Distinction Matter - Subscribed Feeds

  1. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Since the Council, an idea has been spreading that Judaism is not superseded by the New Covenant of Jesus Christ; that Jews still have available to them the Covenant of the old Law, by which they can be saved. It is therefore unnecessary for them to turn to Christ; unnecessary for anybody to convert them to faith in Christ. Indeed, attempting to do so is an act of aggression not dissimilar to theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com11
  2. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    S Paul loved his fellow Jews, his 'kinsmen' and believed "the gifts and call of God are irrevocable". He believed that at the End, those among them who had rejected Christ would be brought in to the chosen people. He believed that they were like olive branches which had been cut off so that the Gentiles, wild olive branches, could be grafted in. But, when the fulness of the Gentiles had entered Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com3
  3. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    Lex orandi lex credendi. I have been examining the Two Covenant Dogma: the fashionable error that God's First Covenant, with the Jews, is still fully and salvifically valid, so that the call to saving faith in Christ Jesus is not made to them. The 'New' Covenant, it is claimed, is now only for Gentiles. I want to draw attention at this point to the witness of the post-Conciliar Magisterium of theFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com13
  4. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    We have seen that the Two Covenant Theory, the idea that Jewry alone is guaranteed Salvation without any need to convert to Christ, is repugnant to Scripture, to the Fathers, even to the post-Conciliar liturgy of the Catholic Church. It is also subversive of the basic grammar of the relationship between the Old and the New Testaments. Throughout  two millennia, in Scripture, in Liturgy, in her Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com7
  5. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    The sort of people who would violently reject the points I am making are the sort of people who would not be impressed by the the Council of Florence. So I am going to confine myself to the Magisterium from the time of Pius XII ... since it is increasingly coming to be realised that the continuum of processes which we associate with the Conciliar and post-Conciliar period was already in operationFr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com0
  6. Site: Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment
    0 sec ago
    In 1980, addressing a Jewish gathering in Germany, B John Paul II said (I extract this from a long sentence): " ... dialogue; that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant (never revoked by God, cf Romans 11:29) and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time ..." In 2013, Pope Francis, in the course of his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, also referred to the Old Fr John Hunwickehttp://www.blogger.com/profile/17766211573399409633noreply@blogger.com10
  7. Site: Public Discourse
    3 hours 30 min ago
    Author: Ryan T. Anderson and Robert P. George

    Several weeks ago, many Americans were concerned about a seven-year-old boy in Texas who was the subject of a custody battle after his parents divorced. Fights over the custody of children are always tragic, but what made this one especially disconcerting was that the parents disagreed about medical care for their son. This wasn’t just any usual medical decision for a child, where parents need to consider the treatment options and weigh the respective likelihoods of success, potential side-effects, and risks. No, this was a case where the parents favored radically different treatment options because they disagreed about the identity—the “gender”—of their little boy. One of the parents believes the child is actually a girl, a girl trapped in a boy’s body.

    It was this disagreement that led to the bitter battle over treatment. So, without saying anything specific about this child’s case, we want to offer readers our best take on what is at stake: the anthropology, ideology, and ethics at issue.

    We argue that 'gender affirmation' procedures violate sound medical ethics, that it is profoundly unethical to reinforce a male child in his belief that he is not a boy (or a female child in her belief that she is not a girl), and that it is particularly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child to “affirm” a “gender identity” that is at odds with bodily sex.

     

    We argue that “gender affirmation” procedures violate sound medical ethics, that it is profoundly unethical to reinforce a male child in his belief that he is not a boy (or a female child in her belief that she is not a girl), and that it is particularly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child to “affirm” a “gender identity” that is at odds with bodily sex. Childhood and adolescence are difficult enough as it is. Adults should not corrupt the social ecology in which children develop a mature understanding of themselves as boys or girls on the pathway to becoming men or women. Medical professionals certainly should not make radical interventions into the bodies of young people on the basis of a misguided ideology of identity.

    We Are Not “In” Our Bodies, We Are Our Bodies

    No one is born in the wrong body, because no one is born “in” a body. Rather, we are our bodies. There is nothing that could be “in” the wrong body, for the soul is the substantial form of the body—not some sort of separate substance.

    No one is born in the wrong body, because no one is born 'in' a body. Rather, we are our bodies.

     

    Human beings are not non-bodily persons who inhabit and use non-personal bodies. We are not ghosts in machines. Our bodies are essential aspects of ourselves as the kind of entity we are—a certain type of animal with a rational nature, a human being. We—you, I, and every other human being—are personal bodily organisms. And the sex of an organism is determined by how that organism is organized with respect to sexual reproduction. As there are two complementary ways of being sexually organized, so there are two sexes: male and female.

    The sexual binary is a biological reality. There is no scientific—indeed, no non-ideological—ground for denying it. That some people experience disorders of sexual development, sometimes referred to as intersex conditions, does not negate this reality. Disorders of sexual development do not constitute a third sex or a spectrum of sex. There is no third gamete, no third gonad, no third genital, no third reproductive system. Nor is there a “spectrum” between the two reproductive systems, despite the reality that these two systems can and sometimes do develop in certain disordered ways. (For more on this, see Chapter 4 of When Harry Became Sally.) It is a red herring to point to physical developmental disorders to justify an ideological view of gender as something fluid, non-binary, and utterly detached from our embodiment as male or female.

    “Gender Affirmation” Is Based on Ideology and Sex Stereotypes

    Of course, people can express their sexual identity as male or female in a variety of ways. They can conform to prevailing cultural norms or stereotypes, or they can deviate from them. They may feel comfortable with prevailing cultural expectations for persons of their sex, or they may feel uncomfortable. They can decide to act in a “gender non-conforming” way, or they can opt to be conventional. None of this, however, changes whether someone is male or female.

    And yet, a growing and influential segment of our medical and educational establishments insist that someone’s sex is merely “assigned” at birth, and therefore might have been misassigned and can now be reassigned through “gender affirming” therapies. Here we see ideology calling the tune and scientific fact being shunted aside. According to this ideology, the appropriate determinant of sex is “gender identity”—one’s putative “internal sense of gender” (what exactly that is, no one knows, but we are told that gender on this understanding is fluid and exists along a spectrum). When someone’s gender identity is at odds with his or her body, medical interventions are said to be appropriate and even desirable to align the body with the identity. The claim, made insistently and even indignantly, is that someone who identifies as a woman is a woman (even if “she”—the pronoun is insisted upon—is biologically male), and so medical technology should be used to provide that person with a “female” body.

    This has obvious philosophical problems. If someone who identifies as a woman is a woman, then whatever sort of body that person has already is a woman’s body. A woman’s body, on this account, is just whatever body someone who “identifies” as a woman has. This, after all, is how you get headlines about a “woman’s penis,” or a “pregnant man.” So what is it that the person is aligning the body to?

    Why should someone who identifies as a woman abide by “stereotypical” notions of what a woman’s body ought to look like? Why should that person take hormones and undergo surgery to conform to those stereotypes? We’ve gone from breaking down cultural sex stereotypes to creating an industry in plastic surgery to refashion bodies according to them. And if gender is fluid and exists along a spectrum, what sorts of bodies should “gender non-binary” or “gender-ambidextrous” people be given? What sort of hormones and surgery should doctors be providing them? One doctor offers “Penile Preservation Vaginoplasty” where a “neovagina” is created while preserving the penis and testicles.

    Rather than recognize the incoherence of their worldview, however, those on the cutting edge of “gender theory” take up this last question and reply: whatever body parts, modifications, and hormones that person desires. As a 2019 Journal of Adolescent Health article put it:

    With approximately one-third of TGD [transgender and gender diverse] adults and 40 percent of TGD youth identifying as nonbinary, care guidelines that reinforce binary systems of gender identity may limit access to clinical services and restrict the ability of nonbinary people to navigate medical systems. Framing gender as solely binary defines therapeutic options and outcomes only in reference to two gender experiences, which impacts access.

    Moving beyond the binary is the next horizon of medical intervention. It also requires moving beyond medical diagnosis. Indeed, the most recent proposals for “gender care” assert that it need not be based on any diagnosis of gender dysphoria at all, and should merely operate based on an individual’s choice—provided the individual give “informed consent” for that choice. According to one recent state report,

    Healthcare for TNG [transgender, nonbinary, and gender expansive/nonconforming] youth must be patient-centered and as low-barrier as possible. Informed Consent Models of transition-related healthcare access allow TNG patients to access the essential medical care that they need [sic: desire] without needing to get approval from a therapist or other mental health provider.

    So a minor’s say-so is all it should take to radically transform their body—even to the point of causing permanent sterility.

    Affirming Falsehoods, Mutilating Bodies

    The philosophical problems highlight why this treatment protocol is misguided—indeed, why it violates sound norms of medical ethics. The purpose of medicine is to bring about human health and wholeness, human flourishing in the physical and psychological domains. Here health is understood not as the satisfaction of desires but as the well-functioning of the mind and body, where our various bodily systems achieve their ends—the circulatory system to circulate blood, the digestive system to digest nutrients, the respiratory system to absorb oxygen, etc.—and where our thoughts and feelings achieve their ends of bringing us into contact with reality. Thus, any medical intervention intended to affirm someone’s false beliefs is inherently misguided. Affirming a falsehood via medical technology gets it wrong, right from the start.

    It should go without saying that merely because someone identifies as something doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is that thing. Some aspects of reality are determined by how someone identifies, but many aspects of reality are quite independent of our chosen identities. So, sometimes identifying as something—a Red Sox fan, for example—makes you that thing. But often it does not. Rachel Dolezal’s “identifying” as African-American didn’t make her African-American. When she claimed to be African-American, she was saying something that wasn’t true—something that didn’t correspond to reality—no matter her self-identification. Similarly, identifying as female or “as a woman” does not make a male a female or a man a woman—such an “identity” doesn’t correspond to reality. What makes someone a woman (or a man) is being a human being (and, as such, a certain type of organism) who is organized for sexual reproduction in a certain way. And so medical professionals who seek to “affirm” people in a “gender identity” at odds with reality set themselves about a misguided purpose.

    That’s not all. Not only are some medical professionals affirming falsehoods, they are mutilating bodies in the process. So they are deploying bad means (mutilation) in the service of bad ends (affirming falsehoods). Administering high doses of estrogen to a man who rejects his male reality for some alternative identity (whether as a woman, non-binary, gender-ambidextrous, etc.), or administering high doses of testosterone to a woman who rejects her female reality for some alternative identity (whether as a man, non-binary, etc.), or removing reproductive organs and using plastic surgery to create parts or appendages that resemble those of the opposite sex (or neither, or both), mutilates the body in an effort to reinforce false beliefs at odds with reality. This is a misdirection of the medical profession, a violation of sound medical ethics.

    Interfering with Children’s Development

    Things only get worse when it comes to prepubescent and adolescent children. Whatever one may think about the ethics of medical professionals’ “transitioning” adults, everyone should be able to agree that adults should not interfere with the natural, healthy development of the bodies and minds of children. Children must be provided with the time and space to develop to maturity. To tell a child that he or she is of the opposite sex (or both, or neither—something underwritten today by standard children’s “gender” books), or to encourage a child’s mistaken belief that he is something other than a boy, or she something other than a girl (however sensitively one may, and should, be handling such a situation), is deeply unjust to that child. To intervene in a child’s physical development, to block the child from going through normal puberty—all in an attempt to “affirm” a “gender identity” that rejects bodily reality—is profoundly unethical.

    Adults should not interfere with the natural development of a child’s body to alter its appearance based on ideology. Yet that is precisely what many medical associations now advocate. They prescribe a four-part treatment protocol starting in early childhood for “transgender and gender diverse” children: social transition, puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and surgery.

    These guidelines are based on a faulty philosophical anthropology, a misguided understanding of the purpose of medicine, and virtually no scientific evidence. Indeed, the Endocrine Society’s official statement promoting this treatment protocol notes that all six of their treatment recommendations for adolescents are based on “low” or “very low” quality evidence. Even apart from the philosophical and ethical problems with the treatment protocol, there is a glaring medical science problem: how can such a radical medical plan to transform children’s bodies be promoted based on research of such poor quality? Part of the explanation is that the medical associations as a whole have not embraced these standards, but ideologically driven subcommittees within those associations have taken it upon themselves to promulgate them.

    Five Points to Remember

    So what more can we say about these interventions—strictly speaking, these non-medical interventions—on the bodies of young people?

    1. Experimental

    First, these procedures are entirely experimental. There is not a single long-term prospective study of the long-term consequences of blocking an otherwise physically healthy child from undergoing normal pubertal development. Indeed, the drugs being used to indefinitely delay normally timed puberty are not FDA-approved for this purpose and are being used off-label. While we know certain negative consequences of this sort of long-term puberty-blocking—increased risk for low bone density, shorter height, and reduced memory—we simply have no idea what all of the physical and psychological consequences are. There’s no way of knowing—apart from conducting this experiment on the bodies of young people. That itself is unethical human experimentation—and on children. We won’t know the full consequences for twenty or thirty or forty or more years. Furthermore, the clinics conducting these experiments are typically not appropriately classifying them as experimental. They are neither disclosing this to patients and families nor seeking Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, which is necessary for all experimental research on human subjects.

    1. Irreversible

    Second, parents are told that these procedures are “fully reversible,” but that is not true. Going off of puberty-blocking drugs, with the hope that development resumes, does nothing to reverse the delayed biologically appropriate development. You can’t go back in time and reverse that delay. That said, as an empirical matter, virtually all children placed on puberty-blocking drugs as part of “gender affirmation” care go on to receive cross-sex hormones, continue to identify as of the opposite sex, and attempt to make their bodies appear as if of the opposite sex. The end result is sterilization. And so it is entirely accurate to say that placing a child on puberty-blocking drugs as part of a “gender affirming” intervention is to set that child on a pathway to irreversible, permanent infertility. This is something no child can fully understand, let alone consent to.

    1. Self-Fulfilling

    Third, many experts fear that these treatment protocols are self-fulfilling. Telling a little boy that he is a girl (or something else) or a girl that she is a boy (or something else), blocking his or her natural biological development into a man or a woman, and then flooding him or her with opposite-sex hormones will simply reinforce false beliefs. Indeed, it may very well be pubertal development that helps young people feel comfortable in their own bodies. Imagine the rush of testosterone, growth spurt, and maturation into a man’s body and how it may help a young boy feel comfortable as a man. Indeed, 80 to 95 percent of young people with a gender identity conflict will naturally reconcile their identity with the body if their development is not interfered with. By comparison, 100 percent of children in a Dutch study who were placed on puberty blockers went on to receive cross-sex hormones. Puberty blockers, rather than “buying more time” to decide, seem to lock in transgender identity.

