Saturday, October 31, 2015

He Won First Prize!

This is today's headline photo on Pewsitter.

I guess it's what you get after a few elderly "caretaker" popes. The man pushing him is a member of the Swiss Guard.

I didn't put this up to be anti-Obama or anti-Pope or anti-Halloween or anything. Actually, I think it's cute. And as a friend mentioned, Obama looks like he's genuinely enjoying himself.

However, note the red shoes...

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Walmart Pulls Israeli Soldier Kids Costume

So, when I first saw this item (before it was pulled), I thought it might be an anti-Israeli soldier thing. After all, it is Halloween.

"Well, what do we have here? Dracula, Darth Vader, an IDF soldier! Scary costumes, you little darlings. Here, have some candy."

And don't kids in the West Bank dress up as Zionist teddy bears or whatever so their chums can pretend to behead them?

But Muslims complained. They thought it glorified Israeli soldiers (which is probably correct) and they made their opinion known.

Of course, Walmart immediately caved and pulled the costume. Who can blame them, really? When Muslims complain, they're serious. You might end up with a Charlie Hebdo style attack at one of your suburban branches. And that would be bad for business.

Also at Muslim urging they pulled "Sheik Fagin Nose." Apparently it's halal to mix Muslims and Jews. Well that really takes away our fun. My four-year-old son was just telling me the other day, "I want to be a Jewish looking Beduin, Dad. You know, to be ironic." "You can be anything you want once you graduate from medical school," I said, being ironic back at him.


Luckily, Walmart still appears to be selling the "Camcon Sniper Veil" for aspiring Hamas maidens or ISISistas. Or is it for Christian refugees who want to scare each other? From the description:
About this item 
Camcon Face Veil, Olive is primarily used to retain heat in the cold and absorbs sweat in hot conditions when worn around the neck. You can use the face veil for other uses such as weapon and equipment concealment as well as over the face for concealment.

As traditionalist Catholics we frown a bit on Halloween, with its implicit glorification of the occult and all that. But in our family, you can still be a flower or a biblical character or maybe a Queen Bloody Elizabeth or Catholic Freedom Fighter.

That's right, "freedom fighter". If Muslims can blow things up, Catholics can too. Okay, so we tried to blow things up but failed. Shut up! 

When you run out of ideas, however, it's good to know that from the Walmart catalog, you can still dress your daughter up as a slut.

Or your son, for that matter.

Gender prejudice is wrong. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is James Martin a Heretic?

"How many souls can I make fit for hell? Put it this way: Hans Kung was a fag."

The Catholic Church has long opposed giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Recently a vocal and powerful minority within the Church, probably including the Pope himself, have challenged this position.

It is a sign of the decadence of the state of contemporary Catholicism that those in this minority are called "liberals" or perhaps even "moderates"--advocates for the importance of "pastoral care" alongside doctrine, and even disciples of the "new" doctrine of mercy, advocated by the current Pope.

In fact, of course, they are heretics.

I'm not using the term because I don't like them (though, obviously I don't), but because it is precisely accurate. In Catholic terminology a heretic is one who denies one or more (though not all) claims of Catholic doctrine. If one is in in favor of giving communion to the divorced and remarried, then one must deny at least one doctrinal claim.

Now, of course, it is fashionable among some modern Catholics to deny that there is even such a thing as doctrine, and thus not really any such a thing as heresy. The Church (so goes the argument) has beliefs and teachings, some of which stay the same and some of which change. It might be inadvisable to change anything too quickly or change too many things at once, but in the end, everything is, so to speak, up for grabs, as long as one acts in the spirit of Christ's teachings as they were presented in the Bible and explained and developed by the Church.

That view is also a heresy. And no, I won't argue for it. But in a sense I don't need to, as those in the contemporary pro-communion-for-the-divorced-and-remarried crowd explicitly reject it. They endorse the view that one should not deny Catholic doctrine, as well as affirming that they themselves are not really doing so.

Rather, they claim they are exhibiting pastoral discernment in how to apply Catholic doctrine. Or mercy.

This of course makes no sense. It's a smokescreen or more precisely a lie. And the liars are well-aware of what they are doing.

What is the Catholic argument for not giving communion to the divorced and remarried?
  1. Communion involves physically receiving the real body and blood of Christ.
  2. It is a grave sin to receive the real body and blood of Christ if one is currently in a state of mortal sin.
  3. Adultery is a mortal sin.
  4. Being in a second marriage is equivalent to being in an ongoing state of adultery.
  5. Being in a second marriage involves being in an ongoing state of mortal sin (from 3 & 4).
  6. If one is in a second marriage, it is a grave sin to take communion (from 2 & 5).
We can see that the argument is based on four premises, each of which is uncontroversially (even for the heretics) a fundamental Catholic claim. I believe it is a valid argument (one whose conclusion follows logically from its premises), and thus, rejecting the conclusion involves rejecting the truth of one or more of the premises.

