PopeWatch: Vatican Farce

Wednesday, February 8, AD 2017



Background on the Knights of Malta debacle from Tim Hedges at The Commentator:


It is hard to know how Pope Francis gets himself into these scrapes. What should have been a quiet private matter, if it happened at all, was in every paper in the civilised world. For sheer, bull headed, foot-in-mouth belligerence Papa Bergoglio trumps Trump.

The Prince and Grand Master of the Order of Malta was Fra’ Robert Matthew Festing, Guards Officer and son of a Chief of the Imperial General Staff. You have to be a bit socially upmarket to get on in this company, the other bigwigs being a selection of the European Catholic aristocracy.

Anyway, Festing had sacked Albrecht, Freiherr von Boeselager, the Grand Chancellor, on the grounds that he, the Freiherr, had been involved in charitable works which distributed condoms. Now, the Catholic faith is against the use of condoms, so you might imagine that the Pope would have patted the blessed Festing on the back for ridding the order of a dangerous progressive.

It is of course Francis who is the progressive, dangerous or otherwise, but, being the Pope, he can’t say that condoms are OK. As with offering Holy Communion to divorcees, he can’t change the rules but doesn’t want them exercised too strictly. So he just sacked someone for doing the right thing.

Then came the posters. All over central Rome, they featured a grumpy looking Pope and, underneath, a philippic against the Holy Father, mentioning, amongst other sins, the Order of Malta fiasco. Where is your Mercy?, it asked, referring to the Pope’s Jubilee year of Mercy.

Strangely enough, the screed was written in the Roman dialect, putting it in the tradition of the denouncers and rumour mongers of old, who used to leave their handwritten defamations on various statues in the ancient city. But no one is fooled by this. They all think it comes from Cardinal Burke.

3 Responses to PopeWatch: Vatican Farce

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An Apology

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2017

(I originally wrote this about eight years ago when the blog readership was much smaller.  I last reran it in 2015.  Now that Planned Parenthood is back in the news, and we may at last defund that murderous organization, I thought that current readers might wish to know why I refer to Planned Parenthood as Worse Than Murder, Inc.)

Lately, in several posts, I have been in the habit of referring to Planned Parenthood as Murder, Inc.  I apologize for doing so.  It was unfair of me to draw this type of comparison.

In the late twenties of the last century, gangsters Charles “Lucky” Luciano and Meyer Lansky set up the National Crime Syndicate.  Organized crime needed a mechanism to keep anarchy from breaking out within its ranks between various gangs and factions.  Operating out of a 24 hour candy store in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Murder, Inc. ( the name was a newspaper invention) provided this mechanism.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter and Albert “The Mad Hatter” Anastasia were the leaders of Murder, Inc.

The Syndicate, by majority vote, would order the slaying of an unruly gangster and Murder, Inc would carry it out.  The hitmen of Murder, Inc. operated under strict guidlines.  No innocent bystanders were to be killed.  No hits could be ordered against judges, police or prosecuting attorneys for fear of reprisals from law enforcement.

Over the years Murder, Inc. murdered some 800 fellow gangsters.  In 1940 the downfall of the murder enterprise began when Murder, Inc. killer Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles, turned informant in order to save himself from the electric chair.  Louis “The Judge” “Lepke” Buchalter died in the chair in Sing Sing in 1944, after the US Supreme Court rejected his appeal which raised, among other issues, the contention of Buchalter that lurid press coverage had tainted the jury.  Other Murder, Inc. members swiftly followed “The Judge” down the last mile.  Albert “The Madhatter” Anastasia would have followed in their footsteps but for the tragic “accidental” death of Abe ‘Kid Twist’ Reles when he fell from room 623 of the Half Moon Hotel on Coney Island.  In the gang world he was ever after known as “The Canary that sung but couldn’t fly.”  However, with the attention of law enforcement focused upon it, Murder, Inc. could no longer function and it ceased to exist except as a gangland legend.

Based upon this grim record I hope you can see why it is necessary for me to apologize—to Murder, Inc. 

5 Responses to An Apology

  • “Never apologize. It’s a sign of weakness.” Capt. Nathan Brittles (John Wayne, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon).

    In the spirit of this post, here is an alternate-history statement President Obama would have issued upon the 9/11 WTC tragedies. “We deeply regret the tragic deaths of 19 virtuous Muslims. This Administration will do everything in its power to reverse the evils committed by America so that reverent Muslims will no longer need to fly jumbo jets into tall buildings located in evil, unjust America.”

  • What may really finally turn this debate in our favor (=pro-life cause), even while P Francis, Card. Cupich, and others, is the book “Gosnell”, and the extraordinarily articulate description of Kermit Gosnell by one of the co-authors, Phelim McAleer, of he whom he calls “the greatest US mass-murderer of all time.” I heard his interview today on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, and McAleer cites that, under former Gov Tom Ridge (an official “catholic”, small “c”), investigations of Planned Parenthood were side-tracked, even though the screams of Gosnell’s victims could be heard out on the street. At least 2 women died in his office—and no investigators from the City of Philadelphia were curious as to why. Bodies of infants were literally stacked—stacked–in the basement in freezers, and no one ever wanted to check.

    This story may catalyze an explosion of revulsion to abortion at last—as well it should.

  • I imagine that people learning about Murder, Inc. at the time thought the murderers for hire were the lowest of the low- that people couldn’t get any more evil and callous than that.
    Even at the outset of Worse Than Murder, Inc I would say most people didn’t know how much worse it would get. Now proponents of euthanasia play down the idea of a worsening descent spreading in our culture.
    I am thankful for our Nominee for Supreme Court- and I pray that God will shine a huge bright light on our justice department and expose many and clean house.

  • Every human being ever murdered by Kermit Gosnell is written on his face.
    America needs to have Truth and Justice reinstituted.

  • It takes a real man to apologize. The Son of God apologized to His Father for us.

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How Worse Than Murder, Inc. Sells Abortion

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2017


A chilling video in which Live Action pro-life heroine Lila Rose talks with former Planned Parenthood Worse Than Murder, Inc. managers of abortion clinics.  They had quotas to make and they were under instructions to sell abortion as a solution to the desperate pregnant women who come to these death clinics.  The banality of evil indeed.  The deaths of innocents in order to meet a cash quota for a month.  Imagine trying to explain that to God.  Jesus wept.

One Response to How Worse Than Murder, Inc. Sells Abortion

  • God bless Lila Rose, and all the faithful outspoken active people who pray and work to stop this madness.
    The business of abortion is so lucrative and is supported by so many useful idiots that hard think there will ever be a change of heart by, say, CRichards. Even when lots of lower level worker help with the expose’ it is hard too imagine a real change in this society without a real smack down from God.

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PopeWatch: Burke Out

Tuesday, February 7, AD 2017


PopeWatch wonders if the Pope had this all planned out when he assigned Cardinal Burke to the Knights of Malta?:



ROME-Pope Francis has appointed a personal delegate to the Sovereign Order of Malta to serve as the sole liaison between the embattled order and the Vatican, virtually replacing American Cardinal Raymond Burke.

