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Saturday, November 06, 2004
 
At Grand Central Terminal Today

To get an idea of what urban street evangelization is like in the 21st century, come to Grand Central Terminal today from 1pm to 4pm. There should be 3 or 4 of us at the speaker's stand and literature table sharing the Catholic faith we the people who pass by.

We're located inside the terminal near 42nd Street and the stairs to the Lexington Ave subway. The adjacent stores are Reaction:Kenneth Cole and Douglas Cosmetics.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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A better sense of history

The people who have the most political clout now are baby boomers (i.e. born 1945-1965) who were in full rebellion against the values of their parents who had lived through the depression and World War II. The kids then had a revolution that was in part political (i.e. civil rights and Vietnam War) and in part social (sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll).

They came to expect that each generation could be counted on to reject the values of their parents – hence the expectation that the young would reject Bush.

I think that through the years through television and film, today's young voters have a much better perspective of the choice available and consequences of those choices in the political and social realms. It's a simplistic way of looking at things but do we want this decade to be a repeat of the 1940's or the 1960's?

I think the new voters (born since 1980) are choosing the 1940's.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, November 04, 2004
 
F-16 Accidentally Fires on School. Fox News.
LITTLE EGG HARBOR, N.J. A National Guard F-16 fighter jet on a nighttime training mission strafed an elementary school with 25 rounds of ammunition, authorities said Thursday. No one was injured.

The military is investigating the incident that damaged Little Egg Harbor Intermediate School in southern New Jersey shortly after 11 p.m. Wednesday. The school is a few miles from a military firing range.

Police were called when a custodian who was the only person in the school heard what sounded like someone running across the roof.

Police Chief Mark Siino said officers noticed punctures in the roof. Ceiling tiles had fallen into classrooms, and there were scratch marks in the asphalt outside.

The pilot of the single-seat jet was supposed to fire at a ground target on the firing range three and half miles from the school, said Col. Brian Webster, commander of the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard, which is responsible for the range. He did not know what led to the school getting shot up.

Talk about "friendly fire".

Maybe it's time to reopen the files on TWA flight 800. The offical cause of that accident was a spontaneous explosion of a fuel tank. Of course, with over 1,300 747's flying since 1970, the circumstances of New York on July 17, 1996 were so inexplicably unique that there's wasn't a similar explosion in the 26 prior years, or 8 years since.

I believe that TWA 800 was shot down by a missile either fired by a terrorist from the ground or fired accidentally by the Navy.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Married and living as brother and sister for 21 years?

Did Elizabeth Edwards Use Donor Eggs? Slate

During the past several months, the image has flickered into our homes with increasing regularity: Following the end of a campaign-trail speech, little Emma Claire Edwards, 6, and Jack Edwards, 4—both blond and cherubic—joyfully run up to the stage where their dad, Sen. John Edwards, 51, scoops them into his arms. Standing nearby beaming, always, is Elizabeth Edwards, 55.

Do the math, and it's not hard to figure out that Edwards gave birth to Emma Claire at age 48 and Jack at 50. And yet if Edwards used her own eggs, this is all but impossible—a woman's ovaries completely stop producing viable eggs by age 45 in all but a tiny percentage of women.

My wife had our fourth child at age 40. I didn't think John and Elizabeth Edwards were over 50.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Do you remember 1975?

Around the time that Saturday Night Live first went on the air Spain's leader at the time, Franco lingered near death. To anyone who watched the television network news (and in 1975 everyone watched television network news, John Chancellor was the anchor on NBC) -- it seemed that every night there was another bulletin that he was still alive. He finally died on November 20.

The show started on October 11 when he was still alive. The parody of the news mentioned this story. A few weeks later it was transformed and the first catch phrase from SNL was Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

I wonder if Arafat is lingering at the end of the week, will SNL revisit its first catch phrase. Perhaps they can have 61-year-old Chevy Chase participate.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Remove Specter from Judiciary

Mr. Majority Leader:

Our party has obtained a true mandate of the American people to nominate and confirm judges who will interpret the Constitution according to original intent. This position is not "extreme" in the words of Sen Pelosi or even "conservative" in the words of Sen Specter.

The Supreme Court since the 1960's been driven by ideology and partisanship and the lack of an effective majority has led to an acquiescence to each decision which was an exercise of legislative or executive power. We need to restore the court to its role of interpreting laws and not writing them, rewriting them or repealing them.

