Wednesday, August 18, 2021



I watched President Biden's address to the nation about the debacle that is happening in Afghanistan.  The human suffering and deaths that will take place in the coming weeks and months will be monstrous. 

In his address, the Commander in Chief stated that the buck stops with him and he takes responsibility for this debacle and a debacle it is. He has been roundly criticized worldwide and in a bipartisan way. His public ratings now at an all time low.

But he also shifted the blame to others and certainly others are to blame. Be that as it may, there could have been a more orderly way to withdraw and prevent the complete collapse of the country into Taliban hands and almost overnight. 

In his talk, there seem to be a callousness to life, the lives of those left behind that served the interests of the USA and will surely be hunted down and killed. 

But this is also from a Catholic president who is so rabidly pro-choice that he has no regard for the current infanticide going on in our country that includes the most gruesome terrorist type of killing of the unborn infant in the partial birth abortion process. 

His horrible immoral politics as it concerns life and death as well as human sexuality which is intimately connected with the Democrat Party is breathtaking and yet he considers himself a good practicing Catholic. Maybe in his mind, he is, but one has to wonder what is he thinking.

Is this more Ordinary Form Catholic nonsense? 

God have mercy on him.  

And this is from an Italian newspaper I'Espresso (google translation):

"In the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan, Joe Biden made the impression of someone who does not know what he is doing"

The failure of US intelligence, the lack of relations with allies on the ground. And the influence of China on that area and on other possible scenarios. Speak Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the geopolitical consulting firm Eurasia Group

by Federica Bianchi
August 17, 2021

Ian Bremmer, founder and president of the geopolitical consulting firm Eurasia Group and the media start-up Gzeroworld, observes with disbelief the terrible execution of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. A withdrawal that he has always considered inevitable.

“Everything has gone wrong. It was a catastrophic retreat. They thought it would take the Taliban two or three months to take over the country and it took two or three days. An incredible failure of American intelligence. Furthermore, the US did everything by itself, without asking the allies for anything and it was a real planning disaster. They did not prepare for the worst case scenario, which then came true. Because of this lack, many people have lost and will lose their lives. In terms of communication it went even worse, with Biden ruling out such a possibility just a month ago and making the impression of someone who doesn't know what he is doing ».


TJM said...

Strange we had no new wars the previous 4 years and relative peace in the Mideast. Was it a miracle or sensible policy?

Thomas Garrett said...

Get used to it. The Party of Davos and their sycophants have worked hard to stop America becoming great again and we are back to managed decline.

Except this time the decline is steeper and faster.

John said...

Not just the Catholic President. Catholics in all walks of life as well including the clergy. But we got a fertility idol Pacha-mama! It is a trade off. Plus, it is also ecumenical.

TJM said...

Notice how our "liberal" catholic commentators won't touch this?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - I don't think Biden has been sedduced (sic) by the culture of death. If anything, he is seduced by power, as are many who hold office.

People who make decisions that, while not popular, are necessary, often get low approval ratings. That doesn't mean that the decision was not the right one, even if that is seen only in the long run.

Did we fail for the last 20 years in our attempt to westernize the government of Afghanistan? I think we did.

Did we blunder in a massive way by invading Afghanistan under President Bush under the pretext of carrying out a response to the 9/11 attacks? I think we did.

Did we fail under the last three US presidents - Bush, Obama, and Trump - to make lasting headway in redefining our role in Afghanistan, giving ourselves a realistic purpose for our military being there - at all? I think we did.

The withdrawal could have and should have been planned in a way that would have protected our Afghani supporters and the military materiel that may now be useful to the Taliban.

The blame for this tragedy is shared among four US presidents - and the people of our nation who enabled it.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

With this debacle, the exit plan, President Biden owns it all and he is roundly and properly criticized for what is happening and as the Italian newspaper state, he did not work with our allies there for a better solution, perhaps one like the Korea solution.
But that's water under the bridge and God have mercy on the President's soul not just for this humanitarian disaster he has created but for his abortion policy.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh,

LOL - you just never learn. Engaging in deflection to prop up your political allies. Well a British MP who served in Afghanistan had this to say about your little guy, Joe:

"Most powerfully, he launched an attack on President Biden for his statement on Monday night in which he blamed the Afghan forces for not fighting back against the Taliban. He said: ‘To see their Commander in Chief call into question the courage of the men I fought with, to claim that they ran. Shameful. Those who have never fought for the colours they fly should be careful about criticising those who have.’"

Remember what a problem Syria was under Obama? That stopped the day President Trump destroyed 60% of the Syrian air force WHILE, drum roll please, the Chinese premier was dining with President Trump. By the way, people who vote Democratic are enabling the continuation of the abortion holocaust.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - No, Biden does not "own it all." Four presidents and the American people who allowed this to come to pass own it. And to say that Biden created this humanitarian disaster that has been 20 years in the making is simply a lie. God have mercy on your soul.

KOREA? How on God's green earth do you see a "Korea solution" being implemented in Afghanistan? Do you even have a clue what this "Korea solution" might be? We just tell the Taliban, "You stay over there and we stay over here?"

You've been sedduced (sic), it seems to me, by silliness. Have you been to the Department of Silly Walks again?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No FRMJK, you are wrong, we are speaking of the exit plan and he own it all--it is a debacle and even CNN recognizes it as such. Put on your glasses, clear you mind of ideologies and reread my comment--the exit plan--that is entirely Joe Biden's debacle.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

FrMJK, I deleted you last comment as you and your caricature Mark Thomas are becoming to similar, although you are one and same character. Circular arguments get you no where.

TJM said...

Father McDonald,


Fr Martin Fox said...

Fr McD:

Wait, did you just tell us that Father MJK is the same person who posts as Mark Thomas? Did I misunderstand that?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, it appears that among the many name (multiple personalities) Father MJK used, his most notorious was Mark Thomas. I wrote in another comment that Father MJK deserves the multiple personality academy award, right up there with The Three Faces of Even and Sybil. He is also UK Priest.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It appears my new google registration has brought a healing to this disorder.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father McDonald:


Father Kavanaugh:

Do you deny being the poster Mark Thomas?

You might as well answer now, I'm going to keep asking.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. MARTIN Fox, in a post that the blog owner refused to place in this blog, I answered that question. You can keep asking HIM to post what I wrote.


TJM said...

Father Fox,

He still won’t answer me why only 30 percent of OF attendees believe in the Real Presence! So good luck

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Just reread the post I deleted and there has been no denial that FRMJK is Mark Thomas or UK Priest and there have been no comments from either of them or the other handles Father MJK has used since I instituted the new policy of verification.


Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - When you first started this Bearing of False Witness days ago I answered your unfounded accusations directly. How convenient that you have failed to post that one, since it allows you to go on with your silly game.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I have only deleted on comment today that is yours and I have deleted no others. So point us to the post where you deny it, or copy and paste it as a new comment or simply say you have never used a handle other than your own name and you are not Mark Thomas of UK priest--very simple.

TJM said...

Looks like Father Kavanaugh is the one playing the silly games. Methinks his bishop might not be pleased with his puerile antics

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - I can't point to it because you chose not to post it.

It's very simple. Without anything to base it on, you have said repeatedly now that I posted under the names Mark Thomas and UK Priest. You're lying.

You chose not to post my response because it has allowed you to continue playing your little "Make TJM Happy" game, egging him on and distracting from serious responses I make.

So, find what you didn't post, put it up with the date I sent it, and all will be well. It will reveal much - about you.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

That is falsehood and you know it. There is one comment I did not post today. All others have been posted. you find it and copy and paste it to show us all.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - You keep saying "Today."

Try reading what I posted at 5:08: "When you first started this Bearing of False Witness days ago I answered your unfounded accusations directly."

See that? DAYS AGO.

So stop saying "There is one comment I did not post TODAY." and "I have only deleted on comment TODAY...."

You found the one from today, now go find the one from "days ago" and post it with the date that it was written and sent.


Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You find it an repost it, that is your homework or someone else can--no comment was deleted by me where you outright deny it.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Fr. ALLAN McDonald - Read again - when I responded to your false allegations DAYS AGO, you chose not to post my reply. I assume it's because you wanted to play your little game.

Now, if you have ANY evidence that I posted as Mark Thomas or UK Priest, do tell us how you came to that conclusion. Or maybe you hired the infamous Cyber Ninja firm to come up with the evidence?

Just because Mark Thomas and UK Priest don't post here any longer is NOT evidence that I used those names. They probably just didn't want to reveal their identity, which they are entirely justified in doing.

The fact remains, you have nothing to base that claim on.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

And post the date on which it was written and sent.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

No comments deleted except one today and nothing in it about this. Thus your recent comments all speak loudly.

TJM said...

Father Kavanaugh forgets that Father McDonald has taken me to task from time to time. Father K is the one who fails to give serious answers to serious questions like why do only 30 percent of OF attendees believe in the Real Presence?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"No comments deleted except one today and nothing in it about this."

Your reading comprehension is weak. You chose not to post my response, so saying anything about what you have "deleted" is meaningless. (Any minute now it you will alter your response to "I never got it." How convenient.)

I've told you repeatedly that the response was not from today, but you keep posting about what you did today. Why?

If you know that I posted using the names Mark Thomas and UK Priest, reveal your evidence. You have none - zero - so I won't hold my breath waiting for it.

Mark said...

Oh my, this is too good to pass up. We have had a reference to Silly Walks already. Now we can move on to the Argument Sketch. No, we can’t. Yes, we can:

Mark said...

More seriously, on the main topic, yes, there is plenty of blame to go round. It looks as if the Biden Administration mishandled the process badly, and Biden and his apologists on MSNBC have been roundly criticized by Army Veteran Matt Zeller:

Doubtless TJM and others of like mind will be pleased. However, they will not be so pleased by Zeller’s criticism of the shameful and heartless conduct of the Trump Administration, most especially that of the usual suspect in all matters to do with immigration, Stephen Miller.

Watch and weep. Now cue TJM . . . .

TJM said...


I expect no less from people like you who live in unreality. Please name the hot wars President Trump started. The Mideast was rather peaceful during his term in office which no doubt pained the foreign policy “experts” who remain shocked that he, and not they, could accomplish this.

Thomas Garrett said...

Call me an idiot, but I tend to think that both Fr. Kavanaugh AND Fr. McDonald are right about this. Four previous presidents committed huge blunders or omissions in their Afghan policy, but I also think that Joe acted alone in this particular blunder, and I think he "owns" the exit debacle.

As regards identities. I've used blogger before and the blog owner can see the internet addresses of the various people who post. So if Mark Thomas and UK Priest and other names came from the same address, Fr. McDonald would be able to see that.


Thank you

TJM said...

Thomas Garrett,

LOL - I loved your signoff. Hey here is the reason "liberals" hate President Trump:

Cutting to the Chase: Why Trump Was Driven from Office. “He was hated for not sinking to the indescribable ineptitude of Joe Biden and for not being on the take. He was hated for his efforts to clean up the political swamp. He was hated for his endorsement of the free market and for championing a prosperous citizenry. He was hated for his opposition to crony socialism and bureaucratic bloat. He was hated for all the wrong reasons.”

Ironically, the US was largely at peace with the world during the Trump Presidency. He cleaned up the War on Terror botched by the Obama/Biden Administration. He did not start any new hot wars. He showed the establishment how venal and incompetent they truly are.

James E Dangerfield said...

Much of the foregoing commentary is absolutely unbecoming of holy priests. Beware, gentlemen, lest you, by your rancor, divide your flocks for the sake of politics and not the Gospel. This sort of trash need not be public. You are working for the salvation of souls! You are not on this earth to engage in public urination as you have here.

Mark said...


Unsurprisingly, far from “cutting to the chase” you do exactly the opposite and as usual try to distract and deflect. Please respond to the point under discussion—the evacuation of Afghan allies and Matt Zeller’s withering excoriation of the Trump Administration’s shameful treatment of them. Note that Zeller rightly says that “spoiled brat” Stephen Miller is “just as complicit as the Taliban” in their fate. Note, too, that just a few days ago Miller said on FOX (To Laura Ingraham) that we owed these Afghans nothing at all. As Miller crafted the Trump Administration immigration policy virtually single-handedly, one wonders whether any Afghans would have been repatriated at if Trump were president. One suspects not.

As for your deluded worship of Trump, I fear you are beyond hope in this respect, and I have given up trying to reach you.

You see, I have no problems criticizing Biden where such criticism is warranted because I am nonpartisan. By contrast, as a paid up member of the Trump cult, you are incapable of criticizing Trump. Everyone can see the difference between us even if they won’t admit it publicly.

Mark said...

Correction—I should have said evacuated instead of repatriated.

Mark said...

