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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Just When You Thought 'Russiagate' Couldn't Get Any Sillier... - Antiwar.com Original

Just When You Thought 'Russiagate' Couldn't Get Any Sillier... - Antiwar.com Original: April 20 is cannabis culture’s high holiday, and the Democratic National Committee celebrated it with fervor this year: Blaze up, get silly, file a bizarre lawsuit accusing the Russian government, Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and transparency activist group WikiLeaks of conspiring to steal - Thomas Knapp for Antiwar.com Original

Trump’s Blank Check for War – Consortiumnews

Trump’s Blank Check for War – Consortiumnews: Tomorrow a Senate committee will consider a new bill that would solidify the unconstitutional shift in power to declare war from Congress to the White House, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn



On Monday the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to review a bill that would virt

America's Unsustainable Empire - Antiwar.com Original

America's Unsustainable Empire - Antiwar.com Original: Before President Trump trashes the Iran nuclear deal, he might consider: If he could negotiate an identical deal with Kim Jong Un, it would astonish the world and win him the Nobel Peace Prize. For Iran has no nuclear bomb or ICBM and has never tested either. It has never enriched uranium to bomb grade. It has - Patrick J. Buchanan for Antiwar.com Original

Russia and China Have Had Enough - The Road to 2025 (Part 2)

Russia and China Have Had Enough - The Road to 2025 (Part 2): Part 1 of this series focused on how the U.S. empire no longer provides any real benefit to the average American citizen. Rather, the spoils of overseas wars, the domestic surveillance state and an overall corrupt economy are being systematically funneled to a smaller and smaller group of generally unsavory characters.

The Lies Behind America’s Interventions | The American Conservative

The Lies Behind America’s Interventions | The American Conservative: No one wants to be manipulated into war. So why do we keep letting it happen?

Alfie Evans and the State - WSJ

Alfie Evans and the State - WSJ: A medical debate that’s gone global is not about the money. It’s about power.

PETITION: Save Alfie Evans. Tell hospital to listen to parents | LifePetitions

PETITION: Save Alfie Evans. Tell hospital to listen to parents | LifePetitions: Tell Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to listen to Alfie Evans' parents, as they advocate for their child, remove him from this hospital, and seek proper, beneficial health care.

PETITION: Save Alfie Evans. Tell hospital to listen to parents | LifePetitions

PETITION: Save Alfie Evans. Tell hospital to listen to parents | LifePetitions: Tell Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to listen to Alfie Evans' parents, as they advocate for their child, remove him from this hospital, and seek proper, beneficial health care.

Will the UK really let Alfie Evans die in a hospital unwilling to treat him? | Fox News

Will the UK really let Alfie Evans die in a hospital unwilling to treat him? | Fox News: More than a year after being admitted to a British hospital and afflicted with a still-undiagnosed neurological ailment, Baby Alfie Evans is being killed by court order.

Alfie Evans & Logic of Selective Abortion | National Review

Alfie Evans & Logic of Selective Abortion | National Review: If life has no intrinsic value, why not withhold treatment from those who are suffering?

Who is Alfie Evans, and why is his fate being decided by the UK Court of Appeal? - CNN

Who is Alfie Evans, and why is his fate being decided by the UK Court of Appeal? - CNN: A UK court decided Wednesday to prevent the parents of Britsh toddler Alfie Evans from transporting him to Italy for medical treatment.

A Pakistani Woman Is Dead—and the World Looks Away — Charisma Magazine

A Pakistani Woman Is Dead—and the World Looks Away — Charisma Magazine: The church must cry out for justice or more women like Asma Yaqub will die.

Parents of sick British toddler to return to court

Parents of sick British toddler to return to court: The parents of a terminally ill British toddler whose case has drawn support from Pope Francis plan to return to the Court of Appeal Wednesday in hope of winning the right to take him to Italy for treatment.

Four Spiritual Lessons from the Life of Paul


Demonizing immigrants hardens American heart, says cardinal | National Catholic Reporter

Demonizing immigrants hardens American heart, says cardinal | National Catholic Reporter: Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin said he worries that reducing the number of immigrants, particularly refugees to the U.S., and demonizing them represents a "hardening of the American heart," an...

