Saturday, May 01, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:27 PM Permalink
CNN: Marines Hand Over Positions in Fallujah
(home page headline was "Iraqis Cheer as Marines Back Out of Fallujah"
Salih - a burly ex-member of Saddam's Republican Guard with a Saddam-style mustache - arrived in the city to residents' cheers.
We are still waiting for those responsible for this on 3/31/2004 to be brought to justice.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:37 AM Permalink
Friday, April 30, 2004
Mackubin Thomas Owens NRO: Delenda Est Fallujah Insurgents must be crushed.
the new "American way of war" that was on display in Iraq has created significant unintended consequences that require us to re-evaluate its effectiveness. A "humane" approach to war — one that stresses precision and minimizing collateral damage — may lead a population spared the horrors of war to believe that they haven't been defeated. And the fact is that a war ends when the defeated say it is over, not when the victors do.An echo of what I wrote earlier today.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:43 PM Permalink
Seeing the Church as the McDonalds of Grace
Pro-abort politicians are apparently so poorly informed about the meaning of Communion in Holy Communion, that they see it as a right that the Church must accommodate every conscience.
McDonalds doesn't care if you are underweight, correct weight, or overweight if you buy their products. In fact, it would be discrimination for them to refuse to serve a paying customer.
It's a process of taking power away from the bishops who, so far, for the most part, are happy to give it up.
It's a process of seizing political power (at least in the Democratic Party) for the pro-aborts.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:33 PM Permalink
My first online Catholic flamewar
I can remember it. Online -- the year was 1979. Compuserve (I think.)
I liked the Life of Brian. I got flamed for that opinion.
Now riding on the popularity of the Passion of the Christ comes a theatrical re-release of the Life of Brian.
I still like the movie. I own the DVD.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:35 AM Permalink
Philip F. Lawler. opinionjournal.com: Rites and Wrongs Why John Kerry should not take communion.
Despite repeated admonitions from American bishops (first private, then public), Mr. Kerry insists that he will continue to receive communion when he attends Mass. Thus he puts himself in direct conflict with the Catholic hierarchy, which teaches that the senator's outspoken support for legal abortion renders him unfit to receive the Eucharist. Mr. Kerry may gain a few votes by casting himself as a man of conscience, at odds with bishops whose bungling of a sex-abuse scandal has made them unpopular. But a dispassionate observer--even one who rejects Catholic teachings--should recognize Mr. Kerry's posture for what it is: an assault on the faith he claims to revere...Phil lays out all the facts. If there are Catholics asleep now regarding this issue that you know of, forward the link to them. The op-ed also serves the purpose of informing non-Catholics of what the controversy is and how it is a moral one and not a political one. Rod Dreher in the blog of the Dallas Morning News has been doing a discussion thread with non-Catholics on this matter. Read it to get the perspective of non-Catholics looking in at this spectacle.
For the opposing point of view see this article by Joe Conason in The New York Observer. Rather than speak to the issue of Kerry, he slams folks like me for not demanding the same treatment towards Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I agree but it should have started a long, long time ago. Where was Joe Conason when it was time to go after the pro-abortion Democrats and Republicans in the 1970's? Or if he's a younger fellow like me -- was he calling for this in the 80's like I was?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:41 AM Permalink
Peggy Noonan. opinionjournal.com: 'Raisin' and Falling -- A 40-year-old play reveals something awful about today's culture.
But I must tell you of the small moment that was actually a big moment. (There's a possible spoiler coming up, so if you don't know the story and mean to see the play, stop here.)
Applause for abortion? Please read the whole thing.
Let no one ever again say that the Pope's phrase Culture of Death is an exaggeration.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:25 AM Permalink
Where ambiguity can be deadly
There's a lot of places where we can live with ambiguity and look the other way. Married life and being a parent has taught me this.
There's a lot of places where ambiguity can be deadly, like a battlefield. The our current events we have two. Fallujah and the communion of John Kerry to the Catholic Church.
In Fallujah, we're leaving before we finished the job. It's like an armistice with Japan that leaves their ability to fight intact -- fight Okinawa and Iwo Jima and then don't have a surrender signing ceremony in Tokyo harbor.
The terrorists or Islamic jihadists have been taught a lesson: these are not 1945 Marines but 1970 Marines -- captive to outside political pressure.
