Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Did you know?...

  • The Christmas Tree originated in Germany in the 16th century. It was common for the Germanic people to decorate fir trees, both inside and out, with roses, apples, and colored paper. (The first printed reference to it was in Germany in 1531).

  • According to tradition, Saint Nicholas left his very first gifts of gold coins in the stockings of three poor girls who needed the money for their wedding dowries. The girls had hung their stockings by the fire to dry. The tradition of hanging stockings has modified itself, from gag gifts, to small inexpensive but useful gifts.

  • According to tradition, giving a lump of coal in the stockings of naughty children comes from Italy.

  • Poinsettias were attached to Christmas starting in 1828. Joel Roberts Poinsett, then the first Mexican ambassador from the United States, imported the plant from Mexico.

  • In 1822, Clement C. Moore composed his famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nick" which was later published as The Night Before Christmas. Moore is credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as a jolly fat man in a red suit.

Xmas, the abbreviation for Christmas, is of Greek origin. The word for Christ in Greek is Kristos. X is also the letter Chi which is the first letter of Christ's name in the Greek alphabet. During the 16th century, Europeans began using the first initial of Christ's name, "X" in place of the word Christ in Christmas as shorthand form of the word. Although the early Christians understood that X stood for Christ's name, later Christians who did not understand the Greek language mistook "Xmas" as a sign of disrespect.

Just a few interesting "tid-bits"

XtnYoda Shalomed

Monday, December 18, 2006

US church splits over sexuality
Nigerian Archbishop Peter Akinola
Archbishop Akinola is an outspoken critic of homosexuality
Two church congregations in the US have voted to break away from the Episcopal Church because of its decision three years ago to consecrate a gay bishop.

The Truro Church and the Falls Church voted to place themselves instead under the authority of the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, Peter Akinola.

He has called for the Episcopal Church to be expelled from the worldwide Anglican Communion.

He is a fierce critic of the ordination of gay priests.

The parishes of Truro and Falls Church in Virginia - founded in British colonial times - are two of the oldest and largest church congregations in the US.

They were once part of the Church of England but now they have voted to sever ties with their diocese and turn instead to the 17 million member church in Nigeria.

Property rights

The consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire led to a global dispute in the worldwide Anglican Communion which has turned bitter and highly political.

Map of Africa

Several other congregations in the US have already left the national church but none so high profile as these, reports the BBC's religious affairs correspondent Jane Little.

However, the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has warned the two parishes that they do not own their church property.

It is worth millions of dollars and our correspondent says the split could lead to years of litigation.

It will also add further pressure to an embattled Archbishop of Canterbury as he struggles to hold the world's third largest Christian denomination together, our correspondent says.

Sad it would seem that an issue such as this would somehow boil down to "property rights" of local churches? Conviction now relegated to fussing over property?

XtnYoda Shalomed

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Maybe there are some in the Western World that should listen a little to some of the leadership in Australia?

"Australian Prime Minister Backs Surveillance in Mosques"

(Reuters, August 24, 2005)

Canberra, Australia - Prime Minister John Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spies monitoring the nation's mosques.

He was speaking just hours before bidding farewell to a unit of Australian elite troops heading for combat duty in Afghanistan in a deployment sure to further upset many Muslims here.

A day after holding a summit with 13 moderate Australian Islamic leaders, Howard said the government had a right to know if parts of the Islamic community supported or preached violence, and he favoured infiltration of mosques and schools if needed.

Tuesday's summit agreed to examine the training of imams and what is taught in Islamic schools as part of a crackdown on the propagation of extremist views in the name of Islam.

But Education Minister Brendan Nelson said on Wednesday that Muslims who did not support Australian values should "clear out" and leave the country.

Howard said that while the government had no wish to interfere with the freedom and practice of religion, he supported sending people into mosques and Islamic schools to make sure nobody was promoting support for violence or extremism.

"We have a right to know whether there is, within any section of the Islamic community, a preaching of the virtues of terrorism, whether any comfort or harbour is given to terrorism within that community," Howard told Australian radio.

Muslim Civil Rights Advocacy Network convenor Waleed Kadous said Howard should be consulting more with the Muslim community.

"Such hardline talk only isolates some parts of the Muslim community even further and makes it harder for cooperation between the Muslim community and the government," Kadous told Australian Associated Press.

Australia has about 280,000 Muslims, who live mainly in the largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne.

A staunch U.S. ally, Australia is reviewing its anti-terror laws and is considering moves to deport Muslim clerics who support violence as part of their religion...

XtnYoda thinks the lawyers in England need to listen to the Australian folks about having a divided legal system!

XtnYoda Shalomed

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Now let's see...which of the "human rights" folks are going to scream about the abuse of our American forces??? Would anyone care to wager?

In this photo, reviewed by a U.S. Dept of Defense official, one detainee leads a group as they bow during Islamic prayer, at Camp Delta detention center, Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval Base in Cuba on Dec. 4. (AP Photo/Brennan Llinsley)

Al Qaeda might be on the run in Afghanistan, but Osama bin Laden's agents are in the driver's seat at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Officers tell of daily attacks by al Qaeda inmates against U.S. military personnel, who are ordered not to respond. The officers have also been ordered to fulfill the religious, cultural and even entertainment needs of the inmates, including providing Arabic translations of Harry Potter.

"I have never once since I've been down here ever heard of a detainee being abused, but I've seen the soldiers and sailors get abused," Staff Sgt. Thomas Garcia said. "[Detainees] throw some of the most unmentionable cocktails. They urinate on [the guards]. They spit. They call them names."