The man tapped for the job is Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Vatican’s deputy Secretariat of State (known as the “substitute”). The decision was announced by the Vatican on Saturday, through a letter from Francis to Becciu.

As “sole spokesperson in all matters relating to relations” between the Vatican and the order, the pope writes, Becciu will have “all the necessary powers to decide any issues that may arise concerning the implementation of the mandate entrusted to you.”

Becciu’s assignment as papal delegate will last until a new Grand Master for the order is elected, which could take place in April after the group’s Sovereign Council is summoned, according to what was announced by the Knights of Malta in a recent press conference.

Technically, Burke is the papal envoy to the order. He assumed that role in November 2014, after leaving the post of head of the Vatican’s Supreme Court.


Becciu will in the meantime work closely with Ludwing Hoffmann von Rumerstein, currently the Lieutenant ad interim of the order, appointed last Saturday, after former Grand Master Matthew Festing presented his resignation at the pope’s request.

Festing’s resignation marked the end of a power struggle between the Order of Malta and the Vatican, which began with the dismissal of Albrecht Boeselager from his position as Grand Chancellor in early December. The month-long spat included Francis’s creating a committee to examine the order’s situation, which the now former Grand Master had declared “legally irrelevant.”


10 Responses to PopeWatch: Burke Out

  • “Technically, Burke is the papal envoy to the order.”
    No, he is Patron of the order, a position similar to that of Cardinal Protector, representing its interests to the Holy See.

  • “A sign of peace, friendship and solidarity.” That was Pope Francis’ message to the world on Super Bowl Sunday; http://cathnews.com/cathnews

    What is his message now?

  • Well that leaves Burke with nothing of earthly value to lose–a position of extreme power.

  • This move makes the pope look like a small, petty, vindictive person. Oh, well, nothing new.

  • Maybe there’s a photo op in the works for the pope to be part of passing out condoms for “safe” sex.

  • “PopeWatch wonders if the Pope had this all planned …”

    Me too

  • Sad that a commenter below still thinks this had anything to do with condoms. Both sides said it didn’t.

    Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue. Festing and Burke chose confrontation. The idea that Francis could have foreseen this is foolish but as the lawyers say: in retrospect this was foreseeable.

    If the end result is the Order of Malta addressing the dwindling number of professed members — now just 55 — that’s a very good thing. Hate to think what the average age of those 55 is.

    And keep an eye on Becciu. Very much a man to watch.

  • Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue. Festing and Burke chose confrontation.

    The counsels of the passive-aggressive and manipulative man is something that promotes disgust in an ordinary man, not apologetics.

  • “The counsels of the passive-aggressive and manipulative man is something that promotes disgust in an ordinary man, not apologetics.”


    Plus, really, Will: the pontiff was so concerned about dialogue that he responds by initiating a conflagration?

    That ain’t Shinola.

  • Francis said handle your problems quietly through dialogue.

    Please explain where the dialog is involved, because as I recall this was the Pope demanding a resignation he is not technically in authority to demand it of, in apparent response to their group removing a person who was in charge when stuff in their area of authority was not properly done.
    And yet your response is that the person who did as the Pope ordered is being confrontational?

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Ronald Reagan: The Happy Warrior

Monday, February 6, AD 2017

“The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”

GK Chesterton, The Ballad of the White Horse

Today is my sixtieth birthday.  As faithful readers of this blog know, I share a birthday with Ronald Wilson Reagan.  I have long admired Reagan, the greatest President of my lifetime.  Of Irish ancestry, Reagan had the Irish habit of smiling in a fight.  A man of strong convictions, Reagan never forgot that his domestic adversaries were political opponents and  not enemies.  His humor was never mean spirited, and much of it was directed against himself.  Completely comfortable in his own skin, he never took himself seriously while taking very seriously what he believed in and fought for.  Happy birthday Mr. President, and may there be plenty of good humor in the life to come for you to add to.


35 Responses to Ronald Reagan: The Happy Warrior

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Global Warming Scam Continues to Unravel

Monday, February 6, AD 2017

More evidence that global warming is nothing but a scam:

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

It was never subjected to NOAA’s rigorous internal evaluation process – which Dr Bates devised.

His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.

His disclosures are likely to stiffen President Trump’s determination to enact his pledges to reverse his predecessor’s ‘green’ policies, and to withdraw from the Paris deal – so triggering an intense political row.

22 Responses to Global Warming Scam Continues to Unravel

  • One irrefutable fact; since Trump was elected, the climate has indeed changed.

  • Proceedings, the journal of the Naval Institute, this month has an article by a Coast Guard officer on the disastrous effects global warming his having on coastal communities in Alaska. Global warming is real. While articles like this are useful, we have to be careful that we do not fall into the same illogic that liberals did in the Cold War, when they argued that occasional Pentagon exaggerations of the Soviet threat proved they were not a threat, when in fact they were.

    We should stick to the facts, and use them to argue the following points:

    1) Not all global warming is of human origin, and we need to develop responses that will accommodate this. Policies that are based solely on human caused warming will fail.
    2) We need to develop policies that deliberately avoid statist methods that will reduce liberty and impoverish people. (Point #1 actually reinforces this)

  • Climate fluctuations are real enough Tom, but I have seen zip evidence to convince me that what we are experiencing now is abnormal or that there is anything Man can do, with current technology, to alter the average global temperature, even if Man possessed the wisdom to determine a proper temperature for this planet.

  • Don L.

    Your comment is not flippant.

    The real climate change is the heart, cold and frozen for over forty three years, now melting into a receptacle that can hold God’s grace. This climate change is conversion and it is more significant than any changing weather patterns.

    Please pray that this climate change raises the heart above itself, and becomes an beacon of hope for those born and unborn.

  • Don, I’ve seen enough of the satellite data to convince me it is real. I would not say it is abnormal, since we have had hotter climates in the distant past. On this subject there is no normal.

    “…or that there is anything Man can do, with current technology, to alter the average global temperature, even if Man possessed the wisdom to determine a proper temperature for this planet.”
    Well, Man had better use his God-given talents and develop the technology and the wisdom. A few centuries ago some people felt the same about anesthesia and vaccines and the like. Pain and disease were God’s will, and so should not be manipulated. They had a choice back then, and we have a similar one today: the natural way, or our way. We have to decide, which is God’s way?

  • BTW, the only way the current situation is a “fluctuation” is if we are about to have another Maunder Minimum, as evidence suggests. If the sunspots shut off within the next 20 years we will be damn glad for our CO2 pollution! Too bad the geniuses in Washington don’t realize this! BTW, this means we are already developing climate control technology, just haphazardly so.
    However, such a minimum is also a “fluctuation” that will last less than a century, and then we will be right back to where we are today.

  • If humans didn’t cause global warming, there isn’t much we can do to slow, stop or reverse it. And it would be a waste of resources to even try.

    Furthermore, it’s like the man said, “I’ll start believing it’s a crisis when the people telling me there’s a crisis start acting like it.”

