Saturday, October 12, 2002

Heading Over There
The Department of Defese has cut orders for the headquarters of the V Corps to move from Germany to Kuwait, and for the headquarters of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to locate itself there from Camp Pendleton. The headquarters staffs are moved first so that they can coordinate the movement of the combat units that will be assigned to them. The Air Force and Navy already have state-of-the-art functioning command centers in the area. Central Command, one of our regional command levels with the ability to control troops under all the branches of the military and plan over-all strategy, is in the process of relocating from Florida to Kuwait. The build-up starts. The Boston Globe has more details here.

Friday, October 11, 2002

Fox News and WBZ Radio are reporting a shooting at a gas station in Fredericksburg, VA within the last hour. We don't know if this is connected to the sniper yet. I'll let you know once I know more.

Update: Someone was injured by a single shot fired by an unknown assailant at that gas station. It is not official that it is the sniper, but police have sealed off the nearby Beltway. For our non-Washington readers, the Beltway is I95. It encircles Washington, even more completely than Routes 128 and 495 encircle Boston.

Update: The injured victim has died. May he and all the other victims of this madman or terrorist rest in peace.

The Least Said, The Better
Concerning last night's game between Boston College and Virginia Tech.

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
Rhode Island Senator John Chafee did not say no when asked if he might switch parties if the Senate is split 50-50 after November. We need these liberals to make up the numbers, but we should not miss an opportunity to stick it to them whenever it offers itself.

Racicot reportedly says no to running for the Montana Senate seat. Frankly, his skills could be better used there than at the RNC, where he has not exactly lit a fire under anybody.

And boy, can you imagine the shouting we would hear if a Republican or conservative ran the ad that Max Baucus used to hammer Mike Taylor? Helena would be ashes.

Speaking of Victor Davis Hanson
National Review On Line carries his always-trenchant observations. Today, he takes on the puzzle of German anti-Americanism.

Jimmy Carter Gets The Nobel Peace Prize
Know who really deserves a Nobel Peace Prize? Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II, jointly, for leading the resistance that ended communist tyranny and oppression in Russia and Eastern Europe. But it will never happen because the Nobel Committee is populated with leftist hacks who couldn't recognize genuine statesmanship if they tripped over it.

So we see the prize handed over to failed politicians like Carter, who led this country, with genuine incompetence, to its lowest point in modern times, and was too timid to confront Islamic terrorism in Iran, while he busily dismantled the military in the hopes of reciprocation from the rapacious dictators in the Kremlin.

Who gets next year's prize, international pest Jesse Jackson, or near traitor James McDermott?

"Very Wicked Indeed...To Fit a Boy For the Modern World"
The words are Evelyn Waugh's from Scott-King's Modern Europe but they are brought back to our attention by Ralph McInerny in the latest issue of Crisis. McInerny offers a cry from the heart and the mind on the need to revivify classical education for young people.

He does not make the distinction (E. Christian Kopff in The Devil Knows Latin: Why America Needs the Classical Tradition, which I am still reading, in between bouts with Victor Davis Hanson's An Autumn of War and Cardinal Ratzinger's The Spirit of the Liturgy, does) between genuine education, and training. Most of what passes for education is mere vocational training. Genuine education has nothing to do with preparing a young man for tasks he will have to carry out in the adult world. It prepares the mind to look at God, men, and society in an informed manner. The classics, especially the Greek and Latin masters do that best.

McInerny seems to justify studying the classics on the basis of nostalgia. But there is a case to be made for doing so in order to form the man, or woman. Kopff and others make that case, and they are correct. Training one can pick up anywhere. It is most regrettable, and has terrible effects on society and culture, if we let youth pass on to adulthood without properly forming their minds via the classics. Society is the poorer for it. If we wish to claim to educate the young, let us do so in reality.

A Shorter Catechism?
Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn, speaking at a conference on the 10th anniversary of the Catechism, speculated on the possibility of a shorter, pocket version. Most criticism aimed at the Catechism has been that it is a reference work, not suitable for teaching young children. But a shortened version would not be an easy undertaking, Cardinal Schoenborn warned. It would take great skill to condense it in that manner. Cardinal Schoenborn said he was happy to let the Holy Father decide whether the effort should be undertaken. EWTN has the details here.

A Poison Pill
The Washington Times carries Cal Thomas' warning that religious groups' acceptance of government largesse is really taking a poison pill that will, over time, undermine the independence of religious practice.

Thomas Sowell Is Excellent Today
FrontPage Magazine provides Thomas Sowell's excellent comparison of the present situation with Iraq to the West's 1930s response to the rise of Hitler. The comparison cannot be made too often.

From Townhall.com
Mona Charen profiles Miss America, who has just bested the pageant officials who wished to silence her campaign for teen sexual abstinence. Paul Greenberg echoes Churchill and John F. Kennedy in calling for immediate action on Iraq. Jonah Goldberg calls the Iraqi campaign just a prudential exercise to make sure, "it never happens again."

Senate Passes Iraq Resolution, Now it Begins
The US Senate approved the Iraq resolution 77-23 at about 1:00 am. Of the Massachusetts congressional delegation, Congressmen Steve Lynch, Ed Markey, and Marty Meehan and Senator John Kerry voted "yes." The others all voted "no." It is a disgrace to this state that our elected representatives were so unwilling to take this necessary next step in the war against Islamo-fascist terrorism. But the shrillest and most absurd arguments I heard in the debate came from California Congressman Fortney "Pete" Stark, a chap who genuinely deserves to find himself without a seat in January. Most Democrats went along with the resolution in order to take the issue off the table during this election cycle. They can't afford the truth of their animus against military action by the US to be spotlighted for the voting public.

The margins in both the Senate and House are more substantial than the margins given President George H.W. Bush for the Persian Gulf War. This is because that example shows all who care to see that the effort should not be particularly onerous. Most of Iraq will fall to US forces within a matter of 2 weeks at the most. Urban centers may hold out longer, but they can be by-passed, isolated, and allowed to stew until they submit. Iraq's military, even the vaunted Republican Guard and the even more elite unit Saddam formed from the most trustworthy of the Republican Guard, will not detain us long.

The al Qaeda units in Iraq, and they are there, will try to carry on the struggle in the waste lands But the terrain is much less helpful to guerilla resistance than Afghanistan's. The massive tank battles of the last war will only be repeated on a small scale, as the last war wiped out most of Saddam's armor. The US has down-sized its own armored divisions, and will probably only deploy a few armored battalions, essentially in kampfgruppe-sized units with mobile artillery, MLRS, armored infantry, tanks, reconnaissance units, and attack helicopters acting in coordination with each other and with Air Force units and even more mobile special forces units.

The massive multi-division attack of a decade ago probably won't be repeated, in part because the structure of the enemy force is substantially weaker than a decade ago. The clue will come in what units we hear are en route to the Persian Gulf. The majority of the forces that are used will probably marry-up with pre-positioned equipment, so that we don't have to wait for 4-5 armored/mechanized divisions' heavy equipment to be loaded onto our limited number of heavy container ships, brought to the Pesian Gulf, offloaded, and shake down.

