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Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children.
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Irish Elk
 
Sunday, October 31, 2004  



Ladies and gentlemen, mount your ducks! With these words Boston Mayor Thomas Menino launched the flotilla of amphibious vehicles that carried the Red Sox victory parade past a throng of three million in downtown Boston and on to the Charles River for a final celebratory lap.

The Globe's Red Sox section has voluminous coverage. We watched from home while carving pumpkins, and a nice way it was to spend the morning before Halloween.

Tremont Street * Mass. Ave. Bridge

Some of the scenes on this rainy but color-splashed fall morning in Boston were evocative of the impressionist Childe Hassam.

And little Nelson rode forth in triumph! Mahow mahow!


#


Thursday, October 28, 2004  



Is this heaven?

The Globe's Thomas Farragher writes:

If those who walked their sons and daughters up darkened ramps toward an emerald diamond were not around to watch champagne corks fly early today, the generation left behind is the keeper of those special memories.

Workers at Mount Auburn Cemetery said yesterday they began to see tiny Red Sox flags blossom near some headstones at the historic graveyard in Cambridge.

''This is a place where the living and the dead meet," said Janet Heywood, a Mount Auburn vice president. ''It seems appropriate that people would want to invoke the spirit of their ancestors and let them know what's happening with the Red Sox."


* * *

The "Win it For…" thread at the Sons of Sam Horn was up to 54 posts as of this morning.

TS O'Rama runs excerpts from what he describes as "a summa of prayers, a proverbial ocean of heartsick and longing for which the Germans have the perfect word: sehnsucht.

* * *

I've heard of guys sitting all the way through the closing credits of Field of Dreams because, after the father-son catch at the finale, they didn't want their dates to see them crying. On this day in New England, James Earl Jones' speech from the film touches a similar chord:

Ray, people will come, Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn into the driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. "Of course we won't mind if you have a look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it; for it is money they have and peace they lack.

And they'll walk out to the bleachers, sit in shirt-sleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they had dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces.

People will come, Ray.

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers; it has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.


* * *

The Bambino's Curse retires, happy, while Mudville Magazine embraces a world turned upside-down.


#


 
This Is Next Year!



Lowe and Champagne: Delirium grips Hub as Red Sox, those magnificent idiots, win first World Series title since 1918. There are no words.

Well, perhaps one: Hallelujah.

Llama Butcher Steve was blogging the game.

At the Sons of Sam Horn, a "Win it for…" thread was at 52 pages at last check.

Banner seen in the Busch Stadium stands after the Sox win: "We Forgive Bill Buckner."

Mudville Magazine will be worth reading in the morning.

Boston.com already is going nuts as of a little after one a.m. Here's the banner head:

AT LAST!
Pigs can fly, hell is frozen, the slipper finally fits,
and Impossible Dreams really can come true.


Globe front pages from the playoffs and Series may be downloaded here.

"You know what I'm happiest for? I'm happiest for Bill Buckner, Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley, Johnny Pesky, Ted Williams, all of the Red Sox that played before us will now be remembered for the great players and great people they were instead of all the other crap."-- Curt Schilling, via Boston Dirt Dogs

#


Wednesday, October 27, 2004  



I really like this Nike ad that poignantly calls to mind generations of Boston fans no longer with us who would have appreciated the Red Sox' success this season.

My wife has been thinking of her late mother, who introduced her to the Sox. I've thought of my late father, who began going to games at Fenway when Duffy's Cliff rose to the left-field wall, and who brought me to doubleheaders to cheer Yaz and Lonborg and Tony C.

The Red Sox are a team that connects generations, writes Dan Shaughnessy.

That's why this matters so much.

They remind you of your father and mother, maybe your grandfather, too. And they remind you of your sons and daughters and all that you taught them when they were young. Like green eyes and freckles, love of the Red Sox is passed through bloodlines, and the shared passion can bridge the gaps that come with maturity and growth.

In every family there's inevitable distance -- sometimes geographic, sometimes philosophical or emotional. But the Red Sox furnish common ground, which is why they are more than a baseball team and why this is more than a story of a surge to a long-awaited championship.

How many of you have heard from relatives in the last 10 days, maybe a sibling you haven't spoken with in a while? And how many former New Englanders are watching their televisions in Colorado, Arizona, or Florida, remembering growing up with the mellow voice of Curt Gowdy pouring out of the porch radio into the humid night?

How many of you watched the thrilling comeback against the Yankees and thought of a parent or a spouse who has died? How many watched the first two games of the World Series and thought about how much more special this would be if Uncle Joe or Aunt Elizabeth had lived to see it?


* * *

The tune now stuck in my head: Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies," sung by Maxine Sullivan, from the HP Invent commercial. Here's the ad: High * Low

* * *

Tonight's game is to be played under a full lunar eclipse. The stars and planets apparently are in alignment -- but for what?

* * *

Peter Kreeft, in an interview last month, on whether the Red Sox' winning the Series would signal the End Times:

"The clearest apocalyptic sign conceivable would be a seventh game World Series win by the Cursed Sox. That would indicate not only a change in the cosmos but in the Creator…We are indeed the Chosen People of baseball, chosen to suffer and be the sign to the whole world. If the unthinkable ever happens, everyone will be as confused as a robot in an electrical storm. We simply would not know what to do.

"By the way, I know exactly how the end of the world will happen. This time we'll be up ten runs in the ninth with two out, nobody on, and two strikes on the opposing batter. The third strike splits the air, the plate, and the helpless batter's mind. Just before the umpire's right hand can go up, the Heavenly Umpire's right hand goes down, splits the sky like a scroll, and a voice that sounds suspiciously like Charlton Heston intones: "Now, my children, those of you who are wise know that this is the one thing I can never allow in your world. You're in mine now. You're home. It's over."

"It is no accident that there are more philosophers per population in Boston than in any other city. For philosophy is the love of wisdom, and wisdom comes through suffering, and we have our beloved bleeding Red Sox."


#


 



Three down, one to go: Pedro moves Sox within one win of World Series title. We're a little stunned. Tessie, you are the only, only, only.


#


 



A Globe ode to the '67 Cardiac Kids includes audio clips from the "Impossible Dream" tribute album. Home run, upper deck, for Dalton Jones! It's truly a Sox smorgasbord when you can cap a win by Petey in the third game of the Series by listening to Jess Cain sing the praises of Carl Yastrzemski.


