Saturday, August 23, 2003

Four Priests Take Voluntary Leaves of Absence
The Archdiocese announced this afternoon that four priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors in past assignments have agreed to accept voluntary leaves of absence. The four are:

Father John Chaisson, pastor of Saint Adelaide's West Peabody (technically the parish I lived in until I moved to Salem, though I attended Our Lady of the Assumption, Lynnfield)

Father Edmund Charest, administrator of Blessed Sacrament, Cambridge

Father Edward Keohan, administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes, Revere (former pastor of St. Mary's Italian parish here in Salem, and one of only two accused priests I have met)

Father Edward Sherry, pastor, Nativity parish, Merrimack.

None of these allegations are new, and none stem from conduct at their current parish. Most of the accusations are about things that happened decades ago.

I had thought, given the Archdiocesan policy, that the accused would have been on suspension since the allegations. I am surprised that they had been allowed to continue in parish work. They ought not to have been. They should have been suspended, and removed from officially sanctioned contact with children, until a speedy but thorough investigation was carried out, then they would either be cleared, defrocked, or permanently removed from parish work. That they were suffered to remain in parishes is a sign of the administrative incoherence of the Archdiocese over the last 18 months.

I think this is a case of a new broom sweeping clean. These guys have been allowed to continue in parish work at least since the fall. Archbishop Sean is on the case three weeks, and they are out. Good work for the Archbishop.

Requiescat In Pace
Bobby Bonds, a retired American League slugger (mostly, if I recall, with the California Angels) who could also steal a base, or two, or three died of cancer today at the age of 57. Bonds was also the father of current major league slugger Barry Bonds. Requiescat in pace.

Saugus Plays Boynton Beach, Fl At 7:30

Sox Won In 10
That puts them a half-game ahead in the Wild Card race, and 5.5 behind the Yankees for the Eastern Division.

Bill Simon Drops Out of Race For California Governor
Let's face it, Simon was the conservative in the race. But he had his chance at Davis last year, and kicked it away through inexperience, woodenness, or just not having what it takes to be elected statewide in a place like California.

Tom McClintock has many things that recommend him. I would favor his candidacy over Arnold's. However, he has even less of a chance of beating Davis or Bustamente than Simon did.

I always follow Bill Buckley's dictum of "the rightward-most viable candidate." Therefore, I always favor Republicans over Democrats, except in those very rare instances where the Democrat is demonstrably more conservative than the Republican. The last time I remember that happening was the Massachusetts governor's race in 1978, when liberal Republican Frank Hatch took on conservative Democrat Ed King. King won, became Ronald Reagan's favorite Democrat, and ran the state as essentially a coalition between conservative Democrats and Republicans. He was such an excellent governor, that he could not get 15% of the ever-to-the-left delegates at the Democrat state convention to vote for him for re-election, and lost the primary to Dukakis, who he had surprisingly beaten in the Democrat primary four years before.

Schwarzenegger is a liberal on social issues, and is showing signs of bolting on economics with his choice of Warren Buffet as an advisor. And he is maladriot on cutting edge issues like taxes. and there are always his Kennedy relatives to worry about. But he favors restricting immigration and the benefits illegal immigrants can get here (the only benefit for illegal immigrants I favor is a free trip back across the Rio Grande as soon as the transport can be arranged). That makes him better than either of the Democrats in the race. So, reluctantly and without much enthusiasm, Arnold for Governor, I suppose.

Would that he were a genuine conservative like Pat Sajak, if we have to have a Hollywood celebrity.

Father Geoghan Murdered In Prison
Former priest John Geoghan, who sexually abused hundreds of (mostly) young boys in his career as a Boston diocesan priest was murdered by another inmate this afternoon. Details are slim at this moment. God have mercy on him, and help those he injured find peace.

I suppose we will now be treated to the usual suspects' bleatings that it was unfair that a 70+ year old man be imprisoned so long for patting a kid's behind. That was what he was convicted of. Recall that there are 130 victims who have come forward and have settled civil suits (which means there are, or were, at least 200 victims, since many victims die, move away, or just never come forward). But criminal prosecution of most of those cases was blocked by the statute of limitations. Therefore, Geoghan got a free pass on criminal liability for most of his crimes. Think of that before saying he should not have been in prison so long for what he was convicted of.

Is prison too dangerous a place for people like Geoghan? Well, if you victimize large numbers of people over time, chances are someone in the prison will have it in for you. And if you are physically frail, you are an easy mark, even if you are just there for picking one person's pocket.

