    "I like the guy," says one player who met Warren at a practice in San Antonio. "I was skeptical about a minister owning a team, but he wants to win, just like us."
    The centerpiece of Warren's purchase will be Purpose-Driven Field, to be located just north of New Orleans. Stadium construction will create thousands of jobs for the local economy, and will give Warren's ministry a foothold in the South, where he hopes to gain greater influence. During the week, Purpose-Driven Field will host conferences, outreaches and short-term missions groups stopping over on their way to Central America, or helping to rebuild New Orleans. Warren already refers to the New Orleans location as Saddleback South, friends say.
    The Saints will now operate differently than most NFL teams. Players will be required to go through the 40 Days of Purpose program. Alcohol will not be served in the stadium, and every attendee will receive a copy of the Purpose-Driven Life. Halftime shows will offer "edgy, cool" evangelism and worship concerts, says a spokesman. Warren intends to be as visible as Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who often walks the sidelines during games.
    "We're marching into New Orleans," Warren told partner churches recently to rousing applause.•

    So the question is; is Christianity and american football compatiable?

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    This turn of events should be interesting. I wonder how Warren will take it when his team loses; I bet he thinks that "God will be on their side"!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/13/06 - "Gospel of Judas," but which Judas?





    Charles W. Hedrick writes in the Bible Review ("The 34 Gospels: Diversity and Division Among the Earliest Christians"):

    In sum, in addition to the four canonical gospels, we have four complete noncanonicals, seven fragmentary, four known from quotations and two hypothetically recovered for a total of 21 gospels from the first two centuries, and we know that others existed in the early period. I am confident more of them will be found. For example, I have seen photos of several pages from a Coptic text entitled "The Gospel of Judas" that recently surfaced on the antiquities market.

    Tixeront, tranlsated by Raemers, states (A Handbook of Patrology, p. 67): "Besides these Gospels, we know that there once existed a Gospel of Bartholomew, a Gospel of Thaddeus, mentioned in the decree of Pope Gelasius, and a Gospel of Judas Iscariot in use among the Cainites and spoken of by St. Irenaeus (i, 31, 1)."

    Here is the Roberts-Donaldson translation of this section from Irenaeus:

    Others again declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. On this account, they add, they have been assailed by the Creator, yet no one of them has suffered injury. For Sophia was in the habit of carrying off that which belonged to her from them to herself. They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictitious history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas.

    H.-C. Puech and Beate Blatz write (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1, p. 387):

    Dating: the Gospel of Judas was of course composed before 180, the date at which it is mentioned for the first time by Irenaeus in adv. Haer. If it is in fact a Cainite work, and if this sect - assuming it was an independent gnostic group - was constituted in part, as has sometimes been asserted, in dependence on the doctrine of Marcion, the apocryphon can scarcely have been composed before the middle of the 2nd century. This would, however, be to build on weak arguments. At most we may be inclined to suspect a date between 130 and 170 or thereabouts.

    It remains to be seen whether any manuscripts to be published might correspond to the Gospel of Judas mentioned by Irenaeus of Lyons.

    ===

    There is more information than you can handle at:

    http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/manuscripts/gospel_of_judas/

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    What about the gospel of Thomas? I have come across many people on line who have read this gospel.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/13/06 - An odd ball, or should I say “tossed”, religion >< >< ><

    Frisbeetarianism…………………
    Do you feel that you are being tossed from on thing to another during life?
    Are you being tossed back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, from one day to the next?
    Is your life mainly Back and forth from home to work to home to work?
    And at work going from one thing to another then back again?
    Maybe even at play or pleasure you go back and for from one activity to another such as from the table to the bar and back again, or while playing tennis back and forth goes the ball while you are going from the far court to the net and back again?
    If so then perhaps you need to believe in Frisbeetarianism.
    In that you believe then when you die your soul goes up….
    Up in the roof that is, and it gets stuck there.

    Choux answered on 01/13/06:

    See one of the things that happens when people don't *think* about what is the meaning of their lives.

    And, cookie cutter sin based-religions filled with useless dogma.....worse than nothing, including a frisbee!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/12/06 - "Blind Justice

    "A 6-year-old girl is an American citizen. If that little girl is raped for four years by a 34-year-old criminal and that criminal gets sentenced to 60 days in prison, which is what happened in Vermont, then that little girl's civil rights have been violated as well as the rights of her family. Vermont Judge Edward Cashman must be removed from the bench by the Vermont legislature and at the same time the federal government must look into the civil rights situation. It doesn't matter what color the little girl is. Last year 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford's civil rights were violated in Florida when a cowardly prosecutor would not indict three people who allegedly helped the little girl's accused killer John Couey. The Feds told us they would look into the matter but apparently they've dropped it. That cannot happen again in Vermont. There must be justice in this case or it will be an everlasting stigma on the state of Vermont. America simply cannot have men raping little girls and judges sentencing those men to 60 days in girl. Period. We can't have this. That is not justice, there is no excuse, and every elected official in Vermont should be demanding the removal of Judge Edward Cashman. Once again all the nation's governor need to support mandatory minimum prison terms for child rapists and molesters. Florida's Jessica Law is needed in all 50 states. This country can no longer allow misguided judges like Edward Cashman to violate the rights of children in their courtrooms."

    Choux answered on 01/12/06:

    I saw a lengthy discussion on the Vermont Judge last night on a talking heads show, I forget which one....anyway, Judge Cashman will have to leave the bench over this decision...his reasons were outlined in detail and is thinking process was totally outrageous black and white thinking, and only showed concern for the child rapist!

    He is now a disgraced judge on his way out.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/12/06 - Judas the Misunderstood



    Vatican moves to clear reviled disciple’s name

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-1981591,00.html

    by Richard Owen

    JUDAS ISCARIOT, the disciple who betrayed Jesus with a kiss, is to be given a makeover by Vatican scholars.

    The proposed “rehabilitation” of the man who was paid 30 pieces of silver to identify Jesus to Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane, comes on the ground that he was not deliberately evil, but was just “fulfilling his part in God’s plan”.

    Christians have traditionally blamed Judas for aiding and abetting the Crucifixion, and his name is synonymous with treachery. According to St Luke, Judas was “possessed by Satan”.

    Now, a campaign led by Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, head of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Science, is aimed at persuading believers to look kindly at a man reviled for 2,000 years.

    Mgr Brandmuller told fellow scholars it was time for a “re-reading” of the Judas story. He is supported by Vittorio Messori, a prominent Catholic writer close to both Pope Benedict XVI and the late John Paul II.

    Signor Messori said that the rehabilitation of Judas would “resolve the problem of an apparent lack of mercy by Jesus toward one of his closest collaborators”.

    He told La Stampa that there was a Christian tradition that held that Judas was forgiven by Jesus and ordered to purify himself with “spiritual exercises” in the desert.

    In scholarly circles, it has long been unfashionable to demonise Judas and Catholics in Britain are likely to welcome Judas’s rehabilitation.

    Father Allen Morris, Christian Life and Worship secretary for the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, said: “If Christ died for all — is it possible that Judas too was redeemed through the Master he betrayed?” The “rehabilitation” of Judas could help the Pope’s drive to improve Christian-Jewish relations, which he has made a priority of his pontificate.

    Some Bible experts say Judas was “a victim of a theological libel which helped to create anti Semitism” by forming an image of him as a “sinister villain” prepared to betray for money.

    In many medieval plays and paintings Judas is portrayed with a hooked nose and exaggerated Semitic features. In Dante’s Inferno, Judas is relegated to the lowest pits of Hell, where he is devoured by a three-headed demon.

    The move to clear Judas’s name coincides with plans to publish the alleged Gospel of Judas for the first time in English, German and French. Though not written by Judas, it is said to reflect the belief among early Christians — now gaining ground in the Vatican — that in betraying Christ Judas was fulfilling a divine mission, which led to the arrest and Crucifixion of Jesus and hence to man’s salvation.

    Mgr Brandmuller said that he expected “no new historical evidence” from the supposed gospel, which had been excluded from the canon of accepted Scripture.

    But it could “serve to reconstruct the events and context of Christ’s teachings as they were seen by the early Christians”. This included that Jesus had always preached “forgiveness for one’s enemies”.

    Some Vatican scholars have expressed concern over the reconsideration of Judas. Monsignor Giovanni D’Ercole, a Vatican theologian, said it was “dangerous to re-evaulate Judas and muddy the Gospel accounts by reference to apocryphal writings. This can only create confusion in believers.” The Gospels tell how Judas later returned the 30 pieces of silver — his “blood money” — and h anged himself, or according to the Acts of the Apostles, “fell headlong and burst open so that all his entrails burst out”.

    Some accounts suggest he acted out of disappointment that Jesus was not a revolutionary who intended to overthrow Roman occupation and establish “God’s Kingdom on Earth”.

    In the Gospel accounts, Jesus reveals to the disciples at the Last Supper that one of them will betray him, but does not say which. He adds “Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

    But he also — according to St Matthew — acknowledged that Judas had a divine function to fulfil, saying to him during the arrest, “Friend, do what you are here to do” and adding that “the prophecies of the Scriptures must be fulfilled”.

    The “Gospel of Judas”, a 62-page worn and tattered papyrus, was found in Egypt half a century ago and later sold by antiquities dealers to the Maecenas Foundation in Basle, Switzerland.

    Choux answered on 01/12/06:

    What could be nuttier than this?, oh, yeah, Limbo and most of the rest of the supernatural dogma like the Assumption, for example, or Transubstantiation, or Original Sin, etc.

    If Judas got a bum rap because he was just fulfilling part of "God's plan", there goes free will flying out the window!!! as one can argue that everything is part of god's plan and hence preordained.

    Folks, Africans are dying rapidly while the RCC is busy with all this. Jesus Wept!!

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    Question/Answer
    Lazlow asked on 01/11/06 - Revdauphinee

    I want to follow up on what you said to me earlier...

    "why are you so delusional as to think you have power to cause folks to leave this board???none of us are forced to read your nonesence you can oh so easily be ignored!"

    Okay, I never forced you to read my 'nonsense', and I can't help that you can't ignore me either. You say I can be "oh so easily ignored", yet you reply to all of my posts! You're delusional as to think you make sense, if I'm so easy to ignore, IGNORE ME! I was never talking to you in the first place lady.
    As for me being delusional, Sarnian did leave this board because of me. He told me in a private question. I have it saved and I will now copy and paste it, just to prove it to you...

    "Laslow, i frequent this board to express my opinions and absorb wisdom from folks with beliefs that differ from my own. You are right that I have been offensive toward you, and for that I'm sorry, but what you are doing to me is beyond anything I've ever said to you or anybody else. It hurts a lot, that I can't spend one day socializing on this board without you insulting me. I'm sorry for whatever I've done, please leave me alone, you've won. You have no idea how I feel right now, my partner says it's not right what you said about my sexuality, that it's none of your business. You're going too far, laslow. I tried reporting you but the moderators won't listen to me. So I'm begging you please! please! please! stop picking on me! I'm a human being. I am a man of peace"

    Choux answered on 01/12/06:

    NIce try, Laz. LOL!!

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/11/06 - Pat Robertson in the news and cartoons........

    Did you notice in the news that Israel has cut of all ties to Pat Robertson even though his group of followers have contributed millions of dollars to Israel over the years?
    If I remember it correctly, a cartoon in today’s newspaper shows an angel in the clouds looking up higher and saying, “Hey Boss, Pat Robertson is saying that you struck down for Ariel Sharon dividing up your land.”
    A beam of light shines down and a voice says, “He still doesn’t get it. For that I’ll need to inspire some more Pat Robertson cartoons.”
    Is Pat Robertson disintegrating?
    Will he loose followers over this?
    Peace and kindness,
    Fred

    Choux answered on 01/11/06:

    He is disintegrating;it's obvious. However, never underestimate how many people want to hand over the thinking and decision making in their lives to a megalomaniac and his babblings.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/11/06 - The BIG QUESTION is: "Has Pat "Assassin" Robertson puts his devil's foot back insid



    Pat Robertson told viewers of his 螌 Club" that God gets angry "against those who 'divide my land'."


    Is Robertson right to say that God has struck General Sharon down for 'dividing' the State of Israel by returning some of the occupied land to its rightful Palestinian Arab owners?

    Please answer the question as asked.

    :)



    Choux answered on 01/11/06:

    Robertson is NOT right to say that God has struch General Sharon down for 'dividing' the State of Israel by returning some of the occupied land to its rightful Palestiian Arab owners.

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    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 01/11/06 - Beauty or Truth

    John Keats (1795-1821) wrote at the end of "Ode on a Grecian Urn,"

    Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st, 'Beauty is truth, truth beauty-—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.'

    Is beauty truth and truth beauty? If not, why not? If you had to choose one or the other to rule your life, which would you choose and why?

    Choux answered on 01/11/06:

    I am not one to respect a romantic view of life, but I can enjoy romantic poetry for what it is.

    Of course, there are many, many
    truths, there is no one truth(The Truth). And it is more true than not that a beautiful woman has a great advantage in life. Looking at beautiful objects both natural and man-made is a joy.

    I would choose beauty(with brains) to rule my life.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/11/06 - US responsible for Iraq insurgency. The enemy within?

    US Army its own worst enemy: British officer


    January 12, 2006


    A senior British Army officer has written a scathing critique of the US Army and its performance in Iraq, accusing it of cultural ignorance, moralistic self-righteousness, unproductive micromanagement and unwarranted optimism.

    His publisher: the US Army.

    In an article published this week in the army magazine Military Review, Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster, who was deputy commander of a program to train the Iraqi military, said American officers in Iraq displayed such "cultural insensitivity" that it "arguably amounted to institutional racism" and may have spurred the growth of the insurgency.

    The US Army has been slow to adapt its tactics, he argues, and its approach during the early stages of the occupation "exacerbated the task it now faces by alienating significant sections of the population".

    The army magazine's decision to publish the essay - which has already provoked an intense reaction among US officers - is part of a broader self-examination in many parts of the force as it approaches the end of its third year in Iraq.

    The army was full of soldiers showing qualities such as patriotism, duty, passion and talent, writes Brigadier Aylwin-Foster.

    "Yet it seemed weighed down by bureaucracy, a stiflingly hierarchical outlook, a predisposition to offensive operations, and a sense that duty required all issues to be confronted head-on."

    Those traits reflect the army's traditional focus on conventional wars and are seen by some experts as less appropriate for counterinsurgency, which they say needs patience, cultural understanding and a willingness to use innovative, counterintuitive approaches.

    In counterinsurgency campaigns, Brigadier Aylwin-Foster says, "the quick solution is often the wrong one".

    He argues that intense conformism and overly centralised decision-making slowed the army's operations in Iraq, giving the enemy time to respond.

    The army's can-do spirit also encouraged a "damaging optimism" that interfered with realistic assessments.

    "I think he's an insufferable British snob," responded Colonel Kevin Benson, commander of the US Army's School of Advanced Military Studies.

    President George Bush on Tuesday announced plans to hand over control of more than half of Iraq to the Iraqi military by the end of the year.

    Iraqi forces already control nearly half of Baghdad province as well as "sectors" of Iraqi territory in four other regions.

    "In the year ahead, we will continue handing more territory to Iraqi forces, with the goal of having the Iraqis in control of more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006," Mr Bush said in an address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

    ■ The Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, secretly incited Iraq's top Shiite leader to declare holy war against US and British forces, Washington's former administrator in Iraq says.

    In his new book, My Year in Iraq, Paul Bremer says he heard the intelligence in October 2003, as sectarian tensions soared following the fall of Saddam Hussein.

    "We had good intelligence showing that many insurgents and terrorists were coming into Iraq through Syria," Mr Bremer writes.

    The Washington Post; Hearst Newspapers; Telegraph, London

    Choux answered on 01/11/06:

    Just a reminder, they aren't there to have high tea with the Queen.....tell the prissy little bitch Nigel it is a war.

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    Question/Answer
    kindj asked on 01/10/06 - Follow up to "A danger I see"

    (First of all, why is it that the clarification thing works sometimes and doesn't work others? Driving me nuts.

    Anyway, I had a couple of points to respond to. Sorry to have to do it via a new question, but can't figure out what I'm doing wrong on the other.)

    Oh, man. Looks like I opened up the can on this one. Oh well. Looks like it might've actually generated a little thought, and maybe even touched a nerve or two, judging from some reactions.

    First off, to JeffreyBryson:

    >>I need to add, though, that the leadership can never be the sole culprit.<<

    Of course not, and I didn't mean to imply that they were the sole culprit. However, when you have one man that regularly addresses a large group of people on things Christian once or more a week, it stands to reason that he will have a larger overall impact than the person who may only address a handful of people over a period of days or weeks. But I fully acknowledge that other people not in leadership positions have inadvertently contributed to the situation, as well.

    Erewhon:

    You used a lot of nice, big words. In spite of my forthcoming Masters Degree, I'm not familiar with all of them, but I got the gist. However, the point I want to address is this:

    >>You are probably being more than a little conceited by presuming to know what "a whole ton of folks" know or don't know about Jesus and what their relationship to him is or is not.<<

    I really don't think I am. You see, I actually KNOW a whole ton of folks. Better yet, I see them while I'm out working in the world, and talking to them, and counseling with them, and listening to them. Sadly, I see a large number of them just not getting it. How can I say that? Pretty simple really. Let me provide merely one small example out of many:

    I know a family whom I'll call the Smiths. Now, the Smiths are my family's best friends. My wife and I are their kid's godparents, and vice versa. For all practical purposes, we are but one big family, we love each other so much. Well, Mrs. Smith's mother is in the church every time the doors are open, she sings in the praise team, and leads Bible studies at her home. If you need to know what the Bible says, you can ask her. She KNOWS. Yet, she looks down her nose at her son-in-law AND HER OWN DAUGHTER (Mrs. Smith) and treats them like trash. When I first met Mrs. Smith's mother, I was a guest speaker at her church, and we got along famously. She knew that the Smiths and I were good friends, and that was just fine. One day, I was driving her to a conference of one sort or another and was stopped at a red light. A homeless man was on the corner begging for money. I rolled down the window and gave him a couple of bucks. She reacted in total disgust, and asked me why I gave a hoot about "those people." I just grinned, said something about "doing unto the least among you," and let it go. Some time later, she was complaining about her daughter and son-in-law, and I asked her where the problems lay. She said that Mr. Smith simply didn't make enough money (despite working two or sometimes three jobs to make ends meet), and that she always thought her daughter would have turned out to be a "better class person" than that. I told her that Mr. and Mrs. Smith were delightful people and two of the most caring Christians I'd ever met. She replied that if they were really that good of a Christian couple, then they wouldn't be lower class people. Better yet, when she finally came by my house for something one time and saw that we live very modestly as well, she began treating me the same as her own daughter.

    THAT'S just ONE example of how I know what I'm talking about. Never mind the dozens and dozens of people who have confided in me that they have learned a great deal of factual information, but feel that they're deficient in faith, or don't really feel that they know Jesus.

    Oh, and by the way, I started my sentence with "It seems to me...." which implies that I'm speaking my opinion, and not declaring it as hard fact.

    If you knew ME, you'd know that conceit is not one of my personal characteristics, and wouldn't have said that.

    Next time I offer something about one of my opinions, rather than get your panties all in a wad, why not simply politely ask me upon what information do I base my opinion?

    Oh, and by the way: I would politely ask you to think twice before calling names and such toward me again. Odds are, in the future I will not take it quite so kindly. I will debate, and I will discuss, and do so civilly. If you choose to disembark from the civil course, however, I WILL eat your sack lunch.

    DK

    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    Dennis...here is how to make a clarification on a question you ask....despite all.

    Go to home
    Look at the upper Left
    Click on Quick LInks, first entry
    Then click on first choice...> Q%A's
    Scroll down to Christianity;note your Q.
    Click on your Question
    Select Clarification
    Start typing and transmit
    Voila!

    If a computer dunce like I can do it; an intelligent guy like you can!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 01/10/06 - Saddam's Terror Training Camps

    One of the reasons given for going to war in Iraq, which has been miscommunicated as "Saddam had nothing to do with 9-11," was his support for international terrorism. Did he or did he not support terrorism?

    From this week's Weekly Standard, edited for space...

    THE FORMER IRAQI REGIME OF Saddam Hussein trained thousands of radical Islamic terrorists from the region at camps in Iraq over the four years immediately preceding the U.S. invasion, according to documents and photographs recovered by the U.S. military in postwar Iraq. The existence and character of these documents has been confirmed to THE WEEKLY STANDARD by eleven U.S. government officials.

    The secret training took place primarily at three camps--in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak--and was directed by elite Iraqi military units. Interviews by U.S. government interrogators with Iraqi regime officials and military leaders corroborate the documentary evidence. Many of the fighters were drawn from terrorist groups in northern Africa with close ties to al Qaeda, chief among them Algeria's GSPC and the Sudanese Islamic Army. Some 2,000 terrorists were trained at these Iraqi camps each year from 1999 to 2002, putting the total number at or above 8,000. Intelligence officials believe that some of these terrorists returned to Iraq and are responsible for attacks against Americans and Iraqis. According to three officials with knowledge of the intelligence on Iraqi training camps, White House and National Security Council officials were briefed on these findings in May 2005; senior Defense Department officials subsequently received the same briefing.

    The photographs and documents on Iraqi training camps come from a collection of some 2 million "exploitable items" captured in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan. They include handwritten notes, typed documents, audiotapes, videotapes, compact discs, floppy discs, and computer hard drives. Taken together, this collection could give U.S. intelligence officials and policymakers an inside look at the activities of the former Iraqi regime in the months and years before the Iraq war.

    The discovery of the information on jihadist training camps in Iraq would seem to have two major consequences: It exposes the flawed assumptions of the experts and U.S. intelligence officials who told us for years that a secularist like Saddam Hussein would never work with Islamic radicals, any more than such jihadists would work with an infidel like the Iraqi dictator. It also reminds us that valuable information remains buried in the mountain of documents recovered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past four years...

    Other officials familiar with the captured documents were less cautious. "As much as we overestimated WMD, it appears we underestimated [Saddam Hussein's] support for transregional terrorists," says one intelligence official.

    Speaking of Ansar al Islam, the al Qaeda-linked terrorist group that operated in northern Iraq, the former high-ranking military intelligence officer says: "There is no question about the fact that AI had reach into Baghdad. There was an intelligence connection between that group and the regime, a financial connection between that group and the regime, and there was an equipment connection. It may have been the case that the IIS [Iraqi Intelligence Service] support for AI was meant to operate against the [anti-Saddam] Kurds. But there is no question IIS was supporting AI."

    The official continued: "[Saddam] used these groups because he was interested in extending his influence and extending the influence of Iraq. There are definite and absolute ties to terrorism. The evidence is there, especially at the network level. How high up in the government was it sanctioned? I can't tell you. I don't know whether it was run by Qusay [Hussein] or [Izzat Ibrahim] al-Duri or someone else. I'm just not sure. But to say Iraq wasn't involved in terrorism is flat wrong..."

    Throughout the 1980s, including the eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, Saddam cast himself as a holy warrior in his public rhetoric to counter the claims from Iran that he was an infidel. This posturing continued during and after the first Gulf war in 1990-91. Saddam famously ordered "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great) added to the Iraqi flag. Internally, he launched "The Faith Campaign," which according to leading Saddam Hussein scholar Amatzia Baram included the imposition of sharia (Islamic law). According to Baram, "The Iraqi president initiated laws forbidding the public consumption of alcohol and introduced enhanced compulsory study of the Koran at all educational levels, including Baath Party branches."

    Hussein Kamel, Saddam's son-in-law who defected to Jordan in 1995, explained these changes in an interview with Rolf Ekeus, then head of the U.N. weapons inspection program. "The government of Iraq is instigating fundamentalism in the country," he said, adding, "Every party member has to pass a religious exam. They even stopped party meetings for prayers."

    And throughout the decade, the Iraqi regime sponsored "Popular Islamic Conferences" at the al Rashid Hotel that drew the most radical Islamists from throughout the region to Baghdad. Newsweek's Christopher Dickey, who covered one of those meetings in 1993, would later write: "Islamic radicals from all over the Middle East, Africa and Asia converged on Baghdad to show their solidarity with Iraq in the face of American aggression." One speaker praised "the mujahed Saddam Hussein, who is leading this nation against the nonbelievers." Another speaker said, "Everyone has a task to do, which is to go against the American state." Dickey continued:

    "Every time I hear diplomats and politicians, whether in Washington or the capitals of Europe, declare that Saddam Hussein is a "secular Baathist ideologue" who has nothing do with Islamists or with terrorist calls to jihad, I think of that afternoon and I wonder what they're talking about. If that was not a fledgling Qaeda itself at the Rashid convention, it sure was Saddam's version of it."

    In the face of such evidence, Carl Levin and other critics of the Iraq war trumpet deeply flawed four-year-old DIA analyses. Shouldn't the senator instead use his influence to push for the release of Iraqi documents that will help establish what, exactly, the Iraqi regime was doing in the years before the U.S. invasion?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Full context of the article here.

    Comments?

    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    There is a new book out about the War by Risen, and I saw him interviewed last night on TV.

    Apparently, the CIA concluded that Saddam did not have any Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), but George Tenent, *for some reason*, gave evidence that there were. :)

    [I remember a rather curious ceremony at the White House when Tenent and a couple of other oddly selected men were given a medal for their service to America.]


    I think this would be a good book to read for those interested in the topic.

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    Question/Answer
    curious98 asked on 01/10/06 - Ain't we a little bit silly?


    After his recent trip to Kashmir, our friend Freethinker has taken the decision to be less present in this board. Good resolution, in my opinion, if he has better and more profitable things to do. I also intend to devote less time to it if I finally make up my mind to retake my paintings, which I have practically abandoned for the last year.

    I’m certain that, if he spent some time in the area destroyed by the earthquake he must have been quite upset.

    And this has probably led him to finish his goodbye note with the sentence “Actually what I've seen there supported my atheists views on life”.

    A number of people tend to consider God is meant to save us from all natural disasters and, consequently, the actual fact that this is not so, makes them declare there cannot be any God, when nobody seems to care if we undergo such tremendous calamities which, on top of everything, normally hit and affect much more those who have less or nothing at all.

    It seems, I agree, tremendously unfair. On the assumption, of course, that we are the only important part of God’s Creation.

    But, we often forget, this is not actually so.

    If we would find a limping dog, some of us, might take care of it and, perhaps, take it to the veterinary so that he may cure it. But we seldom pay attention to limping ants and there must be some, too. In most cases, we shall probably tread over them and kill them, for they are a pest, aint’t they?

    Small things are normally either a pest or unimportant for us, big superior guys of our Creation.

    But we do not wish to realize that, in our Universe, we are smaller than the smallest bacteria that infect our world. In fact, we do not even want to think of that. It is a disturbing thought…

    And yet, it is there for all to see.

    When we stare flabbergasted to the colossal immensity of our University (infinite, according to some) our reason vacillates and wavers. We cannot understand these magnitudes… Billions of galaxies, of stars, perhaps of other inhabited worlds, who knows. Distances that must be counted in zillions of light-years…

    And we feel aggravated by the apparent lack of interest of God in our minute affairs…

    Ants, I’m sure, don’t like to be trodden and if they could think at all, they would probably feel somewhat neglected or abused by us.

    But the distance between them and us is infinitely smaller than between God and us.

    So what right do we have to complaint?

    It is true that Jesus came to us to redeem us from the original sin. But, nowhere in the Scriptures have I read that He came to save us from floods, hurricanes or natural catastrophes…

    Let us not therefore complaint about God’s indifference towards our suffering. God created Mother Nature, and us, and gave us enough leeway to take care of ourselves as we please.

    What else do we want? To live in perfect happiness down here by doing as we please while complaining all the time, for we would like to have more and more, always?

    Kind of selfish and silly, isn’t?

    If Governments of these World are totally unable and feckless to take care of their own people, why should we blame it on God?

    Let us be sensible and think that, after all, being that we are smaller than ants for God (despite what we are being told), we cannot be but an insignificant part of His Creation, and despite that, He went to the trouble of sending his Son to offer (His minor ants) us a one-way ticket to Salvation.

    Perhaps we should thank Him all the time rather than blame Him… Don’t you think so?

    His generosity tremendously contrasts with our selfishness and arrogance.

    Curious98

    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    >>>>What else do we want? To live in perfect happiness down here by doing as we please while complaining all the time, for we would like to have more and more, always?

    Kind of selfish and silly, isn’t?<<<<<


    Claude, you have a perverted way of looking at the people of the world, don't you. Painting with a broad stroke that is totally IN ERROR!!

    American Fundamentalist Christians are *prolific complainers* and pray to God to change their circumstances ALl THE TIME!!!

    Us regular people understand the we make our own lives by our own efforts!

    I understand it is comforting to have an invisible friend to meditate on when the going gets tough.

    <<<>>>> doesn't apply to average people of the world...far from it....

    What a shameful answer you gave. :(

    curious98 rated this answer Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/10/06 - Iran leader: Islam to 'rule the world'



    Iran leader: Islam to 'rule the world'
    Urges Muslims to get ready for coming of 'messiah'

    http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=48268

    Islam must prepare to rule the world, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of theological students in Iran's holy city of Qom, according to a report.

    "We must believe in the fact that Islam is not confined to geographical borders, ethnic groups and nations. It's a universal ideology that leads the world to justice," Ahmadinejad said Jan. 5, according to Mehran Riazaty, a former Iran analyst for the Central Command of the Coalition Forces in Baghdad.

    Ahmadinejad, who has drawn global attention recently for his contention the Holocaust was a "myth," said: "We don't shy away from declaring that Islam is ready to rule the world."

    Riazaty, in a post on the website Regime Change Iran, said the Iranian president emphasized his current theme that the return of the Shiite messiah, the Mahdi, is not far away, and Muslims must prepare for it.

    According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

    Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West.

    "We must prepare ourselves to rule the world and the only way to do that is to put forth views on the basis of the Expectation of the Return," Ahmadinejad said. "If we work on the basis of the Expectation of the Return [of the Mahdi], all the affairs of our nation will be streamlined and the administration of the country will become easier."

    Riazaty pointed out that Iran's speaker of parliament, Mehdi Kahrubi, said Saturday that some people working closely with Ahmadinejad believe the Mahdi probably will return in the next two years, which means Iran needs to start building more hotels.

    (does this bring to mind the latter days one world religion spoken of in scriptures?could it be Islaam?)



    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    I see how authoritarian cultures and religions breed the most extreme nuttiness!!

    We need democracies and secular states to help prevent this kind of meglamania.

    There is no place in the Twenty-First Century for violent myths ....... from any fundamentalist religions whether Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism...whatever.

    Time is ripe in the history of the world for all the average people to grow up.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/10/06 - Did Sharon Earn the Jewish People's Trust?



    No leader since King David brought Israel together like Ariel Sharon, even though we didn't know where he was taking us.

    By Haim Watzman



    Ariel Sharon may go down in history as the greatest Jewish unifier since King David. Like David, he was a shepherd boy turned military hero, and he has managed to become a leader that the wrangling Jewish tribes of his day have been willing to acknowledge and follow.

    Sharon entered Israeli politics as a unifier. But once the Likud party he had helped create out of a mixed bag of Greater Israel expansionists, free-marketers, and former leftists came to power in 1977 he abandoned that persona for a hard-line nationalism and militarism that made him a hero to the right and a pariah to the left. His admirers dubbed him "bulldozer" for his single-minded construction of Jewish settlements in the territories; for his opponents, the nickname indicated Sharon's lack of regard for law, proper administrative procedures, and the judgment of pretty much everyone else.
    After he achieved his ultimate ambition and became prime minister, he reversed himself. He surprised the left and shocked the right by discarding his previous view that Israel should remain in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip forever, and that Jews live everywhere in those territories. When he announced that Israel would abandon both its fruitless, and in his mind dangerous, attempts to negotiate a deal with the Palestinians, he was able to bring together a broad spectrum of Israeli society stretching from left to right.

    He also resolved Diaspora Jewry's existential dilemma. During Israel's early years, support for Israel was an essential element of Jewish identity everywhere, and supporting Israel meant supporting whatever policies Israel's government pursued. Whatever their doctrinal divisions when it came to their religion, Jews were nearly unanimous in their commitment to the Jewish state and its leaders.

    That unanimity first cracked when the conservative Likud came to power under Menachem Begin in 1977. For the next decade and a half Israel's own citizenry was split. The left believed Israel's future would best be secured by compromise with the Palestinians; the right believed that Israel had to absorb and settle the territories. Diaspora Jews suddenly found themselves in an awkward position—if they supported the Israeli government, they were at odds with a large swathe of the Israeli citizenry.

    When Yitzhak Rabin's government signed the Oslo agreements with Yassir Arafat and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Jews around the world discovered that Israel could no longer unify them as a community. They had to decide what kind of Israel they supported. That meant that Israel ceased to be a unifying myth of Jewish identity and became another arena of doctrinal dispute.
    When Sharon embarked on his strategy of unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, he wasn't proposing a new idea. In fact, he adopted the platform that the liberal Labor party had offered the voters in 2003, and with which Labor lost the election badly. The mainstream left was reduced to irrelevance; the messianic religious right was left leaderless, abandoned by the very man whom they thought was their savior.

    For many Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora who form the centrist mainstream, it suddenly became a whole lot easier to be Jewish. You didn't have to choose sides. It's telling that when Sharon offered himself for re-election in 2005 and formed his new Kadima party, he said absolutely nothing about what he would do during his next term. Precisely because he was making hard choices based on the facts on the ground, rather than on ideology, many Israeli and Diaspora Jews trusted him to make the right choices when the choices had to be made.

    In my opinion, that trust is misplaced. It may be ungracious to speak badly of a man in an intensive-care ward, but the recent wave of adulation for Sharon has obscured some very uncomfortable facts.

    As a veteran of Israel's war in Lebanon, I cannot forget that Sharon deliberately deceived his fellow-cabinet ministers in 1982 to turn a limited mop-up operation into a dangerous and ill-conceived attempt to impose a pro-Israel government on our northern neighbor.

    And that was hardly the only time he demonstrated his impatience with and contempt for the rule of law. In 1967, when Prime Minister Levi Eshkol and his cabinet were resisting war and trying to use diplomacy to resolve the burgeoning crisis with Egypt, Sharon urged Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin to lock the prime minister and cabinet up and launch a preemptive attack against the will of the country’s civilian government. And Sharon built dozens of Israeli settlements in the midst of the West Bank's Palestinian population, again often without regard to proper administrative or legal procedures.

    That history far outweighs the fact that I agree in principle with his disengagement policy (although I disagree with much of the detail). When a leader endangers the very foundations of the Jewish state—its democratic character—it matters not whether the policies he pursues are ones I oppose or agree with. Such a man or woman will would not get my vote. I will be more inclined to vote for his party if he does not lead it. But the opinion polls show that most voters prefer to set aside Sharon's past.

    Will the center hold? It's much too early to say whether Ehud Olmert, the interim prime minister and Sharon's heir apparent, will be able to step successfully into the role of the great unifier. It's also debatable whether it's good for the Jews to have a leader they trust so completely that they cease to argue over the very real questions of what it means to be Jewish and what it means to be Israeli in the 21st century. What is certain is that there is a huge constituency, both in Israel and in the Diaspora, that desperately wants to be united.




    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    I don't follow Israel politics at all. Not from lack of interest, though.

    Years ago, my best friend was a Jewish lady, and she told me that if you have 10 Jewish men in a room, you will have ten different opinions!

    I think that somehow a consensus will be arrived at for the best interest of Israel.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/10/06 - the meaning of a burning bush?

    http://network.news.com.au/image/0,10114,5095139,00.jpg

    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    I guess this is what it means to Australians with too much time on their hands. :)

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    deejah asked on 01/10/06 - heaven in islam

    A Christian friend question me regarding life in heaven according to Islam:

    "As you know that in Heaven is VERY VERY VERY purity, perfect 100%...How would they do sexuals,drink wine & etc which unclean in the Heaven.. ? Don't you aware about this? "

    How do I answer her queation?
    Thank you.

    Choux answered on 01/10/06:

    Every person no matter what religion or no religion, can come up with an idea of what "Heaven" would be. There is no reason to accept some ancient prophets idea of "heaven" based on his idea of what would be joyful!

    For example, if a Muslim boy gets some number of beautiful virgins as a reward, do beautiful young woman who die prematurely have to look forward to an eternity as a sex slave?? Not so fun for a woman.

    Why would 100% "purity" be a good thing? It isn't; it's a bad thing. Everyone is best served by people who enjoy life moderately; not become radical about anything. HAve a life full of sports and hobbies, education and inspiration, good sex and food, friends and a mate, hard work and altruism....who, including "god" would not smile on such a person?? NO one sane.

    There is no afterlife; we don't need the concept of an afterlife any more. We can make a good full life here on earth by initiating a good set of morals/ethics, and living moderately as described above.

    Death is a reward for a well-lived life for those who make an effort to live moderately and fully. Death is final.

    Question/Answer
    kindj asked on 01/09/06 - A danger I see

    This has been a thought stuck in what passes for my mind for several years now.

    It seems to me that there are a whole ton of folks who know quite a lot ABOUT Jesus, but sadly don't seem to KNOW Jesus.

    The Bible makes it reasonably clear that a genuine, personal relationship with Jesus is completely possible and is in fact what he desires.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people have gotten too entrenched in theological squabbling over the thee's and thou's, and which do's to do and which don'ts to don't, and have lost sight of Jesus himself.

    I would say that it's in the congregations, but sadly, I fear that it's in the congregations because it's in the leadership.

    Is it any real wonder that so many of our churches and even whole denominations are imploding?

    DK

    Choux answered on 01/09/06:

    I wasn't aware that whole denominations were imploding was a recent development.

    I have seen statistics that attendence at some Christian churches has been falling off for years and many mainline churches have closed.

    As to the reasons, and I'm sure there are a few, I don't know why you blame the ministers. Many Christians don't want to mature as Christian individuals was my experience as a born-again.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/08/06 - It seems that the sublime has turned into the rediculous

    Not to be outdone by the Catholic Church's continuing failure to recognise birth control and opt for absistence, an Islamic cleric has given sexual relations a bizzaire twist

    'Nudity invalidates marriage'


    January 9, 2006 - 10:30AM

    An Egyptian cleric's controversial fatwa claiming that nudity during sexual intercourse invalidates a marriage has uncovered a rift among Islamic scholars.

    According to the religious edict issued by Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of Al-Azhar University's faculty of Sharia (or Islamic law), "being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage".

    The religious decree sparked a hot debate on the private satellite network Dream's popular religious talk show and on the front page of today's Al-Masri Al-Yom, Egypt's leading independent daily newspaper.

    Suad Saleh, who heads the women's department of Al-Azhar's Islamic studies faculty, pleaded for "anything that can bring spouses closer to each other" and rejected the claim that nudity during intercourse could invalidate a union.

    During the live televised debate, Islamic scholar Abdel Muti dismissed the fatwa: "Nothing is prohibited during marital sex, except of course sodomy."

    AFP

    what will the Pope's response be?

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    Religious men are so sick, especially the ones in positions of authority in Islam, RCC and Fundamentalist Christianity. I'm sure there are other sects, too.

    Funny how easy it is to be "intelligent" in religious circles...all one has to know is a few pages of "holy scripture" from ancient times when there was no knowledge, just emotional opinions, and make-up interpretations to suit one's bias'.

    What a joke.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/08/06 - Desperate Businessman

    A man has been in business for many, many years and the business is going down the drain. He is seriously contemplating suicide and he doesn't know what to do.

    He goes to his Rabbi to seek advice. He tells the Rabbi about all of his problems in the business and asks the Rabbi what he should do.

    The Rabbi says "Take a beach chair and a Bible and put them in your car and drive down to the edge of the ocean. Go to the water's edge. Take the beach chair out of the car, sit on it and take the Bible out and open it up. The wind will riffle the pages for a while and eventually the Bible will stay open at a particular page. Read the first words your eyes fall on and they will tell you what to do."

    The man does as he is told. He places a beach chair and a Bible in his car and drives down to the beach. He sits on the chair at the water's edge and opens the bible. The wind riffles the pages of the Bible and then stops at a particular page. He looks down at the Bible and his eyes fall on words which tell him what he has to do.

    Three months later the man and his family come back to see the Rabbi.

    The man is wearing a $1,000 Italian suit, The wife is all decked out with a full-length mink coat and the child is dressed in beautiful silk. The man hands the Rabbi a thick envelope full of money and tells him that he wants to donate this money to the synagogue in order to thank the Rabbi for his wonderful advice.

    The Rabbi is delighted. He recognizes the man and asks him what words in the Bible brought this good fortune to him.

    The man replies: "Chapter 11"


    ------------------------------------------------------
    what do you think of this method of hearing from God?

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    If a person is stuck, out of ideas, it is often a good thing to do something randomly to spur creativity. The new words lead to "different thoughts" and a problem can be solved.

    This has nothing to do with "God", for heaven's sake!

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/08/06 - a yiddish dog




    I Don't Speak Dog

    A guy gets a new dog, a nice Jewish dog. He names the dog Einstein and trains Einstein to do a couple of tricks. He can't wait to show Einstein off to his neighbor. A few weeks later when the neighbor finally comes over, the guy calls Einstein into the house, bragging about how smart he is.

    The dog quickly comes running and stands looking up at his master, tail wagging excitedly, mouth open, tongue hanging out, eyes bright with anticipation. The guy points to the newspaper on the couch and commands "Fetch!"Immediately, the dog climbs onto the couch and sits, his tail wagging furiously. Then all of a sudden, he stops. His doggie smile disappears. He starts to frown and puts on a sour face. Looking up at his master, he whines, "You think this is easy, wagging my tail all the time? Oy vey ... And you think it's easy eating that junk that you call designer dog food? Forget it ... it's too salty and it gives me gas. It's disgusting I tell you!"

    The neighbor is absolutely amazed ... stunned. In astonishment, he says, "I can't believe it. Einstein can speak. Your dog actually talks. You asked him to fetch the newspaper and he is sitting on the sofa talking to us."

    "I know, I know," says the dog owner. "He's not yet fully trained. He thought I said kvetch."

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    LOL!! Best ever, rev!

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 01/08/06 - Supporting the troops - yeah right.


    Hello Christians:

    I asked this question on the politics board, but I wanted to find out what real Christians thought.

    Yeah, I support the troops too. But, instead of putting a bumper sticker on my car (so my neighbors will think highly of me), I wrote to my congressmen and demanded they give the Marines the body armor they needed to save lives.

    Well, they didn't. I dunno why. Maybe they needed the money for a submarine or something.

    And, your boy's died.....

    So, what are you GOING TO DO, about your governments laze fare interest in your sons lives? Put a bumper sticker on your car?

    excon

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    I'm going to write a letter to Barak Obama, US Sen(D-Ill), on Tuesday.

    All I can hear is Donald Rumsfeld's addressing the soldiers in Iraq somewhere last year saying that we got to go to war with the army we have. Hey, we started that war in 2003.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/07/06 - Got a Cell Phone? Court order - Dubya's guys may be listening.

    Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
    by David Bresnahan
    January 3, 2006
    NewsWithViews.com
    Summary: Despite three court rulings that cell phone tracking by government agencies without a court order is illegal, a fourth court ruling has now authorized blanket spying. The government can now use cell phone data to track physical location, without a search warrant or probable cause.
    NEW YORK -- A federal court issued an opinion permitting government agencies to use cell phone data to track a cell phone's physical location, without a search warrant based on probable cause.
    The ruling seems to be in line with recent revelations about President Bush authorizing secret, warrantless wiretaps. The court opinion on Dec. 20, 2005 went largely unnoticed by the media or the public, but may have major ramifications on privacy rights and issues.
    Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein of the United States District Court, Southern District of New York issued the opinion, despite three previous rulings to the contrary by other judges. There is no party to appeal, so the ruling paves the way for government agencies in all states to begin cell phone tracking without legal difficulty.
    There was only one party in each case that was rejected by other courts, the same party in the case that was given approval -- the Department of Justice. The DOJ did not appeal the cases it lost, and there is no party to appeal the case it won.
    "What other new surveillance powers has the government been creating out of whole cloth and how long have they been getting away with it?" commented the non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation on it's web site.
    The DOJ revealed an attitude that a court order is not needed in the brief submitted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brown: "A cell phone user voluntarily transmits a signal to the cell phone company, and thereby 'assumes the risk' that the cell phone provider will reveal to law enforcement the cell-site information."
    When the issue comes up in other courts there will be no case of appeal for judges to review for guidance, creating the more likely situation that each subsequent case will be easier and easier for the DOJ and other government agencies to win, say legal analysts commenting in various blogs.
    Legitimate needs for tracking have been used by commercial vendors and government agencies to justify monitoring of all consumers with a cell phone. The checks and balances put in place to protect individual privacy, such as court orders, are in jeopardy by blanket use of tracking systems that have no accountability, according to government watchdog groups and privacy advocates.

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    Wouldn't it be nice if they got evidence from eavesdropping and rounded up all the organized crime jagdorfs and locked them up forever???

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/07/06 - why should you believe "science"?

    author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis once wrote:

    If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else's. But if their thoughts—i.e., of Materialism and Astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It's like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk-jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.

    Interesting logic? your thoughtfull comments please?

    Choux answered on 01/08/06:

    ??? Everything that came out of the milk jug in that pathetic analogy, is MILK which landed at the SAME TIME on the table.

    Dummy Logic for Dummies.

    I wish I could push a button and all people who reject science would be immediately exempt from the Law of Gravity, a scientific discovery, and GO FLYING OUT INTO SPACE NEVER TO BE HEARD FROM AGAIN!!

    :)

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - TO PRAY !!

    Let the light of Christ shine on all people.

    Any supporters ??

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    LIGHT shines from within each individual who cultivates compassion and altruism. :)

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/07/06 - Oh you sweet thing, you ain't so good...............

    ASPARTAME FINALLY IMPERILED!
    By Dr. Betty Martini
    Mission Possible International
    9270 River Club Parkway
    Duluth, Georgia 30097
    Telephone: 770-242-2599
    E-Mail: BettyM19@mindspring.com
    Web Site: http://www.dorway.com
    New Mexico October 6, 2005:
    We, the People, won! On October 4th New Mexico's Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) courageously withstood a determined fight to preempt investigation of a food poison. This is a first for the Nation! Ever since Don Rumsfeld called in his markers to seat an FDA Commissioner who would finally approve aspartame/NutraSweet/Equal, the political clout, cash and cover-ups of the multi-national aspartame industry have suffocated every challenge. http://www.soundandfury.tv/pages.rumsfeld2.html
    Ten years ago FDA stopped listing victim complaints when they passed 10,000, and FDA no longer admits there ever was a list. It named 92 symptoms including seizures and death. FDA is now NutraSweet's Washington Branch Office, faithfully promoting aspartame and publishing their propaganda, ignoring enormous injury to our people and rejecting a mountain of medical evidence. Who ever heard a Federal agency saying it was wrong? In the showcase of effete corrupt bureaucracies FDA proudly sits right there beside FEMA.
    "But aspartame met its match with the EIB!" Says Dr. Betty Martini, of Mission Possible International, "it spurned the outrageous objections of the Calorie Control Council and Ajinomoto, the world's largest manufacturer of aspartame and MSG, against even discussing this grave issue and scheduled an entire week in next July for considering the evidence." Said Cliff Stroud, Vice Chairman of the board: "If the Board does not have the authority to listen to people about concerns with the food supply, then the system is broken." Well, its not broke in New Mexico!
    As Winston Churchill said: "This is not the end, but it is the beginning of the end." New Mexico is the first domino, and everybody in the aspartame business knows it. If reason and truth prevail against this most pervasive of all poisons, the health and lives of this great western state shall be protected and preserved by its alert, upright officials. Then the storm surge of resentment by innocent, unwarned and afflicted victims across America shall wash this sewage from our land.
    A tremendous fight is coming from the malicious entrenched producers of this chemical weapon of mass destruction that was just named a "multi-potential carcinogen" by Italian researchers after a three-year study. Good government should be applauded. Personally praise and congratulate the members of the Environmental Improvement Board. Get the facts to protect your family and tell everyone you know. Support your legislators! Enter the fray! Few things are exciting as a good fight, and not to fight for what is right is to let evil conquer.
    Other heroes to honor: Stephen Fox, the indomitable and relentless Petitioner who put this issue before the EIB and fought for years to decapitate this monster. He's an inspiration to all of citizen activism.
    Also, honor the principled and generous Attorney Steven Douglas Looney, who fought pro bono, at his own expense, to valiantly defend the citizens of New Mexico and our first amendment rights of free speech. How fine!
    According to the Albuquerque Journal, 10/6, Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico says he supports the decision by the Environmental Improvement Board to hold hearings next summer on aspartame. Governor Richardson could if he so desires ban pop from schools in New Mexico as did the Governor of California. Aspartame is a well known trigger of ADD, ADHD, Tourettes, autism and behavioral problems in children.
    MUST READ: Battleground: New Mexico vs Aspartame & Ajinomoto: Washington D.C. Attorney James Turner's reveals who put this poison on your table. Turner contested with Rumsfeld and knows where all the bodies are buried. http://www.wnho.net/nm_vs_ajinomoto.htm
    Ecologist UK: The cover story of the September Ecologist magazine, a 17-page expose' of the spider web of controversy and deceit surrounding aspartame's approval by FDA and other regulatory bodies worldwide, and the myriad adverse health effects it produces. http://www.theecologist.org
    Two New Studies on Aspartame and Diet Drinks Confirm Source of Obesity, Cancer/Malignant Brain Tumor Epidemics. Neurosurgeon Says Ban Toxin from Schools!
    http://www.wnho.net/new_aspartame_studies.htm Update: More data from Italian researchers 3 year study: "Aspartame is a multipotential carcinogen". Kidney cancer and more added.
    Aspartame Makers Tell A Whopper! http://www.wnho.net/whopper.htm
    Aspartame Violates State and Federal Statutes on Adulteration: Attorney Ed Johnson http://www.rense.com/general67/aspar.htm
    Calorie Control Council, (aspartame industry's front group) pushes aspartame on pregnant women with full knowledge it is a teratogen (triggers birth defects) and abortifacient. http://www.wnho.net/mh_aspartame_letter.htm
    Aspartame Disease: FDA -Approved Epidemic: http://www.wnho.net/fdaapprovedepidemic.htm
    Material Safety Data Sheet on aspartame: Do you want your children consuming this? http://www.wnho.net/aspartame_msds_3.pdf
    CD of congressional records including FDA's Board of Inquiry revoking petition for aspartame approval, and world renowned neuroscientist, Dr. John Olney's report to that Board on how aspartame destroys the brains of our children. Contact Bob Flint, Mission Possible Maine, greatfalls@gwi.net
    "Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World:" Documentary exposing the whole story. Interviews Diane Fleming falsely imprisoned for poisoning her husband with methanol. Athletes suddenly die from aspartame damage to the cardiac conduction system. Doctors' affidavits after review of autopsy say free this woman, aspartame, liberator of free methyl alcohol, killed him. http://www.docworkers.com
    Aspartame Disease: An Ignored Epidemic by H. J. Roberts, M.D., 1038 pages of case histories and diseases triggered by this neurotoxin. http://www.sunsentpress.com
    Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills by renowned neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., http://www.russellblaylockmd.com
    Dr. Betty Martini
    Founder, Mission Possible International
    9270 River Club Parkway
    Duluth, Georgia 30097
    770-242-2599
    http://www.dorway.com
    http://www.wnho.net

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    This is your sly trick to give everyone a headache....HaHa, I didn't read it!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - POLITICIANS ??

    Who is the Patron Saint of Politicians ?

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    Saint Kickback?

    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    ROLCAM rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - TO KNOW !!

    What does the word "EPIPHANY " really means ?

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    Why don't you have an epiphany and move to a higher understanding of what Christianity means???? :)

    ROLCAM rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - TO SERVE !!

    What gifts can I offer the Lord ?

    Any philantropists ??

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    Why can't you relate your brand of Christianity to REAL PEOPLE?

    I think you're an idolator!

    ROLCAM rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    paraclete rated this answer Poor or Incomplete Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/07/06 - To Love !!

    Lord Jesus, I worship and adore you as my king.

    Any supporters ??

    Choux answered on 01/07/06:

    NO. If you were a real Christian, you would love REAL PEOPLE.

    Cop outs such as loving fictional characters and strangers don't get you to heaven.

    ROLCAM rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    cavil asked on 01/06/06 - I've been asked several times why I do not become an expert here.

    So I'll answer on the open board.
    Several reasons: Most of the time I'm too busy to take the time to do a good job of it.
    I'm on a nice Holy Days vacation so I do have some time for here now.
    Also I have decided that I would much rather be a grader or rater of the experts. That way I can be more honest and fair to all and not competing for many 5 star ratings.
    Thanks for asking.
    Cavil

    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    You have the same opinions as Fred, you write like Fred, you are preoccupied with the same things Fred is....points, a positive complimentary close to your notes, lack of writing style.

    Sir! are you indeed Fred??

    Miss Marple

    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/06/06 - Todays wisdom!


    With faith, there are no questions; without faith there are no answers.

    - The Chofetz Chaim



    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    That is a total lie. :) Faith is fantasy.

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    JeffreyBryson rated this answer Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/06/06 - Ariel Sharon is clinically dead ???

    Despite doctors' attempts to counter media reports, local print and television stations in Israel are reporting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is clinically dead following a massive stroke yesterday.

    Sources tell Israel Insider Sharon "died" at 11 a.m. today local time, but Shlomo Mor-Yosef, director of Hadassah Hospital where the prime minister lies, denied reports of Sharon's death and says he is "serious but stable."

    Local TV station Channel 10 reports those closest to Sharon as saying he has suffered "brain damage," which, Israel Insider contends, could mean the leader has suffered brain death, or lack of cerebral activity, while his heart continues to beat.

    In updating reporters, however, Mor-Yosef said Sharon's pupils were responding to stimulation, which independent doctors said was a positive sign of independent brain activity, the Associated Press reported.

    Doctors today said Sharon likely will be sedated for 72 hours. He underwent seven hours of surgery to stop brain hemorrhaging last night. Sharon's first stroke, a mild one, occurred Dec. 18.

    "The prime minister is suffering from low intracranial pressure, and is heavily sedated," Mor-Yosef said. "He will be respirated for at least the next 24 hours. All the parameters that we can check are as expected, following an operation of this type."

    Continued the doctor: "I came out to update you and to refute the rumors flooding the country," referring to claims that Sharon had already died and that the government is purposely delaying the news.

    "Sharon is still alive," an aide in the intensive care unit told Ynet News. But Channel 10 quotes "someone very close" to the prime minister as saying that he had suffered "brain damage."

    The TV station also is reporting that Sharon will be detached from one or more of his life-support machines in the next day or two, with the likelihood that he will not be able to survive without them.

    The station also indicated the official death announcement is planned for Sunday, when world stock markets are closed.

    Israel Insider claims its source said the Israeli Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv was informed about noon today that Sharon "died during surgery."

    The Israeli media is not alone in its claims.

    One senior political leader told WND last night, while Sharon was on the operating table, he has information the Israeli leader is "clinically dead. He is on life support machines in the operating theater that can keep him alive for an extended period, but doctors are pessimistic he can return to normal functioning."

    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    Judging by the reports of his physicans he is in very bad shape, hours of surgery, lots of bleeding.

    Just now, though, the report came out on my ISP that he is "improved". That is quite nebulous a description but reason for some hope.

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/06/06 - Cuba Paid to kill Kennedy. Is this true?

    Cuba paid Oswald to kill Kennedy, new film says

    By Mark TrevelyanWed Jan 4, 11:12 AM ET

    Cuba lay behind the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald and its agents provided the gunman with money and support, an award-winning German director says in a new documentary film.

    Wilfried Huismann spent three years researching "Rendezvous with Death," based on interviews with former Cuban secret agents, U.S. officials and a Russian intelligence source, and on research in Mexican security archives.

    The film, shown to journalists in Berlin on Wednesday, says Oswald traveled to Mexico City by bus in September 1963, seven weeks before the Kennedy shooting, and met agents at the Cuban embassy there who paid him $6,500.

