30 August 2016

Rank Speculation?

Oh boy, if you think I've gone out on limbs in the past, try this one on:

1.  Hillary is pre-ordained to be president by those who can order such things.

2. Typically the first choice of the government party wins, but if some unforeseen event occurs the other government party candidate wins-- thus providing the comforting illusion of choice to the plebs with little inconvenience to those in charge.

3.  Trump's unexpected and incredible levels of support make his candidacy-- at which those in charge had at first scoffed-- a dangerous threat to settled expectations. 

4.  Trump's poll numbers leading to, and immediately after, the GOP convention, along with the fervor of his supporters, many of whom were being drawn from groups historically hostile or at best apathetic to the GOP, created a panic.

5.  In order to shape opinion and discourage possible Trump voters, poll numbers began to shift in favor of Clinton and the media began a relentless and unprecedented (even for them) hatchet job on Trump, eschewing all pretense of fairness and seeking to destroy his candidacy.

6.  At about this time, the media reported that (wink, wink) the Russians (boo!) had hacked Democratic and Hillary-specific emails.  The line of reporting is that foreign powers were trying to manipulate American elections. There is no one to cast doubt on this version of events, as several Democratic staffers who might know otherwise mysteriously die, adding to the legendary, ontological bad luck of Clinton opponents, historically speaking.

7.  After some initial success with this tactic, Trump continues to rise in the polls, and even with the flawed sampling patterns in play has begun to "take the lead" again. 

8.  This, combined with the fact that Clinton sure looks seriously ill (or possessed? who knows), has caused another wave of panic to those who order things.

9. Therefore, now, reverting to script about the evil Russians (boo!) we are now told that the Russians (boo!) have possibly hacked into our voting systems!! Run!  Notice I say "Russians" and not "Hillary's team of election machine programmers". Sounds better.

So, the way I speculate, all bases are covered: if Hillary's pre-programmed algorithm is worth enough percentage points of votes to carry the day, the press will point to her good polling, Trump's "dangerousness" and the inevitability of it all to rank it as no surprise.  That Russian hacking threat never materialized, you see.

On the other hand, if Trump's landslide overcomes the pre-programmed algorithm for Hillary, and he actually wins the thing, then look for our current junta leader to declare the election results hacked, tainted and unreliable, necessitating a new vote sometime later next year when they can "fix" the problems.  In the meantime, the great leader will just stay in power to maintain control and safety.  Look for lots of faked acts of violence by angry Trumpers to justify just about anything. The way I see it, wanna-be third-termer Chavez isn't out of power yet.

There.  Rank speculation.

Somebody Tell Me Why He Is Wrong

Louie Verrecchio is, shall we say, confrontational. And I many times do not like the tone of his work-- though he makes good points very often, there is a lack of something like necessary decorum in dealing with certain persons and matters.

That, friends, is my disclaimer of why I'm linking to Mr. Verrecchio's post here.  I'm sure some of my readers will laugh at my disapproval of another's lack of decorum. Pot, kettle.  And I'm sure Louie would be amused at my reservations. But no matter-- when you're right, you're right.

He raises a very good question.  And it is worth considering well:

Benedict's bombshell goes all but unnoticed

If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone. (1983 Code of Canon Law, Canon 332 §2)

Note well that two things are “required” in order for a papal resignation to be valid; it must be both “made freely” and  “properly manifested.”

Let’s talk about the latter first.

How might a papal resignation be properly manifested?

First and foremost, it is manifested by way of declaration or published statement; i.e., some sort of pronouncement on the part of the pope-resignee that makes his intent known to the members of the Church.

That, however, is not all, and for a very good reason that we will consider momentarily.

A papal resignation is also properly manifested by way of outward signs that clearly indicate that the man in question is no longer the Roman Pontiff.

Common sense and the witness of history alone indicate that the antithesis of a papal resignation “properly manifested” on the part of a former pope includes such things as:

– Continuing to wear papal vestments

– Retaining one’s papal name as opposed to resuming the use of one’s former name

– Continuing to refer to oneself as “Pope” (albeit “Emeritus”) rather than one’s previous rank

– Allowing oneself to be addressed publicly as “Your Holiness” (and by his would-be successor, no less)

– Continuing to live within the enclosure of the Vatican

In the case of Benedict XVI, something is being manifested, and deliberately so!

In other words, it is the height of naivete to presume that such actions as those listed above are just innocent mistakes in judgment.

This brings me to the reason why the outward signs that accompany a declaration of intent to resign the Petrine ministry are so very important.

Commenting on the former requirement set forth in Canon 332 §2 (that the resignation be “made freely”), Cardinal Walter Brandmüller recently said:

"The simple declaration of free resignation on the part of the person in question [the pope] is not enough, because depending on the circumstances that statement could easily be forced, and the resignation therefore invalid."

This, my friends, is really just common sense. Think about it:

If you answered your telephone while a burglar was holding a gun to your head, you may very well insist to the caller that all is well. The caller in his turn would then go about believing and behaving as if all truly is well, and no one may be the wiser.

