Escape from Seattle

The analogy to the 1981 John Carpenter film Escape from New York is a limited one, for Manhattan in the fictional account, turned into one giant prison – set in what seems a now nostalgic 1997 – at least has law enforcement on the fringes. The real-life city of Seattle of 2020, on the other hand, is on the verge of ditching even that, going completely police-free, replacing them with community outreach groups, social justice committees, rehabilitation seminars, and no jail time.

Parallels with the prelude to the French Revolution seem more apt, with wandering bands of the disaffected, disillusioned and even the seemingly demonic, marauding through the streets, besieging the houses of politicians (the modern ‘nobles’), getting them out of bed under threat of their very lives to make bleary-eyed promises – reduction of police budgets and staff and so on all filmed on camera – or else – and demanding ‘reparation’ payments from whites.

Seattle may be the canary in the coal mine for what is about to dawn in America, or what once was that great nation, now dissolving before our eyes. ‘Burn it all down‘ is their mantra, which one would think a rather radical reset.

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Southern Africa Bishops Plan Solidarity Visit to Mozambique’s Pemba Diocese Amid Crisis

“The Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) decided on a solidarity visit to the Bishop of Pemba from December 2 to December 4,” said His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Ponce de León, Bishop of Manzini (Swaziland), reported Fides News Agency.

SACBC brings together the Bishops of Botswana, South Africa, and Swaziland. The SACBC delegation will go to the diocese, in northern Mozambique, in response to the multiple appeals for solidarity launched by the Bishop of Pemba, His Exc. Mgr. Luiz Fernando Lisboa.

Pemba is the capital of Cabo Delgado province, devastated in 2017 by an insurrection led by a group that declared itself affiliated with the Islamic State, which caused the death of more than 2,300 people and the displacement of at least 600,000 inhabitants.

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LEBANON: ‘We Have to Rise Again from the Ruins’

“Oh my God!” – exclaims Sister Nicolas Akiki, the director of the hospital. This is the first time she has been into this part of the hospital since it was devastated by the explosion of 4 August in the port of Beirut. Her hand goes to her heart and she struggles to hold back the tears as she gazes in silence at the wreckage. Her face reveals the anguish she is feeling at the sight of so many years of hard work and sacrifice, destroyed in the space of seven short seconds.

On the ninth floor of the building, the convent in which nine of the sisters normally live has also been badly damaged. One wall fell in on top of one of the sisters, wounding her arm. “But no one of them died. It was a miracle because the windows were blown in, scattering broken glass everywhere, and the ceilings in some of the sisters’ rooms were also brought down. So that’s why, despite my sadness, I give thanks to God and Our Lady of the Rosary for having protected us”, Sister Nicolas explains, as she points to, and indeed almost caresses, the picture of Our Lady of the Rosary that is hanging in the hallway of the convent. Another of the sisters, Sister Arlette, relates how she had gone into the bathroom to get some medicine when she heard a voice saying “go out, go out” and that made her take a step backward, just a moment before the bathroom mirror and the whole of the bathroom ceiling came crashing down.

The hospital is situated in the Gemmayzé suburb of Beirut, less than 500 meters from the port. Before the explosion, it had 200 beds, plus some important and very modern medical facilities and operating theatres on its eighteen floors, nine of them underground and nine overground. But without doubt, the heart of the hospital, its hidden driving force, is the sisters themselves. “The hospital is not an end in itself, it is a means of helping our patients with all our energy and commitment to overcome some of the most difficult phases in their lives, times overshadowed by suffering, uncertainty, and fear”, explains Sister Nicolas, the hospital director. All of the sisters combine their professional expertise in the various different hospital departments with their vocation of pastoral care and human spiritual concern for the patients and also for the hospital staff.

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