Monday, February 29, 2016

VIDEO: Time Reporter Grabs Secret Service Agent’s Throat at Trump Rally

by John Nolte

According to The Independent Journal’s congressional reporter Joe Perticone, the man holding the camera in the video below is a journalist. Perticone writes, “Secret Service agent choke slams reporter. ” The video doesn’t show that, but it does show this reporter kicking the agent from an apparent defensive position.

Nevertheless, once whatever happened between the two men is over, and both are standing, watch the reporter suddenly reach out and grab the Secret Service agent’s throat....


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions Endorses Trump: "It Is Time To Make America Great Again"

By Ian Schwartz

(RealClear Politics) Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) endorsed Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Huntsville Sunday evening. Sessions ensured a "Gang of Eight" type of immigration reform bill would not will be passed in a Donald Trump presidency.

"There is an opportunity this year, Tuesday, and we have the opportunity -- we have an opportunity Tuesday. It may be the last opportunity we have for the people's voice to be heard. You have asked for 30 years, and politicians have promised for 30 years to fix illegal immigration," Sessions said.

"The American people have known for years these trade agreements have not been working for them," Sessions stumped. "We now have and will soon have a vote on the Transpacific Partnership TPP), Obamatrade, and it will damage America. It will create a commission that undermines our sovereignty, and it should not pass. Donald Trump when he gets elected president will see it does not pass."

Sessions said Trump is not perfect, but nobody is and endorsed the candidate.

"This movement, he doesn't take money from political groups and lobbyists. He is committed to leading this country in an effective way. You know, nobody is perfect. We can't have everything, can we, Mr. Trump? But I can tell you one thing, I think at this time in my opinion, my best judgment, at this time in America's history, we need to make America great again!" Sessions said, repeating Trump's campaign slogan.

"I am pleased to endorse Donald Trump for the presidency of the United States," Sessions endorsed...


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Governor Jan Brewer endorses Donald Trump

By Kristen East

(Politico) Former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Saturday endorsed Donald Trump for president.
Trump has made immigration a central issue in his campaign for president, vowing to build a wall along the southern border of the United States and promising to have Mexico pay for it.

"For years I pleaded with the federal government to do their job and secure our border. Today, we can elect a President who will do just that — Donald J. Trump," Brewer said in a statement released by Trump's campaign.

Brewer, 71, was governor of Arizona from 2009-2015. Her endorsement follows those of Maine Gov. Paul LePage and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie this week.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Maine governor LePage joins Christie in endorsing Trump

By Scott Bixby

(The Guardian) Hours after New Jersey governor and former Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie endorsed frontrunner Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House, Maine’s governor, Paul LePage, has thrown his support behind the real estate tycoon.

In an interview on the Howie Carr show, a Boston-area radio show, LePage endorsed Trump’s presidential campaign, telling Carr, “You know, we could do a lot worse. We could have another Obama in there, or Hillary Clinton. And we can’t afford that.”

“I think the governors have got to come out and pick your poison, because I’m telling you, we’ve got to stop the charade that went on last night,” LePage said, referring to the dogpile debate in Texas that featured nearly a minute of four-way crosstalk. He has a message to senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who he accused of “killing” Trump: “You’re also killing the brand.”

“The one thing I like about Donald Trump, I’m not gonna say I agree with everything he’s saying... he’s showing a vision for the future,” LePage said. “He wants to make America great again, and he’s the only person doing that right now.”

LePage, who described himself in the interview as “just a schmuck from the streets,” told Carr that he had not spoken with Trump about his endorsement beforehand, although he had been considering doing so after Chris Christie dropped out of the presidential race...  (continued)


Chris Christie Endorses Donald Trump

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Face The Nation" Roundtable: After SC, History Is On Donald Trump's Side

From CBS via RealClearPolitics:

"Ron Brownstein of The Atlantic, Reihan Salam of the National Review, Mark Leibovich of the New York Times Magazine, and USA Today’s Susan Page break down presidential politics in the aftermath of the South Carolina and Nevada contests."


Post South Carolina Results – “The Looming Inferno”…

From Sundance at The Last Refuge:

trump smile 3Be of good cheer and enjoy the removal of one-half of the globalists 2016 objectives; indeed a difficult Rubicon has been successfully traversed.  However, do not be naïve in thinking one significant battle means the war has been won.

The bloodiest battle still lays ahead.

