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Faithful French bishop punished for being……..Catholic March 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, contraception, disaster, episcopate, error, General Catholic, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, Society, true leadership.
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The Revolution is in an uproar in France, since Bishop Luc Ravel said somethings that are markedly Catholic.  Can’t have that.  Via Tancred at Eponymous Fowler:

His Excellency, Bishop Luc Ravel,a Catholic bishops in the French Military Ordinariate is to be “punished” by the French Ministry of Defense, for his writings. He has also been told to cease using any emblems identifying himself with the army. The bishop apparently in his words and actions, contradicts “republican values”. No doubt, as a good Catholic he does. But then, so did the thousands who were slaughtered by the Revolution… 

The bishop wrote:

“...Christians feel shackled between two ideologies. On the one hand an ideology that is a caricature of God, which has contempt for man. [That would be islam] On the other hand, an ideology that manipulates man, despising God. [That would be leftism] On the one hand, we have those who are declared and known: the terrorists of the bomb, the Prophet’s avengers. On the other hand, we have terrorists of thought, the proponents of secularism, the admirers of the Republic. In what camp is a Christian to find himself”? 

“We do not want to be held hostage by Islamists, but we also do not want to be slaves of correct thought. Islamic ideology has led to 17 victims in France, but the ideology of thinking correctly [political correctness] creates annually two hundred thousand victims in the womb of the mother.  Abortion has become a fundamental right and a weapon of mass destruction “

I don’t know much about Bishop Ravel, but it sounds like he’s figured out the cultural predicament facing Catholics at the moment, squeezed more and images (5)more tightly between the vise of leftism and the immovable object in islam.  He also rightly understands that abortion is absolutely vital, it is the keystone of the Republican war to return our culture to the days of pagan hedonism and barbarism.  Without abortion as the backstop, the great left-wing trade (we give you sexual hedonism, we take everything else) falls apart.  They know that only too well, which is why they will trade virtually anything and everything before giving up abortion.  With abortion, they maintain control.

But I think leftism does reveal its grave weakness in that it cannot tolerate any competing or contradictory thought.  So rather than argue the point on the merits (such as they are), they choose to shoot the messenger.  That’s been a dominant characteristic of the revolution since it burst on the scene in 1789.  Political opponents are not to be out-argued or even out-maneuvered, they are simply to be done away with.

But, remember, it’s we Catholics and other Christians who are the real extremists to worry about.  Goebbels would be proud.

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World turned upside down: Iranian official claims US arguing Iran’s position in nuke negotiations March 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, Ecumenism, foolishness, huh?, persecution, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving.
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Sheesh.  Our Dear Leader isn’t trying to even hide it anymore.  A former Iranian official who defected during ongoing negotiations in Switzerland has said that the United States is basically arguing in favor of Iran’s nuclear ambitions with reluctant Europeans in the 6 party talks.  Obama, of course, created a false crisis with respect to the negotiations by insisting on an end date which is imminent.  Thus, he apparently feels pressure to reach a deal, any deal, before the timeline expires.  Because no one has ever heard of diplomatic negotiations extending beyond the planned timeframe, no, never:

In his television interview, Mr Mottaghi also gave succour to western critics of the proposed nuclear deal, which has seen the White House pursue a more conciliatory line with Tehran than some of America’s European allies in the negotiating team, comprising the five permanent members of the UN security council and Germany.

“The US negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal,” he said.

So where does “arguing in favor of a muslim terror state acquiring nuclear weapons” fit into Obama’s oath of office to defend the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic?

I know a lot of readers have huge problems with US foreign policy in the Mideast over the past several decades, with constant warfighting and silly notions of building democracy among medieval tribesmen who don’t even possess the fundamental approach to human nature that “democracy” pre-supposes, but I have to say that Iran obtaining nuclear devices – if they don’t have them, already – could represent an existential threat to essentially any nation in the world, including this one.  Any normal logic regarding deterrence or how nuclear weapons tend to affect the behavior of nation states (they tend to make them more cautious) can be thrown out the window with Iran, the number one exporter of terror over the past 35 years and a nation that has shown it is quite willing to suffer huge losses in the name of advancing their religious worldview.  Even more, Iran’s leaders are possessed of a messianic vision that tells them they can bring about their glorious islamic “parousia” by instigating a fight to the death with the infidel West.  At the very least, Obama’s program of appeasement and tacit permission for Iran to obtain nuclear devices will, with grim certainty, set off a Mideast arms race and we will see at least Saudi Arabia if not a number of other states develop nuclear capabilities one way or another.

If the Obama Administration really is essentially Iran’s point of view with France and other European participants in the talk, we see once again how the left constantly projects their own immoral behavior onto their ideological opponents.  You may recall that a few weeks ago, a number of Republican senators sent a letter to Iran’s president informing him that the senate had to approve all treaties, and that administrations change, the point being that a future administration may chuck any agreement reached with Obama that is harmful to US interests.  Democrats and their media shills claimed such a letter was treason!, treason with a capital T, because…..well, because it made Obama look foolish.  Which is true, he is monumentally foolish.  But now we see that Obama is taking the side of a country that begins every day with regular chants of “Death to America” and which is directly responsible for the loss of hundreds of American lives in recent decades.  We are also basically serving as Iran’s tactical air force in the battle against ISIS, which threatens shia Iran more than it really poses a direct threat to the US.  But it’s the Republicans who are traitors.  I see.

I don’t know if the disastrous conduct of these negotiations by Obama is due to his basic deference to islam or if it’s just because he’s an equally progressive ninny.  After all, Iran has killed a lot more sunni muslims in recent decades than they have Christians or Jews. So I don’t quite get the angle, other than the fact that he wants a deal to try to pretend his foreign policy has not been a complete, abject failure.

