Monday, January 22, 2018

Right now the two parties in Washington are The Swamp and Donald Trump. It's not about Republicans and Democrats-Mark Simone, 1/22/18


 1/22/18, Mark Simone twitter


Egypt Foreign Ministry says Turkey's attack on Afrin is 'unacceptable'-ANF News

"Turkey says it has begun a massive assault on Kurdish forces on the other side of the border with Syria - potentially putting it in direct conflict with its NATO ally, the United States." BBC, 1/20/18

1/22/18, "Egypt: Turkish attack on Afrin is unacceptable,"

"The Foreign Ministry of Egypt condemned the Turkish state’s “unacceptable” attack on Afrin, calling it an intervention against and violation of Syrian lands.

In a statement about the operation, the Foreign Ministry pointed out that Turkey negatively affected the political efforts for the ending of terror in Syria, saying; “The attitude of Egypt towards military methods is clear as attacks against our Syrian brothers and sisters are increasing.”

On the other hand, Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Frants Klintseviç stated that Russia will ask Turkey to end its operation on Afrin at the United Nations.”

In a Facebook post about the invasion attempt, top Russian official Konstantin Kosaçev said; “Disturbing news are coming from Syria. The “Anti-terrorist operation” announced by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan causes nothing but concern.”" Map via BBC


To Reps. Curbelo (R-Fla.) and Costello (R-Pa.): 50% of particles you breathe in Florida in summer are from Africa...Organisms in African dust infect coral reefs in Caribbean. Dust from Asia and Africa carries disease to US. A quarter of LA smog is from China-Washington Post, 2/6/2008...(Curbelo and Costello deny US climate 'action,' that $100 million+ US tax dollars daily are spent on alleged CO2 danger that's either nonexistent or exists only in China. Why? Who's going to speak up for us?)

Death of Caribbean coral reefs caused by live organisms carried in African dust per USGS...In Florida in the summer, 50% of particles you breathe come from Africa....Hundreds of millions of tons of Asian dust regularly land in Northwestern US. African Sahara and Sahel dust carrying bacteria, fungus, and viruses reach southeast US in 3-5 days....One quarter of LA smog comes from China. Washington Post, 2/6/2008 

Feb. 6, 2008, "Dust Storms Overseas Carry Contaminants to U.S.," Washington Post, Doug Struck

Map, NASA, 6/2001, scroll down: "This TOMS [Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer] image shows a record-setting Asian dust cloud beginning its journey east across the Pacific. Click on the image to view a 440 kb animation of the dust cloud migrating to North America. Remember that as the dust disappears from the satellite's view, it's raining out of the air onto the ocean and the land. See a similar Asian dust cloud from 1998 in this animation,"
"Now, with NASA satellites and sampling by researchers around the world, scientists know that great billowing clouds of dust waft over the oceans in the upper atmosphere, arriving in North America from deserts in Africa and Asia.

Researchers have also found that the dust clouds contain not only harmful minerals and industrial pollutants, but also living organisms: bacteria, fungus and viruses that may transmit diseases to humans. Some say an alarming increase in asthma in children in the Caribbean is the consequence of dust blown from Africa, and predict they will find similar connections in the Southeast and Northwest United States.

Scientists are beginning to look at these dust clouds as possible suspects in transcontinental movement of diseases such as influenza and SARS in humans, or foot-and-mouth disease in livestock. Until recently, epidemiologists had looked at people, animals and products as carriers of the diseases. 

"We are just beginning to accumulate the evidence of airborne dust implications on human health," said William A. Sprigg, a climate expert at the University of Arizona. "Until now, it's been like the tree falling in the forest. Nobody heard, so nobody knew it was there." 

The World Meteorological Organization, a science arm of the United Nations, is alarmed enough to set up a global warning system to track the moving clouds of dust and to alert those in the path. Sprigg is heading the project.

