Monday, September 25, 2017

Vatican Blocks correctiofilialis.org


Good morning, Vatican City citizens!

There will be 15 minutes of calisthenics followed by a 5-hour lecture on the social gospel of our Dear Leader. Viewing is mandatory.

Be vigilant against Goldstein's gang of traditionalist roaders. There are reports that there have been landings of Neo-Pelagians in Sicily, abetted by the Mafia and Americanist cyber-trolls. Our patriotic forces are already engaging them with extreme discernment.

It's all double-plus-good, comrades.

-The Secretariat for Communications    

From Ansa.it:
The Secretariat for Communication of the Holy See has blocked access to the web page from which it adheres to the initiative accusing the Pope of seven heresies, linked to what he writes in "Amoris laetitia". You can no longer access the page in the Vatican computers in any language. Outside the Vatican, however, the page is reachable. 
"Access to the webpage you are trying to visit has been blocked in accordance with institutional security policies." No Vatican computer, therefore, could join the petition of www.correctiofilialis.org, accusing pope Bergoglio of heresy, modernism and too much enthusiasm for Martin Luther.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

It Wasn't the End of the World - It Was a New Beginning


Today, the world didn't end. It's now 12:33 AM GMT, so it's official. Instead, something else started. It's the first good news faithful Catholics have heard in a long time.

The Formal Filial Correction will be dismissed by all the usual suspects. The Pope won't say anything explicitly about it, of course. (It was actually sent to him six weeks ago.) Instead, his minions will go into overdrive with their "ankle biting," as Bruvver Eccles put it. They'll claim that it's just a few "conservatives" or "radical traditionalists" - people who get their jollies from bashing a liberal Pope. No doubt in the United States it will be associated with the machinations of the "alt-right" or whatever.

The only bishop to sign was Bernard Fellay, the Superior General of the SSPX. He apparently only heard about the Correction after it had been initially sent. His signature will allow the Pope's men to suggest that the effort is schismatic.

They can and will say anything.

It doesn't matter.

What does matter is that the Pope's heresies, associated with but not limited to the actual text of Amoris laetita, have finally been officially noted and corrected. On paper, as they say. Apparently this hasn't happened since 1333.

See, this Pope has brought us back to the Middle-Ages.

What we are seeing is the beginning of the process whereby Bergolio's malicious actions to undermine the Church and its teachings will be repudiated and rendered void by the Church itself.

Don't take my word for it. Take His in Matthew 16:18. If you are Catholic, you must take His word.

As for the Correction, Priests and lay Catholics did it, not bishops or cardinals. As much as it pains me to say it, Cardinal Burke, whose own long anticipated Correction never came, now looks a bit of a fool. Or he looks like someone who, if not a coward, was too timid by half for the task required. It's gone beyond him now. Perhaps he can almost breathe a sigh of relief.

It's a commonplace to say that the renewal of the Church and the purging of its poisons will take generations. Our grandchildren may live to see it, and all that. Maybe.

Or maybe not. Perhaps a moderate optimism about the near-term is more healthy.

Nicolae Ceausescu's rule was among the tightest in the communist world. It cracked and broke like an egg in a matter of days.

And then there was Poland's Solidarity. The spirits of many were crushed when martial law was declared in 1981. The Communists were just too powerful, it was claimed. Totalitarian regimes were...totalitarian. They had, it was argued, sort of a built-in defense mechanism that made them impossible to get rid of (except by outside armies). After all, it had never happened. That it would happen at all, let alone soon, was just too much to expect. Maybe our grandchildren would see it.

It appeared that way all the way up until the good guys won. No one who witnessed the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe can deny how unexpected it all was. One day you came home from work, flipped on the TV and saw people dancing on the Berlin Wall. It really seemed to happen that fast. "It will never happen" became "it was a forgone conclusion." How right. How obvious.

