3

On Killing

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts has a fascinating post pondering how the contemporary Left and Right look at killing:

 

Oh Pope Francis

 

A crisis is calling.  Fresh from his attack on ‘Fake News’, wrapping it around the ever present cause of sin: economic greed, we have this development. 

Belgium is part of that grotesque abomination known as the radical Left.  Included in this movement is a growing desire to broaden the ways in which we can eliminate the unwanted.  Oh, the death penalty, war and torture are all bad.  Yet abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide are the hip developments of the day.

The difference in these stances speaks volumes.  Traditionalists typically allow for just war, the death penalty (though historically torture was a no-no, something worth returning to).  Yet they are typically against euthanasia, assisted suicide and abortion.

Is this because they are hypocrites?  No.  Anymore than the Church was hypocritical for its teachings on those subjects.  It’s because they value life, but value the community, society, the defenseless and also tend to see the hereafter as at least on the same level of importance as the here and now. 

On the other hand, look at what this new emergent Left opposes and supports.  It does oppose war and the death penalty and torture.  And yet supports abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide.  They even support the State stepping in and telling parents when they can and can’t save their children.

Is this hypocrisy?  By no means!  It’s very consistent, too.  Because if you look, what they oppose is anything that imposes itself on the all important ‘Me’.  Death penalty? That’s the State doing it to me.  War?  That’s the State or Nation calling upon me to die for something other than Me.  Torture?  See the death penalty.

But abortion or euthanasia?  Why, that’s me getting to get rid of pesky people who inconvenience me; who stand in the way of my promised narcissism and hedonism.  Because what matters is Me.  It’s sure as hell not some hereafter rubbish.  It’s the here and now centered on the all important ‘Me.’  The ‘Me Generation’ never really went away.  It’s just now beginning to bear the bitter fruit.

The New Prolife Movement, that ostensibly is about a ‘complete life ethic’ seems to miss this.  The reasons for the disagreements are based on a clash in world views.  One says that there are things more important than the individual.  There is the possibility of eternal consequences or blessings.  There is a reality other than the here and now to contend with.  There is also the demand that we sacrifice for others, or prepare to sacrifice for greater causes than ourselves.  Life is sacred, but it comes with penalties for behavior since there are consequences to our actions.  And sometimes there is the call to sacrifice the greatest gift we’ve been given for the sake of others.

The New Prolife Movement calls this evil and hypocritical.  Instead, it increasingly aligns with the side that says there is nothing more important than Me.  War?  Why should I die for anything or anyone?  Death Penalty?  That’s like saying I should be accountable for anything.  But don’t think for a moment that the last century’s notion of human as animals has gone away, for the importance of Me reserves the right to eliminate all those pesky humans who aren’t human unless I say, since it’s all about Me. 

Think on that.   I can’t imagine a more wrong headed movement than that which calls itself the New Prolife Movement.  This isn’t even getting into the attempt to make political narratives and philosophies about such things as healthcare and immigration into the fifth Gospel.  This is just dealing with the actual issues of human life.  If the movement is so blind about these clear differences in dealing with human life, how can I believe they’re not just as wrong headed about other issues like the economy?

Go here to comment.  Of course the Left was not shy about War and the Death Penalty not too long ago, depending upon what the War was about and who was being executed.  For example, the “anti-war” movement in regard to Vietnam always had a very large contingent who were cheering on the conquest by North Vietnam of South Vietnam.  A shirt with the image of Castro’s hangman Che Guevara is still quite popular on the Left.  The thing to remember about the Left is that unlike most conservatives they, the majority of Leftists, truly do not have any guiding principles.  Thus a movement that prides itself on being the champion of minorities and women routinely savages members of both groups if they are conservatives.   Today Leftists pose as champions of immigrants.  Yesteryear they opposed immigration of both Vietnamese and Cubans, both groups being too anti-Communist.  Yesterday Leftists posed as champions of free speech.  Today they support speech codes and banning “hate speech”.  Leftists in the Sixties used to be about racial integration.  Today they support black separatist movements like Black Lives Matter.  For the Left, their beliefs are always matters of fashion, tactics and the latest party line.  That is why one feature of the Left has ever been continual purges for heresy, because it is exhausting over a lifetime to always be on the side of the ever changing Leftist angels.  Conservatives must always be mindful that when it comes to their ideological opposite numbers, at least the hard core, they face an amorphous foe that can do an about face ideologically in nothing flat if it serves a tactical purpose on the tortuous road to Leftist Nirvana.
 But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.
George Orwell, 1984
2

PopeWatch: Chaos

PopeWatch sometimes thinks that rampant chaos within the Church will be the main legacy of this Pope:

 

 

Pope Francis needs to clarify whether Catholics who are divorced and remarried can receive Communion as “people are confused and that is not good”, the most senior cleric in the Netherlands has said.

Cardinal Wim Eijk of Utrecht said that while the Pope has “never said anything that goes against the doctrine of the Church,” Amoris Laetitia has “caused doubt to be sown”.

In an interview with Dutch newspaper Trouw, the cardinal lamented that different bishops’ conferences had produced conflicting guidelines on the issue, adding: “What is true in place A cannot suddenly be false in B. At a certain point you would like clarity.”

When asked what exactly he would like Pope Francis to do, the cardinal said: “Just create clarity. Regarding this point, take away the doubt. In the form of a document, for example.”

Cardinal Eijk said the document should contain “the words of Christ himself: that marriage is one and unbreakable”. “We hold on to that in this archdiocese,” he added.

 

Go here to read the rest.  PopeWatch wishes the Cardinal success, but PopeWatch believes that the Pope and clarity have not been on speaking terms for a very, very long time.

11

State of the Union: 2018

President Trump will be giving his first State of the Union Address tonight, and it should make for good television.  Some of the lamest members of the House Democrats have pledged to stay away, thus elevating the tone of the proceedings.  Other female Democrat members of Congress are attending, but wearing black to protest Trump not having castrated himself or something.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not be attending, speaking in Rhode Island instead.  Her old friend Justice Scalia would have agreed.  He thought the Justices should not be props at the State of the Union address and hadn’t attended one for more than 20 years prior to his death in 2016.

As for the speech, it will probably touch mainly on three main topics:  the economy, the economy and the economy.  The number of times a President mentions the economy in a State of the Union address is usually a pretty good barometer of how the economy is doing, and Trump has a fair amount to crow about.  If his usual mode for set piece speeches is followed, Trump will give a pretty good speech, and all the headlines tomorrow will be about what Trump tweeted a few hours after the speech.

Use the comboxes to comment on the speech as it is being given.

4

Mort Walker: Requiescat in Pace

 

 

Mort Walker has passed away at 94.  The creator of the comic strip Beetle Bailey, for 68 years he poked gentle fun at the absurdities of the US Army.  Walker served as an Army officer during World War II.  Post war he became a cartoonist and drew about what he knew:  the Army and the comic possibilities of any massive hierarchical organization.  Throughout almost seven decades Walker followed the same formula.  His soldiers never went to war, they stayed at camp Swampy in perpetual peace time, the issues of the day were ignored, no politics were to intrude on the strip, the same set of characters, with very few additions and subtractions, served perpetual timeless enlistments, the officers were almost always clueless and the men often lazy and shiftless.   Stated that way it might be hard to see how the strip endured, but it did, and proved especially popular with kids and veterans.

Ironically, this non-controversial strip for its first ten years was banned from the pages of Stars and Stripes by the Army, humorless military bureaucrats disguised as officers taking umbrage at the strip’s depiction of officers as fools and the men as shirkers, completely missing the deep love that Walker had for the Army he kidded.

 

At ease Mr. Walker, your long tour of duty is over.

7

PopeWatch: China

Sandro Magister gives us the latest in regard to the ongoing sell out by the Vatican of the heroic Catholic Church in China:

The open letter reproduced in its entirety below was published today, Monday, January 29, by Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-Kiun, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong, on his blog, and was immediately republished by the agency Asia News of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions.

In it, the cardinal reveals the essential contents of a conversation he had with Pope Francis, to whom he revealed his grave fears over the steps taken recently in China by Vatican representatives.

These steps consisted in asking two “underground” bishops who are recognized by the Holy See, those of Shantou and Mindong, to make way for two bishops appointed by the government, both illicit and, the first one, excommunicated.

For more details on these steps:

> The Vatican asks legitimate bishops to step aside in favour of illegitimate ones

Cardinale Zen now reveals that Pope Francis replied to him that he had given the order “not to create another Mindszenty case,” alluding to the heroic cardinal and primate of Hungary who was required by the Vatican authorities to leave his country in 1971, was removed from his position in 1973, and in 1975 was replaced with a new primate favored by the communist regime.

But now it’s the cardinal’s turn.

*
Dear Friends in the Media,

Since AsiaNews has revealed some recent facts in the Church in mainland China, of legitimate bishops being asked by the “Holy See” to resign and make place for illegitimate, even explicitly excommunicated, “bishops”, many different versions of the facts and interpretations are creating confusion among the people. Many, knowing of my recent trip to Rome, are asking me for some clarification.

Back in October, when Bishop Zhuang received the first communication from the Holy See and asked me for help, I send someone to bring his letter to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, with, enclosed, a copy for the Holy Father. I don’t know if that enclosed copy reached the desk of the Holy Father.

Fortunately, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai was still in Rome and could meet the Pope in a fare-well visit. In that occasion, he brought the two cases of Shantou and Mindong to the knowledge of the Holy Father. The Holy Father was surprised and promised to look into the matter.

Given the words of the Holy Father to Archbishop Savio Hon, the new facts in December were all the more a shocking surprise to me. When the old distressed Bishop Zhuang asked me to bring to the Holy Father his answer to the message conveyed to him by the “Vatican Delegation” in Beijing, I simply could not say “No”. But what could I do to make sure that his letter reach the Holy Father, while not even I can be sure that my own many letters did reach him.

To make sure that our voice reached the Holy Father, I took the sudden decision of going to Rome. I left Hong Kong the night of 9th January, arriving in Rome the early morning of 10th January, just in time (actually, a bit late) to join the Wednesday Public Audience. At the end of the audience, we Cardinals and Bishops are admitted to the “bacia mano” and I had the chance to put into the hands of the Holy Father the envelop, saying that I was coming to Rome for the only purpose of bringing to him a letter of Bishop Zhuang, hoping he can find time to read it (in the envelop there was the original letter of the Bishop in Chinese with my translation into Italian and a letter of mine).

For obvious reasons, I hoped my appearance at the audience would not be too much noticed, but my late arrival in the hall made it particularly noticeable. Anyway, now everybody can see the whole proceeding from the Vatican TV (by the way, the audience was held in Paul VI Hall, not in St. Peter’s Square and I was a little late to the audience, but did not have to “wait in a queue, in a cold weather”, as some media erroneously reported).

When in Rome, I met Fr. Bernard Cervellera of AsiaNews. We exchanged our information, but I told him not to write anything. He complied. Now that someone else broke the news, I can agree to confirm it. Yes, as far as I know, things happened just as they are related in AsiaNews (the AsiaNews report “believes” that the Bishop leading the Vatican Delegation was Msgr. Celli. I do not know in what official capacity he was there, but it is most likely that he was the one there in Beijing).

In this crucial moment and given the confusion in the media, I, knowing directly the situation of Shantou and indirectly that of Mindong, feel duty-bound to share my knowledge of the facts, so that the people sincerely concerned with the good of the Church may know the truth to which they are entitled. I am well aware that in doing so I may talk about things which, technically, are qualified as “confidential”. But my conscience tells me that in this case the “right to truth” should override any such “duty of confidentiality”.

With such conviction, I am going to share with you also the following:
In the afternoon of that day, 10th January, I received a phone-call from Santa Marta telling me that the Holy Father would receive me in private audience in the evening of Friday 12th January (though the report appeared only on 14th January in the Holy See bulletin). That was the last day of my 85 years of life, what a gift from Heaven! (Note that it was the vigil of the Holy Father’s departure for Chile and Peru, so the Holy Father must have been very busy).

On that evening the conversation lasted about half an hour. I was rather disorderly in my talking, but I think I succeeded to convey to the Holy Father the worries of his faithful children in China.

The most important question I put to the Holy Father (which was also in the letter) was whether he had had time “to look into the matter” (as he promised Archbishop Savio Hon). In spite of the danger of being accused of breach of confidentiality, I decide to tell you what His Holiness said: “Yes, I told them (his collaborators in the Holy See) not to create another Mindszenty case”! I was there in the presence of the Holy Father representing my suffering brothers in China. His words should be rightly understood as of consolation and encouragement more for them than for me.

I think it was most meaningful and appropriate for the Holy Father to make this historical reference to Card. Josef Mindszenty, one of the heroes of our faith. (Card. Josef Mindszenty was the Archbishop of Budapest, Cardinal Primate of Hungary under Communist persecution. He suffered much in several years in prison. During the short-lived revolution of 1956, he was freed from prison by the insurgents and, before the Red Army crashed the revolution, took refuge in the American Embassy. Under the pressure of the Government he was ordered by the Holy See to leave his country and immediately a successor was named to the likings of the Communist Government).

With this revelation, I hope I have satisfied the legitimate “right to know” of the media and of my brothers in China.

The important thing for us now is to pray for the Holy Father, very fittingly by singing the traditional song “Oremus”: “Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco, Dominus conservet eum et vivificet eum et beatum faciat eum in terra et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”

Some explanations may still be in order.

1. Please, notice that the problem is not the resignation of the legitimate Bishops, but the request to make place for the illegitimate and even excommunicated ones. Many old underground Bishops, though the retirement age law has never been enforced in China, have insistently asked for a successor, but have never received any answer from the Holy See. Some others, who have a successor already named, may be even already in possession of the Bulla signed by the Holy Father, were ordered not to proceed with the ordination for fear of offending the Government.

