Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Explosives Missing In Iraq

This is not good. Will follow this as it develops. . . .

UPDATE: story has changed a lot:

  1. Explosives were not there when troops arrived.

  2. Explosives started disappearing before IAEA/UN inspectors left.

  3. Story was leaked by El-Baradei in an attempt to influence the U.S. election.

  4. Story not placed in context of other found weapons caches.

Long story short, I wish we had found these, but life isn't perfect, and I'm neither losing sleep nor blaming the troops or Administration.

Catholic Online - Featured Today - SPECIAL: On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good

Catholic Online - Featured Today - SPECIAL: On Our Civic Responsibility for the Common Good. Archbishop Burke on abortion, voting, and the seamless garment.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Chaput Breaks It Down In The Times

Mike Aquilina sends us this excellent op-ed from Archbishop Chaput, a great corrective to the nonsense in last week's Times piece by Mark Noll. In case the anyone was confusing the "seamless garment" with a fig leaf for abortion support.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Terrorism Roundup

1000 Al-Qaeda 'warriors' inside Iraq

In case there's any doubt about exactly who we're fighting in Iraq, this story in the Australian press should clarify.

Al-Zarqawi’s vow to al-Qaida may signal weakness

The Nashua Telegraph reminds us that the renewed efforts of Al-Zarqawi to claim the mantle of Al Qaida may indicate weakness and desperation more than anything else. Good to keep in mind.

Bin Laden, Bin Laden, who's got Bin Laden?

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that Bin Laden's not in Pakistan, and no one knows where he is. On the other hand, 'Osama is alive and now in Pak' - The Times of India. Meanwhile, The Paks pull down one high profile Al-Qaida operator and the Saudis bag another one.

The Guardian Attempts to Influence the Election

This one is priceless: the left-wing UK Guardian is encouraging enlightened citizens on the far side of the pond to adopt a hapless Yank and instruct him how to vote. We're touched. Really. No idea how we've managed without you.

Hat Tip: Joi Ito

Yahoo! News - Heinz Kerry Separates Self From Mrs. Bush

Yahoo! News - Heinz Kerry Separates Self From Mrs. Bush
Open mouth, insert foot -- just another day for Mrs. Heinz Kerry.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Pope Pinch I

The good folks at the New York Times weigh in again, this time criticizing the beatification of Charles I, the last Hapsburg emperor of Austria-Hungary. No mention is made of whether he was a faithful Catholic, displayed sanctity and virtue, led a holy life, or any of that "saint" stuff. Apparently, being a monarch should disqualify him. And some people say he was "weak." Fancy being weak when you inherit a crumbling, war-torn empire at 29! Everything reduces to the political in the view of the Times.

We can't wait until they take this to the logical conclusion and demand that the College of Cardinals be replaced by the editorial board of the Times, and the elevation of "Pinch" Sulzberger to the position of Pontiff. Then we could look forward to the establishment of abortion as a sacrament.

Kerry's Poor Hamster

Nixon's most prominent dirty-trickster Donald Segretti had a term for antics like John Kerry's slimey tactic of dragging Cheney's daughter into the debate: "ratf***ing." (Maybe in Kerry's case, it should be called "hamsterf***ing," in light of Kerry's curious admitted predisposition to get intimate with these animals.) It was as gratuitous as it was ugly. Exploitation of opponents' family members does not belong in this race, period. Kerry and Edwards owe the Cheneys an apology. (Good luck getting one.) Kudos to Mickey Kaus at Slate for running with this.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

These Keep Popping Up

This horrific news in from BBC NEWS: Babies found in Iraqi mass grave. We are left speechless.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Conscience vs. Religion

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Voting Our Conscience, Not Our Religion

Mark Noll explains why good Catholics don't have to oppose abortion at the ballot box:

During the eight years of the Reagan presidency, the number of legal abortions increased by more than 5 percent; during the eight years of the Clinton presidency, the number dropped by 36 percent. The overall abortion rate (calculated as the number of abortions per 1,000 women between the ages of 15 and 44) was more or less stable during the Reagan years, but during the Clinton presidency it dropped by 11 percent.

