Tuesday, October 26, 2021
Monday, October 25, 2021
"It wasn't one of my better moves." -Matthew Tulley after super gluing his face to a public street in London as part of ongoing protests over climate change. Apparently the process of separating his face from the pavement was both protracted and painful.
Patriarch Bartholomew has been taken to George Washington University Hospital on the first full day of a scheduled twelve day visit to the United States. There is no word on the nature of his illness beyond a short statement that he had felt unwell and was taken to the hospital out of an abundance of caution. A later statement said he is now feeling well and would likely be released tomorrow. His All Holiness is 81.
Monday, October 18, 2021
For those with an interest in life in the land of long ago; there is a remarkable journal of a trip from the city of San Francisco to New York fully twenty years before the completion of the trans-continental railroad. The voyage takes the gentleman on a primitive steamship down the coast of California to the Isthmus of Panama, thence overland to the Caribbean side and then up to New York with various stops and adventures along the way. The story begins about halfway down column four on page six of the New York Tribune here. To be honest, I found the entire paper to be a fascinating glimpse into a world now long gone, right down to the advertisements and the pouting about the results of the recent election.
Saturday, October 16, 2021
Friday, October 15, 2021
Sir David Amess, a staunchly pro-life member of the UK parliament has died after being repeatedly stabbed at a routine meeting with constituents. Sir David was a Tory with more than 30 years of service in the House of Commons. In addition to his firm opposition to abortion, he also was a euro-skeptic and supporter of Brexit, a supporter of the reintroduction of capital punishment and a fierce opponent of cruelty to animals. As of this post there has been no indication of the motive behind the attack beyond a statement from the police that a man has been arrested on suspicion of murder. Sir David is survived by his wife and five children. He has been described as a devout Roman Catholic.
Update: The police are now confirming this was a terrorist act.
Saturday, October 09, 2021
Monday, October 04, 2021
The first true "subway series" is set when the Yankees win the AL pennant beating the Athletics. They will play the National League champion New York Giants in a best of nine games series. Because the Yankees do not yet have their own stadium, all games will be played at the Giants home field, the Polo Grounds.
Friday, October 01, 2021
Probably the best news I've read in weeks. Alex Jones, the serial liar who falsely claimed the Sandy Hook massacre was staged and who when challenged by the understandably distraught relatives of victims, sicced his lunatic followers on them even to the point of death threats, has been found guilty by default for defamation and the intentional infliction of emotional distress. Jones and his legal team have been repeatedly sanctioned for their "vexatious and generally bad faith response" to court orders and routine procedures related to legal discovery. On at least one previous occasion he was held in contempt of court. Jones will now face a jury trial to determine what damages are owed. FWIW I am not a fan of our hyper-litigious society, but there are times when recourse to the courts is justified. And this is one of them. Jones is a thoroughly despicable individual who inhabits the fringes \where extremist politics and conspiracy theories intersect with a long history of spreading the most outrageous lies. And when called out, his customary defense is claiming that he is just an entertainer. I sincerely hope that when the jury hands down its damages that Alex Jones is left walking out of that courthouse in his boxer shorts.
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Washington Post: In the heart of Latin America, large numbers of indigenous people are converting to Orthodox Christianity
Sunday, September 26, 2021
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
The former president's niece, Mary Trump, had a ton of Trump's private and confidential financial records including tax returns. She got them during another lawsuit, one she filed against her uncle from whom she is estranged, alleging he defrauded her of rightful inheritance following the death of her father Fred Trump Jr. She later passed much of that to the New York Times which published a damning analysis of Trump's financial dealings and elaborate schemes at tax avoidance, and arguably tax evasion. It is pretty common knowledge that Donald Trump is a one man full employment program for lawyers. And it is also well known that he uses lawsuits and the threat of suits to browbeat his enemies. His deep pockets means he can often cow critics and those with whom he has had business dealings that went bad by the simple fact that he can throw money away on lawyers and lengthy litigation, even if frivolous or patently designed to intimidate, that his opponents can't. And he has been very successful using these kinds of bare knuckled tactics in the past.
But, according to the below linked legal analysis, Trump may actually have a case against his niece, although it is unlikely the Times is in any legal jeopardy.
Monday, September 20, 2021
Friday, September 17, 2021
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
If Francis can abolish the ancient liturgical rites of the West; why can't (or wouldn't) he do the same to the East?
