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Saturday, October 04, 2003
 
Hearsay

In the circles that Arnold was in as a bodybuilder and as a Hollywood star it's much more common for women to "present" themselves to a star for some sort of intimate contact - with a frequency and intensity that would shock people not in show business.

It's a form of feudal homage or a curtsy.

My friend was saying that, for some women not getting a kiss, a touch on the breasts, or buttocks is the equivalent to having an offered handshake refused. (What? Am I not sexy enough for you?)

I think this is an exaggeration: that interpersonal contact in Hollywood is operating on that depraved a level.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, October 03, 2003
 
Forwarding Address

Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz notes -- in his words -- "many journalists who in the past have written about the pope's health are already in heaven." (AP story)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A warning to the Masada wing of the Catholic Conservatives:

If Arnold loses by the margin represented by the McClintock votes, you will not be forgotten.

I offer Masada as the extreme model of non-accomodation, refusal. Rather than surrender to the Romans, they chose to kill themselves.

A warning to the Charlemagne wing of the Catholic Conservatives:

If nothing changes in issues of importance to Catholics in Arnold's California compared to Davis, you will not be forgotten.

I offer Charlemagne as the model of cooperation between Church and State. The Roman Church, on its own, decided to reconstruct the Roman Empire around this Frankish warlord, who might have been called a barbarian. Charlemagne saw the advantage for him in being annointed by the Church which clearly was the means by which Europe would rise from the ashes of the Dark Ages.

You might even associate the fictional Conan of Robert E. Howard with Carolus Magnus.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Prayer and Activism:

My checklist for hope.

  • 1. Arnold will win.
  • 2. McClintock will run against Boxer and win.
  • 3. Bush 2004 will carry California.
  • 4. The Republicans will win 60 in the Senate.
  • 5. Bush will successfully appoint a clear pro-life majority on the Supreme Court.
  • 6. State by state, meaningful restrictions on abortion will be passed.
  • 7. Wide use of imaging of unborn children and other technologies will dramatically change hearts and minds on the abortion debate.
  • 8. A human life amendment to the US Constitution will be enacted.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Rush Limbaugh Update:

Sticking to his guns on the overrated-McNabb story. He wants us to read this Slate story "Rush was Right"

"No comment" on the drug investigation. If what he is accused of is completely true, it's hard to believe he can't avoid a felony conviction: for a first offense it would be community service and not jail time.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Detecting a common thread in the recent news

I've been taken to task for not keeping my blog "Catholic". I think the news with the perspective of various Catholic bloggers is just an exciting means to communicate and create a community. I'm a employed in a Wall Street firm and news tracking is part of the job.

The common thread in the news is disloyalty and detraction.

The disloyalty is manifest in the Wilson-Plame case, starting with Wilson own op-ed piece in the New York Times which made the false accusation against President Bush personally -- that Bush lied in his 14 words in the State of the Union address -- a story which had already faded from the news cycle. Wilson had been involved in confidential discussions and signed a non-disclosure aggreement with the government.

There are about 50 routine investigation requests the move from the CIA to Justice to the FBI regarding the disclosure of information that the CIA would rather not be public knowledge. The investigatory request is itself confidential -- but it was leaked. So much of this story is driven by unnamed sources that it would exhaust you to read a listing of them.

In the case of Limbaugh, it's either a leak from the State Attorney's office, or more likely Cline's lawyers and the Enquirer feeding stuff to the press -- accusations damaging Limbaugh's reputation. This is detraction. We've got a free press but it's a lack of fairness and I believe a sin to make these accusations without providing the details that would allow one to judge their veracity. Of course, the proper place to do this is a court of law, but in Limbaugh's case -- you can hurt him without obtaining a guilty verdict. If this woman was an employee of Rush, the honorable thing to do would have been to resign once she was asked to do something that was illegal and report it to the police.

I've been tough on Martha Stewart but what I mention about her is real evidence and statements that have been made publicly.

In the case of the accusations against Arnold Schwarzenegger, these women had an obligation to make a civil or criminal complaint aganist him for which AS could defend himself -- or at the very least make a contemporaneous public accusation. This is calculated to extract a punishment from the candidate that the women are not entitled to: his defeat at the polls.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, October 02, 2003
 
New York Sun: Winning Ugly By JOEL KOTKIN (no link available)
Mr.Kotkin is a senior fellow with the Davenport Institute at Pepperdine University. He is writing a history of cities for the Modern Library.

If he survives the recall, which now seems increasingly possible, Gray Davis will have done so by winning ugly. This has been the essence of his political career and, whenever he departs California’s creaky political stage, this ugliness will remain his legacy to the state.