♦ Jeb Bush has been forced out of the race.  It cannot be overstated how significant this victory is in the grand scheme of things.  The foundational block, upon which the entire road-map was built, has been removed.  However, the GOPe engineers will now shift attention to a scorched earth campaign to benefit their retention of power.

We would all be wise to remember in 2014 Chris McDaniels actually defeated Thad Cochran in the first GOP Mississippi primary.  It was only after their initial defeat the GOPe decided to destroy anything that stood in their way – again, the retention of power was the ultimate motivator.

We can now expect those same DC influences, including the entire camp that supported Jeb Bush, the old guard, to work diligently (albeit under darkened cover) to assist Hillary Clinton, and destroy anything that would interrupt their grip on power.

Yes, the GOPe would rather lose to Hillary and retain their place at the trough than to see entry into their cloistered club by the Vulgarian Donald Trump.

shameful seven 1

That inevitable and predictable result was/is part of the original problem.

The full weight of the GOPe apparatus, Wall Street, the U.S. CoC, K-Street and the affiliated professional political class will now work hand-in-hand with the Democrats and left-wing media to destroy that which threatens them; namely Donald J Trump.  Attacks in all forms are only going to get worse from here on out.

Trump refusing to thank the Bush Clan upon exit was simply recognition of his awareness of what’s to come.  Trump, and the close circle around him, are well aware of what happens next….. They simply have to be.

♦ “Ceilings” – There will be much media obfuscation around Trump having ceilings, or limits to his appeal.  These necessarily promoted memes and narratives will have to be pushed to provide distraction and gaslight those voters with common sense.

In reality election results are ceilings themselves, and while they may proclaim Trump has a 35% +/- ceiling, the reality is yesterday Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz had ceilings around the 22% range.  Election results are ceilings.  Ceilings move along with the thinning out of campaign contestants.
FACT – As long as Trump’s “Ceiling” is higher than his competition he will continue to win, and there’s nothing on the visible horizon to indicate he will lose.  Talk of “ceilings” is merely obfuscation and denial of reality.

♦ John Kasich – Remember, Kasich will not even be competitive in most of the upcoming races.  Nor is Kasich on all of the upcoming state’s ballots.  So why does he stay in?  He is a loyal soldier for the Old Guard.  He still has a role to play, an agenda to deliver and promises to keep.

♦ Ted Cruz – Ted’s loss yesterday (as described here), showcases what we have outlined for a long time.  Team Cruz does not carry a pathway to a successful nomination. Period.  If Cruz cannot win a single county in 75% evangelical voter friendly South Carolina, where exactly can he win?

SEC primary states or not, Ted Cruz’s last and only firewall before an embarrassing, albeit lucrative, exit is Texas.  If Cruz doesn’t win Texas, he’s done.  But he needs to keep talking like it’s possible in order for the supporters to hit the donation buttons on the increasingly urgent and desperate emails.

Team Cruz talking points will center around beating Trump by a.) confronting Trump directly, or, b)  taking down Marco Rubio.  Except Cruz faces a reality problem.  Taking support from Rubio only benefits Trump, not Cruz.

♦ Marco Rubio – We have continually referenced readers to weigh only polling that is not agenda driven polling.  Meaning polling results which are not driven by insiders in the professional political game.  You can see from last night’s results the NBC/WSJ poll was insufferably wrong (derived from a PR firm).  So too was the Fox Poll, and almost all of the 48 hour polls prior to the actual voting in South Carolina.

However, in the non-agenda polling, done by actual political scientists without a financial stake in the outcome, you see a key point repeating over the past several months.  If you take down Marco Rubio, Donald Trump’s numbers increase but not Ted Cruz.

The Southern Political Poll is a great representative example – SEE HERE.

south carolina poll Fox5

Horse race #1 = first choice, Horse race #2 = second choice.

Only Donald Trump holds more than 50% when combining first and second preference in objective polling stats (again, agenda polls are useless for this analysis).

It is conversely true that Rubio would benefit from a Trump downfall or exit.  However, it is also true that any benefit therein to Cruz would be minimal.  Cruz’s base voters are the purest of ideological voters, as a consequence moderates do not traverse easily into that camp – even if their favorite issues are represented within it.

