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Saturday, August 07, 2004
Old media is giving John Kerry a pass on his military record

I think that we can't rely on old media to bring out any truths about Kerry that will contradict his acceptance speech or his own stories.

The bigger point is that he has presented his four months in Vietnam as the reason for electing him president. That's four months out of 850 -- or 0.0047 of his life.

But these stories have to be answered because Kerry's injustice to the men who fought in Vietnam was never part of the many Senate campaigns he had in anti-war Massachusetts.

The examination of Kerry's life would be over a lot more quickly if he would consent to the release of his records: "Kerry can remove all doubt about his service by signing a U.S. government document referred to as Standard Form 180 -- this in effect is a limited power attorney that grants to third parties, including news organizations and individuals, the right to receive 100 percent of his military and medical records that are available to Mr. Kerry himself," B.G. Burkett explained to NewsMax.com.

Until that happens we're only left with the conflicting personal stories of men who were in Vietnam when Kerry was there.

An example of this is how fast the Boston Globe rushed to print a front page non-retraction retraction when the Globe had not published the story in the first place.

Rush Limbaugh has his take on this.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:30 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, August 06, 2004
Vietnam Images: Hanoi and Saigon

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:48 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Meta-blogging Something that I've noticed in the last few months is that either bloggers are getting better or old media is getting lazier.

Stories are appearing in local or foreign media or in some cases from eyewitnesses -- and they are not getting noticed -- that is not until bloggers bring it to the attention of big media. Here's an example where I didn't break the story.

Houston Chronicle reported the Tom DeLay press release on the Subway fat American ad campaign in Germany. (Wed July 28, 2004)

It took the blogs and days of increasing awareness before old media reacted and publicized it -- but Subway had already reacted. and it shows up on TV news tonight.

I'm always reading about stuff in blogs days before it gets to TV.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:42 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Helicopter-Saigon April 29, 1975 Evacuation From Saigon

Looking for a bigger version of this photograph.

This is the most enduring memory of Vietnam that I have. I was about 20 when the picture was taken. Nixon had ended the draft when I turned 18.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:51 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Run Alan Run

AP: Keyes Needs Time to Decide on Ill. Senate Run

With the general election less than three months away, former presidential hopeful Alan Keyes says he needs a few days to decide whether he wants to accept the Illinois GOP's offer to be its Senate candidate.

I think it was the 1996 election where I felt I had to contribute to the presidential campaigns of Buchannan, Keyes, Robert K. Dornan.

Alan Keyes is a great campaigner who would be a great Senator.

Some articles speak about Hillary Clinton carpet-bagging herself into the open seat created by Daniel Moynihan's retirement in 2000 (he died in 2003) -- but none mention that fact that she forced out a Democrat Congresswoman, Nita Lowey from Westchester/Rockland who had declared earlier for the Senate seat. She yielded for the good of the party.

The situation in Illinois is that no Republican with state-wide visibility wants to run. The door is wide open for Keyes.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:56 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Washington Post Robert Kagan: A Kerry Doctrine Short on History And Long on Irony
...Who but an American politician, they might ask, could insist that the U.S. had never gone to war except when it "had to"?

The U.S. has sent forces into combat dozens of times over the past century and a half, and only twice, in World War II and in Afghanistan, has it arguably done so because it "had to." It did not "have to" send the Marines to Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Nicaragua in the first three decades of the 20th century, nor fight a lengthy war against insurgents in the Philippines. The necessity of intervention in World War I remains a hot topic for historical debate.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Even a President Sharpton would respond after an attack.

This is of special interest to Catholics who deny that the wars in Afghanistan and/or Iraq were just wars.

WSJ Opinion Journal: Wonder Land

Kerry Commands Voters to Forget Politics, History -- Even a President Sharpton would respond after an attack.


In his acceptance speech, John Kerry said, "Let there be no mistake: I will never hesitate to use force when it is required." Of course, he said a lot of other things on the subject, too.

