“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best


I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

80 million US Catholics are almost evenly divided between the two parties in presidential elections

Pope Francis Endorses Iran Deal: Another Dilemma for GOP Catholic Candidates

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –
The Republican presidential candidates are virtually unanimous that human-caused climate change is a hoax and burning fossil fuels is good for us; that Obamacare is evil and must be repealed; and that the UN Security Council’s deal with Iran restricting its nuclear enrichment program must be repudiated.
These positions are shared by the Catholic GOP presidential candidates as well as the Protestant ones, and the 80 million US Catholics are almost evenly divided between the two parties in presidential elections.
Pope Francis is becoming an increasing problem for these Republican Catholics, since he keeps intervening direct and unambiguously on these policy issues. His climate encyclical was dismissed by Rick Santorum, who said he wanted to get his theology from the church but his science from scientists. This stance is problematic since the scientists entirely agree with the pope in this instance (and this pope is himself a scientist). What Santorum really meant is that he wants the authority to dismiss both the pope and the scientists whenever they disagree with his campaign funders over in Big Oil.
Now the Pope has openly endorsed the Iran deal, another blow at the GOP presidential platform.
The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher said at the 59th General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency:
“The Holy See welcomes the IAEA’s participation in the verification and monitoring of Iran’s nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The Holy See values positively this agreement because it considers that the way to resolve disputes and difficulties should always be that of dialogue and negotiation. The JCPOA is the result of many years of negotiation on an issue that had caused grave concern within the international community. It is clear that the agreement requires further efforts and commitment by all the parties involved in order for it to bear fruit. We hope that the full implementation of JCPOA will ensure the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme under the NPT and will be a definitive step toward greater stability and security in the region.”
The pope’s stances on these matters won’t translate immediately into a political dilemma for Republican Catholics. The pope has a surprising amount of difficulty getting the word out to the one billion faithful about his positions. Pope John Paul II came out against the Iraq War and that position was reaffirmed by Pope Benedict, but only a minority of American Roman Catholics ever even know of the church’s position on the illegality of the war.
So most Catholics may not know that Pope Francis has warned about human-caused climate change, and few may find out that he endorses the Iran deal.
For those who do learn of these positions, many Catholics believe that it is legitimate to deny the church authority over non-religious matters such as public policy. And many American Catholics pick and choose among teachings. Half of them use birth control, and Catholics have a higher abortion rate than Protestants.
But you wonder whether, if Joe Biden runs, he won’t pick up more than the 50 to 48 split that Obama had against Romney among US Roman Catholics. US presidential races are very close, and perhaps the pope would make a difference at the margins among some US Roman Catholics.
Related video:


  1. The Cold War ended despite the best efforts of many to keep it going, basically because the Soviet Union was unsustainable in the long run and the fear merchants ran out of energy. Fear is the currency of the GOP. Fear, inevitably, leads to conflict. So goes the GOP.

    1. Ronald Reagan tore down the Berlin Wall, everyone knows that.

  2. Dear God, save us from lapsed Catholics and an activist Pope, hear our prayer !

    1. My religious history is none of your business, no more than your behavior towards women is mine. Please spare yourself and don’t force me to elaborate. You get my drift?

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  3. Ass Usual speaks. Chernobyl broke the Soviet Union. I saw that in real time and this article is on the mark. So sit your dumbass down and learn something:

    Saturday, April 29, 2006

    Gorbachev: Chernobyl, not Peristroika, Caused Soviet Union Collapse

    Mikhail Gorbachev talks about about the relationship between Chernobyl and changes in the Soviet Union under his leadership:

    Turning Point at Chernobyl, by Mikhail Gorbachev, Project Syndicate: The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl 20 years ago this month, even more than my launch of perestroika, was perhaps the real cause of the collapse of the Soviet Union five years later. Indeed, the Chernobyl catastrophe was an historic turning point: there was the era before the disaster, and there is the very different era that has followed. ...

    The Chernobyl disaster, more than anything else, opened the possibility of much greater freedom of expression, to the point that the system as we knew it could no longer continue. It made absolutely clear how important it was to continue the policy of glasnost, and I must say that I started to think about time in terms of pre-Chernobyl and post-Chernobyl.

