Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

Coming out of his strong victory in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich had a golden opportunity in the Sunshine State to deal a deathblow to the Romney campaign.  Defeat Romney a/k/a the Weathervane in a large state like Florida, and the main rationale of the Romney campaign, electability, would be shattered.  If Gingrich had won the state he would  haven been the clear frontrunner and Romney would have been wondering whether he would be too old to try again in 2016.  Instead, Romney has won, and appears to have won strongly.  What happened?

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24 Responses to Florida: Newt’s Paradise Lost

  • accurately dubbing him the tax collector of the Welfare State.

    We have a welfare state. As long as you have it, you better pay for it.

  • “As long as you have it, you better pay for it.”

    As we are learning to our sorrow Art, welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

  • He should have been hammering away at Romneycare and Romney flipflops instead. In the second debate Santorum was devastating on Romneycare…”

    That line of attack wasn’t open to Gingrich. It had been closed off by Gingrich’s own flip flop on an individual national mandate, which is the part of the Obamacare that is easiest for most primary voters to understand. When Gingrich raised it in an earlier debate, Romney simply pointed out that the idea of the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich. If Romney has wrested the ‘weathervane’ title from Gingrich, it must have been by a hair.

    Plus, Gingrich hasn’t been good at attacking anyone other than debate moderators. I think you’re a trifle unfair to Wolf above; Wolf simply refused to be cowed when Gingrich tried to suggest that his own comments from earlier in the day were an inappropriate topic for the debate. Bluster only works as long as no one calls bs.

  • I disagree John Henry. There is a great deal of difference between Gingrich having made a statement about an individual mandate and Romney basically acting as a precursor for Obamacare. That is a gaping weakness in Romney and hacking at Romney through it would have been worth any jabs from Romney in return.

    In regard to Wolf Blitzer I think he clearly was gunning for Newt. Gingrich’s mistake was not to state the obvious: that Romney is an out of touch rich guy attempting to buy his way to the White House and that Blitzer is a shill for CNN, a network that has no love for conservative Republicans. Instead, Gingrich pulled his punches and lost the initiative.

    As to Romney’s weathervane title, Gingrich doesn’t come close to matching Romney’s flip flops on a whole series of issues. A debate between the various Mitt Romneys that have been in the public square since 1994 when he attempted to run to the left of Ted Kennedy on social issues would be amusing if not edifying.

  • Well call me idealistic but as a Star Trek fanatic I love the idea of a moon colony!

    I guess its “undisciplined” of Newt to say, but it is inspiring to think about that sort of accomplishment.

  • Newt Gingrich has much to commend him, including his blasts at Mr. Obama’s decision to mandate that health insurance plans at Catholic hospitals, colleges, and charities cover birth control, I think without co-payments and also, I believe, though usually unmentioned, abortifacients and sterilization. The president had compromise positions, but chose to ignore them as well as Catholic opposition to this decision. But unfortunately, Mr. Gingrich’s lack of discipline in speech and policy would make his presidency perilous. Recall what he said about Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which managed to insult all the House Republicans who voted for it.

    He has also called Mitt Romney a “Massachusetts liberal.” I live in Massachusetts and know how difficult it can be for any conservative in the state, especially a Catholic conservative. I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

  • Too many voters have Romneycare fatigue. They’ve heard the complaints against so often that its offensiveness is wearing thin. So what are you left with? Flip flops and private sector experience. You can’t touch private sector experience because that’s the GOP third rail. The flip flops have been covered, and the average voter has heard it so many times applied to different politicians that they now think “They all flip flop.” So, Weathervane Romney becomes Teflon Mitt.

  • welfare states are insatiable in their demands for ever increasing taxes. There is no paying for a welfare state, there is merely inevitable bankruptcy at the end of the welfare state.

    In the period running from 1969 to 2008, the ratio of public expenditure to domestic product fluctuated between 27.96% to 33.88%. The lower bound was during the fiscal year concluding in 1973 and the upper bound was in that concluding in 1992.

  • Greece reportedly will agree to pay .3 euro on each euro it owes. It’s better than zero. Next up is Portugal.

    We will soon see how that works.

    As Maine goes so goes the nation.

    Now, Maine has more peoples getting money from guvinamenent than paying taxes.

    I wead a weport that said CA guvmint may run out of money in March.

    I know!

    Let’s tax the rich!

    Let’s force the Catholic Church to pay for abortions and gender adjustment surgeries!!!

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout. This time not even the base will mobilize. Whether you like Gingrich or not, he has consistently shown that he has ideas and the willingness to take chances as a leader. I will not vote for Romney. To vote for Romney is to assent to all that he believes and legitimize his false faith and false ideals. If the Republican party wants to position itself as a liberal big Government – big Business party, fine. They will get what they want with Obama. Count me out.

  • I contend with Massachusetts liberals nearly daily. I know Massachusetts liberals. I know what they believe and do. Think Elizabeth Warren, Barney Frank, John Kerry, and James McGovern. They are Massachusetts liberals.

    Mitt Romney is no Massachusetts liberal.

    Mitt Romney: not as bad Barney Frank and John Kerry.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to storm the beaches for the man now.

  • I think the moon colony proposal is the smartest thing since sliced bread – if we send all the politicians to live there.

  • If the Republican party seriously thinks that Romney has a chance against Obama, then they are delusional. This is McCain 2008 all over again. You can’t send up a Default candidate who nobody really likes and expect strong voter turnout.

    Once more with feeling.

    1. You have three salient economic metrics: the growth rate in domestic product per capita, the unemployment rate, and the rate of inflation.

    a. The last of these was consequential during the periods running from 1945 to 1952 and from 1966 to 1982, but not otherwise.

    b. The mean unemployment rate during this administration has been the highest of any since 1941. It was higher during Mr. Roosevelt’s first and second term, but during his Administration unemployment rates were on a downward trajectory and the social injuries associated with unemployment were treated with novel meliorist schemes.

    c. The growth rates experienced during the current Administration have been ever so slightly higher than was the case during the first Bush Administration, and lower than those in every other administration. The point at which economic dynamism reaches its peak varies from one business cycle to another, but it is usually within three or four quarters of the cycle’s commencement. Mr. Bush faced the electorate with a relatively fresh business cycle (ongoing for six quarters) which reached its peaks years after he left office. The current President will be facing the electorate with a stale business cycle (14 quarters in), and with a dismal future outlook due to massive public sector borrowing and the crisis in Europe.

    2. You have sixty years of public opinion polling to gauge the general assessment of the incumbent as compared with his predecessors. You have a great deal of interstitial flux in this metric, but the most common pattern is for the assessment of the President to take on a downward trajectory through the life of an administration. Some administrations have alternating biennial cycles of advance and retreat in public approval. Messrs. Eisenhower and Kennedy retained agreeable ratings with little temporal trend throughout their years in office. The current President appears to be one of the most common type, which is to say we can surmise that if it were getting better for him we’d have seen it over the last year. We have not.

    3. Mr. McCain was and is a Republican pol with a set of policy preferences that are common-and-garden within that set. He was facing (due to the ill regard for the incumbent administration and the banking crisis) a set of very challenging circumstances. Any deficiencies he had as a candidate were not an important consideration in the menu of reasons the Republicans lost the election.

    4. You think Mr. Romney’s opportunism renders him an unsalable candidate? A cursory examination of the political careers of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George Bush the Elder would tend to discredit that thesis.

  • Experts say Gingrich moon base dreams not lunacy


    But then why think boldly? Besides, better things exists to spend our money on…. you will just be called a loon anyway. Can just imagine that attitude when when tried to put a man on the moon….. But no, Gingrich is just crazy….

  • 1. Obama GDP growth rates are suffuecuent to minimally reduce new unemployment claims. They are far below growth needed to return America to “full employment.”

    2. Over the recent nine (Obama) quarters, growth has been far below the four decade average. It took twice as long after the recession ended to recover to the pre-recession level GDP. The current (Obama) recovery real private sector GDP growth averaged 2.6% (2011 it was 1.7%) versus 1974-75 (Ford) 3.8% and 1981-82 (Reagan) 4.7%.

    3. The Keystone pipeline denial is the most striking example of the regime’s hostility to economic growth and job creation.

    4. A recent Gallup Poll sows Obama’s job approval in the third full year at 44%. That’s down from 47% in his second year. That’s down from 57% in his first year. That’s also down from the 69% approval he enjoyed on Inauguration Day.

    5. That 44% rating is worse than Gerald Ford’s and Bush the Elder’s going into their failed re-elections.

    6. Silver lining: Jummeh Carter’s approval rating was worse.

  • “Unless Romney loses a few of the primaries and caucuses in February, slowing his momentum, he will probably put this race away on Super Tuesday, March 6.”

    I’m not sure about either side of this. First of all, no one takes caucuses seriously, so I don’t think that a Romney loss would upset his flow. There are only three primaries in February: Missouri, Arizona, and the state of Romney’s birth. I think he’ll sweep those.

    But Super Tuesday is potentially the roughest day of his campaign. Virginia, Tennessee, and Newt’s home state. Romney hasn’t proven that he can win in the South (let’s face it, Florida isn’t a Southern state exactly). If Mitt can have a decisive victory on Super Tuesday, he’s set, but if he shows weakness on March 6th, the next month will be a gauntlet (Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, etc.).

  • Caucuses supply delegates Pinky, and that is the coin of any presidential nomination contest.

    In regard to Virginia, Newt and Santorum aren’t on the ballot. Georgia is a good state for Newt. Newt’s main concern is money drying up for his campaign. Unless he starts winning soon, goodby cash.

    The most interesting race this month is Missouri on the 7th. It is the best state for Santorum. The last poll I read showed him in first place with a stunning 45%. (Gingrich is not on the ballot.) If he can pull that off next Tuesday that could startle some voters who like neither Romney nor Gingrich into backing Santorum, and draw fallen away Gingrich backers. The primary is non-binding, but such a blow out victory would garner lots of attention anyway, and underline Romney’s weakness when the conservative vote is not divided.


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  • Regarding Gingrich’s longstanding support for a national individual mandate, I believe the old line about being entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts is applicable. If you go here, you can hear Newt in May of 2009 talking about how an individual mandate had to be the key to any health care reform bill.

  • He was calling for a catastrophic health insurance mandate for those making over 75,000 BA, a bad idea but hardly Romneycare. Additionally Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare. How Romney would be able to call for the repeal of Obamacare while defending Romneycare, would tax the political skills of a far better politician than the Weathervane.

  • Gingrich now rejects the idea of an individual mandate, while Romney still defends Romneycare.

    The irony here is that, after criticizing Romney for being Mr. Weathervane, you turn around and criticize him for not changing his position on an unpopular issue. Romney has never favored a national mandate, nor has he repudiated what he did in Massachusetts. Gingrich, on the other hand, favored a national mandate for nearly 20 years, supported Romneycare, and continued to support mandates up until he started running for president, at which point he suddenly realized that the whole idea was unconstitutional and would never work.

  • BA the Weathervane has made a career out of flip flopping. He has been on both sides of abortion, gun control, embryonic stem cell research, prayers in school, abstinence based sex education, the minimum wage, the types of judges that should be appointed to the bench, the abolition of the Department of Education, and the list could go at considerable length. When it comes to flip flopping the Weathervane is the grand champion.

    In regard to Obamacare, the White House consulted with former Romney aides who crafted Romneycare when designing Obamacare:


    The idea that Romney’s continued embrace of Romneycare is not a disaster in regard to the election this fall when a majority of the voters are opposed to Obamacare is precisely the type of politically tone deaf nonsence I expect from camp Weathervane.

  • Gingrich did not completely support Romneycare. He praised parts of it, and indeed agreed with the principle of an individual mandate. But he did not fully endorse the legislation.

    Of course there is a candidate that never endorsed the individual mandate named Rick Santorum. Maybe we should be focusing on him instead of these two duds.

  • Newt once supported the idea of a mandate and has since renounced it.
    Romney implemented the mandate and has embraced it.

    An idea can be dangerous, but bad legislation is far more destructive.

    Newt also fought Hillarycare and became its brick wall when he and the GOP won the house in 1994.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Breaks Partnership with Planned Parenthood

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

In a piece of very good news, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has announced that they are breaking the partnership they have maintained for some years with Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is miffed, calling the decision “deeply disturbing and disappointing.” From The Hill (linked above):

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has broken off a partnership through which it provided cancer screenings at Planned Parenthood clinics, the Associated Press reported Tuesday. Planned Parenthood blamed the political controversy over abortion.

“We are alarmed and saddened that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation appears to have succumbed to political pressure. Our greatest desire is for Komen to reconsider this policy and recommit to the partnership on which so many women count,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Planned Parenthood said its clinics provided about 4 million screenings for breast cancer over the past five years, roughly 170,000 of which were supported by Komen grants.

