by A. Joseph Lynch
I. POPE FRANCIS AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
FR. STU TRAILER: Devout Catholics, Mark Wahlberg and Mel Gibson, star in Fr. Stu, a film based on the remarkable story of an unlikely man's journey to priestly ordination. Fr. Stu comes out at Easter and we recommend you check out the new trailer.
ATHEISM AND THE WEST: Over on Religion, Sex, and Politics, our own A. Joseph Lynch has posted a video presentation on the rise of atheism as a foundation of Western Civilization. It's a unique take on the topic, and one worth checking out.
RESURGENCE OF RELIGION: Dr. Steve Turley mostly comments on politics, but he is a huge champion of global Christianity and the rise of religion the world over. In this video he introduces us to Japan and the centrality of Shintoism. Japan is a living example of a nation that is both scientific and religious. The two are not opposed.
II. AMERICAN POLITICS
BIDEN KILLS MORE KIDS: Biden's hit on an ISIS leader in Turkish-occupied Syria feels very similar to the botched American bombing in Kabul which killed an innocent Afghan family. The administration attempted to blame the deaths of women and children on the leader's suicide bombing, yet questions remain about how the women and children were killed in the latest attack.
EDITS TO SUCCESS? A former clerk of a black woman contender for the coveted position on the supreme court took extraordinary - and in our opinion, disqualifying - steps to ensure success. The clerk, Matteo Godi, not only began editing the Wikipedia page of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson in order to make her look better, but she also edited the pages of Jackson's opponents in order to make them look worse. Is petty behavior like this really what we want to see from the clerks of our supreme court justices?
SPYING ON CONSERVATIVE CONGRESSMEN: The Capitol Police are embroiled in yet another scandal. The police unit - the only US law enforcement body not under the executive branch but rather under Congressional leaders - is now accused of spying on a conservative congressman. The Capitol Police claim they entered Congressman Troy Nehl's office only because his door was left wide open - but a video released by Nehls clearly shows the door is self-closing. It's time for serious reform of the Capitol Police.
INFLATION AT 40 YEAR HIGH: Inflation is now at its highest point since 1982, a full 40 years ago. Yet the inflation in 1982 was declining from the highs set by Jimmy Carter. Joe Biden appears eager to break his predecessor's record. According to reports, gas is up 40%, utility gas up 24%, furniture up 20%, eggs up 13%, and chicken is up 10%. Another report says that Americans had to pay an extra $3500 in 2021 to buy the same products they purchased in 2020. It's no wonder why on 24 hours after the bombshell numbers came out that Biden began telling the world a Russian invasion of Ukraine was imminent. Can anyone say wag the dog?
III. THE NATIONS
PUTIN AND XI MEET: As China's year of the Black Water Tiger begins, the Tiger and the Bear - Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin - met in person for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak. The two discussed the state of their alliance, with Russia defending China's claims on Taiwan and China defending Russia's security demands in Europe. The two nations are now in lockstep - and with the Ukraine quagmire ongoing, the US "pivot to Asia" gets more and more difficult with each passing day.
ARGENTINA AND RUSSIA - AND CHINA: Argentina's President Alberto Fernandez travelled to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin in hopes of building a stronger relationship between their nations. Fernandez publicly stated his hopes for Argentina to be a gateway for Russia into Latin America while noting his nation's dependency on the United Sates has not been beneficial - in fact, he blamed the relationship with the US for Argentina's debt woes with the IMF. As the US continues to anger potential allies, isolate itself from the nations, and pick fights with powers it cannot defeat, Russia continues to win victories. It also turns out that China is involved in the new deal as well, with Argentina joining China's Belt and Road Initiative. The American hand is getting weaker.
INDIVISIBILITY OF SECURITY: Russia has long decried the US and NATO failure to keep their word concerning the expansion of NATO following the fall of the Soviet Union. This alone has given Russia cause to demand legally binding security guarantees. Despite this, Russia has made a legal argument against the expansion of NATO. This argument may be dubbed "the argument from the indivisibility of security" - and it's legal basis lies upon the foundations of the Istanbul Declaration of 1999 and the Astana Declaration of 2010. These declarations, binding upon the members of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe), rejects the idea of security as a zero-sum game - i.e. increasing my security at the cost of yours. Instead security is defined as "indivisible" - and as such any expansion of NATO towards Russia's borders violates the principle of the indivisibility of security which America and NATO have agreed to. And while the aforementioned declarations do state that nations have the right to choose their alliances, such an argument cannot be applied to any Ukrainian desire to join NATO as NATO's own charter does not allow nations to simply join NATO. Instead, NATO itself must pursue new member states and may only invite a nation to its ranks through a unanimous vote by all current NATO member states. In other words, Russia has a tight legal argument behind its demands.
COORDINATING WITH RUSSIA'S MILITARY: The US revealed it coordinated its recent attack in Turkish-occupied Syria with Russia. Was Turkey in the loop? And why was the leader so close to Turkish units without Turkey knowing? Sounds a lot like bin Laden in Pakistan. And speaking of coordination with Russia, Syrian and Russian aircraft made their first coordinated patrol of Syria's borders along the Golan Heights - a clear sign to Israel that Russia will not tolerate its aggressive airstrikes on its Syrian ally.
UKRANIAN RESISTANCE: Despite widespread claims that an invasion of Ukraine would be costly to Russia, Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, told Congress in a closed door briefing that should war break out, 15,0000 Ukrainian soldiers would die and Kiev would fall in 72 hours while Russia would suffer a meager 4,000 causalities. Congress was also warned that war would also result in thousands of refugees flooding westward. While the neocon-laden State Department tells itself that Ukraine can be a new Afghanistan for Russia, it's clear the Pentagon sees Ukraine as another Afghanistan for America; a debacle we cannot win. Lucky for Ukraine, Russia has no intention of invading.
IV. CULTURE OF LIFE, CULTURE OF PROTECTION
GOFUNDME INVESITIGATIONS: GoFundMe is under fire over its handling of the Freedom Convoy. Recall that GoFundMe had no problems fundraising for the CHAZ - a real insurrectionist and occupation of Seattle back in 2020 that led to murder and mayhem.
TEACHER BURN OUT: A new survey reveals the pandemic burn out affecting America's teachers as more than half say they are looking to quit.
RACIST APOLOGIES: In other classroom news, a teacher and school district have come under fire for segregating white students and forcing them to apologize for being born white.