Saturday, July 30, 2016

Bear Reveals Truth About Judging Angels Authorship

"A genre-bending masterpiece of literature. It almost made me want to convert." 
- Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria

You know, the Bear is getting kind of irritated.

This Tim Capps fellow is traveling everywhere, making all the late night talk show appearances, and what does the Bear get? As GHOSTWRITER, .00005% of royalties.

Now Bears are not all that good at math, but the Bear is beginning to think his "good friend" has taken advantage of him.

Nobody will buy a book written by a Bear, he said. What about all those articles I wrote for your stupid blog?" he said. You'll scare everyone off at book signings, he said. I'm devastatingly handsome, while you're a bit, well, hairy, he said. And smelly, he said. You have unsavory friends like Bashar al-Assad, he said. You've managed to fight on both sides of every war in the 20th century, he said. You have bad press written all over that adorable face of yours.

Well, any human can write a novel. How many are there available written by a real, live Bear? So at least you, visitors, friends and woodland creatures will know, the Bear actually wrote the book. He sold his chance at literary fame for a mess of salmon pottage.

The Bear can only imagine your shock and outrage.

Never again.

Madmen Meets Fr. Rosica

Papal press flack Fr. Rosica crassly bragged that he had rebranded Catholicism and the Papacy. Here are some suggestions for further rebranding of the Church, drawn from Diet Pepsi slogans. The Bear finds these very inspiring. What slogan has Fr. Rosica come up with for his client, Pope Francis? How do you rebrand without a slogan?

  • 1964: "Now You Can Have Your Adultery and Eucharist, Too"
  • 1964-1966: "Come Alive, You're in the Francis Generation."
  • 1973-1974: "1-Calorie Dogma-Free Catholic Church is Here."
  • 1974-1976: "You can do it. No, Seriously, Whatever, Francis is Cool With It."
  • 1978-1980: "You're drinking Francis Kool Aid... and it Shows."
  • 1980-1983: "Now You See the Faith, Now You Don't."
  • 1984: "Catholicism. Improved by Pope Francis."
  • 1985–1986: "Francis Church. The Choice of a Lost Generation."
  • 1989–1991: "Pope Francis. The Right One."
  • 1989–1992: "The Catholic Church. The Taste That's No Better Than Diet Coke, Diet Rite, Diet Dr. Pepper, Diet Mountain Dew, Diet Sunkist, or Any Other Diet Soda"
  • 1991–1994: "You got the Right Pope Baby, UH HUH" (sung by Ray Charles for Diet Pepsi)

The Bear came up with some of his own.

  • "Not the Fathers' Church" (Oldsmobile)
  • "The New, No-Demands Church: I'm lovin' it" (McDonalds)
  • "Pope Francis: Think different" (Apple)
  • "Got Heresy?" (Milk)
  • "Nothing outlasts the Pope: he keeps talking and talking and talking..." (Energizer)
  • "So easy even a self-absorbed neopelagian can do it." (Geico)
  • "Francis: Taste the Rainbow." (Skittles)
  • "You got Islam in my Catholicism! You got Catholicism in my Islam! (Voiceover by Francis) Two great Abrahamic religions that taste great together." (Reeses Peanut Butter Cups)
  • "The Catholic Church: Have it your way." (Burger King)
  • "I'd Walk a Mile for a Microphone." (Camel cigarettes)
  • "Does She or Doesn't She? Whatever it is, it Doesn't Matter Anymore." (Clariol)
  • "You Give us 22 minutes, We'll Neuter Another Dogma" (WINS Radio)

Friday, July 29, 2016

The Truth About Islamic Terrorism

Bear agitprop.

The Bear has been thinking about Islam, and its terrorism in the abstract. Coolly. What do the terrorists think they are accomplishing? What are they actually accomplishing? What does the constant drumbeat of attacks really mean?

Terrorism As Advertising

Terrorism is just a form of advertising. Or, if you prefer, agitprop. Propagande par le fait. Our age is not the first to see bombers and assassins. A violent act is guaranteed news coverage.

The Bear learned a long time ago that the best advertising was "earned media." Any lawyer can buy advertising. But make friends with your local news reporters, and you can be regularly interviewed on current legal topics. Not only is it free, but you are portrayed as an expert. Public relations is very simple. Newspapers have column inches to fill, and television news programs have time to fill. You do them a favor when you give them easy content.

Terrorism is perfect for dominating news. It is the most effective earned media ever. It is also the stupidest. One must ask: What is Islamic terrorism selling? Accomplishing? Now, the Bear thinks this is a very interesting question, and that the result is very different from the intention, and from what you probably think.

The real message of every terrorist attack is not one any sensible person would want to be associated with. Islam: a Psychopathic Death Cult for Losers. Maybe they imagine they are frightening the West. In reality, they are mostly just making people secretly loathe Muslims. Particularly since the Muslim community in America has never understood the need to aggressively distance themselves from terrorist attacks.

Islam: Culturally Protected

But the Bear has caught himself in a mistake. Events have proved that the Muslim community in America has zero incentive to aggressively distance itself from terrorist attacks. Right now, Muslims are the most culturally protected group in the country. They are smart enough to know that if they play the victim card after every attack, their status actually increases! "BACKLASH!" They have figured out American culture - not that it's hard - and, like all culturally protected groups, play it like the Wurlitzer at Busch Stadium.

Many Muslims won't assimilate. Islam is not a religion. It is a politico-religious movement that the liberal West will never get.   An unknown percentage of young male Muslims are susceptible to the magical process of "radicalization" we keep hearing about. The word means no more than this: some moron with a website says how cool it is to kill people in the name of Allah, and a different moron reads it and murders some people while yammering at his god.

Islam Exists Only at the Sufferance of the West

Thinking like a Bear, he cannot help but note that Islam exists entirely at the sufferance of nuclear powers. The Bear is sure all of his readers share his pastime of drawing up imaginary target lists should they ever get ahold of the launch codes. No? Maybe it's just a Bear thing. ("They all hate us anyhow, so let's drop the big one now." - Randy Newman.) The heart of what passes for culture in Islam could be wiped out with a few dozen air bursts. If we wanted to go all the way, we could nuke the sandy Islamic places into seas of black glass, tie strips of fatback to our feet and go skating. The Bear bets Russia would join in.

Muslims are in our country only because we cannot import enough of them. They're hardly crossing the Atlantic stupidly piled onto waterborne deathtraps. We could easily throw the Big Switch and all of a sudden all the Muslims are leaving the country, instead of coming in. Afghanistan is in dire need of brains. It will never have indoor plumbing with a bunch of dope heads wandering through the fields cutting up poppy blooms and licking opium milk off their knives. Imagine what an infusion of former American Muslims would do for Afghanistan, and whatever dirt ISIS happens to occupy at the moment.

The beauty of such a noble gesture makes the Bear shed a tear.

The Bear is not advocating anything. He is just noting the realities. The fact is, it is the policy of the United States, and France, and wherever, to do nothing about Islamic terrorism. The fact is, terrorists make headlines, but they don't change anyone's life. They do not impact the country. Far more people are murdered in Chicago with no headlines at all. Our leaders have made the conscious decision that policies touching upon Muslims should not be influenced by essentially irrelevant terrorism. They want as many Muslims as possible in America, for reasons the Bear does not understand. He suspects they dream that Islam may help stamp out Christianity in the West, which appears to be the current agenda of our government. But he's not sure.

Islamic Terrorism Symptom, Not Cause

The Bear agrees. The reason there is terrorism is because the West doesn't really mind it that much.

More to the point, every Muslim on the planet could disappear overnight, and the West's problems would not be improved. That's the real takeaway. The West is run by arsonists like Pope Francis yelling "burn baby burn" as every institution burns to the ground. Muslims didn't set those fires. Terrorism is not a problem, it is a symptom of the West's death wish.

It is as much a waste of time trying to figure out what is going on in Jihad Johnny's head as Pope Francis'. They aren't the news. The news is we live in a world that actually encourages Jihad Johnny and Pope Francis. On alternate days, the Bear could write an ephemeris article on terrorism, and one on the latest stupid thing to come out of Pope Francis' mouth. And readers would probably love it, although the Bear is at a loss to understand why people are interested in dog-bites-man stories.