Most Americans believe, but not always in the God of the Bible | National Catholic Reporter

Most Americans believe, but not always in the God of the Bible | National Catholic Reporter: A new Pew Research survey finds that one-third of Americans — both those who say they believe in God and those who say they don't — trust in a higher power or spiritual force.

This gr...

“Gaudete Et Exsultate” and the Word on Fire Movement | Word On Fire

“Gaudete Et Exsultate” and the Word on Fire Movement | Word On Fire

Backgrounder: Christianity in China


 
Backgrounder: Christianity in China
 
REUTERS / JAMES POMFRET  
REUTERS / JAMES POMFRET
 
Tens of millions of people in China now identify as Christian, and the number is growing rapidly, posing challenges for a government that is wary of threats to its power from foreign actors such as the Vatican. Read more »https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/christianity-china?utm_medium=email&utm_source=religion&utm_content=041218&sp_mid=56480281&sp_rid=bWljaGVsZXRrZWFybmV5QGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2

Backgrounder: The Religious Landscape in China


Backgrounder: The Religious Landscape in China
 
This CFR Backgrounder describes how the Chinese Communist Party is responding to growing religious observance in the country by toughening oversight, increasing religious persecution, and attempting to coopt state-sanctioned religious organizations for Protestants, Catholics, and Muslims. Regularly updated, CFR Backgrounders are a go-to resource to contextualize developments in international relations. Read more »https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/religion-china?utm_medium=email&utm_source=religion&utm_content=041218&sp_mid=56480281&sp_rid=bWljaGVsZXRrZWFybmV5QGdtYWlsLmNvbQS2

The Reinvention of America


The Reinvention of America

Americans don’t realize how fast the country is moving toward becoming a better version of itself.

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/05/reinventing-america/556856/

Editorial When Presidents Go to War

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/opinion/terrorism-congress-kaine-corker.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion-editorials&action=click&contentCollection=editorials&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=sectionfront

How IBM Is Quietly Pushing Out Older Workers | Alternet

How IBM Is Quietly Pushing Out Older Workers | Alternet

“Organization Don’t Mean Shit”: Inside the Beginning of the End of the Clinton Campaign | Vanity Fair

“Organization Don’t Mean Shit”: Inside the Beginning of the End of the Clinton Campaign | Vanity Fair: In an excerpt from her new book, Chasing Hillary, the author explains how a group of perspicacious—and pretty miserable—Clinton campaign reporters knew the candidate’s electoral hopes were imperiled all the way back in Iowa, in early 2016.

CIA plans to replace spies with AI

CIA plans to replace spies with AI: The reign of human spies will come to an end soon, according to the writing on the wall and a few statements made by the CIA's deputy director of technology.

Has Europe Even Tried to Fight Anti-Semitism?

Has Europe Even Tried to Fight Anti-Semitism?: Each time an anti-Semitic attack in Europe receives media attention, politicians rush to condemn it. But verbal condemnations alone change nothing. Anti-Semitism just gets bigger. The European Union has adopted anti-Israel policies out of fear of

Has Europe Even Tried to Fight Anti-Semitism?

Has Europe Even Tried to Fight Anti-Semitism?: Each time an anti-Semitic attack in Europe receives media attention, politicians rush to condemn it. But verbal condemnations alone change nothing. Anti-Semitism just gets bigger. The European Union has adopted anti-Israel policies out of fear of

Jack Ma Says Nations Need Tech to Sidestep U.S. Grip - Bloomberg

Jack Ma Says Nations Need Tech to Sidestep U.S. Grip - Bloomberg: Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma argues that nations from Japan to China need to develop their own semiconductor technology to get around America’s grip on the global chip market.

Crush Malaria

CRS Emergency Response
Dear Michele,
Sometimes, the solution to a large problem is as simple as one bed net protecting two children. Then, before we know it, the generosity of donors like you multiplies this simple solution into 1 million bed nets—enough to protect an entire country, The Gambia, from malaria. And then there are 5 million more bed nets in Niger—saving millions of lives from death and disease.