    The price of the Chernobyl catastrophe was overwhelming, not only in human terms, but also economically. Even today, the legacy of Chernobyl affects the economies of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Some even suggest that the economic price for the USSR was so high that it stopped the arms race, as I could not keep building arms while paying to clean up Chernobyl.

    This is wrong. My declaration of January 15, 1986, is well known around the world. I addressed arms reduction, including nuclear arms, and I proposed that by the year 2000 no country should have atomic weapons. I personally felt a moral responsibility to end the arms race. But Chernobyl opened my eyes like nothing else: it showed the horrible consequences of nuclear power, even when it is used for non-military purposes. One could now imagine much more clearly what might happen if a nuclear bomb exploded. According to scientific experts, one SS-18 rocket could contain a hundred Chernobyls.

    Unfortunately, the problem of nuclear arms is still very serious today. Countries that have them – the members of the so-called “nuclear club” – are in no hurry to get rid of them. On the contrary, they continue to refine their arsenals, while countries without nuclear weapons want them, believing that the nuclear club’s monopoly is a threat to the world peace.

    The twentieth anniversary of the Chernobyl catastrophe reminds us that we should not forget the horrible lesson taught to the world in 1986. We should do everything in our power to make all nuclear facilities safe and secure. We should also start seriously working on the production of the alternative sources of energy. The fact that world leaders now increasingly talk about this imperative suggests that the lesson of Chernobyl is finally being understood.

  4. As the teaming swarms of men, aged 15-35 invade Europe from Syria, Pakistan, Turkey and other islamic lands, Hungry put up a fence in record time and succeeded in stoping the invasion.

    One must ask why millions of moslems are choosing to swarm into Europe when there are dozens of islamic and arabic speaking nations sitting literally empty?

    Could it be a destabilizing plan to destroy Europe?

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  5. The Pope may have endorsed the Iran deal, but the American People do not -

    McConnell to dare Democrats to filibuster hostage-release condition for Iran deal
    posted at 8:41 am on September 16, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

    Reid has Senate Democrats marching in lockstep with the White House on a deal that’s already widely unpopular. Only 21% of Americans support it, according to the last Pew Research poll, and that’s not even taking into account the hostage situation. McConnell’s amendment will force Democrats to explicitly attach themselves to Obama’s decision to leave American hostages to rot in Iran, and that will make a bad situation worse for them with voters in 2016.

    Let’s say that Democrats double down on this and filibuster the amendment. What’s next? House Republicans want McConnell to follow Reid’s example and nuke the filibuster for good:....


    I know the Pope hasn't been drinking because Q stole all the Vatican wine reserves.

    1. Only 21% (!) of the American People support the Iran deal according to the last Pew Research poll..........

      Good Grief, what's going on here......?

      What is happening to this country when something opposed by 79% of the People is still on the table......????

  6. Consumer Prices Fell by 0.1%, last month (and, are only up 0.2% - 2 / 10ths of one percent - over the last year.)

    Meanwhile, Homebuilder Sentiment has hit the highest level since the Summer of 2005.


    “Common sense could not understand that it was possible to exterminate tens and hundreds of thousands of Jews,” —Yitzhak Zuckerman, a leader of the Jewish resistance in Warsaw

    Propaganda served as an important tool to win over the majority of the German public who had not supported Adolf Hitler and to push forward the Nazis' radical program, which required the acquiescence, support, or participation of broad sectors of the population. Combined with the use of terror to intimidate those who did not comply, a new state propaganda apparatus headed by Joseph Goebbels sought to manipulate and deceive the German population and the outside world. At each step of the way, propagandists preached an appealing message of national unity and a utopian future that resonated with millions of Germans. Simultaneously, they waged campaigns that facilitated the persecution of Jews and others excluded from the Nazi vision of the “National Community.”


    As under Weimar governments, a key element of German national policy after the Nazi takeover in early 1933 was rearmament. German leaders hoped to achieve this goal without precipitating preventive military intervention by France, Great Britain, or the states on Germany's eastern borders, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The regime also did not want to frighten a German population anxious about another European war. The specter of World War I and the deaths of 2 million German soldiers in that conflict still haunted popular memory. Throughout the 1930s, Hitler portrayed Germany as a victimized nation, held in bondage by the chains of the post-World War I Versailles Treaty and denied the right of national self-determination.

