By The Hermits, Aug 17 2014 10:00PM
At one point in the hilarious Ealing Comedy “Passport to Pimlico” Mrs Pemberton (Betty Warren) shouts from the upstairs of her husband’s shop “We’ve always been English; and its precisely because we are English that we’re sticking up for our right to be Burgundians!” If you are wondering at this strange exclamation, let me take you swiftly through the plot of this delightful 1940’s comedy.
Owing to some boys accidentally setting off an unexploded bomb in Pimlico just after the Second World War, the grocer Mr Pemberton (Stanley Holloway) falls down the bomb crater and finds a treasure. It turns out that it belongs to part of the estate of Charles VII (“the Rash”) Duke of Burgundy. When the eccentric Professor Hatton Jones, played by the equally eccentric Margaret Rutherford, is called upon by Mr Pemberton, and the local bank manager Mr. Wix (Raymond Huntley), to authenticate the testament, it is discovered to be a document whereby King Edward IV had ceded what is now Miramont Gardens, Pimlico, to the Duke of Burgundy. So the inhabitants of Miramont gardens declare their independence from England.
The British Government thinks that it can scotch the whole independence plan by saying that the residents of Miramont Gardens need the Duke of Burgundy to appoint the council, for without a council nothing can be done. Not surprisingly a charming Frenchman appears, who is no other than the descendant of the Duke, and thus the present day Duke of Burgundy. His presence thus validates the council of Miramont Gardens.
People from other parts of London flood into the new Dukedom as it is not subject to rationing like the rest of Britain, and before long it is a haven for shoppers, entrepreneurs, gangsters, and spivs. The Government, worried about the chaotic situation in the Dukedom, closes the borders, and shuts off the water and electricity of the tiny state. So the residents find themselves having to live off gin, beer, and whatever they have saved in the way of food. The children are evacuated to England. However the only policeman in the Dukedom, P.C. Spiller, (Philip Stainton) is able to sneak through the barbed wire, and goes to the nearest fire hydrant, and pipes water through to the local reservoir. Unfortunately somebody left the tap on in Pemberton’s shop, and all the food is destroyed by flooding, and so there is a real danger of the inhabitants of Miramont Gardens being starved into submission. The evacuated children then return to the borders of their homeland and throw sandwiches over the barbed wire to their parents and friends. The English onlookers follow suit, and people are soon hurling all kinds of food over into Burgundy. There is even an airlift, and also a helicopter that drops down a hose to supply milk for the community’s milk churns. A pig is airlifted in as well. The British people are right behind the Burgundians, and there is massive pressure on the Government to resolve the situation.
A deadlock ensues, and is finally broken by the suggestion of the Bank Manager that the treasure, which is what is at the root of it all, should be loaned to Britain. And so everyone lives happily ever after.
The English, so long a people of whimsy and rollicking good humour, are these days so sunk in moral depravity, that their legendary good humour is a pale imitation of what it used to be. God willing it will return. However this lovely comedy has a profound message for the Ukrainians and the Donbas Region. The Donbas was originally part of Russia; other parts of Western Ukraine could be debated about. It would completely complicate the argument to remind the reader that at one time most of Western France was part of England.
The Donbas, like Miramont Gardens, has a treasure trove of minerals, mining and industry. No doubt there is an army of Mrs Pembertons, who are shouting from their upstairs windows in the Donbas region, ( That is if they have any upstairs these days due to all the shelling and bombing.) and saying “We’ve always been Ukrainians and we’ll always be Ukrainian; and it’s precisely because we are Ukrainian that we’re sticking to our right to be Russians.” The analogy is not quite exact but it serves its purpose.
A Federation is the only thing that makes sense for the Ukraine, and someone should have the sense to get the Government of Kiev, and the Government of The Donbas Region to sit down and watch “Passport to Pimlico”, which they can do for free on the Internet. Despite all the fear, the hatred, the bombing and the killing, perhaps among Western Ukrainians and Eastern Ukrainians there is an Edward Said, and a Daniel Barenboim, who could bring together young musicians to make music, and in the harmony, and the beauty help to heal and forgive.
Ultimately peace, true and profound peace, is a gift of God, which springs from the Cross of Christ, and his Redemptive Passion. All Ukrainians are for the most part Christian, and there is no excuse for them to be at war with one another. After all our true homeland is not our nation, however much we might love her, but our nation as Christians is Heaven and our commonwealth must be our Christian living, our baptism.
Wars are the result of our sins, and from God’s perspective they are punishments. If we live in true Christian peace and brotherly love there would be no wars, but nationalism a corrupt form of Patriotism, always a difficult concept to understand, to put it mildly, dogs true fraternal love, and makes every other nation an enemy or an object of abuse.
I only hope and pray that there is an important member of the Kiev government and the Donbas government who might read this article and ponder it. As Shakespeare says so eloquently “if music be the food of love play on”, not romantic love as he supposed, but true love, true charity.
The artist and pastor Howard Storm, when he had his mind blowing death experience and underwent terrifying torments at the hands of demons, and tutelage from angels, found that as the Greeks thought, that the Universe is run by music, then music perhaps has part of the answer, for after all Christ is the Logos, the Word made Flesh, and perhaps he brought creation into being with a song. Certainly C.S. Lewis thought so in “The Magician’s Nephew”.
So Dear Ukrainians, Western and Eastern, and Dear Russians think upon your great musical traditions, especially in your Church Music, and amidst the chaos of violence and war bring harmony, and perhaps take a moment to listen to Vaughan Williams great work “Serenade to Music”, where he takes a speech from Merchant of Venice and endows it with a beauty that caused the great Rachmaninov, who attend its world premiere, to weep because it was so beautiful! God after all is perfect beauty, who alone can bring beauty and peace to the Ukraine, to Israel, to Palestine, and to the Middle East. Our Lady Queen of Peace pray for us.
By The Hermits, Aug 14 2014 9:00PM
Recently I have been reading Ian Ker’s truly magnificent biography of G.K. Chesterton, and all the memories of his wonderful books, and superb essays coming flooding back into my mind. For it was 33 years ago, when I first started reading Chesterton, and along with C.S. Lewis, he has been a great guide in our perplexing and perverse World. Ian Ker stresses Chesterton’s fascination with limits. Life has to be limited by laws, and things like the sea, because that is how life works. He would have been an absolute opponent of “Let it all hang out”, which was the great rallying call of the 60’s. One wonders what was meant to be hanging out. It is also interesting to hear people who were not born in the 60’s saying that something is cool. No doubt “good news” which I first heard of in 1976 may make a come back, but not as the Gospel. For Chesterton humour was essential to Christianity, and Ian Ker makes some very telling observations in the following:
‘Hilarity’ he wrote elsewhere ‘involves humility’, and being undignified is ‘the essence of all happiness’. There is, he insisted, ‘an alliance between religion and fun’; whereas Socialist like pagan utopias ‘ have all one horrible fault. They are all dignified.’ For religion ‘is much nearer riotous happiness than it is to the detached and temperate types of happiness which gentlemen and philosophers find their peace.’ Without religion, humour is impossible anyway since it involves humility: ‘No man has ever laughed at anything till he has laughed at himself.’(G. K. Chesterton: A Biography by Ian Ker, Oxford University Press, 2011 ; pp. 272-273)
This sums up on one level the sheer riotous joy that we should feel on the Feast of the Assumption, which has already begun in the East, and which will soon be upon us two and a quarter hours time. For Our Lady has achieved through utter openness to Grace and perfect humility, what we have lost through Original Sin. Our Lady is God’s great joke against Satan. This wonderful girl from Nazareth has been utterly important for our salvation, and the Assumption is the beginning of a great Dance leading us by the hand to heaven. We have to allow Our Lady to make us laugh and jump about with sheer glee, for that is the path to Heaven, which is why I have appended to this short piece an explanation of Bushy’s Song, which is one of those riotous scenes in ‘The Catmoot’, which is on the website.
