Weekend Chutzpah Open Comments

Muslim students at CUA are raising the bar for sheer chutzpah. A law professor at George Washington University, a Mr. John Banzhaf, has filed charges with the District of Colombia Office of Human Rights (OHR) claiming the Muslim students are being discriminated against because CUA:

“does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion

Cry. Me. A. River.

CUA is the Catholic University of America. It only makes sense that the place would be festooned with various symbols, art, artifacts, and other items that Catholics find meaningful to their faith and helpful in propagating that faith.

The investigation alleges that Muslim students “must perform their prayers surrounded by symbols of Catholicism – e.g., a wooden crucifix, paintings of Jesus, pictures of priests and theologians which many Muslim students find inappropriate.”

Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

“It shouldn’t be too difficult somewhere on the campus for the university to set aside a small room where Muslims can pray without having to stare up and be looked down upon by a cross of Jesus,” he told Fox News.

I imagine that there might be a closet somewhere that doesn’t have a crucifix hanging on the wall, but knowing Catholics, I wouldn’t bet the ranch on that. As for the Basilica, do they really expect to be able to get away from the absolute center of the school? I’m pretty sure it would be difficult to move it.

I also suppose it might be difficult to be spiritually moved in such a place.

Nope. Not feelin’ the awesome grandeur of God.

Back to our story:

“Denying Muslim students the opportunity for form a student group on campus could hardly be based upon any fundamental Catholic doctrine since Georgetown University not only has such a Muslim student group, but also provides its Muslim students with a separate prayer room and even a Muslim chaplain,” said Banzhaf in that press release.

Maybe they should go to Georgetown, although I have no idea why Georgetown is providing Muslim chaplains.

“It may not be illegal, but it suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice,” he said. “They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.”

Then why the filing of charges? If they are sufficiently devout in their belief, what matter would it be that the art in the room, as long as it is not pornographic or otherwise obscene, relates to something non-Muslim? This gets to the nut of the issue:

“It’s just not something that we view as an activity that we want to sponsor because we’re a Catholic institution rather than Muslim,” [university president John Garvey] said.

The real problem here is Banzhaf. He’s a crusading lefty nutter lawyer who’s always on the lookout for some cause over which to instigate controversy. He’s already got a complaint filed against CUA for violating wimmins rights by having single-sex residence halls.

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174 thoughts on “Weekend Chutzpah Open Comments

  1. I heard this dork on Hannity Friday debating the case against a real lawyer. This professor has an in with the Human Rights Commission (whatever that is) and files these little nuisance suits with them and then publicizes himself through grandiose press releases making you think he is appearing before a real court of law. He’s a Mickey Mouse law professor trying to gin up some interest in his classroom I suppose. What a jerk. Typical liberal I suppose.

  2. Can’t. Resist. Urge.

    Click picture to see where this happened.

    As if we didn’t already know…

  3. “Doesn’t say anything in there about having to pay to peaceably assemble to petition the government for a redress of grievances. If the TP did pay, they did so voluntarily. It’s just that simple.”

    Dooood, if the TP does not pay permits, insurance, and cop overtime then they will not be allowed to assemble in the public square. I don’t see where that is voluntary.

  4. Dooood, if the TP does not pay permits, insurance, and cop overtime then they will not be allowed to assemble in the public square. I don’t see where that is voluntary.

    There is no “allowed” to it. The 1st gives the TP the inalienable right to do exactly that. If the TP paid to exercise a God-given right, then the paying part was voluntary. Karl is right.

  5. Dooood, you live in a perfect world. Rights are for those who can afford them or have nothing to lose. Trespass and the TP will be hauled off in paddy wagons.

  6. Dooood, you live in a perfect world.

    News to me. I thought I lived in a world where I voluntarily surrender my rights for expediency pretty much every day. I just don’t happen to believe that I have the right to make that decision for other people.

  7. Good morning, Hamsters. Cold in Houston again after a miserable summer. I’ve been shooting water on my yard every Saturday morning since restricted watering went into effect. Today, I will mow instead — as soon as it warms up enough. Last time I mowed, on Oct 1, I was sure that would be the last time it was needed this year. But another month of heavy watering for the sake of the trees and shrubs has coaxed another 6 inches of growth out of the San Augustine.

    My neighborhood looks like crap due to the large number of people who gave up on paying to water anything. If you can’t afford to water, how will you afford to have those dead trees cut down? Or the lawn resodded? Or your foundation repaired?

  8. My neighborhood looks like crap due to the large number of people who gave up on paying to water anything. If you can’t afford to water, how will you afford to have those dead trees cut down? Or the lawn resodded? Or your foundation repaired?

    Can’t speak to the reason(s) why people in your neighborhood stopped watering, but I can give you my reason. For me, conserving water in a time of drought takes priority over keeping appearances up to appease my homeowners association.