    Wartime propagandists universally seek to justify the use of military violence by portraying it as morally defensible and necessary. To do otherwise would jeopardize public morale and faith in the government and its armed forces. Throughout the Second World War, Nazi propagandists disguised military aggression aimed at territorial conquest as righteous and necessary acts of self-defense. They cast Germany as a victim or potential victim of foreign aggressors, as a peace-loving nation forced to take up arms to protect its populace or defend European civilization against Communism. The war aims professed at each stage of the hostilities almost always disguised actual Nazi intentions of territorial expansion and racial warfare. This was propaganda of deception, designed to fool or misdirect the populations in Germany, German-occupied lands, and the neutral countries.


      In summer 1939, as Hitler and his aides finalized plans for the invasion of Poland, the public mood in Germany was tense and fearful. Germans were emboldened by the recent dramatic extension of Germany's borders into neighboring Austria and Czechoslovakia without having fired a shot; but they did not line the streets calling for war, as the generation of 1914 had done.

      Before the German attack on Poland on September 1, 1939, the Nazi regime launched an aggressive media campaign to build public support for a war that few Germans desired. To present the invasion as a morally justifiable, defensive action, the German press played up “Polish atrocities,” referring to real or alleged discrimination and physical violence directed against ethnic Germans residing in Poland. Deploring Polish “warmongering” and “chauvinism,” the press also attacked the British for encouraging war by promising to defend Poland in the event of German invasion.

      The Nazi regime even staged a border incident designed to make it appear that Poland initiated hostilities with Germany. On August 31, 1939, SS men dressed in Polish army uniforms “attacked” a German radio station at Gleiwitz (Gliwice). The next day, Hitler announced to the German nation and the world his decision to send troops into Poland in response to Polish “incursions” into the Reich. The Nazi Party Reich Press Office instructed the press to avoid the use of the word war. They were to report that German troops had simply beaten back Polish attacks, a tactic designed to define Germany as the victim of aggression. The onus of responsibility for declaring war would be left to the British and French.

      In an effort to shape public opinion at home and abroad, the Nazi propaganda machine played up stories of new “Polish atrocities” once the war began. They publicized attacks on ethnic Germans in towns such as Bromberg (Bydgoszcz), where fleeing Polish civilians and military personnel killed between 5,000 and 6,000 ethnic Germans, whom they perceived, in the heat of the invasion, as fifth column traitors, spies, Nazis, or snipers. By exaggerating the actual number of ethnic German victims killed in Bromberg and other towns to 58,000, Nazi propaganda enflamed passions, providing “justification” for the numbers of civilians that the Germans intended to kill.

    2. Nazi propagandists convinced some Germans that the invasion of Poland and subsequent occupation policies were justified. For many others, the propaganda reinforced deep-seated anti-Polish sentiment. German soldiers who served in Poland after the invasion wrote letters home, reflecting support for German military intervention to defend ethnic Germans. Some soldiers expressed their disdain and contempt for the “criminality” and “sub-humanity” of the Poles, and others viewed the resident Jewish population with disgust, comparing Polish Jews to antisemitic images they recalled from Der Stürmer or the exhibition entitled the “Eternal Jew,” and, later, from the film of the same name.

      Newsreels also became central to German Propaganda Minister Goebbels's efforts to form and manipulate public opinion during the war. To exercise greater control over newsreel content after the war began, the Nazi regime consolidated the country's various competing newsreel companies into one, the Deutsche Wochenschau (German Weekly Perspective). Goebbels actively helped create each newsreel installment, even editing or revising scripts. Twelve to eighteen hours of film footage shot by professional photographers and delivered to Berlin each week by courier were edited down to 20 to 40 minutes. Distribution of newsreels was greatly expanded as the number of copies of each episode increased from 400 to 2,000, and dozens of foreign language versions (including Swedish and Hungarian) were produced. Mobile cinema trucks brought the newsreels to rural areas of Germany.


