Wednesday, November 30, 2016

For the spiritual masochists among us...

May I suggest this. I am not sure I have read anything quite that depressing in a while. Lots of bad people, behaving very badly. There must be fodder for at least a dozen sermons in there.

Bulgarian Orthodox Church: "The Council in Crete is neither Great, nor Holy, nor Pan-Orthodox"

Oh my.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Holy Trinity Seminary Appeal

Holy Trinity Seminary needs help. Thanks to a generous benefactor any donations received by midnight tomorrow will be tripled. Sadly seminaries do not operate out of thin air. They have real bills and expenses. If your circumstances permit, please consider giving.

Orthodox Patriarch Praises Dead Atheist Dictator

We’ve all had a good laugh at the pathetic and obsequious statement that Canadian PM
Pajama BoyJustin Trudeau issued in praise of Fidel Castro, but I can’t let these official remarks by the most powerful church leader in the Orthodox world pass unnoticed.

Patriarch Kirill, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, sent this statement to Raul Castro:
 I learned of the death of your older brother, Fidel Castro Ruz, with deep sorrow. I express to you, to the families and relatives of the deceased, as well as all the people of Cuba, my sincere condolences. Comandante Fidel was one of the most famous and prominent public figures of our time, he won international prestige, and he was a legend even during his own lifetime. As the embodiment of the Cuban people, he expended all his strength to attain his country’s genuine independence to ensure that it took its rightful place in the global family of nations. The Russian Orthodox Church will always say Fidel Castro’s name with respect and gratitude. With his personal involvement, we erected a parish church in Havana dedicated to the Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God “of Kazan” , and Fidel, in his own words, made himself the “building inspector”. I have fond memories of my meetings with Comandante Fidel. the scale and acuteness of his mind always amazed me, as did his ability to speak with knowledge on a variety of topics. Our last conversation took place  on 13 February of this year at his home, the day after my meeting with Pope Francis. In my heart, I’ll always enshrine a good memory of this courageous and charismatic person, a man who was a sincere friend of the Russian Orthodox Church. In these mournful days, may the Lord bestow upon you and the whole family of Comandante Fidel Castro solace and composure to carry on.
Read the rest here.

To say that this is disappointing is inadequate. Nauseating is a good descriptor. Even the Red Pope didn't go this far.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ross Douthat: The Pope Declines to Answer

“This is not normal” — so say Donald Trump’s critics as he prepares to assume the presidency. But the American republic is only the second-oldest institution facing a distinctively unusual situation at the moment. Pride of place goes to the Roman Catholic Church, which with less fanfare (perhaps because the papacy lacks a nuclear arsenal) has also entered terra incognita.

Two weeks ago, four cardinals published a so-called dubia — a set of questions, posed to Pope Francis, requesting that he clarify his apostolic exhortation on the family, “Amoris Laetitia.” In particular they asked him to clarify whether the church’s ban on communion for divorced Catholics in new (and, in the church’s eyes, adulterous) marriages remained in place, and whether the church’s traditional opposition to situation ethics had been “developed” into obsolescence.

The dubia began as a private letter, as is usual with such requests for doctrinal clarity. Francis offered no reply. It became public just before last week’s consistory in Rome, when the pope meets with the College of Cardinals and presents the newly-elevated members with red hats. The pope continued to ignore it, but took the unusual step of canceling a general meeting with the cardinals (not a few of whose members are quiet supporters of the questioners).

Francis canceled because the dubia had him “boiling with rage,” it was alleged. This was not true, tweeted his close collaborator, the Jesuit father Antonio Spadaro, though he had previously tweeted and then deleted a shot of the wizard Gandalf, from “Lord of the Rings,” growling his refusal to “bandy crooked words with a witless worm.”

Read the rest here.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Fidel Castro

One of the great tyrants of modern history and an icon of the political left, has died. Lord have mercy.

P.S. The Red Pope has expressed his sadness and grief at the news. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sources: Baseball's 21-year run of labor peace could be in jeopardy

Baseball’s streak of 21 consecutive years of labor peace is in jeopardy.