  • If anthropogenic global warming is real, then why don’t the eco-wackoes purporting AGW support non-carbon polluting nuclear. Fact is they don’t. And they never will. This is all about worshiping the creature rather than the Creator. Remember the eco-wacko light show on St Peter’s Basilica on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2015 – four footed beasts and creeping things displayed in satanic glory on a Holy Place in descration of God Himself.

  • I doubt the Russians and Canadians, who have each added about one million acres per year of arable land due to the minor increase in surface temperature, are too keen about reversing the process. For historical reference, check out farming in Greenland between 1000 and 1250 AD.

  • “If humans didn’t cause global warming, there isn’t much we can do to slow, stop or reverse it.”
    Not true. Roger Angel at the University of Arizona has done excellent work on this, although to my knowledge he has not addressed the non-human warming timelines.

    “And it would be a waste of resources to even try.”
    Not necessarily true. This becomes one of those classic cost/benefit analyses. Angel estimated the cost as $5 trillion spread over 50 years. The cost of not doing it will only increase in the coming millennia. Improved robotic technology will only bring the cost down.
    A similar study was done on the possible 2029 impact of the asteroid Apophis with the Earth. Preventing the impact would cost 2,000-3,000 the cost of the Apollo program. So, why not let it happen? Apophis is too small to cause global damage, we could just evacuated the possible affected areas and rebuild. It turns our rebuilding would cost 50 times the cost of stopping it.

  • During the reign of Hadrian, the Romans had vineyards in Britain and Rome had
    a seaport at Ostia. Now, it’s too cold to grow grapes in the UK, and Ostia is
    two miles inland. These changes happened over almost two thousand years, but
    it would be ludicrous to try to attribute the overall cooling we’ve experienced since
    then to anything mankind has done.

    Climate has always fluctuated. Instead of pretending that it doesn’t, or pretending
    that we can somehow freeze it in its present state, why not accept that climate
    changes, albeit slowly, and factor that in to our long-term planning?

  • I don’t and won’t buy into man’s idea that God didn’t know what He was doing when He created all life based on Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide. I will and do buy into the facts that man fudged computer data to create this false idea they originally called “Global Cooling,” which they changed to “Global Warming,” which they changed again to “Climate Change.” They’ve also lied about the numbers and percentage of so-called scientist who believe in their man-made “climate catastrophe” which amounts to only 67 people all of whom have grants to produce this bogus “science.” Interesting that their projected date for destruction of the planet also changes with the name changes. First it was within 20 years, then it became 10 years, now it’s somewhere between 65 to 300 years.

    How many of you believe God didn’t know what He was doing when He created all of life on CO2 and O2?

  • God knew what he was doing when He created us with free will so that we could follow His on our own volition. To ensure the existence of creatures with free will the universe and possibly the multiverse needed to be structured in a way much like what we see. Photons and quarks and dark matter and energy needed to behave much as we observe. Something like oxygen would be needed to transport energy within living organisms. The exact details of how oxygen ‘works’ do not show that God ‘knew’ what He was doing, any more that the ‘design’ of the prostate gland shows Divine ‘intelligence’. These things are ‘structured’ these ways not because they are physically optimal for us – they are not – but because they are spiritually optimal. What else really matters?

  • We seem susceptible to dire, but speculative warnings. Bird flu might mutate and kill millions of people. SARS might become a pandemic disaster. An asteroid might destroy the planet. We might be running out of oil, water, air, and according to Al Gore, we’re about to be fricasseed by global warming. Politicized scientists, such as those sponsored by the U.N., blame human activity for global warming. They warn us that our modern industrial world is bringing on an ecological disaster. We must accept that warning as an incontestable fact and tremble in the face of impending doom. We must submit to draconian measures that will eviscerate our economy or Earth’s coastal plains will disappear beneath the sea like Atlantis. The sky is falling.

    Global warming has occurred many times, even in the recorded ancient past, and often with a far greater intensity of warming than in our time. The ancient Romans recorded viniculture in Britain. The Vikings were encouraged by warm summers on the southern part of Greenland, to establish a settlement there. A cooling climate eventually doomed their settlement. The climate warmed so much, thousands of years ago, that the Celts left central Asia and migrated to Western Europe in order to survive. Here is something from an interesting little book about the ancient Celts:

    “For the period 2,300 -2,000 BC a series of extremely hot summers is attested.” This started the migration which stamped the Celtic influence on the face of Europe. “In the second half of the fifteenth century BC the whole world experienced a series of disasters such as has never since been recorded. It began with a fall in the water table to seven meters, with the result that springs dried up, rivers became trickles, bogs stopped growing”. 2

    Credentialed climatologists say that there have been about six hundred periods of global warming during the last one million years; that carbon dioxide plays a rather minimal role in climate change; and that other factors, such as variations in the Sun’s radiation are more credibly associated with global warming. There is a solid case to be made that global warming and cooling is primarily, a natural process and that it has been quite severe in the past. Has it occurred to you that Arabia, now a desert, is full of oil from the decomposition of enormous volumes of vegetation which flourished there during different climatic conditions?
    I think the most serious potential problem facing humanity is the one looming due to the combined effect of the radical environmentalist movement and the global governance conspiracy.

    An unholy trinity of radicals, media, and politicians has been successful in disseminating the deception of anthropogenic global warming on a worldwide scale. This myth declares that “manmade” carbon dioxide is the principle greenhouse gas and primary culprit in the current manifestation of global warming.

    Water vapor, however, is the major component at 95 % of the greenhouse gases that, thank God, keep us from freezing to death when the sun goes down. Carbon dioxide comprises 3.6 % of the remaining 5 % of greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide resulting from human activity is only 3.2 % of that or 0.12 % of all greenhouse gases in total. That CO2 augments plant growth and the production of oxygen is notable.
    If we were to eliminate all of the CO2 generated by processes related to the Industrial Revolution, it might theoretically reduce the average temperature by 0.12% but what then of seven billion people who dependent on the current state of development? There were only one billion people on the planet prior to the Industrial Revolution. Oh yes! That’s where Global Governance comes in. Abortion, contraceptive drugs in the water supply, “Death with Dignity” and a host of other things not spoken about at large. God forbid!

  • Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit offered some time ago that the emails from the University of East Anglia suggested that the Climate Research Unit had ‘lost control of their data’ – which is to say they had inadequate documentation as to how it had been processed over the years and really little idea as a consequence of what it was telling them.

    Then you have Lonnie Thompson, who goes to the ends of the Earth to collect ice cores which then sit in a warehouse unanalyzed.

    What TomD I think is missing about the reception of reports on ‘global warming’ is that we’ve lived through this before – twice before – first at the hands of Paul Ehrlich and then at the hands of Carl Sagan and others. It may be it’s more persistent this time because better verified (or it may be that there are a great many careers and large flows of grant money riding on it). The abuse of dissidents by academic promoters of global warming (and by their stenographers in the science press) leads a prudent man to believe there’s something wrong here. Ehrlich (and the creep who had been employed as BO’s ‘science adviser’) were all about central compulsion inspired by (and often directed by) persons such as themselves. You need to treat people pushing that with some reserve. (And, yes, Ehrlich wasn’t above scamming around with the general public).

