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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, April 03, 2004
The computing landscape has changed

This will be a big story for days and weeks to come.

Microsoft and Sun Microsystems make peace

In 1968, I went with a letter from my high school math teacher to Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn to see if I could get some access and some tutoring on a computer. At that time no high school could afford its own. As I later found out, the profs at Poly let me have the run of the place out of curiosity to see how well a 14-year-old student could learn what they were teaching to the 18-year-old students.

After college I went to work for Digital Equipment where I was for 18 years. The last years there were spent as Microsoft's partner and Sun's competitor. Digital was very late in the game in both the PC and UNIX markets. Five years after I left, it was acquired by Compaq and then four years later, Compaq was acquired by Hewlett Packard. My career moved on and I'm now working for an investment company with a Sun workstation and a PC on my desk. Because I started working in 1975, I can even expect a monthly pension check from Hewlett Packard.

I'm about the same age as Bill Gates and Scott McNealy.

I think this is the beginning of the end for Sun and the start of McNealy's cash-out. The availability of cheap low-end hardware and the coming of Intel 64-bit chips running Linux in higher-end systems has been, is now, and will continue to squeeze Sun.

I can't see any long-term survival for Sun. Later, I'm going to see who still holds out a rosy future for Sun.

The only dog I have in this fight is Java and its related technologies. They are far superior to C# and .Net which are Microsoft's offering and I wish Java's influence continues to grow.

UPDATE: corrected a typo.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, April 02, 2004
New York Post: Newborn found in Brooklyn Church

April 2, 2004 -- A Brooklyn priest made a shocking discovery yesterday - a newborn abandoned in a church.

The baby, tucked in a backpack, was found shortly after 1 p.m. in the vestibule at Our Lady of Loreto on Sackman Street in East New York by the Rev. Fredi Rosales.

"It looked to be in good condition," said Irvin Cuevas, 51, a caretaker at the church. "It still had the umbilical cord."

The baby was in stable condition at Brookdale Hospital.

Meanwhile yesterday, the Staten Island mother of a baby found dead in a garbage bag pleaded not guilty to criminally negligent homicide from her hospital bed, where she was recovering from a home birth.

Adelina Perez, 19, a factory worker from Guatemala, gave birth to the 5-pound girl March 23 at her Staten Island home. Patrick Gallahue and Heidi Singer

I note that this happy ending was not in accord with the New York State Safe Haven Law
§ 260.03 Abandonment of a child; defense.

In any prosecution for abandonment of a child, pursuant to section 260.00 of this article, based upon an alleged desertion of a child not more than five days old with an intent to wholly abandon such child, it is an affirmative defense that, with the intent that the child be safe from physical injury and cared for in an appropriate manner, the defendant left the child with an appropriate person or in a suitable location and promptly notified an appropriate person of the child's location.

There was no prompt notification -- the child could have died from dehydration perhaps if not discovered by the caretaker.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:03 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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TV Critics Dept.

OpinionJournal.com: The ABC of Holy Week With "Jesus and Paul," Peter Jennings gets it right

A positive review. This makes me curious enought to give them a second chance.

The last ABC News venture into religion that I saw was the total disaster they did on the Da Vinci Code.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Talk Radio Critic Dept.

Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, is the guest-host for Rush Limbaugh today. I think he's the weakest of the guest hosts because his format is so very different from Rush's and I think he's pretty monotonous. He always talks about his wife and the ignorance of Americans about economics and brings on the equally monotonous Prof. Thomas Sowell. What about the news of the day?

Let's see if my prediction is correct.

UPDATE: Yes! The first hour was a drawn-out disussion of outsourcing and the second hour is Sowell on affirmative action.

Am I just noticing it more, or does Williams cough or clear his throat at the end of every sentence?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Good News for America; Bad News for Democrats

New York Times: 308,000 Jobs Created in March; Growth Beats Expectations

Wall Street is responding positively.

759,000 jobs in all in the last six months.

It will take the greatest spin effort on the part of the Democrat partisans to find a dark cloud in this news. I don't think they are up to it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Required Pro-life Reading

National Review Corner Kathryn Jean Lopez: Corner

From one of the partial-birth-abortion trials going on this week: In the Manhattan courtroom, Casey also questioned Johnson about whether physicians warn women that a fetus is dismembered during an abortion...

