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Complaints? Where there's wool, there's a way (Mark Steyn)
Chicago Sun-Times ^ | January 7, 207 | Mark Steyn

Posted on 01/07/2007 6:17:03 AM PST by xjcsa

January 7, 2007

BY MARK STEYN Sun-Times Columnist

As part of this column's ongoing commitment to in-depth coverage of the issues that matter, we're pleased to present the first of a new series: Sheep In the News. Here are two headlines from the last week. From the Wall Street Journal: "Ritual sacrifice? Not on my street, some Belgians say."

And from the Sunday Times of London: "Science told: Hands off gay sheep."

The first story is about the 25,000 sheep in Brussels that a few days ago found themselves pointed toward Mecca and then slit through the throat and bled to death. Muslims do this to celebrate Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to God and God's willingness to settle for a ram in lieu. The Belgian Muslim population has grown so fast that there aren't enough places in the city to perform the ritual sacrifice, and come Eid it's like sheep drivetime at every Brussels slaughterhouse, with rams backed up ram-to-ram as far as the eye can see. As reported by the Journal, Mohamed Mimoun grabbed his sheep, took a number and realized he was in for a two-hour wait. Even worse, en route to the slaughterhouse, he was stopped by a cop and fined for having the sheep in the trunk of his Toyota. By law, the sheep is supposed to ride in the rear passenger seats. Baa, baa, back seat.

On which note, let us turn to the gay sheep. Apparently, researchers at Oregon Health and Science University and Oregon State University have been experimenting with ovine hormonal balances in order to persuade homosexual rams of the error of their ways. It seems they've had "considerable success" with injecting hormones into the rams' brains. Suddenly the lads are playing the field and crooning a couple of choruses of "Embrace me, my sweet embraceable ewe."

Gay groups (human gay groups, that is: Even America does not yet have a 24/7 gay sheep lobby group with offices on K Street) are not happy about this. Martina Navratilova, the nine-time Wimbledon champ, has called for the project to be abandoned and for scientists to respect, as the Sunday Times put it, "the right of sheep to be gay." Many of us can sympathize. The poor old sheep gets it coming and going. If he's going to end up bleeding to death while turned toward Mecca, he ought at least be able to choose his orientation in the runup to it. Might as well be hung for a ram as for a ewe. Surely a sheep should be able to celebrate his own sexuality without a lot of crazed ovine eugenicists strapping him to a gurney and shooting him the hetero-juice. As they sing in the first act finale of ''La Cage Aux Folles'':

Life's not worth a damn

Till you can say, hey, world

I ram what I ram.

Meanwhile, Udo Schuklenk, professor of Bioethics at Glasgow Caledonian University, has warned that this research "brings the terrible possibility of exploitation by homophobic societies. Imagine this technology in the hands of Iran, for example. It is typical of the U.S. to ignore the global context in which this is taking place."

Nobody in Scotland seems to be spending much time imagining, say, nuclear technology in the hands of Iran, but in Glasgow they're up in arms about the mullahs getting sheep-straightening technology. If President Bush is looking for a casus belli against Tehran, the gay-ram angle may be the best shot at bringing the EU on board. "E U," by the way, is the abbreviation for "European Union" and not what a gay ram says in distaste when the lady sheep come strolling by en route to the dip.

Unlike Martina Navratilova, I'm no expert in sheep sexuality. Who put the ram in the ram-a-lama-ding-dong? I couldn't tell you. But I'm always interested in the internal contradictions of the rainbow coalition. If you're a farmer, a ram is an economic asset. So, if he's gay, he's useless. Back in the '80s, Jasper Conran, couturier to the princess of Wales, was said to have glanced out of his train window at some grazing Holsteins and sighed, "Black and white is so last season," an observation which (if somewhat apocryphal) helpfully distills the limitations of the gay sensibility applied to the farmyard. So, on hearing that experts have come up with a nicotine-patch-like sticker that a pregnant sheep can wear to straighten out any potential gayness in her fetus, your average farmer might well think it worth investing in.

