Friday, April 20, 2018

Socialism is once again in vogue. Why?

Socialism is extremely in vogue. Opinion pieces which tell us to stop obsessing over socialism’s past failures, and start to get excited about its future potential, have almost become a genre in its own right.

For example, Bhaskhar Sunkara, the founder of Jacobin magazine, recently wrote a New York Times article, in which he claimed that the next attempt to build a socialist society will be completely different:
This time, people get to vote. Well, debate and deliberate and then vote—and have faith that people can organize together to chart new destinations for humanity. Stripped down to its essence, and returned to its roots, socialism is an ideology of radical democracy. […] [I]t seeks to empower civil society to allow participation in the decisions that affect our lives.
Nathan Robinson, the editor of Current Affairs, wrote in that magazine that socialism has not “failed." It has just never been done properly:
It’s incredibly easy to be both in favor of socialism and against the crimes committed by 20th-century communist regimes."
When anyone points me to the Soviet Union or Castro’s Cuba and says “Well, there’s your socialism,” my answer […] [is] that these regimes bear absolutely no relationship to the principle for which I am fighting. […] The history of the Soviet Union doesn’t really tell us much about “communism” […]
I can draw distinctions between the positive and negative aspects of a political program. I like the bit about allowing workers to reap greater benefits from their labor. I don’t like the bit about putting dissidents in front of firing squads.”
Closer to home, Owen Jones wrote that Cuba’s current version of socialism was not “real” socialism—but that it could yet become the real thing:
“Socialism without democracy […] isn’t socialism. […] Socialism means socializing wealth and power. […]
Cuba could democratize and grant political freedoms currently denied as well as defending […] the gains of the revolution. […] The only future for socialism […] is through democracy. That […] means organizing a movement rooted in people’s communities and workplaces. It means arguing for a system that extends democracy to the workplace and the economy.
And Washington Post columnist Elizabeth Bruenig wrote an article with the self-explanatory title It’s time to give socialism a try:
Not to be confused for a totalitarian nostalgist, I would support a kind of socialism that would be democratic and aimed primarily at decommodifying labor, reducing the vast inequality brought about by capitalism, and breaking capital’s stranglehold over politics and culture.
Despite differences in style and emphasis, articles in this genre share a number of common flaws.

Read the rest here.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

John Kasich is Testing the Waters for Possible 2020 run against Trump

John Kasich's political allies are reaching out to GOP mega donors, seeing if they’d back him in a run against Trump in 2020.

I haven't gotten any calls, but where do I send my non-mega check?

Cardinal Tobin: ‘The church is moving on the question of same-sex couples’ ​

VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania, April 18, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic Church is “moving” on the issue of couples living in homosexual relationships, a prominent Francis-appointed U.S. cardinal said.

Cardinal Joseph Tobin said that LGBT-identifying persons’ place in the Church is not an easy subject for some Church leaders, but they must contend with it.

“I think it’s a very difficult question,” Tobin said in response to a question on the firing of LGBT individuals from Catholic institutions while speaking at Villanova University last Thursday.

“The Church is moving on the question of same-sex couples,” Tobin said, although not as swiftly as some would like.

St. Peter Damian, an 11th century Italian Catholic reformer and Doctor of the Church, described homosexuality in his famous Book of Gomorrah as a “diabolical” corruption of God’s plan for sexuality between a man and a woman.​ Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, the Church teaches that homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” and are “intrinsically disordered” since they are “contrary to the natural law” in that they “close the sexual act to the gift of life.” “Under no circumstances can they be approved,” States the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The cardinal’s opening address of last week’s Villanova conference centered on the fifth anniversary of the Francis pontificate. It was covered in a report from Jesuit-run America Magazine.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

And now for something a little lighter

The Jack Benny Show from January 28, 1951. Old time radio show starring the cheapest man in the world as well as, Don Wilson, Mary Livingston (Benny), Phil Harris, Dennis Day and Rochester (Eddie Anderson).

Click here.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Fr. Peter Heers On the Essential Identity of Ecumenism and Phyletism

As Fr. Seraphim Rose once wrote, the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy is most apparent in that the Orthodox Church (in Her Saints) is able to discern the spirits. Moreover, discernment of the methods of the fallen spirits is a requirement in the formation of Christology and Ecclesiology. As the Evangelist John writes, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8).