#


Tuesday, October 26, 2004  



Eddie Yost Manny Ortez Field Coat Drink Alert!

Jawn Forbes K, fresh from the goose blind, bobbles another Sox reference.

A Bowdoin Orient columnist argues real Sox fans should root for W, who the other day basked in the reflected glow of the Pilgrims at their Florida spring-training park.

What is it with Kerry and tarmac sports, anyway? Who rushes off a plane with an all-consuming need to play runway catch?

* * *

The world's oldest man is rooting for the Red Sox. Fred Hale, who turns 114 in December, was 27 when the Sox last won it all. On game nights, he likes to watch a few innings on TV with his son, Fred Jr., who is 84, and lives in the same Syracuse nursing home.

* * *

Kevin Millar's nickname for David Ortiz: The Big Cat.

Thus inspired: "Super Tiger Rag" by Louis Armstrong and "Tiger Rag Pt. 2" by Duke Ellington.


#


 



And now, bacchanalia: We pause from our World Series coverage to bring you nymphs.

Mixolydian Mode points the way to "an eccentric online art gallery," the Art Renewal Center:

You won’t find Kandinsky, Klee or even Cezanne there, but if your tastes run to Waterhouse, Bouguereau or the Pre-Raphaelites, you’re in luck.

The piece above by William Bouguereau is just the thing to hang behind the cyber-bar to give The Irish Elk the proper Locke-Ober's feel.

* * *

Now Playing: "Wa Wa Wa" and "Sugar Foot Stomp" by King Oliver.

* * *

Elsewhere:

The Brits re-enact the Charge of the Light Brigade.

* * *

The NY Sun offers a review of a new biography of the pioneering black heavyweight champ Jack Johnson.

* * *

Jonathan Yardley in the Washington Post reconsiders the canonical standing of Holden Caulfield:

"The Catcher in the Rye" is now, you'll be told just about anywhere you ask, an "American classic," right up there with the book that was published the following year, Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea." They are two of the most durable and beloved books in American literature and, by any reasonable critical standard, two of the worst. Rereading "The Catcher in the Rye" after all those years was almost literally a painful experience: The combination of Salinger's execrable prose and Caulfield's jejune narcissism produced effects comparable to mainlining castor oil.

* * *

Armavirumque on campus conservatives in opposition:

[T]he only students being hurt by the liberal-dominated academy are, like it or not, the liberal ones. We conservatives always had to hit the books, blogs, and newspapers to argue against received opinion, while professors congratulated our "progressive" peers just for showing up and nodding. Pop quiz: who, then, got half an education?

* * *

Otto Clemson Hiss on inscrutable spam: The Jade Monkey goes to anyone who can decipher this.

* * *

Ecclesia Anglicana's Nashotah House football team, the Black Monks, traveled to Seabury Western Seminary for the annual Lavabo Bowl: An omen occurred when Seabury's thurible broke during their blessing of the field. God would not accept their strange fire.

Meantime, at San Francisco's fabled St. Gregory of Nyssa Parish, the celebrant has forgotten her shoes but donned the couch cover.

* * *

Who does the Vatican favor in the US presidential election? Sandro Magister reports. The Espresso church columnist also offers a who's who of authority in the Roman curia.

* * *

John Kerry may have taken to traveling with rosary beads and St. Christopher medal, but really isn't one to be lecturing on Christian charity, observes the Globe's Jeff Jacoby.

* * *

From England, land of Hope and Glory, Fr. Faber and the Brompton Oratory:

The Tablet polled readers on their Favourite Hymn. The winner: "Here I Am, Lord," the St. Louis Jesuit chestnut by Dan Schutte, a clip of which may be heard here.

The winning song is aptly titled, in my opinion, for the Redd Foxx heart-clasping reaction it prompts, and a fitting follow-up addition to the Schutte songbook would be: "I'm coming to join you, Elizabeth!"


#


Monday, October 25, 2004  



Mudville Magazine's Jeff Kallman offers a Tippecanoe-ish handle for Curt Schilling – "Ol' Blood and Boots" – while Peter Schilling Jr., no relation, writes: What I’m seeing at these games is a team worthy of being venerated in New England, a team that is not only riding a wave of history, but as confident and assured as any postseason team I’ve seen.

In Uzbekistan, the five members of the Tashkent Red Sox Fan Club don't want to miss a pitch of the Series.

Starting pitchers Lefty Grove and Dizzy Dean are pictured above before the 1936 All Star Game at Boston's Braves Field. The Globe's Gordon Edes recalls the Dean-era Cards in dubbing this year's Sox the Funhouse Gang: Happy idiots? Never has ignorance produced so much bliss.

Now Playing: "St. Louis Blues," by Big Bill Broonzy * Listen to St. Louis – and Memphis, Yellow Dog and Beale Street – Blues at Perfessor Bill's WC Handy tribute page.


#


 
'These wounds I had on Crispin's day'


The Red Badge of Courage

Sock it to 'em: Not pretty, but Pilgrims take pair at Fenway, head to St. Louis up 2-0 in Series.

Now playing: "St. Louis Blues," by Louis Armstrong

* * *

Today is the Feast of St. Crispin, of Agincourt fame, whose protection as patron of makers of boots hopefully will be invoked by Hose fielders.

This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.


Listen to Branagh's rendering here and here.

And see a video clip here.

(Yips to Llama Butcher Steve)

* * *

Sox Fever grips New England: Portland Press-Herald * Providence Journal * Manchester Union-Leader

* * *

Babe Ruth's Ghost may still be around, clunking about a former bordello in Marlboro, Mass.

* * *

Time Magazine on Red Sox Nation: Fans of the Boston Red Sox are defined by the magnificence of their misery. They can itemize their team's climactic agonies like the Stations of the Cross.

* * *

The Globe's Bob Ryan gives the '67 Cardiac Kids their due:

If Red Sox management wanted to do it up right, they should have rounded up every living member of the 1967 team. Every last one of them should have been introduced to the crowd because they are the reason the 2004 team is where it is. They are the reason John W. Henry, Tom Werner & Co. are sitting on the mother lode right now. I wonder if these owners know that. Probably not. But they should.

Everything that is happening now with and for the Boston Red Sox is directly attributable to the accomplishments of the 1967 team. There would be no nightly sellouts, no phenomenally lucrative broadcast rights, and none of the other millions in ancillary income were it not for the "Impossible Dream" team that transfixed New England 37 years ago.


