Tuesday, 29 November 2016

7th Special Operations Squadron

Crux: Trump’s election was a monstrous defeat for the pro-life movement

Crux: Trump’s election was a monstrous defeat for the pro-life movement

by Charles C. Camosy

"I pointed out that he is particularly loathed by millennials, women and people of color, and with good reason, for Trump’s positions on issues like immigration, criminal justice reform, health care and climate change are completely alienating to huge majorities in these demographics.

His racist and sexist rhetoric and behavior - linked to sexual violence - are even more repulsive to these sections of the population.

The pro-life movement has over the years painstakingly put itself in a position where it can authentically resist the attempts of our opponents to marginalize us as led by old, white, privileged, racist, misogynist men who want to use and control women’s bodies.

But with the election of Trump-who could not fit better into that category-all of our work now risks being undermined.

Pro-life groups should immediately distance themselves from the views of our new president-elect, emphasizing without equivocation that an authentic pro-life movement cannot possibly consider him our leader."

The Feast of Saint Andrew

We humbly implore your majesty, O Lord, that, just as the blessed Apostle Andrew was for your Church a preacher and pastor, so he may be for us a constant intercessor before you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Andrew, pray for us and for Scotland, Greece and Russia.

Ecclectic Orthodoxy| Prisoner of Time: The Temporal Deity of Analytic Theology

Ecclectic Orthodoxy| Prisoner of Time: The Temporal Deity of Analytic Theology

"I confess that I am finding the notion of temporal eternity difficult to grasp, which may surprise some of my friends and colleagues. After all, I cut my theological eye teeth on the eschatological construal of triune divinity propounded by Robert W. Jenson. Jens taught me that God’s eternity is not his abstraction from time but his faithfulness through time. Though I parroted the formula, I suppose I never really overcame the earlier catechesis passed on to me by C. S. Lewis: “Almost certainly God is not in Time. His life does not consist of moments following one another. If a million people are praying to him at 10:30 tonight, he need not listen to them in that one little snippet which we call 10:30. 10:30—and every other moment from the beginning of the world—is always the Present for Him.” When I read folks like Richard Swinburne talking about divine temporality, I find myself wondering how his Deity can possibly be the transcendent Creator of heaven and earth. This wonderment has increased exponentially over the past several years. It’s one thing to identify God by the telling of biblical stories. It’s quite another thing to think that he actually swims along in time like the rest of us. As opaque as I find the notion of divine timelessness to be, I find the notion of divine temporality even more so. This is my problem, of course, not Swinburne’s; but I thought you needed to be aware of it."

ChurchPOP: 5 Reasons the Church Condemns Communism as “Intrinsically Wrong”

ChurchPOP: 5 Reasons the Church Condemns Communism as “Intrinsically Wrong”

“See to it, Venerable Brethren,” Pope Pius XI warned in his 1937 encyclical Divini Redemptoris, “that the Faithful do not allow themselves to be deceived! Communism is intrinsically wrong, and no one who would save Christian civilization may collaborate with it in any undertaking whatsoever. Those who permit themselves to be deceived into lending their aid towards the triumph of Communism in their own country, will be the first to fall victims of their error.”

Pius XI was simply reiterating what the Church had taught about communism since the 19th century: it was full of errors, contrary to the good of the social order, and incompatible with the Christian religion.

Monday, 28 November 2016

New Atlanticist: Will Trump’s Foreign Policy Make Any Sense?

New Atlanticist: Will Trump’s Foreign Policy Make Any Sense?

by Diane Francis

"Geopolitically, the game’s the same. Many worry about Trump’s attitude toward Putin, but his promise to increase America’s military might, and to push NATO to do the same, is not good news for Vladimir Putin or Bashar al-Assad or other troublemakers.

It’s more interesting to speculate that Trump may have appealed to Putin’s vanity as a tactic to soften him up in advance of tough talk behind closed doors.

But many fear that’s not the case.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told the BBC this week “I’m very afraid and concerned about this period” that Putin may invade more countries to test NATO before Trump takes power.

There are other signals, however, that belie that hypothesis. Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a hardliner toward Russia, as is Senator John McCain. So is Mitt Romney, who is being rumored as a possible Secretary of State. “Putin is the number one geopolitical foe of America,” Romney has said.

Contrarians point out that Trump’s key security advisor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, appears soft on Russia and even attended RT’s tenth anniversary gala dinner in Moscow last year. He sat next to the Russian president. But the military build-up, and Trump’s dismissal of Paul Manafort who worked for thieving oligarchs in the region, point to a different approach.

Trump criticism about NATO is about the fact that all but five of its members (US, Greece, Britain, Estonia, and Poland) have failed, like Canada, to live up to NATO’s 2 percent GDP guidelines."

Sunday, 27 November 2016


National Review: The Truth about Fidel and Raul

National Review: The Truth about Fidel and Raul

by Ted Cruz

"There is a real danger that we will now fall into the trap of thinking Fidel’s death represents material change in Cuba. It does not. The moment to exert maximum pressure would have been eight years ago, when his failing health forced him to pass control to his brother Raul. But, rather than leverage the transition in our favor, the Obama administration decided to start negotiations with Raul in the mistaken belief that he would prove more reasonable than his brother (an unfortunate pattern they repeated with Kim Jong-un, Hassan Rouhani, and Nicolas Maduro). Efforts to be diplomatically polite about Fidel’s death suggest the administration still hopes Raul can be brought round.

All historical evidence points to the opposite conclusion. Raul is not a “different” Castro. He is his brother’s chosen successor who has spent the last eight years implementing his dynastic plan. Unlike Cuba, however, the United States has an actual democracy, and our recent elections suggest there is significant resistance among the American people to the Obama administration’s policy of appeasement towards hostile dictators. We can — and should — send clear signals that that policy is at an end. Among other things, we should halt the dangerous “security cooperation” we have begun with the Castro regime, which extends to military exercises, counter-narcotics efforts, communications, and navigation — all of which places our sensitive information in the hands of a hostile government that would not hesitate to share it with other enemies from Tehran to Pyongyang. And we should insist that no United States government official attend Castro’s funeral unless and until Raul releases his political prisoners, first and foremost those who have been detained since Fidel’s death. I hope all my colleagues will join me in calling for these alterations."

Migration is not a problem

Kyle W. Orton| Fidel Castro: A Life Spent in the Service of Tyranny

Kyle W. Orton| Fidel Castro: A Life Spent in the Service of Tyranny

"It is difficult to think of a dictator that has had more popular support in the West than Fidel Castro. The president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and the Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn have all today expressed their admiration in one way or another for Castro. This support was never just personal: any number of “revolutionary” governments could vicariously earn themselves similar leniency for their practices via some kind of identification with Castro. This was especially useful for the Soviet Union and its clients during the Cold War, but continued long after. That all of these “experiments” ended in bloodshed and disaster never seemed to matter, so long as the flame of anti-Americanism remained lit. Now, finally, Castro is at an end, even if his ruinous legacy is not.

Castro seized power in Cuba on 1 January 1959. There is much debate about exactly what Castro believed and when. It is often said Castro was not a full-blown Communist at the time he became the Maximum Leader. It could even be true. But to the extent this is used to suggest that the U.S.—through actions like the farcical Bay of Pigs invasion in April 1961 and the (much exaggerated though now legendary) efforts to assassinate Castro—forced him into alliance with the Soviet Union, this is false."

