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Monday, February 25, 2013

NY legislator Dov Hikind mocks African-Americans

The Mockery-Mongers

By Michael Hoffman
Copyright ©2013

Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-New York), in Afro wig and blackface at a Purim gathering, Feb. 24, 2013. His wife dressed as the devil to celebrate the religious festival.

As part of the Judaic holy day of Purim, New York legislator Dov Hikind shucked and jived in minstrel blackface. If this was any public official other than a Talmudist, his resignation would have already been tendered.

Mr. Hikind’s act is in strict accord with Orthodox Judaism's institutionalized anti-Black racism, based on three principal rabbinic texts, and hundreds of ancillary ones, which are derived from the following three.

1. The racist Midrash on Ham: Midrash Rabbah, vol. 1 [Soncino, 1983], p. 293.

2. The doctrine of "the Rambam," Rabbi Maimonides, in his Guide of the Perplexed, in the uncensored, Shlomo Pines translation, (University of Chicago Press, 1963,vol. 2, pp. 618-619).

3. The teaching of Isaac Abarbanel, as accurately quoted by David Brion Davis in his history text, Inhuman Bondage: The Rise and Fall of Slavery in the New World (Oxford University Press, 2006; p. 55).

Moreover, Hebrew-language Israeli newspapers recently reported that African women in the Israeli state have been deceived into being vaccinated with the contraceptive drug Depo-provera to keep their population down.

As for Purim itelf, Judaic religious customs associated with the holiday include a host of primitive revenge motifs such as consuming pastries shaped like Haman’s ears (oznei haman; in Yiddish: homentashn), and creating a purimgreger (cacaphony) when Haman’s name is mentioned (homenklopfn) in the synagogue.

Also on Purim, Judaic males are commanded by rabbinic tradition to get so drunk they can't tell the difference between Haman and Mordechai. Lord-of-Misrule gender and role reversals (Judaic men in women's attire, Israelis dressed as Arab suicide bombers complete with ersatz detonation belts), and all manner of grotesque Halloween-like attire, are also a feature of this pagan bacchanal, which is presented to the public as “a Biblical commemoration” by “Torah-true Jews."

Concerning the evolution of blackface in America, William N. Grimstad pointed out in his privately printed opus, Talk About Hate (1999), in a chapter titled “Mockery Mongers,” that the gentle and sentimental minstrel show heritage of the 19th century was transformed into callous derision with the next century's “coon-shouting” genre, which was pioneered largely by newly arrived immigrants from Eastern Europe such as Sophie Tucker, Al Jolson and Eddie Cantor. Mr. Grimstad notes that these just-off-the-boat Khazars felt entitled to mock Black Americans, whose ancestors had been in this country for 300 years.

From whence does this mockery and contempt derive -- out of thin air -- or from 1600 years of rabbinic tradition? 

Michael Hoffman is the author of Judaism Discovered and Judaism's Strange Gods. If you think his work is important, please send a donation today to Independent History and Research, Box 849, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83816. Or donate online here.

Assemblyman Defends Wearing Blackface to a Party
By Thomas Kaplan
NY Times online Feb. 25, 2013

"A prominent state assemblyman from Brooklyn defended himself on Monday after wearing blackface to a party he hosted to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim. Dov Hikind, a Democrat and a longtime power broker in the Orthodox Jewish community, wore an Afro wig, brown makeup, an orange jersey and sunglasses...Mr. Hikind said that he was flabbergasted by the outcry, and that he suspected many did not understand the tradition of dressing up for Purim. 'My wife, you saw the picture, she was the devil,' Mr. Hikind said....'A lot of people just don’t realize, on Purim, in a sense, forgive me for saying this, you do crazy stuff...” 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Signs and Wonders amidst the Papal abdication


An asteroid is passing 17,000 miles from us as a spectacular meteor strikes Russia, while "A Good Day to Die Hard," a Hollywood blockbuster movie based in Russia, debuts. What is the statistical chance of all these events happening within hours of each other? 

Signs and Wonders in the midst of the Papal Abdication:
How should a Christian respond?

On Feb 15, 2013, at 7:07, XXXXX@aol.com wrote:

Your Name: H.N.