Winning ugly — much as the Detroit Pistons of the early 1990s on the way to two NBA championships or Pat Riley’s Knicks later on — consists of getting your goal in ways that actually hurt everyone else and the game itself. You throw elbows, you cheat, you complain about every call, and, at the end of the day, still end up with the ring.

Mr. Davis learned to win ugly to make up for the fact that he lacks even the most basic elements of leadership and never possessed a strong set of beliefs.This observation comes from more than 25 years of observation and from knowing a good many of the people who, along the way, have helped propel him into the nation’s most important statewide office.

The article quoted in part above appeared Monday in the New York Sun.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Mepham Update:

Newsday: Source: Mepham Hazing Was Pervasive at Camp

The big issue now is whether the 3 teens will be tried as adults.

For me the statements from the coaches are interesting:

  • We were there.
  • It's our job to make sure things are safe and we're very serious about that.
  • We did everything they could to keep players safe during the trip.
  • We checked the paperwork.
  • We're not responsible for anything that happened.

That's a statement crafted by lawyers to avoid an admission of liability. It's cynical.

I see now why the parents want to have the principal suspended -- he was warned that one of accused students prior to the trip had threatened one of the players -- the parent was told that it was just a fight between two boys -- and permitted the older player to make the trip where he acted on the threat.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Cathedral Update:

FCC Issues Fine over St. Patrick's Cathedral

$357,000 against Infinity Broadcasting, the producers of Opie and Anthony.

As I blogged earlier, Brian Florence the man involved in the act of sexual intercourse in the vestible of the Church died last week.

Press accounts of this story omit the role of a commerical sponsor: Samuel Adams Beer as reported by Catholic League This was a Sam Adams contest. to "make love" in outrageous places. Here is the apology


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Another New York hip weblog I've just discovered: megnut.com by Meg Hourihan.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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This secret was kept for over half a century

I went to Mass and got some inspiration on the subway ride home -- who's a parallel to Rush Limbaugh and this drug allegation. So this is original -- not a lift from another blog.

John F. Kennedy: President and pain-killer abuser.

Here's the story: John F. Kennedy became addicted to pain killers as a result of a war injury. Friends were concerned that his careless use of them was affecting his judgment.

The media helped conceal this from the public: when he was running for Congress, when he was in the Senate, when he was running for President, when he was president, and after he died. The reporters, then the biographers, and finally the historians. All cooperating in covering-up a significant true fact about the man with the power to place the country and world into war. (as nearly happened in October 1972) and this continued for 57 years.

The History News Network reviews the details of what was finally disclosed in 2002.

It just shows you what you can do with political power and how monolithic the press was back then.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Re: blogging I can't recall a time since I started the blog when things has been so intense:
  • Mepham High School
  • Rush Limbaugh
  • The Novak leak
  • The war on terror
  • Militant anti-Catholicism
  • The sexual abuse scandal
  • The Pope's heath and the new cardinals

My Guardian Angel is telling me to get a life and get in front of the Blessed Sacrament and pray for this world.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Follow-up

My earlier rumor alert from New York talk radio: that damaging information to Arnold Schwarzenegger was being withheld to be released on Thursday has proven to be true.

Arnold immediately gave what I thought was a complete and sincere apology to these women:

  • I did it.
  • What I did was wrong.
  • I was responsible.
  • I am sorry.
  • I won't do this again.

Lasting damage: zero.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Ashbrook Center: Peter Peter Schramm spells it out on Wilsongate
The Washington Post and the other suspect elite media are on top of this non-story. They smell scandal, and they mean to have one.

This guy Wilson is all over television going on about I-don’t-know-what. But he wants some satisfaction; this foreign policy advisor and contributor to Kerry’s campaign, this intellectual snob, this self-serving chest thumper, does want satisfaction.

Is there anyone who has seen this guy for more than two minutes think that he is a straight shooter, that he is really concerned about his third trophy-wife’s well being, that he is really concerned about national security, etc.?

Well, I don’t. I think all this is a phony storm, nothing interesting will be discovered, and the investigation will go on and on, the President will be blamed more and more, and there will be no clarity, the so called scandal will just hang in the air.(Why doesn’t he conduct his own internal investigation? Why doesn’t he fire someone already? The justice department can’t really do it right, so maybe we ought to have an independent counsel, and so on.)

There's more but Peter's views match my own.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Some observations regarding Limbaugh and the hypocrisy of his attackers...

Amy Ridenour's article and blog

An ESPN spokesman said ESPN didn't think Limbaugh's comments were racially biased, yet ESPN released a statement saying Limbaugh's comments were 'insensitive and inappropriate' and George Bodenheimer, the president of ESPN Sports, says Limbaugh's subsequent resignation from ESPN was 'the appropriate action to resolve this matter expeditiously.' Yet ESPN has posted on its website a poll asking visitors if McNabb has been overrated because of his race. Why is it inappropriate for Limbaugh to discuss media coverage of McNabb but not inappropriate when ESPN does it?"

