Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Venice stricken with catastrophic flooding



The historic squares of Venice were left deep underwater on Wednesday after most of the tourist mecca was inundated by the second-highest levels of flooding ever recorded, sending water into the historic basilica as more bad weather is in the forecast.

The high tide peaked at 74 inches late Tuesday, just short of the 76 inches set during record flooding of 1966. That meant more than 85 percent of the city was flooded, with water overtaking the famed St. Mark's Basilica, raising new concerns over damage to the mosaics and other artworks.

 "Venice is on its knees," Mayor Luigi Brugnaro said on Twitter. "St. Mark's Basilica has sustained serious damage like the entire city and its islands.

 Read the rest here.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Masons (again)

That two of the most controversial Patriarchs of Constantinople (prior to the current occupant) were Free Masons has been so widely reported that I have long accepted the claims as almost certainly factual. If any concrete denials that Meletius IV and Athenagoras I were Masons have ever been made by reputable sources, I am unaware of them. Still, and for the record, the evidence seems to be piling up.

For those who may be unaware, membership in the Free Masons is forbidden to Orthodox Christians.

Saturday, November 09, 2019

Ross Douthat: An Interview With Cdl Burke

In mid-October, while the Catholic Church’s internal debates were reaching another crescendo at a synod for the Amazon region held in Rome, I sat down with Cardinal Raymond Burke, best known as Pope Francis’s most vocal critic in the church’s hierarchy.

Our conversations, which continued last week, covered Burke’s role in Francis-era debates about Catholic moral teaching, as well as the sex abuse crisis, the legacy of Vatican II, his relationship with Steve Bannon and the strange position of a conservative Catholic who is also a critic of the pope. The following is an edited, condensed version of our discussions.

This is well worth reading in its entirety.

HT: Fr. Z with whom I agree about what should have happened to ex-Cardinal McCarrick. Burke is one of the good guys. Unfortunately he is an American and is anathema to Rome's Magic Circle, so his chances of being elected as the next Pope are around zero. And of course it doesn't help that Francis has been stacking the College of Cardinals with blatant heretics, some of whom are also shockingly corrupt.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Athonite Elder Gabriel rebukes Patriarch Bartholomew

An open letter has been sent which I am not going to quote here as it is highly polemical. But for the record...

Details.

The backstory on HBO shelving the Game of Thrones prequel

THE Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts was axed after HBO decided the £30million pilot was “too woke”.

It was to feature the first White Walker as black, put lesbian characters at the heart of the plot and make one of Ned Stark’s ancestors mixed race.

The series, in which the main theme was to be colonialism, was being run by writer and producer Jane Goldman — married to TV and radio presenter Jonathan Ross.

But after three years of work, the show — which had the working title Bloodmoon — was suddenly shelved for good this week.

HBO instead announced a different prequel called House of the Dragon, said to be more similar to the original series.

The ten-parter will be based on George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood.


Read the rest here.

Too woke for HBO? Holy $%^&!

Monday, November 04, 2019

Bitcoin's boom in 2017 was largely market manipulation

A forensic study on bitcoin’s 2017 boom has found that nearly the entire rise of the digital currency at the time is attributable to “one large player,” although the market manipulator remains unidentified.

Finance professors John Griffin and Amin Shams – instructors at University of Texas and the Ohio State University, respectively – analyzed over 200 gigabytes of data for the transaction history between bitcoin and tether, another digital currency. Tether is an asset known as a “stablecoin,” which has its trading value connected to the dollar.

The professors’ study found that tethers being traded for bitcoins revealed a pattern.

“We find that the identified patterns are not present on other flows, and almost the entire price impact can be attributed to this one large player,” Griffin and Shams wrote. “We map this data across both blockchains and find that the one player or entity (labeled as 1LSg throughout the paper) is behind the majority of the patterns we document.”

Griffin and Shams were able to follow the clusters of data to a source: “One large account at Bitfinex.” The digital currency exchange Bitfinex is one of the largest in the world. The study found that, through Bitfinex, the single player was able to manipulate demand for bitcoin via “extreme” flows of tethers. The Wall Street Journal first reported on the updated study’s results on Monday.

The manipulation occurred as bitcoin rose to an all-time high of nearly $20,000 in late 2017, the study found. Bitcoin traded at about $9,300 on Monday.

“One of the SEC’s top worries is that crypto is subject to manipulation. This study appears to lend credibility to that argument,” Cowen analyst Jaret Seiberg said in a note on Monday.