The ideas of John Kerry and George Bush on the use of military force--where, when and for what reason--is the issue that will most determine the outcome of this election. And the one word that sits at the nuclear core of this heated argument, boiling everywhere in America the past year, is "pre-emption."

Mr. Kerry says that as president he would act with more caution and prudence than his opponent, around whose neck he has hung a scarlet P. Normally such claims would come before the voters as abstract predictions about contingent events. The times, alas, are not normal. To assist in choosing between these two, we have a real world of bombs, beheadings and broadcast threats. Recent days tossed up the 9/11 Commission Report and the Wall Street terror alert.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:25 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tours I'd like to see

Esoteric Explorations has a real tour about the hoax that is called the Da Vinci Code. (which I have still not read.)

I'd love to go on a Da Vinci Debunking Tour organized by Catholic historians.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:17 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, August 05, 2004
Bill Donohue has bagged another trophy!
Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the resignation of Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson as the Senior Religion Advisor to the Democratic National Committee (DNC):
“Rev. Peterson told Religion News Service that "it was no longer possible for me to do my job effectively." The Washington Post added today that her decision was made "after the New York-based Catholic League issued three blistering news releases attacking her positions."”

The Democrats don't get it, do they?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Reuters Misspeak on Bush Misspeak

Reuters: Bush Misspeak Cites U.S. Readiness to Harm U.S.

President Bush told a roomful of top Pentagon brass on Thursday that his administration would never stop looking for ways to harm the United States. The latest installment of misspeak from a president long known for his malapropisms came during a signing ceremony for a new $417 billion defense appropriations bill that includes $25 billion in emergency funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we," Bush said. The Republican incumbent, who is in a tight race for reelection against Democrat John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam veteran, used the 11-minute presentation to underscore his commitment to U.S. troops. On hand for the ceremony were Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Neither do we what?

stop looking for ways to bring harm to the enemy.

What an idiotic and biased thing for Reuters to write. Doesn't Reuters understand the concept of context?

Update: Jay Leno made this item a joke.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:23 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Local 6: Woman Fired For Eating "Unclean" Meat
A Central Florida woman was fired from her job after eating "unclean" meat and violating a reported company policy that pork and pork products are not permissible on company premises, according to Local 6 News.

Lina Morales was hired as an administrative assistant at Rising Star -- a Central Florida telecommunications company with strong Muslim ties, Local 6 News reported.

However, 10 months after being hired by Rising Star, religious differences led to her termination.

This story was highlighted on the Drudge Report. And then I joined into the discussion on Amy Welborn's Blog.

Ms. Morales has recourse to both the state and federal courts on this one. And "at will" employment doesn't permit discrimination by sex, age, race, religion, and ethnicity (and in most jurisdictions sexual orientation).

The admission by the owners of religious discrimination (a "no pork policy") make this case's outcome a certainty.

By operating a business in the state of Florida, Rising Star made themselves subject to the laws of Floria and the United States. The had the obligation to accomodate Morales' non-observance of the Muslim definition of what is unclean.

There are some comments there replying to what I wrote above.

So I've added this.

Some of the commenters have concluded that this was a proper termination based on claims that are not in article, namely that she was "rude" or lack "courtesy". I can just as well speculate that her supervisors were rude or lacked courtesy. What we do know is that she wasn't fired for that reason.

Eugene Volokh is wrong. The insistence of the employer on the employee to conform to the Muslim faith in choice of food is certainly discriminatory behavior based on the employers Muslim beliefs. Forcing someone to eat pork or forcing someone not to eat pork -- it's the same in the eyes of the law -- it's cooercive behavior. Any search of cases where there has been a successful claim of religious discrimination in the workplace will show that the bar is actually much lower than Volokh believes it ought to be.

As other blogs are pointing out, there's a real case to me here of insufficient notice. It remains to be seen it the people at her workplace expressed mere annoyance at her or a genuine disciplinary process was undertaken before her firing. It would be entirely different if this was in writing.

Another point is that I think the bona fide claim that the lunchroom at a secular workplace where people of many religious faiths are employed is analogous to a home. I think the proper analogy is a restaurant where the public is present and anything is on the menu.