Planned Parenthood said it has established an emergency fund to offset the loss of the Komen funds.

Komen told the AP that it ended its partnership with Planned Parenthood because of a congressional investigation into the organization. Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce committee have requested detailed financial records from Planned Parenthood.

This seems like an utterly obvious thing for Komen to do, and frankly it’s surprising it’s taken so long.

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17 Responses to Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Breaks Partnership with Planned Parenthood

  • ….”Victim” of cancer? Being victimized generally requires there be a will to do something, doesn’t there? Or have I been a victim of the cold in a non-metaphorical way?

    Incidentally, I know several folks who have gone through cancer and do care about your “politics” when the lives of babies are involved.

    More on topic: WHOOT! Now if they’ll just stop giving money to ESCR, I’ll be able to buy pink ribbon stuff again!

  • emergency fund = more of my tax dollars

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  • I donated to Komen for the Cure for years without knowing of their affiliation with PP. When I found out (via a Catholic blog), I was very distressed. The lesson learned was to look very carefully at charities before reaching for the checkbook. I am glad to find they are dropping their partnership with that infernal organization.

  • Donna V. – I couldn’t agree with you more. I have also given much more scrutiny to organizations that I choose to give money too. Susan G. Komen is now back on my list of considerations.

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  • While this is great, I urge caution. I for one will not be giving them money, yet. They may still rejoin with PP, and they also have a long on-again-off-again relationship with embryonic stem cell research, not to mention the salaries of the SGK CEOs. I hope this represents a real change in SGKs life philosophy, but it is still too soon to know.

  • They also tend to make donations to political candidates. All in all, they are not quite ready for my donation.

    I thought Lila Rose did an expose that involved calling dozens of PP offices to schedule a mammogram and was told in every case they could not or did not offer them. What are they calling “breast cancer screenings?”

  • The Huff Post is speculating that this development has the fingerprints of former GA gubernatorial candidate Karen Handel who recently joined the Komen Foundation as VP. I have no idea, but it is plausible. I know Karen and she is pro-life notwithstanding the lies and distortions spread by sorry folks at GA Right to Life.

  • The liberal comments at the Susan G Komen Facebook page are quite obscene and vicious over this announcement.

  • Therese Z-
    the manual examination- the sort that is pretty standard at any doctor’s. It’s like a self exam, although if I remember correctly things have to be REALLY dire for a doctor to notice something odd. Even self-exams done regularly often don’t find things until it’s rather late– the earliest symptoms are changes, not something specific. (Yay, generalities. There are cases of women catching it very early, but there are also cases of not finding it until it’s massively advanced, even when the exams are done correctly.)

  • Well, that is unfortunate, but not surprising. I hope that the Foundation realizes that those commentators are not benefactors, at least as a group. Just angry pro-aborts who consider abortion a sacrament and obscenity literature.

  • According to this article, Komen has also quietly stopped funding embryonic stem cell research:


    On November 30, 2011, Komen quietly added a new statement to its web site stating that it does not support embryonic stem cell research but supports the kinds that do not involve the destruction of human life.

    “Komen supports research on the isolation, derivation, production, and testing of stem cells that are capable of producing all or almost all of the cell types of the developing body and may result in improved understanding of or treatments for breast cancer, but are derived without creating a human embryo or destroying a human embryo,” Komen says. “A priority in our research funding is to quickly find and deliver effective treatments, especially for the most lethal forms of breast cancer, while seeking effective preventive strategies, enhanced screening methodologies, and solutions to disparities in breast cancer outcomes for diverse women.”

    Meanwhile, as LifeNews reported, new Komen Vice President for public policy Karen Handel, a pro-life advocate for Georgia, also opposes embryonic stem cell research. She has been credited with being instrumental in helping stop the Planned Parenthood funding.

  • Komen backtracks, now says they WILL fund Planned Parenthood. I thought is odd when they held their International Conference in Cairo and the Egyptians insisted (remember this was during the ‘peace treaty’) that Israel not be allowed to attend and Komen agreed! Israeli hospitals are on the cutting edge of cancer research. Egypt? They are on the cutting edge of cutting Coptic Christian throats.

  • in fact, PP is highly effective at preventing breast cancer.

    Approximately 100% of murdered babies have not contracted breast cancer.

    Kill for the cure!

  • I see that my comment was not useful the other day as I tried to warn everybody to re-read the press report from Komens before they got too excited about this news. The one good thing that came out of this mess, is that for years, we pro-lifers have been trying to wake people up about Komen & their ties with “pp”, but, to no avail. Now, we not only have the proof, but, “pp” has exposed it’s poisonous fangs for all of America to see. The bottom line: READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY, especially where the devil is involved. +JMJ+

Howard Zinn, Neo-Confederate

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

While I disagree with him on a host of political issues, I follow Ta-Nehisi Coates’s blog at The Atlantic closely because of his consistently well written and fascinating posts on history and literature. Many of these are on the Civil War, which has in recent years become a topic of great interest to him.

There was a particularly interesting pair of these a couple weeks ago in which Coates and his commenters discussed (in the context of Ron Paul’s repeated statements that the Civil War was unnecessary) the fact that left wing icon Howard Zinn actually peddles the several of the neo-confederate tropes: that the Civil War was fought for Northern economic domination and had little to do with slavery, and that a the Civil War clearly wasn’t necessary in order to end slavery anyway. [First post on Ron Paul, Howard Zinn and the Civil War. Second, followup post.] The specific Howard Zinn text that they go after (because it’s conveniently online) is a lecture he gave called Three Holy Wars, in which he tries to make a case for why people should not see the Revolutionary War, American Civil War or American involvement in World War II as moral or just — something he argues is important because seeing any past wars as just allows people to justify other wars on analogy.

Zinn proceeds to run through most of the standard complaints against the “War of Northern Aggression”:
It was really, really bad:

Slavery. Slavery, nothing worse. Slavery. And at the end of the Civil War, there’s no slavery. You can’t deny that. So, yeah, you have to put that on one side of the ledger, the end of slavery. On the other side, you have to put the human cost of the Civil War in lives: 600,000. I don’t know how many people know or learn or remember how many lives were lost in the Civil War, which was the bloodiest, most brutal, ugliest war in our history, from the point of view of dead and wounded and mutilated and blinded and crippled. Six hundred thousand dead in a country of 830 million. Think about that in relation today’s population; it’s as if we fought a civil war today, and five or six million people died in this civil war. Well, you might say, well, maybe that’s worth it, to end slavery. Maybe. Well, OK, I won’t argue that. Maybe. But at least you know what the cost is.

The Civil War didn’t meaningfully free them anyway:

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44 Responses to Howard Zinn, Neo-Confederate

  • In the interests of precision:

    1. Howard Zinn is peddling nothing. He is dead.

    2. He was not a pacifist. He was as a young man a vigorous member of the Communist Party, later taking on the protective coloration of the remnant of the American Labor Party in New York. He never broke faith with that. The wars he did not care for were the ones fought by this country.

    3. He was not a Civil War scholar. His original research was in early 20th century American history. His dissertation (a biography of Fiorello LaGuardia) was published; after 1959, he was the author of or contributor to two or three minor histories of the labor movement. Beyond that, all of his work as a professor was devoted to the production of commentaries on topical matters and the many editions of his teaching text.

  • “I remember having similar “aha!” moments reading Paul Johnson’s Modern Times,”

    Paul Johnson in his book on American history wrote that it was the Texas Rangers and not the Army Rangers that came ashore on Utah beach, and in the Civil War section he kept confusing Albert Sydney Johnston and Joe Johnston. I had thought highly of him as a historian until he wrote about subject matter that I knew quite a bit about.

  • Thanks Art.

    I did know he was dead, though I tend to refer to all authors as if they’re active when talking about their work. Sloppy writing, but otherwise I’d have to admit a lot of the people I spend my time with are dead.

    I’d known he had communist attachments, but I hadn’t realized he’d held onto the warlike aspects of the system throughout his career. I guess this was partly a bad assumption on my part (his work having always been recommended to me to explain “the real nature” of various wars by pacifists) and partly based on having read various short pieces of his (plus as much as I could stand of People’s History of the United States — which was about 100 pages) in which he seemed always to be making the point that various wars only served to solidify the hold of the powerful and make things worse. But I shouldn’t have used the term “pacifist” without more to go on than that.

    I hadn’t had the impression he was much of a scholar period. People’s History is tremendously shoddy and only seems to keep trucking along through being ideologically convenient for some people. But sadly, he does seem to have outsized influence among the far left and to pass for a “historian” there.

  • In regard to Zinn, he was a dishonest far left hack masquerading as a historian. That this charlatan was taken seriously in academia is a damning indictment of academia.

    A critique of Zinn from the right:


    A critique of Zinn from the left:


  • “I did know he was dead”

    Easy mistake to make. By all evidence Zinn’s brain stopped functioning decades before his body did. (Yes, bad historians do greatly arouse my ire!)

  • Well, you know, when the ambulance pulls up, and the so-called rescuers use the jaws of life to pull you out of your damaged vehicle, what do they do next? They put you into another vehicle. They strap you onto a bed in the back of the ambulance. You may not be able to move any better there than you could in the wrecked car. You’re free, but not free.

    And a lot of rescuers die in vehicle fires, so you have to look at the loss of life. And who’s to say that you wouldn’t have made it out of the car on your own? I mean, sure, the door was crushed in, but a lot of other people get out of cars all the time. So I don’t see a reason why we should assume that the paramedics really did anything to help you.

  • Some points that may or may not matter:

    1. Hostilities did not commence until the Confederates in Charleston fired on Ft. Sumter, a full 4 months after South Carolina’s secession. Between Dec 1860 and Apr of 1861, 7 states had seceded, the CSA itself had been founded and a number of Federal forts had been seized peaceably. So it wasn’t the act of secession itself, or even ‘confiscation’ of property that motivated war.

    2. The economic value of chattel slavery was enough to make its threatened destruction frightening to even the lowliest Southerner. Estimates of stock value of chattel slaves in 1860 run close to CSA$3 billion; although such comparisons can’t be accurately charted (think rubles, circa 1972) the potential loss of labor capacity represented somewhere around 25-30% of the country’s GDP. This would translate into a $4-5 trillion dollar loss today.

    3. So, the impetus for war was retaliation to unprovoked hostility, and, as any good war leader can tell you, the main aim in making war is to ruin your opponent’s economy and will to fight as quickly as possible. It took a bit for Lincoln et al. to get that point, but once they hit on it, they went for the throat.

  • I think that serfs on a feudal estate had it pretty good compared to slaves in the antebellum South.

  • If Chomsky and Zinn had examined the Lord of the Rings:

    “CHOMSKY: Have you noticed that there are few consonants in any of these names? What we see—or perhaps I should say, “What we hear”—is a kind of linguistic hierarchy.

    ZINN: Between that of an Orcish name such as Grishnák and a Mannish name such as Eowyn, you mean?

    CHOMSKY: Eowyn is hardly a name at all—it’s just a series of dipthongs. When the Elves or wizards or their deluded human pawns have consonants in their names at all, they’re mostly alveolar approximants or labiodental fricatives. Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas.

    ZINN: Whereas the Orcs—

    CHOMSKY: They get saddled with clotted sequences of nasals, velar plosives, and occasional palato-alveolar affricates. It’s quite extraordinary. The abstract vowels in the overlords’ names are clearly being valued at the expense of the more earthly consonants.

    ZINN: Another case of Elves and wizards not wanting to get their hands dirty.

    CHOMSKY: Or their tongues. I mean, could you imagine an Orc being named, say, Lewahoo or Horaiowen? It would be unheard of.”

  • WK Aiken,

    1. True, it’s clearly the firing on Fort Sumter that was the actual inciting incident for the war — and a rather blithe one on the part of Southern fire eaters. That four month spacing, however, was also related to the power vacuum that reigned from the election till Lincoln’s inauguration. The firing on Fort Sumter was only a month after Lincoln actually became president.

    2. Indeed, the huge economic value of slavery at the time is something I think people don’t understand nearly well enough. Not only was the dollar value of slaves huge at the time, but it dwarfed any other type of capital asset in the US (the US being so much poorer at the time). So for comparison, while the value of all slaves in the US in 1860 was $3Billion, the total capital value of all US railroads at the time was only $1Billion. This underscores why the Southern states with the highest slave populations jumped the gun and seceded so quickly, even though Lincoln was far from being a radical abolitionist. They simply had so much too hold on to.

    3. Yes, striking at the Southern economy was definitely one aim of the Emancipation Proclamation, but in acknowledging that it’s important to also keep in mind that Lincoln had been against slavery (that was, after all, why his election sparked secession) for a long time, and the war was already being seen increasingly as being “against slavery”. As it would continue to be throughout the war. By the end, Blacks make up 10% of the Union army.