      On September 1, 1939, German forces invaded Poland. The war the Nazi regime unleashed would bring untold human suffering and losses. Following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in summer 1941, Nazi anti-Jewish policies took a radical turn to genocide. The decision to annihilate the European Jews was announced at the Wannsee Conference on January 20, 1942 to key high-level Nazi Party, SS, and German state officials, whose agencies would contribute to implementing a Europe-wide “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” Following the conference, Nazi Germany implemented genocide on a continental scale with the deportation of Jews from all over Europe to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, and other killing centers in German-occupied Poland

      The Nazi leadership aimed to deceive the German population, the victims, and the outside world regarding their genocidal policy toward Jews. What did ordinary Germans know about the persecution and mass murder of Jews? Despite the public broadcast and publication of general statements about the goal of eliminating “the Jews,” the regime practiced a propaganda of deception by hiding specific details about the “Final Solution,” and press controls prevented Germans from reading statements by Allied and Soviet leaders condemning German crimes.

      At the same time, positive stories were fabricated as part of the planned deception. One booklet printed in 1941 glowingly reported that, in occupied Poland, German authorities had put Jews to work, built clean hospitals, set up soup kitchens for Jews, and provided them with newspapers and vocational training. Posters and articles continually reminded the German population not to forget the atrocity stories that Allied propaganda spread about Germans during the First World War, such as the false charge that Germans had cut off the hands of Belgian children.

      The perpetrators also hid their murderous intentions from many of the victims. Before and after the fact, the Germans used deceptive euphemisms to explain and justify deportations of Jews from their homes to ghettos or transit camps, and from the ghettos and camps to the gas chambers at Auschwitz and other killing centers. German officials stamped “evacuated,” a word with neutral connotations, on the passports of Jews deported from the Germany and Austria to the “model” ghetto at Theresienstadt, near Prague, or to ghettos in the East. German bureaucrats characterized deportations from the ghettos as “resettlements,” though such “resettlement” usually ended in death.



    5. The Iran deal contains no effective verification procedures.

      It's based on....what.....trust ?

      It's like the days of WWII........'Peace in our time'


  8. I'm off southward to do some negotiating myself.....relocation of the park land.

    Bet I get most of what I want too.....

    I could have gotten those hostages out.....

    Have a great day.....

  9. Replies
    1. US airstrikes for Kurdish fighters...hmmm...
      There must be some compensation for the Turks in this.

  10. .

    Voters are Rejecting the Last Seven Years

    But in our system the widespread rejection of experienced leaders ultimately comes from dismay at the leader in the White House. In 1960 Richard Nixon, after eight years as vice president and six in Congress, campaigned on the slogan "Experience counts." No one is running on that theme this year.

    In the linked article, Michael Barone makes the case that the current rise of 'outsider' presidential candidates reflects the American public's rejection of what's been going on in D.C. over the past seven years under Obama.

    Barone is a conservative author and pundit. He is a contributor at Fox News and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. It is no surprise that he would blame the current American revolt against the political process in this country on Obama. However, I can't actually call him a complete nitwit, perhaps merely a halfwit. He points out what appears to be (at this time) the most important (though also most obvious) factor driving the polls, the public's dissatisfaction with the business-as-usual, status quo existing in D.C. He is also not wrong in blaming Obama for much of the dissatisfaction. Two major achievements under Obama were immensely unpopular, Obamacare and the Iran Deal. However, he falls short on analysis when he restricts the public's discontent to the last seven years. IMO it goes back two decades as reflected in opinion polls of job approval for presidents and Congress.

    We are used to relatively quick shifts in public opinion and voting patterns when voter satisfaction increases; however, it is usually merely a shift from the same ol' same ol' in one party to the same ol' same ol' in the other major party. However, it takes a long time for the American public to overcome the inertia required to go against the established system.

    It's a long ways to November, 2016. It will be interesting to see if this election provides a paradigm shift.

    Unfortunately, if there is that change, it will still only be at the top with the president and his administration. While Obama has demonstrated the broad powers that can be exercised by the executive, our system of checks and balances guarantees presidential initiatives are limited. Therefore, I am not sure how much positive change can come out of one election. Things won't really change until the current uprising becomes a movement that sweeps the rest of current denizens of D.C. from power. It's unlikely any of us will be around when that happens.


