Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Surprise! Christmas Day Fire at Houston Mosque Was Set By Devout Muslim Mosque Attendee

Gary Moore

So Salon reported at 12:28 PM this afternoon that they caught the arsonist who attacked the mosque:
While Christians around the U.S. were celebrating Christmas, Muslims in Texas were terrorized. After Friday prayers, the Islamic Center of Houston was set on fire in a suspected arson attack. 
A man suspected of having set fire to the mosque on Christmas day was taken into custody and charged with arson on Wednesday, Reuters reported. 
Gary Moore, 37, is being held in the Harris County Jail in Houston. 
A local official told the AP that a hate crime motive has not been ruled out. 
There were no injuries in the suspected arson, but it caused “significant” damage to the mosque, according to the Houston Fire Department, which declared that the fire was intentionally set. 
Muslim community members say the attack was a hate crime. Texas mosques have previously been targeted by heavily armed anti-Muslim protesters. Many Texas Muslims have said they feel unsafe in the atmosphere of aggressive hate and bigotry.
Almost simultaneously, the Houston Chronicle also reported on the arrest (there was an "update" at 1:10 P.M.--it's unclear when the original story ran) but with one additional little detail. Can you spot it?
A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day. 
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the man was arrested early Wednesday, sometime after midnight, and appeared in court 7 a.m. Wednesday. 
The suspect, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston, appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said. 
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week. 
Moore told investigators he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home. Moore told investigators he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he left. He had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend. 
Though the suspect said he was a regular at the mosque, MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he was unfamiliar with Moore. 
“We are just looking into it ourselves,” he said Wednesday morning after learning of the arrest. 
“We are really very surprised and saddened by this whole thing,” said Khan.
UPDATE: in the ten minutes it took me to write this up, Salon pulled their story.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

MUST WATCH Video Tuesday: "Baccconnnn!" Baby Tries Bacon for the First Time

Not Halal and enjoying it

One of the YouTube commenters writes that infants have more tastebuds than adults. If it's not true, it should be.


Or more appropriately,


Enjoy the video.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Happy Feast of the Holy Family! Pope Claims Jesus Had to Beg Forgiveness From His Parents

Yes, this accurately describes the reality. If you have a problem with it, take it up with Francis.

Jesus asked God the Father to forgive others. He never asked anyone to forgive Him.

Well, okay, he asked Mary Magdalen to forgive Him, but that was only a movie.

To be serious, there is a simple and obvious reason why Jesus never asked anyone to forgive Him: He never committed a sin.

That's because, while fully man, he was also fully God, and God doesn't commit sins, even, you know, small ones.

Incredibly, the Pope (the Pope!) doesn't seem to understand or believe this. In his homily for the feast of the Holy Family he claimed (emphasis in red):
At the end of that pilgrimage, Jesus returned to Nazareth and was obedient to his parents (cf. Lk 2:51). This image also contains a beautiful teaching about our families. A pilgrimage does not end when we arrive at our destination, but when we return home and resume our everyday lives, putting into practice the spiritual fruits of our experience. We know what Jesus did on that occasion. Instead of returning home with his family, he stayed in Jerusalem, in the Temple, causing great distress to Mary and Joseph who were unable to find him. For this little “escapade”, Jesus probably had to beg forgiveness of his parents. The Gospel doesn’t say this, but I believe that we can presume it. Mary’s question, moreover, contains a certain reproach, revealing the concern and anguish which she and Joseph felt.
Now, of course, if we believe the Bible account, we know what really happened. Jesus didn't beg forgiveness when His parents finally found Him. Instead:
When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You." And He said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father's house?" But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them.…
In my view, that's one of the most memorable passages in the New Testament. Through a window of 2,000 years you can feel the concern, and then the astonishment, of Mary and Joseph. They were worried about their son, as any parents would be. Interestingly, though, while they get an answer they didn't expect--"I was in My Father's House"--an answer that in the mouth of any other child would have been interpreted as obnoxious at the least, they do not reproach Him or box his ears, etc. Rather, Luke records them as being merely puzzled. I think they were also awed. They knew their son was heaven sent, even if they did not yet know He was God.  

