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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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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.

Police said the teenagers are implicated in six robberies between Oct. 5 and Nov. 6. They are accused of handcuffing men and taking their wallets, stealing amounts ranging from $85 to $1,200, police said.

In at least one case, the teenagers produced a "police-like badge" before robbing a 33-year-old man, police said.

The five were arrested on Thursday after plainclothes officers with a description of the suspects in the string of robberies saw one of the teenagers and took him into custody.

Police said they were charging the teenagers with robbery and criminal impersonation. An investigation was continuing, said Detective Carolyn Chew, a police spokeswoman.

New York Daily News: Crime blemish on gay school

Another month, another mess at Harvey Milk High School.

Just two months into its existence as the city's high school for gays and lesbians, Harvey Milk's reputation is being soured by its students' high-profile arrests, students and school officials said yesterday.

Five transgender students were busted Thursday for posing as West Village hookers and ripping off would-be johns by flashing phony police badges and demanding cash.

Last month, three students were arrested after a melee that ended in a stabbing.

"It's messing up the school's reputation," said 10th-grader Michael (Diamond) Jones, 17. "They hold it against us when we're all not like that."

For anyone counting, that makes at least eight Harvey Milk students arrested in after-school misdeeds in two months - or more than 7% of the student population.

And two of the men who want to be women arrested Thursday had previous arrests in the past year, police confirmed. One of the students, Brian (Whoopie) Gonzalez has had three arrests since Oct. 18 - including one for loitering for the purpose of prostitution.

"Whoopie was the nasty one," Jones said.

Oddly, the school was created to protect the students, and now some students have become the danger. Still, the Department of Education is supporting the Astor Place school.

"These were two serious, isolated incidents and we are taking disciplinary action in each case," the department said in a statement yesterday.

Yet the school's problems have led some Education officials at the Tweed Courthouse to joke about an office pool for when the school will close.

That didn't stop Principal Bill Salzman from trying to put a happy spin on the story, telling reporters yesterday how the school was holding student government elections.

"All I know is that we're serving the needs of the students," he said.

The five students will be suspended, school officials said.

But Salzman noted that Gonzalez, Kelvin (Keesha) Howell, Keenan (Chanel) Oliver, Kevin (Keva) Williams and Gerald (Kimberly) Howard will be welcomed back if the charges don't stick.

Backed by a dozen transgender supporters who greeted each other with pecks on the cheek, the five were arraigned last night on charges of robbery and impersonating a police officer.

"They're innocent until proven guilty," Salzman said.

But students said some of the five had shown off their arsenal outside the school in the days before being busted.

"I just didn't catch on to it why they had a badge, handcuffs and a toy gun," said 10th-grader Alex Whitman, 17.

But classmates described them as artistic and friendly kids who enjoyed wearing women's clothing.

"You look at them as boys, and they do not look good," said 10th-grader John Perez.

"They're good kids," said Stephanie Garcia, 16, a 10th-grader. "They don't start trouble."

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   HaloScan

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Friday, November 07, 2003

Nun or Not

Nun or Not 1. Nun or Not 2.
Nun or Not 3. Nun or Not 4.

Nun or Not 5.

Nun or Not 6.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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NRO: Victor Davis Hanson
The Truth Will Set Us Free. What this war is not about.

It is pedestrian — and for that very purpose mouthed ad nauseam — that we are not at war with Muslims of the world or Islam per se. Of course, we are not.

But it is also near criminal not to see that the distortion of Islam — not of Christianity, not of Hinduism, not of Buddhism — is the fuel of this entire conflagration, from the Taliban and al Qaeda to Hamas and Hezbollah, with plenty of secular opportunistic abettors like Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, Basher Assad, and the faux-holy men in Iran thrown in.

We need honest language, not more pablum that "all religions can be distorted by extremists" — as if the Inquisition, the Hundred Years War, Timothy McVeigh, or the Shintoism of the Japanese militarists were contemporary events or relevant to the current struggle. They are not.

The whole article is a great answer to the current criticism of the war. The book I feature on the left is a collection of his short writings on the war from 9/11/2001-12/31/2001.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:53 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

The feelings have so fractured the community because of nationwide news coverage, businesses have begun putting up community pride signs saying, "We love and support our kids, our school and our community."

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   HaloScan

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rosie-with-bat Rosie O'Donnell: 41 yeart-old, lovable, middle-class, actress, big Tom Cruise fan (according to her imdb bio) who self-identified as the Queen of Nice

Or the crazy, angry, bossy has-been who told a co-worker :

"You know what happens to people who lie. They get sick and they get cancer," cancer survivor Cindy Spengler quoted O'Donnell as telling her. "If they keep lying, they get it again."

So this trial goes forward and Rosie is self-destructing. She'll never do business with anyone again as these stories of the crack-up of the Rosie Magazine continue. According to the New York Post she had an agreement to end the court case on the table but she rejected it because it contained the usual confidentiality and non-disparagment clauses.