One day you will be watching the news on the latest terrorism act, and look out the window to notice that no one seems to have collected the trash over the last six weeks, and there is smoke marking looting and destruction in your hometown, not in those peoples' part of the big city, where that sort of thing belongs. Suddenly, terrorism and Pope Francis won't seem so important.

Terrorism has become part of the cultural weather, as the Bear recently noted. Islam could not possibly come up with a worse advertising campaign than being known as that religion that's murdering innocent people all the time. But until insurance companies see a market for individual terrorist attack insurance, it is actuarially irrelevant to us. It will never be more than random tragedies like tornadoes ripping through midwestern trailer parks.

But terrorism has an upside. Every terrorist attack brings out the true idiocy of the people with their hands on the cultural levers. President Obama. Archbishop Cupich. Pope Francis. If you have risen to the position of a cultural leader in these last decades of the West, you are a moron. The system is rigged, and anyone with any creativity or intelligence is not allowed anywhere near positions of influence in the burning Western institutions.

Terrorist attacks do two things: make us secretly loathe Muslims; and make us openly loathe our leaders. You can work out the implications of that combination for yourself.

It's a crazy world.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


Proposed novel cover. Sometimes you CAN judge a book by its...

Bear's friend, author, Tim Capps
The Bear is pleased to announce that his very best human friend, Tim Capps, has inked a book contract with Hope and Life Press. Tim's novel Judging Angels is set for publishing this fall/winter.

The Bear was permitted to see a final draft of the manuscript of course. He can truthfully say that a lot of stuff happens. And there quite a few characters. And it's pretty long. It's funny. And scary. Romantic, too. Horror, yep. Police procedural? Check. Passages of lyrical beauty? Of course. Good versus Evil? The Bear never figured that out, exactly, but maybe you might.

In fact, it's almost like what the Bear would write if he ever had to time write a novel. Unfortunately, this ephemeris takes almost his every waking minute, so the world will never see a novel written by the Bear.

But this isn't too bad. Off the top of his head, the Bear recollects it has:

  • beautiful, dangerous redheads
  • a handsome but dangerous man
  • murders and some righteous smiting
  • did the Bear mention redheads?
  • an evil tarotista and a wise blind woman
  • steely-eyed police detectives
  • forensic science and clones
  • crime sprees with lots and lots of felonies- and that's just the good guys
  • guns and knives and - never mind...
  • duct tape - a surprising number of scenes with duct tape, if the Bear remebers correctly
  • big time marriage troubles, some snuggling, a few good kisses, plus artistic- never mind
  • one family's multi-generational curse: "The Torso in the Attic" or something like that
  • theology good and bad, including a special guest appearance by "Father Rainbow"
  • evil villains, morally compromised heroes, and a decent, rosary-praying Marine
  • Hermann Goering 's watch
  • poetry, movie references, and plenty of jokes
  • temptations and dangers no human was ever meant to face
  • blood - the Bear's favorite part (besides the redheads)
  • just maybe a genuine insight or two into life, love and dangerous redheads

Oh, the Bear wondered which of the redheads might have been modeled on his driver, bodyguard,  and factotum, a.k.a. "Red Death," a.k.a. "The Shepherdess," his mate. "All of them, he said."

On The Latest Terrorist Attack (Print Out and Save)

Print Out and Save, You Will Need It Again Soon

You know the one.

That awful one that just happened.

It all went down like this.

One or more young Muslim males killed some people while shouting Allahu' Akbar.

The authorities pretended to be puzzled at this, as if such a thing had never before happened. Police went "searching for motives."  Oscar-worthy performances of utter cluelessness were delivered in a great production the Bear calls, "The West Rolls Over and Shows Its Belly."

Every Social Justice Warrior from Archbishops on down to first year fine arts majors buffed their tolerance cred by making up excuses for the poor Jihad Joe, like he was "biopolar," or abused by a Catholic priest as a lad, or something equally implausible.

And everyone lectured us on how great Islam is, and what a beautiful people Muslims are, and how, by, golly, they're practically Catholics cuz OMG3greatabrahamicreligionssamegod, and how Islam is peaceful.

The word "backlash" was shrieked like an ululating Mahdist woman cutting choice parts from one of Kipling's Tommies in the Sudan.

The young Muslim male did it for any reason except Islam (delicious to those of us with a sensitive palate for irony).

Other people saw it in their Facebook feed, or on the news, and were upset until shortly before bedtime. The next day there was some other damned thing and they forgot. They're all named Mohammed, anyway,  so there's no way to even keep score.  Neil Postman's wonderful Amusing Ourselves to Death's low information-action ratio is the iron law of our media age.

Or, to put it another way, everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. Terrorism has become a part of the cultural weather, and is treated just the same.

What Do Terrorists Do When They Cease to Terrify?

Loud noises and cries of "Allahu' Akbar" provide the soundtrack to the 21st century.  Or, rather, elevator music, since it is such a tedious sameness it is just fading into the background. Terrorist attacks are like plane crashes, or lightning strikes, or, for that matter Bear attacks. Sure, they happen, but actuarially, I'm safe enough. Only the really, really, unlucky get killed by a terrorist.

It's true. No one reading this will ever be killed by a terrorist, or lose someone close to a terrorist, the Bear is certain.

The terrorists have already lost. They don't terrify anymore. Frankly, if an old show-Bear might turn critic, their act is stale. The West is more embarrassed on Islam's behalf than frightened by it. That's why all the cultural spokesman are so hilariously condescending to Muslims.

Archbishop Cupich is like a good mommy telling little Johnny it's not polite to stare at the tattered greybeard pushing a shopping cart full of his stuff down the sidewalk while shouting verses from Isaiah.

But let's completely forget Muslims and talk about something much more interesting. Bears.

A Bear Killed 21 People in Peoria Roaring "Bear Rights"

If the Bear should go on a rampage through Peoria, Illinois, and take out twenty or thirty people roaring BEAR RIGHTS, nobody better start making some lame-ass excuse for his attack. The Bear, is after all, no matter how cute and cuddly he may seem, an alpha predator God designed for killing everything. Not that he currently has any plans, but a Bear is a Bear, and everyone knows what Bears occasionally do.

Seriously. Hang around enough Bears and one day you will run into the wrong one. Or the right one on a bad day. Greenpeacers can coo about the Poor Polar Bears not having any ice to live on, but if they actually met a polar Bear (who are very stupid and overrated animals, or else they would not live on ice) they would see adorbs; the polar Bear would see a seal.

If the Bear roars BEAR RIGHTS when he's killing people, that's what it's all about. And he will personally hunt you down and rip your jawbone off, Sunshine, if you ruin his big political statement by making it about something else. This is not hard. If you're going out in blaze of glorious murder, you don't, at the last second say: "wait, this should be significant... I should probably yell something, like, oh, I dunno... ZEPPELIN RULES!"

The West Suffers From Timothy Treadwell Syndrome

You may have heard of Timothy Treadwell. He thought he had Bears all figured out. That they accepted him. And, for a while, it looked like he might be right. His girlfriend, who was a smart woman, was afraid of Bears, yet nonetheless Treadwell dragged her to Alaska to play with his Bear friends. One Bear was wandering down the Bear path in Bearland and came to the Big Crossroads. Right there, at X marks the spot, humans had pitched their tent, so, you know, they could encounter Bears. The Bear killed Treadwell and his girlfriend.

The Bear does not feel obligated to blabber on about how Bears are animals of peace, or warn about a Bear "backlash." Treadwell was an idiot, and the Bear did what Bears do. Not all Bears, obviously. But here is an important point:

Not every Bear will kill you, but if you are around Bears,
you are in danger of being killed by a Bear.

The more Bears you are around, the greater chances of being killed by a Bear. (There is actually a mathematical proof Bears worked out long ago, but it is complex, and Bear math involves stones and acorns.)

Some people have said it is only Bears with a particular kind of Bear Rabies who kill. Not ordinary peaceful adorbs Bears. There may be some truth to this. For instance, the Bear would probably never kill anyone, anymore, even on a very bad day. We already established not every Bear will kill you. But here's another important truth.

