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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, January 31, 2004
Capitalists: Good and Evil

I defend the system of capitialism as being moral.

Having said that, let me add that there are plenty of evil capitalists -- who wealth allows them to support the globalization of the slaughter of the unborn.

This article at Population Research Institute: Billionaire Boys Club has some details.

There are also good capitalists who are helping lift up the Church, many are anonymous but one who isn't is Thomas Monaghan. Read about him at the National Right to Life Committee

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Now that explains everything

"You could say our dialup service is really, really, really slow." — A NASA engineer says bandwidth limitations hinder communications with the Spirit rover.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:14 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY1: McMansions Come to Queens (with video link)
Some residents in Bayside say they're afraid another one might be coming to their neighborhood.

"I'm not against new buildings. If you travel around the country, and I've traveled extensively around the country, there's lots of great old looking houses, but they build houses here that don't fit in the neighborhood" says Bayside resident Paul DiBenedetto.

People who live in the neighborhood say the new developers are building larger homes here because the zoning laws say they can. Builders don't have to count the ground floor space in the total square footage of the house, so long as it's halfway underground, or contains a garage with no bedrooms.

Bayside is much further towards Long Island than my own Woodside but we see similar issues here.

In a world where you can choose your problems this is a good one to have: your neighborhood is so desirable for its land value that builders tear down well-maintained older homes to build a new one on the lot.

I think if my neighbors and I sold our homes at one time to one developer, we'd make more money on the deal for the land value alone.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:09 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, January 30, 2004
The anti-Semitic label

A real short version of story of how Sobran, Buchanan, etc. got the anti-semtitic was that their columns were "obsessed" with stories about Israel and Jewish influence in American political life and culture.

This is a sort of rhetorical "where there's smoke, there's fire".

The Passion of the Christ covers the last twelve hours of the life of Christ before his death on the Cross. It is, by definition, "obsessed" with the conspiracy to kill Christ.

If Mel Gibson were, for example, next to make a film on the attack on the U.S.S. Liberty (June 8, 1967), I'd say he was obsessed.

Buckley just thought all those obsessive columns added up to anti-Semitism.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tech Central Station; Justin Katz: Searching for a Story
During a press briefing on Tuesday, a reporter asked White House spokesman Scott McClellan whether suggestive comments from ex-chief weapons inspector David Kay indicate "that when the President took the world to war against Iraq in March of last year, there was really no way to quantify the current threat posed by Iraq." Having already answered variants of this question, Mr. McClellan repeated a somewhat evasive talking point. The reporter pressed; McClellan sidestepped.

Congratulations to Justin Katz for making the crossover from blogger to internet pundit. It's a good article as well.

Hey Justin, that background is a bit busy.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, January 29, 2004
Wealth of Nations

Mark Shea (great god Mammon) points me at

Dale Price (Let us all praise the free market!) (Dale is being sarcastic here.)

The most important think to know about this subject of the export of jobs from the United States by companies based in the United States and selling to the United States -- is that it happened to me. I'm a brave guy -- you can read about it here.

I even trained my Indian colleagues in C++, Java, and JavaScript. I don't have hard feelings against the company. With the passage of some time, I realize that it was probably the right thing for them to do. Sadly, I was unemployed around 13 weeks and that's never fun.

The second thing to know is that even though I call this blog extremecatholic, to match what I do as a grown-up is more like extremecapitalist and extremesoftwaredeveloper. I'm no Michael Novak (of NRO, and The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism, but as a good capitalist blogger, I give him attribution, and answer the accusation -- that capitalism as practiced in the United States in 2004 is not only consistent with Catholic morality but something that should be exported and imitated throughout the world.

I don't make the claim it's perfect but I do make the claim that it works now and can continue to work going forward.

Let me define the questions in this item and I'll develop the answers over time:

  • Electrolux was wrong not to consider the needs of the community.
  • The system that allows Electrolux to make bad decisions like this is nevertheless a good system -- not only for Mexico and North Carolina but for Michigan as well.

Also have a look at The Saint Antoninus Institute: For Catholic Education in Business

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Is this what is meant when you are asked: "Do you reject the glamour of evil and refuse to be mastered by sin?"

One of the things that I've tried to explain to Catholics who need to be woken up is that this is a cultural war and we're on the losing side -- so far.

Rather that just projecting my own opinion I tried to find some news items that might explain this trend -- and so I wouldn't be accused of being alarmist or titilating. (the first article (Ad Age) shows a 48-foot billboard that appeared in Times Square, a few blocks from where I work, it features non-nude but suggestively posed actress; the second article has a picture of Britney Spears on stage.)