As we previously shared, in a three man race with Trump, Rubio and Cruz a generally admitted outcome would be:
  • Trump 45-50%  (America-First Populists, blue collar and Reagan Dems, Blue dogs)
  • Rubio 25-30% (Mainstream republicans, white collar, moderate GOPe)
  • Cruz 20-25%  (Right-Wing, Staunch Faith-Value voters, Evangelicals)
We have not had an “America-First” (center-right) candidate for a long time.  That is the new paradigm everyone is struggling to define.  And when you combine that broad-based coalition it takes all the positional oxygen from the GOPe and far right.

America-first immigration policies; strong border security; Pro U.S. worker trade-policies; Main Street (not Wall Street) American worker interests; Local education (not common core); Strong national defense, but common sense non-intervention.  All policies dominated by Donald J Trump.

One of the historic truisms in the past several election cycles is the “Cruz Coalition”, as currently assembled, is the first to stay home when their candidate doesn’t win.  The socially-minded voter will never vote for a populist fiscal conservative/socially moderate candidate.  Cruz voters, and their advocates, are emotionally driven by social issues. Hence they yell a lot (See Mark Levin) and only respond well to others who are inside their echo-chamber... (continued)


Friday, February 19, 2016

Pope spokesman clarifies Trump comment

By Lisa Hagen

(The Hill) A spokesperson for Pope Francis clarified the pontiff’s criticism of Donald Trump’s plan to build a border wall, saying that the remark wasn’t “a personal attack.”

On Thursday, the pope told reporters on his plane that building walls “is not Christian.”

But the pontiff’s spokesperson said it’s a comment he’s made before, adding that the pope wants to avoid weighing in on American politics.

“The Pope said what we already know, if we followed his teaching and positions: we shouldn’t build walls, but bridges,” the spokesperson said in a statement, according to CNBC. “It’s his generic view, coherent with the nature of solidarity from the gospel.”

“This wasn’t, in any way, a personal attack or an indication on who to vote for,” the spokesperson continued. “The Pope has clearly said he didn’t want to get involved in the electoral campaign in the US and also said that he said what he said on the basis of what he was told [about Trump], hence giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

During a Thursday rally in South Carolina, Trump needled the pontiff for his criticism and said that he publicly questioned his faith.

“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I'm proud to be a Christian and as president, I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now with our current president," he said.

But at a CNN town hall later that night, the real estate mogul said he respects Pope Francis, adding that “he has a lot of personality.”

"I think he said something much softer than was originally reported by the media," he said.


Oh Bergoglio not only ratified contraception, he ratified Eugenics

By Ann Barnhardt

Look, the entire deal with Zika isn’t that it kills.  The issue is that it can cause microcephaly.  You know – IMPERFECT human life.  Or perhaps one might call it LIFE UNWORTHY OF LIFE (TM Third Reich – All Rights Reserved).  So not only did Bergoglio ratify contraception in order to thwart the conception, implantation, gestation and birth of less-than-perfect people – which is EUGENICS, he also used systematic war rape as the previous analogue to this, citing a dubious reference to Paul VI maybe telling some African nuns who were in a war zone and targets for rape that they could take contraceptives.

So, wait.  That sure makes it sound like Bergoglio views a microcephalic child as the same as a rapist – both being unjust aggressors against the woman.

Oh, he also said that the Ten Commandments are in “conflict” with each other, specifically the Fifth (Thou Shalt Not Do Murder) and the Sixth (Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery). Yeah.  The Decalogue, according to this imbecile, is internally inconsistent.

And don’t even get me started on how he totally threw the Ukrainian Greek Catholics under the bus.


This malignant thug idiot needs to be deposed. Call an imperfect ecumenical council and do it already.  Basta con questa farsa.

Rorate has the full transcript.

Paloma García Ovejero, Cadena COPE (Spain): Holy Father, for several weeks there’s been a lot of concern in many Latin American countries but also in Europe regarding the Zika virus. The greatest risk would be for pregnant women. There is anguish. Some authorities have proposed abortion, or else to avoiding pregnancy. As regards avoiding pregnancy, on this issue, can the Church take into consideration the concept of “the lesser of two evils?”

Pope Francis: Abortion is not the lesser of two evils. It is a crime. It is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does. It is a crime, an absolute evil. On the ‘lesser evil,’ avoiding pregnancy, we are speaking in terms of the conflict between the fifth and sixth commandment.[WHAAAAAAAT????]  Paul VI, a great man [only compared to you, Jorge], in a difficult situation in Africa, permitted nuns to use contraceptives in cases of rape.

Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion. Abortion is not a theological problem, it is a human problem, it is a medical problem. [WHAT???] You kill one person to save another, in the best case scenario. Or to live comfortably, no? It’s against the Hippocratic oaths doctors must take. It is an evil in and of itself, but it is not a religious evil in the beginning, no, it’s a human evil. [WHAT????] Then obviously, as with every human evil, each killing is condemned.

On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear. [So rapist = microcephalic baby???] I would also urge doctors to do their utmost to find vaccines against these two mosquitoes that carry this disease. This needs to be worked on.


Mom Whose Son Was Tortured to Death by Illegal Endorses Trump, Says ‘Pope Doesn’t Care About Me’

By Julia Hahn

(Breitbart) In an exclusive telephone interview with Breitbart News, Laura Wilkerson, whose son was tortured to death by an illegal alien, explained why she cast her early ballot today for GOP frontrunner, Donald Trump.

“Trump will get in there and do something about [immigration]. I believe him. I want someone in there who has said they’ll do it and will do it… So many people stay home because it doesn’t affect them,” Wilkerson said. “And I understand that. I was the same way until [my son] Josh was murdered. But at some point, we have to close the door and deal with who we have here before anyone else comes.”

By contrast to her support for Trump, Wilkerson said that she “gave no consideration to voting Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) … I do not trust him for one second… He does not speak to the victims [of illegal alien crime],” Wilkerson explained. “Obviously, Rubio wants more immigration, no borders. That’s what his backers want and that’s the way he’s going to vote.”

Wilkerson, who described herself as a deeply religious person, defended Trump from the attacks by Pope Francis.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard the Pope say one thing about our families [families who have lost loved ones at the hands of illegal immigrants]. I’m not sure he understands the loss we have felt. Is he just ignoring that? It rubbed me the wrong way,” Wilkerson told Breitbart.

Wilkerson’s 18-year-old son Joshua was tortured to death by a so-called DREAMER — i.e. an illegal immigrant who allegedly came to the country as a minor. Wilkerson said:
I follow Jesus Christ. I still sin sometimes, but I follow Jesus Christ. I am a Christian, and I have sympathy for everyone. I think God asks me to love everyone. He created us all equal, but I do not think God is asking me to help a whole country. I don’t think I can do that. I do not think he wants us to give up our family– because that’s what has happened. It tore my family to shreds. I had a solid, 25-year marriage, and we lost our last child. I had a take-your-kids-to-church-small-bussiness-obeyed-by-all-the-rules family. And this tore it to shreds. There’s nothing about me that’s racist or non-sympathetic. I don’t care who you are, I want to help you, but not at the expense of my own family. 
Wilkerson explained that wanting to defend America’s sovereignty and close the border does not make her “not Christian:”
I am a Christian… I know I’ll go to heaven when I die, just like Josh did when he died. The Pope’s comments rubbed me the wrong way. Everyone in religion knows that no one can judge what’s in a man’s heart. That’s one of the very first things you learn in your faith. No man can judge another man. That’s why the Pope’s comments rubbed me the wrong way. I did not like that… I believe we need to do what we can for other people, but not at your own family’s expense. God doesn’t call us to ignore our families. God doesn’t call us to take care of other families first, or help other families at the direct expense of our own… I believe in God, family, country. 
Earlier today, Wilkerson says, “I voted for Trump. It was a long, hard decision for me, but I came to the conclusion that it was really the best way for me to go. I usually vote more with religion. It was a hard vote between Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), but I just feel like Donald Trump can get in there and do the things that need to be done quickly.”

Wilkerson made a point of noting that “Cruz was so kind to me when I testified about Josh’s death.”

However, Wilkerson proceeded to explain that given her adamant desire to have a federal immigration policy that puts the interests of the American people first, she felt she had to vote Trump: “I realized that, having gotten into the fray of illegal immigration, this [voting for Trump] has to be my stance. It’s such chaos and I just believe that Mr. Trump will get in there and get it done quickly.”