Subject: Questions about Pope Benedict's abdication

Dear Mr. Hoffman:

I read your online article concerning the Pope and found it very enlightening. My main take away was, as you counseled, prudence when approaching this subject. The spin meisters in the media as well as the conspiracy blogs should be treated with healthy amounts of scepticism. 
The one aspect of this event which interested me was your suggestion of the possibility of Divine intervention, at the personal level, perhaps having played a role in this drama. The ritualism surrounding "Shrovetide" makes the unlikelihood of a Papal abdication coinciding with it a synchronicity far too compelling to ignore. However, the additional feature of a spectacular lightning strike upon St. Peter's the very day of the papal resignation followed today by the spectacular account of a supposed "meteor" strike in the Urals region of Russia has to make one wonder if the heavens themselves are in a state of agitation.
(The reason I've enclosed the word meteor in quotes is because the early reports I've read on the "RT" website include an unconfirmed report that the Russian military tracked and intercepted the object and fired missiles at it. In any event I'll let you consult the site and make your own judgement as I'm taking the report at face value that it was a natural phenomenon. See: http://rt.com/news/meteorite-crash-urals-chelyabinsk-283/)

In reading the dispatch on the above site as well as the linked site giving updated news a couple of points were of particular interest to me. One paragraph described reports from people in the area of the strike as stating that zookeepers in a nearby city reported "agitation" of the animals by the boom and impact. But, they also noted that the most agitated of all were wolves and horses. Wolves, as we all know are the forerunners and not so distant cousins of our domestic dogs. It has  always been my perception that of all the creatures which the Good Lord put under Man's dominion dogs and horses have always (at least, I think, in the West) been considered the closest and most faithful servants. Is this heightened agitation among these two particular species significant? Is there a sublayer operating at the cosmic layer beyond the simple coincidence of this event occurring the week of a Papal resignation?

Another factoid gleaned from the above story on RT: There is a giant deactivated Soviet era Plutonium enrichment facility located within 100 kilometers of the area where this event took place.

In any event I'm sure you will ponder and evaluate this in your own good time and with much more precision and clarity than I could.

I realize this e-mail has dragged on and I sincerely apologize for my lack of brevity but I'd like to make just one more point about synchronicities at a personal level. A couple of days ago I was perusing the selections at a local used book shop. I happened upon 3 volumes, in paperback, which I felt, almost against my better judgement, that I must purchase immediately. What were these three books? The first one was "The Collected Works of Charles Fort". I had been looking for a paperback version of this work to go along with the hardbound version I purchased many years ago. I felt a need for a second copy of the book because my intent is to read Fort again but this time I wish to highlight/underline/note comments which is something I would never do to the hardbound edition I own. The second book in question is an old paperback copy of Dr. Zhivago which I have always wanted to read but never found time to read. A great deal of this story takes place in the Ural mountain region of Russia which is where the meteor strike occurred. Finally, I picked up a work by Dr. Carl Jung entitled "Man And His Symbols". Again, I must emphasize I felt almost compelled against my better judgement to purchase these titles immediately.
I don't mean to imply that I have some special gift or insight about these phenomena. I merely relay them to you in order to (perhaps) help you in gauging the tenor of the times. I'll wrap this up by saying, again, how appreciative I am of all your works as you have forged a path to follow for those of us who are less gifted. Thank you and may God continue to bless all your efforts! Sincerely, H. N., Ohio, USA       

Dear Mr. H.N.

I wish to raise a fact about strange phenomenon that is often missed by a humanity born or raised in the space age and the age of "modern marvels," along with the eschatological conspiracy theory that accompanies our time.

The lightning strike, the Ural meteor and attendant sychronicities are best understood in light of what St. Juan de la Cruz (St. John of the Cross) stated concerning supernatural phenomenon. His conclusions may surprise you. He said we are to flee them and not attempt to divine what God's message may be in regard to them with our own human understanding, because such actions assume that the events are intended for us to discern a message or a lesson that is either not there or not intended for our edification. Remember, St. John was referring to phenomenon known to be of God.

God can and does send us signs and portents, of course, but we are cautioned to keep in mind that He does not always intend them as something which our finite human understanding can grasp.

In the 1970s in upstate New York, a Catholic Church had a decent enough pastor. He was transferred to another parish. In between his transfer and the arrival of the new priest who would serve as pastor, lightning not only struck the church, it knocked the cross off the church! Imagine how rife was speculation in that parish concerning the alleged past sins of the previous pastor (for those who favored that line of conjecture); or the imminent evil about to be imposed by the new one (a theory circulating among those who admired the former pastor). Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed and neither theory came to a boil. To the best of my knowledge, both pastors are now deceased and both were fine priests. The old pastor's term had been benevolent and Christ-like, and the new pastor was a holy man who did much good during his pastorate. So why did God send lightning to knock the cross off the steeple of that church?