    1. Lack of Diagnostic Rigor, Especially for Immature Children

    Fourth, while the diagnosis that someone “is” of the opposite sex is medically and scientifically baseless, it is particularly outrageous when applied to children. On what other issue do we allow a child’s self-assertion to be the basis for such life-altering decisions, or to allow children to undergo such permanent changes to their bodies? Children lack the experience and cognitive abilities even to know what it means to be a boy or a girl, a man or a woman. And yet “gender experts” tell parents that if a child is “persistent, insistent, and consistent” in asserting that he or she is of the opposite sex (or neither, or both), that means he or she is of the opposite sex (or neither, or both). This is nonsense. Of course gender dysphoria—a feeling of distress at one’s bodily sex—is a very real and serious condition. All sexual confusion is. It deserves compassion and proper treatment, treatment to help a patient feel comfortable with his or her own body. But experiencing gender dysphoria or other sexual confusion doesn’t make someone of the opposite sex. Or both sexes. Or neither sex.

    Driving the diagnoses of the “gender experts” are ideological judgments based on stereotypes. Leading “gender experts” claim that nonconformity to sex stereotypes is a sign of someone’s true “gender identity.” For example, when asked how one- or two-year-old, pre-verbal children could communicate their true gender identity, Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, the Director of Mental Health of the Child and Adolescent Gender Center at the University of California, San Francisco, gave the following answer: “I have a colleague who is transgender. And there is a video of him as a toddler—so he was assigned female at birth—there’s a video of him as a toddler tearing barrettes out of then-her hair. And throwing them on the ground. And sobbing. That’s a gender message.” Ehrensaft continued:

    Sometimes kids between the age of one and two, with beginning language, will say, “I BOY!” when you say “girl.” Those two words. That’s not a pre-verbal, but an early verbal message. And sometimes there’s a tendency to say, “Well, honey, no you’re a girl because little girls have vaginas, and you have a vagina so you’re a girl.” And then when they get a little older you’ll hear them say, “Did you not listen to me? I said I am a boy with a vagina.” Ok, but they can’t say that between one and two. But they can show you about what they want to play with and if they feel uncomfortable about how you are responding to them and their gender, if you’re misgendering them.

    This is the sort of diagnostic rigor—self-reports of “gender” from children—that leads medical doctors to make these drastic interventions into the bodies of young people. Rather than recognize that children at early developmental stages are simply too immature even to  understand what makes someone a boy or a girl, this diagnostic approach simply reifies internal feelings based on limited human experience and knowledge. From a scientific and medical perspective, what does it even mean to say someone is a boy with a vagina? What does it mean to be a “boy” in such an ideology? And yet, doctors are using medical technology to profoundly mutilate the bodies of young people—all because they say they are boys with a vagina—and surgeons believe they can create something that would resemble a penis. Though, as we mentioned above, why a boy needs a penis—on this ideological understanding of “gender”—is never explained. Adults in the medical profession are exploiting the confusion of children.

    We could readily supply countless additional examples of this “gender-affirming” approach—attempting to diagnose an impossibility (“being trapped in the wrong body,” “being a boy/girl”) based on an ideology founded on stereotypes (“internal sense of gender”), all disclosed by children who lack the bodily development, intellectual capacity, and social experiences even to know what it means to be fully male or female. But perhaps one more example will suffice for now. Johanna Olson-Kennedy, the Medical Director of The Center for Transyouth Health and Development at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, describes how she helped an eight-year-old girl discover she was really a boy:

    I said, “Do you ever eat pop tarts?” And the kid was like, oh, of course. And I said, “well you know how they come in that foil packet?” Yes. “Well, what if there was a strawberry pop tart in a foil packet, in a box that said ‘Cinnamon Pop Tarts.’? Is it a strawberry pop tart, or a cinnamon pop tart?” The kid’s like, “Duh! A strawberry pop tart.” And I was like, “so…” And the kid turned to the mom and said, “I think I’m a boy and the girl’s covering me up.”

    This is body-self dualism on full display. The body is just the “foil packet” of the real self, the machine in which the ghost resides. This is the sort of expert advice dished out by medical directors of leading gender clinics.

    This same embrace of dualism has led Olson-Kennedy’s clinic to perform double-mastectomies on thirteen-year-old girls. It’s this same embrace of dualism that led Olson-Kennedy to cavalierly dismiss concerns about transition regret: “And here’s the other thing about chest surgery: if you want breasts at a later point in your life you can go and get them.” She dismisses concerns about the cognitive capacity of adolescents to make such life-altering decisions, with sheer assertion: “Actually, people make life-altering decisions in adolescence. All the time. All the time. . . . What we do know is that adolescents actually have the capacity to make a reasoned, logical decision.” Oh, and those thirteen-year-old double-mastectomies took place as part of an NIH-funded study that Olson-Kennedy is leading on transitioning children.

    1. Reassignment Doesn’t Produce Good Outcomes

    Fifth, and finally, not only is sex reassignment physically and metaphysically impossible, it doesn’t even produce good psychosomatic results. So even if you disagreed with us about the philosophy of the body and the medical ethics of “transitioning,” you would still need to be concerned that an entirely experimental, self-fulfilling treatment protocol that is based on nonsensical diagnostic criteria doesn’t even produce the desired outcomes of happiness and wholeness. Forty-one percent of all adults who identify as transgender attempt suicide at some point in their lives, and adults who have had sex reassignment surgery are nineteen times more likely than the general population to die by suicide. These outcomes are unacceptable. And the best research shows that reassignment procedures do little to nothing to improve well-being.

    As even the Obama Administration reported in 2016, the best studies of sex-reassignment procedures “did not demonstrate clinically significant changes or differences in psychometric test results” after the reassignment. A large, long-term data set from Sweden released just this year (2019) shows a similar result: hormonal transition produced absolutely no mental health benefits for those patients. Meanwhile, the data from that study demonstrate that “the beneficial effect of surgery for transgender people is so small that a clinic may have to perform as many as 49 gender-affirming surgeries before they could expect to prevent one additional person from seeking subsequent mental health treatment.” Imagine suffering so much, feeling so uncomfortable with your own body that you would contemplate “transitioning,” and then receiving virtually no improvement. If these are the results of “transitioning,” why would anyone encourage a child down this path?

    What Children Need

    Children who feel deep discomfort with their bodily sex should be treated with kindness, respect, compassion, and love. They need to be protected from bullying, teasing, discrimination, and any form of mistreatment. They are precious human beings who need to be given whatever assistance we can give to help them feel comfortable with their bodies.

    This includes providing counseling for any underlying trauma or for social dynamics at home or school that may play a role in the dysphoria. And it includes helping them to break down misguided sex stereotypes or cultural expectations that may underlie their dysphoria. But it must also entail a resolute refusal to go along with ideologies that reinforce sex stereotypes. Preferring the color pink or playing with dolls does not make someone a girl. Rather than teaching children to identify based on how well they fit prevailing cultural expectations on sex, we should be teaching them that the truth of their sexual identity is based on their bodies, and that sometimes cultural associations attached to the sexes are in fact misguided or simply too narrow. (On this last point, see Chapter 7 of When Harry Became Sally.) Girls can like football and hunting without being “boys” or “nonbinary.” There is a wonderfully rich array of ways of expressing one’s embodiment as female.

    Prudent legislation is needed to prevent adults from interfering with a child’s normal, natural bodily development. “Gender affirmation” procedures violate sound medical ethics. It is profoundly unethical to intervene in the normal physical development of a child as part of “affirming” a “gender identity” at odds with bodily sex. While puberty-blocking drugs may be an appropriate treatment for precocious puberty—the early onset of puberty—in order to delay puberty to a biologically appropriate age, that is not what is going on here. The use of puberty blockers to delay or permanently block natural biological puberty is unethical and violates the rights of children to bodily integrity. Administering cross-sex hormones to minors, in an attempt to make their bodies cosmetically resemble those of the opposite sex or of their preferred “gender identity,” is likewise a violation of sound ethical norms and the rights of minors. Surgically removing genitals or secondary sex characteristics in an effort to “affirm” a “gender identity”—as done to those thirteen-year-old girls who underwent double-mastectomies in taxpayer-funded “research”—is particularly heinous. Governments should prohibit this misuse of medical technology and protect children from these harms.

  8. Site: The Orthosphere
    4 hours 22 min ago
    Author: JMSmith

    “God was in fact doing me a big favour, in making me unhappy”

    Bruce Charlton’s Notions (December 6, 2019)

    When I read Charlton’s line this morning, the beatitudes were simmering on the backburner of my mind, and I was therefore primed to feel the truth of what he says.  It helped that much of my life as a young man was spent in a melancholy funk very similar to Charlton’s, but it was only because I had just read the first verses of the Sermon on the Mount that I could fully grasp the blessing of that wretchedness.

    Although intermittently exhilarated by vivid stimulation and strong drink, I was for most of my twenties very “poor in spirit,” and in those days I saw the long intervals of despondency as a great curse. My condition seemed to resemble the “curse” with which my lady friends were monthly visited, with the difference that I was miserable for many days together, and then happy for only a few.  There were oases in the desert of early adulthood, but they seemed to me too small and widely spaced to be gifts of a loving God.

    My wretchedness in those days was not merely spiritual, but I now see that my material destitution was also a blessing.

    After taking an undistinguished undergraduate degree in 1980, I worked through a string of jobs that were even less distinguished. In the spring of 1983, I was living a life of sub-bohemian squalor in Washington D.C., where I sustained myself on the wages of a bicycle courier. I was employed by the Archer Courier Service, and was paid on a piecework basis. This arrangement rewarded speed, and in the life of a bicycle courier, speed equates with danger. If an employee of Archer Courier Service wished to eat, he had to ride very fast, often against traffic on the centerline of a busy one-way street, and be undaunted by rain, snow, stoplights, or the law against bicycling on sidewalks.

    Because I wished to eat, I learned to do all of these things; and because I learned to do all of these things, I one day found myself sailing over the roof of a car that had the remains of my bicycle stuck in its radiator.

    And that was, as it happens, a blessing.

    I lost a good deal of skin and blood when I came down on the pavement of Fifteenth Street, N.W., but I gained my first inkling of unhappiness with the life of a bicycle courier. This unhappiness was brought to maturity a few months later, when I once again found myself briefly air-born, and then painfully reunited with earth.

    Rock climbing was one of my vivid stimulations in those days, and the rock I most often climbed was an outcrop called Carderock, hard alongside the Potomac River in nearby Maryland. Like many climbers in pursuit of vivid stimulation, I sometimes dispensed with the rope, and this is what I had done one afternoon when I lost my grip and became the plaything of gravity.

    The bones that were smashed in my foot hurt to this day, but my hapless fall from Carderock was also a blessing.

    I had no medical insurance in those days, and no money in the bank. I also had no inclination to call my parents and play the part of a prodigal and penitent son. So I recuperated from that fall by lying in bed until all my groceries were gone, which was a matter of five days. Then I went back to my bicycle and the delivery of messages for the Archer Courier Service.

    But I was, alas, no longer the dashing courier of former days, for in that line of work a badly broken foot is a cruel disadvantage. Peddling was painful, walking was more painful, and depositing my shrunken weekly paycheck was most painful of all.

    Yet blessed are those who fall from Carderock to smash their foot and grim-facedly limp down the sidewalks and corridors of Washington, D.C., for in them will be born a hunger for a better life.

    This hunger came to me in one particularly long corridor in a vast office building occupied by the Department of Commerce. Because this building is so very large, robotic dollies carried (perhaps still carry) internal communications from office to office, guided down the corridors by magnetic strips affixed to the floor. Because these robotic dollies moved more swiftly than the Federal employees, and even more swiftly than a bicycle courier with a broken foot, they were equipped with a warning bell that advised pedestrians to move aside.

    It was upon being overtaken by one of these robotic dollies and moving to the side of that corridor that I at last perceived my material wretchedness; and it was while leaning against the wall to ease my broken foot that I resolved to seek a different and better life.

    If I had suffered the misfortune of securing a better job when I first moved to Washington, I might not have formed that resolution. If I not been blessed by being dashed to earth on Fifteenth Street and at Carderock, I might not have found that new and better life.  These beneficent calamities shattered my body, but they set in motion a much-needed reformation of the material arrangements of my life.  Thus God blessed me when he shed my blood and broke my bones.

    The beneficent calamities with which he would later shatter my soul are another story, but they were in many ways analogous to those those wild flights that ended in bloody arms and a broken foot. And these spiritual calamities likewise set in motion much-needed reforms in the spiritual arrangements of my life, and were also, likewise, blessings.

  9. Site: Catholic Herald
    4 hours 29 min ago
    Author: Luke Coppen
    A daily guide what's happening in the Catholic Church
  10. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    4 hours 56 min ago
    Author: abyssum

    ← Oh Snap – Senator Lindsey Graham Pledges to Block Testimony of U.S. Politicians Coordinating With Ukraine…

    WOW – OAN Stunning Lutsenko Interview – Outlines: Marie Yovanovitch Perjury, George Kent Impeachment Motive, Lindsey Graham Motive to Bury Investigation…

    Posted on December 8, 2019 by sundance

    In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.

    Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress.

    .

    What is outlined in this interview is a  problem for all DC politicians across both parties.  The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.

    Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family.  This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.

    Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public?  Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.

    You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.

    It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d’affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump.  It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff’s political coup effort.

    Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine (’06-’09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.

    In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA’s for Ukrainian ‘whistle-blowers’ who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.

    Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process.  The VISA’s are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.

    U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds.  Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various “institutes” and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]

    The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers, approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money.   The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of “indulgence fees”, junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.

    If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus.  President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process.  Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.

    Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain meeting with corrupt Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in December 2016.

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because, well, in reality all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.

    A “Codel” is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payments terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing.  This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year.  The “institutes” is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc.  There are trillions at stake.

    [SIDEBAR: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee.  As soon as a Senator starts taking the bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator.  This is how the system works.]

    The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network.  And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump.  In essence President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.

    So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it’s not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican.  We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.

    McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased.   As an example President Trump met with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in November.  Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the multinational Oil and Gas industry; and she ain’t about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffanys.

    Senator Lindsey Graham announcing today that he will not request or facilitate any impeachment testimony that touches on the DC laundry system for personal financial benefit (ie. Ukraine example), is specifically motivated by the need for all DC politicians to keep prying eyes away from the swamps’ financial endeavors.  WATCH: 

    .

