Wednesday March 20th – Open Thread

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.

For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen †

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216 Responses to Wednesday March 20th – Open Thread

  1. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Lucille says:

    VERNAL Equinox 2019 in Northern Hemisphere will be at 2:58 PM PST on
    Wednesday, March 20
    Just a reminder…because IT’S THE FIRST DAY OF SPRING…HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY!

    Liked by 6 people

    • amwick says:

      Ty Lucille, love the flowers… I planted some in the fall, but they are still hiding!!

      Like

      • Lucille says:

        You’re welcome, amwick. I’m so looking forward to blossoms everywhere. We’ve still got about a foot of snow next to the patio…soooo tired of looking at wet white stuff. LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

    • An American says:

      Lucille and all, because it is the spring equinox at 5:58 p.m. Eastern time today, you can take a raw egg in shell straight out of the fridge and balance it on it’s end on a flat surface. Start attempting 5-10 minutes before the actual time. It is a neat thing to do with kids. Haven’t heard if it works at the fall equinox and is the only time an egg will actually balance on end.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BigMamaTEA says:

        Cool…AnAmerican….never heard of that before.

        Liked by 2 people

        • An American says:

          BigMamaTEA, did you get to try the egg balance or anyone else for that matter? Right at 5:58 it worked like a charm. Have a pic but can’t load.

          Like

          • BigMamaTEA says:

            No, and I’m upset at myself! I was half-azz deep in a rabbit hole of research….and unsure of which time-zone that time was quoted, and I MISSED it!!! hrrmph! I’ll write it on my calendar for next year though!!

            Like

      • Lucille says:

        Unfortunately, An American, I’m just now reading your fun suggestion; so missed the whole exercise. Hope you had a great first day of spring.

        Like

  3. nimrodman says:

    I found this pretty fascinating and worth a click

    Where was the safest place in Germany in WW2?
    Answer: Flak towers



    https://www.quora.com/Where-was-the-safest-place-in-Germany-in-WW2/answer/Werner-Hermann-3

    Liked by 6 people

  4. nimrodman says:

    A week old (setting clocks forward) but brings a chuckle

    Liked by 7 people

  5. F.D.R. in Hell says:

    OK, peeps. Spring has arrived and ICYMI, so has your FDR History Lesson…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 12 people

    • F.D.R. in Hell says:

      There’s definitely a dichotomy of posts early in today’s Open Thread. I can only attribute it to the combined Change of Seasons and the Full Moon.

      Liked by 4 people

      • BigMamaTEA says:

        Frankie! Are you keeping McNasty all warm and toasty down there?!! I am reading/dissecting the Kramer deposition!!

        In a minute or five, I’m just going to post pertinent links to clips of the deposition. I think this is where …….well, motive, schmotive….I going to post links down at the bottom of the tread that prove either the filtering of the made-up dossier through a Republicrat, (for credibility purposes) because McNasty was certainly more than eager to slam Trump at any turn, so of course he got involved……..grrrrr!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Janie M. says:

          BigMama, I will always believe songbird suffered from jealousy/envy of President Trump. He had made his run for higher office and it fizzled out. The SOLE reason he went as far as he did was because of Sarah. And in his arrogance felt he was entitled to the presidency.

          Liked by 2 people

          • BigMamaTEA says:

            You are correct….plus, he made an excellent patsy to start laundering the Dossier through republicrat hands….(thinking ? for credibility?) But McNasty couldn’t see past his own jealousy & arrogance, and therefore sucked up the fraud like a sponge!

            I finished my own dissection of Kramer’s Deposition, and sent the breakdown directly to Sd. It might deserve it’s own thread…..(this was the Deposition in that Lawsuit by some Russians who sued Buzzfeed) but there is a lot of meat in it regarding how the Memos became the Dossier and how they came to the U.S. and how they spread, not only to the Republirats, but to the swamp press. I feel fairly confident Sd will do a thread, if not I’ll post info on it.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Janie M. says:

              You are doing some heavy lifting and I’m grateful for your work. 👍 I look forward to either Sd’s analysis or yours. Either way, it will prove very interesting. This whole fraud reminds me of an unraveling sweater – pull one piece of loose yarn and then…

              Liked by 2 people

    • olderwiser21 says:

      Citizen, if you want to watch more wonderful videos of animal rescues, look at the Hope For Paws Youtube channel. They are a dog rescue organization out of Los Angeles that does amazing work. There is also Vet Ranch and Lola’s Lucky Day, both on Instagram and Youtube, I believe, that post their rescue and adoption stories. Highly recommend!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Janie M. says:

        olderwiser, those Hope for Paws videos always make me cry. That people can abandon dogs and leave them in such dire circumstances is unfathomable to me. Eldad and his staff are truly doing God’s work rescuing these dogs.

        Liked by 1 person

        • olderwiser21 says:

          But Janie – they always have such happy endings! I love watching them – I love the transformation so I guess I focus on that instead of the sad stuff. Eldad and gang really are fantastic, aren’t they?

          Liked by 1 person

          • Janie M. says:

            Yes, olderwiser, they are amazing people, their perseverance is inspiring. The endings are always joyful for me. The transformation of the dogs after they are finally captured/treated and in a home setting makes my spirit soar. So, I guess you can say my tears come from both sides of the spectrum, sadness and joy.

            Liked by 1 person

    • millwright says:

      Cit817 : I know all these folks mean well but its still just a dog ! We have thousands of homeless veterans and human children in need of the same “rescue ” . Are they worth less than this dog ? I think our priorities are screwed up !

      Liked by 1 person

      • amwick says:

        That’s a good point, but people think of animals as children, even babies… Adults humans are non the less deserving, especially vets because we owe them. Homeless people are a more complicated issue. A single person cannot just pull a homeless person out of a tent with a cheeseburger, get them a shower, and fix their life. I think every act of kindness toward another living creature is good.

        Liked by 5 people

        • Bendix says:

          I don’t know of anywhere that children are found in those conditions and not helped!
          Adult humans have SOME capacity to help themselves, in nearly all cases, and again, we already have organizations both public and private devoted to these problems!
          Why does someone ALWAYS have to indulge in this form of whattaboutism?
          One thing has NO bearing on the other.
          No one should be shamed for caring about our dogs and cats!
          Yes I am yelling!
          I don’t know anyone who works very hard for animals, who doesn’t also do caring things for people.
          God calls some people to do this work with His gifts to us.
          Anyone doesn’t like it, take it up with God, but don’t anybody tell me my priorities are screwed up.

          I vividly remember how a relative of mine went out on a cold dark night, crawling around on her hands and knees in a condemned building, slated for demolition, to remove the cats living there before they were crushed and smothered to death.
          This same relative, while protesting against animal cruelty in public, had disgusting ignorant SLOBS approach her and try to shame her with their “why don’t you do something for people?” taunts.
          Me, I would have gotten arrested had I been there, because I’d have been punching the nasty slobs down the stairs.

          Liked by 2 people

          • Well I worked with animal adoption volunteers and they SNEERED at me for saying that babies deserved the same consideration and I have met many animal activists since who are big time supporters of abortion and so I’m not sure who you know but it is not a small group of animal activists who are big on population control and on abortion.

            I am YELLING too.

            Sorry, but I have NO RIGHTS to do this kind of widely publicized exposure for saving babies and it’s become impossible to not be upset watching these lovely ads to save animals knowing how many hypocrites want to save animals because they are uncomplicated and less responsibility than children…because animals activists are so often just irresponsible adolescents.

            I love animals and would do all I could to save one if I saw it in distress, but I would do it as much if not more for a baby…but I don’t have a global window to make people fall in love with babies as we do with animals.

            I have done animal volunteer adoption efforts for nearly 7 years and been pro life for a decade now and how I am treated by people for helping animals versus the unbelievable hostility I encounter for peaceful defense of unborn babies is undeniable and, frankly, a tragic statement on what ‘compassion’ and ‘defense of the helpless’ means in this promiscuous, irresponsible, selfish culture.

            And educated college students from the ‘best’ schools are among the worst. Just last weekend a Harvard grad attacked us and spewed the most vile bilge at us.

            Sorry to vent, but there is ZERO parity between people who are animal rescuers and those who try and save babies. I wish there were, but the compassion is so much of it apparently based on it being ‘in’ and easier to treat animals as the new children.