The good guys won because even when things seemed hopeless some of them didn't run from the fight. They knew that they had truth on their side even if it appeared they had little else. And yes, Solidarity used that iconic image of Gary Cooper in High Noon for its first election poster in 1989. Just one man doing the right thing. Solidarity's victory in that election meant the end of Communist rule in Poland and heralded the fall of the Wall in Eastern Europe later that year.

Is this a model for what will happen inside the Church? Some see Bergoglio as a Peron, or sort of a frumpy Che. But how about Ceausescu?

Or Wojciech Jaruzelski?

Too optimistic? Probably.

But it sure beats the end of the world.

Monday, September 11, 2017

"Flight 93" - Filk Singer Leslie Fish's Moving Tribute to the Heroes of 9/11

Leslie Fish

This post is not really about Islam.

It's certainly not about any sort of "tragedy."

It's about heroism.

Another word for that is love. Love for one's neighbor. Love for justice. And, yes, love for life. Even if you think you might lose it.

"We've nothing to fight with, and may wind up dead,

But we've voted to stand up and fight them instead,
And we might keep them from getting through."

United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a Pennsylvania fie
ld on September 11th, 2001, killing all aboard - 34 passengers (including a near-term unborn baby) and 7 crew. 4 hijackers also died. The plane had been comandeered 45 minutes after takeoff by terrorists - confederates of the men who steered their 3 hijacked planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

These hijackers were a few minutes late in their mission (the plane had been delayed taking off), which gave the passengers enough time to figure out what their mission was - a suicide strike against the U.S. Capital Building or the White House.

"One man's been stabbed, and we can't reach the cockpit,
But somehow we'll alter the flight.
We've guessed that the target is likely the White House,
And if we fail, we'll surely die."

Who is Leslie Fish?

Leslie Fish is a writer, folk singer and "filk" musician - "filk" being the term for music tied to the science fiction and fantasy fan convention scene. She is a libertarian anarchist whose political activism has spanned the breadth of the movement. She has protested the Vietnam War, worked with the "Wobblies" (Industrial Workers of the World), defended gun rights and praised the Moon landings. On anarchism she wrote:
What sort of anarchist future would I like to see? There's no reason for a government-free society to be nothing but agrarian, no reason at all that it couldn't be industrial and space-faring.
She is a quasi-pagan. And a Trekker. Or "used to be," according to Fish:
I sort of lost interest when NEXT GENERATION came along; it's just too pussy, Yuppie-ish, and bloodless for my tastes.
Fish also wrote "Flight 93," the most moving and inspiring artistic tribute yet made to those heroes of 9/11.

"We've nothing to fight with except our bare hands,

But we'll keep on trying until the plane lands
One way or the other. We've taken our stand.
My darling, I love you. Goodbye."

If you listen to it and do not agree, listen to it again. If you still do not agree, then I cannot help you. If, on any listening, you do not cry, at least a little, then you are stronger than I am.

He watched while the passengers battled and died,

And knew that no help would be found.
The guard was distracted. Just one chance to win.
There's one case where suicide isn't a sin.
He weighed all his chances. He said: "Auger in!"
And drove the ship into the ground.

The passengers on Flight 93 almost succeeded in wresting control of the plane from the terrorists. Most believe that they effectively breached the cockpit. But there is controversy over who w
as at the controls at the end. The song implies that it was a passenger - "Jason the pilot" - but the cockpit tapes appear to indicate that a hijacker crashed the plane, fearing that he was seconds away from being overpowered. It's also possible, of course, that there was a fight over the controls.

Flight 93 hit the ground at full speed,

And no one aboard her survives.
But the White House still stands, and a few thousand folks
Can thank those aboard for their lives.
There's no guarantee, when the Bad Guys come in,
That they won't kill you all to a man.
So when some fanatics are out to have fun,
There's nowhere to hide and there's nowhere to run.
Then pray that the law lets you carry a gun,
But fight back however you can.