Wilkerson said that she appreciated Trump’s full-throated support for law enforcement and American police officers, Wilkerson said: “I think everybody is starting to hear Trump [talk about immigration]. We know he’s recognizing problems that no one else will say. And I think the police — with the Black Lives Matter movement — feel undervalued, when they should be so overvalued. Our teachers, our policemen, the people who care for our children and our safety should be valued. There’s not one person who won’t call policemen when you need help. [When Josh was murdered], the policemen couldn’t have been any better to us. It was a terrible situation, but they could not have been any better to us...” (continued)


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Donald Trump's Response to the Pope

In response to the Pope:

If and when the Vatican is attacked by ISIS, which as everyone knows is ISIS’s ultimate trophy, I can promise you that the Pope would have only wished and prayed that Donald Trump would have been President because this would not have happened. ISIS would have been eradicated unlike what is happening now with our all talk, no action politicians.

The Mexican government and its leadership has made many disparaging remarks about me to the Pope, because they want to continue to rip off the United States, both on trade and at the border, and they understand I am totally wise to them. The Pope only heard one side of the story - he didn’t see the crime, the drug trafficking and the negative economic impact the current policies have on the United States. He doesn’t see how Mexican leadership is outsmarting President Obama and our leadership in every aspect of negotiation.

For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful. I am proud to be a Christian and as President I will not allow Christianity to be consistently attacked and weakened, unlike what is happening now, with our current President. No leader, especially a religious leader, should have the right to question another man’s religion or faith. They are using the Pope as a pawn and they should be ashamed of themselves for doing so, especially when so many lives are involved and when illegal immigration is so rampant.

Donald J. Trump


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Pope Francis loses temper after almost being pulled over by crowd

By Staff Reporter 

(Catholic Herald) Pope Francis lost his temper yesterday in Mexico after a person pulled him so hard he fell onto a child in a wheelchair.

Video footage shows the Pope stopping to greet children at the edge of a crowd in Morelia’s Jose Maria Pavon Stadium, where he delivered a speech to thousands of young people.

At this point, two arms reached out to grab him, not letting go even as he lost his balance and was pushed onto the child.

Aides and security men stopped the Pope from falling to the ground, and he appeared angry, raising his voice and telling the unseen person, twice in Spanish, “Don’t be selfish!”

The Pope is nearing the end of his six-day trip to Mexico, which began last Saturday. Yesterday he paid tribute to the indigenous people of the country, telling them their land had been stolen.


UK Police Arrest Man For ‘Offensive’ Facebook Post About Migrants

By Liam Deacon

(Breitbart) The tiny Isle of Bute in the Firth of Clyde, which had a total population of just 6,498 in 2011, is expected to take in around 1,000 Syrian migrants, with 12 families already arriving since December last year (picture above).

However, commenting on the comparatively huge and sudden influx of Muslim immigrants online just became a very risky business for local residents.

Police have confirmed they have arrested a 41-year-old local man under the Communications Act, after receiving a report of a supposedly “offensive” comment made on Facebook regarding the migrants.

A police spokesman was unequivocal, that any harsh criticism of the Muslim influx would not be “tolerated”. Inspector Ewan Wilson from Dunoon police office told the Guardian following the arrest:

“I hope that the arrest of this individual sends a clear message that Police Scotland will not tolerate any form of activity which could incite hatred and provoke offensive comments on social media”.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Donald Trump Calls Men Who Handled Protester To The Stage in South Carolina

February 16, 2016:  At a Trump campaign rally in North Augusta, SC, Donald Trump was interrupted by a protester who was screaming profanities and raising his middle finger to the crowd. Two men apparently took action against the protester - and Mr. Trump called them up to the stage to say a few words.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Senior U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia found dead at West Texas ranch

By Gary Martin

(SFGATE) Associate Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead of apparent natural causes Saturday on a luxury resort in West Texas, federal officials said.

Scalia, 79, was a guest at the Cibolo Creek Ranch, a resort in the Big Bend region south of Marfa.

According to a report, Scalia arrived at the ranch on Friday and attended a private party with about 40 people. When he did not appear for breakfast, a person associated with the ranch went to his room and found a body.

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia, of the Western Judicial District of Texas, was notified about the death from the U.S. Marshals Service.  

U.S. District Judge Fred Biery said he was among those notified about Scalia's death.

"I was told it was this morning," Biery said of Scalia's death. "It happened on a ranch out near Marfa. As far as the details, I think it's pretty vague right now as to how," he said. "My reaction is it's very unfortunate. It's unfortunate with any death, and politically in the presidential cycle we're in, my educated guess is nothing will happen before the next president is elected."