What the US most needs to be cautious about is the possibility that Saddam has a nasty surprise up his sleeve. He could have a primitive nuke or radiological weapon squirreled away. He may fire radiological warheads at US troops, US bases, US ships, or Israel, which would probably retaliate with its own nuclear weapons. Chemical or biological attack on US troops is a possibility, but US forces are trained to fight in NBC gear, though their capabilities would be somewhat more limited, especially due to the heat. Since the US is coming, determined to take his head this time, Saddam has nothing to lose. The restraint of a decade ago on use of NBC weapons may be by the boards, as it is probably the only effective weapon Saddam has. Even the threat of massive retaliation will not deter Saddam, since he cares nothing for the future of the Iraqi people, or military.

Saddam has had a decade to harden his communications and command and control networks. That may pose something of a problem. Ideally, the US would prefer to leave Iraqi forces in the field unable to communicate with their central headquarters, and thus unable to respond to developing circumstances. But the hardened command and control, plus the flexibility of the internet, may make it more difficult to accomplish that goal.

I am still of the opinion that intelligence resources should be concentrated on locating Saddam himself, and tracking his movements in detail. The best strategy for the US to follow is a coup de main, in which fairly small US commando-type units take out Saddam and his immediate guards in the first seconds of a campaign. To do that, we need to know where he is and when. Other commando units can silence the Iraqi GHQ and key members of the Baathist Party and government. Then, more substantial forces striking from a variety of locations simultaneously can deal with the loyalists in the armed forces and Republican Guard. The al Qaeda units should be surrounded and smashed in detail, preferably killing as many of that scum as possible. Also, securing the Iraqi oil fields, pipelines, refineries, and port facilities and tankers will be a key element of the plan, in order to prevent a massive act of destruction such as the one Saddam pulled off as his units left Kuwait in 1991.

Vigilance on the home front must be increased as well. Saddam may very well slip some weapons of mass destruction into the hands of al Qaeda, if he has not already done so. Al Qaeda may take the opportunity to launch other attacks against the US. One can be certain that they will attempt to strike at US forces' strategic rear, possibly carrying out further attacks directed at our economy. Attacks on the power grid, water supply, food processing facilities, oil and gas supplies, the internet, nuclear power plants, military bases, Wall Street, the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, the White House and the Capitol can be expected, and must be guarded against. Determined attackers will get through somewhere, so we must be braced for it. You can't guard everything effectively, not when our society, government, and economy offer so many targets. Don't overlook the possibility of attacks on schools in order to spread terror.

The US will win this campaign, and Saddam will be a corpse or a prisoner at its end. But there may be some cost beyond a few hundred battle casualties. It is indeed a bitter cup we are contemplating. But the cup will have to be consumed at some point anyway. Our enemies hate us, want to exterminate or convert us to a slavish and alien way of life. They will not leave us alone, because their hatred is not directed at us because of what we have done, but because we are a free, informed, Christian/Jewish, and powerful people. We must go and take them out, along with governments like Iraq's, that provide them with military, intelliegence, financial, and diplomatic support. We have no choice in the matter.

Let's roll. And may God Bless the United States of America and its armed forces.

VOTF Will Donate To Other Charities, If Refused
The Boston Herald reports that VOTF has announced that the $55,800.00 check it has sent to the Archdiocese on behalf of Catholic Charities will be donated to soup kitchens, AIDS hospices, and other worthy institutions, should it be refused by the Archdiocese.

The mechanics of the donation appear designed to get a rejection, so as to cause a furor. If VOTF really wanted to donate to Catholic Charities, why didn't they just mail it to Catholic Charities, payable to Catholic Charities? Why involve the Archdiocese at all? Catholic Charities board members have said that they feel it is their duty to accept money from any source, given the poor state of the economy, the increase in need, and the decline in fundraising. One can only conclude that the donation is being sent to the Archdiocese so that the Cardinal will have to reject it, allowing VOTF to waive the bloody shirt.

The object is not to make a sincere donation, but to create an issue. What else would you expect from an organization staffed by Democrat hacks?

And $55,800? Is that all an organization composed of thousands of well-to-do semi-elderly people can come up with? From a group with a million dollar budget? It is no where near a tithe. It is a drop in the bucket. Two hundred thousand would be more realistic, (10% of that million dollar budget and $100,000 raised from the members especially for the purpose). Tom Flatley, or the head of Shaunessey Construction, or the widow of Mike Valerio can match this figure without blinking an eye. One suspects that this is a token offering, since the real issue is a struggle for power, as VOTF says itself in unbuttoned moments. The paltry amount of the donation is also a sign that the donation is not sincere, but merely an effort to create a controversy.

Lots of Catholics have re-directed money normally donated to the Archdiocese, and intend to do so until Cardinal Law is replaced (preferably with a more conservative and much more forceful prelate; Chaput, or Bruskewitz would be ideal). The money we normally give to the Archdiocese went to our parish, which is doing a necessary but expensive repair of its roof, to the Camelites, and to the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter. I would urge other Catholics who refuse to pay for the present equivalent of Paul Shanley's gay B&B to give to their parish, where the money is needed, to the local Catholic school, or to orders and organizations within the Church that do good work. No one needs to send checks to the Archdiocese earmarked for a certain cause. That is just grandstanding.

Thursday, October 10, 2002

US and French Officials Brand Tanker Attack Terrorism
The attack on the French oil tanker off Yemen was a terrorist attack according to US and French officials. Remeber, the al Jezeera tape that may or may not have been from bin Laden called for attacks on the US economic lifeline.

I think this was a taste of what they plan. But we should be able to deal with it, just use a convoy system (as we did for Kuwaiti tankers during the Iran-Iraq War) and blast anything that comes near a US or Allied vessel out of the water. It also means stepped-up security at refineries, pipelines, oil fields, most of which are not under US control, but that, also, can be worked out. We may need a larger army and navy to carry all this out, but, heck, this is a war. You didn't expect that we could actually downsize the military and successfully wage a war at the same time, did you?

The Alma Mater Plays Tonight
Boston College takes on perpetual thorn-in-its-side Virginia Tech tonight at Alumni Stadium. The better half has papers to grade. Hmmmm.

Iraq Resolution Passes House
A resolution authorizing the President to use force if necessary against Iraq passed the House on a 296-133 vote. A majority of House Democrats voted against the authorization. The Senate, meanwhile, rejected an effort to limit the President's war-making capacity by a 75-25 vote, and is likely to approve a similar resolution to the House resolution in the near future.

Manchester Settles 16 of 132 Pervert Priest Cases
The Diocese of Manchester, NH has settled with 16 victims represented by (former Republican congressman) Chuck Douglas. Half of the plaintiffs were allegedly victims of Father Leo Shea. The other half allege that they were victims of Father Philip Breton and Father Hubert mann, both deceased. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed. Father Shea, who is now retired, pled guilty to sexually assaulting an altar boy in 1994. All the plaintiffs were male. The Boston Globe has more details here.