    Oscar Marino, a former Cuban agent and a key source for the documentary, told Huismann that Oswald himself had volunteered for the assassination mission and Havana had exploited him.

    "Oswald was a dissident. He hated his country...Oswald offered to kill Kennedy," Marino said in the film.

    "He was so full of hate, he had the idea. We used him...He was a tool."

    He said he knew with certainty that the assassination was an operation of the Cuban secret service G-2, but would not say if it was ordered by President Fidel Castro.

    Oswald was shot dead by Jack Ruby two days after killing Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

    The film argues Cuba wanted to eliminate Kennedy as the chief enemy of its Communist revolution, and portrays him and Castro as dueling opponents each trying to assassinate the other first.

    Former CIA official Sam Halpern told Huismann: "He (Castro) beat us. He bested us. He came out on top, and we lost."

    FBI PROBE ABORTED

    Laurence Keenan, an officer of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who was sent to Mexico City immediately after Kennedy's death to investigate a possible Cuban connection, said he was recalled after just three days and the probe was aborted.

    "This was perhaps the worst investigation the FBI was ever involved in," Keenan said. "I realized that I was used. I felt ashamed. We missed a moment in history."

    Keenan, 81, said he was convinced Kennedy's successor, Lyndon Johnson, blocked further investigation because proof of a Cuban link would put him under irresistible pressure to invade the island, a year after the Cuban missile crisis had brought the United States and Soviet Union to the brink of nuclear war.

    "Most likely there would have been an invasion of Cuba which could have had unknown consequences for the whole world," he told journalists at the screening, saying that was why Johnson preferred to accept Oswald was "a crazed lone Marxist assassin."

    Interviewed for the film, Alexander Haig, then a U.S. military adviser and later secretary of state, quoted Johnson as saying "we simply must not allow the American people to believe that Fidel Castro could have killed our president."

    "And the reason was that there would be a right-wing uprising in America, which would keep the Democratic party out of power for two generations," Haig said.

    He added that Robert F. Kennedy, brother of the assassinated president and attorney general in his administration, had personally ordered eight attempts on the life of Castro, who is still in power to this day.

    Cuban and Russian sources interviewed in the film say the KGB alerted the Cubans to Oswald in mid-1962 after he left the Soviet Union, where he had lived for three years, and returned to the United States with his Soviet wife and their daughter.

    Cuban intelligence first made contact with Oswald in November 1962, according to the film.

    Huismann also unearthed a U.S. intelligence report shown to Johnson which said Cuban secret service chief Fabian Escalante flew via Mexico City to Dallas on the day of Kennedy's assassination, and back again the same day.

    Tracked down by the film maker, Escalante denied he had been in Dallas and evaded questions about Cuba's alleged role. "What is truth, what are lies?" he said, smiling.

    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    There is lots of different speculation.......unless Castro tells how he organized it and had it carried out.....we don't know.

    Perhaps when the sealed records are opened, that will help. Until then, Speculate!!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 01/06/06 - Divine punishment.............................

    Pat Robertson is all over the news today. This is from ABC online:

    Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."

    "God considers this land to be his," Robertson said on his TV program "The 700 Club." "You read the Bible and he says `This is my land,' and for any prime minister of Israel who decides he is going to carve it up and give it away, God says, `No, this is mine.'"

    He also said, however, that in the Bible, the prophet Joel "makes it very clear that God has enmity against those who 'divide my land.'"

    Sharon "was dividing God's land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course to appease the EU (European Union), the United Nations, or the United States of America," Robertson said.

    In discussing what he said was God's insistence that Israel not be divided, Robertson also referred to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had sought to achieve peace by giving land to the Palestinians. "It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless he was dead [because of divine punishment]," he said.


    **************************

    It is my understanding that Sharon ate gobs of fatty foods and had been warned to change his habits, lose weight, or die. Was it God or trans (bad) fat that caused Sharon's stroke?

    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    The man is **old**. We all have to get sick and die of something! Some people eat too much of the wrong kind of food, some people don't exercise, some people smoke, some people drink, on and on. Why they do unhealthy things, that's their business.

    He had a long and remarkable life. Quite a man. Hope he can rest comfortable now. :)

    CeeBee2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/06/06 - More on the "Pushy Religious Zealot" ................





    Missionary did right thing at the right time
    By Lee Benson
    Deseret Morning News


    As tragedies go,
    they don't hit any closer to home than this.

    A Mormon elder from Bountiful, Utah, with pioneer roots is shot and killed while tracting on his full-time mission.

    Twenty-one-year-old Morgan Young was two months from the end of his two years of missionary service early last Monday evening in Chesapeake, Va., when an assailant shot his companion, Joshua Heidbrink of Greeley, Colo., and then turned the gun on Young, who had come to the aid of Heidbrink and, according to sources, took two bullets in the back of his head. For Young, the gunshots proved to be fatal.

    The missionaries were proselyting door-to-door after taking the daytime hours of Monday off for Preparation Day, the traditional missionary day for doing laundry, writing letters and recreating.

    It isn't unheard of for missionaries to stretch P-Day a bit past the evening deadline, but Elder Young and his new companion from Colorado, not long removed from the MTC, did not fudge. As Larry Kocherhans, the bishop of the Bountiful 31st Ward that sent Young off to the Richmond Virginia Mission 22 months ago, said,

    "He was doing what he was supposed to be doing. That's a good place to be when your time comes."

    Bishop Kocherhans watched Morgan grow up in a city that takes its name from the Book of Mormon and where the signature landmark is the Bountiful Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the hill.

    In such temperate climes, Morgan Young did not stray.

    "He was always good, he never caused any trouble," remembered Kocherhans.

    But neither was he just one of the sheep, rotely following where others had gone before.

    When he turned 19 and became eligible to serve a church mission, the bishop recalled that Morgan wasn't sure if he should go. For six months he deliberated about his future.

    Mike Willden, 26, a shift manager at Pace's Dairy Ann Drive-In in Bountiful, where Morgan worked before his mission, remembers it was the first time he ever saw Morgan anything but lighthearted.

    "He was just this fun, goofy guy, always smiling; if you were in a bad mood he'd pull you out of it," said Willden, "the only time he got serious was about going on a mission. I'd been on a mission so I talked to him about it. I could tell he was really thinking hard. A lot of guys will go because of pressure. But he didn't do that. I know when he made the decision it was his own thing. That's what impressed me most. He went because he wanted to."

    The periodic letters that Bishop Kocherhans received from Virginia indicated Morgan was happy about his choice

    . "I could tell he caught the spirit of missionary work," the bishop said. "The mission president had asked him to extend a month — 'til April — and I understood he was going to do that."

    At least that was the plan until Monday, when Elder Young's mission ended two months early — all the more unexpected because everyone who knows Morgan Young knows he wasn't the kind to put himself in the middle of any kind of conflict.

    "I could never imagine him provoking anything or anyone," said Willden. "He wouldn't have smirked; he wouldn't have been rude in any way."

    Then again, he wasn't the kind to run from trouble, either, as evidenced by his last Earthly act of rushing to help his fallen companion.

    As his fraternal grandfather, Winslow Young, whose ancestors crossed the plains to Utah, said,

    "Morgan was always looking out for the other guy and doing the right thing. He wouldn't cut and run."


    That's a good thing to be said when your time comes.

    Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Please send e-mail to benson@desnews.com and faxes to 801-237-2527.
    ===============




    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    Ratta tat tat!!

    Erewhon rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/06/06 - what do you think of the following??





    Israel Needs A Non-Jewish Prime Minister

    http://www.jewishpress.com/page.do/5739/Israel_Needs_A_Non%2DJewish_Prime_Minister.html
    By: Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
    Wednesday, January 4, 2006

    While serving as rabbi at Oxford University, I befriended a young African-American Rhodes scholar by the name of Cory Booker who became like a brother to me. Because of Cory’s immense popularity within our student organization, the Oxford L’Chaim Society, he was voted in as co-president 1992, serving as leader of an organization of more than 4,000 student members.

    Many in the Anglo-Jewish community were puzzled at a non-Jew serving at the head of a Jewish organization, especially when pictures of Cory, with a yarmulke on his head introducing our speaker Mikhail Gorbachev, appeared throughout the UK press. But to my mind that was never a contradiction. Cory was simply the best man for the job.

    A deeply spiritual man of impeccable character, Cory, a Baptist, was the living personification of Jewish values. He had a deep love and reverence for God, humanity, and the Jewish people, and he possessed a charismatic ability to inspire goodness in others. Indeed, Cory’s presidency was long remembered as a golden era for Jewish life at Oxford, and today Cory, who is now running to be mayor of Newark, New Jersey, is not only one of America’s most influential young politicians, but is adored by the American Jewish community.

    I thought of Cory as I watched Israel descending into the morass of another bitterly-contested election. We who have prayed for a strong Israeli leader — firm in his or her conviction that the real road to peace in the Middle East rests not with Israeli concessions but with Arab political reform and democratization — are now handed a roster of the usual suspects. For the most part, the prime ministerial candidates are men who have already succumbed in the past to international pressure to cede territory in return for what was supposed to be peace but was always increased Arab hostility toward the Jewish state.

    Indeed, I have begun to despair of any Jewish prime minister of Israel being able to withstand the pressure for further concessions. Menachem Begin was the most nationalistic of all Israel’s prime ministers and one of the proudest Jews of modern times. But he handed over to Egypt land equivalent to three times Israel’s size and received an ice-cold peace in return. Ariel Sharon, the man many once viewed as the unshakable rock of Israel’s security, abandoned Gaza and its brave Jewish residents and in return received a wave of Hamas-launched rockets so incessant that his government is now threatening ground operations in Gaza, which obviates the entire reason for leaving in the first place.

    Ehud Barak, once Israel’s most decorated soldier, was ready, at Camp David, to give to Yasir Arafat Judaism’s most sacred sites, and even Bibi Netanyahu, long Israel’s most eloquent defender, gave up control of Hebron, Israel’s first capitol and the city of the patriarchs, and signed the Wye River agreements under pressure from Bill Clinton.

    Given this kind of history, does it really matter who is elected Israel’s next prime minister? The outcome is already a foregone conclusion. Whoever is prime minister will come under horrendous pressure to cede huge tracts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, and if history is a guide, they will buckle to that pressure.

    I believe that, as strange as it may sound, it is time for Israelis to begin to look seriously at having a non-Jewish prime minister. One of the reasons Cory Booker was such an effective president for us at Oxford was that he did not have so many of the hang-ups that we Jews sometimes possess: problems affirming our identity in a non-Jewish environment, feelings that we are outsiders (which in turn leads to a desperate longing for mainstream acceptance), and a feeling of queasiness at how disliked Israel is by the rest of the world.

    Whereas many of our committed Jewish students were reluctant to invite their more secular Jewish friends to attend Friday night Shabbat dinner for fear of being stigmatized as parochial and missionary, Cory served as one of our greatest sources of recruitment and many Jewish Rhodes Scholars became regulars at our events due entirely to Cory’s inspiration.

    Israel needs that kind of leader: a man or woman who is unafraid to assert that Israel is a moral and democratic country that has little for which to apologize. Israel needs a leader who couldn’t care less about fitting in and for whom invitations to the White House and Downing Street are meaningless.

    A non-Jewish prime minister, who is already an insider, would save us from the many Jewish prime ministers who traded in their ideology to gain mainstream acceptance. Indeed, perhaps it is only a non-Jewish man or woman who could go to the United Nations and have the credibility to speak the truth about the shocking prejudice against the Jewish state in that increasingly immoral international body.

    Perhaps it is only a non-Jewish prime minister who could speak with credibility about the right of the Jews to their ancient, biblical homeland. Indeed, would the Balfour Declaration of 1917, promulgated by a non-Jewish lover of the Jewish people, have had the same credibility had it been the Rabinowitz Declaration?

    The story of the modern State of Israel is one of constant tragedy, interspersed with remarkable triumphs. But the most remarkable thing of all is how so many of those tragedies were self-inflicted. The Oslo agreements, in which Israel brought back to its territory and armed tens of thousands of men committed to its destruction, will no doubt be forever regarded as one of the greatest self-inflicted catastrophes by any nation in the history of the world.

    Of all the people who are puzzled at Israel’s mysterious penchant for self-destruction, it is evangelical Christians who are most puzzled of all. Evangelicals were the most vocal opponents to the withdrawal from Gaza, wondering why Israel would voluntarily allow the creation of a Hamas terrorist launching pad on its borders. Indeed, Christian evangelicals take seriously not only the Jewish biblical claim to the Land of Israel, but the idea of Jewish chosenness as well, a concept that makes modern Jews incredibly queasy.

    So why not have an evangelical prime minister who actually believes in — and will authoritatively speak to the world of — the Jewish people’s three-thousand-year-old claim to their homeland? I, for one, would welcome any Israeli leader, of whatever birth, who is wholly immune to any sycophantic desire for international acceptance.

    Indeed, the Talmud relates that one of the most successful kings of Second-Temple era Israel was the non-Jewish Agrippa, who was so beloved by the people that when he once cried in public, after reading Deuteronomy 17:15, the commandment that "You shall not have a foreigner over you," the people cried out to him, "Fear not Agrippa. You are our brother. You are our brother" (Sotah 41a).












    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    Bill Clinton is available.

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 01/06/06 - Act of God and false hope....................

    Apparently the WV Sago mine had been cited for several hundred irregulations and violations. The offender, the mining company, paid the fines ($60-440) but didn't correct the problems.

    Some say the disaster was an act of God. Chicago writer Studs Terkel, self-described as "an enthusiastic agnostic" with an unquenchable thirst for justice, commented: "It's not an act of God, it's an act of guys - guys exploiting other guys.....If the mining company is fined 250 bucks, it's like two cents."

    The West Virginia miners families accused the mining company of giving the families false hope. Terkel again commented:

    "False hope is believing that the company is taking care of all the regulations. It's man who betrayed, not God.... We have the potential to be brighter than we are. We have the potential to be better than we are.... False hope is saying that things for mines are much better today than they were 30 or 40 years ago. False hope is that there would be no accident such as this. False hope is that all those violators would have been kicked out of business long ago and if anything, criminally tried..... To see that these regulations are fulfilled and that work is easier and safer for the fathers and sons and brothers and uncles - that would be true hope."

    ******************************

    Do you agree? It's so easy to blame God when things go sour after we've put our hope in all the wrong things.

    Choux answered on 01/06/06:

    Just an aside, I haven't heard on the media what caused the explosion, or if it could have been prevented. Coal mining is a dangerous job under the best of circumstances. Perhaps it is still too early to get the results of an investigation.

    Anyway! There are a lot of these small communities in America, the mine and the miners. I think Coal City not too far from us was one of these communities...I'd have to look it up, though. Many of these communities are in Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as elsewhere.

    The question, my comments :)::: People not interested in facts or people taught that "God" controls every single detail in their lives and on earth, will obviously blame god for terrible things that happen and praise god for the good things that happen. IN the absence of education and having an inquiring mind, many people are passive and think themselves powerless to mold their own lives.

    This stupid way to reason is nothing but superstition, each individual thinking he/she can read the mind of God!!! What nonsense!!

    CeeBee2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 01/05/06 - Is this what he meant???

    Is this what Bush meant when he said "we are making great progress in Iraq:

    120 KILLED IN ONE OF IRAQ'S BLOODIEST DAYS.

    Reuter's. Thu Jan 5

    "Two suicide bombers killed 120 people and wounded more than 200 in attacks near a Shi'ite holy shrine, and a a police recruiting center on Thursday, the bloodiest day in Iraq in four months.

    SEVEN U.S. soldiers were killed in two roadside bomb attacks. three bombs exploded in Baghdad and insurgents sabotaged an oil pipeline near the Northern city of Kirkuk, causing a huge fire.

    Coming a day after 58 people died in a wave of bombings and shootings, the latest bloodshed ratcheted up tension between Iraq's minority Sunni Arabs and majority Shi'ite Muslims......

    ....the bombings shattered hopes Iraq might start 2006 on a more peacful footing than in 2005, allowing for a swift withdrawal of some of the 150,000 U.S. troops in the country.

    In all, violence has killed more than 240 people and wounded more than 280 in the five days since the New Year started...."

    This conjures up pictures of DUBYA in phony combat gear, standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier, with a smarmy grin on his face, under a banner proclaiming "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"!!!!!

    Choux answered on 01/05/06:

    Islamic countries are cesspools of female abuse, bone-grinding poverty(except a few small emirates), ignorance, terror-generation, divine right of rulers, tribal murder for "honor" and female genital mutilation....and hopelessness...just for openers.

    That does not mean that starting the War on Iraq was legitimate or the right thing to do. It does mean that we have the right to defend ourselves from the murderous intent of the fruits of Islam and the ignorance and superstition Islam promotes.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/05/06 - More on the shot missionaries



    I have just received this from a cousin in Utah.

    "Day before yesterday, as I was having a bone scan at the U. of U., the tech and I were discussing this and she told me that apparently the Elders had been witness to a murder and that they were attacked in order to silence potential witnesses.

    She also told me that Elder Heidbrink was under police guard at the hospital for this reason.

    I did not have the presence of mind to ask her the source of her information, so do not know how accurate it may be. "

    I have not had further updates, so like him I cannot say.

    But, if it is correct, it does show the foolishness of rushing to judgement before the evidence is in, huh?


    Choux answered on 01/05/06:

    Ratta-tat-tat!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/05/06 - Indiana Judge's Ban on Christian Prayer May Be Put to Test




    http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/1/42006a.asp

    Latest Update...For the first time in 189 years, the Indiana House of Representatives did not open its session with prayer on Wednesday. That is because of a federal judge's ruling last year which forbid praying in the name of Jesus. Although the judge's ruling is being appealed, House Speaker Brian Bosma said on Wednesday "We are a nation of laws -- even laws we disagree with." TV station WTHR reports, however, that prayer was held at the back of the chamber, before the gavel fell.

    By Fred Jackson and Allie Martin
    January 4, 2006

    (AgapePress) - To pray or not to pray in Jesus' name? That's a question that may be answered later today (Wednesday) when the Indiana House of Representatives opens its 2006 session.

    Late last month, Federal District Judge David Hamilton reaffirmed his earlier ruling that Indiana lawmakers must no longer pray in the name of Jesus when they open the legislative session. Hamilton declared such a prayer a violation of the alleged separation of church and state. The ruling was a result of a lawsuit filed by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, the state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

    Several House members, both Republican and Democrat, have said if they are asked to offer the opening prayer, they will defy the judge's order and pray in Jesus' name. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, had asked Hamilton to reconsider the ruling, saying it was too vague to enforce. The speaker says today's session will be opened in prayer, but that he will seek to abide by the judge's ruling while the matter is being appealed.

    The State Attorney General's office has asked the Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to review Hamilton's decision.

    Silencing Christian References
    Judge Hamilton has stated if anyone tried to evade the injunction, the court would take appropriate measures to enforce it. Micah Clark, president of the American Family Association of Indiana, says many in the Hoosier State are outraged with Hamilton's threat. "I think that is a very sad day in Indiana when a minister is told he cannot pray as instructed in the Bible to ask his prayer in the Savior's name," Clark says. "It's very sad."

    Clark is convinced that the fact Christian prayers were singled out shows the true agenda of liberal groups. "It tells you the agenda that the [ACLU] has and has had for quite some time, [which] is to publicly silence any reference to Christ," the pro-family leader says, noting other recent anti-Christian moves.

    "We've just come through the Christmas season, and we've seen … where the radical secularists are trying to take the name of Christ out of everything -- even a nationally recognized holiday like Christmas."

    Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council says thanks to Judge Hamilton, the Indiana House of Representatives now joins Saudi Arabia as one more place where Jesus' name cannot be honored in an official ceremony.


    Choux answered on 01/05/06:

    Well, that's good news. Thanks for posting, rev!

    ;=)

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 01/05/06 - Will you please comment on this article?...........

    And include in your comments whether you think it is accurate, partly accurate, or not at all accurate.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/november2005/feature2.htm

    Choux answered on 01/05/06:

    There will be war far into the future. And, there are a million reasons.

    So what's new?



    Mary Sue

    Well, until women overthrow the archaic male dominance in "man is god" religions, goverments headed by kings/Emirs, male dominated democracies, etc. :=D

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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/04/06 - Rev. Sylvester Graham, a Presbyterian minister, in the early 1800s ??

    A few questions about this man:-

    1)Were graham crackers really invented to "cure the dread fever of lust?"
    2)But how were the crackers supposed to help?
    3)Did people take to his ideas quickly?
    4)Were Graham's ideas anything but wacky quackery?
    5)How about his dietary ideas?

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    It really shocks me when I learn of the evils committed in the name of Christianity. Having healthy sexual desire is a requirement for having a healthy self! Sexual desire is a very strong drive, when thwarted, neurosis blossoms.

    Those were the days before very much knowledge, so superstition and fantasy reigned!

    I guess if one holds a graham cracker between one's knees, one will eventually get over one's sexual arousal!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - That was Christmas, that was ...


    Important Christmas Lessons Already Forgotten

    January 4, 2006 | Issue 42•01

    HARTFORD, CT—As the nation moves on
    from last month's family gatherings, churchgoing, and goodwill toward men, the annual post-Christmas readjustment process is proceeding on schedule, with millions of Americans forgoing their temporary generosity of spirit and resuming their petty, miserable treatment of one another.


    Though the joy and glad tidings of the holiday season are mere weeks behind us, sources report that more than 85 percent of 2005's Christmastime lessons have already been forgotten, with that number expected to reach 98 percent by as early as next week.

    "Christmas is a magical time of year when people of all ages and backgrounds put aside their differences and are reminded of the things that truly count: the joy of giving, the gleam in a young child's eye, and the sound of voices raised together in song," said James Samuelson of the Hartford-based Institute For American Cultural Mores & Values, which tracks the rise and fall of human love and kindness throughout the year.

    "Mid-January to early February, by contrast, is a magical time of year when people forget all about that stuff. This leads to mid- to late February, a magical time of year when people everywhere feel overpowering, soul-crushing emotional pain, causing them to hate their coworkers, their loved ones, and themselves."

    Evidence of this phenomenon can be seen across the country, with Christmas miracles of universal benevolence and spiritual uplift degenerating into mid-January miracles of everyday banality and neglect. Corporations that donated generously to the homeless and various charities mere weeks ago have resumed their usual cutthroat, profit-driven practices.

    Children who learned the important lesson that it is better to give than receive are refusing to share their expensive new toys with less fortunate playmates, gloating over their possessions and berating the other children for being poor. And the many career-focused dads who made a major breakthrough during the holiday season, vowing to spend quality time with their wives and children, are systematically unlearning these realizations of what truly matters and returning to their dysfunctional workaholic patterns.

    "I hadn't seen my ailing grandmother, who just turned 91 and lives all alone out in Arizona, in over three years," said Boston investment banker Carl Thompson on Dec. 27. "But then, the wife and I, along with several other members of our church, went caroling at the homes of various elderly shut-ins as part of our holiday outreach program. As I looked into the eyes of those poor souls, so happy to have visitors on this blustery winter evening,

    I learned a valuable lesson about life, about family, and about myself. It was hard to book a flight out to Phoenix at the last minute, but just when it looked like there were no seats left, a reservation was canceled, and I made it out there to visit Grandma in time for Christmas Eve. It was a Christmas miracle. I know that God wanted me to be on that plane."

    When asked about his grandmother again Tuesday, Thompson said, "That old bag? Christ, she didn't call again, did she? Does she think the world revolves around her and her stupid heart-medication stories she drones on and on about all day and night? Jesus, I'm a busy man here."

    Janice Frye, 34, a Los Angeles single mother, related a similarly moving story on Dec. 29.

    "My 6-year-old son Brandon is a real handful, suffering from hyperactivity and a whole host of emotional problems. Sometimes the stress of taking care of him all by myself is just too much. But then, when I think of the little baby Jesus lying in the manger, I realize how special and wonderful Brandon really is. On Christmas Eve, when he gave me a drawing he made that said, 'I Love Mommy,' I knew he is the one true light of my life."

    Less than two weeks later, the screaming and dish-throwing that typifies Frye's emotionally abusive relationship with her child had resumed. Neighbors reported overhearing Frye yell, "I should have had you aborted," and the child's antisocial behavior and poor performance in school have worsened.

    Such forgetting-the-Christmas-spirit stories are not uncommon. According to Samuelson, the process is not only normal, but essential to preserving the special feeling associated with the holiday.

    "The positive, soul-enriching sentiments associated with the holiday season are shared by almost all Americans, regardless of religious beliefs or cultural backgrounds," Samuelson said. "But it is only through our regular mean-spirited shallowness the rest of the year that the spirit of Christmas can, by contrast, move us so deeply, deluding the populace into thinking their lives are actually beautiful.

    If everybody behaved so kindly to one another all year round, Christmas wouldn't seem special at all. And then, the magic of Christmas would be lost forever, swallowed up by a year-round sense of basic human decency that would rob the holidays of their warm glow, ruining Christmas for all the little children of the world."

    "If you think about it, the eleven and a half months of cruelty, selfishness, and disrespect exhibited by nearly all of humanity may, in fact, be the most precious gift of all," he added, wiping a tear from his eye. "It is this non-holy miracle of man's non-holiday inhumanity to man that is the true meaning of Christmas."

    ============

    Commnets?

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    I think that this guy might be in an after Chistmas depression. This article is total sob-sister stuff....emotional manipulation.... super negative....overly dramatic.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder acceptab



    Regarding the missionaries shot in Chesapeake, a 'person' wrote:

    01/04/06 Choux

    It's come to this.

    "Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!:


    How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder an acceptable substitute for their lack of interpersonal skills?



    Do they still qualify as human beings after they have become so degraded and insensitive?



    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    The bodies are piling up; I can't see out of my window!!! Blood everywhere. Pamphlets blowing all over the place!!!

    I just answered some calls from grateful neighbors and the police will be out tomorrow to give me a commendation!!!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder acceptab



    Regarding the missionaries shot in Chesapeake, a 'person' wrote:

    01/04/06 Choux

    It's come to this.

    "Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!:


    How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder an acceptable substitute for their lack of interpersonal skills?



    Do they still qualify as human beings after they have become so degraded and insensitive?



    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    **sounds of gunfire*

    I got 'em; look out, I'll mow down this group of doorbellringers!

    Finally, quiet. I wonder what it looks like outside???

    SUPER!! One-hunderd dead Mormons and one-hundred-fifty dead JW's.


    What a fine day. They don't come better than this! What's on tv tonight.

    Bye Bye for now. :=D

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder acceptab



    Regarding the missionaries shot in Chesapeake, a 'person' wrote:

    01/04/06 Choux

    It's come to this.

    "Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!:


    How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder an acceptable substitute for their lack of interpersonal skills?



    Do they still qualify as human beings after they have become so degraded and insensitive?



    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    I ordered a bazooka from an out of state gun dealer, and I have it set up so if a doorbellringer full of religious zeal rings my bell, I can blow him/her away!!!! KABOOM!! lolol!!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder acceptab



    Regarding the missionaries shot in Chesapeake, a 'person' wrote:

    01/04/06 Choux

    It's come to this.

    "Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!:


    How black-hearted is it possible to be, and how low has a person sunk when they find murder an acceptable substitute for their lack of interpersonal skills?



    Do they still qualify as human beings after they have become so degraded and insensitive?



    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    LOL!! We kill the zealot doorbellringers in Chicago-land and have for years; they are worst pests than mice!

    Haven't seen a Mormon or JW since the 1970's. Good riddance!!

    :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/04/06 - Tithing



    Should the payment of tithes take precedence over every other financial consideration?

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    Of course not, a person is responsible for taking care of his/her basic needs. If a person has children, then the children's needs. Perhaps, there is a dependent spouse.

    Excess material goods are not needed, Excessively large homes are not needed.
    Etc.
    Etc.

    Hard and enjoyable work is good for an individual.
    Children should contrubute to the smooth running of the household by doing age appropriate care of themselves and having chores.

    Erewhon rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/03/06 - A Sad Situation ...




    By JIM WASHINGTON, The Virginian-Pilot
    © January 3, 2006 | Last updated 4:54 PM Jan. 3

    CHESAPEAKE — Two Mormon missionaries were shot, one fatally
    , Monday night while going door-to-door in the Deep Creek area. One missionary, age 21, died after being taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. The other, 19, was in serious condition at the hospital Monday night, Chesapeake police said.

    The Rocky Mountain News identified the man who was killed as Morgan W. Young, 21, of Bountiful, Utah. The second man, who remains hospitalized, is Joshua Heidbrink, 19, of Greeley, Colo., according to the newspaper.

    Police said the men were walking in the 2600 block of Elkhart St. off George Washington Highway about 6 p.m. when they were approached by a man who shot them and fled on foot.

    One of the victims went to The Charity House, a nearby nursing home, to seek help.

    Police described the shooter as a black male, about 5-foot-10, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. He was last seen heading toward Janice Lynn Court, which backs up to Elkhart.


    THE GUNMAN

    Police described the shooter as a black male, about 5’10’’, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and jeans. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887).

    The two missionaries had bicycles but were not riding them at the time, police said.

    A group from the Mormon church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, waited in the consultation room at the Norfolk General emergency room Monday evening. The members declined to comment.

    According to the church’s official Web site, there are more than 50,000 Mormon missionaries – mostly young men and women who volunteer to spread the church’s message for 1½ to two years all over the world at their own expense.

    There are apartment buildings at the end of Elkhart Street, and some residents could not leave or return to their homes for several hours after the shooting.

    Police, working in a moderate rain, had the street blocked off a short distance from George Washington Highway.

    “This is close to home,” said resident Bobby Gatling, who said he has lived on the block for two years. “Nothing like this has ever happened here before.”

    Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (562-5887).

    Reach Jim Washington at (757) 446-2536 or jim.washington@pilotonline.com.




    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    It's come to this.

    Getting rid of pushy religious zealots peddling their brand of religion door to door is difficult as we all know....guess we have to shoot them dead to send a message!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/03/06 - Well it's offical it's hotter here

    It's official: last year was hottest ever


    January 4, 2006 - 12:28PM
    Related coverage


    Last year was Australia's hottest on record, new figures show.

    The Bureau of Meteorology annual climate summary shows 2005 was more than one degree warmer than the average temperature between 1961 and 1990, the world standard used to track temperature change.

    The figures, released today, have forced the federal government to defend its action on climate change and global warming.

    Federal Environment Minister Ian Campbell says he recognises climate change is the biggest modern-day environmental challenge.

    "I think that climate change is alarming," he told ABC radio.

    "I regard climate change as the number one environmental challenge.

    "The government's spending hundreds of millions of dollars through the Natural Heritage Trust, for example, on trying to maintain Australia's biodiversity, fix our rivers, maintain our forest cover.

    "All of these programs will become worthless if we don't as a globe address climate change.

    "It is a huge and serious challenge.

    "These figures add to the weight of evidence that climate change is real and it's a problem that the world needs to work together to seek to solve."

    Australia and the United States are the only developed nations to have refused to sign the Kyoto Protocol, which calls on countries to cut greenhouse emissions by 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012.

    Instead, the federal government has joined Australia up to a regional partnership designed to address global warming with better technology.

    The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which includes the US, Japan, China, India and South Korea, is due to meet for the first time in Sydney later this month.

    It has been roundly criticised by environmentalists as a smokescreen to cover up a lack of real action.

    But Senator Campbell said technological change was essential.

    "If we don't bring forward the technologies that allow us to produce energy, but do so with much much lower greenhouse gas emissions then we won't solve the problem."

    The government argues Kyoto will not work because it does not commit developing nations to reducing emissions.

    "Kyoto excludes most of the emissions in the world. It only covers just over a third of the countries of the world and ... we need something that includes all countries of the world," he said.

    The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) climate summary shows Australia's average temperature in 2005 was 22.89, 1.09 degrees Celsius above the international standard.

    But last year is also likely to be one of the hottest years on record globally.
    The Bureau says preliminary figures show the global temperature was around 0.48 degrees above average in 2005.

    񓟵 is going to be pretty close to the warmest year on record," the Bureau's Blair Trewin said.

    In Australia, there have been some tangible changes as a result of rising temperatures.

    "We've seen things like the general retreat of the winter snow line. We've seen a marked decrease in the frequency of frost, especially in inland Queensland," Dr Trewin said.

    "We've seen an increase in the number of extreme hot days."

    And the warming trend is likely to continue.

    "All the projections we have from climate models we would expect to see continued warming through the 21st century," he said.

    "Numbers like this ... are another piece of evidence that climate change is real and it's a real issue."

    AAP

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Ain't life wonderful? We need experts to tell us it's hot. I could have told them that, and for no fee. Science is wonderful, it produces sets of numbers that justify almost anything as if this were revelation itself. Like it's isn't a revelation it hasn't snowed here in years, despite all the historical photographs we have with snow on the ground. What I want to know is waht are we good Christian people doing about it. Why should Christians do something? because noone else is, we should capture the niche market immediately. Let's face it, this could be the new Church growth syndrome. we could sweep the world with our Gospel of salvation and lower emissions thrown in.

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    You're not in touch with reality unless you know facts! Facts are neutral. No drama please!!! :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 01/03/06 - What I would like to know is what earthly good is the result of this research?

    World largest prime number identified

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    January 4, 2006 - 3:10PM

    Researchers at a Missouri university have identified the largest known prime number, officials said.

    The team at Central Missouri State University, led by associate dean Steven Boone and mathematics professor Curtis Cooper, found it in mid-December after programming 700 computers years ago.

    A prime number is a positive number divisible by only itself and 1 - 2, 3, 5, 7 and so on.

    The number that the team found is 9.1 million digits long.

    It is a Mersenne prime known as M30402457 - that's 2 to the 30,402,457th power minus 1.

    Mersenne primes are a special category expressed as 2 to the "p" power minus 1, in which "p" also is a prime number.

    "We're super excited," Boone, a chemistry professor, said today.

    "We've been looking for such a number for a long time."

    The discovery is affiliated with the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search, a global contest using volunteers who run software that searches for the largest Mersenne prime.

    AP

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    They were doing it for fun.

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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 01/04/06 - ON TITHING...

    TWO CHECKS GET WRITTEN AT THE BEGINING OF THE MONTH, MY RENT AND MY TITHES. THE REST OF THE BILLS ARE SECONDARY IN NATURE.
    I'VE TRIED STRETCHING OUT MY TITHES OVER THE MONTH BUT USUALLY WHEN I DO THAT I COME UP SHORT BEFORE THE MONTH IS OVER AND I STILL OWE GOD. TO ME IT'S MUCH EASIER TO GIVE GOD THE FIRST FRUITS.............

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    Good for you; thithing is a blessing. Always pay your rent and utilities first; you are responsible for providing for shelter. Then, tithing, after that, other stuff.

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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 01/04/06 - I HAVE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION...

    AND IT HAS WORKED FOR 15 YEARS. I WILL DO MY BEST TO STAY OUT OF JAIL FOR ANOTHER YEAR..........

    Choux answered on 01/04/06:

    Fortunately, it is very easy to stay out of jail. :)

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    Question/Answer
    cavil asked on 01/03/06 - How would you prove Jesus existed?

    If you were in the same situation as Father Enrico Righi how would you prove that Jesus existed?
    Think about that.
    It must be done in a court of law where various kinds of evidence are accepted and others rejected.
    But it’s the type that is usually accepted that counts in most courts.
    There are several books and letters in the Bible that can not be shown to be here say. Which ones would you use and how?
    Also is there anything in the book of Acts that is helpful in that regard. Think about it.
    There is much physical evidence of Jesus’ existence. Do you know what they are and how to use them?
    Then there is the huge amount of circumstantial evidence has adds much weight when linked to the other evidence available.
    All that together in a fair court of law will win the case.
    Have a good, generous, and prosperous New Year,
    Cavil

    Choux answered on 01/03/06:

    There is no way to *prove* that Jesus existed. For one thing, the Book of Acts is a forgery.

    *Prove has a strict meaning**. It does not mean what you wish were true, or *believe* is true.

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    Question/Answer
    deardra asked on 01/02/06 - Respect

    What does the christian religion teach about respect?

    Choux answered on 01/03/06:

    Not all people deserve respect, so you give these people good manners.

    Never forget that Christians "do unto others"........that means have good manners and try to be a positive influence in all relationships whether casual or close. Positive influence means THINK before reacting in anger!!!

    Mary Sue


    PS I don't consider anonymous people on the internet people who deserve respect for the most part!!

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    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 01/03/06 - Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest

    From Richard Owen in Rome

    AN ITALIAN judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.

    The case against Father Enrico Righi has been brought in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, by Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist who once studied for the priesthood but later became a militant atheist.

    Signor Cascioli, author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ’s historical existence.

    Yesterday Gaetano Mautone, a judge in Viterbo, set a preliminary hearing for the end of this month and ordered Father Righi to appear. The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Signor Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was “abusing popular credulity”.

    Signor Cascioli’s contention — echoed in numerous atheist books and internet sites — is that there was no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, which Christians took on faith. There is therefore no basis for Christianity, he claims.

    Signor Cascioli’s one-man campaign came to a head at a court hearing last April when he lodged his accusations of “abuse of popular credulity” and “impersonation”, both offences under the Italian penal code. He argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived “after the time of the hypothetical Jesus” and were therefore not reliable witnesses.

    Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of “substitution of persons”.

    The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a “Christus” or “Chrestus”, but were writing “well after the life of the purported Jesus” and were relying on hearsay.

    Father Righi said there was overwhelming testimony to Christ’s existence in religious and secular texts. Millions had in any case believed in Christ as both man and Son of God for 2,000 years.

    “If Cascioli does not see the sun in the sky at midday, he cannot sue me because I see it and he does not,” Father Righi said.

    Signor Cascioli said that the Gospels themselves were full of inconsistencies and did not agree on the names of the 12 apostles. He said that he would withdraw his legal action if Father Righi came up with irrefutable proof of Christ’s existence by the end of the month.

    The Vatican has so far declined to comment.

    *******************************************************

    Comments? Predictions on the outcome?

    Choux answered on 01/03/06:

    This must be some kind of "church court" not a court in a normal criminal justice system!

    There really is no "proof" that a man called Joshua(Jesus) lived; the New Testament has been tampered with so much there are many contradictions. In addition, Paul added so much of his personality into the New Testament that he might as well be called "The Christ".

    That doesn't mean that average people can't get some positive messages out of The New Testament. *Understanding and practicing* uhe passages about love.....the love thy neighbor passage is plenty to keep all human beings busy for their whole life.

    IN addition, it is a good idea for average people to worship "God" and love "God" lest a person gets the impression that he is God of the Universe!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/03/06 - urgent prqyer request!

    folks please pray for the miners and their families in West Virginia who are trapped !

    Choux answered on 01/03/06:

    Mining accidents are always so horrible, rev. I am thinking of these men and hoping for a favorable outcome.

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    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 01/03/06 - Not depressed anymore

    On Christmas eve I got a check from my student loan that I wasn't expecting for at least 3 more months. So I can go buy another truck and have enough to start the business I have been trying to start for the past 3 years. I will miss my last truck because it was one of my favorite, but at least I won't be stuck broke and without one now.

    Thanks everyone
    and happiest New Year ever

    sapph

    Choux answered on 01/03/06:

    Glad you have got some relief from your financial worries!!! Wonderful.

    Let me tell you a hint that a woman gave me many years ago:::

    Open an account and from your earnings, put away part of your profits every month, say $100.oo, 50.00, depending opn the amount of the loan, and label that account---money to pay back your student loan. :)

    Happy New Year!!! Best wishes for the success of your new business!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/02/06 - posted by rabbi Susan Grossman


    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Jews are the Canaries of the World...
    They are easy to miss. They are displayed way above eye level in a corridor that one passes through from one exhibit to another. Interactive booths with seats line the walls, attracting everyone’s attention down instead of up. Perhaps the designers of the United States Holocaust Museum planned it this way to make a point about how easy it is to ignore the “writing on the wall.”

    In this case, the writing literally on the walls are the front pages of newspapers from the 1930s and 40s reporting on Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jewish people. What these newspapers tell us is that the Holocaust was not inevitable. It happened not because Hitler was a maniac; not because German culture was authoritarian; not because centuries of Christian anti-Judaism gave power to Hitler’s anti-Semitic claims. The Holocaust happened because otherwise good people and the nations they lived in let it happen.

    Will they let it happen again?

    That is the specter raised by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent statement that Israel should be wiped off the map. He clearly has the will and the motive, and may soon have the physical nuclear capability to make his threat real.

    His statement is the most recent reminder of the special role Jews play in the world.

    It used to be that when miners descended into the earth to dig, they took with them a canary. If the canary died, they knew that they had to get out of there because the air had turned deadly.

    We Jews are the canaries of the world. In a society in which Jews are attacked, no one is safe.

    The killing machine the Nazis created to destroy the Jewish people killed not only six million Jews but millions of others. The terrorists who hijacked the planes that flew into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 were the heirs of those who first hijacked planes to take Jewish hostages. If Iran talks with impunity about wiping one country off the map, no country is safe.

    Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Bjorn von Sydow understood this when he said: “I am willing to defend the right of Israel to exist as strongly as I defend the rights of my own country to exist.” While Ahmadinejad’s statement has been condemned by Western leaders, only Sweden responded unequivocally by cutting all bilateral contact with the Iranian parliament. If anything is to be learned from the Holocaust, other nations will follow Sweden’s lead and go even further to impose sanctions and isolation.

    What about us? It’s not exactly a privilege to be the canary of the world. As an Israeli congregant once quipped, “For this we were chosen? Let God choose someone else!”

    To be fair, we are not the only people to suffer as the world sits idly by. Rwanda and, currently, Darfur ( www.savedafur.org) are just two of the recent genocides to come to mind. However, Jewish history is among the most marked by such recurring atrocities.

    I am not sure why God chose us, the Jews, for this particular purpose, as canary of the world. Perhaps it is the burden of being custodians of the special message which is Torah: that human equality, the rule of law, the limits of power, and the dignity of every individual are not idle dreams but concrete, achievable goals for which we are to consistently strive. Being the canary for us is not a state of being the victim. Being the canary of the world comes with a moral responsibility to be the conscience of the world as well.

    The newspapers on the walls of the Holocaust Museum remind us that it is all too easy, when reading bad news, to simply turn the page. Our job, as Jews, is to make sure no one turns the page, not just for us, but for all who are the targets of unmitigated hatred.

    The newspapers also remind us that such hatred spreads to envelope the world when left unchecked. That is why it is not just for Israel’s sake that America and other nations should sanction and isolate Iran. It is for all our sakes.

    Choux answered on 01/02/06:

    The Jews never assimilated into the countries of Europe after leaving the Middle-East...they maintained their tribal identity as Jews. Strict dietary laws kept them from dining with their neighbors, and this religious related practice helped keep them unified and isolated.

    The Jews have been a blessing for every country they lived in....so many great intellectual achievements.....great cultural values such as education, rationality, and a thirst for finding God......:=)

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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 01/01/06 - 2006 New Year's Resolutions ??

    Are you prepared to share with us ,one of your New Year's Resolutions ??

    I intend to choose my words carefully in future
    not to be hurtful to anyone.

    rolcam.

    Choux answered on 01/02/06:

    I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions since I was in my twenties. :)

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 01/02/06 - posted by rabbi Susan Grossman


    Thursday, December 29, 2005

    Jews are the Canaries of the World...
    They are easy to miss. They are displayed way above eye level in a corridor that one passes through from one exhibit to another. Interactive booths with seats line the walls, attracting everyone’s attention down instead of up. Perhaps the designers of the United States Holocaust Museum planned it this way to make a point about how easy it is to ignore the “writing on the wall.”

    In this case, the writing literally on the walls are the front pages of newspapers from the 1930s and 40s reporting on Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jewish people. What these newspapers tell us is that the Holocaust was not inevitable. It happened not because Hitler was a maniac; not because German culture was authoritarian; not because centuries of Christian anti-Judaism gave power to Hitler’s anti-Semitic claims. The Holocaust happened because otherwise good people and the nations they lived in let it happen.

    Will they let it happen again?

    That is the specter raised by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s recent statement that Israel should be wiped off the map. He clearly has the will and the motive, and may soon have the physical nuclear capability to make his threat real.

    His statement is the most recent reminder of the special role Jews play in the world.

    It used to be that when miners descended into the earth to dig, they took with them a canary. If the canary died, they knew that they had to get out of there because the air had turned deadly.

    We Jews are the canaries of the world. In a society in which Jews are attacked, no one is safe.

    The killing machine the Nazis created to destroy the Jewish people killed not only six million Jews but millions of others. The terrorists who hijacked the planes that flew into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and crashed in a Pennsylvania field on 9/11 were the heirs of those who first hijacked planes to take Jewish hostages. If Iran talks with impunity about wiping one country off the map, no country is safe.

    Speaker of the Swedish Parliament Bjorn von Sydow understood this when he said: “I am willing to defend the right of Israel to exist as strongly as I defend the rights of my own country to exist.” While Ahmadinejad’s statement has been condemned by Western leaders, only Sweden responded unequivocally by cutting all bilateral contact with the Iranian parliament. If anything is to be learned from the Holocaust, other nations will follow Sweden’s lead and go even further to impose sanctions and isolation.

    What about us? It’s not exactly a privilege to be the canary of the world. As an Israeli congregant once quipped, “For this we were chosen? Let God choose someone else!”

    To be fair, we are not the only people to suffer as the world sits idly by. Rwanda and, currently, Darfur ( www.savedafur.org) are just two of the recent genocides to come to mind. However, Jewish history is among the most marked by such recurring atrocities.

    I am not sure why God chose us, the Jews, for this particular purpose, as canary of the world. Perhaps it is the burden of being custodians of the special message which is Torah: that human equality, the rule of law, the limits of power, and the dignity of every individual are not idle dreams but concrete, achievable goals for which we are to consistently strive. Being the canary for us is not a state of being the victim. Being the canary of the world comes with a moral responsibility to be the conscience of the world as well.

    The newspapers on the walls of the Holocaust Museum remind us that it is all too easy, when reading bad news, to simply turn the page. Our job, as Jews, is to make sure no one turns the page, not just for us, but for all who are the targets of unmitigated hatred.

    The newspapers also remind us that such hatred spreads to envelope the world when left unchecked. That is why it is not just for Israel’s sake that America and other nations should sanction and isolate Iran. It is for all our sakes.

    Choux answered on 01/02/06:

    Great post, rev. I have always said that the German people were at least as complicit as "the Nazis"...saying "the Nazis" committed atrocities is denying the responsibility of the German people.

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    Question/Answer
    Ccl471 asked on 01/01/06 - Seventh Day Adventists & Vegetarianism

    Are Seventh Day Adventists vegetarians?


    Many thanks,

    C.L.

    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    Yes, they are. I have attended the local hospital which is Adventist, and they have a vegetarian menu for patients; however, they also prepar meated meals for the patients to order, also.

    Many of the staff are Seventh Day Adventists.

    Regards,

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    Question/Answer
    Pete_Hanysz asked on 01/01/06 - God & Cash

    "Church and Cathedral buildings are God's" said Fred.

    Why do priests & popes, & other gophers live in them rent free say I?

    Why do people die from hunger in South America, Africa & other parts of the world "God" doesn't know about?

    Should he tell his priests to give the money to the people that need it? Or does he not care?

    Pete

    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    Too bad you question makes no sense!

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    Question/Answer
    purplewings asked on 01/01/06 - Tips for a better new year

    A Time of Rebirth

    Because the Winter Solstice is the turning point of the year, beginning the lengthening of days, it has long been viewed as the birth of the year--by pagans celebrating the return of the Sun, and by Christians welcoming the birth of the Son of God. The days between Solstice and the New Year are a magical, luminous time period, when anything is possible. In England, the Twelve Days of Christmas were considered omen days which could be used to predict the weather in the coming year. In Scotland, no court had power during these days; and in Ireland, tradition held that if a person died during the Twelve Days, he or she went straight to Heaven.

    In ancient Babylon, the days between the Winter Solstice and the New Year were seen as the time of a struggle between Chaos and Order, with Chaos trying to take over the world. Other cultures (Hindu, Chinese, Celtic) also viewed this as a time for reversing order and rules—celebrants would change roles with servants or dress in costumes for a time until order was restored.

    Starting Fresh
    While each culture’s New Year celebration has its own flavor, there are certain common themes. The period leading up to New Year's Day is a time for setting things straight: a thorough housecleaning, paying off debts, returning borrowed objects, reflecting on one's shortcomings, mending quarrels, giving alms. In many cultures, people jump into the sea or a local body of water—literally washing the slate clean.

    In some towns in Italy, I've been told, you have to watch out for falling objects, as people shove their old sofas, chairs and even refrigerators out of their windows on New Year's Eve. In Ecuador, people make dummies, stuffed with straw, to represent the events of the past year. These "ano viejo" effigies are burned at midnight, thus symbolically getting rid of the past.

    Whatever preparations are made, most traditions teach that they should be completed before midnight on New Year's Eve. According to British folklore, you should not sweep on New Year's Day, or you will sweep your good luck away, or take anything out of the house—even trash. You only want to bring new things in to insure abundance in the coming year. If you must carry something out, be sure to bring something else in first, preferably a coin concealed outside the previous night. As this medieval poem reminds us:

    Take out, then take in
    Bad luck will begin
    Take in, then take out
    Good luck comes about


    Food and Money: Ensuring Abundance
    As everything has significance on New Year's Day, the first person to cross your threshold after midnight brings luck to the household in the British Isles. In Scotland, the best possible “first-footer” was a tall, handsome, dark-haired man, who brought gifts of whisky, bread, a piece of coal or firewood, and a silver coin. He entered in silence, and no one spoke to him until he put the coal on the fire, poured a glass of whisky for the head of the house and wished everyone a Happy New Year. In France, the children knock on their parents' bedroom door, pretending to personify health, abundance and joy, which the parents welcome.

    Food eaten on New Year’s Day is said to affect the quality of the coming year. The ancient Romans exchanged bay and palm branches hung with sweets, dates, figs and gilded fruits. The items hung on the branch expressed hopes the new year would be sweet, fertile, and prosperous.

    Neapolitans still wrap dried figs in laurel leaves and exchange them as a kind of insurance of abundance for the coming year. They also make confections of caramelized dough and tiny almond pieces, so the year will be sweet.

    The Piedmontese eat little grains of rice which represent money. The traditional Umbrian New Year’s cake, made of almonds, sugar, and egg whites, is shaped like a coiled snake, probably to represent the way snakes shed their skin to renew themselves, just as people leave behind the old year and embrace the new. Italians also serve lentils, raisins, and oranges, symbols of riches, good luck, and the promise of love.

    In the American South, it's traditional to eat cornbread, cabbage, and black-eyed peas on New Year's Day. The peas symbolize coins or copper money, the cornbread gold, and the cabbage green or folding money.

    A Japanese New Year’s custom is the money tree: pine and cypress branches placed in a vase, and decorated with old coins and paper pomegranates and flowers. Old coins (with holes in them) are strung on colored threads in the shape of dragon and put at the foot of children's beds. This is called "cash to pass the year." It is supposed to be saved and not spent. However, money is given as a gift, usually in red envelopes.

    Although many of these customs may seem like superstitions, they all stem from a similar belief: by ending the old year with respect and beginning the new one in the way we would like it to begin, we establish our intentions for the new year. Whether we gather together to watch the ball drop in Times Square or set off firecrackers at midnight or clink champagne glasses with our loved ones, we are acknowledging an important transition and welcoming a fresh start. May your New Year be rich with all of the blessings you desire.


    http://www.beliefnet.com/story/182/story_18210_1.html

    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    Thanks, Loral, super!

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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 01/01/06 - Greetings!

    To friends, foes, and sundry....(You sundries know who you are)...May 2006 exceed your wildest expectations. May you receive all that you deserve. And may it see all of you mellower, less warlike, and less antagonistic to your cyber brothers and sisters.
    More I cannot wish you :) :) :)

    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    You are speaking about yourself!!! ROTFLMAO!!

    On this first day of 2006, I wish that we all grow in Peace and Enlightenment. Understand that we can't control ANYTHING but ourselves.

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 01/01/06 - Broke my back, alright


    Hello Christians:

    Good morning and Happy all that crap.

    Given my pro gay marriage stance, I'm sure it may come as a surprise, but I'm not gonna see Brokeback Mountain.

    I dunno, maybe I am a homophobe. In 2006, I don't mind seeing gay guys walking down the street holding hands. But I just cannot fathom, cowboys, the men who tamed the west, the men who every little boy wanted to be, poking each other.

    Now, I know they did, but I don't wanna see it. It's just wrong.

    excon

    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    My opinion is that the movies and tv media have run out of different stories ... see how they are remaking all kinds of movies not worth seeing! See how movie attendance has beein falling off!

    This is just a movie to appeal to people with purient interests. Can't make successful cowboy movies anymore, so how about a twist? Let's have them in love and playing hide the sausage.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 01/01/06 - Tithing



    Heber J Grant said:

    "The law of financial prosperity to the Latter-day Saints, under covenant with God, is to be an honest tithepayer, and not to rob the Lord in tithes and offerings. Prosperity comes to those who observe the law of tithing; and when I say prosperity I am not thinking of it in terms of dollars and cents alone, although as a rule the Latter-day Saints who are the best tithepayers are the most prosperous men, financially; but what I count as real prosperity, as the one thing of all others that is of great value to every man and woman living, is the growth in a knowledge of God, and in a testimony, and in the power to live the gospel and to inspire our families to do the same. That is prosperity of the truest kind. I would rather die in poverty knowing that my family could testify that, to the best of the ability with which God had endowed me, I had observed his laws and kept his commandments, and by my example, had proclaimed the gospel, than to have all the wealth of the world



    What is your experience with tithe paying?


    Choux answered on 01/01/06:

    I tithed 10% when I was a born-again Christian and working in a low-paying job at the time.

    I think tithing is a very good practice. Many blessings come from tithing.


    Mary Sue



    PS I guess you're really surprised by my answer? :)

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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/31/05 - WISHING YA'LL THE BEST "NEW YEARS EVE"...

    AND I'LL SEE YA'LL NEXT YEAR. NO ACCESS TO COMPUTER UNTIL TUESDAY........STONY

    Choux answered on 12/31/05:

    Going on a bender? Yeah, no internet access from the gutter! LOL!!

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/30/05 - Would you like to join me in prayer, the 31st of December.


    I will be praying for peace all over the world. I will pray, starting at 15 min. (CT) before midnight on the 31st, and pray until after midnight, on the first of January. I am asking those, who would like to pray with me, to remember the time.
    In Jesus’ name. M.L.

    Choux answered on 12/31/05:

    buck, I'll join you and meditate on world peace at 11:45PM Central Standard Time. Just an hour and 25 minutes away.

    Tex78 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/30/05 - SILENT WITNESS By Mark Fuhrman who is a…….

    New York Time best selling author has written a book about “The Untold Story of Terri Schiavo’s Death”.
    It’s titled “Silent Witness”.
    It is 272 pages long and retails for $25.95
    Did you what Michael Schiavo did and did not do?
    Well…..
    It’s a long story.
    If interested, read the book.
    Happy New Year,
    Fred

    Choux answered on 12/31/05:

    I think that Mark Furhman is a very good detective. He paid for his wrongdoing when investigating the OJ Simpson case, and went on to solve a cold case in which a Kennedy cousin, a Skakal, murdered a 16 year old neighbor girl out of jealousy.

    Poor Terry Schiavo had no upper brain activity; there is no reason to keep people alive in her condition by artificial means(from feeding tube on up to respirators) since there is no hope for improvement.

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    Question/Answer
    curious98 asked on 12/31/05 - Hoping for the best

    From the snowy mountains of Andorra I wish you all, Christians and no Christians, Believers and Atheists, friends, in short, our best wishes for a very prosperous 2006.

    That tomorrow may be the start of a new and happier life for all of you together with those you love.

    And may this 2006 bring to the whole world a well-deserved peace along with a little bit more justice and consolation for all the suffering souls of our lovely Planet!

    Your friend,

    Claude (aka Curious98)

    Choux answered on 12/31/05:

    I hope 2006 brings continued health and a pleasant life for you and your family!

    Kidest regards,

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/30/05 - What rights do parents have about public schools teaching a religion?

