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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, October 25, 2003
Prayer Vigil at an abortion clinic in Manhattan

This is the rather plain entrance to the abortion clinic at 44 East 30th Street.


Here we are reciting the Rosary.


We can see our reflection in mirrored windows across the street. That's me at the extreme left.


Here's a friar who talking to the people passing by. The woman on the side of the phone booth is Jewel Kilcher, the singer. Rather than holding up the signs of the healthy babies and aborted babies they are laid on the sidewalk.


A trio of escorts to encourage people passing by to go into the clinc. The vest reads "Women's Clinic Escort" in case you didn't know.


What you would see it you walked by. The image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Crucifix.


The police were helpful and professional.


The two sides face off.


The group at prayer.


The procession along Park Avenue.


The friars head the procession.


Back at the Church of Our Savior. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Have a brain injury? Can't swallow?

Looks to me like you can be starved to death in America today.

In debates on Terri's case on the net:

  • There's a weird finality given to the decisions of local county and state district courts. Like once there's a ruling the Terri is in a PVS -- it can never be reviewed of argued. In the real world, really stupid things like zoning variances to put up an illuminated sign on a retail store get litigated and wander through many, many courtrooms. Now, all of a sudden the buck stops on Greers desk.
  • Terri is not dying. On the other hand, we're all dying slowly not knowing what will cause our death.. This is the same category that Terri is in.
  • Terri is not suffering incredible pain. Another reason people cite for allowing a person to starve to death.
  • An incurable condition in itself is not a reason to allow a person to starve to death. I've got incuable baldness, so that label of "incurable" needs to be understood in a larger context. At best it is only a mitigating factor.
  • Confusing "medical treatment" and "care": What you can only get in a hospital is "medical care" what my wife can bring to me in bed when I have the flu is "care". What my wife and I did in cleaning the tube, keeping the pump's batteries charged, and preparing the formula, etc. is "care". Assisted Nutrition and Hydration [ANH] as it is abbreviated is simply food and water that is fed by a system that a person can learn and master in a few hours. It is not extraordinary. Calling it so is one way to enrage me.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Same Sex-Marriage and the End of Marriage

First we have the comment of Bishop Daniel P. Reilly (Worcester MA) favoring extending legal recognition to same-sex couples that is identical to that legal recognition of husband and wife from CNN:

Extending these benefits would not in any way contradict the Catholic Church's commitment to matrimony, he said.

Recently self-identified ex-Catholic, Andrew Sullivan spun this as

[Bishop Reilly] endorses some civil benefits to protect the children of gay couples
And for some reason, the blogger thinks that Bishop Reilly would be opposed to the positions outlined by David Frum in opinionjournal.com

The much more likely outcome in this country would be the spread of a crazy-quilt of differing systems of "marriage-lite" across the country: California might have a domestic partnership law that grants virtually all the rights of marriage to registered couples; Michigan could have one that treats partners as married for inheritance purposes but not tax purposes, while Oregon did the reverse. Some states might require domestic partners to do some affirmative act: sign a book, buy a license, etc. Other states might just treat any couple that lives together for two years or three or five as if it had registered. Still other states might do both.

And then there would be the question of federal rights: immigration, Social Security, federal tax law, and so on, just to make the whole problem more complicated.

It is highly unlikely that these proliferating domestic partnerships would be offered to same-sex couples alone. That might even be unconstitutional, a deprivation of equal protection, but certainly it would be politically impossible. Every American city and state that offers domestic-partnership benefits offers them equally to heterosexuals and homosexuals. The result of a national trend toward same-sex marriage would be that the young people of the country would be presented with 50 different buffets, each of them offering two or more varieties of quasi-marital relationships. In such a world, the very concept of marriage would vanish.

The very concept of marriage would vanish. I agree. Frum also discusses the "bright line" between married and unmarried that is growing dimmer all the time.

But wait.. Sullivan simplifies it all for you:

David Frum is now more anti-gay than a Catholic bishop.

