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Friday, December 20, 2002
 
Tri-City Herald reports that a Christmas season production of Sweeney Todd was canceled.

Sweeney Todd is the story of sensitive man who assists a strugging fast food entrepreneur with a supply of meat, obtained by the serial murder of the patrons of his barber shop. The play was modifed somewhat for the benefit of the children.

As we know by way of Bizarre Bazaar in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the cancellation of a play depicting serial murder in the Aztec religious rituals.

I thought I'd add this to the Anything But Jesus Christ At Christmas Story List. Rod Dreher in NRO blogged the Pleasantville story


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:21 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Was a Catholic priest a member of the Provisional IRA and involved in bombings in which nine were killed. Did the Catholic Church and the UK cooperate in covering this up? Father Jim Chesney 1972. Reuters

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Mother Teresa on the fast track to canonization Yahoo via Reuters

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Republican Senator from Mississippi Trent Lott has resigned as Senate Majority Leader but remains in the Senate. Here is the National Review Online comment.

I have little to add but my personal opinion is that he failed the nation years ago in failing to insure that the impeachment trial of William Jefferson Clinton was serious and that this demonstrates for the first time the power of the blogs. I think opinions on the gravity of Lott's gaffe changed after the Internet was fully engaged.

Lott's cozy Senate buddies on both sides of the aisle and the mainstream media were prepared to give him a "pass". Especially as Lott became a liberal pinata. The Internet and its political writers did not.

This is a powerful and influential medium. If you have a blog, keep it updated, if you don't then start one.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The New York Times reports that the Bush administration is seeking to create a centralized system for the monitoring of users of the Internet.

Let me get this straight: the "privacy" right allows a woman to kill her unborn child, but the government doesn't think it's a violation of privacy to look at my keyboard, mouse, and screen.

I think that this will be a practical impossiblity and a constitutional non-starter but there will be a lot of fallout from this proposal.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The New York Times and New York Post report a tragic story of a newborn who either died shortly after birth from neglect or was murdered.

This doesn't rate page A1 outrage anymore. The story is on page B6 in the Times, page 9 in the Post. If you don't know the area, Stamford is an upper-middle class area of Connecticut. It's not likely that poverty was a factor in the decision of these teens. The Post decided to release the name of the "boyfriend" and presumptive father, but not the mother's name. The Times released neither. My guess is that they are minors and have not yet been charged with a crime.

In 1996, Amy Grossberg and Brian Peterson killed their newborn son. I was disgusted by the apologists for their sin and crime. We can expect more of the same in this case.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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In this Christmas season, the Voice of America celebrates the coming bankruptcy of the Catholic Church.
US Catholic Church Heading for Bankruptcy?

After reading that you may want to check out the Voice of America charter which includes the following

VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinion on these policies.

Meanwhile I'm waiting for Vatican Radio's discussion of the adequacy of Social Security funding in the year 2030. They may want to look at this comment from the Center for Pension Reform

In 1950 there were 17 workers for every retired person. Today there are three. By 2030 there will be just two.

I've got kids to get ready for school, and I've got to go to work to pay my taxes to support the VOA and the coming bankruptcy of Social Security. Will a future President pull a Henry VIII and confiscate the land and wealth of the Catholic Church? More later.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, December 19, 2002
 
The AP and ABC News report that a mother faked cancer in her child, convinced her and others in order to scam donations. This is totally depraved.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I couldn't think what clever thing to say about this Getty Photo

Somewhere over the Rainbow

or A pot of whupass at the end of the Rainbow

You have both comments.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sky News reports that there soon will be less Orange than Green in the six counties which are in Ireland and are now politically called The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Of course before the day when there is a Catholic majority in the six counties, its subjects might vote to become part of the Republic of Ireland. Perhaps after that event, the Catholic majority and Protestant minority might vote to remain subjects of the British Crown. In any event, I pray for peace and justice to find a home there long before that day in the not too distant future.