  9. Yeah, I could have afforded to water grass but it doesn’t make much sense from a conservation standpoint. St. Augustine is pretty resilient and goes dormant. Just the little rain we had Thursday has turned mine green. One normal rainy season and it will be fine. If I had small trees that weren’t established I would probably water them.

    Coincidentally, because of my remodeling project, I just had some geotechnical work done. I was surprised to find that my house sits on about 25 feet of non-expansive silty sand rather than the normal east Texas gumbo that swells and shrinks, wreaking havoc on foundations. Also surprising was they found the water table was at about 10 feet. Big trees should be getting all the water they need.

  10. Bill Snyder (Kansas State coach) has a kinda creepy obsession. His office is filled with Pinocchio memorabilia. Not as bad as a room full of clowns but still creepy.

    There’s a new restaurant on North Main called Frida. Pretty good food but the walls are adorned with paintings of its namesake. Everywhere. All over. Death by the stare of a thousand unibrows.

  11. I stopped extra watering because it wasn’t helping very much -vs- the cost, a losing battle. It’s just not the same as good ol’ rain. The grass knows.

  12. There’s no way we could keep our yard green without going bankrupt. We never watered it, and it has a lot of brown, but I figger it’ll get green again some day. I’m not one of those whose sense of self is wrapped up in appearances. I never understood those who spend thousands on a nice car and live in a piece of crap house. Or those who live in gorgeous homes but with mounds of debt they can’t repay. I guess I like substance over style.

    As far as the Muslim students go – I would think that a real human rights violation would be if they were prohibited from praying. Being forced to pray in a room with symbols to which they can’t relate is not the same as being forced to pray and worship as a Catholic.

    I get so tired of people being “offended” all they time. Grow up.

  13. #11 Dooood
    Dead trees and compromised foundations are NOT primarily an appearance issue. Some people (me included) are watering as much as possible on the restricted schedule, to keep things alive and the house on a level. These yards (mine included) don’t look their usual best but the most important concerns are dealt with. To do less seems short-sighted to me. There has been no deed restriction crackdown for dead yards here this year — it would be hopeless.

  14. #12 Hammy

    Big trees should be getting all the water they need.

    Have you driven past Memorial Park lately?

  15. Hey, Muslim students at Catholic colleges, try this: pray off campus! Go to your mosque to pray. I read recently that they don’t have to pray 6 or 8 times a day, whatever it is, and they don’t have to wash their feet in public before they pray. Figure out a way to fit in. Duh.

  16. Have you driven past Memorial Park lately?

    It’s a natural cycle, survival of the fittest. Nature’s tough love. Drought is a natural phenomenon just like hurricanes. We can’t stop it.

  17. #6 Dooood:

    Karl is an idiot. He (and you) has the right to freely travel in the US. He does NOT have the right to operate heavy machinery on a public roadway without reasonable licensing standards to insure competency. If he doesn’t want to get a license he can walk, hire a limo, rent a taxi or buy a mule.

    As for the right to peacefully assemble, there is absolutely that right. There is not, however, a right to campout for days on end, make an infernal mess or create a foul stench, accost and harass innocent passers-by, obstruct access to public buildings or spaces or demand that public resources be spent to facilitate your political activity.

    That’s true for either the Tea Party or Occupy Wall Street. The difference is that the TP is, in general, run by and populated with rational adults. OWS is, in general, run by and populated with a bunch of whining, mewling infants who have never grown up enough to realize that every right you have must be balanced with a corresponding responsibility.

  18. Wagonburner

    John F. Banzhaf III [pronounced Banz-half] is a nationally-known professor and practitioner of public interest law. Professor Banzhaf has been called the “Ralph Nader of the Tobacco Industry,” “Mr. Anti-Smoking,” a “Man Who Lives by his Writs,” the “Father of Potty Parity,” a “Legal Terrorist,” a “Legal Flamethrower,” and one of the 100 most powerful persons in Washington (twice, by Regardie’s).

    and

    Professor Banzhaf teaches Torts, Administrative Law, Disabled People and the Law, Law and the Deaf, and a unique world-famous course– “Legal Activism” –where students learn to become public interest lawyers by bringing their own legal actions. He and his students are widely known for bringing hundreds of innovative public interest legal actions including one of the leading Supreme Court environmental law suits, forcing the Cosmos Club to admit women, persuading the FTC to require “corrective advertising,” preventing dry cleaners from charging women more than men to launder their shirts, suing Spiro T. Agnew to recover the bribes he received, safety standards for school buses, clearer warnings on birth control pills, smoke detectors in airplane lavatories, auto bumper standards, new police procedures for dealing with wife beaters, the end to a scheme to defraud veterans, greater roles for blacks on television, clearer labeling of foods, and many other victories.