But back to the Pope. He makes statements that no knowledgable and faithful Christian would ever make. He either doesn't know his Christian teachings or he disagrees with them.

I do not think any more that he believes that Jesus was the Son of God.

Is the Pope Catholic? Well, he was baptized, obviously, and he was confirmed as a Catholic and then as a priest. So. in that sense, of course he's a Catholic. On the other hand, in terms of subscribing to Catholic teachings, the evidence suggests that the answer would be no.


A word on sources. This homily is taken from the Official Vatican Network. But I was directed to it by Novus Ordo Watch. The funny/unfunny blog title picture is from their post. Novus Ordo Watch is a sedevacantist group. I am not a sedevacantist, and there's about as much chance of me ever becoming one as there is of me opening up a brothel in Tangiers or becoming a Sufi . . . or being elected President of the United States. If you have read many of my posts, you will also see that I disagree with the Novus guys on a great many matters.

But you know what? Aside from falsely (in my view) believing that the Pope is NOT the Pope, they've been more right and less wrong about Pope matters than the majority of Catholic bloggers. Give them some credit, unless you're one of those people who has an inordinate fear of what other people think.

Pray for them. And pray for all of us.

What Damascus Looks Like, Four Years After the Arab Spring

Not all of Damascus looks like this but much of it does.

This is the Jobar neighborhood, close to the center of the city. Before the Syrian Civil War it was home to 300,000 residents, though the area looks larger than that figure would imply, with utter devastation seemingly stretching as far as the eye can see.

The photographs were recently taken by a Russian drone and re-posted in a number of news sites including the Daily Mail. There is also a haunting aerial video on RT News.

Note the dishes. I assume that means there are people (fighters?) still living there.

At one point Jobar also had a thriving Jewish community centered around the ancient Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue (not to be confused with the Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, which has apparently been partially closed down). During the war, the synagogue was allegedly first looted and burned by Al-Qaeda and the Free Syrian Army. It was then mostly destroyed--by the government (according to the rebels) or the rebels (according to the government).

The Jobar area is still contested, with Islamist forces dug into a network of tunnels, though the government may now have the upper hand.

For what it's worth.

Whatever one thinks of the refugee crisis, this at least provides some perspective on it. Some of the residents were killed. Some joined one of the warring factions. But presumably, most of them simply fled.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Gynogate: Is the Vatican Lying?

Nothing sexy here. Move along now.

UPDATE (7:40 PM CST, 27 December): Maureen Mullarkey and The Bear just posted. Ms. Mullarkey titles her post "Scrap the Mea Culpa" and adds a bit of detail about how and why her original piece was pulled by the Federalist. She also makes the point that the fact that the Daily Mail has stuck with the story (and I've seen them correct and update stories many a time) lends some credence to the ESAG's account. The Bear promises more material from Dr. Bader and ESAG. I'm sure Dr. Bader is used to people tittering over his chosen profession, but I now wish I hadn't been quite so jokey about the whole thing. It looks like Dr. Bader has been falsely accused of being a liar--by the Pope's spokesman, of all people. Doesn't even the Vatican take the Ninth Commandment seriously, anymore? Or did that go out the door (perhaps when it was opened) for the Jubilee Year of Mercy?

The original story was that a Catholic university overseen by the Vatican would be hosting a conference of aesthetic gynecologists, headed by Dr. Alexandros Bader, a world-renown expert on the G-spot.

Mahound's Paradise posted on this (Warning: the post was sexually explicit), offering some new information but also reprinting one of the juicer news stories on the conference from the Daily Mail.

The original story was based on claims made in promotional materials from the European Society of Aesthetic Gynecologists (ESAG). Essentially there were three claims:
  • The conference would be held in or at Vatican City.
  • Social events would include a tour of the Vatican gardens and an audience with the Pope.
  • The precise venue was the Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum.
My post suggested, based on the contents of the materials themselves, that the first claim was exaggeration--the Institute is near St. Peter's but is not technically on Vatican grounds. Indeed, that it was exaggeration was sort of confirmed by a spokeswoman for the ESAG after the story broke.