The U.S. Marshal Service, the Presidio County sheriff and the FBI were involved in the investigation.
Officials with the law enforcement agencies declined to comment.

A federal official who asked not to be named said there was no evidence of foul play and it appeared that Scalia died of natural causes.

A gray Cadillac hearse pulled into the ranch last Saturday afternoon. The hearse came from Alpine Memorial Funeral Home.

Scalia was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

Staff writers Vianna Davila, Tyler White and Richard A. Marini, John MacCormack and Guillermo Contreras contributed to this report.


The Vatican did everything to accommodate Patriarch Kirill, but received little in return

Pope Francis and the Patriarch Kirill sign a joint declaration on religious unity at Jose Marti aiport in Havana (AP) 


(Catholic Herald) The reported first words of Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill on their historic meeting – for historic it was, however hackneyed the word – were revealing. “Finally” said the Pontiff, adding “we are brothers”. Kirill was equally satisfied but perhaps less effusive: “Yes, things are much easier now”.

Easier no doubt because the Vatican, in its eagerness to secure a meeting that had eluded successive popes for decades, had allowed the Moscow Patriarchate largely to set the terms and the agenda for the meeting. Meeting in Havana, in a country where Russian political influence was once strong, the two men issued a carefully negotiated joint statement whose final form was agreed only a matter of hours before, no doubt after minute negotiations and searching scrutiny from officials on both sides.
There is a commitment to work towards unity: “It is our hope that our meeting may contribute to the re–establishment of this unity willed by God”. This might seem self-evident to Western Christians, but the Orthodox involvement in ecumenism is hotly contested by influential voices in Russia and elsewhere. For this reason Moscow stressed from the outset that Pope and Patriarch would not pray together. So, committing himself to seeking restored communion is not lacking in courage on Kirill’s part.

Nonetheless the main emphasis of the text is on common witness and action ad extra. There is an insistence on the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as on the general suffering caused by conflicts there, with Syria and Iraq mentioned explicitly, and a plea on behalf of the two Orthodox bishops of Aleppo held captive since 2013. A strong plea is made for a reversal of the conditions which threaten the ancient Christian communities in these lands with extinction or permanent exile. The language is somewhat stronger than Francis has generally used in public, and some will be wondering why it has taken Kirill’s involvement to persuade the Pope to adopt a more combative tone.

The same consideration applies to the firm words the statement contains on the need to counter the advance of secularism and the promotion of traditional Christian moral values. The defence of the family, based on heterosexual marriage and requiring openness to procreation, is reinforced by an explicit condemnation of cohabitation, abortion and euthanasia.

Francis has of course always said that his attitude to these questions is no different from that of his predecessors. But he has expressed reluctance to allow them to assume the prominence in his public pronouncements which they receive in this joint text. His own pressing concerns are echoed, though perhaps with lesser vigour, in the affirmations of the necessity for joint promotion of ecological concerns, social justice and humanitarian aid to refugees, though it is noteworthy that there is no outright call for a policy of generous welcome to the displaced.

There is much reference to dialogue and mutual respect, not only between Christians but also between adherents of different religions and world views. This too is more of a reflection of Francis and the Vatican’s priorities than those of the patriarchate... (continued)


Friday, February 12, 2016

N.Y. Catholic Bishops Won’t Oppose Gov. Cuomo’s Rule To Stop Health Coverage for Gay Conversion Therapy

By Michael W. Chapman

( – Although the Catholic Church teaches that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered,” constitute “grave depravity,” and can never “be approved,” the Catholic bishops of New York State “have not taken a position” on past bills and “do not foresee taking a position” on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new order banning private and public health insurers from covering gay conversion  therapy for minors.

Cuomo, a Catholic who supports homosexual marriage and abortion, made his announcement about prohibiting health care coverage for conversion (or reparative) therapy on Saturday, Feb. 6...


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Pope unleashes 'super confessors' to tackle special sins

By Ella Ide

Vatican City (AFP) - Dubbed 'super confessors', for one year only they can absolve sins usually only pardoned by the pope himself.

And on Wednesday over 1,000 of these "missionaries of mercy", handpicked by Pope Francis, were sent forth to win back the hearts of those who have left the Catholic Church and open the door to repentant sinners across the world.

