Witchhunt

Friday, June 23, AD 2017

 

Bad enough being sent to prison for a crime you committed.  Imagine being sent to prison for twenty-one years for a crime that you did not commit:

The only physical evidence against the Kellers was the testimony of Dr Michael Mouw, who examined the girl in the emergency room of a local hospital after the therapy session and said he found tears in her hymen that potentially indicated that she was molested.

Mouw signed an affidavit last January in which he affirms that he now realises his inexperience led him to a conclusion that “is not scientifically or medically valid, and that I was mistaken.”

In an appeal filed on behalf of Fran Keller earlier this year, her lawyer, Keith Hampton, also argued that the state presented misleading evidence about the cemetery, relied on a false witness confession and the testimony of a “quack” satanic abuse “expert”, and that suggestive interview techniques had encouraged the children to make “fantastical false statements”.

According to police reports and trial records, the children said that Dan Keller killed his dog and made children cut it up and eat it, “baptised” kids with blood and disembowelled pets, forcing children to drink the blood.

The Kellers were also said to have decapitated and chopped up a baby, put the remains in a swimming pool and made the children jump in. In one account, the Kellers were said to have stolen a baby gorilla from a park and Frances cut off one of its fingers.

The pair, who apparently liked to wear robes, were said to have dug graves in a cemetery to hide dead animals and a passer-by who was shot and carved up with a chain saw.

The children were supposedly taken to military bases and on secret aeroplane trips, including to Mexico, where they were abused and returned to the centre in time for their parents to pick them up as normal. They said they were coerced into videotaped sex acts and drugged so they would forget what they had seen.

In court, the jury heard about the extensive attempts by Austin police to substantiate the stories – and Hampton believes that lent them credibility. Police conducted inquiries at nearby airfields, took the children to a cemetery and examined graves from a helicopter using an infrared camera that they said could detect “hot-spots” on decomposing corpses.

In a letter of support for the Kellers dated March 17 this year, James Wood, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at El Paso, wrote: “There is now general agreement among reputable scholars that the Daycare Abuse Panic was a twentieth-century manifestation of ‘witchcraft fever’ of the same kind that swept Salem, Massachusetts in 1692 and Western Europe in the centuries before that.”

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FBI Pretends That Political Assassin Wasn’t

Friday, June 23, AD 2017

 

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist tells us that the FBI has decided that would be political assassin James T. Hodgkinson was merely a victim of poor anger management:

 

 

The FBI admits that Hodgkinson:

vociferously raged against Republicans in online forums,
had a piece of paper bearing the names of six members of Congress,
was reported for doing target practice outside his home in recent months before moving to Alexandria,
had mapped out a trip to the DC area,
took multiple photos of the baseball field he would later shoot up, three days after the New York Times mentioned that Republicans practiced baseball at an Alexandria baseball field with little security,
lived out of his van at the YMCA directly next door to the baseball field he shot up,
legally purchased a rifle in March 2003 and 9 mm handgun “in November 2016,”
modified the rifle at some point to accept a detachable magazine and replaced the original stock with a folding stock,
rented a storage facility to hide hundreds of rounds of ammunition and additional rifle components,
asked “Is this the Republican or Democrat baseball team?” before firing on the Republicans,
ran a Google search for information on the “2017 Republican Convention” hours before the shooting,
and took photos at high-profile Washington locations, including the east front plaza of the U.S. Capitol and the Dirksen Senate Office.

We know from other reporting that the list was of six Republican Freedom Caucus members, including Rep. Mo Brooks, who was present at the practice.

So what does the FBI decide this information means? Well, the takeaway of the briefing was characterized well by the Associated Press headline about it: “FBI: Gunman who shot congressman had no target in mind.” The Associated Press reported the FBI:

believes the gunman “had no concrete plan to inflict violence” against Republicans,
“had not yet clarified who, if anyone, he planned to target, or why,”
believes he may have just “happened upon” the baseball game the morning of June 14, and that the attack appeared “spontaneous,”
are unclear on the “context” of Hodgkinson’s note with six names of members of Congress,
does not believe that photographs of the baseball field or other sites “represented surveillance of intended targets,” and
“painted a picture of a down-on-his-luck man with few future prospects.”

In fact, USA Today went with “FBI offers portrait of troubled Alexandria shooter with ‘anger management problem’” for their headline, since that’s what the FBI emphasized in the briefing.

The FBI also said there was no “nexus to terrorism” in the attempted mass assassination of Republican leadership by a Democratic activist. The claim that tourists take pictures of a a completely unremarkable baseball field in a tiny neighborhood also seems odd, particularly when the pictures were taken a few days after The New York Times reported that Republican members of Congress practice baseball there with little security. Someone going by the moniker “Yoenis Cespedes” wrote, “As a guy who could arguably be called a reconnaissance manager when he was in the Army, this is reconnaissance.”

Oh, and here’s a little tidbit that didn’t interest many people in the media beyond a brief mention in the last paragraphs:

Hodgkinson also visited the office of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign he had worked on as a volunteer, and was in email contact with the two Democratic senators from his home state.

As one Twitter wag put it, “You’d think “Congressional Shooter Visited Actual Capitol Hill Offices” would be kinda a big deal and you’d be wrong.”

I wrote last week that the media’s big problem right now is that everyone in the country knows how they’d be covering the shooting if the parties were reversed. Can you imagine if a shooter had visited the office of Sen. Ted Cruz and corresponded with two Republican senators? Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) gave emails to investigators last week but it was treated mostly as local news.

With trust in institutions at historic lows, and the bureaucracy beset by fears of politicization, the FBI made a poor decision to gaslight Americans by claiming that the assassination attempt wasn’t premeditated terrorism but a spontaneous “anger management” problem.

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Dissolve Illinois!

Thursday, June 22, AD 2017

 

John Kass, the only reason to read the Chicago Tribune, has a column calling for the dissolution of the failed State of Illinois.  Go here to read it.  I see my chunk of the State would go to Indiana.  I could live with being a Hoosier if it meant being out from under the thumb of Cook County.

 

 

My preferred solution of course would be Illinois separating into two new states:  The Land of Lincoln and Cook County.

 

Alternative names would be God’s Country and Hell.

 

14 Responses to Dissolve Illinois!

  • If I’m reading the map correctly — some downstate cities, highways or landmarks should have been included for reference — Springfield would go to Missouri (aside from being a Cubs fan, I’d be OK with that) but they already have a Springfield so I suppose our Springfield would have to change its name. Any suggestions?

  • Have you ever noticed godless Democrats squeeze into small areas like snakes in a den, but then they devastate areas from beyond where they live?

  • Hmmm… not sure how I feel about Kentucky getting some of that… what did we do wrong?

  • “Any suggestions?”

    Lincoln Theme Park! (Let the name reflect the reality!)

  • Ah, you blue grassers Nate are getting the prettiest part of the State!

  • Who would get Great Mistakes (I mean Great Lakes) Naval Training Center?

  • It is in Lake County so it goes to Land of Lincoln!

  • I sympathize… I wish we could create the state of Northern Virginia (Washingtonistan?) north of the Rappahannock, and leave the rest of the Commonwealth to her sane self. I was wondering what your take on Illinois’ woes was. I like the suggestion I saw that would require any state declaring bankruptcy to revert to territory status, give up its representation in DC, and have to apply for readmission to the Union. But it seems that, like in Virginia, one small part of the state is doing most of the mischief.

  • I think this could be a coming issue Tom, all kidding aside. Our states are increasingly uneasy marriages of urban centers and rural areas, and some sort of separation seems inevitable down the road.

  • Michigan has enough problems, so I’m happy that we would not get part of Illinois.

  • DJH, IL does claim part of Lake Michigan (it’s the purple wedge on Don’s map). So you might get that, but fortunately only fish live there.

  • As for Springfield’s new identity, I’d suggest “Lincoln Theme Park and Video Gaming Parlors”.

  • Surely a step in the right direction. Maybe we need a Constitutional Convention to bring the country back in line with the founders conception.

  • Hoha. This is so an inter country problem
    Here in NZ, those who live in Auckland (our biggest city of 1.5 mil situated in the northern quarter of the North Island) – are known as ‘JAFFA’S – translated as “just another funny f****in Aucklander’. Why, because they think that all NZ resides in that city. The boundary to the souht west is the Bombay Hills – a low range that tends to separate Auckland from the fertile Waikato region and the rest of the country to the south, west and east. So the Jaffa’s think that NZ ends at the Bombay hills.
    News for them – as NZ is essentially a primary producing economy, the bulk of the wealth comes from those regions south of the Bombay – including the balance of the North Island, and the South Island. The Jaffas even tend to speak a bit differently – even if it is only our imagination – but it is there attitude; and most Jaffas are lefties – so the balance of the real kiwis are happy to separate them. But we are not big eonugh, nor a federal state to cast them off – so we tolerate them 😉

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PopeWatch: Audience

Thursday, June 22, AD 2017

 

The four dubia Cardinals drafted a request for an audience on April 25, 2017:

 

Most Holy Father,

It is with a certain trepidation that I address myself to Your Holiness, during these days of the Easter season. I do so on behalf of the Most Eminent Cardinals: Walter Brandmüller, Raymond L. Burke, Joachim Meisner, and myself.

