Saturday, October 16, 2004
The Flu Vaccine Shortage
I wish I had time to put a longer item here but I'm racing against time today for several events.
Having recently taught the story of the Fall to kids 11 to 14 who were hearing it for the first time, I can make a connection to the flu vaccine shortage.
There have been emergency decrees to the criminalize price gouging for the vaccine and for bribes to obtain the vaccine.
I suspect that the sudden interest in the vaccine made come from people who have never been vaccinated but having learned that it was scarce, desired by many, and available to a few who have the ability to manipulate the system that is driving the near obssessive desire to get the shot.
It is the forbidden fruit du jour for our time, place, and culture.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:20 AM Permalink
Friday, October 15, 2004
I have never forgotten my local Selective Service Board
I realized that probably very few people under 50 can recall what a draft card looked like. As a good law-abiding citizen, I have always had the card in my possession.
What was my lottery number?
Selective Service (Draft) Lottery for men born in 1954 (March 8, 1973) shows February 8 as 291. No men born in 1954 were drafted as the United States armed forced became all-volunteer in 1973 and have remained so ever since.
Even though I faced no risk of being drafted, I joined the Peace Corps in 1974 after graduating from college and before starting my career.
You can see from the warning on the back that burning your draft card was considered a non-trivial crime. The actual size of a draft card was 3 1/2 by 2 1/2 inches, slightly larger than a credit card.
As any man 50 to 55 or so can tell you, the draft lottery which started in 1969 went a long way to eliminating the unfairness of a complex system of deferments and unpredictability of when one could and would be called into service.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:51 PM Permalink
Thursday, October 14, 2004
IEM 2004 US Presidential Election Vote Share Market Price Graph
You can see that the Kerry campaign was playing games in the Iowa Electronic market on the presidential election.
UPDATE: It appears I've got a reader on Rush Limbuagh's staff. Rush led off the show on 10/15 with my comment.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:23 PM Permalink
Girl's dog sniffs out abandoned newborn: New York Daily News
"A healthy newborn boy was found behind a door leading to the roof of a Brooklyn housing project yesterday, police said.Amen.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 AM Permalink
You don't have to be a person of faith to recognize how this makes a difference between the two men
Bush on faith: "my faith" personal. present tense.
Kerry on faith: past tense. "I was" rather that "I pray". Shifts to "we" and public policy statements of what "we" ought to do. Shifts from his own experience to the generic faith experience.
Only a Kerry Kool-Aid drinker could hear that and admire how he avoided making a personal statement and thereby answer the questions.
To serve his political ambitions, religion is just another tool.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:02 AM Permalink
Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Kenneth Bigley was beheaded. Blame America First. Belmont Club discusses the fact the the UK Telegraph pulled Mark Steyn's column because of his negative view of Bigley's conduct in captivity and British reaction to the his death.
Read the Belmont Club item and then the Steyn column.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 PM Permalink
No one can belive that Kerry moved ahead with undecided voters on this debate.
If anything, it only worked to solidify his base.
On what questions will the Kerry will his partisans claim that he won, I wonder.
All of Bush's flaws from the prior two debates were fixed -- but what was the size of the audience?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:33 PM Permalink
One more time: Kerry's military records
Why doesn't he sign Standard Form 180?
Thomas Lipscomb has the details in the New York Sun.
My summary: Kerry likely was initially given a less-than-honorable discharge (or worse) in 1972 (at the time he service was scheduled to end) and needed to fight it to maintain political viability. Thanks to Carter issuing amnesties in 1977, he got the upgrade in 1978, which is the published date of his navy discharge.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 AM Permalink
They Laughed at the Idea of a Mob Graveyard last week, but
After a week of digging, federal authorities have found what they were looking for in a vacant lot in Queens, bones believed to be the remains of mob victims.
People in the neighborhood had reported seeing things that looked like secretive burials of murder victims but there was never any interest in digging until now.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 AM Permalink
Why this election matters.
There are two reasons why this election matters in a way that all the elections that I have had the opportunity to vote in starting with Nixon in 1972 (8 elections!) have not.
Presidential (i.e. executive branch) power matters in two big ways:
Things that would matter greatly in other elections: social security, medicare, taxes, out-sourcing take a back seat to this.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:22 AM Permalink
Tuesday, October 12, 2004
Robert P. George and Gerard V. Bradley on Catholics & John Kerry on National Review Online
Not In Good Conscience
An excellent summary of the Catholic argument for voting for Bush being made daily here by me and the commenters and in the Catholic blogs for Bush.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:23 PM Permalink
ESPNSoccernet.com: Europe: Holy hosts and racists
I'm going to need help with understanding this story, but it's fascinating even if you don't know the cultural aspects discussed.
But after about ten minutes, he rushed across to gather up the ball for a quick throw-in. Quick as a flash, one of the boys was ready for him. 'Stoitchkov!' he yelled. 'Eres la hostia!' (You're the Holy Host!)Note this is being written by a sports reporter and not a religion beat reporter.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:53 PM Permalink
The Pope has not condemned the United States role in the war in Iraq
He said that while the Pope did not advocate the war, he accepts that President Bush has the responsibility to decide and this is a prudential decision where people acting according to properly formed consciences can come to different conclusions.