There are many reasons for this shift. Yet surely the traditional Democratic concern with the social safety net makes it easier for pregnant women to make responsible decisions and for young life to flourish; among the most economically disadvantaged, abortion rates have always been and remain the highest. The world's lowest abortion rates are in Belgium and the Netherlands, where abortion is legal but where the welfare state is strong. Latin America, where almost all abortions are illegal, has one of the highest rates in the world.

Got that? Bill Clinton actually fought abortion by doing absolutely nothing to restrict abortion, including partial birth abortion. He also spent considerably less on the welfare state than President Bush. So why again does Clinton deserve credit? Note also that all that matters to Noll are the raw numbers, not the effect on a Christian, democratic society of having judges designate child murder as a hollowed touchstone of civil government.

Noll also has one of the worst summaries of Just War theory that I have ever read. Noll should and probably does know better -- he's a philosophy professor at Notre Dame. He also makes it sound like the Kyoto treaty and socialized medicine were mentioned in Humanae Vitae, right before that stuff on contraception. The issue of deliberate killing of innocent children is equated with prudential questions concerning criminal punishment, stewardship of economy and ecology, etc.

Noll's title alludes to a conflict never mentioned in the article: "conscience" vs. "religion." My impression was that conscience was, in the Catholic view, to be formed and informed by faith. This title plays much more to the Times audience, who assume that good Catholics are torn between their enlightened modern consciences and their medieval popery.

The New York Times has found another subservient Catholic who puts loyalty to party line above clarity on doctrine. (Richard McBrien and Andrew Greeley must have been out of town.) The rest of you have to learn, in the words of a New York Times editor as cited by Richard John Neuhaus, "how we do things here."

(Hat tip: Pat Schuchman.)


Mike Aquilina sends me a link to this piece: Commonweal : Catholics, Politics & Abortion. It's an article by Kenneth Woodward taking on Mario Cuomo, whose 1984 speech at Notre Dame on the subject has become the rhetorical model for most Catholic pro-abortion politicians. Cuomo also responds to Woodward. Haven't finished it myself, but both men are generally worth reading.

Jacques Derrida Dies; Deconstructionist Philosopher (washingtonpost.com)

Jacques Derrida Dies; Deconstructionist Philosopher (washingtonpost.com)

What to say about the passing of Derrida? Chirac hails him. I'm waiting for Bush's comment.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties -- 10/04/2004

Exclusive: Saddam Possessed WMD, Had Extensive Terror Ties -- 10/04/2004

Very interesting story, if it's true. Waiting to see if it pans out.

Kerry's Pyrrhic Debate Victory

The conventional wisdom is in. Kerry won the debate.

Here's why the G.O.P. should not worried. Kerry looked presidential, was calm and composed, spoke well, had better style, and made no obvious gaffes. Bush, by contrast, sounded tired, slurred his speech, missed opportunities to counter, was visibly annoyed during some of Kerry's answers. Kerry shoots up in the polls, no downside for the Dems, right?

Not so fast. There are a number of things that are coming back to haunt Kerry: The "Global Test," the advocacy of a freeze on nuclear bunker-buster development (a weapon that would be ideally suited to rogue nations and terrorists sheltering destructive weapons in underground redoubts), the advocacy of delivering nuclear fuel to Tehran and conceding to Pyongyang in their desire for bilateral talks with the U.S. I don't hear similar issues being raised by the Democrats -- they seem content to focus on a generic tone of failure, etc.

If Kerry won the debate on style, made no unintentional gaffes, looked well-rested, lucid, etc., it becomes more difficult to argue that Kerry didn't intend these, indeed that these are not the well-thought out and consistent positions of a man who supported both a U.S. nuclear-freeze and establishing a warm relationship with the Sandinistas in the 80's (his eulogies and warm praises for the late President Reagan notwithstanding).

Friday, October 01, 2004

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