Latest SNAP Publicity Stunt by Leader Peter Isely Demonstrates New Low In Frivolity

Peter Isely

Off the rails: Milwaukee SNAP leader Peter Isely

Trying to outdo himself in PR grandstanding and in silliness, the wacky Midwest chapter leader of SNAP, Peter Isely, recently wrote a letter to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Milwaukee asking that it criminally investigate the Archdiocese of Milwaukee for merely transferring funds to a cemetery trust years ago.

In 2007, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, when he was Archbishop of Milwaukee, created a $57 million trust fund for the archdiocese in order to provide sufficient funds for the ongoing and future care and maintenance of Catholic cemeteries, which is exactly what the transferred money had always been intended for. Dolan also had to create the trust fund because it was "required by state law and mandated by the archdiocesan finance council."

Yet Isely apparently believes that any and all available diocesan monies, including those specifically to be held in trust for other purposes, should be going solely to abuse claimants and their contingency lawyers, however questionable or long ago the claims. Thus Isely claims in his letter to the U.S. Attorney that the $57 million transfer by Dolan to the cemetery trust is evidence of "fraud" worthy of a full fledged federal criminal investigation.

SNAP's growing list of PR stunts

Meanwhile, rather than providing any real support for actual abuse victims, which is its purported mission, SNAP continues its strategy of filing bogus legal claims as a way of garnering publicity for itself.

Just last month, the International Criminal Court (ICC, in “The Hague” in the Netherlands) flatly rejected a wacky request by SNAP that the ICC investigate Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church for "crimes against humanity" for their handling of abuse claims many decades ago.

And then in April, a federal judge roundly rebuffed a lawsuit by SNAP by which the group aimed to harass and intimidate peaceful Sunday Mass goers. The judge even dismissed SNAP's lawsuit with prejudice, meaning that SNAP is forever barred from ever filing such a silly suit again.

In his most recent PR stunt, Isely was likely hoping a lot of that $57 million that Dolan transferred in 2007 would end up going into the pockets of his friend, contingency lawyer Jeff Anderson, who, in turn, would further line the coffers at SNAP to pay for its salaries and expenses.

Once again, we see that SNAP will pull just about any publicity stunt imaginable – which the mainstream media will always happily report as news – in order to grease the pockets of their contingency lawyer-friends, with whom we have shown repeatedly SNAP works hand in hand.


  1. Publion says:

    The various SNAP efforts mentioned here serve, I think, to Keep Up The Appearance that The Ball Is Still Rolling. If it weren’t for all these stunts and all these efforts to spin – regardless of fact or law or rationality – the Church as being ‘evil’, then what would they have left?

    They must hope that there are still enough people willing to simply go along with the old Script of the past three decades without giving the matter any further thought. There is still enough support among some of the media – the New York Times, certainly – to help prop things up.

  2. Mark says:

    When I think of the ridiculous anti-Catholic bigots at SNAP and the long since discredited NYT, an image comes to mind of two ageing bald men stumbling around in the dark trying to lay their hands on the only comb they have between them, in bizarre denial about the comb's mostly missing teeth. Not sure which of them is the more pathetic.

  3. Domingo says:

    Thank you for telling the Truth as it is.  When the Time comes, everything shall be in full light, and then you will have your vindication.

    I rejoice with you!


  4. Delphin says:

    There is a logic that says "if these are the people that are against the Church, then, I must be with the Church".

    And, so far, it is only the Church that is willing to stand against this lawless Administration that would suspend or rescind as many freedoms (including religious liberty) as the uninformed (brainwashed) citizenry (we see them post on this site, daily) is willing to sheepishly accept.

    Ditto, Domingo-

    • jim robertson says:

      Please dear God let Obama live up to D's definition of him. Let religious liberty end. Let their tax excemptions end. Make them pay for their fantasy about your existence.

      People pay a lot to go to Disney World to revel in Unca Walt's fantasies. Taxes are charged there to enjoy those imaginings. Let's have the same thing happen for yours.

  5. LearnedCounsel says:

    Mark, Is the image that you use purely fantasy or inspired by your actual experience? Oh, you forgot to write, "LOL." Good comment though. Yea! The NYT is soooo discredited! Just ask Mark.

    Domingo, You are doing some weird capitalization with "Truth" and "Time." Have you been reading too much publicly publion? He uses caps to create his own vocabulary that serves to make his points more tersely. Here you sound like you are foreshadowing an apocalypse. That is not a very original move for the religious. Learn from the past and just don't ever throw a date out there. Good luck and keep it vague, brother.

  6. Publion says:

    We now see the publicly-masked Learned-Counsel give up on the substantively-themed comments and seek his actual level. He is wise to do this: Harvard and/or the law firm that allegedly employs him may have a few problems if it becomes clear how he is been tarnishing their brands, and others here may be a bit annoyed if it were – could it be imagined? – to come out that his Harvard and his attorney creds are just more bits of internet … whimsy. On the internet, as that cartoon has it, “nobody knows you’re a dog”.

    But following up on a thought from a week or two ago, I see again this strange reality: there appear to be no competent commenters from the pro-Abusenik ranks who are willing to step into the stream and answer questions and discuss matters.

    I doubt that any of such persons would want to try to answer the(non-philosophical)  questions that have appeared on this site over the course of the past year and more.  I doubt they could answer them – that’s a major indicator of just what has been wrong with the Abusenik Stampede.

    Although there is a major difference in the quality of presentation, yet the truth-dodgy, pile-tossing efforts to just Keep The Ball Rolling And The Spin Going are the same, whether we see it in the pages of the NYT or in the assorted ketchup-splattered specimens that appear here.

    • jim robertson says:

      LC"s public "mask" doesn't hide him at all. He was a child victim of sex abuse in your Church. He went to Harvard and is a Boston lawyer. He's married with a child, I think. He's revealed quite a lot about himself.

      And then we have D and P.

      [edited by moderator]

      L.C. most likely has a job with a law firm and needs to not reveal all for his business' sake.

      The difference between both sides is what is hidden by nom d' plumes.

      L.C. hides little.

      P and D just hide.


    • jim robertson says:

      Why do you insult people for being honest and being who they are? L.C. is both a good writer and good thinker. He gives credence to his education and has had the strength to survive horrors [edited by moderator]

  7. Jim Burke says:

    So we have some who don't like The Press the NewYork Times gives the good Cardinal and the Catholic Church well in my view it s well deserved and  the record speaks for itself.For most part The good Cardinal gets greatreviews in the press I find little fault with what the NewYork Times writes they tell the truth perhaps that is what people don't like .It s my view that  the work and the press that the good Cardinal gets especially in NewYork is over rated .You can't tell a Book By It s Cover   

  8. Publion says:

    The valentines from JR to LC are what they are and what's new? I've often suggested there's a lot going on among and between certain types of mentaltities behind the actual posting interactions.

    However JR reveals once again with crystal clarity the impossible gap and abyss at the core of the entire Stampede: How do we know that LC is who he says he is? Answer by JR: Simple – because he says he is! Wheeeeeeee! That was simple. Thus too for the elite university credentials, the claimed legal chops, a-n-d the victim allegations.

    And thus having demonstrated that bit of competence, JR has now cleared his path to accuse me of insulting LC for doubting his veracity. Once again: precisely the Playbook scam from Day One: if you don't believe me then you re-victimze me (although, of course, we haven't even yet established that you were victimized in the first place … that sort of thing).

    And we can now take JR"s word for it that LC "is a good writer and a good thinker" because – ya' see – JR is all of those things too and is also doing some book-type stuff even as we speak.

    If JR actually can demonstrate the proof of his assertion that LC "hides little", then let's see that proof. Otherwise this is just another bit from the cafeteria or the day-room. But it's also an indicator of how the Playbook interacts with certain doggy mentalities that can not only hide their dogginess in the internet modality (or at least they think they can) but can also project themselves as whatever they care to imagine.


    And if JR can demonstrate just how he rules-out utterly the possibility that LC hides his name and employment affiliation because it would quickly become clear that he has no Harvard or law-firm affiliation or even Bar admission … let's see him show us the rationale for ignoring that hardly-improbable possibility. (Hint: he won't because he can't and he'll change the subject as fast as he can.)

    And if anybody notices that their dots don't connect, then they can simply claims (to themselves in the mirror and to each other through these valentines) that they have simply been re-victimized all over again.

    A self-licking ice-cream cone if ever there was one.

  9. LearnedCounsel says:

    3p, I am multi-planar like your world view. I will comment intelligently sometimes, crassly the next, humorously from time to time, formally and then informally.

    In a work context I communicate differently than when I am speaking to a friend. In fact, I talk socially a bit differently with different people. That is actually pretty normal social behavior. Sorry to have to update you on normal social behavior.

    It is excellent that you once saw that cartoon.

    No one here can prove that I graduated from Harvard and no one can prove that I did not. Does that remind you of another argument that we have been having?

    Back on the Elmo comments, I discussed that you brought up the question of how you get a Ford truck without a Henry Ford. The Ford analogy, I said, is like the flight school analogy and I noted that both are like Paley’s Watchmaker Analogy. Basically, these arguments state that design implies a designer.

    I went on to talk about how Richard Dawkins argues against a design for the natural world and thus makes a designer unnecessary. The basic idea of The Blind Watchmaker is that we do not need to postulate a designer in order to understand life, or anything else in the universe.  I repeat that things in nature maybe "apparently purposeful" but that is it. They are not purposeful.