The owners will consider voting to lock out the players if the two sides cannot reach a new collective-bargaining agreement by the time the current deal expires on Dec. 1, according to sources with knowledge of the discussions.

A lockout would put baseball’s business on hold, delaying free-agent signings and trades until a new agreement is reached. The winter meetings, a joint venture between the majors and minors scheduled to take place from Dec. 4 to 8 near Washington D.C., might still transpire, but without the usual frenzy of major-league activity.

The possibility of a lockout stems from the owners’ frustration with the players’ union over the slow pace of the discussions, sources said. The two sides still have more than a week to complete a deal, but a number of significant issues remain unresolved.

“We don’t negotiate in the press,” commissioner Rob Manfred said. “We remain committed to the idea that we’re going to make an agreement before expiration.”

Read the rest here.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Report: Pope Francis to End Excommunication for Abortion

The Pope’s decision to make the ability of priests to absolve the “grave sin” of abortion permanent, means Canon Law is to be updated too. Francis had granted priests this power as an exception during the Jubilee Year. The man in charge of co-ordinating the Holy Year of Mercy, Mgr. Rino Fisichella, explained this in his presentation of the pastoral letter “Misericordia et Misera”, with which Francis concluded the Jubilee that ran from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016.

“Canon Law currently stipulates that absolution for the sin of abortion is a faculty that lies with the bishop of the diocese concerned and in some instances, the bishop may delegate some or all priests in his diocese to absolve this sin,” explained the President of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation. “During the Jubilee, Pope Francis had granted all priests the power to absolve this sin, as a concrete sign that God’s mercy is boundless. Therefore, even people who commit this sin – which the Pope reiterates, is extremely grave – will have no trouble obtaining God’s forgiveness if they are repentant. Canon Law is a body of laws and whenever the Pope introduces a measure that alters the dictates of the law, the article that specific measure concerns, necessarily needs to be changed”. More specifically, Fisichella explained, responding to journalists questions, “a latae sententiae excommunication is revoked”. The provision, Fisichella added, does not only apply to women but also to “doctors, nurses and those involved in carrying out the abortion”, as long as they repent: “The sin applies to everyone, so forgiveness of this sin also applies to everyone practically involved.”

Read the rest here.

‘Western laws now clash with moral nature of man’ – Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill

Patriarch Kirill lays it on the line.

HT: Blog reader JL

Saturday, November 19, 2016

From the grapevine

This much is more than rumor. It appears that Pope Francis is to publish an Apostolic Letter on Monday entitled “Misericordia et Misera.” Beyond which multiple sources are suggesting, with no details, that the SSPX will be at least mentioned in the letter.


Update on the Patriarchate of Alexandria and "Female Deacons"

It appears they are talking about the ancient (and all but extinct) lay office of "deaconess." Due to some vagueness in the early reports there were concerns that they were contemplating the attempted ordination of female deacons.

See this.

Friday, November 18, 2016

For the record

Martyn Percy thinks Justin Welby is preparing an about face on sexual morality. If there is anyone who is surprised by this all I can do is ask what the weather is like on your planet.

Uh oh

I hope this gets dealt with quickly and decisively. That sort of thing can rapidly become an open scandal if attempts are made to sweep it under the rug.

Trump the Supreme Court and the Opposition

Once he assumes office, President Donald Trump is expected to promptly nominate someone to replace Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. This, along with subsequent nominations to the Supreme Court and lower courts, will be among his most consequential decisions.

During the campaign, Trump initially identified two appellate court judges — Diane Sykes of the 7th Circuit and William Pryor of the 11th Circuit — as the sort of individuals he would name to the high court to replace Scalia. Later during the campaign, Trump released a list of 11 names — later expanded to 21 — of potential nominees.

Senate Democrats are unlikely to be particularly pleased with any Trump nomination, particularly after Senate Republicans refused to consider President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. Given Republican control of the Senate, however, they may not be able to do much about it. (And, just for the record, let me reiterate that President Obama lacks the power to bypass the Senate on the Garland nomination.)

