Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Rumors from Philly

The Jesuit Fr. James Martin (yes, that one) is said to be on the short list of possible replacements for Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia.

Lord have mercy.

Report: Patriarch Bartholomew tells Athonites reunion with Catholics is inevitable

On November 12, Patriarch Bartholomew participated in the Vespers service at the Catholic Abbey of Our Lady of St. Rémy in Rochefort, Belgium, together with Archimandrite Alexios, the abbot of Xenophontos Monastery, and Hieromonk Theophilos of Pantocrator Monastery, both on Mt. Athos. 

According to a new report from the Union of Orthodox Journalists, during his trip to Mt. Athos the previous month, Pat. Bartholomew attempted to convince several Athonite abbots and monks that there are no dogmatic differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism, and that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable. 

Pat. Bartholomew expressed his personal convictions during a private talk at Pantocrator Monastery with the brethren and guests of the monastery, including other Athonite abbots. Eyewitnesses report that Pat. Bartholomew’s security did not allow anyone to record the conversation. 

In his opinion, the division that now exists between Orthodoxy and Catholicism is merely a matter of historical events, not dogmatic differences. 

Catholics “are just as Christian as we are,” Pat. Bartholomew emphasized, adding that the recent gift of the relics of St. Peter from Pope Francis is proof of the Catholic church’s nearness to Orthodoxy. 

According to the UOJ’s sources, Pantocrator abbot Archimandrite Gabriel, Xenophontos abbot Archimandrite Alexios, Vatopedia abbot Archimandrite Ephraim, the brethren of several monasteries, and other guests were all present for the talk. 

Most of the brethren were at a loss, hearing Pat. Bartholomew’s ecumenistic arguments, though none present objected. Some of those present reportedly began to weep when Pat. Bartholomew said that reunion with the Catholic church is inevitable. 

Recall that Xenophontos and Pantocrator Monasteries have been the most receptive to the Ukrainian schismatics. Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos concelebrated in the enthronement of Epiphany Dumenko as primate of the OCU, and Pantocrator was the first monastery where schismatics served Liturgy on Mt. Athos.

At a recent meeting in Constantinople with representatives of Tbilisi University, Pat. Bartholomew said that dialogue with other Christians, especially Catholics, is one of the priorities of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. 

Source

Caveat... The Union of Orthodox Journalists is editorially closely aligned with the Moscow Patriarchate. I'm not dismissing such a shocking report as untrue. But I would bear the source in mind.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Alice C. Linsley: Ten Objections to Women Priests

As a woman who served as a priest in the Episcopal Church for 16 years, I have some experience of the nature of the priesthood. In 1982, with the encouragement of my parish clergy, friends and family, it seemed the right course for my life. Over the years, I began to question the rationale for women priests. I remember feeling that I was standing in another's shoes, not appropriately mine. I wanted to explain this to my bishop, but he clearly did not want to hear it.

Galatian 3:28 has been used to justify the innovation of women priests: "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." In the fourth century, St. Epiphanius remarked that the heretical Cataphyrgians (Montanists) employed Galatians 3:28 to elevate women as "bishops and priests and they say nothing makes a difference 'For in Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female.'''

Reading Galatians 3:28 in context, it is apparent that Paul is speaking of the unity of the body of Christ. He is not promoting gender equality as it is framed today. As the Supper was intended to unite the participants to the Head, Jesus Christ, the idea of a woman presiding at the Feast would have been unthinkable.

My doubts made the priestly ministry increasingly burdensome and problematic. As a heterosexual, Bible-believing, Anglican Traditionalist, I found no affirmation in the Episcopal Church as it moved toward a radical revision of the Gospel, setting aside the Apostolic Tradition for its social justice agenda.

Eventually, I renounced orders in the Episcopal Church and left that body. This initiated a decade of reflection on the role of women in the Church and the historic priesthood. During that time, I was in conversation with three former women priests who were seeking clarity also. One entered the Roman Catholic Church and the others entered the Orthodox Church of America. I explored both traditions, but I am thoroughly Anglican and have been for forty-three years.

I have written on the question of women priests, exploring it through Biblical studies, Church history, and cultural anthropology. As with many Anglicans, I believe that the Episcopal Church erred in 1976 when it departed from the all-male priesthood. On a single day the General Convention of the Episcopal Church overthrew catholic orders, rejected the teaching of the Fathers, and denied the authority of Holy Scripture.


Read the rest here.

