Saturday, May 30, 2015

Would Jesus Insult Islam?

In the 1990s, WWJD became a popular phrase and motto for a number of Christians who rightly believed that, before performing an action, we should ask ourselves, "What Would Jesus Do"? We don't see the bracelets very often these days, and although the phrase isn't as wide spread as it once was, I'd like to think that most Christians would still ask themselves that question today rather than act without thinking of the sinfulness of the action.

Today, it appears that "Draw Muhammed Contests" are becoming all the rage in the U.S.. One such event was planned for Friday, outside a Phoenix, Arizona mosque by "former Marine" Jon Ritzheimer who was encouraging folks to "utilize there [sic] second amendment right at this event just incase [sic] our first amendment comes under the much anticipated attack." Ritzheimer was quoted as saying, "This is purely 100% a Freedom of Speech Rally. Stand Tall and show that we can PEACEFULLY protest our rights that are under attack. That is the sole cause for this Rally and Islam wants to silence us."

Personally, I fail to see how bringing firearms to an event that intentionally insults a religious group can be call "peaceful". I'm also wondering how we Christians should react to this. Does Jesus ask us to stand outside a mosque wearing a "F**K ISLAM" T-shirt ?

Over the years, non-Christian's have displayed anti-Christian works of "art", such as the infamous "piss Christ" without fear of violent retaliation from the followers of Jesus. We Christians have, instead followed Christ's command to "turn the other cheek" and to forgive, "not seven times but seventy-seven times".

Obviously, Muslims will have a far different reaction. Are we permitted to insult Muslims because they fight back?

I am not asking these question out of fear of Islam or Muslim extremists. I hope that, should the time come, I'd be able to face death for Christ. I'm simply saying that we should treat Muslims the way we would like to be treated.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Clinton/Obama Feud Continues Over Kenyan Bride Token.

It's certainly no secret that President Obama and his former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton are not the best of friends. It's been reported that Mrs. Clinton referred to Barack Obama as ‘incompetent and feckless' and was quoted as saying of Obama, "You can’t trust the motherf***er".

Now, it appears that the two families have more reason to dislike each other.

In what appears to be a slap in the face toward the Clintons, Felix Kiprono, a lawyer in Nairobi, Kenya, has offered a bride token to President Obama for the hand of his 16 year old daughter, Malia. The bride token is said to consist of 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats. Kiprono's offer could be worth in excess of $90,000.

In 2000, then President Clinton was offered the bride token of 40 goats and 20 cows for daughter Chelsea's hand in marriage by another Kenyan, Godwin Kipkemoi Chepkurgor. I can understand how the Clintons would view this insult as a proverbial poke in the eye.

Naturally, President Obama and the First Lady have every reason to be proud. Even counting for inflation, the value of the bride token offered for Malia far and away exceeds the piddling amount offered for Chelsea.

Last August, Chepkurgor -a photographer - was "accidentally" killed in an elephant attack on while on assignment for the Kass Weekly magazine.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

In Defense of Larry D.

Let me go ahead and get this part out of the way; I've been a fan of Larry D and his actsoftheapostasy blog for several years now; long before his recent arrival at or even the wordpress version. I go back to the days when he was using to host his blog.

In all those years, I don't think I've come across any post he's written that has generated as many negative comments as his post entitled Getting Men Back To Church: It’s About Discipleship, Not Dickscipleship. Several of the comments were downright nasty.

Larry D had given us six signs of what he believed to be unproductive forms of evangelization, which he called Dickscipleship - as in being a dick. That's not the way I would have gone about it, but the six signs were pretty accurate and I believe most of the criticism directed toward him was over the top.

Larry D has always tried to inject humor into his stuff. Like all humor, sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. Although many of the negative comments referenced his "vulgarity", I suspect it may have been his remarks concerning the Extraordinary Form versus the Novus Ordo that actually struck a nerve with the folks who wandered over from

One fellow named Stephen wrote in the comment box, that Larry D's blog post had been linked to Pewsitter. Stephen believes that the link brought "tens of thousands of people" to Larry's "diatribe". That number seems a bit high to me, but it does go a long way in explaining why so many of the comments were hostile.