            God did not make cats and dogs in His image, He made us in His image and we treat his miracles like feces.

            Again, apologies, but having been in both worlds I have no doubt of my evidence.

            Like

            • And when animals are euthanized they are not killed live and in agony and cut up into pieces to be sold for profit as babies are.
              There is plenty of video on this…but we are not allowed to share it as we can millions of animals ‘give them compassion’ videos.

              Like

              • Janie M. says:

                jkash, the euthanized animals are sold to companies which in turn sell them to pet food manufacturers. Problem is whatever drugs they used during the “execution” remains in the animals muscles and yup, it ends up in the pet food.

                Like

        • sherrihuntley0870 says:

          People also have mouths to speak with, animals don’t.

          Like

      • IMO, we do good things where our heart takes us……..if that is helping a dog or a humane, it’s all good and part of doing god’s work.

        Liked by 3 people

        • BigMamaTEA says:

          LOL (at myself) RTD, at first I misread your comment as “doing DOG’s work instead of God’s. {I need more coffee this am.!)

          Mornin’ treeps…

          Like

      • 17CatsInTN says:

        I think we can do both. We’re big enough, warm hearted enough and have the resources. It’s the people who refuse to look outside themselves that are the problem.

        Liked by 3 people

      • wondering999 says:

        millwright: thinking about what you said, and how difficult it is to help children who need rescue. There are many more laws and risks to navigate in rescuing children.
        When I was little I remember a family of alcoholic parents and two very small children down the street. The kids ran naked in November through the neighborhood, begging for food. The parents were not on welfare; that was in the days before most women worked outside the home, but the dad had a good income. They were just devoted to alcohol and hadn’t ever wanted to be parents in the first place (but well-meaning people had passed laws to restrict access to contraceptives in those days…)
        As a child I wondered why the adults didn’t do more to intervene. As an adult with children of my own, I realized that the alcoholics were proud, irrational, and prone to violence. Getting in their way could have gotten other children (like me) badly hurt.
        Anyway the first thing we could do would be to stop trying to force people into parenthood who don’t have the best interests of children in mind. Second would be to work on our adoption laws so that parents are not “entitled” to children who are clearly abused by their biological parents… but that’s tough too. I know at least three instances where parents of nonverbal or barely verbal children have been “investigated” and terrorized by well-meaning bureaucrats who decided that ordinary discipline is child abuse.
        It’s not so easy to help human children as to help animals, and it’s a lot riskier for everyone

        Like

    • amwick says:

      I have to think they knew this sweet dog was not injured, just scared, poor baby… I loved seeing his spirit restored… A beautiful boy,,, I can’t believe he was abandoned!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • nikkichico7 says:

      🙂❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

      Like

    • andyocoregon says:

      That poor dog was rescued and nursed back to health only to have his testicles cut off. Poor dog.

      Liked by 2 people

      • BigMamaTEA says:

        Man oh man….Guys are sensitive about that! I bet you had your knees together andy when you typed that!!!!

        Liked by 3 people

        • BigMamaTEA says:

          {snicker}

          Liked by 1 person

        • Janie M. says:

          BigMama, watched a long Chad Prather video the other night, he interviewed a former Navy Seal (named Mike), who was involved with the dogs of war during his time in and after he became a civilian. He currently does dog training and I believe he said, he has around 100 former military K-9s at his facility which he shelters. Very interesting guy. Anyway, he doesn’t believe in neutering the dogs – he says it affects their hormone balance.

          Liked by 1 person

          • BigMamaTEA says:

            Yes, you are correct. His name is Mike Ritland, and he has written a book about his training SEAL dogs. The first 100 people to buy the book, got one autographed by Mike, and he had a SEAL dog he’s training BITE the book for the SEAL Dog’s autograph!!

            My copy….the teeth marks almost meet from the front side and the back side. I have some center pages only that do not have at least one hole in them!! HA!

            Liked by 2 people

      • Dave says:

        When my family was young back in the 80s, we got our first dog. Subsequent dogs were strays. They were rescued from bad neighborhoods near where I worked. I always wanted our dogs “fixed” for many good reasons, but my wife and daughters were adamantly against me on that. When our male mixed breed at age nine was having problems with an enlarged prostate, the vet recommended what I wanted done when he was a pup. She said that procedure would have been easier on him when he was young, but it will relieve him nonetheless. We had it done, and soon thereafter, I found another mixed breed puppy. Jerry was happy to “mentor” his new friend. He went on to live another 7+ years! Today, I’m dogless here at home due to much less mobility, and I couldn’t walk them like I used to if I had any. But each of my daughters’ families is where my grand-dogs live, and I always look forward to visiting them! And everyone in my family now supports neutering/spaying their pets at the recommended time.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Blue Ridge Mts. Va says:

          I am completely against early spay/neuter. This is why.

          A new study of German Shepherd Dogs adds to a growing body of research on the damaging effects of spaying and neutering on dogs
          Earlier studies on other breeds, including Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, and Vizslas, suggest that desexing can dramatically increase the risk for serious diseases and behavioral disorders in these dogs
          When dealing with 100 percent responsible pet owners, my preference is to leave dogs intact whenever possible to avoid unnecessary risks of anesthesia. When pets must undergo a sterilization procedure, I advocate an alternative procedure to a full spay or neuter that spares the gonads and ovaries, which produce hormones essential to good health
          Ovary sparing spays are equally as effective as traditional spays at preventing unwanted litters, but they are less invasive and eliminate the risk of endocrine damage
          Veterinary schools need to teach less damaging sterilization methods to students, as research shows our current surgical approach to controlling unwanted pregnancies can permanently affect dogs in negative ways. In addition, the surgical technique used by high volume spay clinics and shelters to sterilize very young dogs could easily be updated to a less damaging technique, while still accomplishing the goal of preventing unwanted litters.

          https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/07/27/neutering-spaying-effects.aspx

          Like

  7. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 11 people

  8. Garrison Hall says:

    Wayne Henderson is a famous guitar maker who’s shop is in a tiny 7 person town in rural Virginia. His guitars are so sought after that I’m told he has a 7-10 year waiting list—you put a deposit down and wait . . . and wait. If you’re a steel-string player getting a new Wayne Henderson guitar is like having a dozen Christmases all at once. Wayne is also doggone good guitar player too . . . Here he plays the traditional “Billy In The Lowland” on a guitar he made.

    Liked by 9 people

    • Dave Mitchell says:

      He also made a custom guitar for Eric Clapton and there is an excellent book, “ Clapton’s Guitar” that chronicles the process. Clapton happened to pick up one of his guitars in a studio in NYC and exclaimed he wanted one. When Wayne was told Eric Clapton wanted one of his guitars, he asked, “Eric who?”. Love the Red Sox hat too…

      Liked by 3 people

      • Garrison Hall says:

        I have the book. The story of Wayne, his shop, and friends better than the actual event of Clapton receiving the guitar. Eric Clapton is not a nice man.

        Like

    • amwick says:

      I sent this to my husband.. He is trying so hard to do some picking…. and he loves guitars…. TY

      Like

  9. Lucille says:

    SPRING

    Video/Photography by Jamie Scott
    Music by Jim Perkins

    Liked by 4 people

  10. citizen817 says:

    Liked by 10 people

  11. Deplorable_Infidel says:

    Payday Someday

    While our children were growing up, by God’s gracious provision, our family had a small janitorial business to supplement our financial needs. We always took the children even if all they were able to do was gather the wastebaskets. One day, the girls were less than enthusiastic about their participation. So, without really thinking it through, I told them: “If you work hard with a good attitude, when you graduate high school, mom and I will buy you a car.” I only promised that once but, they never forgot it, nor would they let me forget, nor allow me not to follow through on my promise.