We wish to begin by renewing our absolute dedication and our unconditional love for the Chair of Peter and for Your august person, in whom we recognize the Successor of Peter and the Vicar of Jesus: the “sweet Christ on earth,” as Saint Catherine of Siena was fond of saying. We do not share in the slightest the position of those who consider the See of Peter vacant, nor of those who want to attribute to others the indivisible responsibility of the Petrine munus. We are moved solely by the awareness of the grave responsibility arising from the munus of cardinals: to be advisers of the Successor of Peter in his sovereign ministry. And from the Sacrament of the Episcopate, which “has placed us as bishops to pasture the Church, which He has acquired with his blood” (Acts 20:28).

On September 19, 2016 we delivered to Your Holiness and to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith five dubia, asking You to resolve uncertainties and to bring clarity on some points of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia.

Not having received any response from Your Holiness, we have reached the decision to ask You, respectfully and humbly, for an Audience, together if Your Holiness would like. We attach, as is the practice, an Audience Sheet in which we present the two points we wish to discuss with you.

11 Responses to PopeWatch: Audience

  • The pope will promptly schedule the requested audience for the second Tuesday of next week.

  • Matthew 7:9 (“Or what man is there among you, of whom if his son shall ask bread, will
    he reach him a stone?”) somehow comes to mind. Cardinals Caffarra et. al. being dutiful
    sons asking for bread, and our Pope offering stone instead. His is the silence of a man
    who has nothing to say for himself.

  • So what happens next when after time it becomes apparent to all that the Pope will never respond and dialogue?

    What is he afraid of?

  • The reality is the pope cannot answer the dubia without exposing its inability to comply with the teachings of the faith as handed down by the Apostles. The question remains: what now? Will the cardinals sit quietly for the dissolution of Catholic doctrine and practice that has already begun? Will the Pope respond with punishment?(alter boys for the lot of them) Will he attempt to answer with more transparent ambiguity and unclarity? Will he admit to its confusion and clarify the errors? As they say, only God knows.

  • This quote from the Register says it all:
    “For many Catholics, it is incredible that the Pope is asking bishops to dialogue with those who think differently [i.e. non-Catholic Christians], but does not want first to face the cardinals who are his chief advisors,” Msgr. Bux says.

  • For pf it might be better to remain silent and be accused of heresies than to open one’s mouth and support the evidence.

    Trying my best to take the good and leave the rotton until his chapter ends. Good?
    Yes. There is some good.
    Like it or not….. he’s our Pope.
    Pray for him.

  • What I hope will happen if the Pope doesn’t respond is continued following in the example of St. Catherine of Siena’s loyalty to a difficult Holy Father.

  • I’m beginning to wonder if this Pope “thinks” that his election is proof that he (Francis) is now “authorized” by God to change what Christ taught on Marriage. Am I crazy for thinking that the Pope thinks this?

  • David WS; I too, think that Pope Francis believes that he is enabled to change the truth taught by Jesus Christ, the Healer.

  • Mundabor has an interesting perspective on this, and he doesn’t take kindly to what he calls the meowing of Cardinals:

    https://mundabor.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/four-cardinals-five-dubia-and-no-end-of-meowing/

  • Agree with Mundabor. “Please, dear Cardinals, stop meowing and grow a pair already. You are supposed to be Princes of the Church, not whining kitten.”

    What we are dealing with here is the reincarnation of Henry VII in the body of Pope Francis. What’s needed is another Thomas More. We we now have are pussy cats. Like in the time of Henry the Cardinals and Bishops are mostly caving in as nearly all Catholic will also.

    The persecution of orthodox Catholics is well on its way. Let his pray for divine intervention so that fewer souls will be lost.

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Fortnight for Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher

Thursday, June 22, AD 2017

 

A spot of blood and grease on the pages of English history.

Charles Dickens, referring to King Henry VIII

For English speaking Catholics, June 22 is a bright day on the calendar of the Saints.  It is appropriate that in the northern hemisphere it is also one of the longest days, when it is not the longest day, of the year, since no amount of sunshine is too much to celebrate the merits of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher.  On this day we remember the two saints who stood against King Henry VIII, for the great principle that the State must never be allowed to control the Church.  Much that we Americans celebrate as freedom was born out of Church-State struggles down through the ages.  Sometimes those who stood against the State fell in the struggle, but the concept that the State is not absolute, that there are limits to its authority, is one of the great gifts of the Catholic Middle Ages to all of mankind.  It is only in modern times, since 1500, that the heresy that the State may exercise absolute authority has been a constant source of misery and strife in the history of the West.

When he ascended to the throne of England Henry VIII was popularly known as the Golden Hope of England.  His father Henry VII had never been loved by the people of England:  a miser and a distinctly unheroic figure no matter what Shakespeare would write in Richard III.  He had brought the end of the War of the Roses and peace to England, but that was about as much credit as his subjects would give the grasping, unlovable Henry Tudor.  His son by contrast looked like an Adonis when young, strong and athletic.  He had a sharp mind and had been well-educated, intended, ironically, for a career in the Church before the death of his elder brother Arthur.  He was reputed, correctly, to be pious.  He had considerable charisma in his youth and knew how to make himself loved with a well timed laugh or smile, and loved he was, by the nobles, commons, his wife Katherine, and the Church.  Few reigns started more auspiciously than that of Henry, eighth of that name.

By the end of his reign he was widely despised by most of his subjects.  Called a crowned monster behind his back, his reign had brought religious turmoil to England and domestic strife.  The best known symbols of his reign were the headman’s axe, the stake and the boiling pot in which he had some of the luckless individuals who roused his fury boiled to death.

It of course is small wonder for a Catholic to have little love for Henry VIII and his reign, but the distaste for Henry extends well beyond members of the Church.  Winston Churchill, the great English statesman and historian, in his magisterial History of the English Speaking Peoples, has this to say about the executions of Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher:

“The resistance of More and Fisher to the royal supremacy in Church government was a heroic stand.  They realised the defects of the existing Catholic system, but they hated and feared the aggressive nationalism which was destroying the unity of Christendom.  They saw that the break with Rome carried with it the risk of a despotism freed from every fetter.  More stood forth as the defender of all that was finest in the medieval outlook.  He represents to history its universality, its belief in spiritual values, and its instinctive sense of otherworldliness.  Henry VIII with cruel axe decapitated not only a wise and gifted counselor, but a system which, though it had failed to live up to its ideals in practice, had for long furnished mankind with its brightest dreams.”

 

Churchill himself was not noted for being a churchgoer.  When asked if he was a pillar of the Church of England, he quipped that perhaps he could be considered to be a flying buttress of the Church, supporting it from outside.  Perhaps this helped give him a certain objectivity regarding Henry VIII.  Here is part of his summing up of Henry’s reign:

“Henry’s rule saw many advances in the growth and the character of the English state, but it is a hideous blot upon his record that the reign should be widely remembered for its executions.  Two Queens, two of the King’s chief Ministers, a saintly bishop, numerous abbots, monks and many ordinary folk who dared to resist the royal will were put to death.  Almost every member of the nobility in whom royal blood ran perished on the scaffold at Henry’s command.  Roman Catholic and Calvinist alike were burnt for heresy and religious treason.  These persecutions, inflicted in solemn manner by officers of the law, perhaps in the presence of the Council or even the King himself, form a brutal sequel to the bright promise of the Renaissance.  The sufferings of devout men and women among the faggots, the use of torture, and the savage penalties imposed for even paltry crimes, stand in repellent contrast to the enlightened principles of humanism.” 

5 Responses to Fortnight for Freedom: Saint Thomas More and Saint John Fisher

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Fifty Million Plus Dollars Later

Wednesday, June 21, AD 2017

 

 

Republicans are now 4 for 4 in special House elections since Trump took office:

 

Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia’s record-breaking special congressional election, dashing hopes by Democrats to pull off an upset in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.

Seen as an early proxy for whether Democrats can flip certain Republican-leaning districts in the President Donald Trump era, Tuesday’s election drew national attention and record cash from around the country. Democrats have aimed to leverage Trump’s dismal approval rating and opposition to the Republican health-care bill into winning Republican seats and potentially taking control of the House in 2018.

The race for Georgia’s 6th District for the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price pitted Handel, 55, the former Georgia secretary of state, against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year old former congressional aide. Fueled by a rush of donors from around the U.S., Ossoff pushed for an upset in the suburban Atlanta district that Price repeatedly won easily.