    http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.aspx?id=1759

  19. Ifn the dirt-bag mooooooooooooooslimes didn’t want to pray in the presence of Catholic Icons, THEN THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE ENROLLED IN A PRIVATE, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY! Case closed, any further discussion of the subject is pointless. This is the sole point that any judge being approached on this case should make and then promptly dismiss the suit. The judge should dismiss the suit with prejudice, sanctioning the plaintiffs and their dirt-bag, POS, scum-sucking lawyer liar, for bringing such a frivolous suit in the first place.
    What ever happened to sound reason and logic? Is it or is it not a private university? As a private entity doesn’t it have the purview to operate its facilities in a manner it sees fit?

  20. #24 Shannon

    Pines and Water Oaks are dying like crazy around here.

    It was the loss of an old declining water oak early in the drought that put me on notice. I am fanatical now to keep my other big old trees alive if it is in my power to do so.

  21. “does not provide space – as other universities do – for the many daily prayers Muslim students must make, forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms where they are often surrounded by Catholic symbols which are incongruous to their religion

    What a pathetic reason to file a charge of discriminaton.

    “It may not be illegal, but it suggests they are acting improperly and probably with malice,” he said. “They do have to pray five times a day, they have to look around for empty classrooms and to be sitting there trying to do Muslim prayers with a big cross looking down or a picture of Jesus or a picture of the Pope is not very conductive to their religion.”

    B-O-O-H-O-O. Professor Banzhaf is such a cry baby. I cannot see any merit in the lawsuit and no action is required unless CUA accepts government dollars. If they do then, unfortunately, that would open the door for the federal government to force CUA to make changes to accomodate their Muslim population. In particular, to accomodate the Muslim activists.

  22. If you can get a water oak to live more than 60 years you’re doing good. We have a lot in our neighborhood and about 10 years ago I noticed more and more are dying. They’re all about the same age, 60-70. What the hurricane didn’t get the drought has probably hastened their demise by a couple of years.

  23. Here’s post # 14 from truthguy to Jean S:

    This is a private university and one of the top Catholic Universities in the country. It isn’t supported by tax dollars that I’m aware of.

    I hope he’s right.

    On his #16 post he wrote:

    Do a bio on John F. Banzhaf and you will find that he is scum of the earth. He’s one of the reasons people hate lawyers. He’s truly a despicable person.

    Compare that with Texpat’s # 23 above.

    Attorney: Crosses at Catholic University violate human rights of Muslim students

  24. #22 fat albert

    The problem with Karl Denninger is, first, he desperately needs an editor. Karl’s approach to an argument where three sentences would suffice is to write eleven paragraphs, 42 links all the while insulting everybody for miles around because they’re just not as smart as he is. Everyone else is also lazy because they don’t want to pound every single point to smithereens by arguing it back to first principles. The essential truths and valid arguments he does make get lost in all the gnashing of teeth and brimstone.

    Second, he needs to take some Valium or Prozac, maybe a little meditation or at least a couple of drinks. I find the guy to be irritating and completely exhausting.

  25. #36 Pyro
    Your special talent is crafting headlines that put the worst possible spin on every event. Keep up the good work. :)

  26. We still have oaks dying from previous drought conditions. If this is indeed an extended period of severe/extreme drought, the heritage trees don’t have a chance. If they don’t die they will be weakened and vulnrble to pests and disease.

  27. Karl is an idiot. He (and you) has the right to freely travel in the US. He does NOT have the right to operate heavy machinery on a public roadway without reasonable licensing standards to insure competency. If he doesn’t want to get a license he can walk, hire a limo, rent a taxi or buy a mule.

    The point was that we surrender rights all the time for the sake of expedience. I don’t think that recognition of that makes one an idiot. But suit yourself.

  28. I have three cypress trees. They typically turn red in late August, being one of the earliest to go dormant and look dead.
    This year they didn’t turn red, but half the leaves (needles) are gone and the remaining ones are green. Very weird.

  29. Maybe they should go to Georgetown, although I have no idea why Georgetown is providing Muslim chaplains.

    Because they’re jebbies, and jebbies do stuff like that.

  30. #45 yup. The restaurant is in the former Rico’s Triangle restaurant, a Northside institution for late night drunks. Now it’s run by Heights hippies that can no longer afford the Heights.

  31. forcing them instead to find temporarily empty classrooms

    Refusing to accommodate any particular whim that comes up is force? Really?

    “I’m sorry sir, but we’re out of veggie patties today.”
    “You’re forcing me to murder animals or starve to death!”

    Denying Muslim students the opportunity for form a student group on campus could hardly be based upon any fundamental Catholic doctrine since Georgetown University not only has such a Muslim student group, but also provides its Muslim students with a separate prayer room and even a Muslim chaplain

    Yep, good ol’ Georgetown, never wavering from Catholic doctrine.

