Thursday, January 17, 2019


Not having a State of the Union (SOTU)delivered in speech form is not the end of the world. For those who do not know, presidents have a variety of ways they have met this constitutional requirement. However, the manner of delivery was not uniform historically.

President Washington delivered his addresses at the old Federal Hall building in NYC from 1790-1796. President Adams followed suit for his addresses which were done in the Senate portion of the building from 1797-1800. President Thomas Jefferson who was a poor public speaker and also shy opted to write his and deliver it to the papers in 1801. That established a precedent for all subsequent presidents from 1802-1912.

President Wilson reintroduced the oral speech delivery in 1913. However, from 1918-1920, he was too ill to give it orally so he submitted it in writing to the press. President Harding returned to oral delivery of the speech in 1921 and 1922 and President Coolidge followed suit in 1923. Starting in 1924 though, Coolidge eschewed the oral delivery and submitted a text to the papers instead: something President Hoover did for all four of his SOTU's from 1929-1932. Then President Roosevelt in 1933 cemented the oral delivery of his addresses in 1933 in the House chamber before a joint session of Congress and all his successors followed suit through to 2018 with the time of said speeches being fixed to late January-early February in 1934.

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Hundreds of People Are Saving Feral Felines From Death in NYC By Adopting Them as ‘Worker Cats’


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Happy "New York Values Day" Folks!

(Also known as the anniversary of #TedECruzyote being pwned by Donald Trump in front of the whole country and his campaign ship being gashed with an irreparable tear below the proverbial waterline.)

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019


For those wondering about all the huffing and puffing about President Trump's AG appointee's Catholicism and why the Democrats are doing that right now, its a trial balloon for SCOTUS. In a nutshell:

Chief Justice Roberts is Catholic
Justice Thomas is Catholic
Justice Alito is Catholic
Justice Kavanaugh is Catholic
Justice Gorsuch is Episcopalian but was raised Catholic
Amy Coney Barrett the likely next court justice to be appointed by Trump is Catholic

This is why they are field testing that kind of argument now.

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...I have been trying for decades to get my fellow Democrats to realize how unchecked bureaucracy, in government or academe, is inherently authoritarian and illiberal. A persistent characteristic of civilizations in decline throughout history has been their self-strangling by slow, swollen, and stupid bureaucracies. The current atrocity of crippling student debt in the US is a direct product of an unholy alliance between college administrations and federal bureaucrats — a scandal that ballooned over two decades with barely a word of protest from our putative academic leftists, lost in their post-structuralist fantasies. Political correctness was not created by administrators, but it is ever-expanding campus bureaucracies that have constructed and currently enforce the oppressively rule-ridden regime of college life.

In the modern world, so wondrously but perilously interconnected, a principle of periodic reduction of bureaucracy should be built into every social organism. Freedom cannot survive otherwise." [Camille Paglia]

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...The deep state is no myth but a sodden, intertwined mass of bloated, self-replicating bureaucracy that constitutes the real power in Washington and that stubbornly outlasts every administration. As government programs have incrementally multiplied, so has their regulatory apparatus, with its intrusive byzantine minutiae. Recently tagged as a source of anti-Trump conspiracy among embedded Democrats, the deep state is probably equally populated by Republicans and apolitical functionaries of Bartleby the Scrivener blandness. Its spreading sclerotic mass is wasteful, redundant, and ultimately tyrannical..."

To Be Continued...

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Report: Kamala Harris Expected to Enter 2020 Presidential Run Around MLK Day

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Washington Post Columnist: The Networks Need To De-Platform Trump

Aristotle call your office!

"...Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that the media rallied around Jim Acosta to ensure he wouldn’t lose his press access to shout things at the President? Now the same people want to take the public microphone away from the President himself. And they expect us to believe partisanship has nothing to do with it."

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When The Shelter Sues To Take Your Pet Away 

I am sure this shelter has gotten all those pets in their care adopted to good forever homes before wasting their time and that of others on this nonsense, right?



Points to Ponder:
(This is a continuation of the series started HERE. Without further ado...)

"...As for Hillary, she’s pretty much damaged goods, but her perpetual, sniping, pity-me tour shows no signs of abating. She still has a rabidly loyal following, but it’s hard to imagine her winning the nomination again, with her iron grip on the Democratic National Committee now gone. Still, it’s in her best interest to keep the speculation fires burning. Given how thoroughly she has already sabotaged the rising candidates by hogging the media spotlight, I suspect she wants Trump to win again. I don’t see our stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita yielding the spotlight willingly to any younger gal.

Most Democrats have wildly underestimated Trump from the get-go. I was certainly surprised at how easily he mowed down 17 other candidates in the GOP primaries. He represents widespread popular dissatisfaction with politics as usual. Both major US parties are in turmoil and metamorphosis, as their various factions war and realign. The mainstream media’s nonstop assault on Trump has certainly backfired by cementing his outsider status. He is basically a pragmatic deal-maker, indifferent to ideology. As with Bolsonaro in Brazil, Trump rose because of decades of failure by the political establishment to address urgent systemic problems, including corruption at high levels. Democrats must hammer out their own image and agenda and stop self-destructively insulting half the electorate by treating Trump like Satan..."

To be Continued...

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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Points to Ponder:

"If the economy continues strong, Trump will be reelected. The Democrats (my party) have been in chaos since the 2016 election and have no coherent message except Trump hatred. Despite the vast pack of potential candidates, no one yet seems to have the edge. I had high hopes for Kamala Harris, but she missed a huge opportunity to play a moderating, statesmanlike role and has already imprinted an image of herself as a ruthless inquisitor that will make it hard for her to pull voters across party lines.

Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky..."

To be Continued...

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I see some #Clownservatards claiming Bre Payton was taken out Godfather style because "she knew too much." The irony is many of these same folks probably think it was a bad idea to empty the psychiatric wards.

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Monday, January 07, 2019

Remembering John and Bill:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

It came to my mind a few months ago to write something about my old friend F. John Loughnan when I had discovered to my horror he had died almost five years previously. It really bothered me and I begin thinking of a way to publicly remember John with the idea being pitched to Pete Vere to collaborate on a project on this matter. The idea occurred in the days of the aborted WherePeterIs project{1} and originally we talked about using that platform for the remembrance but life has a way of getting in the way of one's best intentions and thus, the idea languished about a bit. With the news of Bill Grossklas' passing back in October, it really marked the definite end of an era in traditionalist apologetics surrounding the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). While it is a subject I rarely like to talk about anymore, an exception will be made here out of necessity since it is through those controversies that I first encountered John Loughnan and Bill Grossklas as well as Pete Vere, Miki Tracy, and some others.

More than twenty years ago, I made the acquaintance of Bill Grossklas online whose work I had become familiar with during the 1990's. It was Bill's SSPX Agenda publications coupled with the Fidelity Magazine feature on my former pastor Fr. John Rizzo that really begin agitating me and put me in a situation where I was very uncomfortable with a lot of what I was discovering about the SSPX and about the true nature of who they were and their status with regards to the Church at the time.{2} I was spurred by these matters to spend a lot of time reading and researching and in the process became convinced through reason, logic, and objective evidences that I needed to part company with SSPX. One of those who helped me in this realization was F. John Loughnan who Bill introduced me to. I had shared some ideas I had to pull together into one source a whole plethora of subjects related to the issue of the SSPX and so-called "traditionalism" in general with Bill. It was a much different time then as I have explained in no small detail elsewhere in many respect and will relegate some of that to a footnote now{3}so I do not lose my train of thought here.

