Friday, May 28, 2004

John Allen writes in today's Word from Rome:

On May 27, Cardinal Bernard Law, the former archbishop of Boston who resigned over his handling of sex abuse allegations, was named Archpriest of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome. The nomination means that Law, 72, will now reside and work in Rome.

I reported that such a move was under consideration in "The Word from Rome" on Feb. 13.

Each of the four major partriarchal basilicas in Rome has a cardinal-archpriest who is the administrator of the facility. Typically it is a quasi-honorary post given at the end of someone's career.

In Law's case, the dynamics were different.

No kidding.

In effect, this amounts to a recognition that Law cannot play a public role in the church in the United States, nor could he head a major Vatican agency given both his age and his baggage. This appointment allows him to be part of the Roman scene, continuing to serve as a member of the seven congregations and two councils to which he already belongs, and performing whatever other informal functions might be asked of him.

I seem to recall earlier news reports that he might actually do something more expected of a bishop who has uttlerly failed his flock, such as spend the rest of his life in a monastery praying and meditating on the concept of atonement.

As I wrote on Feb. 13: "I suspect that Rome is in some ways a more comfortable environment for Law than the States; he is not stalked by TV cameras here, and, rightly or wrongly,


many Roman observers regard him with sympathy, believing Law was unfairly made the scapegoat of the American sex abuse crisis."

Back here at ground zero, for some strange reason, Catholics view this as a slap in the face, and not for the first time begin to wonder is there really any difference between the Vatican and, say, the board of Citibank?

In all seriousness, this scandal has brought home to even orthodox Catholics the sense that the clergy who run the Church really do set themselves apart (in not the best sense of the phrase) from those they are supposed to serve.
And this man—who apparently has so much disdain for the nature of the American people—wanted to be elected to lead it?

The Boston Herald on Al Gore.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

The Boston Globe's hard-hitting OpEd columnist Jeff Jacoby apparently hit too hard today with his tough piece lambasting Mass. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy for his "anti-American slander" speech in the Senate two weeks ago. The Globe buried Jacoby's excellent column with a two-line notation in the print edition that it could be found on the Globe's web page.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

This would be cool:

"Industry analysts have speculated that Apple might ultimately broaden the uses for an iPod beyond playing music, such as for watching movies.

Already, third-party providers sell accessories that let iPod users transfer pictures from digital cameras to the iPod and use it as a voice recorder."

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Amy Welborn does a job on, "evolution" of Dan Brown's vaunted "factual basis" for the Da Vinci Code.

Friday, May 14, 2004

For the complete ramifications of the Boston Globe's disgraceful running of the story on alleged US Military rapes in Iraq , check out Dan Kennedys' commentary.

Liberal bias? No...not here:

"The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool, fringed with the usual cast of tattooed defence contractors, I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials.

"She had been disturbed by my argument that Iraqis were better off than they had been under Saddam and I was now — there was no choice about this — going to have to justify my bizarre and dangerous views. I’ll spare you most of the details because you know the script — no WMD, no ‘imminent threat’ (though the point was to deal with Saddam before such a threat could emerge), a diversion from the hunt for bin Laden, enraging the Arab world. Etcetera.

"But then she came to the point. Not only had she ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’ Startled by her candour, I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing.

"She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go. By this logic, I ventured, another September 11 on, say, September 11 would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry’s poll numbers. ‘Well, that’s different — that would be Americans,’ she said, haltingly. ‘I guess I’m a bit of an isolationist.’ That’s one way of putting it.

"The moral degeneracy of these sentiments didn’t really hit me until later when I dined at the home of Abu Salah, a father of six who took over as the Daily Telegraph’s chief driver in Baghdad when his predecessor was killed a year ago."

Read more.
(Link thanks to Glenn Reynolds.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Dan Kennedy, on the nightmare that will be the Democratic Convention in Boston:

"You could look it up (I don't feel like it), but Media Log has predicted on at least several occasions that this July's Democratic National Convention will be a five-alarm disaster for anyone who lives in, works in, or even thinks about Boston.

"Yet now that Anthony Flint is reporting in today's Boston Globe that operations to shut down I-93 each day will begin as early as 4 p.m., I'm ready to make a counterintuitive prediction. I now think everyone has been so thoroughly freaked out by months of apocalyptic scenarios (can I take just a little bit of credit?) that everyone is going to take the week off and the locals are going to barricade themselves inside their homes."

Friday, May 07, 2004

"Music labels are dragging their feet in licensing their songs to Apple Computer because they fear its long-promised European music download site will dominate the online business, industry insiders say.

"The five main record labels are understood to be scared that Apple, which makes the iPod digital music player, will become as successful in Europe as it has in the US, where it has 70 per cent of the legal download business. That could let it dictate which stars or records succeed or fail by deciding which to promote on its site."

Sheesh. Even when Apple starts winning, it can't win.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Oh, brother. The travails of Bill Clinton, author. From the latest Publisher's Lunch newsletter:

Today's wave of Bill Clinton stories comes by way of previews of a June Vanity Fair interview. The poor thing says, "I am literally hardly sleeping. I am working around the clock. I am killing myself because I want (my memoirs) done. ... Hard enough to live my life the first time. The second time has really been tough."

A classic NY Post version says, "The publisher of Bill Clinton's forthcoming memoir is 'despairing' that the ex-president hasn't churned out enough pages - and that the book is too full of self-justification and blaming of others, a new report claims." They quote the VF piece as saying that the "Prose is fine; there's just not enough of it. And what has been composed, says an editor who's been briefed on the manuscript, veers too often into trademark blame and self-justification."

They say the interview indicates, "Only within recent weeks did he begin jotting down memories of 1998, when he faced impeachment over of his affair with Monica Lewinsky." Editor Robert Gottlieb is said to have been sleeping over in Chappaqua to help get the book finished.

Man, it's tough being a writer...
Holbert basically sums up Kerry's problem (and the Democrats').