Hot, Hot, Hot!
Rush Limbaugh is reporting that the Montana Republicans are going to replace Taylor on the ballot with very popular former governor Marc Racicot, the current head of the RNC. He just might be able to beat Senator Max Baucus. This may put that seat in play. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Where We Stand On the Senate: Updated

State Party Dem. Republican Who's Ahead

Alabama Rep. Susan Parker Sen. Sessions Sessions*

Alaska Rep. Frank Vondersaar Sen. Stevens Stevens*

Arkansas Rep. Mark Pryor Sen. Hutchinson Pryor -

Colorado Rep. Tom Strickland Sen. Allard Toss-up -

Delaware Dem. Sen. Biden Ray Clatworthy Biden -

Georgia Dem. Sen. Cleland Saxby Chambliss Cleland -

Idaho Rep. Alan Blinken Sen. Craig Craig*

Illinois Dem. Sen. Durbin James Durkin Durbin -

Iowa Dem. Sen. Harkin Rep. Ganske Harkin -

Kansas Rep. No Democrat Sen. Roberts Roberts *

Kentucky Rep. Lois Weinberg Sen. McConnell McConnell *

Louisiana Dem. Sen. Landrieu 4 candidates Landrieu -

Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree Sen. Collins Collins*

Massachusetts Dem. Sen. Kerry No Republican Kerry -

Michigan Dem. Sen. Levin A.Raczkowski Levin -

Minnesota Dem. Sen. Wellstone Norm Coleman Toss-up *

Mississippi Rep. No Democrat Sen. Cochrane Cochrane *

Montana Dem. Sen. Baucus No Republican Baucus -

Nebraska Rep. Charlie Matulka Sen. Hagel Hagel *

New Hamp Rep. Gov. Shaheen Rep. Sununu Toss-up-

New Jersey Dem. Frank Lautenberg Doug Forrester Lautenberg-

New Mexico Rep. Gloria Tristani Sen. Domenici Domenici*

North Carolina Rep. Erskine Bowles Elizabeth Dole Dole*

Oklahoma Rep. David Walters Sen. Inhof Inhof*

Oregon Rep. Bill Bradbury Sen. Smith Smith*

Rhode Island Dem. Sen. Reed Robert Tingle Reed -

South Carolina Rep. Alex Sanders Rep. Graham Graham*

South Dakota Dem. Sen. Johnson Rep. Thune Toss-up *

Tennessee Rep. Bob Clement Lamar Alexander Alexander *

Texas Rep. Ron Kirk John Cornyn Toss-up*

Virginia Rep. No Democrat Sen. Warner Warner*

West Virginia Dem. Sen. Rockefeller Jay Wolfe Rockefeller -

Wyoming Rep. Joyce Corcoran Sen. Enzi Enzi*

* Likely Republican win
-Likely Democrat win
Apologies for the uneven columns. Blogger does not allow tabbing within "edit your blog", and the posting process disrupts spacing in columns.
Data from the US Chamber of Commerce and Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.

So, of the 20 seats held by the Republicans currently, the GOP will win only 17. Of the 13 seats held by the Democrats, the Republicans will pick up two. That means that with likely losses in New Hampshire, Colorado, and Arkansas, the next Senate will have the same composition as the current Senate: 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and 1 Independant who caucuses with the Democrats. The Democrats could conceivably pick up one seat, as well. The New Jersey Supreme Court and the voters of New Hampshire are the ones who will have determined the balance of the Senate. The momentum is slipping away from the Republicans and something major, either much more direct involvement from the President or massive and effective infusions of cash into the closest races needs to occur between now and Election Day.

From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is maintaining his lead over Republican Greg Ganske, despite his campaigns dirty tricks.

New Jersey Republicans might have been too vigorous in their campaign against Robert Torricelli, driving him out of the race, and getting Lautenberg, who is more liberal and may not be beatable, in his stead.

Here's a hot one Taegan has not picked up yet. In Montana, Max Baucus' Republican opponent Mike Taylor, trailing consistently by 20 or more points, is dropping out of the race. Unlike the New Jersey Democrats, the Montana Republicans are going to play by the rules and promote a write-in candidacy, which will gain even fewer votes than Taylor would have.

Next Week Will Be High Noon For Catholic Charities
The Boston Herald reports that next week, VOTF will offer a $50,000 donation directly to Catholic Charities. The Archdiocese has made it clear that Catholic Charities ought not to accept the donation. The real test will be of the Archdiocese. Will they have the guts to cut off all funding for Catholic Charities if it does accept the VOTF money? If not, the Cardinal is just engaging in a pillow fight, and isn't serious about stopping the spread of VOTF's liberal dissent. It is time to make a principled stand.

A Two-Year Experiment?
The Boston Herald speculates that the Vatican will approve a modified version of the US bishops' sex abuse policy on a two-year experimental basis. I don't think it will be a rejection, as the Vatican would hardly have Bishops Gregory and Skylstad in Rome to publically slap them in the face with a rejection. It is going to be spun as acceptance, even if the Vatican has serious reservations about parts of the plan, and even orders some changes.

What Britain Needs Is a Vigorous Conservative Party and Leader
National Review's John Derbyshire found himself back in Blighty for a conference, and found the place sadly less than it was when he was a lad.

Fierce And War-Like Democrats
TownHall.com carries Bob Tyrell's characterization of the Democrats as fierce and war-like, on Republicans, not on Iraq.

New York Moves Left, Under a Republican Governor
TownHall.com carries George Will's musings on the New York gubernatorial campaign.

Saddam's Supergun
The Independent carries this story on Saddam's attempts to build a supergun that could throw a nuclear, chemical, or biological warhead a hundred miles or more, and Germany's efforts to prosecute those who are collaborating with him. But this is not a new story. I remember Sixty Minutes doing at least one story on this in the mid-90's.

Yet Another One For Your "Religion of Peace" File
This time, it is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that has planted a bomb at a bus stop in the southern Philippine city of Kidapawan. The incendiary bomb killed 6, including a 12 year-old boy. Al Qaeda by any other name, is just as hateful, and just as much in need of being exterminated.

Time To Surround Arafat Again
A Palestinian barbarian blew himself up today in Tel Aviv, killing an elderly woman and injuring four others. This one was pinned to the ground for a while by a bus driver and a paramedic, who fled with others when the barbarian began to detonate himself. Islam, we are told, is a religion of peace.

And the Winner Is...Miss America
Erika Harold won her battle to promote teen abstinence. The merits of her position were good (and you can't keep a PBK down). But outraged callers and e-mailers also, I'm sure, helped pageant officials to see the light on this matter. The Washington Times has more details here.

Shaheen Ahead, With Momentum?
The latest poll in the race for the US Senate seat in New Hampshire shows Governor Jean Shaheen ahead of Rep. John Sununu. Her momentum must be stopped. The Republican national organizations ought to pump about $5 million into this race, and spend it carefully on well-crafted commercials, and on GOTV operations, to tip the scales. The GOP needs to hold this seat.

Polls also show Republican Craig Benson leading his opponent in the race to succeed Shaheen as Governor by a substantial margin.

Ideas Toward A Conservative Ethic of Art
Robert Locke, writing in FrontPage Magazine, Robert Locke urges conservatives to accept modernity in art, while fighting against the idealogy of modernism. He urges 8 principles be followed in creating, buying, and critiquing art: beauty, craft, style, comprehensibility, culture, tradition, hierarchy, and transcendence, all of which are antithetical to modernism.

This is an article that is very much worth the time of those who care about our culture, and wish to see a more wholesome tradition being encouraged in the arts community. If you are thinking about patronizing artists, think about these principles, and ask if what you are thinking of buying meets these criteria. If not, buy something else. I have always been puzzled about why succesful men of affairs repudiate everything they have worked for in the name of fashion when it comes time to adorn their homes with works of art. Buying art according to one's principles is more consistent, and more healthy for the soul and the mind.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

North Korea Is Utterly Insane
According to this story in the Boston Globe, North Korea is going to allow 5 Japanese kidnapped by the North Koreans in the 1970s and 1980s so that they could teach Japanese to North Korean spies, to return home for brief visits. Their return is being guaranteed by North Korea keeping their children.