The song is sung as a duet by Bushy and Tommy, with the chorus made of of the other cats!
When We Go Out Abroad
When we go out abroad,
We cats so many and more,
All jumping and turning,
And dancing and purring,
We’ll follow Our Good Lord.
He will lead us to a place
And show us his gracious face.
We will fly in the sky,
And sing praises on high,
As we follow in his wake.
Both and Chorus
A Gaudium et Spes young man,
A Nostrae Aetate young man,
An ultra-theological, new philosophical
Out-of-the way young man.
Conceive me if you can,
A Vatican II young man:
A progressive type,
With a sneer and pipe,
And a priestly patter pan;
Who thinks folkloric “pops”
More fun than Sunday “tops”
Who’s fond of his dinner,
And doesn’t get thinner
On clerical wine and chops.
Both and Chorus
A Vatican II young man,
Not a Council of Trent Old Man
A steady and “Constance” no time for such nonsense
A Vatican II young man.
An up-to-date young man,
An aggiornamento young man,
A Teilhard de Chardin, so charming parlando,
A Roman Curial man,
A Modernist trained young man,
A very delectable, highly respectable,
A sickly and thin old man,
A grieving and sad old man,
At a Church gone so batty, its thoughts gone so scatty,
A foot in the grave old man!
A Chalcedonian man,
A Lateran IV old man,
A feisty old cardinal who knows all the articles;
A tower of strength old man.
Both and Chorus
Receive me if you can,
A loyal and orthodox man,
Who takes the tradition and all its munitions,
For the sake of the Son of Man.
Bushy’s song whose Gilbert and Sulivan's tune and original lyrics are to be found in Bunthorne and Grovesnor’s hilarious duet at the end of Act II from Patience. Gilbert was sending up the whole aesthetic movement, which was best exemplified by Oscar Wilde and James McNeill Whistler.
The lyrics are a send up of much of Vatican II, which though a great Council on one level was disastrous on many others, due to vagueness and a hopelessly optimistic view of modern man. I have had to incorporate some of the lines of Gilbert’s as it would be hard to better them, and I do not have the talent to better him.
A Guadium et Spes young man. Guadium et Spes was the flagship document of the Council. Parts of it were criticized by Cardinal Heenan as being banal, and that is very accurate. Reading them they have the feel of a sanctified United Nations document, or something that a pious member of the social services might come up with. It is like so much of Vatican II utterly enraptured with man, and putting God, albeit unconsciously in the wings, so to speak.
Nostra Aetate was the document on dialogue with Non Christian religions. It was a small document, but it has created a mine field of theological problems and great havoc. Its gestation and final emergence as the document we know began its career as a result of a meeting between Jules Isaac, a famous French Jew and John XXIII. It was a meeting of hearts and not of minds. Jules Isaac was a modern metropolitan man, although old by then, and John XXIII thought he was talking to a Jew of the Old Testament. This misunderstanding was fuelled by various interested parties for the next several years, which by turns was tragic and farcical. The main villain of the piece, and there were many, was the maverick, and immoral Irish Jesuit Malachi Martin, who ended his days in the late 90’s, or early this century, as a highly orthodox man who was living with his mistress!!!
An ultra theological, new philosophical, out of the way young man. This is the modern priest, whose formation is weighed down with huge doses of academic theology, usually of a highly dubious nature, half baked psychology, and once again is man centred. It was Good Pope John’s wonderfully optimistic, and happy nature that opened the first session of the Vatican Council by saying that the Church no longer needed to condemn error because modern man was so reasonable that he would be persuaded by the Catholic Church’s teachings. This opened a Pandora’s Box. 11 days later the Cuba crisis erupted onto the world stage. However the optimism rippled throughout the Church then and in the following decades and still is here, but optimism and hope are two different things. Optimism led to the most madcap schemes for the formation of priests, and religious and goodness knows who else, and ended up causing chaos, much of which I have witnessed, and it usually has led to a loss of Faith and the destruction of vocations and marriages. The whole problem is that unwittingly The Second Vatican Council, or its movers and shakers, were infatuated with man. The philosophy taught in seminaries would include anybody but Aquinas as far as I could see. We studied most of the German philosophers, some of whom would not have been remotely interested in God. The out of the way young man, could be the trendy priest, the rebel priest, the Marxist revolutionary, the purveyor of permissiveness and goodness knows what else, but he was and is certainly not priestly. I am not sure whether that is worse than the bureaucratic priest who has been in the Church since Constantine.
Who thinks folkloric “pops more fun than Sunday “tops”. Church music in the Western World has suffered both in its Catholic liturgies and Protestant liturgies. For the most part it has been dreadful. Folk masses, which do not use folk music at all but ersatz American folk music, which as far as I can see was created by Pete Seeger. Country and Western would have made more sense, as the great Country and Western singers are often devout Christians. Though Popes have reiterated the importance of Gregorian Chant and polyphony, their words have fallen not so much on deaf ears, but rebellious ears, and this is what is meant by Sunday “tops”. A Shaman would have a better idea of liturgical music than most modern Catholic Clergy, I am sad to say.
The Council of Trent was after Lateran IV, the greatest council since the schism between the Catholic West and the Orthodox West. A famous Anglican Canon, Donald Alchin said to me many years ago that no Church during the Reformation reformed itself more thoroughly than the Catholic Church. The Tridentine Church ends with the opening of the Vatican II, and quite what this era will be called is hard to say.
The Council of Constance in many ways prefigures Vatican II. It had to re-unite the Latin Church so it held that a Council was higher than a Pope. It wanted the Church to be governed by Councils, or some of its members did. However when Martin V was elected Pope, he put paid to that and the Pope then was once again governing the Church.
Aggiornamento is the Italian for “updating”. This became a mad craze. In every department of the Catholic Church had to be updated. Architecture, habits, theology, philosophy, and even marriage!