The Nation: No Matter Who the President Is, Islam Is an American Faith Tradition

The Nation: No Matter Who the President Is, Islam Is an American Faith Tradition

by John Nicols

"As a young journalist, I wrote a good deal about the rural Muslim and Jewish farm communities of the upper Midwest. I met the children and grandchildren of those Muslim farmers from the Dakotas, and from eastern Iowa, where the Mother Mosque of America was constructed in 1934 in Cedar Rapids. As a reporter for the Toledo Blade, I came to know Yehia “John” Shousher and other Muslims who built a pioneering mosque in the city’s “Little Syria” neighborhood more than six decades ago. Later, they constructed one of the great mosques in North America, the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, at which people from dozens of countries proudly celebrate their community’s “equal and vibrant representation of women and the democratic and constitutional processes that the Center diligently follows.”

It is because I have spent so much time in these mosques, because I have for so long known them as part of the fabric of the communities where I have lived, of the rural regions I love, of an American experiment I have treasured, that I was so shaken by Donald Trump’s campaign claim that “there’s absolutely no choice” but to monitor mosques, to consider closing some of them, to begin tracking Muslims using “surveillance, including a watch list.”

It is for the same reason that so many of us were unsettled last week when Carl Higbie, a Trump surrogate, attempted to defend talk of a Muslim registry with a reference to the shameful treatment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. And the convoluted response to the controversy by Reince Priebus, Trump’s pick to serve as White House chief of staff, only made things worse. Even as Priebus tried to dismiss talk of a religious tests he spoke of targeting Muslim immigrants and announced: “Look, I’m not going to rule out anything.”

What Trump and his closest aides and allies are talking about is not public safety or responsible policing. It is broad-sweep stereotyping rooted in ignorance and cruelty."

Saturday, 26 November 2016

iPolitics: Trudeau attacked worldwide for Castro statement

iPolitics: Trudeau attacked worldwide for Castro statement

People around the world reacted with astonishment Saturday after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waxed poetic about Cuba’s former leader Fidel Castro in a statement he released hours after news broke that Castro had passed away.

In his statement, Trudeau referred to the former guerrilla revolutionary as a “remarkable leader” and pointed to Castro’s friendship with Trudeau’s late father, Pierre Trudeau. Castro attended Trudeau’s Montreal funeral in 2000.

“It is with deep sorrow that I learned today of the death of Cuba’s longest serving President,” Trudeau wrote in the statement, which was circulated around 4 a.m. EST Saturday morning. “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.”

“While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro’s supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for ‘el Comandante.'”

Trudeau’s full statement can be found at the bottom of this article.

Here in Canada, many Conservative members of Parliament and Tory leadership candidates took to Twitter to condemn Trudeau’s tribute to the deeply divisive leader. Maxime Bernier published a series of tweets in both French and English, calling the prime minister’s praise of Castro “repugnant.”

The Washington Post: Farewell to Cuba’s brutal Big Brother

The Washington Post: Farewell to Cuba’s brutal Big Brother

by Carlos Eire

"One of the most brutal dictators in modern history has just died. Oddly enough, some will mourn his passing, and many an obituary will praise him. Millions of Cubans who have been waiting impatiently for this moment for more than half a century will simply ponder his crimes and recall the pain and suffering he caused.

Why this discrepancy? Because deceit was one of Fidel Castro’s greatest talents, and gullibility is one of the world’s greatest frailties. A genius at myth-making, Castro relied on the human thirst for myths and heroes. His lies were beautiful, and so appealing. According to Castro and to his propagandists, the so-called revolution was not about creating a repressive totalitarian state and securing his rule as an absolute monarch, but rather about eliminating illiteracy, poverty, racism, class differences and every other ill known to humankind. This bold lie became believable, thanks largely to Castro’s incessant boasting about free schools and medical care, which made his myth of the benevolent utopian revolution irresistible to many of the world’s poor.

Many intellectuals, journalists and educated people in the First World fell for this myth, too — though they would have been among the first to be jailed or killed by Castro in his own realm — and their assumptions acquired an intensity similar to that of religious convictions. Pointing out to such believers that Castro imprisoned, tortured and murdered thousands more of his own people than any other Latin American dictator was usually futile. His well-documented cruelty made little difference, even when acknowledged, for he was judged according to some aberrant ethical code that defied logic."

Iron Sword

Catholic Herald: Pope announces that Mary will be the focus of WYD 2017

Catholic Herald: Pope announces that Mary will be the focus of WYD 2017

Pope Francis has chosen a focus on Mary for the next World Youth Day celebrations, which will be held in dioceses in 2017 and 2018 and with an international gathering in Panama in 2019.

The Pope has highlighted the way the Mother of Jesus was always open to the Lord’s will and has described her “as a role model to be imitated,” said the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life in a press release on November 22.

The themes “are intended to give a clear Marian tone to the spiritual journey” of the next three World Youth Days as well as to “give a picture of young people on a journey between the past (2017), present (2018) and future (2019), inspired by the three theological virtues of faith, charity and hope.”

Dr Liddon, by George W.E. Russell

George W.E. Russell, The English Churchman's Library: Dr. Liddon, 1905 A.R. Mowbray & Co, Oxford

I found this biography of Henry Parry Liddon (1829-1890) at a second-hand bookshop in York a month ago. I used to frequent the same second-hand bookshop when I was studying theology in York. I was well aware of the work of Liddon, but was delighted to be able to read more about his life.

H.P. Liddon was appointed canon of St. Paul's Cathedral in 1864. On a number of occasions he was offered a bishopric, but he always declined for various reasons. Arguably, Liddon was the last of the Oxford Movement. A close associate of Edward Pusey, the formed the bridge between the Tractarians and the Anglo-Catholic ritualists, the liturgical radicals of the next generation. Liddon played an important role in defending ritualist clergy from persecution by the state and church. Liddon can also be credited with preventing Archbishop Tait from modifying the Athanasian Creed or removing it from its high place in Anglican liturgy.

Liddon was a defender of the authority and reliability of Scripture, though I was disappointed to learn from this book that he was not committed to Verbal Inspiration as a doctrine. He was deeply unhappy with the liberal Anglo-Catholic publication, Lux Mundi, which tried to harmonize orthodox doctrine with critical views of the Bible. This book suggests that the stress of Liddon's opposition to Lux Mudi contributed to the breakdown of his health towards the end of his life. Sadly, the Scriptural views of Lux Mundi have been rather more influential in modern Anglican theology than those of Liddon and Pusey. That document helped to shift those of catholic views towards a more liberal stance on Scripture, when compared to the firm commitment of the Oxford Movement to the infallibility of the Bible. The Church of England (and the Roman Catholic Church) needs more men like Liddon who will contend for the authority and reliability of Scripture.

Liddon had come from an Evangelicalism before his conversion to Anglo-Catholic views. I liked the biographer's positive comment on this background:

"Like his own master, Bishop Hamilton, he was born and bred an Evangelical. There is no foundation on which the superstructure of Catholic faith can be more securely built than on the Evangelical confession of man's utter sinfulness and of the free pardon purchased by the blood of Christ. A man trained in that confession may, without sacrificing a jot of his earlier creed, learn to accept all that the Catholic Church teaches about Orders and Sacraments; but to the end he retains some characteristic marks of his spiritual beginnings."

