Friday, December 30, 2016

Joy this Christmas in Aleppo

Quote of the Day


There is no proletarian, not even communist movement, that has not operated in the interests of money, in the directions indicated by money, and for the time permitted by money – and that it happens without the idealists amongst its leaders having the slightest suspicion of the fact.
– Oswald Spengler The Decline of the West Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Festal Cockcrow



Some say, that ever 'gainst that season comes
Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
This bird of dawning singeth all night long:
And then, they say, no spirit can walk abroad;
The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
So hallowed and so gracious is the time.

                                      William Shakespeare

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Treachery in Syria again

An excellent report from Moon of Alabama.  Due to the fanaticism of our Defense Secretary, and all the usual suspects, Russia has finally taken the step of excluding the US from any further negotiations in Syria.  Here's why.

Psychopath and war criminal Ash Carter (and yes, he is a genuine psychopath)

How The Military Excluded The White House From International Syria Negotiations


The NYT laments today that international negotiations about the situation in Syria now continue without any U.S. participation: Russia, Iran and Turkey Meet for Syria Talks, Excluding U.S.
Russia, Iran and Turkey met in Moscow on Tuesday to work toward a political accord to end Syria’s nearly six-year war, leaving the United States on the sidelines as the countries sought to drive the conflict in ways that serve their interests.Secretary of State John Kerry was not invited. Nor was the United Nations consulted.
With pro-government forces having made critical gains on the ground, ...
(Note: The last sentence originally and correctly said "pro-Syrian forces ...", not "pro-government forces ...". It was altered after I noted the "pro-Syrian" change of tone on Twitter.)

Russia kicked the U.S. out of any further talks about Syria after the U.S. blew a deal which, after long delaying negotiations, Kerry had made with the Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov.
In a recent interview Kerry admits that it was opposition from the Pentagon, not Moscow or Damascus, that had blown up his agreement with Russia over Syria:
More recently, he has clashed inside the administration with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. Kerry negotiated an agreement with Russia to share joint military operations, but it fell apart.“Unfortunately we had divisions within our own ranks that made the implementation of that extremely hard to accomplish,” Kerry said. “But I believe in it, I think it can work, could have worked."
Kerry's agreement with Russia did not just "fell apart". The Pentagon actively sabotaged it by intentionally and perfidiously attacking the Syrian army.
The deal with Russia was made in June. It envisioned coordinated attacks on ISIS and al-Qaeda in Syria, both designated as terrorist under two UN Security Council resolutions which call upon all countries to eradicate them. For months the U.S. failed to separate its CIA and Pentagon trained, supplied and paid "moderate rebel" from al-Qaeda, thereby blocking the deal. In September the deal was modified and finally ready to be implemented.
The Pentagon still did not like it but had been overruled by the White House:
The agreement that Secretary of State John Kerry announced with Russia to reduce the killing in Syria has widened an increasingly public divide between Mr. Kerry and Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter, who has deep reservations about the plan for American and Russian forces to jointly target terrorist groups.
Mr. Carter was among the administration officials who pushed against the agreement on a conference call with the White House last week as Mr. Kerry, joining the argument from a secure facility in Geneva, grew increasingly frustrated. Although President Obama ultimately approved the effort after hours of debate, Pentagon officials remain unconvinced.
...
“I’m not saying yes or no,” Lt. Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, commander of the United States Air Forces Central Command, told reporters on a video conference call. “It would be premature to say that we’re going to jump right into it.”
The CentCom general threatened to not follow the decision his Commander of Chief had taken. He would not have done so without cover from Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
Three days later U.S. CentCom Air Forces and allied Danish airplanes attack Syrian army positions near the ISIS besieged city of Deir Ezzor. During 37 air attacks within one hour between 62 and 100 Syrian Arab Army soldiers were killed and many more wounded. They had held a defensive positions on hills overlooking the Deir Ezzor airport. Shortly after the U.S. air attack ISIS forces stormed the hills and have held them since. Resupply for the 100,000+  civilians and soldiers in Deir Ezzor is now endangered if not impossible. The CentCom attack enabled ISIS to eventually conquer Deir Ezzor and to establish the envisioned "Salafist principality" in east Syria.

During the U.S. attack the Syrian-Russian operations center had immediately tried to contact the designated coordination officer at U.S. Central Command to stop the attack. But that officer could not be reached and those at CentCom taking the Russian calls just hanged up:


Read the whole article.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

James Larson: Christ's Advent blasphemed






Among the several hobby horses this writer has been riding since beginning this blog five years ago is the notion that the present malaise we find ourselves in did not begin recently.  Nor did it begin with Vatican II.  The disease was well and truly entrenched in the Church since at least the middle of the 19th century.  How do we know this?  We know it because of the actions of Pius IX and the actions taken by Pope St Pius X against Modernism.  If we forget this, and concentrate only on the daily outrages coming daily from the hierarchy of the Church, we fail to completely grasp the acuteness of the problem.

A recent adage has it that 'garbage in, garbage out", applies to computers.  But we can apply that also to young minds.  In the article below Mr Larson studies the "garbage in" of a young Joseph Ratzinger who learned from such flingers of refuse as Teilhard and Rahner, and the "garbage out" of his mature years, in which he applied what he learned from the bad sources who taught him. Before I am taken to task for this seemingly crude description of the thinking of Benedict I would ask that the reader consider carefully the article which follows.  There is always, of course, the comments section, designed to engage in fruitful discussion.

I will add that Ratzinger does enjoy  exotic restructurings of simple words in order to dazzle his readers, a trait commonly found in those who practice the art of ambiguity.  "Complexification" is a favorite !  Or this gem of obfuscation directed at us simple folk:  From here it is possible to understand the final aim of the whole movement as Teilhard sees it: the cosmic drift moves ‘in the direction of an incredible ‘mono-molecular’ state, so to speak, in which…each ego is destined to attain in climax in a sort of mysterious superego’.”  [Gosh !]  Or this amazing statement which at least has the benefit of clarity:  Revelation now appeared no longer simply as a communication of truths to the intellect but as a historical action of God in which truth becomes gradually unveiled.   Indeed.  Our current Pope has been "unveiling" quite a bit of revelation lately.  I shudder to think what the next Pope will unveil. [After reading the 25 quotes from Father, Cardinal and Pope Ratzinger which are in the following article I recommend two aspirin and a glass of water.]