That is, unless you were clever enough to hint that all is not as it appears to be in the hopes that your caller might have ears to hear.

For instance, you might raise a red flag by making statements that your caller would readily recognize as so entirely absurd and irrational that he’d be hard pressed not  to inquire further. We’ll come back to this thought in a moment.

One wonders, is Cardinal Brandmüller suggesting that he harbors reservations about the freedom of Benedict’s resignation? Does he mean to imply that others in the Sacred College hold similar doubts?


In any case, I suspect that no small number of prelates sincerely believe that Benedict was forced to resign, and yet are unwilling to go public with their concerns.


Good Question: First, Be Sure of Answer; Second, Act

Lifesite News has published an article with the provocative headline: "Did a Catholic healthcare org just agree to hand out contraception under pressure from the ACLU?". Though there is plenty of smoke in the article, there is no confirmed fire to what would be a major local Catholic news story with national repercussions.

SSM Health has taken over a number of Walgreen's locations and converted them to clinics. Statements by SSM Health spokesmen sure do indicate that contraceptives would still be offered, as they were at Walgreen's:

The joint statement dated August 25 promised “SSM Health will continue to offer the same services that are currently available at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics today.” As for Hartwig-Mekstan, she is quoted in an August 18 story saying, Walgreens clinics “do provide a range of contraceptive services.”


Merrill also was paraphrased in one story as confirming that SSM-run Walgreens clinics will dispense one-month supplies of birth control pills. When questioned further by LifeSiteNews, however, Merrill referred to the joint statement that read, in part, “SSM Health will continue to offer the same services that are currently available at Walgreens Healthcare Clinics today stated.”

As bad as that sounds-- and it sounds bad-- there is no indication in the article that such a practice has begun, and no word on any altering of prior practice based on Catholic teaching.  As such, there is enough for the Archdiocese to investigate. And if contraception is given by an ostensibly Catholic institution, the Archbishop should act decisively. Says the Lifesite article:

The Lepanto Institute’s Hichborn isn’t any more certain than the ACLU about SSM’s intentions. But it if were to supply birth control pills, he said, “the archbishop of St. Louis, Robert Carlson, should order them to cease calling themselves a Catholic organization.”

Actually, no, the proper course is admonition and excommunication.  Hold your breath for that, of course.

If you care, contact information for SSM:

SSM Health, Public Relations
Diane McKillip, Manager, Public Relations
10101 Woodfield Lane, St. Louis, MO 63132
314-989-2119 (office)
314-265-7505 (cell)
diane_mckillip@ssmhc.com



26 August 2016

A Vote for Hillary is a Vote for Nuclear War

There. Did that get your attention?

From Lew Rockwell's Paul Craig Roberts:

Trump v. Hillary: A Summation (SLC note: I'm excerpting the Hillary portion)


The US presidential election this November will tell whether a majority of the US population is irredeemably stupid. If voters elect Hillary, we will know that Americans are stupid beyond redemption.

We don’t know much about Trump, and anti-Trump propaganda rules in the place of facts.

But we know many facts about Hillary. We know about her violation of classification laws and the refusal of the Democratic administration to do anything about it. The Democrats prefer to control the White House than to enforce the law, another nail in the coffin in which the rule of law in the US lies.

We know from their words and deeds and material success that the Clintons are agents for Wall Street, the Big Banks, the military/security complex, Israel, agribusiness, and the extractive industries. Their large personal fortune, approximately $120 million, and the $1,600 million in their foundation, much of which came from abroad in exchange for political favors, attests to the unchallengeable fact that the Clintons are agents for the oligarchy that rules America, indeed, that rules the American Empire from Australia and Japan, through North America and Western and Eastern Europe to the Russian border.

We know that Hillary, like Bill, is a liar.

We know that Hillary is a warmonger.

We know that Hillary made the most irresponsible statement ever uttered by a presidential candidate when she declared the President of Russia to be the “new Hitler,” thereby raising tensions between the nuclear powers to a higher level than existed during the Cold War.

We know that Hillary is allied with the neoconservatives and that her belief in the neocons’ ideology of US world hegemony is likely to result in war with Russia and China.

[…]

The entire power structure of our country is behind Hillary. Both Democratic and Republican political establishments and both ideologies, neoliberals, and neoconservatives are united behind Hillary.

How much more evidence do Americans need in order to know that a vote for Hillary is a vote for their own emasculation?

Apparently, Americans remain captives of their insouciance. According to news reports, a majority of voters still haven’t a clue about the consequences of voting for Hillary. Polls report that Hillary is well in the lead. Are these real polls or just another presstitute lie to discourage Trump supporters? Why vote when they have already lost?

[…]

All that is required is for enough Americans to awake from their insouciance to recognize that it is the enemies of their own lives, their own living standards, and their own liberty who are violently opposed to Trump.

