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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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He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

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Irish Elk
Tuesday, November 29, 2005  

Must Reading

Callimachus, in tempered fashion, takes apart Robert Fisk and media coverage of Katrina and Iraq, while elsewhere, offering food for thought on Jack Murtha, Smedley Butler, and the Marines at Okinawa. Each essay is a tour de force: He makes his points clearly, without raising his voice, and offers a history lesson into the bargain. Does his newspaper appreciate what it has in him?

Of Interest Elsewhere:

Sen. Joe Lieberman on Iraq: Our Troops Must Stay.

The Bull Moose applauds Sen. Lieberman's moral clarity.

The Henry Jackson Society recently established at Cambridge makes the case for a robust foreign policy that promotes the spread of democracy. Among the signatories to the society's statement of principles is Colonel Tim Collins of the Royal Irish Regiment, famed for his speech to the troops at the outset of the battle for Iraq.

Venting Spleen:

Das Andersson on NPR and Margaret Cho * Ex-Donkey on the Dems since JFK * JCecil, advocate for tolerance and civility, apoplectic over the vast and numberless crimes of the Christian Right


Monday, November 28, 2005  

From the point

Hoyas haven't only shot hoops, according to this vintage tobacco card depicting stick-and-puck in the Jesuit Catholic tradition.

* * *

The late British soccer idol George Best, who played with the virtuosity of Bobby Orr, drank his way through two livers à la Mickey Mantle, and as the Swingin' Sixties' "Fifth Beatle" could have given Austin Powers tips, is remembered in The Guardian and The Telegraph. No one does obits like the Brits.

* * *

A popular bumper sticker in New England in the early 1970s read, "Jesus Saves – Orr Scores on the Rebound." The Legends Video linked atop this Hockey Hall of Fame tribute page recalls the talent of the Bruins' famed Number Four, and makes for more inspiring viewing than the current Spoked B's.

See video vignettes on many more Old Time Hockey legends in the Hall of Fame's Spotlight series.


Thursday, November 24, 2005  

Happy Thanksgiving!

Riverwalk celebrates the holiday with traditional jazz,* while Pilgrim Hall resounds to the Turkey Trot.

* * *

Some of Doug Flutie's best football memories are of playing for Natick High on Thanksgiving. The Globe is manning the Big Board on Turkey Day. Boston Latin and Boston English meet for the 119th straight year. The story of a Chelsea cop who steers gang members to the gridiron has the makings of a movie.

* * *

The YAMS did it! A Chuck Jones classic, revisited.

* * *

His eloquence here has earned Manhattan correspondent Steve M, commenter extraordinaire, an offer of a guest-blogging gig at Patum Peperium. Good show! While there, note Mrs P's recipes for Durgin Park cornbread and Ocean Spray cranberry bread.

* * *

* Streaming links to the Riverwalk Jazz Thanksgiving program:


Windows Media dial-up

Windows Media broadband


Tuesday, November 22, 2005  

"A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."

-- JFK, remarks at the dedication of the Robert Frost Library, Amherst College, October 26, 1963

Listen: "High Hopes with John Kennedy," by Frank Sinatra



The spirit of Roderick Spode lives *

But Francisco Franco is still dead. Admirers of the late Spanish dictator marked the 30th anniversary of his death with stiff-armed salutes.

Others less nostalgic dig up his opponents' bones, and recall an ostensibly Catholic regime installed by German Stukas and Moorish bayonets.

* * *

Disagreement over Franco split the Commonweal editorial board in the late '30s, writes Paul Baumann:

In contrast to [founding editor Michael] Williams, Commonweal managing editor George Shuster proved loath to sacrifice the magazine’s support for liberal democracy in deference to Franco’s Catholic credentials…[Shuster] had no brief to make for socialism or communism. He simply refused to accept the idea that Catholics had to chose either fascism or communism. Given the horrendous crimes of the Communists in Spain, Shuster’s position must have seemed like the worst sort of temporizing to many. Yet he was right.

* * *

* In some precincts of St. Blog's, apparently.