Bearing all that in mind I offer our readers an evaluation by James Larson of this malaise as it concerns a number of recent pontificates.  It begins thusly:


Truth Shall Be Cast Down on the Ground
Christ’s Advent Blasphemed

And strength was given him [the Antichrist] against the continual sacrifice, because of sins: and truth shall be cast down on the ground….” (Dan 8: 12)

It is extremely difficult to convince people of the depth of the crisis which we now face.
It has been standard fare among orthodox and traditional Catholics to see Pope Francis as some sort of singular aberration, and to hunger for a return to what is thought to have been the relative Catholic “sanity” of a papacy such as that of Pope Benedict XVI. As a consequence of this position, it is also a prevalent attitude that it is now just a matter of “getting beyond” Francis in order for things to return to some sort of normal.
This is a delusion. The “excesses” of Pope Francis are the fruition of a philosophy and theology which has been long in preparation, has poisoned the thinking of virtually all members of the Catholic hierarchy, and which found its most succinct and influential formulations in the thought of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI. There can be no “return” to Catholic sanity until the sources of these errors are confronted, engaged in battle, and defeated.
I have therefore compiled below a series of quotations from Joseph Ratzinger’s works. I request that the reader meditate on these passages, ask themselves whether there is any truly Catholic context in which they could be considered acceptable, and then go on to read my articles in which these passages (and many others) are more closely examined. At the end of these quotations I have also linked the most relevant articles.
Before listing these quotations I also offer, in the following two paragraphs, a general synopsis of the depths of this crisis:
The “new” theology, in all its varieties, must be seen as being primarily due to the eviscerating effect of reductive science upon the minds and hearts of Catholic theologians and philosophers. It begins with the denial of substantial being as constituting the root concept of all philosophy and theology. Since all physical reality is now wrongly thought to be entirely reducible to atoms (and quantum mechanics), and since such phenomena are constantly subject to change, then all of created reality has come to be viewed in terms of the constantly changing and evolving relationships between these phenomena.
As a result of such reductive science, every concept involving a “fixed” substantial nature has been cast aside, and is replaced by the concept of ongoing and ever-changing relationshipsEvolution thus becomes the necessary mistress of all human thought and spirituality. Under the influence of such thinking, it is impossible to believe in an original nature of man created in sanctifying grace; there can be no Fall from such a nature through original sin; there can be no restoration of such a nature to innocence through sanctifying grace (thus destroying the traditional doctrine concerning Baptism); and there can be no real distinction between mortal and venial sin. There can therefore be no judgment in regard to the present state of the soul of any individual person (or whether he or she is in the proper state of grace to receive Holy Communion), but only an ongoing pastoral approach of universal mercy. Also, since there is no such thing as fixed substance, and certainly no ontological distinction between substance and accidents, there can be no change of the entire substance of bread into the substance of Christ’s Body, or the entire substance of wine into the substance of His Blood. Finally, God Himself must also be seen entirely in terms of relationship, as also must His Revelation to man. Thus, all of Catholic doctrine and dogma is destroyed of any absoluteness or permanence, and must also be seen as evolving phenomena. In other words, the entire Catholic Faith is substantially destroyed.
The following 25 quotations are placed in a somewhat loose order, which will hopefully help penetrate to the interconnectedness of the heresies enumerated above. I have numbered them for easy referencing. I remind the reader again that they are all from the works or statements of Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI.

Read the whole article.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lullay My Liking

A Medieval carol, from England and Wales, a song sung by the Virgin Mary to her newborn Child.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Serious words to ponder



“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”


― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

John the Baptist, then.....and now




Some interesting Advent reflections by Brother Andre Marie.

Saint John the Baptist and Our Times


"Saint John the Baptist is our guide, along with Isaias the Prophet, through the season of Advent. He helps us to prepare for the coming of Christ, in His mystically renewed first coming in mercy (the mystery of the Nativity), in His second coming in majesty as the Just Judge, and in that spiritual third coming that Saint Bernard places between the other two.
The great Baptist was honored by Jesus Himself as “more than a prophet” (Matt. 11:9) because his role is to be the “angel” sent to prepare the way of the Messias.
Saint John appears on the scene as the last in a long line of Old Testament prophets. Like Isaias, Jeremias, and others, his speaking truth to power was rewarded with martyrdom. Isaias was sawn in half by order of King Manasses of Juda, while Jeremias was stoned to death by his fellow Jews in Egypt. Such martyrdoms hint at one of the more unpleasant aspects of the Old Testament, namely, the frequent infidelities of the chosen people to their God — even to the point of falling at times into crass sins against the first commandment. In his book of meditations, The Challenge of Faith, Brother Francis touches on the mystery in these few words:

"It is very difficult for us to understand why God should have favored them as much as He did, yet the Faith somehow survived in their midst, through a line of living traditions which was at times extremely thin."
Saint Paul warned both the Romans and the Corinthians not to be complacent or self-congratulatory when learning of such things; we Christians should take them as a cautionary lesson for ourselves not to be presumptuous. And, indeed, do not the fallings away of entire nations to heresy, schism, or apostasy show us that we, too — even in the grace of the New Testament — can witness those living traditions becoming comparatively thin at times?"
AND:
"As a prophet who told the truth to the lowly and powerful alike, John was fearless. Utterly unhampered by human respect, he did not flinch to tell the Pharisees and Sadducees alike, “Ye brood of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matt. 3:7). But what really got him in trouble were the frank words to Herod Antipas: “It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother’s wife” (Mark 6:18). Herodias, the adulterous wife of Philip (the tetrarch of Iturea and Herod’s brother), did not like this frank talk. As Jezabel did Elias, so Herodias wanted John dead. Enter her daughter, Salome the dancing girl, a little gluttony, a little drunkenness, a lot of lust, and Herod the weak adulterer becomes Herod the reluctant murderer. The prophet’s head ends up on the damsel’s dish.
And what does this have to do with the Church in our day?"