Another blogger characterized Bishop Reilly as a useful fool. I thought I'd wait and see if the bishop would be used like a stooge. That wait is over.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, October 24, 2003
Take up your cross.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I found another poor soul to pray for in cyberspace...

Reviewer: treebait from long beach

I didn't like this book. It was like acid in my eyes to read about this heart-felt love that I will never have. I had so much hatred for the tenderness of the characters. And I found two typos.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, October 23, 2003
Back to the war on terror...

Mark Steyn: Lack of intelligence

On his own, Wilson comes over like a total flake – not a sober striped-pants diplomat but an ideologically-driven kook. This is a guy who says things like: "Neoconservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both."

As I wrote last July: "The intel bureaucracy got the Sudanese aspirin factory wrong, failed to spot 9/11 coming, and insisted it was impossible for any American to penetrate bin Laden's network only to have Johnnie bin Joss-Stick from hippy-dippy Marin County on a self-discovery jaunt round the region stroll into the cave and be sharing the executive latrine with the A-list jihadi within 20 minutes. "So, if you're the President and the same intelligence bureaucrats who got all the above wrong say the Brits are way off the mark, there's nothing going on with Saddam and Africa, what do you do? Do you say, 'Hey, even a stopped clock is right twice a day'? Or do you make the reasonable assumption that, given what you've learned about the state of your humint (human intelligence) in the CIA, is it likely they've got much of a clue about what's going on in French Africa? Isn't this one of those deals where the Brits and the shifty French are more plugged in?"

The whole thing is very funny and very good analysis as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Why I'm all over the blogosphere denying that feeding tubes are artificial or a burden

I actually have some experience with feeding tubes. My wife and I had a baby that would not be able to handle regular baby food and needed a special formula -- first fed through an NG tube (the nose) and then a PEG tube (a hole in the skin into the stomach). We got trained how to do this, how to clean the tubes, watch for infection, etc, and we had a little pump to take along with us wherever we would go and it was only a little bit bulkier than the regular gear you bring along to handle a baby. I never thought it was a burden. I'm just amazed at all the bioethical bs that I've been reading that's been calling feeding tubes a burden or artifical. If a feeding tube is assisted nutrition and hydration, then a baby bottle with a rubber nipple is assisted nutrition and hydration is as well.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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'Jews for Jesus' has some competition

AP: 'Jews for Allah' attempts to gain converts to Islam

DANBURY, Conn. (AP) Most days, laid-off telecommunications worker Mohamed Ghounem minds the world from behind a laptop propped on his living room coffee table. He's working to get the Quran translated into Hebrew. His Web site, created to woo Jewish souls to Islam, has gotten national attention.

But battling for converts can be dangerous work. The glasses the 32-year-old Muslim is wearing have no lenses: ``It's a disguise,'' he said. ``I've received death threats.''

Ghounem, of Danbury, is the founder of Jews for Allah, a Web site jewsforallah.com that ``invites'' Jews to Islam.

``Basically, I'm a pioneer,'' said Ghounem, educated at Western Connecticut State University and Al Azhar University in Egypt. ``One of my main goals is to inspire Muslims to invite Jews, to dialogue with them and to teach them about Islam.

``I'm not harassing anyone to convert. It's their free choice,'' he said.

``If someone moves off my site, I'm not going to chase them around the Internet,'' he later added.

Ghounem recently spoke to a reporter from the living room of his apartment as his 2-year-old daughter played on the floor. His honorable discharge certificate from the U.S. Army was propped up on the coffee table. A gold-leaf placard, the ``Ninety-Nine Names of God,'' hung on the wall.

By Ghounem's thinking, the similarities of Judaism and Islam similar dietary laws, the same Sabbath, the same belief in circumcision, and shared prophets offer an entree for Jews into Islam. He is searching for a Jewish convert to be president of his organization as a means of legitimizing it. He said two converts have turned him down.