And you can't get it around it with the totem words "pastoral" or "mercy".

Take your pick:
  1. Deny the Real Presence.
  2. Deny (among other things) the Catholic interpretation of the words of Paul in the Epistles--"For he that eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."
  3. Deny that adultery is a mortal sin.
  4. Deny the Catholic interpretation of the words of Christ on marriage.
And don't say, "I'm not denying any of those--I'm just claiming there are exceptions." Please don't.

And don't say, "yes, but you have to meet people where they are." Simply don't.

Also, don't misunderstand. This is not an argument for the truth of any of these premises.  Virtually all of my non-Catholic friends deny at least one of them. Indeed, for some Protestants at least, denial of, say, the first, is one of the things that makes them Protestant.

I'm only talking about Catholics who claim to believe all of them but because they are in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried, in fact must deny them.

And of course they know that.

Do you think Archbishop Cupich believes in the Real Presence? Yeah, sure he does. Eucharistic Adoration? In the seminaries that trained Cupich and his like they called it "cookie worship". Indeed, if you try to kneel to Christ's body and blood, as you would if you honestly believed it was really Christ's body and blood, then Cupich will bitterly snap at you. He becomes an old woman. Even if you're a teenage girl.

Archbishop Cupich believes in midnight basketball and gun control.

Cardinal Kasper doesn't give one golden bauble about the words of Paul the Apostle.

James Martin SJ doesn't believe in mortal sin. Come on, seriously. Does anyone here believe that he does? Anyone? Mortal sin is for the haters. Martin's thing is hating the haters. Martin is obsessed by hate. Consumed by it. And don't say he loves gays or any of that claptrap. If the Zeitgeist were homophobic, as it often has been and no doubt will be again, Martin would be hanging gays from lampposts and then smirking about how merciful that was. You know he would.

Block that.

And what of the Pope? Honestly I don't really know what he does or does not believe. Tragically, I'm not sure he does either.

As a Catholic, perhaps I should be angry with those who deny Catholic claims. But I'm not, or at least I'm not per se. I'm angry with Catholics who deny Catholic claims. They are the worst sort of dishonest, well, scum imaginable. Termites, they have been called. Too cowardly to come into the open; too filled with hatred to simply go away. They must spoil it for everyone. They must spoil it for us. They are unceasingly dedicated to eating away at the Church from the inside. And that's much worse than the damage any atheist would do.

Video Tuesday: Pope Francis and the Gypsies

Crowd of Gypsy children arrive to escort the Pope out of the hall

This Catholic News Service video is surely one of the oddest of his pontificate. It must be seen to be believed. The actual story was reported by the Daily Mail, among others.

"Hey Papa, would you like to meet my sister? Hey Papa, you may meet two of my sisters if you choose it. You no like my sisters? You no like nudie? Papa, I have cannelloni, spumoni, gelato. You want Hans Kung out-of-print? You want gold mirror to see your pope face anytime? You want us put curse on Edward Pentin? We get it for you, Papa. We get it."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

H.L. Mencken on the Traditional Mass

The two greatest American skeptics of a century or so ago--Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken--are famous for their anti-religious, anti-Christian and anti-Catholic posturing. Yet, in their I think sincere quest for righteousness and truth they were occasionally more reverent and spot on about religious things than many a faithful Catholic.

Twain penned one of the greatest biographies of Saint Joan of Arc. It has long been a feature of Catholic book clubs, and the otherwise cynical Twain counted it as his most important work.

Mencken defended the Traditional Mass.

I love Mencken. I own ten or so of his books, which is only about 3.5% (or whatever) of his output. Like Chesterton he was a journalist who wrote 10,000 words a day--most of them after three steins of beer and at least ten sausages.  When I am stranded on a desert island, I will finally read all of the Mencken and Chesterton that I own (if they wash up with me on shore). Or perhaps I will read them in Heaven.