Some in Amy's blog in fact suggested that Lina Morales should have known at the time of her hiring that ham on a pizza and a BLT were haram. This seems absurd to me given that what was discussed in the hiring interview was their policy of non-discrimination in hiring.

Other blogs who agree with me on this issue: Allah in the House and Little Green Footballs

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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List of St. Blogs Parish

I have formatted the lists and they will be automatically generated.

stblogs_autodiscovery_opml.xml is the result of using autodiscovery on the blogs. This is where you have LINK elements in the HEAD element to instruct applications like mine where there is a feed associated with the blog.

stblogs_extract_opml.xml is the result of extracting elements in the body of the blogs where I'm guessing there is a link to a feed.

This information is only relevant to people who have an interest in RSS, Atom, feeds, etc. and using tools like Sage/Firefox or RSSReader.

There are many, many blogs which do not have feeds. The xml file for them is stblogs_feed_not_found.xml. This file is a plain xml file.

I'd be interested in knowing if I've made a mistake like not including a autodiscovery feed in the first file, or a reference to a feed in the second file.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Saudi School in Va. Draws Criticism
The Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism is calling on the Islamic Saudi Academy to remove the textbook used to teach first-graders. The teachers' edition of the textbook outlines several points of emphasis, including the statement, “All religions other than Islam are false religions.”

The Catholic Church teaches the other faiths do not possess the fullness of truth.

I believe that in a real sense Islam and Judaism are false without scare quotes.

As Catholics we do not win souls for Christ by carrying signs which read "My religion is true and your religion is false." This is contrary to common sense and evangelism. So I pray every day for understanding how to effectively present the truth of the Catholic faith without my certitude getting in the way.

Either Jesus Christ is the Son of God or he isn't. There's no maybe.

For a Muslim, there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet. The AP article is shocked to see assertions of truth and falsehood. It tells us something about how the AP views religion.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Real Time Alent

Lucianne Goldberg, political blogger, is hosting prominent bloggers today -- check Laura Ingraham's web site for local or internet listening points.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Irish Echo: Delayed justice angers NY archdiocese priests
The cry of justice delayed being justice denied is a familiar refrain. But it hasn't often been heard in the context of priests directing anger and frustration at their cardinal archbishop or the Holy See in Rome.

It is, however, being heard loud and clear in the case of Monsignor Charles Kavanagh, for years a leading cleric in the archdiocese of New York, but now a man standing under the long shadow of a serious accusation.

Since May of 2002, Msgr. Kavanagh has been on administrative leave from his position in the archdiocese, where for years he served as vicar of development, a job that is primarily focused on raising funds and organizing major events.

Lots of previously unreported details here. I especially worried about two issues the story raises:
  • The Vatican works without any statutory time limits on how long each step of this process works.
  • The fact that the district attorney which has this complaint hasn't sought an indictment isn't conclusive evidence of innocence.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:46 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Maggie Gallagher: Kerry and the Religion Thing
For John Kerry, this religion thing is a problem. On the one hand, he wants to appeal to Dem elites who tend to be (let's face it) more secular than not. On the other hand, he doesn't want to offend the vast majority of voters who consider themselves religious folk, especially black and Hispanic Democrats.

Unlike George Bush, John Kerry has to straddle not only the difference between his base and the swing vote on religious themes, but a radical difference in taste between key constituents of the Democrat Party.

A June Time magazine poll, for example, showed just 7 percent of likely voters consider Kerry a man of strong religious faith. At the same time, a third of Kerry voters agreed that Bush's "intense religious views" worried them. How to walk that fine line? Kerry on the stump alternates between references to himself as a man of faith, with pronouncements of his strong faith in that "beautiful line" separating church and state in America. Another strategy? Market segmentation: Kerry's campaign recently began running Spanish-language TV ads in Spanish with "Faith" as a theme.

The rest of the article outlines all the faith fumbles that Kerry has had so far.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:39 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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April 2003 George Weigel "Force of Law" and "Law of Force" for Dummies
The juxtaposition of “the force of law and the law of force,” a trope that got established in the Catholic conversation months before armed force was used to enforce disarmament in Iraq, will likely be a prominent feature of the post-war Catholic debate.