The enthusiasm in some quarters for El Caudillo (pictured above, with Moorish Guard) warrants a dose of Wodehouse:

"The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you're someone. You hear them shouting 'Heil, Spode!' and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: 'Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?'" —Bertie Wooster speaking to Spode in The Code of the Woosters


Monday, November 21, 2005  

Political animalia

The Dems need someone like Scoop.

McCain runs against the tide on Iraq. Power Line and Andrew Sullivan applaud. Republicans turn to maverick seen as straight-shooter. Now boarding for '08: the Straight Talk Express.

Next for Barbra Streisand & Co: Exposing Bush's plot to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

An outstanding history blog: Spinning Clio

The Whigs of log cabins, hard cider and Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too: W's ancestors? Cliopatria hosted a symposium.

The NY Sun on Churchill: Central figure of the 20th century * History was his profession


Friday, November 18, 2005  

Boola, Boola

Get up for The Game with a bit of Dink Stover * “We're betting on you, old gazebo!" * Sing along with Tom Lehrer's "Fight Fiercely, Harvard" and Cole Porter's "Bulldog," among other Ivy League fight songs * Plus: Yale's Greatest Hits * And the Harvard Band * Last year's pranksters set the bar high * Vintage photos and tobacco cards reign at the H-Y Football Gallery * Gaaa!


Thursday, November 17, 2005  

Rum, Romanism and Ragtime

Many thanks to the Donegal Express, which has named this blog a must stop on its Vatican Railway. Cheers!

This clearly calls for a round of that Tom Lehrer classic, "Vatican Rag."

First you get down on your knees,
Fiddle with your rosaries,
Bow your head with great respect,
And genuflect, genuflect, genuflect!

Do whatever steps you want if
You have cleared them with the Pontiff.
Everybody say his own
Kyrie eleison,
Doin' the Vatican Rag!

Sing along with the whole thing here.



The making (and unmaking) of the Dems

The Democratic Party hasn't always been what it is today, a party that would give Michael Moore a seat of honor next to Jimmy Carter at its convention. Despite the ownership claims pressed by Howard Dean and Al Franken, the Dems' present incarnation as the permanent rightful home of the (Not So) New Left only dates to post-1968.

The Commonweal piece "Goodbye, Catholics" describes how thoroughly McGovernites guided by party strategist Fred Dutton remade the party at that time:

[Nothing] Dutton did was as influential and far-reaching as his work on a Democratic commission that ran from 1969 to 1972. Better known as the McGovern Commission, for its chairman, Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, the twenty-eight-member panel became the vehicle by which a handful of antiwar liberals revolutionized the Democratic Party.

Of this group, Dutton emerged as the chief designer and builder. His goal was nothing less than to end the New Deal coalition, the electoral alliance that had supported the party since 1932 around a broad working-class agenda. In its place, Dutton sought to build a “loose peace constituency,” a collection of groups opposed to the Vietnam War and more generally the military-industrial complex. To this end, Dutton recognized that Democrats would need to appeal to three new constituencies — young people, college-educated suburbanites, and feminists — while ceasing to woo two old ones — Catholics and working-class whites.

* * *

The McGovern reformers who radically changed the face of the Democratic Party helped create the modern red-blue split in America, writes John Leo:

The changes at the 1972 convention removed the power of the city bosses and party regulars to determine the nominee and, in theory at least, increased the number of Democrats involved in selecting nominees. In reality, though, the reformers, through rule changes and some stealth and manipulation, stacked the convention and radically changed the party. Affluent, well-educated liberals were in – a “new elite,” as the Washington Post termed it. Party regulars, officeholders, and blue-collar Democrats were out.