 

He came up short, as Handel won by about 5 percentage points, according to incomplete returns.

The two campaigns and outside groups supporting and opposing the candidates shelled out at least $36 million as of May 31, including more than $22 million from Ossoff’s campaign. The election easily set a record for spending in a House race, according to NBC News.

 

18 Responses to Fifty Million Plus Dollars Later

  • I am glad the Dems lost again. I hope this continues.

    That said, I remained surprised that my company – a nuclear one which normally should favor Republicans – has management which openly despises Trump. I think I have figured out the reason. This company is home-based in a blue State which overwhelmingly voted for Hildebeast. And that State did a lot to oppose Trump’s executive orders on immigration. And young spoiled brat millennial whelps rioted and burned and looted in that State because they didn’t get their way in the last election. So guess what? That compnay isn’t going to get ANY DOE funding from Perry in the future because Perry works for Trump and Trump knows who loves him and who hates him. Realizing that subconsciously, and realizing Trump isn’t being suckered into the climate change fear mongering being used by nuclear and renewable advocates alike, management never misses an opportunity to say some snide remark, or let some ridicule loose.

    You freaking LOST, idiots! Get over it! We don’t want Democrats in power period, so change or shrivel up and die.

  • 50 million? Ah, the value of tribute money to the Godless has gone up in the last couple thousand years.

  • When will we see legislative victories?

  • Seriously?!? They ran a 30 year-old, wet behind the ears “congressional aid” against a former secretary of state and expected to win? Either the Dem bench is ridiculously shallow, or they were not all that serious.

  • Yet again the polls have been shown to be laughably inaccurate, and the
    pundits and presstitutes who gravely informed us that voters were turning
    away from Handel have been shown to be confusing their own wishful
    thinking for objective journalism.

    And it’s interesting that up until the election, we were breathlessly told
    that the Georgia 6th race represented a referendum on Trump, that a
    loss by Handel meant a rejection of Trump by the nation as a whole.
    But today? The Democrats this morning all sound like the old Saturday
    Night Live character Emily Litella: “Never mind!”

    https://youtu.be/OjYoNL4g5Vg

  • Here is what I have been told:

    “What scares me is that the ordinary American is a really dumb, ignorant fool. Trump was elected because he preyed on the uneducated and took them for a ride. Such people are so gullible that they wiillingly accept the fear mongering hat Trump disseminates. I love news headlines that even today read something similar to the following: ‘Trump’s core base still supports him!'”

    Most everyone in my company who is anyone believes exactly what you see written above. They despise Trump as an ignorant buffoon, and equally, they despise their fellow Americans who differ with them. And God help you if you are a Trump supporter.

    PS, I note with irony the fear mongering part. What the hell is the apocalypse of anthropogenic global warming but fear mongering incarnate?

  • Seriously?!? They ran a 30 year-old, wet behind the ears “congressional aid” against a former secretary of state and expected to win? Either the Dem bench is ridiculously shallow, or they were not all that serious.

    The Democratic cognoscenti in 2007 came up with the idea of running Barack Obama against Rudolph Giuliani / Mitt Romney / Mike Huckabee / John McCain / Ron Paul. Sometimes, it’s like selling Spam.

  • Did Ossoff have an ad featuring Scarlett Johanssen?

  • “When will we see legislative victories?”

    Beginning next week I suspect.

  • As was the case when a democratic supporter shot Republicans and now a Republican has won, the media very quickly moves on. The total opposite would had taken place if it had been a Republican shooter and a Democratic win. We would have heard about it endlessly with projections and fear mongering, on and on and on..
    Big Media ratings may be up, but I don’t think Big Media realizes how far their credibility sank into the toilet. No one, not even the most die hard progressive, seriously thinks Big Media is real news anymore, just entertainment, propaganda, but certainly not news. But I guess Big Media really doesn’t care about credibility anymore.

  • Stephen Miller: “The only thing Democrats won recently was the congressional baseball game, while the only way Democrat voters can seem to get Republicans out of Congress is by shooting them. And they can’t even do that right.”

    Instapundit: “Until the party can admit to itself that Barack Obama was the worst party leader perhaps ever, and that Hillary Clinton was the least-capable standard-bearer since Mike Dukakis, then they’re going to have to continue pinning the blame for their losses on racist, sexist, phobic American voters.”

  • First, I really like Clinton’s “presstitutes”.
    Next, David’s comment is so right: the ‘media’ has moved on, now that the GA 6th district decision didn’t fall their way—but also they were inordinately grateful to take their squirrel-length attention-span off of the fact that Steve Scalise is still in serious condition with scores of bullet fragments in his body, thanks to the James K. Hodgkinson (D) party.

    Now, the Hodgkinson Party, Nancy Pscyhosi, Bernie “the Red” Sanders, Elizabeth (“The Scream”, apologies to Edvard Munch) Warren, and Charles Sleazy Schumer, are all about the healthcare of the American populace, right? Imagine what $50 mil dumped into a 3rd-party administrator trust HSA administrated by the State of GA for its citizens, especially on a means-tested basis, could do for healthcare? Naw, it’s all about POWER!! What am I thinking…

    Also: Did anyone else note that the Hodkinson Party always says they understand women, and they especially targeted women voters supposedly in Fulton and DeKalb counties—by selecting supposedly an “eye-candy” (you cant argue he had any substance) candidate. So, when push encounters shove, it is always patronizing to its identity groups, even women. (“Let’s put Ossoff in there, they’ll be panting for him like we all were for James “Comely” Comey—another empty suit, and 6′ 8″ of it at that.)

  • As for why they picked Ossoff, have any of you heard him speak? His speaking style impersonates Obama. I kid you not. As if he were channeling him. I guarantee you those idiots believed themselves to be paving the way for the next Obama.
    ***
    Seriously, why else would all those Hollywood types go to Georgia to campaign on his behalf? it’s one thing to send a lot of money. It’s quite another thing to get personally involved.
    ***
    I’m telling you, I believe the left was infatuated with Ossoff on a near-Obama-like level. They viewed him as potentially the Democrats’ great Southern white hope.

  • See the look on the faces of the losers 😆
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DC1AjRGUIAASb9-?format=jpg&name=large
    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0REPLY REPORTJUNE 22, 2017 9:02AM

  • “…but I don’t think Big Media realizes how far their credibility sank into the toilet…”
    If they did they would have fired Martha Raddatz for her near breakdown as Trump racked up the electoral votes. The woman nearly broke out into tears than night, but hey, she’s a professional, right, not like those people exposing PP and thus deserving prosecution – oh wait: http://www.lifenews.com/2017/06/21/court-dismisses-bogus-charges-against-david-daleiden-for-exposing-planned-parenthood/

  • I apologize in advance.

    Seen on the net. “I’m laughing my ossoff.”

    Also, seen. An observation on the proclivity of brave, strong feminists to burst into tears.

    I am sincerely sorry.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=987gjSJa7nI

    If you say so, Jay. What I notice is less the stylistic resemblance to BO than his affection for humbug (“about you”, “extraordinary community”, and that prog-trash staple “make a statement”).

    One thing I’d like to see is a constitutional amendment elaborated upon by statutory legislation which among its provisions the following: (1) candidates for supralocal public offices must be between the ages of 39 and 72 years of age on the day of the election or referendum in question; (2) positions in the judiciary subject to election or retention-in-office referenda shall carry a term of four years or a whole-number multiple of four years; all other positions shall carry a term of four years; (3) judicial positions excepted, no person shall hold an elected office for more than 10 years in any bloc of twelve, or stand for election should it be the case that he would reach this limit in the middle of his term; (5) all judges (elected or no) must retire by the close of the calendar year in which they reach the age of 76, with their term of office truncated accordingly; (6) any person in a tainted occupation standing for a seat on a conciiliar body (judicial panels excepted) must run with an understudy (listed on his petitions or nominated with him at caucuses and conventions) who is not tainted. Should the outcome of caucuses, conventions, primary elections, and petition campaigns leave a political party with a corps of candidates for a given concilar body of whom more than 20% are tainted, lots must be drawn to replace a sufficient number of tainted candidates with their respective understudies in order to bring the share of tainted candidates down to 20%. The tainted occupations are ‘member of the bar’ and ‘public employee (elected officials excepted)’. Should one hold a tainted occupation, one will retain the taint for a period of time after relinquishing said occupation. The time one retains the taint shall equal one month for every four months one held the occupation in question. (7) the foregoing applies to all elective offices and to federal offices without fail; however, any state may, via referendum, opt to follow different standards and practices for its own offices or for local office under its aegis. However, any such alternative must be reconfirmed in a referendum at least once every 30 years; if the option has not been considered in the previous 30 years, the standards and practices delineated above shall be re-instituted.

    I think if we did that, we’d see few candidates for Congress whose previous preparation for the position was a stint as a congressional aide.

