Saturday, January 17, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:39 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:19 AM Permalink
Friday, January 16, 2004
NewsMax: Bush Installs Pickering on Appeals Court
WASHINGTON -- President Bush bypassed Congress and installed Charles Pickering on the federal appeals court Friday, opening an election-year fight with Democrats who had stalled the nomination for more than two years.
This hapenned earlier and hasn't appeared in the ABC Radio news roll. I thought this would be a big news item. And yes, this is a good thing for Catholics and conservatives.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:32 PM Permalink
NRO Corner: Tim Graham gets it
Ramesh, I would first suggest that the social-conservative critiques of NR should also be seen as lobbying. Writers don't just mean to protest emptily, but to provoke you into more socially conservative articles, to provoke you into more engagement with the social issues. NR occupies a special place in the conservative pantheon, and they want its name and strength in the thick of the battle. They fear it becoming part of the sentence "Even National Review thinks...(surrender now to the historical inevitability of so-called gay marriage or whatever)." We've seen that NR can be used to define what conservatism is, so you can see why conservatives would want to shape that definition, and to expect you to match a 100-percent-ACU-rating type of firm line
I'll add even among the libs, the NR or NRO appearance carries an Imprimatur.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:21 PM Permalink
Mark Shea vs. National Review
Gee, this is like watching your two older brothers getting into a fight between themselves. The only thing you are praying for is for it to be over soon with no one hurt in the process. I'm not a neutral here.
On the other hand, what is being fought over is signficant.
As a public service let me go over the story of the National Review outcasts: Joe Sobran, Patrick Buchanan, and Ann Coulter.
It's really about how big the tent called "mainstream conservatism" is. The proxy for that is whether you can get into the National Review. NR didn't declare this, and some people disagree with this label but I think there's a consensus that NR has a profound impact on communicating conservative thought not approached by any other periodical.
I have general observations to make:
My characterization of Mark Shea's point is that natural law's big three:
Joseph Sobran, NR 1972-1993
In February 1985, Michael Deaver (Reagan White House Deputy Chief of Staff) made the planning trip for the 40th anniversary of V-E day (May 8, 1945) -- President Reagan would lay a wreath at a German military cemetary called Bitburg . Being February, snow covered the headstones. The lightning bolts of the Waffen SS were on 45 of thousands there.
Reporters sought out this cemetary in April when the itinerary was announced and, by then snow had melted. Pressure to change the venue erupted -- but it seemed that every cemetary that contained German soliders would also contain SS graves.
Sobran defended Reagan's decision to go forward and attacked the critics such as Elie Wiesel for accusing Reagan of giving honor to these dead soldiers who were unworthy of honor.
Unable to continue to attack Reagan because of his popularity, they switched the attack on revisionism to Sobran who began to present some facts and opinions developed by revisionists in his columns. (i.e. exaggeration of the holocaust)
This drew out pro-Reagan FOB's (friends of Bill Buckley), one of them, Midge Dicter, called Sobran a "crude and naked anti-Semite". Sobran also discussed the influence of Jews in forming American policies towards Israel and the pressure on NR was simply too much to bear. Buckley sealed the deal by labeling Sobran an anti-semite.
This 1996 Nizor item captures all the quotes and many wisecracks that Buchanan made regarding Israel's influence in the United States. Buchanan was in the White House and was a strong supporter of staying the course on Bitburg.
But I think it was his defense of John Demjanjuk that drove people crazy.
Add to that his presidential campaigns ("Go, Pat, Go") 1992 (against Bush-41), 1996 (against Dole), 2000 (against Bush-43 in the Reform Party) and you have a very much disliked person.
It wasn't as if Buchanan was fired from NR, it was the public label of anti-semite that was at issue.
Ann Coulter NR 2001
Jonah Goldberg called it badly needed editing.
She wouldn't tone down an article which ... well let me reproduce the final 3 paragraphs here:
The airport kabuki theater of magnetometers, asinine questions about whether passengers "packed their own bags," and the hostile, lumpen mesomorphs ripping open our luggage somehow allowed over a dozen armed hijackers to board four American planes almost simultaneously on Bloody Tuesday. (Did those fabulous security procedures stop a single hijacker anyplace in America that day?)This isn't my secret stash -- this is from Town Hall and dated 9/14/2001.