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:13 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, April 01, 2004
WorldNetDaily, Ann Coulter: How 9-11 happened
We don't need a "commission" to find out how 9-11 happened. The truth is in the timeline.
A excellent summary. I think it confirms a few thoughts that I've had regarding the war:
  • Clinton did nothing effective.
  • The so-called 9/11 Commission is a political farce -- for placing all the blame on the 234 days of Bush against the 2922 days of Clinton (and the terrorist World Trade Center bombing of 1993).

See Also: Dust in the Light

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sean Hannity's April Fool's Joke
  • He's advocating a 10% increase in taxes.
  • He's voting for John Kerry.

Listen now.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NewsMax: Priests Should Refuse Communion to Kerry, Leading Catholic Says
Sen. John Kerry's defiance of his Church's condemnation of abortion and approval of gay marriage is not only a problem for him and Catholic bishops, but for individual Catholics as well, according to a leading Catholic layman and editor.

[Deal Hudson] says Catholic priests should refuse to give Holy Communion to Kerry even if their bishops have not specifically warned the senator that he is not to receive Communion.

UPDATE: Here is the link to Crisis Magazine website with Hudson's statement.

It's interesting to see that Newsmax makes no distinction between the refusal of Holy Communion and the canonical penalty of excommunication.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Breeder Intolerance Watch

New York Post, Michael Riedel: Mad at Dad

March 31, 2004 -- The stork has paid a visit to Elizabeth Parkinson, the sexy Tony-nominated star of "Movin' Out," and her husband, Scott Wise, a cast member who is also the show's assistant director and choreographer.

Everybody at "Movin' Out" is, of course, very happy for them - everybody, that is, but Twyla Tharp, the show's hard-driving director, choreographer and creator, who, if she'd had a shotgun handy, would have blown the stork away on its approach.

Company members say Tharp is livid that her star dancer will be out of the show for almost a year, and that Wise, the man who did the deed (lucky devil!) is bearing the brunt of her wrath.

At a recent production meeting, the cast was told that Wise will no longer be overseeing the show as assistant director and choreographer, though he is still performing in it.

Tharp is "furious with him," says one source. "She keeps saying, 'How could he let this happen?' "

I don't think I need to explain the mechanics of the birds and the bees to Twyla Tharp, but her reaction to Parkinson's pregnancy is making a lot of people involved in "Movin' Out" throw up their hands and say, "That's our Twyla!"

Tharp, they say, is a demanding perfectionist who puts the show before everything else and expects everyone around her to do the same.

She's tough on the dancers, tough on the producers ("she drives me crazy," says one, cheerfully), tough on her assistants.

She's been known to come around the theater to check up on the show and, when she is not happy about something, read the riot act to stage managers and her various assistants.

"She chews people up," one backstage source says.

Everybody puts up with her rages because she is (a) a true theater genius and, on Broadway, such creatures are traditionally given a wide berth, (b) is as tough on herself as she is on everybody else and (c) is actually quite loving to her company (when she's not mad at them).

"She's the kind of director who will put her arm around you one day and tell you how great you are, and then the next day scream at you," says a production source.

Tharp was traveling yesterday and unavailable for comment.

But sources say she believes Parkinson - arguably the greatest female dancer on Broadway today - is all but irreplaceable in the show, though after an exhaustive search, Tharp has finally settled on Nancy Lemenager, star of the ill-fated "Never Gonna Dance," who begins performances in "Movin' Out" in May.

Parkinson and Wise, who have both been with "Movin' Out" for almost two years, made no secret of their desire to have a child. But every time the subject came up, Tharp, sources say, would insist, "That's not going to happen."

When it did, she phoned Wise and yelled at him.

Wise and Parkinson did not return calls seeking comment. But they are said to be taking Tharp's wrath in stride. They're dancers, after all, and are used to dealing with these high-strung, man-eating director-choreographers.

But as one production member points out, "I think you can assume they're not going to name the baby Twy."

movin-out baby-dancing

Married people have kids. That's part of life and show business. The whole world is not contracepting itself into oblivion.

Does the "Broadway community" or the "dance community" care about Tharp's retaliation?

What if it was Scott and Ed and not Scott and Elizabeth -- and Ed had to drop out of the play for a period of treatment for AIDS -- would Tharp dare retaliate against Ed's partner Scott?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Priest charged for Rape from 25 Years Ago.
Prosecutors used a loophole in Pennsylvania's statute of limitations to charge a priest Wednesday with raping a teenage boy nearly a quarter-century ago.