Though presidential candidates may be scarce, converts are many, Ghounem said. Just how many, he couldn't accurately say. ``It's in the hundreds. I don't know. There are some they're in the closet.''

Ghounem's Web site solicits donations under the heading ``Multi-National Muslim Committee.'' He said the Web site has attracted few donations to a Newtown post office box, especially over the last few months. ``I'm asking for money from two peoples who aren't comfortable with each other,'' he said.

Some people aren't comfortable with Ghounem's mission.

Rabbi Tovia Singer, of the international anti-missionary organization Outreach Judaism, called the Web site dangerous, anti-Semitic and ``pregnant with hate.''

Ghounem said his goal is to convert the nation of Israel and Jews everywhere to Islam. The Web site states that the organization is ``countering the schemes of deceptive Zionists and Judaic groups that target the Unity among Muslim families in the Islamic World.''

Given tensions between Islamic people and the rest of the world, Ghounem's efforts seemed ill-timed, said Emad Ismail, an imam of the Islamic Society of Western Connecticut. Besides, he said, Islam teaches harmony with people of other faiths, all of whom were created by God.

``You cannot be in peace with God without being in peace with his creation,'' Ismail said.

The roots of Jews For Allah are in Ghounem's own conversion of sorts. His parents were ``good Muslims,'' but he wasn't observant as a youngster. He said television and pop music were more important to him than Islam.

After a period of seeking that stretched through his 20s, Ghounem said one of his professors at WCSU spurred him toward Islam.

``I was very naive about my roots,'' he said. ``What helped me was an African-American professor, (who) said that to move forward, you have to know your background. It seemed like he was looking right at me.''

After WCSU, Ghounem went to Cairo and enrolled in a university where he learned Arabic, the basics of Sunni Islam and the Quran. ``In Christian terms, I was touched by the spirit,'' he said. ``I came back to share the wisdom and tranquillity from there. Not by evangelizing, but by trying to share it with more people.''

Before Ghounem started his Web site, he first reached out to Jews and Christians in online forums. ``I'd go into a chat room and say, 'Did you know Mohammed came after Jesus?'''

He eventually founded jewsforallah.com to clear up negative stereotypes of Islam, he said. ``I said we worship the same God, just like you. A lot of people were telling me I worshipped Satan.''

These days, Ghounem is working on his laptop, putting together a new book, one about ``the 200 ways the Quran corrects the Bible.''

``It will be the apocalypse of literature,'' Ghounem said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Dittos, Rod Dreher

This from Rod Dreher in the Dallas Morning News blog: (I really like the reference to "extremists".) He is responding to charges that some (but in my opinion not enough) Catholics in public life are (shudder) attempting to advocate policies which support the pro-life teaching of the Catholic Church:

That won't wash. The "extremists" you condemn happen to be people like the Pope, the Catholic bishops, and all those who adhere to Catholic teaching. For that matter, there are quite a few Protestants, Jews and even those with no religion who rightly fear and fight cloning.

Anyway, feel free to lump me in with the so-called "extremists" who will fight as hard as I can to prevent this kinder, gentler form of eugenics from taking hold in this society. Is it really extreme to believe cloning is a sci-fi nightmare? Is it really extreme to fear what those in power will do once they have the ability to manipulate the very traits that make us human? If so, then call me an extremist, and a Catholic one to boot. I'll proudly wear that label.

What's makes this whole Catholic conspiracy-thing so ironic is that the only evidence of a conspiracy that's come to light is the one to conceal the sexual criminals that that some bishops have managed to hide from earthly justice, you know, the one that the bishops discussed in Dallas.

If only the focus and resources of that could have been applied to pro-life advocacy, Catholic evangelization and education, etc., what would have been...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Amazon.com: Search Inside the Book

I've have admired Amazon and I'm happy to be an Amazon Associate -- but this Search Inside the Book feature needs a little bit more debugging...