* * *

For killing time on the off-day: A trove of vintage Astros audio and video clips contains footage of Yaz, Kaline and Killebrew batting in the 1971 All-Star Game at Detroit * USA Today offers audio clips of great World Series moments.


#


Friday, October 22, 2004  



Sox vs. Cards: Old Time Ball reigns as teams from two best baseball towns in America meet in Fall Classic * Boston now has chance to exorcise Ghosts of '46 and '67.

The '67 Impossible Dream season long has held a central place in my baseball imagination. Back then, the mob carried Lonborg from the field. (Today, one talk-radio caller comments, they'd light him on fire. Sadly apt.)

Related reveries: On Tony C and what might have been * On the old White Fuel sign and the mystic chords of memory * On a Fenway pilgrimage

* * *

The music of the day is Western Swing in keeping with the Redbirds' hillbilly antecedents * Here are "Texas Playboy Rag" and "Keep Knockin' But You Can't Come In" by Bob Wills * A German page offers a selection of songs by the Light Crust Doughboys and others. I would rename the entry by Milton Brown and his Brownies "Easy Ridin' Papi."

Via Corbis: Dizzy Dean on sousaphone * In pith helmet * With the Gashouse Gang

The Deadball Era gives Pepper Martin his due. In this photo, Pepper gives it the old pepper, with wife Ruby.

* * *

Interesting to note the boost in ratings Fox got from the Sox' success.

Unfortunately, the network's execrable approach to broadcasting the games reportedly will continue:

Don't look for any changes in how Fox presents the game; if you don't like multiple replays, close-ups and crowd shots, well, that's too bad.

"I was watching a World Series game on (ESPN) Classic the other day where the director stayed on a shot from behind the pitcher for 21 seconds," [Fox Sports executive producer Ed] Goren said. "I thought that was a little boring."


If so, this viewer has boredom envy: I don't want to see up the pitcher's nostrils. I don't want to see a dozen anxious fans wearing their rally-caps inside out between every pitch for the last three innings. I actually would like to see plays as they take place, not replays of all previous plays set to Metallica. I don't want an extended cutaway to Scooter the Peter Puck-like cartoon baseball or Al Leiter in the booth explaining the dynamics of a slider when the pitcher on the field is actually pitching. I don't want to watch ads until the very millisecond after the first pitch of the inning is thrown.

What I wouldn't give for game coverage that stayed with a shot from behind a pitcher for 21 seconds.

* * *

It's a great weekend all around if you're a New England sports fan, with not only the World Series but also Notre Dame-BC football and the Head of the Charles on tap, on tap being the operative phrase.

* * *

Steve the Llama Butcher notes this Monday, Oct. 25, is St. Crispin's Day, the 589th anniversary of Agincourt falling between scheduled starts by Schilling and Pedro.

The brother martyrs St. Crispin and St. Crispian are the patrons of glove makers and leather workers, and their shrine was ornamented by St. Eligius, namesake of the Boston hospital in St. Elsewhere. This bodes well, one would think, for Boston fielders.

Don't, by the way, get Llama Butcher Steve started on "The Curse."



#


 



This Grandma Moses-worthy bit of folk art by Mark Ulriksen on the 1946 World Series is part of a striking gallery included in a Globe package on Boston and the Fall Classic.

The Globe's sports section is as unparalleled as the editorial pages are apoplexy-inducing. Kudos to the paper on its Sox coverage.


#


 



Around the Horn

They take their Irish Elks seriously on the Isle of Man

* * *

Kind words for New York: Gotham expat Andrew Cusack pays deserved homage to the Sun, muses on Washington Irving and bookstores, and posts a striking image of the old Brooklyn City Hall.

* * *

Sic Semper Tyrannis: First the Pinstripes, now Fidel. Good week for toppling, all round.

* * *

The Crack Young Staff at Hatemonger's Quarterly presents the official Academics Against Remote Oppression that in No Way Affects Them Manifesto.

* * *

Trafalgar Day was noted by Thos Fitzpatrick and the Llama Butchers.

* * *

Search Query o' th' Week: Photos of Sissy Boys in Kilts. Hmmm.


#


 



Peaceable Kingdom: Gov. Pataki pays off on a bet with Mitt Romney. A note to ever-gracious Manhattan correspondent Steve M.: It's safe to come out now!


#


Thursday, October 21, 2004  


Eee-yah!

The most humiliating defeat in major league history. Say it again: The most humiliating defeat in major league history.

How nice is it to have that phrase associated with the New York Yankees – courtesy of the Red Sox?

* * *

Edward Cossette of the Bambino's Curse writes today at Fox Sports New England:

Oh, yes, I do believe I have my gloat on.

The Yankees last night completed the worst collapse in postseason baseball history when they got clobbered by the hated Boston Red Sox in Game 7 of an American League Championship Series they once led 3-0 (NY Post).

The worst collapse for them, the greatest comeback for us.

"The darkest moment in Yankee history… "

If I had a parrot, I'd teach him to say that line just so I could hear it over and over and over.


* * *

Today's NY tabloids sound a bitter theme.

Meantime, the Yankees World Series tickets have been canceled at Ticketron.

Cue Judge Smails laugh.

* * *

Peter Schilling Jr. at Mudville Magazine:

THE RED SOX WIN THE PENNANT! THE RED SOX WIN THE PENNANT! THE RED SOX WIN THE PENNANT!

Fifty-three years ago, Bobby Thomson destroyed fiction with one swing of the bat. In the aftermath of the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", fables, tall-tales, fantasy and sci-fi, the best of the MGM swashbucklers and the great Russian epics were all moot to the brilliance of what had been seen in the sunshine on the Polo Grounds. What good was Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, William Faulkner after "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"? Since that autumn day in 1951 the imagination has slowly regained its strength, tried to stand on its uneven footing, only to topple and wash away beneath the great tidal wave called the Boston Red Sox comeback. Pick up your favorite novel this morning, I dare you. Never has a book seemed so heavy, so dead. For last night, in Yankee Stadium, the Red Sox achieved "the utterly impossible, the inexpressibly fantastic", grabbed a ghost by the throat and throttled the ectoplasm out of it. And while it might be premature to ring the bells and declare the beginning of a Red Sox dynasty, the Yankee century is finished. The curse is over. Now it is done.