Getting back to Bill, upon realizing the extent and scope of what I intended to do and perhaps that I was biting off more than I could chew, he introduced me to John who had made his exit from SSPX a few years before and who had from what I recall expressed some interest in the project. I begun drafting some very rough sketches of writings on those and other subjects{4} I was working on as well as beginning to get an idea of how I wanted the project to come together. In retrospect, I sought to do too much originally{5} and as a result, the original project was a combination refutation of false traditionalism as well as an apologetic for Catholicism.{6} The two themes weaved too closely together and in spots made for a tough slog to get through. However, to every extent this was possible, it is owed to the fine editing work John did for me. I had up to that point not written anything of significance paper-wise since college so my chops were very rusty. I also had admittedly some deterioration in my familiarity with grammar and sentence structure and a one time classroom spelling champion found himself relying a lot more on Microsoft Word spell check than I should have.

John and I settled into a routine in our correspondence and collaboration where I would draft a text and send it to him and he would do a thorough proofread of it. When he was done, he would send it back to me with needed structural and grammar corrections made or noted as well as suggestions for modifying parts of the content. I would made changes and resend to him and at times would think of additional material to add to a draft, etc. This sequence could happen several times on a given draft text. The original project debut date was moved many times because John was elderly and could only work so fast on this stuff{7} but this also taught me some much needed patience on these matters which would benefit me in the years to come. So its no exaggeration to say that when it finally debuted on June 6, 2000, it was truly a collaborative effort. I was the writer of the material but as God is my witness, I could not have done it without John's help both in editing as well as being a sounding board for ideas.{8} John also in spirit was a guide when that work was subsequently revised but that is neither here nor there.

It also happened that from time to time when waiting on a response from John with the original project, I would when there was time for it write other material on other subjects and in the process utilize some of the lessons I learned and re-learned from John which benefited those subsequent pieces substantially when they were eventually published{9}or republished. The more we worked together, the more confident I became in my own ideas and abilities. John was a retired school teacher but in a very real sense he was also my teacher in these areas as I relearned stuff I had forgotten as well as learned stuff I did not know. I also had him review other writings of mine for a couple of years after that{10} as well and he was involved in at least one group weblog projects along with Pete and myself.{11} We were also on some discussion lists where he would share stuff he was working on, I would share stuff I was working on, etc. but those lists gradually died down and became for all intensive purposes extinct.{12}

As I generally just tired of the traditionalist subjects in particular as well as apologetics in general since early 2004 or thereabouts{13} and contributed less to those lists as well, there was some drift in our communications. John's involvement at the group weblog was mostly in the first six months but his contributions there were invaluable because I started a project I did not want to do{14} but felt in conscience I had to do. If not for John's numerous contributions to it in those first six months (and the contributions of others like Pete Vere later on), that weblog would not have lasted even a fraction as long as it did. But with changes in life as well as changes in the overall landscape ecclesially and otherwise, that weblog saw its day and was finally closed down when it was no longer relevant.{15} I am no less tired of these subjects now than I have been for a long time. However, in conscience I felt the need since learning of John's passing to say something on my debt to him and with Bill's passing as well, something of my debt to Bill as well.

So to Bill Grossklas and F. John Loughnan: may you both enjoy your well deserved rest. I owe both of you and you will always be in close proximity of my prayers as well as from time to time in my mind when I come across something that reminds me of you guys and of that time in my life.

Until we meet again...

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine
Et lux perpetua luceat eis:
Fidelium animae, per misericordiam Dei,
Requiescant in pace.



{1} On My Resignation From Where Peter Is, General Concerns For The State Of Public Discourse There and Elsewhere, Etc. (circa August 6, 2018)

{2} I say at the time because there have been a number of changes in this area the past twenty odd years and I touched on some of them in a posting from early December which was a bit of intentional foreshadow of the material you are reading now.

{3} In surveying the landscape today, we would do well to consider the prudence of using such terms in light of at least three factors (i) the ecclesial environment is not what it was many years ago when the term had far greater potential currency value, (ii) too many of those who have recourse to those expressions misuse and misapply them which causes no small amount of unnecessary angst by those unfairly marked by such expressions, and (iii) differences in the current ecclesial environment with that previous era make the use of such terms far more likely to do damage today than was previously the case. Let us touch on each of these starting with the ecclesial environment of a decade ago.

I remember the ecclesial environment ten years ago very well and it was different than today in many ways. For example, the Fraternal Society of St. Peter (FSSP) was still an experimental entity, the Tridentine liturgy was licit only when the local ordinary gave direct faculties for its celebration, and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) was still under the excommunications they incurred as a result of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre's unfortunate consecrations of four bishops without a papal mandate. I could list more examples but those three alone should suffice to make it clear that the environment back then was markedly different in key respects...

It was a far more combative era for those reasons among others and we were not at the time above using terms of derision to seek to make the demarcations we felt were necessary. Our concern in large part was to ensure that the growing Ecclesia Dei movement was not tarnished by those who were doing the Indult movement a grave injustice. In essence, my public uses of the word were directed at manifest schismatics, heretics, and/or the smug self-righteous sorts who attacked the Indult movement to promote schismatics and heretics." [Excerpt from a Guest Editorial (circa August 9, 2013)]

{4} From that one font of an idea directly or indirectly within a couple years time came about almost two dozen odd eventual writings on a number of apologetical and theological subjects.

{5} Let us just say I had more than one motivation at the time.

{6} A subsequent revision removed the apologetical material which was used to make essays in their own right either in proximate substance thereof or at times in exact or near-exact content.

{7} I can remember hearing John tell me at times to explain delays something along the lines of "remember, I am an old retired teacher on a pension with poor eyesight" or something akin to that. While I am even now nowhere near John's age back then, I do realize in the intervening twenty years my capacities for large project multitasking are nothing akin to what they were back then.

{8} There were times in the process that I would bounce an idea off of John for another section or he would say something to me that gave me an idea to write on a specific subsection of the project. I have tried to remember which of these places this happened but nearly two decades later, I honestly cannot recall with certainty which ones they were.

{9} The first of those pieces was published about a month after the larger project John helped me with made its debut in original form.

{10} On those projects I do not recall him having any specific editorial or other criticisms to offer; presumably because I had absorbed so much from him from our collaboration that I was instinctively making some of the corrections he would have made. Even to this day, I almost never use contractions in writing (unless quoting something where they are used) whereas previously, I used to use them a lot. The reason? John hated contractions. So that is one of the many ways that he continues to influence my writing to this very day.

{11} Namely, an old weblog I used to oversee which dealt with these same matters subsequent to the formation of this humble weblog.

{12} John's last contributions to St. Anselmo were in early and mid 2013 -his last posting was in June of that year. The site itself more or less was dying at the time judging by monthly contributions and since February of 2015 has been little more than a ghost town.

{13} My original reason for founding the group weblog spoken of earlier was to no longer write on those subjects here at Rerum Novarum which I wanted to go in a different direction altogether.

{14} To be quite frank about it fifteen odd years later.