We should do a better job protecting inmates from one another. That is why I favor making every prison sentence solitary confinement from start to finish. No roomates, no interaction with other inmates, no working in the prison laundry, no work release, no general exercise time, no TV, just solitary confinement, with your food shoved through an opening in the door by a guard daily. Expensive, but worth it in preserving lives.

So Geoghan did deserve to be in prison (few men deserved to be removed from civil society more). But he, and all other prisoners, should not have been exposed to danger from others.

I do not think the outcome was just. Geoghan did not deserve to be murdered. He deserved to be in prison for pretty much the rest of his life. The fellow who turned him off permanently is no hero. He deserves no praise. He should be charged with the murder, and, if Massachusetts had a death penalty, executed if the circumstances warranted.

Archdiocese And Plaintiffs Still At Odds
Now we are at the stage of carping about leaked settlement details and accusations that some in the Archdiocese don't want the cases to be settled. This is the formula that one often hears when talks have become serious, but there is still a significant gap between the sides.

Nobody really wants to try these cases. They would take years. They would be a huge public relations disaster for an Archdiocese that cannot afford any such thing. And they would be emotionally trying for the plaintiffs. On the whole, the plaintiffs have less to lose by going to trial than the Archdiocese. The Archdiocese will look terrible at trial, and be handed jury awards in the $200-300 million range. But if counsel for the plaintiffs can get even a decent portion of that money by just publicly carping and posturing and quietly negotiating behind the scenes, they would prefer that to actually having to try these cases.

I don't anticipate a break-through until after Labor Day. But sometime in early September, I expect that there will be a meeting of the minds, with the suits officially settled 30 days after that, or around Columbus Day. And I think the $75-80 million eventual figure quite likely.

Hey, The Pats Are 3-0 In the Preseason

Saint Sidonius Apollinaris
Today is the feast day of a saint I am very familiar with from my first medieval history class in college. We spent more than a week under Professor William Daly, who was preparing a scholarly biography of Sidonius, studying this saint as a case study in the "fall" of the Roman Empire and the transition to early medieval Europe.

The following brief biography is from Catholic Exchange's Saint of the Day feature:

Caius Sollius Apollinaris Sidonius was born on November 5, 430, in Lyons, Gaul to a noble family. He was educated at Arles and was a student of Claudianus Mamertus of Vienne. Later, he married a woman named Papianilla, a daughter of Avitus, who became Emperor in the year 455.

St. Sidonius lived at the imperial court at Rome, served under many emperors and later became prefect of Rome in 468. The following year, however, after retiring to the life of a country gentleman, he was named bishop of Avernum (Clermont) against his will, because the people felt he was the only one able to defend the Roman prestige against the Goths.

A prolific writer, he was quickly recognized as a leading ecclesiastical authority. He became a benefactor of monks, gave much of his wealth to charities, and provided food to thousands during a great famine. He led the populace against King Euric of the Goths, but was defeated. Cleremont was overtaken and Sidonius exiled. He returned in 476 and spent the remainder of his days in Cleremont speaking and writing. Many of his masterful poems exist to this day.

I find helpful this more detailed essay by Erik Goldberg on how Sidonius was typical of Gallo-Romans who, once the structure of Empire collapsed, came to identify with the Romanitas of the orthodox Catholic Church against the ascendant Arian barbarians taking power around them. A more secularist view of Saint Sidonius' career can be found in this essay by Lynn Harry Nelson, Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at the University of Kansas.

I've often liked to compare Saint Sidonius with the slightly earlier Gallo-Roman noble Ausonius of Bordeaux. Ausonius was also a poet. His work is correct in form, but often base in subject. He went through the hoops held out for a nobleman from the provinces on the make. But he did nothing. He could see the end coming for his way of life, and lamented it. But was too busy with his Germanic slave/mistress to rouse himself or his contemporaries to defend his way of life. Sidonius, on the other hand, after becoming Bishop of Clermont, organized resistence to the Arian Goths, at first in the name of holding the Empire together, and later in the cause of the trinitarian Catholic Faith.

He was just too late to stop the process, and too early to see his cause triumph, in a way, via the conquest by the orthodox Clovis and his Franks. Judge Bork, in Slouching Towards Gomorrah, discussed the negative example of Ausonius. The more pro-active response of Sidonius is not mentioned. Those of us who see civilization being rent to tatters around us by modern barbarians engendered from within our own society have much to contemplate from the Fall of Rome, Sidonius, and Ausonius.