Such rhetorical devices are attractive because they seem to encapsulate the Great Divides in human affairs: for example, selfishness (“Ask not what your country can do for you...”) vs. duty (“...ask what you can do for your country”). The problem, of course, is that such neat phrases lack content and context. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” could just as easily have been declaimed by Mussolini, ranting from the loggia of the Palazzo Venezia in 1924, as by John F. Kennedy, giving a stirring inaugural address from the portico of the U.S. Capitol in 1961. Content and context are crucial.

The “force of law/law of force” juxtaposition neatly divides the world into two camps. Those who wish to settle conflicts through diplomacy, political compromise, and the mechanisms of international law live on one side of this Great Divide; those who believe in using armed force are on the other. Given that dichotomy, the moral choice seems clear: the first camp.

The problem, which involves both content and context, is that the world doesn’t work the way the trope suggests. Of course, legal, political, and diplomatic means of resolving conflict are morally (and politically) preferable to armed force. But what if the these non-military means can’t cope with a threat that cannot be ignored (German and Japanese ambitions in the 1930s; ethnic-cleaning in Bosnia; disarmament in Iraq)? Can’t proportionate and discriminate armed force contribute to the rule of law in international affairs, by demonstrating that lawbreakers will pay for their aggression and will not be permitted to destroy the minimum conditions of order in international public life? Is the relationship between international law and armed force a zero-sum game, such that every use of armed force necessarily entails a loss for the “force of law”?

That is neither the lesson of history nor the way Catholics have typically thought about these things. In classic Catholic thought, armed force is not intrinsically suspect, morally speaking. Classic Catholic thinking about world politics understands that armed force can be used for good or evil, depending on who’s using it, why, to what purposes, and how. Armed force is one instrument among the many available to prudent statecraft. Other instruments should be tried first. But the use of armed force under certain specific circumstances – defined by the just war tradition – can serve the rule of law, not wreck it.

This began to pop up in the blogs recently as we ponder the next moves: Syria, Gaza, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan. So I recalled where I read about it months ago.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Bad Guys Fight Worse Guys and Release Kidnap Victims.
In an extraordinary assault, gunmen in the city of Fallujah stormed a kidnappers' lair and forced the overmatched militants inside to flee, freeing four Jordanian truck drivers held captive, local officials said Wednesday.

The raid, in a city that has long been hostile to the U.S. military and supportive of Saddam Hussein, marked the first time local gunmen had broken foreign hostages out of captivity. They called the kidnappers ``terrorists'' and outsiders.

Farther north, a series of battles between Iraqi authorities and insurgents in the city of Mosul killed 14 civilians and eight insurgents, the U.S. military said. Iraqi authorities clamped a curfew on the area and sealed off bridges into the city to restore order. The fighting was the fiercest in Mosul in months, and local authorities said insurgents appeared to be testing the police. No Iraqi or coalition forces were killed in the violence, the U.S. military said.

Some militant groups - which commonly attack U.S. and Iraqi forces with bombings and shootings - have turned to kidnapping in recent weeks, snatching poorly protected truckers driving the dangerous route near Fallujah, a hub of the insurgency 40 miles west of Baghdad.

A rocky road to the rule of law.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:44 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Knight-Ridder: Missouri votes to ban gay marriage; issue could help Bush in election
Missourians voted by a lopsided 71 percent to 29 percent vote to amend their state constitution to define marriage as between a man and woman only.

Voter turnout for the Missouri election exceeded forecasts by as many as 400,000. The big increase, in a primary dominated by Democrats, helped advocates of the amendment leap past a far better financed opposition and win.

Thank you Missouri. 49 states to go.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:56 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Could it be this simple?

I've heard the pundits say that "undecideds" typically vote against the incumbent because (as the pundits presume) they are quite familiar with the incumbent, and if they were inclined to vote for him or her that would have decided for the incumbent.