 
Give Today
As you can see, elimination of malaria is within reach! But we still need your help.
Even more effective protection is available. In The Gambia, Guinea, Mali and Niger, for example, Catholic Relief Services is providing medicine to young children that will prevent malaria during the rainy season, when mosquitos bite the most.
But, we need your generous support to continue this lifesaving treatment. (Check out this video to see what this medicine does!)
Seasonal medicine means that more lives will be saved, and we’ll be on the way to eliminating malaria once and for all.
Will you join our fight to Crush Malaria? You can save even more lives today.
Peace and light,


Sean L. Callahan
President & CEO
Catholic Relief Services

Save Even More Lives Today

P.S. How are we doing? As one of our loyal supporters, your feedback is important to us. Please take our short survey.
Photo by Michael Stulman/CRS
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Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist


Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist
Lectionary: 555

Reading 1 1 Pt 5:5b-14

Beloved:
Clothe yourselves with humility
in your dealings with one another, for:

God opposes the proud
but bestows favor on the humble.


So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Be sober and vigilant.
Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour.
Resist him, steadfast in faith,
knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world
undergo the same sufferings.
The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus
will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you
after you have suffered a little.
To him be dominion forever. Amen.

I write you this briefly through Silvanus,
whom I consider a faithful brother,
exhorting you and testifying that this is the true grace of God.
Remain firm in it.
The chosen one at Babylon sends you greeting, as does Mark, my son.
Greet one another with a loving kiss.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.


Gospel Mk 16:15-20

Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them:
"Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved;
whoever does not believe will be condemned.
These signs will accompany those who believe:
in my name they will drive out demons,
they will speak new languages.
They will pick up serpents with their hands,
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."

Then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them,
was taken up into heaven
and took his seat at the right hand of God.
But they went forth and preached everywhere,
while the Lord worked with them
and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.

Fr. Warren's Week Reflection: The Good Shepherd

Clouds
THIS WEEK'S REFLECTION from Fr. Bob Warren, SA
The Good Shepherd
Carole King wrote some lyrics in a song that could be applied to our Gospel of the Good Shepherd: “Looking out on the morning rain, I used to feel so uninspired. And when I knew I had to face another day, Lord, it made me feel so tired. And when my soul was in the lost and found, you came along to claim it…”
Our Gospel points us to the truth that no one could care for us as deeply, eternally or passionately as God does. If we trust in ourselves alone, we will eventually find a limit to our knowledge, our strength, or our health. Our Gospel tells us that God and God alone is in whom we place our trust.
Jesus contrasts the hired shepherd from the owner shepherd. Sheep have no built-in protection, they do not have sharp claws or loud cries, they do not run fast, climb trees or fly. If sheep are to be safe, they must have a shepherd.
But, what if the shepherd is only a hired hand? What if the shepherd does not feel any loyalty or passion about the sheep or his job as shepherd? What if it is just a job to him? The sheep may be in jeopardy. Jesus points out an obvious truth: who is more likely to take care of a house, a renter or an owner? Who is more likely to watch over a business, the employee or the owner? Who is more likely to risk their life for a child, the babysitter or the parent?
Jesus is saying that He is the good shepherd, and that He cares for His sheep. He knows them by name, He takes a personal interest in them. He does not see us as someone else’s business. And Jesus tells us that He is willing to lay down His life for the sheep. As He said, “Greater love has no person than to lay His life down for another.”
In the book, “The Last Temptation of Christ,” we read of the devil slithering like a serpent up the back side of the cross, out of view of everyone. The devil has come to issue Jesus one last great temptation. He whispered in Jesus’ ear as He was dying, “O come on Jesus, look at them… they are not worth all this suffering. Give them what they deserve, give them hell.” And Jesus says, “No, I would rather die than stop loving them.”
That story tells us a great truth: that Jesus would rather die than stop loving us. That there is absolutely no limit to God’s love. There is no enemy that can snatch us out of His hand, and there is no way he will stop caring for us. This shepherd does not discriminate, He is the God of the Jews, and Samaritans, and Gentiles. The God of rejects, lepers and thieves. The God of you and me, and those we call “them;” the God who knows all of us by name.
What we see in the good shepherd is a terrible desire on God’s part to be with us, to be part of the human condition: our losses, our recessions, our disappointments, and our fractured relationships: the deaths in our families, our addictions, all those things that can turn our life upside down. The message is clear: through all of this, the good times and the bad, God wants to be with us.
A young boy at a parish school was given a month to memorize Psalm 23. He was to recite it at a school assembly, with the pastor and all the parents attending. When the big night came, he stood up and began, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and then his mind went blank. The people waited while he struggled to remember the next line. Finally he started again, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” He paused, and then said, “And that is all I need to know.” First there was silence, and then applause because the child was right.
The Lord is our shepherd, and that is all we need to know.
Fr. Robert Warren, S.A.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Robert Warren, S.A. Signature
Fr. Bob Warren, SA
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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Global Warming Likely to Be 30 to 45 Percent Lower Than Climate Models Project - Hit & Run : Reason.com