    Maybe they should go to Georgetown, although I have no idea why Georgetown is providing Muslim chaplains.

    Because they’re jebbies, and jebbies do stuff like that.

    Banzhaf said some Muslim students were particularly offended because they had to meditate in the school’s chapels “and at the cathedral that looms over the entire campus – the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.”

    1. It’s not a cathedral.
    2. Something that “looms” is not only big, but menacing or threatening. Characterizing a Catholic church as a threat to Muslims is pretty insulting. Catholic churches do not threaten Muslims. I wish they’d return the favor.
    3. Get bent, Banzhaf.

  32. Good afternoon Hamsters. Nippy 39 this morning and plenty of dew, only 64 on the front porch at 2pm, and it looks and feels like Fall–at last.

    Our pecan trees are just beginning to turn yellowish but haven’t lost many leaves so far; the red oaks, live oaks, bur oaks, redbuds, drake elms, and the one American elm are still green and presumably still making food while they can. The lone silver maple has lost many leaves but still has new green ones and did not start its fall routine until a couple of weeks ago. The drought has mixed up the natural order for lots of living things. The pecan crop from native and papershell trees is puny while the acorn crop from all the oaks is bountiful. Squirrels have been busily burying acorns in the yard, pastures, and florwerbeds all week. And then they go off to play chase up, down, and around the trees and fences.

    Several shopping centers already have outdoor Christmas decorations up–eeek–and The Great Pumpkin hasn’t even come yet. Business prognosticators say orders for Christmas merchandise are down this year if one pays attention to the volume of container ships at US ports and widespread concern about overstocking. Caution would seem to be prudent. So would shopping early.

  33. Heh. Coincidentally, it is Reformation Sunday for the Lutes. I will play the part of Luther in a skit….calling Tetzel out as the fraud he is (was).

    My favorite lines:

    “FRAUD!!!!!!!”

    “Be gone, monk! You are not welcome here in Saxony!!”

    (Shaking my head) “To think that if you prayed before every ancient relic you would have your sins forgiven!!!!!!”

  34. Congratulations to Lance Berkman for winning the World Series. Hey didn’t he used to play in that Houston farm league team? I forget their name LAstros or something like that?

    And in further sports gnus
    Notre Dame?
    Florida Gators?

    Fuhgidaboudit

    GEAUX with a real winner
    SLIPPERY ROCK FOOTBALL

    #18 Rock clinches share of PSAC-West title with a 28-21 win over Mercyhurst

    SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University quenched an 11-year-long thirst for a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division championship and cashed a ticket to the PSAC championship game for the first time since 1974 with a hard-fought 28-21 win Saturday afternoon over visiting Mercyhurst College at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.

    GEAUX SLIPPERY ROCK where champions be borned.

    WOOT

  35. Lost some seniors, but the biggest thing is a completely new coaching staff including a new head coach that led UT’s defense in a 5-7 season and a completely different offense coached by Charlie Weiss. Starting from scratch.

  36. coach that led UT’s defense in a 5-7 season

    And he also led them to:
    a 12 – 1 season in 2008, Fiesta Bowl Champs, #3 final ranking
    a 13 – 1 season in 2009, Big 12 Champs, #2 final ranking

    I’ll be more than happy to take him back.

  37. Hubby wants his college buddy to come stay with us “for a few days” and help rebuild Handsome Son’s car. This is the guy who, the last time he visited us “for a few weeks”, ended up being here over 6 weeks and surprised me with his dog, who drove the cat – and me – nuts the whole time. Who’s idea of washing dishes involved running the water full blast while putting enough soap on one dish at a time to wash a whole load of dishes. Who had to have the A/C on at all times (which I turn way up or off during the summer while I’m in the office to save money). Who had to ask me for advice on his multitude of problems before telling me why my advice wouldn’t work – there was always one more problem on top of his original problem.

    I don’t want to say no and seem like a witch, and Handsome wants to get his car engine rebuilt. I may just have to find a place to stay for a while if he’s getting on my last nerve. We were all good friends in college, and he means a lot to both us, but he’s become annoying as hell. Here’s hoping this visit is less nerve wracking.

  38. #84 Tedtam:

    Remind dear Hubby: “Guests, like fish, smell after three days”.

    Rooms at the local Motel 6 can probably be had for $40 – $45 a day, a small price to pay for a rebuilt engine and your sanity.

  39. Who’s idea of washing dishes involved running the water full blast while putting enough soap on one dish at a time to wash a whole load of dishes.