What an evil and abnormal regime North Korea truly is. No doubt that it belongs in the Axis of Evil.

According To Taegan Goddard's Political Wire
J.C. Watts may run for US Senator in Oklahoma in 6 years. Senator James Inhofe (R), who is running ahead of his opponent this year, will be up for re-election again then.

And the Democrats are going to try mightily to switch national attention to the economy and away from the Iraq campaign. The Republican challenge, since they have opted not to push with all their might for deeper tax cuts to improve the economy, will be to keep the focus on national security. Frankly, I don't know if that will be successful. Such poor strategy deserves a pasting in this election. If they avoid it, it will only be by Providence.

Jonah Goldberg's Take-Down of the Crunchy-Con Thing
Jonah has a nice riposte to Rod Dreher's concept of the "crunchy conservative" in National Review On Line.I still like mine better, published July 15th (it's in my archives). I think I am closer to the tastes and aspirations of most conservatives than the crunchy-con ideal is.

One gem both Jonah and Rod quote is this from Russell Kirk:

"The best way to rear up a new generation of friends of the Permanent Things is to beget children, and read to them o' evenings, and teach them what is worthy of praise: the wise parent is the conservator of ancient truths. As Edmund Burke put it, 'We learn to love the little platoon we belong to in society.' The institution most essential to conserve is the family."

Heard This Somewhere Before?
The Claremont Institute's Robert Alt, writing in National Review On Line, calls for Rudy Giuliani to run, now, for New Jersey senator after cutting a deal with Doug Forrester to drop out. Seems I have heard that before, from...me. Democrats want to play games? We'll play games.

Miss America Outrage
The officials of the Miss America pageant are trying to silence Miss America 2002 Erika Harold's outspoken advocacy of teenage sexual abstinence, according to the Washington Times. Miss Harold has been an advocate for sexual abstinence since she was a teenager. She vows not to be bullied by the pageant's officials, and believes that abandoning her platform now would lead to a diminution of confidence in the teenagers struggling to live within the chaste lifestyle she advocates. The pageant officials are trying to force her to talk exclusively about teen violence instead.

What outstanding buffoons these pageant officials are! I think George Bauer, the interim head of the Miss America pageant, needs to hear outrage from lots of Christian and Jewish people who believe in efforts to maintain teen chastity.

Here is contact info for the pageant:

The Miss America Organization
Two Miss America Way, Suite 1000
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Phone 609-345-7571
Fax 609-347-6079
This e-mail may be better:

Abortion Rates Decline
From 1994 to 2000, the rate of abortions dropped by 11% from 1.42 million in 1994 to 1.31 million in 2000. Abortion became somewhat less common among high school-age girls, women with college degress, high income women, and non-religious women. Girls 15-17 saw a decline between 1994 and 2000 of 39%. Twenty-seven percent of the women having abortions identified themselves as Catholic, which is an utter disgrace. It speaks very powerfully to the absence of pro-life teaching in Catholic schools and from Catholic ambos, not to mention a lack of proper Catholic family life and instruction. Ninety percent of all abortions were performed in urban areas. The Washington Times has more details here.

Well this is progress at the margin of the problem, but not nearly good enough. A heck of a lot needs to be done, especially by Catholics at the school and parish level, and in the Catholic family.

Pope Pius XII
On this date in 1958 Pope Pius XII died after a pontificate of nearly 20 years. In that time, he was a bulwark of orthodoxy, who authorized new universal translations of the Scriptures, and the work that became the 1962 Missal. He preserved the Church from the horror of Nazism, and directed his officials to help in saving the lives of over 750,000 Jews from the Nazi Holocaust. His officials also sheltered many hundreds of escaped Allied POWs. He then began the long confrontation with Soviet Communism, makig sure that the Church in Poland and Czechoslovakia did not become a mere prop of the Bolshevik regime.

Allow me to quote one of my favorite historians, Paul Johnson, on Pius XII:

Pius was a Tridentine pope. To him, the Greek Orthodox were simply schismatics, and the protestants heretics. There was nothing more to be said or discussed. He was not interested in the ecumenical movement. The Catholic Church already was ecumenical in itself. It could not change, because it was right and always had been right.

Pius' whole analysis of Christianity and the world implied a long period of waiting. It would take time before heretics and schismatics came to their senses, and Marxists abandoned their godless materialism. The Church could wait, as it had waited before. It would remain in its fortress, avoiding contact with the evils of compromise, and from time to time lifting its admonitory voice.

One might say that Pius, seeing his inability to create a perfect world, wanted a world which was frozen and immobile. Motion was dangerous: experience showed that it invariably led in the direction of evil. Change must therefore be resisted at all costs: God, in His infinite wisdom, had condemned His Church to fight a perpetual rearguard action, and every inch yielded must be bitterly contested. At the same time, while resisting change, the Church must never for an instant allow her claims to be obscured and diminished. On the contrary, they must be constantly asserted in all their plentitude.

Though Johnson, I think, is being mildly derogatory, I cite these views with approval, only objecting that the Church under Pius was much more pro-active than Johnson makes it seem. I still use the psalter he approved. If the Church has changed emphasis since then, it is to go on the offensive more. Thus John Paul II collaborated in the liberation of Eastern Europe from the communist tyranny, and has reached out to encourage more missionary activity in Asia and Africa. The difference, in political terms, is that between an Eisenhower policy of containment, and a Reagan Doctrine of liberation. Both are light years away from a Nixon/Carter policy of accommodation and detente (John XXIII, at least in part?).

Vatican Will Release Ruling On US Bishops' Policy Next Week
It is interesting that the Vatican has delayed the release so that it coincides with the visit to Rome of Bishops Wilton Gregory and William Skylstad. If the Vatican were to largely reject their policy, it would be curiously humiliating to have the authors on hand as they publically did so. Surely, this is a sign that it is going to be spun as an acceptance in part, rather than a rejection. EWTN has the details here.

The Last Word In Artistic Decadence
FrontPage Magazine carries Charles Paul Freund's account of artists' visions of beauty in the September 11th terrorist attacks that murdered our neighbors and terrorized our nation. Evelyn Waugh had Charles Ryder say that modern art is great bosh. It has become more than that, it has become dangerously decadent, like the idealist who liberated the canary from the cage so that he could enjoy freedom, and die miserably.

Damien Hirst, one of Britain's most celebrated artists, told the BBC last month that the Sept. 11 attacks were "visually stunning" artworks and that the perpetrators "need congratulating."

They need hanging, and not in an art gallery, but on a gibbet.

Rachel Carson: Murderer
How's that for a grabbing headline? It's Walter William's piece for FrontPage Magazine on the environmental movement's indifference to human health and well-being, even life. He cites a statement from the New York Green Party, which is stopping the use of pesticides that would stop the spread of deadly West Nile Virus:

The New York Green Party said in its opposition to pesticide spraying to halt the spread of West Nile disease, "These diseases only kill the old and people whose health is already poor." At least one person from the North Shore has died of West Nile this year.

The indifference to innocent life, just because it is elderly and in poor health is patently obvious. It goes without saying that the lunatics who vote for the Green Party are the same people who support abortion on demand, and are beginning to think seriously about euthanasia.

Williams ends with a great quote from C.S. Lewis I had never read before:

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

How true.