So the song is a tribute but also a lesson. Don't expect the bad guys to have any scruples or mercy. Someti
mes, they just want to kill you, and perhaps thousands more in the bargain. No hero wants to die. But there are worse things than natural death. And better things than giving in.

Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

A YouTube link to the
song follows, along with the full lyrics. Here are links to a few of Fish's other more notable songs - The Day it Fell Apart, a righteous anti-corporate ballad, also about heroism, in this case, hospital workers dealing with the results of a mine explosion, Valhalla (warning: graphic paganism), one of her most well-known "filk" efforts, and Gamers (warning: graphic nerdity), a light-hearted hymn to gamers and their battles against prejudice and the government. I also recommend her blog, LeslieBard, whose most recent post has a distinctly nonconformist take on Charlottesville.

I've also included the full version of United 93, a straight-ahead, non-ideological narrative of the events, which manages to also be moving and inspiring. I highly recommend it.


"Flight 93"

by Leslie Fish

She took off from Newark on a warm autumn day,
With forty-five travellers and crew.
They all were unarmed at the will of the law;
Security passed them all through.
An hour into flight-time, four Arabs jumped up --
Two Ahmeds, Ziad and Sa'eed --
Announced a hijacking and waved knives around
(Razorblades, box-knives and steak-knives they'd found),
And a box that they swore was a bomb up and down;
They thought that was all they would need.

Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

CeeCee the stewardess had a cell-phone,
And called up her husband to say:
"The plane has been hijacked. We'll do as we're trained;
Be quiet and humbly obey.
They'll dicker for money or some social cause.
The government surely will pay.
They'll put us out somewhere and leave with their score,
Or maybe police will come catch them and more.
That's always the way this has been done before.
With luck, I'll be home in a day."


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Next was Mark Bingham, who had a phone too,
And used it to call up his Mom.
He said they'd been hijacked by "three foreign men"
Who had knives and said they had a bomb.
But some of the passengers plotted, he said,
To take back the plane as it flew.
"But first tell me, Mom, is it true what they say?
That three other airplanes were hijacked today,
Flown straight into buildings and blew them away?"
His mother cried, and said: "It's true."


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Jeremy Glick called his wife on the phone,
And told of the bomb and the knives.
He said: "If these stories we're hearing are true,
We might as well fight for our lives."
His wife told him: "Yes, the World Trade Center's hit,
And maybe the Pentagon too."
He left the phone hanging, then came back and said:
"We've nothing to fight with, and may wind up dead,
But we've voted to stand up and fight them instead,
And we might keep them from getting through."


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Thomas Burnett phoned his wife several times,
Reporting the course of the fight.
He said: "One man's been stabbed, and we can't reach the cockpit,
But somehow we'll alter the flight.
We've guessed that the target is likely the White House,
And if we fail, we'll surely die.
We've nothing to fight with except our bare hands,
But we'll keep on trying until the plane lands
One way or the other. We've taken our stand.
My darling, I love you. Goodbye."


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Jason the pilot could hear the whole tale.
He'd signaled as well as he could.
He saw that the terrorists still held the cockpit --
And one way to stop them for good.
He watched while the passengers battled and died,
And knew that no help would be found.
The guard was distracted. Just one chance to win.
There's one case where suicide isn't a sin.
He weighed all his chances. He said: "Auger in!"
And drove the ship into the ground.


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Flight 93 hit the ground at full speed,
And no one aboard her survives.
But the White House still stands, and a few thousand folks
Can thank those aboard for their lives.
There's no guarantee, when the Bad Guys come in,
That they won't kill you all to a man.
So when some fanatics are out to have fun,
There's nowhere to hide and there's nowhere to run.
Then pray that the law lets you carry a gun,
But fight back however you can.


Flight 93 no more will fly.
Dead on the ground or dead in the sky:
You might not survive, but at least you can try.
Stand up and bring the ship down.