{15} I have posted exactly twice to it since it was formally shuttered on July 21, 2007 and in both cases, it was because of changes that required updates pertaining to material posted on that site and elsewhere in the interest of both obligation as well as accuracy. Otherwise, it remains suspended in perpetuity.

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Friday, January 04, 2019

New Year's Resolutions:

I sketched out in brief the following list back in early December:

--More trips to the gym per week

--Eating healthier

--Losing weight

--Driving less

--Sleeping more

--Drinking even more water

--Reducing clutter in various aspects of life

--Eliminating virtually all talk radio of a toxic nature

--Maintaining and tightening my near-ban on all cable news and other television news

--Getting back to business

--Improving nutritional supplementation

--Smoking more cigars

--Eating less red meat

--Allowing myself to imbibe some alcohol again after implementing the rest of the above list

--Resolving as early in the year as possible my mother in laws housing situation which caused many things to go awry in the past couple of years but either way, no longer allowing this to get in the way of my personal and professional goals

I later appended the following to the list as of January 1st:

--Give even less of a shit overall in 2019 than I did in 2018.

With the publishing of this note, consider the above list as written to be official.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Thursday, January 03, 2019

A general principle worth considering...

If you have nothing nice to say after someone dies, with the rare exception of someone who is truly evil, decent thing to do is to just stay quiet. This isn't hard.

Crazy how many think it's alright to mock or be dismissive of the death of someone whose politics you don't like.
7:14 PM · Dec 30, 2018

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

A brief notation on the passing of an old friend a few months back has had me questioning since that time a few things for a while including if I even want to continue any involvement in this weblog and other projects for much longer.{1}

The additional passing of another friend in October of 2018 made me feel in conscience the need to say something about these two friends, the era that defined them, my debt to them, etc. Material composed for that purpose is now completed and will be published after Epiphany 2019. In the meantime, I wanted to take the opportunity of the fifth anniversary of the passing of F. John Loughnan to note that I will speak more about him and Bill Grossklas very early in the new year.

Merry Christmas John and Bill!


{1} There are some postings planned which have been prepared for publishing for quite some time. They will be published at some point in the new year-after that, I am not sure at the moment what else I want to do in these areas.

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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Ultra Briefly on an Important Anniversary:

Ten years ago today, I first made contact on Facebook with the lady whom I was later to marry. We celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary earlier this year and while I did not note that at the time, a tenth anniversary seems like a good one for such things; ergo, the purpose of this brief musing here.

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Monday, December 24, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"[I]f you hear Santa say 'ho ho ho' and you start looking around to see if he was talking to you, I would suggest that should be a red flag that something in your life needs to change." [Me on Facebook (circa December 27, 2011)]


Friday, December 21, 2018

Briefly on a Blues Legend:

Albert King (AK) died on December 21, 1992. He was without a doubt the blues musician who influenced rock players the most{1} and he did this despite a technique that was uniquely his own -including tuning down the guitar a whole step and playing a right handed guitar left handed resulting in the strings being reversed. As a result of this, the strings most players pushed he pulled at and his ability to generate the crying sound that epitomizes the blues through bending was without parallel.{2} He was not a flashy player nor did he play very fast but he compensated for this with focus on all the other elements that go into being a well rounded player and sadly enough, these are areas that most players take little if any notice of.

Jimi Hendrix who is usually considered one of (if not the) best guitar players in history was terrified to stand onstage with King{3} as indeed anyone who was sane would be when AK was having a good night.{4} For the man known as "The Velvet Bulldozer" had such power and intensity in his playing but was also capable of playing very delicately with careful note inflections. His vibrato was first rate and he had a certain sass{5} to his approach which coupled with his tremendous size made for an imposing stage presence.

May he rest in peace.


{1} He was put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

{2} BB King noted in his own autobiography (not long before he noted that AK was "not my brother in blood but he was surely my brother in blues") that AK was able to bend notes in a way that would absolutely cut you in half.

{3} I am unaware of any other musician who could make this claim but then again, it was more than his style of playing that was intimidating but the man himself who stood six and a half feet tall and weighed a good 250 when in his prime.

{4} "I can't think of anybody who would go out onstage with Albert on a good night and not be absolutely terrified to play the blues next to him. That guy'll run over you like Amtrak." [Joe Walsh in Guitar World]

{5} "I don't know of anybody who can play sassier than Albert." [Stevie Ray Vaughan in Guitar World]

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

On President Trump and His Re-Election Odds:

This is a response to some comments seen on Facebook. My words will be in regular font. Without further ado...

[T]here is zero chance Trump will be re-elected if he runs. Why? Here are some factors: 

Number One - Trump lost the popular vote and only edged the Electoral Vote as a result of 70,000 votes spread across 3 states.

As a rule presidents win re-election by larger margins than their initial election. Obama is the only exception to this rule I can think of.

Trump has driven the economy southward, and it will be even more evident in the second half of 2019.

The economy is much better now than it was in 2016.

"It's the economy, stupid" never fails to drive voters away from a failing presidency.

See my prior comments.

Number Two - One of the states Trump relied on to put him over the top in the electoral vote count was Pennsylvania. The GOP in Pennsylvania has crashed and is in no position to bolster the rust belt coalition that got Trump over the EC hump.

Trump won with 304 electoral votes. Even assuming the same number of faithless electors in 2020 (which will not happen) and a loss of Pennsylvania, he would still have 284 electoral votes.

Number Three - The element in the Republican party that voted for Drumpf because they were spooked about Hillary, won't be taken in by that again - as represented by the suburban voters who crossed party lines to join the Blue Wave in the House elections.

Presidents usually lose congressional seats in midterms -in fact its only not happened twice since 1900 if memory serves (1934 and 2002). Claiming Trump will lose because he lost the average midterm House seats is quite ahistorical to put it nicely.

Number Four - Moreover, a significant number of Republicans have left the GOP since the election and now identify as Independents.

This also happened before 2016. Most Independent voters are former Republicans.

Trump is stinking it up with Independents.

You are forgetting it depends on whom the Democrats nominate. There are few options for them to have a candidate that is genuinely coalitional rather than a partisan factionalist. They pick from the latter and Trump is a lock to win reelection.

What does all this add up to? Trump still has a base, but the outer crust around that base is gone. Sure - his cultists will show up come hell or high water, but there just are not enough of them for lightning to strike twice.

Since so much of your math is erroneous, you might want to consider recalculation.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Points to Ponder:
(On the Manipulation of Pictures, Etc., In the Absence of Actual Argument)

[A] visceral reaction is not an argument. Ever. Good things *can* be unpleasant to look at. I eat sausage with a perfectly clear conscience. I send gifts to friends' children without any need for pictures of how the child came about. So a person's resort to pictures designed to evoke a visceral reaction immediately causes me to suspect him, on all subjects. [Victor Morton (circa September 28, 2006)]


Monday, December 17, 2018

I am still waiting to hear from the #NetNeutrality doomsday folks from a year ago...

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The Origins and Approval of the Malines Conversations

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More on Conservative Judicial Activism:

This to a certain extent continues the thread topic located HERE.