Even if only Bears with Bear Rabies kill people, 
only Bears can and do get Bear Rabies and kill people.

A smart person does not invite a Bear to live with his family just to prove how brave he is, or how tolerant of other species he is, or even because they are useful as entertainment. He doesn't keep packing his ursine guests into every room, ignoring the snarls from some of them. Eventually, he and his family will wind up as gnawed-on remains shallowly buried in the compost pile out back.

And people will say the same thing they say about Timothy Treadwell.

So, as a professional Bear, the Bear advises you that if you have stuffed your home with mostly peaceful-looking Bears, you are an idiot, and your children should be taken away by the state. Not only are Bears freeloaders, but they, and only they, are subject to Bear Rabies.  One of your guests might come come down with Bear Rabies and start taping BEAR RIGHTS posters up all over the place (one of the first symptoms). And since we already know you are an idiot, you will politely look the other way.

And when you don't show up for work, the gnawed-on remains of you and your family will be found shallowly buried in the compost pile out back.

And the funny thing will be, nobody will care about you. The Bear, on the other hand, will be subjected to endless and condescending excuse-making. Archbishop Cupich will say he was a "mentally unstable" Bear, and Pope Francis will apologize for Pope Emeritus Benedict or some other German murdering Bruno in 2006. President Obama will say guns should be banned, because Bears hate guns and become enraged.

Even if they attribute the attack to Bear Rabies, they will explain that the Bear couldn't help it. It's a virus, in the air, in the water. Any poor old Bear can get it. Most Bears are peaceful. Now. Don't you feel so much better knowing that any Bear, and only Bears, can unpredictably contract a disease that will turn it into a homicidal maniac?

What Would Bears Do? What are Humans Doing?

Bears are not all that territorial. But if an animal moved into their territory, and some of them kept talking about how they hated Bears and were going to kill all of them, the Bears would hold a council in the Big Clearing in those woodlands. And they would say, "This new animal is a danger. Individually, most of them are tolerable. But they and only they have elements who advertise wiping out Bears, and they and only they occasionally kill one, or a few of us. Brother Bears, what should we do?"

The Bear does not say. Bears have their own ways of dealing with things, and the less humans know about them the better. Bears will prosper after Islam takes over the world, and eventually humans degenerate back to the Paleolithic era when Bears were worshipped as gods.

After 1300 years, and still ticking, the Bear will probably live to see it. You won't, nor will you see anything very bad, as things go. Perhaps not even your children or grandchildren. So don't worry.

The Bear loves you crazy humans, but if you don't care about your territory, don't breed, don't value Human Lore from ages past, there's not going to be much left to mourn when your civilization dies, and the sight of a beautiful woman in public is the stuff of legends, and the only book in print is the Quran.

Frankly, the West doesn't deserve to win. Islam is the only society that gives damn about their beliefs. The Bear predicts the West forfeits. It just never showed up for the game. And the Bear shall yell Allahu' Akbar while riding his unicycle and Muslims will love him and throw him salmon and the world will burn with a bright insanity you cannot imagine.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Madcap Bear Issue 1: "Method to His Madness"

A Clue.
Oh dear. The Bear feels terribly guilty for neglecting the Woodlands. He can only repeat that he is this very day concluding a matter of major cultural importance, indeed, potentially the hinge upon which the West will turn and bar its door to insidious decay.

Really, that's just hype from an old show-Bear. The blog will go on, but only when the Bear is not otherwise occupied literally 24/7.  Sleep? That's what winter's for. Back to the same-old-same-old "What The Pope Did Now." (Is Francis still Pope? That's how busy your Bear has been. Please, someone, say "no.") Hey, not complaining.  "Dance With the One That Brung Ya." The Bear isn't going to get all hoity-toity on you. You can bet there's some good jawbone-rippin' coming your way.

But he does admit to being in a rather frolicsome mood. If he were in a zoo, he would be pounding out the glass with a big rock and laughing at everyone run. In the meantime, he will mercilessly tease you with cryptic comments. Beat your friends. (Actual contest still running - STILL TIME TO BEAT ALL CURRENT ENTRIES ACCORDING TO STATED RULES WHICH ARE NOT TIME-SENSITIVE.)

FILED UNDER: "Method to Bear's Madness."

BTW if you cheat and use Google, no one will know.  Except your guardian angel. Do you really want to run that risk?

1. What do you call it when a redhead flips out?

2. Can an angel deputize you to lawfully exercise angelic authority, including smiting?

3. What is T.S. Eliot's least bad poem?  Seriously, did you really get Ash Wednesday?

4. How many bullets does a Smith and Wesson .38 Chief's Special hold? (come ON, this is serious!)

5. What is William Wordsworth's best poem?  Ode on Intimations of Immortality or She Was a Phantom of Delight? (Sorry, either or; no Daffodils)

6. If you have been cleared to runway 27, do you taxi east or west?

7. Hermann Goering: ace in WWI or WWII? Both?

8. Does "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" ring a bell?

9. Do you think Jake forgot Chinatown?

10. Do clones have the same fingerprints?


Friday, July 22, 2016

Contest: Guess the Bear's Big Announcement!

Dragons? Not worried.

The correct guess shall receive a valuable (i.e. tangible) prize!  Eventually! Some suggestions:

  • He will be named to Trump's cabinet.
  • He finally has a grandbear.
  • His ephemeris has been picked up by Patheos.
  • He received a personal phone call from the Pope.
  • He was just type-rated on the 737.
  • J.J. Abrams is rolling out a movie about the Bear's adventures, featuring time travel.
  • SCB has been voted one of the Top Ten Catholic Blogs (in the large talking predator category)
  • He has been hired as the official spokesbear for Russia.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. has invited him to spend the weekend with him.
  • His conviction several years ago for... that business in Pennsylvania has been overturned on appeal.
  • His mate, Red Death, has finally conceded that our marriage is valid after all.
  • Or not, and the Bear is free to marry Natalie Dormer. (Shout out, Nats!)
  • He's going to be severely injured when Red Death reads the above.
  • Finally, the Bear has just signed a contract with HBO to play a major new character in Game of Thrones' last two seasons: the Bear, from Bear Island (hard to avoid typecasting when you're a talking animal).

In case of same guesses, the one with the most detail will break the tie. Polish those crystal balls and let your imaginations run wild.

Contest will end midnight, Woodland Savings Time, Tuesday.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The woodland creatures have noticed the late absence of the benevolent lumbering presence known as the Bear.  Be assured that the Bear is very busy on official Bear business. In fact, only tonight he has finished a massive project that perhaps (or perhaps not) one day, relatively soon, he will be able to tell you all about.

Well, not finished.  He has to get the airplane done right. Right now, it's going to pretty much crash if the Bear tries to take off in it, and apparently there are some legalities that the Bear is ignoring. Or so he has been told by someone who ought to know.

But, aside from that minor detail, the official Bear business is complete. Except for rat killing.  And zombie dogs.  But, yeah, pretty much finished.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

U.S., Russia, Syria Invade Turkey, Drive on Incirlik Air Base!

"The Co-Protectorate of Asia Minor"


Turkey now claims to have reopened Incirlik Air Base, but U.S. says it was secured by paratroopers from 82nd Airborne Division and U.S. Marines, assisted by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Syrian armor, plus joint operations by U.S. and Russian aircraft. U.S and Russia cease further offensive operations, submit combined 63-billion dollar bill to Turkey, due in full July 24th, seven days from today. EU in emergency meeting after Turkey demands it pay the amount, or Turkey will unleash massive flood of refugees into Europe. European countries lodge formal protests against joint U.S.-Russian action.

Meanwhile, two more U.S. carrier battle groups head toward Turkey, while several U.S. Army divisions, including armor, are loading onto transports, suggesting the Bear administration is not done with Turkey. One highly-placed source said the administration does not consider that Turkey complied with its demand to restore Incirlik to operational status, since it was taken by allied forces.

Meanwhile, Turkey has closed the strategic Bosphorus Straits pursuant to the Montreux Convention, complicating the scenario. The Straits are Russia's only access to the Mediterranean from the Black Sea, and Russia considers them a strategic necessity. 