    Why do cows exist? They exist in order to praise god with their cow-ness. I heard this on the radio said by a professional apologist on 1060AM The Station of the Cross –Boston just the other day. That is why it was on my mind as an example. I do not often give much thought to cows. But cows have no purpose! That they exist is good enough. We can eat them or worship them or do something less drastic than either of those options. Planes, cars, watches, computers are intelligently designed and do have purposes. They are man- made. Animals, plants, people, oceans and planet Earth do not have a purpose. We were not on Earth in the past and we may not be in the future. Certainly, we will not exist in our current form in the very distant future. Evolution will see to that. We are not necessary or purposeful. I bet that to prove that we are necessary or purposeful in some way you will have to postulate a god.

    Religion is man-made and thus it had a purpose. The purpose was to explain things in a world of horror and mystery in earlier more primitive times. Natural disasters, for example, though I can do many others if necessary, were god’s judgments. As people have advanced in intelligence and we have learned much much more about the world, we have largely out grown the need for religion. People today who think that natural disasters are god’s judgments are limited to the Westboro Baptist Church, to exaggerate only slightly. Religion has retreated all the way back to the beginning of the universe to find sufficiently unanswered/unanswerable questions and insert god. Maybe god created the universe by instituting the Big Bang. No one can yet prove that god did not do it, though physicist Lawrence Krauss thinks he may be able to, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something rather than Nothing.

  10. Delphin says:

    I Finally agree with something the haters/bigots say – end ALL tax exemptions, go for the flat tax for everyone and make the lazy welfarers/entitlement OWSers work for their own booty (…which will just serve to fuel the drug and prostitution market).

    The Church wil do just fine, though, don't worry. Our Faith is nourished by the blood of our martyrs – we only get stronger. Good news for us, bad news for you.

    See, we've common ground, after all.

    • jim robertson says:

      Blood nourishment of martyrs? How about the gay martyrs your Church burned? How about the Iraqi children your barbaric right wing politics have burned. Why? Cuz you got afraid?

    • jim robertson says:

      Or was it just the money you needed to steal from the people through Hali Burton et al?

  11. Publion says:

    I am happy to respond to LC’s of 256Pm today. I believe that to get into material of a philosophical or theological nature that underlies the Stampede and illuminates those streams of thought feeding-it which are anti-religious or opposed-to-the-Church or what-have-you … that’s worthwhile to add some depth and perspective to what has become a general public discourse governed merely by the surfaces and appearances spun by the Stampede. And I believe it could be helpful to readers.

    On that score, may I also say – thinking of comments made by LC on the Elmo article – that I hope here to offer my thoughts. In this I am not holding myself forth as an ‘educator’ (except by some tortuous word-parsing) but rather offer what thoughts and ideas I have as they have been filtered through my own mind. Readers are, of course, free to make of them what they will.

    I will also repeat here: by now it should be clear to LC that in matters discussed on this site, I don’t treat commenting as humorous toss-offs as if we were all just hanging out at a bar (alcohol or coffee) and tossing-out this, that, or the other bit. Being – so it we were told – a Philosophy Major and an attorney, LC will understand perhaps how I can’t see where one can be capable of that level or discourse, involve oneself on a serious site, and then decide or prefer to simply put one’s party-hat on when making comments. Do these subjects on this site not engage his more serious capacities?

    Now let’s to it.

    First, I don’t think LC actually grasps what I mean by Multiplanar and Monoplanar. I envision human life and existence as being comprised of two Planes of Existence (or: PoE’s): there is the PoE of the this-worldly, the material and surfaces and appearances that we can apprehend with our five senses; and then there is the Meta (from the Greek ‘beyond’) PoE which is not accessible to our five senses but which nonetheless exists.

    It is here that ‘religion’ enters into human existence and human life and human history: humans realize that there is somehow more going on than what their five senses can reveal to them (and which, then, their reaoning capability enables them to make sense of or find sense in.

    Humans do this and have done so since as far back as we can determine: they seek Sense. And, also, they/we seek Meaning. These are irreducible facts of human existence: we are Sense-making and Meaning-needing beings.

    And we have always – as far back as can be determined – inferred or perceived, with some sense other than the five physically-oriented senses, that there is another PoE. And we have tried to engage that PoE, somehow working our lives around its effects or working our lives into it.

    That is what it means to be Multiplanar. And since LC has declared himself a “materialist” then he cannot – in this system – be Multiplanar. Materialism means accepting as real only those elements of existence that are ‘material and thus accessible to the five materially-oriented physical senses. Thus, by its own presumptions and logic and parameters materialism limits itself to the Monoplane.

    He dismisses that The New Yorker cartoon. Neat.  What else, really, can he do?

    Yes, he has set it up so that he has claimed creds which – by withholding his actual name – cannot be dispositively established. Neat. Sly perhaps. He tries to minimize that fact by comparing it to the overall philosophical/theological problem: we can no more prove ‘him’ than we can ‘prove’ God so why don’t we just ‘believe’ him like we ‘believe’ God? Neat again. Except we all may have had some serious intimations of God’s existence whereas with LC’s material we have had demonstrable intimations that either a) he doesn’t have hefty chops as his claims would lead us to believe, or else b) even in the face of matters that he claims are vital and formidable (clerical sex abuse of children, the validity of Catholicism, Christianity, and religion itself) he likes to not-be-serious when he’s commenting. Readers are welcome to make of all that what they will.

    Back on the Elmo article comments he had indeed mentioned (I didn’t respond because the thread was closed shortly thereafter) that “tired” idea that If there is a Design, then there must be a Designer. What is “tired” about that idea? Is it “tired” simply because it has been around for quite a while? Why would humans have kept it around for so long if it were clearly nonsensical to them? And Plato had figured that if we have the ability to reason-things-out then the world must be accessible to reason, must in some sense be ‘reasonable’ because otherwise there would be no sense in having the ability. And he then went Multiplanar by figuring that if there is ‘reason’ then there must be a Reason – a source of that reasoning capacity – thus theoretically connecting both the philosophical and the religious in some way.

    Is the great age of this insight somehow a dispositive proof that it is “tired” and beneath the expertise of more modern humans?

    He also misunderstands (unintentionally or otherwise) my Flight School Analogy. I am not saying that since we might see ourselves as ‘aircraft pilots’ (and simultaneously the ‘aircraft’ themselves – a complexity that seems to have escaped him) then there must be an Aircraft-Designer. What I am trying to convey in the Flight School Analogy is that there are parameters governing our actions as pilots that arise from the nature of the aircraft themselves: the human-being or human-self as an aircraft imposes certain rules on the human-pilot which, at their ultimate level, cannot be ignored without deranging the aircraft.

    This is an analogy based in the Catholic Vision: God created us in His Image and we have a nature and an essence and a purpose and a Meaning – all four of which work to create a set of ‘operating instructions’ and ‘laws of aerodynamics’ that will contribute to the ‘flourishing’ that results from operating the aircraft in such a way as to fulfill them. Whereas ignoring those ‘laws of aerodynamics’ (or laws of ‘humodynamics’, if you wish) will simply create various levels of malfunction or dysfunction, along a spectrum from poorly-executed flight to catastrophic loss of controlled flight.

    The current materialist secularist or Monoplanar vision will claim that humans can simply figure out how they ‘prefer’ to fly, because there are no ‘Meta’ rules because there is no Meta PoE and no Multiplane from which such parameters can originate. And this vision is quite sure that everybody can conduct life (individually and communally) just fine without any recourse either to any theoretical Meta/Multiplane or or to the specific Christian one that has received its most comprehensive expression in Catholic thought.

    It might be argued that there is no ‘design’ in the world – and that what we are and what the world we have is … are simply the result of the evolutionary working-out of this and that capability. This is not the way humans originally saw themselves when they began their early ‘religious’ experiences.

    Yes, it can be further argued that human merely ‘evolved’ a way to handle their existential anxieties and therefore created a (perhaps constructive) fantasy of a Meta/Multiplane that actually doesn’t exist and never existed but rather was simply a human creation based in (take your pick: fear, anxiety, status-seeking, or something else).

    This requires the presumption that humans – all the way up until Dawkins or any other recent Monoplanar paragons were graduated from college – have been a mostly mushy and weak and fragile bunch. Which further presumes that ‘we’ know so much more than they did – as perhaps, on the Monplane, we do; but it doesn’t at all dispositively extinguish the possibility that what humans have sensed all the way up until just recently was actually out/up there and wasn’t simply a function of an “undigested bit of beef” or other psychological or emotion or neural dysfunction.

    And also requires that humans be seen as essentially mushy, weak, and fragile and at the mercy of (fill in the blank: Nature, Evolution, Determinism, or something else on the Monoplane).

    Further, that the Enlightenment (already gaga over the actual discoveries of material Science) then figured that the universe works according to Laws discoverable by Science, and that therefore God (in Whom they still sort-of believed) was merely a Watchmaker who built the instrument and then let it just go on ticking. Which lethally undermined any way to address the long-demonstrated human need for Meaning which could sustain humans through the numerous trials and tribulations of their lives and their existence (and introduced a profound anxiety into the ‘modern’ human consciousness, which one could either ignore or – as Camus and Sartre each proposed in their own way – simply ‘man-up’ and face the ultimate Meaninglessness of it all. Sartre even went gaga over such heroic ‘freedom’.