Cathlic Exchange offers a prayer to Saint Sidonius Apollinaris. Professor Daly would be pleased to see one of his former students invoking Sidonius' aid.

St. Sidonius, you were a gentleman of great wealth and prestige who could easily have fallen prey to pride and selfishness as so many do. Instead, you remained compassionate and generous to those in need. We thank you, St. Sidonius, for your contribution to the world. We ask for your prayers that we may be ever mindful of others in need as well as careful not to fall victim to selfishness, greed and power. Amen.

Friday, August 22, 2003

The Nanny State At Its Worst
The worry-warts are just too much sometimes.

In Bael na m Blath In the Year '22
Eighty-one years ago today, Michael Collins, driving force of Irish independence and first Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Army was murdered in an ambush by the IRA. Collins had been instrumental in negotiating the treaty by which Britain recognized Irish independence within the Commonwealth and in urging Irish voters to accept the treaty. But the IRA and de Valera, demanding a complete break no matter what the realities, would not be satisfied with the results of the election, and began a civil war.

Collins, a native of Cork, was driving along rural areas in an inspection tour to gauge sentiment and to do some secret negotiation with the IRA. In fact, he was travelling under a guarantee of safe conduct from the IRA. In Bael na m Blath, the small convoy was ambushed. Collins took cover behind his car. The attack lost steam, and Collins' guard began to take the initiative. Just then, Collins stood up to either order his men to go up into the hills after the attackers, or call on the partisans to surrender. He was shot through the head. Ireland was doomed to 50 years of corruption and stagnation under de Valera and his successors.

The story has a personal side for me. My grandfather (who was from Ennis, Co. Clare) had taken the British civil service exam with Collins and the two became friends. Granddad Fitzpatrick was a golf pro, but worked for the Royal Postal Service in Co. Clare as his day job. Collins took a job with the postal service in London. They went their separate ways during the Great War, with Collins agitating and becoming a leader in the Easter Rebellion. My grandfather joined his brother in enlisting in the Connaught Rangers and fighting on the Western Front (and become a gas casualty at the 2nd Battle of Ypres). After the treaty was approved, Collins sent my grandfather a signed photo clipped out of the newspaper of himself in his new uniform as Commander-in-Chief. Collins was murdered within ten days. Ten days after that, my grandfather and grandmother decamped for America. The photo of Collins hangs in my study.

Sources Say the Archdiocese's Offer At $65 Million

"Rome, We Have A Problem Here"
A heterodox nun ministering to homosexuals and criticizing the Magisterium is officially condemned by the Vatican (CDF) 4 years ago. The order binding her is passed on to her order, the School Sisters of Notre Dame, who duly carry it out, if without much enthusiasm. The nun switches orders, and the directive from the SSND becomes a dead letter. She goes on teaching heterodox views (even going to Rome to promote a new edition of the book that got her into trouble) and seems confident the Sisters of Loreto will do nothing to her. Maybe Cardinal Ratzinger needs to follow up with an excommunication.

Saugus Won!
They play Boynton Beach, Fl for the right to represent the US on Saturday. They beat Boynton Beach earlier this week. This is as far as Worcester's team got last year.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

The Plan Sounds Good To Me
If I had children, you would not catch me carping about silent lunches. In fact, given the chaos that reigns in student cafeterias (which according to Mrs. F. has become much worse since we were in school) I think such a plan is highly conducive to discipline and good order, things that I value very highly. Recess is the time for boisterousness. Silence is much more appropriate for eating lunch.

Besides, if the nonsense is cut out of lunch, kids can get out to recess probably 5 minutes earlier. So they can comport themselves like barbarians at lunch, and have less recess, or be civilized at lunch and have more recess. Seems like an easy choice to me.

Go Saugus!
Saugus is leading Richmond, Texas 14-13 in the 7th inning. No that is not a football score.

While On the Subject of the Red Sox
Bumped into Bob Montgomery at the mall the other day. It's been a few years since he was broadcasting the Sox' games on TV, and much longer since he was backing up Carlton Fisk behind the plate. But he was one of my favorite players from the period when I was most interested, and a model railroad enthusiast, too. Nice to see he is still living in the area.