Back in 2013, after Republicans filibustered Democratic nominees as Democrats had filibustered Republican nominees, then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) invoked the “nuclear option,” eliminating the filibuster for lower court and executive branch nominees. As a technical matter, Reid’s move (accomplished by a simple, party-line majority vote) left the filibuster in place for Supreme Court nominees, but there was little question that such a filibuster would not last.

Read the rest here.

The End of Identity Liberalism?

...But the fixation on diversity in our schools and in the press has produced a generation of liberals and progressives narcissistically unaware of conditions outside their self-defined groups, and indifferent to the task of reaching out to Americans in every walk of life. At a very young age our children are being encouraged to talk about their individual identities, even before they have them. By the time they reach college many assume that diversity discourse exhausts political discourse, and have shockingly little to say about such perennial questions as class, war, the economy and the common good. In large part this is because of high school history curriculums, which anachronistically project the identity politics of today back onto the past, creating a distorted picture of the major forces and individuals that shaped our country. (The achievements of women’s rights movements, for instance, were real and important, but you cannot understand them if you do not first understand the founding fathers’ achievement in establishing a system of government based on the guarantee of rights.)

When young people arrive at college they are encouraged to keep this focus on themselves by student groups, faculty members and also administrators whose full-time job is to deal with — and heighten the significance of — “diversity issues.” Fox News and other conservative media outlets make great sport of mocking the “campus craziness” that surrounds such issues, and more often than not they are right to. Which only plays into the hands of populist demagogues who want to delegitimize learning in the eyes of those who have never set foot on a campus. How to explain to the average voter the supposed moral urgency of giving college students the right to choose the designated gender pronouns to be used when addressing them? How not to laugh along with those voters at the story of a University of Michigan prankster who wrote in “His Majesty”?

This campus-diversity consciousness has over the years filtered into the liberal media, and not subtly. Affirmative action for women and minorities at America’s newspapers and broadcasters has been an extraordinary social achievement — and has even changed, quite literally, the face of right-wing media, as journalists like Megyn Kelly and Laura Ingraham have gained prominence. But it also appears to have encouraged the assumption, especially among younger journalists and editors, that simply by focusing on identity they have done their jobs.

Recently I performed a little experiment during a sabbatical in France: For a full year I read only European publications, not American ones. My thought was to try seeing the world as European readers did. But it was far more instructive to return home and realize how the lens of identity has transformed American reporting in recent years. How often, for example, the laziest story in American journalism — about the “first X to do Y” — is told and retold. Fascination with the identity drama has even affected foreign reporting, which is in distressingly short supply. However interesting it may be to read, say, about the fate of transgender people in Egypt, it contributes nothing to educating Americans about the powerful political and religious currents that will determine Egypt’s future, and indirectly, our own. No major news outlet in Europe would think of adopting such a focus.

Read the rest here.

The latest from Rome

Whether by coincidence or otherwise, on US election day, Pope Francis welcomed one of Hillary Clinton’s political soulmates — albeit well to the left of the Democrat candidate — to the Vatican.

Emma Bonino, 68, is a former Italian Foreign Minister, abortionist and abortion activist, founder of the Transnational Radical Party that embraces notions of one world government and a board member of George Soros’s Global Foundation.

She is also, in Francis’s words, “among the great ones of today’s Italy’’ for her work as a refugee advocate, especially for Africans.

Fallout from the US election has drawn several civil wars — political and theological — being waged at the highest levels of the Vatican to boiling point. In a complex chess game, one has even drawn Francis into public conflict with a group of four cardinals.

Barack Obama’s departure and Clinton’s defeat prompted Rome-based professor and Vatican commentator Roberto de Mattei to describe Francis this week as “the only point of reference for the international left’’, especially over climate policy and open borders. The pope is doing little to play down that impression. In a newly published book-length interview, he was asked whether he favoured a Marxist society: “It has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians’’.

At a Vatican Mass for prison inmates last week, one of the pope’s personal altar servers was a young Muslim, in jail for sexual offences and stalking. He brought his prayer rug. A week earlier, greeting leaders of “grassroots’’ movements (promoting various green, “human rights’’ and anti-development causes) who met at the Vatican from five continents, Francis denounced “the basic terrorism that derives from the global control of money’’ and promised “I make your cry mine’’.