Cross posted at Save Versus All Wands.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Southern Poverty Law Center Transferred Millions to Offshore Accounts - Unprecedented for a Non-Profit of Its Type

"Your support is critical for our accounts in the Cayman Islands"

The Washington Free Beacon just published a fascinating story on the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), based on an analysis of its 2015 tax returns and other financial records.

The SPLC is the advocacy organization that publishes a "hate map" and list of "hate groups" across the United States. Recently it came under fire for adding mainstream conservative and Christian family organizations to its map, along with the Ku Klux Klan, skin head groups and black supremacy organizations.

The traditionalist Catholic publication The Remnant has long been on the hate map. I assume this is because of alleged anti-semitism - Catholics, and now traditionalist Catholics, have always had a mixed relationship with Judaism - though calling The Remnant anti-semitic is of course a slander.

In my view, the SPLC is itself an anti-Christian hate group. But that's not the point of today's post.

In their article, the Free Beacon reported that the SPLC has transferred millions of dollars in assets to foreign accounts based in the Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.

This was deemed "extremely unusual," "a red flag" and "unethical" by experts on non-profits:
Tax experts expressed confusion when being told of the transfer.
"I've never known a US-based nonprofit dealing in human rights or social services to have any foreign bank accounts," said Amy Sterling Casil, CEO of Pacific Human Capital, a California-based nonprofit consulting firm. "My impression based on prior interactions is that they have a small, modestly paid staff, and were regarded by most in the industry as frugal and reliable. I am stunned to learn of transfers of millions to offshore bank accounts. It is a huge red flag and would have been completely unacceptable to any wealthy, responsible, experienced board member who was committed to a charitable mission who I ever worked with."
"It is unethical for any US-based charity to invest large sums of money overseas," said Casil. "I know of no legitimate reason for any US-based nonprofit to put money in overseas, unregulated bank accounts."
"It seems extremely unusual for a ‘501(c)(3)' concentrating upon reducing poverty in the American South to have multiple bank accounts in tax haven nations," Charles Ortel, a former Wall Street analyst and financial advisor who helped uncover a 2009 financial scandal at General Electric, told the Free Beacon.
Read the rest here.

There is much more information in the article, much of it embarrassing, on SPLC finances. Essentially the SPLC has an annual budget of $50+ million and assets of $300+ million. It has multiple employees with salaries in the $150,000 to $350,000 range.

The organization engages in political advocacy - publishing articles on its website and writing press releases on anything from the Charlottesville protests to the resignation of Sebastian Gorka. It creates "anti-bias" resources for schools and educators through its "Teaching Tolerance" program. It engages in legal actions on behalf of "victims of bigotry and discrimination."

And, of course, there's the Hate Map.

I've been involved with non-profits for most of my life. Some of the information on salaries and expenses is embarrassing, though many people would be surprised at the high salaries and expenses at even some of the most well-run and above-board non-profits.

On the other hand, the SPLC's political advocacy and education programs could be supported with only a handful of staff. This means that most of the non-administrative expenses should go to their legal activities. But they seem to have few active legal cases. On the other hand, lawyers, even if they're in-house lawyers, tend to be expensive.

But it's crass at the least, and unethical and potentially illegal at the most for a non-profit dedicated, among other things, to alleviating southern poverty, to have an administrative and salary structure similar to a for-profit law firm.

And then there are those offshore accounts...

I had to laugh at one of the details, not mentioned by the Free Beacon, that I found in the tax returns.

If you live in Chicago or many other major cities, you've probably been solicited by those street canvassers campaigning for the SPLC - "Do you have a moment for LGBT rights?" (A few years ago, I replied, "Sure. I also have a moment to tell you that I don't appreciate you labeling my favorite Catholic newspaper a hate group.") The canvassers are actually employed by Grassroots Campaigns, a vender that raises money for various liberal organizations. In 2015, their canvassing operation grossed $623,596 for the SPLC.