Teilhard de Chardin The famous French Jesuit along with the famous Austrian theologian and Jesuit Karl Rahner, have done untold harm to the Church. Teilhard has taken in brilliant theologians, and a vast army of religious and priests. His theology to a simple child would be nonsense. It is the Emperor’s new clothes. Teilhard was, as far as one can see, nothing more and nothing less than a dishonest Palaeontologist. He was involved with the Piltdown hoax, for which he could be forgiven, as he may well have been duped. But he was involved with Peking Man with an English palaeontologist. His English Palaeontologist colleague who wrote the definitive bibliography on all the writings to do with the find, failed to incorporate into the bibliography the work of a French Palaeontologist, who looking at the supposed humanoid’s remains concluded that the site was a prehistoric kitchen and the bones were monkeys’ bones. Teilhard’s theology is meant to be Scotist, but the truth is, it is all fantasy. Sadly such fine although dubious theologians as de Lubac thought his work wonderful. Teilhard is the the theologian of Evolution, which makes him something equivalent to a theological oxymoron.
Historico-critical young man. 19th century German theologians are the villains of the piece when it comes to Scripture Scholarship. Their fundamental thesis was, unless it is scientifically verifiable then it can’t have happened. In the realms of philosophy it is known as logical positivism, and it is very dull, and wrong. Miracles do happen of the most astounding nature, but they do not happen with enough frequency to convince 19th century German theologians, or such English philosophers as A.J. Ayer, and people like Richard Dawkins. The end result of such literary criticism is that Jesus ends up just as a great and good man. This leads to Modernism.
A Modernist trained young man. Modernism is the logical outcome of the historical critical method, and evolution, namely that religion is just a subjective thing. The great truths of Christianity simply become wishful thinking. The famous modernist Catholic is George Tyrell S.J., and the most famous Protestant theologian who was a modernist was Bultmann, who flourished in the 20’s and 30’s. The great scourge of Modernism in the Catholic Church was St. Pius Xth, who is now considered by many Catholic Clergy from Cardinals down to ordinary priests as being antediluvian. The great Protestant opponent of Modernism is the giant Karl Barth, of whom Pius XII said, was the greatest theologian since Thomas Aquinas!!!
A sickly and thin old man, This stands for all those who are faithful to the Ancient teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church that cannot be changed without changing the nature of the Church. Thankfully the Second Vatican Council was only a Pastoral Council, which just to complicate things produced two Dogmatic Documents Lumen Gentium and Dei Verbum, which were both orthodox, but had unfortunate loop holes that could be used by the unscrupulous and were.
A Chalcedonian man One of the greatest councils of the Church, second only to Nicaea. It was called in the mid 5th Century when Leo The Great was Pope. It stated that Christ had two natures Divine, and Human.
Lateran IV This was the Council that recognized such new religious orders as The Franciscans, Carmelites, and ultimately the Dominicans. Guided by the most powerful Pope that ever lived, namely Innocent III it did much to reform the Medieval Church.
A feisty old cardinal describes the much maligned “Conservative” cardinals such as Ottaviani, and Siri of Genoa among others, who were not the dreadful dinosaurs that the revolutionary theologians such as Yves Congar, and Rahner would have us believe. The Cardinals were men of irreproachable morality which could not be said of Rahner, and some others.
Thankfully to be truly Christian one does not have to be a theologian, but one must accept the great truths of the Faith, which are all expounded in the first 800 years of the Church’s life and ends with the Seventh Ecumenical Council, Nicaea II, which takes place in 787.
Bushy’s song does for the nonsense of much modern Catholicism what Gilbert did for the aesthetic movement of Wilde and Whistler. I know that Pope Francis has received a copy of the Catmoot book, and seems to have read some of it !!!
By The Hermits, Aug 14 2014 3:49AM
The media is now filled with France, America and the United Kingdom going back into Iraq yet again to bomb, kill, and hopefully rescue, people in Iraq. Over 1000 of those on the mountain had been rescued by the Kurds before the West got involved, and hopefully now the rest can be saved too.
But it isn't in Iraq and Syria that 1000 people have been killed in the last two weeks. It isn't either in Gaza, that poor beseiged overcrowded strip of land, where too too many people have been killed and injured by its powerful neighbour Israel.
No, the country where 1000 people have been killed by thier own government forces without the Western media even turning a hair is in Europe, it is the Ukraine.
The official United Nations spokeswoman Cecile Pouille told Reuters: "This corresponds to a clear escalating trend,". She added that over 60 people have been killed or wounded every day, and almost 5,000 have been wounded, but that these were: “very conservative estimates,”.
So that brings the total up to at least 2,086 killed since the start of the conflict.
But where is the censure of the Kief government. Israel are rightly being censured by much of the world, even though in their eyes they were responding to the missiles coming from Hamas. Kief excused their actions by blaming the demands for some degree of self governance by the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, but the regions hadn't sent any missiles against Kief or the rest of the Ukraine, all they had done when Kief moved agaist them was to have taken over some regional offices, and flown the Donbass flag. So why isn't there the same outrage against Kief that there rightly is against Israel?
There are 3,000 - 4,000 people trapped on the mountain in Iraq without water, they need to be rescued and it seems the international community is going to do so. There are 250,000 people trapped in the city of Lugansk without water for over a week now, who is going to rescue them?
By The Hermits, Aug 13 2014 4:43AM
I know that a lot of people are very concerned about the spread of Ebola in this age of International travel.
As far as I can see, it is possible that it could come to the temperate regions such as Europe and the USA, and although Ebola does not usually spread through air borne transmission, there has been a report that this strain did spread between two animals in a laboratory who did not have direct contact with each other, but this is only one instance, and it would be conceivable that the laboratory technicians cross-contaminated the animals by accident. And although it is terrible that 1000 people have died of this ebola outbreak, it is still a very small outbreak compairing it with all the other diseases we have got used to having around us. So try to be reassured that it is extremely unlikely that you would catch it.
In America laws have been set in place whereby people who have respiratory infections, or even totally well people, can be involuntarily detained for three days for evaluation, and then for as long as needed for testing. In the UK we do not have large detention centres set up simular to the FEMA camps in America as far as I know, and simular laws are not in place at present - but I suppose they could be enacted almost immediately if the government wanted.
But the main reason for this post is to let you know that there is something you could do if you have reson in the future to think that you have been in contact with someone with Ebola. The incubation period is between 2 and 21 days, so you have the chance to stop it before it starts. Elderberries are antiviral - and have been shown in scientific studies to have activity in an encapsulated virus very simular to Ebola. They are also much more useful if used right at the start of a virus, and in this case can be used before you even know if you have it! The syrup is delicious, and the way to take it is to have a tablespoonful every hour or two for two to three days, and that may - and I do say may - abort the viral attack. It works with flu beautifully, so while you or someone you know is waiting to see if they are unfortunate enough to have caught Ebola you might as well try elderberry syrup.
It is not yet the season for elderberries so I will give the recipe using dried elderberries - if the blue/black elderberries are ripe where you are, just double the volume of berries used. (Don't eat elderberries raw as the raw seeds can make you feel unwell.) I am giving the volumes in cups and mls/gms for people on both sides of the Atlantic.
