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No one likes talking about the corruption in OUR system, yet it is present and it is a festering problem that threatens the social fabric we all depend on.

 

Elections boil down to conflicts within the business community.” ( T. Ferguson)

When you add together the Reagan deregulations, the Clinton deregulations, the Bush deregulations with Citizens United allowing unlimited, unidentified corporate cash to flow into politics, and McDonnell v. United States letting that cash flow through to the hands of public officials, then the United States really did lose, not just in court. The people have lost control of the state to a hydra of business, government and criminal bad actors. The result is inequality so extreme, a regulatory environment so lax, and a judicial system so unresponsive that all the systems we’ve been patching and nursing could fail all at once with cataclysmic results.

“Forty years after the 1980 turning, the world today seems to be back on the course first charted in the Gilded Age. Bending and distorting economic and political systems to suit their purposes, globalized networks of kleptocratic elites compete in pursuit of wealth without limit. In the process, they are debasing or destroying priceless treasures and countless human lives.” — Sarah Chayes

 

Like the trajectory of the pandemic, I wish we could as a society seriously examine the history of what untrammeled greed does to to a society and move to mitigate the rot before it hurts more people.

I know, I know.  Good luck with that.  :/

 

The RCC is corrupt.  Let’s acknowledge this, and then move to right the situation.  Neil MacDonald over at the CBC take a swipe at the papacy, but for all his erudite comments and justifications – one has to ask the question – ‘are they really necessary?’  As in, there is almost no moral ambiguity here, this is an ethical slam dunk.  The RCC ruling structure is rotten and needs to be jettisoned into space, the sooner, the better.

It is an unreal situation like Americans and their tragically farcical gun control debate.  One would reasonably think that the wholesale slaughter of innocents that is happening at a fairly regular interval in the US would lead to the sanction one of the primary tools that people use to enact mass murder.  Not rocket science.

In the same way, child buggery, has been a very catholic thing for decades if not centuries.  No ethical pining needed here folks – the catholic church’s superstructure needs to go away.  Not rocket science.

What these examples are a grim testimony to are the resilience of codified hierarchical structures/beliefs in society.  There is no tame liberal way of dealing with these problems, they must be torn from society root and branch, and that requires that people stand up and demand justice in society and be willing to raise hell until their demands are met.

But hey, talk of revolutionary action aside, Neil does a great job and poking the evil with a stick (enjoy?):

 

“The same goes elsewhere. Revelations of horrors in all the above-mentioned Western countries (here in Canada, there was documented abuse in Quebec, British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, where the church’s Mount Cashel orphanage was operated as sort of a prison for child sex slaves) resulted in dismissals of some church officials, some lawsuits and a handful of criminal convictions, but not much more than that.

Each time, the Pope or one of his high subalterns would lament human frailty, and drone on about the sacred duty to protect the most vulnerable, while privately fighting to thwart civil suits or conspiring to keep facts from investigating authorities.

Pope Francis, who enjoys the most saintly reputation of any recent pope (except for John Paul II, who was actually made a saint, despite all the ugly revelations on his watch) released an open letter to the world’s Catholics after the Pennsylvania revelations, basically repeating the company line: gosh, sorry, that was terrible, we must do better, God bless you all, go in peace.

Noting first that “most of these cases belong to the past,” (don’t all cases belong to the past?) the Pope banged on for 2,000 words about feeling the pain of the vulnerable, and the necessity of ensuring it doesn’t happen again (and again and again and again), but his central theme was expressed right off the top in a line from Corinthians: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it.”

Yes. Of course. Let’s compare the spiritual suffering the Pope claims the revelations have caused him to that of a child being sodomized by an adult stalker in a clerical collar, a monster the boy probably doesn’t think he’s even allowed to complain about.

The right thing for the Pope to do would be to waive his sovereign privilege (he is a sitting head of state), and invite criminal authorities to freely and fully access church records worldwide, and drain the holy swamp. He might also consider at this stage ordaining women, because women are God’s creatures too, perfectly able to spiritually guide the faithful, and, umm, don’t tend to rape children.

But the privileged old men who run the church aren’t going to allow any of that. They’re a bit like gun control opponents, opposing an obvious solution on doctrinaire grounds.

There actually have been a few attempts to use the RICO statute against priests, notably in Cleveland, but jurors did not convict.

When former Oklahoma governor and former federal prosecutor Frank Keating, a practicing Catholic, compared the church’s obsession with secrecy to the Mafia’s, Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles demanded his ouster from a church board examining clerical abuse. Keating resigned from the panel.

Mahony, who covered up sexual abuse by priests in California, according to church records, retired peacefully at age 75. Only after a court order compelled the Los Angeles archdiocese to open its files on abuse was Mahony gently rebuked by the church

Pope Francis condemned priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up by the Catholic Church, in a public letter. In addition to demanding accountability, Francis begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims and said Catholics must be involved in any effort to root out abuse. 2:11

By any secular standard, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization. It in fact sets the standard for impunity.

Cardinal Bernard Law, who presided over the coverup of the church’s famous Boston sex abuse scandals, was plucked and brought to Rome by Pope John Paul II, where he resided until he died at the Vatican, beyond the reach of American prosecutors.

