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Saturday, March 29, 2003
Taste of Amageddon, Taste of Baghdad

In the original series Start Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, to preserve the culture during a war, the people of a pair of planets have agreed for 500 years to conduct a proxy war by computers. The destruction is virtual but the humanoid casualties are real. Citizens are forced to walk into non-violent disintegration chambers: Buildings intact. People die.

Kirk interferes with their internal affairs, destroys the computers, and rather than face violent, bloody war, both sides agree to negotiate.

In Iraq we have a war where the accuracy of the weapons give people a sense of security in the war zone. Frankly, they are not being terrorized by the missiles that are striking only military and government buildings: Buildings turned to rubble. People live.

Where terror there is there is really coming from their own side. These hostage takers are not pushing them into disintegration chambers but into suicide squads or otherwise killing them for propaganda purposes.

Kirk's war was so wonderfully symmetric and antiseptic. We've got a mess that 60's television has not prepared us for.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: As the Battles Heat Up, War Buffs Turn to Maps and Play Board Games
The war in Iraq has provided a rich and overflowing fount for military buffs. So they are breaking out their board games: "Back to Iraq 3" or "Gulf Strike," portrait of Saddam Hussein included.

They are devouring real-time updates on television and the Internet until the wee hours. And they are poring over their own detailed maps of Iraq to keep track of troop movements, because of the lack of information in newspapers and on television.

But do not automatically assume that enthusiasm means endorsement. On the one hand, many military enthusiasts view the war as a mythic sporting event that dwarfs the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the World Cup. They are unabashed supporters of the American-led forces, and speak in the bluntest terms about how Mr. Hussein is pure evil and how the French and Germans are pure wimps.

Personal note: I was into this genre in high school and college. I used to "playtest" at the offices of Simulations Publications Inc. (SPI) on East 23rd Street. So I met James F. Dunnigan and Redmond Simonsen back in the 70's. Greg Costikyan has an excellent blog on the past and present of the genre of wargames.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Open this site and you hear Winston Churchill's "We will never surrender" speech.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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National Review Online Corner Rod Dreher: PRAYING FOR VICTORY

Fr. Joseph Wilson of St. Luke's Parish in Whitestone, Queens, says he has been reading National Review since he was a small boy. Which might explain this example of courage, clear thinking, and action.

Fr. Wilson received the following message today from an official of the Brooklyn diocese:

Please include this in your Mass announcements this Sunday: "Everyone is invited to a Mass for the Restoration of Peace at Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday at 5PM. Father Latona, the Pastor, will be Celebrant."

Well, that did it. Fr. Wilson, who has just had it with pious peacenikery in this time of great peril, sent out the following fax to all the parishes that had received the first:

Faithful Sons and Daughters of the Church are invited to Saint Luke's Church on Monday evening, 7:15PM, for a Mass, Holy Hour and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, imploring the intercession of our Lady of Lepanto for the safety of our armed forces. The Holy Rosary, which once turned back those who would destroy Christian civilization, will be prayed before Mass.

I'm making Fr. Wilson the honorary chaplain of the Lepanto Group

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Domenico Bettinelli has story on confrontation with a "peace protester". I return the favor with this local story:

National Review Online Corner NOT THAT I CONDONE IT

From a reader to Jonah Goldberg:

On TV here in NYC Saturday, there was this great scene from the protest in the city. This 40-something hippie lady bust through the barricade and the cops tackle her hard to the ground and the cop says "Where you from" she says "Cleveland" With that he slams her head into the street and says "Welcome to New York." Man that scene alone was worth having the war.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:05 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, March 28, 2003
Wall Street Journal William McGurn: War No More? How much of a pacifist is the pope?
Mea culpa. No sooner had this page editorialized about the papal opposition to the U.S.-led effort to disarm Saddam Hussein than the Rev. Richard John Neuhaus e-mailed to say that the pope hadn't used the words "crime against humanity." Phone calls to Britain, where the comment was first reported, suggest that Father Neuhaus is right, that the phrase was a mangling of an earlier papal reference to a "defeat for humanity."