This morning Rush was gracious to ESPN -- but it's clear that they let him twist in the wind (to use an old Watergate metaphor)


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Timing is everything

Here are two statements:

(1) Donovan McNabb is getting credit he didn't deserve from the sports media.

(2) The NLF and the sports media are desirous to have black quarterbacks and coaches succeed.

and separate them by 5 minutes. No problem

Connect the two de-generalized the statements in 5 seconds and, if you are simplistic, make it look like criticism of McNabb because he is black.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:52 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Daily News: Rush Limbaugh in pill probe

Rush is being accused in the paper of abusing prescription drugs and using his housekeeper to obtain them.

The district attorney and Rush will neither confirm nor deny the allegations.

It looks from the Daily News account that there's some proof in the hands of Wilma Cline of these allegations. It looks to me like she may have been blackmailing Limbaugh and he refused to pay up.

Savvy criminal attorneys said on talk radio that if Rush agrees to go into rehabilitation and probation, this is quickly resolved.

There may be a Martha Stewart-like impulse to make an example here of Rush and throw the book at him. I hope they don't.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My opinion on Rush Limbaugh's controversy on ESPN

Rush Limbaugh attacked the sacred cow of racial diversity in the NFL. How could he think that on of ESPN that it would not be pulled out of context and rather than being a comment on the media's handling of McNabb the opinion would refer to the player himself? McNabb in a press conference was barely articulate but he said that he took it personally and would refuse an apology if Rush were to offer one.

Rush is a commentator. He's paid to have opinions.

Rush misjudged the willingness of people to tolerate politically incorrect opinions on race awareness in the the NFL. Rush misjudged that Al Sharpton and the promoters of racial hatred would seize upon this as a club to beat him. All that the people that Rush really did criticize: sports journalists would close ranks and pull out the daggers.

Was this calculated by Rush to push the envelope on getting an opinion that called attention to McNabb's race into the dialog among sports journalists? Or just an inadvertant slip?

Rush had to resign when he realized that he'd get no backup from ABC and ESPN. He would continue to be a distraction from what the work that other people do on NFL Countdown. But sports writers are gloating that he quit. (George Willis in the New York Post, for example).

Strange, but no one is contradicting his point that the media are very desirous that a black quarterback do well. I guess it is a truth that is best left unsaid. Personally, I don't know enough about McNabb's performance to have an opinion if he is overrated or the general issue revolving around the sports journalists. But my hypocrisy detector is glowing -- if an accredited sports journalist -- one who has paid their dues covering unpopular sports for years, for example -- made the same point that Rush made -- there would have been no outcry. I even hope that someone skilled in Nexis/Lexis is looking for such stories right now. It wasn't just what was said but who said it.

Disclosure: I don't follow the NFL except to watch parts of the Jets and Giants games when I happen to be home and have some time on my hands.

I have admired Rush Limbaugh since 1989 when he arrived in New York City. I worked in Two Penn Plaza which he called the "Excellence in Broadcasting" building. We shared the elevator a few times-- "Hi, Rush" -- until 1993. He was a pleasant guy and really overweight at that time.

I think this points to an unpreparedness, one might say, an immaturity, for television to handle controversial issues that radio, internet, and print can handle.

I think Rush Limbaugh will recover from this one. I think everyone on television is going to be really, really careful to bring up the subject of racial awareness on the part of the NFL and the media covering the NFL. Anyone feeling a chill to free speech here?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:23 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, October 01, 2003
 
My Valerie Plame-Wilson update

I looked for an official statement regarding her status in the CIA as low-level-employee... contact... officer... official... operative... agent... analyst... non-official-cover... and if her status was covered by the cite: 50USC421. Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982. It applied to covert agents.

It's not been confirmed that Valerie Plame-Wilson had a covert status or that she worked outside the United States, which is a requirement for the application of this law. The covert status must be actually constructed by the CIA. It can't merely be that the employee was reluctant to share with neighbors who his employer is.

The disclosure has to be made by someone is aware that the government is attempting to maintain the agent's covert status.

ABC News to milk this story for more news conducted a poll - even before the most basic facts are confirmed

Here's hypocrisy for you: the same reporters who says that this leak is a scandal are the ones who benefit most from the leaks. They now demand that investigators turn the White House upside down, but these reporters know without an investigation. They were told and tell could now confirm or deny if this leak originated in the White House -- but they won't. It's up to them to tell the truth on a voluntary basis but they won't because public knowledge of the truth would end the story and end the Bush attacks. Novak doesn't want to burn his source, but Wilson isn't revealing all he knows and others who were contacted by this alleged leaker could come forward.