  • “What TomD I think is missing about the reception of reports on ‘global warming’ is that we’ve lived through this before – twice before – first at the hands of Paul Ehrlich and then at the hands of Carl Sagan and others.”
    I would disagree. Paul Ehrlich said nothing to my knowledge in his early career about global warming – he was all about resource depletion. He just jumped on the bandwagon later. Sagan, on the other hand, was on the intellectual continuum that led to today’s science. His problem was that at the time there was very little evidence and so Sagan’s views were simply hypotheticals, but still were valuable to the development of scientific thought.
    One point that I need to make is that I seem to create confusion when stick my nose into this subject, because my focus is on the natural processes and cycles that are on longer timeframes than human global warming. This creates an “apples and oranges” situation with regards to climate causes and effects. My position is that public policy has to take into account both views, and that the current focus on the human side of the equation is wrong for many reasons, not only because there is an outside chance it is overstated.

    “It may be it’s more persistent this time because better verified”
    Yes it is.

    “Ehrlich (and the creep who had been employed as BO’s ‘science adviser’) were all about central compulsion inspired by (and often directed by) persons such as themselves.”
    Very true

    “And, yes, Ehrlich wasn’t above scamming around with the general public”
    Now THAT is an understatement.

  • “The abuse of dissidents by academic promoters of global warming (and by their stenographers in the science press) leads a prudent man to believe there’s something wrong here.”
    Yes, Art, I agree, especially since I’ve received some of that abuse myself. I’m grateful that my employer allows me to say what I believe.

  • I would disagree. Paul Ehrlich said nothing to my knowledge in his early career about global warming – he was all about resource depletion. He just jumped on the bandwagon later. Sagan, on the other hand, was on the intellectual continuum that led to today’s science. His problem was that at the time there was very little evidence and so Sagan’s views were simply hypotheticals, but still were valuable to the development of scientific thought.

    [drums fingers] Ehrlich was a promoter of demographic disaster scenarios. I’m sure he had his hand in other sorts of environmental eschatology, but that was his principal inventory. The people promoting disaster scenarios derived from resource depletion were the characters hired by the Club of Rome (which the Club of Rome later repudiated). The 3d echelon Carter Administration officials who produced the Global 2000 Report were of this kidney. Carl Sagan was promoting global cooling scenarios. Yes, some his work was peer reviewed and it was published in Science, a plum you receive only when the editors employed by the AAAS want to give your thesis maximum distribution.

  • “Carl Sagan was promoting global cooling scenarios.”
    Yes, in the early 1980’s, particularly with the “nuclear winter” idea. His global warming speculations came in the late 1960’s and were derived from his early 1960’s work on Venus.

  • Someone else who was certain of “resource depletion” was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov.

    Oh, you know, that great thinker/lawyer turned economics expert, “VI Lenin”.

  • Yes, in the early 1980’s, particularly with the “nuclear winter” idea.

    No, the nuclear winter discourse was derived from a different set of controversies. Sagan was nothing if not fashionable, and he was on journalists rolodexes big time, in addition to being welcome at outlets like the New York Review of Books. His article in Science on global cooling was a professional-academic publication and it antedated discussion of nuclear winter by about 4 years. “Nuclear winter”, “nuclear freeze”, The Day After, blah blah was all the rage in 1982-83.

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PopeWatch: Posters

Monday, February 6, AD 2017
Rorate Caeli brings us this story about anti-Francis posters going up in Rome:
Rome woke up this Saturday with something quite new, and very old, in its streets: posters throughout the City (in the style of the old “pasquinate“) critical of the Pope.
In English, from the Romanesco-inspired Italian:

Ah Francis, you have intervened in Congregations, removed priests, decapitated the Order of Malta and the Franciscans of the Immaculate, ignored Cardinals… but where is your mercy?

These were common at the time of the Papal States (before the fall of Porta Pia and the full unification of Italy in 1870): not for religious reasons, but rather for political complaints, since the Popes were also the secular rulers of the Pontifical territories.
Since then, these public criticisms of Pontiffs mostly disappeared in the City, considering the new Italian authorities were now those responsible for the secular government of the old papal territories, and that the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. 

5 Responses to PopeWatch: Posters

  • Reflection, introspection….May the posters serve his Holiness well.

  • According to an article in the January 2106 issue of Catholic World Report,
    attendance at papal events (general audiences, special audiences, liturgies, and
    the Wednesday Angelus) has been steadily declining. In 2015, Vatican attendance
    figures stood at 3,210,860, 45% fewer than the 5,916,800 recorded for 2014
    and less than half of the crowds of 6,623,900 Francis drew in the first nine
    months of his pontificate in 2013. The biggest drop-off has been in attendance
    for the Angelus, with 1.6 million in attendance over 2015, compared to over
    3 million the year before. General Audiences with the Pope require a ticket,
    so attendance numbers can be tracked with particular precision. According to
    the Prefecture of the Papal Household, which issues the tickets, in 2013 the
    Audiences were attended by 51,617 people, in 2014 it declined to 27,883,
    and in 2015 Francis’ General Audiences were attended by just 14,818.

    The Angelus figures are revealing, I believe, because it is during the Angelus
    that Popes give a brief sermon to crowds in the square below. Pope St. John
    Paul II had a natural charisma that made up for a sometimes convoluted
    speaking and writing style, and his Wednesday Angelus addresses were very
    well attended. Shy Benedict XVI, bless him, had little natural charisma but
    a powerful, clear, logical and learned writing style that more than made up
    for his lackluster delivery –indeed, the crowds for his Angelus addresses
    exceeded those for his predecessor. With Francis, the Catholic faithful
    appear to see neither charisma nor the clear exposition of doctrine, and so,
    to borrow a phrase from that great philosopher Yogi Berra, “They’re staying
    away in droves”.

    While Francis still has drawing power as a tourist attraction, it appears that
    the number of Catholics drawn to see and hear this Pope is fast dwindling.
    Myself, I would not cross the street to hear him speak, let alone travel to Rome.

  • “…the Pope remained responsible only for religious matters. They still show up all the time against Italian politicians. ”
    Oh? If the shoe fits…

  • Pope Francis can fool all of the people some of the time and…

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Bush Appointed Judge

Sunday, February 5, AD 2017



When a Seattle Federal Judge, James Robart, imposed a nation wide injunction on portions of President Tump’s executive order, most of the media hastened to noted that he had been appointed by Bush 43.  True, but misleading, as noted by Jerome Wohrle at Liberty Unyielding:



Judge Robart’s Friday order against Trump sheds little light on his thinking. But at an earlier hearing on Washington State’s motion for a temporary restraining order, he asked what rational basis the government had for restricting entry from the seven countries covered by Trump’s order: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. As NPR notes, these seven countries were previously singled out by Congress for milder restrictions on visas. Congress did so after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, in a 2015 law tightening up the Visa Waiver Program that was signed by President Obama. Critics argue that there was no rational basis for restricting travel from these countries but not other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. This argument is silly, since America has deep economic links and security ties with Saudi Arabia that it lacks with the seven countries subject to the 2015 law and Trump’s executive order. America need not antagonize a key ally when it takes steps to increase border security. Perhaps for this reason, Judge Robart’s order in State of Washington v. Trump does not even make this argument, simply suggesting that for some unexplained reason the executive order may violate the “Constitution.”