  11. .

    Fecklessness 101

    Apparently the Obama administration turned down a Russian offer to dump Assad… because the Administration was sure he was going to fall on his own. The Guardian reports:

    [Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti] Ahtisaari held talks with envoys from the five permanent members of the UN security council in February 2012. He said that during those discussions, the Russian ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, laid out a three-point plan, which included a proposal for Assad to cede power at some point after peace talks had started between the regime and the opposition.

    But he said that the US, Britain and France were so convinced that the Syrian dictator was about to fall, they ignored the proposal.

    “It was an opportunity lost in 2012,” Ahtisaari said in an interview.[..]

    At the time of Ahtisaari’s visit to New York, the death toll from the Syrian conflict was estimated to be about 7,500. The UN believes that toll passed 220,000 at the beginning of this year, and continues to climb. The chaos has led to the rise of Islamic State. Over 11 million Syrians have been forced out of their homes.

    If true, this was a staggering missed opportunity. The President’s string of misjudgments on the Middle East—on the peace process, Erdogan, withdrawal from Iraq, Libya, ISIS as the “J.V. team”, and Syria—is one of the most striking examples of serial failure in the annals of American foreign policy.


    Generally speaking, what the President seems worst at is estimating the direction in which events are flowing. He thought Erdogan was taking Turkey in one direction; Erdogan was going somewhere else. He thought there was a transition to democracy in Egypt; there never was a prospect of that. He has repeatedly been caught flatfooted by events in Syria. And Putin keeps running rings around him.

    Understanding the intentions and estimating the capabilities of people who don’t share his worldview are not our President’s strong suits.


  12. .

    Follow Hillary Clinton’s Instagram feed, and you’ll see her as a toddler in Park Ridge, Illinois, riding a tricycle. On Facebook, you’ll meet her as an almost unrecognizable young Arkansas mother with brown hair, big glasses and loafers, spotting her daughter on a pony ride; on the website Medium, she stares out at you, just another earnest face in a crowd posing for a 1965 high school class picture. In the first television ads of the campaign, she is seemingly from another era, pictured in grainy black and white, about 10 years old with a half-smile on her face, hair pulled back in a pollyanna, holding her mother’s hand.

    Since launching her campaign last June, Clinton has flooded the Internet and filled her TV spots with surprising, little-known images of the candidate pulled from old family photo albums, all part of a larger campaign strategy to make Clinton more relatable to voters.

    Hillary Seeks a New Narrative

    What the heck, at this point, it can't hurt.


  13. .

    force of 160 American army soldiers have landed in Iraq as part of ongoing efforts by a US-led coalition to defeat the Islamic State that has captured swathes of the country and its war-torn Syrian neighbor, the Arabic-language media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat said.

    Iraqi security sources told the pan-Arab paper that the force landed at a military base in the Anbar province, from where Iraq is running its offensive against IS, Israel’s Walla news reported Saturday.

    The base is already hosting hundreds of American Army personnel who are training the local forces, but this is the first time that a US fighting force has arrived in Anbar, the report said. The soldiers are expected to take part in an operation to oust the Islamic State from Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and some 70 miles (115 kilometers) west of Baghdad.

    Boots on the Ground Return to Iraq?


  14. .

    Israel, the United States and a number of other pro-Israel states are working behind the scenes of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) annual conference to prevent a discussion of a resolution put forth by Egypt and the Arab States on the subject of "Israel's nuclear capabilities."

    The resolution calls for the IAEA to demand that Israel open for inspection the nuclear reactor in Dimona in which, according to foreign reports, it has developed fissile material for a nuclear weapon.

    The resolution has been submitted to be on the conference's agenda as it has in past years. In previous years, a discussion of the resolution has taken place and it was accepted by a majority of states, but it was non-binding.

    The IAEA's annual conference takes place this week at the organization's headquarters in Vienna. Some three weeks ago, Israel's National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's special envoy Yitzhak Molcho visited Cairo and met with the Egyptian foreign minister and other officials. They tried to convince the Egyptians to change their approach on the nuclear issue given the current situation in the Middle East and the developing strategic and defense ties between Israel and Egypt connected with the war on ISIS in Sinai and against Hamas's armed wing.