TownHall.com Is Loaded With Good Stuff Today
Michelle Malkin points to the decline in the NPR audience and the gain in Christain radio's audience. NPR is fighting back, using our money to do so. David Limbaugh says what the Administration is not, that the Democrats are using the coming Iraqi campaign to shore up their left-wing pacifist base for next month's election. Ross Mackenzie notes that Ann Coulter's Slander has been on the best-seller list for a while and other topics in a blog-like performance. Ben Shapiro takes on the outrageous Democrat ad, that appears on Democrats.org which depicts President Bush pushing a little old lady in a wheelchair off a cliff. Armstrong Williams looks at the Maryland gubernatorial contest. Dare we hope for a Kennedy to lose? Paul Craig Roberts, who is very solid on economic matters is absolutely out of his mind on foreign policy. Been reading a little too much Pat Buchanan, Paul? Brent Bozell uses the Torricelli mess as a paradigm for Democrat sleeze.

Foreshadowing Of Things To Come
This morning in Salem, at 5:30, it was 41 degrees, according to the bank thermometer. Not quite frost on the pumpkin, but that is coming. Parts of Massachusetts may have had a frost last night, though not here on the coast.

If Accurate, How Typical!
NewsMax.com is reporting that in April of this year, Arafat and his henchmen tried to have US Secretary of State Colin Powell assassinated while his motorcade, which included Shimon Peres, was enroute to negotiate a settlement with him. The revelation is from a book by Yossef Bodansky called The High Cost of Peace. I do not know how much credence to give the report. However, if it is true, it would not be untypical of Arafat.

Tuesday, October 08, 2002

As If In Answer to Phil's Prayer (and Mine)
The Vatican is preparing a directive aimed at local bishops forbidding the admission of men with homosexual inclinations to the seminaries, or to ordination if their orientation is discovered in the formation and discernment process. Catholic News Service has the details here. Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link.

This is a directive that not only makes sense, but is absolutely necessary. It flows, in fact, from the Catechism's position that homosexuals are "objectively disordered." Let us hope the news report is correct, and that the directive is issued (and universally obeyed) very soon. As I said earlier today (I think in a comments box), I don't think the US bishops actually are schismatic. I think they are mostly without spines adequate to enable them to resist the zeitgeist and forbid homosexuals from entering their seminaries and being ordained. But if the Holy Father orders it, I think they will go along. They are, after all, mostly Company Men.

Even better, I think the directive will apply to the orders as well. That will close a loophole that the orders might create if only the bishops enforce the directive. Of course, the implementation of the policy is the key to its success. No seminary would have admitted perverts before 1970, but the St. John's Seminary Class of 1960 was loaded with them (Shanley, Geoghan, etc.). Maybe Boston had a "don't ask, don't tell" policy then. Liberalism within the Church did not start with Vatican II, but was very much in place long before then.

Phil Lawler: We Need A Strong Papal Hand
Phil Lawler, writing in CWN, says the American Church needs the intervention of the Holy Father in a real, and forceful way, to put the Scandal behind us. Thanks to Rod Dreher writing in National Review On Line's The Corner for the link. Yes, the American Church needs a massive intervention from Rome to straighten things out. It would be much better than just waiting for an entire generation of prelates and their staffs to die off, while the habit of Catholic practice completely disappears.

Chesterton's Lepanto
In honor of yesterday's anniversary of the Battle that saved Europe, below is the text of G.K. Chestron's poem, Lepanto:

White founts falling in the Courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run;
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard;
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips;
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross.
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young.
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in the night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold,
Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world,
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain--hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri's knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunsets and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees;
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From the temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be,
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,--
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, "Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces--four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not 'Kismet'; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth."
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still--hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St. Michaels on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,--
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip's in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John's hunting, and his hounds have bayed--
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man's house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St. Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings' horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign--
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.

Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight for ever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade....
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

The IRA Must Go
Moderate Northern Irish protestant leader David Trimble has indicated that the IRA terrorists wearing other hats as Sinn Fein must leave the coalition government. Contrary to what most Irish Americans (their views of Irish affairs frozen circa 1848) think, Sinn Fein is a extremist minority that ultimately wants not just the Union dissolved, but the government of the Irish Republic overthrown, and a socialist Republic of Ireland established. With its operatives trained alongside al Qaeda terrorists in various camps in various countries, it has no place in a civilized government. Trimble is right. A house divided against itself cannot stand, and Sinn Fein/IRA is a division against all the forces of civilization in Ireland, North and Republic, Catholic and protestant.

The Globe has more details here.

The Captain of the French Tanker Thinks They Were Attacked
It seems probable to me that it was. On the other hand, the captain certainly has an interest in claiming the explosion was not the fault of his crew, doesn't he?

Has Anyone Else Noticed...
...that the Maryland shootings are taking place in one of the areas of the country with the strictest gun-control laws on the books?

A Know-Nothing Anti-Catholic Diatribe From Richard Dawkins
Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.
A few of Dawkins' choice canards are woth noting.

I am delighted that one of the leading Roman Catholic seminaries for the training of young priests in Ireland is closing down because it can't get any recruits

However, if the Catholic Church does die in Ireland - and I devoutly hope it will - I hope that it will not be replaced by some other idiotic superstition

The Roman Catholic Church is one of the forces for evil in the world

The Catholic Church also has an extraordinarily retrogressive stance on everything to do with reproduction

Regarding the accusations of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, deplorable and disgusting as those abuses are, they are not so harmful to the children as the grievous mental harm in bringing up the child Catholic in the first place.

Being taught about hell - being taught that if you sin you will go to everlasting damnation, and really believing that - is going to be a harder piece of child abuse than the comparatively mild sexual abuse.

Religion is an irrelevance, it's a distraction, it's a rather boring, parochial falsehood that stands in the way of the glories of true understanding.

Father Dan Flaherty, our pastor, speaks sometimes of the "unforgivable sin of teaching that God is evil." Dawkins, I think, has crossed the line. Though it is the first time I have noted it in Verus Ratio, I am sure he has been spouting this evil and harmful stuff for some time.

The Irish regiment my grandfather fought in in World War I, the Connaught Rangers, in which as a Napoleonic re-enactor I hold the honorary rank of major, was colloquially known as the "Devil's Own," for its fierce fighting skills (and hard drinking).

Dawkins deserves an even more appropriate sobriquet: The Voice of Satan Himself.

As I Have Been Saying For Some Time
The US Jewish population is declining and aging. The Boston Globe has the details here. The solution, as in any situation like this, is for American Jews to get serious about their Judaism. Make your sacred text no longer the editorial page of the New York Times, and your sacred food no longer the bagel. Marry your own kind, and have large families. Go to synagogue on Friday nights, and take great pains to be sure that all your children are brought up in the tradition. That is the way to bring Judaism back. Nitpicking at the Catholic Church in the US for making converts of Jews is not the route to a more vibrant Judaism. Something of the same kind can be said to Christians in Europe.

The Roll of Shame
As I suspected, all nine of those voting "No" or "Present" on the Pledge of Allegiance bill were Democrats.

Barney Frank (D-MA)
James McDermott (D-WA)
Michael Honda (D-CA)
Fortney "Pete: Stark (D-CA)
Robert Scott (D-VA)

Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
Melvin Watt (D-NC)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

And it was a group of three Democrats who made a pilgrimage to Baghdad to kiss up to Saddam Hussein recently, including David Bonior, a member of the Democrat House leadership. McDermott is a two-fer, criticising the US from Iraq, and voting "No" on "Under God." Hold their party responsible for them on November 5th.