The Rev. James J. Behan, 60, a former parochial school teacher, is the first person charged by a grand jury created to investigate decades-old allegations against Roman Catholic priests. He was charged with rape and other sexual offenses against a student between 1978 and 1980.

Some versions of this AP story identify the victim only as a "student", while others mention the victim by name since he has agreed to make his identity public.

The matter of the statute of limitations here and the lapse of time -- means that this is going to be subject to challenges on procedural grounds and proof the rape "beyond reasonable doubt" is also going to be a tough sell. The allegations were first made in 2002, why the delay in the indictment?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Timberjay News (Minnesota): Evangelical Catholics spread the Word in Ely, Babbitt
They’re wandering around Ely and Babbitt, seven strangers from other states and foreign countries. They have no known means of support and no fixed address, things that in other circumstances might make law enforcement officers watch closely.

But they’re not criminals — they’re Catholics.

Itinerant evangelical Catholics, to be precise.

Their mission is to spread Christ’s message through sharing personal experience, to directly communicate that word and rejuvenate those whose faith has become more duty than inspiration.

And while the Catholic church was built on evangelism, that mission has waxed and waned over the centuries. Today, such direct proselytizing is not what most people associate with the Catholic church.

“Many are surprised when they see such a direct effort of evangelism,” said Bill Beckman. “They think it’s someone other than a Catholic knocking on their door.”

Who are they?
The neocatechumenal way — or new catechism — was blessed by Pope John Paul II, who in a 1998 meeting with the movements and new communities being formed said: “...behold the answer, inspired by the Holy Spirit, to this dramatic challenge at the end of the millennium. You are this providential response.”
They have an official site.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NY1: Police Recover Stolen Stations Of The Cross
Stations of the Cross stolen from a Catholic church in the Bronx were recovered Tuesday, and the alleged thief was arrested.

Police say they caught 25-year-old Kevin Madison of Yonkers when he tried to sell the crosses. He is charged with grand larceny.

I blogged the theft yesterday.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:19 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Washington Times: Terror and tolerance
By Jean-Christophe Mounicq

The morning of Jan. 29, upon hearing about the attack on a bus in Jerusalem, I did not experience the expected emotion. It seemed such a "normal" thing, and I have not enough tears to shed for people I do not know.

The next day, on Jan. 30, I read an article about one of the victims — Avraham Belhassen, 26 years old, a young father — and realized that I could tolerate no more. I can no longer tolerate terrorist folly, Islamist hatred, the passivity of Muslims, the blindness of the West...

Thanks to contributor Oengus Moonbones for pointing this out to me.

I'm totally in accord with this analysis. This is the key insight:

I'm going to pray for Westerners to understand that the war on terrorism is in reality a war against Islamism, and that Islamism is gaining ground among Muslims.
There are really two wars: the war on terror and the war to define Islam.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:28 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Who's healing whom?

I went to a Mass on Saturday where "we" were healing in the words of a hymn. My guess was it was a reference to the Holy Trinity, but I'm not sure.

I'm not comfortable in singing in the first person singular or plural of actions that are God's alone.

I thought it was some sort of fluke. My home parish has a wonderful music ministry with no nonsense and when I'm out of my parish it's generally for some event connected to doctrinal orthodoxy.

I see that I'm not alone in this finding. It was the front page headline in National Catholic Register (no link available).(March 28, 2003 issue)

George Weigel wrote about this topic last year.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Rockland NY Journal-News: This horrible tragedy (follow-up: abandoned baby found dead)
It is a horror almost beyond comprehension and deeply sad for any Rocklander to learn that a defenseless newborn was placed on the steps of a West Nyack church and then found dead.

While, as of this writing, Rockland and Clarkstown authorities do not know whether the boy was born dead or alive, the fact is that if alive, this new life could have been protected since the safe-haven law allows mothers to give up their babies without facing criminal prosecution.

Linked article has details of the safe-haven law and the investigation.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NOSTRA AETATE par. 3 on the Moslems (Vatican II)
3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God.

Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion.

In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead.

Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting.

Since in the course of centuries not a few quarrels and hostilities have arisen between Christians and Moslems, this sacred synod urges all to forget the past and to work sincerely for mutual understanding and to preserve as well as to promote together for the benefit of all mankind social justice and moral welfare, as well as peace and freedom.