And the New York Post also reports that she is set to lose $10 million of her own money and a Broadway musical flop called Taboo

I found this bizarre item from Slate in 1999

Talk show host Rosie O'Donnell has also had spiritual matters on her mind of late. After 25 years as a lapsed Catholic, the Enquirer reports, O'Donnell recently "took God back into her heart." And, according to the Star, she is so terrified of dying young that she has entered into a pact with perhaps the world's most famous lapsed Catholic, Madonna, to make sure her children will be cared for. Hoping to keep the Grim Reaper at bay, O'Donnell is also said to be assiduously dieting and exercising.

Well, we can still pray for this conversion to happen to both of them.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Read Asterix in the original language, Latin.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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).

In reaction to these ludicrous, mendacious, and genocidal assertions, Catherine Hankins, chief scientific advisor to UN-AIDS, condemned the Catholic Church's position on BBC news online in these terms: "It is very unfortunate to have the Vatican spread this type of misinformation. From a technical standpoint, these statements are totally false. Scientists have shown that latex condoms are NOT permeable. They prevent the transmission of AIDS."

It is clear that the Church's position against the use of condoms puts millions of lives in danger, especially in Africa where the epidemic has the highest transmission and death rates [The UN reports that in 2002, 2.4 million Africans died of AIDS. Ten million young Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 and nearly 3 million children under the age of 15 are infected with the HIV virus].

For this reason, the Raelian Movement, which has been encouraging the use of condoms since 1973 and which has been working for the awakening and well being of all human beings.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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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.

Some maintenace [sic] will take place tonight, the service may be down for a few hours.

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   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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I connected the dots here:

  • ABC and "The daVinci Code"
  • CBS and the Reagan biography
  • Bush, the liar
The news networks (ABC,NBC,CBS,NPR,CNN) all play the stories that appeal to their own worldview. A lot of stuff doesn't go through their editorial filters, bs detectors, fact-checkers because it basically agrees with what they believe to be true and advocate. This goes for print media as well.

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   HaloScan

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Places of Catholic Interest in New York City

Three Stars
St. Patrick's Cathedral, 50th Street Fifth Ave. (Midtown)
Cloisters (Metropolitan Museum) Fort Tyron Park (Uptown)

Two Stars
Mother Cabrini Shrine, 701 Fort Washington Ave. (Ft. Washington)
Mother Seton Shrine, 7 State Street (Downtown) (limited hours)
St. Agnes Church, 143 East 43rd St. (Midtown)
Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, Prince & Motts Sts. (Chinatown)
St. Peter's Church, 22 Barclay St. (Downtown)

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:44 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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   HaloScan

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Operational Note

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   HaloScan

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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.

A Nashua pastor has resigned, saying he objects to the way Bishop John McCormack is managing the church in New Hampshire. The Rev. Gerard Desmarais, pastor of St. Joseph Parish, made the announcement before and after Masses this weekend.

Desmarais wasn't available to comment, but some who heard the announcement told The Union Leader Desmarais was leaving Tuesday. They said he told parishioners he felt it was time for him to pursue his work as a priest in a diocese which was more in line with his viewpoints.

Parishioners said Desmarais did not mention the priest abuse crisis, but instead said he objected to how McCormack responds to people with other viewpoints.

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   HaloScan

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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:

  • Jesus supported a full equality of the sexes -- The early Church suppressed the role of women.
  • Mary Magdalene fled to Gaul.
  • The Church of the middle ages attacked scientists like daVinci.
  • daVinci painted Mary Magdelen into the Last Supper fearing that he could not tell the truth and live.
  • Secret documents found in Paris in the 1960's, meaning the Church today conceals others.

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.

Provoke respectful debate. Yeah. Serious historians vs. Conspiracy kooks.

Pope Gregory suppressed the story of Jesus' marriage. There was a Pope Gregory and what he did was identify some references to "Mary" in the Gospels as referring to the same "Mary". (But not to identify Mary of Magdalene as the Woman Caught in Adultery of John 8: 3-11)

All kinds of new documents have been discovered. None of which are accepted as authentic.

Former Ambassador to the Vatican Raymond Flynn lacked courtesy in criticizing the show before it aired or he had a chance to view it. Please don't insult the audience, he knew that it would be a puff piece boosting The daVinci Code

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   HaloScan

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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.
2000 3.4
2010 3.0
2020 2.3
2030 1.9
2040 1.8

Other countries have a bigger demographic time bomb. I'll blog that another time.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, November 02, 2003
Liberals only tolerate the opinions that they agree. You will find the evidence in this book.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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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.

Adel Smith, president of the Union of Muslims of Italy, a fundamentalist party, described the symbol of Christianity as a "corpse in miniature," on the program "Door to Door" of Italian state television, on Nov. 5, 2001.

On Friday, the Attorney's Office in Rome reopened the investigation into the 2-year-old case.

During the television program, Smith said: "The crucifix represents the naked corpse of a man, nailed to a piece of wood, used by the Romans to punish the worst criminals."

"It is not always pleasant to see a corpse in miniature," said Smith, who later presented a petition in court to have the crucifix removed from his children's school in Ofena, in the province of Aquila. Smith faces a court hearing May 24 for his TV statement.

Meanwhile, a court in Aquila on Friday suspended the order for the removal of the crucifix from the school's classrooms. The stop to the judicial order was the result of an appeal presented by the Italian state.

The president of the Aquila court has subpoenaed the parties involved to appear on Nov. 19.

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   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com