    What? That ain’t how ya do it? ;)

  40. I hate to be redundant, but the green dish washing method is also the simplest and cheapest. Just leave them out on the back porch every evening, and when you go out in the morning, the dish wash fairies will have them all sparkling clean. No muss, no fuss, no wasted water, no hot water bill, no sewerage fees..or in this case, no strange noises being emitted from a seldom used part of the house….just sparkling clean dishes night after night. It’s just like magic.

  41. #89 EG

    no strange noises being emitted from a seldom used part of the house….

    I don’t get it. Is it the kitchen?

  42. #90 Sarge
    Yep, Perry has not understood how disastrous the whole concept of compassionate conservatism has been.

  43. Re: Multiple day visitors

    Sweetie wants us to go on a road trip Thanksgiving with an old friend of her’s that lives in Indiana and her husband who we’ve never met.

    Y’all will get along great, y’all sound just alike. Neither of you ever say anything.

    /groan

  44. TT
    Re: Guest who overstay their welcome
    Sometimes it eases the pain when considering someone else’s predicament.
    Just imagine having one stay for 30 months – with no end in sight. And I would buy dishwashing liquid in 5 gallon buckets, if she would actually use it.
    :)

  45. Super Dave says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Oops, I din’t say nuttin’ bad. :sad:
    Perhumps I’ve been away too long, HAL,…… remember me?

  46. 97
    Oh and there is a 15 year old dog that comes with the package. That has an ear cancer. That causes the dog to smell like limburger cheese.
    Which means once the dog is gone, all the carpet will need to be replaced.
    But then it could be worse – it could have been a barfing cat. :)

  47. Well, I got a hold of Eric Holder’s planned “Top Ten” and only responses he will be using during his appearance before that House Committee investigating “Fast and Furious”:

    1) We just cleaned up what George Bush started.

    2) They told me they were suppose to be “toy” guns.

    3) But we didn’t sell them any ammunition.

    4) They told me “fast and furious” was about the sale of some of those clunkers we took in.

    5) It’s right wing conspiracy to discredit me and the President.

    6) Oh, I thought you were talking about that movie I saw a “few weeks” ago.

    7) I don’t recall. Or, I don’t remember. Or, I’ll have to get back to you on that.

    8) I inadvertently hit “delete” on my computer before I could read those e-mails.

    9) My computer thought those e-mails were spam and erased them.

    10) Why are you asking me? You know I don’t have any answers.

    That should get him thru the hearings unscathed.

  48. Channel 13 is currently putting on an election special, showcasing mayoral candidates and two council candidates.

    For those of us in Houston, that is.

  49. #63 Darren

    The family is good! Susie is growing like a weed, and Diane is 5 months pregnant with Babyzilla II.

  50. Hahahaha!!!

    This is not current but I haven’t seen it. Arizona law causing border problems:

    At a news conference, the legislators said Sonora – Arizona’s southern neighbor, made up of mostly small towns – cannot handle the demand for housing, jobs and schools it will face as illegal Mexican workers here return to their hometowns without jobs or money.

    :lol:

  51. #105 Matt, Glad to see you and Congrats on the new Babizilla! :grin:

    Susie is growing like a weed,

    How old is she?…2,…maybe I can’t keep up time is flying by.

  52. Good morning Hamsters. A chilly 40 at 6 pretty much stayed there until 7:30 or so. Lots of dew that we hope keeps on germinating the ryegrass seed ahead of the birds raiding it in the pastures. We know they have to eat, but they have a giant birdfeeder in the pastures in the form of undigested oats. The mares have to eat something this winter, so it has to have a fair chance to grow before the struggling bermuda goes dormant or freezes.

    A scarecrow won’t work in large areas, owls are only out at night, and the hawks allow mocking birds to chase them without consequence in the daytime. Natural rivalries/prey aren’t helping here. Rain is the answer and the sooner the better.

    Gave up on the Badgers last night in the late 3rd quarter. In the last two games they seem to be as adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory as they were in running up large scores in the earlier games–almost without trying.

    Tedtam, can appreciate your dilemma regarding the houseguest.

  53. 111 Dave
    Texpat said he had to switch from the Scion to the old Bronco for fear of being crushed by falling limbs (as if that’s gonna save him). Heaviest rains on record have produced heavy vegetative growth on the trees and they can’t handle the additional weight of wet snow.
    Texpat, just stay in the house – power or no power!!!!!!!!!!!!

  54. Just got done early voting. No lines. No campaigners hovering around outside. Ran into a bunch of people from church. We had a good laugh because the priest told everyone this morning that while he didn’t like to use the word “shame” it would be a shame if all eligible voters didn’t exercise their right. Then he went into a whine about how Silvia Garcia (she’s a parishioner at my Church) didn’t get elected in 2010 because “the right kind of voters” didn’t go vote. I’m not going to let that spoil my day because this is truly a beautiful day God has given us!