New York, a union state, had only three union members as delegates, though it had at least nine members of the gay liberation movement. No farmer was a member of the Iowa delegation. Only 30 of the 255 Democratic members of Congress were selected as delegates. A full 39 percent of delegates had attended graduate school. Over a third of the white delegates were classified as secularists, compared with 5 percent of the general population. The reformers installed rough quotas for blacks, women, Hispanics, and people ages 18 to 25. The total of female delegates tripled, to 43 percent, with heavy emphasis on supporters of abortion and the hard-edged feminism represented by Bella Abzug

“A kick in the gut.” Jack Newfield and Joe Flaherty, both pro-McGovern Village Voice reporters from working-class backgrounds, asked, "Where are the quotas for Irish, Italians, and Poles? “The McGovernite movement,” wrote Murray Rothbard, a prominent libertarian, “is, in its very nature, a kick in the gut to Middle America.”

* * *

Reflecting on Tim Kaine's win in the Virginia governor's race, Get Religion asks:

How does the post-Sexual Revolution Democratic Party continue to draw enthusiastic support from the its strongest supporters in abortion-rights groups and university faculty lounges, while also seeking to reach out to the now politically incorrect elements of the old New Deal coalition? Can Democrats please traditional Catholics and Bible Belt populists with words, while pleasing activists on the left with deeds?

* * *

Is the GOP a more congenial home for Catholic voters? Not necessarily.


Friday, November 11, 2005  

A reporter writes:

I attended a Vet Day assembly at the school, to cover for the paper.

A North Hampton dad whose son was killed by a sniper in Iraq last June spoke to the kids, thanking last year's kindergartners who had written to Matthew.

He said when Matthew's personal effects came home, "each and every letter" had been in his locker.

He challenged other kids to write now to men and women in the service because it would mean a lot to them just like it did to his son.

You never saw so many teachers (and one reporter) cry in that cafeteria.

-- Amy Kane



Excerpt, "Around Bois-le-Prêtre, the 'Forest of Death'"

No matter how long the war lasts, I do not believe that the members of Section Y will lose any of their native ways, attitudes, or tastes. They will remain just as American as ever. Why, they still fight for a can of American tobacco or a box of cigarettes that comes from the States, when such a rare and appreciated article does turn up, and papers and magazines from home are sure to go the rounds, finding themselves at length in the hands of English-reading soldiers in the trenches. I never could understand the intense grip that the game of baseball seems to possess, but it holds to some members of the Section with a cruel pertinacity. One very dark night, a few days ago, two of us were waiting at an advanced poste de secours. The ride and artillery fire was constant, illuminating rockets shot into the air, and now and then one could distinguish the heavy dull roar of a mine or torpille detonating in the trenches. War in all its engrossing detail was very close. Suddenly my friend turned to me and, with a sigh, remarked, "Gee! I wish I knew how the Red Sox were making out !"

-- James McConnell, quoted in Chap. XVI of Edwin Morse, The Vanguard of American Volunteers, 1919


Thursday, November 10, 2005  

Born Democrat, baptized Catholic

A Commonweal essay by Mark Stricherz describes how the Dems in the early 70s set out to lose the Catholic vote. The piece draws thoughtful commentary from Ross Douthat at the American Scene.

The sense here is that if the Dems ran more candidates like Virginia Gov.-elect Tim Kaine, who touted his service with the Jesuits in Honduras, the party would win a lot more elections.

Franklin Foer writes at The Plank:

The Kaine victory is really a rebuke to the Howard Dean model of running campaigns. It shows that a Democrat can triumph in a southern state by running a centrist campaign that blurs cultural differences…But the neatest trick of the race was the way in which Kaine leveraged his Catholicism so effectively in such a Protestant state. Unlike John Kerry, he sounded authentic when invoking his faith to oppose the death penalty. That's because he also opposes abortion, and, therefore, doesn't sound like a cafeteria Catholic. And he could effectively and credibly explain his activism as flowing from his belief in the social gospel and missionary work. As I have argued before, Republicans have had a field day borrowing rhetoric from Catholicism. Democrats should do the same. And I say that as a Jew.