If St. John of the Cross had been around he might have wondered if God had perhaps sent that lightning strike mainly to test the reaction of the parishioners, to expose those with evil imaginations,  jaundiced minds and withered souls who, projecting their own evil onto others, took sides concerning which priest was the alleged object of the supposed symbolism pertaining to a cross being struck off a church by lightning.

In the most perfect prayer ever written, we ask of God, "Et nenos inducas in tentationem" ("Lead us not into temptation").  Following the sage counsel of the Church's theological expert on mystical and supernatural phenomena, may it be that God finds us in these days watching with vigilance, as Our Lord counseled and not leading ourselves into temptation. This word watch is used in the Gospel by one of two Greek terms (agrupneo and  gregoreuo), which are largely consonant in meaning:  "Keep awake, be vigilant, aware." 

Let's look at Luke 12: 25-40:

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the head of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour you do not expect." 

What does it mean to watch as Jesus forewarned us, to be vigilant and awake? Part of it is to do as you have done, mark the signs you have perceived above the din of the commercial and workaday world. That's the first part. The second part is equally vital to our salvation. It is found in Matthew 24: 4-13:

"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved."

Matthew 24 had specific application to Jesus' century, to the coming fall of the Temple of Jerusalem at the hands of the "abomination of desolation" (the Roman army that worshipped false gods, but which God used to wreak destruction on the corrupt system that had fomented the murder of the Messiah of Israel). Yet Matthew 24 also has universal application since it mentions the end times.

I do not see anywhere in Christ's counsel an admonition that we are to interpret the meaning of "earthquakes" -- a category in which we can also place lightning strikes and meteors. Rather, these phenomenon are a sign that we have entered into a time that requires heightened alertness, vigilance, and above all, faith.

We know that "iniquity abounds." We know that the love of many has "waxed cold," or in the words of the poet, "The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

What we sometimes forget is that the foretold "false prophets who will deceive many" can and will come from among our own ranks -- the Right wing as much as from the Left. In researching the book Usury in Christendom I was struck by the degree to which the Cryptocracy had used the Right wing to sow the deception that usury was an almost wholly Judaic manifestation. What did this falsehood achieve? It managed to distract, for some 500 years, almost all attention away from the enormous institution of mortally sinful gentile usury that has served as a turbo-drive engine of the Money Power. What is the Money Power? It is that instrument which transferred the wealth of the world from the farmers, manufacturers, inventors and workers to the parasites who "financialized" our world through compound interest on debt.

Compound-interest banking succeeded in its ambition for dominion over us, in part due to the denial of its existence inside the Church (Chesteron and Belloc repeated, with monotonous persistence, the myth that the Church never changed its teaching against usury). Second, by using the spectre of Judaic shylocks, the Money Power was able to justify Catholic shylocks (with the monte di pieta ruse of Lateran V), by claiming that the Catholic version of the mortal sin of interest on debt charged a less onerous interest rate than the Judaic interest rate. Which is rather like decreeing that we will open an affordable brothel, so that Christians will not get rooked at the expensive house of ill repute run by the "Jews." What was the vehicle for this monumental deception which maintains cachet even 498 years after it was "infallibly" promulgated by the pope at Lateran Council V? The Right wing.

Jesus said, "Take heed that no one deceive you." Yet many of His alleged Right wing followers get very wroth when someone presents facts that upset their preconceived notion of how the devil deceives and from what direction. They imagine God to be a partisan in their petty Left-Right politics. This is delusion. History teaches that fallen human nature loves delusion. People will suppress and avoid anyone who may be sent by God to dispel delusion.

What was Jesus' answer to the false prophets who seek to impose their man-made conjectures and hypotheses disguised as decoding and revelation of papal abdications, lightning strikes and meteor sightings? "He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." Endure in what? In precisely that, enduring in the work that still remains to be accomplished with our hands, as assigned to us by our Creator.

One reason why hair-raising, spine-tingling foreshadowings of apocalypse attract us to such a degree, is that they carry with them the promise of an end to our labors. We dearly would like to be quit of the work in which we are engaged and spared its burdens -- swept up into a time where God takes control and we are relieved of all responsibility. This is the devilish lure of end time conspiracy theories that speak and foretell falsely. End time conspiracy mongering is  a huge, lucrative and thrilling entertainment industry that sidetracks millions of people from the work which it is God's will that they pursue.

Let's consider one more key passage from Our Lord's statement: "be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass." This teaching is what motivated St. John of the Cross to steer us away supernatural phenomena, even if it is of God. We are not to have our peace of soul disturbed. This is key. Without peace of soul we cannot maintain our labor in the Lord's vineyard.