    This open-secret system of “Affluence and Influence” is how the intelligence apparatus gains such power. All of the DC participants are essentially beholden to the various U.S. intelligence services who are well aware of their endeavors.

    There’s a ton of exposure here (blackmail/leverage) which allows the unelected officials within the CIA, FBI and DOJ to hold power over the DC politicians. Hold this type of leverage long enough and the Intelligence Community then absorbs that power to enhance their self-belief of being more important than the system.

    Perhaps this corrupt sense of grandiosity is what we are seeing play out in how the intelligence apparatus views President Donald J Trump as a risk to their importance.

    FUBAR !

  11. Site: Community in Mission
    5 hours 13 min ago
    Author: Msgr. Charles Pope

    120314-Post 2-popeDuring Advent, we read quite a bit from the Prophet Isaiah. Therefore, for my own meditation and yours, I offer the following reflection on Isaiah, the man and his message. Each of the issues with which he dealt is still with us, even though we live in a far more secular world than he could have imagined. Let’s consider key elements of his life, his struggle, and his message.

    Isaiah was born in 760 B.C. He is further identified as the son of Amoz (Isaiah 1:1). His name in Hebrew (Yeshayahu) means “Yah[weh] is salvation.” Isaiah lived this name well, insisting that Judah’s kings and people trust only in God, make no alliances with foreign nations, and refuse to fear anyone but God.

    Isaiah lived in the terrible period following the great severing of the northern kingdom of Israel (with its ten tribes) from the southern kingdom of Judah. In the period prior to Isaiah’s birth, the northern kingdom had known almost nothing but godless kings. Idolatry had begun there from the start, when the first king, Jeroboam, erected golden calves (of all things!) in two northern cities and strove to dissuade northern Jews from going south to Jerusalem (in Judah) to worship. Other ugly moments in the north featured King Ahab and the wicked Queen Jezebel, who advanced the worship of the Canaanite fertility god, Baal, and who persecuted Elijah and the few others who sought to stay true to the faith of Abraham.

    By the time Isaiah began his ministry (742 B.C.), the division was some 200 years old. Though living in Judah to the south, Isaiah both prophesied doom for the north and warned the kings of the south to rebuke wickedness and fears and to form no foreign alliances against the growing menaces to the north (Israel) and the east (Assyria). In this passage, he warned of northern destruction: In a single day the Lord will destroy both the head and the tail … The leaders of Israel are the head, and the lying prophets are the tail (Is 9:14-15). But his own Judah remained the focus of his concern and warnings.

    Isaiah’s mission and ministry in Judah spanned four kings: Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah. It is likely that he was a cousin of King Uzziah, which gave him both access and influence. Isaiah’s eloquence and influence also suggest that he received a royal education; little else is known of him personally.

    Although the opening chapters of the Book of Isaiah describe the wickedness of the people of Judah and the need for their repentance and his ministry, Isaiah’s prophetic call seems to have begun in 742 B.C., “the year King Uzziah died,” and is described in Chapter 6:

    In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said, “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: “Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.” And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me” (Is 6:1–8).

    While God accepts Isaiah’s offer, He warns that Isaiah’s message will be resisted. Isaiah asks, sadly,

    “How long, O Lord?” And he said, “Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without men, and the land is utterly desolate, and the Lord removes men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land. And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned” (Is 6:11–13).

    Sure enough, the first 39 chapters of Isaiah describe a fiercely stubborn resistance to Isaiah’s calls. However, the prophesied destruction of the south would not occur until 587 B.C., long into the future, due in part to some limited success Isaiah had in working with King Hezekiah at a critical moment.

    The winds of war were blowing. Assyria was expanding and the ominous clouds of its destructive conquest were moving westward. Israel to the north joined in a coalition to fight Assyria and tried to strong-arm Judah to join, threatening invasion and overthrow of King Ahaz if there was no agreement. Let’s just say that Ahaz was anxious, and all of Judah with him—threats to the north, threats to the east, and the Mediterranean to the west. There was no real escape.

    God dispatches Isaiah to Ahaz with the following message:

    … Take heed, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands … [who have] devised evil against you, saying, “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabe-el as king in the midst of it,” thus says the Lord GOD: It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass (Is 7:4–7).

    In other words, trust God. Make no alliances and do not give in to your fears. Stand your ground! God offers Ahaz a sign that a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, Immanuel (God is with us). But Ahaz cops a falsely pious attitude, talking about not putting God to the test. Yet it is Ahaz who fails the test. Caving in, he sends tribute to Assyria and offers to become a vassal state.

    In the end, this frees Assyria to concentrate on destroying Israel to the north. And while it can be argued that Israel’s wickedness brought her destruction, Ahaz helped seal the fate of fellow Jews in the north through his fearful and self-serving political calculations. The northern kingdom of Israel fell to the Assyrians in 721 B.C. and the survivors were carried off into exile. It was farewell to the Ten Lost Tribes. Only Judah and the Levites in the south remained intact.

    Though Judah was spared, the relief from threatening Assyria was to be temporary. Meanwhile, Ahaz’s son Hezekiah became king (ruling from 715-687 B.C.). Hezekiah was a better king: more faithful, more trusting, and thus less fearful. He rid Judah of any elements of Canaanite religious practice and by 705 B.C. had courageously broken free of the alliance with Assyria. He fortified Jerusalem (and his faith) against the backlash that was sure to come from Assyria.

    Sure enough, in 701 B.C., Assyria came to collect past-due tribute and to assert who was boss. Jerusalem was surrounded with troops and her fate seemed sealed. But Isaiah summoned Hezekiah and Judah to courage:

    “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the king of Assyria: He shall not come into this city, or shoot an arrow here, or come before it with a shield, or cast up a siege mound against it. By the way that he came, by the same he shall return, and he shall not come into this city, says the Lord. For I will defend this city to save it, for my own sake and for the sake of my servant David.” And the angel of the Lord went forth, and slew a hundred and eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, these were all dead bodies (Is 37:33–36).

    The Assyrian survivors left and returned by the way they had come. Their king, Sennacherib, returned home and was killed by his own sons.

    A fear rebuked brought victory to Judah. Now maybe people would listen to Isaiah and trust God rather than foreign alliances! Well, not so fast. Hezekiah, who had been ill but miraculously recovered, started to get awfully friendly with the Babylonians, who were then emerging as a power to the east. Faith and trust are surely difficult things, especially for a king.

    Because it looked like another alliance was being formed with a pagan state, Isaiah warned,

    “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: Behold, the days are coming, when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up till this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. And some of your own sons, who are born to you, shall be taken away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days” (Is 39:5–8).

    Hezekiah’s selfish response reminds me of an old saying of my father’s: “People disappoint.” Alliances and dalliances with foreign lands and a corresponding lack of trust in God would continue to plague Judah despite miracles against Assyria.

    We know little of Isaiah’s final demise. According to an extra-biblical tradition (and hinted at in Hebrews 11:37), he died by being sawed in half by Hezekiah’s unfaithful son, Manasseh. If the tradition is true, Manasseh answered to God for Isaiah’s murder.

    Lessons from Isaiah:

    Despite often disappointing results, Isaiah never gave up. God told him to prophesy and so he did. Isaiah lived what he preached. He feared God, not man. He never thought twice about going up to kings and declaring to their faces, “Thus saith the Lord!” Isaiah was willing to rebuke and encourage people regardless of their standing.

    In the end, Isaiah’s message is remarkably clear: Do not fear! Clearly, fear leads all of us to a lot of foolish decisions. It is through fear that the devil holds us in bondage (Heb 2:15). The solution to fear is trust in God. And even if we were to be killed, we would still win, for the martyr’s crown would await us. Do not fear!

    Why were foreign alliances so troubling to Isaiah? First of all, they manifested a lack of trust in the Lord with the following thinking: “Can God really save us? Maybe, but just in case He doesn’t come through, let’s make sure we have a plan B.” Hmm … not much faith there! But second (and related) the secular states of today were unknown at that time. People and nations were deeply religious. Alliances with foreign lands meant marriages to foreign queens as well as adopting the false religions of those nations and queens. Can someone say, “Jezebel”? Or how about Solomon and his 1000 wives and all their foreign gods? It was his folly that led to a divided Jewish nation and that introduced the wicked practices of the Baals and other Canaanite atrocities. These alliances manifested a lack of trust in God and introduced, inevitably, the adultery of “sleeping with” other gods.

    An admonition is in order for us as well. As a Church, we ought to be wary of too many entanglements or partnerships with our increasingly hostile secular government. Many strings are attached to the federal and state monies we accept to serve the poor, give tuition assistance, etc. Compromises are increasingly demanded of us. Sadly, some sectors of the Church (especially certain universities) are caving in to the power and slavery of money and are compromising on same-sex unions and providing contraception (and even abortifacients) to their employees through health care plans. Large blocks of federal money are currently administered by Catholic charitable organizations. These government entanglements increasingly demand compromises of us and it is only going to get worse. Beware! We need to shift back to using our own monies to care for the poor. We need to be willing to say no to funding that comes with the demand to make compromises we cannot make. Serving the poor is important, but we cannot let even that become an idol. And frankly, if we are using mostly government money, can we really say that we are serving the poor? Are we not, rather, merely administering a government program? The Pope recently warned that the Church is not merely an NGO (non-governmental organization, voluntary and not-for-profit).

    Individual Catholics would also do well to be more hesitant to form political alliances. Too often, we allow political views to overrule our faith. Catholics need to be Catholics first, and be willing to denounce sin and evil no matter who perpetrates it or promotes it.

    Alliances are often dangerous things. Too easily do we slip into adultery with the world. Beware! Compromise is ugly; adultery is a disgraceful betrayal of the Lord, whom we should fear and love.

    Do not be afraid!

    Saint Isaiah, pray for us!

    The post Who Was Isaiah and What Does His Message Mean for Us? appeared first on Community in Mission.

  12. Site: Restore-DC-Catholicism
    6 hours 22 min ago
    Author: noreply@blogger.com (Restore-DC-Catholicism)
  13. Site: Rorate Caeli
    7 hours 31 min ago
    December 8, 2019 The appointment of Tagle as Prefect for Propaganda Fide is an important signal for many reasons. But most of all because it gives grounds to suppose that Pope Bergoglio believes the end of his pontificate is nigh. An intuition, obviously; nonetheless, justifiable, if you consider another decision  taken - for no apparent reason - some weeks ago.  We are referring Francesca Romanahttp://www.blogger.com/profile/05458124297326049975noreply@blogger.com
  14. Site: AsiaNews.it
    8 hours 30 min ago

    In the prayer composed for the Immaculate, Francis said that "it is not the same to be a sinner and to be corrupt: it is very different. It is one thing to fall, but then, repent, confess and get up again with the help of God's mercy. Another thing is the hypocritical connivance with evil, the corruption of the heart, which is impeccable outside, but inside it is full of bad intentions and petty selfishness”.

  15. Site: Global Research
    8 hours 47 min ago
    Author: Stephen Lendman

    December 7, 2019 is the 78th anniversary of what Franklin Roosevelt called “a date which will live in infamy (when) the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”

    The post Pearl Harbor Revisited: Dispelling Surprise Attack Mythology appeared first on Global Research.

  16. Site: Eccles is saved
    9 hours 20 min ago
    Allies of Pope Francis have been reacting furiously to the news that an art work, "Pachabanana", consisting of a banana taped to the wall, has been eaten.

    banana art work

    "Hail to thee, Pachabanana!"

    Bought by Cardinal Becciu Investments Inc. for $120,000, the Pachabanana idol is a fruit of the recent Amazonian Synod, being part of the indigenous culture of Latin America. At the synod, Pope Francis took part in a service at which the participants worshipped the banana. Its skins have even been exported to the Slipper chapel at Walsingham in England, "to make it more slippery".

    The eater of the Pachabanana has been variously described as a "vandal", a "fascist", an "insult to the Virgin Mary" by the usual suspects, and Pope Francis is also said to be annoyed.

    man eating banana

    Alexander Tschugguel, The desecrator of Pachabanana.

    In other news, the Vatican has been spending its "Peter's Pence", donated by the faithful, on making movies. The first one is said to be a porno film about the life of   Fr James Martin, starring Elton John   Elton John, starring Fr James Martin.

    It is expected that the Vatican's second film will be "The Pachamama family", the wacky story of a dysfunctional family, consisting of Pachapapa, Pachamama, and the twins Pacha-Austen and Pacha-Dawn. When Pachagranny decides to come and stay, there are hilarious consequences, and Pachamama is pushed into the river!

  17. Site: Global Research
    9 hours 43 min ago
    Author: Prof. James Petras

    The task of imperial rulers is to fabricate a world in which the enemy is portrayed as an ‘invader’ or an ‘aggressor’

    The post Provocations as Pretexts for Imperial War: From Pearl Harbor to 9/11 appeared first on Global Research.

  18. Site: Global Research
    9 hours 57 min ago
    Author: Prof. Graeme McQueen

    Featured image: A destroyed Vindicator at Ewa field, the victim of one of the smaller attacks on the approach to Pearl Harbor (Source: Wikimedia Commons). First published on December 4, 2017

    December 7, 1941. Seventy-eight years ago. incisive …

    The post Remember Pearl Harbor: Provoking Japan, Provoking North Korea appeared first on Global Research.

  19. Site: Catholic Herald
    10 hours 5 min ago
    Author: Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
    Charged with the Church’s missionary works and territories, Propaganda Fide is one of the largest curial departments
  20. Site: Ron Paul Institute - Featured Articles
    10 hours 36 min ago
    Author: Martin Sieff
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    “Old Age,” the great French President Charles De Gaulle famously said, “is a shipwreck.” We should certainly feel that way about the 70th birthday celebrations of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – the most venerable security alliance and organization in the world.

    The London Summit made it clear to the whole world: NATO at 70 has become a global joke.

    NATO does not strengthen the defensive capabilities of its members against real threats such as illegal immigration, pandemic diseases, transnational crime, drugs and human trafficking and the destabilization and smashing of state structures around the world. On the contrary it has become a major factor in destroying resistance to those pathologies.

    The Atlantic Alliance is a simulacrum – a counterfeit: It offers an alluring image of security to its member states while in reality encouraging them to tear down the defenses and security agency antibodies they need to maintain true security and sovereignty.

    Those major nations like Russia and China that successfully strive to protect their own integrity, sovereignty and security are then subjected to waves of abuse and attempted destabilization. Then they are accused of the very crimes and excesses that NATO’s leading members are themselves guilty of.

