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Patrick Sweeney 19711971
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Saturday, September 11, 2004
A Prayer to Christ Suffering with Us.

Lord Jesus Christ, we know that as Son of God, You left the unchanging light of eternity to come into our dark world. By Your coming as a helpless child, You brought the light of hope to the struggling human race. By Your holy life and Gospel You taught us the way to live and die so as to live again forever.

Though You were totally innocent, by Your death You saved us through Your loving acceptance of the Father's will that You be as vulnerable as we are to the effects of evil and the darkness of sin. No one can now claim that God does not know what it means to suffer pain and injustice. You tasted it all, right down to the bitter dregs. You saw Your Mother and Your friends overwhelmed with sorrow, grief, and confusion. You even asked, "Why?"

And then when You departed and returned to the heavens, You mysteriously remained with us till the end of the world. Not only are You present in the sacraments and the Scriptures but You tell us that You are there with the sick, the poor, the suffering, and even the imprisoned. You weep with those who weep, You grieve with those who grieve, You die again with those who die or are killed. And Your cross, a cross made holy by suffering love, is the sign of all these mysteries, of all that love. While our lips cannot speak or our minds fathom all this mysterious truth, one word the cross sums it all up.

Have mercy on all who suffer, and especially those who suffered in the present darkness and attack. We hope, O Jesus, that all who died were called by You to Your Divine Mercy at the moment of death. Deliver our whole world from war and civil strife. Give us the truth and a love for justice. Send Your Holy Spirit that we may speak up for life and truth. And at the end of our days bring us to Your Father’s house.

Lord Jesus Christ, place the sign of the cross on our troubled and suffering country, on the wounded human race stumbling along in blindness. Place the sign of the cross in the hearts of every one of us and let the light shining from the cross guide us on our way. Let all who come to You even in conflict and doubt, even in pain and bitterness, let them all know that Your cross is ultimately our only hope, the only sign of hope we need to guide us to eternal life, where we shall be together with You and the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

From The Cross At Ground Zero, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, p.113

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:01 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Friday, September 10, 2004
Here were have another conflict where new media triumphs over old media.

The old media and especially television network news thought themselves to be the gatekeepers. In the 80's, before cable news and the internet they might have been.

You would think that NBC and ABC would jump at the chance to show a grievous error in judgment and now a cover-up over the documents authenticity and perhaps intentional falsehood.

But no -- they closed ranks and defended CBS. For them, the book was closed when CBS said "we stand by our story". The television networks have a shared stake in giving an illusion of objectivity.

New media, time and time again, doesn't have to reproduce what the AP and CBS are doing -- but what new media can do is be a real watchdog for the truth which is the function of a free press. They are self-deluded in thinking they have a monopoly something more significant than those old-fashioned megawatt antennae.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Museum of Television: Recalling Dan Rather's conversation with George H.W. Bush
In September 1987 Dan Rather walked off the CBS Evening News set in protest over the network's decision to allow U.S. Open tennis coverage to cut into the broadcast.

His action on this occasion left CBS with a blank screen for more than six minutes. This moment was recalled in an explosive live interview Rather conducted with then Vice-President George Bush in January 1988.

When Rather pressed Bush about his contradictory claims regarding his involvement in the Iran Contra Scandal, the vice president responded by asking Rather if he would like to be judged by those minutes resulting from his decision to walk off the air.

Could Dan Rather be holding a grudge against the conservatives or George Bush because of this incident?

It's been years since I watched the news on CBS with Dan Rather.

Dan Rather became famous for being at the scene of the Kennedy assassination and insulting Nixon. Later he was part of a cabal at CBS News to forcibly retire Walter Cronkite at age 65 in 1981. Dan Rather himself turned 65 back in 1996.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic World News: Caucusus could be a "powder keg," archbishop warns
Tbilisi, Sep. 10 (FIDES/CWNews.com) - The papal nuncio in the former Soviet republic of Georgia has warned that the entire region of the Caucasus could become a "powder keg" because of the poverty and instability that are breeding grounds for terrorism, the Fides news service reports.

"The massacre of the innocents a few days ago in North Ossetia shook the world," Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti said. "But not to be forgotten either are the more than 3,000 women and children in South Ossetia-- Georgia-- who fled violence."...