". . . Lydgate material, mostly by the SETS, mostly by Ge-man scholars in the ES. It is thanks to the 1 ETS's catholic pubes that we are m a position to measure I.~ dgate's real stature, since the following works by Lydgate were published . . ."

Have fun. See what interesting things turn up for Tholian Web and Flabella (I swear that's not a dirty word.)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Where were New York's and America's biggest pro-partial-birth-abortion politicians and Catholic pro-abortion politicians? Why -- they were dining with the Cardinal Archbishop of New York, of course.

AP: New York's Al Smith Dinner

The former head of U.S. Central Command was the keynote speaker at the annual Alfred E. Smith Foundation Memorial dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel. More than 800 people paid $800 a plate for the dinner, which raises money for local Catholic hospitals.

Guests included Cardinal Edward Egan, Sen. Charles Schumer, R-N.Y., Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Gov. George Pataki.

I wonder if the Cardinal will be joining the pro-life Mass and Walk for Life on Saturday October 25, 2003 8.30 AM starting at the Church of Our Savior (38th Street & Park Ave., New York) 212.679.8166. That's where I'll be.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:40 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, October 22, 2003
The Simpson's

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A Terri Teaching Moment:

The next time you are with friends and getting coffee or going out for lunch, say I'm getting my life support.

Huh? What's that about? Well, news reports call any food or water which enters Terri Schivao's body "life support" then whenever I put anything in my body, I guess that's life support too.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: Few Viewers and Network Executives Scratch Their Heads
As the ratings have rolled in for the first three weeks of the new television season, one question has dominated the conversations inside the industry's executive suites: what the heck is going on?

No surprise here. I've got the internet, EWTN, History Channel, Fox News, and The Simpsons. Who needs anything else?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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On the radar now: Terri Schiavo's case

Finally, now a big topic on talk radio. This from "the expert" Professor Arthur Caplan of the Bioethics Center at the University of Pennsylvania:

  • Your loved ones need to make the decision. Not a "third party".
  • These "tubes" are artificial. Did you know that she's not being fed by spoons?
  • The Schindler's are selfish.
  • We know Terri's wishes and it's clear that she did not want to live this way.
  • We know she's suffering.
  • Every doctor said that she can't be rehabilitated.

The talk show host at WABC John Gambling did not disagree or question any of these lies and didn't take calls while Caplan was on the air.

Finally, a caller with the facts calling in... I'm waiting for Gambling to have any real debate. Gambling doesn't realize that it is disputed that she no longer lacks perception.

Gambling just called her "brain dead" for 13 years and he isn't aware of any financial interest on the part of Michael Schiavo. sheesh... read a newspaper, John.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:21 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, October 21, 2003
The editorial page blog of the Dallas Morning News (no permalink available)

Included this item which I didn't get a chance to blog on earlier at work today.

The blog was started by Rod Dreher formerly of the National Review and New York Post and now an editor and columnist at the Dallas Morning News. This post has been discussed all over the Catholic blogspace already. My comments follow the post:


A reader [of the Dallas Morning News] take on biotech, which certainly doesn't earn my disapproval. I thought we made a bad editorial decision last year in urging a ban on reproductive cloning and a moratorium on therapeutic cloning.

Many thanks for your willingness to label the anti-scientific attitude of the new "moralists" for what it really is, Luddism. Now, I'll go one step further--and no doubt earn your distance and disapproval--and comment on another aspect of this organized Luddism that people are unaware of, have failed to realize, or simply afraid to state aloud. Namely, there is in this country a well funded movement by arch conservative Roman Catholics to infuse papal doctrine into the public policy and laws of this nation.

Nowhere is it more evident than in the area of biotechnology. Your Rod Dreher exemplifies this movement at the DMN. Fox News Channel and its almost solidly arch Catholic line-up of conservative anti-science zealots (Hannity, O'Reilly, Cavuto, et. al.) leads the national effort, as befits a media outlet owned by Rupert Murdoch, who was anointed a member of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal knighthood awarded to individuals who "promote the interests of society, the [Catholic] Church and the Holy See".