TJM is fond of trashing “establishment” news media like the New York Times. In the interests of full transparency, here is the Wikipedia entry for the outfit publishing the “Cutting to the Chase” article from which he quotes, PJ Media, listing their innumerable false claims:

And here is the complete article:

TJM said...

The New York Times is a joke and supports intrinsic evil, Mark’s kind of “newspaper.” You cannot bring yourself to acknowledge that President Trump started no new hot wars like Obama which confirms you are a member of the Obama Cult that just held a superspreader party on his Martha Vineyard Estate which should be under water shortly per the Global Warming Cult. Why did Obama not celebrate his birthday on the south side of Chicago with the “people” rather than with the rich and powerful? And you wonder why we do not consider you neither sentient nor elite?

V for Vendee said...

Alright children. The fact is that we don’t win wars anymore and the Biden regime wanted this result as they hate this country and want to see it weak and destroyed. Say goodbye to Taiwan and then the end of our economy that relies on the computer chips from Taiwan. Best hope for Taiwan is they get a nuke from India for deterrence.

Back to Afghanistan. I spent 3 1/2 years there as a foreign service officer and traveled to over 12 major cities and lived in Herat for most of the 1st year. It’s a great country but Bush made the mistake thinking that 7th century people could accept Jeffersonian democracy. I will also say that the Afghans are very child like as they want someone to care for them and we did that for the last 20 years. We kept them on the dole for to long but this exit has been a complete failure. First you don’t give up your last airbase in the dead of night and plan to use the international airport at the northern edge of Kabul as your primary exit. I’ve been through that airport countless times and it’s like the Star Wars bar seen with a cast of character flying to Dubai to deposit their CIA cash that was given out like candy. If dementia Joe wanted to leave like this he should have gotten the civilians out first and then and only then pull out the Embassy and it’s security followed by or military.

The Afghan army collapsed because we pulled the contractors out that supported the Afghans and then the air cover that supported their ops.

As for the poor and I mean dirt poor Afghans outside of Kabul life will go on as it has forever with life under their tribal leaders. The real harm is to Kabul and Herat and Mazar. Where there was for many years some sort of civilization.

I will also remember the kids of Herat that I often cave pop tarts and cliff bars from the DFAC and soccer balls hen I could get hold of some. All while driving around on my own in a lightly armored Toyota Four runner.

God helps them and God protect all the IS civilians that will soon become hostages of the ruthless murderous Taliban.

All this could have been avoided if we crushed the Taliban back in 2001 and simply kept Bagram and Kandahar airbase and tell the Taliban if they kick off we will send them back the the time of Alexander. Also all of this goes to Pakistan which provides for and protected the Taliban for these last 20 years.

Back to the dumbest Praise tin US history who always thought he was a foreign policy expert when his every decision over 40 years was wrong. All of this could have been avoided if we didn’t let the party of slavery, KKK, Jim Crow and Japanese internment steal the 3 November election through mail in ballot fraud and running the numbers on the machines. They’ve been stealing election since before Tammany hall and tried in 2016 but underestimated Trump support.

We’ll enough said typing on my IPhone and don’t forget Jorge says the Ten Commandments are not absolute and it’s OK for lesbian AME mayors of Chicago to take Holy Communion. And thank God for answering our prayers as Cardinal Burke is out of the ICU.

Mark said...

TJM and V for Vendee:

I have conceded the Bumbling Biden Bungle (not to mention dishonesty) over the evacuation. But neither of you wants to touch the Trump/Stephen Miller point with a barge pole, right? Hence all the distraction and deflection.

V for Vendee: You are a veteran and I greatly respect your moral authority as such as well as your insights about Afghanistan, the “graveyard of empires”:

Please respond to your fellow veteran Matt Zeller, who also speaks with a moral authority at least equal to your own.

Mark said...

Yes, thank God Cardinal Burke is out of the ICU. My wife and her team have to see so many, including children, who are in the ICU, some of whom do not make it out, and they do what they can to counsel and comfort their families. Tragically, all these cases were so unnecessary and preventable, and all those who have played a part in not preventing them by playing political games and opposing vaccinations and mitigation measures have much blood on their hands. So odd from those who claim to be pro-life.

Thomas Garrett said...

"Tragically, all these cases were so unnecessary and preventable, and all those who have played a part in not preventing them by playing political games and opposing vaccinations and mitigation measures have much blood on their hands. So odd from those who claim to be pro-life."

Good heavens, this is sanctimony on steroids.

One of the reasons we cannot have any kind of rational, adult political discussion in America's post-Christian, post-literate era is because of either side taking a presumption of moral superiority in their discourse--as we see in the above statement.

1). The fact is we don't KNOW how preventable many of these COVID cases have been.

2). If by "preventing" the spread of COVID, the author means opposing mandatory vaccinations, there is a huge leap of logic here that is again based on a presumption. The vast majority of us are NOT scientists and we are having a very difficult time navigating through this. Just as this person's wife is a medical professional, I was warned by an immediate family member who is a physician NOT to get the vaccine because it is experimental. Politics has nothing to do with it for many of us. Dr. Robert Malone, who helped invent the technology that gave us this vaccine has given some serious warnings about the dangers of the current vaccines available including the possibility that they are causing Antibody Dependent Enhancement and no one with a rational mind can deny how many vaccinated people are getting sick. Is he right? Well if you want to talk about political games, take a good look at how hard almost all media has worked to silence him, cancel him or sent out immediate dismissive "debunkings" of his opinions by medical "experts" (most of whom are government-funded). So who is right? The problem is, WE DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE. The mainstream media has a solid track record of not telling us the truth. Our own government has a solid track record of not telling us the truth. The FDA has STILL not approved these drugs and everyone KNOWS that they are under INTENSE PRESSURE to do so. I am not an "anti-vaxxer" either. I am a "wait and seer". And what I see now is a landscape of confusion where, instead of a rational discussion, everyone is self-righteously accusing those who disagree with them as wrong.

3). People who are pro-life are not obligated to automatically believe every idea that is sold to them. And by "sell", I suggest that we look at the financial reports from Moderna, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer.

Presuming the moral high ground does not serve anybody well in this confusion. It only muddies the waters.

TJM said...


Yes, and why the Biden government is allowing unvaccinated illegal aliens into the US is a shocking display of callousness for human life as was Obama's super-spreader birthday bash.

You still cannot acknowledge that President Trump's foreign policy was FAR superior to Biden's No new hot wars and relative peace in the Mideast. Why, would this cause you be ostracized in the faculty lounge?