And, if that happens, at what point will a woman's right to choose intersect with a farmer's right to ewes? Under Beijing's one-child policy, Chinese women exercised their "right to choose" the sex of their baby so radically that they now have the most gender-lopsided demographic cohort in history: millions of surplus boys for whom all the girl babies were aborted. Professor Schuklenk is right: "Homophobic societies" may well choose to de-gay their offspring. After all, much abortion practice is already explicitly eugenicist: If a woman can decide she doesn't want to carry a baby with Down syndrome or a cleft palate or because she only wanted one of the triplets, why should she be obliged to accept his orientation? Once you've redefined pregnancy in the radically individualist terms that abortion absolutists have, why should the modish pieties of political correctness prove any more effective a restraint than conventional social and religious morality? In 2005, responding to a highly hypothetical possibility of parental screening for a "gay gene," a Maine state representative introduced a bill for the protection of unborn gays. But it's hard to see why, in liberal abortion theology, unborn gays should be any worthier of protection than unborn straights.

Which brings us back to the streets of Brussels. Ann De Greef, a Belgian animal-rights activist, does not enjoy the annual Eid massacre. "It's not normal to have thousands of sheep slaughtered like this in the middle of a major European city," she complained.

Au contraire, it is. And, given Islam's demographic advantage, it's going to get ever more normal. Muslims pay Belgian farmers about 250 bucks to acquire a sheep for the ritual sacrifice, which suggests they're pretty serious about it. Indeed, given Islam's political muscle, it's more likely that the remaining restrictions on ritual sacrifice will be rescinded. Tired of standing in line at crowded slaughterhouses, many Brussels Muslims sacrifice the sheep at home -- which is illegal under Belgian law but which the state already turns a blind eye to.

The left carelessly assumes that the various factions in their identity-group coalition are allies in perpetuity who can be rounded up like sheep and pointed in the same direction. They're not. The Belgian sheep story is about demographic advance, the Oregon sheep story is about technological advance. But the most potent combination is technology yoked to demography: In other words, how much demand will there be for the latest innovation? Abortion for genetic abnormalities? Quite a lot in America. Abortion to decrease unwanted daughters? An awful lot in China and India.

And a patch to de-gay your baby?

We're poor little lambs who have lost our way. Baa-baa-baa.

©Mark Steyn, 2007


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: baabaabaa; marksteyn; steyn
OK, I searched 5 ways and found nothing; hope it's not a dupe post, but I'm surprised if nobody beat me to it.
1 posted on 01/07/2007 6:17:05 AM PST by xjcsa
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To: xjcsa

HA HA HA HA !


2 posted on 01/07/2007 6:20:33 AM PST by Brooklyn Kid (What's it to ya? ) ((....west of the Jordan, east of the Rock of Gibraltar.................))
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To: xjcsa
stopped by a cop and fined for having the sheep in the trunk of his Toyota.

I have a Toyota Corrola and I hate when that happens.

3 posted on 01/07/2007 6:22:03 AM PST by Graybeard58 (Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: xjcsa
Nobody in Scotland seems to be spending much time imagining, say, nuclear technology in the hands of Iran, but in Glasgow they're up in arms about the mullahs getting sheep-straightening technology.

Is it any wonder I love Mark Steyn?
4 posted on 01/07/2007 6:24:02 AM PST by rightwingintelligentsia (Hopeless Mark Steyn Groupie)
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To: Graybeard58

If cars still had rumble seats, he could have claimed the ram was a date, silencing the gay lobby - and possibly avoiding the ticket.


5 posted on 01/07/2007 6:31:35 AM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: xjcsa

This link works: http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/200050,CST-EDT-STEYN07.article

When I lived in Dallas in the early 1990s, there was a brouhaha about goats being sacrified in the parking lot of a public housing project. The animal rights people got into it with the diversity crowd preaching tolerance. If they want to sacrifice sheep and goats, they should return to their ancestral hell holes to do so.


6 posted on 01/07/2007 6:36:27 AM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: xjcsa
Which brings us back to the streets of Brussels. Ann De Greef, a Belgian animal-rights activist, does not enjoy the annual Eid massacre. "It's not normal to have thousands of sheep slaughtered like this in the middle of a major European city," she complained.