Ignore Mencken's opinions on Nietzsche. He was wrong there. (It's a German thing and we're not supposed to understand.) And also ignore many of his wrong opinions on Christianity in general. But here he is on the Mass (from The Smart Set, 1923):
The Latin Church, which I constantly find myself admiring [!], despite its occasional astounding imbecilities [Ha!], has always kept clearly before it the fact that religion is not a syllogism, but a poem. It is accused by Protestant dervishes of withholding the Bible from the people. To some extent this is true; to some extent the church is wise; again to the same extent it is prosperous... 
Rome indeed has not only preserved the original poetry of Christianity; it has also made capital additions to that poetry -- for example, the poetry of the saints, of Mary, and of the liturgy itself. A solemn high mass is a thousand times as impressive, to a man with any genuine religious sense in him, as the most powerful sermon ever roared under the big top by Presbyterian auctioneer of God. In the face of such overwhelming beauty it is not necessary to belabor the faithful with logic; they are better convinced by letting them alone. 
Preaching is not an essential part of the Latin ceremonial. It was very little employed in the early church, and I am convinced that good effects would flow from abandoning it today, or, at all events, reducing it to a few sentences, more or less formal. In the United States the Latin brethren have been seduced by the example of the Protestants, who commonly transform an act of worship into a puerile intellectual exercise; instead of approaching God in fear and wonder these Protestants settle back in their pews, cross their legs, and listen to an ignoramus try to prove that he is a better theologian than the Pope. 
This folly the Romans now slide into. Their clergy begin to grow argumentative, doctrinaire, ridiculous. It is a pity. A bishop in his robes, playing his part in the solemn ceremonial of the mass, is a dignified spectacle; the same bishop, bawling against Darwin half an hour later, is seen to be simply an elderly Irishman with a bald head, the son of a respectable police sergeant in South Bend, Ind. Let the reverend fathers go back to Bach. If they keep on spoiling poetry and spouting ideas, the day will come when some extra-bombastic deacon will astound humanity and insult God by proposing to translate the liturgy into American, that all the faithful may be convinced by it.
I don't agree completely with the tenor of this. Catholicism has always been a religion of reason (though, Mencken would probably laugh at that) and it is a slander to say that it has withheld the Bible from the people. As well, of course, we should all bawl against Darwin.

But he gets much of it right. We go to the Altar of God to worship Him in awe, not to sell Him as a self-help scheme or, equally bad, pitch Him as a dippy hippy who likes to niggle us about sharing.

The creators of the New Mass designed a liturgy that was less than a puerile intellectual exercise. The New Mass is merely puerile, as childish as a camp meeting led by Mencken's caricature of a minister with sweaty shirtsleeves--but frumpier and not as charismatic.

If anything, it is the Modern Church that wants to keep the Bible from us, just as it wants to keep Christ from us.

Cupichism: the haunting fear that someone somewhere may be celebrating the Traditional Mass.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Ann Barnhardt: Who is the Hobbit? You Are!

For the faithful...

Amidst the chaos and despair of the Synod of Doom, a few good Catholics have written rousing and inspiring pieces.

One is Rise Thou that Sleepest by Radical Catholic/Matthew Karmel. Another is We must walk open-eyed into that trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves by Ann Barnhardt.

J.R.R. Tolkien famously said that The Lord of the Rings was not an allegory. But, damn it, it does get some real things so right. Read the full post (with Tolkien quotes and video) at What's up with the Synod?

You are the hobbit.

Here's the bulk of the text:
The Petition enjoining the faithful Synod Fathers to walk out of the clearly-fixed Synod was not drafted with the expectation of a glorious victory, culminating with Bergoglio, having submitted his resignation after accepting that the Synod Walkout was a vote of no-confidence, boarding a plane back to Buenos Aires for a life of prayer and penance, shriven and contrite. 
Ah… No. 
We know that our earthly numbers are minuscule relative to the Army of Orcs, the corrupted and twisted men of this age, pagans – both unbaptized and baptized. 
But what we are called to do in these dark days is to march on the Black Gate and refuse to parley – in Newspeak, “dialogue” – with them. 
We come not to treat with Sauron, faithless and accursed, but to set the terms, which are nothing less than this: total and unconditional surrender to Jesus Christ the Sovereign King. 
Knowing that the Freemasonic cult creed is the worship of man, and knowing full – well that the response to our terms will be total war – the throwing open of the Black Gate and the unleashing of the host of hell, both demons and men, upon us, we walk open-eyed into the trap, with courage, but small hope for ourselves. 
We are all ready to make ourselves “fools for Christ”, fighting a battle that we cannot win, because the battle was lost long ago. The battle was lost with the election of Bergoglio. The battle was lost with Roe v. Wade. The battle was lost with the advent of the pill and the near-universal disregarding of Humanae Vitae. The Battle was lost with the promulgation of the Novus Ordo Mass. The battle was lost with the promulgation of Dignitatis Humanae. The Battle was lost with no-fault divorce. The Battle was lost with the Protestant Revolt. 
But this little army still stands ready to march on the Black Gates. We are ready to make ourselves outcasts even among our own. We are ready to make ourselves unemployable and destitute. We are ready to have every scorn and calumny heaped upon us. And yes, eventually to die. But not this day. This day we fight. 
But why? 
Simply put, so that one little Hobbit might have a chance. By calling out these sodomitical wretches and heretics, by shining the light of Truth on their sleazy backroom dealings and their unctuous, lying propaganda, maybe one little hobbit might have a chance. 
Who is the “one little hobbit” that the entire host of hell is fixated upon, and who we, with our critiques and our satires and our mocking of the Enemy, are trying to buy time for, and who the enemies of Christ desperately want us to believe is already lost? 
Every. Human. Being. 
Who is the hobbit? You are. 
If, by our little actions here, we can plant the seeds of the Truth of Christ, like scattering mustard seeds, so that just one person, when heresy is proclaimed from Rome, which we know it will be; when desecration of the Eucharist is encouraged by Casa Santa Marta, and we know that it will be; when the Law of Non-contradiction is held up as a sign of black-hearted reprobation, and we know that it will be; and when Jesus Christ is expected to apologize to men for His previously Pharisaical and unevolved judgmentalism, and we know that He will be; perhaps just one person will be able to overcome the Cult of Bergoglio and say, “No. I know that is not true. I know the sound of The Good Shepherd’s voice, and that is not it.” 
We also know that we have an entire Army behind us, namely the entire host of the Church Triumphant. This is an Army which the Enemy forces give every indication that they do not believe in. 
Finally, we know that the One Little Hobbit for whom we fight is not alone. With him goes The True Suffering Servant, not some despicable, conniving counterfeit trying to usurp Him. 
And with that knowledge, we know that the War is not only winnable, but has been won for all eternity. 
And so we say, “Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Video Tuesday 2: I am that Jew