Global Warming Likely to Be 30 to 45 Percent Lower Than Climate Models Project - Hit & Run : Reason.com: A new study in the Journal of Climate compares global temperature data trends since 1850 with model outputs.

UK judge rejects bid to take sick toddler Alfie Evans abroad - ABC News

UK judge rejects bid to take sick toddler Alfie Evans abroad - ABC News: Get breaking national and world news, broadcast video coverage, and exclusive interviews. Find the top news online at ABC news.



This is terrible.

America - the Alzheimer Nation

America - the Alzheimer Nation: The author is a prominent American social critic, blogger, and podcaster, and one of our all-time favorite pessimists. We carry his articles regularly on RI. His writing on Russia-gate has been highly entertaining.

Dear Saudi Crown Prince Supporters: Your Hero May Allow Women to Drive, but He’s Also a War Criminal

Dear Saudi Crown Prince Supporters: Your Hero May Allow Women to Drive, but He’s Also a War Criminal: Mohammed bin Salman was celebrated by Silicon Valley and Hollywood titans during his U.S. visit. They ignored his role in the slaughter in Yemen.

Alfie Evans could be flown to Rome if latest appeal succeeds | UK news | The Guardian

Alfie Evans could be flown to Rome if latest appeal succeeds | UK news | The Guardian: Parents will seek to remove toddler from hospital, saying he has been breathing unassisted

Water unites us, so make it available to all | National Catholic Reporter

Water unites us, so make it available to all | National Catholic Reporter: Water literally is both the gift of life and a threat of death. In my home of New Orleans and many places like it throughout the world, we know too well the death-dealing power of water. While we have...

New York assisted suicide bill draws fire from disability rights group

New York assisted suicide bill draws fire from disability rights group: Disability rights activists are speaking out in opposition to a proposal in New York that would legalize physician assisted suicide.

Alfie Evans surviving after life support withdrawn, Vatican hospital ready to receive him



Alfie Evans surviving after life support withdrawn, Vatican hospital ready to receive him

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-uk-and-ireland/2018/04/24/alfie-evans-surviving-after-life-support-withdrawn-vatican-hospital-ready-to-receive-him/

Clear signs of global warming will hit poorer countries first

Clear signs of global warming will hit poorer countries first: New climate-inequality tool quantifies how quickly the weather will veer beyond normal in different regions.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018 Fourth Week of Easter

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 280

Reading 1 Acts 11:19-26

Those who had been scattered by the persecution
that arose because of Stephen
went as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch,
preaching the word to no one but Jews.
There were some Cypriots and Cyrenians among them, however,
who came to Antioch and began to speak to the Greeks as well,
proclaiming the Lord Jesus.
The hand of the Lord was with them
and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.
The news about them reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem,
and they sent Barnabas to go to Antioch.
When he arrived and saw the grace of God,
he rejoiced and encouraged them all
to remain faithful to the Lord in firmness of heart,
for he was a good man, filled with the Holy Spirit and faith.
And a large number of people was added to the Lord.
Then he went to Tarsus to look for Saul,
and when he had found him he brought him to Antioch.
For a whole year they met with the Church
and taught a large number of people,
and it was in Antioch that the disciples
were first called Christians.



Gospel Jn 10:22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
"How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father's hand.
The Father and I are one."
Your daily Gospel reflection...
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Fourth Week of Easter
John 10:22-30
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus explains why his sheep listen to him and follow him. They do so because he is leading them to eternal life.

He says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” The life of heaven, where we “shall never perish,” is that place where death and sickness have no power over us, where we see God face to face.