  • ….Eyecandy? He looks like the Avengers’ Spider Man, but without the charm.
    Maybe going for a young, fresh face thing? Not like they’ve got a lot of mid-range folks….

    Saw a funny: Democrat demanding where all these rich, white guys who want to destroy America keep coming from, and a Marine I know commented “I don’t know, but another one lost to a strong, qualified woman last night.”

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PopeWatch: Unholy Ghost

Wednesday, June 21, AD 2017

 

 

An article at Crisis by Julia Meloni focuses on one of the ghostwriters for the Pope:

 

 

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis announces: “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!” (297). Josef Seifert warns that it’s “nearly unavoidable” to deduce a denial of Hell—a fear echoed by others. Anna Silvas notes Amoris Laetitia’s “missing” lexicon of eternity: “There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in the document!”

But papal ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez is ebullient with joy because, as he declares in a 1995 article, “I rely firmly upon the truth that all are saved.” The author of Heal Me With Your Mouth: The Art of Kissing, Fernandez elsewhere rhapsodizes that extra-marital sex can express “ecstatic” charity and “Trinitarian richness.”

And Fernandez the papal ghostwriter—as Michael Pakaluk and Sandro Magister have shown—repeatedly plagiarizes his previous work in Amoris Laetitia. For instance, Fernandez’s 2006 declaration that “Trinitarian” love can be “realized within an objective situation of sin” is echoed in Amoris Laetitia 305.

Last September, the four cardinals submitted their dubia out of grave concern for “the true good of souls.” They’ve now published a letter from April requesting an audience with the pontiff—who has not responded.

As the months of papal non-engagement grow, Pope Francis’s maxim that “time is greater than space” feels increasingly ominous. Fernandez—whose cited and uncited work also appears in Pope Francis’s Evangelii Gaudium—has long claimed that we’re in an age of revolutionary “time.”

In his book The Francis Project, Fernandez laments that conservative “fanatics” can’t accept that the “Spirit”—which can “elude the supervision of the institution of the Church”—is leading us “toward a different phase.” It’s a phase where, apparently, God is “Mother” and “you should follow your conscience” and “a pope who tells us that God wants us to be happy on this earth will never ask us to be obsessed with sacrifice.” It’s a phase where, to quote Pope Francis, the Church isn’t “obsessed” with abortion or sexual ethics either.

6 Responses to PopeWatch: Unholy Ghost

  • So what are the four cardinals who submitted the five dubia and requested an audience going to do as Jorge Bergoglio continues to refuse to address their concerns?

    Eventually we have to reach a point where we openly call Jorge Bergoglio a heretic and refuse to follow him or give him credence.

    He must be deposed from the Seat of St Peter and anathematized. For the good of his soul and the good of the Church, he must be cast out.

    But who can do that except God? Oh that Jorge Bergoglio might experience what King Nebuchadnezzar did in Daniel chapter 4! That would fix his Argentinian ego but good.

  • I know many decent people who are striving to lead holy lives, but in the greater balance of civilization I see very few who are “obsessed with sacrifice.”

  • the sacrifice that so horrifies many in the “lifestyle” is what they see as what the world wants them to live with daily– chastity, purity. They think not giving in to what they feel driven to do, in obedience to what they have accepted as their actual identity. “This is who I am!” “You are asking me to sacrifice every day!” “God mad me this way so He obviously wants me to live this way… your obsession with my need to sacrifice is hateful and unmerciful.”

  • Anzlyne.

    As a believer and ambassador for Christ we have much to do. Our love and example is what will help them heal from a lifestyle choice that is only a dead end.

    They will search us out as the indelible mark becomes more evident and important to their sense of true identity. We must remember to just be ourselves and trust in Providence. Of course we pray. We adore.
    We beg for the forgiveness of those who do not pray, do not adore and who do not love the one who placed that indelible mark on them from the very beginning.

    Fatima’s angel of Portugal is instructing…and preparing the future St. Francisco in all of us. Sacrifice and daily Rosaries for the conversion of sinners.

    Peace.

  • If we were to imagine how the devil speaks we could do no better than to listen to Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez. Why this isn’t perfectly clear to Pope Francis and the Cardinals can only be explained by sharing the same belief or lack of courage.

  • Good morning Philip and thank you . We pray and hope.

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Fortnight For Freedom: Bulwark of Freedom

Wednesday, June 21, AD 2017

 

 

 

On this date 239 years ago New Hampshire adopted the Constitution and the Constitution went into effect, as the “Live Free or Die State” was the ninth state to vote to ratify it.  I love the Constitution.  The Founding Fathers crafted it well.  Where this country has gone off the rails is when one arm of the tripartite government begins to operate outside of its scope.  For example, when courts act like legislatures, when administrative agencies act like legislatures, when Congress attempts to micromanage foreign policy, etc.  I have heard the Constitution praised as the bulwark of our liberties.  It is a pretty sentiment, but mistaken.  Lincoln hit the target in a speech on what is the bulwark of our liberties, after God:

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.
September, 11, 1858

 

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Fortnight For Freedom 2017

Tuesday, June 20, AD 2017

 

As in years past The American Catholic will participate in the Fortnight for Freedom proclaimed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Each day up to the Fourth of July we will have a special blog post on the subject of liberty and freedom.

I debated in my mind whether to participate this year.  With a friend of liberty in the White House, it seemed less pressing to participate than under the odious Obama regime that was a clear and pressing danger to American liberty.  However, as our history shows, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and the issues raised in regard to the defense of our freedoms goes to the very heart of what it means to be an American.  This country was born in furious debate and thus it must continue.  And so we will take part again this year.

 

26 Responses to Fortnight For Freedom 2017

  • God made all things AND KEEPS THEM IN EXISTENCE. it is this “KEEPS THEM IN EXISTENCE” battle that must be fought against the forces of hell. It is God’s battle. Make no mistake. “their Creator” created man in freedom and endowed the sovereignty of man to each and every person. It is to maintain the kingdom of heaven that we must be constantly vigilant.

  • Freedom, use it or loose it. The same can be said of Teaching Authority.

    It was during the Obama administration when I first heard… a sermon on contraception, a weak one, but one none the less. Now, things are suddenly quiet again.
    We need exercises in solid Teaching much more than a “Fortnight For Freedom 2017” celebration.

  • The captains of our ships…both secular and sacred, seem to be asleep at the wheel! Bishops wake up!

  • The USCCB claims “How to talk about Religious Liberty,” that religious Freedom is “2. A Fundamental Right” but religious freedom is not a fundamental right in Catholic Tradition and so it seems to ABS that claim is in direct opposition to Mirari Vos, Pascendi, The Syllabus of Errors, the Leonine Encyclicals, (Immortale Dei, and Libertas) and other examples could be multiplied.

    It can not be contested the Magisterium of today has pitted itself against the Magisterium of Tradition and so instead of celebrating this contentious chaos, let’s consider just getting drunk.

    The Thomist, Msgr. BruneroGherardini, “The Ecumenical Vatican Council II A MUCH NEEDED DISCUSSION” produces a recapitulation of the Church historic opposition to the claims of the USCCB (See Denzinger 647 for a rather different consideration of Religious LIberty).

    On page 217 of his text, Msgr Gherardini observes: The content of DH and the contents of the previous Magisterium are different. So, there is neither continuity nor development of the previous Magisterium in DH.

  • It’s not so simple as that. Limited religious tolerance was always extended to the Jews, for example, with the Popes of the Middle Ages often being the protector of the Jews. The Crusaders, with the consent of the Church, extended tolerance to many Christian groups in the East that would have been considered to be heretical. During the first three centuries of Christianity the Church asked to be merely left alone by Caesar. The discussion is complicated by the fact that heretical groups often didn’t seek tolerance but rather to destroy the Church. It is interesting that at the height of the Wars of Religion, during the reign of Mary Tudor, the Pope through his representatives was counseling a tolerant go slow approach. Pope Innocent XI expressed his displeasure at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the persecution of the French Protestants undertaken by Louis XIV. Pope Gregory XVI, no fan of republics, noted that because of the hands off policy to religion in the United States, that except for the Papal States in no other country was he more the Pope.

    I think a good case can be made that the Church never came out against religious freedom, as we understand it today, in a regime where the Catholic Church was tolerated and protected by the Civil Authority. Actions of the past cannot be viewed in isolation but must be understood as they related to the conditions of the time.

  • “religious freedom, as we understand it today” I wish I understood how we understand it today 🙂
    We are getting into the odd position of seculars discussing and dividing theological questions– like Bernard Sanders- whose opinion has some weight.
    Plus, of course, words don’t mean what they have always meant– and they mean different things in different places. I read that religious freedom in England meant that every citizen had the right to the ministration of the Anglican church.

  • “We are getting into the odd position of seculars discussing and dividing theological questions–”

    In my case I am discussing the history of the Church and religious freedom.