Roberts invented a farcical excuse to rule the unconstitutional law constitutional -- changing his vote from one to strike down the unconstitutional law to one to preserve it 

Actually, that is not true. Roberts did not go along with the ABSURD notion of the minority that they could not sever the mandate and therefore had to strike the entire statute. (Talk about judicial activism!) He was willing to strike the Medicaid expansion and the mandate but when told it was all or nothing, he sided with the backup argument of the government that the mandate could be read as a tax -incidentally, something the Senate themselves made clear before they passed the statute to begin with.

I do not see SCOTUS going along with the "it is not severable" nonsense this time around any more than they did previously. However, they could very well rule the mandate is no longer constitutional since it cannot be read as a tax anymore and has already been ruled unconstitutional under the commerce clause. (And thus sever it from the statute which would make the statute an unworkable mess.) If I was to guess offhand, that is what I suspect they will do with two of the most ardent (and in this case, hypocritical!) "it cannot be severed" folks from 2012 no longer on the court.

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

The funeral for The Weekly Standard has not even happened yet and Ace of Spades is already desecrating the corpse!


Friday, December 14, 2018

On Conservative Judicial Activism:

This is a continuation of sorts from the material located HERE. My words will be in regular font here.

If we get ideologues who happen to vote the way we like, then we are as guilty of using the Court to pass laws by fiat as the other side. No, thank you.

There are two ideologues on the court right now on the conservative side{1} and possibly a third.{2} On balance they are all good folks and rule as I think is appropriate 90-95% of the time but they also have activist tendencies here and there and as one who has spent literally decades railing against judicial activism,{3} it really makes me bristle when conservatives suddenly stop condemning activism on the court when it touches their pet issues.

The bulk of the conservatives did it on NFIB in 2012 when they sought to portray the bullshit that the mandate could not be severed from the ACA; ergo, they should strike the whole statute{4} and they did it here by cosigning a written dissent on a denial of ceriatori here: something that next to never happens because decisions to take a case or not are not supposed to be ideological. But because Planned Parenthood was on the case names here, the ideologues on the right just had to try and get it before them. While not the only two examples I could mention, they are two fairly notable ones, the former because it took the mask off the facade of conservative opposition to judicial activism as a matter of principle,{5} the latter because it seeks to make ideological a routine denial of ceratori which happens roughly 7920 out of 8000 times every term{6}or to put it in mathematical terms, 99% of the time.


{1} Referring to Justice Thomas and Justice Alito.

{2} The jury is still out on Justice Gorsuch in that area.

{3} Here is just one example of many I could pull from the weblog archives on this subject for anyone interested:

On the Previous Audiopost and Our Final Post on the Miers Nomination (circa October 27, 2005)

{4} This happened when the present weblog was suspended but I wrote elsewhere on my displeasure with this at the time.

{5} As opposed to a matter of convenience.

{6} And is being spun that way by clownservatard activists who are downright shameless in what they are doing.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"You'd be amazed how much government you'll never miss." [Mitch Daniels]

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018




I am reminded from time to time as with the responses from many on the right viz the SCOTUS denial of ceratori in two cases tangentially related to abortion that the right can be just as judicially activist as they frequently squawk about the left being.

Its as if many on the right see Planned Parenthood and are blinded to everything else. This case had to do with Medicaid and Medicaid funding which cannot by law be used for abortions.{1} So how on earth even taking the case would come within 10,000 miles of touching Casey is quite the Scooby Doo mystery. The more conservatives pull this activist crap, the less I trust them as a group to call fair balls and strikes.


{1} See The Hyde Amendment for details. 

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Points to Ponder:

If "the base" stays at home in 2020 over the stupid wall not getting funded/built, they deserve to be dhimmis to the Dems for the next 50 years! [Me]

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What Straight-A Students Get Wrong

A poignant bit from the link above:

"...If I could do it over again, I’d study less. The hours I wasted memorizing the inner workings of the eye would have been better spent trying out improv comedy and having more midnight conversations about the meaning of life..."


Thursday, December 06, 2018

"One From the Vault" Dept.
(On Dialogue)

The following was originally planned as a column for Where Peter Is when I was still involved in that project.{1} It seems appropriate at the present time to revisit it with a few minor tweaks considering the material to be forthcoming on this humble weblog in the coming months. Without further ado

[It] seems appropriate before delving into the most controversial material that I have involved myself in for some time the importance generally speaking of how dialogue should be conducted yet almost never is -even among those of good faith. The principles are ones we can all benefit reflecting upon particularly when the matters of discussion are ones where emotions can override reason and logic: a problem that in this day and age is nearly an epidemic both within and without the Church.

With those factors in mind, the following is a flashback to the archives and material from a Joint Statement on Dialogual Principles that preceded a written dialogue on a controversial subject matter back in 2008...