It'll all blow over in a day or two. Pewsitter will upgrade it's page, removing the link and their storm troopers will have forgotten all about Larry D. Things will soon be back to normal.

Climate Change Quote.

From an article at al Jazeera concerning climate change:

"It’s unclear weather casting climate change as a national security issue will lead to a bipartisan effort to tackle the problem. For now, though, the military appears to be taking the issue seriously on its own".

That's the worst spell of whether we've had in ages.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Horsemeat Post Update.

When events change, I do my best to keep up. Looking at my Google Analytics this evening, I discovered that someone in Mechanicsville, Virginia had recently visited my blog, landing on a post from December, 2011 - Let Them Eat Horse Meat.

In that post, I reported that, in 2005, President Bush had signed into law an appropriation bill which had removed funding for USDA inspection of slaughterhouses which choose to slaughter horses for human food. I also reported in that post that a bill, signed by Obama, reversed Bush's ban on horse slaughterhouse inspection.

I wanted to find out if anything had changed over the last few years regarding this issue. Doing an Internet search, I discovered that in 2014, President Obama signed a bill that would block the resumption of commercial horse slaughter in the U.S..

As I said in my earlier post, I don't have a beef with people who choose to eat horse meat. According to a wikipedia article, more than 4.7 million horses are eaten every year. Who are we to argue?

Maybe one day, we'll see the Chick-fil-A cows with signs reading, "Eat mo hoss".

Boy Scouts of America......No Ban on Stupidity.

Those who have read this blog for a while know that I am less than happy with the direction in which the Boy Scouts of American are headed.

Anyone reading anything regarding the BSA should not be surprised to learn that BSA policies prohibit pointing simulated firearms at people and "yes, that includes water guns".

According to the 2015 Boy Scouts of America National Shooting Sports Manual,

1) "Water guns and rubber band guns must only be used to shoot at targets, and eye protection must be worn."

2) "Pointing any type of firearm or simulated firearm at any individual is unauthorized. Scout units may plan or participate in paintball, laser tag or similar events where participants shoot at targets that are neither living nor human representations."

Why the rule?

Bryan On Scouting says, "A Scout is kind. What part of pointing a firearm [simulated or otherwise] at someone is kind?"

The BSA manual places water guns in the same category as crossbows, grenades, cannons, blow guns, spears and shovel throwing.

Shovel throwing?

Is that a big problem in the BSA?

With paintball and laser tag, the scouts may shoot at targets provided the targets are not "living nor human representations". You can aim these "simulated weapons" at targets, but not at targets that look human?

Look, I understand safety. I realize some things have to be banned for safety's sake, but they're not talking safety here......the BSA is regulating the use of water guns because pointing something that is shaped like a gun isn't "nice".

I'm sorry, but water pistols are not the gateway to killing. Can we have a little common sense here?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Vienna Traffic Signals No Longer Straight.

In 2014, the Eurovision Song Contest was won by Austria's "bearded lady", Conchita Wurst.

This year, the 2015 event will be held in Vienna, Austria. Just in time for the expected influx of folks arriving in the Austrian capital, the city will be replacing hundreds of traffic signals with new traffic lights showing an assortment of different couples walking hand in hand: a man and a woman, two men, or two women. Costing an estimated 63,000 euros, the lights will only remain up for six weeks.

According to the move is intended to showcase Vienna's tolerance and openness.

Sonya Vicht, of the 33rd municipal department, told reporters that......"It's an attempt to see if road safety can be improved". The city authorities are hoping that the distinctive new lights will attract more pedestrians' attention.

Protesters Block Access to Shell Oil Rig at Seattle Port.

An estimated 200 protesters gathered at the Port of Seattle on Monday to block oil workers’ access to a Shell drilling rig temporarily docked there on its way to the Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

Shell has been given approval to begin exploratory drilling in the area by
His Royal Highness President Barack Obama.

"I think it is important to also recognize that this is going to be a transition process,” he said. “In the meantime, we are going to continue to use fossil fuels, and when it can be done safely, and appropriately, U.S. production of oil and natural gas is important."