I didn't get it then and I don't get it now: Coulter's piece was from the heart and, of course, we did go to war over it.
As for Coulter lacking writing skills -- Slander and Treason are bestsellers, outselling Legacy.
But Isn't This About Mark Shea? The bottom line is I think Deroy Murdock's column didn't belong in NRO
It would be far easier to take these claims seriously if gay-marriage critics spent as much energy denouncing irresponsible heterosexuals whose behavior undermines traditional marriage. Among prominent Americans, such misdeeds are increasingly ubiquitous
I have read dozens of similar stupid arguments all over the liberal media. It's the rhetorical exaggeration of making the imperfect the enemy of the perfect. Ramesh Ponnuru apologizes for its appearance. We've seen this before.
It's also false: irresponsible heterosexuals are not challenging the definition of marriage and laying down a foundation for attacking the Catholic Church for its moral teaching.
Just maybe NR will begin to think of challenges to natural law as unfit to print. Let Playboy print them.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:33 PM Permalink
Thursday, January 15, 2004
New York Times; World Briefing: Americas
BRAZIL: PILOT FINED IN FINGERPRINT DISPUTE An American Airlines pilot who was jailed in São Paulo on Wednesday after he protested the fingerprinting and photographing of incoming Americans by making what the police described as an obscene gesture, paid a fine of $12,750 and was released. A prosecutor said the pilot, Dale Hersh, "is now free to go wherever he wants, but I would imagine he would want to return to the United States." His crew members on the flight from Miami returned Wednesday. A police spokesman said that through Wednesday, 6,500 Americans had been fingerprinted. (AP)
I wonder what the tit for tat will be for Varig's pilots (the national airline of Brazil) as they enter the United States.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:37 PM Permalink
National Review: The Mayflower Gasbag Disaster of 2004
Senator Edward Kennedy narrowly escaped a lightning bolt Wednesday when he gave a speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Okay, I don't know that he dodged a lightning bolt. Maybe God couldn't get a good one through the ceiling of the Mayflower without hurting innocent people. Or maybe Kennedy makes the interns stand on the roof with lightning rods so he can speak freely. All I know is that if I'd been in the room when Ted Kennedy had the untrammeled chutzpah to give that speech Wednesday, I would have leapt for cover for fear that the Almighty had finally decided to 86 that guy.
Goldberg has put together a very funny piece on the fool that Kennedy is.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:31 PM Permalink
A way in which politics looks like sports playoffs in their dishonest timing
Although it didn't originate in 1992, I can recall the well-timed indictment of Reagan-era Defense Secretary, Caspar Weinberger -- 4 days before the Bush-41/Clinton election. The document dump that accompanied the indictment was raw meat for the ravenous anti-Bush/pro-Clinton media -- the Bush campaign was shut out by the coverage of speculation over the "new news" from Iran-Contra, events which were even then 10 or 12 years in the past. This was the true "October Surprise", October 30th to be exact.
The media held onto allegations damaging to Arnold Schwartzenegger for six weeks and timed it so as to prevent a complete response from the Schwartzenegger campaign. The scheme of the Los Angeles Times may have backfired because of the weakness of these allegations, some of which were decades old.
In sports, especially hockey, so many teams enter the playoffs that the regular season seems almost irrelevant.
So many stories are being released now -- it has to have been strategically timed: First to make sure it is retained in the minds of IA and NH voters and secondly to play the clock to limit the time for the targeted candidates to respond.
You can almost ignore the press coverage until 5 days before a caucus, election, or primary because the media is retaining the good stuff until the magic moment.
The evil genius of Dick Morris.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:21 PM Permalink
Newsday: Mepham Update; Sentences are handed down
Each kid received his own sentence, like a gift package wrapped especially for him: One will go to boot camp for a minimum of 4 months. One will go to a detention center for the same time. One gets probation.