    Now from all this one can go in a couple of possible directions: a) one can simply say that Meaninglessness and lack of Purpose is the way it is in human existence, and ‘real men’ just deal with it; or one can go in the direction of figuring that if there is a need for Meaning then there must (or might well) be a source (or Source) of that need for Meaning.

    If you go with (a) then you reduce human existence to a foundation of sand (which is only fun when you’re at the beach in the summer and the weather stays nice and there are no earthquakes or tsunamis or sharks; which is to say: it only seems fun and workable if the money holds out, you’re young, society and culture more or less hold together the way you’re used to, and things go the way you’d like in your life). I

    f you go with (b) you tap into profound human capacities that seem (and have for most of the species’ existence been seen) to respond to some Metaplanar source or Source. And (b) offers humans a sense of connection (refined in the Judeo-Christian system, among others) to a relationship. Nor can it be dispositively disproven that this relational/connective capacity and need – aimed at something Beyond – exists within humans merely because it was inscribed in them by that Beyond. Nor can it be dispositively proven that this capacity was merely imposed upon them by power-hungry shamans, witchdoctors, and – later – prophets and priesthoods and so on.

    “Cows” do not “praise” God. Their ‘cowness’ is instinctual and unrecognized by them; lions and cows don’t spend much time wondering or worrying how to be a better lion or a better cow; nor do they spend much time on the state of cows or cowhood or lions or lion-hood generally.

    But humans do. Whence that profound and unique characteristic? Did we a) merely ‘evolve’ a capacity for self-awareness and a thirst to some make progress in our lives – individually and communally? That’s a huge existential leap, and evolution is not known for rapid and huge existential leaps. And we are a rather young species. This strikes me – as one recent thinker put it – as claiming that a tornado one afternoon for a few minutes in a junkyard created a fully flight-worthy jumbo jet ready to go. If one can believe that, one certainly has no grounds for deriding the possibility that a rural carpenter can be resurrected.

    Humans are not cows or any other type of (comparatively) simple fauna. We are sui generis – and not simply because the Church says so (indeed, the Church may simply have erected into doctrine what is fundamentally true about humans in the first place).

    Nor would I use a “professional apologist” on AM talk-radio as a reliable source of whose-ever doctrine s/he was claiming to explain.  (As I have said before in comments, however, even this or that individual priest may not have been sufficiently grounded in the fullness and depth of the Catholic Vision, and in an effort to be folksy and ‘accessible’ may wind up – like so many non-Catholic Christian apologists and preachers  – hoping that the happier the happy-face, the more accurate the theology. I read recently that in the Anglican Church it has been proposed to replace the Stations of the Cross with an umpteen-point development plan proposed by a United Nations development committee of some sort.)

    So while it is something to say that “religion is man-made and thus it has a purpose”, the assertion doesn’t really get to the heart of the matter at all. To use my 3-levels of rules from my Flight School Analogy, different religions – like different airlines – can fiddle with the corporate logos and the color of the crew uniforms and upholstery, and even pick and choose which type of aircraft to buy for its fleet,  yet the nature of the human aircraft is – in the Catholic Vision – given Shape and Operating Parameters imparted by the very nature of the human being as Created in the Image of God. ‘Man’ may have ‘made’ the differently-logo’d and patterned religions, but religion – or Religion – itself goes way way beyond that and Beyond that: there is a demonstrable and sustained human capacity for seeking a Beyond and seeking Meaning and Purpose and some form of relationship with that Beyond … and when humans are deprived of any workable Sense of those capacities being engaged, humans by and large don’t work (or ‘fly’) well.

    Therefore, I would say that any materialist/secularist/determinist Monoplanar philosophical approach that claims to be sufficient for humans and will actually deliver ‘progress’ and ‘liberation’ to them – if only the Beyond be eliminated – is going to wind up creating a monstrous and lethal regression in human affairs and the quality of human life and existence and history. And I think that this was evidenced most recently in Stalin’s efforts to get rid of religion in the USSR (until suddenly the Wehrmacht was at the gates of Moscow and he opened all the churches … for a while, anyway).

    Thus that if any ‘philosophy’ trying to achieve or impose the Monoplanar as the sole source of human Meaning is going to be lethal, then any government trying to impose that Monoplanar is going to really amplify that existential lethality.

    And as I said, it’s easy to figure life is pretty nice when you’re at the beach on a sunny day and the money holds out and the tectonic plates are behaving and the sharks are somewhere else – and thus either a happy-face or lantern-jawed Monoplanar philosophy will do the trick in life.

    But that’s a regressive, un-developed or under-developed or inexperienced approach that isn’t going to sustain anybody when the presumedly benevolent material variables suddenly start going haywire; the graveyard may be a great place for a picnic with pals or personal-musical-device on a summer noontime; it’s a very different proposition when it’s twelve on a dark and stormy night and you’re all alone and your batteries have run out.

    Is this some sort of ‘argument from fear’? No, it’s an argument from human experience: a) the great ocean of life is not simply a summer-afternoon thingie and one needs a stronger boat than a small personal sailboat if one is going to venture out onto it and stay afloat on it existentially with one’s sanity as well as one’s physical pieces intact. And b) I think it is theoretically and historically and philosophically insupportable to claim that we humans are simply mere creatures of the Monoplane who have somehow (and mistakenly) projected our own fears and hopes and loves onto a phantasmal Meta/Multiplane that we created out of our own heads and hearts.

    And then there’s the problem of miracles. I won’t get into it too deeply in an already long comment, but I offer this readable 13-page report from a Protestant (link below). I don’t offer it as dispositive proof of anything particularly, but it seems to me that something is going on there, and has to be accounted-for.

  12. Delphin says:

    That's good, Jimmy, let it all out, just let the festering hate and bigotry keep oozing out. The sooner your purge this poison from your heart and soul, the sooner you can heal, from your scars and your hatreds.

    Your grievance has never been about the alleged crimes of abuse committed in or "by" the Church, it is just about your hatred of Catholics, period. You have no credibility as an objective commenter.

    Just because one isn't a commie doesn't mean that one is a "right-winger".

    Can you possibly dwell in any ideaology/philosophy that isn't extreme?


    • jim robertson says:

      Oh my dear, if you are not a right winger niether is Dick Cheney or the Koch brothers. I don't hate Catholics [edited by moderator]

  13. jim robertson says:

    Do go on.

  14. jim robertson says:

    I have never suggested your churchs be closed. No one on our side would. As a matter of fact I'd probably demonstrate if any one tried to do that to you against your will, edited by moderator] but that hasn't happened. Pretend it is to your heart's content.

  15. jim robertson says:

    Katharine Culman, a now dead T.V. evangelist would look up into her key spot light, as if it was god's face; get teary eyed and say. "I believe in miracles!"

    Well I don't. I am in awe of the Tao but where are the miracles? Not at Lourdes that's for sure. It's all pretty logical. Science is consistantly PROVEN correct and when it isn't ,it changes it's analysis. But not religion.

    You know your diety, if it existed, could have saved the children at Auschwitz; but no, no miracles, just slaughter. After a quarter of a million died in the sunami, slaughter on a mass scale.That would seem to be the only "miraculous" act the "Good Shepard's" choosen to perform as of late.

    But I'm too busy oozing hate.

    I've never killed anybody; but then again I'm not worshiped  as a god of love either.

    Your diety tends to behave like a crazy Roman emperor. "Love me or die. Worship me or burn forever. I love you so."  Sheesh!

  16. Delphin says:

    This is what "your side" does. Just exchange the lefty players (atheists, lefty anarchists, feminists, gay activists, black racists, OWSers…), it all originates from the same evil any way you look at it. "Hail Satan", indeed.


  17. Delphin says:

    Those crazy Roman emperors, the worst of them, were homosexual pagans. Funny you should invoke "them" to support your opposition to God.

    Faithful Caholics are not afraid of death, pagans are. We are promised life after death, so, we welcome death as God sees fit to deliver it. Remember that whole "eternity" thingie?

    Faithful Catholics, in or out of the Church, have not injured innocents. "Wolves in sheeps clothing", as we were warned, have done so. You're old enough to know the difference, but, acknowledging that fact would severely undermine your opposition to the Church, and her faithful adherents. Just as the homosexual priests that abused minors are not representative of all homosexuals, neither are unfaithful Catholics (really another oxymoron) representative of all Catholics. Stop the nonsense already and elevate the debate to an adult level.

    Another fact for you: science is more consistently wrong, than right. It has to change, a lot, to accomodate its errors. The Truth, as delivered by Jesus Christ (the Word), has never changed. Truth is Fact.

    Stop lying, you continue to undermine yourself, and you insult the readers. You use lies, distortions, part-truths, misinformation, extrapolations and distortions as your tools to support your bigoted position.

    Man-up, if you truly believe your drivel, support it like a grown man and not a petulant child.

    • jim robertson says:

      And some of the best of them were "homosexual"

      Hadrian had his Antinous. Julian the Apostate. And the sire of Imperial Rome himself, Julius Ceasar was derided as: Every woman's husband every soldier's wife. ( I paraphrase).

  18. Delphin says:

    What killed children at Auschwitz was NAZI philosophy based in a pagan- occult atheism, adamantly and vehemently opposed to Judeo-Christianity.

    In line with pretty much the same Godless philosophies that murdered millions more under Stalin, Ho, Mao, Mugabe, Milosovich, Amin and Pot, in One century.

    Not a faithful Catholic, or priest,  among the lot.