Are the "Progressives" who voted for Obama -twice- feeling buyers remorse yet?

I'm waiting to hear Hillary Clinton's plan on Arctic drilling. I'm sure she'll remain quiet as long as she can. Rocking the kayak might cost her too many votes.

Of course,the Progressives' not-so-wunderkind, Elizabeth Warren would most definitely support the protesters, if for no other reason than by doing so, she will have an opportunity to dress up like a Native American.

Monday, May 18, 2015

A New Template

At the risk of being Captain Obvious, I've changed this blog's template. It didn't start out to be that way. I few days ago, I had added the Disqus widget for the comments section. I hadn't received any comments, but the widget appeared to be working OK.

One problem I was having with the previous template had to do with sharing my posts on social media. Although the settings were showing the sharing widget to be working, the buttons were not appearing on blog posts. It looked as if my only option was to use an entirely different template. I wanted one as close to the one I'd been using, but unfortunately, the simple template with the white background was not to my liking.

So with the simple template in mind, I choose a Blogger template with a gray background.

I had to redo the Disqus widget and that was a royal pain. It's there now, as are the buttons for Google +, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Let's hope this does for the changes for a while.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sister Megan Rice Set For Immediate Release.

As mentioned in an earlier post, a U.S. appellate court has overturned sabotage convictions against 85 year old Sister Megan Rice and her fellow protesters, 66-year-old Michael Walli and 59-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed.

The court did uphold a lesser charge of injuring government property, defense lawyer Bill Quigley said he hoped the three would be re-sentenced to time already served, and freed.

Now, according to, their attorney confirmed that the court had ordered the activists’ immediate release, and expects the three to be released over the weekend.

"We would expect the Bureau of Prisons to follow the order of the court and release them as soon as possible," Quigley said.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

ASU Students believe "Walk Only Zones" Disrespect Disabled.

Sometimes, you just have to scratch your head and wonder.......what the @#^%$ is going on in this world?!

I recently learned that Arizona State University (ASU) designated certain high traffic areas on the ASU campus as "Walk Only Zones". According to the ASU website:

Walk Only Zones ".........enhance pedestrian safety and ease vehicle congestion on the Tempe campus." and "Walk-Only Zones enforcement is 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday.During enforcement times, no one may ride, drive or park wheeled vehicles in Walk-Only Zones".

The list of wheeled vehicles include:

Bicycles (traditional and motorized)
Delivery/Maintenance & Landscaping cars, trucks and carts
Electric vehicles and golf carts
Inline and roller skates
All motorized and wheeled vehicles.

ASU makes it perfectly clear that: "The Walk-Only Zones are not intended to limit or redirect use of mobility devices by individuals with disabilities".

Who could object to this?

ASU student Alec Melger, for one.

Melger has started an online petition at, "Change the name to 'Pedestrian Only' or any other inclusive title." The petition reads:

"ASU is one of the largest universities in the United States and is a place of work, learning, and leisure to over 75,000 people on campus. Enforcing "Walk Only" zones onto campus property marginalizes disabled bodies who cannot walk. This petition is in effort to make a more blanket title for these zones that encompasses the diversity of all bodies who occupy the community that is ASU."

When I came across an article which led me to Melger's petition, the petition had 56 supporters. Some of the reasons supporters used for signing the petition include:

"I was on crutches for 5 weeks and felt uncomfortable when seeing this sign."

"I am signing because the 'Walk Only Zones' are exclusive to only those who can walk. ASU has a diverse set of students and should be inclusive to all."

"This is necessary. Oppressive language is a microagression [sic] that needs to be addressed and is often forgotten about. Word choice is one of the easiest things to change and often one of the most powerful".

"equality for all, marginalization is engrained in society we have to work together to change the consciousnes [sic] of our community ".

"I'm signing because as a disabled" [sic]

Before leaving the at petition, I became Melger's 57th supporter. I didn't sign the petition because I actually support such absurdity, but rather because it gave me the opportunity to post my own reason for signing:

"I understand that people with disabilities may be hurt by the use of 'Walk only', however, the word 'pedestrian' should not be used either as that word comes from the Latin word for foot."