I would have preferred 5 to 10 years but that possibility was eliminated before any evidence was presented to the judge by his declaration that the defendants would be not be tried as adults.
I don't think sentences this light are going to deter future violent hazers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:49 PM Permalink
Associated Press: Kiddie Porn Ring Busted In New Jersey
NEWARK (AP) Federal officials on Thursday announced they had cracked an international child pornography ring with arrests in Belarus, France and Spain, as well as New Jersey.
If only the people of Belarus, France, Spain, and New Jersey were allowed to marry, tragedies such as this would not happen. One of those arrested was a minister according to the article. No word yet on whether his or her denominated requires celibacy.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:44 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:43 AM Permalink
Some problems with the RSS feed have been fixed
My Blogmatrix RSS feed is once again being scraped.
With a little HTML editing your blog can be picked up by RSS readers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 AM Permalink
Turn the Other Cheek Dept.
Colombo Jan 15 (DPA) A Roman Catholic church was attacked by an unidentified gang on the outskirts of the Sri Lankan capital, raising already tense inter-religious relations over alleged unethical religious conversions, police said today.
Wouldn't a better response be to attempt to convert Catholics to Buddhism?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 AM Permalink
Brave New World
Cell phones are going to get small enough to be the size of a earphone with the dialer being worn as a wristwatch. GPS will be part of all phones as well.
RFID or tags which uniquely identify purchases will be so common, everyone will not pay attention.
Current ideas of privacy will seem quaint as tracking technology improves.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:51 AM Permalink
Orlando Sentinel: Author-priest hit by car still critical
A nationally known Roman Catholic author and TV personality remained in critical condition Tuesday after being struck by a car while crossing Semoran Boulevard on Sunday night.More details in the linked story.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:39 AM Permalink
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
WINS: Woman Accused of Killing Her Newborn
A Long Island woman was facing arraignment on second-degree murder charges after giving birth to a full-term baby boy and then allegedly stashing the infant in a bucket under her sink for at least a day, police said Wednesday.
It's the abortion mentality that sadly allows these women to believe that they have the power of life and death over these innocent children.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:40 PM Permalink
UK Guardian: Cardinal backs use of condoms
A Belgian cardinal who is among the leading candidates to succeed Pope John Paul yesterday broke the Roman Catholic church's taboo on the use of condoms, declaring that, in certain circumstances, they should be used to prevent the spread of Aids.Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved. (Romans 3.8)
So the Guardian labels the advocacy of the use of condoms as "moderate". Acting in accord with the constant teaching of the Church is "conservative".
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:54 PM Permalink
CNN: New study shatters Internet 'geek' image
LONDON, England (Reuters) -- The typical Internet user -- far from being a geek -- shuns television and actively socializes with friends, a study on surfing habits said on Wednesday.
Not much of a surprise to me. The person who is watching television hour after hour is passive. They are "watchers".
Internet people are called "users". That's a difference.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:27 PM Permalink
Wall Street Journal: You Don't Have to Be Jewish To Want a Bar Mitzvah Party
After going to a dozen bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs last year, Laura Jean Stargardt told her parents she wanted one of her own. She said she found the singing inspiring and offered to learn Hebrew. She also said she wanted a big party.
Part of me says "huh?" -- Most parishes around me confirm young people at age 12 or 13, and the parents have parties. To the extent that the party overwhelms the sacred aspect of the sacrament, it's a scandal. Is it possible that these kids who are Catholics are not getting any religious education or that the parents no longer care to have the kids confirmed?
But why specifically a party in the style of a bar/bat mitzvah?
I would have expected a middle of the WSJ front page article on the Quinceanera becoming common in the United States for non-Mexican girls when they turn 15 (if you don't know, a quinceanera is a fancy-dress formal birthday party.) One web site said that there was a ritual blessing given by a priest for a quinceanera in church. I don't know if that's a informal unofficial local practice or something that's part of the Book of Blessings. I guess that's homework for me.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:23 PM Permalink
Weekly Standard: Beyond Terri's Law
What we can learn from the Schiavo case. by Wesley J. Smith
Required reading for those of us following this tragic story. There's so much I'd like to quote here from the article, I'd post all three pages.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:10 PM Permalink
Washington Times: Diocese's antiabuse program rejected
The Arlington Catholic diocese's efforts to prevent sexual abuse of children in Catholic schools and religious programs backfired Monday night when angry parents filled a Manassas church to demand that a proposed "Good Touch, Bad Touch" program be canceled.
