Saturday, May 22, 2004
Try this test with any Kerry supporter
I can't take credit for this great idea. It goes to WABC Radio talk show host Brian Whitman. He is going to hold his nose and vote reluctantly for Kerry. His is very critical of the Kerry 2004 campaign.
Ask a Kerry supporter to give three positive themes to vote for Kerry (i.e. not "he's not Bush" or "Bush is stupid") -- without prompting.
Brian did this and got (1) Iraq, (2) Abortion, and (3) Education.
He picked apart (1) and discovered that Kerry doesn't want to withdraw immediately but wants to transition to a UN force. The actual world leaders (Russia, China, Germany, France) show no desire to do so. Both Bush and Kerry desire a peace that leaves behind an Iraq not in chaos.
On (2) Brian pointed out that simply maintaining the status quo has never been an issue to energize a campaign. Besides it's not likely that concerns over abortion are going to override concerns about everything else.
For (3) the caller referred to "No choice left behind" which is a wonderful and telling slip of the tongue for "No child left behind".
Brian pointed out that the bill was largely written by Democrats with many items the Republicans wanted left out so the bill would pass. What would Democrats do differently? The only answer the caller could give was "more money".
Another caller brought up the tax cut. Improbably to me, he said that with an income of $60,000 he paid more in taxes in 2004 over 2003. "Rich people need to be taxed more."
When Whitman brought the segment to a close he pointed out that they were no issues about economic growth or employment discussed. The country is now in a state of prosperity. The caller was wrong and people are keeping more of what they earn.
Whitman's conclusion is that since the Republican party's convention is so late in the season, near 9/11 and near the site of the World Trade Center, it's clear the Republican strategy is to make the the war on terror the focus of the campaign.
Kerry's campaign has no focus.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:55 PM Permalink
New York Post: Kerry Flips Again
John Kerry is rapidly gaining a reputation as the Whirling Dervish of presidential politics, what with his constant position reversals on every conceivable issue.
This flip-flops seem to be happening with greater frequency.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM Permalink
A lot of moral failure to pass around
U.S. Cardinal Accuses Bush of Moral Failure in Iraq
I don't normally blog news items as old as this one. I neglected to blog this item because I had been on this in some other blogs as a comment contributor. My comments for your comment:
The discovery this week of a Sarin gas IED -- while not evidence that insurgents and terrorists have access to thousands of these shells -- it is evidence that Saddam did not destroy his WMD stockpiles.
Does anyone want to stake the future of civilization on the bet that there was and will be only one?
No evidence has come forth that implicates Lieutenants, Captains, Generals, etc. in directing the torture of AG prisioners. The evidence produced so far shows its starts and ends with 7 members of the 372nd MP Company.
The Army held General Janis Karpinski accountable by neglect -- who is the American hierarchy's Karpinski?
The General Antonio Taguba, USA, produced a detailed and now public report detailing the abuse -- who is the American hierarchy's Taguba?
Moral equivalence rhetoric of panties of the head vs. cutting off the head of a prisoner is calculated to delegitimize the efforts to stabilize Iraq and only emboldens the enemies of peace to keep killing without conscience - they killed one Italian hostage and Nick Berg and they still have some more Italian hostages as we speak.
What kind of people is American democracy producing? Start with 3000 victims who went to work or boarded an jet and simply wanted to live another day. Thousands of men and women who worked heroically to save the lives of the trapped and injured. Hundreds of thousands of men and women who now risk their lives in the global war on terror to save America and the rest of the civilized work from terrorists who wouldn't hesitate one second to kill Your Emminence if given a chance.
Cardinal Stafford as a priest for 46 years and bishop for 28 years is admitting here to a bit of personal failure. He failed in his mission to convert "American democracy" by word and example. Could it be connected in some way with the failure of priests to live lives of chastity and holiness?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:28 PM Permalink
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Washington Post: 48 House Catholics Warn Bishops' Stance Could Spark Bigotry
Forty-eight Roman Catholic members of Congress have warned in a letter to Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington that U.S. bishops will revive anti-Catholic bigotry and severely harm the church if they deny Communion to politicians who support abortion rights.
You can always "solve" this problem by repenting.
The more serious issues, since these pro-aborts pols are soooo... predictable is whether McCarrick repeats the same old lies and distortions:
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:11 AM Permalink
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Are there animals in heaven?
An answer that I use with children and some adults as well is that heaven is for God, the angels who serve Him, and humans made in the image and likeness of God.
It is a place of perfect happiness. If it turns out that we need the company of animals to be perfectly happy, then we will have animals in heaven.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 PM Permalink
Outrage: Ben-Veniste comes to New York to play drama queen
When you see the tape of the hearings, you are not going to hear questions but posturing speeches from the commission.