The breeding ground of terrorism is evil. There are many places in the world with worse poverty and worse instability that South Ossetia which are not creating terrorists who would injure and kill children in the manner of the Beslan murderers.

Asking that the people who fled not be forgotten is suggesting a moral equivalence between the terrorists who killed and injured babies and the armies of Russian and Georgia. We heard the same "root cause" nonsense after 9/11.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:14 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Chris Burgwald (Veritas): Who Should President Bush thank? Warren Burger
Why? Because if it weren't for the infamous decision of Mr. Burger's court handed down in 1973 -- Roe v. Wade -- it overwhelming likelihood is that Al Gore would have won Florida and hence the Presidency in 2000. And the same realities are bound to impact this November's election, although events right now (which, it must of course be said, hardly guarantee what they will be in early November) indicate that things won't be 2000-close.
I've called this The Roe Effect.

Chris links to The Empty Cradle Will Rock by Larry Eastland which appeared in Opinion Journal.

The book-length development of this idea is THE EMPTY CRADLE: How Falling Birthrates Threaten World Prosperity And What to Do About It by Phillip Longman.

I was attracted to Chris's blog because of my auto-updated list of blogs of St Blogs parish political list. This is a simple scoring of blogs based on references to "Bush" and "Kerry". It is auto-generated every six hours. The Mighty Barrister and Rerum Novarum are near the top. The place to go to see Catholics talking politics.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic X-Files (2) Hollister Free Lance: Researcher studies mysteries of the mission
San Juan Bautista - Unexplainable phenomena have been said to happen at thousands of churches throughout time, but in 2000, on an early December morning at San Juan Bautista Mission, even Ruben Mendoza, a man of science, was astonished.

“I was thinking to myself, this is either an incredible coincidence, or it’s a miracle,” Mendoza said.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:57 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic X-Files: "Frankly," she said, "I've never thought of California as Catholic."

Travel writer treats an encounter with the Catholic history of California as a visit to space aliens at Area 51.

Los Angeles Times: Travel

It was inside Serra Chapel that my epiphany began.

It's an eerie place of beauty with history painted on its walls, a tiny room with a view of another age. In my life as a Californian, I have spent hours meditating in this birth chamber of the state. Said to be the oldest church in the West and the only remaining building in the United States where Father Junípero Serra recited Mass, this room at Mission San Juan Capistrano is where I had felt my first inkling of the cultural caldron from which California emerged. And it was to this room that I recently brought a relative stranger to that culture, my Filipino wife.

As we sat idling in the Friday afternoon bumper-to-bumper traffic of the Santa Ana Freeway en route to L.A.'s Union Station, I told Anna that I hoped she would be able to see the roots of her adopted home in this mission visit.

"Frankly," she said, "I've never thought of California as Catholic."

Cue the Twilight Zone music.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Thursday, September 09, 2004
George Marlin is an honorary extreme Catholic.

I can't believe it's been 15 years since I met him and he signed my copy of Quotable Fulton Sheen which he edited.

It was four years before he took on Giuliani on the Conservative Party line to run for mayor in 1993 and became infamous in New York political circles.

I'm sure I will enjoy his newest book. In the New York Post Ramesh Ponnuru of National Review has reviewed The American Catholic Voter

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:58 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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George Weigel: Catholic = (Jesus + me)? Not exactly
The recent debate over the ecclesiastical status of pro-abortion Catholic politicians has sharpened several issues in U.S. Catholic life: the utility (or lack thereof) of "seamless garment" approaches to public policy questions; the roles of moral conviction and prudential judgment in legislating and voting; the bishops' responsibilities for the integrity of the sacraments. The list could be expanded further and much of it would be familiar; many of these issues have been debated before.

We do not profess 'one holy, catholic and apostolic church' every Sunday as a matter of taste, tribal allegiance, or sociological self-definition.

I'm always happy to link to George Weigel.

Catholics who dare risk their salvation by voting for Kerry may actually be Protestants -- and Vatican II proves it.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Jimmy Akin of JimmyAkin.Org explains what Ratzinger said
A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for Holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

So wrote Cardinal Ratzinger in a confidential memorandum titled Worthiness to Receive Holy Communion: General Principles that became public earlier this year.

Many Catholics were at a loss to understand the Cardinal’s statement. "Has Ratzinger lost his mind?” some wondered. “Isn’t he departing from sound Catholic theology?"