TJM said...

Mark here is also something for you to chew on. In Colorado Springs a Black man decimated CRT and the school board in response to his speech has banned its teaching.

A Colorado Springs father’s speech against critical race theory at a school district’s board meeting is taking the internet by storm.

The black man was clear that America is not a racist nation and that racism would “by and large be dead” if not for liberal institutions “keeping it on life support.” Turns out, his opinion appears to have helped persuade the board to vote to ban CRT.

“I am a direct descendant of the North American slave trade. Both my parents are black. All four of my grandparents are black, all eight of my great-great-grandparents, and all 16 of my great greats. On my mother’s side, my ancestors were enslaved in Alabama. On my father’s side, we were enslaved in Texas,” he said.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

President Biden may well be impeached for this and with Democrat initiative. Remember Nancy Pelosi mentioned during Trump’s time that she would look into using the amendment to remove an incompetent president due to mental illness, dementia or whatever.
Now why would Nancy want this? Because the first female mixed race person would become president. But even VP Harris is incompetent. So if she steps down, guess who becomes the second female president of Italian ancestry? Nancy Pelosi.

Mark said...


I am sorry you took my statement personally. If you read it carefully, you will see that I was talking about people who play political games in opposing vaccinations and mitigation measures. That is not you. Nor is it anyone who is hesitant about getting vaccinated because of sincere doubts about the safety of the vaccines. No, you and they are the victims, not the perpetrators, of the political games.

As examples of perpetrators, I give you politicians such as Ron DeSantis, who clearly wants to ingratiate himself with the Trump base to enhance his chances of getting the Republican nomination for 2024. And media clowns like Tucker Carlson, I will not call Carlson evil, but he certainly does evil. I watched his show last night. Interspersed in his monologue about Afghanistan and conspiracy theories about FBI instigation of January 6 were these little nuggets: stating that while American greatness declined in the world, we spent the last 18 months obsessing over “a Chinese flu”; and, wait for it, “the Covid-19 vaccines don’t work.” Total BS misinformation: it isn’t a flu; and the vaccines do work, especially at preventing hospitalization and death, even with delta, but like all vaccines, their effectiveness wanes over time, hence the need for booster shots. These are the people with blood on their hands, not you. In fact, if you don’t get vaccinated or otherwise protect yourself, it might be your blood on their hands.

I for one will not stand by silently and be complicit in such evil. Nor should any of us, any more than we should do so regarding abortion!

By all means, wait and see. That is your choice. Just make sure that you include in your seeing an ICU such as my wife sees. Also, remember that your freedom ends at the tip of my nose.

As for Robert Malone, here is an explanation of how all that nonsense got started:

Regarding Antibody-Dependent Enhancement, see, for example:

But, of course, just like the British jihadist I saw interviewed on TV a few years ago, or the Communist student who was an agitator when I went to college, or the member of any cult, those who would do us harm have an answer for everything. True believers are surrounded by in impregnable fortress of propositions and responses. Thus: the media are trying to silence Robert Malone; we can’t believe the FDA when they give approval because they are under intense pressure, and on and on.

Sometimes I despair for this country, I really do.

You want a rational conversation? Well, so do I—desperately. But we can’t have it with people like Carlson and his ilk propagating the irrationalities they do and people lapping it up.

Do I sound angry? You bet I do.

There is a way out, but it requires work from all of us: small, face to face conversation where we get to know one another and talk about what is important to us most fundamentally and most deeply and go on from there. It is beyond time to take our country back from those, including Trump, who have divided us. It is a worthy project for a Catholic. I hope you will join it.

Mark said...


Still evading, deflecting, and distracting I see. Still no response to Matt Zeller. Why are you so incapable of admitting ANY fault on the part of the Great Leader and his cronies?

Mark said...

And Thomas, not to belabor the obvious, but variants like delta (and now lambda) evolve because they can find unvaccinated hosts in which to do so. Now, of course, they can also find vaccinated hosts as well because they have evolved to the point where there is some degree of vaccine evasion. This would have been far less likely to occur with a very high vaccination rate.

Mark said...


Regarding CRT, is this what you are talking about:

I am afraid that, unlike you, I am not competent to evaluate this issue. I have taught CRT years ago as a component in a law school course focused on jurisprudence and plan to do so again if I offer a jurisprudence course again as I hope to do within the next couple of years. However, I know it and treat it as one of several jurisprudential schools of thought or movements. When studying such schools or movements we consider their strengths and weaknesses. I really don’t know how CRT manifests at the K-12 level but am trying to get information about it.

Althea Gardner said...

Wow. Posting under an alias is just what people do when they have something to hide. I cannot believe the accusations here!! If you don’t want to read what Fr. McDonald posts; don’t read his blog!!!
That being said, Biden is incompetent and an embarrassment. I pray that the Afghan people find some peace. You cannot make deals with terrorists! They lie, cheat and steal, not to mention murder!! Although I did vote for Trump, he is certainly not without flaws. But I felt safer, the economy was better, gas was cheaper and America was respected under Trumps watch. He was very polarizing. People either loved him or hated him. I think we all dislike Biden at this point. I have yet to find anybody who thinks Biden made the right choice by leaving Afghanistan suddenly and without getting people and equipment out first. Sadly, I think this is the only the beginning of many tragedies yet to come under Biden. Pray for America!!
And Fr. Allan, keep on blogging!!!

Mark said...

Sorry, I pasted in the wrong link in giving the first link on the Robert Malone issue (I copied the Southern Orders link by mistake). Here is the correct link:

Mark said...

Will someone please explain to me why some people are so hesitant about the vaccines and yet are willing to take a medication intended to de-worm horses (I am assuming, not unreasonably I think, a substantial overlap between the two groups):

Mark said...


I will confess that I have become something of a vaccine evangelist and I have urged my colleagues at the Law School to do the same. We will be helped in this endeavor by the following piece, which I have just read, from a colleague in the Pharmacy School. I am sharing it here in the hope it might help reassure you and others and also help answer some of your questions:

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I don’t understand anti vaccine mentality other than people don’t like being told what to do, but we take all kinds of medication that can harm us with side effects or cause even sudden death and they advertise what the side effects are on TV! With that said though, my sister who is vaccinated contracted the Delta variant and was/is very ill with it but improving at home, her daughter, my niece, who lives at home and had had the first vaccine awaiting the second contracted it too and she is in critical condition on a ventilator in ICU at the Medical College in Augusta. There is a slight improvement. She’s in her mid 40’s. My brother-in-law exposed to them both and who is 81 and vaccinated and with COPD is still negative. Go figure. Please pray for my niece and the many packing our hospitals in Georgia and elsewhere.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Althea - You do realize, don't you, that the deal with the Taliban to remove US troops from Afghanistan was made by President Trump?

Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo negotiated with the Taliban and signed the deal to remove US troops from Afghanistan in February 2020.

"Within the first 135 days of the deal the US will reduce its forces in Afghanistan to 8,600, with allies also drawing down their forces proportionately.

The move would allow US President Donald Trump to show that he has brought troops home ahead of the US presidential election in November.

The deal also provides for a prisoner swap. Some 5,000 Taliban prisoners and 1,000 Afghan security force prisoners would be exchanged by 10 March, when talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government are due to start.

The US will also lift sanctions against the Taliban and work with the UN to lift its separate sanctions against the group." (BBC 29 February 2020)

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Allan, I hope things go well for your family and will keep them in my prayers.

I don't think it is that difficult to uncover the motivations of many who have resisted getting vaccinated against Covid.

It starts with the radical individualism that has become part and parcel of the mentality of many Americans. The deep roots are found in the Enlightenment with the recognition of individual rights. But the legitimate and necessary appreciation of individual rights has gone awry.

You have to layer on top of that a kind of mutual indifference that has arisen due to our relative material affluence. We don't need the candle maker next door with whom we would trade the onions from our garden for the tapers we needed. We don't have to negotiate with the other people who are on our party line in order to make a phone call. Everyone has a car, everyone has an Amazon Prime account, everyone can exist without relying on his or her neighbor. "We don't need them, they don't need me."

The next layer is the seriously misguided advice that has been broadcast by political and religious leaders. Trump told is that the virus wasn't that big a deal - it was just one person from China. To shore up their base with Trump supporters, governors with aspirations to higher office have echoed his "individual choice" gospel, ignoring the True Gospel that teaches us that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers. (The anti-vax movement got a head start in 1998 with his wholly discredited assertions that vaccines caused autism.)

Influential religious leaders, including not a few Catholics, have ginned up conspiracy theories (a la Fr. Altman, Msgr. Charlie Pope, and Cardinal Burke) which encouraged their devotees to mistrust the doctors and scientists. Some simply did not insist on necessary precautions in their churches, giving the impression that the pandemic could be treated with nonchalance.

The frothy mix leaves so many, many people adrift in a sea of unknowing while, at the same time, leaves them with a sense of authoritative autonomy - I can read two articles on the internet and that will give me all the information I need for me and my decisions.

TJM said...


Maybe you will listen to Tony Blair:

WHEN YOU’VE LOST BRITISH LABOR: Just the News reports that former Prime Minister Tony Blair is calling His Fraudulency’s bungled Afghan withdrawal “imbecilic.” Said the former leader of Britain’s Labor Party: “The abandonment of Afghanistan and its people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours.”

CRT has no place in ANY curriculum other than to mock it for the Marxist nonsense that it is.

TJM said...


I am still perplexed why you cannot acknowledge President Trump's world peace initiatives. During his presidency there was peace in the world except in leftwing newsrooms and schools raging over his "mean tweets."

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

The "his wholly discredited assertions" in my earlier post refers to Andrew Wakefield.

Mark said...

Father McDonald:

I think we all share Father Kavanaugh’s concern for your family and will keep them in our prayers too.

Mark said...

I agree with everything else Father Kavanaugh says also. I think he is quite correct in his layered analysis.

He is, of course, also correct that Trump agreed to the withdrawal from Afghanistan (which does not mean Biden could not have handled the logistics better). How quickly people forget. Being Trump, he is for something when he considers it to his advantage and against it when he considers it to his advantage. And his supporters have been so conditioned that they either don’t notice the complete contradiction or they don’t care. Orwell predicted all this: We are at war with Eastasia; we have always been at war with Eastasia. Down the Memory Hole we go. Allan Bloom wrote about the closing of the American Mind. I fear that what we are now witnessing is the Decomposition of the American Mind.

Mark said...


I am perplexed by your perplexity. It is really very simple. I will address your point about Trump the Peacemaker if and when you stop distracting and deflecting and address Matt Zeller’s excoriation of Trump and Stephen Miller for their destruction of the SIV program for Afghan allies. I am not holding my breath.

Mark said...

Here is Tony Blair’s complete statement on the withdrawal from Afghanistan:

Notice that he does not name Biden specifically, contrary to the impression given by the Fox News headline (no surprises there, of course):

This said, Blair’s statement includes this passage:

“We did it when the February 2020 agreement, itself replete with concessions to the Taliban, by which the US agreed to withdraw if the Taliban negotiated a broad-based government and protected civilians, had been violated daily and derisively.”

Arguably, then, the U.S. may no longer have been bound under the agreement due to the violations by the Taliban. But here I am just noting the argument not attempting to analyze and evaluate it.

Of course, we should also recall that Blair was a great supporter of George Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq as well as the invasion of Afghanistan.

Jerome Merwick said...

As of August 5 Dr. Kobi Haviv Medical Director at Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem announced that 95% of the severe covid patients were vaccinated and of those in the hospital, 85-90% WERE VACCINATED.

Again, who do we believe?

More "experts"--not the inventor of the MRNA vaccine "debunk" Dr. Malone. Again, who are we supposed to believe?

Our government and the all-knowing celebrity culture including those "trustworthy" talking heads on the news are scolding us and calling us evil if we so much as question whether we should be vaccinated. Who are we supposed to believe?

Our government, which is deviating further and further away from our constitution is attempting to suddenly get "moral" with us and is scolding us with every denunciation possible if we question vaccination is DEMANDING that we get vaccinated. Who do we believe?

A small sampling of celebrities (people more important than you or me and who are experts because they are famous) who have caught COVID after vaccination:

Texas Governor Abbott
Jessie Jackson (and wife)
HIllary Duff
Melissa Joan Hart
Reba McEntire
Kailyn Lowery
Piers Morgan
Jay Williams
Catt Sadler
Bill Maher

Archbishop Vigano warned us of a coming "Health Dictatorship" with the support of the World Economic Forum--but of course, he's just a crazy "conspiracy theorist"--nevermind that everything he's asserted about the Pope and McCarrick has shown true. And then there's this:

Am I claiming that these Malone and Vigano are both right? Not necessarily, but when the public sees the urgency with which the establishment tries to CANCEL them, it begs some serious questions.

