Sunday, January 20

Airports and misallocated resources: the continuting saga. Went to pick up kids at the airport. Their flight came in at 8:03, and there was one final flight coming into the airport at 8:25. There were THIRTEEN people "working" security - ten employees and three Guardsmen.

I don't think there were that many people on the plane.

The New York Times on what the Mormons are doing with the Olympics The public answer: after some initial big plans (including a musical extravaganza that would be performed 10 times over the course of the Games), the Church has drawn back.

Ms. Cyncial retorts (cynically): I don't believe it for a second.

Good review of 3 books about Robert Hanssen from the Weekly Standard. On his wife's complicity:

But nothing points more clearly to Bonnie's complicity than a remarkable incident in 1980, when Bonnie came upon Bob counting out more than $20,000 in cash in the basement. He admitted he had sold information to the Soviets, though he claimed it was worthless "trash for cash." (In fact, he had revealed the identity of a longtime double agent within the GRU, Dmitri Polyakov, codenamed "tophat." Polyakov was later executed.) Bonnie dragged Bob to confession with an Opus Dei priest, Father Robert Bucciarelli, who according to Bonnie's later testimony exhorted Hanssen to pray, made him promise never to do it again, and had him donate the money to charity.

Many attacks have been made on Bucciarelli's penance. Shannon and Blackman even imply that Bucciarelli should have turned him over to the authorities, despite the well-known doctrine that Catholic priests cannot reveal the contents of the confessional, even under pain of death. Still, it's true that the priest failed to exercise prudential judgment in the matter. Bucciarelli's answer--pray and donate the money to charity--is laughably naive.

But if she and her husband got bad spiritual guidance from Bucciarelli, Bonnie Hanssen also failed to press the matter. It is too much to expect that any wife would turn in her husband. But if anything pointed to the need for a separation of some sort, or at least a serious turn to counseling, confessed espionage would seem to be it. One of the duties of Catholic marriage is, after all, to help your spouse attain heaven. Yet Bonnie, the daughter of a psychiatrist who had worked as an asylum nurse, did nothing.

The article has a great deal to say about the Opus Dei puzzle, as well. The focus is on what blinds us from seeing evil when it's right in front of us. Very good.

Governor James McGreevey, Catholic-by-association and pro-abortion-in-convictions, was scheduled to give a speech. On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade. At Seton Hall University. Catholic place.

Some people protested. Not the University's president, mind you. But some other people. So the speech was moved. Everyone claimed ignorance, except the university president, who declared,

``As this is a town meeting, the setting neither honors him nor supports his views. Rather, as a university - and a Catholic one - we are honoring our role as citizens who have the right to voice the concerns that arise out of our personal and faith commitments,''

And what does that mean?

Nun Strives to Save a Small Girls' School That Has a Big Impact. It's a shame schools like this have to struggle, especially in an archdiocese that is spending mega millions on building a cathedral that almost everyone seems to hate.

Or in an archdiocese that spends an undisclosed amount (perhaps in the millions) for a 192-hole in the ground that it has no plans for.

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