He foresees a system soon in which forecasters can predict "down to the Zip code" the arrival of dust clouds. That forecast could prompt schools and nursing homes to keep their wards inside, and help public health doctors predict a surge of respiratory complaints.

Analysis of soil samples has long shown that minerals picked up from barren deserts reach distant shores, for good or bad. The Amazon rain forest in South America, for example, gets phosphate nutrients from dust blown in from northern Africa's Sahara Desert. 

Industrial development has added heavy metals and toxic chemicals to that airborne mix. Korea and Japan periodically chafe as storms of "Yellow Dust" wash over from China, bringing a caustic mix of sand and industrial pollutants. 

Map, Asia dust leaving April 6 reached Midwest US by April 13: "While much of the dust cloud remains over the Pacific Ocean, the leading edge has reached as far east as the American Midwest by April 13. Images such as this one are a principal tool for scientists who study aerosols.", 2001.

Even natural minerals can be harmful to humans, and dust-borne particles have been linked to annual meningitis outbreaks in Africa and silicosis lung disease in Kazakhstan and North Africa. The Dust Bowl storms of the 1930s in the United States brought graphic descriptions of choking sediment getting into the lungs of people and felling livestock.

But the advent of satellite images gave scientists a sobering look at how even faraway storms can reach us. 

Traveling for a week over the Pacific from the Gobi and Taklimakan deserts in Asia, clouds carrying hundreds of millions of tons of dust regularly reach the northwestern United States. From the Sahara and Sahel deserts in Africa and the East, they roll across the Atlantic to the Caribbean and reach the southeastern United States in three to five days.

Authorities in Los Angeles estimate that on some days, one-quarter of the city's smog comes from China. 

"There is plenty of evidence from space observations of the Northern Hemisphere that there is a persistent ring of industrial emission dust and other pollutants in the air. You can actually see this bathtub ring around the Northern Hemisphere," said Stanley A. Morain, who heads the Earth Data Analysis Center at the University of New Mexico and collaborates with Sprigg....

The dust swirls into the atmosphere containing plant pollens, fungal spores, dried animal feces, minerals, chemicals from fires and industry, and pesticide residues....Dust storms may be increasing as global warming and desertification expand arid areas....

Asthma in the Caribbean increased just as an African drought increased the amount of dust washing over the islands. Asthma has increased in Barbados 17 times since 1973, when the African drought began, according to a national study there, and researchers have documented an increase in pediatric hospital admissions when the dust storms are worst.

Scientists previously had thought bacteria and viruses picked up by the dust storms would die on long flights, when they are exposed to ultraviolet radiation and extreme temperatures. But three-inch African locusts have been found alive in the Caribbean after dust storms. 

In the late 1990s, Eugene Shinn, who was studying the widespread die-off of Caribbean coral reefs for the U.S. Geological Survey in Florida, began wondering if smaller living organisms came with the dust. He eventually linked live microbes brought from Africa to sea fan disease, which was infecting the coral. 

Shinn enlisted USGS microbiologist Dale Griffin. They and other colleagues devised a method of collecting air samples, using a contraption built with a vacuum pump from Home Depot drawing air through a two-inch round sterile filter.

In the first test, collected during a dusty day in 2000 over the Virgin Islands, Griffin said he thought they might find evidence of four or five different microorganisms growing colonies on the filter. Instead, he found 30 colonies, each with billions of cells.

"I did not expect that many," he said. "And we know that whatever grows on the filter represents only about 1 percent of what's really there. People just don't think about microorganisms moving around the atmosphere, at least that far."

Griffin said that "in Florida in the summer, when the dust storms are pulsing across, if you walk outside and breathe, 50 percent of the particles you breathe come from Africa," more than 4,000 miles away. They contain mold spores and bacteria that increase allergies and respiratory diseases. Shinn, who is now retired, said that there has not been enough response to these findings.

