Keiser Report: it’s worse than crack, I tell you

Been a bit busy the last few days, but have no fear, for there’s more tomfoolery coming down the pipeline. But just to ease us back in, here’s some more from the best business programme on the box. Once again, Vladimir Putin’s English-language teevee channel shows that financial scandals are interesting enough that you don’t have to jazz them up with funky graphics. You just need to find an angry ex-stockbroker, point a camera at him, and let him rant. Eat your liver, Evan Davis.


  1. Kent said,

    August 15, 2010 at 4:40 am

    When are you going to write about the far left again? I miss the old Splintered Sunrise.

  2. Madam Miaow said,

    August 15, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Oh my god this is brilliant. Hilarious and true, how very troo! Glad I watched Keiser at last.

    Kent, I agree. C’mon, Splinty. Sharpen your scalpel.

  3. August 15, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    What has anyone done on the far left recently that would make for an amusing post? The Catholic Church is a far bigger lolcow.

  4. Phil said,

    August 15, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    Maybe, but what has Splinty written on the Catholic Church lately that has been remotely amusing?

    • shane said,

      August 16, 2010 at 12:47 am

      Quite a lot, but it takes an acquired taste.

  5. shane said,

    August 16, 2010 at 1:03 am

    I love this blog and find it very addictive but I do hope Splinty will blog a wee bit more about the Church in Ireland. There aren’t a lot of Irish Catholic blogs, and the few that exist are mostly crap. Some of the most important movers and shakers at the Curia get their info from blogs. It depresses me to read some of the ignorant nonsense peddled on American and British Catholic blogs about the Catholic Church in Ireland. Few have ever been in Ireland but they’re able to rewrite history and give false prescriptions because there’s so few Irish Catholic blogs.

  6. CharlieMcMenamin said,

    August 16, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Ahem: having started off regretting Splinty’s Catholic turn, I’m finding myself absorbed by the sheet weirdness of it all.

    For me, the weirdest part is not his opinion of a poor PR machine, or his description of an inner Circle of the red-socked Great and Good nor even the odd business of three priests in Brum sent to the naughty step for unidentified reasons: it’s simply how long can Splinty go on without mentioning the elephant in the room? Colm Toibin understands in the latest LRB….

    The Catholic Church in Ireland and elsewhere is in crisis and not because it gives bad PR…

    • Garibaldy said,

      August 16, 2010 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks for that link Charlie. I thought it was a dreaful and self-indulgent piece (and actually not the first time I’ve thought that about that author). The bit that really irritated me was the bit about the Gorbachev/De Klerk figure, who would overturn all the bits of Catholic teaching the boul Colm doesn’t like. Fantasy stuff, but actually presented – and, worse, allowed by the editors to be presented – as serious analysis, instead of the inane rambling that it is. Just awful.

      • CharlieMcmenamin said,

        August 16, 2010 at 4:43 pm

        Well, to be fair, as I’m not part of any of the key demographics, let’s never rule out the possibility that I have a tin ear for teasing out the true nuances of a piece by a gay, Irish, Catholic hung on the hook of a review of a book called ‘the Pope is not Gay!’

        That said, I do suspect the child abuse revealations – and the perception of cover up – are rather more important to the current crisis in the Catholic church than the stuff Splinty’s focussing on.

        I found Toibin’s speculations- let’s go no further – as to why the priesthood might be attractive to gay men interesting at least. But, again, not being part of the dempographic, I have no idea whether they ring true.

      • Garibaldy said,

        August 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

        I’m not seeking to dispute the disgraceful nature of the cover-ups. Nor am I convinced there aren’t a few more skeletons waiting to jump out of the cupboard. So I’ve no problem with that argument at all. I found the whole thing though to be trivialising and self-aggrandising at the same time.

  7. robert said,

    August 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Suffer the little children to come unto me…

  8. shane said,

    August 16, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    “The idea that the Church authorities simply don’t understand what is going on was further emphasised when the Vatican last month outlined its opposition to the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and to the ordination of women in the same document, and threatened greater punishment for those who got involved in the latter than in the former.”

    Oh dear, I’ve heard this claim repeated on a number of blogs but it’s still nonsense.

    There are a lot misconceptions about Catholic canonical practice. Sadly very few commentators who delve into the area feel the need to familiarize themselves with the facts.

    An excommunication is not an expulsion. It is not a penalty in the punitive sense. A Catholic who is excommunicated is no less a Catholic than a Catholic in good canonical standing, and is still obliged, like any other Catholic, to assist at Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation. An excommunication is just a censure that impedes a Catholic from receiving the sacraments (except in danger of death).

    Excommunication is an explicitly therapeutic penalty. By depriving the Catholic from the benefits of ecclesiastical society it is intended to encourage him to repent. Its medicinal nature means it is totally inappropriate for dealing with child abusers.

    “It is clear that the Church still believes that it, more than the civil authorities, has a role in handling such cases.”

    Church courts operate parallel to civil courts. Any voluntary organization in society has the right to subject its members to internal discipline. The 1983 CIC prescribes that found priests guilty of abuse are to be laicised. A Church court needs to give that effect.