My mother was from County Monaghan where she was born on a farm close to the border.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The Screed of James Lileks has a great anti-anti-Christmas story. I am in Rod Dreher's debt for blogging this in the NRO Corner.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A bit of New York City history: the Automat

I actually went to this last open automat. I remember it as a dreary, worn-out looking place, with some people just using the place as a lounge, perhaps they were homeless and/or lonely but I'm not quite comfortable being in a restaurant where for each person eating, there are ten not eating. Since so many people felt as I did, these places all closed.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A former senior policy advisor to the United States Catholic bishops has a good explanation of the just war principles as it applies to Iraq in National Review Online. Here is the conclusion to entice you to read the whole thing:
This "grave and gathering danger" also must be considered in its proper context — the September 11 attacks — whether or not Iraq was directly involved. These attacks (a) set a new and previously unthinkable threshold for mass-casualty terrorism, (b) destroyed any illusion of immunity or exceptionalism on the part of a vast continental nation protected by broad oceans and friendly neighbors and (c) made wholly unacceptable any further tolerance of international terrorism's state sponsors. Iraq may not be the most active state sponsor of terrorism — that's Iran's dubious distinction — but it poses by far the most immediate threat. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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What is this talk about 'economic infrastructure' anyway? Why is it important? Donkeys and camels need hay. That is economic infrastructure. But human beings need Islam.

What a great quote! So read the rest of it at Tech Central Station


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Two more reasons to get the Wall Street Journal today:

An excellent op-ed by Douglas W. Kmiec, a Catholic under consideration for the very important U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He is the dean and St. Thomas More professor at the Catholic University of America School of Law. The article is Judge me by my work, not my faith.

He asks and answers the important question: Can an avowedly pro-life Catholic actually serve on such court?

And a really great letter to the editor under the heading How the the Church preserved Western Civilization by Rich Leonardi of Cincinnatti. A wonderful closing:

By subordinating Christianity to the whims of temporal rulers, Protestant church began to lose much of their relevance. And once this was lost, secularization began.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Part of this weblog will be stuff on the fringe of Catholicism and Christian, here's my first example. From the Wall Street Journal which today reports that a popular radio preacher is dead. (paid subscription required)

Now if we could only petition EWTN to revive the recordings of Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Fr. Charles Coughlin.

PASADENA, Calif. -- In a windowless studio here, a staff prepared an episode of the radio program "Thru the Bible." Behind a console, a sound engineer fooled with dials as an announcer read a short prelude to the main attraction -- the day's lesson from Thru the Bible's longtime host, J. Vernon McGee .

His folksy Bible show is a staple of Christian radio, carried daily on some 800 stations in the U.S. and Canada. The well-known interdenominational preacher's teachings are also beamed around the world via satellite and Internet in more than 100 languages, but not in his voice, from Afrikaans to Zulu.

But Dr. McGee wasn't present at the taping. He has been dead since 1988.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Good news you are likely not to see elsewhere: The New York Post reports that a Catholic parish which had been vandalized three times in a month will have a chalice and vestment donated by the New York Yankees.

Eric Lenkowitz of the Post got the name of the parish wrong. It is Saint Angela Merici The stadium is located in this parish which is in a particularly poor area of the Bronx.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, December 18, 2002
 
When Jesus Christ said that he would be found among the sinners I wonder if this is what he had in mind.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I also wanted to let readers know "what kind of Catholic" I am. I don't like labels, but if you want two, they would be practicing and faithful.

There's an Oath of Fidelity at EWTN and I wouldn't have a problem with it.

There's also the declaration of a person in the Rite of Reception of the baptized "I believe and profess all that the holy Catholic Church believes, teaches, and proclaims to be revealed by God." I answer Amen.

I've been in the Undernet IRC chat room as QuoVadis for about five years in #catholic and #catholics. I asked self-identified Catholics in the room if they agreed with the above declaration (without identifying it as liturgicial). None of them agreed.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Dontee Stokes attempted to kill Rev. Maurice Blackwell. The details are in the New York Times

I've written about this in Mark Shea's blog and Amy Welborn's blog and responded to Rod Dreher that this was a failure of justice, which would have been done if Stokes had been convicted on attempted murder.