Requiescat In Pace
Red Sox Nation has lost another of its most kindly, gentlemanlike spokesmen. Ken Coleman, radio voice of the Red Sox from 1966-1974, and from 1979-1989, died at a hospital in Plymouth, MA last night at the age of 78. Coleman, along with Ned Martin, who died last year, broadcast the Sox' radio games during the fabled Impossible Dream year of 1967, which this scribe was too young to remember (being only 3 at the time).

Coleman left the Sox at just the time my own interest in baseball peaked. The years 1974-1980 saw me listening to just about every game on the radio or TV. After that, my interest declined. So that, when Coleman came back to the Sox play-by-play booth, I no longer felt compelled to listen to every game. I tend to identify more with Martin and his partner Jim Woods, who did the broadcasts in '75, '76, '77 and '78, more than with Coleman.

But there were many good times I remember with Coleman behind the mike. I recall him broadcasting from spring training in March, while I listened on a transistor and bounced a tennis ball off a stockade fence and tried to catch it before it hit one of the melting snowpiles. Infield practice in the suburbs. And many more Sox fans recall his work in '67. Coleman's was a kindly presence associated with a team whose history has been so frustrating for its fans. Ken Coleman was an honored citizen of Red Sox nation. He will be missed. Requiescat in pace.

It seems that the plaintiffs in the Boston pervert priest cases have made a counter offer that would add up to $90-120 million. The Archdiocese is making a counteroffer that is below that (but the dollar figure was not disclosed, yet).

This give and take is the sort of thing which moves a settlement along. Sitting on your hands and offering nothing, as the Archdiocese and its insurance carriers did for so long did nothing but contribute to the billable hours of the Rogers Firm.

Now, with competent counsel at the defense table, the insurance carriers mostly deprived of the hope of getting away scot-free on the grounds that the Archdiocese committed criminal acts (deprived of that hope because the Commonwealth has declined to prosecute, and the feds have given no indication of getting involved), and with a new Archbishop determined to settle quickly and get this behind us, we see movement. There is an outside chance that this could be at least tentatively agreed to by Columbus Day, less than three months after Archbishop Sean took the helm. That is impressive, and a sign that the Vatican recognizes that this situation must be removed from the daily front page as quickly as possible.

I'm still guessing that we end up at between $75-80 million.

But the dollar figure is not the important thing. The Archdiocese should use its medical resources and connections to take care of counselling, therapy, and drug rehab treatment for many of these plaintiffs, who are more messed up than they otherwise would have been because of the actions of the the perverts and those who enabled them.

Chemical Ali Captured
This is something of a surprise, since he was reported dead at one point during the war.

French Undertakers Now Estimate That the Number of People Who Died As a Result of the Heat Wave At Over 13,000
That is way more than the government's latest estimate of 5,000.

If 13,000 Americans had died as a result of a heatwave, it would be a crisis of the highest magnitude. There would be proposals to make air conditioning more available to people who can't afford it. But, because we have air conditioning readily available in this country for prices that are not too outrageous, we won't see 13,000 Americans die in a heat wave. Unless the tree-hugging Nazis get their way in limiting the availability of air conditioners.

As for me, right now I'd gladly see repealed the Bush 41 Administration's two worst initiatives (aside from Justice David Souter): The amendment to the Clean Water Act that gave us the almost useless 1.5 gallon flush toilet, and the Clean Air Act amendment that changed how air conditioning works. Now if we want toilets that really flush, and air conditioners that really cool off a room or a car, we have to be outlaws and deal on the black market.

Still, we are better off than the French, where air conditioners are a rarity, and not because it doesn't get that hot (try the south of France for heat some August) but because the government listened to the environmental whackos decades ago, and made the elderly and those with respiratory disorders (and everyone else) unable to cheaply obtain air conditioning. The environmentalist movement in Europe now has blood on its hands. I really don't see much difference between this and the forced famines in Stalin's Russia, except magnitude, and intent. The general outline is the same, government policies prevented people from gaining something they needed to stay alive. The only difference is that Stalin intended to starve opponents of his regime to death. The environmentalists only intended to "save the earth." But the result is the same, lots of people who should not have died, but are dead.

For all those who died in this harsh heatwave, may God have mercy on their souls.

Our Lady of Knock
Today is the feast of Our Lady of Knock, one of the better-documented Marian apparitions of modern times.

In Knock, County Mayo, on August 21st, 1879, The Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, and St. John the Evangelist appeared at the south gable of the parish church to 15 people over a period of 2 hours. Two ecclesiastical commissions have looked into the Knock apparition, and have endorsed it as authentic.