Put one cup (250ml) dried berries in a saucepan with about 2 tbs grated or finely sliced fresh ginger, you can add a stick of cinnamon and up to 10 cloves if you want. Add 4 cups (1 ltr) water and bring to the boil, simmer for about half an hour until the volume is reduced by half. Strain off the solids and add two cups (500ml) of honey. Instead of the honey you could add 2 cups (400g) of sugar and the juice of one lemon with the other ingredients at the start, before you bring them to the boil.
Store the syrup in the fridge, and take a tbs (or a mouthful from the bottle) every hour or two for two or three days.
Remember, this works for flu and colds too, just start taking it right at the start. And if you need a doctor - then go to a doctor!
You see, God is wonderfully kind to us. As it says in the Bible, God gave us plants for our healing. Conventional medicine has very limited means of fighting viruses, but we do have Elderberries, and many other anti-viral herbs and spices too. Elderberry is just the one that grows around here that had tested active against viruses simular to Ebola. In Africa God provided another herb which has also tested active (in the 1990's) against Ebola, that is the Garcinia kola.
You can buy dried elderberries online in Britain from such places as Baldwins, Justingredients, Woodlandherbs and other herbal suppliers, in the USA I hear that Mountainroseherbs is very good, but I am sure there are many other sources too.
Hopefully none of us will need anything to help us with Ebola, but elderberry syrup is delicious anyway, I think it is one of the best things about catching a cold or flu!
Let us just thank God for the wonders of his creation.
By The Hermits, Aug 10 2014 9:53PM
In our increasingly sexualized world, where sex is torn from marriage, and in which sex is pivotal to the Media and entertainment business, and where the foundations of marriage are being rocked to their very foundations, it is both instructive morally and spiritually to turn our gaze towards that wonderful and heroic woman, Catherine of Aragon, daughter of the great Spanish Queen Isabella of Castille, and her less impressive and astutely political husband Ferdinand of Aragon.
I do not have time to tell the whole story of Catherine’s life, suffice it to say that this woman was one of the most courageous defenders of Christian marriage, and her name should be written in letters of gold as long as this world lasts. St Jane of France, who was Queen of France and 21 years Catherine’s senior, was also separated from her husband, but this was in accordance with Rome, because Louis XI, her husband, had been forced into the marriage. This fact was supported by one of the greatest saints of the age, St. Francis of Paola. St. Jane then went on to found the lovely order of the Annunciades. However, there was no constraint in the case of Henry VIII. He genuinely loved Catherine. The problem for Henry is that he wanted a son. Ironically the woman who destroyed his marriage, and whom Henry married bigamously, namely the disastrous Anne Boleyn, herself failed to produce a male heir. In fact she produced, from a purely secular point of view, one of the greatest English monarchs to have ever sat on the throne, Elizabeth I.
Catherine was utterly convinced, and rightly so, that her marriage to Henry was valid, on every count. A dispensation was granted her by Pope Julius II so that she might marry Henry, as she had been previously married to his brother Prince Arthur before his very early death. This is what we would say in English is “ a belt and braces job”. It was to make the marriage to Henry absolutely valid and watertight. It goes without saying that Catherine always protested that her marriage to Arthur had never been consummated. If Leviticus said that a man must not marry his dead brother’s wife, Deuteronomy positively encouraged the man to marry his death brother’s wife. Also it never seems to have crossed anyone’s mind to quote Christ’s parable about the woman married to seven husbands; all brothers!
Catherine’s rock-like refusal to accept that her marriage was valid to Henry VIII brought out the very worst in Henry VIII, who was a gargantuan egotist who would brook no opposition, and who, to get his way, caused the English Church to break with Rome, and gave the necessary back bone to the Reformation, which to some extent it lacked. This was revolution from the top. Henry was the prototype for Ivan The Terrible, and Joseph Stalin.
In Giles Tremlett’s fine biography on Catherine he describes her state of mind when she was talking to her great friend and supporter, Chapuys the Imperial Ambassador, not many days before she died. It must be remembered that Charles V, the Emperor was Catherine’s nephew:
"Chapuys went to Catherine’s rooms for two hours each afternoon for four days. She was worried about her daughter Mary’s trials. Catherine complained, once more, about the inaction of the pope and the emperor. Chapuys stretched the truth to calm the sick woman’s worries, claiming that the pope was now enraged by the executions, and that he (the pope) was determined to act against Henry.
Catherine’s sharp mind was probably not fooled. She admitted, instead that her conscience was troubled by the thought that England’s problems, or at least the ‘heresies’ and ‘scandals’ let in during the divorce battle, might be her fault. Had her obstinacy in choosing to fight her husband pushed her adopted country away from Rome and brought the unnecessary deaths of good men? It was an uncomfortable question. The honest answer was that it had --- even if the ultimate blame lay with Henry’s overarching selfishness. Chapuys, however, reassured her. She might have ‘doubts and scruples’ but, he said, she could have done nothing else. Perhaps Catherine, seeing her life’s mission of binding England and Spain in tatters, secretly deposited her hopes for the future in her daughter." ( Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s Spanish Queen, Giles Tremlett pp.420-421)
As Tremlett points out, if Catherine had really wanted to she could have pressured her nephew the Emperor Charles V to invade England, and many of the nobility would have rushed to Charles V’s standard. Catherine however would not have an invasion on her conscience. The great tragedy was that her brave hearted, and devout daughter, Mary Tudor failed to have a child. It would seem that the Protestant Reformation was destined by God to replace Catholicism in England, and then it would triumph in her colonies in North America.
The Anglican Church founded from the loins of Henry VIII and consolidated by his brilliant daughter, Elizabeth I, would gradually over the centuries accept divorce, at first grudgingly, until at the end of 20th century, it was widely accepted. It would only take a small leap of imagination for the Anglican Church, born to execute the English State’s every dictate in the spiritual realm, to accept “Gay Marriage”.
The problem is oddly enough not “Gay Marriage”, but what lies behind it, namely that a secular ruler can interpret Scripture, and change the Church into the lackey of the state. Against such a thing, only the rock of Peter can withstand such a heresy. Just as in Catherine’s day, the papacy seemed to speak with a weakened voice, even when the Pope is such a good man as Pope Francis so obviously is.
Catherine is a great light in the darkness of the present age. We can only hope that she will one day be canonized, as the one person who more than any other, defended marriage. What is even more important is that she is a counterblast to all the nonsense of our wickedly permissive age. Before her courage such politicians as Obama, Hollande, Cameron, and Merkel are cast into the darkness. Whatever the fears of such fine men as Alex Jones and all those, who with him see only darkness and a Satanic world order, we see Catherine at the head of that great band of English and Welsh martyrs, led by her great champion St. John Fisher, and aided by the unimpeachable St. Thomas More, and the Carthusian martyrs. For what really matters at the end of the day, is not so much how we have lived, but how we die, for how we die decides our eternal salvation. Catherine died a saint, her husband most certainly did not. May God have mercy on his soul, for much of America’s present plight must be laid at his door. America’s successes in worldly terms have decided her future, and it looks a terrible one, and so we hope and pray that this wonderful people of America, ruled by such dreadful leaders, may repent of their folly, which they have sadly inherited from us English.