Let's say that A was a bad person and B kills A.
In the murder trial B is acquitted by jury nullification.
A family member of A, namely C is enraged and he kills B -- because justice was not done.
In the murder trial C is acquitted by jury nullification.
B's family member D is likewise enraged and kills C.

Keep this us and we've got a Shakespeare play and Hatfields and McCoys as well. The cycle of violence is fueled by failure of the justice system to punish the guilty.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My day job is software developer for a Wall Street firm. Business Week has an article about people like me. I one of the economic victims of 9/11. I was unemployed for 12 weeks this year. The longest interval since I started working.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I like Metafilter. because it is full of stuff that I am not seeing anywhere else. Original Content. As my blog is about New York City, where I was born, raised, and now live, I'll be discussing it. Metafilter pointed me to Gawker. Discussion of things about New York, it might be too New York-centric for you.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The New York Times reports that a computer systems manager planted a software logic "bomb" into computers he was resposible for in order to make some financial gain thereby -- Roger Duronio formerly of UBS Paine Webber.

In my line of work, this is like violating the seal of the Confessional. It's a crime that represents a utter breach of trust. He faces up to 20 years and $7 million in fines.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I have my first blog scoop: Cardinal George of Chicago being considered for Boston reported by WMAQ in Chicago

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Another thing to get started is a little auto-biographical information. I'm a teacher of Catholic kids. My own kids are (in 2002) aged 9, 16, and 20. I have been teaching Grade 6 (i.e. 12/13 year olds) Catholic Religious Education for 10 years, and teens for a year.

I was asked once what makes are person good. For that answer I look to the Bible and read: Matthew 19:16-22 [RSV] Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments." "Which ones?" the man inquired. Jesus replied, " 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself.' "All these I have kept," the young man said. "What do I still lack?" Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.

I present this as (for everyone):

  • Live in accord with the laws of God and man.
  • Practice the virtues: generosity, patience, forgiveness, etc.
  • Moral consistency: practice what you preach.

For everyone who is Catholic, add:

  • Live a sacramental life (frequent Holy Eucharist and Confession)
  • Live a prayerful life
  • Share your time, talent, and treasure in the mission of the Church

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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One thing I like in the blogs of other people is a "watch". They pick up new words of jargon, cultural trends, etc. I'll start my own here: scare quotes watch. Scare quotes are a signal to the reader from the quoter that the meaning of the quoted word or words is not what you expect.

Here's a link to a page that explains more at the University of Sussex

My first example is material breach. Are the scare quotes there to let us know that there's President Bush's meaning of material breach, your meaning, and my meaning? Are they all different? If you want to put material breach in scare quotes then why not put "peace" in scare quotes as well, or "have" as in Saddam Hussein claims not to "have" weapons of mass destruction.

Here a Google search of news with material breach to get an idea of what I mean:


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:03 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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One of my favorite obscure unique sights in Mahattan is the "High Line Railroad". Never heard of it? See Wired New York and recent news in Crains New York which says The Bloomberg administration is scheduled to unveil its position today on the controversial High Line railroad amid speculation that it will endorse its preservation. One idea being discussed is to save the line and give additional development rights to the owners of the land under the tracks for their nearby property.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, December 17, 2002
 
I've given a few items to the Catholic League through the years. I'm in touch with "my inner William Donohue".

This one is a predictable regular. It's the "altar boy" tag.

From The New York Times December 16, 2002 The fingerprints and DNA pointed to her son's best friend, the chubby, 15-year-old former altar boy next door.

There's no connection between the murder and the fact that he was an altar boy.

This one from 1997 made it into the Catholic League newsletter. My lead to them was in the New York Times but this one is still accessible via CNN Serial murderer and homosexual Andrew Cunanan's bio always seems to include he was an altar boy.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:13 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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I’d like this blog to be interesting to the reader, provide some insight into the Catholic faith and it’s interface into our present time and culture, express my opinions about politics, media, and technology with a balance of logic and humor. In my first post I’d like to acknowledge the help and inspiration from Mark Shea and Rod Dreher who have given me the encouragement to add my voice to blogspace. For the greater glory of God, begin.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com