Then again, some men just like to watch the world burn.

 

Walt must be spinning in his grave: Disney-ABC launches new program starring sicko Dan Savage March 31, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, Basics, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, paganism, persecution, sadness, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, Society.
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Long long ago, way before any conversion I experienced, I used to occasionally read Dan Savage’s column in the local alternative weekly.  Even though I was very much a libertine at that time, I was repulsed even then by much of what he wrote. I guess even worse were the scenarios his correspondents ostensibly presented (he wrote a “Dear Abby” for the profoundly sexually troubled, but I suspect many of the stories were invented by Savage himself), as he was beyond crude and depressingly sick even then.  If anything, he has grown more deranged as the years have gone by.  For twenty years he has made no bones of his hatred for all things good and pure.  He hates religion, and especially Catholicism, with an intensity that is surely diabolical.  He constantly attacks morals and decency as the affront they are to his own lifestyle, a lifestyle so beyond the pale of any standard of decent behavior it would likely have resulted in incarceration only a few short years ago.

But such is the environment in which we live, that the man who has said absolutely horrific things about all believing Christians and any politician he finds objectionable to his radical (even this word is far from sufficient) blend of perverse self-pleasing politics, is now going to be given a show on ABC, and to add insult to injury, the program is to be called “Family of the Year:”

Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

The link goes on to list just a tiny sampling of Savage’s egregious statements against people he hates over the years, but I won’t include them on this blog.  In fact, the statements chosen are some of his more innocuous, if that may be believed, but they really are.  Savage tried for a long time to get like-minded folks to use the term “Santorum” to describe something so disgusting I can’t even describe it in general terms.  And yet that disgusting product is the daily reality for all those who share Savage’s inclination, which tells us a very great deal about what kind of people we are dealing with.  Sorry to be obtuse, I have to dance around this because it is so beyond the pale I can’t possibly even give any more hints than I have.

So, this is the cultural elites telling all Christians to go you know what themselves.  We’ve had this growing for a while, and Disney, through ABC, has been in the vanguard of this kind of cultural persecution.  This is about the 27th program (I made that up, but there have been many) from ABC that extols the perverse and degraded state of the “family” today and constantly bashes the faithful, non-perverse, undivorced, Christian family.  We’ve had shows like “Modern Family” and “Desperate Hosewives” and “Good Christian B#$%^s” – all with input from the same nucleus of Christ-hating sodomites – that not only attack the traditional family, they are the prime vehicle of indoctrination in the new, anti-Christian cultural “standards,” such as they are.  Look, Marshall Kirk wrote back in 1989 that sodomites, through their great influence in the media, would use that media to basically propagandize Americans, over the course of decades, into not just accepting, but lionizing sodomy and those who practice it.  And so you have it.

Things have reached such a state of collapse that a bill in Indiana to defend religious rights from sodomite persecution is now the greatest controversy in the land, even though similar bills have been signed at the federal level and in a number of other states.  But that was before the perverse agenda gained clear ascendancy last  year.  Now, all bets are off. What used to be perfectly acceptable and reasonable is the greatest affront to “freedom” (of the perverse) imaginable.

Christianity cannot stand side by side in a culture with this official approbation of acts and lifestyles diametrically opposed to the Faith.  As one advances, the other must retreat.  For the time being, we know which that will be.

Fr. Nicholson: Pope Francis ushering in an era of upheaval, could lead to a new rash of priest sex abuse (fixed) March 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church, unity.
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Yowzer.  That’s a pretty hot take, but I think as he goes through the argument, he’s got a pretty good point.  He ties in the doctrinal chaos and exaggerated expectations for massive change in the Church that existed in the late 50s and early 60s – when the priest boy rape became epidemic – with similar expectations today.  He forecasts a similar explosion in sex abuse cases if the doctrinal chaos reigning over the past two years, and the concomitant build up in expectations for change in the Church’s immutable Dogmas, will lead to a similar epidemic.

I don’t agree with everything said below, and I’ve certainly disagreed with some of Fr. Nicholson’s takes in the past, but I think he makes an interesting point that is worthy of consideration.  I’m glad he did note that while Pope Saint John Paul II and Pope will probably never be a Saint  Benedict XVI did help re-establish some greater doctrinal certainty, at least in the Petrine office, they certainly didn’t fully restore the doctrinal integrity that has existed in happier days in the Church’s existence:

Sorry, coded the video wrong!

I do like his summation, that in these times faithful Catholics must unite to support and defend each other and the sacred deposit of the Faith handed onto us, whether that means helping out those being persecuted monetarily or through moral support, calling out doctrinal error, supporting faithful bishops and priests, and the like.  That is certainly a key point with me.  I do find a bit of irony in this, however, given the source, and what he has said in some other videos.  But I’ll just scoot right past that and echo the call for all faithful Catholics of good will to desist from the circular firing squad, turn around, and direct our fire at the encroaching enemies of the Faith who surround us.

It’s always been something of a point of fascination to me, how a Church that was by so many measures robust and doctrinally cohesive in the 50s timeframe was at the same time so ripe for revolution.  I do think those of us who did not live through it can never quite imagine what a tumultuous, even earth-shattering time the 60s was.  Outside the Church or within, so many things, from TV to jet travel to new music to fashion to advertising to what name you, everything changed radically over that period. People became convinced that mankind really was entering some new technological golden age and that all the old rules, the societal compact, if you will, of all preceding times, could simply be chucked with abandon.  That thinking, almost a virus in its effects, certainly penetrated the Church and caused largely unexpected upheaval.  At the same time, we also know that by the mid-50s there were many modernists inside the Church who were stealthily, and as the decade went on, more and more openly working towards a revolution. By 1958 they were simply looking for an advantageous opportunity to strike, and Vatican II gave them that opportunity.  I think the two events, an ambitious, united, and strongly networked modernist cabal, and a society expecting flying cars, all manner of wonder drugs (medicinal and otherwise) and round-trip tickets to Mars within a few years produced a perfect storm that struck a Church perhaps somewhat complacent and a bit full of itself.  The result was a veritable French Revolution, which nobody really expected or saw coming, either, by the way.