    NATO was allegedly created to protect the nations of Western Europe from the threat of the Soviet Union and also to provide a security framework that would unite the nations of Western Europe and prevent them from going to war ever again.

    But as early as 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis had convinced De Gaulle, the greatest European strategist and diplomatic thinker of the past three generations that the opposite was the case. He defied very real and formidable pressures from Washington, London and Brussels to pull France out of NATO”s unified military command structure, while keeping the United Kingdom out of the then-small but tightly integrated and very dynamic six-nation European Economic Community.

    Almost 60 years ago, De Gaulle could already clearly see that far from bringing peace and security to Europe, the NATO Alliance was generating fear, distrust and a hugely expensive arms race instead.

    The London Summit that was meant to showcase the Alliance as the glittering capstone of global security in the 21st century backfired instead in the most ludicrous of ways.

    Far from being a sage gathering of dignified and seasoned statesmen and women, it resembled nothing more than the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in “Alice in Wonderland” – offering a bizarre and genuinely disquieting subversion of all the solemn values it claimed to celebrate: Another cheap, gimcrack simulacrum, in fact.

    A generation of spoiled brats and preening narcissists played at being statesmen and stateswomen: They howled like babies deprived of a sweet to suck on when US President Donald Trump as the only adult in the room told them they could not have security and stability unless they were willing to pay for it.

    In reality, of course, NATO does not uphold and protect world peace at all: It is in the business of relentlessly eroding global security and setting the great nations of the Northern Hemisphere on a hell-for-leather collision course to full-scale, no-holds-barred thermonuclear war.

    What else can come from regular major military exercises recently called Anaconda that are openly proclaimed to encircle, bully, intimidate and ultimately crush Russia? (Never a Wise Plan!)

    Like an old, dying person no longer in control of his basic bodily functions, NATO now cannot refrain spreading violence and excrement on neighboring nations all around its periphery.

    How can the toppling of a stable, democratically-elected government in Ukraine in 2014 and its replacement with a corrupt, brawling gangster clique upheld by open neo-Nazis be seen as improving prospects for peace in Europe?

    How can the incessant NATO and US meddling in and virtual colonization of a small country like Georgia, traditionally in Russia’s orbit and without even sufficient resources to be attractive for imperialist exploitation be seen as bringing stability rather than fear, distrust and war to Eurasia?

    How successful were NATO’s adventures in toppling or attempting to topple stable governments in Libya and Syria? What were the consequences of those ghastly fake macho adventures?

    The only outcome was the spread of Islamist extremism and the massacre of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in nations that had previously succeeded in keeping such horrors far outside their borders.

    The clear truth is that NATO, its leaders and its planners have become virulent and they have become mad.

    The pathological behaviors and dementia of the Alliance and its leaders are consistent and clear. Far from protecting the West and deterring a world war, NATO is making it inevitable by piling on the pressure and creating horrific and dangerous new flashpoints of instability across Eurasia.

    The 75-year-old Treaty of London signed back in 1839 propelled the British Empire into World War I and destroyed it. NATO at 70 poses an even greater danger to the American people.

    To flee the Alliance is the best hope to survive the horrors that its leaders and policymakers seem determined to bring upon themselves and the rest of the human race.

    Reprinted with permission from Strategic Culture Foundation.
  21. Site: Ron Paul Institute - Featured Articles
    10 hours 53 min ago
    Author: Ryan McMaken
    undefined

    By 1989, it had become apparent to all — everyone except the CIA, of course — that the Soviet economy, and thus the Soviet state was in very deep trouble. 

    In November 1989, the Berlin Wall came down in the face of Soviet impotence. And, with the Cold-War corpse not even cold yet, president George Bush used the newly apparent Soviet weakness as an opportunity to expand US foreign interventionism beyond the limits that had been imposed on it by a competing Soviet Union. Over the next decade, Bush and his successor Bill Clinton — who very much carried on Bush's ideals of global interventionism — would place Iraq, Somalia, and Yugoslavia in the crosshairs.

    But first on Bush's list was Panama in December 1989. At the time, the Panamanian state was an authoritarian regime that stayed in power largely due to US support, and functioned as an American puppet state in Central America where Communists were often successful in overthrowing right-wing dictatorships. The US regime's man in Panama was Manuel Noriega. But, after he stopped taking orders from Washington, Noriega became the first in a long line of foreign politicians who were held up as the next "Hitler" by the American propaganda machine. This was done in order to justify what would become an endless policy of invading tiny foreign countries that are no threat to the US — mostly done in the name of "humanitarian" intervention. 

    Writing in April 1990, Murray Rothbard summed up the situation in Panama:  The US invasion of Panama was the first act of military intervention in the new post-Cold War world — the first act of war since 1945 where the United States has not used Communism or "Marxism-Leninism" as the effective all-purpose alibi. Coming so soon after the end of the Cold War, the invasion was confused and chaotic — a hallmark of Bushian policy in general. Bush's list of alleged reasons for the invasion were a grab-bag of haphazard and inconsistent arguments — none of which made much sense.

    The positive vaunting was, of course, prominent: what was called, idiotically, the "restoration of democracy" in Panama. When in blazes did Panama ever have a democracy? Certainly not under Noriega's beloved predecessor and mentor, the US's Panama Treaty partner, General Omar Torrijos. The alleged victory of the unappetizing Guillermo Endara in the abortive Panamanian election was totally unproven. The "democracy" the US imposed was peculiar, to say the least: swearing in Endara and his "cabinet" in secrecy on a US army base.

    It was difficult for our rulers to lay on the Noriega "threat" very heavily: Since Noriega, whatever his other sins, is obviously no Marxist-Leninist, and since the Cold War is over anyway it would have been tricky; even embarrassing, to try to paint Noriega and his tiny country as a grave threat to big, powerful United States. And so the Bush administration laid on the "drug" menace with a trowel, braving the common knowledge that Noriega himself was a longtime CIA creature and employee whose drug trafficking was at the very least condoned by the US for many years.

    The administration therefore kept stressing that Noriega was simply a "common criminal" who had been indicted in the US (for actions outside the US — so why not indict every other head of state as well — all of whom have undoubtedly committed crimes galore?) so that the invasion was simply a police action to apprehend an alleged fugitive. But what real police action — that is, police action over a territory over which the government has a virtual monopoly of force —involves total destruction of an entire working-class neighborhood, the murder of hundreds of Panamanian civilians as well as American soldiers, and the destruction of a half-billion dollars of civilian property?

    The invasion also contained many bizarre elements of low comedy: There was the US government's attempt to justify the invasion retroactively by displaying Noriega's plundered effects: porno in the desk drawer (well, gee, that sure justifies mass killing and destruction of property), the obligatory picture of Hitler in the closet (Aha! the Nazi threat again!), the fact that Noriega was stocking a lot of Soviet-made arms (a Commie as well as a Nazi, and "paranoid" too — the deluded fool was actually expecting an American invasion!). It's almost darkly comedic how easy it has been to convince the American people to go along with nearly any justification for invading a foreign country, no matter how flimsy. It may be hard for my younger readers to comprehend, but in the late 80s, the American public was so hysterical with fear over street drugs, that it struck many Americans as perfectly reasonable to invade a foreign country, burn down a neighborhood, and send the US Army to lay siege to Panama's presidential headquarters to catch a single drug kingpin. 

    After Panama, President Bush moved on to Iraq.

    In 1991, Saddam Hussein became the next Hitler, with the media hinting that if left unchecked, Hussein would invade the entire Middle East. "He gassed his own people!" was the endless refrain. The other justification was that Saddam's government had invaded another country. Rothbard, of course, noted the irony of this "justification":  But, "he invaded a small country." Yes, indeed he did. But, are we ungracious for bringing up the undoubted fact that none other than George Bush, not long ago, invaded a very small country: Panama? And to the unanimous huzzahs of the same US media and politicians now denouncing Saddam? The Iraq War was an even greater political success than the Panama war. But more importantly, George Bush provided an immeasurably wonderful service to the national security state by making war popular again, after more than a decade of the so-called "Vietnam Syndrome." As Bush so enthusiastically declared after the end of the Gulf War, "The ghosts of Vietnam have been laid to rest beneath the sands of the Arabian desert."

    Americans, however, would have done well to keep up with a healthy dose of post-Vietnam cynicism. After all, the 1991 Gulf War — a war said to be humanitarian in nature — accomplished little more than to empower Saudi Arabia, a brutal Islamist dictatorship ruled by friends of the Bush family, and which currently wages a blood-soaked war in Yemen against women and children.

    But, thanks to Bush's efforts, war in America was made popular again, and the stage was set for years of follow-up wars waged by Bush successors.

    The Clinton Years

    By the mid-1990s, Slobodan Milošević was the new Hitler, stepping in to replace Noriega and Hussein as the world's greatest threats to peace.

    The downside of these new Hitlers, of course, was that any reasonable person could see that none of them were any threat whatsoever to the United States. 

    Even the call for "humanitarian" action rung a little untrue for more astute observers. After all, it struck many people as curious as to why Serbia required bombing for its human rights violations while the genocide in Rwanda — which was occurring right around the same time — was steadfastly ignored by Washington. If human rights were such a major concern for the US state in the 90s, why was there no invasion of North Korea in response to the horrors of the death camps there? 

    New life was breathed into the military-interventionist camp after 2001 by Osama bin Laden. But "humanitarian" missions and the search for the next Hitler continue to this day. 

    In 2011, the usual tactics were employed to justify the invasion of Libya — which only made the country a breeding ground for ISIS and Al-Qaeda. 

    And today, of course, we hear the same things about Bashar Assad in Syria. Like Noriega, Hussein, Milošević, and Qaddafi before him, Assad is obviously no threat to the US or its residents. Indeed, Assad is fighting people who potentially are a threat to US residents. But, since the US military establishment wants Assad gone, some excuse must be manufactured for an invasion.

    Ultimately, Rothbard concluded that these methods can be employed against any regime on earth, and wrote sarcastically in 1994: "'we cannot stand idly by' while anyone anywhere starves, hits someone over the head, is undemocratic, or commits a Hate Crime": We must face the fact that there is not a single country in the world that measures up to the lofty moral and social standards that are the hallmark of the USA.: even Canada is delinquent and deserves a whiff of grape. There is not a single country in the world which, like the US, reeks of democracy and "human rights," and is free of crime and murder and hate thoughts and undemocratic deeds. Very few other countries are as Politically Correct as the US, or have the wit to impose a massively statist program in the name of "freedom," "free trade," "multiculturalism," and "expanding democracy."

    And so, since no other countries shape up to US standards in a world of Sole Superpower they must be severely chastised by the US I make a Modest Proposal for the only possible consistent and coherent foreign policy: the US must, very soon, Invade the Entire World! Sanctions are peanuts; we must invade every country in the world, perhaps softening them up beforehand with a wonderful high-tech missile bombing show courtesy of CNN. George Bush's wars would prove to be only an introduction to what was to come during the next 25 years of American foreign policy: target a foreign regime that poses no threat to the US, and manufacture a nice-sounding reason for doing so. Today, the methods are the same, and only the names have changed. 

    Reprinted with permission from Mises.org.
  22. Site: Global Research
    10 hours 53 min ago
    Author: EWG

    The European Union today confirmed it will ban the use of the pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops early next year, citing the risk of brain damage to children – evidence the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ignored in scuttling a proposed

    The post Pesticides in the Food You Eat and the Water You Drink. “U.S. Kids Continue to be Exposed” appeared first on Global Research.

  23. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 1 min ago
    Author: Larry Romanoff

    The secret US government and the European bankers have cherished this plan of an American fascist dictatorship for many decades, a plan that almost succeeded when a group of  American financiers (including George H. W. Bush’s father Prescott Bush)

    The post The Planned 1933 Fascist Coup in America appeared first on Global Research.

  24. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 5 min ago
    Author: Manlio Dinucci

    Macron ha parlato di «morte cerebrale» della Nato, altri la definiscono «moribonda». Siamo dunque di fronte a una Alleanza che, senza più una testa pensante, si sta sgretolando per effetto delle fratture interne? I litigi al Summit di Londra sembrano …

    The post Summit Nato, si rafforza il partito della guerra appeared first on Global Research.

  25. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 7 min ago
    Author: Yves Engler

    Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that the sun never sets on the military their taxes pay for.

    This country is not formally at war yet more than 2,100 Canadian troops are sprinkled across the globe. According to the

    The post Sun Never Sets on Canadian Military appeared first on Global Research.

  26. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 8 min ago
    Author: Johanna Ross

    He’s been termed a ‘national security risk’ and an ‘enemy of the state’ by the mainstream media. On Sky News recently former Conservative and Times columnist Matthew Parris referred to his ‘mad’ conspiracy theories as he discussed with other journalists

    The post Why the UK Establishment Hates Jeremy Corbyn appeared first on Global Research.

  27. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 9 min ago
    Author: F. William Engdahl

    In early 2014 Washington staged a blatant coup d’etat in Ukraine breaking the historic relationship with Russia and setting the stage for the subsequent NATO demonization of Russia. The one in charge for the Obama Administration of the Ukraine coup

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  28. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 11 min ago
    Author: Andre Vltchek

    Depois de terminar o meu trabalho no Médio Oriente, pelos menos por agora, estava à espera do meu voo para Santiago do Chile. Em Paris. Podia contar com alguns dias “livres”, a processar o que ouvi e testemunhei em Beirute. …

    The post As mentiras que o Ocidente cria e depois consome appeared first on Global Research.

  29. Site: 4Christum
    11 hours 25 min ago


    by Rev. Joseph Cacella, 1947

    FIRST DAY
    Intention: Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Jesus, Our Lady of Fatima, inspire me to grieve sincerely for the sins that weigh heavily upon the souls of men. Sorrowfully I recall the bitter and harsh punishments heaped upon thy Divine Son, when He was cruelly scourged at the pillar, unmercifully crowned with thorns. I recall His sad journey to Calvary, His Crucifixion, and ignominious death on the cross. Yet, they were but the instruments of pain. It was my sins that really caused His Precious Blood to be shed. His excessive love willed that He should suffer for my salvation. Thus, I will give my little love to make amends and atone for a thoughtless and unappreciative world.