Insomuch, therefore, as one is purified from the passions and illumined by the Spirit of God, so much is his spiritual vision open and discernment acquired. This gift of discernment, the greatest of the virtues, presupposes initiation into the death, resurrection and life in Christ which is lived within His Body, the Church. That few Orthodox Christians possess a good measure of this gift is a testament to the inroads of the spirit of anti-Christ, which, by another name, is secularism. The end of the worldly spirit is the denial of the theanthropic nature of the Christ and His Body, “the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” before the ascent of the man of iniquity, the Antichrist. This temptation is coming upon the world primarily through the spread of the ecclesiological heresy known as ecumenism.

Ecumenism and Secularism

Ecumenism as an ecclesiological heresy and denial of the Truth of the Body of Christ, and as a methodological distortion of The Way of Christ, has been born and bred within a secularized “Christianity.” As we said, secularism is first and foremost the spirit of antichrist, which is “already in the world,” namely, “every spirit which confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.” This refers not only to that “Christianity” which expressly denies the divinity of our Lord, the various contemporary “Arianisms,” but every spirit which denies that the Jesus Christ is come – that is, has come and remains – in the flesh, in His Body, the One Church.
Ecumenism as a unification movement ironically seeks to overcome the scandal of division by denying the “scandal of the particular” – the Incarnation. Instead of crucifying their intellect on the cross of this scandal – that Christ entered and continues within history in a particular time and place, being mysteriologically-incarnationally ‘here’ and not ‘there’ – the uninitiated and rationalist followers of Jesus seek a theanthropic Body in their image: “divided in time,” in search of a fullness which they imply exists only on the heavenly plane. They see the Church as divided on the historical plane, as limited by the heavy hand of history. They see as Church identifiers not primarily the exclusive marks of oneness, holiness, catholicity and apostolicity taken together, but rather the externals which “already unite,” such as the water of baptism (whether sprinkled, poured or immersed), the rites of the Liturgy, the belief in Christ’s divinity or the common text of Holy Scripture. It matters little that such externals, and indeed much more, were possessed by ancient heretics such as the Monophysites or Iconoclasts and were never seen as sufficient to produce any sort of “partial communion” or “already existing unity.” Neither does it seem to faze them that “the demons believe and tremble” and thus “unity in belief in Christ’s divinity” would necessarily include the demons.

Read the rest here.

See also this short video on The Meaning of Repentance and the Reign of God within us.

Roberto Pertici: THE END OF “ROMAN CATHOLICISM?”

1. At this point in the pontificate of Francis, I believe it can be reasonably maintained that this marks the twilight of that imposing historical reality which can be defined as “Roman Catholicism.”

This does not mean, properly understood, that the Catholic Church is coming to an end, but that what is fading is the way in which it has historically structured and represented itself in recent centuries.

It seems evident to me, in fact, that this is the plan being deliberately pursued by the “brain trust” that has clustered around Francis: a plan understood both as an extreme response to the crisis in relations between the Church and the modern world, and as a precondition for a renewed ecumenical course together with the other Christian confessions, especially the Protestant.

*

2. By “Roman Catholicism” I mean that grand historical, theological, and juridical construction which has its origin in the Hellenization (in terms of the philosophical aspect” and Romanization (in terms of the political-juridical aspect) of primitive Christianity and is based on the primacy of the successors of Peter, as emerges from the crisis of the late ancient world and from the theoretical systematization of the Gregorian age (“Dictatus Papae”).

Over the subsequent centuries, the Church also established its own internal legal system, canon law, looking to Roman law as its model. And this juridical element contributed to gradually shaping a complex hierarchical organization with precise internal norms that regulate the life both of the “bureaucracy of celibates” (an expression of Carl Schmitt) that manages it and of the laity who are part of it.

The other decisive moment of formation of “Roman Catholicism” is, finally, the ecclesiology elaborated by the council of Trent, which reiterates the centrality of ecclesiastical mediation in view of salvation, in contrast with the Lutheran theses of the “universal priesthood,” and therefore establishes the hierarchical, united, and centralized character of the Church; its right to supervise and, if need be, to condemn positions that are in contrast with the orthodox formulation of the truths of faith; its role in the administration of the sacraments.