As for our current revolution, times are different.  We have direct evidence of the disaster that will follow in the wake of doctrinal uncertainty and expectations-building.  But I don’t know if that will be enough to deter the aged modernists in their ambitions to show themselves right, lo after all these years, that the revolution of the 60s was an inevitable organic event that simply had to happen, and not a top-down betrayal by elites who foisted a hostile and competing construct on the 2000 year old institution Christ founded.  I think the rampant perversion and gross immorality Fr. Nicholson laments answers that question irrefutably, but intellectual pride is, as the Angelic Doctor said, the most difficult form of pride to overcome.  And few men in their 70s or 80s are very open to a total reversal from a lifetime of belief, no matter how destructive and contrary they can be shown to be.

As a final aside, and a recommendation to you, I picked up this video on Bones’ site.  He has a post where you can sign your name to indicate your support for the nearly 500 English priests who reject the attempts to change sacred belief regarding marriage, divorce, the Blessed Sacrament…….you know what I mean.  The whole modernist Kasperite gambit.  I signed.  You can find my name, Fredo Corleone, bottom of Lake Tahoe, NV.

More garbage from Kasper the modernist paramour March 30, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, Papa, persecution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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Reading some more quotes below from Cardinal Kasper, which reveal in stark clarity precisely why he is viewed as the arch-heretic Kung’s prize pupil and also why he is the current paramour of the modernists, I am struck by the question – who with a Catholic heart could not read this man’s work (filth might be a better word) and not react with revulsion?  Who would find in this stuff “serenity?”  Via Vox Cantoris:

In 1967, this same German Kasper said:

The God who is enthroned over the world and history as a changeless being is an offence to man. One must deny him for man’s sake, because he claims for himself the dignity and honour that belong by right to man…. We must resist this God, however, not only for man’s sake, but also for God’s sake. He is not the true God at all, but rather a wretched idol. For a God who is only alongside of and above history, who is not himself history, is a finite God. If we call such a being God, then for the sake of the Absolute we must become absolute atheists. Such a God springs from a rigid worldview; he is the guarantor of the status quo and the enemy of the new.

Cardinal Kasper explicitly rejects a dozen defined Dogmas I can think of off the top of my head right now.  This is nothing but modernist immanentism, “we create ‘god’ by our thoughts and loves and desires” horse hockey.  We must deny a transcendent, omniscient all-powerful God because……no, not because He claims some dignity or honor that belongs to “man,” but because He claims dignity and honor that offends the monumental hubris of the modernist intellectual.  The modernist is offended by this God because the modernist sees himself as god. It works this way: modernists do believe we humans somehow create God out of our spiritual needs, desires, loves, etc., and since no one understands those needs and loves as well as the highly trained modernist intellectual, those modernists embody ‘god’ better than anyone else.  This is not ascribing base motives to ideological opponents, this is what these guys really believe!!!  No wonder they fight with such passion and have no qualms using unscrupulous machinations, opponents of modernism offend against the dread god Kasper and must be crushed.

This man has to either hate or butcher everything that predates 1870.  Tradition for him is nothing but an obstacle to be not just overcome, but obliterated.

Another  quote, from a much more recent Kasper book:

In this same book that the Pope has praised, Kasper writes more carefully [the serene theology on the knees book]:

On the basis of its metaphysical starting point, dogmatic theology has difficulty speaking of a compassionate God. It has to exclude the possibility that God suffers with his creatures in a passive sense; it can only speak of pity and mercy, in the active sense that God opposes the suffering of his creatures and provides them assistance. The question that remains is whether this satisfactorily corresponds to the biblical understanding of God, who suffers with his creatures, who as misericors has a heart with the poor and for the poor. Can a God who is conceived so apathetically be really sympathetic? Pastorally, this conception of God is a catastrophe. For a so abstractly conceived God appears to most people to be very distant from their personal situation.” [Walter Kasper, Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life, trans. William Madges (New York, 2014), p11]

Yes, this is much more careful, the code speak of the modernist warhorse after 40 years of political machinations.  It’s still utter garbage from the top.  Dogmatic theology has no difficulty “speaking” of a compassionate God – and see how he once again sets Tradition, or the preceding Magisterium, up as an obstacle to be overcome.  In fact, in terms of a right understanding of such concepts as true mercy, justice, compassion, etc, the dogmatic beliefs of the Church form the most beautiful, transcendent, and cohesive whole the Church has ever seen.  But since that traditional understanding poses a natural barrier to Kasper’s still pressing modernist sensibilities, it has to be construed as somehow wanting.  That is to say, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Church’s 2000 year conception of God, it is in fact the best conception human possible, the problem for Kasper lies in the fact that he and his cabal do not share it, an dare in fact violently opposed to it as being an obstacle to their revolutionary goals. It should be clear, then, why Kasper and those like him constantly speak of the Church’s belief and practice as being some terrible old decrepit thing that must finally be put down.

I would remind that Kasper has already been shown to have misquoted Church Councils, made up quotes from Church Fathers allegedly supporting his position, and completely butchered the plain meaning of others in order to pursue his ends.  He has proposed false conundrums and used heavy-handed pressure tactics to influence prelates to support his side.