    Our Heavenly Father has a fantastic promise for every blood-bought believer. Referring to the time when we graduate from this life into eternity, 1 Corinthians 3:8 says: “…every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.” With absolute certainty, we are assured the Lord will handsomely reward us for service done for the Lord Jesus Christ after salvation. Reconfirming this confidence, the Apostle Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”

    As we meditate on this encouraging promise, we should also comprehend one key related truth. Any reward will be proportionate to our effort in service. As stated above, everyone will be given reward “…according to his own labour” (1 Cor. 3:8). If we choose to do little or nothing for the Lord after salvation, this will be reflected in little reward received. Second Corinthians 9:6 states it this way: “…he which soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” As a high school yearbook reflects one’s participation in school, or lack thereof, our records in eternity will correspond with our service and reward. That makes it important for us to busy ourselves now with activities that will matter once we reach eternity. We can serve Christ by inviting or transporting folks to church, presenting the gospel, handing out gospel tracts, serving in the church nursery, teaching the Scriptures, assisting in youth ministries, giving faithfully, doing follow-up on visitors, befriending newcomers to church, and much more. The limit on serving Christ is only our imagination and our willingness.

    Don’t be among the foolish who serve only self in this life. Choose to do something today to further the cause of Christ. Remember, there will be a payday someday.

    By Pastor John Fredericksen

    https://www.bereanbiblesociety.org/payday-someday/

    1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

    1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Garrison Hall says:

    I know I’ve shown this video before but I think it’s hilarious. In addition to being a great guitar maker and great picker, Wayne Henderson has a great sense of Southern humor. The best jokes are those that are sharp but also gentle. Jill Wagner was doing a TV report on Wayne’s guitars when he offered to show her hhis “pet mongoose”. Yeah, right. Jill was a good sport about it all.

    Liked by 8 people

  13. nwtex says:

    Christchurch mosque attack: Up to 14 years’ jail for video sharers as Commissioner asks Facebook to give police names
    19 Mar, 2019

    […]
    “Facebook should be notifying the police of the account names of people who have shared this content,” Edwards told RNZ this morning.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12214083

    Liked by 2 people

    • olderwiser21 says:

      Big Brother

      Liked by 4 people

    • millwright says:

      newrtex: Methinks the “video sharers ” are going to get far more gaol time than the perp ! I’vze long thought the ‘tother side of equator ‘ mates were a bit loony, but never did I suspect the Zeelanders of the same sort of idiocacy ! And these are the same people seeking to lure American sportspersons to pursue their imported game and fish ? Piss off
      ANZACS !

      Liked by 2 people

    • pacnwbel says:

      Would that the press spend a little more time informing us of the Christans being massacred by Muslims in Nigeria, 127 precious souls butchered in the last three weeks alone, is anyone talking about this horror?

      Liked by 2 people

  14. citizen817 says:

    I love Fleetwood Mac!

    Liked by 8 people

  15. Jase says:

    Hi all. I’m not sure this is a forum for it, or if I even have the right to ask – being very much a part-time branch sitter – so I apologise in advance to ad rem and you all, but:

    If anyone has any spare little prayers, I sure feel like I could use some.
    Last year my beautiful wife was appointed to run a charity in the town where we live. It was in pretty dire straits, having been terribly managed for a long time, and she has literally been working 70-80 hours a week to try to turn it around.
    The charity runs op shops as a way to raise revenue, but they just never seemed to hit the mark. This week newly installed cctv footage showed why. A local dealer had a little network of ‘volunteers’ funnelling any goods worth real money to him so he could sell them in his own shop. The police didn’t seem that interested “too busy”, but I was just furious. Every item stolen was like stealing a blanket off a homeless person or snatching a cup of hot soup out of a hungry person’s hand.
    My wife was so heartbroken I had to do something so I fronted this guy. I tried to play nice and said the charity was going to pursue it with police and if he would return the items I could make sure nothing else would happen. I guess all I really hoped to achieve was to stop him from stealing from a charity.
    End result: he got on the phone and his big thug mates started to arrive. I’m 50-something, 5’6” and 120 lbs, but I made it out after they made it clear they where going to track down where I live.
    I’ll take my licks if it comes to it because I believe if you’ve done the right thing you can take solace in that, but I’m worried for my wife and her pets which, as we couldn’t have children, she adores.
    I could really do with any spare thoughts and prayers anybody may have for her.
    Again, I apologise if this is out of line or inappropriate.

    Liked by 15 people

    • olderwiser21 says:

      Jase – Totally appropriate, and lots of prayers headed your way! God Bless you and your sweet wife!

      Liked by 5 people

    • Jase,
      Absolutely will pray for you and your wife and safety for all of you.
      And for God to turn this around for His glory!

      Another idea would be to post this on the Prayer Requests–check out the candle in upper right side of the page and that will take you to that page. Keep us posted. Remember David was much smaller than Goliath 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    • smiley2 says:

      maybe now that you’ve been physically & verbally threatened by this thug and his thug-mates, the local police will take more of an interest ?

      clearly, he’s afraid of LE…file a report…threatening someone = an assault.

      …before it escalates.

      you’ve got it on record, too.

      Liked by 6 people

    • millwright says:

      Jase: We need details : names descriptions , locale etc. Lots of serious talent here in the tree and we have ways to pressure the establishent if you’re being straight with us ! ” Ripping off ” charitable orgs is an old scam. What you describe are variants on the “switctheroo ” or “shuftie ” cons .

      Liked by 1 person

    • amwick says:

      Jase, oh… I feel so bad for you and your wife… Now that you have video of the volunteers, could you confront them?? Or just find new volunteers?
      Also the police may not be interested in the theft of donated items, but they should care if someone or somebodies have threatened you. That is a very serious offense.

      Bless and keep you both, don’t be a stranger!

      Liked by 2 people

    • nikkichico7 says:

      God bless you Jase and keep you and your wife safe from harm.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Poster says:

      Jase, Sympathize with your situation, and will corroborate your report of “volunteers ” funneling any goods worth real money” to other outside people.

      Having noticed the same dire straits of “charity organizations” that you mention your wife inherited, I spent six months volunteering at various sites on different days of the week.

      I had a hard time understanding why some of the workers gave me a cold shoulder, and seemed to give off “you are not wanted here” vibes.
      I stuck to what I was doing, sorting one particular section of each store. Over time, as
      I went back each week, various incidents stuck in my mind:
      One time, I was sorting in the back, and in walked “a customer” past the curtains and the sign that said no admittance. She started looking through items on a large shelving unit that one of the workers had said was his to stock with items that would go out into the store.
      This ‘customer’ appeared to be on very intimate terms w/the worker, who classified himself as being in charge of the back. Evidently she checked in every week with this worker to see if he had held anything back for her that was “special”, that had not been put on the shelving unit to go into the store.

      At a different “charity”, I volunteered to clean, sort, and sweep very long aisles that were cluttered, filthy, and full of trash underneath the shelving. Mostly I brought all needed items, broom, dustpan, garbage bags, rags to clean shelves, etc.
      However, what I could not understand was the attitude of the person in charge of the back room, who seemed to be on the defensive if I had to enter the back room for any reason (hauling full trash bag to back). It felt like all employees in the back were part of something going on, that no one else who was not part of their group was allowed privy to.
      This effort of cleaning these aisles took repeated trips over weeks, and as I went to the back to haul another full trash bag, I noticed the back room ‘dumpster’ had perfectly good
      items in it.

      In the above first instance of worker/”customer” relationship, I eventually became convinced that this guy was setting aside the more valuable items in bins hidden
      underneath his workplace, and only secondary items were actually put on the shelving unit for placement in the store.
      Having surreptitiously watched this guy for over 40 hours, I saw he spent more time on his cell phone (texting), than actually sorting and pricing items for placement in the store.

      In the second site related above, I became convinced the “manager” of the store was operating a sleight of hand operation, w/all the back room employees in on it.. She was never up front on register, or in store itself, sorting, categorizing what was there, or bringing things out to stock the store. My suspicions were good items were being put in the dumpster, and then later removed when dumpster was placed outside.

      I think the answer is in the “newly installed cctv footage.” I would go even further and install additional security cameras after closing hours, with all employees gone, in strategic viewing areas.

      You said your wife was appointed to run the charity. Was it city council, a supervisor of chain thrift stores?
      If it was city council, I would take the footage to them, and have them force the police to go after the offenders.

      Make copies of the footage, give to Sheriff’s dept. (of course keeping one copy for your own records), and to City Attorney?
      If these creeps come back, tell them copies of the surveillance video has been given to every branch of law enforcement (in tri-county), and they might want to look forward to receiving a visit from LEO’s.