2. I have talked mainly of the two cases of Shantou and Mindong. I do not have any other information except the copy of a letter written by an outstanding Catholic lady, a retired University professor well-acquainted with affairs of the Church in China, in which she warns Msgr. Celli against pushing for the legitimization of “bishop” Lei Shi Ying in Sichuan.

3. I acknowledge myself as a pessimist regarding the present situation of the Church in China, but my pessimism has a foundation in my long direct experience of the Church in China. From 1989 to 1996 I used to spend six months a year teaching in the various Seminaries of the official Catholic community. I had direct experience of the slavery and humiliation to which those our brother Bishops are subjected. And from the recent information, there is no reason to change that pessimistic view. The Communist Government is making new harsher regulations limiting religious freedom. They are now strictly enforcing regulations which up to now were practically only on paper (from the 1st of February 2018 attendance to Mass in the underground will no longer be tolerated).

4. Some say that all the efforts to reach an agreement is to avoid the ecclesial schism. How ridiculous! The schism is there, in the Independent Church! The Popes avoided using the word “schism” because they knew that many in the official Catholic community were there not by their own free will, but under heavy pressure. The proposed “unification” would force everybody into that community. The Vatican would be giving the blessing on the new strengthened schismatic Church, taking away the bad conscience from all those who are already willing renegades and those others who would readily join them.

Go here to read the rest.  When it comes to Communist States there exists an evil tradition of selling out local Catholics to attempt to buy better diplomatic relations.  It has always been an idiotic policy and remains so under Pope Francis.

 

1

State of the Union: 1917

 

 

Woodrow Wilson began the modern custom of Presidents delivering their annual messages on the State of the Union personally to Congress in speech form.  His December 4, 1917 State of the Union speech was necessarily dominated by American involvement in World War I.  Here is the text of the State of the Union address:

 

GENTLEMEN OF THE CONGRESS:

Eight months have elapsed since I last had the honor of addressing you. They have been months crowded with events of immense and grave significance for us. I shall not undertake to detail or even to summarize those events. The practical particulars of the part we have played in them will be laid before you in the reports of the executive departments. I shall discuss only our present outlook upon these vast affairs, our present duties, and the immediate means of accomplishing the objects we shall hold always in view.

I shall not go back to debate the causes of the war. The intolerable wrongs done and planned against us by the sinister masters of Germany have long since become too grossly obvious and odious to every true American to need to be rehearsed. But I shall ask you to consider again and with a very grave scrutiny our objectives and the measures by which we mean to attain them; for the purpose of discussion here in this place is action, and our action must move straight toward definite ends. Our object is, of course, to win the war; and we shall not slacken or suffer ourselves to be diverted until it is won. But it is worth while asking and answering the question, When shall we consider the war won?

From one point of view it is not necessary to broach this fundamental matter. I do not doubt that the American people know what the war is about and what sort of an outcome they will regard as a realization of their purpose in it.

As a nation we are united in spirit and intention. I pay little heed to those who tell me otherwise. I hear the voices of dissent-who does not? I bear the criticism and the clamor of the noisily thoughtless and troublesome. I also see men here and there fling themselves in impotent disloyalty against the calm, indomitable power of the Nation. I hear men debate peace who understand neither its nature nor the way in which we may attain it with uplifted eyes and unbroken spirits. But I know that none of these speaks for the Nation. They do not touch the heart of anything. They may safely be left to strut their uneasy hour and be forgotten.

But from another point of view I believe that it is necessary to say plainly what we here at the seat of action consider the war to be for and what part we mean to play in the settlement of its searching issues. We are the spokesmen of the American people, and they have a right to know whether their purpose is ours. They desire peace by the overcoming of evil, by the defeat once for all of the sinister forces that interrupt peace and render it impossible, and they wish to know how closely our thought runs with theirs and what action we propose. They are impatient with those who desire peace by any sort of compromise deeply and indignantly impatient–but they will be equally impatient with us if we do not make it plain to them what our objectives are and what we are planning for in seeking to make conquest of peace by arms.

I believe that I speak for them when I say two things: First, that this intolerable thing of which the masters of Germany have shown us the ugly face, this menace of combined intrigue and force which we now see so clearly as the German power, a thing without conscience or honor of capacity for covenanted peace, must be crushed and, if it be not utterly brought to an end, at least shut out from the friendly intercourse of the nations; and second, that when this thing and its power are indeed defeated and the time comes that we can discuss peace when the German people have spokesmen whose word we can believe and when those spokesmen are ready in the name of their people to accept the common judgment of the nations as to what shall henceforth be the bases of law and of covenant for the life of the world-we shall be willing and glad to pay the full price for peace, and pay it ungrudgingly.

We know what that price will be. It will be full, impartial justice-justice done at every point and to every nation that the final settlement must affect, our enemies as well as our friends.

You catch, with me, the voices of humanity that are in the air. They grow daily more audible, more articulate, more persuasive, and they come from the hearts of men everywhere. They insist that the war shall not end in vindictive action of any kind; that no nation or people shall be robbed or punished because the irresponsible rulers of a single country have themselves done deep and abominable wrong. It is this thought that has been expressed in the formula, “No annexations, no contributions, no punitive indemnities.”

Just because this crude formula expresses the instinctive judgment as to right of plain men everywhere, it has been made diligent use of by the masters of German intrigue to lead the people of Russia astray and the people of every other country their agents could reach-in order that a premature peace might be brought about before autocracy has been taught its final and convincing lesson and the people of the world put in control of their own destinies.

But the fact that a wrong use has been made of a just idea is no reason why a right use should not be made of it. It ought to be brought under the patronage of its real friends. Let it be said again that autocracy must first be shown the utter futility of its claim to power or leadership in the modern world. It is impossible to apply any standard of justice so long as such forces are unchecked and undefeated as the present masters of Germany command. Not until that has been done can right be set up as arbiter and peacemaker among the nations. But when that has been done-as, God willing, it assuredly will be-we shall at last be free to do an unprecedented thing, and this is the time to avow our purpose to do it. We shall be free to base peace on generosity and justice, to the exclusions of all selfish claims to advantage even on the part of the victors.

Let there be no misunderstanding. Our present and immediate task is to win the war and nothing shall turn us aside from it until it is accomplished. Every power and resource we possess, whether of men, of money, or of materials, is being devoted and will continue to be devoted to that purpose until it is achieved. Those who desire to bring peace about before that purpose is achieved I counsel to carry their advice elsewhere. We will not entertain it. We shall regard the war as won only when the German people say to us, through properly accredited representatives, that they are ready to agree to a settlement based upon justice and reparation of the wrongs their rulers have done. They have done a wrong to Belgium which must be repaired. They have established a power over other lands and peoples than their own–over the great empire of Austria-Hungary, over hitherto free Balkan states, over Turkey and within Asia-which must be relinquished.

Germany’s success by skill, by industry, by knowledge, by enterprise we did not grudge or oppose, but admired, rather. She had built up for herself a real empire of trade and influence, secured by the peace of the world. We were content to abide by the rivalries of manufacture, science and commerce that were involved for us in her success, and stand or fall as we had or did not have the brains and the initiative to surpass her. But at the moment when she had conspicuously won her triumphs of peace she threw them away, to establish in their stead what the world will no longer permit to be established, military and political domination by arms, by which to oust where she could not excel the rivals she most feared and hated. The peace we make must remedy that wrong. It must deliver the once fair lands and happy peoples of Belgium and Northern France from the Prussian conquest and the Prussian menace, but it must deliver also the peoples of Austria-Hungary, the peoples of the Balkans and the peoples of Turkey, alike in Europe and Asia, from the impudent and alien dominion of the Prussian military and commercial autocracy.

We owe it, however, to ourselves, to say that we do not wish in any way to impair or to rearrange the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is no affair of ours what they do with their own life, either industrially or politically. We do not purpose or desire to dictate to them in any way. We only desire to see that their affairs are left in their own hands, in all matters, great or small. We shall hope to secure for the peoples of the Balkan peninsula and for the people of the Turkish Empire the right and opportunity to make their own lives safe, their own fortunes secure against oppression or injustice and from the dictation of foreign courts or parties.

And our attitude and purpose with regard to Germany herself are of a like kind. We intend no wrong against the German Empire, no interference with her internal affairs. We should deem either the one or the other absolutely unjustifiable, absolutely contrary to the principles we have professed to live by and to hold most sacred throughout our life as a nation.

The people of Germany are being told by the men whom they now permit to deceive them and to act as their masters that they are fighting for the very life and existence of their empire, a war of desperate self-defense against deliberate aggression. Nothing could be more grossly or wantonly false, and we must seek by the utmost openness and candor as to our real aims to convince them of its falseness. We are in fact fighting for their emancipation from the fear, along with our own-from the fear as well as from the fact of unjust attack by neighbors or rivals or schemers after world empire. No one is threatening the existence or the independence of the peaceful enterprise of the German Empire.

The worst that can happen to the detriment the German people is this, that if they should still, after the war is over, continue to be obliged to live under ambitious and intriguing masters interested to disturb the peace of the world, men or classes of men whom the other peoples of the world could not trust, it might be impossible to admit them to the partnership of nations which must henceforth guarantee the world’s peace. That partnership must be a partnership of peoples, not a mere partnership of governments. It might be impossible, also, in such untoward circumstances, to admit Germany to the free economic intercourse which must inevitably spring out of the other partnerships of a real peace. But there would be no aggression in that; and such a situation, inevitable, because of distrust, would in the very nature of things sooner or later cure itself, by processes which would assuredly set in.

The wrongs, the very deep wrongs, committed in this war will have to be righted. That, of course. But they cannot and must not be righted by the commission of similar wrongs against Germany and her allies. The world will not permit the commission of similar wrongs as a means of reparation and settlement. Statesmen must by this time have learned that the opinion of the world is everywhere wide awake and fully comprehends the issues involved. No representative of any self-governed nation will dare disregard it by attempting any such covenants of selfishness and compromise as were entered into at the Congress of Vienna. The thought of the plain people here and everywhere throughout the world, the people who enjoy no privilege and have very simple and unsophisticated standards of right and wrong, is the air all governments must henceforth breathe if they would live.

It is in the full disclosing light of that thought that all policies must be received and executed in this midday hour of the world’s life. Ger. man rulers have been able to upset the peace of the world only because the German people were not suffered under their tutelage to share the comradeship of the other peoples of the world either in thought or in purpose. They were allowed to have no opinion of their own which might be set up as a rule of conduct for those who exercised authority over them. But the Congress that concludes this war will feel the full strength of the tides that run now in the hearts and consciences of free men everywhere. Its conclusions will run with those tides.

All those things have been true from the very beginning of this stupendous war; and I cannot help thinking that if they had been made plain at the very outset the sympathy and enthusiasm of the Russian people might have been once for all enlisted on the side of the Allies, suspicion and distrust swept away, and a real and lasting union of purpose effected. Had they believed these things at the very moment of their revolution, and had they been confirmed in that belief since, the sad reverses which have recently marked the progress of their affairs towards an ordered and stable government of free men might have been avoided. The Russian people have been poisoned by the very same falsehoods that have kept the German people in the dark, and the poison has been administered by the very same hand. The only possible antidote is the truth. It cannot be uttered too plainly or too often.

From every point of view, therefore, it has seemed to be my duty to speak these declarations of purpose, to add these specific interpretations to what I took the liberty of saying to the Senate in January. Our entrance into the war has not altered out attitude towards the settlement that must come when it is over.

When I said in January that the nations of the world were entitled not only to free pathways upon the sea, but also to assured and unmolested access to those-pathways, I was thinking, and I am thinking now, not of the smaller and weaker nations alone which need our countenance and support, but also of the great and powerful nations and of our present enemies as well as our present associates in the war. I was thinking, and am thinking now, of Austria herself, among the rest, as well as of Serbia and of Poland.

Justice and equality of rights can be had only at a great price. We are seeking permanent, not temporary, foundations for the peace of the world, and must seek them candidly and fearlessly. As always, the right will prove to be the expedient.

What shall we do, then, to push this great war of freedom and justice to its righteous conclusion? We must clear away with a thorough hand all impediments to success, and we must make every adjustment of law that will facilitate the full and free use of our whole capacity and force as a fighting unit.

One very embarrassing obstacle that stands hi our way is that we are at war with Germany but not with her allies. I, therefore, very earnestly recommend that the Congress immediately declare the United States in a state of war with Austria-Hungary. Does it seem strange to you that this should be the conclusion of the argument I have just addressed to you? It is not. It is in fact the inevitable logic of what I have said. Austria-Hungary is for the time being not her own mistress but simply the vassal of the German Government.

We must face the facts as they are and act upon them without sentiment in this stern business. The Government of Austria and Hungary is not acting upon its own initiative or in response to the wishes and feelings of its own peoples, but as the instrument of another nation. We must meet its force with our own and regard the Central Powers as but one. The war can be successfully conducted in no other way.

The same logic would lead also to a declaration of war against Turkey and Bulgaria. They also are the tools of Germany, but they are mere tools and do not yet stand in the direct path of our necessary action. We shall go wherever the necessities of this war carry us, but it seems to me that we should go only where immediate and practical considerations lead us, and not heed any others.

The financial and military measures which must be adopted will suggest themselves as the war and its undertakings develop, but I will take the liberty of proposing to you certain other acts of legislation which seem to me to be needed for the support of the war and for the release of our whole force and energy.

It will be necessary to extend in certain particulars the legislation of the last session with regard to alien enemies, and also necessary, I believe, to create a very definite and particular control over the entrance and departure of all persons into and from the United States.