In the most dramatic news conference in recent memory, President Bear announced that the United States considers Turkey to have broken its NATO treaty, and that he has ordered a rescue of 1500 American military personnel held hostage at Incirlik Air Base.  He announced that a Sixth Fleet carrier battle group centered on U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt is already off the southern coast of Turkey and is conducting operations in conjunction with the Russian Air Force.  Additional carrier battle groups are en route.

In related developments, Russian troops are massing in Abkhazia, a former Georgian territory recognized only by Russia and a few other countries. The large army is apparently preparing for a 160 mile-dash down the coast of Georgia.  Georgia has declared it will defend its territory, but experts say Georgia is unlikely to take on the much more powerful country, and might even secure concessions from the regional power to the north in return for passage. The Russian Black Sea Fleet has already conducted amphibious landings along Turkey's northern coastline.

Southern Front: U.S.-Syrian-Kurdish Fighters Drive on Incirlik

In the south, 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers are landing near Incirlik in the first large-scale airborne assault since WWII's D-Day. President Bear said they are linking up with Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Syrian armor for a drive directly on Incirlik. Meanwhile, a Marine amphibious assault group centered on U.S.S. Wasp has landed on the coast just 25 miles south of Incirlik, and is reported to be already battling Turkish forces near the air base. Joint U.S.-Russian air assets are providing local air superiority and ground support from bases in nearby Syria.

Meanwhile American aircraft are streaming into Syrian air bases, from which President Bear said they will help establish control over Turkish airspace, and provide support for American and Russian ground troops.  "A fly won't be able to cross a street in Turkey without an American or Russian fighter knocking it out of the air," President Bear said. He said that B-2 stealth bombers have already hit targets in Turkey, as have missiles from Los Angeles class nuclear-powered submarines. B-52 bombers are pounding Turkish forces near Incirlik. Unconfirmed reports have missiles fired from Russian warships in the Black Sea already raining down on targets in Turkey.

Terms For Turkey: Let U.S. Troops Go and Pay for Joint Operation

"Turkey is holding 1500 American military personnel plus our aircraft hostage at Incirlik airfield," President Bear said. He called for Turkish President Erdogan to immediately open the airbase, and warned that if military force had to be used to rescue the Americans "all bets are off," and the United States would demand Turkey's unconditional surrender to the U.S. and Russia. He also said Turkey would be presented with a bill for the joint operation, due seven days from their declared end of hostilities.  "Every day before Turkish soldiers lay down their arms, the meter's running," President Bear warned.

"Turkey will release our men and equipment, and pay the bill for our joint operation, or we immediately move to the next and final stage."

U.S. Considers Quitting NATO

"The North Atlantic Treaty Organization may have outlived its usefulness," President Bear declared. "Countries like Germany are perfectly capable of spending their own money to defend their own borders. As we reconsider whether the United States derives any strategic benefit from NATO, I have ordered the re-deployment of all personnel and equipment from Europe. This will save American taxpayer trillions of dollars. NATO is existing on sheer inertia," President Bear said.

U.S. International Policy: Islam Dangerous Political Ideology, Not Religion

When asked if the United States had future plans for Turkey, President Bear was quite explicit. "Yes. We are done with endless wars in Muslim countries where we try to teach these people how to live in sanity. If all our demands are not met, we will decisively conquer and de-Muslimize Turkey in the same way we de-Nazified Germany after World War Two. Every mosque and every trace of Islam will be cleansed, and the minds of the people will be freed from a centuries-long nightmare. Not one Quran will remain. Look, World War Two wasn't that long ago. How many Nazis are goose-stepping around in Germany today? Not many. Terrorism against joint forces will not be tolerated, and states supporting same will be next in the queue.

"This will not be a Bush administration starry-eyed crusade for democracy. This will be a war of absolute conquest in which the United States and its Russian allies will remain in control."

"From now on, the official international policy of the United States is that Islam is a dangerous political ideology, not a religion. We are recalling citizens and closing our embassies in all Muslim countries and declaring them to be common enemies of Western civilization. This is an identity that has been far too long neglected. We consider Russia to be a historical and cultural partner in that civilization.

"`This is not something we are initiating; it is simply that we are finally recognizing the truth. Any Islamic country found exporting its ideology or war materiel will experience severe sanctions. Centers and symbols of the de-stabilizing and aggressive political ideology of Islam will be considered legitimate military targets." the Bear warned.

U.S.-Russia Partnership

"Furthermore, the Cold War mentality that has poisoned relations with Russia must be recognized as a relic that prevents us from cooperating with our natural ally, Russia. That is why Russia will be a partner in governing Turkey, along with liberal secular Turkish elements. Istanbul will be jointly governed by the United States and Russia, but not divided.

When asked about the response of other NATO members to an attack on a country with which they are allied, President Bear said this: "We have considered 'The Crimean War Scenario,' where European countries come to Turkey's aid against Russia, and the U.S.

"However, there is no question that Turkey has, by its hostile actions against a NATO member, namely, the United States, removed itself from NATO and relinquished any claim it has to assistance from NATO. We would hope that our European friends will consider renewing shared historical ideals. From a practical point of view, the United States and Russia are more than prepared to defend themselves from any combination of European countries. It will not, however, come to that. The people of Europe are our brothers and sisters."

Chief Religious Site to be Restored as Catholic-Orthodox Church

The Church of Hagia Sophia will be used jointly as a Catholic and Orthodox church, similar to the how the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem is multi-Christian. The Patriarch of Russia has already agreed to this. When asked if Pope Francis and he Patriarch of Constantinople had agreed to the plan with Hagia Sophia, President Bear shrugged and said, "one way or another, this is happening."

Finally, President Bear announced that the flag, money and other official expressions of national identity will be stripped of any reference to Islam and replaced by a Bear. Turkey would be named "The Co-Protectorate of Asia Minor."

Saturday, July 16, 2016

All Americans Will Receive a Unicorn Next Tuesday

Charles James Napier: Victorian champion
of diversity and interfaith dialogue and Bear hero.

Bear Quote of the Day: "Hey, Sunshine, the world's purpose is not to make you feel good about yourself."

The Autopsy of Western Civilization

It is a rare historical privilege to see an entire civilization end. The Bear's going to start paying closer attention. The Bear is torn between regret and fasciation. It reminds him of nothing so much as an autopsy. Yes, someone has died, but to see what made him tick taken apart piece by piece is a wonder.

The Bear could, of course, do without humans. But life would be so less interesting without their funny, cute, and amazing antics. (Beside's he's grown quite fond of the hairless little creatures: half-god and half-monkey.)

Five words which illustrate the madness of the West? "Turkey is a NATO member." The Bear thought the NA stood for "North Atlantic." How many wars have been caused by treaties with countries where there was no shared strategic interest? Serves them right, though, for kidnapping the Bear with the help of the - never mind.

But once again, we see the inherent instability - or, more accurately, madness - of Muslim countries.

While at the the VA clinic, the Bear saw Obama's speech about the Nice attack. The Bear was shocked. Obama looked like Dorian Gray's picture. He was sweatier than Richard Nixon debating JKF, and his ears were even more grotesque than when last the Bear saw them, which has been awhile ago. Naked human ears are unattractive at best, but seriously, there has to be surgery for Obama's affliction. When he said (paraphrasing) "All societies must do a better job addressing hatred," and went on to provide the usual cultural protection to Muslims, the Bear's internal human-to-Bear translator went:

Obama to Nice: It's your own damned racist fault.

But then the Bear remembered FDR's famous Pearl Harbor speech, when he said, "All countries must reject militarism and sneak attacks." (Not.)

And Churchill's inspiring speech: "All societies must examine themselves for tendencies toward Aryan supremacy and the mentality that sends V2 rockets across the English Channel.'' (Not.)

And who could forget when Abraham Lincoln said: "This entire country, north and south, must root out the evil of slavery from every state, every county, and every town in this great nation of ours." (Not.)

Of course, those were leaders the Bear wouldn't spit on if they should blunder within range, which the Bear cannot say about Obama. (The Bear must admit a little-known fact: Bear spit is unusually copious and disgusting.)

But they would have never said anything so cowardly, untrue, unmanly and pathetic. How many times will we be subjected to this game that insults our intelligence? Muslims commit atrocities, and their guilt and their threat are diluted by platitudes vaguely indicting "society?"