James has a good article here. It's a problem that Cardinal Ratzinger expressed it in the scholastic framework: demonstrating that something is utterly impossible by posing it a question that if it had an answer it would be possible. But the question has no answer, ah ha! Then it must be impossible.

I can imagine the young students of 13th century pre-reformation Oxford giving a "huzzah!" when this is explained to them.

The 21st century Catholic student merely goes "huh".

I'm no Marshall McLuhan, but in terms of literacy of people who need to hear this message proportionate reasons sounds like the motivation for a diet. This much I know.

Rather than helping, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals are falling into traps that set by National Catholic Reporter and the New York Times using the langauge of scholastic equivocation.

Simple Declative Sentences. More, faster, please.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Hugh Hewitt has a good summary of the forged National Guard documents.

This has been discussed all over the net. My own input here is that the people who are talking about about proportional spacing typewriters being common enough to be in the hands of the Texas Air National Guard, you people are clueless.

What's really disturbing is that CBS either lied about having these documents authenticated, or for some unfathomable reason is choosing to shield an incompetent document expert.

It's an old temptation of hack journalism -- the story was too good to check.

My own quick points:

  • This sort of memo would be published on letterhead.
  • It would be done on a common 1970-era typewriter in courier or pica.
  • It would look like all other memos of that period.
  • It would not have a proportional font.
  • It would not have a "th" superscript.
  • A manual or electric typewriter would never have a perfect alignment -- there's always a shift or jitter apparent.

It is such an obvious forgery prepared from the default settings of Microsoft Word.

CBS is nuts to say that's our story and we're sticking to it

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:59 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Gay American Jim McGreevey is having second thoughts.

The Trentonian: A change of heart?

It has been four weeks since McGreevey made the stunning announcement that he was gay, carried on an extramarital affair with a former male employee and would step down on Nov. 15. But the disgraced governor has failed to file a formal letter of resignation and may be rethinking his resignation.

The change of heart refers to his political ambition and not his marriage vows.

I believe I was the only Catholic blogger to point out that McGreevey did not resign as governor of New Jersey but announced an intention to resign -- which is quite different. See, I told you so.

McGreevey never sent a letter to the Secretary of State of New Jersey to make official his resignation -- and now there are signals that he will never make his resignation offical. He believes he can ride out the storm to the end of his term in January 2006. Say... he could even run for re-election!

What's being litigated now is whether the announcement of the intent to resign created a vacancy in the constitutional sense and that this vacancy should be filled by holding an election as opposed to the automatic succession to the president of the state senate. (Discussed in The New York Times: Lawsuit Presses for November Ballot on McGreevey Successor )

No word on reconciliation with his second wife, first wife, daughter, or the Catholic Church.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Putin doesn't have the options that President Bush has

The Russian army doesn't have the technology that United States has used with tremendous effect in Iraq. This technology not only kills the bad guys and blows their buildings up, it reduces the death and injury to our military and the non-combatants.

We have arrows, swords, and chariots. The Russians have big wooden clubs.

If Putin decided on creating his own version of "shock and awe" it will be a Russian form of it. A WMD attack on Chechen population centers. What will the Chechen terrorists do in response? Kill hundreds of Russian children?

There's an internal political necessity for Putin to strike soon and hard.

The irony is that through greed and corruption, the terorrists have been armed by Russians themselves.

discussion in Christian Science Monitor

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:35 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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2004 Catholic Voting Guide

The problem is that the 2004 Catholic Voting Guide contains characterization of the positions of the candidates which have inherent bias. Only the candidates themselves are the source of their positions along with their recorded votes.

The 2004 Catholic Voting Guide is an textbook case of spin -- a little truth, a little distortion, ommissions and a change in emphasis. As a Bush supporter I see the bias aganist Bush and for Kerry. I'm sure a Kerry supporter would see some evidence of bias in the opposite direction.

A Catholic Voters Guide should explain Catholic teaching and leave the characterization of the candidates positions to the candidates themselves, the political media, and, of course, the voters themselves . <

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:07 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Not so fast there, Mr Scotsman

The Scotsman: Arizona's growing Latino vote looks to be going Kerry's way

Mr Kerry’s Catholicism has helped make him favourite with Arizona’s large Hispanic population and thereby the state as a whole

Every drinker in El Tupi bar was glued to the Olympics on television. One, a Hispanic, leaned over and offered a joke: "Do you know why Mexico doesn’t have its own team? Because everyone who can run, jump or swim is already in the US."

