by A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
THE MUNICH REPORT: The results of an investigation into priest sex abuse in the Munich archdiocese has been released. Pope Benedict XVI was found negligent in four cases while the current archbishop - Cardinal Marx - appears to have botched two. The real story may be found in the man who led the archdiocese between Benedict and Marx, Cardinal Friedrich Wetter. Under Wetter's leadership, a full twenty-one cases of sex abuse were mishandled.
ORTHODOX EPIPHANY: The Russian Orthodox Church, which uses the old Julian calendar, dates Christmas and Epiphany later than most Christians throughout the world. This week they celebrated Epiphany with, in the Orthodox tradition, an emphasis on the baptism of Christ. It is traditional for Russians to enter into this holy day by immersing themselves, outdoors, in freezing waters as an imitation of Christ's baptism. Even Vladimir Putin participated. More from Dr. Steve Turley.
IRENAEUS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH: Pope Francis will declare St. Irenaeus, the great Church Father of the second century, a Doctor (Latin for teacher) of the Church under the title of “Doctor unitatis,” or “Doctor of Unity.” Originally from Smyrna (now in present day Turkey) but moved to what is today France, St. Irenaeus' defense of apostolic succession and papal primacy makes him an early witness to the dignity of the episcopacy and the status of Pope from a man with one foot in the east and the other in the west.
II. AMERICAN POLITICS
WHO IS RAY EPPS? As the House Select Committee on January 6 continues its mockery of an investigation to the Capitol Riot, a man named Ray Epps is poking holes in the official narrative. Epps, who is on video telling protesters they need to storm the US Capitol, was placed on the FBI most wanted list only to have his name quietly removed later. Was he a federal agent or working for the feds in order to entrap Trump supporters? What role did the FBI play in instigating the events of January 6? Officials from the US government refuse to say - and we have a hunch the "insurrection" will turn out to be just another "Russiagate" (i.e. fake news). In related news, Politico "debunked" the story about Ray Epps by telling its readers that Mr. Epps has denied any wrongdoing. Of course that's like letting a person accused of a crime off the hook because he said he didn't do it.
AMERICANS EMBRACE THE GOP: For the first time in decades, Gallup now shows Republicans outnumber Democrats across the nation. Meanwhile the polling organization Trafalgar - one of the most accurate pollsters in the nation - says that the GOP has a +14 point advantage on the generic congressional ballot. If true, this is a bigger advantage than the GOP held in 1994 and 2010 combined - both of which were massive red wave years.
BIDEN ADMITS 2020 ELECTION ILLEGITIMATE? In Joe Biden's most recent disaster of a press conference, he declared that US elections conducted without his hoped-for election reform bill would be illegitimate. President Trump followed the logic and was glad Biden now seems to agree with him about the illegitimacy of the 2020 election.
A TURN IN VIRGINA: Virginia's new governor and attorney general are making waves. Governor Youngkin immediately ended the teaching of critical race theory in Virginia classrooms and appointed an ambassador for the unborn. Meanwhile the new Attorney General, Jason Miyares, took bold steps in his first days on the job. Since taking office, he has fired all the lawyers in Virginia's civil rights division and plans to take up cases that local leftist district attorneys fail to prosecute. He also announced plans to investigate Loudon County Public Schools and the State Parole Board over their handling of transgendered students accused of sexual assaults. If the ship can be righted this quickly in Virginia, the rest of the nation can quickly follow suit.
III. THE NATIONS
KAZAKHSTAN UPDATE: The latest US/European-backed color revolution on Russia's borders has come to complete failure. What most do not understand is that the former leader of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev (president from 1990-2019), was leading the nation in a pro-European direction. For example, Nazarbayev embraced the use of the Latin alphabet over the Cyrillic and sought a legal reform on the basis of English common law. What's more, Kazakhstan's rich energy sector has been dominated by American companies, not Russian. Though Nazarbayev recently left office and was succeeded by President Tokayev, he had the capital city of Astana re-named after himself and placed himself as head of the Kazakh military - clear signs he wasn't going anywhere. Since then it's been unclear what direction Tokayev would take the nation. With the recent coup attempt, however, Tokayev has brought his nation under Russia's wings. Nazarbayev is now firmly out of power and his family members in the government have likewise been removed. Even the Kazakh defense minister has been fired amid the purge. To the consternation of the Americans and her allies, Kazakhstan is now more firmly allied with Russian than ever before.