Read the rest here.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bits and Pieces

Used Pantsuit Sale.  Shoppers can now purchase at reduced rates pantsuits once worn by Hillary Clinton during her recent campaign.  For a small additional charge they will be autographed.  After next year, Angela Merkel's pantsuits may also become available.

Draining the swamp?  Mr Trump, what was all that talk about draining the Washington swamp when you are looking at bottom-feeding swamp dwellers like Petraus, Woolsey, Bolton, Romney and such like to possibly be in your administration?  If that's your plan we might just as well have voted for Jeb !!!

Filling the swamp.  Pope Francis is doing a bangup job of filling the Vatican swamp with the worst sort of moral malefactors imaginable.  Message to Vatican altar boys: get out while the getting is good.

Multiple Choice Question: Pope Francis' appointing of Modernists and poofs to high office shows that he: a) is insane; b) is nuts; c) is crazy; d) has lost his mind; e) is stark, staring mad.

"Terrism" (as Mr Bush would say): ISIS crazies are butchering innocent Christians and Muslims in Syria. The Syrian army is fighting ISIS to the death.  Israel is bombing Syrian army locations. and also treating wounded ISIS terrorists.  Ergo.......

How many Catholic Cardinals does it take to ask for a papal clarification?  About four.

How many Catholic Cardinals does it take to change a light bulb?  Apparently about 200, according to one outspoken episcopal toady.

Perfect.  A Chinese billionaire wants to buy up more of Hollywood.  A marriage made in Heaven:  the Chinese are noted for making junk products and Hollywood is world-renowned for making junk.

Episcopal Logic: After an ongoing, devastating homosexual pederast scandal in the Church many Bishops, like the clown in San Diego, are now telling us how we should embrace homosexuals.

What South American country has the longest tradition of welcoming Freemasonry, and has the largest contingent of Freemasons in government, media, among the intellectuals, the Church and the elite? Argentina.

The Great Director™ Martin Scorcese, has bestowed upon the masses of the vast unwashed another of his many masterpieces, Silence.  Critics are enraptured.  Audiences, not so much.

Auditioning.  Cardinal Roly-poly Dolan of New York, perhaps surveying his future prospects, has auditioned with the Rockettes hoping for a position if his day job doesn't work out.  Of course if he lands the job the Rockettes with him will need to put on a bit of weight.

Jihad watcher Robert Spencer is busy exposing the Muslim piranhas who are running riot all over the world.  Oddly enough he never discusses who threw the meat to the piranhas causing them to go berserk in the first place.

Holy Writ:  The Washington Post has offered the highly original view that Jesus Christ did not exist, by one of the paper's writers, Raphael Lataster.  Well, that settles it, I guess.  I mean, if you can't trust the Washington Post and Raphael Lataster who can you trust?

Good Guys and Bad Guys:  Though Islam is a false religion, even a heresy as Hilaire Belloc shrewdly observed, they are not monolithic.  In a very general but not exact sense the Sunni variety are the zealots, the ones who still dream of a Caliphate.  The Shiites, on the other hand, are the peacemaker types, the ones who have defended Christians.  Need we add which of the two are supported by the Western and some Eastern nations?

The Fairies are all a-twitter over the release of a new document on priestly formation which re-iterates the Church's ban on ordaining queers to the priesthood.  Noted fairy James Martin, SJ is cautioning fellow light-in-the-loafer friends to keep calm.  He must believe it won't change things much and he's probably right.  The real shock, of course, is that the ban was still in force.  Whether or not it will be enforced is another matter altogether, of course.

According to at least one notable blogger anyone who has some sympathy for Mad Vlad Putin is one of his paid stooges.  All I want to know is where to go to get my money.  If I am going to be sympathetic to him at least I want to be paid for it !

Surveillance photo of Mad Vlad teaching his dogs to be spies
The Christians in Syria are being displaced, murdered and destroyed in Syria. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the USA are supporting the terrorists.  Russia, Islamic Iran, and Hezbollah are helping Syria's Assad fight the Christian killers.  Ergo, Russia, Hezbollah and Islamic Iran are the villains. Sounds plausible.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who got about 1 per cent of the vote in Wisconsin is demanding a recount.

Potty-mouth Pope (literally).  Is that what we are now reduced to?

I gasp in awe at the brilliant, worldwide, unrelenting, sophisticated propaganda offensive now engulfing the world with the fairy story that the Russians have manipulated the recent election.  Congress, of course, has just passed a bill which aims to penalize and/or shut down websites that are "Russian agents".  Are the traditionally dumb Americans going to buy this?

In order to better fight the Satanic influences scourging the Church one traditional Catholic religious order has eliminated the St Michael's Prayers after their Sunday Low Masses in my neck of the woods.  I'm trying to understand why this is considered a good idea.

Like the pot calling the kettle black, the world leaders of Fake News are accusing anyone who is skeptical of our elite establishment of peddling fake news.

      


The Obama administration has officially come out in support of drafting women into the military. Please God, if ever this floppy-eared cretin ever has to be defended by an army it will be an army made up of transvestites, buggerists and silly women.

Did any of the Hollywood celebrities actually leave the country, as they threatened, now that Trump was elected?  Unfortunately, no.  Third-rate actors, like the poor, will always be with us.

Jewish rabbis in Italy are claiming that the recent earthquakes there are God's punishment for Italy not supporting Zionism with sufficient fervor.  I am sure there that if they are a punishment the real reason can be found elsewhere.  Like on Vatican Hill?

A Catholic priest suggested not without reason that the earthquakes are a punishment for Italy's acceptance of the obscene idea of queer "marriage".  Needless to say he was quickly reprimanded by the Catholic Church.

The viewership of the games provided by the National Felon Football League is declining.  It's about time.

In Casablanca Bogart said to Bergman: "We'll always have Paris."  Did he mean this?




Dr Frankenstein is alive and well: they're making measles/mumps vaccines out of aborted children parts.  I am sure Rome has spoken out against such devilry but maybe I missed it.

Murderers' Lives Matter: https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/idiotic-black-lives-matter-spokesman-ye

Archbishop Pio Vinto accuses the Four Cardianls asking for a Clarification of giving Pope Francis "a slap in the face".  Well, sometimes a slap in the face can wake people up.