This ecclesiology finds its seal in the dogma of pontifical infallibility proclaimed by Vatican Council I, put to the test eighty years later in the dogmatic affirmation of the Assumption of Mary into heaven (1950), which together with the previous dogmatic proclamation of her Immaculate Conception (1854) also reiterates the centrality of Marian devotion.

It would be reductive, however, if we were to limit ourselves to what has been said so far. Because there also exists - or better, existed - a widespread “Catholic mindset,” made up of the following:

- a cultural attitude based on a realism with regard to human nature that is sometimes disenchanted and willing to “understand all” as a precondition for “forgiving all”;
- a non-ascetic spirituality that is understanding toward certain material aspects of life, and not inclined to disdain them;
- engagement in everyday charity toward the humble and needy, without the need to idealize them or almost make new idols of them;
- a willingness also to represent itself in its own magnificence, and therefore not deaf to the evidence of beauty and of the arts, as testimony to a supreme Beauty toward which the Christian must tend;
- a subtle examination of the most inward movements of the heart, of the interior struggle between good and evil, of the dialectic between “temptations” and the response of conscience.

Read the rest here.
HT Dr. Tighe

Good News

Lung Cancer patients who are treated with a form of imunotherapy in conjunction with the standard chemotherapy are seeing drastically improved long term survival rates according to a recent study. This is extremely good news since Lung Cancer has historically been among the most lethal of the various common and semi-common carcinomas.

Sad news...

R Lee Ermy of Full Metal Jacket fame has reposed at 74. His was supposed to be a supporting role but his performance was so great that he ended up stealing the show. Many did not realize at the time that he had actually been a USMC DI at Paris Island back in the day.

Art Bell- Before Alex Jones, Bell was the king of late night radio specializing in the weird and fringe. My late Godfather was a big fan.  He recently passed at 72.

Former First (and Second) Lady Barbara Bush is reported to be in poor and declining health at 92. A family spokesman says she has decided to forgo further medical treatment.

I'm back...

Time for a little catching up.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Christ is risen!


Wishing everyone the joy of the Feast!

For those interested...

Great Saturday Service of the Annunciation (appx 4 hrs)
https://youtu.be/Xw9_2Y6TOro

Great Saturday Reading of the Acts (appx 2 hrs)
https://youtu.be/pSl88CMOUGM

Great Saturday. Midnight Office with the Canon of Great Saturday (appx ½ hr)
https://youtu.be/HinoiwJFGZk

THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF CHRIST. PASCHA. Paschal Procession of the Cross, Matins, Hours and Liturgy (appx 3.5 hrs)
https://youtu.be/JZU50Rj_uE4

Paschal Vespers (appx 40 mins)
https://youtu.be/uFuv4J6elOM

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Holy Week

There will be little or no blogging until Pascha. I wish each of you a blessed end to the Fast and a joyous Feast.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

The West Cannibalizes Itself

What civilization has ever sought to repudiate its own culture and traditions as we do today?

Some 13 European thinkers issued an intellectual protest late last year against the assault on the Western heritage that has been raging on the Continent and in Britain for years. They called their 11-page document “The Paris Statement” and gave it a title: “A Europe We Can Believe In.” The Europe they believe in, write the 13 signatories (well-known in Europe, less so in America), is under threat of destruction from the forces of globalization, multiculturalism, and the EU managerial class, as well as growing anti-Christian prejudice.

“These lands are our home,” says the Statement, “we have no other. Home is a place where things are familiar, and where we are recognized, however far we have wandered. This is the real Europe, our precious and irreplaceable civilization.” 

The Statement has received a smattering of attention in the European media—broadcast television in Poland and the Netherlands; major newspapers in Germany, France, Spain, and Poland; national weekly magazines in Poland and Hungary; and opinion web sites in the UK, Switzerland, Belgium, and Spain. But mostly it is an intellectual statement written for and consumed largely by other intellectuals.