You have to stand up and be counted.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Time For Democrats to Switch Gears?

Even as she coasts toward coronation, not everyone in the Democrat Party supports Hillary Clinton for their Party's nominee for POTUS. There are so many Democrats unReady for Hillary, if fact, I had prematurely created a label for posts on this blog entitled The Warren/Clinton Slugfest. Unfortunately, we have as little chance of being entertained by that match-up as we were by the recent Mayweather - Pacquiao love fest.

In a piece for Al Jazeera, co-founder of US Uncut, Carl Gibson writes that the draft Warren movement needs to end. Gibson contends that, contrary to the wishes of Progressive Democrats, Senator Elizabeth Warren has no intentions of running for POTUS and those folks believing otherwise are hurting the chances of Democrats more suitable than Clinton.

The highlight in the article for me was Gibson's quote from Late Night host Seth Meyers regarding those who won't take Warren at her word, "If you asked a girl to prom this many times without a yes, they would ask you to transfer schools".

Gibson's solution?

In Gibson's plan, Democrats should immediately switch their allegiance from Warren to..........Bernie Sanders.

Without realizing it, Gibson has hit on a plan that will equally please hard Left wing Progressives and hard-line Conservatives on the Right.

I can hardly imagine any Democrat that Republicans would rather run against than Bernie Sanders.

Even when we disregard the Left versus Right component of a race between Sanders and any Republican who might win their Party's nomination, there is a recent YouGov poll showing that 92 percent of Americans prefer a presidential candidate under 60. News flash - Bernie Sanders hasn't fit that demographic for a long, long time.

With The Warren/Clinton Slugfest no longer a viable option, perhaps I should create a label entitled The Hillary/Bernie Slugfest.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Raul Castro Meets Pope Francis.

In the Pope Francis story of the week, it's being reported ( - - - - that following his visit to Russia to commemorate World War Two Victory Day, Cuba dictator Raul Castro made a stop at the Vatican to thank Pope Francis for his help in easing the tensions between Cuba and the United States.

In all the stories, emphasis was placed on Castro's statement that, if Pope Francis continues to proceed along the path he's taking, Castro might return to the Catholic faith.

"I will resume praying and turn to the Church again if the Pope continues in this vein," Raul Castro told reporters.

With the exception off the BBC, the media is taking Castro at his word. In his analysis for the BBC Will Grant hints that Castro's statement may be tongue in cheek. Grant points out that the state-run newspaper Granma omitted Mr Castro's comments about returning to the Church when it reported the meeting on its website.

I would hope that Castro was serious in his remarks. It could only improve conditions for the Cubans - it might even keep Raul Castro out of Hell.

Not everyone agrees that Castro's returning to the Church would be a positive step. Many of the comments on the NPR report of the story were hostile to the Church.

The Original DB wrote: "Well, joining the Catholic Church would certainly be the best place to go to get some expert advice on swindling people".

In his version of history,Dillard Jenkins wrote: "I do not trust Catholics with my freedom. In fact it was chiefly the Catholic church that brought slavery to the West Indies following Christopher Columbus's stumbling into these islands will looking for a shortcut to India".

From Ron Conti: "The pope inspires me also. But not enough to want to attend any church let alone the Catholic church. The church destroyed that feeling years ago".

We'll just wait and see how this unfolds.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Court Overturns Sabotage Conviction Against Nun.

A U.S. appellate court overturned sabotage convictions against Sister Megan Rice, 85, and her fellow protesters, 66-year-old Michael Walli and 59-year-old Greg Boertje-Obed. The 6th US District Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that splattering paint and blood on the walls of a US storage facility holding weapons-grade uranium did not threaten national security and did not merit charges of sabotage.

The court did uphold a lesser charge of injuring government property. Defense lawyer Bill Quigley said he hopes the three will be re-sentenced to time already served, and freed.

It had been reported in February that Sister Rice's living conditions in prison were "horrifying and deplorable". I had written at the time, that I felt the nun's conditions in the Metropolitan Detention Center were, as they were described by news sources at the time, unpleasant and inconvenient, but were hardly on the level of "horrifying and deplorable".