Another of the many Bible-thumping ignorami are thunderingly agreeing with Trump that queer "marriage" is "the law of the land".  The pastor in question, Robert Jeffress, Bible waving in hand, seems to think this is a done deal.  Uh-huh.

The Government/Media Propaganda Alliance says they don't peddle fake news !  Pat Buchanan disagrees.

Francis, can we stop smelling the sheep soon?  They are beginning to stink.

The polar ice caps according to photographic evidence haven't changed much since at least 1910.  So glad I can use my lawn mower again.


















Sunday, December 11, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Vincent Nichols, the King's good friend

History will be cruel to Vincent Nichols, because history, if told accurately, will expose his tragic career to the whole world forever.

Recall that in February of this year he made news again.

Following in the footsteps of his pontiff Vincent Nichols did a photo-op at Hampton Court at Vesper time caring little, no doubt, about the history of the nation he lives in.  I hope he believes he is doing good, and I hope that God will bring good out of this somehow (one never knows). Maybe a Catholic, even as poor a one as Vincent Nichols, might by his presence there wash away some of the five centuries of encrusted filth staining Hampton Court.

Or maybe Vincent Nichols wants to be the King's good friend first and God's, second.

The author of the following article imagines that Henry VIII, at least, would most likely not appreciate the Cardinal's gesture.



"How would King Henry VIII react to the news that Cardinal Vincent Nichols will preside at Catholic Vespers in the Chapel Royal of Hampton Court Palace on February 9? Not just by turning in his grave (which anyway might be difficult since it is possible, if not probable, that his daughter Mary, when she became queen, had his tomb opened and his embalmed body burnt). No, there would be seething, bewildered anger and ruthless revenge immediately planned.
He was hard on English cardinals anyway. Cardinal Wolsey, who built magnificent Hampton Court (too magnificent for Henry’s comfort), would probably have lost his head had he not died a natural death a few days before facing a rigged trial for high treason. When John Fisher was given a red hat on the eve of martyrdom, Henry famously vowed that the bishop would never have a head to put it on – and carried out his threat.
And then there was the king’s cousin, Cardinal Reginald Pole, who had fled his homeland long before and become so dangerous an enemy that Henry made desperate efforts to have him kidnapped or assassinated. When these failed he took revenge by putting Pole’s mother, Blessed Margaret, in the Tower and eventually butchered her.
Cardinal Nichols’s presence at Hampton Court would be especially galling in that he is Archbishop of Westminster and a senior member of a nationwide Catholic hierarchy appointed by Rome, in communion with the Pope and confident that it is an authentic, organic part of the Church Universal. Henry thought he had got rid of all that and had set up an independent national Church with him as its lord and master. He would be outraged to know that the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster and his brother bishops had an “alternative” set of cathedrals and dioceses, and that there had long been houses of monks, friars and nuns in England once more".
Read the entire article here.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Curious

In another of his impromptu homilies our new Pope has lowered the level of discussion to the sewer by referring to those who criticize presumably his actions or other subjects as practitioners of a particularly degraded form of perversion, one known to be common among homosexuals.  I will refrain from the sordid specifics since everyone by now has heard about it.

The more interesting aspect of this incident of infantilism on the part of of Pope Francis is not his vulgarity, unbecoming as it is to any man of the Church but most especially to the Vicar of Christ, but how it fits in with what is now an organized propaganda effort to censor the internet.  Those of us on the internet who discuss difficult subjects or taboo subjects knew that it was only a matter of time before steps would be taken to shut down opposing views on the net.  The only surprise was how long it took for them to get around to the task.

It began years ago but it rapidly gained steam once it became clear that world events started getting obviously, outrageously known by the Great Unwashed as creations of the Money Power to further enrich themselves, destroy the Middle Class and gain total control of every organ of power and opinion on earth.  This program picked up steam when it became clear to many that Ukraine, for example, was not a fight for "freedom" from a domineering Russia but was in fact a brilliantly-orchestrated coup by the USA and its other good friends.  As the oligarchial actions became more blatant the less the media was believed.  Elite outrage reached apoplectic proportions when their Syria murder plans were thwarted by Syria's Assad requesting Russia to help put down the attack on its people and its government.  This so unhinged the powers-that-be that the demonization of Vladimir Putin went into hysterical overdrive with a joint effort of the media and the governments of the world who were in thrall to that same Money Power.

On top of that the Elite became totally unglued when Donald Trump was elected.  Clearly the Empire needed to strike back.  And they have.

As if by magic a new "issue" came to the forefront, the issue of "fake news".  As is usual in these cases when an idea is being pushed a coordinated advertising campaign begins at once.  The opening salvos came from the Clinton Campaign which suggested - with no proof whatsoever - that the Russians were behind her loss to Trump.  Quickly picking up steam the establishment mouthpieces followed suit, especially the Washington Post which dutifully came up with a List of "fake news" sites which must be dealt with.  All of the internet toadies like Google, YouTube, facebook, etc. have all rolled out plans to counter "fake news", so that the only fake news that will be allowed will be the government/media fake news (of which there is never any shortage).  It goes without saying that Congress, and the Courts, will go along with this censoring effort.

In fact the Senate has already stepped in.  The other day the Senate unanimously passed a law, the laughingly called "Antisemitism Awareness Act" that brings legal penalties to any college student who criticizes the State of Israel.  Any pointing out of the brutality the Israelis mete out to the hapless Christians and innocent Muslims in the Holy Land will, if the bill is signed by Obama, be considered criminal carrying real penalties.  That it will soon be applied to every American and not just college kids is a foregone conclusion.  This site often points out the suffering of Christians at the hands of the Israeli occupiers.  If Google hasn't already begun to censor this blog in their search engine it will most likely be shut down or emasculated by government decree at some point.  And so will many others.

It is a classic scenario:  identify a problem, plaster it all over the newspapers of the world, make movies and documentaries about it, bring in the experts on the talking heads tv shows, enact legislation.  It rarely fails.