* * *

Bob Casey Jr's Senate race in Pennsylvania is spotlighted in the latest New Yorker, though the article isn't online. Slate notes in its magazine roundup:

The New Yorker, Nov. 14
An article looks at the Democrats' softening line on abortion in the lead-up to midterm elections, focusing on the decision to tap Robert Casey Jr., a pro-life Pennsylvania Democrat, to run against Sen. Rick Santorum. Ironic, as the Democrats distanced themselves from Casey's father, Robert Casey Sr. (as in Planned Parenthood v. Casey) over abortion in 1992. As Sen. Charles Schumer explains: "Democrats have to be a bigger-tent Party. And the day should be over when a potential candidate has to check twenty-seven boxes before we support him."

A New Yorker press release has a synopsis of the piece, if you scroll down.

* * *

At Worldwide Standard, Daniel McKivergan marked the 45th anniversary of JFK's election by noting today's Dems are more Ted than Jack:

On November 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected President. He ran as a national security hawk and accused the Eisenhower-Nixon administration of conducting a reactive foreign policy in the face of Soviet adventurism. John F. Kennedy pledged to "assure the survival and the success of liberty" while John F. Kerry speaks of withdrawal timetables "that must be real and strict." Kennedy believed America was "fulfilling a noble and historic role as the defender of freedom" in the world while today's Democratic party embraces Michael Moore -- a movie maker who mocks the United States all over the world.

In the early 1970s, Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington was a founder of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, a group of hawkish Democrats who opposed the take over of the party by the McGovern folks. While today's "Scoop" Jackson Democrats could fit on the deck of J.F.K's PT-109, there are a few like Sen. Joe Lieberman who haven't succumbed to the siren song of the Moveon.org/Daily Kos crowd -- and that's a bit of good news for the few Truman-Kennedy Democrats left in the party.

Hear, hear.


Monday, November 07, 2005  

Bruins great Cam Neely enters the Hockey Hall of Fame on Monday, but his greatest legacy has been established off the ice.

The Cam Neely Foundation for Cancer Care has raised nearly $15 million US for cancer programs at the New England Medical Center in downtown Boston since its inception in 1995.

There's a bed-and-breakfast style home away from home that accommodates several families each week, there's a research laboratory, and a bone marrow transplant unit is to open this winter.

"From my point of view, the importance of what my foundation has been able to achieve in the 10 years and how many patients and families we've been able to help certainly outweighs any kind of honour I've received for playing hockey," Neely said during a Hockey Hall of Fame conference call Thursday.

Writes the ProJo's Joe McDonald:

But enough with this Hall of Fame stuff. Neely deserves more than just a plaque, more than just a jacket and whatever else comes with the membership. He's done greater things in his life, and they have nothing to do with hockey…

It is his work with families dealing with cancer that shines even brighter than his hockey accomplishments.

Neely lost both parents to cancer, so he dropped the gloves against the disease and opened the Neely House at Tufts-New England Medical Center. Since August of 1997, the Neely Foundation has helped more than 3,000 families cope with the devastating effects of cancer.

The Neely House is a bed-and-breakfast-style home where families can stay in comfort and help each other deal with the life-changing issues while the patient undergoes treatment.

It is within those walls that Neely's legacy is much more important and much more appreciated than scoring 50 goals in 50 games.

* * *

Your $20 donation funds one night for one family at The Neely House at Tufts-New England Medical Center.

* * *

Inter-Galactic Jester gathers some quotes about Neely.

Harry Sinden's is good: "Maybe Gordie Howe comes to mind. With Lemieux and Gretzky, as great players as they were, they didn't hit anyone and no one hit them."

Some of Neely's greatest hits are presented by BroadStreetBully.com.


Saturday, November 05, 2005  

'Why do they hate us?'

translated in French is,

'Pourquoi ils nous détestent?'

Perhaps Monsieur Chirac can put the question to the Muslim rioters currently burning France.

More on the Eurabian intifada: NY Sun * Weekly Standard * Rioting in Denmark * Instapundit * Mark Steyn * LGF * Cox & Forkum Llama Butchers * Belmont Club * Spectator * City Journal


Thursday, November 03, 2005  

Tough liberalism

The New Republic's Peter Beinart calls for a revival of the proud tradition of liberal anti-totalitarianism:

There are important forces on the left today in the Democratic Party…They do not fundamentally see the post-9/11 world through the prism of anti-totalitarianism. They see it largely the way that Henry Wallace saw it in the years after the beginning of the Cold War. They see it through the prism of anti-imperialism. They believe that the fundamentally right way of understanding what has happened in the world since 9/11 is that America has an empire, and that empire is blowing back upon us, because we are producing the hatred that is now spilling back into our shores.