    A federal appeals court is being asked to reconsider its ruling that allows public schools to teach junior high students how to "become Muslims." The Thomas More Law Center, a national public-interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is asking the entire Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to rule on what can be done in public schools with regard to teaching Islam and other religions.

    Several parents sued California's Byron Union School District for requiring their 7th-grade children to participate in a three-week class activity in which they not only had to study important Islamic figures and wear traditional Muslim attire, but were also required to observe the "five pillars" of the Islamic faith, adopt Muslim names, recite a portion of a Muslim prayer, and even stage their own "jihad" or "holy war." The plaintiffs' attorney, the Thomas More Law Center's Ed White, believes the school district violated the parents' and children's constitutional rights to free exercise of religion.

    Earlier, White had asked a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit to overturn a previous San Francisco federal district court's ruling that the Byron Union School District did not violate the U.S. Constitution. However, the Ninth Circuit panel of judges upheld the lower court's determination in a brief, unpublished memorandum decision.

    In that ruling, however, the panel overlooked and failed to rule on the plaintiff's claims that their free exercise and parental rights had been violated. The Thomas More Law Center has asked the three-judge panel to reconsider their decision and to issue a ruling on the claims not previously addressed. The Law Center has also asked all 24 active judges on the Ninth Circuit to consider and rule on the case.

    White says the Byron Union School District never informed the parents about an exercise that would be grading their children on how well they observed the tenets of Islam. In fact, he points out, "The parents were never told that there was even a way to opt their child out of such an activity."

    Actually, the only way the parents found out about the school's Islamic exercise, the attorney points out, was virtually by accident. He says a Byron Union District mom was "looking through her son's book bag and asked, 'Hey, what's all this stuff?' and the kid said, 'Oh, we're doing this in school now.' So the parents objected, but it was after the class [activity] was over."

    So it was after the fact that parents learned how, for three weeks in 2001, their children were told they would "become Muslims" and had worn identification tags bearing their new Muslim names along with the Star and Crescent Moon symbols of Islam. The children received materials telling them to "Remember Allah always so that you may prosper," and they made banners to hang in the classroom, inscribing them with the Basmala, a phrase from the Koran used in Muslim prayers that is translated, "In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate."

    Richard Thompson, chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, was disappointed by the San Francisco district court's ruling and the Ninth Circuit panel's decision to uphold it. He commented that if students had been instructed on Christianity in the same manner as they were on Islam in this case, the court would most likely have found a constitutional violation.

    Ed White agrees. The parents' lawyer says the courts should not be allowing this apparent double standard on the teaching of religion in public schools. When the Byron Union School District's teachers taught the children other religions in the seventh grade," he asserts, "they didn't go into any of these activities. When they taught Buddhism or Christianity, they didn't engage in these simulations [of Islamic observances]. They didn't have to practice the faith, memorize various parts of the Bible, et cetera."

    White has filed a petition for a rehearing of the case before the entire Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Chief counsel Richard Thompson says the appellate court needs to clarify in a published opinion just how far public schools can go in teaching about religion.

    Choux answered on 12/30/05:

    Fred, You posted this about two weeks ago.

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/30/05 - Would you like to join me in prayer, the 31st of December.


    I will be praying for peace all over the world. I will pray, starting at 15 min. (CT) before midnight on the 31st, and pray until after midnight, on the first of January. I am asking those, who would like to pray with me, to remember the time.
    In Jesus’ name. M.L.

    Choux answered on 12/30/05:

    Why not "do something" to promote peace? Join in with Cindy Sheehan and march for peace.

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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 12/30/05 - Can a non-sectarian on the Christianity board teach Judaism to an Orthodox Jew?

    This one is particularly for Choux, whose big mouth sometimes leads her up the garden path, for drgade and paraclete, who followed her up that path with their mangled attempts at Yiddishisms, and for ETWOLVERINE who started the whole megilla by disputing ATON'S claim that beheading was an accepted form of execution under Jewish law (long before it was adopted by Islam).

    From "Tractate Sanhedrin"....Chapter Seven

    Mishna (1) Tanna Kamma: There are four types of execution; Stoning, burning, slaying (by the sword) and strangulation.

    Rabbi Shimon changes the order to: Burning, stoning, strangulation and slaying.

    G'marra (2) RebPapa/Rev: The Mishna list is in order of descending severity. (3) Ordinarily when the Mishna lists categories, the order is not binding.

    Re: [1]: There are four forms of execution

    Margoliyo haYam: Aside from naming the four forms of execution, the Mishna states, "There are four types of execution," to signify that each type of execution is counted as a separate mitzva.

    Re: [2]

    Rashi: It is important to know which execution is most severe because if a person committs two capital crimes which carry different forms of execution, he is put to death in the more severe fashion.


    Mishna

    [21] "Hereg" consisted of the person's HEAD BEING DECAPITATED by the Sword.

    Reb.Yehuda: His head was laid on a block and it was severed by an ax.

    G'mara

    [22] Death by the sword is preferable to death by the ax. Notwithstanding, R.Yehuda rules out this form of death because he considers it "following the precepts of the nations". Rabbanan beleives that since death by the sword is mentioned in Scripture, this form of death would NOT be considered as "following a precept of the nations of the world."

    [23]...a murderer receives death by the sword.....

    [24]".....death occurs through a sword's breaking the neck

    NOTE: Stabbing (as suggested by Wolverine is excluded...

    Re: [23] Ramah: Stabbing is excluded because...it implies that the condemed should be executed with ONE edge of a sword and a stabbing cuts with BOTH edges.

    Re: Not by gist'ra

    Rashi(Chulin 27a): "This means severing the head with one blow".

    Ramah: "It means to cut the person in half from head to toe. This is ruled out because it is exceedingly disgusting."

    Note: this is probabley the excuse Wolverine is trying to use to claims Jews did not behead, because they found it disgusting. He is wrong again....as usual. :) :) :)

    ERGO: Being an Orthodox Jew obviously does not qualify one as an expert in Talmud...just as being a born-again Christian does not qualify one as an expert in the Bible. Study and learning, on the other hand, makes ATON an expert in both. LOL

    CHUTZPAH has it's own rewards :) :) :)

    Comments welcome, but not required...will be rated accordingly.




















































































































































    Choux answered on 12/30/05:

    No, never, that's chutzpah! LOL!!

    ATON2 rated this answer Poor or Incomplete Answer
    HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    Tex78 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/29/05 - want a laugh?

    http://www.kevinspear.com/

    Choux answered on 12/29/05:

    Good one. I thought of that joke....and what about Noel?????

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/29/05 - You have a right to be miserable!





    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    NY Times
    December 29, 2005
    Op-Ed Contributor
    In Pursuit of Unhappiness
    By DARRIN M. MCMAHON
    Tallahassee, Fla.

    HAPPY New Year!" We seldom think of those words as an order. But in some respects that is what they are.

    Doesn't every American want to be happy?
    And don't most Americans yearn, deep down, to be happy all of the time? The right laid out in our nation's Declaration of Independence - to pursue happiness to our hearts' content - is nowhere on better display than in the rites of the holiday season. With glad tidings and good cheer, we seek to bring one year to its natural happy conclusion, while preparing to usher in a happy new year and many happy returns.

    Like the cycle of the seasons, our emphasis on mirth may seem timeless, as though human beings have always made merry from beginning to end. But in fact this preoccupation with perpetual happiness is relatively recent. As Thomas Carlyle observed in 1843, " 'Happiness our being's end and aim' is at bottom, if we will count well, not yet two centuries old in the world."

    Carlyle's arithmetic was essentially sound, for changes in both religious and secular culture since the 17th century made "happiness," in the form of pleasure or good feeling, not only morally acceptable but commendable in and of itself. While many discounted religious notions that consigned life in this world to misery and sin, others discovered signs of God's providence in earthly satisfaction. The result was at once to weaken and transpose the ideal of heavenly felicity, in effect bringing it to earth. Suffering was not our natural state. Happy was the way we were meant to be.

    That shift was monumental, and its implications far reaching. Among other things, it was behind the transformation of the holiday season from a time of pious remembrance into one of unadulterated bliss. Yet the effects were greater than that. As Carlyle complained, "Every pitifulest whipster that walks within a skin has had his head filled with the notion that he is, shall be, or by all human and divine laws ought to be, 'happy.' "

    Carlyle was notoriously cranky, but his central insight - that the new doctrine of happiness tended to raise expectations that could never possibly be fulfilled - remains as relevant today as it was in 1843. Despite enjoying far better living standards and more avenues for pleasure than before, human beings are arguably no happier now than they've ever been.

    Sociologists like to point out that the percentage of those describing themselves as "happy" or "very happy" has remained virtually unchanged in Europe and the United States since such surveys were first conducted in the 1950's. And yet, this January, like last year and next, the self-help industry will pour forth books promising to make us happier than we are today. The very demand for such books is a strong indication that they aren't working.

    Should that be a cause for concern? Some critics say it is. For example, economists like Lord Richard Layard and Daniel Kahneman have argued that the apparent stagnancy of happiness in modern societies should prompt policymakers to shift their priorities from the creation of wealth to the creation of good feelings, from boosting gross national product to increasing gross national happiness.

    But before we take such steps, we might do well to reflect on the darker side of holiday cheer: those mysterious blues that are apt to set in while the streamers stream and the corks pop; the little voice that even in the best of souls is sometimes moved to say, "Bah, humbug." As Carlyle put it, "The prophets preach to us, 'Thou shalt be happy; thou shalt love pleasant things.' " But as he well knew, the very commandment tended to undermine its fulfillment, even to make us sad.

    Carlyle's sometime friend and long-time rival, the philosopher John Stuart Mill, came to a similar conclusion. His words are all the more worth heeding in that Mill himself was a determined proponent of the greatest happiness for the greatest number. "Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so," Mill concluded after recovering from a serious bout of depression. Rather than resign himself to gloom, however, Mill vowed instead to look for happiness in another way.

    "Those only are happy," he came to believe, "who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way." For our own culture, steeped as it is in the relentless pursuit of personal pleasure and endless cheer, that message is worth heeding.

    So in these last days of 2005 I say to you, "Don't have a happy new year!" Have dinner with your family or walk in the park with friends. If you're so inclined, put in some good hours at the office or at your favorite charity, temple or church. Work on your jump shot or your child's model trains. With luck, you'll find happiness by the by. If not, your time won't be wasted. You may even bring a little joy to the world.

    Darrin M. McMahon, a professor of history at Florida State, is the author of the forthcoming"Happiness: A History."



    Copyright 2005The New York Times Company Home Privacy Policy Search Corrections XML Help Contact Us Work for Us Site Map Back to Top
    --------------------

    Comments?


    Choux answered on 12/29/05:

    The old clichee that one "can't find happiness by going out and looking for it" is true! Happiness is a byproduct of how one lives one's life.

    Some American's don't understand that happiness is a quiet feeling, peace and wisdom, not a manic darting from one hectic experience to another. This kind of pursuit of happiness can lead to addiction, and always leads to unhappiness.

    Living an adult life guided by good morals/ethics is the beginning. Working hard and with a good attitude contributes. Loving one's friends and sharing one's life with others along with lots of self-education and reading......these are good things. Having good friends who will tell one when one is on the wrong track or just plain wrong....we adults all need outside correction!

    There are no guarantees for attaining happiness...genetics play a part in determining our disposition, our strengths and weaknesses. In the final analysis, should happiness elude us, Enlightenment opens our eyes to the wisdom of ACCEPTANCE.

    At least if we aren't happy, we can accept reality.

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    BeelzeBUSH asked on 12/28/05 - Steps to find a human!

    If you live in the US and are tired of the poor customer service which has become the standard of the majority of corporations and larger companies today (no thanks to the Oaf of Office), then this will help you navigate through the automated systems faster to get to the few live operators that still have jobs:


    US finance phone steps to find a human
    America First 800-999-3961 0 or say "member services"
    American Express 800-528-4800 0 repeatedly
    American Funds 800-421-0180 Press 0.
    AMSouth Bank 800-267-6884 When the recording starts, press 111-0000. This is seven digits, like a phone number.
    Bank of America 800-529-8804 Press 555 at each prompt.
    Bank of America 800 900 9000 To get to human directly at any BOA #, press *0.
    Bank One 877-226-5663 00
    Capital One 800 903-3637 Press 0000 at each prompt until offered representative at 0.
    Charles Schwab 800-435-9050 3, 0
    Chase 800-CHASE24 5 pause 1 4
    Chase Credit Card 800-945-2006 0
    Chrysler Financial 800-700-0738 Select language, then press 00
    Citi AAdvantage 888-766-2484 Ignore prompts and wait for a human.
    CitiCard 800-967-8500 0,0,0,0,0
    CitiFinancial 800-643-5607 0,0,0,0,0
    CitiMortgage 800-283-7918 ###
    Citizens Bank 800-922-9999 0,0,0
    Coutrywide Loans 800-669-5864 *0 repeatedly
    Decision One Mortgage 888-264-3663 Don't press any keys when prompted; they transfer you
    Diner's Club 800-729-5309 2
    Discover 800-347-2683 ****
    e*Trade 800-786-2575 #### (4 pound signs)
    Equifax 800-997-2493
    Experian 888-397-3742
    Exxon Mobil Card 800-344-4355 000 ignoring message
    Fidelity 800-544-6666 ignore prompt for social security number, just enter ###
    Fidelity NetBenefits 800-581-5800 1,#################
    GE Finance CareCredit 866-893-7864 1, 6, 5, 0, 0
    GM MasterCard 800-947-1000 Press À" at each prompt.
    Honda Financial Services 800-445-1358 Press 0 at each prompt regardless of the message.
    HSBC 800-477-6000 1, 3, 0
    ING 800-464-3473 Direct to human.
    MasterCard 800-MC-ASSIST 000 on each menu
    MBNA 800-421-2110 00 when menu starts
    Mellon Investor 800-649-3593 Wait through initial recording finishes, select nothing--wait--you will be connected to a live customer service rep
    MetLife Bank 866-226-5638 Press # after each menu.
    PayPal 402-935-7733 (or 2050) Say "agent."
    Paypal Buyer Credit 866-571-3012 Be silent and at the end of the options press 6.
    PNC Bank 888-762-2265 Press * till it says "transfering to customer support;" takes about 3 *s.
    Privacy Guard 800-734-0199 Say "agent" or "no" or any word at each prompt.
    Sovereign Bank 877-SOV-BANK 1 english; 1 personal; 3 then social#; passcode, #; then 0 (1-3x)
    SunTrust 800-786-8787 Press # after each menu.
    TD Waterhouse 800-934-4448 Press # after opening prompt, then do it again after prompt to be transferred to rep.
    TIAA-CREF 800-842-2252 Press 00 at each prompt.
    Transunion 800-888-4213
    US Bank 800-872-2657 0000
    USAA 800-531-2265 Say "representative" at every opportunity.
    Visa 800-847-2911 000 (ignore prompts saying that it's an invalid entry)
    Wachovia 800-922-4684 0, 0
    Wal Mart Credit Card 866-888-3868 0
    Washington Mutual 800-756-8000 At any time after the announcement(s) press 0,0.
    Washington Mutual 800-788-7000 Press 0 at each prompt regardless of the message.
    Wells Fargo 800-869-3557 0,0,0 or when asked for account number say "I don't know"
    Western Union 800-325-6000 * then ##
    us government phone steps to find a human
    Dept of Education Loans 800-848-0979 Say and do nothing at the prompt and you will be transfered to someone.
    EDD 800-300-5616 When you hear "welcome", press 1, then press 4 and 0 at the next two prompts.
    Federal Trade Commission 877-382-4357 At each prompt, press 4, 5, 0.
    FEMA 800-621-FEMA Select language (1 for English), Don't choose any option, just hold for human; or press 00
    INS/Citizenship 800-375-5283 Select language, then press 2, 6, 2, 4 at the prompts, press 0.
    Medicare 800-633-4227 Say "Agent."
    Medicare 1-800-MEDICARE RE; info for part "D" Medicare Prescription Drug Plans- When recording begins say "Agent" 5+ times.
    Social Security 800-772-1213 00
    US Dept. of Transportation 800-832-5660 000
    USPS 800-275-8777 Press 3 at each prompt. Press 2 at the next recording.
    Veterans Affairs 800-827-1000 1,0
    us insurance phone steps to find a human
    Aetna 800-537-9384 2, then say "operator" (check this)
    Aetna 800-680-3566 * then 0 anytime
    AIG 877-638-4244 Direct to human.
    Blue Cross FEP 800-451-7602 Wait for prompt, then press 0, 3 to reach a CS rep.
    CIGNA 800-516-2898 REGARDING A BILL
    Cigna 800-849-9000 ##
    Delta Dental 888-335-8227 00000, wait through message, select language, 4, 0.
    GEICO 800-841-3000 Wait for prompt then 6, 1, 5; Or dail 800-555-2752
    Medco 800-251-7690 0000, enter member id or say "i don't have a member id."
    Medicare 800-633-4227 After the opening prompt say "agent".
    Principal Life 800-247-4695 1 for english, 2, then 0 several times.
    Prudential Financial 800-778-2255 Say "Customer Service Representative" several times after intro.
    United Health Care 866-844-4864 000000,0,0
    USAA 800-531-6095 000 then #; or # initially to dial the extension of a specific representative
    us pharmacy phone steps to find a human
    Caremark 800-262-7890 0
    CVS local store Press 6 to connect to store manager.
    drugstore.com 800-378-4786 2, 5
    Eckerd 800-325-3737 0 for pharmacy, 8* for manager
    Express Scripts - TriCare 866-363-8667 0, listen announcement, 0,0.
    MEDCO 800-987-5269 Say "representative" after each message (3x).
    Rite Aid local store Press 3 to speak to the pharmacy
    Walgreens local store 0 for a pharmacy employee
    Walgreens Mail Order 800-635-3070 0,00
    us products phone steps to find a human
    Bose 800-444-2673 Direct to human.
    GE Appliance 800-626-2005 000
    Kodak 800-235-6325 *7 or *28
    Kodak Gallery (Ofoto) 800-360-9098 Say "customer service representative" repeatedly.
    Konica Minolta 800-285-6422 0
    Playstation 800-345-7669 0
    Sonos 800-680-2345 1 sales; 2 support
    Sony 800-222-7669 When prompted, just say "Agent".
    us retail phone steps to find a human
    Advance Auto Parts 800-314-4243 Press 0 when the automated message begins.
    Amazon Visa 888-247-4080 Press 0 twice. Ignore invalid account message.
    Amazon.com 800-201-7575 Wait though the first menu for an agent.
    Apple Stores local store press 5 as soon as you hear the automated menu
    Banana Republic 888-277-8953 0
    Barnes & Noble local store Press 1 or 0 during greeting.
    Barnes & Noble.com 800-843-2665 direct to agent
    Best Buy 888-237-8289 Listen to intro, then press 1,2,0,0
    Best Buy Card 800-365-0292 00* then press 8
    Blair 800-458-2000 Direct to agent
    Buy.com 949-389-2000 Dail 0 and direct to rep
    Cabela's 800-237-4444 direct to agent
    Circuit City Visa 888-363-8001 Press 0 a lot.
    CompUSA local 0
    eBay 800-322-9266 0,0
    Gap Credit Card 800-887-1198 000
    Home Depot local store Direct to human.
    Home Depot 800-793-3768 # 2-3 times
    Home Shopping Net 800-284-3100 0
    Ikea 800-434-4532 Press 0 many times quickly!
    JC Penney 800-222-6161 Press 0 twice, ignoring error message.
    K-Mart local store 0
    Kohl's Credit 800 564-5740 After providing account info, press 0 three times
    LL Bean 800-441-5713 Direct to human.
    Lowe's 800-445-6937 Press 0 as the recording kicks in to get to the Operator
    NetFlix 888-638-3549 0
    Old Navy 800-653-6289 Dial 0 direct to rep
    Overstock.com 800-843-2446 At the main menu, 0 three to four times to bypass the menu
    Petco local store 3
    QVC 800-367-9444 0
    Radio Shack 800-843-7422 0,0
    RadioShack local store Direct to human.
    Rent-A-Center 800-422-8186 1
    Safeway local store As soon as voice prompt starts type 1200 to get human
    Sears 800-4-MY-HOME Be silent to be put in queue for human.
    Sears Delivery 800-732-7747 *122
    Sears Repairs 800-469-4663 Repeat "Help" everytime the IVR tries to give options.
    Sharper Image 800-344-9919 Direct to human.
    Staples 800-333-3330 Just wait through intro and you will be connected to a representative.
    Staples local store 0
    Stop & Shop local number 0
    Target local store 0 during greeting.
    The Company Store 800-285-3696 0
    Toys "R" Us local store 0
    Wal-Mart 800-925-6278 1 for directory
    us shipping phone steps to find a human
    DHL 800-225-5345 Press 1, press 5, press 0, enter your phone number.
    FedEx 888-463-3339 At message say "Rep" or press 0
    Union Pacific 800-877-5123 Press # sign during main menu options.
    UPS 800-742-5877 0,0
    us technology phone steps to find a human
    Apple 800-275-2273 000; if virtual rep answers, say "operator"
    Apple Tech Support 800-275-2273 0,,0,,0 Wait for IVR response before pressing 0 each time.
    Compaq 800-652-6672 No easy escape
    Dell 888-560-8324 2 order; 3 support; 4 purchase help; or 00 to human
    Dell Service 800-624-9897 option 1, xt 7266966, option 1, option 4, option 4
    Earthlink 888-earthlink 1 find a dialin number; 2 billing; 3 sales; 4 support
    Epson 800-922-8911 yes
    Gateway 800-846-2301 00#
    HP 800-474-6836 Say "agent".
    HP 888-560-8324 00
    IBM 800-IBM-4YOU You go into a hold queue immediately
    Microsoft 800-936-5700 Always 0. This is true for just about any MS number.
    QuickBooks 888-729-1996 1 purchase; 2 billing; 3 registration; 4 tech support or 0 to human
    Symantec 800-441-7234 00
    Zone Labs, Inc. 877-966-5221 Press 2 for direct to human 24/7
    us telco phone steps to find a human
    AOL 800-827-6364 Press 0 repeatedly, ignoring all messages.
    AT&T 800-222-0300 #### then 1 if for current phone, else 2 to enter other, else 3
    AT&T Wireless 800-888-7600 During prompts, press * then # twice.
    BellSouth 877-678-2355 *0
    Cellular One 888-910-9191 4, say "agent", then #
    Cingular 800-331-0500 Enter your wireless number (or 10 zeros), then 0, then 0 again
    Cingular 800-211-2445 Direct to human.
    Comcast 800-266-2278 dail 0 3-4 times or be silent
    MetroPcs 888-863-8786 #43
    Nextel 800-639-6111 0 five times
    SBC 800-585-7928 Again, an (intelligent, this time) IVR wants YOUR phone number first.
    Sprint PCS 888-788-5001 If live person does not answer, 00, then say "agent"
    T-Mobile 800-TMOBILE Say "representative" at any time.
    Verizon DSL 800 567 6789 Say "I don't know it" then "technician"
    Verizon Wireless 800-922-0204 #00 or enter phone # then 0 then 4
    us travel phone steps to find a human
    American Airlines 800-433-7300 00, then say "agent"
    Amtrak 800-872-7245 0 or say "agent"
    Delta 800-221-1212 say "agent" four times - every time it asks for a response from you
    Kayak.com 203 899-3120 0
    National Car Rental 800-227-7368 Direct to human.
    Northwest 800-225-2525 Star, 0,0 after initial greeting
    Southwest 800-435-9792 Calls answered by operator; during busy times you might have to hold
    United 800-864-8331 Do nothing, wait for human.
    US Airways 800-428-4322 4, wait, 1
    Walt Disney World 407-824-4521 Direct line to Magic Kingdom Guest Relations
    us tv/satellite phone steps to find a human
    Comcast 800-266-2278 Customer service, but an IVR wants your number first.
    Direct TV 800-347-3288 0 repeatedly
    Sirius 888 539-7474 0
    TiVo 877-367-8486 Say "Live Agent"
    XM Radio 800-998-7900 Direct to human!



    I love myself,
    George

    Choux answered on 12/28/05:

    Quite excellent, George. I have dealings with three of these automated systems!

    JeffreyBryson rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    BeelzeBUSH rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/26/05 - Just plain stupid, or fancy and stupid?



    Opinion - Martin Samuel

    The Times December 27, 2005

    43 pensioners fell out of trees. Why? Stupidity
    Martin Samuel


    We’re not so much going to hell
    in a handcart, but over a ravine on an out-of-control lawnmower!

    THIS BEING Bank Holiday Tuesday, by now, more than 40,000 of you will have enjoyed a traditional British Christmas, spent covered in blood or smouldering slightly in one of this nation’s many delightful accident and emergency units.

    This has become such a feature of the holiday season that 40,000 more will be back over new year. A combination of five-year-old tree lights, made in Taiwan and bought cheap from that bloke in the precinct, an ignition problem with the Christmas pud owing to someone tearing the end off the Gordon Ramsay recipe in last week’s Times and Nana, 84, drawing Riverdance from the hat during the annual round of charades, will have combined to remove loved ones from the bosom of the family and place them somewhere else, probably in traction.

    The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is so concerned with this growing problem that it issued guidelines on such head-scratchers as how to open and play with your presents, and how to cook lunch and then eat it. RoSPA misses the point. It’s not the festivities, stupid. It’s the stupid, stupid. Stupid people. Doing stupid things. All the stupid time. For life, not just for Christmas. Bungee jumps, doomed do-it-yourself missions, killer pets, unexpected explosions. The Hospital Episode Statistics, published each year, tell of a nation not so much going to hell in a handcart, but over a ravine on an out-of-control lawnmower while battling against a tankful of venomous arthropods.

    We hear a lot from the health authorities about smokers and the obese, but the stupid seem to have got away scot-free. Some fat guy, never hurt a soul, keels over in the high street; the NHS behaves as if he’s just been caught nicking the PlayStation from the paediatric unit. Terrible man. Smoked 40 a day. Loved a fry-up. I mean, do we have to treat him? Really, should we?

    Next morning, some joker almost blows his head off with a high-powered patio-cleansing water jet while trying to clear his earwax, and they can’t get the blue light out quick enough. I’m not saying we should stop helping fellow citizens in distress, but what about a little parity? If war has been declared on the fat and wheezy, what about the perfectly formed but stupid?

    Did you know that last year 343 adults received hospital treatment at our expense after falling from trees? I’ll tell you something about those people. They won’t be fat. Fat people see a tree, they’re not thinking Huckleberry Finn, they’re thinking nice bit of shade. It’s all these thin idiots who keep getting stuck up trees. That is why a properly streamlined NHS would first install a triage nurse for the stupid.

    Fat people, you can see coming, smokers you can smell, but these skinny timewasters are getting in under the radar.

    “So what’s he done? Broke his neck? How did he do that? Fell out of a tree? I see. Some sort of park worker is he, part of his job? An estate agent from Luton? Works out, wanted to show off. Well, I’m sorry, love, but he’s on his own. When he comes round ask him what he thought he was playing at.”

    Or, more to the point, what were you playing at, Grandpa, considering 43 of the 343 who plummeted through foliage last year were over the age of 60. Perhaps they were just young at heart, like the 306 adults who suffered serious injury in falls involving playground equipment, or the 117 adults who plunged from a cliff. Didn’t these innocents have mums and dads? Didn’t they have a person who screamed at them from the age of five: “Don’t go near the edge! ” with eardrum-shattering intensity the moment they so much as wandered near a drop of more than 3ft?

    Weren’t they told the story of the little boy who got all his teeth knocked out from not paying attention near the swings?

    Children account for a lot of accidents (5,809 in playgrounds, 1,085 up trees), but for really spectacular flashes of stupidity, it takes a grown-up. Of the 12 injuries sustained through contact with venomous spiders and scorpions, not one victim was under 15.

    A kid sees a scorpion: he knows what to do. Only weird adults in bedsits keep tarantulas as pets. One guy was hurt by a crocodile. I’m presuming zookeeper. But 50 more became entangled with other reptiles. So a reasonable sample managed to cross a dangerous snake or lizard in a country that does not have either, and no clever Dick from a local health authority issued a pompous statement about that.

    There were six injuries from a prolonged stay in a weightless environment, including one in a person over 75, while 21 people fell foul of their pyjamas.

    Getting a gun is difficult in Britain, so accidentally shooting yourself should be even more so — yet 816 citizens managed it, at a rate of more than two per day.

    Think about that. If this were America, fine. It is easy to shoot yourself in America, or for someone to do it for you. Kids can pull it off, and frequently do. But in Britain we have to really work at redecorating a room with body parts.

    We need to get a licence, two referees, join a club, provide a letter from a landowner giving permission to shoot, and all this before peering down the barrel for cleaning purposes one morning and losing an ear.

    Yet 816 noble souls were prepared to go that extra yard in the pursuit of total foolishness. Just as Peter Cook was the comedians’ comedian, they are the stupids’ stupid. There will be a place in Heaven for them all, if not in their local casualty.

    Which, in our new perfect society, is how it should be. For by the time we’ve vetoed the fat, the nicotine-stained, the gravity-hating, the tree-dwelling, the gun-wielding, nightie-igniters, lizard-fanciers and the 3,972 that still can’t keep their thumb away from the hammer, A&E will be free for those spotless souls who have led utterly blameless, completely responsible and entirely irreproachable lives.

    At least there should be plenty of beds.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    Did you put yourdself in danger recently? If so, tell all!




    Choux answered on 12/27/05:

    I've been thinking about your question because it has been a long time since I did anything very interesting.

    But, anyway, I would have to say I fall into the catagory..... "I wonder what will happen if I ___________."

    The results determined if I was just stupid or incredibly reckless.

    Once I was in line behind a few bikers, and I wondered what would happen if I spoke controversily(sp)(I forget what I said) to the last guy. Nothing!

    Or, once I was making out in the Forest Preserve boarding on the street that sided the gigantic Brookfield Zoo. I wondered what it would feel like to dance nude in the woods. So, we did.

    Or, I wondered what it would be like to drive a motorcycle, so, I asked my brother how it worked, and drove away!!

    Just stupid stuff.

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/27/05 - well, that's certainly putting the blame in the right place, or is it?

    Canada blames U.S. for gun violence


    Tuesday, December 27, 2005 Posted: 2343 GMT (0743 HKT)

    TORONTO, Ontario (AP) -- Canadian officials, seeking to make sense of another fatal shooting in what has been a record year for gun-related deaths, said Tuesday that along with a host of social ills, part of the problem stemmed from what they said was the United States exporting its violence.

    Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin and Toronto Mayor David Miller warned that Canada could become like the United States after gunfire erupted Monday on a busy street filled with holiday shoppers, killing a 15-year-old girl and wounding six bystanders -- the latest victims in a record surge in gun violence in Toronto.

    The shooting stemmed from a dispute among a group of 10 to 15 youth, and the victim was a teenager out with a parent near a popular shopping mall, police said Tuesday.

    "I think it's a day that Toronto has finally lost its innocence," Det. Sgt. Savas Kyriacou said. "It was a tragic loss and tragic day."

    While many Canadians take pride in Canadian cities being less violent than their American counterparts, Toronto has seen 78 murders this year, including a record 52 gun-related deaths -- almost twice as many as last year.

    "What happened yesterday was appalling. You just don't expect it in a Canadian city," the mayor said.

    "It's a sign that the lack of gun laws in the U.S. is allowing guns to flood across the border that are literally being used to kill people in the streets of Toronto," Miller said.

    Miller said Toronto, a city of nearly three million, is still very safe compared to most American cities, but the illegal flow of weapons from the United States is causing the noticeable rise in gun violence.

    "The U.S. is exporting its problem of violence to the streets of Toronto," he said.

    Miller said that while almost every other crime in Toronto is down, the supply of guns has increased and half of them come from the United States.

    Miller said the availability of stolen Canadian guns is another problem, and that poverty in certain Toronto neighborhoods is a root cause.

    "There are neighborhoods in Toronto where young people face barriers of poverty, discrimination and don't have real hope and opportunity. The kind of programs that we once took for granted in Canada that would reach out to young people have systematically disappeared over the past decade and I think that gun violence is a symptom of a much bigger problem," Miller said.

    The escalating violence prompted the prime minister to announce earlier this month that if re-elected on January 23, his government would ban handguns. With severe restrictions already in place against handgun ownership, many criticized the announcement as politics.

    Martin, who says up to half of the gun crimes in Canada involve weapons brought in illegally from the United States, raised the smuggling problem when he met with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in October.

    Martin offered his condolences in a statement Tuesday, saying he was horrified by the shootings.

    "What we saw yesterday is a stark reminder of the challenge that governments, police forces and communities face to ensure that Canadian cities do not descend into the kind of rampant gun violence we have seen elsewhere," Martin said.

    John Thompson, a security analyst with the Toronto-based Mackenzie Institute, says the number of guns smuggled from the United States is a problem, but that Canada has a gang problem -- not a gun problem -- and that Canada should stop pointing the finger at the United States.

    "It's a cop out. It's an easy way of looking at one symptom rather than addressing a whole disease," Thompson said.

    Two suspects were arrested and at least one firearm was seized soon after the shootings Monday. Kyriacou said it was an illegal handgun.

    Three females and four males were injured, including one male who is in critical condition. Police believe they were bystanders.

    Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

    Choux answered on 12/27/05:

    In case anyone hasn't noticed, the street gang tactics in American inner cities have been adopted in many other countries.....Romania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Canada, Mexico...etc....


    The worldwide problem is young men, and how to educate them into useful non-violent pursuits....

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/26/05 - Thank You for Wiretapping Mr. President. You may have saved the lives of your critics, and others.<

    Why the Founders made presidents dominant on national security.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST
    Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold wants to be President, and that's fair enough. By all means go for it in 2008. The same applies to Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina Republican who's always on the Sunday shows fretting about the latest criticism of the Bush Administration's prosecution of the war on terror. But until you run nationwide and win, Senators, please stop stripping the Presidency of its Constitutional authority to defend America.
    That is the real issue raised by the Beltway furor over last week's leak of National Security Agency wiretaps on international phone calls involving al Qaeda suspects. The usual assortment of Senators and media potentates is howling that the wiretaps are "illegal," done "in total secret," and threaten to bring us a long, dark night of fascism. "I believe it does violate the law," averred Mr. Feingold on CNN Sunday.
    The truth is closer to the opposite. What we really have here is a perfect illustration of why America's Founders gave the executive branch the largest measure of Constitutional authority on national security. They recognized that a committee of 535 talking heads couldn't be trusted with such grave responsibility. There is no evidence that these wiretaps violate the law. But there is lots of evidence that the Senators are "illegally" usurping Presidential power--and endangering the country in the process.

    The allegation of Presidential law-breaking rests solely on the fact that Mr. Bush authorized wiretaps without first getting the approval of the court established under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. But no Administration then or since has ever conceded that that Act trumped a President's power to make exceptions to FISA if national security required it. FISA established a process by which certain wiretaps in the context of the Cold War could be approved, not a limit on what wiretaps could ever be allowed.
    The courts have been explicit on this point, most recently in In Re: Sealed Case, the 2002 opinion by the special panel of appellate judges established to hear FISA appeals. In its per curiam opinion, the court noted that in a previous FISA case (U.S. v. Truong), a federal "court, as did all the other courts to have decided the issue [our emphasis], held that the President did have inherent authority to conduct warrantless searches to obtain foreign intelligence information." And further that "we take for granted that the President does have that authority and, assuming that is so, FISA could not encroach on the President's constitutional power."
    On Sunday Mr. Graham opined that "I don't know of any legal basis to go around" FISA--which suggests that next time he should do his homework before he implies on national TV that a President is acting like a dictator. (Mr. Graham made his admission of ignorance on CBS's "Face the Nation," where he was representing the Republican point of view. Democrat Joe Biden was certain that laws had been broken, while the two journalists asking questions clearly had no idea what they were talking about. So much for enlightening television.)
    The mere Constitution aside, the evidence is also abundant that the Administration was scrupulous in limiting the FISA exceptions. They applied only to calls involving al Qaeda suspects or those with terrorist ties. Far from being "secret," key Members of Congress were informed about them at least 12 times, President Bush said yesterday. The two district court judges who have presided over the FISA court since 9/11 also knew about them.
    Inside the executive branch, the process allowing the wiretaps was routinely reviewed by Justice Department lawyers, by the Attorney General personally, and with the President himself reauthorizing the process every 45 days. In short, the implication that this is some LBJ-J. Edgar Hoover operation designed to skirt the law to spy on domestic political enemies is nothing less than a political smear.
    All the more so because there are sound and essential security reasons for allowing such wiretaps. The FISA process was designed for wiretaps on suspected foreign agents operating in this country during the Cold War. In that context, we had the luxury of time to go to the FISA court for a warrant to spy on, say, the economic counselor at the Soviet embassy.
    In the war on terror, the communications between terrorists in Frankfurt and agents in Florida are harder to track, and when we gather a lead the response often has to be immediate. As we learned on 9/11, acting with dispatch can be a matter of life and death. The information gathered in these wiretaps is not for criminal prosecution but solely to detect and deter future attacks. This is precisely the kind of contingency for which Presidential power and responsibility is designed.
    What the critics in Congress seem to be proposing--to the extent they've even thought much about it--is the establishment of a new intelligence "wall" that would allow the NSA only to tap phones overseas while the FBI would tap them here. Terrorists aren't about to honor such a distinction. As Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," before 9/11 "our intelligence agencies looked out; our law enforcement agencies looked in. And people could--terrorists could--exploit the seam between them." The wiretaps are designed to close the seam.

    As for power without responsibility, nobody beats Congress. Mr. Bush has publicly acknowledged and defended his decisions. But the Members of Congress who were informed about this all along are now either silent or claim they didn't get the full story. This is why these columns have long opposed requiring the disclosure of classified operations to the Congressional Intelligence Committees. Congress wants to be aware of everything the executive branch does, but without being accountable for anything at all. If Democrats want to continue this game of intelligence and wiretap "gotcha," the White House should release the names of every Congressman who received such a briefing.
    Which brings us to this national security leak, which Mr. Bush yesterday called "a shameful act." We won't second-guess the New York Times decision to publish. But everyone should note the irony that both the Times and Washington Post claimed to be outraged by, and demanded a special counsel to investigate, the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, which did zero national security damage.
    By contrast, the Times' NSA leak last week, and an earlier leak in the Washington Post on "secret" prisons for al Qaeda detainees in Europe, are likely to do genuine harm by alerting terrorists to our defenses. If more reporters from these newspapers now face the choice of revealing their sources or ending up in jail, those two papers will share the Plame blame.
    The NSA wiretap uproar is one of those episodes, alas far too common, that make us wonder if Washington is still a serious place. Too many in the media and on Capitol Hill have forgotten that terrorism in the age of WMD poses an existential threat to our free society. We're glad Mr. Bush and his team are forcefully defending their entirely legal and necessary authority to wiretap enemies seeking to kill innocent Americans.

    Choux answered on 12/27/05:

    Look up the NSA(National Security Agency) on the internet and what you find will curl your hair!

    Haven't got the time to explain it to you, but consider installations in West Virginia and Washington state where there are huge COMPOUNDS of computerized spy ware used for decades to spy on the USSR China etc etc, that are now used to spy on terrorists and terrorist countries *ETC*, elaborate installations that have the capacity to *easily* spy on **all** Americans telephone conversations at the present time!


    VERY FASCINATING!!!

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    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 12/27/05 - Guide to the origins?

    Museum helps workers tackle evolution fight

    Published Sunday, December 25, 2005

    ITHACA, N.Y. (AP) - Educated as a geologist in her native Hungary, Eniko Farkas knows, understands and firmly believes in the science behind evolution.

    Still, she was caught off guard last year when a visitor to the Museum of the Earth, where she volunteers, angrily confronted her, denouncing evolution and insisting the museum teach creationism instead.

    "I had a difficult time getting out of the situation," said Farkas, a retired Cornell University librarian and volunteer at the museum for the past seven years. "It got personal and very negative, and I got so flustered and frustrated that I know I didn’t make much sense trying to explain myself."

    With challenges to the theory of evolution becoming more widespread, museum Director Warren Allmon developed a special workshop and a 13-page guide book to help volunteers and staff answer questions about evolution, creationism and intelligent design.

    "This is not a defensive reaction or an attempt to change anyone’s mind," Allmon said. "It’s just that we find most people are uninformed about evolution or have been given misinformation."

    Since running the first workshop in July, Allmon said the museum has received more than 70 calls from other museums and organizations around the country.

    The guide provides information on the scientific method - using observations about the natural world and the rules of logic to test hypotheses - the theory of evolution, creationism and intelligent design.

    It also offers a script for how to answer frequently raised challenges, such as, "Is it true that there is lots of evidence against evolution?" Answer: "No. Essentially all available data and observations from the natural world support the hypothesis of evolution. No serious biologist or geologist today doubts whether evolution occurred."

    Read the rest of the article here.

    Is the 'script' correct?

    Does "Essentially all available data and observations from the natural world support the hypothesis of evolution"?

    Is it true that "No serious biologist or geologist today doubts whether evolution occurred"? Or is it just that any biologist or geologist that questions evolution can't be taken seriously?

    Choux answered on 12/27/05:

    Evolution is not like the Law of Gravity which was proven via a few clear explanations after scientific research.

    Proving Evolution is done one scientific inquiry after another, and another, and another, and another....that is very time consuming!

    The overwhelming evidence so far is that Evolution is true for all the many many experiments scientists have conducted.

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/27/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

    ... how many Experts ACTUALLY read long posts and clarifications.

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/27/05:

    Rarely.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/25/05 - not your average Christmas mass?

    Could this be a trendy way to get people back to church?


    Naked teenager streaks through church mass
    From:
    By Greg McLean

    December 26, 2005


    A NORTHERN Territory teenager has run naked through a church and jumped up on the altar in the middle of a midnight Christmas mass.
    About 150 Catholic churchgoers in Alice Springs were stunned by the prank yesterday but reacted quickly to hold the naked reveller until police arrived.

    Father Brian Healy said the 18-year-old ran naked through the aisle before jumping up on the altar.

    "He must have planned it," he said.

    "As he ran into the church he was yelling something and then he ran around a bit and jumped on the altar.

    "He wasn't a part of the congregation.


    "Besides that I was quite pleased with the turnout - you always like to see more people at church but the people here had a lovely spirit and it was very Christ-like."

    Police were quick to arrest the streaker and he was charged with indecent exposure and disturbing a religious worship.

    He was granted bail on the condition that he not go within 200m of a place of worship.

    Alice Springs police watch commander Henry Sattler praised the efforts of churchgoers who held the streaker until police arrived.

    "As I understand it he was dancing around the altar provocatively," he said.

    "Some of the church members lost patience with him after he started dancing around the altar and grabbed hold of him.

    "I don't know if he was affected by alcohol or not.

    "It was a pretty busy night for police but other than that it was just your usual drunken revelry on Christmas Eve."

    Choux answered on 12/25/05:

    I read an article on my ISP page about two months ago; it said that Australians are, well, pretty much always in the process of getting drunk, drunk, or treating a hangover.

    So, I would say, typical Christmas Eve at St. Taffy's on the Bluff.

    Mary Sue ;=D

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/25/05 - A MERRY AND JOYOUS CHRISTMAS



    Whoever you are,
    Wherever you are, and
    Whatever you believe,
    I wish you a Merry and
    Joyous Christmastide.

    Choux answered on 12/25/05:

    Hi, this is Nick, I always sign on the computer on holidays while Mary Sue is busy puttering around the apartment. Putt putt putt....could she go much slower?? I think not!

    Anyway, I guess you're addressing your message to me...I fit under the catagories, whoever, wherever, whatever.

    A manly kitty kiss on the nose for you, Mr., and have a happy Christmas season.

    Nick, the Cat =^oo^=

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/24/05 - pray we have a safe trip

    hi folks just imagine an old codger who can hardly walk spending next week at a ski lodge in WV we are taking the grandkids Gran will prob just sit by the fire in the lodge drinking hot cocoa but its a 900 mile trip up there so keep us in your prayers and have a great christmass and neww year Y"all

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    Enjoy, you'll be a "snow bunny"....lots of people to talk to around the fire wonderful winter scenes!

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    Question/Answer
    purplewings asked on 12/24/05 - Reincarnation:

    I thought somewhere it made a comment about being born into a new body.......What does the Bible say, if anything, regarding reincarnation? Thanks.

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    I don't know where that reference comes from, but



    ****MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR****

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    Question/Answer
    deardra asked on 12/24/05 - aiming in the right direction

    I hope everyone is enjoying this holiday season! My dad told me some things about christianity and I was hoping to get some feedback from you. He says all this stuff about christianity and most every religion was created by men to help them face their fears of death and dying. Instinct for survivle is what he calls it. Most people arent comfortable with the idea that when they die its over. He said they developed theories that he calls fairy tales about heaven and eternity. Laws created by men to control the actions of society were writen down and passed off as words and rules from god. It makes sense to me. I was wondering if you find out your belief isnt true will you regret your efforts to live up to the rules of getting into heaven? Will you rather spend all your energy on guilt and fear or living a good life? Do you think it is a sin to accept christmas presents if you don't believe in the christmas fable?

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!AFTER ALL,


    ***TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY!!

    ***FA LA LA LA LA....LALALALA!!!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/24/05 - Will President Bush have a Merry Christmas?



    Would it be mere wishful thinking to wish Mr Bush a Merry Christmas?

    Bush bubble burst by troubled 2005


    By Matt Frei
    BBC News, Washington


    This time last year
    the graphic artists at Time Magazine were putting the finishing touches to an oil portrait of President Bush.

    Two months after his re-election the picture would grace its cover and celebrate him as the recipient of one of the most eagerly awaited accolades in the US media, the person of the year award (2004):

    George W Bush, "revolutionary president".

    Twelve months later the same man finds himself again on the cover of a magazine.

    This time it is Newsweek and the commander in chief looks impish and helpless inside a soap bubble floating over the headline:

    "Bush's world. The isolated president.
    Can he change?"


    President Bush has become "bubble boy", according to the New York Times, and his revolution seems to have popped.

    Before most of Washington prepared to flee the capital for the holidays they dealt with one final pre-Christmas surprise.

    Inside the Beltway dinner party conversation is currently dominated by a vocabulary that sends shivers down most civilised spines: 'extraordinary renditions', 'black sites' and 'water boarding'

    The New York Times published an article, which it had been sitting on for a year, according to which the president personally allowed the super-secret National Security Agency to bug the e-mails and phone calls of Americans without getting the requisite approval of a secret court.

    After a day's embarrassed silence the White House decided to go on the offensive, claiming that Congress had given Mr Bush the green light to use all necessary means to protect the country after 9/11.

    Democrats - and quite a few Republicans - jumped up and said: "We only allowed you to hunt down Osama Bin Laden and defeat the Taleban. We didn't permit you to bug Americans without court approval!"

    It is not clear whether this scandal will survive the Christmas turkey and the recess, but it has raised an issue at the heart of this presidency:

    How far can the president push his executive powers in the middle of a war?

    George Bush has no doubt had his share of difficult years before, but in political terms 2005 must go down as his worst year in office.

    Mr Bush was forced to back-pedal on his Supreme Court pick, Harriet Miers

    His approval ratings had plummeted and are only now inching their way up the ladder.

    The political capital he sought to spend after his re-election has been squandered on the flopped mission to reform social security.

    The renewal of the Patriot Act, once considered a keystone piece of post-9/11 legislation in the war on terror, came unstuck in Congress.

    Harriet Miers - his personal lawyer, friend and cherished pick for the Supreme Court - was humiliated and then hounded from nomination even though President Bush had given "his word" that she was the right choice.

    The president has been forced to back-pedal on the much heralded overhaul of immigration, thanks to opposition from his own party.


    At the end of 2005 there is a lot to be depressed about around the White House Christmas tree. But in the current gloom it is easy to miss the seeds of recovery.

    Hurricane Katrina showed the alarming shortcomings of the administration in disaster relief, an area it had prided itself on.

    Criminal indictments have washed up on the doorstep of the White House. His chief lieutenant on Capitol Hill, Tom DeLay, aka "the hammer", is facing the gavel of justice in Texas, over allegations that he misused corporate funds for election campaigns.

    And hanging over everything is a war of choice that continues to haemorrhage lives, money and public support. Iraq will decide the president's legacy and will probably do so next year.

    Torture, security and liberty

    Inside the Beltway dinner party conversation is currently dominated by a vocabulary that sends shivers down most civilised spines: "extraordinary renditions", "black sites" and "water boarding".

    The land of the free is debating exactly how painful the enhanced interrogation of prisoners needs to be before it can be called torture.

    According to the administration anything short of organ failure and death is OK.

    According to the Oxford dictionary and the Geneva Conventions that is going too far.

    As a friend of mine - a Republican - put it over the din of a recent child's birthday party:

    "I am not surprised the rest of the world hates us!"

    In recent weeks the White House has gone on the rhetorical offensive over Iraq by basking in humility and contrition

    Despite 9/11, America is still a nation more comfortable with being loved than hated.

    Today even supporters of the president are wondering whether in the tussle between liberty and security that defines the war on terror, liberty is biting the dust and security is creating some serious "blowback".

    A week before Christmas, the White House was forced to bow to the wishes of John McCain, a Republican senator, who had himself been tortured during the Vietnam War.

    He argued persuasively that even the most limited application of torture is morally reprehensible, politically counter-productive and ultimately misleading, because people tend to lie under torture just to make the pain go away.

    Senator McCain did in Hanoi. His torturers asked him for a list of American spies and air crews.

    He gave them the names of the Green Bay Packers football team and they went away satisfied.


    The Iraqi parliamentary elections have turned out to be a resounding success. The Sunnis have broken the shackles of fear to flock to the polls in droves.

    The challenge of building a viable coalition government is immense but the democratic instinct in Iraq is alive and kicking and that vindicates the president.

    Moreover much of the security for the voting was provided by newly trained Iraqi troops.

    The administration has already outlined the exit strategy from Iraq: as Iraqi troops stand up, American soldiers can stand down.


    If there is a new mood of optimism at the beginning of 2006 the president needs to seize it with some key personnel changes at the White House and a clear vision of achievable goals

    If the coming months of coalition horse trading don't disintegrate into chaos and the training of Iraqi troops continues apace - both admittedly big "ifs" - it is possible that the insurgency will lose its quorum of support and become marginalised.

    In recent weeks the White House has gone on the rhetorical offensive over Iraq by basking in humility and contrition.

    The president who was famous for never admitting fault cannot stop saying sorry: about failed intelligence on WMD; about strategic mishaps in handling the insurgency; about not being welcomed with bouquets of flowers.

    The fragile Christmas bauble of contrition is then wrapped in the crisp paper of defiance:

    "We won't cut and run! We will do what it takes to achieve total victory."

    Those who favour immediate withdrawal are labelled cowards. The mixture of defiance and contrition seems to work.

    The most recent opinion polls have the president recovering just enough lost ground to end the year on a higher note.

    Robust growth

    Mr Bush's biggest assets are the apparent determination of the Iraqi people to rebuild their own country and the inability of the Democrats to proffer any coherent alternatives to the current policy.

    In one corner Senator Joe Lieberman - who has been tipped by the rumour mill as a possible replacement for Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon - cries out that any criticism of the president is detrimental to the troops.

    In the other corner, respected veterans like Rep Jack Murtha charge that the administration has bungled and that the troops should come home soon.

    Meanwhile the economy has refused to tank. US growth is robust.

    The US Federal Reserve is expected to slow down if not shelve the string of interest rate rises, Americans are spending less on petrol than they were two months ago and the barrage of hurricanes that careened through the Gulf Coast has done less damage to the economy than most soothsayers had predicted.

    If there is a new mood of optimism at the beginning of 2006, the president needs to seize it with some key personnel changes at the White House and a clear vision of achievable goals.

    The 2005 State of the Union address soared rhetorically to Mars and Middle East democracy. The next one could strike a humbler note.

    The spirit of 9/11, when the administration wrapped every political move in the Stars and Stripes and even the opposition was afraid to ask awkward questions, is wearing off.

    Officially America is at war - in Iraq and against terror - but most Americans don't feel as if they are living in a time of sacrifice. This is the schizophrenia of the second Bush term.

    Starting on 4 January, 2006, Matt Frei will be writing a fortnightly diary from Washington for the BBC News website.

    * BBC (C) Copyright Notice2005

    ---

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    The Bush Presidency took on its mission after 911.

    Assorted politicos like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and Rove plus more pushed for a proactive approach to the problem of Islamic fundamental violence directed outward to the modern world.

    The active approach was to influence Islamic governments into giving citizens an active say in the management of their own affairs......by introducing democracy, of sorts into the Middle=East.

    A revolutionary and dangerous foreign policy....however, the alternative, many Islamic countries steeped in oppression, painfully superstitious and backward....generating huge numbers of dissatisfied young men taught to direct their anger toward the West and Jews rather that where it belongs, with their political and religious leaders and Islam itself.




    These are difficult times. We can all agree on that.


    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/24/05 - Christian Wisdom



    He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    Bless you, rev, for you deserve a pleasant and happy retirement, and all the love of those who know you!

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 12/24/05 - ID slapped down


    Hello Christians:

    Wow! Old Judge Jones, the right wing Republican, church going Christian, appointed by Bush himself, said ID was religion. He also said that the Church going, right wing members of that Pennsylvania town school board are liars.

    What do you think of that "activist" (hee hee) judge? Maybe he should be replaced with a REAL Bush appointee....... Wait a minute....

    excon

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    It doesn't take much to see that ID is Creationism repackaged in order to sneak teaching religion into public schools!!

    A judge's job is to uphold the law, not make law. That is what he did.

    I think many people are shocked that there are still so many hoorable people with integrity in America.

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/24/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

    ... if God came to Earth as a boy who grew up to be Jesus.

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    If you are an orthodox Christian, that is your belief.

    You believe in GodAlmighty creator of heaven and earth, and in his only son, Jesus Christ.....

    The contents of the Apostles' Creed.


    ****HAVE A HAPPY AND ENJOYABLE CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY AS A VALUED AND LOVED MEMBER OF THE CHRISTIANITY BOARD AND AN ADULT CHILD OF GOD****

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/24/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

    ... when and exactly how Jesus received his magical powers.

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/24/05:

    Do you mean how he converted water to wine and walked on water? Those things didn't happen literally, they are symbolic of something else. :)

    In healing, that is different. People are cured of dis-ease by their attitude and positive beliefs in most cases! Or at least, there is a strong wellness component to being happy and positive and rejecting negativity.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR, HANK!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/23/05 - Just a little Christmas cheer from down under

    Just to let you know what you are all missing

    Dashing through the bush,
    in a rusty Holden Ute,
    Kicking up the dust,
    esky in the boot,
    Kelpie by my side,
    singing Christmas songs,
    It's Summer time and I am in
    my singlet, shorts and thongs

    Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
    Christmas in Australia
    on a scorching summers day, Hey!
    Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
    Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

    Engine's getting hot;
    we dodge the kangaroos,
    The swaggie climbs aboard,
    he is welcome too.
    All the family's there,
    sitting by the pool,
    Christmas Day the Aussie way,
    by the barbecue.

    Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
    Christmas in Australia
    on a scorching summers day, Hey!
    Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
    Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

    Come the afternoon,
    Grandpa has a doze,
    The kids and Uncle Bruce,
    are swimming in their clothes.
    The time comes 'round to go,
    we take the family snap,
    Pack the car and all shoot through,
    before the washing up.

    Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way,
    Christmas in Australia
    on a scorching summers day, Hey!
    Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut!,
    Oh what fun it is to ride in a rusty Holden Ute.

    Choux answered on 12/23/05:

    super!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/23/05 - Christianity is not a treat.

    This peace poses many questions

    How can Christians address the perception that they are a threat?

    How do you determine the worth of an individual?

    Churches urge peace and unity

    By Linda Morris Religious Affairs Reporter
    December 24, 2005

    SYDNEY'S Christian leaders have used their Christmas messages to decry materialism and promote Jesus' message of peace.