Hypocrisy: the Novak column was basicaly ignored. But the anti-Bush left kept circulating that talking points that someone must have violated IIPA to tell Novak. And this accusation got repeated and repeated and repeated. And it morphed into a scandal.

Hypocrisy: Joseph Wilson is so concerned for the privacy of his wife that he's appearing on every cable news show that he be on talking about himself and his third wife and speculating who will play them in the movie (and I wonder if that line will be in the movie). This over-exposure is at the Joey Buttafucco level -- a full 15 minutes of fame.

Puzzle: Why get to Wilson by destroying his wife's career? What genius believed that this would just nuke Valerie Plame-Wilson and disappear from sight?

Bottom Line: If there any evidence of a link in the White House (as opposed to the CIA) then go ahead, get a special prosecutor. Bring it on! My frustration matches Ben Bradlee's in "All the Presidents Men" (during Watergate) doesn't anyone want to go on the record?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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New York Post: Beastly Fright at the Opera
September 30, 2003 -- Opera fans got horror along with their high notes last night as animal-rights activists waved the bloody carcasses of skinned foxes in their faces at Lincoln Center.

"Here's the rest of your fur coat!" protesters screamed as hundreds of patrons in evening gowns and tuxes poured into the season opener of "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera.

The grisly demonstration was staged to "confront opera attendees, who are notorious fur-wearers, with the gory reality of where fur coats come from," said a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Elton John, Mayor Giuliani, Kofi Annan and Oscar de la Renta were among the notables in attendance, but they were ushered in through an underground entrance.

No -- I'm not going to post the photos.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Send your creatures to Heaven or Hell

Gamespot streaming video

Review: Heaven & Hell is a strategy game that plays on the you-are-a-god theme in the same vein as Black & White and Populous. As a god, your goal is to convert followers to your side by impressing or intimidating the local population. While some unique gimmicks and solid gameplay have made other god games fun to play, these elements are curiously absent from Heaven & Hell, leaving it a short, and otherwise dull, experience.

After reading the reviews I didn't buy the game, but this streaming video is cool.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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bishop-daily My bishop gets a going away present 48 hours before his successor is installed

Newsday: 27 file $300 million suit accusing 24 priests of sex abuse

Twenty-seven Catholics accused two dozen New York City priests of raping and molesting them when they were children in a $300 million lawsuit.

The suit charges the Diocese of Brooklyn with a "well-organized, successful and corrupt" scheme to cover up the abuse.

A similar lawsuit, by 42 plaintiffs against 13 diocese priests, was filed a year ago but was dismissed this spring by a judge who said the statute of limitations on such charges had expired.

In New York, a person generally must file such a lawsuit by age 21. The plaintiffs in the latest lawsuit, filed Tuesday and made public Wednesday, and in last year's lawsuit said they were molested from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Attorney Michael Dowd argued in Tuesday's lawsuit that the diocese hid stories of abuse from its parishioners and the plaintiffs, cheating them of the chance to sue before the statutes had expired.

Michael Dowd knows how to play to the press. He timed this to cast a shadow over the departure of Bishop Daily. I don't get the point about "hiding" -- victims file complaints -- how could the crime be "hidden" from the victims?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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As I expected no big developments on Plame-Wilson

A lot of statements made by Joe Wilson have been proven to be false:

  • Her identity as the wife of Joe Wilson was not secret. It was in his official bio and in Who's Who
  • Joe Wilson's specific accusation aganist Karl Rove was withdrawn without apology (the Clinton touch in the politics of personal destruction)
  • His denials of partisanship towards Democrats have been contradicted now as well.

What this story has been from the start is total media credulity towards Bush's critics starting with Wilson's original op-ed mated with a willingness to impute the worst intentions to everything that Bush's administration says or does. It's a hypocritical combo but all too familiar -- it was flipped when the occupant of the White House was a democrat.

My first question was what job did Valerie Plame-Wilson have? And there have been several conflicting accounts. Robert Novak calls her an analyst.

I'm waiting for an authoritative statement as to what she was. If she wasn't covered by the "Philip Agree" disclosure of intelligence agents act, then this so-called scandal wasn't one at all.

It useful to recall that Novak mentioned it in a offhand way to explain who was being the appointment the anti-Bush partisan Wilson could have been suggested as "our man in Niamey". This question is still unanswered and still interesting.

And it was first the far left, then the left, and then the mainstream Washington Post that made a big deal about this -- and along the way it became sourced to the White House or Karl Rove.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Pink Pistols: An armed militia of gay fascists?

Or a group of people only interested in self-defense.