Legislation should be enacted defining as a criminal offense every wilful violation of the presidential proclamation relating to alien enemies promulgated under section 4o67 of the revised statutes and providing appropriate punishments; and women, as well as men, should be included under the terms of the acts placing restraints upon alien enemies.

It is likely that as time goes on many alien enemies will be willing to be fed and housed at the expense of the Government in the detention camps, and it would be the purpose of the legislation I have suggested to confine offenders among them in the penitentiaries and other similar institutions where they could be made to work as other criminals do.

Recent experience has convinced me that the Congress must go further in authorizing the Government to set limits to prices. The law of supply and demand, I am sorry to say, has been replaced by the law of unrestrained selfishness. While we have eliminated profiteering in several branches of industry, it still runs impudently rampant in others. The farmers for example, complain with a great deal of justice that, while the regulation of food prices restricts their incomes, no restraints are placed upon the prices of most of the things they must themselves purchase; and similar inequities obtain on all sides.

It is imperatively necessary that the consideration of the full use of the water power of the country, and also of the consideration of the systematic and yet economical development of such of the natural resources of the country as are still under the control of the Federal Government should be immediately resumed and affirmatively and constructively dealt with at the earliest possible moment. The pressing need of such legislation is daily becoming more obvious.

The legislation proposed at the last session with regard to regulated combinations among our exporters in order to provide for our foreign trade a more effective organization and method of co-operation ought by all means to be completed at this session.

And I beg that the members of the House of Representatives will permit me to express the opinion that it will be impossible to deal in any but a very wasteful and extravagant fashion with the enormous appropriations of the public moneys which must continue to be made if the war is to be properly sustained, unless the House will consent to return to its former practice of initiating and preparing all appropriation bills through a single committee, in order that responsibility may be centered, expenditures standardized and made uniform, and waste and duplication as much as possible avoided.

Additional legislation may also become necessary before the present Congress again adjourns in order to effect the most efficient co-ordination and operation of the railways and other transportation systems of the country; but to that I shall, if circumstances should demand, call the attention of Congress upon another occasion.

If I have overlooked anything that ought to be done for the more effective conduct of the war, your own counsels will supply the omission. What I am perfectly clear about is that in the present session of the Congress our whole attention and energy should be concentrated on the vigorous, rapid and successful prosecution of the great task of winning the war.

We can do this with all the greater zeal and enthusiasm because we know that for us this is a war of high principle, debased by no selfish ambition of conquest or spoliation; because we know, and all the world knows, that we have been forced into it to save the very institutions we five under from corruption and destruction. The purpose of the Central Powers strikes straight at the very heart of everything we believe in; their methods of warfare outrage every principle of humanity and of knightly honor; their intrigue has corrupted the very thought and spirit of many of our people; their sinister and secret diplomacy has sought to take our very territory away from us and disrupt the union of the states. Our safety would be at an end, our honor forever sullied and brought into contempt, were we to permit their triumph. They are striking at the very existence of democracy and liberty.

It is because it is for us a war of high, disinterested purpose, in which all the free peoples of the world are banded together for the vindication of right, a war for the preservation of our nation, of all that it has held dear, of principle and of purpose, that we feel ourselves doubly constrained to propose for its outcome only that which is righteous and of irreproachable intention, for our foes as well as for our friends. The cause being just and holy, the settlement must be of like motive and equality. For this we can fight, but for nothing less noble or less worthy of our traditions. For this cause we entered the war and for this cause will we battle until the last gun is fired.

I have spoken plainly because this seems to me the time when it is most necessary to speak plainly, in order that all the world may know that, even in the heat and ardor of the struggle and when our whole thought is of carrying the war through to its end, we have not forgotten any ideal or principle for which the name of America has been held in honor among the nations and for which it has been our glory to contend in the great generations that went before us. A supreme moment of history has come. The eyes of the people have been opened and they see. The hand of God is laid upon the nations. He will show them favor, I devoutly believe, only if they rise to the clear heights of His own justice and mercy.

8

PopeWatch: Peronism

PopeWatch has long believed that Argentina is the key to understanding Pope Francis.  Father Ray Blake takes a look at Peronism:

 

I had a lesson in Peronism from an Argentinian waiter recently, in Argentina he was a PPE graduate.
Peronism, he said, was the most corrupt form of politics, because you could be a Communist, or a Facist, or a Capitalist, the only thing that mattered was support for Peron, post Peron any other head of State. It is a remnant of 1920/30s Facism, where the will of the Fuhrer or Il Duce was all that mattered. Right or Wrong, Good or Bad, Custom or Tradition, Law or Morality or anything else pale into insignificance and have no validity compared to the Will of the Leader.

Therefore the ideal is to be as close as possible to the Leader, failing direct proximity the next best thing is to be close either to those who are close to the Leader or those know, or claim to know, the mind of the Leader. Under such a system moral automony is reduced to slavery because is no mral compass, such abstracts as Right and Wrong are of no importance. All that does matter is Dux Vult. If the leader is somewhat erratic that doesn’t really matter, it just means his followers have to be closer and listen even more intently and it could be that what was the Leader’s will last year or even this morning, might not be so now, or his will expressed to A might be the complete opposite of what was expressed to B.

To the Peronist the old elite, who based their authority on intellectual expertise or their understanding, or knowledge, even their fidelity to the law must be supplanted, nothing other than the leaders will matters. They represent an alternative authority, and therefore a possible alternative source of power, and certainly a source of evaluation and criticism. Peronism hates intellectuals, they are always totally arbitary and concerned with what is expedient, what adds to or deepens the leaders power.

Nowaday’s everyone identifies the rule of Francis as in some sense Peronist, it is popular conclusion, I identified it at the beginning of his reign, if somewhat positively, as appealing to the ordinary man and trying to make the Papacy ‘popular’, that was a bit naive of me, it is actually Peron’s Peronism, essentially about making the leader powerful.

The trouble with Peronism as my waiter friend explained is that far from being a cure for corruption it becomes a source of it  The corruption  in the Vatican is based on nepotism and patronage, it is the old Italian thing as dominant in Rome as it is in Palermo; X has done me a favour, therefore I will do a favour for Y who, will do you a favour, in return for you helping Z, who will then be indedted to me. Peronism thrives on this because relations with the leader, rather than integrity, honour or honesty, are all that matters. It does indeed reduce everyone to slavery because personal integrity is always subject to whatever the leader wants. North Korea is perhaps the Peronist ideal or at least the reductio ad absurdum.

What is hated are upright men of integrity, those who are approved of are the servile and weak and those who are either stupid, indebted in some sense or lack integrity, who are therefore always and corruptable, one could list a huge number of Papal courtiers who fit into this category.

 

Go here to read the rest. Peron left Argentina a wreck.  Francis will leave the Church in a similar condition.

 

 

7

A Politicized Military

One of the worst legacies of the Obama administration is a politicized military, with careerist high ranking officers concerned to be perceived as politically correct above all else.  Evidence of this is not hard to find:

The nation’s highest military court has thrown out the 2012 rape conviction of a Coast Guard enlisted man because admirals and prosecutors packed the seven-member jury with five women, four of whom held jobs as advocates for victims of sexual assault.

In a 5-0 ruling that could change how the military conducts sex abuse trials, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces unleashed caustic criticism of all involved.

From the Coast Guard commandant down to an appellate court to the original trial judge, the high court said all contributed to a “stain on the military justice system.” The military has been under intense pressure to wipe out sexual harassment and assault, the five civilian judges noted.

The opinion, delivered by Judge Margaret A. Ryan, said the four admirals who played a role in assembling the officer and enlisted jury pool produced an illegal “gender-based court stacking.” She suggested that the admirals’ role amounted to unlawful command influence, which military law analysts see as the enemy of fair trials for service members.

The court ruling said the trial judge “failed to conduct even a rudimentary investigation” into defense attorneys’ complaints of an unfair jury.

It also said the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals failed in its duty to protect against unlawful command influence as it “rationalized the error away as a benign effort to seek inclusiveness.”

“Yet the error in this case is both so obvious and so egregious that it adversely affected not only Appellant’s right to a fair trial by an impartial panel, but also the essential fairness and integrity of the military justice system,” Judge Ryan and the four other judges wrote.

Even worse, the high court suggested that the enlisted man never would have been convicted by a more gender-proportionate jury. It said the evidence was so weak that a hearing officer had recommended dismissing the charges. The admiral overseeing the case overruled him.

“The Government’s case was weak, primarily based on the testimony of [name redacted], the putative victim, who was unable to remember many of the events surrounding the crime due to alcohol use and whose testimony was controverted by other witnesses at trial,” the opinion read.

One of the admirals involved in jury selection is Coast Guard Commandant Paul F. Zukunft. He was the last of four convening authorities of the rape trial.

Adm. Zukunft told a hearing judge that he was unaware of jury stacking. The appeals court rejected his excuse.

“As our cases on court stacking make clear, the actual ignorance of the convening authority does not insulate him or her from the errors or misconduct of his or her subordinates, which are errors affecting the court-martial selection process and court stacking nonetheless,” the opinion read.

“As we stated long ago, even reasonable doubt concerning the use of improper panel selection criteria will not be tolerated in the military justice system,” it read.

The high court judges harshly criticized all involved, implying that their goal was to win a conviction.

“The salient facts paint a clear picture of court stacking based on gender in an atmosphere of external pressure to achieve specific results in sexual assault cases,” the ruling read. “Against that backdrop, purposefully selecting a panel that is seventy percent female, most of whom are victim advocates, from a roster of officers that was only twenty percent female and a pool of enlisted that was only thirteen percent female, smacks of a panel that was ‘hand-picked’ by or for the Government.”

The judges used the word “absurdity” in their assessment of assembling a jury pool of 70 percent women based on inclusiveness. “As a matter of common sense, 70 percent is not statistically or otherwise ‘representative,’” their ruling read.

Ten jurors were selected, and seven of them were women. Of those jurors, five women and two men heard evidence, deliberated and rendered a verdict. Of those five women, four were assigned as advocates for victims of sexual misconduct.

The judges threw out the court-martial convictions of Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class John C. Riesbeck “with prejudice,” meaning the Coast Guard may not retry him.

Go here to read the appellate decision.  For my sins no doubt, I have spent the last 35 years as an attorney, and I have seen many appalling things in and out of court as a result.  This still shocks me.  This was a clear attempt to railroad an innocent man, and everyone in the military involved in this kangaroo court martial, except for the defense, went along with this.  Where does the innocent victim go to get his reputation and his good name back, and the past five years he has spent being branded as a convicted rapist?  That high ranking officers would do this fundamental injustice in order to curry favor with civilian political masters reveals their complete unfitness to serve in any capacity in the US military.  Indeed, the perpetrators of this fraud on justice should face criminal charges themselves.  Do not hold your breath.

2

Feast Day of the Angelic Doctor

Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

 

 

In a time when far too many people doubt that truth even exists, it is good to recall Saint Thomas Aquinas, who used the intellect God blessed him with all his life to ferret out the truth.  At the end of his life, the Angelic Doctor had a mystical experience before the Eucharist and stopped writing.  When asked about it, he said that what he had seen made all of his writings seem like mere straw in comparison.  His writings will endure as long as Man endures, a tribute to what the human mind, enlightened by Faith, can accomplish.  However, it is his sublime and victorious faith in Christ which is his real monument.

 

 

4

January 28, 1861: Sam Houston Stands Alone

But if, through division in the ranks of those opposed to Mr. Lincoln, he should be elected, we have no excuse for dissolving the Union. The Union is worth more than Mr. Lincoln, and if the battle is to be fought for the Constitution, let us fight it in the Union and for the sake of the Union. With a majority of the people in favor of the Constitution, shall we desert the Government and leave it in the hands of the minority? A new obligation will be imposed upon us, to guard the Constitution and to see that no infraction of it is attempted or permitted. If Mr. Lincoln administers the Government in accordance with the Constitution, our rights must be respected. If he does not, the Constitution has provided a remedy.

Sam Houston, September 22, 1860

It took a fair amount of courage to stand against the tide of secession in the South in 1860-1861, but not even his most determined enemy, and he had many enemies, could say that Sam Houston ever had a shortage of that virtue.   As an ardent Unionist he  fought secession every step of the way.  As I outlined in an earlier post, which may be read here,  he realized that secession was a disaster for the South, and with eerie accuracy predicted a great war and military defeat for the South.

Houston, as governor of Texas, refused to bring the state legislature back into session to consider secession.  The Secession Convention, which held its opening session on January 28, 1861, voted to abrogate the treaty of annexation with the US on February 1.  Secession was put to a popular vote and won at the ballot.  Texas was admitted to the Confederacy on March 1, 1861.  Houston never recognized the legality of any of this, and refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

“Fellow-Citizens, in the name of your rights and liberties, which I believe have been trampled upon, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the nationality of Texas, which has been betrayed by the Convention, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of the Constitution of Texas, I refuse to take this oath. In the name of my own conscience and manhood, which this Convention would degrade by dragging me before it, to pander to the malice of my enemies, I refuse to take this oath. I deny the power of this Convention to speak for Texas….I protest….against all the acts and doings of this convention and I declare them null and void.

Houston was removed from office on March 16, 1861.  On September 22, 1860 he had made a pro-Union speech.  It is a fascinating document.  If this gallant old man had been heeded, the nation would have avoided a fratricidal war that claimed 620,000 American lives.  Here is the text of the speech: Continue Reading

4

PopeWatch: Vatican Shutdown

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Hundreds of thousands of priests from around the world have either been sent back to the rectory or have been told to not show up to say Masses today as clerical furloughs took affect midnight due to the Vatican shutdown.

Cardinal Robert Sarah delivered an ominous warning to cardinals gathered at the Vatican this morning, saying that “The shutdown is going to get a lot worse tomorrow if the Pope doesn’t act immediately.”