On Dec. 7, the U.S. military transferred the first group of al Qaeda detainees to a new $37 million 178-cell maximum-security prison designed to prevent attacks on guards. The facility has been reserved for prisoners deemed by the military to be the least compliant.

"As a commander, I don't like my folks being in danger every day," U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kris Winter said.

Guards have been routinely pelted with feces by inmates and face physical attacks from al Qaeda detainees. In May, al Qaeda detainees organized an ambush to stop a search of cells for contraband medication following two suicide attempts. Prison authorities have responded by providing inmates with a huge Arabic library, a modern hospital, sporting facilities and satellite television. Officials said Harry Potter in Arabic was one of the most popular books in Camp Delta.

Sgt. Garcia of the Maryland Army National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 110th Field Artillery, said guards maintain a professional attitude in the face of provocations by al Qaeda inmates. He said the al Qaeda operatives then send messages that they were being tortured. The Pentagon has been allowing guards at Guantanamo to discuss their work in an effort to combat the image of Camp Delta, which has been visited by 1,000 journalists. Officials said independent investigations have not confirmed allegations of misconduct and often Guantanamo has been confused with Camp X-Ray, which was open for four months in 2002.

"There's always the misconception that we're somehow beating these detainees and doing heinous things to them, and that is simply not the case," said Navy Rear Adm. Harry Harris Jr., commander of JTF-GTMO.

Much of the allegations about Guantanamo have been spread by human rights activists. Aryeh Neier, president of the New York-based Open Society Institute and former executive director of Human Rights Watch, termed Guantanamo "one of America's worst violations."

A U.S. sailor and block guard, who could not be identified for security reasons, said prison staff members are ordered to fill a range of dietary requests that seek to adapt to the religion and culture of the inmates.

"If a guy's salad isn't right, I'll make a phone call to try and get him the correct salad," said the 28-year-old guard, who is also a member of a task force.

The block guard recalled being attacked by a "cocktail" of feces, semen, blood and urine thrown by an inmate. He said guards are ordered to walk away.

"It's humiliating," the guard said. "A guy throws feces on you, and you've got to turn right back around and walk down a block that might have 40 people on it. They're making their little comments, and you go home and you change and you come back to work. Take a shower. Go to medical, get your screening."

Officials said al Qaeda inmates have attacked American guards on a daily basis. During the 12-month period that ended in August 2006, authorities reported 3,232 incidents of detainee misconduct. They included 432 assaults with bodily fluids, 227 physical assaults and 99 efforts to incite a disturbance or riot.

"This is serious stuff," Adm. Harris said. "And yet the guard force and the intelligence people maintain a remarkable degree of restraint and equilibrium. The young Americans that work here are doing a spectacular job in a dangerous place."

Officials said most guards are not allowed to handle Korans or other religious and cultural items for the inmates. The Korans, prayer beads and Islamic rugs are stored in a 300-foot long building similar to a small aircraft hangar.

Al Qaeda inmates have been taught to lie about Camp Delta and claim torture. Officials cited a terrorist training manual known as the Manchester Document and seized by British authorities in 2000. The manual directs al Qaeda operatives to make false claims of torture and mistreatment. More than 340 people have been released from Camp Delta.

“They're out there walking around spewing forth all manner of lies and evil things and distortions, but the fact is that they're released," Adm. Harris said.

XtnYoda Shalomed

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Gore Effect is coming to the world's attention.

The Gore Effect

It’s nearly enough to make one feel sorry for Al Gore: Unseasonably cold weather seems to follow the guy around. It’s almost eerie.

In January 2004, Al Gore visited Boston and New York to deliver a global-warming panic speech, and bitter cold weather came with him. Boston experienced its lowest temperatures in almost fifty years, while in New York it was -40 with wind chill. (At -40, it doesn’t matter whether you’re measuring in Celsius or Fahrenheit.)

Mr Gore just traveled to New Zealand touting his film An Inconvenient Truth, and it was dejavu all over again.

XtnYoda wonders how many centuries before the madness of this hype is acknowledged or admitted? It is also reported that the US Senate is going to be holding hearings on the MSM's ridiculous incessant hyping of global warming as the "next" impending disaster along with the "bird flus" etc, etc. Seems the solution to Global Warming is to just have Mr. Gore show up!

Why isn't the MSM hyping AIDS? It is a very present world wide pandemic of unparalleled proportions in human history?

XtnYoda Shalomed


Friday, December 01, 2006

Photo from

Photo from

Disinsectant Explosion Destroys Apartment, Cockroaches Survive

Created: 23.10.2006 14:24 MSK (GMT +3), Updated: 14:25 MSK

A grandmother’s fight against insects in her home has had her rushed to hospital after the anti-cockroaches liquid she was spraying around too generously exploded.

The woman, a 66 years’ old resident of Lvov, Ukraine, had been waging war against roaches for years, neighbors said.

She purchased a new anti-insects spray and before going to bed sprayed it all around the apartment, the Kazanskiye Vedomosti newspaper reports.

She most likely overdid it, because the concentration of dichlorvos got so heavy that it caught fire on the candle the woman had burning in the room.

The powerful explosion broke the doors and windows as well as some of the walls in the apartment. Many of the woman’s possessions burned in the fire. She had to be rushed to hospital with 40 percent of skin burned.

The neighbors however said the roaches survived. The disinsectant exploded before the insects inhaked enough of it.

Have no fear Human Race! Should we ever try to eliminate all of life from this planet the roaches will always survive. XtnYoda wonders what life form they would eventually evolve into? The writers of "Men in Black" probably have given us a pretty good idea!

XtnYoda Shalomed
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