To cover up the embarrassing weakness of Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order, reporters at the Washington Post and elsewhere have trumpeted the fact that Robart was nominally appointed by President George W. Bush. They have done this to suggest that his ruling must have merit, because otherwise he would not have ruled against a President of the same party as the man who appointed him. But this is misleading, since Robart is a “staunchly liberal” judge whose appointment was “effectively forced on Bush” by liberal Senator Patty Murray in 2004, when Washington State had two liberal Senators.

The media ignores the fact that Robart’s appointment as a federal judge was championed by liberal Senators like Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who used Senatorial custom allowing senators to veto Presidential appointments of trial judges to obtain the appointment of liberal trial judges like Robart in Washington State. An April 13, 2005 press release by Murray touts Robart’s appointment as the “bipartisan” result of using a state commission to select federal trial judges in Washington, whose appointment Bush then rubberstamped. This Senatorial veto power, known as the “blue slip,” is an old tradition, dating back to at least 1917, that lets senators have a say on which trial judges are appointed to courts in their home state.

When Obama was president, the media did not do this. They would not cite the fact that Obama appointed a judge to suggest that the judge’s ruling against Obama had merit. When Judge James Boasberg ruled against the Obama IRS, few news stories mentioned the fact that he was a liberal Democrat appointed by Obama himself. When Judge Amos Mazzant issued an injunction against Obama’s overtime rule, most of the media either did not report the fact that Mazzant had been appointed by Obama; or if they did, they also suggested that he was a conservative judge, because Republican Senators in Texas used their “blue slip” privilege to block Obama from appointing liberal trial judges in Texas.

Even critics of Trump’s order have found Judge Robart’s order senseless. As one put it,

Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order … may make things even worse in the long run, and had no basis in law. The judge’s temporary restraining order is harmful — it bans giving priority in asylum claims to Yazidi and Christian applicants, even though they are the ones who face a high risk of being killed in Iraq and Syria. (It bans ‘proceeding with any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities,’ see Order at pg. 5, paragraph 1). This ban is perverse, because under U.S. law and international treaties, asylum is SUPPOSED to be given to members of groups facing persecution based on religion, and the threat of genocide faces only certain religions. The judge provided NO REASONING AT ALL for his assertion that the constitution might be violated by the executive order, and lawyers like Scott Johnson have noted that the judge’s order had no real legal basis.

As another observer pointed out, Judge Robart has a history of strange rulings:

Judge Robart, the oddball judge who issued that TRO against the executive order, is the same guy who issued the bizarre college sexual assault ruling that Robbie Soave wrote about earlier at Reason Magazine.

He ruled a falsely-accused male student could not depose or obtain relevant documents from the female student who got him expelled because that would traumatize her (never mind that it was SHE who performed a sex act on him when he was blacked out, meaning that if anyone was guilty of sexual assault it was HER). Reason’s article about it can be found here.

…Robart also bellowed “Black Lives Matter” in open court, as the Daily Caller noted (in a context in which it made little sense).

6 Responses to Bush Appointed Judge

  • I am expecting that, out of the pits of Hell liberal, 9th Circuit to rule against Trumo every chance they have. I think his likelihood of having to appeal to the SCOTUS is very high. I also do not understand how one federal judge has the authority to stop something nationwide. Don’t these judges at this level have limited jurisidiction to a given region?

  • No they do not when it comes to granting injunctive relief, which I think is one of the crazier features of the Federal judicial system.

  • The stay-ruling has no basis in law. The Appeals court ruling has no basis in law.

    Its’ simply another liberal fabrication, like “privacy/abortion”, “gay marriage.” and tranny men in ladies’ rooms.

    The liberals, I think, call it “populist authoritarianism” – GASP, elected legislatures refusing to give them fictitious tights.

    Here, this so-called judge ratifies the liberals’ dream/nightmare that 6+ billion people have the unlimited right to come to America, hate us and our way of life, live off the American taxpayer, and kill Americans whenever they decide to do it.

  • Attorney Robert Barnes makes a compelling case that Robart’s decision is entirely unsubstantive:


    Barnes compares the Trump-favorable ruling of the Boston district judge (21 pp’s, over 50 legal citations, all to relevant immigration case law)to Robart’s (dare I say schoolboy-level) 7-p “ruling” with no actual citations to any immigration case law, and of course the President has the authority to protect the people of the US from enemies foreign and domestic (that is my addition), it’s in his oath of office. Tashveen Malik, the “wife” of San Bernardino terrorist murderer Syed Farookh, came into the country in Aug. 2014 on an unvetted F4 visa, because Pres. Obama didn’t care to impose immigration controls (as even James Comey testified in July, 2015, that he couldn’t assure the background checking process of the mass of migrants flooding into the country from terrorist-sympathetic countries.

  • Now, I say to all, be of good cheer: Let the federal courts do their swath of scorched-earth destruction to Trump’s executive powers (should they be so daft to do so—and certainly many of them are of the Bader-[Meinhoff]-Ginsburg mindset:

    Because if they were to hamstring Trump’s executive powers, for the next 4 years he will beat them like a drum, mercilessly as terrorist attack in the US and out of the US continues to go on and accelerate (ISIS and Al Qaeda have announced they specifically are focusing on “punishing” the US for Trump’s election). One of the assets of Trump(some thought it originally a liability) is he doesn’t shut up. Unlike GW Bush, who stood there smiling and whipped like a batter housewife, Trump keeps on the pressure—and everyone knows who has worked with judges, they can dish it out, but they cant take it (my father for years became a scheduler and chief administrator for a court system here in the SF Bray-at-the-moon Area, so dealing with a good number of these coiffed and pampered egos was the daily fare). Anyway, it could be the American Left’s worst nightmare’

  • Critics argue that there was no rational basis for restricting travel from these countries but not other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia.

    What a horrible argument. You can’t stop dangers from A, B, C because X, Y, Z are just as bad? So a law banning entry from Haiti because of some virus is invalid because other countries may have viruses that are just as bad? I know political appointments often result in weak officeholders, but this is ridiculous.

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February 5, 1917: Immigration Act of 1917 Passed

Sunday, February 5, AD 2017


Some issues are perennial in American history.  A century ago Congress overwhelmingly passed the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Wilson’s veto.  It established an Asiatic Barred Zone from which new immigrants were excluded.  Chinese were already excluded under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.  Japanese immigration was limited under the Gentleman’s Agreement of  1907.  The law required immigrants over 16 to be literate either in English or their native language.  Among the categories of immigrants banned were”alcoholics”, “anarchists”, “contract laborers”, “criminals and convicts”, “epileptics”, “feebleminded persons”, “idiots”, “illiterates”, “imbeciles”, “insane persons”, “paupers”, “persons afflicted with contagious disease”, “persons being mentally or physically defective”, “persons with constitutional psychopathic inferiority”, “political radicals”, “polygamists”, “prostitutes” and “vagrants”.

