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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
Patrick Sweeney 20032003
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Saturday, September 10, 2005
 
I'm not using my own National Guard soliders, but I'm asking for four more divisions

Political Issues Snarled Plans for Troop Aid : New York Times

As New Orleans descended into chaos last week and Louisiana's governor asked for 40,000 soldiers, President Bush's senior advisers debated whether the president should speed the arrival of active-duty troops by seizing control of the hurricane relief mission from the governor.

This is strange. Do you recall a press conference on Monday or Tuesday where Kathleen Blanco asked for 40,000 soldiers from the President? -- because I don't.

At the time when the Times reports Blanco was being denied troops, everyone (including the Times) was asking "Why isn't the Louisiana National Guard deployed in New Orleans"?


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Friday, September 09, 2005
 
Handing out $2000 for just showing up. What could go wrong with that?
FEMA says it will end debit card plan : AP

On Thursday, the Red Cross began distributing its own debit cards at the Astrodome. The Red Cross assigned appointment times to the refugees, but many people started lining up anyway and waited for hours. Many fainted in the heat, and police had to be brought in for crowd control.

Around Houston, poor people who heard that the government was giving out money tried to get into the Astrodome complex for cards, prompting officials to lock the gates. By Thursday evening, electronic freeway signs in Houston were flashing, "There are no debit cards at the Astrodome."

But that was a lie as the next sentence is:
FEMA issued 4,200 cards to families at the Astrodome on Friday, and officials said they were confident they have covered everyone still staying at the shelter.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Thursday, September 08, 2005
 
Catholic Evidence Guild

The team will be out in Washington Square Park (New York City) this Saturday from 1 to 4 PM near the Garibaldi statue. (weather permitting)

Meet Catholics and non-Catholics and participate, observe or pray.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Wednesday, September 07, 2005
 
International Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders.
Although "al-Qaeda" is the name of the organization used in popular culture, the organization rarely uses the name to refer to itself. In formal communications Bin Laden has called the organization the International Front for Jihad against the Jews and Crusaders.

Indeed the use of the name "al-Qaeda" dates from early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation. Bin Laden himself said in 2001, "We used to call the training camp al-Qaeda ["the base"]. And the name stayed." CNN


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Tuesday, September 06, 2005
 
Is "free will" part of the material or spiritual domain?

Parasitic Hairworm : New York Times

...When it is fully grown, it faces a difficult problem, that of returning to water. So it has evolved a clever way of influencing its host to deliver just one further service - the stricken grasshopper looks for water and dives in.

The suicidal behavior of the infected grasshoppers has been studied by a team of biologists from the French National Center for Scientific Research in Montpellier, France, led by Frédéric Thomas and David Biron.

They did their fieldwork around a swimming pool on the border of a forest near Avène les Bains in southern France. Hordes of infected grasshoppers - more than 100 a night - arrive at the pool during summer nights at the behest of the parasites.

The biologists captured grasshoppers before their suicidal plunge and removed the worms.

The worms grow to several times the length of the grasshopper's body before they emerge. Because of their unusual size, it is easy to extract and analyze the different sets of proteins that they produce before, during and after they compel their hosts to drown themselves.

"We found the parasite produces and injects proteins into the brain of its host," Dr. Thomas said.

It's part of the foundation of my belief that there's more to me and you than the material composition of our bodies, more to thought that a brain. In some mysterious way the brain might be a gateway to the spirit but not a container for it.

Discoveries like the one above challenge that: We may not be a ghost in the machine but just a machine. I still think Descartes doesn't have all the answers so don't worry about me.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Rush on Broadway

Yes. I bought a ticket to this Katrina benefit event at the New Amsterdam Theater on Tuesday, October 18, 2005 7.00 PM.

If you did as well, we can have a blogger get together beforehand.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Police, residents loot New Orleans stores after storm : Knight-Ridder

How can Bush be blamed from that?

Has there ever been in the history of the United States law enforcement such as large desertion from duty as the New Orleans Police Department experienced?