You can be the judge. Full blogger credit to Mark Shea for first noticing this trend. The link above is to Google, select the top link or one of the links below. I don't think this is a hoax.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Mepham Update

Newsday as usual has the complete story.

Short version: The coach says he's sorry it happenned but he wasn't responsible. He complained that none of the players who witnessed it came forward immediately.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Since the Catholic League doesn't have a blog

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League spoke to Curtis and Kuby this morning. (I'll add that I've met Bill and Curtis but we're not friends or even acquaintances. I attended the same High School as Curtis in 1970 by the way.)

(1) The more frequent mentions of the frail health of the Pope is too help cushion the coming shock of his death. There's a rumor that if he becomes incapacitated by stroke, coma, etc. that he has a letter of resignation prepared to allow a conclave to proceed.

(2) Frank Keating's charge that he was the subject of a slanderous letter sent by an official of the Oklahoma diocese is quite serious. If true, it is a new scandal for the Church to deal with, and, in fact, gives truth to the claim that some in the Church act like the Mafia. On the other hand, Keating should have had proof in hand before making this accusation.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Is this assisted suicide?

A caller to talk radio said that stopping chemotherapy to a terminally ill cancer patient and replacing it with pain managment and moving the patient from a hospital to hospice was assisted suicide.

I never thought this was that case. The cause of death is the cancer -- what's being done is deciding if the ordeal of chemo and the extra few months of life it may provide is better than the alternative of allowing the natural progression of the cancer.

Am I off the Catholic page here?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:54 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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BBC: Women lose embryo battle
Lorraine Hadley and Natallie Evans at the High Court on Wednesday Two women have lost their High Court battle to use their frozen embryos against the will of their former partners

Natallie Evans and Lorraine Hadley were challenging a law which says both parties must consent to the storage and use of embryos at every stage of the IVF process.

They have been refused the right to appeal, but could take their case to the Court of Appeal or on to the European Courts.

The High Court ruled the embryos of both women should be destroyed - but that will not happen until the conclusion of the appeals process.

Fertility clinics will now have to counsel couples having IVF to consider carefully what would happen to any embryos that were created if they split up.

Please accept this as evidence that Humanae Vitae is right. There's no finding a just and moral way out of the morass that is the separation of sexual intercourse and conception of human beings.

These embryos are human beings whose existence and life are acknowledged but are robbed of the dignity of persons with a right to life.

If you wonder why the High Court has ruled that the embryos are to be destroyed -- that was the remedy sought by the men. One was a boyfriend and the other was a husband.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Follow-ups

War on Terror: More Muslims arrested: one is the leader of the "American Muslim Council" Abdul Rahman al-Amoudi, the other a civilian Guantanamo translator (and U.S. citizen) - previously he was a cabdriver - who applied for and failed to get a security guard job at Logan International Airport -- one of the origin points of the 9/11 terrorist jets. (New York Post)

I'm wondering and other are wondering if there's a fifth column of Muslims who have taken American citizenship only to become traitors to the United States. The vast majority might be loyal but how many more traitors are there out there? Is there something unique about Islam that creates a greater sense of allegiance to ones terrorist cell than to ones country? Is there something about Islam that allows one to lie when making the citizenship oath?

There was a movie (pre-9/11) where there was a mass interment of Arab-appearing young men after dozens of small-scale terrorist acts called The Siege -- you can look at the user comments there to get a perspective on American attitudes towards that scenario.

On the other hand: Muslim employees have sued the Plaza Hotel for discrimination, basically name-calling by other employees post-9/11 (New York Times)

War on Drugs: It's kind of routine to read these stories in New York, but a van with $11 million in cocaine was seized. Think of that in terms of the lives and money wasted, the families and careers destroyed. (New York Post)

Brian Florence, 38, and Loretta Lynn Harper were arrested on August 16, 2002 for disorderly conduct - the conduct being a sex act in the vestibule of St. Patrick's Cathedral. Florence has died of a heart attack before his trial. (New York Post)

Someguy added some useful links re: the question of Muslim loyalty.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:05 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, September 30, 2003

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Another opinion on Plame-Wilson

If Valeria Plame were monitoring the proliferation of WMD's for the CIA and her husband Joe Wilson is so anti-Bush, pro-Clinton, and funded by Saudis (as so many ex-Foreign Service bureaucrats are), it's hard to conceive that she would have the objectivity to act either as a analyst or agent in the War on Terror.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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My take on Martha Stewart

Things are quiet because she's working out a plea deal. They are going to nail her for witness influencing and evidence tampering.