However, a few days ago, all of the claims were apparently denied by the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Federico Lombardi (English text courtesy of Google Translate):
In some press reports there was talk of a First World Congress organized by the "European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology", which would take place "in the Vatican" in the month of April. 
The material for the program that is in the site intentionally suggests this approach, using the shape of the facade of St. Peter, specifying that participants may attend the general audience and visit the Vatican Gardens, and saying well - in some text - that the conference will take place "in the Vatican." 
In another text on the Site it is said that the conference will take place at the Institute Augustinianum. The Augustinianum denies in the strongest terms. Also not in any way that the organization of such a conference has to do with some Vatican institution or the Holy See.
A few journalists and bloggers who reported the original story then quasi-apologized for their initial enthusiasm, and used the word "hoax." This was done out of admirable motives--in the interests of accuracy even at the expense of looking slightly silly. But I think it is fair to say that they now believe they were too quick to backtrack. One of them--The Bear of St. Corbinian's Bear--decided to do some additional investigation (as we shall see below). 

While it is true that on its official website the ESAG subsequently scrubbed references to "Vatican City", the Vatican related social events and the Institute--the organization now lists the conference as occurring in "Rome"--there are still numerous links to the earlier claims on ESAG's Facebook page, Dr. Bader's Facebook page and some non-ESAG sites related to surgery or medical events.

Note that Lombardi does not deny this and even confirms part of it. But he essentially implies that the ESAG made it all up.

Bear with me as I enter some of it into the record.

This is from the Facebook page of Alma Surgery, announcing the conference and inviting attendees to purchase tickets. Note the claim that ". . . the first 50 registrations (will) attend the audience of Pope Francisco himself" 

This letter from Dr. Bader was removed from the ESAG website, but the ESAG Facebook page still links to it at BlueEvents. Note the reference at the bottom to "the general audience of The Pope" and visits to "the vatican gardens" and "St. Peter's Chapel."

Here is one of the original virtual brochures, describing the venue as "Rome, 20-21 April 2016; Vatican City State, Italy, Rome; Venue Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum". It is still on the ESAG Facebook page.

And this is taken from Dr. Bader's current Facebook page:

So, if it was a hoax, it was a hoax perpetrated by someone inside ESAG--someone who, for example, thought it would be funny to write "Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum" on promotional brochures and forge a letter from Dr. Bader (by, I guess, hacking his Facebook site, among other things) describing that "tour of the vatican gardens" and that "audience."

That possibility is clearly absurd and (as we'll see) has been denied by the ESAG.

A second possibility is that the organizers of the ESAG lied about the Vatican links. There was no contract to use the Institute's conference center and they just made up the bit about the social events. What inscrutable reasons could have motivated them to do this is of course anyone's guess, as if potential attendees--aesthetic gynecologists and associated people--would be more likely to attend a conference on cosmetic surgery if it were held in the conference hall of a Catholic scholarly center dedicated to the study of the Christian Fathers, or as if multi-million dollar surgeons who specialize in "Brazilian Butt-lifting" techniques (from their brochure) would be more likely to come to Rome if they could meet the Pope (though wouldn't some of them demand their money back if they found out that that promise--made by Dr. Bader himself--was a complete fib?).

A third possibility is that the ESAG made arrangements with the proper officials, but due to the embarrassing publicity, the Institute (and whoever is in charge of organizing garden tours and Papal audiences, etc.) cancelled. And now they think it's best to deny everything.