"No one in authority really wants to hear about this problem, even when it is known that African dust sporadically exceeds EPA air standards in places like Miami during the summer months," Shinn said in a letter recently. "No government agency wants to face this problem because no one knows what to do about it. 

"In my opinion, nothing will change regarding either African or Asian dust until we have a catastrophe such as a large-scale avian flu, West Nile virus, or some other deadly outbreak that cannot be explained away by the usual suspects," he said. "Meanwhile we will continue to employ agents to check for fruit in baggage and dirt on tourists' shoes while hundreds of millions of tons of soil dust carrying live microbes continue to be transported unchecked overhead."

Unchecked, perhaps, but not unwatched. The early warning system being devised by Sprigg will track those storms, integrating the data with weather forecasts, so that local authorities have notice of one to three days to take precautions. Parts of the system have already been set up in China and Europe.

In addition to medical precautions, police can be warned about deteriorating driving visibility and airports can plan to reroute planes, Sprigg said. He said he hopes the next step will be more aggressive medical research to determine the composition and human health threats of what is in those dust clouds.

"I really see some practical applications here," he said. "We are just getting started.""



Saturday, January 20, 2018

You have only yourselves to blame. You chose to ignore longtime Democrat voters. 6.7-9.2 million Obama voters bypassed Mrs. Clinton and voted for Trump in 2016. It's unlikely you'll ever get these voters back-NY Times, Washington Post


12/7/2016, "Valerie Jarrett says Trump election felt 'like a punch in the stomach'," Chicago Tribune, Kim Janssen


That between 6.7 and 9.2 million Obama voters would bypass Mrs. Clinton and become Trump voters in 2016 should've surprised no one. 
The 6.7 to 9.2 million Obama to Trump voters were "far more than enough to provide Trump his electoral College victory."..."The biggest common denominator among Obama-Trump voters is a view that the political system is corrupt and doesn’t work for people like them."...

6/8/17, "The Democratic Party Is in Worse Shape Than You Thought," NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall, commentary 

Democrat Party exodus 2011-2017:

Dec. 2017, "Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation," Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, Author: Robert Griffin (formerly with Center for American Progress and others)

*While most Obama to Trump voters once identified as Democrats, a majority now identify as Republicans. Since 2011, there has been a 28 percent decline in Democratic identification and a 43 percent increase in Republican identification among these voters....

Partisan affiliation is one of the most stable features of the modern American electorate. While individuals’ feelings toward politicians or their attitudes about policy can change quickly, partisanship is a deep-seated identity resistant to change."...


In Ohio, thousands of Democrats were changing parties:

7/18/2016, "Outside Cleveland, thousands of Democrats are becoming Republicans," CNN, Mahoning County, Ohio 


Fat Cats simply say Ohio Democrat voters are "not modern enough, not educated enough, not willing to adjust" to a party that prioritizes unisex bathrooms above economic issues:

4/5/2017, "Democrats are still ignoring the people who could have helped them defeat Trump, Ohio Party leaders say," Washington Post, William Wan

Worst of all, they said, the party hadn't learned from what they saw as the biggest message from November's election: Democrats have fallen completely out of touch with America's blue-collar voters...."After everything that’s happened, if we as a party still aren’t speaking to them, then we are never getting them back.”...During the [2016] primaries, he learned that 18 of his own Democratic precinct captains had crossed party lines to vote for Trump. Some areas had to print extra Republican primary ballots just to keep up with the demand.

“That’s when I knew something was wrong,” he said.

He warned [Mrs.] Clinton that she had lost all credibility with working-class voters by waffling on trade and offering tepid solutions.
That geographic disconnect has translated into policies that alienate the heartland, [Ohio Democrat Rep. Marcy] Kaptur said, overlooking, for example, the devastation of globalized free trade on places such as Ohio. “They paid lip service to it, but the underlying attitude was, ‘You’re not modern enough, not educated enough, not willing to adjust,’ Kaptur said....Trump not only flipped the state [of Ohio] but also won by the largest margin of any presidential candidate since 1988."...  