By The Hermits, Aug 8 2014 11:51AM
Today, 8th August 2014, we celebrate the feast of one of the greatest saints, not only in the Catholic Church of the West, but one who can stand beside the greatest saints in the East. Given Orthodoxy’s more contemplative and other worldly aspects, Dominic would be something of a mystery to that great Church, more so than St. Francis who is far more congenial on the level of “The Holy Fool” than Dominic, and thus comprehensible to the Orthodox Christians.
Dominic, a Castilian, came from a family of saints. His mother, Joanna of Aza, and his older brother, Manez are both beatified, and Antonio the oldest brother, though equally holy, has not been beatified. The Father, Don Felix Guzman, presided over, not so much a castle, but a monastery. It was therefore not surprising that Dominic eventually joined the Canons Regular of St. Augustine, and was ordained. The Canons, in the Middle Ages, were seen as the contemplative order and the Benedictine, the active. In many ways this is true, as the Canons were essentially about prayer, preaching, and running parishes, the Benedictines about prayer and work. So for seven years Dominic, enclosed in halls of silence, was being prepared by God for his great work.
Dominic’s great work came about almost by accident. Diego, the first prior of Dominic’s monastery and now Bishop of Osma, took Dominic with him on an embassy to Denmark on behalf of Alfonso VIII, King of Castile. The embassy was to go to Denmark and bring back a princess of Denmark to marry Alfonso’s eldest son. By the time the two men arrived at the Danish court, the princess had, somewhat inconveniently died. However what had really impressed Diego and Dominic was the terrible effects of the Albigensian heresy in the south of France, and well they might.
I think that it is fair to say that the Albigensian heresy, which is the Medieval incarnation of Manichaeism, is possibly the worst heresy of the lot; at least with the Pelagians they worked hard at their redemption, as there was, for them, no such thing as grace to aid them. With the Albigensians all matter was bad, and only the spirit was good, which made having children bad, and so infertile sex was encouraged, as was sodomy, as this was a form of contraception. This appalling heresy whose “Perfecti” lived incredibly austere and penitential lives, while the mass did just what they wanted, meant that Christian society was obliterated in the lands where Albigensian held sway. While on their way to Denmark Diego and Dominic stayed at an inn in Toulouse. The innkeeper was an Abligensian, presumably not a perfecti. Dominic spent the whole night in argument with the innkeeper, and by morning the innkeeper was defeated and asked to be reconciled to the Church, and so began in essence the plan for the Order of Preachers.
Dominic, unlike his great contemporary Francis of Assisi was not on a mission preaching to sinners to repent, but he was preaching doctrine, pure and simple to convert heretics. Francis had a horror of heresy, but did not really have plan of action for dealing with heretics. For Francis it was enough to get men to weep for their sins, be reconciled, and thus promote their salvation and bring peace.
Dominic’s job was harder. It was a theological mission, and so he sent his early friars to the universities of Europe, Bologna, Paris, and Oxford. His men must convert, what we would call today, the Intelligentsia.
This he did superlatively well. His great order produced Albert the Great and the Angelic Doctor, namely Thomas Aquinas, the greatest theologian in the West after Augustine. It must be added that he was then, and still is now, rather controversial.
However, with the coming of the Reformation, the Dominicans, who should have risen to the task of confuting Luther, failed miserably. They had been undermined by the theology of William of Ockham whose theology was the fashionable one on the eve of the Reformation. I think, it can be safely said, that he is the most dangerous theologian who ever lived, and his ideas have blossomed into modern atheism as far as I can see. It gives me no joy to tell you he is an Englishman, like myself, and most probably his thinking has had a quite disastrous effect on English philosophy, which is essentially pragmatic, as was Ockham.
Today the Catholic Church is riven with heresy, and two of its most famous Dominican theologians Yves Congar, and Edward Schillebeeckx have done great damage to her, during, and after The Second Vatican Council, and so we await a real reform and renewal from this great order, known in former years as “Dogs of the Lord”. Like the Jesuits, the Dominicans have never had a great reform as have the Benedictines, Franciscans and Carmelites. Perhaps it is difficult to reform orders that are so intellectual, but we need thinkers, who are both traditional and creative to deal with the terrible sexual revolution of the 1960’s which has flowered into the Gay and Transgender revolution of the 21st century and which now seems to resemble some strange secular heresy. It is in many ways a variation of Manichaesim, the originator of Albigensianism. No-one is, it would seem, doing very much in this area, and we need more than Neo Thomism, and endless permutations of it.
We need that wonderfully argumentative spirit and accompanying holiness of Dominic, who persuaded the innkeeper to truly convert to Christ. Argument is more important than dialogue, which simply leaves the two people, much in the same place, as when they began the dialogue. To convert somebody, one must intend to convert them, and the best way is by argument. This is not a very fashionable view in the 21st century Catholic Church.
By The Hermits, Aug 4 2014 7:37PM
Israel, and many Jews, suffer from that most detestable of all sins, which afflict the human race in general, namely self-pity. Given the horrors of the holocaust that is quite understandable, but the Israelis have no right to complain that they have been hard done by; after all they won all their wars. They were given a country, and given land at the expense of those who lived there. They were given far more than justice demanded. The folly of the British and their duplicity with regard to the Jews and the Palestinians is still working its deadly poison within the British establishment and Parliament. On one level there is really no point in likening the Israelis to the Nazis. It is a pointless exercise, because the Nazi tyranny was no different from any tyranny. Now ruthlessness is always considered by the tyrant far more expedient than dialogue, or trying to see if there can be some way of understanding the other group, the other nation. All people are the same. All that differentiates nations is taste and different cultures. All people at heart want only two things, to love and be loved. When this becomes difficult because of upbringing in loveless families, living under tyrannies, or in great poverty; when life seems hopeless and unbearably hard it takes a brave man, or a brave woman, to renounce hatred and embrace love and forgiveness.
In 1942 after the fearsome Reinhard Heydrich, Reich Protector of Bohemia and Moravia (Czechoslovakia had been dismembered by the Nazis by this time.), and epitome of Nazi manhood, had been assassinated, Hitler wanted reprisals. His immediate reaction was to want to kill 10,000 Czechs. He was persuaded just to kill all the male inhabitants of the village of Lidice, send the women off to Ravensbrück, and the children for racial cataloguing. Eighty one of the children were deemed racially inferior and were killed; of the seventeen who remained, they were given new identities and given to German families. 1,357 other people were tried and executed for supposed involvement with the murder, and 1000 Jews in Prague were taken off and killed. All in all 5,000 Czechs were killed. Hitler would have liked to do more but he relied heavily on the Czech armaments factories, and so could not.
The present war between Israel and Hamas is based on the same pattern as above. Three Israeli teenagers are killed, so Israel retaliates ferociously, even though all the evidence points not to Hamas, who denied the killings, but to a group who are associated with Isis, and it was Mossad that at one time trained Isis. The madness is breath taking. Blood lust, retribution, and self pity are sending the Israeli Establishment mad. Has Netanyahu turned into Henry VIII or Ivan the Terrible?
