Sunday, September 30, 2018

In view of recent events this may be of passing interest

It is represented to us that the universal suffrage, as now existing through the Union, is abused; that fraud and corruption prevent a fair and proper expression of the public voice; that open violation of the laws are constantly occurring, caused by mobs, parties, factions and undue influence of political sects; that the citizen has not that protection of person and property which he is entitled to by paying his pro rata of the expense of Government--in consequence of which, WE do hereby abolish Congress, and it is therefore abolished; and WE order and desire the representatives of all parties interested to appear at the Musical Hall of this city on the first of February next, and then and there take the most effective steps to remedy the evil complained of.

Given under our hand and seal in the City of San Francisco this Nineteenth day of October in the Year of Our Savior 1859

Norton I
Emperor of these United States
& Protector of Mexico

Saturday, September 29, 2018


Sometimes a one word answer is what really is called for. This is probably one of those moments.

Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Metropolitan of Kiev celebrate Divine Liturgy

His Holiness Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and all Africa Theodore II and His Beatitude Orthodox Metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine Onuphry celebrated Divine Liturgy in Svyato-Uspensky monastery near Odessa, Ukraine. Pat. Theodore has been outspoken in his defense of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Patriarch Theodoros II Declares Support for the Canonical Ukrainian Church

Following his 5-day visit to the Church of Poland, His Beatitude Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria and All Africa began a fraternal visit to Ukraine, expressing his support for the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

The Alexandrian primate was greeted at the Odessa airport with bread and flowers today by His Eminence Metropolitan Agafangel of Odessa, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk, His Eminence Mitrophan of Gorlovka, His Grace Bishop Diodore of Yuzhnensk, and His Grace Bishop Viktor of Artsiz, reports the site of the Odessa Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Pat. Theodoros then visited the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa, where he was joyfully greeted by thousands of Orthodox faithful, many of whom remember him from the days of his pastoral ministry in Odessa as a representative of the Alexandrian patriarchal throne from 1985 to 1990. There he served a moleben for the unity of the Church of Christ, for the cessation of schisms, and for peace in the long-suffering Ukrainian land, being joined by several hierarchs of the Ukrainian Church and clergy of the Odessa Diocese.

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Roman Catholic Archbishop Publishes Attack on Vatican Document

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has published a wide-ranging criticism of the Instrumentum Laboris (a kind of introduction or preamble) for the upcoming Synod on the Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment.

In an introductory paragraph, Chaput explains that the analysis was “received from a respected North American theologian”. The article, which appears in First Things, warns that the Instrumentum veers dangerously close to heresy – specifically the heresies of naturalism, Lutheranism, and relativism.

Read the rest here.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Scenes from the land of long ago

Paris during the Belle Époque. Conceding an exception for modern medicine and personal hygiene... I really hate the modern world.

And now for a little trivia...

How is it that the tenth President of the United States (b 1790) has two living grandsons in 2018?


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Moscow Suspends Commemoration of Pat. Bartholomew- Calls for Urgent Meeting of Heads of Local Churches

...In this critical situation, when Constantinople has practically refused to resolve the matter by means of dialogue, the Moscow Patriarchate is forced to suspend the liturgical prayerful commemoration of the Patriarch of Constantinople and with profound regret to suspend the concelebration with hierarchs of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as to break off the participation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Episcopal Assemblies and in the theological dialogues, multilateral commissions and any other structures chaired or co-chaired by representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

In the event that the Patriarchate of Constantinople will continue to carry out its uncanonical activities in the territory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, we will be compelled to completely break off the Eucharistic communion with the Patriarchate of Constantinople. All the responsibility for the tragic consequences of this division will lie personally with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and the hierarchs supporting him.
Being aware that the current situation puts in jeopardy the whole world Orthodoxy, we at this hour of hardship ask the Local Autocephalous Churches for support and call upon the Primates of the Churches to fully realize our shared responsibility for the fate of the world Orthodoxy and initiate a fraternal pan-Orthodox discussion on the church situation in Ukraine.

We call upon the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church to pray ardently for the preservation of the unity of the Holy Orthodoxy.


This is not a formal severance of communion. But it is a step in that direction.

Thursday, September 13, 2018


It's no secret that precious metals have been in a bear market for around the last seven years. Lately silver has been taking a beating that in another age would have been associated with the parlor rug. Since peaking in 2011 at just a tick under $50.00 oz silver has been in a steady downward decline that has reached the point where the spot price closed today at $14.22 oz. Even more interesting is its relationship to gold. The silver/gold price ratio (the number of ounces of silver needed to equal 1 oz of gold) has fluctuated, at times dramatically, over the last 45 years or so since gold was demonetized. But the average has been in the range of 50:1 give or take.

Currently it is within spitting distance of 85:1.

No, that's not a record. See these historical charts from Kitco. But it is the highest it's been in a quarter century. And on the rare occasions when the ratio has gotten over 80:1 it has been a signal that silver, at least relative to gold, has become over sold and is cheap.


[Full disclaimer: I have recently added some silver to my precious metals holdings on a speculative basis. Nothing posted on this blog should be considered investing advice. The above is purely for informational purposes and readers should do their own due diligence before making any financial investments.]