* * *

Jeffrey Kallman at Mudville Magazine:

YES. IT COULD BE DONE

Johnny Pesky hasn't thrown Enos Slaughter out at the plate just yet, but Joe McCarthy finally left Ellis Kinder in at Yankee Stadium and Luis Aparicio finally kept his footing and crossed the plate. Darrell Johnson hasn't left Jim Willoughby in the game just yet, but B.F. Dent's shot has merely bounced off the Green Monster right into Carl Yastrzemski's glove.

The Curse is only half way aboard the hearse but the the heaviest weight of it is flat aboard the ledge. The Boston Red Sox turned the impossible into the improbable and left the New York Yankees to shake their heads and spend a winter of their malcontent pondering just how on earth they were upended by the single most stupefying comeback in the singularly stupefying history of baseball.

They performed that which the conventional wisdom and generations of Red Sox demonology had ordained could never be done. Original Sin, don't you know. Doomed by dint of selling Babe Ruth, the Red Sox are baseball's Sisyphus, perpetually up the mountain, the stone perpetually angled to roll them right back down to the foot, where they would pick up, dust off, start all over again, to the same punitive result. Gods are not to be sold without eternity's consequences.


Says who?

* * *

Today, Oct. 21, is the anniversary of the previous Sox high-water mark, the 6th Game of the '75 Series.

* * *

Dale Price theorizes putting Pedro in last night was part of a required rite of exorcism.

* * *

It is safe to say Bill Mazeroski finally has surrendered his 44-year-hold on first place on the Yankee heartbreak list.

* * *

Jonah Goldberg:

This isn't sour grapes. I may technically be a Yankees "fan" but it's only out of vestigial loyalty sort of like the way Madonna is still a "Catholic."

Nevertheless, I do hope the Red Sox lose in the World Series. There aren't many curses left in modern society most people still believe in. We've sanitized the culture of such mysticisms. Or we've elevated them to quasi-religions deserving full respect under the rules of political correctness ("Oh? You're a Pagan? Isn't that wonderful! My hairdresser's a Druid!"). The BoSox curse is old but it's not weird. It's a comfortable bit of lore which adds drama to life. If it disappears the magic and mystery of life will be a teeny bit diminished. Except of course for Red Sox fans, who will be whistling dixie out of every orifice for a year. Depriving them of such joy seems worth the price.


* * *

John Derbyshire: The Yankees are a class act; the Bosox are a rabble.

* * *

Iain Murray e-mailed The Corner at NRO prior to last night's seventh game:

I think Edmund Burke would argue that, as it is traditional that the Red Sox lose, it is therefore right that the Red Sox lose.

This could, of course, be expanded to "lose in a heartbreaker," so after their stunning comeback they could well win tonight, only to go on and lose (in heartbreaking fashion, of course) in the World Series, and still fulfill the conservative requirement.


This I believe is a misreading of Burke, an Irishman in whose veins ran the Hibernian blood of Nuf Ced McGreevey; and who would have appreciated the founding tradition of Boston preeminence in the World Series, won five times by the Red Sox (and once by the Braves) between 1903 and 1918: a tradition broken when Babe Ruth and all of the Sox' supporting stars were shipped, for Mammon, to New York, where they formed the Yankee dynasty of the 1920s.

Burke, the Exceptional Whig, would cheer the Red Sox' victory as a Glorious Restoration. He'd be a Royal Rooter.


#


 
How Sweet It Is!



Miracle Sox cap historic comeback, drub Yanks for AL flag. "I don't care what happens in the World Series," my wife says. "We beat the bastards!" Awaaay We Go!

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004  



St. Babe,
Young Lefthander and Sox Stalwart,
ora pro nobis:


A Sox Fan's Exhausted Prayer.

UPDATE: From The Bambino's Curse:

Joy, Beautiful Spark of the Gods

Talk about Red Sox! When I saw Schilling take the mound without the high top cleat but instead the low cleat and that blood soaked sock I teared up. I'm tearing up now again as I write about it. Schilling's performance last night was the greatest sports event I've witnessed. So we are told "it's just a game." Yeah, it is. But in the same way that Beowulf is just a short story and Beethoven's Ode to Joy chorale is just people singing...

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter fire imbibed,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.



#


 



Taken today atop Mount Washington.

Higher up, the Llama Butchers have a John Williams crescendo cued and the Evil Empire Death Star in their sites.

And for a friend whose Sox viewing tonight will be delayed by a night-school Shakespeare midterm: Kenneth Branagh as Henry V, with an extended clip here of the St. Crispin's Day oration.

UPDATE: More precincts heard from: Ireland * Chicago * Mudville Magazine: "Baseball is Killing Me" * Links to Astros-Cards-Sox-Yanks blogs &c

TS O'Rama warns of potential damage to Sox souls:

In a way it would be sad if they won it all. The Red Sox would become like any other team. Boston combines excellence and tragedy in a way Chicago never has - the Cubs are damned, the Red Sox are being purged into Pulchritude. Sox fans are the adults of the baseball world: they know tragedy but never lose heart. They are the Christians, the long-sufferers who know that at any given moment their patience will be rewarded. They live the Beatitudes, year after year, having faith that past results do not guarantee future performance.

Far from the harbor where the whaling ships sail you can smell the brine scent of mystery churning in the Atlantic, in the waves that rise and fall breathing out Fenway's fortunes. A series win would erode some of the mythology of the Nantucket team; their great whale slain, the fans would lose their hunger, their ardor, their maniacal devotion, their sweet humility and piety. In the City of Man winning corrupts and absolute winning corrupts absolutely.

Easy for the non-suffering to say. And could there be a better time, now, matched against the haughty, gouty, payroll-engorged Yankees?




#


 


Waving the Bloody Sock: Sutured Schilling shows Old Time Hockey gallantry * Sox press historic comeback to force seventh game * Tonight in Bronx, ancient rivals meet once more, with feeling, for AL flag.

Boston fans do without sleep, and joy prepares to reign in Mudville.

A friend e-mails:

Please note, I am changing home and work addresses as of tonight. For future reference, I can be reached at:

McLean Psychiatric Hospital
Red Sox Wing
Belmont, MA


The question, sartorial and metaphysical: Is it in the Sox?