It is far easier and strangely more comfortable to nurse hatreds than to forgive, but ultimately hatred will devour the one who hates. Hate is an obsession. The Hater is obsessed with the wrong done, either to him, his loved ones, his country, his religion, his town, whatever. Ultimately it springs from the wrong kind of love; the love that is possessive, obsessive, overwhelming. Against this true love will always be sacrificial, and at its most perfect is only to be found in one man, Jesus Christ, who is also God, and in one woman, the Mother of God. Love is also profoundly forgiving. It forgives and it also forgets.
All talk by the Catholic Church regarding interreligious dialogue is a forlorn task. This will not bring peace. The prayer meeting in the Vatican attended by the Pope and the Presidents of Israel and the Palestinian authority recently seem to have been more like a prelude to war, and this through no fault of either man. Truth is what matters, and everyone begging to differ as to what is the truth and the way to find it, will not find true peace. When there is so much at stake, truth usually goes out of the window. Talk, and dialogue is usually a waste of time, and even the most skilled diplomatist or intermediary is rarely satisfied. Peace will only come when the Moslems and the Jews understand who Jesus of Nazareth really is, and most liberal Christians must do the same, as it is perfectly obvious by what they say and do, they hardly deserve the title Christian; that of heretic is the only correct one, I am sorry to say.
Christ is not the perfect philanthropist nor the philosopher that liberal thinkers would like him to be, nor is he the son of a harlot as the Talmud would have us believe (That will be the Antichrist), nor is he just a prophet as the Moslems would have us believe, and he is not just another god in the ever increasing Hindu Pantheon. He is God, and that is that. The Catholic Church’s leaders must surely realize that the fruits of inter-religious dialogue are meagre indeed, and the attempt to have a dialogue with the more liberal Protestant churches such as the Anglican and the Lutheran is doomed to failure, for once fundamental things such as marriage mutate into something completely different then there is no room for dialogue. Orthodox Jews and Moslems can have no truck with “Gay” marriage for instance, which makes those Christians who condone it look remarkably stupid. And Christians cannot really have a dialogue with Jews and Moslems who think that Christ is either an imposter as do the Jews, or only a prophet as do the Moslems.
Nor are we helped as Christians in having a dialogue with other Faiths which will help us all to find peace. Peace for a Hindu, a Moslem, or Jew is not the same as Christian peace, though the Jews will have something pretty similar to Christians, but without Christ a perfect understanding of peace will be lacking, and in practice it is severely lacking in cultures that were, until recently Christian, namely the countries of Europe.
We must hope and pray that Christ who is the Prince of Peace will bring peace, but that in large part depends on the faithfulness of Western Christians, who at present are marked by a too worldly view of their faith, which is too attached, not to Christ, but to a sort of Enlightenment Christianity and something closer to the UN than to the Church. Until we rediscover our Christianity in all its beauty and truth, in all its charity and its hope, and in true doctrine, not only the Middle East, but the world will slide into chaos, which will be beyond our wildest imaginings.
By The Hermits, Aug 3 2014 9:19PM
Veteran Analysts Tell Obama: Stop Lying About Malaysia Crash
Posted on August 1, 2014 by DEUS NEXUS Leave a comment
VETERAN US INTELLIGENCE ANALYSTS TO OBAMA: PROVIDE EVIDENCE OR STOP LYING ABOUT MALAYSIA PLANE CRASH
U.S.–Russian intensions are building in a precarious way over Ukraine
Reposted from: Infowars
MEMORANDUM FOR: The President
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
SUBJECT: Intelligence on Shoot-Down of Malaysian Plane
U.S.–Russian intensions are building in a precarious way over Ukraine, and we are far from certain that your advisers fully appreciate the danger of escalation. The New York Times and other media outlets are treating sensitive issues in dispute as flat-fact, taking their cue from U.S. government sources.
Twelve days after the shoot-down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, your administration still has issued no coordinated intelligence assessment summarizing what evidence exists to determine who was responsible – much less to convincingly support repeated claims that the plane was downed by a Russian-supplied missile in the hands of Ukrainian separatists.
Your administration has not provided any satellite imagery showing that the separatists had such weaponry, and there are several other “dogs that have not barked.” Washington’s credibility, and your own, will continue to erode, should you be unwilling – or unable – to present more tangible evidence behind administration claims. In what follows, we put this in the perspective of former intelligence professionals with a cumulative total of 260 years in various parts of U.S. intelligence:
We, the undersigned former intelligence officers want to share with you our concern about the evidence adduced so far to blame Russia for the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17. We are retired from government service and none of us is on the payroll of CNN, Fox News, or any other outlet. We intend this memorandum to provide a fresh, different perspective.
As veteran intelligence analysts accustomed to waiting, except in emergency circumstances, for conclusive information before rushing to judgment, we believe that the charges against Russia should be rooted in solid, far more convincing evidence. And that goes in spades with respect to inflammatory incidents like the shoot-down of an airliner. We are also troubled by the amateurish manner in which fuzzy and flimsy evidence has been served up – some it via “social media.”
As intelligence professionals we are embarrassed by the unprofessional use of partial intelligence information. As Americans, we find ourselves hoping that, if you indeed have more conclusive evidence, you will find a way to make it public without further delay. In charging Russia with being directly or indirectly responsible, Secretary of State John Kerry has been particularly definitive. Not so the evidence. His statements seem premature and bear earmarks of an attempt to “poison the jury pool.”
Painting Russia Black
We see an eerie resemblance to an earlier exercise in U.S. “public diplomacy” from which valuable lessons can be learned by those more interested in the truth than in exploiting tragic incidents for propaganda advantage. We refer to the behavior of the Reagan administration in the immediate aftermath of the shoot-down of Korean Airlines Flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983. We sketch out below a short summary of that tragic affair, since we suspect you have not been adequately briefed on it. The parallels will be obvious to you.
An advantage of our long tenure as intelligence officers is that we remember what we have witnessed first hand; seldom do we forget key events in which we played an analyst or other role. To put it another way, most of us “know exactly where we were” when a Soviet fighter aircraft shot down Korean Airlines passenger flight 007 over Siberia on August 30, 1983, over 30 years ago. At the time, we were intelligence officers on “active duty.” You were 21; many of those around you today were still younger.
Thus, it seems possible that you may be learning how the KAL007 affair went down, so to speak, for the first time; that you may now become more aware of the serious implications for U.S.-Russian relations regarding how the downing of Flight 17 goes down; and that you will come to see merit in preventing ties with Moscow from falling into a state of complete disrepair. In our view, the strategic danger here dwarfs all other considerations.
Hours after the tragic shoot-down on Aug. 30, 1983, the Reagan administration used its very accomplished propaganda machine to twist the available intelligence on Soviet culpability for the killing of all 269 people aboard KAL007. The airliner was shot down after it strayed hundreds of miles off course and penetrated Russia’s airspace over sensitive military facilities in Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. The Soviet pilot tried to signal the plane to land, but the KAL pilots did not respond to the repeated warnings. Amid confusion about the plane’s identity – a U.S. spy plane had been in the vicinity hours earlier – Soviet ground control ordered the pilot to fire.