Buckley's National Review, on the other hand, is the breeding ground for the movement in the print media. There is a real and substantial conflict at work, here.

The Roman Church is an absolute monarchy. As such, it is fundamentally at odds with a country founded on the principles of decentralized democracy, which, yes, is the distinctive development of schismatic prone Protestantism. It is false to dismiss the persecution of the likes of Galileo as a quaint artifact of past Catholic "mistakes". That spirit persists today, most actively in the Murdoch-Buckley Axis.

(Well, I'll bet this is one reader comment that never makes it to the blog page. Fox News has already made a pre-emptive attack on critics of papal policy, labeling us all bigots and haters.)

posted by John Chamless @ Oct 21, 10:52 AM

The Catholic Church is historically a patron of the arts and sciences. It is in fact a "great lie" that the Church suppressed the advancement of the arts and sciences. This is the original falsehood that is handed to do us by the Enlightenment -- looking down their collective noses at the centuries of faith in God and to boost the propaganda of atheism.

Scientists were involved in medicine and biology such as Mendel and Pasteur of the past and Catholics today involved in the Human Genome project. Catholics and the Catholic Church are not Luddites. Catholics are building up schools and universities and increasing knowledge.

Catholics have the same right as anyone to influence public policy and laws. We are, in fact, failing to do so. A Catholic legislative agenda would end all abortion, defend marriage and family, eliminate capital punishment, etc. -- so if there was a well-funded Catholic anything, they ought to ask for a better return on investment.

When it comes to biotechnology, the Catholic worldview sees human life as created by God and given a dignity that says that human beings are not to experimented on, killed, sold, or transformed into something other than human.

Nazi scientists were sentenced to death and long prison terms for what is now coolly proposed by the well-funded biotech advocates who deny any ethical implications for their actions. Their whine is "if you don't let us, then XXX or YYY will develop ZZZ first". Their drive to be the first to create some sort of Frankenstein blinds them to morality or ethics of these acts.

And through taxes, they expect me to foot the bill.

If you want to find me I'll be marching on their castle with a torch and a million of my fellow Catholic Illuminati.

I agree with Rod Dreher that it's clearly bigotry to suggest a global Catholic conspiracy and dual-loyalty among Catholics. Such a conspiracy is clearly absurd: who's the Pope's champion in the United States Senate? Teddy Kennedy?

This is yet another version of the Catholic black legend and analogous to the global Zionist conspiracy. No, DMN reader, there isn't Catholic conspiracy to suppress science.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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FLASH: Both Houses of the Florida legislature have approved the "Save Terri" Bill

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Is this about a tube?

ABC Network Radio News described this as a dispute over a feeding tube. It was never mentioned in their version of the story that Terri Schiavo (SHY-voh) is dying. (The way I had first heard this name pronounced was SHE-ah-VOH from people in New York City of Italian descent.)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Great Secular Analysis of the Anti-Life Arguments

Wall Street Journal: The Tragedy of Garrett Hardin (paid subs. required)


The philosopher Garrett Hardin and his wife Jane died last month by mutual suicide. His passing received too little attention; perhaps this week's memorial service at the Unitarian Society in Santa Barbara, Calif., will change that. Hardin was a brilliant, wise and gentle man who was often desperately wrong, and the ways in which a person can be wise and gentle and yet wrong can tell us much.

Hardin is known for his essay "The Tragedy of the Commons," which created a sensation when published in Science magazine in 1968, and became among the most widely read essays ever penned. In "The Tragedy of the Commons," Hardin supposed that unrestricted access to a commons would cause herdsmen to graze so many animals that eventually the commons, which might have supported a few, would collapse and all starve. Market theorists protested that creating property rights would prevent the commons from being overburdened, as rights-holders would acquire an incentive to safeguard resources. Hardin thought "mutual coercion mutually agreed upon" was the solution to the tragedy of the commons. Government should fence the commons and turn away herdsmen. Government, Hardin thought, should prohibit a great deal of human action, in the interest of preserving resources for future generations.