It is with no small degree of chagrin that we take a jaded view of the lacuna in modern life of genuine dialogue. The latter when properly understood is both difficult and also potentially rewarding. Most definitely it is not aimless bantering or a series of monologues as much of what passes today for "dialogue" actually is. Instead, dialogue properly conceived and carried out contains a dynamic constituent to it. 
As Catholics we are the beneficiaries of ancient truths which to some extent admit of variations in application depending on particular times, circumstances, etc. However, there are also core principles which do not admit of an expiration date and which sadly we see given little if any accounting these days in much of what passes for public discourse. The degree of ignorance of people (some of whom considering what they claim for themselves should know better) of fundamental principles of proper conduct is appalling. There are however two ways to deal with this. We can either curse the darkness or try and light a few candles. With this statement of joint principles as well as the dialogue to follow, we intend to aim at the second approach. 
We have an interest both for ourselves individually as well as to assist the common good generally in handling this matter in accordance with principles that are at the core of how Catholics should conduct themselves when confronting another person with opposing views. But these are not principles which are strictly speaking matters of faith only. We believe faith and reason cannot contradict and that reason is a natural light given to us all by the Creator as one way we are made in His image. It is therefore a crime to denigrate reason the way many people do and sadly, not a few Catholics fall prey to this. 
We intend in this dialogue to show a proper respect for the rigours of proper logic and reasoning while doing our best to set an example for others of how a dialogue should be conducted. We trust that readers will see if they are of good will that in the sources about to be cited, while of an authoritative character for Catholics, the principles being touched on are and should be by logical extension universal. For example, there should be a general principle of what is and is not a dialogue and how one is properly conducted. We intend to propose one in this thread which will serve as a point of reference for us in the following undertaking but which has an applicability which we believe is universal. 
The ancient concept of dialogue was codified by Pope Paul VI in his inaugural encyclical letter as "[the] internal drive of charity which seeks expression in the external gift of charity" (Ecclesiam Suam). It therefore must have charity at its core which St. Paul declared was "patent, kind, not jealous, not pompous, not inflated, not rude, seeks not its own interests, is not quick tempered, kind, not jealous, not pompous, not inflated, does not brood over injury, does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth." (cf. 1 Cor. xiii,4-6). 
So if dialogue has at its core charity and all that term encompasses, this by logical extension means that the parties actually listen to one another. Clarifications if requested by one party are complied with by the other. If in the process, someone encounters a principle, an argument, an approach to something different than what they have seen before, it involves considering that information and seeking as far as possible to assimilate it into the matrix of their own view to the extent they can. It may even require modifying one's view either in part or wholly. 
Dialogue is indeed all too rare today because it takes genuine effort and shuns the kinds of strawman caricatures, sound-bytes, etc. that play into what passes for much of modern discourse. Pope Paul noted that the following characteristics should accompany a dialogue and we note them here as principles that we will endeavour to follow at all times on the subject before us as much as any other. 
First of all, dialogue requires by its very nature clarity or as Pope Paul noted "the dialogue demands that what is said should be intelligible" (Ecclesiam Suam 81). We will strive at all times to be intelligible to both each other as well as the readers of what we will present. 
Second, dialogue requires a degree of humility because as Pope Paul noted "[i]t would indeed be a disgrace if our dialogue were marked by arrogance, the use of bared words or offensive bitterness. What gives it its authority is the fact that it affirms the truth, shares with others the gifts of charity, is itself an example of virtue, avoids peremptory language, makes no demands. It is peaceful, has no use for extreme methods, is patient under contradiction and inclines towards generosity" (Ecclesiam Suam 81). 
We will certainly strive to persuade others to give consideration of our positions as they will be outlined. We will also in recognizing these principles not make a demand on each other or others -viewing what we will say and how we shall say it as either standing or falling on its own merits or lack thereof. 
Third, dialogue requires a confidence by both parties "not only in the power of one's own words, but also in the good will of both parties to the dialogue" (Ecclesiam Suam 81). We expressly recognize in each other the good will to dialogue and would ask of those reviewing what we will present the same courtesy as well. 
Fourthly, dialogue requires adaptation to the characteristics of the audience or "allowances for the psychological and moral circumstances of his hearer, (Mt 7.6.) particularly if he is a child, unprepared, suspicious or hostile" (Ecclesiam Suam 81). This is a difficult areas to navigate because people's understanding can vary significantly; we will however do our best which is all anyone can do really. Having noted the principles and procedures we intend to follow, a bit needs to be said on the subject of criticism itself. 
Society today has an overly critical component to it that often seems to want to criticize as if the latter is an end in and of itself instead of a means to an end. Fundamentally and in principle, neither of us has a problem with criticism -indeed we intend to criticize the positions of the other on the subject in question. But we do not intend criticism for the sake of criticism as that is of no value. In a dialogue, criticism can suit a useful purpose to enable people to explain themselves better, to account for weaknesses in one's position, etc. and therefore be of a constructive nature. It can also give people cause to reassess their views and (in the words of Benjamin Franklin) "question a bit of their own infallibility."
We are both willing to consider the possibility that we may be wrong and indeed it would seem strange for us to expect either each other or anyone reading what we write to reconsider their views where ours may be different if we somehow were unwilling to do the same thing ourselves. 
Another problem of modern life is the loss of a habit of mind that allows differentiation of arguments from quarrels with the result that disagreements or attempts at correction tend to be destructive rather than constructive. This is a trap we intend to avoid to the best of our abilities. [Excerpt from Rerum Novarum (circa August 10, 2008)]
The above material can be viewed as a formalization of how I approach the subject of dialogue on all subjects now as it serves to weed out a lot of pretenders who merely talk about these matters but have no intention of actually engaging them in a rational and ethical manner.


{1} On My Resignation From Where Peter Is, General Concerns For The State Of Public Discourse There and Elsewhere, Etc. (circa August 6, 2018)

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Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Points to Ponder:
(On Obedience)

Now I wish you to see and know this most excellent virtue in that humble and immaculate Lamb, and the source whence it proceeds. What caused the great obedience of the Word? The love which He had for My honor and your salvation. Whence proceeded this love? From the clear vision with which His soul saw the divine essence and the eternal Trinity, thus always looking on Me, the eternal God. His fidelity obtained this vision most perfectly for Him, which vision you imperfectly enjoy by the light of holy faith. He was faithful to Me, His eternal Father, and therefore hastened as one enamored along the road of obedience, lit up with the light of glory. And inasmuch as love cannot be alone, but is accompanied by all the true and royal virtues, because all the virtues draw their life from love, He possessed them all, but in a different way from that in which you do. Among the others he possessed patience, which is the marrow of obedience, and a demonstrative sign, whether a soul be in a state of grace and truly love or not.

Wherefore charity, the mother of patience, has given her as a sister to obedience, and so closely united them together that one cannot be lost without the other. Either you have them both or you have neither. This virtue has a nurse who feeds her, that is, true humility; therefore a soul is obedient in proportion to her humility, and humble in proportion to her obedience. This humility is the foster-mother and nurse of charity, and with the same milk she feeds the virtue of obedience. Her raiment given her by this nurse is self-contempt, and insult, desire to displease herself, and to please Me.

Where does she find this? In sweet Christ Jesus, My only-begotten Son. For who abased Himself more than He did! He was sated with insults, jibes, and mockings. He caused pain to Himself in His bodily life, in order to please Me. And who was more patient than He? for His cry was never heard in murmuring, but He patiently embraced His injuries like one enamored, fulfilling the obedience imposed on Him by Me, His Eternal Father. Wherefore in Him you will find obedience perfectly accomplished. He left you this rule and this doctrine, which gives you life, for it is the straight way, having first observed them Himself. He is the way, wherefore He said, 'He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'For he who travels by that way, travels in the light, and being enlightened cannot stumble, or be caused to fall, without perceiving it. For he has cast from himself the darkness of self-love, by which he fell into disobedience; for as I spoke to you of a companion virtue proceeding from obedience and humility, so I tell you that disobedience comes from pride, which issues from self-love depriving the soul of humility.

The sister given by self-love to disobedience is impatience, and pride, her foster-mother, feeds her with the darkness of infidelity, so she hastens along the way of darkness, which leads her to eternal death. [St. Catherine of Siena OP: Treatise on Obedience from her Dialogues (c. 1370)]


"None Dare Call It Conspiracy" Dept.

My words will be in regular font below.

Rome is going after another religious community...and again...its not about heresy or morals...if you're faithful...these guys in Rome will find you...

I want to focus for a moment on this tidbit.

if you're faithful...

Faithful to what though? It too often sounds like so-called "traditionalists" merely want to do whatever they want whenever they want and have no oversight from Rome whatsoever on anything.

Or to be blunt: basically mouth the words of obedience to the pope but then act like a bunch of little Luthers where the rubber of abstraction meets the road of reality.


shawn thats just patently false...and you know it...

What is so false about it? I have yet to hear a supposed "traditional" order which does not bitch and moan every time they are asked to do anything they do not want to. I am reminded of the words of St. John of the Cross when he spoke of spiritual gluttons:

"You will find that many of these persons are very insistent with their spiritual masters to be granted that which they desire, extracting it from them almost by force; if they be refused it they become as peevish as children and go about in great displeasure, thinking that they are not serving God when they are not allowed to do that which they would. For they go about clinging to their own will and pleasure, which they treat as though it came from God; and immediately their directors take it from them, and try to subject them to the will of God, they become peevish, grow faint-hearted and fall away. These persons think that their own satisfaction and pleasure are the satisfaction and service of God...