    • jim robertson says:

      Nazi philosophy supported by Catholic prelates. "Sieg hiel" said the Bishops.

  19. LearnedCounsel says:

    Karen is such a super fan. Do some original thinking. 

  20. Delphin says:

    Stop cowardly attacking opposition posters while you regularly and excessively cheerlead for your comrads – you're not bullying a captive body of students or client-defendents here.

    You've had your derrier kicked all over the place by the sheer logic of your opposition on TMR (embarrased much?), so, now you're on the usual lefty personal attack crusade.

    Have anything of any interest, that you haven't hastily hodge-podged out of your text books (and stripped from Google), to contribute that may actually relate to the subject article, "tough guy"?

    Let me help you out, look at that picture of Isely- with his deer in the headlights glare; "that" is one of yours, and is a perfection reflection of what a liar, and a LIE, looks like when the fable that is the medias and the lefts (your snappy-happy "family") Church abuse narrative unravels in front of the world and there's no place to hide anymore.

    How about that, Superfan of SNAP and "Original Thinker"?

    Let's now see what revelation "Professor Google" comes up with….


  21. Delphin says:

    The lefts "broad brush" paints all their opposition as racists, right-wingers, "imaginers", "flat-earthers", homophobes, sexists, NAZI's, Islamophobes, anti-Immigrant, animal-killing nature-haters, and on and on (I know I've missed many other their baseless charges) and normal people (not extremists on either side) are suppossed to take you seriously?

    Not a chance, sorry.

    Leftists have provided more than enough documentation to support the fact that they do actually hate their opposition and act against them, whom they consider to be Judeo-Christian religious and laity (especially Catholics), political and ideaological conservatives and libertarians, constitutionalists, capitalists, upper economic classes ("war on 1%", really?), caucasians- especially males, "soccer moms", the military, business (from financial to energy), the "south", the family, and pro-lifers (from abortion to euthanasia).

    You can't deny the lefts war on everything historically American, and good. You can't deny that you wish to "transform" America from a free society based on God, family and patriotism to a Socialist/Totalitarian (Statist) atheist regime, as you all openly applaud your current "Kings"  numerous illegal transgressions ("…what law, there's a law for/against that…"?) that are designed to do just that.

    Just admit your intentions, we aready have the evidence (the kind that has never been introduced into any abuse case against a priest) of your hatred for your opposition.

    • jim robertson says:

      Again and per usual. You are wrong.

      It's the 1% who have been making war on the rest of us.

      Billions for weaponry and nothing for universal health care.

      [edited by moderator]

  22. Publion says:

    I couldn’t help but notice that ‘Karen’ is taken to task by ‘Learned Counsel’ in an abrupt one-liner from 919PM on the 13th that apparently was triggered by her complimentary comment to me from 1214AM on the 13th.

    Apparently LC is miffed that she doesn’t do more “original thinking”.

    I do not here presume to speak for ‘Karen’ but this “original thinking” bit requires comment. Apparently – and so very neatly – the philosophical approach LC has found most congenial is this: if it’s ‘old’ and “tired” then anything that is a) newer that b) you can come up with or “prefer” is going to be ever so much better (as well as ever so much more convenient for one’s personal purposes both as to i) being freeeeee and ii) not having to explain the coherence or rationale or even rationality of one’s preferred ‘philosophical vision’.

    Thus – let me propose – we can make airplanes out of ice-cream because a) as an idea it’s not “tired” but is rather fresh; b) it’s ‘creative’ because nobody has ever thought about it before (they were all so stupid or oppresses by then-reigning paradigms); c) it’s ‘transgressive’ because it works against the interests of the corporate-industrial complex; and d) you can eat it if you get hungry on long flights.

    This is – you can insist – your own personally preferred ‘philosophy’ or ‘idea’ and so anybody who asks any questions is merely launching a personal assault on your ‘freedom to prefer’, masking that assault in the mere words of reason and of rational questions about your idea.

    Thus, as long as your magpie-like conceptual construction is fresh and new and creative and transgressive then it’s “original thinking” and anything else is not.

    And that’s not your problem but instead is the problem of all those who don’t see its marvelousness.

    The ultimate self-licking airplane.

    Such progress.

    But maybe it will get a passing grade in the Harvard Philosophy Department these days.

  23. jim robertson says:

    Geeze! P. is so envious of that Harvard education.

  24. Delphin says:

    The NAZI-Church alliance is disproven, thoroughly. The Church didn't assist Stalin or the rest of your little red friends, either.

    That the best you've got? You must be getting tired, or running out of lies about the abuse matter- which is it?

    Not much more to say on all "dat", but, do keep "talking", you're own words continue to convict you.

    • jim robertson says:

      Ah! But the Polish prelates did spy on their own congregations for the so called "Commie" government.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      The Nazi Church connection has never been disproven. Except to avid Catholic believers who "want" it not to be true. The rest of the world remembers the connection quite realisticly. It happened. the "rat line" out of Germany through Italy moved many Nazi's including  Dr.Mengele and Eichmann many many others to  South and North America after the war.

  25. Delphin says:

    Are you saying Soros, Gates, Buffet, Pelosi, Kerry, Ellison, Hollywood and your other uber-liberal-socialist elite friends are making war on us? LimoLibs, no?

    The top 20 wealthiest in America are Dems, do they fall into the "1%" or are they exempt (another lefty double standard, perhaps)? There are more wealthy Dem politicians than Repubs.

    Just another lefty fallacy.

    Anything else you've got that's totally wrong?

  26. LearnedCounsel says:

    I have no idea what publicly publion just said. New ideas and original thinking can be many thinks. They do not have to be absurd imaginations like ice cream airplanes. I was criticizing Karen for too often posting cheers. Delphin does it too like some weak little guy standing next to a tough guy saying, "Yea. Yea. That's right." 

    Well, this is fine because I am still processing publicly publion's extensive last post that he unfortunately undermined with his insistently again bringing up Lourdes. Because there's just something about it. The miracles thing just reminds me that despite what intelligent things this guy may say, he believes in miracles! Even when I was a hard-core believing catholic, I never went for miracles. Miracle-believers just don't seem worth talking to.

  27. Publion says:

    JR tap-taps  on the 13th at 1021AM.

    If JR has reviewed the link I provided to the Lourdes situation and can point out how – using that or any other relevant material he cares to reference – that “it’s all pretty logical” then let’s see that.

    The following sentence in that first paragraph about “Science” is not coherently related to the first sentence; perhaps it’s simply off the first 3×5 in the ‘science and religion’ section of the shoebox.

    Otherwise, I no more trust JR’s ability to recognize logic or to function logically than I recognize his ability to comprehend the characteristics of a competent university education.

    And we notice yet again the use of eccentric or non-mainstream sources (here:  some television “evangelist”) as the basis for making rather substantive or sweeping assertions about Christianity or Catholicism or religion or God or (fill in the blank).

    I myself do not subscribe to the primary characterization or diagnosis of “hate”. I think there are other explanations. But the material we get is sometimes useful for our larger purposes here. I liked the projective bit about “the crazy Roman emperor”,  though; as I have said, JR gives us so much to consider when he least intends to.

  28. jim robertson says:

    Do I tap like Kelly or Astaire?

  29. Julie says:

    I see no problem with believing in miracles. As far as the "commie" government, the "commie" government trumped up charges against Catholic priests, a situation that reminds me of SNAP tactics.

    • jim robertson says:

      There's no problem in believing in the tooth fairy or Santa Claus as an adult either but should I and others base how we treat the planet and each other based on belief in imaginary characters?

    • jim robertson says:

      Show one case where the government has been proven to have "set up ' a case against a catholic priest. And I said a proven case not an alleged one. You can't.

  30. Delphin says:

    A MINORITY of "traitor" priests/bishops, all, just like those homosexual predators that betrayed their community in and out of the Church, collaborated with Commies, and other criminal elements. Perfection in the Church (and certainly out of it) was never anticipated, or possible, from anyone- only Jesus met that standard.

    Broad-brush, my friend….big, wide strokes. Do those also work for the lefties vast array of despots?

    "We" are way grasping for straws – are you absolutely sure you don't hate Catholics because your info-fact "stretches" are quite unreasonable, and indefensable?

    I'd much rather talk about the Fact that Catholic Charities are the most generous private organization caring for the oppressed and indigent, worldwide. That is our Majority history. Let's not cherry-pick the past two millenia of Church history – point is, there was never any worldwide human institution as charitable, and good and honest ever before, or since.

    I can't think of any of your Communist-Atheist organizations, combined, that come close.

    Meanwhile, none of your gang can effectively respond to even one of your oppositions' arguments or concepts regarding the integrity of the media's treatment of the Church abuse matter as pertains to the Isely debacle -  are your "…arms just too tired to keep boxing with God…"?

    For the sane ones: A quick read of the Dolan deposition from February is absolutely essential reading for those of you who wish to see rational and brilliant adult men (Dolan and Lococo) handle a slimey, whiney, slippery, blatantly dishonest attorney (I know, all redundant), Elf-boy Anderson – especially funny are pages 95-98 and 106.

    If this is the best of the left, they need all the help from the media, the UN, advocacy and entitlement groups, bloggers, ambulance chasers, Satan himself, and all the rest of their misfits, as they can possibly get.

    • jim robertson says:

      If anyone paints with a broad brush here it's you. Them what smelts 'em delts 'em.