    Drawing parallels between the story of the birth of Jesus and Sydney's recent tensions, the Catholic Archbishop, Cardinal George Pell, called for "peace to all our suburbs". He said the world had nothing to fear from Christianity and called for Australians to show their decency and tolerance.

    He said Jesus, like his parents and the shepherds, was of "Middle-Eastern appearance", and the ruler of the times, King Herod, was a neurotic tyrant and hostile to any potential rival.

    "Interpreted correctly, neither the crib nor the cross is a threat to anyone. Christianity has won followers and spread because it has been able to unite different people into communities of mutual support and respect; rich and poor, young and old, from every race on the planet."

    The Anglican Archbishop, Peter Jensen, called for people to lift their eyes from daily struggles to "see what lies around the corner".

    "For some it is a time when relationships are strained to the limit, when the cracks in our marriages, our families and our friendships seem to widen. For others the strain is financial, as we see what the neighbours have and we don't," he said.

    "Yet others find it difficult to join in the festivities because the world just doesn't seem like somewhere worth celebrating. Wars, hurricanes and child poverty press in on our hearts and minds, refusing to be pushed aside, even for a day."

    The president of the Uniting Church, Dean Drayton, said he sensed a greater search for spirituality: "Whatever the environment, be it meditation and prayer or a search for meaning or happiness, it is evident there is a lot more bubbling in the lives of people than most have been given credit for."

    He hit out at dry economic rationalism and defended the right of the church to speak out against injustice.

    Money was not the yardstick for determining an individual's worth, Dr Drayton said, nor was it good enough to remain silent on issues of injustice.

    "Jesus calls us to build societies of peace and justice, which is so much more than economic prosperity," he said. "What is the use of a greedy and divided society at war with itself and others?"

    Given global tensions and those in Sydney, the senior pastor of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston, and Leader of The AoG Movement, said Christmas should be a time to embrace each other.

    "When we choose to accept others regardless of our differences, and focus instead on what we have in common, I believe our families, our relationships, our communities and world can only benefit."

    The Prime Minister, John Howard, hailed Australians' generosity, noting the response to last year's tsunami and the work of teams in Aceh and Kashmir.

    The Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, called Australians "the hardest workers in the world", which placed "even greater value on this special time with family and friends".

    Choux answered on 12/23/05:

    Americans are the hardest workers in the world as measured by output. Just to keep Kim Beazley honest. :)

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/23/05 - What do you think of this? Should we not try to disagree, without being disagreeable?


    I never put down the Muslim people, the Hindu, or others. I will say that Jesus is the only way to salvation, but if they do not want to accept that, then I do not get angry with them. I do not get angry with Atheist, but I will tell them that Jesus is the Savior. If anyone does not want to accept Jesus, then that is their right.

    But if I want to believe in Jesus, that is my right, and it is not decent, or civilized, to say nasty things about Him, or us.. I would ask why do people think it is right to belittle Christians? Why do they think it is necessary to make nasty remarks about Jesus? Does it make them feel better, or are they trying to convince themselves that they are right?

    There is so much common sense in the word of God, that it amazes me how supposedly learned people cannot comprehend the truth when they hear, or read it.. In Jesus’ name. M.L.

    Choux answered on 12/23/05:

    A lot of people who "believe in Jesus" also believe that they have the right to speak their lies as if what they say comes from God!

    Decent people have to resist the lies and ignorance that comes from the mouth of so-called Christians who really cultivate a cult mentality.


    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!


    A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!!!

    Tex78 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/23/05 - Undercover Clergy




    Undercover Clergy

    A minister, a priest and a rabbi went for a hike one day. It was very hot. They were sweating and exhausted when they came upon a small lake. Since it was fairly secluded, they took off all their clothes and jumped in the water.

    Feeling refreshed, the trio decided to pick a few berries while enjoying their "freedom." As they were crossing an open area, who should come along but a group of ladies from town. Unable to get to their clothes in time, the minister and the priest covered their privates and the rabbi covered his face while they ran for cover.After the ladies had left and the men got their clothes back on, the minister and the priest asked the rabbi why he covered his face rather than his privates. The rabbi replied, "I don't know about you, but in MY congregation, it's my face they would recognize."

    Choux answered on 12/23/05:

    Ahhh, excellent, rev! lol

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/23/05 - a peice of muslim wisdom at last!



    for once I have to admit I have found a piece of Muslim wisdom that i agree with(Aton I do read this stuff)




    Observe how the life of this world deceives those around you. It lures them into the traps of vanity, wealth, and fame, and exalts them above others. This splendor blinds them, and they are lost forever in illusion. But then in one instant, life deals the blow of death, and all is gone, and with the Beguiler it stands laughing at their sad end. So overcome your egos that you may be saved from the snares that devoured kings and paupers alike.

    -Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani, "Fayuz E Yazdani"

    Choux answered on 12/23/05:

    rev, all human beings have troubles....we must seek wisdom and enlightenment so that we may enjoy our life....there is no other life.

    Thinking in the *dramatic and theatrical language* like many ancient men thought is no help in dealing with the reality of our lives today.

    Love Life
    Live Life
    Be Wise!

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/22/05 - NOW! they need help!




    The Palestinians who took over the Jewish greenhouses in the Gaza Strip when Israel withdrew its communities from the area now are asking expelled farmers for advice after reportedly failing to reproduce the region's famous insect-free vegetables, WND has learned.

    Prior to Israel's August withdrawal, the residents of Gaza's Gush Katif slate of Jewish communities ran greenhouses known for producing high-quality insect-free vegetables. The Gush Katif gardens featured some of the most technologically advanced agricultural equipment and accounted for more than $100 million per year in exports to Europe. The greenhouses also supplied Israel with 75 percent of its own produce.

    The hothouses were passed to the Palestinians in September in a $14 million deal brokered by former World Bank President James Wolfenson and several wealthy Jewish Americans.

    Earlier this month, the Palestinians now running the greenhouses reportedly told the Israeli-Palestinian Economic Cooperation Fund they failed in their efforts to grow bug-free produce.

    Now the Palestinian owners have asked the United States Agency for International Development, which has been involved in reconstruction efforts in Gaza, to hire former Jewish Gaza greenhouse owners as consultants for their declining vegetable businesses.

    Eitan Hederi, a former Gaza farmer who represented Gush Katif residents in the Wolfenson greenhouse transfer told WND, "The Palestinians are privately turning to U.S. AID to hire us because we are experts in this kind of farming. It's a really complex process that we engineered."

    Anita Tucker, an expelled Gaza resident and one of the pioneer farmers of Gush Katif, told WND, "I am not at all surprised the Palestinians are failing. When they worked in our greenhouses they needed to be monitored closely. Many didn't understand certain things, like not using different kinds of chemicals. Plus when we were in Gaza, our efforts were blessed by God."

    Tucker explained she and other Katif farmers engineered agricultural technology specific to the dry, sandy Gaza conditions.

    "We used different kinds of netting, also aluminum, since we knew the reflection of the sun kept bugs away," she said. "We used colors because we knew certain kinds of bugs were attracted to or kept away from different colors. We used certain organic insecticides for certain plants, and were very strict about which chemicals we used. We kept our greenhouses as clean as possible. And we also had our own proprietary inventions and technology."

    Asked if she would serve as a consultant for the new Palestinian owners of her former greenhouses, Tucker said, "Probably not. We see the terror coming out of Gaza, coming out of the neighborhood I used to live in, and it's just horrible. Hamas has taken over different parts of Gush Katif and are firing rockets into Israel. I am not saying the Palestinian farmers are involved, but it seems they are not doing enough to stop the terror."

    Haderi, who says he already has been asked by U.S. AID to consult on greenhouse technology, said, "I am still thinking about it. It's a very difficult decision."

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    Someone should help them with the greenhouses. These Palestinean men are two generations from[1948(?) when Israel was formed] from value-ing honest work. Plus, this is complicated work, apparently.

    Like in Afghanistan, the current male generation is divorced from honest farming because of the War with Russia when Afghani men became warriors against the Russian invaders.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/21/05 - while we are contemplating the debate on the origin of life

    we might like to contemplate this

    The question even Darwin avoided

    December 22, 2005

    The way computers work could provide clues to the origin of life, but the great puzzle persists, writes Paul Davies.

    WHEN Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, he gave a convincing account of how life has evolved over billions of years from simple microbes to the complexity of the Earth's biosphere to the present. But he pointedly left out how life got started.

    One might as well speculate about the origin of matter, he quipped. Today scientists have a good idea of how matter originated in the Big Bang, but the origin of life remains shrouded in mystery.

    Although Darwin refused to be drawn on how life began, he conjectured in a letter to a friend about "a warm little pond" in which various substances would accumulate.

    Driven by the energy of sunlight, these chemicals might become increasingly complex, until a living cell formed spontaneously. Darwin's idle speculation became the basis of the "primordial soup" theory of biogenesis, and was adopted by researchers eager to re-create the crucial steps in the laboratory. But this approach hasn't got very far.

    The problem is that even the simplest known organism is incredibly complex. Textbooks vaguely describe the pathway from non-living chemicals to primitive life in terms of some unspecified "molecular self-assembly".

    The problem lies with 19th-century thinking, when life was regarded as some sort of magic matter, fostering the belief that it could be cooked up in a test tube if only one knew the recipe.

    Today many scientists view the living cell as a type of supercomputer - an information-processing and replicating system of extraordinary fidelity. DNA is a database, and a complex encrypted algorithm converts its instructions into molecular products.

    Viewed this way, the problem of life's origin is switched from hardware to software. The game of life is about replicating information. Throw in variation and selection, and the great Darwinian experiment can begin. The bits of information have to be physically embodied in matter somehow, but the actual stuff of life is of secondary importance.

    There is no reason to suppose the original information was attached to anything like the highly customised and evolved molecules found in today's living cells.

    The rapid convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology and computer technology has opened up new possibilities for processing information on ever-smaller scales. The goal of this race to the bottom is quantum computation, in which information is attached to atomic and subatomic states and manipulated using the rules of quantum physics.

    If life is formed by trial and error, speed is the key. This suggests life may have emerged from the quantum realm directly, without the need for chemical complexity.

    All it takes to get life started is a quantum replicator - a process that clones bits of information attached to quantum systems by allowing them to interact with other quantum systems in a specific way. The system could be anything at all - the spin of an electron, a meta-stable atomic state, or a molecule that can flip between two conformations. The uncertainty inherent in quantum mechanics provides an in-built mechanism for generating variations.

    How, then, did life arise? We can gain a clue from modern computers. Quantum systems may be fast, but they are very fragile. Computers routinely transfer important data for safekeeping from speedy yet vulnerable microchips to slow and bulky hard disks or CDs.

    Perhaps quantum life began using large organic molecules for more stable data storage. At some stage these complex molecules took on a life of their own, trading speed for robustness and versatility. The way then lay open for hardy chemical life to go forth and inherit the Earth.

    Paul Davies is a physicist at the Australian Centre for Astrobiology and the author of The Origin of Life (Simon & Schuster).

    The Guardian

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    Why don't you **read a book** about evolution to see what proof scientists have in many different areas of evolution?

    Evolution is complicated; scientists have to prove small areas at a time! It's not easy like the Law of Gravity!!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/21/05 - Planet of the Apes?

    What price a Russian superman?

    Stalin's half-ape supertroops
    From:
    By Nick Buchan

    December 21, 2005

    A SECRET plan to create hordes of half-man half-ape super-warriors to conquer the rest of world has been uncovered in Moscow.

    If successful, the plan would have seen humans and chimpanzees cross-breeding to create a new race of "living war machines", which ignored pain and fear and which thrived on hardship.

    According to The Scotsman, the program was instigated by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in the early 1920s. Stalin saw the scheme as an integral part of his plans to consolidate power and rapidly boost the Soviet Union's flagging power and prestige on the world stage.

    The stakes were high - Stalin's battered Red Army had been gutted by years of civil war and internal purges. There was also intense pressure to find a new labour force, particularly one that would not complain, with the Soviet Union about to embark on its first Five-Year Plan for fast-track industrialisation.

    Stalin threw scientists and other genetic experts into the program, providing lavish resources and funding in a bid to achieve early results.

    "I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat," Stalin said, quoted by Moscow newspapers.


    His cronies were not slow in supporting him. In 1926 the Politburo in Moscow passed the request to the Academy of Science with the order to build a "living war machine".

    The Soviets drafted their top animal-breeding expert into the program. Ilya Ivanov, who previously had set up the world's first centre for the artificial insemination of racehorses, set off for West Africa to conduct his first experiments in inseminating chimpanzees.

    Meeting little success, Ivanov turned his efforts around, setting up a facility in Stalin's home republic of Georgia to fertilise human volunteers with monkey and ape sperm. Not surprisingly, the efforts were a total failure.

    All up, his efforts cost the impoverished Soviet Union many hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    For his expensive failure, he was sentenced to five years' jail, later commuted to five years' exile in the Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan.

    A year later he died, reportedly after falling sick while standing on a freezing railway platform.

    Does the result here clearly demonstrate the link beteween man and ape is spirious? and that man could not have decended from ape? Evolution, where are you to go now?

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    Way back starting in the 1920-30, genetic engineering would have been not mucn more than putting male sperm with a female chimps eggs! Different animals can't cross breed in most cases!

    And, they spent "many hundreds of thousands of dollars"......chickenfeed even 70 years ago for such a complicated experiment.

    Stalin was an insane guy. It is interesting reading about him in history books. He killed more innocents than Hitler.

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/22/05 - Are we destined to be the same forever?

    I've always been impressed by the movements of clouds. They, too, offer us riddles of sorts. Some just lay there and sleep. Others dance to the sounds of trouble while outstripping the wind. All are true pictures of reality. What, one wonders, can be done to change their destinies.We do not hate them. Nor do we condone their perplexity, even though their personalities can effect the presence of tomorrow's rainbow. The skies do not offer us a choice. They exist for themselves by offering us a complex picture of actuality. Clouds are like air -- they're always up there --- somewhere. It's up to us to deal directly with the results of their functions.

    Citation: "Never A Toadstool" - by HANK1 (page 7)

    Are you a CLOUD?

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    Really a good attempt at an extended metaphor, dude! Were you inspired by "I wandered lonely as a cloud.." by Wordworth???

    I am too much like clouds....mophing at a moments notice...here then gone...sometimes the home of a lightening bolt....

    HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 12/22/05 - Is this a cult, or some fad, or is it a sickness?

    Hello Everyone,

    We all have knowledge of some who inflict injury on themself. Som of this may include, cutting or self mutilation There are many throughtout the world with this problem. Some even use razors, and are hospitalized or taken to emergency rooms due to the severe cuts and abuses. One persons, even said, she knew God didn't like her to do this, but she just can't stop it." It's the only way I can cope with my stress." After I cut myself, it feels like a big weight has been lifted off of me."

    1- What is this behavior?
    2- How do your feel God views it?
    3- Why are the highest persons who do this, young teenageers?
    4_ Can you offer some better ways of copeing with the distressing feeling these ones get?

    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    This condition requires *good* professional care; it is a serious and dangerous mental illness. Useless speculation is not helpful in this situation.

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    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 12/22/05 - Balance God/you

    I boiled my problem with the lose of my truck down to
    realizing that maybe I just can't find the balance.
    My truck was only worth about 500. and my mechanic is about as poor as me, so if he makes payments it will be some time before I can afford to buy anything.

    I was thinking last night about how maybe God is trying to show me that I am always trying to get ahead of him instead of letting him work things out. But then if I don't be 'pro-active' and push to get ahead I get in a bigger mess to with my bills and so forth.
    I am so used to pushing to get ahead and only end up further behind. I feel like if I don't push I feel like I am procrastinating and I hate that.
    When something tells me just wait I feel like it is only me being lazy.

    I just can't seem to find the balance.
    What are some things that help you know when to push and when God is telling you to 'Let go and let God'?


    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    SApph, The first thing you have to do is relax and take some deep breaths....ideas may come to you if you set aside your problem for several hours and just plain relax and cut down on all the churning in your brain. :)

    You always seem a little frantic...calm down! Calm down now!!!

    Meditate on positives...you have health, friends, work ethic, sense of humor, think about all things positive.

    "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are good,....... Philippians

    When you are frantic, all you are doing is digging a hole....relax....in a month all this will be forgotten. :)

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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/22/05 - NOW AIN'T THIS A REAL HOOT?

    Learning Network: Saladin
    provides a short history of the Muslim warrior and opponent of the western Crusaders.
    Category: Middle East > Ayyubid Dynasty > Salah al-Din
    www.infoplease.com/ce6/people/A0843183.html - 17k

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    FYI, I SAW A WONDERFUL STORY ABOUT THE CRUSADES ON THE HISTORY TV CHANNEL AND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO YOU STONE-MAN....IT IS A GOOD OVERVIEW OF THE CRUSADES FOR GENERAL KNOWLEDGE AND SALADIN IS DISCUSSSED.

    VERY INTERESTING.

    STONY rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Bishop_Chuck asked on 12/21/05 - Group Sex

    Little by litte society is slipping more and more


    OTTAWA - Group sex among consenting adults is neither prostitution nor a threat to society, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled on Wednesday as it lifted a ban on so-called “swingers” clubs.

    In a ruling that radically changes the way courts determine what poses a threat to the population, the top court threw out the conviction of a Montreal man who ran a club where members could have group sex in a private room behind locked doors.

    Choux answered on 12/22/05:

    BC, You have a lot of work to do on yourself before you worry about what other adults do.

    There is a Bible verse that goes along with my truth. The plank in your brother's eye.....

    The only thing we can control is ourselves. We can't control what other people do.

    Bishop_Chuck rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/21/05 - I USUALLY DON'T DO THIS, BUT....

    I ASKED ATON A QUESTION AND GOT SUCKED INTO A WAR BETWEEN IT SEEMS LIKE EVERYONE. SO, FOR THE PRESENT I WILL NOT RESPOND TO THE ANSWERS OR COMMENTS MADE. THE QUESTION WAS TO ATON, IT WAS NOT POSTED AS A SOUNDING BOARD FOR EVERYONE'S PRIVATE LITTLE WARS.

    ........SORRY THAT'S JUST HOW I FEEL TODAY.

    Choux answered on 12/21/05:

    DON'T BE SORRY!! YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO YOUR OPINION AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO INVOLVE YOURSELF WITH TROUBLE MAKERS AND GOOFBALLS!!!

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/20/05 - A Free Country Needs a Free Press.



    Should the press leave Bush to run his empire from the secret dark place of his own mind, assisted only by his intimate inner circle, but outside the law, freed from reponsbibility to the Legislature, the Judiciary, and the American People?

    Bush has ridden rough shod over American freedoms and liberties, and has managed to do so bevcause of the Bush Mantra of Fear that turns strong men to Jell-O and othewise sound intellects into mashed potatoes.

    The Bush Mantra of Fear is:

    9-11 - Osama bin Laden - Al Qaeda - Afganistan - Iraq - & Watch this space, because only me can save you from total annihalation.!"


    The Mantra is repeated continuously on every occasion without regard to its truthfulness.

    The press (a free press is essential in a democracy) is criticised for pointing out that Bush is snooping on his own citizens in their own country countrary to the Law and Constitution which he has sworn to uphold.

    I am opined that the press do the American public a great service by revealing what they have uncovered when it involves his criminality.

    Others would like to make everyone keep quiet about his treason, but there is ample precedent for letting the people know what is going on and what is contrary to law, and why Bush is failing in his promise to re-introduce morality into the White House.

    The effect of news coverage on presidential administrations is subtle and hard to measure. Mostly because government investigators are reluctant to acknowledge that they were responding to publicity, because to admit they are influenced by journalism suggests that they aren't doing their jobs properly.

    Publicity can and should be used to push authorities to take action if only to avoid being embarrassed by media disclosures.

    "In Watergate," writes historian David Greenberg, author of the new book "Nixon's Shadow," "it was unclear at first whether the FBI would pursue crimes beyond the break-in itself. If the Post hadn't kept Watergate alive, it's not certain that the bureau, or the Senate, would have kept digging. Woodward and Bernstein's work shaped the way Watergate unfolded."

    According to Woodward, the late Sam Ervin, chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee, "called me and asked questions, and his work grew out of the stories that we did."

    Woodward says that after Nixon's resignation, the presiding federal judge, the late John Sirica, told him "flat out" that the Post's stories influenced him to crack down on the Watergate conspirators.

    "Judges don't decide to get tough in a vacuum," Woodward says. "Senators don't decide to investigate in a vacuum."

    Both were influenced by the press, Woodward says, because "the normal legal process wasn't uncovering the abuses. It's that simple."

    Other journalists who covered Watergate agree. "The record clearly shows that the cover-up would have worked if the press hadn't done its job," says CBS News anchorman Dan Rather, whose aggressive Watergate reporting led the Nixon White House to try to get him fired.

    Rather maintains that Congress and the courts "didn't have a clue, frankly" about Watergate crimes and that federal investigators wised up "only after repeated and constant coverage" by journalists.

    Besides, the battle was political as well as legal, says Jack Nelson, who covered Watergate for the Los Angeles Times: "Nixon was fighting not just prosecutors and Congress but also in the court of public opinion. For all of their controlling Congress, the Democrats were not in any sense going to go after Nixon unless the public was behind it. And the public got behind it because of the press holding Nixon's feet to the fire."

    Keep the press free, or make it a puppet of the White House, like Stalin and Hitler did?

    Are you free or frightened?



    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    No free press, no freedom. What can protect us from our government other than a free press? Nothing.

    We do face incredible danger from organized terrorists groups who plan mayhem agaist the US. How to deal with this new kind of "war" on our country??

    Not one American wants to be in an area where a dirty bomb goes off. Or, any bomb for that matter.

    I have no problem with the government listening in on suspicious conversations in order to save American lives from religious zealots.

    The Class of 2005 will be graduating from University, they entered college in 9-01....we have not had a single bombing during the time they were in college.

    Let's try to keep it like that the best way we can.

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    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 12/20/05 - the posts here

    ya'll get annoyed over some of the posts here, but yeesh, just look through many of the responses they have gotten in the past few days....It is enough to keep me laughing through the New Year.

    And Lord knows I need some laughs as my year has gotten to an all time low of how bad can my bad luck go!

    Happy New Year

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    It's CHRISTMAS TIME! BE HAPPY BE MERRY!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/19/05 - foes anyone have an in with the vatican???

    If so I would love to nominate Atons spouse for sainthood surly living with such a dissagreable person daily qualifies them!LOL

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    ATONS "wife".......lololololol.........

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/19/05 - "It's about time for Santa and Christmas to do a U-turn and come back."

    It's official, Christmas is back on the agenda for some, let's hope that this also spells the end of the silly "political correctness" which has invaded Sydney this year. If Christmas offends you, tough, get a life! I will not be saying Seasons Greetings, but HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!(:-D)

    Twice-daily riot checks
    From:
    By Jonathan Porter

    December 20, 2005


    SYDNEY residents are being urged to go back to the beach by New South Wales Police Commissioner Ken Moroney - subject to a twice-daily assessment on the danger of race riots.

    Mr Moroney and Premier Morris Iemma made the call after a hailing the weekend lockdown of many of the state's major beaches as a success because it averted "riots, affray and assaults on other citizens".

    "That level of violence escalates and begets other violence," Mr Moroney said.

    "It's about time for Santa and Christmas to do a U-turn and come back."

    He called on people to get "normality back in their lives" and return to beaches along a 200km stretch of coast from Newcastle to Wollongong.

    Mr Moroney said police would not be closing down the Christmas Day celebrations at Bondi Beach "at this time".

    "Last weekend was like no other weekend in policing in this state's history," he said.

    Mr Moroney said two daily bulletins would keep NSW residents up to date about the possibility of beach lockdowns.

    "I indicated I wanted to take the community into my trust. The alternative was to tell them nothing and keep them in the dark," he said.

    He added that he would only lock down beaches "if intelligence indicates it is appropriate".

    Mr Moroney said the weekend lockdowns had identified some problems, including women leaving their cars and walking home after being trapped in traffic jams caused by roadblocks.

    "It may not be the best decision, particularly if women are walking the streets on their own," Mr Moroney said.

    Mr Iemma announced that a heavy police presence would remain around Sydney's beaches and trouble spots for as long as was necessary.

    "The intelligence and the security assessments are such that people are encouraged to return to normal business," he said.

    But he added that he understood some locals were frustrated at the high police numbers.

    "This is a fight for order and control of our streets," Mr Iemma said yesterday.

    "There are hooligans out there who believe they have the right to determine who goes to beaches ... and who will control parts of our parks and our streets.

    "That is not something we can tolerate," he said.

    Mr Iemma said police had charged 163 people with 283 offences since Operation Seta began on December 12 in response to the violence at Cronulla and other beachside suburbs.

    Mr Moroney said he would work with the federal authorities and mobile telephone companies to tackle the problem of text messages inciting people to commit violence, and would take the issue up at the next police ministers' conference.

    NSW Opposition Leader Peter Debnam called on the state Government to pay compensation to beachside businesses affected by the riots, but the Government ruled out making any cash compensation payments.

    However, Mr Debnam said he thought businesses hit by the riots and police lockdowns had a right to compensation.

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    Will these tedious updates never end?

    MERRY CHRISTMAS

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/19/05 - Do lyou think this is funny......................?

    Alaskan Loggers
    This is sick!!!........also humorous!!
    MM

    On a tour of Alaska, the Pope took a couple of days off to visit the
    mountains for some sight seeing. He was cruising along the campground in the
    Popemobile when there was a frantic commotion just at the edge of the woods.
    A helpless Democrat, wearing sandals, shorts, a "Save the Whales" T-shirt
    and a Tree Hugger Hat, was struggling frantically, thrashing around trying
    to free himself from the jaws of a 10 foot grizzly.

    As the Pope watched horrified, a group of Republican loggers came racing up.
    One quickly fired a 338 magnum into the bear's chest. The other two reached
    up and pulled the bleeding semiconscious Democrat from the bear. Then using
    long clubs, the three loggers beat the bear to death and two of them threw
    it onto the bed of their truck while the other tenderly placed the injured
    Democrat in the back seat.

    As they prepared to leave, the Pope summoned them to come over. "I give you
    my blessing for your brave actions!" he told them. "I heard there was a
    bitter hatred between loggers and environmental activists, but now I've seen
    with my own eyes that that is not true."

    As the Pope drove off, one of the loggers asked his buddies "Who was that
    guy ?"

    "It was the Pope," another replied, "he's in direct contact with God and has
    access to all God's wisdom."

    "Well," the logger said, "he may have access to all God's wisdom, but he
    sure doesn't know anything about bear hunting..........is the bait holding
    up okay or do we need to go back into town and grab another one?"

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    Contrived and yuckers!!!

    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/19/05 - Uri (pronounced oori)Geller a paranormalist.....

    What do you think of this guy?
    http://www.uri-geller.com/

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    Uri is a magician.

    You sure enjoy being fooled, Fred.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/20/05 - ATON, LEARN HOW TO READ...

    I NEVER SAID J.EDGAR WAS THE PRESIDENT. I SAID HE WAS A CROSS-DRESSER. THAT MY FRIEND IS A FACT...

    Choux answered on 12/20/05:

    THANKS FOR THE LAUGH, STONE-MAN, THIS IS MY FIRST QUESTION OF THE DAY, AND IT IS A BEAUTY.

    AND, CORRECTOMUNDO, J EDGAR WAS A FREAK!!

    ATON2 rated this answer Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    Laura asked on 12/19/05 - Do we still mean it?

    Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

    "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame..."
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    These are strong powerful words. They attract the poor, the dejected of other societies, in hopes of a better tomorrow.

    Do we still mean it or should we officially announce that we are full up...no more room at the inn so to speak!

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Laura, I had a very interesting customer when I worked at the bank. She was a political refugee(violence) from the Cameroons and only spoke French.

    A local Methodist Church sponsored her and one of the lady parisheers took her everywhere....she rented an apartment, and began doing house cleaning. She worked for me for a while.

    I hope to heck we are taking in all the persecuted people; I don't know anything about immigration, though.

    Laura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Laura asked on 12/19/05 - Do we still mean it?

    Emma Lazarus (1849-1887)

    "Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame..."
    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

    "Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
    with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

    These are strong powerful words. They attract the poor, the dejected of other societies, in hopes of a better tomorrow.

    Do we still mean it or should we officially announce that we are full up...no more room at the inn so to speak!

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    I don't think we mean it any more. We were poplulating a big chunk of continent back then.....

    Laura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 12/19/05 - Common sense on racism

    Freeman criticizes black history month

    NEW YORK (AP) — Morgan Freeman says the concept of a month dedicated to black history is "ridiculous." "You're going to relegate my history to a month?" the 68-year-old actor says in an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes to air Sunday (7 p.m. ET). "I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."

    Black History Month has roots in historian Carter G. Woodson's Negro History Week, which he designated in 1926 as the second week in February to mark the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.

    Woodson said he hoped the week could one day be eliminated — when black history would become fundamental to American history.

    Freeman notes there is no "white history month," and says the only way to get rid of racism is to "stop talking about it."

    The actor says he believes the labels "black" and "white" are an obstacle to beating racism.

    "I am going to stop calling you a white man and I'm going to ask you to stop calling me a black man," Freeman says.

    Freeman received Oscar nominations for his roles in 1987's Street Smart, 1989's Driving Miss Daisy and 1994's The Shawshank Redemption. He finally won earlier this year for Million Dollar Baby.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Amen. This is what I've been trying to say for a long time, I'm glad to see someone like Morgan Freeman say it, too. Do you agree with Freeman's remarks? Why or why not?

    Steve

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    What do you care what people talk about?? Are you a control freak? You are, I forgot! lol!

    The only way to get rid of racism is when everyone is about the same color and features...that is in process now. :)

    Itsdb rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/19/05 - Now that is going too far?

    Christians to get naked
    From:
    By Tony Allen-Mills

    December 19, 2005


    IN the beginning was the word of God and God never said anything about brassieres or boxer shorts. Thus was born Natura, America's first Christian nudist camp.
    After two years of biblical debate over Adam and Eve and their fig leaves and whether or not nudity is sinful, a 67-year-old Quaker grandfather is preparing to open a modern-day Garden of Eden 65km north of Tampa, Florida.

    Bill Martin's ambitious plan for an 80ha Christian-oriented Family Naturist Village has survived legal challenges, doctrinal disputes and a plague of internet prudes. Land is now being cleared for the opening next year of what may become the world's only Christian community to feature nude volleyball.

    Despite howls of complaint from fundamentalists who have likened Martin to the Antichrist - and described his nudist plans as "graphic evidence of America's moral collapse" - Natura intends to build 50 houses around a non-denominational church where clothing for services will be optional.

    He has fought with his neighbours over property rights, fallen out with other nudists over his promotional material and sparked a vigorous internet debate over whether the true path to godliness really involves getting naked.

    Yet Martin remains confident that Christians will flock to Natura to experience the spiritual benefits of a lifestyle "free from body shame". He is spending more than $US2million ($2.68million) on a nudist recreational complex that will also feature a hotel, campsites and a children's water park.

    Advertisement:
    "As evidenced by Adam and Eve, we believe that when God's children are in the right relationship to Him, they will be naked and unashamed," explains one of Natura's brochures.

    US christians have long been intrigued by the biblical implications of nudity and Ilsley Boone, a Baptist pastor, was the founder in 1931 of the American Sunbathing Association, an early naturist group.

    Martin and his supporters argue that nudism is unhealthy, especially for children, unless it occurs in a proper Christian context. He has criticised non-religious nudist camps for encouraging alcohol and sensuality. "We are going after a totally different group, a group that doesn't want a sexual atmosphere," he said. "There is absolutely no relationship between nudity and sex."

    Much of his group's philosophy appears in a book, Nakedness and the Bible, self-published on the internet by Paul Bowman, a Canadian author. The book cites several biblical references suggesting that God does not disapprove of nudity and that Jesus may have been naked at several key moments of his life - notably when he washed the feet of his disciples.

    Martin's supporters also claim that nude worship is much more in keeping with modest Christian values than are the ostentatious displays of wealth on show at the suburban "megachurches", where women attend services in "designer clothes and $90 haircuts", says one internet posting.

    Although Martin's land has been used by naturists before - the area has the largest concentration of nudist camps in America - he has alienated local residents with proposed property improvements that have spawned half a dozen lawsuits.

    He has also upset America's largest naturist association with his "holier-than-thou" approach. Earlier this year Natura was expelled by the American Association for Nude Recreation, representing 270 member organisations, on the grounds that his website was publishing "sexually exploitative material".

    Martin also became embroiled in a bizarre dispute about an article that appeared on his website discussing male erections - a perennial concern for novice nudists. Martin told the local press that the article was meant to help young men worried about an embarrassing reaction when first confronting naked women.

    "If you can't speak about human nature, I don't know what you can speak about," he said. "Erections have got to be addressed. It's a major concern of teen males."

    Martin's critics depict him as a religious fanatic whose criticisms of rival resorts are damaging the naturist industry. "We are not concerned about him taking our members," said Elf Anderson, who conducts nude marriage ceremonies at other resorts. "But we are concerned about the impression he gives to the public about us. We are all for wholesome family nudism - but he's just way off the scale."


    I wonder, did any of these people pause to wonder why Adam and Eve hid themselves?

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Mecca for pedophiles. Martin is the head pedophile.

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/19/05 - Be careful what you say

    What if all people were as passionate about their faith?

    Man on trial for murder after heated debate
    From:
    By Kate Uebergang

    December 20, 2005


    A MAN has been ordered to stand trial for killing his friend with a bow and arrow after a heated debate about God. Peter Rattya, 41, of Seddon in Victoria, is accused of murdering Amer Alihromic on January 15 during an argument in which Mr Alihromic claimed there wasn't a God.

    Mr Alihromic, 26, was "cursing God and the Bible" while Mr Rattya was "defending God and saying that he was our creator", witnesses told the Melbourne Magistrates' Court yesterday.

    The two men were among a group of people gathered at a Seddon boarding house on a Saturday evening.

    Mr Rattya lived there and the victim was a former resident, the court was told.

    Matthew Lau and his estranged wife, Codi Campbell, told the court they were among those standing in the back yard smoking cannabis and listening to music.

    The couple gave evidence the conversation turned tense when Mr Alihromic began abusing the Bible.

    "Peter wasn't happy about the other guy saying there wasn't a God," Ms Campbell said.

    Mr Lau said: "The other guy was cursing God and the Bible.

    "Peter was defending God and saying that he was our creator."

    Ms Campbell said the accused said, "You better apologise to our Lord or I'll f---ing kill you."

    Mr Lau and Ms Campbell went inside the property and Ms Campbell said she saw Mr Rattya run to his bedroom, grab a bow and arrow and run outside again.

    The court was told she watched Mr Rattya aim the bow at Mr Alihromic.

    Ms Campbell said Mr Rattya giggled and laughed after he allegedly shot the other man.

    She said Mr Rattya then convinced Mr Lau to stab him in the upper thigh, in order to claim he acted in self-defence.

    Mr Rattya reserved his plea to a charge of murder and did not seek bail.

    Magistrate Jenny Crubissa remanded him in custody to appear in the Supreme Court next year.

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    It's a rough life out there for those who speak the truth...atheists....in this case, he got murdered by a god believer!!!

    paraclete rated this answer Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/19/05 - Look out Yanks, Australus is on the menu

    No doubt it will join other meats as an ingredient in your favourite dishes as enterprising Australians take advantage of the FTA. You too can find out what has made abo's so lean, after all you won teh competition you may as well eat the product

    Terrine australus to sweeten the flavour of Skippy


    By Daniel Lewis Regional Reporter
    December 20, 2005

    THE competition to create a "sugar-coated" name to inspire people to eat kangaroo meat has a winner -"australus".

    Run by the Sydney-based magazine Food Companion International, the competition attracted 2700 suggestions from 41 nations. Only entries from people working in the food industry were eligible.

    Finalists included "kangarly", "maroo", "krou", "maleen", "kuja", "roujoe", "rooviande", "jurru", "ozru" and "marsu". Also submitted were "kangasaurus", "marsupan", "jumpmeat" and "MOM" (meat of marsupials).

    As Greg Richardson, of Pacific Palisades in California, explained of his entry: "There is nothing more comforting than a mother. In order to make kangaroo meat sound more comforting to potential consumers, I figured we could associate one with the other: MOM."

    Steven West, a US citizen, came up with "australus". Although, he is the co-ordinator of applied studies (rooms division) at the Blue Mountains Hotel School in Leura and on the verge of officially becoming an Australian. Mr West said that just as the "venison" divorced deer meat from the idea of eating Bambi, so too would "australus" divorce kangaroo meat from the idea of eating Skippy.

    What the kangaroo industry dubs "Skippy syndrome" - a reluctance to eat the national symbol - has for decades held back kangaroo meat consumption by humans. This year the industry has a quota to kill 3.9 million kangaroos, mostly for pet food.

    Judges of the competition included the television chef Ian Parmenter and the food writer Cherry Ripe.

    The editor of Food Companion International, Mel Nathan, said "australus" sounded dignified and linked the meat with the home of the kangaroo. "The new name may be a huge breakthrough for the kangaroo meat industry," she predicted.

    When the winning name was announced at a luncheon at Kingsley's Steakhouse in King Street yesterday, some of the guests said the name sounded too much like the Australis brand of fragrances.

    The executive officer of the Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia, John Kelly, said that while his organisation had helped sponsor the competition, it had "no really serious intention of changing the name" at this stage.

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Kangaroo meat???...yuckers!....I'd rather eat you. :=D

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/19/05 - The politician's Christmas present

    I wonder if George Bush would like to join Peter Costello?

    http://network.news.com.au/image/0,10114,5088399,00.jpg

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Yes indeedie doooo....

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/19/05 - FOR CLAUDE (CURIOUS) RE: SHORTER URL:

    It seems as though a Questioner can't send but one clarification. So, here's what I found:

    Note that this snippet in the acrostic ends on the passage about Reuben as, "excess in glory and excess in power." The meaning is this: God's very nature of perfection insists that He fill every space of the universe with meaning, but this excessive redundancy of truth is hidden from us, being of no profit to us. Bible codes, therefore, are simply a sign to an impudent people that this is indeed God's Word. The codes are not meant to be anything other than a sign. All we ever need to know is already in the plain word of God. Everything else is superfluous.

    Source: Acrostic - Bible - Code Prophecy

    * Thanks, Claude, for the new URL.

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Oh, for heaven't sake! Clever people can make codes out of any verbal passages!! It's easy.

    Why the hell would "God" play tricks on people disguising the truth we see everyday with our own two eyes// LOLOL!! That's silliness.

    HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/19/05 - The Pope’s Surprise




    The Pope’s Surprise

    Many years ago, a beloved Pope died and went to heaven. Saint Peter greeted him in a firm embrace. "Welcome your holiness, your dedication and unselfishness in serving your fellow man during your life has earned you great stature in heaven. You may pass through the gates without delay and are granted free access to all parts of heaven."

    St. Peter continued: "You are also granted an open-door policy and may, at your own discretion, meet with any heavenly leader including the Father, without prior appointment. Is there anything which your holiness desires?"

    "Well, yes," the Pope replied. "I have often pondered some of the mysteries which have puzzled and confounded theologians through the ages. Are there perhaps any transcripts which recorded the actual conversations between God and the prophets of old? I would love to see what was actually said, without the dimming of memories over time."St. Peter immediately ushered the Pope to the heavenly library and explained how to retrieve the various documents. The Pope was thrilled and settled down to review the history of humanity's relationship with God.

    Two years later, a scream of anguish pierced the quiet of the library. Immediately several of the saints and angels came running.

    They found the Pope pointing to a single word on a parchment, repeating over and over: "There's an 'R'. There's an 'R.' There's an 'R'... It's CELIBRATE, not celibate!"

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    A Pope on heaven!! That's a good one!!!

    LOLOLOL!!!

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/19/05 - Are our courts in shameful shambles?

    Ninth Circuit Appellate Court asked to Reconsider its Ruling that it is OK For Public Schools To Teach Seventh Graders “To Become Muslims”

    ANN ARBOR, MI. – A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had ruled in a short unpublished memorandum opinion that it was constitutionally permissible for twelve-year-old public school students to be told they would “become Muslims,” has been asked to reconsider its decision by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Law Center has also asked all twenty-four active judges on the Ninth Circuit to decide the case.

    For three weeks in 2001, impressionable twelve-year-old students were told that they would become Muslims, memorized verses from the Koran, took Islamic names, wore identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the Star and Crescent Moon, which is the symbol of Muslims, were handed materials that instructed them to “Remember Allah always so that you may prosper,” completed the Islamic Five Pillars of Faith, including fasting, and memorized and recited the “Bismillah” or “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God,” which students also wrote on banners that were hung on the classroom walls.

    Richard Thompson, Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, “This ruling is evidence of a double-standard when it comes to religion in public schools. If students had been instructed on Christianity, as they had on Islam, a Constitutional violation would have most likely been found. The appeals court should clarify in a published opinion just how far public schools can go in teaching about religion. Christians want to know.”

    The Law Center represents several parents and their children who challenged the California Byron Union School District’s practice of teaching twelve-year-old students “to become Muslims.”

    A federal district court judge in San Francisco had previously determined that the school district had not violated the constitution. Edward L. White III, a Law Center attorney, had asked the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel to overturn the district court’s decision.

    The three-judge panel, however, affirmed the ruling of the district court in a short unpublished memorandum decision. In its unpublished decision, the three-judge panel overlooked, and did not rule on, the plaintiffs’ claims that their free exercise of religion rights and their parental rights had been violated.

    The Law Center has asked the three-judge panel to reconsider its ruling and to rule on the free exercise and parental rights claims.

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    ?? Was this some kind of program to teach about other religions by being a Hindu or a Muslim or a Native American for a few days???


    Incidently, religion is the last thing 12 year olds are iterested in with all those hormones starting to circulate....puberty!!!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/18/05 - Is this fair OR unfair or WHAT?......................

    College Students Sue California Over Preferences for Illegal Aliens
    Jim Kouri, CPP

    Attorneys representing college students from 19 states filed a class-action lawsuit seeking hundreds of millions of dollars from officials for charging them significantly more than illegal aliens pay to attend state-run colleges in California.
    The state allows illegal aliens to pay in-state tuition, while making out-of-state American citizens pay higher tuition fees.

    The 42 plaintiffs allege that California lawmakers and members of the board of regents for the University of California "knowingly violated a federal law enacted in 1996 that says any state that offers discounted in-state tuition to its illegal aliens must provide the same lower rates to all US citizens."

    Some of students in the University of California system could be eligible for as much as $300,000 in total damages, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

    The students state that the lawsuit was filed in a state court in Yolo County on behalf of over 50,000 US citizens who have paid out-of-state tuition to attend public colleges and universities in California since 2002.

    They also claim that out-of-state students are paying $20,000 more than illegal aliens per year to attend schools in the University of California system. That's $11,000 more than illegal aliens pay for the same education.

    "And in the community college system in California, which has a total of 1.5 million students, the tuition differential is $6,000 a year," said attorney and legal scholar Kris Kokach..

    California is among the eight states that have laws charging lower in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens who qualify as in-state residents.

    Opponents of illegal alien preferences say that those state laws violate a federal statute, which took effect in 1998, that says any state that offers discounted in-state tuition rates at public colleges to illegals living in the state must provide the same lower rates to all US citizens who attend. The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, and Sen. Alan K. Simpson, Wyoming Republican.

    One angry student said, "These illegal aliens may live in California, but they broke the law to do it. Why should they get preferential treatment over citizens?"

    Allegedly, the administrators of the University of California system also recognized that the state law was invalid, and they refused to implement it unless they were "given immunity." As a result, he said, California lawmakers enacted an "immunity statute," which says that if the state tuition law is declared illegal or unconstitutional, schools in the University of California system would not be held liable for retroactive tuition differences.

    The bill which gave lower tuition to illegal aliens was signed into law by Governor Gray Davis, a Democrat who was ousted from office by a state recall vote.

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    This seems like a strange law; maybe after they become citizens they can get a break in the cost. Not while they are illegals.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/18/05 - Have you ever been touched by an angel ?

    Touched By An Angel?

    The popular perception that Angels are whimsical, social do-gooders, childish cherubs or simple go-for’s, is completely false. The Bible makes clear that righteous angels are sent forth from the throne of God as powerful ministering spirits to assure that God's plan for mankind is accomplished.

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    The human kind. There is no such thing as invisible supernatural creatures; pure fantasy.

    ROLCAM rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/18/05 - How the liberals stole Christmas (or) A visit from St. Dick

    By Kevin Horrigan
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Dec. 11 2005

    Twas the month before Christmas

    And as I lit candles,

    Conservatives stirred -

    They were onto a scandal.

    "They want to kill Christmas!"

    Came the cry from the right:

    "They want to axe Bethlehem

    And O! Holy Night!

    "They're after the Christ child

    And Joseph and Mary

    And shepherds and wise men;

    These liberals are scary."

    Who? I said. Who

    Is behind these cruel plots?

    "Well, we're not really sure,

    But we heard it on Fox.

    "Fox fair and balanced;

    Esteemed, and most highly.

    We're not really sure -

    It was prob'ly O'Reilly."

    So I grabbed the remote

    And clicked over to Fox

    And there snarled O'Reilly.

    (Imagine my shock):

    "The liberals, the commies,

    The A.C.L.U.

    They want to steal Christmas

    From me and from you.

    They say 'Happy Holidays'

    And acknowledge the Jews

    By throwing in Hannukah."

    I was really confused.

    "And what's this with Kwanzaa?"

    The O'Reilly elf said.

    "Some guy made it up,

    Made it up from whole cloth.

    And somewhere the pagans

    Are worshipping trees

    And Muslims turn eastward

    On rugs on their knees."

    "The Democrats did it,"

    He said with a roar.

    "It was Kerry and Biden

    And Clinton and Gore."

    And then with a smirk

    He fired heavy artillery:

    "If you want my opinion,

    I bet it was Hillary."

    I sat there in silence,

    Stunned in my jammies.

    My pulse was just racing

    My hands were all clammy.

    Who can save Christmas

    From plots so barbaric

    That turn Jesus' birthday

    To a season generic?

    What will happen to Christmas?

    Should I recycle my creche?

    And toss out John's gospel

    'Bout Word become flesh?

    Should I toss out the angels?

    They could get me arrested.

    I was, lo, sore afraid

    And my soul greatly tested.

    Who will save Christmas?

    George W. Bush?

    Who will save Christmas

    When shove comes to push?

    We could call the Marines

    But they've all been assigned.

    This disaster needs FEMA.

    Oh . . . never mind.

    Then I heard a weird jingling

    From somewhere in back

    And grabbed for the pistol

    I'm licensed to pack.

    I pulled back the slide

    And quick chambered a round

    And yelled out "Freeze dirtbag!

    Don't dare make a sound!"

    The guy, he was balding

    And wore a blue suit.

    He was driving a pickup

    That said "Brown & Root."

    His eyes they were squinting,

    His voice, slightly nervous

    Said, "Richard B. Cheney.

    I'm here, at your service."

    I was stunned at the sight

    Of the man who's the veep.

    And I thought I was dreaming,

    In some weird right-wing sleep.

    I heard him cough softly

    Then say, "It's not fiction.

    "First Comet is venison.

    "And next I'll shoot Vixen."

    "I killed off the reindeer,"

    He softly exhaled.

    "And I sent Santa off

    To a black CIA jail.

    This secular nonsense,

    We'll end it, right quick.

    I've got other priorities

    Or my name's not St. Dick."

    He said, "Christmas's really

    Just all about loot

    You can stuff in your bag

    And then dis-t'-ri-bute

    To friends and to donors

    And pals who are cronies,

    It's not about children

    Or Democrat phonies.

    "The trick that I've learned,"

    St. Dick said like a Scrooge,

    "Is avoiding the blame.

    Instead, get you a stooge,

    So the stooge takes the heat

    As you make dead certain

    That the goodies pile up

    Inside Halliburton."

    "So we'll blame it on liberals,

    And commies and gays.

    We'll blame it on Democrats

    And folks who don't pray."

    We've got Bill O'Reilly

    To stir up the base

    While we haul all our loot

    To an undisclosed place."

    Then he turned with a wink,

    Jumped back into his pickup.

    He nodded his head

    And then said with a hiccup:

    "I'll tell you one thing

    Gives me great satisfaction:

    'The liberals stole Christmas'

    Is a dandy distraction."

    E-mail: khorrigan@post-dispatch.com

    Choux answered on 12/19/05:

    Crass commericalism stole Christmas a long time ago.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/17/05 - Mondern science says thet the Mona Lisa was happy

    And it took sophisticated software to do it.
    Imagine that after all this time we finally know that she smiled because she was happy.

    By TOBY STERLING, Associated Press Writer Thu Dec 15, 6:15 PM ET

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - The mysterious half-smile that has intrigued viewers of the Mona Lisa for centuries isn't really that difficult to interpret, Dutch researchers said Thursday.
    ADVERTISEMENT

    She was smiling because she was happy — 83 percent happy, to be exact, according to scientists from the University of Amsterdam.

    In what they viewed as a fun demonstration of technology rather than a serious experiment, the researchers scanned a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece and subjected it to cutting-edge "emotion recognition" software, developed in collaboration with the University of Illinois.

    The result showed the painting's famous subject was 83 percent happy, 9 percent disgusted, 6 percent fearful and 2 percent angry. She was less than 1 percent neutral, and not at all surprised.

    Leonardo began work on the painting in 1503, and it now hangs in the Louvre in Paris.

    The work, also known as "La Gioconda," is believed to have portrayed the wife of Francesco del Giocondo. The title is a play on her husband's name, and also means "the jolly lady" in Italian

    Choux answered on 12/18/05:

    She is happy! Always look into the eyes. :)

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    Question/Answer
    tomder55 asked on 12/18/05 - Cindy Sheehad's European Vacation

    I see Cindy Sheehad and a busload of moonbats have taken their traveling protest show on the road . She led a massive demonstation of about 100 at the US Embassy in Madrid ,Spain . (shown here striking a pose.As you can see in the backround ,the pedestrians were amused). If you want her to energize you're gathering this professional protester can be made available for you're holiday party . Book her appearance here . She has a way to brighten up any event.

    Choux answered on 12/18/05:

    Tom, you are so funny! lolol....

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/18/05 - A GIFT FOR YOURSELF AT CHRISTMAS:

    "It is difficult to watch couples in love when your relationship is not working well, or if you are single and don’t want to be. It is difficult to see others spend money if you have none or are struggling. Making peace with unfulfilled desires is not the same as giving up on your dream or surrendering to never having it fulfilled. It is simply a way of having peace now, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. This is not the same as denial. Peace is acceptance, a fundamental way of embracing reality as it is right now. Peace frees you up to take action to cause different results in the future."

    Source: Third Age Blog

    Are you going to give yourself this Christmas present?

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/18/05:

    Hank, this is a wonderful post!

    It is tempting to give in to self-pity at Christmastime when one is alone and has no money when peple all around are busy with the Christmas spirit. Many people suffer from holiday depressions because Christmas is a reminder that they "should be" happy and joyful.

    Many years ago I learned about acceptance in a 12 Step Program related to Alcoholics Anonymous. Accept reality....count your blessings....relax and be peaceful. There is, after all, nothing in the world that can make a person happy......happiness is from within!
    Peace comes from within.

    Acceptance--->Peace frees us to see different solutions to the same old problems, as the quote you posted has stated. Why not chose a some happiness instead of suffering?

    One living wise man(Dalai Lama) states that Happiness is the goal for a Life. Choose acceptance--->reality--->happiness. :)

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/17/05 - JUST WONDERING ...

    ... if we could ALL get together and come up with some kind of a DOCTRINE that would benefit all of mankind, including the Muslims, starting in January, 2006. I feel that we need a CHALLENGE and that we need to do something CONSTRUCTIVE, like build a DOCTRINE of FREE-WILL and/or design a WORLD GOVERNMENT or BOTH that everyone everywhere could live with! WHY? Many people need our help! (I know this to be true) More people than you may think read what we write on this Christianity Board. If we tried one or two of these projects, I'm quite sure it wouldn't be boring. I would also like to have some Experts who are 'missing' come back to our Board and give us some input. I KNOW THAT WE CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT I HAVE WRITTEN!

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    Hank, there is no reason to do this...no one wants to give up the belief in life after death...this is basically the core doctrine that holds back most serious attempts at establishing worthwhile COOPERATION AND GOALS for all humanity.

    Reason: one must please HIS/HER GOD to live after death in heaven.

    If people would understand that their "belief" that they will live forever is just not true, maybe they would work for the betterment of life on earth!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/17/05 - For all you who are politically correct

    stick that in you smoke and pipe it!


    PM calls for Jesus in shopping centres
    From: Sunday Herald Sun
    By Tony Vermeer

    December 18, 2005


    PRIME Minister John Howard has made a passionate defence of religion at Christmas and urged shopping centres to restore nativity scenes.
    He said he had contempt for arguments that Christianity should be downplayed in case it offended people of other faiths or non-believers. Mr Howard said it was not tolerant to "bland out" religious symbols of Christmas.

    "You don't demonstrate tolerance towards minorities by apologising for your heritage," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

    "I hope some department stores have the courage to bring back nativity scenes.

    "When I was a kid you'd go in and see the Christmas tree and Santa Claus, but there'd also be nativity scenes in department stores.

    "They seem to have disappeared and you hear, 'Oh, we don't want to offend anybody'."

    "Actually you're offending a lot of people who think it's a great pity they've disappeared. Even if they're not especially religious themselves, they like the association.

    "It's part of the culture and the history and the nature of this country."

    He did not believe most Muslims and Jews resented the emphasis on Christmas.

    "They respect the fact that it's a Christian day. You don't win tolerant brownie points by pretending to be something you're not," he said before Sydney's recent race riots.

    "I just think it's silly and it's patronising towards minorities and it's offensive to our cultural history."

    Melbourne's Christmas decorations were boosted after criticism of last year's low-key approach last year.

    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    What he is pushing is "secular Christmas"....the pagan aspects of the winter holiday season, lights, spending money, gifts, lots of feasting and drinking, laughing and enjoying life.....everyone enjoys that!!!

    The Holyday of Christmas has nothing to do with the above. It is a day for Christians to rejoice in their savior's birth. A day for not working and concentration on religious significance.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/17/05 - Spin it left - Spin it right - Which spin is correct?

    Official: Bush authorized spying multiple times
    Associated Press

    Senior intelligence officer says President personally gave NSA permission
    NEW YORK - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.

    The disclosure follows angry demands by lawmakers earlier in the day for a congressional inquiry into whether the monitoring by the highly secretive National Security Agency violated civil liberties.

    “There is no doubt that this is inappropriate,” declared Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He promised hearings early next year.

    Bush on Friday refused to discuss whether he had authorized such domestic spying without obtaining warrants from a court, saying that to comment would tie his hands in fighting terrorists.

    In a broad defense of the program put forward hours later, however, a senior intelligence official told The Associated Press that the eavesdropping was narrowly designed to go after possible terrorist threats in the United States.

    The official said that since October 2001, the program has been renewed more than three dozen times. Each time, the White House counsel and the attorney general certified the lawfulness of the program, the official said. Bush then signed the authorization.

    Risk to the country At each review, government officials have provided a fresh assessment of the terrorist threat, showing that there is a catastrophic risk to the country or government, the official said.

    “Only if those conditions apply do we even begin to think about this,” he said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the intelligence operation.

    “The president has authorized NSA to fully use its resources — let me underscore this now — consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution to defend the United States and its citizens,” the official said, adding that congressional leaders have also been briefed more than a dozen times.

    Senior officials asserted that that the president would do everything in his power to protect the American people while safeguarding civil liberties.

    “I will make this point,” Bush said in an interview with “The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer.” “That whatever I do to protect the American people — and I have an obligation to do so — that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people.”

    Senators want more information The surveillance, disclosed in Friday’s New York Times, is said to allow the agency to monitor international calls and e-mail messages of people inside the United States. But the paper said the agency would still seek warrants to snoop on purely domestic communications — for example, Americans’ calls between New York and California.

    “I want to know precisely what they did,” said Specter. “How NSA utilized their technical equipment, whose conversations they overheard, how many conversations they overheard, what they did with the material, what purported justification there was.”

