Friday, August 26, 2016

Feser, True God, Mohammed, "Religion of Peace", Spencer, and Mgr. Swetland

More, (and a very important "more"), on the Mgr. Swetland/Robert Spencer disagreement, this from Ed Feser, a prominent Thomist and philosopher.

But first, a word from your humble(d) blogger.  Feser maintains, successfully to my mind, that in fact, Allah and the God of Israel and Christianity are, in fact, the same God. is perfectly coherent to say that Muslims are “importantly” and “crucially” wrong precisely because they are referring to the very same thing Christians are when they use the word “God,” and that they go on to make erroneous claims about this referent.  That the errors are “important” or “crucial” is not by itself sufficient to prevent successful reference.  And since Muslims worship the referent in question, it follows that it also is not by itself sufficient to prevent them from worshipping the same God as Christians....

There is a lot more on that question in Feser's post linked here.

That said, let's move to Feser's thoughts on Mgr. Swetland and Robert Spencer.

Catholic writer Robert Spencer’s vigorous criticisms of Islam have recently earned him the ire of a cleric who has accused him of heterodoxy....

That cleric is Mgr. Swetland.

...Swetland cites a number of positive remarks about Islam to be found in Vatican II’s Nostra Aetate and in the statements of several recent popes.  These include remarks by Pope Francis to the effect that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.” ...[In fact], it is na├»ve and dishonest to insist a priori that a fair-minded and dispassionate evaluation of Islam simply must result in the conclusion that on any “authentic” interpretation, Islam is peaceful and compatible with the modern Western political order.

[Swetland] is right to reject the erroneous minimalist view that holds that as long as a teaching is not proposed infallibly, Catholics are free to dissent from it.  However, there is also an opposite extreme error of a maximalist sort, according to which Catholics are bound to assent to virtually anything a pope says that is even remotely connected with matters of faith and morals.  That is simply not the case. ...

The heart of the matter is here:

...Catholics are obliged to assent, specifically, to teaching concerning “matters of faith and morals” (emphasis added).  The Code of Canon Law, which Swetland also quotes, makes exactly the same qualification. ...Questions about the nature of Islam and the content of its doctrines simply do not fall into either one of these categories.  Islam is not only a religion distinct from Catholicism, but arose six centuries after what Catholicism regards as the close of public revelation at the time of the apostles.  In no way, then, from the point of view of Catholicism, can Islam represent a genuine revelation from God.  Hence determining what counts as “authentic Islam” is in no way a part of the Church’s task of handing on or interpreting the deposit of faith....[Emphasis in the original]

(The above also refutes a drive-by commenter in my first post about the affair.)

There is a lot more.  Feser is an excellent teacher, logician, and Catholic, and his post demonstrates all of that very well indeed.  Read it all!


The EpiPen Co-Incidence: Another (D) Family

Just co-incidence that the CEO of Mylan, the price-gouging owner of EpiPen, happens to be the daughter of a (D) U.S. Senator.

Just co-incidence that re-impoting EpiPen is a Federal crime.  Yes, you can buy them in Europe, over-the-counter, for about $20.00 each.  But if you do, and bring them to the US, you will go to Leavenworth, or another Federal graybar hotel.

Repeat after me:  There Is No Such Thing As "The Establishment."  Repeat it again, and again, and again.

The Democrat Money-Laundering Racket

Well, yes, it's money-laundering.  But not to worry!!  No prison coming up.  After all, they're Democrats.  Public officials and the like.

And they own the whore-dog Comey.

To Evers, Teachers are Indentured Servants

This is the mind of the plantation-owners.

...Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Superintendent Tony Evers told the audience he’s not happy with competition for talent between school districts.
“In addition, especially in this part of the world, and I know you don’t want to hear it, after Act 10, the ability of districts to poach other teachers,”...

Yah.  So if the North Cheesehead Schools hire Sue Teacher, then the North Cheesehead plantation  "owns" her in Evers' mind.  South Cheddarhead may not hire her away from there.

"Indentured servant" is a very fancy way of saying "property" ya'know.  Does Evers have the Stars and Bars hanging somewhere in his office?

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Soros Buying Bishops, Too?

We're all aware that George Soros's Open Society Foundation bears watching.  Much of what he espouses is globaloney and likely to be deleterious to the US.  

It's also very good at propaganda, as you'll see here:

...billionaire globalist George Soros - one of Hilary Clinton's top donors - paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to "shift[ing] national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign." The funds were allocated in April 2015 and the report on their effectiveness suggests that successful achievements included, “Buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

Yah, well.  That 'economic/racial justice' stuff is the story Soros & Co. want you to hear.  Sounds really nice, eh?