IOW, everything Pope Saint Pius X said about modernists and their reptelian nature is completely, 100% true.

 

Is our muslim president siding with Boko Haram in Nigeria? March 27, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, asshatery, disaster, Ecumenism, error, foolishness, General Catholic, horror, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving, shocking, sickness, Society.
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I’m sure I’ll attract the ire of at least one paid agent of Obama’s perpetual campaign organization OFA, but the allegations below are absolutely devastating, and so revealing.  I’m sorry, what else does this guy have to do before people will accept that he is either a practicing muslim, or has the most sympathetic view possible?

Lots of claims below.  Most of which are highly disturbing:

According to Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan, more than 13,000 people have been killed in the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009. Some estimates put the carnage as high as 17,000 deaths.

Between July 2013 and June 2014 alone, an estimated 7,000 people  died in incidents related to the insurgency. Boko Haram –  which means “Western education is forbidden” – recently pledged allegiance to ISIS.……

…..Clearly, a more serious response than  #BringBackOurGirls was needed to combat the growing menace – but the United States all but abandoned their African ally.  Not only did the Obama Regime refused to sell Nigeria the arms it needed to fight Boko Haram, it blocked other Western allies from helping them, too.

Back in January, the Jerusalem Post reported that Obama refused to allow “the resale of US-made military helicopters by Israel to the Nigerian government for its fight against Boko Haram last summer.”

Via James Simpson of AIM:

 The administration also denied Nigeria intelligence on Boko Haram from drones operating in the area. While Boko Haram was kidnapping school girls, the U.S. cut petroleum purchases from Nigeria to zero, plunging the nation’s economy into turmoil and raising concerns about its ability to fund its battle against the terrorists. Nigeria responded by cancelling a military training agreement between the two countries.

What do you suppose was behind the Obama Regime’s abject refusal to help this ally fight these terrorists?

Would you believe that there’s a presidential election coming up in Nigeria, and Obama’s favored Muslim candidate is in a tight race against the Christian President Goodluck Jonathan?

And would you further believe that a political consulting group founded by Obama confidante David Axelrod is assisting that candidate - Retired Gen. Muhammadu Buhari - who hails from Muslim-dominated northern Nigeria from whence Boko Haram was spawned?

Thanks to the lack of cooperation and assistance from the United States, the Jonathan government has been failing miserably at beating back the terrorist scourge, with the president looking weak and ineffectual. [Now there may be some valid reasons to be careful in arming the Nigerian government, such as concern over corruption and fears the weapons may simply fall into the hands of the muslims through some treachery.  However, there are certainly loyal Christian/Catholic militias that could be supported. There is more below that bears on all this.]

Desperate, the government finally turned to Russia, China and the black market to obtain the much needed arms……

….According to an anti-Buhari Nigerian blogger writing in the Western Post:

In the last year, Nigeria sought aid from the White House for many initiatives, including the fight against Boko Haram.

The Obama administration refused to do anything but pay lip service to Nigeria’s requests. However, it used public and private channels to internationally magnify every failure Nigeria’s government experienced. 

In the last year, since the involvement of Axelrod’s firm, relations between the two nations have significantly deteriorated, with the US refusing to sell arms to Nigeria, a significant reduction in the purchase of Nigeria’s oil, and the cancellation of a military training agreement between Nigeria and the USA. [The oil could be due to the growth of fracking, now under threat due to the Saudi’s flooding the market.  But cancelling regular training that is always ongoing between the US and various relatively friendly governments, and even more, denying intelligence to the Nigerian government of Boko Haram activities, including feeds from UAVs and satellites, indicates something more than just concern over arms diversions. To me it clearly shows an agenda at work, an attempt to deeply meddle in the interior affairs of a relatively friendly government, and to show favoritism to the muslim candidate]

In turn, the Buhari-led Nigerian opposition used the U.S. government’s position as validation for their claim that the Nigerian government was a failure. [And so I have to wonder how many claims we’ve heard of terrible corruption and incompetence we’ve heard of the Nigerian government are really true, or whether this is all just White House/leftist media spin to insure Obama gets the outcome he wants, a muslim government in a majority-Christian (and mostly Catholic) nation?]

To top it off, Simpson reports that Secretary of State John Kerry “made a mockery of the administration’s pretext by hinting in January meetings with both Jonathan and Buhari that the Obama administration might allow weapon sales after the election.”

If the U.S. was so concerned about human rights violations, how could a mere election change that? Given the perception that Buhari has Obama’s implicit support, this sends an unmistakable message.

The administration also rationalized its decision to cut purchases of Nigerian oil by claiming that output from domestic oil fracking has reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil. But that begs the question: why have U.S. oil imports from other nations increased at the same time? Nigeria was formerly among America’s top five oil supplying countries, and America its largest customer. Nigeria relies on oil revenues for 70 percent of its budget. America’s decision to look elsewhere has been catastrophic for Nigeria’s economy. [Hmmm…….not entirely sure about that.  There is a tendency to want to purchase from Western Hemisphere sources. Usually the top five include Canada, Mexico, and Brazil.  Still, even without the oil allegation, these are extremely damning revelations for Obama]

After turning to Russia and China to obtain arms, Nigeria was able to fight aggressively and on the offensive against Boko Haram.

They have retaken 40 towns previously occupied by the group and killed at least 500 of the terrorists.

At least 13,000 civilians dead in Nigeria since 2009 and the US looks the other way because Obama wants to put a progressive Muslim in power.

———-End Quote———

This article discusses this further Obama scandal in detail.  It is amazing the degree to which we are kept in the dark by the leftist Obama-apologist media.  Enormous scandals of huge international significance are consigned to the memory hole in order to protect Obama and serve his agenda.  If this story is even only true in part, it should be an incredible scandal.  Not that we need another one with this stuttering cluster@$%! of a malignant muslim traitor.