Having become a Roman Catholic, I do not in any way despise my Evangelical roots. An Evangelical background brings with it a love and commitment to Scripture and a fervent desire to see men and women saved from the fires of hell.

I was grateful for the chance to learn more about an Anglican figure worthy of deep admiration, one who bought to be a little better remembered.

Roll Call: ‘A Tyrant is Dead’ — Congress Reacts to the Death of Fidel Castro

Roll Call: ‘A Tyrant is Dead’ — Congress Reacts to the Death of Fidel Castro

Even in the middle of the night, the reaction to the death of former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro was swift from South Florida lawmakers and those with Cuban-American ties.

“The day that the people, both inside the island and out, have waited for has arrived: A tyrant is dead and a new beginning can dawn on the last remaining communist bastion of the Western Hemisphere,” Florida GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who was born in Havana, said in a statement.

“The message is now very clear to those who think they will continue to misrule Cuba through oppression and fear,” she said. “Enough is enough. The Cuban people have been shortchanged for too long to continue down this reviled path.”

Ros-Lehtinen called the death of the communist leader as an opportunity, but she cautioned against continued easing of relations with the country until there are far more significant democratic reforms.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Kosovo Moving Forward

St. Catherine of Alexandria

The Guardian: Sooner or later, May and Hammond will have to put Britain before Brexit

The Guardian: Sooner or later, May and Hammond will have to put Britain before Brexit

by Polly Toynbee

"These choices may not percolate through to most voters until this time next year, when purses and wallets feel the pinch and the NHS crisis is daily news. At some point May and Hammond will need to stop pretending it can all be smoothed over with absurd reassurances about the “strength and resilience” of the British economy. What stops them is the dry-rotters behind them. May’s hint of a transition period to avoid a cliff edge was greeted with more “betrayal” boos. But a transition that stretches on and may take us into a time when Europe itself transitions is the best hope.

Keir Starmer lays out the clearest case for parliament, demanding May says what she wants. Parliament won’t vote against article 50: she would call a snap election and win like no party has ever won before. But it’s not giving away her hand to proclaim a determination to stay in the single market and the customs union. Only fear of her own party stops her setting out that strong negotiating position. Sooner or later she will have to face the “bastards” down, putting country before party. Sooner or later, Hammond will have to stop pretending the economy is OK: this worm will have to turn, no more taking the flak for an economic storm the Brexiters have brought down on his head."

The Independent: Tory splits on Europe laid bare as ex-cabinet ministers attack Brexiteers over economic damage from leaving EU

The Independent: Tory splits on Europe laid bare as ex-cabinet ministers attack Brexiteers over economic damage from leaving EU

Former Conservative cabinet ministers have slammed Brexiteer Tories who attacked the UK’s official forecaster for predicting economic gloom as Britain leaves the EU.

Ex-education secretary Nicky Morgan said Brexit-backing Tories who criticised the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) after it said the UK faced a £122bn budget black hole, appeared “frightened” of the body’s forecasts.

Former attorney general Dominic Grieve accused those criticising the OBR of making a “serious error” and failing to act in the national interest.

The body predicted Brexit will cut UK GDP growth by 2.4 per cent by 2020 and that the Government will need to borrow an extra £122bn to cover costs, £60bn of which directly stem from uncertainty caused by the EU referendum.

IDS and the OBR

The Office of Budget Responsibility need to ask Iain Duncan Smith "OK, so where are your figures? How do your sums add up?"

Thursday, 24 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Catherine of Alexandria

Almighty ever-living God, who gave Saint Catherine of Alexandria to your people as a Virgin and an invincible Martyr, grant that through her intercession we may be strengthened in faith and constancy and spend ourselves without reserve for the unity of the Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Catherine, pray for us and for the Christians of Egypt.

The Hill: Euphemistic 'alt-right' can turn Party of Lincoln to Party of David Duke

The Hill: Euphemistic 'alt-right' can turn Party of Lincoln to Party of David Duke

by Evan McMullin

"However, the GOP’s long-standing pattern of failure to win minority votes suggests a problem. That white supremacists feel comfortable aligning with the party, while minorities do not suggests that the GOP as a whole is not sufficiently welcoming to racial diversity. One needs only to look at the mass selfie Vice President-elect Mike Pence took with the House Republicans last week.

Clearly enjoying their hard-fought triumph, the image conveyed a stark message to the country about homogeneity in the party’s leadership.

Some have argued that the Republicans’ sweeping victory of the House, Senate, and White House renders the support of minorities unimportant. Why bother when gerrymandering often creates less diverse, right-leaning districts where Republicans do not need to compete for minority votes? Why bother if it’s still possible to maintain Senate control and win the White House?

For starters, there’s the simple electoral analysis that warns against depending on Democrats to keep nominating candidates as unpopular as Hillary Clinton, while the white population in the U.S. shrinks relative to the surging minority population.

But the more compelling reason is simply that a more racially inclusive Republican Party is the right thing for the country. Only parties and leaders who embrace America’s diversity can offer the kind of unifying leadership our nation needs.

Welcoming minorities to the GOP will not require compromising conservative principles, but rather embracing them. It will require advancing criminal justice, immigration, education, and anti-poverty program reform."

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Clement of Rome

Almighty ever-living God, who are wonderful in the virtue of all your Saints, grant us joy in the yearly commemoration of Saint Clement, who, as a Martyr and High Priest of your Son, bore out by his witness what he celebrated in mystery and confirmed by example what he preached with his lips. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Clement, pray for us and for Pope Francis.

Monday, 21 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Cecilia

O God, who gladden us each year with the feast day of your handmaid Saint Cecilia, grant, we pray, that what has been devoutly handed down concerning her may offer us examples to imitate and proclaim the wonders worked in his servants by Christ your Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Cecilia, pray for us and for all musicians.

Now haste ye to your crowns, cries Cecilia to her brethren; and soon the virgin herself is led before the judge.

She despises his angry threats and laughs at his false gods' wherefore the innocent maiden is declared deserving of death.

She remains long enclosed in the bath, while the furnace rages beneath; but stronger is the divine fire that burns in the virgin's heart.

Thrice does the barbarous lictor strike the innocent victim: he cannot accomplish his crime, for Christ has granted a delay to the martyr.

As her last hour draws nigh, she devotes her ancestral mansion to God, then free she wings her flight to the nuptials of the Lamb.

Hail! body of the martyr, long hidden in the sombre crypt; shining with a new glory, thou art restored to thy mother Rome.

The Virgin of virgins watches over thee, lest thou fade as a flower in the darkness, while thou liest empurpled with the blood of thy martyrdom, and clad in thy golden robe.

Sleep in thy silent marble tomb, while they spirit enthroned in heaven hymns its glad joy, and graciously receives our prayers.

May the happy choirs of virgins praise thee, O Jesus, their Spouse; to the Father and the Paraclete be equal and eternal glory. Amen

Make Austria Great Again

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple

As we venerate the glorious memory of the most holy Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, O Lord, through her intercession, that we, too, may merit to receive from the fullness of your grace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Litany of Loreto

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Holy Mary, Ark of the Covenant, pray for us and for all Christian children, that they may learn to be devoted to God.