    The Israeli delegation suggested that Egypt and the Arab League states, who are also supported by the Muslim bloc and the Non-Aligned Movement, submit the resolution, but agree to not hold a discussion of it at the conference. As of now it remains unclear if Israel will succeed in convincing them to take such an action. A decision on the matter is expected on Thursday.

    On Wednesday afternoon, the head of Israel's delegation to the conference, the new director-general of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission, Ze'ev Snir, was scheduled to deliver an address. In his speech, he was expected to reiterate Israel's traditional stance that it will be prepared to discuss nuclear disarmament in the Middle East only after countries in the region recognize the Jewish state and sign peace treaties with it as well as security agreements. In his speech he was expected to emphasize the regional states that have violated their obligation to the IAEA by trying to produce nuclear weapons - Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran.



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  15. Look at this crap -

    White House Invites Transvestite, Pro-Abortion Nun, Gay Bishop to Greet Pope......Drudge

    It's like, here, take this, you asshole.

    The Pope should politely find other more pressing matters to attend to.........

  16. .

    President Obama will apparently test just how far Pope Francis’ notorious tolerance will go by inviting a rogue’s gallery of people opposed to Catholic teaching to greet the pontiff at the White House during his visit next week.

    In a stunning show of political indecorum, Obama has invited a series of individuals who publicly flout Catholic teaching, including a pro-abortion religious sister, a transgender woman and the first openly gay Episcopal bishop, along with at least two Catholic gay activists.


    When Congress, yes I said Congress, can make the president look like a boorish lout you know what a dick he is. Boehner and Pelosi are noodling up a cheat sheet on a card to hand out to members explaining the proper protocol for the visit. Obama goes out of his way to make the man feel uncomfortable.

    I thought this was a joke.

    Do you really think Obama would have the balls to do this for the Saudi King, some Muslim imam, or even Bibi Netanyahu. Most of these visits are held in a room in the WH one-on-one.

    What a dick.


    I thought this was a joke.

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    2. I would be surprised that something like this would be done without approval of the Vatican. I have never been to The White House but I have been to The Vice Presidents House at The Old Naval Observatory. Everybody is vetted and there are no surprises to an official guest. There is no doubt in my mind that any such meeting is approved on both sides.From the LA Times:

      A coalition of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their supporters wrote to the pope in June, asking him to meet with the LGBT faithful and their families while he is in the U.S. from Sept. 22 to 27.

      The umbrella group is called Equally Blessed, and it is sending a dozen families on a "pilgrimage" to Philadelphia for Francis' World Meeting of Families. Manriquez is among the pilgrims — so is a couple from Boston, Marianne and Becky Duddy-Burke and their daughters, Emily, 13, and Fini, 12.

      Marianne Duddy-Burke is executive director of DignityUSA, which advocates for LGBT Catholics. She will be in Philadelphia in her official capacity but also as a "married, lesbian, Catholic mom." Her story, she said, is one that Francis needs to hear.

    3. From Christian Today:

      An openly gay person has been invited to speak about homosexuality during the significant Vatican-approved convention on the family in Philadelphia, according to RNS.

      Both conservative and liberal Catholics have criticised the Pope's decision to allow Ron Belgau to speak at The World Meeting of Families convention.

      Belgau is homosexual but is committed to being celibate as he follows the Christian ethic that says homosexual activity is sinful.

      American Catholic opinion has been growing more accommodating of LGBT rights, and Pope Francis has made it clear he wants the Church to be more welcoming to gay people, while not wanting to change doctrine.

      Liberal Catholics have protested his being the only LGBT voice, as they believe the Church should find ways to accept sexually active LGBT members.

      Belgau curates a blog, Spiritual Friendship, with New Testament professor Wesley Hill, that encourages gay Christians in living chaste lives through strong friendships that focus on spiritual growth.

      Belgau acknowledges the challenge of choosing chastity and says "I'm not banging people over the head with that."

      Many Catholic leaders find this position too liberal and are uneasy with both the Pope and Belgau’s positions.