I am certainly not saying that we  shouldn't  stay alert to a revelation that God may want to convey by means of miracles and signs, as you have done by noting the anomalies witnessed lately. But let it be God who makes it clear, by His means in His good time, rather than man's. The caution given by St. John of the Cross was against the superstitious imaginings and panic which come from man’s debased imagination. A true Catholic much persecuted by the Renaissance Church of his era, St. John barely escaped the flames of the Inquisition.

There is another demonic dimension to end time excitement and hysteria. From the days of the Y2K predictions of "the end of civilization as we know it," to Protestant Harold Camping's 2011 end of the world false prophecy in God's name, to the Mayan end time predicted in 2012, to the "Peter Romanus" false prophecy attributed to St. Malachy, Satan burns people out with false expectations of an imminent end.

What does this burn-out entail? The most searing of errors -- the inability to prepare ourselves for when the End actually is imminent. Jesus said it will come like a thief in the night; very likely months or years after people had been deceived into expecting it. Hence, when genuine prophets of God come forth to announce it, the people will not hear them and will say, "Away with you,we have heard it all before."

Consequently, what is required of us now, is to be found doing our duty, to God and His Truth, to our family and our fellow man, in the work that is our state in life; not to be disturbed by strange signs and wonders, by earthquakes, meteors and lightning strikes; but to watch, and take care that we are fulfilling the role God has assigned for our lives, in the grace and power of those who are numbered among the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ.

In the particular case at hand, we can rightly assess the shadows behind the current papal abdication by observing who is elected as the next pope. Will it be a Christ-like man chosen through miraculous divine intervention, or another stooge of the Cryptocracy's Left or Right wings? Such a study is legitimate because it is part of our due Christian diligence, which is not so prone to the mystification and hysteria which false prophets, from the Right as much as the Left, employ to blind and misdirect us.

Pax domini sit semper vobiscum,
Michael Hoffman


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Abdication of Pope Benedict XVI: More Questions than Answers

The Shrove Monday Abdication of Pope Benedict XVI: More Questions than Answers

By Michael Hoffman
Shrove Tuesday, A.D. 2013
Copyright ©2013. All Rights Reserved

"Spin at Shrovetide and the flax will fail. The wheels must all be packed away." 
--Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology

While  media know-nothings describe him as a strict conservative, Pope Benedict walked in the revolutionary path of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in making obeisance to the Talmudic religion. He prayed in the Talmudic manner at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Benedict met cordially with Israeli chief rabbis after they had endorsed a book calling for the extermination of the goyim, including infants. He visited the Israeli Yad Vashem "Holocaust" museum, and Auschwitz, where he did penance for Christendom. 

He made numerous visits to synagogues for services, but unlike the apostles of old, he spoke disgusting words of accommodation to the contemporary Pharisees assembled, reassuring them by his non-evangelism, that he would uphold the Second Vatican Council’s 1965 betrayal concerning Judaics and Talmudism, which has led to the sell-out of Jesus Christ's mission to convert Jews away from their oral traditions of Babylon, to a return to the Biblical faith which the Messiah of Israel had renewed. 

Pope Benedict further propelled Nostra Aetate ("In Our Time"), that masterpiece of Vatican Council II situation ethics which was expanded upon by the post-conciliar popes, and served as an affirmation that the post-Renaissance Church of Rome would not actively concern itself with the conversion of so-called"Jews" today. Every pope who assents to this Judas-doctrine becomes a crypto-rabbi; an arm of the Sanhedrin itself.

In 2007 Pope Benedict broadened permission for Catholics to celebrate the old Latin Tridientine Mass, which contains the pre-Vatican II prayer for Good Friday titled “For the conversion of the Jews.” It reads: “Let us pray also for the Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts;  so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us pray.  Almighty and eternal God, who doest not exclude from thy mercy even the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people;  that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness."

This prayer is very different from the Talmudic prayer now used in most Catholic churches -- the wimpy Good Friday text of the New Mass of Pope Paul VI: "Let us pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear the Word of God, that they may continue to grow in the love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. Almighty and eternal God, long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity. Listen to your church as we pray that the people you first made your own may arrive at the fullness of redemption." 

Talmudists worldwide shrieked in outrage over the revival of the Tridentine Mass with its traditional prayer for an end to the "blindness and darkness" of those Judaics who reject Jesus Christ. In response to their lobbying and pressure, relying on situation ethics, Pope Benedict softened the language of the prayer. His revised prayer reads, "Let us pray also for the Jews. May our God and Lord enlighten their hearts, so that they may acknowledge Jesus Christ savior of all men." (St. Edmund Campion Missal and Hymnal for the Traditional Mass [2012], p. 208).