If this Republic fails, or has already, the “watchdog” media bears an enormous share of the blame, and perhaps should be considered as the formal, direct cause.  People have elected amoral monsters like Obama because the media carefully sells a completely false image.  Then again, maybe 50%+1 of people no longer even care about such things.  It’s very tempting to just stand back and watch the collapse.

And the saddest thing is, almost certainly well over half the bishops and priests of this country voted for this guy twice and are still totally on board with him!  As always, for the progressive, leftism is the real religion and anything else is just a sidelight.

Cardinal Nichols attempts to silence faithful English priests March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, disaster, episcopate, error, family, foolishness, General Catholic, Papa, persecution, priests, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, sickness, SOD, the return, the struggle for the Church.
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What happened to all that talk of free discussion and debate?  What about making messes and getting the smell of the sheep?  Aren’t parish priests probably the closest of all to the rank odors of the rank and file?

I wrote yesterday of 500 priests – including some surprisingly liberal names – of England and Wales begging the Synod on the Family not to implement any disastrous novelties regarding marriage, divorce, the Blessed Sacrament, etc. They thus contributed to the ongoing debate exactly as the Holy Father has repeatedly indicated. Unfortunately for them, old liberal Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who has supported the Kasperite gambit nearly from the beginning, doesn’t think much of debate and seems to prefer closed door decisions handed down as directive to be obeyed unconditionally.  Yes, I exaggerate, but only a little, Nichols is widely known as one of the most authoritarian clericalists in the entire English-speaking Church, an insider’s insider who loves to wield power. He basically directed the English priests to butt out, which is odd, concerning the lengths to which the episcopal conference of England and Wales went to seek out lay input they thought would be friendly to the Kasperite approach:

Cardinal Vincent Nichols has slapped down nearly 500 priests who signed a letter to the Catholic Herald expressing concern about the Synod on the Family this October, which is to debate sensitive questions of sexual morality. This is a significant blunder by the Cardinal that exposes both the inflexibility of his leadership style and – certainly in the case of some of the priests – lack of confidence in his stewardship of the Catholic Church in England Wales. Here’s today’s Catholic Herald report:

Priests should not conduct a debate about the October Family Synod through the press, Cardinal Nichols has said, following the publication of a letter signed by hundreds of priests, urging the synod to issue a ‘clear and firm proclamation’ upholding Church teaching on marriage….

…..In a statement, a spokesman for Cardinal Nichols said that the press was not the medium for conducting dialogue of this sort.

‘Every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. It is my understanding that this has been taken up in every diocese, and that channels of communication have been established,’ the statement said. [Perhaps the priests found those lines of communication unsatisfactory.  Perhaps they did not want their views condensed, massaged, and even controverted by bureaucrats working in the various episcopal conferences and dicasteries.  But their action was quite fitting with the rhetoric – the catechesis – the priests have been given by the highest source, was it not?]

Damian Thompson, who makes some valuable contributions but with whom I disagree strongly on occasion, has some explosive analysis.  I would not dismiss his views, he knows the inner workings of the Church in Britain better than any other popular writer I know:

This is an unwise – but entirely characteristic – move by Cardinal Nichols. Here are some thoughts that spring to mind:

1. The Cardinal refers to ‘channels of communication’ that, in reality, are either blocked or permit only one-way traffic. I wouldn’t dream of calling a Prince of the Church a control freak, but if Nichols were a politician – a painfully on-message Labour junior minister from Merseyside, say – the cap would fit. The idea that the Bishops of England and Wales ‘welcome’ any views that don’t coincide with theirs is laughable. On this issue they’ve decided to align themselves with Pope Francis’s opinions on Communion for the divorced and homosexuality. The fact that these opinions are inchoate and elusive doesn’t trouble them because the same could be said of their own jargon-rich waffle. Cardinal Nichols is impressively fluent in ‘bishopese’; what distinguishes him from his colleagues is his quietly effective suppression of dissent. On this occasion, however, it hasn’t been so effective. Priests who normally play by the rules were so worried by the Anglican-style chaos of last October’s Synod on the Family (the first of two) that they felt they had no alternative but to speak openly.

2. What Cardinal Nichols did not say, though I suspect he’s aware of it, is that many priests were told by those ‘welcoming’ channels of communication not to sign the letter. As one signatory told the Herald, ‘there has been a certain amount of pressure not to sign the letter and indeed a degree of intimidation from some senior Churchmen’. Without this arm-twisting there would have been many more signatories. So the problem is bigger than it appears.

3. The Cardinal’s anger is directed not just at the priests but also at the press for publishing their letter. Obviously he doesn’t like me, and you wouldn’t expect him to, but he shows little interest in Catholic newspapers that, as it happens, bite their tongues and resist opportunities to criticise him out of loyalty to the Church. He is not rude to journalists but he can be aggressively patronising and it never occurs to him that devout Catholic writers might help him to spread his message. Whatever that is. The situation is doubly frustrating for the media because His Eminence appears to have taken a solemn vow not to say anything remotely memorable in public. At least you can’t accuse Pope Francis of that. To make matters even worse, Nichols employs an infuriatingly inept and ill-informed press office.

4. Finally, I have a nasty suspicion that any priest who was brave enough to sign that letter will find his card marked.

I am not surprised in the least that there was great pressure on priests not to sign the petition. I thank God for the strength of faith of those who did.