      Catholic Charities only proves how much wealth the church has. Charity needs to begin at home by compensating the victims created by the church before they spread their wealth like Lady Bountiful. Pay your bills.

  31. Publion says:

    We are informed now by LC that he “has no idea” what I just said (meaning, I presume, my comment of the 14th at 256PM).

    I shall try to help out.

    What caught my eye was that one commenter was told to do more “original thinking” by a commenter (LC) who has rather voluminously quoted other writers at length – and possibly a chunk of a textbook (on Kant) as well. And that struck me as noteworthy.

    I then went on to point out – from assorted recent bits of LC’s material on this site – that the fact that a thought is “tired” or ‘old’ doesn’t at all suffice to establish its invalidity, and indeed its venerable age and usage might actually be taken as a sign of that idea’s acceptance by a large chunk of humanity over a long period of time, for reasons that should not be dismissed lightly and out of hand.

    I used a rather “absurd” example (certainly it was deliberately vivid, in order to make my point) so as to highlight the dynamic I see relevant to LC’s recent material on his own philosophical position: that ‘evolution’ requires at least as much presumption and conjecture as any Metaplanar/ ‘religious’ explanations; that his position is his ‘preference’ and thus in objecting to this or that aspect of it in terms of internal coherence and consequences I am merely personally attacking him out of my own personal “argument from personal incredulity”; and the list goes on.

    For that matter, I would add – since we’re back on the subject – that up until the 18th century philosophical thought used all of Aristotle’s Causes (formal, material, final and efficient), whereas since Newton’s scientific work and then during the 19th century with Marx and others, the materialist philosophical explanation limits itself largely to only one of those Causes, i.e. the efficient: as if in merely understanding how some entity has mechanistically (so to speak) come to exist, then one comprehends its entirety – leaving aside its formal essence, its purpose for existing, and the material(s) out of which the entity was fashioned. Since philosophy began to derange itself in order to conform to material Science, the rest of the Causes – which are categories and concepts of long-standing in Western philosophy – have been ignored because (we might say) they are “tired” and perhaps ‘no longer relevant’.

    This profound self-limitation that Philosophy has perpetrated upon itself leaves it basically limited to the scope and capability of the natural sciences (which, rightly for themselves, are limited to the efficient and perhaps the material elements of Causality).

    So LC is welcome to decide to philosophically embrace and “prefer” whatever system he chooses, but it is well within bounds to then raise relevant questions about any elements of his stated position that don’t seem to cover the philosophical ground well for one reason or another. Is this new or news to him?

    And while I have noticed that LC has been moved to object at least twice now to commenters who post a compliment to me – and in this instant case he writes that ‘Karen’ has been “too often posting cheers” – yet he himself has apparently found no irritation in the reality of JR’s own content-less and simplistic “cheers” to LC’s own material. (And, indeed, in characterizing ‘Karen’ LC rather acutely and adroitly describes what some may well be thinking about various bits of JR’s material.)

    In fact LC recently took me to task for not coming-back-at a commenter who connected me, if memory serves, to college-level teaching. In LC’s view, I should have clearly and quickly disabused that commenter somehow of such a connection. (I might ask: On what grounds?)

    LC then mimics me by claiming that I have undermined my last extensive comment here (the contents of which he is still trying to grasp) because I brought up Lourdes and the goings-on there … and – but of course – my raising the question of miracles in relation to Lourdes in and of itself proves that I “believe in” miracles (had he not noticed the rather clearly-expressed tentativeness of my comment in that regard?) and therefore I – as a “miracle-believer” – am – in LC’s opinion – “not worth talking to”. (Which, by the nicest coincidence, serves to absolve him of the need to examine, comprehend, or respond to my material – neat!)

    From which, I gather, LC does not believe in miracles – and that would be because he has definitively ruled out the possibility of their existence. Or “prefers” to, at least. Fine and dandy for him (and Catholic readers might well imagine that the Church dodged a bullet when he left seminary training).

    I make no pretense of completely comprehending some of the material that has come out of Lourdes (I provided that initial link; search engines can provide links to the Lourdes medical bureau record-reports as well). But unless we wish to posit long-sustained and extended delusion and outright professional incompetence or lunacy by assorted medically- and scientifically-trained persons who have conducted research and field work there  – which they then actually published for all to see – then clearly “something is going on there” which cannot be explained by current medical or scientific praxis, knowledge, and paradigms.

    None of the material in the above-paragraph can – nor do I claim it does – dispositively prove the existence of “miracles” there. But rather serious and deep consideration and examination is certainly justified. Which is what I did and do recommend.

    As for LC’s personal preference not to “go for” miracles, we can simply add that to the list of his philosophical preferences, and readers may make of all that what they will.

  32. Delphin says:

    ….and, there's no problem in believing that you can redefine marriage from one man and one woman to whatever the sexual relationship flavors of the day are, or reassign your gender to suit your mood that day (it's "self-identifying" day!), and believing that, and all your other little fairytales, will ever become normalized - that does not mean that the other 97% of us, and the natural world, should be expected to bear that unnatural burden as a truth.

    Nature determined you would remain at 2-3% of the population, regardless of your legal pair-bonding status. Being a rarity in nature is a gift;  think of your status as being a lucky four leaf clover or blue diamond, embrace it, and stop trying to blend in with the 97% (big time PRETEND) of the blades of grass or lumps of coal.

    Redefining marriage to accomodate same sex unions is as silly as redefining Catholicism to include Atheism, or saying the hue white now includes black – just absolute polar opposites.

    Santa Clause, tooth fairies, Easter bunny, gay marriage… fantasies all.

    Nature (both seen and unseen) shows the way to the Truth.


    • jim robertson says:

      Nature is full of homosexual activities in other species as well as humans. [edited by moderator] You're not winning this one.

    • jim robertson says:

      P.S. It's Santa Claus, Hemmingway.

      Gay marriges are real ask Spain and Canada and Denmark and New York and Mexico City and California. etc. Where do you "live" bf nowhere?

      And on the front page of L.A. Times we see the further development of the "Religious Freedom is being challanged" campaign a very expensive PR campaign that's being created and pushed by your church. What's really being challenged is Religions ever present attempts to maintain it's control over everything it can politically.

      It's like the old days with fish on fridays. Public schools were pressed to offer flounder in order not to offend a long dead popes stupid, don't eat meat on fridays mandate.( Evidently his family owned the fish industry in  Milan or  Naples.)

      A mandate that was thrown out finally by the church (because it was so stupid). Hopefully giving the sinners' in hell for that one mortal sin a get out of Hades free card.

    • jim robertson says:

      What about god; jesus; the holy ghost; the virgin birth; adam and eve; original sin; the crucifixtion; the ressurection; the ascension, the assumption, life after death;purgatory; hell; and D's boyfriend satan? Fantasies all.

  33. jim robertson says:

    [edited by moderator]

    What's going on at Lourdes? Fraud that's what and fraud is no miracle. Just think of the money that's rolled through that town. I had a very devoted aunt and uncle who lit up every time they talked about their vacations in Lourdes. Magic is such a huge part of religion. And everyone knows magic is a fraud.

  34. jim robertson says:

    Unless that magic occurred at the beginning of the "one, true faith" That's no trick. That magic really happened.  Of course it did.

  35. Julie says:

    Did Jim really say Catholic Charities only proves how much wealth the church has? OK. He's no longer trying and I'm not reading his posts any more. Now he's just being ignorant.

  36. Publion says:

    In his efforts to come up with a couple of clever quickies JR actually provides us an opportunity to review a couple of classic popular confusions, while also reminding us of just what we deal with in so much of his material.

    He had relatives – but of course – who had actually been to Lourdes; indeed they used to take “vacations” there. One can only try to imagine people going there for “vacations”: it isn’t a bustling tourist spot like Atlantic City or the Grand Canyon or the Riviera or Paris. Indeed, if you aren’t going there for your own medical problems or to study the goings-on, why would anyone simply go there for “vacations”?  But this is a typical JR-bit: he may not have any worthwhile thoughts, but he just happens to have either been physically-present at the site or is closely related to people who were … and in his mind, that constitutes some sort of worthwhile basis for input. Which input will constitute pronouncements which people simply have to believe because (even if he can’t think too well) he would never lie.

    Readers are welcome to make what they will of that Rube Goldberg conceptual scheme.

    They might even wish to consider just how advanced (or not) that scheme stands when compared to “magic” and magical-thinking and the basic presumption that mere physical presence somehow imparts a trumping authority to pronounce upon whatever one was merely in-the-physical-presence-of. I recall again the cargo-cult natives who presumed that if you built your own ‘radio set’ out of coconuts and vines, and mimicked closely the movements and noises you had observed, then you too could command the great canoes and the silver birds. And on top of that, one might imagine that such cargo-cult natives, having spent a lot of time at the beach or the airstrip watching stuff, would be indubitably more authoritative in delivering pronouncements on the overall history and meaning of World War 2 in the Pacific or anywhere else.

    There is a substantive and vital conceptual distinction between “magic” and “religion”. The former tries to control the Beyond through various manipulative efforts; the latter refers to the effort – individually and culturally – to try and work out a relationship with that Beyond, structuring individual and societal life around that relationship (as best one could infer the elements of that Beyond and thus the characteristics of that Beyond and the consequent effects on the ‘relationship’).

    The two distinct concepts reflect two distinct characteristic energies within the human being.