Today people think of "The Tragedy of the Commons" as an argument against selfishness. Actually, Hardin was arguing for government-imposed population control: only by reducing the number of people, Hardin thought, could we prevent excessive demand on the commons.

Reducing the human population became the cause of Hardin's life. On becoming an intellectual celebrity, he spent much of the 1970s making speeches in favor of abortion -- not just in favor of the right of a woman to control her own body but in favor of abortion itself, as a good in itself, because abortion prevents life. "Freedom to breed is intolerable," he declared. The newborn's cry was not, to him, a celebration of life; it was just more breeding. "The only way we can preserve and nurture other and more precious freedoms is by relinquishing the freedom to breed," Hardin thought. And though he had a long, happy marriage with his wife Linda, Hardin disliked the fact that women were reproductive vessels. "Population does not grow globally; it grows very locally, at each spot occupied by a fertile woman," Hardin declared.

Hardin said the U.S. should withdraw from the United Nations because U.N. policy held that family size was a private decision. He also wanted a total ban against immigration -- "we must bring immigration virtually to an end and do so soon." When the world learned of forced sterilization in China, Hardin cheered: "There is no talk in China of a woman's 'right' to reproduce or of married couples' 'right to privacy,'" he wrote in 1989. Hardin wanted forced-sterility programs extended to all developing nations.

Thomas Malthus believed it would be physically impossible for agricultural production to increase faster than population; the Green Revolution proved that wrong, invalidating Malthusian assumptions. Hardin believed it would be physically impossible for a rising human population to have any result other than runaway pollution; "The Tragedy of the Commons" depicts the near future as choking on smog and toxins. Instead, throughout the United States and European Union, all forms of pollution except greenhouse gases have been in decline pretty much since the moment Hardin wrote that they could not decline, and population steadily rises. Hardin simply failed to estimate how rapidly technology could respond to the needs of the commons.

Globally, the human population has almost doubled since "The Tragedy of the Commons" was written, yet U.N. figures show that malnutrition has declined in that period, while developing-world per-capita income, literacy, education levels, longevity and political freedom all have improved. Meanwhile no resource, not even petroleum, is near exhaustion. Countless problems remain across the globe, but things simply have not gotten as bad as Hardin assumed they would.

That Hardin was wrong on his most basic contention, that humanity would overwhelm the Earth, should not obscure his other achievements. He spoke wisely of the need to temper materialism: "The maximum is not the optimum" was Hardin's best aphorism. He insisted that future generations make a legitimate claim on us today; Hardin endlessly reminded of the future's power to judge us, and of how we will, in the next life, wish to be thought well of by the living. And Hardin's ability to be wise, caring and accomplished, yet to say foolish things, reminds us all of our humanity.

I am haunted by the thought that the final expression of Garrett Hardin's ambivalence regarding human life was the pact that brought his and his wife's death. Both were in their eighties and in poor health; when the end is near, each person needs the right to exit on his or her own terms. But I liked the world much better when Garrett Hardin was in it, and am glad his parents never took the advice their child later gave.

Mr. Easterbrook is a senior editor of The New Republic, a visiting fellow of the Brookings Institution, and the author of "The Progress Paradox," forthcoming from Random House.

Updated October 21, 2003

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:59 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday: Faithful say they see image of the Virgin Mary in Passaic tree stump
PASSAIC, N.J. -- Several people claim an image of the Virgin Mary has appeared in a tree stump after a cluster of trees were mysteriously cut down.

Crowds have flocked to the Passaic site in recent days since word of the image began spreading. The state Department of Transportation owns the land, but no work order was issued for the tiny tract and officials do not know who performed the work.