Heaven and earth are always connected in the biblical imagination; that’s true. But heaven should never be reduced to earth, as though religion is just about this-worldly ethics, social justice, or psychological well-being. No; the Christian faith is about a journey beyond this world to the heavenly Jerusalem.

Everything in the Christian life—from our ethical behavior, to prayer, to the liturgy, to works of justice—all of it is meant to conduce to that end. So listen to the voice of the shepherd and follow him wherever he goes.

Monday, April 23, 2018

The 'deep state' is real. But are its leaks against Trump justified? | Jack Goldsmith | Opinion | The Guardian

The 'deep state' is real. But are its leaks against Trump justified? | Jack Goldsmith | Opinion | The Guardian: Even the most severe critics of the US president should worry about this subtle form of anti-democratic abuse

Trump’s Africa Policy Is a Continuation of Clinton’s, Bush’s, and Obama’s – LobeLog

Trump’s Africa Policy Is a Continuation of Clinton’s, Bush’s, and Obama’s – LobeLog: by Herman J. Cohen President Trump’s Africa policy appears to be off to a bad start. First, there was the unfortunate leak of a remark made privately to a group of U.S. senators in February in whic…

FORUM: The Value of a Single Human Life - ZENIT - English

FORUM: The Value of a Single Human Life - ZENIT - English: Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Wuerl: 'Every person has an obligation to respect and protect human life and dignity'

The Only Master of Life is God - ZENIT - English

The Only Master of Life is God - ZENIT - English: The World is Following an Evil Trend

BREAKING: Italy Grants Alfie Evans Italian Citizenship for Transfer - ZENIT - English

BREAKING: Italy Grants Alfie Evans Italian Citizenship for Transfer - ZENIT - English: Last-minute Hope for the Child

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter Lectionary: 279

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Lectionary: 279

Reading 1 Acts 11:1-18

The Apostles and the brothers who were in Judea
heard that the Gentiles too had accepted the word of God.
So when Peter went up to Jerusalem
the circumcised believers confronted him, saying,
'You entered the house of uncircumcised people and ate with them."
Peter began and explained it to them step by step, saying,
"I was at prayer in the city of Joppa
when in a trance I had a vision,
something resembling a large sheet coming down,
lowered from the sky by its four corners, and it came to me.
Looking intently into it,
I observed and saw the four-legged animals of the earth,
the wild beasts, the reptiles, and the birds of the sky.
I also heard a voice say to me, 'Get up, Peter. Slaughter and eat.'
But I said, 'Certainly not, sir,
because nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
But a second time a voice from heaven answered,
'What God has made clean, you are not to call profane.'
This happened three times,
and then everything was drawn up again into the sky.
Just then three men appeared at the house where we were,
who had been sent to me from Caesarea.
The Spirit told me to accompany them without discriminating.
These six brothers also went with me,
and we entered the man's house.
He related to us how he had seen the angel standing in his house, saying,
'Send someone to Joppa and summon Simon, who is called Peter,
who will speak words to you
by which you and all your household will be saved.'
As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them
as it had upon us at the beginning,
and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said,
'John baptized with water
but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
If then God gave them the same gift he gave to us
when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,
who was I to be able to hinder God?"
When they heard this,
they stopped objecting and glorified God, saying,
"God has then granted life-giving repentance to the Gentiles too."

Gospel Jn 10:1-10

Jesus said:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly."

Your daily Gospel reflection...
Monday, April 23, 2018
Fourth Week of Easter
John 10:1-10
Friends, today’s Gospel builds on the enduring and endearing image of Jesus as the good shepherd. Jesus says: "The sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out."

How wonderful and strange that Christianity is not a set of ideas. It’s not a philosophy or an ideology. It’s a relationship with someone who has a voice. The first disciples were privileged to hear the voice of the historical Jesus. They heard its very particular tone and texture.

But we hear his voice too, in our own way, especially when we hear the Scriptures proclaimed at Mass. Mind you, we don’t just read the Bible; we hear the Bible. We also hear the voice of Jesus when the bishops and the popes speak; we hear it in our conscience, which Newman called "the aboriginal vicar of Christ in the soul"; and we hear it in good spiritual friends, those people who comfort us and challenge us and keep calling us to higher ideals and encourage us when we fall.

We listen to the voice of Jesus because he is leading us to a renewed and transformed life with God.