The first article is bad news. The second article is mixed news.

Ad Age: The Porno-ization of American Media and Marketing

[Ron Jeremy] is part of what some trend mavens say is the new "porno-ized" America, which seems to be enthralled with people who were once marginalized in a business that has always been the black sheep of entertainment.

"It's a way to prove your liberalness to not be freaked out by porn," said Marian Salzman, chief strategy officer at Euro RSCG Worldwide. "People are decidedly more open now."

Billboard: Does sex still sell?

The problem is, the public just doesn't seem to be in the mood for [sexualized performances], and the recent mediocre album sales by Spears, Pink and similar artists may reflect a classic case of mismarketing.

In case, you have attachment to this particular sin, my own favorite visionary, Dante, will have you in the seventh terrace of purgatory -- the punishment is fire and you will sing "Deus Clementiae' -- if you don't know what it means -- don't worry millions are there waiting to tell you.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A very short history of email and how we got to this point

As readers know that 1971 photo is my high school graduation photo. Around 1978 I was an email user at Digital Equipment and Columbia University. This was before the ARPANET (the ancestor of the Internet) and most histories of email start with the ARPANET, which is not correct.

UNIX and TOPS-10 and most other multi-user systems had some sort of mail application that created a mail community among the users of that system. Universities at this point purchased computers between $500,000 and $1 million and users connected to them with "terminals" later called "dumb terminals" to contrast them with personal computers.

Several of these large systems from Digital Equipment were purchased by CompuServe and they were one of the first companies to make these multi-user systems available for anyone to buy computer time by the hour over telephone lines.

One of the most popular applications was email. For the first time email could cross organizational boundaries as long as one was paying for a CompuServe account. There was no exchange of mail from CompuServe's network to any other.

A parallel development was the ability to encode any that wasn't text into text so it could be placed into email. This originated in UNIX development and was called MIME (multipurpose internet mail extensions)

What I was in the middle of during the late 70's and early 80's and before the dominance of the PC were two competing camps -- an large corporate email structure which was very reliable and reached a lot of people but was inflexible -- and the Internet which was very flexible and reached mostly university and computer company people and was notoriously unreliable (which is why "return receipt" email was invented)

The PC replaced the dumb terminal and the old style centralized computing services was replaced by something newer that was better integrated with the PC ("CompuServe had its hundreds of thousands, AOL has its millions" is what they sung). Centralized computing was declared dead and client-server computing was the new pardigm.

Finally, the pressure to connect every mail system to every other mail system was unbearable and so it happened and the naming scheme that we use today "users@host" became a standard so ubiquitous that few can remember when it was any other way.

Since most mail systems were used for text, attachments were always awkwardly handled; one would have to export them and then remember to process the attachment with the correct program. This was the UNIX way, and they liked it. The point is that the user was in the loop in making the decision from "reading" to "running".

Microsoft promoted the idea of integration, and if you really wanted to emphasize it, it would be "seamless integration". This meant that the attachment would include the information that would tell the recipient of the mail message what program it should run when it gets the mail. The Microsoft way is that users don't need to have that knowledge of what attachment type works with what programs just click and the sender of the mail -- his or her instructions are followed. Read it or run it as instructions to delete critical system files -- it's all the same to Microsoft.

Which is the core of the virus problem -- the sender of the mail is untrustworthy -- and which is why the solution to the virus problem is such a bitter pill for Microsoft to swallow -- they have to stop making it so easy to run those untrustworthy attachments.

The dirty secret is that some operating systems like UNIX, TOPS-10, and TENEX solved these problems since from the start (20 years ago) they considered and solved the dual problem of the clumsy user and malicious user by confining the harm they could do. (I can delete my own files, but I can't delete the system files) Even the administrator or super-user or "wheel" (the TENEX appellation) needed to do something explicit before the system files could be modified or deleted.

Sadly, the single user operating system RT-11 was where a lot of ideas for what became MS-DOS and Windows were modeled from. It is an environment where everyone is trusted.

I don't know of any effort in Microsoft to create that boundary between trusted and untrusted operations, so as I read the future, it will be the end of email as the cat and mouse game between virus writers and anti-virus writers is being won by the virus writers. LINUX a variant of UNIX doesn't have the same virus problem. It would be ironic if the email virus problem alone was responsible for LINUX replacing Windows for some customers.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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ZD Net: Calling tech companies to account
A report which lifts the lid on the appalling conditions faced by workers in tech manufacturing sites in developing nations should make the world's tech heavyweights duck for cover.