None of his friends laughed - it’s an old one.

The Kerry Spot on National Review Online (not a perma link) has an update
A new Arizona Republic survey of 600 likely voters found that if the election were held now, Bush would sweep Democratic Sen. John Kerry by 54-38 percent. Only 7 percent of those surveyed said they were still undecided. More than one in five Democrats interviewed said they intended to vote for Bush. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:57 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Johnny Cash reenacted the Last Supper -- crude imitation of the Catholic Mass

Ireland Online: Cash spent final days 'getting holy'

Country legend Johnny Cash spent the final months of his life practising bizarre Christian rituals with eccentric music producer Rick Rubin.

The death of Cash's wife June Carter Cash pushed the man in black and the Def Jam Records founder closer together and inspired them to take Holy Communion every day, with Cash acting as the priest and administering the sacrament to Rubin.

Cash reportedly used crackers and grape juice instead of the traditional wine and wafers, Rubin recalls. "Johnny would say: 'Visualise the eating, swallow. Feel it'" Rubin said.

Even after Cash's death last year, the practice didn't cease, Rubin explains: "After he passed away, I continued doing this with him. For between probably four and five months, it felt exactly the same. His presence was much more available. I could get quiet and I could hear him say it."

Rubin produced the crooner's final five albums and is widely credited with reviving his flagging career.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic World News: Pope opposes military response to terrorism
Milan, Sep. 08 (CWNews.com) - At a major international conference in Milan this week, two prominent Vatican officials have acknowledged the need for a military campaign to eliminate terrorism. But Pope John Paul II (bio - news) is not ready to endorse a military response.

The Pope called for firm action against terrorism, but insisted that warfare is not the best approach, in a statement released on Wednesday, September 8.

The Pope's message was delivered to an international conference organized by the St. Egidio community, meeting in Milan this week. Earlier, Cardinal Renato Martino had said that the battle against terrorism is, in effect, a worldwide war. And Cardinal Walter Kasper (bio - news) had said that the response to terrorism would surely include military action.

John Paul II reminded the conference participants that in 1993, at another meeting in Milan, world religious leaders had united in a call for peace, insisting that violence should never be motivated by religious faith.

Since that time, the Pope observed, "unfortunately, new conflicts have arisen." But he insisted: "Peace is always possible!"

The spread of terrorism across the world "calls for firmness and decision, in fighting the workers of death," the Pope said. But he quickly added that the decisive action against terrorism should not take the form of a military campaign. "Violence begets violence," he said. "War must always be considered a defeat: a defeat of reason and of humanity." He argued that world leaders should seek to root out the primary causes of terrorism, "especially misery, desperation and the emptiness in hearts."

John Paul II urged international leaders "not to give in to the logic of violence, vendetta, and hatred, but rather to persevere in dialogue." He concluded by expressing the hope that "men soon make a spiritual and cultural leap forward to outlaw war!"

My short reply at the Catholic World News site:

"Peace is always possible" only when there's a possiblity of the war ending on terms acceptable to the victor. Peace in the mind of the Islamofascists is rule of the world under Islam guided by a new Mahdi -- not merely Palestine.

Unless the Pope is willing to convert to Islam, peace for him, as defined by the enemy, is not possible. Of course, you'd have to be a Sunni-Arab-aligned Muslim otherwise, like those African Muslims in Darfur, you'd be targeted for death as well.

I have a lot more to say. I love the Pope. I love the idea of "outlawing war".

"Peace is always possible" is only possible when the aggressor wants peace. Poland in 1939 had peace. France in 1940 had peace. The Jews of Poland and the Jews of France did not have peace.

We are not the Poles of Poland nor the French of France with whom Hitler sought a surrender. We are the Jews in the minds of this enemy -- because we are not Muslims obedient to the emergent Mahdi, a successor to Mohammed and Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahab -- fervently desiring to go back to the 3rd century AH/10th century AD -- an Islamist utopia.

Some of my friends and perhaps the Pope as well now believes there is a table somewhere around which we can sit down and negotiate our differences and leave that table in peace and in dignity. No. They want to kill us. We recoil in disbelief that people can be and are so evil.