In another remark on Vatican Radio made on the eve of war, Archbishop Martino characterized the American response to Iraq as replying with "bombs to a people that has been asking for bread for the last 12 years." The Vatican role, by contrast, would be to play the "the Good Samaritan who kneels to tend the wounds of an injured, weak nation."

Which begs a question: If the biblical Good Samaritan had arrived on the scene a little earlier and stumbled on the robbers instead of their victim, what would have been his obligation?

I think it would have been helpful to recall that the Pope has, on occaision, reminded the world of Iraq's obligations to disarm. At least the Pope hasn't presented Saddam Hussein is an innocent as others have.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Irish Echo
Irish Echo: Catholics come to grips with U.S. invasion

I accept without reservation the teaching of the Catholic Church on 'just war,' " said Sweeney. "I join with the pope in prayers for peace. I understand the church also teaches that the public authorities have the final responsibility for determining if a war is justified."
Fellow Catholic blogger, Domenico Bettinelli was interviewed as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Oswald Sobrino of Catholic Analysis sees the CNN vs. Fox News presentations as I do
Fox News makes clear that there is no moral equivalence between the two sides. That is the truth of the matter, and all news networks should stop treating the absurd claims, accusations, and photo opportunities of the Iraqi propaganda machine as being even remotely credible.

Click and read the whole thing. He makes the same points about credulity and skepticism that I've been making.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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CNET: Legislator makes call for Qualcomm
Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican who just happens to represent the corner of California where Qualcomm's headquarters is located, believes that company's technology must be used in Iraq's post-war cell phone system. And Qualcomm just happens to be one of Issa's top 10 corporate donors in the last election.

This is like the Battle of the Bulge or the landings at Iwo Jima are happening and someone is lobbying to get Philco radios sold to the defeated Germans and Japanese.

This is stupid and it just ain't going to happen. Decisions like this are best left to some Iraqi college graduate now in the US who fled Saddam Hussein and is living a middle-class life now in the suburbs. He or she is going to be incorporated into the governmental bureaucracy. Let Iraq decide how it is going to be rebuilt.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:20 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Hang-Glider Tries Protest at St. Peter's
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A 26-year-old Austrian hang-glided into St. Peter's Square on Friday and tried to put up an anti-war banner before police carried him away, police said.

I'd like to see them try that in Mecca and glide into the Ka’ba before assembled haj pilgrims of the Religion of Peace

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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National Review, Victor Davis Hanson: History or Hysteria? Our vulture pundits regurgitate rumor and buzz.

A very intelligent article on the anti-war movement and the media.

Have these people any intelligence or shame?
The answer appears to be "no". And Regarding peace:
Unlike in 1991, commanders in the field must be given explicit instructions from the White House about negotiations: There are to be absolutely none — other than the acceptance of unconditional surrender.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News: Protesters Throw Stones at National Guardsman
MONTPELIER, Vt. - A group of Vermont teen-agers threw rocks at a uniformed female Vermont National Guard sergeant last week, in the latest example of a service member facing hostility in the United States.

This is the same peace movement that claims the they have the support of the Pope.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Cardinal cries out "Attention Must Be Paid!"
IRAQ: CARDINAL TUCCI, THE POPE IS NOT IRRELEVANT (Italian News Agency) - Vatican City, March 27 -

"What the Pope and the Holy See did was not useless" said Cardinal Roberto Tucci, President of Radio Vaticana, speaking on the radio station. He was implicitly responding to the objections raised in the last few days on various TV programmes where it was sustained that "the Pope is just getting on with his job" whilst the war advances in Iraq. "In terms of information I think that it is very dangerous to look and think of war as one would a football match. War is dramatic, a catastrophe. We are very anguished and must intensify our prayers." (AGI) 271740 MAR 03

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, March 27, 2003
Another opinion on Moynihan

David Frum at National Review agrees with me. And he says it with flair:

He was a brilliant political intellectual, a fine social scientist, a graceful writer, a distinguished official, and a surprisingly canny politician. But Moynihan will need multiple obituaries in another way – he was one of the very few (maybe the only) political figure of his time to convince both right and left that he was really one of theirs, and not just one of their followers, but one of their leaders.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York 1: Anti-war protestors in Midtown New York

Not many of them -- I noticed nothing out of the ordinary while this was going on three blocks away.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:33 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tech Central Station: Glen Reynolds

Glen Reynolds pulls together a lot of media watching of the BBC:

It seems that everybody is dissing the BBC these days. Andrew Sullivan has been calling it the "Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation" for months. Now others are joining in.