These persons have the same defect as regards the practice of prayer, for they think that all the business of prayer consists in experiencing sensible pleasure and devotion and they strive to obtain this by great effort, wearying and fatiguing their faculties and their heads; and when they have not found this pleasure they become greatly discouraged, thinking that they have accomplished nothing. Through these efforts they lose true devotion and spirituality, which consist in perseverance, together with patience and humility and mistrust of themselves, that they may please God alone. For this reason, when they have once failed to find pleasure in this or some other exercise, they have great disinclination and repugnance to return to it, and at times they abandon it. They are, in fact, as we have said, like children, who are not influenced by reason, and who act, not from rational motives, but from inclination...

These persons who are thus inclined to such pleasures have another very great imperfection, which is that they are very weak and remiss in journeying upon the hard road of the Cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally has its face set against all self-denial, which is devoid of sweetness. [St. John of the Cross: Dark Night of the Soul Book I, Chapter IV (c. 1580)]

I do not see what more I could add to what that Doctor of the Church noted above.

or if you dont you arent paying attention...

Or maybe I am simply not paranoid and automatically distrustful of anything coming out of Rome.

If you stand out in any way because you arent simply status quo for the liturgy or theology as its been since 1965....

There are not two churches, only one. I am now reminded of the words of Cardinal Ratzinger from The Ratzinger Report circa 1985:

"I see no future for a position that, out of principle, stubbornly renounces Vatican II. In fact in itself it is an illogical position. The point of departure for this tendency is, in fact, the strictest fidelity to the teaching particularly of Pius IX and Pius X and, still more fundamentally, of Vatican I and its definition of papal primacy. But why only popes up to Pius XII and not beyond? Is perhaps obedience to the Holy See divisible according to years or according to the nearness of a teaching to one’s own already-established convictions?"

The same principle applies to your choice of the year 1965 as opposed to some trads choice of 1958 or others who choose an earlier point in time. Again, "[i]s perhaps obedience to the Holy See divisible according to years or according to the nearness of a teaching to one’s own already-established convictions?"

they come after you...

As I said earlier, I have yet to hear a supposed "traditional" order which does not bitch and moan every time they are asked to do anything they do not want to.

.they are targeting orders who simply offer the New Mass in Latin...etc...

Something tells me it is not as simple as that.

its not even necessarily about tradition...its about *any* idea that perhaps the liturgical reform went to far...

See my prior comment.

when they did their first or second purge no one could say for sure...

"[P]urge"? You speak of the Vatican with the same language usually reserved for totalitarian despots like Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union.

but now...after several...its immediately apparent that this is simply bad will...

See my prior comments.

and the ignoramus joao braz de aviz is often involved...

You mean a Cardinal who was given his red hat by Pope Benedict XVI?

Seriously, I do not see how my original much briefer statement was not spot on. I will close with some words of St. Francis de Sales:

Most people permit themselves absolute latitude in criticising and censuring rulers, and in calumniating nationalities, according to their own opinions and likings. But do you avoid this fault; it is displeasing to God, and is liable to lead you into disputes and quarrels. [St. Francis de Sales: Introduction to the Devout Life Chapter XXVIII (c. pre 1622)]

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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Revisiting the Subject of the SSPX and Their Status:

[Prefatory Disclaimer: I am as a rule loathe to talk about the matter anymore either here or elsewhere and have been for a long time because it bores me to tears and life is frankly too short for that. However, since I have in the works a project before this year is out which will unavoidably touch on these matters to at least some extent, it seems to me appropriate to republish here with some modifications (including a new footnote below) the text of an update on SSPX matters originally published in April of 2017 at an now-obsolete weblog when I decided to resume blogging here at Rerum Novarum. 

My reason for doing that is there have been a lot of changes in these areas over the years and to a certain extent, my previous involvement in these areas made me in conscience feel I need to note these matters at least briefly and in passing from time to time in the interest of the greatest possible accuracy and fairness. As it was not necessary to previously do so here, I did it elsewhere in the old archived weblog where these matters used to be covered fairly regularly. As it is necessary due to what will be forthcoming to touch on these matters here, I have to do so on this humble weblog despite my general distaste for such things and that time is the intention of this posting. -SM]

--The Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) as a result of events from 2009{1} eventually and in a most welcome move expelled Bishop Richard Williamson in 2012.

-- In an ecclesiastical trial involving an SSPX priest back in 2015, the Holy See made SSPX Superior General Bishop Bernard Fellay a judge in the case and possibly other cases pertaining to SSPX priests.

--Pope Francis had during the 2015-2016 Jubilee Year granted faculties to the SSPX for their priests to validly and licitly offer absolution in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

--At the end of the Jubilee Year, Pope Francis extended this faculty indefinitely as of this writing.{2} For that reason, much as with a couple of other subjects like the lawfulness of the 1962 Missal{3}, the status of the four bishops of the SSPX as excommunicate{4}: these were all situations where the circumstances have changed from when they were covered by myself and others in various writing projects through roughly July of 2007.{5} Therefore, what is written here on those matters at the time they were written remain as an archival reference source on those subjects but due to changing circumstances and occurrences are no longer per se as valid as they were when originally written.{6}

As for the kind of approach taken on these matters in years past, I explain why I view it as having had its day in this guest editorial to Kevin Tierney's weblog in August of 2013 and as per my stance taken there and which I have outlined elsewhere{7}, this is how in all subsequent matters of this nature I view these and other related matters will best be dealt with in perpetuity.

All things to the contrary notwithstanding.


{1} On the Recent Controversy of the Reinstatement of the SSPX's Bishops in General and of Bishop Richard Williamson in Particular (circa February 18, 2009)

{2} "For the Jubilee Year I had also granted that those faithful who, for various reasons, attend churches officiated by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X, can validly and licitly receive the sacramental absolution of their sins. For the pastoral benefit of these faithful, and trusting in the good will of their priests to strive with God’s help for the recovery of full communion in the Catholic Church, I have personally decided to extend this faculty beyond the Jubilee Year, until further provisions are made, lest anyone ever be deprived of the sacramental sign of reconciliation through the Church’s pardon. [Pope Francis: Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera (circa November 20, 2016)]

{3} On Juridical Abrogation of the 1962 Missal (circa July 6, 2007)

{4} See footnote one.

{5} The Suspension of The Lidless Eye Inquisition In Perpetuity (circa July 21, 2007)

{6} There is now talk about Rome establishing a procedure for the marriages celebrated by attendees of the SSPX churches as well as of literally today. Marriages celebrated in SSPX churches for decades have been both illicit as well as invalid -a subject covered by myself and others elsewhere in years past. However, the current news means that the situation concerning many marriages in the SSPX being valid from a certain point forward is an inevitability as well. (And presumably something will be done on this front to facilitate regularizing prior invalid marriages as well.)

{7} For Preserving the Historical Record (circa September 13, 2018)

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Friday, November 30, 2018

Catholics and Private Revelation Part II: The Voice of Tradition

As I noted previously, when this weblog was suspended for more than seven years, I occasionally continued to write material for other publishing mediums. One of those projects was a column written five years ago for Catholic Lane, a website Kevin Tierney used to be one of the webmasters of. The aforementioned column can be viewed at the link above.

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Monday, November 26, 2018

On Divisive Terms, Dialogue, and Reading "The Signs of the Times"... A Guest Editorial

When this weblog was suspended for more than seven years, I occasionally continued to write material for other publishing mediums. One of those projects was a guest editorial I wrote about five years ago for Kevin Tierney's now defunct weblog which can be viewed at the link above.