* * *

Tessie is a maiden with a sparkling eye
Tessie is a maiden with a laugh
Tessie doesn't know the meaning of a sigh
Tessie's lots of fun and full of chaff
But sometimes we have a little quarrel we two
Tessie always turns her head away
Then it's up to me to do as all boys do
So I take her hand to mine and say

Tessie, you make me feel so badly
Why don't you turn around?
Tessie, you know I love you madly,
Babe, my heart weighs about a pound.
Don’t blame me if I ever doubt you,
You know I couldn’t live without you.
Tessie, you are the only, only, only.

#


Tuesday, October 19, 2004  



Kerry Field Coat Soccer Header Drink Alert!

Footy, footy, footy, footy, Ker-ry, Ker-ry, footy, footy, footy, footy…

Meantime, John Edwards avoids mussing his hair. A Heartbeat (Away) is a Lovebeat.

And in The Times of London, a Democrat voting for Bush explains why.


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Monday, October 18, 2004  


Big Papi! AL pennant series returns to NY.

Joe Torre: "It's Groundhog Day."

Around the Tabs: Herald * NY Post * Daily News

Tessie, you are the only, only, only. Catch the video of the Dropkick Murphys' updated version.

#


 



St. Steamer of the Wayward Beach Ball, ora pro nobis: A Sox Fan's Prayer of Thanksgiving.

Hizzonah the Mayuh has made a public appeal to heaven on behalf of the Townies, the Herald's Joe Fitzgerald noted on Saturday:

Just when you thought things couldn't get more bizarre, there was Hizzoner, Tommy Menino, standing outside Fenway Park two mornings ago, doing his best to help "break the curse" by closing his eyes and pleading in front of the cameras, "Lord, after 86 years, hear our prayer, make us world champions.''

It was reminiscent of the night the late Richard Cardinal Cushing sat ringside at a boxing match in old Boston Garden. As one of the fighters genuflected when the opening bell sounded, a patron inquired, "Do you think that will help?''

"It will if he can punch,'' Cushing replied.


Mumbles' tastiest quote:

"Much like a cookie, I predict that the Yankee dynasty will crumble and the results will be delicious for Red Sox's fans everywhere."

That's good enough for me!


#


 



The Boston postseason officially has become an ordeal. Clearly, Ahab was a Red Sox fan. Are we having fun yet?

The Nantucket sleigh-ride resumes today at five, with Pedro at the tiller. C'mon Queequegs! Mahow mahow!


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Love means never having to say your sorry.

Unless you're a member of the Moonbat Left.

Let's hear it, Uncle Sam:

Mea culpa.

Mea culpa.

Mea maxima culpa.

Cue music: "I'm Sorry" via La Rockorchestra * "Sorry," by Bix Beiderbecke

On a touching note, the apologies keep pouring in: Dorkafork * Sean Gleeson * A Western Heart * Wizbang * Llama Butchers * Via Power Line and Instapundit

#


 
Of Iceland Christopher Johnson sings, and with good reason, while Wodehouse and his acolytes receive their due from Enoch Soames.

#


Sunday, October 17, 2004  


19*8: The score of last night's epic humiliation evokes a mystic number. Tessie, you make me feel so badly.

#


Friday, October 15, 2004  



St. Pesky of the Pole, Ora Pro Nobis: A Sox Fan's Prayer


#


 
Around the Horn

Eh hem: John Kerry as Ann Elk.

* * *

The remarkable story of the Carmelite friar who commanded the Free French naval forces in the Second World War is related by Andrew Cusack.

* * *

The praises of the fiddleback chasuble are sung by Fr Jas Tucker.

* * *

In the Australian election campaign, Mr Mark Latham, the leader of the opposition, called the cabinet ‘a conga-line of suck holes’. (The Spectator, via The Six Bells)

* * *

The research manager of the Campaign for Real Ale, among others, deconstructs the late Jacques Derrida (via Erik Keilholtz).

* * *

One of Fr Sibley's readers feels the need to vent after attending happy-clappy Mass: digo SI!, senor!!

* * *

Via Mirabilis.ca: Serbian villagers blast Meatloaf to ward off wild boars * Explorers roam underground Paris

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Thursday, October 14, 2004  



The line to leap off the Tobin Bridge has formed at the right at the Red Sox Royal Rooters forum.

The inclination is to reflect once again on the cosmic karma of the Pilgrims and the character-building opportunity they present for offering-it-up (particularly when Fox is carrying the play-by-play). If the Yanks lead in pennants, the Sox do in penance.

At the Bambino's Curse blog, quotes from Thucydides have given way to Quentin Tarantino.

I'm a bit bedraggled today for extended literary allusions regarding the Bostons. Coming to mind instead are Bugs Bunny -- "Agony, agony" -- and Jethro's line in the Beverly Hillbillies when he's become a beatnik artist: "Have you done your sufferin' for the day?"

And so, to the Sox, as they return home to Fenway two games in the hole, sound fightin' words from Granny Clampett, particularly apropos during the current campaign season:

Granny: Remember what William Jennings Bryan said, fight hard but fight clean.

Jethro: But you ain't fightin' clean Granny.

Granny: Course I ain't! William Jennings Bryan was a loser!


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Wednesday, October 13, 2004  


Invoking the spirit of Jimmie Foxx

In Game 4 of the 1929 World Series, the Philadelphia Athletics, down 8-0 to the Cubs in the seventh, staged the biggest comeback rally in Series history to win the game. Seventy-five years later to the day, down by the same score to a Yankee pitcher throwing a perfect game, the Sox almost duplicated the feat.

The Globe's Gordon Edes narrates an audio Flash presentation on the rollicking Game 1, in which the Sox, if nothing else, showed Yankee fans what to do with their Moose placards.

"Was it oveh when the Germans bombed Pearl Habah?" it rightly has been observed at Sons of Sam Horn. A poster at the Royal Rooters gives the prescription: Petey needs to play Oedipus tonight.

* * *

Pre-game listening: Two versions of "Lazy Daddy" by the Wolverine Band featuring a young Bix Beiderbecke, and "Mistreatin' Daddy" by Bessie Smith.

Plus: a clip of the new "Tessie" by the Dropkick Murphys.

* * *

The White Cleats Athletics Photo Archive from which the photo above is taken has some outstanding historical baseball images, including a striking panorama of the '29 champions, and an informally-posed portrait of the 1913 A's that might be one of my favorite team photos ever.


#


Sunday, October 10, 2004  


Managers Cronin, McCarthy, 1935

Sox vs. Yanks for AL flag: And so the Battle of the Ages again is joined. Nineteen-eighteen loyalists proclaim, with Waugh, that the enemy at last is plain in view, huge and hateful: the Modern Age in Pinstripes. In Manhattan, correspondent Steve M. readies to wave a pennant for US Steel.

