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
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
NY1: McMansions Come to Queens (with video link)
Some residents in Bayside say they're afraid another one might be coming to their neighborhood.
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
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
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
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.
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:
Also have a look at The Saint Antoninus Institute: For Catholic Education in Business
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:56 PM Permalink
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
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
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
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.
Outsourcing is how they play the see no evil, hear no evil game.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:43 AM Permalink
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:44 PM Permalink
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.
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
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:03 PM Permalink
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.
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
Joining the Al Franken pile-on (now there's an image)
New York Post: Al Franken knocks down Dean hecklerBrother 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
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:45 AM Permalink
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:59 PM Permalink
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.
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
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:24 PM Permalink
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
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.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM Permalink
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.
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
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
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM Permalink
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.
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
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
The Catholic Church had its own veil controversy... but is was 1,798 years ago
Catholic Encyclopedia: Tertullian
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
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
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
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
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
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?He gave his email address as email@example.com
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 PM Permalink
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
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
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
New York Post: POPE BLESSES BREAK DANCERS
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.
Weren't we just told that the Pope doesn't comment on anything artistic?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:55 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:32 AM Permalink
Sunday, January 25, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:08 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:39 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:02 PM Permalink