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he wanted to know exactly what is going on before deciding whether an investigation is called for. “Theoretically, I obviously wouldn’t like it,” he said of the program.

    Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., a member of the Judiciary Committee, said, “This shocking revelation ought to send a chill down the spine of every American.”

    Times: Cheney told of program Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush chief of staff Andrew Card went to the Capitol Friday to meet with congressional leaders and the top members of the intelligence committees, who are often briefed on spy agencies’ most classified programs. The Times said they had been previously told of the program. Members and their aides would not discuss the subject of the closed sessions Friday.

    The intelligence official would not provide details on the operations or examples of success stories. He said senior national security officials are trying to fix problems raised by the Sept. 11 commission, which found that two of the suicide hijackers were communicating from San Diego with al-Qaida operatives overseas.

    “We didn’t know who they were until it was too late,” the official said.

    Some intelligence experts who believe in broad presidential power argued that Bush would have the authority to order searches without warrants under the Constitution.

    In a case unrelated to NSA eavesdropping in this country, the administration has argued that the president has vast authority to order intelligence surveillance without warrants “of foreign powers or their agents.”

    “Congress cannot by statute extinguish that constitutional authority,” the Justice Department said in a 2002 legal filing with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review.

    Other intelligence veterans found difficulty with the program in light of the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, passed after the intelligence community came under fire for spying on Americans. That law gives government — with approval from a secretive U.S. court — the authority to conduct covert wiretaps and surveillance of suspected terrorists and spies.

    No comment from NSA In a written statement, NSA spokesman Don Weber said the agency would not provide any information on the reported surveillance program. “We do not discuss actual or alleged operational issues,” he said.

    Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, former NSA general counsel, said it was troubling that such a change would have been made by executive order, even if it turns out to be within the law.

    Parker, who has no direct knowledge of the program, said the effect could be corrosive. “There are programs that do push the edge, and would be appropriate, but will be thrown out,” she said.

    Prior to 9/11, the NSA typically limited its domestic surveillance activities to foreign embassies and missions — and obtained court orders for such investigations. Much of its work was overseas, where thousands of people with suspected terrorist ties or other valuable intelligence may be monitored.

    The report surfaced as the administration and its GOP allies on Capitol Hill were fighting to save provisions of the expiring USA Patriot Act that they believe are key tools in the fight against terrorism. An attempt to rescue the approach favored by the White House and Republicans failed on a procedural vote.

    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    Don't forget, there are ***facts***, Fred!!!

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/16/05 - Out of date, or current and compelling?



    Is this still relevant?

    Matthew 5:43-46

    "Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

    For if ye love only them which love you, what reward have ye?

    Do not even tax gathering thieves do the same?"



    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    ***Yes, we must love our neighbors*** now more than ever, that is perhaps the greatest wisdom that has come out of antiquity from many different spiritual sources.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/16/05 - A Bug Too Far? Can He Avoid Impeachment? A Blow for Right Wing Christians.



    Bush stands firm over spying row
    George W Bush


    President George W Bush insists he has not compromised civil liberties, after it was alleged he authorised people in the US to be bugged without a warrant.

    A storm of protest erupted after the New York Times said the National Security Agency (NSA)** was allowed to eavesdrop on hundreds of people.

    Senators from both sides called for an explanation and investigation.

    Mr Bush refused to confirm or deny the claims, but said he always upheld the law and protected civil liberties.

    The president said he would not discuss ongoing intelligence operations.

    But he added: "I will make this point. That whatever I do to protect the American people, and I have an obligation to do so, that we will uphold the law, and decisions made are made understanding we have an obligation to protect the civil liberties of the American people."

    The New York Times said Mr Bush signed a secret presidential order following the attacks on 11 September 2001, allowing the NSA, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, to track the international telephone calls and e-mails of hundreds of people without referral to the courts.

    Previously, surveillance on American soil was generally limited to foreign embassies.

    Critics have questioned whether wider surveillance in the US crosses constitutional limits on legal searches.

    American law usually requires a secret court, known as a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to give permission before intelligence officers can conduct surveillance on US soil.

    'Big brother'

    Republican Senator John McCain called for an explanation.

    Senator Arlen Specter, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and another Republican, said "there is no doubt that this is inappropriate", adding that Senate hearings would be held early next year as "a very, very high priority".

    Senator John McCain, Republican (left) and Senator Joe Lieberman, Democrat
    Senators from both sides have expressed disquiet

    "This is Big Brother run amok," was the reaction of Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, while his colleague Russell Feingold called it a "shocking revelation" that "ought to send a chill down the spine of every senator and every American".

    The allegations coincided with a setback for the Bush administration, as the Senate rejected extensions to spying provisions in the Patriot Act.

    BBC Washington correspondent Justin Webb said it is a sign of intense concern about infringements of civil liberties in the name of security.

    The White House is having a tough time convincing even its Republican supporters that the things it does in the name of the war on terrorism are always justified, he adds.

    Echoes of Vietnam

    Administration officials issued a robust defence of anti-terrorist operations, saying they had prevented several attacks - including one on targets in Britain.

    But the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said eavesdropping in the US without a court order and without complying with the procedures of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was "both illegal and unconstitutional".

    "The administration is claiming extraordinary presidential powers at the expense of civil liberties and is putting the president above the law," director Caroline Fredrickson said.

    To opponents of the Bush administration, the alleged bugging programme is reminiscent of the widespread abuse of power by the security services during the Vietnam War when anti-war activists were monitored illegally, our correspondent says.

    That activity prompted tougher regulation of bugging.

    ** NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY
    Formed in 1952
    Biggest US security agency, with 38,000 employees
    Nicknamed "No Such Agency"
    Has a dozen listening posts around the world, tracking phone calls, diplomatic traffic, emails, faxes
    May record up to 500 million hours of traffic every day
    On US soil, can only listen to "agents of a foreign power"
    NSA is America's most powerful spy agency

    ===========

    Has Bush infringed the civil liberties of American citizens and acted illegally?


    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    I'm so sorry, I was unable to read you post because I'm having trouble with my eyes more so today, but I would like to make a comment as I know about the eavesdropping, I made a post re same on the Politics Board.

    We must give Bush credit for pulling off the election in Iraq..**that was huge**. He has scored major points for that accomplishment, it has not been easy in so many ways.

    I believe that any calls for impeachment have been silenced now. Even though Bush used clandestine and illegal wiretapping to try to catch terrorists who, of course, were/are planning to blow up stuff in America.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/16/05 - A different point of view

    Here is what one Australian said (in part) about the situation

    "Macho boy-men Lebs, who get their kicks out of harassing families, girls and tooling around in souped-up cars and Adidas trackpants, whingeing that the world doesn't understand them. So called progressive journos and activists moaning on about racist Australia and that miserable John Howard, while never venturing outside their suburbs. Right-wing shock-jocks banging on about multiculturalism as they tuck into a Thai dinner and get their house cleaned by a Filipino.

    "Honestly. What this all needs is some honesty. Thanks for nothing, postmodernism."

    Thank you, Alex Sanchez."

    Now Mr Sanchez happens to be a person who I knew for a short time and who has a political axe to grid, after all he is on the labor team (that's liberal to you yanks) and in a few years we can expect to see more of him as he is groomed for office. But he has a point, the whole of this current trouble has been reported for maximum impact and minimum allocation to blame to the right quarters. I remember Alex raving on about the place of hispanics like him in the world as if he were disadvantaged or something, when in fact he has been close to the seats of power for a while. If we want honesty some of these ethnics will need to be honest about their own circumstances, they are better off than most and that includes our poor trodden down lebanese Muslim community

    Why have I said this? I want you to understand that all is not as it seems here, and I suspect that goes for many other places as well

    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    Oh, for God's sake!! Your country has a long way to go in order to deal with societal discontent which has been boiling over. Just face facts....you all gotta find a way to live together or go down the dumper in a coup d'etat.

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/17/05 - for those who dissagree with me !

    I realize there are many who call me biggoted and even crazy It bothers me not a whit,I am at least truthfull in that i state how I realy feel and never try to hide behind the political correctness of the day .sure scripture tells us tlo love even our enemies and I do for every one whoGod created is worthy however I am not told to accept what they believe withing that love !I am in various places told to reject false teachings and it is the teachings that I hate !Yes i used the word hate ,sory I am not perfect none of us are I am just a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.I just ask all to read about mohammed then read the following taken from scripture then try to understand the differences between islamm and Christianity
    concerning Islaam and Mohamed
    (Deut.13:1-5
    1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder,
    2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, "Let us follow other gods" (gods you have not known such as Alah) "and let us worship them,"
    3 YOU MUST NOT!!! listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. (((The LORD your God is testing you))) to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    so I ask you do you realy love him or do you love what you yourself percieve him to be???


    (EMPHASIS ARE MINE)


    Choux answered on 12/17/05:

    Rev, Islam is a blight on the world because in the cultures in which it is the dominant religion, government, court system(Sharia), Islam allows for the practice of oppressing women in most horrible ways. In some tribal societies, even to kill women because a man's pride is injured. Not to mention 6,000 female genital mutilations A DAY in Islamic countries.

    Men in Islamic cultures enjoy the benefits of having women as virtual slaves. Reality is that women are far superior to men in every way except muscular strength. So, you see, there is every rational reason to be disgusted with Islam and speak against it and confront those who apologize for it.

    You don't have to bring "the true God" into it at all. Just point out what horrors happen to females in Islamic countries. Point out that countries that are Islamic have been barren of any scientific, artistic, musical, educational progress in many centuries.

    Women have a reason and duty to speak against Islam and Muslin men.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/16/05 - Just a Quick look at Christmas

    http://network.news.com.au/image/0,10114,5087639,00.jpg

    Choux answered on 12/16/05:

    Let loose of that core of crumudgeon-ness just for this Christmas season and enjoy everything. :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/16/05 - Sacrificial Goat released!

    In a remarkable piece of scapegoating a culprit has been found for the riots which swept Sydney last week, and you know what, not a youth was involved, ah the power of the media

    Religious leaders embrace for peace - and point finger at radio station

    *

    By Ben Cubby
    December 17, 2005

    AS POLICE prepared for further outbreaks of mob violence this weekend, many religious leaders met by the charred ruins of Auburn Uniting Church to call for calm.

    Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders embraced in front of a 500-strong crowd that spilled across the street, and blamed talkback radio and other sections of the media for fuelling the riots.

    The church hall was set alight early on Wednesday. Police believe the attack may have been connected to the riots that swept through parts of the city earlier in the week.

    The crowd heard emotional pleas for unity from all speakers, including Dr Ameer Ali, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, the Reverend Dr Dean Drayton, president of the Uniting Church in Australia, and Jeremy Jones of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.

    "We will stand shoulder to shoulder with our Christian and Jewish brothers in this country," Dr Ali said. "To those evil ones who did this deed, the more you try to divide us, the children of Abraham, the more we come together again."

    The biggest cheer was received by Stephen Stanton, spokesman for the Lebanese human rights organisation Cedarwatch.

    "Deep in your hearts there are two matters that are hurting you today," Mr Stanton said.

    "One is [Sydney radio] 2GB and the moronic manner that gargling boofhead has been berating and denigrating you. The airwaves are useless if they are used by people such as that. The other is newspapers such as The Australian."

    His views were backed by other religious leaders at the event.

    Claims that Sydney's race violence has been stoked by talkback radio were reinforced yesterday when Macquarie Radio station 2GB's late-night announcer, Brian Wilshire, was forced to apologise for on-air comments about Lebanese Australians. Mr Wilshire had accused some Lebanese of being inbred.

    "Many of them have parents who are first cousins whose parents were first cousins," he told listeners.

    "The result of this is inbreeding - the result of which is uneducationable [sic] people … and very low IQ."

    His comments were greeted with outrage. "It reveals an uneducated comment on his part - they are disgraceful comments," the Premier, Morris Iemma, said.

    Wilshire, whose 2GB colleague Alan Jones has rejected claims he had fuelled racial tensions, apologised and retracted his comments yesterday.

    In Coogee, the actors Cate Blanchett and Claudia Karvan were joined by the singer Jimmy Barnes, footballer Mario Fenech, Labor MP Peter Garrett and other community leaders, actors and sportspeople to call for an end to the unrest.

    With AAP

    Choux answered on 12/16/05:

    I think what is eating your craw is that Australia is going to have to become more like America in solving its obvious racial and ethnic fiascos!

    Relax, have a wonderful Christmas and rest of your life. (((((((BIG HUG))))))))

    There is no reason not to. :)

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    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 12/16/05 - Let's move Christmas out of the holiday season!!!!

    Go ahead, move his day

    December 16, 2005
    by Andrew Greeley

    A long time ago a very wise teen told me that she thought it was a shame that Christmas came during the holidays. She had a point. I've often thought that the ancient church made a mistake when it tried to convert the Roman feast of the Saturnalia (or Lupercalia as it was also called) into the celebration of the birthday of Jesus. It didn't quite work. In Britain, for example, from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol to Dylan Thomas's "A Child's Christmas in Wales," there is not the slightest mention of Jesus.

    When I watch folks pummel one another as they fight their way toward Wal-Mart's bargains, I'm not sure there's all that much left of Bethlehem and the holy family and the angels and the shepherds and the magi -- nor of the love for one another that Christmas should sustain. Neither do the frantic and frenetic efforts to accomplish the required shopping and the ill tempers and sensitive egos of the feast day itself render much honor to the Light of the World. So maybe we should move the birthday of Jesus out of the holidays and celebrate it with the Festival of the Magi on Jan. 6, as did the Greeks in the church of long ago.

    Then we solve the problem of what to say this time of the year. Having given the holidays back to the pagans, we could wish one another a "Festive Lupercalia" or even a "Fertile Saturnalia." The tree could revert to its pagan title of the Tannenbaum, the sacred fir tree of the Teutonic tribes, the passionate tree that unites heaven and earth in love and brings down the warm spring rains necessary for life to continue on earth.

    Crypto Christians could content themselves with the secret that the birth of Jesus did unite earth and heaven and that the lights represent the Light of the World and the fruits (ornaments) represent ourselves, the spiritual offspring of the love between earth and heaven. As long as we keep that a secret, neither secularists (who don't like religion at this time of the year) or the "Christians" (who think fertility symbols to be obscene idolatry) will mind at all.

    The president, a Christian to whom God gives instructions about wars, could hardly mind. A born-again Christian he might be, yet his holiday card is totally irreligious.

    The Madonna Christmas stamp would have to go, however. It almost disappeared during the Clinton administration when a bureaucrat at the Postal Service decided it was not politically correct. The (Jewish) mother of Jesus and her (Jewish) child survived on a stamp only because of direct presidential intervention. If my reform of the festival is to succeed, the Jan Gosseart Madonna and Child -- from Chicago's Art Institute, be it noted -- will be her last appearance on a stamp. Besides, real "Christians" should consider honoring her on a government stamp an act of federally sponsored idolatry.

    I can't be serious, you say? Well, no. Nonetheless, I find the controversy about Christmas and the holidays unedifying and creepy. The sneaky tricks of the politically correct to remove Christ from the holidays are doomed to failure. There are many more evangelical Christmas shoppers and voters than there are secularists. Logically, Christmas is a politically incorrect festival that causes embarrassment to those Americans who are not Christians (though not to Islamic shoppers, since for them Jesus is the greatest of the prophets before Mohammed and his birthday deserves to be celebrated). However, Christmas is an intricate element in American culture and cannot be extirpated.

    The last such attempt was made by the New England Puritans -- ancestors, one suspects, of many of the contemporary secularists -- who forbade it by law. School attendance on Dec. 25 was required in Massachusetts until the 1880s, and Thanksgiving was designated the late autumn festival to replace the Popish idolatry of Christmas. The Papists responded by enthusiastically celebrating both feasts.

    The gift exchange at Christmas -- however often blighted by human weakness -- represents the intense love that should flourish this time of the year. The darkness-turning-into-light spirit of the season would be best reflected by respect for the traditions of others, majority and minority. Those of us who know what all the symbols mean will keep our secrets to ourselves.

    And to paraphrase slightly Tiny Tim: "Bon Noel everyone!"

    [end of column]

    Choux answered on 12/16/05:

    The American Christmas season is a time of year that every American looks forward to, not necessarily for religious reasons, but for the happiness and peace and love and joy and caring that this time of year *represents*. Lights everywhere, friendliness, smiling, giving and getting gifts, good food and cheer!

    It is all good in and of itself. :):):)


    This piece ends::.."Those of us who know what all the symbols mean will keep our secrets to ourselves"....
    .................what a snobby and elitist comment from Andrew Greeley!! LOL!! Unbelieveable.





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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/16/05 - ever known one???

    in all this time since 9/11 have you ever known a muslim who followed this one of their own prayers?I havent but it might just make others look a little better at them if they did!

    True repentance entails constant regret of your sins. Without remorse, good deeds, be they abounding, could be eclipsed by pride that follows piety. Remorse for a sin is superior to good works. Never forget your transgressions to save yourself from conceit.

    -Al-Hujwiri, "The Kashf al-Mahjub"
    From "The Bounty of Allah," translated by Aneela Khalid Arshed. Copyright 1999. All rights reserved.

    Choux answered on 12/16/05:

    I've know people from almost all countries and all religious beliefs, but only a couple of Muslims.

    My opinion is that it is sad to focus on sin and evil and negtivity about the self. NOTHING GOOD COMES FROM THIS. I see that it is rampant in Islam as it is in some denominations of Christianity.

    The better course in life is to build up good points, reach for being the best person one can be, and if one makes serious mistakes, apologize **to the person involved**, and move on.

    Focus on the positive aspects of life. Enjoy life. Share your happiness; it's catching!

    I see that the book quoted is "The Bounty of Allah"....what was described is no bounty, no bounty at all. It is prison. A prison of negativity and passivity.

    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/15/05 - I just wnat to clarify something

    I will not qualify my every remark just because you politically correct americans think that every remark must carry the qualification (of, course not all") what is wrong with you, you live in a sick society and think every one has to be appeased. I make no apologies for my veiws, and for the Record you can't be a practising gay and be a practising Christian, you can't be a terrorist and be a practising Muslim, etc.

    It goes with out saying that not all Christians are crusaders, not all Muslims are terrorists, not all americans are idiots.

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    ok, well, Merry Christmas it is!!

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/15/05 - I APOLOGIZE TO PETE:

    It was pointed out to me by three people that his comment wasn't directed towards me. Pete, too, said it wasn't in his most recent answer. So, Pete, I APOLOGIZE! I goofed! I also APOLOGIZE for some adjectives and nouns I used in my comment and post as well. I forget what they were but they weren't complimentary. Let this end it!

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    'nuff said!!

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 12/15/05 - What is the true understanding of Hebrews 10:26-31 in your opinion?

    Hello Everyone,
    In a follow-up from my last post on Hebrews 10: 26-31 I asked what it means to you personally? Here is a definition of what Apostasy is:


    Definition: Apostasy is abandoning or deserting the worship and service of the true God, actually a rebellion against God. Some apostates profess to know and serve God but reject teachings or requirements set out by God in his Word. Others claim to believe in God but reject his people.


    Acts 20:30: “From among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.”

    2 Pet. 2:1, 3: “There will also be false teachers among you. These very ones will quietly bring in destructive sects and will disown even the owner that bought them . . . Also, with covetousness they will exploit you with counterfeit words.”

    Moreover, forgiving others for personal offenses, regardless of the number of times involved, is a Christian requirement. Lu 17:3, 4; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13

    God’s forgiveness is not extended toward those who refuse to forgive others. Mt 6:14, 15

    Even when serious wrongdoing leads to expulsion of “the wicked man” from the Christian congregation, that person may in due time be accorded forgiveness if he proves that he is truly repentant. At that time all in the congregation can confirm their love for him. 1Co 5:13; 2Co 2:6-11 Why? Because he/she is repentant.

    A Christians is not required to forgive those who practice malicious, willful sin with no repentance. Such become God’s enemies.
    ***************
    Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, 27 but [there is] a certain fearful expectation of judgment and [there is] a fiery jealousy that is going to consume those in opposition. 28 Any man that has disregarded the law of Moses dies without compassion, upon the testimony of two or three. 29 Of how much more severe a punishment, do YOU think, will the man be counted worthy who has trampled upon the Son of God and who has esteemed as of ordinary value the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and who has outraged the spirit of undeserved kindness with contempt? 30 For we know him that said: “Vengeance is mine; I will recompense”; and again: “Jehovah will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of [the] living God.

    Psalm 139:21-22 Do I not hate those who are intensely hating you, O Jehovah, And do I not feel a loathing for those revolting against you? 22 With a complete hatred I do hate them. They have become to me real enemies.
    We are to hate what God hates:
    James encouraged the spiritually sick one to call for the older men of the congregation to pray over him, and “if he has committed sins, it will be forgiven him.” Jas 5:14-16
    There is “a sin that does incur death,” sin against the holy spirit, a deliberate practice of sin for which there is no forgiveness. A Christian should not pray for those sinning in this way. There is no forgiveness because these ones are not repentant but go on willfully sinning with no apologies for doing so.

    1 John 5:16 If anyone catches sight of his brother sinning a sin that does not incur death, he will ask, and he will give life to him, yes, to those not sinning so as to incur death. There is a sin that does incur death. It is concerning that sin that I do not tell him to make request.

    Matthew 12:31 “On this account I say to YOU, Every sort of sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the spirit will not be forgiven.

    Hebrews 10:26-27 For if we practice sin willfully after having received the accurate knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice for sins left, 27 but [there is] a certain fearful expectation of judgment and [there is] a fiery jealousy that is going to consume those in opposition.

    My question then is this, Is Apostasy a forgivable sin? When one serves God and then decides to leave God and willfully do all kinds of sins that they willfully know is against God, is there forgiveness for this person?

    I look forward to your replies.
    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    What are the sins this person engages in?

    hOPE12 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    curious98 asked on 12/15/05 - Some good news for a change (at least for me)


    Hey folks, here I’m, back to being a pain in your necks.
    My doctor has decided that for my 81 birthday (today, btw), it would be a good idea to tell me that, after all the analyses, gammagraphies, nuclear medicine and what have you, that I have been undergoing lately, the final diagnosis is that I will probably keep on growing in wisdom and science for a few more years.
    So I’m unpacking (at least for the time being, for one never knows when the last train is going to leave) while getting ready to debate with all of you any subject you care about.

    When I was 15, I always thought of the new millennium as something I would not be able to see at all, full of wonders and people traveling to the remotest planets. Well, indeed here I’m. Wonders, we do have a few, though traveling in outer space is not yet very popular!
    But in other aspects, ethics mostly, we have not really advanced much. In fact, I think we have gone backwards…

    However, the Sun still shines and the birds sing for all those who really want to acknowledge those facts and thank God for them (I do) and some of us still have hopes that there will come a day when things will be different and we shall really be holding hands in a big circle encircling the whole world…

    So, I take this opportunity to sincerely wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year 2006!

    Claude (aka Curious98)

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    C, I've missed your erudite voice here on the Board. I really hope you plan on participating a whole lot, going forward.

    Have an enjoyable HAPPY BIRTYDAY today, and don't think about how many years you have in the future, but what a wonderful, full life you have had in the past. You are a fortunate man!! Be thankful for each day!!!!!

    Glad to see you back.

    Mary Sue

    curious98 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/15/05 - christians in action?

    Christians charged over break-in


    December 15, 2005

    FIVE Christian peace activists charged with breaking into a top secret military base in central Australia have appeared in court.

    The Christians Against All Terrorism (CAAT) members appeared in Alice Springs Magistrates Court today, charged over a break-in at the joint United States/Australian facility at the Pine Gap, near Alice Springs, on December 9.

    Former "human shield" Donna Mulhearn, 37, of Sydney, who was abducted and briefly held by militants in the Iraqi flashpoint city of Fallujah last year, is among those charged. The others are Jim Dowling, 50, of Dayboro, Brian Law, 51, of Cairns, Adele Goldie, 29, of Brisbane and Sean O'Reilly, 47, of Brisbane.

    Mulhearn, Dowling, Law and Goldie face charges including trespassing and damaging commonwealth land. They face a two-day committal hearing in Alice Springs in April.

    O'Reilly, who faces charges of obstructing a commonwealth official, will go before a summary hearing in late February.

    Police allege the group cut holes in the external and internal fences at Pine Gap after they conducted a "citizens' inspection" in protest at the facility's involvement in the ongoing war in Iraq. They face a maximum penalty of seven years' jail.

    AAP

    Stranger and stranger, to be against terrorism and commit a terrorist act, strange. WWJD

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    This kind of thing has happenened in America many times over the years.

    It's like......Civil Disobedience.

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 12/15/05 - Money


    Hey Christians:

    I've got a great idea. This should work well for you. On our money, how about we change "In God We Trust", to "In Intelligence We Trust"? It would work for me too.

    excon

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    Troublemaker!! LOL!

    excon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 12/15/05 - Here is a situation:

    Hello Everyone.

    What would you do and say to someone who is trying to change their life to live according to God’s standards and principles, but, this someone has a drinking problem they are working on and yet has a father who drinks to the point of getting drunk, and is always hanging out at there house. An Uncle who wants to commit suicide, and wants this person to join them and make a pack to do it together? What would you do or say to help the person trying to change to doing God’s will but must cope with these other two who are discouraging and who this person must see each day.

    What would you say or do to keep them going forward in their desire to serve God? What spiritual encouragement would you give to help this person?

    All suggestions are welcomed.

    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 12/15/05:

    The AA program, Alcoholics Anonymous, is based on Christian principles; that person may benefit from joining.

    hOPE12 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/14/05 - RONNIE............

    MAYBE YOU WOULD LIKE TO INVITE OSAMA BIN LADEN OVER TO YOUR HOUSE FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER. WOULD THAT EASE YOUR PAIN?

    Choux answered on 12/14/05:

    he would talk Osama to death....:):):)

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    kindj asked on 12/14/05 - How NOT to share your faith

    There was a barber that thought that he should share his faith with his customers more than he had been doing lately. So the next morning when the sun came up and the barber got up out of bed he said, "Today I am going to witness to the first man that walks through my door."

    Soon after he opened his shop the first man came in and said, "I want a shave!" The barber said, "Sure, just sit in the seat and I'll be with you in a moment." The barber went in the back and prayed a quick desperate prayer saying, "God, the first customer came in and I'm going to witness to him. So please give me the wisdom to know just the right thing to say to him. Amen."

    Then quickly the barber came out with his razor knife in one hand and a Bible in the other while saying, "Good morning sir. I have a question for you..........Are you ready to die?"

    Choux answered on 12/14/05:

    Good One!

    kindj rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    deardra asked on 12/14/05 - ingraining religious beliefs in kids

    I've got some questions about how christian parents feel about exposing their kids to other views.

    Do you have any concerns about your kids hearing different ideas about religion including atheism?

    Would you be comfortable letting someone from outside your religious belief discuss the topic of religion with your kids?

    As a christian parent would you let an atheist babysit your kids?

    Would it be harmful to a christian child to hear that some people think all that christian stuff is nothing more than a fairy tail?


    Choux answered on 12/14/05:

    Never bother children with controversial subjects; they don't have the brain or emotional power to understand or deal with these complicated subjects.

    Tell kids that god loves them!
    Be a model of good morality; teach them good morals! Focus on telling the truth; no lying. Being kind to others.

    I don't think that atheists babysit! lol!! They are adults with real jobs.

    CeeBee2 rated this answer Bad/Wrong Answer
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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/14/05 - good for mc Donnalds

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Everyone celebrates religion and holidays in their own individual ways, but currently there are questions about whether the two should be more connected. One of the latest places involved in the controversy is a McDonald's restaurant in Raleigh.
    The sign at McDonald's on the corner of Falls of Neuse and Spring Forest Road reads: "Merry Christmas, Jesus is the Reason for the Season." It is a holiday message that Amanda Alpert thinks comes on a little too strongly.
    "It offends me because it specifically talks about Jesus, Merry Christmas. It doesn't give credit to anyone else," Alpert said. (who else can claim credit?)

    Alpert called the McDonald's corporate office in Atlanta and requested that the sign be changed to the politically correct Happy Holidays. The response was the owner has the right to do what she wants with the sign.
    "I care because I'm Jewish, and the reason for the season is upsetting to me," Alpert said.(saying happy chanuka dosent upset me why should she be upset)

    None of the drivers WRAL spoke to were offended by the sign.

    "I've always known it to be Merry Christmas, and it is Jesus' birthday," said Tom David of Smithfield.

    It's a debate that's struck a chord nationally and locally. The White House Christmas card surprised some with its "Happy Holiday Season" message. A proposed nativity scene in Raleigh recently drew a crowd at council chambers.
    McDonald's managers say the sign has been good for business. They say church groups have stopped by to eat, and some people who usually don't eat food from McDonald's have stopped by because of the sign. The store's owner did not return WRAL's calls.



    Choux answered on 12/14/05:

    The McDonald's Corporate Headquarters in located in the Chicago suburb just north of the suburb I live in...she must have called a regional office in Atlanta.

    Otherwise, I have no interest in this post. Business' do what's best for business, or at least they should.

    If the sign was in a judge's courtroom, maybe I'd give it a second glance.

    Merry Christmas All!!

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/13/05 - Over the years dozens have been lost at sea.

    This case is big in the news.
    The family is often quoted, but not Smith's bride, Jennifer.
    Why?
    Have you seen or heard of anything Jennifer has had to say?
    <><><><><><>
    New Details In Case of Honeymooner Lost at Sea
    George Smith's Family Believes He Was Killed

    George Smith and his new wife, Jennifer, were enjoying their honeymoon on a dream cruise in the Mediterranean this summer. Then Smith vanished, and five months later authorities are still baffled.

    "To be honest with you, our theories change on a daily basis," said his sister, Bree Smith, in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America."

    According to witnesses, on the evening before Smith's July 5 disappearance, the newlyweds were drinking and gambling with a few men they had met onboard. Hours later, passengers reported hearing loud crashes coming from the couple's cabin. In the morning, a pool of blood was discovered on the deck below the room, but Smith was nowhere to be found.

    "Basically, the extent of the blood that has been reported in the media is an indication to us that he was murdered," Bree Smith said. "George was not depressed, it's clearly not a suicide, and the fact that the FBI is still investigating five months later, obviously indicates that there's some suspicious circumstances surrounding my brother's disappearance."

    Jennifer Smith has been cleared by the FBI of any wrongdoing, according to her attorney.

    "I'll say one thing," said Maureen Smith, George's mother. "When my son left on his honeymoon with Jennifer, they were the most in love young couple I have ever seen."

    The Smith family says they plan to sue Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

    "I think from the beginning, Royal Caribbean made a lot of major mistakes, right from the beginning," said George Smith Sr. "I think they should've went into George's room, where they didn't. Passengers warned them about the violent fight that was going on. They said 'you've got to get in there,' and when they didn't go into that cabin, they opened up a whole Pandora."

    George Smith Sr. says he does not believe his son fell overboard.

    A spokesperson from Royal Caribbean said: "From day one we've been cooperating fully with the FBI. We've turned over significant amount of information to the FBI."

    Congress will hold hearings on cruise-line safety next week, but for the Smith family the legislation comes too late.

    "It may be months, it may be years, but we are confident the culprits will be arrested and they will go to jail, hopefully for the rest of their lives," Bree Smith said. "My brother is not here and they should not be going about their daily lives while my brother is missing in the Aegean Sea."

    Choux answered on 12/13/05:

    You're lucky, I'm a part-time employee of "The Patsy Ramsey Detective Agency".....drug deal gone wrong....

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/13/05 - Church burns as muslims rage through suburbs

    Driver bashed by group of men

    December 14, 2005 - 8:04AM
    Related coverage

    * Fortress Cronulla: no way through
    * Bats, rods, bars, fists … it's out of control
    * Police look for answers in text messages
    * Race attacks spread to Perth, Adelaide


    A motorist was bashed with a baseball bat and five people were arrested as hundreds of police hit Sydney's streets overnight to restore calm.

    More than 450 officers were on patrol in flashpoint suburbs in the city's south and west after they were hit by violence sparked by Sunday's race riot at Cronulla beach.

    NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Goodwin said there were no "smash and bash" raids and no confrontations with police overnight.

    It was not known if a fire that destroyed a Uniting Church at Auburn, in Sydney's inner west, early today was linked to recent violence in at least four Sydney suburbs, he said.

    But police are treating the blaze at the church, which is near an Islamic centre, as suspicious.

    Police said a motorist suffered cuts to his hand after being attacked by a group of men, one armed with a baseball bat, at Ryde in Sydney's north about 1.15am (AEDT) today.

    Among the five people arrested overnight was a 31-year-old man carrying a knuckleduster, handcuffs and fireworks on Cronulla Rd, Cronulla, about 9.30pm.

    He was later charged with having custody of an offensive implement.

    A second man, aged in his 20s, and allegedly carrying a knife, was also arrested at Cronulla. He was issued with an infringement notice for the offence.

    Police later arrested two 22-year-old men in Bay Street, at Brighton, in Sydney's south, about 11pm.

    One man allegedly carrying a glass breaking tool was charged with possessing an offensive implement and the second was charged over a traffic matter.

    A 23-year-old man was also arrested for traffic offences at Moore Park, in Sydney's east.

    Mr Goodwin said calm had prevailed in all suburbs after two consecutive nights of violence.

    "I have been shocked and disgusted at the recent incidents of violence by some members of the public," he said.

    "The police have conducted a formidable operation overnight ensuring the safety and security of those in beachside suburbs where there has been so much animosity."

    Mr Goodwin said the high-profile police operation would continue.

    AAP

    Bats, rods, bars, fists … it's out of control


    By Jordan Baker and Andrew Stevenson
    December 14, 2005
    Page 1 of 2

    THE rioters had moved on to Lakemba and their rampaging was confined to the late news for John Castles until he got up from the couch to take in the view from his Cronulla balcony.

    What he saw petrified him. "All of them were coming down the Kingsway."

    Dozens of vehicles clogged the street. Men stood on parked cars, shouting, bashing windows with baseball bats. "It was out of control," Mr Castles said. "They were going on a rampage."

    Three men jumped on his car's roof and smashed windows with an iron bar. "They were saying, 'We'll be back Sunday. Come out and fight us'," he said.

    A second wave of unrest following Sunday's race rioting began on Monday afternoon at Maroubra Beach. Police seized baseball bats, golf clubs, steel poles, machetes and axe handles, and crates of rocks and Molotov cocktails that had been placed on rooftops. Five local men were arrested and released.

    A few hours later, more than 200 of their opponents gathered at a mosque in Lakemba. Some were preparing to head to Maroubra. Others said they were defending the mosque.

    Police brought that situation under control after a few hours, but at 10pm a convoy of dozens of cars, their occupants apparently intent on retribution for the weekend's violence against people of Middle Eastern appearance, arrived in Sutherland Shire.

    They travelled via Hurstville, rather than originating from that suburb, as reports indicated on Monday night. At Caringbah, some attacked a couple dining at a pizzeria. The woman suffered head injuries. Her husband tried to rescue her but was assaulted.

    A man who had just returned from a North Coast fishing trip was set upon by up to 30 men on Kingsway. "There were bats, rods, bars, fists," he said.

    He suffered a fractured arm and bruises to his face and legs but was not interested in revenge. "I just want it to stop." Two more men were attacked, one as he put out his garbage bins.

    The cars turned into Elouera Road. Michael Head and his sister Suzanne were finishing a birthday dinner with a friend soon after 11pm when vehicles pulled up outside their unit block.

    More than a dozen men leapt out of a van and jumped on their cars, smashing the windows with baseball bats. Through a megaphone, they challenged residents to come out and face them. Those inside turned off the lights and hid behind the blinds. None had been involved in Sunday's violence, they said.

    "I was shocked. I was standing there thinking this is not happening," Mr Head said. "There were fireworks going off, which we thought were god knows what," Ms Head said. "Where are the Aussies with their flags at 10pm on Monday? Probably at home nursing a hangover."

    The convoy moved on to the Elouera Road shops. There the front windows of the newsagency were smashed, shattering glass across the floor.

    Windows were also broken at the dry-cleaning business. Ann Harvey, the manager, lives around the corner. She heard glass smashing and gunshots. She took a call from her 80-year-old neighbour, who was petrified.

    Another resident, Adrian, 26, said he was outside a friend's house when a car stopped next to him. A man jumped out and took a swing at him with a baseball bat, but missed. "Everyone is just waiting for the drive by [shooting]," his friend Jade said.

    Joel Austin, 28, heard shouting, screams and burnouts in his street in Miranda. "We just grabbed anything, baseball bats and kitchen knifes, and went out," he said. A first group of marauders left without damage. A second arrived when Mr Austin was standing on the Boulevarde.

    "As soon as they saw me they said, 'Die, you Aussie dog. We're going to kill you'," he said. The young men, bearing baseball bats with spikes and 60 centimetre machete's chased Mr Austin off the street. He waited in his backyard protected by two dogs and the weapons he had gathered.

    "There would have been at least 30 guys came sprinting at me, just ready to rip me apart. I've never been so scared. I was just waiting, thinking this is it. If they weren't going to kill me, they were going to give me an absolute flogging."

    The mob left, scared away by a Ford Falcon that was reversed towards them at speed.



    Now I'll be interested to hear how erewhon and aton appease the burning of a church and the wanton violence their muslim fellow travellers are displaying in Sydney. It doesn't take much to scare these cowards does it?

    Choux answered on 12/13/05:

    The government has to get control of this situation via strict policing!! Curfew, shoot to kill orders....this is too out of control per your posts.

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - for all those who have contributed constructively to the debate

    this is the response to rioting


    Emergency powers to stop riots



    December 13, 2005 - 4:35PM



    Tough new police powers aimed at halting Sydney's tit-for-tat racial violence will be passed at an emergency session of the NSW Parliament on Thursday.

    The move comes as more than 450 police officers take to Sydney streets tonight in a bid to stop more race-fuelled violence.

    Deputy Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said there was no specific intelligence to suggest there would more unrest tonight, but police would be prepared.

    Premier Morris Iemma earlier announced measures to clamp down on alcohol and halt so-called smash and bash attacks by convoys of thugs in cars.

    The Government's dramatic move follows two nights of violence sparked by Sunday's race riot at Cronulla beach, when a drunken mob chased anyone of Middle Eastern appearance.

    Seven people were injured and 11 arrested during apparent reprisal attacks last night by men in fast-moving convoys of vehicles.

    Under the new measures to be introduced in Parliament, police will have the power to:

    - declare lock-down zones

    - confiscate vehicles

    - shut down licensed premises

    - impose temporary alcohol-free zones

    - remove the presumption of bail for the offences of riot and disorder

    - increase the penalty for riot by five years to 15 years in jail

    - double the penalty for affray to 10 years in jail.

    "These criminals have declared war on our society and we are not going to let them win," Mr Iemma said.

    The laws are expected to be passed without objection after NSW Opposition leader Peter Debnam declared his support for them.

    Mr Iemma deflected questions about how the new laws could be used saying they were in the process of being drafted.

    However he said they were laws that could only be instituted in the case of an emergency and only enacted by the NSW Police Commissioner and his deputies.

    "These are not going to solve all the problems, but unfortunately this sort of violence has to be met with force and it will," Mr Iemma told reporters.

    He said the new powers would allow police to designate a zone and lock it down, therefore enabling them to search people and vehicles within the zone.

    NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said he fully supported the increased powers.

    He moved to assure the community they would be kept informed in the case of a lock-down.

    "Certainly we are not about disrupting the lives of the ordinary citizens of this state," Mr Moroney said. "We are about preventing unlawful behaviour, criminal behaviour and so a range of processes will be put in place to ensure that people are appropriately and adequately advised of a lock down situation and the requirements of that."

    Mr Iemma said the police would deal with offenders regardless of their background or skin colour.

    "They aren't going to win no matter where they come from."

    Molotov cocktails found

    Deputy Police Commissioner Scipione confirmed that "a number of molotov cocktails" were found overnight at Maroubra.

    He said he decided this morning to triple the number of officers assigned to Strike Force Seta, the police operation announced yesterday to track down those responsible for the violence.

    Bid to broker peace deal

    Lebanese Muslim leader Keysar Trad and members of Maroubra's surfer gang, the Bra Boys, held talks today to broker a peace deal between rival groups.

    "They [the Bra Boys] expressed their outrage at what happened at Cronulla and they expressed their support and appreciation for the Middle Eastern community,'' Mr Trad said.

    The Lebanese community also condemned the violence, Mr Trad said.

    Bra Boys member and top surfer Koby Abberton labelled Sunday's riots at Cronulla "cowardly''.

    "I was upset being Australian on that day,'' he told the Nine Network.

    However Islamic leader Fadi Abdul Rahman suggested further trouble could be brewing, saying Muslim youths felt angry that police were not treating them fairly.

    "They feel they have been dealt with by the authorities differently to the way Anglos have been dealt with,'' he told the Seven Network.

    "They feel injustice and they feel angry about it.''

    Howard plays down racial aspect

    Prime Minister John Howard again played down the racial aspect to the Sydney clashes, saying they were primarily a law and order issue.

    "I don't think we should over-complicate this,'' he said.

    "Violence, thuggery, loutish behaviour, smashing peoples' property, intimidating people - all of those things are breaches of the law and I don't think the actions should be given some kind of special ... status because they occur against the background of this or that.

    "If we start treating this behaviour for what it is we will far more readily settle things down and get back to a situation we all want.''

    Mr Howard again said he did not think Australia was a racist country and said the mob violence would have no long-term effect on Australia's international reputation.

    AAP

    sounds draconian to me when a few street barricades would do the same?

    Choux answered on 12/13/05:

    clete, the local and higher government policing agencies have to get on top of this volatile situation IMMEDIATELY if not sooner. NO rioting in the streets whatsoever. Heavy penalities. This is the main role of govermnent....keep order in the streets so citizens are not killed!!!!!!!!

    Good Luck there, down under....we see your Law and Order problem here on TV in America.

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/12/05 - You are a child of God!!



    "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves - who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

    Nelson Mandella at his best.

    Choux answered on 12/13/05:

    Rolcam, I hardly recognized ye....Mr. Mandela is so right....please keep interesting quotes coming. :)

    There are concepts here that need to be explained to many people who have perhaps been brainwashed into terminal negativity....or suffer from depression.

    Thanks again. :)

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    Question/Answer
    purplewings asked on 12/12/05 - Making friends in Iraq is easy.

    A U.S. Marine squad was marching north of Basra when they came upon an Iraqi terrorist, badly injured and unconscious. On the opposite side of the road was an American Marine in similar but less serious state.

    The Marine was conscious and alert and as first aid was given to both men, the squad leader asked the injured Marine what had happened.

    The Marine reported, "I was heavily armed and moving north along the highway here, and coming south was a heavily armed insurgent. We saw each other and both took cover in the ditches along the road."

    "I yelled to him that Saddam Hussein is a miserable, lowlife, scumbag, and he yelled back that Senator Ted Kennedy is a good-for-nothing, fat, left wing liberal drunk. So I said that Osama Bin Ladin dresses and acts like a frigid, mean spirited woman!"

    He retaliated by yelling, "Oh yeah? Well so does Hillary Clinton!"

    "And, there we were, standing in the middle of the road, shaking hands, when a truck hit us."

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    I am gritting my teeth and spitting out these words, "Purplewings, I like Hillary Clinton".


    Harn Harn Harn

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - Are you a man or a mouse?

    Science has once more run amock and given credence to the age old question

    Mice with human brains


    December 13, 2005 - 10:16AM

    Scientists say they have created mice with small amounts of human brain cells, in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

    Led by Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in San Diego, the researchers created the mice by injecting about 100,000 human embryonic stem cells per mouse into the brains of 14-day-old rodent foetuses.

    Those mice were each born with about 0.1 per cent of human cells in each of their heads, a trace amount that doesn't remotely come close to "humanising" the rodents.

    "This illustrates that injecting human stem cells into mouse brains doesn't restructure the brain," Gage said.

    Still, the work adds to the growing ethical concerns of mixing human and animal cells when it comes to stem cell and cloning research. After all, mice are 97.5 per cent genetically identical to humans.

    "The worry is if you humanise them too much you cross certain boundaries," said David Magnus, director of the Stanford Medical Centre for Biomedical Ethics. "But I don't think this research comes even close to that."

    Three top cloning researchers have applied for a patent that contemplates fusing a complete set of human DNA into animal eggs to manufacture human embryonic stem cells.

    One of the patent applicants, Jose Cibelli, first attempted such an experiment in 1998 when he fused cells from his cheek into cow eggs.

    "The idea is to hijack the machinery of the egg," said Cibelli, whose work at Michigan State University does not involve human material because that would violate state law.

    Researchers argue that co-mingling human and animal tissue is vital to ensuring that experimental drugs and new tissue replacement therapies are safe for people.

    Others have performed similar experiments with rabbit and chicken eggs while University of California-Irvine researchers have reported making paralysed rodents walk after injecting them with human nerve cells.

    Doctors have transplanted pig valves into human hearts for years, and scientists have injected human cells into lab animals for even longer. But the brain poses an additional level of concern because some envision nightmare scenarios in which a human mind might be trapped in an animal head.

    "Human diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, might be amenable to stem cell therapy, and it is conceivable, although unlikely, that an animal's cognitive abilities could also be affected by such therapy," said a report issued in April by the influential National Academies of Science that sought to draw some ethical research boundaries.

    Gage said the work, published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was another step in overcoming one of the biggest technical hurdles confronting stem cell researchers: when exactly to inject the cells into patients.

    The results suggest that human embryonic stem cells, once injected into people, will mature into the cells that surround them. No known human has received an injection of embryonic stem cells because so little is known about how those cells will mature once inside the body.

    For now, Gage said his work was more geared toward understanding disease than to finding a cure.

    "It's a way for us to begin to tease out the way these diseases develop," Gage said.

    AP

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    LOL!!

    Picture the size of a human head and then, picture the size of the head of a little grey mouse sitting in the palm of your hand.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/12/05 - Do we (The USA) have the wrong army???..............

    Take a look here and tell me what you think.
    It's long but worth the effort to answer best.
    Whatever your opinion it is well done.

    http://www.wtv-zone.com/Mary/THEWRONGARMY.HTML

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    No one is saying anything negative about the military services; quite the opposite, and Al Franken and others go over and entertain the soldiers even though it is dangerous.

    We are still in the shadow of the Viet Nam War; it seems many of us haven't processed the bad feelings that the whole thing generated. There are still open wounds....

    I can't bear to look at the faces of soldiers on the ten o'clock news....the young people in their dress uniforms posing so very proudly...it breaks my heart.

    Not all problems can be solved by war! Certainly not the problem that Iraq may or may not have been.

    The same way the British in their bright red uniforms, marching in unison could never have won against a bunch of primitives in the forest blasting them in guerilla war fashion.

    And, the current enemy is potentially limitless with the type of war they are waging.

    Plus, there is no defeating "true believers" by violence.


    In conclusion regarding the site, I'm wary of people who romanticize the military services.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/12/05 - Tonight I have a message of praise!

    with a crazy weeekend a daughter calling home upset cause she couldnt make it here for christmas this year another with a troubled child and a death in anothers family last night my mind was full of all this when I had to go to the store this evening ,after going to one store and not finding what i needed i gotr in my car to go to another on parking i reached for muy purse and to my horror it had gone!Of cource being on a limited income i paniced.I rushed back to the previous store and just knew all my christmas and bill paying money had gone,guess what it had been found itn the parking lot still in the cart and some honest person turned it in to the store ,Praise god nothing had been touched and all my money wich was in full view in a pocket was still there >there are still honest folks here on earth folks I dont know the person who turned it it but I will pray for them tonight !

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    That's so wonderful, rev. There are a lot of good honest people. :)

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 12/12/05 - organ soul/spirit transfer

    soul/spirit
    I have been hearing a lot of stories about organ recipents taking on tendencies of the donor and knowing things as if they happened to them personally.
    Many take on the likes and dislikes of the donor.
    Their interests change.The article below gives some examples.
    I think they said that a woman wrote a book called something like I hear my childs heart in your chest.

    Here is an article I found on the internet that explains more about it.

    Cellular Memory in Organ Transplants
    Leslie A. Takeuchi, BA, PTA
    In my experience as a physical therapist assistant, I have come to acknowledge the relevance of thoughts, emotions and spiritual beliefs to healing. I recognize the art of physical therapy to be based upon empirical science and a dualism which views the mind and body as separate, thus drawing a sharp distinction between sensory experiences and physical reality, between subject and object, between mind and matter and between soul and body. However, I also recognize that even though my science provides a rational foundation, it does not allow for the importance of the subjectivity and wholeness I see in my patients whose bodies and minds are inseparable.

    In my work with the chronic pain population, I have taken a closer look at this relationship of mind and matter, body and emotions, for keys to how people heal. In this search, I looked into theories of emotions or memories being somehow stored in the tissues of the body and later manifesting in the physical form of pain or disease. What was most striking were the numerous reports of organ transplant recipients who later experienced changes in personality traits, tastes for food, music, activities and even sexual preference. Is it possible that our memories reside deep inside our bodily cells in addition to in our minds?

    Current understandings about memory, for example, place this mental capacity solely as a function of the brain. However, the process of memory may be too complex to be explained by measuring brain activity through electroencephalograms or oxygen uptake as recorded on PET scans. Looking at memory as part of the quantum world of sub-atomic systems gives the visual image of tiny specks whizzing around every which way until there is a need for them to come together into some sort of pattern of awareness. But, where do the memories reside?

    Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel, says, "Memories are stored not only in the brain, but in a psychosomatic network extending into the body . . . all the way out along pathways to internal organs and the very surface of our skin." After having discovered neuropeptides in all body tissues, Pert suggests that through cellular receptors, thoughts or memories may remain unconscious or can become conscious-raising the possibility of physiological connections between memories, organs and the mind.

    University of Arizona scientists and co-authors of The Living Energy Universe, Gary Schwartz, PhD, and Linda Russek, PhD, propose the universal living memory hypothesis in which they believe that "all systems stored energy dynamically . . . and this information continued as a living, evolving system after the physical structure had deconstructed." Schwartz and Russek believe this may explain how the information and energy from the donor's tissue can be present, consciously or unconsciously, in the recipient.

    Paul Pearsall, MD, a psychoneuroimmunologist and author of The Heart's Code, has researched the transference of memories through organ transplantation. After interviewing nearly 150 heart and other organ transplant recipients, Pearsall proposes the idea that cells of living tissue have the capacity to remember.

    Together with Schwartz and Russek, Pearsall conducted a study, published in the Spring 2002 issue of the Journal of Near-Death Studies, entitled, "Changes in Heart Transplant Recipients That Parallel the Personalities of Their Donors." The study consisted of open-ended interviews with 10 heart or heart-lung transplant recipients, their families or friends and the donor's families or friends. The researchers reported striking parallels in each of the cases. The following is a sampling of some these.

    In one case, an 18-year-old boy who wrote poetry, played music and composed songs, was killed in an automobile accident. A year after he died his parents came across an audiotape of a song he had written, entitled, "Danny, My Heart is Yours," which was about how he "felt he was destined to die and give his heart to someone." The donor recipient "Danny" of his heart, was an 18-year-old girl, named Danielle. When she met the donor's parents, they played some of his music and she, despite never having heard the song, was able to complete the phrases.

    In another case, a seven-month-old boy received a heart from a 16-month-old boy who had drowned. The donor had a mild form of cerebral palsy mostly on the left side. The recipient, who did not display such symptoms prior to the transplant, developed the same stiffness and shaking on the left side.

    A 47-year-old Caucasian male received a heart from a 17-year-old African-American male. The recipient was surprised by his new-found love of classical music. What he discovered later was that the donor, who loved classical music and played the violin, had died in a drive-by shooting, clutching his violin case to his chest.

    A 29-year-old lesbian and a fast food junkie received a heart from a 19-year-old woman vegetarian who was "man crazy." The recipient reported after her operation that meat made her sick and she was no longer attracted to women. If fact, she became engaged to marry a man.

    A 47-year-old man received a heart from a 14-year-old girl gymnast who had problems with eating disorders. After the transplant, the recipient and his family reported his tendency to be nauseated after eating, a childlike exuberance and a little girl's giggle.

    Aside from those included in the study, there are other transplant recipients whose stories are worth mentioning, such as Claire Sylvia, a woman who received a heart-lung transplant. In her book entitled, A Change of Heart: A Memoir, Ms. Sylvia describes her own journey from being a healthy, active dancer to becoming ill and eventually needing a heart transplant. After the operation, she reported peculiar changes like cravings for beer and chicken nuggets, neither of which she had a taste for prior to the transplant. She later discovered that these were favorites of her donor. She even learned that her donor had chicken nuggets in his jacket pocket when he died in a motorcycle accident.

    Another possible incidence of memory transfer occurred when a young man came out of his transplant surgery and said to his mother, "everything is copasetic." His mother said that he had never used that word before, but now used it all the time. It was later discovered that the word had been a signal, used by the donor and his wife, particularly after an argument, so that when they made up they knew everything was okay. The donor's wife reported that they had had an argument just before the donor's fatal accident and had never made up.

    Another amazing story, reported by Pearsall, is that of an eight-year-old girl who received the heart of a ten-year-old girl who had been murdered. After the transplant, the recipient had horrifying nightmares of a man murdering her donor. The dreams were so traumatic that psychiatric help was sought. The girl's images were so specific that the psychiatrist and the mother notified the police. According to the psychiatrist, ". . .using the description from the little girl, they found the murderer. He was easily convicted with the evidence the patient provided. The time, weapon, place, clothes he wore, what the little girl he killed had said to him . . . everything the little heart transplant recipient had reported was completely accurate."

    Although medical science is not yet ready to embrace the ideas of cellular memory, one surgeon believes there must be something to it. Mehmet Oz, MD, heart surgeon at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, has invited an energy healer, Julie Motz, into the operating room during transplant surgery. Initially, Motz practiced energy healing to help reduce anxiety prior to surgery and depression following surgery. Then the team noticed that there seemed to be less incidence of rejection in these patients. They were curious to see what would happen if she were present during the operation. Motz registers, through sensations in her own body, the emotional state of the patient during the surgical procedure. Through her touch or words, Motz attempts to alleviate any worries, fears or anger the patient may be experiencing. She works with the recipient's ability to accept the new organ and also works with the donated tissue so it will accept a new body. The results have been favorable, and the team reports reduced rejection and increased survival rates. This may sound outrageous to those who never thought about tissues having feelings or caring about where they would reside, but Dr. Oz believes that it would be a disservice to ignore even the possibility that this method could help.

    More studies are being conducted with regard to the phenomenon of organ recipient and donor coincidences. Pearsall, Schwartz and Russek report that, "research is underway at the University of Arizona on a sample of more than 300 transplant patients to determine the incidence of such transcendent memory phenomena using semi-structured interviews and systematic questions."

    Intriguing questions remain. What percentage of transplant recipients actually do feel changes in behavior and personality or report changes in food preference or have new memories? Is there a higher incidence of tissue or organ acceptance in those patients who are aware of their consciousness or who have energy work done? Will ordinary science offer more evidence to support that memories are transferred-or will we need a new science? Perhaps more importantly, what does this transcendent phenomenon have to tell us about other healing events?




    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    People who have been saved from certain death by a heart, liver or kidney transplant are bound to have dramatic spiritual changes post op. A second chance at life.....what is more magnificent?

    Patients who receive lots of positive reinforcement will have better surgeries and recoveries.

    Memory implies consciousness, the question is then, is there consciousness outside of the brain/nervous system?

    Interesting. Need lots of scientific study to verify.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - Is Islam the problem? Let's have the debate

    Is Islam the problem? Let's have the debate



    Andrew West
    December 13, 2005 01:33 AM


    Australia does not have a race relations problem. We have a clash of cultures and that's a big difference -- and maybe the problem is certain forms of Islam.

    Of course, the marauding boneheads who rampaged through Cronulla on Sunday don't make this distinction. If they did, perhaps they would realise that when they screech "Lebs out" they are also referring to the majority of Lebanese Australians who are Maronite Christians, in communion with the Roman Catholic Church.

