Monday, March 19, 2018

Litany to the Holy Heart of St. Joseph

A rare litany to the Holy Heart of St. Joseph, in honor of his feast day. Share

McCabe and Comey

From The Hill:
McCabe is accused of misleading investigators about allegedly giving information to a former Wall Street Journal reporter about the investigation of Hillary Clinton and the Clinton family’s charitable foundation. McCabe asserts in his post-firing statement that he not only had authority to “share” that information to the media but did so with the knowledge of “the director.” The FBI director at the time was Comey.

 “I chose to share with a reporter through my public affairs officer and a legal counselor,” McCabe stated. “As deputy director, I was one of only a few people who had the authority to do that. It was not a secret, it took place over several days, and others, including the director, were aware of the interaction with the reporter.”

If the “interaction” means leaking the information, then McCabe’s statement would seem to directly contradict statements Comey made in a May 2017 congressional hearing. Asked if he had “ever been an anonymous source in news reports about matters relating to the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation” or whether he had “ever authorized someone else at the FBI to be an anonymous source in news reports about the Trump investigation or the Clinton investigation,” Comey replied “never” and “no.” (Read more.)
Meanwhile, from The Federalist:
 Newly discovered text messages obtained by The Federalist reveal two key federal law enforcement officials conspired to meet with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) judge who presided over the federal case against Michael Flynn. The judge, Rudolph Contreras, was recused from handling the case just days after accepting the guilty plea of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser who was charged with making false statements to federal investigators.
The text messages about Contreras between controversial Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lawyer Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the senior FBI counterintelligence official who was kicked off Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, were deliberately hidden from Congress, multiple congressional investigators told The Federalist. In the messages, Page and Strzok, who are rumored to have been engaged in an illicit romantic affair, discussed Strzok’s personal friendship with Contreras and how to leverage that relationship in ongoing counterintelligence matters. (Read more.)

The Family and the Fight Against Obesity

From Return to Order:
A strong family life offers much needed order to the lives of children. Fathers and mothers can address not only avoiding unhealthy attachments to foods but also the culture’s call to pleasure through materialism and experiences. When we line up to purchase fast-food, junk food and snack food in abundance, we also, as a society, appear to feed our intellect, our spiritual and emotional lives with cheapened missives that emanate from the mass media marketing campaigns that drive our materialistic culture. That is why the family can be an essential shield against this culture. There are all sorts of ways in which parents can work against some of the influences that affect obesity among children.

Disconnecting the TV from the networks and reserving it for controlled DVDs with content that edifies the soul is one significant strategy. Parents might discourage those tight and unforgiving schedules that give way to pressures that are threatening our family structures, our own mental health and that of our children. They can keep out poor quality entertainment in the form of bad novels, violent and sensual video games, hyped-up movies and reality TV as a means towards depressurizing our lives.

All these things have made us ill by malnourishing our minds and spirits, leaving us spiritually ill, and emotionally empty, unable to find spiritual or emotional solace in our frantic preoccupations. Taking measures in these fields, will influence eating habits. It is interesting that the emptiness and dreariness of this generation’s outlook on life matches the colorless dinner plates they choose to consume. The family that is Christ-centered offers protection against society’s assault on hope. (Read more.)

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Helena Modjeska as Marie Antoinette, 1899

Helena Modjeska was a celebrated Polish-American actress. More about her HERE. Share

Who Will Banish the Madmen in Education?

From Return to Order:
The modern mantra is that all students need to attend university. Thus, young people continue to enter colleges in droves. As a result, they pile up massive amounts of debt, which they owe mainly to the federal government. Such student debt now stands at an astounding $1.4 trillion and growing. The problem is that more and more graduates fail to pay back their loans. Federal loan programs can only work on the assumption that they will be paid back. In fact, interest collected on these loans has always been more than enough to cover costs. For decades, the government has even shown a surplus — a rare feat these days from any government agency. But the federal loan programs are now projected to lose tens of billions of dollars. And young people are getting the blame. (Read more.)