    Now you can’t quote that snippet without providing a link to the glorious whole. I’ve seldom laughed so hard:





  • Mike:

    I think medieval serfs, on a feudal estate, had it better than taxpayers in America in 2012. Serfs were not born owing $48,000 each. And, they gave the lord a smaller percentage of their harvests than does Buffett’s secretary.

    And, I thank God I am not an intellectual.

  • “Now you can’t quote that snippet without providing a link to the glorious whole. I’ve seldom laughed so hard:”

    That was parsimonious of me Darwin! It is twice as funny when one recalls that Chomsky is a humorless ideologue and Zinn’s idea of a laugh was: “And then the conservative fascist opressor of the people choked to death!”

  • T. Shaw:
    I agree. I’ve read that in several places over the years plus they had a lot more time off with all the holydays and feasts.

  • “I think medieval serfs, on a feudal estate, had it better than taxpayers in America in 2012.”

    “Plus they had a lot more time off with all the holydays and feasts.”

    Yeah, other than the constant threat of famine, plague, marauding invaders, and maternal/infant/child mortality, they had it pretty good, if they actually lived to adulthood, that is.

  • Elaine:
    Compare the mortality rates for serfs in the 1300s with our own laborers in the 1800s. You’d be surprised (or shocked).

  • A modest proposition: one does not have to celebrate the institution of slavery or defend it in the slightest in order to support the proposition that the states have the right to secede under the constitution; that the Civil War was in fact an unconstitutional war of agression by the North, and that its result was a severe blow to Federalism as envisoned by the Founders.

    The two ideas–non-support of slavery and support for the principle of secession and Federalism– are not logically inconsistent. The attempt to conflate support for secession with support for the institution of slavery is nothing but cheap ad hominem.

    The demise of slavery was the good outcome of a bad (and yes, uneccessary) enterprise. Does that position make one a dreaded “Neo-Confederate?” My, my, my, I hope not.

  • one does not have to celebrate the institution of slavery or defend it in the slightest in order to support the proposition that the states have the right to secede under the constitution; that the Civil War was in fact an unconstitutional war of agression by the North,

    No, you’d just simply be wrong.

    and that its result was a severe blow to Federalism as envisoned by the Founders.

    Including, evidently, founding fathers such as James Madison who very clearly said secession was unconstitutional.

    The attempt to conflate support for secession with support for the institution of slavery is nothing but cheap ad hominem.

    I’m not sure you are quite familiar with what the expression “ad hominem” means, at least based on the context in which you are using it here. The over-arching divide in America at the time of the Civil War was the issue of slavery. Now, neo-Confedrates may wax poetic about states rights, but make no mistake about it, what they were defending was the right of states to continue the legal protection of slavery.

  • “what they were defending was the right of states to continue the legal protection of slavery.”

    Not just that, but they were attacking the right of free states to set their own rules. Cf. the Fugitive Slave Act.

  • “Neo-Confederates may wax poetic about states rights, but make no mistake about it, what they were defending was the right of states to continue the legal protection of slavery.”

    I agree that’s what defenders of “states’ rights” in the 1850s were doing, the same way defenders of “reproductive rights” today are, 99.9 percent of the time, defending abortion. But one could interpret “reproductive rights” in a broader sense to include, for example, the right of women in China to have more than one child, or the right not to be sterilized or forced to use contraception against one’s will or moral convictions.

    Likewise, one could TODAY interpret “states’ rights” in a broader sense to mean that the federal government shouldn’t be trumping state or local authority as much as it does today. It doesn’t necessarily HAVE to include the right to secede. However, as Paul points out, the term “states’ rights” has become so closely associated with slavery, secession and racial segregation that it’s practically impossible to use it today and be taken seriously.

  • It’s simply a flat out lie that southern states seceded over slavery. Some, like SC and other deep south states did. Virginia emphatically did not secede because of slavery. She actually voted against secession UNTIL Lincoln made it clear that he intended to impress soldiers from Virginia to wage a war of invasion against the deep south. Virginia seceded on the principle that she would not be a party to the President’s unconstitutional decision to raise armies and invade states.

    As to the constitutionality of secession, Paul, it can be argued endlessly, and my point was a narrow one, that arguing for secession does not imply support of slavery; but in response to your assertion that I’m wrong, I must state in reply, “no, you are wrong.” 😉

  • Tom,

    Your first two sentences appear to contradict. As you admit in the second, clearly the states of the deep south that seceded first did so utterly and clearly because of slavery. Here, for instance, are the first two paragraphs of Mississippi’s declaration of secession:

    In the momentous step, which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.

    Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery – the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product, which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin. [emphasis added]

    At most, it sounds like you’re trying to get some distance for the second round of secessions, including Virginia, by claiming that they weren’t motivated by slavery but were instead willing to fight a war over the principles that states should be able to secede whenever they want. (Which is odd, because the Confederate States that they put together did not, in fact, end up protecting the rights of it’s constituent states to secede.) However, even Virginia started off their declaration of secession:

    AN ORDINANCE to repeal the ratification of the Constitution of the United State of America by the State of Virginia, and to resume all the rights and powers granted under said Constitution

    The people of Virginia in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States

    So clearly protection of slavery as an institution is a major concern for them.

    The constitution which the CSA wrote was pretty close to being a xerox of the US constitution, with one of the few changes being the permanent enshrinement of slavery in the constitution. It does not specifically enshrine a right for states to secede, which if that was the real cause of secession seems like a really odd omission. It does however remove the right of any state to ban slavery within its borders. So much for states rights…

  • Virginia Secession was in defense of slavery Tom, as the Virginia Ordinance of Secession indicates:

    “The people of Virginia in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression, and the Federal Government having perverted said powers not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern slave-holding States:”

    Of course in the vote on secession, most of non-slaveholding western Virginia voted against it:


    At the time, everyone knew what the war was all about. It is only in hindsight that what was clearly a war in defense of slavery by the Confederacy is argued to be something else.

  • “It does not specifically enshrine a right for states to secede, which if that was the real cause of secession seems like a really odd omission.”

    South Carolina delegates wanted such a right to be inserted in the Confederate Constitution. They were voted down. Instead this provision is in the Confederate Constitution:

    “We, the people of the Confederate States, each State acting in its sovereign and independent character, in order to form a permanent federal government,”

    As far as the Confederacy was concerned, it was to be permanent.

  • I’m sorry, guys, but the simple fact remains: no threat of northern invasion and Virginia stays in the Union. That’s just historical fact. Virginia was not prepared to secede simply on the issue of slavery. They only did so in response Lincoln’s call for armed invasion of southern states.

    Of course as a slave-holding state Virginia shared the same concerns about northern radicalism, but the fact remains: Virginia decisively rejected secession when the issue was solely preservation of slavery vs. the radical Republican regime in Washington. It was only when the people of Virginia were to suffer “injury” from threatened invasion, that secession won out.

    As to the constitutional issue, I’m amazed that conservatives otherwise knowledgeable about the constitution suddenly become blinkered when this issue is discussed: the federal government is one of limited, delegated powers. Any power NOT expressly given the federal government is retained by the states. Since there is NO express power given to the federal government to maintain the union by force against the wishes of a state or states, the federal government does not have that power of coercion.

    It is backwards to argue that since there is no express grant of a right of secession that the states therefore have no such right. The correct constitutional view is that since the federal government is given no authority to bind the states to the Union, that power does not exist, and the states retain the right to separate.

  • “no threat of northern invasion and Virginia stays in the Union.”

    There was no invasion Tom, it was all one country. Virginia was content, temporarily I am sure, to stay in the old Union so long as the United States did not lift a finger to keep the nation one. That provisional commitment to the Union was completely worthless, as noted by unionists at the time in western Virginia.

    “Any power NOT expressly given the federal government is retained by the states.”

    Yes, Tom, and in order for them to retain a right to secede from the Union, you have to first establish that right. I think it is impossible to do so for the original 13 states, which became states courtesy of the Second Continental Congress and the Declaration of Independence, having no separate existence as states, as opposed to colonies subject to the British Crown, outside of the Union. The Union is older than the Constitution and the Constitution clearly grants no new-fangled right to the states to secede from the pre-existing Union. As for the other states, except for Vermont and Texas, they were all created by the Federal government. How could the Federal government create entities that had an inherent right of secession from it?

  • Also, frankly, I just can’t see the “it was all about the right to secede” argument passing the laugh test. Are we really to believe that Virginia did not think it was worth fighting a war to protect slavery, but did think it was worth fighting a war to protect the right of other states to secede in order to protect slavery? For real? That would have to be the most destruction a state ever let itself in for in order to stand up for an abstract principle being applied in a way it disagreed with. If a Human Life Amendment passed and California seceded in protest, would you argue that Texas should secede as well in protest over California not being allowed to proceed? And then form a union with California with a constitution specifically guaranteeing the right to abortion on demand? Seriously?

    Besides, one of the explicitly listed power of the US Government is:

    “To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union,
    suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;”

    What Lincoln did is call for the raising of troops after a US fort had been unilaterally fired upon by insurrectionists.

  • No, again, you have it exactly backwards, on two counts. First, as a government of only enumerated powers</i, the burden is on the proponent of forced, cumpulsory union to point to the authority for such a thing in the text of the Constitutioin. Second, as to the origin of government in America, the original thirteen colonies became, according the Declaration, “free and independent states.” They pre-existed the federal government, created it by entering into a voluntary union, and therefore retained the primordial right to exit from the union (the same Declaration which itself recognized the right of the people to alter or abolish the government when it became despotic, by the way)

    Of note is how the people of Virginia, for example, framed the issue when they ratified the Constitution:

    We the Delegates of the People of Virginia duly elected in pursuance of a recommendation from the General Assembly and now met in Convention having fully and freely investigated and discussed the proceedings of the Federal Convention and being prepared as well as the most mature deliberation hath enabled us to decide thereon Do in the name and in behalf of the People of Virginia declare and make known that the powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression and that every power not granted thereby remains with them and at their will.

    Notably, the committee of five that wrote this ratification was Edmund Randolph, George Nicholas, James Madison, John Marshall, and Francis Corbin — all of them Federalists and Madison and Randolph, of course, members of the Constitutional Convention that met in Philadelphia in 1787.

    Presumably, the smart men who wrote the constitution could have easily stated “this is a perpetual union” or “no state may withdraw from this union.” They didn’t, so absent that express grant of perpetuity or power to compel union, such a power does not exist.

    That the north succeeded by bloody compulsion in enforcing an unwanted “union” does not disprove anything stated here.

  • oops, didn’t close the tag correctly.

  • “First, as a government of only enumerated powers, the burden is on the proponent of forced, compulsory union to point to the authority for such a thing in the text of the Constitution.”

    No, Tom, the burden is on the proponents of secession to show that the power existed to be retained by the states, especially states created purely by the fiat of the Federal government. One would think that if such a power existed, the Founding Fathers would have mentioned it. James Madison of course, the Father of the Constitution, held that no such power existed.

    “Second, as to the origin of government in America, the original thirteen colonies became, according the Declaration, “free and independent states.”

    You have to read the whole paragraph Tom:

    “We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

    The indepence of the colonies was undertaken solely in the context of the creation of a new nation, the United States of America. The Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War was between Great Britain and the United States of America, not between Great Britain and each of the 13 states.

    “Presumably, the smart men who wrote the constitution could have easily stated “this is a perpetual union” or “no state may withdraw from this union.” ”

    Already done Tom. Just as the Constitution did not rename the country which the Declaration had already named, it was not necessary for the Constitution to state that the Union was perpetual, as the Articles of Confederation had already noted that.

  • Don, you conveniently ignore the ratification statement of Virginia, which serves as an example of the obvious fact that the thirteen colonies had, as an original matter, gather to form a federal government. If they had chosen not to, they would have continued on under the loose Articles of Confederation. No power forced them to sit down and decide on the Constitution, they came to the table as equal parties. If not, then why would each state have to bother ratifying the thing?

    No, the states went into the Constitutional convention free and equal; they were not “created” by any central force before their voluntary union, which arose out of their unique and individual character as separate colonies.

    Tellingly, when the delegates got together to draft a new Constitution they omitted</i the phrase “perpetual union” which appeared in the Articles of Confederation. As to the Articles of Confederation, which preceded the Constitution and was the governing document of the united colonies, it expressly stated:

    Article II. Each state retains its sovereignty, freedom, and independence, and every Power, Jurisdiction, and right, which is not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States, in Congress assembled.

    No, the states were independent entities, then entered into the Articles of Confederation, which expressly referenced the retention of sovereignty.

    In drafting the Constitution, then, the states came to the table with that sovereignty intact, and as the Virginia adoption resolution states, they maintained that sovereignty, having ceded to the new federal government only those expressly enumerated powers mentioned, and specifically retaining all else.