In 1979, Pope John Paul II said Mass in Knock. Knock has become, after Lourdes and Fatima, the most popular Marian pilgrimage site.

Knock's official website is here.

Here are the words to the hymn honoring the Blessed Mother's appearance at Knock, in both English and Gaelic.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Deal Hudson's Meeting With Cardinal MCCarrick and Bishop Gregory Makes National News
From the front page of today's Boston.com.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Vatican: You May Kneel After Communion, GIRM Notwithstanding
I love Cardinal Arinze.

One thing that did disturb me at my visit to Blessed Sacrament in Seattle was that no one knelt after Communion except us (that we could see looking forward from the middle). Everyone bowed before Communion, which is nice, though I prefer to make the Sign of the Cross just after receiving.

Seemed as though the congregation was thoroughly paced in GIRM. We are pretty much ignoring it in our parish, and just doing what we have always done. That was the case at Holy Family Cathedral in Anchorage, and in every parish I have been in here since July 1st (when GIRM supposedly went into effect). GIRM has some good things in it, but the part about not kneeling after Communion I have never liked, and don't intend to follow now, or 30 years from now. Good to see the Vatican say I don't have to.

Thanks to Adoremus for the link.

Putting the Pieces Together
A fellow who calls himself "Ex-Pagan" puts together the pieces from the global homosexual offensive to force everyone else to give them full acceptance. Nicely done.

Thanks to Mark Shea for the link.

Churches Being Told To Remove Crucifixes: They Turn Off Non-Churchgoers
All that inconvenient and unpleasant stuff about suffering and death for the sins of all can't be dealt with by the faint of heart. From a marketing perspective, the soft sell is recommended by ad agency people who wouldn't know a scapular from a breviary.

Traditional approaches such as showing Jesus on the cross and Bible quotations are a turn-off to non-churchgoers, according to one of two suggested advertising campaigns drawn up by agencies.

Instead, advertisers say churches should highlight their community life, the chance to have a good sing, hear a good sermon and have a heart-to-heart chat.

True, it is a Protty thing, now. You might say we have had our deconstruction period, and now it is the Evangelicals' turn. But these things have a way of migrating eventually. Just look at liturgical music. It could well be that the momentum from something like this could re-inforce the dying grasp of the World War II/Baby Boomer generations' latitudinarianism and overturn carefully laid efforts at renewal of traditonal Catholic devotions.

And we are just at the outset of a wholesome grass-roots movement to get Tabernacles back front and center, and have a Crucifix nearby. The sacrifice on Calvary and the leaving us with the gift of the Eucharist are what the Mass is all about.

Well, bucking the trendy is the right thing to do. Catholicism's economy of salvation does not depend upon polls, marketing surveys, focus groups, or the whims of advertising agencies. It is about truth. And part of the truth (the one, objective truth) is that the Lord suffered horribly as a man to redeem the sins of all men. Including the Crucifix in Catholic churches reminds us of what we need to be reminded about. The Mass is not a social gathering primarily. It is an unbloody re-living of the Last Supper and the Passion. If those with weak sensitivities can't deal with that, they need to be instructed properly, not catered to in their ignorance.

Weakland Was Not the Only Problem in the Milwaukee Archdiocese

I Like President Bush, But This Is Sacrilegious
Fortunately, the White House Press Office had nothing to do with it. It is all GQ's idea.

And Now the Palestinians Are Demonstrating Their Deep Commitment To Peace and Civilized Life
Another bus bomb went off this evening in Jerusalem.

Funny how it seems to coincide with the latest al Qaeda global offensive.

But we would never think that Palestinian groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, the al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, The PLFP, etc have anything to do with al Qaeda, would we? They only trained in the same camps, with the same instructors, share a fanatical anti-westrn outlook (in their case directed at what they call the "Zionist entity," that modern non-Moslem intrusion into a tiny portion of the lands of the old Ottoman Empire), and use the same weapons and tactics.

Oh, they are little George Washingtons, Nathaniel Greenes, and Light Horse Harry Lees, we are told, whose drive for national self-determination must be respected. Funny. I don't remember anything about George Washington telling people to strap gunpowder unto their persons, and wander close to the British lines around New York to blow themselves up with a few redcoats. Never happened in any re-enactment I fought in.

Update: I believe the death toll is 17 civilized folks murdered by one suicidal barbarian.