I agree with James Kramer and Larry Kudlow:

  • (1) if she admitted that she got tipped, she would have been able to walk away with a no-admission consent decree to never do it again and a small financial settlement
  • (2) later, if she agreed to plead guilty to a minor misdemeanor without jail time after they presented their evidence to her, she would have no jail time and only had to return the profits of the sale (trivial amount) and done 100 hours of community service.
  • (3) but No she very clumsily marked up a ledger, edited an answering machine tape, etc., denied, denied, and denied, and threatened the prosecutors to "go over their heads".

    So she will get some real jail time in Camp Fed to send others like her a message.

    In the meantime, she's lost a real fortune and the access to the elites of society she loved.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    The Horror of it all

    I've discovered that my take on Wilson-Plame (here and in fark) is identical to Andrew Sullivan's.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Mepham High School Watch

    The news is that cooperation is growing. On local talk radio, parents are telling kids that's there's a difference between being a snitch and covering up the crimes of others.

    Some of this has taken on a High Noon-ish quality as football bullies enforced through spoken and silent threats of violence if the silence was broken.

    An opinion column from Newsday on the silence. I agree totally with the author on the cowardice of the school administration to immediately come forward.

    I mention a point that a lot was lost in not conducting these interviews within hours of the crime. Memories of witnesses fade, physical evidence is more difficult to collect, and the criminals get to coordinate what they will and will not disclose and exchange threats not to incriminate each other.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Comments on Islam I entered on Mark Shea's blog

    We can't be relativist about the Catholic Church -- you're objectively better to be in it than not in it (comments made by Cdl. O'Connor notwithstanding)

    We can be relativist about the religion of Islam: It's likely better for many under the influence of Islamist/Jihadist imans to not remain under their influence and to seek out God on their own.

    To make my point directly: it is better for some Muslims for the sake of their soul -- to reject what they have been taught because it is no corrupted by evil that it impedes rather than facilitates their salvation.

    My blog has stories of some Islamic formation being nothing but hatred, hatred, and hatred for Christianity, Judaism, and the materialists.

    Millions consider Ground Zero, a short distance from where I'm writing this to be the greatest monument to Muslim piety in history.

    The context is the identity of the God of Islam with the God of Judaism and Christiantity. I accept the dogmatic declarations of the Church my point is to the salvation of souls of individual Muslims.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    more politics

    Why is there a delay in getting a statement on the record if Valerie Plame holds or held a position covered by the Intelligence Identities and Protection Act of 1982?

    Statements attributed to unnamed official sources are contradictory on this key point.

    If you don't know what this question is all about, then you probably would say "get a life" to me if you knew.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Monday, September 29, 2003
     
    Rumor Alert

    Gray Davis is holding onto some damaging information on Arnold Schwarzenegger to be released three days before the election for maximum impact. McClintontock may be staying in the race only to pick up the debris if Arnold drops out.

    The name means "Black Plowman" according to Arnold.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Virgin Spanking the Christ Child Virgin Spanking the Christ Child in the Presence of Three Witnesses

    Max Ernst, 1924


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Where's the Outrage? (others echo my opinion)

    Newsday: Mepham Must Make It Right

    Where is the outrage? Instead there is a letter to Newsday saying the media should leave Mepham alone and allow it to move on.

    Not as long as there are people who know and say nothing. I much prefer conversation with Msgr. Tom Hartman of "The God Squad" telling me, "Keep on this. We need to say, 'Never again.'"

    If not now, when? The subject should have been on every pulpit on Long Island last weekend. Clergy and social workers are obligated to know what's in children's heads, and sports occupies a large space. It's not enough for church, synagogue or mosque to say this incident is not in the curriculum. Teachers are taught that the first rule is to make things relevant. Here it is.

    Callers to talk radio are asking a lot of questions about this: mostly about the parents and students involved in the silence about the attack.

    I fully expect this story to go national after today's grand jury testimony.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Fame or Infamy?

    WINS 1010: Martha Stewart Inducted In Nutley Hall Of Fame

    Martha Stewart among first inductees to Nutley Hall of Fame Monday September 29, 2003

    NUTLEY, N.J. Martha Stewart has taken her spot in the township's Hall of Fame.

    The home decorating diva was among nine Nutley natives who entered the hall Sunday during ceremonies at the township library. The group which included two college professors, a supermarket magnate and a pharmaceutical president were the hall's first inductees.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:28 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    AP: Vietnam Does Not Recognize New Cardinal
    HANOI, Vietnam - Vietnam on Monday refused to recognize Pope John Paul II's appointment of a new cardinal for Ho Chi Minh City, renewing tension between the Vatican and the communist country, which tightly controls religion.

    Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man was chosen Sunday as one of 31 cardinals. Officials at the Vietnamese Government Committee for Religious Affairs, however, said the Vatican did not seek permission to elevate Man and they were unaware of the appointment.