  55. Back to Pompeii and Vesuvius. From the parking area/refreshment establishments level we walked with our local guide and the tour bus guides, listening to his excellent explanations of what was seen. We passed the edge of the escarpment overlooking the Bay of Naples on which Pompeii is built, its geologic layers exposed, most having issued forth from Vesuvius over the eons. Those who settled on it had no idea of the connection to a volcano, for there was no recorded history of it being anything other than a lovely mountain with incredibly fertile soil on it and surrounding it for miles. A fresco rescued from one of the buried houses and preserved in a museum depicts it before the fatal eruption–a magnificent Matterhorn-type single peak covered in greenery.

    Ascending the stairs having several flights and landings brought us to the top and gave a panoramic view of the Bay of Naples and surrounding Campania’s landscape. Naples and Campania had a long tradition of Greek colonial settlement before Rome gained its prominence. The area was rich in agriculture, particularly grapes and olive trees, staples of Mediterranean trade in olive oil and wine. The ports were excellent places to do business, and cities on the bay prospered. Pompeii is believed to have a population of about 20,000 in AD 79.

    A large earthquake in AD 62 significantly damaged Pompeii, and reconstruction was still going on in 79. No connection was made between the quake and the subsequent eruption even as the city sat atop the evidence. Vesuvius had been asleep for millenia. Long sleep seems to be its wont, as its next awakening was 1944–and that was nothing much compared to 79. Some 3 million inhabitants of Naples and surrounding Campania today are at risk when it wakes again. Scary.

    Walking through the streets of Pompeii one must really look carefully before stepping, as the large cobblestones don’t have level surfaces nor are the bases they sit in level. The curbs on either side are higher than a contemporary curb, and the streets act as drainiage channels as well. At intervals there are stepping stones across the streets, spaced so that a cart or chariot’s wheels can pass between them without being stuck. Wheel ruts are deep in the stones in places. The streets are wide enough for vehicles to pass through one at a time with room on each side for loads, but that’s all. There are sidewalks of sorts in most places–or at least that’s what has survived.

    Next, finding Pompeii after the disaster.

  56. Oh, they’re also passing out a flier (flyer?) explaining ID requirements for voting beginning in 2012. 99% of voters already have the required ID (drivers license). The other 1% would have no problem getting a free election identification card at a DPS office. There are exemptions for voters with a documented legal disability. Anyone that says this law disenfranchises voters is either woefully stupid or a liar.

  57. 119
    Sounds to me like an effort to disenfranchise women, LGBT, blacks and everyone else but white, conservative, dirty old men (WCDOM).

    WCDOM rule, baby!!!

  58. 120’SD

    Just got off the phone with him. He said to say Hi to all.
    No power for 24 hours. Freezing his arse off.

    Someday he’ll tire of it and move back home.

    We’ll have a he|| of a party when he does.

  59. He figures they’ve had five inches at his house.But it has stopped and started melting this afternoon.

  60. No power for 24 hours. Freezing his arse off.

    When I came back to Texas after a stint in Germany, I swore I would never live where it got cold again. A few years later we all suffered that huge Christmas deep freeze. I Seriously considered moving further south………… as in South America south. Then I remembered I did not speak any language that might be used in day to day conversation and decided to stay right here. I HATE COLD. Then again I hate heat too. Sigh……. One thing that tempers my angst is that I can put on more clothes to stay warm than I can take off to get cool. I look cool in my summer weight Speedo but looks ain’t everything

  61. Shanman

    Now that would look cool on a map. A giant island in the shape of Texas. When I do get it moved we have to take everything that Texas is famous for. Landscape and all. Oh wait, i may leave parts of Austin here.

  62. #124 Squawkie

    I look cool in my summer weight Speedo but looks ain’t everything

    (shudder) I will take your word for that. :)

    #126

    i may leave parts of Austin here.

    I understand the sentiment, but then there would be a hole in the heart of Texas. Maybe we could just leave the faculty & students of UT behind. (Even if I am a UT alumna.)

  63. Swapping Texas with Hawaii reminds me of a proposal here a while back to flip Mexico upsidedown so it would have a shorter border with the USA.

  64. and Diane is 5 months pregnant with Babyzilla II

    Whoohoo!!! The more Bramantis we have, the better world we’ll live in.

  65. because this is truly a beautiful day God has given us!

    Looks like somebody’s rubbing off on Hamous . :)

  66. Dang, I forgot her name. She hasn’t been on in a while and was supposed to go to France some time ago.

    :(

  67. #124;

    I Seriously considered moving further south………… as in South America south

    Let me know if you do. There’s a couple of neighborhoods I can recommend for you. You’ll also need an English to Portuguese dictionary.

  68. Another wacky lawsuit! When will it end?

    Devil worshippers are raising their pitchforks and demanding a special place to practice Theistic Satanism on all Private Christian University campuses in the USA.