The Washington Post| Pence’s mission: Deliver four messages to Trump

The Washington Post| Pence’s mission: Deliver four messages to Trump

by Jennifer Rubin

"Second, Pence should implore Trump to hold down the number of appointees who are inflammatory, scandal-plagued campaign cronies. Stephen K. Bannon and retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn have used up his quota. What Trump needs are low-key, competent and widely respected figures — such as Pence! — to actually do the work and calm domestic and foreign allies. Trump would be wise to pick a foreign policy heavyweight (e.g. Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Sen. Bob Corker, retired Gen. David Petraeus) for State and a respected figure (e.g. former Sen. James M. Talent) to head up the Pentagon, someone who can reassure the generals Trump has insulted (and balance out the intemperate Flynn).

Third, Pence needs to get the president-elect — with a crane if that’s what it takes — out of Trump Tower and into Washington, D.C., where his new job is. Staying in his business office conveys skittishness (Trump has to be in his own bed each night?) and highlights the conflict of interest between his business interests and the presidency. Remaining holed up in his golden tower begins at some point to look weird, downright nutty, in fact.

Fourth, Pence should tell Trump and his minions to stop acting like Hispanics, Muslims, civil libertarians and others he demeaned have no reason to be worried. Of course they do. Trump can take ownership of his campaign comments, convey he is now serious about governance and pledge to protect all Americans’ Constitutional rights (not only the Second Amendment but the First, Fifth, 14th, etc.). His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and the rest of his staff should never tell critics not to peacefully protest or vent their discontent."

The latest is that Mitt Romney is being considered for secretary of state. Looks like Trump might be getting at least one of these messages. If Mitt Romney is appointed, most of the world will breath a sigh of relief.

Politico: McCain warns Trump on torture, waterboarding

Politico: McCain warns Trump on torture, waterboarding

Republican Sen. John McCain issued a fiery warning to President-elect Donald Trump on the subject of torture Saturday.

“I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard,” McCain told an audience at the annual Halifax International Security Forum. “We will not torture people … It doesn’t work.”

Trump has repeatedly said that he would use much harsher measures against suspected terrorists. “We have to fight fire with fire,” he said at a June campaign rally, adding that the U.S. would have to “fight so viciously and violently” against the Islamic State.

Torture is wrong. Whether it works or not, it dehumanizes not only the victim, but the service people who are ordered to carry it out.

To be Catholic is to be Globalist

That is why I will never understand Catholics who join UKIP.

The Guardian: Aleppo's children's hospital bombed as it treats chlorine gas victims

The Guardian: Aleppo's children's hospital bombed as it treats chlorine gas victims

The only children’s hospital in besieged Aleppo is out of action after being bombed as it treated victims of a chlorine gas attack, forcing staff to evacuate babies in incubators and other patients injured over days of fierce bombardment.

There are currently only four functioning hospitals left to serve around 250,000 civilians living in opposition-held areas, which have been under intense attack since the Syrian government and its Russian backers launched a new offensive on Tuesday.

There were so many airstrikes across Aleppo that the White Helmets teams which rescue survivors from rubble and put out fires said they were struggling to reach all the bomb sites. “[The city] is a mess,” said rescuer Ibrahim al-Haj.

Did you think Assad and Putin were fighting ISIS?

VOA News: Hezbollah Stirs Controversy with Military Parade in Syria

VOA News: Hezbollah Stirs Controversy with Military Parade in Syria

Hezbollah has sent thousands of fighters to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's troops since Syria's civil war broke out in 2012.

Many of the Hezbollah fighters are concentrated in Damascus and Homs, with smaller numbers in Aleppo and Hama provinces. It fights as a proxy army, mostly under the supervision of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards.

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem said this week that Sunday's parade was designed to show Hezbollah's backing of the Syrian regime.

"There is a high level of coordination between us and the Syrian leadership," Qassem said, adding that the military parade "was part of our field training."

Syrian state-run media did not comment on the Hezbollah military display.

But Syrian government supporters took to social media to express their anger, saying the parade was "provoking Syria's sovereignty."

Analysts say it is likely Damascus was not pleased by the Hezbollah show.

"This would make some in the [Syrian] regime uncomfortable," said Phillip Smyth, an analyst at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Assad's links to the Hezbollah demonstrates just how complex the Syrian situation is. Assad cannot be regarded as the enemy of Islamic terrorism with friends like those.

Ukraine Situation Report

This is war. This is Europe. This is happening today.

The Feast of Jesus Christ the King of the Universe

Almighty ever-living God, whose will is to restore all things in your beloved Son, the King of the universe, grant, we pray, that the whole creation, set free from slavery, may render your majesty service and ceaselessly proclaim your praise. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Jesus Shall Reign, by Isaac Watts

1 Jesus shall reign where'er the sun
does its successive journeys run,
his kingdom stretch from shore to shore,
till moons shall wax and wane no more.

2 To him shall endless prayer be made,
and praises throng to crown his head.
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
with every morning sacrifice.

3 People and realms of every tongue
dwell on his love with sweetest song,
and infant voices shall proclaim
their early blessings on his name.

4 Blessings abound where'er he reigns:
the prisoners leap to lose their chains,
the weary find eternal rest,
and all who suffer want are blest.

5 Let every creature rise and bring
the highest honors to our King,
angels descend with songs again,
and earth repeat the loud amen.

Litany to Christ the King

The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power
and Divinity and wisdom and strength and honor;
To Him be glory and empire forever and ever.
V. He shall rule from sea to sea,
and from the river to the ends of the earth.

R. All kings shall adore Him, all nations shall serve Him.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us. Christ the King, hear us.
Christ the King, graciously hear us.

Thou Who didst receive crowns and tribute from the Magi,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst rule by love the Holy Family of Nazareth,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who as King, served Thy people in the example of filial obedience,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who drawest to Thy realm the fishermen to be fishers of men,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Whose Kingdom is not of the spirit of this world,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who art King not of the Jews alone but of all creation,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast mocked in false purple by the little rulers,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast crowned with piercing thorns,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who wast nailed to Thy throne on Golgotha,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst ransom Thy people by the royal Sacrifice of Calvary,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who didst purchase Thy Kingdom with the Blood of the Atonement,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who in Thy Resurrection wert the First-born from the dead.
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who in Thy glorified Body art risen triumphant,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Who art enthroned and crowned at the right hand of The Father,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
In Whom are all created things in Heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Beneath Whom are all thrones and dominations.
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Beneath Whom are all principalities and powers,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
By Whom all things subsist,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
To Whom all the nations of the earth are subject,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.
Through Whom all things are reconciled unto Thy Father,
May all nations serve Thee, O Lord.

