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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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Truth Laid Bear Ecosystem

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

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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Irish Elk
Tuesday, August 31, 2004  

RNC Coverage: RNC Bloggers * Real Clear Politics * Weekly Standard * NRO

* * *

Well, it's a marvelous day for a moonbat.

* * *

Christopher Lydon on Skull & Bones

* * *

Hey, that was Law & Order's Angie Harmon at the convention last night. She and husband Jason Sehorn paid tribute to Medal of Honor winners, including Korean War flier Tom Hudner of Massachusetts, but the coverage cut away.

* * *

Check out the sub headline on today's lead convention story on the NYT front page: GOP Opposes Abortion and Gay Unions. You might think the paper had an agenda or something. (Via The Corner)

* * *

No sooner does Arafat burble pacifist coos with Gandhi's grandson than the bus bombs explode. You can set your watch by the old rag-head: If you're an Israeli and you hear Arafat talking peace and diplomacy, get ready to duck.


John McCain:

Our choice wasn't between a benign status quo and the bloodshed of war. It was between war and a graver threat. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.


MCCAIN: Not our political opponents. And certainly -- and certainly not a disingenuous filmmaker who would have us believe...


Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

MCCAIN: Please, please, my friends.

That line was so good, I'll use it again. Certainly not a disingenuous film maker...


MCCAIN: ... who would have us believe, my friends, who would have us believe that Saddam's Iraq was an oasis of peace, when in fact -- when in fact it was a place of indescribable cruelty, torture chambers, mass graves and prisons that destroyed the lives of the small children inside their walls.

* * *

MCCAIN: Let us argue -- let us argue our differences, but remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals and our unconquerable love for them.

Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express -- they fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity. We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible.

Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.

We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.

* * *

L for Loser, indeed.

* * *

McCain, the 9/11 family members, in a dignified and moving presentation, and Giuliani struck a positive theme on opening night, positioning the GOP as the party of the firemen and the soldiers, of pride and sacrifice, of taking the fight to terrorists and building freedom across the world – the party of those who favor, with the Flight 93 widow, doing something.

It is, as has been observed elsewhere, a progressive message, in contrast to the anti-platform of the Dems and of the massed Leftie protesters, who act, as a NYC cop minding them told Roger L. Simon, as if "fuggin 9/11 never happened."

* * *

I appreciate the late Chairman of the Board as much as anyone, but am not a great fan of the over-played "New York, New York." Here instead is a brief clip of "Sidewalks of New York," from the Smithsonian.


Monday, August 30, 2004  

New York + elephants = TR, whose big-game safari photos from Africa may be seen via the National Portrait Gallery and Scribner's.

The game tally, itemized from hippo to bustard, that TR kept of his 1909 African expedition was, to say the least, extensive. Observes the Eyewitness to History site: Unfortunately for the animals, "collected" in those days was an euphemism for shot and killed. Between the two of them, Theodore and Kermit slew 512 beasts including 17 lion, 11 elephant and 20 rhinoceros. The animals were no doubt happy to see T.R. leave the plain. After the year-long hunt, Roosevelt proceeded to England for the funeral of King Edward VII and then on to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize for his part in ending the Russo-Japanese War.

Of the 512 animals bagged on the African safari made under the auspices of the Smithsonian, TR kept two-dozen for himself, and gave the rest to the American Museum of Natural History in NYC (where a Memorial Hall and Rotunda are named for TR) and to the San Francisco Museum.

An animated cartoon of African animals high-tailing it up a tree at Roosevelt's approach is among the TR films at American Memory.

Roosevelt greets an African admirer in a cartoon by W. A. Rogers for Harper's.

TR's son Kermit, pictured with buffalo, himself came to a sad end.

The foot of an elephant bagged by TR is used at a Washington house is used as an umbrella stand at a Washington house for retired diplomats. The furnishings at TR's Sagamore Hill include elephant's tusk chimes and elephant's foot gong.

A bit of postmodern humor: The Elephant and Cultural Studies.

* * *

A striking photo offers an unusual angle on barasaurus in TR Memorial Hall at the American Museum of Natural History.

Hey – is that an Irish Elk in this Australian tourist's American Museum of Natural History gallery?

* * *

Have been on a Jungle Band kick of late, so here, in honor of the Republican convention, is their "Wall Street Wail."



The Onion offers a nutshell guide to the GOP convention * Frustrated or not, this chimp will not be allowed in Mayor Bloomberg's NYC * Welcome to Hamiltonia…

Dinah Washington appreciated * George Lincoln Rockwell, Nazi with a Missouri Meerschaum, remembered * Remains of WWI Austrian soldiers found 11,000 feet high in Alps…

I do miss Calvin & Hobbes.


Friday, August 27, 2004  

The NY Sun welcomes arriving GOP delegates with a walking guide to Republican New York that shows latter-day Stalwarts where to find that statue of Roscoe Conkling.

The paper also offers an essay on NY's Republican tradition that suggests how the party of Lincoln can rediscover its reform roots in the city.

* * *

The elephantine revelry above is captured in a Time photo gallery of the 1948 GOP convention in Philadelphia.

* * *

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and so aesthetes in seersucker with pocket-squares prepare to make common cause with Wayne Newton, Christian rockers and country bands – Branson, Mo., come to Broadway.

* * *

Not all of us will be in the Naked City for the convention, but those of us playing along at home can get in the anarchic spirit by printing out some of these handy posters created by Communists for Kerry. George Soros = Good Capitalist Pig! (Via OC Hiss)

* * *

Listen: "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight," by the Heftone Banjo Orchestra.


Exposé targets Vatican embrace of Legion of Christ founder accused of abuse

Globe reviewer Kevin Cullen writes:

The authors, Jason Berry, a journalistic pioneer who exposed sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in the 1980s, and Gerald Renner, the former religion writer for The Hartford Courant, make a strong case that [Legion founder Marcel] Maciel was a serial predator who should have been cast aside long ago but who remained immune to credible accusations because of his clout inside the Vatican of Pope John Paul II...

Berry and Renner paint a portrait of a clueless, isolated Catholic hierarchy that is Orwellian in its absurd embrace of dubious figures like Maciel and its paranoid rejection of good priests like Tom Doyle, the Dominican canon lawyer who was ignored in 1985 when he warned the Vatican that it had to do more about abusive priests, and who was targeted for retribution when he began openly siding with victims. The pope's blindness to the scandal stands in contrast to his noble efforts to acknowledge the corrosive effects of anti-Semitism and authoritarianism as practiced by communists.

"Why did the pontiff most sophisticated in using mass media fail to resolve a crisis so damaging to the church?" the authors ask rhetorically. "The most charitable answer is that John Paul saw no crisis because he had no contact with victims. He cared about them in the abstract; but his vision of the church's purifying truth held no room for a fearless introspection of the clerical state."