Subsequently, The Bear did the obviously right thing (though it wasn't obvious to me): He actually asked ESAG to comment. Here was the response from Dr. Bader himself:
Dear Mr. [Bear], we had a clear agreement with the Vatican to rent their premises in order to organize the Congress. Recently and in unfair way they regret and escalate the issue just to slip away from their responsibilities. We have evidence and documents to prove this and soon we will come out with an official press release as well as we still keep our rights for all legal actions against all involved parties who defame our Society and me personally. The Congress still will take place on the same dates in a different venue which will be announced soon.
By the way, stay tuned to St. Corbinian's Bear on this:
The Bear has engaged in subsequent communications with Dr. Bader, and expects to report more news soon.
Obviously, either ESAG is lying or the Vatican is. Again, ask yourself why the ESAG of all organizations would make up the Vatican links out of whole cloth and put them in their promotional materials. On the other hand, I suppose it might be claimed that even if the arrangements were initially made, the Vatican is not technically lying now. Saying that the Institute "denies in the strongest terms" that they will host such a conference does not technically contradict the claim that they had initially agreed to do so.

But that would be pharisaical.

Let me offer a charitable hypothesis as to what really happened: The Institute did indeed agree to host the conference and the tour and audience were arranged through the usual channels. Consider that the Institute does host non-religious events--they recently hosted a meeting on climate change--and the Pope has audiences with all sorts of people and groups. The relevant Vatican officials focused on the "surgery" or "surgeons" part, not quite realizing how potentially embarrassing (and non- or even un-Catholic) some of the thing was. Perhaps the ESAG tacitly cooperated here, not going out of its way to emphasize the juicier bits about the conference. (Imagine that they know from experience that they run into resistance whenever they do.) Possibly a few Catholic doctors were mentioned or used as references, etc.

If this hypothesis is true, then to be honest, it doesn't really bother me that the arrangements for the conference were initially made. It was a silly mistake.

It does bother me that they now appear to be lying about it.

But then secrecy and deception are hallmarks of this pontificate, aren't they?

Contrast that with the behavior of those Catholic bloggers who were quick to admit apparent error, even when as one of them put it, it showed them with "egg on their face." That it now appears they weren't in error makes the irony all the richer.

The crisis continues.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Noel! Noel! Noel! May All My Enemies Go To Hell!

Here is a bit of Christmas cheer from Hilaire Belloc. I've heard that he once put it on his Christmas cards. But the full poem is from his wonderful novel The Four Men (1902).

Audit ale is the fine ale that the master and fellows drank at Cambridge University (and other places) at the feast commemorating the yearly auditing of each college's accounts.

Happy Christmas from Mahound's Paradise!

Pray for the haters. But may your ale always be better than their thin brew!

Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël

A Catholic tale have I to tell!
And a Christian song have I to sing
While all the bells in Arundel ring.

I pray good beef and I pray good beer
This holy night of all the year,
But I pray detestable drink for them
That give no honour to Bethlehem.

May all good fellows that here agree
Drink Audit Ale in heaven with me
And may all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël! Noël! Noël!
May all my enemies go to hell!
Noël! Noël!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Blogging Will Resume Sunday

The original Mahound blog title picture

I generally do not like self-referential posts. You probably don't either. But bear with me for this exception.

I will be incommunicado for a few days, due to traveling. I will post again on Sunday.

Since Charlie Hebdo, I've posted once a day on average. I intend to hit 365 by the anniversary of the attacks.

Bearing witness, partly to those who were murdered is important. And contra Bishop Barron, bearing witness means more than just smiling idiotically over your turkey plate.

I hope I have done them justice.

As readers know, Mahound's Paradise is a mix of Islamophobic, Traditionalist Catholic and Jewish/Israeli topics.

Within that, I split roughly half and half between original material and links to news items of interest. It all depends on how inspired/lazy I am.

I'm pondering or have half-written these posts:
  • Analysis of the recent French elections
  • Post titled, "In Praise of Jack Chick" (yeah, I know that will really help me win friends and influence people)
  • Post on the recent FrancisChurch "don't evangelize Jews" thing
  • Should we lie to our kids about Santa?
  • My general thoughts on immigration (I'm pro, sort of)
I was going to polish and upload the French election piece, but I'm too tired and the plane leaves too early. Plus, I have to do laundry.

Ah, the romantic life of a blog writer.

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed third week of Advent!

And don't let the haters get you down!

