Friday, May 07, 2004
Is this a tadpole or something else? It looks kind of human. What do those Chinese characters stand for?
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 2:52 PM Permalink
Why were Tali Hatuel, a mother, eight months pregnant, and her four daughters executed?
The Vatican has the answer:
AP. Vatican: Mideast crisis must be addressedDetails on the murders - Jewish Press: Mother, Children Executed At Point Blank Range
Your eminence, is that all it would take -- to move the wall 25 meters?
In New York City, we have a saying: Everything before the "but" is bull. Although another word is occasionally used.
An ad published in today's Wall Street Journal asks How can there be peace in the Middle East if Israel isn't even on the map today?
The background for the discussion of the maps is American Jewish Committee
The goal of the Palestinian terrorists is the elimination of Israel, not co-existence with it.
The goal of the global network of terrorists is the establishment globally of a fascist form of Islam that was practiced in Afghanistan until the 2002 war -- to make the entire world by conquest acknowledge there is no God but God and Mohammed is his prophet.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:57 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:07 AM Permalink
My problem with the bishops
I get often slammed for always being against the bishops.
Once upon a time, I was in a chatroom and I quoted a criticism written by one Catholic bishop against another Catholic bishop. I got banned because the policy of that particular operator was that criticism of bishops was not allowed. The target of the criticism was Weakland. (I forget which bishop was the author.)
That was in 1997.
The meta-criticism is the denial of the difference in gravity and impact upon society that abortion has and its related sins: contraception, desertion, abandomment, infanticide, euthanasia, etc.
Abortion is different. It is the sin that destroys respect for life.
For me, an public admonishment not to receive Holy Communion is as far as I would go with a person living in an irregular marriage, if a private warning failed. Call me soft on that score.
If we don't have repect for innocent life, then anything is possible. Euthanasia that was practiced by the Nazis and prosecuted as a war crime in Nuremberg is now being practiced in Christian-majority countries.
The passive response that commenced in 1973 hasn't worked once on any Catholic politician and its time for a change.
It ought to be in the job description of bishops to urge these pro-abortion Catholic politicians to repent using the tools the Church places in their hands like canon 915.
The West (that miserable union of the Judaeo-Christians and the secularists) is committing suicide by contraception and abortion.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:31 AM Permalink
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Photoblog of the Catholic Evidence Guild in Washington Square Park
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 PM Permalink
AP: Methodists Divided on Homosexuality Stand
Conservatives in the United Methodist Church proposed splitting the denomination Thursday, the latest sign of decades of disagreement over homosexuality that continued at a national meeting this week.
Real estate, copiers, bank accounts... Ah! The treasure of the Methodist Church.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:24 PM Permalink
AP: Judge Rules Schiavo Law Unconstitutional
A Circuit Court judge ruled Thursday that the law pushed by Gov. Jeb Bush to keep a severely brain damaged woman alive is unconstitutional. The governor's office filed an immediate appeal.
This is terrible news. Remember Terri in your prayers.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:18 PM Permalink
Another thought on Myers/McGreevey
As a parent, I can say to any of my kids, "Turn off the TV now, do your homework, and you can wait to have dinner until its done".
My goal here is to get the kids to do the homework earlier in the evening, not to make them skip dinner. The analogy is not complete: procranstination of this sort is not objectively immoral.
Compliance with what I've ordered in my authority as a parent is not the goal of this dialog, it is only a step in the right direction.
If McGreevey doesn't have a hunger, a spiritual need for the Eucharist that conquers his desire for political power that is the poisoned fruit of a pro-abortion position, then while Myers can feel triumphant in one sense, he's got to remain concerned for the destination of McGreevey's soul until McGreevey repents.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 1:19 PM Permalink
World Net Daily: Baptist activists: Pull kids out of school
A resolution supporters hope will make it to the floor of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting next month calls on the millions of members of the denomination to pull their kids out of government schools and either homeschool them or send them to Christian schools.
The original foundation of public schools was Protestant to coerce Catholics and to a lesser extent Jews into conformity. Along with that came the Blaine Amendments and the prohibition of taxpayer funds for anything but these Public (i.e. Protestant) Schools.
Fast forward a few decades and conformity is now defined in atheism. Having cut down the parochial school system, the Protestants are not able to do much more than slam the door on the way out of their own "Public School" system.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:36 PM Permalink
Wall Street Journal: Church Leaders Enter The Political Fray (paid subs. reqd.)