Boston public radio station WBUR interviewed author Berry.

A reviewer for the Australian paper The Age writes: This book should come, like cigarette packets, with a health warning. It is liable to overexcite those with a tendency to high blood pressure: it made my blood boil.

Read other reviews from America and Catholic News Service.

The Legionaries respond. Their official website is here.

The Legion's network includes the National Catholic Register, Zenit news service, and the Compass movement on campus, according to ReGAIN, a group that accuses the Legionaries of cult-like tendencies.

The Rick Ross cult-awareness site also has a Legion archive.


Thursday, August 26, 2004  

Only in Kenya

The good thing, I suppose, is I've got the Six Flags Guy theme out of my head. However, it's been replaced by Lions in Kenya. Thanks, Matthew.

More lions, via Monty Python: Scott of the Antarctic * Penguins * Vocational Guidance Counselor

Other diversions, lion-free: The Banana Phone badgers take up English football * Jaws and The Exorcist, re-enacted by bunnies * Tim the Sock Monkey -- rockin!

* * *

Shepparton News columnist John Lewis on Sally Robbins, the Australian rower who famously "didn't have a redhot go" in the Olympic eights final: She was buggered and she took a smoko. Is this, or is this not the Australian spirit?

* * *

Hurrah for jousting, state sport of Maryland!



Cardinal Mahony blesses a cow, 1999

Blessings for bees, beer, seismographs, lime-kilns, blast furnaces, railway cars, mobile film units, for anything at all – they're included in the handy and comprehensive Roman Ritual from 1964, posted online here. (Via JWZ and the Holy Whapping [Aug. 26])

A Holy Whapping post on a monsignor's blessing of sea scouts produced a frenzy of POD one-upsmanship in the comment box.

More images: A POD Fr. Robt McElwee blesses the bikes in Frontenac, Kan., this past April * Blessing of dogs, Lima, Peru, 1999

* * *

If POD is your aim, get to the Inn, which is marking the Aug. 26 Feast of the Transverberation – or Heart Piercing – of St. Teresa.



Paris remembers liberation.

An image of the Te Deum being sung at Notre Dame 60 years ago today is included at Paris Libéré!

Scott Belliveau sends along a link to an official 60th anniversary site with an informative Flash animation. He also sends along a few historic images: De Gaulle * Général Leclerc * Stuart tanks * Tank Cheers

See more images in a gallery at the WWII Multimedia Database.

La Marseillaise may be heard here.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004  

Aussies in row over "Lay Down Sally"

Her teammates threatened to throw her overboard after Australian rower Sally Robbins, apparently suffering a psychological and physical breakdown, quit pulling and opted for a lie-down with 500 meters to go in the recent finals of the women's eights. A big splash has ensued in the Australian media, with even the prime minister weighing in. Google News has a roundup of coverage.

Elsewhere on the water, Israel has won its first Olympic gold, in windsurfing. Mazel tov!



Tommy Holmes Day, Braves Field, Boston, 9.2.45

'40s Boston fan favorite Tommy Holmes named to Braves Hall

Also inducted at a ceremony at Turner Field in Atlanta earlier this month was 19th-century pitcher Kid Nichols of the Boston Beaneaters:

Nichols…was represented by a pair of his great grandchildren.

"Fifty-five years ago, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame [in Cooperstown], he said, 'this is truly the thrill of my life," Nichols' great-grand daughter Sharon Everett said. "So I know if he were here today, he would be saying the same thing. His heart was baseball, and this would be overwhelming for him."

The day was also special for the 87-year-old Holmes, who played with the Boston Braves from 1942-51. A charitable man, who spent much of his life teaching the game to young children in New York City, Holmes was instrumental in developing the current lucrative pension plan enjoyed by Major Leaguers.

"The greatest thing that ever happened to me was getting a call about coming here to the Hall of Fame," said Holmes, who was named The Sporting News Most Valuable Player in 1945.

Holmes shared his moment with his wife and good friend Alvin Dark, who won the 1948 NL Rookie of the Year while batting behind Holmes…

His Baseball Library bio notes Holmes set a National League mark when he hit in 37 games in row in 1945. When Pete Rose broke his hitting-streak record in 1978, a tearful Holmes thanked him "for making people remember me."

* * *

Were the Braves still in Boston, a song to blast from their PA speakers over Gaffney Street would be "That Blue-Eyed Baby From Memphis" by Don Redman & his Orchestra.

* * *

Holmes' induction was applauded at the Boston/Milwaukee Braves message board at Baseball Fever, where the Teams of Yesteryear section also includes a St. Louis Browns forum where the true diehard can track what happened on this day in Brownies history.

I bring up the Browns because Saint Louis, whose feast is today, was on their old logo.

Now it's back to the Senators forum for discussion of what the Expos should be called if they move to D.C. (For a National League team, I say the Nats, natch.)

* * *

Dressed to the Nines, an online exhibit by the Baseball Hall of Fame on the history of the baseball uniform, includes an illustrated database of the evolution of individual teams' uniforms over the years. Want to see how the White Sox looked in shorts, or the Astros in horizontal Technicolor? This is the place. (The sad demise of the stripes on the Red Sox' socks is also noted, for those of us who care about that sort of thing.)


Monday, August 23, 2004  

A black bear found passed out at a Washington State campground after knocking back three-dozen cans of beer had started with Busch, but switched to Rainier, and stuck with the local brew.

All politics is local, even the presidential kind, in Maine, where a bear-baiting referendum could swing an electoral vote into W's column.

* * *

Hear the "Grizzly Bear Rag" played on an Aeolian organ, via this page of theater organ sound files, which also offers Fats Waller's "Soothin' Syrup Stomp."

* * *

If you wish you were in Maine at the current moment, Down East magazine is much conducive to day-dreaming, and has some pretty good articles, too. The publication doesn't post much online, unfortunately, but this month's cyber-offerings include a historic feature on a Klan march in a small Maine town in 1923.

The early '20s were busy years for Klan marches, and a new book touted at the Holy Whapping describes how Notre Damers in 1924 put the Kluxers to rout.

* * *

I'll tell you what's seared – seared – into my mind at present: the song from the Six Flags Guy commercial. A skit on Letterman the other night featured the odd character being backed-over by his own bus, which caused a stir on the roller-coaster message boards.

* * *

Welcome back to Amy at Ever So Humble, whose retirement from blogging was happily brief.


Are Your Kids Safe in a Catholic College?

They weren't at Fordham, apparently, when the essayist was teaching there.

It takes some brass to write…

College is often the first real test of a young person's values and integrity. Sadly, we can no longer be confident that Catholic colleges will help him pass that test.