    By their chants, they are also demanding the expulsion of NSW Governor Marie Bashir and her husband, Sir Nicholas Shehadie, two of the finest citizens this state has ever produced; and Victorian Premier Steve Bracks, one of the most outwardly knockabout political leaders in Australia. Lebanese all.

    The problem is not the blood that runs through people's veins. Any form of discrimination based on race or ethnicity -- based on the colour of one's skin or hair or eyes -- is inherently immoral, illogical and evil.

    But culture and religion are behavioural. They involve values.

    People can be born into a particular culture or religion but sooner or later they reach an age of reason where they can embrace or reject their precepts. And if people freely embrace a culture that is antithetical to the prevailing social mores -- in our case, I would hope, liberal, enlightenment values -- then we are entitled to judge, object, censure and even discriminate.

    Which brings us to this extremely prickly issue of radical Islam.

    My colleague on this paper, Nadia Jamal, has mounted a strong and sophisticated argument that the issue is not religion but culture, specifically the patriarchal culture that prevails in many traditional Muslim households. This is a good point but I think it diplomatically sidesteps the fact that some strains of Islam -- most obviously the strict, puritanical and downright fanatical Wahhabism -- do, indeed, sanction attitudes and behaviour that are not simply patriarchal but repressive. I'm sorry, but to this extent, this particular brand of Islam is most definitely the problem.

    When groups of young Muslim men stalk the beaches of Sydney making sexually threatening comments against women in bathing costumes, as they indisputably do; and when they believe they act with the license of a sheik who claims that such women are responsible for their own sexual violation, then I do blame, in part, their religion.

    I do not embrace multiculturalism, as such, because I do not believe all cultures are compatible with non-discriminatory liberalism. I prefer a multi-ethnic, non-racial society, which has at its core a canon of values that include racial and gender equality.

    I admit to feeling a little uneasy at the sight of a Muslim woman shrouded not simply in a headscarf but a face-concealing, head-to-toe chador, and wonder just how much choice she has had in deciding her lifestyle. I am not hugely sympathetic to a Muslim seeking asylum because he claims to have been discriminated against because of his support for sharia law.

    I'm sorry but I cannot celebrate such culture in the way that I celebrate Italian National Day in Leichhardt or the Tet festival in Cabramatta or Greek Orthodox Easter or a Seder at Passover or a service of Eritrean Orthodox Church, such as the one I attended a couple of years ago in a borrowed Church of England in London, or lunch with a couple of Palestinian intellectuals.

    Some multicultural theorists will squawk and say that I prefer only a soft multiculturalism (if they insist on calling it that) that does not offend western liberal values. They would be spot on. My acceptance ends when the assault on the liberality of society itself begins.

    None of this erases the points I made yesterday, condemning the lynch-mob mentality of the Cronulla crowds, boozed up, in their thousands, chasing down lone Lebanese teenagers.

    But I do accept the need for a debate about cultural, rather than ethnic, compatibility -- because the two are not the same.
    COMMENTS

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    We are in an idiotic clash between Modernity and Ancient Tribal culture.

    There is *nothing worse* in the world than men with nothing positive to do.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/12/05 - Pray for the soul of tookie

    Stanly tookie williams will go to meet his maker in a few hours and I feel he could use a few prayers right now if he is truly reformed then God will know,if not no prayer can help can it?

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    I hope he has repented of his horrific crimes and that he can die in as much peace as possible.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - and the fight goes on

    More arrests as violence escalates


    December 13, 2005 - 7:43AM


    * Armed gangs on rampage
    * The hordes came with guns and iron bars
    * An angry ride into the dark side of mateship
    * Abandoned drink laws rushed back
    * Australians racist? No way, says Howard
    * David Marr: One-way radio plays by its own rules
    * Andrew West: Is Islam the problem?


    Seven people have been injured, cars and shops trashed, and rock and flares hurled at police in a second consecutive night of mob violence in Sydney.

    Eleven men were arrested as a new wave of unrest hit the city overnight in apparent reprisal attacks for Sunday's race riot at Cronulla, where alcohol-fuelled mobs chased and bashed people of Middle Eastern appearance.

    The trouble began last night when a group of 200 mostly Muslim men gathered at Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south-west, apparently after rumours that an attack on the building was imminent.

    Rocks and flares were thrown at police trying to disperse the group, and a female constable was injured when a projectile struck her leg.

    Police were also hit with projectiles as a crowd of about 100 people gathered for a second night in Brighton-le-Sands, in Sydney's south.

    Two police cars were damaged and rubbish bins were thrown at shopfronts as officers attempted to control the crowd.

    A family was forced to move out of their apartment after their five-month-old son narrowly escaped being injured when a bottle was thrown through their apartment window, shattering the glass.

    At Cronulla, about 50 men arrived in cars last night before rampaging through the beach community, smashing car windows and shopfronts with baseball bats.

    Gunshots were heard near the Northies Hotel, opposite north Cronulla beach, where some of the worst violence was seen on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, more than 30 molotov cocktails and crates of rocks were found during a rooftop search at south Maroubra, not far from where a mob smashed car windows on Sunday.

    Cricket bats, rocks and iron bars were also confiscated by police monitoring about 100 people who gathered near Maroubra beach.

    Six people were arrested at Cronulla and on the Kingsway, in nearby Caringbah, after shops and vehicles were attacked.

    Two men and three youths were arrested at Maroubra beach after police discovered a replica pistol in the bushes.

    Police said the injured included a Bexley couple attacked as they left a restaurant in Caringbah about 10pm (AEDT).

    A 35-year-old Lansvale man suffered head injuries and severe facial bruising after being attacked at a youth hostel at Caringbah. He was taken to Sutherland hospital in a stable condition.

    A 45-year-old Cronulla man suffered broken ribs and head injuries when he was attacked as he put his rubbish bin out on the street.

    A 51-year-old Woolwooware man suffered a broken arm after he was attacked with a baseball bat at Cronulla.

    Details of the seventh person's injuries could not be confirmed.

    Police are braced for further violence after new text messages, including one declaring war between Sydney's Middle Eastern youths and Australians, began circulating.

    The new messages follow a round of similar ones sent last week, calling for retaliation after an attack on surf lifesavers at Cronulla on December 3.

    One of the new messages congratulates Australians for the fight they put up against the Lebanese at Cronulla during Sunday's riots, and called for more attacks.

    "We'll show them! It's on again Sunday," a newspaper reported the message said.

    Another warned of retaliation from the Middle Eastern groups.

    "The Aussies will feel the full force of the Arabs as one - 'brothers in arms' unite now..." it read.

    Another called for "straight up WAR. The leb's/wogs won't stand for this."

    Police have formed a task force to try to prevent a repeat of Sunday's riots, which have been condemned by NSW Premier Morris Iemma.

    AAP

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    I'm glad I live in America where immigrants from all over the world are integrated into the economic and social life of the country.

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    Question/Answer
    FormerJesusHelper76 asked on 12/11/05 - For Hank! Reincarnation!

    Reincarnation is taught as a belief in Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism.

    There are many people who believe that the earlier christians actually held the belief of reincarnation and that even Jesus himself has taught about reincarnation.

    I am an open minded person and I do believe the possibilities that some form of reincarnation does exist.

    Joe

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    Joe, I believe in my readings, I learned that in the first decades of Christianity, there were some groups of Christians who believed in reincarnation....when Christian doctrine was solidified and various early groups stamped out by RCC, reincarnation as a belief disappeared.

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 12/12/05 - What next?

    Hello Everyone,

    The other day here at the Miami Florida airport and international flight was landing when a man ran down the isle yelling he had a bomb. His wife was running behind him yelling, "please help me, my husband didn't take his medicine. He is sick, he's bi-polar."

    There was two security marshalls on the plane and they told him to stop or they would shoot. The man being mentally disturped did not stop. The marshalls shot five time and the man is dead.

    Was this fair? The man was mentally ill? The wife was running behind him saying he was sick. Did they need to shoot five (5) times? What is this world coming to? Will they shoot children next? Could they have handled this better?

    BTW- There was no bomb or any weapons found on the man or in his bags.

    What is you take on this situation. This is what is taking place now due to man's fear of man. Could the scriptures have been right?
    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    No exceptions. Shoot first and ask questions later.

    I was wondering why a woman would take an unmedicated manic-depressive on an airplane flight?????

    Ah ha, the perfect crime. :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/12/05 - more violence and the religious component becomes obvious

    Cars smashed in Cronulla violence


    A man tries to hit police with a beer bottle at Cronulla Beach.
    Photo: Rob Griffith shreds


    December 12, 2005 - 11:00PM

    Mobs of men have damaged a number of vehicles in an outbreak of fresh violence in the southern Sydney suburb of Cronulla tonight.

    A reporter from radio station 2GB said ``chaos'' had broken out in the beach shopping centre with vehicles damaged and police making arrests as mobs of men roam the streets.

    ``People are standing around in shock, just watching,'' the reporter said.

    ``Every window in some cars has been smashed. Roads have been blocked (by police).''

    He witnessed police arrest a group of five people.
    Some motorists were ignoring the road blocks, simply driving around the obstacles, he said.

    ``There's chaos, with ambulances and police going in all directions.''

    Earlier, police moved quickly to prevent violence at potential new flashpoints in Sydney tonight following some of the worst race-based clashes ever seen in Australia.

    Police guarding against any repeat of yesterday's race riot at Cronulla tonight blocked off streets around the Lakemba Mosque, in Sydney's south-west, after about 500 mostly Muslim men gathered, apparently after rumours of an imminent attack on the building.

    Rocks and flares were thrown at police as the crowd dispersed, police said, and although no one was injured, tensions tonight remained high among Australians of Middle Eastern background, who were targeted in yesterday's race riot at Cronulla beach.

    Earlier, cricket bats, rocks and lengths of steel were confiscated by police.

    About 30 police seized the potential weapons from a park area in Maroubra, the scene of retaliation attacks that followed a day of violence in the southern Sydney beach area of Cronulla yesterday.

    A crowd of up to 100 people had gathered near Maroubra beach earlier today but had largely dispersed by nightfall.

    Superintendent Phil Rogerson from Maroubra police said so far it had been "very quiet".

    "But we're prepared," he told AAP.

    "We took possession of a number of cricket bats, rocks and bits of steel secreted around the park since about 3pm this afternoon."

    He also said police would be taking possession of a stockpile of bricks left near a shop.

    Supt Rogerson said there were "sufficient" police patrolling the streets opposite Maroubra beach and more in Broadarrow Reserve and adjoining parks if needed.

    He said police also were worried about violence flaring up in Coogee and Bondi, and were keeping a close eye on the situation.

    At Lakemba in Sydney's south-west, a crowd of about 500 mostly Muslim men gathered outside the Lakemba Mosque after rumours of an attack on the building.

    One man said the crowd had gathered as a show of force.

    Police blocked off the street 200 metres either side of the building and a police helicopter hovered overhead.

    There were reports a camera crew had been set upon while covering the gathering outside the mosque but police said no one was injured in the incident.

    The crowd began to disperse without incident about 9.30pm.

    Police said as the crowd left the mosque, rocks were thrown at officers standing nearby on the corner of Lakemba Street and Wangee Road.

    No one was reported to be injured in the incident and more police rushed to the scene.

    Earlier, text messages were reportedly circulating in Sydney tonight, encouraging retaliation for yesterday's clashes at beachside suburbs including Cronulla and Maroubra.

    Sixteen people were charged yesterday after a 5000-strong alcohol-fuelled mob, some waving flags and chanting racist slogans, chased and beat people of Middle Eastern appearance at Cronulla beach. Thirty-one people were injured.

    The clashes were sparked by an attack on young Cronulla surf lifesavers the week before, and text messages calling for retaliation.

    Within hours of yesterday's riot at Cronulla, reprisal attacks led to one man being stabbed at nearby Woolooware and more than 100 cars badly damaged in a rampage through eastern suburbs beach Maroubra.

    Police today set up a task force and will study video footage and photos to try to identify offenders in the mob, which they say included white supremacists.

    NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said he also was considering establishing street squads and implementing alcohol restrictions to prevent further problems.

    Community leaders from Cronulla and from Australian-Lebanese community groups met Mr Moroney and NSW Premier Morris Iemma today and vowed to restore harmony.

    But tonight, Sydney was braced for more violence, with reports that text messages were circulating within the Arabic community calling for revenge attacks against Cronulla locals, including this Sunday.

    Police squads including the air wing and mounted officers were on alert tonight and police said they were prepared for any new outbreak of violence.

    "We are keeping a watching brief - we will only say that we have sufficient resources deployed to deal with any contingency,'' said a spokesman.

    Mr Iemma said further charges were expected to be laid as a result of the violence, using video and photo evidence to track down offenders who had shown the ``ugly face of racism in Australia''.

    He announced Strike Force Seta had been set up to track down the instigators of yesterday's race riot.

    ``There is no way that this sort of behaviour, this disgraceful and cowardly behaviour, will be tolerated anywhere,'' Mr Iemma said.

    ``Strike Force Seta will be there to pursue a criminal investigation ... examining videotape information, other information that may come to hand, photographic information to bring to justice those that are were responsible for the incitement, those that conducted other activities on the weekend,'' he said.

    ``That's (the purpose of) the establishment of the strike force.''

    Police Minister Carl Scully said white supremacists were among those who had taken part in the Cronulla riots.

    ``There appears to be an element of white supremacists and they really have no place in mainstream Australian society, those sort of characters belong in Berlin 1930s,'' he said.

    ``I'm horrified that amidst that large crowd were pretty much people who have pretty ugly views.''

    Mr Moroney denied his officers had taken a ``softly, softly approach'' to crowd control or that they had miscalculated the level of anger in Cronulla, which bore the brunt of the trouble.

    Mr Iemma also defended authorities' preparations, saying no more could have been done.

    ``They had the resources there ... the resources deployed with the riot equipment, the back-up, the dog squad, the mounted police, Polair, maritime police and up to 150 police and they performed outstandingly,'' Mr Iemma said.

    Mr Goodwin today urged parents to dissuade their children from taking part in any further unrest.

    ``How a parent would allow a child of 15 or 16 to attend the areas and participate in that kind of behaviour is beyond me,'' he said.

    Mr Goodwin said 14 men, aged 18 to 40, and two male youths had been arrested in relation to the violence and were so far facing 41 charges.

    Six of those arrested are from Cronulla, a further three are from the Sutherland Shire, six are from Sydney's south or south-west and one is from Bondi Junction.

    Mr Goodwin said he was confident of more arrests in the coming days.
    ``I am confident this behaviour will be shut down,'' he said.

    Prime Minister John Howard, at a separate press conference, condemned the violence.

    "Mob violence is always sickening,'' Mr Howard told reporters.

    "Attacking people on the basis of their race, their appearance, their ethnicity, is totally unacceptable and should be repudiated by all Australians irrespective of their own background and their politics,'' he said.

    "I believe yesterday's behaviour was completely unacceptable but I'm not going to put a general tag [of] racism on the Australian community.

    "I think it's a term that is flung around sometimes carelessly and I'm simply not going to do so.''

    Mr Howard also dismissed any suggestion his Government's warnings about home-grown terrorists had fuelled the rampage.

    "It is impossible to know how individuals react but everything this Government's said about home-grown terrorism has been totally justified,'' Mr Howard told reporters in Sydney.

    "It is a potential threat. To suggest that one should remain silent ... knowing what I know because that might antagonise someone else is a complete failure of leadership.''

    Mr Howard said he fully supported the actions of police at Cronulla and said that anybody who broke the law yesterday or on the previous weekend, when two lifesavers and a camera crew were assaulted, should be apprehended and prosecuted.

    Mr Howard warned anyone considering further violent behaviour they would face the full force of the law.

    Opposition leader Kim Beazley also condemned the violence.

    "We respect the rule of law, Australians respect the rule of law, and I urge the NSW Government and the police forces to make absolutely certain the rule of law is upheld," he said. "There can be no excuse for mob violence.''

    AAP

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    Scenes of street violence in Australia are all over Chicago-land TV. Bet that puts a burr under your saddle....things are quiet in America. :)

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    Question/Answer
    Laura asked on 12/12/05 - A parent's right to monitor their children's phone calls

    http://www.soundpolitics.com/archives/003677.html

    In this story the testimony of a mother who intercepted her daughters phone call in which her daughter and boyfriend were talking about something illegal was thrown out of court because it was deemed against the law for the mother to have monitered the call. She supposedly violated the "privacy" law that her 14 year old minor daughter is protected under. The boyfriend had been convicted of a crime but it was overturned because the majority of the testimony was because of the mother's interception of the call which was deemed a violation of privacy. Even though the young man was guilty.

    If you suspect that your child is involved in something that could be dangerous to them or that someone else is speaking to your child in a way that is potentially damaging to them either physically or emotionally do you think that you have the right to monitor their phone calls? I sure do. Do you think the law should be changed?


    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    I think a parent has a duty to sit down the child and discuss the problem without yelling and screaming at the kid. Being a snoop is hardly a way to win over a child.

    Parents lose a healthy relationship with a child a long time before teen-age years.

    Laura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/12/05 - HALLELUIAH!!

    FOR THOSE OF YOU ON DISABILITY WE ACTUALLY GOT A RAISE THIS YEAR. MAN!! THAT'S ANOTHER HALF A TANK OF GAS THIS YEAR........

    Choux answered on 12/12/05:

    For those who want to calculate, it is about 5.5%.

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 12/11/05 - Torture


    Hello experts:

    Bush has sent prisoners to Ballklampia in the former Soviet Union. Do you think they torture there?

    excon

    Choux answered on 12/11/05:

    In all fairness, half of them were secretly sent to Der Spanken Haus in Vienna. :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/11/05 - Bloopers from Sunday School Students




    The Fifth Commandment is humor thy mother and father.


    A Christian should have only one wife. This is called monotony.


    The epistles were the wives of the apostles.


    When Mary heard that she was the Mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta

    Choux answered on 12/11/05:

    I bet kids in grade school really laugh at these!!!

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 12/11/05 - Torture - redux


    Hello Christians:

    You should excuse me. I’ve made a mistake. I’ve argued with lot’s of you about what torture is. Frankly, I’ve derided your answers. Of course, I thought you were kidding. Really - torture - of course, you’re kidding. I thought that you really do know what torture is, but because Bush wants to do it, and you have no love for terrorists, you feign ignorance.

    But no. I really think you’re confused about torture, and about degrading and inhumane treatment. Certainly, you don’t know what child abuse means. Oh, I know you say you do. But many of you who are saying it, put your hands on your children, and you don’t call that abuse.

    So again, you should excuse me. I know what torture is. I know what abuse is. I know what degrading and inhumane treatment is. I don’t have any problems at all defining what those are. What makes me so smart?

    excon

    Choux answered on 12/11/05:

    I learned the fine art of torture as the older sister of two intelligent and active brothers!! They were putty in my hands way back in the 1950's! LOLOL!!In fact, I was so successful at psychological torture, the last time I say one of my brothers, he has refused to have any contact with me!! LOL!! Damn, I wish to hell I hadn't done it. :):):) So much for unresolved sibling conflicts on both parties. :)

    The thing about torture is INTENT. That is why we all know what torture is and feigning ignorece is a big crock of poo.

    You're not so smart; everyone knows what torture and abuse is.....but, there are some who disingenuiously pretend they don't.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/11/05 - ¡El discurso en español es un crimen y será castigado!





    A junior high school student was suspended for speaking Spanish at lunch time and again later in the day.



    A le invitan que comente. Gracias.

    Choux answered on 12/11/05:

    I saw that story a couple of days ago.

    We have media competing for "stories" 24/7, and as a consequence, "non-stories" like this become "news".......on a slow news day, a dog caught in a sewerpipe becomes a four hour story on CNN!

    Erewhon rated this answer Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/10/05 - Is the Bush administration dismantling the VA?

    Please take a look at this and answer the quetion form your experience and opionion.
    Thanks,
    Fred
    http://www.military.com/opinion/0,,77901,00.html

    Choux answered on 12/10/05:

    I read in the newspaper some time ago that Bush was streamlining the VA; I checked the list of hospital closings, and the VA Hospital serving western Chicago, Hines Hospital, was not being closed.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/07/05 - Have Your Say !!

    Religiously speaking , are human rights being
    observed in your country ?

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    Yes, but there is an attack on our rights from the religious right.

    ROLCAM rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/07/05 - How smart are you ?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4506562.stm

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    Thanks, Aton,

    anyway, I got every question about religions from India....Buddhism, Hinduism, Shikism....WRONG!!!!

    lol!! Not a sterling performance at all!!

    ROLCAM rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 12/09/05 - Not a question, but an open reply to the 'torture guild'!!!!

    For Steve, arcura and ETWolverine, TWO who claim to follow the teachings of Jesus, and one who claims belief in God!!!! NO LEVEL OF TORTURE IS EVER JUSTIFIED. That is why it has never been overtly approved in our justice system (until the advent of Bush, Cheney, and the bloodthirsty mob that makes up the Bush administration...the mob that now wants to make it legal.
    One of the major tenets of most 'civilized' religions is that 'end NEVER justifies the means'...and as I have heard, ad nauseaum, from my Christian brothers and sisters: "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar!. In our justice system, condemned crimininals who have been given the opportunity to live as 'human beings' and not as tortured animals, have made remarkable progress in 'changing their habits' of turning from crime to 'conversion' so to speak. That could NEVER have happend if these men had been tortured or mistreated.

    To reach an 'enemy' you do not become his enemy, you become his friend...you honor his religion, and you honor his moral code, and you honor his social taboos. You do NOT piss on his Holy Scripture, you do NOT strip him and have females in uniform poking at his genitals. You do NOT photgraph him in forced sexual positions. You do NOT hang him from the ceiling with electrodes attached to his hands and genitals!!!!! It makes me nauseous to think I even have to point this out to men who claim to believe in the teachings of Jesus!!!!

    You do not deprive him of the comfort of other associations. It is enough that he has been deprived of family and friends, thrown into isolation cells, denied the comforts of books, music, and social contact. Enough that, in too many cases, he is innocent of ANY wrongdoing, has no information to give, and realizes that his situation is helpless!!!! Does he also need to be left to the mercy of sadists and sexual perverts??????? How many of you stalwart defenders of torture would last one week under those conditions?????

    When our country, and our children, at the behest of a bunch of uncaring militaristic warmongers, is reduced to the same level of barbarity of which we accuse others, then our Country deserves the contumely heaped upon by our detractors. WE deserve the hatred of other nations, because WE have done little, or nothing to stop these outrages. And to even discuss what level of torture that might be exceptable to use against a helpless human being is disgusting. But I am beginning to beleive that it is OH SO CHRISTIAN.

    Put THAT in your bibles and press it for a keepsake.

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    Just a clarification::


    I think US prison is torture because of all the terrible things that happen in prison....rape, murder, intimidation, maiming, assault.....the inmates have gangs!!! Guards are bribed...US prisons are one hell on earth!!!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/09/05 - looking for comments




    I am interested in comments from the baord on the The fate of Stanley Tookie Williams and also the Debra le Favre cases I have my own oppinions but am interested in those of other members!

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    Re: Female Pedophilia::

    ""Sex offenses are still very much a man's crime, according to the Justice Department. Men were perpetrators in **96 percent** of sex assaults reported nationwide in 1999.

    Women were most often involved in cases in which the victim was **under age 6**, making up 12 percent of those offenders. Women were involved in 3 percent of sex cases in which the victim was 6 to 12 years old, and 3 percent for victims 13 through 17.

    Experts are not able to draw an accurate profile of a typical female sex offender, because they are so rare. The few psychologists who have studied the issue believe female pedophiles are most likely to be women who have had failed adult relationships, who have suffered a great loss, or who have been victims of abuse themselves.""



    I'm against the death penalty.

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Pete_Hanysz asked on 12/09/05 - ACLU

    Forgive my ignorance, I am from the UK.

    Recently there has been a lot of comment on the American Civil Liberties Union.
    Not having heard of them, I checked out their website & read their mission statement below:




    Your First Amendment rights-freedom of speech, association and assembly. Freedom of the press, and freedom of religion supported by the strict separation of church and state.

    Your right to equal protection under the law - equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

    Your right to due process - fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.

    Your right to privacy - freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.


    What is the problem?

    Pete

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    What's the problem?? LOLOL!!

    American Christian religious zealots want to control, to their satisfaction, many things that have been adjudicated to be free speech, etc.


    The ACLU got fell into controversy back when they defended the right of the American Nazi Party to have a rally in the mostly Jewish suburb of Chicago, Skokie, Illinois.

    They lost many of their Jewish financial supporters.

    Then, they won many of their legal cases against oppression of blacks, women and other minorities.....discrimination in promotions on the jobs etal.

    Now, they have defended some cases that make Americans sick.....especially the North American Man Boy Association which advocates sex between young men and adult men. I think that the ACLU only advocated their freedom of speech, not the acts!!!

    Anyway, basically, the Radical Right wants to silence the ACLU.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/08/05 - ACLU encouraging neighbors to become spys? Yup!

    ACLU OF OHIO ASKS PUBLIC TO REPORT NATIVITY SCENES

    The website of the Ohio chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is asking citizens to be on the lookout for nativity scenes in their towns. The exact wording of their message is “Contact the ACLU: E-Mail us and send a detailed message regarding the contents and location of the display as well as a phone number where you can be reached. While the ACLU may not be able to assist everyone who contacts us, we will provide assistance when we can.”

    Choux answered on 12/09/05:

    I don't believe this post. It's stupid.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/08/05 - How Many Women?

    How Many Women?

    A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him, "How many women can a man marry?"

    "Sixteen," the boy responded.

    His cousin was amazed that he knew the answer so quickly."How do you know that?"

    "Easy," the little boy said.

    "All you have to do is add it up, like the Preacher said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer, 4 poorer."

    Choux answered on 12/08/05:

    As for husbands/marriage, once is enough.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/07/05 - What us your critical explanation of this?

    What is your theological exegesis on the following?
    The angel Gabriel said to Mary,”Hail Mary, full of grace….
    To get stated we realize that of course Hail is much more that a mere hello.
    What about the “full of grace” how significant and what is the meaning conveyed in that?
    Serious answers please.
    Thanks.
    Happy Jesus’ Birthday,
    Fred

    Choux answered on 12/08/05:

    This is just a story..... Adding dramatic interest and moving the story along and giving Mary's pregnancy legitimacy.

    There are no supernatural angels; muchless that they talk!!!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/07/05 - How smart are you ?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4506562.stm

    Choux answered on 12/08/05:

    Why don't you print it out here in a question, dude???? I can't get any of it.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/07/05 - Where is your disgust for kidnapping and torture by Americans under born-again-Bush's control?




    "The United States does not use torture at home or abroad."



    What does men dresssed in black like Ninjas with full face masks grabbed a German in Macedonia on 'suspicion' of having a name similar to a wanted man, and on 'suspicion' of having a fake passport.

    He was stripped, given an enema, drugged, and intimidated and put on an airplane to Afghanistan where he was kept incommunicado for four months before they found out they had grabbed and abused the wrong man.

    No one had been informed that he had been endungoned and abused and tortured. He had just 'disappeared.'

    Now they had an innocent man on their hands and had to decide what to do. Should they just drop him off in Macedonia and run away, knowing that no one would believe a word he said but think of him as insane?

    His passport proved genuine. He was not the 'target' of the kidnap ghost squad.

    They decided against dropping him off in Macedonia when the Macedonians said they couldn't. They already had enough egg on their faces.

    They were forced through Hobson's Choice to have one of the top CIA men speak with one of the top German Secret Service men. It was too risky for Bush to raise it with the Reichskancellor, so it was kept hushed."

    Now what? Why didn't CNN and other American networks carry this story?

    Are kidnapping, the tryarannical practice of disaparados, and torture great American values?

    Time for a change!

    --


    'They beat me from all sides'

    A German car salesman
    says that a year ago he was kidnapped in Europe, beaten and flown to a US-controlled jail in Afghanistan.

    Now the German government is collecting evidence to back up his story.

    James Meek hears Khaled el-Masri's account of life in America's secret offshore prison network

    Friday January 14, 2005
    The Guardian

    A man is walking alone along a mountain path in the darkness. He is carrying a suitcase. He seems frightened, tired and confused.

    He has long hair and a long beard, but they are untidy, as if he did not grow them voluntarily.

    He turns a bend and meets three men carrying Kalashnikovs.

    The man shows them his passport. It indicates that he is a German citizen, born in Lebanon, called Khaled el-Masri.

    Using poor English, he tells them that he does not know where he is.

    They tell him that he is on the Albanian border, close to Serbia and Macedonia, and that he is there illegally since he doesn't have an Albanian stamp in his passport.

    The story that el-Masri tells them by way of explanation, on this evening in late May 2004, is extraordinary: a story of how an unemployed German car salesman from the town of Ulm went on a New Year's holiday to Macedonia, was seized by Macedonian police at the border, held incommunicado for weeks without charge, then beaten, stripped, shackled and blindfolded and flown to a jail in Afghanistan, run by Afghans but controlled by Americans.

    Five months after first being seized, he says, still with no explanation or charge, he was flown back to Europe and dumped in an unknown country which turned out to be Albania.

    What really happened? With no way to prove his story, el-Masri's account remains in the balance, a terrifying snapshot of America's "war on terror".

    It is certain that he returned home to Ulm from Albania in May 2004, and that he was taken off a bus from Germany at the Macedonian border on New Year's Eve 2003.

    The only person who has offered a clear explanation for what happened in the five months in between is el-Masri himself.

    Yet that may change.

    The German authorities are now taking his allegations very seriously.

    They are subjecting a sample from el-Masri's hair to radioisotope analysis, which can reveal, down to a particular country, the source of a person's food and drink over a period of time.

    Discussions are also under way about bringing to Germany two men whom el-Masri has identified as being with him in the Afghan prison, and who were also subsequently released.

    The fact that the German authorities do regard Ulm as an area of potentially dangerous radical Islamic activity - a number of premises were raided and alleged Islamic activists were arrested on Wednesday - only emphasises the concern that Germany has over the el-Masri case.

    So far the US authorities have neither confirmed nor denied el-Masri's story, although German investigators first requested information about the case in autumn.

    The FBI office in the US embassy in Berlin did not return calls yesterday.

    On Tuesday The Guardian (England) was the first European news organisation to interview el-Masri, at the Ulm offices of his lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic.

    In a conversation lasting more than four hours, el-Masri conveyed a powerful impression of sincerity: if his story is not true, he must be an actor of genius.

    He broke down in sobs as he described the moment he was abducted by masked men and put on a plane, excused himself to vomit as he recalled the filthy water he was given to drink in jail, and brightened as he described the hours before his return to Germany.

    Often he would pick up a pen and sketch the layout of a room or building.

    If true, the abduction would add to our understanding of a pattern of US behaviour frightening in its implications both for America and for the rest of the world.

    The former director of the CIA, George Tenet, told the US 9/11 Commission last year that even before September 11 the US had abducted more than 70 foreigners it considered terrorists - a process Washington has declared legal under the label "extraordinary rendition".

    An investigation by the Washington Post last year suggested that the US held 9,000 people overseas in an archipelago of known prisons (such as Abu Ghraib in Iraq) and unknown ones run by the Pentagon, the CIA or other organisations.

    But this figure does not include others "rendered" to third-party governments who then act as subcontractors for Washington, enabling the US to effectively torture detainees while technically denying that it carries out torture.

    El-Masri's ordeal began, he says, when he decided to escape, for one week over New Year, the stress of living in a single room in Ulm as the unemployed father of a family of six.

    On a friend's recommendation he bought a cheap bus ticket to Skopje, capital of Macedonia, intending to find a hotel when he got there.

    The bus left the borders of the EU and crossed Serbia without incident.

    Then, at the Macedonian border, at 3pm, el-Masri was called off the bus.

    Now 41, he has lived in Germany for 20 years, the last 10 as a citizen.

    "I didn't feel bad," he says. "I just thought it was a mistake."

    He was taken to a room with a table and chairs where four men whom he took to be Slavic searched his luggage and questioned him in poor English, asking him about links to Islamic organisations.

    Several hours later, flanked by armed police, he was driven to a city he assumes was Skopje and escorted to the hotel room where he was to spend the next few weeks.

    "I asked if I was arrested," says el-Masri. "They said: 'Can you see handcuffs?'"

    El-Masri was kept prisoner in the room for 23 days; Macedonian civilian police were constantly present, and he was subject to repeated interrogations about his links to Islamic organisations - he says he has none - and about the mosque in Ulm where he worships.

    After about 10 days, a Macedonian Mr Nice appeared. "He said it was taking a long time, too much time - let's make an end to it, and let's make a deal.

    'We have to say you are a member of al-Qaida ... then we'll put you on a plane and take you back to Germany.'

    I refused, naturally. It would have been suicide to sign."

    But el-Masri was accused of having been to a terror training camp in Jalalabad, of having a fake passport, and being in reality a citizen of Egypt.

    On the evening of January 23, he was handcuffed, blindfolded, put in a car and told he was going to Germany.

    He was driven to a place where he heard the sound of a plane, then heard the voice of one of the Macedonians saying he would have a medical examination.

    "I heard the door being closed," says el-Masri. "And then they beat me from all sides, from everywhere, with hands and feet.

    With knives or scissors they took away my clothes. In silence.

    The beating, I think, was just to humiliate me, to hurt me, to make me afraid, to make me silent.

    They stripped me naked. I was terrified. They tried to take off my pants. I tried to stop them so they beat me again.

    And when I was naked I heard a camera."

    El-Masri breaks down as he recalls the moment when the men carried out an intrusive anal search.

    He was dressed in a nappy, a short-sleeved, short-legged suit and a belt.

    His feet were shackled and his hands were chained to the belt.

    His ears were plugged and ear defenders placed over them and a clip put on his nose.

    A hood was put over his blindfold.

    With his arms raised painfully high behind his back, he was driven to an aircraft where he was thrown down on to a bare metal floor, chained and bound, and given an injection.

    He was dimly aware of a landing and takeoff and a second injection before the plane landed again and he was put into the boot of a car.

    El-Masri arrived in what he later found to be his cell by being pushed violently against the wall, thrown to the floor, having feet placed on his head and his back and having his chains removed.

    The cell was to be his home for the next four months.

    From the graffiti on the wall - in Arabic script, but not Arabic - and the Afghan dress of the guards, he deduced that he was in Afghanistan.

    There was nothing in the cell except a blanket, a filthy plastic mat and a bottle of tainted water so vile that the memory of it makes him literally gag.

    El-Masri soon discovered that the prison, though technically Afghan, was run from behind the scenes by the US.

    His first encounter with an American was with a masked individual who spoke English with what el-Masri believes was an American accent.

    He had a Palestinian translator.

    The American took a blood sample and photographed el-Masri naked again.

    "I asked him if I could have fresh water," said el-Masri. "

    And he said: 'It's not our problem, it's a problem of the Afghan people.'

    I said: 'Afghanistan doesn't have planes to kidnap people in Europe and bring them here, so it's not the problem of the Afghan people.'"

    By whispering through the door, and exchanging messages on pieces of toilet paper, el-Masri found out a few details about his fellow prisoners: two Saudi brothers of Pakistani origin who had been imprisoned for two years, two Tanzanians, a Pakistani, a Yemeni, and several Afghans. (Mr Gnjidic says two of the prisoners have been traced but he didn't want to identify them for fear of putting their lives at risk.)

    El-Masri says the first of many interrogations was carried out by a masked man with a south Lebanese accent, with seven or eight silent observers in black masks listening in.

    "He said: 'Do you know where you are?' And I answered: 'Yes, I know, I'm in Kabul.'

    So he said: 'It's a country without laws. And nobody knows that you are here. Do you know what this means?'"

    Repeatedly, he would be asked the same questions, challenging his identity, accusing him of attending terrorist training camps.

    Some of the interrogators, el-Masri believes, were American.

    After about a month, el-Masri met two unmasked Americans who other prisoners referred to as "the Doctor" and "the Boss".

    The Doctor was a tall, pale man in his 60s with grey collar-length hair. The Boss was younger, with red hair and blue eyes, about 5ft 10in, and wore glasses.

    Then, in March, el-Masri and the other prisoners began a hunger strike.

    After 27 days of starvation, he was taken in chains one night to meet the Americans and a senior Afghan.

    Near to hysteria, el-Masri said they had to let him go, put him before a US court, let him speak to somebody from the German government, or watch him starve to death.

    The Boss told him he had to get Washington's permission to help him, but was clearly angry, saying:

    "He shouldn't be here. He's in the wrong place."

    "I had the impression that the Doctor thought I wasn't guilty, and had sent a report saying so even after the second interrogation," says el-Masri.

    Yet he was taken back to his cell, where he continued his hunger strike.

    Conditions in the cell improved, with a bed and a new carpet, but he was barely able to move.

    On the 37th day he was force fed chocolate-flavoured nutrients through a tube stuffed up his nose.

    El-Masri began to eat again and the Americans brought him fresh water and promised that he would be released within three weeks.

    They brought a native German speaker to the prison.

    "I asked him: 'Are you from the German authorities?'

    He said: 'I do not want to answer that question.'

    When I asked him if the German authorities knew that I was there, he answered: 'I can't answer this question.'" (Hofmann, the prosecutor, says the German security services do not admit to any knowledge of an agent visiting el-Masri in prison.)

    It was to be more than a week before el-Masri finally got out of the prison; the German told him one of the obstacles to his speedy release was the Americans' determination not to leave any evidence that he had ever been there.

    He was flown to Albania in what he thinks was a small passenger jet, blindfolded and in plastic handcuffs.

    When el-Masri got back to Ulm, he found his wife and four children had disappeared.

    They had returned to Lebanon. He traced them, brought them back, and told his wife his story.

    "It was a crime, it was humiliating, and it was inhuman, although I think that in Afghanistan I was treated better than the other prisoners.

    Somebody in the prison told me that before I came somebody died under torture.

    Those responsible have to take responsibility, and should be held to account."

    Hofmann and his investigative team now have two tasks: to find evidence supporting or disproving el-Masri's story and, if they can show it is true, to work out who to charge with kidnapping.

    But how do you charge a government?

    "For the moment," says Hofmann, "I have to believe the story, because there is no evidence that it is not true."

    ===========

    Merry Christmas Mr Bush - you liar!

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    That didn't sound so bad.

    He wanted a break from his wife and six kids.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/07/05 - requesting prayer !



    Just got back from the docs and this stupid Lupus is flaring up again so he put me back on steroids wich I hate (they make me gain weight )I just worked my but off to loose 50 lbs ands these stupid pills are going to make me gain it all back but the pain in my joints is so bad i need y,all to remember me in your prayers for a while
    thanks Dottie

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    rev, you don't have to gain all that weight back! Maybe just 10 pounds. And, the Christmas 10....

    Oh, the hell with it, let it fly!!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    kindj asked on 12/07/05 - Merry Christmas, ACLU!

    If you are so inclined, send a genuinely warm, cheerful, Christmas card to the ACLU.

    http://www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/kmc/?adate=12/07/2005#1367200

    There's nothing snotty or nasty on it, just sincere Christmas wishes.

    DK

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    LOL!! A baldface lie!!

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/07/05 - Christmas in Spain. I'll share this with you.......

    I just got this email from Cureous Claude in Spain
    I founf the traditions to be interestin and delightful in several ways.
    Enjoy!
    And please say a prayer for Claude's health.
    <+> <+> <+>
    Thanks for your kind Xmas. Card. You may wonder why I’m not very active of late in Answerway. The point is that I’ve been having some health problems which have, and are, entailing a number of medical tests which, to a certain extent, have reduced my leisure time I normally devoted to that Q&A web. Additionally, I’m having some extra work with some translations from one of my sons, plus the Gospels, and the painting, which I’ve restarted once again.

    Thanks God, so far, the medical tests are coming out quite good so, in all likelihood, I may be back to pestering you people at that board a little bit more.

    O,K, now, Regarding your comments about Christmas gifts, let me give you a brief summary of the tradition in Spain.

    As you know, Christianity celebrates the magi or the three kings on the day of Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the last of the "twelve days of Christmas".

    In Spain and throughout the Spanish- speaking and Catalan-speaking world, the three kings (Sp. "los Reyes Magos", also "Los Tres Reyes Magos", Cat. "els Reis Mags d'Orient") it is the tradition, they receive wish letters from children and, on the night before Epiphany, if they have behaved and been good the previous year, they magically bring them what they wanted, or the closest possible gifts. The Wise Men come from the Orient, following the Star, on their camels to visit the houses of all the children; like the Santa Claus with his reindeer, and they visit everyone in one night. In some areas, children prepare a drink for each king. In Catalonia, it is also traditional to prepare food and drink for the camels, because this is the only night of the year when they eat...!

    On the evening of Jan. 5th, most Spanish cities organize cavalcades in the evening, in which the kings and their servants parade and throw sweets to the children (and parents) in attendance. It is a glorious show to see the beaming face and big eyes of all the children (and even their parents) when the admire the long procession of floats, displaying all sorts of toys, that the 3 kings and their servants trail behind them.

    Currently, this tradition, like that of the Christmas crib and the Christmas tree, coexists in many regions with Papa Noel (Father Christmas), with the happy consequence for children, that they get gifts on the 25th of December and on the 6th of January.

    For instance, at home, we gather together on Dec. 25th because Papa Noel, or Santa, has left presents for all the family (including the smaller ones). And we are 17…

    Then on Jan. 6th, only the smaller ones, also gets at their respective homes, the present left by the Magi…

    In some rural Basque areas the still celebrate the Olentzero, (time of the good one, in Basque language), which goes back to the 16th century, and it is when the gifts magically appear by the fireplace on the night of the 24th of Dec.

    In Catalonia, combined with Pape Noel, practically in every home where there are the very small (up to 3 or 4 years), we still celebrate the Tió de Nadal (roughly "Christmas log"),

    The form of the tió de Nadal found in many Catalan homes during the holiday season is a hollow log of about 0.3m length, typically standing up on two or four little stick legs with a broad smiling face painted on the higher of the two ends, enhanced by a little red sock hat (a miniature of the traditional Catalan barretina or traditional Catalan hat) and often a three-dimensional nose.

    Beginning with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin (tomorrow), one gives the tió a little bit to "eat" every night and usually covers him with a little blanket so that he will not be cold at night.

    On Christmas day or, depending on the particular household, during a Christmas party, one puts the tió partly into the fireplace and orders it to "shit" (the fire part of this tradition is no longer as widespread as it once was, since many modern homes do not have a fireplace). To make him "shit", one beats him with sticks, while singing various typical carols.

    The tió does not drop larger objects, as those are brought by the either Santa or the Three Wise Men, as I said before. But it does leave candies, nuts and nougats confections or (torrons, in Catalan). Depending on the part of Catalonia, it may also give out dried figs. When nothing is left to "drop". It drops a salt herring, a head of garlic, an onion or "drink". What comes out of the tió is a communal rather than individual gift, shared by everyone present, but the little kids enjoy it tremendously.

    In a way, the tradition of the tió could be related to that of the Christmas tree, from central Europe

    Catalonia holds many other specific traditions about the three kings, some very local, some more widespread. In most of Catalonia, Page Gregory prepares the way for the kings and lets them know who has been good or bad, but in in a town close to Barcelona (Cornellà de Llobregat), the Mag Maginet (Mag, stands for Magician, in Catalan) prepares their way. In Terrassa (another town) this is the role of the page boy Xiu-Xiu, but with Hassim Jezzabel separately serving Caspar. The cavalcade of the three kings in Alcoy (a city located close to Valencia) claims to be the oldest in the world; the participants who portray the kings and pages walk through the crowd, giving presents to the children directly.

    In Catalonia, Melchior (Cat. "Melcior"), light-skinned as usual, dressed in the style of a king of the late Middle Ages (the Gothic Era), is the youngest king, but has a white beard and hair, because Jesus punished him for unnecessariily showing off his strength and youth. He brings the children baubles. Caspar (Cat. "Gaspar"), also light-skinned and similarly dressed, has brown hair. He brings them toys. Balthasar (Cat. "Baltasar") is dark-skinned and dressed as an Arab or Moor. It is his job to leave a lump of coal for children who have been bad.

    In short, these traditions are especially beautiful for small children who are the real protagonists of the feasts.
    Claude

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    I sincerely hope to see Claude back here soon making his interesting answers, so full of fascinating tidbits. He is a man of great knowledge and class. :)

    Best wishes, Claude, and may your medical tests all come out to your benefit!

    Thanks for you post, Fred.

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    Question/Answer
    ETWolverine asked on 12/07/05 - Aton's rules of war:

    The following is based on my understanding of comments that Aton has made over the past couple of years.

    Aton's rules of war:

    1) Don't attack first. In fact, don't even attack after you have been attacked. In fact, no matter what provocation there is, in the form of bombings, terrorist activities, broken UN sanctions, broken cease-fire agreements, and intelligence on enemy WMD possession and enemy intentions, you may not attack, ever, under any circumstances.

    2) Any war is automatically a quagmire, no matter how much progress is made.

    3) All soldiers are "terrorists". Breaking down doors to find enemies hiding among the civilian population is "terrorism". All guards of POW camps are "torturers". Forcing POWs to wear underwear on their heads or to wear women's clothing is "torture".

    4) All terrorists are "insurgents". Beheadings, kidnappings, bombings of innocent civilians, using human shields, hiding in holy sanctuaries, etc. are all "insurgency".

    5) All wars are America's fault. (Read: Bush's fault.) It doesn't matter is America was attacked first or what UN sanctions and cease-fire agreements have been broken and by whom.

    6) All acts of terrorism, no matter how heinous and no matter where and against whom they are perpetrated are America's fault. (Again, read: Bush's fault.)

    7) Any intelligence reports should be ignored. No matter what they say, about the existence of WMDs in enemy hands, they should be ignored. Bush always lies about intelligence reports, no matter their source.

    8) Anyone who wishes to engage in war against anyone else must first get permission from the UN, the EU, and France. Furthermore, all of those bodies must withhold that permission no matter what provocation there is from the other side.

    9) Nobody is allowed to go to war alone. All wars must be conducted with a coalition of at least 100 other countries, to be approved by the UN, the EU, France, and the Arab League. These bodies must, of course, withhold such approval.

    10) No intelligence may be gathered from POWs for the purpose of conducting the war. Any attempts to gather such intelligence are "torture", no matter what methods are used. Bush is the one who ordered such torture to take place. The Geneva Conventions are not strong enough: we must always go further in protecting POWs than the Geneva Conventions require, and we must apply those newer stricter rules to those that are specifically excluded from the Geneva Conventions.

    11) When searching the homes of people suspected of terrorist activities or harboring terrorists, you must always be polite, quiet, and ask permission to search the property. Any attempts to surprise and overwhelm the enemy to catch him off guard are automatically "terrorism" because they might scare children.

    12) When dropping bombs on enemies, you must first go into enemy territory and evacuate any innocent bystanders. The same should be done with those who are only harboring terrorists... excuse me, "insurgents", since they are not really terr... er, "insurgents" themselves. People who are only bombmakers rather than bomb throwers are a grey area, and attempts should be made to either capture or evacuate them before any bombing activities as well.

    13) POWs must be given their own Qurans, even if your country has a policy of sepparation of Church and State. Of course, no such rule exists for Bibles, only Qurans.

    14) POWs must be treated as hotel guests rather than prisoners. This means that they must receive food prepared according to their religious requirements by a cordon bleu chef, preferably one trained in France. They must be given comfortable beds with warm quilts and fancy sheets, and a full 8 hours per night of sleep. They must also be given comfortable, fashionable clothing. Cells.. er, bedrooms must be well-heated, and artfully decorated. In fact, they must be treated in every way on an order of magnitude better than US soldiers... sorry "terrorists".

    15) Politicians MUST at all opportunities call for the immediate withdrawal of all troops from the theater of operations in front of as many cameras as possible, no matter what such negative media attention might do to the morale of the troops. The troops must be accused, as publicly as possible, of every violation of the rules of war, from terrorism to torture, to rape, to theft of private or friendly government property, no matter how true or false such accusations are, and the top levels of government must be blamed for those violations.

    16) Retreat as soon as possible.

    Elliot

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    I think that Aton went for his metaphorical bazooka......

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/07/05 - The real virgin!




    Who Is the Real Virgin?

    A ten-year-old, under the tutelage of her grandmother, was becoming knowledgeable about the Bible.

    But one day, she surprised her grandmother by asking, "Which virgin was the mother of Jesus? The Virgin Mary or the King James Virgin?"

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    I'm a virgin!

    As I understand it, if a woman hasn't had sexual intercourse in twenty years, her status reverts to virgin!!

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    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 12/07/05 - Anyone care to take a stab at 'explaining' this quote from Simone Weil???

    "Christ likes us to prefer truth to him, because, being Christ, he is truth. If one turns aside from him to go to the truth, one will not go far before falling into his arms."

    I promise not to comment on your responses, [as difficult as that may be :) :)] only rate them as they relate to the question? I reserve the right to respond to any clarifying question you may ask :)

    To obiviate the necessity for any of you to post long biographical cut and pastes I append the following:

    Weil was a French philospher and mystic, of Jewish ancestry, who claimed a mystical experience of Jesus, but who refused to be baptized into any Christian denomination.

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    Weil was a Christian mystic, as you say, so describing the understanding mystic's "visions" in ordinary terms can be difficult! :):):):::::

    Christ is GodIncarnate.....God is pure truth, pure good.....as one pursues truths [instead of obviously pursuing the Christian religion]one will ulitmately encounter Christ/God whatever direction one goes, again, as long as one is looking for truths, and fall gently into a state of spiritual fulfillment.

    Mary Sue

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    Question/Answer
    STONY asked on 12/07/05 - COULD JUSTICE BE AROUND THE NEXT CORNER?

    IT WAS REPORTED YESTERDAY THAT THE WORLD COURT IN THE HAGUE IS AFTER JOSEPH KONY AND FIVE OF HIS TOP TERRORISTS. PLEASE READ ON...

    Joseph Kony (born 1961 in Odek, northern Uganda) is the primary leader of a guerilla paramilitary group called the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), engaged in a violent campaign to establish a theocratic government in Uganda purportedly based on the Bible and the Ten Commandments.

    A high-school dropout, he made his first appearance in January of 1987, at age 26. His group was one of many millenarian groups that sprang up in Acholiland in the wake of the wildly popular Holy Spirit Movement of Alice Auma. The primary spirit said to be channeled at this time was Juma Oris, formerly a government minister under President Idi Amin who at the time was leading the rebel West Nile Bank Front in the northwestern Uganda.

    Kony claims to be a spirit medium. One of his assertions is that one of his mentors is the spirit of a Chinese general. He is also known to be a practising polygamist. Though most often viewed through the prism of the LRA's religious positions, it should not be forgotten that Kony's struggle began in the resentment among the Acholis at their relative loss of influence since the coming to power of Yoweri Museveni in 1986 through the defeat of Acholi President Tito Okello. While the initial resistance to the National Resistance Army in 1986 was by the Uganda People's Democratic Army, the UPDA collapsed in 1988.

    The LRA is based in Southern Sudan. At the end of 2003, the LRA made an incursion outside of their traditional areas of operation in Acholiland into the Teso regions. Some state that this was the beginning of their "Waterloo," though the Ugandan government has declared that the LRA has been defeated three times since 1986. LRA lieutenants have sporadically engaged in negotiations with the government since 2003, though Kony's negotiating position is ambiguous.

    [edit]
    Indictment
    On October 6, 2005 it was announced by the International Criminal Court (ICC) that arrest warrants had been issued for 5 members of the Lord's Resistance Army for crimes against humanity following a sealed indictment. On the next day Ugandan defense minister Amama Mbabazi revealed that the warrants include Joseph Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti, and LRA commanders Raska Lukwiya, Okot Odiambo and Dominic Ongwen.

    A week later, on October 13, ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo released details on Kony's indictment. There are 33 charges, 12 counts are crimes against humanity, which include murder, enslavement, sexual enslavement and rape. There are another 21 counts of war crimes which include murder, cruel treatment of civilians, intentionally directing an attack against a civilian population, pillaging, inducing rape, and forced enlisting of children into the rebel ranks. Ocampo said that "Kony was abducting girls to offer them as rewards to his commanders."

    Choux answered on 12/07/05:

    This story just supports my contention that religion is a great place for mediocre and ambitious men to gain power and lead a disreputable political or social movement. After all, they can claim "God" is on their side.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/06/05 - Some insight into the mental engines of Dr Kambon.


    Posted By: Obadele Bakari Kambon
    Date: Monday, 14 November 2005, at 3:54 p.m.

    http://www.blacknificent.com/

    THE OFFICIAL AND ONLY STATEMENT OF
    Dr. Kamau Kambon

    I made a statement on a panel in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 2005 and today I am prepared to bring remarks on my original comments:


    My Official Statement today is that, “I speak for No One”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Ancient Afrikans of Kemet- the original name that was changed by the greeks to Egypt- who were invaded and murdered in mass numbers, over the course of centuries by:

    the hyksos, the assyrians, the libyans, the persians, the turks, the greeks, the romans, the spanish, the portuguese, the french, the british and the arabs-all of whom desecrated and pillaged Kemetic Temples, Royal tombs, and robbed from these Afrikan sanctuaries priceless artifacts and sacred texts that now sit in european museums, “prestigious” university basements, and the private homes of the rich throughout the world.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all of the Afrikans who were enslaved, shackled, made to march miles and miles over the Sahara by the Arabs who committed this atrocity for a period of approximately 1,300 years. According to some research, over 50 to 80 million Afrikans were murdered during this Arab enslavement. The survivors of this savage devastation were forced onto slave ships by these same Arabs and exported over the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to parts of Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of the Afrikans in West Afrika who were terrorized and kidnapped by the europeans and enslaved in the dungeons of El Mina, Cape Coast, and in the hellholes of dungeons in Senegal.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan men in those dungeons who refused to submit and were put three to four in a cell and were left there for all of the other enslaved Afrikans to see them die a slow and painful death

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan women who were put 200, 300 and sometimes more in a stone room no bigger than small auditorium where they had to fight each other to get air that came only through a hole in the rock cell no bigger than the size of a soccer ball.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan women who were selected by the white commander of the dungeon to be raped repeatedly and sometimes left to die in their own blood.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan men and women who survived the dank, cold dungeons only to face being forced through THE DOOR OF NO RETURN and onto waiting ships that would transport them to places of grief and agony beyond their own Afrikan comprehension

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikans who were shackled to the bowels of stink ships where they had to ride next to their dead uncle, dead brother, dead sister, or dead mother on the long journey to lands where incomprehensible anguish awaited

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of captive Afrikan women aboard those ships who felt compelled to murder their own beautiful babies so these infants would never know or experience the nightmare of enslavement.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of captive Afrikan men who tore off their own legs from the shackles to dive overboard from those stinking vessels and who would rather face death in the jaws of man-eating sharks than remain enslaved

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for those millions of Afrkan men, women and children who suffered THE MIDDLE PASSAGE and whose bones are in the watery burial ground called the Atlantic Ocean- better known to those who know their history as THE AFRIKAN OCEAN because it overflows with the blood and life force of over 100 MILLION AFRIKANS

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikans who landed in the Caribbean Islands where they underwent THE SLAVE MAKING PROCESS of further de-humanization and the breaking of their arms, legs and AFRIKAN SPIRITS in preparation for the long and hard work and burdens they were to bear

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of the Indigenous of the americas who were savagely brutalized, tortured, raped, secretly given smallpox in blankets, and murdered, simply for opening their hearts, minds and arms to white strangers coming off a long and weary journey.

    Impact of christopher columbus, as written by Father Bartolome De Las Casas in his book, “The Disruption of the Indies", highlighted that, directly or indirectly, columbus was responsible for the deaths of between 12 to 25 MILLION indigenous.