I Bet the Nine Were All Democrats
The US House of Representatives voted 401-5, with four voting "present" to keep the words, "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Fox News has the details here, though not the names of the 9. I'll do some digging to get the names.

Weigel On Just War
George Weigel's October 2nd column states his views on Just War theory. In hs view, the Iraqi campaign meets the criteria. Thanks to Domenico Bettinelli for the link.

Another One Too Close To Call
Jim Talent has erased the lead of Senator Jean "The Clueless One" Carnahan. According to the latest poll, they now are tied at 48% each. Another state the GOP needs to pour money into between now and Election Day. Taegan Goddard's Political Wire picked up this story from KSDK-TV.

Another Item For the "Religion of Peace" File
Two armed civilians attacked US Marines engaged in wargames in Kuwait. Both attackers were killed. However one Marine was killed and another injured. It is clear that Kuwait will not be a safe haven for US troops launching the Iraqi campaign. Ironically, US troops will probably be safer once they are in Iraq, where the civilians will probably welcome them as liberators. Time to get them there, I think. As Michael Ledeen says, "Faster, please."

Palestinian Barbarians At It Again
This time, they shot up a car with 4 Jewish occupants near Hebron. All four occupants of the vehicle were injured. Islam, as they say, is a religion of peace.

This Should Please You New England Mac Users
As for me, I'm waiting for Cigar Aficianado's Big Smoke to come back to Boston (I missed it last time).

Dick Morris Deconstructs A Poll
Morris does a nice job in the New York Post laying to rest a recent NYT poll that purported to show that Americans by a 2-1 margin wanted the President to spend more time on the economy than the war on terror/Iraq.

While I agree with his conclusions, the Republican Party should be fearless in charting and selling to the electorate an economic policy that will feature deeper tax cuts, a regulatory moratorium, and lower government spending on non-security matters. The war on terror must be paramount, but it is nice to have a domestic policy, too.

U.of Miss.Professor Makes the Case For Pius XII
Zenit carries the thoughts of Professor Ronald Rychalk on Pope Pius XII's wartime activities, especially regarding his ties to Wallenberg. His conclusion is that Catholics can indeed be proud of Pius, who risked much to save the lives of Jews and others during the war. This is a conclusion well supported by the evidence. Pius did as much as he could to save the lives of Jews from the monstrous evil of Nazism. He does indeed deserve recognition at Yad Vashem. He also deserves sainthood. The Church is working on that. Read more about Pius XII's role in saving the lives of many here. There are even more links here. Learn more about the effort ot canonize Pius XII here.

Alvin York
On this day in 1918, American Sergeant Alvin York singlehandedly captured 132 German prisoners. German morale was near collapse at the time. The armistice that ended the war was just about a month away. York justly became a national hero, and was portrayed by Gary Cooper in an film classic. Here is a nice tribute site put together by a high school sophmore.

It's The Judges, Stupid
Phyllis Schlafly, writing in TownHall.com, tells us that this election is vital for one reason above all: getting non-activist judicial nominees through the Senate. She is correct. The Iraqi campaign will not be decided in this election. There is a powerful consensus in favor of it already. The judicial appointments of President Bush are the overwhelming reason for conservatives to get out and vote this November 5th. Control of the Senate means everything. Those who have unjustly delayed votes on nominees and rejected perfectly good jurists like Pickering and Owens, need to pay a price: loss of their chairmanships.

As I Said
The US Supreme Court will not hear the New Jersey Republicans' case.

Getting Serious About Our Own Cultural Heritage
FrontPage Magazine also carries Melik Kayan's thoughts on preserving our own unique cultural heritage.

Text of President Bush's Address
Courtesy of FrontPage Magazine.

New Hampshire a Dead Heat
The latest polls in the New Hampshire US Senate race show that it has become a dead heat. John Sununu's lead, if he ever really had one, is gone. This race is going to be a tough one. The national party ought to target this race for a very major infusion of cash for advertising and GOTV between now and Election Day. The Republicans need to hold this seat.

Four Senators Could Go Down
According to Roll Call, four US senators, two in each party, are extremely vulnerable and may be defeated. Democrats Paul Wellstone (MN) and Tim Johnson (SD), and Republicans Wayne Allard (CO) and Tim Hutchinson (AR) could very well suffer election night sorrow. It is time for the Republicans to use their fundraising edge to saturate these states, as well as Texas, New Jersey, and New Hampshire, with well-conceived ads that paint a sharp contrast between the Republican candidates and the Democrats. Five million dollars spent on media in each of these states between now and Election Day could make all the difference. It is the job of the GOP national machine to come up with the money. This is the last election in which the national party can channel funds directly into a race just before the general election, so the party should use its resources while it can.

Must Not See TV
According to Fox News, the gubernatorial candidates in Vermont will have debated each other 36 times by Election Day! Such a large number of debates favors frontrunner Democrat Doug Racine, since it lessens the potential impact of any one debate. It makes it more difficult for State Treasurer James Douglas, the Republican candidate, to gain any momentum. There is an Independant in race, as well as a Progressive Party candidate.

Governor Howard "The Duck" Dean is stepping down to orchestrate a long-shot 2004 presidential campaign. Though governors are usually formidible candidates because of superior fundraising contacts with people and companies who used to do business with their state government, an extreme liberal from a tiny Northeastern state has little chance. Dean's chances are especially dim since he will face another extreme liberal, but a near-billionaire from a more populous northeastern state, Massachusetts Senator John Forbes Heinz Kerry.

Archdiocese Panel Recommends Registry of Accused Priests
The Archdiocese of Boston's Commission For the Protection of Children has issued a lengthy report recommending the establishment of a regional registry of priests accused of sexual abuse. Many of the recommendations have been put in place already. The registry is the only new idea in the report. Other recommendations include:

-Mandatory reporting to civil authorities within 24 hours of recieving a credible allegation
-Full cooperation with civil investigating authorities
-Immediate suspension from ministry of both clergy and staff, with no return for those who have abused minors
-A system to supervise clergy removed from ministry
-Annual prevention education for children and parents via CCD and parochial schools
-Psychological screening, background checks and inquiring about histories of sexual contact with children for clergy and staff
-An independent review board to make recommendations about specific action after an allegation is received

The Boston Globe has more details here.

Like yesterday's recommendation by Deacon Rizzuto concerning training for all Archdiocesan personnel, nothing in this set of recommendations is bad or harmful in and of itself. In fact, taken together, they should help eliminate some future cases of abuse. If the heat is perceived to be on, some potential abusers may be deterred to some extent. Also, if everyone is more aware of what can get you into trouble, cases at the margin of the Scandal may tend to diminish. The implementation will be the issue. The case of the lady who called the chancery to complain about Shanley repeatedly and was each time left on hold for hours until she hung up, because McCormack or Daily gave orders that she not be spoken to, comes to mind. That kind of attitude will undermine the implementation of the new policies.

But the report is very careful to avoid recommending solutions that go to the heart of the problem: a cleaning out of the seminary faculty and its admissions, formation, and discernment staff of those who hold a dissenting position on matters of sexual morality (and other important theological matters) and men with homosexual inclinations. It may be that the panel regarded such matters as beyond their purview. It may also be that subtle pressures are now being exerted from Rome to achieve that end. The public pronouncements from the people at the very top of the Church, especially the Holy Father and his spokesman, indicate that may be the case. Let us pray that the goal of cleaning up the Church, despite pressures to ordain anyone who can walk because of the declining numbers of priests, is going forward.