There are certain evils the Vatican ranks above other sins, from attempting to assassinate the pope to defiling the Eucharist -- the rite of consuming consecrated bread and wine in Church -- by spitting it out or using it in a Satanic ritual.

Since the 12th century, those guilty of these so-called "reserved sins" had their cases evaluated by a secret tribunal in the tiny Vatican city state before they were sent before the pope, who would determine an appropriate penance.

Now, 1,142 priests and monks from around the world have be given the power, for the Vatican's Jubilee Year, to forgive sinners in their flocks -- and possibly fellow priests as one of the special sins is breaking the seal of confession.

Maltese Franciscan Marcello Ghirlando, 53, told AFP he thought giving the 'super confessors' authority usually reserved for the man in white was "a symbolic gesture" to show people the Church is ready to wipe slates clean... (continued)


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Trump, Sanders win New Hampshire Primary

By Stephen Collinson

(CNN) Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders have cruised to victories in the New Hampshire primary, CNN projects, in results that will rock the establishments of both parties and confirm the strength of outsider candidates in a wild presidential race.

Trump's victory restores the mantle of a winner to the billionaire reality star's campaign after he finished second last week in Iowa and validates him as a powerful new force in American politics...


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Marco Rubio Gives Same Memorized Mini-Speech Three Times at Debate


Thousands take part in anti-Islam Pegida protests across Europe - held signs saying 'Trump is right'

By Will Worley

(Independent)  Protesters from the anti-Islam PEGIDA movement marched in cities across Europe today.

With around 2000 attendees, the largest was in Dresden, the home town of the group, the Daily Mail reported.

There were also far right demonstrations in the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Poland, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia and even Australia.

In Birmingham, 100 - 300 protesters joined the first PEGIDA demonstration in Britain. A silent march walked through a Birmingham industrial estate, a Guardian journalist reported...

Some marchers held signs saying 'Trump is right', referring to the US presidential candidate's anti-Muslim rhetoric.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

SS United States: Crystal Cruises Planning Return of Historic Transatlantic Liner

SS United States. Photo credit: SS United States Conservancy

By Mike Schuler

(gCaptain) A major development today in the ongoing saga to save the SS United States from a trip the scrapyard.

Los Angeles-based Crystal Cruises says it has signed a purchase option for the historic – yet weathered – transatlantic steam ship and plans to refurbish the vessel and return it to oceangoing service as a modern luxury cruise ship.

The announcement was made Thursday by Crystal Cruises together with the SS United States Conservancy preservation group at a press conference at the Manhattan Cruise Terminal in New York City.

Crystal says its goal is to bring the ship into compliance with the latest environmental and safety standards, and returning her to full oceangoing service. In doing so, the company has agreed to cover all costs associated with preserving the ship while undertaking a technical feasibility study, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

The SS United States, aka “America’s Flagship”, has faced an uncertain future over the years and especially in recent months. In October 2015, the SS United States Conservancy, faced with the challenge covering the vessel’s monthly expenses each month, began exploring options for the potential sale and scrapping of the ship. The news ignited an outpouring of public support, which helped the Conservancy raise an additional $600,000 in funds to continue its preservation efforts and negotiations with potential investors, ultimately saving it from the scrapyard.

 Photo credit: SS United States Conservation Society

The Conservancy alluded to today’s good news in late January following a story by the AP that said a deal had been struck to save the ship.

“The prospect of revitalizing the SS United States and reestablishing her as ‘America’s Flagship’ once again is a thrilling one. It will be a very challenging undertaking, but we are determined to apply the dedication and innovation that has always been the ship’s hallmark,” said Crystal President and CEO Edie Rodriguez at Thursday press conference. “We are honored to work with the SS United States Conservancy and government agencies in exploring the technical feasibility study so we can ultimately embark on the journey of transforming her into a sophisticated luxury cruise liner for the modern era.”

Crystal Cruises says that in order to meet modern demands and be in full regulatory compliance, the SS United States will have to be extensively re-built to meet over 60 years of new maritime rules and shipbuilding practices. During the process, the ship will be transformed into an 800-guest-capacity vessel, featuring 400 luxurious suites with dining, entertainment, spa and other luxury guest amenities that are true to the ship’s history. Features of the original SS United States such as the Promenade and Navajo Lounge will be retained, while new engines and sophisticated marine technology will be installed to maintain her title as the fastest cruise vessel in the world, according to Crystal Cruises... (continued)