    Civil courts inflict civil penalties. The two are independent but parallel.

    “mention the existence of homosexual priests and seminarians as a problem for the Catholic Church”

    It’s a pity Colm doesn’t read Fr Andrew Greeley’s works. Fr Greeley (who is currently unwell) is an Irish American Professor of Sociology at the University of Arizona and is a Research Associate at the University of Chicago. Despite Greeley being an ultra-liberal, he has shown how this phenomenon is a post-conciliar one, not unreleated to the exodus of clergy (to get married) and the collapse of vocations after the Second Vatican Council. The Catholic priesthood and formation have been totally destroyed by the post-conciliar reforms. Very few ordinary men would want to become a Novus Ordo priest – and I certaintly don’t blame them – so the few who do are mainly/mostly composed of men with unworthy motivations.

  9. shane said,

    August 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    “The Catholic Church in Ireland and elsewhere is in crisis and not because it gives bad PR…”

    Agreed but the Catholic Church in Ireland has been in crisis since the 60s.

  10. shane said,

    August 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Gerald Warner’s article below is much better:

    Catholic sex abuse scandal: time to sack trendy bishops and restore the faith
    By Gerald Warner

    It has become fashionable to claim that the sex abuse scandal currently afflicting the Catholic Church is “its biggest crisis since the Reformation”. Oh, really? Tell me about it. The abuse issue is just a small part of the much larger crisis that has engulfed the Church since the Second Vatican Catastrophe and which is more serious than the Reformation.

    Abolish clerical celibacy? The last thing a priest abusing altar boys needs or wants is a wife. There is no compulsory celibacy in the Church of England, but that has not prevented vicars and boy scouts furnishing gratifying amounts of copy to the tabloid Sunday papers for the past century. Celibacy goes against the grain of today’s “unrepressed”, “non-judgemental”, let-it-all-hang-out attitude to sex; its continued existence is a reproach to the hedonist Western world; so Rome must be persuaded to abolish it – likewise its condemnation of divorce, abortion, contraception, homosexuality and all the other fetishes of liberal society. Dream on, secularists.

    “Irish abuse victims disappointed by Pope’s letter.” Of course they are. They were disappointed by it before they had read it, before it was even written. Any other response would diminish the power they find themselves wielding against the Church. Have they a legitimate grievance? In most cases, yes. They have a ferocious grievance against the “filth” (Benedict XVI’s term, long before he came under public pressure) who defiled them and treated them like animals.

    How could clergy transgress so gravely against the doctrines of the Church? What doctrines? These offences took place in the wake of Vatican II, when doctrines were being thrown out like so much lumber. These offenders were the children of Paul VI and “aggiornamento”. Once you have debauched the Mystical Body of Christ, defiling altar boys comes easily.

    The “neglected” sacraments and devotional practices that the Pope says could have prevented this did not just wither on the vine: they were actively discouraged by bishops and priests. In the period when this abuse was rampant, there was just one mortal sin in the Catholic Church: daring to celebrate or attend the Latin Tridentine Mass. A priest raping altar boys would be moved to another parish; as for a priest who had the temerity to celebrate the Old Mass – his feet would not touch the ground.

    There was a determined resolve among the bishops to deny any meaningful catechesis to the young. That is the generation, wholly ignorant of the faith, that in Ireland achieved material prosperity in the “Celtic Tiger” economy. Initially it still attended Mass (or what passed for Mass) out of social conformity. Then the sex abuse scandal gave Irish post-Vatican II agnostics the perfect pretext for apostasy: tens of thousands who had never been abused, nor met anybody who had, found an excuse to stay in bed on Sunday mornings.

    The abusive priests are not the only hypocrites. “I am so shocked by the abuse scandal I am leaving the Church.” Right. So, the fact that some degenerates who should never have been ordained violated young people – in itself a deplorable sin – means that the Son of God did not come down to earth, redeem mankind on the cross and found the Church? This appalling scandal no more compromises the truths of the Faith than the career of Alexander VI or any other corrupt Renaissance Pope.

    Should bishops be forced to resign? Oh yes – approximately 95 per cent of them worldwide. These clowns in their pseudo-ethnic mitres and polyester vestments with faux-naïve Christian symbols, spouting their ecumaniac episcobabble, have presided over more than sexual abuse: they have all but extinguished the Catholic faith with their modernist fatuities. They should be retired to monasteries to spend their remaining years considering how to account to their Maker for a failed stewardship that has lost countless millions of souls.

    Benedict XVI should take advantage of a popular wave of revulsion against the failed episcopate to sack every 1960s flared-trousered hippy who is obstructing Summorum Pontificum. It is a unique opportunity to cull the hireling shepherds and clear away the dead wood of the Second Vatican Catastrophe. It is time to stop the apologies and reinstate apologetics; to rebuild all that has been destroyed in the past 40 years; to square up to liberals and secularists as so many generations of Catholics did in the past; to proclaim again the immutable truths of the One True Church that, in the glory of the Resurrection, can have no legitimate posture other than triumphalism.