The other side of that story was that the US Bishops were lobbied to 'pipe down about abortion.'  And it worked, mostly.

...The Soros group was pleased with the result of their campaign and saw statements by various bishops against presidental candidates who are using "fearmongering" - likely a reference to the GOP lineup, and perhaps Trump specifically - as one outcome of their efforts....the summary report says their funding was helpful to counter “anti-gay rhetoric” in the media. The “efficacy of the media campaign can be seen in the team’s ability to react to and counter the anti-gay rhetoric following the Kim Davis story...

Most important:

...The grant specifically targeted the ‘pro-family’ agenda, redirecting it from defending marriage to being concerned with income equality....

Names?  No problem!

 ...two US bishops stand out as champions of the move. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy has repeatedly stressed changing the Church’s priorities and has had the backing of Pope Francis’ ‘favored son,’ Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich....

From all indications (not just the Soros connection) +Cupich is a worthy successor to Cdl. Bernardin.

The Long War--now about 2,000 years old--continues.

"Let It Burn" Becomes "Nuke It" to Bannon

A very interesting piece.

I met Steve Bannon—the executive director of who’s now become the chief executive of the Trump campaign, replacing the newly resigned Paul Manafort—at a book party held in his Capitol Hill townhouse in early 2014...we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

Well, that sets him apart.

...“Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”...

A considerable task, eh?

We're not un-sympathetic, of course.  The level of corruption, self-dealing, and disloyalty to the country and its 'flyover States' occupants is shocking.  You don't hear the term "the national interest" from ANY Party leader these days for a reason:  they don't give a damn about it.

Sowell, normally a very wise man, plays the Establishment card very well:

 ...Thomas Sowell had a column in the National Review Online, in which the conservative economist opposed the tactics employed by Ted Cruz in shutting down the government. Cruz’s tactics in opposing Obamacare, Sowell wrote, “undermines the election chances of the only political party that has any chance of undoing the disasters that Barack Obama has already inflicted on the nation. Later that week, Sowell wrote that “Jeopardizing the reelection of current Republican senators is an act of utter irresponsibility, a high risk with zero benefits to anyone except Ted Cruz—and the Democrats.”...

As a matter of fact, the last "shutdown" of import resulted in the election of far more (R) members of Congress, Senators, and State/local governments than ever before.  It was "the wave".  A guy as smart as Sowell should know better.

Maybe Bannon is right.  Don't just let it burn.  Nuke it.

HT:  Sykes

That Public-Employee Pension? It's a Nuclear Bomb.

The State of Illinois taxpayers will be the first--but not only--to get hit by fallout.

Illinois’s largest public pension agrees with Bill Gross’s admonishment that it’s time to face up to the reality of lower returns and reduce assumptions about what funds can make off stocks and bonds.
Fund managers that have been counting on returns of 7 percent to 8 percent may need to adjust that to around 4 percent, Gross, ... said during an Aug. 5 interview on Bloomberg TV....

What does that mean to the taxpayer-type?

...We conservatively assume that public pensions are currently $2.0 trillion underfunded ($4.5 trillion of assets for $6.5 trillion of liabilities) even though we've seen estimates that suggest $3.5 trillion or more might be more appropriate.  We then adjusted the return on asset assumption down from the 7.5% used by most pensions to the 4.0% suggested by Mr. Gross and found that true public pension underfunding could be closer to $5.5 trillion, or over 2.5x more than current estimates. ...


....According to a Monday memo from a top [Illinois Governor] Rauner aide, the Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) board could (or rather, should) decide at its meeting this week to lower the assumed investment return rate, warning that this move "would automatically boost Illinois' annual pension payment."

"If the (TRS) board were to approve a lower assumed rate of return taxpayers will be automatically and immediately on the hook for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in higher taxes or reduced services," Michael Mahoney, Rauner's senior advisor for revenue and pensions, wrote to the governor’s chief of staff, Richard Goldberg....

Yes.  Taxpayers will make up the difference with payable-right-now CASH.

Get your Vaseline ready; there are lots of Wisconsin pension plans with the same little problem.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

RoJo, You Had ONE Job

Yah, it's a meme.  But you know what?  It fits.