V. His power shall be an everlasting power,
R. And His Kingdom a kingdom that shall not be destroyed.

That the peoples of this world may know
themselves subject to Thee,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may put off their vainglory,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may dispel the evils laicism has brought upon society,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may hearken to Thy fiat,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may bow their heads before Thee,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may know Thy reign is eternal,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may submit to Thy just and gentle rule,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may recognize Thy Vicar on earth,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may freely accept his rule for Thy sake,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That they may know that Thy Church, being Thee
Thyself, cannot die as nations die,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That the Gentiles may be restored to mercy,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That to Christ the King all things may be restored,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
That in the Prince of Peace true peace may by all be found,
We beseech Thee, hear us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Christ our King.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Hear us, O Christ our King.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
V. His power shall be an everlasting power,
which shall not be taken away,
R. And His Kingdom shall not decay. Alleluia. Let Us Pray.
Almighty, everlasting God, Who in Thy beloved Son,
King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things anew,
grant in Thy mercy that all the families of nations,
rent asunder by the wound of sin, may be subjected
to His most gentle rule, Who with Thee liveth and reigneth
in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.

Jesus Christ, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, may we see the extension of your Kingdom over all nations and peoples.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Uncanny Resemblance?

Some people say I look like David Cameron. I think I'm a bit slimmer.

Reuters: Pope decries 'epidemic of animosity' against immigrants, other faiths

Reuters: Pope decries 'epidemic of animosity' against immigrants, other faiths

Pope Francis on Saturday said an "epidemic of animosity" against people of other races or religions was hurting the weakest in society, as he struck a note of caution against the rise of populist nationalism.

Little more than a week after Donald Trump was elected the next U.S. president, buoying anti-immigrant parties in Europe and elsewhere, the pope said people should not be seen as enemies just because they were different.

"We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee, become a threat, take on the status of an enemy," Francis said at a ceremony to induct new cardinals.

"An enemy because they come from a distant country or have different customs. An enemy because of the color of their skin, their language or their social class. An enemy because they think differently or even have a different faith," he said.

We need to hear that message repeated by the Holy Father again and again.

Prishtina Insight: Trump’s election bodes well for no one, least of all Kosovo

Prishtina Insight: Trump’s election bodes well for no one, least of all Kosovo

by Bronwyn Jones

"When Trump had a chance to visit his wife’s Balkan home country, Slovenia, before their marriage he refused to stay overnight. Instead he flew in, ate dinner with her family and then immediately flew back out again.

None of this bodes well for Kosovo in this crucial period. Currently, Kosovo is lagging behind the region in terms of visa liberalization and access to Europe. Even with the recently signed SAA agreement, the economy is still-at best sluggish. 32 per cent of people in Kosovo are gainfully employed. The poverty rate is a whopping 29.7 per cent, according to statistics from the UNDP. Add an unstable government, on-going negotiations with Serbia, ever-present corruption and environmental issues.

A source at the US Embassy in Prishtina told me during the summer that it seems likely already that the US would be scaling down future financial commitments, including possibly downscaling Bondsteel. Trump has already said that he wants countries to pay more for protection and implies that he would not give full support to NATO. Closing Bondsteel would seem to fit Trump’s worldview."

Heavy Fighting in Donbas

Friday, 18 November 2016

Catholic Herald: The 21st-century Habsburg mission

Catholic Herald: The 21st-century Habsburg mission

by Eduard Habsburg

"The Pope spoke to us about our great ancestor, Blessed Emperor Charles (whose relic we gave him as a present). He noted that Blessed Charles was, first and foremost, a family man. Francis encouraged us to help the world rediscover the value of family in our times. That’s a natural thing for us to do. Yours truly, for instance, is blessed with a lovely wife and six children – a far cry from the Holy Roman Empress Maria Theresia, who had 16, but still…

He also asked us to imitate Blessed Charles by helping to build our common home of Europe – something many of us do through our engagement in politics or, in my case, as a diplomat.

Pope Francis encouraged us in the many social activities that we perform, such as promoting peace (as one of our cousins is doing in South Sudan), feeding the poor (several cousins), reaching out to the periphery in everyday life and helping minorities (as the head of our family, Karl, does).

The Pope was very happy that there were priestly vocations in our clan – my brother Paul is the first priest in the family for almost 200 years, and there are others “on the road”, so to speak."

The world needs more Habsburgs.

The Washington Post: They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims.

The Washington Post: They interned my family. Don’t let them do it to Muslims.

by George Takei

"Let us also agree that ethnic or religious discrimination cannot be justified by calls for greater security. During World War II, the government argued that military authorities could not distinguish between alleged enemy elements and peaceful, patriotic Japanese Americans. It concluded, therefore, that all those of Japanese descent, including American citizens, should be presumed guilty and held without charge, trial or legal recourse, in many cases for years. The very same arguments echo today, on the assumption that a handful of presumed radical elements within the Muslim community necessitates draconian measures against the whole, all in the name of national security.

It begins with profiling and with registries, but as Trump and Higbie have made clear, once the safety of the country is at stake, all safeguards are off. In their world, national security justifies actions that are “sometimes not right,” and no one really can guarantee where it will end.

We cannot permit this invidious thinking, discredited by history at the cost of so much misery and suffering by innocents, to take root once again in America, let alone in the White House. The stigmatization, separation and labeling of our fellow humans based on race or religion has never led to a more secure world. But it has too often led to one where the most vulnerable pay the highest price."

Ukrainian Counter-Terrorism Unit

The Guardian| Anna Soubry: ‘What’s happened to our country? We’ve lost the plot’

The Guardian| Anna Soubry: ‘What’s happened to our country? We’ve lost the plot’

by Decca Aitkenhead

Soubry offers an anecdote to illustrate how it should be done. During the referendum campaign she met a man in the east Midlands who told her that you no longer hear anyone speaking English in Newark.

“I thought, ‘I’ve had enough of this.’ I looked him straight in the eye and said: ‘That’s crap and you know it’. I said, ‘That is crap and you know it. I know Newark, and that’s crap. Of course you hear people speaking English! Overwhelmingly they’re speaking English in Newark’. And you could see him thinking, that’s absolutely true.” She snorts. “Well of course it’s true! But it’s become acceptable to say that, and people weren’t being challenged. So I challenged him.” By now she is jabbing a finger at me and her eyes are burning. “And he went, ‘Yeah, but … but … yes you’re right. But they hang around on street corners drinking beer’. And I said, heavy with sarcasm, ‘Yeah, because of course, British-born people never do that, do they?’ And you could see again, he was thinking, ‘Oh, of course she’s right.’ You see, I was challenging him! That’s how you win this argument!”

Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Washington Post: Evangelical Christians owe their fellow Americans something better

The Washington Post: Evangelical Christians owe their fellow Americans something better

by Jennifer Rubin

"Going forward, evangelical Christians will find a changed landscape, one in which their influence may be vastly reduced. “The idea that Trump’s most vocal supporters will in the future weigh in on the importance of character in public leaders is risible,” Wehner says. “That argument is now gone, at least for a time. Many Evangelical Christians marched under the banner — some even helped raise the banner — for a man whose personality is characterized by vindictiveness, cruelty and coarseness.” He explains, “They rallied behind a man who in my estimation embodies a Nietzschean ethic rather than a Christian one, and there’s a price that will be paid for that. Trump supporters would say it was worth it in order to prevent a Clinton presidency.”