He could teach Cupich a thing or two.

No one will be saved but through Christ and His Church. That goes for all of us. However:

As far as God is concerned, they had a head start.

Remember that.

Via Bare Naked Islam.

Video Tuesday: Rob Roy Turns Traitor

Twenty years ago, Liam Neeson played a Catholic hero. Now he is playing an anti-Catholic scourge.

Previous to that he saved the lives of 1100 people from the Nazis. Now he's become a collaborator in a much larger holocaust.

Neeson just did a voice over for an Amnesty International commercial recommending the legalization of abortion in Ireland. See first video below.

The short piece drips anti-Christian and anti-Catholic hate.

Remember when Amnesty International stood for saving people?

The second video below contains one of the most moving scenes from Schindler's List.

You will always be Rob Roy and Oskar Schindler to me, Mr. Neeson.

Not just some dumb actor.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Who Killed Jacky Sutton?

She was no Islamophobe. Just a person. 

Jacky Sutton was the 50-year old Country Director for Iraq of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), a liberal NGO that provides support to independent journalists in crisis-torn countries. She was an ex-BBC journalist and long-time veteran of dangerous environments. Her predecessor was recently killed in a car bomb.

She died in a toilet in the Istanbul airport. Turkish media reported that she had just missed a connecting flight to Iraq. The well-travelled executive was depressed because she didn't have an extra $100 to cover a replacement flight (again according to Turkish media). So she walked into the women's restroom and hung herself by her bootlaces.

Air travel can be frustrating. Don't you just feel like hanging yourself sometimes?

Welcome to the new Islamic Turkey.

Where sudden suicide can happen to anyone.

Of course, it's possible that Jacky Sutton killed Jacky Sutton. It's also possible that the combined heads of the Turkish military were hoarding guns and ammunition in their bedroom closets in order to stage a coup, the Kurds bombed themselves to gain sympathy and Mossad regularly kidnaps healthy Turks to harvest their kidneys.

What did Jackie Sutton know?