Never the less, I hope the three prisoners are re-sentenced on the charge of injuring government property and released soon.

Marriage in China.

I came across an interesting video on Although the English title given for the link to the video was "Gay Marriage in China", same sex marriage isn't the primary focus of the video. The main discussion deals with changes concerning marriage that those born in China after the 1980s now face.

This video is listed as episode 3. I'll look for further episodes.

Also, from the website,

For the last 30 years, China has seen massive development with challenges and struggles. It's home to China's largest and most charismatic young generation, a generation of approximately 240 million people born between 1980 and 1990. In the next 20 years, China will see this generation rising, bringing hopes and problems. But the relationship of this generation to the way they live their lives is indeed unique and extraordinary. In this program, we will look into this generation and how it is shaping modern China.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cantaloupes In Dreams.

For better, or worse, I like to keep track of just how well my website and blogs are doing on the Internet. I don't receive many comments on this blog, so it is difficult, at times, to judge who and/or how many folks are stopping by.

One way to get an idea of my audience is through Google Analytics. With Analytics, I can find the total number of visitors the site gets on any particular day, the city and country from where the visitors hail and the particular landing page. Google even lets me know how long the visitors stayed.

I can learned that visitor "A" arrived at my blog by way of Facebook, or the Google or Yahoo search engines. Yes, there is quite a bit of useful information to be gleaned. Unfortunately, some of the information coming from Analytics is next to useless.

One such useless piece of trivia is the "keyword" used on the search engines which led someone to your site. You'd think such information would be very useful. However, with I look at the "keyword", I often find either (not set) or (not provided). How can that possibly be of any help?

Today, on the other hand, I was given one "keyword" which was out of the ordinary. Someone in Atascocita, Texas had discovered my blog by putting "cantaloupes in dreams" into the Google search engine. As one can see, doing so will lead one to my post from Aug 28, 2014, Bananas and Dreams of Cantaloupes.

I'm not certain why anyone would do such a thing. I'm reasonably sure that they didn't receive the results they where actually searching for.

I am thankful that this person from Texas found their way to this blog. I'm also thankful that the person used Google, and not Bing or Yahoo; those two search engines do not reference my blog when searching for Cantaloupes in Dreams.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mayweather - Pacquiao Rematch? Let's Hope Not.

According to, Mayweather says he’ll fight Pacquiao again in a year.

In spite of being promoted as history in the making, the recent Mayweather - Pacquiao love-fest did not come close to living up to the hype.

Will I put down good money see a rematch? Not likely. In my view, both "boxers" stole the money paid out.

In the future, I'd rather watch this -

Why I'm Opposed to "Draw Mohammad Contests".

This past Sunday, in Garland, Texas two Islamic terrorists were shot dead after opening fire outside an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. According to CNN, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The organizer of the "Draw Mohammad Contest", Pamela Gellar, maintains that the deaths of the terrorists strikes a blow for Freedom of speech in the United States.

I don't agree.

Of course, in the United States, Gellar has the Constitutional Right to mock Islam with these drawings of Mohammad, and the terrorists have no Right to react violently to the drawings. Gellar believes the offended Muslims should simply "suck it up" if they want to live in a free society.

Gellar may very well be within her Rights, but should she intentionally offend someone because of their religious beliefs?

I don't think she should.

I do not defend Islam; I believe Muslims are Hell bound. I'm also realistic enough to know that quite a few people feel the same way about Catholicism. The Church is under attack by both atheists and Protestants and assorted New-agers.

Recently, vandals defaced a statue of the Virgin Mary at St. Thomas More University Parish and Student Center in Norman, Oklahoma.

Likewise, a Maryland synagogue was vandalized with swastikas a month ago.

No one defends the Rights of thugs to spew hatred toward Christians or Jews. Why aren't Muslims shown the same courtesy? I've come across comments online of some who would defend throwing pigs blood into mosques in America. Anyone calling for that sort of thing in a synagogue or church would rightly be called out as a bigot.

Shouldn't it be the same for Muslims?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Casey at the Bat.

From the poem by Ernest Thayer.