Where that leaves evangelical Christians, both Trump supporters and opponents, is uncertain. Teetsel says withdrawal from public life is not an option. “The responsibility to love our neighbor and seek the welfare of our communities remains, no matter who is president.” That said, how they engage may change. They would be wise to start out by reflecting on their non-Christian and nonwhite brothers and sisters. Wehner says, “Trump supporters need to think about how they would view things if they were Muslim or Mexican and felt unfairly targeted — or an African American, knowing that the thing that really catapulted Trump into politics was peddling a racist conspiracy about Barack Obama not being born in America.” He muses, “In many ways empathy and sympathy – what Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments referred to as ‘fellow feeling’ — are lost, or at least de-valued, virtues.” Ultimately, however, Wehner, like Teetsel, comes down on the side of engagement, explaining that “politics, for all its mundane aspects and downsides, is still a means through which we pursue justice, protect human dignity and advance human flourishing, and those things are never unimportant.”

Evangelical Christians who justified their decision to back Trump based on Supreme Court picks, will be humiliated if Trump trades a conservative judge for something else he wants — a distinct possibility for a man who shows no convictions beyond self-promotion. Perhaps evangelical conservatives need to not only reflect on their faith but on their political acumen as well. “In the last few decades – and especially in the last year — Christians have often done politics poorly,” Wehner observes. “So do most other groups in democracy. The answer is to do politics better. I think we can, and I hope we do. Because this nation is in a difficult place just now, in need of healing and reform and restoration.” People of different faiths or of no faith at all certainly can agree with that."

The Feast of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity the needy and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

The Litany of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary

Lord, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.

O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, graciously hear us.

O God the Father, of heaven:
have mercy upon us.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world:
O God, the Holy Ghost:
O Holy Trinity, one God:
have mercy upon us.

Holy Mary:
Pray for us.
Immaculate Virgin:
Mother and Mistress of our Order:
Pray for us.

St. Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary:
Pray for us.
St. Elizabeth, Duchess of Thuringia:
St. Elizabeth, mother in Israel:
St. Elizabeth, queen in the Kingdom of God:
St. Elizabeth, consoler of sinners:
St. Elizabeth, nurse of lepers:
St. Elizabeth, devoted wife of Louis the Good:
St. Elizabeth, famous exemplar of Christian widowhood:
St. Elizabeth, fervent spouse of the Son of God:
St. Elizabeth, humble in prosperity:
St. Elizabeth, patient in adversity:
St. Elizabeth, mighty in penance:
St. Elizabeth, wondrous in prayer:
St. Elizabeth, first-born of the tertiaries regular:
St. Elizabeth, protectress of our Order:
St. Elizabeth, the "dear saint" of Holy Church:
Pray for us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
spare us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
graciously hear us, O Lord.
O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world:
have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O blessed Elizabeth. Alleluia.
R. That we may be worthy of the promises of Christ. Alleluia.

Let us pray.

The following Collect is said:

Merciful Lord, we pray Thee to pour the bright beams of Thy grace into our hearts: that, by the glorious prayers of Thy Saint Elizabeth, we may learn to despise all worldly prosperity, and ever to rejoice in all Heavenly consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Elizabeth, pray for us and for Hungary.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Artillery in Action

Conservative Review: Ben Carson is the reason vanity candidacies must end

Conservative Review: Ben Carson is the reason vanity candidacies must end

by Amanda Carpenter

"After his campaign ended, Carson became a prominent surrogate for President-elect Trump. Naturally, he was in contention for a job in the administration. But, he’s publicly declining. One of his closest aides told the press, “Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he’s never run a federal agency. The last thing he would want to do is take a position that would cripple the presidency.” Carson himself said he wants the “freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area.”

Let me translate: If all this is true, Carson is a fraud who should have never ran for president. If he doesn’t have the experience to serve a president, he should have never accepted a single donation from a single supporter to be president.

Carson is the reason why vanity candidacies must end."

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Margaret of Scotland

O God, who made Saint Margaret of Scotland wonderful in her outstanding charity towards the poor, grant that through her intercession and example we may reflect among all humanity the image of your divine goodness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Margaret, pray for us and for Scotland.

I love Anna Soubry MP

Monday, 14 November 2016

The Hill: McMullin slams Bannon appointment

The Hill: McMullin slams Bannon appointment

Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin slammed President-elect Donald Trump late Sunday for appointing former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist.

"Saying 'stop it' to racist attacks means little when you name white supremacist darling Steve Bannon chief strategist in the very same day," McMullin wrote on Twitter.

The appointment of Bannon is deeply worrying.

Trade Works

The Washington Post: Democrats and #NeverTrumpers may win the battle on health care and immigration

The Washington Post: Democrats and #NeverTrumpers may win the battle on health care and immigration

by Jennifer Rubin

"Radical immigration exclusionists likewise are about to get a jarring wake-up call. They cannot deport millions upon millions of non-criminal illegal immigrants who have roots in their communities. Trump, not even a week after the election, is only talking about deporting criminals, working on border control and then addressing the status of rest. This is “amnesty” in a prom dress.

Trump’s notion that there are 2 million or more criminals among the 11 million illegal immigration population amounts to poppycock. The Post and immigration gurus put the figure at more like 800,000. That’s a number the administration will want to embrace, because it won’t ever want to concede that it found 800,000 but couldn’t root out more than a million people. It may make up some tale (the threat of Trump caused them to self-deport!), but the reality will be the same.

At the end of that criminal deportation process (if he gets that far), Trump will have to start addressing the other 10-plus million. Neither he nor the Congress has the stomach to round them all up. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) already said there will be no deportation force. That means Republicans will have responsibility for figuring out how to deal with 10 million people, give or take, who have committed no other crimes — the grandmas, the parents, the children, the students, the manual laborers, the people paying into Social Security and paying sales tax, the merchants, the consumers and the rest."

Evening Standard| Jo Cox trial: 'Right-wing nationalist Thomas Mair looked up Ku Klux Klan and Nazis before killing MP'

Evening Standard| Jo Cox trial: 'Right-wing nationalist Thomas Mair looked up Ku Klux Klan and Nazis before killing MP

A right wing nationalist repeatedly said "Britain First" as he shot Labour MP Jo Cox three times and stabbed her in the street, the Old Bailey heard.

Thomas Mair, 53, ambushed the mother-of-two as she arrived for a regular surgery with her Batley and Spen constituents in June this year.

Prosecutor Richard Whittam QC told jurors Mair had planned the attack in advance and carried out the murder because of his "strong political and ideological interests".

Jurors at the Old Bailey were told Mair had researched the Ku Klux Klan, Nazis, serial killers and right wing politicians in the days prior to killing Ms Cox.

He had also used his local library to research Ms Cox, fellow Yorkshire MP William Hague, and Ian Gow, an MP murdered by the Provisional IRA.

A lot of people on the Eurosceptic right shamefully tried to make out this murder had nothing to do with politics. Politicians and the popular press have created a culture of fear and xenophobia, in which terrible incidents will happen again and again.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Gregory Palamas

O light of Orthodoxy, pillar and teacher of the Church,
ideal of monastics and invincible champion theologian,
O wonder-working Gregory, boast of Thessalonica and herald of grace,
Forever pray to the Lord that our souls be saved.

Saint Gregory Palamas, pray for us, that we may behold the light of God.