...Republicans are heading to November’s White House loss for one overarching reason. They decided to do nothing controversial, to play it safe, and to make sure, above all else, that they were not disliked. The result is a party that was perceived by many of its early tea party supporters as cowardly, unwilling to hold Barack Obama accountable, and too beholden to special interests instead of willing to keep promises...

And it won't be just the White House.

Remember RoJo's Madison speech at the Tea Party rally?  Yah, I do.  I was there.  RoJo told everyone there that he had only ONE ambition:  to dump ObozoCare.

One job, RoJo.

...I remember when John Cornyn threatened a government shutdown over the debt ceiling. How dare the party faithful think he really intended to fight. I remember Mitch McConnell telling voters that if you gave them the Senate they’d stop executive amnesty. There were no footnotes about vetoes and overrides or plans to punt to the federal courts. There were, however, a series of moving goal posts designed to obfuscate, walk back, and minimize every campaign promise made...

Maybe Trump will pull it off.  But I don't know about RoJo.

Republicans in Congress over the past two years have fought on nothing, even though they were elected to fight on everything. - See more at:

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Roger Stone Marries Jeh Johnson (!?!)

Roger Stone is a notorious dirtbag political 'fixer.'  Jeh Johnson is a notorious (D) hanger-on/lawyer.

Johnson now proposes to Federalize elections because there is 'some danger' of vote manipulation.  Note well:  there is no evidence of such.  The fact that a notorious lawyer/(D) hanger-on is proposing to institute Federal control over State processes is .....ahhh.....curious, indeed.

But he has help!!  Roger Stone, the dirtbag--and Trump backer--has found vote manipulation!

As someone with great sentimental attachment to the Republican Party, as I joined as the party of Goldwater, both parties have engaged in voting machine manipulation. Nowhere in the country has this been more true than Wisconsin, where there are strong indications that Scott Walker and the Reince Priebus machine rigged as many as five elections including the defeat of a Walker recall election.

Stone is nuts.  Johnson is malevolent.  That's about the only difference.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mgr. Swetland, Islamic "Peace", Robert Spencer, and Common Sense

Earlier we referred to a high-stakes debate between Mgr. Swetland and Robert Spencer in which the Monsignor holds that Spencer's concerns about Islam are (in effect) endangering Spencer's eternal salvation.  Mgr. Swetland (and an anonymous commenter on my first post) propose that the Pope(s) has the authority to define Islam as a "religion of peace."

Well, maybe.  More likely:  maybe not.

....Fr. Swetland is a dissenter from common sense. The pages of history, the daily news, and Islam’s sacred texts all attest to the fact that Islam is not a religion of peace. Or, to quote the Ayatollah Khomeini, “Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those are witless.” Khomeini was an Ayatollah Usma, a “Grand Sign of God”—an honor bestowed only on the most learned religious leaders....

The larger problem for Mgr. Swetland (and the Church) is here:

...Church authorities are engaged in what amounts to a cover-up of Islam’s aggressive nature, and Msgr. Swetland is a prime example of this ecclesiastical determination to put a positive spin on everything Islamic. But the stakes involved in doing so are extremely high. As I wrote last week, “as the gap widens between what Church officials say about Islam and what ordinary Catholics can see with their own eyes, the credibility of the Church may once again come into question as it did during the sex abuse scandals.”...

Chesterton observed that in the end, the Church is 'the church of common sense.'  Mgr. Swetland would have it otherwise?

Let me be clear:  no Catholic is allowed to judge the state of the souls of others.  But every Catholic is allowed to judge the actions of others.  Catholics are also allowed to judge the writings of others, including those of Mahomet.  Islam is, indeed, a heresy.  And what flows from that heresy is murder.

HT:  Canon 212

Obozo Tramples Homeless. Easy Targets!

Since the homeless don't represent any sort of electoral threat, the Progressive Hive stamps all over them.

Barack Obama is set to finalize a federal rule requiring many women’s shelters to admit men who identify as “transgender,” potentially placing abused women and children at risk of being victimized again.

If enacted, all homeless shelters – including battered women’s shelters – that receive federal funding would have to allow people to use the homeless shelter of the sex with which they identify, regardless of their appearance, anatomy, or the “complaints of other shelter residents.”...

Wait, wait!  It gets better!

...David Stacy, government affairs director at the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT lobbying group, said the regulation is necessary to preserve the mental health of transgender people. "If you're a transgender woman and you walk into a homeless shelter and they treat you like a man, it's traumatizing,” he told The Hill....

(Methinks Little David Stacy has never taken a load of buckshot in the chest.  That is "traumatizing.")