    4. From Catholic News Agency:

      Washington D.C., Sep 11, 2015 / 04:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As Pope Francis' trip to the U.S. nears, the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD has released a media guide encouraging journalists to favor its narrative. But one media critic is calling it spin.

      “It's important to remember that GLAAD doesn’t determine Church teaching, no matter how much it might wish it,” said Dan Gainor, vice president of business and culture at the Media Research Center.

      The group “seeks to redefine what the Church is,” he told CNA. “Journalists should understand that GLAAD is trying to make the Pope's visit all about its extreme agenda, not what the Pope wants to discuss.”

      Pope Francis will visit the United States Sept. 22-27, where he will canonize Blessed Junipero Serra, visit an inner-city school, address a joint session of Congress, meet with President Barack Obama, visit the United Nations, and close with a Mass for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia.

      GLAAD CEO and president Sarah Kate Ellis, who said she grew up Catholic, introduced the media guide as an exploration of “attitudes within the Catholic Church towards the LGBT community.” She claimed that Catholic pundits and decision-makers espouse “harmful rhetoric and policies.” She also charged that the Catholic hierarchy and the media often misrepresent Catholics who identify as LGBT.

      Gainor, however, warned that in his view the organization is anti-Catholic, and is “using the Pope's visit to push its own LGBT agenda.” He said that the organization has significant support in the media.

      “Readers need to grasp that many of those reporting are huge GLAAD supporters,” he said. “Many of the journalists who cover the news have even received awards from the organization. They aren’t journalists. They are activists.”

      He noted that the Washington Post, MSNBC and the CNN show Anderson Cooper 360 had been nominated for GLAAD media awards in 2014.

      The GLAAD media guide depicts Pope Francis in different ways. Initially, it portrays him as representing a “change in tone” that may lead to other changes on LGBT issues. The guide presented its interpretations of various papal statements it considers positive. At a later point, the guide characterized some of Pope Francis' comments as “significantly negative,” such as his words on gender ideology.

      The media guide contended that there is a “stark contrast” between the Catholic hierarchy and the laity. It claimed Catholic bishops are “greatly out of step” with Catholics in the U.S. It cited several poll results from the Public Religion Research Institute, whose backers include major LGBT activist funders like the Arcus and Ford foundations.


    5. .

      An intermediary for several of the invitations to greet the Pope was Vivian Taylor, a 30-year-old male transvestite who acted as Executive Director of Integrity USA, a homosexual and transgender activist wing of the Episcopal Church, until last March.

      “A few months ago I received an invitation from the White House to attend the reception for Pope Francis,” Taylor told CNS News. “I was told I could bring several friends with me,” adding that he is “glad we can bring some LGBT representation to the event.”


      I understand Obama is also trying to get the Pope to bring the 'popemobile' over so il papa can drive it leading a gay pride parade Obama is hoping to organize.


    6. .

      I would be surprised that something like this would be done without approval of the Vatican.

      I wouldn’t doubt that the Pope approved the overall agenda. From all reports, he is a genial and courteous guy. He was invited to the president’s house. I’m sure he will be a gracious guest. It is a shame that the president couldn’t have been a tactful and courteous host.

      Of course, the Pope obviously wouldn’t know who would be in Vivian Taylor’s party. Likewise, it will be interesting to see what these people will be doing. Will they greet the Pope say a few words and move on? Will they be allowed to give speeches?

      Sorry, just sounds like it has the potential to become an unnecessarily uncomfortable situation.

      It’s a crazy day when we have to say it is Congress acting like the adults here.


  17. Gallup has gone to 60% Cellphone, and 40% Landline.


  18. Listening to the debate: John Kasich and Ben Carson seem to be sane and capable.

    1. Carson talks in platitudes and Kasich is good with specifics.

    2. Carson is the only one that could get elected; but he just might be a prohibitive favorite.

    3. That said, he seems to me to be shallow, and out of place - but, then again, I'm about zero for a gazillion when it comes to predicting what Republican debate-watchers will like. :)

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  19. I chuckled when they started invoking St. Ronnie during the immigration scrum, overlooking his "Amnesty" program. :)

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