It's an introduction to realtime anti-anti-war propaganda analysis.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:29 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: WTC Mural in military HQ

A good indicator of whether an editor supports the justification of the war as preventing another 9/11 is whether he or she wants to run this picture in the paper today or show this image on television.

The BBC might run this as "American invaders claim to have found a mural allegedly showing a plane flying into a building" -- but they probably will just ignore it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:06 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Brush up on your Bible

Beliefnet has story of locations in modern Iraq mentioned in the Bible.

I suspect that Iraq will try to become a tourist destination over the next decade.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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More Moynihan

Moynihan mastered th art of triangulation before anyone knew what it was. Publicly he would give these conservative speeches, and privately he would reassure the establishment that he would not rock the boat. His own writings would tell you -- convince -- you that racial preferences were harmful and the welfare state was killing the stability of lower class families, and then he'd vote to keep the status quo.

The Republicans in New York did not know how to handle this charming two-faced Irish-American. I suppose they admired his political skill in pulling it off.

The Democrats never trusted him and the best indicator of that is that a freshman Senator -- Hillary Clinton has already acquired a higher position in the leadership than Moynihan did in 24 years.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan dead at 76

Lots of people will be saying good things about Pat Moynihan. I want to mention that as close as he was to Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford he was in a position to work as a champion for life but was a coward.

He ran as the pro-abortion candidate (against the last pro-life Senator New York had, James Buckley).

In spite of this position, he was close to both Cardinals Cooke and O'Connor.

After fourth and final election, he was a small ineffective voice opposed to partial birth abortion. By 2000 he was completely marginalized in his own party. Hillary Clinton succeeded him.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, March 26, 2003

I thought the decision made last week to suppress national and regimentals flags was bad. I have no military experience so I didn't blog it. But the reasons I had were these:

  • Flags are great for morale.
  • Nothing beats a flag for telling your side and the other guys that you've achieved an objective.
  • It's says "We're here" or "We're still here" (9/11)

The reason it's not a good idea is now obvious, it would just be used as another deception technique by the Iraqi troops to ambush the coalition troops..

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, March 25, 2003
The U.S. bishops' conference identified more than 100 legislative issues of concern in Congress

After reading this list, I thought it's a shame that Not in our name as a name is already taken.

Really I agree with a lot of the items here, but is it the job description of bishops to organize lobbying efforts like this? Isn't this the domain of political parties and other groups to make these requests?

(Blogger Credit: HMS blog)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Code Pink

If you have fond nostalgia for February 2003, fighting on First Avenue (the U.N. headquarters), Hans Blix, and the parliament of Turkey, here's a second look at the Code Pink crew.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The moral gap grows larger
  • Basing a tank in a hospital
  • Fake surrenders ambushes
  • Dessing in American uniforms and shooting surrendering Iraqi troops
  • Dressing in civilian clothing and firing from occupied schools and homes
  • Using the Red Crescent to disguise military operations
  • Shooting anti-Saddam civilians in Basra
  • Arming children to draw American fire
There's probably more to add to this list, but the point I'm presenting it to you so that you can wait with me for our peace and justice loving friends in the United Nations and Vatican to specifically condemn Iraq.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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L. Brent Bozell III: Anti-Catholic "Entertainment"
Entertainment television relishes salacious current events, so much so that countless hours of fictional television are brazenly advertised as "ripped from the headlines."

That doesn't mean TV entertainment sees a responsibility to be fair. Quite the opposite. Oftentimes, drama and comedy writers shape events like clay to fit their own Hollywood prejudices.