With the kind of doubletalk which has been a papal hallmark since situation ethics first led to the papal permission for the mortal sin of usury being first granted in 1515, Benedict dispatched Cardinal Walter Kasper to explain to the furious Talmudists that the pope's revised Good Friday prayer refers only to the time of Jesus’ second coming, and not now! This underhanded diplomacy mollified the 21st century Pharisees, who don't always fully comprehend that a crypto-rabbi on the papal throne needs to keep up appearances in order to preserve his credibility with the Catholics over whom he rules.

The Forthcoming Conclave

In the next few weeks there will be a conclave to elect a new pope. This conclave is scheduled to be presided over by Cardinal Angelo Sodano. According to journalist Jason Berry, author of Render Unto Rome: The Secret Life of Money in the Catholic Church (2011):

“Sodano...(is) the man who, more than any other, embodies the misuse of power that has corrupted the church hierarchy. Cardinal Sodano is hardly alone: a long list of leaders betrayed Catholics everywhere with their pathological evasions, sending known sex offenders into treatment centers to avoid the law, then planting them in parishes or hospitals where they found new victims. But Cardinal Sodano ranks with the Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony as an egregious practitioner of the cover up. As John Paul II’s secretary of state, he pressured Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger...to abort a case filed in 1998 by several men accusing the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, of abusing them as seminarians. Cardinal Sodano was a longtime beneficiary of money and favors from Father Maciel. Priests who left the order told me he received at least $15,000 in cash. Cardinal Ratzinger tabled the case until 2004 but, with John Paul dying, finally ordered an investigation. In 2005, Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict. Cardinal Sodano’s office then announced the Maciel proceeding was over, while people kept testifying. Benedict dismissed Father Maciel from ministry in 2006; Maciel died in 2008. Still, Cardinal Sodano lavished praise on the Legion, despite the news that Father Maciel had several children. In 2005, Cardinal Sodano was elected dean of the College of Cardinals, which will select the next pope. At 85 years old, he is too old to vote, though he will oversee the conclave, and surely have his candidate.”

The notorious child molestation-facilitator, Roger Mahony, who stated that Bishop Richard Williamson would be expelled if he attempted to enter Cardinal Mahony's cathedral in Los Angeles (as if Williamson would want to enter that hideous synagogue masquerading as a church), will also be one of the cardinals who chooses the next pope.

Sodano, Mahony and a rogues' gallery of molestation facilitators and usurers will choose the next pope of post-Renaissance Rome in the "conclave." According to a conversation this writer had in Rochester, New York with the Judaic-Irish double-agent Malachi Martin (a former peritus to Cardinal Augustin Bea and Paul VI), in the 1978 conclave to elect Pope John Paul I (who was likely assassinated), Cardinal Giovanni Benelli of Florence employed blackmail to exclude any votes for Cardinal Eduardo Piornio of Argentina, who was said to be the papal candidate favored by the Cryptocracy. Malachi Martin claimed that during the conclave, Benelli put dossiers on the desks of some of the cardinals who favored Pironio. Martin alleged that those dossiers contained files and photographs of the cardinals' girlfriends, boyfriends and masonic membership papers. If Martin’s allegation is true, this would explain how a thorn in the side of the Cryptocracy, Cardinal Albino Luciani, was elected on the fourth ballot, becoming Pope John Paul I, who reigned for only 33 days.

Will there also be such ruthless tactics at this 2013 Lenten conclave, similar to the ones that Martin alleged were at work at the conclave in August of 1978?

What’s the real reason behind Pope Benedict XVI's sudden abdication of his throne? 

Don't be hoodwinked -- his abdication does seem to have been sudden. As George Weigel, in a Feb. 11 interview with ABC News, stated, "I find the timing of this somewhat surprising since the pope is leading the church right now through what he calls a year of faith, a special year devoted to the theological virtue of faith, the proclamation of Christian faith throughout the world..."

Benedict abdicated on Shrove Monday, in the midst of the old, three day Catholic season of Shrovetide that began Sunday and culminates today on Shrove or Fat ("mardi gras") Tuesday, the last day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the austere season of Lent. Shrovetide is especially prominent in traditional English, German and Russian culture. Shrovetide (in German "Fastnachtspiele"; in Russian "Maslenitsa"), is a time marked by the "mistaken identities" of carnival (from the Latin carne vale, "farewell flesh"),  as well as for being shriven, ie. confessing one's sins and receiving forgiveness. The carnivalesque revels predominate however, and Shrovetide was a period associated with license, in which Lügenmärchen (tall tales) turned society upside-down. Was his Shrove Monday abdication the tragic aftermath of an event in which God had reached into the pope's heart and converted him, at least temporarily? Was Benedict about to make a radical move against his Zionist masters, or reveal a secret devastating to the Cryptocracy? Did the Cryptocracy then tempt him by "making him an offer he couldn't refuse" -- his silence in exchange for a guarantee of a life lived in peaceful seclusion, instead of a poisoning made to look like heart failure or some other seemingly natural geriatric fatality?