    A shyster law professor at Whattsa Matta Wit U., a Mr. OntheJohn Zhalfabrain, has filed another stupid and wasteful lawsuit with The Office of Professional and Perpetual Grievance Mongers claiming that Devil worshipping students are being discriminated against by private Christian Universities:

    The shyster lawyer states the universities are insensitive to the needs of Devil worshippers because…

    1) There aren’t enough seals of Lucifer hanging prominently on the campuses
    2) Sympathy for the Devil is not played on the PA across the campuses
    3) Devil worshippers cannot defile Holy symbols during class or whenever they feel like it
    4) No pens to keep the goats in for their uh, participation in the Satanic Rituals
    5) Worshippers are unable to rent the movie The Devil’s Advocate from any of the libraries on campus

    While Mr. OntheJohn Zhalfabrain admits this may not be illegal, he says it forces the Devil worshippers to go into the woods for their worship rituals, where they may get bitten by snakes or raccoons.

    This creates a hostile and unsafe environment for any Devil worshipper says law Professor Zhalfabrain, therefore the universities should provide the Devil worshippers with a special place that’s devoid of any crosses, crucifixes and/or paintings of Jesus, Moses, Paul, Peter or John.

    As a matter of fact, Mr. OntheJohn Zhalfabrain suggests that the universities build a complete and brand new Devil worshipping university within the private Christian universities at taxpayer expense as this will solve the problem and also keep the Devil worshippers feelings from being hurt.

    /satire off

  69. Pompeii and Herculaneum lay buried and essentially lost for centuries until in 1738 workmen digging foundations for King Charles of Bourbon’s summer palace encountered more than the scattered fragments of antiquity that had popped up randomly in the interim. The king was intrigued, and the search was on. Investigating through underground passages, his searchers discovered the theater of Herculaneum. The treasures found grew with each cartload. By 1755 the significant differences in contemporary ground levels and discovery levels in the area was perplexing, and the question remained what was that place known in local folklore as “the city” on the small escarpment? Outlying remains nearby had been unearthed, and finally Pompeii was revealed as that place when an inscription was found.

    Pompeii then became the place to visit among everybody who was anybody with an interest in the classical world. The everybody part seems to be pretty much the same these days given the numerous tour buses parked below and tour guides shepherding their flocks throughout its streets and buildings. Unfortunately the weather was in the mid 80s and sunny, and hot in the sun even if wearing a hat on the day we were there. The guides suggested taking bottled water on the walking tour, and that was sound advice.

    Lots of walking up a slight grade to the different streets, down stairs, back up the stairs, on the flat, up another low hill, down to the amphitheater with its perfect acoustics. Through more narrow streets between what had been businesses–a laundry, a provisioner’s shop, a wine dealer’s storage area, down to some taverns/cafes scattered among them, with a brothel or four in the mix. One brothel had its “menu” carved on the wall by the front door, complete with prices. Graffiti is everywhere in town, now reduced to what was carved in the walls by passers by. But it was painted on decorated painted walls in the days em>before. Bragging gladiators, prostitutes and madams advertising, merchants advertiting, kids being snarky, street addresses, political campaigning, ramblings of drunks, pretty much anything and everything.

    Seemed as if the social level of such establishments’ patrons might dictate which neighborhoods they bordered, though by no means did the uppercrust folk stick to their own territory. The local tour guide told of a bizarre–to us–arrangement between the jug (amphora) maker, the taverns, and the laundry. When impelled by the call of nature, the men imbibing wine in the taverns would contribute to an amphora conveniently placed outside the door. Next morning slaves would take the jugs to the laundry and take empty ones back to the taverns. The laundry used two methods to clean clothes and linens–boiling them in water or soaking them in urine and then washing them. Do not try this at home.

    The city was much more than a resort retreat for some wealthy from elsewhere; it was a commerce center that made citizens wealthy and encouraged the arts in private and public buildings and temples. Regrettably, the early excavations exposed priceless paintings, frescoes, and mosaics to the elements, and those that were not removed to sheltered environs soon began deteriorating, cracking, fading, slowly falling apart. Modern excavations into untouched areas awed archaeologists with bright colors, home furnishings, daily living items found just as they were on that terrible day. These have been carefully removed and preserved in private collections and museums.

    All of the city within the walls has been identified and marked; a goodly portion excavated, mapped, and named; three areas are yet to be excavated. A large storage building at one side of the forum holds items retrieved and cataloged but yet to be examined closely. They are contained in multi-tiered shelves in row upon row, closed in on three sides by walls and open on the fourth but sheltered by a large overhang and closed in by locked chainlink fencing. They surely represent thousands of PhD theses in archaeology and history yet to be written. Few of the plaster casts of bodies of the victims remain on site, as they are too fragile and are soon moved to safer environs for examination. Much of the statuary remains in the public places such as the forum, most of it identified.