Where are the men with stones? People overlook a lot in one  political figure in particular, because at least he sounds like a man. We know in our heart of hearts that, at this juncture in history, we don't need a smart president, we don't need a caring president, we don't need a president who weights every word lest he hurt somebody's widduw feewings. We need a president as close to a Bear as we can get, the real article being sadly ineligible. We need a president whose very mistakes will at least make the right point. Whose favorite movie is "The Wind and the Lion."

Such as the Bear's personal friend, Vladimir Putin. But we got Trump. The Bear thinks his appeal is really as simple as that. Maybe he's all theatrics. So? It's always all theatrics. Theatrics don't mean nothing. This old show-Bear doesn't know about you, but he's ready for a different musical.

Our Strength Is Our Diversity
and All Americans Will Receive a Unicorn Next Tuesday

"Our strength is our diversity." Obama said that, and the Bear was not surprised. It is one of those modern Coke Zero claims that serves the purpose of a fizzy offering, but contains zero facts or rational thought. Any man of even normal intelligence should be embarrassed to say that.

In complete historical honesty, the United States was not doing too badly with a population built on a common European culture. In other words, if we are going to talk about strength, the U.S. managed to win WWII without Muslims, or openly proud homosexuals, or people who weren't sure if they were men or women.

The minority who were not of Northern European descent didn't retreat to cultural ghettos and snub their noses at the rest of the county, yelling, "Our strength is our diversity." They kept the personal diversity that was legitimate, and assimilated.

Switzerland is probably one of the least diverse countries in the world. Even Hitler didn't mess with Switzerland.

Our Weakness Is Our Fetish for Diversity - Bear

So much for diversity being a requirement of strength. The Bear can think of many historical examples of diversity leading to disaster (e.g. WWI) but not a single one where diversity per se was the key to success.

America's diversity is far from a strength, but is deadly. Everywhere you look, "our diversity" is setting American against American. The more resolute of these diverse Americans are taking their diversity to its logical end and committing mass murder. In a way, the Bear has to give them credit for at least fully committing to their mistaken beliefs. All the other Americans are too afraid to even speak a word in support of their own beliefs, or challenge the lies that are the daily bread they get along with their circuses.

How many must die before Muslims lose their 00 license to kill? The Bear thinks that number does not exist. The imperative to provide cultural protection to Muslims is the single most powerful reality in American society today. Blacks wish they had the cultural protection of homosexuals. Homosexuals can only dream of having the cultural protection of Muslims.

Actually, the Bear does think there is a number of Americans that must be killed before Muslims lose their cultural protection.

All of us.

Charles James Napier

Charles James Napier was a great believer in diversity. He was the British commander-in-chief in colonial India. When the Hindus set about to burn a widow on her husband's funeral pyre - an expression of their diversity - Napier shows remarkable interfaith sensitivity and respect for diversity for his time. He said:

Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs. 

Now that's the kind of diversity the Bear can get behind. Napier is officially named a Bear Hero.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Less Bear Now, Even More Bear Later

The Bear is busy on another, major, creative project that will take up a lot of his time the next few months. You will, he hopes, like it. The Bear knows he has spoiled you with nearly daily articles featuring obscure French philosophers and mournful Irish ballads, but, in return, you have given him salmon. For that, he is thankful. (Once again, he was way behind on his email, but the recent past has been exhausting.)

There may be a noticeable decrease in frequency of posting and speed in getting comments approved. Then again, the Bear is always threatening to go on vacation and the like, yet somehow never manages to step far away from the ephemeris, even in the midst of international intrigue. So who knows?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Catholic News Service: Amoris Laetitia A-OK! & USCCB/Soros Say Turn in Your Guns, Too (UPDATED)

Impartial reporter Fr. Spadaro luvs him some Francis!

Catholic News Service: USCCB's Pravda

The Catholic News Service is the house organ of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Yet as  CNS's hilarious "About CNS" page points out several times, it is doing real journalism, having some vague relationship with the USCCB, but definitely not involved in publicity.

CNS is not directly funded by the USCCB. "It must be financially self-sustaining." In other words, the usual lefty foundations shovel money to keep it afloat, along with all the other trendy scams with which the USCCB is fascinated, in lieu of promoting the Catholic Faith.

USCCB Committee That Produced Gun-Grab Policy: Very Interesting

The list of those serving on the USCCB's committee on domestic policy that produced the USCCB gun-grab policy paper is quite fascinating. Billionaire George Schmidt, Google ex-boss and massive supporter of President Obama, etc. etc;  John Sweeney, head of Democrat Socialists of America, former SEIU, AFL-CIO boss and recipient of Presidential Medal of Freedom; Sister Janet Mock, LCWR; Sister Miriam Mitchell, LCWR; Sister Carol Keehan, President of Catholic Health Association and vocal supporter of Obamacare while drawing a $962,467 salary from CHA; Ray Boshara, former Senior Fellow at New America Foundation, which has George Soro's son Jonathan on the board, is anti-gun, pro-Obamacare, and funded by left-wing heavyweights such as George Soros, through his Open Society Foundation. Anthony Williams, vociferously anti-gun ex-mayor of Washington D.C.

Those are the people behind the Catholic gun grab in the U.S. There are different players in the Vatican.

The USCCB heavily pushed its anti-gun policy through it's official party organ, Catholic News Service, in an article by Carol Glatz in 2011. The point is, it is somewhere between a joke and a lie to claim that CNS is some sort of legitimate, independent news outlet. The Bear also wanted to show who has the ear of the U.S. Bishops: billionaire lefties and curious private / government entities like the New American Foundation. (Top contributors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the U.S. State Department.)

Would it be an exaggeration to claim that the USCCB is nothing more a left-wing PAC? No, it would not, says the Bear. Is it clear that someday such national conferences will be making decisions for the Catholics in their own jurisdiction? The Bear expects so.

Wet Kisses Between Fr. Spadaro and Cardinal Schonborn

We know who has influence at the USCCB. Their party organ, CNS, has long been known for its fluff pieces by pretend journalists like the following interview of Cardinal Christoph Schonborn by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro. It was conducted for La Civitlá Cattolica, and CNS published it online. Warning: slobbering love-in ahead.

To make it even richer, Archbishop Cupich has taken time out from his busy psychiatric practice to tweet a special recommendation for all Catholics to navigate to the article, and delight in the comedy team of Spadaro and Schonborn. (h/t Edward Pentin tweet.) The Bear always enjoys savaging Cardinal Cupich, but must stay focused, even in a target rich environment.

But wait. Here is the very same Jesuit Father Spadaro's opinion on Amoris Laetitia as reported in the National Catholic Register.

Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of La Civilta Cattolica and one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers, has cited Paragraph 303 as proof that the Pope is opening the door to Communion in such cases. “Pope Francis moves forward in this direction when he speaks of a ‘dynamic discernment’ that ‘must remain ever open to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized,’” he wrote in the Jesuit journal, whose articles are normally approved by the Secretariat of State but reportedly are now also cleared by Pope Francis. “An irregular situation cannot be turned into a regular one, but there are also journeys of healing, of exploration, journeys in which the law is lived step-by-step.”

Not very journalistically objective, CNS, is it, to have Amoris Laetitia cheerleader Fr. Spadaro interviewing another booster, Cardinal Schonborn.

For Sean O'Duibhir an Gleanna, we were worsted in the game.

Interestingly, in 1929 Julien Benda, the Bear's current go-to prophet, in la trahison des clercs noted how for intellectual traitors, everything is always in evolution. There are no fixed principles. Also, for Benda, the real treason was that the intellectuals continued to claim the title and prerogatives of intellectuals while choosing sides. Or maybe claim to be journalists while actually being propagandists.

There are probably far more traitors in the Church than faithful clercs, which is the bigger issue. But they were patient, plotted, played the long con, and - somehow - almost no one saw the danger until it was far too late. Now, the Church itself has been changed. It is not just a matter of getting rid of the traitors, but breaking up a replacement institution "as constituted in society" that is funded without limits, politically protected, entrenched in academia, and the norm in parishes.

For some reason the Bear is reminded of the haunting Irish ballad about the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Aughrim: we were worsted in the game. There is almost a fatalism that makes the brave hope of some future victory merely a romantic fantasy.