So the attack on "fake news" intensifies, which brings us to the curious case of Pope Francis and his recent disgusting accusations against those who air the dirty laundry of the Modernists in the Church. One way or the other he is also part of the anti- "fake news" propaganda effort with these recent remarks, which leads one to believe that he is doing the work of the same forces trying to shut down dissent. If true it does not surprise me.  We need only to look at the characters who surround and advise him to see the hand of powerful men.

It is possible to interpret the Pope's words as a mere reflection on what he reads every day in the papers though that explanation, however attractive it may be to some, is doubtful.  It is hard to shake the belief that he knows perfectly well what he is doing and is in line with those New World Order types who want revolution in every sphere of life.  Is Francis a tool or is he a willing participant?  I'm afraid my money is on the latter explanation.

As childish and indeed revolting as the Pope's latest remarks are the real interest for me is what they portend, which is that the leader of the Roman Catholic Church has become the mere plaything of the powerful.  It has happened in the Church's past, alas, but I doubt it has ever sunk to such low depths.  As tragic as it was for some Renaissance Pope to be a slave to the money-lenders of their day it is unlikely that they would have even contemplated speaking such crudities as those that trip so easily from the tongue of Francis.  They had some standards, even in their corruption.

I will not dwell on the latest Francis insults; they don't rise to the level of serious discussion.  As cheap and insulting as they are they pale in comparison to his actions, which are far more devastating. And they pale in comparison to the reflection that he may be aligned somehow with some of the more unsavory of the human creatures who skulk around the halls of power.  If such suspicions are correct then we must continue to pray (and punch) that we will soon be rid of such a disastrous papacy.  We pray for the Pope that he may come to his senses and become a glorious Pope; and we punch away through our soon-to-be-dwindling outlets of discussion so that he may become aware of the real situation in the Church, a Church that is now on life support.

Today, December 8th, is a good day for us to ask Mother to intercede for us with Father, that he may ease our punishment, at least a little.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pay attention, Mr Putin: Europe deserves destruction, according to writer Gideon Rachman


Certain types of men, always in a mood for revenge and revolution, as Russia once learned a hundred years ago to its cost in lives and treasure, must have been reading Hilaire Belloc very carefully.  "The Faith is Europe and Europe is the Faith", so goes Belloc's famous statement and warning.  Noting that, Tribal billionaires like George Soros have been busy facilitating the shoving into Europe of hordes of people, some legitimately trying to escape the horrors of the wars inflicted on their country (by the co-religionists of Mr Soros using their Washington, London and Paris poodles) and some coming for more nefarious reasons.

A decidedly arrogant writer for the Financial Times Gideon Rachman tells Europeans to "get used to it".  http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/01/12/financial-times-mass-immigration-is-here-to-stay-we-should-learn-to-accept-it/

How nice.  Very sweet of them to tell us to "get used to it", that these things are "unstoppable".  The Gideon Rachmans of this world certainly aren't arrogance-challenged.

Is the destruction of Europe being centrally planned?  Of course it is.  And the reason for this is as simple as possible: the revenge against and elimination of Catholicism in the Europe where it built civilization.

Why do I think Vladimir Putin should pay attention to this?  Two reasons come to mind.  First - and contrary to the hilarious meme being promoted worldwide by Christendom's enemies that Russia wants to subjugate other nations again like in the old Commie days - his actions tell this writer clearly that he is concerned about the destruction of Europe as Europe.  Russians consider themselves Europeans after all.

Secondly, Mr Putin is seemingly being far too benign to the destroyers of Europe.  I say "seemingly" because certain recent actions taken by the Russian Federation give the impression that they are unconcerned that they are shooting themselves in the foot.  Russia's coming to the aid of dying Syria is admirable, as is the restraint they have shown over the orchestrated coup in Ukraine, as is, indeed, the restraint shown after the unbalanced dictator in Turkey shot down a Russian plane over Syrian airspace.  All this shows a herculean prudence which has brought them much goodwill..  But that will all be undone unless Russia begins to get serious about the real forces allayed against it.

I am not of necessarily implying that Russia is the savior of the world but I do note that the Blessed Virgin Mary has made it quite clear that a great good will one day come out of that country.  We would be foolish to ignore what she says, as we lap up the anti-Russian propaganda being shoved in our faces by the forces of chaos.

Mr Rachman fantasizes often about the "new world order" he wishes upon the world.  I can well imagine the type Rachman has in mind.

Take note, Mr Putin.


When Propaganda Becomes Farce

As an old movie director I really enjoy watching how "the usual suspects" try to bamboozle the public using what they believe to be cinematic tools.  That's my problem: I can smell fakery a mile away.

So come to see the merry masquers known to the Propaganda Machine as "The White Helmets"

Lights....camera.... action !

 
   

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/white-helmets-rescue-crisis-actor-mannequin-challenge-fakery/ri17843

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2016/11/how-white-helmets-videos-are-made.html

Since the USA has been caught here red-handed, I guess it must be some of that "fake news" we keep hearing about.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

James Larson examines the Dubia



"What has been missed in almost all of the critiques of Amoris Laetitia is that it is indeed constituted as a direct attack on the concept of Charity and Sanctifying Grace."


Paul confronts Peter by Rubens


[Editor: Another view of the Dubia Incident, from our friend, Mr James Larson.]


What Really Is At Stake?
The Letter of Four Cardinals to Pope Francis Concerning Amoris Laetitia
by James Larson