    • CharlieMcmenamin said,

      August 16, 2010 at 10:19 pm

      Have you ever considered the possibility that for most people, including, I’d guess, most devout Catholics, that child abuse takes precedence over theology ? Just muse on that possibility for a moment and then re-consider the sheer unspeakable offensiveness of what you’ve written.

      • shane said,

        August 16, 2010 at 10:38 pm

        Charlie, I’m sorry if I (or Gerald Warner?) offended you.

        The crisis in the Church isn’t just theological, it’s also liturgical and catechetical.

        The abuse scandals are a crisis in their own right (even though I do think they are linked), but the Irish Church was still in big trouble long before the scandals started emerging in the early 90s.

  11. robert said,

    August 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    So it’s all the hippies’ fault. No child abuse before Vatican II. No definitely not!

    All these things happened before the Sixties, the difference was that people didn’t talk about it or if they did weren’t believed.

    • shane said,

      August 16, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      I don’t think that’s an accurate assessment of his article. He doesn’t deny that abuse happened before the Second Vatican Council, nor that it was handled ineptly (though even Archbishop Martin conceded on Prime Time a few months ago that abusive priests were better dealt with before the 60s) he’s just saying that the abuse problem is largely post-conciliar.

  12. CharlieMcmenamin said,

    August 16, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    (this is a coninuatiion of the discussion under post 10 – for some reason I can’t reply to that at the moment)

    For goodness sake – what is you’re not getting here? No one outside the catholic church gives a toss about your internal doctrinal disputes. They’re none of our business. Any sensible secularist wil leave you alone to work thiese things pout on your own.

    But the very idea that such disputes are somehow more important than your institution systematically abusing children, or that the abuse happened because a doctrinal faction you disagree with was in control, or that your doctrinal conflcits are somehow more threatening to the moral authority of your church than raping children is just incredibly repugnant.

    The secondary question, after the abuse scandal has finally – finally – been properly addressed, is who can credibly claim any longer than the catholic church is a fit and proper body to run state funded schools or childrens’ homes etc ? I think this question will arise on both sides of the Irish Sea….

    • shane said,

      August 16, 2010 at 11:26 pm

      Well I do think my point about Vatican II is correct and if it offends people then I regret that, but I don’t withdraw it. Even the Murphy Report records the anti-legalist mentality among post-conciliar canonical personnel and credits the Church’s law for being hard on abusers, while also noting the assumption that Canon Law had fallen into abeyance after the Second Vatican Council.

      ‘Catholic’ schools in Ireland since the late 60s have only been nominally Catholic and since the Education Act of 1998 have been effectively governed by representative Boards of Management. They will be nationalized in the not too distant future (and would have been anyway – even without the abuse scandals) so it’s not much of an issue. The only reason the government is so reticent now is because parish priests work for free (often doing jobs nobody else wants) and if they were replaced, the state would half to pay their successors a salary. The vast majority of parish priests in Ireland would love the schools to be nationalized.

  13. August 17, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Wonderful, Splinty posts something that has NOTHING to do with the Catholic Church and still the secularists and the traddies feel the need to have it out. XD

    As someone who is neither a Catholic nor a hard-core secularist, I find the secularists yelling “RAPING CHILDREN RAPING CHILDREN RAPING CHILDREN” over and over again as if it were a killing argument almost as funny as the traddie Catholics blaming it all on Vatican II. (At least we don’t have the real hard-core traddies here. The ones who really do think raping children is morally equivalent to consensual adult man-on-man sex. Those guys would make heads explode more than the anti-semites.)

  14. i4ni said,

    August 18, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Shillelagh sticks and pimpmobiles and wall street karma for Catolics selling indulgenges = nuns being hit! This says everything the Irish media is too backward to broach!

  15. Kent said,

    August 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Splinty’s posts on Catholicism are not without interest, but it’s been too long since he posted something on the SWP, SP, etc.

  16. Phil said,

    August 22, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I think I’d settle for a post on Catholicism written with the same relaxed, ironic attitude he used to bring to the SWP, SP etc. But I guess back then he was writing on the basis that, while the One True Revolutionary Party might be a very good thing to have, it didn’t currently exist and wasn’t likely to exist any time soon, so anyone claiming to represent the OTRP here and now should be approached with caution and incredulity. Speaking as a lapsed Anglican, I’d have no trouble at all transferring those sentiments to the One True Church, but I guess if you’re actually a member of the One True Church it’s a bit trickier.

  17. robert said,

    August 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Not sure that’s fair. Splinty’s been quite critical of the Catholic hierarchy in these church posts. What is true is that he’s tended to do it from a theologcially conservative perspective.

    • Phil said,

      August 22, 2010 at 11:11 pm

      He’s been highly critical of the British Catholic hierarchy, while calling on Rome to sort them out. That’s conservative in more ways than one.

  18. robert said,

    August 23, 2010 at 1:30 am

    well maybe some of them do need a good kick up the arse from their king in the pointy hat what sits on his throne in Rome

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