These prejudices can accumulate into a toxic pattern. The year 2002 was a terrible year for the Catholic Church in the United States, and a year in which some church officials deserved everyone's harshest rebukes. While the overwhelming majority of Catholics -- and particularly their parish priests -- were not just innocent of abusive crimes, but strived to be good, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights noticed that they were all still cannon fodder for dark dramatic scripts, nasty comedy plots and tasteless jokes.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Domestic The New York Times leads the pack here with its emphasis on the casualties and rather than factual reporting on the progress of the war objectives. Media Research Center and TimesWatch are excellent resources for looking at media bias.

Another big problem is credulity of anyone with an anti-American agenda: the Iraqis, the French, the UN, etc. as -- the Iraqi Foreign Minister reports that a farmer shot down an Apache helicopter with his own rifle. ABC reported this and incredulity of the administration -- as in the White House makes the claim that President Bush is not watching television or "This administration is very secretive,’’ said Eleanor Clift of Newsweek. "But I have to say they have been masterful at spinning their message this week.’’

Foreign Al Jezeera has a creative staff, because of the restrictive rules of engagement, the coalition forces are trying very hard to avoid killing civilians, so they have staged atrocities, complete with people screaming that American have killed everyone in their village.

There's no way that anything like the truth is going to get out there.

The Iraqi National Congress which could be another voice to demonstrate that Saddam's regime is ending has been denied funding by State Department playing bureaucratic games. Congress voted the money months ago.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I want the United States to Win

Bill O'Reilly made a good point with a smirking Steve Rendall from the liberal Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting".

There's no liberal or conservative in this war. Every American should want American to win this war. Some of these people opposed to the war talk about casualities as if they want them to be greater because they believe it will undermine the support for the war.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The War Phase II, James V. Schall, S. J., Georgetown University, 21 March 2003.
The intention of the Islamicists (terrorists) is not modest. It is no less than to take up the cause of the expansion that was stopped and turned back after the Battle of Vienna, September 11, 1683, and by the subsequent scientific, commercial, and industrial revolutions which Muslim states could nor or choose not to imitate.

(Blogger Credit: A Saintly Salmagundi Fr. Bryce Sibley is a member of the Lepanto Group)

Fr. James Schall is an honorary member of the Lepanto Group

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Spinning the Pope, Part II

Pope Cites Peace Movements in War Message

VATICAN CITY (AP)--The vast antiwar movement in the world shows that a ``large part of humanity'' has rejected the idea of war as a means of resolving conflicts between nations, Pope John Paul II said in a message released Tuesday.

Now the AP has the Pope allied with the Anti-American Anarchists – why don’t they Photoshop a picture of the Pope with a sign reading “No blood for oil” and a picture of Bush with a Hitler moustache??

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:54 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Spinning the Pope Department

Catholic World News: Has the Pope Condemned the War?(subs. reqd.)

Despite a barrage of media reports to the contrary, Pope John Paul II has not issued a moral condemnation of US military action against Iraq.

Unlike your blogger here, Phil Lawler is CWN Editor and a legitimate member of the Catholic press -- so now you've got me, the Wall Street Journal, and the Catholic World News Service on the same page.

I would go further and say that the Pope needs to take more care that he is not being "spun" by the curia, Vatican Radio, L'Oversatorre Vaticano, Civilita Catholica, the United States Catholic Conference, anti-American/anarchist movements, Michael Moore, etc...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:40 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people is extremely important for the future of Iraq.

Look at what the US is doing for both combatants and non-combatants:

  • Not destroying infrastructure like water, power, communications, etc.
  • Bringing in food and water
  • Not flying the American or British flags everywhere
  • Caring for the Iraqi wounded

Look at what Saddam's remnant are doing:

  • Destroying infrastructure
  • Executing American POW’s
  • Ambush phony surrenders
  • Shooting Iraqi soldiers who attempt surrender
  • Wearing civilian clothing and shooting from mosques, schools, and residences
  • Accounts that Iraqi forces have acquired coalition uniforms and intend to commit atrocities wearing them.

What we have now are the last gasp Hitler Youth in Berlin and not the heroic defenders of Stalingrad. There’s utter futility in “sacrificing” oneself for Saddam by firing back at the Marines.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Planned Trips of the Pope

VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II will visit Spain in May, making the first of many foreign trips planned this year, the Vatican said Tuesday. The May 3-4 trip will be confined to Madrid, where the pope will preside over a canonization ceremony.