Added: "Non-college voters" aren't exactly a fringe group:

Maps above from Dec. 2017, "Party Hoppers: Understanding Voters Who Switched Partisan Affiliation," Democracy Fund Voter Study Group 


11/9/2016, "Obama tried to stay upbeat about the elections. These pictures of grim White House aides tell another story." Washington Post, David Nakamura


Friday, January 19, 2018

Google suspends part of its fact checking operation after mistakes, blames algorithm. Critiqued article didn't claim all 17 Mueller attorneys were Hillary supporters, just that at least 9 of the 17 were-Poynter

"Disclosure: Both Poynter and the International Fact-Checking Network receive funding from Google."
1/19/18, "Google suspends fact-checking feature over quality concerns,", Daniel Funke 

"Google is suspending a search feature that displayed fact checks associated to publishers after receiving criticism from conservative news outlets. 

“We launched the reviewed claims feature in our Knowledge Panel at the end of last year as an experiment with the aim of helping people quickly learn more about news publications,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Poynter. “We said previously that we encountered challenges in our systems that maps fact checks to publishers, and on further examination it’s clear that we are unable to deliver the quality we’d like for users.”

A spokesperson for Google further clarified to Poynter on Friday that the tech company isn’t ending its fact-checking efforts altogether — just the Reviewed Claims section of its Knowledge Panel feature. Fact checks from independent organizations will still appear alongside articles in search and Google News. (Disclosure: Both Poynter and the International Fact-Checking Network receive funding from Google.)

Google launched the Knowledge Panel feature in November [2017] on mobile and desktop in an effort to display information about specific publishers in search. Part of that feature included a Reviewed Claims column that matched outlets’ disputed claims with fact checks contributed by independent fact-checking organizations to the ClaimReview markup

That feature came under fire last week, as Poynter reported, when The Daily Caller published a story lambasting Google for wrongly appending a Washington Post Fact Checker debunk to one of its stories about Robert Mueller’s investigation team.

"Google's algorithm erroneously linked a Washington Post fact check to a Daily Caller article about Mueller's investigation team. The claim in question was never made in the piece. (Screenshot from Google)."
Several other right-wing outlets picked up the story, which also took issue with the publishers that Google was — and wasn’t — applying the Reviewed Claims feature to. Google told Poynter on Friday that the decision to suspend Reviewed Claims resulted in part because of The Daily Caller’s complaint, as well as feedback from other users. 

Going forward, Google’s spokesperson said that they’re working to figure out how to improve the Reviewed Claims feature before re-launching it, adding that the company conducts about 150,000 experiments like that a year. While the feature won’t be scrapped entirely, they could not provide a timeframe for its reinstatement."


Added: 1/19/18, "Google Suspends Fact Check Project, crediting TheDCNF Investigation With Decision," Daily Caller, Eric Lieberman

"Perhaps most importantly, many of the fact-checks were wrong. One of the purported reviewed claims was for an article [excerpted below] that straightforwardly reported that yet another member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team was a donor for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

Google attributed the fact-check to The Washington Post, something it’s vice president of communications took issue with....

Google removed that single purported fact-check at the time of TheDCNF’s initial inquiries, but there were several others that were also false, if not all of them."...


Excerpt of Daily Caller article linked above: 17th attorney, Freeny, hired for Mueller team as of 9/16/17 is a former Hillary donor as are at least 8 others on the team. Freeny also worked in the Obama White House for 7 months in 2011:

9/16/2017, "Mueller Picks Another Clinton/Obama Donor For Russia Probe Team," Daily Caller, Chuck Ross

"Freeny is the 17th attorney identified as a member of Mueller’s investigative team....

(RELATED: Mueller Hires Yet Another Democratic Donor [Aug. 2017])

Freeny, who joined DOJ in 2007, has something in common with at least eight of her Mueller team members.