    And those human-beings have brought those energies to all of their efforts to live in a beyond-physical universe, where – they it seemed strongly to them – there exist elements and energies and forces beyond the purely material. The Church – like all religions – has always had to deal with the problem of humans’ ‘magical’ substrate and how to manage that stubborn human characteristic in relation to the genuinely Christian approach to God and the Beyond. Do you try to totally stamp out the ‘magic’ (and run the risk of doing violence in the process)? Do you simply let peoples do what they want (and run the risk of diluting the entire Christian identity)?  Do you let the Wheat grow with the Tares and hope for the best? The history of Christianity has been deeply interwoven with this issue, and various historical efforts in this or that era reflect various efforts to try this or that method of dealing with the problem.

    The Church – having brought so many pagan and even magically-inclined tribes into the fold in the early missionary efforts – sought to make clear the difference between ‘magic’ and ‘religion’ (and, not to put too fine a point on it, not just any ‘religion’ but Christianity). Indeed, we might consider that the expansion of the Roman (distinct in some clear ways from the Spanish) Inquisition from heresy to witchcraft was precisely intended to address the public reality of large numbers of recently-Christianized populations trying to keep their old “magic” and simply layer-over that “magic” a veneer of Christianity. (We recall that it was only with the Protestant Reformation that ‘witchcraft’ became a primary concern of religious authorities.)

    And there is also a clear conceptual distinction between “magic” and “miracle”: Magic seeks to manipulate and control forces that are susceptible to the manipulation of material elements on the terrestrial Plane; a miracle (very much a Judeo-Christian concept) is a suspension of the laws of the terrestrial Plane of Existence through the authority and will of a God (benevolent if still mysterious) precisely as an expression of His Will and Love.

    All of these elements and forces are involved in whatever is happening and has happened for the past 150 or so years at Lourdes. And this accusation of “fraud” is anchored merely in the Marxy materialistic presumption that since ‘we all know’ that there is no Beyond then the only working element and motivation for all of the goings-on must be the commission of “fraud”; “religion” being – according to Marx – merely “the opiate of the masses”. (One wonders what Marx would make of a personal-preference for drug-use as an expression of one’s personal freedom and liberation.)

    Lastly, we can see in all of this a vivid example of the darker opportunities that the Internet has created (and this ties in with an Ecker comment recently on this site in which Ecker urges us to look at the comments to an article that caught his fancy): internet commentary is largely open to anybody who wants to toss anything at any subject. It therefore becomes the responsibility of the reader to sift through the various bits on offer to find comments – not necessarily in favor of one’s preferred position – that offer some opportunity to learn or move the discourse forward in some worthwhile way.

    Moreover, and specifically in regard to the Catholic Abuse Matter, one can see how the Stampede has always been so deeply enmeshed with the Internet: having raised up the Church (in this instance; but it could be any target that somehow becomes raised-up for attention) as a topic on the internet, then a broad-based mélange of interests might be attracted to the target in order to toss whatever coconuts they care to toss. Thus in Catholic Abuse Matter, a review of ‘comments’ so often reveals material emanating from anti-Catholic or anti-religious or anti-Beyond or anti-authority or anti-male-priesthood) or anti-(fill in the blank) … much of it simply using the gravamen of the actual abuse-charges merely as a pretext.

    The result of which is that inattentive observers can get the impression that there are many many persons with emotionally-charged (not to necessarily imply well thought-out) things to say about the Catholic Abuse Matter – when in actuality that tight-focus on ‘abuse’ isn’t actually driving as many of the comments as inattention might lead one to imagine.

    So I think it is helpful to review comments generated by this or that article, especially on some of the more general sites or sites that are already known to be hospitable to a certain level of comment-making. If you approach those comments with the purpose of trying to enter into mental-world from which those comments arise, you can soon realize just what dark pools are ‘out there’ in the Webverse just waiting to be tapped by enterprising and slyly calculating manipulators.

    But beware: while we are on the beach or at the airfield trying to work with complex quantities of serious material, there are – just beyond the tree-line – all sorts of natives who have convinced themselves that the reason their mimicry of talking into coconuts-tied-to-vines is not bringing them the same profusion must be that we are somehow interfering with their own “magic”.

    • jim robertson says:

      As always The never on top of it P questions my veracity, again.

      My Aunt and Uncle Sally and Jim Ratigan of Hyde Cheshire England were daily mass goers. My Uncle Jim served mass into his '80's. He lived 2 houses away from St. Cuthberts, if I remember the church's name correctly. My parents were married there, in Hyde and when the younger altar boys failed to show up to serve at mass off Jim would go.

      He and Sally not only spent their favorite vacations at Lourdes. Vacation being defined by me as 2 weeks off from work; once a year. They may have refered to it as a "pilgrimage" . They also went to Cro Patrick in western Ireland to walk barefoot up that "sacred" dormant volcano. (Something pagans had done in the pre Christian era. The Church had veneered over ancient pagan sites, various sacred wells or springs on cro Patrick, Christian myths, (excuse my redundency: Christian/myth.) They were both very very devoted magic/miracle believing Catholics.

      If using personal connections to Catholic holy sites is verbotten to me or somehow proves my inability to "think" clearly according to the great "clarifier",you. What can I say? You' ve told me off. I'm stupid. Happy now?

      [edited by moderator]

    • jim robertson says:

      Hun-huh, princess. Fraud means just that fraud, passing off something as true when it is known and shown to be false.i.e. miracles at Lourdes. the only miracle there is that anybody believes them.

    • Jim Robertson says:

      Don't you think with 5 million "visitors" per annum everyone who is Catholic or was raised Catholic knows someone who's been to Lourdes then "vacated" Lourdes? Do you ever, ever, ever tire of being pedantic and dull?

  37. LearnedCounsel says:

    Well, good to know that publicly publion thinks that philosophy that departs from Aristotle, in fact any philosophy from the 18th century on is "deranged." That is the most absurd statement by publicly publion .  .  .  in a strong field, I might add. That just is not true. Philosophy has deranged itself, according to him, by taking account of advances in scientific knowledge. Publicly pubion has here revealed a very serious bias against being informed by science and thus about reality. And this disconnectedness with reality retards and ruins the conversation.

    In the history of Lourdes, there have been 67 church-approved declared miracles.  It is estimated that in recent years about 5 million pilgrims a year visit the shrine at Lourdes. Over the past 150 years, it is also estimated that more than 200 million pilgrims have visited Lourdes. Roughly, then, you are talking about a success rate of .00003% or 1 out of every 3 million. This is what one might expect by chance or placebo because the cures are for afflictions cancer which tends to sometimes spontaneously go into remission. No one has ever re-grown a severed limb, for example. That would be unambiuous. But miracles are always ambiguous with some uncertain circumstances.

    Davud Hume said,"'That no testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous, than the fact, which it endeavours to establish….' When anyone tells me, that he saw a dead man restored to life, I immediately consider with myself, whether it be more probable, that this person should either deceive or be deceived, or that the fact, which he relates, should really have happened. I weigh the one miracle against the other; and according to the superiority, which I discover, I pronounce my decision, and always reject the greater miracle. If the falsehood of his testimony would be more miraculous, than the event which he relates; then, and not till then, can he pretend to command my belief or opinion." From David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, L. A. Selby Bigge, ed. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1902), pp. 114-5. That is the thing about the laws of nature, that they cannot be suspended. They never are, let alone suspended in your or my favor. Anyone claiming a miracle is either lying or under a grave misapprehension.

    Publicly Publion is neither of these though. He is a rhetorical genius who in summary says that he does not attempt to dispositively prove the existence of “miracles.” He does however think that "rather serious and deep consideration and examination is certainly justified." Boy, what a hedge! Well, keep collecting data on Lourdes. They are coming in, just veeeeery sloooowly.

  38. Publion says:

    Addressing here the material from LC at 532PM today.

    “Derangement” means “thrown into disorder” or knocked off-kilter from its foundations. And yes, I would say – and have gone to great lengths in prior comments on this site to explain how – Philosophy was knocked off its foundations once it began to go gaga over simple physical and material Science and try to conform itself to Science by confining itself to the purely material Plane of Existence (or, to use my term, the Monoplane). LC’s delivery of a mere sweeping epithet to the effect that my statement is “absurd” and even “the most absurd statement” I have ever made can be left hanging there, un supported, out on the limb where LC put it as his contribution to the philosophical discourse here.  Along with the follow-up faux-analytical comment that he has apparently made this judicious but difficult assessment of his from “a strong field” (of my overall tally of statements LC will epithetically assert and declare to be absurd).

    Nor does it seem to strike him as relevant that Philosophy has indeed been “taking into account advances in scientific knowledge” – as he himself says. Because if Philosophy is not merely an adjunct of material and physical Science, then there quickly arises the rather core Question: why should advances on the Monoplane in regard to material and physical discoveries be allowed to exercise such a substantial (and deranging) effect on Philosophy? (The Question is not meant to be rhetorical.)

    But this assertion of LC’s then quickly lubricates the following Rube Goldberg construction: since I have “revealed a very serious bias against being informed by science and thus about reality” then my “serious bias” goes and “ruins the conversation” – thus absolving him of having to answer or substantively address my material. Neat – but we’ve seen Play run this before.

    Thus quickly on to Lourdes.