John Paul, who turns 83 on May 18, also is expected to visit Croatia and Bosnia in two separate trips in June and Slovakia in September. Vatican officials also are considering the pope's first visit to Mongolia in August.

John Paul, the most-traveled pope in history, has made 98 foreign tours in his nearly 25-year-long papacy.

Bosnia, of course, is where Medjugorje is. Since the 1981 alleged apparitions started, its advocates have waited for or demanded the Holy Father to visit. We shall see what happens...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: The Annunciation, in the Eyes of a Frightened Mary
In typical depictions of the Annunciation, the biblical story of the angel Gabriel appearing to the Virgin Mary with his stunning news, the young woman is presented as confused, yes, but full of wonder. In John Adams's remarkable dramatic oratorio, "El Niño," which received its New York premiere in an affecting production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Thursday night and repeats tonight, this incident is boldly related from the perspective of the frightened 16-year-old girl Mary is said, in some sources, to have been.

What sources would they be?

They don't say, but one can be sure that the deny the historical validity of the gospels and are opposed to the faith.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Germany Turning to the Church As War Rages
Church-going numbers are reportedly up since war with Iraq began. Midday prayers for peace are drawing large congregations.

For weeks now, thousands of Germans have taken to the streets in a public display of their opposition to the U.S.-led conflict against Iraq. Students have skipped school, protesters have blocked American military facilities, and speakers have shouted out the rallying cry: "No War."

And when the war is over, it's back to the status quo, i.e. sinning and acting as if God doesn't exist.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: War causing Pope deep worry and pain

Vatican City-AP -- The pope has been telling Catholic military chaplains that the war in Iraq causes him "deep worry and pain" -- and that he takes comfort in peace efforts around the world.

John Paul says the vast antiwar movement shows that a "large part of humanity" rejects the idea of war as a means of resolving conflicts between nations.

The chaplains were gathered in Rome to attend a course in humanitarian law.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:22 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, March 24, 2003
John Travolta's mother was Irish

I follow very closely a few celebrities who were born the same week or month of my birth. Among them are John Travolta and Howard Stern. Howard in fact, was born less than 10 blocksd from where I was born.

But today's story is John Travolta. I never knew it, but his mother was Irish and she passed away recently. The Irish Echo is a newspaper and the link is above.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: War Waking Activist Spirit of U.S. Youth

Actually, I prefer the headline from the 70's when I was in college "American youth is revolting".

This story dropped into my filter because it contained the word "Catholic" as in "Catholic University of America". My favorite is

Regardless of your opinion, I think people should just suck it up," says Devin Conroy, freshman at Catholic University of America. "If everyone unites, it'll be a much better scenario for our country."

That attitude concerns Beattie, who likens the response to the Dixie Chicks and other dissenters to the mood during the McCarthy era.

Sure, anything liberals don't like in political debate is McCarthyism. I've believed this for a long time. Jonah Goldberg in National Review Online recently explained it better than I could.

One talk radio caller critical of the Dixie Chicks is McCarthyism.

A minority of 45 Democratic United States Senators calling Miguel Estrada dangerous and out of the mainstream without evidence is not McCarthyism. That's the power of words.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Lileks Bleat: How the BBC is covering the war

11:50 NPR is running . . . the BBC. It’s interesting, listening to these guys - I’m unsure how it’s possible to sneer the entire time you’re speaking. I fear the announcer’s face will stay that way. Perhaps you can recognize an old Beeb hand by the permanently curled lip. I’ve tuned in twice in half an hour; both times they were talking about the FAILURE to get Saddam, and what this FAILURE means for the war which might be hindered by this initial FAILURE. And then the reporter - a female one, with a sneerier sneer - says the question now is when the attack will come, and whether the President will give his generals permission to act with a free hand.

I have digital cable and watched a little of the coverage of the war on BBC America

They repeated over and over again, the names of the reporters who were dead, missing, or injured. The names of the coalition soldiers who were dead, missing, or injured. A piece on how the identification-friend-or-foe system is supposed to work and how American incompetence was to blame for the death of the British pilots. etc. All sneering all the time.