The Vatican has not disbanded the Swiss Guard. The Vatican has not removed all the locks from all its doors. Yet the evil acts that these prevent or deter are "outlawed". It is the reality of the there being a Swiss Guard and locked doors -- and not the mere declaration of it being outlawed -- that allows the Vatican to be at peace.

Our peace is protected by armed force -- man and women willing to kill the enemy and willing to die to for us. God bless them. We need them.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:27 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Catholic League: Democrats Give Up on Religious Outreach
Catholic League president William Donohue commented today on the decision by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to quit its religious outreach program:
"On August 2, the Catholic League exposed Rev. Brenda Bartella Peterson, the DNC’s first-ever Senior Advisor for Religious Outreach, as someone who had signed on to an amicus brief supporting atheist Michael Newdow in his attempt to excise the words 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance.

She quit two days later. Ever since, we have been tapping into the DNC's website on a daily basis seeking to learn who the new religious outreach advisor is.

Today, for the first time, typing 'religious outreach' into the search engine of the home page yields nothing; it says, 'Sorry, we detected an error….' No results are listed."

And I had thought the Catholic vote was important to the Kerry campaign.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:20 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News: Ann Coulter triumphs on Hannity and Colmes

Richard Aborn a Democratic Strategist was a deer caught in the headlights -- whenever a question was posed "Let's talk about the issues!".

"Iraq. What's John Kerry's policy for Iraq?"

"...sit down with allies..."

"You mean a permission slip from France?"

"Terror. How will Kerry defend this nation against terror?"

"...strengthening our defenses..."


"...increasing the number of police..."

"Back to the Clinton approach of treating this as a law enforcement problem."

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:26 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Tuesday, September 07, 2004
CNN: The Timeline of Russian terror attacks

Real strength, not merely the appearance of strength

Rock concerts, a goverment assembly, 2 aircraft in one minute -- and now hundreds of children...

There is a long list of unanswered attacks on Russians by Putin's government.

Putin is going to have to fight more than internal battles of these ex-communist cronies. He's going to get some resources mobilized and take the initative back from the terrorists or patriotic Russians will take him out.

What irony that a free United States with dedicated professionals in Homeland Security, the FBI, and the CIA, as well as local police departments -- in spite of basically open borders -- have prevented another terrorist attack, while the near police state known as Russia is suffering from hundreds of deaths now.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A future case study in episcopal mis-communication

St Louis Dispatch: Burke clarifies voting stance (or is it Burke reverses voting stance?)

...a Catholic who personally opposes abortion rights, votes for a candidate who supports abortion rights "for what are called proportionate reasons," he said....

"The sticking point is this - and this is the hard part," said Burke. "What is a proportionate reason to justify favoring the taking of an innocent, defenseless human life?

And I just leave that to you as a question. That's the question that has to be answered in your conscience. What is the proportionate reason?"

Is this plain language Catholic teaching or a graduate seminar on scholastic rhetoric?

To ask the question "That's the question that has to be answered in your conscience. What is the proportionate reason?" is to say "The answer is there in your conscience -- Now go and look for it."

There has not been, not now, nor will there ever be a proportionate reason to take innocent, defenseless human life. Suggesting in this quasi-academic way is a poor way to teach.

As if to prove my point The New York Times runs this the opposite of what Archbishop Burke said (I think):

The archbishop of St. Louis ... now says Roman Catholics may vote for such candidates under certain circumstances.

It was Yogi Berra who said "I made a wrong mistake"

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:41 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Dawn Eden: The New York Times Fingers Judeo-Christians in Beslan Deaths
I know that's a strong headline, but imagine you're a person who only gets his or her news from the New York Times. For many people, that isn't much of a stretch.

You open up today's Times to the Page 3 feature on the Beslan horror. It doesn't mention that the terrorists were Muslims.

I know, I know. The sun rose today in the east, the sky is blue, roses are red, and the Times won't call terrorists Muslims. What else is new?

How about altering a quote specifically to remove any implication that the Beslan terrorists were Muslims?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Opinion Journal: Bush Will Bury Kerry
The Democrat will be lucky to exceed Michael Dukakis's share of the popular vote.