Sen Specter doesn't get it. His statements indicate that he sees his election as his own personal mandate to obstruct the President's judicial nominees. He is not entitled to do this. He intends to impose the judicial philosophy of the loser of the election: blocking nominees who don't pass a no-Roe-repeal litmus test.

His power of 1 vote in 100 comes from the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His power as chairman or member of the Judiciary committee comes from the majority party leadership.

Specter was wrong in 1987 to vote against the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork. He should not be given more power to repeat such a mistake.

The President's standard should be to put personal policy preferences aside and follow the constitution. Sen Specter cannot be trusted to do this.

Patrick Sweeney

If you have an opinion, let Senator Frist, the majority leader know. I am Patrick Sweeney and I wrote and approved this message.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Obsession

The next time someone tries to tell you that Andrew Sullivan is a serious blogger and not obsessed with his sexuality you can point at this post:

That's how they did it. The war was not the issue. Gays were.

Get over it. It's not about you. There was a clear difference between the candidates on hundreds of important issues.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Fallujah Delenda Est

And now, Fallujah. Ralph Peters. New York Post.

... Many other difficult tasks lie ahead ahead, from helping the Iraqis conduct their country's first free national elections, through assisting the Afghans as they consolidate their remarkable progress, to hunting down Islamic terrorists wherever they go to ground.

We can do it. And the American people know it. They just said so.

Even if Fallujah has to go the way of Carthage, reduced to shards, the price will be worth it. We need to demonstrate our strength of will to the world, to show that there is only one possible result when madmen take on America.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, November 03, 2004

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Planning 2008

Ashcroft or Ridge will retire and Giuliani will get Justice or Homeland Security. This will put Rudy in the public eye and in contact with the Red states.

Rudy is not a Kerry-like elitist. He's always been a working guy -- lawyer, prosecutor, and mayor.

I think the question of Rudy's ability to obtain the nomination is dependent on the makeup of the Supreme Court. I think the only serious issue that separates Rudy from the core Republicans is abortion. If a anti-Roe court is already established by Bush before 2008 as I expect it to be, it takes that issue off the table. Rudy would correctly say that up to the states now.

George Pataki undid the damage done by Mario Cuomo in his first term, but his second and third terms have had little to show for it in terms of achievement. Pataki failed to reverse the sort of permanent majority status that Democrats have taken for granted. Pataki lacks the charisma and the wit of Rudy.

Quick points: Jeb has taken himself out of the race. Arnold is not constitutionally eligible. McCain is really despised by politically active Republicans for his interference with the Republican agenda. McCain always puts himself ahead of promoting the President's agenda -- even to the extent providing talking points to Kerry.

Brownback is not a national figure. Frist failed to deliver the Senate on juidicial appointments and the FMA -- ineffective.

There's simply no question that Hillary will be the Democratic candidate. She combines all of the attributes of the core constituencies of the Democrats and moreover they think she will win

If the Religious Right sees a new Bush court that has or is close to overturning Roe, the anxiety of electing Rudy is off the table.

Double the likelyhood of Rudy taking the oath of office in 2009 if the GWOT has moved onto Syria, Iran, or North Korea.

God Bless America.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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What's missing?

The Democrats are looking for some reason why they have failed, and looking everywhere except at themselves.

Elites are blaming those stupid factory workers and office workers for voting aganist their own best interests.

From the Democratic leaders to the old media fossils, they hold the common people in contempt.

It sounds a lot like the attitude of the Bolsheviks when the reforms in Russia weren't moving fast enough or in the direction they wanted.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Post-Election Notes

Welcome to the 2008 Campaign which I predict will be Rudy v. Hillary.

The biggest winners in 2004 are the American people. There is joy in my house and the enemies of the United States are not dancing in the streets. We've been spared those images from al-Jezzera.

It is a big (and final) win for George Bush. Now Bush can lead without a concern for reelection and with a popular vote majority.

By my count, George W Bush has not made 3 out of the 4 mistakes of his father:

  • Not removing Saddam
  • Raising taxes
  • Failing to be re-elected
  • Nominating justices to support and to extend Roe v Wade.

A lot of petty intimidation around my workplace for not being a Kerry supporter will end, that's a relief.

A pickup of 2 or 3 in the Senate goes a long way towards confirming Bush's nominees. Please President Bush -- undo the injustice done to Robert Bork. Nominate him to the Supreme Court.