    He raises a point I discussed in one of the first comments responding to his raising of the Lourdes matter: there have been very few miracles formally declared to be such by the Church; 67 miracles out of the 5 million pilgrims who visit Lourdes annually, according to his numbers.  (We could get picky here and wonder if that 5 million has been constant over the past 150 years or so; or whether all the pilgrims come looking for a miraculous cure or merely to pray or put themselves somehow in the presence or location where God seems to work in a special way. But let’s not at this point, and go with his numbers.)

    He then tries to reduce it to a statistical “success rate”, calculating (on the basis of the numbers  I have discussed in the immediately preceding paragraph above) that the “success rate” is therefore 1 in 3 million. That wouldn’t be good in any industry or business, certainly.

    But then we aren’t talking about an industry or a business here. (Unless we go with the JR “fraud” bit, but if we were to go with that, then why should the purportedly fraudulent Church so grossly limit its possibilities by certifying only 67 miracles? But LC seems to be going in a different direction from JR here, so let’s go with LC and see what happens.) We are talking about the causative interaction of the Metaplane and the Monoplane, or even of the Metaplane on the Monoplane, which moves us through the territory of Philosophy and into Religion (and Catholicism, specifically). What unaided human reason can tell us here is that there are insufficient purely-material or Monoplanar causes to explain a demonstrated phenomenon (or a number of phenomena) and that something else therefore has to be going on in terms of causation.

    LC is going to go in a direction I specifically addressed in prior comments: he will claim and/or infer that the recorded ‘cures’ are attributable to other mechanisms of causation. Has he read the case reports to see the number of these miracles that are not merely reducible to alternative mechanisms of healing or ‘cure’ by means of spontaneous remission or some happy-face improvement in an individual’s psycho-emotional condition? Surely a reading of the extant case material reveals the serious physical pathologies whose disappearance cannot be explained by trained medical and scientific personnel. And what’s more: even if there were only one such miracle, then we are facing something beyond the explanatory parameters of material Science to explain in terms of causation. So even only one miracle creates – for the genuine researcher – as much of a difficulty as a whole bunch of miracles.

    And we are advised that “miracles are always ambiguous with some uncertain circumstances”. “Always”? Where did he get the authority or grounds to make that rather unambiguous declaration?

    I include at the bottom of this comment a link to the explanation by the chief reviewing doctor as to the criteria involved in examination by the Lourdes Medical Bureau. And a second link to Wiki that also includes brief descriptions of some of the more notable miracles and provides further links.  And a third link that covers many of the cases in more specific detail.

    Dragooning Hume into this isn’t quite sufficient at all: Hume refers to “testimony” – meaning persons simply stating what they have seen (or think they have seen); something akin to what we might today call ‘hearsay’ in the legal forum. But what we are dealing with in the Lourdes medical reports – the entire phenomenon long post-dates Hume (who died in 1776) – extends to formal recorded medical analysis and investigation, covering the increasing competence in the medical field from the later 19th century up to the present day. Science and medicine have come a long way since Hume’s day in their ability to assess and examine. (And – let me save some time here – No, that does not mean that therefore Philosophy should indenture itself to material and physical Science.)

    We also note that Hume is using the example of “a dead man restored to life” and there have been no resurrections claimed or certified at Lourdes. Hume as a philosopher may wish to adopt a ‘scientific’ stance in regard to the resurrection of Christ and claim (assert, really) that as far as he’s concerned he will “always reject the greater miracle” (i.e. resurrection) and go with some form of deception in the report.

    And Hume further concludes that this discussion he is conducting concerns his own approach to miracles.  His “belief and opinion” cannot be ‘commanded’ toward the acceptance of the miraculous unless it would be a greater miracle that the person making the report would deceive him (a polite circumlocution that pretty much reduces the set of such possible deceivers to zero). Thus does Hume simply share with us his personal approach to assessing miracles – or, more specifically, the miracle of resurrection).

    So the quote from Hume gives us a) only Hume’s opinion and b) doesn’t cover the type of ‘cure’ miracles we see at Lourdes which c) in any case begin almost a century after his own death and continue on into the modern age’s medical analysis and diagnostic capabilities. The careful reference establishing the Hume quote is a nice touch, though.

    But then it’s anybody’s guess how LC gets from what Hume actually says here to LC’s own immediately-following assertion – as if in summation of Hume  – that the laws of nature “cannot be suspended” and “they never are” and that therefore “anyone claiming a miracle is either lying or under a grave misapprehension”. (And once again, the Church surely seems to have dodged at least one bullet in the past couple of decades when LC left seminary.)

    The whole concept of miracle in the Catholic religion is that God does indeed precisely ‘suspend the laws of nature’ which – it is freely admitted and indeed insisted-upon by Catholicism – is a suspension that no human can effect on his/her own authority and power. (Again, to save some time here: Yes, God can work a miracle through a particular holy-person, and indeed such miracles are required as part of the canonization process, but the miraculous power is God’s, not the individual’s.)

    Yes, I do “hedge” – if by that we mean that I point out that “something is going on there” at Lourdes and readers are free to examine the material for themselves and judge for themselves. I will not make the ‘argument from authority’ and simply insist that all readers agree to believe that there are some mighty curious events going on at Lourdes.

    LC has made that ‘argument from authority’ however, and has done so in his own comment here. And has yet to demonstrate just what ‘authority’ of any sort he has to make such sweeping and conclusive declarations. Unless it be the authority of his own ‘preference’. Which he is welcome to do.

    Nor, as I said, does the material have to come in quickly or slowly. There’s enough in the records of Lourdes now to strongly suggest that at least one miracle has occurred there at some point. And given the remarkably sweeping nature of LC’s assertions, one is all it will take.

    • jim robertson says:

      Don't you think it would have been 'nice' if the Holy Virgin had made a personal miraculous appearence at Aucshwitz and disrupted a few train lines or maybe have stopped the xcyclon z cannisters from being delivered?

    • jim robertson says:

      Ever read or see Ibsen's "The Master Builder"?

      Doctors would never lie to benefit their wallets. Would they?

      Religious tourists rolling in year after year buying, pre Avion believe it or not, WATER!

  39. LearnedCounsel says:

    Just to clear up a point from a previous publicly publion comment on this article: I wrote about Karen because her cheering was outweighing any other commenting by her. So I identified her as a cheer leader and suggested some original thinking. No action required for publicly publion. And by “original thinking,” I simply mean writing some thoughts beyond mere praise and admiration. You know, stuff that requires thinking and not just starry-eyed wonder. Not that she or I need to come here writing absolutely original, novel, a priori ideas influenced by and attributable in whole or in part to no one but the self. That is unreasonable and extreme. I would never have suggested it.   With respect to Delphinius, a, um, there I would like to see you distancing yourself or at least ignoring him but you sometimes build on points he makes. Delphin should be treated only with ridicule and scorn for his political and social views. Even when he cannot express himself very well, we all know that at which he is getting. When he cheers publicly publion and boasts about my perceived defeats, he succeeds only in being annoying, not in being correct or interesting or amusing. The other comments he makes are disgusting and wrong.

    Also, while writing this I just thought about the ice cream airplane. No original thinking there. A silly example that amounts in the end to another excuse to use the often-used expression "self-licking," This is a concept that the author seems to have contemplated quite a bit lately because he has written it into several comments.

  40. jim robertson says:

    And about that" canonization process". Is that the same well defined "process" so recently skipped by St. Francis the humble Pope?

  41. Publion says:

    We are now advised that L-C has preferred to appoint himself comment-gatekeeper or control-tower and advises me that there was “no action required” for me to discuss his (public) comment upon Karen’s (public) comment. That’s not an ‘argument from authority’; that’s the Wig of Authority.

    He has now taken to ‘suggesting’ better routes for commenters to take (Karen should do some original thinking). On the authority of his Wig, of course. I can see no other source for it in any of his material here. And might we infer that LC considers JR a suitable example of an appropriate mix between “cheering” and “original thinking”? Surely this – at least – is a question he should be able to answer.

    Delphin (now re-named “Delphinius”) is informed that LC would “like to see” Delphin “distancing yourself or at least ignoring him” (meaning – I think – me) but – alas – Delphin seems rather “to build on points he makes”. Oh my – Delphin has been instructed; which is better – admittedly – than a raised eyebrow from commenter Ecker, which is usually a warning.

    Or perhaps – LC’s subtlety far outpaces his language skills here – perhaps I am being warned to stay away from Delphin’s material. Oh my – is it then I rather than Delphin who have been advised? Apparently Delphin has succeeded in annoying LC – which apparently is a type of frustration that is unpleasant and/or unfamiliar to LC, sturdy and successful survivor of both elite university Philosophy and of law-school though he (allegedly) is. Apparently then, we are all dragooned into being annoyed at Delphin because LC is annoyed at Delphin. This is right up there with commenter Ecker dragooning all ‘activists’ in the country into his grand-fleet which he shall vengeantly lead against the papal Hirohito and all his leering minions.

    And, having given further thought, the elite Philosophy Major and practicing attorney has also become attracted to the “self-licking” phrase. Readers will recall my identifying it quite some time ago as a phrase from Pentagon and military usage – the “self-licking ice cream cone”. But a) isn’t aware of that or has forgotten it; and b) is more interested in just the “self-licking” bit – which seem to tickle his conceptual fancies for some reason.

    To repeat: the dynamic described is that of a program which is ostensibly designed to address and solve a problem but instead continues somehow to refresh or sustain the problem, and thus in ostensibly functioning as ostensibly intended-to (i.e. to solve the problem) it instead simply sustains the problem (and thereby sustains itself).