In 30 mins of watching, I never heard them discuss the progress of the coalition forces towards their military objectives. That would be a least a small part of the story.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New Zealand Herald: A Cross of Blood poured on the carpet at the US Consulate
A Catholic worker and priest poured a cross made from their own blood on the carpet of the United States consul's office to protest at the invasion of Iraq.

Father Peter Murname and Nicholas Drake said they had been planning some kind of protest for several weeks after making yesterday's appointment to meet consul Douglas Berry.

Rather than make a funny comment about this (bodily fluids, etc.) -- I'm rather alarmed that visitors who enter the consul's office are not frisked. We're lucky that it was only blood and not acid or gasoline. These peace protesters are seeing our respect for their rights to enter our consulates as a sign of weakness.

No word if they were arrested or not. They ought to be forced to clean up the mess on the carpet. Please use only cold water.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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So they threw a putsch here in New York, I didn't notice.

St. Catherines (Ontario) Standard: Demonstrators believe in possibility of peace

Is George W. Bush going to bring democracy to Iraq? I’ll believe that when he brings democracy to New York,” said the long-time member [Tom Cornell] of the The Catholic Worker Movement.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Some are laughing with you, some are laughing at you, some just don't get the joke.

WCCO: Sunday Sermons

So, lighten up already. Fr. Jim Cassidy is not taking the the war too seriously:

"I never miss an opportunity when we can line up so beautifully with the Vatican," Cassidy joked.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Oakland Tribune: Explosives found on S.F. protest route

I wouldn't think that Jesus or St. Francis would bring along Molotov cocktails, locks, chains, bolt cutters, pepper spray, etc. to carry a message of peace.

I haven't heard of any weapons or violence at pro-war demonstrations.

Ironic, eh?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:06 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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My email to Rush Limbaugh

I know you are an admirer of the economic policies of the Kennedy administration. I found something that’s quite relevant to the positions the Democratic leadership is taking towards the war in Iraq – why they cannot get behind the idea that Saddam must go – the same idea that Clinton spoke but didn’t act on in 1998.

In 1940 22 year old Harvard student, John F. Kennedy expanded his senior essay into “Why England Slept”. In the 1930’s England did not build ships, tanks, or aircraft in significant numbers, leaving it unprepared for 1939 and that start of WW II. His final chapter is “America’s Lesson”:

Labor naturally did not want to lose its identity by joining wholeheartedly with the Government on its armaments program… (p.219)

…We, of course, do not have that same particular Parliamentary situation to face. Our “Opposition”, the Republican Party, is not a class party, it represents no particular economic group as did the English labor party. (p.219)

Kennedy saw the danger of party politics that automatically rejects ideas that would be good for the long-term interests of the nation. On some matters a democracy needs a real unity of purpose and not the inside-the-beltway rhetorical label of bipartisanship on a new highway or dam.

Thankfully, the United States never reduced its capability to defend itself to the extent of 1939, but if the Democrats don’t want to hear this lesson from our side, we can let them hear it from John F. Kennedy on the eve of his war.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Does the calendar still read March 19 at the Vatican?

The news that I can read here in New York from the Vatican is focused on one thing: avoiding a war.

Is there a big cloud of denial over the Vatican now. There is a war and its time to speak to the morality of its conduct.

The United States reminds me of New York City police officer Steven McDonald who hesitated in using his weapon on 15 year old Savod Jones who had just aimed a gun at him in Central Park in 1986. McDonald was shot in the spine and became a quadrapelegic. The United States every day exposes itself to more casualities because it is determined to fight this war according to the just war principles.

What higher purpose is being served by the Vatican's silence so far on the phony surrender ambushes, that some Iraqi soldiers are no longer fighting in uniform, and that coalition POW's are being shot or mistreated?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY Post: New Beatifications
  • Pierre Bonhomme, French founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Calvary
  • Maria Dolores Rodriguez Sopena, founder of the Dolores Sopena Catechetical Institutes
  • Maria Caridad Brader, a Swiss missionary who founded the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate
  • Juana Maria Condesa Lluch, founder of the Congregation of the Handmaids of Mary Immaculate
  • Laszlo Strattmann, a Hungarian doctor who treated the poor for free

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:21 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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UK Guardian: Cardinal Groer is dead.

