Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Tuesdays with Paulie 9/19/06

Pope Speech Misunderstood?
Muslim outrage disturbing

So Pope Benedict XVI goes back home to Germany and gives a speech at the University of Regensburg (great basketball team), where he quotes a 14th-century Byzantine emperor, "Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." Words iterated by a man who has been dead for nearly 800 years, but Muslims world-wide have chosen to ignore that fact and have reacted as if they are the Pontiff's words and beliefs, even though he never condoned the Byzantine emperor statement.

The fact that Islamic extremists have utilized this opportunity to rally Muslims world-wide to hold public demonstrations burning the Pope in effigy, calling for his execution and acting with vengeance by murdering a nun in Somalia isn't surprising. The firebombing of Churches regardless of denomination in the West Bank and Gaza can't be shocking to anybody who remotely understands the mindset of people who have been raised to hate Western civilization. However the reaction of the so-called moderate Muslims community beckons the question to be asked, "do moderate Muslims exist or is the term an oxymoron?

The government of Turkey has compared the Pope to Hitler and Mussolini. Pakistans parliament adopted a resolution stating the Pope made "derogatory" comments about Islam. Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, Lebanon's most senior Shiite cleric, did not accept the initial apology by the Vatican. If Islamic moderates can't see that the remarks were not his words how can mature dialogue exist as the Pontiff actually intended with his speech in Germany?

or did the Pope know this reaction would occur and he wanted to make a statement...

The Rev. Robert Taft, a specialist in Islamic affairs at Rome's Pontifical Oriental Institute, said it was unlikely Benedict miscalculated how some Muslims would receive his speech.
"The message he is sending is very, very clear," Taft said. "Violence in the name of faith is never acceptable in any religion and that (the pope) considers it his duty to challenge Islam and anyone else on this." A thought to ponder.

Gas Down, Bush Up

How many of you have been discussing the decline in gas prices with friends, family and or colleagues, and some schmuck claims prices are only down because of the upcoming mid-term elections? I thought so, all of you. That idiot of course ignores the fact that the summer unofficially ended after Labor day, so demand drops significantly. Meanwhile, oil production remains high, BP has fixed their busted pipeline in Alaska quicker than expected and Iran has been somewhat behaving as of late, so the markets feels safer. That last part is always a wildcard. Once again, supply and demand is the culprit, not a GOP/Big Oil conspiracy.

I will admit that the President is benefiting from gas prices...that is lower prices. A recent Gallup/USA Today poll has the President's approval number up another 5 points to 44%. Have you noticed talk of a Democratic sweep in November has dwindled?


Quick note: If you read my weekend posting you know that I correctly called 3 of the 4 football games reviewed. 75%, I'll match that against any Vegas expert.


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