After Aughrim's great disaster,
When our foes in sooth were master...
May her sons be true when needed,
May they never fail as we did,
For Sean O'Duibhir an Gleanna, we were worsted in the game.

And Now, the Interview

So, is Amoris Laetia magisterial?  (Fr. Spadaro, the neutral reporter that he is, pre-answers, saying, "it seems obvious, but it is good to specify it in these times.")

Cardinal Schonborn agreed with Fr. Spadaro. "It is obvious."

Fr. Spadaro,"I have in impression, therefore, that this stage is in the evolution of the doctrine." (Wait, who is the reporter and who is being interviewed here?)

Cardinal Schonborn, "Yeah. Oh boy, is it ever evolution. You nailed it, buddy."

A sycophant interviews a traitor about a book supposedly written by the man who gave a whole new meaning to the Peter Principle and the article is recommended by a insect in a tiny purple outfit. It's really not worth wasting your time reading yourself, as it is fairly summarized. The Bear does it so his friends won't have to.

Monday, July 11, 2016

St. Benedict & Difficult Stability

"If you awoke to find POPE FRANCIS at the foot of your 
bed with a GUN your first impulse would probably NOT be to see
what the Catechism of the Catholic Church had to say about that."

St. Benedict wrote in his Rule about the four kinds of monks. Cenobites, Anchorites, Sarabaites, and Gyrovagues, oh my!

Cenobites. They lived in community under the direction of an Abbot. This is the ideal of monastic life, and "the most formidable to the powers of Hell."

Anchorites. These had been long schooled in the monastery, and were ready to engage the devil in single combat, living on their own as hermits. Not for the young or untrained.

Sarabaites. Sometimes three or four bad monks would band together and live without a rule, or at least no rule besides "whatever we like." It was a group of these that asked St. Benedict to come and be their spiritual father, only to try to murder him when they didn't like what he told them to do.

Gyrovagues. A gyrovague wanders from monastery to monastery, staying a few days in each, enjoying the hospitality, never settling down and making a serious effort at becoming obedient and holy. They are more wicked even than the sarabaites, if possible.

An Unstuck Society

Benedictine monks take a vow of stability. Benedictine Oblates are supposed to try to apply the rule, and, in particular, the idea of stability, in their own lives, although they take no vows.

The Bear has expressed with typical mordant humor the virtue of stability in his advice: "Nail your foot to the floor in front of your favorite pew and die there." (The Bear is sure St. Benedict would have put "nail your foot to the floor of your choir stall and die there.")

We have become an unstuck society. The average American moves 11.7 times in his lifetime. Few people are born, grow up, make a reputation and die in their hometowns. Worse, half of all marriages end in divorce. One-third of Americans who say they were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholics. Ten percent of all Americans are former Catholics, forming the second largest religious "denomination" in the country. If things seem messed up, St. Benedict would probably say, "Well, what do you expect, since you have no stability?"

Okies on the move.

It's like we're dust bowl okies, moving from place to place in a spiritual wasteland. We have become exactly what the masters of our materialistic society wants us to be: solitary and interchangeable economic units with no place to call our own. And we like to shop around until we find a parish that suits us. In St. Benedict's language, we are all gyrovagues.

The Virtue of Holy Stubbornness

What can we do? We can cultivate stability, or, as the Bear likes to call it, "the virtue of holy stubbornness." This is easier said than done, because the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence. Worse, a lot of the time it really is greener. We have to get in the habit of snarling, "Maybe, but this is my grass." St. Umptyfrat's Mass may not tick all your boxes, but you can keep on going until you can say, "maybe, but it's my parish." Cultivate loyalty. Even a cranky sort of loyalty is better than no loyalty at all. (However, we must also recognize the limits of loyalty. There is a kind of loyalty that hurts you, and hurts others. These matters could hardly be more complicated.)

Sure, Sunday, we got lectured by the priest about the inequalities in society. Apparently it had something to do with the murder of policemen in Dallas. Then there were the intentions. It was the Bear's son's first time as a reader. He made it through them without vomiting. I was proud of him. Gag by gag.

The Bear cannot guarantee his answers to this current disaster are correct. What appears here are nothing more than the personal ideas of a Bear, ursus arctos arctos. He never claimed to have a degree in theology, or have visions, or be anywhere close to holy. Seriously, the Bear is very wicked, and not just in the for humility's sake I have to say I'm wicked wicked, but in the real, whoa, Bear, I had no idea wicked

What the Bear does do is look at things like a trial lawyer. Evidence, credibility, and theories with explanatory power. It's how we get to the truth of things we cannot observe or reproduce in a laboratory. Essentially, the Bear's approach is forensic. It starts with facts ("things as they are"), not with theology ("things as they should be").

If you awoke to find Pope Francis at the foot of your bed with a gun, your first impulse would probably not be to see what the Catechism of the Catholic Church has to say about that. Maybe there's theology on that somewhere, but you don't know it, and you are going to react as best you can.

The Challenge of Stability

It wasn't supposed to happen like this. We are not supposed to have a  pope who seems to either not understand, or to object to, sound Catholic doctrine. If you read the Bear's article about cognitive dissonance, this might mean something to you: we followed all the instructions, then waited, but the flying saucer did not come. Yes. It seems that big of a deal to the Bear. He has worked out for himself a way of living with it. And that's all it is. If you find something that is of value to you, wonderful. (If not, well, please keep coming for the other stuff.)

You can take refuge from the cognitive dissonance in fatalism,  pietism, cynicism, traditionalism, sedevacantism, ecumenism, ultramontanism or whatever ism you want. They all have at least some explanatory power! It does not mean they are all right. Personally, the Bear thinks sedevacantism has enormous explanatory power, but he is not a sedevacantist. But, whatever gets you though the night. As long as you stick with Catholicism. Because this is so completely messed up we're making it up as we go. The Bear still hasn't found in Denzinger:

Break Glass When Church Teaches 24/7 In a Media Age Doctrines Contrary to Our Lord and Herself; the Pope Is Bad, and Wrong ("Bdong"); Most Bishops Could Not Get a Job at a Quickie-Lube; and Nine out of Ten Priests Would Tell You Nine Different Things About Hell, If They Didn't Immediately Redirect the Conversation to Gun Control.

Are you surprised? An ephemerist with doubts? Who is willing to admit he't not sure? Who doesn't lay down rules that must be followed by everyone? Who admits to not being the smartest kid in the room? True, the Bear can think of some, and he'll leave it at that. That doesn't mean he won't argue a point, but it means he never wants to give the idea that his is the only solution. Ultimately you must find your own safe space, and hope that God has mercy on all his confused sheep today, and in probably worse days to come. The Bear has lots of doubts, about a lot of things. He's a Bad Catholic, but, in fairness, they keep moving the property markers for Good Catholic territory.

Stability and Your Daily Routine

Stability is more important than ever these days.  When nothing seems certain, a routine keeps ups focused on God. Stability - or holy stubbornness - can be part of your day. This is, the Bear is confident, sound advice (because it isn't his). Benedictine Oblates say the Divine Office in the morning and evening (unless they are Bears, and sometimes don't, because they are lazy). Oblates also read the Rule of St. Benedict and do lectio divina, i.e. spend time with Holy Scripture. Even though this isn't all that much, it still isn't always easy. But holy stubbornness can see you through. Punctuating your day with Lauds and Vespers, and maybe Compline before bedtime sanctifies your day according to ancient principles. It is stability applied to time.

We are in strange and dangerous times, spiritually. It is a time of do-it-yourself Catholicism, since the Church no longer takes seriously the cure of souls, and our pastors too often neglect the sheep. In this respect, we are like sarabaites, too: leaderless bands, though unwilling. We're on our own except for what resources we can scavenge from the great shipwreck. Fortunately, we still have the Church, and God will provide for the persistent from her riches.

The Bear cannot believe God will not, in His mercy, take into account the confusion that seems to be a permanent feature of the Vatican. But that's just the Bear talking.

One of those riches is the Holy Rule of St. Benedict, and Benedictine spirituality. Whose foundation stability.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Bear is Happy! Celebrate With Him!