I'm most willing to retract this claim if someone can send me a link to a on-the-record statement from the Holy Father on this point.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:35 PM Permalink
Respect the message and not the messenger here
A growing number of Catholics from the United States and Canada have developed the erroneous belief that they have the right to receive Communion even if they have not confessed their sins and reconciled with God, said Cardinal Bernard F. Law.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 PM Permalink
A father calls talk radio 770 WABC on this topic
Yes, they are are living human life -- but they will never be babies.
I'm mailing this off to my former classmate of Brookyln Prep, Curtis Sliwa: The myth of 400,000 embryos
Plenty of good pro-life information at Stem Cell Research: Do Not Harm. The Coalition of Americans for Reseach Ethics on this topic.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 AM Permalink
Group of Bishops Using Influence to Oppose Kerry: New York Times
For Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate in Colorado, there is only one way for a faithful Catholic to vote in this presidential election, for President Bush and against Senator John Kerry.
Under the byline of David D. Kirkpatrick (who is a new name to me) and Laurie Goodstein who embarasses herself in every article she writes in her ignorance of the Catholic Church which she is sometimes assigned to cover
The usual suspects are there:
“We are looking at a broader picture, a more global picture,” said Bishop Gabino Zavala, an auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles who is president of Pax Christi USA, a Catholic peace group that initiated the statement. “If you look at the totality of issues as a matter of conscience, someone could come to the decision to vote for either candidate.”
For the New York Times, it's a good article. At least it acknowledges that the Catholic vote is a powerful force in this election.
The other JFK, of course, got 83 percent of the Catholic vote in 1960.
See also Jacob Warren Harper in schadenfreude who has a take on this regarding the proportional number of deaths.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:38 AM Permalink
This victim of spinal cord injury is opposed to embryonic stem cell research
15 year-old Shavod Jones shot police officer Steven McDonald in July 1986 in Central Park. McDonald lowered his gun and his guard believing that this boy was holding a toy and not a gun. Today Detective McDonald is paralyzed from the neck down and breathes with mechanical assistance.
He forgave Jones and even hoped that the two of them could go on a speaking tour. Jones never responded.
Jones was in prison for 8 years and then on the third day after his release died doing a stupid stunt on a powerful motorcycle.
Steven McDonald has been a outspoken supporter of the right to life and a devout Catholic. He publicly opposed Christopher Reeve's position on the use of living unborn human embryos in medical research. He's never been given the media spotlight as Reeve had been given.
Steven Malzberg of WABC Radio had him on last night at 1AM. I had to stay up and listen.
(Now) Detective McDonald is close in age to me. I have heard him speak on numerous occasions including in person. He's now 48 and has been a quadapelegic for 18 years. He's always realistic about the possibility of the improvement of his condition but never asks anyone to feel sorry for him.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:56 AM Permalink
Do you recognize this man?
The WSJ artists typically do a better job in these line art portraits. These are simply horrible.
For some great examples see Kevin Spouls
Updated: Here is John Kerry's scan.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:39 AM Permalink
Vatican buries the hatchet with Blair and Bush over Iraq By Julian Coman and Bruce Johnston in Rome: UK Telegraph
Senior Vatican officials have decided to put aside their differences with Tony Blair over the war in Iraq, calling for multinational troop reinforcements to secure the country's fledgling democracy.
"The child has been born. It may be illegitimate, but it's here, and it must be reared and educated." Given the sexual scandal the Catholic Church in the middle of, it would have been prudent to pick another metaphor.
This is quite an undiplomatic thing to say. Search the archives and see if he used such insulting language to describe the ancien regime.
The Pope regretted the war. President Bush regretted the war. I am looking for an on-the-record statement from the Pope condemning the United States government decision to start the war or its conduct in the war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 AM Permalink
Monday, October 11, 2004
A new low for Kerry
It isn't bad enough that Kerry continues his lies about his position on embryonic stem cell research and his lies about the position of President Bush -- but before the body of Christopher Reeve is cold -- he has lied to the thousands of people with some form of spinal cord injury and Parkison's disease to tell them that a cure is just around the corner and being blocked by President Bush and that group known as "The Religious Right".
The truth is that there's been no demonstration of a application for embryonic stem cells in preventing or curing disease or injury.
The only promising use of stem cells have been in adult stem cells or umbilical stem cells.
I disagree with President Bush's decision to use the existing embryonic stem cell lines. It is like using the data collected by the Nazi scientists in the death camps. But at least President Bush was willing to draw a line ethically somewhere.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:15 PM Permalink
The abortion advocates are in yer face
but where is the campaign by our bishops to remind Catholics of their obligation to vote for candidates who hold values consistent with Catholic teaching?
I can't recall a presidential election where the bishops as a group decided to sit on their hands like this.
Kerry campaigns in black churches without a thought to the separtion of church and state. (WCCO)
Meanwhile, many voters don't know the positions of the candidates. (Lifenet)
No one really knows how people who are undecided at this point are going to be influenced to vote for one candidate or another, or even to be motivated to vote.
Laura Ingraham has suggested that there's a class of voter who will claim to be undecided before they enter the polling place, then vote, and then upon leaving will claim to remain undecided.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:36 AM Permalink
Sunday, October 10, 2004
Hey Charlie, how does this become a question, in fact the last question of the town hall meeting, than an undecided voter gets to ask?
GIBSON: And the final question of the evening will be addressed to President Bush and it will come from Linda Grabel. Linda Grabel's over here.
And what is is the question to John Kerry -- “Do you, John Kerry, think President Bush made a wrong decision?”
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:15 PM Permalink