Persistence will win out over the technology gap, poor discipline, and poor tactics.
As the Marines pull out from Fallujah the cameras will be watching. Are they going to be cheering in Damascus or Teheran or Camp Pendleton or Parris Island?
The problem of the communion of John Kerry with the Catholic Church starts with sin itself. There's ambiguity among some bishops and Catholics who get into the mass media that the political advocacy of abortion is a grave sin. Their argument is based on that fact that it is indirect -- they do not obtain the abortion themselves, perform it, or procure it.
I've been looking for a smoking gun that declares it to be a grave sin and haven't found one. Of course, it's wrong and evil but a grave sin? Prove it, they say.
People would then say that the second question is rendered moot.
The other angle is the prudence of acting or the bishop's discretion in this matter. On one hand, it seems that the public imposition of a penalty is always a matter of prudence. This is the constant answer to the question of why Hitler and other high-ranking Catholics Nazis who might subject to excommunication were not.
Here the case is weaker. The steps of formally directing John Kerry not to present himself or formally directing priests, deacons, and others of not permitting him to receive Holy Communion is not merely a penalty but also a wakeup call to Kerry and a wakeup call that the Church considers the political advocacy of abortion to be a communion-breaking sin -- just as in theory remarriage after divorce without annulment is.
It's especially a problem for the Church as Kerry declares that his position is not in contradiction with Catholic teaching -- both in words and in his action. This is the time for the Church to have a teaching moment and not ambiguity.
I've told my students that each person who receives is declaring before God and all creatures that they believe all that the Church teaches in faith and morals. It is the sin of sacrilege to deny Church teaching and receive the Body of Christ.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:42 AM Permalink
Thursday, April 29, 2004
Fallujah: cut and run? Not yet.
Some more thoughts about this. If the siege if lifted without killing and capturing the enemy, the enemy will be back to fight these same Marines another day.
The arms caches will be dispersed. They need to be destroyed. The terrorists will fade away into the background, just as they did at the end of May 2003.
I find it very hard to believe that the military leadership in Iraq would be think that turning over a hot battlefield to a brand-new untested army is a good idea.
Psychologically it looks like another US cut and run like Beirut and Mogadishu. It teaches terrorists that they can just declare a phony cease-fire and the Amercians are sure to quit in four weeks.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:27 PM Permalink
ABC News: Former Nurse Pleads Guilty In 13 Patient Deaths
For 16 years he was supposed to be taking care of ill patients little did anyone know, he was killing them.
One reason to have the death penalty is explained in this plea deal: If the death penalty was off the table there would have been no incentive to plea.
Cullen could have taken his chances with a runaway jury. Cullen could have pleaded guilty without the prosecution holding this bargaining chip but it's a little late to expect murderers to do the right thing.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:48 PM Permalink
My post-PA primary post
[Rod Dreher] On one of the Catholic blogs today, a conservative says he finds it instructive that some prolife Catholics will trash Catholic Democrats for standing by pro-choice politicians out of party loyalty, but will give the very Catholic, very Republican Sen. Rick Santorum a pass over his sticking by pro-choice Arlen Specter instead of supporting pro-life Republican Pat Toomey. Good point.I regret that Pat Toomey lost. Since the primary election was so close it is apparent that Bush and Santorum's support was the edge that made the difference in giving the victory to Specter. Ramesh Ponnuru also makes this point.
What's not in the NRO Corner's comments is my fear that Specter will feel no need to be loyal to the Republican party. Specter who in 74 now will be 80 at the end of his next term. His fifth term is probably his final term. He can say whatever, do whatever, and vote however he chooses without the sense of accountability that one facing a reelection campaign has.
Specter can't be relied upon to vote on Bush's nominees. It's a long time ago, but Specter led the fight against Robert Bork. His voting record and Senate alliances put him very close to John Kerry (see this NRO analysis).
I hate rewarding Specter, but if I were in PA rather than NYC, I'd hold my nose and vote Republican in November.
Don't hold your breath waiting for an apology or expression of regret from Santorum either.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:31 AM Permalink
CBC: Former Saddam general put in charge of Fallujah security
A former general in Saddam Hussein's army will be responsible for security in the Iraqi city of Fallujah under a new deal reached on Thursday.