…after you personally have been cashiered from a tenured professorship at a Catholic university for getting a vulnerable freshman sozzled and taking advantage of her.

As George Lee aptly comments (scroll down): The old Greeks would have related [Deal] Hudson’s catastrophically bad judgment and current wreckage to hubris.


A Jesuit chaplain in Najaf:

The Marines screamed for a medic and tried to stanch the blood. But in the end, there was nothing they could do.

In a surreal battlefield of tombstones, in a Muslim cemetery thousands of miles from home, a young Marine lay unconscious after a mortar barrage, five minutes from death.

Lt. Cmdr. Paul Shaughnessy, a chaplain, pressed a thumb across the motionless corporal's blood-drenched forehead, made the sign of the cross and summoned the strength to perform last rites on a man he barely knew.

"I absolve you of all your sins in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit," Cmdr. Shaughnessy said while kneeling beside Cpl. Roberto Abad, a 22-year-old from Los Angeles, just before he died Aug. 6. "May God, who gave you life, bring you everlasting life."

As U.S. troops cope with life -- and death -- on a faraway battlefield, military chaplains cope with them, offering prayers, comfort and spiritual advice to keep the U.S. military machine running.
(Via Bettnet)

The courageous service of Marine chaplain Fr. Shaughnessy, SJ, harks back to Jesuit forebears Fr. Willie Doyle and Fr. Joseph O'Callahan.

* * *

The late Rev. William Leonard, SJ, wrote a memoir of his three years as an Army chaplain in the South Pacific during the Second World War that was titled Where Thousands Fell. Here's an excerpt of a brief review that ran in the Trenton diocesan paper:

Reading it is like having a chat with Father Leonard, the Boston College professor who left the academic world to minister to soldiers in the jungles of New Guinea and the battlefields of the Philippines…

While serving six months in New Guinea, Father Leonard undertakes the building of a chapel with an altar. The Finschhafen altar was made of materials found at hand and donated by soldiers of all faiths. The materials included a Jeep piston for the incense burner, missile and shell casings for candle holders and the legs of the altar and a cross carved from mahogany, a native wood of New Guinea. He wanted to represent three things: a Catholic altar, the ordnance battalion and the hardships the soldiers faced in the tropics.

After the war, the altar was transported back to Boston, and then found a home in the U.S. Army Chaplain Museum.

Father Leonard leaves Finschhafen to participate in the beachhead invasion of Lingayen in the Philippines. Armed only with a bola knife to dig foxholes, he accompanies the soldiers inland where they endure Japanese bombs and shelling.

Through the words of Father Leonard,
Where Thousands Fell pays tribute to all the chaplains who serve and die offering spiritual comfort to soldiers in war or peace. It is a story worth telling and remembering.

The US Army Chaplains Museum website has historic images of chaplains in the field.


Sunday, August 22, 2004  

US Men's Eight rows to gold, first in 40 years. The crew included Jason Read, a New Jersey fire chief at Ground Zero on 9/11.


Britain's Pinsent, in photo finish, takes gold in fourth successive Olympics, and is overcome with emotion on medal stand.



Thursday, August 19, 2004  


The Cropulence of the Woozled: Otto Clemson Hiss, through the fog of a morning-after breakfast meeting, channels Irving Berlin and Wodehouse for an ode to the New Criterion's Algonquin-esque Tuesdays at the Fitz.

* * *

Search Engine Queries o' th' Day: olympic synchronized diving nipple and masonic sword refurbishment.

* * *

An American rower is the first veteran of the current Iraq War to compete in the Olympics. He's the sculling partner of the first black man to row for the American team.

Also via the NY Sun: The "Venezuelan Volcano" remembered.

* * *

Staging the shot put at ancient Olympia, returning athletic competition to the site after 1,600 years, was inspired. And it was amusing when American relay swimmers the other night placed their laurel wreaths over their hearts for the national anthem. What is proper wreath etiquette on such occasions?

In honor of last night's Olympic viewing libation: "Bass Ale Blues," by the Hottentots, who also perform "The Camel Walk."

* * *

And you know, because of the jaunty chapeau, it must be Christmas! Steve the Llama Butcher photoshops Apocalypse Kerry.

A similar holiday theme informs this Charlotte Observer cartoon linked by InstaPundit, who observes: WHAT'S REALLY INTERESTING about this Kerry cartoon…is that it assumes the reader's knowledge of a story that's gotten, even today, very little coverage from the traditional media (including, based on a site search, the Observer itself). I think this says something significant about how people get news nowadays.

Meantime, Hugh Hewitt takes up Douglas Brinkley, historian as hagiographer.

* * *

Here are Senators John Kerry and Tom Harkin with Daniel Ortega in 1985.

Frankly, it's surprising the Kerry bandwagon hasn't seized on this Clash album for campaign theme music. The title of the album: Sandinista! And one of the hit tracks: "Charlie Don't Surf."

Meantime, Sen. Harkin, who recently called Dick Cheney a coward for not serving in Vietnam, has been shown to have invented his own purported Vietnam service.

* * *

John Kerry: Priceless.


Wednesday, August 18, 2004  

TR in Brazil

My late father once said that if he had it all to do over again, he'd be an archaeologist.

He was on to something. Lost civilizations wait in the South American jungle to be found:

LIMA, Peru (Reuters) - An ancient walled city complex inhabited some 1,300 years ago by a culture later conquered by the Incas has been discovered deep in Peru's Amazon jungle, explorers said on Tuesday.

U.S. and Peruvian explorers uncovered the city, which may have been home to up to 10,000 people, after a month trekking in Peru's northern rain forest and following up on years of investigation about a possible lost metropolis in the region.

The stone city, made up of five citadels at 9,186 feet above sea level, stretches over around 39 square miles and contains walls covered in carvings and figure paintings, exploration leader Sean Savoy told Reuters.

"It is a tremendous city ... containing areas with stone etchings and 10-meter (33-foot) high walls," said Savoy, who had to hack through trees and thick foliage to finally reach the site on Aug. 15.

Covered in matted tree branches and interspersed with lakes and waterfalls, the settlement sites also contain well-preserved graveyards with mummies with teeth "in almost perfect condition," Savoy said.

* * *

Theodore Roosevelt said: "I am always willing to pay the piper when I have a good dance; and every now and then I like to drink the wine of life spiked with brandy in it."

TR came close to paying the piper when his pursuit of the strenuous life led him on a jungle expedition to explore the uncharted River of Doubt in Brazil in 1913.

His resulting account, Through the Brazilian Wilderness, is online at Bartleby.com.

Another TR site has images of his South American trek.

* * *

The jaguar makes the front of Time this week in a cover story on endangered big cats.