Monday, September 10, 2018

5/3 Bank

In the unlikely event anyone reading this blog is employed by 5/3 Bank I just wanted to post a short note to let you know why I will shortly be closing my account.

I just spent most of the afternoon trying to rent a safe deposit box. For those unfamiliar with the process, it should be neither complicated nor time consuming. I have done this on multiple occasions in the past at different banks and cannot recall any instance where it took much more than 15 minutes.

When I arrived at the bank somewhere between 1300-1330 I was informed there were a number of walk in customers ahead of me. So I waited patiently and was eventually informed that it would be at least an hour and half before I would be seen. It was suggested I make an appointment to which I agreed. An appointment was made for 1600. When I arrived back at the bank at appx 1545 I was told that the personal services banker was with another customer which did not overly concern me since I was a few minutes early and had an appointment. But within five minutes I was told that my appointment would be pushed back because the walk in customer was taking up more time than expected.

That's when I gave up and left. Clearly this is a bank that is not interested in my business which is just as well. If they can't manage something as simple as renting a safe deposit box in the course of several hours I cannot imagine how long I might have had to wait if I actually had one and needed to access it.

So, within the next few days I will close my account and look for a bank that is capable of handling in a timely manner the simpler bread and butter activities typically associated with that profession.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Spanish flu: the killer that still stalks us, 100 years on

One hundred years ago this month, just as the first world war was drawing to a fitful close, an influenza virus unlike any before or since swept across the British Isles, felling soldiers and civilians alike. One of the first casualties was the British prime minister and war leader, David Lloyd George.

On 11 September 1918, Lloyd George, riding high on news of recent Allied successes, arrived in Manchester to be presented with the keys to the city. Female munitions workers and soldiers home on furlough cheered his passage from Piccadilly train station to Albert Square. But later that evening, he developed a sore throat and fever and collapsed.

He spent the next 10 days confined to a sickbed in Manchester town hall, too ill to move and with a respirator to aid his breathing. Newspapers, including the Manchester Guardian, underplayed the severity of his condition for fear of presenting the Germans with a propaganda coup. But, according to his valet, it had been “touch and go”.

Lloyd George, then aged 55, survived, but others were not so lucky. In an era before antibiotics and vaccines, the “Spanish influenza” – so-called because neutral Spain was one of the few countries in 1918 where correspondents were free to report on the outbreak – claimed the lives of nearly 250,000 Britons. Cruelly for a nation that had seen the flower of British male youth mown down by German guns, the majority were adults aged 20 to 40. The mortality was the inverse of most flu seasons, when deaths fall most heavily on the elderly and the under-fives.

The global death toll was inconceivable: according to the most recent estimates, between 50 million and 100 million people worldwide perished in the three pandemic waves between the spring of 1918 and the winter of 1919. Adjusting for population growth, that is equivalent to between 200 million and 425 million today.

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Ukraine: It's Official

Bart is going to do it.
The Chief Secretariat of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced on 7 September 2018 that within the framework of the preparations for the granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate has appointed as its Exarchs in Kiev His Excellency Archbishop Daniel of Pamphilon from the United States, and His Grace Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton from Canada, both of whom are serving the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful in their respective countries under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.


Lord have mercy!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

Good news!

As some of you will be aware I was wondering what had happened to the Midwest Conservative Journal, one of those blogs that was on my check everyday list. I am very happy to report that I just got an email from Christopher J who has started blogging again. The new address is I will be adding it to the sidebar directly.

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

The Coming Schism (maybe)

No, this is not about the Roman Catholic Church. It is about the Orthodox. Sadly, evidence is rapidly accumulating that the Ecumenical Patriarch intends to take actions in the ongoing schism within the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that are all but guaranteed to provoke a major crisis within the Church. I am still praying that this will not happen but reports are mounting daily, without any denial from the EP or those closely connected to him, that he intends to issue a tomos of autocephaly to the schismatic Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kievan Patriarchate.

It is inconceivable that the Russian Church will not respond by breaking communion.

The question is, how far will the schism spread?

I think it quite possible that the Serbians and Bulgarians will side with Moscow. We can assume the ethnically Greek local churches will side with Constantinople. I am including here the Patriarchates of Alexandria and Jerusalem. The latter is of course composed of 99% Arabs, but the hierarchy is 99% Greek.

As for the rest... The Romanians I honestly have no idea. There is not a lot of love for Russia there but I just don't have any feel for how they will go. The Church of Georgia is close to Moscow. Would that be enough to provoke their taking sides in the schism? Then there is the Church of Antioch. They are already out of communion with Jerusalem over that church's intrusion on Antioch's canonical territory and they are none too thrilled by Constantinople's refusal to come to their aid. And lastly there are what may be called the micro churches... Albania, the Czech Lands, Poland and the OCA.


Sunday, September 02, 2018


Brazil's National Museum housed in the former imperial palace has been virtually destroyed by fire. The exact extent of the loss is not yet known but is likely to be of staggering proportions. The museum housed one of the most important collections in the Western Hemisphere. This is a cultural calamity likely to be felt around the world.