Joe Cronin's Ghost says Eeeyah, and Awaaay We Go.

* * *

The Boston Public Library's Boston Sports Temples site from which the photo at top is taken offers a remarkable online collection of images captured between 1872 and 1972 at Boston ballparks.

A search on Yankees turns up some wonderful pictures taken at past NY-Boston games at Fenway, including:

* Bleachers, 1954

* Front-row women, 1950

* Color image, July 4, 1942

* Outfield clock, 1955

* Packing them in, 1951

* Yanks BP, 1955

* * *

To set the mood, some clips of Fats Waller on the organ: Eighteenth Street Strut * The Rusty Pail * Soothin' Syrup Stomp * Stompin' the Bug * Hog Maw Stomp


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One can only hope his ideas follow him swiftly to the grave

Jacques Derrida, philosophy's father of "deconstruction," has died.

From the NYT:

While he had a huge following - larger in the United States than in Europe - he was the target of as much anger as admiration. For many Americans, in particular, he was the personification of a French school of thinking they felt was undermining many of the traditional standards of classical education, and one they often associated with divisive political causes.

Literary critics broke texts into isolated passages and phrases to find hidden meanings. Advocates of feminism, gay rights, and third-world causes embraced the method as an instrument to reveal the prejudices and inconsistencies of Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Freud and other "dead white male" icons of Western culture. Architects and designers could claim to take a "deconstructionist" approach to buildings by abandoning traditional symmetry and creating zigzaggy, sometimes disquieting spaces.


From the Telegraph obit:

While his followers acclaimed him a playful genius of language, critics said he merely created an obscure form of relativism, in which anything could mean anything. His famously difficult and literary style made him particularly unpopular among many English and American philosophers, most of them reared in the tradition of plain-speaking Anglo-Saxon thought.

Matters reached a head in 1992 when 20 philosophers, including the renowned formal logician, W V Quine, signed a letter to Cambridge University protesting at the award of an honorary doctorate to Prof Derrida.

On the continent, however, Prof Derrida was a celebrated figure - akin to a pop star among students.

In recent years, he began to intervene regularly in political debates. In a debate on global terrorism, he refused to describe September 11 attacks as an act of "international terrorism", arguing that "an act of 'international terrorism' is anything but a rigorous concept that would help us grasp the singularity of what we are trying to discuss".


By denying objective reality beyond texts, deconstructionism makes "morality as arbitrary as penmanship," argues Peter Kreeft. "If you didn't believe in objective truth, arguments would be just toys, or games, or jokes."

Deconstructionism, Kreeft writes, is the decadent "end of sanity and civilization" -- a philosophy that should be confronted as if it were "an evil, perverted, nasty little kid smashing a chandelier with a hammer."

UPDATE: John J. Miller at NRO re Derrida:

His intellectual legacy essentially is to have articulated a theory proposing that communication is impossible. Think about that for a second, because that's what deconstruction really is: a theory that argues communication is impossible. As one critic of deconstruction has pointed out: "It is a contradiction to say that nothing can be said, and a multiple contradiction to say it at length."

Also re Derrida, Mark Goldblatt at NRO (via Dustbury.com):

[H]e is not now, nor has he ever been, a philosopher in any recognizable sense of the word, nor even a trafficker in significant ideas; he is rather a intellectual con artist, a polysyllabic grifter who has duped roughly half the humanities professors in the United States — a species whose gullibility ranks them somewhere between nine-year-old boys listening to spooky campfire stories and blissful puppies chasing after nonexistent sticks — into believing that postmodernism has an underlying theoretical rationale. History will remember Derrida, and it surely will, not for what he himself has said but for what his revered status says about us.

* * *

Elsewhere: the latest from Peter Kreeft on faith, politics and the Red Sox.

#


Saturday, October 09, 2004  



Presidential Debate II: W did much better this time, seeming more comfortable in a Town Meeting format that worked well on this occasion, and featured questions that were balanced and thoughtful. That said, the president remains less adept than Kerry at speaking on his feet, so while W might say the right things, he doesn't say them well. (He might have said them well enough: My wife said she preferred Bush's down-home Texas "man of few words" delivery.)

And what struck me ultimately was that while Kerry is much smoother, he is also more facile in his convictions, if he can be said to have any apart from whatever positions suit his advancement. Responding to the questions on embryonic stem-cell research and on abortion, he stressed the great "respect" he had for ethical qualms in these areas – though that respect apparently did not extend to honoring the tenets of his own stated religious faith, which he said he could not rightly impose legislatively on others of different denominations. This is bosh, or one hopes it is, lest bans on murder, slavery, foot-binding and Muslim sharia head-lopping come to be seen as culturally intolerant. Once you dodge the red herrings Kerry tosses about to distract from his unwavering allegiance to the party line on abortion and stem-cell research, you ask: Is there any protection at all Kerry would offer to nascent life? And when he says he wants to appoints justices whose opinions don't reflect their personal politics – but at the same time, must uphold equal pay for equal work, women's reproductive rights, yada yada – isn't he saying he wants to appoint default liberal judges?

A confession: I did sneak away to peruse the Red Sox online discussion forum during the part on Canadian prescription medications, David Ortiz trumping health care. On the whole, I'd say the event was a toss-up, while giving Bush the Most Improved award.


#


Friday, October 08, 2004  
Jump Around



Sox advance on Ortiz homer in 10th: This self-proclaimed band of idiots is going to play for the pennant.

Mahow Mahow!

#


 



The town's abuzz with two of its three favorite pastimes -- sports and politics. Revenge comes later.

Whose odds are better tonight: the Sox' or W's?


#


 


Novena cures

Terri's Fight presses the campaign to prevent a Florida man's judicially-sanctioned starvation-murder of his incapacitated wife.

Starving Terri Schiavo to death is no act of love, writes David P. Rundle:

I was not aware that getting food and water was a medical act. I thought it was a biological one. If one cannot get those, one does not die quickly. One takes days to die, and horrid changes occur to one's body. Terri's death will not be a peaceful one…

Michael Schiavo does not know the true state of Terri's mind, and neither does her mother. But he could end this tragic fight by just divorcing Terri and letting her mom become her guardian. That would end this nightmare, reaffirm the value of human life and reject the hellish notion that starving an individual is an act of love.