    Since nobody has ever thought about it before and since it is surely not “tired” and old, then the ice-cream airplane certainly does fit LC’s criteria for “original”, as far as I can determine from his material and his stated parameters on this site. What we are actually seeing in this comment of his at 724AM today is – once again – LC’s befuddlement that ‘words’ and ‘concepts’ won’t stay where he wants them to stay.

    In a sly defense, he has in a prior comment on this thread complimented me (the Teeth of Sly Nastiness chattering like cheap castanets in the bouffant Wig of Educated Niceyness) for being “a rhetorical genius” (and nothing more).

    But that’s not really true. It’s not that I am merely and ‘rhetorically’ playing with words; it’s that I am following out (as LC has not followed out) the implications and concepts contained in the words and concepts he deploys. Apparently Harvard Philosophy profs never had the temerity to perpetrate such invasive and insulting and esteem-threatening outrages on the weekend papers or term-papers of their students; profs at Harvard, apparently, are paid the big bucks to affix the proverbial gold-star to the forehead of each ‘consumer’ in the class. And LC here illustrates floridly the result of such a philosophy of education.

    As with JR, the incompetent lion-tamer blames a) the lions (his words) for getting away from him in the center ring, and b) the onlookers for having the hateful temerity to notice it.

    • jim robertson says:

      Honey I went to high school and everything.

      I've even seen the Steve McQueen version. Yest there's a Steve McQueen version.

      The local doctor wants to close a public water source in a bath town, a spa, because of typoid or something but it will cost the town owners they battle to keep it open for the cash flow.

      Now that's directly from my at times, sieve-like memory. No crib notes. It relates in the need for money surpassing truth.

      D are you talking about P except for the "boy" reference, it sure sounds like him.

      Guys your fonts are empty you cannot explain the unreasonable by pretending to have reason's high road.  You just don't have it. and it just can't be done.IMHO


    • jim robertson says:


      Sorry, It relates to Lourdes, in the towns need for money; surpassing truth ( and safety.)

  42. LearnedCounsel says:

    "To repeat: the dynamic described is that of a program which is ostensibly designed to address and solve a problem but instead continues somehow to refresh or sustain the problem, and thus in ostensibly functioning as ostensibly intended-to (i.e. to solve the problem) it instead simply sustains the problem (and thereby sustains itself)."

    Wow! Publicly publion just blew a circuit. I did not need that ranting description of the "SLIC." (I use an acronym because now I know that you borrowed the term from the feds and they love acronyms.) I love how you assume that something that I do not like or agree with must be something that I just do not comprehend. You are like those people who, when no one laughs at their jokes, assume that an explanation of the humor is required.

    Well, the rest of the post is just rhetorical, pseudo intellectual, ad hominem, attack stuff that really has become the modus operandi of the wounded cub-lion. See you at the next Harvard reunion! Oh wait, that is my alma mater .  .  . and not yours. You talk about it so much that I thought you studied there. Alma Mater floreat, Quae nos educavit; Caros et commilitones, Dissitas in regiones Sparsos, congregavit. I will be in Cambridge enjoying some of my dear old friends and you will be  .  .  . well, here on the internet with the quality of your writing and tantalizing thoughts of miracles that may have occur. No, I know that you have a life because you said so in one of your posts.

    By the way, Paris has a population of over 2 million people and has, among many other attractions, the Louvre. Paris has the most hotels in France for obvious reasons. Today, Lourdes has a population of around 15,000 but, despite being a small rural town, is able to take in some 5,000,000 pilgrims and tourists every season. With about 270 hotels, Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels per square kilometre in France after Paris. (Wikipedia) And publicly publion claims that Lourdes is not a business. Want to buy a virgin mary cigarette lighter? Go to Lourdes! And you will have to stay in one of their hotels because there is nothing else around. The catholics and often their church have always been in business selling indulgences, relics, images, art, jewelry, icons and much much more! That is why the catholics lost the no graven images part of the 2nd commandment of the decalogue. (Exodus 20:4)

    And now the church and her most sympathetic simps are selling the church as victim. The victim of a sinister movement of colluding deviants, calculating lawyers, and biased media bent on getting money for nothing and destroying the church. But take heart, they say! The church can take it and she has corrected any and all problems and is fighting back. And the problems? Well, they only occurred between 1965 and 1985. In fact, no one can be sure that there were any real problems during that time, just unsubstantiated reports of problems that were dealt with handily. In fact, in time, the church will be able to say and will say that the so called sexual abuse matter never even happened. It will just be a matter of debate like it has already become right here.

  43. Publion says:

    Notice the slyness in JR’s of 1142AM today: he has been victimized by being misunderstood and thus, ensconced in that Wig of Victimization, neatly sidesteps the shortcomings in his material.

    Thus we get a distracting excursus on names and persons who may or may not exist (and in the UK of Masterpiece Theater, doncha know?) and may or may not be related to him; then that when he used the word ‘vacation’ he used it – but of course – according to his definition rather than the commonly accepted one but a) who can blame him if some people don’t think like he does and b) who would be so insensitive and hateful to him as to notice?

    And then he tosses in something about the Irish pre-Christian era to lard in his standard 3×5 about how the Church and the pagan tribes she baptized were all into “magic”. And even makes a stab at a college-like effort to mimic the lingo: “excuse my redundency [sic]: Christian/myth”. So there’s a college Wig now and various types are trying on the various styles. Charming.

    And then he concludes with a sweeping declamation, delivered with the full Wig of Victimhood: if he is now going to be somehow forbidden from just referring to dear relatives and their “Catholic holy sites” – and if (the thinking begins to become incoherent here) such being-forbidden “somehow proves my inability to think clearly” then what can he say? I have – he claims – “called him stupid”.

    A couple of points: first, this is a speech that could possibly have been delivered a year or more ago, but – like his general Abusenik material – won’t work in the current era: far too much incoherence and rant (and all the deleted expletives) have gone under the bridge for anyone to consider his difficulties as ‘news’.

    Second, notice this Victimist version of Nixon’s ‘Checkers’ speech, or FDR feeling bad not for himself but for “my little dog, Fala”, or Nixon’s harrumphy 1962 declamation (“you won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” – and how many times have we had to sit through one of those 1962 declamations from JR in full Wig?).

  44. Delphin says:

    Perhaps the esteemed teacher man-boy (shall we just call you Rabbi?) would rather his masses just passively receive his divinely wordly, and otherwordly, beatitudes and parables, while we marvel at his clever handling of those rascally TMR commenter "Scribes and Pharisees" ridiculous and juvenile tests to reveal "the Masters" betrayal of the Emperor. The emperor is the fabulously failed socialist philosophy that is the foundation for their profound hatred for everything good, historically American and certainly, Catholic.

    When you can no longer defend, with a straight face (but, we are certainly laughing), your absurd position on just about everything you've contributed, you, predictably, attack.

    The worlds of philosophy and law, as recently revealed in the msm is a patently distorted, false and severely egotistical and destructive fairyland.  When you don't get the ("legal-philosophical") answer you want, you simply re-distort the "facts", again, and demand (violently) more, from somewhere, someone else. Perhaps we should dispense with the legal system altogether and just use the "thumbs up, thumbs down" Roman colliseum system of justice for the beasts?

    Hey, Barry, Eric, "…got a poll for dat…"?

    It is comforting to have it confirmed, repeatedly, that I've "reached" my audience so effectively.

  45. Publion says:

    Why, as it turns out I have “heard of” Ibsen’s The Master Builder. Would JR care to explain (it isn’t helping his mimicry of university-level educatedness that it has to be asked here) just how this work of Ibsen’s is relevant – in his view, anyway – to the material under discussion here? Or has JR simply passed on to us a hastily-scribbled title from somebody else’s Mental Shoebox and that’s a good enough day’s work for him?

    This is why talking into coconuts tied to vines connected to big square empty packing-crates isn’t going to command the great canoes and the silver birds. No matter how many tweaks of mimicry are attempted, or no matter which Wig is plopped on the head.

  46. jim robertson says:

    Perhaps he has much to be humble about.

  47. Delphin says:

    Well, far be it from me to suggest that doctors, notorious for their "magic thinking", may actually have [far, far greater] moral authority, or dare I say, rationale, over basement "vogueing" attorno-phils, but, the medical community recognizes miracles with every cure that has no known measurable or verifiable scientific justification, as such: CURE: SPONTANEOUS/UNEXPLAINED-  in their records, for the record.

    You can call "them" whatever makes your dark little hearts leap for joy, but, you can't deny that they happen, and are usually correlated with the practice of prayer and worship.

    Just think, one day you, too, could find yourselves "chanting among trees"  for one of "those thingies" one day- if not for yourself, for family.

    Remember, you are the MINORITY on the old "who's got religion or not" tour, so, don't act as though you have the debate cornered on that topic. You're really not smarter than the billions, through the ages, who believe.

    Such baseless arrogance.


    • jim robertson says:

      What could be more "basic arrogance" than religion. All claiming absolute truth and all claiming redemption only through them and all with no proof to back such fantastical claims up.

  48. jim robertson says:

    Now P hates Harvard and them there new fangled professors.

  49. Angelonius says:

    Cardinal Dolan was obeying the law and he's going to get sued for it? Is Mr. Isely serious!?

  50. jim robertson says:

    I wrote "read or seen"  re Ibsen. I never asked if you'd "heard of" anything. Wrong as usual.