And of course the assault on the Western heritage from within is a potent phenomenon in Europe, fostered by nearly the entire elite structure of the civilization. Thus it isn’t clear what a few highly accomplished intellectuals, however eloquent or anguished, can do to stem the erosion of the civilizational identity. But we are witnessing the emergence of some powerful political currents within the general European population, manifest in increasingly populist voting patterns in France, Germany, Austria, and elsewhere. Hence the Paris Statement could become a significant intellectual underpinning for Europeans who are increasingly concerned about the direction of things in their homeland. 

The threat to Europe, says the Statement, comes from “a false understanding” of what Europe is and represents. This “false Europe” is the product of people who are “orphans by choice,” glorifying their vision “as the forerunner of a universal community that is neither universal nor a community.” Believing that history is on their side, these patrons of the false Europe have become “haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing.” The false Europe, says the statement, is “utopian and tyrannical.”

The true Europe, on the other hand, encompasses a number of fundamental elements—a body of law that applies to all yet is limited in its demands; a shared understanding of political and cultural traditions and a fealty to those traditions; an appreciation of the nation state as “the political form that joins peoplehood with sovereignty”; a shared regard for the role of the Classical tradition in shaping the Western mind; and an understanding of Christianity as the religious bulwark of the civilization.

Now, write the signatories, “all this is slipping away. As the patrons of the false Europe construct their faux Christendom of universal human rights, we are losing our home.”

Read the rest here.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pope Francis Denies the Existence of Hell

[Scalfari:] Your Holiness, in our previous meeting you told me that our species will disappear in a certain moment and that God, still out of his creative force, will create new species. You have never spoken to me about the souls who died in sin and will go to hell to suffer it for eternity. You have however spoken to me of good souls, admitted to the contemplation of God. But what about bad souls? Where are they punished?
[Francis:] "They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and enter the rank of souls who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot therefore be forgiven disappear. There is no hell, there is the disappearance of sinful souls."

HT: Rorate Caeli 

For the record: The Holy See has issued a rather vague statement cautioning that the interview was not official and that the Pope may not have been quoted accurately. My take is that if the Pope had been misquoted on something like this the Vatican would have said so point blank. Your mileage may vary.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

While everyone watches Stormy Daniels, a real crisis looms

At the risk of being a terrible bore, today I return to the topic of the United States’ out-of-control spending and threatening debt. No less than five of the country’s most distinguished economic leaders sounded the alarm in The Post on Tuesday. Michael J. Boskin, John H. Cochrane, John F. Cogan, George P. Shultz and John B. Taylor warned in their Post Opinions essay, “A debt crisis is on the horizon,” that “even if economic growth continues uninterrupted, current tax and spending patterns imply that annual deficits will steadily increase, approaching the $1 trillion mark in two years and steadily rising thereafter as far as the eye can see.” Unfortunately, these distinguished gentlemen don’t use exclamation points or useful words and phrases such as “panic!” or “apocalypse!” or “the economic sky is falling!” or “America is heading off a cliff!” Similarly, Fred Hiatt wrote in The Post last month that the sheer volume of spending from Congress “imperils America.” Well, the fact is that the topic of the national debt traditionally has little connection to porn stars and Playboy Bunnies, and it doesn’t lead directly to President Trump’s immediate demise, so it fails to become an obsession with the media. But the reality of what Boskin, Hiatt and the others say could not be more clear or more serious. Just 10 years ago, our debt was $9.4 trillion. Today, it is $21 trillion. Of that, more than $15 trillion is held by the public. And according to the experts, the public’s debt burden could quickly rise to $20 trillion in just five years. If that happens and interest rates rise to 5 percent —1.5 percentage points higher than that which the Trump administration predicts — the aforementioned economists say “the interest cost alone on the projected $20 trillion of public debt would total $1 trillion per year.” That is more than America’s current $654 billion defense budget.

Our political process is failing us. Even worse, it is failing our kids. We are digging a financial hole that they will have to live in. We cannot borrow our way to prosperity. Debt makes us weaker, not stronger. It is our perceived strength that makes others like China choose to lend us money. But the more debt we accumulate, the weaker we become. The debt that we offer looks less secure and will likely cost more. This problem will spiral out of control. There will be a crash. Still, few are even talking about it.

Read the rest here.