The Feast of Saint Justinian

O Almighty God, who willest to be glorified in thy Saints and didst raise up thy servant, Saint Justinian to shine as a light in the world: Shine, we pray thee, in our hearts, that we also in our generation may shew forth thy praises, who hast called us out of darkness into thy marvellous light; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Saint Justinian, pray for us and all monarchs and rulers and pray that the Church would steadfastly oppose all heresies and errors.

Baudrillard Today

This is very funny, but if they really did this it would turn nasty very quick.

The French philosopher Jean Baudrillard (1929-2007) said that it would be impossible to fake a bank robbery, because the event would appear on television and be treated by the media as real.

Likewise, if Obama did leave a fake birth certificate behind as a joke, the media would treat it as real. No matter how unconvincing it looked, some 'expert' would appear on Fox News and argue for its authenticity. It would be repeatedly tweeted and re-tweeted on Twitter. Politicians on the right would never accept it as a joke.

The Huffington Post: Why Donald Trump’s Victory Terrifies Some Of Your Ethnic Minority Friends

The Huffington Post: Why Donald Trump’s Victory Terrifies Some Of Your Ethnic Minority Friends

by Matt Mikalatos

"Listen, Trump says racist things. This is not media spin. This is not liberal politicking. This is objective fact.

You might recall how he refused to disavow the Ku Klux Klan until there was a public outcry against it, saying he would need to some research about white supremacy and David Duke (he later claimed a defective earpiece). He called Gonzalo Curiel (born in Indiana) “a Mexican” and said as a result he was unable to do his job (a comment Republican Paul Ryan called the “textbook definition of a racist comment”). He has a pattern of discrimination against African Americans in his companies and has said things like “laziness is a trait in blacks.” Listen, this could fill an article itself, and without going into his “dog whistle” comments."

Ready Night or Day

Independent: Visibly angry Jeremy Corbyn tells Donald Trump to 'grow up' over immigration

Independent: Visibly angry Jeremy Corbyn tells Donald Trump to 'grow up' over immigration

Jeremy Corbyn has told Donald Trump to “grow up” over his treatment of immigrants in the US.

Speaking on the Andrew Marr show, the Labour leader criticised the President-elect's stance on Mexico and his "absurd and abusive" language towards Muslims.

Mr Corbyn described the "absolute anger and outrage" felt by his Mexican wife Laura Alvarez and her family at President-elect Trump's proposals to build a wall at the US-Mexican border.

"Donald Trump should grow up and recognise the American economy actually depends on migrant labour," he said.

Occasionally Jeremy Corbyn says things that are worth saying.

PBS: What will foreign policy look like under President Trump?

PBS: What will foreign policy look like under President Trump?

by Larisa Epatko

"Some foreign politicians did celebrate his election: Russian media were joyful. Far right parties in Germany and France also received a fillip, feeling that the wave of populism sweeping the world may lift them to power next year as well. Although President Trump will soon find out that many of Putin’s policies are deeply hostile to the United States whoever is in power in the White House, President Trump may find kindred spirits in the president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte and Colombia’s former President Alvaro Uribe. But not all populist leaders will simply bond with him and fall in line with his preferences simply on grounds of their shared hostility to a liberal international order and divisive and exclusionary domestic orientation.

This is heavy baggage that Trump brings to the Oval Office. The credibility of the United States as a country committed to pluralism, multiculturalism, inclusiveness, opportunities for all and human rights — in other words, U.S. soft power — has already suffered a serious blow. Recovering that reputation for enlightened leadership will be hard for President Trump, given the xenophobia of his rhetoric on the way to the White House.

In a bleak scenario, President Trump will attempt to implement the policies he proclaimed as a candidate Trump. Although he is unlikely to withdraw the United States from NATO, his divisive posturing could damage the alliance badly. Indeed, he appears to have little use for most multinational international organizations, including the United Nations, and their international dispute resolution processes.

If he persists in his proclaimed attempts to simply order others to adopt policies contrary to their interests, making them pay for walls and wars, and oscillates between withdrawal and erratic angry lashing out, he could damage many a bilateral relationship in Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. He could dangerously escalate reactions to North Korea’s belligerence and intensify tensions with China."

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Independent: Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to 'Stop Funding Hate'

Independent: Lego ends advertising with Daily Mail after calls for companies to 'Stop Funding Hate'

Lego will stop advertising its products in the Daily Mail after a public campaign for businesses to stop funding newspapers that promote "hatred, discrimination and demonisation', the company has announced.

The Danish firm, which has previously run free giveaways in the newspaper, responded to the Stop Funding Hate campaign by tweeting: "We have finished the agreement with The Daily Mail and are not planning any future promotional activity with the newspaper."

It followed public pressure for companies to after pull their adverts from several right-wing newspapers after they ran controversial front pages on child refugees and the High Court judges who ruled that Parliament must be given a say on Brexit.

Lego is the first large company to agree to the campaigners' demands.

Great news. Good on Lego for rejecting that filthy racist newspaper.

ConservativeHome: Don’t bend to this anti-establishment rage. Challenge and confront

ConservativeHome: Don’t bend to this anti-establishment rage. Challenge and confront

by Ryan Shorthouse

"On the back of Trump’s election, British Conservatives now have a choice. They can jump fully on board the anti-establishment bandwagon, repeatedly insulting “international elites” and “out-of-touch judges”, for example. Or they can challenge it: stick up for the liberal, democratic and meritocratic institutions and values that generations before us developed so that we can enjoy more peaceful, prosperous and freer lives.

There are still people in our society who are vulnerable or struggling. As the Prime Minister recently articulated, they deserve more support, including from a smarter state. But, for the vast majority of people in our country, life has got better and they have not been “left behind”: levels of education, health, employment, tolerance and civic engagement have all improved in recent decades, including for those on more modest incomes.

Most people are not fed up with living in our liberal, capitalist system. And, it should be noted, many millions every year try to migrate to liberal, capitalist societies. The Office for National Statistics’ annual personal well-being survey shows conclusively that a large majority in Britain, including in less affluent local authorities, are generally satisfied with their lives. Some people are angry, clearly. But most seem to be angry with “the establishment”, rather than the state of their own lives."

The right needs to defend the establishment, not attack it.

A Secure and Prosperous Kosovo

British Values and the National Church

David Holloway (ed.) British Values and the National Church: Essays on Church and State from 1964-2014, 2015 The Latimer Trust

I bought this short publication on the recommendation of a review in the Church Society's theological journal.

This is a series of lectures on the role of a state church delivered by Canon Max Warren in 1964. The editor, David Holloway feels they are particularly relevant today with the government's emphasis on "British values." He questions the government's arbitrary selection of such things as democracy and the rule of law as the central ethos of British values. He suggests that Christianity, as located in the Church of England is a much richer source for British values, even in a multi-faith society.

Canon Max Warren sees three roles for a national church, to Prophesy, to Purify and to Prepare. A national church has a prophetic role in leading the nation towards the hope of the Christian faith. It has a purifying role in opposing evil. Her preparatory role is in preparing the nation for the future, both in terms of crises that may come and pointing towards the eschatological judgement of God. I found this a really insightful look into the role of a state religion from an Evangelical perspective.

Fiction becomes reality

Did you read that story arc in the Superman comics?

Friday, 11 November 2016

The Feast of Saint Josaphat

Stir up in your Church, we pray, O Lord, the Spirit that filled Saint Josaphat as he laid down his life for the sheep, so that through his intercession we, too, may be strengthened by the same Spirit and not be afraid to lay down our life for others. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Josaphat, pray for us and for Ukraine.