      Do not despair. It is entirely possible these creeps are working other “charity” organizations also, and you are doing what is right to stop these crooks from ripping off the poorest of the poor.

      Liked by 7 people

    • sherrihuntley0870 says:

      Have seen that happen where we live also. Hope the prayers do you and your wife lots of good as I know there will be many. I’ll include mine.

      Like

  16. GSparrow says:

    Here is the excellent video “Seattle is Dying” that Tucker mentioned.

    If this KOMO production doesn’t win an award I will be very surprised. The TV station in Washington state is definitely not fake news if it can make this kind of powerful video about a life and death issue that casts Dem politicians in a very bad light in the heart of a Dem state.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Rynn69 says:

      DRUGS. That is the problem. SECURE THE BORDER.

      Liked by 6 people

      • Janie M. says:

        And it’s inept City Council, Rynn. What is in it for them I wondered. I watched approximately half of the video, couldn’t take any more than that. Watching mentally ill druggies was too wearing. I felt badly for the LEOs, just wanting to do their jobs but having their hands tied by the judiciary. Disgusting.

        Liked by 1 person

    • millwright says:

      GSp: There is a way to “fix” this issue, but no one – at least in the poitical arena – wants to pursue it . Sweep up all the “trash” and confine them in compounds where they can get medical, psychological and physical care willingly if possible , but by force if neccessary . We can rehabilitate these individuals ( if possible ) or we can just isolate them from society.

      Liked by 3 people

      • amwick says:

        Remember when there were laws about vagrancy?? Not saying that should come back, but I like your idea, many of the homeless have mental health/substance abuse problems, and they need help…. Some newer version of the CCC, with emphasis on assistance, hmmmmm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • BigMamaTEA says:

        But remember back in the 60-70’s millwright….was it around then.(?)..when all the rage was getting rid of mental facilities….so of course there is/was no place now for afflicted to go, so a lot end up homeless on the street….and now if they weren’t previously addicted to something, a lot now are.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes. Geraldo Rivera broke a big story on Willowbrook State Mental Institution on Staten Island that shocked the public and changed laws on incarceration of the mentally ill.

          Liked by 2 people

          • The abuse/conditions were horrifying. Very depressing to think we had helpless people, children living in such neglect. Politicans responded to public outcry and as typical, we overreacted. Courts and policy need to change. Especially for people who don’t stay on their meds or are a danger to the public.

            Liked by 3 people

            • Janie M. says:

              RTD, Mike Cernovich did a number of tweets on RealJamesWoods twitter page regarding the mental illness of his mother who ended up institutionalized. Heartbreaking. What followed were an extensive numbers of tweets from other individuals regarding the mental illnesses of their family members. It’s as if a floodgate opened.

              Liked by 2 people

              • Janie M. says:

                P.S. The prevailing issue in all these tweets were the relative’s failure to comply with their medication regimen.

                Like

              • sherrihuntley0870 says:

                There is also much abuse of the “OLD FOLKS” that are in the so called ‘rest homes’. Too bad there isn’t something to be done about that as well as the mentally ill people.

                Like

      • wondering999 says:

        millwright, people who have worked with the mentally ill would have many stories to tell (if it isn’t a “HIPAA violation”

        Who will do the hard work of assisting/monitoring/restraining a person who will possibly smear their own feces all over the living quarters? or attack when you least expect it?

        The caretakers of the mentally ill are expected to do dangerous and sometimes dirty work, often for minimum wage… who in our society has the patience and the mission to do this? Not many people want to do the work, it’s sort of like being a prison guard. You don’t want to leave this work to people who simply couldn’t find any other line of employment or who are perverts/sadists. But if people feel degraded doing this mission, then what?

        Many of the state governments have training programs for caretakers that are available through websites that require passwords and permissions to get access and learn about fire safety, medication administration, safe/legal restraints and much much more. These should be available through public libraries… more people should learn and help

        Like

    • andyocoregon says:

      Fox & Friends interviewed that former Seattle cop who, after 18 and 1/2 years quit his job in disgust because he was tired of constantly being told to crack down on the homeless druggies only to have another supervisor criticize him when he did so. Who could blame him? It’s good this issue is getting national attention once again, but I’m not optimistic much will be done about it since the city management is liberal and loony.
      The same thing is going on in Portland, Oregon.

      Liked by 4 people

  17. nwtex says:

    I have a print of this…… I treasure it.

    Liked by 9 people

  18. nwtex says:

    Liked by 8 people

  19. getfitnow says:

    FTA – Chicago´s Fraternal Order of Police is officially requesting a federal investigation into whether the Cook County State´s Attorney, Kim Foxx, tried to interfere into the department´s investigation of “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on behalf of a former Obama administration official. CWB Chicago, which has covered the Smollett case from the beginning, reports that Chicago´s police union requested the investigation in a letter to John R. Lausch, the U.S. Attorney in Chicago on Monday.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/44859/chicago-police-union-want-federal-investigation-emily-zanotti

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Dora says:

    “Fishing for Lafayettes” 1908 Oil on linen by John Sloan (American,1871-1951)..

    Best known for his urban genre scenes and ability to capture neighborhood life in New York City

    A founder member of the Ashcan School of art.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. smiley2 says:

    The Ideology Of Socialist Conquest

    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/03/the_ideology_of_socialist_conquest.html

    March 19, 2019

    article by Alexander Markovsky

    a very good and very well-articulated article…and very timely…since our future hangs in the balance..

    the struggle between “equality” and wealth creation, and how that will impact America’s future.

    the Democratic Party has always been “bonded by ideology ” : namely, economic equality

    “It appeals to those who see themselves as unfortunate, underpaid and exploited victims of capitalism , overwhelmed with envy…”

    the Dems have successfully “corralled” these victims with promises of a better life, free everything…and “laws to bill all of that to the rich . ”

    …as well as then villifying The Rich for not giving up their wealth voluntarily.

    “By skillfully mobilizing resentment and capitalizing on the ideological weakness of the Republicans, they have accrued a high level of success, and redefined our Republic…”

    in fact, in too many states, they’ve gone so far as to “offer suffrage” to illegal foreigners…producing an “unprecedented shift of electoral politics.”

    the Republicans…the Conservatives…have no superior alternative ideology or strategy to offer as a counterweight to the Dems socialist “fairness vs greed” demogoguery.

    the author makes another good point : for decades, Republicans have wrongly assumed that all Americans love to work….or even that most Americans love to work.

    …but, dismally, there is a “huge segment” of our population who have been “lured by the Democrats into government dependence”…and some who have skipped the intermediate phase (socialism) and are living in actual communism (!)…

    …and, for those, Trump is actually frightening them with the promise of : MORE JOBS !

    ..while the Dems promise them : MORE DOLES !

    wow…that’s bizarre…but true .

    “In the absence of the ideological counterweight, the intoxicating songs of the sirens of economic equality and universal happiness will eventually lure this already indoctrinated population into what Ronald Reagan called ‘a thousand years of darkness’ “.

    more, in the article.

    Alexander Markovsky’s credentials are at the foot of the article…he is also the author of Liberal Bolshevism: America Did Not Defeat Communism, She Adopted It .

    Liked by 8 people

  22. nwtex says:

    Student Claims Civil Rights Violation by Transgender Student in Locker Room
    March 14, 2019

    -snipped-
    According to that complaint, the girl was in the locker room back in September and saw the transgender student while both were undressing.

    “I glanced down and could tell that he was wearing women’s underwear and what was underneath it.”

    “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone who identifies as a woman changing in the women’s locker room because that’s how they feel, that shouldn’t be judged, I don’t think they’re trying to be sexual or harass anyone by doing that. I think that’s their right,” said Elizabeth Ritter of Beach Lake.

    https://wnep.com/2019/03/14/student-claims-civil-rights-violation-by-transgender-student-in-locker-room/

    Liked by 3 people

  23. nwtex says:

    He luvies his doggie big time!!! — “Holly”

    I must catch this! I miss O’Reilly so much. He’s a thinker. And contributes to what is said…it’s a “back and forth” he also challenges the guests as opposed to some of the others who just give the floor to whomever is the guest.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. smiley2 says:

    UPDATE : I AM NOT

    Update: FOX News Anchor Bret Baier Responds To Source’s Jeanine Pirro Claim : “It’s Not Me. Period.”