I don't have the answers to these questions; nevertheless, it is important to ask them, rather than being satisfied with the predigested explanations of the Establishment's spin doctors. It seems that a mystery is afoot. It behooves us to be wary, and refuse to accept pat answers that are not really answers at all. At the same time, we should be cautious in the face of wild speculation and reckless rumor-mongering. Prudent skepticism and vigilance are the watchwords, toward both the official tale as well as unscrupulous persons who may seek to exploit the ambiguities for their own self-serving motives. Muddying the waters with a hundred different wild theories is an old stratagem of the invisible empire.

The “Prophecy” of Malachy “the seer”

Speculation is already at fever-pitch as various hucksters invoke the name of the Irish Saint Malachy, the 12th century bishop of Armagh who, it is alleged, predicted that the next Pope after Benedict will be the last one, who will be named (or nicknamed) "Peter the Roman, who will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people."

As the story goes, the medieval Malachy experienced a strange vision about the future that included the name of every pope, 112 in all from his time forward, who would rule until the end of time. Pope Benedict is the pope supposedly named “Gloria Olivae,” (“Glory of the Olive),” in St. Malachy’s ancient prophecy, and there will be only one more pope after Benedict, “Peter the Roman,” during whose reign comes the end of the world: "In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End."

There are a couple of rather daunting problems with this “prophecy” attributed to a saintly Irish bishop who may never have uttered them. First and foremost: the Bible says that no man knows the time when the end of all things will come: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” (Matthew 24:36). An Irish bishop, no matter how saintly, cannot contradict the Word of God when it comes to foreknowledge of the end of the world.

Second, every textual analyst worth his or her salt probes the provenance of a document to assess its authenticity. In this case, the origin is dubious. It is said that, “St. Malachy gave an account of his visions to Pope Innocent II, but the document remained unknown in the Roman Archives until its discovery in 1590.” This writer has trouble taking the word of the sixteenth century Renaissance Church of Rome in this matter. Hence, from both the point of view of the Word of God, and from the text’s own shadowy provenance, it seems that the putative “St. Malachy prophecy” is a counterfeit intended to manipulate credulous persons by raising the psychic tension and expectation surrounding the next pope, leading to much superstitious mania tending to occlude both our God-given powers of reason, and any genuine revelations God may want to transmit to us which may run contrary to expectations concerning an Irish “seer” and The Last Pope of All Time (cue the organ music).

Notice how the double mind is directed, and schizophrenia is induced, on a mass scale. The media pushes two stories simultaneously, one prosaic, the other mystical. The first story frames the news of the papal abdication in simplistic terms, as an open-and-shut case of a humble pontiff wishing to abdicate before his "frailty" leads him to mistakes in policy and governance. If this is true, then Pope Benedict is no kind of a Christian “papa” (father): he has a solemn duty to fulfill the office of the papacy until he really is too physically or mentally debilitated to do so. As it now stands, he seems to have all his wits and faculties about him. He appears to enjoy a good appetite. He is healthy enough to walk and travel, but not to serve as pontiff for another six months or a year? This is what we’re supposed to swallow. Anyone so obstreperous as to refuse to buy it is viewed as little more than a  conspiracy theorist. 

At the same time, the media, however whimsically, is spreading a conspiracy theory of its own, of a supernatural “Catholic prophecy concerning the end of the world.” It appears that End of the World jitters need to be stoked regularly, for some reason. Harold Camping’s prophecy was widely publicized for this purpose in 2011. In 2012 it was the “Mayan prophecy” which had the masses on edge. In 2013 a Catholic saint is being exploited for similar ends.

Let us not be dragged down by delusion. Where there is clarity and truth there we will find His Church and His shepherds. Something is rotten in Rome, and that’s nothing new. It has been that way since at least May 4, 1515, when situation ethics first gained firm purchase inside the papacy.

Copyright©2013. All Rights Reserved.