NEW YORK--For nearly four years now, we've been told this is a 50-50 nation, that red and blue America are so evenly divided that even a small misstep could swing this presidential election either way. The media may have their own reasons for sticking to the story line--drama is good for ratings, after all--but there's mounting evidence that the electorate is not nearly as evenly divided as it was in 2000; that come Nov. 2, newscasters are going to be putting a lot more red than blue on their electoral maps. I will make a prediction here: Mr. Kerry will be lucky to top the 45.7% of the popular vote Michael Dukakis got in 1988.

Now don't get over-confident on this -- we've still have an election to win.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:25 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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MEMRI: Beslan Seen Through Muslim Eyes
The attack on a school in Ossetia, Russia in early September 2004 which killed hundreds of people, many among them children, brought on a flurry of reactions in the Arab and Muslim media.

Some columnists condemned the use of terror and the harming of innocent civilians, others criticized the Russian forces' failed rescue attempt, and a few even blamed Jewish elements of being involved in the affair.

In addition, many articles argued that the terrorists do not represent Islam and that Islam does not endorse violence. They also aimed sharp criticism against Muslim leaders and clerics who incite against civilians in the name of Islam.

Blaming Jews and Zionists.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:15 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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The man with a pen can rob you as well as the man with a gun.

Man Sentenced; Stole $443,000 From Md. Church

A man who admitted using a copy of a stamp with Cardinal William Keeler's signature on it to steal $443,000 in church donations was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday.

Victor Puotinen pleaded guilty to theft in June for stealing the money between 1999 and 2002 when he worked as an accountant at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese and at the Basilica of the Assumption in Baltimore.

Prosecutors said Puotinen copied the cardinal's signature from a stamp and used it on papers to give him the authority to take donated money from church accounts.

Prosecutors said Puotinen also used a supervisor's computer to send e-mails in his efforts to swindle money from the church. Puotinen was fired after a routine audit uncovered the thefts.

Isaiah Dixon, Puotinen's attorney, argued for home detention, saying his client suffered from alcoholism and an anti-social personality disorder.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:10 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday: Coulter brings invective to life. James P. Pinkerton
Is Ann Coulter the ideal spokeswoman for the Right to Life movement? The anti-abortion forces think so. But her prominence points up some of the paradoxes, as well as the strengths, of the pro-life crusade.

Coulter, a best-selling author and a regular on the cable news circuit, is now one of conservatism's leading voices. But even so, she was an eyebrow-raising choice to keynote the "Life of the Party" lunch held Wednesday by veteran conservative Phyllis Schlafly at Tavern on the Green in Central Park.

Coulter, who is single, childless, 40-something, model-thin, miniskirted and Ivy League-educated, hardly fits the traditional image of the pro-family movement, in which activists practice what they preach.

Yet in her speech, Coulter served up red meat - and bloody it was, with partisan bile: "The Republican Party is the party of life, while the Democratic Party is the party of violating each of the 10 Commandments." Therefore, she said, the Democrats are the party of "murder and abortion." The standing-room-only crowd loved it.

In the past, there was a limit to the political effectiveness of such slasher-talk. But today, things are different. Coulter's truck-bomb invective not only sells books and gins up speaking fees, but now, in addition, the mediatrix is lending her powerful persona to partisan causes. Seemingly, the relentlessly tit-for-tat "Crossfire"-ization of the political culture - which has also brought to the forefront such lefty smashmouthers as Al Franken and Michael Moore - has made room for a similar shrillness in politics itself.

And in the meantime, even before enlisting Coulter as its cover girl, the Right to Life movement itself seems to be flourishing.

Three decades ago, probably most Americans thought that the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision would end the abortion debate. But instead, the debate kept going - and got bigger.

Why? For three reasons.

And yes I do own the Ann Coulter action figure.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:16 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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NRO: Beslan has changed Russia

I would add to this excellent article that now would be a good time for Putin to commit troops to anti-terrorist efforts in Iraq. Better late than never.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:00 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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LA Times: Heinz Kerry Criticized Christian Right in Speech
In a 1994 talk, nominee's wife said the group 'broadcasts its hatred.' Kerry camp stands behind the comments.

Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John F. Kerry, issued a broadside against the "Christian right" in a 1994 speech, saying that it "broadcasts its hatred" and appealed "to the dark corners of the human soul."