On November 14, 2016, four Cardinals (Walter Branmuller, Raymond Burke, Carlo Caffara, and Joachim Meisner) released a letter which they sent to Pope Francis on September 19, along with five “Dubia” (“doubts” or “questions”) in reference to the teaching of the Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, and requesting that these dubia be answered and clarified by the Pope himself.
The letter went unanswered, and thus these Cardinals decided to publish both the letter and Dubia, along with a Foreword, and also an Explanatory Note which further elaborated on the five dubia, to the general public. This composite of documents they titled Seeking Clarity. A Plea to Untie the Knots in “Amoris Laetitia”.
The four Cardinals introduce their analysis and explanation of the five dubiawith the following words:
“Let’s get to what is concretely at stake”.
It is my contention that, while the dubia and the analysis presented by the four Cardinals are indeed perceptive and true as far as they go, they do not at all reach to the true depths of “what is concretely at stake”.
Let us first look at these five dubia:
The first dubium deals directly with the issue of those married persons who have obtained a civil divorce and are now living in sin with a second partner. It asks “whether, following the affirmations of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ (nn. 300-305), it has now become possible to grant absolution in the Sacrament of Penance and thus to admit to Holy Communion a person who, while bound by a valid marital bond, lives together with a different person ‘more uxorio’ (in a marital way) without fulfilling the condition provided for by ‘Familiaris Consortio’, n. 84 and subsequently reaffirmed by ‘Reconciliatio et Paenitentia’ n. 34 and ‘Sacramentum Caritatis’ n. 29. Can the expression ‘in certain cases’ found in note 351 (n. 305) of the exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’ be applied to divorced persons who are in a new union and who continue to live ‘more uxorio’?
Dubia two, three, four, and five, on the other hand “are about fundamental issues regarding the moral life”
The second asks whether, after the teaching of Amoris Laetitia, there are still “absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts and that are binding without exceptions?”
The third asks whether, after Amoris Laetitia, it is still true “that a person who habitually lives in contradiction to a commandment of God’s law, as for instance the one that prohibits adultery, finds him or herself in an objective situation of grave habitual sin?”
The fourth asks whether, after Amoris Laetitia, the Church still needs to regard as valid the teaching “according to which ‘circumstances or intentions can never transform an act intrinsically evil by virtue of its object into an act ‘subjectively’ good or defensible as a choice”?
And the fifth dubium asks whether, after Amoris Laetitia, the Church’s teaching still “excludes a creative interpretation of the role of conscience and that emphasizes that conscience can never be authorized to legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts by virtue of their object?”
All of these questions are being asked, of course, simply because Amoris Laetitia does indeed appear to contradict the perennial teachings of the Church (and of Holy Scripture) in regard to these issues. As the Explanatory Note of the four Cardinals puts it (very mildly, I think), “the interpretation of the document also implies different, contrasting approaches to the Christian way of life”.
But it is much more than a “way of life” that is at stake here. It is, rather, the entire structure of our understanding of Christian Revelation – of Who God is, and of who man is – which is being denied by Amoris Laetitia. And if this be true, then the entire brunt of the Cardinals’ letter to the Pope, which consists of requests for clarification in regard to these dubia, noble and courageous as it certainly is, is an exercise in futility. The fact is that, in the minds and hearts of such men as Jorge Bergoglio and Joseph Ratzinger, the entire philosophical and theological structure of the faith has necessarily undergone a radical alteration which necessitates this contrasting approach to the Christian way of life. In other words, there can be no clarification because Pope Francis fully believes he must do what he is doing. From his perspective, the dubia of these four Cardinals is equivalent to the death cries of theological dinosaurs destined for evolutionary extinction. They therefore must be ignored.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Sycophants on Parade

Vincent Nichols in clerical garb

Could someone please put a gun in his hand?
Beady-eyed Kevin Farrell
Donald Wuerl sporting his brand new dentures
Playground bully or prelate.  You pick.
Pinto puts a whammy on four bad guys.....and the Church
Is that you, Holy Spirit?


This is almost comical.  The Catholic Church has become a parody of a classic giant corporation where the head of the company surrounds himself with fawning yes-men and sends to janitor duty those who question some of his decisions.

I have heard scoffing from some who refuse to believe such a thing. But isn't this exactly where the Church is now?

Some would say the Church has always been that way, that those surrounding the Pope would be no more than toadies doing the bidding of the Big Man.  Some Orthodox believe that, I know. But was it true?

There have always been sycophants, courtiers, cliques, flatterers buzzing around men in high places. Even in the Church.  Great Popes dreaded these types, for they knew that blind slavishness was a very bad idea and they would fight it whenever it reared its ugly head.  The effect of these hangers-on was muted when a great Pope was in charge.  These saintly pontiffs would keep such men in check and make efforts to see that their influence was minimal.  For them it was an ordeal but a job that had to be done.  Great monarchs also had these problems, the greatest of them doing yeoman work to keep the lap dogs under control.

But in 2016 AD we have a somewhat new problem.  Old but new.  Now we have a Pope who is - how shall I say it? - a bit bizarre.  A living, breathing teenager in an 80 year old body.  A martinet who decries discipline in the Church but who is in fact the very worst kind of disciplinarian, the kind that refuses to listen to counsel or reconsider his views.  An egotist who, like John Paul II, craves the limelight, the cheering crowds and the approval of the mass media.  A child who has just been given the biggest toy train in the world and is having  a grand time playing with it.

And as of this moment a man who has not yet realized his awesome responsibility: to transmit the Faith whole and entire to those under his care.  Those under his care include every human being upon earth.  One can see in his face a disinterest in what he has inherited.  My first clue that there was something askew in his mind was that incident early in his papacy when he was walking down a hallway with his entourage and spotted a young altar boy with his hands together as if in prayer.   In a show of ignorant heartlessness he visibly yanked the boy's hands apart.

That incident spoke volumes about what would be coming.

And coming it has.  I will not bore my well-read readers by recounting the scandals this man has caused.  We are all getting sick and tired of them.  What I will do is express my astonishment at the sorry collection of mediocrities, sycophants, dullards, idiots and poofs who have all circled their wagons around this awful Pope.

What a Rogue's Gallery of shameless episcopal reptiles, whose collective intelligence hardly reaches the level of The Three Stooges.  If they had any intelligence, let alone self-respect, they might come to the realization that the Pope is uttering dangerous nonsense on many subjects (not all, of course, but many) and would take him aside and try to show him the realities.  But most of his lackeys are, frankly, worse than him when it comes to the salvation of souls which is the chief effort of the one, true Church.

Yes, these men need to be insulted even though some of them are too obtuse even to understand they are being insulted.  We don't insult the cloth they wear; we insult the men who disgrace that cloth.  It is because I respect the cloth that I call out those who bring bring shame upon it. This approach is, I know, not encouraged by many good people in the Church.  For these good people respect, understandably, should be the order of the day no matter how cretinous some of them are. But as good as that approach is, which I do not for a moment condemn, how respectful can one be to some of these wreckers of the Church?  Is not a bit of tar and feathers, at least the keyboard kind (for now), appropriate in dealing with some Churchmen who are deliberately and with malice aforethought trying to deform the Church into something worse than Protestantism or Judaism, a Protestantism that tinkers with dogma or a Judaism that rejects our Lord outright?  Is that not in fact what some of these characters are engaging in?  And worse. Some of these prelates are openly supporting sodomy.  Sodomy.  Has the import of that really sunk in to our skulls? Moreover, some of them are condoning adultery.  Where are we?  Are we in The Twilight Zone?