I went looking for the hard data to support that reasoning and came up empty.

I think a lot of people who don't share the Bush worldview (i.e. conservative) and have accepted the lies about Bush:

  • Bush is a intellectual light-weight.
  • Bush is against individual rights.
  • Bush is recklessly advocates the use of military force.
  • Bush is part of conspiracy to enrich the oil companies.

They are the fence-sitting ABB's Anyone But Bush. They are not terribly engaged in politics or watching cable news.

I think rather than knowing too much about President Bush, they know to little about Senator Kerry. What kind of President would he be?

As the undecideds look more and more at Kerry, I suspect that will not like what they see and might become reluctant Bush voters, or Nader voters, or just stay at home.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:53 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic World News: Discussion of George Bush (paid sub. reqd.)

Tantum Ergo

I SUSPECT that history will not be kind to those Catholics who supported President George W. Bush.....just as history has not been kind to those German Catholics (and bishops as well of course) who supported Hitler. This is a VERY serious time for the United States. I am a patriot -- my family has been patriotic in the United Staes since they arrived in 1684. BUT I really fear President Bush. He is anti-abortion (as I am) but pro-death in just about every other way. Caveat emptor!
My response
Tantum Ergo. Bush is not "pro-death". If you want to have a debate about the justice of leaving Saddam Hussein in power in Iraq, then let's have that debate somewhere but spare us the demagoguery and labels.

As for the Germany majority in 1933 who elected Hitler by your standard no political candidate who has popular support deserves popular support -- making democracy a contradiction. Nice try employing the generic fallacy.

The editor who "approved" Tantum Ergo's post hasn't "approved" mine yet.

It will be interesting to see if mine is posted (because Catholic World News is only approving about half of what I post) or if they just retro-moderate and delete TE's post.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:22 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Anti-Catholic Combinations

I'm not fond of giving more traffic to anti-Catholic web sites, but this one merited examination.

Born-Again Christian: Are Popes Infallible? Infallible Paedophiles?

I don't know about you, but I'm fully aware that I'm not infallible. I make mistakes. I need my Saviour all the time, don't you? The Holy Bible declares that all of us are born sinful, wicked to the core, and only God is Perfect, His Name is The Lord Jesus Christ. He is the sole infallible person to have ever walked on earth.

He combines the sexual abuse scandal with the what he calls the scandal of infallibility.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Speech of President George Bush before the Knights of Columbus
Two months ago, I had the privilege of visiting His Holy Father Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. It was my third meeting with His Holy Father since I took office, and for those of you who have ever met him, you know I'm telling you the truth when I tell you being in his presence is an awesome experience. He is a true presence. On the occasion, I had the special honor of presenting him with America's highest civil award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. It was my chance to express our nation's respect for a devoted servant of God and a true hero of our time.

Pope John Paul II has been a unique and commanding voice for the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast. He has challenged our nation, and the entire world, to embrace the culture of life. He's called upon us to uphold and affirm the dignity of every person, rich and poor, able and disabled, born and unborn. He's called us to love and serve our neighbors in need. Few organizations have worked harder and done more and met this challenge than the Knights of Columbus. (Applause.) I know you're proud of your organization, and you should be.

The Knights were born in New Haven, Connecticut. Come to think of it, so was I. (Laughter and applause.) From your foundations in a small church basement, you have raised up one of the great America organizations dedicated to charity and mutual assistance and the fight for civil liberties.

I didn't get to hear the speech live. I'll see if its going to on CSPAN anytime soon.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Washington Post: Computers Weighing In On the Elements of Essay. Programs Critique Structure, Not Ideas (free reg reqd.)

Nadeem Sarwar remembered all the lessons on good writing drummed into him by his ninth-grade teacher at the Newport School in Montgomery County. So last summer when he took the GMAT, the standard entrance exam for business graduate schools, he was careful to be clear and organized, just as Janice Marcus had taught him.