How much of that was paid to Grassroots Campaigns as the cost of fundraising. 25%? 50%? If you're cynical or know something about how these canvassing operations work, you would probably name a figure closer to 90%.

But as Donald Trump might say, "wrong!"

Actually, in 2015, the Southern Poverty Law Center paid Grassroots Campaigns $1,811,174 in return for a fundraising total of only $623,596.

That means their ubiquitous canvassing operations are actually a huge net loss.

SPLC is paying three dollars to raise each dollar. Grassroots Campaigns drained over $1 million from SPLC coffers in one year alone.

Next time you see one of those canvassers, thank them and shake their hand.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Dearborn Church Vandal Not a Muslim - Suspect David Cerne is Iraq War Vet with "Mental Issues," Was Charged in Previous ANTI-MUSLIM Incident

Catholic chapel fireworks attack suspect David Cerne in January, 2017 (inset: crude swastika graffiti he painted on the car of a Muslim man)

Four days ago I reported on the fireworks attack incident at the Adoration chapel of the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn, Michigan.

A surveillance camera recorded the incident. I wrote that the man was "Arab-looking."

At the time, a suspect was in custody but his name had not been released.

Yesterday, police charged David Cerne, 42 or 43, of Inkster, Michigan with the attack. He is also charged with setting a Dearborn home on fire and is linked with recent vandalism incidents at local businesses.

My post implied that he might well be Muslim.

In fact, it turns out that the reality is largely opposite. A few months ago, Cern, an Iraq War veteran living on permanent disability with his father, had been charged with "ethnic intimidation," among other things, drawing swastikas and scrawling "Ni***r" on a car owned by a Muslim man. He also slashed his tires.

He wrote graffiti using the word, "Ni***r" in at least two other locations.

At the time (January, 2017), Cern's lawyer told a reporter:
He is addressing issues he may have regarding mental health. Hopefully we can put these allegations to rest and get him the help that he needs.
Obviously, he didn't get that help.

Cern would move on from anti-Muslim vandalism to anti-Catholic vandalism, with mischief at a party-goods store, a liquor store and old-fashioned arson thrown in for good measure.

Are these "hate crimes"? According to a detective:
"He is not targeting anyone specific or special," said Shafer. "This is just something he randomly went through."
Make of that what you will.

Of course, the fact that he seems to be an equal-opportunity targeter doesn't make things any better for those whom he targeted.

It appears to me that he's angry at people or life in general, and can't help himself from taking that anger out in malicious and physical ways (though in fairness to Cern, his attacks seem never to have progressed to outright assault).

As always, I could be wrong, just as I was wrong a few days ago.