This country is heading towards a brick wall at about 80 mph. I don't know how long before we hit the wall, but when we do, it's going to be ugly.

Poll: Vast Majority of Californians Oppose Sanctuary Cities

Californians are overwhelmingly opposed to sanctuary city immigration policies, according to a poll commissioned by UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies (IGS). As a caveat, the director of IGS notes 99.5 percent of participants in the poll were citizens, and the survey was only conducted in English.

Between Aug. 11 and Aug. 26, Survey Sampling International conducted the poll on behalf of UC Berkeley, sampling 1,098 respondents. Of those polled, 74 percent said local authorities should not be allowed to ignore federal detainer requests. The other 26 percent supported the sanctuary city policy of preventing local police and sheriff’s officials from honoring immigration holds.

The poll results indicate Californians across the political spectrum and among all major ethnic groups oppose sanctuary city policies. The policy of ignoring federal detainer requests was opposed by 73 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of independents, according to UC Berkley.

Additionally, 65 percent of Latinos, 75 percent of Asian and African Americans and 80 percent of whites opposed sanctuary city policies.

Read the rest here.

In other news the California AG is threatening to arrest the Orange County Sheriff for aiding ICE. The Sheriff's office recently joined a Federal lawsuit against California over a series of laws aimed at obstructing Federal  immigration enforcement and announced that they are publicly posting the anticipated release dates for all inmates.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Chutzpah

Chutzpah: (Definition) When one of the most liberal justices in the history of the Supreme Court complains about the Court overturning centuries of established law and precedent to create a hitherto unknown constitutional right by judicial fiat.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Congress’s “One Spending Bill to Rule Them All” is a Debt-Fueled Disgrace

The latest federal budget puts the lie once and for all to Republican promises of fiscal restraint.

The “one bill to rule them all,” 2,232-page, gargantuan, swamp-beast omnibus emerged from the smoke-filled bowels of congressional leadership earlier this week and passed both House and Senate mere hours after it was unveiled. The legislation spends $1.3 trillion in taxpayer dollars, busts the budget caps imposed back in 2011, and will lead to trillions of spending each and every year, ad infinitum, with interest payments on the massive federal debt to outpace the cost of the military and the cost of Medicaid in just eight short years. But at least we don’t have to worry about a government shutdown—in 2018, that is.

For nearly two decades now, we’ve watched this charade. Despite Republican promises of fiscal responsibility, they continue to spend like drunken sailors on holiday. That our elected leaders chose to blow this much money without even the pretense of having read the bill is both shocking and disgusting. And yet most of us remain complacent and continue about our daily routines. We barely blink as Congress binges on $1.3 trillion in unpaid-for federal spending. Not that long ago, a bill hammered out in secret caused the House to revolt against then-speaker John Boehner. Yet today’s secretly negotiated package fails to crack even the front page, as we’re treated instead to the minute details of Trump’s alleged affair with a Playboy model. This is our American version of bread and circuses, paid for on credit.

Read the rest here.

Ruins of previously unknown monastery accidentally found in Georgian forest

Story with lots of cool photos. They don't even know it's name.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

The second-most dangerous American

Because John Bolton is five things President Trump is not — intelligent, educated, principled, articulate and experienced — and because of Bolton’s West Wing proximity to a president responsive to the most recent thought he has heard emanating from cable television or an employee, Bolton will soon be the second-most dangerous American. On April 9, he will be the first national security adviser who, upon taking up residence down the hall from the Oval Office, will be suggesting that the United States should seriously consider embarking on war crimes. 

The first two charges against the major Nazi war criminals in the 1945-1946 Nuremberg trials concerned waging aggressive war. Emboldened by the success, as he still sees it, of America’s Iraq adventure that began 15 years ago this month, Bolton, for whom a trade war with many friends and foes is insufficiently stimulating, favors real wars against North Korea and Iran. Both have odious regimes, but neither can credibly be said to be threatening an imminent attack against the United States.

Nevertheless, Bolton thinks bombing both might make the world safer. What could go wrong?