The Soviets soon realized they had made a horrendous mistake. U.S. intelligence also knew from sensitive intercepts that the tragedy had resulted from a blunder, not from a willful act of murder (much as on July 3, 1988, the USS Vincennes shot down an Iranian civilian airliner over the Persian Gulf, killing 290 people, an act which President Ronald Reagan dismissively explained as an “understandable accident”).
To make the very blackest case against Moscow for shooting down the KAL airliner, the Reagan administration suppressed exculpatory evidence from U.S. electronic intercepts. Washington’s mantra became “Moscow’s deliberate downing of a civilian passenger plane.” Newsweek ran a cover emblazoned with the headline “Murder in the Sky.” (Apparently, not much has changed;Time’s cover this week features “Cold War II” and “Putin’s dangerous game.” The cover story by Simon Shuster, “In Russia, Crime Without Punishment,” would merit an A-plus in William Randolph Hearst’s course “Yellow Journalism 101.”)
When KAL007 was shot down, Alvin A. Snyder, director of the U.S. Information Agency’s television and film division, was enlisted in a concerted effort to “heap as much abuse on the Soviet Union as possible,” as Snyder writes in his 1995 book, “Warriors of Disinformation.”
He and his colleagues also earned an A-plus for bringing the “mainstream media” along. For example, ABC’s Ted Koppel noted with patriotic pride, “This has been one of those occasions when there is very little difference between what is churned out by the U.S. government propaganda organs and by the commercial broadcasting networks.”
“Fixing” the Intelligence Around the Policy
“The perception we wanted to convey was that the Soviet Union had cold-bloodedly carried out a barbaric act,” wrote Snyder, adding that the Reagan administration went so far as to present a doctored transcript of the intercepts to the United Nations Security Council on September 6, 1983.
Only a decade later, when Snyder saw the complete transcripts — including the portions that the Reagan administration had hidden — would he fully realize how many of the central elements of the U.S. presentation were false.
The intercepts showed that the Soviet fighter pilot believed he was pursuing a U.S. spy aircraft and that he was having trouble in the dark identifying the plane. Per instructions from ground control, the pilot had circled the KAL airliner and tilted his wings to order the aircraft to land. The pilot said he fired warning shots, as well. This information “was not on the tape we were provided,” Snyder wrote.
It became abundantly clear to Snyder that, in smearing the Soviets, the Reagan administration had presented false accusations to the United Nations, as well as to the people of the United States and the world. In his book, Snyder acknowledged his own role in the deception, but drew a cynical conclusion. He wrote, “The moral of the story is that all governments, including our own, lie when it suits their purposes. The key is to lie first.”
The tortured attempts by your administration and stenographers in the media to blame Russia for the downing of Flight 17, together with John Kerry’s unenviable record for credibility, lead us to the reluctant conclusion that the syndrome Snyder describes may also be at work in your own administration; that is, that an ethos of “getting your own lie out first” has replaced “ye shall know the truth.” At a minimum, we believe Secretary Kerry displayed unseemly haste in his determination to be first out of the starting gate.
Both Sides Cannot Be Telling the Truth
We have always taken pride in not shooting from the hip, but rather in doing intelligence analysis that is evidence-based. The evidence released to date does not bear close scrutiny; it does not permit a judgment as to which side is lying about the shoot-down of Flight 17. Our entire professional experience would incline us to suspect the Russians – almost instinctively. Our more recent experience, particularly observing Secretary Kerry injudiciousness in latching onto one spurious report after another as “evidence,” has gone a long way toward balancing our earlier predispositions.
It seems that whenever Kerry does cite supposed “evidence” that can be checked – like the forged anti-Semitic fliers distributed in eastern Ukraine or the photos of alleged Russian special forces soldiers who allegedly slipped into Ukraine – the “proof” goes “poof” as Kerry once said in a different context. Still, these misrepresentations seem small peccadillos compared with bigger whoppers like the claim Kerry made on Aug. 30, 2013, no fewer than 35 times, that “we know” the government of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical incidents near Damascus nine days before.
On September 3, 2013 – following your decision to call off the attack on Syria in order to await Congressional authorization – Kerry was still pushing for an attack in testimony before a thoroughly sympathetic Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. On the following day Kerry drew highly unusual personal criticism from President Putin, who said: “He is lying, and he knows he is lying. It is sad.”
Equally serious, during the first week of September 2013, as you and President Vladimir Putin were putting the final touches to the deal whereby Syrian chemical weapons would be given up for destruction, John Kerry said something that puzzles us to this day. On September 9, 2013, Kerry was in London, still promoting a U.S. attack on Syria for having crossed the “Red Line” you had set against Syria’s using chemical weapons.
At a formal press conference, Kerry abruptly dismissed the possibility that Bashar al-Assad would ever give up his chemical weapons, saying, “He isn’t about to do that; it can’t be done.” Just a few hours later, the Russians and Syrians announced Syria’s agreement to do precisely what Kerry had ruled out as impossible. You sent him back to Geneva to sign the agreement, and it was formally concluded on September 14.
Regarding the Malaysia Airlines shoot-down of July 17, we believe Kerry has typically rushed to judgment and that his incredible record for credibility poses a huge disadvantage in the diplomatic and propaganda maneuvering vis-a-vis Russia. We suggest you call a halt to this misbegotten “public diplomacy” offensive. If, however, you decide to press on anyway, we suggest you try to find a less tarnished statesman or woman.
A Choice Between Two
If the intelligence on the shoot-down is as weak as it appears judging from the fuzzy scraps that have been released, we strongly suggest you call off the propaganda war and await the findings of those charged with investigating the shoot-down. If, on the other hand, your administration has more concrete, probative intelligence, we strongly suggest that you consider approving it for release, even if there may be some risk of damage to “sources and methods.” Too often this consideration is used to prevent information from entering the public domain where, as in this case, it belongs.
There have been critical junctures in the past in which presidents have recognized the need to waive secrecy in order to show what one might call “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind” or even to justify military action.
As senior CIA veteran Milton Bearden has put it, there are occasions when more damage is done to U.S. national security by “protecting” sources and methods than by revealing them. For instance, Bearden noted that Ronald Reagan exposed a sensitive intelligence source in showing a skeptical world the reason for the U.S. attack on Libya in retaliation for the April 5, 1986 bombing at the La Belle Disco in West Berlin. That bombing killed two U.S. servicemen and a Turkish woman, and injured over 200 people, including 79 U.S. servicemen.
Intercepted messages between Tripoli and agents in Europe made it clear that Libya was behind the attack. Here’s an excerpt: “At 1:30 in the morning one of the acts was carried out with success, without leaving a trace behind.”
Ten days after the bombing the U.S. retaliated, sending over 60 Air Force fighters to strike the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the city of Benghazi. The operation was widely seen as an attempt to kill Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, who survived, but his adopted 15-month-old daughter was killed in the bombing, along with at least 15 other civilians.