    The population of the indigenous was reduced from 100 MILLION to 25 MILLION, according to T. Browder, Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all those Afrikans who arrived in North America bewildered, brutalized, weak, robbed of their culture, language, religions, families, cosmologies and longing for their own homeland

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Haitians who soaked the earth with their own blood in war by giving their lives to defeat Napoleon, who led the mightiest army of that time. I speak for Boukman, for Toussaint, for and Dessailines, the leaders of the Haitians who never gave up their struggle for Freedom and Independence

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips to free enslaved Afrikans, forcing some, as she said, “to be Free or Die” In her moments of contemplation, she was overheard saying, “ I freed hundreds of slaves, and would have freed hundreds more, if only they knew they were slaves”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, Fredrick Douglass, and all the Black people who begged and petitioned the american government to intercede to stop white people from the wanton beatings, murdering, lynching, raping and terrorizing of Black men, Black women and Black children-the government did nothing-the deaths continued

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all of the thousands upon thousands of the enslaved Afrikans who were set “free” by the emancipation proclamation but given absolutely nothing by their former slave masters: no food, only the clothes on their backs, and no way to get away

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the thousands of newly “freed” enslaved Afrikans who were arrested en masse as vagrants, panhandlers, and bums; then hired out to corporations and chain gangs to be forced to work for free, again, and these men literally worked themselves to death

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the thousands of Black soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War only to return to their america and be lynched, physically, economically or socially, while wearing their u.s. uniforms as white people sang “America the Beautiful"

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the over 2 THOUSAND Black people, mostly men, who, at the turn of the 19th century, were lynched, castrated, some burned alive, and others whose fingers, toes, penises and eyeballs were cut from their living bodies and used as souvenirs and trophies by white people

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the many men, women and children who were murdered in Wilmington, North Carolina and Tulsa Oklahoma-both considered BLACK WALL STREETS- and their land stolen from them with the sanction of the american government. Mention here about Las Vegas where Black people lost their land, like they did in Tulsa, Oklahoma

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Tuskegee men who were experimented on by the white doctors who intentionally gave the Black men syphilis while the antidote was withheld as the experiment went on for some 40 years

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the 7,600 Black and poor women in North Carolina, and two other states, who were sterilized without their knowledge or permission in clinics as part of the population control program. These sterilizations went on from 1929 to 1974- 65,000 Black and poor women, in this country, were sterilized during this period.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the over 6 million Black people in america who were members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and who mourned the arrest, trumped-up trial and deportation of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. This man, the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was a man who wanted only to give his people back their true BlackNificent history, teach them meaningful skills, teach them to love their BLACK SELVES, and return to AFRIKA and resurrect the Black Woman and the Black Man to their rightful place of glory and majesty among the families of the earth

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all those Black people around the country who watched in anguish as the u.s. government harassed Elijah Muhammad, W.E.B Dubois, Paul Robeson, and many others and drove one of our greatest politicians, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., out of office on concocted charges.
    That night, October 14, 2005

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the 1,227 Black troops who were SLAUGHTERED, BY THEIR OWN WHITE SOLIDERS, AND BURIED IN a MASS GRAVE-at Camp Van Dorn, a military base in southwestern Mississippi and near a small town called Centerville. The full story is outlined in the book, “The Slaughter”, by Carroll Case.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the many Black people who supported William Patterson and Paul Robeson who were two of the many authors of a petition to the United Nations entitled ‘WE CHARGE GENOCIDE”, that catalogued the evidence in the form of names, dates, times and places of Black people murdered around america at the hands of savage white people, while no one in government did anything to stop the violence or improve the social, housing, educational or health conditions of under which Black people lived..

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Black Panthers who were killed under COINTELPRO, and for Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Imam Jamil- Al- Amin, and all the MANY BLACK POLITICAL PRISONERS who languish in the maximum-security hell pit jail cells of america. I speak for those Black political prisoners who have been held for over twenty to thirty years and are tortured, experimented on and put on hallucinogenic experimental drugs because their crimes include trying to stop the police murders of young Black men, implementing breakfast and food programs for those in their communities, trying to provide decent housing and good health care for all those in need and trying to educate the children so they don’t grow up ignorant.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the dead members of M.O.V.E., in Philadelphia, who the city decided to drop a bomb on and kill babies, children, women and men in an act of premeditated murder

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Emmitt Til and the countless Black boys and Black men who have been murdered by white men and their bodies thrown in swamps, rivers, streams or whose lifeless Black bodies now rest in shallow, unmarked graves all around the country

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the mothers, and grandmothers, who have lost their sons to the streets, drugs, prisons and graveyards, and their daughters to a concocted white standard of beauty that is absolutely impossible for them to attain. These inherently beautiful Black girls and women have spent millions and millions of dollars every year in an industry that helped to create an inferiority complex in them and then profits from it.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the untold numbers of young Black men who write to me from prison cells asking me to send them books, or who are on death row, soon to be executed, screaming to me through their letters, “I DIDN’T DO IT, MY LAWYER OR JUDGE MADE MISTAKES DURING THE TRIAL”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the young Black men who come to me, just released from prison who, like the newly freed enslaved Afrikans under emancipation, have no where to go, no job possibilities, and no hope for a brighter future. Those who have skills and are working, are fired when it is discovered they have a prison record. The only place that will accept them is the newly built prison.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the beautiful Black children who are so excited to start school and have big plans for success, only to get there and find that the white female teachers already have quite a different plan for them.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions, upon millions of Black babies who died from poor health care during pre-natal term and for those who came to term but died from poor nutrition or malnutrition. And for the many children, teens, young adults and adults today who are raised eating techno-food, fast food, and who have never tasted any real food. And for those whose brains are short-circuited, from a lack of proper minerals and vitamins, who are labeled “special education”, mentally retarded or hyperactive-the new code words that replace those used in the early eugenics movement.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the elderly Black people, who have struggled most of their lives to navigate through a system that was against them all the way, only to reach eldership status and find they have inadequate health care, no decent food, and are trapped in a system that considers them disposable people

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Herrero people of Namibia who were eradicated by the germans, the Tasmanians, eradicated by the white australians, the 130 million southern Afrikans murdered by cecil rhodes so he could control diamond and gold mines, the 13 million Congolese whose arms, legs and ears were cut off and murdered by leopold, of belgium

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Black people who marched-and got murdered by whites, those Black people who voted and got murdered by whites, those Black people who tried to go to school to get an education and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have tried to start their own businesses and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have become politicians to try to make a better way for Black people and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have tried to set up their own little independent groups and got character assassinated.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the worldwide Afrikan victims of A.I.D.S and any and all man-made diseases, who have died and are in the process of dying.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for myself, as I watch while white people, who have power, guns, information and influence, ride around in 60-70 thousand dollar cars, waste millions of gallons of water watering lawns and golf courses, run off on luxury cruises, conceal their identities and criminality by hiding behind “Inc”, make 80 billion dollars in profits off of oil, while ordinary people and the elderly freeze to death in small apartments, while the government bails out (code word for welfare) airlines that lose millions in one fiscal quarter yet, simultaneously, cutback on financial aid to Black students, while Black professors in white higher educational institutions have to struggle for fairness in the hiring and tenure process, while Black students seek constantly for fairness in grading and assessment, while Black faculty and Black staff have to seek constantly for fairness in evaluations, while white people window shop in malls, play golf, play bridge, sit in T.V. studios watching Dr. Phil or at home watching foolishness, and, by their actions, convey, generally, they just don’t give a damn about the great, great, great grandchildren whose Ancestors’ blood is soaked in the very ground on which we all stand

    I speak for no one EXCEPT for the 600 million to ONE BILLION Afrikan people killed worldwide, from the time the Afrikan first encountered the white man, in the greatest atrocity this earth has ever seen – some call it “The Black Holocaust”, others call it “The Maafa”, but in the realm of this context and reality, there is no word for it. And when all is tabulated about what has happened, AND STILL HAPPENING, to the Afrikan, Black people, it defies and goes well beyond human comprehension. Some have asked white people, referring here to the government and corporations, to just consider talking about reparations, and those requests have fallen on deaf ears. Are there no reparations for Black people? Who is the best qualified on this earth, other than the Afrikan, Black people, to receive justice, compensation, due process and whatever else the reparation people are proposing? Why are white people not listening to, and implementing, the National Urban League when it issues the annual report, “The State of Black America”? Why are white people not listening to, and implementing, the suggestions of all the civic groups trying to advance the social, economic, educational, health and cultural concerns of Black people?

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for my Ancestors, our dead, and for myself and I am saying that I don’t even know half of the true history of Black people, but I have seen and know enough to be able to say, “the war and genocide against Black people, in all of the areas of life activity, worldwide, must stop."

    Do you have a better solution to offer to solve this problem?

    I am Kamau R. Kambon

    10/28/05


    Copyright © 2003-2005
    www.RastafariSpeaks.com
    www.AfricaSpeaks.com

    ====

    Reasoned comments if you please ...

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    Fred, what are you talking about??? I recommended a book and gave a sincere answer here.

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    Erewhon rated this answer Poor or Incomplete Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/05/05 - Hey what is going on

    Is erewhon, Ronnie a category in itself.

    In my list of questions posted by me in the section of Christianity is an oddity, a question which has as it's source erewhon, Ronnie get out of my members postings please

    Just what is going on here?

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    What are you talking about? Clue, please. :)

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Itsdb asked on 12/06/05 - The black solution?

    On 10/14/05, C-Span aired the "Black Media Forum on the Image of Black Americans in Mainstream Media." One of the speakers was Dr. Kamau Kambon, who taught in the Africana Studies Department at N.C. State University. In his remarks Dr. Kambon stated that white people want to kill blacks, and not only do they want to kill them, they want to make money off the process. Dr. Kambon's solution? Read on...

    "And then finally I want to say that we need one idea, and we're not thinking about a solution to the problem. We're thinking about all these other things, but we're not dealing with a solution to the problem. And we have to start to think about a solution to the problem so that these young brothers and sisters who are here now, who are 15, 16 or 17, are not here 25 years later talking about these same problems.

    Now how do I know that the white people know that we are going to come up with a solution to the problem? I know it because they have retina scans, they have what they call racial profiling, DNA banks, and they’re monitoring our people to try to prevent the one person from coming up with the one idea. And the one idea is, how we are going to exterminate white people because that in my estimation is the only conclusion I have come to. We have to exterminate white people off the face of the planet to solve this problem. Now I don’t care whether you clap or not, but I’m saying to you that we need to solve this problem because they are going to kill us. And I will leave on that. So we just have to just set up our own system and stop playing and get very serious and not be diverted from coming up with a solution to the problem and the problem on the planet is white people."

    Really? How does a genocidal racist get by with saying such an offensive, idiotic, intolerant - evil - thing on C-Span and we not hear one word about it in the media? How does such a man end up teaching our young men and women? What kind of fool can actually applaud such remarks? Does anyone agree with Dr. Kambon?

    See it for yourself here. Click on the link to launch Real Player and move the slider bar to about 3:40:00.

    Disgusting.

    Steve

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    Calls for genocide are not acceptable!!

    Reality is that white people are going to pretty much disappear off the face of the earth given a few millennia.

    "People of color" reproduce at a much greater rate than white people.

    White cultures became wealthy first, and one of the side effects is that the birth rate of these cultures drastically decrease.

    Just one example, Italians in Italy have a declining birth rate and the government is worried about this situation.

    Itsdb rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/06/05 - Target Backing Off Ban, May Use Christmas In Ads Later This Year

    Target Backing Off Ban, May Use Christmas In Ads Later This Year
    From the American Family Associaton
    Christian efforts are having a powerful effect! Our boycott of Target is working! According to the New York Times, a spokeswoman for Target said it did not intend to ban Christmas and might use Christmas in advertisements later this year! In addition, Sears is adding "Merry Christmas" signs in their stores.

    And here is new evidence of anti-Christian bias: A survey done by AFA shows that 91% of TV ads ban Christmas from their advertising. We want you to help us stop this banning of Christmas. The survey included one night (Dec. 1) of prime time programming on the four major networks.

    AFA found that the "holiday" theme was used in 105 commercials while Christmas was the theme in only 11. This follows the pattern in print advertising where "holiday" was used 25 times more often than Christmas.

    These companies don't want to offend a handful of atheists and agnostics, but they don't mind offending millions of Christians who celebrate the Reason for the season.

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    The goal of busiiness is to sell as much product as possible to as many people as possible. :)

    Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays....it doesn't matter to them. :)

    Happy Holidays was chosen many years ago by lots of businesses so they could market their products/goods to a wide range of religious people.

    There is no anti-Christian bias here. After all, we know that more than 80% of Americans define themselves as Christians!!!!!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    tomder55 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/06/05 - Some insight into the mental engines of Dr Kambon.


    Posted By: Obadele Bakari Kambon
    Date: Monday, 14 November 2005, at 3:54 p.m.

    http://www.blacknificent.com/

    THE OFFICIAL AND ONLY STATEMENT OF
    Dr. Kamau Kambon

    I made a statement on a panel in Washington, D.C. on October 14, 2005 and today I am prepared to bring remarks on my original comments:


    My Official Statement today is that, “I speak for No One”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Ancient Afrikans of Kemet- the original name that was changed by the greeks to Egypt- who were invaded and murdered in mass numbers, over the course of centuries by:

    the hyksos, the assyrians, the libyans, the persians, the turks, the greeks, the romans, the spanish, the portuguese, the french, the british and the arabs-all of whom desecrated and pillaged Kemetic Temples, Royal tombs, and robbed from these Afrikan sanctuaries priceless artifacts and sacred texts that now sit in european museums, “prestigious” university basements, and the private homes of the rich throughout the world.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all of the Afrikans who were enslaved, shackled, made to march miles and miles over the Sahara by the Arabs who committed this atrocity for a period of approximately 1,300 years. According to some research, over 50 to 80 million Afrikans were murdered during this Arab enslavement. The survivors of this savage devastation were forced onto slave ships by these same Arabs and exported over the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea to parts of Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of the Afrikans in West Afrika who were terrorized and kidnapped by the europeans and enslaved in the dungeons of El Mina, Cape Coast, and in the hellholes of dungeons in Senegal.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan men in those dungeons who refused to submit and were put three to four in a cell and were left there for all of the other enslaved Afrikans to see them die a slow and painful death

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan women who were put 200, 300 and sometimes more in a stone room no bigger than small auditorium where they had to fight each other to get air that came only through a hole in the rock cell no bigger than the size of a soccer ball.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan women who were selected by the white commander of the dungeon to be raped repeatedly and sometimes left to die in their own blood.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikan men and women who survived the dank, cold dungeons only to face being forced through THE DOOR OF NO RETURN and onto waiting ships that would transport them to places of grief and agony beyond their own Afrikan comprehension

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikans who were shackled to the bowels of stink ships where they had to ride next to their dead uncle, dead brother, dead sister, or dead mother on the long journey to lands where incomprehensible anguish awaited

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of captive Afrikan women aboard those ships who felt compelled to murder their own beautiful babies so these infants would never know or experience the nightmare of enslavement.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of captive Afrikan men who tore off their own legs from the shackles to dive overboard from those stinking vessels and who would rather face death in the jaws of man-eating sharks than remain enslaved

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for those millions of Afrkan men, women and children who suffered THE MIDDLE PASSAGE and whose bones are in the watery burial ground called the Atlantic Ocean- better known to those who know their history as THE AFRIKAN OCEAN because it overflows with the blood and life force of over 100 MILLION AFRIKANS

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of Afrikans who landed in the Caribbean Islands where they underwent THE SLAVE MAKING PROCESS of further de-humanization and the breaking of their arms, legs and AFRIKAN SPIRITS in preparation for the long and hard work and burdens they were to bear

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions of the Indigenous of the americas who were savagely brutalized, tortured, raped, secretly given smallpox in blankets, and murdered, simply for opening their hearts, minds and arms to white strangers coming off a long and weary journey.

    Impact of christopher columbus, as written by Father Bartolome De Las Casas in his book, “The Disruption of the Indies", highlighted that, directly or indirectly, columbus was responsible for the deaths of between 12 to 25 MILLION indigenous.

    The population of the indigenous was reduced from 100 MILLION to 25 MILLION, according to T. Browder, Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all those Afrikans who arrived in North America bewildered, brutalized, weak, robbed of their culture, language, religions, families, cosmologies and longing for their own homeland

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Haitians who soaked the earth with their own blood in war by giving their lives to defeat Napoleon, who led the mightiest army of that time. I speak for Boukman, for Toussaint, for and Dessailines, the leaders of the Haitians who never gave up their struggle for Freedom and Independence

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Harriet Tubman, who made 19 trips to free enslaved Afrikans, forcing some, as she said, “to be Free or Die” In her moments of contemplation, she was overheard saying, “ I freed hundreds of slaves, and would have freed hundreds more, if only they knew they were slaves”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Ida B. Wells, W.E.B. DuBois, Fredrick Douglass, and all the Black people who begged and petitioned the american government to intercede to stop white people from the wanton beatings, murdering, lynching, raping and terrorizing of Black men, Black women and Black children-the government did nothing-the deaths continued

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all of the thousands upon thousands of the enslaved Afrikans who were set “free” by the emancipation proclamation but given absolutely nothing by their former slave masters: no food, only the clothes on their backs, and no way to get away

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the thousands of newly “freed” enslaved Afrikans who were arrested en masse as vagrants, panhandlers, and bums; then hired out to corporations and chain gangs to be forced to work for free, again, and these men literally worked themselves to death

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the thousands of Black soldiers who gave their lives in the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Gulf War only to return to their america and be lynched, physically, economically or socially, while wearing their u.s. uniforms as white people sang “America the Beautiful"

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the over 2 THOUSAND Black people, mostly men, who, at the turn of the 19th century, were lynched, castrated, some burned alive, and others whose fingers, toes, penises and eyeballs were cut from their living bodies and used as souvenirs and trophies by white people

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the many men, women and children who were murdered in Wilmington, North Carolina and Tulsa Oklahoma-both considered BLACK WALL STREETS- and their land stolen from them with the sanction of the american government. Mention here about Las Vegas where Black people lost their land, like they did in Tulsa, Oklahoma

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Tuskegee men who were experimented on by the white doctors who intentionally gave the Black men syphilis while the antidote was withheld as the experiment went on for some 40 years

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the 7,600 Black and poor women in North Carolina, and two other states, who were sterilized without their knowledge or permission in clinics as part of the population control program. These sterilizations went on from 1929 to 1974- 65,000 Black and poor women, in this country, were sterilized during this period.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the over 6 million Black people in america who were members of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and who mourned the arrest, trumped-up trial and deportation of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey. This man, the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, was a man who wanted only to give his people back their true BlackNificent history, teach them meaningful skills, teach them to love their BLACK SELVES, and return to AFRIKA and resurrect the Black Woman and the Black Man to their rightful place of glory and majesty among the families of the earth

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all those Black people around the country who watched in anguish as the u.s. government harassed Elijah Muhammad, W.E.B Dubois, Paul Robeson, and many others and drove one of our greatest politicians, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., out of office on concocted charges.
    That night, October 14, 2005

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the 1,227 Black troops who were SLAUGHTERED, BY THEIR OWN WHITE SOLIDERS, AND BURIED IN a MASS GRAVE-at Camp Van Dorn, a military base in southwestern Mississippi and near a small town called Centerville. The full story is outlined in the book, “The Slaughter”, by Carroll Case.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the many Black people who supported William Patterson and Paul Robeson who were two of the many authors of a petition to the United Nations entitled ‘WE CHARGE GENOCIDE”, that catalogued the evidence in the form of names, dates, times and places of Black people murdered around america at the hands of savage white people, while no one in government did anything to stop the violence or improve the social, housing, educational or health conditions of under which Black people lived..

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the Black Panthers who were killed under COINTELPRO, and for Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Imam Jamil- Al- Amin, and all the MANY BLACK POLITICAL PRISONERS who languish in the maximum-security hell pit jail cells of america. I speak for those Black political prisoners who have been held for over twenty to thirty years and are tortured, experimented on and put on hallucinogenic experimental drugs because their crimes include trying to stop the police murders of young Black men, implementing breakfast and food programs for those in their communities, trying to provide decent housing and good health care for all those in need and trying to educate the children so they don’t grow up ignorant.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the dead members of M.O.V.E., in Philadelphia, who the city decided to drop a bomb on and kill babies, children, women and men in an act of premeditated murder

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for Emmitt Til and the countless Black boys and Black men who have been murdered by white men and their bodies thrown in swamps, rivers, streams or whose lifeless Black bodies now rest in shallow, unmarked graves all around the country

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the mothers, and grandmothers, who have lost their sons to the streets, drugs, prisons and graveyards, and their daughters to a concocted white standard of beauty that is absolutely impossible for them to attain. These inherently beautiful Black girls and women have spent millions and millions of dollars every year in an industry that helped to create an inferiority complex in them and then profits from it.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the untold numbers of young Black men who write to me from prison cells asking me to send them books, or who are on death row, soon to be executed, screaming to me through their letters, “I DIDN’T DO IT, MY LAWYER OR JUDGE MADE MISTAKES DURING THE TRIAL”

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the young Black men who come to me, just released from prison who, like the newly freed enslaved Afrikans under emancipation, have no where to go, no job possibilities, and no hope for a brighter future. Those who have skills and are working, are fired when it is discovered they have a prison record. The only place that will accept them is the newly built prison.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for all the beautiful Black children who are so excited to start school and have big plans for success, only to get there and find that the white female teachers already have quite a different plan for them.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the millions, upon millions of Black babies who died from poor health care during pre-natal term and for those who came to term but died from poor nutrition or malnutrition. And for the many children, teens, young adults and adults today who are raised eating techno-food, fast food, and who have never tasted any real food. And for those whose brains are short-circuited, from a lack of proper minerals and vitamins, who are labeled “special education”, mentally retarded or hyperactive-the new code words that replace those used in the early eugenics movement.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the elderly Black people, who have struggled most of their lives to navigate through a system that was against them all the way, only to reach eldership status and find they have inadequate health care, no decent food, and are trapped in a system that considers them disposable people

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Herrero people of Namibia who were eradicated by the germans, the Tasmanians, eradicated by the white australians, the 130 million southern Afrikans murdered by cecil rhodes so he could control diamond and gold mines, the 13 million Congolese whose arms, legs and ears were cut off and murdered by leopold, of belgium

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the Black people who marched-and got murdered by whites, those Black people who voted and got murdered by whites, those Black people who tried to go to school to get an education and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have tried to start their own businesses and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have become politicians to try to make a better way for Black people and got murdered by whites, those Black people who have tried to set up their own little independent groups and got character assassinated.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for the worldwide Afrikan victims of A.I.D.S and any and all man-made diseases, who have died and are in the process of dying.

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for myself, as I watch while white people, who have power, guns, information and influence, ride around in 60-70 thousand dollar cars, waste millions of gallons of water watering lawns and golf courses, run off on luxury cruises, conceal their identities and criminality by hiding behind “Inc”, make 80 billion dollars in profits off of oil, while ordinary people and the elderly freeze to death in small apartments, while the government bails out (code word for welfare) airlines that lose millions in one fiscal quarter yet, simultaneously, cutback on financial aid to Black students, while Black professors in white higher educational institutions have to struggle for fairness in the hiring and tenure process, while Black students seek constantly for fairness in grading and assessment, while Black faculty and Black staff have to seek constantly for fairness in evaluations, while white people window shop in malls, play golf, play bridge, sit in T.V. studios watching Dr. Phil or at home watching foolishness, and, by their actions, convey, generally, they just don’t give a damn about the great, great, great grandchildren whose Ancestors’ blood is soaked in the very ground on which we all stand

    I speak for no one EXCEPT for the 600 million to ONE BILLION Afrikan people killed worldwide, from the time the Afrikan first encountered the white man, in the greatest atrocity this earth has ever seen – some call it “The Black Holocaust”, others call it “The Maafa”, but in the realm of this context and reality, there is no word for it. And when all is tabulated about what has happened, AND STILL HAPPENING, to the Afrikan, Black people, it defies and goes well beyond human comprehension. Some have asked white people, referring here to the government and corporations, to just consider talking about reparations, and those requests have fallen on deaf ears. Are there no reparations for Black people? Who is the best qualified on this earth, other than the Afrikan, Black people, to receive justice, compensation, due process and whatever else the reparation people are proposing? Why are white people not listening to, and implementing, the National Urban League when it issues the annual report, “The State of Black America”? Why are white people not listening to, and implementing, the suggestions of all the civic groups trying to advance the social, economic, educational, health and cultural concerns of Black people?

    I speak for no one, EXCEPT for my Ancestors, our dead, and for myself and I am saying that I don’t even know half of the true history of Black people, but I have seen and know enough to be able to say, “the war and genocide against Black people, in all of the areas of life activity, worldwide, must stop."

    Do you have a better solution to offer to solve this problem?

    I am Kamau R. Kambon

    10/28/05


    Copyright © 2003-2005
    www.RastafariSpeaks.com
    www.AfricaSpeaks.com

    ====

    Reasoned comments if you please ...

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    I believe that it is the responsibility of all countries, religious groups, decent-minded people to do everything possible to save the people of Sub-Saharan Africa who are dying off rapidly from the disease called Aids.

    These people's of Africa are the first human beings. They migrated out of Africa to and through the Middle East both east and west to populate the entire planet. All human beings are descended from these original Africans.

    We have to do whatever it takes.

    Erewhon rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    ATON2 asked on 12/06/05 - The fallability of Papal infallability ??????

    All the posting re: AIDS and the Pope's ban on contraceptives got me thinking, again, about the question of Papal infallability. My question: If the Pope is infallable today, why was he not ALWAYS infallable???????

    You don't have to be Catholic to answer; any opinion is welcome :) :) :)

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    The Catholic Church is, if anything, a tightly knit organization, and like any organized group, they have to have total consenses. The Pope is the leader of the Church, so it is mandatory that when he decides what is good and true about faith and morals, all clergy and laity know "the truth". If you talk to one Catholic, you are talking to all Catholics when discussing matters of religion and faith. (Protestants are different, they all make-up their own interpretations of Christianity)

    Infallability is an organizational tool....since the business is the Supernatural, the Pope, in order to be infallable, must be speaking for God, for God is the only infallable being according to doctrine.

    ATON2 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/06/05 - KERRY'S BIG MOUTH AGAIN:



    According to Paul Harvey this noon, John Kerry said in a recent CBS interview, "US troops are terrorizing women and children in Iraq."

    WOW!

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/06/05:

    ***BUSH'S WAR*** IS ON ALL OUR MINDS....not Senator Kerry. :)

    HANK1 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer
    ETWolverine rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/05/05 -
    Hi. I know that some of us get some strange answers on the board. But what do you think about


    I have an on line Ministry, where I contact around one hundred people. If you think you get some hard questions here, read this and then tell me what you think of it.

    I deal with these kinds of responses daily. Sometimes it is almost more than I can handle. I do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I must tell the truth.

    So, let me know how you would answer this: I will not give out their name, because I don’t know if it would be alright.


    Hi Milton. Thanks for the update. I understand your feelings and emotions in what you are saying. Please read my comments with an open mind and ask our Lord Jesus if it is the truth? If he tells you it is not, please show me how and where in the scriptures I am misguided. Every year as the various pagan holidays roll by, especially Christmas, the same debates are held by those on both sides. After twenty six years now as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I see no real movement in Christendom to get back to the first century truth of the scriptures, as it relates to "observing" festivals.
    Satan is again stirring two opposing groups of people during the holiday season, both of whom he deceived, only in different ways…….the ungodly leftists and atheists who are attacking anything religious ““and”” those Christians who have mixed serious error into Christendom. These two factions every year war against each other in the public domain. Those Christians who know the truth of the pagan roots of these holidays are then tempted to side with those they have most in common with, the Christmas tree Christians, which includes most of my friends and family, who I love with all my heart. I plead with you to come out of the trap Satan used to ensnare you.
    The only feast or holy days Christians should be observing are those of Israel. All of the pagan feasts, Halloween, Easter, Christmas, are forbidden by the Lord. For they all are unholy mixtures which began under the Emperor Constantine and the Popes when they turned against the Jews. Christmas, the Mass of Christ, is in itself idolatrous, in that the Catholics believe in transubstantiation, where the wine and bread are made by the priest to be the real presence of Jesus. If you study the history of Israel, which is our example according to 1 Corinthians 10:6, whenever they mixed with the customs of the pagans they were punished by God, Jeremiah 10.
    We are to observe and honor the Jewish feasts not to obtain salvation, but because in them we see clearly the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and his plan for the redemption of man and the establishment of his Kingdom on this Earth at his second coming. That day is near. Your eternal friend. Jack at: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    Tex, some people are so bent that they have to change blessings and happiness into bondage and suffering.....

    This fellow Jack is one of those unfortunates. He doesn't want to realize that the only thing in the entire world he has control of is himself, yet he is incessently obsessing about Satan, atheists, pagan rituals, Christmas!!.......if he focused on himself, then he would be able to make the necessary effort to make a proper, authentic relationship with god........ and discard all this nonsense.

    He is not capable of a relationship with god; encourage him to try to relax.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/05/05 - Why womwn cry. Do you agree with this reasoning?

    A little boy asked his mother, "Why are you crying?" "Because I'm a woman," she told him.

    "I don't understand," he said. His Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will."

    Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother seem to cry for no reason?"

    "All women cry for no reason," was all his dad could say.

    The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering why women cry.

    Finally he put in a call to God. When God got on the phone, he asked, "God, why do women cry so easily?"

    God said:

    "When I made the woman she had to be special.

    I made her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world,

    yet gentle enough to give comfor! t.

    I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the rejection that many times comes from her children.

    I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when everyone else gives up, and take care of her family through sickness and fatigue without complaining.

    I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very badly.

    I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.

    I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts his wife, but sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve to stand beside him unfalteringly.

    And finally, I gave her a tear to shed. This is hers exclusively to use whenever it is needed."

    "You see my son," said God, "the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair.

    The beauty of a woman must be seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart - the place where love resides."

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    Schamltz!! Did you get into your way-back machine and dig this gem up?? LOL!!

    I noticed you were hanging out in the 11th Century this morning. :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    Ccl471 asked on 12/05/05 - Updated Christian Classics

    I've seen Andrew Murray books that have been revised and updated, written in the language of today. Are there any updated versions of other classic works, like John Bunyan's books, or Willam Law's "A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life?"



    Many thanks,

    C.L.

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    Why not try Amazon dot com to see if anything like that is available. If no luck, go to your local library and speak to one of the employees. You're sure to be directed to someone working there who will find the answer to your question, one way or the other. :)

    Ccl471 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    Ccl471 asked on 12/05/05 - Giving an Offering by Check

    My dad says that if you are giving an offering at church by check, you have to put it in an envelope. He makes it sound like if you just put the check into the offering basket without putting it in an envelope first, it is a serious breach of etiquette.

    Well, during the collection of tithes and offerings at my church, the pastor says if you want to receive a record of your offering for the purpose of getting a tax deduction, to raise your hand and an usher will hand you an offering envelope.

    Well, I don't file taxes because I am on disability and like the income of seniors on Social Security, that income is not taxable.

    So if I just drop my check into the offering basket, is that all right, or should I raise my hand in order to get an offering envelope?



    Many thanks,

    C.L.

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    I would just put cash onto the collection plate. Banking costs are up; I wouldn't waste 4 checks a month for no reason at all. In addition, envelopes are expensive if you use your own; no problem is they give you offering envelopes.

    People on low incomes must not waste money. :)

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/04/05 - FOUND England's first patron saint's original tomb.

    LONDON, England (Reuters) -- The original tomb of the first patron saint of England, King Edward the Confessor, has been discovered by chance deep beneath the floor of Westminster Abbey in central London.

    Although Edward's current whereabouts are known after his body was moved twice in the 12th and 13th centuries, the location of the original tomb where he was buried after his death in January 1066 has always been a mystery.

    "This is an extraordinarily exciting discovery," Abbey archaeologist Warwick Rodwell told Reuters.

    "It is a substantial chamber with a stone vaulted roof. We know it is his tomb because it is in the right place, lying on the central axis of the church and in front of the site of the original High Altar."

    "We have never found it before because we always looked in the wrong place."

    Previous searches had concentrated on an area in front of the current High Altar which was moved to where it is now when the Abbey was rebuilt by Henry III in the middle of the 13th century.

    The discovery was made by chance during radar investigations of the foundations of the Abbey's priceless Cosmati mosaic pavement which dates back to 1268.

    "This means that at last we fully understand the topography of this royal mausoleum," Rodwell said, stressing that there would be no attempt at physical investigation of the ancient tomb.

    "It will be imaged and left completely alone." Edward, who spent most of his life in Normandy, became King of England at the age of 40 after the death of King Canute's illegitimate son and heir Harold Hardicanute in 1042.

    His reign was marked by an outbreak of peace after years of fighting, and he was revered throughout his realm as a man of saintly pursuits who was credited with being able to cure people simply by touching them.

    So pious was he that although he bowed to baronial pressure to marry, he refused to break his vow of chastity and made his wife Editha agree to live with him only as a sister.

    His death in 1066 and the assumption of the throne by Harold Godwinson, Editha's brother, sparked the invasion of England by William the Conqueror of Normandy who claimed Edward had promised him the throne years earlier.

    William's army defeated Harold's at the Battle of Hastings the same year and ended the Anglo-Saxon dynasty.

    But Edward's name remained revered, and he was made patron saint of England -- a position he held for some 400 years until being replaced by Saint George.

    Records show that there has been a Christian church on the site occupied by Westminster Abbey since at least 960 -- 100 years before Edward's burial -- when Benedictine monks arrived there

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    That reminds me of a man I met at the bank many years ago; he was good looking, very smart and starting his own brokerage company in the Loop. He really stood out in a crowd.

    We really hit it off and enjoyed talking. One day he opened several checking accounts for his business and for his personal use.

    When he encoded his ATM card, he turned and said, "I guess I'll use 1066, that's an easy number to remember". Boy, he could really make me laugh!

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/05/05 - JUST WONDERING ...



    ... where Hell is!

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/05/05:

    Hell is other people!

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 12/04/05 - JUST WONDERING ...



    ... where Heaven is?

    HANK

    Choux answered on 12/04/05:

    A place of complete bliss and delight is heaven, the abode of God....There is no physical location. :)

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    Question/Answer
    Bishop_Chuck asked on 12/04/05 - For excon

    I have heard there is a church for everyone,

    here is one for the pot user.

    http://www.thc-ministry.org/


    Was looking though new age religions, the list was amazing. Had another one about Elvis but I lost the link

    Choux answered on 12/04/05:

    Oh, for heaven's sake! Everyone should have a spiritual life.....it is so pleasurable and wise.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/04/05 - There is a program on TV tonight about Pope John Paul the Great.

    How many do you think will watch it?
    It begins in 5 minutes.
    Fred

    Choux answered on 12/04/05:

    I already know about him. :)

    arcura rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/03/05 - Should the Pope specifically addresss the question of AIDS?

    Parting shot to Pope: get real on AIDS


    By Annabel Crabb in London
    December 4, 2005

    Australia's most distinguished expatriate scientist, Lord May of Oxford, has launched an attack on the Catholic Church, blaming Vatican policy for the spread of AIDS in the Third World.

    Lord May said the Vatican's continuing opposition to the use of condoms was an example of dogma leading to the deliberate misrepresentation of facts, at great human cost.

    The Sydney-born scientist's words came in his final speech delivered as president of Britain's Royal Society - the oldest and most hallowed of the world's scientific organisations.

    Speaking in London on Wednesday, Lord May described AIDS as a frightening pandemic, with more than 40 million people infected across the world; he quoted a United Nations report from June this year which said effective and essential prevention strategies "reach only a fraction of those who need them".

    "This statement is a tactful way of saying that the dissemination and adoption of successful prevention strategies is being seriously hindered by arguments over the role that contraception in the form of condoms should play," Lord May said. "This controversy has nothing to do with a scientific assessment of the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of HIV, but rather derives from religious beliefs against the use of contraception.

    "The Vatican in particular promotes abstinence outside marriage, and condemns condom use. This disapproval, for all its putative high-mindedness, simply is not an effective strategy for preventing dissemination of HIV, not least because unprotected sex with an infected individual is high risk regardless of whether the act is intended for procreation or recreation."

    Lord May harbours a strong resentment against the Vatican for what he believes is an unforgivable denial of reality.

    He is renowned among select scientific circles in Britain for stating bluntly, at a private seminar in the early 1990s, his belief that the Pope had been responsible "for more deaths than Hitler" through Vatican policy on contraception.

    "I have dwelt on this campaign against condom use by individuals and institutions motivated by dogma, because it provides another example where faith and belief not only override evidence, but also lead to deliberate misrepresentation of the facts," Lord May said.
    Source: The Sun-Herald

    Choux answered on 12/03/05:

    Lord May hit hard upon one of the reasons why the Catholic Church is evil. For other reasons, see my post on the Christianity Forum.

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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/03/05 - Who do you think he is ?


    In the book of Genesis there is an extraordinary, puzzling episode involving Jacob and a silent man who he wrestles all night.

    Any suggestions?

    Choux answered on 12/03/05:

    I don't know this part of the Bible, but I would guess it is a metaphor for a person struggling with him/herself during dark times.

    No one struggles in the light of good fortune, but when darkness brings doubt and suffering......

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 12/03/05 - Who is this guy? A little information ....

    Fred seems not to be impressed with Lord may of Oxford. I had never heard o fhim, but I dig him up, metaphorically, and present a potted bio to shed light on Fred's nemesis so that hje can determine if may is just a lightweight know-nothing, or whether he is at least worth listening to..




    Lord (Robert) May of Oxford

    Robert McCredie, Lord May of Oxford, OM AC Kt, is President of the Royal Society (2000-2005), and holds a Professorship jointly in the Department of Zoology, Oxford University, and at Imperial College, London, and is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford.

    For the five-year period ending September 2000, he was Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, and Head of its Office of Science and Technology.

    Initially enrolled in Chemical Engineering, May ended up with a BSc and a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Sydney University.

    He then spent two years as Gordon MacKay Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Harvard University, returning to Sydney University as Senior Lecturer (later Reader and, at age 33, the holder of Sydney University's first Personal Chair) in Theoretical Physics.

    In the early 1970's he became interested in the dynamics of animal populations (particularly the "chaotic" dynamical behaviour that can arise) and in the relations between stability and complexity in natural communities.

    May moved to Princeton University as Class of 1977 Professor of Zoology in 1973.

    From 1977 until he moved to Britain as a Royal Society Research Professor in 1988, he was Chairman of the University Research Board at Princeton University, having broad administrative responsibility for all externally and internally funded research.

    May's current research deals with factors influencing the diversity and abundance of plant and animal species, and with the rates, causes and consequences of extinction.

    These interests are reflected, inter alia, in his recent edited books Large Scale Ecology and Conservation Biology (Blackwell, 1994), Extinction Rates (Oxford University Press, 1995) and Evolution of Biological Diversity (OUP, 1999).

    His earlier work on evolutionary and dynamical aspects of the interaction between parasites B broadly defined to include viruses, bacteria, protozoa and helminths B and their hosts, with particular emphasis on the role of infectious diseases in the regulation of natural populations of plants and animals, has more recently led to research on the interactions between populations of viruses and immune system cells (addressing, in particular, the yet-unsolved problem of why there is so long, and so variable, an interval between infection with HIV and the onset of AIDS).

    This work is drawn together in Virus Dynamics: the Mathematical Foundations of Immunology and Virology (OUP, 2000), written with Martin Nowak. Earlier books include Stability and Complexity in Model Ecosystems (Princeton University Press, 1973, re-issued with a retrospective introduction in the Princeton Landmarks in Biology series, 2000), and Infectious Diseases of Humans: Transmission and Control (OUP, 1991, written with Roy Anderson).

    Edited volumes include Theoretical Ecology: Principles and Applications (Blackwell, 1976 and 1981), Population Biology of Infectious Diseases (Springer, 1982), Exploitation of Marine Ecosystems (Springer, 1984), Perspectives in Ecological Theory (Princeton University Press, 1988), and Population Regulation and Dynamics (Cambridge University Press, 1990).

    There are also several hundred papers in major scientific journals, and broader contributions to scientific journalism both in publications like Nature and Science, and in broadsheets, radio and TV (eg, as consultant to Attenborough's State of the Planet series).

    He was awarded a Knighthood in 1996, appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1998, both for “services to science”.

    In 2001 he was one of the first 15 Life Peers created by the “House of Lords Appointments Commission”, which was established as an independent mechanism for appointing non-party-political Peers following the removal of the voting rights of hereditary Peers.

    In 2002, The Queen appointed him to the Order of Merit (the fifth Australian in its 100-year history).

    Particularly notable among his many international Awards, Medals and Prize Lectureships are: the Royal Swedish Academy of Science=s Crafoord Prize in 1996 (this award, worth US$500,000, is intended to complement the Nobel Prizes by cycling on a 3-year basis among mathematics, earth and space sciences, and "biosciences and ecology"

    May is cited "for pioneering ecological research in theoretical analysis of the dynamics of populations, communities and ecosystems"); the 1998 Balzan Prize presented by the President of Italy (this SF500,000 prize was given by the Swiss-Italian Balzan Foundation for May=s Aseminal contributions to the mathematical analysis of biodiversity, in particular his pioneering work on chaos theory and ecological systems and the development of a variety of methods for estimating the total number of species alive on earth today and rates of extinction@); and the 2001 Blue Planet Prize (this 50 million yen prize was given by the Asahi Glass Foundation “for developing mathematical ecology and the fundamental tools for ecological conservation planning”).

    May was elected to the Royal Society in 1979, the Australian Academy of Sciences in 1991, Academia Europaea in 1994, and (as a Foreign Member) the US National Academy of Sciences in 1992; he is a Honorary Life Member or Fellow of various other learned societies. He holds honorary degrees from Uppsala University (1990), Yale University (1993), The University of Sydney (1995), Princeton University (1996; along with President Clinton, as part of the University's 250th Anniversary celebrations), the ETH Zurich (2003), and several UK universities.

    Lord May is an Executive Trustee of the Nuffield Foundation, a Board Member of the UK Sport Institute, and a Foundation Trustee of Cambridge University=s Gates Trust (their recently-established analogue of Oxford=s Rhodes).

    A selected list of previous such posts in the UK includes: Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London; Trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Independent Member of the Joint Nature Conservancy Councils (JNCC); Trustee of WWF (UK); and President of the British Ecological Society.

    In his youth in Australia he played chess and contract bridge at the national level. These days he is an enthusiastic hiker, runner and tennis player.

    Education and Academic and Professional Activities
    1936 Born on January 8 in Australia
    1956 Graduates from Sydney University
    1959 Obtains his Doctorate (Theoretical Physics, Sydney University)
    1959-1961 Researcher, Harvard University, U.S.A.
    1962-1972 Professor, Sydney University (Physics)
    1973-1988 Professor, Princeton University (Biology)
    1988-1995 Professor, Imperial College and Oxford University, United Kingdom
    1995-2000 Chief Scientific Advisor to the Government of the United Kingdom
    2000- President, Royal Society of London in December

    Major Awards Received
    1979 Fellow of The Royal Society of London
    1980 Weldon Memorial Prize (Oxford University)
    1984 MacArthur Award
    1991 The Linnean Society's Linnean Medal
    1991 Overseas Member, Australian Academy of Sciences
    1992 The Inaugural Christian Marsh Prize
    1992 Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Science
    1995 Zoological Society Frink Medal
    1996 Crafoord Prize in Biosciences (Sweden)
    1998 Balzan Prize (awarded by the President of Italy)
    2001 Blue Planet Prize (awarded by the Asahi Glass Foundation)



    OK, Fred. You are right. He is a nobody.

    LOL

    Choux answered on 12/03/05:

    Lord May has impeccable credentials...anyone on earth would be hard put to have better.

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    Question/Answer
    ROLCAM asked on 12/03/05 - FOR REFLECTION # 1.

    How are you a sign of hope to others in this turbulent age ?

    Choux answered on 12/03/05:

    "...are you a *sign* of hope..."??????

    Do you mean, do "you care for people" every day???

    ROLCAM rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/02/05 - Just another US sellout

    The US sold out the Christians of East Timor to a Muslim nation. Now how do you explain that?

    US backed invasion of East Timor: documents


    December 3, 2005 - 2:53PM

    The United States knew well in advance of and explicitly approved Indonesia's invasion of East Timor in 1975, which led to a brutal 24-year occupation of the former Portuguese colony, according to newly declassified documents.

    Released this week by the independent Washington-based National Security Archive (NSA), the documents showed US officials were aware of the invasion plans nearly a year in advance.

    They adopted a "policy of silence" and even sought to spores news and discussions on East Timor, including credible reports of Indonesia's massacres of Timorese civilians, according to the documents.

    East Timor is today an independent nation. The people of East Timor voted in favour of breaking away from Indonesia in a UN-sponsored ballot in August 1999 before gaining full independence in May 2002 after more than two years of UN stewardship.

    But the path to independence was bloody. Militia gangs reportedly directed by Indonesia's military went on a killing spree before and after the East Timorese referendum, killing about 1400 independence supporters.

    Thirty years after the Indonesian invasion, the formerly secret US documents showed how multiple US administrations tried to conceal information on East Timor to avoid a controversy that would prompt a Congressional ban on weapons sales to Indonesia.

    "I'm assuming you're really going to keep your mouth shut on the subject," then National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger told his staff in October 1975 in response to reports that Indonesia had begun its attack on East Timor.

    The administration of President Gerald Ford knew that Indonesia had invaded East Timor using almost entirely US equipment, and that the use of that equipment for that purpose was illegal, the documents showed.

    In 1977, officials of the administration of Ford's successor, Jimmy Carter, blocked declassification of an explosive cable transcribing President Ford and Secretary of State Kissinger's meeting with Indonesian President Suharto.

    At the meeting in December 1975, they explicitly approved of the East Timor invasion, according to the documents.

    Through the 1980s, US officials continued to receive - and deny or dismiss - credible reports of Indonesia's massacres of Timorese civilians.

    The National Security Archive had provided more than 1000 formerly classified US documents to help an East Timorese commission of inquiry into human rights abuses that occurred between 1975 and 1999.

    East Timor president Xanana Gusmao handed the commission's 2500-page report to the Timorese Parliament last Monday but wanted it withheld from the public, amid an outcry from opposition politicians and rights activists.

    Brad Simpson, Director of the National Security Archive's Indonesia and East Timor documentation project, said he expected the commission's final report to show that Indonesia's invasion of East Timor and resulting crimes there "occurred in an international context in which the support of powerful nations, especially the United States, was indispensable".

    "These documents also point to the need for genuine international accountability for East Timor's suffering," he said.

    AFP

    Genuine accountability, The USA, you must be kidding?

    Choux answered on 12/03/05:

    THERE IS A POLITICS BOARD, DUDE!!!! IF YOU WANT TO ATTACK AMERICA, GO THERE.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 12/02/05 - My predudices



    seems these days even though i always claim not to be predudiced I find i am
    I am pro life
    so I predudiced against rproductive freedom
    Im for parental notification
    so Im predudiced against childrens rights (I never had any)
    Im for Christmas
    so Im predudiced against atheists sand everyone who isnt a Christian
    Im a democrat
    so im liberal and predudiced against the president
    Im a southerner so that makes me
    predudiced against anyone who isnt
    and last but not least im an American
    so I hate everybody according to some folks !
    and all this time i thought i was a great person and loved everyone
    how about you?>???

    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    Dorothy, you're a much better person than your post indicates!! lol...

    All you are doing here is drawing some incorrect conclusions...having been distracted by an environment in America that polorizes EVERYTHING!!

    YOu're a terrific woman and wouldn't turn anyone in need away.

    All of us suffer from an excess of rhetoric!

    :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/02/05 - it's so hard to get a liberal education these days

    University cancels creationism class

    Friday, December 2, 2005 Posted: 1509 GMT (2309 HKT)

    TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) -- A University of Kansas course devoted to debunking creationism and intelligent design has been canceled after the professor who planned to teach it caused a furor by sending an e-mail mocking Christian fundamentalists.

    Twenty-five students had enrolled in the course, originally called "Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and Other Religious Mythologies," which had been scheduled for the spring.

    Critics of intelligent design say it is merely creationism -- a literal reading of the Bible's story of creation -- camouflaged in scientific language.

    Professor Paul Mirecki, chairman of religious studies, canceled the class Wednesday, the university said.

    Mirecki recently sent an e-mail to members of a student organization in which he referred to religious conservatives as "fundies" and said a course depicting intelligent design as mythology would be a "nice slap in their big fat face."

    He later apologized, and did so again Thursday in a statement issued by the university.

    "I made a mistake in not leading by example, in this student organization e-mail forum, the importance of discussing differing viewpoints in a civil and respectful manner," he said.

    Chancellor Robert Hemenway said Mirecki's comments were "repugnant and vile."

    "It misrepresents everything the university is to stand for," Hemenway said.

    The class was added to the curriculum after the Kansas Board of Education decided recently to include more criticism of evolution in science standards for public school students.

    State Sen. Kay O'Connor, a Mirecki critic, said the university did the right thing.

    "I'm glad they decided to listen to the public. The public response was so negative because of what seemed to be so hateful coming from the KU professor," said O'Connor, a Republican. "I am critical of his hatefulness toward Christians."

    Copyright 2005 The Associated Press.

    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    I scanned an article today that showed the picture of a recently discovered fossil depicting a bird with dinosaur like feet. Science is so interesting, and I don't see it as detracting from the glory of God.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/02/05 - About SHALOM. Did you know this????????????????

    When Jesus said “Shalom”, what was he saying?

    Most Bibles translate it as “peace” such as in “peace be unto you, my peace I give you.” But Jews say much more than that when they say the word “Shalom”.

    The word for "hello," "goodbye," and "peace" is all the same word in Hebrew. Additionally “Shalom” indicates “wholeness," or "harmony" and is also one of the names of God.

    Thus, when we greet each other with the word "shalom," we are affirming the divinity to the person we are greeting.

    Shalom to all.
    Fred

    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    Excellent reminder, Fred. I have thought that if people in America got in the habit of greeting each other with Namaste [the spirit of God in me greets the spirit of God in you]the constant reminder would put all in perspective.

    How about Namaste for hello.
    Shalom for good-bye.

    ?????

    :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 12/02/05 - Your Birthday


    Dear Lord Jesus,
    as the time approaches, once again, to celebrate your birthday. Some will gather once again in your house to worship.

    They will feel much love. Some will gather at the homes of friends and family, around cozy fireplaces. Some will eat a little too much. They will buy each other many gifts, which are not needed. Some will sing praise songs to you and they will feel much love. All will be filled physically, spiritually, or both.

    But sadly, many will not gather in your house, to honor and worship you, nor will they gather with family. For they have no family. They will not eat too much, and some will not eat at all. They will not buy things they do not need, or even those they do need.

    Some will not feel warmth, for they will have no fire. They will not feel love, for they have no family or friends to love them. Dear Lord Jesus, how do I convince them that they have you, and that you love them so much?

    Yes Lord, I know that you will be there waiting, and that you love them anyway. Amen.
    Thank you Father, for
    Your revelations


    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    I have to smile...It's only December 2!!!

    Even excon has joined in on the Christmas joy and wishes, and still three weeks til Christmas!!

    :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 12/02/05 - Christmas


    Hello my Christian friends:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    You can say it to me, and I won't be offended. Wish me a Happy Chanuka, a great life, a good dinner, whatever. I'll appreciate it all.

    excon

    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    Happy Hanukkah and a joyous Christmas season to you excon!

    LOve Life!
    Mary Sue

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/02/05 - There is esteem between some Christians and Muslims.

    Is there any here on this board?
    +++
    Muslim Says Turks Esteem Benedict XVI.
    ROME, DEC. 1, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will be "more than welcome" in Turkey, says a Turkish professor of the history of Islam.

    Nahide Bozkurt, who is in Rome as a guest professor at the Institute of Cultures and Religions of the Gregorian University, explained that for many Turkish Muslims, the Pope is "a spiritual man, holy."

    The Holy Father plans to visit Turkey next year. On Wednesday, a Vatican delegation was in Istanbul to celebrate the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Orthodox patriarchate.

    "Many people believe in the Pope; he has spiritual power," Bozkurt told ZENIT. "If he comes to Turkey, he will be much appreciated."

    Bozkurt is the first woman to teach the history of Islam in a school of theology in Turkey. In Rome, she is professor of Islam among Christian students.

    "I feel as if I were at home in Rome, I don't have any feelings whatsoever of being abroad, I am treated with great familiarity," she said, explaining her teaching experience in a pontifical university.

    "The students, all of them Christians," added this professor of Ankara's School of Theology, "are very eager and have great capacity to learn, and no prejudices about Islam, and this makes me happy."

    Choux answered on 12/02/05:

    I think that's nice.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 12/01/05 - Would I be wrong if I did this????????????????????

    I have been thinking that since I am going Christmas shopping soon that when I get help from some store clerk I’ll say, “Thank you the help, Merry Christmas.”
    And then when I get my change after making the purchase I’d say, “Thank you, Merry Christmas.”
    Since I will not shop in a store that boycotts the Salvation Army Santas or does not decorate for Christmas but does sell Christmas items and sells holiday trees instead of Christmas Trees that my chance of offending someone would be else my saying that.
    Do you think my intent is OK?
    Merry Christmas,
    Fred

    Choux answered on 12/01/05:

    Fred, You're going out shopping with resentment in your heart.

    Life is short. Enjoy the Christmas season and have love in your heart for all the blessings you have enjoyed in the past year. Get you wife the lovely gift she so well deserves. :)

    Say Merry Christmas to strangers and smile!
    Spread your love!


    Love,
    Mary Sue

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/01/05 - are our jobs safe?

    I just received this in an email

    Subject: OUR JOBS ARE SAFE AS LONG AS THESE PEOPLE ARE OUT THERE.....
    Date: Thu, 01 Dec 2005 23:25:53 +1100
    Show Full Headers Back To [INBOX]

    >>
    >>
    >>> These are unbelievable but true. I hope you enjoy them.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> ONE.
    >>>
    >>> Recently, when I went to McDonald's I saw on the menu that
    >>> you could have an order of 6, 9 or 12 Chicken McNuggets. I asked
    >>> for a half dozen nuggets. "We don't have half dozen nuggets," said
    >>> the teenager at the counter. "You don't?" I replied. "We
    >>> only have six, nine, or twelve," was the reply.
    >>> "So I can't order a half dozen nuggets, but I can order
    >>> six?"
    >>> "That's right." So I shook my head and ordered six
    >>> McNuggets.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> TWO.
    >>>
    >>> I was checking out at the local Target with just a few
    >>> items and the lady behind me put her things on the belt close to mine.
    >>> I
    >>> picked up one of those "dividers" that they keep by the cash
    >>> register and placed it between our things so they wouldn't get mixed.
    >>> After the girl had scanned all of my items, she picked up the
    >>> "divider," looking it all over for the bar code so she could scan
    >>> it. Not finding the bar code she said to me, "Do you know how much
    >>> this is?" I said to her "I've changed my mind, I don't think I'll
    >>> buy that today." She said, "OK," and I paid her for the things
    >>> and left.
    >>> She had no clue to what had just happened.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> THREE.
    >>>
    >>> A lady at work was seen putting a credit card into her
    >>> floppy drive and pulling it out very quickly. When I inquired as to
    >>> what she was doing, she said she was shopping on the Internet and they
    >>> kept asking for a credit card number, so she was using the ATM
    >>> "thingy."
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> FOUR.
    >>>
    >>> I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her
    >>> car "Do you need some help?" I asked. She replied, "I knew I should
    >>> have replaced the battery in this remote. Now I can't get into
    >>> my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant
    >>> convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?"
    >>>
    >>> "Hmmm, I dunno. Do you have an alarm, too?" I asked.
    >>>
    >>> "No, just this remote thingy," she answered, handing it and
    >>> the car keys to me. As I took the key and manually unlocked the
    >>> door, I replied, "Why don't you drive over there and check about
    >>> the batteries. It's a long walk."
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> FIVE.
    >>>
    >>> Several years ago, we had a junior typist who was none too
    >>> swift. One day she was typing and turned to a secretary and said,
    >>> "I'm almost out of typing paper. What do I do?"
    >>>
    >>> "Just use copier machine paper," the secretary told her.
    >>> With that, the junior took her last remaining blank piece of paper,
    >>> put it on the photocopier and proceeded to make five "blank" copies.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> SIX.
    >>>
    >>> My neighbour works in the I.T. department in the central
    >>> office of a large bank. Employees in the field call him when they have
    >>> problems with their computers. One night he got a call from a woman
    >>> in one of the branches who had this question: "I've got smoke
    >>> coming from the back of my terminal. Do you guys have a fire
    >>> downtown?"
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> --------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>> SEVEN.
    >>>
    >>> Police in Dubbo NSW interrogated a suspect by placing a
    >>> metal colander on his head and connecting it with wires to a
    >>> photocopier machine. The message "He's lying" was placed in the
    >>> copier, and police pressed the copy button each time they thought the
    >>> suspect wasn't telling the truth. Believing the
    >>> "lie detector" was working, the suspect confessed.
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> -------------------------------------------------------------------
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Life is tough.
    >>>
    >>> It's tougher if you're stupid.
    >>

    Choux answered on 12/01/05:

    Just because some people are stupid doesn't mean that you are intelligent. :P

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 12/01/05 - The passing of a convert

    There appears to be a strange hysteria surrounding the execution of a convicted drug dealer in Singapore. This man was caught and sentenced and last night executed, but there has been an extraordinary campaign to save him from the gallows. Well he has gone to his maker now, but he goes with the assurance of acceptance.