2 Responses to February 5, 1917: Immigration Act of 1917 Passed

  • I’m not a lawyer. Of course, the lying media didn’t report it. What Article in the Constitution? What chapter/verse of what US law did the so-called judge cite to place the bogus stay?

  • Holy Macro Safire! It would appear that the Immigration Act of 1965, which was quietly signed into law by LBJ, another lousy president, completely reverses things, so that eveeryone from alcoholics to vagrants on the above list now have priority to enter America.

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Persecution of Catholic Church in Venezuela

Sunday, February 5, AD 2017


If Pope Francis can spare time from global warming or cheer leading mass Islamic immigration to Europe, perhaps he could take a few minutes out of his schedule to address this:


Jesús Torrealba, the secretary general of Venezuela’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), tweeted this week that colectivos stormed into Caracas’s San Pedro Claver Church on January 23 mid-Mass. “The violent government supporters closed the door, prevented the parishioners from leaving, and forced them to listen to a political speech,” Torrealba denounced on Twitter. “The violent colectivos offended the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference and social leaders in the area in their speech.”

Torrealba concluded, noting that the incident ended after Monsignor Jesús González de Zárate, an official at the church, pleaded with the gangs to allow the Mass to continue.


Following reports of the event, the head of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference issued a statement condemning the increasingly common attacks on the part of supporters of the socialist government against the Catholic Church. “These are not isolated occurrences but rather, one gets the impression that these are premeditated events meant to intimidate the Catholic Church,” Monsignor Diego Padrón, the head of the conference, said in remarks on an anti-government radio program. The Church, he added, is a target because it “has taken a very clear position before the government, noting its difficulties, problems, and the crisis the nation is currently in.”

Padrón also listed other events that made him believe these were not isolated incidents, including attacks on the homes of multiple clergy members who had openly objected to the socialist government.

2 Responses to Persecution of Catholic Church in Venezuela

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PopeWatch: Clown Masses

Saturday, February 4, AD 2017

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



Reports out of Cincinnati, Ohio today suggest sightings of Creepy Clown Masses are on the rise nationwide, and at levels not seen since the introduction of the 3rd typical edition of the Roman Missal five years ago.

While anecdotes abounded in the 1990’s, most Catholics had never seen a Creepy Clown Mass themselves until recently.

“I was ascending the side altar for my morning Latin Mass when I suddenly heard a calliope playing ‘All Are Welcome’ for a procession of creepy clowns in the nave,” said Monsignor Adrian Fitch. “They wouldn’t leave until I let them present the gifts. Another time I felt this hand on my shoulder and, at first, I thought it was just crazy ol’ Sister Ann [Provincial of the Congregation of Pant-Suited Pantomimes] extending her hand again for the Consecration, but nope, it was a freakin’ creepy clown with a chalice in one hand and a machete in the other.”

While some are calling the phenomenon a natural response to calls for more inclusive and diverse faith communities, others are calling it a publicity stunt for the upcoming Vigil of All Saints Day.  A growing minority, however, are attributing it to the circus atmosphere of the current Pontificate.

2 Responses to PopeWatch: Clown Masses

  • I did notice a Franciscan once wearing about a size 17 pair of floppy sandals, but alas, I admit to being neglectful in not reporting him to the Chancery .
    Also, if we do spot a clown ready to have a Mass, are we required to accommodate him?

  • Don L.

    Hummm. My small PIETA prayer booklet, so old it’s held together by tape,glue and luck, states; Never attack a priest. Clowns masquerading as priests are fair game. Priest masquerading as clowns preparing to celebrate Holy Mass….Well they need prayer and twist on the ear lobe. Sr. Agnes style.

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Seven Days in May Redux

Friday, February 3, AD 2017

What is it with liberals and coups?  Recently several liberals, including entertainer? Sarah Silverman, and Obama era Pentagon bureaucrat Sarah Brooks, have  been calling for/predicting a military coup against the Trump administration.  Such fools have no concept of our military where the officers are trained from day one of their careers in the essential fact of civilian control of the military.  If the impossible ever happened and some rogue faction of the military ever did move against Trump, the shots fired in such a coup attempt would merely be the opening shots in Civil War II.  Liberals have often fantasized about a conservative military coup against the government of the United States, perhaps most famously in the novel and film of the Sixties entitled Seven Days in May.  From current calls for a military coup emanating from the portside of our politics, such concerns about a conservative coup apparently were a case of the left projecting upon the right what the left would be tempted to do if confronted by a civilian government they viewed as a menace.


Hard to believe that it is more than half a century since the film Seven Days in May (1964) was released.  Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling based on a novel published in 1962, the movie posits a failed coup attempt in the United States, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, played by Burt Lancaster, being the would be coup leader.  Kirk Douglas plays Scott’s aide Marine Corps Colonel Martin Casey who, while agreeing with Scott that President Jordan Lyman’s nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets is a disaster, is appalled when he learns of the proposed coup, and discloses it to the President, portrayed by Frederic March.

The film is an example of liberal paranoia in the early sixties and fears on the port side of our politics of a coup by some “right wing” general.  The film is unintentionally hilarious if one has served in our military, since the idea of numerous generals agreeing on a coup and keeping it secret, even from their own aides, is simply ludicrous.  Our military leaks like a sieve, and general officers almost always view each other as competitors for political favor, rather than as co-conspirators.

Ironies abound when the film is compared to reality:

20 Responses to Seven Days in May Redux

Iraqi Archbishop on Trump’s Executive Order Regarding Refugees

Friday, February 3, AD 2017


Well this is interesting.  Crux has an interview with Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda:



What do you make of the protests against President Trump’s refugee order?

Everyone, including the administration, seems to agree that this should have been implemented with more clarity. There was much confusion about what the order meant and many people were very upset.

From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.

I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.

I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” – especially now that it has been clarified that it is not – should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk.  The executive order has clearly affected Christians and Yazidis and others as well as Muslims.

Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do.  I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real.

Most Americans have no concept of what it was like to live as a Yazidi or Christian or other minority as ISIS invaded. Our people had the option to flee, to convert, or to be killed, and many were killed in the most brutal ways imaginable. But there were none of these protests then of ISIS’s religious test.

Our people lost everything because of their faith – they were targeted for their faith, just like the Yazidis and others too. Now these protesters are saying that religion should not matter at all, even though someone was persecuted for their faith, even though persecution based on religion is one of the grounds for refugee status in the UN treaty on refugees.

From here I have to say, it is really unbelievable.

It is exactly this reasoning, that religion should not be a factor at all in American policy, that has resulted in Christians and other minority communities being overlooked by U.S. and UN aid programs. We are too small to matter, our communities are disappearing from constant persecution, and for years the American government didn’t care. Now when someone tries to help us, we have protesters telling us that there can be no religious basis for refugee status – even though the UN treaty and American law say that religious persecution is a major reason for granting the status, and even though ISIS targeted people primarily on the basis of religion.