NOT Ho Hum! French Teacher Lied About ISIS Attack, Stabbed HIMSELF in Neck and Side!

Police and emergency vehicles at the scene. Someone's in trouble now.

Maybe he wanted to get out of a staff meeting.

The Daily Mail, again, twelve hours after the original story:
French teacher who claimed he was stabbed by a man 'shouting support for ISIS' admits he LIED and had slashed his own neck
  • Teacher stabbed himself in the neck and side, claiming it was an ISIS attack 
  • Man had claimed he was attacked by a man who shouted support for ISIS
  • He later confessed he lied about the story of the hooded ISIS attacker 
  • Victim is now being questioned by police over why he made the false claims 
A kindergarten teacher who claimed he was stabbed in the neck at a school in Paris by a man acting in the name of ISIS has admitted he made up the story. 
The 45-year-old teacher had said he was preparing for one of his classes when he was attacked by a masked man armed with a box cutter and scissors. 
The teacher described how the attacker declared he was acting in the name of the brutal jihadi group ISIS and declared the attack was 'a warning'. 
However the local prosecutor confirmed the teacher had lied and had stabbed himself in the neck and side in his classroom in Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis. 
The teacher had initially said he was attacked at 7:10am at the Jean Perrin kindergarten in Aubervilliers, situated in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. 
It remains unclear how the 45-year-old obtained the wounds to the neck and the side. He was taken to Lariboisière hospital but his injuries were not thought to be life threatening. 
Questions were raised as to why the attacker would use the deregatory name 'Daesh' if he was claiming he was carrying out the attack for ISIS. 
Police were hunting for the alleged attacker, who the teacher had described as wearing a white t-shirt, gloves and a balaklava. 
France's Education Minister Najat Vallaud-Belkacem has confirmed that additional security will be deployed at schools. 
She described the terrorist threat as being 'real and permanent' and that 'all public places deserve protection, particularly schools'. 
'We will continue to reinforce security measures at schools in a context where schools feel threatened,' she said. 
The ISIS French-language magazine Dar-al-Islam called in its November edition for its followers to kill teachers in the French education system. 
Teachers were described in one ISIS magazine article as 'enemies of Allah' for teaching secularism and 'in open war against the Muslim family.' 
'This education, in the case of France in particular, is a means of propoganda used to impose the corrupt way of thought established by the Judeo-masonry,' it said. 
'Muslims must know the French education system is built against religion and Islam as the only religion of truth cannot cohabit with this fanatic secularism.' 
The false attack comes as Paris remains on high alert after a wave of shootings and suicide bombings at Paris nightspots on November 13 that killed 130 people and left 350 injured. 
Saint-Denis was where Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the deadly Paris attacks, was killed in a dramatic shootout last month. 
In March 2012 jihadist Mohamed Merah killed three children and a teacher outside a Jewish school in an attack which also saw him kill three soldiers. 
A hooded man claiming to be acting for Islamic State attacked a nursery school teacher with a knife-like weapon as he prepared for classes in a school north of Paris, French officials said on Monday.

Ho Hum: Paris Kindergarden Teacher Stabbed in Neck by Man Shouting ISIS Slogans

Seine-Saint-Denis: Run by Communists, dominated by Muslims

[IMPORTANT: See update on story here]

Welcome to the new normal.

From the Daily Mail:
A kindergarten teacher has been stabbed in the neck at a school in Paris by a man allegedly claiming to be acting in the name of ISIS. 
The 40-year-old teacher was preparing for one of his classes when he was attacked by a masked man armed with a box cutter and scissors, according to Europe1. 
The attacker allegedly claimed he was acting in the name of the brutal jihadi group ISIS before fleeing the scene in Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis. 
The teacher is receiving treatment in the Lariboisière hospital and is not thought to be in a life threatening condition. 
Police are now hunting for the attacker with anti-terrorist investigators searching for clues behind the man's real identity. 
The shocking attack took place at the Jean Perrin kindergarten in Aubervilliers, situated in the suburb of Seine-Saint-Denis. 
Saint-Denis was where Abdelhamid Abaaoud, the mastermind of the deadly Paris attacks, was killed in a dramatic shootout last month.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Happy Chanukah! After Lighting White House Menorah, Bizarre ObamaRabbi Invokes Allah, Demands Justice For Palestinians

Radical Chick

Well, personally I think this is one Rabbi who's angling for a FrancisChurch Archbishopric.