Monday, October 07, 2002

October 7, 1571: The Day Europe Was Saved
The fleet of the Holy League (Spain, Venice, the Papal States, and various Italian states) under the command of Don John of Austria faced off against an Ottoman fleet commanded by Uluc Ali Pasha off the Greek island of Lepanto. Had the Ottomans won the battle, they probably would have dominated the Mediterranean. Each side had about 200 galleys and 30,000 men. The Moslems lost all but 40 of their galleys. Some 10,000 Christian slaves were freed as a result of the victory. Both sides lost heavily, but the decisive Christian victory held Turkish naval power at bay for a time. The Turks had not quite reached the height of their power. That would come with the final Siege of Vienna in 1683, after which Europe would be free from pressure from the Ottomans, and the long, slow decline of that empire began.

Europe today is again under pressure from Moslem invasion, this time in the form of unchecked immigration, made more serious by low European birthrates. Will Europe this time quietly submit, or is there a reaction against this, in the form of stricter immigration laws, building? We shall be able to see more clearly in 30 years.

Has Anyone Else Noticed This Weird Glitch In Blogger?
Lately, when I have been looking at a link in a Blogspot site, and use the browser to go back to the blog, I have been sent back a week or more in the history of the blog. It doesn't happen every time, but it happens often enough to notice. Is it just me, or is this another glitch Blogger is experiencing?

Our Counteroffensive On Terrorism Began A Year Ago Today
James Robbins, writing in National Review On Line, notes that the US began its counteroffensive in Afghanistan a year ago today. That is probably why we are hearing from bin Laden or someone purporting to be bin Laden today. One wonders if the French tanker that blew up off Yemen is a hint at what "bin Laden" meant when he spoke of attacks on our economic lifeline.

Robbins says that, in the last month, US intelligence thinks it has picked up bin Laden's voice on a telephone intercept. German intelligence and a former Saudi intelligence official think he is still alive. If he is alive, that points to al Qaeda retaining significant ability to strike at us, and keep out of sight. We need to do a better job, apparently, of ridding the world of bin Laden and his top people. I think the place to look is Pakistan.

McCormack Deservedly Under Fire
Manchester Bishop John McCormack, who was instrumental in moving pervert priests around when he served as a high-level bureaucrat in the Archdiocese of Boston, came under fire from parishioners at a Jaffrey, NH parish to which he had assigned a known and admitted pervert.

Before Mass, about 40 people picketed at the church, carrying signs saying, "Rectify, Redeem, Resign," and "No $$ to diocese until McCormack resigns."
During the discussion after the service, the bishop was asked why he didn't tell the community about Father Cote's history. Bishop McCormack said it was a private matter that violated neither the law nor church policy.
He said he decided to assign Father Cote to Jaffrey because "it was not anticipated that this would be public."
Afterward, some parishioners said they mistrust Bishop McCormack. "It's the same cowardly attitude he has with all of this," Michael Neyens said. "This guy covers his own backside. He has no concerns for the people he ministers to."

The excuse McCormack used was that the person Father Cote molested was not a minor, but was 18 at the time. Which is the biggest problem with the zero tolerance policy, as I have been saying from the beginning. It does not cover perverted actions against (or with) victims over the age of consent. As far as I am concerned, even a consensual homosexual relationship with a non-parishioner over 18 (even another priest) is enough to justify expedited defrocking.

A better question is why I had to find out about this in the Washington Times. Is this a little too close to the politically correct sensibilities of the Boston Globe for comfort? "All the news that's is convenient for our political beliefs," remains the watchword of the Globe. They apparently don't want readers to hear about laity angered over consensual homosexual acts between priests and non-minors. It must be very troubling for Globe editors to contemplate that the laity understand that homosexuality among priests is the problem. A part of their world view (advocacy of homosexuality) is being repudiated by lay Catholics.

A Cargo Plane That Could Carry A Company of 17 Abrams Tanks
That is what the Pelican, under design by Boeing, would be. Some of the statistics are amazing. The Pelican would have a wingspan of 500 feet. It could fly 10,000 miles with that burden. It would dwarf our current largest place, the C5A Galaxy.

The problem, not mentioned in this article from the Washington Times, is that putting so many eggs in one basket means that the forces waiting for the equipment on the other end will suffer disproportionately when losses, either from accident or enemy action, take place en route. If a whole company of an armoured division is waiting for its tanks in, say, Korea or Taiwan, and a Pelican carrying those tanks crashes or is shot down, what are the tank crews going to do? The C5A only carries a couple of Abrams M1 tanks at a time. If one of them goes down, other planes carrying other tanks from the unit will get through. The company may be under strength, but the extra crews can be used as combat replacements.

And the cost of this behemoth is sure to be equally astronomical, a fact also not mentioned in the article. The green eye-shade guys will never let us build enough of these flying palaces to move an entire armoured or mechanized division by air at once.

If You Have Not Made Up Your Mind Yet...
Read Charles Krauthammer, who puts the issues on Iraq in perspective today, at Townhall.com.

Why Not Goose the Money Supply A Bit?
Larry Kudlow, found at TownHall.com, says Milton Friedman thinks it is time for an adjustment to monetary policy. This would also be a good time for a more generous tax cut, perhaps something that would have an immediate positive effect on the financial markets like a cut in the capital gains tax. As always happens when taxes are cut, revenues would rise as a result. All that would be needed is fiscal discipline on the part of Congress to keep the deficit low. Is that too much to ask?

Milton Friedman's writing on the true causes of the Great Depression have a great deal of relevance in the current situation. The Federal Reserve turned a downturn in 1929-1933 into a catastrophe by a stingy monetary policy. The political establishment, first under Hoover, then even more so under Roosevelt, made recovery slow and difficult with higher government spending, jobs programs, and intervention. The classic approach to solving economic hard times (cutting taxes, trimming government spending, and reducing the regulatory burden on business) did not fail in and after 1929, because it was not tried. It ought to be tried now.

A Forum On the Bush Doctrine
FrontPage Magazine offers a panel discussion on the Bush Doctrine, the new strategy of pre-empting threats before they materialize. Jamie Glazov is the moderator. Victor Davis Hanson (whose collected columns on the war, An Autumn of War, I am currently enjoying and highly recommend), former CIA director James Woolsey, Professor Daniel Brumberg of Georgetown, and James Lindsay of the Brookings Institute, are the participants. Hanson, with superior historical knowledge, sounds like the voice of one crying in the wilderness. He is far out in front of the others. Heck, he was calling for a next phase against Iraq in September, 2001. Woolsey seems to be won over, and Lindsay almost so. And if Brumberg is the left of the spectrum, his position would indicate that people who think seriously about policy have reached a consensus in favor of the Iraqi campaign. All we are arguing about now is tactics and timing. Saddam's days in power can be counted now in months, at most.

Why Are There Hardly Any Lefty Blogs?
Richard Poe, carried by FrontPage Magazine, says there are hardly any left-wing blogs because they can't compete in the marketplace of ideas, as what they have to offer is worthless. As in the cases of talk radio and the Internet, conservatives dominate the blogosphere as their legitimate territory. The liberals have ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, Wash. Post, NYT, Boston Globe, LA Times, Chicago Trib., NPR, etc. The least they can leave us is our blogs, NRO, and Rush. Stop whining, guys. You are still way ahead in the reach of your media.