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Brian Boru and the Battle of Clontarf

Battle of Clontarf, 1014
Brian Boru
 From Live Science:
The famous Irish king, Brian Boru, is widely credited with defeating the Vikings at the Battle of Clontarf more than 1,000 years ago. But not everyone heaps praise on the king. For the past 300 years, historians have cast doubt on whether Boru's main enemies were the Vikings, or his own countrymen. Perhaps, say these so-called revisionists, the Battle of Clontarf was actually a domestic feud — that is, a civil war — between different parts of Ireland.

To settle the matter, researchers analyzed a medieval text used by both traditionalists and revisionists to bolster their arguments. The results are a boon for Boru: The hostilities revealed in the text largely indicate that the Irish fought in an international war against the Vikings, although Irish-on-Irish conflict is also described in the manuscripts, according to the new study, published online today (Jan. 24) in the journal Royal Society Open Science. [Fierce Fighters: 7 Secrets of Viking Culture]

The medieval Irish text, known as Cogadh Gaedhel re Gallaibh ("The War of the Gaedhil with the Gaill"), describes how an army led by Boru challenged the Viking invaders, culminating in the Battle of Clontarf in 1014. The Vikings weren't new to Ireland. Viking raids against the Emerald Isle began in A.D. 795. In the decades that followed, the Vikings took over Dublin and built camps that evolved into the settlements of Cork, Limerick, Waterford and Wexford, said study lead author Ralph Kenna, a professor of theoretical physics at Coventry University, in the United Kingdom. But Boru wanted a unified Ireland, and the Vikings and various regional kingdoms stood in his way. Boru achieved his goal of unification in 1011, but merely a year later, the province of Leinster and Viking-controlled Dublin rose against him, leading to the Battle of Clontarf. (Boru's army defeated Leinster and the Vikings, but victory came at price for Boru, as he was killed at Clontarf.) (Read more.)
Brian Boru rallies the Irish

We're All Fascists Now

It goes without saying that I completely disagree with characterizing Trump as a fascist. From The New York Times:
Why are so many demonstrably non-fascist people being accused of fascism? 


Partly, as the writer David French and others have pointed out, this ritual we keep witnessing of an in-group wielding its power against a perceived heretic seems to come from a deep human desire for a sense of belonging and purpose. Organized religion may be anathema on the political left, but the need for the things religion provides — moral fervor, meaning, a sense of community — are not. Partly, too, it is the result of a lack of political proportion and priority....

But it is also a concerted attempt to significantly redraw the bounds of acceptable thought and speech. By tossing people like Mary Beard and Christina Hoff Sommers into the slop bucket with the likes of Richard Spencer, they are attempting to place their reasonable ideas firmly outside the mainstream. They are trying to make criticism of identity politics, radical Islam and third-wave feminism, among various other subjects, verboten. For even the most minor transgressions, as in the case of Professor Beard, people are turned radioactive.

There are consequences to all this “fascism” — and not just the reputational damage to those who are smeared, though there is surely that. The main effect is that these endless accusations of “fascism” or “misogyny” or “alt-right” dull the effects of the words themselves. As they are stripped of meaning, they strip us of our sharpness — of our ability to react forcefully to real fascists and misogynists or members of the alt-right. (Read more.)

Ireland’s Rise in Demonic Activity

The exorcists have been busy. No, it's not a joke. From Patti Armstrong:
One sign is the growing pro-abortion mood in Ireland. This May, the traditionally pro-life country, will have a referendum for the repeal of the Irish Constitution’s Eight Amendment which recognizes unborn babies as human beings. Ireland’s prime minister has declared he will campaign to have it repealed. The devil makes war on God’s creation through the wombs of mothers by influencing people to push for abortion.

The devil is both hidden and influencing people and harassing some of them. In The Irish Catholic, Fr. Pat Collins, a renowned exorcist, said that in recent years, demonic activity has risen exponentially. He has called on Church leaders to appoint a team of exorcists to cope with what he sees as a rising tide of evil in the country.

Father Collins reported that he is “inundated almost daily with desperate people seeking his help to deal with what they believe to be demonic possession and other evil goings on.” People are claiming to have ghostly encounters, being pulled from their beds, and even full-blown possession. (Read more.)