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Casey has struck out.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Filipinos Urged to Conserve Electricity During Pacquiao-Mayweather Fight.

I feel like I should state, from the beginning, that the source for this story is not Internet News Network (I.N.N.) . I confess, I've been guilty, in the past of posting links to satirical web stories, like Dead Beatles Reincarnate and Al Gore Sues Sun's Owner Over Global Warming, as a way of getting a few laughs, but I came upon this story on the Al Jazeera website, and as far as I can tell, the story is absolutely true.

According to Al Jazeera,

An energy official in the Philippines on Friday urged households to disconnect major appliances — but keep their televisions turned on — to avoid a mass blackout during Saturday night’s long-awaited bout between boxing champs Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

Rante Ramos, secretary for the Palawan Electric Cooperative, said turning off refrigerators in 15,000 households could reduce electricity use by 2 megawatts, enough to compensate for the heavy demand television viewers will place on electricity grids when they tune in to see fellow countryman Pacquiao take on Mayweather, an American.

Ramos said air conditioners, washing machines and electric pots also consume a lot of electricity and should be turned off.

Big power consumers – including malls, department stores and hotels – have agreed to disconnect from the grid and use their own power generators from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday to also help reduce the load.

It will be Sunday morning, here in Philippines when the fight is televised live from the U.S.. We were not able to purchase pay-per-view via our cable company. We're hoping, however that we will be able to attend at one of the local venues in Dumaguete where it might be available.

We'll attend the vigil Mass Saturday evening so we should be able to see the fight. If, as I hope, we'll be able to see the pay-per-view at Lee Plaza Sunday AM, I will do my part and turn off the AC in the apartment before heading into town. Sorry, but the refrigerator stays plugged in.

If we're unable to watch the live pay-per-view, there's no way I'll sit in this apartment without air conditioning. We'll just have to risk the brown out.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Let Them Eat Cannoli.

I have my morning rituals.

First, I get coffee into my system as quickly as I can. I've begun a daily walking regiment with my son, and if he is already awake, we'll head out on our morning constitutional, as they used to say. If he's still asleep, I'll have a second cup.

When we've returned home, I'll shower, have breakfast and then head for the Internet.

I have quite a few news sites that I visit every morning - a list of these news source can be seen on the right side of this blog. In addition to these news sites, there are a few blogs which I go to every morning.

This trip around the internet, is simply my way of coming upon something worst writing about.

One of the blogs I frequent is Mark Shea's, Catholic and Enjoying It. I can't say that I agree with Mr Shea on everything.....or even most things. We agree on the issues of torture and capital punishment, to name two.

Two areas where Shea and I disagree are 1) Michael Voris and 2) minimum wage. I don't believe I'm revealing any secret when I say that Shea really dislikes Voris, where as, Voris can caught me among his many fans.

Shea has been vocal in his support of increasing minimum wage. I am at an age and stage in my life where minimum wage does not affect me personally, but I can remember those days, long ago when I was trying to get by on the small amount of money such a wage provides.

I am against any increase in the minimum wage, not because I dislike the poor wage earner, but on the contrary. I am against raising minimum wage because such increases actually harm the very folks the increases are intended to help.

One example of how these increases arm the "little guy" is this story about a pizzeria in Seattle closing up shop due to the increase in the minimum wage in that city.

It may be one of the first casualties of Seattle’s new minimum wage law. The owner of Z Pizza says she’s being forced to close her doors, because she can’t afford the higher labor costs.
Devin Jeran was happy to get a raise, when Seattle’s minimum wage went up to $11 an hour at the beginning of the month.
“I definitely recognize that having more money is important,” he says, “especially in a city as expensive as this one.”
Unfortunately, he’ll only enjoy that bigger paycheck for a few more months. In August, his boss is shutting down Z Pizza and putting him and his 11 co-workers out of work.

Mark Shea lives in Seattle; I'm certain that he is -or soon will be - familiar with this story. He isn't shy about posting stories which he believes supports his views on minimum wage. I'd like to see him post something dealing with the other side, although I don't suspect he will. I'm afraid it's highly unlikely he'll mention the closing of Z Pizza.