Why it matters that Canadian Anglicans are having a near-death experience

Years ago, while I was still an Episcopalian, I tried to get a circle of clergy and journalists to collaborate on what I thought would be a classic work of religion-marketplace humor.
The basic idea: The creation of the definitive collection of jokes about Episcopalians and their unique approach to Christian life and culture. As one priest put it, the Episcopal Church is “NPR at prayer.”
The book never happened, but I learned lots of jokes that I didn’t know in all of the basic categories, from “how many Episcopalians does it take to change a light bulb” quips to jokes featuring “Episcopalians at the gates of heaven and/or hell.” But here was my favorite joke, as I heard it in 1993 (but with a few updates):
The year is 2030 … and two Anglo-Catholic priests in the back of National Cathedral are watching the Episcopal presiding bishop and her incense-bearing wife, an archdeacon, process down the aisle behind a statue of the Buddha, while the faithful sing a hymn to Mother Earth.
"You know," one traditionalist whispers, "ONE more thing and I'm out the door."
The whole point was that it’s hard for religious communions to die. In the end, there are always reasons for true insiders to hang on and hope the pendulum swings back their way.
But I remember that someone else had a joke — I don’t remember how it went — that centered on the idea that, after a few more decades of declining statistics, Anglican churches would be empty, except for elderly clergy at the altars whose salaries would be paid with endowment funds.
That joke cuts to the heart of the news story discussed in this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in).
As background, here is the top of the Religion News Service story I critiqued in an post with this headline: “Canada's Anglicans are vanishing and RNS can't find any conservatives to debate the reasons why.”

Story here.
HT:T-19

Opiate of the Theologians (Universalism)

Not until the nineteenth century did any Christian body make universal salvation its official teaching. The first to do so, the Universalist Church, later merged with another to form the Unitarian Universalist Association. Within the mainstream churches, medieval and early-modern universalists led a subterranean, catacomb existence—isolated figures, often concealing their views—while Christendom in all its major branches preached hell no less than heaven. Following Origen’s lead, universalists preserved a covert gospel, withheld from the masses, who needed hellfire to scare them straight, while a tiny cadre of religious intellectuals saw themselves as the only ones fit to know the truth. Dogmatic universalism—the notion that God must save all human beings—was for centuries not a public tradition but an esoteric one.

During the first half of the twentieth century, overt expressions of universalism were rare among acknowledged church teachers, with the exception of certain Russian thinkers such as Sergius Bulgakov. In the 1940s, Jacques Maritain confided to a notebook his private thoughts regarding a larger hope of salvation, and Emil Brunner affirmed without fear of contradiction that apokatastasis (universal restoration) is “a doctrine which the Church as a whole has recognized as a heresy.” At mid-century, Catholic theology showed no sign of changing. Yet something shifted during the 1950s and 1960s: Karl Barth’s affirmation of universal election in Church Dogmatics allowed universalism to come out of the shadows. Hans Urs von Balthasar acknowledged Origen’s influence and that of “Barth’s doctrine of election, that brilliant overcoming of ­Calvin.” In the 1970s and 1980s, Catholics discussed “anonymous Christians” and “the unchurched,” while Evangelicals pondered “the ­unevangelized.” Yet the Catholic-Evangelical pivot to inclusivism would prove to be merely a stepping-stone. By century’s end, the earlier debates over inclusivism had become passé, and the new arena of controversy was universalism, either in a hopeful, Balthasarian vein, which seeks to affirm the possibility of universal salvation, or in an assertive, Moltmannian version, which makes it a divine imperative. Among today’s young Christian theologians, Balthasarian tentativeness is fast yielding to ever more strident affirmations of the necessity of salvation for all—as in David ­Bentley Hart’s recent book, That All Shall Be Saved.

Hart charges those who believe in an eternal hell with “moral imbecility.” The language of rude dismissal was something of a guilty pleasure when he deployed it against the “New Atheists” more than a decade ago. Now he is denouncing Dante and every­one else who sustains the age-old tradition of the Church. By his reckoning, their view of God should evoke in us “only a kind of remote, vacuous loathing.” So much for Augustine, Chrysostom, John of Damascus, Aquinas, Pascal, Newman, Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, and Pope Benedict XVI—not to mention innumerable canonized saints of the Church, the great majority of ancient Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac writers, and such Protestant luminaries as Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, Calvin, Hooker, and Edwards. Oddly, Hart now sounds very much like Richard Dawkins. No less than the aging atheist, Hart finds the two-thousand-year Christian tradition not just unbelievable but repugnant and inhuman.

Read the rest here.

Former Director of the Greek Archdiocese Accused of Theft

The onetime executive director of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has been busted for pocketing more than $500,000 in church funds, according to prosecutors.

Jerome Dimitriou, 55, allegedly ran two separate schemes dating back to 2011, according to a Manhattan federal court complaint unsealed Monday.

Prosecutors claim he charged tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses to the diocese-issued credit card, while also instructing subordinates to cut him around $500,000 in bonus checks without proper authorization.


Read the rest here.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Friday, November 22, 2019

Good news... and bad.

Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem has issued an open invitation to the primates of the Orthodox Church to meet in Jordan in an effort to resolve the Ukrainian crisis and preserve the Eucharistic Communion within the Church.

Axios!

And...

His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael forcefully instructed his priests that they were no longer permitted to announce the parameters for receiving Holy Communion prior to its distribution at any time, even on festal celebrations such as Pascha and Nativity, when there are multitude of unknown persons in the Church.

Details.

This is alarming and completely contrary to the historic discipline of the Church. Frankly, it smacks of the kind of open communion practiced by liberal Protestants (sadly gaining traction in the Roman Church as well). For a variety of reasons I made the decision a while ago, that barring an emergency I will refrain from communing in the parishes of the Greek Archdiocese. This has not moved me to reconsider that decision.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Pat. Bartholomew and Athonite abbot and hieromonk attend Vespers with Catholics in Belgium

Bart has been doing this kind of thing for a long time. But the presence of an Athonite abbot may raise some eyebrows.