* * *

Sounding on the drums: "Jungle Jamboree," by the Jungle Band.



Hat tricks &c

John Kerry's lucky hat was given him by a CIA spook he was ferrying on a special mission to Cambodia, according to the Washington Post story carried on the Kerry campaign website.

This hat tossed in the ring has been choice Lileks fodder.

It's not the first time Kerry has happened across his boonie hat for use as a campaign prop.

See this 1996 Boston Globe profile of Kerry focusing on the Vietnam vets who featured prominently in his Senate campaign that year:

Sen. John F. Kerry had just entered the political fight of his life, so Chris Gregory knew it was time - again - to round up The Dog Hunters.

They responded, as they always have whenever Kerry has been in trouble. They are comrades of a unique sort: Like Kerry, they fought both in and against the Vietnam War. Protagonists in the central drama of their generation, their bond is unbreakable.

When Gregory and a dozen other Dog Hunters invited Kerry to dinner on the day he announced for reelection, their goal was to boost his spirits. Instead, he boosted theirs, showing up with a triumphant smile on his face and a Vietnam-era "boony" hat on his head. "Look what I found in my drawer!" Kerry exclaimed. "You can't get these anymore!"

Later in the piece, it is interesting to note how the reported genesis of the Dog Hunters name reflects an ongoing Kerry MO: placing military service front and center, and then, if and when that service is questioned by a rival, howling in indignation as if all veterans had been affronted:

During Kerry's first campaign for Senate in 1984, his opponent, US Rep. James Shannon, criticized Kerry for serving in Vietnam, then changing his mind about the war. When Kerry demanded an apology on behalf of veterans, Shannon said: "That dog won't hunt."

Incensed, Gregory and other veterans rallied to Kerry's side; the name they gave themselves was The Dog Hunters. They stand by him still.

The Kerry Spot at NRO recalls the Dog Hunters who thereafter hounded rival Jim Shannon in the '84 primary campaign. Kerry Spot reporter Jim Geraghty comments:

Kerry charged that Shannon had “impugned the service of veterans in that war by saying they are somehow dopes or wrong for going.” (He had not taken the more appropriate step of accusing them of war crimes, as John Kerry had done in 1971.)

* * *

Back in '84, a Brahmin's Brahmin, Elliot Richardson, was in the Senate race in Massachusetts, and when he got thoroughly waxed in the primary, it marked one of the last gasps of Yankee Mugwump Republicanism in the Bay State.

A 1984 Washington Post profile stirs a bit of nostalgia: I stuffed envelopes for Richardson, whose mailing list laden with racket club dowagers pretty much reflected the tenor of his campaign, which ended with a drubbing by Reaganite conservative Ray Shamie in the primary.

It was felt at the time (though in hindsight it is by no means clear) that Richardson in a general election might have beaten then-Lt. Gov. John Kerry, who was then sounding his by-now familiar theme:

Kerry, known for an ego to match his 6-foot-4 height, projects confidence. "No one has a clue what Elliot stands for," he said in an interview. "The moment I get him into a debate, he'll fold . . . . I was in the leadership fighting the war while Elliot was defending the war in Cambodia. When he says he was secretary of defense, I can say, 'Listen, fella, I was in those rice paddies' . . . . If I were Elliot Richardson, I wouldn't want to run against me."

* * *

Kerry, it has been noted, served in Vietnam.

* * *

Re Kerry and Cambodia:

Senator Mitty: the latest salvo at Power Line.

Holiday in Cambodia: Robert Pollock at Opinion Journal

The TelegraphKerry's military daze


A rather nice selection of Apocalypse Now sound clips.

And Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries may be heard at this page.


He sang like Crazy

Larry Miller at the Weekly Standard pays rather touching tribute to Frank Fontaine, who lived in Winchester, Mass., and played Crazy Guggenheim on the old Jackie Gleason Show.

A Gleason page at TV Party includes vintage footage of a "Joe the Bartender" sketch with Crazy Guggenheim singing.

* * *

One lump or two? Oh, threee or fourrrrr: The humorist who gave voice to Crazy Guggenheim's cartoon catamount cousin Pete Puma, Stan Freberg, is applauded by Dawn Eden.

Pete Puma's laugh is recorded (July 22-23, 2000) at the Daily .Wav, a goldmine if you happen to be a fan of Foghorn Leghorn or, for that matter, of the late Julia Child (Aug. 16). The site's motto: Annoying your cubemates with non-sequitur soundbytes since 1995!


Monday, August 16, 2004  

Prompted by the Elvis anniversary hoopla, a bit of Big Mama Thornton:

"Hound Dog"

Here she is keeping the pipes in trim.

* * *

You never forget your first Instalanche. Here's the post that precipitated mine. The sign's no longer up, but my sentiments remain the same.

* * *

A. J. Liebling, fabled New Yorker press critic, is paid tribute by the Random Penseur.

* * *

Amy Kane has signed off at Ever So Humble, and her imaginative and colorfully written blog from the New Hampshire seacoast will be missed.

* * *

Otto-da-Fe doffs his pickelhaube to a Benedictine monk from Latrobe, Pa., who has marshaled the sainthood cause of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Karl.

* * *

Random Olympic Musings:

"Waltzing Matilda" should be played for the Australian winners, "Stars & Stripes Forever" for the American.

Will anyone else be less than despondent if Allen Iverson & Co.'s bling-bling doesn't include Olympic gold?



The Yale eight, Melbourne, '56

Two US crew shells at the Athens games are named for Rusty Wailes, a member of the gold-medal winning Yale eight of 1956 (pictured above), who died two years ago doing what he loved:

On a sunny fall morning, the kind that Rusty Wailes lived for, the 66-year-old retiree did what he did best. He got into a boat with friends all around, and rowed. He pulled the oars through deep water as if it were almost a half century ago, as if he were back at the Olympics and another gold medal was on the line.

Then Wailes did something uncharacteristic: He stopped rowing. Sensing something was wrong, a fellow rower turned to look at him. Wailes let out a big grin, then fell backward…

US rowers in the eight named for him set a world record while stunning favored Canada in a heat on Sunday to earn a place in the Olympic finals.

* * *

Listen: Eton Boating Song

Jolly boating weather,
And a hay harvest breeze,
Blade on the feather,
Shade off the trees;
Swing, swing together,
With your bodies between your knees.

Here's the rest, via a Dutch rowing site.

* * *

Via Corbis:

This 1920 British crew at the Antwerp Games is a Spy portrait come to life.

The Navy crew on the water at Antwerp, 1920.

The Cal-Berkeley eight victorious at Amsterdam, 1928.

The US Four With, winners at Amsterdam, 1928.

The winning German Four With gives a salute at the 1936 Berlin Games.