  • Yes I understood that and appreciated your post. I was just jumping to a aspect of the discussion that is a concern to me– a lack of shared understanding of the meaning of terms.
    And also the very loud voice of today’s secular politicians who have a big impact religious liberty, maybe without a personal involvement in religion.

  • With the Catholic Church siding with the secular world in so many ways we have to wonder whether in the future the Fortnight of Freedom will be seen as an archaic and un-necessary practice. Seems to me our general loss of faith within and outside the Church should be our main concern.

  • Limited religious tolerance was always extended to the Jews, for example, with the Popes of the Middle Ages often being the protector of the Jews

    True enough but the Church did not let them proselytise and Catholics could not work for them etc. whereas the Judaised protestants who established America were keen on preventing the true religion from being an effective force against its desires and so they chose to keep religion private even though Catholic Doctrine teaches the state has a duty to worship God publicly.

    ABS acknowledges we disagree on this but he is not about to belabor the point on your blog so ABS will just retire from this thread and thank you for your patience.

    Simliar repossess could be made to your other examples

  • “even though Catholic Doctrine teaches the state has a duty to worship God publicly.”

    And what a disaster getting into bed with Caesar has been for the Church. At best it makes for a lazy Church. At worst it makes for a Church that becomes a national Church that looks to the State for marching orders as occurred with the Gallican movement in the Church in France. Where the State has historically adopted a hands off policy with the Church, the Church has flourished. Modern liberalism seeks to place hands on the Church which is one reason why I oppose it so strongly.

  • While prudential concerns might dictate that tolerance be extended by the state, and indeed, in the modern world, it’s hard to imagine a state (though some exceptions come to mind: Poland, for instance) *not* exercising practical tolerance, it is undeniable that the Church taught, as part of its ordinary magisterium, that the state qua state has a duty to acknowledge the one true religion and favor it, since the purpose of the state is to facilitate the telos of human existence, namely salvation, and salvation comes only through Christ and His Church. Again, that the public recognition of the Church and the suppressing of sects might be utterly impractical at a given time does not diminish the reality of the state’s duties with respect to God.

  • “does not diminish the reality of the state’s duties with respect to God.”

    Having Caesar act as a guardian for the Church has, in practice, been bad for the Church. I am glad that the idea of it being accomplished anywhere currently seems impossible. The less involvement that the Church has with Caesar the better.

  • Well, the point is, regardless of one’s view about the historical success or not of state cooperation with the Church (a lengthy, complicated, and nuanced one, revealing successes and failures), the Church’s *doctrine* as opposed to any individual’s assessment of the wisdom of how the doctrine has concretely played out, is clear: the State, deriving authority as it does from God, is bound to cooperate in helping men achieve their final end. For further study, cf, Mortalium Animos, Libertas Praestantissimum, Mirari Vos, the Syllabus of Errors, Vehementer Nos, and even the “liberal” Leo XII in Longique Oceana, where he said: “it would be very erroneous to draw the conclusion that in America is to be sought the type of the most desirable status of the Church, or that it would be universally lawful or expedient for State and Church to be, as in America, dissevered and divorced.”
    I agree with the Popes and the Magisterium on this one.

  • whereas the Judaised protestants

    Oh?

    who established America were keen on preventing the true religion from being an effective force against its desires and so they chose to keep religion private even though Catholic Doctrine teaches the state has a duty to worship God publicly.

    That’s a most … inventive understanding of New England Puritans.

  • “I agree with the Popes and the Magisterium on this one.”

    Actually you disagree with some of the Popes and the Magisterium on this one, as do I, since Popes and the Magisterium have proclaimed different things in regard to religious freedom and the relationship of the Church to the State at different times.
    In regard to religious freedom I say ditto to John Paul II:
    https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/messages/pont_messages/1980/documents/hf_jp-ii_mes_19800901_helsinki-act.html

    The history of the Church with the State tends to be a combative and an unhappy one and the Church should always have followed the example of Christ and the early Christians who never asked anything of Caesar for three centuries except to be left alone.

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  • Sorry, but the perennial doctrine on the duties of the state to the true Faith remains unchanged by Vatican II, as the Declaration on Religious Liberty expressly stated, that document, while acknowledging a personal right to free exercise of religion, “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.”
    That “untouched traditional doctrine” was expressed in the papal magisterial documents I mentioned previously. There is no more definitive statement than these encyclicals, affirmed by the express words of an Ecumenical Council, regardless of the personal opinions of a particular Pope. A Catholic may not like that teaching, but a Catholic is bound to accept them by “religious submission of the mind and will,” as Lumen Gentium, another document of Vatican II phrased it.

  • Where the State has historically adopted a hands off policy with the Church, the Church has flourished

    Not in America.

    Both the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and The State are perfect societies in that each has as its disposal all of the means to meet each of its ends (salvation and Sanctification, Church Common Good, State) but both must acknowledge God as the source of authority and, thus, the state can not legislate in opposition to Jesus Christ the King as His commandments and yet we see that America has established positive law that succors the Four Sins crying to Heaven for Vengeance.

    Abortion
    Sodomy
    Usury
    Open Borders -> excessive labor -> decreased wages
    etc etc.

    This malign madness is one that ought not be celebrated

  • “Not in America.”

    Of course it has, at least until Vatican II. Also compare and contrast the state of the Church in this country with traditional Catholic countries like Spain and Austria where the Church is on life support.

    “Both the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and The State are perfect societies:Both the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church and The State are perfect societies ”

    Even a cursory review of history would indicate that is complete and total rubbish. The only aspect of the Church that is a perfect society is the Church Triumphant.

  • “leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ.”

    “Leaves untouched”, yes. Smashed to bits would be more accurate. As we attorneys know Tom, words can be used in many ways but they can never alter reality. The idea that the Church today would support a state that forbade all religions except Catholicism is simple lunacy.

    “Government is also to help create conditions favorable to the fostering of religious life, in order that the people may be truly enabled to exercise their religious rights and to fulfill their religious duties, and also in order that society itself may profit by the moral qualities of justice and peace which have their origin in men’s faithfulness to God and to His holy will. (6)

    If, in view of peculiar circumstances obtaining among peoples, special civil recognition is given to one religious community in the constitutional order of society, it is at the same time imperative that the right of all citizens and religious communities to religious freedom should be recognized and made effective in practice.

    Finally, government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens.

    It follows that a wrong is done when government imposes upon its people, by force or fear or other means, the profession or repudiation of any religion, or when it hinders men from joining or leaving a religious community. All the more is it a violation of the will of God and of the sacred rights of the person and the family of nations when force is brought to bear in any way in order to destroy or repress religion, either in the whole of mankind or in a particular country or in a definite community”

    Compare and contrast that section of DH with this section from the Syllabus of Errors:’

    “77. In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship. — Allocution “Nemo vestrum,” July 26, 1855.

    78. Hence it has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship. — Allocution “Acerbissimum,” Sept. 27, 1852.”

  • That’s a most … inventive understanding of New England Puritans.

    It is not really inventive, rather, it just describes what happened in a nutshell.

    The English Puritans exited to the Low Countries where they we’re schooled by such men as the Jews who had been bounced out of Spain and those prots/puritans came to the colonies and established their Judaised Protestant state.

    P. 84 here:

    http://www.nhinet.org/moots23-1.pdf

    OK, earlier ABS said he would shut up and so he will even though the topic is interesting

  • Of course it has, at least until Vatican II. Also compare and contrast the state of the Church in this country with traditional Catholic countries like Spain and Austria where the Church is on life support.

    I think you mean France, not Spain. I’m not aware of any country in Europe bar Malta (and perhaps Poland) where the Church has much vigor, but IIRC Spain and Portugal are above the median.

  • It is not really inventive, rather, it just describes what happened in a nutshell.

    In the space between your ears only.

  • I wrote my undergrad thesis on the conflict between Dignitatis Humanae and the traditional teaching of the Church, particularly as enunciated by the Church Fathers, so yes, I’m acutely aware of the “tension” (to put it mildly) between DH and tradition. Nonetheless, the duty of a Catholic is, to use the legalese we so love, to interpret the teaching in pari materia, attempting to show continuity, not discontinuity. Many have done so with respect to DH, some with more success than others. Fr. Brian Harrison (another lawyer!) came closest in my view. http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt151.html
    What all orthodox commenters maintain, however, is that the traditional teaching remains intact so far as the duties of individuals and societies both to acknowledge the Kingship of Christ and order their affairs accordingly. This does not, by the way, necessarily mean a fusion of Church and State, but rather the State accompanying the Church in the effort to save souls. Think 15th and 16th century Spain, where a confessional state kept the country from going Protestant. Other examples exist, but it’s a sidetrack, since the issue is the principle. By the way, “perfect society” is a theological/philosophical term of art, not a concrete descriptive. Both Church and state are in fact perfect societies. (cf., http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/dictionary/index.cfm?id=35522)

  • “By the way, “perfect society” is a theological/philosophical term of art, not a concrete descriptive. Both Church and state are in fact perfect societies.”