He has also lent support and encouragement to the left wing presidents of Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela.

Read the rest here.
Emphasis mine.

Additionally Vaticanist Giuseppe Nardi is reporting that the “Theological Hypothesis of a Heretical Pope by the Brazilian jurist Arnaldo Xavier da Silveira is making the rounds in the Vatican, an Italian translation of which was published by Marco Solfanelli last June and which is being studied attentively by theologians and prelates in Rome."

This latter is translated into English by NovusOrdoWatch. Caution: This is an openly sede-vecantist website. Consider the source.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Potentially Alarming News from Alexandria

The Patriarchate of Alexandria is to "restore the female diaconate." What does this mean? Are we discussing the return of the "deaconess" (an obsolete and purely lay office) or is this an attempt to promote heresy via the pseudo-ordination of women to one of the three ranks of Holy Orders?

HT: Dr. Tighe

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Asked and Answered

In the previous post concerning the current Pope I asked "Is there no one with courage in the Roman Church to call this man out?"

Apparently there is. Cardinal Burke has become sufficiently alarmed by at least one of his recent pronouncements to raise the possibility of a formal "correction" of the Pope by Catholic hierarchs.

HT: Dr. Tighe

Saturday, November 12, 2016


“It it has been said many times and my response has always been that, if anything, it is the communists who think like Christians..."

-Pope Francis (from here)

I'm done with restraint in expressing my views of this heretic. Communism occupies the exact same spot on the moral plane as Nazism. This Pope just spit on the graves of millions of martyrs.

Forget the Orthodox. How about the Catholics of Spain, Poland, Hungary, what used to be Czechoslovakia and Ukraine, especially the Greek Rite Catholics? "Scandalous" does not even begin to describe this pontificate. Where are the bishops and cardinals? Is there no one with courage in the Roman Church to call this man out? Is there no one who is willing to confront this man and demand for the good of their church his immediate abdication?

This is who to blame for Trump

A lefty gets it, or at least some of it. I think I agree with about 80% of this (though I might choose a more civil way of expressing it).  On which note... caution: language

Furious Liberals Demand Changes in the Democratic Party

The Republican civil war was supposed to start this week.

Instead, a ferocious struggle has erupted on the left over the smoldering remains of the Democratic Party.

Liberals are seething over the election and talking about launching a Tea Party-style revolt. They say it’s the only way to keep Washington Democrats connected to the grassroots and to avoid a repeat of the 2016 electoral disaster, which blindsided party elites.

Progressives believe the Democratic establishment is responsible for inflicting Donald Trump upon the nation, blaming a staid corporate wing of the party for nominating Hillary Clinton and ignoring the Working Class voters that propelled Trump to victory.
Liberals interviewed by The Hill want to see establishment Democrats targeted in primaries, and the “Clinton-corporate wing” of the party rooted out for good.

The fight will begin over picking a new leader for the Democratic National Committee.

Progressives are itching to see the national apparatus reduced to rubble and rebuilt from scratch, with one of their own installed at the top.

And there is talk among some progressives, like Bill Clinton’s former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, about splitting from the Democratic Party entirely if they don’t get the changes they seek.

Read the rest here.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Memo to the political left...

Yes, he is going to be your president, just like Barrack Obama was mine.

All of this hysteria is going to backfire. and it is only serving to reinforce the opinions of the vast majority of people that voted for Trump about the weirdos on the far left. But more importantly is that it is certain to alienate moderates. The huge numbers of people who tend to lean a little right or a little left but basically hover near the political center, are going to look at all the moonbats, the rioting, the crybaby college students climbing street lamps and waving red flags and recoil with disgust. This demonizing of Donald Trump is only going to lay the foundation for his future success. When you reduce someone to a caricature and they don’t live up to your horror story predictions, they end up looking remarkably good.

I haven’t seen this many lefties lined up for the fainting couch since 1980. Back then, based on what we were being told on the news and in countless editorials, it would be nothing less than a miracle of God if the world was not reduced to nuclear ash within six months of Ronald Reagan becoming president. Now we have people talking about putting him on Mt. Rushmore.