Essential spiritual services such as Confessions, Anointing of the Sick, and Masses will continue, although no public Masses will be allowed.

Still, liberal Catholic cardinals are insisting the shutdown is “not nearly as bad” as the last time this happened under Pope Benedict XVI, but many still see this as a blemish on Francis’ legacy.

It was Francis, after all, who during the 2013 papal conclave famously criticized Pope Benedict, saying, “A clerical shutdown falls on the Pope’s lack of leadership. He can’t even control his Church and get people together in a room. A shutdown means the Pope is weak.”

“Problems start from the top, and they have to get solved from the top, and the Pope’s the leader, and he’s got to get everybody in a room, and he’s got to lead,” then-Cardinal Bergoglio said in a radio interview in 2013. “And he doesn’t do that, he doesn’t like doing that, that’s not his strength. And that’s why you have this horrible situation going on in Rome. It’s a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”

When asked what he would do if he were pope, Francis said “Well, very simply, you have to get everybody in a basilica. You have to be a leader. The pope has to lead. He’s got to get whoever’s head of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and everybody else in a basilica, and they have to make a deal. You have to be nice, and be angry, and be wild, and cajole, and do all sorts of holy things. But you have to get a deal.”

Go here to read the comments.  Eye of the Tiber, get thee behind me Satan with this temptation!

2

Winter War 45

Something for the weekend.  Finlandia Hymn.  My Bride and I are off to Winter War 45, a war gaming and rpg convention that I have been attending since 1976.  Go here to read about it.  We usually pick up some new games from the vendors and more at the game auction.

 

 

For the more venturesome, or crazed, among you, here is a link to a demo of Civilization6.  Happy gaming!

 

 

5

January 26, 1945: Audie Murphy Earns Medal of Honor

 

The real heroes are dead.

Audie Murphy

When Audie Murphy starred in his aptly titled World War II biopic, To Hell and Back, his battlefield exploits were downplayed.  Partially this was due to Murphy’s modesty, he had not wanted to appear in the movie and did so only after he was promised that much of the focus of the film would be on his buddies who died during the War, and partially due to the fact that what he did during the War was so unbelievably courageous that film audiences might have refused to believe it.  Here is his Medal of Honor citation that he earned in truly hellish fighting near Holtzwihr, France on January 26, 1945:

 

 

General Orders No. 65

WAR DEPARTMENT

Washington 25, D.C., 9 August 1945

MEDAL OF HONOR – Award

Section
1
* * * * *

I. MEDAL OF HONOR. – By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved 9 July 1918 (WD Bul. 43, 1918), a Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty was awarded by the War Department in the name of Congress to the following-named officer:

Second Lieutenant Audie L. Murphy, 01692509, 15th Infantry, Army of the United States, on 26 January 1945, near Holtzwihr, France, commanded Company B, which was attacked by six tanks and waves of infantry. Lieutenant Murphy ordered his men to withdraw to a prepared position in a woods while he remained forward at his command post and continued to give fire directions to the artillery by telephone. Behind him to his right one of our tank destroyers received a direct hit and began to burn. It’s crew withdrew to the woods. Lieutenant Murphy continued to direct artillery fire which killed large numbers of the advancing enemy infantry. With the enemy tanks abreast of his position, Lieutenant Murphy climbed on the burning tank destroyer which was in danger of blowing up any instant and employed its .50 caliber machine gun against the enemy. He was alone and exposed to the German fire from three sides, but his deadly fire killed dozens of Germans and caused their infantry attack to waver. the enemy tanks, losing infantry support, began to fall back. For an hour the Germans tried every available weapon to eliminate Lieutenant Murphy, but he continued to hold his position and wiped out a squad which was trying to creep up unnoticed on his right flank. Germans reached as close as 10 yards only to be mowed down by his fire. He received a leg wound but ignored it and continued the single-handed fight until his ammunition was exhausted. He then made his way to his company, refused medical attention, and organized the company in a counterattack which forced the Germans to withdraw. His directing of artillery fire wiped out many of the enemy; he personally killed or wounded about 50. Lieutenant Murphy’s indomitable courage and his refusal to give an inch of ground saved his company from possible encirclement and destruction and enabled it to hold the woods which had been the enemy’s objective.
* * * * *

BY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR:
OFFICIAL:

EDWARD F. WITSELL
Major General
Acting the Adjutant General

G.C. MARSHALL
Chief of Staff

 

 

During his post war screen career Audie Murphy played many heroes, but in his real life he had earned that title many times over.

 

 

I never like being called the ‘most decorated’ soldier. There were so many guys who should have gotten medals and never did – guys who were killed.
 Audie Murphy
9

PopeWatch: Economics

Pope Francis demonstrated once again that he is clueless as to economics:

At the center of the Pope’s speech was an overarching theme of placing human dignity at the center of global development, despite the barriers of suffering, poverty and injustice.

“Economic models, therefore, are also required to observe an ethic of sustainable and integral development, based on values that place the human person and his or her rights at the center,” he said.

“We cannot remain silent in the face of the suffering of millions of people whose dignity is wounded, nor can we continue to move forward as if the spread of poverty and injustice had no cause,” Pope Francis continued.

The Pope told the leaders gathered at the event that it is a “moral imperative” to create inclusive conditions that benefit the good of society, rather than furthering self-centered individualism.

By rejecting the “throwaway” culture, Pope Francis said, leaders can strive for a better future, by “increasing the quality of productivity, creating new jobs, respecting labor laws, fighting against public and private corruption and promoting social justice, together with the fair and equitable sharing of profits.”

The Holy Father also encouraged “wise discernment” for world leaders, asking them to support authentic values that will foster the prosperity of all.

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope acts as if the word profit is obscene and that the economy is a government program to be manipulated by the State like silly putty.  God save us from the economic delusions of most clerics.

 

 

9

Fearsome to the Enemies of Truth

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts recalls the SJW trolls who swarmed over his blog, alarmed at this conservative intruder into their happy hunting ground, when it was at Patheos:

 

 

 

This time, a post-battle review.  He nails Ms. Newman of Channel 4 for what she is.  She is a Marxist inspired post-modern leftist.  To that end, there is no truth, there’s merely the assumption of my measure of righteousness, anyone who disagrees must be a stereotype.  And it isn’t just Ms. Newman. That’s the biggest problem.  Peterson also calls out the fact that Ms. Newman’s tactics are all too common. While not unique to any time or place, her approach is pretty much the go-to approach in our millennial age; the post-Truth age where the point is to be affirmed in your awesomeness and contempt for non-conformers, rather than care a lick about getting to the truth.

As I listened to this, I thought of a glaring mistake I made at Patheos.  Early on, I assumed commentators commented in good faith.  Not sure why, since I’ve visited blogs for years. But I did assume this, I suppose because it was my blog and I thought I could direct the spirit of the comments.  No.  I was wrong.  Some did in good faith.  Many did not.  The best Troll of the bunch incarnated the postmodern leftist millennial age and all its problems that we see with Ms. Newman.

Early on I missed that and tried to engage in the spirit of mature discourse.  Which led to endless comments of nothing, strings of pointlessness that ended up chasing readers away (by the end, some told me exactly who it was that they dreaded seeing on a comments thread).  The wag would use any tactic imaginable – deflection, inconsistency, arrogance, subtle insult, pointless rabbit chasing, insinuation, you name a method of obfuscation – to do nothing other than win, and feel intellectually superior.  Any attempts to correct the situation?  More accusations, name calling or insults.

Which is why his approach reminded me of Ms. Newman, and much of the postmodern, millennial approach to debate.  There was no attempt to get to the point, discover the truth, find an answer, or discover a solution.  There was no real desire to understand my point – something I missed for too long.  The point was keeping the individual tripped up as long as possible to feel validated and superior. Truth, and reality were completely irrelevant. 

When engaging with the Marxist inspired postmodern millennial Left, it might be worth remembering this sad and ugly fact.  We don’t engage with people seeking Truth.  We engage with people who have one agenda and one agenda only – the eradication of anything that challenges their own superior view of themselves and their latest convenient values.

The fact that mainline outlets are taking notice and making with the slick ‘he’s obviously evil, he’s not liberal’ headlines, is all I need to know to understand how dangerously on the edge we are. Dangerous because it’s not just people who need validation on blogs, but actual jouranlism and even our very educational institutions that are in on the act.  Here, the Chronicle of Higher Education takes on Peterson.  It’s more subtle than Ms. Newman, but the obvious suggestions and hints are there.  Slate, of course, cuts right to the chase and in typical *Yawn* form, labels Peterson an Alt-Right hero.  Alt-Right is quickly becoming ‘excuse to root for the extermination of those who don’t conform’, rather than a descriptive label.

All of which reminded me of the Patheos Trolls, Ms. Newman, progressive millennials, and why we must stop fooling ourselves about compromising with a movement of tyranny, oppression, violence and wickedness resting on lies and calumny and rejection of Truth as its primary tactic.  It’s not just on Patheos or Channel 4.  Increasingly, it is the millennial Left in a nutshell.

Go here to comment.  One of my favorite scenes from the movie Becket:

I have always been struck by the words after the mitre is placed on Becket that:   “he may appear fearsome to the enemies of Truth.”  With most Leftists we are dealing with people who do not believe there is such a thing as truth, which explains a lot when you think about it.

 

9

PopeWatch: Airborne Pope

PopeWatch shudders whenever the Pope is in the air.  Sandro Magister explains why:

 

Like clockwork, Pope Francis’s words spoken at high altitude, this time during his flight back from Peru to Rome on the night between January 21 and 22, have produced the umpteenth great confusion:

> Video of the press conference with Pope Francis

There were two explosive subjects of the press conference, both localized in Chile: the fate of the bishop of Osorno, Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid, and the lightning wedding celebrated by the pope between a hostess and a steward, during the flight from Santiago to Iquique.

In this second case, Francis said that he had judged at once that “all the conditions were clear” for the validity of the sacrament, and therefore it could be celebrated right away. To come to this certainty he explained that the words of the two spouses were enough for him.

Concerning the bishop of Osorno, the opposite took place. The pope said that he “studied and restudied” the case for a long time, but there was no “evidence” for his guilt. And because of this he is keeping the bishop at the head of the diocese, in spite of the accusations that continue to be brought against him, accusations that for the pope are in reality “calumnies.”

In Chile, responding curtly to a question from a journalist, Francis had spoken not of missing “evidence,” but of “proofs.” And for the use of this latter word – in reality little or not at all different from the former – he apologized on the airplane. He held firm, however, to the correctness of the word “calumny” as he applied it to those who say they are victims of sexual abuse that the pope maintains never happened.

He also said, however, that he had never listened to the “victims” because they neither “came to” nor “were presented to” him. When in reality they asked over and over again, publicly, for the pope to listen to them so that he could verify on the basis of their testimony precisely that “evidence” which he continues to say is missing.

During the flight back from Rome, Francis also furnished a new exegesis of the letter he wrote to the Chilean bishops on January 31, 2015, made public by the “Associated Press” just before this journey to Chile.

From how the letter was written, in fact, it seemed to be clear that Pope Francis himself thought it was right, until the end of 2014, to remove this bishop, only to change his view and promote him, on January 10 of 2015, to the see of Osorno.

But now it seems that this was not the case. From what Francis said on the airplane it should be gathered that he always maintained that this bishop was “good and capable,” even when “a few people of the episcopal conference” of Chile wanted him to resign. And in fact, not once but twice the pope said that he had turned down his resignation, both before and after the appointment to Osorno, because to accept it would have meant “admitting his guilt,” when instead, he stated categorically: “I am convinces that he is innocent.”

In this tangle of contradictions, it remains unexplained why the victims of the spiritual guide of the bishop of Osorno, the priest Antonio Karadima, should have been given the greatest credence, arriving rapidly at the canonical sentence of condemnation, while some of these same victims are instead not given credence and not even listened to when they accuse the bishop.

During the inflight press conference, Francis also said that he had “thanked” Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the pontifical commission for the protection of minors, for the words he had spoken on the question.

In reality, the statement that the cardinal published on January 20 on the website of his archdiocese of Boston is anything but in harmony with the pope.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Pope today blasted fake news.  He should know.  When it comes to producing fake news, the Holy Father is a grand master, especially when he is airborne.

4

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Patriotism in the female sex is the most disinterested of all virtues. Excluded from honors and from offices, we cannot attach ourselves to the State or Government from having held a place of eminence. Even in the freest countries our property is subject to the control and disposal of our partners, to whom the laws have given a sovereign authority. Deprived of a voice in legislation, obliged to submit to those laws which are imposed upon us, is it not sufficient to make us indifferent to the public welfare? Yet all history and every age exhibit instances of patriotic virtue in the female sex; which considering our situation equals the most heroic of yours.

Abigail Adams to John Adams, June 17, 1782

 

 

 

 

 

22

Analyzing a Christian Tirade

When writing about Catholic Faith & Reason on the blogosphere, you might think the longest rants and tirades against such writings come from militant atheists. Many do, but from my experience, many also come from non-Catholic Christians.

I normally do not engage these challenges because I find them too time consuming and seemingly fruitless, but I thought I’d share just one small part of such a tirade in order to demonstrate how you don’t need a lot of theology or Scripture references to refute them.

WARNING: What you are about to read is a direct attack on the Eucharist, and you may find the commenter’s lack of faith & reason disturbing. ***********************************************************************************************************

“I challenge you to an on-line debate at your website on the Eucharist. The madness of this doctrine must be confronted head-on. The Roman Catholic Church claims that the Council of Trent was infallible. However, if it can be shown that they made even one factual error, the claim for infallibility falls to the ground and all Catholic doctrines fall right along with it. The Catechism says, ‘Christ our Redeemer said that it was truly His body He was offering under the species of bread’ (CCC 1376).