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/03/fox-news-anchor-bret-baier-responds-to-sources-jeanine-pirro-claim-its-not-true-period/

    March 19, 2019

    his response to recent “intimate source” claims that he was involved in getting Judge Jeanine suspended in order to “curry favor” with Dems, etc…reported yesterday..

    “I am not. It’s not me”

    period.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. nwtex says:

    Liked by 5 people

  26. nwtex says:

    💕

    Liked by 7 people

    • Dora says:

      Melania is one of those fortunate women who gets prettier as she ages. She is beautiful in that picture, but she’s even more stunning now. IMO.

      Her hubby is quite a looker too. 🙂

      Liked by 6 people

  27. duchess01 says:

    Verse of the Day

    “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
    Proverbs 10:22 (KJV)

    Liked by 4 people

  28. smiley2 says:

    Moonrise

    watercolor/paper

    1884

    Stanislaw Maslowski ~ Polish (1853-1926) ~ Impressionism

    🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  29. WeeWeed says:

    Mornin’ infidels!

    Liked by 7 people

  30. Dora says:

    St. Patrick’s is going geothermal! Wow! That ought to send them straight to heaven. (sarc)

    ====

    St. Patrick’s Cathedral digs deep for modernizing

    NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) – Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, the historic landmark on 5th Avenue, has been under-going a modernizing transformation.

    Engineers have installed a maze of new pipes so the 140-year-old building can now be heated and cooled with something called “geothermal technology”.

    http://www.fox5ny.com/news/st-patrick-s-cathedral-digs-deep-for-modernizing#/

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Spring has sprung !!!

    Enjoy…………………

    Liked by 1 person

  32. nikkichico7 says:

    The God Who Comforts
    MARCH 20, 2019
    2 Corinthians 1:3-7
    3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. 6 But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; 7 and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

    Look up comfort in a dictionary and you’ll find a definition like “something that promotes a state of ease or provides freedom from pain and anxiety.” But according to God’s Word, when consolation is needed, the only true solution is the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Greek, He is called paraklētos, which means “he who stands at one’s side; he who comes to one’s aid.” Believers don’t have to rely on outward remedies or distractions to ease their mind, because help is available from the ultimate Comforter.

    Even before the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell believers (John 14:26; Eph. 3:16), Scripture identified God as the one who comforts His people (Isa. 40:1; Isa. 49:13). The Lord personally provides consolation and reassurance because no one knows our hurts the way He does.

    I like this anonymous quotation: “When we have gone into the furnace of affliction, His hand is on the thermostat and His eye is on the clock.” God allows hardship, and as a result, we become stronger believers, wiser servants, and more humble people. But He stays by our side through the entire experience, sustaining us and limiting the intensity and duration of our distress. The Spirit’s reassuring whisper to our heart gives more comfort than the solace of family or the encouragement of friends.

    People who fail to understand the true source of comfort try to escape their pain. They seek out pleasures, material wealth, or drugs and alcohol to soothe them. Only God can offer lasting relief from the crushing pressure of heartache. He even brings joy into periods of mourning.
    intouch.org
    Dr. Charles Stanley

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Dora says:

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Springtime folks……………….
    This number was a Broadway tune “State Fair” by Rodgers and Hammerstein, but has been covered by many many artists, including Ella and Frank……here is a very off-beat jazzy cover.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I posted this last night:

    Thanks to all prayer warriors and those sending positive thoughts to me today! Both surgeries went in the best possible direction. The first one, Mohs surgery, to remove a lesion which was biopsied as basel cell carcinoma, was removed with the first surgical procedure. That went very quickly and was the best possible outcome.

    Then, the second surgery, with the ophthalmologist, ended up also able to be completed in the best possible way…no skin grafts, dissolvable stitches, no bandage. Of course, it looks awful…bruised and swollen; good thing I work from home!

    Only bad part was a two hour delay in the second surgery as the surgery before mine ended up being more complicated than expected…that was very unpleasant. But, once completed everything went rather quickly for me/

    BTW. I thought what i had was a stye….it was in the corner between my eye and my nose. So, if you ever have what you think is a stye and it doesn’t go awhile after a few months, good to have it checked out. Fortunately, basel cell is the least serious form of cancer, very shallow and slow moving. The problem was more the location which complicated the whole situation. I am so glad it is done!!

    Thanks again for the support…it really helps and means a lot to me.

    Liked by 8 people

  36. andyocoregon says:

    Google and Facebook won’t like this documentary:

    Liked by 1 person

    • FAce book blocked the long column I pasted…and you couldn’t be bothered to read it because it was an unseemly length. How ironic that you and Facebook have much in common, deciding what is worthy of people’s notice and what deserves disdain.

      Like

  37. A Preface:
    Please moderator accept my apologies for the length of this, but it MUST be read (and I know that being so emphatic is a challenge for many to NOT do something, but I cannot indicate this article enough since it is being posted on a site by a priest who literally EVERYONE now agrees was railroaded and wrongly incarcerated, with witnesses either admitting to being bribed by prosecutors, or threatened by prosecutors (the psychiatrist who testified that the victim’s testimony was viable later recanted—AFTER it was documented outside that the witness, a serial accuser, admitted to having made ‘easy money’ with his testimony). Dorothy Rabinowitz’s first article in the wall street journal (which can be found within the VOLUMES of articles by this priest and by numerous, highly esteemed guest columnists who have recognized this travesty of justice) years ago opened the doors to the public learning about ‘the rest of the story’ that the public never hears about, of priests betrayed by bishops and diocese in order to retain good standing or in order to get freebies or in order to cover up the REAL transgression going on under cover of piety and cooperation with rabid mobs.
    thesestonewalls.com will completely change your viewpoint and since I now know of THREE priests who have all been shamefully thrown to the wolves without real due process, I truly believe that it’s my obligation to be a witness for them.
    Every Wednesday a new column, usually typed out on an ancient typewriter, by a priest who is still badly injured from a beating that he got early in his imprisonment, from hooded convicts whose leader he later learned and forgave. What comes out has from day one strongly put me in mind of being there in prison with John the Baptist or numerous saints and martyrs who didn’t have the technology to share their astounding growth in faith under unimaginable tribulation.
    Please read and pray and if grace urges you to, share.
    This is truly an example of ‘in the end they came for me…and there was nobody left to stand for me’.
    This is an omen of things to come without action on our part to reverse this sham justice

    Like

  38. Again, apologies for length but it’s a fascinating and mind opening read.

    Just note that the hands of any judge who would rule that there was literally no evidence and reverse the conviction have been tied, because in Australia retrial will once again be by jury.
    Full disclaimer, I now know Father Macrae (correspondence written to him in prison is not allowed to give him the title of priest, it will be rejected) and have been astounded by his effort to give me advice on writing and starting a blog…sending me snail mail, from prison, where his humble, courageous priestly efforts and humility have reaped converts in a place rife with atheists and jihad converts.

    http://thesestonewalls.com/gordon-macrae/for-cardinal-george-pell-justice-descends-down-under/

    POSTED BY FR. GORDON J. MACRAE ON MARCH 20, 2019 2 COMMENTS

    FOR CARDINAL GEORGE PELL, JUSTICE DESCENDS DOWN UNDER
    Sharing is caring!

    Across the world, Cardinal George Pell’s trial is seen as a victory for an epidemic of anti-Church sentiment. As we near Holy Week, this seems all too familiar.

    Introduction by Father Gordon MacRae: It is a privilege this week to present this exclusive guest post for These Stone Walls by Australian Attorney Malcolm Farr. His analysis and commentary on the trial of Cardinal George Pell is an eye-opener that begs to be widely read and shared.

    Malcolm’s most recent guest post in these pages was “The Pain of Suffering & the Power of Forgiveness.” He holds advanced degrees in law, physics and mathematics and is currently completing a Master of Theology degree at the University of Notre Dame in Freemantle, Australia. He is the principal attorney in the Intellectual Property Law Firm of Farr-IP in Western Australia.