Another case study in liberal intolerance in the name of tolerance.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:50 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Newsday: So, who is the real Rudy?
As former Mayor Rudy Giuliani basked in a sea of national goodwill at the GOP convention as a hero of Sept. 11, some New Yorkers who tangled with the former mayor over civil-rights issues had memories of a different Giuliani legacy.

His defenders say that the city became a cleaner, safer place under his mayoralty. But some New Yorkers recalled last week that Sept. 11 may have blunted the effect of the rancor and divisiveness they say were trademarks of his years - including more than 20 cases in which courts found he had acted unconstitutionally.

Some analysis of the mixed emotions that people have about Rudy from the left to match the mixed emotions that people like me have about him from the right.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:41 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Monday, September 06, 2004
Newsday: Arrest in church burglary
A Westbury man, 19, was arrested and charged with third-degree burglary on Aug. 2 for allegedly stealing from St. Brigid's R.C. Church. The defendant was recorded on a video surveillance camera unlocking a church collections cabinet, separating cash from the checks, and taking cash on July 5 at 1:30 a.m., July 26 at 1 a.m. and again on Aug. 2 at 1:30 a.m., according to police records.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:55 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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AP: Hurricane Frances Looting Report
...In Brevard County, two men were charged with looting after trying to break into the Ascension Catholic Church in Melbourne.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:51 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Media Bias Watch

I've been listening to some radio while trying to enjoy the weekend.

At each news break, Kerry speaks first. He poses a challenge to the Bush administration. The sound bite from President Bush, of course, is what the President said in the last 12 to 24 hours. It's strucutured to make it seem as if Bush is avoiding the issues Kerry is raising.

For example, Kerry mentions unemployment -- now lower when Clinton and other Democrats ran for re-election. Now that 5.4 percent rate is unacceptable -- yet it's lower than the average unemployment rate for the 1970's, 1980's, and 1990's.

And if statistics don't work -- the appeal to annecdotes works -- I've spoken to thousands of out of work Americans...

The sound bite to match that is the one when Bush has said that he has spoken to thousands of hopeful and optimistic Americans.

No one has been elected with a campaign based on misery.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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1010 WINS: Teen Killed By Car While Fleeing Police
17-year-old boy died after being struck by two cars while he fled police at the Jersey Shore [Sea Isle City, N.J.] over the Labor Day weekend, authorities said.

Robert "Bo" Fisher, of Richboro, Pa., had been drinking beer with two friends on the beach Saturday night and ran after talking to a police officer who had spotted them, authorities said.

The officer chased Fisher but was about 30 to 40 yards behind him, The Press of Atlantic City reported. The officer lost sight of the teen until he heard a crash and saw Fisher hit by two vehicles — one traveling northbound and the other headed southbound.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:37 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Fox News: Critics: Priest Up for Sainthood a Sinner (with video)
The pope has called him the apostle of California and he's being considered for sainthood, but if some teachers and Native American activists have their way, Father Junipero Serra will be remembered more as a sinner than a saint...

While Serra could become California’s first saint, some teachers are providing their own perspective, forsaking the mandated textbooks and letting 8-year-olds act out scenarios that portray Serra as a trickster and even, in a few extreme cases, a purveyor of genocide.

Heating up again. I'll pass this anti-Catholic item onto my friends at the Catholic League

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 6:18 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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New York Times: Giuliani Honor Draws Anti-Abortion Fire
That would be the former mayor of New York, Rudolph W. Giuliani, an abortion rights supporter, whose name will grace a new $25 million trauma center at St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan. Ground was broken last week.

What's next? The Margaret Higgins Sanger Obstetric Center?

UPDATE: My comment from Amy Welborn's blog:

It's one thing for a New Yorker like Pat Sweeney or an ex-New Yorker like Rod Dreher to honor former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.

It's quite another thing for him to be honored by an institution of the Catholic Church. His support of abortion makes him an unrepentent public sinner. Naming this center after him will make some less-informed Catholics wonder "if Rudy is pro-abortion and re-married without an anullment and the Church doesn't have a problem with that -- then I can be pro-abortion and re-married without an anullment and the Church shouldn't have a problem with me. Why judge me by a different standard than you would judge Rudy?

The bishops needs to stop these mixed messages: vote pro-life! But we honor pro-abortion politicians! They continue to lose the little pro-life crediblity they have on moral issues.