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Greed: An Idaho Republican Virtue

A Conservative Republican state senator wants to pass a law making the reading of goddess of greed Ayn Rand's book mandatory for high school graduation in Idaho

Spokesman-Review (Spokane, Washington), Feb. 6, 2013, p. 1.

Greed: An Idaho Republican Virtue 

By Michael Hoffman

If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? (Psalm 11:3)

What is it about Idaho, which has a reputation as a predominately "Christian conservative" state, yet where greed reigns supreme, in the form of permissible usury at a rate of 400% interest on "Payday" loans, and a 6% sales tax on the food we buy for our children? The latest manifestation of this culture of avarice is the proposal by Idaho's Republican Senator John Goedde of Coeur d'Alene, to make the reading of a novel by Ayn Rand  (Atlas Shrugged), mandatory for public high school students (cf. Spokane Spokesman-Review, Feb. 6, p. 1).

Rand taught the concept that “greed is good.” Just as Karl Marx founded Communism, which possessed no moral constraint,  Rand founded a super-Shylock, hyper-Capitalism (dubbed “Objectivism”), that also lacked any moral constraint. She viewed charity to the poor with more jaundice than Ebenezer Scrooge. Rand, who was the author of The Virtue of Selfishness, cannot comprehend charity to anyone, except perhaps one’s own inner circle, and then only as a personal choice, not a duty. The Christian virtue of doing for others and for the less fortunate is regarded by Rand as a violation of the will and ego of the 'Atlas man,' the money maker supreme. This skinflint, dog-eat-dog barbarism (Isaiah 10: 1-4)  is what the goddess of greed and her Republican cheerleaders are all about.

What happens to the New Testament’s poor man Lazarus, in a land ruled by Ayn Rand’s capitalism? Under Rand, Lazarus would not have a scrap of food off the rich man’s table. He would die, as did the Biblical Lazarus in Luke 16, in privation and agony. Rand can approve of this because in her world, exactly as in the Soviet empire of Lenin and Trotsky, there is no god except the material world itself. Like the Communists, the Capitalist Rand refuses to acknowledge the Scriptural truth that every property-owner is God’s tenant and owes charity to the poor, and thus is impelled by an informed conscience to voluntarily share one’s wealth in some measure (Isaiah 58:7; Nehemiah 5:1-19). Instead,  she promotes the option of depraved indifference to the poor.

 I would not be expending five words on this debased loanshark, who was so far gone that she shamelessly trumpeted her “virtue” of selfishness, were it not for the astonishing datum that Rand is a guiding light to many who claim the mantle of the “Christian Right” in the early 21st century. Rand’s ideological perversion is the driving force behind NAFTA, the WTO, “free trade,” many Internet technology capitalists, and many preachers of Churchianity, along with Right wing “Constitutionalists” who don’t know or simply don’t care that Rand is the personification of the terminal usurer — usury taken to its farthest and most degenerate extreme (Exodus 22:25; Ezekiel 18: 12-14).

This is the plague that a "conservative Republican" legislator wants to unleash on Idaho's youth, via a mandatory requirement that they all read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and “pass a test on the book in order to graduate.”

Contrary to Rand, Jesus Christ said that we cannot serve both God and mammon, a fact lost on Senator Goedde and the Republican Money Power that rules Idaho.

Hoffman, an Idaho resident, is the author of Usury in Christendom: The Mortal Sin that Was and Now is Not (Independent History and Research, 2013).

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Republican Idol Worshippers and their Criminal Politics

Conservative Republican Idol Worshippers and their Criminal Politics

By Michael Hoffman

"Fatto v'avete dio d'oro e d'argento;
e che altro e da voi a l'idolatre,
se non ch'elli uno, e voi ne orate cento?"

("You have made gold and silver your god; and
what difference is there between you and the idol-
worshipper, except that he prays to one, and you to a hundred?")

--Dante, The Inferno

Christians in Idaho have been recommending in their churches that, in the wake of Obama's re-election victory, their fellow congregants should consider fasting and doing penance.

This would be salutary if there was a similar call to fast and do penance after the Republican victory in the House of Representatives. Instead, these Christians insinuate that the Republican victory in the House was a good thing and the election of Mitt Romney over Obama would have been even better.

This perverted mentality is the result of paying little or no attention to what the Bible calls the root of all evil: the love of that all-American idol, money, and the criminal politics which that idolatry engenders.

Republican fondness for making the world safe for usury, and dropping bombs on Muslim children and pregnant women in faraway lands, is not a cause for fasting and doing penance among the proud Pharisees so convinced of their righteousness that they choose between Democrat abortionists and idolatrous Republican war mongers, and make their preference known in subtle and not so subtle ways in conservative churches across the land.