No, he did not say any such thing. Trent’s first error was the brazen lie of telling us Jesus said something, when he didn’t. What they did do is tell us what they THINK he meant and then quote him as if he had said so! This is dishonest. Such behavior would not be tolerated by any school of journalism, let alone are we to tolerate it coming from a self-proclaimed ‘infallible’ church council.”

My Thoughts: What is in CCC #1376 is not a direct quote from Scripture; it’s quoting the Council writings. The writers of the Catechism and the Council are teaching with authority about what “This is my body” means (Luke 22:19). Anyone is free to debate any authority and its source, but this is not about lying or a mistaken quote. After the Ascension of Christ, the Apostles and their descendants told others what Jesus said, agreed? They had no New Testament Scriptures to quote from for many, many years, agreed? So how did they teach others what Jesus said? They taught authoritatively by word of mouth (not by Scripture); what Catholics call Oral Tradition or Scared Tradition. This is really about what Jesus meant, as opposed to what was literally said. If your father was no longer around and left nothing in writing, and you then taught your younger brothers and sisters “what Dad said” without direct quotes, does this make you a brazen liar?

***********************************************************************************************************

 “The second offense was asserting that Jesus was offering himself in sacrifice right there at the table, when the Text indicates no such thing.   Trent teaches, ‘At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed [He] offered up to God the Father His own body and blood under the form of bread and wine…’

Reader, that is a bold-faced lie. Jesus offered up His body ‘on the tree’, per 1 Peter 2:24…i.e., at the cross, no sooner and no later; and certainly not at the Last Supper, and definitely not at any Mass going on today.  Awake!  Jesus said he desired to eat the Passover ‘before I suffer’ (Luke 22:15). That being so, he did not suffer and offer himself in sacrifice to God the Father at the dinner table before he went to the cross!”

My Thoughts: The Church teaches that Jesus offered himself on the cross AND at the last supper AND at every Mass. CCC #1367 “The sacrifice of Christ and the sacrifice of the Eucharist are one single sacrifice: ‘The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different.’ ‘And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and is offered in an unbloody manner. . . this sacrifice is truly propitiatory.’”

Is the Church correct or incorrect? Who is to say and by what authority? It seems to always come back to this question.

***********************************************************************************************************

“Their third offense was stealing the word ‘truly’ from John 6:53 (‘Truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man…’) but irresponsibly transporting the word ‘truly’ over to the Last Supper account, where he did not ‘truly’ affirm that at all.”

My Thoughts: See above thoughts.

***********************************************************************************************************

“Instead of letting the Bible breathe on its own, Trent has quoted Jesus out of context. Even if Transubstantiation were true, we are quite sure the Lord would not take kindly to putting words in his mouth.   Need it be said that David required only one stone to kill Goliath?   In like manner, all it takes is just one stone of error to classify Catholicism as counterfeit Christianity.

Since the claim of infallibility is now exposed as false, so too must the doctrine of Transubstantiation be false. This means that Jesus was not speaking literally when he told us to ‘eat my flesh and drink my blood’, but rather, metaphorically. Essentially, ‘eating and drinking’ are synonymous with ‘believing in Christ’ because they both produce the same result: namely, eternal life!”

My Thoughts: Now we get into the crux of the matter. The Bible does not “breathe on its own”. It is people who “breath” and people who teach. The commenter declares that Jesus was speaking metaphorically, but Jesus says no such thing. Why doesn’t he let the Bible “breathe on its own” instead of telling us what he THINKS Jesus meant? The Bible is clear “This is my Body” (Luke 22:19). When God says something is…it is.

I’ll go out on a limb and say the commenter believes that all matters of Christian doctrine and practice should be based on the Bible alone (Sola Scriptura). Anyone who accepts the false teaching of Sola Scriptura first runs into a contradiction and most likely does not realize it. The problem is that this doctrine is not found in the Bible (it’s unbiblical), so you need some other non-biblical source of authority to declare it, which means it violates Sola Scriptura. If this wasn’t clear enough, the Bible itself points us to another authority. In 1Timothy 3:15 the pillar and foundation of Truth is said to be the Church, not Scripture.

Secondly, Scripture is subject to human interpretation. Bible Christians do not use the Bible alone; they use the Bible along with whatever interpretations and traditions their leaders give them. Jesus actually founded one, and only one, universal Church for everybody; a visible and authoritative Church that uses imperfect men, together with the Holy Spirit, to guide us in faith and morals. If there really is a God, He would provide a way for us to know what is true without deterioration from human interpretation. A good Father would not just leave a book behind for us to figure out; a good Father would not leave His children as orphans. He would give us a Catholic, or universal, Church.

So in the last analysis, Jesus founded a Church…not a book. The next time you hear someone say the Catholic Church is not infallible ask, “Are you infallible about that?”

1

Tarantino Trek

Indeed, gentlemen. May I point out that I had an opportunity to observe your counterparts here quite closely. They were brutal, savage, unprincipled, uncivilized, treacherous; in every way, splendid examples of homo sapiens, the very flower of humanity.

Mr. Spock:  Mirror, Mirror

 

 

 

19

Trump Administration: Go Ahead and Defund Planned Parenthood

The next time some Catholic Leftist claims that the Trump administration is not pro-life, please tell them sweetly from me that they are a damn liar:

 

 

Barack Obama must be crying in his Wheaties these days. Why? Because day after day after day, President Donald Trump is utterly dismantling Obama’s pen-and-phone legacy. From eliminating crushing regulations, to cutting the size of government, to signing into law tax cuts that include the elimination of Obama’s tyrannical “individual mandate,” the eradication of the Obama Era is progressing rather swimmingly. And now, Trump has lobbed grenades at yet another of Obama’s sacred cows: Planned Parenthood:

The Trump administration is overturning Obama-era advisories aimed at preventing states from cutting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The administration is rescinding an April 2016 letter that the Obama administration sent to states warning them that restricting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood could violate federal law. Administration officials said Friday it is rescinding the guidance to give states more flexibility over how they manage Medicaid.

“States who run Medicaid jointly have had a say in whether providers in borders eligible to participate in Medicaid program,” said Charmaine Yoest, assistant secretary for public affairs at Health and Human Services.

The Obama administration sent the 2016 letter after 10 states moved to end Medicaid funding to the women’s health and abortion provider. States targeted Planned Parenthood in response to a series of undercover videos from an anti-abortion activist that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the donation and harvesting of aborted fetal tissue.

Go here to read the rest.

2

Orson Welles on Churchill

 

Ah, for the halcyon days of my youth when talk shows did not always consist of mindless chatter about sex, bleeped F-Bombs from some non-educated “celebrity” or stale, politicized tripe.  I have always been somewhat skeptical about evolution, but the contemporary world, at least the human portion of it, does make a striking case for de-evolution.

 

 

3

PopeWatch: Sin and Corruption

The Pope distinguishes between sin and corruption:

 

— Corruption is worse than any sin because it hardens the heart against feeling shame or guilt and hearing God’s call for conversion, Pope Francis said.

“Situations of sin and the state of corruption are two distinct realities, even if they are intimately linked to one another,” he said when he was Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The future pope’s comments come from a small booklet that was originally published in 2005.

Titled “Corruption and Sin: Reflections on the Theme of Corruption,” the booklet was based on an article he wrote in 1991 in the wake of a scandal in which local authorities in Argentina tried to whitewash the death of a teenage girl because the murderers’ fathers were linked to local politicians and the governor.

In the booklet’s introduction, the future pope said he wanted to republish the article because the problem of corruption had become so widespread a decade later that people began to almost expect it as a normal part of life.

While many sins can lead to corruption, sinners recognize their own weakness and are aware of the possibility of forgiveness, he said. “From there, the power of God can come in.”

People who are corrupt, on the other hand, have become blind to the transcendent, replacing God with their own powers and abilities, he said.

“A sinner expects forgiveness. The corrupt, on the contrary, don’t because they don’t feel they have sinned. They have prevailed,” he said.

One who is corrupt is “so holed up in the satisfaction of his own self-sufficiency” that his bloated self-esteem refuses to face the reality of his fraudulent and opportunistic behavior, he said.

“He has the face of someone trying to say, ‘It wasn’t me!’ or as my grandmother would say, ‘The face of a darling little angel,” he said.

The ability of the corrupt to disguise their true self should qualify them for an honorary degree in “social cosmetology,” he said.

They hide their thirst for power by making their ambitions seem frivolous and socially acceptable. With “shameless priggishness,” they adhere to “severe rules of a Victorian tint,” he wrote.

“It’s a cult of good manners that cover up bad habits,” he said.

Go here to read the rest.  People who sin of course often attempt to fool themselves that their sin is not a sin.  The odd thing is that the examples that come to PopeWatch’s mind are in areas where Pope Francis has said little:  birth control, homosexual conduct, envy of the wealth of others, etc.  In regard to Catholics in adulterous second marriages the Pope has offered endless excuses as to why these people may receive communion without repentance and amendment of life.  How much harder it is for people to recognize their sins, when the Church is silent about some sins or seems to say that a particular sin maybe is not so bad.  Such activities on the part of clerics truly is corruption.

10

PopeWatch: Papal Honor

The Vatican will do precisely nothing in regard to the Papal decoration given to a Dutch pro-abort.  Edward Pentin gives us the details:

 

The Vatican currently has no plans to change the procedure of exchanging honors during historic official visits of heads of state to the Vatican, and believes that the responsibility for any subsequent abuse of such decorations rests with the visiting delegation.

Despite the outcry over giving militant pro-abortion Dutch politician Lilianne Ploumen a medal of Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great last summer, Vatican officials believe the statement issued about the honor last week by deputy spokeswoman Paloma Garcia-Ovejero was enough, and that Ploumen’s award was actually meant as a snub.

The Vatican and the Dutch government exchanged honors when Holland’s King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima made their first, historic official visit to the Pope and the Vatican last June.

Ploumen, a staunch promoter of abortion who started a fund called She Decides which has raised nearly $400 million for international pro-abortion organizations since July, took part in the delegation as a government minister.

Earlier this month, a video emerged of Ploumen showing off the honor and saying the Pope had awarded it to her in recognition of her work in lobbying for abortion for girls.

Go here to read the rest.  Anyone surprised?

8

Oh, the E-mails I Receive

Lawyer African scam mail:

 

Dear sir

We are large scale miners located at Tarkwa in Western Region Ghana with postal address as follows: Achimota, Accra – Ghana, West Africa. We are incorporated under the Companies Code 1963, Act 179 with RC No: 63,556 (Registrar of Companies, Ghana). We are duly registered with the Minerals Commission as well as the Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited, Ghana (PMMC).
We have export permit issued by PMMC and certificate of non -criminal origin issued by the High Court, Ghana. We sell gold dust mined from our concessions.We offer for sale 800 kilogrammes gold dust characterized as follows: Commodity:Gold
Form: Alluvial Dust Quality: 22+ Carat (94%) Price: 24,000.00$US per kilogram Origin: Ghana Deleterious
Element: 0% Cyanide A full corporate offer will be sent upon demand.
WE HAVE GOLD DUST AND BAR FOR SALE LOOKING FOR RELIABLE BUYER
WORLDWIDE. YOU CAN HELP TO CONNECT US WITH ANY BUYER AND TAKE YOUR COMMISSION AS AGENT.
contact me at Joelbakker44@yahoo.com
Yours faithfully
Mohammed Maliknd

 

8

Why Catholics should know about science

Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.Pope St. John Paul II, Letter to Rev. George Coyne, S.J., Director of the Vatican Observatory. 

My evangelizing mission as a Catholic (even though a Converso) and a physicist, is to refute the claims of atheists (including prominent scientists) that science denies the teaching of the Catholic Church.   In many articles, adult education classes, and an ebook, “Truth Cannot Contradict Truth,”  I have argued that nothing science truly tells us about the world conflicts with Catholic teaching.   But I’ve found in the adult education classes and comments on the articles, that I’m not only preaching to the choir, but that those who should receive the message don’t really understand what science is all about, so the message is in a foreign language as far as they’re concerned.

Accordingly, I’m thinking of rewriting the ebook to include material that will help Catholic innumerates (and I’m not trying to be snide here; my wife is one of those) understand what science is all about–how it’s done and what its limits of truth are.  In short, I want to provide a text on basic science–physics, molecular biology, statistics–that will give the needed base for Catholics to assess critically the claims of atheistic science and to refute them for their children and friends.

I’ve given more details about this in a post for the Catholic Writers Guild, which has drawn some interesting and encouraging comments.   However, I still have some doubts about whether at 87.7 years I have the focus and the energy to carry this enterprise to a conclusion.   As the Kurt Weill song goes, “But it’s a long, long while from May to December…and I haven’t got time for the waiting game.”   If I do this book, it’s no more blogging, science-fiction or Midsomer Murders (or very little).

So, dear reader, do you think this is a worthwhile enterprise?   If such a book were published, would you buy it?

Many thanks.

8

Catholics: Fight Pro-Abortion Intolerance!

 But laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression; in order that every man may present his views without penalty there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.–Albert Einstein, “Out of My Later Years”

Even though the news from the 2018 March for Life was heartening, it is but one foray against an army of intolerant anti-life leftist politicians and jurists.     We’ve seen abortion advocates in Canada and California trying to silence pro-life voices and eliminate anti-abortion opinions from the public domain, and these are only two examples among many others.

CANADA: You can be Pro-life–in private.

Justin Trudeau recently said that you don’t have the public right to advocate pro-life policies:

An organization that has the explicit purpose of restricting women’s rights by removing rights to abortion, the right for women to control their own bodies, is not in line with where we are as a government and quite frankly where we are as a society,” Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada.