He was forced to withdraw from an active role in the Church in 1998 because of allegations of sexual abuse against boys.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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And any time you've got the pope and Dixie Chicks against you, your time is up!

This statement of Michael Moore is wrong in three ways:

  • Stupid.
  • Insulting.
  • And dangerous because of the emotions it incites.

There was cheering for "fictious president" -- meaning that the Hollywood left has not gotten over the election of 2000 and booing when the above was spoken -- meaning that not everyone in Hollywood has lost common sense.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, March 23, 2003
A priest who knows what his people needs

A priest in my parish started off with "It's common now to hear in other parishes about what the priest did during vacations or politics, I'm not going to do that I'm going to give a homily on today's gospel..."

Thank God for excellent priests.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Drudge on the American POW's

The tape, he says is worse than the Daniel Pearl execution. The pants of the dead Marines are pulled down and a Iraqi man is laughing and playing with the bodies. It appears that there are execution wounds as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:17 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Scripps-Howard News: Details on the soldier who threw grenade into command tent
In this instance, the so-called "fragging" took the life of one Army captain and injured 15 others. Sgt. Asan Akbar was detained in the attacks.

Akbar was born Mark Fidel Kools and apparently grew up in California. He was living in Moreno Valley, Ca. in 1999.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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If you read in my blog on Monday, you will see the resemblance to this item now in The Weekly Standard Scrapbook dated 3/31 and online today

I Scream You Scream

A couple of weeks ago, contributing editor Irwin M. Stelzer recommended a few non-French wines for the highbrow anti-Chirac crowd. Then came the much-discussed "freedom fries" for the man in the street. But what to do for dessert? You might try a bowl of I Hate the French Vanilla ice cream. The Star Spangled Ice Cream company is taking orders for this and several other politically incorrect flavors (we're partial to Iraqi Road) at www.StarSpangledIceCream.com.

Relax, it's coincidence and not plagarism.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Why hasn't this hapenned yet?

I keep looking for liberated Iraqi's to begin to tell the story of their lives under Saddam. If the stories of torture and mass murder were now given a human face it would help give moral weight for the cause of the war.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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All this and world war, too

CWN: Prelate Says Conflict is a "World War"

In the most striking words of his radio interview, [Cardinal Etchegaray] said: "What has struck me recently-- and I think a lot about it-- is that up until now, in schools we are taught about the two world wars. But the one that has just now broken out, I believe, should also be described as a 'world war,' because its impact really touches the whole world."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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CNS: Papal preacher weighs in on U.S. debate about conversion of Jews

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Weighing in on a delicate U.S. debate in Christian-Jewish relations, Pope John Paul II's in-house preacher said Catholics must continue to pray for the conversion of Jews to Christ. Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, in the first of several Lenten meditations preached for the pope March 21, rejected arguments by some Catholic theologians that the Jews' enduring covenant with God precludes not only direct missionary efforts but also even desiring Jews' conversion. "Renouncing even desiring this means, for me, loving neither Christ nor the Jews," Father Cantalamessa said. He said the Catholic approach to Jews should be a gradual and respectful one, "to not take initiatives of evangelization but, as the occasion presents itself and if asked, to witness the hope that Christ is for us." This approach, emphasizing Christ more than the church, also recognizes that the Jewish people "have suffered so much in the past at the hands of Christians and the church," he said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Was this a 20 minute war?

The war was won in the first 20 minutes. The decapitation attack killed Saddam and his two sons, and other leaders. There was a second attack which killed Tariq Aziz and all the remaining leaders who were there to discuss the succession. These targets were laser-painted by special forces in Baghdad as the missiles were flying in. The confirmation of this is that the US deliberately left the civilian telephone network in place and the military communications network in place and our side is listening and hearing no one taking authority and issuing orders.

Let's see if that story from the Batchelor and Alexander radio program turns out to be accurate.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com