The local poll workers in my district were great. I interviewed them:

  • The turnout was greater than anyone could recall, over 500 for my election district.
  • The biggest group of new voters were young people and not people who have recently become citizens or citzens who have relocated.
  • The polling place had the right language mix which in my neighborhood would include Chinese, Korean, and Spanish.
  • The method of voting is a holdover from the 1940's -- a pull-level mechanical voting machine. It worked well.

Television: Mostly on Fox News skipped to the other cable news channels during the commercials. Brit Hume looked half-asleep. Fred Barnes sounded as if he recently had oral surgery.

Radio: Laura Ingraham was great -- funny and enthusiastic. I also thought Mark Levin and Sean Hannity were awesome. Hannity being a nationally known figure was part of the campaign.

Rush Limbaugh was passionless. He's stuck to his format of having callers who agree with him getting one sentence out and then launching into a monolog. He didn't have interviews except for VP Cheney who basically repeated what he said in an interview I had heard a few hours previously. Limbaugh also refused to put any Kerry callers on. I'm not going to waste my time with liberals, he said. The best parts of his show in fact sound like a oral blog spontaneous reactions and observations on the very recent news and pointers to stuff that's appeared on the net or in print.

Now the list of losers:

  • John Kerry - but unlike Gore, he's got the senator-for-life seat in Mass.
  • John Edwards - by not carrying his home state, he's out of politics for good.
  • Alan Keyes - what a disappointment - not even close.
  • Marilyn O'Grady - the pro-life challenger to Chuck Schumer who was outpolled 7 to 1 by pro-abortion Howard Mills, the offical Republican candidate.
  • Catholic Bishops - failing to get their act together in time (Cardinal McCarrick is the Tom Daschle of the American hierarchy)
  • McCain-Feingold Campaign Financing "Reform" - more money than ever was spent. Repeal it don't repair it.
  • Early Exit Polls - all of them were wrong and some spectacularly so.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, November 02, 2004
 
If you are in New York

Vote for Marilyn O'Grady who is running for the senate seat of Charles Schumer in the Conservative Party. She is pro-life and had sought the Republican nomination.

It will send a mesage to Republicans that pro-lifers are watching them and they won't vote for pro-choice "official" candidate for Howard Mills. This is a race where second place counts for a great deal.

Read Marilyn O'Grady in National Review Online


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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So did you wait for your bishop who was waiting for Cardinal McCarrick's the dog ate my homework Commission on Political Life?

I would have thought that once it became clear that this Commission was going to watch the clock that the bishops who had said they were waiting for the report before speaking up, would on their own speak up.

Some did but most didn't.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Vote Early. Vote Often.

Say a Hail Mary now for the sake of the United States and for the babies who have been killed and in reparation for all the Catholics who will be voting for Kerry.

I shook hands with my pastor this morning and inside our elementary school which I attended (1959-1967) and suggested to him if our districts vote for Kerry to return tomorrow and peform a exorcism.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, November 01, 2004

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Sunday, October 31, 2004
 
Richard Diamond hopes he's doing the right thing.

His 9 1/2-year-old son, Jonathan, plays soccer 11 months a year on several teams, including a highly competitive travel club that costs about $1,600 a year. There's fall soccer with games and tournaments inside and outside the state on weekends and practices two or three times a week.

This is another pro-life message buried in the New York Times. It's still on the web site.

According to the editorial page, of course, whatever is kicking in the womb is only a mass of cells.

I feel sorry for Peter Applebome, calling the unborn "children" could cost him his job there.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Full Tape an Osama Woe Show. Niles Latham. New York Post.
Osama bin Laden doesn't seem nearly so cocky in the unedited version of a videotape aired on al-Jazeera, complaining that the manhunt against him has hampered al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden's newest tape may have thrust him to the forefront of the presidential election, but what was not seen was the cave-dwelling terror lord talking about the setbacks al Qaeda has faced in recent months.

Officials said that in the 18-minute long tape — of which only six minutes were aired on the al-Jazeera Arab television network in the Middle East on Friday — bin Laden bemoans the recent democratic elections in Afghanistan and the lack of violence involved with it.

On the tape, bin Laden also says his terror organization has been hurt by the U.S. military's unrelenting manhunt for him and his cohorts on the Afghan-Pakistani border.

A portion of the left-out footage includes a tirade aimed at President Bush and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, claiming the war in Iraq is purely over oil.

The tape also sparked some concern that an attack aimed at disrupting Tuesday's election may be planned...