But slaughtering thousands of people are fine, right Ann?

7 posted on 01/07/2007 6:36:33 AM PST by period end of story (I miss 2006.)
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To: xjcsa
Ann De Greef, "It's not normal to have thousands of sheep slaughtered like this in the middle of a major European city," she complained.

Gee, ya think?


8 posted on 01/07/2007 6:44:12 AM PST by Condor51 (Mayor Daley (D-Chi) For POTUS. Really, why not? He's more conservative than Rudy! /s)
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To: xjcsa
If you're a farmer, a ram is an economic asset. So, if he's gay, he's useless.

Yup, it's ewes it or lose it!

I'll go hide now.

9 posted on 01/07/2007 7:06:25 AM PST by Carry_Okie (Islam offers three choices: fight, submit, or die.)
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To: xjcsa
Posted here.
10 posted on 01/07/2007 7:17:32 AM PST by SunTzuWu
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To: xjcsa
We no long permit 'stoning' of 'offenders'; why do we permit this?

Animal sacrifice en masse in one's community; or just the lone slaughter of a goat in the 'back yard'. . .down the street; I think does not follow the time/place - and to the authority of the who as executioner - the criteria for culture or societal appropriateness.

These people who cannot adapt. ..should stay where their own culture is grown and appreciated.

11 posted on 01/07/2007 7:35:17 AM PST by cricket (Save a Terrorist - join the Democrats/Live Liberal Free; or suffer their consequences)
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To: cricket

Should not be allowed except in ME hell-holes. And at that public housing where they were doing this, they banned it, right? Or are these sacrifices happening here in America??????????


12 posted on 01/07/2007 7:57:41 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: xjcsa
To this whole article I am LMAO! But...

Nobody in Scotland seems to be spending much time imagining, say, nuclear technology in the hands of Iran, but in Glasgow they're up in arms about the mullahs getting sheep-straightening technology.

No one points out the absurdities of twentieth-first century life, and the seriousness and the silliness, better than Mark Steyn!

BTW, Mark Steyn will be speaking at the Heritage Foundation in DC on Wednesday Janury 10. Check oth theri web site at:

http://www.heritage.org/Press/Events/ev011007a.cfm

13 posted on 01/07/2007 8:04:51 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: Give therapeutic violence a chance!)
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To: xjcsa
Unlike Martina Navratilova, I'm no expert in sheep sexuality. Who put the ram in the ram-a-lama-ding-dong? I couldn't tell you.

ROTFLMAO!

14 posted on 01/07/2007 8:06:05 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: Give therapeutic violence a chance!)
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To: bboop
Should not be allowed except in ME hell-holes. And at that public housing where they were doing this, they banned it, right? Or are these sacrifices happening here in America??????????

Hi, bb !

When I lived in student housing at the U of A, the Arab students often killed and prepared goats in their bathtubs in the aprtments. Whether it was just for barbeque, or for sacrifice, nobody asked. We all just assumed it was for eating, and the U never seemed even to notice. And that was quite a while back.

15 posted on 01/07/2007 8:07:45 AM PST by Red Boots
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To: xjcsa

Mark at his very best! Grand humor, side splitting humor in fact ... yet a deep and wise message therein.


16 posted on 01/07/2007 8:13:36 AM PST by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support. Promote life support for others.)
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To: xjcsa

Hmmmm...a hormone patch you say?

Might just work.

BRILLIANT!


17 posted on 01/07/2007 8:27:30 AM PST by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: Rummyfan

Life's not worth a damn

Till you can say, hey, world

I ram what I ram.

Very Funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


18 posted on 01/07/2007 8:42:00 AM PST by jamndad5
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To: xjcsa
Paging Annie Proulx! Here's your sequel: The Sheeping News.

To both stories, in fact.

19 posted on 01/07/2007 8:43:08 AM PST by Tenniel ("Why has the Nobel been awarded to 167 Jews, and only four out of 380 million Arabs?" -- S. Ubeid)
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To: bboop
Or are these sacrifices happening here in America??????????