...The effect of the bishops' more-activist stance is far from clear. There are 63.4 million Catholics in the U.S., and Catholic voters comprise about a fourth of the electorate. Historically Democratic, they have drifted increasingly toward Republicans in recent decades, backing Richard Nixon in 1972 and Ronald Reagan in 1984. In 2000, they went narrowly for Al Gore over George W. Bush, 52% to 46%, and they certainly will loom large again this fall in such swing states as Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona and New Mexico. As president, Mr. Bush has made a concerted effort to woo Catholics.
A good article with a summary of the facts to date.
Something I didn't know:
...If the bishops do decide to deny Sen. Kerry communion, Ms. Kissling of Catholics for a Free Choice says she is ready to retaliate. "I will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission, because it clearly is a political act," she says. "And let them defend it in court."I reply, Bring it on.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:40 AM Permalink
AP: New Jersey Governor, at Odds With Church Over Abortion Rights, Says He Won't Receive Communion
Gov. James E. McGreevey, at odds with the Roman Catholic Church over his support for abortion rights, said Wednesday he will honor the wishes of the Newark archbishop and not receive communion.
I still pray that he repents.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:32 AM Permalink
AP: Chicago lab helps create 5 babies to be stem-cell donors to siblings
In a growing practice that troubles some ethicists, a Chicago laboratory helped create five healthy babies so that they could serve as stem-cell donors for their ailing brothers and sisters.
Even though these embryos are human and their sex is already determined, the word "sibling" is used for them and "brother" and "sister" is used for the born children. I guess it would would sound too human and personal to say otherwise.
I can imagine this practice becoming more routine -- to save all the money on diapers through college education.
It's a form of idolatry and blasphemy: you presume to have control of birth and death.
I predict an interesting conflict down the road -- what happens when a embryo needs to be unfrozen and implanted in order to become a baby -- the born-brother or sister wants this to happen and the parents refuse?
To have a heir and a spare.
Of course, the next step is some sort of "harvesting" -- to allow the embryo to be implanted and develop until the desired maturity of the stem cells is obtained, and the slaughter the unborn child to recover its stem cells.
It's like a vampire killing and killing and killing to obtain immortality.
Update. Explaining how I feel about this use of embryos is idolatry and blasphemy, I make a connection to monster movies like Frankenstein and Dracula -- both deal with the themes of limitation of man and immortality.
This dialog from Frankenstein in two lines shows how Dr. Frankenstein mocks God and worships himself for his ability to reanimate a dead body (a crude duplication of the resurrection):
Henry Moritz (the observer) -- In the name of God!
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:11 AM Permalink
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
The nuncio ("papal ambassador"), in theory, represents the Pope before these foreign governments (hence my presenting the papal coat of arms here).
One has to laugh at the idea of a nuncio like Monteiro de Castro being a "high Vatican official".
It will be interesting to see the visibility and immediacy of his reassignment. It will be a good sign of how much of the Church is still being run by the Holy Father, and how much of the power is in the hands of Angelo Cardinal Sodano.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:56 PM Permalink
1,181,150 Men and Women Are Serving Honorably in the American Armed Services, esp. 200,00 in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:42 PM Permalink
New York Post: 'Pay Pray' Files to Go to Spitzer
Gov. Pataki yesterday defended spending from his controversial prayer breakfast "trust fund" and will turn over documents detailing the fund-raising and expenditure activities.New York Post Editorial: A Prayer (and a Probe) for Albany
What price piety?
I include the editorial here because I think I could have written it myself.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:52 PM Permalink
Stanley Milgram and Obedience to Authority
If you are wondering how you go from being a college kid at the University of Tennessee taking classes and partying -- and a few months later wiring up Iraqis for sound (as in applying electric shocks to private parts), then get familiar with the work of Professor Milgram.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:17 PM Permalink
I like the style of this Movie Juice review.
However, it doesn't mention that Van Helsing is a special agent of the Catholic Church. Opens on Friday.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 4:09 PM Permalink
Rush Limbaugh has got it wrong
I think Rush is focusing too much on the photos which feature humiliation.
The real problem is torture and perhaps murder. It was internally documented by the Army itself. It cannot be denied at this point.