    Civics 101– the states were independent and created the federal power, not the reverse. Or more specifically, the original 13 states, since after-admitted states stood in a different posture vis-a-vis the federal government.

  • Tom,

    I hate to be playing the annoying game of repeating the questions people don’t want to answer, but again:

    What exactly do you call a full out artillery attack against a United States fort if not an “insurrection” or “invasion”?

    And again: If a Human Life Amendment passed and California seceded in protest, would you argue that Texas should secede as well in protest over California not being allowed to proceed? And then form a union with California with a constitution specifically guaranteeing the right to abortion on demand? Seriously?

  • No power forced them to sit down and decide on the Constitution, they came to the table as equal parties.

    Arguably, the force that caused them to sit down and decide on the constitution was that they knew that the colonies were incapable of surviving on their own, and that the original Articles of Confederation has been unsustainably weak. Without a strong union, the country and its constituent parts were unable to thrive.

  • Darwin, there were obviously reasons that the states felt it was in their interest to cede some of the powers for the purposes of effective joint action. Don however, denied that the states had any existence before being created by some form of federal power. Clearly, they were sovereign before the Constitution and did not surrender that sovereignty except as specifically noted in the text of the Constitution.

    As it turned out, the union was not strong after all. Eleven states wanted to withdraw and peaceably go their way. Lincoln and the radical Republicans stifled their desire for independence, and forcibly compelled them to remain in the Union. Not much of a “glorious union” when it has to be maintained by bloody invasion and loss of 600,000 lives.

    Don: we’re talking theory. Understanding the origins of the Constitution and the aboriginal sovereignty of the states helps us to understand how federalism ought to look. There have historically been extremely few issues impelling states to consider withdrawal from the union. The southern states were not the only ones to consider the notion!

    I prefer to look at it this way: If Roe were overturned and half the states retained abortion law, and half did not, would our moral objection to abortion (a much greater evil than slavery) justify armed invasion of the other states in order to enforce our (admittedly superior) moral judgment on them? Clearly not. And slavery, however evil it was, did not justify armed invasion of slave-holding states.

    And if California, in your example, wanted to go, I’d say “adieu.” It’s subsidiarity at it’s best, to allow people to chart their own course, at the most local level possible, and not to have them bound to one overarching federal authority. But it’s highly unlikely, as demonstrated by our history, that even highly contentious issues would impel a state to throw away the benefits of union for the sake of that one solitary issue.

  • And of course, no state now would dare attempt secession when the precedent has been set that the result is going to be a federal army killing your people, burning your property, and forcing your local government to conform to the dictates of the conqueror.

    So to that extent, the issue of secession has been settled. But by main force, not by force of argument or right.

  • And if California, in your example, wanted to go, I’d say “adieu.” It’s subsidiarity at it’s best, to allow people to chart their own course, at the most local level possible, and not to have them bound to one overarching federal authority.

    But that’s the thing. Virginia, by your account, didn’t just say, “adieu” to the Deep South. By your account even though Virginia was not willing to fight to retain slavery, they were so incredibly enthusiastic over the idea of the right of states to secede that they decided to secede on their own and fight a war in order to protect that right. I find that impossible to credit.

    there were obviously reasons that the states felt it was in their interest to cede some of the powers for the purposes of effective joint action. Don however, denied that the states had any existence before being created by some form of federal power. Clearly, they were sovereign before the Constitution and did not surrender that sovereignty except as specifically noted in the text of the Constitution.

    Well, at that point, what’s so special about just the states? They also had not existed since time immemorial. Why not simply have any group or person who doesn’t like any decision “secede” until we reach a point of virtual anarchy?

    We don’t do that because we know that when we ignore or break the law at some point a guy with a gun and flashing lights on his car will fine us or take us to jail. And at root, that’s how nations work as well. Nations exist by virtue of the fact that if they are invaded or if parts of them rebel, their rulers will use their monopoly on legal force to defend the existence and order of the nation. (That’s why we had to fight a revolutionary war in order to get our independence in the first place.)

    That’s why I do not see the 600,000 lives it took to preserve the union and end slavery as any less glorious than the 400,000 US lives it took to win World War II. In both cases the United States defended itself against attack — the one internal, the other external.

  • Uh, no…. Virginia did not fight for a vague right to secede; they did not WANT to secede… what Virginia wanted was for the feds to allow the deep south to secede and leave the states alone. They would have stayed in the Union but for Lincoln’s demanding them to raise troops for an impending invasion of those states, that would take place by traversing Virginia’s territory. THAT is what tipped the scales and led Virginia into secession.

    Well, Darwin, you might think “what’s the big deal about states” and that slavery abolition was “worth it.”

    But we were supposed to be a nation of laws, and governed by those laws. If what Lincoln did was in violation of those laws, we should honestly acknowledge that While we can celebrate the good consequence of emancipation, we ought at the same time to take pause at the serious erosion of federalism as envisioned by our Founders which resulted from Lincoln’s war. After all, the diminution of our federalist system has not been working out too well for the last hundred years or so.

    Oh, and we do owe a duty to the truth, even if the approved government version of events does not correspond with it.

  • But we were supposed to be a nation of laws, and governed by those laws. If what Lincoln did was in violation of those laws, we should honestly acknowledge that While we can celebrate the good consequence of emancipation, we ought at the same time to take pause at the serious erosion of federalism as envisioned by our Founders which resulted from Lincoln’s war.

    Well, but that’s the thing: I see no legal basis for this claim that a state (or any other part of a nation) should have the right to walk away whenever it feels the desire to. All I’m seeing in support of it is the vague claim that membership in a nation should somehow not be binding, which seems to me contrary to the very existence of a nation. And on the contra side is not only the force of history and the actions of the founders, but the very mode for approving the Constitution which the Constitutional Convention wrote, which did not require the consent of all the states in order to impose the constitution on the whole of the union.

    I guess the farthest I would go towards your position would be: To the extent that there was any illusion in anyone’s mind that there was a right of states to secede, I believe that one of the good effects of the Civil War was that this illusion was permanently disabused, because I think such a right would only be destructive to a nation.

    But really, having read a fair amount of Civil War history including primary sources, I just don’t think the war was over secession. Secession was just the means. The war was about slavery and everyone knew it. The other rationale has only come to prominence in a “the losers write history” sense — as people who don’t like the fact that the south as a region and as a culture was defeated search for a more attractive rationale than slavery to excuse the fact that the South chose to rebel on probability that they would see their slaveholder “rights” diminished.

  • Of course the deep South did not secede because Lincoln violated any laws, especially since the first wave of secession occurred before he even took office. It took place simply to defend slavery from a phantom menace. Lincoln and his Republicans lacked the votes in Congress to enact any anti-slavery legislation as long as the Southern Senators remained in Congress. Once secession occurred Lincoln had all the legal authority he needed to supress the rebellion under the terms of the Insurrection Act of 1807:

    Ҥ 332. Use of militia and armed forces to enforce Federal authority

    Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State or Territory by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.”

  • Mac,

    Was that also the year the Embargo and Alien and Sedition Acts passed?

    Was there was a difference between the economy of the north and the economy of the South?

    Obama’s job killing policies are destroying the evil, racist American private sector. Lincoln’s election was perceived to mean be the end for the evil, racist (depended on slave labor) Southern economy.

  • The Alien and Sedition Acts were passed in 1798 T.Shaw by Federalist dominated Congress. The Sedition Act ended by its own terms the day before Jefferson became president. The Republicans benefited greatly by the hostility generated by these acts towards the Federalists.

    The Embargo Act passed in 1807 was Jefferson’s way of trying to avoid war with England. It was immensely unpopular and ended in 1809.

    In regard to Lincoln he had pledged during the campaign not to interfere with slavery in the Southern states. More to the point he lacked the power to do so, until the powers that be in the South decided to start a war to protect their precious right to hold other human beings as slaves, and withdrew their representatives and senators from the Congress, thereby placing the Republicans in complete control of Congress. Never have a braver people been led with more consumate folly than were Southerners in 1860-1865.

  • Well, we’re back to slavery was evil, so the war was good.

    No one in this discussion has laid a glove on the point that the states, sovereign from the beginning, retained their sovereignty but for the express grant to the federal government in the constitution. States thus retained, because the power was never ceded, the right to withdraw from the union.

    That you don’t like WHY they did it is utterly irrelevant. Sadly, the sanctimonious north has succeeded over the years in framing the issue as a fight over slavery. It was decidedly not. It was a fight over who had the right to organize their societies: states or the national government. The national government won out, with consequences we sadly live with today.
    The civil war truly began the transformation of our country from one of limited national authority to ultimately, today, virtually unlimited national authority. That, with the added evil of the Yankee doctrine of “Manifest Destiny” has wreaked havoc on small government, local rule, and individual liberty.

  • “No one in this discussion has laid a glove on the point that the states, sovereign from the beginning, retained their sovereignty but for the express grant to the federal government in the constitution. States thus retained, because the power was never ceded, the right to withdraw from the union.”

    No Tom, you haven’t even begun to establish that the states possessed such a power to begin with for them to retain. I am certainly curious to hear your explanation how states created by the Federal government under the Constitution could have an inherent power which they retained to secede from the government that created them.

    “That you don’t like WHY they did it is utterly irrelevant”

    Rubbish. Secession occurred because the powers that be in the South wanted to protect the right of rich whites to own blacks. Yeah, that is a superb reason to attempt to destroy the Union, and start a war that killed 640,000 Americans. It was an idiotic, tragic blunder and many innocents paid for their lives because of the blind selfishness of the political leadership of the South. What is also tragic is that the old political leadership largely got back in the saddle shortly after the War and, with a very few honorable exceptions, continued to treat black Americans as helots in their own land for the next eighty years.

    Your comment about Manifest Destiny being a Yankee doctrine Tom is truly hilarious. It was the slave-owning South that was most in favor of expansionism, from the annexation of Texas forward. It was the dream of the South to seize Cuba and northern Mexico, and if the Confederacy had achieved its independence I have little doubt that they would have conquered these areas.

  • That, with the added evil of the Yankee doctrine of “Manifest Destiny”

    Other historical evils of the same kind:

    The Jewish doctrine of lebenrsaum.

    The Catholic doctrine of re-incarnation.

    The neoconservative doctrine of isolationism.

    The Burkean doctrine of the compact theory of government.

    If what Lincoln did was in violation of those laws, we should honestly acknowledge that While we can celebrate the good consequence of emancipation, we ought at the same time to take pause at the serious erosion of federalism as envisioned by our Founders which resulted from Lincoln’s war

    Federal spending as a percentage of GDP basically stayed at the same level for 50 years following the Civil War. Until the beginning of World War I, it never even approached double digits. The erosion of federalism did not take place until the Great Depression and the New Deal.

    Also, you have failed (like most confederate apologists) to provide a detailed list of a “long train of abuses” carried out by the Lincoln administration to justify secession. You can’t, because 7 of the 11 confederate states seceded before Lincoln took office. So they rebelled against a theoretical usurpation of liberty that never actually took place. In fact, had the states not seceded Lincoln would not have been able to emancipate the slaves absent a sudden conversion of a large number of slave-holding states.

Upholding the sacred trust: Boards at the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges…

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012

When the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) met recently in Washington, DC, one of the “hot topics” addressed was the need for training board members to oversee their institutions’ Catholic identity.



According to an article published in Inside Higher Education, the Bishop of Harrisburg (PA) and the Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education, the Most Reverend Joseph P. McFadden, told the audience: “It’s time for the laity to step up to ensure that the Catholic faith continues into the third millennium.”  Bishop McFadden argued that trustees of the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges must value the unique mission of Catholic higher education and should, when possible, be Catholics and well-educated about the workings of Catholic higher education.


Most Reverend Joseph McFadden
Diocese of Harrisburg (PA)


While The Motley Monk concurs with Bishop McFadden that trustees need to supervise their institutions’ Catholic identity more forcibly, the simple truth is that many administrators at the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges are failing in their responsibilities in this regard.


For example, the Scranton Time Tribune reported that the same week Bishop McFadden was addressing the ACCU, the Bishop of Scranton (PA), Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, was expressing his disapproval with the University of Scranton for inviting former U.S. Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies to be the keynote speaker at the January 28, 2012, “Ready to Run” program for women interested in politics.


Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera
Diocese of Scranton (PA)

As a congresswoman, Ms. Margolies co-sponsored the Abortion Clinic Access Bill, which sought to make it a federal crime to impede access to abortion clinics.  She also voted in support of an Abortion Counseling Bill, which would have required federal recipients of funds for family planning to provide patients with information about obtaining an abortion.  Margoilies also opposed the “Hyde Amendment,” which prohibited federal funding of abortions.

Bishop Bambera asked that the University’s administrators withdraw the invitation to Ms. Margolies.