* * *

Who knew yours truly ranked third on the Google search for Olympic nudes?

* * *

Time Suck o' th' Day: The IOC Web pages are full of interesting history on the Games. I like this vignette from the 1900 Paris Olympics on the unknown French boy who medaled for the Netherlands in rowing, and the religious long-jumper who refused to compete on Sunday, then socked the rival who beat him by a centimeter.

* * *

Christina Larson at the Washington Monthly argues for a permanent home for the Olympics.

The sight of all those empty seats at the current Games suggests many Athenians have done as Bostonians did during the recent security-heavy convention week – they've skipped town. With the cost of the current Games reported to be soaring to upwards of $8 billion, you have to wonder if many cities in the future are prepared to bankrupt themselves to host the Olympics.

* * *

The appeal of beach volleyball is readily understandable.

But synchronized diving? Team handball? Women's weightlifting? The Olympics have become so inflated there's even serious talk of adding ballroom dancing.

Sports no longer played at the Olympics include rugby, lacrosse, polo, cricket, croquet and tug-of-war – all more widely popular, I'd submit, than rhythmic gymnastics.

* * *

Aquil Abdullah, who won the Diamond Sculls at Henley in 2000, and now is the first African-American to compete in Olympic men's rowing for the US, has advanced to the semifinals in the double sculls.

* * *

College and club crews used to represent the US in Olympic Eights competition. With the gold won by the Navy eight at Antwerp in 1920 "began a run of U.S. victories in that event that lasted until another U.S. Naval Academy eight lost in Rome in 1960," according to Rowing History. "Yale won in 1924 and 1956, Cal-Berkeley in 1928, 1932 and 1948, Washington in 1936, and Navy in 1952…marking a domination of one Olympic rowing event by one country that has not since been equaled."

Harvard's was the last non-national team eight to represent the US at the Games, in 1968.

Ivy League Sports records Olympic medals won by school.

* * *

For playing when the US medals: The Boston Pops' rendition of "Stars & Stripes Forever" (mp3) by John Philip Sousa


If this doesn't put the fear of God in you…

US vulnerable to EMP attack

The WSJ ran an editorial Aug. 12 on the threat, "Mother of All Blackouts." The editorial is not online, but here's an excerpt:

An EMP attack occurs when an enemy sets off a nuclear explosion high in the Earth's atmosphere. The electromagnetic pulse generated by the blast destroys the electronics and satellites in its field of vision. For a detonation above the Midwest, that could mean the entire continental U.S.

No American would necessarily die in the initial attack, but what comes next is potentially catastrophic. The pulse would wipe out most electronics and telecommunications, including the power grid. Millions could die for want of modern medical care or even of starvation since farmers wouldn't be able to harvest crops and distributors wouldn't be able to get food to supermarkets. Commissioner Lowell Wood calls EMP attack a "giant continental time machine" that would move us back more than a century in technology to the late 1800s...

[I]t's a relatively unsophisticated EMP weapon in the hands of terrorists that really scares the Commission. All it would take is one nuclear warhead attached to a Scud missile launched from a barge off the U.S. coast to shut down much of the country…

The EMP study, which came out the same week as the 9/11 Commission's report, got little media attention. It deserves more.

The federal commission's report is online.



John Derbyshire terms the Olympic opening ceremony "poshlost," or falsely beautiful. It's true the Contemporary Art approach the French must love – with a premium placed on walking puppets, atonal music &c – must render the festivities incomprehensible to the onlooker in the stands who doesn't have a docent to explain the meaning.

But I rather liked the ancient Greek pageantry of the ceremonies, actually. (When is a costume not a costume?)

Readers are invited to submit their own nominees for the label "poshlost."



The history and tactical uses of the War Elephant are called to our attention by Mirabilis.ca.

Death by Elephant would not be the way to go.


Junk Mail: I understand how I've managed to find myself on Catholic mailing lists and history book-club mailing lists and conservative Republican mailing lists (that personally autographed glossy of the President and First Lady is just the thing to alarm liberal family-members). But the Planned Parenthood mailing list? Believe me, nothing about my parenthood has been planned. And I would say to Gloria Feldt: I'd heretofore not thought of myself as an "anti-choice fanatic," but after your mass-mail alarums, I readily accept the label.

Meantime, a fund-raising appeal arrived the other week from Tom Monaghan at Ave Maria University, and it is interesting to note the accompanying brochure contains an artist's rendition of the proposed campus that still includes the Windex church. Supposedly officials had backed off plans for the great greenhouse, but they're still promoting in their brochure an oratory that will measure 300 feet long by 150 feet high and seat more worshipers (3,300) than any other Catholic church in the country. And the reader is directed to an artist's rendition of the campus with the glass church at center.


Thursday, August 12, 2004  

Jack Kelly Sr., Antwerp, 1920

My mother spent her childhood on Lake Quinsigamond, in Worcester, Mass., where her father was steward at a club, and where many rowing regattas have been held over the years. According to family lore, my uncle as a boy served as a mascot for the great Jack Kelly Sr., and it's possible, as the rowing nationals were held at Lake Quinsigamond in 1919 and 1920.

The oft-told story of Jack Kelly, Sr., is that the Irish-American bricklayer from Philadelphia, finest oarsman of his day, was not allowed to row in England's gentlemanly Henley Regatta in 1920 because he worked with his hands.

At that summer's Olympic Games in Antwerp, he beat the Henley champion for the gold in the single sculls, and a half-hour later rowed to a second gold in the double sculls. He is said to have then mailed his green racing cap to England's King George V with the message, "Greetings from a bricklayer."

He went on to make millions as a contractor. His son, Jack Kelly Jr., twice won the Diamond sculls race at Henley, avenging the snub of a generation before.

And his daughter, Grace, of course, went on to become princess of Monaco.

Some payback!

Turns out the legend may be only partly true, but it’s a wonderful story, nonetheless.

Via Corbis:

Olympian Jack Kelly Sr, 1920

Grace Kelly bids farewell to her brother, Jack Jr., as he leaves for the 1948 Olympics in London, and congratulates him on winning the 1944 schoolboy championship.

Cheers, Henley, 1947.

The Kelly family: 1935 * 1954

And via Red Hot Jazz: a Penn Medley ("Drink a Highball," "Red and Blue," "Hail, Pennsylvania") by Waring's Pennsylvanians.



James Rockefeller, oldest known US Olympic medalist, has died at 102. He captained the Yale eight that rowed to the gold medal at the 1924 Games in Paris. (Dr. Benjamin Spock was another member of that crew.) His accompanying appearance on the cover of Time was the first by a Rockefeller.

"Yale Blues," by Waring's Pennsylvanians.