I may not agree with Thompson on some points (he makes no bones of his dislike for Michael Voris, for instance), but Damian Thompson is not just a media hound looking for a big story that will injure the Church.  He is actually a pretty faithful Catholic, I would say, far more so than John Allen.  So with his deep inside connections, and his relative faithfulness, when he says Pope Francis has been the driving source behind the attempts to radically alter the Church’s belief and practice regarding marriage, reception of the Blessed Sacrament, grave sin, and the rest, again, I don’t believe his comments can simply be dismissed out of hand.

To me, Thompson’s analysis makes far more sense, and has far more evidence in support, than do analyses that say that Pope Francis is really orthodox, he’s just badly misunderstood.  I had a long addendum here, but I’ll leave it at that.  I have found that this is a matter where souls either get it, or simply don’t, or won’t.  And really, I pray I am wrong in my grave doubts regarding the direction of this pontificate – in fact, I pray every day that I am wrong. But the overwhelming weight of evidence – not episcopal appointments, not frequent orthodox statements (what else would we expect, a raving Marxist?) – but the Pope’s efforts at the Extraordinary Synod, in the pre-prepared midterm Relatio, in the inclusion of the rejected, incredibly problematic statements from that Relatio into the Synod’s final report, even though those statements failed to gain the approval even of the really picked audience that made up the Extraordinary Synod…….I simply cannot dismiss that.

Having said that, I never rule out the possibility of a great change in direction, and occasionally I see some hopeful signs.  But the decisive point will be the second and final session of the Synod, and the encyclical that will surely follow.  Those events will define this pontificate, for good or ill.

 

Another way to fight back against the amoral culture – boycotts March 26, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Abortion, Society, scandals, foolishness, sadness, sickness, disaster, horror, error, contraception, secularism, self-serving, abdication of duty, paganism.
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I agree with a commenter’s idea that on the specific matter of helping end division among faithful Catholics, coordination with like-minded individuals is one of the first steps to take.  Consider it done.

But on the broader matter of opposing the ongoing decline in the culture, boycotting corporations and especially charities that support egregiously amoral activities like anything related to Planned Barrenhood, sodo-marriage, and the like, is another relatively easy step to take.  No, you don’t have to send a letter, and you certainly don’t have to avoid every company and charity on the list (available here, from Life Decisions International), but you could choose to stop shopping at this place or that to make a statement.  For instance, even though I find Home Depot generally has superior product selection, because of their ardent support for sodo-marriage, I no longer shop there, but at Lowe’s.  The point is not to make your life a nightmare of narrow choices and constant moral conundrums, the point is to to what you can.

As a way of helping, find below some of the major corporations and charities that are tied to grave immorality.  First, the corporations:

JPMorgan Chase
Cigna
Chanel
Chevron
Adobe
Bank of America
Bayer
GlaxoSmithKline
Gannett
Estee’ Lauder
Johnson and Johnson
Hearst
Hilton
Home Depot
Levis (one of the worst. I used to love Levi jeans but won’t have anything to do with them anymore)
Marriot
Microsoft
Starbuck’s
Nike (another bad one)
Polo Ralph Lauren
Southwest Airlines (gives lots to Komen and Planned Barrenhood)
Time Warner
United Health
Walt Disney
Wells Fargo
Whole Foods
AOL
Symantec

Now some of the charities:

ALS
AARP
Alzheimer’s Association
American Automobile Association
American Association of University Women (particularly egregious)
American Cancer Society
Amnesty International
Boys and Girls Clubs
Camp Fire
Council of Churches
Easter Seals
Girl Scouts/Guides
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Human Rights Watch
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Kiwanis
League of Women Voters
Lions Clubs
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Childhood Cancer Foundation
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Osteoporosis Foundation
National Parkinson’s Disease Foundation
Red Cross
Ronald McDonald House
Rotary Club
Salvation Army
Save the Children
Sierra Club
Susan G. Komen
UNICEF
UNITED WAY
YMCA
YWCA (neither are remotely Christian anymore)

More and more, as we also see in the Church, corporations and charities form a densely tangled web in which charities donate to each other, and corporations cross-pollinate their “charity” as well, and the whole thing becomes an impenetrable fog.  It’s gotten to the point that the vast majority of charities wind up giving some money to Planned Barrenhood, either directly or through another agency like Komen.  Other evil charities like the Human Rights Campaign similarly receive funds from a wide variety of other charities.

The above is not meant to beat you down. Take it for  what you will.  If it’s helpful to you, please, by all means, use the info above.  There are many more less well known companies and charities also on the banned list at FightPlannedParenthood, but bear in mind, that’s only a partial list, because it only addresses those entities that fund PP.  Others not on the list above fund many other evils (which is why I added Home Depot, they do not fund Planned Parenthood, directly, but they are big fans of sodomy, especially in San Fran and their Atlanta HQ).  To me, it’s important to try to limit my business with the especially bad actors as much as possible, but I’m probably not going to change banks over the matter.  But I won’t drink Starbucks, for about 200 reasons.  As I said, whatever works best for you.

Hope the above helps!

Claims that the US suffers from a terrible shortage of scientists and engineers are utter garbage March 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Admin, disaster, disconcerting, non squitur, rank stupidity, scandals, self-serving, silliness, Society, technology.
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I have worked in telecommunications for almost 19 years.  Where I work is still kind of sorta called “the telecom corridor.”  15 years ago, that moniker made sense, as over 80,000 jobs directly or indirectly related to telecom existed in the Richardson/Plano area at that time.  But today, that number is down to about 7,000 – that’s right, over 90% of the telecommunications jobs have been lost in the past 15 years.  I know many, many former engineers who are now working jobs that pay pennies on the dollar compared to their former salaries.  Tens of thousands either moved away or simply never worked in engineering again.