I'm surprised that Geoffrey Hull, the author of "The Banished Heart," hadn't gone full Byzantine - his entire thesis is that Rome had destroyed or mutilated every one of the liturgies of its non-Latin "sui iuris" churches long before Vatican II and the 1970 "reforms".
Monday, September 13, 2021
Friday, September 10, 2021
Wednesday, September 08, 2021
The GOP is once again threatening the US Government with default on its debt by refusing to authorize the routine increase in the debt limit. (One notes they only seem to rediscover their concerns about spiraling debt when Democrats are in power.) It should go without saying that if they ever actually follow through with their threats, the consequences could be catastrophic.
Sunday, September 05, 2021
- The Untied States Government is running levels of debt as a percentage of GDP that have no historical precedent.
- The government is, and has been for years. forcing down interest rates in the bond market, thereby facilitating the government's unrelenting apatite for debt.
- The government is printing money like water.
- The government is spending hundreds of billions of that newly created money to buy its own bonds, at hugely depressed rates.
- All of the newly created money, in combination with the largest ever peacetime expansion of government spending, is sparking a sharp uptick in inflation, to the point that...
- Bonds now carry a de facto negative yield, no matter the credit quality or the duration of the bonds in question. This means that if you are buying a ten year US Government bond, currently yielding around 1.3%, with inflation at 5.4% as of July 2021, you are taking a 4% loss in the value of your investment right out the door as a consequence of currency debasement and lost purchasing power. Or, to put it in plain English, you are paying the Federal Government around 4% for the privilege of lending them money. In order to avoid a loss on that bond before it matures in ten years, inflation would have to drop to near zero or actually go negative for a prolonged period of time.
- The technical term for what we are seeing is financial repression. In this economic environment savers and those investing in fixed income securities are all but guaranteed to lose money when adjusting for inflation.
Friday, September 03, 2021
Thursday, September 02, 2021
Absolutely stunning film footage shot in the mid to late1920s during a trip by sea from Holland to the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). Lots of stops along the way. This is part 1 which gets us as far as Singapore. The footage has been stabilized, speed corrected and colorized.
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
In general I eschew promotion or endorsements on the blog but I am going to make an exception here and respectfully call your attention to the TimeGhost history channel on YouTube. Among the various items they are producing is a weekly as it happened history of World War II. Currently we are entering September of 1942. There are several subseries covering various aspects of the war in greater detail. They also have produced a number of short series covering other topics such as the Indonesian War for Independence, the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and their ongoing series covering the interwar decades. You can peruse their previous uploaded videos and subscribe to their channels at the links above. I have been consistently impressed by the quality and quantity of the material they put out, to the extent they are one of just a handful of YouTube channels I support via Patreon.
I now return you to your normally scheduled, whatever it is you do at this time of the day.
Monday, August 30, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Gundlach: We're running our economy 'like we're not interested in maintaining global reserve currency status'
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Sunday, August 15, 2021
Word from NLM that His Eminence has been hospitalized with Covid. It sounds serious. Card. Burke is one of the good guys in the ongoing crisis in the Roman Church and is known to be high on Frank's enemies list. If my memory has not failed I believe he was the first really prominent conservative prelate to be purged by the then new regime.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
Tuesday, August 10, 2021
Most of the clergy, including its bishops, are openly promoting heresy. Meanwhile the Vatican appears to be unable or unwilling to act. In the face of the present crisis, with the German church in open revolt against not just Catholic, but basic Christian orthodoxy, and the Holy See paralyzed; (small 'o') orthodox Roman Catholic bishops around the world should take steps to contain the cancer. They should warn Rome in no uncertain terms to do its job or they will take emergency measures on their own authority. Such measures should include declaring a state of impaired communion with the bishops and clergy in Germany until they recant.
Monday, August 09, 2021
Sunday, August 08, 2021
Thursday, August 05, 2021
Tuesday, August 03, 2021
Baltimore, Aug 1- The Democratic State Convention, which met here to-day, declared that the purpose of the party, if successful in the coming election was to eliminate the negro from politics in Maryland, if it is possible under the state constitution. Upon this, the paramount issue of the campaign, will stand the candidates nominated to-day for state offices and those chosen in the various county and district conventions as candidates for places in the legislature of 1902, which will elect a United States Senator to succeed George L. Wellington. That his successor, in the event of Democratic victory, would be Arthur Pue Gorman, is thought to be probable, although no formal announcement of his candidacy has yet been made...