A post at the Wild Geese Forum recalls athletes of the Irish Diaspora who won Olympic medals under the flags of other lands.

Here's the entry on James Connolly, of South Boston, first medalist at the 1896 Athens Games:

Although born in Boston JAMES BRENDAN BENNET CONNOLLY was the son of Irish immigrants and was proud of his Irish heritage. In the Triple Jump competition (or the Hop, Skip and Jump as it was then called) Connolly displayed supreme theatrical bravado by marching up to the sand pit, where Prince George of England and Prince George of Greece were acting as judges, and tossed his cap into the sand a yard beyond the marker of the previous best jump. Then with a cry of, “Here’s one for the honour of County Galway” he proceeded to leap beyond his cap to a distance of 44ft 11¾ in and thus become the first Olympic Champion for 1527 years.

The photo above shows him more than a half-century later, at 80, accepting a varsity letter from Harvard.

One of nine sons of a South Boston immigrant family, Connolly had worked his way into Harvard, but when the college wouldn't give him leave to compete in the Games, he dropped out to go to Athens and become the first Olympic medalist of the modern era.

There was a parade back in Boston for the city's returning Olympic champions, but Connolly wasn't there. Instead, he went to Paris after Athens, spending what was left of the money he had saved to go to Harvard. It was May by the time Connolly returned, alone and unnoticed, taking the trolley to his home in South Boston, weighted down with suitcases and souvenirs. The silver medal, the first Olympic medal awarded in 15 centuries, was tucked away in a pocket of his pants.

His mother made him a cup of tea and brought out an apple pie.

"Cheered and refreshed," he wrote some years later, "I delivered a two hours' travelogue on the glories of Greece, the perils of 12,000 miles of land and water going, the ways and customs of five nations I had met with en-route. For myself, my college savings went by the boards. I did not regret it then; I do not regret it now. For a few minutes after I saw that flag go aloft in the Stadium, I felt that my spirit was having play, and that is life -- to give the spirit play."


Tuesday, August 10, 2004  

Photo: Frank Miller, Irish Times

While few may train for the Olympics anymore by balancing champagne glasses on hurdles, a Chariots of Fire race is still run each May around the front square of Trinity College.

The host Dublin University Harriers and Athletic Club describes the event: Racing is in pairs with the final held at noon. The course starts at the Rubrics, goes under the Campanile, then the runners loop around opposite halves of the lawn in Parliament Square, finally finishing under the Campanile...To keep with tradition the bells of the Campanile ring out across Front Square during the final...[T]he winner is never certain due to the merciless cobble stones.

* * *

In keeping with the Chariots of Fire spirit, here is an mp3 of the Overture from the Pirates of Penzance, one of a series of shows indexed by the MUGSS Old Soaks, the Old Members of the Manchester Universities' Gilbert & Sullivan Societies.

Elsewhere, the Babliophile describes itself as An Internet Magazine for the Seriously Deranged W.S. Gilbert Enthusiast.

* * *

Here's what they're wearing in Athens this year.

I prefer straw hats.

Or laurels.

Other historic Olympic images found via Corbis:

The 1924 Mexican team.

Some Like it Hot was inspired by these 1924 US swimmers.

Marathon, London, 1908.

* * *

Scott Joplin was the composer of the day when the Olympics were held in St. Louis in 1904. Here's his "Swipesy Cake Walk," as performed by Perfessor Bill Edwards.


Monday, August 09, 2004  

"Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."

Fay Wray, who screamed her way to the top, has died at 96.

The Empire State Building is to dim its lights in tribute.

The Web tribute at the Fay Wray Pages includes an audio clip of her famous scream from King Kong.

The Washington Post and NPR offer appreciations.

The Yahoo! coverage includes a link to Kong's original NYT review.

Behold Kong, Eighth Wonder of the World.

And listen to clips from Max Steiner's Kong soundtrack.



Joe Judge, Comiskey Park, Chicago, 1929

Mudville Magazine has been updated, finally, and it's been worth the wait. Included is Jeff Kallman's review of Mark Gauvreau Judge's Damn Senators: My Grandfather and the Story of Washington's Only World Series Championship, a reminiscence of Senators first-baseman (and later longtime Georgetown coach) Joe Judge and of baseball's tormented history in the nation's capital:

"Stout" was one way to describe Joe Judge. He was the son of an Irish farmer who had emigrated from somewhat parched Eire to bristling Brooklyn in 1883…[and later] moved the family to "a cramped Lower East Side neighbourhood of Jews, Italians, Hungarians, and Irish," called Yorkville…When not playing ball, the boy was learning to swim at the end of a rope his mother tied around him to lower him to the East River. "Although I assume she did it in shallow water, near the shore," writes grandson, "my mental picture of this is always of a small boy struggling in rough, stormy waters." The future first baseman found those soon enough, sort of: with two buddies, he once swam out to Riker's Island, where the jail guards denied the trio safe landing, drawn guns the exclamation point. One of the trio drowned on the return swim.

Surely Judge was building the fortitude necessary for life with a baseball basket case. Indeed, the Senators seemed underwritten by stark tragedy as much as larking calamity. Their earliest star, Ed Delahanty, either walked or was thrown off a New York-bound train before falling to his death from a bridge. Their greatest star, Walter Johnson, was bereaved of his father during and his two-year-old daughter following the 1921 season. Another future Hall of Famer, Sam Rice, who joined the Senators the same season as Judge (1915; the two became so close they bought adjoining Washington row homes), had earlier lost his wife and children in a threshing tornado, while he was away trying out for a tough minor league club.

In another entry, the Golden Age of New York baseball in the 1950s is highlighted in webmaster Peter Schilling's review of Summer in the City, a coffee-table book of Weegee-like fan photos from the Daily News, and the reissue of Arnold Hano's A Day in the Bleachers.

* * *

On this day in 1924 the Nats tallied 20 hits in the nightcap to salvage a split with the Chisox. The Post is providing a daily look back at the Washington Senators' sole championship season of 80 years ago.

* * *

A Medusa detail on the grandstand of New York's old Polo Grounds is visible in this striking postcard from a gallery at Vintage Ball.

More wonderful cards of the Polo Grounds here and here.

Here's an interesting 1912 scene from the Acmegraph Co. of the crowd milling on the field of the Cubs' pre-Wrigley West End park, captured in another rather nice shot here.

And Cincinnati loyalist TS O'Rama will appreciate the classic Greco-Roman lines of that city's Palace of the Fans, where in 1909 he might have toasted the Reds' health from under the grandstand in "Rooters Row."

* * *

Interesting factoid picked up Mudville Magazine: Duke Ellington's first job as a teenager was selling peanuts and hotdogs at Senators games. Here's his "Tiger Rag (Part 2)" from 1929.