Where did all these jobs go?  Some simply disappeared forever, when giants like Nortel and MCI simply ceased to exist.  But many others were transferred overseas, where replacements are paid 25-35% of their American counterparts, and with no expensive benefits. The fact that many companies have had very unhappy experiences, including poor design, bad quality, lack of communication, corporate theft on a massive scale (esp. in China), and higher than expected expenses has not prevented many from continuing in their commitment to off-shoring jobs. Even more, many other positions have been given to foreigners living in the United States under the H-1B visa program, making similarly low salaries.

Telecom is hardly alone.  Other towns and other industries have seen similar implosions.  The US continues to hemorrhage manufacturing and the associated engineering positions.  Long-term, this is gravely wounding the US economy, as “services” only go so far, and true wealth is really generated by manufacturing and trade (one reason why the US has run such long term deficits).

When I saw that high-tech industry leaders were once again, then, pushing for more H-1B visas, I was rather nonplussed.  But what really gets my gourd is the lie routinely told by these executives, who were once engineers themselves before they became such high flyers.  The lie is a lie of omission.  You’ve heard the phrase, but you rarely hear it finished.  The lie is this: “the US has a great shortage of scientists and engineers.”  The real statement is: “the US has a great shortage of scientists and engineers willing to work at the wages we would like to pay them, 18-45k per year.

Anyway, here’s the latest corporate propaganda from hyper-rich billionaires, who just totes swearz they can’t make a dime without bringing in more cheap foreign labor, who will then take the talents and skills (and perhaps corporate IP or even classified materials) back to their home country:

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, believes passionately that the United States needs more skilled foreign workers. He has long advocated increasing the number of so-called H-1B visas, which allow those workers to come to the U.S. for several years and, in many cases, work for lower wages than current employees. Schmidt is frustrated that Congress hasn’t done as he and other tech moguls want.

“In the long list of stupid policies of the U.S. government, I think our attitude toward immigration has got to be near the top,” Schmidt said during an appearance this week at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. “Everyone actually agrees that there should be more H-1B visas in order to create more tech, more science, more analytical jobs. Everyone agrees, in both parties.” [You mean, everyone agrees, among the hyper-rich corporate titans. I doubt even many of your own employees agree, Mr. Schmidt.]

The Eric Schmidt pleading for more foreign workers is the same Eric Schmidt who boasts of turning away thousands upon thousands of job seekers who apply for a few prized positions at Google. For example, at an appearance in Cleveland last October to promote his book, How Google Works, Schmidt explained that his company receives at least 1,000 applications for every job opening. “The good news is that we have computers to do the initial vetting,” Schmidt explained, according to an account in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Other tech leaders join Schmidt in calling for more foreign workers. Some companies are actually lobbying for more H-1Bs and laying off American staff at the same time. For example, last year Microsoft announced the layoff of 18,000 people at the very moment it was pushing Congress for more guest worker visas.

Given all that, there’s not quite the unanimous agreement on the need for more foreign workers that Schmidt claims. At a hearing this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a number of experts testified that the H-1B program, so sought-after by CEOs, is being abused to harm American workers. [Duh]

Ron Hira, a Howard University professor and author of the book Outsourcing America, told the story of Southern California Edison, which recently got rid of 500 IT employees and replaced them with a smaller force of lower-paid workers brought in from overseas through the H-1B program. The original employees were making an average of about $110,000 a year, Hira testified; the replacements were brought to Southern California Edison by outsourcing firms that pay an average of between $65,000 and $75,000.

“To add insult to injury,” Hira said, “SCE forced its American workers to train their H-1B replacements as a condition of receiving their severance packages.” [That’s very common.  It did not apply to me as a mechanical engineer, but most of the hardware and software engineers at Cisco had to train their Indian replacements when we got laid off at the end of 2005.  Cisco is now of course basically a footnote in the telecom industry, after spending over $10 billion trying to buy their way to a position of dominance.  CEO John Chambers has, of course, kept his job throughout.]

Hira testified that such situations are not unusual. And on the larger issue of whether there is, as many tech executives claim, a critical shortage of labor in what are called the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — another professor, Hal Salzman of Rutgers, testified that the shortage simply does not exist.

“The U.S. supply of top-performing graduates is large and far exceeds the hiring needs of the STEM industries, with only one of every two STEM graduates finding a STEM job,” Salzman testified. “The guest worker supply is very large [and] it is highly concentrated in the IT industry, leading to both stagnant wages and job insecurity.” [Yep. I saved this for now.  I personally know a good number of young engineering and science graduates who have either not been able to find a job in their field at all, have had to take lower-paid positions they are overqualified for, or have to work as contract and not direct-hire, that is, with no benefits.  Heck, 21  years ago I had a heckuva time finding a job out of college and it took two and half years of working really crappy, low-paid jobs before I finally built up enough experience to land a good one.]

The hearing also featured Jay Palmer, a former Infosys project manager who blew the whistle on a case in which the big outsourcing firm paid $34 million in fines for worker visa violations. “I watched this on a daily basis,” Palmer told the Judiciary Committee. “I sat in the offices in meetings with companies that displaced American workers only because the Americans who had been there 15 or 20 years were being paid too much money.”

That’s the main thing.  CEOs getting paid $50 million per year really object to workers vital to the corporation’s success making $120k a year.  All those darn “high priced” employees keep them from getting their next $20 million bonus.  Can’t have that.  So out they go.

Yes I’m being surprisingly populist, but I’ve also been one of a tiny handful able to remain in telecom lo these many years, but only by remaining at a company where the threat (and enactment of) layoffs has been constant for the past 7 years.  We’re about to have another one.  Meanwhile, we staff up in India, even though we often have to completely redo Indian projects, so problematic are they.