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, you who suffered, and shared with Him each pain caused and inflicted by our sins, intercede for us that we may be privileged to unite our hearts with yours in an effort to make reparation for our sins, and the sins of ungrateful mankind. Amen.
    Our Lady of Fatima inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    SECOND DAY
    Intention: Greater love and appreciation for the Rosary

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of the most holy Rosary, teach us to love those little beads. In every trial, tribulation and sorrow they have been a source of comfort to all who trust in you. We are happy in the possession of our Rosaries. May your Rosary, O Immaculate Heart of Mary, ever strengthen us in all our weaknesses, be our peace in time of affliction, comfort in all matters of doubt, courage in time of temptation, and a source of consolation throughout all our days on this earth. May it be a strong influence on us in success or in failure. In all things, may we live in peaceful union with thee through the medium of thy Rosary. Amen.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Rosary, inflame our hearts with the love of reparation.






    THIRD DAY
    Intention: The True Peace of Christ

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of Jesus and Our Mother, we pray that the hope and promise made by you at Fatima will soon be realized. Our friends and family made the supreme sacrifice, and our loved ones languished in the horror and hardships that came upon a world at war. We know it is your ardent wish and desire that there be peace in the world, and it is only through Reparation to your Immaculate Heart that such can be accomplished. You have told us your wish in the Message of Fatima: Reparation through the Rosary and the practice of the First Saturdays. We beg of you. Oh Mary Immaculate, that, through your pleadings, our prayers and example may show the world the road to the true peace which the world itself cannot give. Bless, we beseech thee, our country, and inspire us and our leaders to receive, understand, and promote that glorious Message delivered by you at Fatima.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of Peace, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    FOURTH DAY
    Intention: Relief for the Souls in Purgatory

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother most merciful, to thee do we plead the cause of the poor suffering souls in purgatory, especially those most abandoned. In obedience to thy request at Fatima, we beg for their relief. Oh Mother most merciful, we ask thee to lessen their toll of expiation. Deign to accept our humble prayers and sacrifice in reparation and payment for the punishment that is due from them. We pray that through the treasures of your Divine Son, your own special merits, and those of the saints, that God may be mindful of our prayers on behalf of the suffering souls in Purgatory, and bring them into His Kingdom to love and serve Him forever. Amen.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Mother most merciful, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    FIFTH DAY
    Intention: Salvation of Souls

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Virgin most powerful, we know that the vision of the terrible fires of hell which you showed to the three little shepherd children at Fatima, was really meant for us. We beseech thee, Oh Mother Mary, to spare us the fate of a judgment that ordains such a punishment. Grant unto us a faith so strong that we may ever realize that the evil of sin will be justly repaid with eternal punishment. I believe in the Infinite Justice of the one true God and the Infinite Love of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We pray and beseech thee that through your intercession we may be given the grace to live so worthy a life on earth, as to enjoy the reward of eternal happiness in the kingdom of thy Divine Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Virgin most powerful, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    SIXTH DAY
    Intention: Purity of Body and Soul

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Virgin most pure, have compassion on those who are prone to the allurements of impurity. Give us, we beseech thee, strength to overcome our weaknesses, and courage in the struggle against sin. We know it is your ardent wish that we renew our pledge of holy purity. Oh, Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate to thee here and now, without reserve, our eyes, ears, tongues, hearts--our whole beings. We promise that, with thy help, we shall be steady in our purpose to serve thee with undefiled chastity. Give us the courage to resist all temptations, and to avoid all things that may be the occasion of sin.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Virgin most pure, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    SEVENTH DAY
    Intention: Forgiveness of Sin

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of Sinners, to whom else will we turn in our sorrow for sin, if not to thee. From whom shall we find comfort and consolation, in the shame of our sins, except from thee? Lead us back, dear Mother of Love, to the path of righteousness that leads to the Sacred Heart of thy Divine Son. We have sinned often, oh dear Mother, and the remembrances of the errors of our ways trouble us. It shall be no more. We know that thy protecting care will find peace and hope for us, and the remission of our sins. We know too that as with Mary Magdalene of old, thy Son shall welcome us with a loving smile, because you have always pleaded for us. Amen.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Refuge of sinners, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    EIGHTH DAY
    Intention: Conversion of Russia

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Refuge of the human race, you have given unto us the means of destroying the menace of atheism and godless communism. Your Promise of conversion for those unfortunate victims of those false beliefs, has instilled joy and hope into the nations of the earth. We grieve for those war-torn, homeless and persecuted people who are victims of such mundane ideology. Grant, we beseech thee. Oh Mother, that peace may come to those separated from thy Son by error and discord. We fail, if we heed not thy Message of Fatima. We know thy wishes, and therefore we promise to make Reparation to thy Immaculate Heart through the Rosary and the Five First Saturdays, that Russia again may hear the word of God, and keep it.
    Our Lady of Fatima, Refuge of the human race, inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation.




    NINTH DAY
    Intention: The Spiritual Welfare of our Children

    Oh Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother of the Infant Babe of Bethlehem, and Our Mother, enkindle in our hearts the spark of youthful innocence. We know of thy great love for little children. It was to innocent children that you deigned to appear, revealing the Message of Fatima, and charging them with its propagation. We know no better way to show our regard for them, dear Mother, than to offer our prayers for all children everywhere.

    Therefore, O Mother dear, we ask thee to watch over all children in all parts of the world, to guard and protect their homes, to preserve the schools wherein they learn, and to keep them from being tainted with godless education. Direct them in their play and in all their works, that they may grow in age, wisdom, and the love of God. Grant too, Blessed Mother, that the prayers of our children may hasten the end of all wars of carnage and devastation and grant unto this world an era of just and lasting peace. We pray that the world may return to Jesus, thy Son, through Reparation to thy Immaculate Heart.
    Our Lady of Fatima, we beseech thee to inflame our hearts with the love of Reparation. 
  30. Site: Global Research
    11 hours 28 min ago
    Author: Derrick Z. Jackson

    Just as the world’s scientists warn us in the strongest language yet that nations must ratchet up commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce fossil fuel emissions, the climate-denying Trump administration rolls out yet more plans to make things

    The post The Trump Administration’s Latest: A Plan to Foul the Alaska Arctic appeared first on Global Research.

  31. Site: ChurchPOP
    11 hours 32 min ago
    Author: ChurchPOP Editor

    How do you really make a good Eucharistic Holy Hour? Fr. Mark-Mary and Mother Clare of the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of

    The post Struggle With Your Holy Hour? This Priest & Nun Explain Exactly How to Do It appeared first on .

  32. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    12 hours 7 min ago
    Author: abyssum

    A Meditation on Proverbs 16 is the cure for the failed Renunciation

    Dec8 , 2019

    by The Editor

    https://fromrome.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/a-meditation-on-proverbs-16-is-the-cure-for-the-failed-renunciation/

    Book of Proverbs: Chapter 16

    (Latin text is the Clementine Vulgate. The English translation of each paragraph by Br. Bugnolo)

    [1] Hominis est animam praeparare, et Domini gubernare linguam. [2] Omnes viae hominis patent oculis ejus; spirituum ponderator est Dominus. [3] Revela Domino opera tua, et dirigentur cogitationes tuae. [4] Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus; impium quoque ad diem malum. [5] Abominatio Domini est omnis arrogans; etiamsi manus ad manum fuerit, non est innocens. Initium viae bonae facere justitiam; accepta est autem apud Deum magis quam immolare hostias.

    1. It belongs to man to prepare the soul, and to God to govern the tongue. 2. All the ways of a man lie open to His eyes; a weigher of spirits is the Lord. 3. Reveal to the Lord thy works, and thy thoughts will be set aright. 4. Each and every thing has the Lord wrought for Himself; the impious, too, for the evil day. 5. An abomination to the Lord is every arrogant (man); even if it be done hand in hand with others, he is not innocent. The beginning of the good way is to work justice; it is, moreover, more accepted before God than the sacrifice of holocausts.

    [6] Misericordia et veritate redimitur iniquitas, et in timore Domini declinatur a malo. [7]Cum placuerint Domino viae hominis, inimicos quoque ejus convertet ad pacem. [8]Melius est parum cum justitia, quam multi fructus cum iniquitate. [9] Cor hominis disponit viam suam, sed Domini est dirigere gressus ejus. [10] Divinatio in labiis regis; in judicio non errabit os ejus.

    6. By mercy and truth is iniquity redeemed, and in the fear of the Lord does one turn away from evil. 7. When the ways of a man are pleasing to the Lord, He also converts his enemies to peace. 8. Better is a little with justice, than the enjoyment of much with iniquity. 9. The heart of a man arranges his own way, but it belongs to the Lord to direct his steps. 10. Divination is on the lips of the king; in judgement there shall not err his mouth.

    [11] Pondus et statera judicia Domini sunt, et opera ejus omnes lapides sacculi. [12]Abominabiles regi qui agunt impie, quoniam justitia firmatur solium. [13] Voluntas regum labia justa; qui recta loquitur diligetur. [14] Indignatio regis nuntii mortis, et vir sapiens placabit eam. [15] In hilaritate vultus regis vita, et clementia ejus quasi imber serotinus.

    11. Weight and balance are the judgements of the Lord, and His works all the weights for the measure. 12. Abominable the kings who act impiously, since the throne is made firm by justice. 13. The will of kings, just lips; he who speaks upright words shall be loved. 14. The indignation of the king, the messengers of death, and the wise man shall placate his wrath. 15. In hilarity, the face of the king, life, and his clemency as an evening downpour.

    [16] Posside sapientiam, quia auro melior est, et acquire prudentiam, quia pretiosior est argento. [17] Semita justorum declinat mala; custos animae suae servat viam suam. [18]Contritionem praecedit superbia, et ante ruinam exaltatur spiritus. [19] Melius est humiliari cum mitibus, quam dividere spolia cum superbis. [20] Eruditus in verbo reperiet bona, et qui sperat in Domino beatus est.

    16. Take hold of wisdom, because she is better than gold, and acquire prudence, because she is more precious than silver. 17. The paths of the just turn aside evils; the guardian of one’s own soul keeps his own way. 18. Pride precedes destruction, and before a ruin the spirit is exalted. 19. Better is it to be humbled with the meek, than to divide spoils with the proud. 20. The learned in word shall find good things, and he who hopes in the Lord is blessed.

    [21] Qui sapiens est corde appellabitur prudens, et qui dulcis eloquio majora percipiet. [22] Fons vitae eruditio possidentis; doctrina stultorum fatuitas. [23] Cor sapientis erudiet os ejus, et labiis ejus addet gratiam. [24] Favus mellis composita verba; dulcedo animae sanitas ossium. [25] Est via quae videtur homini recta, et novissima ejus ducunt ad mortem.

    21. He who is wise in heart shall be called “prudent”, and the one sweet in speech shall perceive greater things. 22. A fountain of life, the erudition of the one possessing her: the doctrine of fools is fatuousness. 23. The heart of the wise man shall teach his mouth, and shall add grace to his lips. 24. A comb of honey, well ordered words; the sweetness of the soul, the health of one’s bones. 25. There is a way which seems right to a man, and his last steps on it lead to death.

    [26] Anima laborantis laborat sibi, quia compulit eum os suum. [27] Vir impius fodit malum, et in labiis ejus ignis ardescit. [28] Homo perversus suscitat lites, et verbosus separat principes. [29] Vir iniquus lactat amicum suum, et ducit eum per viam non bonam. [30] Qui attonitis oculis cogitat prava, mordens labia sua perficit malum.

    26. The soul of the one laboring labors for itself, because his own mouth compels him. 27. The impious man digs up evil, and on his lips a fire burns. 28. A perverse man incites arguments, and the verbose sows division among princes. 29. The iniquitous man milks his own friend, and leads him through a way which is not good. 30. He who with stunned eyes thinks of depraved things, as one biting his own lips perfects evil.

    [31] Corona dignitatis senectus, quae in viis justitiae reperietur. [32] Melior est patiens viro forti; et qui dominatur animo suo, expugnatore urbium. [33] Sortes mittuntur in sinum, sed a Domino temperantur.

    31. A crown of dignity the old age, which is found upon the ways of justice. 32. Better is the patient one to the strong man; and he who dominates his own spirit, than the victorious besieger of cities. 33. Lots are cast into the lap, but they are sorted out by the Lord.

    ______________

    There is more than ample doctrine here to put in proper perspective how evil it would be to presume to dispose of the Petrine Munus in a divided or bifurcated papacy, and how such an act of pride would bring destruction upon everyone in the Church. Also, how humility does NOT consist in being patient with the evils one has brought upon the Church, but rather in undoing the evil done and returning to the example of all previous popes, who served until death, or resigned the whole papal office and ministry, keeping nothing for themselves.

    For more information about what I speak, see Ann Barnhardt’s post on Ganswein’s talk at the Gregorian University.

    CREDITS: Latin text, from the Clementine Vulgate, online. Photo from https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/monastic-views-lectio-divina-2162 an article on Lectio Divina, showing a Benedictine monk of Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery, Silver City, NM.

  33. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    12 hours 17 min ago
    Author: abyssum

    The Primacy of Jesus and the Church’s Liturgical Year

    Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

    SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2019

    Today, even at the highest ecclesial levels, the importance of Catholic doctrine is disparaged. In particular, Jesus is reduced to one of many founders of divinely willed religions.  I was contemplating this sad reality on the recent Solemnity of Christ the King, the celebration of Jesus Christ as the definitive Lord and universal Savior.  In the entire cosmos, he alone holds primacy of place.  There is no name greater, and therefore, there is no one superior to Jesus, the incarnate, only begotten, Spirit-filled Son of the Father.

    As I pondered this effective belittling of Jesus, the thought came to me that the Church’s liturgical year is both the safeguard and the promoter of Jesus’ primacy.  The climax of the Church’s liturgical year is the Feast of Christ the King. But then it begins again with Advent, the preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity, the birth of Jesus, the incarnate Father’s Son.

    Christmas is founded upon an event, a liturgical celebration, that took place nine months earlier on March 25, the Annunciation.  On that feast, the Church joyfully recalls the coming of the archangel Gabriel to Mary.  He is sent by the Father to announce to her that by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit she will conceive a son, whom she is to name Jesus – YHWH-Saves.  Gabriel informs Mary that her son will inherit the everlasting kingdom of David and will be called the Son of God.

    In these conjoined events, we celebrate the singular significance of Jesus.  Yes, Jesus is a man conceived and born of a woman. But conceived in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit.  No other event in the history of the world comes close to this marvelous truth, and, therefore, no other human being, past or future, can be greater than Jesus, the eternal Son of the living God.

    This is his divine identity, and it is unique to him.  No other religion lays claim to such a truth, and no founder of any other religion claims to have God as his very own divine Father.

    The best Mohammed can do, for example, is to profess that he is the greatest prophet – a  far cry from the truth that Jesus is the Son, the very Word, of his heavenly Father.