Why not just let Saddam become dictator again and be done with it?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:58 AM Permalink
Washington Post: Former Iraqi Soldiers to Replace U.S. Marines in Fallujah
A new agreement to end the siege of Fallujah was announced Thursday under which a force of former Iraqi soldiers and commanders will replace U.S. Marines in and around the embattled city.
This sure looks like a surrender to me. This so-callled Fallujah Protection Army doesn't have the mission of disarming, and capturing or killing the insurgents (i.e. the guys killing our Marines and the civilians of Fallujah).
In fact, I can picture these troops embracing the jihadists as brothers and declaring victory over the United States.
It still won't be safe for any foreigner to enter Fallujah.
I hope I'm wrong.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:39 AM Permalink
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
Abortion and the Catholic Vote
A trio of posts that are linked:
Abortion isn't going away. We've not been successful, so pray and vote until we are.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:12 PM Permalink
First National Catholic Prayer Breakfast
There's another, more famous, National Prayer Breakfast which took place on February 5, 2004. It is sponsored by the Fellowship Foundation and not officially a goverment event, but a private one. President Bush spoke at the one in 2004 and in each year of his presidency.
The 2004 Breakfast made the network television news programs because of a scary bang heard during Bush's speech.
In 1994 Mother Teresa gave a tremendous speech supporting the right to life. CSPAN sells the videotape of that speech.
The First National Catholic Prayer Breakfast is privately sponsored by a non-profit corp. with the same name.
The NCPB hosts include: Hon. Robert Bork; Catholic League's William Donohue; Robert P. George; CRISIS magazine's Deal Hudson; Hon. Mel Martinez; Rev. John J. McCloskey; Robert Moynihan; First Things' Rev. Richard John Neuhaus; Barbara Nicolosi; Robert Novak; Hon. Rick Santorum; Prof. David Schindler; Russell Shaw; Hon. Michael Steele; Msgr. Stuart Swetland and Mary Ann Glendon.
So it's the "A" list of prominent lay Catholics.
Where does Cardinal McCarrick fit in here? He has an annual "Red Mass" which is the special Mass to which all the Catholic lawyers and government officials are invited.
Why a hotel and not the Cathedral of Saint Matthew or the National Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception? These seem to be the appropriate locales for such an event. Is prayer "conservative"?
Amy Welborn has linked to a news account in the Spectator on it. The point of the article is a little slam at the White House for ignoring it in favor of the Knights of Columbus national convention later. I'll give the White House a pass on how high-profile they want to connect Bush with the Catholic Church.
Anyway, I like to go to events like this when they happen in New York. I wish I could have made it to Mayflower Hotel.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:58 PM Permalink
New York Post: Critics Cry Foul Over '20/20' Adoption Segment
Millions of viewers across the country watched in surprise over the weekend as the network aired a sensational promo for Friday's segment, which pits five desperate couples against each other for the privilege of adopting a 16-year-old's baby.
A disgrace and an outrage and a trivialization of motherhood.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:00 AM Permalink
Close to home.
Newsday: Parishioners lambast Murphy, pastor
About 400 members of one of Long Island's largest and richest parishes met Tuesday night in an outpouring of anger over the Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal, with many of them lambasting Bishop William Murphy and their pastor, a key figure in the scandal.
This bears watching because it is not a Voice of the Faithful theatrical production, but a genuine grassroots movement among some serious and seriously wealthy Catholics.
There's even some sympathy towards Bishop Murphy who inherited a mess. So blame for the mess shifts to Msgr. John Alesandro, former chancellor and administrator of the diocese. He was very much involved as canon lawyer who handled the complaints.
Like nearly all the dioceses prior to 2003, the Rockville Center diocese response to a complaint of sexual abuse was to deny and counterattack.
So this current movement is an attempt to hold Msgr. John Alesandro accountable for the coverup. There's been no personal accusation of sexual abuse against Msgr. John Alesandro.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 AM Permalink
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:05 PM Permalink
Microsoft's inconsistent regard for standards
CSS2 has been around since 1998. It's a World Wide Web Consortium standard and Microsoft has still not got around to supporting it.
