Saturday, November 08, 2003
Politicial Correctness on Parade
I swear -- these are the same stories, first from the AP and second from the New York Daily News, and this is tamer than the New York Post.
AP: Teens, Dressed As Women, Impersonate Cops
NEW YORK (AP) -- Five young men who police said dressed as women were arrested on charges that they impersonated police officers and robbed men in Greenwich Village, authorities said.
New York Daily News: Crime blemish on gay school
Another month, another mess at Harvey Milk High School.
According to my high-school student-daughter, this sort of aggressiveness is a sort of compensation -- these gay students have to demonstrate that they are tougher, wilder, etc. than the general student population.
The Harvey Milk School in New York City is named after a elected supervisor of San Francisco who was murdered by a former supervisor in 1978.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:38 PM Permalink
Friday, November 07, 2003
Nun or Not
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:05 PM Permalink
City Journal: Victor Davis Hanson, Do You Want Mexifornia?
Excused absences for catechism classes at the Catholic church emptied our classrooms, giving us five Anglo Protestants a much-welcomed three-hour recess. We all suffered fish sticks on Friday, the public school’s concession to the vast Catholic majority.
Answering a question from my comment boxes, VDH is Protestant.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:39 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:53 AM Permalink
Thursday, November 06, 2003
Newday: District says contracts won’t be renewed following scandal [Mepham Update]
The coaches are not fired, their contracts are. So of the coaches have tenure as teachers as well. So no one is saying goodbye for now.
Is there common sense of shame here? Not yet, apparently.
During the meeting, many parents held up signs, several criticizing the amount of time it has taken for the dismissal of the coaches, while other parents, teachers and some students emotionally defended the coaches.
Another detail got revealed: How did the coaches not hear the screams that others did? It turns out that they had boom-boxes with lots of power and they were blasting music all through the night. That didn't disturb the coaches however.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:31 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:00 PM Permalink
The Abandoned Bikes of New York City by Joe Schumacher
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:38 AM Permalink
AP: Pope Stresses Ireland's Christian History in Meeting With President
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope John Paul II told Ireland's president Thursday that her country has an "essential role" to play in affirming its Christian identity in an enlarged European Union.
This is a battle for the future of Europe, formerly known as Christendom, not some sort of nostalgia society like The Society for Creative Anachronism.
Our concern is for the future.
Luke 9:60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God."
I wonder if the Pope himself uses the phrase "Christian identity". I think that's more a journalistic term of art. "Christian character" or "Christianity" would be more accurate.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:31 AM Permalink
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Anti-Catholic Kook Alert
Scoop NZ: The Catholic Church: partnering up with the AIDS virus for a new genocide in Africa?
The Catholic Church is deceiving! The president of the Vatican¹s Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Alphonso Lopez affirmed on the BBC channel on October 9th, 2003, that condoms are permeable to the AIDS virus. He suggested that governments should invite populations to stop using them (see: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3176982.stm).
Now, if you believe that the Church is wrong on condoms, aren't you happy to learn that the Raelians are on your side?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:56 PM Permalink
Comment system is back
I got mail from Yariv. The maintenance took longer than expected.
As for me, things are busy both at work and home, so less blogging today than usual.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 PM Permalink
Looks like backBlog is toast
Yariv Habot developed backBlog and is was running until Nov. 3, 2003 and then was not running on Nov. 4, 2003. (The host blogextra mapped for a while to a web site management product ensim.)
7,951 active Users. 1,072,442 feedBack entries.The free version of backBlog which I was using had no provision for backing up comments. I don't know of any means of retrieval of them now. In all likelyhood, if the site shutdown is permanent, the storage of those comments is already purged.
It's a quirk of the evolution of blogs that the blog content host (in my case Blogger, specifically the upgraded Blogger-Plus) is ususally separate from the blog comment host.
I'm waiting for Yariv to answer my mail. In the meantime, I'm looking at other comment systems. I certainly will pick one that has far more that 7,000 users.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:16 AM Permalink
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
The Weekly Standard: The Guardian
In 1998, Terri Schiavo's first guardian ad litem filed a report on her case. It makes for interesting reading today.Good reporting by Wesley Smith of the Weekly Standard and required reading for people following the Terri Schiavo case.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:15 PM Permalink
I connected the dots here:
Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair and their kind will always be welcome at media outlets that practice political advocacy when they should be checking the facts.
People are moving to Fox News and alternate but not necessarily conservative media because they see and hear the bias.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:27 PM Permalink
Places of Catholic Interest in New York City
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:44 AM Permalink
The Episcopal Church is without a pre-nup and the divorce will be a mess
So many other bloggers are doing an excellent job covering the Anglican crack-up that I don't have to add much to the commentary. I add the following from Collegiate Times
The [Episcopal] church preaches tolerance and acceptance and yet shuns one of its own. Robinson has been a leading the masses for many years prior to his consecration. How can the church hold its clergy to a different standard than its laity?
Basically, If you went along with us with women deacons, priests, and bishops, and then gay deacons and priests, why split when it comes to a gay bishop?