I am not saying that any group should have a blanket preference when it comes to being admitted as a refugee in the United States. Such a policy would not be right, and would clearly be against our Catholic faith and teaching. And that is not the policy as I understand it.

But it is very hard for me to understand why comfortable people in the West think those who are struggling to survive against genocide, and whose communities are at extreme risk of disappearing completely, should not get some special consideration.  We are an ancient people on the verge of extinction because of our commitment to our faith.  Will anybody protest for us?

8 Responses to Iraqi Archbishop on Trump’s Executive Order Regarding Refugees

  • Islam is an evil pagan cult. Of course there should be a religious test. Catholicism is not a suicide pact. Even Pope Chastisement believes this as he lives behind very high, very thick, very solid walls.

  • The Archbishop speaks with such clarity. I hope his message registers with Western Catholics.

    I don’t think it makes the difference if another pathetic Hollywood embecile climbs onto her soapbox and bemoans America. They are utterly useless to their fellow man.

    The Archbishop is talking about the persecution of one of the oldest Christian groups in the history of the world.

    I’m greatly disappointed with Pope Francis silence. I don’t think there has ever been a Pope in modern times who has stood up for Christians in the Middle East. These Christians need to be protected through strong action and with the same resolve that the world stood up to Communist forces back in the 20th Century. I can’t believe the Vatican has turned a blind eye to their own people for so long. The Archbishop is having to justify why his people deserve help. We should be ashamed by this.

  • Hm. Checking… checking… nope, seems our favorite political commentator has never weighed in on this. I wonder why…

    Would that we Christians (ANY of us, Catholic, Protestant, or Orthodox) had the stones for another crusade. Heck why not have the Vatican fun its own military or hire a PMC to go get our brothers in trouble out of there or provide cover to set up protected enclaves. Something! We live in an age of billions of answers at our fingertips, why does every proposed solution seem to be the same?

  • Trump already said that Christian refugees will be given priority. It’s just a TEMPORARY stop to better vet the people coming in. Why would anyone want to go to a better country to leave behind the evil people if the evil people are coming with them?

  • I have mentioned that I read Brietbart for the news articles. Anytime that there is a news story about anything Catholic the comment box is filled with two types of comments. One type is that the Catholic Church is an evil cult that is not Christian. Another type is made by ex Catholics who hate the church with a passion – often atheist types. Is it any wonder that so little attention has been paid to the poor Middle East Christians? The USCCB’s Catholic charities is only too happy to take taxpayer money to resettle refugees…but they are forbidden to preach religion to them. I did a volunteer day assisting the Pittsburgh chapter and tis is what the director of the office said. What’s more, given the rotten catechesis, most Catholics in the US, practicing or not, are completely unaware of the Eastern Catholic Churches. These poor people have nowhere to go, no one to turn to and are abandoned – by the West, who falls all over themselves resettling Muslims, by the Pope, who would rather let the German bishops dictate what being Catholic should be.

  • God bless Archbsp. Warda and keep him safe.
    It’s my understanding that USCCB receives millions from the federal government for refugee resettlement. I have heard $91 M but don’t know if that is accurate; a review of the USCCB’s financial statement might contain many surprises. Since it is fed money there must be strings attached, one of which, I would guess, is that they cannot assist only Catholics or only Christians. Please correct me if I am wrong. I wonder if Catholic Charities receives federal money?

    The silence and lack of action by the UN, the Vatican, and in the past our central government is appalling. Now the Trump administration is trying to correct that and give assistance to the persecuted groups the Archbishop mentioned and all hell breaks loose from the wackos, Congress and the Courts. This power plays by the liberals and the Democratic Party is aimed at Trump, but meanwhile their behaviour is costing lives. Their lies about the executive order is not only costing lives, but making the lives of the persecuted still in the home countries miserable.

    Where is the Catholic press? We should expect more from them. Yes there is an occasional article or interview, but there ought to be an article in every weekly addition about some persecuted group….Africans, Near and Middle and Far Easterners.
    We do pray for the persecuted Christians at Sunday and daily Masses at our Mission. The occasional collection is taken, however who knows to whom that money really goes.

  • Oops, make that weekly edition vice addition.

  • Islamic State is honest and direct in its persecution. You are a left in no doubt as to your situation. The two-faced culture of the so-called free West is another matter. Their crocodile tears fool no one least of all the death merchants of Da3ish.

Leftism as Substitute Religion

Friday, February 3, AD 2017


The howls of incoherent fury with which much of the left has greeted the advent of the Trump administration seems quite strange until we recall that leftism is essentially not a political movement for many of its adherents but rather a substitute for religion.  John Daniel Davidson at The Federalist understands this:


The consternation and outrage we’ve seen in response to President Trump’s executive order on immigration has little to do with the policy as such. Restricting immigration from certain countries is nothing new; President Obama did it, as did presidents Bush, Clinton, H.W. Bush, and Reagan.

Rather, it has everything to do with the elevation of progressive politics to the status of a religion—a dogmatic and intolerant religion, whose practitioners are now experiencing a crisis of faith.

Forget the executive order itself. Progressives have reacted with moral indignation and hysteria to everything Trump has done since taking office. His inauguration was enough to bring out hundreds of thousands of protesters across the country. In the 12 days since then, we have witnessed yet more demonstrations, boycotts, calls for “resistance,” comparisons to the Holocaust, media witch-hunts, the politicization of everything from Hollywood awards shows to professional sports, and real tears from New York Sen.Chuck Schumer.

One is hard-pressed to think of something Trump could do that would not elicit howls of outrage from the Left. On Tuesday, Senate Democrats boycotted confirmation hearings for Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to serve as treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price’s nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services, while continuing to try to block the confirmation of Betsy DeVos for education secretary and Sen. Jeff Session for attorney general. Even before Trump announced his Supreme Court pick on Tuesday night, Democrats had already announced they would filibuster the nomination, no matter who it was.

The obstinacy of Senate Democrats reflects the mood of their progressive base, whose panicked anger is the natural reaction of those for whom politics has become an article of faith. Progressives, as the terms implies, believe society must always be progressing toward something better. Always forward, never backwards. After eight years of Obama, they believed progressive politics in America would forever be on an upward trajectory.

The Left Has Been Moralizing Politics For A Long Time

Trump shook that faith. But his election also unmasked the degree to which progressivism as a political project is based not on science or rationality, or even sound policy, but on faith in the power of government to ameliorate and eventually perfect society. All the protests and denunciations of Trump serve not just as an outlet for progressives’ despair, but the chance to signal their moral virtue through collective outrage and moral preening—something that wasn’t really possible under Obama, at least not to this degree.

Not that they didn’t try. Recall that during the Obamacare debate in 2009 Ezra Klein suggested that Sen. Joe Lieberman was “willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people in order to settle an old electoral score,” simply because he threatened to filibuster what would become the Affordable Care Act. This is the language of political fundamentalism—policy invested with the certainty of religious conviction.

