Blog Archives

Some of John Bolton on North Korean Diplomacy

Ambassador John Bolton on North Korea Diplomacy


Nikki Haley on North Korean Provocations

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on North Korean Provocations

Ambassador Nikki Haley on UN Security Council Priorities

Ambassador Nikki Haley suggests UN Security Council focus on Iranian mischief in Middle East

Nikki Haley on the Syrian Strikes

Trump UN Ambassador Nikki Haley on the Syrian strikes

A Bit of Nikki Haley on North Korea

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley urges accountability for North Korean provocations


Some of Benajamin Netanyahu’s Remarks Before the UN General Assembly

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calls United Nations a moral farce


A Bit on Are You Happy About Star Studded Climate Change Hypocrisy?

Pop music phenom Pharrell Williams has been lending his voice to star studded crusades against global warming global climate disruption  carbon pollution anthropogenic  climate change.

First, the singer songwriter who originated the peppy hit “Happy” jetted to Davos, Switzerland to be with former Vice President (and Inconvenient Truth purveyor) Al Gore to announce a second round of Live Earth concerts in June which is intended to “harmonize humanity all at once.”  

[L] Al Gore [C] Pharrell Williams at World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland 2015

While Pharrell Williams fondly remembers having a ball at the Rio de Janeiro concert in 2007, he lamented:  “You would have pundits and comedians who didn’t understand global
warming and we were often ridiculed. We wanted to do something very
different this time.”


Pharrell lent his celebrity status to the International Day of Happiness at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on March 20th.

His clarion call to convert from Climate Change to Climate Action rings hollow considering his hypocrisy.  Pharrell sits alone on a private plane and globe trots in order to attend  green dog and pony shows, yet the little people are supposed to sacrifice for climate change.



Marco Rubio on Bad Mouthing America

Marco Rubio on Bad Mouthing America

Charles Krauthammer on “Putting the Hammer Down”

Yet even at President Barack Obama’s 2014 speech before the United Nations General Assembly, the UWS Commander-in-Chief continues to harbor the dangerous illusion that we can choose our wars.  And based upon  Mr. Obama’s announced approach of not committing American combat forces on the ground in the conflict theater, we should not have great expectations of “remission.”


A Bit About Twitter, Tribulations and Talkers

Editor’s Note:  This open letter is in response to a segment on the Jay Severin program, in which he railed about a BBC World Service Report about more sexual exploitation of children.  The Blaze Radio host then took responses from the audience, starting with Twitter replies. 