    I’m aware of that Tom but I find it amusing since historically it is simply not accurate of any human society. It is no accident, as the Marxists used to say, that the term has not been used by the Church much since its swan song usage by Paul VI in ’69.

    I understand the desire to pretend that DH does not break with tradition but I find the arguments simply unconvincing. It is like arguing that there is no difference between our Universe and the Bearded Spock Universe. One can imagine Pope John Paul II in Heaven futilely attempting to convince Pio Nono that DH did not involve a rupture from what he taught in the Syllabus of Errors.

    In regard to Spain one could argue that the close alliance of State and Church fanned the flames of the anti-clericalism that became such a feature of Spanish life in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Longterm I think such identification by the Church with a local Caesar is almost always a bad bargain for the Church.

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PopeWatch: The Vatican-German Axis?

Tuesday, June 20, AD 2017

 

It is striking the influence that Germany has had upon this papacy, far more than under the prior German Pope:

 

The pope and the German Chancellor met behind closed doors for 40 minutes.
According to the Vatican, they spoke about “the upcoming G20 meeting in Hamburg, the responsibility of the international community in combating poverty and hunger, the global threat of terrorism, and climate change.”
She said the idea is to boost multilateral collaboration, and tear down walls instead of building them.

3 Responses to PopeWatch: The Vatican-German Axis?

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June 5, 1917: Alvin C. York Registers for the Draft

Tuesday, June 20, AD 2017

As millions of other American men registered for the draft, so did twenty-nine year old Tennessee mountaineer Alvin C. York.  On June 5, 1917 he filled out his registration form.  He claimed exemption with the simple words:  “Yes.  Don’t Want to Fight.”

 

York arrived in this world on December 3, 1887, the third of the eleven children of William and Mary York.  He was born into rural poverty.  Although both of his parents were quite hard-working, the Yorks lived in a two-room log cabin at a subsistence level.  None of the York children received more than nine-months education, as their labor was desperately needed to farm the few hard scrabble acres that the Yorks owned, and to hunt for food to feed the large family.

When his father died in 1911, Alvin took on the responsibility of helping his mother raise his younger siblings, and supporting the family.  Alvin early developed the reputation as both a hard-worker during the day and a drunken hell-raiser at night, something that constantly distressed his mother, a Christian and a pacifist.

4 Responses to June 5, 1917: Alvin C. York Registers for the Draft

  • Looking forward to the rest of this story. As an aside, I recently discovered via Ancestry.com the WWI draft registrations for both of my grandfathers as well as my husband’s paternal grandfather, and they all were dated June 5, 1917. Was that a designated date for all draft eligible men nationwide to register?

  • Yep, that was the date to register for all men 21-31. June 5, 1918 was the registration date for all men who turned 21 after June 5, 1917.

  • Ran into an amusing thing poking through the old census stuff– it’s not accurate. Not just massive spelling errors– but a flat-out made up name for my grandmother. (to be fair, she didn’t have a name until the local high school refused to enroll her without a legal name– a bunch of family pressure about what name to use was solved by taking an off-route option. :mrgreen: ) I’m guessing that like anything else in record keeping, people made up stuff if they didn’t have an answer. (The family in question was quite literate, and more importantly they entered everyone in the family Bible so there is an official spelling; I’m not even being picky about cutting out most of the kids’ names, not much room for five middle names.)

  • Ran into an amusing thing poking through the old census stuff– it’s not accurate.

    My family’s listings are generally accurate.

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Otto Warmbier Murdered

Monday, June 19, AD 2017

 

Well, Communism claims another victim.  His family announced his death with grace:

 

It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20pm.

It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.

We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.

We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.

— Fred & Cindy Warmbier and Family

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C&C: Saints

Monday, June 19, AD 2017

Over on the Angels article I avoided digressing as far as I might by saying I’d get into saints in a later article; so here we go!

What is a saint?

Someone who is united with God; a holy one. English is actually a bit odd– we’ve got a lot of ways of saying things, and “saint” is a good example. Most languages, there’s no difference between how you say “holy one” and how you say “saint.” This can result in things that sound very strange to modern ears, like talking about “Saint Jesus.” Jimmy Akin has a great FAQ if you want to know more, but I’m going to steal from it shamelessly for a lot of this article so you might want to wait on that to avoid boredom. (Not that his writing is boring, but because reading more detail about something you’ve already read is more interesting than reading a little information about something you just absorbed a huge amount on.)

Now, when we talk about a saint, there’s a few very common ways we commonly mean it. There’s a Saint as in the title– saint Michael or Saint Joseph; there’s a saint as in the description– “my mom is a saint.”

To simplify greatly, the title is the Church officially saying “yep, you’re right– they’re holy. It’s OK to publicly hold them up as holy.”

This is, as I said, a massive simplification.

How do we know?

We “know” someone is a saint by the infallible proclamation of the Church– that’s what canonization (officially recognizing someone as a saint) is. Beyond being dead– so as to avoid a change in behavior that would change their status– there are four stages involved. Currently. The system has grown out of trying to avoid abuses, and will without a doubt end up changing in the future; here’s the EWTN over-view, which I will summarize.

Servant of God:

someone dies, and either five years pass or the Vatican officially grants a waiver of the waiting period. At that point, the Bishop of the place where they died can petition to start a ‘Cause for Beatification and Canonization’. If the Vatican says “I don’t see why not,” they go ahead. (Yes, I’m being slightly flip, but that’s not a bad translation of the sense of ‘nihil obstat,’ literally ‘nothing stands in the way.’) If this is so, the person being investigated can be referred to as “Servant of God.” For example, some of those who admire Professor Tolkien of Lord of the Rings fame started a facebook group to attempt to persuade the Archbishop of Birmingham to pursue his Cause; just this April it was forwarded to him. If the Bishop decides to pursue it, and if the Cause receives a nihil obstat, then he’d be “the Servant of God, J.R.R. Tolkien.”

Venerable:

Probably most commonly comes to mind in association with St. Bede, although he is actually a saint. Now, when used technically rather than because it’s been used forever, this is the stage beyond Servant of God– literally years of researching all public and private writings, all actions, everything to try to find any kind of a problem, and further that the Bishop is willing to vouch for the Servant of God’s heroic virtue. If he is, all the supporting information is forwarded to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints. They go over the information, and vote, and it either dies right there or is passed on to the Pope, who has the final yes-or-no say on if there is enough cause to carry on with the Cause for Beatification and Canonization; if he grants a Decree of Heroic Virtues, the person becomes “The Venerable Sheen,” or “The Venerable Servant of God Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen.”

Confusingly, this doesn’t mean it’s allowable for them to be public venerated– but “publicly venerated” doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble if, for example, your baby is stillborn and you pray and ask others to pray for the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen to intercede on his behalf (such as for James Fulton Engstrom, the two-thirds-verified miracle for the cause of the Venerable Sheen, is now a normal and healthy three when he had no heartbeat for an hour), it means doing so in the name of the Church, as if you are speaking on behalf of the Church. Think kind of like the rules about activism in military uniform, for those familiar with the US military.

Blessed:

Once the Decree of Heroic Virtues has been received, then the search is on: has this person interceded on anyone’s behalf? I’ll do an article on miracles later, but that is what is being sought for, and tested. Official recognition of miracles goes by where it happens, rather than the bishop responsible for the saint. Something I’m sure that whichever bishop would otherwise be responsible for investigating Marian miracles is very glad of! More practically, a local power will have better access to information and make for an easier, more accurate investigation. As we all know from the internet, it’s very easy for even those of the best will to leave out information that doesn’t support what they already believe, and those without more of the picture to draw inaccurate conclusions– and that’s without worries about those who actually mean to cause others harm.

In the case of martyrs, their death can serve as their first miracle– if, after investigation, it’s found to be true martyrdom, then the Pope issues a Decree of Martyrdom. This can actually be complicated– for a recent case, the question of if Archbishop Romero of the San Salvadoran Archdiocese, was killed because he was an obstacle to those who killed him, or for his faith? What if the only reason he was an obstacle was because he was true to God? Or was he shot at the very altar because such an outrage is a powerful threat and made the death squads even more terrifying? This argument was going on for quite literally my whole life– John Paul II prayed at the tomb of the Archbishop in ’83– and only this year was Pope Francis able to recognize his martyrdom, and on May 23 he

officially became Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Being ‘Blessed’ means that local churches can officially pray for his intercession– that public veneration I mentioned. If you were able to make a long form Easter Vigil, there’s a good chance that you heard a local ‘Blessed’ in there somewhere if there weren’t enough baptismal or confirmation saints to wear out your lector.