Religious fundamentalism of course rests on immutable truths that cannot be negotiated. For Klein, that meant health care reform. The same rhetoric—“willing to cause the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people”—would crop up again and again during Obama’s tenure, every time a Republican governor refused to expand Medicaid or a state attorney general challenged an EPA regulation meant to curb climate change. Policy debates took on a theological significance.

11 Responses to Leftism as Substitute Religion

  • Why was this woman on the plane in the first place? Was her broom in the shop for repairs?

  • In my years at the Indan Point 3 Nuclear Power Plant, we saw this phenomenon manifest itself in the anti-nuclear protests outside the main gate. It’s eco-wackism, enviro-nazism, pagan worship of goddess Gaia, fundamentalist secularism, godless humanism, etc. One time I had an opportunity to talk to one of these people, a really smart and successful corporate laywer in Manhattan who lived on Long island and supported Mario Cuomo’s shutdown of the Shoreham nucllear power plant (his son Andy is now shutting down my Alma Mater of 18 years, Indian Point – I hate the Democratic Party!). I was able (in my example above) to bring him through all the safey features of the nuclear power plant, how reactor protection and engineering safeguards work, the physics of how the core shuts itself down on a power excursion, the methods employed in storing used nuclear fuel and plans for reprocessing, how we obviate plutonium proliferation – and on and on and on. He was very intelligent and understood every single little point – even the idea of radiation hormesis: that a little bit over a long time is good for you and a whole lot at one time bad. But the conclusion – nuclear is safer than natural gas and even wind – he rejected. It did not matter what the facts said. His religion – eco-wacko progressivism – said otherwise. To him Cuomo was right to shut Shoreham down even though electric rates on Long Island where he lived skyrocketed and natural gas spinning reserve makeup for low capacity factor wind pollutes the air. In his view we were hurting goddess Gaia by splitting atoms.
    Folks, these people are nuts. They are freaking idiots. You cannot argue with them. You cannot reason with them. The time for debate and dialogue is long over. And when that happens, then society is in big, big trouble. God have mercy on us all.

  • Substitute religion or demonic possession? Seriously.

  • I wonder if this “progressivism-as-religion” model is an explanation for the left’s
    cozying-up to islam we’re starting to see. Each is helping the other wage its jihad.

    We’re seeing CAIR/Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood/Nation of Islam/BDS crop up more
    and more in partnership with Democrats. Hillary’s Huma Abedin has a Muslim Brotherhood
    background. Rep. Ellison has ties with CAIR, Nation of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood,
    and a history of anti-semitic statements –yet he’s a contender for Chair of the DNC.
    Bernie Saunders and Sen. Schumer, both Jewish men, have endorsed him for the position
    despite his well-documented anti-semitic and anti-Israel history. Linda Sarsour, a pro-
    islam activist with ties to Hamas is an outspoken advocate of the implementation of
    sharia in the US and yet she was recruited to chair the recent DC “Women’s March”.

    Politics is making some strange bedfellows indeed. The adherents of the progressive’s
    cult are apologists for islamic terror at home and abroad, give an assist in undermining
    Israel and normalize anti-semitism, insist that islam is a “religion of peace” despite all
    evidence to the contrary, and demand ever-increasing importation of muslims from
    various terrorism-riddled states. The adherents of islam, in return, are throwing their
    considerable financial and organizational backing to the progressive’s cult. They’re
    no strangers to staging violent protests, and I’m guessing they’re useful when the
    left wants a riot to break out. (We’ve seen no shortage of those recently). I’m also
    guessing that the considerable sums CAIR, the Muslim Brotherhood and their ilk
    receive from their Middle East sponsors is most welcome in DNC circles…

    The two cults will be bedfellows for as long as each can help the other to gather
    power. Yet their ends are very, very different. The islamist’s beliefs about the
    role of women, the treatment of homosexuals, etc. — indeed, the very existence of
    human rights or the desirability of democracy in general — mean that the inevitable
    divorce between those two cults will be messy, messy indeed.

  • The world is round, spins on its axis and goes around and what goes around comes around. The Progressives will find themselves in the same place that they started. Now, that will cause an uproar as we are seeing.

  • Re: LQC

    LQC has got it right. Liberals are crazy, irrational, whatever. Why is that? They believe that Man can take care of himself without obedience to God. God punishes them by making them partially irrational so that their emotions and incorrect assumptions control them, e.g., tower of Babel, Nancy Pelosi, most Democrats, some of my kids.

  • LQC has got it right. Liberals are crazy, irrational, whatever. Why is that? They believe that Man can take care of himself without obedience to God. God punishes them by making them partially irrational so that their emotions and incorrect assumptions control them, e.g., tower of Babel, Nancy Pelosi, most Democrats, some of my kids.

  • “[T]he chance to signal their moral virtue through collective outrage and moral preening”

    As Hegel said of the French Revolution and its Politics of Virtue:-

    “Virtue is here a simple abstract principle and distinguishes the citizens into two classes only—those who are favourably disposed and those who are not. But disposition can only be recognized and judged of by disposition. Suspicion therefore is in the ascendant; but virtue, as soon as it becomes liable to suspicion, is already condemned . . . . Robespierre set up the principle of virtue as supreme, and it may be said that with this man virtue was an earnest matter. Virtue and Terror are the order of the day; for Subjective Virtue, whose sway is based on disposition only, brings with it the most fearful tyranny. It exercises its power without legal formalities, and the punishment it inflicts is equally simple—Death”

    What do they want, who want neither Virtue not Terror?” asked Saint-Just, “They want corruption” and Saint-Just was the man who believed he knew how to deal with them.

  • I think there is something diabolic about the Left with its fixation on abortion and hatred for Judeo-Christian values and Western Civilization. They are attracted to Islam in some perverse enemy of my enemy sentiment. It is an epidemic of soul-sickness. It is charitable to assume that few of them realize what they are about but the vacuum of their ignorance is filled with indoctrination. First we lost the schools.

  • Your article brings to mind a very specific prophesy in the Bible that refers to the topic you raise. St. Paul, just after calming his readers about any need to worry that the “day of the Lord is at hand” (2 Thess 2:2) goes on to speak of a mass “apostasy” (i.e., loss of faith, apostasia in the original Greek) and the revelation of the “lawless one” who “opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god and object of worship … claiming that he is a god [the rise of contemporary atheism and nihilism].” “And now you know what is restraining [the papacy?], that he may be revealed … whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth [i.e. the Holy Spirit] by the manifestation of his coming” (2 Thess 2: 3-8). St. Paul even gives the reason that this would take place: “they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved” (2 Thess 2: 10). This diabolical dimension explains the fury and Pharisaical self-righteousness of the left. They are under the spell of the Father of Lies who hides behind expressions like “mercy killing” to obfuscate the truth.

  • It is truly said that when one ceases to believe in God, one will believe in anything. You need only look at today’s left wing crazies to see the truth in this demonstrated.