Update. Arrgh: Sean Hannity seems to be repeating the same line.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:29 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:49 AM Permalink
Vows of Silence : The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II by Jason Berry Gerald Renner
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 8:34 AM Permalink
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
E.J. Dionne. Washington Post: Kerry and His Church
Forty-four years ago John F. Kennedy became the nation's first Roman Catholic president by repeating over and over that his faith would have no effect on how he would govern. Now John F. Kerry is facing resistance to his effort to become the nation's second Roman Catholic president because, in the eyes of some of his Catholic critics, church teaching does not have enough influence on how he would govern -- especially on the matter of abortion.
E.J. Dionne also frames the question wrong. The correct frame: What is truth? What does the Church teach? What does it mean to be in small-c communion with the Church?
I can photoshop a logo of the Senate and make a certificate that says "United States Senator Patrick Sweeney" but it would be a forgery because I lack the authority to claim that.
Likewise Kerry lacks the authority to claim that he is in communion with the Catholic Church and to claim he receives Holy Communion in the state of grace. As an objective matter, he's a manifest obstinate sinner. He obtains nothing now from receiving Holy Communion but the additional sin of sacrilege.
He furthers confuses the world by also claiming that his position on partial birth being in accord with his conscience which is the final authority on the matter. So I'd add that he is spreading a heresy to other Catholics.
However, we expect Kerry to be that way. Political power is his idol.
I had higher expectations that bishops would be able to throw off those 1973 precedents and embrace the future which is a stronger Catholic witness to the protection of innocent life.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:28 PM Permalink
Calling it a war on terror is like calling World War II a war on tanks and submarines
He is writing some excellent news analysis that frames the war on terror as the militant Islam or Jihadism confronting the West.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:09 PM Permalink
Abu Garib shows the world we're different. So does this incident in a Manhattan prison.
You've seen the pictures, which if are not staged, are evidence of the harassment and mistreatment of Iraqi POW's, that is, men who have taken up arms against American and coalition military personnel and civilians.
As far as I can tell without the exception of one photograph where a prisoner is threatened with electrocution, they are not being tortured or maimed or killed. When the official investigation progress, it may turn out that there are confirmed cases of torture, maiming, and killing. That increases the gravity of the command and control failure which is already grave.
The media releasing these pictures have not released the pictures of terrorist torture and murder which they have: Danny Pearl, the Wall Street Journal, the contractors dragged through the streets of Fallujah and hung from a bridge, and the victims of 9/11. There are no investigations conducted by the terrorists for this, it is their policy to do these.
Update: The investigative reports of what went on in Abu Garib have been published and it is conclusive to me that torture took place there.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 7:00 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:47 AM Permalink
The Statue of James (part 1)
I'm talking about the hardest-working man in show business -- the Godfather of Soul James Brown (he played Reverend Cleophus James in the Blues Brothers and its sequels)
City officials have delayed the unveiling of a statue honoring James Brown until the singer resolves his legal troubles.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:35 AM Permalink
Nobel World Conflict Map (Requires Shockwave)
A politically correct map of war from 1900 to 2001: There's no flame over New York City and Washington DC for the year 2001.
Looks like 1923 was the most peaceful year of the prior century.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:06 AM Permalink
RICO prosecutions for Catholic dioceses?
As law enforcement officials consider criminal charges against the former bishop and the Springfield Diocese regarding sexual abuse and a possible cover-up, federal charges, including racketeer-influenced and corrupt organization (RICO) charges, could be explored.I looked but failed to find other references in the news to this.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:11 AM Permalink
Monday, May 03, 2004
So, show him the movie again
A man who police said made his girlfriend's slaying appear to be a suicide, but then confessed after seeing "The Passion of the Christ," pleaded innocent to murder Monday.
I know, I know. He admitted guilt, but he wants a plea deal for a reduction in sentence.
If he pled guilty, he would have been considered eligible for the maximum sentence immediately.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:52 PM Permalink
Blogger and Google
With all the attention that the public offering of Google is getting, it's remarkable that in the year since Blogger was acquired virtually nothing has improved in Blogger. They don't even have a discussion board on using their own software.
Moveable Type and the others are looking better and better all the time.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:16 PM Permalink
Who knew Mark Shields was a better theologian that Cardinal Arinze?
Mark Shields, 65, spent over half his life getting Democrats elected. But along the way he picked up this piece of wisdom from Cardinal Bernardin (but Shields got the spelling of name wrong) in CNN
On the eve of the 1984 presidential campaign -- during which the support of legalized abortion by Catholic politicians would stir a major controversy -- Cardinal Joseph Bernadine of Chicago, an opponent of abortion, cautioned Catholics against turning abortion into a single voting issue: "Our moral, political and economic responsibilities do not stop at the moment of birth."