. . .I think it depends on your neighorhood zoning; and how many 'practitioners' of such may live in your District as to what governance is being applied here.

Seems I remember in Florida; case where 'animal sacrifice' was challenged and directed under 'religious freedom' and sooooooo. . .think this it how it proceeds; but do not know total 'end of story' here. . .

20 posted on 01/07/2007 9:05:31 AM PST by cricket (Save a Terrorist - join the Democrats/Live Liberal Free; or suffer their consequences)
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To: Red Boots

RB, you are KIDDING? That is disgusting. I will call you next ...


21 posted on 01/07/2007 9:24:36 AM PST by bboop (Stealth Tutor)
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To: Howlin; riley1992; Miss Marple; deport; Dane; sinkspur; steve; kattracks; JohnHuang2; ...

Steyn ping!


22 posted on 01/07/2007 9:26:42 AM PST by Pokey78 (‘FREE [INSERT YOUR FETID TOTALITARIAN BASKET-CASE HERE]’)
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To: xjcsa

"willingness to settle for a ram in lieu."

And if you've ever had your lieu rammed, you know painful it is.


23 posted on 01/07/2007 9:33:28 AM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: Carry_Okie
Yup, it's ewes it or lose it!

Steyn is a professional, don't try this at home. :)

24 posted on 01/07/2007 9:46:50 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: Rummyfan

CSpan? I hope, I hope...


25 posted on 01/07/2007 9:49:16 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: AmishDude

Hopefully!


26 posted on 01/07/2007 9:49:46 AM PST by Rummyfan (Iraq: Give therapeutic violence a chance!)
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To: Rummyfan

Oooh, Heritage has a podcast!


27 posted on 01/07/2007 9:52:35 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: xjcsa

I sense a business opportunity here. I'm gonna raise me up some gay sheep in Brussels and rent out a soccer stadium for the sacrifice. Lessee...250 buckadingdongs a head (so to speak), 20 bucks for knife rental plus a security deposit and you know some of these goofs are gonna lose the dang thing, and a big ol' Texas barbecue afterward at a tenner an attendee or a hunnert for a family. Non-alcoholic Bud (it might as well be anyway) and burqa-clad pole dancers. I'm gonna be rich...


28 posted on 01/07/2007 10:00:28 AM PST by Billthedrill
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To: 3AngelaD
The animal rights people got into it with the diversity crowd preaching tolerance.

That is hilarious because both sides are media darlings and SO PC! The Dallas Morning News reporters must have been in torment deciding how to report it; do you remember if they chose a side?:)

29 posted on 01/07/2007 10:02:34 AM PST by xJones
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To: bboop
"Or are these sacrifices happening here in America??????????"

Our former Palestinian neighbors would slaughter lambs in their back yard as part of a big celebration; I wasn't attuned enough to Islam in those days to say whether it was an Eid thing or not, though. Their pet rabbit, which used to sneak under the fence into our yard to the consternation of our dog, met the knife there one day too. Dunno if they were faced towards mecca as their throats were cut... Their kids stomped on butterflies and poured caustic laundry chemicals on a trapped skunk. Not nice to animals in general, those folks.
30 posted on 01/07/2007 10:05:05 AM PST by RightOnTheLeftCoast ([Hunter/Rumsfeld 2008!])
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To: Pokey78
If you're a farmer, a ram is an economic asset.

Ah! Everything comes clear. Liberals don't believe in property rights. And the animal rights whackos think that treating animals like property is sacreligious. So really, this is all about freedom.

31 posted on 01/07/2007 10:10:51 AM PST by irv
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To: xjcsa

Ewe embraceable ewe

or

Ewe had me at hello.


32 posted on 01/07/2007 10:12:43 AM PST by NeoCaveman (Conservatism hasn't been tried and found wanting, it has been found wanting to be tried.)
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To: AmishDude
For Those that dont know Mark can be heard every thursday night on the Hugh Hewitt show on any Salem talk Radio Station
33 posted on 01/07/2007 10:14:57 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Oh, and Hugh Hewitt is podcasted on Townhall's podcasting. If you have iTunes, you can hear Hugh by Friday morning at the latest.