And then we have people here making the moral judgment that certain newscasters are "evil"--there's that presumption of moral superiority all over again and IT RINGS SHRILL.

If Trump becomes president again, I am very curious what position he will take. His "operation Warp Speed" helped create this vaccine (and the current crop of "experts" are very careful NOT to mention that), yet many of his supporters are either against the vaccine or hesitant. I would be very curious to see what position he takes.

As for now...I don't believe anybody and I think most of us don't know who to believe. But again, this presumption of moral superiority is ringing increasingly shrill in the ears of rational people.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Jerome Merwick - 170 million Americans are fully vaccinated. Assuming a 94.1% effective rate, that means that we can expect - expect - approximately 10,000,000 post-vaccination infections. This is not surprising, nor should it lead one to doubt the safety or the necessity of being vaccinated.

The Vaccine Advisory Centre in New Zealand states, "No vaccine is 100% effective, a small percentage of people are not protected after vaccination and for others the protection may wane over time. Also, some people are unable to be vaccinated due to certain conditions such as immune suppression. Maintaining immunity in those around these people protects them from disease."

In the interview with Dr. Haviv, after saying that 85-90% of the hospitalizations in his facility were fully vaccinated, he went on to say, "Yes, unfortunately the vaccine they say, it's effectiveness is waning."

Again, this is not unexpected and should not be surprising. Nor should it lead one to doubt the experts. Some vaccines have longer effectiveness than others. See:

As for Trump's involvement... Coronaviruses were identified in the early 1960s. By 2002 with the SARS virus it was clear that these viruses could make the jump from animals to humans. Coronavirus vaccine research was underway at that time.

Research on mRNA vaccines also has a two decade long history. By 1998 researchers Katalin Kariko, PhD, and Drew Wasserman, MD, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania had begun to produce workable mRNA vaccines with few undesirable side effects. They published their finding in 2005 and were working on an mRNA vaccine for influenza.

I do know who to believe.

First, I don't rely on myself to analyze a highly complex and very, very technical question based on my own knowledge. ALthough I do have more of a background in science than most people, I always do a little "clicking" around on Google to find the original sources for news stories and claims made about technical matters.

Second, I never explicitly trust a single news source for accuracy about technical matters. Some news organizations have dedicated science reporters, some don't. Thirty second news stories rarely tell the whole story.

Third, I trust people with experience. A lab researcher with 30 years work under his/her belt knows more than I do. When I have a problem with my heart, I go to and trust a cardiologist, not a commentator, not a pundit, not a politician. The goal of the politician is re-election. The goal of the researcher is verifiable, repeatable scientific results.

Mark said...


I understand your confusion. The “evildoers” have deliberately sown confusion for political gain. And for the record I did not call Tucker Carlson evil. I was very careful not to do that. I called what he does evil (the classic distinction between the sinner and the sin).

You ask whom you should believe. This is the reason we need critical thinking skills. When you read a source or when you watch a source on Fox or MSNBC, for example, you go check what they say with various fact checking services or otherwise research the issue. This is what I do. That way I can catch them out when they propagate a falsehood or otherwise distort, for example by not giving the complete context, which is often.

It is quite unnecessary to resort to people like Robert Malone or Archbishop Vigano to explain why some vaccinated people are becoming hospitalized. The vaccine effectiveness has waned over time and those vaccinated first are those who were most vulnerable to begin with. This is one reason why we who are in that category are so angry at the “evildoers” who have put us all at risk. Another reason, of course, is that they are harming the unvaccinated by sowing doubt and manipulating them into asking “who do we believe?”

The situation in Israel illustrates the need for critical thinking. Instead of focusing on a bare statistic taken out of context, go look for the context explaining the statistic. Here is the rational explanation for the situation in Israel:

Notice the explanation under fourth reason listed:

The country jumped out ahead of all other countries on vaccines, and 78% of eligible Israelis over 12 years old are vaccinated.

But Israel has a young population, with many under the eligible age for vaccination, and about 1.1 million eligible Israelis, largely between the ages of 12 and 20, have declined to take even one dose of the vaccine.

That means only 58% of Israel's total citizenry is fully vaccinated. Experts say that's not nearly high enough.

"We have a very large fraction of our population who are paying the price for a small fraction of the population who did not go to get the vaccine," said Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who advises the Israeli government on COVID-19.

Unvaccinated people helped fuel the rapid spread of the virus while the country remained open for business in recent months with few serious restrictions.

"That will lead to mass infection, which is exactly what we are seeing now," said Segal.

TJM said...

Meanwhile in the World of "Adults Are Back in Charge and Smart Diplomacy, we have this:

"Last week, Members of the United Kingdom’s Parliament held the President of the United States in Contempt for his catastrophically failed withdrawal from Afghanistan and his criticism of Afghani troops.
The Telegraph reports “Joe Biden’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal was condemned as “catastrophic” and “shameful” on Wednesday as the Houses of Parliament delivered an unprecedented rebuke to a US president…”
Donald Trump Jr. bashed the U.S. mainstream media, who failed to cover this huge development."

And Nancy Pelosi held a superpreader fundraising event in California where only the staff (peons) were masked. It was also a "racist" event since the photos disclose all of the attendees were White.

Sophia said...

Sophia here: A person votes for pro-abortion, pro-transgender medical treatment for children, pro-Physician Assisted Suicide, pro-open borders (thereby letting in terrorists, drug traffickers, - including those bringing Fentanyl, the deadliest opioid- human traffickers, and other violent criminals, SARS-CoV-2, which causes Covid-19, drug resistant TB) politicians. Such a person is obviously calling " good, evil and evil, good". Then such a person does not merely just vehemently disagree with brilliant, knowledgeable scientists/physicians or anyone who aligns themselves with their perspectives, insights, but characterizes them as "evildoers" because they raise questions or share information other than what's being pushed by the administration (including the CDC, the FDA) and pharmaceutical companies, as well as other physicians and scientists. Say what?????

The 3 links below are very enlightening or at least very interesting:

1)EARLY TREATMENT for Covid-19 - Options and Resources



"While still under EUA, an increasing number of educational and other institutions have already mandated vaccines, but debates over the legality of these actions has hinged on the distinction between authorisation and approval.19

But approving a vaccine in order to legally support mandates or convince people of its safety arguably puts the cart before the horse. Meissner responded that a BLA would not be issued until the FDA is convinced of the short and long term safety of these vaccines."