The study comes after an analysis published in March found that 95% bitcoin spot trading is faked. The survey, created by cryptocurrency asset manager Bitwise for the SEC, found that only $273 million of about $6 billion in average daily bitcoin volume was legitimate.


Read the rest here.

Polls: Trump remains competitive in key battleground states

Despite low national approval ratings and the specter of impeachment, President Trump remains highly competitive in the battleground states likeliest to decide his re-election, according to a set of new surveys from The New York Times Upshot and Siena College.

Across the six closest states that went Republican in 2016, he trails Joe Biden by an average of two points among registered voters but stays within the margin of error.

Mr. Trump leads Elizabeth Warren by two points among registered voters, the same margin as his win over Hillary Clinton in these states three years ago. 

The poll showed Bernie Sanders deadlocked with the president among registered voters, but trailing among likely voters. 

The results suggest that Ms. Warren, who has emerged as a front-runner for the Democratic nomination, might face a number of obstacles in her pursuit of the presidency. The poll supports concerns among some Democrats that her ideology and gender — including the fraught question of “likability” — could hobble her candidacy among a crucial sliver of the electorate. And not only does she underperform her rivals, but the poll also suggests that the race could be close enough for the difference to be decisive.

Read the rest here

I automatically assume that polls under report Trump's support by between 1-3% given the reluctance of some of his supporters to admit as much. So for Trump supporters this must be more than a glimmer of good news. That said, I remain dubious regarding the value of polls this far from the general election, recent exceptions notwithstanding.Too much can happen and one doesn't need to be a political junkie to grasp that this administration is a nuclear generator for "unanticipated events."

Sunday, November 03, 2019

La Croix: Amazon Synod means the ‘end of Tridentine Church’

The editor-in-chief of the French Catholic daily, La Croix, wrote a blog post on Tuesday announcing the “end of the Tridentine Church.”

Isabelle de Gaulmyn presents what she considers to be the outcome of the Amazon Synod, calling it a “real revolution” that will close the door on Catholicism as it has existed for five centuries.

Interestingly, she remarked that Pope Francis will probably not contradict the Synod’s conclusions insofar as he “quite largely encouraged the process.”

La Croix is owned by the French religious congregation of the Augustinians of the Assumption and is widely read by the French episcopate, so much so that it is considered the unofficial daily of the bishops. It runs a number of blogs, in particular for its own journalists and invited editorialists. In de Gaulmyn's capacity of editor-in-chief of the print version of La Croix, her blog gives a true reflection of the paper’s orientation, which is generally progressive.

La Croix is rarely if ever contradicted by the French episcopate, even when it takes up positions that are favorable to abortion or unfavorable to resistance against same-sex “marriage.”

De Gaulmyn’s take on the Amazon Synod as a break from “Tridentine” Catholicism is perfectly in line with La Croix’s enthusiastic reporting on the event. The paper’s permanent correspondent in Rome, Nicolas Senèze, recently published a book about opposition to Pope Francis under the title: How America wants to change Popes, accusing rich American Catholics and pressure groups of maneuvering to obtain Francis’ eviction.

De Gaulmyn argues that the Church as we know it is a product of the Council of Trent, which organized the response to the Protestant Reformation through the Counter-Reformation. If she is to be believed, the “structuring” of the Church around the central figure of the priest dates back to that 16th century time: hence the clericalism that is regularly decried by Pope Francis as the root of the sex-abuse crisis and other problems in the present-day Church. The Council of Trent condemned the laity to the role of a “flock of docile sheep,” she wrote. She called this a sort of new vision of priests, changing their status in the people’s imagination.

Presenting the Amazon Synod as the natural outcome of Vatican II and its renewed approach to the priesthood, de Gaulmyn jubilantly remarked – on an ecclesio-ecological note – that the Church is moving toward increased “biodiversity,” which is how she interprets married priests and women ministers.

It is interesting to note that de Gaulmyn would be prepared and happy to see the Church throw away and even contradict the rich inheritance of the Council of Trent, which in particular deepened the teaching of the Church on the Sacrifice of the Mass and the sacraments and codified the Latin Rite – not by revolutionizing it but by largely unifying its use by the will of Pope Pius V. The extraordinary form of the Latin Mass is also known as the Mass of Pius V or the “Tridentine” Mass (from Trent).


Read the rest here.

California Shows The Limits Of Progressivism

More than 2 million Californians recently were left without power after the state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas and Electric—which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year—preemptively shut down transmission lines in fear that they might spark fires during periods of high autumn winds.
 