I am very willing to entertain arguments about the rightness or wrongness this approach if anyone cares to comment.  I like to keep my head by encouraging commenters who disagree with some of the ravings on this internet stop.  One learns by an exchange of ideas.

This blog is called The Eye Witness not only in honor of Hilaire Belloc and G.K. Chesterton but as an actual eye witness of crucial events.  An eye witness watches oily traitors like Kasper or truckling incompetents like Cupich or buffoons like Dolan paying court to a dictator and reports on them.  It is truly a rotten job to have to do.  We take no pleasure in writing about these monstrous people. And while other internet sites and blogs do it better than here this writer would feel somehow unclean by not openly stating that the Church is crumbling before our very eyes.

If there is any good at all in the snivelling idiocies coming from the mouths of these men it is a reminder that - especially to this writer whose allotted time on earth is coming to an end soon - it is time for reflection on why it is that our sins have brought this upon our heads.  War is a punishment for sin so it has been said.  And so is the infliction of bad clerics.

And Advent, among other things, is a good time to reflect.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Again, the "babies being stabbed in their incubators" bull is being trotted out again

Every time the usual forces of chaos want to gin up propaganda, be it against the Kaiser, Saddam Hussein or now Bashar Assad, we have to endure another round of the "babies being killed by those evil bad guys".  Tears and videos abound.  [Funny that those behind all these stories of supposed atrocities against children usually see nothing wrong with abortion.]

So here we go again:



Syria is making gains in eliminating the head-chopping US/Israel proxies in their land and so, in panic, they have to trot out stuff like this.   And so many will fall for this....again.

From Consortium News:


"Late in the day, on Nov. 15, one week after the U.S. elections, the lame-duck Congress convened in special session with normal rules suspended so the House could pass House Resolution 5732, the “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act” calling for intensifying the already harsh sanctions on Syria, assessing the imposition of a “no fly zone” inside Syria (to prevent the Syrian government from flying) and escalating efforts to press criminal charges against Syrian officials.

HR5732 claims to promote a negotiated settlement in Syria but, as analyzed by Friends Committee for National Legislation, it imposes preconditions which would actually make a peace agreement more difficult.

The West Front of the U.S. Capitol
The West Front of the U.S. Capitol
There was 40 minutes of “debate” with six representatives (Ed Royce, R-California; Eliot Engel, D-New York; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Florida; Dan Kildee, D-Michigan; Chris Smith, R-New Jersey; and Carlos Curbelo, R-Florida) all speaking in favor of the resolution. There were few other representatives present, but the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the resolution was passed “unanimously” without mentioning these special conditions.
According to Wikipedia, “Suspension of the rules is a procedure generally used to quickly pass non-controversial bills in the United States House of Representatives … such as naming Post Offices…” In this case, however, the resolution could lead to a wider war in the Middle East and potentially World War III with nuclear-armed Russia.

Most strikingly, the resolution calls for evaluating and developing plans for the United States to impose a “no fly zone” inside Syria, a sovereign nation, an act of war that also would violate international law as an act of aggression. It also could put the U.S. military in the position of shooting down Russian aircraft.

To call this proposal “non-controversial” is absurd, although it may say a great deal about the “group think” of the U.S. Congress that an act of war would be so casually considered. Clearly, this resolution should have been debated under normal rules with a reasonable amount of Congressional presence and debate.

The motivation for bypassing normal rules and rushing the bill through without meaningful debate was articulated by the bill’s sponsor, Democrat Eliot Engel: “We cannot delay action on Syria any further. … If we don’t get this legislation across the finish line in the next few weeks, we are back to square one.”

The current urgency may be related to the election results since President-elect Donald Trump has spoken out against “regime change” foreign policy. As much as neoconservatives and their liberal-interventionist allies are critical of President Obama for not doing more in Syria, these Congressional hawks are even more concerned about the prospect of a President who might move toward peace and away from war."

Read the whole article.                              

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Western laws now clash with the moral nature of man"

An interview with Patriarch Kirill.

         


Wouldn't be nice to hear a Pope of Rome talk like this once in awhile?


Wake me when this is over

His Immense Eminence, Cardinal Lou Costello, is really a shining star in the Church firmament.

The Church's Clown Prince is again making a complete ass out of himself and demeaning the honor of the Church...again.




I know I am living through an awful recurring nightmare.  If I am wrong, please God, escort him out the door and out of our lives.

[h/t Dymphna's Road]

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Beginning of our salvation

What pleases me about this recording is that the voices begin at the far distance and slowly grow in volume, signifying the coming of Christ, closer and closer.  It is the song of hope.  I've mentioned this recording before on the blog but I can never tire of recommending it.

This music portends the beginning of our salvation.  It is a fine way to reflect upon Advent.



         

Thursday, November 24, 2016

David Lean's OLIVER TWIST



The opening sequence of David Lean's 1948 film Oliver Twist is so striking, so evocative of the time and the place and so gripping that the viewer, even a casual one, cannot look away for the rest of the picture.



We see deep storm clouds gathering in a bleak sky, the silent but growing rumbling of thunder is heard on the soundtrack.  Dead tree branches twist in the rising wind.  Over to the top of a high hill emerges the tiny figure of a woman walking, struggling with each step.  Closer views reveal her to be a young woman who, we soon discover, is now in labor, lost on the wild moors.  Director Lean shows us a close shot of her in pain then cuts to a shot of a thorny branch stretching in the growing wind, which makes the audience experience her pains.  Flashes of lightning accentuate her suffering.  She stumbles forward, hopeless, every step a struggle, her mind filled with anxiety not knowing how she and her unborn child can possibly survive this ordeal.