It's not clear from the article if this being done exclusively because it's cheaper.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Clash of Civilizations Watch

Tech Central Station: The Battle of the Mosque

"But the enemy is not just 'terrorism,' some generic evil. This vagueness blurs the strategy. The catastrophic threat at this moment in history is more specific. It is the threat posed by Islamist terrorism -- especially the al Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its ideology." 9-11 Commission Report, p. 379
This paragraph from the 9/11 Commission Report should come as no surprise to TCS readers. It reinforces what many of my fellow columnists have been writing about the need to face squarely the role of Islamist ideology in the terrorist threat.

Unfortunately, the recommendations from the Commission do not constitute a solution that is commensurate with its statement of the problem. This essay will discuss what I believe the Commission should have recommended for fighting what one might call The Battle of the Mosque.

An excellent review of what the commission report got right and what they got wrong on the subject of Islam.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:45 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Attention all you Intenet geeks and wizards.

stblogs_autodiscovery_opml.xml is here

This is an OPML file (outline processor markup language) of the blogs of St. Blogs Parish RingSurf WebRing which have associated feeds. It's like having a clickable directory into about 150 blogs.

A blog is prepared with HTML. A feed is not directly written by the blog author but created in parallel as a way of better organizing the information in the blog and especially identifying when the blog has been updated.

There are several popular formats: one is RSS and the the other is Atom. The RSS standard fragmented and Atom is a response to that fragmentation. I have both formats in my OPML file.

The OPML file has been checked with Sage which is a plug-in for Mozilla Firefox (you will need version 1.2, earlier versions did not implement OPML correctly) and with RSS Reader.

If the OPML is not valid with some other RSS Reader/Aggregator, please let me know the name of the tool. Note that I have no ability to resolve problems for Mac RSS applications.

I can't answer specific questions about using feeds but I have put a lot of links into the terms above to help you get started if you are curious.

Note to feed authors: If you have a feed and are part of the St. Blogs Parish Webring and don't see your feed into the list, please check your blog for the existence of a properly formatted LINK tag in the HEAD section and verify it conforms to the standard for feed autodiscovery.

Finally, if none of this makes sense to you, don't worry. You can continue to read and write blogs unaware that all this exists.

UPDATED: Thu Aug 5 15:21 I have changed the filenames which originally appeared here.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Now that the Democratic Convention is over

Why would there be any undecided voters left?

What are they waiting for? Another Kerry speech? Another Bush speech?

What on earth is not known about these 2 men on August 3 that will become known on November 2, that's now exactly 90 days

What can move an undecided to become decided? What can move a Catholic undecided to become decided?

I know that a few of these undecideds are giving false answers to the pollsters -- they have made up their minds but have decided that it's no ones business who they are voting for so they answer "undecided". I'll see if there's any data out there or even annecdotes to answer the still-"undecided" question.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, August 02, 2004
Jimmy Breslin discovers the Msgr. Woolsey story

Newsday: A greater sin is the molesting of the money

The priest, Joseph Baker, said they were having a tough time. He was standing outside the church of St. John the Martyr's rectory, which is on 71st Street, around the corner from the church.

"It's not as tough as the other," I said. By that, I meant the molesting charges that persist and that are all over the church, from Manhattan to Portland, Ore.

The anguish this time was caused by St. John the Martyr's pastor, Msgr. John G. Woolsey, 66, who is accused of taking an 88-year-old parish woman, Rose Cale, for a half million dollars before she died last year. While at first it seemed, as we said, much less distressing than sexual charges, this thought changed when a second look showed that money rules as always.

What is unchanged is the woman with a walker coming out of the church on Friday after saying her prayers. She would not give her name. She said she loved her pastor and religion. It is an indescribable burden to assist in her eternal hopes. To fail her by design is to risk your soul.

People want the sex scandals hidden behind the thickest drapes and all involved moved away. But when somebody steals cash money, that ancient cry rings forth: "Stop thief!"

Here's another chapter in the decades-old Breslin-Donohue feud:

Woolsey's church life fell apart on Thursday and his friend, William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, was at the church to announce that Woolsey was stepping down.