Here is yesterday's report from Fox2Detroit, followed by a story on the earlier charges:
(WJBK) - Video inside the Divine Child church chapel in Dearborn led to fear and outrage after a man set off fireworks inside, burning a bible.
Police say the suspect, 42-year-old David Cerne, has a troubled history.
"He has 100 percent disability from the military," said Det. Brian Shafer, Inkster police. "We believe he's got some mental issues that are being dealt with right now."
Inkster police first came into contact with the Iraq war veteran last year in October. Cerne has been charged with third degree arson, malicious destruction of personal property and assault.
"In my interactions with him, he's always been very timid," Shafer said. "He appears to be maybe like an older child but he's very timid."
Records show Cerne in December was charged with 14 counts including ethnic intimidation and malicious destruction of personal property for spray painting cars with racial slurs and swastikas.
"He is not targeting anyone specific or special," said Shafer. "This is just something he randomly went through."
The court ordered a competency evaluation and Cerne was found competent and was released on bond.
"I know on that particular instance they were also trying to seek some help from the VA down at Third Circuit Court," Shafer said.
Neighbors in his west side Detroit neighborhood say Cerne lives there with his father.
One neighbor said he's seen Cerne throwing bullets into a neighbor's pool and another neighbor who doesn't want to be shown, says Cerne lit her garage on fire. Other neighbors are not surprised to hear about the recent incident.
"He didn't seem too friendly, he would just look at you kind of weird," said one neighbor.
Inkster police said last week on the same day he was seen in Dearborn, Cerne was also charged for attempting to set a home on fire near Spring Hill and Beach.
Police say a witness discovered what he was doing and Cerne was cooperative.
Now in custody back in court Wednesday, Inkster police say they're working with Dearborn and Detroit investigators.
"I don't want him to be a harm to people," Shafer said. "Nor do I want anyone to harm him. He served our country well and I think we should take care of him."
From Steve Neavling at Motor City Muckraker (January 9, 2017):
An Iraq war veteran accused of painting swastikas and racial slurs on a car, van and wall in Inkster was charged Monday with ethic intimidation and malicious destruction of property.
Prosecutors said David Cerne, 42, targeted Muslims living in an apartment building in Inkster. In one case, Cerne is accused of slashing tires and painting swastikas and the n-word on a car belonging to a Muslim man of Asian descent last week.
He’s also accused of scrawling, “Fuck you, N***er,” on a van.
Carne was in jail early Monday because he couldn’t afford the $150,000 bond.
His attorney Roman Ficaj suggested his client is mentally ill.
“He is addressing issues he may have regarding mental health,” Ficaj told Fox 2. “Hopefully we can put these allegations to rest and get him the help that he needs.”:

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Surveillance Video of Arab-Looking Man Setting Off Commercial-Grade Firecracker in Dearborn Adoration Chapel


Surveillance video caught the moment when a man entered the Adoration Chapel of the Church of the Divine Child in Dearborn, Michigan, took a bible from a shelf next to the door and set off on it what has been described as a "commercial-grade" firecracker, causing an explosion which must have seemed like bomb; two female parishioners run out in fear.

An as yet identified suspect in the incident has been arrested on other charges and is currently being interviewed by police.

The man in the video has been described as "white," which seems true, as far as it goes - he doesn't appear to be black.

But (to me, at least), he does look Arab-American.

Or maybe he's simply a balding atheist who likes wearing dark glasses and sandals.

Dearborn has a Muslim and/or Arab population of close to 50%. The police chief, Ronald Haddad, is a Christian Arab-American.

Here are two videos. The first is from surveillance cameras. The second is a report including a short interview with Church of the Divine Child Pastor James Bilot.




Friday, August 25, 2017

Milan's Il Giornale: "If the faithful would have decided, Bergoglio would now not be on the Chair of Saint Peter but in retirement in some parish in Buenos Aires."


The Pope of the People is steadily losing popularity among Italians for his pro-migrant stance.

Il Giornale, out of Milan is, I gather, one of the most influential conservative Italian dailies.

It has published a number of critical pieces on Pope Francis, often having to do with immigration.

In a recent op-ed, it's editor described Francis as a "Pope King, who is also a bit of a Marxist." The editorial was headlined, "The Pope-King's Coup."

Gloria TV reports (h/t Novus Ordo Watch):
The Italian daily "Il Giornale" published an op-ed by its editor-in-chief, Alessandro Sallusti, criticizing Pope Francis' push to grant citizenship to everybody born in Italy. Francis is fighting side by side with the Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, a [former] Communist. 
According to Sallusti, Francis, "holed up and protected in his city-state-fortress tells us that we have to welcome everybody unconditionally." 
Sallusti's question, "Is it possible to make a Pope King, who is also a bit of a Marxist, understand that in a democracy the citizens decide not the sovereigns or the cardinals?" 
He adds, "If the faithful would have decided, Bergoglio would now not be on the Chair of Saint Peter but in retirement in some parish in Buenos Aires." 
Sallusti further points out that the present Italian Prime Minister has no democratic legitimation, "That two unelected persons try to mark the future of Italy is indeed a dangerous thing." 
Of the 149 commentaries underneath the article not a single one is in favor of Francis.