Wednesday, May 15, 2024

John Stewart on Government Corruption

Slovak Prime Minister Gravely Wounded in Assassination Attempt

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is in life-threatening condition after being wounded in a shooting after a political event Wednesday afternoon, according to his Facebook profile.

The populist, pro-Russian leader, 59, was hit in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of the capital where the leader was meeting with supporters, according to reports on TA3, a Slovak TV station. A suspect has been detained, the country’s president said in a televised statement.

A message posted to Fico’s Facebook account said that the leader “has been shot multiple times and is currently in life-threatening condition.”

Read the rest here.

This is the number one news story in almost the entire world... except for the US, where it has received scant coverage by any of the major news networks who remain obsessed with our own politics, Donald Trump's trial, and a just announced political debate set for June. The culture in all three of our 24 hour news networks is embarrassing. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Archbishop Elpidophoros: Opposition to gay marriage is fascist

From here.
See also this.

This is simply scandalous. It is the sort of drivel I would expect from mainline Protestants, not the head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in North America. The man is an open heretic and should be immediately deposed.  

Between the legitimately fascist ethno-nationalism being preached in Moscow and the byzantine rite Episcopalianism being embraced by the Greeks here in the US, the Church is clearly in a state of crisis. 

HT: Blog reader John L.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Donald Trump May Be Talking Himself Into Prison

Normally the sort of charges he is facing in New York would not result in a jail sentence for a variety of reasons. But, should he be convicted, Trump's repeated attacks on the court, judge, prosecutors, witnesses, and even jurors, with the obvious intent of perverting the course of justice and undermining the public's confidence in the fair administration of the law, can be held against him when considering an appropriate sentence.  Bluntly, his behavior has been so egregious that it could be fairly interpreted by the judge and prosecutors as demonstrating a complete lack of repentance and a near absolute contempt for the judicial system and the rule of law in general. 

And that will almost always land you in the crossbarred hotel.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

A Thank-You Note to the Campus Protesters

Dear anti-Israel campus protesters:

Though it may take a few years before you realize it, supporters of Israel like me have reasons to give thanks to militant anti-Zionists like you.

Recently, a friend asked what I would have made of your protests if they had been less fervently one-sided. If, for instance, pro-Palestinian student groups at Harvard and Columbia hadn’t castigated Israel immediately following the worst massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Or if Jewish students and professors hadn’t faced violence, harassment and antisemitic imagery from you or your allies from Harvard to Columbia to Berkeley to Stanford. Or if you had made a point of acknowledging the reality of the Oct. 7 rapes or the suffering of Israel’s hostages and their families while demanding their safe return. Or if you consistently condemned and distanced yourselves from Hamas. Or if all of you had simply followed rules that gave you every right to free expression without trampling on the rights of others to a safe and open campus.

In short, what if your protests had focused on Israel’s policies, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, rather than demanding the complete elimination of Israel as a Jewish state? What if you had avoided demonizing anyone who supports Israel’s right to exist — which includes a vast majority of Jews — as modern-day Nazis?

Read the rest here.

Thursday, May 02, 2024

Memory Eternal!

Fr. John Hunkwicke has reposed following a long battle with cancer. I understand he had been ill since at least last summer and had recently been confined to his bed. Some days ago he received the last sacraments of the Catholic Church. If my information is accurate, his most recent blog post (see the sidebar) appears to be posthumous.

Normally I don't blog during the last few days of Holy Week, but felt this needed to be posted directly. I appreciate the notification from Dr. Tighe. 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

China is arming fast and becoming more aggressive

China using ‘boiling frog’ strategy to mask rising aggression in Pacific, says US commander 

Scandal and Intrigue in the Twilight of the Francis Pontificate

This is a fascinating look at Francis, his papal court, where it's been and where it's going. One of the better essays I've read on the topic in quite a while. Read it here.

HT: Dr. Tighe

CNN Poll Gives Trump Wide Lead Over Biden

In a two-way race Trump leads by 6%. In a five-way race including RFK Jr and the two far left candidates, Trump leads by 9%. If this poll holds up and is anywhere near accurate on election day, Trump could win an electoral blowout the likes of which we haven't seen since the 1980s. 

Caveat: Right now, the poll is an outlier. It is wildly inconsistent with virtually all recent polling data. So, we will need to see if this a bad poll or if it is the first sign of a major Trump surge. Until things become clearer, team Biden is probably not going to be sleeping well. 

Friday, April 26, 2024

Prayers please

Fr John Hunwicke, whose excellent blog has been in the sidebar for as long as I can remember, is ill. In your charity, please keep him and his family in your prayers.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Anti-Trump Legal Pundits Have Been Talking to Each Other (off the record)

As the Jan. 6 committee was working on its bombshell investigation into the Capitol riot and President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the last election, committee staffers took some time out of their seemingly 24-hour jobs one day in 2022 to brief a group of lawyers and legal pundits on a Zoom call.

The people on the call weren’t affiliated with the investigation or the government. But they would have been familiar to anyone who watches cable news. They were some of the country’s most well-known legal and political commentators, and they were there to get insights into the committee’s work and learn about what to look for at the hearings.

The group’s gathering was not a one-time event, but in fact an installment in an exclusive weekly digital salon, whose existence has not been previously reported, for prominent legal analysts and progressive and conservative anti-Trump lawyers and pundits. Every Friday, they meet on Zoom to hash out the latest twists and turns in the Trump legal saga — and intellectually stress-test the arguments facing Trump on his journey through the American legal system.

The meetings are off the record — a chance for the group’s members, many of whom are formally or loosely affiliated with different media outlets, to grapple with a seemingly endless array of novel legal issues before they hit the airwaves or take to print or digital outlets to weigh in with their thoughts. About a dozen or more people join any given call, though no one takes attendance. Some group members wouldn’t describe themselves with any partisan or ideological lean, but most are united by their dislike of Trump.

The group’s host is Norman Eisen, a senior Obama administration official, longtime Trump critic and CNN legal analyst, who has been convening the group since 2022 as Trump’s legal woes ramped up. Eisen was also a key member of the team of lawyers assembled by House Democrats to handle Trump’s first impeachment.

The regular attendees on Eisen’s call include Bill Kristol, the longtime conservative commentator, and Laurence Tribe, the famed liberal constitutional law professor. John Dean, who was White House counsel under Richard Nixon before pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with Watergate, joins the calls, as does George Conway, a conservative lawyer and co-founder of the anti-Trump Lincoln Project. Andrew Weissmann, a longtime federal prosecutor who served as one of the senior prosecutors on Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation and is now a legal analyst for MSNBC, is another regular on the calls. Jeffrey Toobin, a pioneer in the field of cable news legal analysis, is also a member of the crew. The rest of the group includes recognizable names from the worlds of politics, law and media.

Read the rest here.

For the benefit of anyone new to the blog, I am not the world's biggest fan of Donald Trump. That said, this is leaving a bad taste in my mouth. I'm not sure it's a flaming violation of journalistic ethics, where the boundaries can sometimes be a bit fuzzy. But if this doesn't cross that line, it strikes me as dancing uncomfortably close to it. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Kyrill and the Babylonian Captivity of the Russian Orthodox Church

Obviously, I would not presume to judge any individual's relationship with God. But as an institution, it is becoming clearer, almost by the day, that the Russian Church has gone dangerously off the rails. To which end I find myself substantially in agreement with this short blog post

Lord have mercy.

New York City (what's wrong)

This is a really good video explaining what's wrong with New York from somebody who is obviously not hard right in their politics.