Donohue is a loudmouth who pretends to head an army of Catholics who need his leadership to hurl back all these anti-Catholic slurs he says he sees coming from everywhere. Then he uses the word "Catholic" to get himself into the news. He happens to represent nobody but his own loud self.

Once, in a St. Patrick's Day Parade, I saw Donohue and a young man holding this big banner, "Catholic League." They were the only two there. He is a faker. But there he was, Thursday, speaking as a deeply religious friend of this poor Woolsey.

And so today's scandal in the Catholic Church brings harsher punishment, and quickly, than anything to do with sex. You could see that yesterday when lawyers were calling for the worst of all punishments. They want Woolsey to give back the money.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:50 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Insight into the "due process" given to accused priests

National Catholic Reporter: Priest says case lacks due process

In May 2002, New York Cardinal Edward Egan suspended Msgr. Charles Kavanagh as a priest of the archdiocese and pastor of St. Raymond’s Parish in the Bronx. The action was based on an allegation by a former seminarian, Daniel Donahue, that Kavanagh had been guilty of “improper conduct” 20 years ago.

The allegation is credible, which led to the suspension of the priest. (And once again we see the "removed from public ministry" vs. "suspended" distinction)

But the for next step -- does the Church require guilt beyond reasonable doubt?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Religion of Peace Watch

Middle East Online: Iraqi leaders call for unity after church bombings

Finger pointed at foreigners for masterminding murderous attacks

Religious leaders denounce series of church bombings as crude attempt to stir up religious hatred in Iraq.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi leaders appealed for unity Monday after a series of church bombings marked the first coordinated assault on Christians, which clerics denounced as a crude attempt to stir up religious hatred.

At least 10 people were killed and some 50 wounded when six bombs blew up outside four churches in Baghdad and one in Mosul as Christians celebrated evening mass Sunday.

I'm praying for dead and injured. This looks like a desparation move. I think it will serve to unite Iraq but who knows how that Islamist media will spin it?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:35 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, August 01, 2004
Island Packet: Cosby voices strong views (Muslims good, Christians bad)

Cosby also criticized Christians for not being as strong as Muslims when it comes to protecting their children, according to an article in the Island Packet newspaper.

Cosby asked why Muslims could chase drug dealers out of neighborhoods, but Christians (and atheists and agnostics) couldn't.

"You embarrass God when you don't move.... Christians need to find out what the problem is" and address it, Cosby said, according to the newspaper.

Alternate Link: Wall Street Journal (paid subs. reqd.)

Bill, Bill, they have jihad and we don't.

I passed the story link onto Matt Drudge, let's see if he mentions it tonight.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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John Kerry: Proudly Humble

Disputations: Choosing sides

Two things that irk me deeply are mendacity -- deliberate falsehoods only an ignoramus or a fool could actually believe as he speaks them -- and stubbornly offered invalid arguments -- arguments that don't prove their conclusions even if their premises are true, but that continue to be offered long after their invalidity has been demonstrated...

The bolded sentences in which Kerry answered Jcecil3's great deal of discomfort about the abortion issue are these, from last night's acceptance speech:

I don't want to claim that God is on our side. As Abraham Lincoln told us, I want to pray humbly that we are on God's side.

extremeCatholic comments

I think what people find agreeable in Kerry's speech might be found in any good political speech of either party. After all the author of the quote Kerry used was a Republican.

The insult is that Kerry makes a virtue of lack of certitude.

Frankly, I want the Commander-in-Chief to be certain that he is committing troops to battle.

It was a two-fer: (1) an appeal to atheists who would say that it doesn't matter whose side God is on because he doesn't exist. (2) an appeal to anti-Iraq-War Christians who want some cover for a claim that Kerry is motivated by faith in his opposition.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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John Kerry Hypocrisy Watch

NewsMax: Kerry Edwards Nixed Wendy's, Feasted Instead on 5 Star Fare

When John Kerry, John Edwards and their wives descended on a Newburgh, New York, Wendys on Friday for a 'lite" lunch with the common people, it was all just a photo op.