Responding to criticism from the Diocese and questions from other Catholic higher education watchdogs, the President of the University of Scranton, Reverend Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., released a statement on the University’s website:

Speakers for this University event are experts chosen to provide women with information about the challenges of politics; they are not chosen to engage in a discussion of abortion.  By inviting these speakers to campus, the University is not endorsing their personal views.


A spokesperson for the Diocese of Scranton called this stance “unsettling”:

The University’s unwillingness to work with Bishop Bambera in an effort to reach an acceptable resolution to this unfortunate situation is an unsettling turn in the relationship that the Bishop has been pleased to maintain with University officials during his tenure as bishop of Scranton.


The spokesperson added that the institution values its relationship with the Diocese and Bishop and is “saddened that any action on our part might in some way compromise this relationship.”

Bishop Bambera remained adamant:

Despite the university’s lack of endorsement of the personal views of the keynote speaker, as a Jesuit and Catholic university, the inclusion of Ms. Margolies in a University-sponsored program has created concern and confusion among members of the Christian faithful.  Thereby, in this instance, the university’s charge as a Catholic institution of higher learning to permeate “all university activities” with “Catholic teaching and discipline” has been compromised.


Insofar as The Motley Monk is concerned, trustees do need to be trained, as Bishop McFadden pointed out at the ACCU meeting.  But, The Motley Monk would add that training must also include how to hire administrators who will uphold their institutions’ Catholic identity, how to assess administrators in this regard, and how to dismiss administrators who trustees discover wrongly believe that secularizing Catholic higher education provides the sure route to solidify an institution’s Catholic identity.


To read the Inside Higher Education article, click on the following link:

To read the Scranton Times Tribune article, click on the following link:

To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:

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2 Responses to Upholding the sacred trust: Boards at the nation’s Catholic universities and colleges…

  • “Speakers for this University event are experts chosen to provide women with information about the challenges of politics; they are not chosen to engage in a discussion of abortion. By inviting these speakers to campus, the University is not endorsing their personal views.”

    Considering that the 3-M girl’s (as she was known in Congress) political career crashed and burned after one term in Congress I doubt if she has much of value to convey as to politics except on how to fail swiftly at a political career. Of course this explantion is completely fraudulent. The university would never dream of having a white power advocate for example as a keynote speaker. The simple truth is that the fact that she is a pro-abort does not bother the powers that be at the university, or, indeed, makes her more attractive to liberal campus Catholics who take pleasure in poking a thumb in the eye of Mother Church.

  • Pingback: TUESDAY AFTERNOON EDITION | ThePulp.it

Occupy Bigots

Tuesday, January 31, AD 2012



It seems as if segments of the Occupy Wall Street Movement hate both the Catholic Church and the pro-life movement:

Demonstrators from the Occupy Wall Street movement threw condoms on Catholic schoolgirls, refused to allow a Catholic priest to give a closing prayer, and shouted down a pro-life speaker at a Rhode Island right to life rally on Thursday, according to its organizer. The event marked the third time protesters associated with the movement have disrupted a pro-life meeting in a week.

About two-dozen members of Occupy Providence hiked from Burnside Park to the 39th Annual Pro-Life State House Rally organized by the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee on Thursday.

The pro-life organization’s executive director, Barth E. Bracy, told LifeSiteNews.com that, near the end of the rally, the Occupiers “strategically fanned out with military precision.”

That’s when they “started showering condoms down on some of the girls from a Catholic high school.”

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5 Responses to Occupy Bigots

Bishop Jenky, Saint Michael and the Obama Administration

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

My Bishop, Daniel Jenky, in reaction to the Obama administration’s attempt to restrict Catholic religious freedom through its contraceptive regulations, has called for the addition of the Saint Michael Prayer in the intercessory petitions at Mass.  The intention of the prayer is for Catholic freedom in America.


January 24, 2012

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In this history of the United States, Friday, January 20, 2012 will certainly stand out as a moment of enormous peril for religious liberty. On that day, the Obama administration announced regulations that would require Catholic institutions to offer insurance programs providing abortifacients, sterilization, and contraceptive services. If these regulations are put into effect, the could close down every Catholic school, hospital, and the other public ministries of our Church, which is perhaps their underlying intention. What is perfectly clear is that this is a bigoted and blatant attack on the First Amendment rights of every Catholic believer. Under no circumstances, however, will our Church ever abandon our unshakable commitment to the Gospel of Life.

I therefore call upon all the faithful of the Diocese to vigorously oppose this unprecedented governmental assault upon the moral convictions of our Faith. Under the Constitution, no president has the authority to require our cooperation with what we consider to be intrinsic evil and mortal sin. We must therefore oppose by every means at our disposal this gross infringement on the rights of Catholic citizens to freely practice our religion. This country once fought a revolution to guarantee freedom, but the time has clearly arrived to strongly reassert our fundamental human rights. I am honestly horrified that the nation I have always loved has come to this hateful and radical step in religious intolerance. I hope and pray that all people of good will would support the faith based resistance of us their Catholic neighbors.

While it is primarily the laity who should take the leading role in political and legal action, as your Bishop, it is my clear responsibility to summon our local church into spiritual and temporal combat in defense of Catholic Christianity. Have faith! Have courage! Fight boldly for what you believe! I strongly urge you not to be intimidated by extremist politicians or the malice of the cultural secularists arrayed against us. Always remember that the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (I John 4:4).

Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer. It is God’s invincible Archangel who commands the heavenly hosts, and it is the enemies of god who will ultimately be defeated. This prayer should be announced as: A Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel for the freedom of the Catholic Church in America.

May God guide and protect his Holy Church.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC Bishop of Peoria

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17 Responses to Bishop Jenky, Saint Michael and the Obama Administration

  • The Lord Jesus Christ wins in the end. He always has. He always will. I pray for Him to send His Archangel Michael to help us in this battle against sexual depravity, wholesale human slaughter, and the abasement of all that it measn to have been created in the image and likeness of God Himself.

    Sancte Michael Archangele,
    defende nos in proelio;
    contra nequitiam et insidias diaboli esto praesidium.
    Imperet illi Deus, supplices deprecamur:
    tuque, Princeps militiae Caelestis,
    satanam aliosque spiritus malignos,
    qui ad perditionem animarum pervagantur in mundo,
    divina virtute in infernum detrude.

  • In 2008, complete and utter idiots such as myself knew this was coming.

  • Then I am in august company with you, T Shaw. I am proudly an idiot.

  • Pray for the best.

    Be Prepared.

  • “Pray for the best. Be Prepared.”

    “A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government.”

    It is said that those words came from George Washington. I have a mini 14 in my closet that I haven’t used in years, and ammunition stored in an otherwise unused jewelry box. I hope and pray to God that it doesn’t come to that. Both Sacred Scripture and history say otherwise.

    ?”I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Luke 17:34-37

    This isn’t a prediction of the Rapture as so many Evangelicals and Pentecostals think. Rather, it’s a prediction of what Caesar does and those who are left behind are the lucky ones.

    Think about it. What did the Nazis do? They came in the night exactly as Jesus describes and took one while leaving the other. And the disciples ask where this would occur. Jesus response: where the body is, there the eagles will gather. And wasn’t the golden eagle the bird of prey displayed above the SPQR (Senatus Populusque Romae) banners? In His life on Earth in the early 1st century AD, Jesus saw those banners every place where Roman soldiers came to take away people to be tortured and crucified. One was taken and one was left behind. And did not the Nazis have similar banners of the swastika with the emblem of a golden eagle above? And what exactly is the US national emblem that sits above the American flag? Not the golden eagle, to be sure, but an eagle nonetheless – the bald eagle, even more regal and royal.

    “And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Remember: the eagles now serve Obama.

  • Good Shepherd there in Peoria. We have to realize that it’s up to all of us.

    And this one too, T. Shaw, standing up after the Sermon week after week, year after year, saying the Profession of Faith, … maker of Heaven and Earth, of all things seen and u n s e e n (visable and i n v i s a b l e)… , never imagining beyond Roe v. Wade, degeneration, and political correctness tyranny how pervasive, soon or quickly the evil powers prowl and gather for attack. Too much nap time.

    Faith, not fear, they’ll get it. Fish, hunt, garden, and farm – work w/ prayer in heart.

  • “Until these grave issues are favorably resolved, I ask that every parish, school, hospital, Newman Center, and religious house in this Diocese insert the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel into the Sunday General Intercessions just before their concluding prayer.”

    About a year ago, Bp. Thomas Paprocki gave parishes in the Diocese of Springfield (Ill.) official authorization to recite the St. Michael Prayer at the END of Mass, right after the dismissal. Although it is optional (not mandatory) it’s been done at every parish Mass I have attended in the last year. Here’s what the Bishop had to say at the time:

    “One of Satan’s greatest assets is his camouflage, the belief that he doesn’t exist. Disbelief in Satan and the forces of evil leave us unable to resist them. That is why it is good to remember the Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel. We need to remember that each time we pray we work to defeat our real enemies, not each other, but rather the devil and his evil spirits.”

  • Paul, the quote you say may have been said by Washington has been floating around the internet for some time. It is a corruption of this quote from Washington’s first State of the Union:

    “A free people ought not only to be armed but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well digested plan is requisite: And their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories, as tend to render them independent on others, for essentials, particularly for military supplies.”

    I would further note that the proper way to deal with the Obama administration is to defeat Obama at the polls in November. Peaceful organizing and voting is the way that we will deliver our country from the bigots that currently are at the helm of the government.

  • Thanks for the correction, Donald. I agree with about November. But I am pessimistic. I think the media will ensure Obama wins. I hope I am wrong. If I am not, then we can expect the persecutions to start in earnest.

  • AQ will hold off the next big one until after the election. Then, it starts here.

    OWS/Ayers/Black Panther types may run ops emulating their heroes Bernadette Dorhn, Che and mau mau murderers.

    The regime may start a war.

    This time, we are the fish in the sea.

    Thank God strong patriots for 75 years stood tall and stopped them from disarming us.

    There ain’t enough bullets.

  • The fish in the sea – an tenuous analogy:
    Last night on New England cable news a brief clip about ~100 dolphins beaching and dying on the shores of Massachusetts Cape in the past few weeks with no known cause.
    Dolphins are such beautiful communicators.

  • Oops, I meant that if we are the fish in the sea, then look what could happen. Their washing up on shore struck me as back up to the idea, and thought it was tenuous back up. Should have just said, at least we aren’t fish in a pond yet. Or, I agree.

  • Paul, do not be pessimistic about a defeat of Obama in the Polls. Donald is right…..Now that Pope Benedict XVI has fired the First Shot, Obama’s win is in mortal danger….As I have stated elsewhere, no Empire, no Power on Earth ever arrogantly attacked the Catholic Church as Obama has done and survived. Unless Obama goes, America will soon be History like the Roman Empire and the Nazis. This is one War which the Catholic Church is going to win, and win big time. Obama and his cohorts are the High Priest of Satan and he will soon be crushed. The Church on Earth and in Heaven will consign him to where he belongs – dustbin

  • While I agree with you, Mary, I fear the bloodshed that may come. Robespierre killed tens of thousands of people at the guillotine, many Roman Catholic Bishops and Priests, in the name of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity in the France of the 1790s.

  • Paul, if this is the only way Obama has left us to obey God’s Divine Law and protect His Kingdom, so be it…..yes, thousands will die….Christ Faithful have died in their millions these 2000+ years…Jesus did not promise us smooth sailing….He promised us the Cross, persecutions and unrelenting attacks from the Evil One….but He promised us Victory because He had won it for us on the Cross. This is the time the Church Militant must stand up their ground and fight…let every Catholic Faithful join the combat without fear of the Obama dragon….defy this unjust Edict and stand firm because God is fighting for His Kingdom which Obama wants to destroy.

The Culture War

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

I know that there are those among you who do not like harsh rhetoric.  Heck, one of my most recent posts was about the militaristic rhetoric of the president.  Yet, sometimes we need to take a look around at what’s happening and realize that something like a culture war is truly raging.

There was no clearer demonstration of this fact than the HHS mandate regarding health insurance coverage of abortificants, contraception, sterilization, and other grave evils.  The impact of this ruling has been stunning.  Not only has the decision outraged conservative Catholics, but even erstwhile left-wing Catholic defenders of the president have taken this decision to be the last straw.  Bishops, often reticent to enter the political fray, have issued clear condemnations of this decision, even suggesting that Catholics engage in civil disobedience.  The mild-mannered visiting priest at our parish offered a blistering homily, discussing how this mandate violates the very principles that this country was founded upon. Like the ents awakening from their slumber, Saruman and his orcs – meaning President Obama and his allies – have awakened a sleeping giant.

But our anger is not enough, nor are our prayers.  Patrick Archbold puts it all in perspective today.