Once We Start On Iraq, Can We Arrange A Bomb or Two For Al Jezeera?
Al Jezeera is broadcasting an audio tape which it claims is from Osama bin Laden in which he predicts more terrorist attacks against the US in the near future. The US is not yet able to confirm or deny that the tape is from bin Laden, or when it was made. "By God, the youths of God are preparing for you things that would fill your hearts with terror and target your economic lifeline until you stop your oppression and aggression." The Globe has more details here.

Time to step-up, even redouble our "oppression and aggression", I think, and exterminate al Qaeda, its supporters, and sympathizers, and governments like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, and Yemen that support it, or are too weak to deal with it. The faster the better. Starting now would be suitable.

Weekend Sports Wrap-up
The Patriots lost to the Dolphins. BC was off this weekend. The Red Sox spent the first weekend of their winter vacation firing long-time coaches Dwight Evans and Tommy Harper. And that is all you need to know about this weekend's sports.

Another Step Towards Healing
The Archdiocese of Boston will begin a training program for all of its priests, teachers, and staff designed to prevent sex abuse. A child=protection curriculum will be put in place for Catholic schools. Deacon Anthony Rizzuto, who was appointed last month to oversee implementation of the new sex abuse rules, will head up the effort. The Boston Globe has more details here.

Some of this might be helpful in preventing new cases at the margins of the Scandal in the future. But no amount of sensitivity training is going to stop a determined pervert. Homosexual priests preying upon post-pubescent boys (ephebophilia, or chicken-hawking, call it what you will) is the heart of the problem. That problem can only be addressed for the future by implementing tough screening of candidates for the priesthood, and weeding out those with dissenting opinions and homosexual inclinations, even if it means disallowing homosexual candidates for the priesthood who would never even dream of abusing a teenager. It goes without saying that those who teach at the seminaries and are involved in the formation and discernment process must be even more reliably orthodox and heterosexual. And if it is difficult to find "qualified" people who fit those criteria, look elsewhere or look harder. The days when the Archdiocese could "afford" to allow people who dissent, even privately, from the Church's teachings in matters of sexual morality to hold responsible positions in its organization are over. That may be the only positive thing the Scandal has accomplished. And I doubt very much that the pain and anguish that has been caused by it is worth that very small advance.

Sunday, October 06, 2002

Something Different On CD
While scanning the Internet in search of things that engaged my attention enough to warrant blogging on (a sadly fruitless pursuit so far today) I've been listening to a set of three CDs by a group semi-officially attached to Colonial Williamsburg called The Virginia Company. As I am an 18th century re-enactor, I have a strong interest in the music of the period, both formal and popular. The Virginia Company provides a good selection of what people actually sang and played in taverns, and at parties in that time.

It is not what you think. There are no fifes and drums (though I like fife and drum music, too), and no Yankee Doodle, or The British Grenadiers, or Hearts of Oak. The group blends instrumentals and songs nicely. They use only period instruments, so they pass the Academy of Ancient Music test. Though most of it will go over the heads of younger kids, there are some double entendres in some of the songs. One song, The Lusty Young Smith, is almost entirely a double entendre. It is interesting to note that it dates from 1699.

The first album, produced in 1990, is called The Nine Points of Roguery and includes a neat instrumental medley of Haste To the Wedding/The Female Sailor/The Irish Washerwoman. We know the tune of The Female Sailor better as the Christmas carol Master's In This Hall. Nottingham Ale was probably the first popular jingle. Froggy Would A Wooing Go is great fun, as is The Lusty Young Smith. The album ends with a long, but good, rendition of the chestnut Greensleeves.

The second album (1992) is called Vintage Virginia (which includes When Jones' Ale Was New, The Chace, a hunting song, an interesting rendition of The Ten Penny Bit utilizing shaker, log drum, and bones, as well as violin, a ballad about the end of Blackbeard the Pirate, called The Downfall of Piracy, that may have been written by Ben Franklin, a vocal medley of Through All Employments/If the Heart of a Man/Fill Every Glass, and an early variant of Old McDonald called In the Fields In Frost and Snow).

The last album, produced in 1996, is Smash the Windows. A medley of The Jolly Thresher/Rufty Tufty starts off the album. A wonderful vocal called Pleasant and Delightful lives up to its name. The ballad of Alan Tyne of Harrow takes the subject through a Barry Lyndon-like career that ends on Tyburn Tree. The last half of the album has something of a Scottish flavor, with Flora McDonald's Reel, Bobby Burns' My Love Is Like A Red Red Rose, and Auld Lang Syne, followed by a medley of Campbell's Farewell To Red Castle/Johnny Cope. Spanish Ladies brings us back to the world of the Atlantic colonies (though this is an American version which differs slightly from the Royal Navy version you may have read in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin novels). The popular drinking song, Down Among the Deadmen, ends the album.

Sadly, there has been no fourth album from this group. There is an album called Nottingham Ale, featuring all of the principals of The Virginia Company, and others from Colonial Williamsburg. It has a number of the songs that appear in the Virginia Company's canon. One true delight of that album is To Anacreon In Heaven. Sound familiar? It is the 18th century English drinking song whose tune was borrowed by Francis Scott Key for The Star Spangled Banner. Dean Shostak, who was part of The Virginia Company has also produced an album of 18th century music for children called Colonial Fair.

You didn't think I would go to all this trouble describing these albums and singing The Virginia Company's praises without telling you how to buy them, did you? As a matter of fact, they are not easy to find. We happen to have a Colonial Williamsburg Shop in Salem, which carries them from time to time. Other Williamsburg Shops may carry them. If you have a National Park Service site dealing with the American Revolution or colonial America nearby you can pick them up in the gift shop. But the sutler James Townsend & Sons, with which I have been doing business for many years, carries the three Virginia Company albums on their on-line catalog. They are $16.00 each, and well worth it. You also can listen to clips from the albums at Townsend's site. Townsend also has albums from Father, Son & Friends, David and Ginger Hildebrand, and Maggie Sansone. For Christmas music, they also have The Barolk Folk's Come Let Us Be Merry, which is a nice change of pace from Bing, Perry, and Nat or the Boston Camerata at Christmas time.

Now for a change of pace, I'm switching to Dave Brubeck.

Eucharistic Adoration
Adoremus also has up the section on Eucharistic adoration from The Directory on Popular Piety and The Liturgy. The centrality of the Eucharist to Catholic worship cannot be overemphasized.

A Primer On Church Documents
Adoremus offers a very helpful primer on the various documents issued by the Church at its various levels, and how authoritative they are.

Saint Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
The Holy Father today canonizes the founder of Opus Dei, Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer. Nearly a quarter of a million pilgrims are expected to attend the canonization. Learn more about Opus Dei here. Read about the life of Saint Josemaria Escriva here.

I Can't Believe They Are Getting Away With This
The first poll in the New Jersey Senate race pitting Republican Doug Forrester against former Democrat Senator Frank Lautenberg shows Lautenberg in front by 11 points. Despite the fact that the 78 year-old Lautenberg is a straw for some unnamed appointee by the Democrat governor, he has reversed Forrester's 10-20 point lead over Torricelli. Can the voters of New Jersey be this stupid, or this much in the bag for the Democrats? Will they really let the corrupt New Jersey Democrat political and legal establishment get away with this outrage, and duly elect their appointed straw?

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