"At one point, the crowd began chanting the rosary to drown out Catherine Nolan" -- it's a prayer *and* a civil disobedience demonstration.
I must have missed the part where you are told the threat to children originates in their innocence and is countered by taking their innocence away.
via Catholic World News (paid sub. reqd., but it is worth it)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:58 AM Permalink
Catholic Citizens of Illinois: Open Letter to 23 Chicago Priests
n a time of crisis in the Catholic Church it is truly counter-productive to heap scorn on the moral teachings of the Catholic Church, and even the Pope himself, as he reiterates that age-old teaching. For Catholic priests to be the heapers is a grave scandal.
A lay response to the letter from priests dissenting from Catholic teaching on homosexuality.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 AM Permalink
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Crisis Magazine: An Inside Look at Voice of the Faithful By Danny DeBruin
As I pulled into the high school parking lot of the affluent Long Island suburb of Manhasset one July evening, I passed a BMW with a Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) window decal. Clearly, this was the place. I entered the building, passing a number of elderly people standing behind tables covered with pamphlets. A very pleasant grandmother handed me four or five leaflets, including a printout of the Nicene Creed, a flier for the group’s September “Faith Convention,” and some other VOTF reading material.
An excellent article from someone on the inside of VOTF.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 PM Permalink
Monday, January 12, 2004
EWTN: Fr. Groeschel Injured
Fr. Groeschel was hit by a car at Orlando Airport and was taken to a hospital.
I'll try to add more details here. There was nothing on the AP wire or in news.google.com.
UPDATE: Official news will be reported on the CFR Web Site
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:14 AM Permalink
I know that this blog has from the start hasn't been 100% serious. I was a blog reader for over a year before I became a blog author, and liked to read the blogs that were a little unpredicatbale. So I'm trying to follow a Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge model mixing it up a bit, just hoping that you know when I'm serious and when I'm just trying to entertain. Most of my items are in the category of "Hey! I found this interesting -- maybe you will too."
The comments on pregnant celebrities straddle a line between celebrity gossip and significant cultural indicator. It's a positive thing to note that women in their 20's, 30's, and 40's are making the choice to become mothers. I think every picture of a woman who is pregnant is sending a message that the unborn child is being valued. That's a very good thing.
A reader here dismissed this as a fashion accessory and I think this is a trend that goes way back at least to John Crawford, Bing Crosby, "Sonny and Cher", so I pray that these kids are not screwed up and that the celebrity mother grows to love their children.
For balance, let me note that Curtis Sliwa of WABC Radio who turns 50 in April became a father for the first time, a son, Anthony Chester, who was born to Mary, his third wife. Curtis and I went to high school together. I first became a father at 28.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM Permalink
Globe and Mail: Montreal seminary to test priest applicants for HIV starting this fall
Montreal — The Grand Seminary of Montreal will require HIV tests for applicants starting this fall.
Thanks to a reader for giving me the link to this item.
Doesn't it appear to be Rev. Demers saying "well, I'm not homophobic, but the archbishop who is, is making me do this."
On the other hand, the Dominican order in the United States accepted a homosexual activist, Patrick Baikauskas, who is at best ambiguous regarding the repudiation of his sinful past according to published press accounts. Diocese Report has some more details.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:59 AM Permalink
Sunday, January 11, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:41 PM Permalink
I was writing earlier in the week about celebrities declaring their pregnancies. (The family values thing) and Gawker gives the same story their own treatment:
Gawker; Blind Item: I'll Take Pregnant Blondes for $1000, AlexPlease reply here if you know the answer. There is no prize.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:44 PM Permalink
On the other hand...
I'm really happy not to be part of this story...