Earlier this year, after Bishop Juan Barros of Chile was accused of covering up clerical abuse, Pope Francis denounced the accusers’ “calumny.” When it turned out that there was merit to the accusations, and that the Vatican had been informed of the problem, Francis claimed he’d been misinformed. A few weeks later, all 34 of Chile’s bishops tendered their resignations. Francis eventually accepted three of them.

And now, Catholic activist Susan Reynolds has gathered thousands of signatures on a letter demanding the resignation of all American bishops. It would be the right thing to do, but at a guess, the very notion amuses America’s bishopry, comfortable in their armour of piety.”

Main Stream Media    This excerpt is from an article on Counterpunch titled “Treason”.  It is on the rhetorical side and my eyes did roll when I saw that the author’s upcoming book to be released was called ‘Zen Economics’.  But I liked this paragraph enough in his essay to share it with you my faithful readership because it succinctly illustrates the sad state that most of journalism is in.

“Likewise, there appears eternal mystery on the part of the compassionate right—liberals and progressives, why the corporate media are tools of corporate leaders and their servants in government. It is no accident Andrew Ross Sorkin, Jeffrey Toobin and David Gregory use the royal ‘we’ to conflate their interests as rich, connected, white ‘journalists’ with those of Mr. Obama and Ms. Feinstein. The received wisdom is ‘access’ to elite sources is behind the ‘affectation,’ but it is no affectation. The strategy to ‘universalize’ narrow interests through the use of totalizing language (‘we’) is class politics 101. These ‘journalists’ are responding to disclosure of class ‘secrets’ that threaten their privilege, not to acts against the public interest. (‘Access’ is to report what elites say, not what they do (a/k/a journalism) and these brave folk have a greater chance of dying from choking on Jell-O than from terrorist attacks).”

(ed. bolding mine)

The infidels are swarming in the middle east.  Measures must be taken to combat this outbreak of critical thought and rationality.  Fortunately brothers (any sisters present get out now, double shame if you’re not barefoot and burqa’d) action is being taken.

CAIRO – Egypt’s most prominent democracy advocate accused President Hosni Mubarak’s government Saturday of posting Facebook photos of his daughter in swimsuits and at events where alcohol was served in an attempt to discredit him.

Keep your eyes on this 'atheist'!

Mohammed ElBaradei, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.N. nuclear chief, was quoted in the independent Al-Dustour newspaper as saying the government is “waging a campaign of sheer lies” by using the photos to portray him and his family as nonbelievers — a politically damaging accusation in an increasingly conservative Muslim country.

We have the infidels, women in public with bathing suits and even a greater sin, dare I say it?  Alcohol.  Warm up your stoning arms people.

“The more than 30 photos were posted under the title: “Secrets of the ElBaradei family.” Some show his daughter in swimsuits at the beach and sitting at events in front of what appeared to be bottles of alcohol. Drinking is forbidden in Islam and conservative Muslims would generally consider a woman appearing publicly in a bathing suit to be immodest.”

The scandal.  It is shocking.  Truly shocking.

“ElBaradei has drawn the government’s anger with a campaign he started early this year boldly calling for electoral reform and constitutional amendments that would allow a credible candidate to challenge the ruling party in next year’s presidential election.

Respected internationally and untouched by the corruption tainting much of Egypt’s regime, ElBaradei brought together a coalition of young activists and opposition groups to push for change.”

Yes!  We shall smear this activist for opposing our regime.  There may be a few rotten apples in the barrel of the Egyptian government, overall we are a transparent, open democracy.

“The Facebook site also says his daughter is married to a Christian and shows an image of what it purports is her real profile from the social networking site listing her religious status as agnostic.

The Facebook site also accuses ElBaradei himself of being an atheist and of seeking to deceive Egyptians by touring mosques and being photographed praying.”

The forces of freedom in action.

We saved the best for last a double hit!  ElBaradei’s  daughter is married to a Christian and ElBaradei himself is an atheist!

Checkmate brothers!  We have ferreted out this unbeliever in our midst, he claims he wants responsible government by the people, but we have exposed him.  He wants to take our gods away and we all know the sinful immorality that will follow once that happens.

Never fear though brothers we shall keep reason safely at arms length!  Allah Ackbar!

Organized religion consistently delivers venal corruption wherever it goes.  In Kenya the ruffles and flourishes are culturally appropriate but the mendacity remains unsurprisingly the same.

As a special envoy of the Sky Daddy it is my job to fleece lead you into his good graces by bullshitting dramatically conveying His Word unto you for a nominal donation.

Afghanistan’s parliament has dealt a stinging rebuke to President Hamid Karzai by rejecting 70 per cent of his nominees for a new cabinet.

The Saturday voting in which 17 of 24 nominees were turned down confronts Karzai with a severe challenge as he tries to get his second term in office into full swing.

Not really surprising, but the first comment I saw on the post was near perfect.  Here it is, thank you ‘appraiser from Ontario’:

“Karzai is widely viewed within Afghanistan as an American puppet. It should be no surprise that most of his choices for cabinet have been rejected.

There should be riots in the streets over the blatant corruption and ballot-box stuffing that has ocurred. But having hundreds of thousands of NATO troops and various other U.S. friendly foreign mercenaries on Afghan soil tends to dampen dissent. The entire situation is a complete fraud, propped up by the imperial war machine that is America.”

I don’t think I could have said it better myself.

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