The report -- prepared by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) -- directs particular criticism towards IBM, Dell and Hewlett Packard over the fact their codes of conduct for labour standards fall well below United Nations standards.

Outsourcing is how they play the see no evil, hear no evil game.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, January 28, 2004
What a surprise -- this 10-year-old book is still in print.

I put this book on reserve at the New York Public Library and I'm reading it now.

With the discussion of anti-semitism taking place now with The Passion of the Christ I wanted to look into this famous examination of the anti-semitism undertaken by Buckley of Sobran, Buchannan, Vidal, and the Dartmouth Review.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Computer miscounts? Not likely in New Hampshire
As New Hampshire election supervisors compiled official results Wednesday of the nation's first primary, they were unencumbered by worries about the computer miscounts that could embroil Georgia, California, Florida and other states in upcoming months.

That's because New Hampshire is one of the few states to require a paper record for every ballot cast.

The state's relatively low-tech system – adopted after disasters with both antiquated punch cards and cutting-edge touch-screen computers – could become a nationwide model as scrutiny over electronic voting grows.

Why couldn't an electronic system generate the corresponding paper ballot as well and print it while the voter observes it -- through a transparent window.

If the voter believes the paper ballot is incorrect, he or she could immediately void it and vote on the touch screen or keyboard again. If the ballot is confirmed the paper would drop into a box as well as being recorded electronically.

I need to find out if someone is doing this already. Maybe I can get another patent.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Just heard the author on the Laura Ingraham show. This looks like an interesting book. I'd buy the book just to give her credit for her heroism in writing it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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WINS 1010: US Supreme Rejects NJ Playground Case
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal filed on behalf of a New Jersey boy suspended from school almost four years ago after a playground game of cops and robbers.

Scot and Cassandra Garrick sued the Sayreville school district after their son and three other kindergartners were suspended following the March 15, 2000 incident. The children were playing during recess and, while pretending their fingers were guns, told each other "I want to shoot you." Their words were overheard by some classmates, who then told teachers.

I'm of two minds on this: on one hand, the suspension is overkill and reflects a lack of judgment on the part of the school district. I'm mean if they just said -- hey! these are kids playing. The school district justified their decision to suspend on the basis that it was a disciplinary matter: "we have a right to be wrong".

On the other hand, it equally seems to be overkill to make it a federal case.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Joining the Al Franken pile-on (now there's an image)
New York Post: Al Franken knocks down Dean heckler

Wise-cracking funnyman Al Franken yesterday body-slammed a demonstrator to the ground after the man tried to shout down Gov. Howard Dean.

The tussle left Franken's trademark thick-rim glasses broken, but he said he was not injured.

Brother Bloggers missed this item, which in a way shows a little more of the content of the character who is Al Franken.
New York Post: Page Six: Who's the Idiot

January 27, 2004 -- LEFT-wing shill Al Franken is as big a spoiled brat as any Hollywood star. As hundreds of journalists patiently waited up to three hours to catch flights out of over-packed Des Moines Airport following the Iowa Caucus, a frenzied Franken marched to the front of the line. "He threw a complete drama queen snit," says a witness. "He went up to the security check-in and kept whining, ' I can't miss my flight!' - but the security guards wouldn't even entertain it." The reporters weren't amused: "There were a lot of other players in the line and we were all shouting at him, 'Hey, we're here too!' "

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004
I like to have been in the meeting that greenlighted this uplifting "juvenile fiction" book.

More evidence of the 'culture of death'.

I guess the sequel will be 'When Stepmom Killed Dad'.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A misunderstanding... or something else

Look at the new TNIV (Today's New International Version) the newer the NIV (New International Version).

The old NIV translates Acts 7:20 as:

At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his father's house.
Which is the same as our Catholic RSV (Revised Standard Version)

The TNIV has it as:

At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child. For three months he was cared for in his parents' home.
with this explanation
The TNIV accurately translates Acts 7:20 in such a way as to prevent misunderstanding the significance of this passage.

* For English speakers, "father's house" generally implies that one's father lives apart from one's mother due to death, divorce or the like. Neither was true in Moses' case, since it was his mother who cared for him at home (Ex. 2:8-10). So the best English equivalent of pater in this context is "parents." The TNIV is accurate in its translation.

Maybe the next edition will need to translate "born" as "born naturally from the womb of his mother".