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Sunday, November 25, 2018

Points to Ponder:

"When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. ‘You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men.'

If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquility, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent.

Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished." [Pope Pius XI]

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Saturday, November 24, 2018

Senator Grassley Was Wrong About Chief Justice Roberts

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Friday, November 23, 2018



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

On Conspiracy Theories and Faulty Conspiracy Apologetical Methodology:
(Musings of your humble servant at Rerum Novarum)

I originally intended to write an article on this subject saving various snippets from contributions I made to various Wikipedia articles on this subject. However, this weblog was suspended before I could tend to that matter. In going back to peruse the live links themselves, apparently Wikipedia at some point blocked me from contributing there until sometime in 2020. I suspect it was because of the blurbs below which were hardly helpful to propagating the conspiracy weltanschauung that was being perpetrated on the pertinent discussion threads at the time. So though some context will be lacking, I will post the blurbs here since I abhor censorship and to put out there what apparently Wikipedia conspiracy advocates who moderated such threads were too scared to let remain on said threads. So below in fire coloured font is the material published as it was originally written including any spelling or grammatical errors I made at the time.Without further ado...

Courtesy of a former conspiracy theorist.

It seems appropriate to add this to the beginning of the scroll to make sure that there is at least a modicum of balance to the discussion at hand -certainly the article itself notes a lot of information on the subject and does not include after its "criticism" section a "rebuttal to criticisms." This silence appears to imply that the position of the "conspiracy theorist" critics is irrefutable which an article interested in a neutral POV should avoid the impression of giving even by implication.

I should also note in the interest of disclosure that I spent a few years in college obsessed with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the Bilderbergers, the Trilateral Commission, etc. I went so far as to track down a rare copy of Carroll Quigley's Tragedy and Hope as well as Dan Smoot's work The Invisible Government (both of which were in my college library at the time incidentally enough) along with several other stock texts, had several back issues of various "conspiracy" magazines, and even was fired from a job (indirectly) over my obsession with the stuff. This is noted at the outset because I am more than familiar with the stock "arguments" propounded and the proof-texts brought forward to sustain the "theory" (so-called) and therefore will not be swayed by those who try to throw them at me as if I am unaware of them. However, if we look at some of the fundamental elements of rational thought and how they present themselves amongst those commonly taken in by these "theories", some disturbing patterns present themselves.

Why does everyone presume that all members of any organization have the exact same views and no disagreements on policy or other factors are involved in the mix? Somehow we are to believe that all who belong to CFR all have the exact same views -find for me a single organization anywhere in the world where this happens! This factor alone would account for several of the stock proof texts from old issues of Foreign Affairs or wherever where one member's opinion is thereby not transmogrified into the collective viewpoint of the whole.

Furthermore, why do all those who harp on the CFR as some "big conspiracy organization" forget to point out all the blown predictions that the "gurus" propounding these conspiracy "theories" over the decades have made? The stock response to this stuff is that the CFR and their other "affiliates" (i.e. Bilderburgers, Trilateral Commission, Royal Institute of International Affairs, or whatever) found out what they (the "prophets of world conspiracy") were onto with regards to their "master plan" and then changed their tactics to avoid "detection" or whatever. Is it possible that countless blown predictions by these sorts over the decades being swept aside and other bold predictions being made is a sign not of a "Borg-like single mentality" of the members but instead that the "conspiracy theorists" themselves are operating wholly or at least in part from a defective operative presupposition? After all, the focus is almost always on only what the "theorist" believes will sustain their interpretation with potentially controverting evidences ignored or (if they are interacted with at all) caricatured in classic "straw man" fallacy and then dismissed as "refuted" or whatever.

It appears to me that the approach taken by the "conspiracy theorists" is no different than that taken by the flat earth activists who claim to offer a "reward" for anyone who can "prove" the earth is not flat or the holocaust deniers who offer "rewards" for "proof" of the holocaust happening. In all these cases, no degree of proof can satisfy the party in question because they have prejudged the matter as one that does not admit of them possibly being wrong. This is the same mindset that blames in true xenophobic fashion all perceived "outsiders" as being the source of any and all "evils" -can anyone say Jewish blood libel trials of the Middle Ages? How about blaming everything from the assassination of Lincoln and Kennedy to any calamity of the past four hundred years to the "papists" or the "Jesuits"? More could be noted but the bottom line is this: it is always easier to comfort oneself in dealing with issues that have a befuddling complexity to them by having recourse to simplistic "explanations" and then ignoring or refusing to come to grips with the problems of reason and logic (not to mention fact) that such "explanations" may have.

Now do not misunderstand me here, I am not going to claim that there are no members of CFR and other such groups past (or present) who do not have an outlook that is what would be called "globalist" in many respects. The fallacy is the claim that all members have the same views which is its own form of stereotyping. The charm of these "theories" is that they purport to give a simplistic explanation for much more complex geopolitical strata.

And for those who would complain about a lack of "balance" or whatever to the Wikipedia article itself, let us see if my comments remain in this discussion thread unedited or not. I have saved the text and I will check back periodically to see if this thread is truly one of "discussion" or if it is instead one long rant for a single viewpoint which seeks to censor or suppress the views of those who do not agree: ironically the same complaint the "conspiracy theorists" have about how they are treated! Those who would see another example of the violation of non-contradiction in such a "censoring" by world government advocates would be correct of course...time will tell if my note remains on this file in its unedited entirety or if by demonstration (read: editing or removing these comments in any respect whatsoever) my suspicions about the "ethics" of conspiracy theorist sorts as a rule will be confirmed.ShawnM (talk) 02:37, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Put down the thesaurus and back away slowly... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
I am impressed that the longer thread is still up...time will tell if that will change. As for the person who presumes that I need a thesaurus to write the way they (presumably) to either write themselves or read what I wrote, some of us are not so limited. ShawnM (talk) 03:45, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

Of course that is one small snippet (half of a sentence actually) taken from a twenty-two page article! Have you actually bothered to read the entire article to place that phrase in proper context? It is a near-certainty that you did not as "conspiracy theorists" by nature take these matters on faith from second and third hand (or worse) sources and do not check these matter for themselves. And as a text without context is a pre-text (for whatever interpretation you want to place upon it) you would be wise to do so along with considering what I said in the above paragraphs about one person's opinion editorial in a publication (be it Foreign Affairs or any other journal or periodical) being THE view of the CFR.ShawnM (talk) 02:51, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

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Monday, November 19, 2018

Points to Ponder:

Words can not describe the sad impressions that have been made on me by the agitation continually growing among Catholics, by these intolerable polemics, by this confusion of ideas, and above all by this lack of respect and of obedience to the Holy Father. I regard this as the worst of all the damage, and I offer most earnest prayers for this to come to an end.For us Catholics the name of the Pope is sacred and untouchable. The confusion which dominates minds, the doubts which arise from it, the judgment of the press, sometimes so unjust,and finally, the outbursts of emotions constitute a state of affairs which is deplorable. It behooves all of us to pray to God that some remedy be found. [Cardinal Rampolla: As quoted in The Life of Benedict XV written by Rev. Walter H. Peters. (c. 1959)]



I wonder if anyone from #NeverTrump will be buying any of the #Avenatti2020 campaign swag, particularly the special Avenatti2020 wifebeaters.