From Yazoo Records comes a two-part series titled "Jazz the World Forgot." Here are clips of "To-Wa-Bac-A-Wa" by Louis Dumaine's Jazzola Eight, in Vol. 1, and "Auburn Ave. Stomp" by J. Neal Montgomery and his Orchestra, in Vol. 2: Music to look at old-time baseball pictures by.



Alec Guinness as Father Brown

A Catholic Movie List, &c

Brideshead Revisited -- Best TV serialization ever?

The Exorcist – When you've got demons, you don't call a Unitarian, you call out the First Team, preferably Jesuits.

Song of Bernadette – A wonderful, poignant film that brings home the message: For those who believe, no explanation is necessary; for those who don't, no explanation is possible.

Pinocchio – A puppet, brought to life by a Blue Lady, goes astray, but proves himself courageous and true, and becomes real after dying in an act of self-sacrifice.

True Confessions – De Niro as a rising monsignor, Duvall as his brother, a once-dirty cop, both of whom have been, in their own way, on the take.

Angels with Dirty Faces and The Fighting 69th – Pat O'Brien in two trademark priestly roles from the Warner Bros. golden era.

From a review of Angels with Dirty Faces:

Golly, what a lot of slapping in this movie! Cagney slaps Humphrey Bogart, he slaps the Dead End Kids, the Dead End Kids slap each other AND other kids, even the good Father O'Brien slugs a guy in a bar. Happily, no one slaps Ann Sheridan.

Cagney is fascinating as always as the tough guy with the heart of gold -- nobody does it better. O'Brien is thoughtful and subdued as the priest torn between his loyalty to his pal and his duty to the kids of his parish, who idolize Rocky and want to be just like him when they grow up. Their final scene together could have been overblown and mawkish, but they made it work beautifully.

Going My Way – Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald and Toora-loora-loora.

Nun's Story – Audrey Hepburn among the missionaries in the Belgian Congo.

I Confess – Hitchcock, with Montgomery Clift as a Quebec priest who hears a murderer's confession, then is himself accused of the crime.

Father Brown – Alec Guinness as Chesterton's priest detective. Here's an image gallery: I like the lobby poster describing him as "up to his ears in clues, up to his neck in laffs."

Honorable Mention: Gregory Peck as China missionary priest in Keys of the Kingdom; Ward Bond's parish priest, leading the cheers given by the Catholic villagers to the Anglican vicar to impress the visiting Anglican bishop, in The Quiet Man; Rudy, in which underdog becomes football hero under the Golden Dome; Eugene Pallette's friar in Robin Hood and Mark of Zorro; Emperor Maximilian lying in state at the end of Juarez is a POD-fest; Spencer Tracy's Fr. Flanagan; and the Sound of Music, of course.

Not on the list: I haven't seen Black Robe but think I'd like it. I haven't seen The Passion of the Christ and am not sure I'd like it. Ingrid Bergman certainly is a pretty nun, but the plot sinks Bells of St. Mary's.

Nominations, refutations and arguments welcome.

(Inspired by a post at Through the Narrow Gate, a new blog devoted to Catholic arts and letters and the promotion of the Old Mass that is worth a visit.)

* * *

Cagney, McHugh, O'Brien and Tracy, at the races, 1947. More on this group of friends from 1940s Hollywood.

* * *

Top 10 Things You'll Never See at the Shrine of the Holy Whapping:

10. Excessive hugging at Mass, unless it's the Roman Pax.
9. Someone saying "Hey, that relic of the shriveled dismembered hand of St. Veneranda of Smaragdina, patroness of sock-weavers, is just too weird for me, man."
8. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko.
7. Jacques Derrida look-alike contests (with a bathing suit requirement).
6. A picture of Fr. Richard Vosko on a mantle piece with an apple, a dollar bill, a glass of water and lots of candles around it.
5. Diminutive nuns with bowls of incense.
4. Bizarre references to Rap Music. (Wait, too late).
3. Unitarians (or anyone else) attempting to win convers through interpretive dance.
2. High Mass translated into High Elvish
1. One word: Chasu-alb.

Another thing you're likely not to see is a Blessed Sacrament Chapel in which the walls are covered by 600 pounds of beeswax.

Or a Mass featuring John Lennon's Imagine, Bette Midler, Eric Clapton and the Sean Hannity Independence Day theme all in one, as at this South Dakota outpost. (Via Dale Price)


Friday, August 06, 2004  

The Acadian World Congress underway in Nova Scotia through next week is expected to draw thousands from the Acadian Diaspora.

HALIFAX—Pothiers from Spain and Cotrauds from the Caribbean gathered with Gallants from Sweden and Comeaus from Hong Kong.

Thousands of Acadians, their families in tow, have flocked to Nova Scotia for this week's World Acadian Congress to celebrate nearly 250 years of surviving attempts to sever their family ties.

The smell of crawfish and the excited chatter of old friends filled the air yesterday as more than 5,000 people gathered in Church Point for ceremonies to kick off the Congress.

"The emotion was just palpable," said Danielle LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the event that will run for the next two weeks.

In 1755, fearing a rebellion aided by the Mi'kmaq, the British governor of Nova Scotia ordered the deportation of the French-speaking Acadians. More than 11,000 were packed in ships' holds and sent to unknown shores.

According to family lore, my mother's Acadian ancestors hid in the woods to escape deportation by the British.

Her father, my grandfather, came from Tignish, P.E.I., where he played the organ at his mother's funeral at Ss Simon & Jude Church.

Her father's father was a ship's captain who, it is said, ran Union blockades during the Civil War. Her uncle was the first Acadian to serve as premier of a Canadian province.

The Acadian festival sounds like a fun time, and maybe one of these years we'll be able to attend.

Will make do for now with some rather nice Tignish photos, and the Island Cam from the official PEI website.

* * *

Follow along to the Latin lyrics of "Ave, Maris Stella," the Acadian national anthem. An mp3 clip of a choir rendition comes from a Tignish music page.

More music clips: "Reel à Delphine" and some jigs by the PEI Acadian group Barachois.

* * *

Angels serve dinner to an Acadian family in this 1898 newspaper illustration from the collection of the National Library of Quebec. What's it mean? Haven't the foggiest.

* * *

An Acadian maypole dance was a highlight of the evening at an Ottawa costume ball in 1896 that is recalled in an interesting online exhibition by the Canadian Museum of Civilization on the fancy-dress phenomenon in Victorian Canada.

Current PC sensibilities are evident at the Iroquois dress-up page. No similar disclaimers are attached to the Asterix-like depiction of Leif Ericsson & Co., the Ancient Norsemen Grievance Lobby not in full letter-writing mode these days.