From David Connett at the UK Independent (October 19):
Jacky Sutton: 'Suicide' of ex-BBC journalist called into question 
Sutton's body was found at Istanbul's Ataturk airport 
Friends and colleagues of a former BBC journalist found dead in a toilet at a Turkish Airport have said they have serious doubts that, as initial reports suggested, she committed suicide. 
Jacky Sutton’s employer called on 19 October for an “open and transparent” investigation into her death, while another friend urged an international rather than a local inquiry. 
The body of Ms Sutton, 50, a former BBC journalist, was found at Istanbul’s international airport. It was claimed she was hanging from boot laces and Turkish media reported the death as a suicide. 
She arrived at Ataturk Airport from London and had a two-hour wait for a connecting flight to Erbil in northern Iraq, which she apparently missed. It was reported that she became distressed at missing the flight because she did not have funds to pay for a new one. 
She was the Iraq country director for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), an organisation which supports journalism in crisis-hit countries. Anthony Borden of the IWPR questioned the circumstances of her death and called for an “open and transparent” investigation. 
“She was extremely bright, highly competent, and well able to handle herself in difficult environments, and she was universally loved. We are in total shock. I find this quick judgment being published almost the minute we learn of her death very impossible to understand... I’m not even sure the boots she was wearing even had laces,” Mr Borden said. 
“One can never know what is in someone’s heart and soul. But everything that everyone knew about Jacky was that she a very experienced professional. She had a very positive nature and outlook, and very significant work to get on with,” he added. “She had toys in her bag for the children of staff. The profile doesn’t strike me as right. I can’t get my head around it.” 
Ms Sutton was appointed to her role at the end of June following the death of her predecessor Ammar al-Shahbander, who was killed in a car bomb attack in Baghdad in May. She had been in London for a memorial service for Mr al-Shahbander last week and was returning to Erbil in Iraq via Istanbul. 
Mr Borden said Ms Sutton’s sister, a psychologist, would be travelling to Istanbul with an IWPR employee to meet with British and Turkish officials. The Foreign Office said it was “providing consular assistance” to her family. 
A number of colleagues expressed doubt about the inquiry. Jane Pearce, the World Food Programme representative for Iraq, tweeted: “Mourning my friend & colleague Jacky Sutton. Simply don’t believe the news reports.” 
Journalist and international development worker Rebecca Cooke tweeted: “An international not just local investigation is needed.” 
Sudipto Mukerjee, a country director with the UN Development Programme, wrote: “Very difficult to believe that my colleague in Iraq, staffer and seasoned traveller Jacky Sutton committed suicide.” 
Ms Sutton, who spoke five languages including basic Arabic, was divorced with no children. She worked for the BBC World Service between 1998 and 2000, reporting from Africa, the Middle East and London.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mahound's Paradise is Now on Twitter!

Tweet me, Muhammad!

We resisted for months. But finally we succumbed. Mahound's Paradise is now on Twitter.

Muhammad's kisser will now appear on more devices than ever before.

Follow at your own risk.

Here was my first tweet and reply:

The above is a joke, of course. But there is a serious point.

Our freedoms are being rapidly taken from us. And freedom of speech is dying if not in some ways already dead. In a number of contexts, posting the kisser of that mass-murdering pedophile on Twitter can cost you your job. If it doesn't kill you first.

Let's fight that. 

The plan is to use Twitter in moderation. If our presence on Twitter makes it easier to follow the blog, or enhances your reading experience, great! if you don't give a damn and wouldn't sign up for Twitter if your life depended on it, God bless you.

In any case, cheers, and Je Suis Charlie, everyone!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

10,000 Canadians Vote in Halloween Masks To Protest Pro-Sharia Voting Law


Scroll to the end for more pictures.

The grassroots Canadian political movement Voting With Covered Faces was formed to oppose, seriously but with a bit of humor, the Canadian's government's recent accommodation with aggressive Islam.

Muslims have claimed that the requirement to show one's face when voting violates their religious rights, and the craven authorities have gone along with it. So now you can wear a niqab or a burka when you vote and not be required to take it off or peel it back, if even for a moment.

Voting With Covered Faces insists that opposition to this is not anti-Muslim per se, which I think gets it right. It's not anti-Muslim to believe that no group, religious or otherwise, should be allowed special rights, exemptions or favors within the democratic process.

This story is (one again) via Bare Naked Islam.

From the Facebook site:
It is totally legal and permissible to vote with your face covered. You can wear a niqab, a burqa, a Halloween mask, or any other face covering at your leisure, even a bag from potatoes. All you need is two pieces of ID, and a solemn declaration as to your identity. 
We consider it an aberration that people can vote in Canada without having to reveal their faces at any point in time, so we are encouraging everyone to go out and vote with their faces covered, in protest, because this law really must be changed... 
WHEREAS we believe the exercise of democracy should be carried out in line with secular values. 
WHEREAS we believe religious symbols (encompassing all faiths) representative of inequality must not be tolerated within a society of equality such as ours. 
WHEREAS we are asking our elected officials to implement laws and set limits that reflect the common values we share and that built up our country. 
WE are asking for electors to be required to vote with their face uncovered. We are asking for the citizenship oath to be sworn with the face uncovered.To this end, we are inviting you to show up in your riding next October 19 and vote with your face covered with a veil of the niqab or burqa type or other face covering to draw attention to the fact that being allowed to vote with a face covering is ludicrous. 
The objective is to raise collective awareness for all, including our elected officials who are the people’s representatives. 
We are inviting you to take part in this peaceful and legal movement, calmly and respectfully... 
This event does not approve of, nor condemns, any religion or group. We are in favor of the democratic exercice in accordance with secular values; we denounce any religious symbol (encompassing all faiths) that represents inequality. 
Any racist speech/images/ videos that incite hate, propaganda, vulgar language, insults, discourse whether repetitive and/or considered offensive or degrading, will not be tolerated and will be promptly deleted by the administrators of this event...