Team Kerry Edwards had already ordered their real lunches - consisting of five star gourmet food from a tony local restaurant - with instructions to have the haute cuisine ready for pick-up after the top Democrats ditched Wendy's.

If this was Bush-Cheney, you'd be reading about it above the fold in the New York Times.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 3:34 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Teresa Heinz Kerry on the Peace Corps
To me, one of the best faces America has ever projected is the face of a Peace Corps volunteer. That face symbolizes this country: young, curious, brimming with idealism and hope - and a real, honest compassion. Those young people convey an idea of America that is all about - heart and creativity, generosity and confidence, a practical, can-do sense and a big, big smile.

1.4 million men and women are in the American armed forces. 7,000 men and women are serving as Peace Corps volunteers. That's 200 members of the armed forces for each PCV.

I don't know of anyone who was both a Peace Corps Volunteer and a member of the armed forces. My own story is I was a Peace Corps volunteer then a patient recovering from malaria and some injuries for several months in Frankfurt at a United States Army Hospital. I lived in both worlds.

The armed forces live as a community of Americans and share one mission: defending the United States.

The Peace Corps is more about empowering Americans as individuals and small teams to project a positive image of the United States. Although Peace Corps volunteers risk death and injury, they do so as civilians and when the shooting starts they are evacuated.

The personal qualities of a good solider, sailor, airman, or marine make a good Peace Corps Volunteer. In the context of when and when she was speaking Teresa Heinz Kerry should have recognized the service and sacrifice of the currently serving 1.4 million members of the armed forces as well as the 7,000 currently serving Peace Corps. No Peace Corps volunteer would say that among all Americans serving their country overseas that they are the "best".

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:01 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Recalling: "How great is the dignity of chaste wedlock"

The tradional marriage is defined and defended here: the wife stays at home, and the husband is owed obedience. (I've added some formatted and emphasis.) "bent" as used below means "A tendency, disposition, or inclination". There were no footnotes in the text I've quoted.

This is a little background for Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church and in the World" by Cardinal Ratzinger.

Pius XI (12/31/1930) "Casti Connubi"

74. The same false teachers who try to dim the luster of conjugal faith and purity do not scruple to do away with the honorable and trusting obedience which the woman owes to the man.

Many of [false teachers] even go further and assert that such a subjection of one party to the other is unworthy of human dignity, that the rights of husband and wife are equal; wherefore, they boldly proclaim the emancipation of women has been or ought to be effected.

This emancipation in the ideas [of false teachers] must be threefold: in the ruling of the domestic society, in the administration of family affairs and in the rearing of the children. It must be social, economic, physiological: -

  • physiological, that is to say, the woman is to be freed at her own good pleasure from the burdensome duties properly belonging to a wife as companion and mother (We have already said that this is not an emancipation but a crime);
  • social, inasmuch as the wife being freed from the cares of children and family, should, to the neglect of these, be able to follow her own bent and devote herself to business and even public affairs;
  • finally economic, whereby the woman even without the knowledge and against the wish of her husband may be at liberty to conduct and administer her own affairs, giving her attention chiefly to these rather than to children, husband and family.

75. This, however, is not the true emancipation of woman, nor that rational and exalted liberty which belongs to the noble office of a Christian woman and wife; it is rather the debasing of the womanly character and the dignity of motherhood, and indeed of the whole family, as a result of which the husband suffers the loss of his wife, the children of their mother, and the home and the whole family of an ever watchful guardian. More than this, this false liberty and unnatural equality with the husband is to the detriment of the woman herself, for if the woman descends from her truly regal throne to which she has been raised within the walls of the home by means of the Gospel, she will soon be reduced to the old state of slavery (if not in appearance, certainly in reality) and become as amongst the pagans the mere instrument of man.

76. This equality of rights which is so much exaggerated and distorted, must indeed be recognized in those rights which belong to the dignity of the human soul and which are proper to the marriage contract and inseparably bound up with wedlock. In such things undoubtedly both parties enjoy the same rights and are bound by the same obligations; in other things there must be a certain inequality and due accommodation, which is demanded by the good of the family and the right ordering and unity and stability of home life.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com