...Under the guidance of Mr. Gorman, the following declaration on the chief issue in the campaign was prepared and adopted.
"The Democratic party represents more than forty thousand majority of the white people of Maryland. They, in common with their brethren of other states into which large masses of colored voters have been injected into the body politic, recognize that the peace, good order, personal safety and proper development of our material interests depend upon our control of the commonwealth by its intelligent white residents. Without the aid of the sixty thousand colored voters the Republican party in Maryland would be a hopeless minority.
We therefore without hesitation proclaim that the success of the Democratic party will mean that, while we shall deal with perfect fairness in securing all the benefits of good government and full and free opportunities to education for all classes, such action must be taken as to prevent the control of the State government from passing into the hands of those who have neither the ability nor the interest to manage public affairs wisely and well."
Read the rest here.
Monday, August 02, 2021
Friday, July 30, 2021
Thursday, July 29, 2021
Wednesday, July 21, 2021
Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Friday, July 16, 2021
Pope Francis has issued a motu proprio, "Traditionis Custodes," which effectively abrogates Pope Benedict XVI's motu proprio "Summorum Pontificum," by which the former pope had liberated the ancient rite of the Latin Church. The new decree imposes sweeping restrictions on the use of the older liturgical rite and grants local bishops the authority to refuse to any priest the right to celebrate mass according to the old form. All priests must now secure permission to do so including those who have already been using the missal. For priests ordained after the publication of the new motu proprio (that is after today) permission to use the older rite is now reserved to the Apostolic See.
There is no possible interpretation of this document that does not lead one to conclude it is meant as an attack on conservative Catholics and the sensus fidelium of the Roman Catholic Church as it existed for its first 1900 years or so. That a pope would attempt to effectively suppress the heart of the liturgical patrimony of the Western Church, is quite simply scandalous. What was sacred for most of two millennia is now suspect, and those attached to it are clearly not quite right.
There is no charity or love in this. Only calculated cruelty.
The full test of the motu proprio and the accompanying letter may be found here.
Thursday, July 15, 2021
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
BITCOIN ‘Black Swan’ author Nassim Taleb says bitcoin is worth zero and fails as a currency and a hedge
Monday, July 12, 2021
Saturday, July 03, 2021
Thursday, July 01, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Thursday, June 24, 2021
Just the latest sign that the left is starting to worry about the effects, political and otherwise, of the harsh anti-police rhetoric emanating from their more strident members. With rising crime and civil disorder there are increasing fears of a backlash at the polls against Democrats.
Read it here.
Rudy Giuliani has been suspended with immediate effect from the practice of law in New York State for making false and misleading statements about the general election while representing then President Donald Trump.
Read the court order here.
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
Thursday, June 17, 2021
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Monday, June 14, 2021
Read it here.
I have had decidedly mixed views of NATO post Cold War and the author makes some solid points here. But it is also dangerous to think that history stopped in 1991 and that NATO is the bad guy in the world today. Both China and Russia represent serious threats to their neighbors and the broader international community. Contrary to shop worn clichés, history rarely repeats itself. But it does contain warnings. Allowing bullies to push people around indefinitely usually ends badly for everybody.
Friday, June 11, 2021
Tuesday, June 08, 2021
Last night it was announced that the Feds had managed to seize a large chunk of the roughly $5 million paid to a Russian ransomware crime gang in order to release a major east coast pipeline that they had managed to shut down. That ransom was paid in the de facto currency of organized crime, Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies, and especially Bitcoin, have become the go to venue for largely anonymous financial transactions. In this respect they have replaced the now illegal practice of anonymous banking such as the legendary numbered bank accounts that once upon a time every narco kingpin, terrorist and dictator used to stash their money untraceably in places like Switzerland. Its pretty common knowledge that BTC's wild swings are being partly driven by naked price manipulation on the part of celebrity endorsements and criminal syndicates who use it both for money laundering and as a high tech ponzi scheme believing that its relative anonymity makes them near invulnerable.
Today Bitcoin took a dive, at one point losing more than 8% of its value. Hmmm...