I think that's a good point to raise -- especially in view of the problem of incoming refugees from the Episcopal Church who might think that the Catholic Church is going to change to accomodate them with respect to our doctrines and disciplines.
Elsewhere in the Collegiate Times article, there's discussion of the issue that in our Catholic Church, dissenter Rosemary Radford Ruether commented that she remained in the Church because That's where the Xerox machines are (and the real estate and bank accounts, I add.)
As soon as congregations vote to split, the bishop and diocese, and the national ECUSA will be filing lawsuits. It will be a virutal guarantee of employment to lawyers with this specialization: xerox machines, church property and bank accounts are at stake!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 AM Permalink
My comment box provider Blogextra is currently down. I don't know anything else regarding the status.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM Permalink
WMUR: Catholic Priest Resigns, Blames McCormack
NASHUA, N.H. -- While most of the attention in New Hampshire has been on the Episcopal Church, a reminder of the Roman Catholic Church crisis is back in the news.
As I understand the way things work, Fr. Desmarais may find it difficult or impossible to pursue his work as a priest in a diocese which was more in line with his viewpoints. Who wants to incardinate a priest who quit in a dispute with his bishop?
Bishops have remarkable solidarity when it comes to treating priests in disobedience with contempt. What was Fr. Desmarais thinking? Welcome to the Presbyter Vagans Club.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:47 AM Permalink
Monday, November 03, 2003
Jesus, Mary, and Davinci meet Abbot and Costello: Dan Brown's Hour-Long Infomercial
Take everything about 19th century conspiracy theories and 12th century Grail legends, 2nd century Gnostic literature, 20th century document forgery and feminism, and mix it all together you get this mess. Abandon all skepticism all ye who enter here.
Many good critiques of the book The daVinci Code exist. Crisis Magazine published this one by Sandra Miesel.
In this production all the axes make an appearance, ready to be ground:
I plan on watching it again with the sound off.
When she's talking to Dan Brown. She smiles, leans forward, and there's a nice musical background.
When she's talking to Umberto Eco. She keeps her lips pressed together, leans backwards, and moves her eyes up and level, up and level a few times. In true 60 Minutes style the setting for Professor Eco's 5 seconds is harsh lighting, no musical background, and a tight almost menacing too-close shot of his face.
Readers, you've can see in Vargas' body language more than words can say. She believes and wants you to believe. Use in a communications class to show how facial expressions and posture communicate agreement and disagreement.
Ms. Vargas spoke on Sean Hannity's radio show earlier in the day to promote the program:
It seems to have touched a nerve. Controversy for its own sake.
Was there a moment where Fr. Richard P. McBrien, Notre Dame, Theology Dept., Ph.D. was not laughing and smirking? At least I can agree with him that it's a joke. A couple of the authors of the Holy Grail-Mary Magdalene myth like Henry Lincoln point at a document and say "there's the proof". Oh, yeah, dude
I say what an utter waste of an hour of network time to present anti-Catholic conspiracy kooks. If only such a window into the homes of America could be made available to eloquent Catholic teachers to share the true Gospel.
And that's the real conspiracy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:38 PM Permalink
Demographics and intergenerational capital flows
Charles Ponzi became famous for collecting a great deal of money from gullible investors. The funds coming in Monday paid off the investors expected a payout Tuesday and taking 50% off the top. This continued for a while and then imploded. Ponzi went to jail. The biggest example of this is the American Social Security.
John Gambling discussed this, without facts as usual, this morning. Someone in the comment boxes brought it. In accounting terms we call this an unfunded liability. It's $25 trillion. That means positive cash flows are estimated until 2017 (14 years) and the money is all gone by 2041.
The money in the so-called "trust fund" is actually co-mingled with the general funds of the treasury and exists only as an account on the ledger. Every dollar collected this year by the Social Security tax will be paid out.
This is an altogether too rosy a picture: first the number of older people will continue to grow until those born through 1965 die off (the so-called baby boom), those people will live longer and therefore draw benefits for a longer period of time. Now the those born after 1965 have a much lower birth rate and therefore fewer workers will be able to pay into the "pay as you go system" called Social Security.
As a Catholic, this has all sorts of "social justice" implications. Generations yet unborn will face taxes of 25% to 50% to pay for "Social Security" alone and these payments have been promised to people who will retain their vote until death. How big a burden do "Peace and Justice" Catholics want to put on the backs on working men and women?
One study shows that more people age 18 to 34 believe in UFOs than believe they will ever collect Social Security benefits. This chart helps explain why.
Other countries have a bigger demographic time bomb. I'll blog that another time.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:20 PM Permalink
Sunday, November 02, 2003
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:59 PM Permalink
Zenit: Muslim Who Wanted Crucifix Barred Is Facing Court
ROME, NOV. 2, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Muslim fundamentalist who appealed to Italian justice to insist that crucifixes be removed from schools is facing prosecution for insulting the Catholic faith during a 2001 television program.
How can you have both religious freedom and criminialize blasphemy? I'm sure that the EU courts will have something to say about that.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:55 PM Permalink