The passage I refer to in the comment box below.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:43 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Puncture wounds found on Terri Schiavo's arms
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A severely brain-damaged woman in the center of a court battle over her end-of-life wishes was hospitalized briefly after workers at her Clearwater nursing home noticed puncture wounds on her arms, an attorney for the woman's husband said.

George Felos, the attorney representing Michael Schiavo, said the wounds -- four on one arm, and one on the other -- appeared to have been caused by a hypodermic needle. He said the marks and a purple needle cap in Terri Schiavo's gown were discovered after a 45-minute visit Monday by her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.

Many new details in the linked story. Remember to pray for Terri Schiavo.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters: Terrorists foiled in the UK
Police seized a large amount of explosive material and arrested eight men across London and southeast England on Tuesday in Britain's largest anti-terror operation for years.
Reuters: Terrorists foiled in the Phillippines
Philippine security forces have arrested several militants and seized a large amount of explosives, foiling a plan to bomb civilian targets in the capital Manila, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on Tuesday. "We have pre-empted a Madrid-level attack on the metropolis by capturing an explosive cache of 80 pounds (36 kg) of TNT which was intended to be used for bombing malls and trains in Metro Manila," she said on national television.

Two Predictions:

The media wing of the Democratic party will bury these stories as it reminds people that the other side in the war on terror has not surrendered.

The terrorists will not always be caught before they launch an attack. We are still vulnerable.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A simple argument I heard on talk radio in opposition to the recognition of homosexual marriage.

What makes the situation of two homosexual men or two homosexual women different from any other pair of people in the United States?

If there's a set of benefits that can be obtained by asking for them, why should it be limited in any way?

Isn't the degree of "commitment" or "love" or whatever criteria are suggested beyond the scope of governmental review?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Post: Bronx Church Robbed of "Stations"
March 30, 2004 -- Members of a Bronx parish were reeling yesterday after the theft of treasured artifacts depicting the last hours of Jesus Christ, the church's pastor said.

Monsignor John J. Farley, pastor of the Church of St. Margaret of Cortona in Riverdale, said thieves made off with relics representing 13 Stations of the Cross that hung from a rear wall of the chapel.

The Catholic Church recognizes 14 stations or events between the time the Bible says Jesus was condemned to die and was laid in the tomb. St. Margaret's lost one of the stations in a burglary three years ago.

"I am disappointed and shocked that someone would violate a sacred place like this," Farley said.

Farley placed the value of the relics - 10-inch wooden crosses with medallions marking the stations - at several hundred dollars, far short of their sentimental value to parishioners.

Police said there were no signs of forced entry.

The robbery took place amid the frenzy over the Mel Gibson movie, "The Passion of the Christ," which depicts the same crucifixion period as the Stations of the Cross.

"I don't know why anyone would do something like that," said parishioner Mary White. "Maybe it has something to do with the movie. It's such an odd thing for someone to take."

Denis Kitson, St. Margaret's facilities manager, said, "Being religious you have to forgive and forget, but being a parishioner here I find it hard."

Frenzy? Is that really the case up in the Bronx?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:24 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic World News: Fight terror, not Islam, Italian prelate urges (paid subs. reqd.)

Rome, Mar. 29 (CWNews.com) - The Western world should find ways to combat terrorism without provoking a confrontation with the entire Islamic world, said Cardinal Camillo Ruini.

Cardinal Ruini, the vicar for the Roma diocese and president of the Italian bishops' conference, reflected on the war against terrorism in a lengthy interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera. Cardinal Ruini has notable, among the leading prelates of Rome, in his support for aggressive efforts to combat terrorists. He told the newspaper that while it is wrong to encourage hatred and violence, "one should not run away, either."

The cardinal said that it is essential to find "a just way of responding to terrorism, without threatening the legitimate identity of Islamic peoples." If the war against terrorism escalates into a conflict with the entire Islamic world, he said, that would represent a victory for the logic of the terrorists who are seeking just such a conflict.

Cardinal Ruini went on to say that Islamic leaders have a heavy moral obligation to denounce terrorism and promote a peaceful approach "which is in everyone's best interests."

The tensions between the West and the Islamic world are heightened today, the Italian prelate said, because the West "does not have a good understanding of itself." He argued that since the Western world has lost a clear sense of fundamental principles-- "like the dignity of the person, freedom, and brotherhood"-- the leaders of the West do not know how to take a clear stand in defense of their own civilization. "Cultural relativism is always a great danger," he said.