Some visitors say the clearing was an act of God.

"It looks like Mary," Camilo Diaz, 41, told the Herald News of West Paterson for Tuesday's editions. "There's no way it was carved to look like that, no explanation other than it was a miracle."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:54 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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What you say back then, what you say now

A talk show host told us why he believes that it is wrong to have removed the feeding tube from Terri Schiavo. Ron Kuby of WABC Radio said that what people cooly discuss with family members is not the same attitude they will have when the time comes to make the choice.

What's locked up in the safety deposit box is not the final word. In many cases, the situation that presents itself is not what is anticipated in either written or oral instructions.

In the case of Ron's father, he changed his mind and wanted a operation that would remove a cancerous larynx. If he wasn't able to communicate his change of mind, the family would have allowed him to die.

I think when this is discussed informally or when health care proxies are being drawn up, there's a pressure "not to be a burden" -- this introduces a bias against life. We hope that if the time comes that one is able to communicate their instructions relecting on the actual medical situation and not the hypotheticals of a health care proxy.

In the Terri's case, there is no health care proxy, only the hearsay of the husband and this itself is very suspicious as it became public only after the malpractice award was made and he had a financial interest in hastening her death.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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St. Petersburg Times: A battle over a life, so fraught with irony

Something I didn't know: The background on how Terri Schiavo came to have the potassium imbalance that caused her heart to stop.

She had an eating disorder and by radically reducing her diet, she became sick.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:19 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, October 20, 2003
Jason Kottke blogging on the time warp bubble he created. Think of Schroedinger's Cat when you read his post.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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UK Independent: Cardinals consider moves to press for Pope's resignation
The Catholic Church's cardinals may ask the Pope to resign from his post when they meet in Rome next week.

The idea that the Pope should exercise his right to resign is expected to be raised on 21 October at the consistory - a gathering at the Vatican in which new cardinals are appointed. The plan, which was disclosed by a very senior church official who declined to be named, aims to establish the consensus among cardinals about putting forward a resignation proposal. It centres on the fact Popes are entitled to resign, although it is a right exercised only once before.

This is the ugliest of the resignation stories that I have read.

I want to add to the reasons you have been reading about why the Pope will not resign one more.

I think the Holy Father desires not to create a precedent that future Popes might find binding when they approach infirmity as Pope John Paul II has.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:38 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Attention "Passion"-bashers, here's authentic anti-Semitism for you to bash

The Jerusalem Post has coverage of the Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's anti-Semitic tirade: Jews rule the world!

He was applauded by all the Muslim leaders after he gave this speech.

UPDATE: Tech Central Station has an excellent post in this event.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:17 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, October 19, 2003
Comment on the media comment on the Pope

Fox News Watch discussed the coverage of the Pope on his 25th anniversary. They have not posted the transcript yet -- so you will have to wait for the verbatim. Here are my comments before they fade from memory.

Was the media fair? Does the media understand the Pope?

No and No.

Insights: when the Pope visited Poland and encouraged the resistance movements to Communism there and everywhere -- he was criticized by the left. Now, he's admired for it. He along with Reagan and Thatcher should get the credit in history books yet to be written that these three accounted for a firm will to help Communism self-destruct.

On matters sexual, he's aways been hated: birth control, abortion, divorce, celibacy for priests, and the ordination of women he's not with the times.

On the other hand: he's loved for his bashing of the United States in Iraq, and insistance on intervention from the same in Bosnia/Kosovo and hot spots in Africa, and opposition to the death penalty.

One of the panelists was commenting on Sobran's remark that he'd prefer to belong to a Church with centuries of unchanged teaching rather than a Church that's huffing and puffing to catch up with today's cultural trends

I've lost track of how many hits you get with "failed" and "failure" connected with the word "papacy". Oy Vey!

They can't understand that labels like "liberal" and "conservative" do not apply to the Pope. It's a matter of understanding what the Catholic Church teaches and heterodoxy and orthodoxy.