Notice how quickly after the FDA granted full authorization for Pfizer's Covid Vaccine yesterday, President Biden urged companies, businesses, municipalities, Universities etc. to use this development to mandate vaccines! Talk about politicizing! Moderna and J&J will be getting theirs soon also.

Sophia said...

Sophia here: I have  a friend who was balking at taking the vaccine particularly because it was being pushed by a new administration which had immediately  demonstrated its determination to force, impose policies (via executive actions) which were clearly not in this country's best interests. In addition to the credibility of the administration, facts about the impact of the virus on various demographics and vaccine expectations as well as side effects were changing on an almost daily basis. When she told me approximately one month ago that even her physician was pressuring her to take the vaccine. I told her that people had many different valid reasons, including hers, which made them hesitate to take the vaccine and I certainly would not tell her or anyone else whether or not they ought to take it. However, since I certainly knew quite a bit about the virus, the illness it causes, its likely impact on various demographics, the vaccines, how they work, their side effects, their limitations, I saw my role as that of a resource who could explain the topic and answer questions. I also told her that the vaccines' benefit to risk ratio is better for people like her (over 70 with an underlying condition (diabetes) than for some others who are much younger and without underlying medical conditions. However, I was still not saying she should take it but if she chose not to, then because of her vulnerability she ought to have a "back up" plan, i.e. access to early treatment should she become infected -and I sent her that information. Then I left it at that since she had everything she needed to make a wise decision for herself. Within a couple of days, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that she had not only changed her mind about taking the vaccine but had already taken it that morning. she credited the fact that she trusted me and my knowledge but just as importantly that I did not pressure her. She appreciated that I just made sure she had the information-pros and cons as well as options- and a sufficient understanding of it to enable her to give informed consent to taking it. This approach worked for other friends and for family members also.

Sophia said...

Sophia here: BTW Ivermectin has been fully approved by the FDA for the treatment of parasites in humans since 1988! More recently it was studied against viruses in the lab- Zika and other arbo- viruses as well as several RNA viruses. It was found to inhibit the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the lab and since 2020 many clinicians here and around the world have had great success especially when they used it early in their patients' Covid-19 illness. It is not yet approved in the U.S. for Covid-19 but certainly can be used/is being used "off label" by some physicians for that illness. Many medications are used "off label" for conditions other than that for which they were originally approved!

Obviously humans should not get "horse doses" of any medication. That's just asinine!

Mark said...


We are still waiting for your response to Matt Zeller’s excoriation of Trump and Stephen Miller over the SIVs for Afghans. Until such a response is forthcoming, it is reasonable to regard all your posts in this thread as continued evasion, deflection, and distraction.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

FDA has not approved ivermectin for use in treating or preventing COVID-19 in humans.

Ivermectin tablets are approved at very specific doses for some parasitic worms, and there are topical (on the skin) formulations for head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. Ivermectin is not an anti-viral (a drug for treating viruses).Taking large doses of this drug is dangerous and can cause serious harm.

If you have a prescription for ivermectin for an FDA-approved use, get it from a legitimate source and take it exactly as prescribed.
Never use medications intended for animals on yourself. Ivermectin preparations for animals are very different from those approved for humans.

Mark said...


I do not know how to respond to the first paragraph in your 6:15 p.m. post. It personalizes the vaccination issue in a manner that is not susceptible of rational conversation and disrespects the USCCB guidance on voting, Faithful Citizenship. I stand by my statement calling Tucker Carlson an evildoer in that his actions are evil. Of course, I continue to refuse to judge whether he is an evil person or not. I do not know the state of his soul and one can only speculate regarding his motives and the factors that may be influencing his propagation of misinformation.

As you may know, many health care workers have had enough. For example, there was a symbolic protest on Monday at a hospital in Florida. They were rightfully extremely frustrated and angry:

75 doctors from South Florida hospitals staged a symbolic walkout to protest a surge in unvaccinated COVID-19 patients (

According to the latest information from our local medical center, 171 are hospitalized there with Covid-19, and only 7 of these are vaccinated. Of the 42 in the ICU, 32 of whom are on ventilators, ALL are unvaccinated.

I believe the inference from these statistics is inescapable: Most of these beds would be empty of Covid-19 patients if the unvaccinated had got vaccinated.

Thank you for the links. You might want to consider including these two Wikipedia entries in evaluating the sources you consult and the information you share with others:

See, for example, the information on Ivermectin, especially in the second Wikipedia entry.

I do appreciate your “gentle” approach toward your friends and family regarding vaccination. I agree that this is the best approach in ideal circumstances, with the corrective that neither vaccines nor masks are intended solely to protect the person getting the vaccination or wearing the mask but also to protect others. But if we must appeal solely to someone’s self-interest in our hyper-individualistic society, then I suppose that is what we must do if it is the only approach that works. Also, I fear that reality does not afford us the luxury to employ such a “gentle” approach exclusively, or even primarily. We are running out of time, if indeed we haven’t already. Every person infected with the virus is another opportunity for the virus to mutate into a form that is even more vaccine resistant than the Delta variant.

Sophia said...

Sophia here: Just for the record, Mark and Fr. MJK. I cannot say that there is no topic on which I would defer to your moral or certainly your political, medical or scientific knowledge but I have been reading your comments on this blog for at least a couple of years now, and I can still say with confidence that so far I have not had any reason to change my mind about that! Usually, when I take the time to post, it's because the issue is important enough for me to share my knowledge and or opinions/perspectives, with the many people who read this blog (only a tiny, tiny fraction of whom post here), or to support some who post here or at other times to refute/counterbalance others who closely align themselves with a progressive world view either in politics or religion (usually both) and also post here. It is seldom to engage in ongoing discussions with people in that latter group -although sometimes I do, as I am doing right now. Experience has taught me that it's pointless, very time consuming, and very frustrating to do so. "Seeds falling on rocky ground" comes to mind. Suffice it to say that I stand firmly by what I wrote in my comments above and definitely have the expertise/credentials to post what I did.

Father Mc Donald knows who I am but I do not care to reveal myself to everyone else here. I would gladly reveal to some, but obviously not to all!

Please fervently pray for the people caught up in the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan, the dead (RIP), the injured, the terrified who are trying to escape. Pray especially for our U.S. military and civilians, our nation, our allies as well as the innocent Afghani people.

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, have Mercy on them and on all of us.

John Nolan said...