As I said, this is just the latest battle, but it’s one we must win.  We can’t win the war here, but we can lose it.  And to win a war you don’t just need chaplains, you need generals.

In the wake of the Obama Administration’s decision to force contraceptives on Catholic institutions many Bishops have been calling for prayer and fasting, and that is right and just.  But when faced with an existential threat, you don’t just pray the Nazis away, you have to fight on all fronts.

It is fine to pray that the Nazis will stop being Nazis, but it is also right and just to pray for good aim.

Our Bishops need to realize what is at stake here and act accordingly.  Many Bishops have already written letters and made videos condemning the unconstitutional actions of the administration.  That is good, but more is required.  Open and vocal defiance is required. The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin issued a letter this Sunday in which he proclaimed “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.” That is a good start.  Every Bishop needs to do the same. It must be made clear that we WILL NOT COMPLY.

Yet even more will be required. Some have called for very visible civil disobedience by the Bishops to the point of getting arrested.  I think this may be a good idea. Yet even more.  Kathleen Sebelius is at the spear point of this war on our Church promoting and now forcing abortion and contraception at every turn.  If the scandal caused by this “Catholic” woman does not merit excommunication, the remedy is meaningless.  Any Catholic who is complicit in this war must be held to account, publicly.  This is a war.

We will not comply.  We should never have to choose between being a Catholic and being an American.  This is an existential threat for the Church in this country as well as for the life of the country as a whole.  If we are to win the war, we must win this battle and we need generals willing to fight to the last.

If you are not convinced that we are in the midst of an all out assault on religious values, here’s another story to consider.

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21 Responses to The Culture War

  • You anticipate my post for tomorrow Paul. Catholics are not Quakers and it is past time to remind our adversaries that we will not be insulted with impunity, we will not be intimidated and we will be heard.

  • I am beyond anger. I do not write what I am thinking and feeling, and what I say to myself. I perhaps need to go to Confession again because the Bible says, “Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord, I will repay.”

    History says that our opponents will imprison and murder us. Jesus said that as well. This will not end without bloodshed. It took a Civil War to free the slaves. 🙁

    And yes, I think Obama is going to win in November. Then all hell will break loose.

  • Hell has already broken loose. It’s pouring through the breach right now and the forces of good are retreating to the keep for the final stand. We’ve given ground and given ground and now we’re down to this. We either stand and fight or we perish. If we do manage to win, even a small victory, we need to press any advantage we may have. We’re all in now – compromise is no longer possible.

    Please God, make your Church understand this.

  • The political battle must be joined as well.

    October of every year is Respect Life Month, yet in October 2008 where were the bishops speaking out against Barack Obama? How could they not act, during the last month of the campaign? This man not only voted against, but fought against, a Born Alive Protection Act. Why did they not make clear the absolute moral obligation of voting for life, rather than voting for ‘making history’? The extreme pro-abortion agenda of this man was clear to see, yet it did not raise an organized message.

    It is almost as if they are willing to look the other way, as long as the threat is at arms length. Now the horror is upon their doorstep, and if they do not resist this they can not hide.

  • Has changed its focus from 99 / 1 to what ? Or is it Occupy Providence astray in Rhode Island?

    Jesus said unclean spirits fear Him in Mark’s Gospel this past Sunday – yesterday seems so long ago. Pastor said if we allow evil, it will enter us. Prayer and some kind of fasting will give us strength.

  • I was visiting relatives in Charlotte this past weekend and we went to St Ann’s Catholic Church. The pastor there openly speaks against the ‘norms’ of our culture and how we as Catholics must oppose the changes that are anti-thetical to our beliefs. I wish this priest was merely a common priest, and not the rarity.

    Also, is Suramain = Sarumon? Or is Suramain a reference to the Silmarillion?

  • Also, is Suramain = Sarumon? Or is Suramain a reference to the Silmarillion?

    That would be bad spelling on my part. Will fix.

  • I think its interesting that of the two colleges that have filed lawsuits against the federal government because of this regulation, one is a protestant college. Its not just contraception, but also abortion and sterilizations that are forced on us because of this regulation. Its not just Catholics who should rise up, but all Christians.

  • Unfortunately, this train left the station 40 years ago and the Catholic bishops (not to mention the entire Protestant “church”) weren’t on it. Now they’re trying to rally an army that no longer exists.

  • Quite untrue Jerry. History is rarely a straight line progression, and I think that the secularists who are now riding high may be about to experience a demographically based rude awakening in the decades to come. The bigots who currently hold power can and will be defeated.

  • I wonder where Stupak is on this? Didn’tin fact sign on to the passsing of this bill with the assurance that this owuld not happen? If he had a conscience he would make waves about the backtracking against his positon. No but that is the past – all forgotten now isn’t it? Crazy world we live in…

  • And here is the agnostic blogger Ace of Spades with as truly a monumental take down of the administration as you will find.

  • “…I think that the secularists who are now riding high may be about to experience a demographically based rude awakening in the decades to come. The bigots who currently hold power can and will be defeated.”

    Dear Lord Jesus Christ, please make Donald McClarey’s prediction come to pass and become prophecy fulfilled. Thank you. Amen!

  • PZ: Ace is agnostic?


    Ace and some commenters appear to be more Catholic than the USCCB.

    I agree with a commenter that this may be a ploy to distract attention from Obama policies’ resultant economic ruin.

  • Hmm, doesn’t the President support the Soros led Occupista movement?

    History doesn’t always repeat itself, but it does sometimes rhyme. Does any of this seem eerily similar to Spain before the civil war?

  • “I agree with a commenter that this may be a ploy to distract attention from Obama policies’ resultant economic ruin.”

    I’m thinking that too. The Obama administration WANTS to dwell on social conservative issues – because they think the American public has become so depraved they’ll win that battle and take the focus off of economic issues. When I consider that Obama got elected in 2008 (with the votes of many Catholics) despite his cold-hearted support of babies being left on tables to die, I fear he is correct.

  • Obama has declared war on God. The infant in the womb is there through the will of God. Obama cannot kill God. Obama kills God’s children. All civil rights cases are paid for by the taxpayer. Shouting down a speaker is denying him his freedom to speak. Showering down condoms on prolife girls is abuse and insulting. Their parents must demand an apology from these brutes. tar and feathers. Thery are devils in people clothing.

  • I second you, Donald. Jerry, no Empire, no Power on Earth ever attacked the Catholic Church frontal and survived. America has pressed the Self-Destruct Button. True, your Bishops, like all Bishops in our Universal Catholic Church may seem to take time to wake up. But, believe me, Jerry, when the Holy Spirit wakes up He never leaves the adversaries of Christ’s Church standing – not a single one. Be brave, American Catholics, the entire Catholic Church on Earth and in Heaven are fighting with you. Obama has poked his finger in God’s Nose. He is “History” and America along with him unless you elect a God-fearing President.

  • P.S Jerry please take note of the Holy Father’s warning to your country. That is the Voice of Jesus Christ Himself telling your Obama he is persecuting Him.

  • The US Bishops are readying to refuse to comply with ObamaCare laws that mandate paying for services that are a violation their religion. As spiritual fathers, they find it unconstitutional to be forced to pay for something that is immoral, according to their own religion.

    Why don’t the same Bishops come to the defense of natural fathers who have been forced to pay for something that is immoral?

    In no-fault divorce, millions of innocent reliable fathers and husband have been forced to pay for being immorally removed from their own children’ lives. Fathers are forced to pay state agents, such as guardian ad litems, court psychologist, and court fees. Their wages are garnished to support their children and wife in a separate household in which they are, for no moral reason, forbidden to live.

    I hope the Bishops’ ultimatum is not too little to late. For nearly forty years, the government has been forcing reliable Catholic spouses to pay for something that is immoral. So why wouldn’t the government expect the same coercion to go unchallenged by the institutional Church.

    Bai Macfarlane
    Director of Mary’s Advocates
    Inviting Catholics to invoke the intervention of the Church against no-fault divorce

Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

The great conservative hope, at least according to the likes of Ann Coulter, recently appointed a gentleman named Bruce Harris to the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Harris is openly gay –  a point that Christie made sure to highlight when he introduced Harris as his nominee.  Unsurprisingly Harris is a supporter of gay marriage, and has been very vocal on this issue.   Blogger Paul Mulshine reprints an email that Harris sent to Republican legislators in the state:

As a Republican elected official and someone who has worked hard (and successfully) to get Republicans elected in Chatham Borough, it disturbs me that same-sex marriage has become a Republican versus Democrat issue (understanding there are some Democrats who do not support same-sex marriage). I was encouraged to see former Governor Christine Whitman’s op-ed piece in the Sunday, November 29, 2009 Star-Ledger supporting same-sex marriage, I hope you read her article and will seriously consider her suggestion.

You have met me and my partner of nearly 30 years, Marc, on more than one occasion at various political gatherings. The New Jersey Supreme court has determined that our relationship is entitled to the equal protection guarantees of the State Constitution. The New jersey Civil Union Review Commission determined that civil unions do not provide the equality the State Constitution mandates.(Please take a few moments and visit www.gardenstateequality.org. which has two short videos that provide sad examples of the failures of the civil union law.)

When I hear someone say that they believe marriage is only between a man and a woman because that’s the way it’s always been, I think of the many “traditions” that deprived people of their civil rights for centuries: prohibitions on interracial marriage, slavery, (which is even provided for in the Bible), segregation, the subservience of women, to name just a few of these “traditions.”

I hope that you consider my request that you re-evaluate your position and, if after viewing the videos, reading Governor Whitman’s letter and thinking again about this issue of civil rights you still oppose same-sex marriage on grounds other than religion I would appreciate it if you you’d explain your position to me. And, if the basis of your opposition is religious, then I suggest that you do what the US Constitution mandates – and that is to maintain a separation between the state and religion.

Surely Chris Christie knew of this.

That led me to ask the obvious question at a press conference Wednesday: Did Christie know how Harris stood on Lewis v. Harris?

Christie said of Harris and his other nominee, Phillip Kwon of Bergen County, “I did not ask them about specific cases.” He pointed to two other cases of concern to conservatives, the Abbott school-funding decisions and the Mount Laurel decisions on affordable housing, and said “to the extent that they’ve taken positions on those issues, they’re going to have to let us know that.”

The governor sure did his due diligence in this important duty, didn’t he?

Of course this brings out the band of merry GOP apologists, such as this commenter at NRO.

Good grief, throwing Christie under the bus ALREADY? He’s not even to the Greyhound station yet.

Is there anyone who in your view IS pure enough to be a Republican president? Talk about making perfection the enemy of the good ….

So now it a sign that you’re some fire-breathing purist to expect a Chief Executive to actually do his research before making critical appointments.  Supreme Court appointments – be they federal or state – have long-lasting impact well beyond the life of a governor.  Judicial appointments are among the three or four most important job functions of any president or governor.  Even if Harris recuses himself from any matters pertaining to gay marriage, it is clear from this email that he is not what you’d call a sparkling originalist.  As such, Chris Christie has failed in this vital aspect.

Unfortunately we have so lowered the bar of expectations that some will just overlook this minor inconvenience.  After all, Governor Soundbite has so many cool Youtube clips of him berating his constituents, and as this entire election season has proven, bluster is a lot more impressive than actual accomplishments.

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9 Responses to Chris Christie Appoints Gay Marriage Supporter to the Bench

Matthew’s Day Off, Extended Version (After 30 Years, New Ferris Bueller Commercial)

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

As one of our commenters found out, it’s a commercial for the ‘oh so choice’ 2012 Honda CR-V.  Here is what Honda has to say:

Celebrate the launch of the all-new 2012 CR-V, Honda brought Ferris Bueller’s Day Off back in a big game commercial. We cast Matthew Broderick as himself, skipping out on a day of acting work and living it up in his all-new CR-V. Relive movie history with Honda’s fresh twist and wonderful homage to this ’80s classic.

Think you’re a true fan of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? We hid over two dozen references to the movie throughout the commercial. Some are obvious, some are very subtle. See how many you can find. #dayoff


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2 Responses to Matthew’s Day Off, Extended Version (After 30 Years, New Ferris Bueller Commercial)

Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech

Monday, January 30, AD 2012

Two Presidents have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.  Barack Obama in 2009, for no reason I can discern other than a slap at his predecessor George Bush by the left-leaning award committee, and Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for being the driving force behind the negotiations that led to the end of the Russo-Japanese War in 1905.   Due to his duties as President, Roosevelt was unable to give his acceptance speech until May 5, 1910.  It is an interesting address.   Peace, he stated, was not the highest good unless it was wedded to righteousness.  Peace is evil if it is merely a mask for sloth and cowardice.  Tyrants have often prattled about peace in order to silence opposition to their schemes.  Individuals, and nations, must ever be ready to defend themselves.  He then offered some practical suggestions for a more peaceful world.  Arbitration of disputes between nations.  The establishment of a tribunal at the Hague.  A League of Peace by the great powers to attempt to keep the peace of the world.  The irony of course is that it was the European Great Powers that would lead the world into War just four years after Roosevelt’s speech, but of course the future was for him an unknown country, just as our future is to us.  The text of the speech of Theodore Roosevelt:

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6 Responses to Theodore Roosevelt’s Nobel Peace Prize Speech

  • Visions of T. Roosevelt, Colonel of the First Reg’t. US Volunteer Cav., mounted charging San Juan Hill, . . . I’m not sure (“some form of international police power”) about him, any more.