Saint:

You do the same thing as for verifying they’re blessed all over again. Find a miracle and investigate it to be sure it’s worthy of belief by first the bishop of where it happened, then by a sub-group of the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, then by the heads of the congregation, and then the Pope. If they get a second Decree of Miracle (or a first, for verified martyrs) then the person can be canonized– recognized as a saint for veneration by the entire, universal Church.

I want to repeat again: the Pope is not making someone a saint, he is officially recognizing them as a saint. If they weren’t a saint, there would be no miracles to investigate in the first place. Just because someone is not recognized as of yet doesn’t mean they are not at the very throne– it may just mean there’s a paperwork snarl, such as the disagreement about who gets custody about the Venerable Sheen’s mortal remains.

Why do we have saints?

Because people aren’t all bad.

Sorry, my sense of humor… we recognize saints officially for two reasons, the good and the bad: the good is because they are a powerful aid in our drawing closer to God; the bad is because someone falsely portrayed as a saint would be a powerfully damaging force on faith. Good heavens, my initial inspiration for this entire series is the (possibly best wishes in the world) falsehoods that were driving folks away from the Truth.

You may have even heard of some false saints- heard of The Sainted Death? Not to be confused with artistic personifications of death, but set up in shrines rather like the ones you’d find for the Holy Mother. The Sainted Death AKA, Santa Muerte or the ‘murder saint’ in some news stories; it was fairly big in the news a few years ago, but variations in pop culture are old enough that at least one urban fantasy novel from about the early 90s or late 80s– I think it was Mercedes Lackey– used a variation as a plot point, and the author included some fascinating show-your-work on the subject.

A bit less modern, a Catholic looking into voodoo is going to be kind of surreal as things are perfectly familiar, perfectly normal…then WHAM! where did that come from? it takes a radical turn from anything that can be explained away into Catholic theology.

These similarities sometimes often provide fodder for those who are looking for a route of attack on Catholic topics, as if the truth of something is lessened by the appearance being borrowed for something else entirely. These are home brew philosophies, systems or religions– just like anyone with a

half-decent sense of history will go through “satanist” symbols and be able to identify where they were lifted from a wide variety of sources. (Seriously, St. Peter’s Cross as anti-Christian? It says a lot about the ignorance, possibly willful, of the Satanists- nothing about the sources of those symbols.)

The people making the systems are just using whatever looks interesting to them and applying it to an existing belief. Supposedly, that’s where most of these things come from– people keeping pagan beliefs and just pasting Catholic symbols on top of them.

On the flip side:

There are actually some lovely statues in Japan that are exactly the opposite of the satanists-absconding-with-whatever-looks-cool; while Catholicism was suppressed in Japan, the Christians there would hide Marian statues as that of the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon, or flat-out re-purpose existing statues if they had to– standing before a statue made to honor Kannon, and praying to Mary. During the hundreds of years of quite harsh suppression, this kept the faith alive…and had wondeful fruits when the Japanese government finally allowed a church to be built for foreigners:

Inside the church, above the side altar, there was placed a statue brought from France of Mary with the child Jesus in her arms. The Japanese inhabitants called the church, the “French Temple.” When the word that “a statue of Mary was in the French Temple,” spread to the hidden Christian community of Urakami, the certainty was raised in their hearts: “If there is the statue of Holy Mary, the foreigner of the French Temple must be a “pater,” a priest!” In fact, they had awaited a priest for seven generations. On the March 17, 1865, a group of about ten members of the hidden Christian community, pretending to be tourists, entered into the church. One of them, a woman named Yuri, being anxious to know if the foreigner would be a pater, approached Fr. Petitjean, and said “We have the same hearts as yours,” and more, “Santa Maria no go-zō wa doco?”, which means “Where is the statue of Holy Mary?” This astonishing question revealed to the French missionary the miraculous survival of a Christian community in Nagasaki. Then, Fr. Petitjean, full of joy and emotion, led them to the side altar, where was placed the statue of the Virgin. Kneeling down, they couldn’t bear any more and exclaimed with emotion: “She’s really Holy Mary! Look! She brings in her arms her Son, Jesus!”

That’s basically why we recognize saints– because they can help bring us closer to God.

 

This is a reprint that I haven’t updated; my apologies, but kids come first– and I really am working on a couple of others. 

2 Responses to C&C: Saints

  • Thanks Foxfier.
    btw…..I like your sense of humor and your writing style.

    Recently, one of my favorite examples of a holy man is one step closer to Blessed. Fr. Solanus Casey. My understanding is that the miracle, skin affliction cured, is acceptable to the investigators in Rome.

    Venerable Solanus’ humility and charity are carrying on long after his death in 1957.
    One very short writing of his comes to mind as we put forward efforts in assisting neighbors; “God condescends to use our powers if we don’t spoil his plans with ours.”
    Thanks for your article Foxfier.

  • *laughs* thank you, I’m glad it came across well! Usually the comments come out of re-reading what I wrote, and realizing I said something that could use a bit of polishing. Possibly with a steel brush.
    I like that quote.

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Americans Get Out of America!

Monday, June 19, AD 2017

 

After the uprising of the 17th of June
The Secretary of the Writers’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

Bertolt Brecht’s wry poem The Solution in regard to the suppression by the East German government of the uprising on June 16 and June 17, 1953.  Bret Stephens in The New York Times, a supposedly conservative Never Trumper, has a similar solution for Americans who do not measure up to his standard:

 

In the matter of immigration, mark this conservative columnist down as strongly pro-deportation. The United States has too many people who don’t work hard, don’t believe in God, don’t contribute much to society and don’t appreciate the greatness of the American system.

They need to return whence they came.

I speak of Americans whose families have been in this country for a few generations. Complacent, entitled and often shockingly ignorant on basic points of American law and history, they are the stagnant pool in which our national prospects risk drowning.

On point after point, America’s nonimmigrants are failing our country. Crime? A study by the Cato Institute notes that nonimmigrants are incarcerated at nearly twice the rate of illegal immigrants, and at more than three times the rate of legal ones.

Educational achievement? Just 17 percent of the finalists in the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search — often called the “Junior Nobel Prize” — were the children of United States-born parents. At the Rochester Institute of Technology, just 9.5 percent of graduate students in electrical engineering were nonimmigrants.

15 Responses to Americans Get Out of America!

  • Bret Stephens, do you have an engineering degree? Then STFU. Also, why would any sane person go through a rigorous graduate engineering program, incur the monstrous debt, in order to search for non-existent jobs, when they could become a “columnist” by expending 1/100th the effort? Heck, they wouldn’t even have to be right . . . ever.

  • To make America great again and to establish a new political party one must have Founding Principles: Our UNANIMOUS DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE UNITED STATES of AMERICA and our U. S. CONSTITUTION.
    Bret Stephens seems to be declaring his independence without a foundation of principles. Sounds more like Trump bashing garbage…

  • Since it’s immigration that touches off this nit wit, why can’t my Flilipina step daughter and her son get into the United States – she’s a training and qualified nurse ready and able to work and pay taxes – but an illegal Hispanic or a Muslim Jihadist is welcomed with open arms?

    My boss facetiously suggested that she should go to Mexico first and sneak across the border, speaking in broken English instead of the excellent English that she does speak. Brown eyes, black hair, broken speech, jumping across the border – the liberals will then welcome her with open arms.

    Sadly, she’s got too much self-respect and integrity to do anyting like that.

    Screw the liberals, every last one of them.

  • Illegal immigration is always an insult to people attempting to immigrate legally.

  • Food for thought: Has anyone ever seen Bret Stephens and Mark Shea in the same room?

  • Boy this guy really hates American Indians & blacks.

  • The elites/ruling class hate you because you don’t live up to their expectations. You are not buying their nightmarish schemes. You are harshing their buzz.

    Worst political class in US History: A third world (corrupt, incompetent, unhindered by Constitution or Law) political class is feverishly devolving America into a third world hell hole.

    They hate you. it is human nature to fear and loathe those who you have ruined and stolen from.

  • Here’s a litany of their incompetence.

    The worst political class in US History: liberals are smug, entitled, corrupt, and incompetent. Peter Berkowitz: “…incompetence ranging from mismanagement of the economy and immigration to botching diplomacy and the conduct of war; politicization of the administrative state as illustrated by IRS targeting of conservatives during Obama’s first term; and the elite media’s use of double standards in reporting and opining about left and right. Underlying it all is the corruption of liberal education, which has become boot camp for progressivism, and of graduate and professional schools, which provide advance training in the progressive exercise of power. To play the vital role contemplated for them by our constitutional system, intellectual and political elites have a long way to go in regaining the people’s trust.”

    It’s all good. Last week, they started the shooting. Pay-back is going to be a birch.

  • Embarrassingly sophomoric.

  • “Illegal immigration is always an insult to people attempting to immigrate legally.”