Details.

Ukrainian schismatics discuss adopting New Calendar Christmas to differentiate from Russia

 “Metropolitan” Mikhail Zinkevich of Lutsk and Volyn of the schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” has expressed his support for a group of Lutsk activists who asked a blessing to celebrate the Nativity of Christ according to the New Calendar on December 25 in order to differentiate themselves from Russia.

The request came from Provincial and Lutsk City Council Deputies, members of the “Prosvita” society, and other activists, reports the site of schismatic diocese. According to pershyj.com, it came from more than 300 activists altogether.

Although Ukrainian Orthodox Christians have always celebrated feasts according to the Old Calendar, with Nativity falling on January 7, the petitioners argue that this tradition keeps Ukraine too much like Russia and the Soviet Union, and so it should be changed.

“December 25 is not only the Catholic Christmas, but the general Christian Christmas. The pan-Orthodox Council in Constantinople decided in 1923 that Orthodox Christians, according to the more accurate Gregorian calendar, should celebrate Christmas on December 25. All countries except those that were under the influence of the Soviet Union agreed to it,” the petition reads.

“Most Local Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas on December 25. However, Ukraine still remains in the Soviet (now—Russian) paradigm, celebrating Christmas on January 7 in the company of the aggressor Russia,” it continues.

Accordingly, the activists asked to begin the Nativity Fast on November 15 rather than November 28. 


Read the rest here.

It's worth noting that the Greek Rite Catholics in Ukraine are still mostly on the old calendar.

UMC Next Plan: Liberalize Church, Protect Abusive Clergy, Crush Out Traditionalists

The ultra-liberal UMC Next caucus has released its “Next Generation UMC” proposal for the 2020 General Conference, consisting of 23 petitions across 33 pages.

UMC Next’s Convening Team includes celebrity pastor Adam Hamilton, Tom Berlin (lead submitter of the misleadingly named “One Church Plan” to the 2019 General Conference), Jasmine Smothers (another Commission on a Way Forward member and “One Church Plan” sponsor), Jan Lawrence (CEO of the LGBTQ liberationist Reconciling Ministries Network), Randall Miller (former head of RMN), Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson of North Georgia, Bishop Mike McKee of North Texas, Junius Dotson (CEO of our denomination’s official “Discipleship Ministries” agency), and key deputies of Chicago Bishop Sally Dyck and Florida Bishop Ken Carter.

This group largely consists of some of the most prominent advocates of the so-called “One Church Plan” (OCP). There seemed to be a lot of hubris among many liberals of being confident that their OCP would pass, because they evidently had not bothered to listen much to its traditionalist and genuine-centrist critics.

In response to our denomination’s highest representative body making clear that the OCP was a bridge too far, the UMC Next proposal represents leading OCP supporters refusing to make any compromises, but instead asking for something even more radical.

Here are key component of UMC Next’s “Next Generation UMC” proposal:
  • Dramatically liberalize church standards on sexual morality while stifling any room for dissent.
  • Dramatically erode accountability for clergy misconduct on all other standards.
  • Have traditionalist believers leave.
  • Repeat the “Way Forward” process.
  • Potentially dramatically change core doctrine.
  • Dramatically liberalize church standards on sexual morality while stifling any room for dissent.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Trump Isn’t the First President to Make War on the Federal Reserve



Nixon bullied his Fed chair into lowering interest rates — a political move that wrecked the economy for years.
 
Taking to Twitter late last month, President Trump made clear that when it comes to the economy, the real enemy is not in Beijing, but just down the street from the White House, in the headquarters of the Federal Reserve. The Fed’s chairman, Jerome Powell, had recently led his board in lowering interest rates by 25 basis points, a smaller increment than the president desired. “China is not our problem, the Federal Reserve is,” the president wrote.

Such audacity may feel uniquely Trumpian, but it isn’t. Though our modern political culture holds that the Federal Reserve is independent, other postwar presidents have bullied Fed chairmen just as egregiously. President Lyndon Johnson pushed Fed Chairman William McChesney Martin against a wall after Martin dared to raise the discount rate half a percentage point.

But the worst example is President Richard Nixon’s campaign to coerce “his” Fed chairman, Arthur Burns, into promulgating policy that guaranteed devastating inflation. Worst, because it worked — and demonstrated that this economically vital, supposedly apolitical agency is more vulnerable to presidential meddling than we’d like to believe.

Read the rest here

Amity Shlaes is no left-wing moonbat. She is an old right conservative whose recent biography of Calvin Coolidge is sitting on my bookshelf. But what even she dares not mention, is that the world is drowning in debt and the central banks are already up to their eyeballs in money printing and aggressive manipulation of interest rates and financial markets. Their sole function at this point is to keep the bubbles inflated for as long as possible. Trump really aught to read "This Time is Different- Eight Centuries of Financial Folley" by Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff (also on my bookshelf). I'd offer to lend him my copy, but there aren't any pictures.

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.