According to documents maintained by the Federal Election Commission, Freeny has donated in each of the past three presidential elections to Democratic nominees, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

She donated $250 on three separate occasions, on Sept. 13, 2008, June 30, 2012 and Sept. 9, 2016.

For seven months in 2011, Freeny worked as an attorney in the Obama White House on security clearance issues....

The nine lawyers who have given to Democrats have shelled out nearly $65,000 in donations altogether."... 


Breitbart News Fake News Awards including Fact Checkers Who Lie the Most-John Nolte, 1/18/18

1/18/18, "Nolte: The Breitbart News Fake News Awards," Breitbart, John Nolte

"President Trump has released his Fake News Awards. In the spirit of the historic occasion, Breitbart News came up with a few journalist awards of our own.

News Anchor Who Ran Fastest to His Mommy Crying
— CNN’s  Don Lemon 

Dumbest News Anchor
— CNN’s Chris Cuomo 

Most Pathetic News Outlet

Actually tried to kill Trump’s Fake News Awards with a story about how they “could violate ethics rules.”

Biggest Lie of the Year
— ABC News

Claimed that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was going to testify that candidate Trump asked him to contact the Russians. The truth is that as president-elect, Trump asked Flynn to contact the Russians, which is totally appropriate. ABC News did not even bother to retract or correct this lie. They only had disgraced reporter Brian Ross issue a “clarification.”

Most Desperate News Anchor
— CNN’s April Ryan

Between PieGate and constantly screaming, “ARE YOU A RACIST!” at President Trump, CNN’s April Ryan is by far the most desperate to viralize her own hysterical trolling, even if it means proving that her IQ hovers below room temperature. 

Reporter Who Kissed the Most Girls and Made Them Cry
— Glenn Thrush of the New York Times

The young woman ordered an Uber — the receipt shows it was about 11 pm — and says she planned to call [her friend] Padró Ocasio back once inside the car. In the few minutes she waited, she said, Thrush walked back over to her and started to kiss her again. She began to cry. When Thrush saw, he abruptly walked off, waving his hand flippantly, and left her alone to wait for her ride, she said.
News Outlet That Lost the Most Influence in 2017 – Tie
— BuzzFeed News is now most famous for spreading fake news.
Politico has not published a story that matters in forever.
— CNN, which no one believes anymore.

Anchors Who Lost So Much Influence in 2017 They Are Losing to Reruns of ‘Forensic Files’ on Headline News
Ashleigh BanfieldS.E. CuppCarol CostelloMichaela Pereira

Top Fake News Newcomer

And Axios is just getting started.

Winner of the Brian Williams Award for Biography Falsehoods
— Jake “Down with da’ Struggle” Tapper of CNN

Most Willing to Pull Fake News out of Her Ass
— Alisyn “Corroborated” Camerota of CNN

Most Willing to Pull Fake News out of His Ass
— Jim “Very Fake News” Acosta of CNN

News Outlet Most Willing to Pull Fake News out of Its Ass
— The New York Times – August 2017

Months after Trump had already made a climate report public, the New York Times accused him of suppressing it.

Network Anchor in Whose Head Trump Lives the Most Rent-Free and Turns the Stereo Up Really Loud While Dancing as if Nobody’s Looking 

— Joe “The Constant Meltdown” Scarborough of NBC News

News Outlet Where You Are Most Likely to Be Sexually Abused
NBC News

News Outlet Where You Are Most Likely to Be Sexually Abused in Dulcet Tones

National Public Radio

Biggest and Most Widespread Lie in All of the Media
The false claim that Obama did not spy on Trump.