I'm disgusted with all those applause lines.
Lehman's "boy scout" quote yesterday was full of contempt.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:05 AM Permalink
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Habemus Papem - 1978
Happy Birthday, Holy Father.
God Bless His Holiness, Pope John Paul II
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:51 PM Permalink
Dallas Morning News. Rod Dreher: Bishops ignore their burning house
On the road this weekend, I went to Sunday Mass at a Catholic parish outside the Dallas diocese. The priest did something I've only seen happen once before in the 11 years I've been a Catholic: He spoke from the pulpit against abortion and the politicians who support it.
Rod makes the point in more detail and with better reasoning than I did that the bishops have failed us.
I mentioned below that like the cases of the acceptance of artificial contraception, abortion, and now gay marriage bishops have had more to say about the futility of doing anything rather than leadership from the bishops since 1970.
The class of 2004 is starting to engage the evil that the class of 1970 avoided. Let's pray for all of them to acquire the courage to do so.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:24 PM Permalink
Mainstream media discovers the Extreme Catholic blogger of the first half of the 20th Century
Charlotte Observer. Tom Ashcraft: Hilaire Belloc: Islam's a heresy of Christianity
I ought to find a nice 80x80 pixel image of Belloc and add him to the home page.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 PM Permalink
NRO Corner. Ramesh Ponnuru:
Prof. Bainbridge mentions that the question of the Catholic church's tax exemption has been raised in light of what critics regard as impermissible politicking by it against pro-abortion candidates. I've seen and heard some comments to this effect myself. I find the idea that the bishops should have to consult with tax lawyers before deciding what they can say about their public mission shocking. If the tax exemption causes even the slightest compromise in a church's teaching on anything, that church ought to just give it up.
In this regard I would make the case that this fear of clericrats of losing the tax exemption has been, is now, and will continue to be a cancer on the on the mission of the Church to convert souls from sin to Christ. That horse left the barn long, long ago.
I think the Canon 915 War among the bishops needs more escalation from the anti-defilement side. I think the media spin in the aftermath of the Mahony meeting and the McCarrick meeting call for taking the initiative again.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:36 AM Permalink
Baltimore Sun: Politics, religion clash at campus
As a debate swirls in the Catholic Church over how to treat Catholic politicians who back abortion rights, Mount St. Mary's College has withdrawn an offer of an honorary degree to White House counsel Alberto Gonzales after a campus protest over his support for the death penalty.
According to Newsmax, it was a mere 61 students and faculty.
It would be helpful for the bishops to articulate whether politicians who support the limited use of the death penalty as a prudential political and legal position are in opposition to Catholic teaching and if they are, are they ipso facto ineligible for honors from Catholic institutions.
Extending this principle to all 21 agenda items of the bishops and requiring political support for each of them, it may be that such politicians are very rare, if not practically non-existent.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:03 AM Permalink
visit the site and vote in the poll "Do you approve of same-sex marriage?"
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:55 AM Permalink
WINS 1010: Driver Mows Down NJ Churchgoers, Kills One
A woman was killed and two other people were in critical condition Monday after a 72-year-old driver lost control of his car in a church parking lot, plowing into parishioners exiting a communion service Sunday.
Very sad. How does one lose control of a car like that though?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:49 AM Permalink
Wall Street Journal. Mark Helprin: No Way to Run a War
Mistakenly focused on physical control of Iraq, we could not see that, were we to give it up, the resultant anarchy might find a quicker resolution than the indefinite prolonged agony through which our continuing presence has nursed it.Thoughtful, but it is Monday-morning quarter-backing.
I think we are closer to victory than Helprin is willing to concede. The army of future I see will be more divided than it is now between shock troops (to kill people and break things) and infrastructure troops (to restore people and put things back together again).
In a odd way I think there's a nice parallel between the situations faced by the Holy Crusaders of 1099 who conquered Jerusalem and the rest of the Holy Land: The Crusaders were brave and brilliant in tactics and military strategy but lacked a long-term political strategy. Some combination of local self-rule, tolerance for the practice of the Muslim faith, and alliance with Byzantium might have worked. Centuries later it worked for the British as they established an empire.
I had higher hopes for the ability of the military and political leadership of the United States to follow the perscription of historian Victor Davis Hanson that full military pressure had to be applied until the enemy knew they were defeated before the campaign to win hearts and minds could start.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 AM Permalink
Monday, May 17, 2004
The Democratic Party Isn't Guaranteed a Perpetual Existence
The last national party to fold was the Whigs in 1856 -- after losing only two Presidential elections in a row. Filmore, the last Whig left office in 1853 and after a poor showing in 1856 the party dissolved and the Republicans under Lincoln in 1860 became the new national party.