The fundamental divide is whether you believe that jihadist totalitarianism is produced by a lack of freedom and opportunity, or whether you believe that jihadist totalitarianism is created by American and Western imperialism. The Democratic Party has not fundamentally, internally decided about which of those it believes.

* * *

The recent death of Penn Kemble, who championed what Pat Moynihan called the Party of Liberty, drew tributes from, among others, Ben Wattenberg * R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. * The NY Sun * The New Republic (fifth item) * The London Times * OxBlog

The Weekly Standard wrote:

[I]f any single event was formative in his life it was probably the 1972 presidential campaign of George McGovern. That was the year the Democratic party deliberately severed its connection to its historic grass roots, and for which it has been paying the price ever since.

As a founder, along with Senators Henry Jackson and Hubert Humphrey, of the Coalition for a Democratic Majority, Penn Kemble spent the subsequent decades urging his fellow Democrats to reacquaint themselves with the values of their party's blue-collar past, and embrace the "muscular" foreign policy that had served FDR, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy so well. It was a lonely battle, fought at times in company with conservatives who shared his active support for freedom in the Soviet Union and Central America. And it was a battle that he steadfastly fought within his own party's ranks, with mixed success; but always gallantly, and with great good humor.

* * *

Mrs. P's ruminations on NeoCons (here and here) inspired the posting of the fine pic above of Ambassador Moynihan, whom The Economist colorfully recalled thus:

A POLYMATH in a profession of intellectual pygmies; a free thinker in a world of crushing orthodoxies; and a cheerful imbiber in a country that has turned, once again, to Puritanism—Daniel Patrick Moynihan really was one of the most remarkable American politicians of his generation.

A search on Moynihan and neoconservatism turns up a number of articles mentioning his place, at least early on, in that school's fundament, including these pieces by Nicholas Lemann * Jacob Heilbrunn * Nathan Glazer * David Brooks * Michael Lind


Tuesday, November 01, 2005  

All Saints

Georgetown president Rev. Bernard Maguire, SJ, pictured above in a photograph by Matthew Brady, is recalled as a tough nut.

Fr. Bernard Maguire was not the sort of president who would make himself "unavailable for comment." Shortly after he became president in 1852, a band of students disrupted a class and did some mild wrecking. Fr. Maguire faced them down alone, expelled six, and finished with the affections and respect of the student body securely in his grasp. A native of Edgeworthtown, County Longford, Fr. Maguire came to the United States shortly after his birth in 1818.

As prefect and as president, Fr. Maguire commanded the respect of the students and got it. No one-probably not even a bishop-would have dared call him a "right down nice little fellow." His readings of the monthly "black lists" are recalled in the reminiscences of Fr. Francis Barnum, a student at Georgetown during Fr. Maguire's second term as president, from 1866 to 1870: ...
we all knew perfectly well the storm that was coming and wondered who were the ones that the bolt would fall upon. There was first a nervous crumpling of the paper and then the torrent burst forth. Even Fr. Barnum, loquacious and a man of considerable wit, was awed: "It is useless to attempt a description."

The stories of Fr. Maguire and generations of immigrant priests who built America's oldest Jesuit college are told in essays and photographs in the Georgetown Library's Special Collections.

* * *

Browse a comprehensive gallery of Jesuit saints and blesseds at the Society of Jesus' SJWeb, and see a photo essay on Iglesia de la Compañía, in Quito, Ecuador, one of Latin America's most beautiful colonial churches.

* * *

Cardinal Newman's sainthood cause is advancing, bolstered by a reported Massachusetts miracle.

* * *

The Friends of St. Colman's Cathedral has been formed to save a landmark church in Cobh, Ireland, from wreckovation.


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