Consumers blame the state for not cleaning up dead trees and brush, along with the utility companies for not updating their ossified equipment. The power companies in turn fault the state for so overregulating utilities that they had no resources to modernize their grids.

Californians know that having tens of thousands of homeless in their major cities is untenable. In some places, municipal sidewalks have become open sewers of garbage, used needles, rodents, and infectious diseases.

Yet no one dares question progressive orthodoxy by enforcing drug and vagrancy laws, moving the homeless out of cities to suburban or rural facilities, or increasing the number of mental hospitals.

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? 

Taxpayers in California, whose basket of sales, gasoline, and income taxes is the highest in the nation, quietly seethe while immobile on antiquated freeways that are crowded, dangerous, and under nonstop makeshift repair.

Gas prices of $4 to $5 a gallon—the result of high taxes, hyper-regulation, and green mandates—add insult to the injury of stalled commuters. Gas tax increases ostensibly intended to fund freeway expansion and repair continue to be diverted to the state’s failing high-speed rail project.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

HBO Passes on Game of Thrones Prequel

Details.

Somewhat surprised. But I'm still waiting for the books, so whatever.

Greek Church Recognizes Ukrainian Schismatics

While the stance of the Archbishop Ieronymos, the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, towards the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” remained unclear after the Bishops’ Council of the Greek Church on October 12, it has now been clarified. 

As Romfea and its English edition Orthodox Times both report, Abp. Ieronymos sent an “irenic letter” to “Metropolitan” Epiphany Dumenko, the primate of the schismatic OCU on October 21. 

According to established tradition, every new primate of a Local Church sends “irenic letters” to the primates of the other Local Churches of the Orthodox Church, officially announcing his elevation. Response letters from the other primates constitute an official recognition of the new primate. 

Read the rest here

This, at last, appears definitive.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

The Washington Post is getting torched on Twitter


  1. Genghis Khan, accomplished horseman and indefatigable traveler, breathes his last.
  2. Maximilien Robespierre, pamphleteer and cutlery connoisseur, dies at 36.
  3. Saddam Hussein, successful politician, oil baron and noted tough boss, dead at 69.
  4. Charles Manson, devout family man and Beach Boys super fan, passes away at 83.
  5. Obituary: Psychologist and Wine Connoisseur Hannibal Lecter Dies After Lengthy Battle With Flesh Eating Disorder
  6. Robert Mugabe, founder of Modern Monetary Theory, dies at 95.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Baseball

Memo to the Nationals: If your gonna run a restaurant, it doesn't matter how well you set the table if you can't get the food out of the kitchen.

Hillary Clinton Accidentally Posts Condolences For Tulsi Gabbard's Suicide a Day Early



U.S.—Oops! A social media scheduling error apparently caused Hillary Clinton to post her condolences for Tulsi Gabbard's suicide one day early.

This morning, Clinton posted that she felt "great sadness" at hearing that Gabbard had killed herself. In subsequent tweets, she detailed how "tragic" it was that Gabbard had broken her own kneecaps, stuck her feet in concrete, then tossed herself off the docks near a seedy warehouse.

"It's just terrible what happened, and though we disagreed, I hope we can all take a few minutes to send thoughts and prayers to the family," Clinton concluded.

Read the rest here.

People are fleeing San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO – Social media influencer Sarah Tripp and her husband, Robbie Tripp, moved to San Francisco in 2016 brimming with optimism.

“We thought, here’s a city full of opportunities and connections where you go to work hard and succeed,” says Tripp, 27, founder of the lifestyle blog Sassy Red Lipstick.

But after a year-long hunt for suitable housing in San Francisco only turned up “places for $1 million that looked like rundown shacks and needed a remodel,” the couple packed up and moved to Phoenix.

They went from paying San Francisco rents of $2,500 for a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment that was far from shopping and other amenities, to purchasing a newly constructed 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom, four-bathroom home where they’ll raise their newly arrived baby boy.

“It was cool to be living near all those high-tech startups,” Tripp says of her time in the Bay Area. “But you quickly saw that if you weren’t part of that, you’d be pushed out. It’s just sad.”

For the better part of two decades, the Bay Area has been a magnet for newcomers lured by a modern-day technology Gold Rush. But increasingly only those who have struck it rich can afford to stay.

Once a bohemian mecca that welcomed the Beat poets and '60s hippies, San Francisco now lays claim to the most expensive housing in the West, with a median home price of $1.4 million. There's also $5 a gallon gas, private schools priced like universities and chic restaurants that cost nearly double the national average.