Top UN Official In Iraq Murdered Along With 13 Others In Suicide Bombing
The pro-Saddam Iraqis (or al Qaeda) exploded a suicide bomb at the UN headquarters in Baghdad today, killing about 14, and wounding 40.

The terrorism that has been taking place in Iraq, including the oil pipeline attacks, the murders of numerous US soldiers on duty there, and now a suicide bombing directed at the UN, shows us the nature of the movement (the regime is dead, now by rounding up its leaders, we are killing the Ba'athist movement) and who its friends were.

In some respects, we have managed to draw a great number of determined anti-American fanatics from all over the Moslem world into Iraq, and given them a target-rich environment to play in (and be killed in). That is the "Iraq as honey pot" theory. It may be true, but it has its limits. The biggest limit is that we can't use the members of our armed forces as bait for fanatics. That is both immoral and bad for morale.

But at a more basic level, we have a problem that we can't solve until we wipe out Saddam himself (though that event may have no effect on the non-Iraqis fighting us in Iraq), whatever followers are still with him, and shut down the outside sources that are supporting the anti-US terrorism. Of course, the daily murders of US soldiers is a great problem, and a human tragedy that is worrisome and depressing.

However, these attacks have no strategic significance. It is not as if there were some large force that controls a part of the country that these attacks are in support of. It is not as if they are part of some grander scheme aimed at achieving a clear objective. They are just orchestrated random acts of violence designed to demoralize, and degrade our rebuilding of Iraq. We do need to devote more resources to finding the leaders. We need better intelligence. We need to know what they are planning before they strike. We need to find the weapons caches, and seal off the borders so that no more terrorists or munitions can get into Iraq.

We won the war in Iraq. It is ours, in trust for the future of the Iraqi people. Some armed people there, some Iraqi, many not, don't like the outcome of the war. They are striking out at targets that are available.

No defense can be strong everywhere. So there will always be vulnerable targets. Not every sentry can be continuously covered by heavy weapons. Not every person who comes within 100 feet of an American can be blasted without warning. Not every square foot of pipeline can be continuously guarded. Not every building can be protected. So the initiative is, for now , with the attackers. But one hopes that our intelligence networks are now working, either with deep cover agents or with informers, or both, or through electronic means, to find out what the other side is planning.

By striking at the UN today, the anti-US terrorists have proven themselves to against world civilization. That is what we are fighting, either thugs loyal to a dictator in hiding, or gibbering Bronze-Age fanatics from other countries who have come to Iraq for the opportunity to attack America. And not just America, but the general civilization of the world, as represented, however badly, by the UN. This incident may make it more clear what we are facing in Iraq, and may galvanize support for what will have to be doen to put an end to Moslem terrorism in Iraq and elsewhere.

Allow me to posit this theory, based on available evidence. Al Qaeda is launching another world-wide offensive. Attacks on oil pipelines in Iraq, bombs going off at the home of the Afghan president's brother in Khandahar, continued attacks in Asia add up to a loosely coordinated effort. One wonders how long it will be before Chechnya (or Russia herself) and Kashmir (or India) are under renewed attack. One also wonders what else may happen in the Moslem world. One also wonders even more seriously what the cause of last week's blackout was, especially since all the responsible people were so quick to rule out terrorism.

Al Qaeda or its allies and affiliates, are engaged in quite an ambitious undertaking. They are fighitng the Russians over Chechnya. They are fighting India (through surrogates in Pakistan) over Kashmir. They ae fighting the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, and wherever else they can.

Maybe it is time to sit down quietly with Russia's Putin, and find out what help they need in wiping out the Chechan rebels. Maybe it is time to coordinate India's protection against elements of the Pakistani government, al Qaeda, and its agents. Maybe other interests and differences need to be put aside to work together against al Qaeda, in all its forms, wherever it is found, even if we have qualms about Chechan self-determination, even if we worry about offending Pakistan.

If we help Russia and India to the extent that we can, we just may clip a significant portion of al Qaeda's wings, tying down their manpower and resources on fronts that they care very much about, and in which they can be beaten as their forces are more or less out in the open. The more manpower they funnel into Chechnya, where they can be killed much more easily (and done with Russian resources, not ours) the less they have to throw at us.

Al Qaeda can fight a proxy war. Why can't we?

"Deal Hudson Says"
I received Deal's latest for his 50,000 closest friends on earth. I can't link to it, and I don't like to cut and paste the whole thing. So I'll just summarize.