Bullying Reporter with Short-Man Syndrome Most Eager to Abuse His Power to Destroy Your Life
— Andrew “King of the Doxxers” Kaczynski of CNN

News Anchor Most Likely to Call You a “Fag”

— Joy “Gay Basher” Reid of NBC News

This Year’s Dan Rather Award for “Fake but Accurate”
— Katy “Feels True” Tur of NBC News

This Year’s Stephen Glass Award for Just Making Sh*t Up

— Maggie “Trump Has SuperTwitterBlockingPowers” Haberman of the New York Times

This Year’s Hillary Clinton Award for Protecting Democrat Sex Abusers – Four-Way Tie

— Mika “Slut Shamer” Brzynski of NBC News
— Andrea “Discredited” Mitchell of NBC News
— Kasie “Not Actually Groping” Hunt of NBC News
— Cokie “We Knew” Roberts of NPR

He-Man Woman-Haters Enabler Award
— Jeff Zucker of CNN and NBC

This Year’s Roman Polanski Don’t Leave Him Alone with Your Child Award

— Chris “Look at the Penis” Cuomo of CNN

Most Eager to Promote Domestic Terrorism Award
The Washington Post – August 2017

Charlottesville Showed Liberalism Can’t Defeat White Supremacy. Only Direct Action Can:
In April 1968, amid a flurry of other “rocks,” riots shook American cities following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It took that rolling unrest, not the promise of further economic growth, to spur President Lyndon Johnson and Congress to action. Within a week, they had passed the Fair Housing Act.
During the past century, liberalism, vexed by an ever-sharp, ever-cutting white supremacy, has needed these rocks. …
Segregationists have again assumed their pedestals in the Justice Department, the White House, and many other American temples. Paper alone will not drive them out. Start throwing rocks.
Worst Display of Anti-Christian Bigotry
— The Washington Post – January 2017

Trump picks former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue, who once led a prayer for rain, for agriculture secretary.”

Most Ignorant About Guns
— USA Today – November 2017:

Biggest Liar About Guns
— CNN’s Jim Acosta – December 2017

CNN’s Jim Acosta Claims ‘1,552 Mass Shootings’ Since Sandy Hook

Most Eager to See Trump Assassinated
— CNN – All Year Long

Biggest Liar About Martin Luther King
— Zeke “Too Good to Check” Miller of Time

Biggest Credibility Collapse Due to Trump Derangement Syndrome, Whom Nobody Reads Anymore – Tie

— Josh “oops, Oops, OOPS!” Rogin of the Washington Post
— Chris “LieLieLie” Cillizza of CNN

Highest Number of Qualifiers and Caveats in a Fake News Story

CNN – March 2017 [emphasis added]

US Officials: Info Suggests Trump Associates May Have Coordinated with Russians
The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, U.S. officials told CNN.
More here.

Biggest Rape Denier
— Brian “Some Rapes Are Better Left Unreported” Stelter of CNN

Journalist Who Came Closest to Bombing a Jewish Community Center

Juan Thompson
Most Shameless Liar About Obama’s Spying on Trump
— Brian “Bam Bam” Stelter of CNN.
Watch Brian celebrate a “transcript” from a wiretap taking down Mike Flynn.
Watch Brian report a “wiretap.”
Watch Brian blast the president for believing Brian’s reporting.
See the effects of year-long stress eating on Brian.

Most Willing to Lie to the Jimmys
— Jake Tapper of CNN 

Tapper regularly goes in search of affirmation and celebrity on the late-night shows and tell lies about Trump.

Most Neurotic Snowflake

— Ana “Trump Ruined My Eclipse” Navarro of CNN

Most Insightful Peek into Their Hatred of Israel
New York Times – April 2017

The Times would like to welcome convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti as an op-ed writer…

Most Audacious Lie

— Jeff “CNN’s Credibility Has Never Been Higher” Zucker
Uhm, yeah, no.

Greatest Reddit Faceplant

— Chris “Everybody Hates Chris” Cillizza

Fact Checkers Who Lie the Most – Three-Way Tie
— The Washington Post
— Snopes
— PolitiFact

Most Guilty of Screaming, “Banana! Banana! Banana!”
— CNN – November 2017
Trump Killed the Fish!”