    Not surprisingly, then, the Church marks the dawn of the new calendar year, January 1, by celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, for with the birth of her son the dawn of a new and eternal life appears.  Mary, in herself, is the proclamation and the defender of the mystery of the Incarnation.  To honor Mary as the Mother of God is to honor her human son as the Father’s divine Son.

    *

    Who first proclaims this truth that Jesus is the Son of God?  The Father himself! At Jesus’ baptism, as the Holy Spirit descends upon him, the same Spirit by whose power he was conceived as man, the Father declares who Jesus is: “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

    The Father affirms, and so confirms, that his Son, Jesus, is God as he himself is God, for Jesus possesses fully the Father’s very divine Spirit of Sonship.  This declaration of Jesus’ divine identity is what we celebrate on the Feast of the Baptism of Jesus.  Once again, we find the Church’s liturgical year professing the primacy of Jesus.

    During Lent, the Church prepares to celebrate the definitive events by which Jesus becomes the universal Savior, the events in and through which he enacts his name, YHWH-Saves.  Through his passion and death, Jesus obtains the forgiveness of our sins, for he lovingly offers his holy and innocent life to his Father out of love for us.

    So pleased was the Father that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he raised his Son, Jesus, from the dead and at his ascension made him the Lord of glory.  In so doing the Father made Jesus truly Jesus, mankind’s singular, definitive Lord and universal Savior.

    The Father established Jesus, his glorious incarnate Son, as the first and the last, the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, and so King of kings, the Lord of lords.  During Holy Week, Easter, and the Ascension, the Church celebrates this mighty work of the Father made manifest in his incarnate Spirit-filled Son, Jesus Christ.

    To hold or to insinuate that Jesus is merely one of many “saviors” is not simply to denigrate Jesus but to insult the Father himself.  Ultimately, it is to sin against the Holy Spirit – the unforgivable sin!

    In order to reap Jesus’ salvific benefits, one must be united to him.  This is what the Church celebrates on the Solemnity of Pentecost.  As the risen Savior and Lord of all, Jesus pours out his Father’s Holy Spirit upon the Church so that all who believe in him and are baptized become new creations in him by sharing in his risen and glorious Spirit-filled life.

    This communion with the risen Jesus finds its fullest earthly expression in the Eucharist.  There the faithful share in his one saving sacrifice and partake of Jesus’ risen body and blood. The great mystery of the Eucharist is what the Church celebrates yearly on the Solemnity of Corpus Christ.  We become one body in Christ.

    This feast, too, declares the singularity and primacy of Jesus.  No other religion contains such a marvelous truth, for no other religion has a founder to whom one is so united as to be in communion with God the Father through the indwelling Spirit.

    So, we end where we began, with the Solemnity of Christ the King.  This feast anticipates the heavenly liturgy, a solemnity that will never end, for we await the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at the end of time, when we will share fully in his resurrection and ascend to our Father.  Then, in the Holy Spirit, every knee shall bend and every tongue shall proclaim that Jesus Christ alone is Lord to the glory of God the Father!

    *Image: Christ Blessing (The Saviour of the World) by El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos), c. 1600 [Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh]

    © 2019 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

    Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

    Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

    Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, serves as a member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Synoptic Gospels.

  34. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 31 min ago
    Author: Arnold August

    As stated in a previous article in this series of five pieces on the impact of Evo-Bolivia in Canada: “No power anywhere in the world can make the people turn their anti-imperialist movement into an appendage of the Trudeau government’s

    The post Evo Morales and Eduardo Galeano in … Quebec! appeared first on Global Research.

  35. Site: ABYSSUS ABYSSUM INVOCAT / DEEP CALLS TO DEEP
    12 hours 43 min ago
    Author: abyssum

      OCT. 1, 2019An Exorcist Explains Why the Devil Hates Bells So Much“The devil hates everything beautiful and the bells are specifically used to draw attention to the divine worship of God.”

    Patti Armstrong

    http://www.ncregister.com/blog/armstrong/an-exorcist-explains-why-the-devil-hates-bells

    “The devil hates bells,” a deacon involved in the deliverance ministry recently told my husband and me. He is actually our daughter’s father-in-law, so it was just a casual conversation—or at least for us.

    I had never heard of the bell-aversion, so during my next interview with an exorcist — this one from the mountain West — I asked about it. Father Theophilus (which means “loved of God” but it is not his real name because exorcists usually need to keep their identity secret) confirmed it. “Devils hate bells,” he said. “I use them in sessions all the time. I have a nicely-toned consecration bell that I use.”

    The devil has screamed, “Knock it off!” at the sound of bells during exorcisms and tried to knock them out of his hand. The Rite of Exorcism uses prayers and holy water, but Father Theophilus also brings many tools into the fight against evil such as music, chants, sacred art, a team of prayer warriors, holy water and blessed bells to overwhelm the devil.

    “Why bells?” I asked.

    “Satan is always attacking us through our senses,” he said. “So the liturgy itself needs to be a holy assault on our senses: our sight, our touch, our smells and hearing. We have prayed as a Church with all these sensual things, because she learned through millennia that this is what repels the enemy.”

    Father Theophilus uses his altar or sanctus handheld bells. “When these consecrated bells are used at Mass it is to say, ‘Look at him, the Word made Flesh!’” he said. “The bell humiliates the devil because it’s a non-rational object that is doing what they were made to do. They don’t want to adore God.”

    Another reason the devil hates bells is because they hate everything beautiful and holy, according to Father Theophilus. “We are moved by beauty,” he said. “It stirs our souls—beautiful music, beautiful prayers, flowers, beautiful tones… the devil hates everything beautiful and the bells are specifically used to draw attention to the divine worship of God.”

    It is customary to bless everything involved in the liturgy and to bless the church bells also, Father Theophilus said. “Blessings makes things holy — set apart for God. Everything in the liturgy needs to be set apart for God.”

    Just as the sanctus bells give glory to God, so too does the ringing of church bells, whether the church has an old cast-iron bell or an electronic recording, Father Theophilus explained. Both can be blessed. “Traditionally, church bells called us to prayer,” he said. “If you have an Angelus app on your phone, a bell will ring to alert you.”

    The Angelus is a Catholic prayer originating with an 11th-century monastic custom. Church bells called people at 6 a.m., 12 noon, and 6 p.m. to pray the Angelus—Latin for “angel.” People stopped what they were doing, knelt down and prayed. The Angelus commemorates the Incarnation when the Angel Gabriel declared to the Virgin Mary, and she responded: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to Thy word.” And the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us.

    A Blessing of Bells

    Here is a very beautiful blessing of the bells at St. Maria Goretti in Westfield, Indiana, which was done in 2017.

    Tonight, we as God’s people, ask God to bless and set aside these five bells, which are to be installed beginning tomorrow morning, for use in this holy church, for his service and his use. May by the Holy Spirit, God make these five bells hallowed through our prayer this night. So that when these bells are tolled and rung in the future, the faithful may be invited and called to the House of God and to everlasting life.

    May the Church’s faith and piety be made stronger whenever they hear its melodious peals. At the sound of these bells, may all evil spirits be driven far away!  May thunder and lightning, storm and tornado, hail and wind, and all kinds of evil be banished at the echoing of their sound. And may all evil flee at the sight of the holy cross that is engraved on each of them. May all evil and temptation flee at the sound of these bells.

    Tonight, we ask that our Lord, Jesus Christ, himself, grant this for us. Take notice of the incredible spiritual weight that the bells are given. Tonight, they become instruments of God’s power, in the war between heaven and hell.

    We pray tonight that whenever these bells may ring, may the ancient enemy take flight. May the Christian people unite and hear the call to faith. May the empire of Satan be terrified at their ringing. And may we as God’s people be strengthened as we are called together by these bells. May the sound of these bells be as pleasing to God as was Kind David’s playing of the harp in the Old Testament.

    And as the peals of thunder frightened and drove away an army of enemies while Samuel slayed an unblemished lamb as a holocaust to the Eternal King, so too, when these bells ring in the clouds over St. Maria Goretti and Westfield, as we gather in this church for the Eucharistic banquet, the ultimate sacrifice of the Eternal King, may legions of angels stand watch and guard over the assembly of your holy Church, to protect us in body and spirit.

    These bells will call down angels. Legions of them! God continues to watch over and protect his Church. These are no ordinary bells. And what we do tonight, is no ordinary blessing. And what we have built for God and am now close to completing, has eternal significance.

    Let us remember this from now on, every time we hear a church bell or bells, whether it be here or anywhere, in the world. With each ring and each peal, a spiritual power is being given to us by our God. May each ringing bell remind us to thank him for the many blessings in our lives.

  36. Site: PaulCraigRoberts.org
    12 hours 48 min ago
    Author: pcr3

    Help Truth Survive — Support Your Website

    Donate: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/donate/

    The Holocaust

    Paul Craig Roberts

    Having been fraudulently declared on Wikipedia by CIA and Zionist trolls to be a “Holocaust Denier,” I decided to see what that meant. I turned to Ron Unz’s article “American Pravda: Holocaust Denial.” Just as incompetent Wikipedia attributed David Irving’s views to me, no doubt Wikipedia will credit me with authorship of Ron Unz’s article.

    Ron Unz is a prolific reader who provides reliable accounts. His article reports on books that promote the official Holocaust story and on books that have researched the Holocaust and find facts different from the official story. The best way to get your feet wet on any subject is to see what Ron Unz has to say. Unz, of course, is thorough, because he understands the importance of truth. Reading his articles is like reading a monograph. This one is 18,000 words. It takes committment. You have to really want to know. The alternative is to read the dozen plus books that Unz reports on. So, it is either Unz’s 18,000 words or a couple of million words. I suggest the shortcut that Unz provides. If it spurs your interest, you can start on the books.

    Unz’s article begins with a map of Europe showing 15 countries in which any denial of the official Holocaust account, whether true or not, lands the denier in prison. http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-holocaust-denial/ I have always wondered why the story of The Holocaust, which has been used to extract billions of dollars from Switzerland and the German taxpayers and to shield Israel from its vast war crimes, violations of international law, and United Nations Resolutions (see Norman Finkelstein, The Holocaust Industry, https://www.amazon.com/Holocaust-Industry-Reflections-Exploitation-Suffering/dp/1781685614/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Norman+Finkelstein&qid=1575645211&s=books&sr=1-1), is thought by Zionists to be so fragile that it cannot stand challenge. A story that is true has nothing to fear from denial, as the facts will defend the story. If Zionists are confident of The Holocaust story, they should show their confidence by permitting their account to be examined and debated. The truth will emerge, and if Zionists are correct they will be vindicated.

    My interest in The Holocaust is not whether it is true or partly true or false.
    My interest is in its position as a dogma that causes 15 countries to imprison skeptics. Dogmas have not been popular in the Western world since scientists won the struggle with the Catholic Church over whether Earth or the Sun was the center of the solar system.

    For reasons of religious authority, the Church insisted that Earth was fixed and the Sun circled Earth. Astronomers said it was the opposite. Astronomers were at a disadvantage not only because the Church had more authority but also because everyone could see the Sun rise in the east, circle Earth and set in the west. No one could see Earth turning on its axis as it circled the Sun. It took imagination, reason, and abstract thought to see the process as it really was. Indeed, even today in the 21st century we still speak, incorrectly, of the Sun rising in the East and setting in the West, because that is what it looks like.

    I mention this controversy not to imply that dogmas are always incorrect and, therefore, that The Holocaust is incorrect like the Catholic Church. What concerns me about dogmas is not whether they are true or false but that they prohibit free inquiry. Science, democracy, civil liberty, and modern society are based on free inquiry, free speech, and free thought. Dogmas are inconsistent with free society; yet, we have an institutionalized dogma, supported by prison sentences if it is violated. If we can have one unchallengeable dogma, what’s to prevent a second, a third, a hundred, a thousand? It is a slippery slope.

    Indeed, we are already sliding down the slippery slope. For example, it has become extremely difficult, if not impossible, to investigate the genetic basis of intelligence. All sorts of people can be upset by findings of various inquiries, both scientific and scholarly. Once we start setting aside free inquiry because it upsets some people, where does that take us? As I wrote in my December 3, 2019 column, “Can Truth Be Our Future?” https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/12/03/can-truth-be-our-future/ it takes us back to pre-modern time when truth issued from the voice of authority and served authority. We are a lot closer to returning to this pre-modern time than we are aware.

    Another problem with the official Holocaust story is that it is so inflexible that there is no room for people who agree with it to correct errors. Suppose, for example, that German documents documenting The Holocaust were finally found, and the recorded number was 4 million. To publish the document would be risky in the 15 countries, because technically it denies the official figure of 6 million and thereby constitutes holocaust denial. David Irving, for example, found evidence that hundreds of thousands of Jews were massacred, but not in gas chambers, so his confirmation of Jewish deaths made him a Holocaust denier.

    My interest in The Holocaust is not its truth or falsity. My interest is in the precedent it sets for preventing free inquiry and debate. Other topics are already joining The Holocaust as issues closed to debate. It is obvious that all sorts of interests will seek this protection for their agendas.

    Unz got interested in The Holocaust because of an attack on the libertarian magazine Reason for publishing holocaust deniers. At the time Unz accepted The Holocaust story because he had heard it repeated so often. But the attack on libertarians as holocaust deniers made him curious, and he decided to investigate. This is what he found:

    American Pravda: Holocaust Denial
    by Ron Unz

    http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-holocaust-denial/

    The post The Holocaust appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  37. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 50 min ago
    Author: Bill Nicholov

    I figured out why Republicans have become Democrats and are allowing the State Department to still be run by the Obama administration. To spite the Russians. For all the hate that each party has for each other, they hate the

    The post The US Is Forcing Macedonia to Change Its Name for NATO Membership – To Spite Russia appeared first on Global Research.

  38. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 53 min ago
    Author: Stephen Lendman

     

    Israel is nuclear-armed and dangerous, developing these weapons since the mid-1950s, its well-known open secret the official narrative conceals.

    Its ruling authorities refused to sign the NPT or abide by its provisions. Nor do they permit IAEA inspections of

    The post Nuclear Armed and Dangerous Israel. Is Israel Preparing to Attack Iran? appeared first on Global Research.

  39. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 57 min ago
    Author: Stephen Lendman

    Anglo-Zionists and UK religious leaders in cahoots with Israeli hardliners are going all-out to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from becoming UK prime minister in December 12 elections — because of his anti-war, progressive agenda.

    He advocates a peace and stability foreign …

    The post Anglo-Zionist Plot Against Britain’s Jeremy Corbyn appeared first on Global Research.