The cardinal reminded Corriere della Sera that he had cautioned strongly against the notion of fighting a "preventive war" in Iraq. But now, he suggested that Italian troops should remain in Iraq "in a constructive attitude, helping the people of Iraq to overcome the ruin that their country has suffered."

This is not a war against a noun, "terrorism" -- just as World War II was not a war against "tanks and submarines". It is a war where the other side has fully engaged religion as a weapon and painted it repeatedly and as recently as Madrid as a "crusade".

The language of force is the only language that terrorists heed. Your eminence, survival is a higher priority for me that avoiding confrontation with Islamic "identity". They are either with us or against us.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Stations of the Cross Stolen (no link available)

The smaller Stations of the Cross were stolen from St. Margaret of Cortona Church in the Bronx on Monday.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:05 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Dead Baby Abandoned In West Nyack
In Rockland County (New York), Clarkstown Police are asking the public's help in finding the woman who left a dead baby on the steps of a church over the weekend.

The baby was found on the steps of Saint Francis of Assisi Church in West Nyack by a church worker on Saturday.

Detectives have released photographs of a small white box and a blanket with a large Mickey Mouse figure against a black-and-white checked background found with the baby.

The cause of death of the baby is under investigation.

Pray for this child and for all mothers who contemplate infanticide.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, March 29, 2004
AP: (St. Louis) Parishioners challenge archbishop over control of Polish church
In a stunning show of defiance and solidarity, members of an independent Polish parish fiercely challenged Archbishop Raymond Burke on Sunday over demands that they relinquish control of $9 million in assets and a lay board's leadership.

In 1891, Archbishop Peter Kenrick deeded the Church property in perpetuity to a private parish lay corporation.

This is interesting, I wonder how many of these anomalies are still in existence in the United States.

I think the Archbishop should tolerate the status-quo until there's some action by the lay corporation that contradicts canon law or diocesan policy. Acting now without a cause other than "the law changed in 1917 to make this arrangement invalid" seems suspicious given that Glennon, Ritter, Carberry, May, and Rigali (the Archbishops since 1917) apparently did not attempt to seize the parish.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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"I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."

It's not the Church telling you what to do. It's God, John.

New York Daily News: No puppet of Pope, Kerry says

John Kerry says he is a proud, churchgoing Catholic, but the former altar boy insists he won't be bossed around by the Pope. "As John Kennedy said very clearly, I will be a President who happens to be Catholic, not a Catholic President," Kerry, whose pro-choice stance violates church teaching against abortion, told Time magazine.

"We have a separation of church and state in this country," said the Massachusetts Democrat, who would be the nation's second Catholic commander in chief if elected. "I don't tell church officials what to do, and church officials shouldn't tell American politicians what to do in the context of our public life."

Kerry, of course, got the point candidate John F. Kennedy was making totally wrong. Kennedy said "the church does not speak for me". Kerry interprets this as "the church does not speak to me".

John Kerry, the separation that you need to concern yourself with now is not "Church from State" but "John Kerry from God".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:17 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, March 28, 2004
NRO Jack Fowler: Specter Game-Playing on Abortion
With challenger Congressman Pat Toomey breathing down his liberal neck in the Pennsylvania GOP senate primary (April 27), incumbent Arlen Specter continues his political suck-up to pro-lifers and their desperately needed votes.

Yesterday, Specter voted to pass the Unborn Victims of Violence Act (discussed here yesterday (scroll down), it is the fetal-homicide bill also named Laci and Conner's Law). But before that vote took place, Specter voted to kill the bill by supporting Sen. Dianne Feinstein's substitute proposal -- it would have codified the doctrine that when a woman and her unborn child are injured or killed during a federal crime, that crime has only a single victim.

The proposal lost 50-49; other senators swinging both way a  la Arlen were Tom Daschle (D, SD), Harry Reid (D, NV), Mary Landrieu (D, LA), and Susan Collins (R, ME). Don't be surprised if the Specter campaign hasn't already cut ads to run on Pennsylvania Christian radio stations bragging about his vote on the final bill (with nary a mention his bill-killing vote on the Feinstein amendment).

If that enrages you, do what I did and contribute to the Pat Toomey Campaign

Not enraged enough? See the Specter's campaign endorsement by Senator Rick Santorum. Rick, what were you thinking?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com