Can you imagine the men and women of New York Police Department and the New York Fire Department not reporting for duty when there was an increased risk of death and injury? I can't.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Monday, September 05, 2005
 
What would Madalyn Murray O'Hair do?

You can see the answer over at the NoGod blog


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 AM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Sunday, September 04, 2005
 
Cardinal Egan's priorities

Did anyone hear Cardinal Egan on the WABC radio program Religion on the Line?

It was not quite what I expected. After saying in perfunctory fashion that victims of the Hurricane need our prayers went on to talk about the money. The cash that the different organizations need for relief and his interactions with them. Then he went on to talk about his personal connections to the bishops in the affected area. In a odd way he made the focus of this (a) about money and (b) about Cardinal Egan.

I have been discussing this with priests and more voice needs to be given to the spiritual problem.

My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?

As Christians we are called to explain that God has not forsaken us. This world is a place of trial for us and we exist in a state opposed to nature because of the sin of Adam and Eve.

These are not words of comfort but words to start to explain to people who find their faith shaken by the great loss of life, property, and heritage.

The crisis has its material dimensions but it is also a great spiritual storm as well. We need to speak more about that -- especially as the great count of the dead begins.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Where is the World Trade Center? asks the tourist.

It was destroyed in 2001 with the loss of nearly 3000 lives is my answer.

I recently moved my office from midtown to the World Financial Center. I worked for another company with offices at 22 Cortlandt Street, next to the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.

Everyday I walk past the area where so many were killed and when there is even today no memorial to this attack on the United States and to the people who died there on that day. video tour

As soon as I leave the secured area of my company, I'm in a lobby full of tourists and as I walk around lower Manhattan there are few signs and landmarks that point to the location of the site of the World Trade Center, so I'm helpful in pointing out how to get to the corner of Church and Vesey Streets. Google Satellite Photo

The 4th anniversary this year falls on a Sunday so it is certain to be low-key.

Number 7 World Trade Center burned to the ground. This held the city's emergency command center. The mobile command center to which they fled later had to be abandoned as well.

Number 7 is already being rebuilt. The outside covering facade is being installed this week.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Turkish Elementary, Amity School To Open In Sunnyside This Fall : Queens Chronicle
Last year, in a sweep of Catholic school consolidation in Brooklyn and Queens, the Queen of Angels Catholic School in Sunnyside closed.

Community members lamented declining enrollment in boroughs that once were, with large Irish- and Italian-American communities, solidly Catholic.

But the Queen of Angels School (41-12 44th St, Sunnyside NY 11104) will once again have elementary school children running through its halls when the Turkish American Multicultural Education Foundation opens the Queens Amity School in its place this September. "It’s 99 percent sure," said Zafer Akman, the 27-year-old director of TAMEF. The organization is still negotiating the lease with the diocese, but is hoping to come to an agreement to open the private school in the next few days.

What this article gets wrong is the area remains solidly Catholic with many new Catholic residents from Mexico, the Carribean, Central and South America, and the Philippines.

The support of these immigrants for religious education is weak relative to the support among recent immigrants from Islamic countries, so Catholic schools are closing and Islamic schools are opening even though numerically, there are still far more Catholic children in the area than Muslim children.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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Second Collection

In the Diocese of Brooklyn the second collection for the Catholic University of America went on as usual. Next weekend will be the collection for the victims of Hurrican Katrina.

Makes sense given the lower-than-average attendence at my Mass today.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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The City of New Orleans Disaster Plan

looks to me like a good one.

Except for one thing, it wasn't implemented.

Once the mandatory evacuation notices were given and ignored, there should have been forced evacuations and every form of high-capacity vehicle in the city should have been deployed to move everyone out. Apparenty nothing was done to provide transport for people without personal means of leaving the city.

Some are complaining about the word refugees. They are people seeking refuge. Besides being homeless, many have no cash, no food, nothing.


posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan


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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com