Friday, August 31, 2018

Ukrainian Autocephapy (updated)

Rumors and reports from sources of unknown reliability are circulating to the effect that the Ecumenical Patriarch may be about to do something very dangerous to the unity of the Church.

Update: The latest from the Russian Church's website seems to throw cold water on some of the alarmist rumors circulating this morning.

Poll: Trump takes a hit

 I would take this with a very large grain of salt as it seems an outlier and is inconsistent with other recent polls. That said, a newly published ABC News-Washington Post poll shows Trump taking a fairly big hit. According to the poll his support level has dropped into the mid 30% range and his negatives have jumped to around 60%. Worse, approximately half of those polled support impeachment proceedings. As this is only a single poll I would wait to see if it is backed by others. But if it is, that would be really bad news for Trump. Washington is populated by people who won't answer the call of nature without first taking a poll and Trump's very strong and sustained support among Republican voters has been a major factor in keeping the rank and file GOP Congress Critters (most of whom privately detest Trump) in line. If they think that GOP support for Trump is starting to crack two months out from a general election where the president is the issue, things could get ugly quick.

Details.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Pope Takes the 5th

In response to the direct accusations leveled by Archbishop Carlo Viganò, former Papal Nuncio to the United States, in an eleven page indictment alleging moral corruption in the Vatican including the Pope himself, Francis had this to say...

“I read the statement this morning, and I must tell you sincerely that, I must say this, to you and all those who are interested: Read the statement carefully and make your own judgment, I will not say a single word on this.”

Source.

See also Rod Dreher's blog for the latest details.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Ex-Papal Nuncio Accuses Pope of Complicity in McCarrick Coverup- Calls on Francis to Resign

A report that is being described as a bombshell is out in the National Catholic Register (the non-heretical NCR). Unfortunately the death of Senator McCain is likely to give an excuse to the mainstream (read "pro-Francis) press/media to bury this story.

Read the report here.
HT: Dr. Tighe

Memory Eternal


The last Republican presidential candidate that I voted for. He was imperfect, and his interventionist foreign policy tendencies were dreadful. But he was the last of the old breed of Washington pols who had tremendous bipartisan stature and who was not afraid to buck his own party, or president, when he felt obliged to do so.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Poll: 70% Support "Medicare for All"

A vast majority — 70 percent — of Americans in a new poll supports "Medicare for all," also known as a single-payer health-care system.

The Reuters–Ipsos survey found 85 percent of Democrats said they support the policy along with 52 percent of Republicans.

Medicare for all has been in the headlines after a study by the libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center at George Mason University found it would lead to $32.6 trillion increase in federal spending over a 10-year period.

The study’s author, Charles Blahous, wrote in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month that even doubling taxes would not cover the bill for a single-payer health-care system.

The policy’s proponents, however, point to a note in the study showing that health-care costs would also decrease by $2 trillion by 2031 if it became law.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge) : Does Orthodoxy Need Monastic Orders? (& etc.)

Schema-Archimandrite Gabriel (Bunge) is the abbot of the Monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross located near Lugano, Switzerland. He is a well-known patrologist, theologian and author of a number of books, which have been translated into numerous European languages. Fr. Gabriel converted to Orthodoxy in 2010. He addresses a number of issues related to monasticism and the prospects for restoration of communion with the Roman Catholic Church in the interview linked below.

Read the full interview here.

Venezuela is pegging its money to a cryptocurrency that’s considered a scam

Venezuela is doing something completely unprecedented. Some even say illegal.

As part of an attempt to stop skyrocketing inflation, the country is issuing a new fiat currency called the "sovereign bolivar," which will be backed by a cryptocurrency. But that cryptocurrency, called the "petro," does not trade, and Venezuela's own parliament says it's being illegally used to mortgage the nation's cash-strapped oil reserves.

"This is a smoke-and-mirrors operation typical of Venezuela — I'll believe it when I see it," said Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University and one of the world's leading experts on hyperinflation. "The problem with the petro is it's a scam, it doesn't even trade."

In February, President Nicolas Maduro unveiled the oil-backed "petro" digital currency as a means to raise cash amid an economic meltdown and economic sanctions. Maduro said each petro token, which is not in circulation yet, would be backed by a barrel of the state's national petroleum. He also said about 100 million petro tokens would be issued — estimated to be worth around $6 billion.

Crypto rating site ICOindex.com, which rates initial coin offerings, labeled the petro "scam status." The site evaluates coins based on their white papers, and said while petro promised to be backed up by oil resources, "the technology and mechanisms to do so are not adequately explained." Another site, ICObench, gives it a 1.6 out of 5 stars.

Read the rest here.

Socialism + fiat money + cryptocurrency= The trifecta of make believe economics.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Russian Church Reportedly Ready to Discuss Restoration of the Monarchy

I don't see this going anywhere for now. Putin is not likely to want anyone in even a ceremonial role that might hold enough moral authority to pose a threat to his rule.

Source.

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Pope Francis Declares Capital Punishment Inadmissable in All Circumstances

It's all over the news, and the blogosphere. My views on this Pope have been firm for quite some time. Pope Francis is a heretic. And no, I am not referring to the various theological differences dividing Rome from Orthodoxy. He is essentially a liberal Protestant.

I have no idea how serious Catholics, who have been doing contortions to try and reconcile themselves with this papacy, are going to jam this particular square peg into the theological round hole. But I expect most will find a way. What alternative do they have? The Catholic concept of Doctrinal Development has been used to explain some crazy stuff before, but this is going to be on an altogether new level. To accept this is to effectively concede that there is no fundamental article of faith that cannot be revised or in this case, de facto reversed.

[Longtime readers will know that I am generally opposed to capital punishment. But my opposition is not based on Christian morality. It is pragmatic and utilitarian. And I do concede some rare exceptions.]

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

God, Sports and Martyrdom

There are quite a few people out there who seem to believe that He takes an interest in sports. This is not new. We know that as far back as the glory days of the Empire the Blues and Greens both called out for divine favor on behalf of their respective chariot teams in the Hippodrome. The Blues were generally supported by the upper crust of society and were associated with strict Orthodoxy. In contrast the Greens were seen as the team of the working class and were suspected of harboring at least some sympathies for Monophysitism.

Personally I have been rather skeptical of the idea. How could a just God allow something as abhorrent as the New York Yankees? See this earlier discussion by Dr. Hart. All of which said, I have been toying with another line of thinking. Perhaps God's intervention in sports is solely for the purpose of preparing the righteous for eventual martyrdom.

How else can one explain this...?