    + + +

    Cardinal Pell’s life could have been very different. In 1959, when he was only 19 years old, he signed with one of Australia’s premier football clubs, the Richmond Tigers, and then appeared to be on a path that might have headed him toward recognition as one of the Australian sporting greats of his time. But something else took hold of him: “To put it crudely,” he said, “I feared and suspected and eventually became convinced that God wanted me to do His work, and I was never able to successfully escape that conviction.” In God’s work he rose spectacularly through priestly ranks, becoming bishop, then archbishop, and finally cardinal. In 2014 he was appointed to head the newly formed Vatican Secretariat for the Economy, occupying the third most powerful position in the Vatican, and even before this he had been spoken of as papabile – someone who could be considered a real candidate for election to the throne of Saint Peter.

    And now Cardinal Pell has been convicted of sexual abuse crimes. [See: The Media Report – The Witch Hunt Against Australia’s Cardinal George Pell: Five Facts You Need To Know]

    The immediate frenzy about Cardinal Pell’s conviction has died down, and things here in Australia have returned to (relative) normality. As seems only right, given the Australian mindset, sport – that other area in which he might have made his name – once again seems to dominate our news. So now is a good time to take stock, and to look at issues surrounding his conviction with, I hope, greater balance than seemed to be on show in the immediate aftermath of the news of his conviction being released. I’d like to look at a few aspects of the conviction itself, and the changing social attitudes which surround it, and may to some extent have informed it. Cardinal Pell is one who reveals very little of his inner self in public, and I hope you will forgive me if, in the absence of something from the man himself, I express some tentative conjectures about his motivations.

    I’ll state at the outset that I do not know, as a matter of simple fact, whether Cardinal Pell actually committed the abominable acts upon a former choir boy of which he was accused and found guilty. How could I? What I do know is that:

    he held a Vatican passport and, because there was no extradition treaty in force between Australia and the Vatican, his return to Australia to stand trial was necessarily of his own free will;
    a first trial was held, resulting in a hung jury which voted 10 for acquittal, and two for conviction. In these circumstances (when thoughts of further prosecution would normally be dismissed as being unlikely to produce a guilty verdict) a re-trial was nonetheless ordered;
    at his re-trial, Cardinal Pell was found guilty by a jury of twelve, yet continues to maintain his innocence and is appealing his conviction; and
    some aspects of the case have raised serious questions amongst legal commentators, while simultaneously the reaction from much of the public here (or at least that of its more vocal elements) has seemed quite extraordinary.
    A FEW ASPECTS OF CARDINAL PELL’S TRIAL

    Cases of “historical sexual abuse” have become something of a norm in legal systems around the world, including Australia. And the further back in time they reach, with rare exceptions, the less they are able to rely on forensic evidence. On the contrary, they can become more a contest in credibility, accuser versus accused – and this, while the standard for conviction remains “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

    This standard ultimately derives from the encounter between God and Abraham in Genesis 18:16-32, where Abraham pleads for Sodom to be spared. He starts his bargaining with 50 people: what if there are 50 good people in the city? Surely God would not destroy it if 50 good people are to be found there? No, for the sake of those 50, God will spare it. But what if there are only 45? Or 40? Or 30? Or only 20? No, God will still spare it if just 20 good people can be found there. Finally, Abraham brings the number down to 10: will God spare Sodom for the sake of a mere 10 people? Yes, God will spare it for the sake of only 10 good people. (In fact, God destroys Sodom in the following chapter – Gen 19- but not before interceding through two angels who urge the one good man, Lot, to flee with his family.)

    In Gen 18:25, Abraham issues a challenge to God: “Do not think of doing such a thing: to put the upright to death with the guilty, so that upright and guilty fare alike! Is the Judge of the world not to act justly?” This has ultimately formed a cornerstone of human justice: that innocent people should not be punished for crimes that they have not committed. Thus in the 1760s, English judge Sir William Blackstone wrote that “the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer;” and Benjamin Franklin, writing about 20 years later, went even further: “it is better that 100 guilty persons should escape than that one innocent person should suffer.”

    It is therefore surprising, to say the least, that the jury at Cardinal Pell’s retrial must have dismissed a number of things – a number of things which were quite out of the ordinary – as not raising any reasonable doubt. From the evidence which was obtained from the prosecution’s own witnesses, these included the following departures from the norm, every one of which must have happened on that fateful day of the alleged abuse in the sacristy of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne. And all of these departures from the norm must have happened within a short space of time, less than a quarter of an hour. During this short space of time:

    The two former choirboys who accused Cardinal Pell (one of whom has since died, and whose accusation thus did not form part of the trial) left the post-Mass procession, with their absence going unnoticed by even one amongst the cathedral’s music ministry numbering some forty-or-so people, including the choir director, his assistant, the accuser’s fellow choirboys, and the choir’s adult members. Instead, the two accusers headed for the sacristy to indulge in the pleasures of illicit altar wine;
    Contrary to his long-standing practice, Cardinal Pell must have decided for this one time only not to greet worshippers after Mass, but instead to go directly to the sacristy to remove the vestments used for Mass. (In fact, the evidence showed that he was never alone in vesting before Mass or removing his Mass vestments afterwards.) There, seeing the young choirboys drinking, he revealed himself to be already in a state of sexual excitement, and assaulted the boys while the sacristy door supposedly remained open for anyone to freely enter;
    Contrary to their usual practice, neither the sacristan nor any of the altar servers can have been moving about between the cathedral sanctuary and sacristy, attending to their usual post-Mass duties such as returning the liturgical books and vessels to the sacristy. Not one of them happened to look through the apparently-open sacristy door and see the assault taking place;
    Not one of the priests who concelebrated Mass with Cardinal Pell returned to the sacristy to take their Mass vestments off. Again, not one of them happened to look through the apparently open sacristy door and see the assault taking place; and
    After the alleged assault, the two choirboys returned to the choir room, joining a post- Mass rehearsal. None of their fellows realized that they had been absent, or noted their late arrival. And no one at all noticed that the boys were distressed in any way.
    Despite all of these factors, the jury at Cardinal Pell’s re-trial nevertheless decided that there was no reasonable doubt as to the commission of the crime alleged, and returned a unanimous verdict finding him guilty nearly thirty years later.

    I must stress that I am not suggesting in any way whatsoever that the jury members, or indeed any of them, have been involved in a conspiracy against Cardinal Pell. I expect that they will have been twelve quite ordinary members of the Australian community. But I do wonder if they were infected with biases which are on the one hand anti-Church, and on the other in favour of anyone who alleges to be a victim. Together they are becoming a form of hysteria. Also relevant are public perceptions of Cardinal Pell and his demeanour which may have counted against him.

    Before moving to note a couple of the phenomena which underlie this, I’d like to mention that there was, for me, nothing which gave more extraordinary evidence of these biases than what happened on an Australian morning television program in the wake of Cardinal Pell’s conviction. Typical of such shows throughout the world, it features news and current affairs segments, as well as sections of chit-chat and entertainment. In no segment of the show that I saw, did its reporting of the case offer any analysis of the court’s decision. Instead, its two presenters berated one of its (normally favourite) former politicians-turned-commentators because he did not condemn others from the political sphere who had spoken words in favour of Cardinal Pell.

    WHAT IS TRUTH?

    In John 18:38, Pilate responds to Jesus’ statement that he came to bear witness to the truth by asking, “Truth? What is that?” Indeed, now more than ever, we must ask, “What is truth?” And now, more than ever, we must fight to regain it.

    There is a wonderful word, “truthiness,” which I understand to have been coined by American television host Stephen Colbert for the pilot episode of his show, The Colbert Report. It refers not to actual truth, but to what people choose to believe because it fits in with their worldviews, regardless of facts or evidence to the contrary, and no matter how illogical it may be. It depends upon emotional responses rather than clear-thinking. And there can be, I fear, too much truthiness, too much reliance upon emotional responses rather than clear-thinking, when it comes to issues of historical sexual abuse.

    One issue that has been constantly in the public mind in Australia has been that of priestly celibacy; and it is an issue which is being debated even now within various sections of the Church. (There is to be a plenary council of Australian bishops in 2019, at which I understand this issue will be raised by lay attendees for official consideration in the local synod, for possible movement “upstairs”.) One of the past priests of my own parish, who was both very effective and well loved, had previously been a married minister in the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church before being received into the Catholic Church and ordained as a priest. He was thus necessarily a married priest, given dispensation accordingly. With this history, many in my parish see no reason why priests shouldn’t be permitted to marry.