Darth Vader

Evil Clown (for Mudabor)



Patheos blogger

Mossad agent 

Scary monster



Friday, October 16, 2015

Chuck Grassley Beats the Conspiracy: Pork Is Back In Federal Prisons

Or at least we hope that's all.

The interesting thing here is that Senator Grassley merely asked the government for evidence to back up some of the more questionable claims made by a spokesman for the Prison Bureau--such as that pork had for many years been the "lowest rated food" of prisoners or that pork had become "more expensive to buy." Instead of supplying the indicated reports and surveys, the government simply reversed itself. One wonders whether the initial claims weren't simply lies.

But in any case, for the almost 200,000 non-Halal observant federal prison inmates the most important thing is:

Bacon is back.

From the Washington Post* (the newspaper that first reported on the original ban): 
After a week of controversy surrounding its abrupt removal of pork dishes from the national menu for federal inmates, the government did an about-face Thursday and put pork roast back on the prison bill of fare. 
The Bureau of Prisons disclosed the decision to The Post hours after a Republican Senate leader expressed dismay at what he implied was a wasteful survey of inmates’ food preferences and a lack of transparency in the decision. 
“The pork industry is responsible for 547,800 jobs, which creates $22.3 billion in personal incomes and contributes $39 billion to the gross domestic product,” Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote in a letter Thursday to Bureau of Prisons Director Charles E. Samuels, Jr. 
“The United States is the world’s largest exporter of pork, and the third-largest producer of pork,” Grassley wrote, warning that the “unprecedented” decision to remove pork from federal prisons would “have consequences on the livelihoods of American citizens who work in the pork industry.” 
Grassley is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees the federal prison system. 
The new pork policy has affected 206,000 federal inmates since it started Oct. 1 with the new fiscal year. It was widely panned by, not surprisingly, the pork industry, a not-insignificant lobbying force in Washington. It was praised by the chicken and beef industries, natural competitors to pork. 
Observant Muslims do not eat pork, and Muslim groups feared a backlash from anti-Islam groups that could spin the decision into a case of the federal government acting under pressure from Muslims — and some did. 
Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau, could not explain what prompted the government’s quick turnaround. “I’m not cleared to say anything and I don’t have answers for you,” he said late Thursday. An explanation from senior prison officials could come Friday, he said. 
Ross had explained last week that based on annual surveys of inmates’ food preferences, pork lost its appeal in the prison system years ago. In the last two years, the menu had dropped from bacon, pork chops and sausages to just one dish: Pork roast, the entree now back on federal prison dining halls. 
Ross also blamed the ban on what he called the growing cost of pork. But Grassley was skeptical. He wrote: 
“According to a spokesman for the Bureau of Prisons, the decision was based on a survey of prisoners’ food preferences that reflected that pork has been the “lowest-rated food” by inmates for a number of years. 
To corroborate the validity of the claim that prisoners indicated a lack of interest in pork products, I am requesting copies of the prisoner surveys and responses that were used to support the determination to no longer serve pork in federal prisons. Additionally, the spokesman indicated that pork had been the lowest rated food, “for several years.” Please supply the surveys and responses dating back as far as prisoners may have indicated their dislike for pork products. In addition, please provide a line item description of the costs incurred to conduct each survey performed. 
The Bureau of Prisons’ spokesman indicated that pork was expensive to provide. Please provide any economic evaluations the Bureau of Prisons has relied on that detail the cost of pork as compared to beef, chicken, and non-meat products such as tofu and soy products.” 
The National Pork Producers Council, the Washington-based trade association that represents the nation’s hog farmers, had pledged last week that it would not “rule out any options to resolve this” and was busy formulating a strategy to fight the prison pork ban. 
Federal officials had said that the ban on pork was not influenced by objection from Muslim inmates. But some Muslim groups reported receiving angry e-mails and social media posting following the decision. 
“That this manufactured issue is even a controversy,” Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said in an e-mailed statement, “is a clear indicator of the rise in Islamophobic conspiracy theories fueled by those who seek to demonize Islam and to marginalize American Muslims based on bigotry and misinformation.”  
"Forget Halal. I asked for a hacksaw."

*Via Bare Naked Islam. The two blog pictures are also from that post.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

URGENT: Catholic Faithful Petition Bishops to Walk Out of Synod

Christ died for us. Who will speak for Him? 

Concerned Catholics have produced an open letter to those faithful Synod Fathers asking them to walk out on the Synod if it maintains its current direction.