If I get some time, I'll see it I can get reprint permission for the article on the papible from the Wall Street Journal. (link requires paid subscription)

Their list: Arinze, Carrera, Danneels, Hoyos, Hummes, Maradiaga, Ortega y Alamino, Re, Schoenborn, Scola, Sodano, Tettamanzi

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Worldnet Daily: Terri Schiavo denied Last Rites Catholic monsignor forbidden to put crumb of holy wafer in dying woman's mouth
Saying she was only following court and doctor's orders, an attorney for Michael Schiavo yesterday would not allow a revered Roman Catholic priest to administer Holy Communion to brain-disabled Terri Schindler-Schiavo, who is being slowly starved to death following the judge-ordered removal of her life-sustaining feeding tube on Wednesday.

Attorney Deborah Bushnell told Monsignor Thaddeus Malanowski, who has been Terri's spiritual provider for three years, that ''because of court order and doctor's orders, you can't put anything in her mouth,'' not even a morsel of moistened communion wafer.

How many lawyers and judges have signed-on to this diabolical execution by dehyration of Terri Schindler-Schiavo? Is there no one in the legal hierarchy of the Florida and the United States that can stop Michael Schiavo's court-assisted murder of his wife?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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wten.com: Massachusetts Priest Suspended After Impregnating Church Employee

A former employee of Saint Mary's Church in Lee, Massachusetts, is pregnant after an alleged sexual relationship with a priest.

Josephine Dizoglio, 34-years-old and now five months pregnant, said Rev. Paul LaFlamme was counseling her and took advantage of her vulnerable state, ultimately leading to the sexual relationship. Furthermore, Dizoglio claimed that when she told LaFlamme she was pregnant another priest encouraged her to "get rid of it." However her attorney says the word abortion was never used.

The Springfield Catholic Diocese has suspended LaFlamme for having a sexual relationship with Dizoglio.

Dizoglio's attorney, John Stobierski, stated that after his client learned she was pregnant she told both LaFlamme and Rev. Gary Dailey. Stobierski said Rev. Dailey told Dizoglio, "You have a problem and you need to get rid of it."

Stobierski said his client was receiving counseling and emotional support from LaFlamme following a difficult breakup with her boyfriend. However, her attorney stated Dizoglio is not upset about the pregnancy or the suggestion that she fixes what was labeled a "problem."

Stobierski asserted Dizoglio was quickly fired after revealing her pregnancy and, in an attempt to get her evicted from her residence, Rev. Daily called her landlord to say that she no longer held a job.

Over the phone, Stobierski stated, "My client's main concern is over the abuse of power the church exercises over and over . . . She was going through a difficult breakup when rev. LaFlamme used his position to his advantage by consoling her."

Stobierski said she was not evicted but the alleged actions do demonstrate an abuse of power.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Worldnet Daily: 'Gay' couple ejected from Catholic choir

I blogged this a few days ago. In the interim I spoke to a priest who was once assigned to this parish. He said. In almost any choir, you might find men who are effeminate. The subject of their sexuality doesn't come up in the rehearsals and performances of the choir so it's not an issue. It's all gossip at that point.

The line was crossed when they went public with their sexuality. To allow them to continue to be in the choir would lead one to believe that the Church no longer considers homosexual acts sinful.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Yahoo has links to 309 photos covering the beatification of Mother Teresa

CNN's obituary of Mother Teresa from 1997

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Update: Rev. John Johnston

This is from the Queens Chronicle, a free local weekly paper:

  • He's accused of stealing $90,000 and reportedly admitted to stealing $87,000
  • If convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to 15 years. (very unlikely in my opinion)
  • He's been "saying" weekend Masses at St. Martin of Tours in Bethpage for 25 years.
  • He had $700,000 in the bank and says $500,000 of it was inherited from his parents.
I've been called to jury duty, so perhaps I will meet him in person.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com