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On the Scandals in the Church and How to Respond To Them:

I was about to post a shorter response that I realized would lack context if I did not include the back story to it. So I will do so at this time putting in blockquote the original source. My interlocuter's words will be in orange font with my original response to them in purple. Without further ado...

I once again want to appeal to those who post about the Church's problems, to ask themselves, "What effect will my post have on others, as far as their ability to live faith, hope, and charity, and what effect will my post, my thinking, and my message have, on myself." 
At ordination to the diaconate and the priesthood, we seminarians were asked to swear oaths in writing, that what we undertook in ministry, we did so, with "no other purpose than the glory of Almighty God, the good of the Church/exaltation of the Faith, and the salvation of my own soul." 
We had to write this out, in hand, in various copies, when we petitioned for Holy Orders.

That is, or should be the priority, when it comes to writing about the Pope, or the bishops, or my personal bishop, or my pastor, or the clergy in general. First, is what I post, especially on a social network, giving glory to God? I don't mean is it giving glory to God in a subtle or roundabout way. Is it glorifying God in a sense, obvious to the average reader? 
Second, is what I write about all the workings of the Church, and post, on Facebook, building up the Church and showcasing the beauty of Catholic Faith? What do the non-Catholics and unbelievers walk away with, when they see my posts on a papal document, a synod, or a meeting of the bishops? Are they now tempted to join RCIA? Do my Catholic brethren read my posts about the Church and experience an increase in the theological virtue of hope? Or of charity? 
And third, what about the salvation of my own soul. People who repeat, often, the quote about the "auto-demolition of the Church" must understand, that the auto-demolition of the Church begins with the auto-demolition of my own soul, by failing to seek holiness and the peace of Christ. 
I have heard it all from people who get irritated with these questions: "Excuse me, but I have a right to be angry! Don't you know that it's my right to express my opinions and anger to the pastors of the Church? I have a crusade for justice, and like Catherine of Siena I will not be silent! It is excessive papalotry and thinking the hierarchy is impeccable that got us into this mess!" 
However, read the writings of the saints, when they are angry or enraged. I don't mean those pithy quotes that fit in a meme, or that are cut and pasted from their context. Read an entire chapter or passage of an angry statement from a saint. What is the difference between what the saints write, and what we post? 
The difference is that the saints and holy people who are not yet canonized leave us with a sense of trust in God. They leave us with the sense that the Faith is beautiful and strong, even when its leaders fail and are weak.
The difference is that holy people will always leave us with a sense that we must reach out to, and try to save, even the adversaries within the Church that we hate or dislike. I am not alone when I say that the comments made about Pope Francis, or a failed bishop in the Church, or a priest who is lost, are often without any evidence of this desire that they be saved. 
My sense is that the exclamation, "He needs prayers!" or "God help him" are more of a desire for God's wrath and vengeance upon the pope or the clergy, and less a desire that they see the light and be saved by God. And those are exclamations from people who are nice. Most comments run along the line of how stupid, insane, evil, lying, sneaky, pernicious, treacherous, laughable, and disgusting these people in the Church are.
Just some things to think about.

We should be asking ourselves similar questions when posting about problems in the world in general. It certainly doesn’t give glory to God passing over in silence the malfeasance of the Church hierarchy. If we are not willing to hold the leadership of the Church to basic moral standards we have right to,be taken seriously by the world at large.

I am unaware that there is anything in that post that says one must "pass over in silence" anything. Calling for being measured and balanced (spiritually and otherwise) in how one responds to issues/problems is the hallmark of traditional Catholic spirituality. And its never more worth pondering than when doing so means someone has to check their own inclinations on these matters.

the post casts aspersions on the motives of those who criticize the Church hierarchy.

Not really. It only applies to those who do such things in ways alien to how someone with a proper and authentic spiritual disposition would go about these matters.

I get the “sense” that this is a veiled way of telling people they should shut up about what’s going on.

See my previous comments.

What we should be “thinking” about here is the veracity of the claims made, such as those being made by Archbishop Vigano.

Here we go...

Even Cardinal Ouellette concedes Viganò’s claims while claiming the Archbishop said things he didn’t say.

Actually, this is not true. Archbishop Vigano has spun like a top on his fundamental claim and his ardent disciples are not being honest about this.{1} Furthermore, Vigano revealed in his third "testimony" what his real motivations were for "speaking out" and they were not what the lions share of those who are lauding his supposed "brave stance" are claiming. In Vigano's own words:

I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible. Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.

Therefore I spoke.

In other words, he did not speak up because of the sex abuse of the clergy or to give voice to the victims of it. His reason for speaking up was for another reason; namely, he did not like the pope's approach to theology, most notably moral theology. In other words, his testimonies were precisely what Cardinal Ouellet said they were: political frame jobs. 

More could be noted but again, what is the point since Vigano is being treated by his most ardent advocates no differently than the way conspiracy theorists do when you address the substance of their complaints and point out how they do not square with what they claim.{2}Besides, Vigano is in reality nothing more than an avatar for those who despise the pope and/or otherwise wish to find ways to undermine him. This is becoming more evident over time and since he is not completely wet in his accusations{3}, it makes it easier for those for whom he is said avatar to be strident at times in their defenses of him.

Well, people aren’t going to shut up about this, not should they.

See my initial comments about authentic spiritual dispositions{4}above.

Measured? In proportion to the corruption we are seeing in the episcopate and even the pope himself, calling this cancer the cancer it is is pretty damned measured if you ask me.

See my previous comments.


{1} I thought about writing on this point in detail a while back but after the draft was finished, I decided after pondering the matter overnight to leave it in draft form. Why? Because I am not so sure I want to go into another round of addressing those who engage in "the circle is really a square" type arguments. Its sorta like discussing Hiroshima and Nagasaki insofar as those with their minds stubbornly made up are not going to be open to reassessing their operative presuppositions so one has to ask themselves of what real value can such things ordinarily have.

{2} I have written a lot on the mentality behind conspiracy theories in recent years but most of it was in the form of Facebook notes back when this weblog was suspended. (Though there were a few examples that come to mind from the pre-suspension days including this one and this one.) One such example recently re-formatted and reposted to this weblog can be viewed here.

{3} There are some claims Vigano has made that appear to be accurate -most notably what he said about Weurl and Sodano. However, as I have never liked Sodano, its possible that personal biases are colouring my view of Vigano's claims where he is concerned.

{4} To note one such example of many that come to mind, that of St. Catherine of Siena often cited out of context by those who fancy themselves followers of her:

"He is insane who rises or acts contrary to this Vicar who holds the keys of the blood of Christ crucified. Even if he was a demon incarnate, I should not raise my head against him, but always grovel and ask for the blood out of mercy. And don't pay attention to what the demon proposes to you and you propose under the color of virtue, that is to say to want to do justice against evil pastors regarding their fault. Don't trust the demon: don’t try to do justice about what does not concern you. God wants neither you nor anyone else to set themselves up as a righter of the wrongs of His ministers. He reserves judgment to Himself, and He reserves it to His Vicar; and if the Vicar does not do justice, we should wait for the punishment and correction on the part of the sovereign judge, God Eternal." [Letter to Barnabas, the Viscount Lord of Milan on the Pope and Obedience to Him (circa ante 1380)] 

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