This statement was in response to a question about the right to free expression of ideas, and the Canadian government’s policy of requiring religious organizations to sign a statement supporting the right to abortion and LGBT “rights” if they wished government support for summer worker stipends:

“He then referenced recent changes to the Summer Jobs program that requires applicants adhere to Canadian rights — including access to abortions, and protections for LGBT Canadians. The program funds summer job placements for not-for-profit organizations, public sector employers and small businesses, the Canadian Press reported.LifeNews.com, 12 January, 2018.

CALIFORNIA: “Reproductive FACT Act”–Pro-life Centers must advertise abortion facilities

The “Reproductive FACT Act,” enacted by the California Legislature in 2015, requires pro-life centers to post signage and inform clients about the state’s taxpayer-funded abortions and contraception support.   A Riverside Country Superior Court judge issued an injunction against enforcement of the law in November, 2017.  The case is currently on the docket for the Supreme Court.

This is only one example of many–New York City, Baltimore, Hawaii, Illinois–in which anti-life advocates, politicians and jurists,  are trying to force not only acceptance of their practices, but advocacy by those who are deeply offended by them.   Whether it is to bake a “Wedding” cake for a ceremony you hold to be a sin, to refer a patient to an abortionist if you’re a doctor or a nurse, to supply contraceptives if you’re a believing pharmacist, it’s the same violation of fundamental freedom of religion and belief.

What should the faithful do?

How can we fight against the intolerant demons of the left: feminism gone wrong, academics without principles,  politicians prostituting themselves for power,  intolerance in the name of diversity?  I can think of some ways, and I hope you, the reader can supply others.

We have to demonstrate: The March for Life is a fine example.   Although it was under-reported by MSM, there were enough local reports to make up for this.   Politicians have to know that there are many speaking for life.

We have to fight politically.   It is hard to understand why “Catholics” (in name only?) in the Congress who continually vote for and advocate  anti-life policies (I think of Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, in particular) get the support of Catholic voters.

We have to support pro-life organizations financially and by activities.  (Do a web search to find out about such–here’s one for Pennsylvania.)

We have to support organizations like Judicial Watch and FIRE, that advocate for freedom of speech and expression in government and academic life.

And, most importantly, we have to pray for those who are trying to force us into sin.

11

Missing Texts

 

 

 

Well, isn’t this special:

 

The Justice Department has turned over to Congress additional text messages involving an FBI agent who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team following the discovery of derogatory comments about President Trump.

But the department also said in a letter to lawmakers that its record of messages sent to and from the agent, Peter Strzok, was incomplete because the FBI, for technical reasons, had been unable to preserve and retrieve about five months’ worth of communications.

New text messages highlighted in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray by Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, are from the spring and summer of 2016 and involve discussion of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. They reference Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision to accept the FBI’s conclusion in that case and a draft statement that former FBI Director James Comey had prepared in anticipation of closing out the Clinton investigation without criminal charges.

The FBI declined to comment Sunday. CBS News Justice Reporter Paula Reid reported Sunday that the Strzok texts have been delivered and are expected to be made public via Congress.

In addition to the communications already made public, the Justice Department on Friday provided Johnson’s committee with 384 pages of text messages, approximately 9,000 texts, exchanged between FBI employees Lisa Page and Strzok.

Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence agent who also worked the Clinton email case, was reassigned last summer from the team investigating ties between Russia and Mr. Trump’s Republican presidential campaign after Mueller learned he had exchanged politically charged text messages — many anti-Trump in nature — with an FBI lawyer also detailed to the group. The lawyer, Lisa Page, left Mueller’s team before the text messages were discovered.

The Justice Department last month produced for reporters and Congress hundreds of text messages that the two had traded before becoming part of the Mueller investigation. Many focused on their observations of the 2016 election and included discussions of the Clinton investigation. Republican lawmakers have contended the communication reveals the FBI and the Mueller team to be politically tainted and biased against Mr. Trump — assertions Wray has flatly rejected.

But, according to the letter, the FBI told the department that its system for retaining text messages sent and received on bureau phones had failed to preserve communications between Strzok and Page over a five-month period between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 7, 2017. DOJ says many FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices did not capture texts during that time. The explanation for the gap was “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.” 

 

Go here to read the rest.  Two observations.

  1.  Is this high school?  These are two important FBI officials engaged in an adulterous relationship and they seem to have spent a large portion of their time texting each other.  How much of this was done on the Federal dime?  How many other teens in adult bodies are employed by the Federal government?
  2.  Aren’t the missing texts too convenient for words?  The explanation sounds completely phony to me.  Time to subpoena the NSA and see if they have copies of the texts.
8

January 22, 1973: Roe v. Wade

Forty-five years since Roe was handed down.  The main evil of Roe of course is the 60 million innocents slaughtered as a result of it.  A secondary evil is the corruption of our judicial system.  In Roe we have a decision which is devoid of any pretense that it is interpreting the law.  Professor John Hart Ely of Yale, in his famous 1973 law review article The Wages of Crying Wolf:  A Comment on Roe v. Wade, put it succinctly:  “It is nevertheless a very bad decision.  Not because it will perceptibly weaken the court-it won’t;  and not because it conflicts with my idea of progress or what the evidence suggests is society’s-it doesn’t.  It is bad because it is bad constitutional law, or rather because it is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be.”  Go here to read Ely’s article, its conclusion made doubly damning by the fact that he personally favored legalization of abortion and thus was condemning a decision the result of which he personally favored.

Roe, and decisions like it, are, in the words of Byron White’s dissent in Roe, a “raw exercise in judicial power“.  Illegitimate judicial power I would add, for when a court stops interpreting law and begins making law, and that is clearly what occurred in Roe, a court betrays the basic function of a court.  It is precisely as illegitimate as Congress sitting as a court of general jurisdiction and beginning to find various people guilty of offenses, or if the President were to declare the Supreme Court an arm of the Executive Branch and replace all the Justices with his nominees.  That the Supreme Court has thus far gotten away with its illegitimate power grabs makes such decisions as Roe not a whit more legitimate.

 

9

PopeWatch: Sensus Fidelium

Edward Pentin advises that the Pope wants to hear from you.  Go here to read about it.

A Pope of course is free to take advice and counsel from anyone he chooses, but PopeWatch is disturbed by the Pope eliciting these types  of comments from the over a billion Catholics that live on this globe.  This type of vox populi approach to leadership does not inspire confidence and is always subject to manipulation.  Oh well, perhaps PopeWatch should simply print out the thousands of PopeWatch posts and mail them out for light reading for the Pontiff?  Let PopeWatch know in the comboxes what you would write to the Pope.

17

New California

Time for a new Bear Flag Revolt!

 

 

I can see how this would tie in with Calexit.  A joke now, it may become less of a joke as time goes on, especially if Trump wins re-election in 2020.

 

Or perhaps much sooner.  We already have the Attorney General of California, the thuggish Xavier Becerra, threatening criminal prosecution of employers if they comply with Federal law on immigration.  Let that sink in.  A State is threatening to throw people in jail if they comply with Federal law.

 

 

Somewhere John Calhoun is smiling.

11

Trump: First Year

Well this is interesting.  Professor Allen C. Guelzo, a notable Civil War historian, his Gettysburg:  The Last Invasion is the best contemporary one volume treatment of the campaign, takes a look at the first year of Trump.  Guelzo is not a partisan, but rather a historian, and I find his analysis compelling;

 

 

But despite the Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite the unrelenting fury of the princes of the op-ed pages, despite President Trump’s hiring of staff he was forced to fire, and despite his much-criticized tweets, the president is still in charge at the White House. And he appears to be wearing down all but his severest critics.

In addition, the president is racking up enough of the legislative and policy wins that hit voters in the deepest parts of their pockets to make a re-election bid in 2020 look realizable.

The first crack in the wall of Trump denial came in mid-December, when Ross Douthat’s New York Times column, headlined “A War Trump Won,” pointed out that the ISIS caliphate had been shrunk to an insignificant size without sinking the United States into another Middle East war.

Douthat’s observation was followed by never-Trumper and fellow columnist Bret Stephens’ insistence that, despite the collapse of ISIS and other achievements, President Trump must remain beyond the pale because he lacks “character.”

What Stephens didn’t say was that the Constitution does not list “character” as a prerequisite for the presidency, nor do voters necessarily reward it – or punish a perceived lack of character.

The issue of “character” certainly did nothing to affect Bill Clinton, or, for that matter, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Stephens’ attack was a pout, and when pundits turn to pouting, it means they have lost faith in their own argument.

This paved the way for the yet another New York Times columnist, David Brooks, to say what for him was almost unsayable: that people who meet President Trump do not come away convinced that they have met “the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage.” Brooks warned that people are noticing – especially young people who “look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and … find it silly.”

Silly is not what a political opposition wants to look like. Yet, as we turn the page on President Trump’s first year in office, the dirigible of anti-Trumpism is assuming an amusingly deflated look.

It actually began deflating in the first few weeks of the Trump presidency, after Antifa thugs gave the “resistance” a self-inflicted black eye and a “Women’s March” made the wearing of funny hats its biggest accomplishment.

The leakage became even greater once President Trump succeeded in getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In addition to Gorsuch, the Senate has confirmed 22 Trump nominees for federal appeals and district courts, with another 43 awaiting action.

What’s more, as Jonathan Adler of the Case Western Reserve University Law School has said: “The overall intellectual caliber of Trump’s nominees has been as high, if not higher, than any recent predecessor. That’s almost the opposite of what you might have expected.”

And despite an undeniable string of misfires with Congress (especially on the “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare), there are now more grins than grimaces among Trump loyalists from the increasing number of successes the president has scored over trade deals (withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership), the repair of the crucial diplomatic relationship with Israel, the decline in illegal border crossings, and the economy.

 

Go here to read the rest.  The difference between history and contemporary events is distance.  We know how the Civil War turned out.  Until very late in that conflict, until September of 1864 to be precise, the participants in that great national tragedy had no idea how that vast War was going to end, and what would come after it.  In regard to Trump’s first year, I am struck by the dichotomy between the policies of the Trump administration and the words surrounding those policies.  The Left, of course, has argued that Trump is a would be tyrant who must be driven from office, and Trump has responded with Tweets that give as good and bad as he gets.  However, under the surface of the apocalyptic war of words, Trump has governed as the most conservative president since Ronald Reagan, and in some areas more conservative than Reagan.  For conservatives Trump, for all his frequent oafishness, is earning trust and support by his policies.  It is deeply ironic that Trump, a non-ideological business man and media star, should give to the country sound and sensible conservative policies, but such is the case.  We are living through odd times, but it also possible that for conservatives we are living through great times.  We shall see as the events of the day become the events of the past and we have some distance to judge them.

25

Catholic Useful Idiots of the Pro-aborts

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts takes a look at Lefty Catholics who are useful idiots, or worse, for the pro-aborts:

Another Catholic attack on the March for Life

 

Over at Steel Magnificat, a liberal feminist Catholic blog at Patheos, we’re reminded that what pro-abortion forces say is likely true: abortion is often opposed because of anything but care for life and the unborn.  Mostly a bunch of sexist and misogynists hating on  pure and beautifully innocent women. 

I’m just stunned at the growing attacks on the Catholic moral tradition by Catholics in the age of Pope Francis.  It’s as if he opened the floodgates.  Whether he meant to or not, I don’t know.  But clearly many Catholics see the age of Francis as the time in which we can finally throw off the shackles of Christianity’s first 2000 years and join with the only magisterium that matters: the modern Left and its dogmas.

For a tradition that prides itself on withstanding the winds and waves of the latest fads, I’m just not seeing the evidence.

Go here to comment.  In the Age of Francis Leftist Catholics are free to embrace their undying hatred of conservatives and their love of those political forces that give us a million slain children in the womb each year.  May God forgive them.

 

15

PopeWatch: Applause

From the only reliable source of Catholic news on the net, Eye of the Tiber:

 

Longtime parishioner of St. Gertrude Catholic Church Stewart Donaldson is being accused of insensitivity and for “not being a team player” after he was seen not clapping after the church’s pastor concluded his homily last Sunday.

Donaldson’s refusal to applaud after the homily was seen by many in the parish, including Fr. James Thomas who delivered the homily, as a slap in the face. Donaldson was subsequently called to the front of the church to answer for himself.

Parish council members that were present at the Mass have denounced what they are calling Donaldson’s silent protest of the church and of Father Thomas in particular.

“Fr. Thomas gave a wonderful homily about community and coming together as one family,” said one member of the parish council, Maria Forte. “His refusal to clap was basically him saying ‘To hell with this community—to hell with coming together.’ So when he was called to the front, everyone was obviously really angry him. Remember—this is the same guy who doesn’t applaud for the church band when Mass is over, so he’s clearly insane. That’s the reason we ended up not even giving him the opportunity to answer for himself.”

“People were shouting and throwing hymnals at him,” said parishioner Tabitha Joans. “He was very lucky to only be banned from ever entering the church. Could’ve been a lot worse. And poor Fr. Thomas has been a mess ever since Sunday. He’s so self-conscious now that he says he won’t ever deliver a homily again.”

 

Go here to comment.  PopeWatch called the Vatican for comment and after a lengthy wait talked to the Pope.  “Gringo I have told you to stop calling me!  Do I have to get a restraining order?  Applause after a homily?  You gringos always think up new forms of blasphemy.  I will have to consider a mass excommunication against those who break the Holy Silence of the Mass.  Now, never call me again, or else I will excommunicate you!”  And with that the conversation came to an end.