If you can allow me to be a bit deconstructionist about this -- by saying "father's" you add a bit of information: that Moses was legitimate (i.e. born in a marriage) and acknowledged by the father as his son. These are important points to make with the word "father".

It tells you a bit about the 21st century when political correctness was to make these points unimportant -- here of course, making an equivalence here between a father-mother parenthood and mother-only parenthood.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thank you...

For contributing to Good Counsel Homes. Their mission is to help single pregnant women choose life for themselves and their babies.

For clicking on my Amazon book links. Every month of so, enough pennies accumulate for me to obtain a book or a DVD for free. The block on the left is an Amazon-generated list of books on the subject of Catholicism and Islam.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:24 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic World News: Belgian cardinal to be sued for remarks on homosexuality
The 80-year-old Belgian cardinal who was quoted last week as saying that most homosexuals are sexual perverts and not "effectively lesbian or gay" may be facing a lawsuit under discrimination laws.

This is the start of the Way of the Cross. The other side wants to create some precedents right now that will start to destroy the Church (at least they believe it will).

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: The South Rises Again
PARK CITY (Hollywood Reporter) - Indie distributor IFC Films has acquired North American rights to the Sundance feature "CSA: The Confederate States of America," which supposes that the South won the Civil War.

Writer/director Kevin Willmott's vision is presented as a straight-faced, Ken Burns-style documentary showing an alternative modern-day America with uncanny parallels to current society. In "CSA," America is a land in which slavery is alive and well, nonwhites and non-Christians are relegated to reservations, the country is in an ongoing cold war with Canada, and a Slave Shopping Network is on TV.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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MichNews.com: J. Grant Swank, Jr: Islam's Track Record
"Islam" means "submission." It means submission totally to Allah, the deity of the Muslim religion.

Zealots who aggressively move against Jews and Christians--the "infidels"--act out this command from Sahih Muslim I, p. l7: "The Messenger of Allah commanded to fight against all people till they testify to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and believe in me (that) I am the Messenger (from the Lord) and in all that I have brought."

Further, Surah 8:39 of the Quran states: "And fight them or until there is no more tumult or aggression. And there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere. But if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do."

Other quotations from the Quran could be given regarding the Allah-directed right of a Muslim to do away with a non-Muslim. Country after country today is under threat by the zealot Muslims. This is fact.

Others may pontificate on the "Islam is a religion of peace" theme all they want; but the truth is that there are untold numbers being killed each day by zealot Muslims in the name of Allah and his prophet, Mohammed.

A good summary of the persecution of Christians in Islamic majority countries.

There is no place on earth where there is a Islamic majority where the religious freedom of Christians and Jews is not impaired.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A division that is not a schism

It will be interesting to see the pattern emerge where the worthy reception of Holy Communion is determined in some dioceses by the conscience (i.e. the magisterium) of the Church and in other dioceses by the conscience (i.e. the will) of the individual.

Just as the Catholics with a memory of the Latin Mass are advancing in age and towards their day of judgment, it is now demographically the case that many Catholics don't remember the initial chaos which the Church confronted when Roe overturned the laws prohibiting abortion in something like 47 out of 50 states in 1973 or in 1984 when pro-choice Gov. Mario Cuomo lauded his own efforts to legalize and expand abortion, and the denial of Gov. Robert Casey to speak before the Democratic National Convention in 1992. They weren't alive or are too young to recall these.

So it is silly to believe that the pathetically ineffective precedents of the past 30 years ought to bind the current bishops.

Canonically the bishops don't have to wait for the conference bureaucrats to decide this issue for them. They can act now as Archbishop Burke has.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:28 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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da-vinci-code Yes. I took this a few days ago at the 2nd largest Barnes and Noble in New York City. This floor-to-ceiling display is just inside the front door.

It's evidence that when it comes to getting your book promoted, nothing succeeds like making the Catholic Church your target.

Of course, click on the image to see it blown up to 2048 x 1536.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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stuff.co.nz: Kama Sutra carnival theme upsets Rio churchmen
The prospect of condoms and Kama Sutra poses in a parade in Rio de Janeiro's famed Carnival has riled the Roman Catholic hierarchy in the Brazilian city.

The Academicos do Grande Rio samba school has chosen the theme Let's Put On a Condom, My Love for the procession that will march in the extravaganza at the Sambadrome, centre of the Bacchanalian four-day party to take place next month

Although hordes of practically naked beauties wriggling their hips to samba beats abound in Carnival, Grande Rio is apparently going too far in the eyes of Cardinal Eusebio Scheid, the archbishop of Rio.