Earlier this year, the San Francisco Bay Area was second only to New York – and ahead of Los Angeles, Washington and Chicago – when it came to people leaving major U.S. cities. More than 28,190 departed in the second quarter of 2019, almost double 2017's rate, according to a regular Migration Report from real estate brokerage Redfin.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Huzzah!

An unknown number of Catholics (lay people?) appear to have had enough with the officially sanctioned paganism associated with the Amazonian Synod ... and expropriated some of the idols and threw them into the Tiber!

Video.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Former Bank of England chief warns of looming financial crisis

The world is sleepwalking towards a fresh economic and financial crisis that will have devastating consequences for the democratic market system, according to the former Bank of England governor Mervyn King.

Lord King, who was in charge at Threadneedle Street during the near-death of the global banking system and deep economic slump a decade ago, said the resistance to new thinking meant a repeat of the chaos of the 2008-09 period was looming.

Giving a lecture in Washington at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund, King said there had been no fundamental questioning of the ideas that led to the crisis of a decade ago.

“Another economic and financial crisis would be devastating to the legitimacy of a democratic market system,” he said. “By sticking to the new orthodoxy of monetary policy and pretending that we have made the banking system safe, we are sleepwalking towards that crisis.”

He added that the US would suffer a “financial armageddon” if its central bank – the Federal Reserve – lacked the necessary firepower to combat another episode similar to the sub-prime mortgage sell-off.


Read the rest here.

Decades of overt government manipulation of financial markets via interest rates and money supply may finally be reaching the point of being ineffective.

George Will: ‘Texodus’ bodes badly for Republicans

...Hurd is one of six Texas Republican congressman who have decided not to seek reelection next year. Until this year, none of them had, since 2011, experienced the purgatory of being in the House minority. In the 2018 “Texodus,” five Texas Republican representatives retired (a sixth resigned) and two were defeated. Of the 241 Republicans in the House when President Trump was inaugurated, almost 40 percent are gone or going. See a trend?

...In the 2016 House of Representatives elections, no Republican incumbent from Texas lost, and only one was elected with less than 55 percent of the vote. In 2018, two lost and 10 received less than 55 percent. In 2016, four incumbent Republicans in Texas’s House were defeated, and only four won with majorities under 55 percent. In 2018, there were eight losses, and 16 won with less than 55 percent. John Cornyn, who recently stepped down as the second-highest-ranking Republican leader (majority whip) in the U.S. Senate, has won three terms with majorities of 55.3 percent, 54.8 percent and 61.6 percent but seems headed for a more competitive race next year. No wonder Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says Texas is “ground zero” for Democrats’ attempts to strengthen their hold on the House.

...In 2008, with the Great Recession underway, John McCain carried Texas by 12 points. In 2012, Mitt Romney carried it by 16. In 2016, Trump (whom Hurd did not endorse) won by nine points. In Texas’s most important 2018 contest for a federal office, incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz won by just three. See a trend?

If the Democratic Party can collect Texas’s electoral votes — 38 today, perhaps 41 after the 2020 Census — as well as California’s 55, it will reap 35.5 percent of a winning 270 from just two states. Then the GOP will have almost no plausible path to 270, and Democrats who are currently hot to abolish the electoral college will suddenly say: Oh, never mind.

Read the rest here.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

For the record

And getting back to the troubles in our own house; the primate of the Church of Greece has concelebrated with the Ecumenical Patriarch where they commemorated the head of the schismatic Ukrainian sect. Moscow having issued a clear warning against this last Thursday; it can be assumed that a formal breach in communion is now imminent.

Lord have mercy.

Roman Catholic Amazonian Synod Openly Flirting With Paganism and Female Ordination

There have been widespread reports of shocking and scandalous rituals performed in the Vatican. Now there is open discussion of conferring the order of the diaconate on women by ordination. The long simmering crisis in the Western Church is reaching a breaking point. How long will (small 'o') orthodox Catholic bishops tolerate this apostasy? Most of us who have followed the recent events in the mainline Protestant sects can say with confidence that we have seen this movie and know how it's going to end.

Once women are "ordained" as deacons the next step will only be a matter if time. My prediction is that within ten years, possibly much less, some bishop will just go ahead and "ordain" priestesses. And my further prediction is that there will be much huffing and puffing, and not much more.

The question is, whether the Roman Church wishes to retain a credible claim to apostolicity and being the Church spoken of in the creed, or whether it is content to become just another liberal Protestant denomination.

The point has been reached where a line must be drawn and a firm warning given that the pretended ordination of women will not be recognized. Whatever may have been the case to now, schism is by no means the worst case scenario.

Yes, things have gotten that bad.