    It was exhausting and kind of mysterious in that the place seems quietly alive if you pay attention. Definitely an experience not to be missed, jet lag day 2 or not. And behind the city walls a few miles distant looms Vesuvius, now seemingly with two peaks and a depression between them, and we know roughly where the top went. We likely are standing on some of it.

    So it was off to lunch at a restaurant part way up the road on the side of the mountain. Pizza for everyone and wine. Pizza was not invented in Chicago–it was invented in Italy, and the folks in Naples will match theirs against anybody’s anywhere.

    Reference: Alex Butterworth and Ray Laurence, Pompeii, the Living City. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005. p. 3.

  70. 132 Darren

    As much as I would love to find a permanently warm place (here on Earth, gotta be careful w/ statements lik that) BSue has informed me that we will not be moving anytime soon (or later).

    So i just get out the rabbit fur lined Speedo for them cold days.

  71. #136 wagonburner
    Hmm, the new theme song for the Attorney General of the US should be
    Anvils Keep Fallin’ on My Head :)

  72. #131 Darren

    Dang, I forgot her name. She hasn’t been on in a while and was supposed to go to France some time ago.

    Ms Meglet?

  73. The only problem with permanently warm places are the permanent and very large bugs. I used to know a guy whose family lived in Columbia, S.A. The stories he told…. /shudder

  74. mharper #140;

    Ms Meglet?

    BINGO!!! It was Meglet I was thinking of.

    Mharper, when it comes to digging up past info, on a scale of 1-10, YOU are an 11. :)

  75. So i just get out the rabbit fur lined Speedo for them cold days.

    With fashion like that, why would BSue desire to be anywhere but right next to her man? :)

  76. Here’s a list of jobs to Squawk can take on to help get his mind off of South America and moving there or any other warm place except for the bad place. I recommend any of these jobs for him except for the Victoria Secret Photograper and beer taster.

    10 of the World’s Coolest Jobs

  77. Handsome came home, and now football is on the TV. I was in a LOTR mood this weekend, and fortunately I finished the last of the trilogy this afternoon. It’s been a very long time since I watched it. I had forgotten how beautiful some of the cinematography was.

    And I cried. Again.

  78. Ever notice in LOTDR all the “traveling” scenes move from left to right? Seriously when Frodoco moves from point “A” to point “B” en route to point “C” they are traveling from left to right.

  79. Darren
    i can understand your concern in the beer category, but the Vicky’s Undisclosed photographer? C’mon my heart ain’t that bad. I can stand the strain. Besides most of them womenz are young enough to be my daughters so they are safe too. ;)

  80. #142
    No digging involved, I just remembered. I didn’t know her but she was posting about being a nanny in France.

  81. C’mon my heart ain’t that bad. I can stand the strain.

    I can’t imagine anyone’s heart standing it. But, it’s my recommendation against it. You, sir, are free to fill out the application for the job. :)

  82. Shoot Darren I think you would make a great assistant. Especially in that environment. Your commitment to family would keep us both safe and out of any potential entanglements.

  83. Seriously when Frodoco moves from point “A” to point “B” en route to point “C” they are traveling from left to right.

    Not all the time. And this excludes when the rocks cracked the crossing bridge into three parts. Frodo had to leap from right to left to get to the safe part.

  84. The Doughboys are getting whipped in Philly 27-0 in the 3rd.

    Can’t wait till the female sideline reporter of the night asks the Romonator “How does it feel to get spanked again”?

  85. Your commitment to family would keep us both safe and out of any potential entanglements.

    Thanks, but I would not like to jeopradize that standing.

    BTW, I haven’t visited your website in a while. Are there any cool new photos?

  86. Darren
    No Darren. The ultimate destinations were always to the right. Always. There were obvious detours because of distractions and dangers but the journey was always depicted as a journey form left to right. This was purposeful to give the viewer a sense of destination to be attained.

  87. Not necessarily new but still very cool.

    http://www.squawkboxnoise.com/?p=1066

    I do like good closeups. Also, I tried Squawk’s suggestion on shooting rain drops falling up close (can’t find that post right now). I did so from above a small waterfall at the fountain at Woodlands Mall. It turned out pretty good.

  88. Darren
    Naw. No new pictures for sometime now. Gottem mind you, but I have not been interested in posting anything there. I am kinda tired of my work getting stolen so now I use Tonido to share with friends and family.

    I have been busy with 4 other websites but they are not my own.

  89. Oh I know who snatched my work.

    At first I thought you said, “I know [you] snatched my work”. 8O The mere thought of you thinking that made my heart sink. Phew, glad you didn’t.

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