Three decades ago, there was more shame attached to the killing of children. As world abhorrence grew after the U.S. bombing strikes, the Reagan administration produced the intercepted, decoded message sent by the Libyan Peoples Bureau in East Berlin acknowledging the “success” of the attack on the disco, and adding the ironically inaccurate boast “without leaving a trace behind.”
The Reagan administration made the decision to give up a highly sensitive intelligence source, its ability to intercept and decipher Libyan communications. But once the rest of the world absorbed this evidence, international grumbling subsided and many considered the retaliation against Tripoli justified.
If You’ve Got the Goods…
If the U.S. has more convincing evidence than what has so far been adduced concerning responsibility for shooting down Flight 17, we believe it would be best to find a way to make that intelligence public – even at the risk of compromising “sources and methods.” Moreover, we suggest you instruct your subordinates not to cheapen U.S. credibility by releasing key information via social medialike Twitter and Facebook.
The reputation of the messenger for credibility is also key in this area of “public diplomacy.” As is by now clear to you, in our view Secretary Kerry is more liability than asset in this regard. Similarly, with regard to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, his March 12, 2013 Congressional testimony under oath to what he later admitted were “clearly erroneous” things regarding NSA collection should disqualify him. Clapper should be kept at far remove from the Flight 17 affair.
What is needed, if you’ve got the goods, is an Interagency Intelligence Assessment – the genre used in the past to lay out the intelligence. We are hearing indirectly from some of our former colleagues that what Secretary Kerry is peddling does not square with the real intelligence. Such was the case late last August, when Kerry created a unique vehicle he called a “Government (not Intelligence) Assessment” blaming, with no verifiable evidence, Bashar al-Assad for the chemical attacks near Damascus, as honest intelligence analysts refused to go along and, instead, held their noses.
We believe you need to seek out honest intelligence analysts now and hear them out. Then, you may be persuaded to take steps to curb the risk that relations with Russia might escalate from “Cold War II” into an armed confrontation. In all candor, we see little reason to believe that Secretary Kerry and your other advisers appreciate the enormity of that danger.
In our most recent (May 4) memorandum to you, Mr. President, we cautioned that if the U.S. wished “to stop a bloody civil war between east and west Ukraine and avert Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine, you may be able to do so before the violence hurtles completely out of control.” On July 17, you joined the top leaders of Germany, France, and Russia in calling for a ceasefire. Most informed observers believe you have it in your power to get Ukrainian leaders to agree. The longer Kiev continues its offensive against separatists in eastern Ukraine, the more such U.S. statements appear hypocritical.
We reiterate our recommendations of May 4, that you remove the seeds of this confrontation by publicly disavowing any wish to incorporate Ukraine into NATO and that you make it clear that you are prepared to meet personally with Russian President Putin without delay to discuss ways to defuse the crisis and recognize the legitimate interests of the various parties. The suggestion of an early summit got extraordinary resonance in controlled and independent Russian media. Not so in “mainstream” media in the U.S. Nor did we hear back from you.
The courtesy of a reply is requested.
Prepared by VIPS Steering Group
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.)
Larry Johnson, CIA & State Department (ret.)
Edward Loomis, NSA, Cryptologic Computer Scientist (ret.)
David MacMichael, National Intelligence Council (ret.)
Ray McGovern, former US Army infantry/intelligence officer & CIA analyst (ret.)
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.)
Coleen Rowley, Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)
Peter Van Buren, U.S. Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret)
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)
By The Hermits, Aug 3 2014 1:52AM
A new agenda is coming to the nurseries and kindergartens, well, the CEO of Stonewall, Ms. Ruth Hunt, is hoping that she can bring it about. Stonewall has already introduced a book celebrating homosexual relationships into every primary school in Britain, and in yesterday's interview Ms. Hunt stated her new aim in life: it is for her charity to commission a suite of books extolling the benefits of having two mothers, or two fathers (or rather no mother, or no father) so that this propaganda can be: "sent into every preschool setting. That will take time too. But that is possibly one of the most radical campaigns we could do." What a twisted aim in life.
Please pray for her and all homosexual pressure group members. That they may see the evil of their ways, and that they may be converted to the beauty of God and His Laws.
The other snippet of the day comes from President Poroshenko. He is angry, and this time it is with the members of the Kiev Parliament. The reason is this, they have refused to pass a law which would mean that the two regions he is bombing would be named as terrorist organisations. Of course, if they were classified as terrorists rather than regions, then there would be no civillians to kill, because they would all be terrorists just because they lived there.
Poroshenko's own words can show his path towards dictatorship better than I can:
“I don’t know how to work with the parliament where half of the Verkhovna Rada [parliament] does not vote to recognize the Lugansk People’s Republic and Donetsk People’s Republic as terrorist organizations,”
“I don’t know how to work with the parliament where the majority of people represent a ‘fifth column’ which is controlled from abroad, whole factions.” he added.
So basically, when a parliament votes for what you want it is democracy, and when it doesn't it must be a fifth column or other such thing.
Again, pray for Petro Poroshenko too, he is looking so unhappy - as he probably deserves to be, it would have been a much happier time being a billionaire chocolate maker rather then now, being the prime mover in the death of so many people. If he would repent and allow God to use him for good not evil it would be a wonderful example for many.
By The Hermits, Aug 1 2014 2:48AM
The 21st Century is beginning to look like a return to an earlier, dirtier, more dangerous and more basic past.
In Britian we are still protected from most of these changes, and are still living in a very comfortable modern society.
But we don't even have to leave Europe to see how fragile our 'civilised' lifestyle is. In Greece recently people couldn't even get medicines due to the economic collapse, and the enforced European Austerity policies have lead to deep problems for the elderly and unemployed. But the example par excelence is that of the Ukraine. Not a prosperous country, but an industrial one, now its South East is rapidly being reduced to rubble, its industries deliberately destroyed, families fleeing for their lives, and one of the main cities (Donetsk) now in the medieval state of being in a state of siege.
Leaving Europe (even though Israel seems to think it is in Europe!), look at what is happening in Gaza. As an article in the New York Times points out, it isn't just the citizens of Gaza that are being targeted by Israel, but the International body of the United Nations. Unlike the Ukrainians who can if they are lucky flee to Russia, there is no-where for the people of Gaza to go to avoid being shelled. The borders are closed. Even though Egypt allowed people who had relatives in Egypt to enter, for most Palestinians they are completely trapped. It is a killing field, remember Pol Pot!
Syria, with the help of our and American weapons, has also been devastated, as has Iraq. Although it isn't the present conflict that laid Iraq to waste, that had already happened by the direct action of American and British troops during the Iraq wars.
Remember the parable of the man who was living in good times, so good that he wanted to build even better storage facilities for all his grain - but instead he died and left all his worldly property behind.
We may not even have to die in order to lose all our worldly goods, thousands of those in Gaza and the Ukraine have lost everything they ever owned, but we must become detached from our love of our luxuries, remembering that we are but pilgrims on this earth and that our true home is in heaven.
So pray for those who are suffering and dying tonight - including the Ebola victims, that God may have mercy on their souls, and on ours too.
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