From Daniel Greenfield at FrontPage:
Obama's Chanukah parties have had issues in the past. But this time it teetered over into full-blown violently offensive territory. Obama's own remarks were boilerplate inoffensive stuff. Israel's President Rivlin, a political hack who desperately sucks up to the media, was equally insipid. 
But the White House chose Susan Talve to light the Menorah. Talve is a member of the anti-Israel group T'ruah which is currently promoting assorted "soft BDS" programs. She's also a Ferguson activist. Her behavior was deeply insulting to the religious Jewish community and made it clear that the White House was determined to hijack even a Chanukah party to promote an anti-Jewish agenda. 
So the general conviviality of the Chanukah party was disrupted by a crazed rant from Susan Talve in which she seemed determined to jam as many leftist talking points as possible in her limited time. Instead of talking about Chanukah, Talve blathered on about getting, "guns off our streets" and to "clean up the fires of toxic nuclear waste". 
Talve screeched, "I stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streets of Ferguson".

Having celebrated the race riots which destroyed a community, she pivoted to Syrian Muslim migrants. Chanukah is a celebration of the Maccabees defeating a Syrian occupation, but Talve may not even know that. Radical clergy tend to be light on the religion and heavy on the social justice. 
Instead she rambled on about how the "gates of this nation would stay open for all immigrants and all refugees". 
Then, not satisfied with having made a disgrace of the Chanukah ceremony, Susan Talve declared, "I stand here to light these lights to say no the darkness of Islamophobia and Homophobia and Transphobia." 
Talve babbled about insuring "justice for Palestinians" and began gleefully chanting, "Ins'Allah, Ins'Allah". Or "Allah Willing". 
I don't recall Susan Talve mentioning G-d or a word of Jewish scripture. Indeed she spent more time talking about Muslims than about anything in Judaism. And yet that's typical for Social justice clergy who have no organic ties to Judaism. 
It's bad enough that Obama insists on pursuing anti-Israel policies, but the Susan Talve appearance was just gratuitously insulting to the Jewish community.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Heil Muhammad! Facebook Bans Islam Critics in Germany

Mark Zuckerberg standing in front of the shahada: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet."

I know. Mark Zuckerberg is Jewish. How tasteless! How dare I associate him with Nazis?

Because he's become a collaborator with the New Nazis, and thus, among other things, with the new anti-semitism.

The banned Islamophobes are Michael Mannheimer and Michael Sturzenberger, who have appeared on Gates of Vienna, among other sites.

From a Gates of Vienna translation of an article on the German website Politically Incorrect:
Facebook Bans Islam-Critics 
In the middle of September, Minister of Justice Heiko Maas summoned Richard Allan from Dublin, who is responsible at Facebook for political matters in Europe. Maas blatantly demanded censorship of alleged “hate”-filled content, but he was no doubt most interested in Islam-critical publications. Two and one-half months later, Facebook announced its implementation: the pages of Michael Mannheimer and Michael Stürzenberger, for example, were completely banned. although only demonstrable facts about Islam could be found there. 
...Michael Mannheimer reports on the Facebook ban:
These are the fruits of the Merkel regime. The “chief” met personally with Zuckerberg and her Minister of Justice Maas talked turkey with the responsible agent for Facebook in Germany. That was a few weeks ago. Mannheimer was the first one affected: Nothing more of his on Facebook. Then, ba-da-bing: Stürzenberger and Ester Seitz were banned on Facebook. I got the following cellphone message from Stürzenberger: “Another ‘success’ is that Facebook has now extinguished both my pages with 10,000 friends. Result of a meeting of Minister of Justice Mass with the responsible persons several weeks ago, which resulted in a censorship authority being established…” 
Read the rest here.