* * *

Bill Cork has been posting coverage of the Acadian festival at his website and plans to attend. He maintains a website devoted to his Acadian heritage at L'Acadie Toujours.



Noms de Spam of the Week: "Octopuses L. Severest" and "Prognosis J. Incarnating," the latter via RC, who also sends along a link to a gallery of cartoons inspired by actual spam subject lines. It's good to see annoying junk mail clutter being put to artistic use!

* * *

The horrors of the prison camp at Andersonville during the Civil War are recalled at Critical Mass and Random Pensées.

* * *

On the Republican side, a race-baiting candidate who believes in quack science is considered something of an embarrassment. On the Democratic side, he'd be invited to speak at the national convention.

* * *

Jennifer Graham's piece at NRO is the best I've read on the lady who disposed of two of her unborn triplets so she wouldn't have to shop at Costco.

* * *

Choice Chick vs. the Judgebots: In this Flash animation from Planned Parenthood, the heroine out of the action-packed pages of Our Bodies, Ourselves appears to be a mix of Olympia Snowe and a skinny Janeane Garofalo, and is aided by her backup superheroes, the Ambiguously Democratic Presidential Duo. (Via Bill Cork)


Thursday, August 05, 2004  

Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954

Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson has died at 95. The NY Sun carries the Telegraph obit.

Image galleries: here and here.


The racy 1920s tabloid New York Evening Graphic and its eccentric publisher, Bernarr MacFadden, who changed his first name to sound more like a lion's roar, are colorfully recalled by William Bryk in the NY Sun.

Particularly funny is the description of the sensational divorce case coverage of Peaches, the woof-woofing tycoon and the honking gander. My favorite tabloid headline: "I Murdered My Wife Because She Cooked Fishballs for Dinner. I Told Her I Would Never Eat Them Again but She Defied Me to the End."


A design critic doesn't like the new UPS logo

The personal is not the political, says the inimitable Lileks, via the invaluable Terry Teachout.

Compelling writer Paul Fussell, noted for his literary study of the Great War, and whose Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Class I recommend, is interviewed in The Guardian.


Dear old Dartmouth, give a rouse

Chesterton's observations on open-mindedness are recalled by this account of dithering at Dartmouth after an exhibitionist caused a stir pleasuring himself to computer porn in a college library.

Many students said they were "disgusted" by the community member and his selection of porn. However, Katherine McNabb '06, who observed the incident, said that she was not particularly fazed by the transvestite pornography.

"Don't yuck someone else's yum," McNabb said.

Associate librarian Cindy Pawlek said the mysterious porn-watcher did not necessarily do anything illegal during the incident, as viewing pornographic material is not in violation of Baker-Berry's public computer regulations.

"If there are complaints about pornographic viewing because it is making students uncomfortable, we'd probably ask them to relocate to a more private area of the library," Pawlek said.


Pro-life Democrats overlooked

Democrats for Life rallied in Boston during Convention Week. The American Spectator took note, as did Michelle Malkin, the Wall Street Journal, the Pilot, and the local Daily News Transcript.

But the national party didn't:

Despite Democratic Party chairman Terry McAuliffe's promise that a pro-life speaker would be allowed at the convention, the only speaker to oppose abortion, Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin, promoted embryonic stem cell research by introducing Ron Reagan for a speech on an issue pro-life groups oppose.

Check out the exchange that took place before Boston between Chris Matthews and convention chairman Gov. Bill Richardson:

MATTHEWS: Speaking of the life issue, are you going to let anybody who‘s pro-life, who opposes abortion rights, speak on the convention floor? Are you going to do what you did to Bob Casey back in ‘92, no pro-lifers allowed to speak? Is this party going to be a one-point-of-view party.
RICHARDSON: No. You know, this is a very broad cross section...
MATTHEWS: Name one speaker who is pro-life at the Democratic convention coming up.
MATTHEWS: One speaker.
RICHARDSON: The final set of speakers haven‘t been finalized. So you may be surprised. But I...
MATTHEWS: I will be very surprised if you guys let a pro-life speaker speak at a Democratic convention.
RICHARDSON: Yes. Well, we‘ll see, Chris. We still have a few more announcements in the days ahead.
MATTHEWS: Well, plenty of opportunities to diversify on that issue.

The disenfranchisement of Democrats for Life has been raised here and here at the Kerry online forum, with little response.

Meantime, at the Democratic National Committee's website, the Women's Vote Center trumpets the arrival of Kate Michelman to lead a DNC "Campaign to Save the Court," and deems Bush's opposition to the "right to choose" the No. 1 Reason W is Bad for Women.

A search found still no link to Democrats for Life from the DNC website. But the recent responses to a Democrats for Life commenter at the DNC's Kicking Ass blog were suggestive of the prevailing party line:

Democrats for Life: Too often pro-life Democrats are excluded from the big tent of the Democratic Party. We are pleased with Terry McAuliffe's decision to permit pro-life speakers to talk openly about the right to life despite the fact that most of the Democratic Party stands for pro-abortion. "Chairman McAuliffe's statement proves that the Democratic Party is truly the party of inclusion," asserted Kristen Day in a statement. "Despite our differences on the issue of protecting the rights of the unborn, the fact that McAuliffe is not going to exclude pro-life speakers from addressing the Convention in Boston is encouraging." McAuliffe said he would not exclude pro-life speakers, so why were pro-life posts "deleted" from the comments section of Kate Michelman's chat yesterday? Forty three percent of Democrats can't be ignored. Our party can't just disenfranchise the pro-life democratic vote.

Paul Matthews: "Pro-life Democrats" are not Democrats. They are unfortunate bigots in disguise.

Veneita: I have no problem with those who call themselves pro-life holding a personal view that abortion is wrong. As is often said, if you believe abortion is wrong, don't have one. I do not believe they have the right to impose their view of when life begins on a body and mind that are not their own.

I believe there is an inconsistent position in pro-life politicians. If they believe that life begins at conception, they should call for the separate insurability and tax deductibility of conceived cells as full humans. Women who suffer first trimester miscarriages, like I did, should be allowed to take a child tax credit for one year and collect death benefits. If life really begins at conception, than from that moment, every 14th amendment right that a citizen has should be invested in the fetus. That means that a foreign woman visiting the U.S. and conceives here should be able to claim U.S. citizenship for her conception.

I love children. I have two. But having a miscarriage taught me something very important. The "child" I lost was only a child to me because it was wanted and my mind endowed it with personhood. The state has no right to force me to see it in that manner.

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Democrats for Life of America lists its candidate endorsements.

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On the stem-cell-research front, the website Bioethics.com is a useful resource, with an updated archive of articles. The emphasis appears to be on criticism, with Ron Reagan Jr. coming in for a (well-deserved) thrashing.


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