Arguing in favor of that very hellish notion is USA Today founder Al Neuharth, who to judge from the cognitive powers on display in his column really ought not welcome the day when society commences mercy-killings of those whose minds are dead.

(Via Earl Appleby at Life Matters.)

* * *

The image at top shows women praying before an altar inside St. Agnes Church in the McKinley Park neighborhood of Chicago in 1907. The photo is taken from the Chicago Daily News collection at the Library of Congress' American Memory site.

A search on cathedral returns dozens of images, including an interior shot of Holy Name Cathedral from 1909, these altar boys from 1902, a procession of choirboys from 1909, and a number of pictures from the installation of Archbishop Mundelein in 1916.

* * *

Whose rite is it anyway?

Liturgical vandals have trivialised worship in Anglican and Catholic churches, former Catholic Herald editor William Oddie writes in The Spectator, but now, Rome is trying to do something about it:

One of his most striking examples of how oversimplified paraphrase rather than faithful translation had reduced the transcendent to the crudely quotidian, was his criticism of a familiar passage: ‘...so that from East to West a perfect offering may be made ...’. ‘A more faithful translation,’ Fr Harbert had suggested, ‘might run “so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure sacrifice may be offered”.’ The difference of meaning is vast: ‘from East to West’ is merely geography: from sunrise to sunset contains also the element of time; the Harbert version is not just more memorable, it also implies God’s creative activity, universal and unceasing throughout time and space, a dimension clearly present in the Latin original: ‘et populum tibi congregare non desinis, ut a solis ortu usque ad occasum oblatio munda offeratur nomini tuo’. This has emerged in the draft version as ‘and you never cease to gather a people to yourself so that from the rising of the sun to its setting a pure oblation may be made to your name’.

One notorious sign of the Pelagian tendency of the old translation was in its inclination to remove any sign of humility before God. The idea of God as being our superior (fairly fundamental, one would have thought), conveyed traditionally by the use of the title ‘Lord’, was frowned on, and wherever possible, ‘Lord’ tended to be ‘translated’ as ‘Father’. Any note of supplication tended to be downplayed; all this, Fr Harbert had said, would have to be reversed…

The effect of hundreds of such changes — impossible to convey without more space — has had a massive cumulative effect not merely on the accuracy of the translations, but on their beauty…


* * *

Try singing this selection from a liturgists' committee statement on sacred music to the tune of "On Eagles Wings."

* * *

I hadn't realized that miracles and divine interventions have been so frequently claimed by Mother Angelica, who maintains, for example, she was inspired to build her Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament when a statue of Baby Jesus came alive and spoke to her. She's a regular Christina the Astonishing of the airwaves.


#


Thursday, October 07, 2004  


The Battle of Lepanto, by Gustave Doré

Chesterton's Lepanto has been posted in honor of the day by Thos Fitzpatrick. Tracy Fennell does likewise.

Here's to Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,/ Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate's sloop.

UPDATE: Strong gongs also groan at the Holy Whapping (Oct. 7) and at SomeGuy's.

* * *

From Sandro Magister: Islamic Terrorism: What the Vatican Really Thinks: A Roman Jesuit magazine reflecting the views of the highest Vatican authorities runs a lead editorial denouncing Islamic terrorism and its "loss of even the most minimal sense of humanity."

* * *

"The name of Lepanto should remain in the minds of all men with a sense of history as one of the half dozen great names in the history of the Christian world."

-- Hilaire Belloc, as cited by Fr. Jas Schall, SJ.

* * *

Re Jesuit foibles: Does harping on them help or hurt? Mark Shea's readers comment.

Meantime, to any list of remarkable Jesuits, add Fr. Paul McNellis, SJ, who was in Vietnam as an Army officer, as a journalist, and as a relief worker, became a priest, now teaches college philosophy, and is as orthodox as they come.


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His first Boston Marathon win, 1935

The legendary Johnny Kelley, who finished the Boston Marathon 58 times, winning it twice, in 1935 and 1945, and finishing second 10 times, has died at 97. He ran a fine race, indeed.


#


Wednesday, October 06, 2004  



John Cahill, whose Halos are battling the Red Sox in the playoffs, will appreciate this quote from Angels legend Bo Belinsky:

"You can't beat the piper, Babe," he once told Pat Jordan, the pitcher turned journalist, while he still had some borrowed time and friends to live on and hadn't yet landed under the bridge. "I never thought I could. But I'll tell you who I do feel sorry for. I feel sorry for all those poor bastards who never heard the music."

Remembered as a wild-child womanizer and pool-hustling playboy, Bo Belinsky was nothing if not colorful. He threw a no-hitter as a rookie, dated Ann-Margret and Tina Louise, carryied on a much publicized romance with Mamie Van Doren and married a Playmate of the Year.

After his 15 minutes were up, he had a bit part as a go-go club owner in the movie C'mon, Let's Live a Little.

Via Corbis: Belinsky admires a picture of his intended, Mamie Van Doren. * He is named to the Most Wanted Bachelors Club – with J. Edgar Hoover!

His 1962 no-hitter is recalled on his Las Vegas headstone.

* * *

Belinsky's Alabama-Florida League roommate and partner in dissipation phenom Steve Dalkowski is recalled by former teammate Steve Barber:

“He and Bo roomed together. Bo wasn’t really as bad as everyone thought. He was very conscientious about getting eight hours of sleep a night. He just didn’t get the eight when they wanted him to. But I remember one night, Bo and I were together, and we went into this place, and Steve’s there, and he says, ‘Hey, guys, come over and look at this beautiful sight’—twenty-four scotch and waters lined up in front of him. And he was pitching the next day. Then he stopped on the way home and bought a gallon of wine and killed that, too. The next night they just carried him off the mound in the fourth inning.”

A minor-league legend considered by some the hardest thrower ever, but also the wildest, Dalkowski inspired the character of Nuke LaLoosh in Bull Durham.


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With Emperor Francis Joseph & Princess Zita, 1911

Karl I, last Hapsburg emperor of Austria Hungary, has been beatified by Rome, not without criticism.

What remarkable names and titles they had:

HRH Zita Maria delle Grazie Adelgonda Micaela Raffaela Gabriella Giuseppina Antonia Luisa Agnese Princess of Bourbon-Parma

HIM Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia, King of Lombardia-Venice, King of Illyria, Grand Duke of Cracow, Duke of Salzburg, Duke of Ragusa and Zara, Prince of Triente and Brixen, Duke of Friaul, Lord of Cattaro

View footage of Karl I and Zita from 1911. Here is an image from their coronation in 1916.