12

March For Life 2018

 

 

When you’re a doctor who does these abortions and the leaders of your movement appear before Congress and go on network news and say these procedures are done in only the most tragic of circumstances, how do you think that makes you feel? You know they’re primarily done on healthy women and healthy fetuses, and it makes you feel like a dirty little abortionist with a dirty little secret. I think we should tell them the truth, let them vote and move on. In the vast majority of cases, the procedure is performed on a healthy mother with a healthy fetus that is 20 weeks or more along. The abortion-rights folks know it, the anti-abortion folks know it, and so, probably, does everyone else.

 

Ron Fitzsimmons, Executive Director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, in “An Abortion Rights Advocate Says He Lied About Procedure”, New York Times (February 26, 1997).

 

 

Since 1974, the year after Roe, pro-lifers have marched in Washington each January.  They have marched against abortion in the face of a well-funded pro-abortion movement with immense political strength, and which dominates academia, almost all the media and the entertainment industry.  They have marched in the face of opposition and indifference by all too many Christians.  They have endured insult, calumny and violence.  They have have held high the central truth of Christianity:  that all innocent human life is sacred, and that each one of us is a children of a loving God.  They are my personal heroes and heroines.  May God give our cause victory, and may we live to see a Country where the most dangerous place for an unborn child to be is no longer the womb.

14

PopeWatch: Fly the Marrying Skies

The Pope decided to marry two members of the crew of the airplane on which he was flying.  The couple had been married civilly for eight years but not religiously.  Father Z gives us the details:

I fairly dread papal trips these days. You never know what is going on happen on the papal airplane. Will there be another presser in which the Holy Father will says something like, “Who am I to judge?” That was a gift – now perpetually taken out of context and abused – that keeps on giving.

I read at Crux that the Holy Father married (witnessed the marriage) of a steward and stewardess on the papal airplane – during the flight.

Paula Podest, 39, and Carlos Ciufardi, 41, have been together for over ten years. They met in the air, where she was his boss as a flight attendant for LATAM, Chile’s flagship airline.
They have been civilly married since 2010. Days before they were scheduled to have their church wedding, an earthquake destroyed the church where they were supposed to marry.  [According to the Daily Mail, that was 8 years ago.  8 years… and they haven’t married in church?  I suppose they had marriage prep.  Also, in the case of an earthquake, the church building isn’t a sine qua non for getting married.  It is sad that they couldn’t get marriage in that church, but… marriage is the really important part of the equation, not the building or photos.]
On Thursday, as they were posing with Francis and the rest of the crew for the official picture, Francis asked them if they were married in the Church. They told him no, and the pontiff immediately took charge, asking them if they wanted him to marry them, and they agreed.

The newlyweds shared the conversation they had with the pontiff with the journalists, with Podest acknowledging that she was “still in shock,” so he did most of the talking, even though, from what they told journalists, “she’s still the boss in the house,” as she was at the airline when they met.
“It was historic,” the pope told them. “Never has a pope married a couple on a plane.”
“He asked us if we were married, I said no because of the earthquake, and he said, ‘well, I’ll marry you’,” according to Ciufardi.
The spouses asked the pontiff if he was certain about marrying them on the plane, asking him “are you sure?”

When the pope asked for a witness, they tapped the CEO of the airline, and to make sure there was no doubt over the validity of the sacrament, the pope “asked the cardinals who were with him” to draft the license, which they did. The document is handmade, signed by one of the cardinals, also a witness.
“He held our hands, blessed the rings, and he married us in the name of God,” Ciufardi said.
“What he said to us is very important: ‘This is the sacrament the world needs, the sacrament of marriage. Hopefully, this will motivate couples around the world to get married’,” Ciufardi said.
Speaking about the rings, Francis said that they shouldn’t be either too tight, because “they would be a torture,” or too loose, or else they might risk misplacing them.

These days there are controversies over the meaning of marriage.  These days, fewer and fewer couples are marrying.

For example, if a couple who are in an adulterous relationship because at least on party divorced his true spouse and then civilly marries another woman – without the church giving a declaration of nullity concerning his first, true marriage, can that remarried, adulterous couple be admitted to Holy Communion, even though they haven’t made any commitment to live chaste lives? Some say, “Yes!”, and, by doing so, they call into question the very meaning of matrimony and also the Eucharist.

At the very least, they make a mockery of matrimony, trivialize it.

I trust that this well-intentioned gesture by Pope Francis isn’t taken merely to be some sort of stunt, which the badly-motivated will utilize to trivialize the sacrament of matrimony even more than is is being trivialized today.

Another thing: may this couple stay together!  It would be… not so great were they to split up after this rather dramatic aerial display.  Headline: Papal midair marriage crashes!

I can’t say that I like the whole airplane thing.   The Pope makes his calls.  Who am I to judge?

Can we put sentimentality aside for a moment?   Gestures like this have consequences.  This wasn’t some odd priest on an airplane, it was the Vicar of Christ.

Again, this is all very huggy and warm and fuzzy.  But let’s think about this.

I wasn’t there, of course, but I think it could have been a good idea to make sure they knew what matrimony is really all about.   That’s what marriage preparation is for.  They’ve been civilly but not sacramentally married for 8 years.   All this time they didn’t seek the sacrament?  What’s that about?   Maybe the Pope got their story.

When a priest marries a couple, he should be reasonably sure that they know what they are getting into.  He can be fairly sure if they had some kind of marriage prep, done by himself or by another priest, etc.  You have to know before you witness the marriage of couple – if they are going to enter into this sacramental bond – whether or not they have the right intentions.   Does the couple – I’m speaking generically now – any couple – intend to remain together for life?   Do they intend for their bond to be exclusive?   Do they intend to accept the gift of children?

 

Go here to read the rest.  As far as this Pope is concerned, the laws of the Church are meant to be broken.  The example he sets for both the clergy and the laity is disastrous.

 

16

Trump and Religious Liberty

As faithful readers of this blog know, I long refused to support Donald Trump for fear he was at heart a liberal Democrat.  How wrong I was:

 

The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will form a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its Office for Civil Rights. The OCR is the law enforcement agency within the department that enforces federal civil rights laws.

HHS said in a statement the new office will focus on enforcing existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom. Existing law already prevents the federal government from discriminating against medical providers for refusing to participate in abortion procedures as a matter of conscience, but some health care professionals recently alleged they have been coerced by their employers to participate in such procedures.

Roger Severino, director of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, said in a statement that “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced.”

“No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice,” Severino said. “For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now.”

Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement that Trump “promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom.”

“That promise is being kept today,” Hargan said. “The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”

 

Go here to read the rest.  The Obama administration persecuted Christians and the Trump administration protects them.  Elections have consequences.

2

Book Offer

Dear TAC Reader,

I have some copies of my book, Faith with Good Reason, I’d like to give away while supplies last. I’ll even ship it to you for free.

I‘m offering the first version published in Sept 2016. The latest version was revised in June 2017. The only difference between the original and the revision is the Imprimatur from my local Bishop printed on the title page and a few typos corrected. Content is exactly the same.

If interested, you can confidentially send your name and shipping address using my old blog; HERE. I promise not to share it with anyone.

“Faith with Good Reason” is a book about Catholic faith, reason and problem solving that will appeal to those who appreciate rational process, but do not appreciate Catholicism or religion in general. Imprimatur (permission to publish) granted by Most Reverend Joseph Siegel, D.D., S.T.L., Vicar General, Diocese of Joliet, May 8, 2017. Foreword was written by a bonafide scientist, Stay A. Trsancos, Ph.D

Topics that will benefit the reader include…

  • Learning how experience and intuitive thinking can sometimes lead us astray, whether we are dealing with a physical problem or a philosophical problem.
  • Learning how the most reasonable, and therefore, the most responsible conclusions can be determined even when empirical evidence is lacking or impossible to obtain.
  • Seeing how the cause of “something” is never “nothing”.
  • Examples of how our thinking can be made “visible”.
  • Discussion on how the need for objective industry standards demonstrates the need for an objective moral point of reference.
  • The art of asking why when drilling down to the heart of a matter, from St. Thomas Aquinas regarding contingency to Toyota’s five whys and beyond.
  • Discovering how the basic principles of reason can be applied to both problem solving and matters of faith and morals.
  • The way logic can be used in terms of going wherever the data leads no matter how unbelievable it may seem.

It’s fun reading for the whole family! Let me know…

Quotes Suitable for Framing: Winston Churchill

 

 

You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory. Victory at all costs—Victory in spite of all terror—Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

Winston Churchill, May 13, 1940

 

 

Of Fake News Awards and Hysteria

 

 

 

Major-General John A. Drx,

Commanding at New York:

Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission for their offense. You will also take possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.

A. LINCOLN.

Executive Order, May 18, 1864-President Lincoln reacting to Fake News.

 

 

 

Trump released his highly anticipated Fake News Awards.  Go here to read the list.  Eh, color me unimpressed.  I could have put together a better, and more colorful, list.  It appears to me likely that after Trump tweeted that he was giving out such awards he delegated the work of coming up with a list to some of his more talent-less drones.  The more interesting aspect of this meaningless episode in the eternal sparring between the Executive Branch and the media is the reaction to it which has been hysterical in both the senses of hysteria and funny.

Humorless pretend Republican Senator Jeff Flake, soon to be retired rather than face the voters of Arizona, compared Trump to Stalin in a Senate speech this week.  The forces of the Left of course have been calling Trump the reincarnation of Hitler since Hillary was throwing objects after learning that she had somehow managed to lose to a man who received one, count them one, major newspaper endorsement.

What all of this demonstrates is not only the hyper-partisanship of our time, and do not doubt that Senator Flake is a member in good standing of the establishment party, but a true lack of knowledge of history.  Has Trump passed a Sedition Act of 1798, as a Federalist Congress under John Adams did?  Has he thrown critical members of the media into jail as occurred during the Lincoln administration?  Has the Trump administration made it illegal to criticize the government as occurred when Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918 under the Wilson administration?  Go here to read about FDR’s war against media critical of him.  The Obama administration conducted an eight year war against Fox News.  The examples cited could be multiplied a hundred-fold.  No administration has liked to be criticized by the media and many have attempted to punish critics in the media.

The only thing unusual about Trump and the media is that almost all of the media is in unified lock-step against Trump and his administration.  In the face of that jarring fact, Trump’s criticisms come across to me as being fairly weak and timid, at least in comparison of the actions of most of his predecessors.  In any case, this back and forth is part of an American tradition, as old as the Republic, of hostility between opposition media and the party in power.  The truly ominous development today, and outside our political traditions, is that almost all of the media now backs one side in our ongoing political battles and that fact of course bothers almost all of the media not a whit.

 

2

The Dino Conspiracy

 

Hattip to commenter Nate Winchester.

 

 

 

A video celebrating the unsung contribution of Dinosaurs to US victory in World War II.  Prior to this video the only other source to recall this forgotten chapter of World War II was Star Spangled War Stories, a DC comic book series in the Sixties.

 

 

 

Why has this history been kept from us?  An accident?  I think not!  It is a conspiracy so vast that the almost entire lack of evidence proves the conspiracy!

9

PopeWatch: Muslim Converts

This is interesting.  Muslim converts to Catholicism have penned an open letter to the Pope:

 

Here follows the text of an Open Letter to Pope Francis that you can sign if you so wish. ‬We will present it as soon as it reaches a significant number of signatories. ‬Thank you for helping to make it known. ‬We base our initiative on Canon Law: “‬According to the knowledge, ‬the competence and the prestige enjoyed by the faithful, ‬they have the right and sometimes even the duty to give the Sacred Shepherds their opinion on what concerns the good of the Church and to make it known to the other faithful, ‬keeping safe the integrity of faith and morals and the reverence due to pastors, ‬and taking into account the common utility and dignity of people.” (‬Canon ‬212 §‬ 3)‬:‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

From former Muslims who became Catholics, ‬and their friends,‬‬‬‬

to His Holiness Pope Francis,‬‬

‬ about his attitude towards Islam.‬‬

Most Holy Father,


‬Many of us ‬have tried to contact you, ‬on many occasions ‬and for several years, ‬and we have never received the slightest acknowledgement of our letters or requests for meetings. ‬You do not like to beat around the bush, ‬and neither do we, so allow us to say frankly that we do not understand your teaching about Islam, ‬as we read in paragraphs ‬252 ‬and ‬253 of‭ ‬Evangelii Gaudium,‭ ‬because it does not account for the fact‭ ‬that Islam came AFTER Christ,‭ and so ‬is, ‬and can only be, ‬‬an Antichrist‭ (‬see‭ ‬1‭ ‬Jn‭ ‬2.22‭)‬,‭ and one of the most dangerous because it presents itself as the fulfillment of Revelation (‬of which Jesus would have been only a prophet)‬. ‬If ‬Islam is a good religion in itself, ‬as you seem to teach, ‬why did we become Catholic? ‬Do not your words question the soundness of the choice we made ‬at the risk of our lives? ‬Islam prescribes death for apostates (‬Quran ‬4.89, ‬8.7-11)‬, ‬do you know? ‬How is it possible to ‬compare Islamic violence with so-called Christian violence‭?‬  “What is the relationship between Christ and Satan? ‬What union is there between light and darkness? ‬What association between the faithful and the unfaithful?”‬ (2 ‬Cor ‬6: ‬14-17) ‬In ‬accordance with His teaching (‬Lk ‬14:26)‬, ‬we preferred Him, ‬the Christ, ‬to our own life. ‬Are we not in a good position to talk to you about Islam?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

In fact, ‬as long as Islam wants us to be its enemy, ‬we are, ‬and all our ‬protestations of friendship cannot change anything. ‬As a proper Antichrist, ‬Islam exists only as an enemy of all: “‬Between us and you there is enmity and hatred forever, until you believe in Allah alone!”‬ (Qur’an ‬60.4) ‬For the Qur’an, ‬Christians “‬are only impurity” (‬Quran ‬9.28)‬,” “‬the worst of Creation” (‬Qur’an ‬98.6)‬, ‬all condemned to Hell (‬Qur’an ‬4.48)‬, ‬so Allah must exterminate them (‬Quran ‬9.30)‬. ‬We must not be deceived by the Quranic verses deemed tolerant, ‬because they have all been repealed by the verse of the Sword (‬Quran ‬9.5)‬. ‬Where the Gospel proclaims the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the salvation of all, and ‬the fulfillment of the Covenant initiated with the Hebrews, ‬Allah has nothing to offer but war and murder of the “‬infidels” in exchange for his paradise: “‬They fight on the way of Allah, ‬they kill and are killed.” (‬Quran ‬9:11) We do not confuse Islam with Muslims, ‬but if for you “‬dialogue” ‬means the voice of peace, ‬for Islam it’s only another way to make war. ‬Also, ‬as it was in the face of Nazism and communism, ‬naiveté in the face of Islam is suicidal and very dangerous. ‬How can you speak of peace and endorse Islam, ‬as you seem to do:  “‬To wring from our hearts the disease that‭ ‬plagues our lives‭ (‬…‭) ‬Let those who are Christians do it with the Bible and those who are Muslims do it with the Quran.‭ “(‬Rome,‭ ‬January‭ ‬20,‭ ‬2014‭)‬? That the Pope seems to propose the Quran as a way of salvation,‭ is that not cause for worry? ‬Should we return to Islam‭?