34 posted on 01/07/2007 10:17:30 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: Pokey78

Thanks for the Steyn ping, Pokey!

(Bragging moment: I got Steyn's "America Alone" for a Christmas present, and what a delight it has been to read!)


35 posted on 01/07/2007 10:19:18 AM PST by alwaysconservative (Calling illegal aliens undocumented workers is like calling drug dealers undocumented pharmacists.)
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To: AmishDude

I meant you can hear Mark by Friday morning. You can hear every one of Hugh's shows by the next morning.


36 posted on 01/07/2007 10:20:18 AM PST by AmishDude (It doesn't matter whom you vote for. It matters who takes office.)
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To: AmishDude

Very Cool. I love Hughs show


37 posted on 01/07/2007 10:20:56 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: xjcsa

38 posted on 01/07/2007 12:08:25 PM PST by Gritty (Europe can forget about integrating Muslims. We will get an ugly outcome not a solution.-L Hedegaard)
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To: xjcsa
OK, I searched 5 ways and found nothing; hope it's not a dupe post

Never fear, it's OK to duplicate a Steyn post. Marcus Maximus Steyn is a guiding light during these rather dim times.

39 posted on 01/07/2007 12:32:26 PM PST by Maynerd
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To: xjcsa

I'm still half thinking that this is a hoax put up by the Onion or some other satirical magazine. Liberals can't really be seriously loony enough to care about curing gay sheep...can they? The "rights" of gay sheep. Sheesh...I just can't believe it.


40 posted on 01/07/2007 1:28:24 PM PST by driftless2
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To: SunTzuWu
Posted here.

Nice.

41 posted on 01/07/2007 1:37:57 PM PST by xjcsa (Ecotards annoy me.)
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To: Tax-chick
...crooning a couple of choruses of "Embrace me, my sweet embraceable ewe."

Bwaa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

42 posted on 01/07/2007 2:06:42 PM PST by NCSteve
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To: xJones

I really can't remember very well. It seems to me that there was a third side, the public health people, and that is kind of what the paper leaned toward. I just remember thinking at the time that next they would be stoning adulterers and chopping off the hands of thieves in the publc housing projects, but no luck there. I hadn't heard about the female mutilation yet.


43 posted on 01/07/2007 5:23:09 PM PST by 3AngelaD (ic.)
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To: Rummyfan
Unlike Martina Navratilova, I'm no expert in sheep sexuality. Who put the ram in the ram-a-lama-ding-dong? I couldn't tell you.

ROTFLMAO

What's so funny to me and others old enough to remember it, there was a rock and roll song with that title!

44 posted on 01/07/2007 5:40:20 PM PST by OldPossum
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To: Pokey78
Thanks for the ping, Pokey!

I have a problems with my livestock, though. I asked them to "go straight," but this is what they did (maybe they're closet metro??):


45 posted on 01/08/2007 12:36:04 AM PST by Watery Tart (I voted for RETRO, not Metro!)
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To: Pokey78; xjcsa

Good Steyn. Bump for the morning crowd.


46 posted on 01/08/2007 2:57:27 AM PST by metesky ("Brethren, leave us go amongst them." Rev. Capt. Samuel Johnston Clayton - Ward Bond- The Searchers)
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To: NCSteve
The poor old sheep gets it coming and going. If he's going to end up bleeding to death while turned toward Mecca, he ought at least be able to choose his orientation in the runup to it. Might as well be hung for a ram as for a ewe.

Wouldn't that be, "BAAAAA-HAHAHAHAHAHA!"?

47 posted on 01/08/2007 5:05:38 AM PST by Tax-chick (What's this we have now?)
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To: xjcsa
If President Bush is looking for a casus belli against Tehran, the gay-ram angle may be the best shot at bringing the EU on board. "E U," by the way, is the abbreviation for "European Union" and not what a gay ram says in distaste when the lady sheep come strolling by en route to the dip.

LOL!!!

48 posted on 01/09/2007 2:28:23 PM PST by Pyro7480 ("Give me an army saying the Rosary and I will conquer the world." - Pope Blessed Pius IX)
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