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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At a Park Ave. Church, a 'Nice, Friendly Face' Alex Mindlin. New York Times.
The Rev. George W. Rutler, pastor of the Church of Our Saviour on Park Avenue and 38th Street, was looking over his church's latest acquisition recently. "I figure I've made mistakes before," he said, "but if this is one, it'll be a very big mistake."

The item in question is an enormous Byzantine icon that Father Rutler had installed behind the altar of the Roman Catholic Church last week. Twenty-four feet high, and placed 10 feet off the ground, the painting shows Christ in the aspect sometimes called "Pantocrator," or "ruler of all." A golden halo sits over his head, and he is bathed in light from above, one hand extended in benediction and the other clutching a jeweled book.

Parishioners seemed shocked but happy. "I think it's beautiful," said Theresa Kane. "I found it overwhelming at first. It takes my breath away."

The lavishness of the work recalls the great age of cathedral painting. "There's $500 to $600 of gold on the halo itself," said Donal Murray, one of two artists who created the painting.

The icon is a vast enlargement of a sixth-century painting thought to be among the oldest extant icons of Christ. Father Rutler spotted a medieval copy of it in the exhibition "Byzantium: Faith and Power" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this year, and immediately wanted an enlargement of the original for the church. "I thought it was a nice, friendly face," he said.

As luck would have it, Father Rutler knew a muralist, Ken Jan Woo, whom he had baptized into the Catholic faith. Mr. Woo comes from a long line of mural painters; his mother and grandmother painted propaganda murals for the Chinese Communist government. He in turn met Mr. Murray at the New York Academy of Art in 2002, and they started collaborating on murals last year. "I like the public work,'' Mr. Woo said, "because you're not cooped up painting every day in isolation."

For all the painting's grandeur, Father Rutler conceded that perhaps not everyone would love it. "You know how New Yorkers are," he said. Christ himself could come down, "and they'd say, 'What time's the next subway?'"


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Where is Dracula when you need him? David Yeagley. Front Page Magazine.
Many people don’t know that Dracula (1431-1476) was a real man.

He defended Eastern Europe against invading Turkish Muslims in the 15th century.

If it weren’t for warriors like Dracula, Europe would have been conquered by Turkish and Moorish Muslims. To save their lives, most Europeans would have converted to Islam, as did many Bosnians, Albanians and others. Many would now be speaking Turkish and Arabic. The average European today would likely have little need of sun-tan lotion.

From the beginning, Islam spread through military conquest. Its goal was world domination.

However, Europe successfully resisted, thanks in large part to men like Dracula.

Dracula was baptized Romanian Orthodox and converted to Catholicism in order to obtain political advantage.

What a coincidence, the Catholic Prayer channel is broadcasting its "Ethnic Mass" in Hungarian right now.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:36 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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When was the last time a witch was depicted as evil

I thought this would be easy but I can't think of a film that depicts a witch as evil since the (obvious): The Wizard of Oz, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty. (The Blair Witch Project doesn't count).

In the films that I'n thinking of they are depicted as victims -- typically by the Puritans.

I don't think a film has been made which depicts Ann Glover as what she was a faithful Irish Catholic woman who, if accounts of the trial are correct, was really hanged for being a Catholic under the pretext of being a witch.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Innovations

There are so many people in Catholic blogdom that have insights into the end of the Anglican Church than I have -- but one item caught my attention because it defines a term unique to Anglican theology. Here in an interview with N.T. Wright, Anglican Bishop of Durham, England.

N.T. Wright: Anglican Report Is 'Fireproofing the House' Christianity Today

The real charge that we were making is that they were going ahead with innovations without giving the proper theological rational, without paying attention to the rest of the communion, without doing all the things which as Anglicans we all thought we were signed up to doing before people make innovations.

The only place where I've seen this word is where the rad trads label some of the decrees of Vatican II as innovations.

But we Catholics don't innovate: we're given the Deposit of Faith in trust for the future generations of Catholics until the Coming of Christ in Glory. What changes is given this term development of doctrine which applies the faith which we have already received to the world which changes.

To take a step back from the controversy of the moment, homosexuality, and to look into another area of sin, the doctrine of the sinfulness of suicide has developed to remove a presumption of culpability in suicide. Not because human nature has changed but because our understanding of human psychology improved.

Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. [CCC 2282]

But even in this case, the moral evil of suicide remains. There is a clarity of teaching here despite that fact that martyrs were said by others to have committed suicide by not making the act or declaration that was demanded of them.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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And remember, if it's not close, they can't cheat.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com