Deal and Russell Shaw are co-hosting a meeting with Bishop Wilton Gregory and Cardinal McCarrick to discuss the future of the Church in light of the Scandal. The emphasis will be on how the leadership of the Holy Father points the way to the future. The meeting will be September 8th in D.C.

We don't see large concrete results from such meetings. In fact, they are just equal time for the attention the hierarchy has been lavishing on VOTF (willingly or not) . But it is, of course, a positive step.

Making Fenway A Nicer Place To Watch A Ball Game
More space, an upgrade of the prehistoric men's bathrooms (no more troughs), better concessions would make the experience more enjoyable for the fans in the park. Now, if they could just make the seats a little wider to accomodate those of us who are a little broad of beam, that would be great. And if the team manages to pull out of its recent slump, they will sell out for the rest of the year. This upgrade, by bringing more people to the park, may even make Fenway a more viable site for a generation to come. Let us hope.

Replacing that gem in baseball's crown would cost a bundle, involve all the corruption possible in a city dominated by the Democrats, and just not be right. Fenway was not the original home of the Red Sox, but it is identified with the team more than any other stadium is with its home team. The team's ownership must be careful never to sever the link between the team and its traditional home.

A Primer On How To Address Priests and Religious
Thanks to Seattle Catholic for the link. This sort of education is badly needed, and all the more so because of the large number of priests and nuns who prefer to throw the respect they are due to the winds.

Always give the office all the respect it is traditionally entitled to. The man in the office can be seen for what he is, bad or good, weak or strong, holy, or a trimming place-holder. But he should always be addressed respectfully, even if he begs off. The respect due his office is not his to disavow.

Also, check out the painting of what appears to be a Rogation procession. Cool.

Would Homosexuals Ever Recruit At A College?
"Heavens, no," we are told by the homosexual lobby. They just want to be accepted and to have the same rights as everyone else, they say.

The course description says students "will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities" including "camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style and political activism." Mr. Halperin's class explores "the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity."

Initiation? You mean like what Father Shanley, Father Birmingham, Father Geoghan, etc. did to young boys? Uhh huh.

County Kerry Is An Odd Place
Where else do they have a 12-year old girl crown a goat king than at the Puck Festival?

Common Sense
Michael Novak, writing for this issue of The Weekly Standard, has penned the best, most level-headed, and positive response to The Passion I have yet read.

The more I read about this movie, the more I want to see it. It is only mid-August, but I can hardly wait for Ash Wednesday (which is later next year than it was this year or last).

Al Qaeda Now Claims Responsibility For the Blackout
Actually, I think they are just jumping on the bandwagon. But we won't know for sure until authorities tell us more about how it actually started. What we have heard is that three major lines in Ohio failed simultaneously. That is, of course, suspicious. But it does not necessarily mean that al Qaeda, or anyone else, commited an act of terrorism.

Go Saugus!
It did not count in terms of their placement in the semi-finals, but Saugus beat Boynton Beach, FL last night 4-3.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Plaintiffs Reject Archdiocese's Offer
It seems $55 million will not be enough, as I predicted. The plaintiffs have made a counter offer, but we do not know for how much. As soon as I know, you'll know.

Traditional Feast of Saint Helena
Saint Helena was the mother of the Emperor Constantine, who converted the Empire to the Catholic Church. After her conversion, she used much of her fortune to build churches and succor the poor.

The Globe Asks Readers To Comment On the Annual Return of the Student Population
I really know it's back to school time the first time I hear about the top of a U-Haul being sheared off by an over-pass on Storrow Drive.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Go Saugus!
Our young local baseball players beat Richland, WA to advance to the semi-finals of the Little League World Series. If only the Red Sox were doing so well.

How the World's Best Sporting Goods Store Turned Into A Hawker of Clothes for Teenagers That Specializes in Semi-Pornographic Advertising
It used to be that the name Abercrombie & Fitch conjured up notions of a trip down to New York to buy fishing tackle, golf clubs, tennis rackets, and shotguns of the best quality. But things went downhill after The Limited bought the rights to the name in 1988. So now, there are no more sporting goods sold under the name. Just mall stores with music cranked up way too loudly, and catalogs with homoerotic photos of young men that would appeal to Paul Shanley's more tame moments, and all of it as relentlessly multicultural as Bennetton's ads.

Gresham's Law of evil crowding out good in operation.

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