I think the tipping point would be 60 Republican senators (maybe 61 since we can't reply on Specter).
With that number we'd see a safe (i.e. non-Souter, non-Kennedy) pro-life majority on the Supreme Court with Justice Scalia as Chief.
Of course, the Republican party will eventually fracture but if we have four or eight years before that happens it will be a greater political shift than the 1980 Reagan Revolution.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:45 PM Permalink
Holy Communion and pro-abortion politicians
It seems to me that any Catholic should first tell and if that doesn't work use the means appropriate to the relationship they have to help a person get off the wide road to hell and back on the path to heaven.
If I have knowledge for example of one of my kids in mortal sin unambiguously, I'd take them by the hand to Confession, and restrain them as far as I could from receiving Holy Communion.
This isn't punishment, it's a charitable thing and certainly unpleasant or to use McCarrick's vocabulary "uncomfortable". It's part of admonishing the sinner.
Just telling them isn't getting the message across, so it's time for "Plan B". So, canon law aside, this would apply to pastors and bishops.
Am I oversimplifying it?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:13 PM Permalink
Reuters, New York Post: Pope feels that reign has been too soft
VATICAN CITY - In a new autobiography, Pope John Paul II wonders if he has been strict enough in his leadership.
Isn't this what Rod Dreher wrote two years ago and was criticized without mercy for it?
I gathered up all the Gospel quotes of Jesus saying "Let Us Go".
It's your guess as well as mine which verse he is connecting to (at least until we see the book ourselves). Perhaps the Pope feels that he has been betrayed.
It was 9/11 hero Todd Beamer who became the first warrior in the cause of civilization against terrorism with the words "Let's roll".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:36 PM Permalink
TCS Stephen Schwartz: Muslim Silence... and Muslim Noise
First, immigrant Muslims in the U.S., until very recently, seldom expected to find American Islam operating under the thumb of the "Wahhabi lobby." Indeed, most Arab and Indo-Pakistani-Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants to the U.S. came for normal and rational reasons -- to gain economic success, as well as better educational and other opportunities for their children. Saudis excepted, they came from Muslim societies where, notwithstanding corrupt political rule and extremist religious influence, the battle for the future of Islam had yet to be decided. Most of them knew an Islam in which Saudi-backed Wahhabism sought to make inroads, but encountered considerable resistance from traditional Islam.Stephen Schwartz has nailed it here. My Muslim friends can't stand the domination of the Wahhabis in nearly all Mosques.
It would be like one branch of Protestantism hostile to all other Protestant denominations as well as to the Catholic and Orthodox Churches being slowly able to take them all over.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:03 PM Permalink
Who lost the sacrament of Matrimony?
Now that gay marriage is a reality in the state of Massachusetts and there is no activity on the FMA in Congress, it's looks like we will have this situation in perpetuity.
The failure in my opinion is one of the bishops refusing to lead and not risking anything to stop this. I trace it all the way back to the failure to confront the sin of contraception in the 1960's.
The shoe will soon be on the other foot as anyone calling these marriages impossible or meaningless will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:57 AM Permalink
In Defense of Emily
Secretary of State Colin Powell was involved in an on-air disagreement with a State Department assistant during a taped interview broadcast on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday morning.
It was supposed to be a 10-minute interview, so Emily was only doing her job in trying to stop the interview.
And it was true, it was being taped and they were editing it.
But what normally would be left out would be included because it makes Russert look full of righteous indignation since it looks on tape less like a violation of the groundrules of the interview and more like arbitrary interference -- and what an opportunity to humiliate Emily.
This technique of going over the allotted time is a common thing for all the media players -- Russert wants to take time away from the time for Chris Wallace, Wolf Blitzer, etc. to have for their interviews. What if Powell had one hour for six ten minute interviews -- and you were scheduled last and bumped because of Russert's hogging the mike.
How would you feel 'bout that?
It was unprofessional for Russert to go overtime, unprofessional for Emily to break in the way she did, and very unprofessional for NBC to air it.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 AM Permalink
Sunday, May 16, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:52 PM Permalink
Guest Blogger: Selective Outrage
Dallas Morning News Blog
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:56 PM Permalink
Back to the Extremism in Catholicism Building overlooking St. Patrick's Cathedral, in the heart of New York's next ground zero, should it happen...
I have returned to New York City after going to Troy, New York to attend the graduation from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in psychology and and a degree in computer science.(2004) It's hard to believe that he graduated just four years ago from Fordham Prep High School in the Bronx.(2000)
He continues his studies in the fall in the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. He will be in their class of 2006.
Maybe now, with school over, I can encourage him to start his own blog.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:28 PM Permalink