UK Guardian : Racist war of the loyalist street gangs...happy my Irish parents legally immigrated to the United States in the 1940's.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 PM Permalink
The intersections of big stories
The denials of the LC's in their web site were credible to me so I'm not going to link to the accusers.
This item makes the connection between the Legion of Christ and President of Mexico Vincente Fox:
Newsweek International: Rise of the Catholic Right
Maybe this is the start of a new conspiracy to put the United States under the control of the Pope in Rome: today, Mexico City, tomorrow Washington DC.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:51 PM Permalink
The Morality of Contrition
The admission of an act is only the start of reconciliation. In the items I have blogged some of the other elements are missing. I'm making a very rough parallel between a public figure seeking some sort of reconciliation or restoration of his or her reputation or office and our Catholic sacrament of Reconciliation.
Contrition starts with in interior recognition. This is the examination of conscience.
Next comes what might be called a self-convinction or a conversion. Honestly recognizing the evil dones.
It's more than the generic "I have sinned." but to admit -- technically to recite our sins according to kind and number.
The penitent also expresses sorrow and regret for the offense of the sin to God and to the person who has been sinned aganist. In words, this is done in the "Act of Contrition". In public this would be three declarations:
"Satisfaction" is a term that refers to the attempt to repair the harm done by the sin. In my cases, such as restoring the good name of one who has been libeled, or murder , this is impossible.
Penance was once the name for the whole sacrament. I can't improve upon the Catechism in par. 1460 where it provides this definition:
The penance the confessor imposes must take into account the penitent's personal situation and must seek his spiritual good. It must correspond as far as possible with the gravity and nature of the sins committed. It can consist of prayer, an offering, works of mercy, service of neighbor, voluntary self-denial, sacrifices, and above all the patient acceptance of the cross we must bear. Such penances help configure us to Christ, who alone expiated our sins once for all. They allow us to become co-heirs with the risen Christ, "provided we suffer with him.
That concludes the acts of the penitent, the Confessor then absolves -- forgives in the name of Jesus Christ. Typically the final words are "The Lord has freed you from sin. May he bring you safely to his kingdom in heaven. Glory to him forever."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:35 PM Permalink
New York Post: They Lied and Wiped Up Blood
Firefighters rushed to cover up evidence in the brutal New Year's Eve firehouse attack on Staten Island that left one smoke-eater critically injured, sources told The Post yesterday.
FDNY Captain Terrence Sweeney (no relation) lied. He'll pay a price for it: losing his job and pension, maybe even criminal charges.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:31 AM Permalink
Boston Globe: Rash of confessions reveals truth about lying
Fessing up to falsehoods was all the rage this week, with enough mea culpas coughed up to inspire a book titled (with apologies to Al Franken) "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Recant Them."
And I swear I didn't plagarize Don Aucoin's article in my blogging these liars.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:22 AM Permalink
Washington Times: Low-fat doughnuts are an oxymoron
CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A Chicago health-food executive began serving a 15-month prison sentence for repackaging 25-cent bakery doughnuts and reselling them for $1 each as low-fat.
A lie for which the man is going to jail.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:16 AM Permalink
Hatford-Courant: More Calls [for Governor John Rowland] To Resign
The bad news got even worse for Gov. John G. Rowland Friday. One day after Democratic legislators made a historic call to investigate the governor for ethical violations, Republicans in the House of Representatives called for a similar special committee with subpoena powers to probe wrongdoing and, if necessary, call for impeachment.Here is the text of his statement from Wednesday Jan. 7.
You be the judge if it is a confession or an apology.
The problem for me is that the facts which he previously denied point both to a crime and to serious ethical lapses that merit impeachment and removal from office.
Prior to this admission, he not only denied these allegations, but attacked the character of the people making the allegations and those raising questions about an investigation of it. His wife Patrica Rowland went so far as a read a parody poem based on the Night Before Christmas. The video is viewable, at least for now.
Rowland says, in effect, "I've apologized, so get off my back. There are no other consequences, the matter is now closed." I don't think he should be the judge if that closes the matter. He, too, is a liar.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:12 AM Permalink