An archdiocese spokesman said on Wednesday the archdiocese was considering asking officials to bring indecency charges against the samba school.

I'm getting sensitive to the people who don't like my photo editing -- so no picture accompanies this one.

Isn't the Kama Sutra connected to Hindu religious practices since it creates an idolotry of sex?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Of all the things...

This is the first time I have seen Blogdex which is a blog-tracking bot looking for the most-linked-to items have a Catholic story as NUMBER 1.

It is this one: CNN: Papal Blessing for Break Dancers

which I blogged below.


Dennis Miller commented that afterwards the Pope asked if this was an exorcism.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The Catholic Church had its own veil controversy... but is was 1,798 years ago
Catholic Encyclopedia: Tertullian

We learn that Carthage was divided by a dispute whether virgins should be veiled; Tertullian and the pro-Montanist party stood for the affirmative. The book had been preceded by a Greek writing on the same subject. Tertullian declares that the Rule of Faith is unchangeable, but discipline is progressive. He quotes a dream in favor of the veil.

Montanism was a heresy which foreshadowed Islam in some ways (but, of course, not in others) in that the revelation of Jesus was incomplete or incompletely received by the Church. Montanus and two prophetesses claimed not to be prophets in the usual sense but to be possessed by the Holy Spirit in an direct way.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:43 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, January 26, 2004
Latin mystery quote

Plures efficimur quotiens metimur a vobis; semen est sanguis Christianorum

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News has put up the discussion of quotegate between Bill O'Reilly and Rod Dreher.

Rod Dreher: Well, it is outrageous, Bill. And it shows you the viciousness with which the enemies of Mel Gibson and this film are reacting to the film and taking this Vatican statement that the pope never said any such thing and using it to hang Mel out to dry. And I'm afraid that the Vatican itself, through its own duplicity and through its own, I'll say it, lying have -- they've thrown Mel Gibson to the wolves.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:32 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Associated Press: Baby Stabbed and Abandoned
WEST PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Police in Philadelphia say a 1 ½-year-old girl was stabbed in the back and left in a snow-covered elementary schoolyard Monday morning. Her mother is in police custody.

We need to pray for that child, that mother, and our own culture in which this can even be imagined.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sympathy for the Devil?

UK Telegraph: Saddam's WMD hidden in Syria, says Iraq survey chief

David Kay, the former head of the coalition's hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, yesterday claimed that part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme was hidden in Syria.

No WMD's were found in Iraq.

Now, the problem was that Saddam didn't cooperate with the inspections as he promised. That violated 14 UN resolutions.

Here's my point: the burden of proof was on Saddam. The rest of the world was entitled to, and had to the right, to know that Saddam had no WMD's with certainty.

Here's where the sympathy for the Devil comes in: one likely explanation is the scientists were bold and clever enough to take the money and spend it on themselves. Where I come from we call this corruption>.

Now if a scientist who should only be able to afford a used Toyota starts to drive a Mercedes, eyebrows might be raised, but it seems that this became the norm.

Saddam's supervision of the WMD's stockpiles was over-estimated

The willingness and effectiveness of Saddam's generals and scientists to steal from their WMD budgets was under-estimated.

Had Saddam cooperated with the inspections, he might have learned how badly he was being duped. You almost want to feel sympathy for him. Does anyone want to give Iraq back to him?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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National Review Corner: Michael Novak: Press blackout on last Monday's March for Life
Has anybody on The Corner encountered any estimates on the number of marchers in the March for Life this year? Seen any photos of the full street, so that the crowd might be counted?

Can anybody think of any other civil rights cause in American history for which more Americans have demonstrated in a march, across as many years and in as great numbers?

Have bloggers done any better in doing justice to this march than the mainstream pro-abortion press?

What is the best guess as to the reason for the total press blackout of this reality? Is it class status--a culture war of the educated elite against the working class? Or is it purely a case of preferential bias, on account of rival moral sympathies?

I would be interested in speculation and argument on these points. But, most of all, in establishing the actual facts of the numbers of marchers this year, and cumulatively since the year after the decision in Roe v Wade.

He gave his email address as michaelnovak@michaelnovak.net

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Chutzpah-Quote-Gate Update

The Tim Rutten "Chutzpah" story continues to run in papers that use the LA Times service without a mention of the fact that the quote was confirmed by other LA Times reporters in December when the quote was first disclosed.