    The facts that pharaoh and sub-mongoloid-cretin-with-a-PhD Krugman were awarded Nobel Prizes (funded with mega-profits from HE sales) say more about the Nobel P. awards committee than about the two dastards.

  • “I’m not sure (“some form of international police power”) about him, any more.”

    It always depends on who is doing the policing T.Shaw. Circa 1950 TR would have seemed like a prophet. Circa 2012 not so much. Ideas are tried out in History, one reason to study History closely.

  • I just finished Michael Korda’s book on the Hungarian revolution in which he faults the U.S. for not helping; however, I am sure that if the U.S. had intervened he and others would fault said intervention as imperialism.

    Maybe isolationism should be given a second chance.

  • During the Cold War the US and the Soviets were careful never to have their troops officially shooting at each other for fear that would quickly lead to World War III, which I believe would have been likely. Soviet pilots flew, and were shot down, in Korea and Vietnam, but neither side regarded them as “officially” in combat. In Afghanistan, the Soviets did not regard the CIA agents there as “officially” fighting against them. US intervention in Hungary in 56, directly fighting Soviet troops, could not have been treated in such a manner.

    In regard to isolationism in the modern world, if the US retreats to Fortress America, other nations, almost all very unfriendly, would swiftly enter the vacuum created, and the world would be convulsed by series of wars the likes of which the world has not seen since the Thirties.

  • ” . . . some form of international police force . . . ” As with most things in the worldly, “the devil is in the details.”

    Interesting indirect result of the War of 1812 and the Civil War may be TR’s devotion to strong US naval power – “big stick.”

    In 1882, TR’s book, The Naval War of 1812 was published. He several times visited his uncle, James Bulloch, in England doing research. TR knew weak US navy had adversely affected US “fortunes” in the 1812 fight.

    Uncle Jimmy was a firm believer in strong naval power. He knew weak navies can be disasterous. Bulloch was the “chief architect” of the CSA Navy and especially two notorious commerce raiders, CSS Alabam and Shenandoah. In 1883, James Bulloch published his two volume memoir, The Secret Servcie of the Confederate States in Eurpoe.

  • TR was a fine historian T.Shaw. His the naval war of 1812 was the definitive work on the subject for over two decades and still is very much worth the reading. He poured his heart and soul into his multi-volumed The Winning of the West. Along with everything else he did, his numerous published works would have caused TR to be remembered even without his other claims to fame.

A “Call Out” and “Two Thumbs Up” to Professor Patrick Deneen

Sunday, January 29, AD 2012

What’s a tenured associate professor of government teaching at a Catholic university to do when he believes the institution isn’t really Catholic?

It’s pretty easy to say “Give up your tenure and go where you will find what you are looking for.”  Sometimes, witness to one’s faith entails suffering.

Agreed.  But, making that decision isn’t so simple when other considerations—like those of family, financial obligations (a mortgage, for example), and the like—must also be factored into the equation.

The situation presents an authentic ethical dilemma, one that confronted a former Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University, Patrick Deneen.

In a letter published at Front Porch Republic, Deneen said with regard to Georgetown University:

…Georgetown increasingly and inevitably remakes itself in the image of its secular peers, ones that have no internal standard of what a university is for other than the aspiration of prestige for the sake of prestige, its ranking rather than its commitment to Truth. Its Catholic identity, which should inform every activity of the community, from curriculum to dorm life to faculty hiring, has increasingly been cordoned off to optional activities of Campus Ministry.

Describing his experience, Deneen wrote:

In the seven years since I joined the faculty at Georgetown, I have found myself often at odds with the trajectory and many decisions of the university.  In 2006 I founded The Tocqueville Forum as a campus organization that would offer a different perspective, one centered on the moral underpinnings of liberal learning that are a precondition for the continued existence of liberal democracy, and one that would draw upon the deep wisdom contained in the Catholic humanistic tradition.  I have been heartened and overjoyed to witness the great enthusiasm among a myriad of students for the programming and activities of the Forum.  However, the program was not supported or recognized by the institution, and that seemed unlikely to change.  While I did not seek that approval, I had hoped over the years that the program would be attractive to colleagues across disciplines on the faculty, and would be a rallying-point for those interested in reviving and defending classical liberal learning on campus.  The Tocqueville Forum fostered a strong community of inquiry among a sizeable number of students, but I did not find that there was any such community formed around its mission, nor the likely prospect of one, among the more permanent members of the university. I have felt isolated and often lonely at the institution where I have devoted so many of my hours and my passion.

So, where is Professor Deneen headed?

The University of Notre Dame (UND).

However, Deneen appears not to be headed to South Bend blinded by all of the UND hype.  He wrote:

I don’t doubt that there will be many battles at Our Lady’s University.  But, there are at least some comrades-in-arms to share in the effort.

UND hired Deneen, he wrote, because they regard him as “someone who can be a significant contributor to its mission and identity, particularly the Catholic identity of the institution.”

Although considerations like these are not typically a criterion for hiring at Georgetown as Deneen noted, The Motley Monk would humbly suggest that even in those institutions where they are, there’s quite a distance between espousing those ideals and translating them to pedagogical lessons in every classroom, dorm, and student activity.

For Professor Deneen’s willingness to witness to the importance of an institution’s Catholic identity in name and in fact, The Motley Monk offers a “call out” and “both thumb up.”

To read Professor Deneen’s letter, click on the following link:

To follow The Motley Monk’s daily blog, click on the following link:

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9 Responses to A “Call Out” and “Two Thumbs Up” to Professor Patrick Deneen

  • Two old sayings come to mind. “Never say die.” and “Out of the fire, into the frying pan.”

  • My impression — and it is only that — is that Notre Dame accepts its Catholic identity and is genuinely proud of it, even if it all too often misunderstands it; while Georgetown cannot quite decide if it should accept its Catholicity or be embarrassed by it. I could be wrong.

  • The rise of the gay pride organisation at Georgetown with its lavender graduation was coerced by the Supreme Court in view of a D.C. law and presages the recent arising health insurance dilemna facing the Church:

    from their history of their rise….

    “GPGU petitions GU for recognition again and is denied for the third time; GPGU and the Gay Rights Coalition (GU Law Center) sue GU for recognition under the DC Human Rights Act. In Gay Rights Coalition v. Georgetown University, the Supreme Court rules that Georgetown University has violated the D.C. Human Rights Law by refusing to recognize its LGBTQ organization.”

    see their history with their frequent infiltrations of campus tours for new students:


    In a 1988 settlement, GU ends up indirectly funding them:
    “After 8 years of litigation and 199 years after its founding, GU settles with GPGU , agreeing to fund the group through a secondary body as to not violate Catholic teaching regarding homosexuality. This led to the creation of the Student Activities Commission (SAC). ”

    So the question is….would Christ fund a sodomy group through a secondary body. No…I think He would close the school and move it to another area. My cousin is gay and I’ve prayed for her for decades and will pray until her death as I prayed for her partner who died and was a divorced Catholic who turned gay after divorce. She, when alive and thinking I would agree, denounced to me certain relatives who objected but then was fiercely mad at me for agreeing with them and saying to her face that
    Scripture is crystal clear in Romans 1 that it is deadly sin for both genders.

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  • I have a couple of questions regarding this and maybe it is because I am in search of, on a conquest for my own authentic masculinity. Do we stay and fight in a situation like this…or is the can kicked so far down the road that return to Catholic University status at G’Town is slim to none? Can more of an effective fight be waged at ND which needs to be more authentically Catholic (at least what I can see from the news the last few years).

  • As an ND alum, I cannot speak for Georgetown, but I say without reservation that there is hope for Notre Dame, and the last thing that the oft-beleaguered faithful among the students and faculty at ND need is to be written off as a lost cause by the rest of the Church. Here is a good place to start:


  • Michael,
    I think that folks should fight the good fight from whereever they sit. I see no reason, or really any practical ability, to engage in our unfortunate culture war on just certain fronts or battlegrounds. Catholics who care about Georgetown or who are in a position to be influential there should direct their energies there, just as Catholics with ND relationships should fight the good fight there. That is just my 2 cents.

  • In case it was not clear, my last comment was in response to MJP’s.
    I agree completely with MB’s post.

  • “conquest”







    I love it when you guys comment thusly.

    Let them also “admonish”, “counsel”, “instruct”, and “pray for.”

Isabella Santorum Hospitalized

Sunday, January 29, AD 2012

The AP reports.

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum canceled his Sunday morning campaign events and planned to spend time with his hospitalized daughter.

“Rick and his wife Karen are admitting their daughter Bella to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia this evening,” spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement Saturday night, adding “Rick intends to return to Florida and resume the campaign schedule as soon as is possible.”

Santorum had been scheduled to appear on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and attend church in Miami. Officials did not cancel Sunday’s afternoon events in Sarasota and Punta Gorda.

Please keep the Santorum family in your prayers.

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9 Responses to Isabella Santorum Hospitalized

  • Av? Mar?a, gr?ti? pl?na, Dominus t?cum.
    Benedicta t? in mulieribus,
    et benedictus fr?ctus ventris tu?, I?sus.
    S?ncta Mar?a, M?ter De?,
    ?r? pr? n?b?s pecc?t?ribus,
    nunc et in h?r? mortis nostrae.

  • Well, here is some good news for Rick. Looks like he is enjoying a post-debate surge. Hopefully, he can surge right into second place:

    From Today’s Marist Poll:

    “Santorum is the only candidate to see a debate bounce. In the three days of polling (Wednesday through Friday), Santorum saw a five-point increase after the debate. He was also seen as the “true conservative” in the race — 38 percent said so versus 18 percent for each Romney and Gingrich, and 16 percent for Paul. More voters also said they saw Santorum as the candidate who best represents the middle class.”

  • Rick Santorum is showing that he has his priorities straight. His political ambitions do not stand in the way of what is truly important: his daughter, his family. A man with this much integrity deserves to be come president. May God bless him and his family and spare his little daughter!

  • Our prayors for Isabella and the Santorum family go with you !

  • Our prayers go out to Rick and his wonderful family. May God watch over Isabella, and grant her back to good health! Rick, all else is not important; just love for family! May you and your family receive good news this evening about Isabella!

  • may god bless you and your daughter and pray she will get better soon.

  • I shall present Bella to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in the next half an hour as I observe the Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy’s 3.00 O’clock Holy Hour – The Hour of Great Mercy.

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Bias? What Bias?

Sunday, January 29, AD 2012


The bias of most of the main stream media is well known, but a current example by CBS is beyond parody:

Over the years, pro-life activists have come to accept that the media isn’t interested in their annual March for Life in Washington D.C. protesting abortion, even though it routinely attracts hundreds of thousands of people. But this year’s photo slideshow hosted on a local Washington CBS website has activists scratching their heads in disbelief.
 Currently the March for Life slideshow of seven photos features protesters who actually support abortion; none of the photos actually feature pro-life marchers.

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4 Responses to Bias? What Bias?

  • What is this “CBS” of which you speak?

  • For the hollow sound of a little empty laughter.
    C ensorship B y S atan.

  • Wow, PM!!! You sure have got it right CBS is the Voice of Satan. But, hey, nothing to worry about. The Truth is never killed……it always triumphs in the end. They can censor and distort the desire of Americans to do away with Infanticide and respect the sanctity of Life from Conception to Natural Death, but eventually we shall win because we are fighting for God.

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George Will on Obama’s Militaristic Rhetoric

Saturday, January 28, AD 2012

George Will has a superb column on Obama’s rhetoric in the State of the Union Address:

Obama, an unfettered executive wielding a swollen state, began and ended his address by celebrating the armed forces. They are not “consumed with personal ambition,” they “work together” and “focus on the mission at hand” and do not “obsess over their differences.” Americans should emulate troops “marching into battle,” who “rise or fall as one unit.”

Well. The armed services’ ethos, although noble, is not a template for civilian society, unless the aspiration is to extinguish politics. People marching in serried ranks, fused into a solid mass by the heat of martial ardor, proceeding in lock step, shoulder to shoulder, obedient to orders from a commanding officer — this is a recurring dream of progressives eager to dispense with tiresome persuasion and untidy dissension in a free, tumultuous society.