Esteemed Synod Fathers, 
We thank you for your witness to and defense of the truth of Matrimony and Family proclaimed by the Church, in fidelity to our Lord Jesus Christ. As the Ordinary Synod on the Family continues its work, confusion and scandal spread among the faithful. Catholics are concerned that some members of this body of apostolic successors, under the guidance of the Pope, are seeking to endorse homosexual relationships, effectively question the indissolubility of marriage, and permit the distribution of the Holy Eucharist to the unrepentant. 
The current Instrumentum Laboris contains language in certain sections (§ 122 (52); §§ 124-125 (53); §§ 130-132 (55-56)) that is completely unacceptable from an orthodox Catholic point of view regarding divorce and attempted remarriage, homosexuality, and contraception. We have witnessed with profound sorrow the ongoing development of this crisis, beginning with last year’s extraordinary session in October, 2014, making it difficult to have confidence in the outcome of the Synod. 
The irregular changes to the rules governing the current synodal process practically assure that the existing Instrumentum Laboris will be largely adopted. This revised process also appears to reject openness, transparency, and collegiality, and the committee drafting the final document of the Synod seemingly rejects any substantive input from the Synod fathers. We note with regret that the highly visible and widely adopted filial appeals and open letters have not been acknowledged, and have produced no discernable amendment by the Synod organizers. Several high-ranking Cardinals have brought concerns to the Pope, only to have them summarily dismissed as unworthy of consideration – with unfair accusations against those who are legitimately concerned that their voices will not be heard. 
We fear, evidenced by all of the above, that the Ordinary Synod will attempt to recommend changes in teaching and pastoral practice that are contrary to the Gospel of Christ and the constant teaching of the Church on the sacred mystery of Catholic marriage and the nature of human sexuality. This would pose a clear and present danger to souls. 
The Code of Canon Law 212 §3 states that the Catholic faithful “have the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church. They have the right also to make their views known to others of Christ's faithful…” 
Therefore, we faithfully request that each and every faithful Catholic bishop at the Synod, having made every effort to resist these attacks on Christ’s teaching, if its direction remains unaltered and those faithful voices remain unheard, do his sacred duty and publicly retire from any further participation in the Synod before its conclusion so as to prevent greater scandal and confusion. 
Those bishops who remain as participants, accepting this process and its outcome, must certainly bear responsibility for whatever confusion and sin may result among the Catholic faithful from what would be the disastrous fruits of the Synod.
I urgently ask you to consider signing this petition and to spread it as far and wide as possible. Let the Synod Fathers hear us!!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reporters Whoop and Cheer as Bernie Sanders Says Reporters Shouldn't Be Reporters

"Joey, have you ever sucked on The Man's teat?"

What do mainstream American reporters and Bernie Sanders have in common?

They style themselves as speaking Truth to Power when in reality they are sheep bleating what they think the establishment wants to hear.

Bernie, you're no real socialist (bless them). You are a fraud and a stooge.

CNN Debate: Press Room EXPLODES IN CHEERS as Bernie Sanders Demands Media Stop Reporting on Hillary’s Email Scandal (by Kristinn Taylor Oct 13th, 2015): 
Reporters in the press room at the Democratic Party presidential debate held in Las Vegas Tuesday night exploded in cheers after Sen. Bernie Sanders emphatically called for the media to stop reporting on the Hillary Clinton email controversy. 
Two reporters in the press room, Hunter Walker of Yahoo News and Dave Rubin of Ora TV posted to Twitter the reaction of their fellow reporters. 
“The entire press room just exploded when Bernie said that about Hillary’s emails. #DemDebate” 
“Audible clapping and laughter in the press filing room after Bernie Sanders’ “enough of the emails moment.”” 
“Let me say something that may not be great politics, but I think the secretary is right, and that is the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damned emails! 
“The middle class, Anderson (Anderson Cooper, a member of the billionaire Vanderbilt family, and the debate host), and let me say something about the media as well. I go around the country talk to a whole lot of people, middle class in this country is collapsing. We have twenty-seven million people living in poverty. We have massive wealth and income inequality. Our trade policies have cost us millions of decent jobs. The American people want to know whether we’re going to have a democracy or an oligarchy as a result of Citizens United. 
“Enough of the emails! Let’s talk about the real issues facing America!” 
Hillary Clinton warmly shook hands with Sanders after his ringing defense of her email scandal. . .

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Conspiracy Continues: Pork Banned From Federal Prisons (NOT A PARODY)

Sorry Porky. The U.S. Government just banned you.

We've reported on this sort of thing before. See, for example, here.

Before reprinting the recent source article from the Washington Post, let me lay out a few facts:

Perhaps 15% of the U.S. Federal prison population is Muslim, which is about fifteen times greater than the proportion of Muslims in the general population. To some extent this may reflect inmates becoming Muslim behind bars, as it is estimated that 80% of all prison religious conversions are to Islam.