If Rutten had done a simple search of "Pope" and "Passion" he would have discovered the article.

The consensus spin on the Catholic side was that the concern for the Pope's standing in the Jewish community was threatened by this quote being out there and the building Jewish consensus that this was an anti-semitic film.

So the quote was denied -- and it's now a breach of etiquette or protocol -- or a even slap against the Pope -- to insist that the quote was actual, confirmed, and its use was encouraged.

The balance is now "Hurt the Church" v. "Defend the reputation of innocent people against a false accusation".

hmm... where have I heard that choice asserted before?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic-Babylonian Christianity

One of the strangest slams against the Catholic Church is one that few Catholics are aware of. The name apologists use for this attack on the Church is The Whore of Babylon.

Catholics, of course, identify the whore with a government like the Roman Empire under Diocletian which persecutes Christianity.

Some anti-Catholics identify the Catholic Church as the Whore of Babylon. On the other hand, some anti-Catholics are genuinely embarassed the others do this.

Catholic Answers has a excellent discussion of how to answer anti-Catholics on this point.

The Historicist on Simon Magus is a place to get a taste of how this argument is made aganist the Church.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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I just discovered this excellent blog by Otto Clemson Hiss.

Another New York-based Catholic blogger.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:58 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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January 26, 2004 -- It was definitely one for the Vatican City history books yesterday, as a troupe of Polish break dancers gyrated and leaped and spun on their heads in front of the 83-year-old pope. Pope John Paul II seemed to take it all in stride as he waved his hand to the beat from the boom box.

"For this creative hard work, I bless you from my heart," he told the dancers from his throne.

During the show, one of the dancers planted his head on the floor, spun around on his head and jiggled his legs in the air.

Another dancer ran and spun around doing headstands.

"Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste his talent but must develop it,"' the pontiff said.

Weren't we just told that the Pope doesn't comment on anything artistic?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Cindy Adams: Mel's Passion Stirs Holy Uproar
ITEM 1. Could be Hades to pay if Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" doesn't soar with the angels. Mel, too, will be crucified — by distributors and theater owners.

Even sinners know you don't advertise that, supposedly, the Pope endorsed your picture. You don't quote Her Majesty the Queen giving a royal thumbs up, you never quote His Holiness the Pope giving a religious thumbs up. Il Papa, Himself, didn't exactly sit down with a bucket of popcorn — hold the butter — in the Vatican and watch this Aramaic film and give Mel his personal blessing. True, he's loved certain movies like "A Beautiful Life" and congratulated Roberto Benigni personally, but that wasn't cashing in on Christ. I mean, Holy Toledo.

Anyway, as we know, Mel's bunch backtracked somewhat, saying the praise came from some high-ranking cardinal or something. But here's the point. If it isn't a slam-bang blockbuster, insiders have quietly mumbled and grumbled that they stumbled into a little deception deviltry. They're saying — and ask not who "they" are — that maybe they won't pay every penny due, maybe they'll renegotiate costs, maybe something. See, it's like if Laura Bush says a certain skin cream is her favorite, consumers might rush to buy it. Same here with the incorrect message that was sent out. It opens on 2,200 screens Easter. Some distributors and theater owners are already building the if-needed case of Satan at the box office.

He saw the firm and he said "It is as it was". This comment was confirmed in emails to the Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. Then the same men who confirmed the comment denied the comment weeks later.

A campaign began last week in the secular press and also in some Catholic media to discredit the people at Icon (Gibson's company) and journalists -- and Cindy is part of it. Their only mistake seems to have used a quote that they were not only given permission to use, but encouraged to do so. I copied the photo that the Post put on its web site.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:32 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, January 25, 2004
The source material that Mel Gibson said in an interview with EWTN's Raymond Arroyo filled in some details on the Passion that were missing from the Gospels.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Serious Catholic book. I've read it & recommend it.
Parody. Just discovered it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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dragon in jar Reuters News Photo: Dragon in jar (no report on location of St. George)
A recently taken undated hand out photograph received on January 25, 2004 shows a fake baby dragon encased in a 30 inch (0.76 metres) jar which was discovered by David Hart in a garage in Oxfordshire, southern England. A metal tin found alongside the dragon contained paperwork written in an old-fashioned German style of the 1890s, a time when their was intense rivalry between Britain's and Germany's scientists. The documents suggest that Britain's Natural History Museum turned the dragon away and sent it to be destroyed, only for the jar to be intercepted by David Hart's grandfather, Frederick Hart, who worked as a porter.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com