  40. Site: Global Research
    12 hours 58 min ago
    Author: William Camacaro

    Clearing the FOG hosts Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese interviewed William Camacaro, a Venezuelan activist living in New York City who is active with the Solidarity Committee with Venezuela NYC and organizes food sovereignty tours to Venezuela, on the eve

    The post Fascists, with Help from the US, Are Trying to Take Control of Latin America appeared first on Global Research.

  41. Site: PaulCraigRoberts.org
    12 hours 58 min ago
    Author: pcr3

    Presstitute Media Collapsing Under the Weight of its Lies

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/cnn-ratings-drop-three-year-low-amid-impeachment-hearings

    CNN Ratings Drop To Three-Year Low Amid Constant Impeachment Coverage
    It has been over two months since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry of President Trump, and CNN has been running non-stop coverage of all the latest impeachment developments. In retrospect, that may not have been the best idea: with round the clock coverage, viewership of the rabidly partisan, far-left media outlet has actually tumbled to three-year lows, reported Nielsen Media Research.

    Nielsen reported that CNN recorded its lowest prime time ratings in nearly three years during the week of November 25. Even more embarrassing for Jerry Zucker, Fox News recorded higher ratings than MSNBC and CNN combined.

    Fox News recorded 2.2 million viewers in the primetime hours of 9-11 p.m. ET from Nov. 25 through Dec. 1; MSNBC saw around 1.3 million, while CNN averaged about 643,000 viewers over the same period. It was CNN’s worst performance in nearly three years and the liberal network’s worst turnout among the key demographic of adults age 25-54 in over five years.

    Primetime Viewers

    Fox News: 2.2 million
    MSNBC: 1.3 million
    CNN: 643,000
    Fox News has dominated the cable news arena for the 47th consecutive week, averaging a little over 1.3 million viewers.

    Total Day Viewers

    Fox News: 1.33 million
    MSNBC: 781,000
    CNN: 539,000

    As CNN plumbed historic lows, its conservative foil continued to enjoy strong viewership, as episodes of “Hannity,” “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “The Ingraham Angle,” “The Story with Martha MacCallum” and “Special Report” with Bret Baier accounted for 15 of the 30 most-watched telecasts across all of cable during the holiday weekend.

    Is CNN’s Trump derangement syndrome starting to bore most Americans, even liberals? Consider that the network’s special town hall event with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the day she announced that articles of impeachment against President Trump were being drafted only averaged 1.6 million viewers and 410,000 in the demo on Thursday night, well behind both Fox News and MSNBC in both categories.

    The American people, at least those who still watch cable TV, are increasingly ditching “objective”, “imparial” mainstream media outlets and either tuning out or moving to conservative outlets, in a time when House Democrats have been focused on just one thing: not how to govern the nation, but merely focusing all their energy on impeaching the president. It appears, however, that the American people are tired of this farce and are desperate to move on. So far very few democrats have gotten the memo.

    The post Presstitute Media Collapsing Under the Weight of its Lies appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  42. Site: Global Research
    13 hours 4 min ago
    Author: Dr. Binoy Kampmark

    Summit anniversaries are not usually this abysmally interesting.  While those paying visits to Watford, England on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation are supposedly signatories to the same agreement, a casual glance would have

    The post A Troubled Family: NATO Turns 70 appeared first on Global Research.

  43. Site: Global Research
    13 hours 5 min ago
    Author: South Front

    The Israeli Air Force has carried out a new round of strikes on Iranian-linked targets near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The airstrikes reportedly hit at the al-Hamadan airport north of the town of al-Bukamal.

    Pro-Israeli sources claimed that the strike destroyed …

    The post Video: Israeli Air Force Bombed ‘Iranian Targets’ Near Syria-Iraq Border appeared first on Global Research.

  44. Site: Bonfire of the Vanities - Fr. Martin Fox
    13 hours 6 min ago
    In the second reading, St. Paul spoke about hope.
    Elsewhere in this same letter, Paul explained that 
    the gaze of hope is fixed on that which lies ahead--
    it isn’t something you already have.
    Hope looks forward.

    But then the question comes to mind:
    just what do we fix our hope on?
    Is it really true that heaven is what we are hoping for?

    A few years ago, I saw a survey about the British people,
    that something like a quarter of them say,
    well, there might be a God,
    but they don’t think they can know anything about God for sure.

    What that means is that if we have some hope of good after this life,
    it ends up being pretty vague.  

    In the meantime, what we see around us,
    what we can obtain here, all that is pretty definite.
    How can we help doing that? 
    I don’t really what heaven, or God, or eternity, looks like. Do you?
    So it’s very difficult to have any concrete ideas.
    Meanwhile, you and I know exactly what dinner looks like. 

    The danger is that we become people without hope--
    because instead of having our focus on what lies ahead,
    we focus on what this life offers – and what’s left to hope for?

    Pope Francis, in the letter he wrote a few years ago,
    called the “Joy of the Gospel,”
    talks about the “great danger in today’s world,
    pervaded as it is by consumerism,”
    is that we end up with a “complacent yet covetous heart”;

    Where our “interior life becomes caught up
    in its own interests and concerns,” and there’s no room left;
    And we can’t hear God speak to us.

    This is where the strange practice of celibacy fits in.
    Lots of people simply don’t get it. 
    Why should brothers and sisters and priests remain celibate?
    The answer is that it is a sign of what we hope for.

    If you’re on your way to a once-in-a-lifetime dinner,
    Would you stop to eat on the way? Of course not.
    So when people see us priests and religious 
    passing up something great – which marriage is – 
    then it points to the something greater still
    we must be looking forward to.

    Celibacy means casting our anchor all the way to heaven.
    Not everyone is called to celibacy; 
    but every Christian, in his or her own way, 
    is called to give some sign of that same hope – 
    that our hope lies ahead, not here.

    That’s what you and I do when we obey God’s law; 
    when we embrace penance; when we reject worry;
    when you and I care for the poor, expecting nothing back;
    and when we choose forgiveness and reconciliation over vengeance.
    Those are ways we tell the world: 
    You and I are looking forward to something better.

    And, speaking of our religious sisters, 
    remember them in the second collection today; 
    this is for their retirement fund, which needs bolstering. 

    Many here were taught by nuns, 
    including in Russia School at one time!
    This is a way we can repay them.

    One more point about hope.
    It seems to me that if we are looking for something,
    It’s a lot harder if we have no idea what it looks like.

    If someone told you there was a mineral  
    in the ground around here that’s very valuable,
    and if you wanted to start collecting it, 
    what would be the first thing you’d do?

    Wouldn’t you find out everything you could about this stuff,
    what it was like, and how to get it?

    Well, there’s a place called heaven 
    and Jesus is our only way to get there. 
    So our first step is kind of obvious, isn’t it?

  45. Site: Global Research
    13 hours 25 min ago
    Author: Michael Welch

    On the Global Research News Hour we do our best to cover a wide spectrum of topics from the environmental crisis to economic and geopolitical analysis to debunking war pre-text narratives.

    We welcome listener support to maintain and improve the …

    The post Deconstructing Bolivia: Voices Inside and Outside Challenge Mainstream and Alternative Narratives appeared first on Global Research.

  46. Site: Zero Hedge
    13 hours 45 min ago
    Author: Tyler Durden
    Get Ready For An Economic Wake-Up Call This Holiday Season

    Authored by Brandon Smith via Alt-Market.com,

    If we are to measure the concept of “economic recovery” in real terms, then we would have to look at the fundamentals (not stock markets) and whether or not they're improving. Unfortunately, not all economic data is presented to the public honestly. Very often it is mired and obscured in a fog of disinformation and false standards.

    I would point out, though, that there is relatively accurate information out there in certain areas of the global economy, and it tells us our economic structure is destabilizing. Beyond that, even the rigged numbers are moving into negative territory. But what does all this mean for the holiday retail season, one of the mainstream's favorite gauges of US financial health? And, if 2019's holiday profits sink, what does this tell us is going to happen in 2020?

    First, let's start with what we know...

    Since we live in a “globalized” economy where everything is supposedly “interdependent”, it helps to examine international export numbers. The US doesn't manufacture and export much of anything anymore beyond agricultural products, but global markets do expect us to consume the goods of other nations. A decline in exports indicates a failing global economy, but in particular a failing US consumer economy.

    The obvious example would be China, which has seen plunging export data at least the past three months, though many will argue that this is merely due to tariffs and the trade war. However, it's not just China that is showing signs of collapse.

    South Korea, another major manufacturing and export hub in Asia (5th largest in the world) has seen declining exports for 11 consecutive months. South Korean shipping is crumbling in November and the media is blaming the trade war, as some SK companies would be “hit indirectly” because they sell intermediate goods to China are are linked to US companies in China. But this makes little sense. Tariffs are highly targeted to specific companies and specific goods, and so far the US has not directed major tariff attention at South Korea beyond the auto market.  Also, the new KORUS deal between Trump and SK is different only cosmetically to original trade agreements, yet, South Korean exports continue to fall.

    The same situation can be seen in Japan, with Japanese exports witnessing a 9.2% year-over-year drop in October, the largest decline in 3 years. Japan has seen three consecutive months of declines in exports.

    And what about Europe? While Germany, the manufacturing powerhouse of the EU, finally saw a jump in exports to the US this past month, overall the European Union has seen consistently poor export performance for the past year, and Germany itself is hovering on the edge of recession with 0.1% official GDP growth. Many economist already consider Germany to be in recession, as official GDP numbers are constantly manipulated by governments to the upside.

    But let's not forget about the US. Remember how Trump promised that the trade war would result in a renaissance for US manufacturing and that millions of industrial jobs would be returning to our shores? Well, as I've warned consistently for the past couple years, there is NO WAY corporations will be bringing manufacturing jobs and factories back to the US without ample incentives. Trump already gave companies tax cuts without demanding anything in return, and the cost/benefit ratio of building new factories and paying American workers top dollar versus keeping existing factories in Asia and dealing with 10%-25% tariffs just doesn't add up to a new US rust belt renaissance.

    While manufacturing jobs have increased, US manufacturing activity has declined.  Meaning, there simply isn't enough demand for the goods being produced.  US manufacturing ISM index just sank this month and has been sinking for the past four month into negative territory. While US PMI manufacturing data jumped this month, it is still well below the 10 year average and is also very low compared to past holiday seasons, which almost always see a spike in manufacturing.  US manufacturing remains at a historic low of 11% of US GDP and production output has decline steadily since January of this year.

    The question is, will the vast decline in global manufacturing translate to a crash in consumer demand?  We know that US credit dependency has skyrocketed in the past few years, but will more debt result in more profits for retailers?  This is highly unlikely, as US retail sales growth, for example, has been in decline at the same time that consumer debt has been rising.  Why?  Credit delinquencies have been relatively stable (so far) this year, so my theory is that people in the US are paying off previous debts by taking on new debt. They are kicking the can on their insolvency.

    We have seen this kind of destructive credit death cycle before - Right before the crash of 2008.

    So what does all this mean? And why is the media portraying the trade war with China as the cause of the global export and shipping crisis when clearly most of the world is not directly or even indirectly tied to the tariffs?

    As noted above, the narrative that is being pushed is that we live in an “interdependent” and globalized world, and that nations cannot function economically without cooperation. The trade war, I believe, is a smokescreen designed by the globalist establishment to do two things specifically:

    1) It is being created to hide a crash in the greater economy. Notice that almost no one in the mainstream is talking about a collapse in global production and multiple fundamentals due to DEMAND; instead they constantly talk about the trade war and exports. The trade war is becoming the scapegoat for the implosion of the market bubble engineered by globalists and central banks through a decade of stimulus measures.

    The collapse of the economic bubble is being caused in part by massive debt and a lack of consumer demand due to lack of consumer savings and cash flow. The trade war has little to do with it, and I suspect we would be seeing sharp declines in the US economy in particular even without the trade war.

    2) The trade war creates a false dichotomy in which many Americans will be lured into blaming China and other nations for their economic ills, and China and the rest of the world will be lured into blaming America. It also reasserts the globalist propaganda argument that when nations and economies “go rogue”, they hurt everyone; therefore, more global controls and centralization will have to be established in order to prevent nationalism from harming the rest of the world.

    And what does this all have to do with the Christmas shopping season? Like the end of last year, I think we are in for another ugly holiday retail event – Perhaps far worse than before. All the manufacturing and export data indicates that this will be the case. If so, then the mainstream narrative of recovery, long perpetuated as fact by the media and the Federal Reserve for the past several years, will finally die.

    The only thing that might elevate holiday numbers would be increased price inflation in goods, but I predict that even inflation misrepresented as "profits" will not save Christmas stats this year.  Some skeptics of the ongoing crash will argue that Black Friday numbers this year were the best since 2013, therefore the holiday season will be a good one.  These people don't know their economic history.  In most cases, holiday seasons that start off with a high traffic Black Friday end with poor overall sales data, including 2013.  This is because consumers that are cash strapped are more likely to buy early during Black Friday sales and spend far less over the rest of the season.

    In the mind of the average American consumer, holiday retail sales are a primary indicator of the health of the economy. A dramatic crash in Christmas retail will end the delusion of a stable US system and cause the public to start asking questions. Economics is 50% math and 50% psychology. The math in the US economy says we are in the middle of a crash. The psychological orientation of the public has been on the opposite end of spectrum, but is now slowly moving to meet with reality. When the psychological delusion ends, the game is over. And, for the globalists a new game begins.

    Order out of chaos is their motto for a reason...

    The global “reset” as they sometimes refer to it, has already been triggered. Going into 2020, the question is will the fantasy fall completely away to reveal the grotesque economic swamp our foundation has been built on top of? Or, will the delusion drag on for at least one more year? Given the current data, I suspect the party is over. But it is difficult to predict how the public will react to a financial crash. Sometimes people have no choice but to acknowledge the danger in front of them, but sometimes they simply bury their heads in the sand deeper and hope that by dragging out the inevitable the inevitable will become forgettable.

    *  *  *

    If you would like to support the work that Alt-Market does while also receiving content on advanced tactics for defeating the globalist agenda, subscribe to our exclusive newsletter The Wild Bunch Dispatch.  Learn more about it HERE.