Much is made of the fact that Bolton is implacably hostile to strongman Vladimir Putin, whom the U.S. president, a weak person’s idea of a strong person, admires. And of the fact that the president has repeatedly execrated the invasion of Iraq that Bolton advocated. So, today among the uneducable, furrowed brows express puzzlement: How can the president square his convictions with Bolton’s? Let’s say this one more time: Trump. Has. No. Convictions. 

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Facebook


Long time readers of this blog will know that the only form of social media that I use, is this blog. That means I am not, and have never been on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. I have always viewed them as an engraved invitation to invasion of privacy and I consider Facebook in particular to be quite sinister. Recent events have certainly done nothing to alter that view.

For those who might want to leave Facebook, the process is actually not easy. However there are a number of tutorial videos that are available on YouTube.

A word of caution... I understand that some people store a lot of stuff on their Facebook account, some of which may be important or hold sentimental value etc. You should download a copy of all your data from Facebook before deleting your account. Once your account is actually deleted, as opposed to deactivated, everything that was on it will be gone and you won't be able to get it back. Also be aware that Facebook changed the procedures for account deletion in late 2017, so you will want to use a recent tutorial.

Good luck.

Take me out to the ballgame, take me out to the crowd...



Yankees vs Red Sox April 14th, 1931 starring Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, Mayor Jimmy "Beau James" Walker and thousands of people dressed better than most people are today for church. Appx 15 minutes with original sound.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

'Christianity as default is gone': the rise of a non-Christian Europe

So says The Guardian with a certain amount of barely concealed glee. But what they are willfully ignoring is the rise of Islam. Whatever future may be in store for Europe, it is not going to be liberal secularism.

California's population decline continues despite strong economy

The state ranks near the top in cost of living which is driving out lower and middle class families. And with the highest taxes in the country even those who can afford to live there are looking for greener pastures, or at least a state that doesn't treat them as human ATMs for politicians constantly looking for more money.

Details.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Romanian court tells man he is not alive

In a case reminiscent of a Kafka novel, a Romanian court has ruled that a 63-year-old man is dead despite what would appear to be convincing evidence to the contrary: the man himself appearing alive and well in court.

Constantin Reliu asked the court in the town of Barlad to overturn a death certificate obtained by his wife after he had spent more than a decade in Turkey, during which time he was out of contact with his family. The court told him he was too late, and would have to remain officially deceased.

“I am officially dead, although I’m alive,” a bemused Reliu told local media outlets. “I have no income and because I am listed dead, I can’t do anything.”
Reliu left Romania for Turkey in 1992, apparently to seek employment. He last returned to the country in 1999, and appears to have cut off all contact with his family. After years of silence from her estranged husband, Reliu’s wife obtained a backdated death certificate for him.

The Romanian daily Adevarul said Reliu’s wife had argued in court that having heard nothing from her husband since 1999, she had assumed he had died in an earthquake while in Turkey. The paper said Reliu believes she sought the death certificate in order to annul the marriage and allow her to remarry.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Attempted Murder of Sergei Skripal: How do we stop an out of control Putin?

By now, it really should not come as much of a surprise that yet another Russian has been attacked in Britain. Opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin have been showing up dead in and around London for more than a decade. In some cases, the trail clearly leads back to Moscow, as with the use of such gruesome chemical agents as polonium (Alexander Litvinenko in 2006) or, in the most recent incident, a nerve agent (Sergei Skripal and his daughter, who both survived the poisoning but remain in serious condition). In other cases, the evidence is subtler (e.g., Boris Berezovsky, found dead under suspicious circumstances in 2013).

While Britain is not the only place where those who have run afoul of Putin have died, a troublingly high number of such deaths have happened there. We can quickly dispense with the blathering of Russian officials about the latest case as just that: blathering. Putin’s public policy plan for this type of thing can be summed up as, “Lie bigger, lie harder. Sooner or later, the West will forget.”

It’s a plan that often works.

Read the rest here.

There was a time when this sort of thing would have been treated as an act of war. Alas, in an age where the perpetrator of what looks like a campaign of targeted assassinations has his finger on the launch button for a lot of nukes that is probably not a realistic course of action. But this really cannot be tolerated. The question is, does the West have the intestinal fortitude to collectively stand up to this murderous thug? I hope I am wrong, but my gut tells me not to hold my breath.