As economist Paul Krugman points out, this month many Republicans in Congress are working hard to ensure that the defrauding of the American people by the Money Power will not be impeded by the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. In the presence of this criminal politics, will there be any call for Christians to fast and do penance in reparation for the greed that reigns supreme in a Republican party which seeks to enhance the opportunities of buccaneer capitalists to defraud the poor, including expectant mothers who have not yet decided on an abortion? 

Woe to those who make unjust laws,
to those who issue oppressive decrees,
to deprive the poor of their rights
and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
making widows their prey
and robbing the fatherless.
What will you do on the day of reckoning,
when disaster comes from afar?
To whom will you run for help?
Where will you leave your riches?
Nothing will remain but to cringe among the captives
or fall among the slain. 

--Isaiah 10: 1-4
Friends of Fraud
By Paul Krugman
New York  Times • February 3, 2013

Like many advocates of financial reform, I was a bit disappointed in the bill that finally emerged. Dodd-Frank gave regulators the power to rein in many financial excesses; but it was and is less clear that future regulators will use that power. As history shows, the financial industry’s wealth and influence can all too easily turn those who are supposed to serve as watchdogs into lap dogs instead.

There was, however, one piece of the reform that was a shining example of how to do it right: the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a stand-alone agency with its own funding, charged with protecting consumers against financial fraud and abuse. And sure enough, Senate Republicans are going all out in an attempt to kill that bureau.

Why is consumer financial protection necessary? Because fraud and abuse happen.

Don’t say that educated and informed consumers can take care of themselves. For one thing, not all consumers are educated and informed. Edward Gramlich, the Federal Reserve official who warned in vain about the dangers of subprime, famously asked, “Why are the most risky loan products sold to the least sophisticated borrowers?” He went on, “The question answers itself — the least sophisticated borrowers are probably duped into taking these products.”

And even well-educated adults can have a hard time understanding the risks and payoffs associated with financial deals — a fact of which shady operators are all too aware. To take an area in which the bureau has already done excellent work, how many of us know what’s actually in our credit-card contracts?

Now, you might be tempted to say that while we need protection against financial fraud, there’s no need to create another bureaucracy. Why not leave it up to the regulators we already have? The answer is that existing regulatory agencies are basically concerned with bolstering the banks; as a practical, cultural matter they will always put consumer protection on the back burner — just as they did when they ignored Mr. Gramlich’s warnings about subprime.

So the consumer protection bureau serves a vital function. But as I said, Senate Republicans are trying to kill it.

How can they do that, when the reform is already law and Democrats hold a Senate majority? Here as elsewhere, they’re turning to extortion — threatening to filibuster the appointment of Richard Cordray, the bureau’s acting head, and thereby leave the bureau unable to function. Mr. Cordray, whose work has drawn praise even from the bankers, is clearly not the issue. Instead, it’s an open attempt to use raw obstructionism to overturn the law.

What Republicans are demanding, basically, is that the protection bureau lose its independence. They want its actions subjected to a veto by other, bank-centered financial regulators, ensuring that consumers will once again be neglected, and they also want to take away its guaranteed funding, opening it to interest-group pressure. These changes would make the agency more or less worthless — but that, of course, is the point.

How can the G.O.P. be so determined to make America safe for financial fraud, with the 2008 crisis still so fresh in our memory? In part it’s because Republicans are deep in denial about what actually happened to our financial system and economy. On the right, it’s now complete orthodoxy that do-gooder liberals, especially former Representative Barney Frank, somehow caused the financial disaster by forcing helpless bankers to lend to Those People.

In reality, this is a nonsense story that has been extensively refuted; I’ve always been struck in particular by the notion that a Congressional Democrat, holding office at a time when Republicans ruled the House with an iron fist, somehow had the mystical power to distort our whole banking system. But it’s a story conservatives much prefer to the awkward reality that their faith in the perfection of free markets was proved false.

And as always, you should follow the money. Historically, the financial sector has given a lot of money to both parties, with only a modest Republican lean. In the last election, however, it went all in for Republicans, giving them more than twice as much as it gave to Democrats (and favoring Mitt Romney over the president almost three to one). All this money wasn’t enough to buy an election — but it was, arguably, enough to buy a major political party.

Right now, all the media focus is on the obvious hot issues — immigration, guns, the sequester, and so on. But let’s try not to let this one fall through the cracks: just four years after runaway bankers brought the world economy to its knees, Senate Republicans are using every means at their disposal, violating all the usual norms of politics in the process, in an attempt to give the bankers a chance to do it all over again.

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