While  it is preferable  to praise in public and chastise in private, this is impossible in this instance. But this open letter is more than a comeuppance to a cheeky commentator.    What should be of interest to religious readers is insisting on context and combating slander.
Jay Severin in Sede Vacante Contretemp, the Sweet Sistine Edition
To Jay Severin:
I have been a
loyal listener for a year. I appreciate that you are open to diffuse means to engage in talk radio dialogue, including Twitter.  However, my experience shows that your Twitter treatment could use some tweaking. In addition, your knowledge of things Catholic could use some catechesis.
You started the 2/6 show  in a lugubrious monologue keying off of a BBC World News report about rampant sex abuse in the Catholic Church.  Your laborious lead up to the break lamented yet the “umpteen” report about systematic child abuse among Catholics. immediately responded on Twitter wondering: 
 You chose to read my Tweet on the air, characterizing my opinion as irrational and then went on to also excoriate my grammar.
I read the report which the BBC piece was based.  It came from a UN Conference on Children.  The UN report also recommended that the Catholic Church change its views on homosexuality, contraception and abortion.  Those subjects were not in the UN Conference’s purview and expose its bias as an ideological cudgel for progressive politics, which I succinctly characterized as a “kangaroo court”. 
Your radio retort mocked my grammar.  It is worth nothing that Twitter only allows 140 characters to respond.  In that short span, I included your handle, three hashtags (letting others interested in subjects know of the exchange) and
a shortened hyperlink which gave the source to my views.   The tweet in question was rewritten several times to include all elements under those limitations and was posted within minutes. Apologies for the kangaroo typo in the tweet.
 It would be  would be wise for you to  revise your analyses of Twitter communications.  Remember, it’s only 140 characters.  Sometimes terms are used in hashtags to draw wider attention.  The writer may use phraseology intended to be brief for that form of communication.  Had I not had a length restriction, I probably would have written: “Why are you leading with a story based upon a UN Child Conference which went beyond its scope in  to tell the Holy See to change to the Catholic Church’s beliefs on contraception, abortion and homosexuality?  This report failed to consider  changes in Catholic child safety practices or to critically analyze the  UN’s own woeful record with Congolese troops rapes of children”  Granted the message is a little long, but it succinctly packs in the argument.
I  dispute your accusation that my viewpoint was irrational. My tweet noted the originator of the report (the UN), gave a link for a detailed point by point refutation by Catholic Voices and allowed for the possibility that the  radio raconteur may put  a different spin on the news item  (hence the “where are you going w/”).  That would seem to be both charitable and rationally argued.
Since you admit that you are not religious in nature, you are naturally ignorant about most Church matters.  You quibbled about Catholic and the Vatican being the same.  Well, there are 23  churches which comprise the Catholic Church.  You rightly identified Roman rite as being one of them (and by far the largest).  Vatican is often a synonym of
Catholic but it refers to the Bishop of Rome.  There are over 2,000 bishops in the world, each rules his diocese.  Juridically, the Holy See can not simply issue an edit and immediately overrule the local bishop—there is Canon Law
which regulates the Church.
Regarding the sexual molestation of minors—only 4% of Catholic clergy have been accused of sexual impropriety with minors (with 1.7% being proven guilty).  This rate is lower than the general US population. Research from Richard Blackman at the Fuller Theological Seminary (an evangelical  Protestant seminary in Pasadena, California) indicates that 10% of Protestant clergy suffer the stain of pedophilia.  While the figure from Blackman’s dissertation may be inflated, it certainly indicates that it is not just a Catholic thing.
 Yet the charges of Catholic pedophila  draw an incredible amount of ire because of the Roman Catholic discipline of celibacy for the clergy, an influx of “lavender ordinations” (misson minded persons who took vows as a vocational beard for their sexual orientation), and hazy pop psychological practices in the ‘70s.  Following liberal psychology practices of the times, those who slipped up were given second chances by being quietly transferred to another parish without serious discipline or other precautions.
The lax treatment of these child molesters in priestly garb was wrong.  Some diocese in the US have paid a heavy
legal price for their wanton discipline on the matter.  Steps have been taken to correct them.  Consider that Pope emeritus Benedict XVI laicized (canned for the church challenged)  400 priests during his reign (2006-2013) on the Petrine Throne.  The USCCB (The U.S. Conference on Catholic Bishops enacted the Dallas Charter in June 2002 which has a zero tolerance policy and a stringent background check for any church members having contact with children.   
It might have been interesting for a conservatively oriented show hosted by a news junkie to do critical analysis.  Although the BBC can do fine and seminal reporting, it is a state owned news enterprise.  It is also true that Britain
nominally has a state religion (the Anglican Church) and has a history of Catholic bigotry (does the Bloody Mary and  Remember the 5th of November ring any bells?).  The BBC has reputation for a pan-Arabist sensibility and follows a progressive internationist intellectual path.  Ironically, the BBC had reported Benedict XVI’s defrocking 400 priests weeks before, but made no mention of them in context of the UN Conference on Children’s damning report. Instead the reportage just pointed to what seemed like vacuous Vatican rhetoric soft pedaling the charges.  Might there have been some agenda journalism slandering the faith and bolstering a progressively lead public perception?
Did the  BBC World News report or the underlying UN Child Conference report consider these abatements
by the Catholic Church and the Holy See?  The short answer is no.  Did you? I have no personal knowledge after being rhetorically round-housed and hearing the first couple of callers just Catholic  bashing since I need not listen to no nothings on the issue.  Thus, my pithy Twitter characterization of “besmirching” seems accurate.