Rejoice with the Bear today! Drinks are on the Bear today! Why, you ask?

This is not the main thing, which is at the end. But the Bear has been repatriated to the U.S. He isn't quite sure how happy the U.S. is to have him back. They did hang him out to dry in the Turk and Bear Affair, which you may remember as the Bunny Rabbit hack. But when the Bear's mate finally found his passport marking his place in Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West holding up one corner of the couch, and mailed it to his dacha in Moscow, they had no choice but to let the Bear back in the country.

He flew back courtesy of the Russian government, out of Domodedovo International, Moscow, in a very cramped business class seat on a British Airways A321 to a layover at Heathrow, London.

To the left, BA pajamas. Unfortunately, not Bear-size.
The layover was very long, and the Bear was the object of great curiosity (and picked up a bit of pocket salmon). It wasn't the West End, but it brought back fond memories of Pablo Fanque's Circus and the Bear's act with Harry Houdini.

After many hours, he boarded a BA Triple Seven for a luxurious first-class night flight to Chicago. The in-flight entertainment system stopped working about an hour into the flight, but the Bear had picked up one of the new Kindle Paperwhites. Between eating, reading and sleeping (flat on his back) the Bear enjoyed crossing the North Atlantic. He was awakened during our descent to Chicago O'Hare.

The British Airways personnel sure are chatty on the PA. The Bear can honestly say he's had more, shall we say, interested attention in-flight. But you never know how much is the Bear Factor. The Bear does not know about you, but airlines of the West don't even try to compete with, say, Emirates. The Bear had the smoked salmon, which they kept coming, at least, at the slightest snarl, so the Bear really can't mark them down for service.

Smoked salmon at 38,000 feet.

Ground transportation was provided from Chicago to Zoar, as regional jets are not really designed with Bears in mind. The Bear was very happy to see his driver, bodyguard, and factotum, Red Death, a.k.a. the Shepherdess, a.k.a. the Bear's mate. Six hours later, the Bear was once more inside his compound, with newly beefed-up security funded by someone else. Now if the goats would stop knocking down the remote cameras.

Currently, the big complication is Foreign Relations and Intercourse, Title 22 of the United States Code. It does sound rather salacious, but it just means that as a Russian citizen involved in the usual Bear stuff, the Bear has to register under FARA, declaring his interests and activities on behalf of Russia. (Such as being rescued by Russia when the U.S. deliberately did nothing on behalf of its citizen?) Never fear, the Bear answers to no government, but will always say what he thinks.

But that's not it.

Something much bigger.

Don't bother asking.  It's very hush-hush.

But awesome.

All in due time.

But today, celebrate with the Bear, who is back among the goat pastures of Zoar.

And has another, very special reason to be happy today.

Identity, Grievance, Anger and Dehumanization In Dallas

Big Message, or One, Isolated, Shooter?

There is always a temptation to try to draw the big message from an act of violence such as occurred with the tragic loss of lives among policemen in Dallas. There is always, too, the rush to make the killer unique, unconnected with the culture at large, and to exonerate culturally protected groups. The first is not always wise, and the second is deceitful and dishonorable. (Primarily, of course, it is a moment for political opportunism regarding gun ownership.)

The Bear cannot draw any conclusions from one shooter who may or may not have been connected to some larger movement. (He hopes Archbishop Cupich does not trot out the "mentally unstable," or maybe "crazy Afghanistan veteran" defense without evidence, like he did after the last Muslim terrorist attack in the U.S.) We know the shooter said at the scene he wanted to kill white people, especially white police officers. We cannot blame Black Lives Matter. As far as the Bear knows, murder is not part of its agenda.

However, it brings to mind some hard truths the Bear learned in both law enforcement and criminal defense. Consider it a "teachable moment" that so many love these days.

Do Blacks Have a Different Perception of Law Enforcement Than Whites?

In the Bear's legal career, he learned that black people often had a different perception of law enforcement than did white people. They are often more distrustful of police. The Bear is not going to go into the whys and wherefores right now. It's a fact of life in the work the Bear did.

The Bear also learned that police often had different perceptions of black people. When the Bear was a LEO circa 1980, he was in a squad car, and the driver went up to a drive-up window, where we were served by a black fast-food worker. "Food untouched by human hands," the officer joked. There was a kind of casual racism displayed by some officers, but it did not seem to affect white officers' relationship with black officers, or the actual job of being a policeman. Oddly, it did not seem to affect the black officers' heightened awareness of the potential for escalation when dealing with young back males. (Drunken college students were perhaps not perceived as the same threat.)

The joke is true that there is the crime of "DWB" or "driving while black." Police are often more suspicious of black people, especially young males. This does not come out of some racist mindset, but, the reality on the streets. Police are equally happy to arrest white people, as well. It's part of their job, after all. The Bear has never met a policeman who did not want to be a good cop. (Not that all succeeded.)

The Bear believes both black people and police had some real reasons for mutual mistrust. Perhaps the single most relevant fact in this conversation are the FBI crime statistics, which are available to anyone online. And, police are authorized to use deadly force under specific circumstances. The Bear would wager that almost no police shootings of black persons is an act of racism.

The Bear has never been in a gunfight. He suspects the body is injecting quite the cocktail of hormones which may make split-second life-or-death judgments in some situations dicey.

For the record, BLM, as a movement, seems intellectually bankrupt to the Bear. But, he is careful to add that one shooter, even if he were associated with BLM, does not a terrorist organization make.

The Racial Element in Picking a Jury

Prosecutors, at least where the Bear practiced, would go to any length to keep black people off juries. (There is case law that requires a neutral explanation for a no-cause strike of a black potential juror, but prosecutors are very ingenious in coming up with those explanations.) The Bear should add that he wanted black jurors, for the exact reason of their different take on police, or so he believed. His black defendants also wanted black jurors, for what that's worth.

If it is standard operating procedure for lawyers in criminal trials to quite seriously take race into account while picking a jury, then, even if it is trial lawyer folklore, it is an interesting fact that admits something about the system. It does not mean, however, that innocent blacks are being carelessly or deliberately gunned down by police as a matter of course.

Ideas Have Consequences

Ideas have consequences. When a low level of toxic radiation sickens a part of the culture, it does not harm only the ill. The Bear knows he has been relying much on Julien Benda and his la trahison des clercs lately. But Benda observed three of the most defining characteristics of the West in our age: (1) "intellectuals" can be found to lend support to any group; (2) people are dividing themselves into ever-smaller segments based on their "unique characteristics;" and (3) politics has become a 24/7 consuming obsession of ordinary people.

As to the last, just as people read "their" newspapers in Benda's day, each of us is our own publisher, tailoring our news to our views. We need never be exposed to anyone with whom we disagree, and we gain instant approval for expressing culturally sanctioned virtues. (Which are actually rootless taboos, not virtues at all.)

The Bear would add that these small, but passionate groups tend to migrate to beneath one of two big umbrellas usually called the Left and the Right, where they form alliances of convenience, and, on the Left, define individuals as culturally virtuous.

Of course black lives matter. All lives matter. But it could not be more illustrative of Benda's thesis to have as a group's slogan, "Black Lives Matter," as if it were somehow a special quality of black people to have their lives matter. (Abortion and gunshot death statistics would suggest that this opinion is not, in any case, widely shared among black people.) Black lives matter, therefore by implication, do non-black lives not matter? Do cops' lives not matter? They apparently did not in Dallas, and that is more than a rhetorical point.

Group, Grievance, Anger, Dehumanization and Killing

The Bear never lost a death penalty case. He had a theory that people will not kill other people. They will kill enemies, monsters, the inhuman. But not people. The Bear's entire trial philosophy was based on this. Force the jury to see his client as a human being and they will never vote to kill him. (Unfortunately, he rarely got to prove his theory, since his trials were usually successfully resolved in more Bearish ways.)

When someone sets out - for whatever reason - to assassinate cops because they are cops, and hopefully white, whatever else is obscure, we know he did not see his victims as persons. Just as the Bear could make a jury see a criminal as a person,  a movement can make someone see a white cop as a non-human. Dehumanization is the historical, common factor in much propaganda, and all politically motivated mass killings.