NATIONS WITH NUCLEAR POWER: The United States is the world's largest producer of nuclear power, producing more power than the next two nations - China and France - combined. Learn more about the nations that use nuclear power - with excellent charts - here.
"THE WEEK" GIVING GOOD COVERAGE TO UKRAINE-RUSSIA: The media has never been more in lockstep with the warmongering neocons and neoliberals seeking war with Russia. Two short editorials from The Week, however, are the first we've seen to make sense of the current situation in Ukraine. The first is entitled The false premise making war with Russia more likely while the second is The war hawks are at it again.
RUSSIA STAGING A FLASE FLAG ATTACK? One of this week's big news stories about Ukraine revolved around intelligence reports that Russia planned to stage a "false flag" event that would justify its "invasion" of Ukraine. It turns out that the "intelligence" was spoon-fed to the director of the CIA by... Ukrainian politicians.
CANCELLING SWIFT CANCELLED: While Russia has plans for calibrated responses to any threat, the US has but two tools in its toolbox: sanctions and military action. The biggest sanction of them all was the plan to "cancel" Russia's ability to use SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication), the interbank global payments system. Now, having been warned that such action would result in more damage to western Europe and the US than to Russia (which has created its own version of SWIFT), America and her allies are backing away from the the biggest sanction weapon in their toolbox. Russia wins again.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
COVID RESTRICTIONS LOOSENING? In the wake of the US Supreme Court ruling on a federally-imposed vaccine mandate, other countries appear to be loosening their pandemic restrictions. The United Kingdom has cancelled all restrictions while the Czech Republic put off imposing a vaccine mandate. Meanwhile in Israel, an end to the green passes - or showing one's papers to enter public life - appears to be imminent. Are we in the waning days of this pandemic?
COVID AND HOSPITALIZATIONS: While the CDC has admitted that the coronavirus vaccines do not prevent the transmission of the virus, many still seek to impose vaccine mandates. Their reasoning is no longer based in transmission prevention but rather in the problem of overwhelmed hospitals. But this problem has a much longer history than the past two years. Time, for example, reported in 2018 about a flu epidemic that led to the exact same problems we see today (yet no one sought to impose flu vaccine mandates, masking, and social distancing). It turns out that in 1975 there were nearly 1.5 million hospital beds in the US. Today that number has declined to around 900,000. Critical care beds are rarer still as hospitals deem them not financially viable. Indeed, a focus on the bottom dollar has driven the reduction of America's ability to treat patients, especially patients with the coronavirus. But rather than the US government applying pressure on the medical industry to increase its care capacity, the government punishes its own citizenry by spending billions on experimental drugs and forcibly imposing them on everyday Americans. Meanwhile nearly half of Democrats approve of jail time for the unvaccinated. Something is not adding up.
MORE FAMILY DECLINE: Rod Dreher sounds the alarm at a rapid decrease in American's favoring couples with children should marry. The numbers he examines are scary.
USING ARREST WARRENTS AS ID: In the latest sign that we live in clown world, the TSA has announced it will accept arrest warrants as alternative ID for illegal immigrants seeking to board airplanes. One would think such documentation would lead to an arrest. Funnier still is the thought of an illegal immigrant visiting his local police department in order to get a copy of his arrest warrant for travel use.
QUARTERBACK ARRESTED: Ex-Alabama quarterback, Jay Baker, was arrested and charged after allegedly using his car to try and run over his estranged wife. This brings a comparison to the car rampage in Waukesha - an event that only took place after the suspect Darrell Brooks, who is alleged to have been arrested - and released! - after attempting to run over his girlfriend. Apparently "southern justice" has moved much father north.
BLM, THE NFL, AND MLK: Despite the NFL fully caving to BLM and even mandating the performance of the racist, ethnic nationalist "black national anthem" at all its games, the far Left continues to say the NFL isn't doing enough. And that's why it's never worth caving to radicals. No matter how much you embrace the cause, it will never be enough.
TRAIN RAIDING IN CALIFORNIA: The far Left continues to run California into the ground as now even trains are being raided for goods. A recent video revealed hundreds of Amazon packages gutted and spewed along a stretch of train tracks. Since Leftists give the looters a mere slap on the wrist, the Union Pacific railroad now considers leaving Los Angeles. And rightfully so.