    Tyler Durden Sun, 12/08/2019 - 09:45
  47. Site: Novus Motus Liturgicus
    14 hours 1 min ago
    This year, the feast of the Immaculate Conception falls on a Sunday; in the Ordinary Form of the Roman Rite, the Sundays of Advent are given precedence over all feasts, and so the feast is translated to Monday, December 9th. (In some places, however, an indult has been granted at the request of the bishops’ conference to keep the feast on the Sunday.) This is the traditional date for the feast in the Byzantine Rite, in which it is called “the Conception (in the active sense, ‘σύλληψις’) of Saint Anne, Mother of the Theotokos”. In the Missal and Breviary of 1962, the same level of precedence is granted to the Sundays of Advent, excepting only the Immaculate Conception, which trumps the Second Sunday of Advent when the two coincide. This represents a change from the rubrics attached to the reform of St Pius X, in which any feast of the highest rank, (“double of the first class”, in the older terminology) is allowed precedence over the Second, Third and Fourth Sundays of Advent, as also over Septuagesima, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima.

    The Immaculate Conception, by José Antolínez, 1650However, before the 1911 reform, these six Sundays (and also the Second, Third and Fourth of Lent) could only be impeded by the feasts of patron and titular Saints, or the feast of a Dedication. Of course, the Virgin Mary was honored as the patron Saint of innumerable churches, dioceses and religious orders under the title of the Immaculate Conception; elsewhere, however, the feast would normally be translated off the Sunday. And so, in a Roman Breviary printed in 1884, we find the rubric, “If this feast falls on the Second Sunday of Advent, it is transferred to the following Monday.” This is a full 30 years after Blessed Pope Pius IX made the dogmatic definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854, and more than 20 after the promulgation of a new Office and Mass for the feast in 1863. (S.R.C. 3119) In this regard, the practice of the post-Conciliar reform represents a return to a custom which was still in use even in the first decade of the 20th century. (Going further back, the original rubrics of the reform of St. Pius V admitted no impediment to the Sundays of Advent whatsoever.)

    In the liturgical books of the Tridentine reform, the feast has no proper Office or Mass; the texts were those of the Nativity of the Virgin, with the word “Nativity” changed to “Conception” wherever it occurs. Apart from that, the only difference is the proper readings of the first and second nocturns of Matins, from the Book of Ecclesiasticus and St. Ambrose’s treatise “On the Virgins.”

    Among the Franciscans, however, a proper Office for the feast was kept well before the decree of 1863, even though in most respects they had from the very beginning followed the liturgical use of the Roman Curia, and hence also the Missal and Breviary of St. Pius V. The Order, and famously among them, the Blessed Duns Scotus, had been the great champions of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, and kept the feast as that of the “Principal Patron and Protectress of the Order.”

    The Office in question was originally composed by Leonardo Nogarolo, a notary in the court of Pope Sixtus IV, who formally approved it in the year 1480. Sixtus IV had been the Minister General of the Franciscans until two years before his election in 1471; and as Pope, he issued two important decrees on the subject of the Immaculate Conception. The first of these, Cum praeexcelsa of 1477, gave formal permission and encouragement to celebrate the feast, which was still not kept in many places. The second, Grave nimis, was issued in 1483, condemning the “preachers of certain orders” who had dared to assert that belief in the Immaculate Conception, and the celebration of the feast, was heresy, while likewise imposing silence on those who asserted the contrary, that denial of the dogma was heresy. “Preachers” refers quite obviously to the Dominicans, who were at the time largely opposed to the idea of the Immaculate Conception as taught by the Franciscans, and particularly Duns Scotus’ explanation of it. In their liturgical books of the later 15th century, the feast on December 8 is usually called the “Sanctification of the Virgin Mary”, reflecting a theory that the Virgin was sanctified in the womb like John the Baptist.

    The calendar page for December of a Dominican Missal printed in 1484 (the last year of Sixtus IV’s reign), showing the feast as the “Sanctification of the Virgin Mary”.
    Pope Sixtus is of course known especially as the man who commissioned the most famous chapel in the world, the Sistine Chapel, which is nicknamed for him. However, it is officially dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, and the Office mentioned above was written by Nogarolo specifically for use therein as the proper Office of the titular feast. (Following the normal custom, I will refer to this Office as “Sicut lilium”, the first words of its first antiphon.”) For this reason, the first two antiphons at Lauds are borrowed from Lauds of the Dedication of a Church, and do not refer to the Virgin Mary.

    The text of most of the other antiphons and responsories is taken from the Bible, and predominantly from the Books of Proverbs, Ecclesiasticus and the Song of Songs. At Second Vespers, however, a rather unique set of antiphons was composed for the Psalms, consisting of quotations from the Church Fathers; some of the texts cited are also read at in the lessons of Matins in Nogarolo’s original version of the Office. In the pre-Tridentine liturgical books, the name of each Father is printed before the antiphon.
    Jerome Nihil est candoris, nihil est splendoris, nihil est numinis quod non resplendeat in Virgine gloriosa. – There is no part of brightness, no part of glory, no part of the godhead, such that it does not shine forth in the glorious Virgin. (In the post-Tridentine use, “godhead” was evidently felt to be a bit of an exaggeration, and changed to “virtutis – virtue.”)
    Origen Quæ neque serpentis persuasione decepta, nec ejus venenosis afflatibus infecta est.  Who was not deceived by the coaxing of the serpent, nor infected by his poisonous breath.
    Augustine (speaking in the person of Christ.) Hanc, quam tu despicis, Manichaee, mater mea est, et de manu mea fabricata.  This woman whom you despise, Manichean, is my mother, made by my own hand. (The text from which this is taken is not an authentic work of Augustine.)
    Anselm Decuit Virginem ea puritate nitere, qua major sub Deo nequit intelligi.  It was becoming that the Virgin shine with that purity, than which no greater can be understood beneath God.
    Ambrose Hæc est virga, in qua nec nodus originalis nec cortex actualis culpæ fuit.  This is the rod, on which there was no knot of original guilt, nor the bark of any actual guilt. (referring to the rod of Jesse in Isaiah 11, 1)A similar custom is still observed by the Premonstratensians, who sing the following antiphon for the Nunc dimittis on the Immaculate Conception, with the annotation at the end, “the words of our father Saint Norbert.” (St Norbert and the Premonstratensian Order were, of course, champions of the dogma even before the Franciscans, and in the Middle Ages had an entirely different proper Office of their own for the feast.)
    Ant. Ave Virgo, quæ Spiritu sancto præservante, de tanto primi parentis peccato triumphasti innoxia. - Hail, o Virgin, who by the preservation of the Holy Spirit, didst triumph unhurt over the sin so great of our first father.If I remember correctly, I once read somewhere that “Sicut lilium” was also musically very beautiful, and back in the days when attendance at solemn Vespers was the norm on major feasts, people would flock to Franciscan churches to hear it. If any of our readers can confirm or deny this, I would be interested to hear from you in the combox.

    The decree that promulgated the new Office and Mass in 1863 required all religious orders to accept them, and those who preserved their own proper Uses to adapt it to their own particular customs, subject to the approval of the Sacred Congregation for Rites. Since the Franciscans (unlike the Dominicans or Premonstratensians) had always used the Roman Breviary, “Sicut lilium” then ceased to be used; a few parts of it were taken into the new Office, most notably the prayer, which reflects Duns Scotus’ insight on how the Immaculate Conception is possible.
    O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, prepared a worthy dwelling place for thy Son; we beseech thee, that, as by the foreseen death of Thy same Son, Thou preserved Her from every stain, so Thou may grant us also, through Her intercession, to come to thee with pure hearts.One of the most notable features of the 1863 Office is the readings at Matins for the feast and its octave. In the third nocturn, the readings (with one exception) are taken from Eastern Saints whose writings had never, to the best of my knowledge, appeared in any form of the Breviary hitherto. These are two patriarchs of Constantinople, Ss Germanus (715-30) and Tarasius (784-806); St Sophronius, the Patriarch of Jerusalem (634-38), the great enemy of the Monothelite heresy, and St Epiphanius of Salamis (died 403), a great enemy of heresies generally. (This last is incorrectly attributed; the exception is a passage from St Bernard on December 10th.) These passages are unusually long, and rhetorically effusive in the manner of their age, but were clearly chosen to witness the belief of the Universal Church in the Immaculate Conception. The reading of St. Germanus on the feast itself begins thus: “Hail Mary, full of grace, holier than the Saints, more exalted than the heavens, more glorious than the Cherubim, more honorable than the Seraphim, and venerable above every creature.” This is a clear reference to the hymn Axion esti, which is sung in the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.
    It is truly right to bless thee, O Theotokos, ever most blessed, and wholly pure, and the Mother of our God. More honorable than the Cherubim, and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, without corruption thou gavest birth to God the Word, the true Theotokos, we magnify thee.Likewise, the litanies of the Divine Liturgy refer repeatedly to the Virgin Mary as “immaculate” at the conclusion, “Having made memory of our all-holy, immaculate, (“ ἄχραντος ”) blessed above all and glorious Lady, the Mother of God and ever Virgin Mary, with all the Saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and all our life to Christ our God.”

    The original version of “Sicut lilium” makes only one brief mention of the Virgin Mary’s mother St Anne, in whose womb the Immaculate Conception took place. As mentioned before, however, the Byzantine Rite calls the feast itself “the Conception of St Anne.” In the icon below, the upper left shows St Joachim in the desert, where he has gone to mourn his and Anne’s barrenness, for the sake of which his offering in the temple had been refused. An angel has come to tell him to return to Anne, and that God will grant them a child who will become the Mother of the Redeemer. In the upper right, the same message is delivered to Anne herself.

    The legend on which this image is based goes on to say that Joachim and Anne then went to find each other, meeting at the gate of Jerusalem called “the Golden Gate.” The depiction of their embrace and kiss is often used not only to decently represent the act of Anne’s conception, but to distinguish the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin from that of the Virginal Conception of Christ. This legend is referred to in a prayer found in some pre-Tridentine missals and breviaries, such as that of Herford in England; it also commonly depicted in Western art, as seen below in Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua.
    O God, who by an angelic prophecy foretold the Conception of the Virgin Mary to her parents; grant to this Thy family gathered here, to be protected by Her assistance, whose Conception we happily venerate in this great solemnity.The Meeting at the Golden Gate by Giotto, 1304. The mysterious female figure in black standing in the middle of the gate may represent the devil, whom Christ begins to defeat in the Conception of His Holy Mother. This figure seems also to have been the inspiration for one of the most sinister representations of the devil in modern art, in the movie The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson.
  48. Site: Vox Cantoris
    14 hours 5 min ago
  49. Site: PaulCraigRoberts.org
    14 hours 20 min ago
    Author: pcr3

    James Howard Kunstler describes the Democratic Party

    They’re the party against free speech, the party against due process of law, the party determined to provoke war with Russia. They’re the party of sexual confusion, sexual hysteria, and sexual conflict, the party of kangaroo courts, cancel culture, erasing boundaries (including national borders), and of making up rules for all that as they go along.

    The post James Howard Kunstler describes the Democratic Party appeared first on PaulCraigRoberts.org.

  50. Site: Henrymakow.com
    14 hours 26 min ago


    CHINA(5).jpg
    Another warning from our resident Satanist, Aloysius Fozdyke, that the Chinese Communist Party already controls Australia.

    I find this hard to believe since Australia has recently banned Huawei. 

    I look to my readers for an explanation,




    In 2016 Fozdyke issued this seminal warning of Satanist control worldwide.

    Ushering in the Desecration


    "Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say. Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl but she changes from day to day..."

    by Aloysius Fozdyke
    (henrymakow.com)

    Thirteen years ago, Sydney's Alpha Lodge gifted Australia and its people to the Chinese Communist Party. Our reasons were and remain valid, not that it matters. 

    The Chinese government is now talking more openly, if indiscreetly, about the future of this wealthy country and its ignorant and stupid people. 

    First, the Chinese government is pleased that Aussies have been disarmed. Think through the implications of that! 

    Perhaps John Pilger has access to the Chinese government because he's been openly explaining why there will be a Chinese invasion of Australia.

    Second, Australia will be a Chinese Special Economic Zone by 2040. A Special Economic Zone for special people and it sounds so much better than a colony, doesn't it? 

    Third, they intend to take Australia back to the way modern Australia began - a big, open-air prison via facial recognition system cameras and a Social Credit Scheme. 

    Already Australian governments are installing Chinese-built facial recognition systems and the Chinese openly discussed how they'd sell it to Aussies by way of 'safety and security'. 

    Four, they intend to keep us as 'a farm and quarry' because Australia already has an unrivalled reputation in what are essentially third world industries.

    The Pacific Islands are all tied up - one way or another - with China and its future. Fiji will be Chinese by 2025. 

    This is all part of the long process to create a better, more advanced type of human within the rigid social structures of a Galactic Empire.

    Finally, back in 2006, it didn't take the Chinese government long to do a Freedom of Information vice-regal appointment exercise in New Zealand and Canada. 

    And guess what? So by the time the handovers take place, we will have gifted to Chinese rule more than eighty million, predominantly white and Christian sheeple! 

    What continues to be done is based upon ignorance, stupidity, and cupidity and when you have something that strong and all-pervasive there's nothing which and no one who can stop us. So learn Mandarin now.

    Like Our Father, we are realists working with anything we are given. 

    And the Alpha Lodge has been given so much with which to patiently work - for example, 'D- Notices' put in place by all three of those elected governments and adhered to by their media. 

    Mostly it's about getting legislation, relationships, and understandings in place so as to allow more unfettered work. And because unhappiness is the best-kept secret in the world we concentrate upon that in all our dealings.

    Wishing You, your readers, my many friends, and co-workers a wonderful Yuletide full of happiness, revelry and mind-shattering spiritual debauchery - because unlike other Gods, Satan always answers.
    -----
    (I EDITED THIS OUT THE INTRO BECAUSE IT SEEMED TOO BIZZARE)


    The Chinese government concentrated upon the patently false signatures of Queen Elizabeth II on Australian vice-regal appointment documents. Back in 2006 Lord Charlie Falconer explained how to prove that these signatures of Queen Elizabeth II were forged without resorting to handwriting experts, not that you had to. 

    Aussies aren't interested in the legal, political and economic significance of those signatures forged by Jack Straw, but if they ever do become interested perhaps someone who works for a Chinese embassy can explain how Australia's British constitutional system works and the importance to the Chinese government of the Preamble to the 1900 Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act (Imp.). Essentially, by default and since 2006, every time an Aussie votes in a Local, State, Territorial or Federal election they're voting for the Chinese Communist Party.

    The Queen's forged signature is what the Chinese government is using to get everything that they want from all Australian governments because all Australian governments (and others) know that if this information is published, the Aussie dollar and stock market have less than twenty-four hours life in them if that - then all hell breaks loose! Moreover, there would be a huge effect to computerized stock markets worldwide, while a lot of American Managed Retirement Funds have investments in Australia - enough said.


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