    Vietnam wins the race to be the first to criticize these appointments.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Wall Stret Journal: Conspiracy Theories About Sept. 11 Get Hearing in Germany (paid subs. reqd.)
    Distrust of U.S. Fuels Stories About Source of the Attacks By IAN JOHNSON Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    MUNICH, Germany -- Andreas von Bulow's book has climbed the German bestseller list, his lectures are jammed and, after two years of mounting frustration, his ideas are gaining traction.

    His thesis: The U.S. government staged the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington to justify wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is a tentative theory, he admits, based mostly on his doubt that Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda terrorist group launched the attacks. "That's something that is simply 99% false," he said at a reading of his book on the second anniversary of the attacks.

    A crackpot? A conspiracy theorist who believes that Elvis lives and the CIA murdered Kennedy? Not exactly. Mr. von Bulow, 66 years old, is a former German cabinet minister, a trim, silver-haired man whose book comes from one of the country's most prestigious publishing houses and who lectures at well-known public institutions. He's not alone: In recent months, Germany's leading broadcaster, ARD, ran a purported documentary making similar claims, while half a dozen other German authors have published like-minded books.

    I wonder if these theories hold any currency with influential people in the Vatican. Could this be fuel to their anti-American biases?


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:34 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    National Institute of Health: Xenotransplantation

    A list of papers on using animal parts to replace human parts.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:27 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    World Net Daily: Al-Qaida tape warns of 'crusade' Al-Zawahiri sees Christian-Jewish conspiracy to eradicate Islam
    Al-Jazeera has aired an audiotape of Osama bin Ladin's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, calling on Pakistanis to overthrow President Pervez Musharraf and warning of a crusade by Jews and Christians against all of Islam.

    I don't think anyone is laughing at this in the Muslim world.

    I think it's ironic that so much air time is given to stating over and over again that this is not a crusade to eradicate Islam. It does no good. It is too powerful a rhetorical fragment to refrain from using over and over again by the terrorist side.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:19 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    A Cardinal in pectore

    They are appointed in the breast in only these limited cases:

    (1) the more common case is where an Archbishop is under arrest or in exile by a regime hostile to the Catholic faith and the announcement of this appointment would be imprudent: bringing about a greater harm to the cardinal or to the faithful.

    (2) the second case is more obscure. This is the case where a person is anticipated to succeed an active cardinal but is in a position in the hierarchy of the curia where he have a higher rank than the appropiate if the appointment was made public. Something like this exists in the military where 3-star generals get promoted and immediately outrank many generals who were only a week ago senior to him.

    I found a page where the second case seems more frequent than in current times: Salvador Miranda at Florida International University

    (3) Here's an even more obscure reason from the 1911 Online Encyclopedia

    [The practice] back to Martin V., who may have had recourse to this expedient in order to avoid the necessity of soliciting the votes of the cardinals; but for a long time past the popes have only resorted to it for quite other reasons. If the pope dies before making known the cardinals in petto, the promotion is not’ valid; if he publishes them, the cardinals take rank from the day on which they were reserved in pectore, the promotion acting retrospectively, even in the matter of emoluments. This method has sometimes been used by the popes to ensure to certain prelates who had merit, but were poor, the means of paying the expenses of their promotion.

    Such poverty can be addressed without an appointment to the cardinalate today.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Sunday, September 28, 2003
     
    UK Telegraph: Mussolini asked Pope to excommunicate Hitler
    The Italian dictator Benito Mussolini asked the Pope to excommunicate Adolf Hitler days before the German leader went to Rome to seal the Axis in 1938, according to a newly discovered Vatican document.

    The only other way of stopping Hitler was to wage war, an option that was "not wanted", Mussolini is reported as saying.

    The details of Mussolini's secret request were found in the minutes of a papal audience between Pius XI and a Jesuit priest who acted as a go-between with the Vatican and the Italian leader.

    Excommunicating Hitler in 1938? Reinhard Heydrich would have been able to kill him and be back in Prague in time to have his cornflakes.

    It is absurd to believe that this suggestion could have been received any other way at the Vatican in 1938.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Co-adjutor Watch Presents

    New York Times: Jaime Vassallo, Jeffrey Hildreth

    Jaime Elizabeth Vassallo, a daughter of Mary H. Vassallo and Dr. Richard W. Vassallo of Yardley, Pa., was married yesterday to Jeffrey Cashman Hildreth, a son of Joan Cashman Hildreth and Ronald Budd Hildreth of Garden City, N.Y. Bishop Joseph A. Galante, the coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of Dallas, performed the ceremony at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
    Bishop Galante is awaiting a new assignment.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Reading Now


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    Reading and Viewing List

    For information about what I do for a living from Monday thru Friday:


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    USA Today: Influx of goods, cash puts Iraqis in buying mood Hoarded dollars, U.S.-paid wages go for once-unobtainable items
    BAGHDAD -- When Massoud Mazouri learned that the U.S.-led coalition had ousted Saddam Hussein from power on April 9, he hurried to Baghdad from his home in northern Iraq to set up an electronics business.