I guess they never will at this point. They will live forever with CSS1, and we will have to unless the whole world moves to another CSS2-conforming browser like Firefox.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:41 PM Permalink
New York Post. Ralph Peters: He Who Hesitates
... "Experts" warn that we mustn't alienate the hard-core Sunnis or the fundamentalist Shia's. Wake up and smell the cordite: They're already alienated. They'll never love us. So we'd better make damned sure they fear us.
Today is not the day to turn the other cheek. We are not offering the Empire State Building or Rockefeller Center to them.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:01 PM Permalink
Holy City Dept.
CBS News: Rebel Toll in Najaf City Grows
U.S. military officials say U.S. troops fought with insurgents overnight near the southern holy Shiite city of Najaf, killing 64 gunmen and destroying an anti-aircraft system belonging to the insurgents.
In other news, the holy city of the world's Catholics, Vatican City, announced a successful test of its laser cannon.
A Vatican official who declined to be named for this article said that the laser canon is a welcome addition to the Vatican armory which has been sadly neglected since 1870.
"I believe there was a happy accident in our receiving the Nautilus. It was intended for cannon experts, however we are canon experts. It is an understandable mistake."
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:01 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:00 AM Permalink
Canon 915 Watch
This National Review Corner item reminded me to blog a thought I had some time ago.
I don't believe that there's ever been a consenus about the political advocacy of abortion rights constituting a manifest grave sin among the Catholic bishops of the United States, and for that matter, the world.
If it's not a manifest grave sin, then there's no reason to discuss the application of Canon 915 to deny Holy Communion to them any further.
Apparently, the spokespersons for Archdioceses of Boston and Washington DC have either denied it or have no comment.
The prudence of how to apply this to specific persons, once it has been established that it is a manifest grave sin is another matter to discuss.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 AM Permalink
Pat Toomey for US Senate
Today is the Republican primary in the great state of Pennsylvania.
As we say at Tammany -- Vote early and vote often.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 AM Permalink
Update: Rush Limbaugh echoed my points above: the desire to see both Bush and the Pope murdered by abortion reveals the hatred and rage of the politics driving the Kerry campaign.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:11 AM Permalink
Who killed Sr. Margaret Ann Pahl (and why)?
A big story. 535 Google News hits on this 1980 murder.
Associated Press: Allegation Led to New Look at Nun's Death
Investigators re-examined the 1980 slaying of a nun whose body was found in a chapel surrounded by candles after another woman alleged she was abused by Roman Catholic priests during satanic and sadomasochistic rituals, a newspaper reported Sunday.
What seemed utterly fantastic like something from Rosemary's Baby or The Ninth Gate in 1980 seems possible now.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:04 AM Permalink
New York Times: buries the story in "World Briefings"
Al Qaeda plotted bomb and poison gas attacks against the American Embassy and other targets in Jordan, two men identified as conspirators confessed in videotape shown on state television. A commentator said the plotters wanted to kill 80,000 people.
I guess the New York Times gave it this treatment because it doesn't help Kerry get elected.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:39 AM Permalink
Monday, April 26, 2004
Who is Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali?
He's the assassin of Kim Bigley, 47, of Paducah, KY, Lynn Williams, 48, Elmont NY, and Gary Weston, 52, of Vienna IL.
Weekly Standard, Stephen Schwartz: The UN's Kosovo Incompetence
On April 17, two American women were killed by a Jordanian in Kosovo. With all media eyes focused on Iraq, little notice has been taken of their sacrifice, yet Kim Bigley, 47, of Paducah, KY, and Lynn Williams, 48, of Elmont, NY, apparently fell as casualties in the war on terrorism.
See also Jihad Watch: UN Jihad? Kosovo Prison Shooter May Have Had Hamas Ties
My point is that it is not only Iraq. The Global War on Terror is Global. Mardid - Kosovo - Riyadh. What city is next?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 PM Permalink
an appeal to fear
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:31 PM Permalink
New York Daily News: Hunt rock fiend
Slain driver's kin want psycho caughtI'm no relation to the victim. Sweeney and McSweeney are extremely common Irish names. But I can identify with the situation of this family. I'm about the same age and I had elderly parents and did errands for them. I know dozens of Catholics like this who help the elderly, the sick, and the poor in so many ways and while they don't get recognition, they don't seek it either. It's a mystery without a human explanation why God takes back such people in a such a manner.