    Now, this is neither the time nor the place to discuss the question of priests being permitted to marry. Rather, what concerns me here is societal attitudes – the thinking that seemed at first to creep into society, pushed by vocal anti-Church extremists, but which has spread to the point where it is the norm, that there is something wrong, something inherently abnormal, about the Catholic Church and priestly celibacy. Thus there has developed the idea, increasingly widespread, that no priest can really remain celibate. They’re men, they have to receive sexual gratification, don’t they? And as claims of sexual abuse of children by priests (and other religious) have multiplied, some say that their normal sexual outlet must be something very abnormal indeed. Perhaps the worst I have heard is that Catholic seminaries are nothing more than “schools for paedophiles”. This is fuelled by the undoubted fact that there have been truly appalling paedophiles amongst Australian priests, such as the imprisoned, laicized Gerald Ridsdale. His prolific career as a child-molester cannot see him classified as anything less than an absolute monster. What he and others like him have done should never be minimized or glossed over.

    The problem is that the views of the vocal anti-Church extremists have been pushed to such an extent that all priests are now considered fundamentally untrustworthy in regard to sexual matters. The “Red under the bed” has become the priest in the bed, or the sacristy, or wherever. So whenever there is a claim of priestly sexual abuse, there is now more than a mere inclination to accept it at face value, without real questioning. There is now an inherent bias against the Church and its priests in this regard.

    In their defence, I note that Australians are far from unique in accepting such thinking and, from what I gather, there is a similar “truthiness” anti-Church bias throughout the Western world. But I do wonder if it is but one of a number of factors which counted, even if subconsciously, against Cardinal Pell.

    The second bias is toward people claiming to be victims. Now, please do not get me wrong: I am not in any way against victims – that is, genuine victims. Every genuine victim of sexual abuse, whether by a priest or anyone else, for that matter, deserves and should receive our utmost sympathy, and whatever assistance we can offer and provide. The victims of Gerald Ridsdale, mentioned above, suffered frightfully, and we should never, ever lose sight of this.

    The difficulty lies in distinguishing genuine complainants from those who are trying to play the “victim card” falsely – and anyone who reads These Stone Walls will be very aware that not all people claiming to be victims are in fact genuine victims.

    Although it does not relate to sexual assault, let alone abuse, everyone who has read or seen recent news reports will be aware of the case of actor Jussie Smollett. Appearing at first to have been the victim of a hate-crime relating to both his sexuality and his ethnicity, there was initially an outpouring of support for him, both from other celebrities and from the public at large. But, following up on various leads, Chicago police turned the tables on him, alleging that it was in fact he who planned the attack and paid two extras from his television show Empire to carry it out. And why would an attack like this be staged? The police case is that it was done so that he could be seen as a victim, and from this leverage better roles and higher pay. Smollett is now facing some 16 felony counts, and I am sure his trial will be watched with great interest.

    It must be acknowledged that, overall, studies have shown that false claims of sexual assault seem to have been far less common than genuine complaints, typically said to run at about 5%. That said, however, there is concern that false claims are becoming more common. This may be associated with a number of factors which work together synergistically, including: wanting to attain the status of a victim (as in the accusations now made against Jussie Smollett, noted above); the fact that historical claims of assault, particularly, can be decided on issues of credibility; the fact that some groups are subject to biases which may make their members more vulnerable to claims; and the increasing availability of victims’ compensation payments. Following the terrorist attacks in New York City on September 11, 2001, the Justice Department had to open a Special Fraud Task Force to weed out the fraudulent claims.

    There is also a real issue in the use of social media to provide a groundswell of support for complainants and against persons accused. To backtrack for a moment, although I mentioned above an Australian morning television show which failed (at least in so much of it as I saw) to treat Cardinal Pell’s conviction objectively, to be fair it should be acknowledged that it was merely doing what all such shows seem to do, throughout the world: taking a populist view in order to pander to its viewers. And where do viewers nowadays get most of their opinions? Partly from the shows they watch – this can’t be denied. But increasingly the greatest influence over people’s opinions is social media, which (considered generally, and not specifically in regard to matters of sexual abuse) has been shown, on the one hand, to outstrip traditional outlets in getting news – genuine news – into the public arena, while, on the other hand, feeding misinformation as much as fact.

    The problem with social media is that there are few, if any, real constraints on it. Whether through Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Snapchat, Twitter or any other social media platform, comments most often seem to spread fastest when they support populist agendas, regardless of truth or falsehood, or when they are, to put it simply, purely inflammatory or salacious.

    In the latter regard, a case which is now in the news in Australia concerns images from a “sex tape” video which were posted on a particular social media platform. These images showed a well known footballer having sexual relations with a young woman who was identified by a social media user as a particular person. This identification spread through the platform like wildfire. The problem was that it was actually a case of misidentification, and the woman’s life has since become a nightmare, and there is a real risk that many will forever regard her as the woman in the images. Her denials, her proofs to the contrary, may count for very little.

    The use of social media to advance a pro-victim mentality is well attested by the #MeToo and #BelieveWomen campaigns. In keeping with the vast majority of reported sexual assaults which are considered to be genuine, I do not doubt that the vast majority of people noting assaults against them in these campaigns will be equally genuine. But there will be some stories that are false. And these will be treated in exactly the same way as those that are genuine. Social media has no way of distinguishing the two. And so some will gain recognition as a victim, which they see in some sense as a prized status, unfairly.

    Social media is used no less heavily in relation to cases of alleged priestly sexual abuse than in any other context. And it is equally unconstrained. As soon as so much as a hint of a sexual abuse allegation appears, comments appear, are liked, are spread, and “go viral”. There is no question of objectivity, of determining the genuine from the false. Allegations are necessarily taken at face value. And it is through this that we see hashtags such as #PaedophilePell – yes, it exists – being spread through social media.

    And this all occurs even before the case goes to court…

    A PUBLICIST’S NIGHTMARE

    I suspect that Cardinal Pell might always have been considered a publicist’s nightmare.

    Whereas Pope Francis exudes warmth and genuine pastoral care, Cardinal Pell nearly always seems to have had exactly the opposite effect on those whom he encounters. His persona has always been reported to be cold, calculating and clinical rather than warm or sympathetic. And as the former footballer I noted at the beginning of this post, he has always been a very big man, tall, broad, and imposing. With his razor-sharp intellect and physical presence, the best single-word description for him could well be “intimidating” – and this word certainly seems to have been used quite regularly to describe him.

    Australians tend to resent “tall poppies” – not all tall poppies, mind you, but those in particular who have received great rewards in this life, but are neither appreciative nor humble. On the one hand, actor / singer Hugh Jackman is well loved across the land because, despite all his success, he has remained grounded, and is approachable and modest. Another such is actor Chris Hemsworth. These are the types of tall poppies in whose successes Australians rejoice. On the other hand, the boastful, ungrateful antics of tennis player Bernard Tomic have turned him into a consistent target for “boos” by Australian crowds, no matter how unsporting this might be. Unfortunately, he is regarded at present as a tall poppy of the worst kind. (I hope – and I believe most Australians likewise hope – that he can mature and change.)

    Having attained a cardinalate and a very senior position in the Vatican, Cardinal Pell is undoubtedly one of the tallest of tall poppies. But of what sort? Despite his demeanour, I expect that his interior disposition is both genuinely thankful and very humble. However, it is his aloof and seemingly disinterested exterior that has been on display to Australians for decades, and unfortunately it is not an exterior they like. It is again possible that this is a factor which may have disposed the members of the jury against him, even if only subconsciously. Unfortunately, Cardinal Pell does not seem to be concerned with anything so superficial as public perception.

    It has been suggested that Cardinal Pell’s apparent lack of sympathy for complainants in this area – and such a manner of conducting himself seems well attested – may derive from a “gatekeeper” mentality, wanting to defend the Church – his Church – from all attacks against it unless there is clear and convincing proof of wrongdoing on its part. If this is the case, he might perhaps have been adopting the standard that he himself would come to expect from the court when it came to his own trial. And if this were the case, this would be something on which he could properly be faulted. But I do not know, and suggestions that have been made in this regard are only conjecture.