Finally she glimpses a light coming from the window of a building off in the distance.  In agony she finds the strength to make it there.  It is the parish workhouse.  She rings the bell pull as the rain breaks and drenches her.  At last she is let in.  In the following scenes we see she has given birth to a boy and after kissing her newborn dies in bed.


That description does not do justice to the cinematic power of the combined abilities of Lean, his editor, his cameraman and his designer.  It must not be written about; it must be seen.

Oliver Twist is the finest screen version of this Dickens story and is, perhaps, Lean's greatest film. After that brilliant opening sequence we are soon plunged into the darker world of Victorian poverty as we witness the growth and adventures of a young child born out of wedlock, thrust into the tender mercies of the masters of the workhouse, escape and finding himself lost in London, falling into the clutches of the sinister Fagin and his band of child thieves and finally, after a life of fear, hunger and intrigue, is finally taken in by a family who loves him.

Art Director John Bryan's sketch for the opening sequence.


British films reached their summit in the 1940s and with a very few exceptions never again reached such heights of art and craftsmanship so evident in films like Oliver Twist.  Lean went on in future years to make three-hour-long epics but never again equalled his earlier achievements, especially in his two Dickens adaptations (the other one being the superb Great Expectations of 1946).  What makes this film so memorable is its exact depiction of life among the lower classes in England at that time.  Dickens himself was appalled at what he saw around him when he wrote his novels and in those writings he drew the world's attention to the pitiful state of the poor and children - especially children who were forced for one reason or another to do hard, brutal labor. This Lean depicts with simple clarity, with the exquisite black and white photography the perfect medium for expressing it. Color film (readily available in films from the late 1920s) would not have worked at all. It would not have had the same dramatic effect; it had to be in black and white, and it had to be photographed by cameramen who understood black and white, as most cinematographers did in those great days. [Today's cameramen, oblivious to the possibilities of monochrome photography, usually botch the job terribly on those rare occasions when black and white is used.  Put more prosaically, they don't know what they're doing.]

The other thing the British film industry had going for itself in those days was a rich supply of the finest acting talent available anywhere, before or since.  Modern audiences accustomed to the mugging and miserable acting so common (and so accepted) today will be quite shocked at the rightness, the quality of the performances in this film.  There are far too many perfect performances to discuss in detail here so let us focus on the ones that occupy the most screen time.


As the notorious Fagin, leader of the band of child thieves, we have Alec Guiness in a performance so faultless that one hardly believes one's eyes.  When Guiness went to Lean and asked him for the part Lean scoffed at the idea.  He stopped scoffing when Guiness returned to present himself to him in full makeup.

His Fagin is a real living and breathing person.  It is the actor's art to make an audience forget they are watching acting and Guiness accomplishes it.  He is believable.  He brings out the villainy of Fagin yet manages to make us at times sympathetic with such a creature.  This is a difficult task for any actor even one as skillful as Guiness.  Like others in the cast Guiness imprints upon your memory a vivid character that will stay in the mind.  You won't forget him.

[Whenever discussing Guiness as Fagin one must, alas, trudge through the fetid swamp of name-calling and manufactured outrage.  His performance was denounced as "anti-semirtism" and an ignorant, vicious campaign was raised up against the film due to it.  Dickens wrote Fagin as a villainous Jew and Guiness played the part as written.  Eventually this whole denunciation was seen as the nonsense it was and the movie played as filmed all over the world, except in America.  The hoopla in America was so over-the-top that a fearful distributor sat on the film for two years and only released it after twelve minutes were cut from it, twelve crucial minutes, simply because of the unjust charge laid against Guiness and the film.  Fortunately the recent dvd release of the film restored all the cuts.]

There is no gainsaying the rightness of Guiness in this role as there is no gainsaying the rightness of everyone else in the picture.  Robert Newton is the villain Bill Sykes.  It is his special brand of bulging hatred that makes Newton's role so compelling.  Nasty, brutish, cunning, all these come out with great force in Newton's delineation of the character.  The scene of Sykes' murder of the prostitute Nancy is a powerful one.  I will not spoil it by describing it in detail but will say that it does not sink to the level of sadism so common in today's movies, ones made by sensationalists and incompetents like Scorcese or that overblown amateur Quentin Tarantino.  It is all the more powerful for avoiding the splattered blood of which today's directors are so fond. But it is powerful.

Newton as Bill Sykes
Can such a dark, powerful film be considered entertainment?  Yes.  But it is not time-wasting entertainment.  It will leave viewers profoundly affected by its story and will be genuinely unforgettable to those who experience it. It will stay on the mind and be the catalyst for fascinating discussions.  Some may, happily, turn to the book. Some will reflect on its theme.  Most will find it, I believe, a rewarding experience.

Why is this film so remarkable?  Because it was made by artists and craftsmen, artists and craftsmen whom we should name:  the sets (so crucial to the picture) were the work of designers John Bryan and Wilfred Shingleton, it's camera work and lighting by Guy Green who was fortunate to have such superb sets to photograph, its editor Jack Harris who knew a thing or two about putting films together, its score by Sir Arnold Bax so well suited to the visuals.  The sets which one can never tire of praising were built in what is called "forced perspective" so that one is actually drawn into them. They are complemented by the shooting of them with low camera angles in order to emphasize this perspective, this vastness.  It is what gives the movie its striking look.




This is art and artifice of the choicest kind, the kind that has all but vanished  from the screen.  If you want to see how movies were once made by men with skill and imagination and originality, you could do no better than to see this one.  It is a pity that there are no theatrical showings (at least in this country) of the film on a big screen which would give it its best effectiveness.  Second best, of course, is the dvd.  If you do plan to view it on dvd I suggest finding a quiet evening, watching it on the largest tv screen available and with the telephone off the hook.  Watching this film, according to film critic Leslie Halliwell, is like reading the book in a particularly fine binding.

Lean and his writers have somewhat simplified the story but without losing any of its power. Charles Dickens would I am sure be proud.

I bring up this wonderful film as an antidote to the cinematic Dark Ages now upon us, an age which is incapable of making such a fine thing as this.  It cannot be recommended highly enough both as entertainment and as an experience worth having.  Give it a look.

John Howard Davies as Oliver Twist



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