The Jewish proportion of prisoners is much smaller, especially at maximum-security federal prisons. Indeed, many sources report that the pattern of Jewish incarceration reflects what some might see as the "Jewish stereotype"--the small number of Jews that there are in federal and state prisons tend to be in lower-security accommodations for those guilty of tax evasion or other financial crimes.

One difficulty in estimating the numbers comes from the trend for some prisoners to identify as religious--especially and notably Jewish--in order to get certain perks, such as being allowed to grow beards or eat kosher food. One reason why someone might want to do this can be seen in the fact that the average day's worth of kosher food costs the prison system five times the normal price.

If you were forcibly served meals worth $1.50 a day, think how you might like to move up to meals worth $7.50 a day.

Here is a sample 2016 Federal Prison menu for the week:
No bacon for you. But enjoy your margarine pat.

It is unclear what effect banning pork will have on Muslim and Jewish dietary choices in prison. As the article states, granting special food options to certain religious has a long and court-approved history. And obviously, for both Muslims and Jews, there is more to their dietary restrictions than not eating pork.

My own personal view is that the religious beliefs of prisoners should be accommodated, within reason, though with the application of the proper skepticism. It seems the least that should be done, whatever I or anyone else might think of the merits (or lack of them) of the religions concerned.

But it should be noted that in the current case and similar cases, Muslims usually push first for accommodation and then for normalization. According to the article below, the Council of American-Islamic Relations has applauded the elimination of pork from the menus of all prisoners (including those 85% who are not Muslim). I know of no Jewish group that has done so.

Jews want to be left alone. Muslims want to take over. Or so it seems. But maybe that's just my Islamophobia talking.

By Lisa Rein, October 9:
Finally, the government has decided to eliminate pork — from the menu in federal prisons 
The nation’s pork producers are in an uproar after the federal government abruptly removed bacon, pork chops, pork links, ham and all other pig products from the national menu for 206,000 federal inmates. 
The ban started with the new fiscal year last week. 
The Bureau of Prisons, which is responsible for running 122 federal penitentiaries and feeding their inmates three meals a day, said the decision was based on a survey of prisoners’ food preferences: 
They just don’t like the taste of pork. 
“Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?” asked Edmond Ross, a spokesman for the prison bureau. “Pork has been the lowest-rated food by inmates for several years,” It also apparently got more expensive for the government to buy, although he did not provide specifics. 
The National Pork Producers Council isn’t buying it. “I find it hard to believe that a survey would have found a majority of any population saying, ‘No thanks, I don’t want any bacon,'” said Dave Warner, a spokesman for the Washington-based trade association, which represents the nation’s hog farmers. 
“We’re going to find out how this came about and go from there,” Warner said. “We wouldn’t rule out any options to resolve this.” He said the association “is still formulating our strategy” to reverse the prison decision, which the industry first learned about Monday when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram called for comment. 
The pork industry produces 24 billion pounds a year of pork products, from tenderloin to bacon, its most popular product. About a quarter of that is exported. 
Warner said pork is healthy and economical, especially for a big buyer like the federal government. “Not to throw beef under the bus, but we cost a lot less than beef.” 
“We’re nutritious,” he said. “A boneless pork chop or loin is a very healthy alternative to lots of other foods. If you compare a pork tenderloin to a rib eye steak and a boneless chicken breast, we come out pretty well.” 
But Ross said that based on annual surveys of inmates’ food preferences, pork lost its luster years ago. To wit: In the last two years, the federal prison menu dropped to just two pork products, he said. 
“And we were paying more than what we’d like to pay,” Ross said. 
“People are more health conscious these days,” he said. “Some people choose to be vegetarian or vegan. That’s their preference.” As of last week, the prison menu had added an “economically viable” turkey bacon substitute. 
Incarcerated pork lovers still have an option: The prison commissary, a convenience store that sells packaged pork rinds and precooked bacon. But they have to pay. 
Observant Muslims and Jews are forbidden to eat pork, and the prison system has long made accommodations for them by providing alternatives to pork and halal and kosher foods. Ross declined to say whether there has been an increase in Muslim or Jewish inmates in recent years and whether that may have factored into the survey responses. 
“In general we welcome the change because it’s facilitating the accommodation of Muslim inmates,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the country’s largest Muslim civil rights advocacy group. “We hope it’s not an indication of an increasing number of Muslims in the prison system.” 
Hooper predicted that anti-Islam groups would spin the decision into a case of the federal government acting under pressure from Muslims. 
“This is just the kind of thing that drives them crazy,” he said. “It will stoke the fires of Islamophobia based on the usual conspiracy theories.”