Some thoughts on Merrick Garland

The Supreme Court Justice who wasn't. Merrick Garland is not a man I would have appointed to the Supreme Court. But he was light years better than what I expected from a President Clinton and at the time I thought rejecting his nomination was a political mistake. I was wrong.

That said, I feel rather badly for the man. Everything I have heard about him suggests he is basically a decent guy who was used as a pawn by the Obama Administration and got caught in the middle of a Washington power war. And while I am glad he is not sitting on the SCOTUS I will also admit that I do think he kinda got the shaft. The man was treated with what I believe could be called calculated rudeness by Republicans and I don't think he deserved that.

If I could presume to make a suggestion to a president-elect that I did not vote for, this is a great opportunity to score some points in the magnanimity department. No, I don't think Donald should renominate him to the top court. But there are lots of plum (and prestigious) jobs that are still purely political appointments and understood to be essentially the President's prerogative to give to whom he wants. Why not offer him the post as US Ambassador to the Czech Republic or Portugal or somewhere else (not Mongolia or some remote island state in the Pacific)? It doesn't have to be London or Paris but a post that is seen as a sincere expression of appreciation for the man's service and a tacit apology for his rough treatment over the last year.

Such a move would be certain to be seen as extending an olive branch while showing  Mr. Trump's better side.

The Dreaded Filibuster

On Tuesday morning Democrats, anticipating Republican obstruction of President Clinton's nominees to the Supreme Court among other things, were in deep discussions over how to kill the Senate Filibuster. For some reason that is no longer a topic of discussion on that side of the aisle. However, the future of the filibuster has just as suddenly become something of a topic among Republicans.

Oh the irony.

Pope: Pontifical Academy for Life members no longer required to sign pro-life declaration

ROME, Italy, November 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Members of the Pontifical Academy for Life will no longer be required to sign a declaration that they uphold the Church’s pro-life teachings.
In new statutes for the Vatican body promulgated on November 4, Pope Francis has also expanded its mandate to include a focus on the environment.

Pope Francis approved the statutes last month, the Vatican website announced.

Previous statutes were issued in 2004 and enumerate the “specific tasks” (§2) of the Academy in three points: to “study questions and issues connected with the promotion and defense of human life from an interdisciplinary perspective,” to “educate in a culture of life,” and to “inform the Church and the public […] about the most relevant results of its study and research activities.”

In the new statutes, §3 has received an addition: whereas the paragraph previously stated that research of a scientific character must “be directed towards the promotion and defense of human life,” the new paragraph reads:

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Dewey Defeats Truman

The cover of New York Magazine

George Will Reflects on the Upsides and Dangers of the GOP's Electoral Triumph

At dawn Tuesday in West Quoddy Head, Maine, the easternmost point of the United States, it was certain that by midnight in Cape Wrangell, Alaska, the westernmost fringe, there would be a loser who deserved to lose and a winner who did not deserve to win. The surprise is that Barack Obama must have immediately seen his legacy, a compound of stylistic and substantive arrogance, disappearing, as though written on water in ink of vapor.

His health-care reform has contributed to three Democratic drubbings. The 2010 and 2014 wave elections, like scythes in a wheat field, decapitated a rising generation of potential party leaders. Then came Tuesday’s earthquake, which followed shocking increases of Obamacare’s prices. This law has been as historic as Obama thinks, but not as he thinks: It might be the last gasp of progressivism’s hubris expressed in continent-wide social engineering imposed from the continent’s Eastern edge. Hillary Clinton’s proposed solution to Obamacare’s accelerating unraveling was a “public option”: intensified government manipulation to correct the consequences of government manipulation of health care’s 18 percent of the economy. Her campaign’s other defining proposal, “free” tuition in public higher education, insulted the intelligence of voters aware that “free” means “paid for by others, including you.”