The Guardian: I've heard enough of the white male rage narrative

The Guardian: I've heard enough of the white male rage narrative

by Hadley Freeman

"To call out voters for falling for such damagingly racist and sexist messages is viewed by politicians as a vote-killer and dangerously snobby by the media, as though working-class people are precious toddlers who must be humoured and can’t possibly be held responsible for any flawed thinking. There is no doubt the white working classes in the west have suffered in recent decades, yet no other demographic that has endured similarly straitened circumstances is indulged in this way. For decades, American politicians have demonised the black working classes who suffered far worse structural inequalities and for far longer – and Trump continues to do so today.

And yet, as Stacey Pattoon wrote, only the white working classes are accorded this handwringing and insistent media empathy. No one is telling these voters to pull up their boot straps. The much-discussed American Dream is only considered “broken” when it’s the white working classes who are suffering. When it’s African-Americans, they are simply lazy and morally flawed."

I'm sick of the whining of entitled white men seeking the privilege of victim status.

The Guardian: Brexit and Trump mark a whitelash. Politicians must not pander to it

The Guardian: Brexit and Trump mark a whitelash. Politicians must not pander to it

by Polly Toynbee

"The crushed social democratic cadres on Labour’s benches look across at the demolition of Hillary Clinton and the end of Obama’s legacy and see reflected their own demise. Weakly led, with France and Italy likely to lose social democratic leaders too, where do they turn for encouragement?

There is a real danger, in their despair, that they abandon deep values in the name of “realism”. The people have spoken, so knuckle under. Most Labour MPs are in Brexit seats, where white supremacism won the day, and now you can hear some of them humbly promising to “listen” to those voices. But when you have listened, what then? Build walls and more deportation camps?

There is a patronising pity in the idea that the poor left-behinders know no better. But the only way is to challenge this outlook at every turn, because if you give way, the demands of racism are relentless and insatiable. Labour should listen to Margaret Hodge on how she chased the BNP and Nick Griffin out of her Barking constituency – by outright challenge, not by bending towards them.

Both the Brexit and the Trump vote showed it was not just a bellow of pain from the poor and the uneducated, but shockingly high numbers of the comfortable and the educated too who joined the whitelash."

Polly Toynbee's politics are not mine, but she often hits the mark.

The Feast of Saint Martin of Tours

O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Martin, pray for us and for all soldiers.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

NATO Calling Trump

The Feast of Saint Leo the Great

O God, who never allow the gates of hell to prevail against your Church, firmly founded on the apostolic rock, grant her, we pray, that through the intercession of Pope Saint Leo, she may stand firm in your truth and know the protection of lasting peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Saint Leo the Great, pray for Pope Francis, that he may boldly defend the doctrines of the Catholic Church and fiercely oppose all errors.

National Review: The Challenge for Republicans

National Review: The Challenge for Republicans

by Mona Charen

"His character is the great challenge for the nation and the Republican party going forward. On this post-election morning, it seems advisable that those Republicans who signed statements of opposition to him — particularly foreign-policy experts — reassess. A president has the most scope for independent action on the world stage, and it is there that he can do the maximum amount of damage. Trump has indulged in ignorant bluster to gain popularity (he would crush ISIS “very quickly,” “take the oil” from the Middle East, renegotiate NAFTA, force Mexico to pay for a border wall, “get along very well” with Putin, and encourage nuclear proliferation). But one thing we know about Trump is that he will say almost anything for attention and effect, and he has contradicted himself thousands of times. He will need advisers with experience, judgment, and keen psychological skills to temper his instincts and guide him toward policies more in line with American interests and values. Even foreign-policy experts who were appalled by Trump’s campaign rhetoric — in fact, especially they — should consider serving in his administration.

Trump has been on both sides of most of the contentious issues in American life. He’s been pro– and anti–socialized medicine, for and against (mostly) entitlement reform, for (mostly) and against abortion. He is, primarily, an entertainer, who hasn’t given much thought to public policy at all, but is expert at playing to a crowd and ventilating its resentments. But even more than riling up his audiences, Trump’s lodestar has always been himself. Everything comes back to him, especially when he’s feeling attacked or disrespected.

I am praying that because he will now have his heart’s desire — the nonstop shower of attention and yes, flattery, that comes with the Oval Office — that this will serve as a tonic for his outsized ego and perhaps supply him the calm he will need to serve wisely."

New Atlanticist: The Challenges and Opportunities that Await President-Elect Trump

New Atlanticist: The Challenges and Opportunities that Await President-Elect Trump

Magnus Nordenman: "Donald Trump’s election victory opens up a window of major uncertainty for the United States’ European friends and allies in NATO. President-elect Trump suggested during his campaign that US assistance in case of an attack was dependent on the allies having paid their share of the defense burden. If Trump’s posture on NATO persists during his presidency it would be a very serious challenge to NATO and its core principle under Article 5 of “one for all, and all for one” in case of an armed attack on an Alliance member. It would also cause European nations to more seriously consider a security arrangement that did not include the United States. Still, Trump’s comments during the campaign should not be construed as deriving from a broad-based rejection of the US leadership role in Europe. Fresh public opinion polls by Pew revealed that some 77 percent of Americans believe that it is a good thing that America is a member of NATO, while only 16 percent thought that NATO membership was bad for the country. Early and constructive interaction between the Trump administration and European leaders along with a strongly made case about the interdependence of US and European security is crucial in order to not let this uncertainty fester."

Monday, 7 November 2016

Independent: Crown prosecutors consider complaint against Brexit EU referendum campaigns

Independent: Crown prosecutors consider complaint against Brexit EU referendum campaigns

Crown prosecutors are considering a complaint that the Leave campaign misled voters during the EU referendum campaign.

The complaint against Vote Leave and Leave.EU campaigns was submitted by academic experts in electoral law, who suggested “corrupt campaigning practices” were used by campaigners.

The group, led by Professor Bob Watt of the University of Buckingham, alleges that the Leave campaign made “assertions of fact that were knowingly misleading”.

The falsehoods named include the high-profile claim that the EU was costing £350 million a week – a claim that Vote Leave continued to use despite repeated ticking offs by the UK Statistics Authority.

Under UK electoral law “undue influence” is considered a corrupt practice. The offence includes the use of a “fraudulent device or contrivance”.

They certainly should be prosecuted for their lies.

The Feast of Saint Uriel

Commanders of the heavenly hosts, / we who are unworthy beseech you, / by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory, / and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: / “Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!”

Commanders of God’s armies and ministers of the divine glory, / princes of the bodiless angels and guides of mankind, / ask for what is good for us, and for great mercy, / supreme commanders of the Bodiless Hosts.

Oh holy St. Uriel, come to our aid with your legion of angels! Intercede for us that our hearts may burn with the fire of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Assist us in co-operating with the graces of our confirmation that the gifts of the Holy Ghost may bear much fruit in our souls. Obtain for us the grace to use the sword of truth to pare away all that is not in conformity to the most adorable Will of God in our lives, that we may fully participate in the army of the Church Militant. Amen

Saint Uriel, pray for us, that we may behold the glorious light of God.