    A last point that might be added on the issue of Cardinal Pell’s dealings with complainants – and again I wonder if it may possibly have been something which subconsciously influenced the members of the jury – is the popular feeling that a person who does not overtly display empathy for those who complain of sexual abuse, might be the very person who is capable of such an act. Again, in the public mind, Cardinal Pell’s aloof and uncompromising demeanour may have counted against him.

    One other issue might be mentioned. Having been ordained as a priest in 1966 while studying in Rome, Cardinal Pell then completed his doctorate at England’s prestigious Oxford University. Returning to Australia in 1971, he was appointed as assistant priest to Victoria’s Swan Hill parish, serving there for two years. This was the same parish where self-confessed child abuser Gerald Ridsdale, whom I mentioned above, had served between 1966 and 1969 – that is, leaving some two years before Cardinal Pell’s appointment there.

    Did Cardinal Pell know, and do nothing? Certainly, this is the feeling of a good friend of mine, a very devout Catholic who was in fact quite vehement about it. “He knew! He knew!!” Apart from the fact that Ridsdale had already left Swan Hill parish two years before Cardinal Pell’s appointment, I did not have the heart to remind her of recent circumstances in her own family, where she had only realized that all was not well in her daughter’s marriage a short while before her son-in-law walked away from it. She didn’t know; and if she didn’t, can we really expect that Cardinal Pell did?

    Both his status as Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric and the public’s negative perception of him seem to have undone Cardinal Pell, such that he has become the scapegoat and public face of all the sins – and unfortunately, there have been many – of the Church in Australia. And, when combined with the anti-Church and pro-alleged victim biases of which I spoke above, perhaps the wonder is not so much that he was convicted at his re-trial, but that his first trial resulted in a hung jury rather than a conviction.

    CARDINAL PELL’S APPEAL

    There has been much criticism of Cardinal Pell’s conviction in overseas media, which has been presented, in some instances, as a sad indictment on Australia’s legal system. One such indictment was Father Gordon MacRae’s post, “Cardinal Pell Is on Trial, and So Is Australia.”

    That said, Australia’s Justice System is fundamentally sound. Cardinal Pell is appealing his conviction, and the appeal will be heard before a panel of judges alone who will be expected to put aside all prejudices in a way that “ordinary” people may not. The appellate court will consider whether his conviction was unsafe, looking, among other things, to the list of factors I gave earlier which meant that so many things out of the ordinary course needed to have happened for the abuse to have occurred, or rather for it to be beyond a reasonable doubt that this was so.

    Yet if Cardinal Pell’s conviction is overturned on appeal, as is not unlikely, there will still be many who say that he “got away with it”, or even that he “got off on a technicality”. Here in Australia – as is indeed the case all around the world – it is ultimately the “court of public opinion” which will rule the day. For he would still be a pariah in many people’s eyes, forever #PaedophilePell.

    On the contrary, Cardinal Pell should be recognized as having taken a lead role in erecting structures in the Church here in Australia which have enabled it to move forward from what might, sadly, be termed an era of abuse, and into a new era of openness and security. In my own Perth archdiocese, for example, every parish has a lay safeguarding committee which keeps a general oversight on interactions and to whom any infractions may immediately be reported. There are no circumstances in which a priest will be alone with any child. Although this is quite properly aimed at protecting youngsters, it is a sad fact that it will also help protect our priests.

    I expect that, in days gone by, some young men, no doubt devout, presented themselves to our seminaries as candidates for the priesthood, knowing that they were afflicted by deviant thoughts. I find it hard to think (as many do) that they deliberately used the priesthood as a means to gain access to children. On the contrary, I believe that they will have presented themselves, undergone their priestly formation, and been ordained confident in the hope that a vocation in God’s service would help them overcome their thoughts, and certainly guard them against turning thoughts into acts. Unfortunately, evil overcame them.

    Under our new arrangements, I am told that intending seminarians are scrutinized very carefully before being granted admission. The aim is to ensure, so far as possible, that potential abusers no longer find entry through the seminary gates. And I further understand that candidates may be dismissed if anything untoward is found against them. While these things are in place to protect our children, it is another sad fact that I was told by a senior priest that intending seminarians are cautioned as to the possibility of false claims against them. Yet still they move forward in their vocations…

    Editor’s Note: Please share this important post and keep Cadinal Pell, Father MacRae and all the wrongfully imprisoned in your prayers. You may also want to read and share these related posts from These Stone Walls:

    Cardinal George Pell Is on Trial and So Is Australia
    Cardinal George Pell and Other Martyrs for a Nefarious Cause
    A Weapon of Mass Destruction: Catholic Priests Falsely Accused
    The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy on the Cover of Newsweek

    About Fr. Gordon J. MacRae
    The late Cardinal Avery Dulles and The Rev. Richard John Neuhaus encouraged Father MacRae to write. Cardinal Dulles wrote in 2005: “Someday your story and that of your fellow sufferers will come to light and will be instrumental in a reform. Your writing, which is clear, eloquent, and spiritually sound will be a monument to your trials.

    Like

    • andyocoregon says:

      Is this novel you posted here on the N.Y. Times Best Sellers List? /s

      Liked by 4 people

      • smiley2 says:

        way too long !

        Liked by 1 person

        • Patrick healy says:

          Well Andy and Smiley, probably fair comment on the length of post on Cardinal Pell, but it would be to the benefit of your enquiring minds to investigate what can only be described as a travesty of the Australian justice system.
          Have a look at Quadrant online or Andrew Bolt and many other sites for details.

          Like

          • Thank you, Patrick. This NOVEL neither the NY TIMES, CNN, or any of the broadcasts or papers will print….and people’s contempt makes my heart break.
            Thank you for getting it, Patrick.
            I like this place but there are some commenters whose compassion and intelligence just strikes me as so shallow sometimes….
            FACEBOOK has deliberately blocked this column, which had thousands around hte world reading it and so I brought it hearing under the impression that people who wanted JUSTICE would be enthralled.
            Silly me.

            Like

  39. patrickhenrycensored says:

    @JoD
    Less frequent visitation as sitting has become more difficult.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. Mr BiG Time says:

    The national association of realtors is #2 on the list of lobby money spent in D.C. – does this have anything to do with the very high 6% cost when selling a home ?

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Lucille says:

    Imagine, this traitor will be lauded, feted, and will aid the jihad in every way possible and there’s nothing we can do about it…

    US Taliban jihadi John Walker Lindh to be released in May, supports ISIS, advocates for global jihad
    March 20, 2019 8:16 AM By Robert Spencer
    https://www.jihadwatch.org/2019/03/us-taliban-jihadi-john-walker-lindh-to-be-released-in-may-supports-isis-advocates-for-global-jihad

    Liked by 2 people

  42. Mandy says:

    Sengalese guy set school bus on fire – with kids on it – in Italy….

    https://www.rt.com/news/454296-senegalese-man-italian-school-bus-fire/

    Liked by 1 person

  43. andyocoregon says:

    Oh Joy! Now I can have marijuana delivered to my front door. ….If I smoked it, that is, which I don’t.

    https://www.wweek.com/potlander/2019/03/19/two-established-cannabis-delivery-companies-just-expanded-into-portland-we-tried-them-both/

    Like

  44. Troublemaker10 says:

    Ryan Mauro’s documentary investigating if this site in Saudi Arabia is Biblical Mount Sinai. Interesting. It’s about 25 mins long.

    Finding the Mountain of Moses: The Real Mount Sinai in Saudi Arabia

    Like

    • Mandy says:

      Just finished the documentary and WOW it is EXCELLENT!

      HIGHLY recommend!

      The fact that the Saudis are extremely protective of the sites does not surprise me at all; if the House of Saud actually IS DonMeh, it makes complete sense that they’d protect it.

      DonMeh are jews who, back in the 1600s, did *public* conversion to Islam but that was for show, they remained jews. Supposedly it’s sort of ‘an elephant in the room’ over there – most know about it but … they only whisper about it. (Might get their head chopped if they did more than that, I suppose) Some speculate that the House of Saud, the important Turks, etc….are all DonMeh. If you’re curious, there’s a wiki about them, along with a LOT of edgy, conspiratorial type stuff out there.

      Like

  45. Troublemaker10 says:

    New faces in the Republican Party are looking good! “The party of winning!” is her theme.

    Like

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