Progressive presidents use martial language as a way of encouraging Americans to confuse civilian politics with military exertions, thereby circumventing an impediment to progressive aspirations — the Constitution and the patience it demands. As a young professor, Woodrow Wilson had lamented that America’s political parties “are like armies without officers.” The most theoretically inclined of progressive politicians, Wilson was the first president to criticize America’s founding. This he did thoroughly, rejecting the Madisonian system of checks and balances — the separation of powers, a crucial component of limited government — because it makes a government that cannot be wielded efficiently by a strong executive.

Wilson is of particular importance here.  Wilson’s dissatisfaction with the Constitution stemmed from the many limitations said document placed on the government.  Not only did the Framers grant few specified powers to Congress, they instituted various mechanisms that made it even more difficult for government to enact the reforms that Progressives like Wilson so desired.  Wilson wanted to convert the United States government into a parliamentary system.  Under this kind of design, instead of a legislature-dominated government complicated by checks and balances, we would have an executive-led government with few checks on the Prime Minister’s power.

Wilson was unable to transform the government to his liking.  The Constitution still divides power in so many ways that it would be theoretically be difficult for the Progressive reformers to get all that they wanted.  So instead of working within the system, the left has basically just ignored that pesky ancient document.

Franklin Roosevelt agreed. He complained about “the three-horse team of the American system”: “If one horse lies down in the traces or plunges off in another direction, the field will not be plowed.” And progressive plowing takes precedence over constitutional equipoise among the three branches of government. Hence FDR’s attempt to break the Supreme Court to his will by enlarging it.

In his first inaugural address, FDR demanded “broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.” He said Americans must “move as a trained and loyal army” with “a unity of duty hitherto evoked only in time of armed strife.” The next day, addressing the American Legion, Roosevelt said it was “a mistake to assume that the virtues of war differ essentially from the virtues of peace.” In such a time, dissent is disloyalty.

Yearnings for a command society were common and respectable then. Commonweal, a magazine for liberal Catholics, said that Roosevelt should have “the powers of a virtual dictatorship to reorganize the government.” Walter Lippmann, then America’s preeminent columnist, said: “A mild species of dictatorship will help us over the roughest spots in the road ahead.” The New York Daily News, then the nation’s largest-circulation newspaper, cheerfully editorialized: “A lot of us have been asking for a dictator. Now we have one. .?.?. It is Roosevelt. .?.?. Dictatorship in crises was ancient Rome’s best era.” The New York Herald Tribune titled an editorial “For Dictatorship if Necessary.”

Commonweal. Some things never change.

And so now we’ve arrived at Obama’s America, and the left’s impatience with the Constitution manifests itself again.

Obama, aspiring to command civilian life, has said that in reforming health care, he would have preferred an “elegant, academically approved” plan without “legislative fingerprints on it” but “unfortunately” he had to conduct “negotiations with a lot of different people.” His campaign mantra “We can’t wait!” expresses progressivism’s impatience with our constitutional system of concurrent majorities. To enact and execute federal laws under Madison’s institutional architecture requires three, and sometimes more, such majorities. There must be majorities in the House and Senate, each body having distinctive constituencies and electoral rhythms. The law must be affirmed by the president, who has a distinctive electoral base and election schedule. Supermajorities in both houses of Congress are required to override presidential vetoes. And a Supreme Court majority is required to sustain laws against constitutional challenges.

“We can’t wait!” exclaims Obama, who makes recess appointments when the Senate is not in recess, multiplies “czars” to further nullify the Senate’s constitutional prerogative to advise and consent, and creates agencies (e.g., Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board and Dodd-Frank’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) untethered from legislative accountability.

Like other progressive presidents fond of military metaphors, he rejects the patience of politics required by the Constitution he has sworn to uphold.

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14 Responses to George Will on Obama’s Militaristic Rhetoric

  • Dan in Philly commented at another blog.

    “Let me be clear, O is and always has been an ordinary political hack who was picked up by a brilliant campaign because he happened to be in the right place at the right time. This brilliant campaign ran him, and ever since he’s been trying and failing to lead the country. He’s been a failure from the beginning because he’s been a fraud from the beginning.”

    Paraphrasing Camus: The “general welfare” will be liberals’ alibi for our enslavement.

  • The human being is created with body and soul, rational and immortal. The citizen constitutes government to protect and defend his unalienable rights and his freedom. For this duty taxes are levied. The present administration has decreed that all people will purchase Obamacare or pay penalties and heavy fines. The freedom of the citizen to exercise his conscience has been eradicated from the First Amendment and from the definition of man as having a free conscience, rational and immortal. With the redefinition of the citizen as having no freedom of conscience to be acknowledged by the government, the free man, who exercises his conscience in freedom is not represented by the very government that he has constituted and funds with his tax dollars. This is taxation without representation. The fines and penalties to be extorted from the citizen who exercises his freedom of conscience are just that: EXTORTION, the buying of insurance to protect oneself from damage and penalties.
    The very existence of the United States of America is contingent upon the eternal truths, inscribed in our founding principles, in our Declaration of Independence and in our U.S. Constitution, being acknowledged and practiced, to guarantee, as Abraham Lincoln said: “that government of the people, for the people and by the people will not perish from the face of the earth”.
    The American Civil Liberties Union, while ecstatically enjoying the display of brute force by our government is not exempt from the extortion or tyranny. As soon as the government decides it needs the ACLU’s land, the government will take the land under the Rural Councils Executive Order 13575. When the government decides that it no longer needs someone, or that someone begins to think for himself, or becomes a loose canon, that person may be detained indefinitely, without charges under the National Defense Authorization Act . This is the denial of free will and a rational and immortal soul.
    What Obamacare does not accept is that you cannot kill a person twice. After all the abortions are done, the immortal soul remains to indict the murderers. The immortal soul of the innocent victims cannot be silenced nor murdered twice. Obama, being a student and adherent to Saul Alinsky’s philosophy of: “Take as much as you can, as fast as you can”, has not yet put two and two together. Alinsky asked God to send him to hell. Alinsky, therefore, acknowledged God, the immortal soul, eternal life and the eternity of hell. Obama needs to get on board the next barge to be ferried by Sharon across the River Styx.

  • T. Shaw: Our reliance on Divine Providence, which John Mills’ utilitarianism and Paul Erhich’s Population Bomb, Thomas Malthus’ demographic projections, and Roe v. Wade have rejected, is simply, Our Creator providing for his children. The atheist does not and cannot speak for our founding principles: our Declaration of Independence, and our Constitution. The “general welfare” absolutely includes the Preamble: “to secure the blessings of Liberty to ourselves and to our posterity”, all future generations. Less is not more. If one notices that the “more” one is promised, the “more” one gets is less. The Israelites saw Goliath and fainted at his size. David saw Goliath as the biggest target…EWTN

  • Richard the Lion Heart’s (and it seems all saxon monarchs’) Motto: “Dieu et mon droit.” I translate trust in “God and my strong right arm.”

    Henceforth, I apply the following to Obama, “pharaoh.”

    The pharaoh must go.

  • What T Shaw said – the Pharoah must go.

  • Good post, Paul. I remember Goldberg talking about this tendency toward militarizing peace time in his book Liberal Fascism. Wilson wanted to see agenda items having a “moral equivalency” to war, i think that was his term. This kind of fascist thinking was considered good by liberals back then–case in point: the “mild dictatorship” advocated by Commonweal as Will mentions. I think the only difference is the terminology used–they are more careful not to use certain words.

  • This concept deserves a nice glass of Maker’s Mark and a cigar. The connection never occurred to me.

  • I learned that the OWS folk call demonstrations ‘battles’. On a college campus in Chicago I overheard one OWSer say to another, “I’ll see you at the battle”. None of these folks could last one day in basic training. It’ funny/pathetic in one regard, but scary in that they seem to crave violence.

  • 1. Most constitutional states function passably with parliamentary institutions. Separation of powers is quite atypical, characteristic of the United States and three or four other well- established electoral systems; none of the others are ensconced in a state with a population larger than Belgium’s.

    2. During that portion of the Wilson Administration which preceded World War I, the ratio of federal expenditure to domestic product was about 0.014.

    3. One consequence of the collision of social crisis and extant political forms during the Depression was that those occupying the salient positions in all three branches of government took to simply ignoring inconvenient constitutional provisions rather than organizing a campaign to amend the constitution to alter the range of delegated powers. You might interpret that as a mark of collective faithlessness. Then again, you might interpret that as a mark of institutional inadaptability.

  • Indeed Gingrich did talk about this in Liberal Fasicsm, and he also had his own article yesterday which I should have linked to. Here it is.

  • Separation of powers is quite atypical, characteristic of the United States and three or four other well


    During that portion of the Wilson Administration which preceded World War I, the ratio of federal expenditure to domestic product was about 0.014.

    I never suggested that Wilson was particularly successful, merely that he wanted to transform the governmental structure of the U.S. FDR was the one who more ably picked up the Progressive mantle.

  • It appears that for government officials to want to change our form of government and our founding principles, they do not understand nor appreciate them, nor do they have the power to change our founding principles without two thirds of the states ratifying the change. Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations was the forerunner of The United Nations. The United Nations, like global world government will force The United States to violate her sovereignty, and become subserviant to what has become one government under the World Bank. The Vatican came out with one economic world government under God, our Creator, one citizen at a time. Divine Providence. AWESOME.

  • Mary de Voe – I hope you’re not really calling for the president’s death – or his damnation. I don’t think we should be wishing people on Charon’s next boat.

    (Completely agree with your comment about extortion, by the way.)

  • If Obama won’t repent, then he deserves the fate that God award King Manasseh. It took 12 years of imprisonment in an Assyrian dungeon for him to repent. What will it take for Obama?

Feast Day of the Dumb Ox

Saturday, January 28, AD 2012

You call him Dumb Ox?  This Dumb Ox will fill all the world with his bellowing.

                    Saint Albert the Great, responding to jibes from some of the other students he was instructing aimed at a young Thomas Aquinas.

Today, January 28th, is the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas, who was granted three gifts from God:  the life long innocence of a child;  the soul of a mystic; and one of the mightiest intellects ever possessed by mortal man.  The ladies of History for Music Lovers kick off our celebration of the Angelic Doctor with their own unique tribute.


Here is Pope Benedict on Saint Thomas:

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The Cavalier’s Glee

Saturday, January 28, AD 2012

Something for the weekend.  The Cavalier’s Glee, a song which captures well the daring spirit of the cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia under General Jeb Stuart. The song was written by Captain William W. Blackford, an engineer on the staff of General Stuart.  It is sung by Bobby Horton, a man who every American is indebted to for his constant efforts to bring Civil War songs to modern audiences.

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5 Responses to The Cavalier’s Glee

  • For those interested in Civil War cavalry and General Custer, I recommend Gregory J. W. Urwin’s book, Custer Victorious.

    The taunt among Union infantry as cavalry passed was, “I never saw a dead cavalryman.”

    That changed at Gettysburg. Custer’ Michigan Cav beat Stuart’s cavalry behind the Union center or things could have been different for Pickett.

    The Army still has Cavalry regiments, evolved out of WWII tank destroyer units. The battalions are called squadrons. The companies are called troops. The officers and NCO’s have black stetsons that may be worn with dress uniform and they have “stable calls.” In addition to the CIB, offers are awarded (unofficial) spurs (made from ammo casings) after cav combat.

    The cav platoon has four up-armored (IED survivable) HumVee two with .50 cal. MG; one an auto grenade launcher; and one TOW missile, which requires an act of Congress to fire.

    Infantry officers may serve in Cav units. My airborne ranger son won his spurs as a PL in Afghanistan.

  • Custer was a general at 23 in 1863, one of three young Union cavalry captains jumped from that rank to brigadier general in a desperate attempt to put some life in the weak Union cavalry of the Army of the Potomac. The experiment was a rousing success. His troopers idolized him and appreciated his brash, hard hitting attitude. By the middle of 1864, the Union had achieved cavalry dominance against the Army of Northern Virginia. Stuart’s death at the battle of Yellow Tavern signaled that the dominance that he and his cavaliers had so long maintained over their Union counterparts was at an end.

    T.Shaw my brother led a cav platoon in the early eighties in Germany. If you have to go to war, there are far worse ways to do it than with the armored cav!

  • Greet them ever with grateful hearts.

  • Don

    A rousing song to remind us that the role of the Cavalry is to mark enemy positions with burning cavalry vehicles and lend a touch of class to what would otherwise be an unsightly brawl.

    P.S. I spent much of my time in Cavalry units.

  • Or as my brother put it circa 1982: our function is to be pursued by the Soviet Army and to run behind the main force units, screaming as we do: “It’s your baby now!!!”. 🙂

6 Responses to A Day Off From Work. . . Heeeeee’s Back!