The Walter Mitty Award for Always Making Himself the Hero
— #JakeSoWoke Tapper

Biggest Reducer of Carbon Dioxide into the Atmosphere
Keith Olbermann – Retired

Most Racist Media News Outlet

Anchor Who Gifted America with More Schadenfreude than Any Other

— Jorge “SadFace” Ramos of Univision

Most Overhyped (and Overpaid) Anchor Who Most Overhypes Anti-Trump Scoops

— Megyn “Show Us on the Doll How Trump Asked for Your Phone Number” Kelly of NBC News

Anchor Who Lost the Most Moral Authority 

— Chuck “I see nothing! Nothing!” Todd of NBC News

Told the Biggest Lie About One of Frank Sinatra’s Children
— CNN – January 2017
If CNN will lie about the little things, imagine how much CNN lies about things that matter.

Ran the Fastest Away from Their Own Reporting Because Trump Believed It

— The Washington “Elephant? What Elephant?Post – January 2017

Forced to Fire the Most People over Trump Hate and Lies While Still Managing to Employ the Most People Who Lie About and Hate Trump


Out of Touch Award

The Washington Post for thinking no one would care if we learned that their religion writer for more than two decades was a practicing occultist who believes she murdered people with curses."


Pope accuses sexual abuse victims of Chile's most notorious pedophile of slander, says "Show me some proof." Chileans shocked at end of visit that was supposed to heal wounds. In 2015 Francis even promoted the pedophile's protector-AP...(Francis is a disgrace to the Catholic Church and all religions and should resign: 18 US Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection amid sexual abuse expenses)

In the typical Chilean family, parents (now) think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school."..."So far, 18 U.S. Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection during the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church."

1/18/18, "Pope shocks Chile by accusing sex abuse victims of slander," AP, Nicole Winfield, Santiago, Chile

"Pope Francis accused victims of Chile’s most notorious pedophile of slander Thursday, an astonishing end to a visit meant to help heal the wounds of a sex abuse scandal that has cost the Catholic Church its credibility in the country.

Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadimas, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”

The pope’s remarks drew shock from Chileans and immediate rebuke from victims and their advocates. They noted the accusers were deemed credible enough by the Vatican that it sentenced Karadima to a lifetime of “penance and prayer” for his crimes in 2011. A Chilean judge also found the victims to be credible, saying that while she had to drop criminal charges against Karadima because too much time had passed, proof of his crimes wasn’t lacking.

“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’ most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”

The Karadima scandal dominated Francis’ visit to Chile and the overall issue of sex abuse and church cover-up was likely to factor into his three-day trip to Peru that began late Thursday.

Karadima’s victims reported to church authorities as early as 2002 that he would kiss and fondle them in the swank Santiago parish he ran, but officials refused to believe them. Only when the victims went public with their accusations in 2010 did the Vatican launch an investigation that led to Karadima being removed from ministry.

The emeritus archbishop of Santiago subsequently apologized for having refused to believe the victims from the start.

Francis reopened the wounds of the scandal in 2015 when he named Barros, a protege of Karadima, as bishop of the southern diocese of Osorno. Karadima’s victims say Barros knew of the abuse, having seen it, but did nothing. Barros has denied the allegations.

His appointment outraged Chileans, badly divided the Osorno diocese and further undermined the church’s already shaky credibility in the country.

Francis had sought to heal the wounds by meeting this week with abuse victims and begging forgiveness for the crimes of church pastors. But on Thursday, he struck a defiant tone when asked by a Chilean journalist about Barros.

The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I’ll speak,Francis said. “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?”

Francis had defended the appointment before, calling the Osorno controversy “stupid” and the result of a campaign mounted by leftists. But The Associated Press reported last week that the Vatican was so worried about the fallout from the Karadima affair that it was prepared in 2014 to ask Barros and two other Karadima-trained bishops to resign and go on a yearlong sabbatical.