This thread was originally about Afghanistan, and there is a tendency to see that country as inherently unstable, and the 'graveyard of empires'. This overlooks the fact that from the end of the second Afghan War in 1880 until the late 1940s the country achieved a large measure of stability thanks to a symbiotic relationship between its rulers and the British Raj, which continued after Afghanistan gained independence from British India in 1919.

Afghanistan ran its own internal affairs and received from the British a subsidy to ensure the machinery of government was effective in maintaining stability, plus a good deal of indirect military support. Its territorial integrity was guaranteed against Russian and later Soviet incursion. Obviously this arrangement suited both sides. In the run-up to Indian independence the Afghans, worried about Soviet expansion in central Europe, expected the British to continue to fulfil their obligations; but post-war Britain was more or less insolvent and grossly overstretched militarily, and Afghanistan was not high on the list of the Foreign Office's priorities. The best the government could come up with was to devolve responsibility onto the successor states, India and Pakistan. Independent India was flirting with the Soviet Union and relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan were strained to the point of hostility.

The upshot was that British influence in Afghanistan, which in August 1947 had been of paramount importance, had by 1950 largely evaporated, and the country faced an uncertain future.

Mark said...


If you have been reading my comments on this Blog for a couple of years now, I hope I have been able to convey the sense that I am not particularly “ideological.” Nor am I particularly partisan. I am neither Democrat nor Republican. Over the years I have voted for both parties in elections, including presidential elections. But I do strongly believe in the importance of rational, balanced conversation and a commitment to facts and truth telling. Hence, I could never vote for Trump. Right now, I am having a very big problem with Biden over the issue of honesty and truth telling. But then, I regard our political system as quite corrupted overall.

And for adhering to such an approach, and daring to dissent from the prevailing political orthodoxy that seems to predominate on this Blog, I am attacked as “liberal, “progressive,” or other pejorative label du jour. For example, just take another look at the first paragraph of your post at 6:15 p.m. on August 24. Then ask yourself how you would feel if I or someone else responded to you in kind with such a personalized attack?

For the sake of argument, I will accept your characterization of the policies and positions you mention, although I disagree with these characterizations—for example the use of the term “pro-abortion” rather than, say, “in favor of legalized abortion” or “against the criminalization of abortion” (I reject equally the term “pro-choice” because so often a truly informed choice is not facilitated if access to information about the developing human being in the womb is not presented in an appropriate manner), or the use of the term “open borders” rather than say, “a more liberalized approach to immigration control.” Such labels do not clarify, they obscure; and they chill or even eliminate rational discussion. With this caveat, then, to be clear, in case it is not clear already, I did not vote_for_all those things you list. I voted as I did_despite_all those things, something that is permitted by the voting guidelines in the USCCB’s Faithful Citizenship. If you voted for Trump, did you do so_because_of his many flaws and shortcomings or policies of his with which you may disagree, or in spite of them?

I infer from the reference to your expertise and credentials that you may be a member of the medical profession. If so, please explain to us why so many people are willing to trust “fringe” voices and to try treatments peddled by those voices but are unwilling to have a vaccination that is recommended by all mainstream public health authorities and that tens of millions of us have had without apparent adverse effects (there are, of course, side effects for some people from any vaccine or treatment)? And please explain to us why it is okay for someone like Tucker Carlson to say to his audience in prime time that the vaccines don’t work (as in at all). I want to understand this mindset and right now I don’t. This said, if it all comes down to a lack of trust in “the establishment,” I can understand it to some extent, but what I cannot then understand is why the fringe voices are considered any more trustworthy. At some point, doesn’t the persistent rejection of the public health community (or one might add, the persistent rejection of the legal establishment over the results of the 2020 election), and the frequent related willingness to credit various associated “conspiracy theories,” evidence a type of collective paranoia?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Sophia - Unlike many who post here, I am not the least bit concerned about your identity or the identity of anyone else. I respond to what people post, not to who they are. Or, for that matter, who they may think they are.

I wonder how your "expertise/credentials" give you the basis for asserting that there is something untoward (or manybe even sinster) in the rapidity of President Biden's urging all to get vaccinated following full FDA approval.

Do you sit on the FDA meetings with the President? Are you one of his medical/scientific advisors?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Mark - Your question, "If so, please explain to us why so many people are willing to trust “fringe” voices.." refers specifically to treatments for the coronavirus, but I think it touches on a more global phenomenon.

I'm not sure the phenomenon is growing; it could be that we simply are more aware of it in our internet connectedness.

I've thought quite a bit about why people choose to believe what is demonstrably false. Partly it might be the comfort that comes from cognitive inertia - people wanting to believe what they have always believed. It takes energy to give up a concept and adopt a new way of thinking. Underneath is the vice of sloth - an unwillingness to expend energy. (I think this is why so many marriages fail - people are unwilling to expend the energy it takes to make a relationship work.)

Partly it may come from "malignant obedience," a term I found in Michael Lewis' book "The Premonition." This may also be called malicious compliance and refers to a someone who strictly follows orders or, at least, what they think to be orders from some powerful authority source.

But what I see more than a glimmer of is, to pit it bluntly, ignorance. People don't know how science progresses, so they see the evolving CDC guildelines on virus precautions to be "proof" of the unreliability of the epidemiologists and medical practitioners. People don't know what the Catholic Church teaches about the Blessed Virgin Mary, so they conclude that anyone kneeling in front of a statue of the BVM is an idol worshipper. People get sick even though hey are vaccinated, so they conclude wrongly, of course, that vaccines don't work as advertised.

Ultimately, fringe voices are easier to listen to because they don't demand anything, or much of anythign, from us. They are "comfortable."

Mark said...

Father Kavanaugh,

Thank you for your response, which as usual makes a lot of sense. I identify as a major factor manipulation by “influential” voices in politics and the media (including social media). Would they represent the active cause of the passive response you identify in your second factor?

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Mark - Yes, to a degree. People who are 1) afraid or 2) slothful are more easily influenced. Most of us like to think that we would not be susceptible to such outside forces, but the money spent by manufacturers on advertising (influencing) indicates that we are.

Influencers tell you that you are not happy with your present state. You are not happy with your teeth, so use our product to whiten them and you'll be happy. You're not happy with your car, so buy ours and be happy. You're not happy with the election, so buy our explanation of "massive fraud," Dominion "cheating," and/or Maricopa Madness, and you'll be happy with the outcome.

Most of us aren't happy with being told what to do - part of that 'Murican Independence thing - so the influencers say we should refuse vaccination and we'll be happy. Until, of course, you get fired, or sick, or killed by the virus.