    Nguyen offers his soul to God
    From:
    By Russell Robinson in Singapore

    December 02, 2005


    The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
    He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;
    He leadeth me beside the still waters.
    He restoreth my soul;
    He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death;
    I will fear no evil; For thou art with me.
    - The 23rd Psalm

    WITH those words, condemned Australian drug trafficker Van Tuong Nguyen sought the strength and the courage for his final journey.

    He spent his final night praying with a priest before his date with the hangman in Singapore at 9am (AEDT) today.

    "He loves the 23rd Psalm and that will figure in the last hours," lawyer Lex Lasry QC said yesterday.

    "He's determined to go out with strength and optimism."

    His fortitude in the face of death has been an emotional crutch for his mother Kim, but it was too much as she left the prison following their last moments together.

    Tears flowed from her eyes and her body crumpled, consular officials stepping in to carry her to a waiting car.

    Inside, she covered her face with a veil and lay her head on the shoulder of Liz Lasry, the wife of her son's lawyer.

    As the car left the prison, it passed IT workers erecting satellite dishes for live television crosses of the execution.

    Hours earlier, Mr Lasry had said the young Australian was not to be shackled when led to his fate.

    "He'll walk to the gallows and he'll walk confidently," he said.

    "He'll have rosary beads and he'll have people with him. He genuinely thinks he's going somewhere good."

    Mr Lasry said Nguyen was "frightened, but not overly frightened" of the hanging.

    "We looked into the eyes of a healthy 25-year-old man with so much to offer who is going to die a violent death," he said.

    The Melbourne criminal barrister has been moved by his association with Nguyen, as shown by his statement as he left Changi prison early yesterday: "We've just had a beautiful last visit. It was a great visit and quite uplifting."

    "Yesterday, a couple of prison officers arrived with a bag of food for him, which was chocolates and those sorts of things. That's the way they try to bestow some sort of privileges on him.

    "His cell, which he calls his room, is filled with photographs and writing gear," Mr Lasry said.

    "He told Julian McMahon (his other lawyer) that he measures his time in jail by the time that a Biro lasts, which is 16 to 18 days. Of course, that's over."

    His twin brother Khoa spent considerable time with his brother yesterday. He wore white clothes, white being the Vietnamese symbol of mourning.

    When he was arrested three years ago with almost 400g of heroin strapped to his body and inside his hand luggage, Nguyen claimed he had acted as a drug mule to help pay Khoa's debts.

    Before the hanging, Nguyen was offered the choice of receiving the Last Rites before or after execution. Either way, the Changi prison's priest will say a prayer and anoint his hands, forehead and feet.

    Nguyen renewed his Catholic faith 12 months ago while on death row, and his supporters say it is this spiritual belief which has given him, and them, great courage.

    As a child he attended kindergarten and primary school at St Ignatius, Richmond, where Father Peter Norden is parish priest.

    Fr Norden said the past three years had been a refining experience for Nguyen.

    Nguyen's body is likely to be returned to his Melbourne home on Sunday and his funeral held at the city's St Patricks Catholic Cathedral at the end of next week.

    His mother Kim and brother will leave Singapore on Saturday night, after attending a lunchtime church service. It is believed Nguyen's body will return home on the same flight.

    Long-time family friend Father Peter Hansen will preside over the bilingual Requiem Mass.

    Nguyen's body will be collected from Changi prison 90 minutes after the execution.

    Choux answered on 12/01/05:

    This sure is uplifting!

    A drug trafficker attempts smuggling from a country where the penalty for possession of illegal drugs is death by hanging! Stupido!

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    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 12/01/05 - Homeless People.........................

    Our library homeless man (Jerry) tells me that every now and then he will be offered a hot meal or even a night's shelter at the local motel, but invariably the person offering this tells him that he must first attend church with the giver.

    Is this how Christians should give to the homeless - with strings attached?

    Choux answered on 12/01/05:

    Absolutely not. The person is the shining example of Christianity, what a very sick person can comprehend. Showing real care and concern, without strings is an act of love. The indwelling Spirit of God changing the world one moment at a time. :)



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    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 12/01/05 - Practical Christianity.........................

    What is it?

    Choux answered on 12/01/05:

    I don't know if there is a "textbook" definition for the term practical Christianity, but I would define it as Christianity as applied to our interactions with other human beings, and all that entails such as on the job behavior, for example.

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 11/30/05 - reason for the season??

    We gathered advertising inserts from 11 different companies placed in two papers on Nov. 27 (Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and Memphis Commercial Appeal.) Combined, the inserts totaled 280 pages.

    Of the 11 companies, only one—McRae's/Belks—had a reference to "Christmas." They mentioned "Christmas" only two times. The other 10 companies did not mention "Christmas" a single time! While refusing to use "Christmas," they used the term "holiday" a total of 59 times in their 10 inserts.

    The companies which refused to mention Christmas a single time in their 260 pages of insert promotions were Target, Kroger, Office Max, Walgreens, Sears, Staples, Lowe's, J.C. Penney, Dell and Best Buy.

    Ask these companies why they banned "Christmas" in their in-store promotions and retail advertising and they will tell you they didn't want to offend anyone. They mean, of course, anyone except Christians.

    These retailers are willing to use Christmas to secure about 20% of their yearly sales, but they absolutely refuse to mention the Reason for the season. why should folks be offended by mentioning Christ ,whilst I may not agree with Muslim teachin the mere mention of alahh or ramadin do not in any way "Offend" me Nor do the mention of Buddah or the hindu gods ,I may feel thy are misled but I am no way offended by them.How about you ?It seems Christ is the only offensive one !could it be caused maybee by a guilty concience??

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    In the past, when shopping, I have seen signs for gift giving for religions other than Christianity.

    This is not a big deal.

    Christmas has been a gift giving(secular)holiday for as long as I have lived...It is a time of happiness and joy and love of gifts! Loving life and our Family and Neighbors!! In reality, it is a secular holiday derived from the Christian Holy Day of Obligation representing the birth of Jesus.

    I looked through my Trib and saw in some of the ads that only "Holiday" was mentioned.

    So what???

    Business is about making money!! They want **everyone** to feel comfortable and celebrate at the end of December, and lots of non-Christians do. Some non-Christians love Christmas trees(Hannukka bushes)!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/30/05 - Great news - Limbo abolished

    Lose limbo, but salvage purgatory



    December 1, 2005
    2

    The Vatican is moving to consign its dead letter office to the dim past, writes Paul Collins.

    IT HAS gradually drifted into a state of limbo itself over the past few decades, and now the Catholic Church is moving to make it official, deciding to review limbo, the place between heaven and hell, with the aim of getting it off the books altogether.

    In the tradition of the Catholic Church, limbo was where the unbaptised went after death - and there was no way out. Limbo was also home to the likes of Moses, Plato and Abraham, and a legion of others from the ancient world.

    A sort of dead letter office, limbo was cut out of official church teachings in 1992, although for many years the concept had been largely ignored. And now, the church's leading theologians are meeting to consider formally cutting limbo out all together.

    Unlike purgatory, where the dead could eventually graduate to heaven, those stuck in limbo were, well, in limbo, even though they may not have done anything evil that would have banished them from heaven.

    For some older Catholics, limbo caused enormous grief. A mother who miscarried suffered from the knowledge that the soul of her baby would be lost forever in limbo, a place between heaven and hell through no fault of their own, for example.

    As a concept, limbo really took hold in the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, arising out of debate about the concept of original sin.

    Even though he died about 425, Pelagius, a theologian from Britain, was a modern sort of chap. He believed in what today we'd probably call self-actualisation. In other words we can do good for ourselves and others by the sheer force of our natural, God-given willpower.

    Pelagius was something of a hit in aristocratic circles, especially in Rome in the late fourth century, but his teaching annoyed Saint Augustine, bishop of Hippo in North Africa. Augustine believed in original sin: the state of sin we inherited from Adam and Eve when they disobeyed God and were cast out of Eden.

    Augustine maintained you could do good only with God's help and grace. And because we were all born in original sin, unless you were baptised in the one, true church, you were off to hell. Trapped by his own logic, he allowed no exceptions. He simply assumed that many, if not most, were damned.

    Augustine's theology was deeply influential on many thinkers in the Middle Ages. They believed in the necessity of baptism for salvation. Yet many children died before baptism could be administered. Did they go to hell, even though they had done no evil? And the medievals were also worried about the good people and saints from the Old Testament, like the great prophets. What happened to them?

    Now that The RCC has got serious about Reformation, I wonder what other doctrines might be thrown out as Anachronistic. Perhaps we should trot out Luthers 95 thesis and nail them to the cathedral door again?

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    :) I surely hope that the RCC makes swift progress in weeding out strange ideas that became dogma, such as Limbo.

    They don't have as much time left as they think.

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    Question/Answer
    HANK1 asked on 11/30/05 - COUNTING $$$:



    I've asked several young check-out clerks at a local Super Market to manually count my change back to me after adding up my purchases. None could. Back to the computer they went.

    Why can't some of our young people count change?

    HANK

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    Did anyone have a job where they had to make change constantly??

    I have. It is so tedious, so unpleasant ..... if you don't know how, you don't have to do it! ;=D Why not let the machine do the work?

    The kids are saying, why are old people so rigid and moralistic...Yuck!!

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    Question/Answer
    excon asked on 11/30/05 - The Constitution - Lesson #2


    Hello Christians:

    When a government employee is forbidden from promoting religion, it's the fault of:

    (a) the devil
    (b) the ACLU
    (c) the far left
    (d) those ungodly athiests
    (e) excon
    (f) the Constitution

    Let's review:

    The First Amendment to the Constitution clearly prohibits government employees, WHEN ON THE CLOCK, from LEADING or ORGANIZING a prayer group. When NOT on the clock, the Constitution does NOT prohibit him from leading or organizing anything he chooses.

    It is NOT unconstitutional, however, (although it is most likely against work rules), for a government employee to pray at work.

    The reasons for this are obvious. It would be reasonable to assume (especially for an underling), that when you’re on the bosses time, what you DO represents the boss. The boss, in the case of the government worker, is the government. The government, Constitutionally, must not promote religion. Therefore, prayer organized or lead by government employees while on the clock, is, and clearly should be prohibited.

    That is what's so. That's an American "value". What's wrong with it?

    excon

    PS. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know we've been doing it for a long time. We also had laws that enslaved people, and stopped women from voting. We also made the mistake of bringing religion into the fold of government, contrary to the Constitution. It's going to change. You'll be free to pray as much as you like. The government just won't be supporting you in that endeavor.

    It's a good thing.

    My fellow exconvict says that.

    Ok, here's the question: Do you like it?

    excon

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    I guess some people haven't lived on campus because they don't understand that being a RA is a 24/7 job when she is in residence in her room on the floor of the dorm.

    Freshmen girls have different problems such as homesickness or girls from small towns may be intimidated. Lots of problems require attention AT NIGHT...

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    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 11/30/05 - I guess there is love, and then theres love and then NOT

    Molecule gives passionate lovers just one year Tue Nov 29, 1:40 PM ET

    ROME (Reuters) - Your heartbeat accelerates, you have butterflies in the stomach, you feel euphoric and a bit silly. It's all part of falling passionately in love -- and scientists now tell us the feeling won't last more than a year.

    The powerful emotions that bowl over new lovers are triggered by a molecule known as nerve growth factor (NGF), according to Pavia University researchers.

    The Italian scientists found far higher levels of NGF in the blood of 58 people who had recently fallen madly in love than in that of a group of singles and people in long-term relationships.

    But after a year with the same lover, the quantity of the 'love molecule' in their blood had fallen to the same level as that of the other groups.

    The Italian researchers, publishing their study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology, said it was not clear how falling in love triggers higher levels of NGF, but the molecule clearly has an important role in the "social chemistry" between people at the start of a relationship.

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    That's why some people say, "I love you, but I'm not "in love" with you".

    My philosophy is that marriage is made on criteria like a man's earning potential, his sense of humor, etc etc....

    "Romantic" love always fails......

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    Question/Answer
    Pete_Hanysz asked on 11/30/05 - Board name change?

    Do you think the time has come to change the name of this board to:
    The I can't think of anything interesting to say, so I'll paste some my net browsings board?

    Choux answered on 11/30/05:

    I was thinking that it should be changed to: "Senile Old Men Board" because it is dominated by boring oldies who are always pontificating and adjusting their imagined halos: Fred, Gade, paraclete, tex, rolcam, bishop chuck, erewhon, etc.....Hank, you too, sad to say.

    I think their poor wives set them in front of their computer all day because she is sick of them.

    We need new younger people!!!!!! Educated and funny people.....people who are fully alive!!!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/29/05 - Tell me now is this justice or stupidity?

    Alimony is something that should be abolished in a modern society but this is rediculous,and just one more reason why you would not want to be a Muslim.

    ws Home | Story
    Man ordered into 10,000-year divorce payout
    From: Agence France-Presse
    From correspondents in Tehran, Iran

    November 30, 2005


    AN Iranian man has been ordered by a divorce court to pay his ex-wife one gold coin a month in alimony for the next 10,000 years.

    Under Iran's marriage law, couples sign a pre-marital agreement where the bride must stipulate the level of compensation they can demand during the marriage or in the event of separation and divorce.

    In this case the Tehran woman, who was not named, had asked for $US15 million ($20.25 million) worth of gold coins, a state newspaper said.

    The court ruled the husband should pay her the coins in single monthly instalments, meaning his debt will stay with him for 10,333 years. .

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    She really needed a good Jewish lawyer.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 11/29/05 - An old friend of ours is now a published writer....

    How many remember Kaylan aka Catholic Susan or Nancy from askme.com and ca.wetellyou.com days?
    She has written several published Christian articles. Here is one of them that is very timely.
    +++
    To Serve and Not to Be Served
    By Susan B. Stratton
    11/29/05

    While enjoying shopping, I was shaken back to workplace reality in a moment. I was standing in line at the bank — conveniently located within the grocery market, a business concept that has many homemakers with children pleased as pie. An elderly man in front of me was waiting for someone to serve him. Instead of practicing patience with the busy staff, he started to air sarcastic comments about the tellers.
    Having worked with the public myself for years before my children were born, I immediately felt empathetically defensive. I could imagine how distraught the tellers must have been, their unease at dealing with an emotional customer, and their desire to quickly move the man from their counter. One of the tellers finally finished what she was doing — after all, she couldn't just dump her uncounted money in the drawer and hope her estimate came out right at the end of the day — and politely assisted the man. I felt sorry for the tellers and immediately put on a more-than-friendly face in hope of alleviating their discomfort.

    Having been a waitress during high school and mostly working retail during my 20s, I knew a lot about the kindness and cruelty of customers and how it affects your entire disposition and ultimately your well-being. My years at a drugstore almost destroyed my efforts in trying to practice Christian charity. I felt it more and more difficult to go to work each day and face over and over again the same troubled customers — each assuming he or she was the only one who had a broken product or a mistake on a receipt. Anyone in that environment, faced with repeated misery, negative reactions, and hostility, eventually develops a psychological defense towards it. Not to say that I am a doctor of this sort of thing, but my experience is that suffering the grumpiness of customers paralyzed my efforts in becoming a good and trusting person. I wanted to be generous toward people. I wanted to be a happy and fruitful Christian. I knew I had to get out.

    After witnessing the ridicule of the tellers by the elderly man at the bank, I proceeded to my usual stroll through the market. The enticement of hundreds of products with their fancy designs and unrealistic descriptions made it all so appealing and self-absorbing. Forgetting my pre-written grocery list or the exact amount of money in the checking account, I became preoccupied with what I was doing and what I wanted. This same frame of mind may be the reason why customers fall into the sin against charity.

    They are caught up in the act of buying, of thinking of their own need and not aware of what they are actually doing. How many times have you gone to the checkout only to hear in front of you a man or woman complaining rudely? Oddly though, this is the same person you just saw in the aisle, with smile on face and ease on brow, seemingly the most pleasant of persons. Now you see this person venting vicious anger, and hammering insults to the cashier for her "incompetence.”

    When all groceries are packed in the trunk, I venture to the local coffee shop for a "treat." Just the smell of the coffee is enough to fill your head with visions of Christmas sugar plums and fairies. Shifting the baby from one hip to the other and watching the other two children run circles around the door mat, I debate each coffee title: French Vanilla, Hazelnut, Irish Cream. When I finally reach the counter, the clerk appears stressed, perhaps over who-knows-what previous customers: secretaries getting 20 cups of coffee for their co-workers, each with a unique measure of sugar and/or cream (or without), carpenters working long hours on a cold roof, ordering up a large container of coffee “to go” along with an assortment of specific donuts. I think I will keep my order simple and give her a break.

    This can be applied when visiting your favorite burger place. We've all seen the horrid customer who complains as soon as the waitress places the plate on the table. "Where is my mayonnaise?! Where is the salt?!" The waitress quickly runs, already fearing the mistake may have cost her a just tip. A lot of customers don't realize that many restaurants pay below minimum wage because they assume their servers are gaining the rest in tips. If we work at an office and mistakenly forget to order the staples, we would at most suffer a verbal reprimand by our boss, but we wouldn’t be penalized financially for our forgetfulness. Unfortunately those in service jobs do suffer such a fate and so do their families who are dependent on their low income.

    The day was not spiritually useless. I learned a lot about myself, about other people and about how we should all consider the one standing behind the counter. The first shall be last and vice versa. In Jesus’ economy maybe the clerks are a step ahead of the customers. They are doing in their occupation, the one thing that Jesus asked of us all — to serve others, not to seek to be served.

    Susan C. Stratton is a freelance writer, wife and mother in Maine. For 10 years, she ran Baby Bunny Memorial (www.babybunny.net), for parents who had lost a baby and is currently chairperson of the Corinna Chapter of Maine Right to Life and editor of The Maine Journal.

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    I guess I don't have to have a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast tomorrow.

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/29/05 - US actions on climate change are next to none!

    What an extraordinary statement, Does this actually mean the US is doing nothing? What a great attitude from a government led by a Christian. we are next to none and yet we don't take the most basic step of lining up with the rest of the world. I think this is a bad case of not made here.

    U.S. defends climate change position
    Biggest global warming conference since Kyoto begins in Canada

    Tuesday, November 29, 2005 Posted: 0325 GMT (1125 HKT)


    MONTREAL, Canada (AP) -- U.S. officials told a U.N. conference on climate change that their government was doing more than most to protect the earth's atmosphere.

    In response, leading environmental groups blasted Washington for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, a global treaty that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Canada opened the 10-day U.N. Climate Control Conference on Monday, with about 10,000 experts from 180 nations, to brainstorm on ways to slow the alarming effects of greenhouses gases and global warming. The conference aims to forge new agreements on cutting poisonous emissions, considered by many scientists to be the planet's most pressing environmental issue.

    Dr. Harlan L. Watson, senior climate negotiator for the U.S. Department of State, said that while President George W. Bush declined to join the treaty, the U.S. leader takes global warming seriously. He noted greenhouse gas emissions had actually gone down by .8 percent under Bush.

    "With regard to what the United States is doing on climate change, the actions we have taken are next to none in the world," Watson told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the conference.

    He is leading a delegation of dozens of American officials at the conference and will be joined by U.S. Undersecretary of State Paula Dobriansky next week, when 120 government ministers arrive for the high-profile final negotiations.

    Watson said the United States spends more than US$5 billion (euro4.3 billion) a year on efforts to slow the deterioration of the earth's atmosphere by supporting climate change research and technology, and that Bush had committed to cutting greenhouses gases some 18 percent by 2012.

    Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club Canada, however, accused the world's biggest polluter of trying to derail the Kyoto accord.

    "We have a lot of positive, constructive American engagement here in Montreal -- and none of it's from the Bush administration, which represents the single biggest threat to global progress," May said, adding that Washington had "continually tried to derail" the Kyoto process.

    The United States, the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, saying it would harm the U.S. economy and is flawed by the lack of restrictions on emissions by emerging economic powers such as China and India.

    In the first ever meeting of all 140 signatories of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, Canada's Environment Minister Stephane Dion is juggling the presidency of the 11th U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Control while facing the imminent collapse of his country's government.

    No-confidence vote

    Opposition leaders have garnered enough votes in the House of Commons to topple Prime Minister Paul Martin's minority government in a no-confidence vote Monday night, forcing him to dissolve Parliament and set a day for national elections in January. (Full story)

    Though Dion would remain in office, he would also be called upon to begin campaigning for his Liberal Party and could be mightily distracted. Opening the conference, Dion vowed to stay the course and described climate change as "the greatest environment hazard" facing mankind.

    "Tragic experiences in many countries over the last year have once again reminded us of the world's vulnerability to climate-related disasters and highlighted the urgent need for adaptation" to rising sea levels, glacial melting and warmer atmospheric temperatures, he said.

    The Kyoto accord, negotiated in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, targets carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases blamed for rising global temperatures that many scientists say are disrupting weather patterns.

    The treaty, which went into effect in February, calls on the top 35 industrialized nations to cut emissions by 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012.

    This conference will set agreements on how much more emissions should be cut after 2012, when the Kyoto Protocol expires, though signatories are already falling short of their targets.

    Canada is up there with Spain, Ireland, Greece and five other nations as having the biggest increases in gas emissions. According to the United Nations, Spain is the worst, with a nearly 42 percent increase in emissions between 1990 and 2003; Canada stands at 24 percent and the United States experienced an increase of 13 percent.

    The Kyoto accord was delayed by the requirement that countries accounting for 55 percent of the world's emissions must ratify it. That goal was finally reached -- nearly seven years after the pact was negotiated -- with Russia's approval last year.

    The targets vary by region: The European Union initially committed to cutting emissions to 8 percent below 1990 levels; the United States agreed to a 7 percent reduction before Bush denounced the pact in 2001, saying it would cost too much and exacerbate an already bothersome energy problem for the world's largest consumer of fossil fuels.

    Beyond the Kyoto deadline, the European Union appears to be taking the lead, endorsing a plan in June to bring emissions of greenhouses gases down 15 percent to 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

    As signatories to Kyoto's parent treaty, the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Washington is still an active participant at the conference, even if it says it prefers investments in climate science and technology rather than mandatory emissions caps.

    Many had hoped Canada would persuade its neighbor to join the Kyoto fold, though Washington no longer has that option.

    "I will certainly welcome any idea that may bring the United States closer to Canada, Europe, Japan, England and other countries as partners in this convention," Dion said. "We cannot do without the Americans because they represent 25 percent of emissions, and an even greater percentage of the solution."

    Copyright 2005 The Associated Press

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    George Bush has definite political strategies. He says he supports all the pressing issues of the time and then does nothing.


    NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND

    WE ARE LOWERING GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

    WE ARE FIGHTING THE WAR IN IRAQ SO WE WON'T HAVE TO FIGHT IN AMERICA

    ETC.
    ETC.
    ETC.


    Just bullshit and jargon. Meanwhile his friends get richer and richer. :):):)

    paraclete rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 11/29/05 - Church membership

    many folks talk about church membership as if this automatically opens the Pearly Gates to sinners. Friends, a church role is not God's book of life. Occupying a pew will not make one a child of God. A rusty wheelbarrow does not become a Cadillac by occupying space at the G. M. dealership. A woman does not become an old hen by sitting in a chicken coop. She may do a lot of cackling, but she is still a Miss-or is it Mrs., or is, it Ms. People and things, are not changed (presto) by such situations, and sinners are not saved by sitting on sanctified, foam padded pews. It takes an experience with the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    My experience in life is that *almost all* people do not understand salvation, redemption and other religious/spiritual concepts.

    Going to church on Sunday and hearing a Christian message is their understanding of how to get into "heaven".

    I'll bet you ministers and priests do not demand spiritual growth from their congregations.

    And why? because he would be out of a job. People want the easy way. :)
    People want the traditional ways. :)

    "Many are called, few are chosen."

    revdauphinee rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    CeeBee2 asked on 11/29/05 - I'm still stuck on this one..............

    The University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire (UWEC), in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has banned resident assistants (RAs) from leading Bible studies in their own dormitories. The university claims the ban is necessary because some students might not feel RAs who lead Bible studies are "approachable."

    As I understand it --

    Religious study is not forbidden in the dorms.

    It is forbidden only if an RA is the leader of the study group.

    RAs can belong to any religious study group, as long as they don't lead it.

    Religious groups can meet in the dorm hallway, activities room, or in a student's room.

    No religious rights are being taken away.

    Please explain if I am incorrect.

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    Remembering back to college days....

    I guess that the University hired the young woman master's or phd candidates(or gave free room and board) to live in the *freshman's dorm* and be there for the young women during their first year in college.

    Be available as a friendly ear for homesickness, adjusting to college life, how to talk to, sexual matters and men, .....

    The reality of the perception of average young people is still (as far as I know)that people involved too much in the Bible are sanctimonious and have an agenda. I can see where a person holding Bible studies would be seen as unapproachable by freshmen girls. There is much of the, at last, free! going on in their heads.

    I don't necessarily agree or disagree with the administration's decision.

    It's the young girls who are important here.

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    Question/Answer
    sapphire630 asked on 11/29/05 - things posted here can be closer to home than you think

    This morning I was with the Moon detectives and asked them why the channel 4 news was there at my neighbors house. They said, "there was an incident" and left it at that. I just looked up one of the sites that Tomder has posted in the past to see what all they had for news today and here is my neighbor and the incident.

    http://www.wsoctv.com/news/5426229/detail.html

    Mom Allegedly Spikes Mac & Cheese With Bleach

    POSTED: 10:59 am EST November 29, 2005

    CORAOPOLIS, Pa. -- A mother has been charged with trying to poison her adult daughter and her daughter's family after allegedly pouring bleach into their macaroni and cheese.
    Nancy O'Donnell, 56, of Moon Township, Pa., was charged with four counts each of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person after the reported incident Saturday night, police said.
    O'Donnell's adult daughter, Victoria Lynn O'Donnell, 24, was preparing dinner around 6:30 p.m. for her live-in boyfriend, Jamal Scott, 30, and their 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. The four share a home with Nancy O'Donnell.
    Victoria O'Donnell went upstairs while the food was cooking, and police said that when she came back downstairs, she could smell bleach in the food. She tried the macaroni and cheese and immediately spit it out after tasting the bleach, police said.
    No one else tasted the food.
    Victoria O'Donnell then confronted her mother about the allegedly tainted dinner. According to court records, Nancy O'Donnell said she wanted to sicken her daughter because "you don't deserve those children."
    Police reported a strong odor of bleach when they arrived to investigate. Nancy O'Donnell later denied pouring bleach into the pasta, police said.
    Nancy O'Donnell is being held in the Allegheny County Jail on $25,000 bond. A judge ordered that she receive a mental health evaluation.

    And to think, a couple weeks ago, one of my other neighbors told the mother who put the bleach in the food "why don't you move in with Linda" when she
    said she that she didn't want to live with her daughter any more!

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    Oh oh, sapph! If you live next door to white trash, I think that makes you white trash, too! :):):)

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    Question/Answer
    tomder55 asked on 11/29/05 - Global Warming facts

    It is often reported that President Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty in 2001. But did you know that the U.S. Senate directed President Clinton to reject the impending treaty in 1997 with the Byrd-Hagel (bipartisan) Resolution ?


    It is often reported in the press that the United States produces 25 percent of the world's industrial greenhouse gases. But did you know that North America consumes more greenhouse gases than it produces?
    The fact is that while the North American continent emits about 1.6 billion metric tons of carbon every year, North American carbon sinks actually absorb 1.7 billion tons of atmospheric carbon every year. North America is therefore a net consumer of carbon dioxide. The same is not true of the European nations, who essentially see their emissions cleaned up by North American or other carbon sinks.

    More than one scientist believes that there is not a trend towards global warming, but rather an impending ice age .

    Choux answered on 11/29/05:

    In what ways do we consume atmospheric carbon?

    Thanks.

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 11/28/05 - Followup on "What would be your Choice?"

    Hello Experts,

    My question yesterday was placed on this board to see how many of us really read what is posted and understand the questions fully. I did this because this is a board for Christian questions and when we answer questions as an expert we need to know what we are telling others. We are responsible for what we say to others in reply. I wanted to see just how many really read the posts carfully and use discernment in giving their replies. What we say in reply to other can either help them or hurt them. So we need to think about what we say.

    What if my question about the two joined babies yesterday really came from a person having such a decision to make? Would your answer help them? Now think about the question I posted yesterday.
    QUOTED:
    (What would be your choice? hOPE12 11/27/05
    Hello Everyone,

    Two children are joined together at the back. The doctor offers surgery but one child must die in order to save the other. Both children have the same chances of survival but the doctor can only save one. Which one would you personally choose to save and how would you reach that choice? Remember now that both children have the same survival chance, however the doctor can only save one of them.


    This question is to see how discerning you can be when reading the post put on this board.

    Take care,
    Hope12
    _____________________________________________________
    Did you discern the question?

    First there are two children and the doctor offers surgery. The doctor never said the babies would die without the surgery

    Then the doctor said he could only save one baby. The doctor never said that both babies could not be saved. The doctor said “he” could not save both babies only one would survive that he could save.

    Then at the end of my question I state that “This question is to see how discerning you can be when reading the posts put on this board.>

    There were four experts that were discerning in their comments. CeeBee, Hank, Dorothy, and drgade.

    To you four experts, you show yourselves to be discerning and really reading the posts on this board. You choices were great and would have been helpful to anyone truly having a similar choice to make. This shows true concern for others and it also shows that you all take the time to give good answers. I personally thank you and if I ever need help I know where to go. :0)

    Some might get angry when they read this post but that is okay because I still have been able to show that if we do not discern the question being asked we can do more harm in the replies we give. Remember how we reply to a question, can have influence on a persons choices.

    There were three very good choices a parent in such a situation could make.

    1)Because the doctor could only save one child, a second opinion would be in order. If they both have the same survival chances and the one doctor knows he could save one of the babies, then why not try and see if it is possible to find another doctor who could save the other child. Maybe there is a certain time needed to save each child. If the one doctor is working on one child and the other doctor working on the other child, then there is a chance both children could be saved. Remember there was nothing said about organs nor did the doctor say the other child could not be saved. He only said he could save one child and the other one would die. If there is another doctor involved in the surgery, is it not possible the child could live. So the first choice would be to ask if this would be possible, and if so find another doctor who could save the other baby.

    2)There is also the possibility that the babies could live without surgery, No where did the post say that they could not. Then the reply should have been, “Does the doctor feel they could survive without the surgery?”


    3)Maybe the doctor was not proficient enough at his skills to deal with this kind of surgery and at his level of skills this was all he could do. Also remember when it comes to our loved ones, never take one opinion as fact. Always get another opinion. What one cannot do, others may be able too.

    When we give replies on this board to questions asked remember the same can apply if one answer is not sufficient keep searching for another. Where there is life there is always hope.

    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 11/28/05:

    Don't be silly!

    Any situation with conjoined twins who are going to have an operation to separate them is HANDLED BY **A TEAM OF PHYSICAINS**!!!!

    There are few teams in the world that are qualified to do this!!!

    Haven't you followed several of the stories that have been in the news in the last few years???

    hOPE12 rated this answer Excellent or Above Average Answer

    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 11/28/05 - This has happened many times. Some fake. Some not.

    Do you believe this one????????
    Believers Flock to Crying Virgin Mary
    By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer Sun Nov 27, 3:23 AM ET
    Carrying rosary beads and cameras, the faithful have been coming in a steady stream to a church on the outskirts of Sacramento for a glimpse of what some are calling a miracle: A statue of the Virgin Mary they say has begun crying a substance that looks like blood.
    It was first noticed more than a week ago, when a priest at the Vietnamese Catholic Martyrs Church spotted a stain on the statue's face and wiped it away. Before Mass on Nov. 20, people again noticed a reddish substance near the eyes of the white concrete statue outside the small church, said Ky Truong, 56, a parishioner.
    Since then, Truong said he has been at the church day and night, so emotional he can't even work. He believes the tears are a sign.
    "There's a big event in the future — earthquake, flood, a disease," Truong said. "We're very sad."
    On Saturday, tables in front of the fenced-in statue were jammed with potted plants, bouquets of roses and candles. Some people prayed silently, while others sang hymns and hugged their children. An elderly woman in a wheelchair wept near the front of the crowd.
    A red trail could be seen from the side of the statue's left eye to about halfway down the robe of concrete.
    "I think that it's incredible. It's a miracle. Why is she doing it? Is it something bothering her?" asked Maria Vasquez, 35, who drove with her parents and three children from Stockton, about 50 miles south of Sacramento.
    Thousands of such incidents are reported around the world each year, though many turn out to be hoaxes or natural phenomena.
    The Diocese of Sacramento has so far not commented on the statue, and the two priests affiliated with the church did not return a telephone message Saturday.
    The Rev. James Murphy, deacon of the diocese's mother church, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, said church leaders are always skeptical at first.
    "For people individually seeing things through the eyes of faith, something like this can be meaningful. As for whether it is supernatural or a miracle, normally these incidences are not. Miracles are possible, of course," Murphy said. "The bishop is just waiting and seeing what happens. They will be moving very slowly."
    But seeing the statue in person left no doubt for Martin Operario, 60, who drove about 100 miles from Hayward. He took photos to show to family and friends.
    "I don't know how to express what I'm feeling," Operario said. "Since religion is the mother of believing, then I believe."
    Nuns Anna Bui and Rosa Hoang, members of the Salesian Sisters of San Francisco, also made the trek Saturday. Whether the weeping statue is declared a miracle or not, they said, it is already doing good by awakening people to the faith and reminding them to pray.
    "It's a call for us to change ourselves, to love one another," Hoang said.

    Choux answered on 11/28/05:

    What better way to raise funds for a poor church than to have a weeping icon??? And so, the head priest does a little something to cause a stir, and soon after media attention, his failing church is bringing in the big bucks. :):):)

    There is no supernatural.

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    Question/Answer
    Tex78 asked on 11/28/05 - I have a question, which we all should ask ourselves.


    I hear many denials of God, disrespectful things said about him. I hear people state flatly that there is no God.

    I will ask this. Suppose we believe in God, and He turns out to be false, what have we lost?
    He doesn’t require us to do anything, except what we should do anyway.

    Bur, suppose we reject Him, and then find out too late, that He is real? We have lost everything.
    I am just asking you to think about it.. Because, in spite of what you may think, I do care..
    Love in Jesus’ name. M.L.

    Choux answered on 11/28/05:

    Grow up, Tex. :)

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/27/05 - a pagan view of Jesus - merely a god?

    Jesus: a Pagan Deity?

    Author: Reni
    Posted: November 27th. 2005


    Question:
    What did Lou Gehrig's doctors say he had?
    “Mr. Gehrig, I’m afraid you have ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’.

    “Huh? Say what, Doc?”

    By the same token, Jesus was not a Christian. There were no Christians at the time. Only “The Disciples of Jesus the Christ”. Later shortened to just plain “Christians”. By the same token Abraham was not a Jew.

    Nor was Jesus a Jew, though of course he was born and educated into the faith. As such, he most likely presumed reincarnation, as did the Kabalists and the majority of Jews at the time.

    Starting with Matthew 22:23 Jesus debates the Sadducees (who deny the immortality of the soul) with the Pharisees who apparently held with reincarnation. It’s a Pharisee who asks Jesus if he is Elijah come again.

    Of course, Jesus and the Pharisees had a parting of the ways. This was due largely to his blasphemous insistence that all men and women were children of God and must therefore be treated with compassion and love.

    This was “SEDITIO” sedition: inciting dissatisfaction amongst those beneath contempt: lepers, the wretched poor, and women. For this they had him crucified.

    After his death the Apostles continued to preach the immortality and rebirth of the soul for nearly four hundred years. Nowhere is it written that God intends to take his wrath out on sinners in the next life.

    Then the Roman Emperor Constantine, after his conversion to Christianity (and his subsequent conversion of Christianity to a predator religion that Jesus would not recognize) abandoned the concept of reincarnation

    Constantine did this when he instigated the “heaven or hell” model that Pagans so soundly disagree with. The problem was that once Constantine insisted that he was “voice of god” and that everyone without exception must do and think exactly what he commanded or burn in hell forever, he had to abolish reincarnation. You can’t very well be burning in hell or receiving your eternal reward and show up alive again in a new body. It was also Constantine who vilified our Horned God as the devil.


    Jesus, on the other hand, upheld humanity in all its myriad forms and denied the central dogma of Christianity: eternal damnation if you don’t do what the church commands.

    In addition, Jesus worked magyc, though Christians prefer the term “miracle” to set him above the other Magi of the age. Many of his spells can be found in The Greek Magical Papyri as detailed in Morton Smith’s book: Jesus the Magician. Professor Smith (1915-1991) was no fool but a highly respected academian and translator of numerous ancient texts. Nor are his views in contrary to the writings of Jesus' own disciples who considered him a magician (magi) in the style of the time.

    Perhaps he learned magyc while on the run in Egypt as a youth. No one knows. Nor is it written. All we know is that when he next appeared in scripture he could change water into wine. Cool.

    Today the Fundamentalist Christian Church is a bastion of hell, damnation, and Armageddon, fostering the most heinous crimes ever committed against humanity. From the Pogroms of Constantine to the Inquisition (and continuing persecution of anyone not Christian as exemplified by the Crusades and the Burning Times) to the present crimes of child molestation.

    And while this may have mainly been a Roman Catholic thing, the self appointed evangelicals are not far behind. Only their contemporary inhumanity is more commonplace in its shunning of those not in total agreement that Jesus is everyone’s personal savior. Anyone that believes otherwise is going to hell. Just ask them.

    However it comes out this is not Jesus’ way. Not really. Jesus was about love and these people are about hate.

    We, as Pagans are Jesus’ way.
    As such, we should honor him as a deity.

    The only problem I see is that it’s possible that Jesus was a real person. I say “possible” because there isn’t a shred of evidence that Jesus actually existed as a citizen of Judea.

    All the same, I suspect he lived. I say this because his exploits are far too tame for a created deity.

    Who knows, perhaps all of our Pagan deities had origins in flesh and blood heroes that became gods as their legend grew.

    Certainly Jesus is usually revered as a god.
    And what a perfect deity Jesus is to inspire us: someone we can look up to as a great magycian, healer, and as a God of Love in the Pagan pantheon. We should consider invoking him in our spells.

    This need take nothing from Christianity. In fact, the whole point of including Jesus as a Pagan deity is to bridge what seems an unfathomable chasm between Paganism and Christianity. Love is the message of Jesus.

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    *Joshua* was a Jewish prophet like many at that time; it was a time of great spiritual upheaval. He saw himself and was a Jew preaching to Jews about a new way....not being saved by obeying the law....

    Joshua was given the Greek name Jesus and the Greek title Christ long after his death. He was central to the new religion that Saul(Paul)created; it was a combination of the idea of the Jewish messiah and Greek myth and pagan(Greek) "religious" mysteries.




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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 11/27/05 - Will you put your hand to .....

    ..... the killing of witches?

    When is a good time for you to spend a week or so rounding them up and slitting their throats?

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    ????

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    Question/Answer
    deardra asked on 11/26/05 - In Jesus' name

    Tex said In Jesus' name. M.L. Can you explain what that means?

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    He (tex) shouldn't be using that phrase, "in Jesus' name" when he is just shooting off his mouth, as if Jesus himself would approve of what he is saying!!! How arrogant!!

    Tex should learn he is speaking for himself.

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 11/27/05 - My dictionary says that the word "witch" means wicked woman.

    And "Wicca" means wicked man or warlock.
    <><><><>
    What do you think about this from a Christian point of view?

    Wicca's World
    Looking Into the Pagan Phenomenon

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, NOV. 26, 2005
    Witchcraft is moving into the mainstream in the Netherlands. A Dutch court has ruled that the costs of witchcraft lessons can be tax-deductible, the Associated Press reported Oct. 31.

    The previous month, the Leeuwarden District Court confirmed the legal right to write off the costs of schooling -- including in witchcraft -- against tax bills. The costs can be substantial, according to one witch interviewed for the article.

    Margarita Rongen runs the "Witches Homestead" in a northern province. Her workshops cost more than $200 a weekend, or more than $2,600 for a full course. Rongen claims she has trained more than 160 disciples over the past four decades.

    In England, meanwhile, Portsmouth's Kingston Prison has hired a pagan priest to give spiritual advice to three inmates serving life sentences, the Telegraph reported Nov. 1. The prisoners have converted to paganism and, according to prison rules, are allowed a chaplain in the same way as those with Christian or other religious faiths. Denying them a pagan chaplain would infringe their human rights, said John Robinson, the prison governor.

    Earlier, on Oct. 17, the London-based Times newspaper reported that pagan priests in all prisons will now be allowed to use wine and wands in ceremonies held in jails. The Times noted that under instructions sent to prison governors by Michael Spurr, the director of operations of the Prison Service, inmates practicing paganism will be allowed a hoodless robe, incense and a piece of religious jewelry among their personal possessions.

    The governors were given a complete guide to paganism, based on information supplied by the Pagan Federation. Prisoners will also be allowed to practice paganism in their cells, including prayer, chanting and the reading of religious texts and rituals. It is not known how many pagan prisoners are in jails in England and Wales, the Times added.

    On the rise

    The practice of witchcraft is attracting ever-growing numbers, particularly among young women. A recent attempt to understand its appeal is the book "Wicca's Charm," published in September by Shaw Books.

    Authored by journalist Catherine Edwards Sanders, the book stemmed from a magazine article she was commissioned to do. Initially dismissive of Wicca, during her subsequent research Sanders came to appreciate that a genuine spiritual hunger was leading people into neo-pagan practices.

    Sanders, a self-professed Christian, defines Wicca as a "polytheistic neo-pagan nature religion inspired by various pre-Christian Western European beliefs, which has as its central deity the Mother Goddess and which includes the use of herbal magic."

    The book, which is limited to examining the situation in the United States, admits it is difficult to estimate the number of Wicca adherents. Sanders cites an estimate from one group, the Covenant of the Goddess, which claims around 800,000 Wiccans and pagans in America. A sociologist, Helen Berger, in 1999 put the estimate at 150,000 to 200,000 pagans.

    Wicca is made up of many diverse elements, yet Sanders identifies some common beliefs among its followers. They are: All living things are of equal value and humans have no special place, and are not made in God's image; Wiccans believe that they possess divine power within themselves and that they are gods or goddesses; their own personal power is unlimited by any deity; and consciousness can and should be altered through the practice of rite and ritual.

    What is important to Wiccans, Sanders explains, is the experience of a spiritual reality, and not truth or a body of knowledge. There is no orthodoxy, defined text, or core beliefs. And, while it has ancient roots, Sanders notes it is attractive to modernity since it can be freely molded to fit the spiritual consumer's desires.

    Spell-making is another key element of Wicca. But Sanders notes that of all the Wiccans she spoke to, none entered it in order to use spells to harm people. Most choose Wicca because they are dissatisfied with churches and organized religion and are looking for a spiritual experience they are unable to find elsewhere.

    Earthy

    Another common trait in Wicca is environmentalism. Modern life has lost its connection to the land, Sanders argues, and Wicca, with its emphasis on nature, seasonal calendars, and the celebrations linked to the changing of the seasons, is both a way to recover this connection and also to spiritualize the relationship with the earth. Many Wiccans also reject the materialistic (but not spiritual) consumer culture.

    Pagan and Wiccan groups, in fact, have been present at some of the anti-globalization protests in recent years. Sanders describes some the ceremonies she witnessed in 2002 during the World Economic Forum meeting in New York. They drew attention to such matters as environmental damage, animal welfare and preserving the purity of the water supply.

    The ecological aspect of Wicca draws inspiration in part from the so-called Gaia spirituality. Gaia was the earth goddess of the ancient Greeks and in neo-pagan circles she is now transformed into the idea of the earth being one living organism, also called Gaia.

    Feminism is another important element attracting people to Wicca. Sanders observes that Wiccan women feel as if Christian churches treat them like second-class citizens, limited to teaching Sunday school.

    Sanders estimates that around two-thirds of neo-pagans in the United States are female. Many of them practice a form of goddess worship, commonly in the form of a mother goddess who is a metaphor for the earth. The Wiccan rituals also emphasize the concept of empowerment, and the female biological functions are accorded a respected role.

    Added to this is the belief that what today's goddess worshippers are doing is reclaiming the heritage of a primitive world in which a peaceful matriarchal society dominated. This "matriarchal myth" is short on any historical evidence, notes Sanders, but is nonetheless an affirmation that is commonly repeated.

    In fact, Sanders devotes a section of the book explaining how the Wiccan rituals and spells have no roots prior to 1900, and are the result of inventions and adaptations by a group of men, notably Aleister Crowley and Gerald Gardner. Far from being a revival of some ancient paganism or matriarchal society, Wicca is a modern, male invention.

    Spiritual hunger

    The desire to experience spirituality in a more direct and intense way is another factor attracting people to Wicca. Some teen-age girls, Sanders notes, are unsatisfied with the superficial teen culture and are looking for something to give a deeper meaning to their lives.

    But, instead of turning to traditional religion to satisfy this need, an increasing number experiment with Wicca. Sanders argues that in part this is the fault of some churches, which have lost sight of the unseen world and the reality of a relationship with Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, reducing their activities to just a social exercise.

    Other churches provide little in the way of serious nourishment for inquiring teen-age minds, particularly females ones. Another factor leading adolescents to Wicca instead of Christianity is a desire for rituals and ceremonies. Modern church culture, observes Sanders, has reduced the importance of religious rituals and solemn celebrations, leading people to look for alternatives that offer more tangible supernatural experiences.

    In concluding Sanders affirms that her investigations made her more appreciative of the spiritual hunger leading people to experiment with Wicca. At the same time she argues that Christianity offers all of what neo-pagans seek: a message true 2,000 years ago and still valid today.

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    Just my opinion, Wicca is just as silly as believing in human sacrifice and other stuff.

    Believe in the goodness of human beings and show love......that would be a good new spiritual start for everyone!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    belle33 asked on 11/26/05 - What was the name

    of the other site so many of you here used to be on> It was something like "aSKAWAY" though I dont think that was exactly it. I was there also a while back and remember most of you here. I also would like to know if any of you have ever met . Also if anyone ever hears from Ruth and what her nic was on the other site as I've forgotten. Angel something I recall. Im glad to know everyone is well and still going strong.

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    Whoever you are, you're not good at playing games. Welcome anyway!!

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/26/05 - an interesting view of marriage and christianity?

    Love is better if it's not lived in sin

    By Barney Zwartz
    November 27, 2005

    LIVING "in sin" can damage future married life, says a new study that also suggests devout Christians have better love lives.

    "Having experienced a de facto relationship in the past is associated with lack of intimacy and greater insecurity in a current relationship," Andrew Cameron, one of the report's authors, said yesterday.

    "Our research also shows that the greater security, intimacy and harmony experienced by Christian married partners can be only partly explained by the fact that far fewer Christians have had de facto relationships and multiple partners."

    Dr Cameron said the fact that Christian belief was strongly linked to healthy relationship across all four of the study's indicators - security, intimacy, harmony and conflict over gender roles - suggested something more complex was going on.

    The research - by a team from Edith Cowan University in Perth, the National Church Life Survey and Anglicare, based on a 350-question survey of 1500 Australians - was presented by Anglican researchers at a conference in Sydney yesterday.

    The research found that religious people, especially orthodox Christian believers, experienced greater wellbeing than people with a secular or Eastern spiritual orientation. It found that marriage enhanced feelings of security and harmony, and gave a slight advantage in intimacy. De facto relationships were more strongly linked to insecurity than were such factors as poor health, poverty or work stress.

    Nearly one in 10 people who once had a de facto relationship now reported a cold marriage, compared with one in 20 who had not had a previous de facto relationship. Only 7.5 per cent of married people doubted their relationship would last, compared with 21 per cent of de factos, and 42.5 per cent of married people said their partners treated them very well, compared with 31 per cent of de factos who felt that.

    Dr Cameron, who is ethics lecturer at Sydney's Moore Theological College, suggested that "Bible-believing" Christianity enhanced the health of a marriage.

    He said the researchers realised such claims for Christian spirituality could seem smug and arrogant.

    "Our main interest in bringing this data to the attention of other Australians is to help all of us who are struggling in difficult, distant and broken relationships to find the kind of new life for their relationships that many Christians appear to be discovering."

    Christianity, he said, was just "one beggar telling another beggar where he found bread".
    Source: The Sun-Herald

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    I agree that marriage can be the best relationship for a woman to have a wonderful sex life. There is a certain safety in marriage. :) That feeling can lead to all kinds of intimacy and experimentation, chosing and rejecting what is pleasurable and what isn't.

    I'm totally for marriage instead of living together for young people, and people who will have children....mandatory.

    For older people, sometimes financial realities prohibit marriage. too bad.

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    Question/Answer
    hOPE12 asked on 11/27/05 - What would be your choice?

    Hello Everyone,

    Two children are joined together at the back. The doctor offers surgery but one child must die in order to save the other. Both children have the same chances of survival but the doctor can only save one. Which one would you personally choose to save and how would you reach that choice? Remember now that both children have the same survival chance, however the doctor can only save one of them.


    This question is to see how discerning you can be when reading the post put on this board.

    Take care,
    Hope12

    Choux answered on 11/27/05:

    I read "Sophie's Choice". so, like Sophie, I know I could not live with my decision whatever it was.

    However, if infants, not as much is at stake. In reality, one twin has an advantage over the other re: blood vessels, internal guts whatever.

    I would force the physician to make the decision.

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    Question/Answer
    Erewhon asked on 11/26/05 - Wise sayings for no particular reason ...

    ~ The person who knows everything has a lot to learn

    ~No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched

    ~ It’s not what we don’t know that hurts, it’s what we know that ain’t so – Will Rogers

    ~ Never mistake motion for action – Ernest Hemingway

    ~ One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important – Bertrand Russell

    ~ Only the mediocre are always at their best – Jean Giraudoux

    ~ If you haven’t any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble – Bob Hope

    ~ The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways

    ~ Marriage should be a duet – when one sings, the other claps – Martha Grimes

    Well, enjoy. Comment of you feel like it.

    Choux answered on 11/26/05:

    I have been doing some work today on my bookcases and came across one of my favorite books of wisdom to meditate on. So:

    Realizations come naturally through the practice of surrendering.

    We can be aware of an imperfection without making any problem about it. In other words, the mind becomes an embracing mind.

    Sometimes the best we can do may be very good, sometimes it is only mediocre.

    If we are looking for outer conditions to bring us contentment, we are looking in vain.

    If we do not try, we will not know.




    from: Daily Wisdom 365 Buddhist Inspirations

    Edited by Josh Bartok

    Comments welcome..

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    Question/Answer
    paraclete asked on 11/26/05 - Is Intelligent Design a trojan horse?

    if so, what destructive force is hiding inside?

    Intelligent design a Trojan horse, says creationist


    By Mark Coultan
    November 27, 2005

    KEN Ham should be on the same side of the street as proponents of intelligent design. After all, he's in opposition to the atheistic view of science as an explanation for the world we see. He, like many people in the intelligent design movement, is a Christian.

    But intelligent design advocates probably won't thank Australian-born Mr Ham for articulating what many of them try to avoid saying. That is: for some, the intelligent design movement is essentially a stalking horse for religion and, in the US, a way of getting around the separation of church and state to get into schools and influence children's education.

    He says some Christian intelligent design people believe that, if they "can get students to begin to question atheism", that may be a way to get them to listen to the Bible.

    Because of rulings of the US Supreme Court "their hands are tied".

    "If you mention the Bible, they are going to say that contravenes the separation of church and state.

    "Therefore some people are trying to find a way around that."

    Mr Ham is one of the leading proponents of creationism in the US.

    He arrived from Australia in 1976 and established the Answers in Genesis ministry in 1994. It is devoted to propagating the idea that the Bible, and in particular its first book Genesis, is literally true, right from the first line: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

    Answers in Genesis, which has been promoting Christian rallies in Canberra and Geelong this weekend, is building a $25 million museum in Cincinnati which tells history as it occurred in the Bible, adding dinosaurs and a few other things along the way. As the museum's website says: "Adam and apes share the same birthday. The first man walked with dinosaurs and named them all."

    Mr Ham says much of the scientific evidence of evolution comes from the assumptions that scientists make, but if you come to the evidence with different assumptions, you get quite different answers.

    He says many Christians are now grabbing on to the intelligent design argument "thinking that solves the issue of the separation of church and state to get things into schools".

    "If those people get themselves on school boards, fine.

    "We don't oppose them. Simply because, for me, and for us in the biblical creation movement, we say, well let them fight the evolutionists, the atheists, and keep fighting issues of naturalism and so on, that's fine."
    Source: The Sun-Herald

    Choux answered on 11/26/05:

    Sure...The destructive force is that::Christians want the government to teach their religion or aspects of it, in public schools because they want kids indoctrinated at an early age in Christianity and want the seal of approval for Christianity from an independent source.

    However, if public schools teach aspects of Christianity, then they will have to teach Islam, Buddhism....etc.....

    Public schools have deteriorated enough already....imagine how useless they would be in the future.

    We are already loaded with stupid fools in America as it is!!!!!!!

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    Question/Answer
    arcura asked on 11/25/05 - We have tried this. It's good. Have you tried it?

    Turkey Hash

    2-3 cups (500-750 ml) diced leftover turkey
    1 cup (250 ml) cooked potatoes or sweet potatoes, diced
    About 1 cup (250 ml) leftover turkey gravy
    1 cup (250 ml) leftover peas, succotash, or chopped cooked vegetables (optional)
    Leftover stuffing or toasted bread (optional)

    Combine the turkey, potatoes, gravy, and optional vegetables in a pot and heat over moderate heat until warmed through. Serve over heated leftover stuffing or toast if desired. Serves 4 to 6.



    Cranberry Sauce with Yogurt

    Plain or vanilla yogurt
    Cranberry sauce
    Granola or chopped nuts
    Top small servings of yogurt with leftover cranberry sauce and a sprinkle of granola or chopped nuts if desired.

    Bon appetit from the Chef at Worldwide Recipes

    Choux answered on 11/26/05:

    Fred! All I can say is... no wonder you're fat...this and that fat-laden mincemeat pie. Gotta shoot-up extra insulin when you eat this crap!

    Why not have a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato? :)




    PS I'm fat, too!

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    Question/Answer
    revdauphinee asked on 11/26/05 - NEW PREACHER!



    Behold, I Come Quickly

    The new preacher had just begun his sermon. He was a little nervous, and about ten minutes into the sermon his mind went blank. After a brief second of complete panic, he remembered what they had taught him in seminary about situations like this: repeat the last point. His teacher assured him this would help him remember what was supposed to come next. So he gave it a try.

    "Behold, I come quickly," he said. Still his mind was blank. He tried again. "Behold, I come quickly." Still nothing.He tried one more time -- speaking and gesturing with such force that he fell forward, knocking the pulpit to one side, tripping over the flower pot, and falling into the lap of a little old lady in the front row.

    The young preacher apologized profusely.

    "That’s all right, young man," said the little old lady. "It was my fault. I should have gotten out of the way. You told me three times you were coming!"