    Yes, but I blame our government for this more than I do the illegals themselves. After all, what right do we really have to demand they respect our immigration laws enough to obey them if we don’t respect those laws enough to enforce them?

    Plus, this is actively encouraged by our religious leaders. For two weeks starting Wednesday, our bishops will demonstrate how willing they are to bastardize religious liberty to do their part to help perpetuate the scandal of illegal immigration.

  • What’s grossly amusing is that the trade at which Stephens is employed is to be found in (1) the philanthropic sector and (2) just barely within the commercial sector. The part of the newspaper you could excise at least cost to your revenue stream has long been the editorial page. Stephens is now employed for an editorial page which (in contrast to that of the Washington Post has very little history of quality writing. Maureen Dowd and David Brooks are top of the heather there. The guy is a near zero-marginal-product worker.

    He’s also spent much of his life living abroad.

  • Did you catch the Kevin Williamson-like resort to the cherry-picked statistic? I’ve not figured out whether these knuckleheads’ methods are indicative of innumeracy or fraudulence. Orientals and East Indians account for 12% of the baccalaureate degrees in engineering awarded each year. Hispanics account for 8%. There are immigrants among the black and white population, of course, but they’d amount to only 2% of the whole if higher education wasn’t making a point of it to recruit from abroad. The bias is higher education admissions is quite pronounced and the people Stephens despises are the ones getting the shaft.

  • Food for thought: Has anyone ever seen Bret Stephens and Mark Shea in the same room?

    Come again? Stephens is secular Jewish (the surname is an invention from a generation or two back), grew up abroad, and has an academic graduate degree (and in obtaining put in time at the University of Chicago). Shea writes about religion. He’s pretty cagey about his background other than elements of his religious biography. It’s doubtful he has much tertiary schooling or anything resembling the sort of fancy cosmopolitan youth Stephens had. Defenders of Stephens have been maintaining this is a Swiftian satire. Fat chance. It’s not the least bit amusing.

  • Isn’t it awfully shallow to use a contest as something to figure “academic success” by?
    In addition, if the 2016 standards are the same as the 2017, you’re disqualified if you’re taking college classes.
    There were a dozen of the types who would love this kind of contest doing exactly that in my high school, 20 years ago. I’m home schooling, and that is my actual plan for the advanced classes– beats praying that a general purpose teacher knows enough not to screw up more specialized subjects, then enforce their ignorance.

  • Stephens represents the decay of the economic part of the old conservative tripod into nothing more than courtiers for corporatism. Everyone else is to be their hewers of wood or drawers of water, and the Almighty Dollar forbid that the unwashed elect one of their own. Acela Corridor Trash, the lot of them.

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PopeWatch: Christ?

Monday, June 19, AD 2017

 

A Francis appointed Bishop shows us that under the current Pontificate the words of Christ in regard to marriage mean less than nothing:

An Argentinian bishop, inspired by Pope Francis’ Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, celebrated a special Mass for civilly-divorced-and-remarried couples in his diocese. The thirty or so couples were all invited to receive Holy Communion despite there being no indication that any of them had promised to live as brother and sister.

“Welcome back home,” Bishop Angel José Macin of the diocese of Reconquista told the couples during the Mass celebrated on the June 11th Feast of the Blessed Trinity, according to Argentinian news website Radioamanecer.com.ar

The couples were given Holy Communion in what was described as a “festive atmosphere” in the parish church of Saint Roque. Relatives took photographs.

8 Responses to PopeWatch: Christ?

  • It is near impossible to believe that this planting of poison ivy within Catholic flower beds isn’t done by design.

  • ” Pope Francis is all about mercy even if someone else gets kicked in the teeth as a result.”
    Comment of the week.
    “…til death do us part” means nothing so how could “I love you” from remarried people mean anything? Love is taking a back seat to I want what I want and I want it now, while Pope Francis plays the fiddle. The Pope’s job is to reiterate the words of Christ. For those who refuse to listen, they will not listen even if the rich man rises from the dead. It appears that our Pope Francis is among those who will not listen even though Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

  • It depends on what “objective truth” means.

  • Pingback: Canon212 Update: Pope Jacko Sings That Song! – The Stumbling Block
  • “Until death do you part..”

    Oh, how Cheap! ..those words have become!

  • Honestly, it’s as if our Pope and his fellow travelers in the clergy truly
    believe that the only worthy reason a person still might be denied Holy
    Communion is if he wished to receive upon the tongue whilst kneeling.

    Well, that’s overstating. I think a few might also refuse Communion to
    those who would deny the inerrancy of ‘man-made climate change’…

    Snark aside, if no one need listen to the Church’s perennial teachings on
    the indissolubility of marriage, the sinfulness of adultery and fornication,
    and the necessity of being free of mortal sin before approaching Communion,
    then why exactly should anyone listen to bishops and Popes when they speak
    about the sinfulness of anything else? Would it still be “merciful” to deny
    Communion to a notorious, outspoken racist? What about an unrepentant
    advocate of pedophilia? Would this bishop also greet them at the Communion
    rail and tell them “welcome back home” without one word about their need to
    amend their lives?

    Bishops like His Excellency the Bishop of Reconquista are no shepherds. They
    are refusing to herd their sheep towards the Father’s fold, and abandon them
    to find their own way– with disastrous results for the lost sheep. Worse, the
    sheep are told they’re on the right path no matter what they do, when in
    fact they are left in the dark, unknowingly lurching towards the wolves…

    “Merciful” prelates such as His Excellency the Bishop of Reconquista might
    abandon the ancient symbol of their office, the shepherd’s crook, for some-
    thing that better reflects their new understanding of their role. If a bishop
    intends neither to teach, govern nor sanctify as a bishop should, but rather
    is merely the head administrator and chief glad-hander of the diocese, perhaps
    his symbol of office shouldn’t be a crozier but instead a giant checkbook and a
    microphone. (At least we could tell more easily which ones to avoid).

  • Here is a case of actions speaking louder than words. Now, who can deny what Pope Francis really means in Amoris Laetitia?

  • The four “dubia” cardinals requested an audience with the pope and it appears they’re getting blown off again.

    http://m.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/dubia-cardinals-seek-papal-audience#.WUji-YVlCaM

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Eliot Ness: Legend Eclipses Reality

Monday, June 19, AD 2017

 

I have foresworn myself. I have broken every law I have sworn to uphold, I have become what I beheld and I am content that I have done right!

Eliot Ness, The Untouchables (1987)

 

Hard to believe it is 30 years since The Untouchables (1987) movie was released.  My bride and I saw it in Joliet that year and we both loved it.  A year or two later and I was sitting next to one of the last of the surviving members of Al Capone’s gang.  A truckdriver for Capone, he had invested in Central Illinois farmland and by the time I knew him he was a grey headed and kindly great grandfather.  I never worked up the courage to ask him if Capone had asked him to bury some gangland slaying victims in the ground he purchased, as local rumor indicated.

 

The film was magnificent with the screenplay by David Mamet and the haunting, and period appropriate, musical score by Henry Mancini.  De Niro gave the performance of his career as Capone and Sean Connery, who won a best supporting Oscar for his performance, was completely believable as honest cop Jimmy Malone, joining Ness in his crusade against the corruption that sickened Malone.  Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness was superb as an innocent who learns the terrible cost that is sometimes demanded when evil is confronted.

7 Responses to Eliot Ness: Legend Eclipses Reality

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3 Responses to Requiescat In Pace: Stephen Furst

  • Vir Cotto – hero with lance? Just a thought.

    vir N 2 3 NOM S M
    vir N 2 3 VOC S M
    vir, viri N M [XXXAX]
    man; husband; hero; person of courage, honor, and nobility;

    cott.o N 2 1 DAT S M
    cott.o N 2 1 ABL S M
    contus, conti N M [XWXCO]
    long pole esp. used on ship); lance, pike;

  • I loved Vir. His waving cheerfully at Morden, anticipating his head on a pike, is one of my favorite parts.

    It’s been quite a shame to see death take an early toll on so many of B5’s crew. I heard only recently that Michael O’Hare was struggling with schizophrenia, and that led to Sinclair’s character being written out (when clearly it was he who was to have been past, present and future commander of the various Babylons..His wife who was on Z’ha’dum, etc.) His passing, and Richard Biggs, Jerry Doyle, Andreas Katsulas, all very young. It’s all very sad.

    Even though JMS is clearly very liberal (and this show was one of the first to push the televised lesbian agenda) he saw many truths that are relevant to us today.

    But the biggest truth of all from that show, that we, humanity, will keep reaching, and that our faith will survive this current civilization, stays with me daily.

    Why else did the Lord give us such a giant universe if not to bring the truth of Christ to all corners of it?

  • Loved Furst as Vir. The fact that his story arc disproved “Nice Guys Finish Last” was one of the many things I liked about him. May Stephen Furst rest in peace.

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