Already you can see in this thread a theme that some bishops have a Republican alignment based on this inconsistent standard. Bishop DiMarzio, I know from reading all his letters and policy position papers, is a Democrate but for abortion.

(Note to people who might be confused as to who is in charge) St. Vincent's Manhattan merged into a much larger system of Catholic health care facilities in Brooklyn and Queens, so the Bishop of Brooklyn has ultimate supervision of this Catholic hospital in Manhattan and not the Archbishop of New York.

In this long comment let me add that Rudy was considered on 9/10/2001 to be a lame duck washout as a politican, having a nasty divorce, cancer, and withdrawing from the 2000 election which gave New Yorkers its Senator Clinton. He said the right things, did the right things, and nearly died in the collapse of the towers. As a civilian crisis manager, he led New York back from the brink of chaos.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 5:05 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Michelle Malkin: Keep those Republicans out of the churches!
Over the past two months, The New York Times has hammered Republicans for including conservative Christians in the American electoral process: [examples]

None of this alleged concern about the supposedly undemocratic mixture of religion and politics was evident, however, in the Times’ coverage of former President Bill Clinton’s pulpit demagoguery at the far-left Riverside Church in New York City this past Sunday on behalf of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry. Here’s the lead for the front-page article that ran in the Times’ politics section on Monday:

“Former President Bill Clinton offered a hard-hitting attack against the Republican Party yesterday, telling worshipers gathered at Riverside Church that President Bush and the Republicans are distorting John Kerry’s war record in Vietnam. ‘Sometimes I think our friends on the other side have become the people of the Nine Commandments,’ Mr. Clinton said. ‘It is wrong to bear false witness.’”

Yup. Before a crowd of 1,500 worshipers in upper Manhattan, Clinton slammed religious conservatives for their stance against homosexual marriage and abortion; attacked President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act (co-sponsored by Democratic Sen. Teddy Kennedy); derided the Bush tax cuts; questioned the Republicans’ “healthy forest” initiative; and ridiculed the expansive Medicare prescription drug benefit program passed with support of both parties.

Would a Times reporter have approvingly described a sermon by a conservative preacher taking the opposite stance on the pulpit as “hard-hitting”?

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:30 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Searching for a cause for congential Cerebral Palsy

Washington Times: Reducing cerebral palsy incidence

Justice Grove wrote, "As a matter of hindsight, considerable suspicion must be directed to the very recent termination which [mother Sharon] Chevelle underwent just prior to becoming pregnant with the plaintiff."

In Kristy's case, her mother's uterus ruptured as labor began, probably because it had been perforated during an abortion a year earlier, about which she had not told her obstetrician.

Kristy's brain was starved of oxygen, and when she was born by emergency Caesarean section, she was a victim of cerebral palsy with an APGAR score (a measure of a newborn's health) of zero.

Blogger Credit: Touchstone

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:04 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Sunday, September 05, 2004
Massacre in Beslan

New York Post: Rage over botched raid

(1) The mainstream media with the New York Times at the top of this list are refusing to call them Islamic terrorists preferring to given them labels which mask the fact they are Muslims and are using terror -- this is not merely a "crime" or a military "attack". What's motivating the avoidance of the "T" word? That it will help get Bush re-elected.

(2) An attack like this shows that Putin obtained nothing for appeasing Islamist terrorists by not supporting the US coalition in Iraq. Russia learned that you are either with us or against us in this war.

(3) As Steve and others on WABC have pointed out. This sort of terrorist attack targeting children is common in Israel.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:08 PM   Permalink   HaloScan

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A long descriptive list of current national "third" political parties in the United States.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:12 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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Washington Times: GOP seeks faithful Catholic vote
Several hundred Catholic Republicans meeting on the last day of the party convention here were presented with a strategy on how to persuade Catholic friends to switch their support from Democratic presidential nominee and fellow Catholic Sen. John Kerry to President Bush.

Catholics, who make up 27 percent of the electorate, voted 50-to-47 percent for Al Gore over George Bush in 2000, but are shifting toward the right, party officials said. That is because "God-fearing church-attending Catholics," are up in arms over same-sex "marriage" and abortion, Virginia state Sen. Ken Cuccinelli said.

More coverage of Thursday's meeting.

posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:11 AM   Permalink   HaloScan

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link to extremeCatholic.blogspot.com