We beg you not to seek in Islam an ally in your fight against the powers that want to dominate and enslave the world, ‬since they share the same totalitarian logic based on the rejection of the kingship of Christ (‬Lk ‬4.7). ‬We know that the Beast of ‬the Apocalypse, ‬seeking to devour the Woman and her Child, ‬has many heads. ‬Allah defends such alliances by the way (‬Quran ‬5.51)! ‬Moreover, the prophets have always reproached Israel for its willingness to ally with foreign powers, ‬to the detriment of the complete confidence they should’ve had in God. ‬Certainly, ‬the temptation is strong to think that speaking in an Islamophilic tone will prevent more suffering for Christians in those countries that have become Muslim, ‬but apart from the fact that Jesus has never indicated any other way than that of the Cross, ‬so that we must find our joy therein ‬and not flee with all the damned, ‬we do not doubt that only the proclamation of the Truth brings with it not only salvation, ‬but freedom as well (‬John ‬8.32)‬. ‬Our duty is to bear witness to the truth “‬in season and out of season” (‬2 ‬Timothy ‬4.‬2)‬, ‬and ‬our glory is to be able to say with St. ‬Paul: “‬I did not want to know anything among you except Jesus Christ, ‬and Him crucified.” (‬1 ‬Corinthians ‬2.2)

As to Your Holiness’s stance on Islam: even as President Erdogan, ‬among others, ‬asks his countrymen not to integrate into their host countries, ‬and while Saudi Arabia and all the petrol monarchies do not welcome any refugee, ‬expressions (among others) of the project‭ ‬of conquest and Islamization of Europe,‭ ‬officially proclaimed by the OIC and other Islamic organizations for decades;‬ ‬you, Most Holy Father, preach the welcoming of migrants regardless of the fact that they are Muslims, ‬something forbidden by Apostolic command: “‬If anyone comes to you but refuses this Gospel, ‬do not receive him among you nor greet him. ‬Whoever greets him participates in his evil works.” (‬2 ‬John ‬1.10-11); “‬If anyone preaches to you a different Gospel, ‬let him be accursed!” ‬(Galatians ‬1.8-9)

Just as “For I was hungry, and you gave me no food.” (Mt 25:42) cannot mean that Jesus would have liked to be a parasite, so “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me” cannot mean “I was an invader and you welcomed Me”, but rather “I needed your hospitality for a while, and you granted it to me”. The word ξένος (xenos) in the New Testament does not only have the meaning of stranger but of guest as well (Rm 16.23; 1 Co 16.5-6, Col 4.10; 3 Jn 1.5). And when YHWH in the Old Testament commands to treat foreigners well because the Hebrews have themselves been foreigners in Egypt, ‬it is on the condition that the foreigner assimilates so well to the chosen people that he accepts their religion and practices their cult‬… ‬Never is there mention of welcoming a foreigner who would keep his religion and its customs! ‬Also, ‬we do not understand that you are pleading for Muslims to practice their religion in Europe. ‬The meaning of Scripture should not be supplied by the proponents of globalism, ‬but ‬in fidelity to Tradition. ‬The Good Shepherd hunts the wolf, ‬He does not let it enter the sheepfold.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬The pro-Islam speech of Your Holiness leads us to deplore the fact that Muslims are not invited to leave Islam, and ‬that many ex-Muslims, ‬such as Magdi Allam,‭ ‬are even leaving the Church, ‬disgusted by her cowardice, ‬wounded by equivocal gestures, ‬confused by the lack of evangelization, ‬scandalized by the praise given to Islam ‬… ‬Thus ignorant souls are misled, ‬and Christians are not preparing for a confrontation with Islam, ‬to ‬which St. ‬John Paul II has called them (‬Ecclesia in Europa,‭ ‬No.‭ ‬57‭)‬.‭ ‬We are under the impression that you do not take your brother Bishop Nona Amel, ‬ Chaldean-Catholic Archbishop of Mosul in exile, ‬seriously, ‬when he tells us: “‬Our present sufferings are the prelude to those that you, ‬Europeans and Western Christians, ‬will suffer in the near future. ‬I have lost my diocese. ‬The headquarters of my archdiocese and my apostolate have been occupied by radical Islamists who want us to convert or die. (‬…) ‬You are welcoming into your ‬country an ever increasing number of Muslims. ‬You are in danger as well. ‬You must make strong and courageous decisions (‬…)‬. ‬You think that all men are equal, ‬but Islam does not say that all men are equal. (‬…) ‬If you do not understand this very quickly, ‬you will become the victims of the enemy that you have invited into your home.” (‬August‭ ‬9,‭ ‬2014‭) “‬.‭ This is a matter of life and death,‭ ‬and any complacency towards Islam is treasonous. ‬We do not wish the West to continue with Islamization, ‬nor that your actions contribute to it. ‬Where then would we go to seek refuge?‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Allow us to ask Your Holiness to quickly convene a synod on the dangers of Islam. What remains of the Church where Islam has installed itself? If she still has civil rights, it is in dhimmitude, on the condition that she does not evangelize, thus denying her very essence. ‬In the interest of justice and truth, ‬the Church must bring to light why the arguments put forward by Islam to blaspheme the Christian ‬faith are false. ‬If the Church had the courage to do that, ‬we do not doubt that millions, ‬Muslims as well as other men and women seeking the true God, ‬would convert. ‬As you said: “He who does not pray to Christ, prays to the Devil.” (14.03.13) If people knew they were going to Hell, ‬they would give their lives to Christ. (‬cf. Quran ‬3.55)‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

‬‬‬With the deepest love for Christ who, ‬through you, ‬leads His Church, ‬we, ‬converts from Islam, ‬supported by many of our brothers in the Faith, ‬especially the Christians of the East, ‬and by our friends, ask Your Holiness to confirm our conversion to Jesus Christ, ‬true God and true man, ‬the only Savior, ‬with a frank and right discourse on Islam, ‬and, ‬assuring you of our prayers in the heart of the Immaculate, ‬we ask your apostolic blessing.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Go here to look at the letter and the signatures.  These Catholic converts raise an interesting question.  In this age of ecumenism, where the Pope is making nice with all religions, except traditional Catholicism, why would someone decide to follow Christ at the risk of his or her life?  The only reason that makes sense is because Christ is God, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  These converts understand that.  A pity that so many high ranking members of our Church give every sign of not believing that.

19

PopeWatch: Explanation

Edward Pentin gives the Vatican’s explanation as to why a pro-abort fanatic Dutch politician was made a Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great:

 

The Vatican has said a papal honor given to a militant pro-abortion Dutch politician was standard “diplomatic practice” when someone is part of an official delegation with their head of state, and in no way was meant as a sign of support for her politics of abortion or birth control.

In comments given Monday evening, Paloma García Ovejero, deputy spokesperson of the Holy See Press Office, said the honor awarded to Lilianne Ploumen — as Commander in the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great — was part of an exchange of honors between delegations after she took part in an official state visit to the Vatican last year of Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima.

In response to a question on whether the Vatican could confirm the honor and, if so, why Ploumen received it, Garcia said:

“The honor of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great received by Mrs. Lilianne Ploumen, former Minister of Development, in June 2017 during the visit of the Dutch Royals to the Holy Father, responds to the diplomatic practice of the exchange of honors between delegations on the occasion of official visits by Heads of State or Government in the Vatican.

Therefore, it is not in the slightest a placet [an expression of assent] to the politics in favor of abortion and of birth control that Mrs Ploumen promotes.”

News of the honor emerged earlier this month when Ploumen was seen in a video by Dutch national broadcaster BNR showing off her medal, saying it was a “high distinction from the Vatican, from the Pope.” The story was first broken by the U.S.-based Lepanto Institute.

 

Go here to read the rest.  Convinced?  PopeWatch isn’t.  There isn’t a chance in the world that the current Vatican would grant such an honor to a politician who was given to making racist statements.  That they overlooked her radical pro-abort record wasn’t a matter of diplomatic cynicism but rather the fact that the powers that be at the Vatican are not going to make an issue of abortion.  Pope Francis has political irons in the fire that are much more important to him than the fact that a politician has spent her career championing the slaying of children in the womb.  When it comes to pro-lifers, the Pope tosses us a soundbite every now and then, and then he does something like this to reassure his political allies on the left that he really does not mean it.

11

Mark Shea Hardest Hit

 

Trump is in fine physical and mental health.  The media’s obsession about Trump’s health stands in stark contrast to their complete indifference about Hillary’s health during the 2016 campaign.  What makes this quite bizarre is that Trump continually had a schedule during the campaign, often doing five rallies a day, that would have exhausted men half his age, and never appeared tired.  Whatever problems Trump has, ill health is not one of them.    Of course if the media didn’t have a double standard which always protects the left, they would have no standards at all.

 

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PopeWatch: Argentina on the Tiber

It is remarkable that Pope Francis has been Pope for almost half a decade and has not had a visit to Argentina.  Sandro Magister helps explain why this is the case:

 

For almost five years now Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been pope. But he has yet to set foot again in his homeland, Argentina, although he has already visited seven Latin American countries and in the upcoming days will also visit Chile and Peru.

On Monday, January 15, while flying to Santiago, Chile, he will limit himself to looking at Argentina from above. And from the sky he will send the telegram with which he almost always greets the presidents of the countries over which he flies, in this case Mauricio Macri.

The fact that the Peronist Bergoglio does not love the center-right Macri is no mystery. And to a large extent it is precisely this disagreement, multiplied in incessant and heated disputes among the Argentines, disputes that are much more political than religious, that has dissuaded Francis from returning to his native country and igniting further discord.

But if he wants to keep himself out of the mix, the same is not true of some of his Argentine friends who are labeled, and not always unjustly, as the pope’s mouthpieces. Very outspoken, and combative.

It is against these loose cannons that two days ago, a few days before Francis’s journey to Chile and Peru, the Argentine episcopal conference issued a tough reprimand:

> Francisco, el Papa de todos

The “fatwa” of the bishops is written in coded language. It is hard for non-Argentines to understand who the target is. And this is even less clear from the Italian translation that the paravatican website “Il Sismografo,” directed by the ultra-Bergoglian Luis Badilla of Chile, quickly posted online from Rome, but after scrubbing it of a couple of its most explicit lines, the last of this paragraph, which are underlined here:

“Accompanying the popular movements in their struggle for land, housing, and jobs is a task that the Church has always performed and that the Pope himself openly promotes, inviting us to lend our voices to the causes of the weakest and the most excluded. That does not imply in any way that he should be saddled with their positions and actions, whether these be correct or erroneous.”

What led the Argentine bishops to take a position was, most recently, the statements made to the newspaper “Página 12” by Juan Grabois (in the photo), a figure so close to Bergoglio as to make one think that his every word in effect reflects the pope’s real political thought.

Grabois, 34, son of an historic Peronist leader, founded the Movimiento de Trabajadores Excluidos, now directs the Confederación de Trabajadores de la Economía Popular, and has been very close to Bergoglio since 2005, when the then-archbishop of Buenos Aires was at the head of the Argentine episcopal conference. After he became pope, Francis appointed him as a consultant to the pontifical council for justice and peace, which is now incorporated in the new dicastery for promoting integral human development. And Grabois is also the one who pulls the strings at the spectacular assemblies around the pope of the “popular movements,” a network of a hundred-plus combative anti-capitalist and anti-globalization social groups, from all over the world but most of them from Latin America.

It therefore comes as no surprise that in the popular opposition to the free-market measures of President Macri, as also at the roadblocks, the picket lines at the factories, the squatters’ protests, Grabois should be one of the “lideres piqueteros” most in view. In the interview with “Página 12” he slammed Macri with the charge that “his vice is violence” and, alluding to his role as a businessman, disqualified him with words of disdain: “He is not one who did it himself, but an heir of the fortune of his father, who was a beneficiary of the corruption of the state.”

Go here to read the rest. Argentina is a beautiful country with messed up politics.  Since the time of Juan and Eva Peron the best description for Argentine politics is self-destructive.  The biggest legacy of Pope Francis may be his bringing dysfunctional Argentinian politics into the Vatican and his attempt to make them into Church teaching.  The years that the Argentinian locusts ate may be the fondest recollection possible of the Francis years.