Obama’s foreign policy legacy, aside from mounting chaos worldwide, was the Iran nuclear agreement. By precedent and constitutional norms, this should have been a treaty submitted to the Senate. Instead, disdainfully and characteristically, he produced it as an executive agreement. Because the agreement lacks legitimizing ratification by senators, the president-elect will feel uninhibited concerning his promise to repudiate it.

The simultaneous sickness of both parties surely reveals a crisis of the U.S. regime. The GOP was easily captured, and then quickly normalized, by history’s most unpleasant and unprepared candidate, whose campaign was a Niagara of mendacities. And the world’s oldest party contrived to nominate someone who lost to him.

To an electorate clamoring for disruptive change, Democrats offered a candidate as familiar as faded wallpaper. The party produced no plausible alternative to her joyless, stained embodiment of arrogant entitlement. And she promised to intensify the progressive mentality. “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it”? Actually, you can’t even keep your light bulbs.

Read the rest here.


The President-Elect of the United States

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Pope Francis Receives Italy's Foremost Abortionist

As day at last dawns on the Westernmost regions of the United States of America, her people face a stark choice: while neither candidate has a positive track record on abortion, one promises to be the most pro-abortion, anti-life president in the nation’s 240-year history, while the other makes a newly-minted promise to defend life. The decision made today in the elections of the waning but still-most-powerful nation on earth will have ripple effects throughout the remainder of our lifetimes.

It is on this momentous occasion that Pope Francis, an astute master of symbolic gestures, has chosen to meet with Emma Bonino, Italy’s most famous (and unrepentant) promoter of abortion — and his personal friend. If you are unfamiliar with the name, Bonino is a radical politician and former abortionist who claims to have performed as many as 10,000 abortions in a single year. As Hilary White wrote earlier this year...

Read the rest here.


This man is a scandal and by far the worst Pope in half a millennium. Arguably longer. If there was a worse Pope in the last 500 years I can't name him. For all their corruption, the Borgias were in the end, merely corrupt. Would Alexander VI have received, for any money, someone who boasted of murdering 10,000 unborn children in a single year?

Election Day

Sunday, November 06, 2016

Nikolai Tolstoy: Consider a Monarchy, America

Southmoor, England — As a foreigner with dual British and Russian citizenship, it is not for me to comment at length on the merits of the rival candidates for the presidency of the United States. But it seems uncontroversial to say that neither appears to be a Washington or a Lincoln, and that the elective presidency is coming under increasingly critical examination.

That their head of state should be elected by the people is, I imagine, the innate view of almost all American citizens. But at this unquiet hour, they might well wonder whether — for all the wisdom of the founding fathers — their republican system of government is actually leading them toward that promised “more perfect union.”

After all, our American cousins have only to direct their gaze toward their northern neighbor to find, in contented Canada, a nation that has for its head of state a hereditary monarch. That example alone demonstrates that democracy is perfectly compatible with constitutional monarchy.

Indeed, the modern history of Europe has shown that those countries fortunate enough to enjoy a king or queen as head of state tend to be more stable and better governed than most of the Continent’s republican states. By the same token, demagogic dictators have proved unremittingly hostile to monarchy because the institution represents a dangerously venerated alternative to their ambitions.

Reflecting in 1945 on what had led to the rise of Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill wrote: “This war would never have come unless, under American and modernizing pressure, we had driven the Hapsburgs out of Austria and Hungary and the Hohenzollerns out of Germany.”

“By making these vacuums,” he went on, “we gave the opening for the Hitlerite monster to crawl out of its sewer on to the vacant thrones.”

Read the rest here.

Yes, I'm a monarchist. But I am not naive. A monarchy in the United States is a non-starter. Monarchies don't work well in countries that are not homogeneous. We lack any kind of history or shared national culture that would make a monarchy a viable option. And then there is the question of who would we put on our throne?

Archivists asked Virginians for any family papers from the Civil War...

They expected a few hundred. They got tens of thousands.

The opening line still hurts across the years.

“Dear Mother — I am here a prisoner of war & mortally wounded.”
John Winn Moseley was writing home from the Gettysburg battlefield on July 4, 1863. He was a 30-year-old Confederate from Alabama being cared for by his Yankee captors.