An earlier post links to a smorgasbord of images of Ruritanian aristos.

Fr. Jim Tucker has more.

* * *

Smells and Bells: Dale Price attends his first Tridentine Mass * Indulge in Anglo-Catholic Eye Candy at S. Clement's in Philadelphia via Fr Tucker


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Oil Can; Respects, At Last, To Rodney

"That's what they get for building a stadium on the ocean." Oil Can Boyd, who turns 45 today, after a game was fogged out in Cleveland.

A deluxe Celebrity Births and Deaths edition of Today in History has been posted by the Random Penseur for Oct. 6, offering the opportunity to bring Jenny Lind, Le Corbusier, Carol Lombard (such a great film, My Man Godfrey), Cardinal Cooke, Bette Davis and Anwar Sadat together in one place.

Sadly, the necrology includes the great Rodney Dangerfield, who was paid tribute recently in the Weekly Standard. The critics might not acknowledge it, but the film Caddyshack occupies a central place in the comedic pantheon of a generation. Rodney: Here's hoping you have total consciousness going for you, which would be nice.


#


Tuesday, October 05, 2004  



The VP Debate: Well, that was much more satisfying. Lord, Cheney is good – he has gravitas; has a thorough-going command of the issues; is unflappable; puts the case in a way the president seems unable to, and also unlike the president, he's quick. He has the experience, he's doing the job and has a handle on all the details: The nation would be safe in his hands. (Perhaps it is safe in his hands. His performance not only pointed up a stature gap with Edwards, but with W.)

Edwards came across as a relative lightweight, though a pleasant one. I did like what he had to say on Israel, he struck a traditional note on marriage, was magnanimous regarding Cheney's family, and did take pains to sound aggressive on taking the fight to the terrorists. The Halliburton stuff was a sop to the Deaniac base, and his smarmy closing statement seemed, as my wife observed, pitched to dopes. But I'll say this – I found Edwards more likeable than Kerry.

Favorite exchanges:

EDWARDS: You know, we've taken 90 percent of the coalition causalities. American taxpayers have borne 90 percent of the costs of the effort in Iraq.

And we see the result of there not being a coalition: The first Gulf war cost America $5 billion. We're at $200 billion and counting…

CHENEY: Well…the 90 percent figure is just dead wrong. When you include the Iraqi security forces that have suffered casualties, as well as the allies, they've taken almost 50 percent of the casualties in operations in Iraq, which leaves the U.S. with 50 percent, not 90 percent.

With respect to the cost, it wasn't $200 billion. You probably weren't there to vote for that.


And this withering retort by Cheney on the Halliburton canard:

The reason they keep trying to attack Halliburton is because they want to obscure their own record.

And Senator, frankly, you have a record in the Senate that's not very distinguished. You've missed 33 out of 36 meetings in the Judiciary Committee, almost 70 percent of the meetings of the Intelligence Committee.

You've missed a lot of key votes: on tax policy, on energy, on Medicare reform.

Your hometown newspaper has taken to calling you "Senator Gone." You've got one of the worst attendance records in the United States Senate.

Now, in my capacity as vice president, I am the president of Senate, the presiding officer. I'm up in the Senate most Tuesdays when they're in session.

The first time I ever met you was when you walked on the stage tonight.


Oof.


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Pro-Life Pro-War Democrats: They're a vanishing breed, but there are still a few out there.

In search of pro-life hawks, I cross-referenced Democrats for Life with the moderate-to-conservative Blue Dogs and the moderate New Democrat Coalition in the House, then checked On the Issues.

I came up with several Democratic members of Congress who oppose abortion and support the war in Iraq. They include:

Rep. Chris John (D-La.), running to succeed John Breaux as US Senator from Louisiana. Zell Miller (D-Ga.) is leaving the Senate, but Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) remains.

In the House: Rep. Marion Berry (D-Ark.) * Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) * Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.) * Rep. Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) * Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) * Rep. Charles Stenholm (D-Tex.) * Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.)

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A two-part series on pro-life Democrats and their prospects (I * II) done by Mary Meehan for Human Life Review notes the party once had a significant pro-life presence in its congressional ranks.

Nat Hentoff writes:

Quiet as it's kept, the diminishing Democratic majority in Congress for the past quarter of a century equals the rate at which pro-life Democrats have been abandoning the party.

In the 95th Congress (1977-78), Democrats had a 292-seat majority in the House of Representatives, which included 125 pro-life Democrats. Now, as a minority, Democrats are down to 204 seats, with 28 pro-life Democrats.


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A French emigrant Catholic writes at Godspy of war and abortion as two faces of evil. I applaud her conciliatory tone, but find I don't quite agree with the dichotomy she describes.

My sense: Firemen and policemen responding to an emergency are acting selflessly, as are soldiers who defend their country, or fight for the freedom of others. Raising a child is an exercise in selflessness. Carrying and bearing a child is, too. Snuffing out the life of unborn child who is inconvenient is not.

In other words, warfare can be pursued for a good cause. Can the same be said for abortion?

Where the political parties in this country reflect the same side of the coin, in my view, is in the exaltation of personal gratification and gain over and against personal responsibility or the notion of sacrifice for the greater good. A fixation on "freedom of choice," on one hand, and on tax-cuts and the pocketbook, on the other, smacks of selfishness; so, too, for that matter, does sloth in the face of the world's dangers and challenges. (Via TS O'Rama)

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A pro-life Democrat, Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan, eloquently and succinctly explains his opposition to embryonic stem-cell research:

We are in the midst of a tremendous new debate; in the midst of a tremendous new policy direction; in the midst of a tremendous new revolution. We cannot afford to treat the issue of human embryo experimentation lightly, nor can we treat it without serious debate and deliberation.

We must ask ourselves, what makes up human beings? What is the human spirit? What moves us? What separates us from animals? How about the human soul? Scientists and medical researchers can't find it, can't medically explain it, but writers write about it; songwriters sing out it; we believe in it.

It is because I believe in life and the human soul that I cannot support embryonic research or research that destroys human life.


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Francis the Mule (above) is among the steeds of the Riverfront Carousel in Salem, Ore.

A clip of a carousel version of Al Smith's theme song, "Sidewalks of New York," may be heard here.


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