Unfortunately, the Bear predicts that this kind of behavior, from one group or another, will become more common. It is easy to go on about "polarization," but the Bear has tried to demonstrate that people find value in their association with small groups. It gives them a political voice and cultural protection. They have their own thinkers to provide them with their ideas. This cannot be healthy.

And nothing appeals to identity groups like grievance and anger. The "intellectuals," the financial backers, the Facebook SJWs, all ought to stop and think. No, we don't know if Black Lives Matter played a role, so this is not a murder indictment. But can the rhetoric, the grievance, and the anger, all dehumanize people and legitimize murder in someone's mind? If you have a whole movement based on the idea that black people nationwide are being murdered by police, the Bear cannot see anywhere wholesome this can go.

Everywhere you look, it's us versus them. The Bear is not playing the above-it-all game. There will always be right and wrong, and error has no rights. But if all this anger were organized along clean geographical lines, rather than by metropolitan statistical areas, we would be in full-fledged civil war. It is strange to think of political violence increasing in this country. Nonetheless, the Bear finds all the necessary ingredients, and no cultural brake on it.

Ideas, today, seem to turn into bullets almost by magic.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Pope Video: Indigenous People - Dothraki

The new Pope Video is out, and the Bear has to hand it to Pope Francis this time. The theme is something about indigenous people. Like, leave us alone, unless you're giving us stuff. But it is by far the best Pope Video yet.

It begins with Daenerys Targaryen, First of Her Name, Khaleesi of the Grass Sea, The Unburnt, The Mother of Dragons, The Breaker of Chains, in indigenous Dothraki dress, stepping up to a podium in an empty hall as the usual synthesized score plays. Soft lighting behind her reveals an indigenous Dothraki royal tent and a servant steps up and begins braiding Daenerys' hair.

Without speaking a word, she produces a horse heart and consumes it in a montage of very short takes. With her face covered in blood, she addresses the camera directly.

"I have many titles, but now I wish to address you simply as Daenerys Targaryen, First of My Name, Khaleesi of the Grass Sea. I love my loyal indigenous Dothraki subjects, who will soon cross the Narrow Sea in wooden horses along with their mounts.

"I speak for the Sheep People, and the Wildings, as well, and all indigenous folk who do not get a clockwork city of their own in the opening credits. I'm not sure if the Ice Zombies are indigenous, but we'll include them to be on the safe side.

"The Dothraki ways may not be yours, but they deserve to be respected. Except for that giant dome for ex-Khaleesis, which I incinerated along with everyone in it. Leave us alone. Just like we would leave you alone if I did not have an enormous fleet, Dothraki horse lords, the Unsullied, the Second Sons and a squadron of fire-breathing dragons. Oh, and that dwarf, the eunuch and the old guy with the crush on me. As if.

"Swear obedience to your rightful queen, people of the Seven Kingdoms!"

Fade to familiar "Pope Video" closing title.

Bear Will Have Nuclear Launch Codes

Within 24 hours of Hillary Clinton's swearing in, the Bear has been assured by the completely mysterious and totally unconnected with the Bear hacker group you may remember from the Bunny Rabbit Incident, B34R (or Cozy Bear or Fancy Bear as they are sometimes called), that they will supply the Bear with everything necessary to target and launch every last nuclear weapon in the inventory of the United States.

Admit it. You are so much more comfortable with the Bear having control of The Bomb than some ridiculous human. Of course, the Bear would never use his powers for evil. He means at all. Readers of this ephemeris know how seriously he takes everything, and this shall be no exception.

But, just in case, he's making a list, and checking it twice. He predicts the mere knowledge of this development will improve international behavior. And could see to the Bear's salmon needs for the foreseeable future.

Scientists Say Goats as Good as Dogs

[You know we have a goat named Badger, right Badger?] We might not go that far, even here at Bear Manor, where goats have been known to run up and down the stairs, jump on the bed and curl up for Bible reading. But we have always known that goats are sadly underrated as companion animals. They each have their different personality, are people-oriented and love to play. Perhaps that is why in the history of Zoar, we have never eaten one of our goats.

Sheep are incredibly stupid, smelly and unkempt. When Our Lord prefers sheep to goats, perhaps it is His way of saying, "Humans really need My help."

But according to scientists, goats behave much like dogs, can learn to use tools and are far, far superior to sheep.  And goats are always smiling.

"Hello there! We're in the Book of Joshua. It is a dandy story. Care to join us?" (Javert)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ripping Yarns From the Bear's Career in Criminal Trial Practice

Bear Lore: Do Not Enter Any Fight You Do Not Intend to Win

Consider these legal reminiscences as the necessary foundation of a subsequent article on the Bear's strategic plans, and why, When Bears Attack, they follow this ancient Bear wisdom, whose original author is lost in the mists of tradition.

Kindness is for fools! They want them to be treated with oil, soap, and caresses but they ought to be beaten with fists! In a duel you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can! War is not made with charity, it is a struggle, a duel. 

What does this have to do with cross-examination?  Simple.  The Bear's objective on cross-examination was always nothing less than to utterly destroy the credibility of the witness who was testifying against his client, to the extent the witness himself made that possible.  The Bear's client's life might be on the line; his liberty at the least.  The only thing that stood between his client and the dreadful power of the state was the Bear, and sometimes his ability to nose out perjury.

This is the key point.  If a trial defense lawyer is not willing to go into a cross-examination burning with that imperative, the Bear has little use for him.  This does not merely mean poking at a fact or two, but, where it were true, exposing the witness as a bad person: a liar and a blackguard whom the jurors should not believe.  If an innocent loved one of yours was on trial for murder, would you want his or her lawyer to have the skill and determination to pitilessly expose perjury?  Or would you be worried about the witness' tender feelings, or the lawyer's deference to an authority figure?

Jose Ferrer destroys Captain Queeg - or does he
just give Captain Queeg the opportunity to destroy himself?

Jose Ferrer vs. Humphrey Bogart

Think of Jose Ferrer as trial defense counsel in the Cain Mutiny completely demolishing poor Captain Queeg, humiliating him in front of the shocked officers.  Was it pretty?  No.  Was Captain Queeg sympathetic?  Yes.  Was Jose Ferrer proud?   No ("it was like shooting fish in a barrel").  Did he do his duty?  Yes.  Captain Queeg got himself into trouble when he elaborated, and then dissembled about various matters.  When he realized he was floundering, he became nervous, and started playing with his steel balls.  Through well-prepared, respectful, but firm cross-examination, Captain Queeg himself confirmed that he was not, in fact, fit to command a U.S. warship.  That is a classic representation of a good cross examination.

It is not bad to plant doubts about the accuracy of a witness on a point or two, and usually, that's the best one can hope for.  But what if you could show the jury that the witness is a bad person whom everyone knows is a liar, without a shred of credibility?  If your innocent loved one's life were on the line, wouldn't you prefer the latter, if possible?  Now two quick points.

The first is that this hardly ever meant Bearish aggression.  The Bear usually conducted cross in a reasonable, almost friendly tone.  Sometimes, you have no choice, if your witness is sympathetic.  But the Bear always wanted the jurors to be thinking, okay, that's fair enough; what do you have to say?

In fact, most of the time, the Bear was at his most winsome during cross.  First, to lull the witness into a false sense of security.  Second to appeal to the jury.  Third, because it is one of the more challenging and theatrical parts of a trial, and the old show Bear could not be suppressed.

Sometimes the Bear would ask the question he knew would make the witness spontaneously combust while facing the jury, rather than the witness, and actually look the jurors in the eye while the witnessed answered.  Hello, we're in this together, friends.  I have him now, and he doesn't even realize it.  I am demonstrating my confidence and contempt for this perjurer.  Now watch this.

The second point is that if a witness answered the Bear's questions simply and truthfully, he was 100% safe. The best lawyer in the world can't do anything on cross with a completely truthful witness.  The problem is, witnesses are always trying to second-guess the lawyer, and deny him what they think he wants.  Big mistake.  So do not imagine any of the Bear's victims were innocent.  The ones who could be reasonably mistaken were treated with sympathy, even friendliness.  Liars found cross-examination excruciating.  (But not for the Bear.)

Next time we shall see a couple of examples of epic fails by witness under cross.

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