“I can live but a few hours more at farthest,” he wrote. “I was shot fifty-yards of the enemy’s line. They have been extremely kind to me.”

Moseley died the next day. His letter — on delicate blue paper, stained with what might be blood — made it to his mother in Buckingham County, Va., and the family kept it ever after. Now it has come to light in a trove of Civil War documents that the State Library of Virginia discovered in a surprisingly straightforward way: It asked state residents to bring them out of their homes.

From 2010 until last year, as Virginia observed the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, archivists traveled the state in an “Antiques Roadshow” style campaign to unearth the past. Organizers had thought the effort might produce a few hundred new items. They were a little off. It flushed out more than 33,000 pages of letters, diaries, documents and photographs that the library scanned and has made available for study online.

Read the rest here.

Friday, November 04, 2016

How the Internet Is Loosening Our Grip on the Truth

Next week, if all goes well, someone will win the presidency. What happens after that is anyone’s guess. Will the losing side believe the results? Will the bulk of Americans recognize the legitimacy of the new president? And will we all be able to clean up the piles of lies, hoaxes and other dung that have been hurled so freely in this hyper-charged, fact-free election?

Much of that remains unclear, because the internet is distorting our collective grasp on the truth. Polls show that many of us have burrowed into our own echo chambers of information. In a recent Pew Research Center survey, 81 percent of respondents said that partisans not only differed about policies, but also about “basic facts.”

For years, technologists and other utopians have argued that online news would be a boon to democracy. That has not been the case.

More than a decade ago, as a young reporter covering the intersection of technology and politics, I noticed the opposite. The internet was filled with 9/11 truthers, and partisans who believed against all evidence that George W. Bush stole the 2004 election from John Kerry, or that Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim. (He was born in Hawaii and is a practicing Christian.)

Read the rest here
HT: T-19

120 Years Ago: McKinley Wins!

UPRISING OF A GREAT PEOPLE: Anarchy and Repudiation Trampled Under Foot

-The headline of the New York Tribune (November 4, 1896)

Thursday, November 03, 2016

A Rare Win for Religious Liberty in Canada

An appeals court in Canada has ruled that an evangelical Christian law school cannot be denied accreditation because it officially opposes homosexuality.

A five-judge panel from the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that denying Trinity Western University's law school accreditation was a religious liberty violation.

In a unanimous decision, the five judges concluded that the Law Society of British Columbia was "unreasonable" in denying accreditation to TWU for its position against homosexuality.

"In our view, the detrimental impact of the Law Society decision on TWU's right to religious freedom is severe. The legal education of TWU graduates would not be recognized by the Law Society and they could not apply to practise law in this province. TWU's religious freedom rights as an institution are also significantly impacted by the decision," concluded the Court of Appeal.
A Canadian-based Christian university, TWU has found itself in legal battles in multiple Canadian provinces over its theologically conservative stance on sexual ethics.

At specific issue is the university's Community Covenant, which requires students and faculty to "voluntarily abstain" from "sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman."

Read the rest here.


Lord, you can take me whenever you are ready.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Pope proposes ‘new beatitudes for a new age’

MALMO, Sweden, November 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis posed a new list of beatitudes for modern Christians today during his Mass at the end of the papal trip to Sweden for the Protestant Reformation’s fifth centenary. Among the issues he promoted through the list were his high-profile concerns for the environment and ecumenism.

The pope’s “new beatitudes for saints of a new age,” as the U.S. Bishops’ Catholic News Service dubbed them, came during his All Saints Day Mass homily at an open-air stadium in Malmo, during which he also invoked Sweden’s most celebrated saint to highlight the ecumenical purpose of his trip.

Though widely taken by media in the sense described by Catholic News Service, the pope’s prepared text for the homily does not describe as “new beatitudes.” However, Vatican Radio’s own report on the homily refers to them similarly as the pope’s “suggested list of modern Beatitudes.”

The beatitudes are “in some sense the Christian’s identity card,” he told those present at the Mass, and they “identify us as followers of Jesus.”

Read the rest here.

Jesus clearly forgot these. I'm sure He appreciates the Pope's editing.