The insanity could be a result of syphilis.  That would fit, too.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Chant Revolution in Milwaukee

Lo and behold!

Two western parishes in the Milwaukee Archdiocese have announced that they will launch Gregorian Chant choirs (scholae) beginning this Fall.  Those would be St. Mary's (Visitation of the BVM) in Elm Grove and St. Jerome's in Oconomowoc.

It remains to be seen whether either will be successful, and what the programs will bring to the Masses in those parishes, of course.

In discussing this with a friend, he was a bit skeptical, saying that perhaps all this is merely 'fashionable.' 

My response:  So What?  It's about time that what is right is fashionable.

Trump's Foreign Policy: "A" Grade

A summary of the speech can be found here.  This is perhaps the best thing that The Donald has done during the entire campaign.

Surprise! It's the Communists!

Seems like the riots in Milwaukee were assembled and detonated by the Communist Party branch in Chicago.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "F.I.B.", eh?

Monday, August 15, 2016

Spencer v. Mgr Swetland: Papal Authority in Question?

There are several mid-length essays linked to the lead item.  All of them should be read.

In brief:  Robert Spencer, a Catholic deacon and proprietor of the JihadWatch site, debated Mgr. Swetland.  Following the debate, Mgr. Swetland issued a warning to Spencer, saying that statements of the Pope (which in this case include JPII, B-16, and Francis, not to mention VII's Nostra Aetate) affirming that Mohammedanism is a 'religion of peace' demand 'religious assent of mind and will' from Catholics.

In so doing, Mgr. Swetland elevated this question to one which is far more important to Catholics than a disagreement about the weather or presidential politics--in effect, he has told Spencer that Spencer's disagreement is a grave threat to the salvation of Spencer's soul, tantamount to denying the doctrine of the Assumption.


I think Spencer has the better of the argument here:

...Msgr. Swetland seems to think that affirming that Islam is a religion of peace is a matter of morals, as that is what the bulk of his quotations below are about....But is the affirmation that Islam is a religion of peace really a matter of Catholic faith or morals? I don’t see how: it’s a statement about the teachings of a different religion altogether. Is the content of the Buddhist or Hindu faith also a matter of Catholic morals? My contention is that the statements about Islam by the Second Vatican Council and recent Popes are not matters of faith or morals, and so do not fall within the realm of those matters upon which Catholics must assent to the statements of Popes and bishops....

It is one thing for the Pope to define Catholic faith and morals.  It is another thing entirely for a Pope to define Moslem faith and morals.  Spencer maintains that no Pope has the ability--or authority--to define Muslim belief, thus none of them can bind Catholics to believe an assertion that Mohammedanism is a 'religion of peace.'

This bears watching.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Fires and Riots in MKE

The question is not 'whether it started.'

The question is 'whether it will end here.'

There's way too much fog of war to quickly determine if this was a good shoot; the body-cam will tell the tale.

What's interesting--in a bad way--is how fast the rioters got to the scene and lit up a few cars and buildings.  One suspects that the real troublemakers were merely waiting for an event--ANY event--so they could escalate.

One can hope that last night was the end of it.  But the State Fair is still running and the Fair had troubles a few years back.

P.S.:  that gas station on Burleigh/Sherman was in the news, not in a good way, a few weeks back.  Clearly, the place was targeted.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Paul Ryan Should Explain This, But He Won't

The local and national pundits have made it clear:  Paul Ryan is their guy, period.  They never ask him any tough questions, and never, never, never, bring up Stupid Ryan Tricks.

(The above is not to be taken as a post-mortem endorsement of Ryan's eccentric opponent, by the way.)

Anyhow, Ryan's (R) majority in the House--with Ryan as Budget Chair, mind you--sent gobs of extra money to a lunatic asylum known as the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Education.

Think any of the lickspittle sycophants will raise the question with Ryan?

Not in this lifetime, fella.

Wanna know what sort of lunatics are in OCR?  Read the link.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Nat'l Endowment for Arts Stressed Out Employees?

A nice Federal (lifetime) job, fully-paid defined benefits retirement pension, excellent (not ObozoCare) healthcare, air-conditioned offices, FAR greater than average wage/salary scale...

That's not enough for the National Endowment for Arts staffers.


The National Endowment for the Arts provided Swedish chair massages for its employees last month to reduce their stress.

A flier circulated to NEA employees and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon showed that seated chair massages were offered to employees on July 27....

The NEA did NOT "provide" those massages.  Taxpayers provided them.

The Ruling, Entitled, Pampered class.