Friday, December 11, 2015

WARNING: SEXUALLY EXPLICIT: Augustinian Patristic Institute in Rome (For the Study of the History and Theology of the Church Fathers) to Host Sexy Plastic Surgery Conference. Brazilian Butt Lifting, Anyone?

The Augustinian Patristic Institute, where the sexy conference will be held

The original story is from the Daily Mail but it can be confirmed at the website of The European Society of Aesthetic Gynecology (ESAG). Before anyone jumps to assumptions or conclusions, here are the facts:
  • It's a conference of plastic surgeons that do surgery for women in a couple of different places. You know, there and there.
  • While some of the procedures are laudable--attempting to correct the effects of genital mutilation--most are either recreationally sex focused--"G-spot amplification"--or cosmetic and exploitive--"anal whitening," "butt lifting," etc.
  • The conference isn't sponsored by the Institute or the Vatican. As far as I can tell, the Augustinian Patristic Institute is simply renting out its conference hall.
  • News reports, as well as the ESAG website identify the conference as occurring "in the Vatican" or "in Vatican City." This appears to be either sensationalistic (the news sites) or marketing hype (the ESAG website). The Institute is next to or close by Saint Peter's but not in Vatican City.
  • Nevertheless, the gynecological conference promises a "general audience with the Pope," a special mass and a tour of he Vatican gardens. Or, as the site puts it:
The social event will take place in the Vatican City, participants will have the chance to visit the entire city of the Vatican and reach places not everybody can. Delegates will have the chance to attend the general audience of Pope Francisco, the Mass and to visit the Vatican gardens.
  • "Reach places not everybody else can." Quite.
  • The President of the ESAG as well as the keynote guest, speaker and lecturer is Dr. Alexandros Bader (picture below), a "world renown expert in G-spot enhancement."
  • ESAG has locations in Athens, Dubai and London and appears to be mainly made up of plastic-surgeon tycoons catering to wealthy European and Middle-East clients.

Why is this man smiling?

Here are some representative topics, lectures and events:
  • The mental cost of changing your appearance 
  • The connection between Traditional Gynecology and Cosmetic Gynecology, what we should consider and what to avoid 
  • Cosmetic Gynecology: The Indian experience 
  • G-Spot amplification, mythes (sic) and facts
  • FemiLift and sex theraphy. The new frontier
  • Laser Vulvar Bleaching
  • One stitch Vaginal Tightening (Video demonstration)
  • Brazilian Butt lifting, the S shape technique
  • Coffee Break
Here are the advertised "studies" of the Augustinian Patristic Institute, where the conference will be held:
  • Bachelor of Theology
  • License in Theology and Patristic Studies
  • Doctorate in Theology and Patristic Studies
  • License in Patristic Studies
  • Doctorate in Patristic Studies
  • Master's Degree in Augustinian Studies
  • Master in Joseph Ratzinger: Studies and Spirituality
And here's the lead blurb from the Augustinian Patristic Institute website:
The Institutum Patristicum Augustinianum of Rome, in cultivating the sacred sciences, especially the thought of the Fathers of the Church, Saint Augustine and his legacy, remains faithful to the age - old tradition of the Augustinian Order which, from the time of its foundation by the Apostolic See in the thirteenth century, has always paid particular attention to serious study. The Augustinians cultivated the sacred disciplines with such commitment that, already in the last few decades of the century which saw their birth, they had come to occupy a foremost position at Paris and at other principal European universities.
No comment

So, what are faithful Catholics to make of all this?
  • This does not involve an infallible pronouncement from the Pope.
  • Thus, there is no official or formal heresy here. Mark Shea can relax.
  • Cha-Ching!
Finally, here is the original Daily Mail piece:

Secrets of the G-spot unravelled… by the Vatican: Catholic university overseen by the Church to host conference about the secrets of the female body
  • Augustinian Patristic Institute will host meeting of aesthetic gynaecologists 
  • The society's president is world renowned surgeon Dr Alexandros Bader 
  • He claims to be able to enhance women's G-spots, improve their sex life 
  • Conference delegates will also be greeted to audience with Pope Francis
A Catholic university linked to the Vatican will host a conference of gynaecologists who claim to be able to 'amplify' women's G-spots to kickstart their sex lives. 
The Augustinian Patristic Institute, near St Peter's Square in Rome, will host the first meeting of the European Society of Aesthetic Gynaecology in April next year. 
The society is headed up by Dr Alexandros Bader, a world renowned surgeon, who boasts of being able to 'enhance' a woman's G-spot on his website. 
Topics covered at the landmark conference are said to include the lifting, tightening and bleaching of female genitals. 
Delegates will also discuss the amplification of the G-spot and the O-spot, a point behind the surface which experts claim is more sensitive to pleasure than the G-spot. 
The delegates will also be greeted to an audience with Pope Francis and a walk with in the Vatican gardens, the Times reported. 
They will then take part in a 'hands on course' which features operations on '14 live cases'. 
On his website, Dr Bader wrote: 'G-Spot Enhancement is a revolutionary method which is based on magnifying the G-spot up to four times.' 
He claims this is done by injecting the spot with a special collagen filler which increases sensitivity and the 'intensity, duration and frequency of female orgasms'. 
He added: 'G-Spot Enhancement is a simple, non-intrusive and painless procedure, which takes place in our clinics and lasts some 15 minutes.'

That Story About El Chapo Declaring War on ISIS is a Hoax

He didn't do it

It's a great story. The only problem is it isn't true.

Here's one version from Fox News Latino. And here's another from Toronto Sun. There are many others.

The Daily Mail traces the story to Cartel Blog, which apparently picked it up (without linking or acknowledging the source) from Thug Life. Thug Life, which often posts satire, made the story up out of whole cloth to promote a comedy video. It was listed as a "TLV exclusive" whose source was "a Mexican blogger who has close ties with Sinaloa cartel members." There was no link.

This funny scoop is another reason to read the Daily Mail.

From Wills Robinson a few hours ago:
EXCLUSIVE: Blogger hoodwinks millions with hoax story about El Chapo declaring war on ISIS for destroying shipments of his 'Middle East-bound' cocaine 
An email supposedly written by Mexican cartel leader El Chapo, saying he would destroy ISIS, has been revealed as a hoax. 
It was reported that Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán had 'declared war' on the terrorists in an encrypted correspondence to their leader, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, in response to one of his 'shipments' of cocaine being destroyed. 
The story featured on - a website dedicated to reporting the war on drugs - before being picked up a number of mainstream international news outlets and quickly going viral. 
But a writer and satirist told Daily Mail Online that he was the source of the story and that it was a work of pure fiction.

Steve Charnock 
Steve Charnock, who works for Thug Life Videos, says he published the fictional story on November 30. 
The website - and a number of others Charnock works for - upload real news stories, funny videos and some satirical pieces. 
Their aim is for these comedy pieces to go viral, but they never intended it to be picked up by major news outlets. 
He told Daily Mail Online both he and his boss came up with the story. They had previously joked in reports that the Bloods and Crips had waged war against the militants, but the stories were fake. 
'It was satire, faux news,' he said. 'It got a few shares on Facebook initially, but now it is the top story on some websites.' 
Charnock added that none of the news outlets contacted him to clarify the information. 
No one, he said, questioned how the Middle East shipment was destroyed or how the son of one of the world's most notorious fugitives would have been able to encrypt an email to the leader of ISIS. 
In the original story he made up quotes from the drug dealer, who escaped from prison through a tunnel in July.

'My men will destroy you. The world is not yours to dictate. I pity the next son of a wh*** that tries to interfere with the business of the Sinaloa Cartel. 
'I will have their heart and tongue torn from them.' 
He also wrote that three cartels The Sinaloa Cartel, The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and Los Zetas, were expanding into the Middle East. 
There have been recent stories about criminal factions and families responding to the threat of ISIS. 
In November Giovanni Gambino, whose father was part of New York's mafia, told Daily Mail Online he would protect the city from ISIS.