    Now the 28-year-old Kurdish merchant is selling televisions and satellite receivers at a brisk pace to gadget-starved shoppers. It's among the first signs that Iraq's larger economy is coming to life.

    The United States still has members of the armed services stationed in Germany and Japan. This has been the case since 1945. As far as I know there are no plans to eliminate them. While I never was in the armed services, I am grateful in a personal way to the Army doctors who helped save my life and my eyesight in 1975.

    When will the troops come home? When the nation of Iraq poses no threat to its neighbors or to the United States.

    As I have mentioned before the world is governed today mostly by dictatorships. When the United States speaks of "democracy" it has to mean more than merely elections. The worst African dictatorships have elections. What else is needed? The rule of law, civil order, liberty.

    There's a theme among Catholic pundits and bloggers: that material prosperity is intrinsically evil as opposed to potentially evil. Actually the catechism call prosperity a common good:

    1925. "The common good consists of three essential elements: respect for and promotion of the fundamental rights of the person; prosperity, or the development of the spiritual and temporal goods of society; the peace and security of the group and of its members. "

    So headlines of ordinary Iraquis getting some televisions and refrigerators should be welcomed as a sign of progress.


    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    Catholic World News: New Cardinals 30 named, 1 secret

    My list of surprises in this list:

    (1) The omission of Archbishop Chaput OFM Cap (Denver) He's showing more fearless leadership than all the current American cardinals combined.

    (2) The omission of any archbishop from a Hispanic archdiocese in the US. I think the time has come to recognize the vast numbers of new Catholics from other parts of the world with non-European origins.

    AP: List of Cardinals named by the Pope

    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope John Paul II named 30 new cardinals on Sunday, as well as one unnamed prelate. Here is a list of the new "princes" of the church, who will be elevated at a consistory on Oct. 21.
    • Monsignor Jean-Louis Tauran, France, Vatican foreign minister
    • Monsignor Renato Martino, Italy, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
    • Monsignor Francesco Marchisano, Italy, Archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica
    • Monsignor Julian Herranz, Spain, head of the Vatican Office of Legislative Texts
    • Monsignor Javier Lozano Barragan, Mexico, head of Vatican office of Health Care
    • Monsignor Stephen Fumio Hamao, Japan, head of Vatican office of Migrants
    • Monsignor Attilio Nicora, Italy, head of the Administration of Patrimony of the Holy See

    Residential archbishops include:

    • Monsignor Angelo Scola, Italy, Patriarch of Venice
    • Monsignor Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, Nigeria, Archbishop of Lagos
    • Monsignor Bernard Panafieu, France, Archbishop of Marseille
    • Monsignor Gabriel Zubeir Wako, Sudan, Archbishop of Khartoum
    • Monsignor Carlos Amigo Vallejo, Spain, Archbishop of Seville
    • Monsignor Justin Rigali, United States, will be installed Archbishop of Philadelphia on Oct. 7
    • Monsignor Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien, Scotland, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh
    • Monsignor Eusebio Oscar Scheid, Brazil, Archbishop of Rio de Janeiro
    • Monsignor Ennio Antonelli, Italy, Archbishop of Florence
    • Monsignor Tarcisco Bertone, Italy, Archbishop of Genoa
    • Monsignor Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Ghana, Archbishop of Cape Coast
    • Monsignor Telesphore Placidus Toppo, India, Archbishop of Ranchi
    • Monsignor George Pell, Australia, Archbishop of Sydney
    • Monsignor Josip Bozanic, Croatia, Archbishop of Zagreb
    • Monsignor Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, Vietnam, Archbishop of Ho Chi Minh City
    • Monsignor Rodolfo Quezada Toruno, Guatemala, Archbishop of Guatemala
    • Monsignor Philippe Barbarin, France, Archbishop of Lyon
    • Monsignor Peter Erdo, Hungary, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest
    • Monsignor Marc Ouellet, Canada, Archbishop of Quebec

    Named for special service to the church:

    • The Rev. George Cottier, Switzerland, the pope's personal theologin
    • Monsignor Gustaaf Joos, Belgium
    • The Rev. Thomas Spidlik, Czech Republic
    • The Rev. Stanislaw Nagy, Poland

    And a 31st cardinal named "in pectore" and not made public.

    St. Thomas Aquinas has a short summary of what Cardinals are about.

    posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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    link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com