According to a Jan. 31, 2015, letter obtained by AP from Francis to the executive committee of the Chilean bishops’ conference, the plan fell apart and Barros was sent to Osorno.

Juan Carlos Claret, spokesman for a group of Osorno lay Catholics who have mounted a three-year campaign against Barros, questioned why Francis was now accusing the victims of slandering Barros when the Vatican was so convinced of their claims that it planned to remove him in 2014.

“Isn’t the pastoral problem that we’re living (in Osorno) enough to get rid of him?” Claret asked.

The reference was to the fact that — guilty or not — Barros has been unable to do his job because so many Osorno Catholics and priests don’t recognize him as their bishop. They staged an unprecedented protest during his 2015 installation ceremony and have protested his presence ever since.

Anne Barrett Doyle, of the online database, said it was “sad and wrong” for the pope to discredit the victims since “the burden of proof here rests with the church, not the victims — and especially not with victims whose veracity has already been affirmed.”

“He has just turned back the clock to the darkest days of this crisis,” she said in a statement. “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden, for fear they will not be believed?”

Indeed, Catholic officials for years accused victims of slandering and attacking the church with their claims. But up until Francis’ words Thursday, many in the church and Vatican had come to reluctantly acknowledge that victims usually told the truth and that the church for decades had wrongly sought to protect its own.

German Silva, a political scientist at Santiago’s Universidad Mayor, said the pope’s comments were a “tremendous error” that will reverberate in Chile and beyond.

Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said Francis had gone much further than Chilean bishops in acknowledging the sexual abuse scandal, which many Chileans appreciated.

“Then right before leaving, Francis turns around and says: ‘By the way, I don’t think Barros is guilty. Show me some proof,’” Navia said, adding that the comment will probably erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.

Navia said the Karadima scandal had radically changed how Chileans view the church.

In the typical Chilean family, parents (now) think twice before sending their kids to Catholic school because you never know what is going to happen,” Navia said."


Added: "Bankruptcy Protection in the Abuse Crisis," Bishop Accountability

"So far, 18 U.S. Catholic dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection during the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic church: 15 dioceses and 3 religious orders, the Oregon Province of the Jesuits and the Congregation of the Christian Brothers, and most recently the Crosier Fathers and Brothers. On this page we assemble basic information and documents on each of these bankruptcy filings, as well as general information on the process and the issues involved.

On August 4, 2015, after a protracted and contentious process, a proposed settlement in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was announced totaling $21 million and compensating 330 of the original 579 claimants.

The Crosier Fathers and Brothers filed on June 1, 2017, the most recent filing. 

Dioceses and Religious Orders
That Have Filed for Bankruptcy Protection

  1. Archdiocese of Portland OR (filed 7/6/04)
  2. Diocese of Tucson AZ (9/20/04)
  3. Diocese of Spokane WA (12/6/04)
  4. Diocese of Davenport IA (10/10/06)
  5. Diocese of San Diego CA (2/27/07)
  6. Diocese of Fairbanks AK (3/1/08)
  7. Oregon Province of the Jesuits (2/17/09)
  8. Diocese of Wilmington DE and MD (10/18/09)
  9. Archdiocese of Milwaukee WI (1/4/11)
10. Congregation of the Christian Brothers (4/28/11)
11. Diocese of Gallup NM (11/12/13)
12. Diocese of Stockton CA (1/15/14)
13. Diocese of Helena MT (1/31/14)
14. Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis MN (1/16/15)
15. Diocese of Duluth MN (12/7/15)
16. Diocese of New Ulm MN (3/3/17)
17. Diocese of Great Falls-Billings MT (3/31/17)
18. Crosier Fathers and Brothers MN and AZ (6/1/17) 

General Information on the Process and the Issues
Video Reports on the Bankruptcy Issue
Helpful Links
Church Finances and Bankruptcy in General
Diocesan Assets and Real Estate
Other Dioceses"...