Look, I get that corporations have to make a profit and sometimes times are rough.  But I also know that my own $1 billion a year company is being bled white by AT&T and Verizon, and each of those companies, supposedly so broke they cannot possibly pay us even what our equipment costs, somehow managed to find enough dimes and nickels in their corporate couch cushions to make $14 and $20 billion, respectively, in profit last year.  That was 10% and 15%, respectively, on overall sales.  Not too bad.  And I am not exaggerating that they have worked such a duopoly that they are refusing to pay even cost for most equipment, and not just from us, but from all major equipment providers, including Alcatel Lucent and Ciena.  Almost all major telecom equipment providers are in a state of decline if not collapse, and that will only leave the door open, eventually, to a critical national security-related industry to be dominated by foreign concerns.  Yet, AT&T and Verizon just keep maintaining they simply don’t have enough money to pay any more than they do for the equipment vital to their industrial infrastructure.

I really do not advise young people to get into design engineering today.  Some kinds of engineering are likely to have a bright future: civil, environmental, for two, along with anything government related.  Heck, working for the government is probably the best thing a young person looking for a well-paid career with fringe benefits and long term stability can do. But most disciplines, and especially design, are going to be in continual decline. I think I will be very lucky to continue full time employment into my mid-50s.  I can see the handwriting on the wall, and the steadily diminishing opportunities.

Sorry for the segue into non sequitur personal matters.

Dallas theologian examines latest Scalfari “interview” scandal March 25, 2015

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, Society, scandals, foolishness, disaster, Papa, episcopate, error, Four Last Things, secularism, catachesis, self-serving, Christendom, paganism, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
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I’m certain virtually every reader has by now heard about or read the latest claims of the geriatric Italian militant atheist Eugenio Scalfari, reporting in the Italian daily La Repubblica ~10 days ago the results of a recent interview he conducted with the Pope.  As per his normal habit, Scalfari took no notes and used no recording device, so his reconstruction of events is based totally on memory.  Bear in mind, this man is 90 years old, and he has a severe ax to grind as a militant atheist.

Having said that, his reported comments have not been rebutted or rationalized in any way by the Vatican.  They have been allowed to stand as is, causing untold scandal and confusion.  As reported by Rorate and other sites, Scalfari reports the Pope as saying this:

What about those with no faith? The answer is that if one has loved others at least as much as himself, (possibly a little more than self) the Father will welcome him. Faith is of help but that is not the element of the one who judges – it’s life itself. Sin and repentance are part of life [and include]: remorse, a sense of guilt, a desire for redemption and the abandonment of egoism.

Those who have had the fortune of meeting Pope Francis, know that egoism is the most dangerous enemy of our species. Animals are egoistic because they are prey to their own instincts, the main one being their own survival. On the other hand, man is moved also by conviviality and so feels love for others, and for the survival of the species to which he belongs. If egoism overpowers and suffocates his love for others, it darkens the divine spark within him and he is self-condemned.

What happens to that lifeless soul? Will it be punished? How?

Francis’ answer is very clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul. All the others will participate in the bliss of living in the presence of the Father. The annihilated souls will not be part of that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is ended and this is the basis for the missionary work in the Church: to save the lost souls. And this is also the reason why Francis is a Jesuit to the core.

What to make of this?  That Scalfari is communicating the grossest errors and condemned heresies should be obvious.  What to make of the fact that the Vatican has, to date, made no correction or explanation?

As for the errors, Dallas-based theology Professor Christopher Malloy shares the following (Malloy is what you could call a Thomist):

First, “If one has loved others at least as much as himself… the Father will welcome him.” Well the statement is totally ambiguous. The condition of salvation is to die in grace. No one who dies without sanctifying grace in his soul is saved. Period. This grace entails, as its proper effect, a habitual orientation to love God out of charity for his own sake, and in consequence to love the self and the neighbor in God. Now, love is always oriented to a good……. In short, loving my neighbor “more” than myself or “at least as much” does not identify the proper condition of salvation. In fact, outstanding doctors of theology state that I have a duty to love myself more than my neighbor. That is right, more. They say the order of love is as follows: Love God first of all, your own soul next, your neighbor’s soul next, your neighbor’s body next, and your own body last. That would be the proper order of a loving mother for her children. And why self love in terms of spiritual goods first? Because I do not will my neighbor to have a good unless I appreciate, love, that good too. Moreover, unless I love God and love my loving God, I would not consider it a value to will for my neighbor. Hence, good love of neighbor requires good love of self. In sum, Unless I love my neighbor in God, and because of God, I cannot get into heaven.

Second, charity cannot exist without faith. So, if I am  not a believer, I cannot have the charity I need to have be saved. I must be converted to the one true God in faith in order to have charity so as to please him. Heb 11. [I would describe this, in my clumsy, amateur way, as the difference between natural love and supernatural love flowing from Grace.  Sure those with no faith in Jesus Christ can love, but their love is a natural love and not connected to sanctifying Grace.    Their love also has the propensity to be highly disordered and prurient, because it does not flow from a love of God]

……Fourth, “There is no punishment but only annihilation”. This is heresy. Everyone who dies without sanctifying grace goes straight to hell. And the soul cannot be punished in hell if it doesn’t exist. Whoever says the opposite states heresy. [Dang skippy.  I pray Scalfari completely butchered what the Pope said in that regard.  Otherwise, it would make the Pope’s many references to satan and demons farcical.]

Scalfari is leading people away from the truth of Catholic faith. It is lamentable that he carries on like this without being rebuked.

——–End Quote——–

I saved a bit there at the link.  Go check it out.

I, for one, am thrilled to find a blog from a traditional Thomist and co-parishioner who is a formally trained theologian.  That’ll be going in the blogroll.

If you want still another take, check out Pat Archbold’s column here.

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