If Americans cannot reach this realization, they have no future, and neither does the planet Earth.

[…]

The imbecilic Americans who vote for Hillary are voting for war and their own immiseration.

Possibly, a vote for Trump is the same. However, in the case of Trump, we do not know that. In the case of Hillary we most certainly do know it.

Of course, it could matter not how Americans vote. Those who program the electronic voting machines will determine the vote, and as the establishments of both political parties totally oppose Trump, the programmed machines can elect Hillary. We know this from our electoral history. The US has already experienced elections in which exit polls show a winning candidate different from the candidate selected by the electronic machines that have no paper trail and no way of affirming the vote.

If Hillary gets into the Oval Office, nuclear war is likely before her first term is over. A vote for Hillary is a vote for nuclear war.

If you look at the forthcoming election realistically, you have no alternative but to conclude that the entirety of the presstitute media and American Establishment prefers the risk of nuclear war to the risk of losing control of the government to the voters.


[…]

25 August 2016

Feast of Saint Louis

What a wonderful patron our town and Archdiocese have! Typically on his feast day, I'll see some excerpts from his well-known advice to his son.  Today, let's celebrate a lesser-known quote:

"But a layman, whenever he hears the Christian religion abused, should not attempt to defend its tenets, except with his sword, and that he should thrust into the scoundrel's belly, as far as it will enter."

St. Louis, pray for us!

24 August 2016

Cor Ad Cor Loquitor



We sat down outside the sagging wire fence that shut Mr. Shimerda’s plot off from the rest of the world. The tall red grass had never been cut there. It had died down in winter and come up again in the spring until it was as thick and shrubby as some tropical garden-grass. I found myself telling her everything: why I had decided to study law and to go into the law office of one of my mother’s relatives in New York City; about Gaston Cleric’s death from pneumonia last winter, and the difference it had made in my life. She wanted to know about my friends and my way of living, and my dearest hopes.

“Of course it means you are going away from us for good,” she said with a sigh. “But that don’t mean I’ll lose you. Look at my papa here; he’s been dead all these years, and yet he is more real to me than almost anybody else. He never goes out of my life. I talk to him and consult him all the time. The older I grow, the better I know him and the more I understand him.”

She asked me whether I had learned to like big cities. "I'd always be miserable in a city. I’d die of lonesomeness. I like to be where I know every stack and tree, and where all the ground is friendly. I want to live and die here. Father Kelly says everybody’s put into this world for something, and I know what I’ve got to do. I’m going to see that my little girl has a better chance than ever I had. I’m going to take care of that girl, Jim.”

I told her I knew she would. “Do you know, Ántonia, since I’ve been away, I think of you more often than of any one else in this part of the world. I’d have liked to have you for a sweetheart, or a wife, or my mother or my sister—anything that a woman can be to a man. The idea of you is a part of my mind; you influence my likes and dislikes, all my tastes, hundreds of times when I don’t realize it. You really are a part of me.”

She turned her bright, believing eyes to me, and the tears came up in them slowly. “How can it be like that, when you know so many people, and when I’ve disappointed you so? Ain’t it wonderful, Jim, how much people can mean to each other? I’m so glad we had each other when we were little. I can’t wait till my little girl’s old enough to tell her about all the things we used to do. You’ll always remember me when you think about old times, won’t you? And I guess everybody thinks about old times, even the happiest people.”

As we walked homeward across the fields, the sun dropped and lay like a great golden globe in the low west. While it hung there, the moon rose in the east, as big as a cartwheel, pale silver and streaked with rose color, thin as a bubble or a ghost-moon. For five, perhaps ten minutes, the two luminaries confronted each other across the level land, resting on opposite edges of the world. In that singular light every little tree and shock of wheat, every sunflower stalk and clump of snow-on-the-mountain, drew itself up high and pointed; the very clods and furrows in the fields seemed to stand up sharply. I felt the old pull of the earth, the solemn magic that comes out of those fields at nightfall. I wished I could be a little boy again, and that my way could end there.

We reached the edge of the field, where our ways parted. I took her hands and held them against my breast, feeling once more how strong and warm and good they were, those brown hands, and remembering how many kind things they had done for me. I held them now a long while, over my heart. About us it was growing darker and darker, and I had to look hard to see her face, which I meant always to carry with me; the closest, realest face, under all the shadows of women’s faces, at the very bottom of my memory.

“I’ll come back,” I said earnestly, through the soft, intrusive darkness.

“Perhaps you will”—I felt rather than saw her smile. “But even if you don’t, you’re here, like my father. So I won’t be lonesome.”

As I went back alone over that familiar road, I could almost believe that a boy and girl ran along beside me, as our shadows used to do, laughing and whispering to each other in the grass.

From Willa Sibert Cather: My Ántonia

Earthquake in Norcia

There is already a loss of life exceeding 50 souls, and at least two towns that appear totally destroyed. I wanted to link Hilary White's blog here for information on the ground; I'm sure she will post updates in the next while.

A time for prayer.