Certainly they start at the moment of conception. Isn't that the point of Cardinal Bernardin and our Church?
And if the child is not born, then what?
I think it's a sign of desperation that Kerry's Catholic outreach is Shields. Who's next in the great pull in the Catholics for Kerry vote? Jimmy Breslin? Madonna? (forget it -- she's into the Jewish Khabalah)
If the seamless garment needs to be shredded now to preserve innocent life first. Let it be so. Better a shredded garment than a shredded baby.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:37 PM Permalink
Secret Agent Man has a parallel story of Cardinal McCarrick of present day Washington DC and Cardinal Theodor Innitzer of Vienna of 1938.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:26 PM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:10 AM Permalink
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 10:02 AM Permalink
Peter Steinfels. New York Times: A Conundrum for Catholic Politicians
Should Senator Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican and a highly visible and outspoken Roman Catholic politician, be barred by his bishop from receiving Communion?
Also discussed in Amy Welborn's Open Book where I commented:
First, I contributed to Pat Toomey and sent an email to Santorum urging him to support Toomey. Political support for Arlen Specter is plausibly compatible with a pro-life position along theses lines:
Specter is a loose cannon: we got reminded that he voted for Thomas, but we are not reminded that he voted against Bork and against the conviction on Clinton in the Senate when Clinton was impeached.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:38 AM Permalink
John C Dvorak has nailed down exactly what the issue is in high-tech off-shoring.
Here is how the real scam works. You are a programmer at one of the big IT or computer companies. You're 55 and nearing a retirement plateau; in fact, you're a liability. You're making, say, $80,000 as a program designer. You have various responsibilities. The company eliminates your position in the process of downsizing.
In my own case, there were 2 rounds of layoffs which began a transition to 100% Indian-based development employees. When they were ready to close New York down, the remainder of the American-based VP's and managers were laid off.
Dvorak mentions Tata Consultancy which was feeding the people I was training in 2001. These were men who were young, smart, and very hard-working. I only wish there was investment capital in India to give them jobs there without taking away the jobs from Americans.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:22 AM Permalink
allafrica.com: Zamfara [Nigeria] Governor Orders Demolition of All Churches
Governor Ahmed Sani of Zamfara State, has ordered the demolition of all churches in the state, as he launched the second phase of his Sharia project yesterday.
Paris to Nigeria to Indonesia
Islam has bloody borders.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 9:13 AM Permalink
Sunday, May 02, 2004
Ground Zero Chapel To Host Exhibit
New Yorkers call it The Little Chapel That Stood.
The people who used this church on 9/10/2001 and wanted it to become a church and only a church once again have lost the battle.
The church is going to be turned over again for a another 9/11 exhibit - the tacky memorabilia of the recovery of human remains from the debris.
When I worked the area I remarked how strange it was that only a week or so after 9/11 St. Peter's Catholic Church returned to its religious function and it was much, much closer to the collapsed buildings.
On the other hand...
St. Paul's fulfilled an array of human needs, as kitchen, therapist's couch — of both the spiritual and physical kind — makeshift bedroom, art gallery and doctor's office.and the parishioners just wanted their church back.
Now in 2004, the worship of God takes a back seat to the tourists looking at the "tributes" left behind by other tourists.
I still wince at recalling all that junk left on the fence robbing the dignity of this historic Church at Fulton and Broadway.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 11:13 PM Permalink
Michelangelo Signoreli. New York Press: KERRY'S A BAD CATHOLIC
Dole gets wood, the Pope doesn't blinkA rather shallow criticism of the Catholic critics of Kerry.
(You can see I'm back to finding the unusual stories about points where politics and popular culture touch the Catholic faith)
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:48 AM Permalink
John Leo. US News: I'm terribly sorry. Really
The accusatory conditional. "If, in hindsight, we also discover that mistakes may have been made . . . I am deeply sorry," said Cardinal Edward Egan of New York, while apologizing (sort of) for bishops who failed to deal with sex scandals in the Roman Catholic clergy. "Hindsight" means that the critics are just second-guessers who weren't there.John Leo creates a great list of fake apologies with examples.
John Leo is one of the those media people who I've never been able to get an email address for.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:42 AM Permalink
Saturday Night Live Watch
I admit it. I watch it now to see if Tina Fey keeps her streak going of never making a joke at the expense of John Kerry.
The streak continues. He two jokes about Bush died.
posted by Patrick Sweeney at 12:23 AM Permalink