In a small way I'm like Marie McSweeney not afraid to face death because death is only a gate with Jesus on the other side. I would regret that I'd leave behind so much unfinished work that others would have to pick up.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:22 PM Permalink
Andrew Sullivan agains shows cluelessness.
A Catholic and Republican initiative in Michigan will allow doctors to refuse treatment to any person of whom they morally disapprove. I can see why some doctors should be allowed to refuse to perform abortions on moral grounds (except I doubt that any doctors are routinely put in that position).
I'd be receptive to hearing where after this law was enacted that there was an actual case where a homosexual person was denied care because of this law, but to suggest it is the motive of the law as Sullivan does here is real cluelessness.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:15 AM Permalink
AP: Kerry: Religion Shouldn't Mix With Politics
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry's campaign said Friday that religion should not be an issue in U.S. politics after a top Vatican official said Catholic politicians who support abortion rights should be denied Communion.
Politics shouldn't mix with religion, either.
Cardinal Arinze, two American bishops, and I are on the same page: to receive Holy Communion is to declare common belief with what the Catholic Church teaches. Kerry commits a sacrilege by receiving Holy Communion.
As I and most of Catholic media and blogdom are writing the focus should be on Abp. O'Malley and the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops to see what they will do.
One person I was speaking to over the weekend was confused and said that Mario Cuomo was doing the same as Kerry. This is not so, Kerry goes far beyond Cuomo as an advocate of positions opposed to Church teaching. I would add that he confuses Catholic regarding Church teaching by asserting his pro-abortion position doesn't contradict them.
Mario Cuomo merely washed his hands publicly and said I have to follow Caesar's laws.
Crisis Magazine April's issue has “Personally Opposed, But…” Five Pro-Abortion Dodges By Todd M. Aglialoro which goes into this in more detail.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:46 AM Permalink
The Saudi flag is now next to the dictionary entry for Hypocrisy
Saudis Support a Jihad in Iraq, Not Back Home
On Wednesday morning, just hours before a suicide bomber demolished a Saudi police building in downtown Riyadh, the family of a young man was accepting congratulations for his death in the jihad over the border in Iraq, the one that enjoys no small support here.
Saudi Arabia doesn't have a theocracy like the one demanded by bin Laden and the rest of the Islamic jihadists. The only place with this particular form of government was crushed in Afghanistan.
This reality of Muslims killing Muslims is being underreported. I think it serves to undermine the Kerry campaign to show that the violence is not going to stop with an American pullout from Iraq.
It serves the Islamic fundamentalists to make it appear to be Islamic fundamentalists v. the decadent West (Jews, Crusaders, and Atheists)
Their goal is a seventh-century style Arab caiphate to rule as much of the world as they can.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:29 AM Permalink
Sunday, April 25, 2004
Reader Oengus Moonbones passed along this link to Belmont Club
Excellent stuff on the war in Iraq from this apparently anonymous blogger.
Tonight's item, The Ceasfire Begins is a really good analysis which concludes The Iraqi nation will be born or fail in Fallujah
I also discovered there a link to The New Arab Way of War.
Intentionally, there is no obvious state involvement. In his attack, the assassin dies or melts into the crowd, providing no proof of who is responsible. This tactic is meant to confuse and frustrate a legally justifiable response, as the Western paradigm based on the 1648 Peace of Westphalia assumes a state-versus-state conflict. Avoiding giving the West a defined, obvious state opponent is a rational strategy peculiar to the Arab way of war.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:24 PM Permalink
An annecdote about St. Thomas Aquinas
This one is from George Sim Johnston.
The Summa Theologica was unfinished at the time of the death of the saint. One part that was unfinished was the discussion of marriage.
It may be a blessing that he didn't compete it and influence the Church for centuries.
We know of his reluctance to accept the Immaculate Conception and the Aristolean theory of the inferiority of women so his summa on marriage would likely have incorporated this.
I add that whatever it would have been, it would probably be thrown back it our faces -- just as the issue of ensoulment and the transition from plant, animal, and human keep being thrown back at 21th century advocates of life. If it's possible to feel rage or regret in heaven, this 13th century Doctor of the Church must have it when he's quoted to advocate abortion.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:36 PM Permalink